Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.
Man talks to God; that is prayer. God talks with man; that is inspiration. According to the sensational philosophy there is no vision, there is no invisible world, or at least we cannot know it directly and immediately. This takes all the glory out of life. Take out from man the power of perceiving the invisible and the eternal, and all life loses its life. God is no longer a Divine reality. He is only an opinion. The same philosophy which robs the universe of its God robs man of his soul. This philosophy is equally fatal to morals. There are no longer any great, eternal, immutable laws. Take vision out of religion, what have you left? You had a Church of Christ, now you have a Society of Ethical Culture.
I. IDEALS ARE REALITIES. What we call ideals are not conceptions we have created; they are realities we have discovered. The great laws of nature are not created by the scientists. They only formulate and express the laws of nature. The laws of harmony are eternal; and when the musician finds a new harmony, he finds what was before. In the ethical realm, the great laws of righteousness are not created; they are eternal. Moses did not make them, he only found forms in which to state them. God is not a thesis, an opinion, a theory, a supposition, created to account for phenomena; He is the great underlying reality of which all phenomena are the manifestation.
II. IMAGINATION IS SEEING. Science owes its progress to this power of vision. All the greatest men of science first saw dimly and imperfectly the invisible realities, then followed, tested, and tried their visions, and proved the reality of them. The great seers and prophets of all time have not been men who have created thoughts to inspire us; they have been men with eyes that saw, and they have helped also to see.
III. IDEALS BEING REALITIES, AND IMAGINATION SEEING, SCEPTICISM IS IGNORANCE. By scepticism is meant the doubt that scoffs at the invisible and eternal, not the mere questioning of a particular dogma. We are not to measure the truth by our capacity to see, but our capacity to see by the truth. The world needs nothing so much as men who will carry the spirit of vision into every phase of life. There are two classes of men in this world — drudges and dreamers. The man who works without vision, who is not lifted up by his thoughts out of mere material things, he is a drudge.
Parallel VersesKJV: Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.