It vividly paints how men will try to free themselves from the miseries of their condition, how insufficient all their attempts are, how transient the relief, and how bitter and black the end. We may apply these thoughts to Men-made grounds of hope before God. Men-made attempts to read the mysteries.
What a deep thought that with all their work men only make 'cisterns, i.e. they only provide circumstances which could hold delights, but cannot secure that water should be in them! The men-made cisterns must be God-filled, if filled at all. The true joys from earthly things belong to him who has made God his portion.
But there is another thought that I might suggest, though I do not know that it is directly in the line of the Prophet's vision; and that is a Christian Church should neither depend on, nor be cribbed and cramped by, men-made defences of any kind.
We do not say this of all human learning, but of that which, apart from God's revelation, deals with the subjects of that revelation. Men-made efforts at self-reformation. Men-made attempts at alleviating sorrow. Scripture abounds in other metaphors for the same solemn spiritual facts as are set before us in this picture of the dying watchfire and the sad men watching its decline.
A further proof, if more were needed, is shown in this; that in exact proportion as women grow independent, educated, wise and free, do they become less submissive to men-made fashions. Was this improvement hailed with sympathy and admiration crowned with masculine favor? The attitude of men toward those women who have so far presumed to "unsex themselves" is known to all.
Last Sabbath I am told their soprano sang 'Lead, kindly Light, and it was well received." "Wha receivit it?" thundered Archie. "Tell me that, sir. Wha receivit it? Was it Almichty God, or was it the itchin' lugs o' deein' men, aye hearkenin' to thae skirlin' birkies wi' their men-made hymes?" "Mr.
And when the faithful witnesses whom God will raise up shall openly declare that they have all gone out of the way, that the greatest professors have so much of guile, selfishness and party spirit about them as to be nothing but hypocrites, and that a person must be better than they are or be lost forever; that sects are an abomination to the Lord; denounce eternal death upon every advocate and adherent of men-made establishments; ... I say when such a testimony as this goes forth, as it sooner or later will, no wonder that the sects, all with one accord, should set themselves against it should call it heresy declare it will ruin the churches if it is not suppressed.... Although, as I have before testified, I am only as the voice of one crying in the wilderness a mere babe in the knowledge of these things which are to be revealed hereafter, yet I expect to raise a host of bigots and hypocrites against me.... Nor can it be very long before the true light, in a very especial manner, will shine.... If these things do not come to pass, then let me be called an enthusiast or a deceiver."