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Keen Eyes

( Originally Published 1902 )



AMONG the heroes that manned the fifty-oared ship "Argo" there was Lynceus, whose eyes were so keen that they saw things at a great distance and through opaque objects. It is said that he could look down to the bottom of the sea, noticing the fishes and pearls, and that he could see down into the earth, discovering the silver and gold. After the ship had gotten fifty miles out to sea, he glanced back, and recognized the figure of Pelias, looking angrily upon the water. On a certain island, while the king was giving the heroes a banquet, he spoke of giants that threatened his realm, and pointed to a mountain near by as the place where they dwelt. The leader of the Greeks looked toward the mountain and told the king that he saw things that looked like giants, but that they were so dim that he thought they must have been only the forms that the clouds had made. The sharp-eyed member of the company, being called, said the mountain was full of huge giants, each having six arms and thoroughly equipped for war. The king, astonished at his superhuman vision, told him that he had seen correctly.

Men can see farther than with their eyes of clay; people see farther down into the sea to-day than Lynceus ever did, making an accurate map of its bottom-of its mountains, valleys and plains—as though it were dry land. They can see through a huge cable on the bottom, two miles beneath the surface of the water. They see farther down into the earth than the sharp-eyed hero did, and can tell better than he where the iron, silver and gold are. They can see through bright worlds in the heavens ; and then, looking through little eyes they have made out of sand, they discover myriads of other worlds beyond, and they distinguish the unseen force that binds them together. They see the rainbow in the ray of sunlight, the harvests mirrored in the drop of water, and light and heat and power and language in the subtle current. They see through the trunk of a tree, the heart of a flower or the body of a man, and we call them scientists. There are those who see a world of inexpressible beauty beyond the forms and forces of nature, and we call them artists. There are those who see the relation between these facts discovered in the realm of nature, and we call them philosophers.

Men can see better still—farther down than the deepest ocean, farther up than the highest star. They can see the Being underneath and behind all forms and forces of matter and mind. They can see Him as a person, as their Father, as their Saviour ; can recognize their obligation to their fellows, growing out of their love for Him. They can see Eternity, and the Beautiful City, and the magnificent mansion, and the faces of those whom they love. Those who see these things we call Christians. Lynceus had sharp eyes, but they were not so keen as the eyes of the pure-hearted, who see God.



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