Skip to main content

Full text of "The greatness of Christ : and other sermons"

See other formats










S. 6. and £. L. ELBERT 





KJ W8 








/^S^? *■%•'-,» 



u 1 


C4^t> ^ \J^C-f ^-//a 

eS ■„ //*< f /fs$ 


^7^)J* / ey" Jrwt"-*" 

C //isU*-**-* 







tv? Ct v- 


r^JO^i 1 -s 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2012 with funding from 

Boston Library Consortium Member Libraries 





m\ ©liter Sermons 



Author of the "Future of Africa" 


2 and 3 Bible House 

Copyright, T8S2, 

To the 









The Right Rev. Thomas M. Clark, D.D., LL.D , 


It is a rare thing, amid the multitude of sermons with* 
which the world is flooded, to have a volume offered to us by 
a Clergyman of African descent. So far as I am informed, 
the only man of that race who has preceded Dr. Crummell 
in this work is the Rev. William Douglass, formerly Rector 
of St. Thomas's church in the city of Philadelphia; a most 
worthy and exemplary pastor, but who never enjoyed the 
literary advantages with which the writer of the present col- 
lection of sermons has been favored. 

About forty years ago, I was appointed with the late Rev. 
Dr. William Croswell, by Bishop Griswold, to examine young 
Crummell, when he applied for Deacon's Orders in the Diocese 
of Massachusetts ; and I remember that Dr. Croswell after- 
ward remarked to me, that no candidate for the ministry had 
ever passed through his hands who had given him more 
entire satisfaction. Alexander Crummell was born in the city 
of New York, his mother and her ancestors for several 
generations never having been subjected to servitude, while 
his father early in life, although he came of a royal family, 
was made a slave. He was a native of Timanee, West Africa, 
a countrv adjoining Sierra Leone, and here he lived until he 

vi Introduction. 

was thirteen years of age. Dr. Crummell's grandfather was 
king of Timanee, and the incidents of his early life appear 
to have impressed then selves very strongly upcn his son's 
memory. He was fond of describing the travels that he took 
with his father's caravans in the interior of Africa, and of the 
royal receptions given to them by the various kings, and 
appears to have made himself familiar with many of the 
geographical facts which have been brought to light by more 
recent explorers. How it happened that he was reduced to 
slaver}', and found his way to this country, I am not informed. 

At an early age, the author of these sermons was taught 
reading and writing, and was sent to the Mulberry street school, 
provided by the Quakers ; afterwards, in common with his 
brothers and sisters, receiving further and better instruction 
from white tutors, employed by his father. In those days the 
advantages of colored children were very scanty, and such a 
provision as this for their benefit must have been a novelty. 

In 183 1 a high school was established by the Rev. Peter 
Williams, Mr. CrummeH's pastor, aided by his father, Thomas 
Downing, and other leading colored men, who employed a 
white teacher to give instruction in Greek and Latin. 

In 1835, for the first time in the history of the country, an 
Academy for the education of youth, irrespective of sex or 
color, was opened at Canaan, New Hampshire. With his 
friend Dr. Highland Garnet, the late Minister to Liberia, ?nd 
others, Crummell became connected with this institution. The 
black youth had not been there over three months, when the 
farmers of the neighborhood assembled together and declared 
that the school must be broken up. Shortly afterward they 
brought some ninety yoke of oxen, carrying the academy 
building off and depositing it in a swamp; and then forced 
the scholars, on a given day. to quit the town. As the boys 
drove away, they received a parting salute from a field-piece, 
which the free-born citizens of the region fired at them. 

Introduction. vH 

The next year, 1836, Oneida Institute was opened to colored 
youth, and the young exiles from Canaan took up their abode 
there, where they studied for three years, working at farming, 
in order to pay their way. 

In 1839, Crummell became a candidate for Holy Orders, 
under the direction of the Rev. Peter Williams, Rector of 
St. Philips Church, with which Mr. Crummell was connected. 
At the same time he applied for admission as a student in the 
General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church, and 
was refused 5 not because of any defect in his moral or 
intellectual qualifications, but solely on account of the extra- 
ordinary prejudice which prevailed against the race to which 
he belonged. He was then received as a candidate in the 
Diocese of Massachusetts, and in due time was ordained to the 
Diaconate by Bishop Griswold. After prosecuting his theo- 
logical studies with the Rev. Dr. A. H. Vinton in Providence, 
R. I., he was admitted to Priest's Orders, in Philadelphia, by 
Bishop Lee of Delaware. The opportunity was now offered 
for him to avail himself of the great advantage of still further 
pursuing his studies in the University of Cambridge, in Eng- 
land, where he was kindly received, and enabled to fit himself 
more thoroughly for the important work which afterwards 
devolved upon him ; when he determined to cast in his lot 
with his brethren, who had sought a home and a country in 
Liberia, where he remained for many years, taking the double 
duty of the Rectorship of a parish, and a Professorship in 
the College. 

While a citizen of this new Republic, he was frequently 
called upon, on great public occasions, to officiate as orator 
of the day ; and the addresses which he delivered were marked 
by great breadth of vision and foresight, a clear comprehen- 
sion of the duties and dangers of the new nation, and pro- 
found historical research, as well as decided rhetorical power. 
The communications which from time to time have appeared 

viii Introduction. 

from his pen in the columns of " The African Repository " 
are distinguished by the same characteristics, and are among 
the most valuable papers which have appeared in that 
periodical. If Dr. Crummell had not been called to the work 
of the Christian Ministry, he might have become eminent as 
a statesman. 

After passing the bloom of his days in Liberia, our friend 
returned to the United States, and has since been employed 
at the Capitol of the nation, in labors among his own country- 
men ; and now, in his more advanced years, he has ventured 
to give to the general public this volume of sermons, hoping 
that he may thus reach a larger congregation than could be 
gathered within sound of his living voice, and also add some- 
thing to his not over-generous income. I think that I mav 
assure the reader that he will find something in these Dis- 
courses that is fresh and original. The topics considered are 
varied and interesting, the counsel which the preacher gives 
to his people is sound and practical, and the sermons are 
pervaded by the life and light and unction of the Gospel. I 
hope that they will meet with a cordial reception from the 
public, and that their extensive sale may bring comfort and 
relief to our good brother, who has been called to suffer many 
things in the course of his earthly pilgrimage. 


These sermons are published at the request of many 
parishioners and other friends, made from time to time, 
during many years and in divers quarters, both at home 
and abroad; and, likewise, in fulfilment of repeated 
promises to comply with those requests. 

They are now given to the public, after well nigh 
forty years service in the ministry, as a memorial of a 
pastorate to several congregations, both in Africa and 
the United States ; and with the hope that they may 
add somewhat to the Glory of Christ. 


i. The Greatness of Christ i 

2. The Family 20 

3. Marriage 37 

4. The Lamb of God 55 

5. Rising with Christ 71 

6. Glorifying God 86 

7. Unbelieving Nazareth 100 

8. The Rejection of Christ 116 

9. The Motives to Discipleship 134 

10. The Agencies to Saintly Sanctification . .153 

11. Affluence and Receptivity 165 

12. Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners . 181 

13. The Discipline of Human Powers .... 197 
if. Joseph .216 

15. Influence 233 

16. Building men . . . . . . . . 250 

17. Christian Conversation 267 

18. The Social Principle among a People. A Thanks- 

giving Sermon, 1875 285 

19. The Assassination of President Garfield . .312 

20. The Destined Superiority of the Negro. A 

Thanksgiving Sermon, 1877 . • • • • 332 




4nd when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with 
Mary, his mother, and fell dozu?r, and worshipped him : and 7vhen they had 
opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts ; gold, and frankincense, 
and myrrh. 

It was a little child, nay, a feeble, helpless infant, to 
Whom all this reverence and devotionweregiven. And 
it is, by imagination, the same little babe that all Chris- 
tendom to-day turns back to and approaches with joy, 
and salutations, and profoundest worship. The point 
of interest in this little child is not simply that its body 
was small and weak, but that Kis person, diminutive 
as it was, was the germ of wondrous power, was the 
fountain-head of a world-wide ocean, was the root of 
prodigious reality which reaches from time over into 
deepest eternity. 

It is one of the wide, general facts of nature, that the 
things of magnitude throughout the universe spring 
from small and minute causes. It is so with plants, and 
trees, and forests : tiny seeds are the parents of vast 
and formidable wildernesses ; so with beasts, and birds, 
and fishes ; so with the stars of heaven, whose brilliant 

2 The Greatness of Christ. 

bodies derive from the impalpable nebulae of the 
spheres ; so with the nations of the earth, with families 
and individuals. All the great things, all the great 
men we see, hear, or read of, passed from littleness up 
to magnitude and importance. It is, then, strictly in 
accordance with the analogy of all the things of God, 
that He, whose Advent we celebrate to-day, began His 
wondrous life in the feebleness of infancy. But our 
joy springs from the miracle of His life, which was 
divine, and the majesty of His mission, which was 
princely) beneficent, and godlike in all the minutiae of 
His work. 

Nothing but this greatness of Christ could cause, 
from year to year, from century to century, this world- 
wide anniversary. Nothing but majesty, most august 
and profound, repressing the pride of reason and its 
sceptic doubts, could thus kindle the imaginations of 
men, start their united affections, and, on one day in 
the year, sinking their separate nationalities into obliv- 
ion, join their common sentiment into united adoration 
before the manger of Bethlehem ! 

I wish to speak to-day of the greatness of Christ. It 
is a greatness which has constantly manifested itself 
through the ages by a gracious but irresistible revolu- 
tion, which has never, at any time, known a moment of 
cessation. We talk of the influence of Christianity; 
and men ofttimes seem happy when they can thus drop 

The Greatness of Christ. 3 

or deny a personality and make a catch-word of a system. 
But it is best, at all times, to speak the real facts of a 
case. No system, of itself, produces results. It is, in 
its results, the work of either devils, or of angels, or of 
men, or of God. There is a personality behind every 
organized institution, behind every bank, behind every 
insurance company, every mercantile house, every man- 
ufactory. So, too, of Christianity. It does not work 
itself. It is not the work of men and ministers. It is 
a result, in all nations, societies, families, and persons, — 
a result that is produced by Jesus Christ, present in this 
world by the power and energy of the Holy Ghost. 

Let me point out a few things which the Lord Jesus 
has done, and which never would have been done if He 
had not come into this world, and which He alone, of 
all the intelligences, had the power to do. 

First, see the great change our blessed Lord has made 
in the domain of thought. I refer to this special point 
at the first, not because I would exaggerate the intellect, 
as superior to the moral nature ; for I do not. I speak 
first of our Lord's work in the realm of thought because 
the life of man and the life of society is determined 
chiefly by the convictions which are reached by the 
intellect. As a man "thinketh in his heart, so he is." 
According to the ruling ideas of an age or a nation, so 
is it. 

Now the power of every being, in the sphere of mind, 

4 The Greatness of Clirist. 

may be seen in three special respects, viz. : (i) In the 
ability to stimulate thought ; (2) in the specific weight 
or quality of the thought expressed ; (3) in the practical 
or active nature of the thought put into human souls. 
In these several respects, you can see how unique, and 
how exalted, has been the force of the Lord Jesus, in all 
human history. 

You will remember that always and everywhere the 
mind of man has been active ; for activity is a native 
quality of mind. It was active at the period of our 
Lord's Nativity ; active in its show of greed ; active in 
philosophy; active in war and conquest; active in the 
ambitions and dominancy of great men and great- 
nations. It was an era of great luxury; it was an age 
of prying and abstruse philosophies; it was a period of 
subjugation of provinces and empires. The mind of 
men, at the time of the Saviour's birth, was seething, 
burning, with large and important problems and gigan- 
tic undertakings. 

But previous to the time of Christ, notwithstanding 
all the activity of the human mind, there was a whole 
class of subjects, subjects of vast importance to the 
human soul, from which the mind of man was univer- 
sally divorced. Religion was the possession and the 
practice of all peoples. But those noble features of 
religion which flow in lofty truths and sacred precepts 
from the lips of Jesus had never before circled the 

The Greatness of Christ. 5 ; 

brains, nor agitated the hearts, nor stimulated the sen- 
sibilities. I read the histories of men, pick out the 
annals of the noblest Pagan nations, select the writings 
of the most elevated of their sages, but search in vain, 
in the most abstruse and most elaborate of their trea- 
tises, for the grand divine conceptions which Jesus of 
Nazareth has put into the minds of men and of nations, 
and which have awakened them to life and energy, 

I turn to the Scriptures, and find there the grandest 
ideas and principles which ever entered the mind of 
man ; which did not come from the human mind, and 
which could only be of divine origin. The grand thought 
of Christ may be analyzed and presented somewhat 
under these three aspects : (a) That of His sovereignty 
and rule. He tells us of a divine and eternal govern- 
ment set up in this world, founded upon righteousness, 
sustained by heavenly affections, generated in our sinful 
nature by divine influences. " I establish a kingdom." 
says our Lord ; and the Church, "the Kingdom of 
Heaven" on earth, the "Body of Christ," springs into 
existence; higher in authority than all the kingdoms of 
this world, mastering governments and dominions ; and 
never has it failed; "and the gates of hell shall not 
prevail against it." (b) Another phase of this truth of 
Christ is that of a reconstructed and spiritualized, 
humanity, produced by the operations of the Holy 
Ghost in the kingdom of Christ. Our Lord promises 

6 The Greatness of Christ. 

a righteousness put into our being, of which man had 
never before conceived. He guarantees us the reality 
of a regenerated humanity. He shows us, in His own 
life and excellence, the possibility of disinterested vir- 
tue as the possession of exalted men here on earth. 
He encourages us with the idea of a benignity and 
brotherhood among men, which shall destroy everywhere 
the spirit of revenge, national enmity, and fiery war, 
and usher in the reign of universal peace. And (c) He 
crowns these teachings and instructions with a phase of 
His truth which is at once celestial and transporting. 
He holds up to view a future state, where the everlasting 
craving of the soul shall be for the treasures which are 
incorruptible, and the riches which are eternal. That 
state is a state of eternal well-being in another sphere, 
in which men shall company forever with angels and 
archangels, and eternally enjoy the presence and glory 
of God! 

These are the grand thoughts, yet only partial^ pre- 
sented, which Christ has put into the minds of men : 
earthly in one aspect, working out philanthropies and 
enterprise in human society ; heavenly in another and 
higher view, because reaching onward to eternal issues. 
See the wonderful revolutions they have produced 
among men ! See the grand impulses they have started 
in all the lines of human action ! See the great mas- 
tery they have given to select peoples, whom they have 

The Greatness of Christ, j 

elevated and invigorated! Note, above all, how, that, 
having once entered the soul of man, they have taken 
to themselves the law of heredity, and come down not 
only in the polity, in the governments, in the liberties, 
in the letters and literature, and in the laws, but actually 
in the blood of mighty nations, from age to age ! Gen- 
erations come and go, but these great thoughts of our 
Lord abide and reproduce themselves. Aye, and they 
are destined to stay here till the crack of doom ! Per- 
secutions like those of the Caesars could not destroy 
them! Revolutions like that of France in 1792 could 
not crush them out! These thoughts are thoroughly 
vitalized with the life of God Himself. They are the 
thoughts of eternity, and have become so incorporated 
with our humanity in its very best conditions that they 
will work, quicken, and animate the masses of men, 
until, by and by, they get the ascendency over all the 
thought, reasoning, and reflection of mankind. 

Brethren, Jesus Christ is the most powerful thought, 
this day, in the intellect of man. The person, the 
claims, the idea of Jesus Christ, are producing more 
thinking, more philosophizing, as well in the infidel and 
pagan as in the Christian world, than all the science 
and politics of the nations. More thought, more speech, 
more works and treatises are inspired by the one single 
n me of Christ, than by all the statesmen and kings of 
the entire world. One great personality has entered 

8 The Greatness of Christ. 

this earth and thoroughly mastered its intellect, and 
thrown utterly into the shade all its other thought, rea- 
soning, and speculation, in all the ages. 

Second, I turn to another evidence of the greatness 
of Christ. I refer to that broad transformation of man's 
civilization which He has wrought. We have only to 
go back into the past histories of nations, and we shall 
see the nature of this achievement. 

We all know somewhat the cultivation of Egypt, 
Babylonia, Phoenicia, Greece, and Rome. We know 
how various were the forms of this cultivation in these 
several peoples ; but we find one broad generalization 
that may be made of them all, that is, that they were 
saturated with the spirit of brutality, lust, and murder. 
When one goes into the museumsof Paris or London, 
and looks at the monuments of ancient art, dug up after 
centuries of dark repose from the ruins and debris of 
Nineveh, or Cyprus, or Greece, or Rome, it is difficult 
to say which form of astonishment is the greater, the 
astonishment at the exquisite perfection of the art, or 
the astonishment at the moral debasement they discover. 
The same contrast and disparity constantly come to 
mind, in reading the poetry and the histories of pagan 
writers. The paintings and the sculpture are too often 
vile and infamous. The condition of woman among 
them was degrading. Their family-life was barbarous, 
and not seldom shameless. Their social state presented 

The' Greatness of Christ. 9 

the varied aspect of great luxury,- dazzling splendor, 
allied to gross license and unrestrained indulgence. 

While it is difficult to define with exactness the term 
Civilization, the several items thus referred to may be 
taken as representing its prominent elements ; and it is 
evident that the civilization of man, at the time of 
Christ's Advent and previous thereto, was not a power 
for good and elevation in the world. 

See now the great work which has been done by our 
Lord in changing the moral complexion of human civil- 
ization. This revolution began in the family. It 
destroyed, first of all, the pagan status of womanly life. 
The Gospel law was a proclamation of equality to 
woman. In the Church of God she found at once, and 
for the first time, her place as man's equal and his com- 
panion. The elevation of woman in the Church was, 
at the same time, the reconstruction of the family. 
The household, thus sanctified and elevated, was a 
"Church in the House" ; and it became an organic unit 
for wider, nobler uses beyond itself. As Christian house- 
holds increased, the whole structure of social and domes- 
tic life became changed and purified. The saints, in 
heathen communities, carried the divine principle into 
their traffic, business, trades, professions, civil rela- 
tions, and service ; and so, gradually, the old, impure, 
pagan elements of society were everywhere antagonized 
by the Cross, and beaten down from supremacy. The 

IO The Greatness of Christ, 

leaven of Christianity spread into every section of soci- 
ety ; it seized upon every occupation; it entered every 
relation of life ; it penetrated the army, the civil courts, 
the senate ; and at last it reached the seat of Imperial 
Caesar. "We are a people of yesterday," says Tertul- 
lian in his Apology; "and yet we have filled everyplace 
belonging to you, — cities, islands, castles, towns, assem- 
blies, your very camp, your tribes, companies, palace, 
senate, forum ! We leave you your temples only. We 
can count your armies ; our numbers in a single prov- 
ince will be greater." And about the middle of the 
second century, says Justin Martyr: "There is no peo- 
ple, Greek or barbarian, or of any other race, by what- 
soever appellation or manners they may be distin- 
guished, however ignorant of arts or agriculture, whether 
they dwell in tents or wander about in covered wagons, 
among whom prayers and thanksgivings are not offered 
in the name of the crucified Jesus to the Father and 
creator of all things." 

When the Gospel had done its work in the Roman 
Empire, it stretched out for new conquests in the other 
states of Europe. Nay, the Roman Empire was God's 
instrument and agency for the spread of this newly- 
created Christian civilization. The empire conquered 
tribe after tribe, province after province, one barbarous 
nation after another, and subjected them to Roman law 
and authority. And then the Church seized, in Christ's 

The Greatness of Christ. 1 1 

Name, upon the Empire, and made it her agent, whereby 
a chastened Christian civilization was spread throughout 
Europe. And this day every one sees the grand out- 
come of the whole process. Christianity, at this moment, 
is the masterful power in every European state, and 
through their laws, colonies, and commerce, wields the 
sceptre of the globe. 

Let us pause, just here, for a moment, and make a 
reckoning of our Master's great work this nineteen hun 7 
dred years, in the renovation of the world's civilization. 
You will recall what I suggested as the elements of civ- 
ilization — the family, the status of woman, dress, cul- 
ture, manners, social life, art. Art, however, may be 
taken as the crowning point, the criterion of civilization. 
See, then, herein, the wonderful change Christ has made 
in this regard. I will speak of but two or three of the 
chief of the arts, — painting, sculpture, and music. 

In 185 1, in the first world's " Great Exhibition," I 
stood up in the Crystal Palace in London, amid groups 
of statuary. -I walked through long avenues of painting 
gathered from all the great galleries of Europe ; and 
there was not a picture, not a statue there, which the 
most innocent maiden might not look at, with as much 
peace and purity as she would at the midday skies. At 
the Advent of Christ, if such an exhibition had been held, 
almost everything would have been smirched ! If you 
go this day to Pompeii, and ask for the gallery which 

12 The Greatness of Christ. 

contains the pictures recovered from the lava of Vesu- 
vius, no decent man, I am told, would dare to ask his 
wife or sister to gaze upon those pictures ! To this 
may be added the other telling fact, namely, that no 
woman is permitted to see the art treasures of antiquity, 
in the Vatican, at Rome ! 

See now the change. The Lord Jesus Christ has 
been laying His Cross upon art, as well as upon law, the 
family, and social life ; and wondrous transformations 
have taken place in all the elements of the world's civ- 
ilization. Nothing has escaped the influence of our 
divine Lord, nothing evaded His miraculous touch. 
Invisible, indeed, to sight, He has been passing through 
the centuries amid the choicest, most delicate craft 
wrought out by human genius, and touched them, and 
by this touch driven out the vile possession of paganism, 
and put into them the life and beauty of heaven; and so 
all art has been more and more sanctified to most sacred 
purposes. The churches and cathedrals of the world, 
are grander in their structure and their style, than the 
palaces of kings and emperors ; and they are erected 
for the glory of Christ. The very finest paintings in 
the royal galleries of kingdoms tell, in magnificent col- 
orings, the story of Bethlehem ; the temple scene among 
the Doctors; the agony in the Garden; Christ, as Da 
Vinci- represents Him, at the Holy Table; the Cross of 
Calvary ; and Christ amid the clouds of glory ascending 

The Greatness of Christ. 13 

into heaven. The pencil of the artist has no such 
touches, his brush no such hues as those lavished upon 
the Crucified! So, too, that other art, which through 
the ear stirs the soul with deepest sensibilities,- — that, 
also, has been chastened and sanctified by the touch of 
the Cross! The highest, noblest, holiest raptures of 
the harp, the organ, and the human voice, have been 
evoked by the life, the sufferings, and the glories of 
Christ! All along this Christian era the saints of God 
have been pouring forth their praises in the loftiest 
strains, and the tenderest love to the Lamb, in " psalms 
and hymns and spiritual songs," "singing and making 
melody in their hearts," out-rivalling therein the grandest 
secnlarities of human song. Yes, music rolls forth its 
deepest tones, sends out its sweetest melodies in the 
grand Te Deum, the plaintive Miserere, and the majes- 
tic Magnificat. Everything beautiful in earth has been 
more beautified by the Cross. For, as Keble sings : 

The base earth, since Christ has died, 
Ennobled is and sanctified. 

Third, your notice is called to one other striking evi- 
dence of the greatness of Christ, — the humanizing 
influence He has put into, and diffused throughout the 

We mourn, day by day, at the brutal acts which are 
chronicled in our newspapers. We are horror-struck at 
the fearful murders which are constantly committed. 

14 The Greatness of Christ. 

Our souls sink when we read or think of the ravages 
and slaughter of the battlefield, which still disgrace this 
Christian era. 

Bad as all this is, contrast it with the state of the 
world before and at the coming of Christ, when war 
was the trade of nations ; when nothing but extermina- 
tion was the end and issue of their fierce and intermin- 
able conflicts ; when one nation would lift up with hoarse, 
univocal, brutal tones against another, " Carthago delencla 
est"; when such a thing as arbitration was never known 
nor even thought of by the noblest pagan thinkers ; when 
the Temple of Mars at Rome was kept almost perpet- 
ually open ; when " fire, famine, and the sword "devastated 
vast empires and swept colossal nationalities so com- 
pletely out of existence, that even their foundations are 
now undiscoverable ! 

My contention, be it noticed, is not that Christianity 
has abolished war. Christianity, in its best results, is 
not an extemporaneous affair. God, in His providence, 
moves with majesty, and not in a flash. To use the 
words of Guizot, "He hurries not himself to display 
to-day the consequences of the principle that He yester- 
day laid down; He will draw it out in the lapse of ages, 
when the hour is come." Christianity has not yet 
entirely abolished war. But the greatness of Christ is 
seen in the fact that He has been abolishing war all the 
centuries through, by the humanization which He has 

The Greatness of Christ. 15 

introduced into the policy of nations. All along the 
Christian era His faith has been lessening the frequency 
of wars ; diminishing the cruel, pagan slaughter of war ; 
extinguishing the brutish, heathen love of war ; and, 
above all, counteracting and extirpating the idea of war 
as a motive of national and personal action. So that 
now, in the nineteenth century, we have reached this 
state of the case, namely : that nations are hesitant 
about entering upon war ; when war does take place, it 
is under the most urgent, absolute necessity ; while it 
is carrying on, everything possible is done to alleviate 
its horrors ; and especially that, when a Minister of 
State, in any land, proclaims in any way to the world 
that the trade of war is a prime policy of his country, 
the Christian world rises up in indignation, and by the 
voice of a Burke, or a Channing, or a Gladstone, blasts 
that statesman to utter ruin, and drives him to disgrace 
and confusion. Added to all this is the notable fact 
that, in our own day the principle of arbitration has 
become a part of international law, as a preventive of 
the slaughter of men, and for the promotion of national 
peace, equity, and justice! 

See, too, the humanizing influence of Christianity in 
the suppression of the slave trade, in the destruction of 
piracy, in the abolition of slavery, in the reformation of 
prisons, in the progress of the temperance cause, in the 
improvement of tenement houses, in the increase of 

1 6 The Greatness of Christ, 

hospitals and infirmaries ; in the care of the blind, the 
deaf, and the dumb ; in the godly efforts to prevent the 
ravages of licentiousness ; and in the merciful endeavours 
to save the victims of prostitution ! In all these gene- 
rous, gracious ventures which one sees throughout all 
Christendom, we recognize the working of that quality 
of mercy, the special attribute of Christ, 

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven 
Upon the place beneath : 

This spirit has been working its way nigh two thou- 
sand years, against the deep depravity of mankind ; but 
only in this age has it succeeded, to any large degree, 
in the exercise of its fullest power. We have now, at 
last, reached the age of missions and noblest charities. 
In these times we are permitted to see, not only in 
Christian lands, but in the pagan quarters of the globe, 
whither the Church of God is speeding, all the fair 
humanities, the large philanthropies, the saving appli- 
ances which are fitted to restore, uplift, and regenerate 
the most degraded of the human species. Never before 
in the history of man has the thoughtful mind been so 
alert and active as now, in ingenious effort for human 
gocd. The beneficence of man is instinct with curi- 
osity. The spirit of benevolence, and even of evangeli- 
zation, is no longer confined to the Church of God. It 
is the spirit of the age. Our Lord Christ has put 
this spirit into insurance companies, and mercantile 

The Greatness of Christ. \y 

ventures. It stimulates adventure. It prompts geo- 
graphical research. It vitalizes science. It gives color- 
ing and tone to literature. Just take this single, simple 
fact, and ponder on it. The poetry of the ancients has 
come down to our day with a finish and a glow, which 
holds for centuries, the admiration of the schools, and 
which has given them the title of "classic." And yet 
you may sweep the entire field of Grecian and Roman 
poetry in vain, to find a poem of such genial human 
sentiment, of such real hope and brotherly aspiration 
for man, as the simple song, 

There's a gude time coming, 

or the fine stanzas of Burns which give us the noble 

refrain, — 

A man's a man for a' that. 

I have thus given you a few tokens of the greatness 
of Christ, in words that may seem somewhat as though 
a man should take a single ray from the burning lustre 
of the midday sky, and hold it up as a specimen of sun- 
light. The evidences of our Lord's greatness and ma- 
jesty crowd the eye, and overcome both mind and mem- 
ory. It seems impossible but that they should impress 
us all with the deepest sensibility and the greatest rev- 
erence. Here is a Being who comes into the world in 
precisely the same manner as every one of us has 
entered it. He was born of woman. His infancy was 

helpless and feeble. But all His after-life was unique, 

1 8 The Greatness of Christ. 

separate in its influence and power, from every other 
being that ever lived on earth. He lived some thirty- 
three years, a life of blessedness, labor, suffering, and 
insult, and at last died an ignominious death ! And yet 
His divine face, the odor of His sanctity, the glories of 
His nature, and the mystical power of His resurrection 
come streaming down the centuries, neutralizing the 
might, majesty, and splendor of kings, statesmen, and 
warriors, and, casting them all in the shade, attracting to 
Himself the homage of the centuries ! Mine is not the 
task to-day to produce evidences of the truth of Christi- 
anity. It is no purpose of mine to vindicate the Deity 
of my Master; but I submit, that this singular fact in 
human history, the greatness of Christ, is unaccountable, 
if it be not divine ! There is no room in the mind of 
any devout believer for misgiving*. All will admit that 
the instinct which looks to Christ as a Saviour, as the 
world's regenerator, must be an universal one. We go 
to Bethlehem to-day; we approach Him with the rever- 
ent homage of the Magi, as the fontal source of all 
this majestic power of the Christian era, to see God 
manifest in the flesh, to see the first manifestation of 
that interference which God graciously effected for our 
rescue and deliverance. We have no gold, frankin- 
cense, and myrrh to offer the infant Jesus; but we 
would fain present Him that which is far more accept- 
able, the best devotions of the heart, the lavish outpour- 

The Greatness of Christ, 19 

ing of the affections. We go to Bethlehem, and remem- 
bering all the wonderful works of Jesus, by apostles and 
martyrs, by holy men and women, by missionaries and 
evangelists, by philanthropists and churches,, by gifts, 
and charities, and offerings ; we acknowledge Him as 
the originator of all the blessedness of the Christian 
faith, and hail Him "Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty 
God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace 1" 



{The First Sunday after the Epiphany.") 

St. Luke II, 46-52. 

And it came to pass, that after three days they found Him in the temple, 
sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them and asking them ques- 
tions. And all that heard Him zvere astonished at His tinderstanding and 
answers. And when they saw Him they were amazed : and His mother 
said unto Him, Son, why hast Thou thus dealt with us ? Behold thy father 
and I have sought thee sorrowing. And He said unto them, How is it that 
ye sought Me ? Wist ye not that I must be about My Father's business ? 
And they understood not the saying which He spake unto them. And He 
went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them : 
bid His mother kept all these sayings in her heart. And Jesus increased in 
wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. 

The Gospel for this Sunday presents to our sight 
those three remarkable persons, Joseph, the Virgin 
Mary, and the child Jesus, whose names and history 
hold such distinguished position in the beginning of the 
Gospel of Christ. First of all, there stands in the 
background St. Joseph, the espoused husband of the 
blessed Virgin. Still more prominent to view appears 
the person of the holy mother, the ever blessed Virgin, 

Lily of Eden's fragrant shade, 


The Family. 21 

the loftiest woman of the race of men. But the light of this 
holy circle is the divine person of the Holy Child Jesus 
standing in the center, illuminating, by His supernatural 
wisdom, the astonished minds of the doctors of the law. 
As we are privileged to regard these personages as indi- 
viduals, especially the Holy Child, in His Epiphany in 
the temple, so, likewise, the Church presents them to 
our sight and contemplation as the Holy family of Naz- 
areth. And the charm of this presentation has attracted 
the gaze of more than nineteen centuries and subdued 
the hearts of multitudes. Art, in its several depart- 
ments, has lavished its choicest gifts upon this scene. 
Poetry has delighted to sing its beauty and its glory ; 
sculpture has plied its most delicate and cunning touch 
to mould and fashion into exquisite and subduing fig- 
ures the ideal forms of this Holy group ; and painting 
has laid her brightest and sweetest colors upon the can- 
vas to idealize the calm beauty of Mary Madonna, the 
retiring meekness of Joseph, and the celestial glory of 
the boy Christ. 

I gladly seize upon this scene, to-day, to present to 
your consideration the topic, Religion in the Family, 

And, first of all, if I am asked the obligation of fam- 
ily religion, I base it upon the fact that the family is 
one of those organic relations, or institutions, which 
was established by the Almighty for His own use, 
honor, and glory. It is, observe, an organic body, not 

22 The Family. 

an artificial state, such as a bank or an insurance com- 
pany. These are artificial arrangements, which are not 
absolutely necessary to the existence of society. They 
may or may not exist; and either way society remains 
intact, and humanity makes progress. But the family 
is one of those structural bodies which are essential to 
the very being and continuance of the race. It is the 
very first organism ever created on earth. The family 
is the primal society of human beings, instituted in 
Paradise as the very base and foundation of all the other 
societies of men. It is evident, alike from nature and 
revelation, that the Almighty has created certain rela- 
tions or unities which are designed to absorb the per- 
sonal, and to mingle multitudinous units into general 
organic wholes. The most apparent of these are, the 
family, the Church, the state or nation. It was the 
remark "of a distinguished scholar," "that there are five 
essential and indissoluble corporations in human society : 
the Family, the State, the Church, the Guild (that is, 
every species of traffic, industry, etc.), and the School." 
These corporations, or unities, are of Divine origin. 
They were established cotemporaneously with the crea- 
tion of man. Hence they are not mere human expe- 
dients or adjustments, found necessary by man in the 
development of the race or the progress of society. 
They are natural subsistences, deeply bedded in man's 
original constitution, planted by the Maker in the frame- 

The Family. 23 

Work of our nature ; and without which we could 
not be. 

The family, then, as an institution, belongs to God. 
It is His own possession. And as He made man, with 
the chief end of his existence the glory of God, so, like- 
wise, it follows that the organism of the family, which 
is rooted in the prime elements of our humanity, exists 
primarily as a divine agency for the glory of God. 

Here, then, is the basis of this obligation of religion 
in the family. The family is an instrument of the 
Almighty, organized for the specific end that it should 
show forth the honor and glory of the Maker. 

Second, we turn now to the elements of family reli- 
gion. What are these elements ? 

(a.) First of all, as one of the very first constituent 
principles of family religion, is authority. The family 
is a government. It is the rudimental government, out 
of which spring all the organizations of society, whether 
they be nations, or empires, or schools, or associations. 
All of them, traced back to their original source, find 
their root in that simple company, the family. 

Of this government, the father and the mother are 
the joint heads, commissioned, both by nature and rev- 
elation, to exercise rule, authority, and guidance. But 
in this united authority, the man by the sanction of 
nature and revelation, by law and custom, by reason 
and instinct, has the precedency. Man, that is, the 

24 The Family. 

male, there can be no doubt, is made, in all the organic 
relations of life, the head of this lower creation. He 
is placed, officially, in the position of largest responsi- 
bility and power. In the family the father is the head. 
The wife stands immediately at his side, not behind him, 
his co-mate, authorized to exercise rule and lordship in 
the little kingdom of the household. 

What is the nature of this family-rule, that is, in its 
essence and highest quality? It is, without doubt, a 
divine and sacred rule. The head of the family stands 
in the place of God, and as representing to his house- 
hold the divine Father. The family government is a 
divine government, just as much so, in its essential 
quality, as the Church is a divine government. Indeed, 
all legitimate government on earth is divine. It is 
God's government everywhere; and men are God's 
agents to carry it on. So in the family, the parents are 
the authorities of the Almighty, to impose divine laws, 
in their application to the bodies, minds, and spirits of 
the household, the children, which God has given them. 

As thus characterized, the family is no place for mere 
will, or caprice, or selfish gratification. Parents have 
no right to govern their households in this manner. 
There is a higher law present in their circle. The pri- 
mary reference, in the exercise of rule, is the will and 
law of God. Fatherhood, divine fatherhood, is the root 
principle of all family rule. And families, so far as rule 

The Family. 25 

and governance are concerned, are to be a reflex of that 
high and august government which is carried on in the 
heavens. It is God's, not mere man's will, which is to 
permeate all its transactions, of which will the parents 
are the administrators. 

Now if these principles with respect to family gov- 
ernment are correct, you can easily see how large an ele- 
ment is religion in all true family government; for it 
places God first in all of its legitimate rule and author- 
ity. And you can see likewise, in the light of these 
principles, how vast must be the misgovernment in 
many families. For, alas, how numerous are the fami- 
lies which spring up, through marriage, where there is 
no God! How many the households where God's will 
is never referred to ! How large the number of dwell- 
ings where there is no rule or government at all, but 
nothing but misrule and unrestrained license ! Who of 
you here does not know of families where the parents 
are nothing but tyrants ? Of other families where the 
parents are but as slaves, beneath the feet of shameless, 
selfish sons and daughters ? Of homes where even lit- 
tle children rule with a rod of iron, and would fain lord 
it over masters and mistresses in the public schools? 

I have the impression that there is no country in the 
world where there is so much loose family government 
as in America. The democratic sentiment has invaded 
our households. It has expelled, very largely, the divine 

26 The Family. 

element from its inclosure. It would be ludicrous, if it 
were not so solemn a matter, to hear the constant talk 
in our day concerning the rights of children, in imme- 
diate connection with the most glaring misrule, childish 
license and violence, and utter family anarchy. 

And these evils spring from this notable fact, that 
men too generally have lost sight of God as the great, 
grand factor in all household arrangements, in all family 
government. If you will not have God as governor, 
you cannot have the blessings of rule and order in your 
houses. This is the beginning of everything gracious 
and beneficent in your circles. If you do not begin 
here, with God, you have made no beginning! Hear 
what the Almighty said of Abraham: "I know him 
that he will command his children and his household 
after him ; and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to 
do justice and judgment." How many of you who are 
parents command your children and households to walk 
in the ways of truth and righteousness ? How many of 
you use and exercise your parental authority for the right 
and the godly in your houses ? How many of you say to 
your children, " No, that shall not be done in my house, for 
it dishonors God" ? How many of you catechise your 
children in the truths and principles of our holy reli- 
gion, teaching them their duty to God and their neigh- 
bor ? How many of you have the courage to stand up 
for Christ, — godly women in the face of Christless men, 

The Family. 2j 

pious men in the face of indifferent and godless women ? 
How many of you maintain holy worship in your house- 
holds ? "My house is a temple of God!" was the utter- 
ance of a clergyman to a worthless son; "and you shall 
not defile this house with your depravity." There was 
the setting forth of a true idea. God was ruler in that 
house. The father was only the steward, agent, instru- 
ment of God therein, for guidance and direction. The 
government of the house was to be a divine govern- 
ment; and he, its earthly head, stood there the sen- 
tinel, to guard and sustain the lawful authority of God 
in the family, which is His ! 

But I turn to another important element of family 
religion, and that is love. It is more important as a 
quality than is government ; but its place is, neverthe- 
less, secondary. The very first element in all society is 
order, or government. "Order is heaven's first law." 
The principle of government, as providing the ruling 
power and assigning the relative positions of subjects, 
has priority of observance ; and then, authority secured, 
we have place for the free play of all the other senti- 
ments which are necessary to the full realization of fam- 
ily life and religion. Love stands the highest of all 
these sentiments ; for it is, first of all, a principal acces- 
sory to rule and authority; it is the parent of obedience; 
it is the basis of unity in the household. Alas, how 
often is this forgotten, even in so-called Christian house- 

2$ The Family. 

holds ! Affection, without doubt, is often retained between 
husband and wife. It is manifested, too, by parents to 
beloved children. But the point is this, that this family- 
love is not chastened, deepened, and inflamed by the 
love of God. Natural love may and doubtless does fre- 
quently exist ; but it is not vitalized, sanctified, and fed 
invisibly and constantly by the fires and the sacred 
breathings of God the Holy Ghost. Now it is because 
of the fact that natural powers and faculties are impaired 
by the Fall, that supernatural forces have been intro- 
duced into this wretched world. There is a lack of suf- 
ficiency in unassisted human nature for the right dis- 
charge of any of the duties of life. Sin has introduced 
an element of weakness and imbecility into every 
endowment of man. Our very best members are 
unhinged and disjointed by it. As a consequence, we 
need, in every province of our being, help, strength, 
sustenance. This is as true, in the domain of the affec- 
tions and sympathies, as with regard to bodily power or 
intellectual acuteness. It is the lack of this supernatu- 
ral element in the love of Christian families which is 
the cause of so many family failures. The link of affec- 
tion which joins husband and wife in the marriage bond 
needs to be lifted up above mere instinct, elevated 
beyond mere human fondness and sensibility, and fast- 
ened on to the throne of God. And the affection which 
both craves the gift of children, and which rejoices in 

The Family. 29 

the prattling of infancy, the buddings of youthful capac- 
ities, and the full blossomings of maidenhood and early 
manhood) — that affection, if ever matured into fullest 
ripeness, must needs be baptized with the spirit of God. 
Nothing can take the place of the love of God. Love 
is the fulfilling of the law. It is the grand element of 
completeness in all things. It is the one only quality 
which can give to things roundness, symmetry, whole- 
ness. Do not be satisfied, therefore, in having this 
divine element only in the Church; make it the presid- 
ing influence in your families. Let the mutual love of 
husbands and wives rise up to spiritual solicitude for 
each other's souls and for their growth in grace; and 
then there will be no danger of youthful, unmarried love, 
dying out after the ties of marriage have been fastened. 
It is, indeed, only the sanctity of grace which will serve 
to preserve all the gallantry of youth to men for old 
age, and to retain in women the graceful charms and 
the tender assiduities of girlhood to their late decline. 

And so likewise for children. They are sure to see, 
in every well-regulated family, prudence, forecast, econ- 
omy, acquisitiveness, aspiration after refinement. But 
these are only worldly expedients. And if they see 
nothing but these, how can they escape the mastery 
of these mere earthly motives ? How can they, when 
age comes upon them, help exclaiming, as the result of 
the bitter experiences you have given them, " Man is 

30 The Family. 

of the earth, earthy." "Vanity of vanities," saith the 
preacher, "vanity of vanities; all is vanity." For if 
you rise in your families no higher than these temporal 
regards, wise and skilful! as you may be, the end can 
be none other than chaff and nothingness. No, your 
children need a supernatural element intermingled with 
all the duties, relations, and processes of family life. 
It is always the case, in all the relations of human life ;-— 

;-. He builds too low who builds below the skies. 

If you would save your offspring from disaster here 
and ruin hereafter, you must both raise your family up 
to the skies, and strive, by the power of the Holy Ghost, 
to bring down the skies into your households. The 
only agency by which this can be done is the Cross. 
The motives and the stimulants which are divine come 
only from the love of Christ acting upon human breasts. 
Seek this power for your homes and households. It is 
capable of producing the loftiest transformations. The 
love of God, as the spring of family life and conduct, 
will give supernatural ideas and motives to your chil- 
dren's minds. It will make even authority fall into the 
background, to be swallowed up in the divine affec- 
tions. It will raise your entire households above the 
gross and carnal. It will give unearthly light to your 
eyes, and keener blood in your veins for duty and godly 
service. "Not till we call down the spirit of God Him- 
self/' says Martineau, " can we find the consummate 

The Family. 31 

fruit of love, and joy, and peace. There is an affection 
higher than we have named, a divine love directed first 
upon God Himself, and thence drawn into the likeness 
of His own love, and going forth upon other natures, 
in proportion to their worth and claims. This is the 
crowning and culminating term of all prior affections, 
presupposing them and lifting them up from clashing 
and unrest to harmony and peace." 

Third, to secure this grand and gracious influence in 
your households, let me, in conclusion, press the obliga- 
tion, as the third element of family religion, — the duty 
and privilege of worship. Every Christian man's body 
is a temple of the Holy Ghost. Every Christian man's 
. dwelling is God's house; for, as he himself belongs to 
God r so, likewise, everything he possesses is God's prop- 
erty, for glory and honor. Even the heathen acknowl- 
edge this principle. The ancient Greeks and Romans 
dedicated a portion of their mansions to the service of 
their household gods. The simplest heathen in our 
own clay associate invisible presences and supernatural 
powers with the simplest details of domestic life. 
Indeed, it is an instinct of humanity everywhere on 
earth to associate the religious sentiment with outward 
symbols, with locality, with designated spots and places, 
with consecrated sites, and with both humble and ma- 
jestic buildings. The idea itself finds its clearest expres- 
sion in the poet's utterance : 

The groves were God's first temples, 

32 The Family, 

says Bryant. Their o'erhanging arches gave the sem- 
blance, to both eye and imagination, of lofty cathedrals, 
for the service of the Maker ; and in them, not on bar- 
ren plains, men in crowds were wont to assemble, as 
though they were houses, for their rites and ceremonies. 
Then, as civilization advances, grand, lofty edifices were 
constructed for God's glory. 

At the beginning of the Christian religion, the Chris- 
tians were poor, and could not build churches. They 
were despised, and hence could not use the temples of 
their countrymen. The house became the place of 
assembly. When a family became disciples, that house 
became at once a consecrated building, for religious wor- 
ship. And hence the frequent expression in Epistles, 
"the Church in the house." But, observe, it was every- 
where assumed that the Christian man, by baptism, 
became a priest of God, and his house at once was con- 
secrated into a temple. Consider here the two princi- 
ples of priesthood. The first of these is worship as an 
obligation and a duty. In Scripture, the patriarchs, 
which means fathers, were both rulers and priests. A 
part of their authority was to secure the observance of 
religious rites, and to offer up sacrifices. Hence, among 
the Jews, and, indeed, in all nations, they were the 
unconsecrated persons, who presided at the tribal or 
national altars, and led in all the sacred observances of 

The Family. 33 

But instruction was another function of the priestly 
office. It is their duty to train the people, intrusted to 
their care, in all the dogmas and precepts, the principles 
and duties of their religion. More especially is this an 
obligation pertaining to the young. Childhood and 
youth are the special periods of receptivity, in all spirit- 
ual enlightenment, and in the inculcation of moral pre- 
cepts. These, then, are the special functions of parents, 
as the priests in the household. 

The busy, thoughtless, Christless world may live for- 
getful of this duty. Worldly, carnal-minded people 
may shut out God from all 'their mind, and close the 
door upon His entrance in their households ; but you, 
who are Christian men and women, how can you delib- 
erately thrust the Christ from the centre of your cir- 
cles ? And yet, alas, how numerous are the men and 
women who profess and call themselves Christians, 
where the voice of family worship is never heard ? They 
have, perchance, religion in the heart, profess religion 
in the Church, but have no place for it in the family ! 
I do not pause an instant to point out the incongruity 
of this state of things, nor its deviation from godly rec- 
titude. But I beg and exhort you, my brethren, to 
undertake an immediate revolution of your family hab- 
its in this respect. First of all, set God before you and 
your households, as king and governor. Put Him in the 
first place, and make all other things secondary. Deter- 

34 The Family. 

mine that God's honor and glory shall be the primary 
principle of your family life; and then, next, give 
expression to this purpose. Bring it out from the hid- 
den, unseen recesses of mind and will, into living real- 
ity. Tell it out to every ear in your homes and houses, 
fiat Christ is king, and join with angels and archan- 
gels in setting forth His praise. Do not let the religion 
of your heart be a sequestered and a hidden thing, 
secluded from the sight, inaudible to the ears of men. 
Give expression to the sacred intents, the holy purposes 
of your hearts. Erect the family altar. Invoke the 
presence and the power of the Holy Spirit of Christ, as 
an abiding reality in your households. " Let your 
prayers be set forth as the incense, the lifting up of 
your hands as a sacrifice." Accustom the boys and 
girls, the maidens, the youth, and the prattling infants 
of your family, to lift up holy hands, asking daily the 
presence and the blessing of heaven, and sending up to 
the skies the accordant thanksgiving of joyful, grateful 

I have called your attention, this morning, to the 
beautiful picture, in the Gospel for the day, of the most 
perfect and exalted family that ever breathed the com- 
mon air, or walked beneath the skies. And with it I 
have joined a consideration of the duty of family reli- 
gion. For this picture, which stands so brightly before 
us to-day, is no legend ; it is no splendid fiction ; it is no 

The Family. 35 

picture of the imagination, drawn by some grand artist. 
It is solemn, solid, glorious fact. There has been one 
human, earthly family this side of Paradise, with all the 
mellowing hues of purity and simplicity, of excellence and 
holiness, of grace and sanctity. And the charm of this 
picture comes not from the outshining of genius, from 
the hoarded treasures of earthly wealth, from the pomp 
and pageantry of earthly pride and magnificence. No ! 
the family of Nazareth was one of the humblest and 
most retiring. All the power and impress of this Gos- 
pel for the day, comes streaming down to us through all 
the centuries of the Christ, to this Church, this morn- 
ing, from the simple power of serene, exalted, and 
divinest holiness. That holiness, my friends, that fam- 
ily holiness is your example. It is given in the Scrip- 
tures of God for your imitation. Do not interpose the 
cold misgiving that that family -holiness is so remote, 
so far separated from us, that we can never reach it. 
Do not plead that these holy persons, in their sanctity 
were unearthly, in their goodness superhuman ! Joseph 
and Mary were beings exactly after the fashion of our 
sinful nature. It was because Jesus was there that that 
was the holy family of Nazareth. And so Jesus will be 
really present with you, every one of you, to sanctify 
your families. He did sanctify the person of the Virgin 
in her conception, and so has sanctified all birth in the 
world. He has sanctified childhood, youth, manhood, 

2,6 The Family. 

marriage, the family of Nazareth! And so, if you will 
only open your hearts and your doors, He will come into 
your every household, and sanctify your lying down and 
your rising up ; sanctify your breaking bread and eating 
meats ; sanctify your family altars and your domestic 
worship ; sanctify your going out and your coming in ; 
sanctify your sons and daughters ; sanctify your busi- 
ness and your bartering, — yea, make you in very deed 
holy families, like that of Nazareth ; sweet and beautiful 
in your lives, and in your deaths and immortality- 


{The Second Sunday after the Epiphanyl^ 


And the third day there -was a marriage in Cana of Galile?:, and tfu 
mother of Jesus was there. And both Jesus was called, and His disciples, 
to the marriage. 

This passage is a portion of the Gospel for the day. 
It presents to us the fact, that our blessed Saviour gave 
His gracious presence at a marriage feast ; and it affords 
the significant inference that, by His presence thereat, 
we may learn the sanctity of marriage itself. On this 
occasion, moreover, He performed the first of His mar- 
velous and multitudinous miracles; which throws a halo 
of sanctity around this bright occurrence ; thus illustrat- 
ing the language of the English marriage service "that 
He adorned and beautified the marriage rite with His 
presence and first miracle which He wrought." 

As I wish, this morning, to address you upon the ordi- 
nance of marriage, may I ask you to pause just here, for 
a moment, to consider the fact that marriage is one of 
the two original ordinances, which God established at 
the very foundation of human life and society, in the 


38 Marriage. 

Garden of Eden; and that, as an institution, it 13 co- 
equal with the human race; that its obligation was 
unfailingly maintained two thousand years and more 
before the Mosaic covenant, by patriarchal observance ; 
that it received fresh and divine adornment, by solemn 
rites and ceremonies in the Jewish Ritual; that our 
Lord Jesus Christ renewed its sacred authority, and 
shed benignant lustre upon it, by both His presence and 
His miraculous power, at the marriage feast of Cana ; 
that His Apostles, under the inspiration of His blessed 
Spirit, declare, that " marriage is honourable in all men 
and the bed imdefiled;" and lastly, so sacred a union is 
it that Holy Scripture holds it up, as typical of the 
union between Christ and His Church, and as foreshad- 
owing the "heavenly union between Christ and His 
redeemed, the marriage of the Lamb and His wife." 

An institution which comes to us with such sanctions 
deserves most careful, not to say most solemn consider- 
ation; and while I ask your thoughtful attention this 
morning, I invoke the assistance and the blessing of 
the Holy Spirit, that I may speak with plainness and 
with honesty, upon a subject which touches so tenderly 
upon every thing in life, and whose influences are undy- 
ing and eternal. 

I. What is the root of this ordinance? My answer 
is— Love. There are two special factors in marriage, 
and love is the primal and most prominent. Marriage, 

Marriagt. 59 

you will observe, is, in its fundamental aspect, the union 
cf spirits and hearts. This is its prime factor. This 
wanting, the alliance is so far forth vitiated. It is not 
indeed annulled. We dare not say that this revokes 
the contract ; but it is evident that this element lacking, 
the value of the ordinance is lessened, and its dignity 

Love, then, is the basis, the vital element, in this 
most important transaction. 

But love, be it remembered, is a spiritual principle, 
most distinct in its nature, and incapable of being inter- 
changed for any kindred quality. If love be lacking, 
there is no other sentiment, in kind, which can take its 
place. In material matters you can substitute one 
thing for another. You may dispense with bricks, and 
supply their place by stone. You may exchange money 
for land. But love, as an element of the marriage con- 
tract, is a single, unique, fixed, and invariable quality, 
which allows, in no case, commutation. Love, then, is 
the essential, vitalizing sentiment of wedlock. Love is 
the very core and kernel of marriage. Such being the 
case, we see most clearly the baseness and degradation, 
when, instead of love, as the primary element, some 
other lower sentiment is introduced, and the alliance is 
based upon an inferior motive. Too often people marry 
for ease; for self-satisfaction; for mere worldly advant- 
age ; for luxury ; for position ; for power and for pelf. 

40 Marriage. 

Fathers and mothers have been known to barter their 
daughters for gold, for jewels, for lands and possessions. 
Parents not unfrequently interfere, and crush out gen- 
uine love ; in order to secure for their children the tem- 
porary advantages of wealth. Both men and women 
deliberately, and with supremest caution, make a trade 
of marriage, and seek the companionships of life on the 
principle of gain. Nay, even young girls, at times, un- 
hesitatingly avow the purpose to marry only where 
there is the certainty of money and property. 

Now I beg to say that not greed, not houses, not 
money, not land, not ease and luxury, are the basis 
of matrimony; but love. The very first element in this 
grand matter is the affections. The putting this pri- 
mary quality aside for any other, as a chief end or 
object, is one of the grossest things conceivable. 

I am speaking, observe, of primary ends, the cardinal 
purposes of marriage. And these first secured always 
allow the consideration of secondary objects. And 
doubtless there is full propriety in thinking over and 
weighing well those other objects, if love be only placed 
first, in the category of matrimonial motives. That first 
maintained, it is perfectly proper to inquire into those 
other conditions. No man, no woman ought ever to 
enter into this state; no parents ought to give their 
consent to any alliance, without paying proper attention 
to the temporal accidents which pertain to matrimony. 

Marriage. 41 

Our existence in this world is full of temporal necessi- 
ties. Sickness and casualties occur; care and burdens 
daily accumulate; hence, nothing can be more im- 
prudent, than to enter the married state, without care- 
fil and prudent consideration of all the questions, which 
relate to the support of a family; the means of living, 
the prospect of getting on in life, the likelihood of at 
least comfort, and eventually the procuring a home. 
What I contend for is that these are not the first con- 
sideration. That, I insist upon it, is love. I maintain 
most decidedly that, far above house, and food, and 
clothes, and good living, the grand principle of marriage 
is the living affections. The primary factor in the mar- 
riage life is the union of hearts and spirits. 

