James Russell Miller, 1882
A German sculptor occupied eight years in making a marble statue of Christ. When he had worked two years upon it, the work seemed to be finished. To test his success, he called a little child into his studio, and, showing her this statue, asked her, “Who is that?” She looked at it and replied, “A great man.” The artist was discouraged. He had hoped that his conception of the Master had been so true, that the pure eye of the child would recognize it at once. He began anew, and after a year or two more had passed, he invited the child again into his studio, and pointing to his new statue asked the same question as before: “Who is that?” She looked at it in silence for some time, a feeling of awe and reverence sweeping through her heart and expressing itself on her face, until with eyes full of tears she said in low and gentle tones, “Let the little children come unto Me.” This time his work was not a failure. He had produced a figure in which the untaught instinct of the child saw the feature of the Redeemer. His work had stood the severest test.
A somewhat similar test must be applied to all our home-making. After we have done all in our power in building up a home, the husband his part, the wife hers, the parents theirs, the brothers and the sisters theirs, and when our home-life is full and complete, before we can say that we have realized the ideal of a true Christian home, we must prove its spirit. What impression would our home and its life make upon a pure and simple hearted child?
We may build a palace of marble. We may fill it with the rarest beauties of art. We may adorn it in the most luxurious fashion. We may furnish it in the most costly manner. It may be perfect as a gem in all its decor, a piece of art in itself. Our home-life may be as stately as royalty itself. There may be the most perfect order, the loftiest courtesy, and the utmost precision of movement. Each member of the family may fulfill his part with unfailing promptitude.
Bring in the child and ask it what it thinks of your home. “It is very beautiful,” responds the little one. “It is very grand. It is a palace. Does a king live here?”
James Russell Miller, 1882
In a quiet nook among the hills, where great forest trees interlock their branches and form a deep shade—a little stream takes its rise. As it springs out from among the rocks, and goes rippling over the stones, only a tiny thread of silver at first as it begins its way toward the great sea. Other streamlets join it as it flows, and it goes on gathering and increasing in volume, until it becomes a river, bearing commerce on its bosom, and emptying at last into the broad ocean.
Its course is marked by great variety. For a time it goes laughing and dancing over the stones, like a child at play, with merriment and glee. As it grows wider and deeper, it becomes soberer and graver and its motion is slower; and when it is a river—its flow is calm and majestic. Sometimes its course lies in the sunshine, its waters sparkling like crystal in the bright rays; sometimes it runs through meadows and fields where sweet flowers bloom on its banks; sometimes it plunges into deep, dark gorges, between high rocks, where no sunbeam ever falls and no flower ever blooms; sometimes it breaks into a mad swirl, or rushes away in a fierce torrent or leaps over a precipice in a foaming cataract. So it flows on, amid all this diversity of scene and experience, until it reaches the wide sea.
For if the word spoken through angels proved unalterable, and every transgression and disobedience received a just penalty, how will we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? The Holy Bible, Hebrews 2:2-3a (NAS)
DEFINITION AND NECESSITY OF SALVATION
sal•va•tion (sal vâ/shen), n. [ME. salvacioun; OFr. sauvation; L. salvatio < salvatus, pp. of salvare, to save], 1. a saving or being saved; preservation from destruction; rescue. 2. a person or thing which is a means, cause, or source of preservation or rescue. 3. in theology, spiritual rescue from sin and death; saving of the soul through the atonement of Jesus; redemption.
In Christian doctrine, salvation is a rescue or deliverance of humanity from a specific condition and from a specific destination. Salvation presumes that there is a danger, jeopardy, peril or life threatening hazard from which rescue must be accomplished on an imminent basis.
The CONDITION from which humanity must be rescued:
- Separation from the Creator/God of humanity.
- Such separation from the Creator/God occasioned by the sinful actions of all humanity (by disobeying and ignoring the commands of the Creator/God), both in congress and individually.
The DESTINATION from which humanity must be rescued::
- The sinful human actions necessitate that the Creator/God pronounce a judgment on all humanity as a punishment for those actions taken.
- Such punishment being separation from God, and assignment in company with Satan and all his followers in the region of Hell.
- Such assignment to be eternal in nature, never to be reconsidered, changed or revoked.