Saturday, May 12, 2007

Keepers of the Springs - Part 2

The emancipation of womanhood began with Christianity, and it ends with Christianity. It had its beginning one night nineteen hundred years ago when there came to a woman named Mary a vision and a message from Heaven. She saw the rifted clouds of glory and the hidden battlements of heaven.

She heard an angelic annunciation of the almost incredible new that she of all the women on earth...of all Marys in history...was to be the only one who should ever wear entwined the red rose of maternity and the white rose of virginity.

It was told her, and all Keepers of the Springs know how such messages come, that she should be the mother of the Saviour of the world.

It was nineteen hundred years ago "when Jesus Himself a baby deigned to be and bathed in baby tears His deity"... and on that night, when that tiny Child lay in the straw of Bethlehem, began the emancipation of womanhood.

When He grew up and began to teach the way of life, He ushered woman into a new place in human relations. He accorded her a new dignity and crowned her with a new glory, so that wherever the Christian evangelist has gone for nineteen centuries, the daughters of Mary have respected, revered, remembered, and loved, for men have recognized that womanhood is a sacred and noble thing, that women are of finer clay... are more in touch with the angels of God and have the noblest function that life affords.

Wherever Christianity has spread, for nineteen hundred years, men have bowed and adored.
It remained for the twentieth century,
in the name of progress,
in the name of tolerance,
in the name of broadmindedness,
and in the name of freedom,
to pull her down from her throne and try to make her like a man.

She wanted equality. For nineteen hundred years she had not been equal she had been superior. But now, they said, she wanted equality, and in order to obtain it, she had to step down. And so it is, that in the name of broadminded tolerance a man's vices have now become a woman's. Twentieth century tolerance has won for women the right to become intoxicated, the right to have an alcoholic breath, the right to smoke, to work like a man, to act like a man for is she not man's equal?

Today they call it "progress"...but tomorrow oh, you Keepers of the Springs, they must be made to see that it is not progress.

No nation has ever made any progress in a downward direction.
No people ever became great by lowering their standards.
No people ever became good by adopting a looser morality.

It is not progress when the moral tone is lower than it was.
It is not progress when purity is not as sweet.
It is not progress when womanhood has lost its fragrance.
Whatever else it is, it is not progress!

We need Keepers of the Springs who will realize that what is socially correct may not be morally right. Our country needs today women who will lead us back to an old-fashioned morality, to old-fashioned decency, to old-fashioned purity and sweetness for the sake of the next generation, if for no other reason.

This generation has seen an entirely new type of womanhood emerge from the bewildering confusion of our time. We have in the United States today a higher standard of living than in any other country, or at any other time in the world's history.

We have more automobiles, more picture show, more telephones, more money, more swing band, more radios, more television sets, more night clubs, more crime, and more divorce than any other nation in the world.

Modern mothers want their children to enjoy the advantages of this new day. They want them, if possible, to have a college diploma to hang on their bedroom wall, and what many of them regard as equally important, a bid to a fraternity or sorority.

They are desperately anxious that their daughters will be popular, although the price of this popularity may not be considered until it is too late. In short, they want their children to succeed, but the usual definition of success, in keeping with the trend of our day, is largely materialistic.

The result of all this is that the modern child is brought up in a decent, cultured, comfortable, but thoroughly irreligious home.

All around us, living in the very shadow of our large churches and beautiful cathedrals, children are growing up without a particle of religious training or influence.

The parents of such children have usually completely given up the search for religious mooring. At first, they probably had some sort of vague idealism as to what their children should be taught.

They recall something of the religious instruction received when they were children, and they feel that something like that ought to be passed on to the children of today, but they can't do it, because the simple truth is that they have nothing to give.

Our modern broadmindedness has take religious education out of the day schools. Our modern way of living and our modern irreligion has taken it out of the homes.

There remains only one place where it may be obtained, and that is Sunday School, but it is no longer fashionable to attend Sunday School. The result is that there is very little religious education, and parents who lack it themselves are not able to give it to their children so it is a case of "the blind leading the blind", and both children and parents will almost invariably end up in the death of uncertainty and irreligion.

As you think of your own mother, remembering her with love and gratitude in wistful yearning or lonely longing...I am quite sure that the memories that warm and soften your heart are not at all like the memories the children of today will have...

For you are, no doubt, remembering the smell of starch in your mother's apron or the smell of a newly ironed blouse, the smell of newly baked bread, the fragrance of the violets she had pinned on her breast. It would be such a pity if all that one could remember would be the aroma of toasted tobacco or nicotine and the offensive odor of beer on the breath!

The challenge to twentieth century motherhood is as old as motherhood itself. Although the average American mother has advantages that pioneer women never knew material advantages, education, culture, advances made by both science and medicine.

Although the modern mother knows a great deal more about sterilization, diets, health, calories, germs, drugs, medicines, and vitamins, than her mother did, there is one subject about which she does not know as much; and that is God.
-Dr. Peter Marshall

Part 1, Part 2, Part 3


Victoria said...

How true it is !
Let me give a "plug" for finding and watching the DVD "A Man Called Peter." It has been re-released as such and it is a powerful film about Peter Marshall (the first) and how he met his wife, Catherine. It is a movie I watched probably 40 years ago in my home town in Minnesota when it was a really big deal to go to a movie at all..
Is that how you found this sermon, from the movie, Miriam?
Happy Mother's Day everyone !
Love, Anna's mom

Perennial Pioneer said...

Great Entry!
Where do you find things like this? I like them alot!
I put some really inspiring things on my blog. One is called, the Fellowship of the Unashamed, and the other is Powerful Praise! I think you would enjoy them alot!
Perennial Pioneer

Father's Grace Ministries said...

Great article! I've never seen the movie, but we have the book of "A Man Called Peter"-it's excellent.

Anna S said...

Wonderful. I loved this. Thank you for posting.