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Edith Mary Gell.

The cloud of witness : a daily sequence of great thoughts from many minds following the Christian seasons online

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FOLLOWING THE CHRISTIAN SEASONS



HON. MRS. LVTTELTON CELL



"Certain even of your own poets have said, For we are
also His offspring."

"Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above,
and Cometh down from the Father of lights."



Bonbon

HENRY FROWDE

OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS WAREHOUSE
AMEN CORNER, E.G.



«.^. |. ^«w4W.W«w.w.w«^.t. X >,.wtt..w..?,w«w.s,»..x.«s>«w«x w.w.x .s..^ -^^-^



HORACE HART, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY



•i*"



PREFATORY NOTE

BY HIS GRACE
THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.

l^HESE Sequences of Thoughis, resiiyig each on
sonie otie clear ' idea ' presented to us in our Sundays,
seem io me full of interest and help. Brief words
chosen for a day often help ^he day through more
strongly and brightly. That is our experience of the
greatest Lections of all. The ' ideas ^ noted in the
folloiving pages are full of suggestion, and I know
no like book with so wide a range of illustrations.
It is good to hear in pithy phrases what the observ-
ing, musing poet-people, thai is the ' maker-peopW
as the Greeks have it, are saying at this moment: —
None the less good, because some of them are yet
unable to ' beat their music out ' — the music of a full
faith. In such voices is heard what St. Paid calls
' the yearning of the Creation^ ' and that yearning is
Creation s witness to the Son of God.

EDW. CANTUAR.

Addington, Nov. 29, 1891.



1 G7fi9ft2



'HTEAR ye not the voices rtngmg doivn the ages —
•^ Echoing still the message, though their task be done —
Voices, born of heroes, tnonarchs, poets, sages,
Yearning still to share the ivisdont they had icon ?

Listen! — Thronging round you, deafening with their

clamour.
Fashion-tyrants mock at your vaunt of self control.
Wake! — Delusive visions fraught ivith poison- glamour
Daze your eyes to blindness, while they paralyse your

soul.

Yet the Cloud of Witness solemnly advances,
Widening as each clarion-voice is hushed in Death

below ;
Yet the Heavenly Vision gleams on raptured glances,
Prompt through changing vesture their changeless

Lord to know!

E. M. L. G.



^



(preface



THE Epistles and Gospels for each Sunday in the
j'ear represent a sequence of thought which
has been pursued in the worship of the Christian
Communit}'' from almost its earliest da3'S. The
stream of teaching embodied in them is part of that
fundamental inheritance of Christians which is
common to all the Churches, and which writers of
every Communion, even outside the Christian pale,
have developed and illustrated.

It is the object of this little book to detach and
em.phasize some cardinal point of Christian teaching
(not always the thought most plainly obvious) thus
associated with each Sunday and Holy-day ; and to
present it in its different aspects for daily meditation
throughout the w^eek, illuminated and enforced by
cognate testimony drawn from the minds of those
who, from age to age, have seemed to catch most
truly the Heavenly Vision, — to hear most clearly
the Divine Voices, — to apprehend i"n fullest measure
the realities of God's Purpose amongst men.

In the things of the Soul, there is ever the danger
of losing in breadth of sympathy and perception,
while gaining in intensity of feeling and devotion.
The deepest religious feeling too often foregoes its
birthright and strips itself of support, by failing to
realize that ^^ Every good gift and cve)y perfect gift is
from above," and is destined for its nutrition and
instruction. By ignoring the sidelights through
which God shines upon the groping world, we im-
poverish and weaken the Revelation which He qffers
^ ^



preface



us. We stunt our apprehension of His habitual and
universal Presence among men. We contract our
perception of the volume of Divine Influence to the
limits of the single stream upon v^^hich circumstance
has launched our individual lives. " The life of man
is the knowledge of God. But this knowledge lives
and moves. It is not a dead thing embalmed once
for all in phrases ^"

A selection from general literature undertaken
with the objects embodied in this little book, brings
us to realize that the sum of Christian thought is far
wider than any sect or creed ; and if any should be
disposed to cavil at finding the sayings of heathen
philosophers and secular poets side by side with
those of Christian Saints, let them remember that
St. Paul did not disown the Altar raised to the
Unknown God, and that a Greater than St Paul
commanded His followers to gather up the fragments
that nothing be lost.

