A Sermon for Springtime
George H. Morrison
At this sweet and hopeful season of the year,1 when the freshness and beauty of the spring surround us, I am sure there are few of us whose thoughts do not go forth to the wonder and the glory of the world. After the deadness of our northern February, springtime comes tingling with the surprise of joy, and that is indeed one of our compensations for the stern and desolate winter of our land. Of all our poets who "build the lofty rhyme,"2 there is none more thoroughly English than the poet Chaucer.3 As we read his musical and vivid verse, it is always the sound of a brother's voice we hear. And in nothing is he more truly English than in this, that he stirs at the call of the sweet voice of April and, casting his books aside, longs to become a child of his warm and beautiful and gladsome world. In some measure all of us feel that; nor is there aught unworthy in that restlessness. Rightly used, it may be a means of grace, drawing us nearer to the feet of Christ. And therefore I like at this season of the year to speak sometimes on the ministry of nature and to discover what that meant for Jesus.
Now in this matter there is one thing which strikes me, and that is the contrast between Christ and Paul. You never feel that Paul is at home in the country. You always feel that Paul is at home in the city. Country life did not appeal to Paul; it did not flash into spiritual suggestion as he viewed it. He heard the groans of a travailing creation, but he did not love it to its minutest feature. It was the city which appealed to Paul, with its great and crying problems of humanity, with its pageantry and its murmuring and its stir, with its crowds that would gather when one began to preach. The kingdom of heaven is not like a seed to Paul; the kingdom of heaven is like some noble building. When he would illustrate the things of grace, he does not turn to the vine or the lily. He turns to the soldier polishing his ...
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