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Clouds and Rain

Clouds and Rain

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Published by glennpease
BY SAMUEL PENNIMAN LEEDS


If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the
earth : and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the
north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. —
ECCL. xi. 3.
BY SAMUEL PENNIMAN LEEDS


If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the
earth : and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the
north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. —
ECCL. xi. 3.

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Published by: glennpease on Nov 19, 2013
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CLOUDS AD RAI BY SAMUEL PEIMA LEEDS If the clouds be full of rain, they empty themselves upon the earth : and if the tree fall toward the south, or toward the north, in the place where the tree falleth, there it shall be. — ECCL. xi. 3. That is, when the clouds are once filled with rain, as a matter of course — inevi- tably — they empty themselves, and when the tree has once fallen, it remains as it fell — it does not itself change its posi- tion for another. The truth taught us here is the inevitableness of events as follow- ing causes. " The logic of events," as the thought has been well put, is, according to this passage, a reality. Let things go in a certain manner, and the issue is sure. The tree may fall toward the north, or it may fall toward the south; but once fallen, it stays as it fell. This general thought may properly detain us a few mo- ments, and then I shall ask your attention to a specific application of it. 268 CHRISTIA PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE It is, then, an exceedingly important principle, and one which intelligent men especially cannot innocently disregard, that causes, that is, things potent enough to become such, produce their results with certainty. Let the causes remain, and the results must come. There is no way to prevent it ; when the clouds are full, they
 
will discharge themselves. o regrets, no efforts of well-meaning men, no prayers of God's people, will avert it. In nations, families, individuals, the principle is found true. A fearful illustration of this, our own country furnished in 1861 and onwards. Later the King of aples was warned that he was taking a course which would lead to his dethronement. He persisted in the coarsest despotism. For a time he seemed safe. He defied with impunity the moral sentiment of all Western Europe. But the clouds were full at last ; and being full, " they emptied themselves upon the earth." In families, how often do we see children grow up unrestrained ! The idea of author- ity is not inculcated, practically inculcated. It is hoped — so far as thought is given to CLOUDS AD RAI 269 the subject — it is hoped, perhaps, that in- fluences of a general character, that increas- ing years with their mental development, that some unknown cause, will tame the violent temper. In vain ; the clouds fill, and once full they empty themselves. We are constantly liable to delusion in this thing. Somehow or other, we expect that causes will not work out results in our own case. We violate the laws of health, and are surprised when health fails. We violate the great principles of business, of political economy, or otherwise, and virtu- ally reckon on a suspension of the laws we break. All around us, no doubt, a little
 
observation would supply abundant illus- trations of this. Any physician could give us instance after instance. One thing that helps to deceive us on this point is that other causes sometimes concur to modify the workings of those which we observe, so that the anticipated result does not always come, or does not come just as we expect it, or does not come as soon as we expect it. Such a person, we say, is breaking certain natural laws and must pay the penalty. But in his particular 270 CHRISTIA PHILOSOPHY OF LIFE case, certain other influences which we do not know, or do not heed, are at work ; and thus a result is reached which differs from our expectation. And this misleads us. We begin to doubt, really if not consciously, the existence of the asserted laws. ow this is a part of the system of discipline under which we are. There are just excep- tions enough to the working out of certain causes — exceptions owing, as I have said, to the existence of other causes unknown or neglected by us — to give us the sense of free- dom. The great principles of life are, most of them, deduced from thousands of cases, or our knowledge of them is so deduced. They are true in three quarters, perhaps nine tenths, of instances. In the remainder the generalization fails. This deceives us. We question their reality. We see a man drink intemperately day after day, and live to four- score ; we doubt whether strong drink is as injurious as medical science teaches. We

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