The Great Minds of each Age in succession, doubt-
less,, are the channels of the Special Message which
the needs of their Age require ; though portions of
their message often prove to be of such final and
perfect insight that they have only to be re-uttered in
order to secure the acknowledgment of each succeed-
ing generation. The heathen Emperor, Marcus Aure-
lius, and the unknown Saint, St. Thomas a Kempis,
stand out in this respect as World Teachers. Each
spoke to the soul on certain points more convincingly
than any that has followed them, and each has been
widely quoted in the following pages. To the com-
piler, nevertheless, it appears as if there were no
epoch since the days of the Apostles and the Fathers
when the Divine Message of literature was so wide

> Weslcolt.



►i#-



(J)treface

in its range, so intense in its effort, so deep in
its insight, as in the present century— at least
amongst English and American writers. If the
proportion of modern — even of living Authors —
quoted in this little book seems large, it is because
the work of compilation itself disclosed that the
treasures of human thought— for our age at least —
lay most richly scattered amongst modern writers.

I trust sincerely the living will approve this ne-
cessarily imperfect attempt to gather here some of
the treasures of their spiritual teaching — a teaching
the more valuable, from being so often obviously
spontaneous, and, if I may say so, accidental. My
obligations to Lord Tennyson, Lord Lytton^, Mr.
Myers, Mr. George Mac Donald, Miss Ingelow, Mrs.
Hamilton King, and to all the other living writers
whose names are given in the fallowing list of Au-
thors, cannot be too amply acknowledged. Alas! that
there are so many of their brother Poets whom no
formal acknowledgments can reach,. Robert Brown-
ing and Elizabeth Barrett Browning ha^'^e passed from
us into that Greater Life of w)iich their lofty and
prophetic souls seemed to attain; so near a vision
while on earth. Lowell — one ofthq misst suggestive
teachers for the nineteenth century — t^^ joined them
while these sheets were in the press. Matthew
Arnold, Cardinal Newman, Lord Houghton, Father
Faber, Emerson, Carlyle, Mazzini, Miss F. R. Haver-
gal, Miss Adelaide Procter, had gone before. Yet still

We feel the orient of their spirit glow —
Part of our life's unalterable snnf0 of t^t QUaefer

THE SEASON OF ADVENT

" ^^g Ktn^Sdm come "

ist Week in Advent : ^' God with us'' . . 3

2nd Week ,, '' In Change Unchanged" 11

3rd Week „ '' Right Judgment" . 19

4th Week ,, "■ The Way of Joy"" . 27

Saints Commemorated in Advent :

St. Andrew (Nov. 30th) * :

^^The Discipline of Duty ' ' 36
St. Thomas (Dec. 21st) ^^ Loyalty in Weakness " . 37



CHRISTMAS AND THE DYING YEAR

" (Bob f men {0 brawing near "

Christmas-tide : '^Perfect God and Perfect Man " 41

* St. Andrew's Day occasionally falls in the week preceding
Advent.



ConUntQ



Saints Commemorated in Christmas-tide :
St. Stephen (Dec. 26th^ : pack

" FaUhfiil unto Death " . 44

St. John the Evangehst i^Dec. 27th) :

*' The Sanctuary of Home " . 45
The Holy Innocents (Dec. 28th) :

" The Ministry of Children " . 46
The Dying Year (Dec. 29th-3ist) :

"Retrospect"' . . .47



THE NEW YEAR AND SEASON OF EPIPHANY

"^^g £t5^t t0 come"

The Circumcision : " 7^hc Divine Brother hooiV 54
The New Year (Jan. ist-5th^ :

" Omvard and Upivard^'' . 55
The Epiphany (Jan. 6th^ :

" The Universal Felloivshif^ 61
Week of the —
1st Sunday after Epiphany :

'' The Consecrated Life"" . . 63
2nd ,, ^^ Obedience'' . . . -71

3rd „ " The Triumph of Rightconsncss'" 79

4th ,, ^^ Fearfulness" .... 87

5th „ ''Patience'' 95

6th „ ''The Supreme Fatherhood" . 103

Festivals of the Season :
Conversion of St. Paul (Jan. 25th)*:

" The Snare of Intolerance" 112
Feast of the Presentation (Feb. 2nd)*:

" The Force of Gentleness " 113

* When there are less than four Sunday.s after tlie Epiphany,
one or both of these Festivals will fall in the following Season.



Conttnte



THE SEASON OF LENT

" Bci U0 afeo go t^at vft mag 5te wtt^ gtm "

The Preparation :

Week of — page

Septuagesima : '' The Cail/o Ejidurance" . 117

Sexagesima : '' T/ie Voice 0/ God" . . 125

Quinquagesima : " The Greai Essential" . . 133

The Forty Days :

Ash Wednesday : '■'■ The Cry of Penitence'''' . 138

Week of the —
ist Sunday in Lent :

" The Orde The Debt of the Forgiven " .


