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If, as Paul says, "Faith is the substance of things hoped for," then it follows that Hope is at the root of, and is, in fact, the very essence of, Faith; it underlies all effort towards the attainment of the Ideal, inasmuch as it is the direct outcome of the Divine Ideation inherent within each of us. It is the Foundation of Ultimate Happiness in us, in that it is the expression of a Bliss which is potential in every Soul; and it is essential to our forward progress to a Spiritual Goal from the fact that, without it Faith could not be, and, lacking it, no Spiritual Ideation could lead us onward and upward, having no vehicle through, by, or in which to manifest Itself. Hope is Heaven-born, God-given, and is of the Soul, Spiritual; it is a Divine message from the silent crucified Sufferer within us, pointing our course towards "The Hills whence cometh my rest." It therefore behooves us to cherish our every hope and aspiration to the end that their fruition may tend towards the consummation of all that is potentially Good and Beautiful in us.

Let us foster and nourish our upward tendings and expectations of that which is Great and Good, remembering that the radiant Summer sunshine of Hope playing around and within us, lightening our darkness today, gives glorious promise of a rosy dawn of peaceful and abiding Faith tomorrow. A sweet Spring-time of Hope, with its sowing of good thoughts and its planting of gentle deeds, merges into a beauteous Summer of Happiness and Bliss, a plenteous Autumnal Harvest of Faith and Divine Trust, and after that a restful Winter, a going down indeed, of Peace and Repose. In our toilings in the Harvest Field of Life, let us look ever upward to our Heavenly Goal, in the surety that, by unselfish striving we will attain Knowledge unbounded, and by patient and altruistic work, kindling in others the Hopes we so fondly cherish, we will attain in some measure the Bliss which is beyond comprehension.

Besides being Spiritual in its essence, Hope is creative in the aspect of its emanation from the Infinite: being a Ray from the Absolute Cause of all things animate and inanimate, visible and invisible, it must, from this limiting of Infinity in manifestation, carry with it and be imbued with some moiety of the creative attributes of its Source. Thus, having regard to the axiom, that like unto similarity gives birth, we should strive in all ways to shed our hopeful thoughts upon those in whom the Soul has need, that they may infiltrate through its murky alleyways of Spiritual Blindness, and, leaven-like, uplift it to the brilliance of the Light Beyond. We should strive, by acts of loving kindness, to help the expanding of Hope in embryo, fostering the tender plant by the glow of our Spiritual Aspirations, and, enfolding it within the sheltering arms of Love and Brotherhood, aid it onwards to its fruition.

When storm-tossed on the angry sea of Life, thrown hither and thither, from billow to billow of doubt and uncertainty, let us clamber to the welcome safety of our Rock of Hope, from whose Divine shelter we may view unheeding the seething waves of earthly tribulation and despair, as they vainly dash themselves at our feet in their effort to reach our unassailable height. And in Life's Battlefield let us go bravely, confidently out into the Fight; we cannot lose if we arm ourselves with weapons of Faith, and clothe ourselves in the bright, shining armor of Hope; in this we have a sure protection against all Soul-darkening impulses, weakening desires, and our Souls are fortified against temptation's sapping power.

Man without Hope, in whom there is no aspiration or upward tendency, is like unto the Sun without its heat; he may in his passage through life give off some meed of intellectual brilliance, but there is wanting in him that effulgence of Spiritual warmth which brings forth from the bud of Faith the beauteous flower of Divine Knowledge.

Let us cherish Hope, tending and nurturing it with our most loving care, for it is an echo of the Soul's pleading music, striving from its gloomy prison, deep down midst our earthly passions and cravings, to sweeten a little the bitterness of our lives. Let not one note of its sweet pleadings be lost, weaving each and all into resounding chords of Faith, and, by ever toiling onwards, working faithfully for the Happiness of others, instilling Hope of Divine Bliss into Souls that are hungry and weary, we may, in the end, consummate Life's beauteous symphony of true Belief and Rest in Omniscience.

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Edward H. Woof

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