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sborne <5orbon. 

Prom the Monument by C. Dressier, in the Cathedral Cloister of Christ Church, Oxford ; 
by permission of the Dean and Chapter, 

sborne (Borbon. 








parftcr an& Co 





THE family of the late Osborne Gordon avail them 
selves of this opportunity to express their grate 
ful sense of the respect shewn to his memory. 

The monument erected to him in the Cathedral 
Cloister of Christ Church, executed by Mr. Conrad 
Dressier, admirable in itself, has a further value, as 
indicating the wide-spread sympathy, extending to 
Koyalty itself, in which it originated. His friends 
are under especial obligations to the Dean and Chap 
ter of Christ Church, to whose hearty co-operation 
the successful completion of the memorial is mainly 

But they have also to offer their warmest acknow 
ledgments to the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, the 
Lord Bishop of Manchester, the very Eev. the Dean 
of Winchester, the Archdeacons of Berks and Maid- 
stone ; to the Et. Hon. Sir J. E. Mowbray, the Et. 
Hon. Sir Michael Hicks-Beach, Sir E. Harington, 
Col. H. B. N. Lane, J. Euskin, J. G. Talbot, M.P., 
H. W. Fisher, Esqrs., the Eevs. Canon Hill, E. God 
frey Faussett, T. Vere Bayne, H. L. Thompson, E. 
F. Sampson, E. St. John Tyrwhitt, arid to all those 
noblemen and gentlemen who so cordially seconded 
the proposed scheme. 

As regards the account of Mr. Gordon s life, the 
sources from which it is derived will be in many 

vi Introductory Notice. 

cases sufficiently apparent. But his family desire 
to place upon record their further obligations on this 
head to the Et. Hon. G. 0. Trevelyan, late Chief 
Secretary for Ireland, Sir E. E. W. Lingen, K.C.B. ; 
to the Eev. Dr. Liddon, for much valuable advice and 
suggestion ; to his life-long friends the Eev. Pre 
bendary Pulling, J. M. Lakin, and Joshua Bennett ; 
to his friends of later date, the Eev. Geo. Gaisford, 
T. C. Barker, E. G. Whynyates, Professor H. B. Leech; 
and to C. F. Hawker, Esq., and Mr. Dougal of East 
Hampstead, for information upon many interesting 
particulars. His family would not have so many 
debts of gratitude to acknowledge had riot so many 
been forward to help. 

The Memorial at East Hampstead, with an in 
scription by Mr. Euskin, has been carried out with 
no less success, and upon no smaller a scale, than that 
at Christ Church : to be followed, it is hoped, at no 
distant day, by a work for the benefit of the rapidly 
increasing population of the parish, which the late 
Eector had greatly at heart, and for which his suc 
cessor, the Eev. Herbert Salwey, is equally solicitous. 

For all the good offices and kindly sympathy which 
have abounded to do honour to a name so dear to 
them, the friends of Osborne Gordon beg once more 
to tender their respectful thanks. 

Subjoined are the Inscriptions upon the two Mon 

Introductory Notice. vii 

(a.) At Christ Church :- 

M. S. 




NATUS APRILIS 21, 1813, OBIIT MAIJ 25, 1883. 










viii Introductory Notice. 

(b.) At East Ilampstead : 






FROM 1860 TO 1883. 














ASBOKNE GOKDON was born April 21, 1813, at 
Broseley, Salop, of George Osborne Gordon and 
Elizabeth, his wife. His early education was at 
Bridgnorth School, then enjoying a high and de 
served reputation under the late Dr. Eowley. From 
Bridgnorth he was elected as a Careswell Exhi 
bitioner to Christ Church, Oxford, in the summer of 
1832, and came into residence Lent Term, 1833. In 
1835 he gained the Ireland University Scholarship, 
and in Easter Term, 1836, he was placed in the First 
Class, both in Classics and Mathematics ; the late 
Professor Donkin sharing with him that enviable 

The following sketch of his School and College life 
is from the pen of Sir R. R. Lingen, and will be read 
with interest and delight by a wide circle beyond 
Mr. Gordon s personal friends, from the vivid picture 
which it presents of Oxford, as it was more than 
a generation ago. 

" Osborne Gordon passed the examination for his 
B.A. degree at Easter, 1836, in the First Class both 
of Classics and Mathematics. He obtained the Ire- 

2 Sir R. Ling en 1 s 

land Scholarship in 1835, and must have left the 
Bridgnorth Grammar School towards the end of 
1831 or early in 1832. I went to Bridgnorth at 
the beginning of 1831, just before completing the 
twelfth year of my age. He was at that time head 
of the school, and I do not remember ever to have 
spoken to him before he left. I have, however, a dis 
tinct recollection of his appearance at that time, and 
I never knew any one whose appearance altered so 
little in the course of half a century the long, thick, 
soft, and dark hair, the refined features, and the 
large expressive eyes, the look rather absent a and 
dreamy when at rest, but always with a lurking 
mockery about it, instantly called by occasion into 
characteristic and witty comments, the rather 
sauntering gait, the head somewhat on one side, and 

a In illustration of this remark it may perhaps be allowable to 
refer to an incident not otherwise worth recording, than as it 
recalls the genial and kindly humour of a Prelate whom we have 
lately lost, and whom those that had the honour of his acquaint 
ance will never cease to remember with affection and respect. 
Before the restoration of the Chapter- house of Christ Church under 
the present Dean, which has added so much to the beauty and 
harmony of the Cathedral Precincts, it was the custom for 
the Dean and Chapter to entertain Students and other members 
of Christ Church in the Chapter-house, especially before an ad 
journment to Hall to hear the Censors deliver their annual speeches. 
It was usual before the company separated to drink the health of 
the " Absent Canons;" and on a particular occasion the toast was 
duly proposed, but Gordon, who was in the clouds and utterly ob 
livious of all sublunary things, took no notice ; upon which 
Dr. Jacobsoii, then Regius Professor of Divinity, who was sitting 
near, turned to his next neighbour with his good-natured laugh 
" It should be the Absent Students." 

Narrative. 3 

the hand somewhat raised, these traits, which I have 
retained from long knowledge of him, pass back also 
into my earliest memories. 

" His reputation in my then part of the school was 
that of a genius who could dispense with work, and 
who occupied an unapproachable position of his own. 

" This impression was immensely confirmed when 
he obtained the Ireland Scholarship, the news of 
which, something strange in those days for a country 
Grammar School, produced an effect among masters 
and boys which even now makes me smile to think 
of, and which was only possible in that remote 
quarter and in those unsophisticated times b . 

"Then, stroke on stroke, came the double-first, 
which, according to the local tradition, he obtained 
after being idle for the greater part of his under 
graduate s career, and then working for a fabulous 
number of hours daily in the last year, especially 
towards the end of it, when the less critical spirits 
spoke of sixteen hours out of the twenty-four. 

" Whatever be the historic worth of such details, 
they are proofs of the judgment of contemporaries, 
"eanwhile, as his home was not far from Bridgnorth, 
te was occasionally at the school during vacations ; 

the course of which visits I naturally, as now an 

b Some future chronicler may perhaps describe the sensation 
created at Bridgnorth subsequently by Sir R. Lingen s own 
success, in obtaining not only the Ireland, but also the Latin 
Tniversity Scholarship, founded since Mr. Gordon s time, a First 
Uass in Classics, and a Fellowship of Balliol, in addition to the 
Scholarship at Trinity alluded to in the text. His later distinc 
tions are known to the world. 


4 Sir R. Lingen s 

older boy, became better acquainted with him, having 
already learnt, from his exercises in the old * ex 
books, into which the more approved specimens were 
allowed to be copied, honoris causa, by the authors, 
how strong and admirable a scholar he was, both 
in matter and form. 

" I went up to Oxford myself to try for one of the 
Trinity Scholarships in May, 1837 how different 
an Oxford from the present the old Tantivy, with 
its appropriate air on the guard s key-bugle, its 
perfect team, and the travellers all white with the 
dust of Long Compton and Enstone, trotting rapidly 
along the beautiful avenue that then led up St. Giles s. 
To this day, though I have travelled a good deal 
since, I hardly retain an impression of such beauty. 

" I was booked to Osborne Gordon s rooms at Christ 
Church, and great was my comfort at being thus able 
to connect the surprisingly new world about me with 
an old experience, which his genuine kindness made 
all the more real. The youngsters of these days 
would hardly believe ho\v little the generality of 
boys, who did not belong to rich families, had travelled 
fifty years ago. All changes of place, therefore, were 
much stranger than they are now. I remember ex 
actly my reception by Osborne Gordon, and his anxiety 
lest a violent bleeding of the nose, with which I was 
seized almost as soon as I entered his room, should 
interfere with my chances at the examination which 
began next day. 

a At critical moments of life, the impressions re 
ceived of kindness or the reverse never fade : and 

Narrative. 5 

this scene is as present to me now as when it hap 

" Being myself obliged to work very hard at Oxford, 
and Osborne Gordon having his own duties to per- 
form in another college, I did not see more of him 
than in the ordinary way of intercourse between 
friends during the four years I passed at Oxford, 
and from out of that period I retain no recollections 
but such as are part of my general impression of him 
formed during all the time I knew him. 

" In later life I have been at his Eectory, in East- 
hampstead, and have served with him on public 

" On all and every occasion he was the same man, 
never making professions himself, and no great ad 
mirer of many who did, but never failing to do 
vigorously, punctually, and completely, whatever fell 
to himself to do. 

" It was the same thing in Scholarships as in affiiirs. 
No one knew better than he, or could more humour 
ously illustrate with instances, the difference between 
exactly construing a classic and talking about him, 
however beautifully, without that precedent condition. 

" I do not know that he ever gave any great atten 
tion to philology ; in real grasp of Greek and Latin, 
whether to discover the meaning of others, or to 
express his own, in those languages, in prose or in 
verse, I know of no one to put before him, and I 
doubt whether he will have many successors. 

" For authorship he seems to have cared but little. 
It seems strange that I should not possess a line 

6 Rev. J. M. Lakin. 

of his in Greek or Latin. But the turn of his mind 
was decidedly practical, leading him, when he had 
once mastered a subject, not to dwell upon it, except for 
use. So, when he got down to his living, twenty 
or more years ago, he did not betake himself to 
learned leisure, but to the work of his parish, to the 
rebuilding of his church, to the farming of his glebe, 
and to the society of his neighbours, in a favourite 
neighbourhood, to whom his keen insight into men, 
and his playful but always kindly wit, could not but 
make him acceptable ; among them were the late Sir 
William Hayter, and the late Mr. Delane. < Our 
parson can preach, said his admiring Churchwarden, 
who proposed his health at a local celebration, and 
he can farm. 

Let me supplement this sketch of his school-life 
with the following particulars most kindly commu 
nicated by his old friend and schoolfellow, the Eev. 
J. M. Lakin, Eector of Brooksby, Leicestershire. 

" Osborne Gordon was a few years my senior, and 
at school, in consequence, was rather, for his mar 
vellous ability, my admiration at a distance than 
my companion. All who remember Gordon as a boy 
will recollect how he seemed always to have time 
to help a poor youngster, often an idle one like 
myself, alas ! over a difficulty in getting up a lesson, 
and how, without appearing ever to be at work, 
he was always ready for class, and always able to do 
brilliantly what others, whom I could name, worked 
hard to do, and only in a dull and clumsy way suc 
ceeded in doing. 

Bishop of Manchester. 7 

" Being of a singularly spare and weakly frame, 
Gordon was never distinguished in the play-field, 
and an accident which resulted in a permanent stiff 
ness of his right elbow incapacitated him for the 
active exercises of young men, when he had ceased 
to be a boy. He was fond of riding, but seldom, if 
ever, wasted time and money, as some of us remem 
ber, with little satisfaction, we were wont to do, in 
the hunting-field. At Oxford I saw but little of 
Gordon, as he was leaving soon after my college life 
began, but he was always very specially friendly and 
Denial with old Bridgnorthians." 

The Bishop of Manchester, an old and intimate 
friend, to whom Mr. Gordon was strongly attached, 
shews his appreciation of the man in the follow 
ing terms : 

" I often used to regret that with his rare powers, 
partly from perhaps a natural indolence, and partly 
because from the fear of seeming ostentatious, he so 
seldom seemed to care to put out those powers to 
their best advantage, he was likely to leave so little 
behind him which would give another generation 
any idea of what his real mark and capacity were. 
I have seldom met an abler man : so full of common 
sense ; of a power to grasp things in their reality ; 
of a dry and caustic, but never ill-natured, humour ; 
in his solemn moments of deep and earnest feeling; 
and of a high appreciation of what was noble, genuine, 
and true." 

It is in the hope of doing away in some degree 
the ground for regret which the Bishop has 

8 Notices 

expressed that the present publication has been 

These, it may be said, are the utterances of partial, 
though discriminating and judicious, friends ; but it 
will be shewn presently what impression he pro 
duced upon men who were comparatively strangers 
to him ; and the Press, which has little space or time 
to spare for men whose names are not familiar to the 
public ear, found room for him. 

The " Times" bestowed two obituary notices upon 
him, the second of which we print entire, as express 
ing the judgment which a well-informed critic would 
be apt to pass upon a man of established reputation, 
whose merits had already become, in some degree, 
matter of tradition. But besides his accomplished 
Scholarship, acknowledged on all hands, there is 
a trait of character which every notice, whether 
public or private, equally recognizes. All give him 
credit for possessing a ready and searching wit : and 
also for rare forbearance in the exercise of that dan 
gerous gift. He was never at a loss, never discon 
certed ; always equal to the occasion, whether he was 
addressing an Academical or a London audience, or 
an agricultural meeting. But whatever subject called 
him forth he adorned what he touched upon by the 
flashes of his wit, without irritation to the most sensi 
tive nerves. 

"The Rev. Osborne Gordon, of whom a brief obituary 
notice appeared in The Times of this morning, had passed 
away from more immediate personal relations with the 
University for so long a time that in a place so proverbially 

of the Public Prints. 9 

full of changes those who remember him are in a minority, 
and even their recollections of him have become general 
and somewhat listless. And yet in his day Osborne Gordon 
was a man of much mark in the academical world a dis 
tinguished double-first class man, a brilliant Ireland Scholar, 
a redoubted Tutor and Censor of Christ Church, a member 
from the first of the new Hebdomadal Council which re 
placed the old Board of Heads in the government of the 
University the position he occupied and the abilities he 
possessed placed him in the first rank of Oxford notabili 
ties a quarter of a century ago. He was a sound Greek 
scholar, and we are reminded of the vigour with which he 
would extemporize the translation of an ode of Pindar. 
He was an elegant Latinist, and the tradition survives in 
Christ Church of the scholarly, facile, clear, intelligible 
speeches which in his capacity of Censor he had from time 
to time to deliver in the College Hall. He was a writer 
of vigorous English, and as a clear and clever draftsman 
was of great service to the Tutors Association a body with 
which originated many suggestions for the more important 
educational changes of modern Oxford. He was of most 
retentive memory, and pungent but not unkindly wit. 
Stories and epigrams are still afloat in Oxford attributed to 
him till they shall be assigned to some later humourist. 
Among his Christ Church pupils were many men distin 
guished in after life Lord Salisbury, Lord Harrowby, Sir 
Michael Hicks-Beach, Mr. Ward Hunt, Mr. Ruskin. To 
have distinguished pupils is n accident, but to possess 
their esteem bespeaks merit. He had, however, one fail 
ing, if failing it was, to which the very brilliancy and 
facility of his powers contributed. He was of a temper 
essentially averse to exertion. He did, and did admirably, 
whatever he \vas called upon to do. But he did it without 
effort, and the exertion involved in what is considered a suc 
cessful career would have been repugnant to him. In spite 
of certain eccentricities, which perhaps grew upon him iu 
later life, as was becoming to a college don, he might have 

10 The " Times" and 

commanded success in any career. But he preferred to 
exercise over his little world an easy and good-natured 
despotism, tempered with his own epigrams, and to be the 
soul of common-room life, with its genial humours and 
local witticisms. Had he been a more ambitious man he 
might easily have climbed, for he was a sound and moder 
ate Churchman, troubling himself, as we believe, less with 
dogma than with practice, and a Tory of the deepest hue. 
He was one of those most valuable men who can write 
books but do not ; who are universally accounted by those 
who know them capable of the greatest things, but are 
content with the place in which they find themselves, 
the work which they perform without trouble, and the 
career which is its own reward. The College living which 
Mr. Gordon held for more than 20 years is an illustration 
of the versatility of his abilities, where he shewed that the 
career of a college don is compatible with being an esteemed 
parish priest, a vigorous church restorer, and a welcome 
neighbour. His connexion with Oxford had been for many 
years of the slightest, until he was put by Lord Salisbury 
upon the University Commission in succession to Mr. Jus 
tice Grove. At the meetings of this body he was a constant 
attendant both in Oxford and London, and rendered much 
valuable assistance in many departments of their work. 
Mr. Osborne Gordon is to be buried at Easthampstead on 
Wednesday at 1 o clock." 

The "Daily Telegraph," in a very generous sketch 
of Mr. Gordon s character, drew public attention 
once more to an epigram which did much to create 
his reputation. Apart from its connexion with him, 
the article in question is of too much interest in 
itself to be passed over. 

"By the death of the Rev. Osborne Gordon, in his 69th 
year, Oxford has lost one of its most brilliant scholars, and 
the neighbourhood of Bracknell, in Berks, one of its most 

"Daily Telegraph." 11 

popular and respected inhabitants. Born at Broseley, in 
Shropshire, and educated at its Grammar School, Mr. 
Gordon did not achieve the feat accomplished by Mr. 
Brancker of Wadham College, who went up to Oxford 
from the famous school at Shrewsbury, when Dr. Butler 
presided over it, and in 1831 won Dean Ireland s Scholar 
ship in a jacket. Nevertheless Mr. Brancker s performance 
was well-nigh equalled by that of Mr. Gordon, who won 
the Ireland in 1834, when he had been a little more than 
a twelvemonth in residence. Since the establishment, in 
1825, of the Ireland Scholarship, in which year Mr. Herman 
Merivale, Scholar of Trinity and Fellow of Balliol, was suc 
cessful against a strong field of competitors, there has been 
no lack of exquisite Greek Compositions, original and trans 
lated, which have emanated from Ireland Scholars. We 
risk little, however, in saying that nothing more perfect in 
expression or touching in sentiment has been written during 
this century, either at Oxford or Cambridge, than Mr. 
Gordon s eight lines in Doric Greek * upon Sir P. Chantrey s 
monument to two children in Lichfield Cathedral/ which 
secured for him the Ireland Scholarship in 1834. 

"Unlike Mr. Brancker, who got no more than a second 
class in classics, Mr. Gordon followed up his Ireland victory 
by taking a brilliant double-first in classics and mathema 
tics. He subsequently became Censor of Christ Church and 
tutor to many generations of Christ Church men, among 
whom three members of the present Ministry Lord Kim- 
berley, Lord Northbrook, and Mr. Dodson were included. 
Mr. Gordon was in the habit of saying that no more pro 
mising and admirable scholar ever passed through his hands 
than the late Marquis of Lothian c . Upon the death of 
Dean Gaisford, Mr. Gordon accepted the Christ Church 
Living of Easthampstead, near Brucknell, where he built 
a new rectory-house, and long dispensed what Lord Claren- 

c To the members of the present Cabinet mentioned above as 
Mr. Gordon s pupils should be added the name of Lord Curling- 
ford, Lord President of the Council. 

12 Epigram 

don would have called a flowing hospitality to his many 
friends. Remarkable for his witty and incisive conver 
sation, Mr. Gordon leaves a gap in the circle of those who 
knew him best which is little likely to be filled. Although 
he had served on many University Commissions, Mr. Gordon 
was firmly of opinion that, however reformed and tinkered 
at, the Oxford of the future would produce no such men as 
the Oxford of the past. His loss will be lamented far and 
wide, and by none more than by his old and intimate friend, 
Mr. John Ruskin." 

"The eight lines in Doric Greek," which have 
become classical, have already been made a mark for 
criticism, and shew the difficulty of determining any 
literary question even belonging to our own genera 
tion. Doric, there is little doubt, was the original 
dress of this famous Epigram. But Mr. Lin wood, 
in his AnthoL Oxon., has introduced some Ionic 
forms, whether with or without the author s sanc 
tion is uncertain. 

Those who are best acquainted with the two 
scholars think it probable that Mr. Linwood, who 
had unbounded confidence in his own critical judg 
ment, made the change to suit his own taste, and 
that Mr. Gordon, in his careless way, let it pass, 
as a matter of little consequence. Subjoined is the 
Epigram according to Mr. Linwood : 

" (1.) On Sir F. Chantrcy s Monument to Two 

Children in Lichfield Cathedral. 
A MOIF a Kpvepa rco /cocAw iralS 

ypirao-e TWV /caAwy r/y Kopo? eW *A iSi ; 
aAAa orvy , AyyfA/a, rov arjdta fJivOov 
Wi TrayKoirav ety Atdao 

on Chantrey^s Monument. 13 

8 . Q Scufjiov, rav KaXav wAeow aypav, 
ov yap ray fyvyas ovde ra crcwyuar tX Lf 
al p,lv yap fyvyai /-tere/ifycraj eV ovpavov evpvv 
aco/jLara 3 iv yaia vrjyptrov VTTVOV ^X 6 ^" 

Anthologia Oxoniensis, p. 216, Oxon, 1846. 

With this version one furnished by Mr. Fisher 
from memory agrees. 

But Sir E. Lingen, who, if any one, has a right to 
be heard on this subject, gives the following reading 
of the Epitaph: 

(2). A fjiolp a Kpvtpa TO) KaXa) iral8 AQpoSiraf 
"ApTracre TU>V KaXa*v ris KOpos ear At8a ; 

*AAAa av y\ AyycA/a, rov drjdea pvOov e^oto-a, 
Bacr/ce,, /jie\ai>Ti)(fj irpos SO/JLOV eA$e Otov. 

The only variations worthy of notice occur in the 
first four lines, the rest are the same in all the 

(3.) But there is yet another traditional form of 
the Epigram, for which I am indebted to the Eev. 
George Gaisford, a scholar and critic, vi nominis, who 
had it from the Eev. Edward Stokes, too early lost 
to his friends and country, and it was thought to be 
the original form in which these lines appeared : Sir 
E. Lingen s variation being introduced to obviate 
a possible objection on metrical grounds. 

d The form Ai Sa, in line two, seems preferable to *AVSi, on the 
authority of the Epigram of Erinna on Baucis, upon which, as 
Sir 11. Lingen suggests, Mr. Gordon s Epigram was partly moulded. 

1 4 Oxford Residence 

A juLOLpa Kpvepa rco /caAcb iralS *A(/)po8iTa$ 
ffpTraae T&V KaX&v TLS Kopos 1 6OT At8a ; 

AAAa cri! y , AyyeA/a, roz> arjdea }MV0ov 
Bacr/ce (ji\avTei\r} Trpo? dolors tXOe 6eov. 

These lines have perhaps detained us too long. 

Soon after his M.A. Degree, in 1839, Mr. Gordon 
was called upon to take his share of the college 
offices ; and till the period of his retirement to East- 
hampstead, in 1861, he was intimately associated 
with all that befell Christ Church. 

Dean Gaisford, for whom Mr. Gordon always enter 
tained a genuine admiration, fully appreciated his 
brilliant qualities, and constantly availed himself 
of his quick apprehension and fertility of resource 
on any subject of importance. As a Tutor, Mr. 
Gordon at once gauged the intellectual calibre of his 
pupils, and adapted his instruction with singular 
skill to their several requirements. His particular 
taste was for a youth of good natural ability, whose 
originality was not overlaid with too much reading : 
his own genius seemed to communicate itself to 
kindred spirits, and his own vigorous personality 
stamped itself upon them. He never squeezed the 
orange : and it was to his judicious advice and in 
sight into character, that the influence was due 
which he continued to exercise over many distin 
guished men in after life. 

Some great names have been given in the various 
notices which appeared soon after his decease in the 
public prints : but the list might be almost inde- 

and Offices. 15 

finitely enlarged: and there are few departments 
of life in which it would not be found that the 
leaven of Osborne Gordon s teaching was still at 

Mr. Gordon served the University in many con 
spicuous posts as Moderator, as Public Examiner 
in the Schools, and as a Judge in awarding Univer 
sity Scholarships and the Chancellor s Prizes. He 
was twice nominated on the Board of Select Preachers, 
though on the second occasion he resigned the charge. 
He was a Pro-proctor : and on the resignation of the 
office of Proctor by the Eev. H. G. Liddell, the pre 
sent Dean of Christ Church, he was appointed by 
Dean Gaisford to fill the vacancy, and delivered the 
customary speech of the Senior Proctor on retiring 
from office. lie was elected on the new Hebdoma 
dal Council, which in 1854 superseded, under recent 
legislation, the old Board of Heads of Houses and 
Proctors ; and, as we shall see by and by, was brought 
back to more intimate relations with the University 
on the University Commission in 1877. 

During his period of residence he frequently as 
sisted his friend, the Eev. Jacob Ley, Vicar of St. 
Mary Magdalen (a name even at this distance of 
time not to be pronounced without emotion by those 
who knew the man), and his Sermons, delivered there, 
are still remembered by many of the parishioners 
for their vigour and originality. 

The dry ness of this enumeration may be a little 
relieved by the following anecdote, which puts Mr. 
Gordon s shrewdness and bonhomie in an amusing 

16 Proctorial Anecdote 

light during his earlier tenure of office as Pro- 

It would be inexcusable to reproduce it, except in 
the exact form in which it was communicated by the 
same ready and graphic pen to which we have been 
already indebted. 

"The very costly amusement of tandem -driving 
was indulged in by Undergraduates at the time Gordon 
was Pro-proctor to such an extent, that the Proctors 
were determined, if possible, to put a stop to it. In 
vain for some time they tried to intercept some of the 
drivers, and to make an example such as might deter 
others who were inclined to offend in the same way. 
In a conversation on the subject with one or both 
of the Proctors of the time Gordon said, I will 
undertake to catch a team to-morrow on any road 
on which I am told a team has gone out, if you, 
addressing a Proctor, will go with rne, and do what 
I direct. 

" (The practice, as I well remember, was to send 
on the leader by a groom, a mile or two out of 
Oxford, and in returning, at the same point, to take 
off the leader, and then soberly to drive in to the 
stables, as though simply from a quiet drive.) 

"The Proctor agreeing to go with the Pro, Gordon 
engaged a fly, drove out with the Proctor, some 
three miles on, I think, the Bicester road, arrived 
at the spot he had decided upon, and said to the 
driver pull up. < Now, said he to the Proctor, < get 
out. To the driver, Take your horse out of the fly. 
Push the fly into the ditch. After such hesitation 

continued. 17 

as one would expect, into the ditch went the fly. 
Now then, to the Proctor, get in. Into the fly 
went Proctor and Pro and shut-to the door. 

" Scarcely were they settled before up drove two 
gownsmen in a tandem. What, exclaimed they, 
an upset! Can we help you? At that moment of 
kindly proffered help, out in full view of the un 
suspecting youths stepped the black-velvet-sleeved 
Proctor and his coadjutor, with the familiar for 
mula, while their caps were raised with more than 
wonted courtesy, Gentlemen, your names and 

" Bidding the young drivers to a conference at 
Christ Church next morning, the fly having been 
replaced upon the road, the captors turned towards 
Oxford, followed by the tandem-cart and its occu 
pants at a really sober pace. There, said Gordon 
to his companion, you have been trying to catch 
teams and failed ; I told you I would catch one the 
first time I tried. You will, I am sure, be prepared 
to hear that our good and kind-hearted friend Gordon 
had made it a stipulation beforehand that the drivers 
of the team, which he by his shrewd stratagem en 
trapped, should in no way be punished for their 
breach of the discipline relating to members of the 
University still in statu pupillari. 

" There you have the details of the anecdote which 
I have been used to think is not a little character 
istic of my old friend s amiable cleverness. When 
his little plan has been told one may say how 
simple ! but how many are there to whom such 


18 Foreign travel 

a scheme would have occurred? And are there not 
some who would have forgotten to protect the vic 
tims of their stratagem against consequences?" 

We shall, many of us, like Mr. Lakin, to whom 
this narrative is due, " think of this little tale 
with pleasurable interest," and thank him for 
bringing to light so lively a passage from a Proc 
tor s note-book. 

In the summer of 1845 it was the writer s good 
fortune to be Mr. Gordon s companion on the Con 
tinent during a somewhat lengthened tour in Swit 
zerland and Italy. It was his first experience of 
foreign travel on any considerable scale, and the 
delight of witnessing some of the grandest scenes 
of Nature and the masterpieces of Art was greatly 
enhanced by the keen perception and critical judg 
ment of such a guide. Though Mr. Gordon was not 
of a robust frame he had an exquisite enjoyment of 
mountain scenery ; and without attempting any dan 
gerous ascents he had, perhaps, a truer appreciation 
of the peculiar beauties of rocks and glaciers than 
many who had penetrated further into their secrets. 
He took great interest in Mr. Buskin s studies of 
nature, which he greatly valued, and was constantly 
bringing his old pupil s theories to the test of ex 

On one occasion, however, his explorations were 
brought to an awkward termination. He had been 
spending the day with several Oxford friends on the 
Mer de Glace, and on returning the party found that 
they had carelessly come to a fork in the river, one 

of the late Rev. Osborne Gordon, B.D. 19 

branch of which lay between them and the Inn at 
Chamounix, only a short distance off in a straight line. 
The rest were inclined to make a considerable detour, 
and cross by a bridge further up the stream; Mr. Gor 
don, however, divesting himself of part of his clothing, 
tried to wade, but, as the rest of the party feared, was 
swept away by the torrent, icy cold, and running 
with great rapidity. His companions, by a common 
impulse, started off to a point some distance lower 
down, where the river narrowed considerably, and 
where they hoped to rescue him; but he did better 
for himself, and after a time struck out and succeeded 
in reaching the opposite bank, to the unspeakable relief 
of those who were watching him. A Savoyard peasant- 
woman, who had witnessed the adventure, took him 
under her special protection, and when we reached 
our quarters, after a long circuit, we had the satisfac 
tion of finding the hero of the day taking his ease 
in his inn, and, except a few slight cuts, none the 
worse for his escapade. Those, however, who knew 
best the danger of his position were much struck 
by the coolness and address with which he extricated 
himself from his perilous dilemma c . 

e It must be confessed that Mr. Gordon was not good company 
for weak nerves. He was constantly on the verge of a catas 
trophe de voyage, which kept his fellow-travellers in a lively 
state of uncertainty as to his movements. It seemed utterly 
hopeless, when he was strolling somewhere about, leaving his 
effects in ntter confusion, that he could be ready for boat or 
train, or any conveyance dependent on time or tide. But 
at the last possible moment he sauntered in to the place 


20 The Irish Famine 

In the following year (1846), on the retirement 
of the Eev. H. G. Liddell, he became his successor 
both as Censor in Christ Church, and Proctor in the 
University; and at the close of the official year he 
delivered the customary speech. It was, as usual 
with him, a model of terseness and elegance. He 
had occasion to make several allusions to Cambridge, 
and congratulated the Sister University, with his 
wonted force and felicity of diction, upon the recent 
election of the Prince Consort to the distinguished 
post of Chancellor. But he passed on to a subject 
then of absorbing interest the Irish famine. He 
dwelt, as might be expected, upon the sufferings 
and heroic endurance of the peasantry, while he 
relieved those melancholy details by a brighter pic 
ture of the universal sympathy extended to the 
famine and plague-stricken island; and enlarged 
with excusable satisfaction upon the excellent spirit 
displayed by all classes of the University in ex 
erting themselves to mitigate the severity of the 

Perhaps it may not be out of place to add some 
particulars on a subject to which only general refer 
ence could be made in a Proctor s speech. A sump 
tuary law was passed by common consent amongst 
Undergraduates limiting desserts at wine-parties 
which had been before generally on a much more ex- 

of starting with his usual abstracted air and leisurely giit 
and look of surprise at any symptom of impatience, though 
how chaos had been reduced to order was a secret known only 
to himself. 

0/1846-7. 21 

pensive scale to oranges and biscuits : the retrench, 
ment thus effected to be applied to the relief of Irish 
distress. This is the only restriction of the kind that 
the writer has ever known carried out to the letter : 
and this was strictly enforced by public opinion. 

At that time (1846-7) third-class trains were 
very few, and none running at convenient hours. 
The great bulk of the well-to-do members of the 
University travelled first class as matter of course ; 
but in the face of the distress then existing there 
was a great change in this respect, and many per 
sons then travelled second class who had probably 
never entered a carriage of that kind before. It 
must be borne in mind that the accommodation then 
provided by the G. W. E. for their second-class 
passengers might reasonably be objected to, and was 
quite unlike the convenience and comfort of the pre 
sent arrangements. Bemonstrances were in some 
cases addressed by strangers to first-class pas 
sengers for incurring unnecessary expense, and not 
submitting to temporary inconvenience, it being 
understood that the difference of the fare was to be 
applied in all cases to the cause which was then 
uppermost in every heart. Judge of the strength 
of the feeling to excuse such a breach of conventional 
propriety in punctilious Oxford ! 

One special circumstance of a more public cha 
racter may be mentioned in illustration of the pre 
vailing sentiment. There was a considerable balance 
at the time belonging to the Oxford Union Society, 
which a patriotic Irish Peer, now high in the 

22 Pamphlet on 

public service of the Crown, proposed should be 
transferred to the Irish Belief Fund. The members 
of the Society did full justice to the motives of the 
proposer, with which all sympathized, but the ma 
jority did not consider themselves at liberty to deal 
so with moneys contributed for a different object. The 
motion was, however, met by a counter resolution, 
that a subscription should be opened on the spot 
(in addition to other machinery already set on foot), 
which it was hoped would more than realise the 
amount proposed to be alienated from the Society s 
funds. This was done, and, as far as the writer re 
members, the noble mover had no reason to be dis 
satisfied with the result of his appeal f . 

For some years previous to the Eoyal Commission 
of Enquiry into the Universities of Oxford and Cam 
bridge in 1850, there had been a growing feeling 
amongst those chiefly engaged in Education at Oxford 
that some alteration of the existing system was re 
quired. There were various schemes in agitation, 
as might be expected in a centre of so great in 
tellectual activity; but the changes formulated 
might be classed under two separate heads : (1.) 
Those which referred to a re-adjustment or re 
modelling of the educational system; and, as a 
means to that end, a revision of the Public Exam 
ination Statute then existing. (2.) The extension 
of the University teaching to classes of students 

f Upon one occasion Mr. Gordon was laid claim to by the sister 
island, when at a Dublin reception he was announced as The 
O Gordon. 

University Reform. 23 

not then able to enjoy its advantages. But in 
discussing the question of University Education 
generally, a very important subdivision of the sub 
ject forced itself upon public attention, and still con 
tinues to form one of the problems of the day, viz. 
the relation of Professorial to Tutorial teaching. 

By stress of circumstances the Professors had then 
(circ. 1850) practically ceased to have any consider 
able hold upon the undergraduate members of the 
University. This was owing to no fault of their 
own. The bulk of the Undergraduates were not 
sufficiently instructed to profit by such lectures as 
suited the dignity of the Professor s Chair. The 
other men who were candidates for distinction in 
the University had their time thoroughly occupied 
in preparing for the Schools; and grudged any in 
terference with the course of reading which they 
thought most serviceable for the end in view. So it 
was hard to say from what ranks the Professors 
audiences were to be recruited. 

With the great subdivision of subjects now intro 
duced, and the advance in many branches of know 
ledge, the difficulty is doubtless by this time much di 
minished, but no one could be surprised to hear that 
it still existed in some degree. The College Tutors 
had, therefore, in great measure, become the recog 
nized teachers in the University, but they were in 
turn supplemented or superseded by the private Tu 
tors, many of them extremely able men, whose 
assistance was counted almost indispensable for high 
honours in the Schools, while the candidates for 

24 Memorial from without 

a Pass degree equally had recourse to help of a more 
modest character beyond the College Lectures. 

One of the chief defects under the old system was 
the opportunity it held out for idleness during a 
great part of the Undergraduate s course. There 
wus frequently an interval of a full year and a-half 
between the Little-go and the Great-go, which 
a large proportion of the Undergraduates passed 
in comparative idleness until a few months before 
the necessary preparation for the Final Schools : 
and it was justly held that this length of time un 
accounted for, during which the Undergraduate was 
left very much to himself, fostered habits of extrava 
gance and other evils. It was to remedy this state 
of things that an intermediate examination, called 
Moderations, was introduced, which has had the 
effect of remedying many of the abuses complained 
of under the old system. These remarks are only 
intended to shew the state of public feeling when 
Mr. Gordon published a pamphlet on the improve 
ment of the University Statute then in operation, 
and on the admission of poor Scholars to the Uni 

The immediate occasion of this publication was 
a memorial on the subject of University extension 
signed by a number of noblemen and gentlemen, 
with Lord Sandon (the late Earl of Harrowby) and 
Lord Ashley (the present Earl of Shaftesbury) at 
their head. This object engaged Mr. Gordon s warm 
est sympathy ; he did all in his power to promote it : 
and though there were doubtless many previous 

the University supported. 25 

suggestions pointing in the same direction, this 
pamphlet had the merit of putting the question 
before the public in a practical form, and paved the 
way for further progress. 

From the extracts given below the reader will 
be able to see how much University legislation, as 
it was afterwards carried out, was here anticipated. 
Mr. Gordon begins with noticing the question of 
the Professors, which had become more prominent 
in consequence of a memorial, to which he refers, 
lately issued by the professorial body. 

As the same Academical problems keep constantly 
recurring in a different shape, Mr. Gordon s remarks 
may not yet be out of date, though written under 
the old constitution. There had been an attempt 
to give the Professors some connexion with the 
necessary Academic course, by means of a regulation 
that every Undergraduate should attend one course 
of Professors Lectures in " Literee humaniores," and 
one in " Discipline Mathematics et Physicse ;" the 
particular subject and professor being left to the 
taste of the individual. This expedient, however, 
did not find favour then or at later times. 

Mr. Gordon then proceeds: "The subject, however, 
has not been allowed to sleep. It has occupied the 
thoughts of many minds in and out of the Univer 
sity, who cannot understand how there should be 
Professors without Lectures, or Lectures without 
hearers; and an attempt has lately been made to 
press it to a decision, by a memorial of the Profes 
sors themselves, calling upon the proper Authorities 

26 Proposal of the Memorialists. 

to give them a chance of doing their duties to their 
Founders by providing them with classes. Nothing, 
however, can be more liberal than the selection which 
these Gentlemen offer, or more modest than their 
request. They have enlarged the old columns by 
the addition of one or two other subjects, and, as 
proposed before, will be satisfied with attendance 
on two Courses of Lectures. Still this little is not 
granted, and the subject remains to exercise the wits 
of University legislators, and to be the theme else 
where of an annual dirge from a Gentleman, who 
having experienced the feelings of a speaker without 
an audience, can doubtless enter into those of a Pn> 
fessor without a class." 

But as Mr. Gordon considered that the enlargement 
of the University, which he contemplated, might also 
have a considerable bearing upon the changes pro 
posed in the Examination Statute, he draws attention 
to the Memorial from without the University already 
mentioned, as his own propositions are founded upon 
its suggestions. The passage which he quotes is so 
important in itself, and is couched in so moderate 
and judicious language, that it will not be without 
interest even now : 

" The Universities, 7 say the Memorialists, < tab 
up Education where our Schools leave it, yet n< 
one can say that they have been strengthened 01 
extended, whether for clergy or laity, in propor 
tion to the growing population of the country, its 
increasing empire, or deepening responsibilities. We 
are anxious to suggest, that the link which we thus 

further considered. 27 

find missing (between Schools and the Ministry) c in 
the chain of improvement, should be supplied, by 
rendering Academical Education accessible to the 
sons of parents, whose incomes are too narrow for 
the scale of expenditure at present prevailing among 
the junior members of the University of Oxford, and 
that this should be done through the addition of 
new departments to existing Colleges, or, if necessary, 
by the foundation of new Collegiate Bodies. After 
thus stating their general views, they leave the 
details in other hands, and conclude by recording 
their readiness, whenever the matter may proceed 
further, to aid by personal exertions, or pecuniary 
contributions, in the promotion of a design which the 
exigencies of the country so clearly seem to require. 
I know not what may have been the fate of this me 
morial, but I think that, looking to the high rank and 
character of the Gentlemen whose names appear at 
the end of it, and the honourable preference which 
they shew for our University, every one will allow 
that they have a right not only to expect a courteous 
reception, but to be met if possible with free and 
cordial co-operation. It is in that spirit that I take 
up the proposition which these Gentlemen have 
made, hoping that the importance of it, and the 
necessity of doing something, will be some excuse 
for the boldness of any one who thinks that he has 
any thing practicable to offer." 

Mr. Gordon takes the subject of improvement in 
the existing Examination Statute first. He consi 
dered it to have been a cardinal error in the last 

28 Professors * Lectures, 

attempt to enforce Professorial teaching, that it had 
no reference to the Examination Statute. He thought 
that if Professorial teaching were to be combined 
with the Tutorial, the Examination Statute must be 
altered. His observations here depend so little upon 
the special circumstances of the time for their value, 
that they will commend themselves to the common 
sense of the University now, as they did when they 
first appeared. 

"There is," he adds, u a real danger of all systems 
becoming too systematic, and passing into stereotype ; 
with the perfection of their form they begin to lose their 
spirit and vitality, and require the re-organization 
of their old elements, or the infusion of new ones. 

" The practical question then which we have to 
consider, is not what to do with the Professors, but 
how to improve the Examination Statute. What we 
want is not to supply them with an unwilling au 
dience, but to have the best possible system. At 
the same time I am persuaded, that the best system 
is that which will afford them the most useful field 
for their exertions, and that too by a natural con 
sequence, and not by the force of legal enactment. 
But if we set our hearts on the formation of classes 
for the Professors as an end, we may succeed perhaps 
in stimulating the most harmless of that tribe to a 
ferocity in lecturing quite alien to their natures, but 
we shall put ourselves out of the way of all practical 
improvement. If the system is good, and the Pro 
fessors Lectures in any branch of knowledge are 
such as help the student on his way to distinction, 

Admission of poor Scholars. 29 

they will be attended naturally p ; if they are not such, 
why should he be compelled to attend ? If on the 
other hand they lie out of the course of the system, 
leiny good, it would be a positive evil and impedi 
ment to force them into it. I speak here only with 
reference to those who seek distinction ; as to men 
in general, they would derive no benefit in any case 
from such Lectures as one who bears the title of 
Professor ought to give." 

The gist of his proposal is that there should be an 
intermediate School very much on the lines of the 
present Moderations, and as his object has been 
in all essential points secured, we will consider the 
second head of his pamphlet, in which he was equally 
successful in divining the course of future legislation. 

There had long been an uneasy feeling that the 
University had fallen short of its duty as regarded 
the admission and maintenance of poor Scholars. 
A comparison of the then existing Members of the 
University with the census taken in 1612, shewed 
that though there had been a general increase, it was 
not at all in proportion to the increased population 
and wealth of the country : while the document in 
question " proved also the diminution, or rather ex 
tinction, of a class, which then formed and ought to 
form, a considerable portion of the University. At 
that time there appear to have been under various 
names nearly 500 poor Scholars (out of an aggregate 
of 2,920, including servants) receiving their education 
here : at present those who may be considered to 

s This is now the case as regards Moral Philosophy and Logic. 

30 Admission of poor Scholars. 

occupy a similar position are not fifty. It is to the 
re-introduction of this class on a large scale that the 
Memorialists have referred us, as the only way of 
meeting the wants of the country." "With this con 
clusion Mr. Gordon absolutely agrees, and he pro 
ceeds to discuss the mode of bringing it about. 

"The Memorialists think the good they contem 
plate may be accomplished in two ways by the 
addition of new departments to existing Colleges, or 
the foundation of new ones." To the last suggestion 
Mr. Gordon thought there were grave objections ; 
and these are stated with much force and truth, 
and would, under ordinary circumstances, have 
proved fatal to such a scheme. For no one had 
a right to calculate upon the princely munificence 
which once more came to the rescue, and associated 
with an honoured name the cause of true religion 
and useful learning, in some quarters threatened 
with divorce. The splendid exception, perhaps, helps 
to establish the rule : and the number of those who 
would formerly have been excluded, but are now 
admitted to the benefits of the University, far ex 
ceeds the modest limit of three hundred, Mr. Gordon s 
original calculation as a first instalment ; with a ca 
pacity, as he truly anticipated, of indefinite enlarge 
ment. His concluding remark is as true to-day as it 
was nearly forty years ago. "I have supposed the 
existence of three hundred poor Scholars in the Uni 
versity. I am almost ashamed at the smallness of 
the number, but I have purposely made the lowest 
computation. The good, however, that would be 

Eoyal Commission, 1850 " Papal Aggression." 31 

effected by acting even on this moderate scale, can 
not be represented by figures. It would be the 
beginning of a system, whereby the Church would 
strike its roots freely into the subsoil of society, 
drawing from it those elements of life, and that 
sustenance of mental and moral power, without 
which it may last for centuries as an aged trunk, 
but will never flourish as a tree " by the river s 

In 1850 came the Eoyal Commission for Enquiry 
into the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. Both 
the expediency and legality of the Commission were 
much debated at the time, and the Commission was 
opposed in a speech of remarkable eloquence by Mr. 
Gladstone in the House of Commons, on July 18. 

This eventful year, which witnessed the death of 
Sir E. Peel, also gave birth to a movement popularly 
known as the " Papal Aggression." Upon constitu 
tional grounds it was thought fitting that the Uni 
versity of Oxford should present an address to the 
Crown against this usurpation. A Delegacy, of which 
Mr. Gordon was a member, was accordingly appointed 
for the purpose, and received by the Queen at 
Windsor, with deputations from the University of 
Cambridge, and the Corporation of the city of 
London, on Dec. 10. The excitement on the 
subject gradually died away after the passing of the 
Ecclesiastical Titles Bill. At Oxford, moreover, at 
tention was engrossed by the proceedings of the Uni 
versity Commission, which were watched with greater 
anxiety, as they took a more definite shape. 

32 Death of the Duke of Wellington. 

While this scheme was pending, late in the summer 
of 1852, the whole of Europe, aud it is no exaggera 
tion to say, the civilized world, sustained a shock 
in the death of the Duke of Wellington. His funeral 
in St. Paul s Cathedral was a national solemnity 
without parallel before or since. By the University 
of Oxford, of which his Grace had been Chancellor 
from the year 1834, his loss, though for some time 
anticipated, was not the less sensibly felt. In the 
Censor s Speech of that year Mr. Gordon referred 
to the blow which had fallen upon the University, 
and upon Christ Church especially, of which the 
Duke was a member, in the death of the Chancellor. 
Such an event called forth from all quarters tributes 
of the highest eloquence to the memory of one who 
had long been the chief Pillar of the State. But it 
may be doubted whether any speech delivered on the 
occasion exceeded in force or dignity that of which 
Mr. Gordon was the author. It is cast in an heroic 
mould ; it is classical in form and sentiment ; and 
hardly bears translation from the Latin, in which 
Mr. Gordon thought as he wrote. The part of 
the speech relating to the Duke is subjoined, as 
evidence that the oration was worthy of the man 
in whose honour it was composed the brilliant com 
parison, or contrast rather, between the two brothers, 
the Marquis of Wellesley and the Duke of Welling 
ton, both of Christ Church, the former on the founda 
tion, one of those striking combinations in which 
history does not repeat itself, found an adequate 
exponent in the Speaker of the Day. 

Latin Speech 33 

" Post multa munera, quibus me imparem expertus 
sum, nunquam vires mihi atque ingenium magis 
defuisse memini, quam cum more solemn! ad hanc 
orationem elaborandam access!. Nam si domesticis 
rebus, si quid sermone exponendum esset aut illus- 
trandum, vix aut ne vix quidem satisfeci, quomodo 
in pulflica causa et communi omnium desiderio, aut 
voluntati meae aut aliorum expectationi respondere 
sperarem ? Quomodo, quod pra3stantissimi viri dicen- 
dique peritissimi, in senatu plurimisque concionibus, 
suas etiam vires superare conquesti sunt, id ego, 
omnibus in rebus minor, aut ingenio complecti co- 
narer aut oratione attingere auderem ? Et tamen in 
Cancellarii Universitatis, et illustrissimi civis hujusce 
ocdis interitu, aut a Censoria consuetudine, scilicet 
ut l3ta et tristia anni exeuntis pro facultate nostra 
exponeremus, erat discedendum, aut hoc operis sus- 
cipiendum, hie obeundus labor; et periclitando for- 
tasse, potius quam silendo peccandum. In hoc autem 
discrimen eo libentius adductus sum, quod res militia3 
a Cancellario nostro splendide gestas, operam domi 
in administranda republica egregie navatam, vestra 
omnium venia, majori ex parte prsetermittere licebit. 
Non harum credo rationem a me exigetis. Et tot 
profecto tantaque facinora et bellorum miracula, vic 
toria) ab acerrimis hostibus reportatce, munitissima- 
rum urbium expugnationes, exuvice ducum, exer- 
cituum fugre et profligationes, debellata unius viri 
Asia atque Europa triumphis, ha3C non nostri ingenii 
sunt, neque facundioc ; 

43 on the Death of 

Neque enim quivis horrentia pills 
Agraina, vel f racta pereuntes cuspide Gallos 

audeat describere. Ceterum inter pacis munera, 
otiique dulcedines, injussa venit in mentem admira- 
bilis ilia triumphorum series, gloriseque ilia fere 
quotidiana incrementa, quse patribus nostris coram 
oculis proponebantur, et nobis heereditario jure, fami- 
liaria et domestica devenere. Mallem ad vestram 
memoriam, quam ad meam ipsius orationem provo- 
catum ; sed in ipso Cancellarii nostri nomine, non 
possumus non recordari, Indiam ab altero fratrum, 
quern jure nostrum appellare possumus, adminis- 
tratam, ab altero pacatam, et si quid aberat nostris 
adjudicatum armis, bellum in Hispania longinquum, 
et assiduo labore confectum, plurimas acies justo 
proelio commissas, signum nunquam receptui datum, 
Lusitanise arces tanta constantia occupatas, ubi solus 
fere atque unicus imperator, molem procellamque 
belli contra hostiles impetus, contra opinionem patrise, 
contra inimicarum partium studia, Fabius alter atque 
Africanus, diversarum fere virtutum conciliator, cunc- 
tando idem atque audendo, sustinebat ; tempestatem 
ab ilia arce emissam, liberatam tandem peregrin o 
milite Hispaniam, ultimam denique illam dimica- 
tionem, spoliisque opimis nobilitatam, ubi dux sum- 
mus summo duci, fortunse filio, si non arma atque 
exuvias, at belli gloriam et jus victorise toties, usur- 
patum detraxit, Gallicoeque aquilaB, relicta pra3da, 
nudata3 sordidatseque profugere : avrnruXu) Svcryti- 
SpaKovTi. IIa3c inquam non possumus non 

the Duke of Wellington, 35 

recordari, et si terrores minasque ejus temporis respi- 
ciamus, formidines omnium, unius robur, Pindaricum 
illud occurrit animo ; 

TIavpoL Se /3ov\vo-ai fyovov 

IlapTroSiov ve(f>e\av rpetyai irorl SvafJievewv avSpwv 

" Sed hcec missa facio. Neque enim hsec erant, 
propter quo3 Universitati nostroe cum memoria seterni 
nominis seipsam consociare placuit ; nee quod indolis 
nostree erat, castra foro, militiam otio, arma toga?, 
prseponere, aut earn rem in civitate primam esse, 
propter quam civitas nostra omnium evasit princeps, 
judicavimus. Esto, quod ait ingeniosus poeta, usur- 
pavit eloquentissimus orator, simul atque novus aliquis 
motus bellicurn canere coeperit, pelli e medio sapien- 
tiam, studia de manibus excuti, vi geri rem, sperni 
oratorem, horridum amari militem ; non idcirco mili- 
tari utcunque gloria florentem, qui nos pra3sidio tuta- 
retur, qusesivimus. Qaamquam baud scio an inter 
hsec etiam studia quibus dediti sumus, disciplina 
nostra a militari spiritu et bellicis virtutibus omnino 
abhorreat. Saltern, si unus et alter tantum a nobis 
in castrorum stipendia proficiscuntur, illud nunquatn 
Universitati quantacunque flagranti invidia objicietur, 
aut regi aut patriae in com muni periculo defuisse ; 
nee opinor in formidolosis temporibus, defutura est. 
Sed non bellorum mince eo tempore depellendee erant. 
Gliscebat civilis furor, pereundi perdendique omnia 
cupiditas, et legum novandarum insania ; plurimorum 
turbati animi, quidquid aut annis venerabile aut 


36 the Chancellor 

experientia probatum, eo ipso nomine contemptni 
habituin oppugnatumque ; usu veniebat indies illud, 

pev vdcrai iro\LV teal dty 
* eVl xapas avris eaaai Svo-iraXes 
El fir) 0eo9 dyefjiovecro-i KV/3epvaTrjp 

Postulabat itaque Universitas, qui ante alios hoc sibi 

desumeret, et vanas hominum libidines ad saniora 

concilia revocaret. Postulabat Universitas et adhuc 

fortasse postulat, qui omissa repeteret, desueta instau- 

raret, inutilia recideret, probata atque integra tuta- 

retur. Postulabant omnes, constantiae, prudentise, 

incorruptse fidei, nudee veritatis exemplum ; nee nobis 

minima3 laudi erit, in eo rerum discrimine ad talis 

viri auctoritatem confugisse. Memini equidem, nee 

facile memoria excidet, quanta pra3clarissimorum viro- 

rum frequentia solemuis ilia inauguratio celeb ra- 

batur ; ornatissimam theatri speciem, favorem vulgi, 

adolescentium plausus, quorum neminem poenituit, 

omnium gratulationes. Ex illo die animi bonorum 

recreati, spes etiam invitis facta, multis qui de re 

summa desperarant excitata cura, ne quid amplius 

detriment! respublica caperet. Nee, si hsec ultra 

verum ornare videar, sedecim anni sine fructu perie- 

runt. Crescit inter nos indies, ni fallor, industria, 

probitas, integritas, constimtia officii memor; et si 

multa adhuc temerariis hominum expectationibus 

parum respondere, mirum esset profecto, nisi nonnihil 

harum virtutum Cancellarii nostri exemplo deberemus. 

Nemo, credo, nostrum magnificentissimis illis exequiis 

et funebri pompse interfuit, quin ita animatus dis- 

of the University. 37 

cesserit, lit patrirc qua? turn pullata principem civem 
supremo comitabatur honore, civi qui patriam ita 
unice amaverat, Universitati cujus turn personam 
sustinebamus, non mediocrem operam et laborem, 
sed si quid ingenii prastantius, si quid virium fortius, 
si quid industrial diligentius, impendendum esse fate- 
retur. Illustri quidem memoria ilia Divi Paulli cedes 
insignita et posteris documento futura; nee temere 
erit, in densissima urbe, et confertissima orbis terra- 
rum multitudine, inter libera hominum commercia, 
et divitiarum contentiones, heroas geminos, alterum 
ad alterius latus, alterum terra, alterum mari victo- 
rem, pares fide atque officio, qui semel vivi, ut fertur, 
consilia de defendenda patria contulerunt, vita jam 
defunctos, sed vitac muneribus absolutis, duo velut 
fulmina belli, extinctis ignibus, sopitos conquiescere. 
Quorum si monumentum quaeritis, circumspicite, non 
illud tantum laquearis spatium quod summus archi- 
tectus hujus olim Universitatis alumnus gloriae Dei 
Opt. Max. suoque ipsius nomini imprudens con- 
secravit circumspicite potius Britannicum orbem, 
immo orbem terrarum egregie factorum testem, et 
ingenii cui se hand invitum subdidit, conscium. 
yap tTTKpavcois iracra 777 rct^oy, KGU ov (TTTjXcov 
ev rrj otKela <n)fJUUVt tTriypa^r}, aAAa KCU tv 
rrj yu,?; TTpocrrjKOVo-rj aypatyo? ^vi^r) Trap eKaaru) TYJS 
yvcofjLrj? fJLaXXov rj rov epyov eitdiaiTarai. 

"Ilaud vereor, ne de viro tanto nimius fuisse 

Meanwhile the legislation which resulted from the 

38 The Tutors Association. 

University Commission of 1850 was coming on apace. 
At this critical period the College Tutors who had 
most considered the subject, formed themselves into 
an association, of which the Eev. W. E. Jelf, Censor 
of Christ Church, was the first Chairman, and was 
on his retirement succeeded by the Rev. E. H. Han- 
sell, Fellow of Magdalen. The association held fre 
quent meetings in different colleges to consider the 
nature of the changes which appeared most desirable. 
No regular list of the whole body of members seems 
to have been preserved : but it may still interest 
some persons to recall the names of those who served 
on Committees to prepare recommendations, 

(1.) On the extension of the University. 

(2.) On the Constitution of the University. 

(3.) On the relation of the Professorial and Tuto 
rial Systems. 

The recommendations of these Committees 11 received 
respectful consideration from persons in authority, 

h The Committee on (1) consisted of K. W. Church, Fellow of 
Oriel (Dean of St. Paul s) ; F. Fanshawe, Fellow and Tutor of Ex 
eter ; A. W. Haddan, Fellow and Tutor of Trinity ; W. C. Lake, 
Fellow and Tutor of Balliol (Dean of Durham) ; H. L. Hansel, 
Fellow and Tutor of St. John s (late Dean of St. Paul s) ; C. Mar- 
liott, Fellow of Oriel; G. Marshall, Student and Censor of Christ 
Church ; D. Melville, late Fellow of Brasenose ; G. Bawlinson, 
Fellow and Tutor of Exeter (Canon of Canterbury and Camden 
Professor) ; S. P. Tweed, Fellow and Tutor of Exeter; and E. C. 
"VVoollcombe, Fellow and Tutor of Balliol. 

On (2), O. Gordon, Student and Censor of Christ Church ; E. 
Espin, Fellow and Tutor of Lincoln (Chancellor of Chester Diocese) ; 
W. C. Lake ; F. Meyrick, Fellow and Tutor of Trinity ; C. Neate, 
Fellow of Oriel (M.P. for Oxford City) ; E. Palmer, Fellow and 
Tutor of Balliol (Archdeacon of Oxford) ; G. Eawlinson ; J. Shad- 

Mr. Gordon and Mr. Gladstone. 39 

and were not without effect upon the provisions of 
the Act, which finally passed, as the result of the 
Commission. That Mr. Gordon did not always agree 
with the majority of his colleagues appears from 
a letter which he wrote to Mr. Gladstone, and pri 
vately circulated, on the part of the Bill relating 
to Christ Church. He urged the importance of pre 
serving the continuity of the Studentships, as some 
compensation for the smallness of the endowment, 
and argued the question with great earnestness and 
ingenuity 1 . In this contention, it is needless to say, 
he was not successful. In a Postscript to this letter 
he mentions his objection to the division of the Heb 
domadal Council into Classes. He would rather have 
had the election left free, all class distinctions 
thoroughly ignored, and every person left simply 
to depend on his own abilities and character. "As 
it is," he adds, "I cannot help fearing that the Bill 
"will be more successful in raising and perpetuating 
rival classes than in adjusting their claims." 

If Mr. Gordon was "a Tory of the deepest hue," 
his toryisrn was shewn in University questions, by 
leading the van in the reform of the Examination 
Statute, in opening the privileges and prizes of the 
University to poor Scholars, in extending its area, and 

forth, Fellow and Tutor of University ; E. Stokes, Student and 
Tutor of Christ Church; S. Wayte, Fellow and Tutor and late 
President of Trinity. 

On (3), 0. Gordon ; W. Hedley, Fellow and Tutor of University ; 
W. C. Lake; H. L. Hansel; C.Marriott; F. Meyrick; E. Palmer; 
G. Kawlinson. 

1 Vide Note at end of the Life. 

40 The late Bishop of Peterborough. 

in endeavouring to sweep away all restraint upon 
the discretion of electors in their choice of represen 
tatives to serve upon the Hebdomadal Council. 

From the year 1848 to 1852 Mr. Gordon had 
been engaged in the service of the University as 
Examiner and Moderator, and in 1849 he was nomin 
ated on the Board of Select Preachers. 

In 1854 he was, as we have seen, one of the 
members first elected on the Hebdomadal Council. 
In this capacity he was popular by reason of his 
genial humour, as he was influential by his shrewd 
ness and power of debate. In a conversation which 
the writer had years ago with the late Bishop of 
Peterborough, better known in Oxford as the ener 
getic Master of Pembroke, the Bishop spoke unre 
servedly, as his manner was, of the services which 
Mr. Gordon had rendered to the Board. 

"Formerly," he said, " he had himself and another 
eminent Scholar whom he named, drafted the Uni 
versity Statutes, and put them into Latin (a most 
difficult and thankless office), upon the whole with 
tolerable success ; but when Gordon came we felt," 
he continued, " he was the man, and withdrew in 
his favour. He did the work admirably. If any 
objection was raised he never argued the point, but 
proposed something to meet the objection : he was 
never put out of temper by any suggestions, how 
ever unreasonable, never at a loss, and ended by 
silencing the most captious criticism." Whoever 
has succeeded to Mr. Gordon s peculiar functions 
on the Board will probably be the first to confess, 

Death of Dean Gaisford. 41 

that it is not a place in which it is easy to give 
entire satisfaction. 