445




231-d




'' To all their due''


453




24th „




" The Ministry of Intercession'"


461




25th




" The Revelation of Ideals" .


469




Saints


Commemorated in the Season*






St. Barnabas (^June nth' :










* The Mission of Comfort'"


478




St. John the


Baptist vjune 24th) :










' The Secret of Infiicnce'"


479




St. Peter ^June


29th^ :










' Impulsiveness "...


480




St. James (J


uly


25th) :

'^ The Snare of Ambit io>r


481




St. Bartholomew ^Aug. 24th :










' The Revelation of Miracle'" .


482




* The Feast of St. Andrew occasionally falls in this Season,




and the Feast of St


Barnabas in the preceding Season.

























.



Conttnta



St. Matthew (Sept. 21st) : page

''Integrity'' . . . .483

St. Michael and All Angels (Sept. 29th) :

" The Presence of the Unseen " . 484
St. Luke (Oct. i8th) :

" Ministry to the Sick " , . 486
St. Simon and St. Jude (Oct. 28th^ :

" 77?^ Perversion of Criticism " . 487
All Saints (Nov. ist) :

" The Communioti of Saints" , 488



PART III.

tU ^of^ Communion

The Eve . . 490 I The Evening . 493

The Morning . 492 j The Remembrance 494

PART IV.

€poc^0 in tU t^ti^ian Bift

Holy Baptism : " The Consecration of Childhood " . 497

Confirmation : " The Consecration of Youth " . 501

The Birthday : '' Reconsecration of Life""' . . 505

Betrothal : ** The Consecration of Love" . . 507
Holy Matrimony :

*' The Consecratioji of Wedded Life'' 511
Sickness and Convalescence :

" The Consecration of Suffering" . 517

The Hour of Death : ''Entry into Rest" . . 523



Index of Subjects 535

Record of Anniversaries .... 553



BM of Mt^ote Ouofei



Adams, Sarah.
Addison, Joseph.

AlDAN, St.

Alderson, E.
Alexander, Cecil
Allingham, Wil-
liam.
Amiel.

Amos, Book of.
Angelo, Michael.
Arnold, Edwin.
Arnold, Matthew.,
Augustine, St.

Bacon, F., Viscount

St. Albans.
Baker, Sir H.
Baring Gould, S.
Baxter, Richard.
Bernard, St.
Bickersteth, E. H.
Blake, W.

BONAR, H.

Bond, A.
Borthwick, J.
Bourne, G. H.
Bridges, R.
Bright, Dr.
Browning, Eliza-
beth Barrett.
Browning, Robert.,
Buchanan, R.
Burbidge, T.
BuRGON, Dean.
Bykon, Lord.

Caird.
Calderon.
Campion, T.
Canticles, Book of.
Carlyle, Thomas.
Chiabrera.
Chronicles, Books

of.
Clark.
Claudius, M.
Clough, a. H.



Coleridge, Hart-
ley.
Coleridge, _S. T.
Collins, H.
Coolidge, S.
Cowper, William.
Cox, Frances.
Cranch, C. p.
Crashaw, R.
Crewdon, Jane.

Daniel, Book of.

Dante.

Dkuteronomy,

Book of.
Dix, W. C.
Downton, H.
Drake, Maria.
Drummond. W.
Dryden, John.

Ecclesiastes, Book
of.

Ecclesiasticus,

Book of.
.Edmeston, J.

Eliot, George.

Ellerton, J.

Elliot, Char-
lotte.

Emerson, R. W.

Esdras, Books of.

Exodus, Book of.

Ezekiel.

Faber, F. W.
Fletcher, L.
Froude, R. H.

Gannett, W. C.

I Genesis, Book of.
Gerhardt, p.
Grant, Sir W.
Grant-Duff, Sir

M. E.
Gray, David.



Greene, Clara.
Greenwell, Dora.
Grinfield, T.
GuiON, Mdme.

Havergal, F. R.

Haweis, Rev. J.

Heber, R. (Bishop
of Calcutta)

Hebrews, Epistle
to.

Hemans, Felicia.

Herbert, George.

Hesiod.

Hinds, S. (Bishop
of Norwich).

Hose a, Book of.

Houghton, Lord.

How, Walsham
(Bishop of Wake-
field.)

Hugo.

Hunt, Leigh.

Ingelow, Jean.
Irons, W. F.
Isaiah, Book of.

James, St.
Job, Book of.
Joel, Book of.
John, St.
Joshua, Book of.
JowETT, B., Master
of Balliol.

JUDE, St.

Judges, Book of.
Julian, J.

