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Substantial Comfort (Part 8)

When I assume the listening attitude I am confident God will speak to my soul, some sweet thought will come which shall chew like cud, to the strengthening and refreshing of my soul. My soul, wait thou only upon God, for my expectation is from Him. Immediately the waiting and expectancy begin, the process of refreshment is going on, material thoughts take flight, spiritual thoughts flow in, the dock gates are opened and in rushes the tide, the sense of calm and peace and strength, the sense that all is well with me and the world, that the scheme is perfect and nothing can thwart it, that what we call sin and sorrow and sickness is in the plan, the result of which cannot be lamentable at last. Yes, the tide of Love is coming in, Universal, Impartial, Divine Love, taking away my fear for any, giving me certainty of the safety of all. It seems quite sad to talk of "Saving souls," as though one were in danger of being lost, as though the Good God launched humanity on the Sea of Life without its will, to take its chance of sinking or swimming, its chance of a fellow's hand held out to save. The tide of Divine Love that rushes in forbids the thought; poets will not entertain it. Wordsworth holds "The cheerful faith that all which we behold is full of blessings;" Browning declares that "God's in His heaven, all's right with the world;" Edward Carpenter "entertains no possible fear or doubt about the upshot of things;" and Whitman is sure that "no result is lamentable at last." Yes, the contemplation of Divine Love forbids our fear, transcends our hope; though we may be too dense to perceive it, too dead to realize it, still it is there, within us, in all its fullness and glory, ever active on our behalf, giving good measure, pressed down, running over, hoping for it nothing again. Such a view of Love as this will surely kindle ours. A love that says it owes us love for having brought us here, and will recompense us to the full for ever having come. Let us not think we can thwart it by any action of ours, and this will keep us pure when fear of punishment deters us not from evil. There is something divine in the heart of man to answer to this divine generosity of God. Is it a dream? Well, what man dreams, God can actualize.

Therefore if my heart were right,
I should sing out clear;
Sing aloud both day and night
Every night in the year.
—George MacDonald

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