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ly substance; it is so common for the Church itself to
be managed by worldly maxims, half bound and
bandaged by secular dictation, that it strikes people
as fanatical to go back and stand squarely on apos-
tolic foundations. In spite of all this, St. Paul
strengthened his young friend Timothy by telling
him that '^ if we suffer with Christ we shall reign
with Him," and though we believe it not, but deny it,
" He abideth faithful and cannot deny Himself." He
has been pleased to set fulfilments of that promise in
the breast of mankind everywhere. For men every-
where, whatever they permit themselves to be, do
admire the great givers, the givers-up, and most of
all the givers who give themselves. Sometimes the
people follow them alive, oftener commemorating
them after they die. You can make your choice,
and you do. You can keep your corn of wheat, or


change it into money and keep that. People of a
certain sort will then sajj ^' Shrewd calculator ! Thrifty
economist ! Here is a master of the art of self-
preservation, here is a steward who knows how to
take care of himself and his own ! " But when
harvest-time comes^ is it harvest with him, or is it
famine ? The charity of self-surrender silences more
infidelity, sets more reckless sinners to thinking,
gathers a more willing company of listeners to the
good news, than many volumes of apologetics. No
sound of grander influence over every order of men
in France, from prince and scholar to th^ rabble in
the streets, issued from that spouting sea of fire and
blood that bubbled at the mouths of the artillery
along the barricades of Paris than the archbishop's
tranquil repetition there, in the face of the mob, of
the benediction of his King, '^ The Good Shepherd
giveth His life for the sheep." (Bonus Fastor ani-
mam suam dat pro omnibus suis.J It was when the
Saviour's piteous face bent down at sunset over the
loathsome diseases of Capernaum that ^^ all the city
was gathered at the door."

Here then is what is given us to-day thankfully to
accept into our faith. The Son of God and Son of
Man is still widening out and building up for us His


new kingdom on the earth, — which wherever it
really comes regenerates society, and makes human
life a new thing. Into that kingdom He sets the
gate open. But remember this, though we may be
in it there is this stern and solemn fact revealed
there, to you and. me, that we are not of it, and it
is not in us, unless we are growing every day into
its inmost principle and law; unless we are getting
liberated and purified by its charity from the selfish-
ness and pride of that other kingdom which is closer
to our senses, has a louder voice, and wears a hand-
somer outside; unless we are continually looking
about us to see how we can be more just to those at
our side, more helpful to those that seem to
stand below us, reverencing more and more both
God and man because we see both to be one in the
glorified humanity of our Lord.

We can rise, if we will, borne up by this inspira-
tion in which the Saviour of men spoke and lived, to
the very highest privilege. It was in no melancholy
wailing tones that He proclaimed this necessity to
His followers. "The hour is come that the Son of
Man should be glorified." " I, if I be lifted up," by
My cross, " will draw all men unto Me." There are
states of Christian satisfaction when that which we



commonly call pain is pain no more. You would not
but suifer for the dear heart you love, would you f
If willingness to bear a cross for another is an exact
measure of affection between man and man, between
man and woman, if it is true that human love is never
made quite sure till vicarious anguish has gone into
it, it must be just as true that there is a love like
that between a saved soul and its Saviour. There
may be this painless sacrifice, for aught we know,
among the felicities of heaven; the smart of it lost in
the closer nearness to Christ. That is the fulness of
the promise: *' Where I am there shall also My
servant be."

We come again and again to the sacrificial feast,
instituted as on this day, the seed-grain dying, the
undying Fruit and Bread of Life given and received.
We pray that by some stirring up of the renewing
spirit in us, by a " Power " above ourselves, in this
sinning nation, amidst all this self-indulgenl living
and faithless thinking, in these social circles which
never sit in sackcloth and ashes, come feast or fast,
in this half-awakened Church, too little on its knees
and hence too slow on its feet — we seem to pray that
there may be a better doing of God's blessed will.
Pray it again, before you sleep to-night. Pray it


not forty days, but forty times forty. What labor
cannot do, prayer will; and these two are not the
same thing, in spite of the old saying of St. Edmund
that to labor is to pray. ^' Whither art thou going ? "
asked the Roman Emperor Valens of a trusted Chris-
tian nobleman who had worked long and hard, but
in vain, to save him the State. ^' Out to the desert,
sire," he answered, '^ to pray for your empire."