In 1855 the University of Oxford and the cause 
of Classical Learning had to lament the death of 
Dean Gaisford. He was the legitimate successor 
of the Stephens, the Scaligers, and Casaubons ; and 
with him the great line of European Scholars may 
be said to have closed. His powerful understanding, 
his strong common sense, and his unbending prin 
ciples, had great weight beyond the province which 
he had made his own: and the kindness of heart, 
which, as in Johnson, was disguised by a rugged 
manner, inspired a deep feeling of loyalty and affec 
tion to himself personally amongst those who had fre 
quent access to his presence. By Mr. Gordon, who 
of all officially connected with the Dean probably 
stood highest in his confidence and regard, the loss 
was most acutely felt and as powerfully expressed, 
and the audience assembled at the Censor s Speeches 
in Christ Church Hall at the close of the year heard 
a funeral oration worthy of the best days of Roman 
eloquence pronounced by Osborne Gordon over Thomas 
Gaisford j . 

Under Dean Gaisford s successor a heavy respon 
sibility devolved upon Mr. Gordon, from the fact that 
the new Dean laboured under some delicacy of health 
soon after his appointment, which necessitated a re 
sidence at Madeira during two winters, and the man 
agement of affairs during his absence was vested in 
the Sub- dean, Archdeacon Clerk e, who admirably 

J Speech in Appendix. 

42 ILRJI. the Prince of Wales. 

discharged the duties of the post left vacant, with the 
co-operation of the Censors. Happily the Dean s 
health was, after a short time, completely re-estab 
lished; and he was enabled, amidst his many other 
avocations, to inaugurate a series of architectural 
restorations and additions to the existing fabric con 
ceived and executed in the spirit of Wolsey himself. 

Mr. Gordon was engaged during the ensuing years 
in the business of the University, in the Schools and 
at the Council, as well as in the service of the House. 

In Michaelmas Term, 1859, H.E.H. the Prince of 
"Wales was matriculated as a member of the Uni 
versity of Oxford, and was entered on the books of 
Christ Church. H.E.H. was officially recognized as 
a pupil of Mr. Gordon, though the direct charge of 
his education at the University was confided to Mr. 
Herbert Fisher, now Vice-Warden of the Stannaries. 
During the remaining period of his residence at the 
University, and afterwards, Mr. Gordon received re 
peated marks of gracious consideration from H.E.H., 
by which he was too loyal a subject not to be 
deeply gratified. 

But he was presently called away to what many 
will consider the more important labours of his life. 
In 1860 he was presented to the Eectory of East 
Ilampstead, Berks, in the gift of Christ Church, the 
only Church preferment he ever held. 

It was a position which suited him exactly. He 
was midway between Oxford and London; he had 
close at hand parishioners distinguished both in point 
of rank and refinement; and his humbler neighbours 

Mr. Gordon at Easthampstcad. 43 

soon learned to appreciate the versatile genius of 
the new Eector, who was equally at home with all 
sorts and conditions of men. The country round 
abounded in the elements of good and varied society, 
of which he was not slow to take advantage, and 
to which he lent increased lustre. 

"When, however, he came into residence in the 
parish which was to be his home for twenty-two 
years, he found many and serious drawbacks. 

The church was dilapidated; there was only a Dame s 
School of the humblest type ; no habitable parsonage ; 
and the Church feeling of the parish was at a very 
low ebb, owing partly to the infirmities of the late 
Eector, a thorough valetudinarian, whose place had 
not been adequately supplied. Mr. Gordon lived to 
see a church which for its noble proportions and 
beauty of decoration has few competitors, with an 
east window lately presented as the gift of the 
Downshire family, executed by Mr. Morris from the 
design of Mr. Burne Jones, which deserves to rank 
amongst the triumphs of their art. 

The Dame s School of thirty children, at most, has 
been succeeded by school buildings accommodating 
nearly ten times that number : and a large Eectory- 
house, well planned and well placed, gives the In 
cumbent increased facilities in his charge of the 
parish. It must not be forgotten in this rapid 
summary that the glebe by judicious building and 
alteration has been materially improved, and in Mr. 
Gordon s skilful hands was before long in a state 
of high cultivation, so that he soon became quoted 
as an authority on agricultural matters. 

44 Employed in the Public Service. 

But the material has been less than the moral 
change : from the state of deadness and apathy, 
to the keen interest which Mr. Gordon s searching 
and powerful sermons created. His talents, however, 
had become too well known to be confined to the man 
agement of a country parish. They were soon called 
into requisition for the examinations of the Indian 
Civil Service, as well as for admission to the Army. 

His advice was asked and acted upon by Government 
in remodelling the arrangements of the Britannia 
Training Ship : as he had also a chief voice in deter 
mining the system to be adopted at the Naval School 
at Greenwich. Mr. Ward Hunt, at the Admiralty, 
reposed implicit confidence in Mr. Gordon, who was 
always clear-headed and collected; fully informed 
upon the subject in debate, free from prejudice, and 
careless of mere clamour. 

Upon the election of the Marquis of Salisbury, in 
1869, as Chancellor of the University, in succession 
to the late Earl of Derby, Mr. Gordon was nominated 
on the Delegacy appointed to notify his election to 
the new Chancellor. This graceful compliment was 
paid to Mr. Gordon, though he had for some years 
ceased to be resident of the University, as the Tutor 
of the Marquis (then Lord Eobert Cecil) during his 
residence at Christ Church : whose abilities he early 
recognized, and whose future eminence he foresaw. 

Mr. Gordon s attitude towards the Education Act 
of 1870 never varied. He was distinctly opposed 
to a system which allowed only a slight modicum 
of religious instruction in the Schools under its 
immediate control : and he never saw cause to alter 

Commission on the Irish Colleges. 45 

his opinion. Ecference is repeatedly made to the 
subject in his Sermons, one of which, entitled u The 
Great Commandment and Education," was published 
in 1870: and upon the election of Viscount Sandon 
(the present Earl of Harrowby) on the first London 
School Board, he addressed a letter to his Lordship 
with the heading " School Boards and Eeligious 
Education:" and the arguments there advanced, if 
not unanswerable, have never, so far as appears, been 

In 1876, under Mr. Disraeli s Administration, Mr. 
Gordon was nominated to act as Chairman, with two 
colleagues and a Secretary, upon a Commission to 
inquire into the constitution of the Councils of the 
Queen s Colleges in Ireland, and into the position 
of the Presidents, Professors, and other paid officers 
of those Institutions. 

By the courtesy of the present Chief Secretary for 
Ireland the writer has had placed at his disposal (1) a 
letter from Sir M. H. Beach, then Chief Secretary 
for Ireland, to the Treasury, on the subject of the 
proposed inquiry. (2.) A letter of instructions from 
Sir M. H. Beach to the Commissioners on the scope 
and object of the inquiry. These important docu 
ments are printed at length, both on account of their 
intrinsic value, and by reason of the interest which 
has been revived in the question : as also because 
they throw light upon (3) a letter from Mr. Henry 
Brougham Leech, Professor of Jurisprudence and 
International Law in the University of Dublin, \vho 
acted as Secretary to the Commission, and has borne 

46 Letter of Sir Michael IlicJcs- Beach 

testimony to Mr. Gordon s mode of dealing with the 
questions brought before him, in the following striking 

(Copy of letter of 29th November, 1875, from Sir 
Michael Hicks-Beach to the Treasury, relative to the 
proposed Committee of Inquiry.) 

"Dublin Castle, 29th November, 1875. 

" SIR, I am directed by the Lord Lieutenant to 
acquaint you, for the information of the Lords Com 
missioners of Her Majesty s Treasury, that the pre 
sent position of the Professors of the Queen s Colleges 
in Ireland has recently engaged the anxious consi 
deration of the Irish Government. 

" In 1873 a memorial, of which a copy is enclosed, 
was presented by the Professors of the Queen s 
Colleges to His Grace s predecessor, Earl Spencer, 
and other applications of the same kind have been 
made from time to time. The accompanying extracts 
from Memoranda by the Secretary of the Queen s 
University, which I enclose for Their Lordship s 
information, explain the work and emoluments of 
the Professors, and state some of the arguments 
by which their request for increased stipends may 
be supported. 

" His Grace has, however, hitherto refrained from 
specially urging this subject upon Their Lordships, 
because he has felt that, following the precedent 
set in 1863, if an increase in the stipends of the 
Professors be conceded, it should at the same time 
be carefully considered whether such increase might 

on the proposed Commission 47 

not bo accompanied by such changes in their position 
and duties as would materially augment the teaching 
power of the whole professorial staff, and effect im 
portant improvements in the organization of the 

" His Grace desires me briefly to refer to some 
important points of this nature which have been 
suggested to him as deserving consideration. 

1. Class Fees to be abolished, and a Composition Fee to be 
instituted, to be paid into Prize Fund. 

" 1. The income of the Queen s Colleges Pro 
fessors is made up by College stipend, allowance 
from University Chest as University Examiners, 
and Class Fees. At present a Professor receives 
2 from each student attending his instruction. 

"It has been suggested that as regards these 
* Class Fees, the present system might be advan 
tageously modified, by allowing the Students to pay 
a Composition Fee to the College, which should 
free them to all the instruction of the College (ex 
cept one or two practical courses in which there 
are special expenses), and by uniting the Composi 
tion Fee into one fund, to be called the Prize 
Fund, out of which every Professor or licensed 
Teacher should be paid a fixed sum not exceeding 
1 a year for each student attending his class; the 
remaining surplus being divided among the Pro 
fessors and other officers of the Colleges according 
to certain fixed rules. 

" In this way the pecuniary interest which a Pro- 

48 on the Irish Colleges. 

fessor has in the number of students attending his 
own class would be diminished, but not abolished, 
while his pecuniary interest in the general success 
of the College would be increased. 

" 2. Professors to be appointed to Faculties instead of Chairs. 

" 2. His Grace has been advised that it might 
conduce to the educational efficiencies of the Colleges 
if a Professor was not appointed a Professor in a par 
ticular subject, but simply a Professor in a Faculty. 

" To illustrate his meaning His Grace will give 
two instances : There are at present in each College 
two Professors of Mathematics, a Professor of Pure 
Mathematics, and a Professor of Natural Philosophy. 
If they were not so styled in the statutes the College 
Council could sanction a better division of their 
duties between these Professors. There are also 
two Professorships respectively of Greek and Latin, 
and it is very conceivable that the teaching of these 
languages and literatures might in some instances 
be better provided for than by giving the whole of 
the Greek course to one, and the whole of the Latin 
course to another Professor. 

"It might for many reasons be advisable that 
the Colleges should be left free in all cases of this 
kind to make the best practicable arrangement in 
their power. 

" 3. Appointment of Licensed Lecturers other than Professors. 

"3. It has been further suggested to His Grace 

that it would be also very desirable that the College 

Councils should have power to license other Lee- 

Suggestions submitted 49 

turcrs than Professors; and that this power, if 
granted, would, at an exceedingly small cost, in 
crease very much the teaching power of the Colleges, 
by enabling the Councils to introduce into the 
Queen s Colleges much of the advantages which have 
been found in Germany to result from the addition 
of Extra-ordinary Professors and Privat-Docen- 
ten to the smaller staff of < Ordinary Professors/ 

" Should such a system be adopted, it would of 
course be necessary to consider how far the present 
occupants of the ordinary Professorial chairs might 
be entitled to compensation for the loss of that 
portion of their fees which would go to the new 
teachers, between whom and themselves the students 
would be allowed to choose. 

"4. Appointment and Payment of Readers. 

" 4. It might also be desirable that a portion 
of the Prize Fund should be set free for, and allo 
cated to, the payment of Eeaders who should assist 
the Professors in getting through the weekly ex 
aminations, correction of exercises, and other irksome 

" 5. There are other matters of a less important 
character, such as the redistribution of offices, the 
claims of the Presidents and officers for increased 
remuneration, &c., which are also deserving of serious 
consideration, but which His Grace does not consider 
it necessary, more particularly at present, to specify. 

" His Grace is of opinion that it is very desirable 
to the interests of the Queen s Colleges that such 
points as those above mentioned, together with the 

50 to the Treasury. 

claims of the existing Professors for increased re 
muneration, should be duly inquired into and con 
sidered by Her Majesty s Governments. 

"His Grace need not point out that, while an im 
provement in the position of the Professors would afford 
a favourable opportunity for carrying into immediate 
effect either the particular suggestions that have been 
made, or any other changes of the same character 
that it might be thought advisable to adopt, it would 
be hardly possible, having regard to existing rights, 
to make them at once without their being accom 
panied by some corresponding advantage to the Pro 
fessors. It is mainly for these reasons that His Grace 
wishes the two questions to be jointly considered. 

"His Grace feels, however, that without the in 
stitution of a careful and searching inquiry upon the 
spot, into the circumstances of each College, it would 
be very difficult, if not impossible, for Her Majesty s 
Government to arrive at a satisfactory conclusion 
upon the subject, and that to render such an inquiry 
efficient, it would be advisable to obtain the assist 
ance of gentlemen thoroughly acquainted with the 
practical working of the professorial and tutorial 
system in other Universities within the United 
Kingdom. He would therefore suggest to their 
Lordships that two gentlemen connected respectively 
with an English and Scotch University should be ap 
pointed, together with the Treasury Eemembrancer in 
Ireland, as a Treasury Commission to visit each College 
during the work of next term, and inquire into, and 
report upon, such points as may be referred to them. 

Ins tructions from 5 1 

" His Grace trusts that this matter may receive 
Their Lordships early consideration, and should 
Their Lordships approve of the suggestion which 
he has made, he will be prepared to specify the 
exact questions which, in his opinion, should be 
referred to such Commission. 

" I am, &c., 
" (Signed) M. E. HICKS-BEACH. 

" The Secretary, 
" Treasury, 


(Copy of letter of 5th April, 187G, from Sir 
Michael Ilicks-Beach, then Chief Secretary for Ire 
land, to the Eev. Osborne Gordon and the other 
gentlemen appointed to conduct the Inquiry into the 
Constitution of the Councils of the Queen s Colleges 
in Ireland, and into the position of the Presidents, 
Professors, and other paid officers of those Institu 

" 5th April, 1876. 

"GENTLEMEN, The inquiry which the Treasury 
have consented to institute, and which you have 
kindly undertaken to conduct, has reference to the 
constitution of the Councils of the Queen s Colleges 
in Ireland, and to the position of the Presidents, 
Professors, and other paid officers of those Institu 

The principal points suggested to you for inquiry 
are the following : 

"() Whether the constitution of the Councils 

E 2 

52 Sir Michael Hicks-Beach 

of the Queen s Colleges could be altered with advan 
tage to these Institutions. 

"(.) Whether the present mode of appointing to 
offices in the Queen s Colleges admits of improvement. 

" (c.) Whether any better distribution of the work 
of teaching can be effected than at present. 

" 1. By a better distribution of the work among 
the Professors themselves. 

" 2. By permitting the College Councils to license 
Lecturers in addition to the Professors. 

" 3. By assigning chairs to future Presidents. 

" 4. By employing Eeaders to assist the Professors 
in their less important duties. 

" (d.) Whether the remuneration of the Presidents, 
Professors, and other officers of the College is suf 
ficient, and if not, to what extent, and in what way 
it should be increased, and whether there are any 
redundant Professorships, the suppression or consoli 
dation of which might be effected without injury to 
the Colleges. 

"(<?.) Whether the arrangement in regard to class 
fees admits of improvement. 

u (/.) In the event of any changes being recom 
mended, what, if any, arrangements would be neces 
sary to secure the rights of existing officers. 

" I need not enter into details upon these points 
beyond placing in your hands copies of the Act 
under which the Queen s Colleges were founded, 
and of the Charter of the Queen s University, and 
also a copy of a letter addressed by me to the 
Treasury on the 29th of November last. 

to the Commissioners. 53 

" As regards, however, the concluding subject of 
inquiry under heading (*/), the Lord Lieutenant is 
anxious to invite your attention to the reductions 
and amalgamations that have been already effected 
in the Professorships. 

"Any further information you may desire, and 
which His Grace has in his possession, shall of course 
be placed at your disposal ; and the Presidents, Pro 
fessors, and other officers of the Colleges will be 
directed to afford you every information and assist 
ance in their power, and to furnish you with any 
returns you may require either before or during 
your inquiry into each College. 

" I have to add that the Lord s Commissioners 
of Her Majesty s Treasury have been pleased to 
approve of the appointment of a Secretary to assist 
you, and that His Grace will communicate to you, 
with as little delay as possible, the name of the 
gentleman selected by him for the post. 

"I have, &c. 
" (Sd.) M. E. HICKS-BEACH. 

" The Rev. Osborne Gordon, B.D., 
G. J. Allman, M.D., L.L.D., F.R.S., 
and II. H. Murray, Esq., fyc. t fyc." 

(Copy of letter from Mr. Henry Brougham Leech, 
Professor of Jurisprudence and International Law 
in the University of Dublin, to the Under Secretary 
for Ireland.) 

"49 Rutland-Square, Dub/in, 24th July, 1884. 
with the wish of the Chief Secretary conveyed to me 

54 Letter from 

through Mr. F. J. Cullinan, in relation to the Com 
mission upon the Queen s Colleges which was pre 
sided over by the Eev. Osborne Gordon, I write 
a short account of our proceedings therein. The 
Commission which was issued in April, 1876, was 
composed of Mr. Gordon as Chairman, Dr. G. F. 
Allman, now Sir George Allman, F.E.S., who has 
since held the office of President of the British 
Association, and Mr. Herbert Murray, then Treasury 
Eemembrancer in Ireland : and I was appointed their 
Secretary. The Commission dealt with various edu 
cational, medical, and financial questions connected 
with the Colleges, each of these departments being 
specially represented by the three gentlemen named 
as Commissioners, while the Chairman was the 
guiding spirit of the whole, as indeed he was ad 
mirably suited to be from his large and varied 
experience of educational organization in all its 

" We started for Belfast in the last week of April, 
and sitting for nearly a week in each of the three 
colleges, took the evidence of the Presidents, and 
Professors, and other College officers, and inspected 
the libraries and museums. On returning to Dublin 
about the middle of May, we heard some further 
witnesses, and then adjourned in order to give time 
for the printing of the evidence and its consideration, 
arranging to meet in London for the purpose of 
drawing up the Eeport. This meeting took place 
in the month of July, and we were so occupied for 
about three weeks. 

Mr. II. Brougham Leech, 55 

"The Ecport was compiled in the following man- 
ncr : its main portion was drafted by me, in accord 
ance with the instructions of the Commissioners, 
which were so clear and precise as to make my task 
a very easy one. Subject to the exceptions presently 
to be mentioned, these instructions were given by 
Mr. Gordon. And it was in doing this that he 
aroused the admiration of his colleagues and myself, 
by his complete mastery of the subject and the sur 
prising facility and skill with which he handled so 
considerable a mass of materials. Taking up each 
topic of inquiry in its turn, he noted down rapidly 
on a sheet of paper an abstract of his views, stating 
them as he went along, and arranging them in the 
most precise and logical order. There was practically 
no difference of opinion while this was being done, 
though, of course, some of the points were afterwards 
discussed at considerable length. It was then my 
duty to write upon the subject, of which the abstract 
was thus drawn up, and on the following day 
what I had written was discussed and amended, and 
a further abstract of the next topic produced in the 
same rapid and masterly fashion. This process went 
on from day to day until the work was completed. 
I endeavoured, of course, to keep strictly within my 
instructions, and the heads of the several subjects 
thus drawn up by Mr. Gordon being so complete 
and clear, the result was that not much amendment 
was in general required. In one or two cases, as, 
for instance, in reference to the question whether the 
President of the College should hold a chair, the 

5G Secretary to the Commission. 

Commissioners merely stated to me their opinion, 
and left me to work it out ; but the larger portion 
of the Eeport was drawn up as I have described, and 
was thus mainly the work of the Chairman. The 
part of the Eeport which deals with the medical 
branch of the inquiry, and the subjects therewith 
connected, was wholly the work of Sir George All- 
man, and the financial tables and statements in refer 
ence thereto were drawn up by Mr. Murray. 

" I cannot refrain from adding a personal tribute. 
I shall always gratefully remember Mr. Gordon s 
kindness to myself, both during the time we were 
engaged upon this work, and as expressed in the 
communications which I have received from him 
since. It is no small privilege to have counted such 
a man among one s friends. 

" I remain, &c., 

"Sir Robert Hamilton, K.C.R, 
Under Secretary for Ireland." 

In reference to this and other unpaid services 
which Mr. Gordon rendered to the State, Sir Michael 
Hicks-Beach makes the following comment, which 
will be generally admitted to be alike pertinent and 

"What strikes me about his career is, that 
he did not seek prominence, or work : but that he 
did with remarkable ability, and with great pains, 
what came to his hand. If he was not called on to 
do more and higher work was he to blame ? " 

In the year after the issuing of this Commission, 

Mr. Gordon University Commissioner. 57 

in 1877, ho was invited by Mr. Cross, then Homo 
Secretary, to supply the place of Mr. Justice Grove 
on the Board of Commissioners for the University 
of Oxford, engaged in revising the Statutes and 
Ordinances of the several Colleges : and upon this 
Commission he continued to serve till its work was 
finished. lie was much gratified by this appoint 
ment, and devoted his best energies to a subject upon 
which he was so well qualified to advise. Though it 
is known that he did not always agree with the con 
clusions of the Board, he always spoke in the highest 
terms of the public spirit and consideration for the Uni 
versity shewn by his Colleagues in their arduous task. 

Not long after the lamented death of Professor 
Henry Smith, one of the Commissioners, which took 
place in February, 1883, Mr. Gordon, in the course 
of conversation with the writer, expressed the high 
est admiration for Mr. Smith s exalted character, 
dwelling particularly on his candour, rectitude of 
judgment, and liberality of sentiment, with his own 
deep feeling of regret at his loss. 

lie was soon to follow. His constitution had been 
more impaired for some years past than his friends 
in general had at all suspected. For who could 
detect any trace of bodily weakness or decay while 
he was under the spell of that vigorous and active 
intellect ? 

A painful circumstance which had occurred in his 
own household some time before had weighed heavily 
upon his spirits, and may not have been without 
its effect in hastening his end. A boy in his service, 

58 His failing health 

in whom he had taken great interest, and whom he 
had kept in his employment long after most persons 
would have parted with him, had, from some per 
versity of temper or mental defect, been at last 
unavoidably discharged. The poor lad left his 
master s presence, wished his fellow-servants a 
hurried good-bye, rushed to his own room and 
shot himself. To Mr. Gordon, the most tender 
hearted and considerate of men to all about him, 
this was a frightful blow, from which it is probable 
he never quite recovered. He did not sleep for three 
nights ; he shrunk from observation : and when he 
was prevailed upon to keep a long-standing engage 
ment at Milton, was on his arrival utterly prostrate. 

It was plain that his whole system had received 
a violent shock k . 

Yet in the week preceding his death Mr. Gordon 
had been enjoying at his own house the society of 
those nearest and dearest to him, and the hospi 
tality, of which we have heard, ran its genial round, 

k The last time that the writer saw Mr. Gordon in his own home 
was in December, 1882, when, in company with the learned and 
accomplished Master of Wellington College, he went over to East- 
hampstead one dismal afternoon to see him. There had been a fall 
of snow, several inches deep, overnight, but at some distance from 
his house, near the church, they met Mr. Gordon on his way to 
the school. He looked, as they thought, worn and aged, but turned 
back with his visitors, and welcoming them with his wonted cor 
diality and cheerfulness, entertained them with a packet of corre 
spondence just received from Town, in a tone that quite dispelled 
any misgivings on the score of health in the writer s mind. 
He is afraid that he sunk several degrees in his companion s esti 
mation by his unrestrained amusement at Mr. Gordon s humourous 

and death, May 25, 1883. 59 

heightened and enlivened by a fund of anecdote 
and brilliancy of conversation which never failed : 
when almost with the departure of the last guest 
the candle burned low in the socket, and the friends 
who had left their host in the full flow and exu 
berance of his playful fancy were summoned back 
in haste to a darkened chamber and a dying bed. 

The end came so fast that very many of his large 
circle of acquaintances were for some time unaware of 
the loss which they had sustained : and under the cir 
cumstances the assemblage by his grave in Easthamp- 
stead Churchyard on the Wednesday following his 
death was not less remarkable for the number and 
distinction of the mourners, than for the deep feeling 
by which all present, parishioners and non-parishioners, 
were moved. Mr. Gordon died on Friday, May 25, 
1883. A Funeral Sermon preached in Easthamp- 
stead Church on the Sunday following (June 3) by 
his old and attached friend and former pupil, the 
Eev. E. Godfrey Faussett, paints Mr. Gordon to the 
life, and will supply the defects of this sketch. 

"With diffidence I speak to you of that dear 
friend, with whose memory your hearts are full ; 
who for nigh a quarter of a century past has walked 
with you here in this house of God. Suddenly his 
Master has called him to his rest ; and for us, weak 
mortals as we are, the shock of separation seems all 
too fresh for words. Something, too, I bear in mind, 
how repugnant it was to his own characteristic deli 
cacy of nature, as well as to (what I may call) his 
sober, reverential habit of mind, that aught so sacred, 

GO Funeral Sermon 

so inscrutable, as the life of a servant of Christ, 
should be submitted to the rude analysis of an erring 
human hand. The secrets of the heart are for the 
most part unspeakable words ; they may not, and 
cannot be uttered. "While God alone discerns our 
spirits, our estimates of each other must needs be 
at best superficial well for us if they be not pre 
sumptuous also. 

" I will try, then, to recount to you some of those 
outward marks and traits which seem to me best 
calculated to illustrate the character of our friend. 

" I look back to the University, which he served 
and adorned to the last, and where the best years 
of his life were spent, and I see a man gifted with 
so clear and capacious an intellect, that he bore off 
with ease the chief prizes of his day, and (apparently 
without effort) assimilated to himself knowledge in 
all its branches, such as cost others of more than 
average ability years of laborious study to acquire, 
yet who was of so generous and unassuming a dis 
position, that he never despised another s ignorance 
or stupidity, nor asserted a superiority of which he 
must but seemed not to have been conscious. 

11 1 see a man of so happy and genial a nature, 
that he was ever the welcomest of the welcome in 
the society even of the youngest, towards whom 
indeed his own fresh sympathies seemed in an es 
pecial manner to attract him ; but who, while he 
could laugh unreservedly with the merriest lad among 
them, never tolerated an excess, or a profanity, in 
deed or in word. 

in East Ilampstcad Church, 61 

" I sec a man who, apart from his powers of conver 
sation and vast range of knowledge of men and things, 
possessed so keen a sense of humour, so sparkling 
and ready a wit, that his presence in his common- 
room, or at the table of his co-evals, was always the 
centre and life of the party, but who was never known 
to utter an ill-natured word, nor do I think he ever 
harboured an unkind thought. 

" Once more I see the same man sitting with one 
or another apart, conversing on the most solemn 
subjects that can engross the heart of man subjects 
to which he would pass from some topic of transient 
interest, almost without change of tone simply, 
naturally, readily, as if [not as if, but because] his 
heart was always so attuned to reverence that he was 
scarcely conscious of the transition. At such times 
he has done more (I say it advisedly) to confirm the 
waverer, to reclaim the wanderer, to clear away the 
doubts (it may be) of (so-called) intellectual scepti 
cism, than any other man could do. He spoke always 
from the deepest conviction the conviction of a man 
devoid of bias or bigotry. The vast resources (not 
of his learning only, but) of his original independent 
thought, were at the command of any enquirer ; and 
his < counsel was sweet. 

u Looking back now along the vista of years, 
I recognize a character of rare harmony and beauty. 
I think he was kinder than most men who are kind. 
I think he was truer and more real than most men 
who are true and real. Ostentation, affectation, had 
absolutely no part in him. I have passed over his 

62 ty the Rev. R. Godfrey Faussett. 

public work, the many valuable services which he 
rendered to his University, and to the House to 
which he was attached. These are matters of fame 

no need that I should dilate upon them here. It 

is not, it never is, upon such monuments that we 
read the true epitaph of the man. Often his friends 
(and he had many friends, how could it be other 
wise ?) have grudged for him that he was not called 
to higher place and dignity. His versatility adapted 
him for any place; his ability for the highest. It 
pleased God to will it otherwise. And yet, humanly 
speaking, we may acknowledge, I think, that his 
virtues themselves tended rather to hold him back 
from promotion. He was too large-hearted to narrow 
his sympathies to sect or party ; too honest to wear 
the livery of this or that popular enthusiasm of 
which (though none more ready than he to recognize 
the merits) his judgment recoiled from the extrava 

" Which of us now could wish his life to have 
been other than it was ? Not you, my friends, I dare 
assert ; for though I know but little of what his work 
was here, knowing the man, I do not doubt he won 
your hearts. Think of him as he was, the wise, the 
true, the kind, and thank God with me that his lot 
was cast with yours. You have often listened to 
his voice, listen to it still ; ( being dead, he speaketh. 
He seems to bid us now to sorrow neither for him 
nor for ourselves ; but remembering him as he was, 
and as he is, to lift our hearts upwards from a world 
which is fast slipping away beneath our feet." 

Poem by the Rev. E. St. John Tynvhitt. G3 

The following lines, also by an old and dear friend 
and pupil of Mr. Gordon, the Eev. E. St. John Tyr- 
whitt, a name well known in literature and art, breathe 
the very spirit of the time and place : 

" WITH its familiar clinking sound 

The rectory-gate behind me fell : 
Some honied drops and scented snows 
From faint rich May and guelder-rose 

Down-rustling, broke the silent spell 
Of that remembered ground : 
Through masses of dark forest-green 

All brown and scarlet, brick and tile, 
The house stood rich and warm between 

A pleasant place, a little while. 

" Sagaciously at ease they fed, 

With dewlaps deep in summer grass, 
Those well-bred, well-contented kine : 

They raised no head, but let one pass, 
And never stirred their social line. 
The grey cob shook his head, 
And fretted gently in his stall ; 

His friend the keen fox-terrier straved 

To find the hand he best obeyed, 
And listened for a silent call. 

" But all within was hushed and dark, 

And women wept, and men looked grim, 
And in a dread and darkened room 
Mine old best friend lay stiff and stark. 
Mid sickening scents and daylight gloom 
I kissed the lips of him ; 
Had we known that in strength and pride, 
When therefrom truth and learning came, 
And humour bicker d forth like flame- 
Should we have laughed or sighed ? 

64 Letter to an old Pupil. 

" On the old study- table lay 

An empty album, which had held 
Quaint photographs of many a friend 

Far fled and scattered, need-compelled 
Priest, soldier, scholar all away. 
Love here hath but its day, 
And comes like life with morn and sun : 

Till the new earth and the new heaven 

Hold all the choir of the Forgiven, 
Till Love make All the mystic One." 

In further illustration of Mr. Gordon s character 
the following letter is subjoined ; it was written to an 
old pupil who had been led astray, in the hope that 
he might recover himself; and in its measured and, 
temperate language is a model of dignified and kindly 
remonstrance : 

" Easthampstead Rectory, Bracknell, Sept. 6. 

c< DEAR MR. I have read your sad account of 

yourself, of which I will only say I do not quite 
understand the points or also the report of the trial. 
It gave me great pain to think that one of whom 
I once thought so well had fallen so low. I fear 
your life for months past has not been reputable, 
certainly not consistent with the profession to which 
you once devoted yourself. But I do not wish to re 
proach you ; I would much rather comfort and assist 
you. Yours is an advanced age to make a fresh start 
in life, but you still may have many years during 
which you may redeem some of the time. I cannot 
help thinking that there are elements of good in your 
character, which may germinate and bring forth fruit. 
But you must be prepared for a hard struggle ; I trust 

Letter of Rev. E. II. Whinyates. 65 

you will meet it, with God s grace to help you, 
bravely. I assure you nothing would give me greater 
pleasure than to hear that you were in the way of 
re-establishing yourself; and if you had any occa 
sion to refer any one to me I should speak truthfully 
but kindly of you as I now feel. I send you a token 
of good-will, and I wish it was larger. Perhaps it 
will be some comfort on your voyage to know that 
you carry with you even the good-will of one who 
knew you in happier days. 

" Believe me, 

" Sincerely yours, 

" 0. GORDON." 

All must hope that an appeal to the better nature 
urged with so much truth and delicacy has not failed 
of its effect. 

The Eev. E. H. Whinyates, his fellow-worker for 
eighteen years, says, u During the eighteen years we 
were together I never saw him once out of temper, and 
never heard him say a harsh unkind thing of man, 
woman, or child. The unconscious secret influence 
he exerted on all with whom he came in contact 
was most remarkable ; he lived but to do good, and 
had especial influence over the young in his parish, 
and whenever he could was most zealous in promoting 
their future welfare. I have been much struck on 
this my first visit to East Hampstead since his death 
to find how his influence is still a pervading power, 
and how generally his loss is deplored both by high 
and low." 

Mr. Gordon s " Short Method " with Parish Coun- 


66 Occasional Speeches. 

cils at a Diocesan Conference in the Theatre at Oxford 
created much amusement at the time, and put an end 
very opportunely to a wearisome discussion. His 
plan, recommended by an invariably successful ex 
perience in his own case, was to choose the hour 
most convenient for all parties, that of luncheon, and 
at the right moment to propound the burning question 
of the day, generally of a financial nature, to his host, 
and always with the happiest results. 

None who were present at a dinner given to Mr. 
Ward Hunt by his personal friends on his appoint 
ment to be Chancellor of the Exchequer can ever 
forget the exquisite ease and address with which 
Mr. Gordon, on rising to speak, caught the feeling 
of the hour, and with apt allusion and impromptu 
strokes of wit, in a vein of subtle and half-uncon 
scious irony held up the glass to many-coloured life. 
The graceful eloquence of the Chairman (Lord Duf- 
ferin), a private friend and political opponent of 
Mr. Hunt, threw an additional charm over a meet 
ing, the like of which too rarely recurs. 

But Mr. Gordon was quite as much in his element 
with country gentlemen, and tenant-farmers, as with 
Peers and Privy Councillors, or congressional laymen 
and divines. At an agricultural dinner at which 
he was called upon to acknowledge the toast of the 
Bishop and Clergy of the Diocese, his health was 
proposed by Mr. Price, himself an eminent agricul 
turalist, as being " not only a Clergyman, but an agri 
culturalist: who farmed to a great extent, and very 
successfully/ Mr. Gordon spoke with his usual 

Fondness for Animals. 67 

point and humour; but his speech dealt too much 
with local topics to be admitted here. 

He found a congenial occupation in observing 
every form of animal life. The habits and peculi 
arities of wild creatures were a constant study with 
him : and any exhibition of high courage in man 
or beast won his admiration. " He had a favour 
ite black mare, whose vicious tricks," says Mr. 
Faussett, " were a source of absolute delight to him, 
though he was totally devoid of any conceit as to 
being able to ride her." Some bull-terriers, which 
afterwards came to a befitting end in Canada, with 
their teeth set in a stranger s bullock- cart wheels, 
were special favourites with him, from their spirit 
and tenacity. 

The fragments of his conversation lying about give 
but a faint idea of its freshness and originality. 
When a pupil on the eve of examination lamented 
his ignorance of the details of History, he was con 
soled with the remark, that he would not be hampered 
by facts. 

He asked a youth whose conceit had led to his 
failure in the Schools, " How came you to be plucked 
for your Little-go, Mr. A. ?" 

"They examined me in such trifles, such trifles, 
Sir, such trifles (crescendo)" 

" Trifles to know, but not trifles to be ignorant of, 
Mr. A.," was the unanswerable rejoinder. 

When his milkman wanted help to replace a cow 
that had died of feeding on a Mackintosh cape which 
did not agree with her, he pointed out that her diet 

68 OUter dicta. 

had not had the effect of making her milk waterproof. 
When a lame and unintelligible story came from some 
members of a certain learned Society in Oxford, he 
observed that they had such an idea of their intellect 
that nothing they could understand was good enough 
for them. He spoke of a certain set of men whose de 
sire for peace was so strong that they were ready to 
rush into a general war to preserve it. He quoted 
the dictum of an eminent friend as generally true, 
that any man who had wit enough to gain any posi 
tion had usually wit enough to keep it. Or to 
take as equivalent to many lighter remarks one more 
serious. " Some of the most conceited persons I have 
ever known have been those who have suddenly 
changed their opinions, because they have been 
unable to answer a novel argument adduced, as if 
others could not. In several cases the particular 
argument was of no real value whatever." 

But the result in all such cases is akin to disap 

The subtle essence of genuine humour is as eva 
nescent and impalpable as the aroma of a flower, 
or the spray on the crest of the wave. It dies at 
its birth. The stars of such rulers of society and 
masters of debate as the late Earl of Derby, Bishop 
Wilberforce, and Dean Stanley, already begin to pale } 
and the next generation will ask wherein lay the 
secret of their marvellous personal ascendency. So 
is it with men less prominent, but not perhaps less 
able. We retain the tradition of their power and 
brilliancy, but have lost the evidence. 

His religious convictions 69 

Such illustrations, however, might be multiplied 
to any extent ; but this Memoir is only intended to 
serve as an Introduction to the Sermons which are 
the real object of the publication, that those who 
were not personally acquainted with the Author 
may know what manner of man he was: that his 
profound belief in revealed truth and in every word 
of God did not proceed from careless acquiescence or 
sluggishness of intellect, but was the fruit of ripe 
study and exact knowledge of the Scriptures : the 
settled conviction of a mind as acute in weighing 
evidence and detecting fallacy, as it was alive to 
every phase of philosophy and to every discovery 
of science. 

Ilis conclusions were those of a man of genius, 
not buried in abstractions but conversant with the 
practical business of life, with a thorough mastery 
of fact on subjects to which he had given special 
attention, a wide range of information on all 
subjects, and an acquaintance which seemed almost 
intuitive with the contents of books that he had 
occasion to consult. He had heard and considered 
recent speculations upon religious questions, and was 
only the more rooted and grounded in the faith once 
delivered to the Saints. He could fully enter into 
the difficulties of other minds, and regard their errors 
and misgivings with allowance and pity, while he held 
steadfastly to the doctrines and practice of his own 
Church. He had a great dislike to the Eomish system, 
as opposed, in his view, to the Catholic Faith, nor had 
he any sympathy with the extravagances of modern 

70 and religious teaching. 

Sectaries : but he had a genuine admiration for all 
that was good and sound in any form of belief, and 
was in perfect charity with those who differed from 
him on religious grounds. 

It has been very difficult to know what to choose 
from a great body of compositions, all entitled to 
a hearing, and no two persons could be expected to 
agree in the selection. In any case only scant justice 
can be meted out to Mr. Gordon, who did nothing 
for display, and only aimed at making his teaching 
intelligible and useful to his parishioners. Yet it 
is hoped that the consistency of view maintained 
throughout these discourses, extending over a long 
series of years, the clearness of statement, the nice 
observation of nature, with the admirable exposition 
of Scripture in which he excelled, will not only in 
terest the reader by the stamp of intellectual power, 
impressed on every page, but may give back hope 
and comfort to many a doubting heart, and teach 
it to anchor upon "the certainty of those things in 
which it had been instructed." 

Mr. Gordon was never married. By a melancholy 
fatality his younger brother, Mr. Alexander Gordon, 
to whom he had bequeathed the bulk of his pro 
perty, was killed by being thrown out of his carriage 
within a month of attending his brother s funeral. 


NOTE to p. 14. 

THE munificent donation of 5,000 in augmentation 
of the poorer Livings in the gift of Christ Church by the 
late Mr. Euskin was prompted by a sense of obligation to 
Mr. Gordon on his son s account, which he wished to ex 
press in the way most acceptable to him. The presentation 
was made to Christ Church through Mr. Gordon in these 
words : " I give it to you, Mr. Gordon, as Representative of 
the College, for the College." 

NOTE to p. 22. 

PERHAPS the interest attaching to the subject may warrant 
some additional particulars. Since the foregoing account 
was in type, the writer, who had trusted entirely to his own 
recollection, has, by the kind offices of the Secretary of the 
O. U. S., had access to the Minutes of the Meeting, which 
was held on March 13, 1847. The original proposal came in 
the form of a resolution to suspend Rule 70, which forbad 
the application of the Society s funds to any object not con 
nected with the Society. This was moved by Lord Dufferin. 
To this an amendment was moved by the Rev. "W. Thomson 
(the present Archbishop of York), that the Rule should not 
be suspended, with the proviso, " that a Subscription List 
be exposed in the Society s Room for the relief of the suf 
ferers from the Irish Famine." 

When the division was taken there were for the Amend 
ment 151, against it 87, so the Motion was lost by 64. Mr. 
Ward Hunt and other men of note, who have passed away, 
took part in the debate. Happily the movers both of the 
Resolution and of the Amendment are spared for the service 
of their country in Church and State : one as Primate of 
England, the other as Viceroy of India. 

72 Notes. 

NOTE to p. 39. 

UPON this subject a correspondence of some length ensued 
between Mr. Gladstone and Mr. Gordon : which, though 
honourable to both parties, would not at this distance of time, 
even with the requisite authorization, awaken more than 
an antiquarian interest by its publication. 

NOTE to p. 40. 

WHILE Mr. Gordon was on the Council he procured the 
discontinuance of sundry University Sermons out of Term : 
and by so doing earned the thanks of the overburdened 
Vice-Chancellor, who assured him that he had made an 
appreciable addition to his own chance of longevity, and 
that of his successors. 


THE selection of the following Sermons has been 
determined in many cases by the circumstances 
under which they were written. It was thought 
right that two of the sermons preached before the 
University, as specimens of Mr. Gordon s academical 
style, should be included. The last, preached five 
days before the Author s death, has been added, as 
possessing an interest of its own. The recovery 
of the Prince of Wales was naturally an event which 
Mr. Gordon would be likely, from his former official 
relation to H.K.H., to feel deeply, and a sermon 
preached at that time is therefore retained. The 
disastrous season of 1879 called forth many conflict 
ing opinions upon the duty and efficacy of prayer, 
and a sermon bearing upon Mr. Kingsley s views on 
that difficult subject is too characteristic to be omitted ; 
while other sermons upon prayer generally express 
Mr. Gordon s own opinion without qualification. His 
judgment with reference to the Romish controversy 
and our position as regards Nonconformists is to 
be found in other discourses; and passages from 
two out of several sermons on the educational scheme 
of 1870 are given, as indicative of an opinion which 
never wavered on the merits of the system then 

Besides these occasional sermons others will be 

74 Preface to Sermons. 

found to treat of the main Articles of the Faith, and 
various theological topics : some are of more private 
and personal interest, and extracts have been given 
in some cases where there was not room for more, 
in illustration of some opinion or trait of character 
which ought not to be left unnoticed. 

In none of these sermons is there a hint of fine 
writing, nor the slightest attempt to court popula 
rity; but the mastery of the subject, whatever it 
may be, the plainness of speech, the distinctness of 
purpose, the love of truth, with the grasp of Scrip 
ture everywhere manifested, will not perhaps wholly 
fail in other quarters of the effect which they pro 
duced upon the parishioners of East Hampstead. 

If some injustice is done to Mr. Gordon s memory 
by a publication, to which he would not have been 
likely to assent without a thorough revision of the 
text of the sermons, and probably not at all, the 
benefit resulting from this expression of original and 
independent thought may possibly be pleaded as an 
offset, and redeem the wrong. Many minds would 
derive more comfort, and be more open to persuasion, 
by means of discourses intended only for a village 
congregation, than from more elaborate and studied 
compositions. The strength of these sermons lies 
in their directness of aim and the absence of orna 
ment. For its purpose the style is perfect: and it 
would seldom be possible to suggest a better word 
for that employed: but it is the style of a writer 
expressing his meaning in the simplest and most 
natural terms, rising at times to eloquence without 

Preface to Sermons. 75 

effort, by the mere force or expansion of the idea, 
but never involved never confused never obscure 
not shrinking from the most abstruse subjects, 
when occasion requires, but always knowing where 
to stop with accurate and profound learning in re 
serve, never paraded, but always at command. 

With this explanation the following sermons are 
left to the candid judgment of the reader. 

March, 1885. 



(p. 81.) 

Preached before the University. (Date uncertain.) 
NUMBERS xxiii. 19. " God is not a man, that He should lie ; neither the 
son of man, that He should repent : hath He said, and shall He not do it? 
or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good? " 


(p. 100.) 

Preached before the University during Lent. (Date uncertain.) 

1 COR. xv. 32. ** If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts 
at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not ? let us eat and 
drink ; for to-morrow we die." 


(p. 119.) 

Trinity Sunday, 1871. 

GENESIS ii. 1. "And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the 
ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life ; and man became 
a living soul." 


(p. 131.) 

Eleventh Sunday after Trinity, 1864. 


ST. LUKE xviii. 14. "I tell you, this man went down to his honse justified 

rather than the other : for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased ; 

and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted." 

Lis t of Sermons . 7 7 


(p. 142.) 

Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity, 1863. 


ST. MATT, xviii. 32, 33. "O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that 
debt, because thou desiredst me : shouldest not thou also have had com 
passion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee ? " 


(p. 153.) 

Whit Sunday, 1863. 

EPHES. iv. 7, 8. " Unto every one of us is given grace according to the 
measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore He saith, When He ascended 
up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men." 


(p. 165.) 

July 13, 1879. 



1 SAM. xii. 17. " I will call unto the Lord, and He shall send thunder 
and rain." 


(p. 178.) 
Second Sunday in Lent, 1865. 


JOB xxi. 15. "What is the Almighty, that we should serve Him? and 
what profit should we have, if we pray unto Him ? " 


(p. 190.) 


PSALM Ixv. 2. "0 Thou that hearest Prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh 

7 8 Lis t of Sermons . 


(p. 200.) 

Thanksgiving Sermon, March 3, 1872. 

JONAH iii. 10. " And God saw their works, that they turned from their 
evil way." 


(p. 211.) 

ST. LUKE viii. 2. " Mary called Magdalene." 


(p. 223.) 

Whit Sunday, 1882. 

ST. JOHN vii. 17. " If any man wiU do His will, he shall know of the 
doctrine, whether it be of God." 


(p. 235.) 
ST. MATT. vi. 33. " Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteous- 


(p. 249.) 
First Sunday after Ascension, 1871. 


EOM. viii. 34. "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again 
who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." 


(p. 260.) 

Eighth Sunday after Trinity, 1869. 


2 SAM. xxi. 14. And after that God was intreated for the land. " 

List of Sermons. 79 


(p. 271.) 

Ash- Wednesday, 1862. 

GAL. vi. 14. " The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is 
crucified unto me, and I unto the world." 


(p. 281.) 
Twentieth Sunday after Trinity, 1866. 

ST. MATT, xxii. 14. "For many are called, but few are chosen." 


(p. 292.) 

August 23, 1868. 

ROM. vi; 21. "What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are 
now ashamed ? " 


(p. 304.) 


1 SAM. x. 6. " And the Spirit of the Lord will come upon thee, and thou 
shalt prophesy with them, and ehalt be turned into another man." 


(p. 316.) 
July 27, 1877. 


1 ST. PETER iii. 15. " Be ready always to give an answer to every man 
that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and 


(p. 327.) 

Dec. 1878 and 1879. 

ISAIAH xl. 1. " Comfort ye My people." 

80 List of Sermons. 


(p. 338.) 
(Last Sermon preached, Trinity Sunday, May 20, 1883, died May 25,) 

BEV. iv. 8. "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty." 


(p. 350.) 


(p. 365.) 


(p. 373.) 



mtu Cjmsthm |1ribilc<jes nrib 

NUMBERS xxiii. 19. 

" God is not a man, that He should lie ; neither the son of man, 
that He should repent : hath He said, and shall He not do 
it ? or hath lie spoken, and shall He not make it good?" 

PILE truths of divine revelation are in their nature 
essentially different from any developments of 
human reason or inferences from human experience. 
They are not in any way anticipations of, or supple 
mentary to, the progressive results of our own exertion, 
but relate rather to an order of things into which our 
natural powers, however improved by cultivation, are 
unable to penetrate. Unless this point is substantially 
conceded the believer in revelation will find it diffi 
cult to determine what its peculiar subject-matter is. 
No one at least in the present day will contend that 
we are to refer to it as a standard of political or 
physical truth. It might be urged with greater show 
of reason that its office is fulfilled by the establish 
ment authoritatively of a purer code of morals; and 
it may be allowed at once that Christian morality 
so far exceeds anything imagined or practised by the 
heathen that it may be called not unfairly, by con 
trast, a new and distinct system. Yet the idea that 


82 Jewish and Christian Privileges 

this is, in its isolation, the sum and end of revealed 
truth has led many to the conclusion that a great 
part of its volume is irrelevant and vain. This con 
sequence is indeed openly embraced by those bolder 
spirits, who reject in their very profession the idea 
of definite doctrine, and still more impressively be 
cause unintentionally illustrated, by the history of 
those bodies, which, thinking to avail themselves 
of the moral precepts of Christianity without recog 
nizing their source and strength, find themselves 
carried down imperceptibly by the bent of an un- 
sanctified nature to the positive denial of those first 
truths of religion which in their pride they refused, 
or in their indolence neglected, to maintain. 

The Christian, however, will assume that the great 
end of revelation is to give us that knowledge which 
by nature we cannot have, the knowledge of " Him 
that dwelleth in light unapproachable," whom we in 
vain " seek to find out by searching," whom no man 
hath seen at any time, the knowledge of what He is 
in Himself, so far as we can a see now through a glass 
darkly," of the mode of His being, and the nature 
of His attributes, as far as we are capable of under 
standing them the knowledge specifically of His 
relation to us, and all those His wondrous acts to us 
which call forth all the feelings of love, fear, depen 
dence, adoration, due from the creature to the Creator 
To know this is the true sum of Christian knowledge, 
to give it its due effect upon the heart ; the true re 
alization of Christian life. 

But this it is in which men have failed from th( 

and Responsibility. 83 

beginning of the world. Heathen, Jew, and Chris 
tian, each in his degree must plead guilty to the 
charge " that knowing God, they glorified Him not 
as God, neither were thankful." Knowing Him, or 
having the means of knowing Him, they gave Him 
not the glory of acknowledgment, and gave the word 
of His knowledge no access to their hearts. "Thus 
their hearts were hardened, and their knowledge 
departed from them." And so it is still : how few 
of us are there in whose mouths the lansmase of 

o o 

St. Paul, speaking of the love of Christ, would not 
be descriptive rather of what we ought and would 
strive to feel than of what we actually do feel. Yet 
who will suppose that St. Paul spoke of anything 
more than what should be the habitual warmth of 
a Christian s heart, while we are happy if we can 
put it for an instant under the most sensible sun 
shine of God s love. Nay, it might appear that St. 
Paul himself was not perfect in that feeling compared 
with that disciple who enjoyed the peculiar privilege 
of being the one whom Jesus loved. At all events, 
how small the number of those who realize in fact 
and feeling the full blessing of their Christian citizen 
ship ! And so with the Church of old. At what 
period of their history was it adequately impressed 
upon the Jewish inind that they were what they 
were, "a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a 
holy nation, a peculiar people, to shew forth the 
praises of Him who called thorn out of darkness into 
His marvellous light ?" We indeed read their records 
with the tokens of God s presence imprinted upon 

G 2 

84 Jewish and Christian Privileges 

every page. The cloudy pillar of fire ; the thunders 
of Sinai ; sins repeated and avenged ; miracles recur 
ring till they became familiar; laws of nature sus 
pended till it was not a thing unheard of that the 
stars in their courses should fight for the captains 
of the Lord ; nations dispossessed and exterminated ; 
those mighty kings, whose entire history is a memorial 
of the power of God s love and the weight of his 
displeasure ; the national decline and fall ; the clouds 
of divine vengeance, rising at first no bigger than 
a man s hand on the verge of the horizon, yet sweep 
ing gradually onwards towards the Holy City, till 
at last they gather in a dark mass, and overwhelm 
the nation in destruction : all these remind and im 
press upon us the conviction, that it is God s own 
people that we are reading of, " and that He hath not 
so dealt with any other nation." Yet the Jews who 
lived in the midst of these marvels were to a great 
extent insensible of them, or misinterpreted their 
meaning. In their early history they felt their dis 
tinctions as burthens and impediments to their inve 
terate desire of living after the manner of the heathen 
round them; at a later period, when they were on 
the point of losing them, they regarded them as tes 
timonies to their own superiority, and a justification 
of spiritual pride. 

Yet however little we can learn of the true cha 
racter of the chosen people, from any expression of 
their own consciousness upon the subject, we may 
endeavour to place ourselves for a moment by the 
side of the great prophet, himself not one of the 

and Responsibility. 85 

Lord s people, who looked down upon the tents of 
Israel from the high places of Baal, and had revealed 
to him in a trance the future destinies of the nation 
whom he was called upon to curse. Balak, King of 
Moab, saw only in the invaders of his land "a people 
come out of Egypt." He knew little more of them 
than that they covered the face of the earth, and 
threatened in his own emphatic language, " to lick up 
all round about them as the ox licketh up the grass 
of the field. 77 So he sent for the son of Beor to curse 
his enemy; "for I wot that he whom thou bless- 
est is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed." 
Nor had the prophet any personal objection to reaping 
the wages of iniquity. Warned as he was, he still went 
his way. But when his sacrifices were completed, 
his tongue refused to do its work: "How shall I 
curse, whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I 
defy, whom the Lord hath not defied ? For from the 
top of the rocks I see Him, and from the hills I behold 
Him: lo, the people shall dwell alone, and shall 
not be reckoned among the nations. "Who can count 
the dust of Jacob, or count the fourth part of Israel ? 
Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my 
last end be like his!" Again, from the field of 
Zophim, on the top of Pisgah, and a third time from 
the top of Peor, the word was changed from cursing 
j unto blessing. " Balaam the son of Beor hatli said, 
I and the man whose eyes are open hath said: How 
goodly are thy tents, Jacob, and thy tabernacles, 
Israel ! As the valleys are they spread forth, as 
gardens by the river s side, as the trees of lign aloes 

86 Jewish and Christian Privileges 

which the Lord hath planted, and as cedar trees beside 
the waters. God brought him forth out of Egypt; 
he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. Bless 
ed is he that blesseth thee, and cursed is he that 
curseth thee." Lastly, in still more solemn tones, ere 
he went unto his people, he warned the idolatrous 
king of what should be hereafter. " I shall see ILim, 
but not now : I shall behold Him, but not nigh : 
there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre 
shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of 
Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth." 

Such was the vision of the future unrolled before 
the prophet s eyes. To us it may be a profitable 
task to enquire briefly into the substance of what 
he saw, and the principles on which his language 
is to be interpreted. One point we may assume at 
starting, that he saw and spoke of a reality. Other 
wise the wildness of the place itself, the remoteness 
of the time, the distant view of the mountain-land of 
Moab, the orderly beauty of the tents of Israel seen 
far below in the valley, might be looked upon as ele 
ments of a great poetic scene, such as might easily 
be connected with a man whose mysterious character 
and troubled comrnunings with his own heart, and 
solitary sacrifices thrice repeated, well accord with 
those ideas which in older times regarded poetry as 
a special gift of Heaven, and invested bard and pro 
phet with common attributes and name. This view, 
however, may be dismissed at once. It was no 
creation of fancy that arrested the prophet s gaze. 
It is impossible to resist the conviction of reality 

and Responsibility. 87 

which his words force upon us, "He hath said which 
heard the words of God, and knew the knowledge 
of the most High, falling into a trance but having 
his eyes open." The question seems what it substan 
tially was: one part of it indeed is sufficiently ex 
plained by the history of Edom, Seir^and Amalek. Still 
it is obvious that this is but a part, and not the most 
important one ; his language must appear cold and ex 
aggerated, if its meaning is restricted to the overthrow 
and annihilation of the accursed race. Far beyond 
any temporal victories must be the blessing of those 
words, " Pie hath not beheld iniquity in Jacob, 
neither hath he seen perverseness in Israel : the 
Lord his God is with him, and the shout of a king 
is among them." Was it then, we ask, that Israel 
which lay visibly before his eyes, or was it some 
ideal Israel, of which they were but the faint 
shadow and resemblance, in which the Lord saw 
no iniquity or perverseness? Was the soul of the 
prophet filled with the sense and power of holiness, 
embodied and triumphant in the host of Israel ? Was 
it not to them as a people, but to the cause which 
they typified imperfectly, that the promises pertained ? 
It may be so. Doubtless theirs was the cause of 
God; their enemies the enemies of God. Doubtless 
they were imperfect representatives, and so far failed 
to attain the fulness of their blessings. Yet allowing 
this, we must be careful not to deprive this and 
prophecy generally of its positive character and 
specific references; bringing it down more or less 
to an abstract statement of the laws by which God 

88 Jewish and Christian Privileges 

will judge the world, pointed, perhaps, at some special 
occasion, but in its fulfilment independent of it. It 
is true indeed that the general laws of God s Pro 
vidence must be involved in prophecy ; but this may 
well be because prophecy refers to events, and the 
events are determined by those laws : and the ques 
tion is whether its primary end is to declare those 
events, or the laws which they illustrate. That it 
should declare them so far as to become a kind of 
anticipated history is not to be expected; for it is 
no part of the idea of prophecy that its predictions 
should be intelligible before events have supplied 
a key to its interpretation. It is enough for us that 
we see its meaning when it is fulfilled. 

But apart from general considerations on the na 
ture of prophecy, into which I will not enter, there 
seem to be special reasons for bearing in mind the 
positive aim of the prophecy of Balaam, arising both 
from the character of the man himself, and the un 
deniable fact of his having received direct instruction 
from the jSpirit of God. A good man from the con 
victions of his own heart might have foretold the 
final triumph of a good cause, and by consequence 
of the people associated with it, in that language 
of faith which has more than the dignity of prophecy. 
An ignorant man again might have been moment 
arily impressed with the sense of goodness, and 
become, as it were, the unwilling instrument of 
blessing a cause with which he had no sympathy. 
But Balaam was neither of these : he neither loved 
what is right and holy, nor was he ignorant of it. 

and Responsibility. 89 

It is unnecessary to make any remark upon a cha 
racter so much studied in this place, or upon that 
mystery of iniquity inexplicable in terms, but illus 
trated by his conduct, and I fear too often by tho 
experience of the hearts of every one of us. Who, 
however, can fail to recognize in that idea of right 
eousness which the prophet Micah has preserved, 
" to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly 
with thy God," the very points which our Lord 
Himself insists upon as the weightier matters of 
the law, " judgment, mercy, and faith?" There 
was then no want of knowledge in the mind of 
Balaam ; nor do these ideas appear to have been 
imparted to him at the time, but rather to have 
been in his habitual possession. That sad and solemn 
aspiration, "Let me die the death of the righteous," 
could only have been suggested by the working of 
his own mind upon the facts before him. He spoke 
out of the fulness of his heart ; it was no forced con 
fession or involuntary acknowledgment of truth, but 
the sincere though inoperative wish that " his last end 
might be like theirs." And it is in this light, I pre 
sume, that Bp. Butler regards it, as there would be 
nothing extraordinary in his uttering sentiments in 
consistent with his conduct, if they were simply due 
to the power of inspiration, and not to be identified 
with the convictions of his own heart. It was not 
then knowledge of the truths which was communi 
cated unto Balaam in the vision of the Most High ; 
nor yet was it the triumph of Israel as the ideal 
representative of a righteous cause. We cannot 

90 Jewish and Christian Privileges 

suppose so \vide a separation of the prophetical from 
the historical Israel. For when was it that Israel 
realized in any degree that beauty of holiness which 
it might be supposed to represent ? True, their foes 
were destroyed before them ; Amalek punished for 
ever ; Seir fulfilled its destiny, and Edom became 
a possession but where was the righteous nation, 
the zeal in the cause of God, the love of His Holy 
Name, the willing mind, the faith, and the obedi 
ence? On the contrary, is not the complaint from 
first to last of the hard heart, and stubborn neck, 
of abominations repeated without end, of rebellion 
and ingratitude, till at last the whole body became 
a mass of festering corruption, full of wounds and 
scars and putrifying sores? Nor indeed can the 
distinction between the prophetical and the historical 
be maintained without danger of destroying the very 
force and point of prophecy. It may be conceded 
that they generally, but not universally, employ a 
different language, and see things from a different 
point of view, that prophecy speaks of the blessings 
and glory, history of the sins and humiliation, of 
Israel. And this difference naturally makes us 
anxious to discover the corresponding objects that 
will enable us to recognize the truth of both. But 
surely this is to be sought for, not in the distinc 
tion between the Israel of prophecy and history, 
but in that double character which belongs to every 
man and nation more or less distinctly, as he has 
received more or less of the free gifts of God. What 
description can be too glorious for that nation in 

and Responsibility. 91 

the midst of which it has pleased the Lord to 
dwell ? What description, on the other hand, can 
be too dark for that polluted people, which, in 
vested with such glorious powers, so signally abused 
them to its own destruction, and the dishonour of 
God s Holy Name? This was the vision which 
unrolled itself before the eyes of the Prophet from 
the Eastern Mountains. He saw the wings of God s 
love spreading over the people of his choice, " even 
as the eagle fluttereth over her young, spreadeth 
abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them upon 
her wings." He saw them as the Lord s portion, 
and blessed them as he saw them holy, just, 
righteous, and invincible. He saw them such by 
virtue of the power that was sustaining them ; for 
how could they be otherwise whom the Lord had 
chosen? The arm of the Lord was with them, to 
go forth conquering and to conquer. " Surely there 
was no enchantment against Jacob, or divination 
against Israel." But he saw not " that Jeshurun 
should wax fat and kick, that he should forsake 
God which made him, and lightly esteem the rock 
of his salvation ;" he saw not " that the time would 
come when God should hide His face from them 
a froward generation, children in whom is no faith." 
He saw not, u that a fire should bo kindled in His 
anger, and burn unto the lowermost hell, the sword 
without and terror within, to scatter them into cor 
ners, and make the very remembrance of them to cease 
upon the earth." He saw, in short, their blessiugs, 
but he did not see their sins. And this view will 

92 Jewish and Christian Privileges 

surely bo more effective in its application to our 
hearts than any generalization of revealed truth, 
not to mention how consonant it is with the teach 
ing of Scripture elsewhere, that the same place and 
the same person may be the subject of the highest 
gifts and the most fearful condemnation. For the 
Christian cannot read the history of the Jew with 
out being reminded of that still more favoured people, 
which has taken their place in the economy of God, 
and of which we are members the Church of Christ. 
Nor will it occur to him to doubt but that greater 
gifts, and a larger measure of His grace, are poured 
into his bosom than enriched the people that He 
loved of old. "What then if some Balaam were 
placed upon an eminence to survey again the tents 
of Israel? Would not his spiritual eyes discern 
much greater things than all the glories of the 
heights of Pisgah? " Prophets and wise men de 
sired to see those things which were once seen, 
and which the eye of faith may still see, and did 
not see them." What was all the inheritance of 
Israel, the ark of the covenant, the mercy-seat, 
the visible majesty of the Most High, compared 
with that presence which made the glory of the 
latter house greater than the glory of the former 
house, and which is inseparable from the very life 
and being of the Church ? What is a people chosen 
out of all the nations of the earth, to a people created, 
as it were, out of nothing, " which in times past," 
as St. Peter says, " were no people, but are now 
the people of God?" What was that Church of the 

and Responsibility. 93 

Wilderness or of Mount Zion to that Church in which 
all nations shall be gathered into one to worship 
the Lord in Spirit and in Truth sanctified with 
the precious blood of Christ, " that He might pre 
sent it to Himself a glorious Church, not having 
spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that it may 
be holy and without blemish?" Surely, if this is 
our spiritual inheritance, any considerations would 
be valuable which would compel us to recog 
nize it more faithfully than is common with us. 
Surely if the Church is an actual body, bound to 
gether in its parts by closer ties than those of friend 
ship, family, or country, even by that life which, 
having its spring in Christ the Head, is the source 
of life to each communicating member, great must 
be not only our loss but also our guilt in thinking 
or speaking of it as a mere name, or aggregate of 
individuals, or representative of an idea. 

