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sky not only voices his own joy, but thrills with ecstasy everyone who has a soul to hear with. We have all heard the multitudinous laughter of old Ocean’s billows. There is no state of mind in man that does not find a sympathetic response in nature. It is a glass that reflects his gladness, making it double. His every gloom finds a chill and somber November to enhance it. Man's highest thought and finest feeling go to material nature to find means of adequate expression. That Godlike feeling of forgiveness finds expression in those plants that bathe the ax with sweetness while it wounds them. The resurrection of the body has an elder voice in the springtime and the chrysalis, and a later one in the resurrection of Christ. At conversion the earth and the stars seem changed. Browning says in “Saul :"
The whole earth was awakened, ..
Out in fire.
But the Bible expresses the sympathy of nature with man more graphically than other poets. When Adam sinned the earth's barrenness and thistles were not so much an inflicted as a consequent curse. And when Christ hung on the cross the world's shuddering earthquakes and darkened skies were its sensitive responses to the sufferings of its Maker and Lord. Even chaos and old night could respond to spiritual influences and break into light. The universe now thrills through its whole extent to the power of its indwelling soul as manifested in gravitation and magnetism. Our material bodies are strong or weak, tingle with joy, or are enervated with lusts, according to the soul within. Some call the relation of Antæus to his mother Earth a fable. But men who have lovingly lain down in the lap of Mother Earth, been rested and renewed on her bosom, know it is a profound truth. It was not merely for refreshment by spiritual influences that Christ went to the desert, the mountain, and the storm.
The Bible always represents the earth's condition of fruitfulness or barrenness as related to the spiritual state of man. “How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein ?" All creation groaneth together and travaileth together waiting for the apocalypse of the children of God. The idea of the renovation of all nature at the return of its Lord is not strange to the students of many of the passages of prophetic truth. Even animal nature shall be changed (Isa. xi, 6; lxv, 17; 2 Pet. iii, 13; Acts iii, 21; Luke xxi, 25-28). The new heavens and the new earth are conditioned on the new man. Nature, in all its laws and forces, was meant to serve man. He was to have dominion over all things, the fish of the sea, and besides them“ whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.” This must mean, among other things, gravitation and magnetism. Having become a sinner, man abuses his trust, and groaning nature has a right to protest against being in bondage to the caprices and abuses of such a master. The horse is spurred and lashed for the race, and maddened for the battle. It is subject to vanity. All the forces of nature are subjected to unworthy uses.
But this subjection was “not willingly” received. Emancipation is to come. The apostles of unbelief have no such hope. The positivist holds to an absolute catastrophe, without any providential interpositions. The rationalist expects nothing beyond a gradual improvement in humanity and nature. “To modern philosophical unbelief the beginning of the world, as well as the end, is sunk in mist and night; because of this unbelief the center of the world—the historical Christ—is sunk in mist and night.” How different the Christian! How much broader his view! “We, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.” When God's word shall have accomplished what he pleases the people “shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace : the mountains and the hills shall break forth . . . into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree."
But are not all these seeming sympathies the mere projection of man's mind on nature, the throwing of his sunlight in rainbows on the sky, making it glorious with evening splendor, or on the black masses of a retreating storm, making it
glow with prophecy and hope? Our Scripture paragraph answers the question, and shows not only a real sympathetic relation, a present suffering, but also a closely linked future destiny between material creation and man. Man cannot be profited and glorified without nature's sharing in it. No people can be peaceful and industrious but to them nature responds. Men tickle the earth with a hoe and it laughs with the harvest. When the Lord shall judge the people righteously “ let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad ; let the sea roar, and the fullness thereof. Let the field be joyful, and all that is therein: then shall all the trees of the wood rejoice before the Lord.” “Poetic imagery, personification, fancy,” says old Gradgrind; "give us facts.” So he said about the sublime fact that “the morning stars sang together," till science proved it as clearly as that the interior angles of a triangle are equal to two right angles. It is well enough to believe the plain statements of God's word, even if they do go a bit beyond our present comprehension. When it says the iron gate opened of its own accord” to the angel delivering Peter it is best to feel that there is some deep truth in the statement. But does this argue a consciousness in matter? We are not concerned to answer. Let a few facts speak for themselves. We know that in chemical combinations atoms seem to count and to discern the nature of other atoms. One particle of oxygen or boron will marry itself to a definite number of particles of one substance and to other numbers of particles of a dozen other substances. Plants select the materials for building the forest temples as accurately as animal life selects material for bodies. Every gardener knows that plants grow best for those that love them. But these things do not necessitate human consciousness in matter. They help us to see that matter may have richer capabilities than we have thought, and may have capacities to make it a temple fit for the Holy Ghost. Doubters of spiritual entities are obliged to affirm that matter has a spiritual side.
