On a hot summer afternoon or evening, worn with the burdens of the day and weary of the noise and grind and dust and odors of the city, you may have gone out into the beautiful country which lies like a lover's arm around the smoking and distraught city.
What a new and different world it is! As you enter it the soul seems to come to its own once more. Like great billows of the ocean after the storm has subsided, the hills rise and fall and roll away to the distant horizon as far as the eye can range. On the summits, and extending down the sides of these hills, are the oak forests with their deep green; and in the valleys, the fields sweet with new-mown hay, or here and there the tender green of winter wheat, or oats or rye; in the meadows, knee-deep in daisies, the cattle graze, and here and diere sheep rest under the shade of the trees; even black, unpainted barns look not unsightly in this sea of green.
On some hilltop there is the tower and spire of a church; and, here and there, with a pine tree or two in front of it, a square brick house facing the world as honestly as did the godly pioneers who once dwelt there, and whose industry and piety made this country great. Over all is a veil of blue haze, soft as God's mercy—a symbol of infinity. Here the soul comes to its own. Here it is easier to forget the injury, to dry the tears of sorrow, to face our troubles and temptations, and to hunger and thirst anew after the Kingdom of God.
Dr. Edwin P. Hubble, of Mount Wilson Observatory, says that scrutiny at Mount Wilson of the observable part of universe with the world's largest telescope, whose range is 500,000,000 light years, showed uniform arrangement of stellar systems, with no void and no indication of a super-system of nebulae. A light year is an astronomical measurement approximating 6,000,000,000,000 miles.
"The observable region of space," says Dr. Hubble, "is a vast sphere, perhaps 1,000,000,000,000 light years in diameter. Throughout the sphere are scattered 100,000,000 nebulae—stellar systems—in various stages of their history.
"The nebulae are distributed singly, in groups, and, occasionally, in great clusters but, when large volumes of space are compared, the tendency to cluster averages out. To the very limits of the telescope, the large-scale distribution of the nebulae is approximately uniform. They are scattered at average intervals of 2,000,000 light years or perhaps 200 times their mean diameters. The pattern might be represented by tennis balls, fifty feet apart."
Let us remember that light travels at the rate of 186,000 miles a second. And here they speak of a billion light years. And in this space which staggers the human brain, this space with its mysteries unsolvable, there are billions of luminous bodies which we call stars. Listen: "Lift up your eyes on high, and behold, who hath created these, that bringeth out their host by number; He calleth them all by names by the greatness of His might, for that He is strong in power, not one faileth" (Isa. 40:26). What a wonderful God we have! What a wonderful thing that He who created all came down to this little bit of earth to die for us! What a wonderful Lord to trust and to serve. And what a day it will be when we pass through the heavens to meet Him in yonder glory! Hallelujah!—Selected.
I Saw God Wash the World
I saw God wash the world last night
With His sweet showers on high,
And then, when morning came, I saw
Him hang it out to dry.
He washed each tiny blade of grass
And every trembling tree;
He flung His showers against the hill,
And swept the billowing sea.
The white rose is a cleaner white,
The red rose is more red,
Since God washed every fragrant face
And put them all to bed.
There's not a bird; there is not a bee
That wings along the way,
But is a cleaner bird and bee
Than it was yesterday.
I saw God wash the world last night,
Ah, would He had washed me
As clean of all my dust and dirt,
As that old white birch tree.—Wm. L. Stidger.
One has but to awaken a little before sunrise, if living in the country or a city suburb at this season, to hear a wonderful orchestra. One or two birds will pipe forth their morning call, then others join them, and still others, till the full orchestra is pouring out its symphony of praise, each member seeming to vie with another in trills and roulades that any human singer might well envy. The robin's joyous song, the oriole's liquid trill, and the nervous little house wren with its shrill piccolo obligato. How wonderfully God has equipped these little songsters, and how joyously they usher in the newborn day!
But alas, how few hear them! Again, what a difference it would make if we did but stop and listen as God thus speaks to us in hope and promise for the day.
I suppose many of us have at some time visited Niagara Falls. We were impressed with its grandeur and mighty roar. But did you know that that mighty roar was majestic harmony?
Some years ago a famous organist visited Niagara. "Listening to it for the first time he thought he detected a musical note. Anxious to put it to the proof, he went to Goat Island, where he could get its full diapason. Thence he went to Luna Island, and finally to the island of the Three Sisters. At each place the predominant note was clearly recognizable. It was the chord of G of the thirty-two foot pipe of the organ only four octaves lower.
"He tested it theoretically and practically. He found that the seventh note, the interval of the tenth was of a power and clearness entirely out of proportion to the harmonies usually heard in the organ.
"'Were the tone of Niagara a mere noise,' he said, `this seventh note would be either weak or confused, or absent altogether. The beat is just once per second.'
"He was quite certain that the musical tone of the falls is clear, definite and unapproachable in its majestic perfection."
Oh, if we did but stop to listen, what might we not hear? And if we would "once stop to look at it," what a difference it would make!"—Selected.