We need not be afraid of all the adverse forces of
society or nature. Sailing towards the Holy Land,
at the head of his fleet, in the midst of a terrible
tempest off Sicily, Philip Augustus said to his af-
frighted sailors, ^* It is now midnight. You hear the
raging of the winds over the waters. This is a
slender ship. But at home the holy community at
Clairvaux are just rising to enter the chapel, there
before the altar of God to pray for our safety to the
Lord of storms, who holds the waves in the hollow of
His hand. Their intercessions will deliver us.'^

As an old saint said, '^ Bear the cross, and it shall
bear thee." At the foot of Calvary the feast is
spread. ''Fear none of those things that thou shalt
suffer." '' If so be that we suffer with Him that
we may be also glorilied together."


" I saw red berries and the twinkliug gloss

Of pointed Lolly leaves which, ordered, lay
On a deep lancet-window's sloping splay;
Where the stern symbol of the ensanguined Cross
Reclined on a green bed of cushioned moss.
I pondered on the sight. 'Twas Christmas Day,
And the Church smiled in festival array
To welcome Him who counted all things loss
That He might win our souls. Alas ! I said —

'Tis thus we pluck the thorns from the sharp crown
Which pressed upon the Saviour's drooping head:

We take our cross, and softly lay it down:
We love the Sign, and honor it; and there
We leave the burden which we ought to bear ! ''

** But if, impatient, thou let slip thy cross,
Thou wilt not find it in this world again,
Nor in another; here and here alone
Is given thee to suffer for God's sake.
In other worlds we shall more perfectly
Serve Him and love Him, praise Him, work for Him,
Grow near and nearer Him with all delight;
But then we shall not any more be called
To suffer, which is our appointment here.''

^~\ CHRIST JESUS, pour Thy grace upon us; grant us love,
purity, loAvliness and patience in all trouble and distress;
feed us with thy heavenly Bread; make us strong by Thy suffer-
ing; make us to love Thee with all our hearts, and so truly and
without all deceit or guile to glory in Thee, our only Saviour,
that we may draw all our power and blessedness from Thee
alone, to whom be rendered all praise and thanksgiving in Thy
Church, and world without end. Amen.



Beholding Christ on the cross, some lookers-on,
who seerc not before to have recognized His divinity,
exclaimed, ^' Truly this was the Son of God.'^ Apart
from all the manifold effects of that sacrifice, in
impression, in awakening, converting and sanctifying
the souls of men, and in making the world's salva-
tion not only possible but actual, effects which
rightly form the constant subject of holy instruction
on this day of atonement, there is in it a distinct
demonstration that the Master of mankind cannot be
less than God.

Writers and thinkers of unquestionable orthodoxy
and true Catholicity hold that the incarnation of
God in Christ must, from the character of God, have
taken place, even had there been no fall of man to
be remedied, no world-wide transgression to be
covered and healed. But whatever other unspeak-
able ends the " Word made flesh " achieved, we


have an intense concern in the power of His death.
^^ All we like sheep have gone astray/' and we know
of only one way back. ^^ The law is holy^ just and
good/' being the will of the holy, just and perfect
Searcher of every heart. That is certain. Not one
of us, or of mankind, is holy, just and good. We
know that without being told. So the world knew
no other way but the via cruets, the v\^ay of the cross.
When John Baptist pointed to Jesus by the Jordan
it was with the declaration, '' Behold the Lamb of
God which taketh away the sin (not only the sins)
of the world.'' From the first the Sufferer predicted
it of Himself, and of Himself as the Mediator. Medi-
ation requires that the Mediator should contain in
Himself both the estranged powers to be reconciled.
He says that this death is a ^^ ransom." The august
words of eucharistic consecration fix it ineradicably
in the habitual faith and reverence of believers that
the atonement is wrought by Him whom the Church
worships. Nor can we forget the images and their
mystical yet unmistakable significance — the brazen
serpent lifted up, the bread broken, the Good Shep-
herd giving His life for the sheep, the dying grain
of wheat, the Father saying ynth pathethic yearning,
in the parable, " They will reverence my Son.''


Where is He more to be reverenced than where we
behold Him to-day ?

