The Mountain Climber
All Light, Shining in the Darkness, Is Either a Guide or a Warning.
THE LESSON—That the Bible sends out two kinds of light, guiding and warning, and that all who neglect it are groping in the dark, "loving darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil."
The word Light, appears very frequently in the scriptures as a type of the highest human good. All of the most joyous emotions of the mental and physical natures of man are described in the imagery of light. Throughout the Book it is used to typify the true religion and happiness.
"When we go riding in an automobile after dark, we light the lamps at the front and at the rear. Why do we light the lamps? So the light will shine on the roadway and we will be able to see where we are going and thus avoid mishap and injury? Yes, but how about the lamp at the rear? Oh, we light that one so other people will not run into us. Yes, and that, too, is one of the great reasons why we light the front lamps. If we were to start out on a night journey with no lamps burning, there would be great danger of accident, and especially if we were to meet another automobile which had no lights burning. We would be apt to bump into each other. The law recognizes all this and compels us to keep our automobile lights brilliantly shining.
"Dwight L. Moody, the great evangelist, tells the story that as he was walking along a dark city street one night, he met a man, who carried an object in each of his hands. Something about the man's actions excited the curiosity of Mr. Moody, and he stopped to speak to him. The thing that caused Mr. Moody to wonder was this: The man held in one hand a lighted lantern, and in the other a cane with which he was feeling his way along the street. As he stopped, Mr. Moody saw that the man was blind. He was so much interested that he spoke to the man, saying:
"'Since you are blind, why do you carry a lantern? It doesn't help you to see your way.'
"'No,' replied the man, 'I carry it to keep people from running into me.'
"So, here, you see, was an instance of carrying a light, not to enable one to see his way but to guard himself against harm from those who would be warned thereby.
"Ofttimes, you have seen red lanterns placed along streets where dangerous obstructions are left in the pathway of travel. These lights are to warn people of possible harm.
"As Christians, we, too, must have a light on our pathway to guide us through life, and this same light will also guard us against harm. That light comes from Jesus Christ through his word. With the light of his love within us we can never mistake the way. If we have that light, temptations may come to us, but they cannot harm us because that light warns them away. This light is our guide and our guard. God's word, the Psalmist declares, 'is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.'
"The story is told of a traveler in the west who, separated from the other members of his party, was climbing slowly up the rocky side of a rugged mountain. [Draw the man and the lines of the mountain.] His progress was slow, not only because of the difficulty in climbing up the slippery and treacherous rocks, but because the mountain top was shrouded in a heavy mist or cloud, which made it impossible for him to see more than a few feet ahead of him. [Draw the cloud line to complete Fig. 60.]
"All at once, the bright sunlight broke through the mist, and the man was horrified to find that he was on the very brink of a high precipice and that a climb of a few more feet would have meant death and destruction to him. [Draw lines to complete Fig. 61.]
"Everywhere in life does our pathway lead toward danger. The saloon would claim the young man. The Light says, 'Whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.' Perhaps the temptation comes to be dishonest in dealing with other people. The Light says, 'All things therefore whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do ye also unto them.' Whatever the temptation, whatever the perplexity, however deep the darkness, this Light is ours, not only to brighten the way but to warn the evil thing to depart from us. And, having received this light, let us remember continually that Christ said, 'Ye are the light of the world. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.'"
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