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Mornings In The College Chapel by Francis Greenwood Peabody


Deuteronomy xxxiii.27.

|Underneath are the everlasting arms,| -- that was the repeated burden of the great men of Israel. They lived in the midst of national calamities and distresses. They were defeated, puzzled, baffled. The way looked dark. Then they fall back on the one great re-establishing thought: after all, it is God's world. It is not going to ruin. Changes which seemed tremendous are not fatal or final. Israel dwells in safety, for God holds us in his arms.

We need some such broad, deep confidence as we enter a new year. We get involved in small issues and engrossed in personal problems, and people sometimes seem so malicious, and things seem to be going so wrong that it is as if we heard the noise of some approaching Niagara. Then we fall back on the truth that after all it is not our world. We can blight it or help it, but we do not {84} decide its issues. In the midst of such a time of social distress, Mr. Lowell in one of his lectures wrote: |I take great comfort in God. I think He is considerably amused sometimes, but on the whole loves us and would not let us get at the matchbox if He did not know that the frame of the universe was fireproof.| That is the modern statement of the underlying faith and self-control and patience which come of confessing that in this world it is not we alone who do it all. |Why so hot, little man?| says Mr. Emerson. |I take great comfort in God,| says Mr. Lowell; and the Old Testament, with a much tenderer note repeats: |Underneath are the everlasting arms.|

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