- Rev. Spence Laycock
In the early 1400's Spain controlled both sides of the narrowest part of the Strait of Gibraltar , where the two land masses of Africa and Europe almost meet. The two large and rocky land points on either side of the strait were called the ? Pillars of Hercules ? and it was here that a marker was set up. It carried a three word Latin saying chiseled into stone: NE PLUS ULTRA, meaning, ?No More Beyond.? It referred to the belief that beyond the landfall of this rock marker as you looked westwards into the Atlantic , there was no more land ever. To venture out into the ocean was to invite disaster as you would eventually come to the edge and fall off. After Christopher Columbus's discovery of the reality of a new world beyond Spain , it transformed the way people thought and acted. Statues were cast that depicted a lion tearing the Latin word ?Ne? from the phrase. It was pressed into its currency as coins were struck with the simple Latin phrase, ?PLUS ULTRA?, or 'more Beyond.? Coins in circulation in Florida in 1796, still had that slogan!
Perhaps this is a good picture of how so many people are having their view of life revolutionized by the discovery of the reality of heaven and of hell. In much of today's world heaven is like the stereotype of a naive blonde, nice enough but not credible, and hell is like an obscene phone call, distasteful but able to be hung up on. Neither of these two has any real impact and the only reality left that is to be feared or sought after is the here and now. What would happen to my life if my sense of . . .