F. D. (Frederic Dan) Huntington.

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for us, and by tbat weary path which Thou troddest, grant that
we may willingly drink of Thy cup and cheerfully follow Thee
along tbe road where Thou bast gone before. Thou wbo with
Father and tbe Holy Ghost livest and reignest one God, world
without end. Amen.



In His dealings with persons what Christ really
deals with is what we all have, carry about with lis,
take to church, keep Fasts and Feasts with, live and
die with ; — we call it human nature. The charac-
teristics of the persons are the differentials; beneath
them is the common stock of humanity, with all its
traits, capacities, possibilities of glory and of shame ;
and so these persons, however various, are never
very far from us. It is, in this way, His appa-
rently casual and undesigned meetings with individ-
uals that bring out before the world and the ages
many of the most momentous revelations, most orig-
inal principles, and most comprehensive verities of
His religion and His kingdom.

There was a signal instance of this wonderful,
swift transition from insignificant particulars to
universal truth at the well-side in Samaria. At that
out-of-the-way halting-place the Master found this


common human nature, reached after it, searched it
out in a woman, as at other times He found it in
men. She was an unpromising specimen of her
kind, volatile, immodest, her mind cramped by the
prejudices of a petty province, her habits sunk in
the frivolities of her own sex and the sensuality
of the other. Her name is delicately concealed.
Christ takes her as He finds her, just as He always
does, and just as the Gospel of His grace and power
always will, takes her not for what she is, but for
what she can be, not because she is agreeable or
deserving, but because, though disagreeable, she is in
peril ; and, being undeserving, her Lord pities her
the more, and will save her if she will consent to be
saved. It will be equal to the most splendid of his
miracles if a soul so dark and defiled can be lifted up
into the light of faith, into the honor of chastity, into
the peace that passeth understanding, into the holy
freedom of a daughter of God. From that day down
to this, this miracle has been wrought, wherever this
Traveller through Samaria has come, out to the ends
of the earth.

See how simple the Master's way is. First, He
has this human nature in Himself, the same that is
in every flighty woman, every profane man. Never


was there so much of this common humanity in any
one born of a woman as in this Jesus of the Galilean
carpenter's shop, this manliest of men, who, there-
fore, loved to call Himself '' Son of Man ; " whose
hunger, and blood, and tears are ours, but whose
life, and love, and saving power are God's alone 5
'^ in whom dwelleth all the fulness of God bodily."
Understand thoroughly that except for this perfect
oneness of heart between the sinner and the Saviour
there would have been no such divine story told, and
no salvation possible. We never make out to help
one another much in our deepest troubles without this
mutual recognition, which seems to say, by look, or
tone, or some nameless sign, '' You and I are made of
the same stuff; we are hurt and we are healed, we ache
and we are tempted, we go wrong and get scourged
or comforted in the same way." You may help your
neighbor by the smaller benefits of your money,
your custom, your vote, or your advice, without
much of this common feeling f but the heart in its
deeper pain you will never reach — its heavier grief
its untold tragedy, its lonely heartache, and the bit-
ter sense of wrong — without the fellow-sense which
makes mankind a brotherhood. We live a common
life J heart answers to heart ; the lost are found by


love f sin is conquered by a crossj and only by '•'■ the
Man Christ Jesus " are men redeemed. '- The
woman left her water-pot " lying by the w^ell, ^^ and
went her way into the city, and saith to the men/^
with a manner they had never seen in her beforCj
'■'' Come^ see a man which told me all things that ever
I did. Is not this tlie Christ ? " It will take a
great many modern skeptics, however much they
may fancy they know, to tear out of the world's
heart, or wrench out of its hand, a Book full of human
realities like this.

Enter farther into the meaning of the Lord's treat-
ment of that wayward soul. It stands out an exam-
ple of the strong grasp of His religion on mankind.
More than that, it shows us how by Him the king-
dom of heaven may come into our own lives, to
sweeten and glorify them, and how you and I, no
matter what we may have been hitherto, may be, if
we will, sons and daughters of God. In other words,
it opens the magniiicent mystery of salvation.

