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[The Christian World]

The story of Moses dying in view of Canaan without entering it, is not just a piece of individual biography. It is our story, the story of the human heart. We are all of us marching forward toward a paradise more or less in view, a paradise we do not enter. We do not enter our paradise, because as we advance it becomes, by this splendid law of our being, always a better, a higher than the one we set out to secure. We remain unsatisfied with the earlier consummation because we find that the universe contains still better things. We reach our Jerusalem, as some of the Crusaders did, and find it not good enough. That dusty, ill-smelling city on its stony height, will that do? No; and were it a city of golden streets, of marble palaces, still it would not do. The soul leaps at once from the material to the immaterial, to a Jerusalem which is from above, which descends to us out of heaven from God. It is from the infinited expansibility of the human soul, its capacity for the highest there is, that springs its present non-content. And no promise of good that could have been written for us on the heavens were surely comparable, both for its largeness and its sureness, to the sublime hope that our non-content kindless within us.

Meanwhile, as we are thus drawn onward, drawn by the immense demand of the soul, let us not despise or undervalue the paradise we have already reached. Let us be happy in the happiness we have—the happiness that has this desire in it. Let us enjoy our incompleteness, and that because it is incomplete. Do not trouble about the sordidness of your conditions if the soul is not sordid. The great thing is that we are on a journey, the most wonderful journey that ever was. What is behind us is astonishing enough, but that is only a preparation for what is before us. "Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come." Forever do we seek and seek; forever does our paradise recede as we advance; and for the reason that we are the children of the infinite, nothing less than the infinite, in its height and depth and fulness, can be our home.

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October 11, 1913

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