Green Foothills and Great White Peaks

23 Mar

This is an excerpt from Alexander Maclaren, an author who I stumbled across on while I was looking for commentaries on Luke. The more I read his stuff, the more I like what he has to say. This is from his book, Expositions on Holy Scripture: Luke, on his comments on the parable of the minas in Luke 19. He discusses the significance of our temporal lives in relation to our eternal inheritance, and I’m still having fun chewing on his perspective. Enjoy. Especially check out the last sentence.

But I pass from that aspect of the words before us to the other, which, I suppose, is rather to be kept in view, in which the faithfulness in a very little points to the smallness of this present, as measured against that infinite future to which it conducts. Much has been said upon that subject, which is very antagonistic to the real ideas of Christianity. Life here, and this present, have been depreciated unduly, untruly, and unthankfully. And harm has been done, not only to the men who accept that estimate, but to the world that scoffs at it. There is nothing in the Bible, which is at all
in sympathy with the so-called religious depreciation of the present, but there is this—‘the things that are seen are temporal; the things that are unseen are eternal.’ The lower hills look high when beheld from the flat plain that stretches on this side of them; but, if the mist lifts, the great white peaks come out beyond them, glittering in the sunshine, and with the untrodden snows on their inaccessible pinnacles; and nobody thinks about the green foothills, with the flowers upon them, any more. Brethren, think away the mist, for you can, and open your eyes, and see the snow-clad hills of eternity, and then you will understand how low is the elevation of the heights in the foreground. The greatness of the future makes the present little, but the little present is great, because its littleness is the parent of the great future.


Maclaren, Alexander, Expositions on Holy Scripture: Luke. Grand Rapids, Christian Classics Etherial Library. Page 291

1 Comment

Posted by on March 23, 2007 in Bible, Gospel of Luke, Theology


One response to “Green Foothills and Great White Peaks

  1. Christine

    March 24, 2007 at 8:29 am

    Oooh. Didn’t realize that the sentences preceding that were using mountains (with snow on them, no less!) to make their point. (It’s possible that you read them to me, but if you did… I was too sleep-deprived to take not of it or actually store that event in my memory.) I like that last sentence even more, now!


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