Hath something greater than itself, and bears
A loving word to every living thing.
One morning while walking in the fields, I heard at skylark sing a glad song, and it set me thinking.
Why should he sing? Because it was his nature. And what service was he rendering to nature by singing? He was filling a spot which would otherwise have been lacking fullness and beauty.
He did not contribute to the variety and color, for he had only been provided with a plain brown coat, but he was full of song, and he let it go with all the force of his lungs, singing
"Thanks to Him whose gracious Hand
Clothes with beauty all the land."
And I far below could only listen. Moreover he sang because his every need was supplied, and he was in harmony with his surroundings. A few fleecy clouds in the sky above, the green woods and fields beneath, everywhere an abundance of growth and profusion of color, with the morning sunlight playing on the dew, these were his surroundings.
Could anyone in the lark's place, supplied with every necessity, surrounded with every comfort, and freed from every cure as he was, withold his tongue from revealing to the world the gladness of his heart?
A song of joy and gladness he sang, although he had no knowledge of that which had brought him into being.
He cared not who was below, nor what they thought of his song, for he knew he was doing right. He was fed, and was free from guile. He seemed oblivious to everything except his song, into which he was putting his best, for he was a thing of nature—like a flower—a part of the earth, with plenty of room for his nest below and plenty of space for his song above, and having no sorrow and no care he could afford to give his best to the world.
And my thoughts turned to the world around me, and found it was sadly inefficient, and why? The inefficiency was within me, and I knew l was not singing as l ought. I thought more deeply, and l found that true prayer and praise and worship is not rendered to the Father in words alone, nor by cringing, but by a lowly and thankful heart, and “beholding with open face the glory of the Lord"—even as the lark beholds the glory of the sun—which also sets the longing heart at rest.
There is at song of praise without words which can only be heard by those who have left the cares and attractions of this world; it is not a cry or lamentation, but the song of a heart that is free from guile.
There is a prayer which ensures a hearing, the prayer of a blameless life, and it must be answered, for the “Good Shepherd knoweth His own."
To lose One's individuality, to become in tune with the Infinite, no be at one with the Father, these are the greatest heights man can attain, and which can only be reached by silent thought, lonely study, and constant effort; and when these heights are reached, he will have become in perfect harmony with his surroundings and his heart will join in the heavenly song, and all worldly cares will lose their power.
Sweeter far than fading voices,
Let an humble, true devotion
Wake sincere and deep emotion,
True to Him whose gracious
Hand Clothes with beauty all the land."