Untried, untrodden, and unknown

(Octavius Winslow, "The Untrodden Path" 1860)

"You have not passed this way before." Joshua 3:4

How solemn is the reflection that with a
new cycle of time, commences a new and
untrodden path
with each traveler to Zion.

New events in his history will transpire;
new scenes in the panorama of life will unfold;
new phases of character will develop;
new temptations will assail;
new duties will devolve;
new trials will be experienced;
new sorrows will be felt;
new friendships will be formed;
new mercies will be bestowed.

How truly may it be said of the pilgrim, journeying
through the wilderness to his eternal home, as he
stands upon the threshold of this untried period of
his existence, pondering the unknown and uncertain
future, "You have not passed this way before."

But there is another thought inexpressibly soothing.
Untried, untrodden, and unknown as that new path
may be, it is each step mapped and arranged, and
provided for
in the everlasting and unchangeable
covenant of God. To Him who leads us, who accepts
us in the Son of His love, who knows the end from the
beginning, it is no new, or uncertain, or hidden way.

We thank Him that, while He wisely and kindly veils all
the future from our reach; all that future, its minutest
event, is as transparent and visible to Him as the past.

Our Shepherd knows the windings along which He
skillfully, gently, and safely leads His flock. Oh! it
is a thought replete with strong consolation, and
well calculated to gird us for the coming year: the
Lord knows and has ordained each step of the
untrodden path upon which I am about to enter!

The infinite forethought, wisdom, and goodness
which have marked each line of our new path
have also provided for its every necessity . . .
  each exigency in the new year has been anticipated;
  each need will bring its appropriate and adequate supply;
  each perplexity will have its guidance;
  each sorrow its comfort;
  each temptation its shield;
  each cloud its light;
  each affliction will suggest its lesson;
  each correction will impart its teaching;
  each mercy will convey its message of love.

The promise will be fulfilled to the letter,
"As your day so shall your strength be."




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