W W W W  World Wide Web Witness Inc.  Home Page   Contents Page for Volume  What is New


Q. What is an Original ?

And how should this affect my life ?

A. An "original" is a term used for a person of undoubted individuality, but more than that! It means someone who has - if you like - reached the escape velocity needed to move apart from the captivity of current culture. It is more than 'a character' which may have a slightly derogatory reference. It is more even than an individualistic personality. It is someone decidedly different, unabashed in non-conformity without making a religion of it, and not afraid of it; with certain contributions which are personal in nature, and which make other people at times seem rather tiresomely - CONFORMED to society and its ways! THAT is an original.

It is something different from mere pathology; it is creative, constructive very often, and perhaps stimulating. Similarly, some people, without being 'originals' ARE very original. Creativity teems from them. It is not always the same as being able to perform, it may be merely at the ideas level; but it is there. In business, such people can be called 'ideas men'. In art, it reaches it acme; but it can be found in architecture, and as with Van Gogh, it is by no means always without disciplined learning and training.


GOD is exceedingly original. He SETS the standards, rather than conforming to standards outside Himself. His plan of salvation is entirely amazing; as is His love. He is not bound by the slimy selfishness of fallen sinners, but His love has a refreshing breadth and scope, which though it incorporates discipline (and how much of that Christ Jesus the Lord needed to show, when mocked for being weak, just as He was showing strength in bearing sin for those who would come to Him, at the Cross of contempt and condemnation. God's creations also often show an explosive originality, with extraordinary techniques *1 tossed about like tossed salad, yet always with extraordinary attention to mathematical and physiology detail, in life. In SMR, we looked at the ways in which, at times, He uses one piece of originality in the design of something else. This is something we mere mortals often do, whether we be engineers or writers. I often use some element in one place, to use in another, adapted a little perhaps, depending on the organisation. It is not laziness. If something is put just how it is needed, why repeat; but its very DIFFERENCE may be ORIGINAL in that when it is put in its new place, it gives some arresting new impact.

If you want to pursue this, look at DELIBERATIVE DESIGN, in SMR pp. 252L-N, and 316D ff., 332D ff.; and 112-123 with 423-427.


Meanwhile, let us look at the use of this technique in

a) the velvet worm - onychophorus. This appears in Creation-Ex Nihilo, March-May 1993, p. 8. These have some elements, in perfect form of true worms, and some of arthropods. Since, as always, there was nothing transitional in the form or formula for either of the components, but merely a mix, it was merely of interest - great interest to me, in terms of the evidences of method and originality mixed: as we have seen, one of the features of creativity.

Now however a development has occurred in understanding the creature further. Mitochondria of velvet worms, CSIRO scientists hold, shows that they are in fact arthropods, and so far from being primitive, are in fact highly specialised. THAT is creativity: user friendly components in fresh breaches into novelty.

b) Much the same applies to Archeopteryx, the bird with claws on wings and teeth. As Gish observes, this is a bird in terms of its feathers (citing E.C. Olsen in his Evolution of Life, in his own work, Evolution: The Challenge of the Fossil Record, p. 103). The extraordinary complexity of feathers and their integration with wings and utilisation for flight is well shown by Dr Evan Shute, in his Flaws in the Theory of Evolution. He notes , for example, that up to 1,000,000 barbules may adorn a bird.

These? Barbules are hooked structures running along the barbs: those on the near side of the shaft, taper to a point, those on the underside, appear functional as hooks, which serve to lock feathers in place, so giving stability. The barbs for their part run along each side of the shaft of the feather, with broad surface at right angles to it. It must have the equipment, as always, to serve, and as with a car, leave out the spark plugs and you need not use it.

As Coppedge (Evolution: Possible or Impossible?, p. 213) point out: the feathers are even equipped in such a way that if the barbs should be pulled apart, a bird by preening can re-hook them! a remarkable utility!

