Friday, July 10, 2009

The Invisible One

Clarence Edward Macartney (1879-1957) was a Presbyterian pastor and author. He was a contemporary of J. Gresham Machen and was equally involved as Machen in the Fundamentalist-Modernist Controversy in the Presbyterian Church in the United States of America in the early part of last century. I have his book, "Macartney’s Illustrations" which was purchased by my father in 1945. This is a book of selected sermon vignettes and illustrations that were used by Macartney during his ministry...all compiled into 421 pages revealing his pastoral experience, his wide range of reading, and his own imagination.

Thumbing through the book I ran across the following which I think is particularly timely even though originally written in the midst of the II World War:

"God must be in this terrible chapter of the world’s history through which we are passing today. Otherwise one would have to exclude God from a great part of history. In his powerful description of the battle and battlefield of Sedan, where the German army conquered the French in 1870, Victor Hugo says, "In the midst of the terrible plain, I saw thee, O thou Invisible One." The Invisible One is always present. The history of the world is the judgement of the world, and as a great history maker, Cromwell, put it, "What are all our histories but God throwing down and trampling under foot whatsover He hath not planted?"

Help us to see the hand of The Invisible One as did Elisha with his young student:
"And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with them. And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha." (II King 6:16,17)

No comments: