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the ghastly spectacle of millions of men engaged in killing and killing and killing, or in manufacturing instruments for still greater killing, and other millions gazing on and cheering on the killing, and gloating over the reports of their enemies' destruction-does human life under the régime of modern civilisation appear to you entirely glorious? "It is wonderful," writes a contemporary artist concerning the girl workers in a munition factory, "it is wonderful to see these girls, planing, grinding, polishing the shells; it fascinates ; but it is intolerable, it is horrible, when you think that all this is done to kill people. But you must not think," he continues. "If you do, you will go mad. The world is mad to-day."

So the modern view of life is not exactly cheerful. The attitude of the modern man corresponds, roughly and on the whole, with the attitude ascribed by a critic to one of the most thoughtful and intellectual of contemporary British statesmen. "He looks out on life," it is said, "with mingled scorn and pity--scorn for its passionate strivings after the unattainable, pity for its meanness and squalor. He does not know the reading of the riddle, but he knows that all ends in failure and disillusion."

Now what would St. Paul have said about this sombre view of things? Well, I fancy that up to a point he would have allowed that it is correct. He would have said to the worldly and world-weary pessimist : "You complain that the world is unsatisfying and

squalid; and you are right, indisputably right. It is unsatisfying; it is squalid. Neither the wealth of the world, nor the work of the world, nor the pleasure of the world, nor the culture of the world, can bring you lasting happiness. So long as you live for the world and the world alone, so long as you live without Christ in the world, your life will be stupid and sordid to a degree, and nothing can save you from desperation. While you remain in this condition, your philosophy of gloom is unquestionably justified." So much, I think, he would readily have admitted. But St. Paul had the secret of transforming the gloom to glory. He had seen the Lord. He had seen the glorified Jesus. And in the face of the Lord he had seen, and for ever saw, the incomparable outshining of an Everlasting Love-Love drawn near to him and watching over him-Love forgiving his sins, and soothing his pains, and comforting his sorrows, and quieting his fears :

"Love so vast that naught can bound,
Love too deep for thought to sound;
Love that made the Lord of all
Drink the wormwood and the gall;
Love which led Him to the Cross,
Bearing there unuttered loss."

Yes, in the Lord's face St. Paul had seen the transplendency of the Love of God; and that made all life different. That still makes all life different. We cannot despair of our life when we know that it is encompassed by the Love of God. We cannot give way any more to

despondency and pessimism. Are we not thought about? Are we not cared for? Are we not clasped and cherished by a never-failing Charity? Are not the eyes of Love upon us? And is it not the hand of Love Itself that allots to us our work, dispenses to us our trials, and guides us onward to our destiny? Once let us realise all this, and our life-however sad it be, however obscure-is lighted up with a heavenly radiance. It is illuminated and transfigured. It grows bright in the light of the immeasurable Love that beams from the face of Jesus.


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The Christian life, then, is a glory. But this is not all. According to the apostle, it is not only a glory, but a growing, increasing glory. It is a glory of going on," of moving perpetually upward, "from glory to glory." And here again you will observe how St. Paul contradicts the conclusions of ordinary worldly experience. It is perfectly true, of course, that there are ascending paths in this world. A man climbs and gets on; he makes a push, and goes ahead, and works his way up from climax to climax, and reaches at last the lofty sun-lit table-lands of fortune and prosperity. So far it is all right. All is couleur de rose and delightfully satisfactory. But for most men there comes a day when the road takes a twist and a dip, and begins to lead them down the hill. The glory begins to wane.

The famous general is pensioned off. The great statesman has to go, and make room for more dashing men. The once-prominent member of the Alpine Club, instead of breaking records, takes his exercise in a bath-chair. The day comes when Sir Walter Scott must sadly write "I have lost, it is plain, the power of interesting the country, and ought to retire while I have some credit"; and when Byron, the pampered darling of society, must needs complain-"Last season I was the lion of every party, but this, ye gods! what am I?" Ah! the golden hour is quickly over. The colours fade. The air turns chill. The shadows begin to lengthen. We have had our time; we have done our work; we have come to the end of our career; and nothing now remains but to give up our place to others, and accustom ourselves as best we can to being forgotten. "Twilight and evening bell, and after that the dark!" Surely the closing period of the worldly life is for most men gloom, not glory. "Old age," said Bishop Warburton, "is a losing game. And old age gets us at last, however skilfully we try to escape it or ignore it. Yes, from the standpoint of the world, even the brightest and the happiest and the most successful life is sure to end in sadness.

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But it is otherwise for the Christian. To those who know the Lord the final stage of life may even be the period of deepest and richest experience. The things of time, it is true, pass from us one by one. "The worldly hope men set their heart upon turns ashes."


"as the evening twilight fades away, The sky is filled with stars invisible by day."

Yes, the splendour of the Love of God, made manifest in Jesus, which seemed but to glimmer fitfully in the garish sunshine of the world, now, when all is turning grey, blazes forth upon men's eyes with unaccustomed lustre. They feel new joys. They conceive new hopes. They have leisure for new interests. They begin to live in a Divine world, far more wonderful and beautiful than the world of their manhood or their youth. They realise, perhaps as they never did before in the old days of health and energy, that the Infinite Goodness is with them and will never leave them; that God has blessed them, and blesses them still, and is even now preparing yet richer and choicer blessings for them; and they can say with the aged Simeon, "Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace . . . for mine eyes have seen thy salvation." Thus an added glory brightens the declining years. That is the teaching of St. Paul. That is also the teaching of Bunyan. Do you remember his charming description of the happy land of Beulahthe last resting-place of pilgrims before they come to the great river? It is a land of flowers and singingbirds, where the air is sweet and pleasant, and the sun shines continually. Here are the King's arbours, where the weary may tarry and sleep, and the King's orchards and vineyards, where they are permitted to refresh

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