Frank William Boreham 1871-1959

Frank William Boreham 1871-1959
A photo F W Boreham took of himself in 1911

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Boreham on John 3: 16

It has been lovely to reconnect with a friend from Melbourne via the Internet. Bill Merriweather is a ninety year old blogger whose blog, Bill’s Thoughts and Comments, has a link to this site.

Bill made a suggestion of posting the following Boreham excerpt and I am very happy to include it.

If other readers have got a favorite Boreham excerpt they would love to see posted, please send me the statement with a note and an accompanying digital photo if you have one (this is only optional). Here is F W Boreham on the text that means so much to so many:

There are scores of tribes and people on the face of the earth whose very names would surprise us if we heard them. How can we love them? But God loves them because He knows them. We always love people if we know them. It is always safe to conclude, if we do not love a man, that it is because we do not know him. I like to think, as I walk down the crowded street, that every soul I meet, however commonplace or unattractive, is all the world to somebody. Somebody loves him because somebody knows him. And, to that somebody, heaven would be no heaven without him. The world is a very lovable place, and its people are very lovable people. We do not know the world, and therefore we do not love the world. But “God so knows the world” …and therefore…“God so loved the world . . .” I love God the more because He loves the world I live in; and I love the world the more because it is transfigured by the love of God.

There is no world, among all the worlds, to be compared with this world. I am sure of that. The most pressing and unanimous call to Jupiter or Venus or Mars or Saturn will not tempt me to go if I can, by any frantic argument or artifice or maneuver, induce my fellow mortals to allow me to remain here a little longer. This is the world; there can be no possible doubt about that. “God so loved the world” —that is to say, He loved this one. That is lovely! I revel in that thought. God has sprinkled the world with beautiful and gracious women; but, whilst He has given each of us the power to admire them all, we are each of us able to love only one of them supremely. May not this also be a reflection, an echo, an indication that we are fashioned after the image and similitude of the Most High? For God has sprinkled His universe with beautiful worlds, as He has sprinkled this world with beautiful women. There are millions upon millions of them. And when God gazed upon the galaxies of worlds that He had made, He saw that they were very good. He looked admiringly upon worldhood, as we men gaze admiringly upon womanhood. And then with one of His worlds He fell in love. He loved it supremely, loved it with a love so fond, and so awful, and so deep, and so eternal, that we catch our breath as we think of it! He loved it with a love that led to the inexpressible mystery of Bethlehem, to the unutterable anguish of Gethsemane, to the unspeakable tragedy of Calvary. “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son.” In the light of that stupendous declaration the world seems a terrible place. It seems a solemn and a sacred thing to be living in that one world towards which God Himself felt so tenderly! The place whereon we stand is holy ground! And yet, after all, it is not the place. It is the people. It is ourselves. It is you. It is I. That is the rapture of it. “He loved me, and gave Himself for me!” As Faber sings:
All this God is all for me,
A Saviour all my own.

True love is always the uttermost simplicity to the lover, and it is always the profoundest mystery to the loved. “God so loved the world.” “He loved me.” It may be all as plain as plain can be to Him; but to the world, to us—to you, to me—there must always abide a concentrated infinity of mystery in such amazing words as these.

F. W. Boreham, ‘The Pageant Through the Bush’, Mountains in the Mist (London: Charles H Kelly, 1914), 17-19.

Image: “I like to think, as I walk down the crowded street…”