And this warning is more necessary in an enquir 
ing age which refuses to accept anything as fact, 
except that which can be supported by sensible 
evidence. And so to our sorrow it must be confessed 
that the attributes of the Christian Church can hardly 
be inferred from the aspect of the Christian world, 
and we can well conceive the infidel enquirer looking 
back upon the last 1800 years, and sneering on the 
presumption of those who claim to themselves the 
name of saints, and have done so much to vitiate their 
claim. Nevertheless, the Christian will remember 
that the Word of God standeth sure ; that " He is 
not a man that He should lie, nor the Son of man 

94 Jewish and Christian Privileges 

that He should repent ; " that His promises are with 
out repentance, and that the Church which He has 
purchased is to be characterized by His gifts, and 
not by our miserable shortcomings. But I would 
speak more practically, not of the Church itself as 
a whole, but of ourselves as individual members, 
though it may be hard to separate the two. The 
aspect, indeed, and character of the world around us 
is such as to suggest a question. Is there such a 
thing as the company of the redeemed ? Is the seal 
of God s love a pure imagination ? Is the cross of 
Christ a shadow on the clouds, or is it the very 
sign by which we are to fight and conquer, "and 
the kingdoms of this world shall become the king 
doms of the Lord, and of His Christ ? " Are the 
graces of divine ordinances, which are presumed of 
every one that has been admitted into the fold of 
Christ, fictions or facts? Is Christianity itself any 
thing more than an improvement of what has gone 
before, destined to serve the purpose of human 
progress for a time, and to be absorbed itself into 
some new system of more comprehensive truth, 
compared to which its feeble light is but as the 
first streak of the morning to the brightness of the 
perfect day? Or is it rather that light which 
lighteth every man that cometh into the world, 
and will light even unto the end of time? Is this 
the true fold in which we may abide for ever, feeding 
on green pastures, and drinking freely of the waters 
of comfort, or is it but a resting-place for the day, 
offering only a brief refreshment on a pilgrimage 

and Responsibility. 95 

we know not whither? These questions touch the 
interests, and should touch the heart, of every man ; 
and it is impossible to conceal from ourselves that 
they are being asked and considered extensively 
throughout the world, receiving such solutions as 
might be expected, when men depart from the stand 
ard of God s revealed word, and recorded promises, 
and become a law and standard to themselves. By 
the avowed sceptic, by the philosophic enquirer, by 
the statesman, by each man who frames his system 
for himself, the power of Christianity is measured 
by its visible effects or by the individual conscious 
ness, rather than by the guaranteed gifts and pro 
mises of God. Yet if men would consider they 
could not help seeing that they are neither doing 
justice to themselves, nor " rendering to the Lord 
the homage due unto His Name," in thus making 
their own weakness the limit of His spiritual bless 
ings. The language of St. Paul is exactly parallel 
to that of the text : " What if some did not believe? 
shall their unbelief make the faith of God of none 
effect ? God forbid : yea, let God be true, but every 
man a liar." The advantage of the Jew would still 
have been the same, though no Jew ever reaped it. 
Circumcision would not have profited the less, though 
it had become a brand of condemnation to every one 
that bore it. Far as men have departed from the 
service of God, " there has been always a remnant, 
according to the election of grace." In all times " God 
has raised up witnesses to His truth in the persons 
of His faithful servants." Yet those 7,000 men that 

96 Jewish and Christian Privileges 

bowed not the knee to Baal added nothing to the 
truth of which they were the witnesses. Nor 
would a single one of the blessings of Israel have lost 
any of its virtue, though every child of Jacob had 
departed from the God of his fathers. And so with 
us : those covenanted helps, which are the mainstays 
of every Christian soul, are not to be determined 
by any reference to general experience. It is enough 
for every one who is working out his own salvation 
in fear and trembling to know that they are suffi 
cient for him. No growth in grace can make them 
more, no despite done unto the spirit of grace can 
prove them to be less. He that hid his pound in a 
napkin, and had it taken away, still had received it. 
The fact remained, and the grace of God would still 
be a fact in the midst of an apostate world. How 
careful, then, ought we to be, lest any observation 
of our brethren around us, lest any experience of 
human weakness or human depravity, lest any false 
and plausible philosophy, lest any consciousness of 
sin working in our own hearts, should lead us to 
disturb the verities of Christian faith. The creed 
of Israel was historical ; it embodied the great facts 
of their deliverance, and was to be handed down 
from generation to generation by a perpetual ordi 
nance. " He made a covenant with Jacob, and 
gave Israel a law, which He commanded their fore 
fathers to teach their children; that their posterity 
might know it, and their children which are yet 
unborn ; to the intent that when they came up 
they might shew their children the same." 

and Responsibility. 97 

The creed of the Christian is the history of his 
spiritual deliverance. The facts which it records, 
even in their most formal enunciation, cannot be 
separated from their spiritual significancy and effect 
upon our condition. Article by article we trace 
a positive change in the prospect and condition of 
human nature, corresponding to that great " mystery 
of Godliness" whereby God was " manifested in the 
flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached 
unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received 
up into glory." Did Christ take upon Himself the 
form of a servant, and bear our nature upon earth ? 
It is united with Him now in one person at the 
right hand of God. Did He become obedient unto 
death, even unto death upon the cross ? Then 
reckon we ourselves also to be dead to sin with 
Him. "Nay," says the Apostle, u ye are dead, and 
your life is hid with Christ in God." " For we are 
buried with Him by baptism unto death ; that, like 
as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory 
of the Father, even so we also should walk in new 
ness of life." Did He cast off the garments of the 
grave and rise again to incorruption ? " Then, if we 
have been planted together in the likeness of His 
death, we shall be also in the likeness of His re 
surrection." Yea, already " Christ has risen from 
the dead, and become the first-fruits of them that 
slept." Has He ascended unto heaven? He has 
"gone before to prepare a place for us, that where 
He is we may be also." Has He taken captivity 
captive? Then are the captives free. Has He 


98 Jeivish and Christian Privileges 

received gifts for men? Then has He poured them 
out upon His Church, "yea, even on the rebellious 
also, that the Lord may dwell among them." Has 
He promised "to be with it always, even unto the 
end of the world? 7 Then assuredly "where two 
or three are gathered together in His Name, there 
is He in the midst of them." One great duty, there 
fore, which we in particular owe to ourselves, to 
this generation, and to the children that are yet 
unborn, a duty which the signs of the times mark 
out as a special one in an age of growing unbelief, 
is to preserve whole and uncorrupt the faith "once 
delivered to the Saints." It is true indeed that 
no neglect of ours, no spirit of compromise with 
error, no wickedness of the world, no apostasy, though 
it should be universal, can touch one jot or one tittle 
of that truth which shall endure for ever when heaven 
and earth have passed away. The truth is not de 
pendent upon us, but we upon the truth. But we 
are constituted stewards, and may be unfaithful to 
our charge. Stewards we certainly are, and shall 
have to give account as such, when " the Lord shall 
come and reckon with His servants." And the 
enquiry in that day will not be simply, what we 
have to give our Lord, but whether we can restore 
with usury those very talents which we have received. 
This is a responsibility we cannot evade ; the number 
is recorded against us ; no denial of ours, no forget- 
fulness, will alter a single unit of its sum. It is 
well, therefore, to reckon with ourselves now ; other 
wise^ our judgment will not be that of Tyre and 

and Responsibility. 99 

Sidon, but of Chorazin and Bethsaida, which saw 
the mighty works which would have moved the very 
cities of the plain to repent in sackcloth and ashes, 
but repented not. Let the Christian, therefore, 
whom, like Capernaum, the grace of God has exalted 
unto heaven, so measure and preserve his exaltation, 
that when the time comes to fix his place for ever 
he be not cast down into hell. This he will do by 
God s help, if he bears it constantly in mind. 
God has not only made us a peculiar people, but 
has plainly told us so. It is only by remembering 
what we are that under His grace we can hope to 
become what we should be partakers in fact and 
fruition, as we are by right and title, of the inheri 
tance of the saints in light. 


of ffriat i asis at 

1 COE. xv. 32. 

" If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at 
JZphesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not ? let us 
eat and drink ; for to-morrow we die" 

A T a time of the year when the name of self-denial 
is often on our lips, and the idea of it familiar to 
our minds, and the practice possibly has some place 
in our daily lives, it will not, I think, be an unprofit 
able employment of some portion of an hour if I 
enquire, or at least suggest an enquiry, into the 
grounds and principles on which the duty so pro 
minently put forward at this penitential season is 
to be maintained. I speak not of the wisdom of 
devoting special times and seasons to a stricter 
discipline and sterner practice, but of the denial 
of the lusts of the flesh in itself, not as a matter 
of purer taste, not as on the whole adding more to 
the sum of human happiness than it detracts from 
it, not as more consistent with the dignity of human 
nature, but as a Christian duty ; and that again not 
peculiar to this time, not giving a party-coloured 
appearance to the Christian life, but running through 
its whole texture, still existing though unseen, pene- 

The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 101 

trating the substance when it is not detected on the 
surface, and only brought out into relief by the 
incidence of those lights and shadows which are cast 
upon it by the varying associations of the Christian 
year. It is indeed a condescension to our imperfect 
natures, that we are allowed and encouraged, on 
fitting occasions, to give play to particular affections, 
and to cultivate particular tempers, the exclusive or 
excessive development of which would destroy the 
harmony of the Christian character. For the right 
affection of the heart towards its Maker and all 
heavenly things is neither joy nor sorrow purely, 
not hope nor fear : yet is there a time for all things ; 
there is the night of sorrow and the morning of joy, 
the depression of fear and the confidence of hope, 
each in its turn and its degree; by partial and 
oblique movements we must be content to make 
a slow but sure advance in holiness and the love 
of God. Perfect love is a simple, direct, and im 
pulsive feeling, casting out as alien whatever it 
does not absorb as akin unto itself, but in its growth 
and imperfection it admits of analysis; it is the re 
sult of many forces, the combination of many ele 
ments, reverence, ambition of God s love and appro 
bation, delight in the hope or consciousness of it, 
fear of His displeasure, each of which has an influence 
and expansion of its own a . As then, though a real 
growth in grace can be nothing less than "the edifi 
cation of the whole creature, till in the unity of the faith 
and of the knowledge of the Son of God he come 

a Butler, vol. ii. 195, (168). 

102 The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 

unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature 
of the fulness of Christ b ," yet this is effected not by 
the simultaneous growth of the whole building, but 
by adding, as it were, stone to stone as in teach 
ing, line is laid upon line, and precept upon precept ; 
and, as in the ways of Providence, affliction and pros 
perity each have their message from the Most High ; 
as in the government of ourselves we sometimes 
suffer ourselves to rejoice freely, sometimes wet our 
couches with our tears, so may we, as it seems fitting, 
take some particular duty and affection, isolate, en 
large upon, enforce it, without being supposed either 
to exaggerate its importance, or ignore the existence 
of others and its relation to them. We may not 
only impress and apply, but we may analyse and 
examine, we may trace back a duty to its command 
and authority, and a feeling to fundamental propo 
sition, be it one of fancy or of truth c . I say its propo 
sition rather than its object, because though it is most 
truly said that "we are so constituted as to feel 
certain affections upon the sight and contemplation 
of certain objects," and again, "it is by reason that 
we get the ideas of the several objects of our affec 
tions," yet it is clear that the ideas we thus get 
are truths, and admit of being expressed in propo 
sitions. Thus allowing practically that it is the 
God of love contemplated as an object that lights 
up and keeps burning the fire of love within the 
hearts of His saints, yet the true account to be given 
of their affection is that they have thoroughly appre- 

b Eph. iv, 13. c Butler, vol. ii. 195, (169). 

The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 103 

bended and embraced the proposition that " God is 
love." In the same way Bishop Butler, to whom 
I have alluded above, shews that " the duties and 
feelings which we owe to the Divine Persons in the 
Gospel revelation arise from the relations in which 
those persons stand to us d ," and to us, therefore, 
individually from our recognition of those relations. 
"By reason is revealed the relation in which God 
the Father stands to us ; hence the obligation of 
duty which we are under to Him. In Scripture 
are revealed the relations which the Son and Holy 
Spirit stand in to us; hence the obligations of duty 
which we owe to them. How these relations are 
made known, whether by reason or revelation, 
makes no alteration in the case, because the duties 
arise out of the relations themselves, not out of 
the manner in which we are informed of them. 
The Son and the Spirit have each His proper office 
in that great dispensation of Providence, the re 
demption of the world, the one our Mediator, the 
other our Sanctifier. Does not then the duty of 
religious regards to both these divine Persons as 
immediately arise to the view of reason, out of the 
very nature of their offices and relations, as the 
inward goodwill and kind intention, which we owe 
to our fellow-creatures, arises out of the common 
relation between us and them?" Thus, then, those 
spontaneous offerings of the Christian s heart re 
verence, honour, love, trust, gratitude, fear, hope 
to Godward, and derivatively to men as children 

d Butler, vol. i. 182. 

104 The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 

of the One Father of us all, and of our Lord Jesus 
Christ, really rest upon the Articles of the Chris 
tian Faith : and it is possible, and may be necessary, 
to trace them back unto their source. For the sake 
of both it may be necessary to show that all duty 
and right feeling presuppose the apprehension of 
truth, that they are distinct and correlative. It 
will even become so, if the disposition to translate 
the language of divine truth into principles and 
rules of human duty, to confound the one with the 
other, or to depreciate truth if men can be induced 
to take the same view of their duties should spread 
extensively among us. 

Will it then be deemed unprofitable to enquire 
as I have proposed into the real grounds of Christian 
self-denial, of the duty in obedience to which, and 
the feeling according to which, we are bound, not 
as rational beings simply, but as followers of the 
Lord Jesus Christ, to use this world as not abusing 
it, to live in it and yet not be of it? Will it be 
said that it is worse than waste of time to disturb 
the foundations of a building that is standing fast, 
that we may assume a duty that is in some sort 
generally recognized as our starting-point; that the 
office of the preacher is to impress, enforce, persuade, 
to draw the heart by the cords of love rather than 
fetter it with the chains of critical discussion ; that 
we must thankfully avail ourselves of the existence 
of right feelings and true ideas, and rest content 
if we can make them deeper and more effectual? 
Will it be urged, that where all allow in general 

The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 105 

terms the duty of denying all ungodliness and fleshly 
lusts, it is even dangerous to raise any question of 
principles, and to lead men to ask themselves why 
they should be temperate when by habit and dis 
position they already are so? And indeed it would 
be a sign of a cold and unloving heart not to prefer 
the warmth and glow of the Christian s life, uncon 
sciously exhibiting itself in the pulsations of love 
to God and man, to the naked, and in itself un 
attractive, structure that supports his frame. I should 
not envy the man who is ignorant, or thinks nothing 
of the direct influence which heart has upon heart, 
that holy feeling is to be called into operation in 
those whom we address by the manifestation of holy 
feeling in ourselves, that men are to be guided up 
to high and noble resolutions by our acting on the 
assumption of their susceptibility to such impressions, 
or who seeks to create them by the bare force of un 
exceptionable logic. Heathens were never converted 
by such means. Nevertheless, it becomes us in this 
place, where we are called upon not only to advance 
in personal holiness, but to arm ourselves as practised 
warriors in the cause of Christ, to walk round the 
walls of Sion, and mark well her bulwarks from 
every possible point of view, and to be. prepared to 
act in positions in which we would not voluntarily 
place ourselves. Cherishing all Christian sympathies, 
and living in them, we must learn even to retire 
from their influence, and place ourselves without 
their pale, to view the Christian simply as a phe 
nomenon, to enquire into his motives and his hopes, 

106 The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. } 

and establish the reasonableness of his conduct with 
out prejudice or predilection. Why does he walk 
along the path of life, alone amid a crowd, his step 
unlike that of other men, his eyes bent upon the 
ground, his hands folded on his breast, and the cross 
upon his brow? What unknown purpose, what 
strange resolve, what silent call wraps up the secret 
of his pilgrimage? It is for the Christian minister 
to solve this problem : himself the mystery, he must 
also be its explanation. It is obvious that the mis 
sionary in a heathen land must be a pure pheno 
menon ; as such, if he does anything at all, he must 
excite attention and cause enquiry. Will he then 
answer the questions which his coming will suggest ? 
He must put himself in the place of those he has 
to teach, and become a phenomenon unto himself: 
how else shall he convert those into whose feelings 
he cannot enter ? Nor will it be enough to wait 
for the effect of time and rational reflection on the 
minds of his hearers; from the very first he must 
shroud himself by an effort of imagination in the 
darkness which he comes to dispel; he must know 
experimentally the desolation of a soul without God 
in the world while he is the beam of His knowledge 
and the herald of His will ; he must feel of himself, 
u How beautiful are the feet of them that preach 
the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good 
things e ;" he must retire into the valley of the shadow 
of death and welcome his own coming as an angel of 
life; and even so, though in a less degree, must 
e Rom. x. 15. 

The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 107 

he be prepared to exercise his ministry even in the 
Christian world. For that which we so call is not 
wholly Christian. So far as there are principles 
at work within it hostile to Christianity it is yet 
Pagan, and must be treated as such. Wherever 
evil is at work we must place ourselves in the centre 
of its operation, and survey the doctrine that we 
preach and all its bearings, as they present them 
selves to those whom we have to gather or reclaim 
into the fold. We must not expect sympathy, but 
be prepared to justify the faith to stubborn hearts 
and unrelenting wills. We may be called upon to 
debate and maintain what are to us first principles 
and axiomatic truths, as though they were new 
and undetermined questions. Where nothing is con 
ceded we must be careful to assume nothing. The 
economy of teaching and the emergency of warfare 
may place us in a strange position; we may even 
be compelled in an extreme case to wrest from men s 
minds truths which they do hold, if they hold them 
not according to the analogy of faith. It may bo 
our office to place a fearful alternative before the 
world. " See, I have set before thee life and good, 
death and evil f ." An alternative of such a nature 
seems to be offered in the words of the text, " If 
the dead rise not, let us eat and drink, for to-morrow 
we die." Strange words from an Apostle s lips ! 
Is there no compromise for human nature? Must 
it needs be exalted unto heaven, or cast down into hell? 
May it not remain of the earth earthy, and not sink 
f Dcut. xxx. 15. 

108 The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 

into the sensual, devilish ? Is the hour of our tria 
come, and the choice between the doctrine of Chrisl 
and the very formula of Epicurus ? Surely it is His 
voice that bids us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die , 
for though the words themselves may be found in the 
Prophet Isaiah, yet it seems more probable that the 
sentiment in St. Paul s mind, writing to the luxurious 
Corinthians, was associated with that Gentile Philosophy 
which was nowhere more practically carried out than 
in that ancient city. And this view seems borne out 
by the quotation which immediately follows from 
a heathen poet ; but, however this may be, the scope 
of the words is obvious, and independent of the source 
from which they are derived. What strikes the 
mind with astonishment is that they should have 
been adopted by St. Paul. What ! we are tempted 
to ask, did the great Apostle of the Gentiles really 
mean us to infer that besides the obedience of the faith 
there is no rational course, no course at all for man to 
follow, save the life of the leasts that perish? We will 
not suppose that he spoke of anything like grossness 
of self-indulgence ; the words do not necessarily imply 
that ; they may mean nothing more than a pure, 
innocent, and virtuous, though Epicurean, existence. 
Still we ask, is that the life St. Paul, as a heathen, 
would have chosen for himself? Were the tendencies 
of a sensual nature so thinly covered by an education 
after the strictest sect of the Pharisees ? Were there 
no higher pleasures than those of sense to attract 
and engage his mind ? We cannot, I think, conceive 
St. Paul, so noble, so unselfish, so intellectual, so 

The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 109 

ardent in the cause of truth, so ambitious after the 
natural man, even to have drunk of these last dregs 
of Grecian Philosophy. But if we consider him as 
a Christian teacher his words sound yet stranger 
to our ears. True, he writes with the hope of im 
mortality before him, as one who, knowing that the 
pleasures and fashion of this world endure but for 
a season, " keeps under his body " accordingly, " and 
brings it into subjection, lest when he has preached to 

I others he himself should be a cast away." Yet his 
words seem to be wanting in an earnest and disin 
terested love of that law which he observes and fears. 
They fail to put us in mind of the glorious liberty 
of the sons of God. They savour almost of the feeling 
of those who regretted the time when " they sat by 
the flesh-pots of Egypt, and did eat bread to the 

i full ff ." They fall far short of the oft-repeated song 
of the Patriarch of Israel : " how I love Thy law, 
it is my meditation all the day h ." " How sweet 
are Thy words unto my taste ; yea, sweeter than 
honey to my mouth 1 ." "Thy testimonies have 
I taken as an heritage for ever ; they are the rejoic- 

l ing of my heart k ." u I have longed for Thy salvation, 
and Thy law is my delight 1 ." 

But these ideas vanish when we consider St. Paul 

| as speaking, not of himself individually, or of his 

i own tastes and disposition, but with a true appre 
ciation of the general tendencies of human nature. 
There is no necessity for supposing that he himself 

e Exod. xvi. 3. h Ps. cxix. 97. * Ibid. 103. 

k Ibid. 111. Ibid. 174. 

110 The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 

would have passed a life of sensuality in any form, 
even if he had not known that for all those thing* 
God would call Him unto judgment. Eather we may 
believe that as a heathen he would have been found 
among those nobler spirits who argued and proved 
that even in this lower world the destiny of man 
is somewhat higher than that of the beasts of 
the field, that he is invested with larger powers 
than those which can be pressed into the service 
of sense, the exercise of which in itself would be 
a source, not only of the purest, but of the most 
enduring, happiness. But while his own heart 
would have told him of the dignity of the higher 
elements of human nature, his knowledge of man 
kind would not have suffered him to fall into the 
delusion that the sense of that dignity in the gen 
eral mass is sufficient to prevent them from sink 
ing into the lowest depths of degradation. Acknow 
ledging and illustrating the natural pre-eminence 
of mind over matter, and of knowledge over sense, 
he would have felt that the question in which all 
are interested is not that, but whether the two are 
so proportioned in our actual constitution that this 
natural pre-eminence can be maintained. He would 
have seen that the discovery of the law of our 
nature is one thing and obedience to it another. 
He would not have used that inflated and un 
practical language in which heathen philosophers 
indulged, and some Christians strangely imitate, 
about the supremacy of mind and the superiority 
of intellectual pleasures. If an idea of his own 

The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. Ill 

dignity had arisen in his mind it would have found 
expression in the language of surprise and abasement. 
" What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the 
Son of Man that Thou so regardest him ? Thou hast 
made him a little lower than the angels, Thou hast 
crowned him with glory and honour. Thou madest 
him to have dominion over the works of Thy hands, 
Thou has put all things under his feet. All sheep 
and oxen, yea and the beasts of the field. The fowls 
of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever 
passeth through the paths of the seas. Lord our 
Governour, how excellent is Thy name in all the 
world m ." But sadder thoughts would soon have 
intervened when he turned from the gifts and powers 
with which he was adorned to the evil working in 
his own heart; and the true voice of his struggling 
humanity would have broken out in the cry of de 
spair and agony, " Wretched man that I am, who 
shall deliver me from the body of this death !" 

St. Paul, therefore, did not mean that it was but 
to eat and drink and be merry while the day lasts, 
because when night comes our souls may be required 
of us ; but that where the truth of Christ risen from 
the dead was not received, the tendency of human 
conduct would be in that direction. The alternative 
in his mind, taking an extensive survey of the world, 
lay between Christ crucified and the lusts of the 
flesh. Many perhaps doubt whether such alter 
native is one of reality or argument. They may 
urge that men have been known to live in temper- 
m Ps. viii. 4. 

112 The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 

ance, soberness, and chastity, without the reception 
of saving truth; that they have not found it necessary ; 
that individuals, societies, and even nations alien 
to the Name of Christ have given examples of those 
virtues, putting the conduct of Christian men to 
shame. Moreover the general laws of morality have 
been demonstrated in times of ignorance on grounds 
independent of the Christian faith. Now as to persons 
living in a Christian land, but not receiving the truth 
as it is in Jesus, so far as they are affected by the 
atmosphere around them, deriving life from it which 
they will not acknowledge; so far as their conduct 
is influenced even by particular doctrines which they 
hold imperfectly and unconsciously, to that extent 
it is an illustration of the truth of what I say. 
Beyond that influence, their virtues, of whatever 
kind, are those of heathens ; among whom, if the 
lives of men holy in their degree are quoted, if it 
is urged that dark as they were, and feeling blindly 
after truth, no philosopher ever commended a life 
of self-indulgence, whatever the issue of his teaching 
allowing this as may be, it is not asserted that the 
alternative existed to those to whom it never was 
proposed. Yet even as regards them, it seems an 
arbitrary act of ours to cut them off entirely from 
that source of light, in the full beams of which we 
live, and move, and have our leing. Surely, when we 
assume that those men purified their hearts and in 
vented systems of partial truth by the unassisted 
exertion of their natural powers, we must be in 
fluenced by some false idea of what we could do 

The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 113 

ourselves under like circumstances, forgetting that 
we have nothing which we have not received. St. Paul, 
it is true, speaks of " the Gentiles doing ly nature 
the things contained in the law, and becoming a law 
unto themselves," but we must remember that St. 
Paul uses the current language, and that the word 
nature in its Christian application expresses only facts 
and not principles, and is of itself no adequate ac 
count of anything. Indeed St. Paul himself teaches 
us that it was not because the heathen neglected 
to use their natural powers to discover and originate 
to themselves " that which may be known of God," 
and which God Himself shewed to them, but, " be 
cause knowing God, they glorified Him not as God, 
and changed His truth into a lie, and did not like 
to retain Him in their knowledge, that He gave them 
over to uncleanness through the lusts of their own 
hearts, and to vile affections, and a reprobate mind." 
This much, at all events, we know, that God did give 
a law to Adam, which he transmitted to his children, 
but we do not know that it was ever lost and re 
discovered, nor is it probable that it could be; his 
tory at least supplies no instance of a nation falling 
so low as the loss of the knowledge of God sup 
poses, and rising again without external aid. The 
system of the philosopher most studied in this 
place is based upon the antecedent fact of moral 
knowledge already existing in the world. The 
appetite of the child is trained into the habit of 
temperance by the wisdom of the parent; but the 
parent must have received that wisdom by trans- 


114 The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 

mission, nor does it appear how consistently with 
the theory it could have been originally obtained. 
Two contrary habits cannot be in formation at the 
same time, and all will allow that the tendency of un 
regulated appetite is to grow into a habit from the 
hour of one s birth. The wisdom, therefore, that is to 
rule our conduct must be traced to an external source ; 
and the idea of man having reclaimed himself from 
lawless barbarism by his own powers, or been 
charmed out of it by the force of an eloquence that 
could not have existed in such a state, is not only 
contrary to the history of human nature as disclosed 
in revelation, but involves within itself impossible 
contradictions. The real basis, therefore, of heathen 
morality, whether it was recognized or not, was 
the tradition of the law of God. Tradition supplied 
the ideas, ideas became matters of speculation to 
reflecting minds, speculation developed into philo 
sophy, philosophy withered into effete systems and 
lifeless forms when it claimed an independent ex 
istence, and ceased to derive nourishment from the 
parent vine of which it was an offshoot. Yet how 
little philosophy really added to the knowledge of 
mankind is clear from this, that the best and wisest 
of the heathen, when the hour of his trial came, 
virtually confessed that knowledge failed him, and 
that faith alone, the antecedent of all true philosophy, 
carried him, like a ship-wrecked mariner, over the 
waves of this troublesome world to the haven of 
his rest. If, then, the secret of such truth and virtue 
as the heathen had is to be sought for in the re- 

The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 115 

vealed law of God, can we, with our knowledge, 
doubt that this revelation is due solely unto Him 
who in the fulness of time came to supersede all 
former messages from God to man by the republica- 
tion of that law, and to be Himself the way, the truth, 
and the life ? Those gleams of light that flash 
upon the eye in the darkness of the ancient world, 
were they not in some way reflections from many 
a clouded mirror and through absorbing media of 
the true Light that lighteth every man that cometh 
into the world? Possibly some heaven-directed eye 
may have caught upon the clouds that limited the 
view of other men, some early glimmering of that 
dawn which the rising of the Sun of Eighteousness 
has brightened into perfect day. But, however 
this may be, is it not probable that He who in the 
beginning created all things that are, who formed 
the eye and framed the ear, was also the same that 
taught men knowledge ? that He, the Lamb of God, 
slain from the foundation of the world, was also from 
that epoch the messenger of the Most High and the 
Prophet of His law the TraiSayco-yo? of mankind 
who, according to Clemens, gave unto the world 
the law of Nature, and to His peculiar people the 
law of Moses. " Deriving from the same fountain 
both the first and second precepts which He gave, 
He neither suffered those who were before the Law 
to be without Law, nor those who minded not the 
Philosophy of the Barbarians to do according to 
their will. He gave to the one Precepts, to the 

i 2 

116 The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 

other Philosophy, and concluded them in unbelief 
unto His coming, when whosoever believeth not is 
without excuse." 

With these words I will finish my discourse, when 
I have briefly noticed the practical conclusion to 
which all that I have been saying tends. If in 
times of past ignorance all imperfect knowledge was 
in some way connected, however remotely, with 
the perfect, how can we to whom " has been revealed 
the mystery hidden from the foundation of the 
world," set aside that association now ? Are we, 
in dealing with mankind, to make ways of our own, 
or to follow the example of St. Paul, who, furnished 
as he was with heathen and Judaic lore, determined 
to know nothing but Christ Jesus and Him crucified? 
He did not cast aside his learning, for he still felt 
that it was a gift of God; but all that he knew 
before, all detached and fragmentary truths fell 
into their places round the new idea, and Christ 
became unto him all in all. Armed, therefore, 
with the sword of this faith he went forth, not to 
spread abroad a new philosophy, not to reform the 
morals or humanize the manners of mankind, but 
with " grace and apostleship for the obedience of 
the faith among all nations in His name." And 
it is this warfare which we are called upon to wage 
against the carnal lusts of the flesh. Shall we, then, 
trust to heathen armoury, to probable arguments 
of philosophy, or plausible economies of truth, the 
spear and the shield that have been wrought by 

The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 117 

human hands, or shall we go forth in the spirit of 
David against the uncircumcised Philistine with that 
small but deadly weapon which He who sends us 
to the battle has supplied ? The history of the world 
holds out no promise of permanency to schemes of 
ingenuity and combination. The shore that borders 
on the stream of time is strewed not only with the 
wrecks of thrones and principalities and powers, 
but of philosophic systems which have resisted the 
force of human passion for a time, and yielded to 
the storm and flood. One barrier yet remains which 
we have the assurance of God never shall be shaken. 
It is for us to take our stand upon it for offence and 
defence. Mark the spirit of the Apostle s teaching, 
"If the dead rise not, let us eat and drink, for to 
morrow we die." He trusts to the doctrine of the 
resurrection of the dead to counteract the tenden 
cies of human lusts. Bat this is not merely the 
notion of a future state of retribution certified and 
established; but the doctrine of our union with 
Christ, in that He took our nature upon Him, and 
" by rising from the dead became the first-fruits 
of them that slept." It may be that the alterna 
tive between this doctrine in all its fulness, and 
a life of sensuality is before the world. Certainly 
in the consummation of all things, when men and 
angels shall look back upon this warfare as a thing 
that has passed away, and view it as a whole, the 
truth of it will be known, and the company of the 
redeemed will give glory to God, and confess " that 

118 The Truth of Christ the Basis of Morals. 

this is the victory that overcometh the world, even 
our faith." May God incline our hearts to do our 
duty in the contest, so that, sharing its labours 
we may win its crown, and be more than conquerors 
through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. 


un s Ia;a in Creaiion, 

GENESIS ii. 7. 

"And the Lord God fanned man of the dust of the ground, and 
breathed into his nostril* the breath of life ; and man became 
a living soul." 

THIS is the divine account of the origin of 
man. And I have taken this account of his 
origin for my text, rather than that verse which 
you have just heard in the first chapter, because it 
seems to me more particular and circumstantial. It 
seems indeed to answer a question that might rea 
sonably be asked as arising out of the first notice 
of man s creation. " So God created man in His 
own image, in the image of God created He him." 
How was this creation effected? My text, I say, 
supplies the answer. There was a double process. 
First the dust of the earth was taken and formed 
as by a mould; and then into the nostrils of the 
figure thus framed God breathed the breath of life. 
By this double action the work was complete, and 
"man," as the Scripture says, "became a living 
soul." Now observe it is not stated here that man 
was created directly out of nothing. The materials 
of man existed before man existed himself, just as 

120 Man s Place in Creation. 

the clay exists before the potter is able to shape his 
vessels from it. There was the dust or substance 
of the earth ready for the Creator s hand, there was 
the breath of life existing eternally in the Being of 
the Creator, ready for His will. There is such 
a thing as absolute creation, though man was not 
the subject of it, and the very idea of it transcends 
and perplexes our imagination. " In the beginning," 
before the first date of time, " God created the heaven 
and the earth/ This is the first, the most awful 
utterance of revelation. The whole material and im 
material universe all that we see and all that eludes 
or lies beyond our sight -was called into existence 
out of nothingness by the Divine command. Let 
us confess at once, on entering the temple of God 
through this portal, that we cannot understand it, 
or rather, that if by faith we do understand that 
the worlds were framed by the word of God, then 
this the very first demand upon our faith is also 
the very greatest. Have you considered, or will 
you now consider for one moment, what creation 
really is ? You are familiar with many changes of 
form and character and condition of material things. 
You see, for instance, water changing into vapour, 
and vapour into water, coal into smoke, and heat, 
and flame. You must know also that the grass 
with which the fields are clothed is changed into 
the flesh of animals which becomes the food of men, 
and that flesh again into the substance of our bodies, 
and so on by the recurrence of a perpetual series as 
long as the world shall last. And from your sensible 

Mans Place in Creation. 121 

experience of these things you would not be sur 
prised if one were to tell you of other more subtle 
changes, of which you have as yet no knowledge. 
You would, I doubt not, be prepared to believe 
that all the objects and all the "phenomena of nature 
that we see around are the results of new com 
binations and change ; and that there is no reason 
for supposing that there has been any actual addition 
to the sum of things, or diminution from it, since 
God, in the beginning, spoke the word, and the 
heavens and the earth were created. Indeed, if you 
will consider a little in your own minds you must 
feel how inconceivable an act of absolute creation is. 

If at least you can conceive any small portion of 
space, absolutely empty and devoid of matter, you 
will feel, I am sure, that no thought of man, no 
inventive ingenuity, no mechanical or other power, 
is capable of producing within that space one single 
particle of matter that had no existence before. How 
then with the vast space of heaven, above, below, 
around, and all the infinity of worlds that have their 
place and order and motion assigned to them therein? 
One thing only is more inconceivable than the crea 
tion of the universe, and that is, that it should be 
in existence without having been created at all. 
Common sense will always choose the least of two 
difficulties and the word of God, as usual, takes 
the side of common sense when it assures us that 
"In the beginning God created the heaven and the 
earth." In the sequel, therefore, of the chapter you 
have just heard, you are reading, not so much a re- 

122 Mans Place in Creation. 

cord of absolute creation, as of the order and process 
by which things were brought into such a condition 
as to make the earth fit for the occupation of man. 
All persons seem to allow that there is a general 
correspondence between what we read here and the 
evidence of the changes through which the structure 
of the earth has passed, and that the author of the 
Pentateuch must have been, for his day, an advanced 
student of natural philosophy. On the other hand, 
people seem to have a pleasure in pointing out where 
the great lawgiver has failed, and committed himself 
to statements that cannot be reconciled with the dis 
coveries of modern science. And while some rejoice 
over this as destroying the whole book of revealed 
truth, or at least reducing it to the level of an obso 
lete speculation, others tell us, in a patronizing sort 
of way, that Scripture was never intended to be the 
vehicle of scientific knowledge. Now to me all know 
ledge is scientific, that is to say, when imparted to 
my mind, it makes me to know something, be it 
much or little, which I did not know before, and 
that is the meaning of the word scientific. But pass 
ing this over, and having a firm conviction that every 
word of Scripture is absolutely true, when it is under 
stood as the Holy Ghost, who is its author, designed 
it, I must protest against the intention of Scripture 
being thus limited or defined in this arbitrary way. 
If you want to know the intention of Scripture you 
must go to the volume itself and find out there what 
it actually is and says ; and not to the surmises of 
your own mind as to what it may be expected to be 

Marts Place in Creation. 123 

and says. Whatever Scripture says that it intends 
to say, and if it makes statements about the natural 
world, it intended to make those statements ; and we 
would rather doubt our own convictions, and distrust 
our own understandings, than accept, as an apology 
for its supposed errors, that it has gone into matters 
which are outside its own proper province. All that 
we are concerned with now is the account that God, 
having in the beginning created the heaven and 
the earth, left the earth for a time we know not 
how many countless ages would count for less 
than a second in His eternity " without form and 
void. And darkness was all the while upon the face 
of the deep; and the Spirit of God, either during 
that whole period, or as a prelude of the work that 
was to follow, moved on the face of the waters." And 
then we are told how, by a series of formative actions, 
light and darkness were separated, the waters divided, 
some taking their place in air, some gathering them 
selves into seas, the earth stood firm and solid out 
of the surrounding water, and became the seed-bed 
for plant and herb and tree ; how the sun and moon 
took their appointed offices in heaven ; and how the 
successive generations of animal life, in all their 
exuberance, were called into existence to increase 
and multiply, and people the new organic world, 
which we will, now that it is furnished, venture to 
call creation ; and how, lastly, when everything else 
was finished, man himself appeared upon the scene. 
The painter, the sculptor, all in fact who practise 
even in the lowest degree any effort of creative art, 

124: Mans Place in Creation. 

have in their own minds some idea that they have 
shaped out, and are able to contemplate, before they 
attempt to apply their hands to canvas, or clay, or 
marble. And here is the idea which the great Author 
of all conceived and designed before He proceeded 
to embody it in the formation of man. "And God 
said, let us make man in our image, after our like 
ness." And not only was the idea of this Being thus 
determined, but his rank and position fixed in the 
scale of created things. "And let them have do 
minion over the fish of the sea and over the fowl 
of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, 
and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon 
the earth." It is due to our own infirmity, and part 
of it, that though God s thoughts are not as our 
thoughts, nor His ways our ways, we can only speak 
of Him, or be spoken to concerning Him, in the same 
language that would be used if we were speaking 
concerning men; and it is but natural to ask, to 
what agent working with Him, or subordinate to 
Him, did God communicate the plan of His great 
design, " Let us make man in our image?" And on 
this day we recognize by the light of the Gospel 
in the very opening chapter of Eevelation the in 
scrutable mystery of the ever-blessed Trinity, three 
Persons and one God, as concerned in the work of 
creation. We read directly here, "The Spirit of 
God moved upon the face of the waters," as an agent 
of life and power. And in the first chapter of the 
Gospel of St. John, which seems to have a deter 
minate relation with the first chapter of Genesis, 

Mans Place in Creation. 125 

commencing with the same words, " In the begin 
ning " the " word which was then with God, and 
which was God," will not suffer us to doubt as to 
the person to whom the purpose of the Father s will 
was announced. "The same" the Word, i.e., who 
became Flesh and dwelt amongst us " was in the 
beginning with God. All things were made by Him, 
and without Him was not anything made that was 

Now I will allow that the account we have 
the design of this Lord of Creation as man has 
been called is one that is dangerous to argue 
upon, lest you should both fall short of and ex 
ceed what is intended. "Let us make man in our 
image, after our likeness." We cannot imagine that 
it refers to man s natural form, excellent as it is and 
wonderfully made, for we dare not confine the Creator 
to the mould of the creature. And if we look for 
the resemblance rather in the rational soul, we must 
not forget that even in that respect it may not be 
quite safe to compare ourselves very closely with 
Him. Our idea of God, defective as it is, must come 
to us through the medium of our consciousness of 
ourselves; we cannot invest Him with attributes 
entirely different in kind from those which we feel 
ourselves to be in possession of. And the Divine 
command, in some degree, assists and justifies human 
incapacity. "Be ye perfect, even as your Father 
which is in heaven is perfect," enjoins upon us the 
imitation of God, and therefore implies a likeness 
to Him. Man can only think of God as a Being 

126 Marts Place in Creation. 

in some way like unto himself, and even in the pre 
sent state of our nature the soul of man bears som< 
faint resemblance to his Maker. Understanding, 
memory, and imagination exhibit a faint shadow of 
divine wisdom and knowledge. The will acting upon 
and controlling matter in an inexplicable manner, 
bears some resemblance to the almighty effects of 
His absolute Will. Conscience seated as a judge 
within the breast exercises a function which connects 
it directly with the great Judge of all ; while a derived 
and imparted immortality reminds us of Him who 
is self-existent and eternal. Again, our sense of 
justice, our feelings of love, charity, kindness, es 
tablish a kind of likeness between us and Him who 
is all just, all merciful, all good, as well as almighty; 
and generally, as we approach the character of Jesus 
Christ, which by His aid it is possible to do, in that 
respect we grow nearer to the Divine image of Him 
in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, 
while at the same time we are reminded, by the enor 
mous difference between us, that we can never como 
up to that image till the "new man is thoroughly 
renewed in righteousness and true holiness." But 
whatever perfection of nature is implied in " the 
image of God," in which we were created, this, 
at least, is implied, that man is not to be considered 
as one of a series of animals, though the very highest 
member of that series ; but that as regards his place 
in creation, he stands absolutely pre-eminent and alone. 
He is not the best of animals, for he is no animal 
at all, but a being of different order. He has an 

Man s Place in Creation. 127 

affinity with animals as regards bodily structure, just 
as he has affinity with angels as regards spiritual 
power ; but as you do not on that account call him 
an angel, so it is a false description of him to speak 
of him as an animal. The series of organic life which 
embraces the creatures of the flood, and of the air 
and field, is summed up and brought to a close. 
There is a pause in the work, and the great Creator, 
ere He calls into being him to whom He intends to 
give dominion over all that He has made, seems to 
take into counsel the other co-eternal Persons of the 
Trinity, one of whom shall be the Eedeemer and the 
other the Comforter of that creature in his fallen 
state, whom they concurrently sent into the world 
in u their own image," and thus " man became a 
living soul." The heathen did not know all this, 
and the Jew knew it imperfectly ; for it could not 
be expected of him that he should decipher the 
book of Kevelation as clearly as ourselves. But 
as the fact of a higher origin separates us from mere 
animals, so the sense of this origin, both among Jew 
and heathen, has been the source of all that is great 
and noble among men; and where this sense is lost 
the fact itself seems to be obscured and effaced. 
We tell you that you are sons of God, even in your 
natural state, in a sense in which no animals are, 
though they too are His creatures. You are sons 
of Him by nature, and if you belong to Christ you 
are doubly sons of Him by Grace. This is what 
we tell you, and what the Scripture tells you and 
me ; but we belong to a simple and unlearned time, 

128 Man s Place in Creation. 

and when your children come to be better educat* 
than you or I they may be told a very different 
tale. And what this may be I may as well tell 
you now. You will be told that all this is an idle, 
unreal dream of superstition and self-complacency 
that man has no such origin, no special prerogative 
of heavenly birth ; that his descent may be trac< 
back, and back, and back, through countless ages, to 
a shapeless, helpless creature, half animal, half veget 
able, that attached itself for protection to some firmei 
object in the great ocean; that this creature b] 
a process of self-aid known only to itself im 
proved itself into a fish, was, I suppose, ennobL 
in an ape, and at last fought its way to the Headshi] 
of Creation in the form of man. This genealogy 
is drawn out for us, by a very able hand, arid if it 
is true it is very important that you should all know 
it. But he has not told us at what stage in the pro 
cess of this creature to its present condition an im 
mortal soul was infused into the animal frame, or 
whether, in fact, he has any soul beyond the animal 
life, which is shared by other creatures. One thing^ 
however, is clear: mere animal life could not grow 
into an immortal soul by degrees; either it was, in 
fact, in the frame at some particular time, about 
which we should wish to be informed, or it does not 
exist therein at all. 

But meanwhile what will be the effect of this 
teaching, if it takes hold upon our minds ? It 
is idle to say that it is a mere scientific specula 
tion, which ought not to have any practical effect 

Man s Place in Creation. 129 

upon our conduct ; that we are what wo are now, 
and that it does not matter how we became so. If 
what is said is true, it is a most practical truth ; 
and it is quite right that a vain delusion should be 
dissipated. If this is our origin and our nature, 
it would be wise to live according to it, as St. Paul 
argues. "If the dead rise not again, let us eat and 
drink, for to-morrow we die," and that is the end 
of us. Many animals live happier lives than many 
men, and are better cared for. Higher gifts in some 
cases only bring greater capacity for greater suffer 
ing, and if we are only animals it would be better 
for us to be even as they. I do not understand 
philosophers, but it is impossible that the mass of 
men can receive this account of themselves without 
being degraded in every part of their nature. I think 
I can even trace a tendency to this in the weak and 
disjointed argument of the very able man who has 
lately brought this account of his own and our ex 
istence before the public view. Pride, it is said, 
goes before a fall. The pride of human will, and 
human achievement, and human power, was never 
raised to a higher pitch than at the present day; 
and it is strange to see it accompanied as it 
is, by an infatuated passion for human degradation. 
You and I may not be able to argue, and may 
be perplexed by the arguments of other men, but 
you can guard and maintain in your own person the 
rights and the dignity of human nature. And you 
will do this effectually if you will bear in mind that 
it was this very nature which our blessed Lord as- 


130 Man s Place in Creation. 

sumed to His own person. He took not on Him 
angels, nor the brutal nature of fishes or of apes, 
but He took upon Him the seed of Abraham. " The 
Word which was with God, and which was God, 
was made flesh and dwelt among us." The very 
thought of this will preserve you from the low and 
degraded estimate of yourselves which it is attempted 
to force upon you. You will not say, in the language 
of Job s abasement, " I have said to Corruption, Thou 
art my father: to the worm, Thou art my mother 
and my sister," but will rather be exalted by the 
true humility of David. 

" What is man that Thou art mindful of him, and 
the son of man that Thou visitest him ? 

u Thou hast made him a little lower than the an 
gels : and hast crowned him with glory and honour. 
Thou madest him to have dominion over the works 
of Thy hands: Thou hast put all things under his 

" Lord our Governor, how excellent is Thy Name 
in all the world." 


uuir flu publican. 

ST. LUKE xviii. 14. 

" / tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather 
than the other : for every one that exalteth himself shall be 
abased; and he that hurnbleth himself shall be exalted." 

THE parable that is brought before us in the Gospel 
of this day a differs from every other in an im 
portant respect, viz. that it is based, not upon an 
imaginary, though possible event, but on one that 
must have been of daily occurrence. Two men went 
up into the temple to pray. Thousands must have 
done the same every day, for prayer was part of 
Jewish life, and the temple was the place where 
prayer was appointed to be made. Its courts were 
thronged, and this is our Lord s own description 
of His Father s House, " My House shall be called 
the House of prayer." But the force of the parable 
consists in this : that these two men are typical or 
representative characters representing, that is, two 
different classes of men, two different tempers or 
spirits, in which it is possible to approach God in 
prayer, and in which men actually do approach Him. 
There is such a thing as indolent and thoughtless 
prayer, prayer in which the words come mechanically 
from the lips, while the heart is far away on other 
a XI. Sunday after Trinity. 
K 2 

132 The Pharisee and the Publican. 

things ; but of this mockery of prayer nothing is said 
in the parable. Both of them were thoroughly in 
earnest, and sincere deceived, the one of them per 
haps, by the consciousness of his own sincerity. But 
the one of them was a Pharisee, the other a Publican. 
No words could suggest a stronger contrast of cha 
racter than these to the Jewish mind. The one, 
of the strictest and most exclusive caste, separated 
from the body of his nation by conceit of himself, by 
the respect of others, and by his very name which 
implies separation ; a man of professed and external 
holiness exact in every observance of the law, and 
receiving from others the confirmation of the opinion 
which he held of himself; a man who expected all 
the deference that he found, and who found all that 
he expected ; one for whom men made room in the 
market-place, and resigned the chief place in the 
synagogue ; one who, if he thought himself holier than 
others, found his countrymen quite as ready to con 
cede, as he himself was to advance, the claim. The 
other belonged to the most despised and degraded 
class, hated by their brethren as the mercenary 
ministers of a foreign power, the gall of whose yoke 
had eaten deep into their necks ; collectors of taxes 
that went to the benefit of a foreign capital, and 
whose collection in town and country, at market and 
landing-place, brought home daily to their feelings 
that they were no longer a free people, and that they 
had fallen from their high place among the nations 
of the world. We have rich and poor here, high and 
low, and the extremes of society are far enough apart ; 


The Pharisee and the Publican. 133 

but I fancy that nothing we can see or even imagine 
now will give us any adequate measure of the dis 
tance that separated the genuine Pharisee and the 

Still there was one link remaining to testify that 
they were children of the same father, and joint 
citizens of the same peculiar people. In the hallowed 
courts of the Lord s House, into which no stranger 
could be admitted, they both felt themselves at home ; 
rich and poor, high and low, there met together, and 
confessed by the act of their meeting that the Lord 
was the Father of them all. But they carried with 
them in their hearts and characters the difference 
that was stamped upon their external professions and 
their lives. The one in some fixed and ostentatious 
attitude, composing himself so as to be seen of men 
for that seems to be implied by the expression wrapt 
up in himself and his own holiness, spoke really to 
himself, while his language seemed to be addressed 
unto God. And we may conceive him running over 
in his mind his list of friends and acquaintances, and 
the vulgar throng whom he despised, and deriving 
fresh matter for pride from each comparison, till at 
last his eye fell upon the poor publican, who was 
absorbed in the confession of his own sins, uncon 
scious that he was attracting, even for a moment, the 
attention of so great a man. And then his idea and 
measure of himself was completed, and in the satis 
faction that he felt at the standard he had attained 
he was disposed not to pray, but to give thanks unto 
God, with a strange kind of sincerity. " God, I thank 

134 The Pharisee and the Publican. 

Thee that I am not as other men are, extortioners, 
unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast 
twice in the week, and give tithes of all I pos 
sess." Meanwhile, what was this publican doing? 
We do not know the secrets of his heart, or the me 
mories of sin that dwelt there. Perhaps he had 
avoided the ordinary vices of his class, that were 
touched upon by John the Baptist when the Publi 
cans came to be baptized, and asked what they in 
particular should do towards the reformation of their 
lives " Exact no more than that which is appointed 
to you." Perhaps he had escaped this special temp 
tation. Perhaps, on the other hand, he was carrying 
the burthen of some more strictly personal sin. Or 
in his low estate he might have been humbly walking 
the way of righteousness, and striving to serve God 
with a perfect heart. But whatever his virtues or 
his failings, his sins or his graces, one thought only 
filled his heart as he stood unconscious of aught else, 
iu the customary attitude of prayer ; the fire was hot 
within him, "he dared not so much as to lift up his 
eyes unto heaven, but he smote himself upon his 
breast," and at last he spake with his tongue few 
words, but all the feelings of his heart were dis 
charged with them " God be merciful to me a sin 
ner." And " I tell you " is the lesson of this parable, 
"This man went down to his house justified rather 
than the other. For every one that exalteth himself 
shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall 
be exalted." 

Now this parable suggests several very inter- 

The Pharisee and the Publican, 135 

esting and practical questions, which it would 
be impossible to consider fully in a single ser 
mon. Let us confine ourselves to one very obvious 
one. What was it in the prayer of this Pharisee, 
what defect or element of sin was it in his heart, that 
made his prayer unacceptable to God, and sent him 
home with his own good opinion, but without that 
comparative justification which his poor brother 
found, whose cry for mercy proved that he had no 
thought of self beyond the confession of his sins ? 

For do not let us hastily take up the notion that 
this Pharisee was a bad or profligate man, and gave 
himself a false account of his life and conduct, a man 
who assumed the garb of religion to cover the deeds 
of iniquity ; one of those whited sepulchres, so fair 
outside, and so full of ravening and uncleanness, 
on whom our Saviour pronounced the sentence of 
eternal woe. Had he been so, his prayer would 
have been simply an abomination to the Lord, and, 
according to the fearful imprecation, would have 
been " turned into sin." But there is no reason to 
believe that he was deficient in that legal righteous 
ness which was all that a Pharisee aimed at, and 
which was sufficient to satisfy and feed his pride. 
There is no reason why he may not have been all 
that St. Paul described himself to have been in the 
days of his ignorance, not only a " Hebrew of the 
Hebrews," and, as touching the law, a Pharisee ; but 
like him burning with " zeal" for all that he thought 
right, and "as touching the righteousness which is 
in the law blameless." Nor need we interpret it 

136 The Pharisee and the Publican. 

to his disadvantage, that whereas he is said to have 
"gone up to the temple to pray" there are no words 
of prayer recorded from him, but only " thanksgiv 
ing." For prayer and thanksgiving are necessarily 
connected together, and in fact both are included 
under the idea of prayer, either being incomplete 
without the other, as St. Paul in more than one place 
declares, e.g. "Be careful for nothing, but in every 
thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving 
let your requests be made known unto God." Nor 
yet was he wrong in giving thanks to God that he 
had not fallen into the vices of men whom he saw 
around him, that he was not an extortioner, or un 
just, or an adulterer. Those who take the darkest 
view of his character will hardly believe that he was 
in reality what he thanked God that he was not. 
And if he fasted twice a week, which would be a 
voluntary self-denial, not required by the law, and 
gave tithes of all that he possessed, or rather acquired, 
while the law probably only exacted a tithe of the 
fruit of the field, and the produce of cattle, all this 
would tend to shew a hearty and a generous obedience 
to the law, as far as it commended itself to his con 
science. So far, then, from condemning this part of 
his conduct, we would maintain that he had cause 
for thanksgiving, and the cause existing, he could 
not be wrong simply for offering it. Indeed, I think 
a reflecting person cannot read or hear of the com 
mission of any sin or crime without an instinctive 
feeling of thanksgiving, whether expressed or not, 
that hitherto he has been preserved at least from 

The Pharisee and the Publican. 137 

that; and when we meet the most degraded of our 
kind, we should be impressed, I think, not only 
with pity and with fear, but we may not let them 
pass without a thanksgiving, that we have not yet 
been degraded, and a prayer, that we may never 
yet be degraded, to their miserable level. For who 
can look into his own heart honestly without feeling 
that deep buried there lie the seeds of every sin, 
ever ready to germinate into life, and wanting per 
haps only the stimulus of temptation, or the sunshine 
of opportunity to make them bring fruit unto death ? 
Some persons must be conscious that they have halted 
on the very verge of a great crime, and they know 
not why; others who did not seem more bent upon 
it went on and perished, but an invisible hand 
stayed their course at the very edge of the pre 
cipice they recoiled from the black depth and were 
saved. " Two people were working in one field, 
one was taken and the other left." Shall the saved 
find no voice to give God the glory? And if we 
know not that we have been so near to deeds which 
our souls abhor, may we not have been just as near 
without our knowledge? And if we have never 

| been near such deeds at all, surely it is the greater 
mercy the further we have been kept from them. 
If, for instance, when we have been angry without 
a cause, we may thank God that our anger did not 
run on into any deed of violence, may we not thank 
Him much more that we have never been angry 

! without a cause ? And if we have never been near the 
commission of what I will call crime as distinguished 

138 The Pharisee and the Publican. 

from sin, may we not remember how influences thj 
once surrounded us, and acted on us, suddenly 01 
gradually passed away, or ceased to act; how, per- 
haps, some evil companion was removed from oui 
side, by what seemed accidental then, or how re 
flexion was forced upon us by some trifling thin< 
or even chance word; and so we collected 01 
thoughts and considered our ways, and became, 
as the world says, very different persons from what 
we were or might have been ? And shall we take 
all this to ourselves, and give God no thanks for 
His goodness ? He that is no " adulterer, or unjust, 
or extortionate," may without sin be conscious that 
he is not, and thank God for all this he might 
have been; and if to the absence of these gross 
vices he has added virtue, knowledge, temperance, 
patience, godliness, charity, he cannot be entirely 
ignorant of the gifts of God within him, but he 
will be most ungrateful, and can hardly be said to 
have some of them, if he does not acknowledge them. 
There is such a thing as innocence of the grosser 
defilements of the flesh, and he that is so far inno 
cent must know that he is so ; and there is such 
a thing as growth in grace. It is possible to feel 
the working of the Spirit of Christ within us, 
" mortifying the works of the flesh, and our earthly 
members, and drawing up our minds to heavenly 
things." Great and unspeakable comfort do such 
thoughts bring to godly persons, kindling their 
love to God, and confirming their faith of eternal 
salvation to be enjoyed through Christ. Shall they 

The Pharisee and the Publican. 139 

then be looked for as a matter of course, and re 
ceived without a word or thought of thankfulness ? 

Far from it ; for the first rise out of sin, for every 
step we make, as we are working out our salvation 
in fear and trembling ; for every escape from danger, 
if near, and for the absence of it, if distant ; for every 
temptation that we have not felt, if kept far from us, 
that we have overcome if it has assailed us, for all 
that we have or are, if it be anything that is 
good, not unto us be the praise, but unto Him, who 
is at once the Author and Finisher of our Salvation. 

But this Pharisee did not recognize this truth, 
and while with his lips he was thanking God " that 
he was not as other men are," in his heart he was 
taking all the glory to himself. He had built, or 
fancied he had built, a ladder by which he could 
ascend to heaven, and he was admiring the work 
of his own hands, and counting its steps. By the 
rigid discipline of his whole life, and by voluntary 
sacrifices not required by the law, he was accumu 
lating merit day by day, till he should gather up 
a mass of it, which would ensure him, as of right, 
an everlasting reward. It is by a happy combina 
tion that we have presented to us in the Epistle 
the language and the idea of another Pharisee of 
a very different kind. The one thanking God that 
he is not what other men are, and the other con 
fessing, "By the grace of God I am what I am," 
but implying equally that he is different from other 
men, seem not at first sight to be very unlike each 
other; but they are as far asunder as the poles of 

140 The Pharisee and the Publican. 

heaven. For St. Paul had learnt this lesson, the 
very alphabet of which the Pharisee had yet 
learn, nay, could not learn at all, till he had un 
learnt all that he thought he already knew: " li 
any man could have confidence in the flesh," St. Pai 
could above all others. But now he says, " What 
things were gain to me, those I counted loss foi 
Christ. Yea, I count all things but loss for the 
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my 
Lord, and do count them but dung, so that I may 
win Christ, and be found in Him, not having my 
own righteousness which is of the law, but that 
which is through the faith of Christ, the righteous 
ness which cometh of God by faith." 

This was the lesson that the Pharisee had to learn, 
and herein is the failure of his prayer, that all that 
is good, be it of high or low degree, cometh from 
God, cannot be put down to ourselves, though God 
accept it through Christ, and that nothing that we 
can do can merit heaven. Those who are heavy- 
burthened with sin can at least cry, " God be merciful 
to me a sinner," and He will hear them ; but the 
best will only say and the better they are the 
more deeply will they feel it " By the Grace of 
God I am what I am." 

And those who have fought the good fight, and 
feel now that their course is finished, will know- 
through whose power they have conquered. And 
while they "look forward to the crown of right 
eousness which the Lord the Righteous Judge shall 
give to them that love His appearing," they well 

The Pharisee and the Publican. 141 

know what worship the Eedeemed will offer, and 
"how they will cast their crowns before the throne, 
saying, Thou art worthy, Lord, to receive glory 
and honour and power, for Thou hast created all 
f r ^hy pleasure they are, and were 



ST. MATT, xviii. 32, 33. 

" thou Kicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because 
thou desiredst me : Shouldest not thou also have had compas 
sion on thy felloivservant, even as I had pity on thee ?" 

