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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 8

Open Vision

Open Vision.

There runs a story that one Passover Sabbath-day, when Jesus was a boy of twelve, he stood with his mother at the door of their little cottage in Nazareth—his father newly dead, and his brothers and sisters playing their noisy games. And he said, "O mother, would that I had lived in the times when there was open vision, and the Lord visited the earth, as in the days of Adam, Abraham, and Moses. These are sad times, mother, which we have fallen in."

Mary laid the baby, sleeping, from her arms, and took a sprig of hyssop out of the narrow wall, and said, "Lo, God is here! and, my boy, not less than on Jacob's ladder do angels herein go up and down. It is spring time now, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land, and the blossom of this grape-vine is fragrant with God. The date-tree, the white rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valley, root in Him. He is in your little garden out there, not less than in grand Eden, with Adam and Eve. Look how the setting sun has sketched out all the hills. What a purple glory flames in the west, and is reflected in the east, where the full moon tells us it is Passover-day."

"Nay, mother," said the thoughtful boy, "but He has left the soul of Israel for their sins. So Rabbi Jonas told us in the synagogue to-day. Oh, that I had lived with Elias or Amos, when the Spirit fell on men. I had also been filled with Him."

And Mary took up her wakened baby, who began to cry, and stilling it to her bosom, she said, "The sins of Israel, my son, are like Rebecca's cry. God is more mother to the children of Israel than I to her. Do you think He will forsake the world? This little baby is as new as Adam; and God is as near to you as He was to Abraham, Moses, Elias, or Amos. He never withdraws from the soul of men, but the day-spring from on high comes continually to the soul of each. Open the window, and the sun of righteousness comes in."

And Jesus paused, the story tells, and sat there, and while his mother laid the little ones away in their poor and several cribs, he watched the purple fade out from the sky, and the great moon pouring out its white fire, with a star or two to keep her company in heaven. And when the moon was overhead, there came two young lovers, newly wed, and as Jesus caught the joy of their talk to one another, and smelt the fragrancy of the blooming grape, there came a rush of devotion in his young heart, and he said, "My Father worketh hitherto; I also will work"—and laid him down to his dreams and slept, preparatory to the work which fills the world.—Theodore Parker.