Most people, at one time or another, have been thrilled and inspired by some glorious sunrise or sunset. Sometimes we feel as though we were almost in the presence of God, and we lose all desire to speak, caring only to drink in the beauty of the scene. This is not merely a passing incident, but it is one that the mind continues to retain. The writer has in mind a sunset that he can never forget, a sunset that stirred him to greater depths of feeling than any sermon he has ever heard. Surely that which can produce such a lasting effect upon the mind must also leave its im-press upon the body. I believe that, as man becomes more attuned to nature, through the love of all that is beautiful, not only will his mind be benefited, but his whole being - soul, mind, and body - will be quickened and renewed. The trouble with us all to-day is that we are out of tune, that we are not adjusted in a harmonious way either to nature or to our fellow-men, and it will be only through becoming adjusted that we can come into harmony with the Universal Spirit, because man works from that which is partial to that which is whole and complete. We know that plants and trees are constantly giving off something which is helpful to the life of man, and that man is, as constantly exhaling or giving out something that is beneficial to the growth of plants and trees. Without doubt we are giving in a limited way, both consciously and unconsciously, not only to the tree and plant, but also to our fellow-man as well. But are we giving to each other all that we might give? Does there exist that full reciprocity of giving and receiving that should be constantly going on between man and his fellow-man? It seems as though this giving and receiving should become an ever-increasing thing in the life of man; but, in order to make it so, a conscientious effort toward a new and a better adjustment will prove necessary. Man can hope to enter into the Kingdom of God only through the use of his love nature. In the Kingdom of God only that which is beautiful, that which is harmonious, that which is true can be said to exist. If he bring the best to it, he will receive the best from it.
The spirit of love in man ever makes for oneness. Whatever we love we become one with, and there is at once set up a reciprocal giving and receiving, which makes quite as much for our own good as it does for the good of the person who is loved by us. This love should not be a selfish one wherein the thought uppermost is that of receiving, because all real receiving must come because of previous giving. An honest effort to appreciate the beauties of nature will bring to us far more than we could possibly hope to get through the lack of appreciation. The more we are able to see of good in others or of beauty in nature, the more we shall continue to see in both. Nature yields her secrets to those only who are in love with her.
"O pure of heart! thou need'st not ask of me What this strong music in the soul may be! What, and wherein it doth exist, This light, this glory, this fair luminous mist, This beautiful and beauty-making power.
Joy, virtuous Lady! Joy that ne'er was given, Save to the pure, and in their purest hour, Life, and life's effluence, cloud at once and shower, Joy, Lady! is the spirit and the power, Which wedding nature gives to us in dower,
A new Earth and new Heaven, Undreamt of by the sensual and the proud - Joy is the sweet voice, Joy the luminous cloud -
We in ourselves rejoice! And thence flows all that charms or ear or sight,
All melodies the echoes of that voice, All colours a suffusion from that light."
There is a deep significance in the Bible statement about the kings and princes being clothed in purple and fine linen. Purple represented, at that time, the highest degree of colour. It signified power and all that was highest in life. The fine linen was of purest white. It is the white that gives us all the colours. The white stands for purity and the purple was its highest manifestation, and represented spiritual power. The real prince or king only becomes so through overcoming, and all overcoming is the result of inner purity of mind and purpose, and the outer expression evidenced by power. Before one can be clothed in purple and fine linen, the battle of self-control must be fought and won. Solomon has said that: "He that ruleth his spirit is greater than he that taketh a city." For the real battle of life is not a warfare with others as much as it is a battle within one's self to overcome false thoughts and unreal emotions; a constant putting behind of the old, and as constant a pressing forward to that which is new. It is only in this way that one attains the real Kingship and becomes conscious of lasting power.