Romantic dreams of pleasure and earthly joy?
(J. C. Philpot, "A
Kingdom Which Cannot Be Moved" 1862)
"The things on earth will be shaken, so that only
eternal things will be left." Hebrews 12:27
Man is always seeking happiness in some shape or
other, in the things of this world. He does not see or
feel that outside of God, happiness is impossible; and
that to seek it in 'the creature' is to add sin to sin. But
look at this vain attempt in a variety of instances.
Look at people young in life. What romantic prospects
dance before their eyes! "What dreams of love and home
by flowery streams!" But what a rude shock do these 'dreams
of earthly happiness' usually experience! This is true of most,
if not all, who build their hopes of happiness on 'the creature'.
But particularly so in the case of the family of God. How
jealous is He of all such schemes of earthly bliss--and how,
sooner or later, He shatters them all by His mighty hand!
Look, for instance, at health, that indispensable element of
all earthly happiness! What a rude shock many of the dear
family of God have experienced in their earthly tabernacle,
even in their youthful days, by accident or disease, so as to
mar all earthly happiness almost before the race of life was
Look again at wedded happiness--that "perpetual fountain
of domestic sweets"--how bitter a drop often falls from the
hands of God into that honeyed cup! Why does that mourning
widow sigh? Why does her heart swell, and her eye run over?
What does that scalding drop on her cheek mean?
How many a blooming daughter has faded away in consumption
before a mother's eye! How many a fine strong son has been
cut down by an accident--or sudden illness has borne him away
to the cold grave, in the very pride and prospect of life!
But apart from these elements of shattered and broken
creature happiness, what disappointment, what vexation,
what sorrow and care we find in everything we put our
hands to! Even with health and home unbroken, wife and
child untouched by death's cold hand, there is sin and
misery enough in a man's own bosom to fill his heart
with continual sorrow!
Thus wisely and mercifully, all our attempts to grasp
earthly happiness fail and come to nothing.
Child of grace, do not murmur at the hand of the Lord which
has broken your 'dreams of creature happiness'. God does not
intend that you should have your heaven here on earth, nor
live after the fashion of this world. It is a kind hand, though a
rough one, which blasts all your schemes of creature happiness,
which breaks your body into pieces with sickness, blights all your
prospects of wealth, and fame, and reputation, and ambition,
and pours bitter gall into each honeyed cup.
Why does the Lord brake all your earthly schemes
of human happiness? Why does He blight all . . .
your plans of ambition and of success in life,
your romantic dreams of pleasure and earthly
That they may all be removed out of your hearts' affections;
and give you happiness which shall endure forever and ever!
"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot
be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God
acceptably with reverence and awe." Hebrews 12:28