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B. Carradine
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TOPIC: Vision Of Faith, Its Delivery From Spiritual Perils


The father of the writer, was moving his family in the Yellow Fever Epidemic of the Fifties to a place of health and safety. He was compelled to pass through a town that was scourged with the dreadful disease. As a measure of security he caused his family and workers to place sponges of vinegar over their nostrils while the wagons conveying them were made to go through the streets in a swinging trot.

As they passed along the almost deserted thorough-fares, they observed quantities of bed clothing and even excellent wearing apparel evidently thrown aside and away upon pavements and streets. It was too much for one of the workers named Nat. Leaping from the wagon he picked up several blankets, and some clothing which especially tempted him.

At once my father cried out to him to cast them down; whereupon Nat, with the greatest earnestness replied that nobody wanted them, and that they were as good as new, and continued to gather them up, when my father galloping up tore them from his hands and exclaimed: "Don't you know that the Yellow Fever is in every one of them and they are certain death to you!"

In this actual incident, Nat well represented the life of the senses, while the writers father, with his superior knowledge, warning voice and delivering hand, as clearly stood for the action of faith. And just as the ignorant person was saved from an awful plague and death through a perception and wisdom profounder than his own, so the soul is rescued and delivered from even greater perils by that vision of faith which pierces the outer attractive semblance or covering, beholds the danger in the beautiful garments, the poison in the golden cup, and the poisonous reptile, coiled up underneath a mass of gorgeous flowers.

The natural man only notes the physical and temporal which may be grasped by the five senses of the body. The trouble, calamity and horror of this kind of life, is that the man is attaching himself to, and living for things that are soon to pass away and be destroyed. It is as if one embarked in a sinking vessel; or took flight in a balloon that was on fire.

Faith looks through, and past, and far beyond the body, flesh and time, and gazes with a vision of its own upon a viewless soul, an invisible God, and a Heaven out of sight.

Faith sees a bed of roses, but stoops over, parts the leaves and blossoms, and marks the pitfall beneath studded with sharp spikes to accomplish the ruin of the falling victim.

Faith observes the bait cast toward the human life, but lifting its eyes travels up the fishing line, then down the whole length of the fishing rod, and notes that it is resting in the hands of the devil who is the fisherman in the case.

Beholding these startling things, Faith refuses to bite, and swims steadily and rapidly away. All this explains why the man living for the senses is caught, and the man of faith goes free, though confronted by the same temptation and danger, and angled for by the same great tempter. --- Adapted from Living Illustrations by B. Carradine.

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