(Alexander Smellie, “The Secret Place” 1907) LISTEN to audio! Download audio
“O Lord, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom have You made them all.” Psalm 104:24
Let me walk through the world, so various, so beautiful, so pleasing–with an open eye. It is strange that there are many who have no discernment of its wondrousness. …
But I would ask for a purged and illuminated vision–and then Your works in nature will astonish me. Therefore let me walk through the world, which is the many-colored vesture of the Lord, with a believing mind.
It is both strange and sad, that men should be atheists in a universe which carries the print of the Creator’s finger on . . .
each grain of sand,
blade of grass,
beam of light! …
But I would be wiser than they. Because I would subscribe to William Law’s sentiment, “Nature is what it is for this end only–that the hidden riches, the invisible powers, the blessings, the glory, and the love of the unsearchable God–may become visible, sensible, and manifest in it and by it!” This is a saner conclusion than the atheist’s.
And let me walk through the world with a joyous soul. No doubt, there is much in it to fill the heart with painfulness; and pessimism has turned to the strifes and sorrows of creation for proof of its dismal creed.
But the goodness of God is written, too, in letters of gold on hill and lake and mountain and forest and stream. Not a sunrise, but speaks of His patient and enduring grace! Not a sunset, but stirs the conscience of the sinner, and opens Heaven itself to the saint! So much of His divine glory, the Almighty Maker conveys . . .
by His sunrise and sunset touches,
His flowers and woodland trees,
by His vast ocean and starry sky.
Therefore let me be strong and of good courage–He remembers me, His redeemed child!
Therefore the sights and sounds of the landscape ought to be preachers and trumpets of the glory of God. In the cool of the day, when I pass through the country fields, or climb to the summit of the hill, or sit and gaze across the sea–God and my soul should meet and talk.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
Day after day they pour speech; night after night they display knowledge.
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