CMP Review 2023-01-29

CMP Review 2023-01-29

The book of Ezekiel is filled with images, some disturbing, some confusing, and some mysterious. It is filled with symbols, some clear, some opaque, and some convicting. It is filled with intricate descriptions of buildings, a temple, and an altar, and a measurement of land. But then towards the end of the book the reader encounters an image which, to me, can only be described as beautiful.

After reading about the rules for entering the vast new temple yet to be seen on earth, and how the gate facing east is to be opened for the prince, we read how Ezekiel saw something truly marvelous: water began to flow from the temple to the east. It became a river! And “Along the bank of the river, on this side and that, will grow all kinds of trees used for food; their leaves will not wither, and their fruit will not fail.”

Charlotte Mason’s students read the book of Ezekiel in Forms V and VI. They were told to read the accompanying comments by John R. Dummelow. His statement about the river from the temple is striking: “To Ezekiel this river was not a mere symbol of spiritual refreshment. The perfect kingdom of God still presented itself to him in an earthly form, accompanied by outward fertility and other material blessings.”

In her own way, Mason too felt that this was no symbol. She felt that the living water was real. “Ideas emanating from our Lord and Saviour, which are of His essence, are the spiritual meat and drink of His believing people,” she wrote.

Back in 2016 I was asked to select three poems by Miss Mason to include in a conference notebook. This poem was the third. Yes, the river from the temple is real, in more ways than one. Read or hear Mason’s poem at this link.