What are the two materials that the Master uses
in this grand object-lesson of our spiritual life ? Two
very plain, familiar, commonplace things — a daily sen-
sation of our bodies, and a free bounty out of the heart
of the earth, — thirst and water. Suppose a preacher


of our day were about to preach his most original
and profoundest sermonj proclaiming to the world a
message which four thousand years of prophets and
priests had been longing to utter — royal prophets,
like Isaiah and David ; superb high-priests, like
Aaron and Hilkiah — would he not have kept his re-
markable discourse for some rare occasion, a univer-
sity audience of scholars, or an upper-class throng in a
metropolitan church ? Two such deep questions
were now to be answered once for all, questions that
these prophets and priests had been asking anxiously
of each other, asking of the hills and the stars, ever
since Eli watched all night in the temple, ever since
the patriarch, in the rocky pasture, leaning on the top
of his staff, looked up into the midnight sky, his
children and his cattle lying asleep around him in
their tents, while he hearkened for the voice of God,
— two questions : Wherewith shall a man come be-
fore his Maker, a sinning man before his sinless
Maker ? or, what is worship f How shall an accus-
ing conscience find rest 1 or what is reconciliation ?
Christ answers them both. He takes a rustic well-
stone for His pulpit, and for His audience one light-
minded water-carrier, and for His illustrations the
pitcher in her hand and Mt. Gerizim rising south-


ward, crowned with the noonday light ; and for His
sermon t^YO sentences : ^^ We know what we wor-
ship ; God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him
must worship Him in spirit and in truth.'^ That is
one answer. It clears the ground for the Christian
Church, on a new earth, under new heavens.
'' Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst
again ; but whosoever drinketh of the water that I
shall give him shall never thirst ; it shall be a well
of water springing in him into everlasting life, the
gift of God." This is the other. It opens the king-
dom of God to all believers, of every climate and
every age. It will be wise for us, heavenly wisdom,
to ponder these two sayings a while in silence, in
secrecy, placing ourselves there by the well, before
we run away from ourselves, and from them, and
from Him who spoke them, to seek human interpre-
tations of them from other interpreters.

"Thou knowest, Lord, the weariness and sorrow
Of the sad heart that conies to Thee for rest;
Cares of to-day and burdens for to-morrow,

Blessings implored, and sins to be confessed.
I come before Thee, at Thy gracious word,
And lay them at Thy feet : Thou knowest, Lord!


**Thou kno'we8t not alone as God all-knowing:

As man our mortal weakness Thou hast proved ;

On earth, with purest sympathies o'erflowing,
O Saviour, Thou hast wept, and Thou hast loved!

And love and sorrow still to Thee may come,

And find a hiding-place, a rest, a home.

** Therefore I come. Thy gentle call obeying,

And lay my sins and sorrows at Thy feet,
On everlasting strength my weakness staying,

Clothed in Thy rohe of righteousness complete :
Then rising and refreshed I leave Thy throne,
And follow on, to know as I am known."

f~\ CHRIST our God, Who wilt come to judge the world in the
^-^ Manhood which Thou hast assumed, we pray Thee to
sanctify us wholly, that in the day of Thy Coming our whole
spirit, soul and body may so revive to a fresh life in Thee that
we may live and reign with Thee forever. Amen.



In warfare the first condition of victory is to know
the enemy, to know him well enough, at the least, to
distinguish him from a friend. The more distinct
and accurate this knowledge of the enemy is, as to
his whereabouts, habits, disposition, tactics, objects,
the greater the likelihood of success, whether in de-
fence or attack. The Christian life is not all war-
fare, but it is warfare. No man or woman ever lived
it without finding that out. There are other
things to be done besides fighting, — building, plant-
ing, tilling, serving, healing, receiving light and
giving light, adding to the life and giving it to
others. From beginning to end the process is
twofold, positive and negative, gaining and resisting,
extending truth by love, and overcoming hostility.
We not only learn this by experience 5 the military
imagery runs all through Gospels and Epistles ; the
Master illustrates His Gospel of glory and good-will


by it; we sing it in our hymns. These all call the
enemy '^ the world."

