“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known,” by Louis A. Dole

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“And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them.” – Isaiah 42:16

Readings

Isaiah 42:1-16 · Matthew 3:1-12 · Psalm 139

Sermon

This is a prophecy of the Advent. And what an encouraging prophecy it is! It promises good, for it says, I, your Redeemer and Savior, when I shall come, will cause the spiritually blind to walk in new ways, I will lead them in new paths, I will turn their darkness into light, and straighten their poor distorted hopes and ideals so that their spiritual vision shall be clear and radiant with the light of heaven.

“I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known.” New ways and new paths! Our text is not speaking of any natural journey, but is referring to something spiritual when it uses these familiar terms of our natural life. The Psalmist prays, “Remove from me the way of lying,” and “Therefore I hate every false way.” And the same inspired penman speaks of the “paths of righteousness,” “the way of truth, “the way of thy commandments.” What are these ways and paths? Are they not those habitual ideals and forms of thought that lead the soul to the attainment of some purpose, whether good or evil? The modern psychologist speaks of pathways formed by habits in the substance of the brain. But how could there be these pathways in the brain substance if there were not corresponding pathways or “ways of thinking” in the life of the soul?

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“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,” by Louis A. Dole

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“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” – Psalm 33:12

Readings

Micah 6 · Mark 12:28-44 · Psalm 27

Sermon

We are entering upon another year. The calendar year is determined by the rotation of the earth on its axis and in its orbit around the sun. If the sun, planets, and stars were fixed and there was no other method of measuring time, time would have to be measured in states of life and succession of events.

And indeed we often do measure time in terms of significant events which have taken place in our lives. Some years seem especially noteworthy, such as the year when the war came to an end. So, too, in our individual experience some years stand out because of particular events which brought us pleasure or sorrow or marked a turning point in our lives. Yet we should remember that such events do not just “happen”; they are the result of a long preparation.

One of the things toward which the world looks forward is the time when preparations for war will cease. If this coming year sees even the limitation of armaments, a great burden will be lifted and a step taken toward the abolition of war. Never have the nations felt the need for such a step as they feel it now. War is becoming more and more destructive, and it is difficult to visualize just how destructive a war today would be. The suffering caused by war, the sickness and poverty that follow in its train, the disorganization of useful industries, the burden of taxation are causing men to realize that for these burdens to continue and increase means the breaking down of civilization if not the end of human life on this earth. These are economic reasons for an effort to stop the mad race which can end only in ruin.

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“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever,” by Louis A. Dole

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“The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” – Deuteronomy 29:29

Readings

Deuteronomy 29:10-29 · Luke 14:1-14 · Psalm 14

Sermon

The course of history is determined by the ideas which men hold and carry out into life. There are various systems of thought seeking control in the world. Socialism, Communism, Pacifism, and so on, together with the various religions, are such systems of thought. Each claims to seek the common welfare. With the exception of the religions, however, none look to a power outside of man himself.

We cannot get along without knowledge. We need to know the nature of the world and the meaning of life. And if we are to be inwardly at peace, our thoughts must be harmonious. There are conflicts in ourselves, as well as in the world in which we live. The forces which have divided men are at work in us, and unless we can subordinate them to some unifying principle, they will work havoc in our lives.

This need has existed from the beginning and the Lord has provided for it. He has progressively revealed His Word as men were able to receive it. While this revelation was yet in progress, many things were but partially made known which afterwards were more plainly revealed. Revelation has been sufficient to meet the needs of every age.

While the great event of the Lord’s incarnation and the light which it shed into the world were yet in the future, Moses could not be seen without the veil upon his face, nor could the later prophets be perceived more clearly, since upon the glory of revealed truth the Lord had placed a covering, This obscurity is not confined to the Old Testament, but extends also to the New. What is revealed in the Gospels and in the Apocalypse respecting the future states of the first Christian Church and the Second Coming of the Lord has been as little understood by Christians as the predictions of Moses and the prophets were by the Jews, and it can now be clearly discerned only because the events predicted have taken place and the meaning of the prophecies has been disclosed. These things, with the spiritual sense of the Word whose opening accompanied and reveals the Second Coming of the Lord, are secrets of revelation itself, which time discloses. There are, however, secrets which have no place in revelation.

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“The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men,” by Louis A. Dole

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“The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men.
“From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.” – Psalm 33:13-14

Readings

Joshua 1 · Luke 12:1-21 · Psalm 33

Sermon

Another year is at hand. Life is full of changes. It is the clear intent of the Creator that there should be changes, and that with these changes we should change for the better. The Psalm from which the text is taken tells of His continual providence over mankind. It tells us that trusting in ourselves will accomplish nothing of real value to us, and that if we look to the Lord, He will bring every possible blessing upon us.

One of the ancient philosophers said that change was the fundamental feature of the universe. And as we look back upon the history of the world, we see it as a succession of changes – of new eras.

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