The Cross and Nature
At the beginning of the summertime I have been in the habit of speaking on the religious aspects of the world of nature, for there are few of us whose thoughts do not travel in that direction when we waken to find ourselves in June again. In the South, where the sun is warm even at Christmas time, there is no surprise and delight about the summer. It is just the same as winter, only a little hotter and generally a little more uncomfortable. But in the North here it is far different from that. Between November and June there is a world of contrast. The one is bare and bleak and icy and disheveled. The other is fresh and beautiful, green-leafed, long-grassed. And probably it is this change, so great and striking that the blindest eye cannot but observe it, that has made the northern nations so responsive to the wonder and the beauty of the world. They say that one effect of death has been to heighten enormously the worth of life. I think that is true not alone of the death of persons but also of the death of summertime. There are countries where summer never dies, and there the summer is but lightly recked1 of. It is here, where we forecast the grave of winter, that we love and cherish the summer when it comes. Tonight, then, in accordance with my custom at this season, I wish to turn your thoughts to the subject of the summer. More especially I wish to speak about the Cross of Christ in its relationship to the world of nature.
Now at first glance no two things could seem more different than the cross of Calvary and the summer-world. The night is not more different from the day-the sea is not more different from the land-than the cross is from the green fields of June. On the one hand you have sadness and farewell; on the other, you have the joy of teeming life. On the one hand you have a crown of thorns; on the other, a chaplet of a thousand flowers. On the one hand you have a scene of agony; on the other, the ...
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