Keble, John.
Kemble, Frances.
Ken (Bishop of

Bath and Wells).
King, H.Hamilton.
Kings, Books of.
Kingslky, Charles.
Koran.



Biet of cEutgove Ouofe^



Lamentations,
Book of.

Lamrnnais.

LoGAU, Von.

Longfellow, H.W.

Lowell, J. R.

Luke, St.

Luther, Martin.

Lynch, T. T,

Lyte, H. F.

Lytton, Lord
(Owen Mere-
dith.)

Maccabees, Book

of.
Mac Donald, Geo.
Mai.achi, Book of.
Mansfield.
Mant,R. (Bishop of

Down).
Marcus Aurelius,

Emperor.
Mark, St.
Mason, J.
Massinger.
Matthew, St,
Mazzini, G.
Mc Cheyne, R. M.
Meredith, Owen.
Michael Angelo.
Milman, H. H.

(Dean of St.

Paul'si.
Milton, John.
Montgomery, J.
Morgan.
Morris, Lewis.
Myers, F. W. H.

Nhale, J. M.
Newman, J. H.

(Cardinal).
Newton, J.
Newton. Sir Isaac.



Noel, C. M.
Novalis.

Paul, St.

Peter, St.

Plato.

Pliny.

Plumptre, E. H.

(Dean of Wells).
Pollock, T. B.

POLLOK.

Pope, Alexander.
Procter, Adelaide.
Proverbs, Book of.
Psalms, Books of.

QUARLES, F.

RiNCKART, M.
ROSCOE, CAI.nWELL.

RossEiTi, Chris-
tina.
ROSSETTI, D. G.
RiCKERT.

RusKiN, John.
Ruth, Book of.

Samuel, Books of.

Scott, IJell.

Seneca.

Shairp, J. Camp-
bell.

Shakespeare.

Sharp, J.

Shelley, P. B.

Sidney, Sir Philip.

Smith, Walter.

Socrates.

Solomon, Song of,

Southwell, R.

Spenser, Edmund.

Siani.ey, a. P,
(Dean of West,
minster).

Stennett, J.

Stone, J.

Sutton, Septimus.



Taylor, Jeremy.

Tennyson, Alfred,
Lord.

Teresa, St.

Terstegen, G.

Thomas a Kempis.

Thomson, J.

Thompson, J.

Thring, (i.

ToBiT, Book of.

toplady, a. m,

Trench, R. C.
(Archbishop of
Dublin).

Turner, C. Tenny-
son.

TuTTIETT, L.
TWELLS, H.

Tytler, C. Fraser.

Vaughan, Henry.
Vere, Aubrey ue.

Waring, A. L.
Wesley, Charles.
Wesley, John.
Westcott, B. F.

(Bp. of Durham).
White, H. Kirke.
Whitmore, Lady

Lucy.
Whititer, J. G.
Williams, I.
Williams, Sarah.
Winkworth, Cath.
Wisdom, Book of.

WoRDSVv'ORTH,

Christopher (Bp.
of Lincoln).
Wordsworth, W.

Young, E.

! Zechariah, Book
of.
Zinzendorf. Count.



^



■*t*



PART 1.

FOOTPRINTS OF THE MASTER



ADVENT TO TRINITY



''ARE YE ABLE TO DRINK OF THE CUP
THAT I SHALL DRINK OF?"



^4 ►


THE SEASON OF


ADVENT


" T/IY KINGDOM COME"


Nov. 30th


Dec. 2ist


^ ; ^



n



7//£ FIRST WEEK IN ADVENT

" Be ye also ready; for in such an hour as ye think
not the Son of Man cometh."

A Prayer for the Week
Thy Kingdom come, O Lord ;
Thy reign, O Christ, begin !



[Advent Eve.

Watch ye ; for ye know not when the Master of
the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the
cock-crowing, or in the morning: lest coming sud-
denly He find you sleeping. — Mark xui. 35, 36.



^O ! as some venturer, from his stars receiving

Promise and presage of sublime emprize,
Wears evermore the seal of his believing

Deep in the dark of solitary eyes, —
So even I, and with a heart more burning,
So, even I, and with a hope more sweet,
Groan for the hour, O Christ, of Thy returning,
Faint for the flaming of Thine Advent feet,

F. Myers.
^ ■

3T may be in the evening,
When the work of the day is done,
And you have time to sit in the twilight,

And watch the sinking sun,
While the long bright day dies slowly

Over the sea,
And the hour grows quiet and holy

With thoughts of Me;
While you hear the village children

Passing along the street —
Among those thronging footsteps

May come the sound of My feet.
Therefore I tell you, Watch !