So extraordinary was the consciousness of sin im-
mediately developed after the crucifixion under the
apostolic teachers as to leave no doubt that the death
itself^ by its over-mastering impression of undeserved
agony^ awoke the very sense of guilt of which it was
the only cure. This, we know, has been the effect
of a direct and simple preaching of the cross all
along. In all parts of the world multitudes have
thus felt the first distress of remorse, the unuttera-
ble burden of estrangement, and sent up a cry of
pity, not for any picture of their bad conduct, or a
description of the process of repentance, but by being
shown Christ on the cross. That drew from them
the irrepressible confession, ^^ Truly, this was the Son
of God." In the first sermon preached in the Chris-
tian Church observe the pointed accusation, ^' Hira
ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified
and slain." *^ That same Jesus God hath made both
Lord and Christ." Then it was that the smitten
penitents anxiously asked, ^^ Men and Brethren, what
shall we do ? " This is singularly characteristic of
the apostle of penitence. '' Who His own self," he
writes in his first epistle, ^^ bare our sins in His own


body on the tree/* ^^ Through the precious blood as
of a Lamb without blemish and without spot." His
references to the " body '* and the " tree " indicate
the close, actual and logical connection of redemption
with incarnation. By St. Paul the doctrine of pro-
pitiation, another element in redemption, is pro-
nounced with even greater frequency and urgency ;
and it is here that the necessity of a divine nature in
the Sufferer is most apparent, no possible offering
for the iniquity of the world having this propitiatory
power short of the immaculate sacrilice, the sinless
Son, ^' Delivered for our offences ; '^ *^ Died for the
ungodly ; " ^^ Died for our sins according to the
Scriptures ; " '^ Made sin for us who knew no sin ; ''
" Bought with a price, even the blood." This lan-
guage makes it evident that, as the ancient sacer-
dotal apparatus has now to be taken up into a new
relation, the typical being exchanged for an actual
realized character in the Eternal High Priest, so in
Him all the functions of the priestly office have
place. From the first His sacrificial pain, as a
necessity of salvation, is foreshadowed to His follow-
ers as they are able to bear it. It is the subject of
His high converse with three of them on the Mount
of Transfiguration. There was an awful disclosure


of it in His speechless bearing when He turned His
face towards Calvary. ^^ They were in the way
going up to Jerusalem ; and Jesus went before them
and they wore amazed 5 and as they followed they
were afraid." Then His announcements grew ex-
plicit, specifying prophetically the particulars of His
trial, scourging, sentence, execution, with His rebuke
to the ambitious sonsof Zebedee. ^^ The Son of Man
came to give His life a ransom for many.'' The
atonement was the holy fire and ecstasy of the
apostle's preaching. It flamed in ascriptions, salu-
tations, lauds, doxologies, and runs through argu-
ment, instruction, exhortation. All that long, mar-
vellous Mosaic economy prepared the moulds of
thoughts which we have taken up, opened and
piritualized, and the last voices we hear, as the
-'dsions of the last of these apostles in the Apocalypse
pass away before us, cry, " Worthy is the Lamb
that was slain, who hath washed us in His blood ! ''

Deniers and doubters, impatient at these irresisti-
ble affirmations, have contemptuously cast upon them
the reproach of ^^ a blood-theology." To which it is
sufficient to reply that ^^ the blood " was on the face
and side of the Son of God and in the words of His
revelation before it was in any theology, and that


even if you take it out of the speech and writing of
theologians you will have it left just where it was, in
the speech and v/riting of men without whom we
should have no Christian theology at all.

For us here, compassed with infirmities, and in
the depth of our Good Friday humiliation, it is privi-
lege enough to render thanks and praise to Him who,
^^ After lie had one sacrifice for sins forever, sat
down on the right Hand of God."

** Follow to Calvary-
Tread where He trod —
He who for ever was
Son of God.

" You who would love Him stand,
Gaze at His face ;
Tarry awhile on your
Earthly race.

*^ As the swift moments fly
Through the Blest Week
Read the great story the
Cross will teach.

