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Spiritual Recreation.

Spiritual Recreation.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY HUGH SMITH CARPENTER.



THERE is a restoration and an exaltation of human
work. There is a redemption of human pleasure.
A Christian is to have his recreations, as well as his
duties. Pleasure is a law of life, in every form.
There is no word so much abused. There is no
theme so much confused.
BY HUGH SMITH CARPENTER.



THERE is a restoration and an exaltation of human
work. There is a redemption of human pleasure.
A Christian is to have his recreations, as well as his
duties. Pleasure is a law of life, in every form.
There is no word so much abused. There is no
theme so much confused.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Apr 06, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved

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SPIRITUAL RECREATIO. BY HUGH SMITH CARPETER. THERE is a restoration and an exaltation of human work. There is a redemption of human pleasure. A Christian is to have his recreations, as well as his duties. Pleasure is a law of life, in every form. There is no word so much abused. There is no theme so much confused. There are teachers in the church who claim happiness as an element of faith-life, but deny it pleasure. The former they be- lieve to be capable of holiness and endurance. The latter has a sort of sin to them even in its sound. SPIRITUAL RECREATIO. 157 ow there is an unquestionable difference between the two words, and between the two things for which they stand. Happiness is a state or condition general. It describes a complete view. Pleasure is an indul- gence. It limits itself to some particular circumstance. A man may be happy in pain or in sorrow. But he can not have pleasure, except in that which is pleas- ant. A strong man is never happier than when he is in the thick of his work. But he has his pleasure in play, or in rest, or in some lighter pursuit involving a stop or at least a change of work. It is just as true a law in the spiritual constitution, as in the physical. Pleasure is opposed not only to pain ; it is also in contrast with duty. The sacred man is happy in the service of God. He is happiest when he is doing the hardest work. He is never so happy as when he dies. or is any dying saint so happy, as the martyr in the very glow and crackle of the fire. But that is his hour of trial, and not his grant of indulgence.
 
And it is just at this point that men mistake re- ligion. It is a notion so prevalent and so inveterate, as to be almost a matter of orthodoxy, that a religious soul is never to have any release from duty, any fur- lough from vigils, or any intermission of toil, until it reaches its ultimate state, and then is to have nothing but repose. There are many hymns that sing this, and dis- courage men, just as when you sing a doleful ditty to keep listeners awake, you put them asleep. This is the 158 SPIRITUAL RECREATIO. notion that spoils prayer meetings and taints sermons. It makes some men shrink from their religion with dread. It makes other men dreadful in a shrunken religion. The Law of Holiday is a law of our ature. An adjustment of Holiday is an arrangement of life. The constitution of creatures is punctuated to pause, as much as the construction of sentences in language. And so, too, all measures of time that we know of have their odd remnants, their spare fragments, that are like rests in music. There is always time inter- calated, as there are sheafe and handfuls for the glean- ers which the reapers do not gather, or which drop from the loaded wain. If we give scope to conjecture, there is reason to believe, that there are festivals and gala days throughout the stellar ways, that must be chronicled among the stellar globes. The regular motions of orbit yield now and again to specialties of rare occasion. The moons that wax and wane on this planet, and on yonder planets, see planets now flick- ering and now refulgent on their view. The sun's change of place among the constellations seems to establish eras even in their splendors, and points and pauses in their history. And as to the lambent flush-
 
es, and the glory dashes that often irradiate the fir- mament, which the old weird notions of mankind took for tokens of terror, they are translated now into sig- nals of the ages. The comet when it sweeps the sky SPIRITUAL RECREATIO. 159 like the gleam of God's sword, is but the flourish of a pen that signatures the close of a celestial epoch. It is the nebulous joy, the festal occasion, of sidereal event It is an atmospheric rhapsody, a firmamental ecstacy. And yet it takes its measured, regulated turn. It will be clear that there is great liberty and lei- sure, and large recreation, in the upper spheres of this universe, if you search the Scriptures. There is rea- son to suppose that lofty spirits have great latitude of indulgence and many occasions for celebration, though they can never be said to be idle. It is quite apparent that whatever be the sea of joy in which beatific spirits bathe, it has its swell of mo- tion and its breaking, foaming surf of high occasions. To dash in those surf-crests of joy is to their angelic excellence of strength, a pleasure over and beyond the rippling flow of their even -bliss. It is in this way that bliss itself can be diversified without being in- terrupted. It can be constant without being stagnant or monotonous. This feet in regard to them is not a matter of con-  jecture. We know that that was a great day on high, which celebrated the building of this globe from cha- otic smoulderings. Then the morning stars sang to- gether, and all the sons of God shouted for joy. We know that that is to be a crisis of triumph, which is the manifestation of the sons of God.

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