"Joy cometh in the morning"

Among the widely differing writings which, opening with Genesis and closing with Malachi, make up that uniquely wonderful volume the Old Testament, it seems safe to assume that no one book taken in its entirety has brought more of comfort and of peace to the thoughtful Christian than the so-called Psalms of David,—those strikingly sublime and increasingly beautiful hymns of repentance and thanksgiving of supplication and joyful praise, which for more than thirty centuries have now whispered, now proclaimed abroad, their message of heartening, uplifting cheer. Among their many eloquent verses none perhaps more tellingly impart the assurance of the reward which follows understanding than that closing half of a canticle in the thirtieth psalm, when at the ceremony of the dedication of the house of David the greatest of the Hebrew kings announced, "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning." Here was the tender touch that takes due note of sorrow, but with it came a clear-eyed vision which foresaw that this must end at last. The inspired realization is set forth in words which have spoken unmistakably through all the ages since.

David was but one of many poets to recognize the exquisite beauties which enrich the heavens, bedecked with moon and stars, when darkness falls from the wings of "sablevested night." For thirty centuries the great verse of the world has held all but countless references to the exaltation of man's thought during the "speaking quietude of dim and solitary loveliness." And yet, to reverse the thought, full as many others have been all too aware of the mystery, even the oppressiveness, of the hours of darkness. The laureate Dryden was not the only one to feel that "the night seems double with the fear she brings."

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Love's Gift
September 25, 1915
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