They are too ranch in earnest, too intent and in-
tense in purpose, too luminously inspired, too com-
plete in their understanding of what is to be done, to
use language loosely or indefinitely. They are not
much given to definition, but in one way or another
they are apt to make us comprehend what they
mean, and see what we are to believe and do, what
we are to believe and why, what we are to do and
how. Wo need not go beyond our Lord's own
words. He makes the antagonism manifest, com-
plete, deadly. ^* I am not of the world." '' The world
hateth me, and hateth you." " I have overcome the
world." ^^ The Prince of this world cometh and hath
nothing in me." St. John insists upon it with an
agony of anxiety and alarm. Our eternal life is in
incessant and terrible danger from '^ the world."
Lent is granted to make us strong, steadfast, watchful,
keen-sighted, patient, and victorious in the contest.

If the spirit of docility and loyal soldiership is in
us we shall not quibble or cavil much as to what
" the world " is. There is not much room for hon-
est mistake. We all know well enough that it
is not this visible frame of material things which


God has [made, and made in beauty and grand-
eur, blessing it, and pronouncing it ^^ very good."
Nor is it the world of lawful business, of whole-
some enterprise, of moderate recreation, of artis-
tic delight. It would be a stupid affectation
to pretend not to know what worldliness is in the
heart or the life of man or woman. It is the sum of
unspiritual forces, ungodly passions, the ambitions,
appetites, competitions, indulgences, entertainments,
in which self prevails, rules, reigns uncontrolled.
We are supposed to be at our Master's feet, near His
cross, listening to Him.

When He says, " The prince of this world cometh,
and hath nothing in Me," He might have said, ^^ I
am going out to fight the prince of this world, and
shall conquer him." The meaning might seem, at
first sight, to be the same, but there is a remarkable
diff'erence. In the latter phrase the consciousness of
power would be extraordinary, but the moral majesty
would be less. In the other He tell us not only
that He is a conqueror, but what kind of power He
conquers by. It is not a larger quantity of the same
kind of power that makes " the world " powerful,
but a power of a difi'erent quality and nature. He
says it is " in Me." It is inward power then. Not


by sword, and shot, and club, and battle-axe, but by
the silent strength of an incorruptible heart, by the
irresistible front o.f conscience and will, by the ma-
jestic superiority of character. He wins and prevails.
As with the Master, so with every one of His true
followers. Two principles of human life and conduct
are crowding for admittance at the door of the soul.
As far as one comes in the other must stand
back in any heart, any family, any society, any age.
You cannot always distinguish them by the scenes
where they appear, the instruments and weapons
they use, the clothes they wear ; and sometimes you
can. But each of the two is sure to work itself out
and manifest itself at last in a whole array of visible
things, in manners, fashions, furniture, signs of the
ruling principle within. Both have been contending
actively with each other since the first man and
woman were tempted. They are such that we cannot
by any caution keep ourselves out of the conflict,
or be on both sides at once. We may try to j we
may imagine that we do, deceiving ourselves and
one another. It is not of the least use. History
may divide mankind by races ; geography by coun-
tries. But the dividing line between Hindoo and
Saxon, between sea and land, between a purple


mountain and a pale sky, is not half so deep or so
indelible as this. Christ calls the two sorts two
kingdoms, which means more than mere feelings,
sentiments, or opinions. Each kingdom has one of
two principles at its root, and the same roots are in
every human breast. You personally are in one of
the two kingdoms. Public signals are put out, as
each works by its own will and law ; on one side are
adoring worshippers, great charities, holy fasts and
feasts, anthems of praise, penitential prayers, these
Forty Days, sacraments. Christian hospitals, refor-
matories, schools, signs of the kingdom of Christ the
Conqueror; on the other you see luxurious living, un-
principled display, unscrupulous politics, unclean play-
houses, tempting and seductive dress, lotteries, gam-
bling-houses, secularism taking the name and mark of
religion, a shameless press. But you look closer and
see that these external signs are not always accurate,
because the children of '^ the world " get sometimes
on to the ground and into the company of the Church.
Yet you may be sure, nevertheless, that the princi-
ples are two, only two, that the two roots of life are
there, that the line runs between them. What an
awful certainty it is ! One is self, in one of its three
forms — self-indulgence, self-promotion, self-will — de


