“See, thy son liveth,” by Louis A. Dole

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Fryeburg, Maine, December 6, 1931

“See, thy son liveth.” – 1 Kings 17:23

Readings

1 Kings 17 · John 12:23-50 · Psalm 86

Sermon

The story containing our text is most tender and appealing. Death had taken the son of a poor widow. She and her son had been carried through the three year famine by the meal and oil that wasted not, because Elijah, the man of God, had found shelter in her house. Then came affliction sorer than the famine. Her son, in whom lived her hope as a mother in Israel, died in her arms.

To get the vital lesson in this narrative we must see it in its relation to the events immediately preceding, for the striking chapter of the text by three wonderful miracles there told describes three successive states of a regenerating man. The third state is pictured in the raising to life of the dead son of the widow.

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“Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?” by Louis A. Dole

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“And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
“And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.” – Mark 16:3-4

Readings

Isaiah 60 · Mark 16 · Psalm 96

Sermon

Today we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. The story of the Resurrection is indeed a marvelous one. The Resurrection took place unseen by mortal eye. It was the completion of the stupendous work into which the Lord had entered, and it brought to a close the era of the world’s darkness.

Prophetic of the dawn of this new day Isaiah writes: “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.”

The hope of immortality has ever been a part of the furniture of the human mind. When this hope is lost, life here becomes irrational, our labors vain, there is no harvest of humanity, no ultimate goal of effort. Not only is immortality necessary to the perfection of God’s plan of creation and necessary to enable Him to bestow the full measure of His blessings upon us, but the certainty of it is necessary to our life in this world, that we may see life here in its true proportions and go forward surely to a sane end. Life in this world and in the next make one life. Without a knowledge of immortality “We wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness… We stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.” How dark is the prospect of a world which ends in omnipresent death!

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Eulogy for Arthur N. Lawrence, August 17, 1963, by Louis A. Dole

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Arthur N. Lawrence
Lisbon Falls, Aug. 17, 1963

“Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” – Revelation 2:10

It is hard to conceive of a theme which comes closer to our hearts or makes us think more deeply than that which is concerned with the end of our career in this world and our entrance into the eternal world, in which all who are prepared become eternally happy.

Without a knowledge of the Lord and of His Divine providence over us, as revealed in the Sacred Scriptures, life here cannot be understood.

The first thing that the Bible tells us is that in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth and finally man in the image and likeness of his Creator. Then man was commanded to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth.

It is a beautiful world that has been created for us, a world that is able to satisfy our every physical need and desire if we but seek to understand and master it. In symbolic language God tells us, “And the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it,” and “Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” These words beautifully describe the real situation. We are God’s tenants and caretakers here. We are to subdue the earth, to dress it and to keep it. We are to study it, to enjoy it, and to make the best use we can of it. It is a wonderful task and God has endowed mankind with the capacities which will enable him to carry out His commands.

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“O Lord, by these things men live,” by Louis A. Dole

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“O Lord, by these things men live, and in all these things is the life of my spirit: so wilt thou recover me, and make me to live.” – Isaiah 38:16

Readings

Isaiah 38 · Revelation 8:1-4, 9-13 · Psalm 34

Sermon

In order to understand what the things are by which men live we must know the conditions under which these words were spoken. Hezekiah was one of the good and faithful kings of Judah, Israel’s southern kingdom. The northern kingdom had fallen hopelessly into idolatry, and had been carried captive to Assyria, never to return; and the southern kingdom, the kingdom of Judah, had been almost as unfaithful. Under Ahaz, Hezekiah’s father, the worship of the Lord had largely given place to the worship of idols, and the holy temple had become defiled. Hezekiah destroyed the idols. He even destroyed the brazen serpent, which had been preserved for seven hundred years or from the time of Israeli’s sojourn in the wilderness, because the people were now making an idol of that. He restored and rededicated the polluted temple, and reestablished worship of the one God. He smote the Philistines, Israel’s ancient foe. He did other great works and brought back to the nation something of its ancient glory and power. But in the midst of this achievement and at the height of his power he was smitten with disease, and the prophet Isaiah, his counsellor and friend, was sent to him by the Lord to tell him that he would not recover, but would die.

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The Penalty of Sin, by Louis A. Dole

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“But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die.” – Ezekiel 18:24

Readings

Ezekiel 18:19-32 · John 8:33-51 · Psalm 101

Sermon

The Scriptures are written according to the doctrine of appearances, that is, according to how Divine things appear to us in our natural states. This means that we must have some principles from which we may judge, principles which will enable us to determine what sin is and what goodness and truth are in themselves. An immutable standard is necessary by which we can measure and determine questions concerning human conduct and character, and their good or evil results.

That standard is the Lord Himself. “The way of the Lord is perfect.” He changes not. He is “the way, the truth, and the life.” We are created in His image and likeness. Here we must not think of outward form. The sculptor can cut an image of a man from a block of marble, but the likeness is only on the surface. The Divine qualities are finited in us. We are recipients of the Lord’s love and wisdom. All our faculties and powers are from Him. But there is this difference: the Lord is infinite but we are finite. We are created, and have no underived life; the Lord is uncreated and is Life itself. We are so formed that we can continue to approach our Creator in the power and excellence of all our faculties and joys, but we shall always be finite and we can never be more than recipients of life.

What is required of us is that we use the life and power we receive as the Lord would have us use them. To the extent that one does this he is upright, just, and righteous, for he lives and moves in the currents of the Divine providence.

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