THE ideas of sin and debt, of payment and pun 
ishment, or retribution, have always been closely 
connected together in the mind of man. This fact 
is borne witness to by language ancient and modern, 
by a kind of innate sense of justice, by law and 
practice all over the world. Where we sin against 
a neighbour, that is to say, do any wilful injury to 
his person, property, or character, the law will in 
many cases award him a compensation, treating us 
in every respect as though we were in debt to him, 
and enforcing the payment. And where the crime 
is transferred from the sufferer to the law itself, 
where the broken law in its majesty is contemplated 
as the party that is injured by the wrong, we be 
come indebted to the law, and the law takes from 
us satisfaction in proportion to the wrong done; it 
may be in money, it may be by the infliction of some 
equivalent pain or penalty, it may be, in an extreme 
case, by the shedding of blood. Then we say that 
a life has been forfeited by the law, and the miser- 

The Unmerciful Creditor. 143 

able man whose crime has brought him to this ex 
tremity, will, if he be truly penitent, accept his fate 
in heart and soul, and offer his life as a willing atone 
ment and the only one he can offer for the evil 
that he has done, giving God the glory that lie has 
brought a sinner to justice in this present world, 
and trusting to the atonement which he cannot offer 
for forgiveness of that vaster debt which he owes 
to Him whose justice is far stricter than that of 
human law. 

Now Holy Scripture not only sanctions but takes 
up and employs for our instruction this close connec 
tion of the idea of sin and debt, payment and punish 
ment. In fact our Lord Himself expresses Himself in 
these terms, in that version of His own prayer which 
St. Matthew has recorded in the Sermon on the Mount, 
"And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our 
debtors." And I need hardly point out how prac 
tical and easy to understand this representation of 
sin is. It places man at once towards God in the 
relation of a debtor towards a creditor. It is in 
itself a terrible relation to stand in towards Him; 
and the idea of it, before the voice of peace and 
reconciliation was heard, and still now in lands where 
it is not heard, drives the miserable victims of su 
perstition to seek atonement of their sins by self- 
inflicted misery and torture, as though they might 
thus hope to pay their own debt, and appear clean 
before the eyes of Almighty God. And if we are 
! relieved from the tyranny and agony of such an 
idea, it is not that the idea itself is false or baseless, 

144 The Unmerciful Creditor. 

far from it; we are still debtors in ourselves, hope 
less debtors to One who is of purer eyes than to 
behold iniquity, whose justice is infinite, and whose 
knowledge reaches to the faintest imaginations of 
our hearts ; but God Himself has paid the debt, 
and made the atonement, blotting out the record of 
our sins, and redeeming us, not by corruptible things, 
as silver or gold, "but with the precious blood of 
Christ as of a lamb without blemish and without 

Let us see how this idea of debt is worked out in 
the parable before us, and then dwell for a few mo 
ments on the practical lesson which the great Teacher 
Himself has drawn from it. The parable does not 
stand by itself as an abstract lesson, but it comes 
direct from the Saviour s lips in answer to question 
ings that were disturbing the disciples. He had 
just been teaching them how an offending brother 
was to be dealt with : "If thy brother shall trespass 
against thee, go and tell him his fault between him 
and thee alone; if he shall hear thee thou hast 
gained thy brother, but if he shall not hear thee, 
take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth 
of two or three witnesses every word may be es 
tablished. And if he shall neglect to hear them, 
tell it to the Church ; and if he neglect to hear the 
Church, let him be to thee as a heathen man and 
a publican." Not one word to justify or satisfy 
any angry or unkind feeling ; the offender must be 
dealt with somehow, but, in the extreme case, he 
must be excluded from the Church, from which 

The Unmerciful Creditor. 145 

virtually he is already excluded by his own un 
christian temper. And with what feeling is the 
heathen and publican to be regarded? not with 
enmity and scorn by the disciple of the Friend of 
publicans and sinners, but with pity still and love, 
so that if he whose words are listened to when he 
speaks in kindness the first time to his brother will 
have the blessed satisfaction of " gaining his brother," 
there will still remain at the last the hope of " re 
storing the publican, and converting the heathen : 
that work which is its own reward of converting 
a sinner from the error of his ways. In this treat 
ment all abandonment of personal feeling is sup 
posed from the first; and that being presumed, our 
Saviour s directions apply simply to the method of 
dealing with him ; but St. Peter, speaking no doubt 
for his brethren as well as himself, wishes to know 
if this is all, how many times this may be repeated, 
and when some concession may be made to the feel 
ings of a man smarting with the remembrance of 
repeated wrong. Now some of the Jewish teachers 
had a strong tendency to bring life and conduct in 
all their details under the control of positive rules, 
and it appears that they had resolved, as they thought 
on the authority of Scripture, that a personal enemy 
had a claim on our forgiveness for three successive 
offences and no more ; but a very good mau who 
would not be disposed to cut down his obedience 
to the very least that the law would accept, might 
extend his forgiveness to a fourth ; so that when 
St. Peter asked, " How often shall my brother sin 


146 The Unmerciful Creditor. 

against me and I forgive him ? Until seven times ? ! 
he thought, no doubt, that he had " named a perfect 
number, beyond which no forgiveness could be required 
or even conceived." And now comes the answer to 
this question in the parable ; that heavenly lesson of 
forgiveness which these men were soon to practise 
in a world that hated and persecuted them, so that 
they might be made like unto Him in all things, alike 
in enduring and in forgiveness of wrong* u forgiv 
ing others," so He spake again through His Apostle, 
" even as God for Christ s sake had forgiven them." 
The lesson, which is on the surface of the parable, 
comes upon us with greater force when we look more 
closely into it. For it would be a reasonable argu 
ment to a person of ordinary good feeling that he 
should shew to another the same amount of kind 
ness which he himself has received ; and even the 
hard world would condemn a person who should be 
severe in exacting a debt from another, from the 
like of which he himself had just been excused. 
And most men would rejoice in an opportunity of 
repaying in this way the kindness or indulgence 
by which they have been benefited. But here there 
is no equality or even proportion between the sums 
owed by the two debtors. The one is enormous 
ten thousand talents >\hich sounds to our ears a 
large sum, and is to be reckoned by millions ; the 
other is but a paltry sum of three or four pounds. 
And what does this contrast tell us? and is it for 
nothing that sums so specific and so widely different 
in magnitude are given? Surely it teaches us that 

The Unmerciful Creditor. 147 

sin in the sight of God is an infinitely greater out 
rage to His holiness, and more abhorrent to His 
nature, than any wrong that man may receive at 
the hands of his fellow can possibly be to him ; that 
though the world may be full of violence and wrong, 
of deceit and fraud ; though man may be in arms 
against his brother and thirsting for his blood ; though 
nation may be divided against nation and house 
against itself, yet all the mutual injury which this 
implies is to be counted as nothing, compared with 
the exceeding sinfulness of sin, compared with the 
intrusion of sin into the world which God created 
good, that sin of which we are the heirs and par 
takers. And yet all this load of debt God forgives 
freely, so much greater is the mercy that God shews 
than that which man refuses to shew. lie forgives 
and has compassion because His servant falls at His 
feet and worships Him. And He forgave freely, though 
His servant in the extremity of distress is ready to 
make promises of payment, and engagements that 
it is impossible for him to fulfil. " Have patience 
with me, and I will pay Thee all." He asks for time 
and patience while his debt is accumulating on him ; 
but he gains more than he asks or hopes for, an ab 
solute discharge. But here let me remind you that 
the parable deals only with the fact of this absolute 
forgiveness. It is absolute as regards the man him 
self, i.e. it does not depend upon any arrangement 
made with the man himself, but it is not absolute 
to the entire exclusion of any condition or means. 
God does not pardon sin absolutely in that sense, 


148 The Unmerciful Creditor. 

because we repent of it, or because we move His 
compassion by our tears and prayers. If it were 
so, Christ would have lived and died, if not in vain, 
yet without any need of such a life and death. It 
is a dream of our own that God, out of the stores of 
His infinite mercy and love, might pardon sin at once 
without atonement, without mark of His displeasure : 
nay, that it is more consistent with His nature that 
He should do so, than that He should exact or accept 
the penalty from another. This is nothing less than 
to put our ideas of what ought to be in the place 
of the knowledge that is offered to us of what really 
is ; but what man, conscious of the weakness of our 
common nature, will presume to say how it would 
be most consistent for a God of infinite purity, 
justice, and love, whose attributes in their infinity 
seem almost to contradict each other, " who will 
by no means clear the guilty, and yet keepeth mercy 
for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgressions 
and sin," to deal with the enormity of human guilt? 
Either Scripture is written for nothing, and Christ 
Himself suffered for nothing, and the Apostles 
preached and suffered too for nothing, or there 
was a difficulty in the forgiveness of sins which the 
human mind perhaps cannot understand, and which 
Divine wisdom only could overcome. Sin could not 
be wiped out at once as though it had never been, 
or the sinner pardoned or restored by the pure be 
nevolence of God. Either, I say, Scripture is de 
ceiving us, or there was a tremendous problem to 
be solved though we may not be able to enter 

The Unmerciful Creditor. 149 

into its difficulties how is man to be pardoned? 
how can the work of sin be undone, and yet sin 
condemned and punished? how can God be at the 
same time just, and yet the justifier of the unjust? 
And Scripture deceives us more if this was not 
done for us by a Divine person, who out of pure 
love took our nature upon Him, subjected Himself 
of His own free will to all its sufferings and afflic 
tions, rendered a perfect obedience, and died for us 
on the cross, being made sin for us, though He knew 
no sin Himself, and then ascended into heaven, 
where He can plead the sweet-smelling sacrifices 
which He Himself offered unto God, leaving us the 
assurance that " if while we were enemies, we were 
reconciled to God by the death of His Son, much 
more being reconciled we shall be saved by His life." 
Either this is the Gospel we have to preach, the 
Gospel it is called of " reconciliation," or else we 
know not what we say, and " Christ crucified " is 
a mere name. But it will be no mere name, but 
a name, or rather a power, of " hope and faith and 
joy and salvation" to those who in humility and 
truth look into their own hearts, and conscious of 
the evil that is dwelling there, ask that question 
which has been an anxious one for man ever since 
the foundation of the world, and is only trifled with 
by fools now, " Wherewith shall I come before the 
Lord and bow myself before the most High God?" 
Those that know themselves best will know best 
that they can come to God only through Christ, that 
all they have to plead is His merits, not their own 

150 The Unmerciful Creditor. 

efforts or repentance, that they have access to tin 
Father only through Him, and can only offer 
praises and thanksgivings in His Name; that they 
can have nothing without Him, but with Him havi 
everything they need, " Wisdom and rightcousn< 
and sanctification and redemption." 

With us who have the sense of this reconciliatioi 
how can any evil feeling or unforgiving temper find 
a dwelling-place in our minds? Yet this man of 
whom we have been reading goes from the presence 
of his Lord, and finding some fellow-servant who owes 
him some trifling debt, and appeals to him in the 
self-same words, words which must have recalled to 
him the mercy he had received, will have no compas 
sion on him, but casts him into prison till he should 
pay his debt. The common feelings of humanity 
rise to protest against his conduct, and his fellow- 
servants, in their indignation, report it to his Lord. 
And so his own debt, his forgiven debt, revives and 
returns upon him ; and he is delivered over to the 
tormentors till he should pay all that is due. It 
is no simple punishment for his inhumanity and 
ingratitude that he has to bear, but the entire work 
that has been done for him is undone grace, pardon, 
love, are forfeited, and he falls back into the condi 
tion of an unredeemed man. " So likewise shall My 
heavenly Father do also unto you if ye from your 
hearts forgive not every one his brother their tres 
passes." It is a lesson to us all, for envy and malice 
and cruelty gain too ready an entrance into our hearts, 
and what room is there for the Spirit of Christ when. 

The Unmerciful Creditor. 151 

they have possession ? To do unto others as we would 
that they should do unto us is a high and perfect 
rule of conduct ; it tells us to put ourselves in the 
place of another, and to treat him as we would then 
wish to be treated: but to do unto others as God, 
for Christ s sake, has done unto us is a higher and 
more perfect rule still. And if men would really 
walk as the redeemed of the Lord, as God s adopted 
children, sealed with His Spirit and bearing with 
them the recollection of all that has been given them 
and all that has been forgiven, we might hope for 
something like peace upon earth and good will among 

There is a change in our Lord s expression when 
He speaks of the unmerciful servant which should not 
escape our notice. " So likewise shall My heavenly 
Father," Mine, observe, and not yours, for in forget 
ting the mercies you have received you put yourselves 
out of the family of God, and virtually deny your 
relationship, just as you confirm and establish it by 
deeds of mercy. " Love your enemies, and do good 
and lend, hoping for nothing again, and your reward 
shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the 
Most High, for lie is kind unto the unthankful and 
the Evil." For ourselves we have mercies past to 
think of, and sometimes we are appealed to by them, 
" forgiving others as Christ forgave you," and as we 
look to mercy hereafter; and sometimes the appeal 
is this, " Forgive and ye shall be forgiven." But 
the son of Sirach points out how we may make the 

152 The Unmerciful Creditor. 

past mercy fruitless, and put ourselves beyond the 
pale of the future. 

" One man beareth hatred against another, and 
doth lie seek pardon from the Lord? He sheweth 
no mercy to a man who is like himself, and doth 
he ask forgiveness of his own sin ? 


(Sifts f0r HUn. Mbit Sunbug. 

EPHES. iv. 7, 8. 

" Unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure 
of the gift of Christ. Wherefore He saith, When He ascended 
up on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto 

THE Psalm in which you have just joined accord 
ing to the services of the day will have told you 
whose those words are to which the Apostle is refer 
ring. The Psalm itself, it is believed, was composed 
on the occasion of conveying the ark from its dwell 
ing-place on the threshing-floor of Araunah, to its 
final habitation on the Holy Hill of Sion. But as 
that ark, though the work of human hands, was the 
token of God s presence with His people, as its con 
veyance to the place which God desired above all 
other places to dwell in for ever was typical of the 
ascent of a more triumphant conqueror than David 
into a more enduring seat than the earthly Jerusalem, 
so is the entire Psalm in the highest degree prophe 
tical of greater events than any that were destined 
to be accomplished in the city of David. It spans, 
indeed, in a marvellous manner the whole range of 
time, from the very beginning of God s dealing with 

154 Gifts for Men. 

Ilis people, to the final consummation of all things. 
It commences with the very words of Moses used 
clay by day as the ark shifted its place in the wilder 
ness "Let God arise, and let His enemies be scat 
tered ; " it carries us onward to the triumphant en 
trance of the Saviour not into the holy places made 
" with hands, which are the figures of the true, but 
into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence 
of God for us." 

But I would call your attention to the singular 
distinctness of the prophecy as quoted by the 
Apostle, with some noticeable variation of terms . 
u Thou hast ascended up on high, Thou hast led cap 
tivity captive, Thou hast received gifts for men, yea, 
for the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell 
among them." " Thou hast received gifts for men" 
is the expression of the Patriarch. "He led capti 
vity captive, and gave gifts for men," is the version 
of the Apostles-^-^Ww*/ thus taking the place of re 
ceiving. I shall recur to this hereafter, at present 
it is enough to notice it. 

The Psalmist you see connects together in the 
closest possible manner the act of ascending up on 
high and giving or receiving gifts for men. And 
if we turn to the pages of the New Testament we: 
find this connexion so uniformly maintained, both in 
thought and language, that the two acts seem to; 
be almost confounded into one. We cannot account 
for this harmony, except by the fact that the same; 
Spirit which spake by the prophets of old was given 
in full measure to the Apostles on the day of Pente-, 

Gifts for Men. 155 

cost. Nothing else can explain this marvellous unity. 
It was not only the strangers that were in Jerusalem 
on that particular day, devout men as they were from 
every nation under heaven, Parthians and Medes and 
Elamites, strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 
that heard in their own tongues the wonderful works 
of God, many languages proclaiming the same truth. 
It was the harmony not of a single day, but of many 
hundreds of years, many voices but the same Spirit, 
and the Lord God long since filled His holy Prophets 
with the same Spirit, with the first-fruits of which 
His Church was endowed as upon this very day. So 
that if we find St. John expressly stating " that the 
Holy Ghost was not yet given because that Jesus 
was not yet glorified," or St. Peter after shew 
ing that " God had raised up Jesus, according to 
the Prophets," and pointing out as a necessary con 
sequence that " therefore being by the right hand 
of God exalted, and having received of the Father 
the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, 
which ye now see and hear;" (for David, he says, 
whose sepulchre is with us unto this day, is not 
ascended into heaven, but he saith himself, " The 
Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on My right hand 
; until I make thine enemies thy footstool." lie could 
I not, therefore, be speaking of himself, but of some 
greater One ;) if, I say, we find this in the New Testa 
ment, we shall not be surprised if we find the 
Psalmist connecting together the ascension of that 
greater One, and the gifts of the Spirit in the Old Tes 
tament, or the prophet Joel, determining, so to speak, 

156 Gifts for Men. 

the pouring out of the Spirit upon all flesh to the last 
days the days when the great work of salvation had 
been finished, and the Author of our salvation had 
been received up again into the glory which He had 
with the Father before the world was. It was on 
the very day of the delivery of the law from Mount 
Sinai in the wilderness, that the Church of God 
received the far higher endowment of the Spirit. 
Ten days only elapsed before the promise of the 
Father was fulfilled. The same arrangement of time 
that regulated the dealings of God s Providence with 
His ancient people was observed and carried out in 
His dealings with His new. They counted fifty days 
from the Passover to Pentecost, we count fifty from 
the great Atonement to Whit-Sunday. Our blessed 
Lord had promised His disciples that when He went 
away He would give them another Comforter, that 
should abide with them for ever, even the Spirit of 
Truth. But till He was taken away the gift which 
we now commemorate as a fact seems to have been 
withheld by a kind of necessity of God s spiritual 
kingdom. The Holy Ghost it appears could not 
be given unto men while the Son of Man Himself 
was walking among the children of men. Therefore, 
when sorrow filled their hearts at the very thought 
of His departure, He assures them "that it was 
expedient for them," a positive advantage to them, 
that He should go away, as though a very hindrance 
to their good would be removed by His departure, 
" For if I go not away the Comforter will not come 
unto you, but if I go away, I i.e. I myself will 

Gifts for Men. 157 

send Him unto you." And this will enable us to 
understand how the receiving of the Psalmist corre 
sponds to the giving of the Apostle. The Son will 
pray the Father, and He will give us another Com 
forter. But the gift cometh through the Son, and 
the Son sendeth Him. The gift is from the Father, 
but because all good things come to us only through 
the Son, therefore the Son sendeth Him. He pro- 
ceedeth from the Father and the Son: u When the 
Comforter is come whom I will send unto you from 
the Father, even the Spirit of Truth which proceedeth 
from the Father, He shall testify of Me." And 
again, " He shall glorify Me, for He shall receive of 
Mine and shew it unto you. All things that the 
Father hath are Mine. Therefore I said that He 
shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you." 

But there is a part of the Psalmist s prophecy 
which I have not yet noticed, and which is not 
quoted by the Apostle, not because it is unimportant, 
or has no bearing upon ourselves, but because it was 
not the custom to quote prophecy in full, only to 
indicate how holy men of old spoke as they were 
moved by the Holy Ghost. "Thou hast received 
gifts for men, yea, for the rebellious also, that the 
Lord God might dwell among them." God, that 
is, who maketh the sun to shine on the evil and on 
the good, did not confine the special favour that 
He shewed to His own peculiar people, to those who 
truly served Him with a perfect heart. Now the 
whole career of His people is nothing less than 
| a history of God s Spirit striving ever with the 

158 Gifts for Men. 

rebellious spirit of man. It "was the same before 
their time: " God saw that the wickedness of man 
was great upon the earth, and that every imagina 
tion of his thoughts was only evil continually." 
And He said then, u My Spirit shall not always .strive 
with man." And when the flood had swept away 
that generation from its surface, and one just man 
only with his family was preserved to replenish the 
earth, the strife began anew with the new spring 
of the human race ; of the three branches of that one 
stem that was permitted to multiply, one was soon 
cut off, and thrown aside, and the descendants of 
Ham bear to the present day the burthen of their 
parent s curse, " Cursed be Canaan, a servant of 
servants shall he be unto his brethren." And when 
God left the rest of the world to walk in their own 
ways, though even then He left not Himself without 
a witness, and chose out one particular family for His 
inheritance, the strife continued there only in a more 
aggravated form. The prophet whom Balak con 
sulted, when he looked upon the goodly tents of 
Jacob, and his tabernacles spread forth as gardens 
by the river-side, filled with the sense of the blessed 
ness of those whom God has blessed, could not 
restrain his imagining of what that people so highly 
favoured was or ought to be. " He hath not beheld 
iniquity in Jacob, neither hath he seen perverseness 
in Israel." But those who were commissioned to 
speak of them and to them, when they had been 
proved by prosperity and affliction, held a very dif 
ferent language. " Son of man, I send thee to the 

Gifts for Men. 159 

children of Israel, to a rebellious nation that hath 
rebelled against Me : they and their fathers have 
transgressed against Me, unto this very day. And 
thou shalt speak unto them, whether they will hear or 
whether they will forbear, for they are most rebel 
lious." Eebellious children, impudent and stiff-hearted 
these are but a few of the reproaches that are cast 
upon God s chosen people by the prophets who were 
sent to recall them into the way of righteousness. 
In the most glorious Psalms the mighty works of 
God stand side by side with the rebellions of His 
people, as if to shew us that where His mercies are 
greatest there man finds the greatest opportunities 
of sin, "Then believed they His words, they sang 
His praise." But in the next verse, u They forgat 
His works, and waited not for His counsel. They 
despised the pleasant land, they believed not His 
word." " They joined themselves to Baal-Peor. They 
| angered Him at the waters of strife. They were 
j mingled among the heathen and learned their works ;" 
[so that when the page of their history is full, and we 
have read through the record of their crimes, when 
the cup of their iniquity is full, and the hour of 
their desolation at hand, our own judgment finds 
i expression in the dying words of the first martyr, 
"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and 
ears, ye do always resist, the Holy Ghost: as your 
fathers did, so do ye." 

And yet God dwelt among this rebellious people, 
and fixed .His seat upon the Holy Hill of Sion, 
even amidst the iniquities of Jerusalem. No re- 

160 Gifts for Men. 

bellion of His people, however aggravated, could d< 
stroy the reality of the gifts that He bestowed upoi 
them. They were there not by their own option, bul 
by His act, whether they would or no, with their 
blessings if they received and used them rightly, 
with their curses if they neglected or abused them. 
So much was left in the power of man, and so much 
only, to make him a savour of life, or a savour 
of death unto himself, but he could not affect the 
reality of the gifts by ignoring them. 

Therefore, when Jerusalem had become utterly 
abominable, when her kings were apostates, and the 
whole nation, as Isaiah describes it, one mass of 
corruption, full of wounds and bruises and putrifying 
sores, it was still the Holy City, for God was in the 
midst of her. All that God had given her was hers 
still, continued hers, because none but the Lord 
who gave had power to take away. The day of 
forfeiture, it is true, came, but it came when God 
pronounced the sentence, and from His sentence, 
not from any act or sin of man. God dwelt there, 
not so long as it might seem to be a fitting dwelling- 
place for the Most High, but according to the times 
that He hath put in His own power. It is said that 
before her place was left unto her desolate, strange 
voices from the most holy place were heard in the 
courts of the Lord s House. " Let us go forth from 
hence." And then God departed from her for ever, 
and Jerusalem was trodden down by the Gentiles 
till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. But till 
then the gifts of God were without repentance, and 

Gifts for Men. 161 

their inheritance was entire. They were still Israel, 
though all were not Israel who were of Israel; to 
them appertained the adoption, though they shut 
themselves from the household of God the glory 
of God s presence that is, though they dishonoured 
Him the covenants, though they broke them the 
giving of the Law, though they made it of none 
effect the promises, though they would not have 
them the fathers, though they did not the work of 
their fathers to sum up all, " of them as concern 
ing the flesh Christ came;" though " He came unto 
His own, and His own received Him not." 

Now there is an exact parallel to this in our 
own case. When St. Paul quoted the words of the 
Psalmist, and thereby fixed their meaning, it was 
enough to say, "He gave gifts for men." All the 
rest was implied, or rather was expressed, before 
hand, " Unto every one of us is given grace accord 
ing to the measure of the gifts of Christ." The 
grace of God, that is, is not special to any particular 
number of persons, but universal, to all of whom 
and to whom the Apostle is writing ; to those who 
walk as children of the light, and to those whom he 
still finds it necessary to warn, that they walk not 
as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds, 
" having their understanding darkened, and alienated 
from the life of God through the ignorance that is in 
them, because of the blindness of their hearts." These 
gifts are gifts unto the Church, and they are shared 
by many who are unworthy members of the Church : 
nay, they have a wider range even than this. On 


162 Gifts for Men. 

this day of Pentecost they that received St. Peter s 
word gladly were baptized, and the same day there 
were added to the Church three thousand souls. 
And afterwards we are told that there were adde< 
to the Church daily such as should be saved. But 
there must have been many times three thousand 
Jews, from every nation under heaven, who hean 
the solemn appeal of St. Peter : " Eepent, and be bap 
tized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ 
for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift 
of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you and 
to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as 
many as the Lord our God shall call." They who 
received the gift were condemned or justified by the 
use they made of it hereafter, but they who rejected 
it were not thereby exempted from the duty and 
danger involved in its offer. Were I speaking to 
Jews or heathen it would be the same now. Those 
who preferred darkness rather than the light, be 
cause their deeds were evil, would bear the conse 
quences of their evil deeds, done in despite of light. 
But I am not speaking to heathens here, or those 
who will be tried as heathen, not to those to whom 
little has been given, and from whom little will be 
required, but to those on whom God has poured out 
all the riches of His grace freely. You are members 
of the family of Christ by adoption, though you 
may be wasting your substance, and living the lives 
of prodigals. You are incorporated members of His 
Church, and all that He has given unto His Churcl 
is yours, though you profit nothing by it. The nami 

Gifts for Men. 163 

of Christ is yours, though you may dishonour it. 
Eternal life is yours, though you judge yourself 
unworthy of it. The blood of the covenant is yours, 
though you count it an unholy thing. You have 
been onco enlightened, you have tasted of the 
heavenly gift, and been made partakers of the Holy 
Ghost, though you have fallen away, and cannot 
again be renewed unto repentance. The past cannot 
be undone, and God s gifts, slighted and despised, it 
may be even profaned, cannot leave you as though 
! they had never been received. No doubt the idle 
and unprofitable servant, who hid his Master s talent 
| in the earth, would have been very thankful if 
;he could have declined receiving it. But it was 
i thrust upon him, and he was condemned, though he 
: returned it whole, because he had done nothing to 
increase it. What, then, will be the judgment of him 
who wastes his talent ? He at least thought it a valu 
able thing, and one to be preserved. But what of 
those who have nothing at all to shew, not even 
(what they have received, in the great day of account ? 
iWhat of those who shrink from the table of the 
iLord, and from the communion of His Body and 
iBlood, and dare not touch them because their lives 
:ire evil? Can their evil lives invalidate the offer 
!>f these gifts, or destroy the guilt of rejecting them ? 
|.t cannot be ; do not deceive yourselves in so grave 
i matter. Be assured that by all God s gifts, by all 
hat you have received by all you might have re- 
j-eived and would not you will be tried, condemned, 
r justified. Will it be any answer to plead that 

M 2 

164 Gifts for Men. 

we have not profaned God s Holy Communion, whei 
the charge is that we have never lived in it ? Jus 
as he that receiveth not the witness of God which 
gave of His Son maketh him a liar, so he that r< 
fuseth that gift of God profaneth that gift by not 
receiving it. But Christ Himself pleads with us 
to come to Him, and His very invitation is the 
highest gift, even to the disobedient and rebellious, 
a free unbought and undeserved grace to as many 
as the Lord our God shall call. 

Let us throw our souls open to all those holy 
influences which the Spirit brought down upon the 
Church of Christ this day, to convictions of sin, 
to motives of holiness, to truth, to purity and love. 
And let us who stand fast in the grace of God tako 
heed that we receive not the grace of God in vain. 


mi it (Qxusfton 


I SAM. xii. 17. 

" I will call unto the Lord, and He shall 
send thunder and rain." 

Archbishop of Canterbury has, I am informed, 
issued letters to the Bishops, recommending prayer 
ito be offered for the blessing of finer weather, to 
mature and enable us to gather in the fruits of the 
earth; and I am sure there are those among you 
who will join in that prayer with as great earnest 
ness as in any prayer you have ever offered in the 
:course of your lives. Nevertheless, the question 
of prayer for rain or sunshine, or for anything else 
that appears to depend upon the physical laws that 
Igovern the universe, is a very serious one, and, as 
it seems to me, goes a good deal deeper than is 
generally supposed affecting, in fact, the whole 
principle of prayer for anything. If we turn to 
Scripture we have certainly not many instances of 
prayers such as I am speaking of. Samuel stood 
.n a peculiar relation to God, as the Prophet and 
:he Judge of His people. lie appealed to God, as 
|ive read last Sunday, and He answered by rain and 
:hunder in harvest. It was a miracle, and had its 

a July 13, 1879. 

166 Rev. C. Kingsleijs Views 

effect as such upon the minds of the people, so that 
they greatly feared the Lord and Samuel. The 
answer to the prayer of Elias is referred to by St. 
James as an instance of the general power of the 
" effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man." " He 
prayed," says the Apostle, " that it might not rain, 
and it rained not upon the earth by the space of 
three years and six months. He prayed again, and 
the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth 
her fruits. 7 And lest it should be thought tha 
the greatness of Elijah as a prophet, and his holi 
ness as a man, gave him an exceptional privileg 
in the matter of this prayer, St. James adds, as it 
appears to me, that "he was subject to like passions 
as we are," so that whatever he prayed for we have 
on proper occasions the same right to pray for. 
Nevertheless, the question of prayer for such things 
seems to me to be a very difficult one, and the prac 
tice of it one that is not commended to us on ordinary 
occasions, so that in fact it may become a sign not 
of faith, but of want of faith in those that offer it. 
And some years since a very distinguished clergy 
man, and almost a neighbour of us, the Eev. C. 
Kingsley, got himself into a good deal of obloquy 
by refusing to offer it, and as nobody can doubt 
that he was a good, holy, and faithful servant 
Christ, it will be worth while to consider what hi 
reasons were, though I do not entirely agree wi 
them. First he declined to read the prayer fo 
fine weather unless ordered to do so, because i 
seemed to him to imply an opinion that we a 



on Special Prayer considered. 1G7 

wiser than God. That prayer speaks of a plague 
of rain and waters as a punishment. "But how do 
we know that it is a punishment? and if so, for 
what? It is well that we should have the judg 
ment of God before us on all occasions, and no 
consideration that can induce us to amend our lives 
can be out of place. And if we think of the special 
sins of the day, and the vices of society, and of the 
luxury, and dishonesty, and corruption that prevail 
among those who ought to be examples to others, 
there seems to be enough to make a thoughtful 
mind tremble for the days that are coming. But 
how do we know that the excessive rains that make 
us so anxious are a judgment? Are we quite sure 
that they are not a boon and a blessing ? A certain 
quantity of water is as necessary to the earth as 
blood to our living bodies. It rises from the sea 
in clouds, and falls to the earth as rain, not to the 
same extent in all years, but so as to give a regu 
lar average, and this is kept up not year by year, 
but taking one year with another. Perhaps we 
may think it would be a good thing if we had 
exactly the same quantity every year, and falling 
at the same time; but this would be, in fact, to 
suppose ourselves wiser than God. Man does not 
live by bread alone, but by all the laws of nature, 
which are in truth the words of God. Can man 
live on food without drink, or on the two without 
air, or on the three without heat ? No ! nor on all 
four without a hundred other wholesome influences, 
of many of which the wisest man can only guess, 

168 Rev. C. King sky s Vieivs 

but which altogether go to make up the health of 
man. How do we know but what the rains are 
not restoring to us many a wholesome influence of 
this kind which we should want without them? 
How do we know that they are not washing away 
day by day the seeds of pestilence in man, and 
beast, and vegetable, sowing instead the seeds of 
health and fertility for ourselves and our children 
after us? How do we know that when we are ask 
ing for bread we are not really asking for a stone ? " 

The cholera was threatening at the time these words 
were written, and Mr. Kingsley asks with perti 
nency, " How do we know that in asking God to 
take away these rains we are not asking Him to 
send the cholera in the year to come ? I have 
long been of that opinion. I have long thought 
that one or more dry summers, keeping the springs 
at their low level, would inevitably bring cholera 
or some other pestilence ; and if that particular guess 
be wrong, this I believe, and this I will preach, 
that every drop of rain which is now falling is likely 
to prove, not a plague or a punishment, but a bless 
ing and a boon to England and to Englishmen." 

These considerations are the reflexions, not of an 
irreligious, but of a most religious and God-fearing 
mind, and that of a high and noble order, and as 
such are deserving of our careful regard. They 
come from a spirit of humility and patience, that 
can wait in faith till it sees the goodness of the 
Lord. They are, if you like so to take them, a con 
fession of ignorance. But where I am ignorant, 

on Special Prayer considered. 169 

I prefer the confession of it to the presumptuous 
pretence to knowledge. He speaks of himself, and 
I speak of myself: " Who am I that I should judge 
another?" I blame no one else for praying for 
rain or for fine weather, particularising, if he likes, 
exactly where he wants each to prevail. I am 
content with the general form of the Litany, "That 
it may please Thee to give and preserve to our use 
the kindly fruits of the earth, so that in due time 
we may enjoy them." But I have no objection to 
the special prayer when it is ordered by authority, 
and I hope I use it in faith, that the Maker, Creator, 
and Sustainer of all things will order them for the 
best. Still I cannot go entirely along with Mr. 
Kingsley in all that follows. What he means he 
has expressed in the fewest possible words. " Every 
shower," he says, " and every sunbeam is fore-or 
dained from the beginning of the world." If this 
is the case, we need not trouble ourselves about the 
objection that in praying for such things we make 
ourselves wiser than God. We are simply asking, 
not for that which is unwise or presumptuous, 
we are asking for that which is impossible. And 
such I know is the opinion of many men in the 
present age. Everything past or future is absolutely 
determined by fixed law. The chains of causes 
and effects cannot be broken; everything continues 
and must continue according to the ordinance by 
which it was framed, serving Him, if we believe in 
Him, and fulfilling His Word. Now I will observe 
of this idea that though it may be irreligious, and 

170 Rev. C. Kingdqf* Views 

probably is so in many minds, yet it is not neces 
sarily so. It removes God from the place whicl 
we give Him, as a dispenser of special providence 
to man; but it credits Him with a wisdom and a 
power which enabled Him so to construct the sys 
tem of things, that it should neither require nor 
admit of any further interference even from Him 
self. The manufacturer here constructs a chrono 
meter; it goes round the world and comes back in 
perfect time. It is self-correcting and self-adjusting, 
and requires no touch from the hand of the maker. 
He has done with it, and it is independent of him 
when he has once sent it out of his shop. There 
is nothing irreligious in supposing that God has 
finished the whole system of the world, with the 
same perfection of workmanship, that it may go on 
for ever, adapting itself, without correction, to every 
need of every creature that forms a part of it. It 
might even be said that we are enhancing His power 
and wisdom by entertaining such an idea of Him. 
True it removes Him from us, as a Father who careth 
for His children, as one to whom we can pray and 
speak ; there is no room for fervent love and ador 
ation in the amazement which so vast and com 
plicated a machine must create. 

Yet I do not say that this is irreligious; it is only 
not consistent with what God has revealed to us 
about Himself. And the recognition of a general 
law as ordering the world is, to my mind, perfectly 
consistent with the action of a special providence 
overruling and possibly reversing that law. Did 

on Special Prayer considered. 171 

the storm on the lake of Gennesareth arise necessarily 
from causes that had been in operation from the 
foundation of the world, and of which it was the 
outcome ? and shall we attribute its sudden cessation 
to the same causes, forgetting Him of whom the 
simple people of Galilee remarked, " What manner 
of Man is this that even the winds and the waves 
obey Him ?" And it is hard to say how far this 
theory is to be carried if you once recognize it. 
Depend upon it, you will have to make distinctions 
in its application which it will be very difficult to 
maintain, and people must have clearer heads than 
they generally possess, if they are to be saved under 
this idea from the tyranny of universal fatalism. 
The language of Scripture, and the lessons of experi 
ence, and the prayer of faith, seem to me to be per 
fectly consistent with each other. We are certainly 
living under the rule of law ; if we were not so 
we should not know what to do from day to day ; 
we should have no certainty of to-morrow s sunrise ; 
our calculations of seed-time and harvest would be 
all disarranged, and idle speculation would take the 
place of ordinary prudence. But because we are 
living under law, is that any reason why when we 
feel its excessive pressure we should not seek relief 
from Him who is able to give it ? Is the prayer that 
God s great army of locusts, as it is called in the 
book of Joel, may be carried away, an idle one, and 
the promised restoration of the years that this locust 
hath eaten, and the consequent abundance, to be con 
sidered a mere sequence of natural causes ? or were 

172 Rev. C. Kingsletfs Views 

the people right in believing, as God Himself de 
clared, "that lie had dealt wondrously with them?" 
or, when what was called the thundering legion 
under Marcus Aurelius was perishing from thirst, 
and the Christian soldiers in it knelt down and 
prayed, and the rain fell at once in abundance, which 
was right, those who took it as a matter of course, 
if there were any such, or the heathen Emperor who 
attributed the deliverance to the prayers of soldiers 
who happened to be Christians, and stopped the 
persecution of Christians in consequence? It does 
not appear to have occurred to the Emperor, though 
he was a philosopher, that that rain had been or 
dained to fall at that time and place from the founda 
tion of the world. At the same time it may be 
allowed that these physical blessings are not what 
we ought to pray for most earnestly and constantly, 
though I think it is lawful to pray for them. " Seek 
ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, 
and all these things shall be added to you." But 
the reason of this distinction is not to be looked 
for in the supposition that the things which the 
Gentiles seek are not equally at the disposal of God, 
but in the relative value of the things themselves. 
Seek for those things which are most valuable and 
necessary first, and trust to God for the rest, tak 
ing the ordinary methods to provide them without 
anxiety. Trust in Him, and they will come either 
in the ordinary way, or by His special providence. 
"Whichever way they come it will make no difference 
to you, nor in fact will there be any difference of 

on Special Prayer considered. 173 

authorship, for anyhow they will come from Him \ 
and it was not on the score of special mercies which 
they did not recognize that the heathen world was 
condemned, but for ordinary blessings which they 
received, though they were without excuse for not 
seeing in them their Author; "who knowing God, 
glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful." 
But when Mr. Kingsley speaks of the things for which 
we ought mainly to pray, we can go with him entirely, 
and I use his beautiful language. " Let us have faith 
in God, and not break out before we know the facts 
and the truth into hasty and ungrateful complaints 
that He is plaguing and punishing us, when all the 
while He is most probably preserving and blessing 
us, as He is wont to do. Let us not cry to Him 
greedily and blindly for fancied blessings which may 
be real curses, and for the seeming bread, which 
may prove to be nothing but a stone. We should 
not give such gifts to our children, neither will God 
to us. But for this let us cry, for the good gifts 
which can do us nothing but good, which He has 
promised freely to all that ask Him ; for His Holy 
Spirit, for the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, 
the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of know 
ledge and of the fear of the Lord, the Spirit which is 
good for all men and for all ages, and in all places 
for ever ; the Spirit which will help us to be sober in 
good times, cheerful in bad times, brave, prudent, 
and industrious in all times, as men who know that 
they have a Father in heaven, who has made the 
earth right well, and has given to man, if he will use 

174 Eev. C. King sky s Views 

it with reason, dominion over it." But in maintaining 
that material phenomena are inflexibly determined 
by causes that were set in motion at the foundation 
of the world, I am afraid that Mr. Kingsley has ad 
mitted a principle that other persons will carry 
a good deal further than he intended. It involv< 
at least this distinction, that God governs the mate 
rial world in one way, and the spiritual world in 
another. The material world is governed by general 
law, the spiritual world by personal and individual 
influence. The material world is one great machine ; 
each individual man is a free moral agent, and is dealt 
with as such. But though there may be this distinc 
tion of things, this distinction of government is, as it 
appears to me, very difficult to prove. The fact that 
we are able to investigate and discover the laws of 
the material world, and are daily advancing in the 
knowledge, whereas we cannot discover the laws 
which prevail in the spiritual world, does not prove 
that there are no such laws, and we may be arguing 
simply on our ignorance. "The wind, indeed, or 
rather the Spirit, bloweth where it listeth, and ye 
hear the sound thereof, but ye cannot tell whence it 
cometh or whither it goeth, so likewise is every one 
that is born of the Spirit : " which words seem to 
place the action of the Spirit beyond the rule of law ; 
and perhaps they are as regards our knowledge, but 
it does not follow that it is without law absolutely. 
The words may simply mean that it has laws of its 
own which we cannot discover, as the wind and the 
weather certainly have, though practically they arc 

on Special Prayer considered. 175 

undiscovered still. But natural science has made 
great advances since Mr. Kingsley wrote the words 
I have been commenting upon, and there is a ten 
dency in philosophy clearly apparent to bring even 
moral emotions and dispositions under the same laws 
as mechanics. The language we are compelled to use 
in speaking of human conduct rather favours this idea. 
We speak of the motives of a man s actions, thereby 
recognizing a kind of resemblance between a force 
acting on dead matter and the inducements which 
act upon a living soul. But dead matter has no 
personal will, and a living soul has. Therein lies 
all the difference, and we must be careful of our 
language and our thoughts. But the most advanced 
teachers of natural science seem to ignore this dis 
tinction, and to push the rigour and severity of law 
into the very inmost recesses of the human soul. 
Thus one of them suggests " how the religious 
feelings may be brought within the range of physio 
logical enquiry. 7 Perhaps you do not understand 
this kind of language, but you will understand me 
when I tell you that it implies this, that the presence 
or absence of faith, hope, and charity, in a human 
i soul is to be accounted for in the same way as the 
I presence or absence of measles or small-pox in the 
i human body. Everything, according to them, de- 
1 pends upon the relation and arrangement of mole- 
I cules, i.e. of the ultimate particles of matter of which 
our bodies and everything else is composed, and, 
they tell us, every mental and moral fact is in rela 
tion to some molecular fact, so that if we can explain 

176 Rev. C. Kingsley s Views 

these molecular facts, we have explained the mental 
and moral facts. This again is, I daresay, strange 
language to your ears, but you will understand me 
when I say that it reduces those Christian graces 
I have mentioned to an affection of matter. They 
are no longer graces at all, but certain subtle condi 
tions of the human system, and may be rather com 
pared to electrical phenomena. They belong to 
matter and not to soul, or rather there is no soul 
to which they can belong. Therefore, I say, Mr 
Kingsley s idea of the absolute sovereignty of law 
is likely to be carried, and has been carried, much 
further than he intended, and we want some reason 
for the line he draws between the government of the 
domain of matter, and the government of the do 
main of spirit, and of mind and soul. 

I do not exercise myself upon great things, and 
know that there is a knowledge that is much too 
deep for me, I cannot attain to it; but I cannot 
help observing the thoughts that are afloat in the air, 
and am thankful that they are not my thoughts. 
That the general government of the world is accord 
ing to law is a matter of experience. That the 
method in which God deals with the spirits of men 
is not to the same extent according to law, is more 
than I would venture to say. 

But I know that the special character and pre 
rogative of God is that " He heareth prayer," and 
I am not disposed to narrow the range of that prayer. 
And whether our prayers are general or particular, 
as that which I have offered up to-day, I am sure 



on Special Prayer considered. 177 

that He maketh all things work together for good 
to them that love Him ; and whether you deem it 
right to pray for this or that special thing or not, 
I will only say, "Be not faithless, but believing;" 
and commit yourself with faith and without philoso 
phy to the Lord of all material creation, to the Lord 
of all flesh, and of the Spirits of all flesh. 


r0fit of r<t 

JOB xxi. 15. 

" What is the Almighty, that ive should serve Him ? and what 
profit should we have, if we praij unto Him ?" 

OUCH were the words and sentiments put into 
the mouths of profane and wicked men. They 
shocked the moral sense of the patriarch Job, but he 
was unable to answer them. It was a problem to him 
that he could net solve, and he asked in vain why 
things were suffered to be as they were. "Where 
fore do the wicked live, become old, yea, are mighty 
in power? 7 It seemed more consistent in his eyes, 
more suitable to his idea of the goodness and ma 
jesty of God, that evil should cease at once from 
the earth, and the workers of it be destroyed, than 
that it should triumph even for a time over good, 
and that bad men should seem to enjoy more of 
the favour of God than those who were washing 
their hands in iunocency, and striving to walk blame 
less in His sight. And he was still more shocked 
when he found men prospering in this world, and 
making that very prosperity the ground of their 
denial of Him to whose hand they were indebted 
for every blessing they enjoyed, for the absence 
of every evil from which they were free. " What 
is the Almighty," they said, " that we should serve 
8 Second Sunday in Lent. 

The Profit of Prayer. 179 

Him ? and what profit should wo have if \vo pr;iy 
unto Him?" They had all they wanted, and they 
were conscious that they were not serving Him. 
Why should they change their course of conduct? 
Prosperity came to them in the way of nature, just 
as effects follow from their proper causes ; and what 
further advantage would they gain if they prayed 
unto Him ? 

This book of Job is a wonderful book, full of a 
deep and meditative philosophy ; so much so that 
there seems to be hardly a question that has ever 
stirred the heart of man concerning the deep things 
of God and His relation to us, His providence 
and our liberty, His power and our defiance of it, 
His holiness and our corruption, that is not opened, 
and in some cases closed also, by it. Closed, perhaps, 
I can hardly say though answered for the time 
for questions of this sort will ever revive and con 
tinue to exercise the mind of man. Why is God 
all powerful, and yet suffers that which He most 
hates to exist? all good, and yet looks on while 
evil is triumphant ? all wise, all merciful, infinite in 
His perfections, knowing no variableness or shadow 
of turning, and yet suffers Himself to be entreated 
by prayer? We, when we are entreated, may well 
change ; anger is softened and wrath appeased, and 
we come to a better mind ; fierce resolutions are 
melted down, and our feelings are turned from cruelty 
and indifference to tenderness and love. It is a re 
deeming feature in our nature that we can yield to 
prayer, a glorious victory over ourselves when w 

N 2 

180 The Profit of Prayer. 

do it; but it is so mainly, because our minds are 
evil, our tempers violent, our resentments strong, 
our wishes selfish, our love cold. "When we yield 
to prayer we are in a better frame ; but that implies 
that we were once in a worse, the change is in us 
from worse to better. But we can imagine no such 
change in God ; the purposes of perfect wisdom must 
be eternal, the rule of perfect justice cannot swerve 
from its own line, the measures of perfect love cannot 
be enlarged. There are, it must be confessed, dif 
ficulties in the way of prayer, if we make it simply 
a matter of reasoning ; but they are as nothing if 
we will trust the impulses of our hearts. When we 
are told, for instance, that God is an unchangeable 
Being, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever 
the same, not only in His nature and attributes, 
but in His counsels and purposes that every good 
gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father 
of lights; but that God doeth as He will, and is 
degraded by the supposition that He can be moved 
to send His gifts by clamourous petitions; that He 
is not a man that He should alter His purposes, nor 
the Son of Man that He should repent: hath He 
resolved that Fie will not do it, and will He do it 
at the request of a vain man ? Hath He determined 
to do it, and shall His purpose be made void, because 
frail and impotent man desires the contrary ? When 
we are told that among men change of purpose 
denotes weakness and infirmity, for that he that 
changes his mind changes it either for the better 
or for the worse ; to change for the worse shews 

The Profit of Prayer. 181 

want of wisdom, to change for the better shews 
that he who makes the change was in the wrong 
before: shall we charge God with that which is 
a weakness in man? How can God alter His coun 
sels for the worse when there is no weakness or 
iniquity in Him ? how can He change them for 
the better when they are always perfectly good and 
wise ? 

It is not always wise to start questions which it 
is not easy to answer, and which, perhaps, might 
not suggest themselves if they were not so started ; 
but as I believe that many persons are hindered 
from prayer by the idea that it does not profit, and 
that some such objections as those stated are at the 
bottom of this idea, it is worth while to consider 
not so much whether there is anything or nothing 
in them, as whether a great deal more may not be 
said on the other side. We cannot take any single 
attribute or perfection of God, and follow it blindly 
to whatever conclusion it may seem to lead us. 
The Divine nature is a mystery to us, and can 
only be known so far as God pleases to reveal Him 
self. But He can only make Himself known to us 
by investing Himself with human attributes and 
feelings, though at the same time " His thoughts 
are not as our thoughts, nor His ways as our ways." 
We cannot conceive of God at all without running 
some risk of bringing Him too near to ourselves, 
or removing ourselves too far from Him. When 
we talk of the arm of God being stretched out or 
revealed, or of His face being turned away from 

182 The Profit of Prayer. 

us, no one is so ignorant as to suppose that this 
language, which expresses with perfect accuracy the 
actions of men, can be applied with the same strict 
ness to the actions of God. We all understand 
that by the "arm of the Lord" is meant His power, 
and by His countenance turned towards us or away 
from us, His favour or His displeasure ; but there 
may still linger in our minds the more subtle erroi 
that His favour, His displeasure, His love, His pity, 
His wrath, are to be tried by the same measure, 
and their workings traced in the same manner as 
our own. On the other hand, we must not fall into 
the more dangerous error of denying unto God the 
attributes which He takes unto Himself, and in the 
exercise of which He declares that He finds delight. 
Where it is revealed to us that " God is Love " it 
is better to conceive of Him according to the most 
exalted idea of human love, than to repel His image 
from us by the thought that the love of the Creator 
to His creatures cannot be such as the love of His 
creatures to each other. When we are told that 
" like as a father pitieth his children, even so hath 
the Lord pity upon them that fear Him," it is in 
tended that we should throw ourselves upon the 
love and mercy of our Father which is in Heaven, 
with the same feeling, or rather with more confi 
dence, more hope and love, than we should throw 
ourselves upon our fathers, who are on earth. But 
if God s love is infinite we must not infer from it 
what we should think might follow from infinite 
love. We must not, for instance, extend it to the 

The Profit of Prayer. 183 

pardoning of confirmed and unrepentant sinners. 
It is enough for us that " lie gave His only Son, 
that whosoever believe th on Him should not perish 
but have everlasting life." Nor if God s justice 
is infinite may we extend it to the punishment of 
sinners who believe and repent, though they can 
offer no satisfaction for their sins. 

In the same way, because God is unchangeable 
we are not to suppose that He will not hear our 
prayers and be moved by them. What if His pur 
pose was from the first to be moved by them, is it 
weakness or imperfection to be so moved? The 
unchangeableness of God cannot be better proved 
by reason or by Scripture than His readiness to 
supply the wants of those who truly call upon Him. 
If we think it an imperfection in God to depart from 
a declared purpose, would it be a smaller one to be 
deaf to the prayers of His servants, or unable or 
unwilling to help them ? Certainly constancy is 
a virtue, but when a man is highly exalted above 
his fellows, it adds nothing to his character to be 
inexorable, but quite the contrary. It may not 
be easy to reconcile the fact of God s purposes being 
unchangeable with the fact of His being prevailed 
upon by prayer, but both are proved by the same 
principles of reason and revelation, and we must 
not deny the one, lest by implication we should 
overthrow the other. The two, it may be, are con 
trary in our minds, but we must bear the contra 
diction, till we see Him as He is face to face, and 
then we shall be able to understand how they are 
reconciled and united in the Divine Nature. 

184 The Profit of Prayer. 

Prayer is to be understood, not by talking about 
it but by praying. They who know by their own 
experience that God does hear and answer prayer 
will not be much moved by any general argument 
to shew that He does not ; and those that do not pray 
themselves cannot expect very convincing evidence 
of the experience of others. "We cannot shew the 
invisible hand which reaches out blessings to us; 
God does not manifest Himself to our senses, dealing 
favours to those who make supplications to Him 
though we receive what we ask, we cannot prove 
to others that we receive because we ask. This is 
matter of faith, which can hardly be expected from 
those who have not tried it, but matter of faith and 
certainty to those that have. 

Shall we say that there may be entire trust in 
God without prayer? Certainly there may. We 
may be always trusting in God, but we may not be 
always literally praying. But that would be a strange 
trust that was maintained without prayer, and a 
strange mark of confidence in God that we abstained 
from troubling Him with our requests, assuming that 
if we were worthy of His favour He would grant it, 
though not asked ; if we were not, it would only be 
presumption to ask Him. But what is trust in God? 
Is it a carelessness about Him ? Is it the same thing 
to trust in God, and in any material support on which 
we may happen to be resting ? We shew our trust, 
for instance, in a bridge over which we may be cross 
ing by never thinking of it. We walk over it 
unconcerned, as though it were solid land, and when 
we trust a person without reserve in our dealings 

The Profit of Prayer. 1 85 

with him, we arc apt generally to forget him, but 
we think much about those whom we distrust ; they 
become to us a cause of anxiety, and if our interests 
arc involved in theirs we cannot get them out of our 
minds. But a trust in God brings Him ever before 
us; we are conscious of our dependence upon Him, 
that our life is in His hands, that we are living under 
His protection, that we are His people, and the sheep 
of His pasture. 

If we believed that this world and this system 
of things in which we live were carried on by a fixed 
law or necessity without the Providence of God, we 
might well put that kind of trust in it which we 
should give to a great machine that was carrying us 
from place to place ; but that is not the kind of trust 
that we repose in God, when we think of Him as 
a Creator ever mindful of the wants of His creatures, 
and as a Father ever anxious to protect His children. 
This trust shews itself not in forgetting God, but in 
having Him ever present to our thoughts. And this 
feeling is of the very essence^ and life of prayer. He 
that says that if we have this feeling we need not the 
utterance of prayer, may say the truth, for prayer 
consists not in the bending of our knees, or the 
service of our lips, or the lifting up of our hands 
or eyes to heaven, but in the lifting up of the soul to 
God. But few of us are equal to that constant devo 
tion of life which makes our whole life one continu 
ous prayer; the very needs of this world interfere, 
and we are glad to retire into our chambers and be 
still. Our Saviour has given us a fixed form of 

1 8 6 The Profit of Prayer. 

prayer, the soul is steadied in prayer by the very 
attitude of the body. The very place we are in has 
a tendency to compose us to prayer ; and the greater 
our general confidence in God, the more particular 
and definite will become the petitions of our prayer. 
The habit of prayer may be vague and general in its 
utterance at first, but it will become specific and 
definite in the end. God has no need that we should 
tell Him our wants, but by encouraging us to make 
them known unto Him He teaches us how to make 
them known unto ourselves. It is something to feel 
what our real wants are, and this feeling which is 
quickened by prayer sends us back again in prayer 
to Him. It is not humility but presumption that de 
clines or neglects to ask, and those who ask in obe 
dience to His command have really that humility 
which those falsely pretend to who expect God s 
blessings without asking. If God grants His favour 
only to the worthy, it may be that in His esteem 
part of this worthiness consists in " a spirit of prayer 
and supplication," which again is His gift; and if it 
is argued that the unworthy will ask in vain, it 
might be true that if we depended upon our own 
worthiness we might have reason to despair of receiv 
ing ; but God, through Christ, will save us who are 
unworthy if we plead the merits of our Saviour 
against our own demerits and undeservings. 

It may be that we do not always receive, or at 
least feel that we receive, an answer to our prayers ; 
but what an encouragement we have in the Gospel 
of the day. This poor woman of Canaan, child of an 

The Profit of Prayer. 187 

accursed race, might well have thought herself be 
yond the covenant of mercy, beyond the range of 
grace, yet she had boldness to approach the Saviour, 
and declared her faith in the mission of the " Son 
of David." No voice of comfort answered to her 
prayer : the Son of David was deaf to her entreaty, 
till His disciples, either in compassion for the sadness 
of her case, or desirous to be rid of her importunities, 
became her advocates. The answer seemed to be 
fatal to her hopes, and would have struck down at 
once one less determined to persevere. Still she 
pursues her request, but instead of finding any sign 
of relenting she is answered with a proverb, that 
seemed at the same time to upbraid her with her 
unworthiness and to chide her presumption. " It is 
not meet to take the children s bread and to cast 
it unto dogs." Nay, but the dogs portion will be 
enough for her ; she will not rob the children of their 
own. "Even the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall 
from their master s table." 

The very trial of our faith by the withholding our 
petitions or the delay in granting them is oftentimes 
a blessing, and importunity is made the condition 
of our being heard, not because it pleases God to 
continue us in our misery, but because He wills 
to draw us closer unto Him. Prayer brings us into 
such a frame of mind as religion is intended to 
create within us. We cannot be frequent and serious 
in prayer without becoming better, and it is not any 
change which our prayers make in God, but the 

188 The Profit of Prayer. 

change they make in ourselves, which is the cause of 
their success. God s will is ever for our good, bul 
He hears our prayers, or delays to hear, so as to do us 
the greatest good, not as we wish, nor just when w< 
ask, but as is best for us. And that is best which 
most calls out and strengthens our faith, not that 
which brings the quickest satisfaction to our wants. 
It is God s purpose not that we should fly to Him 
at once at the first sense of want, lightly asking, 
and lightly receiving, but that we should make 
prayer a serious and an earnest thing, using every 
effort we can make in the direction of our prayers, 
and thereby ascertaining our real needs. We must not 
even ask for our " daily bread," as idle men doing 
nothing to procure it for ourselves, but we must join 
to our prayers all industry in the use of such lawful 
means as Providence has placed within our reach. 
And if we pray that we may not be led into tempta 
tion, without watching and shunning occasions of sin, 
our prayers will go up not as a remembrance but as 
a mockery to God. We acknowledge in the collect 
of the day that we are " not able to help or keep 
ourselves," but we cannot expect to abide safe "under 
the shadow of the Almighty," unless we are careful to 
do all that we can do for our own preservation, though 
we may not be able to do all that is necessary. God 
will not save us without our own concurrence, and 
if we have prayed to Him to-day " to keep us out 
wardly in our bodies, and inwardly in our souls, that 
we may be defended from all adversities that may 

The Profit of Prayer. 189 

happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which 
may assault and hurt the soul," let us remember the 
exhortation that follows on this prayer : 

" We beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the 
Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye 
ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound 
more and more." 


60lr ijrat jjeantjy IJ 

PSALM Ixv. 2. 
" Thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come" 
T SPOKE to you lately of the power and effi 

cacy of prayer in. the hour of distress and tern] 
tation. The remarks I made were suggested natur 
ally by the consideration of the temptation of oui 
Lord. No stronger instance, no more constraining 
example, could have been adduced. If He, the 
Son of God Himself, in whom dwelt all the fulness 
of the Godhead bodily, felt both the need and the 
strength of prayer ; if He passed whole nights upon 
the mountain in the earnestness of prayer; if in 
His agony He prayed more earnestly, till His sweat 
was as it were great drops of blood falling to the 
ground ; if in the days of His flesh He offered up 
prayers and supplications with strong cries and tears 
unto Him that was able to save Him from death, 
and was heard in that He feared, what can wo, 
weak and sinful creatures who have no strength of 
our own, whose impulses to good are feeble, and to 
evil strong, we who have the tempter not without 
us only, but within us, in the lusts and imaginations 
of our own hearts, what can we do without prayer ? 
what may we not hope to do with it ? How solemn is 
that repeated warning of the Saviour, " Watch and 
pray, that ye enter not into temptation." The Three 

The God that hcarcth Prayer. 191 

were literally asleep when He roused them by these 
words, and the words cannot be taken too literally. 
In the silent hour of night, when thought and action 
are suspended, when for the time the world is dead, 
and we unto the world, as though it had ceased to 
exist, the soundless tread of the tempter is approach 
ing, coming like a thief of the night, and we must 
shake off slumber and be upon our guard. But here, 
too, prayer is the great protection against the enemy, 
builds up an unseen barrier that he cannot pass, sur 
rounds us, as it were, with an atmosphere in which 
he cannot breathe or act, lightens the darkness of 
the night around our souls, and so confounds the 
powers of darkness ; and they who fall asleep in 
prayer may assuredly say with David, " I will lay 
me down in sleep and take my rest, for it is Thou 
Lord only that makest me dwell in safety." And 
so, taking these few words of David for my text, I 
propose to say something on the nature of prayer 
generally, inasmuch as it can never be severed from 
any of our needs and occasions, and least of all from 
the hour and the very thought of temptation. 

