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THE WIDER LIFE.pdf

THE WIDER LIFE.pdf

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY J. R. MILLER


WE should never be content
with a narrow life. We are
made for breadth and ful-
ness, and we rob God when
we fail to reach our best.
Some people assert that
Christianity's ideal for life is narrow. They
say it cramps and limits us. It has no place,
for example, for physical or intellectual de-
velopment. It says nothing about art, music,
science, or the many phases of human activity.
It presents only the moral side — conscience,
obedience to heavenly laws, spiritual attain-
ments and achievements.
BY J. R. MILLER


WE should never be content
with a narrow life. We are
made for breadth and ful-
ness, and we rob God when
we fail to reach our best.
Some people assert that
Christianity's ideal for life is narrow. They
say it cramps and limits us. It has no place,
for example, for physical or intellectual de-
velopment. It says nothing about art, music,
science, or the many phases of human activity.
It presents only the moral side — conscience,
obedience to heavenly laws, spiritual attain-
ments and achievements.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Nov 06, 2013
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11/06/2013

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THE WIDER LIFEBY J. R. MILLER WE should never be contentwith a narrow life. We aremade for breadth and ful-ness, and we rob God whenwe fail to reach our best.Some people assert thatChristianity's ideal for life is narrow. Theysay it cramps and limits us. It has no place,for example, for physical or intellectual de-velopment. It says nothing about art, music,science, or the many phases of human activity.It presents only the moral side — conscience,obedience to heavenly laws, spiritual attain-ments and achievements.The answer is that while Christianity maynot definitely name the things of the intellect,or distinctly call men to noble achievementsin art, in exploration, in invention, in re-search, in the culture of the beautiful, itreally includes in its range everything that[3]Cl^e W^tv Uitwill add to the fulness and completeness of life and character. It excludes nothing butwhat is sinful — disobedience to law — im-purity, selfishness, uncharity, and these onlynarrow and debase, do not broaden and en-rich life. It includes " whatsoever things are
 
true, whatsoever things are honorable, what-soever things are just, whatsoever thingsare pure, whatsoever things are lovely, what-soever things are of good report." Is this anarrow life?Our Christian faith places no limitation what-ever on life except what would mar, blot, ordebase the character. Japanese horticultu-rists have a trick of stunting trees, and theworld is full also of stunted men, only dwarfsof what God made them to be. But the callof Christianity is always for whole men, menreaching up to their best, and out to theirbroadest in every way. The Chinese bind thefeet, some nations mutilate the face, othersrepress and crush the feelings, affections, anddesires, but Christianity seeks the fullest de-velopment of every power and capacity of [4]Ci^e Wintt lifethe being. Jesus Christ, our pattern, wouldhave us become full-grown men.As leaders of others, as teachers, as follow-ers of Christ, our influence should be towardthe enriching and broadening of lives. A re-cent book is dedicated to a distinguishedscholar and teacher, who is designated as anenlarger of human lives. There is no way inwhich we can prove ourselves better friendsto others than by such influence over them aswill make their lives fuller, truer, more loving,more helpful. One writes :
 
^^ My life is a brief, brief thing,I am here jor a little space.And while I stay,I would like, if I may.To brighten and better the place.^'There are many persons whose lives are small.They never grow into strength and beauty.It is said that Michael Angelo once paid avisit to the studio of Raphael, when the artistwas absent. On an easel there was a canvaswith the outline of a human figure, beautiful,[5]m)t wiiitt lifebut too small. Michael Angelo took a brushand wrote under the figure the word " Am-plius " — larger. The same word might bewritten under many lives. They may be goodand beautiful, but they are too small. Theyneed to be enlarged. They have not sufficientheight or breadth. They do not realize God'sthought for them. They do not mean enoughin the world.There are many people who live in only oneroom, so to speak. They are intended to livein a large house, with many rooms, rooms of the mind, rooms of the heart, rooms of taste,imagination, sentiment, feeling. But these up7per rooms are left unused, while they live inthe basement.A story is told of a Scotch nobleman who,when he came into possession of his estates,

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