I cannot quit this part of my subject without calling 
your attention to the nature of this primary motive in 
marriage; and this I have declared to be love. But 
this word is not self-determined. Back of it lies the 
further question as to its meaning and significance. 
Now, when I speak of love, I mean, indeed, that deep 
and ardent affection, far above friendship, far more 
glowing than regard, which the one sex entertains 
for the other. But I mean nothing whimsical, flighty, 
and unreasonable; not a violent flame blazing up in the 
soul, fed only by passion, and uncontrolled by sense or 
reason. This is the mistake young people often make, 
and, in making, they do rude violence to the judgment, 

42 Marriage. 

and rush into irremediable ruin. Love, like our other 
passions, is placed under our control, and we are respon- 
sible for its exercise. The love I speak of, this morn- 
ing, as the primal element of marriage, is that sentiment 
which subordinates itself to reason, judgment, and pru- 
dence ; which subjects itself to advice; which runs par- 
allel with parental regard and mature discretion. 

Now, if these principles be correct, love as a senti- 
ment, gives no justification for the several wrong things 
we often see in families, such as the wild rejection of 
parental advice, the setting aside common prudence 
with regard to temporal arrangements, mis-mating with 
diseased persons, and mis-alliances, thereby contracting 
social degradation. True love, I say, like our other 
affections, is under our control, and can never justify 
any such perverse, unreasonable, and lawless acts. I 
have thus set before you the primary and more promi- 
nent factor in marriage, which is love. 

2. I turn now to a considdration of the second- 
ary factor in this institution. This I would define in 
this manner, viz., that marriage is a* union of persons. 
The former, that is, the prime factor, was the spiritual, 
viz., love. This collateral element is, by contrast, the 
carnal or material consideration. I say that, subordi- 
nate to the primal motive, marriage is, secondarily, a 
union of persons; and by this I mean that it is the join- 
ing together, in corporate union, of two living, corporal 

Marriage. 43 

And this aids us in ascertaining the meaning of the 
words of Scripture: "Therefore shall a man leave his 
father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, 
and they shall be one flesh." The spiritual factor, love, 
produces a unity of hearts and affections. This present 
aspect of the matter joins them into one flesh, and has 
relation to. sex and the bodily and physical relations. 
So that the union of a man and a woman, in the holy 
estate of matrimony is, in a manner, a joining, equiva- 
lent to that of one member to another in the natural 
body. Hence, in a sense, a man in marrying adds to 
himself the physical powers and properties of the 
woman; and the woman, likewise, joins on to her body, 
the entire bodily members and functions of the man. 
The result of this junction of persons is a duality, 
entitled man and wife, which is, in effect, a new organ- 
ism, which we call the family. 

Out of this union of animate persons, distinct in sex, 
but one in substance, springs the special function of 
marriage ; which is to produce children, and to perpet- 
uate the human race. The Almighty laid upon them 
both, the man and the woman, this cardinal injunction, 
" Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth, and 
subdue it." The idea seems to have entered most thor- 
oughly into the instincts, the convictions, and the moral 
sense of mankind, everywhere. Run down the line of 
patriarchal life, and see how this great function of con- 

44 Marriage, 

jugal life is everywhere insisted upon, in all simplicity, 
and with deep moral sensibility. "I will make thee 
exceedingly fruitful," is the divine promise to Abraham, 
"and I will make nations of thee." When the familv 
of Laban was on the eve of sending forth their sister 
Mebekah, to become the wife of Isaac, this was the bless- 
ing pronounced upon her, "Thou art our sister; be thou 
the mother of thousands of millions." The Jewish 
women, from the days of Jacob, coveted the increase of 
their households, and prayed to God for the gift of chil- 
dren. This was the supplication of Rebekah. This, 
too, was the entreaty of Hannah. And when you look 
through the Psalms of David, and read his frequent 
thanksgivings for a numerous offspring, the utterance, 
for instance, of Psalm cxxvii, " Lo, children are an heri- 
tage of the Lord. . . . Happy is the man that hath his 
quiver full of them : they shall not be ashamed, but 
they shall speak with their enemies in the gate" ; or the 
joyous song in Psalm cxxviii, "Blessed is every one that 
feareth the Lord ; that walketh in his ways. . . . Thy 
wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine 
house : thy children like olive plants round about thy 
table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that 
feareth the Lord:" — when you see this exultation for 
the gift of children, you should remember that David's 
rejoicing was but the expression of the delight of uni- 
versal Jewish womanhood for the privilege and the bless- 
ing of fruitfulness and maternity. 

Marriage, 45 

Why did God put this reproductive desire in the 
nature of man? Why, in all lands, do men desire the 
responsibility of fatherhood? Why is there in woman, 
even from girlhood, the anxiousness for maternity? I 
have already pointed out two of the ultimate ends of 
this instinct, viz., the generation of children, the perpe- 
tuity of the race. But I am referring now to the orig^ 
inal and primary causes for this fashioning of our nature. 
And I can only say, that we have no clear revelation 
upon this point, only hints and gleamings, here and 
there in Scripture; and hence cannot speak with the cer- 
tainty of the inspired word. With these hints and 
gleamings there are some natural suggestions which 
seem to me conclusive. 

The existence of spiritual beings, whether men or 
angels, is but a recent, not an eternal fact. Through 
interminable ages, the Almighty dwelt alone in the 
luminous grandeur of the Godhead; but at a given 
point, which marks the commencement of time, He saw 
fit to eschew His solitude of being; and by a grand 
creative act He peopled, at once, the heavens above with 
angels and archangels, and the earth below with men 
and women. The angels above have no productive 
powers ; but man is made a fertile creature, and is pos- 
sessed with the gift of fecundity. And, in this one fea- 
ture of his constitution, he is superior to the angels. 
For I take it that the capacity by which any beings are 

46 Marriage. 

enabled to generate spiritual creatures, to bring them 
into existence, to train them up to the services of life, 
to fit them for the noble cares and responsibilities of the 
Family, the State, and the Church, for the callings of 
statesmanship and science, for law and divinity, for 
grand perils and heroic duties ; and which has scattered 
all along the line of history the bright names which 
adorn humanity, — such a capacity is, I say, secondary 
to the creative power of God. Such is the faculty of 
human generation. No other spiritual beings besides 
man possess it. There are, it is said, seven orders of 
angels. But they each stand up unfertile in individual 
loneliness of being. Man is endowed with the powers 
of reproduction, which is somewhat akin to creative 
power. And, it is a faculty, which not only stretches out 
in its influences, through time, but it reaches over to 
eternity; for, as "the Church on earth is replenished 
by the children of Christian parents, and as from the 
visible, will be selected the invisible church of the 
redeemed, so human marriage is instrumental in adding 
to the family of heaven." 

And thus we see what a noble gift is the generative 
power of man, and how exalted are the functions of 
marriage. At the same time it should be noticed, that 
woman's place in this transaction is the grandest. She 
is the mother. She is the main agent in the office of 
generation. In her person centre the greater, higher 

Marriage. 47 

elements of birthdom. She is the grand instrument in 
the process of begetting living and immortal beings, 
who shall never die! This is the grand prerogative of 
womanhood, and its special moral superiority! 

And what a rebuke is not this aspect of this subject 
to those gross principles and practices which have crept 
into society, upon this whole subject of child-bearing 
and the increase of family. Never before in the history 
of the church has such a spectacle been witnessed by the 
angels above, as the aversion which is boldly avowed, by 
a large class of Christian women, to the function of 
maternity. But added to this, there can be no doubt, 
is the wide-spread endeavor, by unnatural mothers, to 
resist the commands of nature, and to turn their own 
bodies into the graves of their unborn infants. 

Infanticide has been, we know, the practice of heathen 
mothers from immemorial times ; but always, be it remem- 
bered, through ignorance, or superstition, or the de- 
mands of a false religion. But it has been left to our 
times, for Christian women, through the demands of 
fashion or the love of ease, to turn back the tide of 
nature ; to choose death in the place of life ; and by 
deliberate murder to deny themselves the tender offices 
of the breast, and to deafen their ears to the sweet prat- 
tlings of infancy. 

No argument is needed to prove that all this is cruel 
and unnatural. No epithets are too severe for this 

48 Marriage. 

great and crying crime. Nothing can palliate it Every 
woman who arrives at maturity, and enters the holy 
estate of matrimony, knows its duties, demands, and 
requirements. And with this knowledge comes, not 
only the privilege, but the duty of choice. If women 
are unwilling to meet the obligations of marriage, they 
have no right to assume its vows and promises, and to 
claim its rights. Nothing, next to the love and service 
of God, is more solemn and more obligatory than the 
covenant of marriage. It is the grand fountain of 
homes and families ; of States and commonwealths ; of 
churches and heavenly societies. What can be more 
gross, what more destructive, than to undertake its 
responsibilities, regardless of the two great factors 
which God Himself has laid down as the basis of this 
institution — love and maternity ? And hence it is that 
our Church, with a solemnity, deep as that at a funeral, 
bids every man and woman to remember "that this 
estate is not to be entered into unadvisedly or lightly ; 
but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, soberly, and in the 
fear of God." 

3. I cannot close my subject, this morning, without 
offering a few remarks upon the preparations which 
become, and which are befitting, matrimony. I use the 
word preparations purposely ; for I think that the mar- 
riage of children, and especially of daughters, is not a 
matter which should be left to chance, or hap-hazard, or 

Marriage. 49 

girlish caprice. Marriage is the normal state of human- 
ity ; and therefore all parents should carefully bring up 
their children, sons and daughters alike, with an eye to 
the probability that they will go out of their homes to 
form new ones, and to establish other households. 
And therefore (a.) I would enjoin upon all parents the 
careful moral training of their children, as an absolute 
necessity to comfort and concord, when they assume 
conjugal ties. When I speak of moral training I include 
the idea of mental discipline ; for such is the action and 
reaction of the brain and the spirit, such the regulative 
power of the intellect in regard to principles, habits, and 
the will, that there can be no lofty moral training, unless 
there be, with it, the cultivation of the mind. Train 
your daughters and your sons "in the way they should 
go.'' Accustom them to right principles upon life and 
duty. Cultivate in them the sentiments of honor, truth, 
and virtue. Instil in your sons such strong veracity 
that they will never tell a lie. Graft such thorough 
purity in the minds of your girls that chastity will 
become an instinctive tendency. Crown all with the 
love and fear of God in Christ. 

Such youth is sure to make beautiful wives and 
noble husbands; and, if blessed with children, to trans- 
mit the virtues of their own parents to children's chil- 
dren. But this, be it remembered, is no hap-hazard 
and fortuitous thing. It is the work of parents in the 

50 Marriage, 

family ; not of divided counsels, either, — one parent for 
God, and the other stout for the devil ; but of the united 
counsels of father and mother, anxious for the glory of 
God, and the transmission, through a godly seed, of 
godliness and virtue, to distant generations, 

(b.) Added to this duty of training is the deep obliga- 
tion of industry, as a part of the preparatory education 
of children. I would fain enjoin this as a human obli- 
gation, irrespective of sex. I do not insist upon it 
because we are a poor people, but because it is a duty 
for all, whether rich or poor. There can be no health, 
no greatness, no prosperity, no superiority of brain or 
body, of the individual or the family, without willing, 
active industry. It must be willing. It must be spon- 
taneous. A girl brought up in laziness cannot suddenly 
be changed into a neat wife and a tidy housekeeper. 
A boy accustomed to habitual laziness can not be 
turned, in a moment, into a thrifty, prudent, painstaking 
husband. Marriage works no such miracles as these. 
And therefore if you would have your sons stirring, 
active, saving, self-dependent husbands, and your 
daughters faithful, economical wives, fix the habits of 
industry in them from early youth, and teach them to 
regard all labor as honorable. No matter what may be 
your possessions, teach them that work is the heritage, 
work is the calling and the duty of all of God's crea- 
tures; the only solid foundation for success and prcs- 

Marriage. 5 1 

perity. Give your children these habits, and then we 
shall hear no more the foolish demand that young men 
must be rich before they can marry ; no more will indo- 
lent women be money-seekers in the matrimonial mar- 
ket ; no longer shall we have to regret the infrequency 
of marriages in society ; no longer shall we behold, in 
our large cities, hosts of refined, virtuous, and cultivated 
women unsolicited in marriage, growing old in maidenly 
loneliness ; but our young people, everywhere, prompted 
by love, trusting to faithful industry, practising plain 
living, and holding on to simple habits, will form the 
alliances to which nature prompts them ; and beautiful 
households will spring up on every side. 

Closely allied to industry, as a preparation for married 
life, (c.) is the necessity of self-restraint. Think of the 
fact that fully one-third of human life is the state of 
nonage. Why has the Almighty made our minority so 
long? What is the reason that God holds us back for 
so long a time ? Evidently because human beings must 
serve an apprenticeship, before they are fit for respon- 
sible duty. Youth — that is, boyhood and girlhood — is 
the season of discipline ; the period of restraint and 
subjection wherein we learn to control ourselves, to 
keep the body under, in preparation for manhood and 
womanhood. How many persons use the youth of their 
children to this end? Why, in a majority of families, 
children dress as they please, go where they please, 

5 2 Marriage. 

eat and drink what they please. Instead of curb and 
guidance, there is independence and license. And the 
whole tendency of this lawless latitude is to unfit them 
for married life when they reach their majority. With- 
out doubt, this is one leading cause why so many 
young men and women remain unmarried. In the case 
of men it is discoverable in the fact that parents suffer 
them, as boys, to contract habits of indolence, dandy- 
ism, self-indulgence, and drinking ; so that thinking 
young women and prudent mothers conclude that these 
beggarly spendthrifts, with luxurious habits but with 
no pockets, will never be able to support a family, but 
will more likely bring a woman to ruin or the grave. 
So, on the other hand, even girls in families are brought 
up to ease and luxury by over-fond mothers and fool- 
ish fathers ; taught dancing and music at the expense 
of hard-working parents, but not taught to work; dress- 
ing at the height of fashion and to the verge of propri- 
ety ; running the round of winter amusements without 
care or responsibility ; until young men conclude that 
such simple, doubtful creatures will never make domes- 
ticated wives, and that they are utterly unfit, morally 
and physically, to become mothers. Or, on the other 
hand, if a decent, responsible man does marry such a 
thriftless and immodest woman, there is no possibility 
of living with a wasteful, prodigal, self-willed and law- 
less companion. 

And so, too, if a virtuous, higrwninded, ambitious 

Marriage. $ 3 

woman does marry such a worthless coxcomb as I have 
described, she has to take the place of both man and 
woman, and, as is too often the case, bear, for a few 
years, a crushing burden, which lays her down in a pre- 
mature grave. My own observation leads me to the 
conclusion that this latter is more frequently the case. 
Trifling, showy girls frequently sober into painstaking 
and faithful wives ; but your wild, rakish husband keeps 
on in the line of continuity, and begets children in his 
own likeness, and puts them on his own crooked and 
ruinous tracks ! The root of this disease is to be found 
in the unrestraint and license given to boys and girls 
during their minority. Ungoverned girlhood, unruly 
boyhood are pretty sure to crop out into careless 
womanhood and brutal manhood. If you would raise 
up for the future, good wives and husbands, teach your 
children while young to want little, to keep their bodies 
under, to restrain their passions, to practise economy, 
to dress plainly, to avoid the stimulants which produce 
premature passions, to place themselves under the con- 
trol of reason, to practise the principles of virtue, to 
live according to the dictates of piety and religion. 
Such a life, and only such a life, will afford the founda- 
tion on which they will be able to build a mature, a 
sober, and a godly manhood. 

I make no apology for the train of thought which I 
have presented to your consideration, nor for the plain* 
ness of speech I have used. "To the pure all things 

1)4 Marriage. 

are pure;" and "what God hath cleansed," that no man 
has the right to regard as common or unclean. I am 
aware that the subject of marriage is but seldom spoken 
of from the pulpit, and that still more seldom do minis- 
ters speak of the functions of marriage, and the duty of 
maternity. But the Church speaks very clearly and 
pointedly upon the subject, and I am but an obedient 
servant, to-day, in uttering her voice. I .regret that 
there are so few marriages that take place in society. 
I believe it to be the duty of parents to see to the mar- 
riage of their daughters. I think it is their duty, in 
simplicity of living, and by social life and entertainment, 
to encourage the marriage of their children. Marriage, 
I beg to say here, is a duty. I think young women, 
even by the eccentricity of plainness of appearance 
and sweetness of character, should strive to remove 
some of the obstacles which hinder men from marriage. 
And I think young men should have the boldness and 
manliness to enter upon married life in a simple, una- 
dorned, and quiet manner, mindless of style and the 
requirements of fashion, relying upon the loving hearts, 
the trustful faith, and the willing industry of scores of 
beautiful women, who, both by character and intellect, 
would adorn the homes of princes. I speak all this in 
the interest of society, of virtue, of chastity, of pure 
and undefiled religion; and may God bless it to the 
young of both sexes, to your families, to this Church, 
and to His own glory. 


{Passion Sunday?) 

ST. JOHN, T, 29. 


The next day John seeth Jesus coming untc him, and saith, Behold the 
Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world. 

These are wonderful words, my brethren, and they fell 
from the lips of John the Baptist. But it is a matter of 
prime importance that you should notice that they were 
spoken to Jewish people ; for, otherwise, it would be 
quite difficult to understand their deep and marvellous 
import. The region where these words were spoken 
was on the western side of Jordan, in a district of rivu- 
lets and streams, where hills lifted up their heads on 
every side, and a wide wilderness lay stretched out over 
a large district of country. 

All through this neighborhood the tribes of Ephraim 
and Benjamin lived for centuries, built their towns 
and cities, and multiplied into a large and crowded pop- 
ulation. But amid much material prosperity, the Israel- 
itish people had declined in national spirit and religious 
purity and simplicity. At this time the Almighty 


56 The Lamb of God. 

raised up a prophet among them of a force, authority, 
and power unlike and superior to any that had appeared 
among them for centuries. Casting aside as superfluous 
the luxurious habits of the age, he lived in the wilder- 
ness a life of the most rigid simplicity and the severest 
abstinence. He went everywhere, calling the people to 
repentance, and warning them of the threatened wrath 
of God. His voice was like a trumpet, and his words 
were words of fire, as he preached in the ears of men, 
"Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." 

Such an extraordinary preacher as this broke up the 
stillness of dull, ordinary life, and disturbed the stag- 
nancy of customary guilt and depravity. The popula- 
tion of the whole neighborhood poured out to see and 
hear this wondrous prophet. Multitudes confessed their 
sins, and besought of him "the baptism of repentance" 
in the waters of Jordan. 

It was in a scene of this kind, — the crowds of anxious 
Jews surrounding him, eager inquiries put to him by 
repentant men and women, sinners standing around 
with baptismal waters still dripping from their brows, 
that the fact occurred which is spoken of in the text. 
A pause takes place in the busy life of the Baptist ; and 
his attention is called away to a majestic and shining 
presence coming toward him. Then he sees approach- 
ing him that "flower of perfect humanity," that one 
only specimen of ineffable purity, the man Christ Jesus, 

The Lamb of God. 57 

Immediately all duty and service come to an end. 
Struck with awe and admiration, the Baptist himself is 
transformed. The hard, rough words of his tongue 
vanish in an instant; and with mingled wonder and rev- 
erence he points out to the multitude the grand godly 
personage who draws nigh to him, in these words of 
transcendent beauty and significance, " Behold the Lamb 
of God which taketh away the sin of the world ! " 

Now observe that the Baptist was speaking to a peo- 
ple addicted, through all their generations, to the practice 
of sacrifice. For more than a thousand years, under 
the Mosaic covenant, under which they were then living, 
the offering up of lambs and other animals, had been 
an unfailing custom. The custom in their blood and 
kindred had been older than this. It had come down 
2,000 years before the time of Moses, from their Father 
Abraham. Nay, the Jews could trace it still further 
back, in their line and lineage, even than to Abraham's 
day. Sacrifice was the custom of their ancestors in the 
line of Seth, clear up to the days of Noah ; and we all 
know that it anticipated the Noachic covenant, that 
it came down to that patriarch from Father Adam, 
from the very outer gates of Eden. 

When, then, John the Baptist pointed out the Messiah 
to the Jews as "the Lamb of God," they well understood 
the import of his words. His speech was indeed a very 
brief one ; but it included large histories, and the expec- 

58 The Lamb of God. 

tations of centuries, the hopes of generations, the cus- 
tom of a long line of patriarchs and fathers, and the 
strongest religious instinct and demand of wide human- 
ity. It was in effect just this meaning and teaching. — - 
" You are looking for the Messiah ; you are daily offer- 
ing up your sacrifices of lambs and goats as a token of 
the great expected sacrifice, which is to give freedom 
and salvation to Israel. Lo! here is the hope of the 
ages. " Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the 
sin of the world ! " 

The subject suggested by the text divides itself into 
two sections : — The first, the person presented to our 
notice and regard, and second, the duty which apper- 
tains to Him. 

I. "Behold the Lamb of God." It is a specific ob- 
ject, you will observe, (a) the Lamb of God; the one 
offering, separate from every other which had ever been 
laid upon an altar to propitiate an offended Deity. And 
(b) that one only sacrifice as able to "take away the sin 
of the world." 

And this statement traced to its final issue, is the 
affirmation made for centuries by rite, ceremony, and 
sacrifices to the Jews especially, but to all the tribes of 
men by less vivid, but equally certain instincts and relig- 
ious customs; the affirmation, namely, that "without 
shedding of blood there is no remission " of sins. 

This is the idea which fills the Baptist's mind in 

The Lamb of God. 59 

pointing out the Messiah. To the Jewish mind his 
words implied a contrast between their sacrifices, only 
symbolical, and the one true only sacrifice then standing 
in their midst — the Saviour of sinners. 

In just this way John the Baptist speaks to us this day. 
To our sight he points out the Lamb of God. Into 
our ears, into the depths of our consciousness he pours 
the truth of the universe, that " without the shedding of 
blood there is no remission " of sins. 

Let us ponder over this vital principle. Let us 
endeavor to*see if this same Saviour is not our greatest 
and most pressing need. 

The question of sin, i. e. t of the reality of it, we will not 
discuss. Every man knows its existence, knows too 
that it is not an original tendency ; not a primitive and 
natural state in the constitution of man. For every 
man knows that confusion is not a first principle in God's 
economy ; that disorder is not a primitive element. 
And sin we know is both disorder and confusion. Sin 
is an abnormal and degenerate state. How then are 
we to be saved from sin ? 

There is but one alternative. We must either save 
ourselves from the taint and penalty of sin, or else we 
must be saved by a Being both fit and able to save us. 

We cannot save ourselves. Human inability to the 
salvation of the soul is the confession of the whole 
world. Every one knows the insufficiency of man even 

60 The Lamb of God. 

for the care and preservation of the lower, animal life, 
God has given us. We come into life weak, helpless 
little babes ; and our life is in the tender care of others. 
All through life we are kept from ruin, from starvation, 
from dangers, disease, and death, by the intervention 
and the self-sacrifice of our fellow creatures. The prin- 
ciple of mediation, in its lower sense, mingles with our 
whole life from the cradle to the grave. No man stands 
up altogether by himself, sufficient for himself in all 
things, anywhere on earth. . Some one, nay, many 
persons all through our life, have to interpose good 
offices that we may not want, and suffer, and die. Our 
mothers suffer for us, that we may come into life ; our 
parents undergo pains and trial that we may reach 
manhood and secure success; our teachers and our 
friends have to bear and endure to the end, that we may 
be built up and achieve prosperity and position in life. 

Thus we see that no man can save himself, even with 
regard to our lower, physical life in this world. We are 
saved very largely by others. 

But if this be true in regard to this lower life of ours, 
how overwhelmingly so is it with respect to that inner 
life which pertains to the soul ? Who of the sons of 
men ever had the power to break the iron fetters of sin ? 
To cast off the thraldom of guilt ? To secure the glori- 
ous freedom of innocence and purity ? 

Take up the history of man, and what do we find the 

The Lamb of God, 61 

master question in all the nationalities of men but the 
one grand query, " What can we do with sin ? " Every- 
where on earth, whether it be in the classic nations of 
Greece and Rome, or among the luxurious people of 
the East, or the savage tribes of Africa, or the wild 
inhabitants of the islands of the seas ; sacrifices of beasts 
and birds, aye, even of men, women, and children, 
attest the troubled heart of humanity under the harass- 
ing burden of sin, and the agonizing but vain attempt 
to get rid of its troubles and its tortures. Sacrifices 
are always confessions, not infrequently expressions of 

The revelation of the Scriptures turns us from the 
fruitless efforts of man, for salvation, to the power and 
the victory of the Son of man, " the Lamb of God who 
taketh away the sin of the world." It tells us that 
while the power of man is useless, the sacrifice of the 
Lord Jesus is all powerful and effective. 

Just here we are met by a school of thought, cool, 
heady, and dogmatic, which denies the need and efficacy 
of blood to propitiate sin; and which claims, moreover, 
that by the aid of reason alone it can attain virtue below 
the skies. This school sets itself against all the tradi- 
tions, all the histories, all the expiatory customs of the 
world, and refuses to allow them any abiding religious 
significance. If Theodore Parker were living to-day he 
would reject the sacrificial customs of the Jews as 

62 The Lamb of God. 

superstition. And to your appeal this morning to the 
Lamb of God, that " by His agony and bloody sweat, 
His cross and passion, His precious death and burial, 
He would deliver us," the pious and gentle Channing 
would turn away with horror, and tell you that the "very 
idea was appalling ! " 

But neither sentiment nor speculation can subvert a 
fact, nor weaken the ideas which underlie that fact. 
The fact, next to the idea of God, is as large a one 
as ever presented itself in the realm of thought and 
in the province of experience. Its proportions are 
indeed prodigious. It is so immense a fact that no one 
single line of thought could ever distinctly express it. 
It comes to us in divergent lines of testimony. 

1. Look at it first historically. The whole history of 
man from the creation shows the deep conviction of hu- 
manity, everywhere, that "without shedding of blood 
there is no remission " of sin. The idea of expiation is 
inextricably intermingled with all the history, poetry, 
religious worship and priestly offices of all the tribes 
and nations of men. The mangled bodies of sacrifices, 
the blood of victims, are a constant and a ghastly spec- 
tacle in the annals of our race. The sacrificial idea is 
as old as humanity, and as wide and far-reaching as the 
history of man. 

2. Turn to the providential expression of the same 
idea, See how the Almighty Himself has put this prin- 

The Lamb of God. 63 

ciple of expiation into the very histories of men, into 
the policies and currents of national life ; so that men 
may not possibly escape its teachings. We see the 
fact in all the providential events of human being. It 
is God's finger in all human story. The instances are 
almost innumerable; but a few conspicuous cases stand 
out in bold relief, and speak with telling utterance. 

When, in the early history of man, the world had 
corrupted its way in the earth, and all virtue had fled, 
the blood of man was exacted in expiation, and Noah 
and his family alone escaped. 

The abominations of Egyptian bondage, for more than 
two hundred years, became so enormous that it could 
only go out with a judgment that brought death to 
every household and woe to every heart therein. 

For centuries the nobles and kings of France set at 
nought every principle of duty and obligation, and rioted 
in profligacy and corruption, until at last every thing 
declined, and the end had come. And how did it come? 
It came in the earthquake and the hurricane, in the hail- 
storm, and in the shivering, blasting lightning of revo- 
lution ; and the nobility and gentry of France were 
swept away as with the besom of destruction, and the 
blood of kings and queens and gentle princes flowed 
like water. 

For more than two hundred years the people of this 
land maintained the most grinding tyranny that ever 

64 The Lamb of God. 

existed beneath the sun, determined to the last to up- 
hold it, by law and interest, by philosophy and power, 
and, added thereto, by the authority of Scripture. But 
at last the time of its end came, and everything was 
done to close it up, if it were possible, without suffering 
or disaster. But neither reason nor philosophy, law 
nor statesmanship, compromise nor policy, could avail. 
The time had come ! " Without shedding of blood 
there is no remission " of sin. The sin of the land 
called for blood, and blood had to flow for the wiping 
out its deadly stains. On the battle fields of the South 
the best and choicest blood of every section drenched, 
for years, the very sod which, for centuries, had been 
moistened by the black man's blood, and crimsoned its 
streams and rivers. And so sore and terrible was the 
disaster that there was a great cry in all the land. "For 
there was not a house where there was not one dead ; " 
and mourning was in every household. And so the sin 
of this country went out in agony and blood ! And 
then God closed up the book of national expiation by 
the most terrible tragedy known in all its history. In 
the very moment of victory, at the first breathing-time 
in a four-years' stretch of misery and bloodshed, the 
Chief Magistrate of the country was hurried into eter- 
nity by the pistol-shot of defeated but frenzied and 
demoniac slavery ! And so God taught the people 
that blood must flow for sin. And so the sin of the 
nation vanished forever ! 

The Lamb of God, 65 

3. The word of God is most distinct in its setting 
forth the idea of sacrifice. The practice itself began in 
the very infancy of the race, and there can be no doubt 
that it was by divine command. It was the religion of 
Abel, of Noah, and of Abraham. It was the practice 
of all the patriarchs, under divine direction. It was 
enforced again upon the Jewish people, upon their first 
setting up their religion, as a national institution, in the 
wilderness. It comes out with organic distinctness in 
the Mosaic Ritual, under the explicit command of Jeho- 
vah, and perpetuated, moreover, in a priestly line to the 
time of Christ. The principle and the duty are declared 
with burning vividness in the prophetical writings, 
which glow with the reflex lustre which comes from the 
cross of Christ, seen in the distance, and from which 
they derived their grand significance. All through the 
Old Testament this principle of sacrifice accompanied 
with commands, injunctions, regulations, and systematic 
observances ; daily, weekly, monthly, and annually, 
declares or sets forth the sacredness of a divine principle 
and the authorization of the Deity Himself. 

And now, my friends, I am unable to see how any 
tender sensibility, any force of reasoning, can possibly 
break down these deep convictions of humanity and 
this most manifest law of nature's God. Here we have 
the concurrent testimony of universal human conviction, 
the religious instinct of the entire race of man, and the 


66 The Lai7ib of God. 

undoubted will of God that guilt demands the expiation 
of blood. It is not only a law of natural religion, not 
only the teaching of Providence, but the positive declar- 
ation of the revealed will of God. 

And I stand upon these convictions, and maintain 
these teachings. Nor can I suffer any mere specu- 
lation to relax my hold upon them. I grant, indeed, 
that I am not able to point out the specific relation of 
blood to the principle of atonement. That is a mystery 
which the Almighty has not seen fit to set forth, in its 
entirety, to human comprehension. But the mystery 
which is wound up in a fact cannot destroy that fact, 
because it is a mystery. Here is a principle that lies 
imbedded in the deepest regions of our nature, showing 
itself in all periods of time, allied to all the religions of 
men, and running" parallel with the most positive fea- 
tures of God's rule in this world, and the plainest teach- 
ings of His Holy Word; and we are called upon to 
renounce it because of its seeming divergence from the 
philosophy or the civilization of the age. But I must 
hold on to a universal religious instinct, which is testi- 
fied by all the world ; for, if in no other way, its univer- 
sality is a proof of its verity and its integrity. And I 
regard of far more value the teachings of the threefold 
witnesses — the human conscience, the Divine Provi- 
dence, and the Holy Word — than all the speculations of 

The Lamb of God. 6j 

We turn once more to the scriptural aspects of the 
subject. They show us everywhere the rigidity of law 
coming down from the throne of the universe, refusing 
all compromise with iniquity, demanding retribution for 
sin. "The soul that sinneth 5 it shall die!" "God will 
by no means clear the guilty." 

It reveals to us another aspect of the Divine govern- 
ment. God's- rule of the world is as much a rule of 
mercy as it is of justice and of law. He knew not 
only man's inability to obedience, but also his incapabil* 
ity of atoning for sin. Therefore He sent His only 
Son u a propitiation for our sins." Read the book of 
Leviticus. Read the prophets. Read the Gospels. 
Read the Epistles of St. Paul ; and see everywhere the 
one single predominant principle of expiation, from 
Genesis to Revelation. See how, for thousands of 
years, at first darkly and by signs, until the "fulness of 
the ; :imes," but, in the latter ages of the world, in the 
clearest and most distinct manner, God has set forth 
Jesus Christ, His only Son, born of a Virgin, the one 
great sacrifice for sins. John the Baptist declared the 
whole doctrine of sacrifice in that remarkable passage 
in the third chapter of St. John, a passage which 
remains for aye the wonder of the Church ; his 
knowledge of the atonement seeming as distinct and 
luminous as that of St. Paul. The Lord Jesus announced 
it constantly during His ministry, not merely with pro- 

6& The Lamb of God. 

phetic, but pre-eminently with divine emphasis and 
authority, up to the very tragedy of Calvary. " And as 
Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so 
shall the Son of Man be lifted up." "And I, if I be lifted 
up, will draw all men unto me." And then, after our 
Lord's Ascension, His apostles preached everywhere the 
same living and abiding truth to people of every clime 
and name, as the one grand condition of salvation : 
"Christ died for sinners." "God commendeth His love 
toward us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ 
died for us." "The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, 
cleanseth from all sin." "Christ also hath- once suffered 
for sins, the just for the unjust." 

2. And now that the Lamb of God is pointed out to 
our sight and held up to our view, what are we to do 
with respect to Him ? 

There is but one requirement in the text, and that 
declares the grand spiritual requirement of the soul. 
"Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin 
of the world." Yes, plain, simple, trivial as it seems, 
yet all man has to do is to look and to see. Surely, you 
can understand this. Is it not clear and certain that 
the Divine Father would have us look no longer any- 
where else in the universe save to His blessed Son? 
And is it not true that the eye of man's soul does wan- 
der, the world over, for safety, save to the Son of Man ? 

But now the invitation comes to every soul, "Be- 
hold the Lamb of God." Summon all the scattered, 

The Lamb of God, 69 

wasted powers of your heart, and fasten them upon the 
Christ. He is able and willing to save every man from 
himself and from his sins, in time and for eternity. 

You ask, perchance, have we nothing to do but to 
look ? And what is there in looking that can serve to 
change the heart or save the soul? 

Why, don't you see that if you sit and gaze upon the 
Lamb of God, look with all your heart, and mind, and 
soul, look with all your sorrow and desires, look with 
all your tears and all your longings upon your Saviour, 
that this is believing in Him and accepting Him as your 
Master and your all ? 

Salvation comes by looking. Sight is the most vivid 
and most transforming of all our senses, the soul's 
mightiest organ for apprehension. " The very first lesson 
of Agassiz, the naturalist, to a student, was, 'Take that 
fish and look at it' And the whole work of that stu- 
dent for three days was to look at it. Artists and paint- 
ers who wish to get the true insight from a picture sit, 
day after day, and look at it." So the Bible teaches us 
that by beholding a thing we become like unto it. Thus, 
beholding the Lamb of God saves men. If you want 
salvation, look to Jesus. 

What else, I ask, can faith be but this absorbing, 
looking, fastening of the soul upon its Lord and King, 
undisturbed and undistracted by anything else, lost in 
the crucified One ? Is it not thus in all our loves and 
friendships and our faith, with men, with women, and 

JO The Lamb of God. 

children? How comes the man to love the maiden and 
to trust her? He looks, and looks, and looks, and her 
image enters his soul, and love sits master in his being. 
What is the first desire of the mother with her new- 
born babe but to see it ? And then she looks and looks, 
until its innocent face enters the core of her heart, and 
she is swept away with the floods of maternal love. 

Thus, too, with the Lamb of God, our Saviour; but 
with the stronger currents of our souls and the peni- 
tential sorrows of our hearts. 

"Behold the Lamb of God which taketh away the 
sin of the world?" Have you sins? Have you guilt? 
Have you wretchedness ? Have you sorrows, soul-sick- 
ness and despair ? Look to Jesus and be saved ! Don't 
look to the world ! Don't look to yourself ! Don't look 
at your sins ! Get away, and at once, to the "Lamb of 
God." He alone can save you. Behold the Lamb of 
God ! Put your heart in your eyes. Put your eyes 
upon your Lord. Keep Him ever in your sight. And 
thus looking, gazing, lost in the sight and contemplation 
of your Redeemer, the whole vision, power, and pre- 
ciousness of the Lord shall enter into your being. His 
beauty shall ravish you. His love shall subdue you. 
All your guilt and depravity shall depart. His look 
shall drive them away. All your sorrows and your cares, 
your miseries and anguish shall vanish. " Behold the 
Lamb of God," for "He taketh away the sin of the 




COL. Ill : I. 

If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where 
Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. 

The term Easter, which is the title of the Festival 
which we are now celebrating, is derived from Eostre, the 
name of the old goddess of light and illumination among 
the early British people. In the early ages of Chris- 
•ianity, even pagan customs, if they were innocent, were 
•Howed observance by Christians. And so the Resur- 
rection, coinciding, that is, in time, with the ancient 
British festival, eventually displaced it ; put aside en- 
tirely the heathen notions associated with it ; introduced 
at the same time the lofty Christian idea of this season, 
but carrying off the old name, and putting it to a noble 
Christian use. The appropriation thus made is an hon- 
oring one. Easter is indeed the festival of light and 
illumination. All things divine and heavenly, all the 
ideas which are bright and celestial are associated with 
it. It is the spring by which, as by a sudden bound, 


/2 Rising with CJirist 


mankind is privileged to rise from the earthly and car 
nal, to the ethereal, the invisible, the eternal. It is the 
triumph of the supernatural over the temporal. By the 
Resurrection of our Lord, we are advanced in fact, in 
idea, and in prerogative, from the dominion of earth 
and sense, to that vast, wider world of perfect men and 
holy angels ; of God eternal and ineffable ; of holy truth 
and everlasting light and glory. And hence it is that 
the poet sings : 

The day of resurrection ! 

Earth, tell it out abroad I 
The Passover of gladness, 

The Passover of God ! 
From death to life eternal, 

From this world to the sky, 
Our Christ hath brought us over, 

With hymns of victory. 

It is with such vivid, glowing ideas of our Lord's ris- 
ing that the apostle gives us the exhortation of the text. 
" If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are 
above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." 
The assumption of the apostle is, that we have risen 
with Christ ; the inference he draws from it is, that, by 
virtue of our union and communion with Him, we must 
keep up our connection with the upper world of light 
and glory, by faith. " Christ," he says, "is advanced to 
the highest dignity and honor in Heaven. That is the 
spot where our hearts and affections are to be centred ; 

Rising with Christ. 73 

from whence, even here on earth, we are to draw all the 
power of our existence, all the stimulants to activity, all 
the light and glory of our spiritual being." 

In considering the Apostle's words, let us go back 
a little, and think upon the need of the charge given us 
in the text. That charge is to rise. Is there any need 
for it ? Do we not all know this deep necessity of 
human being ? Are we not all low ? Is not debasement 
the saddest element of our every being ? Is not degene- 
racy the common universal taint of our humanity ? 
The need for man to rise, discovers itself, first of all, by 
a general view of human kind. We see indeed, every 
where on earth, the signs of human superiority. We 
see civilization, enlightenment, letters, and government. 
And we see very often the tokens of self-satisfaction 
and self-sufficiency, in the possession of them, and in 
their bright show. But, after all, nothing can hide the 
fact of man's discontent amid the very best earthly 
circumstances ; and for the very reason that there abides 
with him always the conviction that he is down, that in- 
feriority taints every fibre of his nature ; that obliquity 
discovers itself in every joint and sinew of his constitu- 
tion. He strives indeed after somewhat more elevating 
and superior, because he is the image of God, tarnished 
and effaced though it be ; but yet his struggles are hin- 
dered by the clogs, the weights, and the grossness of hi* 5 
sinful nature; just as Milton represents— 

74 Rising with Christ. 

The tawny lion, pawing to get free 
His hinder parts. 

half animal, and half earth, So earth, and an earth- 
bound nature, clearly set forth to every one of us the 
sinful abjectness of man. 

The general fact is also the individual personal expe- 
rience. That man does not know a single section, of 
his heart who has not discovered his own special degene- 
racy. All the laws of civil society, all the statutes of 
states and nations, all the treaties between nationalities, 
imply, in their very structure, a state of human depravity 
which is to be guarded against, warded off or punished. 
All the histories of men, with their dark pages, and their 
saddening tales and memoirs, are so many biographies 
of a fallen, sin-burdened being. Every man that ever 
lived, if you could get at his life, would reveal to you his 
confession of moral defectiveness. Even where there is 
pretence to superiority, as in the case of the Caesars and 
the Napoleons, you will not have to wait long before you 
see not only the personal depravity, but you will also 
hear, if even unguardedly, the acknowledgement of un- 
soundness or moral weakness. And when there is no 
open avowal, we get the tacit assent to the lowness of 
sinful man in their subterfuge ; in the attempt to hide 
their guilt ; in their hypocrisies ; in their guile and their 
deceit. The testimony is an universal personal one, 
that man has made a most calamitous descent from 
original righteousness, to sinful degradation. 

Rising with Christ. J$ 

Again we see the necessity of man to rise, by the 
very defeats he meets with, in all his endeavors after 
excellence. For the corrupt and carnal man has, not 
seldom, aspirations after truth and goodness. He sees 
the right, and often pines, and sighs, and struggles for 
it. And here we make a discovery which shows itself 
at every period of life and among all peoples, that is, 
the attempted flight of the soul after things unearthly 
and celestial, with the failure to reach them and the 
despair that follows. Little children striving to be 
truthful, girls and boys endeavoring to be honest and 
virtuous, men and women aiming after rectitude and 
uprightness, and yet lapsing, stumbling, falling away 
into vice and depravity, and oftentimes exclaiming in 
utter hopelessness, " Oh, wretched man that I am, who 
shall deliver me from the body of this death ! " Just as 
I saw, last spring, a little bird escaped from its cage, 
flying about in La Fayette Park. It was unused to long 
ventures of flight, and one wing was broken ; so that, 
every time it attempted an upward rise, it was beaten 
back by the strong currents of the breeze ; and the lit- 
tle thing would fall upon the grass, and pant and moan 
with its unusual exertions, and at last settled down on 
the earth to die. 

2. We have need then to rise. There is a constitu- 
tional paralysis, from which it becomes us, as moral 
agents, to escape ; and, on the other hand, there is a 

76 Rising with Christ. 

divine integrity, to which it is every way our duty and 
our advantage to reach forward. Consider, for a few 
moments, the somewhat and the whither to which we 

. should endeavor, as disciples, to rise. My answer is, to 
things divine and heavenly. " Seek those things which 
are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God." 
" Set your affection on things above, not on things on 
the earth." He explains his own meaning. " For ye 
are dead," he says. Dead ! Dead to what ? Dead, 
that is, to things present. Dead to earthly things. 
Every Christian is crucified unto the world, and the 
world crucified unto him. This is both our profession 
and our obligation. By putting on Christ in baptism 
we have declared ourselves members of a heavenly soci- 
ety, under the control of supernatural ideas and princi- 
ples, reaching forth to realities beyond the range of time 
and sense. If the Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of 
the Spirit, has done anything effectual in our souls, then, 
by the power of His resurrection, He has raised us to a 
higher plane of being than that we had by nature. 

I And that is the very object of Christianity. Its pur- 
pose is to put the kingdom of heaven within us. Its 
especial significance is a personal divine and spiritual 
reality within us. And when you consider how low and 
abject we were by sin, you can judge the elevation we 
needed to bring us consciously into the realities of the 
kingdom of God's grace. Look at what is implied in 
this spiritual elevation of our nature. 

Rising ivith Christ, ?? 

(a) First of all, it signifies our reaching after and 
grasping divine principles and convictions. Plere is the 
radical defect of our disorganized nature ; and here, too, 
is the very first start of our nature to spiritual superior- 
ity. The depravity of man is noted in disregard or indif- 
ference to divine truth. His fall, at the start, was his 
falling away from the glorious principles which center 
in the Godhead and stream from the person of the Deity. 
And the sin of man continues in just this same obliq- 
uity, namely, an aversion to divine principles and con- 

Men are influenced and governed by inclination, by 
selfishness, by desire, by passion, and not by truth. 
Appetite and lust are the main stimulants of their being, 
not the divine law. Motives that are carnal and sen- 
sual sway their being, but not the divine command- 
ments ; not the celestial ideas which come from the 
throne of God. 

And as in the past, so everlastingly, man must remain 
low and grovelling, until, by some divine influence, he 
reaches forth to an actual reception of the truth. This is 
the very first movement of our being toward superiority. 
It is thus in all things. Even in temporal matters there 
can be no possible advance without the grasp of fundar 
mental ideas. Your children cannot reach attainments 
in the simplest elements of education until they come 
to some acquaintance with first principles, whether in 

78 Rising with Christ, 

arithmetic, or grammar, or geography. This is a law of 
our nature in all its departments. Excellence is first 
rooted in truths. Preeminence springs from ideas. 
Elevation is the product and outgrowth of convictions. 
This principle reaches its highest expression in religion. 
To rise from sin, to get away from grossness and degra- 
dation, demands, as a primary condition, that we receive 
into our bosoms the strength and the assurance of divine 
convictions. Somewhat of the heavenly must become 
incorporated with our nature before we can reach to the 
place where Christ sitteth on His eternal throne. It is 
only by this grasping of divine principles and convic- 
tions, with the rejection of mere earthly motives, that 
man can thus be lifted up to the heavens. This recep- 
tion of God's truth is, indeed, our entrance into the 
kingdom of heaven, and the entrance of the kingdom of 
heaven into us. 

For, observe, (i) supernatural truth comes from God; 
and (2) it is put into us by a divine operation, that is. 
through the agency of the Holy Ghost. Thus, sever- 
ally, the personality of God is a divine principle ; and it 
comes from God. It cannot be derived from any other 
source. The moral responsibility of man is a divine 
principle. The fact of its reality, its force and persist- 
ency come from God. The doctrine and the experience 
of divine grace is a principle, is a fact which includes 
both the Atonement of the Cross and the gift of the Holy 

Rising zvitli Christ. 79 

Ghost, and it springs everlastingly from the heart of God. 
And the principle of ever-lasting life originates, as from 
its fontal source, in that supreme existence, of Whom St. 
John tells us, " In Him was life, and the life was the 
light of men." 

But note that these divine principles not only come 
to us, but, when received by the spirit, that they lift us 
up. I care not how grovelling a man may have been, 
how sensual, or how beastly. If you once get the ideas 
of God, responsibility, heavenly grace, and a future life 
gladly and joyously to absorb his attention and to circle 
his brain, is not that man raised to heaven ? When 
John Bunyan pictures to us the man absorbed in a worth- 
less muck-rake, and an angel standing beside him offer- 
ing a golden Crown, what is it that we then see but the 
carnal, godless man lost in sin and depravity ? But 
reverse the picture. See the man, like Bunyan himself, 
cast away the muck-rake, and then madly and with a 
whole heart strive to gain the crown of heaven. Do 
you not see that heaven itself has transformed that man 
into something celestial and divine ? There is no need 
of a change in such a man's locality. He may stand on 
the same spot on which he was born into this world ; 
he may have the same surroundings ; he may have the 
same poverty ; he may live in the same body, and that 
body poor, weak, miserable, and dying; but immediately 
he receives the grand truths of God's revelation, he 

So Rising with Christ, 


undergoes that marvelous transformation by which he 
is changed from darkness to light; a transformation 
whereby he is cut off from the society of the perverse 
and lawless, and becomes " a fellow citizen of the saints 
and of the household of God." It is this seizure upon 
divine truth, this apprehension of heavenly ideas, which 
has brought out of the world this whole grand kingdom 
of God, made up of pure and godly men and women, of 
every clime and nation in all the ages ; part of whom are 
in Paradise, and part still militant on earth ; " born, not 
of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of 
man, but of God," and so by truth uplifted to heavenly 
things in Christ. 

(b) But besides the reception of divine principles, 
another section of our nature must needs be touched, in 
order to our spiritual uplifting. To rise with Christ ve 
need the sanctification of our feelings and aspirations. 
We have a whole apparatus of senses and sensibilities, 
which more or less influence even the saints of God. 
With the world they assert supremacy. The masses of 
men who live without God and without hope deliver 
themselves up to desire. What the carnal nature craves 
for, it gets. Partial restraint upon nature is yielded by 
a sense of respectability, or from pride and ambition. 
But take the world as it comes and goes, and men are 
satisfied to be governed by sense, to be swayed by feel- 
ing, to reach forth after the things which minister to 

Rising witli Christ, 81 

delight and selfish gratification. Among the rude and 
vulgar the agencies used for satisfaction are, like them- 
selves, rude and vulgar. Among the refined and culti- 
vated the instrumentalities employed for delight are of 
a different and a higher nature. But, alien from God, 
men of high degree and men of low degree are content 
to give themselves up to desire, to stretch forth the 
hands of the soul for the objects which minister enjoy- 
ment and felicity. 

The Christian requirement demands a revolution in 
this regard. It does not, indeed, command a destruc- 
tion of our natural taste. What it aims after and effects 
is the gift and the production within us of a supernat- 
ural taste, subordinating natural desire to its own place, 
\nd giving to our inward consciousness a divine appe- 
tite and a heavenly yearning for spiritual things. 
This sanctification of the feelings, the affections, and 
the desires, is a possibility to every soul. 

First of all, it is a command of the divine word. " Set 
your affections on things above, and not on things on 
the earth." 

But second, this sanctification of our emotional nature 
is set before us as an example in the divine life of the 
model man, the Lord Jesus Christ. For He came into 
the world to give us the reality of the highest manhood 
In Him we see the enthusiasm of our human nature for 
supremest excellence. His meat and His drink was tc 

82 Rising- with Christ. 

do the will of His Father. There was in Him a crav- 
ing, yearning appetite for all things high, pure, noble, 
lovely, and beautiful. What were the natural instincts, 
the bodily appetites, to Him ? I will not say contempt- 
ible, but they were in very deed inferior and trivial. 
The spiritual appetites, on the other hand, were warm, 
glowing, ardent, rapturous. And, as expressed in Him, 
we see the type and model of just that spiritual desire, 
that affectional impulse which is to stimulate our being, 
as participants in the power of Jesus' resurrection. 

Hence, thirdly, it must be noted that successful imita- 
tions of the emotional life of the Lord have been seen 
in the lives and characters of godly men in the flesh. 
Look at such a man as St. Paul, ardent, fiery, impulsive ; 
pushing his own nature through sensible things, into 
such a state of ecstacy that he knew not whether he 
was in the flesh or out of it ! Look at St. John the Di- 
vine ; now full of the spirit of love, and reposing upon 
the bosom of Him who was Love ; and now soaring 
away as an eagle, with unfailing eye, to the highest 
heaven, and gazing upon the Son of Man in his glory ! 

Let us see now, in conclusion, what we can learn 
from the train of thought presented this morning. And 
the first teaching given us is a caution. To rise with 
Christ, to seek the things above, is not to die and go to 
heaven. Many people there are who think that to 
attain sanotifkation is to get out of the flesh, and to 

Rising with Christ. 83 

depart to Paradise. There is a young disciple in this 
city who is grievously vexed with the troubles, disturb- 
ances, and angry strife of the world and the Church of 
God. But she is so anxious for rest and quietude that 
she wants to get away from earth, and to escape all its 
trials and disturbances. But remember that endurance 
of trial is a duty, and it is through tribulation we shall 
gain the rest that is eternal. 

Do not forget that to rise with Christ and to set our 
affections on things above is not a matter of locality. 
It is a spiritual condition. It is a divine temper. It is 
an unearthly sentiment, just as obligatory on the saints 
in earth, as upon the dwellers in Paradise, or the citizens 
of heaven. As disciples of Christ we are to live in the 
world, but to live above it ! We are to reach a plane 
that is raised above the tastes, the appetites, the yearn- 
ings, and, above all, the atrocious principles, of a world 
which hates the truth as it is in Jesus. 

Next to this we learn that this uplifting of the soul 
to heavenly places in Christ is not a thing which comes 
to the soul passively. All elevations in this world, all 
the ascents of man to superiority, challenge effort, 
energy, nay, at times, painful agonies. This is espe- 
cially the necessity in religion. Every birth requires a 
travail of pain, whether it be a natural birth into this 
world, or a birth into the spiritual world by conversion, 
or a birth into the eternal world by the convulsive dis- 

84 Rising with Christ, 

location of soul and spirit. The birth of the soul into 
heavenly exaltation is unattainable, save by suffering, 
self-sacrifice, and painful endeavor. When you look 
into the New Testament, and gaze with wondrous ad- 
miration at that exalted life, that unapproachable excel- 
lence which blinds by its excessive brightness, which 
-we see in the Lord of life and glory Who died for us, it 
is well to remember that before He made a show of 
His perfectness to men, He went into the wilderness, 
and suffered pain, and hunger, and weariness, and 
temptation, and the bitter thrusts of the devil. If it was 
so with Christ, so must it be with you and me. Would 
you have ease and satisfaction, then you may not rise 
to the place where Christ sitteth at the right hand of 
God. You must suffer with Him if you will be buried 
with Him, and rise again to His high place in glory. 
See how these things are allied in this religion of 
Jesus : spiritual activity, godly zeal, severe and painful 
effort, and heavenly glory, all closely connected; 
never separate and apart. " That I may know Him," 
says St. Paul, " and the power of His resurrection, and 
the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conform- 
able unto His death." See the thorough mingling of 
all these elements : and remember, 

Lastly, the human dignity and the high honor 
which are implied in the exhortation of the text. Seek 
the things which are above ! This call to superiority is 

Rising with Christ. 85 

not one that is addressed to worms or reptiles ! It is 
not a call made to brutish animals ! There is no quality 
of fitness in them for the lofty place and the grand pre- 
rogatives of the kingdom of heaven. No, the Apostle 
Paul speaks this morning to the spirits of immortal 
creatures, made in the image of God. He speaks to 
beings whose rank in the scale of creation is but "a 
little lower than the angels ;" and he tells them that low 
and degraded as they have been brought by sad disaster, 
heavenly superiority is their rightful prerogative. 

Creature all grandeur, son of truth and light, 
Up from the dust, the last great day is bright ! 

Glory and honor and immortality are the franchises of 
faithful and devoted souls, in this world as well as in 
the next. " To him that overcometh will I give to eat 
of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise 
of God." In the Resurrection of Christ we have the 
promise of everything transcendent and eternal for the 
living spirits of men. The Resurrection of our Lord is 
an invitation to rise up to and to avail ourselves of all 
the priceless privileges of His glorious kingdom. " If 
ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which 
are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of 
God. Set your affection on things above, and not on 
things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is 
hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, 
shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in 
glory ! 



The fifth Sunday after the Epiphany. 

I COR. VI : 20. 

Therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. 

The motive to the duty set before us in this pas- 
sage, is the most solemn in the whole sum of human 
thought. " Ye are bought with a price," says the apostle ; 
"therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, 
which are God's." What more touching appeal could be 
addressed to any man than this, which we have already 
carried up to the throne of grace, to lead us to honor 
and glorify our Maker ? For have we not this morning, 
and many times over, cried with loud voices to our cruci- 
fied Lord — " By thine agony and bloody sweat, by thy 
Cross and passion ?" For that is the price St. Paul re- 
fers to, when he exhorts us in the text to "glorify God 
in our body and in our spirit." 

We will bear this in mind then, all this morning, while 
we attempt to show how we are to set forth the glory of 
our Saviour Lord : — We have been purchased by the 
blood of the Lamb : it is therefore a reasonable service 


Glorifying God. $7 

and return that we should glorify God, in our body and 
our spirit, which are His. 

But how are we to fulfill this duty ? Let this query 
be the subject of consideration this morning. 

