Our poor, famished, craving, destitute
(From Octavius Winslow's, "Go to Jesus")
Why this air of restlessness which pervades
our nature? Why this look of dissatisfaction
imprinted on every countenance? Why those
deep furrows on every brow? Why this universal
cry of our humanity, "Who will show us any good?"
What! can you find no good in this vast universe
that God has formed? Ah, no! Man finds all
'created good' to be but a broken cistern.
He hews out cistern after cistern, sets up enterprise
after enterprise, devises new plans of happiness,
each one more promising than the other, and still
his soul is filled with one vast, aching void....
the heart restless,
the spirit anxious, and
the mind dissatisfied.
And so our poor, famished, craving, destitute nature
travels round the circle of all 'created' blessing, and
terminates the journey by reiterating the plaintive
cry, "Who will show us any good?"
There is a universal existence in our race of a need.
That need is happiness; a need for something that
will meet the intense yearning, and craving of our
spiritual, moral, and intellectual being.
Some seek it in the gay world, some in the sensual
world, others in the intellectual world, others more
in the political world, and there are not a few who
are seeking it in what is termed conventionally the
These have little or no taste for the world's gaieties,
less for intellectual pursuits, and still less ambition
to climb the steep of human distinction and carve
their name on some lofty column.
But they seek to meet the yearning, the panting, and
the craving of their nature in a religion of their own;
and religious duties, religious engagements, religious
excitement, and religious rites and ceremonies, are
eagerly sought and sedulously cultivated, with a view
of meeting this spiritual craving for that which will give
repose and satisfaction to the soul.
Oh, we beseech you, keep your eye on the fine
line of distinction between a soul only thirsting
for 'religion', and a soul spiritually hungering and
thirsting for Christ.
Now, what is the one grand requirement of the soul?
What will meet this deep, intense craving?
Is it wealth? It has been tried to its utmost, and
found lacking. Ask the millionaire, and he will tell
you the toil of obtaining it, the risk of investing it,
the fear of losing it, and the thought of leaving it,
robs him of all comfort in the possession of it, and
that thus riches are utterly incompetent to make
their possessor happy.
Is it the world? Ah, no! It has been searched and
ransacked through and through, and can scarcely
afford a single new source of pleasure or enjoyment.
One could sometimes smile, were the spectacle
not too awful, at the puerile, childish expedients
to which the worldling resorts to meet this intense
craving of the mind. See the bubbles be blows, the
baubles he chases, the straws he gathers, while
the Son of God holds out a jeweled crown to the
aspirant for true glory, honor, and immortality.
Can another person supply it? Ask him who has found
the noblest, the dearest that earth ever afforded, if
that angel of intellect and beauty, before whom the
soul burns the incense of adoration, has filled this
deep and aching void. What a hallucination, what
a fantasy, what a mockery is all this! The mirage
of the desert not more deceptive!
The soul of man needs the Gospel, and nothing but
the Gospel of Christ will meet its spiritual and deep
necessities! Nothing but the Gospel will uplift,
ennoble, sanctify, and save our fallen, famishing,
and crushed race!
Nothing short of the glorious Gospel of Christ
will regenerate, sanctify, and save the soul of man!
Oh, keep the eye firmly fixed on this truth, and you
will be wiser than the wisest of the worldly wise, a
more profound philosopher than the most learned!