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October 27, 1915 ] T H E 1
toral, and pronounced it the finest they had ever seen in any language. The doctor then gravely told them that he had read it from the Bible." But the book of Ruth is first of all the story of the young woman Ruth, whose name it bears, and so it is her character, more than the form or beauty of the book, which claims our attention and charms us with its singular beauty. And the "heart" of that character is a t. * * .-Miiiiuicu up iu me voluntary vow which for ever separated her from the heathen past, and placed her in the list of God's immortals. An ancient writer has well said, "Iler vow has stamped itself on the very heart of the world, and that not because of the beauty of its form simply, though even in our English version it sounds like a sweet and noble music, but because it expresses in a worthy form, and onee for all, the utter devotion of a genuine and self-conquering love. It is the spirit which informs and breathes through these melodious words that makes them so precious to us, and that also renders it impossible to utter any fitting comment on them. They shine most purely in their own light." Indeed, the best comment on this vow and the character which it represents may be found in the wonderful results to which it leads, which may, in turn, be summed up in the four great blessings which she received as the direct results of her vow: First. Food for her body, in the field of Boaz. She exchanged the poverty of Moab, resting under its perpetual curse, for the fullness of Bethlehem, "the house of bread.'' Second. Love for her heart, in the home of Boaz. The loneliness of widowhood is forgotten in the iov of wifehood th? cni-'n"' u - ^ VMV uwi 1 V IT U1 111C past forgotten in the joy of the glorious present, and the tears of yesterday brushed away by the smiles of to-day. Third. Peace for her soul, in the God of Boa/.. The idolatry of Moab could never have brought her the peace which she found in Jehovah. The dumb idol could not speak to her soul as did the ever-present God of Israel. Fourth. An undying name in the son of Moab. For by her union with him she became the ancestress of Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of \ r - i ^ ^ - * uary ana tne son of God. And as a Gentile she thus becomes a type of those millions of Gentile believers who by faith in her Son, Jesus, have been born into the family of God. Toccoa, Ga. THE BEGINNING OP ETERNITY. Emily J. Bryant. Generally men look forward to eternity as if it lay entirely beyond our present existence to be entered upon when we quit this present life, but it were better if we could rcnli that eternity is already begun and that time is a portion of eternity?its beginning; that eternity began with each one of us when life began, because life once bestowed will never cease. We are partakers of the divine nature and when God once bestows upon man a spark of his eternal nature it will live and pulsate on and on through the eternal years. Tf we could, from our present point of view, take a look down through the vista of coming ages and realize this truth, life would be lifted to a higher plane and assume a different asnect. llirirpr nrnnnrtinnu ?<vua, UUUlkl (allies, 111IIre perfect bliss and deeper and fuller joy. Eternity began with each individual of the human race when God's wonderful gift of life came to him laden with varied duties, large responsibilities, grand opportunities and sublime possibilities. As these have unfolded we PRESBYTERIAN OF THE SC have constructed our ideals of life. It is true that a change awaits us; that the time will come when we shall pass into a higher phase of life; when we shall drop this chrysalis state and soar into the essential and true spiritual life, but we need not now feel, and can not now predicate that even then we shall realize tne presence of the Triune God more than we may while in fleshly tabernacles. It is our present privilege to walk with God as Enoch did of old. God is a spirit, immanent and unchanging . He is very present to the humble contrite heart. If we study his immanency; if we practice the presence of God as Brother Lawrence did in his silent cell, carrying him into our daily business, social and domestic life, we shall find that he will fulfill to us, as he has to others throughout the centuries past his promise, "As I was with Moses, so will I be with you; I will not fail thee nor forsake thee." "Only be thou strong and very courageous that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law. Turn not from it to tho riirlit 0"v hand, nor to the left, that thou mavest prosper whithersoever thou goest. This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth: but thou slmlt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shall make thy way prosperous and thou shalt have good success. Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage: be not afraid, neither be dismayed : for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest." This promise with the conditions uuon which it rests is for us as it was for Joshua and has been realized by God's people. Paul was assured that, "My grace is sufficient for thee," and he found it sufficient. God's word is all certainty?no hypotheses. The fulfillment comes when the conditions are met. Mad. Guyon, like Brother Lawrence, practiced the presence of God and it gave her great strength as her writing show. These writings are very helpful to those who seek a life of noble selfsurrender and self-abrogation. St. Augustine relates an incident when he met a child, on the sandy seashore of Africa, carrying water in a small pail from the ocean and pouring it into a hole he had dug in the sand. When Augustine asked the child what he was doing, he replied, "I am trying to pour the big ocean into this little hole", and Augustine reflected that that, after all, was just the one task of life?"to get eternity into our lit tie souls." It is the spirit of God in the souls of men that raises man to higher levels and inspires him with high ideals in this life and yearns for eternal citizenship in heaven. But he must not count the present life as apart ana separate trom eternity. Eternity is begun for us who are here and is continuous, the change we call death involves some temporal things and conditions, but the soul is divine and never ceases to exist. Its life and growth here calls all the powers of our being into exercise and in the New Jerusalem life will be more abundant, broader, richer, fuller and the field of study and development infinite. Augustine says our great lesson is to get eternity into our little souls. This is also the aim of gospel preaching. Life would forfeit all its value if eternal life were not nossihlc. Let us then remember that we have begun the life eternal; that these years are a fraction of the mystical, eternal years of God; that our present work, while a prelude to our future work, is a part of the great whole. Such a view will enable us to place right values on the present. The eternal welfare of the soul must be the ruling passion of our present life. Live this thought, practice it. Thought is a hid ) U T H. (719) 5 den, mystical power of vast extension when rightly and wisely directed; consult high ideals and then make your life parallel with it. Thought is a divine agency to uplift, to give clear conceptions. Meditation and reflection have a wonderful power to change and elevate the visions of the soul, but the divine Snirit in our hearts is a power to master all difficulty. The divine possibilities, if we are seeking them, will bring us nearer the pattern of Christ. Deborah sang, "O my soul, thou hast trodden 'down strength." This is the song that human souls in touch with heaven sing in overcoming the difficulties and temptations of life, ami this growth of strength in the soul begun in the present will continue through the eternal years, under new environment and new laws. God is the Great Intelligence and lie created ,, :?A-h: a i * ?... ? lotc m uufin^fiir ncmgs, wno snail bo able to enjoy the study of those further heavenly mysteries, that the angels desire to look into, if we gain what we can here. The soul which was created to seek its final home in heaven, is fitted for the study of God's wonderful creation both here and hereafter in an endless world of beauty, power and bliss, a world of perfection and perpetuity. That eternal kingdom, where wisdom, gentleness, meekness, brotherly kindness, charity?not the similitude of these?are the laws established by the King, will afford us in the service appointed, ample opportunity for the acquisition of power and knowledge. There is a noble inspiration in the _ui me jjicbcui me as a pari, a beginning of eternity in which we may plan and begin the life we would live there. HIS REAL VICTORY. The writer has seldom witnessed deeper feeling or more enthusiastic applause from a student audience than that which greeted the confession of a Southern student who arose before the men of his university and confessed dishonesty in debate. The young man had recently won the sophomore-junior prize debate, but later in chapel he asked permission to make a statement to the student body, saying: "I overheard my opponent rehearsing his debate in an adjoining room, and although I stopped my ears ana reiusea to listen ray roommate took down the points. Afterwards the temptation was so subtle and strong that I took the notes and arranged my debate accordingly, and won. But," said the student, with feeling, "I stole it,' and I have come to plead the forgiveness of the student body."?The Christian Herald. HEALTH SIGNS. Cheerful, encouraging people create a vitalizing, health-giving atmosphere. They radiate strength and courage. People who are stronc. robust, cheerful, bring new life to those who have physical infirmities. Low spirits are apt to accompany a low state of vitality and depleted strength, and everything that brightens, cheers and encourages tends to keep up health and strength and to buoy up the physical condition. Helen Keller said, "Although the world is full of suffering, it is full of the overcoming of it." What a rebuke are such words, comintr from a deaf rlumli n?i?l ? , >.??...? vimu ?S4A1? iu biiunr who have all their senses intact! This girl, handicapped as she is, always keeps her avenues of joy open, always, in season and out of season, preaches the gospel of happiness!?The Christian Herald. Xot with earthly, but thy heavenly measure Mete thou our store! Unto us give thine own abundant treasure, Pressed, running o'er.