1. To glorify God is to think of God. It is evident that 
all human actions commence in the mind of men. The 
mind, under some impulse or motive moves, and then the 
man moves. For every act is, at first, a thought. From 
thence come the various actions of men pertaining to 
their fellows ; and the other actions also which refer to 
God. We often say that some men do not think, but it 
is evident that if they did not think they would not act. 
The remark is, without doubt, a figure of speech, meaning 
simply that they think in a loose, careless manner. 
But everybody does think. Men think about life and 
society, about dress and manners, about literature and 
science, about history and politics. But the great fault 
of man is, that the range of his thought is temporal and 
carnal. He has but the fewest flights toward the 
heavens. His mind is of the earth, earthy. The grand 
indictment against humanity is, that they " have not God 
in all their thoughts." And this is a great sin. Noth- 
ing can be more evident than the guilt of shutting out 
from the mind, the grandest Being and the noblest idea 
which can reach the intellect : — thought of the Infinite 
and Eternal One. Its sinfulness shows itself by a lower 
but similar transgression. What would you think of a 

88 Glorifying God. 

child who lived day by day under the blessedness and 
the loving care of a devoted parent, and yet from design 
and purpose, passed by that parent, day by day, year by 
year, and determinedly shut him out from all thought 
and consideration? How much more abominable is it 
for you or me to pass long years of our life, the re- 
cipient, every moment, of blessings and mercies, of gifts 
and benefactions and graces, from the Father of lights ; 
and yet, by deliberate act, and the fixed will declare to 
Him — " Depart from me, for we desire not the knowl- 
edge of Thy ways. What is the Almighty that we should 
serve Him?" 

But yet this is one of the commonest sins of man. 
To ignore the God of heaven, to put aside the Almighty 
and the things which pertain to Him, is an every day 
affair, — is a life-long habit of masses of men. 

First observe that a large portion of our fellow crea- 
tures drop God from their thought, passively, through 
neglect, without intention, withr no set and formal pur- 
pose to dishonor Him, but carelessly and indifferently. 
Dress, fashion, pleasure, politics, literature, or lust, per- 
chance, have become so magnified in their idea, that 
without reflection they thrust the small notions they 
have of God out of their minds, and then these other 
things rise up into big and overmastering magnitude. 

But another class of men set God aside, purposely and 
deliberately. They will not have the idea of God pres< 

Glorifying God. 89 

ent in their minds. They will not let the things of God 
circle their brains, stimulate their lives, or influence 
their conduct. With some it is the flippant negation of 
the Divine existence, as a disturbance or a superfluity. 
With others it is something graver, aye, and more atro- 
cious. It is the godless execration of Christ, and the 
awful declaration that they want nothing to do with this 
accursed religion. 

But, my friends, to think carelessly of God is neglect ; 
to think reluctantly of Him, is vicious ; to think angrily 
and repulsively of Him, is monstrous, and amounts to 
abomination and ruin. To glorify God, then, implies as 
the very first thing, that we think of Him. We are to 
begin by opening the mind, and craving the entrance 
therein of the thoughts of the eternal. Think, dear 
friends, of the fact that there is a God — a grand personal, 
self-existent Being, the Maker and Sovereign of the uni- 
verse. How many of you here have ever stopped and 
paused in life, and taken this great fact into thought and 
contemplation ? How many of you have ever sat down 
and meditated on the existence of the Deity? How 
many of you "in a season of calm weather," have with- 
drawn yourselves from this world of eye, and ear, and 
sense, and entered for a brief period into that other in- 
visible world, which is all around us, and in us, and which 
stretches out into the infinitudes ; and thought on the 
essence, and the substance of that awful Being who fills 
all things? 

90 Glorifying God. 

Plow many of you, on a clear silvery night, have lifted 
up your eyes to the glorious heavens, and striven to 
pierce the depths, gazing and wondering — the mind 
aching under the burden and the vastness of immensity ; 
— how many of you have then thought of the mighty 
God, "that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the 
inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers ; that stretcheth 
out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth it out as a 
tent to dwell in ?" 

I have no thought of imputing to any one of you the 
gross mental wickedness of Atheism. It cannot be 
that there is a single man here this morning, who says 
— " There is no God !" One who ruthlessly would 
thrust the great God of the universe out of existence, as 
a thing of nought ! One who, like a poor blind poet of 
the last century, would write upon the sands of the sea- 
shore — " Atheos ! " denying the Maker of all things ! I 
do not believe this of any man among you here this 
morning. It would have been better, if it were so, that 
you had never been born ! Better you had never suck- 
led at your mother's breast ! Better you had never felt 
the warm kisses of her love upon your lips and brows ! 
No ! I will not believe this of any of you. Annihilation 
is better than godlessness ! 

I believe that you had, at least, real mental belief, 
this morning, when you stood up here and confessed 
the faith in the creed. I believe there was a measure 

Glorifying God. 9 1 

of conviction in every such utterance. But this alone 
is not to think in sincerity and soberness of God. 

To think of God aright, is to take Him, formally and 
solemnly, and put Him before the mind, and then to 
contemplate Him before and behind, in the depths and 
in the heights, in His attributes, in His decrees, in His 
covenants, in the great salvation of His Son, with rev- 
erence, with awe, with humility. 

This it is to think of God. This is the root idea of 
glorifying God. But this is not enough ; it is only the 

2. To glorify God is to take the convictions which 
come from right-thinking and to turn them into aspira- 
tions. This is the next step toward honoring the 
Maker. We must not suffer thought to become bed- 
ridden in the soul. Few things are more injurious to 
the mind than that passive contemplation, which fails to 
run out into active desires or stimulated hope. The 
habit of thinking, divorced from emotion, turning 
over ideas or principles in the mind, but with no con- 
nection with the will or affections, is as poisonous to 
the soul as to make blood by healthy feeding, and then 
to let it go to stagnation in the veins by laziness. It 
will do no good for us to think about God, if such 
thought is not used as a means to an end, but it will do 
us harm. It will make us insensible. It will make 
us irreverent. The insensibility will be the direct 

92 Glorifying God. 

result of handling an awful and majestic idea without a 
spiritual purpose. The irreverence will come from tak- 
ing liberties with the divine Name, perchance, for mere 
speculation. When men approach God's Holy Name, 
if even it be for thought and contemplation, they should 
remember the command to Moses, " Take off thy shoes, 
for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground." 

Thought concerning God, then, is legitimate when it 
tends to the elevation of the soul to a higher plane of 
being. To think, merely to think, would be somewhat 
as for a river to flow from its source, and then to flow 
back again to its original spring. It may be assumed 
as a principle of our being, that all our acts, internal or 
external, are only then healthy and genuine, when they 
reach forward to something beyond and nobler than 
themselves. We see this in nature. The illumination 
of the sun is not self-exhausted. It comes down to 
earth with vivifying fructification, diffusing life, and 
health, and joyous animation in all things and in all 
creatures. And that is its beneficence and its glory. 
The Mississippi starts up far away in the highlands of 
Minnesota as its fountain head ; but when its golden 
waters start therefrom, they start on their course never 
to return again. And then the noble river, set free 
from fetters and restraints, runs on singing at every 
"winding bout," 

For men may come and men may go, 
But I go on forever. 

Glorifying God. 93 

And away she goes, glad and free, broadening and deep- 
ening, carrying riches and opulence and glory to states 
and empires, three thousand miles on her course ; the 
noble mother of towns and villages and cities and 
magnificent acreages of wheat and corn and sugar- 
cane ; her beauteous bosom kissed by the keels'of multi- 
tudinous crafts ; hastening with gifts and blessings to 
distant lands and foreign populations. And so she 
flows, glorious in herself, but more glorious in the 
affluence she bounteously bestows beyond herself. 

The analogy is most exact with regard to the soul. 
Thinking about God is not the end of God-thinking. 
Thinking of God is the most glorious of all means to a 
nobler end, that is, the glory of God. When it is mere 
thinking — albeit God is the object of thought — it is, 
nevertheless, mere speculation on God. And mere 
speculation, as such, concerning God has no more value 
than speculation concerning a mountain or a mine. 
No, my brethren, right thinking is a thing which rises 
up to God, and strives to apprehend Him in all the noble 
aspects of His glorious being. Let the thought of God 
but truly and healthily stir and agitate the mind of man, 
and then, of necessity, it will kindle hope, and strong 
desire, and spiritual aspiration. 

Thus was it with that eminent character in Old Test- 
ament history whose noble songs, chanted perpetually, 
from age to age, in the house of God, have been ever 

94 Glorifying God. 

fitted to every phase of spiritual character, have always 
served to start the finest springs and move the noblest 
currents of sanctified souls ; and have also given ecstacy 
to millions of saints on the eve of their departure to 
Paradise. Never, perhaps, in the history of God's 
church was there a man who thought so much, so 
deeply, so continually of God as David did. It was the 
occupation of his life. It began in his boyhood ; and 
the boys and girls here this morning should begin their 
early life, as David did, in thinking much of God. If 
you think of God while you are young, that habit of 
thought will become the seed of your life, and will 
bring a godly fruitage to early manhood and woman- 
hood, and to old age. Hear the words of David : "Thou, 

Lord God, art the thing that I long for ; thou art my 
hope, even from my youth." " Thou, O God, hast 
taught me from my youth up until now; therefore will 

1 tell of thy wondrous works." This thinking of God, 
then, began in David's youth. And see, " the child 
was father of the man." Thinking of God became a 
rooted habit of his soul through life. For, if you will 
run through the book of Psalms, you will find it full of 
such expressions as these : " I remember thine everlast- 
ing judgments." "I will never forget thy command- 
ments." " Thy testimonies have I claimed as mine her- 
itage forever." "My soul hath kept thy testimonies, 
and loved them exceedingly." 

Glorifying God. 95 

What was the result of this habit ? What fruit 
sprung from this constant meditation concerning God ? 
One single paragraph from the writings of David will 
show you. It produced that very spirit of godly aspira- 
tion which I am endeavoring to press upon your atten- 
tion. " Like as the hart desireth the water brooks, so 
longeth my soul after Thee, O God. My soul is athirst 
for God, yea, even for the living God." 

And here I return directly to the point from which I 
have slightly departed. Take the convictions which 
come from right thinking, and turn them, as David did, 
into heavenly aspirations. Meditate constantly on the 
character of God. Bring His loving and majestic attri- 
butes vividly before you. By an effort of will you can 
do almost anything, and then the thing repeated 
becomes a habit of the soul. You see, for instance, 
that God is good. Take, then, the fact, that is, the good- 
ness of God out of^ the domain of thought, and make it 
an aspiration of your soul. Strive after goodness — 
God's goodness, as a personal possession, and run 
along the lines of excellence and moral beauty for the 
fashioning of your inner and your outer life. Take the 
purity of God as an object of admiration. Bring it 
down from the sphere of speculation, and then send it 
up to the throne of God — a living flame of desire for 
your own personal purity in body, mind, and spirit. 
Think of the righteousness of God ! Hear the 

g6 Glorifying God. 

demand for it in the breezes of Paradise ! Hear it in 
the stern accents of Mount Sinai, in the thunders of 
the Law ! Hear it in the expiatory plaints of sacrificed 
animals ; see it in their flowing blood ! Hear it in the 
moans of Gethsemane ! Hear it in the agonies of the 
Cross ! What topic, I ask, has ever been so canvassed 
and debated as the righteousness of God ? " How He 
could be just, and yet the justifier of them which 
believe in Jesus." But you, my brethren, step aside 
from every controversial aspect of this question, and let 
your souls go out hungering and thirsting for the appre- 
hension of the Lord Jesus Christ, repudiating any and all 
righteousness of your own as filthy rags, and taking 
Him with ardor and satisfaction as your " wisdom, 
righteousness, sanctification, and redemption." Take 
the love of God. You can if you choose look at it 
as a distant object of thought and contemplation. But 
I exhort you to covet the spirit of love as your own 
personal possession. Send up to the heavens the 
strong cries of your soul for the entrance of the divine 
love into your heart of hearts, starting all the springs 
of love within you to flow back again with reverence 
and humility to the foot of the cross. ■ 

Indeed, my friends, there is not a phase of the divine 
existence, not an attribute of God, not a decree, not a 
commandment, however abstract it may be, but that, 
with the aid of the Spirit, may be fused with heat and 

Glorifying God. 97 

fire from above, and become changed in our pure souls 
into burning desires and heavenly aspirations. 

3. One more point, and I will close : To glorify 
God is to realize the aspirations of the soul into the 
activities of life. This is practical religion ; it answers 
the requirements of our blessed Lord that we do His 
commandments. And there can be no true religion with- 
out this habit of outward obedience. Mere conviction of 
the brain, or mere spiritual aspiration, separate from 
conduct, are each, or both together, insufficient. We 
must do God's holy will. Just this test is laid down by 
our blessed Saviour : " If ye love me keep my com- 
mandments." " He that hath my commandments and 
keepeth them, he it is that loveth me ; and he that 
loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love 
him, and will manifest myself to him." And St. John, 
under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, speaks with 
wonderful luminousness : " For this is the love of 
God that we keep His commandments, and His com- 
mandments are not grievous.' ' 

Now let us pause just here for a moment, and strive 
to get at the full significance of these words of our 
Lord and the beloved Apostle. There are no great 
difficulties in arriving at this significance. For, if I 
mistake not, we are taught by them the duty of reach- 
ing forth in our religious life to reality. Not mere 
feeling, not mere knowledge, not mere sentiment, not 

98 Glorifying God. 

mere conviction, not mere emotion, not mere desire 
and aspiration, make good and establish actual and sub- 
stantial Christian character. To talk of how we feel, 
or what we think concerning Christ, is an idle tale. 

No, my brethren, what our Lord desires is something 
which has passed out and beyond mere human conceit 
into actual living reality. Did you ever think of that 
word reality ? of its full meaning, of its mighty import, 
of its wide scope and bearing ? Reality ! that is relig- 
ion made personal in the Christian life, act, word, con- 
duct, and bearing of living disciples. Righteousness 
exemplified in living flesh and blood ; no mere abstrac- 
tion of the brain, no glittering ideality, but a thing that 
may be seen and felt amid human associations, in loving 
families, in the business activities of common life. It 
is the faith of Abraham ; it is the civic energy and the 
magisterial force of Moses ; it is the purity of Joseph ; 
it is the heroic valor of Joshua ; it is the chastity of 
Ruth ; it is the constancy of David ; it is the zeal of 
Elijah ; it is the incomparable statesmanship of Daniel 
and his crystal saintliness ; it is the rigidity of the Bap- 
tist, the loveliness of St. John, the fiery flames of holy 
Paul, the large benevolences of St. Barnabas ; it is the 
impetuous enthusiasm of St. Peter, and the martyr energy 
of Stephen. Nor need we' confine our search for these 
realized aspirations of the soul to sacred writ. They 
come streaming down the track of the Christian ages 

Glorifying God. 99 

in bright and glowing colors, seen in the lives, the 
business, the trading, the adventurous navigations, the 
mercantile zeal, and the large philanthropies of holy 
men and women ; who not only prayed, and wished, and 
aspired after godliness, but lived it in the daily walk of 

Let me briefly gather the threads of thought, this 
morning, and draw to a conclusion. I have endeavored 
to show that in order to glorify God we must begin 
with right thinking concerning the Almighty ; and 
then, from the convictions which result from such 
thinking, rise to the fit aspirations which it is adapted 
to give us ; and then at last to turn our spiritual aspira- 
tions into living obedience and active reality. 

I beg to commend the Apostle's injunction to your 
earnest consideration. The master end of existence, 
whether in angel or in man, is the glory of God. Any- 
thing below this end is a ruinous and insulting prosti- 
tution of powers. You have gifts, you have powers, 
you have talents and endowments, but all their activi- 
ties are but partial and abnormal so long as, in their 
uses, we are alien from the grand objects of divine 
regard. We can only secure the rectitude of our being 
by union with God. And to be in union with God, to 
be "partakers of the divine nature," is to participate in 
that everlasting outshining of beauty and excellence 
which is the affluence of saints and holy angels, and 
the everlasting glory of the Godhead. 



Quinquagesima Sunday. 

mark vi : 5, 6. 

And He could there do no mighty work, save that He laid His hands 

upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And He marvelled 

because of their unbelief. 

The inability here spoken of was not absolute, but 
only relative and conditional in its nature. For we 
cannot suppose for an instant, with our conviction 
of the Lord's essential Deity, that His infinite power 
was a chance, a fitful, an occasional quality. This ina- 
bility is here spoken of in the manner of common 
human speech ; in order to impress upon us the awful 
and effectual bar. this people of Nazareth had put be- 
tween themselves and their divine visitor, by blind and 
obstinate unbelief. The case is one of the saddest ! 
Here were healing and restoration ; here were blessed- 
ness and illumination, right at their door, close as pos- 
sible to their persons, very nigh to their souls. But, 
by the acts of a perverse and godless will, they shut it all 
out from their souls and robbed themselves of priceless 
blessings, never again to be offered to them. 


Unbelieving Nazareth. ioi 

Observe, it was their own act ; — not the will, not the 
impotence of the Lord Jesus. They themselves checked 
the overflow of gifts and graces upon their own souls. 
They it was, who shut the gates of mercy on their own 
spirits. All the powers needed for the restoration of 
sinners were present in the person of the Lord. Alas ! 
there was no faculty of spiritual receptivity in this peo- 
ple ; but rather that malignant perversity which makes 
men, at times, turn their backs upon the very gates of 

We know full well, that the celestial voice which 
stilled the raging of tempests, which had overcome the 
virulence of fiery fevers, which corrected the insanity of 
maddened brains, which had beaten down the malignant 
force of devils, — that voice, we know, if it had so pleased 
Him, could have wrought any mighty works He might 
have chosen to do. The people of Nazareth would not 
have it so! They jeered at our Lord, although they 
knew Him well. They asked contemptuous questions 
concerning Him. They affected scorn of His humble 
origin, and His lowly occupation. In the sight of facul- 
ties most transcendent, of powers most manifestly 
divine, they were offended at Him. It is then no dero- 
gation of our Lord's omnipotence, the record that "He 
could do no mighty works there." The secret of this 
reluctance of His supernatural forces to show them- 
selves, lies somewhere else. The mystery of this reser- 

102 Unbelieving Nazareth, 


vation of His sacred powers requires some other solu- 
tion. We will search for other causes, if perchance we 
may ascertain the nature of this alleged inability spoken 
of in the text. 

One of the prominent facts which stands out distinctly 
in all nature, is this, viz.: that the Almighty has estab- 
lished certain definite modes of operation, to which He 
Himself is pleased to conform, and conformity to which 
He imposes upon all creatures and all creation. In this 
conformity resides all the harmony of the universe, all 
the blessedness of rational creatures. We look abroad 
in nature and observe regularity, order, exactness, in all 
the spheres. We see the daily rising and setting of the 
sun. We see the punctual return of the seasons. We 
see rotation " in seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, 
summer and winter, day and night." 

We look abroad in the ranks of human beings, and we 
see in nations, societies, and families, certain universal 
results, in enterprise and business activities, all related, 
and without disorder, to certain most definite modes of 
operation. Where these modes of operation are fallen 
upon in any quarter of the globe, men succeed; where 
they are rejected, men fail; whether it be in health, or 
trade, or mercantile adventure. 

We look still higher, and we see by revelation a 
nobler sphere of beings, revelling in perfect bliss ; and 
we observe the same conformity to definite laws, which 
prove the spring of their bliss and glory. 

Unbelieving Nazareth, 103 

Now the secret of these facts seems to be, that the 
Almighty has laid down for the rule of life, certain laws 
which He makes the conditions of success and happi- 
ness. Compliance with these, in the realm of nature, 
produces the harmony of the spheres ; and among men 
yields the health, well-being, the prosperity and the joy- 
ousness of God's creatures. 

It is precisely the same in the spiritual world, as in 
the physical ; i. e. } that results are conditioned on cer- 
tain definite principles, which the Almighty has estab- 
lished in His spiritual kingdom. All the operations of 
this kingdom are regulated by specific laws, and thus 
made to proceed in distinct processes, which are pleas- 
ing to the divine mind. Possibly God could have 
ordered the arrangement of the spiritual universe 
otherwise than he has : I say possibly, from the fact 
that I do not know anything about it. But one thing 
may be taken for granted, viz.: that God's present sys- 
tem is the wisest and best. At any rate, God chooses 
thus to carry on His system. If we seek any higher 
reason than this, namely, than His wisdom and judg- 
ment for the peculiarities of His system, we are lost in 
confusion. If we ask why it is that He regulates His 
system in this, and not in that way, all we can say is, 
"even so Father, for so it seemeth good in thy sight." 
Any thing beyond this lands us in darkness and confu- 
sion. " For the things which are revealed belong to us 

104 Unbelieving Nazareth. 

and our children," but "the secret things belong to 
our God." 

These observations shed some light upon the singular 
statement of the text. We are told in it that our Lord 
" could do no mighty work " at Nazareth. Why was 
this ? It was not that His omnipotent arm was withered 
there. Not that the Almightiness of the Son of God 
vanished all of a sudden. By no manner of means. All 
the full, miraculous power of Jesus was still garnered 
up in His divine person. All the majesty of the God- 
head still centred in His mysterious and awful Being. 

But, you will observe, that during our Lord's sojourn 
upon earth, although His miracles must have been almost 
myriad-like in number, yet they were not scattered 
abroad in wild and indiscriminate confusion. There is, 
most certainly, a regulating principle which underlies all 
the acts of His most holy life. In the communication 
of all His gifts of mercy, one falls quite easily upon a 
principle of law. The life of Jesus was, in one sense, 
an economy of mercy. We may regard it in another, 
as a dispensation of miraculous gifts. 

See for yourselves the evidence of system and regula- 
tion in the working of His miracles. First of all notice 
that, in cases of infirmity, it was the Lord's wont to 
require faith in him who was to be helped. The chal- 
lenge almost everywhere was, "Believest thou?" "If 
thou hast faith." Or if the question was not asked, 

Unbelieving Nazareth. 105 

then the penetrative eye of the Master, having made 
the discovery, He was satisfied ; the miracle was 
wrought, and the sufferer relieved. Mercy evidently 
was nowhere forced upon unwilling souls. Manifestly 
there must be, in this new kingdom, the agree- 
ment and a blending of both the human and the 
divine wills. It was agreeable to the designs of the 
Redeemer that those who rejected belief should have 
no mighty saving works done among them. On the 
other hand, whenever our Lord discovered the deep 
conviction in sufferers that the Messiah would relieve 
them, then the channels of loving pity were at once 
loosened ; then the gates of Jesus' mercy were immedi- 
ately opened ; then life, power, and healing flowed from 
their exhaustless fountains ; and virtue went forth from, 
the wondrous person of the Lord to the blind, the deaf, 
the leper, or the demoniac. 

In to-day's Gospel we have presented to us a 
most striking instance of the fact and theory.* You 
have seen a poor blind man sitting by the way-side, 
in Jericho, begging. They tell him that Jesus of Naz- 
areth passeth by. Instantly the startled air is filled 
with his ringing, pleading cry, "Jesus, thou son of 
David, have mercy on me ! " The people, vexed at the 
disturbance, rebuke the poor fellow. But the deep con- 
viction that the Deliverer is at hand possesses him, and 

*The blind man at Jericho, Luke xviii. 38-40; the Gospel for the day* 

io6 Unbelieving Nazareth. 


once and again he lifts up the piercing, importunate 
Litany, "Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me." 
That cry wafts his own conviction to the mind of Jesus. 
The Lord draws nigh to him and asks, " What wilt thou 
have me to do unto thee?" and he says, "That I may 
receive my sight." He knows that Jesus is the sight- 
.giver ; that the Lord opens the eyes both of body and 
soul. And as his faith, so his reward. Jesus says unto 
him, " Receive thy sight ; thy faith hath saved thee." 

Contrast this transaction with the facts at Nazareth. 
It was the home of our Lord's youth and boyhood. Its 
people knew well His miraculous birth, His wondrous 
childhood, and were well acquainted with His extraor- 
dinary life. And yet mark the haughty coldness with 
which they received Him. " From whence," is the 
cynical question, "hath this man these things?" See, 
too, the contemptuous sneer at his humble origin ; " Is 
not this the carpenter's son ? " Do you wonder that 
the mighty flow of love is chilled in His sacred bosom? 
Are you surprised when you read that " He could do 
there no mighty work ? " 

Notice here, first of all, that it is a principle of the 
kingdom of heaven, a principle laid down by our Lord 
Himself, that there is to be no useless, idle waste of 
divine privileges upon the vulgar and profane. r "Give 
not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye 
your pearls before swine." Nazareth presented an 

Unbelieving Nazareth. 107 

occasion in which our Lord could illustrate this prin- 
ciple which He Himself, but a short time before, had 
taught His disciples ; and He acted on it in that spirit 
of reserve which husbands gifts and treasures for faith 
and virtue, but which will not waste them upon rude 
scepticism and vulgar unbelief. And, next, observe 
that our Lord notices the absence of the conditions 
which regulate the dispensation of His mercies and His 
gifts. Here that prime provision was utterly wanting. 
There was no faith among this people. Not a single 
rootlet of belief was discoverable among them. The 
soil of their nature had been thickly sown with the 
seeds of unfaith and falsehood ; so thickly sown that 
the whole surface of their nature was choked with the 
tares of moral resistance ; the whole soil of their being- 
was filled with the strongest aptitudes for things 
monstrous, defiance of God, and spiritual perverseness. 
And note here, my brethren, that unfaith, unfaith 
like that at Nazareth, blind, unreasoning, persistent 
unfaith, is alienation from God ;' is infidelity to divine 
truth ; and, in its ultimate tendency, is atheism. The 
legitimate results of unbelief in the supernatural is not 
only to cause us to deny the things supernatural, but 
also to surcharge our whole moral nature with hatred 
to all things pure, true, just, and lovely. And such a 
state as this is sure to bring upon us the divine disap- 
probation ; hedging up our way in life, and blinding us 
with confusion through all eternity." 

io8 Unbelieving Nazareth. 


And here we may learn a few lessons which bear 
most powerfully, as well upon our personal, as our 
Church life ; for we can make no greater mistake than 
to suppose that the transaction in the text has no bear- 
ings upon our relations in life, has no teachings which 
pertain to our characters ; we learn, I say, that all our 
works are vain and empty unless they spring from, and 
are governed by faith in God. 

Doubtless every faithful disciple of the Lord here is 
living with some certain definite purposes of life before 
him ; is aiming after certain things of magnitude for 
himself, for the Church, for God's glory. 

(a) Look for a moment at your personal aspirations. 
We are all of us conscious of them. They are proper 
and legitimate seekings of the nature the divine Father 
has given us. They are, however, most vivid in the 
breasts of the young. Sometimes they are almost a 
consuming flame : desires and ambitions for a beautiful 
home in the future, for distinction, for place and posi- 
tion, for riches with their delights and comforts, for 
professional renown, for general applause. 

Such, my younger brethren, are the bright lights 
seen in distant vistas, which beckon you on in the 
course of life, and stir your zeal. 

But I beg to remind you that it is not by mere self- 
assertion, not by the sheer force of your own talents, 
that you can do any thing in life. No matter what may 

Unbelieving Nazareth. 1 09 

be the scope of your capacity, if you will rely upon your 
own right arm for success, and not upon God, you are 
sure to fail. You need a strength for the work of life, 
which springs from a higher source than the fountains 
of your own being. Man, even in his best estate, is but 
weakness and littleness. How true are the words of 
the poet : — 

Unless above himself, he can erect himself, 
How poor a thing is man ! 

No matter what may be your calling, nor how bril- 
liant its prospects, if the divine element is lacking there- 
in, then frustration and defeat is a certainty. The only 
way to bring the aims of life into their true relation to 
God, is by faith. By inward trust, and by reliance upon 
Him who is invisible, we secure the adjustments of our 
whole inner being to the eternal throne, and so chime 
in at once with the harmonies of the universe. 

Then the Lord Jesus will do mighty things in you, 
because faith has become the master principle of your 
being. Abide in Him. It is sweet to abide in Him. 
It is profitable to abide in Him. To use His own 
words — "He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same 
bringeth forth much fruit." For then all your powers, 
all your parts and aptitudes, will be sanctified by His own 
personal influence operating on you ; your life and labors 
shall tend to the highest and noblest ends; for Jesus 
of Nazareth will do mighty works in you through faith, 

HO Unbelieving Nazareth. 

and fill you with the largest eapacities for good to 
others, all your life. 

(b) Passing from the sphere of personal desires, look 
at some of the larger aims which influence our life. 
Here, just now, we are all aiming at the erection of a 
temple for the worship of Almighty God.* How are we 
to achieve success ? You may bring to this work, zeal, 
self-sacrifice, large gifts, great activity. But these 
of themselves, cannot yield that success. They are but 
the human element in this work. We need the Son of 
man working with us, for without Him we can do noth- 
ing. The lavish outpouring of gold, separate from His 
wondrous powers, would be but as "the chaff which the 
wind scattereth away from the face of the earth." But 
with His presence and blessing upon our labors, all 
weakness, poverty, and emptiness, as they may seem to 
outward sight, shall prove the greatest opulence and the 
vastest wealth. Only let us carry with us the simple 
trust that this is God's work; that He only can work it 
out to fullest completion ; and then, according to our 
faith shall be our reward. Jesus of Nazareth will do 
mighty things for us ; the silver and the gold shall flow 
into our treasury ; and all the outward fashioning of our 
desired temple shall grow up before us, into beautiful 
proportions. Only believe. Have faith as a grain of 
mustard seed, and you shall remove mountains. 

* This sermon was preached in St. Mary's chapel, Washington, D. C. 

Unbelieving Nazareth. Ill 

(c) And yet there is a higher end than these other 
objects, which should stimulate our souls. Our grandest 
ambition, as disciples of Christ, should doubtless be 
for the upbuilding and compacting of that spiritual 
temple, which the Holy Ghost, ever since the day of 
Pentecost, has been fashioning out of saved and sancti- 
fied souls, to the glory of Christ. 

The recurrence of the season of Lent makes easy the 
application of the theme and thought. We are called 
upon at this time to think especially of our sins, to 
think more absorbingly of the things of Christ, and to 
stimulate other souls to do the same. How desirable is 
it, then, that holy men and women in our flock should 
seek the deepening of their own personal piety, by thor- 
ough self-abasement, and the reaching forth for larger 
gifts of grace; that the younger members of this church 
should renew their vows, make a more thorough self-con- 
secration of themselves to Christ, walk more soberly, and: 
live more faithfully; that now that "Jesus of Nazareth 
is passing by," the careless, the carnal, and the godless 
who come within these walls, may be led to think of 
their souls; may come and "sit by the wayside;" may/ 
be led to cry out with a sense of deepest need — "Jesus, 
Thou Son of David, have mercy on us." What favors, 
what gifts could be granted to us, comparable with such 
a result ; if indeed the Holy Ghost should move among 
us, convicting men "of sin, of righteousness, and of a 

112 Unbelieving Nazareth. 

judgment to come ; " " taking the things of Jesus and 
showing them," to their souls, to their conversion and 

But surely there can be no need to tell the simplest 
child here, that such grand spiritual results are not the 
fruit of mere human care and effort. No mere human 
energy, no mere voice of human persuasion, can wrench 
these men away from deadly sins, can turn careless 
women from sinful love of display. No mechanical pro- 
cesses, no mere religious feeling, however regular or sol- 
emn can induce the unholy mind among us to break 
loose from the fetters of guilt, and to give itself up to deep 
repentance; and then a solemn dedication of the whole 
being to Christ in Holy Confirmation. 

No ! we cannot do this work. Jesus of Nazareth 
must needs visit us this Lent, and the mighty works 
which He could not do in His own country through un- 
belief, must needs be done here, by faith, if God's work 
is revived among us, if more souls are to be converted, 
if we are to rejoice in the great salvation. 

But, brethren, you know the conditions for the dis- 
pensation of God's gifts and graces. "He can do no 
mighty works among us," if unfaith pervades the minds 
of this people ; if this church is carnal and unspiritual 
in its tone ; if this people cannot discern the invisible 
and the eternal. But, if on the other hand, you walk by 
faith and not by sight ; if your constant gaze is set upon 

Unbelieving Nazareth. 1 1 3 

the things which are not seen, but which are real and 
eternal ; if holy men and women walk with Jesus, if they 
constantly commune with Him, if they are wont to open 
their mouth wide, and to expect great things of Him ; 
then you may be assured that Jesus of Nazareth when 
He passeth by this Lent, will not close His gracious 
hand, nor shut up His merciful heart. There will be no 
marvelling at your unbelief, no withholding His wonder- 
ful gifts;* but great and wondrous things, yea " mighty 
works" shall be done among you ; in your hearts and in 
your households ; in your children, in your brothers and 
in your sisters; in Christless parents; and He will come 
among you, and He will lay His hands, not "upon a few 
sick folk," as He did in unbelieving Nazareth, but upon 
many of you, and He will heal you. 

And, therefore, I say in conclusion, cling to the Cross 
of our dear Lord with a most unyielding faith. He is 
the only one to hold on to, if you seek blessedness and 
life. Be not discouraged at your small faith, at your 
great weaknesses ! Hold on to Jesus. All other things 
around us fail ; but He is the Rock ! Change and 
decay meet us in all visible things. Nothing that meets 
the sense abides. What is there below the skies which 
can suffice the soul ? What that can answer all the 
heart's vast and craving needs ? Everything in nature 
and in man is fading 1 

1 1 4- Unbelieving ?a,3 retlu 

— From their spheres 
Ti.e stars of human glory are cast down; 
Perish the roses and the flowers of kings 1 

— The vast frame 
Of social nature changes evermore 
Her organs and her members, with decay 
Res I less — 

All earthly things decline. "Even we ourselves groan 
within ourselves," staggered at the inevitable dissolu- 
tion that awaits all temporal, all mortal events ! Whither, 
then, shall we turn ? Upon what shall we fasten our- 
selves, unless to Him, the eternal Word? — Him "Who 
walks in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks," 
and Who speaks to us from the eternal heavens, " Fear 
not : I am the first and the last : I am He that liveth 
and was dead, and behold I am alive forevermore. 
Amen ; and have the keys of hell and of death." 

Blessed Lord, we believe Thy word, and we trust in 
Thee. , " Help Thou our unbelief ! " It is no vain rep- 
etition of our lips when we stand up with the saints 
and confess the Faith. We do verily believe all the 
articles of the Christian faith. " W T e believe," in very 
deed, " that for us men and for our salvation, Thou didst 
come down from heaven, and wast incarnate by the Holy 
Ghost of the Virgin Mary ; and wast made man, and 
wast crucified for us." "Thou art the king of glory, O 
Christ. Thou art the everlasting son of the Father." 
We beseech Thee, this morning, to remember Thine 

Unbelieving Nazareth. r r 5 

own promises to those who believe. Let it be unto us 
according to our faith. Increase our faith, O Lord ; 
and come among us, and do mighty works here, in our 
hearts, in our families, for our Church ; and all the 
glory shall be Thine, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, — ■ 
three persons, one God, now and evermore. Amen i 




And behold they cried out, What have ice to do with Thee, Jesus, thou 
S-n of God? 

The devils who held two miserable men under their 
thraldom put this question to our blessed Lord. Thev 
vrere coming out of the tombs, exceeding tierce, and 
met the Redeemer as He was entering into the country 
of the Gergesenes. You know the fate thev met with. 
They besought Him that thev might enter the herd of 
swine that was feeding nigh ; and their request was 
granted. They came out of the unfortunate and afflicted 
men. and entered into the swine. And the whole herd 
now. overcome bv the evil spirits, ran violently down a 
steep place into the sea. and perished in the waters. 

To vindicate the teaching of Holy Scripture, and 
strive to prove that there are evil spirits in the world, 
that thev ofttimes get the upperhand of men. subject- 
insf them to sore and intolerable evils, is not mv present 
purpose. Be well assured that there are such beings as 

♦Preached in the chapel of Howard University, Washington. D. C. 


The Rejection of Christ. 1 1 7 

the devil and his angels, just as we know that there arc 
bad men in the world, utterly estranged from everything 
good, and devoting themselves to everything monstrous 
and cruel. So, too, there is an unseen and malicious 
spirit of mighty power, whose aim is the ruin of souls. 
It is an awful fact, although frequently forgotten, that 
we are liable to the deadliest hurt if this truth is not 
kept constantly in mind, and at all times in our mem- 

This, however, is not the topic to be chiefly consid- 
ered now. Your attention is specially called to these 
scornful and contemptuous words, " What have we to 
do with Thee, Jesus, thou son of God ? " 

They are the words of the devils, but, unhappily, not 
confined to .them. Alas, they have been taken up, over 
and over again, by sinful men, all through the world's 
history. They are the utterance of our fellow creatures 
daily, in every walk of life, in their rejection of the 
Blessed Master. 

These words, then, are important, chiefly, inasmuch as 
they are the key-note of the world's utterance for nearly 
two thousand years, concerning the Office and the Pre- 
rogatives of our blessed Lord. The devils in the narra- 
tive knew well of Whom they were speaking. It was 
no ambiguous question concerning an unknown or sup- 
posititious person. Neither was it an expression of doubt 
as to the power of Him of whom they questioned, 

IT& The Rejection of Christ. 

"What have we to do with Thee?" The) were con- 
scious in Whose presence they stood. They were well 
aware of the august and divine personage before whom 
they stood. They knew that it was " Emmanuel, God 
with us," to whom they were speaking; for they call 
Him, in the plainest, clearest words, "Jesus, thou Son 
of God." And they knew perfectly all the force and 
the whole intent and meaning of what they were saying. 

And yet, with an audacity at once fearful and malig- 
nant, they ask, " What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, 
Thou Son of God?" The idiom is indeed different 
from that which is common with us in the English 
tongue ; but its significance is evident. The question 
means, without doubt, " What is there common between 
yoil and us ? We do not want your interference. Why 
Hot let us alone ? There is no sympathy between us. 
Why, then, do you trouble us?" Just such is the cry 
of a sinful world whenever the Church, in Christ's 
name, would call it from its sins. The scoffer, the infi- 
del, the sceptic, the worldling, the sensualist, the mor- 
alist, all alike reject interference with their aims, and 
demand, "Jesus, thou Son of God, what have we to do 
with Thee?" 

The disposition, in all ages, to scout and reject the 
Lord Jesus is one of the marvels of history. Thou- 
sands of men, in all the eras, have confessed His name 
and taken up His cross ; but tens, nay, hundreds of 

The Rejection of Christ. 1 19 

thousands have refused obedience to His commands and 
submission to His yoke. " He came unto His own, and 
His own received Him not." His way had been pre- 
pared before Him. Prophets had foretold His coming 
and His mission ; and so thoroughly had the Jewish 
mind been trained to an expectancy of the Messiah, 
that the whole Jewish nation was anxiously waiting, in 
hope and desire. Nay, more than this : they had so 
spread abroad their own expectation and assurance 
that, all through the Roman Empire and in far-off East- 
ern lands, even pagan nations were looking, at the time 
of His advent, for some grand, majestic being frcfhi the 
skies to visit earth, to heal its moral diseases, and to 
give it restored life and blessedness. 

And yet, when He came among them, with every 
token of divinity in His life and character, they turned 
their backs upon and rejected Him. It was not a 
partial and incidental repulse of the Saviour. It was 
broad, sweeping, and absolute. It covered His whole 
life. Beginning at Bethlehem, it only ended at Calvary. 
In the face of His unequalled life, His wondrous teach- 
ing, and His marvellous acts, wrought by scores and 
hundreds, this people thought scorn and contempt of 
Him. Nothing could convince them. Thev had set 
their hearts against Him. They were thoroughly 
determined that, so far as the spiritual element of their 
being was concerned, they would have nothing to do 
with Him. 

120 The Rejection of Christ. 

Do we say nothing could convince them ? Convince 
them of what ? That He was a living being ? Why, 
was He not plainly and openly in their sight, going 
about, speaking, eating, and drinking before them ? 
Or, perchance, that He gave sight to the blind, healed 
the lepers, raised the dead ? They saw these mighty 
deeds with their own eyes, acknowledged the actual 
performance of them, and then attributed them to the 
power of Beelzebub ! What, then, was the point 
wherein they could not be* convinced ? There was no 
such point ! It was the old suggestion and purpose of 
Satan that Christ should have no control, no authority 
over their souls. It was the audacious question of the 
devils — " What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou 
son of God ? " 

This conduct of the Jews was repeated by their kins- 
folk and relatives, after the Resurrection of our Lord. 
The Apostles went forth, according to their Master's 
command, proclaiming the glad tidings to the Jews 
throughout the Holy land, and in the distant quarters, 
in Asia, Greece, and the Roman Empire. They carried 
with them every possible evidence of His mission and 
of His rising again. In very many cases the news con- 
cerning the Messiah had preceded them, and the people 
had heard of the wonderful life, the miracles wrought 
by Him, and of His most strange death. Nay, more 
than this. The Apostles, in attestation of their mis- 

The Rejection of Christ. 121 

sion, wrought signs and wonders among the sick and 
diseased. Vain and fruitless were all their words and 
miracles. The Apostle St. Paul himself tells us how 
the Jews treated him and his companions. " For ye 
also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, 
even as they have of the Jews, who both killed the 
Lord Jesus and their own prophets, and have perse- 
cuted us." 

What led the Jews to this spite and bitterness against 
the Gospel ? Did they think the Apostles were endeav- 
oring to deceive them ? Nay, how could that be ? 
Many of them, that is, in Judea, had seen Christ. 
Many of them had witnessed His miracles. Many of 
them had heard of His marvellous acts and His serene 
and glorious life. And besides, they saw every where 
that the Apostles went, proofs of their divine mission 
in the saving, the restoring miracles which they 
wrought, in the name and by the power of the same 
Lord whose Gospel they were preaching. Could the 
Jews deny the evidence of their own eyes ? Could 
they gainsay and reject the palpable facts which 
appealed to their senses ? 

What, then, was the difficulty with these men ? 
Alas, it was just the same which had proved a stumbling 
block to their fathers. It was the set will ; it was the 
stubborn determination not to yield to this spiritual 
Master, No further proof was needed, in their case ; 

122 The Rejection of Christ. 

no additional evidence. They had clear, certain, unde- 
niable facts immediately before their eyes. It was the 
Satanic self-assertion of these people that they would 
have no ruler over them in the realm of spirituality. 
So far as moral truth and spiritual ideas were concerned 
they were a law to themselves, and this Jesus of Naz- 
areth should not be their king ! It was the malignant 
audacity of the devils : " Incarnate God as you are, 
we will not submit to you ! " " What hast thou to do 
with us, Jesus, thou Son of God ? " 

We have a further illustration of this same spirit 
among the philosophers in the first ages of the Chris- 
tian dispensation. St. Paul gives us the earliest indi- 
cation of their temper, in his visit to Athens. This 
was the seat of Grecian letters, wisdom, and philosophy. 
Before they heard him, certain philosophers of the 
Epicureans and Stoics encountered him and called him 
"Babbler." And* after he preached that celebrated 
sermon on Mars Hill some of them mocked at the 
doctrine of the Resurrection. This was the general 
disposition of the learned in primitive times, for nigh 
three centuries. The philosophic mind in Greece, in 
Rome, in Alexandria, was strongly antagonistic to the 
simplicity of the Gospel; and especially rejected the 
idea that men should seek salvation through the blood 
and atonement of another. Bitter as was the persecu- 
tion carried on by the Emperors of Rome against the 

The Rejection of Christ. 1 23 

Christians, their opposition was not nearly so fierce as 
was that of the wise men and philosophers of the Em- 
pire. The one now and then put Christians to death; 
the others sneered at, ridiculed, and scouted the Chris- 
tian faith. They brought the full artillery of their wit, 
their genius, their learning, and their wisdom, to bear 
against it. They unceasingly, for over two hundred 
years, wrote and published keen and clever works 
against the Gospels and the new religion. They strove 
in every way to set the mind, the thought, the genius 
of the world against the Church, and to identify the 
religion of Jesus with slaves and vulgar people. Indeed, 
they called it a "pestilent and flagitious superstition." 

What was the difficulty with the philosophers of 
primitive times ? Did Christianity come to them with- 
out testimony? Did our holy religion demand their 
assent, unsupported by evidence ? Entirely the reverse. 
The earlier preachers of the Gospel came to these men 
with the explicit words of the older scriptures, with an 
historic church, with abundant testimony of heathen 
writers, with documentary proofs concerning Jesus 
drawn from the reports of Pontius Pilate and other 
Roman Governors, from their own national archives ; 
and they had the fullest light ! 

No. It was not the lack of evidence, not the want 
of testimony, not the difficulty in believing such strange 
tidings, even, which troubled these men. They could 

124 The Rejection of CJirist, 

believe in oracles. They could put faith in auguries. 
They could trust in a multitude of gods. They could 
foster and uphold, even if they did not believe in, the 
superstitious rites of their pagan systems. But when 
the religion of Jesus Christ came to them, with every 
possible demonstration of truth and reality, demanding 
their fealty and subjection, they, in the same spirit, 
and with the like bitterness of the Jews, refused to 
receive it ! 

What was the difficulty with these men? Was it an 
intellectual incapacity? Was it a strain on reason or 
judgment ? No. It was simply and solely a moral 
one. It was an obliquity in the region of the soul. It 
was the offence of the Cross. It was the rebellious 
spirit which rejected a master of the heart and the will. 
It was the uprising of their whole inner nature to spurn 
the yoke of Jesus. It was the same audacious self- 
assertiveness of man's sinful nature which brooks no 
moral and spiritual control. ''What have we to do with 
Thee, Jesus, thou Son of God ? " 

And just so it is in our own day and time. W r hat is 
the matter with the great thinkers of our age ? Why 
do they attempt to write down Christianity ? Why do 
they use such vigorous effort to disprove the truth of 
Holy Scripture ? Why do so many of them, while in 
one sense holding on to Christianity, endeavor, on the 
other hand, to extract from the revelation of God its 

The Rejection of Christ. 1 25 

very core and essence, the supernatural Presence and 
Power of Jesus ? The light comes, in a full blaze, upon 
these men. They know the history of our race. They 
know all the annals of human religion. They see the 
miraculous influence upon the nations of the Name and 
the truths of Jesus Christ. They see the wondrous 
things the Gospel has done in many quarters of the 
keathen world, even in a single generation. They see 
the lowest pagans redeemed from the grossest supersti- 
tions, and turned from cannibalism. They see heathen 
youth changed in a brief period to preachers of the 
Gospel; and even a bishop in the Church, himself a 
convert from paganism, with the very marks of his 
rude tribe upon his face, heralding the Gospel into the 
very heart of Africa. 

How is it, then, that these superior intellects spurn 
the Cross, and reject the Lord who died for them? 
They will not submit to any control in the domain of 
the spirit ! They claim an unfettered authority over 
every department of their being ! They demand of the 
Lord Jesus, as they would of any mere man on earth, 
"What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of 
God ? " 

One caution must be given which it may be needful 
to state. Do not think that this proud self-confidence 
is confined to thinkers and philosophers alone. It is 
the spirit of man ! Just as common among the rude, 

126 The Rejection of Christ* 

illiterate, unthinking, as among their superiors in all 
these respects. You will find scores of youth in your 
streets, who, if you speak to them of Christ, will foam 
with rage, and curse the Lord who died for them ! 
Many a pitiably drunken sot vexes the soul of a pious 
wife who loves and prays for him. And at this moment 
our saloons, our restaurants, and our grog shops are 
crowded with men who have no more doubt of the 
truth of Christianity than you or I have ; who yet, if 
you should approach them and plead with them to lay 
hold of the great salvation, would turn upon you with 
an oath and tell you that " they did not want anything 
to do with your accursed religion ! " 

Again, then, let us ask, " Why is it that the mind of 
man accords so thoroughly with the malignant scorn of 
Satan ? " First of all observe that it never was, neither 
then of old, nor now in our own day, because of the 
personal evil men saw in the character of Jesus. Of 
all trie various indictments which have been drawn up 
against Christianity by the infidel world, there never 
was one which assailed the purity of our Lord's life or 
the supreme excellence of His character. On the con- 
trary, His goodness and excellence have been universally 
acknowledged. The Jews, in His lifetime, railed at and 
persecuted Him. But why? Because of any taint or 
vileness they discovered in Him? Just the reverse. 
Their accusations give the highest testimony to the per- 

The Rejection of Christ. 127 

feet purity of His character, amount to the noblest eulogy 
on His life. They censured Him for Sabbath-breaking, 
because He had healed a man on that holy day. But 
what is this but evidence of a sacred beneficence, which 
bursts through cold rule and icy limitations, to bless 
and to save ? They charged Him with receiving sinners, 
and eating with them ; surely this testifies to His gra- 
cious condescension, His humility, and His brotherly 
humanity. They accused Him of casting out devils ; 
and this is proof of His conflict with the powers of evil, 
and the pure spirituality of His labors and His cures. 

Nay, go through the entire catalogue of accusations 
which they brought against Him, and every one stands 
out, clearly defined, as an actual evidence of His inno- 
cency and spiritual goodness. This was the very im- 
pression these charges made upon a disinterested, cer- 
tainly non-partial, but gross and brutal heathen. The 
Jews heaped up their charges into one big, monstrous, 
and, as they thought, irresistible arraignment, at the 
court of. Pontius Pilate. And after listening, with even 
prejudiced attention, to it, he turns to them and 
declares, " I have examined Him before you and have 
found no fault in this man. No, nor yet Herod ; for I 
§ent you. unto him." Exasperated at their failure, to 
injure our Lord's character, they became infuriated and 
violent. Then Pilate turns again to them, perplexed 
and puzzled at their pertinacity and rage, and asks, — 

128 The Rejection of Christ. 

" Why, what evil hath He done ? ' / have found no 
cause of death in Him." 

And this innocency and blamelessness have been 
acknowledged ever since, even by infidels and the 
ungodly. At this day all classes of unbelievers acknowl- 
edge the lofty perfection of the Man Christ Jesus. 

Take up the various works which have been written 
concerning Him which deny His deity, and you can 
not find one which assails His moral worth and precious- 
ness. Bad as is the unregenerate heart, bitter and 
hateful as is the unbelieving spirit, yet who ever heard 
of any anti-Christian writer accusing our Lord — it 
seems almost profanity to utter the words — of untruth, 
of an immoral act, of depravity, of malignity, of cruelty ? 

On the contrary, the great misbelievers, while deny- 
ing the deity of our Lord, are not unfrequently fore- 
most in extolling His moral excellency. While reject- 
ing with scofn the idea that He was anything more 
than a mere man, many of them speak with rapture of 
His purity and moral loftiness, (i) Take the Jews first. 
While almost everywhere they deny our Lord's Mes- 
siahship, their ablest, calmest writers speak of Him as 
a pure, lofty, and most superior man. (2) The Ration- 
alistic mind, as the Jewish, would fain strip Him of 
every vestige of His Godhead ; and yet Rousseau Once 
declared "If the death of Socrates be that of a sage, 
the life and death of Jesus are those of a God." One 

The Rejection of Christ. 129 

of the most voluminous infidel writers of our day is the 
French Litteratetir, M. Renan, and he, while criticising 
the Lord as a moral fanatic and spiritual enthusiast, 
yet is forced to declare Him as "the ideal of humanity." 

The real ground of this aversion of the schools to the 
Christ of Scripture is not, and never has been, because 
of any personal evil in His life and character. All 
acknowledge His goodness and moral excellence. 
" Whence then," the question arises, " the antagonism 
everywhere and at all times manifest, against the author- 
ity and control which Jesus demands and requires in 
the Holy Word ? Why do men refuse submission to 
Him? Why do they question His rule and mastership 
over their hearts and minds ? " 

The real reason, the true cause of all this opposition, 
is "the offence of the Cross." Man does not like to 
be saved by another ! Man refuses to accept the spir- 
itual subjection of the Christian system! Man swells 
with an inordinate and exaggerated independence, 
which will not brook the deliverance of the Cross! 
Man rises up with inordinate self-consciousness, and 
puts aside every suggestion of his deep spiritual need, 
although it be whispered by the voice of Jesus ! 

Yet, after all, it is vain to say, vain to think — "What 

have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?" The 

Cross of Christ is the bright star of the universe. Nay, 

rather the Cross of Christ is the sun in the celestial 


130 The Rejection of Christ. 

heavens. This religion of Jesus is the one great, 
mighty, marvellous thing of magnitude in all the his- 
tories. The Lord Jesus is the grand leading idea of 
all history ! Christianity two thousand years ago began 
its career ; it entered into the workings, policies, and 
movements of men and nations, and has everywhere 
changed the channels of their flow, and sent them run- 
ning anew into purer and more glorious currents. Its 
special function, its specific mission, was the restoration 
of maimed and fractured souls ; but its efficacy has 
been felt in every province of life, society, and enter- 
prise. Where but its sJiadow has fallen, there life and 
glory have been suddenly and lastingly evoked, to the 
praise of God's grace. The distinctive, the character- 
istic work of Jesus, was in the soul ; but see how the 
power and efficacy of our Lord's spirit have re-created 
all the art, the civilization, the laws and philosophy of 
mankind. These, too, at its start, denied the authority 
of the Cross. These, too, refused subjection to His 
control and moral sway. These, too, with scornful 
utterance, put the question of the devils— " What have 
we to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of God?" 

See again the marvel of history. Christianity has 
driven the old brutality of paganism from the laws of 
Europe, and infused the spirit of the Gospel into all the 
codes of Christendom. The civilization of Europe, of 
the United States, and of every superior State in the 

The Rejection of Christ. 13 1 

world, is based upon the pure and elevating sentiments 
of the faith of Jesus. The old paganism which defiled 
the sculpture, paintings, and architecture of the world, 
has been driven into oblivion, and spiritual beauty has 
come to invest the highest art, and to adorn the noblest 
culture. Blot out the last two thousand years of the 
world's history, rid the annals of the race of the name 
and the idea of our Incarnate God, and what then 
would the world be ? Where, in this event, would be 
letters ? Where the philanthropy which has saved the 
serf, and freed the slave ? Where the hospitals ? 
What would be the condition of woman ? Where 
would be the missions which have converted Europe, 
and which are now redeeming Asia and Africa ? 
Where the law and order, which have given security 
and elevation to Christian States, society, and 
families ? 

But aside from these broad, general considerations, 
there are personal aspects of this subject which show 
the vital, the overpowering relation of Jesus to the soul 
of man ; which give evidence of the fact that separation 
from the person and the influence of the Redeemer, is 
spiritual death ; proving that we cannot with safety ask 
the audacious, God-defying question, "What have we 
to do with Thee, Jesus, thou Son of God ? " 

Still further, look at our large, deep, overwhelming 
needs in spiritual matters. We are sinners and need 

132 The Rejection of Christ. 

cleansing from defilement. We are guilty, and need 
absolution and remission. We have pains, sorrows, 
afflictions, and we need relief, rest, consolation. We 
have poverty, and need riches. We have broken hearts, 
that need binding up. Death comes to us all, and we 
need life and blessedness. And these miseries are 
extended world-wide. Sin has scattered them into 
every quarter of the globe, and among all nations, into 
all families. Doubtless there is a system, a vast cor- 
poration of evil spirits throughout the universe, active 
and malignant, infusing the poison of distress into 
myriads of souls around us and below. But, on the 
other hand, God has established a system and kingdom 
of spiritual assistances, through all the ranks of men 
and angels, with Christ at the head. And to whom 
else but Him can we go for comfort, for satisfaction, 
for life, for eternal blessedness ? He only has the 
words of eternal life. He only is "the resurrection 
and the life." He only is the one "that liveth and 
was dead ; who has the keys of hell and death." 