It is a remarkable title, that by which David here 
addresses his Maker : " Thou that nearest prayer, 
unto Thee shall all flesh come," and we may be sure 
the inspired Psalmist did not use it without a dis 
tinct consciousness of its meaning. When God 
is addressed by any special attribute there is always 
a close connection between that attribute and the 
favour that we ask at His hands. We do not 
appeal to God as to one of whom we know nothing, 

192 The God that heareth Prayer. 

and from whom we have only a vague hope of re 
ceiving aid ; but we appeal to past mercies an 
deliverances, making them, as it were, the basi 
of our expectation of new mercies. There is im 
plied ever in prayer a full faith in the constanc 
and faithfulness of God. There is implied in i 
necessarily an act of faith, and the more defini 
the faith, the more earnest and effectual the prayer 
When the Jew appealed to the God of his fathe 
the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he pro 
fessed a full belief in all that He had done for 
his fathers, and a full assurance that He would 
never forsake their children. When we feel the 
burthen of our sins too heavy for us to bear, we 
appeal to Him as a God of mercy, full of compassion 
and forgiveness, because we believe that His nature 
cannot change, and that all the mercy and loving-kind 
ness which He has shewn to others will be also 
extended to ourselves. When suffering from calumny 
and wrong our hearts fly for refuge to His justice, 
and we "commit ourselves to Him that judgeth 
righteously." In every act of prayer so much at 
least must be implied, that "He is One who hear- I 
eth prayer." It is a distinctive attribute of the | 
Divine Nature, and in the full apprehension of 
this the Psalmist combines the title with a deep 
and pregnant prophecy : "0 Thou that hearest 
prayer, to Thee shall all flesh come ;" or, as Isaiah 
expresses himself more fully, " All flesh shall come 
to worship Me, saith the Lord." Men shall be taught 
the true nature of God, that He does not hide Him- 

The God that heareth Prayer. 193 

self from their wants and necessities, that His ears 
are ever open to their prayers, ever waiting to be 
gracious; that He is ever near them and round 
their paths, and then in the sense of His presence 
men shall worship Him in spirit and in truth, and 
"My House shall be called a house of prayer for all 
nations, saith the Lord." It is possible that in 
addressing God by this title the Psalmist had before 
him the deaf and dumb and senseless idols whom 
the heathen around adored as gods, and you may 
remember, perhaps, the scorn and contempt with 
which these false deities and their worshippers are 
spoken of both in the Psalms and other books of 
Holy Writ. "They have mouths but they speak 
not, eyes have they but they see not. They have 
ears but they hear not, noses have they but they 
smell not. They have hands but they handle not, 
feet have they but they walk not, neither speak 
they with their throat. They that make them are 
like unto them, and so is every one that putteth 
his trust in them." And there is a strong and 
cutting irony in the language of Isaiah, where he 
describes the idol-maker cutting down a tree in the 
forest, using part of it for fire, and part of it for 
other purposes. " He burneth part in the fire, 
with part thereof he eateth flesh, he roasteth roast 
and is satisfied. And with the residue he maketh 
a god. He falleth down to it and worshippeth. 
He prayeth unto it and saith, Deliver me, for thou 
art my god. None considereth in his heart, neither 
is there knowledge or understanding to say, I have 

194 The God that hearcth Prayer. 

burnt part of it in the fire, yea, I have baked bread 
upon the coals thereof: I have roasted flesh and 
eaten it, and shall I make the residue thereof 
an abomination? Shall I fall down to the stock 
of a tree?" And there may perhaps occur to some 
of you that wonderful scene where Elijah defied 
the assembled prophets of Eaal. From morn till 
noon they cried unto their god, they cut them 
selves with knives and lancets in their fury, but 
there was no voice or answer. " Cry aloud," said 
the true prophet in the calmness of his faith, " for 
he is a god ; either he is talking, or he is pursuing, 
or he is in a journey, or peradventure he sleepetl 
and must be awakened." And then his own prayer 
in contrast, " Lord God of Abraham, of Isaac, and 
of Israel, let it be known this day that Thou art God 
in Israel, and that I am Thy servant, and that I have 
done all these things at Thy word. Hear me, that 
this people may know that Thou art the Lord God, 
and that Thou hast turned their heart back again." 

Most truly, then, did He vindicate His name as " He 
that heareth Prayer." But if David had before his 
mind the contrast between the God whose servant he 
was and whom he feared, and the deaf and senseless 
idols whom the heathen worshipped, we are not to 
suppose that this is all he meant, when he appealed 
to God as One that heareth prayer. No doubt he had 
larger views before him, and truer and higher notions 
of the Divine Nature than could be implied in the 
mere contrast between the true God and idols of wood 
and stone. To us, at least, the title speaks not simply 

The God that heareth Prayer. 195 

of an intelligent and Almighty Being, as compared 
with the idol-work of our own hands graven by art 
and man s device, not simply of One who is above 
this world and the Creator of it, not simply of One 
whose power and presence pervades and sustains 
all things that He has made, but of One who is in 
the highest sense the Father of us all, and longs to 
recall us from our rebellion to His love ; of One who 
has what we may almost call human sympathies, 
though far purer than those of man, who has infinite 
love, and pity, and compassion, and forgiveness for 
the erring creatures of His hand. It is not because 
of His Almighty power, but because we believe that 
He can really be touched with a feeling for our infir 
mities, that we venture to approach Him in the lan 
guage and attitude of prayer. " The Lord is mer 
ciful and gracious, slow to anger and plenteous in 
mercy. He will not always chide, neither will He 
keep His anger for ever. For as the heaven is high 
above the earth, so great is His mercy toward them 
;that fear Him. As far as the east is from the west, 
so far hath Pie removed our transgression from us. 
Like as a father pitieth his children, so the Lord 
pitieth them that fear Him. For He knoweth how 
jwe are made, He remembereth that we are but dust." 
iAnd here we may notice how much wiser and truer 
is the natural instinct of simple minds than the 
questionings of idle speculations, and thank God that 
what has been hidden from the wise and prudent has 
been revealed unto babes. For no doubt very diffi 
cult questions may be asked about prayer, and this 


196 The God that hcareth Prayer. 

very attribute of God, "that He heareth prayer," 
may be set in a fancied opposition to other of His 
attributes, or at least to our conception of them. 
Can God, the All Wise, the All Good, in whom there 
is no variableness or shadow of turning, be turned 
or influenced by prayer? Might it not even seem 
to be derogatory to the Divine nature to be at all 
touched or moved by anything that man can urge 
upon Him ? Even in the courts of human law the 
judge is deaf to prayer. He sits in his place as the 
representative and interpreter of law, and neither 
prayer or tears can alter the law or facts with which 
he has to deal. Shall prayers be thrown into the 
balance of Divine justice when they are excluded 
from the balance of human ? Again, our hearts are 
narrow, and the very sense of weakness in ourselves, 
which is the basis of charity to others, tends to con 
fine it within a very narrow range. "We will relieve 
distress when it comes close home to us, but we 
require to have our interest excited and our feelings 
moved before we can be induced to take up a cause 
with which we have no immediate concern. But 
is it consistent with our ideas of the infinite bene 
volence of God to suppose that it can admit of any 
increase, that it can contract or expand in pro 
portion to the absence and carelessness, or the fre 
quency and urgency of our prayers. If His goodness 
is over all His works, are we to suppose that good 
ness to be in suspense because we do not importune 
Him with our prayers? Or shall we suppose Him 
to hear us, like the unjust judge, not from the good- 

The God that heareth Prayer. 107 

ness of our cause, or the greatness of our need, but 
because we trouble Him with our appeals ? 

And again, as to the wisdom of God. If He has 
ordered all things for the best, and governs the world, 
as far as \re can see, by the fixed laws of His wisdom, 
are we to suppose those laws will be violated and the 
course of things changed to meet our personal neces 
sities, or our ideas of them ? It does not seem to be 
so in the natural world, from which philosophy 
falsely so-called is striving to banish the special 
providence of God. All that is necessary for our 
existence here seems to come to us in a natural way, 
and if we think so, it is reasonable to ask, and it will 
be asked, what grounds there are for supposing that 
God deals with the wants of our bodies on one 
system, and the wants of our souls upon another. 
If we deny special providence as the answer to 
prayer, it will be but a happy inconsistency if we 
still believe in special grace as an answer to prayer. 

But all these are idle questions, and I have asked 
them not to perplex your minds by an attempt to 
answer them, but because I believe there is an 
answer ready for them in your hearts. I believe 
there is in the very bottom of your hearts a con 
viction, far deeper than any of these shallow question- 
jings, that whatever may be said, God is after all 
a God that heareth prayer. We know it by an 
instinct, not of earth but of heaven, that leads us 
to fly from our distresses and our sins to the very 
bosom of our heavenly Father, as a child flies to its 
mother, or as a helpless, unreasoning youngling to its 

198 The God that heareth Prayer. 

dam. We know it far better, those at least who have 
tried it by experience. No one who has prayed ear 
nestly will deny that there is a real strength in prayer. 
The bonds of sin are loosened, good resolutions con 
firmed, an unknown influence is poured in upon th< 
soul in the act of earnest supplication. It tells God 
nothing of our wants, for He knows them all before, 
but it opens the door of our hearts, and gives free 
entry to His grace. Men may kneel down almost 
in despair, and, as a last resort, lonely, friendless, and 
deserted, but they will rise with the assurance that 
they are not alone, that they have a real friend, 
though they thought little of Him before, till other 
friends and other help has failed them. But now 
they can say in their hearts, " The Lord is my shep 
herd, therefore I will not fear." 

You may remember that little more than a year 
since, some hundred or more of our hard-working col 
liers were immured in a coal-mine, from which they 
never came out again to see the light of day. The 
horrors of that long and dark imprisonment, must be 
left to our imagination, but one of the poor men, it ap 
pears, kept a brief journal of their life in that sad dun 
geon, and the last entry, made apparently just before 
the fatal poison put out the lamp of life, was to the 
effect that they held a meeting for united prayer. 
There was no notice of anything that happened after 
that, and one would gladly believe that the last 
breath of life was breathed out in prayer. But this 
we may surely believe, that when God gave them 
the heart to pray He sent a ready answer to their 

The God that heareth Prayer. 190 

prayers, and all was not dark even in that valley 
of the shadow of death. Like Jonah, they cried out 
of the very belly of hell, and from the bottom of the 
mountains. The earth with her bars was about 
them for ever. Their soul fainted within them, and 
they remembered the Lord. Who can doubt that 
their prayer came in unto Him even unto His Holy 
Temple ? But not more dark and dreary is the dun 
geon of sin, in which many a soul is confined, fast 
bound in misery and iron, nor less certain the deliver 
ance if men will cry to God for help. It is, indeed, 
a hard thing to break the chain of confirmed sin, 
nor can it be expected that men can cast off in an 
hour or in a day the shackles of a bondage which 
they have spent a life in forging. Good resolutions 
are formed, but they speedily give way to bad habits ; 
men s hearts sink within them; they begin to feel 
that holiness is not a state for them ; the tempter 
whispers in their ear "too late," and they fall into 
despair. At last, perhaps, the conviction comes that 
He " who heareth prayer" will hear their prayer. 
He does hear them, and by His aid they work their 
way out of the dungeon in which their souls are 

" He brings them out of the horrible pit, out of the 
mire and clay; He sets their feet upon a rock, and 
ordereth their goings ; He puts a new song into 
their mouth, even a thanksgiving to the Lord their 


JONAH iii. 10. 

" And God saw their works, that they turned 
from their evil way" 

TN these words we have a short but powerful de 
scription of the effect of a single preacher s voice 
upon an ancient and famous city. Nineveh was 
the oldest city in the world. It dates from the 
days of Asshur, and its vast and mysterious ruins 
cover up the records of an antiquity in comparison 
with which history itself is young, and tell us still 
the story of an empire whose records have passed 
away. The seat of power and the centre of civil 
ization have drifted down the stream of time far 
away to the west, and Nineveh, under the divine 
judgment, lies deserted and desolate on the scene 
of its former dominion; but in the time to which 
the text carries us back, it was called "that great 
city, 7 the mightiest symbol of human magnificence 
and grandeur that had yet established a dominion 
over the subject world. The notice of its extent 
which we have in the book of Jonah is singularly 
verified both by the accounts of ancient authors, 
and the discoveries of modern times. It is described 

On the Recovery of the Prince of Wales. 201 

as a city of three days journey, meaning, that is, the 
circuit of its walls. Later historians speak of it 
as being oblong, having two longer and two shorter 
sides, making altogether sixty miles of wall. This 
would correspond accurately with Jonah s descrip 
tion of it, as of " three days journey." A traveller 
of the seventeenth century gives us exactly the same 
measurement. Modern travellers speak of its site 
as at present occupied by four huge ruinous mounds. 
No one of these corresponds at all to the historic 
account of Nineveh, but supposing them to have 
been connected together and enclosed we should 
have an area of exactly the same dimensions. It 
is not necessary to suppose that all this space was 
densely occupied by houses, for we know that in 
the rival city of Babylon there was room left for 
extensive cultivation, and there is no reason to sup 
pose that the population was anything like that of 
our own capital, London. But the Lord in rebuking 
the prophet who mourned over the withering of the 
gourd, speaks of the city as containing more than 
six score thousand persons that could not discern 
their right hand from their left, and who were there 
fore innocent of the general corruption : and if by 
this we are to understand children of three years 
old and under, as has been reasonably supposed, 
we should form a fair estimate of the population 
by multiplying that number by five. But whatever 
the greatness of the city, it was as pre-eminent in 
wickedness as in power and multitude, and God 
sent a special messenger to startle it into repentance. 

202 On the Recovery of the Prince of Wales. 

" Arise," He said, "go to Nineveh and cry against 
it, for their wickedness is come up before Me." It 
came up before Him as the cry of Sodom and Go 
morrah ; as the wickedness of the world before the 
flood calling for vengeance. And the prophet, after 
the experience of his own deliverance, went to exe 
cute his mission. "He began," says the author 
of the book, " to enter into the city a day s journey, 
which would enable him, if I have given its dimen 
sions rightly, to traverse its full length ; so that the 
whole city might hear the purport of his message. It 
was a brief but it was an awful one " Yet forty days 
and Nineveh shall be overthrown." It was a single mo 
notonous cry constantly repeated. The great preacher 
of repentance, John the Baptist, filled the desert 
with the same deep sounding voice that this mys 
terious prophet made to echo in the streets and 
courts of Nineveh, " Eepent ye for the kingdom of 
heaven is at hand." Our blessed Lord vouchsafed 
to begin His office with these self-same words. And 
among the civilized but savage inhabitants of Nineveh 
probably that one cry was more impressive than any 
lengthened appeal would have been. It is said that 
four years before the final siege of Jerusalem, whil< 
everything was in peace and quiet, a young man 
burst in upon the people at the Feast of Tabernacles 
with a similar cry. He repeated it day by day, 
and when scourged by the magistrates as a disturber 
of the peace he repeated it more and more, "Woe, 
Woe to Jerusalem," till a true instinct made itself 
felt that there was something unearthly in the warn- 

On the Recovery of the Prince of Wales. 203 

ing. But it was too late for Jerusalem, because 
she had filled up the measure of her sins. She knew 
not the day of her visitation, and though all conver 
sion is the work of the grace of God, that grace had 
long since departed from her. Nineveh remains in 
the history of mankind a signal instance of God s 
overpowering grace. The people believed God, a 
deep and solemn conviction took possession of their 
hearts. The prophet was not only a preacher to 
them but a sign, as his history became known ; they 
felt that as God had punished his disobedience, so 
He was ready to take vengeance upon their sins. The 
voice of authority was not necessary. The peril was 
instant, and they could not wait for orders. One 
impulse possessed them in the common danger. One 
common cry rose out of one common terror, and the 
same feeling ran through the hearts of all by an 
irresistible contagion. " Proclaim a fast, put on 
sackcloth from the greatest unto the least." The 
king heard the news upon his throne, and was at 
once carried away by the feeling of his people. He 
laid aside his magnificence, put on sackcloth, and sat 
in ashes ; and with the consent of his nobles at once 
issued a proclamation in answer to the voice of the 
prophet. " Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, 
taste anything; let them not feed nor drink water. 
Let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry 
mightily unto God." Even the dumb and senseless 
animals were made to share in the common fast, as 
involved in the threatened destruction. He acted 
according to the ideas of the time, which are not our 

204 On the Recovery of the Prince of Wales. 

ideas, but there is an element of truth and reason 
in them. There was an indistinct consciousness of 
a communion between the lower orders of animals 
and man, their lord and master, and who will find 
fault with his conviction that God "cared for them 
also." The Psalmist looks on God s care of His 
creatures as a fresh ground for man s trust in Him. 
" Lord, Thou preservest man and beast. How 
excellent is Thy loving-kindness. Therefore the 
children of men put their trust under the shadow 
of Thy wings." As our Lord teaches that God s 
care of the sparrows is a pledge to man of God s 
minute unceasing care for him, so the Ninevites felt 
truly that the cry of the poor brutes would be heard 
by Him. And God confirmed their judgments when 
He told Jonah of the "much cattle" as a ground for 
sparing Nineveh. The moanings and lowings of the 
animals and their voices of distress must have pierced 
man s heart also, and added to the sense of general 
misery. The pride of human nature alone could 
think that man s sorrow is not aided by these objects 
of sense, and nature was far more true in the king of 

But outward demonstrations are of no value, and 
sackcloth and ashes are mere hypocrisy where they 
express no conversion of the heart. And the call for 
the fruits of repentance was as instant and urgent as 
for the external expressions of terror and woe. " Let 
them turn every one from his evil way and from the 
violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if 
God will turn and repent, and turn away from His 

On the Recovery of the Prince of Wales. 205 

fierce anger that we perish not." And it was as effec 
tual as it was urgent. God who knows the heart of 
man, saw not only their sackcloth and their ashes, 
but their works, that they turned from their evil 
way. Their whole way and course of life was 
changed, they broke off not this or that sin only, 
but all their whole evil way, They were ashamed 
of their sins, but they were not ashamed to confess 
them. They published their guilt with groans, and 
laid open their secret misdeeds. One cry was heard 
along the city walls, along all the houses echoed the 
piteous lament of the mourners ; the earth bore the 
confessions of the penitents, and the heaven itself 
re-echoed to their voices. Then was fulfilled indeed 
" the prayer of the penitent pierceth unto the clouds." 
As soon as prayer took possession of them, it at once 
conquered the habit of sin. It reformed the city at 
> once, and excluded profligacy and wickedness from 
its home. It filled it with the spirit of heavenly 
; law, and brought with it temperance, loving-kind- 
lj ness, gentleness, and care for the poor. Had one 
entered the city who had known it before, he would 
hardly have known it then ; so suddenly had it 
passed into life out of death, into godliness out of 
reprobation. The completeness of their repentance 
not outward only, but inward turning from their 
evil way is in its extent unexampled. The fact 
rests on the authority of one greater than Jonah, 
to whom all hearts are known. Our Lord bears 
witness to it as a fact. He contrasts people with 
people, penitent heathen with impenitent Jews, the 

20G On the Recovery of the Prince of Wales. 

inferior messenger who prevailed, with Himself, whom 
His own received not. " The men of Mneveh shall 
rise up in judgment with this generation, and shall 
condemn it : because they repented at the preaching 
of Jonas ; and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here." 
As I looked along the countless multitudes that 
filled the streets of our own great city on Tuesday 
last, I could not help thinking whether some Jonah 
was not needed there, and what effect he would have 
if he came. If some great preacher were to traverse 
its length and breadth, with the same awful cry, 
"Yet forty days and London shall be destroyed," 
would they hear his voice? would they believe in 
God, and turn each of them from his evil ways? 
Perhaps they ought not to listen to the raving of 
a fanatic, and a true prophet might find himself with 
in the walls of the prison, or the restraint of an asylum, 
as a disturber of the peace. But let the appeal be 
made in all calmness, and in accordance with estab 
lished law and order, would it not be an awful sight 
to see London thronged with as many penitents seek 
ing pardon and mercy by united supplication, as were 
brought together some, no doubt, to see and be seen 
but many, we may hope, to return hearty thanks 
giving unto their God, for the restoration of their 
Prince to life and health by His marvellous mercy. 
And though it is of no use exaggerating the wicked 
ness of great cities, or flattering ourselves that we 
who live in distant fields and a purer air, are holier 
than those who live in courts and alleys ; and though 
God thanks be to Him has, no doubt, much people 

On the Recovery of the Prince of Wales. 207 

in that great city, yet when one passed out of the 
crowded thoroughfares into the narrow lanes which 
hardly seemed to have cleared themselves of any of 
their population; when one thought of the multitudes 
to whom a church is unknown, and to whom the teachers 
of this generation will make it almost a crime to im 
part the elements of a creed; when one saw the 
visible tokens of their sordid, hopeless lives, and the 
indifference of many who are raised above want, and 
the hypocrisy of others who think it respectable to 
pay some attention to religion; one could not help 
reflecting whether if every heart could be softened 
and every sinner reformed, and every one who 
is on the broad way that leadeth to destruction 
thoroughly alarmed, and conviction brought home to 
the consciences of all, there might not be as large 
a crowd as was gathered together on an occasion of 
great joy, and the riches of the west and the poverty 
of the east, brought down to the common garb of 
sackcloth, and ashes on their heads, from every 
suburb that looks from every quarter of the heavens 
to the great centre of St. Paul s. It is true that the 
nature of the occasion called for no demonstration of 
sorrow, but was one of grateful overpowering joy. 
The nation felt that it had been delivered from a 
great calamity, the weight of which it had hardly 
realized till it appeared imminent ; and they had 
full experience of the truth of the Psalmist s words, 
that " it is a good and joyful thing to be thankful." 
Few persons will object that our Queen and the 
mother of our Prince, ought to have gone to present 

208 On the Recovery of the Prince of Wales. 

herself before God with any other state than that 
which becomes the dignity of her position. I hav< 
indeed met with an opinion that the pageantry oi 
state by which she was surrounded tended rather 
to the exaltation of the principal persons who took 
part in the ceremony than to the glory of God whoi 
they were approaching in humble adoration; an( 
in whose presence all men are equal. This seems 
to me a great mistake. If "the powers that be are 
ordained of God," and kings and queens are, as we 
believe, the fittest representatives of that power that 
cometh from Him, then it is right that in all national 
acts they should appear in their true character, and 
with all the external tokens of their dignity. If they 
do this in a right spirit, then their pomp and mag 
nificence becomes part of their offering, for with 
themselves they offer all that they have. God does 
not value sackcloth and ashes, any more than the 
royal robe of Solomon or Herod, but the humble and 
faithful, and obedient and thankful heart that may 
beat under either. Probably in all the vast throng 
that crowded that high festival of last week there 
was no heart more full of holy thoughts, more de 
voted, more thoroughly overpowered, by the sense 
of the weakness and littleness of man, and the Ma 
jesty of Almighty God, than hers on whom the eyes 
of all were fixed, and who, while she joined in the 
thanksgiving of the nation for the restoration of its 
Prince, had a joy peculiar to herself in the restora 
tion of her son. Nor do we generally find many 
tokens of a true humility, in the assertors of an in- 

On the Recovery of the Prince of Wales. 209 

solent and presumptuous equality. But leaving this 
I will yet notice one more point. Our vast metro 
polis, and the whole country with it, in heart at 
least and spirit, if not in presence, was, for once, 
last week united in a religious act ; and it came 
home to us as a real fact which the Archbishop in 
sisted upon, that " we are members one of another." 
It was an act, I may say, and I am glad to say, totally 
inconsistent with the principles that are now assid 
uously preached, and find too much countenance 
from public men, and which tend, if they are not 
checked, to the certain severance of national life from 
all religion whatever. I do not find that any one 
regretted the existence of a national Church on that 
occasion, in which our Queen might pay her vows 
in the presence of all her people ; and those who think 
it almost a crime to permit any portion of the national 
revenue to be devoted to the furtherance of any reli 
gious object, allowed a considerable sum to be ex 
pended in a service which they will be compelled 
to describe as denominational and sectarian, without 
a protest or a murmur. I do not know what account 
they will be able to give of their short-comings to 
those who placed them in a position to trouble the 
councils of the nation with their voices. Perhaps 
they were afraid to assert their principles on such 
an occasion; perhaps they themselves were carried 
away by the current of general feeling, and left 
them behind. At all events, it is a matter of satis 
faction that in the hour of danger and in the day 
of deliverance the nation threw the lessons that have 


210 On the Recovery of the Prince of Wales. 

been so diligently forced upon it by those who call 
themselves the friends of the people to the winds, 
and joined, in spite of its teachers, in a religious 

Oh that the spirit and feeling of that day would 
abide with us for ever. Oh that it might be im 
pressed upon us that this country and this whole 
world is governed not by statesmen, or economists, 
or popular orators, or representatives, but by God; 
in whose hand are all our ways, without whom oui 
power may crumble into ruins, and our numbei 
dwindle into insignificance, and all our riches mak( 
to themselves wings and fly away. The world has 
seen great changes, and may see more as great, and 
the time may come when Manchester will be a howl 
ing wilderness, and London, with its merchant 
princes, like deserted Tyre. We do not know the 
issues of things, but this we do know, " that right 
eousness exalteth a nation, but sin is a reproach 
to any people." 

And we know this also, and I hope believe it, 
that the promises even of temporal well-doing are 
large and abundant to those who love and fear God. 
For them there will be " no captivity, and no com 
plaining in their streets." 

"Happy are the people that are in such a case, 
yea, blessed are the people who have the Lord for 
their God/ 7 


St. Ur 

ST. LUKE viii. 2. 
" Nary called Magdalene" 

TF you will look to the calendar of this month a in 
your Prayer-Books, you will find yesterday dis 
tinguished as the Feast of St. Mary Magdalen, in 
whose name the ancient church of this parish was 
dedicated to Almighty God. But we gave you no 
notice of her festival, and therefore you had no 
opportunity of shewing that indifference to it with 
which the notices of other festivals are usually 
received. And the reason we did not do it is be 
cause, though the day is noted as hers, there is 
no special service appropriated to her memory. If 
we had daily prayers here, there would be nothing 
in the service to remind us of her. And if you 
were to take the trouble to compare the different 
forms that our Prayer-Book has assumed since the 
Eeformation you would find many other changes 
connected with saints -days. Before that period 
of history the calendar was crowded with saints, of 
some of whom very little or nothing was known, 
and that which was known of others was not always 
edifying or worthy of imitation. In the first edi 
tion of the Prayer-Book our reformers made a clean 

* July. 

p 2 

212 St. Mary Magdalen. 

sweep of all but two in this month St. Mary Mag 
dalen, or Magdalen simply, as she is called, and 
James the Apostle, not even honouring him with 
the title of Saint. In the second edition eve] 
"Magdalen," disappeared, and the " Dog-days 3! 
came in instead of Saints -days, with some other 
astronomical notices. But afterwards the Churcl 
began to recover from the shock, and to claim agaii 
its connection with antiquity. Accordingly, in th( 
present month, you find on the second, the Visita 
tion of the Blessed Virgin Mary ; on the fourth, th< 
translation of St. Martin ; on the sixteenth, Swithun, 
Bishop, whose name is well known in connectioi 
with the weather; on the twentieth, Margaret, Vir 
gin and Martyr of Antioch ; on the twenty-second, 
St. Mary Magdalen ; on the twenty-fifth, St. James 
the Apostle ; on the twenty-sixth, St. Anne, mother 
of the Virgin Mary. It is well known that many 
of these names were restored for certain civil reasons, 
into which it is unnecessary to enter; but others 
are the names of holy persons, and commemorative of 
real events in connection with them, such, for in 
stance, as the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 
and if there is no special service for those days, that 
is no reason why they should be passed over without 
honour. Perhaps it was thought that sufficient honour 
was done to the Blessed Virgin in the festivals of the 
Purification and the Annunciation, especially as no 
other of her sex has a similar place in the Calendar. 
But if I had been alive in those days, and had a 
voice in the matter, I would certainly have put in 

St. Mary Magdalen. 213 

a claim on behalf of St. Mary Magdalen. She is 
no legendary character, and what we know of her 
from Scripture is quite enough to make her name 
dear to our memories. The first notice of her is that 
of a woman who had endured an unequalled misery, 
and experienced an unequalled deliverance; seven 
devils had gone out of her by whose command we 
know and she is presented to us afterwards as follow 
ing our Lord with grateful devotion, and with many 
other women ministering to Him. of her substance. 
From that time forward she is never spoken of 
except in the closest connection with the person 
of our Lord. She was one of the many women 
which came up with Him to Jerusalem, and she 
stood by His Cross with Mary His mother, and Mary 
His mother s sister, wife of Cleophas three Marys. 
And when the stone was rolled against the door of 
the sepulchre in which her Lord was laid, Mary 
Magdalen and the other Mary are left sitting over 
against it. The next morning they return with 
sweet spices to anoint His body, and the bright angel 
of the Lord announces to them the glad tidings: 
" He is not here, for He is risen, as He said. Come 
see the place where the Lord lay." If the details 
of our Lord s resurrection are not perfectly clear, 
it is certain from St. Mark that He appeared first 
to Mary Magdalen, out of whom He had cast seven 
devils; that he spoke to her as she was weeping 
over His loss, repelling her embrace by words of 
solemn mystery: " Touch Me not, for I am not yet 
ascended to My Father," and making her His mes- 

214 St. Mary Magdalen. 

senger to the disciples " Go to My brethren, and 
say unto them, I ascend unto My Father and your 
Father, unto My God and your God." Confining 
ourselves, therefore, strictly to the pages of Scripture, 
we find sufficient reason for remembering the name 
of St. Mary Magdalen, though it may be impossible 
to fix upon any special event of her life as having 
occurred on a particular day. But the name of 
Mary, or Miriam, being so common among the Jews, 
there seems to have arisen a good deal of confusion 
as to the persons who bore it, and the Church of 
Eome, on what grounds I know not, has identified 
Mary Magdalen with Mary the sister of Martha 
and Lazarus. Anything more unlikely it is im 
possible to conceive, and there is no event, nothing 
whatever beyond the sameness of the name, to con 
nect them together. Mary Magdalen followed our 
Lord from Galilee, ministering to Him of her sub 
stance. Mary and Martha had their home fixed 
at Bethany ; and St. John, in preparing us for the 
resurrection of Lazarus, mentions of his sister, " that 
she was that Mary which anointed the Lord with 
ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose 
brother Lazarus was sick." But the confusion seemsl 
to have arisen in this way. There is another woman, 
whose praise is in the Gospel, who is described asi 
anointing our Lord s feet, and kissing them, and I: 
wiping them with the hairs of her head, in thJ 
house of Simon the Pharisee. But though the acl 
is exactly similar, the conversation that follows! 
shews that the occasions and persons were different, 

St. Mary Magdalen. 215 

In this case the question was whether our Lord 
could be a prophet when He allowed such a woman 
to touch Him in ignorance of her character? And 
you may remember those gracious words of our 
Lord s, which are a message of love to the fallen 
of her sex for ever : " Her sins, which are many, 
are forgiven, for she loved much; but to whom 
little is forgiven, the same loveth little." But in 
the case of Mary, the sister of Lazarus, the question 
raised by Judas is altogether one of wasting upon 
our Lord s person that which might have been sold 
for three hundred pence and given to the poor. 

So that beyond the mere washing of the feet, 
which was almost an act of common hospitality, 
and might have been repeated on many occasions, 
there is nothing in time, place, or circumstances, 
to lead us to suppose that the same persons are 
referred to. But what appears to have happened 
is really this. This woman, who was a sinner, is 
first supposed to be the same as Mary Magdalen, 
out of whom had gone forth seven devils, mentioned 
in the next chapter of St. Luke ; and then a further 
identification takes place with Mary the sister of 
Lazarus, three distinct persons being thus combined 
into one, and the Gospel narrative confused and 
perplexed without a shadow of authority. I am 
glad that our Church has avoided committing her 
self to this confusion, and am still more glad that 
we can find nothing in our Prayer-Book correspond 
ing to that which appears in the Komish Service 
for this day, " Grant, Lord, that we may be aided 

216 St. Mary Magdalen. 

by the prayers of St. Mary Magdalen, in answer 
to whose prayers Thou didst raise from the dead 
her brother Lazarus, after he had been dead four 
days." Here you see the identity of the persons 
is distinctly declared, but that is to my mind far 
less objectionable than the spirit of the prayer. 
If those who sleep in Jesus are still able, as members 
of the Universal Church, to join in the sacrifice of 
prayer, we may depend on it that we have the 
benefit of it, and we know that our blessed Lord 
heareth prayer; but to ask Him that we may be 
aided by the prayers of a particular saint seems to 
me to be a very circuitous method of obtaining 
spiritual benefit, and to be casting doubts on His 
willingness to hear us Himself as our Mediator and 
Advocate, when we address our prayers to God 
through Him. And the concluding prayer of the 
same service, after the communion, "that we may 
be delivered from all evils by the protection of 
St. Mary Magdalen," is so alien to all that we 
have been taught in Scripture, of the true source 
of protection from all evils, that we may dismiss it 
without further notice. 

Now, in contrast with this let me repeat the collect 
of our own Church in the first edition of our Prayer- 
Book, which was unfortunately omitted in the second, 
and you will feel as though you were breathing 
a different atmosphere. It is a prayer that will do 
you no harm if you use it every day : " Merciful 
Father, give us grace that we may never presume 
to sin through the example of any creature, but if it 

St. Mary Magdalen. 217 

shall chance to us at any time to offend Thy Divine 
Majesty that then we may truly repent, after the 
example of Mary Magdalene, and by lively faith 
obtain remission of our sins, through the only merits 
of Thy Son our Saviour Christ." The prayer is 
beautiful both in words and spirit, and it contains 
a wise and delicate caution against being encouraged 
in the presumption of sinning in the same way, by 
the complete forgiveness of one whose sins had been 
so many and had fallen off her so easily. But you 
will notice that it still assumes this woman, who was 
a sinner, to have been St. Mary Magdalen, though 
it disconnects her with Mary the sister of Lazarus. 
But I still think this extremely doubtful. Mary 
Magdalen is not mentioned till the next chapter, 
and then not as the woman who had washed His 
feet, and whose name is not known, but as " she out 
of whom went seven devils," a mark that is not 
of identification, but of distinction. And the idea 
of demoniac possession, though frequently connected 
with uncleanness, is something quite different from 
the gross sensual sin of this forgiven woman. And 
it may have been the sense of this inconsistency, 
or at all events the uncertainty of that which is no 
where declared in Scripture, combined with other 
causes, which induced our Church on the second 
revision of the Prayer-Book to omit altogether St. 
Mary Magdalen from the list of saints, to whose 
days a special service is assigned. 

Nevertheless, the name of St. Mary Magdalen 
as the forgiven penitent has not been disestablished 

218 St. Mary Magdalen. 

among us, and her supposed example still holds its 
place in our minds. Colleges, churches, hospitals, 
still cherish and preserve the name. Institutions 
for the rescue and restoration of the fallen still find 
it a potent spell when they appeal to Christian hearts 
for sympathy and support. The odour of the pre 
cious ointment that she lavished on her Saviour s 
feet surrounds her own memory. When we see in 
painting and in sculpture the long flowing hair, 
the features that once invited men to sin, but are 
now turned in purity to heaven, the tearful eye, 
we ask no question, we want no information, we 
know that it is a Magdalen. She teaches us that 
vile and common as woman may be, foul as the 
fairest may become, there is hope and pardon for 
the sisters of the streets, a far better hope than for 
the authors of their degradation, whose sin society 
makes light of and condones, while it turns away 
in virtuous indignation from their victims. And 
let it not be thought that the possibility of recovery 
makes the sin of those who cause the fall the less. 
It would not do so if all who fell could be recovered. 
But how many fall, how few are recovered ! And 
as one of the most eloquent of the prelates of the 
Church of Ireland, which a statesman of this age has 
robbed of its inheritance, says, "It is a hard and 
weighty consideration what shall become of any one 
of us, even though repentant, who have tempted our 
brother or our sister to sin and death ; for though 
God hath spared our life, and they are dead, and 
their debt-books are sealed up to the day of account, 

St. Mary Magdalen. 219 

yet the mischief of our sin is gone before us, and 
it is like a murder, only more execrable ; the soul 
is dead in trespasses and sin, and sealed to an eternal 
sorrow, and thou shalt see at doomsday what damna 
ble uncharitableness thou hast done. That soul that 
cries to the rocks to cover her might have followed 
the Lamb in a white robe, if it had not been for thy 
wicked temptation ; that poor man who is clothed in 
shame and flames of fire, might have shone in glory 
if thou hadst not forced him to be a companion of 
thy baseness. A soul is lost by thy means, and who 
shall pay for this loss ? what shall happen to thee by 
whom thy brother or thy sister dies eternally?" 

The discarded service of the day gives us in the 
Gospel the entire history of the sinning and penitent 
woman from the seventh chapter of St. Luke. With 
what I will venture to call exquisite taste, it says 
nothing whatever about her past life, and avoids all 
mention or notice of the number and details of her 
sins. We do not know how she fell, or how long 
she had lived the life she was then living. He who 
told the woman of Samaria all things she had ever 
done, "knew thoroughly the history of this woman s 
life, and all her thought." But there is nothing in 
Scripture either to excite or satisfy any curiosity 
about her. An author not instructed by the Holy 
Spirit might probably have attempted to magnify 
her Saviour s mercy by enlarging the account of her 
sins. But Scripture says simply " a woman who was 
a sinner," words which we might have taken in 
a general sense, a sense, indeed, applicable to all men 

220 Si. Mary Magdalen. 

and women, if it had not been for the Pharisaic doubt 
whether He could really be a prophet who suffered 
such a person to wash His feet. It was a Pharisaic 
company, and they received a lesson suited to their 
class, " that the publicans and harlots might go before 
them into the kingdom of God." 

But if we have no picture of a life of sin in the 
Gospel to stimulate our imaginations, we have a 
beautiful picture of the domestic life of a Jewish 
lady by way of contrast in the passage appointed 
for the Epistle, a lady of rank and position in her 
own lands, in those happy times, before the nation 
was divided, and the waves of invasion had begun 
to sweep over the inheritance of Israel. There were 
rich and poor even then, as there always will be; 
but while the rich had their large establishments, 
the poor dwelt under their vines and fig-trees, none 
making them afraid. The picture we have is evi 
dently that of a lady who had to rule and provide 
for a large household, and we are told how she did 
it. Habits of life are of course different in different 
climates and centuries, but right principles of con 
duct are the same for all times and all places, and 
for the rich as well as for the poor. Those who have 
those principles will have no difficulty in adapting 
them to all times and all circumstances. Sarah call 
ing her husband lord is the pattern of all faithful 
wives, and as all the faithful men are the children 
of Abraham, so all true wives are the daughters 
of Sarah. The Jewish lady contemplated in the book 
of Proverbs does not seem to have had any advanced 

St. Mary Magdalen. 221 

views of woman s rights, but she had a very enlarged 
notion of a wife s duties, and as such she reigned 
as a queen in her own home, which is the true empire 
of a woman. But I will read you the whole passage 
from the book of Proverbs, and I think you will say 
nothing need be added to it. At least nothing shall 
be added by me. 

"Whosoever findeth an honest faithful woman, she 
is much more worth than pearls. The heart of her 
husband may safely trust in her, so that he shall fall 
in no poverty. She will do him good and not evil 
all the days of his life. She occupieth wool and flax, 
and laboureth gladly with her hand. She is like 
a merchant-ship that bringeth her victuals from afar. 
She is up in the night season, to provide meat for 
her household and food for her maidens. She con- 
sidereth land, and buyeth it, and with the fruit of 
her hands she planteth a vineyard. She girdeth her 
loins with strength, and courageth her arms. And 
if she perceive that her housewifery is good, her 
candle goeth not out by night. She layeth her 
fingers to the spindle, and her hand taketh hold 
of the distaff. She openeth her hand to the poor, 
yea, she stretcheth forth her hands to such as have 
need. She feareth not the cold of winter shall hurt 
her house, for all her household folks are clothed 
with scarlet. She maketh herself fair ornaments, her 
clothing is white silk and purple. She maketh cloth 
of silk and selleth it, and delivereth girdles unto the 
merchant. Her husband is much set by in the gates 
when he sitteth among the rulers of the land. She 

222 St. Mar?/ Magdalen. 

openeth her mouth with wisdom, and in her tongue 
is the law of grace. She looketh well to the ways 
of her household, and eateth not her bread with idle 
ness. Her children shall arise and call her blessed, 
and her husband shall make much of her. Many 
daughters there be that gather riches together, but 
thou goest above them all." 

" As for favour it is deceitful, and beauty is a vain 
thing, but a woman that feareth the Lord she is 
worthy to be praised. 

" Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her 
own works praise her in the gates." 



ST. JOHN vii. 17. 

" If any man will do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, 
whether it be of God." 

THINK I have observed before this, as a matter 
of my own experience, that it is one great advan 
tage of reading Holy Scripture out loud in Church 
in our own tongue, that we are more impressed with 
its truth, and depth, and power, than when we 
are reading it quietly in our room. I hope the 
same may be said of the hearer as of the reader. 
And I do not think this is due entirely to the 
circumstance that in Church one is obliged to read 
carefully, and with due attention to what one is 
reading, so as to make oneself audible and intelli 
gible to others, whereas in one s study one may read 
carelessly and inattentively. I think something is 
due to the influence of the place itself. " How 
dreadful is this place. This is none other than the 
House of God, and this is the gate of Heaven." That 
is my feeling when I enter a church, and I hope 
others are impressed with the same feeling. I was 
very much struck with those words of our Lord 
when I listened to them last Sunday, and I shall 
make them the subject of my sermon this morning, 

224 Jesuitism. 

though other words might have been selected more 
closely connected with the great festival of Whit 
sunday; yet they are not] inappropriate to a day 
when we pray specifically that " we may have a right 
judgment in all things," a judgment we can only 
have by the aid of that Holy Spirit, which is the 
special gift of this day. For the text refers directly 
to the judgments which we are to form, and the 
knowledge we are to seek on divine questions, and 
divine things, and tells us under what condition 
this knowledge is to be obtained. " If any man will 
do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether 
it be of God, or whether I speak of Myself." In com 
menting on these words I am afraid I may appear 
to touch upon controversy. You are aware how 
seldom I do so, and if I ever refer to opinions with 
which I do not agree I hope I do it with charity. 
I think the best thing you can do is simply to preach 
the truth clearly and plainly according to the power 
which God has given you, and leave it then to take 
care of itself. I never could see the use of arguing 
against persons who are not present to state their 
own case or hear the arguments by which it is over 
thrown. And nothing is easier than to set up nine 
pins and knock them down again. But I shall never 
shrink from noticing any applications of Scripture 
which I think to be mistaken or injurious, though 
in so doing I shall be careful as far as I can not 
to mistake or misinterpret the opinions of those from 
whom I differ. For I do think these words of our 
Saviour have very often been used, and are used to 

Jesuitism. 225 

do violence to the consciences and scruples of sensi 
tive persons, and force on them the acceptance of 
doctrines and even practices to which they have 
a natural and sometimes a proper repugnance. 

If I am mistaken in this idea, then I have read 
a good many books that have made a wrong impres 
sion upon me. There are in the Church of Eome 
persons who are called confessori, spiritual guides 
and directors of consciences. These offices may not 
always be discharged by the same person, but they 
very much resemble each other, and can hardly be 
distinguished. We have no such persons profession 
ally known in the Church of England, though no 
doubt many persons confess their sins to a priest, 
which they are at perfect liberty to do, and many open 
their griefs, and seek advice for their conduct, from 
those whom they think better able to judge than 
themselves. This is perfectly right and natural, and 
we are encouraged to do it in the Communion Ser 
vice. And when those who require comfort and 
counsel come to the minister of God s Holy "Word 
to receive the benefit of Absolution, together with 
ghostly counsel and advice, it is, I think, the duty 
of a minister not to discourage an anxious soul, but 
to give him the best advice and counsel he is able. 
But I do not think many persons in our commu 
nion place their conscience absolutely at the disposal 
of another, as part of the duty and privilege of their 
religious life. The degrees of influence which one 
person may have over another are of course infinitely 
various, and in giving or receiving counsel great 

226 Jesuitism. 

regard must be had to those who watch over the 
souls of others, as they that must give account. 
But I am speaking of absolute surrender of the will 
and conscience, if such a thing is possible. For if we 
profess to do it nature will assert herself, and there 
rises a protest from time to time which must be 
overcome. Now these words of our Saviour are, 
I believe, used for this purpose, and as we read them 
they sound very well suited for it. Does any one 
revolt from any strange or extreme doctrine which is 
forced upon him. " How," he is asked, " can you ex- 
pect to recognize the truth unless you conform your- 
self, as the first condition of knowledge, to the will 
of God? Do that first as I tell you, and then your 
eyes will be open and you will discern the truth. 
Eight action is the way to true knowledge. So long 
as you refuse to do what is right, how can you ex 
pect to know what is true? Begin with implicit 
obedience, and knowledge will grow upon you out 
of your own action." I believe that consciences are 
constantly tortured and ruined by this insidious 
argument when men have once resigned them to 
the dictation of another. God, I believe, has in 
trusted our souls to our own keeping, and does not 
will us to give up our own judgments to others, but 
to acquire ourselves a right judgment in all things 
under the promised guidance of His Holy Spirit. 
It may be said, indeed, that you can only give up 
your judgment to another by an act of judgment 
of your own, and that you can do this just as you 
can make over the whole of your property to any 

Jesuitism. 227 

person you please. It is your own now, and you 
can dispose of it in that way, but the act will be 
your own. Just so, you can dispose of your judg 
ment, and perhaps the best thing you can do is to 
make it over to some one else, but this can only be 
done by an act of final irrevocable judgment. But 
I do not believe God requires this of any man. He 
has given us reason and conscience, and He expects 
us not to give them up once for all by a summary 
act, but to cultivate and exercise them freely on 
every occasion of life. To do otherwise is to act 
in the very spirit of Jesuitism, and I am sorry to 
say the Jesuit principle seems to me to be the 
supreme power in the Church of Eome. Indeed, 
I can hardly conceive a Roman Catholic who is not 
a Jesuit at heart, though he may not have been 
formally admitted into the body. The principle 
of that body is unconditional obedience, and the 
Church is very lenient and indulgent to those who 
will at last render that. It will easily forgive scru 
ples, resistance, opposition, if in the end men can be 
brought down to silence and submission. It is known, 
for instance, how many distinguished prelates and 
laymen were opposed to the last new doctrine of the 
infallibility of the Pope, but the decree was passed, 
and they have accepted it in silence. They must 
do so, or they could not continue members of the 
Church of Rome, for it is now as much matter of 
faith as the Doctrine of the Trinity. One pities 
those who had this tremendous alternative placed 
before them, and were obliged to choose. I read 


228 Jesuitism. 

in the magnificent Church of St. Peter the nam< 
of the prelates who were present at the Council, 
some of whom were opposed to the Doctrine, am 
now impose it upon their subordinates. No doubl 
it must occur to them that, if it is true, there 
no need of any other article of faith, for it embrac< 
every one of them. Indeed, if I remember right, 
Cardinal Newman, whose name I mention with th< 
greatest respect, maintains that a man may hold the 
entire body of what is called Catholic truth, and not 
be a true Catholic. He may hold it because he 
thinks he finds it in Scripture, because it commends 
itself to his reason, because it is supported by an 
cient authority, and the teaching of the primitive 
Church. But such a person, if he could not read it 
in Scripture, if his reason revolted from it, if he 
found nothing like it in the belief of the early ages 
of the Church, would clearly give it up. It would 
slip from its foundations, he would hold it no longer. 
Such a person, therefore, is no true Catholic, he is 
only one by accident, holding the truth, but not 
holding it rightly, he is little better than a heretic. 
The actual voice of the present living Church is the 
only safe basis of truth; to bring in Scripture or 
history is to alloy its purity, and to sap its founda 
tions. It was pretty well known that Dr. Newman 
was opposed to the Doctrine of the infallibility of the 
Pope. He has accepted it now, and in professing 
and maintaining it he must derive some satisfaction 
from feeling that he has discovered a principle which 
enables him to do so consistently. But this is, as 

Jesuitism. 229 

I have said, the very principle of Jesuitism. The 
Jesuit is not to choose, or prefer, or object, but 
simply to obey. Ilis obedience is not perfect if 
he thinks it reasonable, or unreasonable, or thinks 
of it at all. The aim of the system is to reduce all 
its members to automatons and marionettes, set in 
motion by one controlling power. Family affections, 
natural tastes, moral choice, are to be suppressed ; 
they bring a human element into the machine which 
is inconsistent with perfect obedience. 

In most cases a man may love his work, and his 
work will be perfected by his love, but a Jesuit 
must not admit that feeling. He must do his work 
with indifference, for perhaps he will be called upon 
to do the contrary to-morrow, and he must do that 
with equal indifference if he is perfect in obedience. 
It has produced wonderful instances of endurance 
and self-denial and heroism ; and yet those terms 
can hardly be applied to it, for they bring in human 
nature, which the tendency of the discipline is to 
destroy. In speaking of Eoman Catholics, I do 
not mean to say that all of them are Jesuits or 
Jesuitical, and some, no doubt, would protest against 
the imputation of being so, but after all that is the 
real principle of the Church growing in power and 
intensity every day. If I were asked the real dis 
tinction between us and Eoman Catholics I should 
say it was this, that we claim for ourselves the right 
and the duty of judging what is right and true ; 
they refer all such questions to the Church, that 
is to say, to the particular priest or director of con- 

230 Jesuitism. 

sciences to whom they have entrusted the care of 
their souls. I do not mean to say that we have 
cast aside the authority of the Church where it has 
clearly spoken, as, for instance, in the creeds, nor 
that we might not with great advantage have more 
frequent recourse to those who are set over us in 
the Lord; still this great difference exists, and 
is a characteristic mark. For myself, I should be 
glad if some one would think and judge for me, 
and tell me what I ought to do on all occasions. 
It would be a great relief, if instead of acting for 
myself I could throw the onus of responsibility on 
some one else ; I would rather obey than choose, 
and I rather envy the simple duty of the soldier, 
to whom it is said, " Go, and he goeth, do this, and 
he doeth it." And if you enter on that line of 
action, that which is a restraint and a burthen at 
first soon becomes easy and comfortable. This is 
a very proper thing in an army, which cannot exist 
without strict discipline, and in which, a heathen 
author says, " the soldier has no right to ask any 
thing." But I do not believe it is the line of duty 
in which it is intended that the soldier of Christ 
should walk; I believe it to be the duty of Chris 
tians to think and choose, and to do this constantly ; 
to think what is true, and to choose what is right, 
and the Spirit of God will help us to do both. As 
to some acts of choice, they should be final. u As 
for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." 
There need be no revision, and therefore no repe 
tition of that choice, only constancy in holding to 

Jesuitism. 231 

it. And some professions of faith should be final. 
We are not to waver in them, and if an angel from 
heaven teaches anything contradictory to them we 
are not to listen to him. But the occasions of choice 
are as frequent as the occasions of action, and the 
precept, " Try all things, hold fast that which is 
good," will apply to opinions which are brought 
before us every day. " Choose life" does not imply 
that any one would be likely to choose death directly, 
but it means choose the things tending and pertain 
ing to life, about which people are constantly mis 
taken, choosing death instead, so that the people 
of God are asked, as if it wero a strange thing, 
" Why will ye die, house of Israel?" 

One would have expected that the right and the 
duty of private judgment would have brought with 
it a feeling of responsibility and almost of fear, but 
it does not seem to have had that general effect. 
We are advised to "work out our own salvation 
with fear and trembling, for it is God that worketh 
in us, both to will and to do according to His good 
pleasure." In one respect this should be a cause 
of confidence, but it is clearly implied that we 
may be found to be working against God. For 
though God is omnipotent, it is part of His om 
nipotence to be able to leave us free while He is 
working in us. And one would think that the 
duty of personal judgment of what is true and 
right would make us fearful lest we should judge 
wrongly. And it should also make us very careful 
to use every assistance in informing and correct- 

232 Jesuitism. 

ing our judgments, such as prayer, study of Holy 
Scripture, deference to those who are better informed 
than ourselves, especially those who are set over us, 
and the general opinion and concurrence of holy men 
in all ages, who have adorned their doctrine with 
their lives. You would expect to find modesty and 
reserve in judgment, willingness to hear, and not 
over-readiness or haste to speak. You find the 
exact contrary. Everybody is ready with an opi 
nion on every subject, without information or any 
attempt to obtain. Everybody s opinion is worth 
as much as anybody else s, or rather more in 
the man s own estimate. There is no question 
so difficult, so awful, so unrevealed, but what you 
find somebody, and perhaps many, to answer it 
off-hand. Those who do not exercise their judg 
ment in any other way will exercise it by resigning 
it to some other person, who will rule them more 
absolutely than any pope ever thought of. Men 
are either popes themselves, or they select their 
popes and obey them. 

I perceive that I am wandering from my subject, 
and therefore I will return to my text. I said 
that it was a passage which has been much mis 
interpreted and abused, and therefore, after repeat 
ing it, I will state briefly what I mean. "If 
a man will do His will, he shall know of the doc 
trine, whether it be of God." It is almost impos 
sible to read the verse without putting the stress 
on the word do. That is accordingly the case, and 
men are told, " you must do the will of God, i.e. 

Jesuitism. 233 

what / tell you is the will of God, and then the 
truth will be brought home to your mind. You 
cannot expect to know it till you have done that 
well." Now any one who is worth listening to 
will tell you that this is entirely a misinterpre 
tation of the actual words. The true meaning is 
this. If a man has a real will and a wish and 
a desire to do the will of God, then he shall know 
of the doctrine, whether it be of God. The em 
phasis in the sentence is changed. It does not 
rest on the word do, but on the word will. This 
is what we should expect. It is in accordance with 
what we know by experience of human nature, 
and have a right to expect from Divine grace. 
Those whose real earnest wish is to do the will of 
God, who love His law, as David loved it, to whom 
it is more precious than gold, and sweeter than 
honey and the honeycomb, will not be suffered to re 
main in ignorance by Him. " They shall all be taught 
of God" is one of the most gracious and general 
promises to the people of God, and here is the 
condition of learning, that they wish to do His 
will. They may, perhaps, be mistaken as to His 
will in particulars, but that is of small importance 
if they wish to do it ; though I do not think they will 
go far wrong under that condition. Law, word, com 
mandment, statute, ordinance, truth, are words con 
stantly interchanged, and it is difficult to distinguish 
them, but they are all summed up in truth. " Sanc 
tify them by Thy truth, Thy "Word is truth." God 
promises to each one of us truth, not as a rule de- 

234 Jesuitism. 

rived from an external standard, but as a treasure 
abiding in our own hearts. It is the spirit of Truth 
whose gift we are celebrating to-day. He is ex 
pressly so called. If we wish to discriminate the 
gift more particularly, let us ask Him to be to us 
a spirit of wisdom and understanding, a spirit of 
counsel and ghostly strength, a spirit of knowledge 
and true godliness. Yea, let Him fill us with the 
spirit of His holy fear, now and for ever. 

(I albinism, 

ST. MATT. vi. 33. 

" Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness." 

THE word first here seems to me to be susceptible 
of two meanings. It may mean either first in 
order of time, or first in respect of importance. 
And these two things are not always coincident, 
though in practice we generally do that which is 
of most importance first, and that which is of less 
importance afterwards. Sometimes, however, the 
order of action is reversed, and we clear away small 
matters on the instant, in order that our hands and 
time may be free for greater ones, or for the greatest 
of all. But I believe that our Saviour here means 
simply first in order of time, which is its natural 
meaning, and that He impresses this precept upon 
us with earnestness which is so peculiarly His own, 
because it implies the very contrary to the practice 
which the world is in the habit of following. For 
assuming that the Kingdom of God and His right 
eousness, in relation to ourselves, is identical with 
the good of our immortal souls, I think all persons 
will allow that that is a matter of much more im 
portance to us than anything that can happen to 

236 Calvinism. 

our bodies and estates. All persons will allow that 
it would profit us nothing at all if we were to gain 
the whole world and lose our own souls. So that 
as regards the relative estimate of our souls, com 
pared with anything else, there is a general agree 
ment. The bad agree with the good on this point. 
They do not wish or intend to throw their souls 
away, though in fact they are doing it. I do not 
mean to say that there are no men so vile and lost 
as to care nothing for their eternal destiny, for the 
majority of irreligious men certainly do care some 
thing for it, only they put off the thought of it ; they 
intend to give their minds to it, and to do something 
better at some future time. Our blessed Saviour 
seems to me to be addressing all men, but especially 
those who are just entering life. And as regards their 
duties and interests, He seems to me to insist point 
edly on the " order of time." He is speaking not 
of corrupt men and hardened consciences, but to 
men of good intentions and principles, who are 
anxious to know what they shall do first. Let us 
suppose the case of a young man or young woman, 
such as I am thinking of, mapping out the course of 
life on which he or she is entering, and endeavouring 
to lay it down and trace it out the to end. The man 
intends to do right, and to do good, which is a matter 
of far less importance than doing right. Say that 
he is going into business ; he will be regular and 
honest, he will do whatever his hand findeth to 
do with all his might. He sees others who have 
done the same before him, and he will follow their 

Calvinism. 237 

example. They have prospered, they have retired 
in the evening of life, everybody speaks well of 
them, and they seem to be employed in doing good. 
Their lives have not been very heroic, but they have 
brought them to comfort and competence ; they have 
found honesty the best policy, though they were 
never so base as to be honest on that calculation, 
and they seem now to be making God some return 
for the prosperity by which their lives have been 
crowned. People observe "that they have become 
quite religious," and their religion is thought to 
be quite natural and proper. They would be un 
grateful if they were not so ; and their lives are 
held up as examples. See what good men of busi 
ness they were, how steady, how punctual, how 
sober; and now what good men they are, how 
happy they make everybody around them, what 
good they are doing ! 

Now our blessed Saviour never said that good 
habits were not likely to lead to prosperity and com 
fort, nor would He be likely to reject the intention to 
do what is right at any period of life, or any service 
offered to Him however late, but I think He would 
say that such persons had not observed the order of 
action commended in His precept. They have not 
sought " the Kingdom of God and His righteousness " 
first but last, if they have found it now. Be religious 
men and women from the first. Start in life with 
the resolve that you will be so. It is nothing, or 
worse than nothing, it is a vain delusion to intend 
to be so when you have served your apprentice- 

238 Calvinism. 

ship to the world. Begin a religious life, soberly 
and seriously, DOW. Consider its duties to your 
self, to man, to God. You owe something to your 
self, in fact any duty to another is also one to your 
self. But some belong to yourself particularly, as 
chastity and temperance ; others to your neighbour, 
as honesty and kindliness; others to God, as faith, 
hope, and charity. We need not be particular in 
classifying these duties, in fact they all run into 
each other; and to these I might add what may 
be called ecclesiastical duties, such as not forsak 
ing assembling yourselves together, hearing the Word, 
partaking the Holy Sacrament, doing consistently 
all things which shew that you are a member of 
Christ s Church, and of that branch of the Church 
in which, happily for you, as I think, it is the will 
of God that you have been born. Make up your 
minds on these points now and act accordingly, 
and I will not hold it out as a bribe to you, that 
you will therefore at once prosper in this world, 
but I will venture to say you will suffer no injury 
or inconvenience from it ; nay, I will simply repeat 
our Lord s own words, u Seek ye first the kingdom 
of God and His righteousness, and all these things 
which the Gentiles seek shall be added unto you." 

Now what I have said about Christian life gen 
erally will apply closely enough to the particular 
duties of this season. It is our duty, and it is also 
our interest, to devote some part of the season of 
Lent, more than any other season, to serious thought, 
taking, as it were, stock of our lives ; and to repent- 

Calvinism. 239 

ance, which must be the result of anything like 
serious thought. Nothing can be more formal and 
hollow than general confessions of sinfulness which 
cost- us nothing and promise us nothing, if no re 
membrance and sense of actual sins come home to 
our consciences. We have all sinned abundantly 
during the last year, and those are the things we 
ought to remember, and in respect of which we 
ought to aim at amendment. If along with that 
we confess and deplore the sinfulness of our nature, 
not as an excuse for sin, or at all events a palliation 
of it, which I fear it is frequently thought to be, but 
as a continuous fuel and encouragement of it, then 
I think we may hope that God will not only blot 
out all our iniquities, but will create a clean heart, 
and renew a right spirit within us. And I believe 
few persons enter upon the season of Lent with 
out some weary feeling about their sins, and some 
intention of getting rid of them. Perhaps they 
say to themselves, " Our clergyman will tell us 
the same things that he did last year; we know 
what he will say already. If they are not verb 
ally the same sermons, they will amount to the 
same. He will invite us to be more regular 
at church, and perhaps have some special service, 
which, we hope, it will do our neighbours good 
to attend. lie is a good sort of man, and it will 
be unpolite and disrespectful if they do not. Besides 
that, he is only doing his duty. It is his duty to 
tell us such tilings, and we can take to ourselves 
the credit of never denying that they are true. 

240 Calvinism. 

Only there is no hurry ; we heard the same last 
year, and shall hear the same next. We really 
believe that there is a great deal in what he says. 
He does not say it simply professionally, but be 
lieves it himself. It is worth our consideration, and 
we shall give our serious attention to it some day. 
At present we are engaged, and as it is as certain 
to come round again next year as spring and summer, 
we can surely afford to wait. 

Alas ! you are very inconsistent here ! You do not 
defer the duties and works of this spring because next 
year also will have a spring of its own ; but you put 
off the duties and opportunities of this Lent, though 
none of you can be certain that you will ever live to 
see another. Still I believe what is said and done in 
Lent and the very word Lent makes many persons 
weary and uncomfortable. They have been told so 
often that they have certain duties regarding it, that 
they cannot help thinking there is something in it; 
they have heard so much about repentance, that they 
will make some effort and go on if they find any en 
couragement. They ask how they are to begin, and 
they do as they are told. Perhaps they attend church 
one or two times, or at services where they were 
never seen before ; they try to be attentive and 
serious, they listen and endeavour to think of what 
they are hearing. But the interest they would wish 
to feel is never created. The service is dull and un 
profitable. The preacher never touches their heart, 
or fans the spark of piety into a flame. They find 
no fault with him, for all he says seems to them 

Calvinism. 241 

to bo sincere and true, only that is the fact. They 
give up the effort as a failure, and throw themselves 
into the world again, which is quite ready to receive 
them on the old terms. But it is quite possible that 
they may receive very different advice ; they may be 
told that they can do nothing for themselves, that all 
that they can do is to wait ; that conversion will come 
when it is intended to come, or not at all, and that 
anything they can do to invite God s grace will only 
have the effect of repelling it. I do not know 
whether any of you are familiar with the poems 
of that thoroughly English poet and clergyman, 

There is the story of one "Abel Keene," which 
I shall use in illustration of what I mean a . It is not 
an uncommon story. Abel Keene is a man of humble 
birth, but of sound principles and sufficient educa 
tion. Through the influence of a kind friend he is 
placed in a merchant s house in London, at a more 
advanced age than is usual in that situation, where 
his position in respect of pay and prospects greatly 
improved. But he is thrown into the society of dis 
solute and irreligious men, much younger than him 
self, among whom he is soon accustomed to hear the 
truths and principles which he once held in rever 
ence spoken of with contempt and derision. Being 
a weak man, he cannot resist the evil influence, and 
becomes in conversation, dress, and life, such as they 

a " The Borough," Letter XXI. Vol. iv. of Murray s edition of 
Crabbe s works, in 8 volumes. Cf. vol. iii. Letter IV. p. 89, where 
the same subject is treated of, with illustrations. 