" Is there no beauty to
You who pass by
In that lone Figure which
Marks that sky ? "


/^ JESUS, Lamb of God, crnciiied for our sate, who gavest
Tliy cheek to the smiters and Thy temples to the tliorns,
aud wast covered with reproaches, and didst suffer the tor-
ments of the cross, grant unto us Thy unworthy servants,
that by the power of Thy passion we may be able to Ijear the
light yoke laid upon us, and learning from Thee how meek
Thou art and how great Thy love is may so share in Thy suf-
ferings that at Thy hand we may obtain the crown of Thy
faithful followers, where Thou reignest in Thy glory, everlast-
ingly. Amen.



While the Master rests, ^^ all the travail of His
soul and the agonies of His body being past," the
Church waits. No imagination of ours can quite rep-
resent the sorrowful anxiety, the half-despairing won-
der, the timid, hopeful, questioning suspense of the
little company of believers during the dark interval
between His last cry on the cross and the salutations
of the resurrection morning. If we have followed
Him reverently step by step thus far, w^e can almost
feel the stillness of that first Easter even. One ques-
tion occupies and fills these bereft hearts : Will He
rise on the third day ? All is staked on the answer.
Is the past a reality or an illusion 1 Will the future
be a boundless joy or an unutterable disappointment
and shame f They wait.

What better thought can accompany the tender
note and subdued spirit of our service than that of
the duty and the blessedness of a patient expectation?


Our want of it is generally a want of faith. We
wait for a person whom avc believe in and are will-
ing to trust. It is not necessary that we slioala com-
prehend Him 5 that would put our understanding in
place of the faith 5 faith is not more intellectual sat-
isfaction. We are not to ask explanations of His de-
lay in coming to us oransv^^ering us. That wouJd im-
ply that we doubt His wisdom in delaying or else His
willingness to help us. ^' He that believeth shall not
make haste.'' It would l)e presumptuous in us to
compare one of God's attributes with another ; but
the longer I live and the more I see of what this hu-
man race of ours was made to be, and then what it is,
its wrong-doing and wrong-thinking, its ingratitude and
disobedience, its tyrannies and slaveries, its gluttony
and waste, the foulness of its lust, the cruelty and
filth and profanity of its tongues, its stinted charities
and heartless prayers, its unceasing crucifixions of its
Blessed Lord, and then consider how with one breath
of His Omnipotence the Almighty could clean the
earth of its corruption or crush the globe itself in His
hand or burn it by its sleeping fires to-night, — then
nothing in His majesty or His mercy is so marvellous
as this : His waiting. His patience with us, with our
insolent and ungrateful selfishness, with His Church,


with His ministers, with myself. Must we not all
marvel at it f

What is great and good, noble and beautiful, in
God is noLle and beautiful in His child. ^^ They that
wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength."
" Wait, I say, on the Lord." The day of the Lord
shall come !

But it has not come ; and so impatience takes its
faithless opportunity. Will the Lord arise ?

Here we are, perplexed by many problems, uncer-
tain about many questions, perhaps depressed and
discouraged by many hindrances. We can renew our
assurance and regain our composure only by a patient
and an active expectation. Very largely our in-
ner life is a painful struggle between a longing for
what we think ought to be and an humble acceptance
of what is ; betvv^een the ideal and the attainment.
So, even while we keep on doing our best, we have
to come meekly and patiently to the confession that
*' we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves,"
that " our sufficiency is of God."

To some of us the stumbling-block to a whole-
hearted, thorough-going devotion is the prevalence
of disbelief ; not our own disbelief so much as that of
some other people who disturb us and partly because


we only half know what their doubts ov denials are.
There is the panic of a half-told secret and the gla-
mour of a brilliant audacity. But the 'disbelievers are
not so many as the indifferent^ and fewer still are
they who venture to frame their disbelief into prop-
ositions or put its patches together into a consistent

At any rate^ most of us can do very little by argu-
ment^ little by sounding an alarm^ and less by denun-
ciation. There is not one of us, the least, the busiest,
who cannot resist and silence the atheist by a life and
conversation so near the Master as to make him a
defender of the Faith. Said a skeptic to Pascal,
^' Well, if I believed your creed, I suppose I would
live a better life.'' Pascal answered, " Begin by liv-
ing that better life, and you will come to believe my
creed." That is active v/aiting.