" What have we to do with Thee, Jesus thou Son of 
God ? " Rather, indeed, what have we to do with any 
but Thee, Lord and Master ? What are the concerns, 
what the interests, whether for time or eternity, in 
which we can do without Thee ? 

The presence of Jesus may excite the temper and 
the fears of evil spirits, and stir the opposition of unbe- 

The Rejection of Christ, 133 

lieving men. But we who are Christians know in 
Whom we have believed. We know what wonderful 
things He has done for us. We know our only life is 
hid in Him. We know already somewhat of the glory 
which is yet to be revealed in Him, in fulness and per- 
fection, for our souls ! Yes, this same Jesus Whom 
wicked men and evil spirits reject, is our only hope and 
refuge now and forever! He is our God, our Saviour, 
our Protector, our Guide, our only consolation, our sal- 
vation. Amid the darkness which bedims our feeble 
sight in this world He is our light. And when the 
shades of death film and glaze our departing sight, we 
know in Whom we have believed. To Thee we come, 
blessed, adorable Saviour ; help us, feed us, illuminate 
us, and with angels and archangels we will glorify Thy 
Name through eternal ages ! 


The nineteenth Sunday after Trinity, 

EPH. IV. 20, 21. 

But ye have not so learned Christ ; if so be that ye have heard Him t 
and have been taught by Him, as the trtith is in Jesus. 

The whole passage reads thus: — "This I sav there- 
fore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk 
not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind, 
having the understanding darkened, being alienated 
from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in 
them, because of the blindness of their heart ; who be- 
ing past feeling have given themselves over unto lascivi- 
ousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But 
ye have not so learned Christ ; if so be that ye have 
heard Him, and have been taught by Him, as the truth 
is in Jesus." 

The church of Ephesus was so distinguished for piety 
that almost every reference to it, in the New Testament, 
is eulogistic. If you turn to St. Paul's address to its 
Elders in Acts xx, or listen to the voice of the Lord Jesus 


The Motives to Discipleship. 135 

in the book of Revelation, the absence of rebuke stands 
out in marked contrast with the admonitions which are 
given to well nigh every other Christian body in the 
New Testament. But when we open the epistle of the 
great Apostle, to this church, we are struck at once with 
a train of rich and glowing utterances, which at times 
rises up to the melody and the rhythm of the grandest 
poetry. Wilberforce (the elder) said of this epistle, 
that it was " seraphic ! " Farrar, in our own day, says it 
is "emphatically the epistle of the Ascension." And 
there is a heavenly elevation and a gracious spirit running 
through it, which are only equalled by the divine songs 
of the sweet singer of Israel, and the grand disclosures 
of the Apocalypse. 

The ground of excellence in this epistle is character. 
The Christian life in the church of Ephesus was so pure 
and lofty that it thrilled the soul of St. Paul, and gave, 
as it were, a higher inspiration to his pen. This singu- 
larity, that is, of conspicuous saintship amid the dark- 
ness of Ephesian pagan life, was a thing as bright and 
brilliant to his sight, as the splendor of the midday sun. 
See, for instance, in this passage before us, how clearly 
the apostle distinguishes or notes the differences in the 
state and condition of Christian men and the worldly. 
"They," he says, "had the understanding darkened;" 
"they were alienated from the life of God through 
ignorance;" "they were past feeling, given over to 
lasciviousness to work all uncleanness with greediness." 

t$6 The Motives to Discipleship. 

But observe the contrast, so soon as he comes to 
speak of disciples : — "But ye have not so learned Christ; 
if so be ye have heard Him, and have been taught the 
truth as it is in Jesus." See how the grand character- 
istics of the Christian life ring out, trumpet-like, in 
this strong and most lucid passage. 

What was the ground of difference between these two 
classes ? What produced the great contrast between 
the former, pagan life of these Ephesian Christians, and 
their later regenerated and sanctified being? What, 
but the motives of existence ; the different springs of 
action set in motion by God the Holy Ghost ? This it 
was, which produced the strong contrast here spoken of 
by the Apostle. In the school of Christ, they had 
learned the true purposes of life, the grand ends and 
aims of being; and I wish to spend the time of instruc- 
tion this morning in calling your attention to those 
grand and sacred impulses, which led us to become dis- 
ciples ; and which prompt the life which we are en- 
deavoring to maintain. I ask, therefore: — What is the 
end and object of Christian life and profession, in a 
believer's soul ? 

ist. And first of all we begin with the personal rea- 
sons, for the confession of Christ. It is not the high- 
est, noblest reason, but it is the first in order. It is 
impossible to escape this personal individual aspect 
of the matter. For, on every side, you and I, and every 

The Motives to Discipleship. 137 

other Christian man, is challenged for a reason for the 
singularity of life and bearing which marks every be- 
liever, who is not a ''mere sham of a Christian, or a 
hypocrite. And so, on the other hand, we too, if we 
are faithful men to the souls of others, challenge them 
for a reason why they live out of Christ ; under the 
dominion of sin and Satan. What is the answer which 
we are to give to this momentous question ? Putting 
aside all reserve, I shall speak for myself. I am a 
Christian (and I am speaking of the personal reasons 
for my profession) because I have a soul, and am anx- 
ious for its salvation. I am aware that to many, who 
look merely at the surface of things, this will imply self- 
ishness. They will say, that man is so absorbed in 
his own interests and safety, that he is led to subject 
himself to the control of the n a 1 Christ Jesus, and to 
enrol himself among His disciples. But this allegation 
is entirely false and misleading. Its error lies in the 
non-recognition of the fact that there is a very marked 
difference between selfishness and self-love. To care 
for one's own interests, to seek one's own advantage, to 
strive after one's own well-being, with just regard to the 
rights of others, is not selfishness. That is an abnor- 
mal and a degenerate tendency, which, in its legitimate 
results, sets aside the being and the rights of both God 
and man. But the quality of interestedness, if I may so 
term it, is one of the prime principles of the being of 

138 The Motives to Discipleship. 

both angels and men. Self-love is an attribute which 
belongs to our nature in its state of purity, which was 
planted in the original constitution of man, and which 
has no more an intrinsic taint of evil in it, than any 
other of our natural endowments. On the contrary, re- 
ligion, to use the words of Butler, " so far from disown- 
ing the principle of self-love, often addresses itself to 
that very principle, and always to the mind in that 
state when reason presides." And the basis of the 
appeal is that everything in the universe has a value. 
God has given it a value. The soul of man, far above 
all other created things, has a value, only second to the 
worth and excellence of the Deity Himself. As a 
spiritual being, then, I am bound to self-interest in the 
preciousness of the everlasting spirit within me. While 
not disregarding the spirits of angels or of men, I have a 
trust in my own soul, which I cannot make secondary to 
the soul of any other finite being. It is my most val- 
ued possession, and anxiousness for its salvation is of 
right the master personal aim of my existence. This 
salvation pertains to the two related spheres of my exis- 
tence. I am, first of all, in a world here, where all the 
forces of moral influence wage, incessantly, a deadly war- 
fare for my ruin. I cannot speak for others ; but for my- 
self, I do say, that if I were blind to the existence of evil 
in me or around me, if I lived oblivious to the deadly and 
unhallowed desires of my own nature, if I denied the 

The Motives to Discipteship. 1 39 

presence of riotous appetites, which, all my life long have 
risen up for mastery, if I ignored the impulse and the 
power of deadly passions, which, if unsubdued, would 
long ere this have consumed me ; and if, back of ; all 
this, I disowned the presence and the mastery of a dark 
and mighty being, the author of all evil, the prince of 
all damning mischief: — He who sets a-going every- 
where the inky floods of human depravity, and fills the 
heavens of humanity with the palpable palls of guilt and 
misery: — if, I say, I could live all my lifetime, thus 
blind, insensate, demented, and infatuated, careless of 
the responsibilities of time, and indifferent to the issues 
of eternity, then I should be the grandest fool, or the 
wildest madman that ever trod the earth. But by the 
grace of God I will be neither of these. I desire, above 
all other things, the salvation of this undying spirit 
within me ; and hence I appeal to Christ, who is the 
"King immortal, eternal," "to whom all power in heaven 
and earth is given," to give me pardon ; rescue from 
myself and my sins ; safety and protection from the as- 
saults of the Adversary. I appeal to the Lord Jesus 
for this great salvation; for He is "the Lamb of God, 
which taketh away the sins of the world." "There is 
none other name," besides His name, " whereby we can 
be saved." I have no other assurance for the plucking 
up the roots of my moral diseases from my soul, but 
His grace a*id power. And therefore, as a reasonable 

1 40 The Motives to Discipleship. 

being, I am glad to stretch forth my hands, and to ac- 
cept the salvation which He graciously offers me. 

Now this is the reason why I am a Christian. Christ 
Jesus is the only being who can save me, a miserable, 
wretched and sin-condemned man. I speak, this morn- 
ing, but for myself. Nay, I take back, at once, these 
words. I may, and not presumptuously, speak for 
others here. For every child of God here who has been 
washed and cleansed in the blood of the Lamb, will tell 
you the same tale of spiritual disaster which has over- 
taken my soul ; of the same utter, inner helplessness 
and ruin, in the domain of the spirit ; and then of the 
grand rescue of the blessed Redeemer, by the purchase 
of His blood, applied personally to his very soul. I 
speak then for myself; and I add thereto the testimony 
of saved and redeemed men and women in this church, 
the reason why we are disciples ; that is, we seek salva- 
tion from sin in this world, and everlastingly in the 
outer, eternal world which never ends. This is why, 
this morning, on bended knees, we sent up the cry — 
"Lamb of God, grant us thy peace!" "Lamb of God, 
have mercy upon us!" This appeal springs from the 
deepest convictions of our souls, of His willingness and 
His ability to save ; and the absolute knowledge that 
He has saved us ! 

Now, if there be any of you who have lived, say a 
score or two or more years, and yet looking ever and 

The Motives to Discipleship. 141 

anon in the chambers of your souls, have never made 
the discovery which I and my fellow Christians have 
made; never seen a taint of sin in your heart, never 
discovered the grime of guilt and iniquity; never 
recognized the weakness of your will; never felt the 
cravings of the heart for a stronger and mightier than 
yourselves to hold you up and give you light and bles- 
sedness and glory ; then all I have to say is, that you 
have a nature different from and loftier than heathen 
sage or Christian disciple ; for they both equally agree 
in the weakness and wretchedness of a fallen hu- 

2. I turn now from the personal to another reason 
for the confession of Christ ; and that is the salvation 
of men. And yet this can hardly be called a transition, 
for in truth it is but the overflowing of the same princi- 
ple which makes us seek our own personal salvation. 
Self-love- is soul-love. He that loves his own soul, to 
the reception of the great salvation, comes at once into 
harmony with the souls of all men, as with God Him- 
self. For the principle of grace, planted in the soul, is 
the principle of brotherhood. Thus St. Paul, in this 
same epistle, says : " Speak every man truth with his 
neighbor, for we are members one of another." The 
divine principle received in the soul, while it does not 
destroy personality, does lift us up and above the isola- 
tion of self, into corporate unity with the saints, into 

142 The Motives to Discipleship. 

citizenship with the whole family of God,- and into 
brotherhood with the entire species of man! It is just 
here that self-love, sanctified, differs from selfishness. 
The one is monstrous absorption in self, the other is 
gracious generosity to others. St. Paul's first cry at 
Damascus was, in effect, a personal one, that is, the 
grasp of his soul after the personal knowledge of the 
Christ ; but the very next was the groping of his spirit 
after duty to others. And so always, the redeemed and 
saved soul goes out in longings for the salvation of 
other immortal souls. You cannot feel and know the 
value of your own soul without anxiousness and solici- 
tude for the salvation of others. 

There is then, you see, in Christianity, a guardian- 
ship, a responsibility for souls. It makes every disciple 
a keeper of the spirits of men. And this springs from 
two principles, the one of love and the other of duty. 
Take the latter first, and see how it prompts to zeal for 
men's well-being and blessedness. Humanity is a com- 
mon stock, not a special personal possession. Men are 
our neighbors, all men. On the lowest principle we 
are bound to care for their bodies, for even the brute 
beasts show solicitude for the good of their own kind. 
But men have souls, souls in constant hazard and 
jeopardy from the assaults of the evil one, the tempta- 
tions of the world, and from that stolid indifference of 
their own souls to the things of God, which is .one of 

The Motives to Disciples hip. 143 

the deadliest results of sin. First of all, if they go' on 
in sin they are sure to meet terrible retribution in this 
world, and perpetual disaster and agony in the world to 
come. Here then, primarily, is the duty of God's 
people in this world, to stay the ravages of destructive 
sin upon human souls. If there were no hereafter, if 
this life were the only life, it would still be the noblest 
philanthropy for benevolent spirits to arrest the pro- 
gress of drunkenness through society ; to put a stop to 
the strifes, the sicknesses, the murders, the miseries and 
the insanity, which are its fruitful progeny; to ward off 
from the young and inexperienced the lust and licen- 
tiousness which soil the souls of men, and ruin their 
bodies ; to lessen the sum of human evil which is added 
to by habits of gambling and practices of theft; to 
quench out malignant passions, which generate the 
bickerings of families, the feuds of tribes and factions, 
and the wars of nationalities ; and to free the world 
from the poisonous influences of the principle of selfish- 
ness, which is the grandest instrument of the Adversary 
in the heart of sinful men. 

These are some of the blasting fruits of sin, as we 
see it in this world. Every where it breeds distortion, 
deformity, destitution and pestilence among men. And 
the true and proper work of Christianity is to destroy 
these works of the devil here, in this world, which is 
his chosen field of death and disaster. 

144 The Motives to Discipleship. 

But the spirits of men reach over from time into 
eternity. These spirits, moreover, were made for the 
grandest purposes of the eternal world. Take the most 
abject of human beings, the most degraded, the most 
criminal. Think that he was fashioned by the Creator 
with a capacity which was to gauge, as far as finite com- 
prehension is able, the attributes of God, and to take in 
the vast and stupendous economy and the awful decrees 
of God. And see how every joint of his moral being 
has become unhinged, every pillar of his grand spiritual 
nature fractured and prostrate ! But alas ! millions of 
such spiritual ruins crowd the lanes and alleys of every 
civilized land, fill up the vast populations of heathen 
islands and pagan continents. 

Now the work of God's Church is the restoration of 
these wretched immortals to original simplicity and 
purity through the blood of Christ and by the power of 
His truth. Duty to man demands solicitude for his sal- 
vation. It is my humanity which is degraded by sin 
and depravity. I am under the responsibility of a 
Christian soldier to join in with good men and the 
Divine Master to uproot the evils of the world. 

Added to all this come the promptings of love. Back 
of all the demonstrations of depravity the Christian 
discerns the lineaments of a grand and noble nature, 
fresh, fair, lofty, and majestic, as man was when he first 
came from the hand of his Maker. 

The Motives to Discipleship. 145 

Just as an artist, when he comes upon an old and 
begrimed picture, the work of some grand master — 
what cares he for the rust, the tarnish, and the dingy 
smoke and dust, which hide its beauty from sight ? 
The beauty he knows is there ; and his soul is ravished 
by it, albeit it is yet undisclosed to sight. And he puts 
himself to zealous, delicate work to get at it. So the 
soul of sinful man is a beautiful, precious, and a price- 
less gem. It is the image of the eternal God. All his 
faculties were made after the fashion of the grandest 
model. All his capacities are fitted to the noblest ends. 
Every endowment, however perverted, has a latent apti- 
tude to all the grand conceptions and the lofty schemes 
which are pleasing to the Almighty, and which attract 
the admiration of angels. All this power is now 
unused, all this ability misdirected ; but Christians, like 
their master, have been enabled to see the exquisite fin- 
ish of the grand machinery of the human soul, and are 
zealous for its complete restoration and its perfect work- 
ing, not only for the relations of this life, but above all 
f )r the celestial spheres in which it shall engage in the 
same grand duties which command the zeal of the arch- 

3. One higher reason than all still remains why the 
confession of Christ is a duty and obligation. Obliga- 
tions are like the rings which form on the surface of 
waters when a pebble is thrown into the stream. They 

146 The Motives to Discipleship. 

have their natural order, from less to greater. They 
are at first the tiniest circles. But they expand and 
grow wider, until, at length, their circumferences touch 
the opposite banks of a river. The primal orbit of 
duty is the personal one; but when once the spring of 
the regenerate heart is touched, then all the limitations 
of selfish regard are broken, and the outflow of the sym- 
pathies and affections becomes both fervid and exhaust- 
less. The fulness and the nobleness of human duty is 
found in the motives which pertain to the Infinite. It 
is only when our spirits arrive at the eternal throne 
that they find the peace which passeth understanding. 

The glory of God then is the highest end of a reason- 
able and a loyal existence. There are certain tenden- 
cies planted in our constitution which drive us onward 
to the highest. There is a prying, penetrating faculty 
in our nature which makes us restless and dissatisfied 
when we come to any of the supposed bounds of nature 
or of spirit. We wish to break beyond the confines of 
both sense and understanding. The impulse within us 
is to bound from the finite over into the infinite. God 
Himself has put this impulse in our nature ; and man 
can never reach repose and satisfaction until this upward 
tendency is somewhat answered and satisfied. 

It is precisely the same with those loyal, reasonable 
creatures who encircle forever the throne of God in 
transcendent glory. The angels in heaven are oblivious 

The Motives to Discipleship. 147 

to personal regards ; they stream forth in burning ardor 
from their own being to the highest spiritual satisfac- 
tion in the service of Jehovah. All their life is spent 
in praise and adoration. Every glimpse we get in the 
Bible of their being shows that its master end is the 
glory of their king. Now angelic life, wherever and in 
whatever way it discloses itself to our sight in Holy 
Scripture, is a pattern and a model of what our life 
should be here on earth. It is one of the steps of a 
high ladder, by which we are to mount up to God, and 
show forth His glory. 

Observe here that all things are to set forth the divine 
glory, the inanimate things of creation, and then surely 
all the spiritual creatures of God. 

First, this visible frame of earth, with its light and 
beauty, the bright heavens above, the majestic sun and 
its surrounding luminaries, are the primal manifestations 
of the divine glory. They speak the praise of their 

Then comes man, in his best estate — man, in his 
saintship and excellence, seen in the glorious company 
of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets, 
the noble army of martyrs. The end of this grand 
galaxy of purity and spiritual brightness is the majesty 
and glory of God. 

Then, in their order, we reach the noble retinue of 
angels. In shining columns they surround the eternal 

I48 The Motives to Discipleship. 

throne ; but their everlasting theme, alike in every act 
and joyous song is, "Glory! glory! glory!" 

Thus the whole universe is designed for one grand 
and lofty end, — the praise and honor of the Almighty, 
"that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus 
Christ ! " 

The train of thought brought before you this morn- 
ing shows the great dignity of your calling as disciples, 
the high prerogatives of your position. If you are true 
and faithful men, you are living under the control of the 
noblest incentives which can prompt the life and being 
of any spiritual existences. You are pursuing the ends 
which challenge all earthly rivalry. No matter how 
lowly your positions or how ordinary your capacity ; you 
are, by virtue of your lofty motives and your sacred 
aims, called to be kings and priests to our God. The 
restoration of a fallen world and the glory of the eter- 
nal King, set before you as the great ends of being, 
make you co-workers with God in all the grand schemes 
of His endless government. 
I What a noble function is this for feeble, mortal man ! 
What an exalted privilege ! Surely, 

A Christian is the highest kind of man. 

Walk worthy of the vocation wherewith you are 

called. Strive to be what you seem to be, what you 

, profess to be. Grasp the deepest scriptural convictions, 

and then strive to express them by decided holiness of 

The Motives to Discipleship. I49 

life. Base your religion upon the redemption of Jesus. 
Show it forth by the strictest morality and the sweetest 

So shall men see and feel that you live with the Lord, 
that you have learned the secret of the Lord, that you 
are in very deed, as well as in name, His true disciples, 
and His faithful followers. 


The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity. 


Col. i, 10. 

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful 
in every good zvork, and increasing in the knowledge of God. 

The Epistle for this Sunday is most valuable to us, 
this morning, as Communicants. For it contains very- 
rich lessons pertaining to the sanctification of saints, 
and this special verse is chosen from the whole para- 
graph, inasmuch as it presents, in a condensed form, 
two or three excellent injunctions bearing upon the 
subject. In approaching our Lord's Table, as it is our 
duty to be thinking how we can become better men 
and women, how we can "grow in grace and in the knowl- 
edge of God," the subject of the sanctification of our 
souls must be a most profitable one for every one of us 
duly to consider. 

You all remember, no doubt, the words of the cate- 
chism upon this subject. The children, surely, we 
trust, will carry them fresh in their memories. After 
the recitation of the Creed, comes the question, "What 


The Agencies to Saintly Sanctijication. 151 

dost thou chiefly learn in these Articles of thy Belief ? " 
And the answer is given, " Thirdly, to believe in God 
the Holy Ghost, who sanctifieth me, and all the people 
of God." 

Now in this, three things are to be noticed : 

1st. The meaning of sanctification ; which is the 
spiritual process by which fallen men become holy. 

2d. The prime agent, without whose aid there can 
be no possible growth in grace, which agency is the 
power of the Holy Ghost, who is called in the Nicene 
Creed "the Lord and Giver of life." But 

3d. Concurrent with the Holy Ghost is another fac- 
tor, inferior indeed in the work of sanctity, but never- 
theless an indispensable power thereto, and that is our 
own personal wills. We cannot take a single step in 
the pathway of holiness without divine assistance. The 
Holy Ghost was sent into this world to " convince it of 
righteousness," to "guide us into all truth," to "take the 
things of Jesus and show them unto us." Without 
His gracious influences we can do nothing. But in 
order to become saintly we must do something our- 
selves. The Holy Ghost will never carry us to heaven, 
without our own wills, and our own holy actions. To 
be saints we must " work out our salvation with fear 
and trembling," relying upon God to work "within us 
to will and to do of His good pleasure." Such is the 
teaching of St. Paul in the Epistle for the day. It is an 

152 The Agencies to Saintly Sanctification. 

earnest exhortation to use the appointed means adapted 
to the sanctification of souls. 

1. The Apostle enjoins, first of all, that we "walk 
worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing." The idea is 
that disciples should maintain a regular uniform regard 
to the will of God, if they would grow in grace and 
holiness. It is in the will of any beings that they find 
coincidence and unity. All the pleasure of life springs 
from the harmony of wills, whether it be in domestic, 
civil, or natural relations. And this "well pleasing" 
the apostle speaks of here (or, if you choose, you may 
call it satisfaction), is a sentiment which can only come 
from that chiming in of man's will with God's, which 
finds its truest expression in our Lord's prayer — " Thy 
will be done." In heaven this "well pleasing" is seen 
in the perfect accordance of angelic with the Divine 
thought and life. On earth it is only partially expressed 
in the lives of obedient saints. The command of the 
apostle, however, is based upon vows and promises. 
You have pledged yourselves " to keep God's holy will 
and commandments, and to walk in the same all the 
days of your life." This obedience is the point of unity 
between your hearts and the heart of God. Just there 
the little rivulets of our existence flow into the great 
ocean of God's eternal being. You gave your pledge to 
this end in Baptism. You renewed it in Confirmation. 
You have reasserted it over and over again at God's 

The Agencies to Saintly Sanctificalion. 153 

Altar in the Commemorative Sacrifice of His Son's 

Now when the apostle says, "walk worthy of the 
Lord unto all pleasing," the idea presented is that of 
congruity. This is not a common word, it is true, but 
it is the best that can be used. Congruity means some- 
what that fits, agrees, or is equal with another. Thus, a 
picture is expected to conform to the original which it 
represents. If it does not, it is not a likeness. Thus, 
a photograph is exact and true, as it represents the face 
of the original. You look into a mirror; the image 
must conform to the reality, or else you say the glass is 
false. You all remember how, when we were children, 
we laughed at the fable of the greedy dog, his mouth 
full of meat, crossing a bridge, and who snatched at the 
piece of meat in the mouth of his own shadow, in the 
glassy water, and so lost his food. That glassy w r ater 
gives the idea of a perfect mirror. Above and below, 
in substance and in shadow, there must be similarity, 
and then one gets the idea of congruity. Thus the 
poet sings, — 

The swan, on still St. Mary's lake, 
Floats double, swan and shadow. 

Now St. Paul calls for a like spiritual congruity in 
the Christian life of disciples. God is our model, and 
we are to be His likeness. It always was to have been 
so. The disasters of sin prevented it in our first 

154 The Agencies to Saintly Sanctiftcation. 

parents. But God never gives up His grand primal 
purposes. Man, from all eternity, was to be the image 
of God. Transgression has interfered, and endeavored 
to make man the image of the Evil One. But God 
sent His blessed Son into the world to redeem us from 
evil, that we may be " transformed by the renewing of 
our minds ; " that " we may prove what is that good 
and acceptable and perfect will of God." The entire 
work of the Holy Ghost, in this dispensation, is by 
various divine devices to change, modify and elevate 
our nature, so that we may more and more conform to 
the divine image, and express, in our lives, the divine 

In this process the Holy Ghost is the divine agent. 
But the human will is also an important factor. The 
sanctification of our nature into the divine likeness is 
no mere mechanical process. We have to shape and 
mould ourselves, with divine help, into the image of 
God. The process by which we shall do this is imita- 
tion. That is the grand faculty by which men are 
enabled to produce in themselves that gracious con- 
gruity, whereby they shall secure a likeness to their 

The great Edmund Burke says : " The second passion 
belonging to society is imitation or the habit of imita- 
ting." This is the method by which men reach to civ- 
ilization. They see superiority, and they copy it. It is 

The Agencies to Saintly Sa/ictijication. 155 

precisely the same in the domain of grace. God has 
revealed Himself in the person of His Son, in Whom 
resides "all the fulness of the Godhead bodily;" and 
who is declared "the image of the invisible God, the 
first born of every creature." Here then, in our Blessed 
Lord, we have the standard. He is the model by which 
we may rise up to congruity to the divine character, and 
approach the beauty of holiness. Jesus is the way ; be 
like Him, live like Him, imitate Him. " He is the 
image of the invisible God," sent into this world for the 
express purpose, that man may follow His example, 
copy His life, and so reflect somewhat the likeness of 
the Maker. 

Walk, then, worthy of the Lord; strive, first of all, to 
be partakers of the divine nature. For, to show forth 
God in your life, you must have God in you. Go to 
Him, live in Him. " Draw water from the wells of sal- 
vation." Get rid of yourself. "Give all for all ; seek 
nothing, require back nothing ; abide purely and with 
firm confidence in Christ, and thou shalt possess Him. 
* * * That being stript of all selfishness, thou may est 
with entire simplicity follow Jesus, and dying to thyself 
mayest live eternally to Him." 

And then, next, possessed of the divine nature, show 
it forth. Let men see that you have been with Jesus, 
by an unearthly spirit ; by zeal for truth ; by holy deeds ; 
by a living faith, Set the Blessed Lord distinctly before 

i$6 The Agencies to Saintly Sanctification. 

you as your Chief, your Guide, and Leader ; and then 
walk in His footsteps, endeavoring in all things to do as 
He did, and to walk as He walked. 

The result of such divine imitation is sure and cer- 
tain. You will so show forth in life and character, that 
divine pattern Who walked in perfectness the paths of 
life, that the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ will look 
upon you with delight and satisfaction ; and that His 
voice from heaven will once again descend to earth, and 
penetrate to your own inner consciousness — "This too 
is My own beloved son in whom I am well pleased." 

2. I turn now to the second injunction of the apostle : — 
"Beino- fruitful in everv °-ood work." Here consrruity 
comes forth in another form. Likeness to God is to 
show itself first of all, as we have seen, in similaritv. 
But now the apostle insists upon the show of another 
characteristic of the Almighty, that is, productiveness. 
We are to show the divine character in doing, as well as 
in being. The first requirement of the apostle was — be 
like God. This second one is, do as God does. It is 
laid down, too, as a means to our sanctification, and the 
relation of the one to the other is manifest. For as the 
multiplication of evil acts tends to the deepening of de- 
pravity in ungodly men, so does the repetition of good 
acts serve to develop the principle of holiness in our 
own hearts. This is a matter of both experience and 
observation. People who are given to offices of kind- 

The Agencies to Saintly Sanciification. 157 

ness, such as visiting the poor, or attending on the sick, 
or nursing little children, or caring for prisoners, at 
length beget a passion for such duties. At the begin- 
ning of such works they may, perchance, have to spur 
and stimulate themselves to duty. But the multiplica- 
tion of holy acts fixes the principle of holiness, until at 
length the gracious habit is formed, the love rises up 
with desire, and then almost imperceptibly, there is a 
gracious thirst in the heart for all the duties and offices 
of charity and kindness. Those of you who have read 
the life of Sister Dora, will remember that the longer 
she continued at the great work of her life, the more 
ardent became her zeal and devotedness ; until at last 
her holy heart was filled with the flames of a burning 
zealous love for the diseased, the halt, the lame, the 
blind and wretched. 

Our great pattern, however, is the Lord Jesus Christ. 
This was one of the two grand ends for which He came 
into the world. He came to exemplify, in flesh and 
blood, the capability of man "to good works. And how 
fruitful He was in them! What a tide of generous 
and gracious acts ; nay, what a deep, profound, and 
mighty river of beneficence was that wondrous life which 
is our example ! Think of His condescending pity to 
the poor ! Think of His generous provision for the 
hungry ! Think of His mighty and marvellous works ; 
so many, that the beloved disciple declares his belief 

158 The Agencies to Saintly Sanctification, 

that if they were all recorded, " the world itself could 
not contain the books that should be written." 

This fruitfulness of Jesus in good works brings to my 
mind that marvellous text He gives us in John v. 17. 
Did you ever think of this utterance of our Lord? "My 
Father worketh hitherto and I work." 

Just look abroad through all the boundless areas of 
space. Think of the systems upon systems of worlds, 
stretching far away beyond the keenest glance of tele- 
scopic vision. Think of the probability of the existence 
of created beings from countless ages in many of these 
worlds. Astronomers tell us that some of these worlds 
are hoar with age, dating from vast epochs in the past ; 
and others of them of later, if not of recent origin. I 
sit down and am overwhelmed at the idea of God's 
working and weaving worlds upon worlds, through eter- 
nal ages ; and carrying on through infinitude grand and 
wonderful schemes of glory and beneficence to myriads 
upon myriads of creatures j restless, if I may say it with 
reverence, for divine and gracious activities ; coming 
forth spontaneously from the solicitude of His awful 
Being, eager to scatter everywhere through boundless 
space, light, and air, and heat, and glittering dews, and 
abounding fruitfulness ; and in the domain of the spirit 
— life, sense, reason, spirit, conscience, gifts, graces, 
and benefactions, upon the spirits of angels and men; 
working, working, working through vast and endless 

The Agencies to Saintly Sanctification. i$C) 

eternities. Here, brethren, is the pattern of your sanc- 
tified life: — "My Father worketh hitherto and I work." 
As you imitate this beneficent and all-gracious original, 
so will you fashion your inner nature more and more 
to His excellency and glory. Remember then that pro- 
ductiveness is a divine quality ; and in saints is a grand 
means of sanctification. "Being fruitful in good works;" 
so glorifying God, and so, too, lifting up our souls, to 
excellence and divine purity. 

3. We come now to the third instrumentality men- 
tioned by the apostle for the sanctification of saints: 
" Increasing in the knowledge of God." This agency 
of divine grace is linked in, if you will notice it, with 
that which we have been just considering. The apostle 
seems to present the matter in the form of sequence; 
as though he would say: if you abound in righteous- 
ness, if you are fruitful in good works, then you shall 
arrive at a higher degree of divine acquaintance. This 
no doubt is the mind of Saint Paul. It is certainly the 
teaching of Scripture, and it is the result of experience. 
Doing always enlightens. When Christopher Columbus 
started out on the trackless seas in search of a new 
world, he knew absolutely nothing of that world ; but 
by doing, he grasped the grandest geographical light of 
all the ages. He sailed across the ocean and discovered a 
continent. It is precisely the same in all the spheres of 
knowledge. Science nowhere reveals its secrets, save 

160 The Agencies to Saintly Sanctijication. 

by dint of active, prying investigation. This, too, is 
the key to the knowledge of God. If we are fruitful 
in good works, the more and more shall we increase in 
the knowledge of God. Our blessed Lord lays this 
down as a law of His kingdom. "If any man will do 
His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of 
God or whether I speak of Myself." 

What is it, my brethren, to have a knowledge of God ? 
Have you ever put this question to yourselves? You 
know what it is to know a man : say, a father or a 
friend, a poet or an orator, a Shakespeare or a Milton, a 
Webster or a Gladstone. It is, as you are aware, to 
explore his mind, to get a thorough acquaintance with 
his principles and motives, his plans and purposes, and 
to come into accord with his desires and aspirations. Is 
not this what we mean when we speak of knowing a 
man? What difference can there be with respect to 
knowing God? Is it not the like apprehension on the 
part of one spirit with another? To know God, as I 
understand it, is to look into His mind, to approach the 
eternal spirit of the universe, to see how God thinks 
and purposes, and feels and loves, to comprehend as far 
as we can His grand and majestic nature, to sympathize so 
as to be in thorough accord and submission with Him. 
And can you conceive of any mode easier and more 
effective for the increase of your piety? Will not the 
approach of your spirit to the eternal spirit, lift you up 

The Agencies to Saintly Sanctification. 161 

to ecstacy ? Will you not become fascinated by His 
beauty? Will not your earthiness necessarily fall off 
from you? Will not heaven, and heavenly things, per- 
force, absorb your interest and your thought? Must 
you not thereby become more and more weaned from 
temporal regards, and so enraptured with things sacred 
and eternal? 

There can be no need to argue such a question, for 
the testimony of all the saints in all the ages confirms 
this truth. Everywhere on earth where men have lived 
for God, and worked for God, their souls have been ad- 
vanced to clearer views of His nature, and keener 
insight into His attributes has gradually but gloriously 
dawned upon their spirits. Broader apprehensions of 
God's plans and systems have reached their understand- 
ing. And then, as their knowledge of God increased, 
so their love grew, and their whole nature became more 
and more conformed to the divine. It may be affirmed 
as an absolute truth that only those who know not God 
exclaim: "Depart from us, we desire not the knowledge 
of Thy ways. What is the Almighty that we should 
serve Him? What profit should we have if we pray 
unto Him?" 

On the other hand, the lofty men who have made 

even the smallest advance in the knowledge of divine 

things, hunger and thirst to know more. Thus the 

great moral heathen of ancient times, men who had no 


1 62 The Agencies to Saintly Sanctification. 

Holy Scripture to guide them, men whose only knowl- 
edge of God came from natural religion, expressed the 
deepest anxiousness to know more of God. Few things 
are so touching as their lamentations over the narrowrange 
of their acquaintance with the things of God. And 
then, still further, it is remarkable the rapture of holy 
men of old over their divine knowledge. Says David : 
"Oh, taste and see how gracious the Lord is." And 
you all remember the fervid exclamation of St. Paul: 
"Oh, the depths of the riches both of the wisdom and 
knowledge of God! how unsearchable are His judg- 
ments, and His ways past rinding out!" And this 
longing desire and hunger of the saints is not mere 
intellectual desire or astonishment. No; it is the 
awakening of a spiritual appetite, it is the opening of 
the eyes of the soul, it is the stirring up of a moral 
susceptibility to "comprehend with all saints the breadth 
and length and depth and height, and to know the love 
of God which passeth knowledge, yea, and to be filled 
with all the fulness of God." 

With two simple remarks the subject may be closed. 
First, let me say that the subject of discourse to-day, 
serves to impress us all with a deep sense of our large 
capacity. We have belittled ourselves by sin ; we are 
constantly more or less dwarfing our being by transgres- 
sion. But nevertheless, we are creatures of vast ability; 
we have natures of the noblest powers. No man here 

The Agencies to Saintly Sanctificatioti. 1 63 

can tell the largeness and the grandeur to which his soul 
can stretch. No man here can estimate the lofty excellence 
to which his soul may be fitted. Men do this little 
thing, they commit that mean act, they go down to 
vileness, they degrade themselves to infamy. But all 
this is contrary to our true nature, opposed to the design 
and destiny for which God made the living spirit of 
man. "He made him little lower than the angels," 
and for what ? "To crown him with glory and worship." 
That is the end and object of man's existence: glory 
and worship ; and the Holy Ghost is here, in the church, 
to correct and rectify the fallen spirits of men, that 
they may rise up to their original design. 

"Behold," says the Almighty, "all souls are mine!" 
and He comes, He, the maker of all spirits, by Jesus 
Christ, with solicitude and grace, to live in the souls of 
men, and, by the Holy Ghost, to sanctify them with the 
riches of His grace, to fitness to eternal glory. And 
so, reciprocally, the souls of men must needs go forth 
and rise up to meet the divine Father, and make that 
gracious surrender of themselves and their all, which is 
salvation and eternal glory. 

Into this pathway of holiness press on, without fear 
and without discouragement. Every possible encour- 
agement is given to cheer the steps of true disciples. 
Grand spiritual attainment attends their every footfall. 
The noblest acquisitions await their persistent and 

164 The Agencies to Saintly Sanctification. 

godly perseverance. All the promises of God are theirs. 
Theirs too all the resources, all the choicest influences 
of the heavenly powers. "All things are yours; 
whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or 
life, or death, or things present, or things to come ; all 
are yours; and ye are Christ's; and Christ is God's." 


The Third Sunday in Lent. 

PS. LXXXI, 10. 

Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it. 

This is a figurative expression, and it indicates that man 
is a creature of vast spiritual capacity. If it were 
addressed to our carnal, i. e., our physical nature, we 
could have no difficulty whatever in understanding it. 
If, for instance, a friend should invite us to a breakfast 
party, and should say, " Come with an appetite : eat 
nothing at home. I know the very things you like, and 
I want to please and gratify you," not one of us would 
misunderstand him. The text, however, is addressed 
to a higher nature than the physical. The appetite to 
which it appeals is the spiritual one within us. Men 
are rarely in full consciousness of that deep, strong, 
original aptitude of human nature for the things of God. 
For sin has so deeply impaired our nature, that atrophy 
and nausea have fallen upon our spiritual faculties, and 
our moral perceptions have become gross and insensi- 
ble. But the faculties are in us. Notwithstanding the 


1 66 Afflu nee and Receptivity. 

inroads of guilt and depravity, they have never been 
extirpated ; and the aim of the whole scheme of religion 
is restoration of our moral being to completeness and its 
original beauty. 

And so the voice of God is ever uplifted, even as at 
first to Adam in the garden, calling upon man either to 
know his place in the order of creation; or to awake 
from the dust to heavenly desires; or to rise up again 
to worship of God; or to participate in the new crea- 
tion guaranteed by the Spirit. In the text this morning 
the call is a very clear one to each and every spirit. 

The text shows God's estimate and acknowledgment 
of man's spiritual capacity. It does not ignore the 
actual fact of man's depravity. That is constantly set 
before us in the sacred word. But the great Father 
goes back of all the demonstrations of 'sin and guilt, to 
that original constitution which He gave us when He 
breathed into man "the breath of life, and man became 
a living soul." Sin has impaired and sullied that divine 
image, which was then made the crown of man's exist- 
ence ; but it has not entirely extirpated it. Man is still, 
though sullied and defiled, still the image of God; and 
God, knowing all the capacity of that divine element in 
our nature, constantly appeals to it in His Holy Word, 
and strives, by His holy spirit, to bring out all its force. 

In this estimate of man's spiritual capacity God can 
make no mistake. You can err, for instance, about your 

Affluence and Receptivity. 1 6/ 

son's ability. You may send him to school or college 
intending that he shall outshine all his fellows. Exag 
gerating his powers, you may demand of him to stand 
first in his class, outrivalling all his mates. Yet he may 
disappoint your expectations, because he finds superiors 
in more than one of his companions. But there can be 
no such error on the part of the Almighty. He knows 
every faculty, and the force of every faculty in the spir- 
itual constitution of man ; and hence, when we light 
upon such a passage as the text, and come to under- 
stand its deep spiritual meaning, we may learn very 
much of the largeness and the profundity of that grand 
spiritual nature which God has given us. The demand, 
"Open thy mouth wide," is addressed to no shallow and 
ephemeral quality in any man here this morning. You 
may be vain and foolish, you may be gross and wicked ; 
but there are fixed and abiding elements in your being, 
which, though sin may overshadow, it cannot annihilate. 
The ideas of God and duty, the fitness for responsibil- 
ity, the spring of the inner nature towards immortal 
life, the sentiment of love, with its boundless range, — 
these inhere in the soul of every man. They may lie 
dormant in the inner caves of our personal existence, 
unused and encrusted by guilt, but they are integral 
qualities. Nothing — not guilt, not neglect, not the 
insane denial of these divine qualities, not even the sui- 
cide's hand, can cast out of our being these exalted 

1 68 Affluence and Receptivity. 

powers and prerogatives. There is a section of our 
being "which cannot, but by annihilating, die." It is a 
majestic fact, and it brings with it the most awful 
responsibility that we are beings of a constitution akin 
to the divine, and that we shall live forever ! 

Now the reference of the text, in its first section, is 
to this quality of our nature. When God says, "Open 
thy mouth wide," he refers to an actual capacity in us, 
latent though it be, which, quickened by the Spirit, may 
reach up to heaven in lofty aspirations, and take in all 
the things of God. So, too, the other portion of the 
text, for it has two terms: "open thy mouth wide," is 
one, and "I will fill it," the other. The promise here 
given us is equally as significant with regard to our 
nature as is the command. It is a declaration that 
when the immortal demands of our inner being are once 
quickened into life, that there is but one Being in the 
universe who can answer and supply them. And this 
is another tribute to the splendid capacity of our nature, 
fallen though it be. 

The text implies that no man can meet this special 
need of the soul. Man is a creature fitted to very great 
helps and assistances to his fellow-man. Man supplies 
the bodily, the mental, even some of the spiritual needs 
of his fellow creatures. So, too, the angels of God. 
They also are grand ministers to human needs and 
requirements. They come to us with divine succors 

Afflttence and Receptivity, 1 69 

and spiritual gifts. But, both with regard to angels and 
men, there is one identical fact, which separates their 
functions and offices, by an almost infinite distance, 
from the secret gifts of the Almighty. The work of 
men and angels in our behalf is an intermediate work. 
They are but instrumental in their beneficence. The 
good they do is not from original sources in themselves, 
but comes indirectly from a higher being. But the text 
is a declaration that there is a supreme and infinite 
need, the supply of which is God's exclusive preroga- 
tive. There is a point in our nature which only the 
Almighty can reach. There is a substance and a gift, 
which no created being can furnish. They lie beyond 
and above finite and limited power, and are given over 
to the soul of man direct and immediate from the gra- 
cious heart of God Himself. And hence the entreaty 
of the text, "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it"; 
because God only can fill these infinite needs of the 
immortal soul ! 

Having reached this point in our consideration of the 
text, having learned, to some extent, what we are, and 
what we are capable of through grace, we can now 
advance to an important question suggested by the text, 
and that is, What is the reach you are going to make in 
divine holiness ? How far will you stretch forth in 
godly desires and aspirations ? Or will you hem your- 
self in by gross and carnal limitations ? 

I?0 Affluence and Receptivity. 

Now, unless there is some great mistake in the state- 
ment, there is nothing very obscure in dealing with this 
question. The Gospel sets this matter very clearly 
before us, as a most practical subject in all its aspects. 
The scriptural line of spiritual culture, which will serve 
to answer the demand made in the text, is the call of 
God to our internal being, "Raise yourself up to large 
spiritual desires ! Stretch the hands of your soul to 
vast spiritual acquisitions ! Lay hold of the treasures 
of the eternal kingdom ! Claim and gain the inexhaust- 
ible riches of Christ! " In what way shall we do this? 

According to the relations of our common human 
nature, there are three special functions of the soul of 
man, which, properly exercised, will bring us to perfect 
and cordial obedience to the demands of the text : First, 
the attainment of a high order of morals ; second, the 
exercise of duty, that is, the performance of good works ; 
and, third, the rise of the soul to a state of lofty spirit- 

It is evident that this is not the natural order. The 
spiritual acquisition is the base, is the radical foundation 
of all the divine aptitudes. But, for convenience, we will 
approach this, the highest acquisition, in the reverse 
order; for, in this manner, it will, most likely, serve 
both your and my soul the larger advantage. 

First of all, then, if you would attain to a lofty, 
grand preeminence of spiritual growth, fix it in your 

Affluence and Receptivity, 17 1 

minds to be men and women of a high order of morals. 
Not as though the advice be given to begin with moral- 
ity. God forbid ! The beginning of all true soul-life is 
in the spiritual; but, assuming that you are spiritual, 
that you have repented and believed, and that, having 
entered upon the Christian life, led by the Spirit of 
grace, you are anxious to reach the stature of perfect 
men in Christ. Lay the foundations of your piety deep 
in the purest morals ! Settle it as an axiom in religion 
that there is no such thing possible as true godliness 
without morality. If you will carefully consider the 
matter, you will see, at a glance, this deep necessity. 

For, first of all, what is a true spiritual life in any 
man's soul? It is, without doubt, the forming of the 
divine character within. It is the approach, by as rapid 
stages as possible, to the image of God, by the influence 
of the Holy Ghost and the concurrent energy of our 
own wills. In this process, the moral law acts in two 
ways to our growth and elevation. It is a result, first 
of all ; and then, by reflex action, it is a cause. Moral 
obedience is, first of all, one of the first results of felt 
spiritual life within us. One of the foremost impulses 
of a converted soul is conformity to God's will. Nay, 
more and higher than this : conversion itself is the set- 
ting in of the tides of the human will unto the will of 
God. What God wills, we will. What God condemns, 
we reject with aversion and abhorrence. All our likes, 

172 Affluence and Receptivity. 

on the one hand, all our desires, all our tendencies, all 
our feelings, all our affections, all our loves, turn to be 
just the same as God's. As God loves truth and just- 
ice, purity and virtue, light and excellency, so do we. 
It is the sure and certain sign of a converted soul, that 
it runs in the channels, flows with the currents of the 
perfect will of God. 

Take the aspect of the case just the reverse of this: 
observe the things which God rejects and discount- 
enances. Run down the line of the Ten Command- 
ments, and note the crimes which are condemned 
therein. Can you suppose, for a moment, a loyal, spirit- 
ual heart in the brotherhood of the Church, deliber- 
ately, wilfully, and habitually living in such sins ? Can 
you imagine pure spirits in Paradise contemplating with 
pleasure a breach of these laws ? Can you conceive 
the possibility of an angel in heaven looking with satis- 
faction upon the least infraction of the moral law ? 

No ! It is the instinct of all true saintship, that the 
very first fruit of the spiritual soul is conformity to law. 
It is the immediate and direct result of the divine life 
in us to bring us into happy acquiescence with divine 
morality. The spontaneous outgrowth of the divine 
life is excellence. 

Set it down, then, among your deepest convictions 
that to be lofty saints you must be sternly and severely 
moral. Let that truth be, as it were, the gauge of your 

Affluence and Receptivity. 1 73 

piety. Alas, we live in an age when we ofttimes see but 
little difference between the Church and the world ! 
We live in times when, on every side, the wide separa- 
tion of morality from religion is too plainly apparent ! 
And hence the spots and stains upon the Church of 
Christ, the taint in the character of so many pro- 
fessed disciples, the scoff of the world at the claims of 
the Gospel ! How glorious will be the influence of 
Christ's religion when the world shall see the saints 
everywhere in conflict with unrighteousness, and their 
lives "unspotted from the world." Make this the one 
supreme ambition of your souls. Strive to be good. 
Let the pitch of your sanctitude be a very high one. 
Harass yourselves with discontent whenever you see 
the deviation of your souls from the rigid line of moral 
rectitude. St. Paul, even before he saw the Crucified, 
could declare, " Touching the righteousness which is in 
the law — blameless!" Surely, we, having seen, by 
faith, the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, must rise to a 
purer standard than his legal conformity. Let us, with 
strong spiritual desire, reach forth to the highest and 
the purest. "Open thy mouth wide!" Determine, by 
God's help, to live the strictest lives, and by the Spirit's 
aid to attain stainless holiness. " For the grace of God 
that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teach- 
ing us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we 
should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this pres- 

174 Affluence and Receptivity. 

ent world, looking for that blessed hope and the glori- 
ous appearing of the great God and our Saviour, Jesus 
Christ, Who gave himself for us, that He might redeem 
us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar 
people, zealous of good works." 

But observe, next, that another stretch of the soul to 
high spiritual excellence is to be attained by the exer- 
cise of duty, that is, the doing of good works. Practi- 
cal goodness bears somewhat the same relation to emi- 
nent piety that husbandry does to the production of 
good crops, or the care of the gardener to the growth of 
beautiful flowers. It is, under God, the actual uplifting 
of the soul from one degree of holiness to another. It 
is the cultivation of the Christian graces ; and, observe, 
all true cultivation tends to growth and expansion. 

Now there are two kinds of piety in the church ; one 
is your passive, inactive, undemonstrative piety, which 
sits in the centre and lives by itself. The other is your 
active, gracious, productive piety, which overflows in 
goodness and mercy to others. And this — you can tell 
it almost in the dark ; you can see it with but half-open 
eyes. It is visible to sight, if even you are veiled : — for 
it is so big a thing, it has so much magnitude, that you 
cannot mistake it. Do you not know people in your 
circle, always ready to work for Christ, to give for 
Christ, to sacrifice for Christ, quiet as babes in speech 
about holiness, active as bees and beavers in works of 

Affluence and Receptivity. 175 

righteousness ? What a greed there is in such people 
for Sunday-school work ; for relief of the sick ; for help 
to the needy ; for care of the orphan ; for gifts to the 
church ; for society labors ; and yet how unconscious of 
their own goodness, how unostentatious in the show of 
their real piety. 

Now, in all such cases there has been a stretch of the 
soul after sanctity ; an eager reaching forth of the spirit 
after saintliness. In the inner chambers of such souls, 
there has been heard the divine demand: — "open thy 
mouth wide;" and the eager spirit has rushed forward 
for duty, in the line of good and gracious deeds. It 
was this quest and anxiousness put into their hearts by 
the Holy Ghost, which gave birth to all their holy 
deeds. It was perchance the sensitive living question, 
welling up from a soul full of gratitude for the great 
salvation vouchsafed it by a living Saviour : " What 
wilt thou have me to do ?" and then the instant obedi- 
ence in the Christian work, right at hand, which called 
for duty. From that beginning has flowed those other 
generous deeds and patient zealous efforts, which have 
glorified Christ among men. And always, in such 
cases, the fruit which duty yields has been a certainty. 
You cannot labor in charities and gracious duty for 
Christ without His blessing. St. Paul says in one 
place, "As sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet 
making many rich ; having nothing, and yet possessing 

176 Affluence and Receptivity. 

all things. O ye Corinthians, our mouth is open unto 
you, our heart is enlarged." It was this very benefi- 
cence of his generous, overflowing soul enriching others, 
which served to enlarge his heart. Indeed, if you get 
out of self, if you range beyond the circumference of 
personal regards, greatness and nobleness are your sure 
reward, whether you are conscious or unconscious of it. 
There seems to be a capacity in the generous soul 
to add on other souls to its own ; to bring the tides of 
other lives into the reservoir of its own spirit life. 
This is the enlargement to which St. Paul refers. By 
doing good to others for Christ's sake, we expand our 
own being ; we multiply the force of our sympathies and 
affections ; we reduplicate the power of our loving 
energy ; we live over again, in personal experience, the 
saintly life of philanthropists and good Samaritans ; we 
chime in with the beneficence and graciousness of min- 
istering angels ; yea, above all, we become co-workers 
with Christ our Saviour, in all the invisible healing 
restoration and renewing of His blessed life. 

And so it will follow that obedience to the text will 
show itself, in the purposed rise of the soul to a high 
spirituality. This topic is left for the last, because it is 
the most important ; it is the very base of all spiritual 
acquisition. In the domain of the spirit, spiritual 
things, spiritual aims, spiritual efforts, spiritual long- 
ings, are the foremost of all things. If you are not 

Affluence and Receptivity. \JJ 

spiritual, not uplifted above flesh and the world, holding 
both body and sense in subjection, then you can enter- 
tain no vast desires ; nor can you feel the motions of 
any large and masterful cravings of the soul, for light, 
for excellence, for divine beauty, as personal posses- 
sions. By the word spiritual is meant something plain 
and apparent to sense ; and in no way extravagant and 
fanatical. It is not, as some would suppose, to be 
angels or disembodied spirits, but it is to be men and 
women in the flesh, but above it; serving Christ by the 
impulses of the Spirit dwelling in us ; using the world 
as but an instrument ; " bringing every thought unto the 
obedience of Christ." See how St. Paul defines this 
fact of spirituality. "They," he says, "that are after 
the Spirit, do mind the things of the Spirit." " But ye are 
not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit 
of God dwell in you. Now, if any man have not the 
Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in 
you, the body is dead because of sin ; but the Spirit is 
life, because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him 
that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that 
raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your 
mortal bodies by His spirit that dwelleth in you. 
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to 
live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye 
shall die ; but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the 
deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led 
by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." 


178 Affluence and Receptivity, 

So much, then, for the ideal or principle descriptive of 
what is spiritual life. And now we can turn for a 
moment to the evidence that is to be found in ourselves 
that we have this principle implanted in us. That evi- 
dence discovers itself in those characteristic spiritual 
acts of the soul, into which, as sons of God, the saints 
are led by the Spirit of God. And here the whole field 
of saintly life lies spread out before us, so that we can- 
not err. All of its rich productiveness is the fruit of 
the Spirit. It brings to our sight, in exceeding bril- 
liancy, the faith and prayerful mightiness of Abraham; 
the calm meditativeness of Isaac; the crystal purity of 
Joseph ; the serene and unspotted godliness of Samuel ; 
the burning flames of Elijah; the calm constancy of 
David ; the stern self-sacrifice and zealous fervor of the 
Baptist ; the fiery ardor of holy Paul ; the loveliness of 
St. John the divine. 

These lives, these extraordinary characters are facts. 
They are the productive fruit of both that spiritual 
longing, and that internal spiritual endeavor of living 
souls, which rose up in rebellion against the dominion of 
sense, and fought an effectual warfare with the flesh ; 
and so, through grace, reached forth to sanctity. Never 
would God's church have gained to herself the bright 
example of such lives, save by the fastings and watch- 
ings, the patience and humility, the afflictions and dis- 
tresses, the supplications and the prayers of earnest 

Affluence and Receptivity. 179 

men, who were determined to attain in some measure 
the divine and heavenly, even while tabernacling in the 
flesh. For there is verily a power given by the Spirit 
to saintly souls, to fasten their attention upon "the 
things which are not seen," and which "are eternal." 
The faith and love of the heart can be so uplifted that 
even mortal man may hunger and thirst after right- 
eousness. There is a state and condition reached by 
holy men and women,, wherein the saints watch and 
wait with anxiousness for the coming of their Lord. 
Such glorious spirits entered the kingdom of God, ex- 
pecting • large things. They were the violent, who 
seized upon the things of God with loving ardor and 
burning desires. They "opened their mouth wide," 
and God filled it. And so from small spiritual begin- 
nings, they reached the stature of perfect men in 

The sum of what has been advanced may be stated 
as enforcing these two lessons. 1st. That you must 
avoid as though it were death, the idea of spiritual 
finality, in the attainments of grace. Never think you 
have enough of God and God's Spirit. Never be satis- 
fied with any successes you have reached in holiness. 
You will always find, if you will only seek it, somewhat 
higher, holier, divine and ineffable, in the heavens above, 
in God around you, which you need, and which by God's 
grace you can get hold of Never pause in your career, 

i8o Affluence and Receptivity. 

saying to the deceived and languid soul, "Rest and be 
thankful." But press on ever to higher, nobler, and 
more spiritual heights. 

