for October 31
The Divine Illuminator
To know God in the scriptural meaning of the term is to enter into experience of Him. It never means to know about. It is not a knowledge mediated by the intellect, but an unmediated awareness experienced by the soul on a plane too high for the mind to reach. Where then is the place of the intellect in Christian experience? And why waste time thinking when we know beforehand that thought cannot bring us to the knowledge that is most of all to be desired, the knowledge of God? The answer is that the whole biblical revelation is addressed to the intellect and through the intellect reaches the will, the seat of the moral life; if the will responds in repentance and obedience, the Holy Spirit illuminates the penitent heart and reveals Christ, the image of God, to it. What began as an appeal to reason (Isaiah 1:18) ends in a spiritual experience wholly above reason
That Questionable Suffering
We delude ourselves when we try to turn our just punishments into a cross and rejoice over that for which we should rather repent. ?For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God? (1 Peter 2:20) . The cross is always in the way of righteousness. We feel the pain of the cross only when we suffer for Christ?s sake by our own willing choice. I think that there is also another kind of suffering, one that does not fall into either of the categories considered above. It comes neither from the rod nor from the cross, not being imposed as a moral corrective nor suffered as a result of our Christian life and testimony. It comes in the course of nature and arises from the many ills flesh is heir to. It visits all alike in a greater or lesser degree and would a ppear to have no clear spiritual significance. Its source may be fire, flood, bereavement, injuries, accidents, illness, old age, weariness or the upset conditions of the world generally. What are we to do about this? Well, some great souls have managed to turn even these neutral afflictions to good. By prayer and self-abasement they wooed adversity to become their friend and made rough distress a teacher to instruct them in the heavenly arts. May we not emulate them?
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