Nevertheless, we find no stages towards feathers, nor any towards flight. We find some whales with teeth, some without. Some monkeys wear tails, some are without. Such features show mere variability (Shute, op.cit. 11). He quotes the famous Dewar (p.13), who notes: "It is most significant that no fossil has been discovered that represents a half-formed type of animal. The earliest-known insects are complete insects..." Again, to refer to writing, I often want to sharpen or alter in some imaginative way, something made: to remove or add 'teeth' to some prose is almost a way of life! The point: what we find is what we do. It is originality, often carelessly misinterpreted as stages, when quite factually, it is nothing to do with them. It is NEVER on the WAY; it is always A WAY.

The same applies to cells, which as we have seen elsewhere, Denton (Evolution: A Theory in Crisis) notes as being always most sophisticated, never primitive, never in a line to something advanced as if progressing: complete, replete. And these? With some quadrillion interconnections, they leave the phenomenon of feathers, like a jet! Indeed, Denton notes on p. 109 (op.cit. as elsewhere in this answer), there has never been found any cell which departs "in any significant way, from the universal pattern of the code". For this, he says, there is no analogue in the universe, except that used by programmers in computers. Cells do not 'develop' but are artifices of specialisation of the most intricate and knowledgeable kind, showing an engineering skill to stagger the imagination (Denton, op.cit. p. 250 *2. See SMR Ch.2.)

We meanwhile, we humans, gifted with opportunities to be veritable originals, we invent languages to which we are geared from birth in our potential, able to assess, assimilate and recall with imposing creativity, the more advanced because the logical base and symbolic power is inherent in us - there by design, like any other cluster of integrated symbols equipped with a structure or command, and capacity for one to operate upon it.

c) Lung-fish. Denton provides valuable information on the living lung-fish, found in South African waters.

Not least is the fact that they leave no record of change, in the 350 or so millions of years in which on old-age views, they have persisted to the present. This, as when single trees are found stretched through strata covering several thousand millenia, leaves much to be desired for serious thought (well-attested by John Mackay in his Evening at Oxford video)..

They simply continue being lung-fish: and that, as likewise the find of a coelanth, a relative of the rhipidistian group of fishes thought likely as a lung-fish developmental base, gives only gloom to transitionalists. Why? The amazing find of this fish, thought extinct over unattested millions of years, but now found to be entirely without progression to land-type structures within, dashes those flamboyant 'hopes' of biological magic that evidence perpetually denies, once again.

As with cells, their characteristics are complete. It is found that its fins, gills and intestinal spiral valve are like any fish, while lungs, heart and a larval stage are like an amphibian. The fish-like elements are 100% fish like, and the amphibian pieces are : "similar to the situation found in most terrestrial vertebrates".

Further, this find of a living coelanth - fish which has unthoughtfully failed to leave traces of its existence in the rocks through presumed 100,000,000 years - has added evidence to the creative character of reality in life: the consummate creativity - for the creativity is in complete form, not developmental stages. Variants are not stages.

The coelanth, then, showed entirely fish-like features in its soft-tissue (p. 179). Nowhere was it going away from piscine particularity! Further, Denton notes (p. 302) that the protein of lung-fish is typical of ancient fishes, and he scorns as "verging on reductio ad absurdum" or entire contradiction, the concept that while proteins happily harassed themselves into the human type over 400,000,000 million years, the lung-fish proteins, subject to similar pressures and forces, circumstances and innate features, steadfastly continued to do what DNA does best: in essence, simply persisted. (See The Antics of Dating, That Magnificent Rock, Ch.7E.)

The simple fact, wherever one looks is always - but ALWAYS, the same. NATURE does not produce nature. It conserves it, with some deterioration. It is an outpost of creativity, and man, though creative, now is almost hopelessly blinded into the belief that what INCORPORATES the work of creation, MUST be creative itself. You might as well call a genius' exercise book creative! The facts do not adjust to this erratic hypothesis, which lacks logic, law and evidence.


