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The Enlarged Heart

An Easter Thought

"If so be that we suffer with Him...we may be also glorified together.
—St. Paul
If thou wilt not suffer, thou refusest to be crowned; but if thou desirest to be crowned, fight manfully and endure patiently.
—Thomas a Kempis

I know it is difficult to enter into Easter Joy in war time, for if we deck our altars, it is with sad hearts. We feel that for us the Resurrection is not yet. We still linger at the Cross.

But think. If it be with Love and Devotion we suffer, we have the fellowship of the Great Sufferer. He suffered out of His great heart-love for man. He bore the nails and the scourge for man. He loved so much that He had no bitterness in the death-agony, but forgave them that crucified Him.

If our suffering be borne in this spirit—the spirit of devotion and love, then do we have this fellowship; and if we suffer with Him, we shall be glorified with Him.

Our old idea of immortality was one of mere continued existence, but we have a new and a better. We now enter in a minor degree the sufferings of our Lord, in order that we, having borne sorrow with patience, faced danger with courage or undertaken sacrifice with love may suffer with Him and then be glorified with Him. We shall know the glory of the Resurrection and the joy of Easter, not as we have known each other here, with faults and imperfections, but when awakened in His likeness we meet in the Summer-land.

Every danger willingly faced is making us more brave and is strengthening our character. Every sacrifice made in love is enlarging our heart, and every time we love we become more like God.

When in some great stress of emotion like a parting, I feel the height, depth and breadth of love, and know then truly that "God is love," I enter into the delight of the Enlarged Heart.

As we linger in the darkness, knowing not what the morrow will bring, as our heart is bowed down with heaviness, may we not be deaf to the song of those who have come out of great tribulation. l shall never forget dear James Allen saying "Rejoice in tribulation. Rejoice in tribulation, and how great shall the joy be when tribulation has done its work!" It is for us to bear sorrow with patience, face danger with courage and undertake sacrifice with love. But you say "we have borne this long and our patience is nigh at an end. Our hearts are almost broken. Watchman, what of the night?" "Yes the night-battle still rages but on my ear steals the distant triumph song. Thy patience in sorrow shall be crowned and thy sacrifice shall be more than rewarded, thy love shall never be lost. Thy Easter Glory will dawn."

And when the strife is fierce, the warfare long,
Steals on the ear the distant triumph song,
And hearts are brave again, and arms are strong.
But lo! there breaks a yet more glorious day;
The Saints Triumphant rise in bright array;
The King of Glory passes on His way."

Alleluia! Open the gates of thy heart of sorrow that the King of Glory may come in. "Lift up your heads, O ye gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in."

More Articles by This Author J. G. Wright, F. R. S. L.

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J. G. Wright, F. R. S. L.

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  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature
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