To have a nature fit for such glorification makes it liable to humiliation. The carbon that makes the London air at times alınost unbreathable has a capacity to sparkle like the Kohi
noor in the queen's crown in the Tower. The constituent ele- . ments of half a dozen kinds of precious stones are in common clay. The walls of Jerusalem, trampled down by the Gentiles in scorn, can be turned at once into the walls of Jerusalem the golden. It is simply a question of the nature of the substance and of the power acting upon it.
The power is sufficient because we are assured that the highest power in the universe is to be applied to this very end. The same exceeding greatness of God's power which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and set him on high, is also applied to put all things under his feet. As granitic Sinai becomes a paved work of sapphire stones as the body of heaven for clearness, under the feet of the God of Moses, so all matter may become glorious under its rightful King. This King applies the same power to “subdue all things unto himself” that he applies to change our vile body," that it may be “fashioned like unto his glorious body.” Certainly this power is sufficient. This dynamic, Christological view needs emphasis in this age of doubt.
But what glorified beings shall fill the unknown realms of glorified matter! We have had magnificent oratorios of the “Creation” and of the “ Redemption.” But John heard an oratorio of redemption grander than that by Gounod. What machinery of horses by the million, and armies, flying angels and fiends, hurled stars and rolled away heavens; what breadth of action in earth, ocean, air, and space; what instrumentation and voices like the sound of many waters in a storm! But who or what takes part in the oratorio ? creature ['created thing,' Revised Version; "animated creature,' Alford] which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb forever and ever.” The groaning together is ended. The common glorification has come.
“ And every
Henry W. Narren
ART. V.-ASBURY AS A STUDENT.
It was in a little house under a bridge in old England that Asbury caught the first glimpse of student life. “When a child,” he writes, “I thought it strange my mother should stand by a large window poring over a book for hours together.” This picture he carried with him into manhoodhis mother reading at the window. Mrs. Asbury had lost an only daughter, and found relief in religion and a passionate love for books. Of his own early instruction Asbury says:
I was sent to school early, and began to read the Bible between six and seven years of age, and greatly delighted in the historical part of it. My schoolmaster was a great churl, and used to beat me cruelly; this drove me to prayer, and it appeared to me that God was near to me. My father having but the one son greatly desired to keep me at school, he cared not how long; but in this design he was disappointed, for my master by his severity had filled me with such horrible dread that with me anything was preferable to going to school.
Going into a blacksmith's shop in his thirteenth year, he wrought at the anvil for more than six years. As a boy of fourteen he was deeply stirred upon the subject of religion, “reading a great deal,” he says, “ Whitefield and Cennick's sermons, and every good book I could meet with.” He began his ministry in his seventeenth year, while working at the forge, but from his twentieth to his twenty-sixth year he swung only the hammer of the word. He made his first acquaintance with Latin and Greek during these years.
The call to America came. Here we see him as preeminently a man of works. “It has been estimated,” says Dr. Abel Stevens, " that in the forty-five years of his American ministry he preached about sixteen thousand five hundred sermons, or at least one a day, and traveled about two hundred and seventy thousand miles, or six thousand a year; that he presided in no less than two hundred and twenty-four Annual Conferences, and ordained more than four thousand preachers.” Even this marks him as a man of intellect. We are only trying to show that the windows opened inward. His interest in the cause of education, his abridgment of several