HALF A PLANET
T. DeWitt Talmage
Deut., 3: 27: " Lift up thine eyes westward."
So God said to Moses in Bible times, and so he said
to Christoforo Colombo, the son of a wool-comber of
Genoa, more than four hundred years ago. As if to
condemn the slur that different ages put upon mothers-
in-law, the mother-in-law of Columbus gave him the
sea-charts and maps and other navigators' materials
out of which he ciphered America. The nations had
been looking chiefly toward the East. The sculpture
of the world, the architecture of the world, the laws of
the world, the philosophy of the world, the civilization
of the world, the religion of the world came from the
East. But, while Columbus, as his name was called
after it was Latinized, stood studying maps and ex-
amining globes and reading cosmography, God said
to him: "Lift up thine eyes toward the West." The
fact was it must have seemed to Columbus a very lop-
sided world. Like a cart with one wheel, like a scis-
sors with one blade, like a sack on one side of a camel,
needing a sack on the other side to balance it. Here
was a bride of a world with no bridegroom. When
God makes a half of anything he does not stop there.
He makes the other half. We are all obliged some-
times to leave things only half done. But God never
stops half-way, because he has the time and the power
to go all the way. I do not wonder that Columbus
was not satisfied with half a world, and so went to
work-to find the other half. The pieces o carved wood
that were floated to the shores of Europe by a westerly
gale, and two dead human faces, unlike anything he
had seen before, likewise floated from the West, were
to him the voice of God, saying: "Lift up thine eyes
toward the West."
But the world then as now had plenty of Can't-be-
Done's. That is what keeps individuals back and en-
terprises back and the church back, and nations back
-ignominious and disgusting and disheartening
Can't-be-Done's. Old navigators ...
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