242 Calvinism. 

are, feeling himself a coward all the time for being 
so. He has a sister who, hearing of his change of 
life, expostulates with him in language which would 
do you good to read, and with a power which few 
preachers possess ; but as her expostulations are un 
heeded they only make him worse. He flies into 
worse excesses, and is plunged in them when his 
employer dies suddenly, and leaves him in his wan 
ing years a mere wreck in character and prospects, 
"Now lost to fortune as before to grace." Thus he 
returns to his native place, to contempt, beggary, and 
misery and his sister died. 

" His sister died with such serene delight, 
He once again began to think her right. 
Poor like himself the happy spinster lay, 
And sweet assurance blessed her dying day. 
Poor like the spinster he, when death was nigh, 
Assured of nothing, felt afraid to die." 

At length he is found in a shed, having hanged 
himself in despair. But he has left behind him a 
paper giving the spiritual history of his life. The 
whole of it is well worth reading, but I shall quote 
only a part of it. It is where his conscience being 
alarmed, he tells us how he sought advice from one 
who had a great reputation as a physician of souls. 
He tells him all his miseries, and is told in an 
swer that "he is just an object meet for saving 


" No merit thine, no virtue, hope, belief, 
Nothing hast thou but misery, sin, and grief, 
The best, the only titles to relief." 

Calvinism. 243 

But, like the Philippian jailor 

" What must I do, I said, f ray soul to free? 
Do nothing, man it will be done for thee/ 
But must I not, my reverend guide, believe? 
If thou art called, thou wilt the faith receive/ 
But I repent not ; angry he replied, 
If thou art called, thou needest nought beside. 
Attend on us, and if tis Heaven s decree 
The call will come if not, ah ! woe for thee/ " 

Thus advised, the wretched man attends exciting 
sermons, he sees others in transports and ecstasies, 
but nothing comes to himself: 

" They wept and they rejoiced, but there was I 
Hard as a flint, and as a desert dry ; 
To me no tokens of the call would come, 
I felt my sentence and received my doom. 
But I complained. Let thy repinings cease, 
Oh man of sin, for they thy guilt increase ; 
It bloweth where it listeth die in peace. 
In peace and perish/ I replied. Impart 
Some better comfort to a burthened heart/ 
Alas, the priest returned, Can I direct 
The heavenly call ? Do I proclaim the elect ? 
Raise not thy voice against the Eternal will, 
But take thy part with sinners, and be still/ 

This terrible story was much commented on at the 
time, and denounced as a perversion and misrepre 
sentation of a certain style of religious appeal, which 
was more common fifty years ago than now. It is 
no doubt the representation of an extreme case, and 
it is the gift of men of imagination and clear powers 
of reason to represent and illustrate principles in 
their extreme exhibitions, but I am much mistaken 


244 Calvinism. 

if this is very far removed from the doctrine which is 
preached and insisted upon in many of the meeting 
houses of our land without any distortion whatever, 
(I am bound to say that I have heard the same 
preached by excellent men in our own Church, who 
did not see clearly the tendency of what they were 
saying); and I find this supported by a pamphlet 
published about that time, entitled " A Cordial for 
a Sin-despairing Soul," in which the writer informs 
us "that after he had full assurance of his salvation 
the Spirit entered particularly into the subject with 
him," and among other matters of like nature assured 
him " that his sins were fully and freely forgiven, as 
if they had never been committed." (That happily 
we may learn from better authority than our own 
heart) ; but he goes on with a strange mixture of 
truth and error, " Not for any act done by him 
whether believing in Christ, or repenting of sin 
(there faith and repentance are got rid of at once, and 
I think I observed that when Moody and Sankey 
were disturbing men s minds here, the word c re 
pentance was never uttered by either of them) ; nor 
yet for the sorrow and misery he endured, nor for 
any service he should be called upon to do in his 
militant state, but for His own name and for His 
glory s sake," and so on. 

For the whole drift and tenor of the book is to the 
same purpose, viz. the uselessness of all religious 
duties, such as prayer, contrition, fasting, and good 
works. The author shews the evil done by reading 
such books as the " Whole Duty of Man ;" he com- 

Calvinism. 245 

plains of an Irish bishop who wanted him to join in 
family prayer ; he considers all attendance upon the 
ministers of the Gospel unnecessary and even inju 
rious. In fact his principle is to let ill alone; his 
talents are not to be employed; and the hopes of 
glory are rather extinguished than raised by any 
application of the means of grace. This I will allow 
is very extreme doctrine, but it is the consistent de 
velopment of doctrine that in other cases is not ex 
treme, and let me ask you whether it is not some 
idea or feeling of this sort which keeps you away 
from the means of grace which are offered you in 
this place, to which you never come ? You wait for 
an impulse that you cannot resist you think it un 
necessary to form any resolution of your own. 

Let me not be supposed to deny the possibility of 
such an instant conversion as Abel Keene is repre 
sented as waiting for, but which never came. I am 
not the man to deny or limit the miracles of divine 
grace ; and if I had time this morning, and pos 
sessed the book in which the history is contained, I 
should read to you the account of the conversion 
of Col. Gardiner, as narrated by himself. He was 
a most dissolute and profligate infidel in a dissolute 
age. As far as I remember he was visited by a spirit 
or angel I am not sure that it was not in the image 
of our Lord Himself who spoke to him awful words, 
which I wish I had at heart to repeat b . Such a 

b He believed that he saw " before him, as it were suspended in 
the air, a visible representation of the Lord Jesus Christ upon the 
Cross, surrounded on all sides with a glory, and was impressed as 

246 Calvinism. 

dream or fancy, if it were a dream or fancy, might 
turn a man into a madman or fanatic. But the reality 
of the vision was attested by a total and consistent 
change of life from that hour. Out of the materials of 
the vilest sinner there was re-created one who passed 
the rest of his life, humanly speaking, as a perfect 
saint. He brought forth works meet for repentance, 
and no one doubted that he had fled from the wrath 
to come. The account of his end is written, and he 
passed his last hours in prayer, and giving advice 
and exhortation to others on the eve of the battle of 
Prestonpans, in which he fell. The case, though ex 
traordinary, proves nothing, as a general rule, beyond 
the power of divine grace, which I should think no 
body would deny ; and from what I remember of Col. 
Gardiner s life, and its influence on others, he did 
not advise them to expect or wait for the same sud 
den conversion and illumination which he had himself 
experienced. It must have been a constant wonder 
and amazement to him that he of all men should have 
been the object of this mercy, but the effect of it was 
to make him exhort all men over whom he had any 
influence to take immediate steps to depart from all 
iniquity lest it should be their ruin, to think seri- 

if a voice, or something equivalent to a voice, had come to him to 
this effect (for he was not confident as to the words), Oh, sinner ! 
did I suffer this for thee, and are these thy returns? " From 
" Some remarkable Passages in the Life of Col. James Gardiner, by 
P. Doddridge, D.D." 

The reader will find the account of the Conversion and Death of 
Colonel Gardiner in notes to Chapters vii. and xlvii. of " Waver- 
ley," marked by the letters C and Y, in the Centenary Edition. 

Calvinism. 247 

ously and repent, and strive to return to the paths of 
holiness and peace, in which he did not doubt they 
would be assisted by God s grace. And I think 
a very wrong use is made of those words, " The Spirit 
bloweth where it listeth," so wonderfully illustrated 
by that particular case, when a reason is found in 
them for waiting and doing nothing towards return 
ing unto God, till the Spirit lays hold of us irre 
sistibly, and we cannot help being saints any more 
than we can now help being sinners. And it is they 
who so force the words, who are practically limiting 
and defining this power of " blowing where it listeth" 
of which they seem to make so much. They deny 
Him real freedom, they say " lie must and shall work 
in this particular way, or else He shall not and can 
not be allowed to work at all." They deny His 
power and working unless, as we may say, they can 
actually " hear the sound thereof." If there is any 
vile and hardened heart anywhere, I recognize the 
power of the Spirit in purifying and softening that 
heart under any circumstances, for nothing but that 
can have such virtue and effect. Nor do I tie down 
the actions of the Spirit to the means of grace that 
Christ Himself has ordained. But I have no reason 
to doubt that God answers prayer, that He blesses 
the ministry of the Word, that He regenerates by 
water, that He gives the grace of His body and 
blood in the Holy Communion, that He gives more 
grace by laying on of hands, that He looks with com 
placency at our weak and feeble attempts to forsake 
sin and amend our lives, and if we do what we can 



for ourselves, He is mighty and ready to do moi 
for us. 

And if the sinner prays, " Create in me a clean 
heart, and renew a right spirit within me," God 
seems to turn the words of the prayer back upon the 
sinner, " Make you a new heart and a new spirit 
"Why will ye die, house of Israel? Wherefore 
turn yourselves and live ye." 



EOM. viii. 34. 

" .ft es Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is 
even at the right hand of God, who also maketh inter 
cession for us." 

TT is worthy of remark that the word Christianity 
is never found in the pages of Holy Scripture. 
If it had been found there, of course it would have 
been as a new word ; but the writers of Holy Scrip 
ture did not invent new words, but took those which 
they found in daily use, and stamped them with 
a new value to serve new purposes. Most of their 
words, which have now almost exclusively a Chris 
tian sense, were very ordinary and common words 
when they were adopted and appropriated by the 
Apostles. "The Gospel," for instance, speaks for 
itself as a Christian word, but it is the translation 
of a word that might have been used by any pagan 
author for a message of good tidings, which in fact 
it is. The word itself is, as we may expect, one of 
the most common words in the language in which 
Scripture is written. When we hear of the Church^ 
we at once think of the whole body of Christians, 
or of a particular congregation of them; but when 
the Apostles took it up it meant merely a " meeting 
of the people in their ordinary place of assembly." 

250 Chris tianity wlia t f 

Now these words constantly occur in the Acts and 
Epistles of the Apostles. We hear that in one place 
they preached the Gospel, in another that the word 
of God grew and prevailed mightily, in another that 
the Lord added daily to the Church such as should 
be saved, and so forth, in instances without number. 
And it is said that the disciples were called Chris 
tians first at Antioch, whether by themselves, or by 
Jews or heathen we cannot say, but we know that 
they accepted the title willingly, and gave themselves 
up to death or torture rather than renounce the name. 
But the word Christianity itself, and such expressions 
as the progress, and practice, and principles of Chris 
tianity, are nowhere to be found. Nor is this any 
objection to the word, or difficult to be accounted 
for as a fact. It is a word that was the produce 
of reflexion when the Gospel had asserted its posi 
tion in the world, and men were bound to take notice 
of it. When Christians had become a large and 
important body of men, living under a certain rule, 
holding certain principles, paying a manifest obedi 
ence to laws, which were not those of the outward 
political world, and looking up to a common head, 
then it was time for such a word as Christianity to 
be invented. The system had come into existence, 
and a word was needed to represent it, so that it 
might be compared with other systems, as, e.g., with 
Judaism, Heathenism, and Mahometanism, and many 
other isms which modern times have produced in more 
or less close connexion with it. And now men can 
talk freely of Christianity, and acknowledge what 

Chris tianitij what? 251 

great things the genius or spirit of Christianity has 
done for the progress and improvement of the world. 
And all persons who are more or less under the 
influence of that spirit, or who are members of 
a society which has not repudiated it, are conven 
tionally supposed to be Christians, unless, indeed 
which is a portent not altogether unknown in these 
days they positively and for themselves repudiate the 
name. We would not of course call a man a Chris 
tian in the face of his own denial that he was one, 
but such few cases excepted, we assume, as a matter 
of course, that all the persons that we meet are 
Christians. I am speaking of course of our own 
and other civilized countries, the day may yet be far 
distant before we can speak in the same terms of the 
whole world. And as Christianity may cover whole 
nations with the breadth of its name, so the effects 
or influence of Christianity may be seen all over the 
world, and he need not be a Christian himself who 
acknowledges them. These effects are undoubted, 
though they have in some cases, perhaps, been ex 
aggerated. The Church has in many of its branches, 
from time to time, sunk into the corruptions of 
Heathenism, yet all will allow that Christianity has 
raised the general tone of morality, wherever it has 
prevailed. It has brought virtues to light which 
were little thought of before, it has condemned vices 
that were almost sanctioned by public opinion. It 
has raised woman to her true position of honour and 
dignity in relation to man, though the present ten 
dency in some quarters seems to be to displace her 

252 Chris tian ity w ha t ? 

from it, under pretence of raising her to a more com 
plete equality. It has struck the fetters off the slave, 
and perhaps doomed him to extinction in the pre 
sence of a superior race. Twenty years ago it was 
thought that it had, or was going to, put an end to 
war, because people of all nations were brought 
together to exhibit their commodities under a glass 
roof. It is true that since then the ingenuity of men 
has been mainly employed in improving implements 
of destruction for their horrible work, and blood has 
been poured out in every quarter of the world like 
water, so that if exhibitions are of any use in this 
respect, we wonder how things could have been 
much worse without them. But Christian charity 
has yet found a field for herself on the plain of 
battle, and it is some mitigation of the horrors of 
war, that it is considered inhuman to destroy an 
enemy with an explosive bullet of less than a certain 
size. Again, Christianity has been credited with the 
general extension of intercourse between nations, and 
I remember a distinguished statesman saying that 
the Gospel meant, or rather was, free trade. No 
doubt the Gospel, by teaching that " God hath made 
of one blood all nations of men to dwell on all the 
face of the earth," has done much to remove the 
barriers to free intercourse between people and 
people, and the lines that separated Jew, and Greek, 
and Barbarian, and bond and free, disappear under 
the Gospel ; and the sense of union in one common 
nature, though this is denied by some, must tend 
towards the increase both of commercial inter- 

Chris tianity what ? 253 

course and every other form of communion between 
man and man. But I should myself rather look for 
the fruit of Christianity in fair dealing, and just 
measures, and in the conferring of mutual bene 
fits, than in the simple extension of trade, which 
may after all only make the most successful trader 
liable to the curse of St. James : " Go to now ye 
rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall 
come upon you. Your riches are corrupted and your 
garments are moth eaten. Your gold and silver is 
cankered, and the rust of them shall be a witness 
against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were. Ye 
have indeed heaped treasure together for the last 
days." However, I am the last person to deny what 
Christianity, or rather Christian man, is believed to 
have done for the improvement of the world, and the 
belief itself may be accepted as a witness of the life 
and power of Christianity. 

On the other hand, those who go along with the 
influences that tend to the improvement of the world, 
and which undoubtedly belong to Christianity, and 
possibly throw themselves into the movement, are 
liable to be called and considered, perhaps to consider 
themselves, Christians without Christ. For it is not 
with Christ our Lord as it is with other reformers 
and benefactors of mankind. There have been others 
before and after Him to whom we owe a debt of 
gratitude, though their names may be to many of you 
unknown. And it is not necessary that they should 
be known. You reap all the benefit of their labours, 
their genius, their industry, and their devotion, 

254 Chris tianity what ? 

without knowing the persons to whom you are in 
debted. All persons share in the great inheritance 
of civilization, of material comfort, and of thought, 
that has been accumulated during the successive 
generations of their fathers. 

Some have passed away, having simply enjoyed 
this inheritance as most do, others have enlarged 
and enriched it for those who should be born here 
after. Educated persons may properly think it a 
duty of gratitude to preserve the memory of those 
without whom they would never have been what 
they are; and antiquarian curiosity may hunt out 
details of the lives and histories of such persons 
that seem to be of small importance. Sometimes 
party or political feeling will take up a name as 
representative of a particular cause, and place the 
bearer of it on a pedestal made for the occasion. 
Sometimes local or professional feeling will fasten 
on some forgotten worthy, and make or find a con 
venient niche for a figure that will soon be forgotten 
again. But on the whole we are content to enjoy, 
and we do enjoy, whatever comes ready to our hands, 
without troubling ourselves about the names of those 
who have thus provided for us. But it is far different 
as regards Him, whom we look to as the object of 
our faith. By common consent Jesus Christ has 
wrought a greater change in the world than any who 
have attempted to reform or benefit it, before or 
since. And we cannot avoid falling under the influ 
ence of what He has done, and sharing in the benefits 
He has conferred, whether we will or no. In that 

Christianity what? 255 

sense we must all of us be Christians, for the in 
heritance of Christianity has descended to us, and 
we cannot repudiate it. But the true nature of 
Christianity consists in this, that it connects us 
directly, not with any system, or principles of con 
duct, or even doctrine, but with the person of its 
founder, with Christ Himself. Men may be good 
men, men of charity and virtue, given to good works, 
leading lives of purity, a blessing to all around them, 
and may reap the reward of all this, as I have no 
doubt many heathens will do ; but they are no true 
Christians unless they attach themselves consciously 
and really to the very person of Christ. The Apo 
stles did not preach Christianity as a plan or system, 
but Christ Jesus Himself. And herein they only 
followed His own example. If it is true in one 
sense that He did not bear witness of Himself, save by 
the works that the Father had given Him to finish, 
it is emphatically true that he did preach Himself, 
and Himself alone. " Come unto Me," He said, 
"all that labour and are heavy laden, and / will 
give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn 
of Me ; for I am meek and lowly of heart, and ye 
shall find rest for your souls." " I am the resurrec 
tion and the life ; he that believeth in Me, though he 
were dead, yet shall he live. And whosoever liveth 
and believeth in Me shall never die." The preach 
ing of the Apostles is variously described, as, e.g., that 
they preached the Word or the Gospel, but it all 
amounts to the same thing. The substance of what 
they really preached was the person of Christ. Christ 

256 Chris tianity w ha t ? 

is Christianity, or rather Christianity is Christ, though 
this present age is not disposed to view it in that 
light. Christianity is not related to Christ, as any 
philosophy or system of doctrine to the person who 
invented it and then launched it upon the world, 
leaving it from thenceforth to rest upon its own 
merits, and implying no necessary relation, beyond 
that of history, between its author and those who 
may hereafter accept it. It is true that devotion to 
the memory of one who has done great things for us, 
must be a natural sentiment in the minds of those 
who have an intelligent apprehension of what has 
been done for them. But this, though part, is a 
small part of the tie which must unite the Christian 
to his Lord and Master. It belongs to Christianity, 
that day by day, and hour by hour, the Christian 
lives in conscious self- sustained communion with 
Him who is the ever-living and ever-present Author 
of his creed and life. Take away Christ and Chris 
tianity perishes, whatever moral or social good may 
incidentally remain. It is not a doctrine bequeathed 
by Him to a world, with which He has now ceased 
personally to have any dealings ; it becomes extinct 
directly men begin to abstract it from the person of 
its Founder. He is felt by His people to be their 
ever-living Lord, present with them now and for 
ever, even to the end of the world. Christians 
form a distinct society, but how different from any 
other society, for there are other societies be 
sides Christians. Men are bound together by various 
ties, and are formed into various groups. They are 

Christianity what ? 257 

united both by natural and voluntary associations. 
Localities of birth and nationality both separate and 
combine men into different families ; kindred pur 
suits are the bond of union between many. "What 
ever object it is possible for men to pursue pleasure, 
profit, or instruction may become the basis of an 
association. But all these combinations are of a tem 
porary and superficial character; they exist mainly 
during our own pleasure, and may be broken off at 
an instant. They do not go to the heart and life of 
our being ; we can sever ourselves from them as we 
will, and enter into ne\v combinations, without really 
being affected by them as men. But Christians are 
one body, and cannot be otherwise ; one, not by act 
and will of their own, or by power of flesh and blood, 
but by a marvellous union with Christ the Head, 
"from which all the body, by joints and bands, hav 
ing nourishment ministered, and knit together, in- 
creaseth with the increase of God." 

And so it is our office and our duty to preach 
Christ. Faithful are we in the discharge of our duty 
if we do in fact preach Him. If we go into topics 
which do not seem to be necessarily connected with 
Him ; if we speak to you of repentance, of good 
works, of righteous living, of charity, of temperance, 
of the practical duties of life, our preaching is vain, 
if the end is not to bring you round to Him. We 
have just passed over a great day of the year, and 
one which I wish was more observed among you. 
We have been brought round to the last act and 
the final close of Christ s mission upon earth. There 


258 Chris tianity w ha t ? 

is nothing more to be done, nothing beyond to be 
commemorated. That which is to follow has no 
memory in our minds, we can only dwell upon it in 
anticipation. u Ought not Christ to have suffered 
these things, and to enter into His glory ? " It was 
decreed in the mystery of God s eternal counsels that 
He should so suffer. All things that were written 
in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in th< 
Psalms concerning Him have been fulfilled, and H( 
has therefore entered into His glory. And we, if w< 
are His, may on this day ask with something like 
the manifest exultation of St. Paul, "Who shall la; 
anything to the charge of God s elect? It is God 
that justifieth. Who is he that eondemneth ? It 
is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, 
who is even at the right hand of God, who also 
maketh intercession for us." He died as man, because 
for this purpose He came into the world. He rose 
again for our justification, as He had Himself fore 
told, and to that sign He appealed, by which men 
might know His real claim to their homage. His 
resurrection is but the prelude to His ascension into 
heaven ; and there He sits to complete, in the pre 
sence of the Father, the work which it was given 
Him to do on earth. His intercession is omnipotent ; 
He intercedes by His very presence, but not as any 
human intercessor. He is no suppliant before the 
majesty of God; He is a Priest, but a Priest all- 
powerful upon a throne. All power is given Him 
in heaven and in earth. All things are put in sub 
jection under His feet. To be a Christian is not to 

Christianity what ? 259 

be a philosopher, or a moralist, or a philanthropist, 
but to look to Ilim as our Lord and God, the object 
of our faith, the receiver of our prayer, the source of 
our life. 

"Who shall separate us from the love of Him?" 
asks the Apostle in the sequel of my text. "I am 
persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, 
nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, 
nor things to come ; nor height, nor depth, nor any 
other creature, shall be able to separate us from the 
love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." 



imugtjttr 0f ^ivfy, bifr. 

2 SAM. xxi. 14, 

" And after that God was intreatedfor the land" 

THE chapter which you have heard this morning as 
the first lesson of the day contains an episode or 
isolated event in the history of David, to which it is 
difficult to assign any definite place in the history of 
his reign. It commemorates one of the many judg 
ments and deliverances of his people by which his 
reign was marked, but we are unable to say why it 
was introduced in this particular place. Neither 
need we maintain that it is the most instructive pas 
sage of his history that could be offered for our con 
sideration, but such as it is, I do not think the short 
time generally allotted to a sermon will be wasted 
by the attention which I propose to pay unto it. It 
is a history of punishment long deferred, but in the 
end certain to be inflicted, for a cruel and a grievous 
sin, and that not on the author of the sin himself, 
but on those who owed to him the gift of their ex 
istence ; and it will be well worth our while to con 
sider it, if it only serve to impress upon our min< 
that the evil which we do does not always end wit! 
ourselvBS, but tends to propagate itself, and involve 
in the penalties due to us those who are personally 

What Rizpah, the daughter of AM, did. 201 

innocent of our sins. The Gibeonites were among 
the ancient inhabitants of Canaan, and you may re 
member how it was that they were exempted from 
the general sentence of extermination that was passed 
upon that unhappy race. It seems that they saw 
further into the future than the other nations of the 
guilty land, and while the other peoples and their 
kings gathered themselves to resist the invaders by 
arms, a certain presentiment of their utter destruction, 
warned them to seek safety by submission, accom 
panied by what we should consider a very pardonable 
act of fraud. They sent an embassy to Joshua, with 
old sacks upon their asses, old and patched-up wine 
bottles, worn-out garments and shoes, and every mark 
of a long and tedious travel. They represented that 
they had come from a distance, where the report of 
the prowess of the army of Israel had reached them, 
and were anxious for terms of peace with the mighty 
nation whose host at that time filled the camp at 

To Joshua they were as strangers, and he pro 
fessed that he had never heard of them ; but when 
they offered voluntary submission and vassalage he 
received them nnder his protection, and engaged to 
them that they should live without molestation ; and 
the princes of the congregation entered into a solemn 
covenant with them on these terms. They had not 
been too quick in their movement, for only three 
days after, Joshua learned the deceit that had been 
practised upon him, and that the men whom he had 
engaged to preserve were of the race which he was 

262 What Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, did. 

commissioned to destroy. The people, when they 
knew the truth, were clamorous for their destruction, 
and it required all the firmness of Joshua and the 
princes to resist the popular feeling, and maintain an 
engagement which had been wrested from him by 
deceit, but the terms of which nevertheless he felt 
bound by the sanctity of an oath to observe. But 
he had sworn only that their lives should be spared, 
and they had no other claim upon him ; they were 
an humble and submissive people, their spirits were 
utterly subdued, and they were well satisfied with 
the condition allotted to them. They became a kind 
of inferior caste, though with a kind of dignity 
attached to their degradation. For " Joshua made 
them that day hewers of wood and drawers of water 
for the congregation, and for the altar of the Lord, 
even unto this day in the place which the Lord shall 

Now this was four hundred years and more before 
the time of Saul, and one might have thought that 
a people so usefully and humbly employed, with 
a prescription of four hundred years forbearance in 
their favour, might have been safe from the fury, if 
they could not escape the notice, of the capricious and 
violent king. Yet for some cause or other they fell 
under his wrath, and we may conjecture from the 
language of Scripture that the result was a general 
if not an universal massacre of the helpless and un 
offending tribe. One expression gives us a clue to 
the king s motive : he did it in " his zeal to and for 
the children of Israel and Judah." He acted for the 

What Rizpah, the daughter of Aia/i, did. 2G3 

good of his people, and thought it was for their in 
terest that the feeble remnants of these ancient 
nations should no longer be permitted to exist among 
them. And we can hardly help contrasting and con 
necting his cruelty toward this helpless tribe with 
his disobedient mercy toward Agag and the Amale- 
kites. By his wilful disobedience, then, he lost the 
throne to his family for ever, and it is possible that 
by his equally wilful severity here he might have 
thought of repairing the loss, and atoning for his sin. 
The great fault in the character of Saul was that he 
would not submit himself to the direction of God, 
and do the work for which he was appointed in the 
way in which it was commanded to be done. He 
could not resign himself to be a mere instrument, 
but must act upon his own judgment, and take his 
own course. Having been brought to a true sense of 
his sin in his treatment of Amalek, it would belong 
to the same temper of mind to offend in the other 
direction by slaying those whom he was under a 
solemn covenant to spare. Were they not of the 
same blood as the nations that he was commanded to 
destroy utterly? and were they to continue for ever 
to enjoy the advantages of a fraud, and the protec 
tion of an oath that ought never to have been given 
them? If he had spared Amalek, and thereby lost 
his high position, might it not be accepted as a com 
pensation, and be set down to his credit on the other 
side, that he had massacred Gibeon ? and would not 
his zeal for Israel and Judah be a. sufficient justifi 
cation for the deed ? We are speaking of times when 

264 What Rizpali, the daughter of Aiah, did. 

men were familiar with deeds of blood and slaughter, 
but the tendency of human nature, in its self-defence, 
to set one thing thus against another, and our will 
and choice against our positive duty, is the same in 
all times, under every possible difference of circum 
stance. Saul had yet to learn and few of us are 
there who have not yet to learn the lesson that " to 
obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the 
fat of rams." His act of mistaken zeal, so far from 
being acceptable to God, became a sin and a curse, 
bringing evil to his people, and destruction to his 

In the reign of his great successor a famine arose 
in Israel. For two years it was endured in silence, 
and no doubt attributed to natural causes. Perhaps 
there was nothing extraordinary in two years drought 
or unfruitful harvests, but in the third year things 
began to look serious, and David enquired of the 
Lord. Then the truth became known that God was 
angry with His people, and that they were suffering 
the penalties of their sovereign s crime. When 
David knew the cause he at once proceeded to offer 
such satisfaction as the nature of the case allowed. 
As the Gibeonites were the injured parties, he placed 
himself in their hands to do whatever they required ; 
"What shall I do for you, and wherewith shall I 
make atonement that ye may bless the inheritance 
of the Lord ?" Their answer was in accordance with 
the ideas and temper of the times, and shews a noble 
ness of spirit and a sense of justice which four cen 
turies of oppression had not destroyed. 

What Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, did. 2G5 

They might have asked for some sordid compen 
sation for themselves, for some relief from their 
burthens, or improvement in their social or po 
litical position ; but their demands, if cruel and 
bloody, were at least unselfish ; they asked for neither 
liberty, nor gold and silver, nor the death of any 
other Israelite. It was the house of Saul that had 
outraged them, and the vengeance shall be confined 
to the house of Saul. I think we may almost acquit 
them of any feeling of personal vengeance, they 
thought rather of justice, and what was due to God. 
They were placed in the position of judges, and they 
considered, according to their own ideas, what justice 
required. The law of God was before them, " He 
that sheddeth man s blood, by man shall his blood 
be shed," and it was open to their very eyes that 
God was " visiting the sins of the fathers upon the 
children ; " and it was in accordance with the measure 
which God was dealing to His people that they de 
manded in exchange for their own sons the lives of 
seven of Saul s sons. The strong sense of justice in 
the mind of David, and his affection that must have 
been deeply wounded by the terrible demand, did not 
shrink from the sacrifice, and he delivered unto death 
two of Saul s own children by Bizpah, and five 
grandchildren, who are described as " the sons of 
Michal, the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up 
for Adriel, the son of Barzillai, the Meholathite." 

There is some difficulty in the history here, for you 
may remember that David himself was married to 
Michal. But we learn from the same history that 

266 What Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, did. 

Merab her sister, who was first offered to David, was 
married to Adriel, and it would seem probable, on 
the supposition of her death, that her children were 
adopted by Michal, and brought up by her for their 
father. If this were so, and it entirely agrees with 
the language of Scripture in this place, they musl 
have been almost as children to David himself, but 
he could not bring himself to give up Mephibosheth, 
the son of Jonathan, for the oath s sake, and the love 
that had bound him to his father. But the number 
was made complete, the seven were given up, and 
hanged before the Lord, as an offering to Him, and 
not to human vengeance, in Gibeah of Saul. Saul s 
own city was the scene of the execution. Those pos 
sibly who had witnessed the crime were made wit 
nesses to the punishment. They were hanged upon 
the hill before the Lord, that all men might see their 
doom, for a warning to those who had aided or been 
present at the oppression of the helpless. And here 
is narrated a very affecting incident, which gives a 
colour of tenderness and human feeling to what we 
might otherwise consider, and rightly should con 
sider, if enacted in our own days, a picture of ruth 
less barbarity. It was the beginning of barley har 
vest, and from that time till the rain fell we know 
not how long the bodies of the slaughtered victims 
were kept hanging in their place of punishmenl 
Not till the seasonable rain gave tokens of the Lord 
reconciliation were they removed from their gibbets, 
and the people of Gibeah had the ghastly memorial 
before their eyes. It may be presumed that they 

Wliat Eizpah, the daughter of Aiah, did. 267 

averted their looks and turned their steps another 
way from the revolting spectacle of the putrifying 
corpses. But all that terrible time Bizpah, the 
daughter of Aiah, lay upon her bed of sackcloth 
upon the rock, and kept daily and nightly watch 
over the festering remains of her slaughtered sons. 
She was not entirely alone in her melancholy vigil, 
for the beasts of the field roamed round her by night, 
and the birds of prey wheeled round her during the 
day. Those who have been in countries that lie under 
the keener influence of the sun know very well 
what that implies. "Where the carcass is, there 
shall the eagles be gathered together." You see 
them, if any animal has died, or beast of burthen 
has fallen by the way, mustering at once from every 
quarter of heaven. You cannot tell where they come 
from, or what secret attraction is drawing them to 
their prey. It cannot be sight, for they seem to 
rise from far below the visible horizon. It can 
hardly be scent, for they come from the direction 
of every wind that blows. But an unerring instinct 
guides or impels them, and you see them in long 
lines traversing the breadth of sky, and all con 
verging to the point where nature summons them 
to their loathsome feast. Such creatures, probably 
of the vulture rather than of the eagle kind, kept 
screaming and croaking round the unhappy Kizpah 
on her sackcloth bed. But she kept her enemies 
at bay, and maintained her guard, "from the be 
ginning of harvest until water dropped upon them 
out of heaven. She suffered neither the birds of 

268 What Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, did. 

the air to rest upon them by day, nor the beasts 
of the field by night." And when the atonement 
was complete, and the rain from heaven gave evi 
dence that the wrath had passed away from Israel, 
we are glad to find in David also a return to the 
feelings and manners of humanity. He had given 
up the children and descendants of Saul, because 
he believed that the sacrifice was demanded by the 
God of justice ; but now that the sacrifice was com 
pleted and accepted, he treated their remains with 
all the honour due to the corrupting relics of mor 
tality. They were accursed in their death, but 
the curse had passed away, and they were reinstat 
in honour by their burial. He gathered the bone 
of the men that were hanged, and buried them with 
the bones of Saul and his own beloved Jonathan, 
in the sepulchre of Kish their father. He that 
lamented the lamentation which we have read in 
the beginning of this book, who spoke of Saul as 
the beauty of Israel, slain in its high places, of 
Saul and Jonathan as pleasant and lovely in their 
lives, and undivided in their death, who called upon 
all the daughters of Israel to mourn, and the dew to 
cease from the mountains of Gilboa, for the disgrace 
and death of their king could offer them no higher 
honour. They lie together, the offender and those 
who paid the penalty of his sin, their bones ming 
ling in the country of Benjamin, their common patri 
arch, in Zolah, their souls waiting the award which 
God will judge to every man in that day according 
to his work. 

What Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, did. 269 

I hope I may not be thought to have wasted time 
over a story the like of which can never be enacted 
again. It is impossible that such a series of events 
could take place in our own days and in this our 
land. But the tragedy is instructive to us by its 
very contrast. Few men now think of enquiring of 
the Lord concerning any evil that comes to us, as 
we say, in the course of nature. Drought and rain, 
storm and tempest, are natural events, and men look 
for the account of them in the laws that are ascer 
tained to regulate the course of nature. And it is 
perfectly right to search thus into the causes of 
things our reasoning powers were given us for 
this very purpose but if we are not to carry the 
search backwards to infinity it would seem certain 
that the chain of causes must begin somewhere, 
and that that beginning must be found in a per 
sonal, omnipotent, over-ruling will. In earlier times 
men looked for this will immediately behind the 
event which moved their gratitude, or excited their 
alarm ; and it is possible that as God spoke then 
in a more personal manner to His people, so His 
personal action on the very material elements of 
the world was more immediate and definite. Let 
not us, who are in so many respects better informed, 
turn the knowledge, which like every other good 
gift comes down to us from the Father of Light, 
against the truth of His over-ruling Providence. 

But this is too large a subject to enter upon now. 
I have thought the facts of the history well worthy 
of a morning s attention, and I can only leave 

270 What Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, did. 

them now to the reflections of those who are thought 
ful among you. But it will be well if it serve 
to remind us that in this world the innocent often 
suffer with and for the guilty ; the guilty are often 
saved from the consequences of their sin at the 
cost of the innocent. They may declaim against 
the justice of the dispensation, but they cannot 
deny the fact. It is illustrated by the ordinary 
experience of life, and it is sanctioned by the highest 
possible example. 

" Christ suffered once for all for sins, the just 
for the unjust, to bring us unto God;" nay, " He 
was made sin for us who knew no sin, that we might 
be made the righteousness of God in Him." 


GAL. vi. 14. 

The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world 
is crucified unto Me, and I unto the world. 11 

does the Church bring before us year 
after year the great facts of our Lord s life, 
by which our salvation was worked out. And not 
only are these facts brought annually to our re 
membrance by the words of the holy Evange 
lists, and many of them by holy days and comme 
morative festivals, but we are called upon to imitate 
and reproduce them after a manner in our own lives. 
The Christian life is indeed, and is intended to be, 
an exhibition of the Divine life of our Lord upon 
earth, cast as it were in the same mould, and pre 
senting the same essential features, as far as can be, 
in a grosser material. We find this to be the caso 
from the date of its commencement. His earthly 
course began with His birth into the world, so our 
heavenward course begins with our second birth. As 
in the assumption of our nature He was born of a pure 
virgin, and thereby became " the Son of Man," so 
did He give to as many as received Him power " to 
become the sons of God, even to them that believe 
on His name : which were born, not of blood, nor of 

272 Our Cross. 

the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of 
God." And as He thus, born among the children 
of men, grew and waxed strong in spirit filled with 
wisdom, so it is our prayer when thus received in 
the family of God, " that all things belonging to the 
Spirit may live and grow in us, and that we being 
regenerate may be daily renewed by the same Holy 
Spirit ; which God gave Him not by measure ; and of 
whose fulness we have all received, even grace for 
grace." The first step, therefore, of the Son of Man 
earthwards corresponds to our first step heaven 
wards, and so it is all through. As He in fact was 
made like unto us in all things, so it is our duty to 
be conformed to His image, and to be like Him in 
all things, even to the exclusion of sin ; and He has 
given us the power to be so when He gave us the 
power to become the sons of God. There is even 
a communion, a fellowship of suffering, between us 
and Him. In some mysterious mode His sufferings 
are ours, and ours are His. He bore our sorrows 
and they became His own. We are not His, unless 
His sorrows, too, are ours. St. Paul speaks con 
stantly of our being dead: " We are buried with 
Him by baptism unto death." "Ye are dead, and 
your life is hid with Christ in God." He argues 
upon this death as a fact that was beyond dispute, 
and that carried certain consequences with it, " If ye 
be dead with Christ, why, as though living in the 
world, are ye subject to ordinances?" Nay, we are dead 
by the very instrument of His death : " Our old man 
is crucified with Ilim." "They that are Christ s 

Our Cross. 273 

have crucified the flesh with the affections thereof." 
" The cross of Christ, whereby the world is crucified to 
Me and I unto the world." We do not stop even here. 
If we are buried with Him by baptism unto death, 
in baptism, too, we are risen with Him. We have 
passed through the grave and door of death not into 
nothingness, but into a new and spiritual life derived 
from Him who has life in Himself: "If ye be risen 
with Christ seek those things that are above." Nay, 
while we look hereafter for the glory that shall be 
revealed, and the earnest expectation of the creature 
waiteth.for the manifestation of the sons of God, even 
here we are in a manner glorified, and the Father of 
our Lord Jesus Christ " hath blessed us with all spi 
ritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ." 

Now the meaning of all these and other passages, 
though we may not be able to exhaust its fulness, is 
at the very least this, that the Christian life runs, and 
is intended to run, parallel in all its stages and 
in all its circumstances to the life of our great ex 
ample and Eedeemer. And this is true not only of 
our life, taken as a whole, but of each part of it, as 
it is divided into years. The mysteries of redemp- 
, tion recur, and their recurrence brings with it both 
the remembrance of old and the accession of new 
; grace to the Christian soul. If our spiritual birth 
! cannot be repeated, if once born again we cannot be 
born again a second time, any more than a man can 
enter his mother s womb and be born again when he 
is old, there is no reason why there should not be 
a sensible strengthening, a new spring of life on 


274 Our Cross. 

each feast of the Nativity. It may be a date not 
simply in our calendars, but to mark a sensible pro 
gress and a point gained in grace. Man, it is true, 
grows imperceptibly, and nature s growth, too, is 
mostly imperceptible. After a considerable interval 
we find our stature greater than it was, we see the 
result, but the process was too slow to note ; and so 
in nature. We see the blade, the ear, the full corn 
in the ear, and then we put in the sickle, but no eye 
can see, no measurement mark, the change that takes 
place from hour to hour, or even from day to day. 
So as to our spiritual growth ; if we are really 
making progress we can look back upon the past, 
and compare ourselves as we are with what we were. 
Happy are we if we see the bonds of sin loosened, 
our old follies left behind ; wonder at the temptations 
by which we were once led astray, and the seduc 
tions to which we yielded ; find our resolutions 
stronger and better kept, our thoughts more on God, 
and our minds set on things above ; but we cannot 
always trace each particular action of grace upon our 
hearts, or every motion of the Holy Spirit by which 
we were moved. "We cannot, I say, always do this, 
but it will be strange if no trace of hard conflicts 
with Satan and of Divine aid, no victory over our 
selves, no sense of special weakness and of strength 
renewed, no instance of the sufficiency of God s grace 
has any place in our recollections of the past. These 
were the critical points of our lives, and there are 
few men who cannot remember occasions when their 
fate seemed almost to be trembling in the balance. 

Our Cross. 275 

Yet it is possible to measure the years of our spi 
ritual as we do of our natural life, and we may find 
ourselves growing better as we know that we are 
growing older. And holy seasons like that on which 
we are just entering give us an opportunity of 
taking a survey of the past, comparing our present 
with our former stature, and ascertaining whether 
this is the case or no. Are the things belonging to 
the world and the flesh growing weaker in us, and the 
things belonging to the spirit growing stronger ? and 
what can we do towards crucifying the world and the 
flesh that claim dominion over us? This is a fit 
enquiry and a fit employment for the season of Lent. 
It is a fast of forty days, and in keeping it we are 
following the example of our Lord, who for our sake 
suffered being tempted, and is able to succour those 
who are tempted. There is indeed a difference be 
tween our temptations, and there is a mystery in His 
which we in vain attempt to solve. Every man is 
tempted when he is drawn away by his own lusts 
and enticed. Our own nature is our temptation, or 
if Satan tempts us directly it is through our nature. 
It is hard to see how his temptations could reach us 
if there were not in our nature lust, or pride, or 
some form of evil to which he could appeal. There 
must be some correspondence or affinity between the 
temptation that is outside and the evil tendency 
within. We could not be tempted by our bodily 
appetites if we were not susceptible of hunger and 
thirst ; objects of desire would have no influence upon 
us if there were no feelings of sensuality to be irri- 


276 Our Cross. 

tated by them; and the pomps and vanities of this 
world would have no attraction for us if there were 
no feelings of pride and ambition to be gratified by 
them. An old philosopher says that temptation 
assails those who have no understanding from every 
side. Every sense, and every feeling, and every 
power may be the avenue or vehicle of its approach, 
if it is not barred by the stern resolve of our higher 
powers ; our necessary employments, our tastes, our 
business, our pleasures, all of them may be the 
sources or encouragements of temptation. In our 
blessed Lord there was no trace of evil, no tendency 
to sin ; He took our nature on Him, but it was that 
pure, unspotted nature in which our first father was 
created, and which God pronounced good. The 
temptation, therefore, of Adam was external, we 
trace it not to himself, or his own appetites, but to 
the tempter. The serpent beguiled Eve and she did 
eat, and gave it to Adam, and thus they both fell. 
They were free from sin, and yet not beyond its 
power; they were in a state of probation, free to 
obey or disobey, free to choose life or death, not in 
that state in which the souls of the just made perfect 
live for ever beyond the possibility of misery. We 
can barely conceive how Adam was tempted and how 
he fell, but it is beyond our power to conceive 
how the force of temptation acted upon the pui 
soul of Him who was altogether holy, harmless, ui 
defiled, and separate from sinners. But in all thinj 
it behoved Him to be made like unto His brethren, 
and Divine wisdom found a way for that which 

Our Cross. 277 

passeth human understanding. It is possible, though 
it may seem a contradiction to say, that though He 
could not sin, though His divine purity repelled the 
very thought of evil, that the temptation itself and 
the nearness of sin was a sorer trial a trial that we 
cannot conceive to His perfect innocence than it 
can possibly be to us who are conceived in iniquity, 
and whose imaginations are evil from our youth 
upward. But if for our sake He was tempted in 
a way that man cannot understand, He resisted and 
conquered ; by the same arms that are put into our 
hands, and which are mighty now as then to pull 
down the strongholds of the enemy, by the spiritual 
armoury that is provided for us, and by the word of 
God which is the very sword of the Spirit, leaving us 
His example as an encouragement, that if we have 
the boldness to say to the tempter, " Get thee behind 
me, Satan," he will depart and leave us. 

And now the Church calls upon us, in imitation 
of Him, to keep the fast of forty days, as a prepara 
tion for the great day of atonement that we annually 
keep. How shall we keep this holy time to our 
profit, devoted as it is to the work of repentance and 
,the mortification of our sins? It would be mere 
i affectation to pretend to be ignorant that the idea, 
and still more the practice, of fasting in the literal 
i sense, as part of a religious discipline, is almost lost 
in this country. Yet it is strange that we who 
above all other Churches profess to reverence the 
Bible, and to understand it, and to draw each one 
|of us our faith and practice from it overlook or ex- 

278 Our Cross. 

plain away the many plain passages in Scripture 
which commend this practice to us, if they do not 
impose it on us. And I would suggest to you to 
consider when you meet with such passages whether 
there is not a reality and meaning in them which has 
hitherto escaped your notice? Is it to be supposed 
that our Lord would have given directions about our 
demeanour when we fast, as was read in the Gospel 
of this day, if it was intended that we should never 
fast at all ? and were prayer and fasting united by 
His word and by the practice of the Apostles simply 
in order that we might sever them in ours ? When 
our Saviour said " This kind goeth not out save 
by prayer and fasting," what could He mean, except 
that some evil spirits might yield to the two toge 
ther, who could resist prayer alone? And if there 
are no set fasts resting on the authority of our Lord, 
and if our own Church, though it has appointed fasts, 
or rather received those that have ever been observed 
in the Church, has prescribed no fixed mode of ob 
serving them, this is done not that the practice might 
be neglected among us, but that each member might 
look to his own edification, and the mortifying of 
his own particular lusts. 

The question, How shall we keep Lent to our 
advantage? is therefore still a practical one, and 
it concerns you all not to neglect it. Speaking to 
the poor it would be a mockery to urge them to 
abstain from the food so hardly earned by the labour 
of their hands, and necessary to enable them to 
sustain that labour. I would that your earnings 

Our Cross. 279 

were more ample, and such as to justify me in calling 
upon you to deny yourselves some little of what 
might be called the luxuries and superfluities of life. 
But I know that it would be an idle and a cruel 
thing to tell the poor that they ought to live on 
a harder or a scantier fare than is generally their 
portion. Yet surely if there is any indulgence that 
you feel to be unnecessary, or perhaps hurtful ; that 
brings no good upon your families, but rather ruin 
into what might be a happy homo; that draws you 
on the Lord s day far from, the House of God into 
the haunts of sin, that unfits you for the duties of 
your place, and degrades you in your own esteem, 
and in the sight of other men, this is the time to 
cast off the evil habit, and abjure the miserable 
thraldom, and crucify the evil lust that is leading 
you into perdition. And if we have any taste or 
any pursuit that is drawing us away further and 
further from God, any pleasure, however innocent 
in itself, that is getting a dangerous hold upon 
us, surely it is a wise institution of the Church 
which fixes a time when our thoughts may be turned 
backward on ourselves, and so directed upwards 
unto Him who claims the service of our hearts. In 
the Commination service of this morning you might 
have heard the curses pronounced by God s authority 
upon heinous sinners; but after the mention of 
various crimes and sins, punished by human law, 
or at least condemned by human law, we come to 
a curse which seems to me far more dreadful than 
those that have gone before, because we know not 

280 Our Cross. 

how far it will reach, who will be affected by it, 
or how near we may be to it ourselves : " Cursed 
is every one that putteth his trust in man ; and mak- 
eth man his defence, and in his heart goeth from 
the Lord." For if we fall not under the curse pro 
nounced against the unmerciful fornicators and adul 
terers, covetous persons, idolaters, slanderers, drunk 
ards, extortioners, it is so far well ; but it will avail 
us nothing for our salvation if our hearts have de 
parted from the Lord, if we are living without the 
love of Him, or even without the fear, caring only 
for the world without its grosser sins, and fixing 
our affections upon earthly things. Here, then, is 
an employment for Lent, or rather the end of our 
employment, whatever form it takes, to tear away 
our hearts from the world, and bind them closer 
unto God. "What is the world to a man who is 
dying on the Cross? Behold it is fading away in 
the night that is falling upon his eyes. Or what 
is the world to him whose life is hid with Christ 
in God ? It is a dead world crucified ; it hangs 
lifeless and worthless on the cross, and has no at 
traction for him. Therefore St. Paul speaks of the 
Cross of Christ, by whom the world is crucified 
to Me, and I unto the world." 

Happy those who in heart and soul, by endur 
ance and self-denial, by faith and prayer, make that 
cross their portion here, as it will be their strength 
and their salvation in the world to come. 


ailing itnb 

ST. MATT. xxii. 14. 

" For many are called^ but few are chosen." 

TIEESE words are what may be called the moral 
" of two parables, but I think it may be said that 
they do not give what seems to be the natural moral 
in either case. It is not at least the moral that 
strikes us at first sight, and we must look deeper 
than the surface to see how it is inherent in the 
substance of the parable. You must remember the 
impressive parable of the labourers called to work 
in the vineyard at the different hours of the day. 
How some went early in the morning, some at the 
third, the sixth, and ninth, some at the eleventh 
hour, after which there was no further call. You 
must remember how at the close of the day all were 
called together to receive their wages ; the last called 
receiving their wages first, and the others in like 
order, till the first came in their turn. And how 
these then murmured that they received no more, 
dissatisfied, not because their pay was insufficient, 
but because the others pay was equal to it. " These 
last have wrought but one hour, and Thou hast made 
them equal unto us, which have borne the burden 
and heat of the day." And you must remember, too, 

282 Calling and Election. 

the answer to these murmurers : " Friend, I do thee 
no wrong ; didst thou not agree with Me for a penny ? 
Take that thine is and go thy way. I will give to 
this last as even unto thee. Is it not lawful for Me 
to do what I will with Mine own ? Is thine eye evil, 
because I am good?" And the conclusion of all is, 
"The last shall be first, and the first last ] for many 
be called, but few chosen." Now the parables of 
our Lord have this divine peculiarity, that while 
the simplest minds can hardly fail to catch at once 
the practical meaning of them, there is a depth of 
inner wisdom in them that the spirit of man seems 
hardly able to fathom. They are at the same time 
the easiest and yet the most refined method of teach 
ing, equally suited to the elementary lessons of child 
hood, and the instruction of the perfect man of God. 
"What power of learning anything can that man or 
child possess who does not feel that this parable 
is an appeal made personally to himself, to leave 
the idle haunt of the market-place, and go and do 
the work that is waiting for him in the vineyard 
of the Lord? and yet how difficult it is to see the 
entire bearing of it upon the solemn and alarming 
conclusion by which it is wound up. For previously 
there has been no hint as to the relative numbers 
of those who were called at the various hours, no 
comparison of them as few or many. We are left 
in ignorance again as to the number of the mur 
murers; whether all who commenced their labours 
early in the morning or only some of them. The 
parable speaks of them in general terms, but our 

Calling and Election. 283 

Saviour addresses one of them individually, perhaps 
the spokesman or ringleader of the rest : " Friend, 
I do thee no wrong ;" but we only gather incident 
ally from the last words of the parable that he 
was the representative of the majority. And what 
I have said on this subject applies still more strongly 
to the parable with which we are now immediately 
concerned as the Gospel of the day. For here one 
person only is mentioned at all, one person only in 
the whole assembly found without a wedding garment, 
without a word to suggest that there was any other 
in the same state; and yet the warning meets us 
again that practically his was no exceptional case, 
but a type of many among which we ourselves may 
be found : " For many be called, but few chosen." 

The words are alarming, and fill us with the 
dread of exclusion while we count ourselves within 
the pale of safety. Let us endeavour to determine 
how they are intended to affect ourselves. Now 
I think there may be many calls and many choos- 
ings before we come to the final and irreversible 
election. Speaking generally, any presentation of 
truth or duty to the mind and heart of man is a 
call to those whom it reaches to embrace that truth 
and take up and follow out that line of duty. But 
what we mean by a call in a true religious sense 
is the opportunity of hearing, and the consequent 
duty of receiving, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There 
can be no doubt that all men to whom that Gospel 
is preached have in a general sense received a call. 
A call that does not necessarily reach the ears of 

284 Calling and Election. 

all with the same clearness and distinctness of tone, 
nor lay all under the same guilt for rejecting it; 
God alone is judge of that, whose ears are closed 
by dulness, whose heart is shut against the truth 
by wilfulness ; some cannot understand the things 
that belong to their peace, and are to be pitied ; 
others will not, and are to be condemned; "but 
the sound that is gone out into all lands " is surely 
a call of some kind, in whatever land its vibrations 
have made themselves felt. And those who are 
called in this way are, so far as they obey the call, 
and in fact whether they obey or not, elect , chosen 
that is, out of the rest of the world, as the recipients 
of a blessing not shared by others, distinguished 
by God s favour, and entrusted with the deposit of 
His truth, whether they will hear or whether they 
will forbear. Thus St. Paul writes to the Eomans 
generally as " called " to be saints, sanctified Le. 
by the Holy Ghost, that had been given them. 
And we find this and similar titles constantly used 
by St. Paul in his epistles to the other Churches, 
The Corinthians, for instance, are spoken of as 
" sanctified in Christ Jesus," called to be saints. 
And writing to the Ephesians he speaks of himself, 
with other members of the body of Christ, as 
"chosen in Him before the foundation of the world; 
to be holy and without blame before Him in love. 
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of chil 
dren by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the 
good pleasure of His will." It is clear, therefore, 
that a call is to those whom it reaches an election, 

Calling and Election. 285 

or selection, to some particular favour which is not 
extended to the world at large. A call in fact in 
cludes an election, just as the greater and more 
general includes the lesser and more special. All 
who are elected are called, but all who are called 
are not elected. And if it is asked wherein is the 
ground and basis of the distinction, it seems to me 
to lie in this. That whereas the call lies entirely 
outside our own act and concurrence, we cannot 
be elect without the consent and agreement of our 
own wills. It is said in our Articles that we 
through grace obey the calling, and he must know 
little of his own heart who imagines that he can 
raise himself from earth to heaven without the 
aid of Divine Grace at each successive step. Nor 
will we perplex ourselves here with endeavouring 
to determine the action of Divine Grace upon the 
will of man. It is enough to know, and a practical 
answer to all questions to feel, within ourselves 
that God is working with us both to will and to 
do according to His pleasure, and they that obey 
the call will be conscious to themselves that it is 
by grace that they obey it. Anyhow they obey 
it, and by that act they rise from the lower rank 
of the " called " to the higher order of the elect. 
But this is, after all, the first degree of election, 
and they cannot rest on the first stage of their 
ascent All Christian life is indeed but a series 
of calls, and there is a sifting and election on each 
successive call. "We are called out of darkness 
into light, out of ignorance into knowledge, from 

286 Calling and Election. 

worldly into spiritual duties and relations, from 
a low and sensual life into a high and hea 
venly one, from the shadows and vanities of this 
world into the truth and realities of a better. 
"Wherever we are there is an onward call to us 
to be something better than we are, more pure, 
more holy, more self-denying, more like Him that 
has called us out of darkness into His marvellous 
light, and wills that where He is, there we should 
be also, 

But this election to the higher implies of necessity 
the rejection of those who are content with the lower. 
It is a process continually going on, God is per 
petually inviting us to higher privileges and a fuller 
portion of His love. His Holy Spirit is ever striving 
with us to raise our thoughts and purify our hearts, 
and conform our will entirely to His Will. It is 
ours to choose, and thereby we shew that we are 
chosen. It is ours to reject, and thereby we shew 
that we are rejected by Him. The work of refine 
ment, clearing off the grosser elements and sepa 
rating the higher ones, is constantly in progress. 
" Many are called but few are chosen." These words 
are intended not to depress or discourage us, but 
to make us what we must needs be here, diligent and 
careful, working out our own salvation in fear and 
trembling, for the very reason that it is God who 
worketh with us and in us. What was the case 
of this man of whom we have just been hearing in 
the Gospel ? He was called, and he obeyed the call. 
He was not among those who made light of the 

Calling and Election. 287 

message, or pleaded their pleasure or their business, 
or who entreated spitefully and slew the messengers 
who came to call them. lie was found at the mar 
riage supper of the King, and surely it was no uncer 
tain sign of election, and no small degree of favour 
to be admitted to the royal feast. Good and bad 
were there, for the wedding was prepared for both. 
Good men such as Cornelius, whose prayers and alms 
had already gone up as a memorial to God. Gentiles, 
who having not the law, yet shewed the work of it 
written in their hearts, and were a law unto them 
selves ; others far gone in moral depravity, sinners 
of the worst class, which St. Paul enumerates, adding 
of the Corinthians " and such were some of you." 
This man was amongst them, but he was without the 
wedding garment. It is idle to enquire, how could 
it have been otherwise? How, gathered in hastily, 
unsummoned, from the highways, could he have pro 
vided himself with one ? The difficulty belongs sim 
ply to the earthly details of the parable, and does 
not attach to the spiritual truth. It would not have 
been inconsistent with the custom of a royal banquet, 
prepared with the magnificence due to the marriage 
of a king s son, that all the guests were provided 
with garments for the occasion. There are traces of 
such a custom existing in the East in former times. 
At all events the gift of costly garments on a great 
occasion was considered to be a gift worthy of 
a king, and the rejection of the gift could not be 
taken otherwise than as a marked affront. Had this 
man no opportunity of dressing himself as the other 

288 Calling and Election. 

guests, it is clear that a great wrong was done unto 
him. But whatever others may say or think on his 
behalf he himself had nothing to say, he was speech 
less, his mouth stopped, actually gagged, with no plea 
of inability, no defence for his contemptuous be 
haviour; he was self-condemned, and judgment im 
mediately was pronounced against him : " Bind him 
hand and foot and take him away, and cast him into 
outer darkness. There shall be weeping and gnash 
ing of teeth." 

There is something very striking in the circum 
stance that no one seems to have observed the state 
of this man till " the King Himself came in to see the 
guests." None had seen him before, or at least ven 
tured to remove him. It was the servants work 
to gather in the guests, and they had discharged it 
faithfully, but, as in the parable of the wheat and 
tares, there could be no separation of the worthy and 
unworthy till He whose ministers they were ap 
peared. And most fit it was that this office should 
be reserved for Him. For the outer garment which 
all may see and judge is but the figure; the real 
garment for the marriage-feast is the clothing of the 
inner man, which is seen and known not of man, but 
of God. 

It is idle to be over curious in enquiring what 
that grace was in which he was wanting, when we 
know what God requires us to be. God requires us 
to believe in Him, to obey Him, and to love Him. 
Shall we say that his faith was evident from his 
being there at all, when like others he might have 

Calling and Election. 289 

refused to come, and therefore say that he had faith, 
but was lacking in charity ? There is no advantage 
in thus setting up one grace against another, as 
though it were possible for them to be independent 
of each other. If his faith went no further than 
to bring him to the feast, because he believed there 
would be a feast, without any regard to his own 
fitness to appear there, it was that faith which is 
pronounced dead, not that which worketh by, or 
rather is made active and energetic by, love ; that 
faith which is less than charity, not because charity 
is without it or distinct from it, but because charity 
is its flower and crown. He had not, according to 
the language of St. Paul, put on Christ, clothed him 
self with His righteousness, faith being the power 
that is put on, righteousness the robe that is worn, 
a robe not of our weaving, not made with hands, and 
yet akin to us, fitting and adorning our natures, 
though far above them, freely offered to all, and 
received by those who will receive it ; the righteous 
ness which is in Christ, who is indeed the " Lord 
our Bighteousness." 

When our blessed Lord was asked, " Are there few 
that be saved ? " as a speculative question, He did 
not care to give a direct answer to it, but evaded 
it, as we say, by a solemn and practical warning : 
" Strive to enter in at the strait gate," but He 
added, " For many, I say unto you, will seek to enter 
in, and shall not be able." There were then, and 
there are now, many obstacles between men and the 
kingdom of Heaven. It was, as our Saviour says, 


290 Calling and Election. 

suffering violence, and the strong men were taking 
it by force. There was the barrier of Jewish pre 
judices to be broken, and the conceit of Jewish pride 
to be humiliated, the folly of ages, inveterate in the 
human mind, and miscalled wisdom, to be convinced, 
human nature itself to be overcome, persecution 
promised and sure to ensue, to be encountered and 
endured. Nothing but a strong purpose and a reso 
lute will, divinely formed and strengthened, could 
be expected to embrace a religion with such require 
ments and such prospects. A dilatory wish and 
a feeble sentiment under such circumstances would 
lead to nothing. Most of these difficulties have dis 
appeared, the material obstacles that could keep men 
out of the kingdom of Heaven are less than nothing. 
The difficulties and obstacles that remain are simply 
those that arise from the state of our own hearts. 
It is still a strife and a struggle to enter in, and 
maintain our place there when we have entered. 
It is according to that state that we shall be judged 
by the Discerner of all hearts when He shall come in 
to see the guests. Let the knowledge that if there 
be but one in the furnished room unworthy to sit 
there the eye of the King will be on him in an 
instant, and detect and condemn his unworthiness, 
make us give heed. But let us not, on the strength 
of our Saviour s words of caution, narrow the breadth 
of God s kingdom, either to the exclusion of others 
or our own despair. Let us rather think of His large 
and liberal words of invitation, of God s unbounded 
rnercy, of the Saviour s own assurance, " that whoso- 

Calling and Election. 291 

ever cometh unto Him, lie will in no wise cast out." 
Be sure there is a place for us among those that 
shall come from the east and from the west, and 
from the north and from the south, and sit down 
in the kingdom ; among that great multitude which 
no man can number, of all nations, and kindreds, 
and people, and tongues, who, after the sealed of 
Israel, will stand before the throne and the Lamb, 
clothed with white robes and palms in their hands, 
crying with a loud voice, " Salvation to our God and 
unto the Lamb." 


EOM. vi. 21. 

" What fruit had ye then in those things whereof 
ye are now ashamed?" 

