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The Crown of Thorns : a token for the sorrowing   By: (1814-1880)

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THE CROWN OF THORNS

A TOKEN FOR THE SORROWING

by E. H. Chapin

PREFACE.

One of the discourses in this volume "The Mission of Little Children" was written just after the death of a dear son, and was published in pamphlet form. The edition having become exhausted sooner than the demand, it was deemed advisable to reprint it; and accordingly it is now presented to the reader, accompanied by others of a similar cast, most of them growing out of the same experience. This fact will account for any repetition of sentiment which may appear in these discourses, especially as they were written without any reference to one another.

To the sorrowing, then, this little volume is tendered, with the author's sympathy and affection. Upon its pages he has poured out some of the sentiments of his own heartfelt experience, knowing that they will find a response in theirs, and hoping that the book may do a work of consolation and of healing. If it impresses upon any the general sentiment which it contains, the sentiment of religious resignation and triumph in affliction; if it shall cause any tearful vision to take the Christian view of sorrow; if it shall teach any troubled soul to endure and hope; if it shall lead any weary spirit to the Fountain of consolation; in one word, if it shall help any, by Christ's strength, to weave the thorns that wound them into a crown, I shall be richly rewarded, and, I trust, grateful to that God to whose service I dedicate this book, invoking his blessing upon it.

E. H. C.

May, 1860

CONTENTS.

THE THREE TABERNACLES THE SHADOW OF DISAPPOINTMENT LIFE A TALE THE CHRISTIAN VIEW OF SORROW CHRISTIAN CONSOLATION IN LONELINESS RESIGNATION THE MISSION OF LITTLE CHILDREN OUR RELATIONS TO THE DEPARTED THE VOICES OF THE DEAD MYSTERY AND FAITH

THE THREE TABERNACLES

And Peter answered and said to Jesus, Master, it is good for us to be here: and let us make three tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias. MARK ix. 5.

Caught up in glory and in rapture, the Apostle seems to have forgotten the world from which he had ascended, and to which he still belonged, and to have craved permanent shelter and extatic communion within the mystic splendors that brightened the Mount of Transfiguration. But it was true, not only as to the confusion of his faculties, but the purport of his desire, that "he knew not what he said." For even "while he yet spake," the cloud overshadowed them, the heavenly forms vanished, they found themselves with Jesus alone, and an awful Voice summoned them from contemplation to duty, from vision to work.

Peter knew not what he said. He would have converted the means into an end. He and his fellow disciples had been called to follow Christ not that they might see visions, but had been permitted to see visions that they might follow Christ. Just previous to that celestial interview, Jesus had announced to them his own painful doom, and had swept away their conceit of Messianic glories involved with earthly pomp and dominion, by his declaration of the self denial, the shame, and the suffering, which lay in the path of those who really espoused his cause and entered into his kingdom. They needed such a revelation as this, then, upon the Mount of Transfiguration, to support them under the stroke which had shaken their earthly delusion, and let in glimpses of the sadder truth. It was well that they should behold the leaders of the old dispensation confirming and ministering to the greatness of the new, and the religion which was to go down into the dark places of the earth made manifest in its authority and its source from Heaven. It was well that they should see their Master glorified, that they might be strengthened to see him crucified. It was well that Moses and Elias stood at the font, when they were about to be baptized into their apostleship of suffering, and labor, and helping finish the work which these glorious elders helped begin... Continue reading book >>




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