By the light of the evening star
When the moon is growing dusky

As the clouds afar,
Let the door be on the latch

In your home,
For it may be through the gloaming

I will come. C. M.



V-IIF. Master is come, and calleth for thee.

John xi. 28.

f'/rs/ Week in AdvenLl 4



Advent Sunday.]

Behold, thy King cometh to thee. — Gospel for the Day.



AT ARK ! what a sound, and too divine for hearing,
ri) Stirs on the earth and trembles in the air !
Is it the thunder of the Lord's appearing?

Is it the music of His people's prayer ?
Surely He cometh, and a thousand voices

Shout to the saints and to the deaf are dumb !
Surely He cometh, and the earth rejoices,

Glad in His coming, Who hath sworn, " I. come !"

F. Myers.

^HOU art coming, O m^'- Saviour!

Thou art coming, O my King !
In Thy beauty all resplendent,
In Thy glory all transcendent;

Well may we rejoice and sing !
Coming ! in the opening east

Herald brightness slowly swells,
Coming! O my glorious Priest.

Hear we not Thy golden bells ?

F. R. Havekgal.

A^H, quickly come, great King of all,
^^ Reign all around us and within !
Let sin no more our hearts enthral.

Let pain and sorrow die with sin !
Oh, quickly come, for Thou alone

Can'st make Thy scatter'd people one!

TUTTIETT.



#'



jURELY the time is short,
Endless the task and art.
To brighten for the ethereal court
A soil'd earth-drudging heart;
But He, the dread Proclaimer of that hour.
Is pledged to thee in Love, as to thy foes in Power.

Keble.



*!^-



[INlONDAY.

(Bob wit^ U0.

Behold, the Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet
Him. — Matt. xxv. 6.



^HY care is fixed, and zealousl}'' attends

To fill thy odorous lamp with deeds of light,
And hope that reaps not shame. Therefore, be sure
Thou, when the Bridegroom with His feastful friends
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gained thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.

Milton.

JFkE lifts me to the golden doors,
^ The flashes come and go ;
All Heaven bursts her starry floors,

And straws her light below,
And deepens on and up ! The gates

Roll back, and far within
For me the Heavenly Bridegroom waits,

To make me pure of sin.
The Sabbaths of Eternity !

One Sabbath deep and wide —
A light upon the shining sea —

The Bridegroom and His bride !

Tennyson.

fAITHFUL soul, prepare thy heart for this Bride-
groom, that He may vouchsafe to come unto
thee, and to dwell within thee. .^, ^^^_^^ . ^^^^^^^^^^^

A^H ! that Thy steps among the stars would quicken !
^"^ Oh ! that Thine ears would hear when we are

dumb !
Many the hearts from which the hope shall sicken,
Many shall faint before Thy kingdom come !

F. Myers.

Firsi Week in Advent.'\ 6



•^



Tuesday.] ^

I came down from heaven, not to do Mine own will,

but the will of Hira that sent Me. — John vi. 38.
For judgment I am come into this world.— John ix. 39.



O'



|H quickly come, dread Judge of all ;
For, awful though Thine advent be,
All shadows from the truth will fall,
And falsehood die, in sight of Thee.
Oh quickly come : for doubt and fear
Like clouds dissolve when Tnou art near.

^ TUTTIETT.

A1f\E believe that Tnou shalt come to be our Judge.

'^HE night is well nigh spent : the world fulfils

Her season— on the everlasting hills
Bright burns the day-star ! Yet a little more
And all that lets will be for ever o'er ! . . .
Wake while ye may — or sleep for evermore !
The great Judge stands already at the door.
What ? will 3'e slumber till the day of doom
Dispels your darkness ? Must the dull, cold tomb,
More quick to hear, more keen to feel, than you,
Yield up its dead, to prove the warning true ?

W BURGON.

fREAT God ! what do I see and hear.
The end of things created.
The Judge of all men doth appear,

On clouds of glory seated.
The trumpet sounds, the graves restore
The dead which they contained before : —

Prepare, my soul, to meet Him !
Great Judge ! to Thee our prayers we pour,

In deep abasement bending;
O shield us through that last dread hour,

Thy wondrous love extending !
May we, in this our trial day,
With faithful hearts Thy word obey,

And thus prepare to meet Thee !

Trans, from Luther.



&



[ Wednesday.

(Bob wit^ U0.

I am come that they might have life, and that they
might have it more abundantly. — John x. la



A^HO did leave His Father's throne
>- To assume thy flesh and bone ?
Had He life, or had He none?
If He had not lived for thee,



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