5 Look unto the heavens, and see; and behold the clouds which are higher than thou.
The glory of heaven and earth would only mock us, so to speak, if we had no hope, and were without God in the world.
What is the glorious sunshine to men cast away in an open boat at sea without food and water? It is an aggravation of their miseries.
So might men say,
"Of what good to us is this stupendousness of power and wisdom? What interest can we take in the beauty and the glory and the magnitude of the universe? Why ask us to rejoice in the shining host of heaven? We are wretched. The human race is debased. Nine hundred and ninety-nine in a thousand are in poverty-poverty of pocket, poverty of mind, poverty of nature. Unscrupulous cleverness lords it over the interests of mankind. Iniquity is established. All are dying. Life is a troubled dream. Vanity and vexation of spirit is written over all."
Things are bad, but it is for a reason, and a good state of things will come.
..."Yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be. But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace" (Psa. 37:10).
...Let us rise to this wide range of vision. Let us reject the impressions which a too close confinement in the lines and channels of our petty life is apt to make on our minds. Let us not make the mistake of judging the ages by our few and evil days.
This is the mistake that is made by men around us. They argue that because they find things in a certain way, things will never be different. It is as if a schoolboy were to conclude he would never be done with school.
Or transfer the illustration to some of those animalculae that naturalists tell us come into existence and die with every breath. In a train going through a railway tunnel, many would be born and die during the passage. Suppose they could think; judging by their own experience, they would imagine the world was all darkness and noise. They would have no knowledge of the smiling country and the glorious sunlight at the other end of the tunnel.
They would not be aware the tunnel had any end. That is how it is with the poor mortals who set up their experience of the present darkness and confusion as the measure of our hopes. Because they live and die in darkness, they think we shall always be in the tunnel; they have no knowledge of the appointed exit into the light, and the arrival at the glorious terminus, where the train will stop and the passengers will get out for a settlement in safety and comfort and peace.
The truth emancipates us from the depressing company of such thoughts. It brings to us the joyful news of an age of light and strength and righteousness and joy, which shall dawn when the present night shall have passed away. It exhibits to us a destiny beyond every human aspiration in its height, and transcending our highest conceptions in its glory. It holds before us a prize that beggars all ordinary appeals to human motive and human exertion-a prize that combines, in an ineffable form, all the conditions of well-being that man has ever experienced or that the heart has ever conceived.
This whole coming glory is, meanwhile, in the absolute prerogative of that wonderful man-the marvel of history - THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD - God manifest in the flesh - Jesus crucified and now exalted, in whom abides all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. What shall we say, then, but that Paul was a wise man, whose company we shall try to keep, when he said:
"I count all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him."