CT. PAUL makes an appeal here to the experience 
of those to whom he is writing. He had not 
drawn from his imagination such attractive and 
repulsive pictures of two different modes of life 
as might come from the pen of a philosopher, or 
moralist, or poet, and then asked them which they 
preferred, as to its pleasures, or troubles, or results, 
but he writes to them as men who in their own 
persons had already, so to speak, passed through 
one state of existence, and had now entered upon 
another. Pictures of happiness or misery as re 
sulting from this or that line of conduct may have 
their influence on our hearts, and we may be drawn 
onward in our heavenly course by the idea of " things 
which the eye hath never seen, nor the ear heard, 
nor hath it entered into the heart of man to con 
ceive;" but there is no teacher like experience, 
and he that has passed through that ordeal can give 
an answer to the question that is asked him, as to 
what the real state of things is which no amount of 
mere thought or imagination can supply. St. Paul, 

Conversion. 293 

therefore, puts this plain question to tho experience 
of the Komans, "What fruit had ye then in those 
things whereof ye are now ashamed?" They had 
lived one life, and they were now living another, 
and they could compare the two together. If we 
want to know what life they had lived, it is de 
scribed in few but very significant words: "They 
had been servants, or rather slaves, of sin, 
their affections had been given up to sin, and 
righteousness had no share in them." And as in 
all natural motion there must be a point from which, 
and a point to which, and a space through which 
the motion takes place, so is it with regard to moral 
and spiritual change. Servants of sin, that was 
their fixed and normal state, their starting-point, 
so to speak. "But they had obeyed from the 
heart that form of doctrine that was delivered to 
them." Ilere was the change or motion of the 
inner man, and it is worth noticing how it is 
described. We should be disposed to connect a form 
of doctrine, i.e. a system of truth, rather with the 
understanding than with the heart, and should 
speak of a man rather as assenting to it, and be 
lieving in it, than as obeying it. Thus if I were 
able to teach an ignorant person the laws of astro 
nomy, or ,any other laws of the material universe, and 
bring them home to his comprehension, I should say 
that he took them in or made himself master of 
them rather than that he obeyed them. The natural 
world goes on the same, whether we know its laws 
or are ignorant of them ; and the man of science 

294 Conversion. 

deals with tangible things in very much the same 
way as the practical man who has no pretensions 
to science. People formerly thought, and very ignor 
ant persons may even now think, that the sun moves 
daily round the earth, and each glorious morning 
recalls to us the idea of " this ruler of the day com 
ing forth as a bridegroom out of his chamber, and 
rejoicing as a giant to run his course." But if 
we know how to distinguish between appearances 
and reality, the daily routine of our lives does not 
seem to be in any way affected by the knowledge. 
" Man goeth forth to his work and to his labour 
until the evening/ without thinking how it is that 
day succeeds to night, and night to day. I am far 
from saying that science is of no use to life, but that 
men live a great part of their lives without conscious 
obedience to it. The laws of the material world 
do not necessarily become laws of their conduct. 
And this is the great difference between natural 
and religious truth. Eeligious truth, the form of 
sound doctrine, once received and believed, becomes 
at once a power within ourselves, a new form of 
conscience which will be respected and obeyed. It 
may be expressed in words, and those words may be 
learned like any other lesson, the intellect may even 
be impressed and convinced of them, and yet, by the 
constitution of human nature, they may never reach 
the heart. This is in fact degrading religious truth 
to the level of natural truth; it is what may be 
called " having the form of godliness without its 
power." But St. Paul thanked God for the converts 

Conversion. !^95 

at Borne, not that they had embraced the "form of 
doctrine " which he had delivered to them, in this 
sense, but " that they had obeyed it from the heart." 
It had become a rule of their conduct, in thought, 
word, and deed, not reducing it to order and system 
according to the word of command, and a moral 
drill, but determining it from within, by its own 
essential force and constraining motives, bringing 
every thought into captivity to the law of Christ, 
and yet emancipating them into the glorious liberty 
of the Sons of God. This was the change or space 
through which they had passed, and here is the point 
at which they had now arrived Servants of God. 
Let me repeat again the whole process. They had 
been slaves of sin ; they had obeyed from the heart 
the form of doctrine delivered to them; they were 
now slaves of God. 

Now observe that St. Paul is speaking here simply 
of facts of the actual circumstances, that is, of the 
persons to whom he is writing respecting which ho 
appeals to their own experience whether the account 
he gives of them is not true. These Eomans were 
such, and he thanks God for it ; but he by no means 
tells us that all persons ought to live such lives as to 
oblige them to confess "that they had ever been 
servants of sin ;" for this would be in effect to deny 
that God had ever given unto those whom He has 
adopted into His family, and taken into the arms of 
His mercy, such a measure of grace as to preserve 
them from sin ; it would be in effect to declare that 
the prayer which we offer over every new-born child 

296 Conversion. 

that is brought to the laver of regeneration " that 
he may lead the rest of his life according to that be 
ginning " is a mere profane mockery of idle words, 
breathed in no spirit of faith, and therefore powerless 
to obtain any spiritual blessing; it would be to de 
clare that it is by God s appointment, and not by our 
despite of His long-suffering and goodness, by the 
failure of His gifts, and not by our neglect and wast 
ing of them, that u men continue in sin, in order that 
grace may abound." There is the same cause as 
ever to give thanks for the restoration of the lost, 
and the recovery of the sinner; but who in the 
very heart of God s Church, and with His Word and 
Ordinances, will contend that it is necessary that all 
men should have been sinners I mean in the sense 
of " servants of sin ?" for no one will suppose that those 
whom St. Paul now calls " servants of God" were 
absolutely free from all stain of sin. The ways of God 
are mysterious, and past finding out. The Spirit 
moveth where He listeth, and we know not the laws 
of His motion, and nothing is more presumptuous than 
either to say or deny how He may or may not act 
upon the heart of man. Therefore while we may 
yield hearty thanks to Almighty God that it hath 
pleased Him to regenerate with His Holy Spirit each 
infant that is brought unto Him in Baptism to re 
ceive him as His own child by adoption, and to in 
corporate him into His holy Church there is nothing 
to hinder us from believing and when we look to the 
irreligious lives of many who are sealed with the 
name of Christ we may find comfort in believing that 

Conversion. 297 

He may act also with power and efficacy, and in 
a more sensible way, upon those who have hitherto 
not known Him, at a later hour of their day, or when 
the shades of evening are closing thick around them. 
To use the familiar word, what I deny is not the 
reality of conversion in particular cases, but its neces 
sity in all. I deny its necessity, because I deny the 
necessity of all persons ever having been in any part 
of their lives " the slaves of sin." I believe God s 
grace to be sufficient for men in any part of their 
lives, and growth in grace, just as much as growth 
in stature, to be the proper law of their lives. St. 
Paul gives a fearful list of persons who shall not 
inherit the kingdom of God, among whom thieves, 
covetous, drunkards, are not the most abominable. 
Such were some of the Corinthians, but what higher 
language can be used than that in which he now 
speaks of these same persons : " Ye are washed, ye 
are sanctified, ye are justified in the name of the 
Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God?" but is 
it necessary that any baptized Christian should ever 
have classed himself with such persons? There are 
such persons now, but when he that steals learns to 
steal no more, when the man of profligate and aban 
doned life manifestly forsakes his sins, and alters his 
ways, when the obdurate heart is broken down, and 
yields to influences of which it was never sensible 
before, when there is a manifest improvement, and 
a struggle upwards though it be a painful one and 
with many falls then I see a good work beginning, 
and there is ground to hope that He who has begun 

298 Conversion. 

that good work will carry it on unto perfection. 
Such a man is passing, if he has not passed already, 
from death unto life ; old things are passing away, 
and all things are becoming new. He is really cru 
cifying the old man, though late, and putting on the 
new. "We will not differ about words; let it be 
called, if you please, conversion, or even a new birth ; 
for it is in effect a new birth unto righteousness, and 
we may say truly of such a person, " He was dead, 
and is alive, he was lost, and is found." 

But it may be said, though all men need not have 
been thieves and drunkards and extortioners, and 
therefore need not the change that such persons are 
capable of, yet that there is even among persons of 
irreproachable lives a worldliness and a deadness 
to spiritual things, out of which we must pass before 
we can call ourselves the true children of God, and that 
some persons are sensible of this change coming over 
them at some particular period or even moment of 
their lives it has come upon some we know in their 
beds, and a heavenly influence has filled the dark 
ness and silence of the night, and that this is that 
conversion of which our Saviour speaks as necessary 
to those who would enter into the kingdom of Heaven ; 
let them give thanks to Him who has so mysteri 
ously called them, and be careful to date a really 
new life from the impression which their memory 
records. And if by insisting on the necessity of 
some such change as this they merely mean to say 
that men in general give little evidence of the life 
of God within them, and that a great and sensible 

Conversion. 299 

change is needed before they can call themselves 
true children of God, so far, unhappily, we are com 
pelled to agree; but let them not deny the possi 
bility in other cases of a growth of grace from the 
first stirring of Christian life, more closely resem 
bling that growth of natural stature by which the 
helpless infant is advanced to the full measure of 
a man. In the years of our growth we cannot 
measure ourselves, or estimate the increase of our 
strength from day to day ; the change is too gradual 
to be perceived : we cannot say, this day I ceased 
to be an infant and began to be a child, on such 
another day I counted myself to be a man ; but after 
intervals we feel that we are taller, stronger than 
before ; and though our growth has been continuous, 
circumstances may have impressed it upon us at par 
ticular times, so that we can distinguish its stages. 
Just so in looking back upon our spiritual life we 
may remember critical periods : times of special 
experience, moments of refreshment by God s Holy 
Spirit, hours of deep and solemn thought, days of 
protracted struggling, how we strove successfully 
with some besetting sin which has left us for ever, 
how we formed some good resolution which we have 
consistently kept. These are the red-letter days 
of our calendar ; on each of these we made a sensible 
advance towards heaven, but it does not follow that 
our whole course has not been upwards, though we 
only felt its weariness ; and if all this and much 
more should be compressed into one moment, so that 
we seemed rather to be borne on the wings of a 

300 Conversion. 

dove than to be creeping on the feeble limbs of 
a man, and to be caught up into the third heaven, 
yet God may be drawing others to Himself by an 
other, and perhaps a safer way, not of transports 
and ecstasies, but of humble faith, and patient labour, 
and ordinary means of grace, and consistent continu 
ance, through His aid, in well-doing. It is possible, 
too, that a man s sins, or some sin, may drop off him 
all at once, like a discarded garment, while they 
may cling closely to others, so that they cry in 
agony, " "Who shall deliver me from the body 
of this death?" But let those who feel that it is so 
with them, and that they can now speak of the 
service of sin as a thing that is passed, remember 
how St. Paul writes to them whom he yet calls 
u servants of God :" " They are free from sin," yet 
they are warned not " to let sin reign in theii 
mortal bodies," which implies that they are still 
under its influence. They are to yield their mem 
bers servants to righteousness as they once did 
unto iniquity, which implies that they may still 
"by reason of the infirmity of their flesh," even 
if their will be good, do otherwise, and if there is 
no condemnation for them which are in Christ Jesus, 
it is with this provision, a who walk not after the 
flesh, but after the Spirit." They who feel that 
the bonds of sin are really loosening from them, 
and the burden that hinders them from running 
their course freely is becoming daily lighter, have 
every encouragement to persevere ; but when men 
profess to have undergone a thorough change, and 

Conversion. 301 

to have passed at once from the condition of " ser 
vants of sin " to that of " servants of God," it is time 
to warn them against self-deceit, and to bid them 
take heed lest they fall. The Apostle who used the 
strongest language on the perfection of Christian obe 
dience, who tells us not only that he " that abideth 
in God sinneth not, that whosoever sinneth hath 
not seen nim, neither known Him ;" nay more, that 
" whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin ; 
for His seed remaineth in him : and he cannot sin, 
because he is born of God. He keepeth himself, and 
that wicked one toucheth him not,"- writes also in 
terms that are familiar to all : " If we say that we 
have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is 
not in us. But if we confess our sins, He is faith 
ful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us 
from all unrighteousness." And while he tells his 
little children that he writes to them " that they sin 
not," he almost assumes that they will, for ho adds, 
" And if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the 
Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, and He is the 
propitiation for our sins : and not for ours only, but 
also for the sins of the whole world." So that while 
it is a disgrace and a reproach to us to have to con 
fess that we were ever " servants of sin," we may not 
boast ourselves to be free from sin, even in profess 
ing ourselves " servants of God." And I fear there 
are few of us to whom the question of St. Paul may 
not be put with more or less of fitness " What fruit 
had ye then in those things whereof ye are now 

302 Conversion. 

Which of us can unroll the record of his past life 
and find nothing there that is occasion of shame? 
A great deal might be said of this feeling of shame. 
It is a sense of dishonour, of vileness, of degradation 
here. It is a painful trouble and disturbance of 
mind when we are grieved and cast down by the 
remembrance of sin against God. It may be the be 
ginning of repentance when we resolve that we will 
no more dishonour and defile ourselves, and rise 
again to the dignity of our nature, and the standard 
of our call. And so far it is a good affection, though 
it may bring an agony with it ; but if it is not that, 
then in bad men it becomes part of the tortures of 
hell. There are those who are ashamed of " the Son 
of Man and of His words here, and of whom He shall 
be ashamed when He cometh in the glory of His 
Father with the holy angels." And then, perhaps, just 
so much of a reprobate conscience will be left us as 
to make us feel the ignominy of being objects of con 
tempt, not to men only, but to those higher beings, 
who might have ministered to us as heirs of salva 
tion, or rejoiced over us as repentant sinners. Let 
the shame which surrounds the memory of past mis 
deed quicken us to a resolution to forsake all things 
that put us to shame, and bring shame on us. " For 
the end of these things is death," death of the body, 
even when renounced and repented of, otherwise 
death, i.e. infinite misery of body and soul together. 
4 The wages of sin is death." What a lamentable 
consideration. By the labour of a whole life to 
have brought upon ourselves not only reproach and 

Conversion. 303 

shame, but to have ensured remorse and torment 
without interval or limit. And that, too, not from 
adverse circumstances out of our control, which have 
confounded our plans, and disappointed our hopes, 
but from sheer wilfulness, because we would not 
receive a blessing prepared for us, because life and 
death were set before us, and we chose death ; for if 
" the wages of sin is death, the gift of God is eter 
nal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord." 


mah^tfj Hlmt, ^mmran |)resib,enis. 

l SAM. x. 6. 

And the Spirit of tlie Lord will come upon thce, and thou 
shalt prophesy idth them, and shalt be turned into another 

F KNOW no character in Scripture, except Saul the 
son of Kish, of whom these words, or anything 
like them, are used ; and virtually they are explained 
by what is said a few verses lower that " God gave 
him another heart." They may remind some of us, 
perhaps, of the change which was promised by our 
Lord to the Apostles, and realized on the day of Pen 
tecost, "Ye shall receive power after that the Holy 
Ghost is come upon you." But, whereas the Apo 
stles became what we call in popular language " dif 
ferent men" in respect of their ideas, knowledge, 
and action we cannot help feeling that Saul was 
very much the same man before and after the " Spirit 
of God came upon him, and he prophesied among the 
prophets," and this notwithstanding the change which 
was so great as to be almost inconceivable among 
those who knew him, so that it became a kind of 
proverb, which was used familiarly, " Is Saul also 
among the prophets?" By saying that Saul con 
tinued to be very much the same man, I do not of 
course mean to deny that the Spirit wrought a great 

Poivcr makyth Man. 305 

change in him, I mean that his moral qualities and 
character do not seem to have been materially altered. 
These qualities, as we infer from his history in Scrip 
ture, were partly good and partly bad. We have 
no reason to suppose that the first were wanting 
before the Spirit of God came upon him, and no 
one would think of attributing the second to that 
source. Every man is a mystery even to himself, 
he has an individuality which belongs to no one else, 
he is not an unit of a large number, but stands ab 
solutely alone. Hereafter he will not be counted 
in but judged. The character of Saul has an indi 
viduality of its own, mysterious beyond that of all 
other persons. We cannot say whether a jury of the 
present day would have pronounced him mad or sane 
if he had committed the crime which he persistently 
attempted of the murder of David. The strange 
influence of music upon his wilful and passionate 
nature belongs to those secret things which it is im 
possible to account for even in oneself, yet I think 
we can all feel that there is something real in this 
influence, and that it is not altogether strange to 
our experience. " It came to pass, wlien the evil 
spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an 
harp and played with his hand : so Saul was re 
freshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed 
from him." 

If we look to the good features of Saul as a natural 
man I think we shall find these to be among them ; 
he was generous and magnanimous, he had energy 
and decision in action. When his elevation to the 


306 Power makyth Man. 

kingdom was announced to him he was not unset 
tled, but kept the matter secret. When the divine 
lot fell upon him he hid himself, as though he shrank 
from the high position. When the children of Belial 
asked, " How shall this man save us ?" and " despised 
him," he shewed no resentment, and simply held his 
peace. After his victory over the Ammonites the 
popular cry arose, " Who is he that said, Shall Saul 
reign over us ? bring the men, that we may put them 
to death ;" but he set himself against the cry, " There 
si i all not a man be put to death this day : for to-day 
the Lord hath wrought salvation in Israel." We seem 
here to find noble traits of natural character; on the 
other hand they are closely associated with other 
qualities of reserve, wilfulness, pride, and self-will, 
which are at the same time symptoms of mental aber 
ration, and, in another point of view, not inconsistent 
with magnanimity. The persons who were raised to 
high places in the commonwealth of Israel were, 
above all other persons in the world, expected to be 
passive agents of the Divine will, they were to do 
exactly what they were told without discretion. This 
is a hard place to occupy, requiring an entire sacri 
fice of one s own will, and Saul would not consent to 
it. He shewed this on two occasions, and both occa 
sions terminated in his deliberate fall. When sent 
to inflict judgment on the Amalekites, he spared 
those whom he was ordered to slay ; he preferred his 
own ways to those which God had determined; his 
obedience was not refused, but it was limited and 
discretionary, and it called forth words which are 

American Presidents. 307 

a warning to all men to the end of time : " Hath the 
Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, 
as in obeying the voice of the Lord ? Behold, to obey 
is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat 
of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, 
and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry." 

It is, I say, difficult to define what is exactly meant 
by " Saul being turned into another man." But it is 
well pointed out that the word which we translate 
" heart " in x. 9 points rather to the intellect and 
courage than to the affections and conscience. He 
was endowed at once by the special gift of God with 
those gifts of courage and intellect which fitted him 
to be a king and ruler of the people whose destinies 
were committed to him. That people wanted a king 
to lead them into battle, and his gigantic stature and 
majesty was endowed with a capacity for ruling a 
nation ; the humble searcher after his father s asses 
found himself suddenly an anointed king, and no less 
suddenly made fit for it. Surely if such dignity was 
thrust upon us we must be other men if it did not 
crush us ; and let us not here diminish the force of 
the words of Scripture. Undoubtedly they imply 
that a special divine gift and illumination was con 
ferred upon him, by which he became capable of be 
ing what the old Greek poet calls in his grand and 
simple language a " king of men." And here we are 
not to confound the special action of the Spirit of 
God with that development of unknown and unsus 
pected powers, which is sometimes found in persons 
who are elevated to a high station. An eminent 


308 Power makyih Man. 

person told me once that he thought any one had wit 
enough for any office if he had wit enough to get it. 
It seemed a quaint way of stating what has really a 
great deal of truth in it. A man is not without 
strong reason to decline any office of which other 
persons think him worthy, because he feels himself 
unequal to it. If he has sought a position by dis 
honest means that is of course a different thing. But 
if he has won it by means not to be ashamed of, or 
not sought it at all, then it seems to come to him by 
way of providence, and to be his duty to accept it ; 
and it seems to me matter of experience that in many 
such cases men s powers are enlarged, and they be 
come different men from what they were supposed to 
be. I would mention in illustration of this the case 
of the Presidents of the great American Republic, the 
last of whom is lying between life and death from the 
bullet of an assassin, from which I fear neither abso 
lute power nor popular election can secure the ruler 
of a country who has enemies. And I am sure that 
if it please God to preserve that valuable life, there 
will go forth to the great daughter from the great 
parent country, not perhaps a formal message of con 
gratulation, which must needs be cold and dry, but 
a general effusion of sympathy and joy which will go 
far to draw still closer the ties that bind them in a 
happy union of interest and affection. The Greeks 
had a peculiar word to express the feeling between 
parents and children, which the Latins called " piety," 
and it was extended to the feeling between parent 
states and their offshoots, and I trust this feeling 

American Presidents. 309 

exists between us though we have lost the word. 
But it is the word used by St. Paul, where it is men 
tioned as one of the darkest characters of heathen 
immorality, that they were " without natural affec 
tion." But as regards these American Presidents, I 
think the elevation of some of them to their higli 
position is quite as extraordinary as that of Saul, 
who went out to look for his father s asses and found 
the destiny of a king secured to him before he came 
back. The election of a President in America is the 
result of four years intrigue, combination, wire pull 
ing, and caucus holding. It is of course a party 
affair, and people are able beforehand to form an 
opinion as to which is the strongest party. But the 
strongest party do not always choose their best man. 
They are rather afraid of pre-eminent ability; they 
want a man whom they can use and control, and 
are rather afraid of one who is likely to rule them ; 
a country does not seem likely to prosper which is 
afraid of its best citizens. But I think we may say 
that in America, if there is any person pre-eminent 
in virtue, principle, and power he would not be likely 
to be President a . 

11 Upon this point an American writer (Mr. George Ticknor 
Curtis), in discussing the mode of electing American Presidents, 
makes the following remarks: "A certain number of throws 
from two dice-boxes will inevitably give a major number of points 
to one or the other of the persons playing : but a bystander might 
as well undertake to predict what is to come out of a given number 
of casts of dice as to pronounce beforehand who will receive the 
nomination of a party convention for the great office of President 
of the United States. Eminent talent, long public service, high 
character, statesmanlike accomplishments, which would seem to be 

310 Power makyth Man. 

In England we can forecast with some confidence 
of the future who is likely to be Lord Chancellor or 
Prime Minister some years hence, but who in the world 
can mention the name of the next President of the 
United States, or half-a-dozen names out of which he 
will be chosen? Nevertheless, it must be allowed 
that the Presidents of the United States are a series 
of most remarkable men, and that no one of them, 
not even of those who seem to have been placed in 
their high position by chance rather than by choice, 
has been found unequal to its duties. It was said 
by a great historian of Eome that one of its emper 
ors, in the judgment of all, would have been deemed 
worthy of empire if he had not been emperor. But 
we may say of some of these emperors (for the position 
is imperial) that they would have been deemed unfit 
for it if they had never occupied it. The inference 
I draw from this is, not that anybody will do for 
the President of the United States, but that these 
men had ruling and imperial powers in them, which 
were drawn out and developed by and in the high 
office to which they were providentially called. 
They were in fact " turned into other men," but 

sure elements of calculation, are the least potent of all the factors 
which bring about the result ; and of those factors which really 
produce the result there is no calculation possible, they are so 
diverse, contradictory, and inappreciable. The only tangible one 
of all those factors is money, or its equivalent in the shape of pro 
mises of future preferment. But somehow a nomination is made. 
Thereupon, instantly, all over the land, throughout all the adhe 
rents of the party, if white has not become black, and black white, 
it has become inexpedient to speak of the difference." Century 
Magazine, November, 1884. 

American Presidents. 311 

I should be sorry you should suppose that this is 
all that is meant by what is said in such a striking 
way of Saul. " Power will shew the man " is a very 
old saying, i.e. it will shew what a man really is 
when he has liberty to display himself, and it has 
shewn it in the case of these men ; it has not brought 
them any gifts of character which they had not be 
fore ; it has simply brought out into activity those 
which were already in them. And you must not 
suppose this is the interpretation which I put on the 
words of Scripture as regards Saul. I believe, on 
the contrary, that he had real gifts, and was " turned 
into another man." But what I infer from this his 
tory is that there are real gifts of power in the 
dispensation of the Spirit which cannot be called 
graces, because they do not touch the heart. In 
the case of Samson there was a gift of supernatural 
strength, and if this was combined with the grace 
of faith by which he waxed valiant in fight, and 
turned to flight the armies of the aliens, I do not think 
that we can mention any other grace that is united 
with it. In the New Testament, of course, we ex 
pect to find more about the gifts of the Spirit which 
were to be poured out upon all flesh than in the Old, 
and we are not disappointed. We have in fact a spe 
cification and catalogue of the powers and gifts of 
the Spirit in more places than one, e.g. "To one is 
given by the Spirit the word of wisdom, to another 
the word of knowledge by the same Spirit, to another 
faith by the same Spirit, to another the gifts of heal 
ing by the same Spirit. To another the working 

312 Power makyth Man. 

of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discern 
ing of Spirits, to another divers kinds of tongues, 
to another the interpretation of tongues," and we have 
no reason to suppose that the list is thus completed. 
But I will just point out to you that no one of these, 
except faith, touches the spirit of the inner man. 
They are really gifts, not graces, " given to every 
man to profit withal by the self-same Spirit divid 
ing to every man severally as He will," but clearly 
to profit not the man himself but the Church. Some 
of them might even be occasions of confusion, of 
unseemly rivalry, of evil rather than good to the 
Church, and of falling to the man himself. Would 
a man be a better man, and nearer to salvation, 
because he had the gift of healing? or would the 
gift of prophecy imply any sanctification of the heart ? 
"We know that it did not in old time. It left its 
possessor sordid and profane as he was before, and 
he sold his soul for the wages of iniquity, as Judas 
did. St. Peter would not allow a miracle which 
he wrought, to be attributed to any holiness of his 
own. And St. Paul seems to refer to his own enu 
meration of the gifts of the Spirit, and almost to 
set them aside, in that beautiful passage with which 
you must be familiar " Though I speak with the 
tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, 
I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. 
And though I have the gift of prophecy, and un 
derstand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and 
though I have all faith, so that I could remove moun 
tains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And 

American Presidents. 313 

though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and 
though I give my body to be burned, and have not 
charity, it profiteth me nothing." And in the 
same way, in speaking of the various persons given 
unto the Church, Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, 
Pastors, Teachers, he tells us that they were given 
" for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the 
ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ." 
But none of these persons, as such, has any guar 
antee of salvation, nor any security for it, beyond 
that which the humblest Christian who is not called 
to such high office may claim for himself. These 
particular gifts are, in fact, very much the same 
as the particular endowments which we recognize 
among other men. Such are wealth, position, power, 
learning or the opportunities of obtaining it, elo 
quence, temper. All these tend to make a man 
eminent among his fellows, they mark him out as 
a person from whom more and better things may 
be expected than from other men. They are God s 
gifts, and they are good. But they are dangerous, 
because " to whom much is given, of him shall be 
much required, 7 and we may be condemned for the 
use or misuse of talents which a wise man would not 
earnestly covet, but which he must accept if they 
are offered him. We must not confuse doing good 
with becoming better ourselves. It is a blessed 
thing to be able to do good, but it is fur more 
blessed to do right, and to grow in grace. And 
if in looking back on the histories of men who had 
those special powers which we read of in the Old 
and New Testaments we feel that we do not ex- 

314 Power makyth Man. 

ercise them now, we are not to suppose that God 
regards us with less favour than the men of old, 
or is less liberal of His mercies. God may restore 
those powers to His Church at any moment, and 
it seems to me presumptuous to say that the time 
for them is gone. That they are not now necessary 
for the Church is a pious opinion, because we do 
not possess them ; but if a spirit of prayer and suppli 
cation were poured out upon it, if we could all be 
brought again to the unity of the Faith in the Son 
of God, who can say that we should not see and do 
" greater things" than those which the world will 
hardly believe were ever done? Meanwhile, we are 
supplied with everything necessary for life and god 
liness. And the one gift of sanctification that tends 
to the salvation of its possessor is guaranteed to all 
who are admitted to the Fellowship of Christ s Church. 
It is more than guaranteed ; it is stamped upon us 
we are already sealed by the Holy Spirit of promise ; 
we are sealed by Him to the day of Eedemption, 
when God will recognize His own seal, and claim 
us for His own. 

When we read how the Spirit came upon Saul, 
and he was " turned into another man," we cannot 
but be reminded that we also " must be born again," 
and that Christ Himself has told us how this is to be, 
and instituted the sacrament of regeneration. I might 
carry on the parallel further if I had time. Even 
this gift, though it places us in the way of salva 
tion, will not save us if we misuse or dishonour it. 
The Spirit of Grace will not help those who do 
despite to it. And the Spirit of God may depart 

American Presidents. 31 3 

from us, as it did from Saul, and our last end will bo 
worse than our first. And though we have under 
gone the new birth and God s gifts are without repent 
ance, yet the temper and spirit of the flesh, and all 
that St. Paul calls the old man whom we ought to 
crucify and abolish may revive and get the upper 
hand, and then what good will even the grace of 
sanctification do us ? For even this grace is given us 
to be used, and we are on our trial in respect of it. 
It is not omnipotent in us, and will not force us into 
holiness and heaven against our will or without 
our will. Abstract questions of grace and nature 
may employ idle disputants, or they may engage 
the thoughts of the holiest men. 

It is easy to get into verbal contradiction, and 
to quote Scripture against Scripture. Practically 
there is no difficulty which a holy life will not sweep 
away. Solvitur amlulando. "Walk worthy of your 
calling and your walk will be straight and plain. 
The best man knows by his own experience that 
it is possible to grow in grace and the knowledge 
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. He knows 
that the Spirit of God guides, comforts, supports, 
and helps him. He knows that he is led by the 
Spirit, and he is therefore careful and fearful be 
cause he also knows his own weakness. He knows 
that he is being drawn into the kingdom of God. 
He feels that he has been " turned into another man," 
that he is consciously a " son of God" even now, 
though "it doth not yet appear what he shall be." 


0Iir UUn s 

1 PETER m. 15. 

" Be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh 
you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and 

THIS wise and liberal precept of St. Peter could not 
be better illustrated than by the conduct of the 
Apostles themselves towards the various classes of 
men with whom they were brought into contact or 
collision. And it is laid down here with the greatest 
possible breadth and precision "Be ready always 
and to every man" as though no exception need 
be taken into account. Christians were in exclusive 
possession of the truth, and it would have been 
a false humility of mind on their part to have 
allowed it to be made a question of; but unlike some 
societies and mysteries of ancient, and we may add 
even of modern, times, they were not to keep it as 
a treasure that could only be communicated to the 
initiated, but to proclaim it boldly, and set forth 
the reasons on which their hopes and convictions 
rested. " With the heart man believeth unto right 
eousness," but, like David, they were not to hide 
it within their hearts, but to publish it in the great 

An old Man s Reason. 317 

congregation of the world which they were sent to 
convert. And in the precept to be ready to give 
a reason for the hope that is in then) it is of course 
implied that the hope is reasonable. And what is 
said of our hope may, I think, be equally said 
of our faith. Indeed in this passage faith and hope 
may be considered as one, for our hope is reasonable 
only so far as our faith is, and if either of them is 
given up as not being so, it would be extremely 
difficult to maintain the other. If indeed there is 
anything reasonable in the world I would maintain 
that our faith is eminently so, and not the least 
so in those parts of it which transcend and sur 
pass reason. I am speaking of it of course as re 
vealed to us by God, and not discovered by the 
action of our minds. Now a revelation is the un 
covering of what is unknown and beyond the range 
of ordinary knowledge, and it is, I say, highly rea 
sonable that it should be partial, incomplete, and 
imperfect, just as our minds and faculties, however 
excellent, are imperfect ; and those who think most 
deeply on religious subjects have always been most 
ready to confess this. " We cannot by searching 
find out God," and u we see through a glass darkly," 
are confessions that appeal to the consciences of Chris 
tians in proportion to the seriousness of their thoughts, 
and the light that they have. And as the truth 
is reasonable otherwise it would be impossible to 
give a reason of it so in the commandment, that 
we should do so when asked, it is implied that men 
generally also are reasonable, i.e. that they are will- 

318 An old Mans Reason. 

ing to hear and capable of understanding a reason. 
Men are creatures endowed with reason, and it is 
therefore part of the honour due to all men to deal 
with them as such ; and it is our duty in endeavour 
ing to impart to them that truth which we possess 
to appeal to their reason. Indeed, we need not 
fear to say that it is one of the marks of the truth 
which we hold that it does not shrink from the 
appeal to reason. It challenges all that is best and 
noblest in man, either in his affections or in his 
faculties and powers. The Jews of Bersea were 
more noble than those of Thessalonica, in that they 
received the word with all readiness of mind, and 
searched the Scriptures whether these things were 
so i.e. that they applied their reason freely and 
without prejudice to the question before them 
and the natural consequence was that " many of 
them believed." Remember that I am not going 
myself now to give a reason for the hope that is in 
me, but am only speaking of the general duty of 
doing so when asked. But I must not misquote 
the Apostle, for he does not tell us actually to do 
so, but only to be ready to do it. And there is 
clearly a difference, for we do not always do what 
we are perfectly ready to do, unless we judge the 
time and the occasion suitable. And if people ask 
us for a reason, it must of course be assumed that 
they ask us in sincerity, and with a real wish to 
be informed. And though we are not to be sus 
picious of men s motives, but rather give them all 
possible credit for honesty, yet it is necessary to ex- 

An old Mans Reason. 319 

ercise great discretion in dealing with them. Differ 
ent persons came to our Saviour with their questions, 
prompted by widely different motives, some simply 
with the hope of entangling Him, others to inform 
themselves of the truth. If lie saw through the 
wickedness and hypocrisy of one, lie was able 
to tell another, from His knowledge of what is in 
man and each man, that " he was not far from the 
kingdom of God." If we cannot see into the dark 
secrets of the heart as He could, we must use such 
powers as we have, in charity, of discovering the 
characters of those with whom we have to do. If 
we are not to sit in judgment upon men it is im 
possible to avoid receiving some impression of their 
motives, and by that impression our conduct must 
needs be influenced ; otherwise we should have to treat 
all men in the same way, casting, perhaps, our pearls 
before swine, or throwing what is holy unto the dogs. 
I do not think St. Peter meant that you should in 
troduce and discuss the truths of your religion with 
all persons, or in all places and times. And I would 
not advise you to be drawn lightly into argument 
uith men of whom you know nothing, and whose 
object may simply be to perplex your understandings 
and to weaken your faith. Our reason is to be given, 
as St. Peter says, with meekness and fear, not with 
arrogance and presumption. For we may well feel 
humble in taking upon us to defend the truth of God, 
and even fearful lest we should injure it by our weak 
and faulty maintenance. All persons can give a 
reason for their faith and hope by simply stating it, 

320 An old Marts Reason. 

which is certainly one part of St. Peter s meaning, 
though not the whole of it ; and it will be a powerful 
argument to commend our faith and hope to the minds 
of men, if it is clear that we live according to them. 
But to suppose that each of us is in full possession of 
all that can be said in their defence would be to 
court assaults, and expose our own faith to overthrow. 
Depend upon it a great many difficulties may be 
raised about the Gospel, and religion generally, 
which it is very hard to solve ; and we must be 
content to hold our own, leaving them unsolved, for 
we have here to live and walk, not to hesitate and 
stand stilL The activity of unbelievers in endea 
vouring to make other men like themselves was never 
greater than at the present time ; but you may take 
my word for it that there is nothing new in their 
cavils and objections, nothing that wise men in every 
age have not thrown away as worthless, and lived 
on according to the hope that is in them, as though 
such things had never been presented to their minds. 
When our convictions are fixed and solid we are 
not much occupied or troubled by ingenious problems. 
We have too much pressing business on hand to 
give ourselves to them, and we have faithful sayings 
to rest upon and the words of eternal life. Never 
enter into argument with any one, except on the 
understanding that the faith with you is not a matter 
of argument at all, but of unshakeable conviction. 
It is quite possible that you may be beaten in an 
argument by a more subtle and ingenious dispu 
tant; but if you cannot hold your faith, notwith- 

An old Marts Reason. 321 

standing, it is better not to be drawn into an ar 
gument at all. As a man is not to allow himself 
to be tempted out of his faith by his passions and 
interests, so neither should he allow it to be wrested 
from him by arguments. Though reason is our 
highest gift, yet he is but a weak and feeble crea 
ture who allows himself to be turned and twisted 
about by various and inconsistent appeals to it. 
For though reason in itself is an absolute standard, 
our own particular reason may be weak and ill- 
informed; and in mistrusting it we do in fact mis 
trust ourselves, which most wise men do; and the 
word reason must be taken in the widest sense. 

Man is not a calculating machine, to be carried on 
to a conclusion by the rules of arithmetic, where, 
if the process is correct, the result must necessarily 
be accepted, however contrary to what he supposed 
before ; he is a creature of affections, and hopes, and 
fears, by which his actions are frequently guided, 
and even his judgments determined. " Knowing 
the terrors of the law," says St. Paul, " we persuade 
men." And this mode of persuasion is just as legiti 
mate, and in truth as reasonable, as the appeal to his 
pure reason. Hope and fear are parts of our nature, 
and it is intended that we should be moved by them, 
just as much as by those arguments of pure reason 
that take no account of them. If we have within us 
the fear of judgment to come or the hope of immor 
tality, that profession of truth which would move 
us to repentance and a better life by the action of 
the one, and lead us onward in it by strengthening 


322 An old Marts Reason. 

the other, is worthy of our regard and acceptance on 
that very account. "Whatever satisfies the wants 
of human nature or gives its energies a steadier and 
more worthy aim, has in that very satisfaction and 
effect upon us a strong argument in its favour. " The 
Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are 
sons of God" cannot be brought into court, or into 
the arena of dispute, as an evidence to other men, 
but it speaks to those who have it with a power and 
clearness which no other testimony can have; nay, 
it speaks by them to the world in a language and 
with an authority that will not be denied a hearing. 
The Gospel has had its defenders and apologists 
(apology is the word in the original, which we trans 
late answer in the text), who have done good service 
to the Church, by stating its truths in form, clearing 
it of the false opinions which surrounded it, mar 
shalling its evidences, and calling its witnesses into 
court as by a legal procedure, and have done well 
in giving a reason in public for the hope that was 
in them, and submitting to be tried before the public 
tribunal of the world, though not accepting its ver 
dict. But however valuable their labours, it was 
not they who converted the world. " For God chose 
rather the foolish things of the world to confound the 
wise, and the weak things of the world to confound 
the mighty. And base things of the world, and 
things which are despised hath God chosen, yea, and 
things which are not, to bring to nought things that 
are." The faith and constancy of martyrs, men, 
women, and children, who gave up their lives for 

An old Man s ficason. 323 

the truth not accepting deliverance, that was the 
victory that overcame the world, and won over the 
persecutor many times at the altar and on the arena 
Many of those who yielded their souls unto death 
and their body to the flames, would have been found 
very feeble in argument if brought into conflict with 
disputers of this world, and the philosophers who 
thought to destroy those whom they could not con 
vince, and who held what they called their obstinacy, 
and we call their faith, itself as a sin that deserved to 
be visited with punishment. Even tender children 
were known to defy the utmost efforts of their perse 
cutors, and they had no account to give of themselves 
except the simple fact that they were Christians. 
That confession was their strength, and the repetition 
of it their comfort. If they gave up that they were 
nothing, but holding fast this they had strength 
to fight and overcome the world, the flesh, and the 
devil. " Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings 
hast Thou ordained strength, or perfected praise," 
read it which way you will as the strength of a firm 
purpose, and the praise of a true confession, and " the 
enemy and avenger " was stilled. 

Men, whether so disposed or not, will at last judge 
the tree by its fruit, and it was forced upon men s 
minds by what they saw, that the Gospel was not 
a curious device, nor a speculation, nor a philosophy, 
but a vital power, filling those who embraced it with 
a Spirit that could not be overcome, and that must 
go forth to the end of the world conquering and 
to conquer. If we are not called upon to shew our 



An old Man s Reason. 

constancy, and convince men s minds in the same way, 
our constancy need not therefore be the less, nor the 
argument of our Christian conduct less effectual. 
At all events, if we cannot answer objections to our 
faith we may at least vindicate its character, " Hav 
ing a good conscience ; that, whereas they speak evil 
of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that 
falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." Or, 
as St. Paul writes to Titus, each of you " in all things 
shewing thyself a pattern of good works, in doctrine 
shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, that he 
that is of the contrary part may be ashamed having 
no evil thing to say of you." Not, however, that the 
firmest conviction of our own minds and the most 
consistent conduct will always have their due effect. 
St. Paul, while in his treatment of men he addresses 
them uniformly as reasonable creatures, as having 
a right to ask questions and to expect answers, notes 
especially some persons as unreasonable, and prays 
to be delivered from them. Their minds are obsti 
nately and incurably warped against the truth ; they 
can neither be approached by argument, nor touched 
in their feelings, nor influenced by what they see 
with their eyes. Unreasonable men can only be left 
alone, we cannot stay to argue with them, and must 
go on our own way leaving them to theirs. They 
are not of those of whom St. Peter speaks, as asking 
a reason ; for what they want is not a reason but a 
dispute and a wrangle, and therefore they are not 
of those to whom we owe an answer though ready 
to give one. Never dispute with known unbelievers 

An old Marts Reason. 325 

and scoffers, and be careful generally with whom 
you do. But it is a good thing for all of you to 
know the grounds of your own faith, and the depth 
and solidity of its foundations, and if the question 
arises in your minds from time to time, " Why am 
I a Christian ? " to be able to give at all events an 
answer to yourself. I have lately seen an answer 
to this question by an old man who has seen much 
of the world, and taken a leading part in some of its 
most important transactions for half a century. Ilav- 
ing lived much in foreign lands, among Christians 
of various sects, and aliens from the name of Christ, 
it has occurred to him in the evening of his days 
to ask himself and to answer this very question. It 
is not to be supposed that his answer would satisfy 
all persons, for the truth is laid hold of in our minds 
variously one person rests on this evidence, another 
on that but the closing words of the wise and 
thoughtful old man will commend themselves to all : 
"What we designate as spots upon the sun are 
ascertained by astronomers to be vast tracts of infe 
rior lustre or of downright opacity, yet do we not 
the less acknowledge that glorious orb to be the centre 
of light in our system, a nurse of life and source 
of vivifying heat, the extinction of which would 
plunge us in irrevocable destruction. Suppose a 
brighter light the sun of salvation extinguished 
in our minds, where should we turn for hope how 
ever small for a glimmer of hopeful light beyond 
the cold, dark goal of our earthly existence ? If we 
reject that series of evidences, some single portions 

326 An old Marts Reason. 

of which go far to settle a Christian s belief, and the 
whole of which leaves infidelity without excuse, what 
can the unbeliever offer to make up for so immense 
a sacrifice? Senses, faculties, affections, obliterated 
for ever, our nature degraded to a level of the beasts 
that perish, our motives of action reduced to vanities, 
appetites, and earthly interests, a forfeiture of every 
promise for which saints have toiled, crusaders fought, 
the hermit courted poverty, the martyr died in tor 
tures. No other substitutes he would have us to 
accept for all the consolations, the spiritual supports, 
the ennobling convictions, and the prospective glories 
of our faith. He would renew the fall, and annul 
the redemption of our race. The exchange he pro 
poses has too much the stamp of loss to engage my 
assent. The evidences adduced satisfy my reason, 
the hopes they warrant sustain my spirit. In them 
I find a comfort and a strength, which in Christ s 
name, and with God s assistance ? I would fain hold 
fast unto the end." 


Sir Wi. afer mtb 

[T/ic following notices of two men eminent in different icalks of 
public life are inserted by desire of some who heard the 
Addresses delivered.] 

ISAIAH xl. 1. 

" Comfort ye My people" 

1 him of whom I am about to speak my words 
will not be many. I miss, and you will long 
miss with me, that venerable face which I have 
seen turned towards me with attentive ear for so 
many years in this pulpit. And as what I say 
is entirely personal, I do not propose to touch upon 
what belongs to the political history of the times, 
or his connection with it, which has been already 
taken up by abler hands. It is known, however, 
to you all that he filled a very important place in 
the government of this country. A place, it is true, 
not of the highest rank, but one which required 
peculiar qualities, which no man possessed in a higher 
degree than himself a . I have often wondered that 
he never occupied the position of a cabinet minister, 
but I think the only reason must be that he thought 

Sir W. Hayter held the post of Political Secretary to the 
Treasury for many years. 

328 Sir W. Hayter. 

he could serve his country better in a lower room. 
In the situation which he filled he gained the 
respect, and more than the respect, of all friends 
and opponents; and when on leaving the House he 
was asked to receive a magnificent testimonial from 
those with whom he had acted, a much more mag 
nificent one would have been offered if it had been 
resolved to include in the list of his friends those 
who were opposed to him in parliamentary life. In 
the course of the duties of his office he must have 
had more experience of men than falls to the lot 
of most persons, and we shall not be accusing any 
party or class of men of corruption, if we think it pos 
sible that he may often have had to do with men not 
actuated by the highest order of motives, men of sel 
fish objects, seekers of place, or honour, or gain. 
Such persons hang about all governments, and all per 
sons in authority who are able to be of use to others ; 
and the constant intercourse with such persons is apt 
to make others hard-hearted, cynical, and distrust 
ful. Some persons display a perverse ingenuity 
in dissecting the motives of others, and getting 
to the bottom of them when they are two and three 
deep. They are proud to be thought men of the 
world, not to be taken in, and it generally happens 
that they are taken in more than other people whom 
they despise. It was a great charm in Sir W. 
Hayter that he had not one trace of this in his 
character. He was as free, open-hearted, and gen 
erously-minded as a high-born boy, who has not 
yet learned that there is such a thing as selfishness 

Sir W. Ilayter. 329 

or imposture in the world. A Greek philosopher 
tells us how men are made misanthropes : it is by 
a succession of misplaced confidences, by the ex 
perience of trusts betrayed, till at last you have lost 
all faith in men, and begun to hate your kind. The 
friend whom we have lost had, no doubt, his ex 
periences, but they led him on, not to misan 
thropy, but in the direction of greater kindness, geni 
ality, and charity. Fairness, equity, and kindliness, 
were among the marks of our friend s character; 
they were stamped upon his features, you felt the 
warmth of them in his manner before he expressed 
them in words. His virtues were not only true 
virtues, but they were amiable and attractive vir 
tues. The virtues of some persons are so severe 
in form that they almost repel you from their pre 
sence. There is a temper that rejoices in ini 
quity, and is jubilant when it has found it, or thinks 
it has, as though there were an " endowment of re 
search " in that direction. Sir W. Ilayter was of a 
temper the very reverse of this. He was incapable 
of a base or sordid insinuation to account for con 
duct that was not base or sordid. He judged men 
kindly and favourably, and I believe he therefore 
judged them truly ; and yet I should say few men 
have been less deceived in life, and that not from 
any extraordinary insight into character, though 
in that he was not wanting, but from the simple 
straightforwardness and honesty of his own ways. 
You would not like to deceive him, for you would 
feel sure you would be found out; there was some- 

330 Sir W. Hayter. 

thing in his countenance that told you the attempt 
would not succeed. But besides this, honesty not 
only supposes but creates honesty ; you actually 
make men better by thinking better of them. Even 
the criminal classes are some evidence of this. 
They are raised in their own esteem when they 
know there is anything trusted to their honour, 
and they will not sink again below the level to which 
they are raised by their new estimate of self. This 
idea is in fact the beginning of all moral reforma 
tion. Men feel that they have a hope of a better 
future directly they know that any one has a better 
opinion of them. I am sure that a prudent con 
fidence in humanity is not folly, and life would be 
intolerable to me if I could not entertain it. The 
misanthrope is the most miserable of men. 

Sir W. Hayter told me not long since that he had 
been reading a good deal of diplomacy, and that 
he thought that after all diplomatists were honest 
men, and endeavoured to do their best for their 
countries. I was delighted to hear him say so ; for 
I do not pretend to understand their language, and 
their tortuous and technical phraseology requires a 
man to be well educated in the art before he can 
understand its meaning. No doubt every phrase has 
its value and significance, and is dealt out when 
occasion requires it, as if it were a coin, at its 
current value. But the kindly and equitable judg 
ment of the old man belonged to his character. 
It was a weighty and deliberate judgment, formed 
by a most competent and conscientious judge, which 

Sir W. Ilayter. 331 

I am sure must rest on good grounds, and I 
have thought better of diplomatists, though I do 
not pretend to understand them, ever since in con 

I have said, perhaps, more than I ought upon this 
particular feature of his character, because I have 
always been much struck by it, and, in forming my 
judgment of others, perhaps improved by it ; neither 
is it necessary to speak of deeds of kindness and 
generosity of which many of you are sensible. There 
are those here who know that he would not only do 
a kindness, but how he would labour and persevere 
in doing it, at the expense of great trouble and per 
sonal exertion, even in his extreme old age and de 
clining health. And his attachment to this church, 
which would not have been built as it is, if it had not 
been for him, and of which he was proud to be 
Churchwarden, is also well known to you. And you 
know how, too, while his health lasted, and even 
after it gave evident signs of failing, no engagement, 
no weather, kept him from his accustomed seat. 
Even last Sunday he was thinking seriously of com 
ing, and would no doubt have come if the weather 
had permitted ; but he is gone for ever from us, and 
we shall see his face no more. 

We should not have been surprised if we had 
heard any day that, full of years and full of honours, 
he had died peaceably in his bed. His wife, whose 
life has been bound up with his for so many years, 
would not have repined I know not that she will 
now for she knew well the time was coming. She 
would have watched him over the dark stream, wait- 

332 Sir W. Hayter. 

ing in confidence and peace for the messenger to 
summon her to meet him again in the light that is on 
the other shore ; and his children and grandchildren 
around his bed would have learned how the way of 
life lies through the valley of the shadow of death. 

It has not pleased Providence that this grand and 
good old man should be taken from us in this way. 
It pleased God in His inscrutable wisdom for I doubt 
not His wisdom to prolong his days till that calm, 
equitable, and true-judging, practical mind was off 
its balance, and he became haunted by the idea of 
imaginary evils which pressed upon his brain. We 
simply know the fact of his end and the mode of it. 
It may have been a pure accident. We are fearfully 
and wonderfully made, both in body and soul, and 
when I consider how closely reason is connected with 
our bodily functions, though distinct from them, I 
am surprised that it is not oftener and sooner de 
throned. It is, I think, permissible to pray that 
we may be called away before such a thing happens 
to ourselves. If it is permissible to pray for deliver 
ance from sudden death, much more may we pray 
for deliverance from the sudden derangement or 
the gradual failure of the regulating powers. Such 
a death of such a man increases our sorrow but does 
not alter our opinions of, nor our affections for, him, 
and still less our hopes of his eternal future. I com 
mitted his honoured remains to the earth with the 
same confidence in the mercy of Almighty God, with 
the same trust in the saving virtue of the blood of 
Jesus Christ, with the same sure and certain hope of 
a resurrection to eternal life as if instead of dying 

Mr. Delane. 333 

alone, in the cold water, and under the chill cover 
ing of a wintry sky, he had died calmly in his bed, 
surrounded by all the comforts of home to the last, 
and by all that were dear to him to catch his dying 
breath, and with the words of humble resignation, 
or rather triumphant hope, upon his lips, "Lord, 
now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace." 

Beside this striking portrait of a distinguished 
public servant let the companion picture of Mr. 
Delane, late Editor of the " Times," take its place. 

THE last person whose mortal remains I committed 
to the keeping of the grave in this churchyard had 
not even attained to the inferior limit of the ages 
fixed by the Psalmist. He was still several years 
short of threescore years and ten, and therefore, 
as regards the fruits of experience and full maturity 
of mental power, in the very prime of life for action 
and counsel. I am not going to add to or repeat 
what so many papers have said, justly and truly as 
far as they went, but in my opinion inadequately, as 
regards Mr. Delane ; but I cannot let his memory 
pass away without saying something of him as my 
own valued [friend, and as a lover and benefactor of 
this parish. lie was born in it, and his affections 
were centred in it ; he visited it constantly, and with 
pleasure. When in the midst of overwhelming work 
it was the best part of a chance holiday to ride over 
to it. In the[ last days, or rather years, of his long 

334 Mr. Delane. 

illness it was his habit and refreshment to drive into 
it. In fact, at last, as long as he was able to drive 
out, I think he never drove in any other direction. 
You do not know all his munificence. As an owner 
of a very small property here I might have expected 
and asked a little from him for such parish purposes 
as I have been able to accomplish, but I never asked 
him. He anticipated and surpassed everything I 
could have thought of. If he were alive he would 
be able to tell you that I was obliged to check and 
limit his munificence where I thought that in doing 
his part with others he was doing injustice to himself. 
While acknowledging the liberality of you, my par 
ishioners, and the assistance of many friends, which 
I have great pleasure in doing, I do not think this 
church would ever have been built as it has been 
but for him and for his family. If it had not 
been for them certainly it would not have been so 
adorned. I am reminded of him weekly as I have 
that beautiful window of the parables and miracles 
of our Lord before my eyes, and the one to which 
your backs are turned in the tower, when I address 
you from this place. And I rejoice that his mortal 
remains are still under my keeping, with those of 
his father, mother, and brother, in the churchyard 
which he loved so well. 

There is much in the position which our friend 
held, as editor of a paper which, under his hands, 
was for years without a rival, to absorb all his 
thoughts and feelings as well as his time, leaving 
no room in his heart for anything else. It is 

Mr. Dclane. 335 

a position or profession which belongs to modern 
times; there was nothing like it in ancient days. 
If it requires and encourages peculiar virtues and 
qualities, discretion, reserve, quickness of observa 
tion, decision, almost intuition ; if it calls into action 
various mental gifts and powers, it cannot be said 
that it encourages the more refined graces of char 
acter in the same degree. The tendency of those 
who have most to do with men in the way of prob 
ing their motives and divining their intentions is to 
become hard, and dry, and cynical. They become 
like the persons they have to deal with. It does not 
improve any one to become a hanger-on of great 
people, and yet such people must be approached and 
got at if possible by those who would occupy the 
position of our friend. It is to his honour that no 
one ever accused him of being the sycophant of any 
man or party. He was sought out by others rather 
than sought any person s favour or intimacy himself. 
He received and preserved the confidences entrusted 
to him in perfect independence. His great position 
enabled him to do many acts of kindness to many 
persons, and I should be much surprised if I were 
told that when any appeal was made to him he was 
ever found wanting. Kindness and generosity, and a 
free and open hand, are not all the virtues which we 
would like to see in a Christian man, nor when these 
are mentioned is the list of those by which my friend 
was adorned exhausted. It is comforting and con 
soling to hear the confession of Christ s faith and 
fear from the lips of those who are dear to us. We 

336 Mr. Delane. 

would gladly carry the echo of those last words, 
" Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in 
peace," as a perpetual music in our ears. But death 
beds are not always or even generally what one 
might expect, when one considers the tremendous 
change to those who are passing from life into death. 
It very commonly happens that the mind and the 
body are enfeebled together. The body cannot move 
or act, and the mind cannot think. There is no 
power of reflection in it to make it feel anxiety. 
The sleep of peace cannot always be distinguished 
from the coma of insensibility ; nature at once is 
motionless and dumb. Some of the most religious 
men I have known have been most reserved and un 
communicative in their lives, and have passed away 
without a sign or with a slight movement of their 
lips from which we could only hope that they were 
breathing a prayer. We are glad of any evidence 
of joy and peace in believing where it is evinced, but 
it does not follow that belief is wanting, where such 
evidence is wanting, and our own hope and belief is 
not to wax faint because it derives no solid support 
from the hope and belief of others. No man know- 
eth the mind of a man, but the spirit of a man that 
is within him. But God is greater than our hearts, 
and to His love and keeping we can commit our 
selves and those who are dear to us. 

The death of friends, old and young, the dull- 
toned bell, that reminds us that another soul has 
taken its flight, do but add to the warnings of this 
solemn season. They warn us to " cast away the 

Mr. Delane. 337 

works of darkness, and to put on the armour of light, 
now in the time of this mortal life." We repeat the 
words from the first day of Advent unto Christmas 
Eve, and to-day wo pray that we may embrace and 
hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life which 
is given us in our Lord Jesus Christ. Let us be sure 
that this hope will not fail, will not deceive us, will 
not make us ashamed, when the truth and falsehood 
of everything shall be tried and known. And the 
God of all peace fill us with all joy and peace in 
believing, through the power of the Holy Ghost. 


Crimtg in 2Jnitg a . 

REV. iv. 8. 

" Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" 
THE great festival of Trinity Sunday is different 
from any other by which the course of the Chris 
tian year is marked. Other festivals either com 
memorate what I will call historical events, or are in 
tended to bring before us particular men whose 
names are held in honour among us, as apostles, 
evangelists, confessors, or martyrs. By historical 
events I mean things that happened, and the truth 
of which may be established by such evidence as 
is generally held to be sufficient to establish the 
truth of events of like nature. Thus, for instance, 
the birth of our blessed Saviour at Bethlehem is an 
event, the evidence of which is of the same character 
as that which establishes the birth of any other child. 
His death upon the cross was attested by the same wit 
nesses, and by the same kind of proof as the death 
of the two thieves who were crucified with Him. 
St. Paul marshals the witnesses of the resurrection 
just as he would do if he were called to produce them 
in a court of justice. Any person would have been 
competent to give evidence of the Ascension if he 
had been present on the mountain where it took 

a This Sermon was preached by Mr. Gordon on Trinity Sunday, 
May 20, 1883 : he died on the Friday following, May 25. 

Trinity in Unity. 339 

place, though the actual witnessing was committed 
to the Apostles. Any of the devout men who were 
then dwelling at Jerusalem, and possibly the scoffers 
also, were competent witnesses of what they saw and 
heard upon the day of Pentecost. And therefore 
I say that these were historical events, and we com 
memorate them as such on Christmas Day, Good 
Friday, Easter, and Whitsunday. That they were 
miraculous and momentous above any other events 
in the world does not deprive them of their historical 
character, or distinguish them in that respect from 
events of the most ordinary kind. Of course the 
Divine character of the Person concerned in these 
events is a matter of faith, but the events themselves 
are purely historical. A person might have wit 
nessed the Crucifixion with the idea that our Lord 
was simply one of three criminals, and the worst of 
them, but that would not discredit his testimony 
as a witness of the Crucifixion. On the other hand, 
if an unbeliever had been permitted to be present 
at the Ascension it would have been difficult for 
him to have avoided the impression that He whom 
he saw received up into the clouds before his eyes 
was something more than a man of human flesh and 
blood. Thus you understand what I mean by say 
ing that these are historical events, and you must 
be aware that the statement of these events makes 
up the substance of the creed with which you are 
familiar from your infancy. He that does not believe 
these statements, and holds them as undoubted truths, 
is no Christian, whatever else may be said of him. 


