Good Cheer

MANY years ago a little play was produced which opened with a scene where two young people were together on a Sunday morning, waiting for the hour when they were to go to church. The shades were closely drawn, and every ray of sunlight was shut out of the small living room. As the girl went to a window and very cautiously raised the shade to look out on the bright morning, the young man warned her against such rashness. In accord with the rule for keeping the Sabbath, in that time and in many localities, shades were kept drawn. The purpose underlying this custom, no doubt, was the earnest wish to shut out the world from thought on that sacred day, even though the sunbeams should be excluded with it.

This manner of observance, if not entirely in disuse, is at least obsolescent among those equally desirous of keeping the Sabbath holy. To fear God in the sense of having reverence for God, as it is now seen more clearly, lets in the light on the Sabbath day and on every other day. To know God as Love renders it impossible for us to exclude from our dwelling or our hearts anything that symbolizes purity, truth, and "the beauty of holiness." It teaches us to transform the world rather than shut it out. The girl in the play wistfully raising the window shade turned as naturally to sunshine as a growing vine uncurling before its rays. The normal human heart seeks cheer and longs for that which truly encourages and rejoices—for the joy of a religion that, mentally speaking, opens every window to the light of good, and brings its followers to join in the psalm of rejoicing: "I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the Lord."

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