A Thanksgiving Sermon.

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BY Rev. Llewelyn Ioan Evans, D.D., LL.D. Isaiah 51 : 9-15. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord ; awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab nd wounded the dragon ?
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  A THANKSGIVING SERMON. BY Rev. Llewelyn Ioan Evans, D.D., LL.D.Isaiah 51 : 9-15. Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord ; awake as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab nd wounded the dragon ? Art thou not it that hath dried the sea, the waters of the great deep; that hath made the depths of the sea a way for the ransomed to pass over ? Therefore the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion ; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head : they shall obtain gladness and  joy ; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away. I, even I, am he that comforteth you : who art thou, that thou shouldest be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the son of man that shall be made as grass ; And forgettest the Lord thy maker, that hath stretched forth the heavens, and laid the foundations of the earth; and hast feared continually every day, because of the fury of the oppressor, as if he were ready to destroy ? And where is the fury 1  of the oppressor? The captive exile hasteneth that he may be loosed, and that he should not die in the pit, nor that his bread should fail. But I am the Lord thy God, that divided the sea, whose waves roared: The Lord of hosts is his name. Nothing strikes us more forcibly in these old writ-ings, in these prophecies, poems and historical records, which make up our Sacred Book, than the deep, in-tense, ever present consciousness, which pervades them, of an all-surrounding, all-embracing, all-inspiring, Infi-nite, Personal Presence, whose glory overshadows, whose Power sustains, whose Spirit quickens, whose love fills all things. It is this same sense, this living realization of God which, above all else, is needful to-day, that our gratitude may be deep, pure and abounding. We hear much said in these days of the Logic of Events, the Genius of History, Social Forces, the hand of Destiny. I am not disposed to question about the 2  occasional use of such terms. Like the phrases, Laws of Nature, Physical Forces, they are often conveni-( 2 37) 238 LLEWELYN IOAN EVANS. ent and expressive. Nor is the fact that they are the pet expressions of men who disbelieve in a Personal God, who deny an intelligent, over-ruling Providence, of itself a decisive objection to their use. Only let us not be blinded. As philosophers, speculating in ab-stract ideas, there is no objection to the use of general terms, as symbols of certain facts. As poets, thinking in metaphors or in allegories, there is no objection to the use of figurative expressions, as images of certain realities. But as earnest, thoughtful, religious men, de-sirous to know the truth, yearning to see into the deep, inner facts of being, anxious to discover our obligations as subjects of the King of Kings, we had better dispense with abstractions and figures, and speak in the simple utterances of a pious heart. To-day, as we seek to re- 3  alize our obligations to Him who has made us, blessed us, and brought us where we now stand to-day, we must have something else to talk about than Logic and Laws. In this world of sin, temptation, trial, we need all the motives which have any power to impel us toward God. Of these, gratitude is at once one of the strongest and most elevated. Henry Rogers has called attention to the fact that this is the great instrumental feeling which Christianity employs in restoring man to God ; and he observes that gratitude for past good is a stronger mo-tive than the hope of future good can possibly be. Now, gratitude is possible only in view of personal benefi-cence. You can not manifest gratitude towards any impersonal thing or force. The tree which bears nu-tritious and delightful fruit, the fountain which sends forth pure and refreshing waters, the sun which radiates light, each is a benefactor and its benefactions are in-valuable, but they excite no gratitude. It is the same with a force or a law. The law which produces the 4
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