Let us then turn to reflect on the creativity which we experience WITHIN, rather than on that which we so abundantly SEE EVIDENCED, outside ourselves. Lost in a reductionist monism (see SMR pp. 422E ff., and Ch.3), like Alice in Wonderland, where all sorts of strange things are imagined, as if in a dream, modern man often suffers its natural correlative: an identity crisis inside himself.

Nations suffer it, and war for independence to achieve some wonder, splitting and re-splitting, as if division were the essence of life. Individuals suffer it, and spend fortunes on psychiatrists, and ache unhappily with angst, whether or not driven by some pathological syndrome such as chemically aided indolence, workaholic duress or the passionate performances of passion without fidelity or meaning. Sexual diseases mount to the heavens, while prayers do so less readily; and people are expecting to find happy optima for bodily functions which have purposes deeper far than mere pleasure or fulfilment.

This series of psychic disasters arises simply because man is not in fact a monistic monster, but a created product. The intensity of the sadness of his mania for monism is this: it defies not only reality, but a reality both brilliant and original. It derides or disdains the love of the One who actually is his Creator, and who thus gives him through the design in view, his meaning. (See also on this aspect of God's action: SMR S1-S34.)

For this, however, it is necessary that he should be purged of philosophic and other follies of the flesh, and repent into the pardoning power of God. Having sent Jesus Christ to cover the cost, the Father willingly awaits your return, if you have not come (II Timothy 2:1-3); and is able to change you by His own will. YOU do not need here to concern yourself with that: HIS as always, is the creativity. You should however consider the cost of NOT coming to your Creator by the ONLY WAY which He has provided, as your inventor. It is He who has provided for "crash repairs". It concerns Him nearly, and He has not left it to amateurs, rather sending His own and only Son into human format (Colossians 1:19-23).


There is a KNOWN place for man. It is for a KNOWN reason, providing for operation on a KNOWN wave-length, receiving your Creator and finding in Him, the meaning that is the truth. Our oddities as a race, show like originality astray. We sin this way and that, we use this sin in that way, and adapt it in that form: we are spiritually something like the originalities found in biology; but alas, we do with this our good gift, to create folly in sin.

Is it not then a wonder: The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin
(I John 1:9)! THERE is the advocate you need, who has paid in His own life what it cost; and who will bear the sin of any who come to Him. Naturally, He knows who they are and knew who they would be (Ephesians 1:4); and has provided accordingly (Romans 8:32). Your coming will merely prove that you are one.

If you do not come, it is your life - and His. That is your problem. If you do come, come without reservation, and engage to follow His word (John 14:21-23). The work has been done; it is there: use it like a road, and trust Him on the way along the road. It is he who gave you the magnificent creativity to avoid Him: even in reductio ad absurdum follies. Love is so magnificent: it does not force. Sovereignty is so splendid: it always knows. And you? If you refuse God, your identity is perhaps not so fine a thing to find, even if you could! There is nothing original about that: it is the work of the original*3 ... gone wrong.

End-Notes - The Conventions of the Unconventional and the Criteria of Creativity

End-Notes - The Conventions of the Unconventional
and the
Criteria of Creativity

*1 That of course is something Stephen Jay Gould, for all his comparative conventionality of thought, has done. He has broken loose in one aspect.

Looking at the Burgess deposits of Cambrian rock in British Columbia, Canada, he has called out in anguish. Gradualistic evolution is contra-observational theoretical clap-trap. That is his message. Noting that 15-17 PHYLA not currently in operation were present in those Cambrian rocks (so very near the theoretical commencement basement of biological life forms) with perhaps 32 now in operation altogether!; that instead of a cone starting from the small and rising to the expanded, life is seen, by the current theories on the rocks, as starting with superabundant exuberance of forms and structures, designs and procedures, which NARROW in time (p.47, Wonderful Life): he expostulates vigorously at gradualistic theories in their enormity! Well he might!