And, 2d, the other lesson taught us by this subject is 
that there is a law of progress implanted in our nature, 
which has no limitation. No man here can tell how 
high he can go in excellence — how far he can reach in 
godly purity. In the very idea of immortality is implied 
somewhat that is limitless and unconfined ; and so we 
can by God's grace, stretch out farther and farther, until 
we are lost in God Himself. O grand and noble acqui- 
sition ! O blessed and heavenly consummation ! May 
the Spirit of God, now present with us in holy worship, 
put this desire and purpose in every heart. May this 
be the divine gift to every soul here to-day ; but 
especially, for those persons who this morning have 
given themselves to God in Holy Baptism. All of you 
here this morning will join in this prayer alike, for the 
little maiden and the mature man, who have made their 
vows before men, the holy angels, and our God, at this 
altar; and so, too, for the other persons and the children 
who this evening will give themselves up to Christ, in 
Koly Confirmation. No better beginning could they 
make than this, for it is God's way. Only remember 
that the river on which you have embarked has no end; 
that the ocean on which you sail is shoreless. Carry 
to God the intensest desires of your spirit. " Open thy 
mouth wide, and He will fill it." 



The eighteenth Sunday after Trinity. 

ST. LUKE, XV : 2. 

And the Pharisees and Scribes murmured, saying: This Man receiveth 
sinners, and eateth with them. 

This is a charge made by the Pharisees against our 
blessed Lord. To understand its point and signifi- 
cance, we must needs pause for a moment to consider 
the character of the men who brought the accusation. 

The Pharisees were the most numerous and powerful 
of the different sects which, at that time, existed among 
the Jews. Their chief characteristic was the claim to 
superior moral purity. So far as the Law, in its literal 
outward requirement, was concerned, doubtless they 
were strict and rigid observers of it. 

Our Lord in a parable, represents a Pharisee as stand- 
ing before the Almighty, and pleading in His presence 
his own personal purity. No truer picture could have 
been drawn of this self-righteous sect. Their whole 
mind was set upon mere outward observances ; utterly 
regardless of the inner spirit and purpose of the Law. 

1 82 Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners. 


They practised the most rigid nicety in all external 
matters. There was not a rite or ceremony commanded 
in the Law, which they did not strictly keep. They 
were the most thorough and fanatical legalists the world 
ever knew, and they were nothing more. And yet this 
people knew nothing of the true spirit of religion. 
They were the greatest extortioners of the age. They 
were the most grievous oppressors of the poor, the 
orphan, and the widow. They indulged in the most 
cruel, relentless, and unforgiving hate. They waged a 
ceaseless warfare against all real truth, all lofty sacred 
purity. As Jews, they subverted all the high and 
gracious purposes of the moral law; and as subjects of 
the Roman government, they were constantly plotting 
sedition and fomenting rebellion. 

These were the men who were the fiery and malig- 
nant persecutors of our Lord. With minds intent upon 
the petty minutiae of the mere letter of the Law, they 
were incapable of understanding the lofty purity, and 
the glowing excellence of the Great Teacher, who came 
from God. The strong contrast of their puerile, trifling 
legalism, with His broad humanity and divine spirit- 
uality, only excited their hate. Hence, the Pharisees 
were constantly using every possible annoyance to bring 
to bear, against our Lord, all the artillery of their malig- 
nant opposition. No lies were too venomous for their 
tongues. They went everywhere, now among the Jews, 

Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners. 1 83 

and now among the Romans, infusing the poison of 
their malice, with the ultimate purpose of compassing 
His destruction. 

It is singular, however, that in the case before us, the 
Pharisees stumbled for once upon the truth. No credit, 
however, is due to them for their veracity, for it was 
unintentional. Their purpose was a bad one. Their 
object was to detract from our Lord's holiness, and to 
bring Him into such universal unpopularity, that the 
people, in a frenzy of violent rage, might bring about 
His destruction. 

Their end was at last accomplished. The purpose 
for which they had striven with such intense desire is 
at length successful. He is nailed to the cross, the vic- 
tim of Jewish malice, mainly brought about by the 
Pharisees ; but their malicious charge survives and 
abides forever, as the crowning glory of the Redeemer : 
"This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them." 

The accusation brought against our Lord was true. 
He did receive sinners, and eat with them. His disci- 
ples never attempted to conceal this fact ; but, on the 
other hand, they have again and again recorded it in 
Holy Scripture, and thus spread abroad through all the 
world this manifestation of His sympathy with those 
whom He came to save. Believers, in these days, have 
no desire to deny this charge. On the contrary, we 
single out this, among the divers other peculiarities of 

I S4 Christ Receiving and Eating with SinnerS. 

our Lord's life, as a marked and precious trait of His 
pure and gracious character. And this not because of 
the inevitable fact that in this world He could find none 
others but sinners with whom to associate. We fall 
back upon no such miserable platitude as this, in expla- 
nation of the charge. We acknowledge the truth of 
this Pharisaical libel. We admit fully the indictment 
which was made by these men ; nay, we recognize and 
avow its exact and literal truth. What they fling at 
the head of our Master as the most blackening calumny, 
we gladly accept as a token of the tenderness and com- 
passion of Him who came to seek and to save the lost 
sheep of the house of Israel. True, they meant it as a 
grievous charge that He companied with people who 
had been gross and impure in character. We accept 
the accusation in this, its barest sense, and hold it up 
as an integral and vital element in the character of our 
Saviour. For, first, it was one of the everlasting pur- 
poses of the Messiah to quit, in the fulness of the times, 
the glories of heaven, and to condescend to the estate 
and companionship of sinners. Having laid aside, as it 
were, His divinity, and taken upon Him our nature, He 
purposely chose to associate, not with the holy angels 
of heaven, not with glorified saints who had been 
purged from earthly taint and sinfulness, but with guilty 
men, sinful as ourselves, human beings conceived in sin 
and born in iniquity. Just such sinners He first of all 

Christ Receiving and Eating with Simters. 185 

called to Himself, to be His chosen companions and 
apostles, and just such He admitted to His favor and 
closest intimacy. And then, afterward, He gathered 
around Him the very outcasts of the earth ; men bruised, 
wounded, lacerated, both in body and soul ; beggars, 
cripples, lepers, publicans, harlots, those possessed with 
the devil ; but through His power and His aid now 
freed from iniquity and rejoicing in the light. This 
accusation, then, so far as it was a formal charge, made 
with all the bitterness of personal malignity, was true. 
We take no account, just here, of the animus which 
prompted it. We waive, for the moment, altogether, 
the hateful purpose of His accusers, and admit, without 
reservation, that this man, our Lord and Master, 
" received sinners and ate with them." 

Let us see how we can account for this fact, which 
the Pharisees brought forward as a bitter charge against 
Him. Of necessity, our resort must be to character, 
for a satisfactory reason for this singular choice, on the 
part of so exalted and so pure a person as was our Lord. 
The Scriptures set before us the essential elements of 
His character, wherein we see justice and power on 
the one hand, truth, love, and mercy on the other. 
You will observe these traits are divided into two 
classes. In which of them resides the quality which 
moved our blessed Lord, as by an overpowering impulse, 
to minister and mingle with the vile, the wretched, the 

1 86 Clirist Receiving and Eating with Smners. 

miserable, bestowing upon them His tender offices and 
His healing love ? 

Now, if justice alone had been the master attribute 
in His character, the world would never have seen His 
wondrous person, nor witnessed His saving works ; for 
the direct and legitimate tendency of simple justice is 
retribution and wrath. If power were His leading 
quality, it would never have discovered to our sight His 
gracious assiduities. Indeed, neither of these elements 
in the divine character, considered by itself, tends 
to that pitifulness which shows itself in our Lord's 

reception of sinners. 


Great and majestic as was the Lord of life, it was 
not these peculiarities which made Him the friend of 
sinners, the benefactor of the lost and wretched. No ! 
that stream of blessedness and restoration burst forth 
from the everlasting fountain of love which flows from 
the heart of Jesus. Mercy and pitifulness are the 
source, the original spring-head from which proceed 
that graciousness and favor which attracted men to 
the feet of Jesus, and held them there by the magnetic 
force and the irresistible attractions of His glorious 
person. Now love shows the brightest when bestowed 
upon the evil and undeserving. Mercy is essentially 
tenderness to the lost. It may not be bestowed upon 
angels, for the legitimate objects of mercy are beings 
who are fallen and degraded. Indeed, all the tender, 

Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners. 187 

generous qualities shine more brightly, vividly, and 
with more burning lustre, in proportion to the degrada- 
tion and unworthiness of the beings upon whom they 
are bestowed. Generosity to the worthy, kindness to 
the virtuous, love to the lovable, are always pleasing, and 
cannot fail to give us satisfaction ; but when we see 
gentleness to the brutal, mercifulness to the violent 
and cruel, love bestowed upon the hateful and ma- 
lignant, then it is that our wonder is excited, and we 
are transported to the profoundest admiration. 

This is the very characteristic of the love of Jesus. 
It is such exuberant, overflowing love, that it could not 
be confined to the circles of obedience and perfection 
in heaven. That the son of God should love the holy 
angels, that His complacency should flow out in afflu- 
ence to the myriad hosts that surround Him in the 
realms of glory, seems at once natural and legitimate to 
the simplest apprehension ; for it is the stream of love 
running in its own currents, and flowing back again 
into its wonted channels. And we stand and gaze upon 
it with delight and admiration ; but not with astonish- 
ment, not with surprise. 

But the love of Jesus overleaps the confines of 
heaven. It flows out beyond the precincts of the celestial 
realm. It runs outside the ranks of obedient angels. 
It will not brook the limitations of the circles of light. 
It bursts beyond the height of heaven, and seeks to 

1 88 Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners. 

bless the masses of the guilty and benighted men that 
tread the face of earth. Yes! the boundless hosts of 
cherubim and seraphim are too small a field for the love 
of Christ, and it seeks a larger sphere for its exercise ; 
even the mighty armies of evil, which lift up defiantly 
their banners of rebellion against the very maker who 
preserves them, and the bruised and merciful Saviour 
who died for them. 

Here, then, is the root of the sentiment which led 
Jesus to receive sinners. We have only to turn to and 
consider the love of Christ ; how broad, how strong, 
how deep, how high it is ; and we have at once a full 
solution of the fact which excited the proud and malig- 
nant Pharisee, and prompted the bitter sneer : " This 
man receiveth sinners and eateth with them." 

Again, let us look at the fact which we have already 
conceded, and observe its wonderful reality. 

Our Lord's ministry covered the space # of three years, 
and the whole of this period was spent among the guilty 
and the lost. So lowly was the character of those who, 
in multitudes, gathered around Him, that at last the 
common saying was everywhere heard, "This man 
receiveth sinners and eateth with them." 

At the end of three years our Lord was crucified. 
He rose again the third day and ascended into heaven. 
But the work which He began on earth did not cease. 
The society which He had organized before His death 

Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners. 189 

went immediately to work to carry out His plans and to 
fulfil His purposes, and so the work of receiving sin- 
ners, which began during His earthly sojourn, has been 
carried on unceasingly on earth since His Ascension. 
And still Jesus is the person who Himself is ever 
receiving sinners ; for His church and ministry are only 
the agents and servants of an invisible, but mighty 
p 'nee, ever working in heaven and earth to save and 
r store the lost. When we baptize children or adults, 
wnen we teach and catechise and preach, when we 
invoke the gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of 
hands in Confirmation, when we receive sinners as guests 
at His Holy Altar, it is all done in the name of tie 
Lord Jesus. We are only His instruments. The min- 
istry does not come from man. The ministry does not 
derive its authority from the people. The ministry, 
like the church, is from Christ, and is His agency. 
And He it is, Himself invisible, Who receives and blesses. 
And thus it is, through the ' ages all along, that He has 
been receiving sinners. He has gathered them in from 
every nation and clime and tongue and people under 
the sun, into that new kingdom and new citizenship 
which marks and distinguishes the Church of God. 
Never for a day, never for an hour, since He ascended 
from Mt. Olivet, has there been a pause in this great 
work. And never have there been sinners too low, too 
depraved, too brutal, too filthy, or too vile, for Jesus to 
receive them. 

190 CJirist Receiving and Eating with Sinners. 

What a mighty company, too, is this whole vast 
multitude of sinners, who have been received by Jesus I 
Multitudes upon multitudes ! Myriads upon myriads ! 
Now washed in the blood of the Lamb, and rejoicing in 
glory ; millions also now upon earth, passing through 
great tribulations, but steadily and with unswerving 
faith pressing on to the eternal city. 

In this company w T e see a few great sinners ; men 
whose criminality was somewhat monstrous, whom Jesus 
received. They were great sinners ; but the love of 
Jesus was greater than their sin, and He took compas- 
sion on them. He drew them out of the pit of pollution 
and received them. 

There was Matthew, the Publican, one of that large 
class of ruthless men who w r ere the curse of the age. 
Jesus received him and made him an apostle. There 
was Mary Magdalene, out of whom were cast seven 
devils. There was Peter, who denied his Master with 
oaths and curses, which makes it probable that he had 
been before a coarse blasphemous fellow, and that this 
was one of his old sins suddenly cropping out again. 
There was the thief on the Cross, received in his last 
extremity, and privileged to accompany our Lord into 

And then there were beggars, and lunatics, and blind 
men, and the palsied, and lepers. Multitudes, filthy and 
degraded, alike in body and in soul, whom Jesus received, 

Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners. I9I 

restored, and blessed while He was upon this earth, and 
then left them rejoicing in the Lord who saved them. 

But this reception of sinners ceased not when He 
went up in glory into the heavens. Ever since, through 
His church, the same great and gracious work has been 
carrying on, to the glory of His grace. It began imme- 
diately after His ascension — three thousand of His 
enemies in one day, at the preaching of St. Peter. Then 
the Ethiopian eunuch ; soon after, Saul, the persecutor. 
Then the apostles went everywhere preaching ; converts 
were made, and the Lord received them ; Cornelius the 
centurion, and heathen men in Asia, in Greece, in 
Rome, and all through Europe. There was Augustine, 
a heathen profligate, and Jesus received him. There 
was Constantine the Emperor, a brutal, sanguinary 
heathen, but Jesus received him. Think of what the 
Romans were, cruel, domineering, bloody, and brutal. 
And yet in three centuries this great empire was con- 
verted from heathenism, and Jesus received them. 
Think of the Muscovites, and the Scandinavians — the 
original inhabitants of northern Europe — marauders, 
pirates, blood-thirsty savages ; but Jesus received them, 
and to-day they are the most Christian nations of 
Europe ! Think of the Sandwich Islanders, the Fejians, 
the New Zealanders — naked, brutal cannibals ; but 
Jesus has received them, and now they are clothed and 
in their right mind, sitting at the foot of the Cross ! 

192 Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners. 

There was Colonel Gardner, a lewd, riotous man ; there 
was Lord Rochester, gross and blasphemous ; there 
was John Bunyan, vile, infamous and degraded ; there 
was John Newton, a heartless slave-trader ; there was a 
Fejian chieftain, who had put father, mother, and scores 
of his family to death, and then eaten of their flesh ; 
there is Samuel Crowther, born a pagan, and now a 
Christian bishop. Nay, more, there are thousands of 
drunkards, and thieves, and murderers, and harlots, and 
rakes, who have been turned from sin to righteousness, 
who have given up iniquity, and gone in tears and sor- 
row and repentance to Jesus ; and He has had mercy 
upon them, and received them ! And here, too, are we, 
this morning, miserable sinners, but saved by the blood 
of the Cross. 

And now, once more, turn to the text, and notice 
another feature of it. The Pharisees sneered at our 
Lord for another reason besides His reception of sin- 
ners. There was another act of His which gave them 
great offence. "This man receiveth sinners," was their 
charge; "and He eateth with them." Yes, to eat with 
sinners was an unpardonable sin in the sight of these 
self-righteous Pharisees. Contact with the wicked they 
thought would defile them. But the blessed Lord of 
life, sinless, spotless, and undefiled, He condescended to 
the vilest sinners ; for it was for their sakes He came 
into the world. To do them good was His noble pur- 

Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners. 1 93 

pose; to draw them away from sin was his anxious 
desire ; to raise them up to purity and godliness His 
unceasing effort. And therefore He presented all the 
attractions of the Godhead to their sight, so as, by per- 
sonal association, to enlighten and to sanctify them. 

Yes ! He ate with sinners : at one time five thousand, 
and at another seven — men, women, and children; and 
they, the common, the lowly, and the vulgar, were His 
guests. He ate with fishermen. He ate with people 
who had been possessed with devils. He ate with the 
despised Samaritans. He ate with Publicans and sin- 

Consider the significance of eating with our fellow 
creatures. You walk with a man ; but the act is indif- 
ferent, for you might walk with a horse or a dog. It 
does not necessarily show any community of feeling. 
You talk with a man ; but yet you may keep him off as a 
hireling or an enemy. You travel with a man, and yet 
hold him cheap, as though he were a nobody. But how 
different when you sit down at a table and eat with a 
man ! The act signifies equality. It recognizes the 
dignity of your fellow-man. It acknowledges his man- 
hood. It indicates respect and fellow-feeling. When 
you eat salt with a man, when you break bread with 
him, you show thereby sociality and friendship. Seat a 
beggar at your table, and you make him your guest. 
Put your servant at it, and you raise him to be your equal. 

1Q4 Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners'. 

Just this was the purpose of our Saviour. His eat- 
ing with sinners was no formal, empty, and unmeaning 
thing. It was a transaction pregnant with significance. 
It was full of life and import. Our Lord received sin- 
ners as His friends and brethren. He ate with sinners 
to show them His real, hearty interest in them. He 
wished them to understand that He was in thorough 
accord with them ; that He really partook of their com- 
mon humanity ; that He was, in very deed, their friend 
and brother ; and that, as a brother, He participated in 
all their common interests, and in their simplest ordi- 
nary joys and comforts. 

Our Saviour had another object in view in eating 
with sinners He wished to teach His followers, what 
no other religion but ours ever taught, that is, the 
brotherhood of man. That spirit of caste which then 
separated the nations kept men of different tribes apart, 
and alienated different peoples. But in the Church of 
God all these distinctions vanish. If men will be disci- 
ples of Christ, they must all come as equals in His 
Church and to the same table. They must all eat of 
the same holy food, they must drink from the same 
chalice. Jesus can eat at His table with any man, no 
matter what tribe he belongs to, what race he hails 
from, what blood courses his veins, what color tinges 
his brow. When people refuse, to any class of men, to 
do what Jesus has ever done, they cut themselves off 

Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners. 1 95 

from their Lord and lose the brotherhood of the Christ. 
And so the Supper of the Lord comes clown to our day, 
an institution rebuking everywhere the distinction of 
caste, and binding all men, of all varieties and condi- 
tions, in Christian love and brotherhood in the Church. 

Nor was our Saviour content to do this only during 
the days of His earthly soj.ourn ; and hence He insti- 
tuted a feast for perpetual observance in His Church, 
at: which, although invisible, He promises, and we recog- 
nize His perpetual presence : here He comes and eats 
with sinners, making Himself known in the breaking of 

And so, all through the ages, Jesus has continued 
doing what He did when on earth, and caused the fool- 
ish Pharisees to sneer at Him. He has been receiving 
sinners, and eating with them — sinners, the lowest and 
most wretched earth has ever produced, but who have 
turned from sin, and beheld, with penitent and loving 
eyes, "the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sins of 
the world." 

Turn back again, if but for a moment, to the noted 
sinners, of whom mention has already been made ; and 
remember that Jesus received all these sinners, and 
that Jesus ate with them ; for not only did He sit with 
sinners at His table during the days of His earthly pil- 
grimage, but ever since He has provided a feast, at 
which, although unseen, He still deigns to preside. It 

196 Christ Receiving and Eating with Sinners. 

is your Master who spreads the Eucharistic table. He 
makes the Eucharistic feast. It is your Saviour who 
pours the wine and gives the bread. It is in this, as 
well as in other ways, Jesus has been receiving sinners 
and eating with them in all ages of the Church. That 
fact, which was the sneer of the Pharisee, He makes an 
unchangeable ordinance in His Church. That truth 
He has perpetuated by living and unmistakable signs, 
as a memorial of His abiding love and friendship. 

And so you who come here to-day to be received by 
Jesus, and to eat with Him, do not fail to be as cordial 
to your fellow-sinners, your fellow-communicants, as 
Christ Jesus is to you. "Wherefore receive ye one 
another, as Christ also received us, to the glory of 
God." And therefore I bid you all, coming here to 
this table, to put aside all animosities, all pride and self- 
importance, and be kind to one another, tender-hearted 
and forgiving. "And be at peace among yourselves," 
"endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit, in the 
bond of peace." 



The Twenty-first Sunday after Trifiity, 

2 TIM. II: 3. 

Endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. 

There are two senses in which we can take this 
exhortation of St. Paul. We may understand the word 
hardness in the sense of suffering and tribulation ; or 
we may regard it as referring to trial — that general trial 
which is equivalent to the discipline of life in its vari- 
ous stages, out of which comes such vigorous strength 
as fits men for the changes and chances of life. The 
Apostle seems to refer to this latter signification rather 
than to the former — not indeed to the exclusion of the 
idea of suffering. For it was then a time when the 
whole Christian Church had much to endure, when dis- 
tress and tribulation were the universal condition of 
the faithful servants of God. 

This address, however, to Timothy, who was then lit- 
tle more than a youth, would seem to be equivalent to 
counsel somewhat of this sort : " Resist the seductions 
of ease. As a Christian man and minister, put away 


198 The Discipline of Human Powers. 

the inducements to mere gratification. Choose rough 
usage in the Christian life. Task your powers with 
severity. Take rigidity as the rule of life, and make 
discipline your habit." ''Endure hardness as a good 
soldier of Jesus Christ." This exhortation is addressed 
to no particular section of our being. It is evidently 
general in its meaning, befitting every segment of our 
constitution, applicable to the whole apparatus of our 
nature. Hence the discipline of life is not merely a 
corrective of the body, giving license to the intellectual 
powers or to the spiritual faculties ; but it is to subject 
the whole man to rule. And so St. Paul, in his Epistle 
to the Thessalonians, says, "And the very God of 
peace sanctify you wholly ; and I pray God your whole 
spirit, and soul, and body be preserved blameless unto 
the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Now as St. 
Paul indicates hardness as an instrument to the sancti- 
fication of his son Timothy, it is evident that it must 
reach every part of his being, and that the whole man 
be brought under the discipline which the text implies 
and teaches. In this sense, and with this wide mean- 
ing, I propose to address you upon the text before us. 

1. First of all, then, reversing the order of the text, 
as it is written, I wish to exhort to endurance with 
regard to the body. It is one of the greatest of our 
personal and moral needs. In the original state of 
man this necessity did not exist. There was then such 

The Discipline of Human Powers.. 199 

a correspondence, such a genial concord between the 
animal and the spiritual of man's being, that all his 
constitutional tendencies were harmonious, and beauti- 
ful, and free. But man's departure from original right- 
eousness has caused that internal disruption in his 
being, whereby, to use St. Paul's language, " the flesh 
lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit lusteth against 
the flesh." It is this antagonism, this aim of the 
fleshly desires to get the ascendency over man, which 
creates the duty and necessity of bodily discipline. In 
speaking of the flesh, it is not meant that there is any 
guilt in matter, any sin in our bodies. The word is a 
figurative expression, which signifies our carnal tenden- 
cies, of which the body is the master instrument. But 
the two are so thoroughly identified, that a single word 
serves to give a most distinct and unmistakable impres- 
sion. Everybody understands by the flesh the whole 
apparatus, internal and external, of gross and carnal 

Now we maintain that the flesh, as thus defined, and 
the body especially, as its agent, is to be brought under 
rule and into subjection to the habits of endurance. 

At all times, under all circumstances, this is a duty. 
But the urgency of it comes especially in our day and 
in our country. It may be doubted if there ever was a 
time, since the days of degenerate and luxurious Rome, 
when ease, indulgence, and keen worldly self-enjoyment 

200 The Discipline of Human Powers. 

were such universal objects of desire. It is not of 
indulgence in gross sins, or of the prevalence of abom- 
inations that I am speaking. What I have reference to 
is the tendency to softness, the anxiousness we see on 
every side to avoid hardness and severity of duty. In 
every sphere of life one sees a shrinking from hardy 
toil, a reluctance to meet the strain and tug of tasking, 
physical endeavor. Then, next to this negative aspect 
of the case, one cannot fail to observe the ambition for 
all the agencies and appliances which minister to ease 
and delightful relaxation. 

Remember, then, that our bodies are the agents and 
the instruments of work in this world. Man's "staff of 
accomplishment " in material effort is his body and its 
members. If it is strong and vigorous, so much the 
more effective can it be in the work of life. If it is im- 
paired and feeble, by just so much does it meet with 
hindrance and encounter opposition. We are not 
responsible for the constitution with which, in infancy, 
we came into this world. If that is strong, well ; if 
weak, that is our misfortune ; but even in that event, 
we are responsible for the powers we have, feeble 
though they be, and our duty is to use them to the best 
advantage, and to train them to the highest tone and 
vigor for the service of life. And surely nothing can 
be more evident than that men and women who are 
sluggards, people who indulge in soft, luxurious, and 

The Discipline of Hitman Powers. 201 

heating beds, people who shun the cares and burdens of 
life, the youths who want their fathers to do everything 
for them, whose highest ambition is to skim along the 
surface of existence with hands of baby softness, be- 
gloved and be-scented, so delicate and gentlemanly that 
they can neither handle a hoe, nor wield an axe ; or the 
girls, so refined and elegant that they lack the muscle 
to scrub a floor, wash their clothes, or cook, with their 
own dainty fingers, a meal of victuals — creatures of 
such a frame and with such habits, where can they get 
the physical energy which is needed for the work of 
life, in the Family, the Church, and the Nation ? The 
enervating habits of life cannot yield to any of us 
strength and bodily vigor. If you banish the cares of 
life and strive for ease, if you work little and play 
much, if you indulge in revelry, if you avoid active and 
healthful toil, then it is very certain that the body will 
grow weaker and weaker, and lassitude and feebleness 
will ensue, as the certain and direct result. With the 
physical weakness which is the result of indolence 
comes the mental dullness, which is its legitimate fruit. 
It is your strong, robust men who live. Mind, I say 
they live, not stay. They live, both mentally and phy- 
sically. A paralysed man may stay here in the world 
ninety years, and be nothing, and do nothing. A weak 
and sickly man, if he have conscience and will, may do 
much in the world. Such paradoxes are seen. But, as 

202 The Discipline of Human Powers. 

a rule, it is your strong men who perform the greatest 
achievements. They make the great statesmen, the 
great thinkers, the great preachers, the great workers 
of the world. Even if they live but a brief time, they 
crowd into a lifetime the vast and wonderful works, 
which tell, not only upon their own generation, bi t 
which go down with lasting influence through after 

The basis of life, then, is the strength and endurance 
which come from exercise, right living, and proper 
habits. If men will not, by these means, secure a sound 
condition of their flesh and blood, they must surely fail, 
as well in body as in mind. To do the work of life we 
must have somewhat of a sound bodily constitution. 
And to attain this grand advantage in the battle of life, 
begin first of all with the appetites and passions. Keep 
the body down. Bridle its lawless lusts. Avoid the 
heating stimulants which send the blood racing through 
the veins with the heat and the speed of lightning, and 
which sweep away the brains. No bodily endurance 
can be gained without these precautions, no animal 
strength secured without these yokes. Put the rein 
upon yourselves in all these outward aspects of your 
nature. Husband your powers, and so get strength for 
maturity, and preserve vigor for old age. Even if you 
have feeble constitutions you will find these rules of 
abstinence and regulation powerful tonics for the acqui* 

The Discipline of Human Powers. 203 

sition of physical endurance. And then, next to this, for 
the practical habits of life, it is well for us all to avoid 
luxurious and pleasing habits for the body, and to 
accustom ourselves to stirring employments, vigorous 
exercise, and. plain living. I do not say that comfort 
should be shunned ; rather, I say, we should seek com- 
fort in life. But if we would have physical endurance 
we must not nurse ourselves too much, nor yield to 
indolent tendencies. Strength comes from hardihood. 
Even invalids find restoration in physical severity and 
bodily toil. To rise betimes in the morning, to sleep 
on a hard bed, to eat plain food, to abstain from stim- 
ulants, to take robust, and even tiresome exercise, is 
the regimen often given to enfeebled constitutions, and 
even to aged men. Even the wealthy seek with eager- 
ness the season when they can leave the haunts of lux- 
ury, and rough it, like tramps, in the woods. It is the 
part of wisdom, of reason, and religion, so to use our 
bodies that we may get out of them, for as long as 
possible, all the effective strength and activity that 
nature warrants, that providence assures, that duty 
calls for, and that the glory of God requires. 

2. But not only do we need the subjection of the 
body to severe discipline ; the like duty pertains to the 
mind. //, too, as well as the animal nature, needs the 
tonic of endurance ; calls for the stringency of rule and 
government; requires the training and the tasking 

204 The Discipliiie of Human Poivers. 

which are essential to sanctity. It is not merely that 
the fools' eyes wander to the end of the earth ; sad as 
it is that there are fools who give license to the eyes of 
the mind, and allow them to roam incontinently to every 
quarter of the globe. The evil of the matter is that 
people who are not fools, people of sense and under- 
standing, set up a claim to independence in the domain 
of intellect, and declare that they are a law to them- 
selves in all the habits of thought and intelligence. 
The idea that mind itself, mental activity, the range of 
thought in the spheres of acquaintance, that books, both 
the instruments and the agents of the thinking faculty, 
that these are, in any way, matters of responsibility, 
has never entered the thoughts of thousands. And as 
the fruit of such gross heresy, one sees everywhere in 
society, freedom to the very verge of license in the con- 
versation of men and women ; the handling, on the one 
hand, of the most delicate subjects with ignorant rude- 
ness, or the flippant disposal of the most mysterious 
and awful themes, as though they were holiday pleas- 
antries. So, too, in reading, one sees, on all sides, the 
same self-release from the sense of duty and responsi- 
bility. In the family, children are allowed to read what 
they please. The parents who would shriek, or go into 
convulsions if their girls should, by mistake, swallow 
Prussic acid, are utterly unconcerned when they see 
them reading, with eagerness, books which inflame the 

The Discipline of Human Powers, 205 

youthful imagination, and which serve to fasten the 
most damning principles upon the soiled surface of 
their souls. Youth, and young men, too, who hate the 
reading which tasks the mind, which demands atten- 
tion, which sends the soul peremptorily to sound the 
inward oracles of reason or of faith, run with eagerness 
after the trashy literature of the day, which gives un- 
thinking pleasure, and which is alien to every idea of 
truth and virtue. 

Worse than all, not few are the numbers who secretly 
dabble in the dirty waters of impure literature, and cor- 
rupt the very fibres of their inward nature by the read- 
ing which comes from the devil, and which bears the 
imprint of damnation. 

Now it seems the most evident of all things that we 
are responsible for our thoughts and for our habits of 
thinking. Our minds, in their several faculties, just 
the same as our bodies and limbs, are our instruments. 
As our own instruments, they are under our control 
and direction. In the centre is the will — king, ruler, 
guide. The thoughts of the soul are the generators of 
'all action. As the thoughts of a man, so is his life. 
"As a man thinketh, so is he." If the master tendency 
of the mind is toward evil, then the " thoughts of the 
wicked are abomination." If they tend, in a man, to 
the excellent, then the " thoughts of the righteous are 

2o6 The Discipline of Hitman Powers. 

It is a matter, then, of the greatest concern, for men 
to secure rectitude in the intellectual provinces of their 
being ; for everything depends upon right thinking. 
If they seek ease in this section of their being, if they 
would fain avoid care and burdensome duty, if they 
choose to have only the things pleasant and delightful, 
if they would fain avoid what brings trial, toil, and per- 
severance, then most surely all tone and vigor will pass 
away from their mental faculties ; they will become 
dwarfed and imbecile in the next grandest element of 
their being. 

Hence, as an effort toward that mental endurance 
which I maintain is an obligation, it is our duty, first of 
all, to aim after the regulation of the intellect. By this 
I mean that we should bring our minds under such rules 
and laws of discipline as that we may have our mine's 
and all their faculties under our control. You say, per- 
chance, that this is the business which belongs to schol- 
ars ; business people cannot attend, to intellectual dis- 
cipline. But I beg to say that if you cannot have your 
wits at your own command, if you do not train your- 
selves to interior rules of order, then you cannot do the 
work of life. In this, my brethren, resides all the suc- 
cess of life. Your successful and effective people, 
whether farmers, or laborers, or merchants, or me- 
chanics, or sailors, as well as scholars, are the men who 
have their powers at command. Says the Apostle St. 

The Discipline of Human Powers. 207 

James, " Behold we put bits in the horses' mouths, that 
they may obey us, and we turn about their whole body. 
Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, 
and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about 
with a very small helm whithersoever the governor 
listeth." In precisely like manner every man should 
endeavor to put his personal self in the centre of all his 
powers and faculties, and regulate and dispose of them 
as he wills. 

One great difficulty with most men is that they are 
possessed by their powers. Thus some men are mas- 
tered by prodigious memories ; but they have no judg- 
ment, and ply no reasoning faculty. Then there are 
others who are carried away by a vivid and inflamed 
imagination. Another class are hard and iron thinkers, 
but there is no illumination of fancy, no treasure-house 
of golden memories. 

The vice of disproportion and excess is always a great 
hindrance to self-command. When men are controlled 
by any one or several master faculties, then they come 
into a species of slavery to themselves, and lose the 
freedom of their wills just as much as when they are 
mastered by some special vice. The true remedy is to 
so train and regulate ourselves by proper habits, that 
we can use our mental capacities when we want them, 
and as we will. And this, in a degree, is in the power 
of all men ; for as an actual fact we see this steady, 

208 The Discipline of Human Powers, 

constant mind in men of all classes. We see sailors, 
soldiers, shoemakers, and carpenters, men in all callings, 
in perfect self-possession, who know their own powers, 
know how and when to use them, and who turn them- 
selves, with full command, any way they wish with self- 
assurance and telling effect. 

Besides the subjection of the intellect to rule and 
control, our next aim to the attainment of its strength 
is the use of the mental powers for the glory of Christ. 
It is with the intellect as with the bodily powers — by 
tasks you bring out its force and energy, by toil it gets 
hardihood and endurance. So, too, the intellect. Give 
it the nobler duties, and it, too, by every effort, gains 
to itself unusual and extraordinary might. And noth- 
ing in the range of the sciences, nothing in the circle 
of philosophy and letters, gives scope for the exercise 
of man's noblest powers as the religion of Christ. 
Hence it is that Lord Bacon declares that "theology is 
the prince of all the sciences": transcendent, that is 
in bringing out the forces of our mental manhood, and 
unequalled in the reflex influence which they give back 
to the soul as the fruit and reward of diligent spiritual 

Now the special requirement, in this regard, is first 
a negative one, and that is that we guard intelligently 
the entrance of any intellectual poison into our minds. 
Do not tamper with scepticism. There is a wisdom 

The Discipline of Human Powers. 209 

that, in our clay, affects to hold that all true greatness 
calls for the intellect to deny God, the word of God, 
and the grand attributes of God. This wisdom, so- 
called, but which after all is nothing but folly, would 
tell us that religion is a weak and fond thing, only fitted 
for women and children. But then remember that t'.e 
weak and simple ones who adored Christ, reverenced His 
holy name, and who held Him precious to their souls, 
are, with millions of others, such historical and learned 
persons as Hannah More, Sarah Coleridge, Catherine 
Herschel, Mrs. Browning, and Florence Nightingale. 
And the other weak ones who have worshipped the 
Christ were Augustine, and Jerome, and Gregory ; and 
in modern times Newton, Barrow, and Pascal, Cuds- 
worth and Butler, Edwards and Faraday, and Coleridge 
and Bushnell. A fine lot of simpletons, of both sexes, 
who gave way to superstition, and evidenced the shal- 
lowest brains ! And if you will listen to the wise peo- 
ple of our day you will get the notion that to be intel- 
lectually great you must trample upon the faith of these 
grand persons, and take to your hearts the aid and un- 
belief of infidels and atheists. 

Do not tamper with scepticism. It takes away sense, 
morality, and strength of mental being, and can only 
serve to bring weakness and imbecility to the intellect- 
ual powers. 

Add to this the other grand accessory of pov/er in 

2io The Discipline of Human Powers. 

the domain of Intellect ; that is, to lay hold of the great 
truths and noble ideas of the Christian Faith. Nothing 
will sooner and more directly give you strength than, 
the grappling with lofty truth and majestic principles. 
Go to the fountain head. Reach up to the primary, 
fundamental ideas of the Christian system. Take these 
ideas, turn them over, look into them, study them, and 
try to master them. The effort will indeed try and 
puzzle your best brains ; but you will surely come out 
of the trial strong and robust men. Old Jacob, weak, 
tricky man as he was, when he met the mysterious man 
at the ford of Jabbok, grappled with him, mighty as 
he was, and prevailed. He came out of the tussle, it is 
true, with a disabled thigh; but he got power from it, 
and was ever after called Israel, "for as a prince he had 
power with God and prevailed." So, too, your intellects 
shall gain majestic strength by familiarity with the 
noble truths of the religion of Jesus. Seize, then, upon 
the vital principles of the Christian Faith, in all the 
ways and modes it can be brought home to you. Make 
companions of the great Christian thinkers. Stick to 
the great Christian books. Above all, familiarize your- 
selves with the deep reasonings and the exhaustive 
discussions of St. Paul ; and, in the private regions of 
the mind, store up texts and paragraphs and chapters of 
the revealed Word, until by such a regimen your weak 
nature attains tone, strength, and masculine power. 

The Discipline of Human Powers. 2 1 1 

" Endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." 
3. We have been considering the duty and the need 
of discipline and hardihood in the two distinct sections 
of our being, that is, the body and the mind. One 
other higher domain of our nature calls for notice, and 
that is the soul or spiritual being of man. It is diffi- 
cult to make, in express terms, a distinction betwen the 
mind and the spirit. A very clever work appeared not 
long ago, in England, which maintained the doctrine of 
" The Tri-partite Nature of Man ;" that is, that man is a 
being with three different elements in his nature, viz., 
body, mind, and then a third essence called spirit. 
There are two or three passages in the New Testament 
which, on the surface, seem to warrant this opinion. 
One already referred to is 1 Thes., v, 23, and another is 
Heb., iv, 12. But I apprehend that the true doctrine 
both of mental science and of the Bible is that man's 
immaterial nature is a unit, and that soul and spirit in 
Scripture only refer to two distinct departments of the 
inward nature ; one which we commonly speak of as 
intellect, and the other more especially the image of 
God, the soul or spirit. 

This soul or spirit is, as all the other sections of our 
being, impaired by the Fall, and needs the discipline 
which trains to divine rectitude. The soul, as well as the 
body, and just as the intellect, must needs endure hard- 
ness. It cannot thrive by indulgence. It cannot reach 

212 The Discipline of Human Powers. 

to sanctity by being pampered. On the other hand it 
must be brought under the subjection of rule, laid 
under the burden of tasks, pass the ordeal of endurance. 
Hence we read the commands of our blessed Lord to 
the duties of humility and meekness, to lowly-minded- 
ness and peace, to fasting and prayer, to forbearance 
and submission. Read the Sermon on the Mount, and 
observe how our Lord inculcates the precepts and the 
practices which serve to chasten the spirit into patience, 
endurance, and calm submission to man ; yea, to the 
evil, as well as to God. Read the inspired Epistles, 
and see how St. John, St. Peter, and St. Paul, in the 
spirit of their master, enjoined the habits which bring 
the soul into austerity and strict obedience. Turn to 
the beautiful pictures and the grand panorama of the 
book of the Revelation, and see how conspicuously 
there, tribulation is brought before us in the conflicts 
and the triumphs of the saints ; is set before us, as the 
heritage of the blessed, in all their inner spiritual expe- 
rience, as well as in outward circumstance. Indeed, 
brethren, to use the words of another, "All regulation 
is limitation, and regulation is only another name for 
reassured existence." All our life, even our spiritual 
life, is only a series of limitations, to the end, as St. Paul 
puts it, " Casting down imaginations, and every high 
thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, 
and bringing into captivity every thought to the obe- 
dience of Christ." 

The Discipline of Human Powers. 2 1 3 

The duty and the need of endurance unto hardness, 
in the three different portions or divisions of your one 
grand nature, have thus been brought to your notice. 
Two or three suggestions which may serve to fasten 
the train of thought that has been presented, and lead 
to some deep insight into the realities of life, in conclu- 
sion may be added. 

1st. Remember that life is no toy, no jest, no 
dance, not a thing of mere revelry. Everywhere life — 
that is, in rational spiritual beings — is a grand, down- 
right, and active service. We begin with God Him- 
self ; and of Him, that august and awful Being Who 
fills all things, Who presides over all creatures, and 
decides all destinies, of Him we have that most singular 
and mysterious utterance of His blessed Son our 
Saviour — "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." 
It is but a glimpse, indeed, into the secrets of awful 
Deitv, but it is sufficient to show us the ever-weaving 
active spring of that infinite mind which stretches out 
invisible hands to every quarter of illimitable space, 
and touches all things and all beings, and by that touch 
imparts that "active principle" which moves the uni- 
verse. Yes ! God is the greatest worker in the 
universe ; carrying on multitudinous operations, in 
matter and in spirit, through Jesus Christ the eternal 
Son, by the agency of the Holy Spirit — here on ea'th, 
and amid the hierarchies of highest heavens. And all 

2 14 The Discipline of Human Powers. 

these works are deep, noble, majestic, awful, as is God 
Himself. Nothing of levity is, in any way, associated 
with them. God's work, everywhere, even in nature, 
to say nought of the spirit world, is sacred, earnest, 
absolute, beautiful and glorious though it be. 

2d. With this may be joined the other reflection 
that the final end of all God's work, whether that work 
is by Himself, or through the energies of His creatures, 
the final end is God's own glory. The work of the uni- 
verse terminates in that special point, and was designed 
to culminate in that grand consummation. And so 
indeed it will. Even the wrath of men shall praise 
Him. But what a corrective is this grand truth, to the 
selfish regards which lead men to set up their own per- 
sonal good as the main object of existence ! 

0, happiness, our being's end and aim, 

the exclamation of a great poet, is the creed of the 
Epicurean and the Bacchanal. Not so ! Happiness is 
not the terminal point of our being. The end of our 
existence is a something out of and beyond ourselves.. 
It is a grand fact which reaches over to another and a 
higher nature than our own. It is a reality in which is 
involved a struggle and fight to rise beyond self to a 
somewhat infinite and ineffable, beyond the skies. In 
this resides the obligation of work and high endeavor. 
There is an infinite goal to reach, a high mark for 
the soul to attain unto. And herein is no place for 

The Discipline of Human Powers. 2 1 5 

levity or foolish pastime. We were baptized to be sol- 
diers. The call of soldiers is to endurance and hard- 
ness in the camp and on the battle-field. And with 
this idea, as the central point of the morning's teaching, 
I can do nothing better for you and for myself than to 
repeat the trumpet-call of the day's Epistle— " Finally, 
my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power 
of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye 
may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against 
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the 
darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in 
high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor 
of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil 
day, and having done all, to stand. Stand, therefore, 
having your loins girt about with truth, and having on 
the breastplate of righteousness ; and your feet shod 
with the preparation of the gospel of peace ; above all, 
taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to 
quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the 
helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which 
is the word of God." 


The Fifth Sunday after Trinity. 

GEN. XLIX : 22, 23, 24. 

yoseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well ; whose 
branches run over the wall : the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot 
at him, and hated him : but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of 
his hands tvere made strong by the hands of the ??iighty God of facob. 

I apprehend that you have all learned, long ago, how 
cheap a thing virtue is held to be in this world. Instead 
of being regarded as the most precious of all things, 
more weighty and valuable than gold, brighter and more 
brilliant than diamonds ; the most of men pass her by 
as a thing of but little worth, amid the business and 
policies of life and society. If you go to the marts of 
traffic, or enter the circles of politics, you will find a 
most thorough appreciation of tact, of skill, of pluck, 
of diligence, and of money : but ho v rare a thing is it 
to hear a merchant, or a trader, or a politician, extol the 
priceless value of virtue. The most, in general, you 
can get, is the cold proverb — " Honesty is the best 
policy " ; and even then the praise is given to the pol- 
icy ; men are mindless of the principle. Go into the 


Joseph. 217 

cabins of the poor, and what are the complaints one oft- 
times hears ? In nine times out of ten, men will tell you 
— " I have tried to live uprightly ; I pay all my honest 
debts ; I am as poor as a beggar. And yet see that man 
there, driving his coach, and living in a palace ! He 
never paid his debts. He robbed the bank ; he cheated 
widows and orphans, and yet everybody respects him 
for his money. What's the use of being honest ? " So, 
too, women tell you — " I have always lived a pure life. 
There is not a stain upon my reputation ; — but nobody 
cares for poor girls like us ! But your fast women! your 
brazen-faced women! they carry every thing before 
them ! They get the best prizes ! They have jewels 
and dresses and fine living! What's the use of living 
chaste and virtuous ? " 

Now there is nothing new in all this; it is the com- 
plaint of ages ! Centuries ago, men and women rose 
up in society, with the same distrust of God, and of His 
providence. Go back to the book of Job. It is not a 
book, turned out of the press, a day or two ago. It is, 
without doubt, the oldest book in the world. See 
what he tells us of the doubters of his day : " Where- 
fore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty in 
power ? Their seed is established in their sight with 
them, and their offspring before their eyes. Their 
houses are safe from fear, neither is the rod of God upon 
them. Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us ; 

2 1 8 Joseph. 

for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. What is 
the Almighty, that we should serve him? and what 
profit should we have if we pray unto him ? " And so, 
too, we find precisely the same utterance in Malachi — 
"Your words have been stout against me, saith the 

Lord Ye have said, It is vain to serve 

God : and what profit is it that we have kept his ordi- 
nance, and that we have, walked mournfully before the 
Lord of hosts ? " 

And thus you see that this doubt of the value of vir- 
tue is no new thing. It comes down some thou- 
sands of years, from the lips of croakers, to our 
day. But I beg to say that, old and long-standing as it 
is, it is utterly false ! 

I. One of the chief values of the Scripture is its en- 
deavor to illustrate the abiding excellence of the princi- 
ple of virtue. Observe that the devil opens one book 
to the sight of men, to illustrate the worthlessness of 
virtue. That book is the mere outward show of things : 
but it is a fair book, attractive and deceiving to the out- 
ward sight. And most men are persuaded by it ; for 
" seeing," they say (if only with half an eye), " is believ- 
ing." But God opens another book, which requires a 
sight below the surface ; which tells us a different tale ; 
which assures us that virtue is a real, an abiding, a 
divine, and an everlasting thing. And doubtless this is 
one of the main reasons why we have the lives of the 

Joseph. 219 

Saints set before us in Scripture ; that the actual expe- 
rience of the holy men of old, through fiery trials and 
almost deathly experience, may illustrate this grand 
fact ; serve also to show the damning lies of the devil ; 
and so strengthen our souls, in the things which are 
true and honest, just and pure, lovely and of good 
report. This is the special period of the Christian 
Year that these superior persons are brought before us. 
We began, on the first Sunday after Trinity, with 
Noah ; and now from hence to Advent, all these great 
personages pass in grand procession, as in a panorama, 
before our eyes ; the grandest illustrations of excellence 
the world has ever seen : Moses, Samuel, Elijah, and 
Elisha, Isaiah and Ezekiel, Daniel, John the Baptist, 
holy Stephen, St. Paul, and St. John the Divine. 

To-day, as the last and the following Sunday, we have 
the chaste and beauteous life of Joseph set before us. 
I shall be glad, for a few moments, to have you join me 
in observing the light which Joseph's life and character 
shed on this question of the force and value of virtue. 

1. Let me, in the briefest manner, tell the story of 
Joseph's life. He was, as you well know, the youngest, 
save Benjamin, of the twelve sons of Jacob. His early, 
I may say, his precocious wisdom, prudence, and piety, 
contrasted with the recklessness of his older brothers, 
made him at an early age, not merely the delight, but 
rather the friend, the confidante, and favorite of his 

220 Joseph. 

father. This partiality begat a feeling of hate and envy 
against him, in the family ; the result of which was the 
memorable conspiracy to either kill, or get rid of him in 
some other summary manner. He was sold by his 
brethren to Midianite merchantmen for twenty pieces 
of silver ; and then his brethren represented to their 
father that he had been devoured by an evil beast. The 
Midianites took Joseph into Egypt and sold him to 
Potiphar, a high military officer in the court of Pharaoh. 

It is evident that the superiority of Joseph was intrin- 
sic. It was in him. It was an elemental quality. For 
now, although a slave, a foreigner, in a strange land, he 
shoots up instantly, as ill his father's house, into imme- 
diate eminence. He becomes at once the overseer of 
his master's house ; and through his skill, prudence, and 
management, brings blessing and prosperity to his mas- 
ter's household. 

But Joseph, like every other man, had to acknowledge 
the existence of evil in a world like this. That dark 
coarse thread seemed, from the start, to have been 
thoroughly intermingled with all the warp and woof of 
his chequered life. 

In the midst of great success and preferment, a most 
calamitous providence overtook him : his mistress, a 
wanton and shameless woman, assails his virtue ; and be- 
ing repulsed by this upright and honorable youth, it 
curdles her violent and diseased love into deadly and 

Joseph. 221 

malignant hate. She turns upon him with the venom 
and violence of a serpent. She takes up a murderous 
lie and casts it in his face, charging him to her husband 
with an attempt upon her virtue ! Down at once again 
goes Joseph to infamy and punishment ! He is thrown 
into prison. He is made the companion of thieves and 
reprobates. The earth under him was as iron, and the 
heavens above as brass. 

But "the steps of a good man are ordered by the 
Lord. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast 
down." Even here, in this most unfortunate position, 
his light could not be hid. First of all, the Lord 
opened the eyes of the prison-keeper to Joseph's worth 
and excellence, and gave him a post in the prison of 
authority and management. And, second, by the prov- 
idential interpretation of the dreams of the butler and 
the baker, Joseph is brought to the notice of Pharaoh. 
For he too has most remarkable dreams ; and there is 
no magician in his court able to interpret them. 
Then it was that the chief butler remembered his 
friend Joseph, introduced him to the king, gave him the 
opportunity of interpretation, and so, as you have all 
read, over and over again, Joseph becomes the providen- 
tial saviour of the land of Egypt. And thus the poor cap- 
tive and prisoner passes out of his prison and mounts 
at one step, to the noble position of prime minister 
of the grandest empire of all antiquity. 

222 Joseph. 

Now let us note just here the chief marks and char- 
acteristics of this brief biography. What are its strong, 
its deep, living features and peculiarities? Here is a 
youth, who begins life with most decided moral 
convictions, with high spiritual purposes. These very 
tendencies bring him, at the start, into conflict and dis- 
aster. The adversaries of uprightness strike -him at 
once, and down he goes — not once, nor twice, but many 
times — beneath the deadly blows of hate, falsehood, and 
jealousy. But observe, it makes no change nor altera 
tion in his principles and purposes. He is as true as 
the needle to the pole. He stands like a beaten anvil. 
On he goes, in the predetermined pathway of purity and 
virtue ; and gradually he emerges, unstained, with full 
pristine power, from all his trials and misfortunes, to 
triumph and to honor. 

How shall we account for this phenomenon ? There 
are people who will tell you that life in all its respects is 
but a lottery. Everything, they say, comes and goes 
by chance. They laugh at the idea that principle or 
truth have anything to do with the fortunes of men. 
There are no determinate forces in life, is their creed. 
Point them to the careers of Joseph, or Moses, or Dan- 
iel, and they affirm at once — "It was all a matter of 
luck ! " 

I venture to oppose such a theory as this, with all the 
powers of my soul. I maintain, most decidedly, that 

Joseph. 223 

there is no such thing as haphazard; no possibility of 
chance in the moral government of this world. All 
things stand related, in their order, as fact and sequence. 
The principle of antecedency maintains as thoroughly 
in character, in individual, personal fortune, as in the 
flowing of streams from their sources. Just the same 
as in nature, we look spontaneously for fit causes ; so, 
too, when we behold moral purity and success, we may, 
if we choose, trace out clearly and distinctly the linked 
chain of moral events which brought them on, through 
Providence, from darkness into light. I say, therefore, 
that Joseph's successful career, despite his trials and 
difficulties, was not a matter of chance. It did not 
come forth out of the dust ; it did not spring up out of 
the ground. It was the fruit which sprouted forth from 
a tree "whose seed was in itself, after his kind." It 
was the true, the genuine, the sterling offspring of dis- 
tinct moral principles. 

Virtue, then, I maintain, is a vital, productive element 
in life and character ; it is a grand germinant root ; it 
is a great mine, full of richest ore ; it is a vast, deep- 
laid foundation, fitted for the noblest structures. Let 
us see, to-day, what bearing the life of Joseph has upon 
these broad assertions. 

Observe, first of all, the roots of Joseph's mature 
character, of his life's grand consummation. He 
began, first of all, with a pious and reverent boyhood. 

224 Joseph. 

And character — believe me, just like a grand house, 
just like a majestic cathedral, just like the magnificent 
Capitol which crowns this beautiful city — character, I 
say, is built upon solid foundations. The beginning of 
manhood is childhood and youth. If the boyhood is 
tainted and rotten, if the girlhood is base and trifling, 
whence comes the probability that the manhood will be 
strong and noble, the womanhood beautiful, blooming, 
and odorous ? Character is no sudden and extempora- 
neous affair. It does not spring up in a night like a 
gourd, to full maturity. There is nothing that is strong, 
stable, and lasting, that comes up suddenly to rapid 
growth. All the abiding things of the universe are 
slow in the processes of their begetting and develop- 
ment. It is so in the natural world. It is precisely so 
in the spiritual. The natural is the sign and symbol of 
the spiritual ; for all things go by doubles in God's sys- 
tem. And nature teaches us in all things ; in earth, 
sea, and air ; in the mineral, the vegetable, and the 
animal world ; that all the things which stay and endure, 
with a tough and immutable vitality, are such as pass 
through those tardy and gradual evolutions, which rise 
by graduation, through definite stages, and are brought 
at length to full maturity. 