340 Trinity in Unity. 

There is a strange tendency now to undervalue creeds, 
and to think that we can get on as well, or even 
better, without them ; and Christianity is supposed 
to consist not in the maintenance of definite articles 
of faith, but in a certain temper and habit of mind 
which is called Christian after Him who is a perfect 
example of it. It is thought that " men may have 
the mind which was in Christ Jesus," without troub 
ling themselves to know or ask who Christ Jesus was, 
and in fact be very good Christians without Christ. 
It is true that anything like the mind of Christ Jesus 
is lovely wherever it is found, whether in believers 
or unbelievers, and they who have that mind without 
His faith will condemn those who have His faith 
without His mind. We do not separate those things 
which God hath joined together, and the Church 
in her prophetic wisdom sets before us first what we 
ought to believe, and then what we ought to be and 
do; holding that the one ought to follow directly 
from the other, nothing doubting but that her most 
faithful sons will celebrate with increasing joy and 
profit, as they grow older and wiser, these recurring 
festivals of the great events of our Lord s sojourn 
in the flesh. But other festivals are in commemora 
tion not of events but of persons. The Annun 
ciation, and the Purification of the Virgin, and the 
Conversion of St. Paul, may certainly be called events, 
but if you look over the list of festivals in general 
you will find that their object is to commend to us 
the services and characters of persons, doing honour 
to them as soldiers who have fought the good fig 

Trinity in Unity. 341 

of faith, and shewn us by example, how, being fol 
lowers of them we may be followers of our blessed 
Lord. That the services appointed for these days 
should bring before us passages illustrative of their 
character, or scenes in which they bore a prominent 
part, is but natural, the object of these festivals still 
being to commemorate not events but persons. And 
though we pay so little attention to these days that 
if the observance of them were omitted altogether 
few of you would notice it, yet the Church at large 
is more faithful than we her members, and it is well 
that the names of her saints should continue on her 
calendar, to remind us of what we owe them, and 
possibly to rekindle from time to time the love and 
zeal of some cold and sluggish heart, till it shall 
please God to pour out a spirit of prayer and suppli 
cation, when the glorious company of the Apostles, 
and the goodly fellowship of the Prophets, and the 
noble army of Martyrs, will receive from her mem 
bers that honour which the Church claims as their 

But the festival of Trinity cannot escape our notice 
in the same way, for it is fixed to a Sunday, and we 
are reminded of it every week for more than half the 
year. And it is, as I said, different from other festi 
vals, for it commemorates nothing that can be called 
an event, and does honour to no created being how 
ever high. It sets before us for our adoration the 
most inscrutable and glorious mystery of our religion. 
It calls upon us to steady our minds in and by the 
profession of a true faith, and to lay our souls pros- 

342 Trinity in Unity. 

trate in the contemplation of God Almighty as He 
has revealed Himself unto us, one in substance 
but three in person, in whose name we are baptized, 
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Now if we are asked 
for any warrant in Holy Scripture for the truth of 
this doctrine, I do not think we could refer to any 
thing more to the point than this formula of baptism 
with which you are familiar. Or you might refer 
to the blessing of St. Paul to the Corinthians, which 
must be scarcely less familiar : " The grace of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the 
fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you all." We 
should be rendering a sufficient account of the faith 
and hope that is in us if we were to say that we com 
menced our Christian life in the name of these three 
Persons, and that our highest prayer is that we may 
spend it under their protection, living in the grace, 
love, and communion of each. But you must be 
aware that no such clear doctrinal statements as these 
are to be found in the pages of the Old Testament. 
God deals with His children as children, giving 
them from time to time such lessons of truth and 
intimations of His will as are suitable to their age, 
and they are able to receive. The education of the 
Apostles under their divine Master was progressive, 
and He had to tell them in the course of it, " I have 
many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear 
them now." St. Paul says, " When I was a child 
I thought as a child, I spake as a child, but when 
I became a man I put away childish things." But 
any one who will read the passage will see that so 

Trinity in Unity. 343 

far from claiming to be a man in divine knowledge 
he still professed to be a child, and only looked for 
ward to becoming a man hereafter, when he should 
no longer see through a glass darkly. Some persons 
fret, and become impatient under this condition of 
knowledge, and are disposed at once to reject all 
knowledge that is offered them, which they are un 
able to understand. Yet it seems to me reason 
able to ask, who would wish nothing to be true except 
what he knows to be? who would wish his own 
experience to be the ultimate test of facts; who 
would wish the range of his own ideas to determine 
the possibilities of truth ? Is it a wide or a narrow 
view that forbids the exercise, or condemns the 
Teachings out of faith after the unseen, and regards 
it a vanity or presumption to dwell on the prospect 
of things " which the eye hath not seen, nor the ear 
heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man 
to conceive ? " 

Imagination is one of the endowments of our 
nature, and therefore has its proper office and func 
tion, as our other gifts have, and if its wanderings 
have to be kept within the lines of truth there is 
enough within those lines to exercise and satisfy it. 
Now it appears to me that those who lived under the 
old dispensations could hardly have read many pas 
sages of their own Scriptures without deriving thence 
some imagining of a truth that was hidden from 
them. Many learned Jews, for instance, have ob 
served what does not appear in our translations, that 
the word God is really Gods, though the verb which 

344 Trinity in Unity. 

follows is in the singular number. Again, they 
observe forms of consultation, as though several 
persons were taking counsel together, with a view 
to united action, as "Let us make man in our 
image." " The man is become as one of us." " Let 
us go down and confound their speech." The Jews 
allow that were it not thus written it would not 
be lawful so to write. Again, those passages which 
name God as sustaining several capacities at the 
same time, as that by which our Saviour perplexed 
the Scribes and Pharisees : " The Lord said unto 
my Lord, Sit thou on My right hand, till I make 
thine enemies thy footstool. If David then call Him 
Lord, how is He his Son ? " or where the name Jeho 
vah, incommunicable to any but the true God, is used 
twice, clearly not of the same person, "The Lord 
rained fire upon Sodom from the Lord out of Heaven." 
And there are other passages in which the name 
of God or His Attributes is repeated thrice, which 
are not a little remarkable : the hymn of praise, 
for instance, in the vision of Isaiah, which is repeated 
in the epistle of the day, " Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord 
God of Hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory." 
Indeed that vision itself is perhaps the clearest in 
the whole volume of the Old Testament. The pro 
phet felt that he had seen the King, the Lord of 
Hosts ; he had seen God as no mortal eye had seen 
Him, and lived; a man of unclean lips, and living 
among a people of unclean lips, he felt himself 
undone, and woe upon him. But a seraph flew to 
him with a live coal from the altar, and touched 

Trinity in Unity. 345 

his lips. Thus his iniquity was taken away and his 
sin was purged, and he was able to hear and under 
take the mission with which he was charged, and 
which he received from the voice of the Lord. It 
was the final judgment of the faithless people that 
he had to declare, " Hear ye indeed, but understand 
not ; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the 
heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, 
and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, 
and hear with their ears, and understand with their 
heart, and convert, and be healed," a judgment 
so true that it is repeated by each of the Evangelists. 
But St. John refers the words and the whole verse 
directly to Christ Himself. " These things said Isaiah, 
when he saw His glory, and spake of Him." The 
Apostle, like Isaiah, had seen the glory of Christ, and 
testified to what he had seen. But St. Paul, quoting 
the same judgment against his countrymen, brings 
in another Person: "Well spake the Holy Ghost 
by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers:" and thus 
we are able to account for the three Holies Holy, 
Holy, Holy both of the prophet and of St. John, 
and for the single Lord God Almighty ; for " they are 
not three Eternals, but one Eternal; not three Al 
mighties, but one Almighty ; not three Lords, but one 
Lord." For " like as we are compelled by the Chris 
tian verity, to acknowledge every Person by Himself to 
be God and Lord, so are we forbidden by the Catholic 
religion to say there be three Gods or three Lords." 

No person would, however, think of basing a doc 
trine on such passages as these if there were nothing 

346 Trinity in Unity. 

clearer revealed. Nor are we at liberty to frame 
doctrines for ourselves, to account for or explain 
passages in Scripture, because without such explana 
tion they would be difficult to understand. But 
when a key opens a lock it is a strong presumption 
that it was made for that lock, and the more compli 
cated the lock the stronger the presumption. And 
when learned Jews allow that God is spoken of in Scrip 
ture in such terms as it would not be lawful to use 
of Him without that authority, this itself is an argu 
ment that that doctrine which explains and accounts 
for the expressions used is hidden beneath them 
and is true. It is in this way that the Old and New 
Testament, the first sending our thoughts beyond 
itself for the full understanding of its words, the 
second taking up and carrying out the obscure inti 
mations of the first, lend support to each other as the 
mutually involved parts of a consistent and gradu 
ated revelation. 

The doctrine of the Trinity in Unity is of the very 
essence and life of our religion. It was declared in 
the very terms of the Annunciation: "The Holy 
Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the 
Highest shall overshadow thee. Therefore that Holy 
Thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the 
Son of God." The Persons are clearly distinguished 
from each other : The Highest, the Holy Ghost, 
the Son of God. It was revealed to the eye and ear 
at our Lord s Baptism. The Spirit of God descended 
like a dove, and was seen by St. John ; a voice from 
heaven was heard, the voice of the Father, for He 

Trinity in Unity. 347 

bore witness to His own beloved Son, who was there 
in His own Person. Our Saviour engages to pray 
the Father to send us another Comforter, who shall 
abide with us for ever, and He declares that this 
Comforter is the Iloly Ghost. The three Holy 
Persons are engaged again in promoting the salvation 
of those who have been baptized in their name. 
Here again we find acts, and persons, and capacities, 

The Father, from whom the Spirit proceeds, whom 
the Son prays, and by whom the Comforter is given. 

The Son praying the Father, sending the Com 
forter from the Father, and testified of by the Spirit 
so sent. 

The Spirit prayed for, given by the Father, sent 
from the Father by the Son, testifying of the Son, 
and abiding for ever with those disciples when the 
Son had departed. 

Allowing for the imperfection of human language 
which belongs to things and relations of earth, and 
is only borrowed when it is applied to the things and 
relations of heaven, it seems impossible to conceive 
a distinction of persons more clearly set forth, just as 
in countless other passages of Scripture nothing can 
be more clear than the declaration that the Lord our 
God is one Lord. And we may conceive that in a 
future state, and among the spirits of just men made 
perfect, there will be powers of understanding de 
veloped in us, of which at present we have only the 
germ : so there will be a language more suitable to the 
realities of divine things than that which we are here 

348 Trinity in Unity. 

compelled to employ, At present the doctrine of 
the Unity is guarded by the Trinity and the Trinity 
by the Unity; and it is a great protection to us to 
be taught how he that will be saved must not 
only think, but even speak of the Trinity. Words 
fashion and consolidate thoughts, and they that have 
learned to speak in the same language will not be 
likely to think very differently. It is not to be 
wondered at if the wild speculations of presumptuous 
men in various ages have driven the Church to 
strict definitions and stringent formularies, which 
are irksome to some as checks upon their liberty, 
but are thankfully received by the wise as guaran 
tees of their safety. 

But what is required of us here is not strictness 
of thought or accuracy of language though both 
have their value but reverence and adoration ; and 
if the will of God may be done on earth as it is 
in heaven, we may anticipate here some of the em 
ployments of heaven, to which indeed we are ex 
cited by the portion of Scripture appointed for the 
Epistle, wherein the blessed angels and spirits that 
are about the throne of the Majesty on High are 
represented to St. John as with most awful and pro 
found reverence acknowledging and worshipping the 
three Holies, who are one eternal and Almighty 
Lord : a fit example for the Church Militant on earth 
to follow, because in so doing we not only copy but 
even anticipate the constant employment of the 
Church Triumphant in heaven. 

And so with all humility and reverence, with all 

Trinity in Unity. 349 

the angels and all the heavenly powers, with Cheru- 
bin and Seraphin, with apostles, and prophets, and 
martyrs, with the holy Church throughout all the 
world, we unite in praising and acknowledging this 
"Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Sabaoth:" even 
the Father, of an infinite Majesty ; His honourable 
true and only Son; also the Holy Ghost the Com 
forter; living and reigning one God world without 


THE following Extracts from Sermons which cannot 
be printed entire for want of room, are intended 
to throw light upon Mr. Gordon s opinions respecting 
several subjects in which he took particular interest. 
He was always strongly opposed to the exclusion of 
religious doctrine from Public Elementary Schools 
established under the Act of 1870. His views have 
been made known during his lifetime in several 
publications ; but he constantly recurs to a measure 
which seemed to him little short of a national abro 
gation of duty, as in the two following out of many 
passages : 

I. You can exclude Christianity and all religion from 
schools, but admitting it, you cannot exclude Christian 
dogma, for every precept carries us directly into it. Christ 
is at the same time our authority and our example, for He 
alone entirely fulfilled every precept which His lips delivered. 
To take these precepts without His authority and His ex 
ample, is to rob them of their vitality and power, but directly 
you touch either you are in the region of dogma. 

The law was of old a schoolmaster to bring men unto 
Christ the true Teacher. That will be a miserable law that 
does not bring them still to Him. Consider for a moment 
yourselves. In three weeks time the Cross of Christ will 
be again lifted up before your eyes. It is the sight of sights, 
the subject of subjects, to draw to itself all eyes, to engage 
all hearts. Yet there are legislators of a Christian country 
who tell us that this of all subjects in the world shall never 

Extracts from unpublished Sermons. 351 

be mentioned in the schools to which the poor shall be com 
pelled by fine and imprisonment to send their children. It 
shall be a crime to speak of it ; it shall be banished, if pos 
sible, from their thoughts. 

"These things which I command thee shall be in thine 
heart. And thou shalt teach them diligently to thy chil 
dren, and thou shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine 
house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest 
down and risest up." 

This was the law of a Jewish parent. Take the negation 
of each part and you will have the law which it is sought 
to impose upon every schoolmaster in a land that calls itself 
Christian. Will you not join with me when I say "God 

II. I have already spoken to you on the efforts that are 
now being made to proscribe and exclude all religion from 
the education to which your children shall be condemned, 
and it is impossible to say to what extent these efforts may 
succeed a . No doubt many compromises will be proposed, and 
one in particular that the Bible shall be read in schools but 
no definite instruction given has so plausible and taking 
a sound that some persons may regard it as a valuable con- 

a These apprehensions were not wholly groundless. In many 
Board Schools no doubt the best is done that can be under a law 
which forbids any teaching of definite religious doctrine, though 
it imposes no restriction as regards the opposite extreme. From 
a Parliamentary Return it appears that in November last there 
were 45 Board Schools, chiefly in Wales, in which no religious 
instruction whatever was given. In some, such instruction was 
permitted twice a week between 1 and 2 o clock (the dinner hour). 
In one Board School an attempt was made to introduce a 
hymn from a School Board Hymn-book, with the Lord s Prayer, 
at the opening of school. But a member of the Board opposed 
the motion on the ground that though he had no objecticni 
himself to the Lord s Prayer, many of the ratepayers had, and so 
the motion was lost; and similarly elsewhere. 

352 Extracts from 

cession. From what I have said you will not suppose that 
I undervalue the sacred volume, holding it to be in reality, 
and not simply to contain, somewhere in its bulk, the true 
Word of God. But if the reading of it is to be considered 
the sum and substance of a religious education, I must pro 
nounce it to be a snare and a delusion. Are children of from 
six to twelve years of age supposed to be capable of framing 
for themselves an intelligible idea of religious truth, out of 
selections made we know not on what principle, or possibly 
on no principle at all ? It may be said that Christian teach 
ers would of course select such passages as are suited to the 
intelligence of children, and would lead them on naturally 
to the simple truths of the Gospel, and the duties connected 
with them. But what security will there be that teachers 
will be Christians ? and if they are not so, it is a mere pro 
fanation of Scripture that such persons should read it as 
part of their day s work, with unbelief in their hearts, and 
possibly contempt in their voices. And if they are Chris 
tians, and select such passages for reading as will direct 
their pupils towards such truths as they think fundamental, 
then they will be simply doing in an indirect and ineffec 
tual way that which the law forbids them to do in a more 
direct and effectual method; for a selection and arrange 
ment of Scripture is in effect an explanation and commen 
tary and summary of Scripture. Only this summary will 
not be that which the Church has received in all ages, but 
something that commends itself to the individual teacher. 
The truths of Christianity can be very simply stated, and 
the Church, under the pressure of necessity, but under the 
guidance of God s Spirit, has thrown them into such a form 
that they can be learned and understood by children ; while 
they are held as a precious treasure and deposit by the wise. 
And Catechisms, though they have not the authority of the 
undivided Church, are the natural mode of stamping the 
impressions of truth upon the infant, and even upon the 

unpullished Sermons. 353 

adult mind. St. Luke wrote his Gospel for the benefit of 
Theophilus, that he might know the certainty of those things 
wherein he had been instructed, or catechized, as the word 
is in the original. And in the Epistles of St. Paul we find 
traces of a regular system of instruction proceeding from 
principles to perfection. " I delivered unto you first of all 
that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins 
according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and 
that He rose again according to the Scriptures." Here we 
are almost brought to the very language of the Apostles 
Creed, as far as concerns one article of faith, and we do not 
know that the Apostles Creed was not then used in its com 
plete form. And in the Epistle to the Hebrews, repentance 
and faith, and the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of 
hands, and the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judg 
ment, are spoken of as the principles of the doctrine of 
Christ. Are children to be left to pick out these principles 
for themselves out of the sacred volume, or such portions of 
it as may be selected for their reading ? or shall we not 
follow the Apostles example, and put them in possession of 
them from the first ? 

The Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, 
not through their history, not through their study as a literary 
work, not even through their morality, but " through faith 
which is in Jesus Christ." 

We baptize your children into that faith, and we endea 
vour to give them the substance of it in that form of sound 
words which has been delivered to us, that thus they may 
grow in faith, and, we hope, in grace. And we can send 
them freely to the Word of God, without fear and without 
reserve, holding with the Apostle that " All Scripture is 
given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, 
for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness," 
that under its guidance and comfort the child may grow up 
into the man. 

A a 

354 Extracts from 

"And the man of God may be perfect, throughly fur 
nished unto all good works." 

His view of the relations which ought to subsist 
between masters and dependents is shewn in the 
following passage, possessing a peculiar interest from 
the circumstance referred to in p. 57, as affecting his 
own household. 

III. " If thou have a servant, let him be as thyself. If 
thou have a servant entreat him as a brother," says the 
author of the book of Ecclesiasticus, and he, like St. Paul, is 
speaking of a bought servant. Let me give you an account 
of a lady in Israel, the head of a large household, and living 
in great splendour. "Who," asks Solomon, "can find a 
virtuous woman ? her price is far above rubies. The heart of 
her husband doth safely trust in her." She is industrious 
and careful. " She seeketh wool and flax, and worketh 
willingly with her hands. She riseth while it is yet night, 
and giveth meat to her household and a portion to her maid 
ens." She has an eye to business, and does not miss a good 
chance. " She considereth a field, and buyeth it. With the 
fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard." But her special 
care is of her servants. " She is not afraid of the snow for her 
household. All her household are clothed in double gar 
ments ; she looketh well to the ways of her household, and 
eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and 
call her blessed, her husband also, and he praiseth her." 
We wish we had also a picture of a husband worthy of such 
a wife ; we should like to be told how he dealt with his ser 
vants, but we can easily imagine it. How that lady s servants 
loved their mistress ; they adored her, they would have done 
anything for her. They would not calculate the least they 
were bound to do, or the exact amount they had contracted 
to do. All their thoughts would be, what was the most they 

unpublished Sermons. 

could do, how they could best requite her care and love, 
and how they could exceed their obligations, and render 
some service that would be a free-will offering. Perhaps 
some of them would be ungrateful. But what did that 
matter as regards her conduct ? She at least had done her 
duty, and had engendered about her that warmth of affec 
tion and love which was her own comfort and reward. I 
cannot help thinking at this moment of our Queen, and 
of the loss she has sustained in the lower department of 
her household. I think we know very well that the regard 
of Her Majesty was not limited to that one person whom 
she particularly favoured. He was a single instance, but 
she observed and watched the conduct of every one about 
her, and valued them accordingly. Some persons may 
think that the servant whom she has lately lost, and whose 
loss I fear may have affected her health and spirits, enjoyed 
exceptional and even excessive favour. But I never heard 
that he was unworthy of it, and I know what it is to lose 
the sight of a familiar face, even though it be the face of 
an humble dependent, or as some may say a menial. I can 
only think of the Queen s affection for her faithful servant 
as an instance of the goodness of her heart, whose sympa 
thies extend to all her servants. And, so far from thinking 
the relation between them as exceptional, I rather regard 
it as typical and exemplary, as a type, that is, and instance of 
the feeling which ought to exist between all masters and 
all servants, each of course according to the faithfulness of 
his service and degree. 

His regard for dumb animals, noticed in p. 67, 
appears in the following striking description : 

IV. I would ask here, is there any doubt that animals 
have thoughts, memories, and feelings, if they have no arti 
culate mode of expressing them ? That they have memories 
is beyond all doubt. Their recollection of places is mar- 

A a 2 

356 Extracts from 

vellous, and in respect of permanence and accuracy far 
exceeds our own. The attachment of the higher order of 
domestic animals to those who treat them well is a lesson 
to the ingratitude of man. It has been well observed that 
the nobility of animals is in exact proportion to their capa 
bility of attachment to a being higher than themselves, i.e. 
to man. And man rises in the scale of being in proportion 
as he is capable of, and filled with, the love of God. A per 
fectly independent animal would only deserve to be de 
stroyed; a perfectly independent man, if we can conceive 
such a one, would be the most degraded of his kind. We 
are exalted by our dependence on Him who made us, and 
by our sense of it. I do not know anything more beautiful 
or more pathetic than the way in which subservient animals 
submit their own wills to the wills of us their masters and 
the lords of Creation. They must do many things con 
trary to their own wishes and impulses, simply because they 
know we wish them. I will not slander them by saying 
that it is from fear, it is from a higher motive. A word, 
a motion, or a touch of the bridle is enough, and they re 
sign themselves. Isaiah compares the brute creation with 
the very people of God, much to the disadvantage of the 
latter : " The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master s 
crib, but Israel doth not know, My people doth not consi 
der." Do you suppose that the horse does not remember 
his long years of faithful service, and that when he is cruelly 
treated his thoughts are not exactly those which found ex 
pression in the mouth of Balaam s ass ? There is a pathetic 
power in his reproach, which is far more telling than if it 
came from a human creature. He pleads for mercy and 
justice the more powerfully because he is perfectly helpless. 
He acknowledges himself to be a slave, "Am not I thine 
ass, upon which thou hast ridden ever since I was thine 
unto this day ? was I ever wont to do so unto thee ?" If 
dumb creatures could speak would they not frequently have 

unpublished Sermons. 357 

occasion to speak in this way to us ? They do virtually say 
it ; they reproach us with their eyes ? I have known them do 
it. They reproach, and they forgive. One word, one touch 
of kindness is enough, and everything is forgotten. If they 
are inferior to us in not being able to weigh injuries or un- 
kindness with precision, they are an example to us in for 
giving them. Man is, as I said, lord of Creation, and may 
kill and eat what he likes, but cruelty to dependent crea 
tures seems to me to be like the unpardonable sin. 

The following passages bring before the mind s 
eye pictures of various kinds, the more pleasing from 
their perfect simplicity. 

(a.) Of the Table in the Wilderness. 

V. The table that was spread in the wilderness was thus 
sanctified and increased by a marvellous increase. It grew 
in the Apostles hands, and multiplied as it was distributed. 
In their case it was literally true "There is that scatter- 
eth and yet increaseth," a visible instance of that law of 
charity which cannot exhaust herself by giving, but ever 
finds the blessings which she bestows on others coming back 
in fuller measure to her own bosom. But when we ask the 
manner of this increase, or seek to realize it to ourselves, 
the whole thing eluding the grasp, we cannot follow it even 
in imagination. There were five loaves to begin with, the 
material basis of the miracle they were blessed and 
broken; but how each of them became the seed of other 
loaves, increasing in the hands of the Apostles as they passed 
along the lines of the multitudes, would be an idle enquiry, 
and it belongs to the wisdom of the sacred narrators to 
leave unattempted the description of that which cannot be 

But let not the marvellous character of that which we 
have never seen make us insensible to the wonders that 
daily pass before our eyes. Let not God s every-day mira- 


Extracts from 

cles grow cheap in our sight because we are familiar with 
them, while we confine our admiration to those special acts 
by which the Son of Man signalized His Mission among 
men. Who can tell us how it is that a single grain of corn 
cast into the earth decomposes, and, as the Scripture says, 
dies, but in its death gives birth to a new progeny after its 
kind, first the blade, then the ear, then the full corn in the 
ear. Take the grain and examine it as you please ; analyse 
and separate its elements ; subject it to every kind of scien 
tific skill, and you will search in vain for the principle of life 
that is called into activity by the genial influence of the 
sun and rain. It obeys a law of its own, and obeys it under 
due conditions, with unwavering fidelity; but the process is 
a hidden mystery to us when we attempt to trace it, and is 
therefore a fit type of that greater mystery which shall be 
disclosed when this mortal shall put on immortality, and 
we shall be changed. If we cannot understand earthly 
things, how can we expect to understand heavenly ? There 
is need of the same faith in both. "For it is by faith only 
that we understand that the worlds were framed by the 
Word of God, so that things which are seen were not made 
by things which do appear." 

(>.) The ripening Corn in Summer. 

VI. It has always seemed to me that there is no scene 
in nature more delightful for the eye to rest upon than 
a bright field of ripening corn. It is so, not only for the 
ideas of peace and industry, and the promise of comfort and 
plenty that it suggests, but from its very aspect and appear 
ance. Watch it, as it bends and waves beneath the light 
winds of summer, or as the clouds and sunshine sweep over 
it in succession, giving it almost the expression of a smile, 
and you will have a picture of light and shade, of form and 
colour, of rest and motion, drawn for you by nature herself, 
and defying the imitation of art. It may be that all persons 

unpullished Sermons. 359 

have not eye for these things, but those who lack it cer 
tainly lack a power of enjoyment which is a source of infi 
nite happiness to its more fortunate possessors. And the 
aspect of the cornfield seems to me to be invested with 
other powers besides that of giving pleasure. It teaches us 
a high moral and religious lesson. It is a visible token 
and witness of God s Providence and goodness, a memento 
of our entire dependence upon Him. A heap of corn rising 
up stage above stage on the terraced hills of Judaea was one 
of the promised blessings of the reign of Solomon, and the 
abundance of its increase is ever associated with the bounty 
of Him who is the Giver of all good things. It appears to 
me to have a natural tendency, before anything else, to 
dispose the human heart to goodwill and gratitude, and he 
must be a worse man than I should like to imagine any 
man to be, who can walk through the impressive silence or 
gentle murmur of the cornfield, in an unthankful temper, 
or harbouring any evil thoughts, either towards God or man. 
Is not the cornfield more than a moral lesson to us ? Is it 
not a visible parable of life, and death, and resurrection ? 
"Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it 
abideth alone, but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit." 
Who can compare the bare brown fields of the present 
season with the richness of their summer clothing, without 
feeling that there is a deep mystery that works this won 
drous change. St. Paul at least thought so " Thou fool, 
that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die. And 
that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that 
shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat or of some 
other grain. But God giveth it a body, as it hath pleased 
Him, and to every seed his own body." 

(c.) Of Foreign Missions. 

VII. If we wish to strengthen the Church in our own 
lands, the way to do so is, I am sure, by extending and 

360 Ex tracts from 

planting it in other lands. Earthly kingdoms may be weak 
ened by their extension, and a lengthened position may be 
only a source of weakness ; but it is not so with the king 
dom of God. We cannot round its borders, or make it neat 
and compact just for ourselves to dwell in. Extension and 
progress are the very law of its being, and the necessity of 
its existence. It is most safe at home, when it is most ag 
gressive and enterprising abroad. To cease to conquer is 
to cease to live ; and what is true of the whole is true of 
every part. Life at home is sustained and strengthened by 
life and activity abroad. If we have much to Co among our 
own people, unconverted heathen even at our doors, go more 
largely arid freely into missionary efforts, and the blessing 
that you carry into other lands may return upon you ten 
fold here. It is no spirit of faith, but one of mistaken cal 
culation, that would deter us from the fields abroad, because 
the fields are calling for more labourers here. I do not 
believe it can be shewn that any Church was ever in 
jured by missionary zeal, or that it lost anything by send 
ing even its best and noblest sons to bear the cross in other 
lands. And hard pressed as many parishes are to supply 
their own immediate wants, with schools and churches to 
build, ministers to support, works of love and charity to 
establish and maintain, they will derive not weakness but 
strength, not exhaustion, but a renewal of their vigour, by 
throwing themselves heartily and zealously into the great 
work of preaching the Gospel to the heathen. All are not 
called to be evangelists, it was not so at the beginning, and 
it is not so now. "He gave some apostles, some prophets, 
some evangelists, some pastors and teachers." Men s gifts 
varied, and their calls varied; but the end of all was "the 
perfecting of the Saints," the work of the ministry, the 
edifying of the body of Christ. But all are called upon in 
their degree to promote the kingdom of God, for the corning 
of which they daily pray in our Lord s own words. We who re- 

unpullishcd Sermons. 361 

main at home, whose lot is cast in the pleasant places of our 
own land, who minister, or are ministered to, in the churches 
where our fathers worshipped, and tread daily or weekly 
the soil that is hallowed by their graves are one in faith 
with those who are carrying on the holy warfare in the dark 
places of the earth. We have one Lord, one faith, one bap 
tism, it will be our own fault if we have not one common 
interest in the work they have to do. Think you that the 
memory of all that they have left behind never recurs to 
those soldiers of the cross, that alone among the heathen, 
or in the unmeasured wilderness, or primaeval forest, they 
never think of the peaceful homes, and familiar faces, and 
sacred walls and decent ornaments of public services that 
they have left; or contrast the meagre congregations the 
two or three, perhaps, whom they have gathered together 
with pains and difficulty to learn the first rudiments of 
truth with the overflowing congregations, and united 
voices, and peals of praise, which they have often heard 
filling the vast expanse of minster or cathedral; heard it, 
perhaps, for the last time when they received the Holy 
Spirit by the laying on of hands, and were commended to 
their work with prayer. And what greater encouragement 
for them in their labour and solitude, than to know that 
our hearts too are with them in their work, that they are 
not looked upon as men who have thrown themselves away, 
or separated their interests from ours ; but that we are 
embarked in a common cause, fellow-workers in the same 
high enterprise, fellow- workers with God ; and that they 
will have a constant share in our prayers, and sympathies, 
and alms ? 

VIII. Pearls at random strung. 

There is this reason for keeping past sins in remem 
brance, that ve shall be in danger of forgetting the mercy 
that forgives if we forget the sin that is forgiven. 

362 Extracts from 

One vice for a time destroys another, till at last all be 
come confluent, and the whole man corrupt in every part. 

Out of the fulness of the heart the mouth speaketh, and 
sometimes out of its emptiness. 

Upon Congregational Music : " In ordinary chanting, I 
think that those who have no ear or voice may be silent in 
Church without compromising their rights." 

Charity is that affection of the mind whereby we love God 
for His own sake, and our neighbour for God s sake. 

A Proverb is a saying which embodies the wisdom of one 
man and the experience of many. 

Mystery is correlative to Revelation. Revelation is the 
bright and Mystery the dark side of the same providential 

That Government is best which is least felt. 
Though sin is hereditary we can break off the entail. 

Of our public dealings with China : " If we have forced 
upon the Chinese a drug which we know to be poisonous, 
we have at least abstained from forcing upon them a religion 
which we believe to be true." 

The existence of evil in any form under the government 
of an Almighty and all-good Governor of the world is the 
great insoluble problem ; which question those who presume 
to enter into must be much wiser or much more foolish than 

The strength of prayer is feebleness, if we do not try to be 
that which we pray to be. 

Of field sports : " I hope that I may be allowed to take 
delight in wild animals without being under the necessity 
of killing them." 

When certain of the congregation left the church before 
the administration of the Lord s Supper, their practice was 

unpublished Sermons. 3G3 

held up to them as ultra-popish, because whereas Roman 
Catholics remained without communicating, they carried 
their principle a step further and went away altogether : 
possibly with no greater effect in convincing the seceders 
of the nature of their fault, than Yorick in maintaining to 
his astonished host that the vice of the French character 
was over-seriousness. 

These extracts may perhaps be most fittingly 
closed by the expression of a sentiment deeply rooted 
in the mind of the writer, yet co-existing with abso 
lute loyalty to his own Church. 

IX. I thank God that I may allow, not in the niggard 
spirit of an acknowledgment that has been forced from me, 
but of a free and grateful confession, that God has raised 
up many a prophet, and witness, and preacher of righteous 
ness, among those who do not agree with us on matters 
which we think of great importance, particularly on the 
subject of an ordained ministry, which traces its commission 
to the laying on of hands by the Apostles, and we look 
forward to the happy time when the schism which now exists 
shall be closed. Wounds, as I am told, heal in two ways, 
by first intention as it is called, when the separated parts 
are brought together at once and immediately unite, and 
by granulation, where the process is slower and the cure 
is effected by new flesh forming on both sides, till the chasm 
is filled up. Believe me that the granulation of charity 
will fill up the wounds that are now gaping, and when 
charity has its work, that which is wanting on either side 
will be felt and supplied. Apostles, prophets, pastors, and 
teachers, will not be wanting " till we all come in the unity 
of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, 
unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the 
fulness of Christ." 





TVIIHI hanc concionem pro officii more habituro nihil 
prius in mentem venit, quara ut semestri tantura honore 
insignitus, fortunam Universitatis nostrae, quoe hoc anno 
gravissimi magistratus mutationem sustinuit, coraraemorera, 
meam vicem etiara condoleam, qui me in locum viri multo 
magis idonei subrogatum esse sentio. 

Cujus* profecto a nobis discessum baud sine causa de- 
ploraremus, si eo tantum modo operam Academiao dedisset, 
quo civis unusquisque aut alumnus qui in loco aut collegio 
suo muneribus sibi permissis pro parte virili defungitur, 
toti adeo civitatis aut Academic corpori prodesse censendus 
est. Verum ille quidem non illorum magis causa qui intra 
parietes -ZEdis suoo commorantur, quam alienorum omnium 
(absit verbo invidia) elaborarat. 

Quam bene de Groscis litteris est meritus, testis est in 
omnium manibus lexicon Grseco-Anglicum, quod magna 
ex parte a Germanico fonte sumptum, magna tamen ex 
parte denuo recudit, auxit et concinnavit. Cujus duabus 
editionibus fere exhaustis, tertia jam ante diem postulatur. 

Ceterum id jam diu factum est et celebratura, et id opus 
fortasse, quod ille etiam alter adjutor suus et gloria par 
absens potuisset absolvere, hoc vero anno ad Archididascali 
Westmonasteriensis dignitatem evectus, procuratoris simul, 
moralis philosophise professoris, instituti Tayloriaui cura- 
toris officia aliis mandanda atque obeunda reliquit. Et in 

Rev. H. G. Liddell, the present Dean of Christ Church. 

366 Appendix I. 

philosophia quidem ethica quam vocant, lectiones ejus quam- 
quara rerum multarum turba impediti tanta frequentia audi- 
torum celebrabantur ut satis essent documento, nee classem 
professoribus nostris, nee adolescentibus audiendi voluntatem 
deesse, ubi spes certa fructus percipiendi ostendatur. Nee 
id mihi erat mirum. Hem enim subtilissimam ita tractabat, 
ut cum in veterum philosophorum opinionibus ac disciplinis 
illustrandis plurimum versaretur, permulta tamen ad quaas- 
tiones et officia nostrae ipsorum aetatis pertinentia inde 
deduceret. Scilicet in eo erat prsecipua qusedam animi 
ejus excellentia, quod veteres philosophos in eadem materia 
elaborare, in eosdem errores incidere, in iisdem difficultati- 
bus hserere, eadem qurerere ac nostri temporis homines vide- 
bat. Itaque lectiones ejus erant non ut de re antiqua et \ 
vetustate exoleta et a nobis aliena, sed ut de hodierna et ; 
maxime ad nos pertinenti, cum non ad reconditas opiniories < 
explicandas sed ad vitam et mores dirigendos spectarent. 
Quo circa (id erat ejus ingenium) nullus equidem dubito, quin 
in hoc etiam loco quern extra sortem occupavi, multi vestrum 
prudentiam ejus et in rebus agendis sollertiam desidera- 
veritis, et fortasse magis desideravissetis nisi me simul et 
Vice-Cancellarii benignitas singularis, et collegao mei opera 
atque industria sustinuerat. Vice-Cancellario quidem maxi- 
mas agendas esse gratias sentio, quod bis uno eodemque 
anno, quod perraro accidit, novi procuratoris inscitiam 
non aequo animo et facillima humanitate tantum pertulit 
sed judicio suo et auctoritate compensavit. Collega vero b 
meus is fuit in rerum omnium administratione, ut indies 
magis sentirem me eum sorte officii juuiorem, prudentia 
consilio viribus sicut annis aliquauto fortasse seniorem 
habere. Sed in disciplina nostrae civitatis tuenda, mores 
et voluntas juvenum ipsorum maximo rerum omnium 

b The late Kev. Thomas Chaffers, E.D., well known as Yice- 
Principal of Erasenose College. 

Appendix I. 367 

adjumento sunt. In nostro enim officio vis imperil paruin 
valet ad utilitatem publicam, nisi anirai adsint ad audi- 
endum dociles, ad obedientiam parati, et ad bonos mores 
amota legum coercitione inclinati. Nee, mehercle, nobis 
gloriosum esset aut vobis jucundum, compressos tumultus, 
vindicatam legum majestatem, reos cujuscunque generis 
compreliensos jactare, si pax et concordia ordinum et boni 
mores et honestatis amor abessent. Nemo certe nisi qui 
cum tempestate conflictare, quam in portu navigare mallet, 
annui magistratus duceret esse, magnum aliquid et in- 
auditum facinus edere, potius quam tuendo innocentes coer- 
cendo malitiosos ne quid e corruptione privata res publica 
detrimenti capiat, curare. Satius est profecto si fieri potest, 
culpam omniuo prohibere quam in noxios animadvertere. 
Itaque nobis quam maxime gratulamur, quod per totum 
annum perpauci quidam sive exilio sive majori aliquo sup- 
plicio affecti sunt. . . . 

In annum magna ex parte quietum incidimus niliil fere 
omnino turba3 aut tumultus reminiscor quod eo magis 
gratum ferre debemus, quod clamores dissoni usque a Cami 
ripis auditi illic nobis procuratorias vires non tantum maxi 
ma vi oppugnatas, sed debilitatas fractas profligatas nuntia- 
vere. Et nos etiam aliquando perterrefacti sumus, ne ad 
nostram urbem contagia inali ingravesceutis et uondum ut 

accepimus extincti serperent Sed quoniam sororis 

nostraa ut ita dicam CantabrigiaB mentiouem fecimus, non 
possumus non recordari luctum ilium atque mrerorem : quo 
nuper obruta est Cancellarii morte inopiuata, egregii no- 
minis viri, et celeberrimum in antiquissimis regni annalibus 
locum obtinentis. Nam si ea est hominum inter se necessi- 
tudo ut nemo, nisi qui ab humana societate abhorreat, hu- 
mani aliquid a se alienum putet, si hac conciiiatio non 
homines tantum sed urbes gentes regna inter se coustringit, 

e Hugh, Duke of Northumberland. 

368 Appendix 1. 

quanto arctior inter geminas universitates debet esse amoris 
ac studiorum conjunctio. Itaqne et audita morte Cancel- 
larii condoluimus, et nunc iidem Isetamur, Principem illus- 
trissimum, Regium Conjugem afflictam Academiam erigere 
ac consolari dignatum esse. Quern nostris etiam adscrip- 
tum et honestissirao gradu decoratum grato animo recor- 
damur, nee dubitaraus quin quicquid dignitatis praesidii 
honoris in Regio Cancellario litterarura fautore munificen- 
tissimoque artium patrono insit, ejus nos quoque non ut 
alienos sed ut sure etiam tutelae pro re et parte nostra par- 
ticipes fore. 

Annum vero cetera prosperum, lugubrem ante omnia 
fecit et funestum fames et pestis vi per multa srecula inau- 
dita Hiberniam devastans. Nos etiam nonnihil passi 
sumus et patimur, sed nuntii ab extremis ejus insulae oris 
egenae semper jam vero ope destitute indies magis terrifici, 
ululatus mortis, salutis desperatio mali quemque sui imme- 
morem, ad levandas Hiberniae miserias accendit. Causa 
morbi diu qusesita, sive ex malignitate cceli oriundi sive ex 
insectorum multitudine illati, omnes adhuc fefellit. Nun- 
quam vanior fuit philosophorum jactatio, nunquam largior 
totius ut ita dicam orbis terrarum misericordia. Ab re- 
motissimis imperii fere infiniti oris, a sociis gentibus, a civi- 
bus, a coloniis immensa pecunia? tritici hordei omnis generis 
cibi subsidia ad levandam Hiberniae inopiam confluentia 
audivimus. In hac pietatis contentione, tester libens eum 
animum juvenum nostrorum fuisse, ut inter primes ultro 
miseris succurrere atque opitulari decernerent; neque id 
pro facultatibus tantum sed effusiori quadam liberalitate, 
ita ut multi voluptatibus, immo necessariis qui perhibentur 
sumptibus, modum imponerent, ne quis sive dignus sive in- 
dignus, ipsis divitibus, egeret. Ita solatia quidem si non 
remedia, morbo quaosivimus, sed ea est mali natura ut spem 
salutis non in nostra ipsorum opera sed in Dei Opt. Max. 
prsesidio ponamus. Idcirco solemnes supplicationes habitae 

Appendix I. 369 

sunt ad pacem Dei exorandam, et jejunia cum singular! cleri 
populiquc consensu indicta ct observata ecclesioo ubique 
maximis irara divinam deprecantium multitudinibus cele- 
bratse, conciones ad caritatem ad poenitentiam ad bona 
opera cohortantes habitoo. Et etiam nunc acies ferri hebe- 
tari videtur, comraeatus ab occidente, annona aliquanto 
laxior, vis februm in nonnullis locis pigrior, veris seri 
quidern sed non infausti temperies spem rerum omnium 
abundantiao facere. 

Restat ut res anno procuratorio gestas breviter recens- 
eam. Inter has semper moris fuit libros a prelo Academico 
editos enumerare; nee id quidem injuria, quoniam hoc si 
non pra3cipuurn at domesticum saltern esse videtur opus 
Academic, aut nova in quoque doctrinoo genere proferre, 
aut antiqua emendatiora, et ad auctoris manum, quantum 
ex subsidiis superstitibus colligi potest, propius accedentia 
edere. Hunc annum numero sterilem, dignitate et gravi 
tate operum qiue publici juris facta sunt, haud infecundum 
habemus. Libri de quibus operao pretium erit dicere duo 
sunt. Alter, Demosthenis editio a Dindorfio concinnata et 
emendata. Alter Reliquiarum Sacrarum a venerabili viro 
Collegii S. Magdalena3 Pra3side, editio secunda. Vellem 
equidem, magnopere novam hanc . eloquentissimi omnium 
oratorum editionem animos juvenum nostrorura ad per- 
legendum opera summi dicendi artificis, immo ad imitandam 
industriam posse excitare. Animadverti euim, non sine 
admiratione et dolore, quum nomina eorum, qui honesti- 
orem in litteris humanioribus locum ambibant officii mei 
jure accipiebam, ne unum quidem nisi me memoria mea 
fefellit Demosthenis aut Ciceronis orationes cognitas ha- 
bere professum esse. Quod et per se mirum est, et nobis 
qui in diligenti Graecorum exemplarium studio laudem 
proocipue quoorimus, satis credo, inhonestura. Vereor tamen 
ne malum hoc et incuria radices altius egerit, quam cui 
nova libri editione speremus mederi. Vereor ne adolescentes 

is b 

370 Appendix L 

nostri, aut temporum angustiis, aut exilitate quadam doc 
trine, aut ipsa studiorura ratione a splendidissimis ingenii 
atque eloquentise monuraentis excludantur. Haud inopia 
librorum, sed inopia legentium laboratur. Patent omnibus 
plures Demosthenis qualescunque orationum editiones, patent 
baud ita magno pretio annotationes virorura doctorum a 
Gothofredo Shsefero in unum corpus dejectse, omnigenaque 
doctrina refertse; nemo tamen Demosthenem perlegit, 
nemo in historia Demosthenis aut Ciceronis temporum, 
uberrima exemplis, ad cognoscendum gratissima versatur. 
Sperarem equidem, si fieri posset, hoc dedecus a nobis 
amoveri : sed ad alterum librum transeo. Vir d omni 
laude major, et jam nonagesimo aetatis anno exacto, 
alteram reliquiarum sacrarum post triginta annos editi- 
onem denuo ornatam emendatamque procudit. In quo 
dubito utrum fortunam viri magis debeamus admirari, qui 
etiam vivus et superstes famse honorisque pii prasmia, quibus 
mortuos prosequimur videtur praecepisse, an indolem atque 
industriam, quao tantos doctrine fructus cumulavit, et per 
tot annos ab opere institute nunquam descivit. Quod eo 
magis est admirabile, quod cum primum animum sacrarum 
litterarum studio intendebat, fere neminem aut laborum 
socium aut operas cohortatorem habuit ; jam vero cum 
plurimi nostrum iisdem studiis incumbere cceperunt, ipse 
se facile omnium principem et ducem vise paratum obtulit. 
Vir vere catholicse mentis, et qui nos ad mores catholicos 
jure quodam et exemplo suo possit revocare. Altera scilicet 
manu ecclesiam patrum ab Apostolicis temporibus proxi- 
morum, altera Scotorum oppressam spoliatam disjectam 
amplectitur; ipse totus noster est. Et mihi quidem pra3- 
cipue placuit, quod opus suum ultimo limae labore exor- 
natum quasi jam vita? suse munere absolute sacro Scoticae 
ecclesiae clero constituit dicare. " Aurea ha3C," inquit, "pri- 

- Rev. Dr. Kouth, late President of Magdalen College. 

Appendix I. 371 

orum sacculorum scripta raisi ad vos, Venerandi Patres, 
qui laude morum antiquorum, discipline Apostolicae, fidei 
Catholicse floretis. Sunt hae quidem reliquiae fragmenta 
taiitum flebilis naufragii, et humilis atque depressac ecclesise 
inonumenta, sed eo magis vobis offerenda quia et ipsi fortuna 
minus prospera utirnini." Quis non amabile illud et dulce 
fideique plenum viri ingenium admiretur aut omen illud 
quo ad finem dedicationis meliora tempora praesagire ausus 
e>t, nolit accipere? "Faustura omen accipite. Commu- 
nionem potissimum vestram voluit esse ecclesiao Novo-An- 
glicao matricem, summus ille ecclesiarum pater et dominus, 
Dominus et Deus noster Jesus Christus. Magnum certe 
clarumque Divinae benevolentiae indicium. Quo etiam pro- 
visum est, ut cui genti vos ipsi successionem vestram sacer- 
dotalem debetis, in ejus progenie parem referatis gratiam, 
et ipsi emineatis nequaquam minimi in priucipibus Judao. 

Vereor ne longior sim quam pro norma orationis meae, et 
patientiam vestram jam diu defatigaverim. Sed una adhuc 
res mihi nequaquam est proetereunda. Leges et regulas 
Instituti Tayloriani plus semel propositas, et a vestra pru- 
dentia et voluntate rejectas, unum tandem in corpus rede- 
gimus et suffragiis vestris commendavimus. Arduum sci 
licet erat et perdifficile rem novam et iutentatam et a nobis 
quodam tenus alienam ad opiniones omnium et voluutates 
accommodare. Nos autem pro viribus nostris in eo tantum 
elaboravimus, ut quam plurimis vestrum placeremus, et 
ntilitati totius Academiao quantum in nobis situm est con- 
suleremus. Ea utilitas qualis et quanta sit futura libera 
omnibus est existimatio. Sunt qui timeant, sunt etiam 
qui sperent. Equidem nee nimis spero nee magnopere 
timeo. Dissentio prorsus ab iis, qui neotericorum scripta 
qualiacunque sive nostra sive aliena in studiorum cursu 
et formula Examinationis voluut includerc; dissentio non 
minus ab iis, qui animos juvenum a neotericorum scriptis 

372 Appendix I. 

deterrendos et ad antiqua revocandos esse censent. Suo 
quisque sseculo nascimur, vita cuique quotidiana est viveuda, 
nostri officii est aiiimos in tutelarn nostram permissos in 
optimis quibusque studiis instituere, sed ad omnia armare, 
immo etiam pessimis aliquando, sicut milites hosti cum quo 
dimicaturi sunt, assuefacere. Credo equidem si commercia 
hominum hodierna, si societatis fcedera indies conjunctiora, 
si facilitatem hue illuc commeandi admirabilem et patribus 
nostris ignotam contemplamur, baud nos pcenitebit, lin- 
guarum doctrinarumque uostri ipsorum temporis studia in 
nostram potestatem et moderationem recepisse. Sed de 
qusestione universa jamdudum judicavit Universitas, mag- 
nifica3 istius haereditatis cretione unde tota novi Instituti 
impensa deprompta est. Nostri fuit in legibus, quibus res 
nova administranda est, ferendis, voluntati et commodo 
vestro consulere. Non est cur vos longiori oratione more- 
mur et in publica commoda peccemus. 

Itaque, quod bonum felix faustumque sit, officia atque 
insignia nostra successoribus nostris commendamus. 



T)LUS semel mihi accidit exeunte auuo orationera lugu- 
hrem et funestam habere. Neque temporum vices, aut 
fortunam meam adhuc conquestus sum, si mihi, turn erga 
eos qui nobiscum familiariter versati, et mihi ipsi conjunc- 
tissimi immatura morte dec^sseruut, turn eos qui fama 
rerum gestarum noti aetate rernotiores .2Edi Nostrao Acade- 
miocque universao decori et pracsidio fuere, hoc pietatis offi- 
cium suscipiendum erat ; nisi quod ingenium materia dignum 
et vires oueri sustentando pares desideravi. Sperabam 
vero hodiernum munus, quod invito nee tameu dulcedinem 
ejus abimenti fungendum est, alii cuivis mandatum fore. 
Sperabam me, qui usque a tyrocinio primo, unius tantum 
Decani meminerim, eum a quo tot tantisque beueficiis 
cumulatus fui, aetate quidem provectiorem, sed viribus 
animi corporisque florentem, in sua sede relicturum esse. 
Sperabam quamvis rerum humanarum haud immemor, me 
saltern sub nullo alio Preside hujusce -^Edis administrationis 
participem fore. Hoc enim in me est proecipuum et sin- 
gulare. Nonnulli vestrum qui adestis jamdudum hauc 
aBclem domicilio habueratis, antequam ego ad earn accessi. 
Maxima vero pars, sub eodem Decano, quod de me prae- 
d:cavi, civitatem nostram nacti estis sub iisdem auspiciis 
ad huuc fere diem munere quisque suo qualicumque defuncti- 

374 Appendix II. 

Sed ut ea tenus vestrao conditionis socius fui, ita ad eos 
actate proximus accedo, qui alias hujusce jiEdis vicissitudiries, 
alienam auctoritatem, alia regna possint recordari. Ex hac 
frequentia ni fallor primus nostrorura numero manu ejus 
adscriptus sum, ultimus a latere jam moribundo discessi. 
Temporis quod interfuit memoria, tarn arcta familiaritate 
viri eximii commendata et consecrata, tanta me recolentem 
beneficiorum multitudine oppressit, ut qui eum optimo jure 
in ore et mente habere deberem, nemini noii libenter partes 
hodiernas concederem. Quippe persaepe non magis rerum 
inopia quam vehementia affectuum impedita haeret mens 
et laborat oratio, et multo pronius est vanum dicendo fiugere 
quam vero satisfacere desiderio. 

Sed ne circa nos nostramque ipsorum segritudinem diu- 
tius commoremur, ab inutili dolore deducendi et avocandi 
sumus ut vitam et labores ejus quem deflemus comme- 
morare, immo indolem et imaginem aliqua ex parte et pro 
viribus reprsesentare possimus. Unicus erat si quis alius, 
Academiae filius, almas matris alumnus. Nutricem ingenii 
juvenilis, fautricem virium, singular! quadem fide, ut ita 


adulti ingenii fructibus nutrivit, et nomine suo tutatus est. 
In privata schola Wintonise sub magistro veteris disci- 
plina? litterarum elementis imbutus, doctrinam accura- 
tiorem potius quam diffusiorem, dotes animi admirabiles 
et incredibilem industriam ad nostra studia et exercitationes 
contulit. Superest adhuc apud nos, et diu supersit, vir 
venerabilis qui multa de ejus vita quotidiana et moribus pos- 
sit commemorare. Supersunt pauci, unum et alterum rede- 
untes anni abstulere, et haud diu erit, quum tyrocinii ejus 
et adolescentise nomen et imago fortasse exoleverit. Itaque 
pergratum est, amici et sodalis, qui uuper ipse decessit 
et quem unice diligebat, testimonium proferre et verba 

Appendix II. 375 

usurpare. "Quinque eramus arctissimis amicitiao vinclis 
conjunct!. Satis erit haec nomina transcripsisse, ut horas 
feliciter actas, festivos sermones, studiorum consortium, 
litterarum disceptationes in mentera revocem et jam fere 
oblivione evanescentia repraesentem. Hos inter homines, 
si quid in me pravi erat emendatum, si quid boni auctum, 
si quid infirmi confirmatum testor. Multorum quidem 
comitum et jucundse sed infructuosao societatis diu me 
poenituit, et tempus in alia quavis consuetudine consumptum 
vellem, dies vero cum his sociis et praecipue cum nostro 
actos semper lucro apposui." Erant tune temporis neque 
eidem ad honores aditus, neque eadem ingenii prsemia et 
industrial incitament a. Itaque et ipse palmas hodie stu- 
diosis propositas, et nos factorum monumenta desideramus. 
Sed in eo fortasse id habuit commodi, quod ingenium ejus 
libero spatio evagari, et se quocunque vellet convertere, 
nullo studiorum curriculo praefinito et nullis impeditum 
cancellis potuit. Sed suo ipsius judicio et voluntate, ipsa 
natura jubente, ad ea studia qua? turn apud nos in maximo 
honore erant ferebatur. Itaque imprimis accuratiori lingua 
Graecae scientise totum se dedit, et hanc sibi provinciam, 
quam senior tanta cum laude exornavit, adhuc adolesccns 
exoptaverat. Primum ingenii specimen et laboris fructum, 
perelegantem Electne Euripidis editionem, quod et con- 
sentaneum erat earn vitae rationem instituenti et modestiam 
viri coarguit, in usum puerorum, nisi Westmonasterienses 
alumni nomen dedignentur, rogatus ut accepi dedicavit. 
Quas deinde per quinquaginta fere annos veterum auctorum 
editiones, grammaticorum philosophorum poetarum his- 
toricorum exemplaria, quot volumina intermissa nunquam 
serie publici juris fecit, contra patientiam vestram peccarem, 
et in ignota fortasse nonnullis vestrum materie versarer si 
tantum enumerare, nedum aliqua ex facte uniuscujusque 
merita examinare instituerem. Neque enim iis tautum auc- 
toribus qui sunt in manibus et quotidiano usu familiares, 

376 Appendix II. 

quales sunt Grsecorum poetarum optimi, Homerus Euri 
pides Sophocles; inter Historicos Herodotus; philosophos 
Aristoteles, et in quo de provincia sua decessit, Tullius, 
operam impendebat, sed ex arcanis et pulvere Bibliothecarum 
turn domi turn foris quasque cognitione dignissima admira- 
bili quadam sagacitate eruebat. In quo, quanquam apud 
nos qui tritam et usitatam studiorum orbitara sequamur 
magni merito auctoritas ejus habebatur, multo tamen ma- 
jori gloria apud exteros et doctissimura quemque judicera 
florebat. Fama erat apud omnes Europae universitates prae- 
cipua, et ea inter doctos priraa cura, ut de Decano nostro 
sciscitarentur ; ita ut mihi ipsi nonnihil aliquando accederet 
honoris, cum me ejus discipulum et ejusdem JEdis 
alumnum profiterer. Sed cum utilitati eruditissimorum, 
potius quam oblectationi vulgi consuleret, reprehendebant 
harum litterarum rudes, quod in sua etiam provincia per- 
paucos auctores aut insigni commentariorum copia aut ulla 
interpretationis novitate illustrasset. Mirabantur virum 
ea ingenii ubertate, ea doctrinae copia, iis industriao quas 
prima adolescentia compararat subsidiis in mendis et lituris 
codicum, in litterarum et syllabarum minutiis demer- 
sum atque occupatum fuisse. Inceptis et operum labore 
obstupescebant, sed rem molimine indignam judicabant. Fe- 
fellit eos sententia viri deliberata, et lex quam sibi vitas 
cursum ineunti pracscripserat, alios jamdudum Graecis et 
Latinis auctoribus, quod ad Commentarios et Annota- 
tiones attinet, satisfecisse aut satisfacturos, sibi aliam esse 
viam neque de Graecis litteris se male meriturum esse si id 
potissimum curaret, ut veterum scripta quae in tutamen suum 
receperat, indies emendatiora, novis subsidiis munita, et 
ad manum et mentem auctoris quam proxime accedentia 
exhiberet. His studiis deditum, et hoc sibi fine proposito, 
jure suo Professoris Regii dignitatem suscepisse nemo non 
confessus est. Hanc sibi Professor provinciam peculiarem 
depoposcit, hoc munus vitse praocipuum promisit. Itaque 

Appendix II. 377 

quamquam nemo minus opinionis hominum studiosus, nemo 
Professoriam dignitatem, si non vocis laterumque conten- 
tione, at oleo et industria, si non corona3 plausibus, at 
doctorum judicio melius sustentavit. Quas virtutes in 
scribendo, quantam subtilitatem in corrigendo, quantam 
modestiam in judicando adhibebat vererer equidem descri- 
bere nisi alienam laudem in suum praconium oonvertere 
liceret. Inter Anglicanos auctores Pearsonum praocipuo ho- 
nore colebat; baud mirum igitur si e Pearsoni laudatione 
multa in ipsius honorem convenirent. " Nihil in his Anno- 
tationibus ambitiose scripturn est ; nulla inest glorioloe qua? 
ex doctrinoo ostentatione quaeri solet captatio ; emenda- 
tiones simpliciter propositoe sunt, et verba quemadmodum 
ex nostri sententia legi debent nude proferuntur; virorum 
doctorum, quorum acumen aut sollertia profuit, emenda- 
tiones et observata strictim apponuntur, prave aut temere 
eorum excogitatis leni et modesta animadversione adhibita." 
Si vestigia aliorum qui iisdem studiis operam dederant 
sequebatur, ipsum iterum loquentem audiamus ; " Laudi 
potius clandum quam vitio vertendum quod in eadem cum 
aliis eorundem studiorum cursu valentibus incident." Neque 
frustra haec in lucem edita quis existimet, nam indignum 
erat, ut tantus labor totque vigiliarum fructus incassum 
perirent ; deinde memorabili exemplo ostendendum erat 
quantopere in scriptis veterum auctorum legendis pensi- 
tandisque elaborandum sit, si quis litterarum studiosus idem 
honoris culmen, in quod sudando evasit noster attingere 

Sed cuique sua est jactura, suus dolor, et nos in hac acde 
ubi adhuc adesse et pracsidere videtur, Decani propius 
quam Regii Professoris linguaD Graecac contingit memoria. 
Florente aetate integrisque animi corporisque viribus ad 
gubernaculum hujus sedis accessit: dignitatem et honorem 
Decanatus si nou iuvitus suscepit, at nulla certe cupiditatc 
exoptaverat, aut mala arte ainbiverat Erat enim jam- 

c c 

378 Appendix II. 

dudum eo loco constitutus, iis fortunse beneficiis cumulatus, 
in quibus quivis, nedum vir singularis temperantiae et mo- 
destiao facile posset quiescere, et cui, ne ab episcopali quidem 
apice quern oblatum declinavit, aliquid spleudoris potuisset 
accedere. Sed quum longinqua commoratio et diuturna 
absentia Canonico Dunelmensi necessaria vitse et studiorum 
rationes conturbabat, magnificentiam et res opimas ejus 
ecclesiae cathedralis coelo nostro societate doctorum homi- 
num subsidiis Bibliothecae publicse, quibus carere non po- 
terat, otio et quiete umbra et lucis peramaenis Academiae 
libenter commutavit. Ubicunque esset mente tamen et 
voluntate ad hanc oodem revertebatur, Decanatus honorem 
et raolestias alii cuivis concessurus si modo in inferiorem 
locum liceret descendere. Sed ubi nullus huic spei exitus 
expediri videbatur, multa gravatus in hanc sedem ascen- 
dit ubi post administrationem quatuor et viginti anno- 
rum e vivis excessit. Et quamquam pristinae hujus ^Edis 
vix pares fuimus, quamquam unius Decani quern ipse patro- 
num colebat nomen omnium qui eum secuti sunt fulgore 
quodam suo obscuravit, nemo tameu dubitavit quin Decanum 
eximiis virtutibus praeditum et felicia Decanatus tempora 
defleamus. Nemo ei ingenii constantiae justitiae laudem 
invidebit ; indolem conciliandao et regendae juventuti minus 
aptam et duritiam quandam imperii, sunt qui objectaverint. 
Profecto si ad opiniones hominum exigendus sit, res lege 
uon arbitrio, ratione certa non voluntate administrandas 
esse duxit. In quo si quis inerat error, idem erat erga 
omnes : gratise odii favoris simultatis aberat suspicio. Omnia 
in eo sincera saltern et aperta fuere. Crimina etiam gra- 
vissima, in quae instituenda erat qusestio, delitescere potius 
quam inhonestis artibus detegi maluit. Testimonia lion 
quorumvis in aurem insusurranda ; sed spectatorum ho 
minum palam recitanda esse duxit, si de quo forte judi- 
candum erat, ne dicam animadvertendum. Ab omni dela- 
torum turpitudine, non tantum consilio sed ipsa cogitatione 

Appendix II. 379 

abhorruit. Qui vero severitatis accusant, verara viri natu- 
ram et indolem prorsus ignorant. Pancorum hominum est 
et perraroo felicitatis ita leges et disciplinam vindicare, ut iis, 
de quibus cognoscendum sit placeas, neque mirum si ii de 
quibus judex constitutus es male de te judicent. Itaque 
difficile erat, in necessaria rerum administratioue in admo- 
nendo coercendo castigando male feriatos et minus obse- 
quentes, offensiones omnium evitare, et in multorum animis 
fortasse Decani nostri memoria cum quadam tristitiso et 
inclementia? specie conjuricta crit. 

Sed nescio an in alio homine frontem animo, speciem 
veritati magis contrariam viderim. Hro quidem omnibus 
patebant ; de illis vero, de humanitate ejus erga omnes, festi- 
vitate sermonum, quam leniter de delictis etiam graviorilws 
judicabat, quam facilis ad ignoscendum, quam paratus ad 
excusandum fuit, quam saepe defensoris partes agebat, et 
festinationem nostram mora interposita, iracundiam ali- 
quanto consilio temperabat, de his ad eos testes provocan- 
dum est qui eo familiarissime utebantur. 

Sed si quid in ejus indole erat severitatis, id omne ante 
mortem exuerat. Et nos qui moribundo fere, et in do- 
mestico luctu, nee tamen officii oblito per ultimos illos dies 
aderamus, siugularcm illam indulgentiam et morum dulce- 
dinem memoriis fovebimus. Et illi fortasse, qui ad nos 
eo die matriculandi advenerant, quos tam benigne accepit, 
tarn leniter, si forte verecundia tanti viri et in fans pudor 
libere profari vetuit, adjuvit et lapses erexit, farnam si quae 
superest severitatis et inclementirc increduli mirabuntur. 
Neque ego qui solus aderam, cum illorum nomina vix a me 
ipso adjutus et tremebunda manu nostro numero adscripsit, 
placidi illius vultus et lumine quodam caritatis offusi obli- 

Fama tandem divulgata scdem Decani vacuam csse, 
eadem omnium desideria iidem luctus, et nou Decanum 
modo sed ^Edis patrem ferali pompa deducere et sepulcro 

380 Appendix II. 

condere videbamur. Mortuus est tempore opportune sibi 
sed luctuoso nobis, et fortasse discrimina temporum, peri- 
cula Universitatis, quge diu praesagiverat animo, mutata 
rerum conditio, senescent! ingrata quanquam necessaria 
aliquid acerbi segro et adfecto attulerant. 

Nee mihi dubium quin Universitate omnibus patefacta, 
in cseterorum collegiorum aemulatione certamen anceps viri- 
bus impares conditionibus iniquis, et optimo quoque milite 
aliena fortasse castra affectante, inituri simus. Licet saltern 
dicere, Trjs q/ueTepas ap^s, r\v KCU TravQfj, ov/c adv/jLOVfiev 
TT]v reXevTijv. ^Hyefioviav satis amplam et diu defensam aut 
digniori concedemus, aut quod equidem non despero. si 
quid in auctoritate Decani nostri consilio viribus inest 
pra3sidii, melioribus auspiciis et exitu opinione laetiori certa- 


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