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Genesis v. 24. Jude 14. Hebrews ix. 5. He is a great artist wlio can sketch a human portrait and condense the prophecy of a lifetime of public effort into sixty-four words, and yet make the picture so clear and unique that it stands out, in a great portrait-gallery like the Bible, full of abiding interest and comfort to generation after generation. Still more marvelous is it when three artists have each a single stroke at the picture. Only sixty-four words, and yet what a strong, noble figure they cause to stand before the mind and heart ! I would rather have those sixty -four words as my biography and as my monument than all the volumes that have been written about Caesar, Alexander, and Napoleon combined. The great characteristic of Enoch's life was that he "walked with God." What a comforting picture of the tenderness and sympathy of divine fellowship is proffered to us in the Bible ! — and we are assured that it is within the reach of every child of 132
¦QXHalkin^ wltb 0o&. 138 God. We do not go walking with every chance stranger whom we meet, but usually with those of our more intimate acquaintances and choice friends. The figure used indicates a relation at once confidential and sympathetic. And that is the relation we ought to hold to our heavenly Father. We often cheat our souls of one of the sweetest comforts of life by thinking of God as seated high above us, upon a great white throne — white like snow, indicating coldness and dignity. Thus while we admire him, and are grateful for his mercy and goodness, and have a deep desire to please him, we miss the thought of tender fellowship which is illustrated to us in the Word of God in many charming and beautiful pictures. God is represented as walking in the garden in the cool of the day and holding conversation with Adam and Eve even after their sin. When Abraham dwelt at Mamre in the desert, God came to him in the guise of a weary traveler, and received food and water from the hand of his servant. And Jesus Christ gives us a most comforting view of our relation to
God by declaring that we may enter into a yokefellowship, walking side by side, pulling the same load, and sharing both the food and burden of the divine life. A distinguished minister was entertained at the house of a very prominent man, who was known
134 21 l^ear'6 ipraser*^eetlng ^alfts. far and wide not only for Lis great learning, but for his deep and sincere religious experience. The visitor was very curious to learn as much as possible of the inner life of this man whose spiritual force made so profound an impression on all who came in contact with him. One evening, after he had bidden his host good-night, he left the door of his room ajar that he might hear, if possible, the evening devotions of the good man in the room adjoining. He was successful. After a little time the saint put aside his books and the work he had in hand ; then after reading his Bible he knelt and offered this simple prayer, "Lord Jesus, things are still just the same between us," and retired for the night. What a sweet and intimate fellowship with God is suggested by that brief prayer ! There is no need of many words of intercession or entreaty or explanation when one walks day by day in such simple and unbroken harmony wdth God. Enoch, like all men who walk with God, found constant and abiding joy in spiritual things. Those things which are pleasing to God are the natural surroundings, the native atmosphere, of such a soul. Paul says that the carnal mind is enmity against God, and can not if it would please him. People who are not Christians often wonder how Christian people can find happiness and joy in reading the Bible, in i^-ayer, and in spiritual con-
Timalfting wltb (3oO. 185 versation — things which to them seem dull and uninteresting. But to the man or woman who has been born into the kingdom of Christ, prayer, praise, and Christian fellowship form the joyous atmosphere of the daily life. The soul breathes in such an atmosphere the very breath of heaven. Throughout my boyhood and young manhood, over in the Northwestern mountains, in many a mountain climb and fishing excursion I have watched with most friendly interest a little bird which I think is not known in the East, called the
water-ouzel. Many times in the deep, dark canons one's only companion is this little ouzel, that always lives about waterfalls and cataracts. He spends all his life in an atmosphere of flashing spray and the noisy turmoil of falling water. John Muir, the California mountaineer and naturalist, says of him : " He is the mountain-stream's own darling, the humming-bird of blooming waters, loving rocky ripple-slopes and sheets of foam as a bee loves flowers, as a lark loves sunshine." The mother ouzel always makes her nest on some rocky ledge, where it is constantly receiving the gentle spray from some waterfall, so that the moss out of which the nest is made is ever kept fresh and green. Indeed, I have seen the nest built back of the fall itself, where it seemed impossible that eggs could hatch out because of the constant dampness. The
136 a lJear'0 prai^ers/lRectlng Calfta. little ouzel pecking Lis war to life in that moss nest is rarely, if ever, in tlie course of his whole career, beyond the reach of the music of running and falling water. The songs that he sings — and he sings them very sweetly all the year round, winter as well as summer — are all songs of the water, taught him by the cataracts. This little bird fairly lives in the water. He not only nests near it, but he gets all his food from it, for he can not only dive in the water like a duck, but he is able to walk on the bottom of the stream, and can even fly under the rapid running water of a mountain torrent. A naturalist relates a beautiful story of this interesting little bird. On one occasion he was camping out beside a slender stream up in the Eocky Mountains. After drinking, he threw the water out of his cup into the stream, when instantly an ouzel flew up as if to catch the drops. Curious to see if that were really his object, he threw more water, and was delighted to see that every time he did so the bird flew up into the falling shower, evidently enjoying the sprinkle on its plumage. It seems to me that this little mountain-bird is a beautiful illustration of the way the Christian who in humility and faith walks with God comes to find the very atmosphere he loves to breathe in doing those things that please God. The man whose heart and afi'ections are set upon the world, and
•QDlalKing wltb (300. 187 who breathes an atmosphere of selfishness and sensuality, can not understand how this can be, any
more than a mocking bluejay can understand the water-ouzel's fondness for the roar of the waterfall or a plunge in its white spray. And, thank God, as the little ouzel is able to sing its sweet song all the year round— as cheerfully when the blizzards of December chill other birds and send them shivering to some warmer clime, or when the dusty heat of the summer-time parches to silence other throats, as in the most brilliant and blossoming days of spring— so the man who walks in fellowship with God can sing all the year round. He can sing in all seasons and in all weathers. Give him only the assurance of God's presence, and no matter how dark the day or how lowering the threatenings of trouble, his soul will sing its song of confiding trust.
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