Even so it is with character. Nothing in the world 
is more cumulative in its nature. It is the aggregation 
of multitudinous moral atoms — thoughts, feelings, trials, 

Joseph. 225 

attempts, prayers, wishes, struggles, resolves, wills, and 
determinations ; commencing in lisping infancy ; devel- 
oped in boyhood and girlhood; bursting forth into fuller 
growth in early manhood and womanhood ; matured in 
manhood and womanhood ; strengthened and toughened 
into hardihood in age — it is all this which makes char- 
acter. A lengthy process, is it not ? But notice, the 
antecedents cannot be left out. There must be the 
early tendrils and sproutings. Look around in all this 
beautiful, leafy summer ; what full, sweet-scented rose 
have any of you seen, which did not have, first of 
all, its shoot and bud, before it burst forth into all 
its affluence of leaf and form and color and exquisite 
beauty ? So, too, 

The child is father of the man. 

If it is a bad child is not the danger great that the man- 
hood will be bad likewise ? If, however, the childhood 
be good, all men accept the token of something fair, 
bright, and beautiful in maturity : as sang the poet, 
going out at early dawn, and finding air, earth, and sky 
bright, glorious, and fresh : 

This morning gives us premise of a glorious day. 

Eminently was this the case with Joseph. All his 
beginnings were pure and clear. All of his brothers, 
save Benjamin, manifest a downright proclivity for 
the bad ! Look at their perverse and crooked lives 1 


226 Joseph. 

" Full of all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, 
covetousness, maliciousness ! full of envy, murder, 
debate, deceit, malignity ! without natural affection, 
implacable, unmerciful ! " Remember how they treated 
Joseph ; how they deceived their father ; how they lied ; 
committed incest, and murdered the Shechemites ! 

Now look on this other picture. Behold the fair and 
beauteous youth of Joseph. Reverent, obedient, loving, 
trustworthy from early boyhood. Now here I say are 
some of the foundation-stones of that grand superstruc- 
ture of character and success which Joseph's life dis- 
closes. This, I say, is a thing of no chance-happening. 
It is a result proceeding from its proper cause. It is the 
fruit, the growth of its legitimate seed. It is a pure and 
noble stream, flowing from its grand, lofty, and pellucid 
mountain source. 

And hence I exhort you, — let no man deceive you 
with vain words. You will find plenty of people who 
will strive to deceive you ; numbers who will endeavor 
to beguile you with sophistry and so-called philosophy. 
You will find men who will try to persuade you that 
there is no distinction in morals. You will find old 
men, gray in grossness and iniquity, who will tell you 
that there is "no harm in sowing a few wild oats." It 
may, it is true, take a few blind and innocent girls out 
of their homes and turn them into harlots ; it may send 
a dozen weak and feeble young men, through gambling 

Joseph. 227 

and whiskey and fornication, to swift destruction. But 
after all "no one is the worse for sowing a few wild 
oats ! " Let no man deceive you with vain words ! 
They are liars, every one of them ; and the devil is 
their father ! 

And you who are women — young women — you, too, 
have your temptations and your tempters. Both will 
try to convince you that there is no sense in the words 
right and wrong ; that success in life is all a matter of 
luck; that the devil is as strong as God, in this world; 
that craft and trick and cunning yield a greater, 
swifter success than all the modesty and circumspec- 
tion of life ; that it is your artful, delusive, and mere- 
tricious women, your Jezebels and Herodiases of old, 
your Becky Sharps of modern days — who make the 
greatest conquests and have the finest times ! God 
have mercy upon every one of you, if you can possibly 
be brought to believe such gross falsehood ! All his- 
tory, the world over, disproves it. If not, why have we 
on the page of Scripture the names of Rebecca and 
Ruth, of Hannah and Esther, of Anna and Elizabeth, 
and far above them all, the blessed virgin Mary ? Yes, 
you have in Scripture your glorious and illustrious 
sisters, as we men our pure and unstained brothers. 
Why, I ask again, if virtue and piety are nothing worth, 
why do the names of Lucretia and Cornelia shine so 
resplendently in history ? The names of Jennie Deans 
and Rebecca and Dinah gleam so brilliantly in fiction ? 

228 Joseph. 

Yes, it is most thoroughly true — the grandest realities 
in the universe are truth and excellence and moral 

The only amaranthine flower is beauty, 
The only lasting treasure Truth. 

And this brings me to the second of the causes of 
Joseph's eminence and his success. It was his personal 
purity. What man is there here who has not heard 
brutal, putrid creatures, who called themselves men, 
sneer at the purity of Joseph ? Now it is because of 
just this insensibility, this lack of delicacy, that lewd- 
ness serves to hedge up the ways of men, and to bring 
them into deep and sad disaster. It is of all things a 
most mischievous and disturbing element. It is the 
antagonism of all regularity of habit. It cuts off the 
heads of men ; that is, it beclouds the intellect, and 
robs men of all clearness of vision. Saddest of all 
things, it corrodes the sensibilities, blunts the affections, 
and hardens the heart ! 

Perhaps no man ever lived who, both from observa- 
tion and bitter experience, was better fitted to testify 
upon this subject than the poet Burns. He had trod 
all the avenues of license ; he had supped at every cup 
of delight ; he had drunk the deepest draughts of sen- 
suous intoxication. But what says Burns ? 

I waive the quantum of the sin, 

The hazard of concealing ; 
But Oh ! it hardens all within, 

And petrifies the feeling* 

Joseph. 229 

The example of Joseph is just the reverse of this. 
Nothing is more remarkable in his course than straight- 
forwardness, simplicity, and integrity. And these, I 
contend, are fruits of personal purity. Just listen to 
this exclamation : " How can I do this great wickedness 
and sin against God ! " Here you see, as a flash, that 
uprightness of brain and heart which makes a man ! 
There is no parleying with temptation. There is no 
tardy hesitancy about duty. He is at once himself, 
self-possessed, positive, showing forth the -conspicuous 
moral and mental qualities which are demanded in many 
of the exigencies of life. 

Thus when we turn to the occasion where he inter- 
prets the dream of Pharaoh, you observe the same 
address and readiness. So clear are both his mental 
and moral vision, that in a moment he forecasts all the 
difficulties of a seven years' famine, and in the simplest 
manner sets before the king the policy of an empire. 

Believe me, the head and the heart go together. Just 
in proportion as the moral nature is kept pure and ele- 
vated, so will the intellect have tone and clearness. A 
man's spiritual integrity serves to put him in full com- 
mand of all his other powers. Indeed, it is a remark of 
Coleridge that it is from the moral nature the intellect 
gets its power and full nourishment. Rarely in history 
have we so signal an instance of this truth as in the 
case of Joseph. Here we find a man full of governing 

-3° Joseph. 

power; making the completest policies of a kingdom; 
laying out the broadest plans ; carrying out the grand- 
est schemes of a whole nation ; breasting with ease the 
supremest necessities ; and yet always equal to the 
occasion and equal to himself. And the secret of it 
was that blending of the intellect with a high spiritual 
nature, and deep moral convictions. 

I refer to one further element in Joseph's success 
and superiority. God was the great factor in all this 
glorious life. He it was who. by secret, silent, but most 
powerful influences, stimulated this noble youth in al) 
the ways of youthful piety and purity. He is the foun- 
tain of all our goodness. Virtue is a golden thing. Vir- 
tue is a precious, priceless jewel. Virtue is a brilliant 
diamond ; but virtue is based upon God, and is a divine 
characteristic. The virtue of Joseph was the fruit of 
that patriarchal piety which produced the faith of Abra- 
ham, the quiet saintliness of Isaac, and the spiritual 
apprehension of Jacob. In Joseph it burst forth into a 
spotless integrity which is only equalled by the holy firm- 
ness of Daniel, and the saintliness of St. John. You will 
observe, however, that this crystal purity is no mere 
worldly prudence, no calculating morality. It is the 
direct outgrowth of the religious sentiment. It is the 
fruit of that fear and love of God which characterized all 
the ancient saints. And this it was, God in him, God 
always set before him, God in all things, which made 

Joseph. 23 1 

Joseph the great man he was. Everywhere, in this most 
interesting narrative, this great fact discovers itself. 
Sold into bondage, he at once secures favor, for we are 
told, " The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a pros- 
perous man." Cast into prison, he at once got favor; 
for again we are told "The Lord was with Joseph, and 
showed him mercy, and gave him favor in the sight of 
the keeper of the prison." Brought by a singular provi- 
dence before Pharaoh, to interpret his dreams, his whole 
being, mind, and spirit, is illuminated with divine light; 
and he is enabled to scatter the darkness of a doubtful 
and disastrous epoch, and to penetrate it with order, 
safety, and blessedness. 

And so I say to you, my brethren, all true virtue is 
evangelical ; it comes from God ; and wherever it lodges, 
in a soul or in a nation, it gives strength and mastery. 
And this is just as much an assurance to-day as it was 
in Joseph's time, three thousand years ago. If we only 
cast ourselves, simply and entirely, upon God, He will 
surely discover Himself to us, as our covenant God; 
and in His strength we shall be enabled to rise above 
ourselves and all the lowly tendencies of our nature. 
He will enable us to go from one degree of excellence 
to another ; gradually all our dross shall depart ; we 
shall reach, even in the flesh, to angelic desires ; and at 
last saintship shall become a lasting acquisition. 

I conclude with the briefest exhortation : As Christian 


232 Joseph. 

men, root your piety in the purest righteousness, color 
it with the most .rigid morality. When you hear people 
say that they " don't want any of your morality, all they 
want is religion,'"' scout such senseless stuff, as you would 
throw decayed fruit out of your windows. Marry the 
simplest faith in Jesus to the most thorough observance 
of the Ten Commandments. Strive after the strictest 
honesty. Take no liberties with any one. " Let no 
corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth." 
Make it the rule of your life, for men, to be modest as 
women, for women, to be simple as children. There is 
no danger, for any one of us, of mere legality, if we 
remember always John Baptist's exhortation, to ''Behold 
the Lamb of God"; and with Him ever in view as 
"our wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification, and 
redemption," the Law can never be anything more to us 
than a rule of life. And with God's abiding grace 
within us, that rule will strip us of all selfishness ; it 
will raise us above all grossness ; it will help to uplift 
us to all sanctity of body and soul ; and so shall we 
reach obedience to the command : "Be ye holy as I am 
holy." Forget not then to show T all good fidelity; to 
adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 
Remember it is the exhortation of an inspired Apostle, 
and the example of the life of Joseph — " Giving all dili- 
gence, add to your faith virtue ! " 



The sixteenth Sunday after Trinity, 


And Barak said unto her, " If thou wilt go with me, then I will go ; but 
if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go" 

Nothing is more common in the world than man's 
eagerness for power, and his pride in the -possession of 
it. It is a sad reflection, however, that a sense of the 
responsibility which comes with power is the rarest of 
things. Men care but little for the duties which spring 
from authority ; they are almost thoughtless of the 
responsibility which is allied to their influence. 

Look at the master minds who have fought their way 
to thrones and dominion ; and see their after indiffer- 
ence to the welfare of those subjected to them! How 
rare the instances where honor or fame has been sought 
for, and then used for the good of man ! How few the 
noble characters who cared for the interests of society, 
who were anxious for the well-being of their fellow- 

And yet, to live for man, to do good to man, is one 


234 Influence, 


of the grandest objects of our existence. And perhaps 
there is hardly anything which is so offensive to God 
as that selfish mode of Hving, alas too common in this 
world, which says, sometimes in brazen words, some- 
times in pretentious but vulgar conduct, " What is the 
world to me ? I want nothing of it ; I can take care of 
myself ; let the world take care of itself ; I want noth- 
ing to do with it." But smart as all this sounds, it is 
false and hollow. There is no sense or reality in it. 
For never, in all the world's history, has there been a 
man who, independent of man, was able to take care of 
himself. Nor, on the other hand, has there ever been 
so lowly, so insignificant a human being, who did not, 
in some way, affect society in some of its dearest 

The truth is, every human being lias influence ; which 
is a part of himself, and helps to make up his personal 
being. And as long as he lives it goes out from him to 
others, for weal or for woe. Nay, more ; it is not lim- 
ited to time. Once having lived, it never dies. For 
the individual may go down to the tomb and perish ; 
but the propelling wave of his influence has started, 
and never again shall it cease in its power ; but it shall 
go on evermore, touching many a shore, and lifting up 
or dashing down many an immortal craft journeying 
onward to eternity. 

These suggestions have occurred to me, on consider- 

Influent e. ^35 

ing the words of the text, and which show, in a remark- 
able manner, the power held by one human being over 
another. The occasion was as follows : 

The children of Israel were grievously oppressed by 
Jabin, King of Canaan. The Israelites, at this time, 
were governed by Deborah, a prophetess ; and the com- 
mand of God came to her, that she should take three 
thousand men to meet in deadly combat Sisera, the 
Captain of Jabin's army, and thus throw off the yoke of 
the Canaanites. To this end she goes to Barak, an 
eminent warrior, and commands him — " Go and draw 
toward Mt. Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand 
men of the tribe of Naphthali and Zebulon ; and I," 
she says, "will draw unto thee to the river Kishon, 
Sisera, the Captain of Jabin's army. . . . And I will 
deliver him unto thine hand." Barak was evidently a 
man who, however valiant, could not act without a 
leader. In order to achieve anything, he must rest 
upon some other arm than his own. Hence a consider- 
ation of his case will enable us to understand the nature 
and the responsibility of that influence which we all 
exercise in the relations of life. 

I. In speaking upon this subject, I remark, first of 
all, that we are accountable for our influence. I do 
not pause to prove that we have influence ; it is as cer- 
tain as that we live. And for it we are held account- 
able by God, and are responsible to man. This is 

%$& Influetidt. 

evident from the very nature of influence. What is it ? 
It is power; the power of one will over another. This 
power and authority go forth from us to others in 
various ways. In speech, by action, by the glance of 
the eye, by the expression of feeling, by the show of 
passion, by the play of the countenance, by the motion 
of the hand, by our dress, our habits, our style of living, 
and our conduct. These are a few of the numerous 
ways by which we influence the minds of men, and 
prompt their lives. And now I ask — if I cause a man 
to do an act, am I not responsible, i. e , so far forth as I 
lead him to do it ? Of course I am not to bear the 
entire burden of his conduct, for he is a man as well as 
I, and he is bound to think and judge for himself. But 
if I am the stronger, more controlling character, 
and use my influence to guide him astray, and start 
him on his way to ruin, surely I am responsible for 
what I do. 

We see this more clearly in some of the prime rela- 
tions of life. We feel, for instance, that if a parent 
should purposely cripple a child's leg, or maim its body, 
the civil authority should be invoked to put a stop to 
such gross cruelty. For any one can see that both 
father and mother are responsible for both the bodily 
members and the physical growth of their children. 
So, too, with respect to the mind. Suppose, for 
instance, that some English or German settlers in 

Influence. 237 

Texas should refuse to have their children educated in 
the common schools, but deliberately choose that they 
should learn the savagery and paganism of the heathen 
Indians ; would not the civil authority in that State at 
once interfere, take those children from their parents, 
and have them brought up under the influences of cul- 
ture and civilization ? And the basis of such interfer- 
ence would be that the parents were responsible for 
the character of their children ; but having proved fa!: e 
to their responsibility, the St te took the place of the 
parents, and rescued them from ruin. 

So in the marriage relation this mutual responsibility 
discovers itself ; and St. Paul brings it out in the case 
where one of the parties might be a Christian, and the 
other a heathen : " For what knowest thou, O wife, 
whether thou shalt save thy husband ; or how knowest 
thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife ? " 

Now here is the principle, that we are responsible for 
our influence. But it is manifest that this principle is 
not one that is local, partial, or limited. It is a broad, 
general, universal principle ; pertaining to souls under 
all circumstances. And see how it reaches our fellow- 
creatures on every side, with awful significance and tre- 
mendous power. 

I am responsible for my influence ; I am held 
accountable by the Almighty for the way in which I 
affect and prompt the souls of my fellow-men. Then I 

238 Influence, 

am responsible for my influence upon you. Then you 
are responsible for your influence upon me ; and each 
and every one of us is responsible for the influence we 
exert upon our neighbors. Then we are responsible 
for the channels by which our influence goes forth from 
us to others. Then, and you cannot resist the infer- 
ence, we are responsible for the very looks we have ; 
for the conduct we exhibit ; for the passions we mani- 
fest ; for the habits we have contracted ; for the style 
of living we have formed ; for the mode of dress we 
have adopted ; for the words and utterances of our 
speech. For these are the channels of influence ; the 
modes whereby we touch the minds of others, and bend 
them to our ways and will. They are the streams of 
all the strong power we possess, by which that power 
goes forth from us, and is made to bear, with decided 
effect, upon the being of our fellow-creatures. 

And we are responsible for their outflowings ; and 
though the influence of a man differs somewhat, in 
kind, from his specific acts, yet the law of divine justice 
comes in here, with the same force and authority as in 
any outward deed. Influence, though invisible, is still 
a man's doings ; my influence is, in fact, my act. It is 
what I do, effect, or work out, in and through my fellow 
creatures. And for all I do, whether outward or inward 
acts, I must render my account. For all my influence, 
conscious or unconscious, I have got to stand at the 

influence. 239 

bar of Judgment. And there God is the Judge. And 
when my time, or your time comes, you and I, and all 
of us, will hear that question which fell of old upon the 
ears of the first-born son of man : " What hast thou 
done ? " Or that other that came before it : " Where 
is thy brother ? " And, Oh, good Lord, save us, even 
now, we beseech Thee, from the spirit of Cain ! May 
we not, ungodly, think or say, "Am I my brother's 
keeper ? " But grant, through grace, that we may all 
of us perceive the binding tie of humanity, and feel that 
we are the servants of our fellow men, and bound to 
live for their well-being and their blessedness. 

2. I go on now to speak of the measure of our respon- 
sibility for our influence. Our accountability, it is evi- 
dent, is proportioned to our influence. Herein lies our 
stewardship. We are stewards of God in the particular 
item of influence. That stewardship is a light or 
weighty one, according as we have power, the more or 
less, to direct or control the souls of men. 

A little girl is beloved by her schoolmate ; and so 
great power has she over her, that that schoolmate will 
do anything she wants her to do, good or bad. She is 
responsible for her control over that child's soul, and to 
God. They are both responsible for the power they 
possess, the one over the other. A poor widow in a 
little town is idolized by her children, and they believe 
everything she says, and will do whatever she bids 

24.0 Influence. 

them ; for nobody, in their opinion, is comparable with 
their mother. She holds the souls of those little ones 
in her hands, and God will call her to account for their 
character and conduct. Here is a man in a community, 
of such commanding power, whether through wealth, 
talent, or character, that everybody quotes him as 
authority, and aims to follow in his track. As sure as 
God liveth, He will hold him responsible for his popu- 
larity and his power. There is a woman of culture and 
refinement, whose word, style, and manner are admired 
and copied by all the women, both young and old, in 
her neighborhood. God holds her accountable for the 
full measure of her influence. 

Now the measure of responsibility, in these cases, is 
in proportion to the degree of influence. The little 
school-girl does not bear the same burden as the popu- 
lar citizen ; for one may touch but one soul, while the 
other may guide and control thousands. Neither is the 
humble widow among her children as responsible as 
the accomplished and fashionable lady, whose position 
and style stir and flutter a whole community. So, like- 
wise, a quiet, private gentleman is not held as account- 
able as the great man who towers above everybody in 
the State, and sways the opinions, sentiments, and 
destiny of a Nation. But you will notice that all are 
responsible ; the one who inspires but one or two souls, 
as well as the one that quickens and inflames the minds 
of millions. 

influence. 24 1 

But there is this difference; that he or she who 
moulds or stimulates the lives of thousands rests under 
a more awful burden than he who only acts upon two 
or three persons. How clearly is this principle brought 
out in Scripture ; especially in that most solemn por- 
tion of it, the parable of the talents, to which your 
attention was called two Sundays ago. The lord of 
the vineyard called them all to account ; but the bur- 
den of responsibility fell more heavily upon him who 
had received five talents, than upon him who had 
received two, or him that had received one. For the 
responsibility of five talents was more than twice as 
great as two ; and consequently he who had received 
five talents had to bring five talents more ; his responsi- 
bility being double and more than the servant who 
received two talents, and five times as great as he who 
had received but one. And thus you see that we are 
responsible in proportion to the amount of our talents 
or influence. 

You will notice, however, that the man who received 
one talent did not escape scrutiny because his talent or 
influence was small. The lord called him to account 
for his one ; that is, for just the measure of responsi- 
bility the lord had put upon him ; no more, no less. 
And note here the fact that the wicked and slothful 
servant could not evade this responsibility. He tried 
to evade it ; he buried his talent in the ground ; he pre- 

242 Influence. 

tended to be frightened at the great weight of his 
responsibility ; he affected to restore back to his mas- 
ter the talent that he had given him ; nay, he went so 
far as to cast the blame of his negligence upon the mas- 
ter himself ; yea, even to apply hard and reproachful 
terms to him. But none of these shifts availed. When 
God gives a man a power of usefulness it is impossible 
for that man to escape it. That burden remains ; that 
responsibility endures ! The servant with one talent 
could not get rid of it. It clung to him in the presence 
of his master. It clung to him in the outer darkness, 
whither the Angels of God cast him as a worthless 
branch ! 

And so it is with every one of us. You may have 
position, and then throw yourself back upon it. You 
may have learning, and may proudly withdraw yourself 
from the ignorant. You may have wealth, and may set 
yourself haughtily apart from the poor and wretched. 
But after all you are a man, and you have the influence 
of a man ; and it is a gift from God, and you must 
answer for it ! So has God ordered it that according to 
the measure of a man's influence, so is his responsibility, 
and for it he is required to render his account to God ! 

3. But I hasten on to remark, that influence is an 
awful, a perilous thing when it -assumes the form and 
proportions of mastery and control. And this is often 
the case. The mass of men, the world over, are gov- 

Influence. 243 

erned by opinion and example. Imitation, too, is a 
most powerful agent in deciding the convictions and 
habits of men. No doubt it is God's will that certain 
prominent men should have authoritative influence; 
that is their calling ; to that they are elected by the 
Almighty Himself, to the end that they may help to 
quicken inferior wills, and to decide human destinies. 

Thus in the family relation the words of a father or 
mother go with children to mature manhood ; and may 
descend to children's children. How in our school-days 
our hearts have become knit "as with hooks of steel" 
to companions whom we have loved as Jonathan loved 
David, with a "love passing the love of women." I 
have myself seen men moving about through a nation, 
after whom millions of men flowed as with the mighty 
current of a torrent ; and when they spoke, momentous 
questions were settled, as though decisive utterances 
had come forth from an oracle or a God. 

How awful is the position of such men ! How dread- 
ful their responsibility, if they but think perversely; if 
they but speak lightly or at random ; if their steps are 
crooked ; if their ways are winding ; if there is no 
straightforwardness or integrity in them ! Alas ! alas ! 
how many are the poor souls who imitate their words 
and ways, and follow in their footsteps to destruction 
and to woe ! 

Aye, the poison of bad influence is persistent, is abid- 

244 • Influence. 

ing, is undying. So there is an immortality of evil 
as well as that of good. Do you think that the remem- 
brance of the world's bad men has ever perished ? Do 
you think that Napoleon's burning thirst for glory 
ceased in its influence when he was laid in his grave ? 
No ! Many an ardent youth has since been fired by 
the same ungodly desire; and careless of man, and 
regardless of God, has sighed and cried for like power 
and opportunity to wade through slaughter to renown 
and empire! 

But the illustrations of this controlling influence of 
men is as common in the lowlier spheres of life as in 
the higher. Sometimes a grand, noble parent serves 
his generation and blesses it, and then sends down the 
crystal purity of his honor, and the odor of his sanctity 
to children's children. Sometimes it is the reverse, 
and the alcoholic blood and the alcoholic breath of a 
drunkard triumphs over the dominion of the grave, and 
reaches over a whole generation of men to his descend- 
ants, poisoning the atmosphere and polluting society by 
the sottishness of sons and grandsons. The fragrancy 
of a holy ministry clings to the very pews, the roof, the 
pulpit of a church, for generations ; a false prophet, a 
bigot, a heretic, retains, if I may so express it, " a savor 
of death," a vitality of rottenness, centuries after his 
bodily decay in the graveyard. And just so it is with a 
school-teacher ; with a magistrate in a community ; with 

Influence. 245 

a superior woman in a neighborhood. In all these 
cases, if our manners, conduct, or opinions control ; if 
our word is law ; how awful is the responsibility ! How 
perilous is our position ! How continuous our sway ! 
Indeed, there is no such thing as the extirpation of evil 
influence, any more than of good. The. very carcasses 
of such wretches as Alcibiades, Byron, and Aaron Burr 
serve as manure to produce a further brood of repro- 
bates for the ruin of society. 

E'en in our ashes live our wonted fires ! 

Whether they be the Pentecostal fires lit up in our 
chaste bosoms by the Holy Ghost the Sanctifier ; or 
whether they are the damning fires of lust, hate, or mad 
ambition, kindled in our souls by the inflammatory 
agency of the devil. 

The text we are considering is one of the strongest 
instances of the importance and the power of influence. 
Barak put his soul upon Deborah's. He staked his 
duty upon her will. Lacking self-reliance, deficient in 
personal resolution, he placed himself under the domin- 
ion of her audacity, and resigned himself to the lead of 
her pluck and spiritedness. If she would go, then he 
would go ; if she would not go, neither would he. This 
was an instance of human influence. The Prophetess 
was to decide his duty and his destiny. Happily she 
knew the will of God; knew well her own duty; was 
fully aware of the moral force she could bring to bear 

24 Influence. 

upon Barak. But suppose she had been blind to these 
things ? What then ? You say, perchance, God would 
have raised up some other deliverer for Israel, or 
wrought some mighty miracle. But how do you know 
this ? Indeed, you do not know it. Deborah was 
God's own chosen agent, for the hour ; and failure on 
her part, at this critical juncture, would have brought 
confusion and ruin upon thousands, and possibly the 
serious injury of God's chosen people. 

Ah, brethren, that fearful "If thou wilt-'! How 
many weak souls have been led to recklessness and 
audacity by the thoughtless challenge, " If you will do 
so, I will too." How many an " If thou wilt " has 
brought weak-minded youth to drunkenness ! How 
many vain and foolish girls to extravagance, and then 
to moral pollution, and to death ! Indeed, it is a most 
fearful thing to have friends and kinsfolk who are gov- 
erned by mere desire, and not by conscience ; who 
never think of moral obligation; and whose entire influ- 
ence upon their weaker companions is a lure to excess 
and riot, an enticement to dissipation and wantonness, 
a precipitation into profligacy and unending destruction! 

We are taught most powerfully by the discussion of 
this morning the great truth :— 

I. "That no man liveth unto himself." Isolation, 
disseverance, absolute divorcement from our fellow 
creatures, is an impossibility. We are bound up in 

Influence. 247 

undivided sympathy with everything human. From 
every one of us goes out a telling influence, which 
acts upon the souls of men, and women, and little chil- 
dren, all their life, and which will be felt throughout 
eternity. Every mature man -and woman here knows 
this, even if they do not act in accordance with its 
moral significance. But I wish as well to impress this 
fact upon the boys and girls here this morning. Dear 
children, everything you do or say in life tells; tells 
upon souls; tells in all time; tells forever and ever. 
All your wicked passions tell upon others and upon 
yourselves ; all your bitter words tell upon your younger 
brothers and sisters and companions; all your disobedi- 
ence to parents and teachers ; all your forgetfulness of 
God. Nothing that you do falls like leaves upon the 
ground ; nothing that you say drops like feathers upon 
the earth. Every word, every act, tells ! 

Every day of our life, by our speech, by our conduct, 
by our lightest word, by our dress, by our habits, by our 
example, we are either building up souls, or we are 
dragging them down to deepest ruin. Beware, I be- 
seech you, of the dread peril of the thought, if but for a 
moment, that you can live for yourselves ; that you are 
to care for nothing else but your own interests! Be 
careful of your influence! Mind, I entreat you, how 
you touch or move the souls of men about you. It bad 
been better that you had never been born, than that 

24S Influence. 

you should foster the delusion that you have nothing to 
do with the interest and well-being of the soul of even the 
humblest of your neighbors. For they are our brethren 
— even the lowliest of our kind; and we are in trust for 
them, and for their souls. We live for them, and they 
too live for us. Every breath of ours tells upon their 
being, and theirs upon ours. And we shall only be 
earning the deepest damnation if we have the assur- 
ance to look up to the great white throne, and ask the 
Mighty One who sits thereon: "Am I my brother's 
keeper ?" 

2. Again I remark that the subject we have been 
considering teaches us as well that " no man dieth unto 
himself "; and that therefore we may expect to be called 
to account for the measure of influence we have had in 
this world, and for the use we have made of it. God 
will reckon with us at the session of the great court, 
at the last day. That mighty gathering is designed for 
the settling of all the accounts of the world. - The hus- 
bandman, in the Parable, who went on a long journey, 
and then came back and required a reckoning ; the lord 
of the vineyard who took his departure into a far coun- 
try, are types of the coming of the Son of Man to judg- 
ment. Our influence is among the deeds of life, which 
He will judge. They are our own individual, personal 
acts ; and for them we shall be called to account. 
Whether that influence "has been purposed or uncon* 

Influence. 249 

scious, it matters not; we are, in every way, accountable 
for it. The thought is enough to make the "boldest 
hold his breath for a time." But, weighty and solemn 
as it is, let us strive to meet it, seeking the help of 
Christ; and in all the relations of life, in all our inter- 
course with society, in our utterance of speech, in our 
walk and conversation, in our habits, our dress and man- 
ners, may we never forget — nay, may we always remem- 
ber — that there is a power going out from us which either 
lifts men up to God, or drags them down to hell ! 

And Thou, blessed and adorable Saviour, have mercy 
upon us, in all our weakness and infirmity! Leave us 
not, neither forsake us, Gracious Master, lest we fall 
ourselves, or ruin others. But give us all grace so to 
order our lives that our skirts may be free from the 
blood of men. Help us, strong Son of Man, that 
through our example, and by the impress of our charac- 
ter, many precious souls may be led, savingly, into the 
pathways of life, to enter at length the golden gates of 
the New Jerusalem i 


The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, 

I COR. Ill, 10. 

According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master- 
builder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let 
every ma?i take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 

St. Paul here calls himself a builder; and nothing 
could be more significant of the specific end he has in 
view than this word which he uses. The word " build " 
means work or effort fitted to set up, to strengthen and 
establish. In this sense we see it illustrated in all the 
business and varied occupations of human life. St 
Paul, however, transfers the meaning of the word from 
its usual material purport to the higher sphere of the 
soul and its operations. But its significance heie is as 
real and actual as when applied to the visible works of 
man. The Apostle, in his sphere as a preacher, was as 
much a builder as a carpenter, or a mason ; for the work 
of an Apostle was a most assured reality. It implied 
all the deep intensities of a most zealous soul in 
earnest activities to save and to bless. And while, in 


Building Me7i. 251 

other relations and for other minor ends, the mind of 
man is, for the most part, confined in single simple 
grooves, or circles in smaller circumferences, or plies 
but the simplest powers ; in this work of soul-building 
all the latent forces of the spirit are demanded for exer- 
cise, and must needs be used with constant and most 
painful effort. 

Never, in any of the walks or works of life, was just 
such an use of human faculties to this grand specific 
end, seen beneath the skies, as was discovered in the 
life and labors of St. Paul, as a builder of God. 

St. Paul then becomes a conspicuous example of the 
very work which he presents to our sight ; and we may 
refer to him, his words, and life, to illustrate the com- 
mon duty of disciples to build up souls in the faith of 

I. What is a builder? The answer to this question 
will aid us very much in rightly considering the subject 
before us. I say then that a builder is one who brings 
together materials, and adjusts them properly, in order 
to secure symmetry, order, strength, coherence, and 
beauty. A spiritual builder is one whose materials are 
souls. The work to be done with them is their trans- 
ference from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of 
our Lord Jesus Christ ; and then the adjustment of them 
in order, and precision, in beauty and coherence, into 
a temple of God "Ye are the temple of the living 

252 Building Men. 

God," he tells the Corinthian Christians. So, even as 
a skilful architect takes huge blocks of granite or of 
marble and symmetrically sets them, piece by piece, in 
some grand temple or some majestic hall ; so a wise mas- 
ter-builder in God's church seeks soul after soul ; seeks 
its rescue from sin, its elevation into heavenly places 
in Christ, its purity and sanctification by the Spirit ; so 
that, redeemed and purified, each godly soul may take 
its proper place in that grand spiritual temple of the 
Lord Jesus which the Holy Spirit, ever since the day 
of Pentecost, has been uprearing with souls, gathered 
in from all lands, to the praise and glory of God's 

This process sets before us the vocation of a spirit- 
ual builder. He has two aims before him. His work 
is first to get hold of souls, and then, second, to fix 
them, as permanent parts or members of the Church of 

'ist. This getting hold of souls is a great work, and 
success therein is the test of a real builder for God. 
For so great is the subtilty and skill of Satan, and such 
is the hardness and grossness of the heart of man, that 
to effectually resist the one and to prevail with the 
other, is the surest proof that the preacher who can do 
this is sent of God, and that the words he speaks, and 
the spiritual cunning he plies, is attended by the Holy 
Spirit No one but a man who has power can do such 

Building Men. 253 

a work as this. But it is of a certainty divine power ; 
energy given by the Holy Ghost ; might which de- 
scends from God, working through the powers of man. 
No mere human learning, sense, skilfulness, or elo- 
quence, can make a master-builder for God. Well 
aid power.Vly did the great Apostle declare this 
truth two thcu:and years ago : "And I, brethren, when 
I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or 
of wisdom." These, he declares, were not the things 
which gave him the saving skill of a real builder of 
souls. No ! He must have that spiritual magnetism, 
if I may so term it, by which one soul, strong in the 
might of God, can go out to another soul, and grapple 
with its guilt and hate, and overcome it by the love of 
Christ. This was the might which made St. Paul a 
"wise master-builder" ; that grand soul-converter, who 
swept along, with a power almost divine, from Jerusalem 
to Spain ; casting down idols in every land, vanquishing 
the Devil in many of his strongholds, and capturing 
many of his victims, turning them, by the power of the 
Holy Ghost, into true servants of the Lord, valiant sol- 
diers of the Cross. 

But, 2d, souls, when saved, are to be fixed into the 
temple of God, as permanent parts or members thereof. 
Thus St. Paul tells the Ephesian Christians : " Ye are 
no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens 
with the saints, and of the household of faith ; and are 

254 Building Men. 

built upon the toundation of the apostles and prophets, 
Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner-stone ; in 
whom," adds the apostle, "all the building, fitly framed 
together, groweth into an holy temple in the Lord." 
Here we have this permanent abiding of saints, their 
fixedness in God's Church, graphically set forth. And 
the mutual internal working of the members, fitted sev- 
erally, as parts of the great temple, is singularly illus- 
trated by another passage, in the same Epistle to the 
Ephesians: "From whom the whole body, fitly joined 
together and compacted by that which every joint sup- 
plieth, according to the effectual working in the 
measure of every part, maketh increase of the body 
unto the edifying of itself in love." 

What is that compacting power here spoken of? It 
is the operative spirit of sanctified souls, given them by 
the Holy Spirit. The children of God, like the wheels 
of Ezekiel's vision, go straight forward in active duty. 
Just in proportion to their zealous activity for Christ, 
so the unity of the Church is promoted. Work for 
God is the most concentrative of all the moral forces ; 
lessening all the disharmonies of minds and wills ; com- 
pacting alike the resources and energies of saints ; stim- 
ulating the largess of the rich, and the mite-giving of 
the poor ; staggering, by its spiritual formidableness, 
the kingdom of the Evil One, and so hastening on the 
day when a regenerated earth shall be brought into 
, blissful conformity with the decrees of heaven. 

Building Men. 2$ 5 

2. So much, then, with regard to the qualities of a 
builder. Let us now consider what is the obligation of 
being builders of souls. Surely, it is to be this, or else 
to be destroyers! For herein, that is, in the things of 
God, there is no other alternative. Every man must 
be either uprearing, by his influence, the souls of his 
fellow men, or else, on the other hand, he is dragging 
them down to be broken, shattered, disastrous ruins! 

There are, indeed, men who seem to think that there 
is some middle way in morals, which shuns the heights 
of good, or the depths of evil. There are people who 
would fain convince themselves that it is possible to 
stand in a place of utter indifference in spiritual mat- 
ters ; devoid of all moral responsibility. Never was 
there a more deceptive error framed by Satan for human 
ruin. There is no neutral line between the two great 
principles of good and evil; no intermediate point or 
party between the strong hosts of goodness, on the one 
hand, and the leagued bands of wrong and evil, on the 
other. In the universe of God there are two great 
principles ever antagonistic, one to the other; that 
which conserves, and that which destroys. And so, 
too, there are but two great classes of beings ; God, 
Holy Angels, and good men on the one side ; bad men, 
fiends, and the Devil on the other. There are but 
these two classes, and no other ! 

And to one of these two classes every one of us 

256 Building Men. 

belongs. There are, indeed, differences of character 
and degrees of depravity. Some men, in contrast with 
the outrageous and abominable, are gentle and gen- 
erous ; but if they are not for God, if they are not build- 
ing for Christ and souls, if they are not aiming after 
God's glory, then, seemingly harmless though they be, 
they are nevertheless destroyers ! Quietness, genial 
morality, amiability of character, cannot guarantee neu- 
trality in the things of God. Men are either for God, 
or else they are against Him. "He that is not with 
me," says Christ, "is against me, and he that gathereth 
not with me scattereth abroad." See the singular light 
which comes upon this point from the narrative of the 
rich man and Lazarus. When you examine the char- 
acter of Dives you can discover nothing prodigious, in 
immorality, nothing enormous in crime. From all that 
we see in Scripture, he was an easy, refined, gentle- 
manly man, laden with riches, perchance addicted to 
letters and given to the gratification of elegant tastes. 
There is no evidence that he was in any way monstrous 
in moral depravity. But during his lifetime he was not 
a builder for God. Self, and not God, was the main- 
spring of his being. There was no constructive ele- 
ment disclosed in his life or habits. His life work was 
not to save and bless. Hence he was ranked with the 
class of destructives in time, and sent to keep company 
with them in eternity ! 

Building Men, 257 

But I beg to add to this that it is your duty not 
merely not to be destroyers, but to be builders, con- 
sciously and with purpose. Note here what God is — a 
Builder; ever since, as a great Architect, He laid the 
foundations of the universe, and built all the great 
fabrics of His creation : the globe, beasts, birds, fishes, 
and man, the crown of all ! " Every house," says St. 
Paul, "is built by some man; but He that built all 
things is God." 

Such is the Lord our God, the great builder of the 
universe ; founding, uprearing, constructing, compact- 
ing all things, visible and invisible, temporal structures, 
and things heavenly and divine ; but, above all, the 
souls of men and the ethereal frames of burning angels ! 
And if this is the fashion of the Omnipotent being of 
God, what then should men be, who are His image and 
likeness? For the glory of children, is it not their 
fathers'? Ought we not be builders, as God is? How 
otherwise shall we show our similitude to Him ? How 
can we become again the image of God, in Christ? 
The new creation, in Christ Jesus, for what is it 
wrought in us, if not to make us co-workers with Him, 
in the magnificent operations of His grand system ? 

Join to this the testimony of your own nature. Ex- 
amine your own internal structure. Look into your 
spiritual framework, and see, as you cannot but see, that, 
in every way, the soul of man was made and fitted in 

258 Building Men. 

every attribute to be a builder of souls. What is the 
power of thought but a power formative in all its activ- 
ities ? What is reason but a constructive force ? What 
imagination but a creative faculty ? Nay, not only the 
inner and invisible endowments, but the outer physical 
members, yea, the entire man, in every power, was 
formed and fitted for creative action. 

Take one single member, the hand, and mark its 
wonderful adaptedness to operations creative and fash-' 
ioning. It can tear down and demolish. But everyone 
sees that that is not its special end and vocation. It 
was made to mould, to fashion, to construct and build. 
Hence, naturally from the functions of the hand, have 
sprung up the divers formative trades of men, in clay, 
wood, leather, stones, and metals. 

But the hand of man, of itself, has no skilful cunning, 
no ingenious art. No more than the claw of a bird, or 
the foot of a squirrel or a rat. The hand, of itself, is 
nothing. But the hand is the instrument and agent of 
the soul. And because the soul of man is a, builder, 
therefore it is "that there are carpenters and wheel- 
wrights, blacksmiths and machinists, ship-builders, stone- 
masons and architects, painters and sculptors. 

But what are all these functions and faculties of men, 
compared with the grand creative power of God ? " Let 
us make man in our own image, after our own like- 
ness"; that was the crowning act of creation. But 

Building Men. 259 

man fell from his high estate into woe and ruin; and 
then God began again the refashioning of humanity out 
of the ruins of the Fall. And ever since He has been 
building up man, by all the operations of the kingdom 
of grace; by the workings of the Spirit. In this work 
of soul-building the blood of Jesus is the main instru- 
mentality. But angels, and men too, are workers 
together with God, to the same gracious end. 

Jesus died to build men. For this purpose the Holy 
Ghost descended on the day of Pentecost. For this 
the Church of God was founded on the foundation of 
the apostles and prophets. 

So again, to build men, the ministry was commissioned, 
and the Scriptures were given. When we preach, it is, 
by the Holy Spirit, to build men. When we baptize ; 
when we celebrate the Holy Communion ; when we 
catechise little children ; when we teach God's Holy 
Word ; when we bring souls to Confirmation. Indeed, 
the whole machinery, the entire apparatus of the Gospel 
and the Church, is to build men. This is the work of 
the Lord Jesus, in the whole economy of grace. This, 
too, is the work of all true Christian men. As God is 
a builder of souls, so are all His disciples. And 
although ministers are set apart to special duty in this 
grand work of soul-building, the laity of the Church, in 
a subordinate way, are likewise called to the same grand 
and solemn vocation. The whole household of Faith is 

260 Building Men. 

elected to this same saving office. We are all, in our 
several relations, the ministers of God for the salvation 
of men, and the glory of God's grace ; holy men, godly 
and gracious women, religious youth, pious maidens, 
and sanctified children. Nothing can be more explicit, 
nothing more decisive, than the emphatic declaration of 
St. Peter : " Ye are a chosen generation, a holy nation, 
a peculiar people ; that ye should show forth the praises 
of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His 
marvellous light." 

3. And now, lastly, let us consider who, that is, the 
classes of persons, we should build up. First, of course, 
ourselves ; for the evolutions of grace, like the winds, 
like the windings of circles, proceed from a central 
point. Our principal duty, then, in the work of grace, 
is the assurance that we, ourselves, have been built 
upon the right foundation ; that our foot standeth 
aright upon the corner-stone. Are we, then, saved 
men ? . Have we, indeed, received the great salvation ? 

Our souls, my friends, are given us to save. It 
is a great trust to have souls. Broken and impaired 
as are the spirits of men, they show, even in fragment- 
ary powers, the skill of a divine architect. All the 
fractured members of our inward being are so many 
vestiges of a once complete and celestial creation. 
And then when, in groping amid the ruins of our 
fallen nature, we light upon the manifest ends of 

Building Men. 261 


spiritual being, and note the grand principle of re- 
sponsibility, which is universally allied to possessed 
powers, we see in a moment how man, as well as 
angels, is a being who sweeps the wide circles of 
duty ; who bears the burden of endless moral obliga- 
tion ; who stands every day of his life at the bar of 
judgment, constantly challenged for a reckoning of his 
stewardship, for every faculty of his being, and for 
every function thereof ; for the use of every endow- 
ment, for the exercise of influence, for the fashioning 
of souls around him, for the rendering of glory to God 
by the flames of purest affections, and the devotedness 
of the noblest of his powers. 

But "no man liveth to himself." We were born to 
save others besides ourselves. "Ye are not your own," 
says the Apostle St. Paul. We are " our brothers' 
keepers." Besides care for our own souls, we owe the 
duty of care and anxiousness for the souls of others ; 
and so, second, next to ourselves, are our kinsfolk and 
relatives to be built up in the faith of Jesus. It is our 
duty to strive to build up parents and children in the 
most holy faith ; by all the several means of training 
and teaching, by admonition, by prayer and spiritual 

Iri the family relation it is, without doubt, the most 
obvious of all duties to train up our children and 
servants ; by catechising, in- holy prayers, in Christian 

262 Building Men. 

charities ; so that they may " adorn the doctrine of God 
our Saviour in all things." Build them ! that is the 
word ; not tear them down to ruin by godly indifference 
to the things of God ; by carnal indulgence ; by foolish 
vanity ! Not give them up to the service of Satan in 
their childhood and youth, expecting by and by, when 
mature, some terrible spiritual hurricane to sweep them, 
of a sudden, into the kingdom of Christ; but to train 
them, in their tender youth, "in the nurture and admo- 
nition of the Lord " ; to build them up in the truth and 
love of Christ ; in the very freshness and glow of their 
childhood, and in the supple strength of their youth ! 

Third. But besides kinsfolk and family, there is a 
further outer circle of human beings separate from our- 
selves, for whom it is our duty to live, and our aim to 
build up in the temple of the Lord. There is the whole 
world of our fellow creatures, both near and remote, 
who are to be reclaimed from sin and idolatry, and 
brought to a knowledge of the truth.. 

Now I know that in the narrowness of our local 
spheres, and with the limited reach of our powers, it is 
impossible for us, individually, to touch with a holy 
influence Chinese, Japanese, the Islanders of the Pacific 
Seas, the vast hordes on the continent of Africa, the 
million masses in India, living in the darkness of 
heathenism. But remember that our mission in life is 
to lessen the sum of the .world's grossness and rebel- 

Building Men. 263 

lion, and to widen and extend the borders of the king- 
dom of Christ. We are to gain as many souls as 
possible from the empire of Satan, and to transfer as 
large a number as we can to the control of our King 
and Master. Every victory thus gained, whether 
directly in the sphere of our personal influence, or indi- 
rectly, by the distant agents we aid and succor abroad, 
is a real and effectual agency in the conversion of the 
world, and is a contribution to the future triumph of 
the Redeemer. 

So, then, it seems quite apparent that our life-work 
among our fellow-men is, especially and primarily, con- 
structive and restorative. Christ came to seek and to 
save the lost. In His mission anything destructive or 
disorganizing was absolutely alien and foreign. Pre- 
cisely this is the spirit we are to carry into all the spir- 
itual endeavors of our life ; and hence I conclude by 
narrowing my exhortation to its literal spirit and 

1. That utterance is, to each and every one of you, 
the earnest entreaty — Do not destroy ! Men and breth- 
ren, holy maidens and pious youth ; keep from ruining 
souls for whom Christ died ! Men of this Church, do not 
destroy other men ! Do not destroy little children ! 
Do not ruin women ! Do not, for Christ's sake, and for 
the sake of precious, priceless souls — do not destroy. 
Women of this church, beware of ruining souls ! Do not 

264 Building Men. 

destroy men nor youth by the wrong use of personal 
attractions ; by feminine beguilements ; by the gross 
prostitution of precious and wondrous gifts of your sex. 

Boys and girls, baptized into Christ, do not destroy ! 
Nay, strive in all simplicity and gentleness, in all love 
and godliness, to save other boys and girls ; by sweet 
Christian words, by noble actions, by pure and holy 
lives and godly examples. 

Yea, all of you, do not destroy ! Do not destroy by 
whiskey or by wine ! Do not destroy by cursing, nor by 
oaths ! Do not destroy by scoffing or by filthy speech, 
by lewdness or carousing. Do not destroy ! Brother 
man, I throw myself in your way, this day, and lay hold 
of you, as though you were my own flesh and blood ; 
and I beseech you, by the preciousness of the soul, and 
by the blood of Christ, do not destroy ! 

2. Build! Seize upon souls, and strive to mould and 
fashion, to compact and strengthen the immortal spirits 
around you, that they may become powerful for Christ, 
and live in Him forever ! Take little children upon 
your knees, and by godly lessons teach them concerning 
Christ; lead them to His love, and build them up in 
His most saving truth ! Lay hold of boys and girls. 
Gather them into Sunday-schools, and by catechising 
and instruction save them from the world, and build 
them up in Christ. 

Remember you are your brother's keeper; that every 

Building Men. 26$ 

man is your kinsman ; and hence the binding duty of 
seeking the spiritual good of all men. Strive to bring 
them to the Cross. Endeavor to root and ground every 
soul you meet in the truth. Labor to build men in 
the knowledge and love of Christ. 

Brethren, build! Make it the aim of your life to 
strengthen and uphold, to stay and build immortal 
souls. Do not destroy ! It is the work of devils ! Seek 
to be "wise master-builders" for Christ; and by the 
power of His Spirit to aid His work of grace and salva- 
tion in this wicked world. Build men ! by speech, by 
influence, by godly example, "by pureness, by know- 
ledge, by long-suffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, 
by love unfeigned, by the word of truth, and by the 
power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the 
right hand and on the left " ! Use every possible 
instrument and agency, both small and great, at all 
times, and in all places ; in season and out of season ; 
in your families ; in the world ; at the workshop ; in 
your stores ; on the highway or in the street ; to save 
men, and to glorify Christ. 

The great vocation of life, my brethren, is to build 
men up in truth and righteousness and love. It is a 
work, moreover, never to cease in this world, nor in 
that which is to come ! 

For through all the eternities of our God we shall 
dwell in blissful accord with Him, the great Builder of 

266 Building MeH. 

souls ; and even as the angels, so we, through everlast- 
ing ages, with submissive wills, shall forever harmonize, 
as well in earnest act as in obedient desire, with all 
the multitudinous works of that God who, everywhere 
throughout the universe, is building, in truth, grace, 
and beauty — angels, and archangel, cherubim and 
seraphim, as well as saints in Paradise, and men on 
earth — through every quarter of His boundless Empire! 



PSALM XL, 12. 

/ have declared thy righteousness in the great congregation : Lo, I will 
not refrain my lips, O Lord, and that thou knowest. I have not hid thy 
righteousness within my heart ; my talk hath been of thy truth, and of thy 

David is well known as one of the recognized types 
of the Messiah ; and hence, not infrequently, his Psalms 
are prophetical utterances of the will and purposes of 
his expected Lord. This, however, does not exclude 
entirely the personal element in the Psalms. It fol- 
lows, therefore, that in the Messianic Psalms we may 
descend, if we choose, from the divine to the human 
character, speaking in them. We may regard them, 
therefore, in one phase as the sayings of the Messiah ; 
we may receive them, in a lower sense, as the express- 
ions of the man David. 

In this latter sense, then, the two verses just read 
will be used. They are veritable indications of the life 
and purposes of the great man who wrote them. He 
was a faulty man, a man of intense, nay, flashing im- 


268 Christian Conversation. 

pulses, which at times hurried him impetuously into 
shameful blunders and blinding sin. But there can be 
no doubt that he was right, at the centre. The magnet 
of his nature pointed steadily, albeit tremulously, to the 
pole. The master intent of his being was to glorify 
God ; not only with his sword, with his kingly preroga- 
tives, with his regal wealth, but with his glowing genius, 
with his rich and fertile imagination, and with his pure, 
his ready, his flowing and exuberant tongue. And this 
is the distinctive point to which your attention is 
directed. David not only gave personal influence in 
God's behalf ; he added to this the constant practice 
and habit of speaking for God. 

There is a recluse and sequestered piety in the 
world, which shuns expression. It but seldom declares 
itself. It may walk abroad over the nation. It may 
cross the seas. It preserves indeed decorum and pro- 
priety; but it rarely speaks out for Christ. Such 
a character is by no means rare or exceptional. It 
is what we all see and know thoroughly well. We 
are all acquainted with praying, pious, upright people, 
strict observers of the moral law ; people punctilious 
in spiritual observances and spiritual duties; who 
yet, in a large number of cases, have never been heard, 
at any time, or in any circles, to give utterance to their 
religious convictions, to advocate the faith of Christ, or 
to stand forth in defence of the faith against its assail- 
ants, or in the way of exhortation to holiness. In read- 

Christian Conversation. . 269 

ing the Psalms, however, we discover a spontaneous 
tendency, an almost irresistible impulse, to speak in 
God's behalf, and to declare His praise. We meet in 
them with frequent declarations, such as these: "With 
my lips have I been telling of all the judgments of thy 
word." "I will talk of thy commandments and have 
respect unto thy ways." "I will always give thanks 
unto the Lord, His praise shall ever be in my mouth." 
"My tongue shall speak of thy word." And in another 
place (Psalm cviii), he says : "O God, my heart is ready ; 
I will sing, and give praise with the best member that 
I have." By that best member the Psalmist means 
his tongue. 

These somewhat lengthy remarks are made as intro- 
ductory to a discourse on Christian conversation. 

1. First of all, let me dwell for a few moments upon 
that common characteristic of the times, the lack of 
Christian conversation. In this matter the age stands 
in strong contrast to some former notable periods. 
Take, for instance, a period of one hundred years, and 
one sees at once the great change. In the days of 
Whitefield and Wesley, men everywhere and in all con- 
ditions made religion a matter of common converse. 
Then great reforms took place. The traffic in slaves 
was stopped : the condition of prisoners improved : 
Church missions and Sunday-schools were established. 
Then society was almost universally stirred and excited 

270 Christian Conversation, 

by the most glorious themes of the Gospel. Turn to a 
period nearer our own times ; the days of the Temper- 
ance and Anti-Slavery agitation, dating from 1833 to 
the close of the war ; what topics were more thoroughly, 
more earnestly canvassed, on steamboats, on railroads, 
in saloons, in parlors, and at dining-tables, than the 
bearing of Christian truth upon these great subjects. 
There was no hesitant utterance, no bated breath, in 
speaking upon these grand questions. There were 
deep convictions in the souls of faithful men ; and 
there was a free, distinct, and emphatic declaration of 
those convictions. 

A very great change has come over society in these 
latter days. Not that there is any decline in common 
conversation. I think that this talent is more culti- 
vated now-a-days than heretofore. Men meet together, 
and talk about science, letters, manners, politics. 
Every possible facility is used to stimulate social talk ; 
magazine literature, parlor socials, literary reunions, 
club life, in various forms, and in all circles. Rarely, 
if ever, was there a time when there has been such 
brilliancy of conversational talent, as in our generation. 
In the higher walks of society there has been discov- 
ered a splendor and magnificence of discourse which 
has rivalled the palmiest day of literary society, whether 
in ancient or modern days. It may well be doubted 
whether the ears of man have ever secured any higher 

Christian Conversation, 271 

enjoyment than was the privilege of those who moved, 
in but recent times, in the circles which were charmed 
by the magic tongue of Margaret Fuller, of Boston ; or 
on the other side of the Atlantic, who were spell-bound 
by both the affluence and the splendors of Macauley. 
But the whole tone of it, in either case, was mainly 
secular. In the circles where these gifted persons 
swayed the sceptre of superiority, very little was heard 
of God. And it is precisely the same to-day. Nowhere 
do we see intellectual stagnation. The mind of man is 
intensely active in all the subjects of human regard. 
Talk and converse are rife and earnest in all classes, 
upon all the questions which pertain to human interests 
and human progress ; but religious conversation is 
seldom heard. We do, indeed, not seldom, hear debates 
upon sacred subjects. Not infrequently we listen to 
angry disputations upon religious topics, that remind 
us slightly and in degree of Milton, who represents the 
evil spirits' converse, who, 

Reasoned high 
Of providence, foreknowledge, will, and fate ; 
Fixed fate, free-will, foreknowledge absolute ; 
And found no end, in wandering mazes lost. 