The biological evidence, on currently popular geological theory, proceeds from the large base of the cone with life abounding, to the relatively pointed (truncated) top! By then, much has been lost of all this outpouring of life, so nearly comprehensive from the first. Indeed, as Dr Evan Shute in Flaws in the Theory of Evolution (p. 188) puts it:, with reference to animal phyla: "all of which appear in the Cambrian and Ordovician as far as they have fossil records". These two adjoining "exceedingly early" phases in the rocks, contain this "all". That is rather ambitious for a grouping, ungraced process bent on inventing itself without base, laws or cause!

Indeed, Dr Gary Parker in his Creation: The Facts of Life, p. 91, notes that in the Cambrian System, the "Trilobite Seas", there are found "almost all the major groups of animals, including the most complex invertebrates, the nautiloids, and the highly complex trilobites themselves."

Small wonder, and not entirely ineptly, Stephen Jay Gould asks this question of the Cambrian "explosion" (op.cit., p. 227):


Well said. "Heaven's name" is the only one which is even relevant, when you contradict expectations, exhibit a spree of creativity of the most intense character, and find not creative laws and principles backed by the necessary intelligence or extant re-programming matrices, but the Second Law of Thermodynamics happily operating to confine, restrict, diminish... and with this, the actual evidence that this, diminution, is precisely what has occurred on a grand scale. What is the testimony be being presented to us ? preservation of much by amazing means of DNA editing, complex and ingenious; decimation of original abundance, in accord with the law.

As elsewhere noted, this is the creative norm in this world all around: You INPUT with much substance, and create; then you preserve if you can, and over time, things tend to reduce their specifications. Neither money nor intelligence grow on trees.

The answer then, to Gould's query in which he invokes "heaven's name" is quite close really to the question which he asks: "By heaven's action."

How else would you EXPECT creativity to come, but from Creator? ALL that creation is, is exemplified: its style, its unconstraint, its exuberance, its adaptations without constriction, its constrictions at useful points while extravaganzas of variety live on such standardised structural bases (like the DNA code *2- so Shakespeare might use blank verse, because this constant rhythmic restriction helped the variety he had desired to express in other ways). Where creativity is displayed, however, because of the blinding eyeglass of human oblivion, it is a certain shame-faced non-original slummocking into conformity of incoherent unfaith that leads on to desires to give it a reductionist paradigm instead. (See SMR pp. 241, 439-445.)

Teachers however know, or should, at least in English, that creativity is about as easy to counterfeit as the complexity of operational programs without a programmer. Strictly, it is a simple matter of contradiction in terms. What each is, is defined by its products. What products arise determine the resource used. Here, the evidence is for immaterial creativity, better called in a positive sense, spiritual creativity, which is no more a 'principle' than is poetry. It is WORK WITH PRINCIPLES but which transcends them in the precise fact that it is CREATIVE.

Do principles conceive, do they think, construe, imagine! It is time we faced quite honestly and simply that GOD is the spiritual dynamic, person and Being who has engaged in an excursion of His creative power in creating both us and our world (see SMR Ch.1 for more detail).

We might reply then, to this apostrophe to heaven by the Harvard professor: In science's name, that it is time 'science' reverted, Mr Gould, to being scientific! Scientific method REQUIRES God as the ONLY operationally adequate concept; and it CONFIRMS His presence in the way shown in SMR CHs.3,5,8-9. For all that, Gould's insistences on some things do him much credit. On p. 227 (op.cit.), for example, he asks this of the vast DIMINUTION of created things from the Burgess shale days, till now:

"My key experiment in replaying the tape of life begins with the Burgess fauna intact and asks whether an independent act of decimation from the same starting point would yield anything like the same groups and same history that our planet has witnessed since the Burgess maximum in organic disparity."

First, he notes (p.36):

"But if we face the Burgess fauna honestly, we must admit that we have no evidence whatsoever - not a shred - that losers in the great decimation were systematically inferior in adaptive design to those that survived."