Very much so it is with the terrible tide of world-
liness foaming through the streets. Most of its mischief
is done inside the Church. Even there it cannot kill
the higher and holier life which it corrupts and in-
sults. But its loose living and immoralities so dis-
credit the prayers, its frivolities and feastings so
mix with the names of holy things, that a Brahmin
would be puzzled to tell whether the world has bought


out the Church, or the Church is entertaining the
world. Christ clears up the confusion. ^^ The prince
of this world cometh, and hath nothing in Me."
Give him a Church full of followers with that consist-
ent and unyielding substance, and then God and
mammon will each have his own. The line v/ill be
cut where it will be seen. Instead of a promiscuous
masquerade the enemies would stand embattled, front
to front. ^' The Day of the Lord, the day of the
Lord, in the valley of Decision," they on the Lord^s
side waiting patiently for Him, — an active expecta-

Not so many, but not a few, scandalized by the
ecclesiastical and theological divisions of Christen-
dom, and contrasting sectarian strife with the Sa-
viour's sacrificial prayer for unity so many centuries
ago, shut their eyes, hang their heads, and wonder
whether, after all, there is a single fold, or whether
there are many folds, or whether the one has many
doors, watchwords and colors. Ask yourself whether
this same Christ Jesus would be other than He is,
and is to us, in any one of the perfect powers and
glories of His divine humanity, Master, Re-
deemer, Friend, Intercessor, even if there were ten
schisms were now there is one ? I remember that a


thousand years with Him are as one day. I can fix
my eyes on no pledge that lie has not kept. Above
all^ I ask, if He, who is hurt as only Infinite Pity
can be hurt by these contentions, bears all this strife
patiently, who am I that I should not wait with
Ilim ?

Some of us are more dismayed by the inequalities
of rights and privileges, of welfare and security, in
civil society than by the controversies of theology.
In a free republic and a free church the strong and
the weak ought not to be so far apart, the wage-
worker from the wage-payer, the rags and hunger ofj
the friendless half-paid woman who starves with her
child, or else sells her womanhood, from the lady she
is sacrificed to who fares comfortably every day.
What then 1 He whom Mary's Magnificat predicted
as to be, some time or other, the Equalizer of classes
and callings, bringing down the mighty from their
seats and exalting them of low degree; He who told
the Baptist, and His neighbors in the synagogue at
Nazareth, that His Gospel was first for the poor; He
who lived without one luxury or useless expenditure
from the manger to the cross, — still leads the race,
lifts up the lowest, outwits the shrewdness of the
market and the political economist, and ivaits. Who


waits with Him is on His side. You say, He is out
of sight. We answer, He is coming again.

Coming again ? But when, and where and how ?
When ? At such an hour as we think not. Where ?
It will be where they who have waited for Him and
they who have pierced Him will see Him as He is.
And how ? No longer slowly, but as the lightning
comes. Does unbelief whisper, "'^ He delayeth " ?
It was when St. James had warned the unjust
defrauders of the laborers of their hire, the wanton,
the man of drunkenness and the woman of vanity,
that he went on with words to which we can add
nothing, and from which nothing can be taken away,
^' Be patient, therefore, brethren, unto the coming
of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for
the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience
for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be
ye also patient j stablish your hearts ; for the com-
ing of the Lord draweth nigh."

Finally, praying, — praying, perhaps, for that
advent of glorious majesty, praying for a changed
lot, for a lighter load, for a lost affection, for a flick-
ering life, for a wayward child, for a sinning or
faithless soul that is called by any dear name and
has gone astray — we yet see no answer. Seven


times we sent up our petition from our Carmel, and
the dry heat burnt sky and field as before. What
then ? Then bethink yourself of what Elijah did, and
what came of his waiting. Listen for " the sound of
abundance of rain.'^ Prayer lives not by what we
have, but by promises. Promises are " inherited '^
by ^' faith," and by that faith which is '^ patience.''
" For we are saved by hope ; but hope that is seen
is not hope ; for what a man seeth, why doth he yet
hope for ? But if we hope for that we see not, then
do we with patience wait for it.'' Be this the
Easter-even watch-song in our hearts : ^'■' If we have
been planted together in the likeness of His death,
we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection."

For those who may have shared these sober thoughts

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Online LibraryF. D. (Frederic Dan) HuntingtonForty days with the Master → online text (page 15 of 16)