But it is not of discussion that I speak. The two 
things are distinct. That genial, intelligent interchange 
of thought, sentiment, and feeling, which is the oppo- 
site of debate, which may properly be termed conversa- 


272 Christian Conversation. 

tion, is the theme to which your attention is especially 
directed. The very word - tells, in its construction, of 
that meeting of mind with mind, in reciprocal flux and 
reflux ; that cordial assimilation ; where thought melts 
into feeling, and feeling flows back again into thought, 
which may justly be considered as the true interpreta- 
tion of the word converse ; con and verso — to turn 
with, to be engaged with ; and so to hold intercourse, 
or interchange ideas ; to talk ; to discourse with. And 
this, instead of being made the channel of blessedness 
to man, and of glory to God, is used mostly, in our day, 
as the glittering agency of temporal, fleeting things. 
Instead of being the vehicle of trifling and nonsense, 
or worse still, of blasphemy and profanation, it ought 
to be the grand organ and implement for the uplifting 
of souls, and the regeneration of society. The speech 
of man should be the noblest instrument of the Holy 

Observe, then, how desirable, in every way, is the 
practice of converse upon the things of God. It is 
desirable, first of all, for the propagation of the Chris-* 
tian system. For Christianity, my brethren, is not a 
retired and hidden thing. Christianity is no private 
monopoly. It is no exclusive, personal possession. It 
would be just as possible or wise for a man to attempt 
to lock up, for private use, the sunlight of heaven, or 
the common air of earth, as for a man, or any set of 

Christian Conversation. . 273 

men, to set up a special proprietorship in the Christian 
faith. By the grace of God that grace is made over to 
every human being, as a man, for his individual right 
and ownership ; but the condition on which it is given 
to him is that he will use it in trusteeship for other 
souls. Every divine gift made over to the soul by the 
Holy Spirit has allied to it the principle of participa- 
tion. " Freely have ye received, freely give." 

The secondary principle of God's grace is diffusion. 
When light is given to a sin-darkened soul, the obliga- 
tion accompanies it to impart that light to others. The 
candle is not to be put under a bushel. Let it shine 
upon the household. Let it lighten up the neighbor- 
hood. The grand instrument and agency by which the 
Christian faith is diffused is the tongue. And speech, 
rightly used, is man's "best member" ; is, as David 
elsewhere calls it, "man's glory." 

It is in just this peculiarity that we see that Chris- 
tianity is eminently a social religion ; and by social I 
mean that it is a system for human beings in all the varied 
relations of life. It is a system for the family ; for the 
public weal. It is the grand quality which is especially 
fitted to the needs of man in all these relations. The 
means for its propagation, in these relations, is speech. 
It is a social religion, because it is made to be talked 
of, and talked into every sphere of life, and to rule and 
govern them all. 

274 Christian Conversation. 

Just look at the matter for a few moments. Is not 
thi-s a wicked world in which we are living ? See how, 
in every quarter, it is saturated with the putrefaction of 
sin ! How its most cherished institutions are falling to 
pieces, through the virulent inroads of iniquity ! Take 
the State. Do not the individuals who go to make up 
the great commonwealth of society, do they not need 
the implanting of proper principles of right and integ- 
rity in their souls, to make them good citizens ? Can 
you leave this matter simply to newspapers, or preach- 
ing ? How do men act in matters of reform, in the 
cause of temperance, of politics ? Does not one man 
put himself beside another man, and so strive to indoc- 
trinate him with the truth that is precious to his own 
soul ? Is not conversation, genial, hearty, earnest, and 
persuasive, a potent factor in all political and reforma- 
tory action ? Take social life, in its narrower, stricter 
sense, that is, as including the world of entertainment 
and companionship. Does not society need the infusion 
and prevalence of higher principles than at present 
govern it ? Would it not be blest and elevated by the 
presence of some higher and diviner element than it 
now has ? For go where you will in our seasons of fes- 
tivity, how much, I ask, of God, of the love of God, of 
the honor of God, does one discover, in the dress, the 
style of dress, in the cost of dress, in the pleasures, in 
the viands, in the drinks, and in the conversation which 

Christian Conversation. 275 

is carried on in such assemblies ? Is not salt, the 
savory, saving salt of the Gospel needed here? VVoa'J 
not a few words from the godly, interposed now and 
then, tend to the prevention of much sinful vanity, 
much moral ruin, and a vast deal of godless dissipation ? 
Take the family. Go into a dozen households, and see 
how, in a large majority of them, the lawlessness of 
children prevails, right beside the misrule of weak and 
godless parents. And tell me, do not parents need the 
suggestion of godly rule ; and children, "the line upon 
line, the precept upon precept," to the end that these 
households may become orderly, God-fearing, and sanc- 
tified ? But is it not the fact that at multitudes of fire- 
sides, and at numberless dinner-tables, the name of God 
is never mentioned; the law of God is never proclaimed; 
the testimony of Christ is never upheld ; the worship of 
God is never heard of ? The children in such families 
hear, indeed, concerning the fashions; they talk about 
politics and literature; they are made adepts in all the 
gossip concerning their neighbors ; nay, not infrequently 
their memories are surcharged with all. the poisonous 
scandal of the town ; but alas ! from year to year they 
hear nothing from the lips of parents or friends con- 
cerning the active workings of God's Church, or the 
glories of the Cross of Christ. And when the day. of 
judgment comes the very knives and forks, the spoons 
and dishes of those houses will testify that they were 

276 Christian Conversation. 

Godless and Christless ! " Lastly, take the sick, the trou- 
bled, the distressed. Where are they not to be found ? 
Where are the communities or households free from 
these classes ? And what is the solace yon are going 
to give them ? How are their sorrows to be assuaged ? 
How are their griefs to be palliated ? How are their 
hearts to be cheered and uplifted ? Will you talk of 
science to the broken-hearted ? Will you discourse of 
literature to the bereaved and mourning ? Will you 
bring the wrangles of politics to women and children 
racked with pain, and verging to the borders of eternity? 
My brethren, there is but one Physician for sick souls ; 
but one medicine for the broken-hearted and desolate. 
It was Jesus — only Jesus ; no other of all the sages and 
prophets, of the benefactors and philanthropists, who 
ever taught just the converse needed and fitted for the 
sick, for the troubled and distressed, in mind, body, and 
estate. "The spirit of the Lord is upon me," are His 
words, "because He hath anointed me to preach the 
Gospel to the poor; He hath sent me to heal the 
broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, 
and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty 
them that are bruised." Here we see the converse 
which is needed for bruised hearts! Nothing but reli- 
gious conversation is fitted to their condition. Christ, 
the Consoler, must needs be brought to their bedsides ! 
The very words of Jesus poured into their ears. The 

Christian Conversation. 277 

Grace of the Lord made to reach their hearts. The 
comfort of the Holv Ghost to neutralize their afflictions. 
This is the only source of consolation to the sick and 
mourners. The Gospel of salvation, given through 
Christian conversation, is the only solace to the sor- 

3. It is, then, very clearly our duty to use the faculty 
of speech for God's glory, for the health and strengthen- 
ing of human souls. "A word in season, how precious" 
is it, and how priceless too ! And what nobler work 
can there be than this, namely, by the uttered, quicken- 
ing word, to plant the seeds of everlasting truth in 
living and undying souls ? All the processes of build- 
ing and uprearing in this world are prized by men. All 
builders are esteemed as benefactors of the race t But 
by just so much as souls are nobler, grander structures 
than houses, or palaces, or bodies, so the vital energy 
of pure and holy speech, dropt into the outward and 
inner ears of men, startling, quickening, sobering, 
prompting, guiding, elevating, sanctifying them, to good 
resolves, to noble acts, to self-devotion to God and man, 
to purity, to excellence and heavenly-mindedness ; so 
the work and power of holy speech towers immeasura- 
bly above all the constructive work of architects and 
builders in this outward, visible world. And this is the 
true and legitimate function of speech. It is to sow 
the seeds of truth in the souls of men. It is to suggest 

278 Christian Conversation. 

virtuous principles. It is to prompt to sober, serious 
thought and reflection. It is to guide to noble concep- 
tions. It is to bring to consciousness the ideas of God 
and eternity. It is to beget a sense of responsibility. 
It is to start the springs of action. It is to excite the 
noblest sensibilities and warmest affections. Conversa- 
tion, true Christian conversation, is the parent of deep 
repentance; it is the germinant power of abiding faith; 
it is the quickener of noble resolves ; it is the prompter 
of heroic actions ; it is the stimulant to godlike revolu- 
tions from the sway of Satan, to the rule of the living 
God. Bear witness, ye glorious names of Moses, and 
Elijah, of Paul, and Augustine, and all the mighty host 
of apostles and reformers, who have blessed the world 
through speech ! What noble elevation ! What grand 
superiority is there not in the men who thus use the 
noble faculty of speech ! How gloriously do they dis- 
perse the largess of their intellectual riches, of their 
spiritual gifts ! With what spontaneous generosity 
scatter the pearls and diamonds of their priceless 
thought! Now it is the apt allusion, and now again 
the humorous remark, but at the same time sacred and 
elevating. At one time it is the sparkling sentence, 
brilliant with divinest meaning; and then the grand, 
stately utterance, like the thunderous breaking of old 
ocean on the seashore, suggesting the deep things of 
eten:^y! What a noble line of such talkers have 

One volume, handsomely printed, jj4 pp., i2mo, cloth 
extra, $1.50. 

'odern lleroes ofthe fission 

By the Rt. Rev. W. Pakenham Walsh, D.D., Bishop of 

Ossary, Ferns and Leighlin. Author of '' Heroes of 

the Mission Field," " The Moabite Stone," etc. 


I. Henry Martyn : India and Persia, 1805-1812. 

II. William Carey: India, 1 793-1 834. 

III. Adoniram Judson : Burmah, 1813-1850. 

IV. Robert Morrison : China, 1 807-1 834. 

V. Samuel Marsden : New Zealand, 1814-1838. 

VI. John Williams : Polynesia, 1817-1839. 

VII. William Johnson: West Africa, 1816-1823. 

VIII. John Hunt: Fiji, 1838-1848. 

IX. Allen Gardiner: South America, 1835-185 1. 

X. Alexander Duff: India, 1 829-1 864. 

XI. David Livingstone: Africa, 1840-1873. 

XII. Bishop Patteson : Melanesia, 1855-1871. 


" The American reading world owes a debt of thanks to the 
publisher for bringing out so good a book in a style of type and 
paper which leaves nothing to be desired. The book is one which 
must be read by those who would know its merits. No news- 
paper notice can do justice to it." — The Living Church. 

"It is entitled to a place in every library, and should be 
• purchased and read by every one interested in the work of Foreign 
Missions." — Gospel in all Lands. 

"A good book to have in hand if one is to keep the divine 
spirit of the missionary work close to his heart." — Standard of the 





Bad Habits. 



Strong Drink 



VII. Religion. 


Invigorating common-sense Talks to Young Men by a Young Man. 

Ckmrmci§r Building. 

Talks to Young Men. By Rev. Robert S. Barrett. 
i6mo, cloth, handsomely stamped in gold and ink, . . Price joe. 

I. Destiny. 

II. The Value of Time. 
III. Reading. 


Th§ Rector of St. Bar dm 

Or, Superannuated. By Frederick W. Shelton, D.D., author 
of " Salander and the Dragon," " Peeps from a Belfry," etc. 
344 pp., i2ino, cloth extra, price %i. 25. 

" It is many years since this book, now re-issued, first appeared. In the 
past it has accomplished not only an interesting but also a very useful task, 
and, for the long future, we trust it is destined to continue its mission of good- 
humored instruction on the relations of pastor and people. To the younger 
clergy, who may expect to meet just such 'snags,' and would know how to 
steer the sensitive bark of their personal ministry safe around and by them, we 
would commend a quiet evening by this winter's fireside, with 'The Rector 
of St. Bardolph's ' in their hands, as a friendly chart and sensible guide. 
Equally we recommend all those who have their eyes upon other folks that are 
" cantankerous," to get the book, and deal out to them gathered counsels from 
its pages." — The Living Church. 




For Families and Destitute Parishes. By John N. Norton, D.D., 
author of "Every Sunday," "Golden Truths," " Warning and 
Teaching," "Old Paths," "The King's Ferry-boat," etc., etc. 
487 pp., 8vo, cloth, price %2.oo. 

" The late Dr. Norton * * * had remarkable ability to interest plain 
people, and this collection of sermons for families and destitute parishes holds 
its place among the volumes of sermons useful for lay reading chiefly on the 
ground of the author's art of putting things. The Sermons cover a wide 
range, and are so interesting that one likes to read them again and again. 
They are probably the best of their kind." — The Standard of the Cross. 

" This new issue is proof enough of the popularity and adaptedness for the 
purpose expressed " — The Church Eclectic. 

The Bishop of Missouri says : " I have frequently, in public and in private, 
recommended Dr. Norton's books." 

The Bishop of New Jersey says: " I always recommend them." 


Christian Conversation. 2^9 

arisen in God's Church, in all the ages! Chief of these 
in ancient times was Solomon, whose terse and prudent 
sayings were doubtless taken down by his admirers, and 
thus handed down to our times, for our instruction and 
guidance. So, without doubt, that eminent man, the 
chief of the apostles, was full of large discourse. Every- 
where we see him, in the Book of the Acts, in private 
or in public, before a heathen court, or the Jewish San- 
hedrim ; at a feast of disciples, or in the midst of ship- 
wrecked mariners ; always ready with a golden speech 
for Christ and souls. In modern times tzvo transcend- 
ent men stand out conspicuously. The Table-Talk of 
Luther is like the trumpet-blast of an army; like the 
ponderous tread of grand battalions; like the thunder- 
ous sound of dread artillery! All his thought, all his 
v discourse, is grand, majestic, ponderous; stirring the 
blood, quickening the brain ; raising one to the grandest 
ideas of God, His kingdom, and eternity. The other 
distinguished person to whom I referred was, in various 
respects, the reverse of Luther, Samuel Taylor Cole- 
ridge was a scholar, poet, theologian, philosopher; but 
grand genius as he was, his highest aspiration was to 
be, and to be regarded as a Christian! And oh! how 
gloriously did he move, at all times, in the grandest 
circles ; dropping everywhere — at the well-spread board, 
in the chambers of nobles, in the bowers of the fashion- 
able, in the halls of the learned — precepts and philoso- 

zSo Christian Conversation. 

phies, learning and erudition, light and illumination 
upon all the subjects which pertain to the elucidation of 
God's Holy Word, and the spiritual elevation of the soul 
of man ! 

4. "But /tow," you ask, "are we to imitate such 
grandeur, in talk and converse ? God has given us no 
such gifts as they had. We have no such splendid 
endowments, either of brain or utterance, as they." 
"Every man," my brethren, in "his own order," and 
with his own talent ; to some it is five, to others two, 
to others one. The point, that is, of responsibility, is 
the use of the gift of speech, according to our ability 
and opportunity. You converse about letters, fashions, 
politics, persons. If you are a disciple use your speech, 
now and then, for Christ ! You tell me it is hard to 
talk about religion. You can talk about everything: 
else with your neighbors, but this is difficult. I under- 
stand you, and I can sav nothing severe of this reti- 
cence, this hesitation regarding sacred subjects. For 
many people are reluctant and unwilling to speak con- 
cerning this most sacred of all themes, lest they should 
be betrayed into a habit of cant ; which is the simula- 
tion of feeling when one has no feeling. Others are 
afraid of becoming flippant about holy things. 

And, first, let me say there can be no general rule 
given concerning religious conversation. Perhaps the 
nearest approach one can make to a precept, are the 

Christian Conversation. 28 r 

words of • St. Paul: " Let your speech be always witfr 
grace, seasoned with salt." That is, our conversation 
should be saturate.! with pious and religious prudence 
flowing from the Holy Spirit. With such a habit, relig- 
ion is the undercurrent which regulates speech ; net, 
indeed, showy and ostentatious, but sufficient to indi- 
cate that inward principle which governs the life, and is 
easily apprehended by every one. Neither is there any 
need that we should obtrude religious topics upon peo- 
ple everywhere, and at all times. There are occasions, 
too, when dealing with the rude and irreligious, that we 
should remember our Lord's words, not " to cast our 
pearls before swine." People who jest concerning the 
most solemn themes, people who travesty the holy 
words of Scripture are undeserving religious converse. 
But in ordinary conversation we should talk with such 
a sense of sacred propriety, with such Christian cheer- 
fulness, with such generous courtesy for the opinions 
and feelings of others, that although the name of Christ 
be never mentioned, people may gather that we have 
been with Him, and that His Holy Spirit is the 
prompter of our life and thought. 

On the other hand, there are times when our discourse 
should be most direct and distinct. Straightforward- 
ness and downrightness, in many circumstances, are the 
duty of Christians. When we are dealing with the 
sick, with people who are anxious and inquiring, with 

2 $2 Christian Conversation. 

indifferent and careless people, then circumlocution or 
indirection is a great fault. I recollect reading of the 
late Mr. Sumner's visit to Thiers, President of France. 
As he passed through the grand entrance to his parlor, 
Mr. Sumner said that he asked himself — "What shall I 
converse about to-night ? " and at once he answered 
himself — "Art shall be the topic." And it was only 
the other day, in this city, being called upon to visit 
and converse with an invalid, I was pleased with the 
sime decision of mind. I w T as hardly seated, after the 
usual salutation, when I was addressed by the person 
referred to in these words : " I wished very much to 
talk with you about three topics which have occasioned 
me much thought." The first, such and such a passage, 
naming the verse ; and so, with a clearness and a per- 
tinence which could not have been excelled by a scholar, 
this person went from subject to subject without hesita- 
tion and without reserve. And so can every one of us 
do, if we have it in our heart to say a word for Christ, 
and the purpose to say that word. 

My friends, let us say a word now and then to men 
for Christ. They need Christian converse ; nay, they 
often desire it and look for it. While there are people 
who live daily, yearly, with no thought of God, there 
are, believe me, numbers of others who think about 
Him, and only wait some kind and friendly person to 
quicken their souls to life and faith, and resolve, by a 

Christian Conversation. 283 

timely Utterance. And because you fail to speak of the 
things of God, they are disappointed. Be faithful to 
souls, in your conversation, as well as in your walk and 
bearing. But bear in mind two things. (1) That no 
stilted, formal, unmeaning words on religion, will reach 
any man's soul. If you are not impelled by duty and 
interest in men to talk with them concerning religious 
matters, hold your tongue. (2) Join to this the duty of 
avoiding all debate and wrangling upon religion. It is, 
be well assured, a most profitless thing. Ofttimes it is 
worse than this ; it is a matter of strife, ambition, and 
temper; almost utterly regardless of truth as its object- 
ive point. Indeed, most generally the work of Christ- 
ians is to persuade and invite the careless ; not to dis- 
pute with them. If you enter into controversy, men 
are likely to think you care more for victory than you 
do for their souls, albeit a zealous warmth for the faith 
is always a virtue and duty, with gainsaying men. 

Speak, then, to your fellow-creatures from a sense 
of duty, and with anxiousness for their welfare. It is 
only deep conviction, prompting earnest, loving speech, 
that will influence men. Remember that all speech, 
except with very deceptive people, all speech is the 
result of conviction. This specially is the case in relig- 
ious matters. "Out of the abundance of the heart the 
mouth speaketh." "I believed, and therefore have I 
spoken," are the words of David. Elihu, in the book 

284 Christian Conversation. 

of Job, tells us the same truth — " I am full of matter," 
he says: "The spirit within me constraineth me." 
"Behold my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is 
ready to burst like new bottles." "I will speak, that I 
may be refreshed ; I will open my lips and answer." The 
sense of these words is on the surface. The man was 
possessed, charged to the full with burning, all-consum- 
ing convictions, and he could not contain himself. So 
possess yourselves, my friends, with the great truths of 
the religion you profess. Let them color the very 
fibres of your being ; let them run like fire through 
your brains ; and then there will be no hesitant, tardy 
discourse from your mouths, in your intercourse with 
men. Deep convictions are always the parents of 
earnest, saving w r ords. Harlan Page was so thoroughly 
overcome by the preciousnes-s of the salvation given by 
Christ to his soul, that it forced him to speak, and he 
began the Christian life with the resolve to say some- 
thing of salvation to every man he associated with. 
And thus, by Christian conversation, he converted, in 
a brief life -time, over three hundred souls. " The words 
of the wise are as goads, and as nails fastened by the 
masters of assemblies." "A word fitly spoken is like 
apples of gold in pictures of silver." 



Thanksgiving Day, 1875. 

ISAIAH xli, 6, 7. 

They helped every one his neighbor, and every one said to his brrther, Be 
of good courage. So the carpe)iter encouraged the goldsmith, and lie that 
smoothelh with the hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready 
for the soldering ; arid he fastened it with nails that it should not be moved. 

More than a month has passed away since we received 
the proclamation of our Chief Magistrate, appointing 
the 25th of November a day of public thanksgiving to 
Almighty God. 

And, in accordance with this pious custom, we, in 
common with millions of our fellow-citizens, have met 
together this morning, to offer up our tribute of praise 
and thankfulness to our common Parent in heaven, for 
all the gifts, favors, blessings, and benefactions, civil, 
domestic, religious, and educational, .which have been 
bestowed upon us during the year ; for the blessings of 
heaven above ; for the precious fruits brought forth by 
the sun ; for the precious things of the earth and the 

f2S 5 ) 

2§6 Social Principle-. 

fulness thereof; for the golden harvests of peace, un- 
stained by blood, and unbroken by strife ; for the con- 
stant stream of health which has flowed through our 
veins and households, untainted by plague or pesti- 
lence ; for the babes whom the Lord has laid upon your 
arms and given to your hearts ; for the plentiful supply 
of food which has been granted us from the fields, and 
which has laden our boards; for the goodly instruction 
which trains the mind and corrects the hearts of our 
children, and prepares them for responsibility, for duty, 
and eternity; for the civil privileges and the national 
freedom, in which we are permitted to participate; for 
the measure of success which God has given His Gos- 
pel, and for the hope that is ours that the Cross shall 
yet conquer everywhere beneath the sun, and that 
Jesus shall rule and reign through all the world. For 
these and all other gifts and blessings we render our 
tribute of praise and gratitude to the Lord, our Maker, 
Preserver, and Benefactor, through Jesus Christ our 
Lord ! 

Grateful as is this theme of gratitude, and inviting as 
it is for thought and further expression, it is not my 
purpose to pursue it to-day. I feel that we should turn 
the occasion into an opportunity for improvement and 

Especially is this the duty of a people situated as we 
are in this country; cut loose, blessed be God, for ever- 

Social Principle. 287 

more, from the dark moorings of servitude and oppres- 
sion ; but not fully arrived at — only drifting towards, 
the deep, quiet waters of fullest freedom and equality. 
Few, comparatively, in numbers ; limited in resources ; 
the inheritors of prodigious disasters; the heirs of 
ancestral woes and sorrows; burdened with most mani- 
fest duties and destinies ; anxious for our children ; 
thoughtful for our race; culpability and guilt of the 
deepest dye will be ours, if we do not most seriously 
consider the means and instruments by which we shall 
be enabled to go forward, and to rise upward. It is 
peculiarly a duty at this time when there is evidently 
an ebb-tide of indifference in the country, with regard 
to our race ; and when the anxiety for union neutralizes 
the interest in the black man. 

The agencies to the high ends I have referred to are 
various ; but the text I have chosen suggests a train of 
thought, in a distinct and peculiar line. It shews us 
that spirit of unity which the world exhibits, when it 
would fain accomplish its great, commanding ends. 

The prophet shews us here the notable sight, that is, 
that God comes down from heaven to put an end to the 
devices of the wicked. Whatever discord and strife 
may have before existed among them, at once it comes 
to an end. A common danger awaits them ; a common 
peril menaces At once they join hands; immediately 
their hearts are united. " They helped every one his 

288 Social Principle. 

neighbor, and every one said to his neighbor, ■ be of 
good courage." 

The lesson is one which we shall do well to learn 
with diligence ; that it comes from the wicked, does not 
detract from its value. The world acts on many a prin- 
ciple which Christians would do well to lay to heart. 
Our Saviour tells us that "the children of this world 
are wiser in their generation than the children of light." 
So here, this principle of united effort, and of generous 
concord, is worthy of the imitation of the colored people 
of this country, if they would fain rise to superiority of 
both character and achievement. I shall speak, there- 
fore, of the " Social principle among a people ; and its 
bearing on their progress and development!' 

What I mean by the social principle, is the disposi- 
tion which leads men to associate and join together for 
specific purposes ; the principle which makes families 
and societies, and which binds men in unity and brother- 
hood, in races and churches and nations. 

For man, you will observe, is a social being. In his 
mental and moral constitution God has planted certain 
sympathies and affections, from which spring the desire 
for companionship. It is with reference to these prin- 
ciples that God declared of the single and solitary 
Adam, "It is not good for the man to live alone." It 
was no newly-discovered affinity of the Maker, no after- 
thought of the Almighty. He had formed His creature 

Social Principle. 289 

with a fitness and proclivity for association. He had 
made him with a nature that demanded society. And 
from this principle flows, as from a fountain, the loves, 
friendships, families, and combinations which tie men 
together, in union and concord. A wider and more 
imposing result of this principle is the welding of men 
in races and nationalities. All the fruit and flower of 
these organisms come from the coalescence of divers 
faculties and powers, tending to specific ends. For no 
one man can effect anything important alone. There 
never was a great building, a magnificent city, a noble 
temple, a grand cathedral, a stately senate-house which 
was the work of one single individual. We know of no 
important event in history, no imposing scheme, no 
great and notable occurrence which stands as an epoch 
in the annals of the race, which was accomplished by a 
single, isolated individual. Whether it is the upbuild- 
ing of Imperial Rome; or the retreat of the Ten Thou- 
sand; or the discovery of America; or Cook's or 
Anson's voyages around the globe ; or the conquest of 
India; or the battle of Waterloo; everywhere we find 
that the great things of history have been accomplished 
by the combination pf men. 

Not less is this the case in those more humane and 
genial endeavors which have been for the moral good of 
men, and wherein the individuality of eminent leaders 
has been more conspicuous. We read of the evangeli- 

290 Social Principle. 

zation of Europe, from the confines of Asia to Britain ; 
and, in more modern times, we have the abolition of 
the Slave Trade and Slavery, the grand efforts for the 
relief of prisoners, the Temperance Reformation, the 
Sunday-school system. These were noble schemes, 
which originated in the fruitful brains and sprung from 
the generous hearts of single individuals, and which, in 
their gracious results, have made the names of Howard 
and Wilberforce, of Clarkson and Robert Raikes, bright 
and conspicuous. But yet we know that even they of 
themselves did not achieve the victories which are asso- 
ciated with their names. Thousands, nay, tens of thou- 
sands of the good and pious were aroused by their 
passionate appeals to stirring energy; and only when 
the masses of the godly were marshalled to earnest 
warfare, were those evils doomed ; and they fell, never 
to rise again ! 

The application of this truth to the interests and the 
destiny of the colored race of America is manifest. We 
are living in this country, a part of its population, and 
yet, in divers respects, we are as foreign to its inhabit- 
ants as though we were living in the Sandwich Islands. 
It is this our actual separation from the real life of the 
nation, which constitutes us "a nation within a nation:" 
thrown very considerably upon ourselves for many of 
the largest interests of life, and for nearly all our social 
and religious advantages. As a consequence on this 

Social Principle \ 29 1 

state of things, all the stimulants of ambition and self- 
love should lead this people to united effort for personal 
superiority and the uplifting of the race; but, instead 
thereof, overshadowed by a more powerful race of peo- 
ple ; wanting in the cohesion which comes from racial 
enthusiasm; lacking in the confidence which is the root 
of a people's stability; disintegration, doubt, and dis- 
trust almost universally prevail, and distract all their 
business and policies. 

Among a people, as in a nation, we find farmers, 
mechanics, sailors, servants, business men, trades. For 
life, energy, and progress in a people, it is necessary 
that all these various departments of activity should 
be carried on with spirit, skill, and unity. It is the 
cooperative principle, working in trades, business, and 
manufacturing, which is the great lever that is lifting 
up the million masses in great nations, and giving those 
nations themselves a more masterly superiority than 
they have ever known, in all their past histories. No 
people can discard this principle, and achieve greatness. 
Already I have shown that it cannot be done in the 
confined sphere of individual, personal effort. The 
social principle prevails in the uprearing of a nation, as 
in the establishing of a family. Men must associate 
and combine energies in order to produce large results. 
In the same way that a family becomes strong, influen- 
tial, and wealthy by uniting the energies of parents and 

292 Social - Principle. 

children, so a people go on to honor and glory, in the 
proportion and extent that they combine their powers 
to definite and productive ends. 

Two principles are implied in the remarks I have 
made, that is, the one of mutuality, and the othei- of 

By mutuality I mean the reciprocal tendencies and 
desires which interact between large bodies of men, 
aiming at single and definite ends. I mean the several 
sentiments of sympathy, cheer, encouragement, and 
combination, among any special body of people ; which 
are needed and required in distinct departments of 
labor. Solitude, in any matter, is alien to the human 
heart. We need, we call for the aid of our fellow- 
creatures. The beating heart of man waits for the 
answering heart of his brother. 

It is the courageous voice of the venturesome soldier 
that leads on a whole column to the heart of the frav. 
It is the cheering song of the hardy sailor as- he hangs 
upon the shrouds, amid the fierceness of the tempest, 
that lifts up the heart of his timid messmates, and stim- 
ulates to boldness and noble daring. On the broad 
fields of .labor, where the scythe, the plough, and the 
spade work out those wondrous transformations which 
change the wild face of nature to order and beauty, and 
in the end, bring forth those mighty cargoes of grain 
which gladden the hearts and sustain the frames of 

Social Principle. 293 

millions; there the anthems of toil invigorate the 
brawny arms of labor; while the sun pours down its 
fiery rays, and the midday heat allures in vain to the 
shade and to rest. Deep down in the dark caves of 
earth, where the light of the sun never enters,' tens of 
thousands of men and children delve away in the coal 
beds, or iron mines, buried in the bowels of the 
earth; cheered on in their toilsome labor by the joyous 
voices and the gladdening songs of their companions. 
What is it, in these several cases, that serves at once to 
lighten toil, and to stimulate to hardier effort ? Several 
principles indeed concur; but it is evident that what I 
call mutuality, i. e., sympathy and unison of feeling, act 
upon the hearts of soldiers, sailors, laborers, and miners, 
and spur them on to duty and endurance. 

So, likewise, we may not pass by the other motive, 
i. e. } the feeling of dependence. We need the skill, the 
energy, the achievement of our fellow-creatures. No 
man stands up entirely alone, self-sufficient in the entire 
circle of human needs. Even in a state of barbarism 
the rude native man feels the need of the rieht arm of 
his brother. How much more with those who are civ- 
ilized and enlightened ! If you or I determine upon 
absolute independencey of life and action, rejecting the 
arm and the aid of all other men, into how many depart- 
ments of labor should we not at once have to multiply 
ourselves ? 

294 Social Principle. 

It is the recognition of this principle of association, 
which has made Great Britain, France, the United States, 
Holland, and Belgium the greatest nations of the earth. 
There are more partnerships, combinations, trades- 
unions, banking-houses, and insurance companies in 
those countries than in all the rest of the world 
together. The mere handful of men in these nations, 
numbering but one hundred millions, sway and dom- 
inate all the other nine hundred millions of men on the 
globe. Or just look at one single instance in our own 
day : here are England and France — fifty-eight millions 
of men — who, united, only a few years ago, humbled the 
vast empire of China, with its three hundred millions of 
semi-civilized inhabitants. 

The principles of growth and mastery in a race, a 
nation, or people, are the same all over the globe. The 
same great agencies which are needed to make a people 
in one quarter of the globe and in one period of time 
are needed here, at this time, in this American nation- 
ality. We children of Africa in this land are no way 
different from any other people in these respects. Many 
of the differences of races are slight and incidental, and 
ofttimes become obliterated by circumstances, position, 
and religion. I can take you back to a period in the 
history of England when its rude inhabitants lived in 
caves and huts, when they fed on bark and roots, when 
their dress was the skins of animals. When you riext 

Social Principle. 295 

look at some eminent Englishman, the personification, 
perchance, of everything cultivated, graceful, and re- 
fined, you may remember that his distant ancestors 
were wild and bloody savages, and that it has taken ten 
centuries to change him from the rudeness of his bru- 
talized forefathers into an enlightened and civilized 
human being. 

The great general laws of growth and superiority are 
unchangeable. The Almighty neither relaxes nor alters 
them for the convenience of any people. Conformity, 
then, to this demand for combination of forces is a 
necessity which we, as a people, cannot resist without 
loss and ruin. We cannot pay heed to it too soon ; for 
if there has been anything for which the colored people 
of this country have been and now are noted, it is for 
disseverance, the segregation of their forces, the lack 
of the co-operative spirit. Neither in farming opera- 
tions, nor trades, nor business, nor in mechanical em- 
ployment, nor marketing, nor in attempts at grocery- 
keeping, do we find attempts at combination of their 
forces. No one hears anywhere of a company of fifty 
men to start a farm, to manufacture bricks, to 
begin a great trading business, to run a mill, or to ply 
a set of vessels in the coasting trade. No one sees a 
spontaneous movement of thirty or forty families to 
take possession of a tract of land for a specific mone- 
tary venture. Nowhere do we see a united movement 

296 Social Principle. 

in any State for general moral and educational improve- 
ment, whereby the masses may be delivered from infe- 
riority and degradation.* The people, as a body, seem 
delivered over to the same humble, servile occupations 
of life in which their fathers trod, because, from a lack 
of co-operation they are unable to step into the higher 
callings of business ; and hence penury, poverty, inferi- 
ority, dependence, and even servility is their one gen- 
eral characteristic throughout the country, along with a 
dreadful state of mortality. 

And the cause of this inferiority of purpose and of 
action is two-fold, and both the fault, to some extent, of 
unwise and unphilosophic leaders. For, since, espe- 
cially emancipation, two special heresies have influenced 
and governed the minds of colored men in this nation : 
(1.) The one is the dogma which I have heard fre- 
quently from the lips of leaders, personal and dear, but 
mistaken, friends, that the colored people of this country 
shou Id forget, as soon as possible, that they are colored 
people : — a fact, in the first place, which is an impossibil- 
ity. Forget it, forsooth, when you enter a saloon and 
are repulsed on account of your color! Forget it when 

*I am advised by an intelligent friend, that the above allegations need 
modification ; that some few such organizations have been made in two 
or three of the Southern States and in the City of Baltimore. The 
" Colored Educational Convention " of Virginia deserves distin- 
guished consideration and great commendation. 

Social Principle. 297 

you enter a car, South or West, and are denied a decent 
seat ! Forget it when you enter the Church of God, 
and are driven to a hole in the gallery ! Forget it when 
every child of yours would be driven ignominiously 
from four-fifths of the common schools of the country! 
Forget it, when thousands of mechanics in the large 
cities would make a " strike" rather than work at the 
same bench, in the same yard, with a black carpenter or 
brick-maker! Forget it, when the boyhood of our 
race is almost universally deprived of the opportunity 
of learning trades, through prejudice! Forget it, when, 
in one single State, twenty thousand men dare not go 
to the polls on election-c'ay, through the tyranny of 
caste ! Forget it, when one great commonwealth offers 
a new constitution for adoption, by which a man like 
Dumas the younger, if he were a North Carolinian, 
could be indicted for marrying the foulest white woman 
in that State, and merely because she was white! For- 
get that you are colored, in these United States ! Turn 
madman, and go into a lunatic asylum, and then, per- 
chance, you^ may forget it ! But, if you have any sense 
or sensibility, how is it possible for you, or me, or any 
other colored man, to live oblivious of a fact of so much 
significance in a land like this! The only place I know 
of in this land where you can "forget you are colored" 
is the grave ! 

But not only is this dogma folly, it is disintegrating 

298 Social Principle. 

and socially destructive. For shut out, for instance, as 
I am and you are from the cultivated social life of the 
superior classes of this country, if I forget that I am a 
black man, if you ignore the fact of race, and we both, 
ostrich-like, stick our Leads in the sand, or stalk along, 
high-headed, oblivious of the actual distinctions which 
do exist in American society, what are you or I to do 
for our social nature ? What will become of the mea- 
sure of social life among ourselves which we now pos- 
sess ? Where are we to find our friends ? Where find 
the circles for society and cheerful intercourse? 

Why, my friends, the only way you, and I, and thou- 
sands of our people get domestic relations, marry wives 
and husbands, secure social relations, form good neigh- 
borhood and companionship, is by the very remem- 
brance which we are told to scout and forswear. 

2. The other dogma is the demand that colored men 
should give up all distinctive effort, as colored men, in 
schools, churches, associations, and friendly societies. 
But this, you will observe, is equivalent to a demand to 
the race to give up all civilization in this land and to 
submit to barbarism. The cry is : " Give up your spe- 
cial organization." "Mix in with your white fellow- 

Now I waive, for the present, all discussion of 
abstract questions of rights and prerogatives. I direct 
my attention to the simple point of practicality ; and 

Social Principle, 299 

I beg to say, that this is a thing which cannot be forced. 
Grieved, wearied and worried as humanity has been 
with the absurd, factitious arrangements of society in 
every quarter of the globe, yet men everywhere have 
had to wait. You can batter down oppression and 
tyranny with forceful implements ; not so social disa- 
bilities and the exclusiveness of caste. The Saxon 
could not force it upon the Norman. Upon this point, 
if everything is not voluntary, generous, gracious, and 
spontaneous, the repulsive will is as icy, and as obsti- 
nate too, as Mt. Blanc. I wonder that the men who 
talk in the style I have referred to, forget that nine- 
tenths of the American people have become so poisoned 
and stimulated by the noxious influence of caste, that, 
in the present day, they would resist to the utmost 
before they would allow the affiliations, however remote, 
that implied the social or domestic principle. 

Nay, more than this: not only would they reject your 
advances, but, after they had repelled you, they would 
leave you to reap the fruits of your own folly in break- 
ing up your own distinctive and productive organisms, 
under the flighty stimulants of imaginative conceit. 

And the disaster, undoubtedly, would be deserved; 
not, indeed, morally, for the inflictions of caste are 
unjust and cruel ; but because of your unwisdom ; for it 
is the office of common sense to see, as well the exact 
situation, to comprehend the real condition of things as 

300 Social Principle, 

they exist in this nation ; as well as to take cognizance 
of the pernicious and atrocious virulence of caste ! 

Few things, in policy are more calamitous in result 
than mere conceit. An unbalanced and blind imagina- 
tion is one of the most destructive, most disastrous of 
all guides. Such I believe to be the nature of the 
suggestions which I reprobate. But remember, I do 
not condemn the men who hold them. Oppression and 
caste are responsible for many worse things than unwis- 
dom, or blind speculation. How intolerable are the 
distinctions which hedge up our ardent, ambitious 
minds, on every side, I thoroughly apprehend ! How 
the excited mind turns passionately to every fancied 
and plausible mode of escape, I can easily understand ! 
But remember that the pilotage of a whole people, of 
an entire race, through the quicksands and the breakers 
of civil and social degradation, up to the plane of manly 
freedom and equality, while it is, by its very hazards, 
calculated to heighten the pulse, and to quicken the 
activity of the brain, is, nevertheless, just that 'sort of 
work which calls for the coolest head, and the hardest, 
most downright reasonableness. When you are plead- 
ing for natural rights, when men are endeavoring to 
throw off the yoke of oppression, you may indeed 

— imitate the action of the tiger, 
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood. 

But a war against a gross public sentiment, a contest 

Social Principle. 301 

with prejudices and repulsions, is a thing of a different 
kind, and calls for a warfare of an opposite character. 
You cannot destroy caste with a ten pounder 1 - You 
cannot sweep away a prejudice with a park of artillery ! 

I know, to use the words of another, ''how difficult it 
is to silence imagination enough to make the voice of 
Reason even distinctly heard in this case; as we are 
accustomed from our youth up to indulge that forward 
and delusive faculty ever obtruding beyond its sphere ; 
of some assistance indeed to apprehension, but the 
author of all error; as we plainly lose ourselves in gross 
and crude conception of things, taking for granted that 
we are acquainted with what indeed we are wholly 
ignorant of";* so it seems to me the gravest of all 
duties to get rid of all delusions upon this subject; and 
to learn to look at it in the light of hard, serious, long- 
continued, painful, plodding work. It is work, you will 
observe, not abnormal disturbances, not excitement ; 
but a mighty effort of moral and mental reconstruction, 
reaching over to a majestic end. And then when that 
is reached and secured, then all the hindrances of caste 
will be forever broken down ! 

Nothing is more idle than to talk of the invincibility 
of prejudice. The Gospel is sure to work out all the 
issues and results of brotherhood, everywhere under 
the sun, and in this land; but, until that day arrives, 

* Bishop Butler* 

302 Social Principle. 

we are a nation, set apart, in this country. As such, 
we have got to strive — not to get rid of ourselves ; not 
to agonize over our distinctive peculiarities ; but to 
accept the situation as Providence allows it, and to 
quit "ourselves as men," in, if you say so, painful and 
embarrassing circumstances; determined to shift the 
groove of circumstance, and to reverse it. 

The special duty before us is to strive for footing and 
for superiority in this land, on the line of race y as a tem- 
porary but needed expedient, for the ultimate extinction 
of caste, and all race distinctions. For if we do not look 
after our own interests, as a people, and strive for 
advantage, no other people will. It is folly for mere 
idealists to content themselves with the notion that 
"we are American citizens" ; that, "as American citi- 
zens, ours is the common heritage and destiny of the 
nation"; that "special solicitude for the colored people 
is a superfluity"; that "there is but one tide in this 
land; and we shall flow with all others on it." 

On the contrary, I assert, we are just now a "peculiar 
people" in this land; looked at, repulsed, kept apart, 
legislated for, criticised in journals, magazines, and 
scientific societies, at an insulting and intolerable dis- 
tance, as a peculiar people; with the doubt against us 
whether or not we can hold on to vital power on this 
soil ; or whether we have capacity to rise to manhood 
and superiority. 

Social Principle. 3O3 

And hence I maintain that there is the greatest need 
for us all to hold on to the remembrance that we are 
"colored men," and not to forget it! 

While one remnant of disadvantage abides in this 
land, stand by one another! While proscription in any 
quarter exists, maintain intact all your phalanxes ! 
While antagonism confronts your foremost men, hold 
on to all the instincts of race for the support of your 
leaders, and the elevation of your people ! While the 
imputation of inferiority, justly or unjustly, is cast upon 
you, combine for all the elements of culture, wealth, 
and power ! While any sensitiveness or repulsion dis- 
covers itself at your approach or presence, hold on to 
your own self-respect, keep up, and be satisfied with, 
your own distinctive circles ! 

And then the "poor, forsaken ones/' in the lanes and 
alleys and cellars of the great cities ; in remote villages 
and hamlets; on old plantations which their fathers' 
blood has moistened from generation to generation ; 
ignorant, unkempt, dirty, animal-like, repulsive, and 
half heathen — ^brutal and degraded; in some States, 
tens and hundreds of thousands, not slaves, indeed, 
according to the letter of the law, but the tools and 
serfs of would-be oppressors : stand by them until the 
school-master and preacher reach them as well as us ; 
and the noble Christian civilization of the land trans- 
forms their features and their forms, and changes their 

304 Social Principle. 

rude huts into homes of beauty; and lifts them up into 
such grand superiority, that no one in the land will 
associate the word "Negro" with inferiority and degra- 
dation ; but the whole land, yea, the whole world shall 
look upon them by-and-by, multitudinous in their brood- 
ing, clustered masses, "redeemed, regenerated, disen- 
thralled," and exclaim, "Black, but comely!" But, 
while they are low, degraded, miserable, almost beastly, 
don't forget that you are colored men, as well as they; 
"your brothers' keepers." 

Do not blink at the charge of inferiority. It is not a 
race peculiarity; and whatever its measure or extent in 
this country, it has been forced upon you. Do not 
deny it, but neutralize and destroy it, not by shrieks, or 
agonies, or foolish pretence ; but by culture, by probity, 
and industry. 

I know the natural resource of some minds, under 
these painful circumstances, to cry out, "Agitate! agi- 
tate!" YiMt ad bono t What advantage will agitation 
bring? Everything has a value, according to its rela- 
tion to its own natural and specific end. But what is 
the bearing of agitation to a purpose which is almost 
entirely subjective in its nature. For, as I take it, the 
object we must needs have in view, in the face of 
the disabilities which confront our race in this land, is 
the attainment of such general superiority that preju- 
dice must decline. But agitation has no such force, 

Social Principle. 3°5 

possesses no such value. Agitation is the expenditure 
of force : our end and aim is the husbandry of all our 
vital resources. 

Character, my friends, is the grand, effective instru- 
ment which we are to use for the destruction of caste : 
Character, in its broad, wide, deep, and high signifi- 
cance; character, as evidenced in high moral and 
intellectual attainments ; as significant of general prob- 
ity, honor, honesty, and self-restraint; as inclusive of 
inward might and power ; as comprehending the attain- 
ments of culture, refinement, and enlightenment ; as 
comprising the substantial results of thrift, economy, 
and enterprise ; and as involving the forces of combined 
energies and enlightened cooperation. Make this, not 
the exceptional, but the common, general reality, amid 
the diverse, wide-spread populations of the colored peo- 
ple in this country; and then all the theories of inferi- 
ority, all the assumptions of your native and invincible 
degradation will pass, with wonderful rapidity, into end- 
less forgetf ulness ; and the people of the very next, nay, 
multitudes, in the decline of this generation, when they 
look upon us, will wonder at the degrading facts of a 
past and wretched history. Only secure high, 'com- 
manding, and masterly Character; and then all the 
problems of caste, all the enigmas of prejudice, all 
unreasonable and all unreasoning repulsion, will be 
settled forever, though you were ten times blacker than 

306 Social Principle. 

midnight! Then all false ideas concerning your nature 
and your qualities, all absurd notions relative to your 
capacity, shall vanish ! Then every contemptuous fling 
shall be hushed, every insulting epithet be forgotten ! 
Then, also, all the remembrances of a servile heritage, 
of ancestral degradation, shall be obliterated! Then 
all repulsive feelings, all evil dislikes shall fly away! 
Then, too, all timid disconcert shall depart from us, 
and all cramped and hesitant manhood shall die! 

Dear brethren and friends, let there be but the clear 
demonstration of manly power and grand capacity in 
our race, in general, in this country; let there only be 
the wide out-flashings of art and genius, from their 
brains; and caste will slink, at once, oblivious to the 
shades. But no mere self-assertion, no strong, vocifer- 
ous claims and clamor, can ever secure recognition and 
equality, so long as inferiority and degradation, if even 
cruelly entailed, abide as a heritage and a cancer. And 
I maintain we must organize, to the end that we may 
attain such character. The whole of our future on this 
soil depends upon that single fact of magnitude — char- 
acter. Race, color, and all the accidents thereof have 
but little to do with the matter; and men talk idly 
when they say "we must forget that we are colored 
men." What is needed is not that we should forget 
this fact, but that we should rise to such elevation that 
the people of the land be forced to forget all the facts 

Social Principle. 3°? 

and theories of race, when they behold our thorough 
equality with them, in all the lines of activity and 
attainment, of culture and moral grandeur. The great 
necessity in this land is that its white population should 
forget, be made to forget, that we are colored men ! 
Hence there is a work ahead for us, for the overthrow 
of caste, which will consume the best part of a century. 
He, whoever he may be, commits the greatest blunder, 
who advises you to disband your forces, until that work 
is brought to its end. It was only after the battle of 
Waterloo that England and her allies broke up their 
armies, and scattered their huge battalions. Not until 
we, as a people, have fully vindicated our race; not 
until we have achieved to the full their rights and pre- 
rogatives ; not until, by character, we challenge uni- 
versal respect and consideration in the land, can we 
sing the song : 

—Come to the sunset tree, 

The day is past and gone, 
The woodman's axe lies free, 

And the reaper's work is done. 

Until that time, far distant from to-day, should the cry 
be everywhere among us : " Combine and marshal, for 
all the highest achievements in industry, social progress, 
literature, and religion!" 

I hasten to conclude with two brief remarks: 
First, then, let me remind and warn you, my friends, 
that we, as colored men, have no superfluity of powers 

308 Social Principle. 

or faculties in the work which is before us, as a race, 
in this country. First of all, we all start with maimed 
and stunted powers. And next, the work before us is 
so distinct, definite, and, withal, so immense, that it 
tolerates no erratic wanderings to out-of-the-way and 
foreign fields. 

And yet there are men who tell us that much of our 
work of the day is objective, that it lies among another 
people. But I beg to say that we have more than we 
are equal to in the needs of the six millions of our 
ignorant and benighted people, yet crippled and para- 
lyzed by the lingering maladies of slavery. If we 
address ourselves strenuously and unitedly to their ele- 
vation and improvement we shall have our hands full for 
more than one generation, without flowing over with 
zeal and offices to a masterful people, laden with the 
enlightenment of centuries. 

For one, I say very candidly that I do not feel it my 
special calling to wage war with and to extirpate caste. 
I am no way responsible for its existence. I abominate 
it as an enormity. Theirs is the responsibility who 
uphold it, and theirs is the obligation to destroy it. My 
work is special to my own people, and it is constructive. 
I beg leave to differ from that class of colored men 
who think that ours is a special mission, to leave our 
camp and to go over, as it were, among the Philistines, 
and to destroy their idols. 

Social Principle, 306 

For my part, I am satisfied that my field of labor is 
with my own race in these times. I feel I have no 
exuberance of powers or ability to spend in any other 
field, or to bestow upon any other people. I say, as 
said the Shunamite woman, "I dwell among my own 
people " (2 Kings : iv, 13) ; not, indeed, as mindless of 
the brotherhood of the entire species, not as forgetful 
of the sentiment of fellowship with disciples of every 
name and blood; but as urged by the feeling of kinship, 
to bind myself as "with hooks of steel" to the most 
degraded class in the land, my own " kinsmen according 
to the flesh." I have the most thorough and radical 
conviction that the very first duty of colored men, in 
this our day and generation, is in the large field of 
effort which requires the regeneration and enlighten- 
ment of the colored race in these United States. 

And second, from this comes the legitimate inference 
suggested by the text, i. e. y of union and co-operation 
through all our ranks for effective action and for the 
noblest ends. Everywhere throughout the Union wide 
and thorough organization of the people should be 
made, not for idle political logomachy, but for industrial 
effort, for securing trades for youth, for joint-stock com- 
panies, for manufacturing, for the production of the 
great staples of the land, and likewise for the higher 
purposes of life, i. e., for mental and moral improve- 
ment, and raising the plane of social and domestic life 
among us. 

310 Social Principle. 

In every possible way these needs and duties should 
be pressed upon their attention, by sermons, by lectures, 
by organized societies, by state and national conven- 
tions; the latter not for political objects, but for social, 
industrial ends and attainments. I see nought in the 
future but that we shall be scattered like chaff before 
the wind before the organized labor of the land, the 
great power of capital, and the tremendous tide of emi- 
gration, unless, as a people, we fall back upon the might 
and mastery which come from the combination of 
forces and the principle of industrial co-operation. Most 
of your political agitation is but wind and vanity. What 
this race needs in this country is power — the forces that 
may be felt. And that comes from character, and char- 
acter is the product of religion, intelligence, virtue, 
family order, superiority, wealth, and the show of indus- 
trial forces. These are forces which we do not 
possess. We are the only class which, as a class, in 


The very first effort of the colored people should be to 
lay hold of them ; and then they will take such root in 
this American soil that only the convulsive upheaving 
of the judgment-day can throw them out! And there- 
fore I close, as I began, with the admonitory tones of 
the text. God grant they may be heeded at least by 
you who form this congregation, in your sacred work 
here, and in all your other relations: "They helped 

Social Principle. ^\\ 

every one his neighbor, and every one said to his 
brother, Be of good courage. So the carpenter encour- 
aged the goldsmith, and he that smootheth with the 
hammer him that smote the anvil, saying, It is ready 
for the soldering; and he fastened it with nails, that it 




st. tohn, xi : 49, 50. 

And one of them named Caiaphas, being the High Priest that same year, 
said unto thetn, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient 
that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish 

All through the week,* my brethren, we, in common 
with the people of this land, have been passing through 
an ordeal of suspense, of agony, of almost despair, 
rarely parallelled in the history of this or any other 
country. Pain and suffering are the common lot of all 
men; but it is seldom that a whole nation is called to 
the intense, long-lingering anxiety which has been the 
lot of the many millions who make up this great nation. 
Day by day, nay, hour by hour, this entire republic has 
been on the rack, fearful of a report which would have 
brought anguish and bereavement to unnumbered hearts 
and households. For the entire people of this land 
have felt that the dreadful deed which brought our 
Chief Magistrate well nigh the shades of death was per- 

*Preached Sunday, July 10, 1881. 


The Assassination of President Garfield. 3 * 3 

sonal to themselves. When President Garfield was 
shot by a wild and reckless assassin, every citizen was 
shot at. His wounds were our wounds. His agonies 
were our agonies. It was not only that he, as President 
and Chief, stood officially before the people and the 
world the representative of the nation, and hence that 
to attack him was like an assault upon the flag of the 
country — an assault upon its every citizen; but, added 
to this, is the further fact, seen in various ways before 
this sad occurrence, that the genuine and intense per- 
sonality of this man had " bowed the heart " of its whole 
population, "as the heart of one man." Hence it is 
that a whole people have stood breathless, anxious, and 
appalled at his bedside ; and strong men, when they 
heard of this calamity, fainted, and the tender hearts of 
women and children gave way to uncontrollable emo- 
tions, and the aged, in known instances, shocked at the 
awfulness of this assault, lay down and died ! 

Such interest, such sympathy, such fellowship in suf- 
fering with a suffering man has never before been wit- 
nessed. We know somewhat how great has been his 
anguish. But is it too great an exaggeration to say 
that thousands of people in this land, have suffered well 
nigh as much in his suffering as he himself has suffered ? 
Is there any man here who can estimate the intense 
mental anguish, the harassing care of multitudes, as 
they have stood, day by day, trembling, almost despair- 

314 The Assassination of President Garfield. 

ing, for the life of this eminent man ? Many years ago 
I read a poem, "The Death-Bed/' by Thomas Hood. 
It is a most graphic representation of the aching anx- 
iousness of the soul at the dreaded death of a sufferer; 
but never have I so felt them in my heart as, day by 
day, with an anxiousness beyond expression, I have 
sought the bulletins from the "White House." 

We watched her breathing through the night, 

Her breathing soft and low, 
As in her breast the wave of life 

Kept heaving to and fro. 

So silently we seemed to speak, 
* So slowly moved about, 

As we had lent her half our powers 
To eke her living out. 

Our very hopes belied our fears, 

Our fears our hopes belied — 
We thought her dying when she slept, 

And sleeping when she died. 

It is a terrible event, my brethren ! The fruit of the 
distempered brain and the wild will of a reckless and 
bloody-minded man ! But the Divine will runs right 
beside it, with beneficent intent, and corrective and 
saving ends. Just so it is in all the dark and dreadful 
occurrences of life. The Almighty maintains His 
omnipresent power amid dread disaster, as well as in 
benignant event. 

