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Hebrews 4:2

Old Testament Gospel

Israel in ancient days
Not only had a view
Of Sinai in a blaze,
But learn’d the Gospel too;

The types and figures were a glass,
In which they saw a Saviour’s face.
The paschal sacrifice
And blood-besprinkled door,

Seen with enlighten’d eyes,
And once applied with power,
Would teach the need of other blood,
To reconcile an angry God.

The Lamb, the Dove, set forth
His perfect innocence,
Whose blood of matchless worth
Should be the soul’s defense;

For He who can for sin atone,
Must have no failings of His own.
The scape-goat on his head
The people’s trespass bore,

And to the desert led,
Was to be seen no more:
In him our Surety seem’d to say,
“Behold, I bear your sins away.”

Dipt in his fellow’s blood,
The living bird went free;
The type, well understood,
Express’d the sinner’s plea;

Described a guilty soul enlarged,
And by a Saviour’s death discharged.
Jesus, I love to trace,
Throughout the sacred page,

The footsteps of Thy grace,
The same in every age!
Oh grant that I may faithful be
To clearer light vouchsafed to me!

Olney Hymns, by William Cowper, from Cowper’s Poems, Sheldon & Company, New York

Sigmund Freud

Few thinkers in recent times have exerted so pervasive an influence as Sigmund Freud. Although he claimed to be an atheist, he continually speculated about religious issues as if subconsciously haunted by the God whom he denied.

When Freud turned 35, his father sent him a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures he had given to him when he was a boy. Sigmund had read and studied that book, at least for a while. Enclosed in that worn copy of the Scriptures was a note from the elder Freud reminding his son that “the Spirit of the Lord began to move you and spoke within you: ‘Go read in My Book that I’ve written and there will burst open for you the wellsprings of understanding, knowledge, and wisdom.’”

His father expressed the hope that Sigmund might, as a mature man, once again read and obey God’s law. We have no evidence, however, that Freud took to heart his father’s exhortation. How different his life and influence might have been if he had!

Our Daily Bread, March 22, 1995

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