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Page 49 text:
The Hem of His Garment N the Scriptures we are told of a woman w ho one day touched merely the hem of Christ ' s garment and was instantly healed of a dreadful disease. Vir- tue passed from Christ to the woman, and she felt the tingling sensation of a new life penetrating her very being. The vast majority of people seem to pass this incident by, thinking that it means nothing to us in this twentieth century. But people who think profoundly on these lines ask themselves the questions, " What is the hem of His garment? ' " Where is the hem of Christ ' s garment today? ' ' The hem which the woman touched was one of the four tassels of blue which hung from the fringe of his coat. This garment has long since become moth-eaten and returned to dust. No one will ever touch it again. But there is a hem today as wide as creation which may be touched by all. In spite of all the ravages of sin, the universe is still filled with beautiful, majestic, inspiring, empowering, and uplifting things which we comprehend through our God-given senses. And these are but the channels through which He pours His virtues on humanity. It is mostly through that which we see, and hear, and touch that we are brought in contact with the invis- ible. The furniture of the tabernacle, the brazen serpent, the passover lamb, was the frings of the garment of God. He is still speaking to those who will let Him, through the universe about us. May we not look about us and discover some of the channels through which virtue passes from Christ to us? Then when we make the discovery, may we not appropriate the virtue and reap the benefits as truly as did this woman ? Look first at the hem of His garment in worship. By worship I mean all the ministries of the church, her prayers, songs, sermons, and testimonies. Millions have drawn from this source. They may not always be what they should be, but no one who participates with the sincere purpose of touching Him is ever disappointed. Here the murderer ' s heart is made as white as snow, evil thoughts are purged, the falsifier ' s tongue is touched by the coals from the altar, the weak are made strong, the despondent are lifted to planes of courage and optimism, and even the skeptic is convinced as to the reality of the supernatural which flows through this channel. Notice, then, the hem of His garment in the aesthetic. The aesthetic in the broadest sense would embrace nature as well as art, but for the present, look only at art. By art I mean all that is beautiful, ennobling, and chaste in painting, literature, and music, and all divinely inspired works of man. There are individuals who seem to be void of any of the aesthetic. On the other hand, there are those who seem to " live and move and have their being ' in this realm altogether. Happy is the man whom God has endowed with a j-enr.e of appreciation of the beautiful. How many times has some simple poem taken you in your thoughts back to your childhood days with a sweet remembrance of home, father, mother, and loved ones, causing you to breathe a silent prayer to Him who made all these possible! Or, maybe, it was one of the great masterpieces of prose or poetry. Whatever it was, if your thoughts were turned heavenward, it was the hem of His garment. Did you recognize it? And how often have you looked at some great painting and were held in speechless reverence and admiration, while everything in you that was mean and base was smitten? on were receiving virtue direct from Him and knew it not. One look at Raphael s 45
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• I Above: GRAMMAR SCHOOL CLASS Below: PRIMARY DEPARTMENT 44
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Madonna and Child is enough to bring a holy hush over any young girl. It is suffi- cient to reveal to her the frivolity, smallness, and egotism of a life the world bids her live, and give her a true appreciation of womanhood and motherhood. But, of all the great arts, music unquestionably wields the greatest influence over humanity. More people touch Christ through this medium than all the other channels of art combined. It is a direct touch, for in its truest sense music is an expression of the soul, and to be at its best the soul must be in touch with God. Music is just as much the language of the soul as words are the language of the mind. It is difficult to express even the thought of the mind in words, and the heart of inner man abandons these cumbersome means entirely and soars away on the wings of song. " How often do we have emotions that we cannot express or even understand, until some touching melody or massive chord gives utterance to them, and then we experience relief and satisfaction. Music has a strange power of touching all the million strings in the complex harp of the soul and sweeping it with joy or sorrow. It has charms to soothe the savage beast, it floods the home with melody, it is a fine social pleasure, it expresses our most intricate and refined aesthetic emotions, it goes deeper than words and strikes the profoundest chords of the soul, it stirs nations with passion and sweeps soldiers into battle. " And then if we turn to nature we find the visible garment of God wrought by His fingers in time ' s loom. Intimate acquaintance with nature is the beginning of true wisdom. Then why should we not look upon this footstool of the Almighty with eagerness and gladness? This earth with its springing grass, stretching plains, vast forests, and huge mountain ranges, entwined and dotted with babbling brooks, rushing streams, great lakes, and mighty oceans, is surely the visible channel through which God is still pouring virtue upon humanity. When we feel our strength gone, our nerves unstrung, and our head throbbing with pain, our physician tells us to get out into the open and rest. We come back cured, — but little do we realize that we have touched the visible hem of that matchless robe. Not only does it heal our bodies, but it enlarges our souls and lifts us heavenward. The sea and sky, forest, vine and flower become eloquent with spiritual truth, and we embroider our language with quotations from nature as Jesus did. The fresh air, the lofty dome of the sky, the far horizon, the solitude and silence have strange stimulating and fertilizing influence on the soul. They often clear up our minds, smooth out our perplexities, and put us in our best moods. Problems often soke themselves, we know not how, when we are in communion with nature. 1 he great world then imparts to us some of its spaciousness and serenity. We seem nearer to God in the solitudes of nature when we can hear His still small voice more clearly than where cross the crowded ways of man. Rut to come closer home. Turn and look with me at the hem of His garment in the grinding routine of school work. Most of us look to some fond tomorrow when we shall find Him, or we wait until providence places us in some other inviron- ment where we hope that the fringe of that garment may brush our lives. But did you ever stop to think that the ground whereon thou standest is holy ground ? He who holds the universe in His grasp is too wise to make a mistake and too good to do wrong. Consequently He has not placed our soul out of His reach. If you but knew it, you are within an arm ' s length of the Infinite. No student need leave his class to come in contact with the Christ. If you study physiology He is the life; if physics, He is the light; if botany, He is the- lily of the valleys and the rose of Sharon; if geology, He is the rock of ages; if English, He is the combination of all tenses, the 4 ' .
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