Secondly: this points the related question. Does what happened since Burgess days suggest what caused this profusion in explosive dynamics of creativity? Quite the contrary, it shows that earth, qua earth KNOWS WELL HOW TO REDUCE, but no evidence, not a shred, is there of the productive facilities which PLACED the Burgess shale in its staccato suddenness, in the field! Let alone presented them with such lack of unfinished symphonies of creations, of inept, half-baked productions.

After all, REDUCTION is rather different from CONSTRUCTION, and what we find is CONSTRUCTION subject to REDUCTION, hardly a good account of the construction arriving, the thrust of vital dynamics into such exuberance, or indeed of anything in the line of current biological science, that still has the modesty to be evidentially sensitive at all!

For more detail on these aspects, and related themes, see SMR pp.140-161, 234, 208 ff., 260, 226ff., 251 fff., 329 ff.. Pp. 311-313 op.cit. provides a good example of using words to 'explain' the inexplicable. On creation further, see That Magnificent Rock, Ch.1, pp. 185-192 and The Kingdom of Heaven pp. 169-171, 10-16. and 65 ff.. See also *2 below.

*2 Denton gives more detail on p. 250.

A) basic cell design is basically the same in all living systems

B) in all organisms, the role of DNA, MRNA and protein are identical.

C) The MEANING of the genetic code is virtually identical in all cells.

D) The "size, structure and component design of all protein synthetic machinery" is close to identical in all cells.

Symbolic, architectural, standardising, executive, linguistic, structural, constructive, directive, duplicative, conservationist and semantic near identity bespeak normative forces set to build in a domain at once mental, physical, technical and ideational. The conformity is not what chance produces, but the product of mind - at least; and mind, vested with personal power and projective capacity - what we call personality. Not only so: it attests endurance of purpose, cohesion of thought and capacity for the utmost intricacy in all areas.

It is not only a case of a watch on the beach; it is a case of billions of cases of virtually identical watch components, set up into all sorts of time-pieces, from micro-spots to grand-father clocks. There has been a manufacturing enterprise, but the term -manu- which refers to hands, is inappropriate when hands are one of the products! Rather there is here attested with the severest clarity, an immaterial production extravanganza, of which matter is one product: an entrepreneur brilliant, uncontained and sui generis.

In theological terms: God says - I am that I am - Exodus 3:14, John 8:58. (Cf. SMR pp. 22-43, 422E-W, 424-431, 329-332H, 999ff., Ch.3, A Question of Gifts
pp. 55ff. and Predestination and Freewill, Appendix.)

Originality ?

An Excursion into the Garden of Grace, in the Beauties of Blessing

There is nothing very original about buying a computer, equipped with program, learning to use it, and then putting 'target' on this end-note, before securing the automatic track back where the end-note comes from, and so using this symbol effectively to bring the reader from text to note effortlessly. It is being done all the time. It is a matter of intelligence in making the coded system, knowledge in learning what it is, intelligence in applying it, and the power to run the symbolisation-executive milieu, called electricity in this case.

Yet, if it had not been done, there would not, emphatically not, by any manner of means, have been the invention of the system, the application of the device and the thought to use it. (Cf. Repent or Perish Ch. 7.)

That is the endlessly enduring point. Things which do not exist have no need, power or skill to create their systems and then themselves in order to be better than something else which likewise lacks. This is imagination intoxicated, reality obscured, creation dismissed while its fruit is eaten. This is just a new twitch to the Fall of man.

You need what it takes to do that. You need to arise into a glory of conception and execution, as far beyond re-arrangement as the heaven above the earth. It is called invention, originality, artful devices, creativity, vision and so on. God in His wonder has provided two things: HIS OWN, and His created capacity, for man, to work on what He has made, not to re-make it, for destruction is at hand even in the H-bomb; but to explore its possibilities and share his art with that of the divine artist of mountain in its grandeur, and desert flower in its miniaturised marvels of tenderness, snow crystals in their jewellers art, clouds in their soft daintiness, blustering thrust and airy grandeurs.

