"THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST"

By O. C. Lambert

More "everyday" people is the crying need of the hour, people without worldly ambition, in love with simple things and content in humble spheres. The laws in control of this universe seem to demand that one of the leading characteristics of everything great or good or beautiful be simplicity. The weakness of our mode rn civilization lies in the fact that it is so complex that we do not have time to really live. We have drifted away from the simple, wholesome ways, and the church, too, has been tainted with the spirit of the times.


The simple ways are best. The most satisfying drink is water; all the glory of Solomon could not rival for one moment a simple dogwood blossom: the most beautiful bouquet is made of the plainest flowers and grasses; the artist searches for beauty among rustic scenes; the sweetest poetry sings the charms of common things; the songs that touch us most deeply and linger longest in our memories are the hymns our mothers sang. A man may gorge himself with dainties until his taste is perverted and he loses his relish for food; and just so the only religion worthy of the name, that will continue to satisfy the hungry, healthy, growing soul, is the simple worship of Christ and his apostles.


All the embellishments of men simply rob it of its power. Expensive houses and fixtures, pompous ceremonies, instrumental music and the like, are adulterations which are fatal to the spirit of Christianity. It is not because mother is possessed of any of those graces which mark one for distinction or renown that she is idolized in our hearts, but because we see in her the embodiment of simple virtues. The wonderful things that God is doing all around us in the material universe we personify as Nature. She has a fashion of constructing the most beautiful things of the simplest elements. Refuse animal and vegetable matter comes forth from her fingers reanimated in other forms of life. She distills the crystal dew-drops from stagnant morasses and thrusts her worn out garments into her magic loom, by which they are transformed into new fabrics of finest texture and daintiest colors.

If a man attempted to teach the flowers to bloom, he could only mar and spoil; likewise, when men lay unholy hands upon God's doings in the spiritual realm, the results cannot but be disastrous. Hear the warning of Paul: "But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ." (2 Cor. 11:3).

There is a danger, or else we would not have had this warning. So let us guard jealously the rich heritage of the gospel of Christ, and attack mercilessly every departure from its original simplicity. There is nothing in the prayers, the Lord's Supper, the study of God's word, the giving of our means on the first day of the week, the simple singing of spiritual songs, that will ever appeal to the vanity of the human heart. Let us never become dissatisfied with this simplicity

 

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Author: jfm

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