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There was a man once a poet. He went wandering through the streets of the city, and he met a disciple. 'Come out with me,' said the poet, 'for a walk in the sand-dunes,' and they went. But ere they had progressed many stages, said the disciple: 'There is nothing here but sand'. 'To what did I invite you?' asked the poet. 'To a walk in the sand-dunes.' 'Then do not complain,' said the poet. 'Yet even so your words are untrue. There is Heaven above. Do you not see it? The fault is not Heaven's. Nor the sands.'
The decisive sign of the elevation of a nation's life is to be sought among those who lead or ought to lead. The test of the health of a people is to be found in the utterances of those who are its spokesmen, and in the action of those whom it accepts or chooses to be its chiefs. We have to look to the magnitude of the issues and the height of the interests which engage its foremost spirits. What are the best men in a country striving for?
Religion, whatever destinies may be in store for it, is at least for the present hardly any longer an organic power. It is not that supreme, penetrating, controlling, decisive part of a man's life, which it has been and will be again.
John Morley, Compromise, p. 36.
If the gods of this lower world will sit on their glittering thrones, indolent as Epicurus' gods, with the living Chaos of Ignorance and Hunger weltering uncared for at their feet, and smooth parasites preaching Peace, peace, when there is no peace, then the dark Chaos, it would seem, will rise.
Carlyle, French Revolution, vol. III. book vii. chap. vii.
References. XIII. 10. H. J. Wilmot-Buxton, Holy-Tide Teaching, p. 84. XIII. 10, 11. J. Baines, Sermons, p. 201. C. J. Thompson, Penny Pulpit, vol. xiv. No. 675, p. 66. XIII. 10-12. Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xiv. No. 816. XIII. 18. J. Baldwin Brown, The Soul's Exodus and Pilgrimage, p. 58. J. Thomson, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xlvii. 1895, p. 164.
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Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Ezekiel 8". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 22 / Ordinary 27