The Foundation That Stands

A Danish professor, Hergaard by name, was known years ago as one of the leaders of scientific atheism in that country, but he is known as such no longer. A few years back he issued a second edition of one of his books, and in its preface this is what he wrote:—

“It is with a feeling of deepest regret that I think upon the day when I began the writing of this book; for I did not at that time realize what sorrows would be mine. Through the leadings of my life, in its sufferings and pain, my soul has been shaken, and the foundation upon which I believed that I could build has been crushed. With a sincere faith in the glory of science, I believed that I had found a safe resting-place for all contingencies. I have been torn out of this illusion. For when the tempest came, and my knowledge was wrapped in sorrow, the strands of science were separated like thread. Then I grasped the help which many had grasped—I sought and found peace by faith in God. Since that time, to be sure, I have not relinquished science, but I have given it another place in my life. When darkness covers the inner sight, and every hope seems to fail, then, according to my firm conviction, there is only one anchoring ground: the simple, but living Christian faith. Happy is he who does not permit himself to be driven to extremes, but who drops anchor in time upon safe ground.”

What a pathetic story must lie behind these telling words! The professor’s scientific foundation could not stand the weight of the sorrows and sufferings of life, but crushed beneath them. He found that he had been cherishing an illusion. But on the other hand, how great the mercy that awakened him out of his dreams in time for him to find another foundation, that does not collapse, on which to build—a foundation which is sure for eternity. As he himself says, changing the figure, “Happy is he . . . who drops anchor in time upon safe ground.”

The all-important question is, what is going to happen when the test comes? The house stands in apparent security while the fine weather lasts, but presently the rain descends, the floods come and the winds blow, and beat upon the house, and then is revealed whether it is built upon the rock or the sand.

Is your spiritual house going to stand or fall when the test comes? You hardly know perhaps. The test not having yet come you have hardly thought about it. “Well, be assured the test will come. It arrives sometimes slowly and with comparative gentleness by means of sickness, sorrow, disillusionment, and the like; sometimes it falls upon one with terrible suddenness and severity, when death unexpectedly looms up ahead. How often the house falls then! The house falls because the foundation collapses.

The question therefore comes to this, on what are you resting for eternity? There is only one foundation which is really rock. There are many which are nothing but sand. In our days, human knowledge is being carried forward by leaps and bounds, and science, often falsely so-called, is being tremendously developed. Consequently, science is being turned into a little god, and a false god at that, and multitudes are bowing down and worshipping it. They turn from God that they may believe science; they distrust God’s Word that they may trust man’s word.

What is the foundation on which you build for eternity? Is it upon the simple, but living Christian faith; in short, upon Christ? There is no other that will stand the test. Seeing that sooner or later you must face your sins and the death and judgment which they entail, nothing will avail YOU but the precious blood of Christ. The foundation that will stand is found in “the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead . . . This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:10-12).

Build on that foundation, on that stone, and you are right for eternity. Happy indeed is the one who finds a safe resting-place for all contingences in CHRIST.

The Gospel Messenger 1926, p. 1