Thus you look at the flowers in the Stirling Botanics in the Hills, where space is (seemingly) no object and virtual Nature tracks abound in the larger scope, in their largesse, while delicacies of exquisite intricacy, design and splendour await inspection with finesse. You see the narcissi, in multiplied kinds, the daffodils with frills, without, you see these designs with a colour rim, without, with a crinkled rim, with bulging beauty shamelessly declaring itself to the viewer, or more modestly inclining its smaller head, or there, bright contrast, there more softly subdued, there homogeneous colour with artful variations; there the variegated holly lifts its head and even soars, its leaves, each one, a character depiction, its berries waiting in another season, the delight of artistic contrast, the whole with a comfortable completeness, and strength, standing firm without fear. Meanwhile blue bells lift their fragile heads, near the Christmas roses, which are too abashed to look up, but seem to commune with the earth, under the reflection of light, to bring a quieter appearance, more modest.

There go the camelias, each one different, not in mere kaleidoscopic compartmentalism, but with artistic liberty, so that the flower on one is so heavy, it teems with middle age, and strength to match its glowing beauty, as if beauty must know no bounds; while another has precise white, a third a hidden feeling of quietness and soft purity. Here is one so abounding with beauty, so splendid in multiplicity as in tenderness, that it is all but a sheer spectacle of singularity, as if wonder thrust itself like a waterfall, to cover the tree to the point that flowers seemed almost its very construction, both a tower and shower of beauty, splendour without recess.

They all flow with flags flying, beneath the picturesque and tumbling clouds, the quiet zephyrs of Spring, the little lake below, reflecting, reflective, an invitation to the eyes to regard the quiet rusticity of the surrounding hills, and fields, vineyards and softly glowing houses in their rural yards.

Here are the rhododendrons, and what size some can reach, like trees, with their frills and complexities available in measured complexities and intricacies, while the ferns grow to match by the quiet waters. The magnolias burn like candles, but softly, softly, and throwing caution to the winds in their delicacy of structure, yet cast their exquisite perfumes with it, as if to send the message to all the surrounding territories. Like a floral candelabra, each tree reaches for its part of the rainbow, in prismatic configuration overall.

The soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains have a more handsome habitat, and their own individuality of splendour with majesty, but is it more delightful ? That is another chapter entirely in the book of creation. There is originality, there is character, there is fluency and talent in all this; some direct from the hand of the beauty mint of the Creator, whose individuality is such that even His most aged plants, in their proliferation, perhaps anything up to 10,000 years in age,  yet endure a feast and a prodigy of art and tenderness, while His mountains soar in splendour, as if reaching to the handsome art of their Creator. While some things depart the scene, what remains is unsubdued. Reminders abound both of endurance and of vulnerability, of consistency and constancy, and of a completion which nothing is able to replace.

Secular man is made in this mould of completion, but not knowing his limits, and ignoring his abilities, and the manner in which they are to be exercised, he scoffs at the art of it all, ignores the logically irresistible testimony of its design (cf. SRM pp. 211, 251ff., Ch. 3), and he who even has to be born and to die, if he resists, in ignominy, is proceeding to imagine himself becoming a sort of god. In this feckless, reckless presumption of the imagination which he has been given, he dispenses the flurries and worrisome futilities of his own arrogance, using the brilliant design which makes passage for thought, in order to vex its basis, if he could, and ignore its creation, his Creator,  if he might.

If there is a more gracelessly ungrateful creature to be found, perhaps it is in the spirit of the devil, that malign adversary himself.