Neither man nor devil can shut God out of the cur- 

The Assassination of President Garfield. 315 

rents of history. And we see that He moves, that He 
will move, in all the shady, murky occurrences of life, 

— from seeming evil 
Still educing good. 

It is this counteracting and governing will of Deity, 
seen everywhere, in the dark as well as in the bright 
histories of men, which we call Providence. We see it 
in this occurrence. There is a providence in this 
dreadful tragedy. President Garfield is not allowed, 
you may be sure, to suffer in vain. There are great 
moral uses discoverable in his sore trial. Albeit not 
intended by the Evil One, our great sufferer is mani- 
festly a sacrifice for national good. And the flippant 
words of Caiaphas, which were, after all, an unconscious 
prophecy, set forth the great principle of expiation 
which runs through all the relations of life ; but which 
reaches its highest point in the sufferings of the Cruci- 
fied. Although it be one of its lower senses, we may 
see it exemplified in our suffering Chief Magistrate. 

1. See, first of all, the sudden check this event 
has given to the gross secularization of the American 
mind. The race for wealth in this country, the eager, 
outstretched ambitions for mere earthly good, outstrip 
the rivalries of all other nations. They are so absorb- 
ing and so immense that they allow only the most 
slender intrusion of things sacred and divine. They 
make men earthly in all the purposes of life, and create 

316 The Assassination of President Garfield. 

that intense thirst for mere temporal gratification which 
is the special temptation of the young, and proves so 
widely the ruin of the old. The mind of the men of 
this land, beyond the general mind of other civilized 
nations, alien, for the most part, from art, unaddicted, 
save in the schools, to science and philosophy, runs 
with an eager, almost insane, craving after mere earthly 

And yet, in an instant, as it were, this whole nation's 
secularity was brought to a stop. By one single flash 
of the telegraph, millions of men sickened of trade, and 
barter, and money-making. At a single whisper of 
national calamity, handicraft and farming, labor and 
service, are given up. The busy wheel of the factory 
ceases its whirl, and the song of the anvil is hushed. 
Wall street turns with disgust from its trade in stock, 
and mechanism puts aside the hammer and the plane. 

In this one aspect undoubtedly that is a good which 
serves to arrest the blind rush after mere material ends. 
No one can measure the benediction, almost sacred in its 
nature, which lifts up a people, above earth and sense, 
into the domain of sentiment and feeling. It is a glo- 
rious incident in the life of any nation, when of itself 
pushes out of sight the gross and carnal, and advances 
spontaneously and in one mighty phalanx into the 
sphere of sensibility. 

And next observe that with this sudden collapse 

The Assassination of President Garfield. 3 1 7 

of the temporal, uprises, as by a divine impulse, the 
grand outburst of a whole nation's intense and tearful 
sensibility. Not only women with their tender sympa- 
thies, and children with their warm and ardent feelings, 
but millions of men, with throbbing hearts, rushed, as 
it were, to this man's bedside, offering sympathy, 
devotedness, and gifts ; nay, almost ready to tender 
their life-blood, to save the life of their loved and hon- 
ored chief. See how this nation, for well nigh a week, 
has been given up to tears and indignation ; alternate 
hope and fear ; to prayer and supplications ; and now, 
at the last, note the generous outpouring of riches, that 
the wife and children of this Chief Magistrate may not, 
in any event whatever, be left unprovided for and 
destitute ! 

My brethren, there is nothing fortuitous in these 
stirring occurrences. God's hand is manifestly visible, 
bright -and beneficent, amid its darkest shades. Satan, 
indeed, and his dark-scarred instrument, "thought evil" 
in this bloody deed; but "God meant it unto good"; 
even the sudden wresting of a nation from gross, mate- 
rial purposes, and the uplifting them to the highest, 
noblest aims of life. And this I call a blessing. It is, 
indeed, almost a salvation, this sudden rising tidal wave 
of affection and sympathy in this nation's heart. 
Whether its gross materialism could have been dis- 
turbed in any ordinary way, is doubtful. Whether its 

3 1 S The Assassination of President Garfield. 

dull lethargy could ha^e been galvanized even into tem- 
porary life, by common occurrence, is a question. It 
seems as though some terrible thrill was needed; as 
though nothing but the threatened life of a grand 
victim could sweep away the film from the eyes of this 
nation, and enable it, of a sudden, to see. 

I feel, as much as any man, the horror of this mur- 
derous act. But when I observe this grand demonstra- 
tion of a nation's moral nature ; when I see the spiritual 
bursting forth from the caverns of a people's cold, cal- 
culating secularity ; I behold a providence that cannot 
be mistaken, and learn, besides, that it is sometimes 
expedient "that one man should die, that a whole nation 
perish not"! 

2. But neither the keenness of our feelings nor the 
depth of our sensibilities should cause us to pass by 
great lessons which spring immediately from this sad 
event. People talk of it as a casualty. Some look at 
it as a mystery. But remember "that affliction cometh 
not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of 
the ground." There is nothing of chance or hap-hazard 
in this calamity. It requires no extraordinary insight 
to discover in it the principle of sequence. For, unless 
I make the greatest of mistakes, cause and effect are 
as plainly evident in this tragic occurrence as in any of 
the other incidents which go to make the history of the 

The Assassination of President Garfield. 319 

Let me set before you some of the lessons which it 
seems to me that this nation is called upon, just now, 
to learn. 

And (1) this attempted assassination brings vividly 
before us the intoxicating and demoralizing effects of 
our political system. It is a system calculated most 
directly to carry men beyond themselves, to taint the 
brains of thousands with incipient insanity, and to 
hurry them on to wild and irresponsible actions. We 
talk, in common parlance, of the wildness of money 
speculations and of the madness of unlawful lottery 
schemes. But these ventures are actual soberness com- 
pared with the intense and extravagant incitements 
which come out of our political agitations. We have, 
in our country, settled organisms and established modes 
in politics, which, in their operations, seem designed as 
certainly they do to produce widespread and convulsive 
upheavals. Why, the very caucusses of parties, and 
they are multitudinous, are flames. Our vast political 
assemblages, what are they but burning blasts ? Our 
national conventions, but tempests? Our tumultuous 
and swarming canvasses, but paroxysms? Our grand 
elections, what but tremendous tornadoes ? And then, 
when success has attended these almost frenzied parti- 
san efforts, what can we call the uprising and the pas- 
sionate pressure of the mighty army of anxious, greedy, 
determined office-seekers — what but blasting hurri- 
canes ? 

3 2D The Assassination of President Garfield, 

There can be no doubt, as it strikes me, that this 
homicidal attack has sprung directly from this exciting 
system. This assassin's career goes to show that he 
possessed that temperament and that sort of brains, 
fitted, most precisely, to the counter-cries and the intem- 
perate incitements of our recent political and partisan 
upheavals. His very letters, words, and utterances 
show that his mind for a long time had become stimu- 
lated to frenzy by agitations and strifes, of which you 
all know, but which may not be dweit upon nor too 
plainly spoken of in this sacred place. The anxious- 
ness for office was indeed an element in his conduct; 
and that is another feature of this deadly political 
inebriation. But the main characteristic of the assas- 
sin's motive and act, was partisan spleen and political 
dudgeon, chafed and inflamed to murderous purpose. 

The clear-minded citizen of every name has seen 
somewhat, in the last ten days, the bane of this whole 
system. By blood, perchance — which God forbid — by 
death, a sudden revelation has been made of the organic 
but destructive system of fire, storm, and tempest 
which characterizes our national politics. This discov- 
ery, sad and humiliating as it may be, is somewhat 
compensatory for the prodigious evil which fathers it. 
And if this great lesson is thoroughly learned at this 
time, then, in the divine providence, it will be clearly 
seen how, at times, it is " expedient that one man should 

The Assassination of President Garfield. 321 

die, and that the whole nation perish not." For perish 
it will if reason, restraint, unselfishness, and sober 
duty are not made stronger and more conspicuous ele- 
ments in our political strife. 

3. Turn to another lesson suggested by this dark 
occurrence. We may see, just now, the ignoble fact 
that our people hold government and governmental rule 
as too cheap a thing in estimation. I have the impres- 
sion that, outside of the thinking, cultured classes, the 
average American thinks that the governmental system 
of the land is simply his tool, the republic as only a 
thing for personal convenience. Allied to this notion 
is the other feeling, that neither nation, nor any officer 
thereof, must trench too much upon personal desire or 
individual purpose. 

What is the common sentiment abroad in the land 
with regard to the Republic, as a nation ? Do not men 
declare that it is a man-made thing? Do they not 
vociferate that civil government is merely human ? 
That it is "of and by the people," with the- narrow lim- 
itations of the assertion which they make? Nay, are 
there not large masses of people in the land who would 
resent as an insult and an outrage, the denial that 
any government, that is organic in its nature, was made 
"by the people -' ? And is it not owing to this that we 
look in vain on this soil for that filial, that reverential 
sentiment toward government which characterized even 
the higher pagan nations of antiquity ? 

322 The Assassination of President Garfield. 

It is this cheap idea of government, an idea as false 
as it is puerile, which has served to demoralize the 
American mind, and which has produced such wide 
unrestraint, not only in the civil, but in all the other 
relations of life. For if there is one special peculiarity 
of our national character, it is dislike of rule and 
authority. It comes out in civil affairs, in .churches, in 
colleges, in common schools, and in families. 

The notion of government most widely prevalent 
among us is that it is mostly a subjective thing. Peo- 
ple feel that they must be left to govern themselves. 
External authority is a grievance and an irritation. 
And hence it arises that not only men and women, but 
children, in our day, and at a very early age, chafe 
under rule, reject authority, and spurn control. 

One of the most alarming things in the life of the 
nation is the perversion that we discover in all the lines 
of life — the perversion of liberty into license. % And 
when a people reach such a state that they lose sight 
of the magnitude of the very idea of government, and 
begin to eschew the principle of rule and authority, 
then they are rapidly verging toward anarchy, toward 
speedy and certain ruin. 

One grand corrective to this error lies in the region 
of thought and principle. "People who have been 
entrapped by false opinions must be liberated by con- 
vincing truths." Hence, in these days, when the idea 

The Assassination of President Garfield, 323 

of obedience to constituted authority seems fading 
away, it is the duty of ministers of the Gospel to press 
upon the attention of the people the truth, that govern- 
ment is, per se, in itself, in idea, a grand and majestic 
thing. The fact must be set forth with prominence, 
that the nation is a creation and manifestation of God. 
For, my brethren, all civil power is from God Himself. 
When St. Paul, in one place, declares, "there is no 
power but of God," he asserts the magnitude of the 
very principle of government, and that in all relations. 
And when, in another, he commands, " Honor the king,' 
he inculcates the duty of subjection to and reverence 
for constituted magisterial authority. 

One of the deep undercurrents of American thought, 
in responsible circles, has been with regard to the drift 
of society to lawless freedom. Everywhere it has given 
thinking men the greatest concern and anxiety. It 
comes up, in this month of July, on the very eve of 
Independence Day, with a force and significance never 
felt before since 1776. It cannot be put down now 
until some true, solid basis is found, not only in opin- 
ion, but in practice and in law, for the security of that 
reverence and subjection to authority which is so much 
needed in civil, domestic, and, indeed, in all the other 
relations of life. And, in this respect, grieved and 
heart-sore as we all are at our President's sufferings, we 
may be brought to see "how expedient it is that one 

324 The Assassination of President Garfield. 

man should die for the people, and that the whole 
nation perish not. v ' 

3. Immediately connected with the point just con- 
sidered is the common irreverence among us for rulers 
and persons in authority. Even (so-called) great men 
think that they show their superiority when they stand 
before multitudes and proclaim the dogma, that " civil 
officers are only the people's servants." And, certainly, 
if the notion of government just attacked, be true, then 
this notion concerning civil officers is certainly its legit- 
imate inference. For, if government be the cheap 
thing men claim that it is, then its official representa- 
tives are cheap things too. 

But, my friends, the notion is thoroughly false. The 
statement that officers are servants is only a half-truth ; 
and half-truths are most generally whole lies. The 
President is indeed to serve the people. His office is, 
without doubt, an office of service; and this is no new 
discovery of this country, because it is a republic. 
Kings and emperors, in the oldest dynasties of the old 
world have, from time immemorial, acknowledged this 
obligation. One of the oldest royal houses of Europe 
has kept, as its perpetual family motto, the words, " Ich 
dien" I. serve. Even pagan rulers have been awfully 
impressed with the idea that "they acted in trust." 
But the notion that, because authority is a trust, and 
then, because it is a trust, that rulers are only the peo- 

The Assassination of President Garfield. 325 

pie's servants, shows blindness to the grander factor in 
the constitution of authority, viz., that "the powers 
that be are ordained of God," and that "they are the 
ministers of God attending continually upon this very 
thing," i. e., the exercise of civil authority. 

Yes, there are two factors in all civil government, 
and in the exercise of all civil authority ; and it is one 
of the gravest of all mistakes that it was not laid down 
thus, in the infancy of the nation, in the great charter 
of our freedom, the "Declaration of Independence." 
When Thomas Jefferson declared that "governments 
derive their just powers from the consent of the gov- 
erned," and left his dogma crudely, at that point, he 
shut out a limitation which the pride and self-assertion 
of degenerate humanity is always too reluctant to yield, 
and too tardy to supply. 

The theory of the Declaration is incomplete and mis- 
leading. Governments, my brethren, derive their just 
authority, first of all, from the will of God; and then 
next, from the consent of the governed. It is because 
of the exclusion of this prime factor in this axiom that 
the governments of the earth are all more or less sick 
and diseased. It is owing very considerably to national 
blindness to this truth that we have riad so many sore 
evils in this land, and "now, at last, a great, national dis- 
aster. The people of this country, in vast self-import- 
ance, have been accustomed to look down upon the 

326 The Assassination of President Garfield. 

chief magistracy of the land as a convenient instru- 
mentality for personal ends. The office has been too 
much regarded as the facile agent of grand politicians, 
for party objects and partisan ambitions. But in this 
matter they have not been the only sinners. It has 
been the wont of the people, as well, to regard both the 
office and its functions as "good for use." This, in too 
many cases, has been one-half the meaning of the term 
" availability," applied to presidential candidates. The 
grand authority of a ruler, the reverence due to the 
Chief Magistrate, have been too generally forgotten. 
People in other lands do not look thus upon their kings 
and emperors and great chieftains. "Ah!" is the rebuke 
I hear coming up from the pews ; " This is a Republic. 
Ours is a democratic country." "Well, what of that?" 
is my reply. Your President is as much a ruler, he is 
as truly a potentate as the Emperor of Russia or the 
Queen of Great Britain. He is your ruler and grand 
magistrate, and mine. And he sits in his chair of 
authority by the will of God, declared in governmental 
arrangements, as distinctly and positively as though he 
had been born to the office. 

Alas ! instead of thus regarding the dignities of the 
presidency as representing the divine sovereignty in 
human government; instead of honoring the President 
as incarnating the dread sovereignty of the nation ; the 
habit has prevailed of regarding him as the biggest 

The Assassination of President Garfield. 32? 

servant in the land. And intense canvasses have 
been carried on, the main stimulant to which has been 
the disposal, as through an elected instrument or 
machine, of thousands of offices. And then when an 
election has been carried, we have seen how cheap a 
thing people regarded their chief ruler, in the fact that 
the meanest men, greedy of office, could demand an 
audience at the "White House," and get it, too, with a 
facility which would be scouted by a manufacturer at 
Lowell, or a merchant in Boston. Nay, and worse than 
this — the cases have been numerous of men, when their 
applications have been rejected, who have turned, with 
" proud and haughty wrath," from the Chief Magistrate, 
taken his refusal as a personal insult, and assailed him 
with revenge and unforgiving malice. 

Almighty God, in all the histories, has spoken "in 
divers manners " to various peoples. He has spoken 
by angels, by oracles and prophets, by dreams and reve- 
lations, and so made known His will to nations and to 
men. And He still speaks to them. He speaks to 
them at times by providences. Just now he has spoken 
to this nition, through the pistol-shot of an assassin. 
The n s rable wretch, we know, is an execration to the 
Almigbuy, but He overrules his bloody deed to imme- 
diate good. In the flash of a murderer's pistol the 
whole nation sees suddenly and in glaring light the sin 
of its cheap estimate of the presidential office. And I 

323 The Assassination of P reside?/ 1 Garfield. 

venture to predict that, from this time, the office of 
Chief Magistrate will be withdrawn from the pressure of 
office-seekers; the White House will get the dignity, 
the reserve, the sanctity of national sovereignty; and 
the person of the chief ruler will henceforth be accessi- 
ble only to persons of character, reputation, and personal 

And thus again, ray friends, while our anguished 
hearts go out with tenderest sensibility and solicitude 
to our still endangered Presidenr, we learn "how expe- 
dient it is that one man should die for the people, and 
that the whole nation perish not!" 

What I have spoken this day is nothing new. I 
make no pretence whatever to originality in the views 
I have expressed. The main truths I have brought 
before you have been not infrequently suggested by 
eminent persons; and I have been, and for a long time, 
so thoroughly convinced of their truth that they rush 
with unusual force upon my mind, at this juncture, and 
demand utterance. That great political prophet, Alex- 
ander Hamilton, predicted not a few of the evils I have 
pointed out, although he did not live to see them. In 
more recent times they have been seen and pointed out 
by a small body of men, called " Civil Service Reform- 
ers." And no body of men in the land has been more 
laughed at and ridiculed than they. Their publications 

The Assassination of President Garfield. 329 

have been numerous, and, I may add, in many cases, as 
fruitless as numerous. But the lightning, the lightning 
of disaster, has done more for them than all their books 
and speeches and essays. It has shivered our civil 
service system, as now ordered, to pieces ; and scat- 
tered the multitudinous swarms of office-seekers from 
the portals of the presidential mansion. 

2. I have brought this subject before this congrega- 
tion in particular, because, although we colored men are 
not yet allowed either a large participation in politics, 
or governmental rule, or official patronage, I am, never- 
theless, anxious that my people should be ranked among 
conservative men in this laud, and stand among the 
firmest upholders of law and authority. The sudden 
rise to freedom, the newness of our participation in 
political prerogatives, above all the oscillation from 
extreme servitude to the right of suffrage — all naturally 
tend to' land us in the extreme of wild and thoughtless 
democratic opinion, and expose us to the danger of mis- 
taking license for liberty. Thank God, these dangers 
have been but little realized as yet. And may they 
never show themselves amid the black population of 
this country! As- in the past, so in the future may it 
ever be, that the blood of this race may furnish no 
nursing-plot for treasons, seditions, and assassinations ! 

A people numbering more than six millions, with a 
rapidly-increasing birth-rate, growing on every side in 

3 30 The Assassination of President Garfield. 

knowledge an 1 material power, must, from the very 
nature of things, become, ere long, a most formidable 
phalanx in t 1 c multitudinous population of the country. 
I pray Almighty God that this race may ever be found 
strong and determined for pood, stable government, 
their influence weighty in the state for authority and 
order, the constant foes of revolutions, communism, 
and revolt ; 

Zealous, yet modest, innocent, though free, 
Serene amidst alarms, inflexible in faith. 

3. My words, this morning, have had respect, almost 
entirely, to the vicarious position of our Chief Magis- 
trate. I have dwelt all along upon the fact that this 
chief ruler has been called to suffering, perhaps to 
death, so that the nation may not die ! I have pre- 
ferred this line of thought, albeit the tender, sympathiz- 
ing aspects of the case were far more inviting to every 
Christian heart. I know full well that 

— Tears to human suffering are due. - 

And our deepest sympathies have thrilled at this 
awful tragedy, our hearts been faint and sickened many 
an hour, many a moment since its occurrence ; and our 
prayer and cries constantly ascend to heaven for the 
recovery of the great sufferer. The other aspect of the 
case, however, seems to me no less tender and interest- 
ing. Certainly, if any man in this nation must needs 
be a victim, for mysterious, but definite national good, 

The Assassination of President Garfield. 331 

no nobler offering can be laid upon the altar of a 
nation's sacrifice than this man. If great good is to 
spring from this dreadful visitation, no more exalted 
victim could have been chosen than he. His personal 
virtues have been long conspicuous. His clear, uncon- 
cealed, yet unostentatious piety is everywhere known 
and acknowledged. The fine, unequalled qualities — a 
rare thing in our national history — which he has brought 
to the reat of national authority have excited both unu- 
sual surprise and unusual admiration. Statesmanlike 
in national politics, strong in intellectual capacity, pure 
in life and reputation, his character and abilities would 
give moral fitness to his sacrifice, if it should please 
God that he should succumb to the assassin's bullet! . , 


A Thanksgiving Discourse, 1877. 


For your shame ye shall have double, and for confusion they shall rejoice in 

their portion. 

The promise contained in the text is a variation from 
the ordinary rule of the divine government. In that 
government, as declared in the Holy Scriptures, shame 
signifies the hopeless confusion and the utter destruc- 
tion of the wicked. But in this passage, we see an 
extraordinary display of God's forbearance and mercy. 
Shame, here, is less intense than in other places. In 
this case it stands, indeed, for trial and punishment, but 
for punishment and trial which may correct and purify 

The allusion is supposed to refer to the Jews after 
their restoration, and the passage is regarded as teach- 
ing that, for ail their long-continued servitude and 
suffering, God, in the end, would make them abundant 
recompenes. Great shame and reproach He had given 
them, through long centuries; but now, whenxliscipline 


The Destined Superiority of tJie Negro. 333 

and trial had corrected and purified them, He promises 
them double honor and reward. 

As thus explained, the text opens before us some 
interesting features of God's dealing with nations; by 
the light of which we may, perchance, somewhat deter- 
mine the destiny of the race with which we are con- 
nected. My purpose is to attempt, this morning, an 
investigation of God's disciplinary and retributive econ- 
omy in races and nations ; with the hope of arriving 
at some clear conclusions concerning the destiny of the 
Negro race. 

1. Some peoples God does not merely correct ; He 
destroys them. He visits them with deep and abiding 
shame. He brings upon them utter confusion. This 
is a painful but a certain fact of Providence. The his- 
tory of the world is, in one view, a history of national 
destructions. The wrecks of nations lie everywhere 
upon the shores of time. Real aboriginal life is rarely 
found. People after people, in rapid succession, have 
Come into constructive being, and as rapidly gone 
down; lost forever from sight beneath the waves of a 
relentless destiny. We read in our histories of the 
great empires of the old world; but when the traveller 
goes abroad, and looks for Nineveh and Baby] on, for 
Pompeii and Herculaneum, he finds nought but the out- 
stretched graveyards which occupy the sites of departed 
nations. On the American continent, tribe after tribe 

334 *h e Destined Superiority of the Negro, 

have passed from existence; yea, there are Bibles in 
Indian tongues which no living man is now able to read. 
Tbeir peoples have all perished! 

When I am called upon to account for all this loss of 
national and tribal life, I say that God destroyed them. 
And the declaration is made on the strength of a prin- 
ciple attested by numerous facts in sacred and profane 
history; that when the sins of a people reach a state of 
hateful maturity, then God sends upon them sudden 

Depravity prepares some races of men for destruc- 
tion. Every element of good has gone out of them. 
Even the most primitive virtues seem to have departed. 
A putrescent virus has entered into and vitiated their 
whole nature. They stand up columnar ruins! Such 
a people is doomed. It cannot live. Like the tree 
"whose root is rottenness," it stands awaiting the 
inevitable fall. That fall is its property. No fierce 
thunder-bolt is needed, no complicated apparatus of 
ethereal artillery. Let the angry breath of an Arch- 
angel but feebly strike it, and, tottering, it sinks into 
death and oblivion! 

Such was the condition of the American Indian at 
the time of the discovery of America by Columbus. 
The historical fact abides, that when the white man 
first reached the shores of this continent he met the 
tradition of a decaying population. 

The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 335 

The New Zealand population of our own day presents 
a parallel case. By a universal disregard of the social 
and sanitary conditions which pertain to health and 
longevity, their physical constitution has fallen into 
absolute decay; and ere long it also must become 

Indeed,, the gross paganism of these two peoples was 
both moral and physical stagnation ; was domestic and 
family ruin; and has resulted in national suicide! It 
came to them as the effect, the direct consequence of 
great penal laws established by the Almighty, in which 
are wrapped the punishment of sin. Hence, if you 
reject the idea of direct interference in the affairs of 
peoples, and take up the idea of law and penalty, or 
that of cause and effect, it amounts to the same thing. 
Whether through God's fixed law, or directly, by His 
personal, direful visitation, the admission is the same. 
The punishment and the ruin come from the throne of 

The most striking instances of the working of this 
principle of ruin are set before us in the word of God. 
The case of Egypt is a signal one. For centuries this 
nation was addicted to the vilest sins and the grossest 
corruption. There was no lack of genius among them, 
no imbecility of intellect. It was a case of wanton, 
high-headed moral rebellion. As generations followed 
each other, they heaped up abominations upon the 

336 The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 

impurities of their ancestors, until they well-nigh 
reached the heavens. Then the heavens became dark- 
ened with direful wrath ! The earth quaked and 
trembled with God's fearful anger; and judgment upon 
judgment swept, like lava, over that doomed people, 
assuring them of the awful destruction which always 
waits upon sin. And the death of the first-born at the 
Passover, and the catastrophe of the Red Sea, showed 
that the crisis of their fate had come. 

In precisely the same manner God dealt with the 
wicked people of Assyria, Babylon, Tyre, and Persia. 
Read the prophecies concerning these nations, and it 
seems as though you could see an august judge sitting 
upon the judgment-seat, and, of a sudden, putting on 
his black cap, and, with solemn gesture and a choked 
utterance, pronouncing the sentence of death upon the 
doomed criminals before him ! 

2. Turn now to the more gracious aspects of God's 
economy. As there are peoples whom He destroys, so 
on the other hand there are those whom, while indeed 
He chastises, yet at the same time He preserves. He 
gives them shame, but not perpetual shame. He disci- 
plines; but when discipline has worked out its remedial 
benefits, he recompenses them for their former igno- 
miny, and gives them honor and prosperity. 

The merciful aspect of God's economy shines out in 
human history as clearly as His justice and judgment. 

The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 337 

The Almighty seizes upon superior nations and, by 
mingled chastisements and blessings, gradually leads 
them on to greatness. That this discipline of nations 
is carried on in the world is evident. Probation, that 
is, as designed to teach self-restraint, and to carry on 
improvement, is imposed upon them, as well as upon 
individuals. It is part of the history of all nations and 
all races ; only some will not take it ; seem to have no 
moral discernment to use it; and they, just like wilful 
men, are broken to pieces. Some, again, fit themselves 
to it, and gain all its advantages. What was the servile 
sojourn of the children of Israel, four hundred years, in 
Egypt, but a process of painful preparation for a coming 
national and ecclesiastical responsibility ? What, at a 
later period, the Babylonish captivity, but a corrective 
ordeal, to eliminate from them everv element of idola- 
try ? What was the feudality of Europe,, but a system 
of training for a high and grand civilization ? 

Now it seems to me that these several experiments 
were not simply judicial and retributive. For ven- 
geance crushes and annihilates; but chastisement, how- 
ever severe, saves, and at the same time corrects and 
restores. • We may infer, therefore, that these several 
providences were a mode of divine schooling, carried 
on by the Almighty for great e-nds which He wished to 
show in human history. 

But how? in what w?y does God carry on His sys- 

338 The Destined Superiority of the Negro, 

tern of restorative discipline ? The universal principle 
which regulates this feature of the Divine system is set 
forth very clearly in the Eighteenth Psalm : " With the 
merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an 
upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright ; with the 
pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward 
thou wilt shew thyself froward." These words show 
the principles by which God carries on His government. 
And they apply as well to organic society as to single 

We have already seen that with the froward God 
showed Himself froward; that is, those who resist Him, 
God resists, to their utter shame and confusion. Their 
miseries were not corrective or disciplinary. They 
were the blows of avenging justice; the thunder-bolts 
of final and retributive wrath! In their case, moreover, 
there was a constitutional fitness to destruction, brought 
upon them by their own immoral perverseness. So, 
too, on the other hand, we may see qualities which God 
favors, albeit He does put the peoples manifesting them 
to trial and endurance. He sees in them cultivated 
elements of character, which, when brought out and 
trained, are capable of raising them to superiority. He 
does not see merit; and it is not because of desert that 
He bestows His blessings. But when the Almighty 
sees in a nation or people latent germs of virtues, he 
seizes upon and schools them by trial and discipline; so 

The Destined Superiority* of the Negro. 339 

that by the processes of divers correctives, these virtues 
may bud and blossom into beautiful and healthful 

Now, when the Psalmist speaks of the merciful, the 
upright, and the pure, he does not use these terms in 
an absolute sense, for in that sense no such persons 
exist. He speaks of men comparatively pure, upright, 
and merciful. Some of the nations, as I have already 
pointed out, were at the lowest grade of moral turpitude. 
On the other hand, there are and ever have been hea- 
then peoples less gross and barbarous than others : peo- 
ples with great hardihood of soul ; peoples retaining the 
high principle of right and justice; peoples with rude 
but strong virtues, clinging to the simple ideas of truth 
and honor; peoples who guarded jealously the purity of 
their wives and the chastity of their daughters ; peoples 
who, even with a false worship, showed reluctance to 
part with the gleams which came, though but dimly, 
from the £ace of the one true God of heaven ! 

Now the providence of God intervenes for the train- 
ing and preservation of such peoples. Thus we read in 
Genesis that, because of man's universal wickedness, 
"it repented the Lord that he had made man"; but 
immediately it says that He approved "just Noah, and 
entered into covenant with him." So, after the deluge, 
God saw, amid universal degeneracy, the conspicuous 
piety of one man ; for obedience and faith were, without 

340 The Destined Superiority of tJie Negro, 

doubt, original though simple elements of Abraham's 
character. To these germinal roots God brought the 
discipline of trial; and by them, through this one man, 
educated up a people who, despite their faults, shed 
forth the clearest religious light of all antiquity, and to 
whom were committed the oracles of God. 

The ancient Greeks and Romans were rude and san- 
guinary Pagans; and so, too, the Germans and the 
Scandinavian tribes. Yet they had great, sterling vir- 
tues. The Greeks were a people severely just ; the 
Spartans, especially, rigidly simple and religious. The 
Romans were unequalled for reverence for law and 
subjection to legitimate authority. Tacitus, himself a 
heathen, extols the noble and beneficent traits of Ger- 
man character, and celebrates their hospitality and 
politeness. The Saxons, even in a state of rudeness, 
were brave, though fierce ; truthful ; with strong family 
virtues, and great love of liberty. 

Added to these peculiarities we find the, following 
characteristics common to each and all these people — 
common, indeed, to all strong races ; wanting in the 
low and degraded. The masterful nations are all, more 
or less, distinguished for vitality, plasticity, receptivity, 
imitation, family feeling, veracity, and the sentiment of 
devotion. These qualities may have been crude and 
unbalanced. Thev existed perchance right beside most 
decided and repulsive vices; but they were deeply 

The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 341 

imbedded in the constitution of these people ; and 
served as a basis on which could be built up a character 
fitted to great ends. 

Archbishop Trench, in his comment upon the words 
of the "Parable of the Sower," — that is, that "they on 
the good ground are they who, in an honest and good 
heart, having heard the word, keep it" — says, "that no 
heart can be said to be absolutely good ; but there are 
conditions of heart in which the truth finds readier 
entrance than in others." So we maintain that there 
are conditions of character and of society, to which the 
divine purposes of grace and civilization are more 
especially fitted, and adapt themselves. Such, it is 
evident, is the explanation of the providential spread of 
early civilization. It passed by the more inane peoples, 
and fastened itself to the strong and masculine. Such, 
too, was the spontaneous flow of early Christianity from 
Jerusalem. It sought, as by a law of affinity, the strong 
colonies of Asia Minor, and the powerful states along 
the Mediterranean ; and so spread abroad through the 
then civilized Europe. 

Does God then despise the weak? Nay, but the 
weak and miserable peoples of the earth have misused 
their prerogatives, and so unfitted themselves to feel 
after God. 

And because they have thus perverted the gifts of 
God, and brought imbecility upon their being, they 

342 The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 

perish. The iniquity of the Amorites in Joshua's day 
was full — as you may see in Leviticus xviii — full of lust 
and incest and cruelty and other unspeakable abomina- 
tions ; and they were swept from the face of the earth ! 
They perished by the sword ; but the sword is not an 
absolute necessity to the annihilation of any corrupt 
and ruined people. Their sins, of themselves, eat out 
their life. With a touch they go. It was because of 
the deep and utter demoralization of Bois Gilbert that 
he fell before the feeble lance of Ivanhoe; for, in the 
world of morals, weakness and death are ofttimes cor- 
relative of baseness and infamy. 

On the other hand the simplest seeds of goodness are 
pleasing to the Almighty, and He sends down the sun- 
shine of His favor and the dews of His conserving care 
into the darkest rubbish, to nourish and vivify such 
seeds, and to "give them body as it pleaseth Him; and 
to every seed his own body." And the greatness of 
the grand nations has always sprung from the seeds of 
simple virtues which God has graciously preserved in 
them ; which virtues have been cultured by gracious 
providences or expanded by Divine grace, into true 

3. Let us now apply the train of thought thus pre- 
sented to the history and condition of the Negro; to 
ascertain, if possible, whether we can draw therefrom 
expectation of a future for this race. 

The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 343 

At once the question arises : Is this a race doomed 
to destruction ? or is it one possessed of those qualities, 
and so morally disciplined by trial, as to augur a vital 
destiny, and high moral uses, in the future ? 

To the first of these questions I reply that there is 
not a fact, pertinent to this subject, that does not give 
a most decisive negative. The Negro race, nowhere on 
the globe, is a doomed race ! 

It is now nigh five hundred years since the breath of 
the civilized world touched, powerfully, for the first 
time, the mighty masses of the Pagan world in America, 
Africa, and the isles of the sea. And we see, almost 
everywhere, that the weak, heathen tribes of the earth 
have gone down before the civilized European. Nation 
after nation has departed before his presence, tribe 
after tribe! In America the catalogue of these disas- 
trous eclipses overruns, not only dozens, but even 
scores of cases. Gone, never again to take rank among 
the tribes of men, are the Iroquois and the Mohegans, 
the Pequods and the Manhattans, the Algonquins and 
the brave Mohawks, the gentle Caribs, and the once 
refined Aztecs! 

In the Pacific seas, islands are scattered abroad like 
stars in ' the heavens ; but the sad fact remains that 
from many. of them their population has departed, 
like the morning mist. In other cases, as in the Sand- 
wich Islands, they have long since begun their 

Funeral marches to the grave I 

344 The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 

Just the reverse with the Negro! Wave after wave of 
a destructive tempest has swept over his head, without 
impairing in the least his peculiar vitality. Indeed, the 
Negro, in certain localities, is a superior man, to-day, to 
what he was three hundred years ago. With an elas- 
ticity rarely paralleled, he has risen superior to the 
dread inflictions of a prolonged servitude, and stands, 
to-day, in all the lands of his thraldom, taller, more 
erect, more intelligent, and more aspiring than any of 
his ancestors for more than two thousand years of a 
previous era. And while in other lands, as in culti- 
vated India, the native has been subjected to a foreign 
yoke, the negro races of Africa still retain, for the most 
part, their original birthright. Their soil has not 
passed into the possession of foreign people. Many of 
the native kingdoms stand this day, upon the same 
basis of power which they held long centuries ago. 
The adventurous traveler, as he passes farther and far- 
ther into the interior, sends us reports of populous 
cities, superior people, and vast kingdoms ; given to 
enterprise, and engaged in manufactures, agriculture, 
and commerce. 

Even this falls short of the full reality. For civiliza- 
tion, at numerous places, as well in the interior as on 
the coast, has displaced ancestral heathenism ; and the 
standard of the Cross, uplifted on the banks of its great 
rivers, at large and important cities, and in the great 

The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 345 

seats of commercial activity, shows that the Heralds of 
the Cross have begun the conquest of the continent for 
their glorious King. Vital power, then, is a property 
of the Negro family. 

But has this race any of those other qualities, and 
such a number of them, as warrants the expectation of 
superiority? Are plasticity, receptivity, and assimila- 
tion among his constitutional elements of character? 

So far as the first of these is concerned there can be 
no doubt. The flexibility of the negro character is not 
only universally admitted; it is often formulated into a 
slur. The race is possessed of a nature more easily 
moulded than any other class of men. Unlike the 
stolid Indian, the Negro yields to circumstances, and 
flows with the current of events. Hence the most 
terrible afflictions have failed to crush him. His facile 
nature wards them off, or else, through the inspiration 
of hope, neutralises their influence. Hence, likewise, 
the pliancy with which, and without losing his distinct- 
iveness, he runs into the character of other people ; 
and thus bends adverse circumstances to his own 
convenience; thus, also, in a measurable degree, link- 
ing the fortunes of his superiors to his own fate and 

These peculiarities imply another prime quality, 
anticipating future superiority ; I mean imitation. 
This is also universally conceded, with, however, a 

346 The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 

contemptuous fling, as though it were an evidence of 
inferiority. But Burke tells us that " imitation is the 
second passion belonging to society; and this passion," 
he says, "arises, from rnuch the same cause as sympa- 
thy." This forms our manners, our opinions, our lives. 
It is one of the strongest links of society. Indeed, all 
civilization is carried down from generation to genera- 
tion, or handed over from the superior to the inferior, 
by the means of this principle. A people devoid of 
imitation are incapable of improvement, and must go 
down ; for stagnation of necessity brings with it decay 
and ruin. 

On the other hand, the Negro, with a mobile and 
plastic nature, with a strong receptive faculty, seizes 
upon and makes over to himself, by imitation, the 
better qualities of others. First of all, observe that, by 
a strong assimilative tendency, he reduplicates himself, 
by attaining both the likeness of and an affinity to the 
race with which he dwells ; and then, while retaining 
his characteristic peculiarities, he glides more or less 
into the traits of his neighbors. Among Frenchmen, 
he becomes, somewhat, the lively Frenchman; among 
Americans, the keen, enterprising American ; among 
Spaniards, the stately, solemn Spaniard; among English- 
men, the solid, phlegmatic Englishman, 

This peculiarity of the Negro is often sneered at. It 
is decried as the simulation of a well-known and gro- 
tesque animal. But the traducers of the Negro forget 

The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 347 

that "the entire Grecian civilization is stratified with 
the elements of imitation ; and that Roman culture is 
but a copy of a foreign and alien civilization." These 
great nations laid the whole world under contribution 
to gain superiority. They seized upon all the spoils of 
time. They became cosmopolitan thieves. They stole 
from every quarter. They pounced, with eagle eye, 
upon excellence wherever discovered, and seized upon 
it with rapacity. In the Negro character resides, though 
crudely, precisely the same eclectic quality which char- 
acterized those two great, classic nations; and he is 
thus found in the very best company. The ridicule 
which visits him goes back directly to them. The 
advantage, however, is his own. Give him time and 
opportunity, and in all imitative art he will rival them 

This quality of imitation has been the grand preserva- 
tive of the Negro in all the lands of his thraldom. Its 
bearing upon his future distinction in Art is not germain 
to this discussion ; but one can clearly see that this 
quality of imitation, allied to the receptivity of the race, 
gives promise of great fitness for Christian training, 
and for the higher processes of civilization. 

But observe, again, that the imitative disposition of 
the negro race leads to aspiration. Its tendency runs 
to the higher and the nobler qualities presented to 
observation. Placed in juxtaposition with both the 

348 The Destined Superiority of the Negro, 

Indian and the Caucasian, as in Brazil and in this land, 
the race turns away from the downward, unprogrcssive 
Indian, and reaches forth for all the acquisitions of the 
Caucasian or the Spaniard. And hence wherever the 
Negro family has been in a servile position, however 
severe may have been their condition, without one 
single exception their native capacity has always 

— glinted forth 
Amid the storm; 

preserving the captive exiles of Africa from utter anni- 
hilation ; stimulating them to enterprise and aspiration ; 
and, in every case, producing men who have shown 
respectable talent as mechanics and artisans ; as sol- 
diers, in armies ; as citizens of great commonwealths ; 
not unfrequently as artists ; not seldom as scholars ; fre- 
quently as ministers of the Gospel ; and at times as 
scientific men, and men of letters. 

I referred, at the beginning, and as one of the condi- 
tions of a Divine and merciful preservation of a people — 
for future uses, to the probation of discipline and trial, 
for the cultivation of definite moral qualities. Is there 
any such large fact in the history of this race ? What 
else, I ask, can. be the significance of the African slave- 
trade? What is the meaning of our deep thraldom 
since 1620? Terrible as it has been, it has not been 
the deadly hurricane portending death. During its 
long periods, although great cruelty and wide-spread 

The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 349 

death have been large features in the history of the 
Negro, nevertheless they have been overshadowed by 
the merciful facts of great natural increase, much intel- 
lectual progress, the gravitation of an unexampled and 
world-wide philanthropy to the race, singular religious 
susceptibility and progress, and generous, wholesale 
emancipations, inclusive of millions of men, women, 
and children. 

This history, then, does not signify retribution ; does 
not forecast extinction. It is most plainly disciplinary 
and preparative. It is the education which comes from 
trial and endurance; for with it has been allied, more 
or less, the grand moral training of the religious ten- 
dencies of the race. 

Here, then, are the several conditions, the character- 
istic marks which, in all history, have served to indicate 
the permanency and the progress of races. In all other 
cases they have been taken as forecasting greatness. 
Is there any reason for rejecting their teachings, and 
refusing their encouragements and inspirations, when 
discovered in the Negro ? 

I feel fortified, moreover, in the principles I have 
to-day set forth, by the opinions of great, scrutinizing 
thinkers. In his treatise on Emancipation, written in 
1880, Dr. Channing says: "The Negro is one of the 
best races of the human family. He is among the 
mildest and gentlest of men. He is singularly sus- 
ceptible of improvement." 

350 The Destined Superiority of the Negro, 

Alexander Kinmont, in his " Lectures on Man," 
declares that " the sweet graces of the Christian religion 
appear almost too tropical and tender plants to grow in 
the soil of the Caucasian mind ; they require a charac- 
ter of human nature of which you can see the rude 
lineaments in the Ethiopian, to be implanted in, and 
grow naturally and beautifully withal." Adamson, the 
traveller who visited Senegal, in 1754, said: "The 
Negroes are sociable, humane, obliging, and hospitable; 
and they have generally preserved an estimable sim- 
plicity of domestic manners. They are distinguished 
by their tenderness for their parents, and great respect 
for the aged — a patriarchal virtue which, in our day, is 
too little known." Dr. Raleigh, also, at a recent meet- 
ing in London, said : " There is in thesep eople a hitherto 
undiscovered mine of love, the development of which 
will be for the amazing welfare of the world. . . . Greece 
gave us beauty; Rome gave us power; the Anglo-Saxon 
race unites and mingles these; but in the African peo- 
ple there is the great, gushing wealth of love which will 
develop wonders for the world." 

1. We have seen, to-day, the great truth, that when 
God does not destroya people, but, on the contrary, trains 
and disciplines it, it is an indication that He intends to 
make something of them, and to do something for them. 
It signifies that He is graciously interested in such a 
people. In a sense, not equal, indeed, to the case of 

The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 351 

the Jews, but parallel, in a lower degree, such a people 
are a "chosen people " of the Lord. There is, so to 
speak, a covenant relation which God has established 
between Himself and them ; dim and partial, at first, in 
its manifestations; but which is sure to come to the 
sight of men and angels, clear, distinct, and luminous. 
You may take it as a sure and undoubted fact that God 
presides, with sovereign care, over such a people; and 
will surely preserve, educate, and build them up. 

2. The discussion of this morning teaches us that the 
Negro race, of which we are a part, and which, as yet, in 
great simplicity and with vast difficulties, is struggling 
for place and position in this land, discovers, most 
exactly, in its history, the principle I have stated. And 
we have in this fact the assurance that the Almighty is 
interested in all the great problems of civilization and 
of grace carrying on among us. All this is God's work. 
He has brought this race through a wilderness of dis- 
asters ; and at last put them in the large, open place of 
liberty; but not, you may be assured, for eventual 
decline and final ruin. You need not entertain the 
shadow of a doubt that the work which God has begun 
and is now carrying on, is for the elevation and success 
of the Negro. This is the significance and the worth of 
all effort and all achievement, of every signal provi- 
dence, in this cause; or, otherwise, all the labors of 
men and all the mightiness of God is vanity ! Nothing, 
believe me, on earth; nothing brought from perdition, 

352 The Destined Superiority of the Negro. 

can keep back this destined advance of the Negro 
race. No conspiracies of men nor of devils! The 
slave trade could not crush them out. Slavery, dread, 
direful, and malignant, could only stay it for a time. 
But now it is coming, coming, I grant, through dark 
and trying events, but surely coming. The Negro — 
black, curly-headed, despised, repulsed, sneered at — is, 
nevertheless, a vital being, and irrepressible. Every- 
where on earth has been given him, by the Almighty, 
assurance, self-assertion, and influence. The rise of 
two Negro States within a century, feeble though they 
be, has a bearing upon this subject. The numerous 
emancipations, which now leave not more than a chain 
or two to be unfastened, have, likewise, a deep, moral 
significance. Thus, too, the rise in the world of illus- 
trious Negroes, as Touissant L'Ouverture, Henry Chris- 
tophe, Benjamin Banneker, Eustace the Philanthropist, 
Stephen Allan Benson, and Bishop Crowther. 

With all these providential indications in our favor, 
let us bless God and take courage. Casting aside 
everything trifling and frivolous, let us lay hold of every 
element of power, in the brain ; in literature, art, and 
science ; in industrial pursuits ; in the soil ; in coopera- 
tive association; in mechanical ingenuity; and above 
all, in the religion of our God ; and so march on in the 
pathway of progress to that superiority and eminence 
which is our rightful heritage, and which is evidently 
the promise of oar Goa ! 

One volume, handsomely printed, 334 pp., i2mo, cloth 
extra, $1.50. 

'odern Heroes ofttie 

By the Rt. Rev. W. Pakenham Walsh, D.D., Bishop of 

Ossary, Ferns and Leighlin. Author of ' ' Heroes of 

the Mission Field," "The Moabite Stone," etc. 


I. Henry Martyn : India and Persia, 1805-1812. 

II. William Carey: India, 1 793-1 834. 

III. Adoniram Judson : Burmah, 1813-1850. 

IV. Robert Morrison : China, 1 807-1 834. 

V. Samuel Marsden : New Zealand, 1814-1838. 

VI. John Williams : Polynesia, 181 7-1839. 

VII. William Johnson: West Africa, 1816-1823. 

VIII. John Hunt: Fiji, 1838-1848. 

IX. Allen Gardiner: South America, 1835-185 1 

X. Alexander Duff: India, 1 829-1 864. 

XI. David Livingstone : Africa, 1840-187 3. 

XII. Bishop Patteson : Melanesia, 1855-1871. 

" The American reading world owes a debt of thanks to the 
publisher for bringing out so good a book in a style of type and 
paper which leaves nothing to be desired. The book is one which 
must be read by those who would know its merits. No news- 
paper notice can do justice to it." — The Living Church. 

"It is entitled to a place in every library, and should be 
purchased and read by every one interested in the work of Foreign 
Missions." — Gospel in all Lands. 

' ' A good book to have in hand if one is to keep the divine 
spirit of the missionary work close to his heart." — Standard of the 




Tfye New Mat) and % Eterqal Life, 

Notes on the Reiterated Amens of the Son of God. 

By Andrew Jukes, author of " Types of Genesis," 

' The Restitution of all Things," " The Law of 

the Offerings," " Characteristic Differences of the 

Four Gospels," etc. 

296 pp., i2mo, cloth, . . . Price, $1.75. 

"'Verily, verily!' Many times did our Lord employ these 
introductory terms in His discourse. * * * At twelve distinct 
times does Christ arouse attention to specific doctrines of the 
kingdom by such reiterations Our author takes up these twelve 
cases and develops the respective deliverances of the Saviour in 
the connection. He writes with intense feeling, and with a full- 
ness of Scripture knowledge which seems exceptional. There is 
much that is stimulating and suggestive, both in the conception of 
his work and in its execution. * * * The work is a most 
helpful one, and makes a worthy addition to the list of books 
already published by this author." — The Standard, Chicago. 

" Andrew Jukes is a voluminous writer, but he is an original and 
profound thinker as well. His ' New Man and the Eternal Life* 
is one of the most original and ingenious of his works, and will 
have, as it ought to have, a large circulation in this country." — 
The Parish Visitor. 

' • We have found the book suggestive and spiritually stimulat- 
ing. " — The Congregaiionalist. 

" They who want a rich feast may herein eat and be satisfied. 
' The New Man ' should be read slowly and with concentration ; 
thus every particle will be enjoyed." — The Living Church. 

"The argument throughout the book is well sustained and 
intensely interesting. Entirely original, it is a book which will be 
read and re-read with ever-increasing pleasure and profit." — The 
Church Guardian, Halifax. 





cclesia gBngltcana. 

A History of the Church of Christ in England, from 
the Earliest to the Present Times. By Arthur 
Charles Jennings, M.A. With marginal Sum- 
maries of paragraphs, and full alphabetical Index. 

$02 pp., i2mo, cloth, red edges, , . . Price, $2.25. 

"At last we have a book on the whole history of the Church of 
England that will be a boon to the professor of ecclesiastical his- 
tory and a comfort to his students. Put together Bates' College 
Lectures, Carwithen, Churton, Short, and all the other books 
through which we used to be obliged to wade in order to acquaint 
ourselves, tolerably, with the history of our Church, and we should 
not do more than begin to approach to exact knowledge of its 
history which Mr. Jennings has furnished us in this single volume. 
* * * He follows none of the old style types of so-called his- 
tory, which consists mainly in hero-building. Every man, no 
matter who, stands or falls, by him, according to his personal 
worth and actual value in the Church events of his time. Alto- 
gether, this work is destined for long use by students of its subject, 
and we regard its production as one of the noticeable events of the 
present year." — The Living Church. 

"An unusually good book." — The Am. Literary Churchman. 

"One of the most needed and best written historical manuals 
which has appeared for a long time. " — The Standard of the Cross. 

" The volume is packed with information, given generally in a 
clear, vivid way." — The Lndependent. 

" We know of no general history of the English Church which 
is as likely to be as serviceable as this, and we are glad to recom- 
mend it to our readers." — The Churchman. 



xrl} dljmi 

The great meaning of the word Metanoia — lost in the old version, 
unrecovered in the new. By Tread well Walden. 

8vo, paper, 25 cts. ; cloth, 50 cts. 

" Able, excellent, truthful. * * * Has my cordial approval. 

" I cannot refrain longer to tell you how profoundly important I feel the 
points you make to be. * * * I am sure that many of our most disastrous 
failures in commending Christianity to unbelievinsr minds, especially minds of 
a manly character, have their cause just here. Dr. J. F. GARRISON." 

"The essay has very great value. It gives the view of this term which I 
have long held. Dr. MULFORD." 

"Scholarly, brilliant, exhaustive. * * * You have done a good service 
in this elegant and powerful portraiture of the great truth of Christian life. 

"Dr. H. N. POWERS." 
From the Rev. Phillips Brooks, D.D. 

"I have just read 3'our 'metanoia' through from beginning to end, and I 
want to tell you how much I enjoyed it, and how much I thank you for sending 
it to me. It is full of inspiration. It makes one think of Christian faith as 
positive and constructive, and not merely destructive and remedial. It makes 
the work of Christ seem worthy of Christ. I thank you truly, both for writing 
it and giving it to me. Your sincere friend, PHILLIPS BROOKS. 

"Boston, Mass." 


A Life of Robert Stephen Hawker, M. A. By S. Baring-Gould. 

312 pp., 1210, Willi portrait. Paper covers, 60c. : Cloth extra, gilt top, $1 .75. 

" It is one of the most charming and characteristic biographies which has 
been written since Isaak Walton sharpened his pen to tell the story of Richard 
Hooker, George Herbert, and the other worthies of the tempestuous age which 
preceded him. * * * A book which contains more good stories than any other 
ecclesiastical biography that has been written within our memory. * * * 
Every bilious person ought to have a copy. It is a most enjoyable book." — 
The Standard of the Cross. 

" All who are fond of original characters and enjoy a hearty laugh, ought to 
get this biography." — American Church Review. 

Thomas Whittaker, Publisher, 2 & 3 Bible House, N. Y. 

By Rev. George W. Shinn, Newton, Mass. 
116 pp., i8mo, cloth, 50c; boards, 25c. 

"A very good little manual. It gives simple and practical 
replies to such questions as relate to faith in a God, in the Scrip- 
tures, in a divine Christ, and in supernatural help." — The Inde- 

"Young men, in all the varied phases of business, would be 
apt to think favorably if a work of this kind were put into their 
hands by a friend, an employer, or any one from whom such a 
gift could not be regarded as an impertinence." — The Church 

"All Mr. Shinn's manuals are useful. This will prove more 
serviceable than any." — The Iowa Churchman. 

"Very helpful in meeting the ignorance and shallow skepticism 
so prevalent." — The Church Eclectic. 

"This little book will be found very interesting, not only for 
'beginners in religion,' but for all who are called upon 'to give a 
reason for the hope there is in them.' It is especially necessary 
in this day, that all believers should know why they believe, for 
the spir't of the age is decidedly against believing what you are 
told simply because you are told. * * * The young have heard 
of the objections from those not friendly to religion, and have no 
answer to make because they are taken by surprise. * * * 
The subjects are treated with fairness; the positions taken are 
moderate and well sustained. * * * The form of the treatis* 
and the cheapness of the volume render it available as a manu?' 
for schools and Bible-classes." — The Living Church. 



Studies in the History of the 
Prayer Book. 

[ The Anglican Reform. The Puritan Innovations. 
The Elizabethan Reaction. The Caroline Settle- 
ment.] With Appendices. 

By Herbert Mortimer Luckock, D.D., author of 
"After Death." 

i2?no, cloth, uncut edges, . . ... Price, $1.50. 

"The Canon of Ely has already distinguished himself by his 
book, 'After Death.' In that publication he proved himself 
the possessor of a fine intellect and a well trained pen. In his 
new work, entitled 'Studies in the History of the Prayer Book,' 
he fully maintains the standard of his first treatise. His divisions 
have a ring about them very like the touch of that master of Eng- 
lish history, John Richard Green. The reader feels that in 
following such a teacher he has at least a living thought as the 
clue to guide him among the intricacies and technicalities of litur- 
gical study. Dr. Luckock does not seem to have reached the 
very highest round in the ladder of Anglican Catholicity, but is 
well up in that direction. He is near enough to Dean Stanley to 
emulate the realistic touches in ' The History of the Eastern 
Church,' and at the same time is near enough to Canon Liddon to 
preserve his clearness of statement on theological points. He has 
succeeded in clothing some very dry bones with flesh quite rosy 
and palpitating. The book is thoroughly polished and attractive, 
and must secure a decided success as the most readable work of 
its special class." — The Episcopal Register. 

" It is just the book that every student of the Prayer Book has 
wanted." — Standard of the Cross. 

"Liturgical development is becoming a matter of absorbing 
interest, not only within but without the Church, and the work of 
Canon Luckock may be regarded as a valuable contribution to the 
literature of the subject." — The Churchman. 

Thomas Whittaker, Publisher, 2 & 3 Bihle House, N. Y. 








ifc ■ 

c ;v 



V 121 


nfl mi 

H ^