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Time a Rate of Motion.

Time a Rate of Motion.

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Published by glennpease
BY NEWMAN SMYTH

— 2 Peter iii. 8.

I HAVE chosen this text for a sermon upon the closing
Sabbath of another year, because it is an attempt of an
inspired Apostle to lift his brethren out of the common
wordly view of time up into something like God's view
of the years of man's life.
BY NEWMAN SMYTH

— 2 Peter iii. 8.

I HAVE chosen this text for a sermon upon the closing
Sabbath of another year, because it is an attempt of an
inspired Apostle to lift his brethren out of the common
wordly view of time up into something like God's view
of the years of man's life.

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Published by: glennpease on Mar 29, 2014
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TIME A RATE OF MOTION. BY NEWMAN SMYTH — 2 Peter iii. 8. I HAVE chosen this text for a sermon upon the closing Sabbath of another year, because it is an attempt of an inspired Apostle to lift his brethren out of the common wordly view of time up into something like God's view of the years of man's life. The Apostle evidently wishes us to look down upon the flight of the years more as God in his eternity looks down upon them. We are to approach the idea of eternity not by multiplying years together in indefinite figures of time, but more simply and truly by remembering that with the Eternal our measurements of time have no importance ; one of our days with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thou-sand of our years are as one day. The philosophers have invented many ingenuities of speech in the attempt to bring the intuitions of space and time within the compass of human understanding. The scholastics used to say of space that it is a circle whose centre is everywhere, and whose circumference is nowhere. And the medieval theologians labored to impress upon men the duration of the eternal ages by
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229 230 The Reality of Faith. representing a bird as pecking against a mountain, and removing in its bill every time it rose a grain of sand ; and by the thought of the length ®f time it would take for the little bird to remove, grain by grain, the moun-tain, they sought to find a mental unit of measurement for the ages of eternity. Others have imagined a strong tower standing, in the midst of a flowing stream ; and they have said, the ripples at its base represent the pres-ent moments ; the stream below the tower represents the time which is past and gone ; and the waters flowing down from above represent the future hurrying towards the present ; while the tower itself, standing unmoved in the running stream, is the symbol of that which never changes, the eternity of God. But the inspired text is simpler and truer than these imaginations of the philosophers. With the Eternal a thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thou-sand years. God inhabiteth eternity. As he is omni-
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present, and space has no distances to his free Spirit ; so he dwells in eternity, and a thousand years to him are as one day. Upon this last Sabbath of the year I wish to suggest some thoughts with regard to the time given us on earth, seeking, as I shall speak, to look upon the passing years, as the Apostle in our text evidently wished to have Christians do. I ask you therefore to reflect, first, that time is a gift of God to the creation. Time is a bequest from the Eternal conveyed and secured in the constitution of the creation. These visible, revolving worlds are by nature temporal. Time is the rate of motion determined by the Creator in his own thought of the worlds. There Time a Rate of Motion, 231 is uo such thing as time except as there are created worlds to mark time. AVe cannot conceive of time apart from the finite creation. Time is simply the rate at which the things which are made go on. There would be no time without a creation to keep time. God has set up the worlds to make and to mark time. He dwells not in these times of his creation, but he inhabiteth
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