But when originality is seen sui generis, and its modes of operation are quite inspectable, its modes and  worlds of thought and appreciation most familiar to mankind, then one appreciates anew the unwholesome grasping at derivation, to despise it,  to remove it, and become god... a god who dies. Dead already to the life which begot him, the man of this world, yes and the woman, remains as cut off as they first were in Eden, observing the brilliance of the paraphernalia of the curse as if its mocking of his own wickedness were an oversight, and complaining while he calls for it, without cease, in unremitting wickedness. Small wonder the plagues of Egypt were expressly related to humbling the proud, intimidating the gods that could not act, and the conceptions which had majesty place in man and his imaginary religions, not in the testimony of power and truth of the God who made him.

Man without God, acting in his follies as if to become God, in the shocking blasphemies of the Mormons merely explicit (cf. Isaiah 43:10, 44:6). He only is God. He invented inventiveness from His own creativity. Justly called the Creator, it is He without whom even the causality itself cannot come, for it is system with power, symbolic logic with executive power added, and all within this system of ours, coheres and continues along the chosen lines of Him who indicted it, one language of thought, of DNA in life, in the book of HIs eventuations, where He foretells and announces in retrospect, just as in the nature He made, He continues with regularity inviting the mind of man, and repaying its labours (cf. Repent or Perish 7, Part II). System within system on the one hand, and beauty in its confluences and compassions He makes, sharing His aesthetic magnificence with munificence, rebuking the desolate heart with desolation (as in Amos 4), while announcing, as there: Prepare to meet your God!

The mass of midgets whose potential mocks at their deadness of spirit, turn in superficial splendour to ways of their own, to end in dust for the body, disgrace for the soul.

Its gracelessness seems all but  impossible even to conceive, and even if birth and death do nothing to teach the bellowing remonstrants their place, it will require them in the end. In such confusion, they become mere misfits who fiddled with the creativity of their own thought, and ignoring the impossibility of declaring any truth without its actual existence, they declare it anyway, and of course it is the lie (as in II Thessalonians 2:11). To them, it matters not if logic is crucified (Repent or Perish Ch. 7): so long as they can avoid that majesty and that splendour in the mind and heart of God, who made ... it, and them.

What is the magnificence and magnitude of His munificence, the multiplicity of His invention, the wonder of His plan of salvation, which like that of the flowers and shrubs, has long been in hand! and its kind is not changed. No not in the least detail does THAT originality suffer; for HE suffered to make it work, and having made it effective, HE deploys it. Blessed are those who receive THIS creativity of the Lord, even that of the Cross 'selection' ( Luke 14:27ff., Galatians 6:14 cf. Barbs, Arrows and Balms 14), the way home by the loss of all things, in order to find life on the terms of the Maker, not on some instalment plan, the design of man who did not suffer or secure the salvation, but even there, is wont to make his own, and even teach it! Not merit but meekness is the result, the ground, His merit is then the ONLY ONE, and His Creator's conceptions so reach their fruition in lowliness of heart Even that, it is His (Matthew 11:27ff.), and those who receive Him boast ONLY in Him! (Jeremiah 9:23ff., Ephesians 2).

Nothing alters, in His plan and His provision; and as to the Lord, His WAYS ARE EVERLASTING (Habakkuk 3:6).

Unless you take up your cross and follow Him (Luke 14:27ff.),

there is no life (I John 5:12-13, 1:9ff.).

From all this wonder you are then orphaned. And that ? It is the least of it.

But Christ Himself as Lord and God ? This ONE who became MAN so that we might reach GOD: this is the best of it. The beauty of holiness, that is the heart of it; and in that heart, there is a love which nothing sours, strains or spoils. Like the everlasting inheritance (Ephesians 1:11), it is ageless, but accorded in its time. THIS is that one great exclusion which is wrought not by funds, or prices, education or 'merit' of man; it is wrought by rebellion.

This marvel of the rest for the restless, the beauty for the bane, the mercy for the folly, the gift for the spiritually bankrupt, it is that one great place of inclusion which is wrought not by man or power or might; it is wrought by God. How liberal, how inventive, what a creation is this salvation, by the timeless inventor of time, who came into time to give us time for finding Him in His timelessness, holiness and everlasting mercy!