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and reveals it power even in the passing moments. A few hours change the whole scene; despair is often only momentary. There is no bread in the pantry and no fire on the hearth. There are pangs of poverty and winds of winter declaring boldly and unmistakably that there is no higher law above this awful tragedy of life. Suddenly the door opens; new friends appear; wants are supplied; employment is furnished; education is offered; the skeleton is transformed into an angel. Snowflakes are changed into flowers; icicles into fuel, and the howling winds into heaven's orchestra. Promises are now realities, and God still lives. Tears and narrow vision had temporarily shut out all the higher forces and despair, like a fog, hid every star in the sky, but at last, upon the winds of eternal gratitude, heaven receives the message, “How poor I would have been but for the sanctified poverty and suffering." William H. Prescott passed out of the college dining-hall, during his junior year, and turned his head to learn the cause of a disturbance, when he was struck in the eye by some missile which destroyed the sight. After his long illness he returned to college with higher ambitions and nobler ideals than before. Then the other eye
became inflamed, and, in sympathy, began to fail. For weeks he was compelled to remain in a dark room. In this sad condition he walked hundreds of miles from corner to corner, and side to side, thrusting out his elbows so as to avoid striking the wall. In many places the plaster was broken by the constant hammer from his elbows. He had chosen law for his profession, but now was compelled to abandon it. By some unknown force he was pushed into the study of history, the last choice a man would naturally make who was blind. He at once set about the training of his memory, and, at last, he could correct and retain in his mind sixty pages of printed matter, and then dictate it to his amanuensis. He produced his famous "History of Ferdinand and Isabella," "The Conquest of Mexico," and the "Conquest of Peru." When he could use his fast-failing eye only one hour a day he prepared his "History of Philip Second." He afterward wrote some of the world's best pages without seeing a word of the writing, but by pushing his hand along the lines of a wooden frame. The greatest calamity came to his life, but in the mystery of providence gave him fame and power beyond his fellow men. His sublime patience
waited upon God's revelation. To-morrow was a part of his life as well as to-day. There is a silent, irresistible force at work through all the apparently separate events of life. That mighty factor creates surprise by making gardens out of deserts, and joys out of sorrows, and gain out of loss, and life out of death,—yes, and a crown out of a cross. This is the unknown quantity. What a subtle, yet powerful, element! Everything is related as consequence and antecedents. No event begins and ends in itself. This demands new thoughts, and explanations, and expectations. Because of this Lazarus will thank God that he lay at the rich man's gate. Daniel will rejoice that he entered the lion's den. Joseph will find no fault with the pit. Bartimeus will offer praise for blindness. Paul will not complain at the thorn in his flesh. Why was John Knox a galley slave? Why was John Bunyan in Bedford Jail? Why was Robert Hall a confirmed invalid? Why was Martin Luther driven about by persecution? It is all answered in the light of the upper world. Patience will wait for its answer. Faith will expect it and obedience will never falter. Wherever the explanation is not found here there will be the dawning of a new and brighter day. As
the years of life advance man begins to touch the meaning of the divine expression that "a thousand years is as one day." Time comes to be less and the eternal future greater. The future is beyond vision and grasp, and in this is at once the charm and mystery of life. In the impatience to know and understand this, mystery mocks us and vexes us with the cry " not now." Sometime, somewhere, we'll understand." "Now we know in part, but then shall we know even as also we are known." The mists are to be rolled away and the continuity and beauty of life's landscape are to be revealed. The examiner asked the child in the institution for the deaf and dumb, who made the world, and in the sign language, she instantly replied: "In the beginning God created the heavens and earth." Surprised at her answer, he asked her again what Christ came for. She quickly replied: "This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners." He looked at her in amazement and then propounded the hardest of his questions, "Why did God make you deaf and dumb and give other people hearing and speech?" Without a moment's hesitation she moved her little fingers to make the
sentence, "Even so, Father, for so it seemeth good in Thy sight." What a magnificent reply to the solemn mystery of her life! That is the ideal. In that is the only comfort and joy. In that is Christian submission. It is a wise confidence. In that is the highest obedience, the obedience of a surrendered will. In this mysterious life of ours there is only one who can answer the riddle, or solve the problem, or interpret the mystery. His name shall be called "Jesus." The greatest difficulty in the human soul is the fact of sin. It frightens, and haunts, and condemns every member of the race. The Christ alone reveals its nature and pardons its offences. Take it and its family up to the cross and say, "Oh, Son of God, I cannot understand Thee, but remember me when Thou comest into Thy Kingdom," and the graciousness of His answer will suddenly transform mystery into eternal day.