terminecl to have its own way, bj hands or brain, by
force or calculation, by money or craft, by seduction,
by lying, by class-privileges, by extravagances that
belittle other people's fortunes, or rouse other peo-
ple's envy, gratifying appetite or vanity. The other
principle is unselfish love for God and for men be-
cause they are men and God's children, making its
way by disinterested kindness, by dealings of un-
yielding integrity and unspotted honor, by willing
sacrifice, by truth fearlessly told in all companies
and at all costs, by gentle judgments, by discarding
utterly and instantly in every question the narrow
bounds of prejudice or pride, by the glory of charac-
ter, by doing God's will, by likeness to the Son of
Man. This is the antagonist of worldliness. You
cannot stigmatize it as ^^ other worldliness," for
every feature of it is belonging, and working, and
triumphing, in this world where we live. It is un-
worldliness, but it is more ; it is the kingdom of God
and heaven on the earth.

This is what Christ meant. This is what was in
His mind, not only in the Forty Days, but all the
time. His life and death. His Gospel and cross. His
resurrection and ascension, signify nothing less. He
sets the two kingdoms over against one another, by


setting His own up among men in the living form of
a perfect, inextinguishable life. The world^s men
hate Him because He is not of them. The prince of
them comes, looks at Him, and has nothing in Him.
Against that prince and his host He sends out no
army, with trumpets, banners, swords. If His king-
dom were of this world then would His servants fight.
It is the brotherhood of men under the Fatherhood
of God, and fighting is no part of its business. It
is love, truth, righteousness in the souls of His

So He matches Himself against " the world.'' Let
it come ! Let it do its worst, by temptation, by
flattery, by bribes, by pomps and pageants, by se-
duction, by terrors. Nothing in Him answers to it,
mixes with it, wants it, yields it a foothold, can be
bought by it, or terrified by it. Without a blow from
His hand or a curse from His tongue it falls helpless
at His feet. However it looks, whoever leads soci-
ety, whatever the season's gaiety or glamour, the
piling up of property, the illusions, the boasts, the
lies, the Master is King to the end of time, the
world is overcome, and every one of the world's sons
and daughters will know it in the end.


" * The world against me ; I against the world.'

Strange words for him* who just now stood
On Alexandria's throne, and hurled

His thunders as he would !
What loneliness this outer strength doth hide

What longing lies beneath this calm !
For human sympathy this great heart cried,

Our earth's divinest balm.

*' But more than sympathy my trust I prize,
Above my friendships hold I God,
Bound, banished be their feet, ere they despise

The path their Master trod.
So let my banner be again unfurled,
Again its fearless watchword seen,
* The world against me, I against the world,'
Judge Thou, O Christ, between!"

A LMIGHTY and everlasting God, Who hast revealed Thy
"^^ glory, by Christ, among all nations, preserve the works
of Thy mercy; that Thy Church, which is spread throughout
the world, may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession
of Thy Name ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

* St. Athanasius.



Salvation is a state of personal spiritual health
before God. It is not a single act, or a place; though
it begins with an action, and there is always a place
for it and for those who have it. It belongs to us— =-
not complete, but growing in us — wherever we may
be. The habit of putting it off is a habit of those
who really do not want it. A habit of preaching it
as if it could be had only after death, and in another
world, comes of a mistaken idea of what it is, a mis-
understanding of some parts of the Bible-language^
and learning theology from modei-n Scribes rather
than from Him wdio saves us. They think of it as a
private possession, not as a character; as Avhat a man
may get rather than what he is ; as an escape from
harm, not a life, in these streets and houses, of holy
liberty and royal fellowship with strong and righteous
spirits of all ages. A Christian gentleman who spent
his strength and fortune working and praying with


intense energy and a cheerful temper for the lost
was asked by one of these blind leaders whether he
had a hope of being saved. He answered reverently
that as he was busy trying to save his neighbors in
obedience to a Saviour Avhom he loved and trusted,
the question whether he would be saved at a future
time had not occupied him.

