You have heard, see all this; and will not you declare it? I have showed you new things from this time, even hidden things…
Hidden things. The earth is full of latent forces, These are concealed. Take beat, for instance: how it hides in the secret places more stealthily than the panther! Take electricity: here it is quite close to us - within us; and what a masterful power it is! - how it can rend the rock and lay low the lofty palaces! These are beneficent forces, though, and do their work well, for the security, health, and comfort of man. There are hidden forces that are baneful. The latent seeds of disease lie hidden behind that pearly skin - that pure and radiant complexion. And when we have to speak of sin, what a latent force that is hidden in the breast of a child! - concealing itself under the cloak of outward respectability in manhood, and by its manifestations here and there like the volcano, telling us what depths of evil there are in the human heart, which only Christ and his cross can overcome. Men understand much, but they do not understand themselves.
I. WE HAVE HIDDEN FORCES OF JOY IN US. In a human sense it is so. Look at those children, all eager for their own little possession, their own way; they know not now what love will do: how for that bright little maiden yonder, presently, in a few brief years, one human heart will give up time and thought, and all that earnest love can give! What a force! but hidden yet. So in marriage; that young wife cannot be informed, or instructed, or inspired by others to feel what maternal love is; but when the cry is heard, and a child is born into the world, the latent instinct leaps into life in the heart, and she knows for the first time what that slumbering force really is. So rare are in our souls hidden forces. We have latent faculties of faith in us which the Holy Ghost can call forth, whereby we walk in a new world of wonder and hope and joy in God. We have latent faculties of energy in us which, once awakened, will make us emulate the earnest of every age; and when religion sets a man to work, he finds that there is a joy in service which he was unconscious of before; he discerns that, whilst by love he serves others, he is also with each service opening up new joy-fountains in his own heart.
II. WE HAVE HIDDEN FORCES OF PAIN IN US. We know not what they are, it may be, at present; but we are fearfully and wonderfully made, and we shall be a surprise unto ourselves in this respect also.
1. There is the sorrow that hides in love. We know not the measure of love save by loss! Then we know. We are tempted to think in our youth that our older friends are too pensive sometimes, too little open to the all-gladdening influences around them. Alas! we know not the bread they eat. There are forces of memory in their hearts that we cannot see.
2. There is the sorrow that hides in sin. It is so bright-presenced at first, so fascinating, so attractive; speaks in such dulcet tones; no memory at work yet; no consciousness of shame yet; no sense yet of the disturbance that sin works in God's beautifully ordered universe. To-morrow the serpent that hides at the bottom of the cup will have stung!
3. The sorrow that hides in wrong or neglect in relation to others. While they were with us here we did not feel it so much; but now! Oh, the curtain that hides! the silence in which there is no voice! the quivering heart that puts out the untouched hand! Eternal Father, we were not what we wished, or all we wished, to them. But they are gone, and the place which knew them once shall know them no more. Death is not a tidal river; its waters never return.
III. WE HAVE HIDDEN FORCES OF EVIL IN US. Power to sin! Forces which temptation may set fire to, as a spark to the tow! We see this illustrated in nature. The officer who played with his beautiful glossy pair of cub-tigers did not understand his danger till they tasted blood as they licked a little cut in his hand; and then came the surly growl, and with the officer a sword for them or death for himself. We see this in the history of the disciples. How ignorant they were of their own hearts! What latent scepticism in Thomas! what cowardice beneath Peter's enthusiasm! what pride in those who wanted chief places in Christ's kingdom! Ah! yes; but they recovered from their folly. But think of Judas; think of Demas; think of Hymenaeus and Philetus. We see this in the warnings of our Saviour. "Watch and pray." Yes; Mark you, Christ does not say, "Watch and pray in youth," or "in manhood. He says it to us all. He knows the potency of evil, and that there are temptable places in our nature even unto the end. For instance, When every other passion is old, covetousness is young," says the proverb. We must be on our guard till the last hour. Then will come release and victory.
IV. WE HAVE HIDDEN FORCES OF IMMORTALITY WITHIN US. Christ revealed these. He "brought life and immortality to light by the gospel." All men do not equally feel these; but there is a "power of the world to come," which more or less affects everybody. When outward life pleases, and we have vivacities of friendship, extensive and elaborate functions of duty to fulfil; when we are absorbed in the outward life; - we do not always feel the great beatings of the pulses of immortality within us. But in silent meditative hours there comes over us all the consciousness alike of sin and immortality. "How abject, how august, is man!" The great conservative power of religion is the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. Let that be ignored or denied, and materialism will make very rapid strides.
1. The sense of immortality alters our estimate of the world. Makes us feel the "tent-like character of our homes. We have here no continuing city, but we seek one to come." We knew that there remaineth a rest, and that affliction is but for a moment.
2. The sense of immortality alters our estimate of friendship. We long, even in that, to lay hold of the everlasting, to link our love with the immortal years - to feel that it is of such a character as to survive in glory. Hidden the force may be, but it is real, and the strongest of all the bulwarks against atheism and materialism. When Christ speaks we feel that he spake with authority. Men trembled before a vision of themselves so searching and severe. Not only the "hidden things "of darkness, however, did he reveal; the bright diamond of the mind flashed forth its beauty in the light of his all-revealing words. "Honour all men," says St. Peter. A beautiful commandment, for the gospel has shown the hidden glory behind the veil of the meanest life. "For I have shown thee hidden things" may therefore suggest to us the reverence which we ought to entertain for the soul. Sin is not a subject for mere scorn; it is a subject for deepest sorrow. "When Jesus came near the city, he beheld it, and wept over it." Something more magnificent than the marble temple filled his vision; he wept over souls where the altar was overthrown and the love of God cast out. Let preachers, teachers, authors, workers in the field of the Lord, realize once more the Divine grandeur of their work. The sublimest creation of this universe is hidden in the heart of man: "God made man in his own image." - W.M.S.
Parallel VersesKJV: Thou hast heard, see all this; and will not ye declare it? I have shewed thee new things from this time, even hidden things, and thou didst not know them.