Thursday, June 04, 2009

A Vision Of The Lost...

By William Booth (1829-1912)

On one of my recent journeys, as I gazed from the coach window, I was led into a train of thought concerning the condition of the multitudes around me. They were living carelessly in the most open and shameless rebellion against God, without a thought for their eternal welfare. As I looked out of the window, I seemed to see them all . . . millions of people all around me given up to their drink and their pleasure, their dancing and their music, their business and their anxieties, their politics and their troubles. Ignorant - willfully ignorant in many cases - and in other instances knowing all about the truth and not caring at all. But all of them, the whole mass of them, sweeping on and up in their blasphemies and devilries to the Throne of God. While my mind was thus engaged, I had a vision.
I saw a dark and stormy ocean. Over it the black clouds hung heavily; through them every now and then vivid lightening flashed and loud thunder rolled, while the winds moaned, and the waves rose and foamed, towered and broke, only to rise and foam, tower and break again.
In that ocean I thought I saw myriads of poor human beings plunging and floating, shouting and shrieking, cursing and struggling and drowning; and as they cursed and screamed they rose and shrieked again, and then some sank to rise no more.
And I saw out of this dark angry ocean, a mighty rock that rose up with it’s summit towering high above the black clouds that overhung the stormy sea. And all around the base of this great rock I saw a vast platform. Onto this platform, I saw with delight a number of the poor struggling, drowning wretches continually climbing out of the angry ocean. And I saw that a few of those who were already safe on the platform were helping the poor creatures still in the angry waters to reach the place of safety.
I gotta hand it to William Booth. He got it right! He converted to Methodism and the main emphasis in Methodism was 'holiness' (though these days, it's dubious if you could find a Methodist church actually preaching holiness any more). We could sure use more of that virtue manifest in our lives (and taught from the pulpit!) in this stormy, raging ocean of the culture of death and our consumer-driven materialistic, hedonistic society. For without God as the center of our lives, the vaccuum is replaced by everything under the sun. This vision of his is most powerful and that particular painting came to mind when reading this. I saw a painting similar to this in an antique store recently, but it was in color. I might have to go back there and purchase it, as it really ''spoke'' to me. If anyone knows who the artist is, or has seen others like this, please comment. Thanks.

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