Whatever else salvation may be. it is not a private
property; still less is it a class privilege. Christian
salvation has been preached to fifty generations.
Two mistakes about it — first a misconception and
then a misrepresentation — have been subtle and per-
nicious, fearfully limiting its power. One is that
Christ saves the individual from discomfort or hard-
ship, which is precisely what He did not come into
the world to do ; the other that before men can be
saved they must be favored with an intellectual com-
prehension of religious mysteries, and have facts and
commands which are presented to one of their capaci-
ties, their faith, explained to another and smaller ca-
pacity, the understanding, which Christ over and
over again declares not to be true. Eeligious per-
formances gone through to ward oiF a fiery trouble by
and by may be a safe economy, but they are not Chris-
tianity, any more than it would be Christianity for a


strongman to run out of a house on fire, leaving invalids
and children there to burn. He saves his body, but
he is not saved. So if I, being ordered to preach the
Gospelj call upon you to master certain theological
systems, or verify certain scientific speculations, in-
stead of taking facts revealed with a child's faith and
living upon them a devout and righteous life, then I
am no more a prophet of God than Isaiah would have
been if he had told Israel to give up idolatry because
it injured their political prosperity; or Jonah if he
had exhorted the Ninevites to run aAvay from the
doomed city instead of repenting of their sins; or St.
Paul if he had reasoned with the Ephesians that they
would earn better w^ages by making ornaments for
Christian churches than by making silver shrines for
Diana ; or St. John if he had turned rationalist and
written, ^^ This is the victory that overcometh the
world, even your ^ education.' " Salvation is holy
character, not intellectual but spiritual. It is by the
grace of God. Salvation is taking the lowest place,
if that will save other men for Christ's sake. Salva-
tion is such a penetrating sense of personal unworthi-
ness as obliges you to make an honest confession to
God and a hearty prayer for pardon. Salvation is
giving up what we like and denying ourselves w^hat


is wrong from the same motive that Christ did — from
charity. Salvation is choosing to be like Christ
rather than be popular or prosperous. Plainly, as you
see, it is not a private property, or a fruit of culture,
or a product of schools and universities, or a class

A ^' common salvation/' then, is not an inferior or
second-rate sort of salvation. In New Testament
speech, as in our English tongue, the word '^ com-
mon," has two meanings. In one sense it is a term
of disparagement. In that sense a '^ common ^' thing
is a cheap or vulgar thing, without sanctity or dignity.
Common meat St. Peter refused to eat till it was
made sacred. Common hands were unwashed hands.
But elsewhere what is common is what belongs to the
larger number and is the more worthy portion, like
sunlight or water, like the common wealth, common
sense, the Book of Common Prayer, a common life.
St. Paul reminds Titus that, though working apart,
they both have a " common faith." Why is it a proof
of divine power in Christ that the ^^ common people "
were glad to hear Him I Because the imcommoYi
people. Scribes, Pharisees and office-holders, — i. e.,
the arrogant and conceited literary class, the bigoted
religious class, and the lying political class, who all


expected an «f??corarQon or exclusive salvation — fell
under His rebuke, were seen through and exposed in
their varnished but inbred vulgarity. It was they
who were second-best. Christ knew it, and they
knew that He knew it, and they felt towards Him as
tyrants and charlatans always feel towards true
prophets ; they feared Him, hated Him, and would
crucify Him if they could. Why were the common
people any better, having less knowledge, less prop-
erty, less reputation ? Not certainly because they
were ignorant, poor or unknown. That is the flatter-
ing falsehood of demagogues, told to purchase or
please a party, with no honor or religion in it. Nor
are common people the better for being in a majority.
Saints or heroes are rarely found there. Their ad-
vantage is simply that there is more in them of essen-
tial and unmixed humanity as God made it, less
corrupted by wealth, luxury and ambition. This
was true of the divine Workman of Nazareth. Hu-
man nature in Him, not as to its corruption, but as to
its natural wholesomeness, was abundant, unspoilt,
open and free. He and the people were one, under-
standing each other because feeling alike. Was it
not known that He was brought up in the shop of a
carpenter, and was never in the colleges of the rab-


bis ? The title He cliose for Himself was ^^ Son of
Man." What the world wanted was God in man.

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Online LibraryF. D. (Frederic Dan) HuntingtonForty days with the Master → online text (page 3 of 16)