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G.H. Morrison on Gardens

2011 March 28
by Gordon Reid

After my last post on St Clement’s garden, I remembered some lovely pieces on gardens in Dr G.H. Morrison’s sermon “The Garden of the Church”. Here is one of them.

“That a garden is a place of peace, I think we are all ready to admit. Is there any more peaceful spot than an old garden? There, though the wind is blowing, there is shelter. There the sun is warmer than without. The moment you have entered the old gate there is a sweet and soothing feeling of repose. And we see the flashing of a hundred wings, and hear the murmur of a thousand insects, and the roar of the world seems as a sound of dreams. If anywhere a man could forget self it would be  in such a haunt of ancient peace. If anywhere a man could shut t he world out it would be there within the garden wall. Yet all the time under that robe of peace what grows there is – how silent and unceasing! There is not a flower in all the garden but is pushing towards the bearing of the fruit. Peace and growth – these two are in the garden. Peace and growth – are these not in the church? Does not God call you here to be at rest, and to forget the jar and the noise a little. And yet the church that can  so rest the soul is not a garden in any sense for you, unless through worship and sacrament and preaching, silently and slowly you are growing. See to it, I beseech you, that you are not content  with what you have attained. There is rest here, but you were better anywhere if you are only here to be lulled into sweet rest. You are here to learn. You are here to be ashamed. You are here to feel how much is still to do. God grant us in the sanctuary garden-peace, and in the sanctuary garden-growth.

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