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The Nature of the Heart

By Herbert Henry Farmer

      "Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these" (Matt. 6:28-29).

      The beauty of the flowers reveals something about the nature of God.

      You remember that Jesus used to set great store by the chance words of men. "Every idle word that men shall speak," he said, "they shall give an account thereof." "Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaketh." The unstudied word, the word which we let slip out without thinking and to serve no particular end, the small change of daily intercourse, which we could quite easily dispense with so far as the immediate business of living is concerned,--these, almost more than anything else, reveal the inner man, and are the index of his true quality. So also are the little, superfluous, unnecessary acts of daily life. Most of us manage to do with some grace the necessary things, the things which clamant human need or coercive public opinion demands; but the man who throws little, unnecessary, beautiful acts into his daily conduct, he it is who reveals a truly beautiful soul. The superfluities, the things which flow, not so much out of the pressure of the external situation, as out of the internal pressure of a tender and generous spirit, these declare the man. Now it is the same with beauty as a revelation of God. Beauty in creation is the overflow of God's heart; it is the unstudied Divine word uttered, apparently for no particular purpose and to serve no particular end; an unnecessary, delightful superfluity; therefore, more eloquent of the Divine mind almost than anything else.

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