Thursday, January 22, 2009

Bible Forests

I live very near reservation areas full of White Pine trees such as those that were so valued by shipbuilders in the 19th Century. William Phillips Tilden was such a shipbuilder and the trees he used occupied the same place as the trees I regularly walk among. So too do I try to walk in the path of love to God and devotion to the work of the church that he practiced.
Some continuing excerpts from his sermon (begun yesterday) "The Word of God" on reading the Bible:

"We must read with discrimination; not as if every thing were alike valuable for us, but exercising our reason and common sense, as in other matters...What should we think of the shipbuilder who should go into the old forests for timber, and, instead of taking his moulds with him, and selecting such trees as suited his purpose,-this straight tall trunk for a keel, that curved one for a stem, those branches and roots for knees,-should sweep everything clean as he went, and have it all transported to his ship-yard without regard to fitness of construction? We have the ship of character to build; the old Bible forests are full of the trees of divine truth, the growth of ages, for our use. What though there be here and there a decayed tree, and some living ones not adapted to our use? If we know the sort of character we want to build, if we have any true model, or ideal of the life God would have us live, and the character he would have us form, then let us take our moulds with us into the Bible forests, and select the very best timber we can find there, working it into a ship of character, fashioned after the pattern shown us in the mount of our highest and clearest vision,-a ship that will breast the fiercest storms of life, unharmed, and bear us safely across the sea."

Amen and blessings

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