Saturday, May 25, 2019

Promised Land Forever In Sight

When we return to The Comstock Club, its members are discussing the beauty of sunsets, with a short commentary about devotion and prayer.

"As I watched {a sunset} I realized for the first time how it was that before books were made men learned to be devout and to pray; for the picture was as I fancy Sinai must have appeared, when all the elements combined to make a spectacle to awe the multitude before the mountain; and when they were told that the terrible cloud on the mountain's crest was the robe which the infinite God had drawn around Himself in mercy, lest at a glimpse of His unapproachable brightness they should perish, it was not strange if they believed it," Mr. Brewster noted.

It was not often that Brewster talked, but when he did there was about him a grave and earnest manner which impressed all who heard him with the perfect sincerity of the man.

After he ceased speaking the room was still for several seconds. At length the Colonel broke the silence:

Revelation, Sinai. Wikipedia. Public domain.
"Brewster, you spoke of Sinai. What think you of that story; of the Red Sea affair; of the Sinai incident, and the golden calf business?"

"Believed literally," Brewster continued, "it is the most impressive of earthly literature; looked upon allegorically, still it is sublime. Its lesson is, that when in bondage to sorrow and to care, if we but bravely and patiently struggle on, the sea of trouble around us will at length roll back its waves into walls and leave for us a path.

"Unless we keep straining onward and upward, no voice of Hope, which is the voice of God, will descend to comfort us.

"If we are thirsty we must smite the rock for water; that is, for what we have we must work, and if we cease our struggle and go into camp, we not only will not hold our own, but in a little while we will be bestowing our jewels upon some idol of our own creation.

"If we toil and never falter, before we die we shall climb Pisgah and behold the Promised Land; that is, we shall be disciplined until we can look every fate calmly in the face and turn a smiling brow to the inevitable.

"I found a man once, living upon almost nothing, in a hut that had not one comfort. He had graded out a sharp hillside, set some rude poles up against the bank, covered them with brush, and in that den on a bleak mountain's crest he had lived through a rough winter. I asked him how he managed to exist without becoming an idiot or a lunatic. His answer was worthy of an old Roman. 'Because,' said he, 'I at last am superior to distress.'

"He had reached the point that Moses reached when he gained the last mountain crest. After that the Promised Land was forever in sight."

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