F. D. (Frederic Dan) Huntington.

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be truly strong till you come for strength to Him.

From your outward occupations suppose you turn
inward to the life within yourself. First there is a
mind there. Being a part of yourself it has always
gone along with you; you have never stopped to study
it much. Not professing to be a philosopher, you


have attempted no explanation of its constitution or
classification of its qualities. But there it is, the
part of you that thinks, observes, learns, reasons,
and remembers. More than all this, it looks forward,
and it looks up. You may have let it alone, but it
would not let you alone. There are moments when your
thought would run away from all the present scene.
Call it back, or turn it ofi", or choke it down, or befool
it with trifles, as you would, it kept telling you of a
world not seen by your eyes, and a life not yet begun.
Where is that world ? Am I ever going to it ?
What will it be like ? When that other life begins,
whereabouts will it find me I If I live on now wholly
for things that are going to perish, — when they are
gone what shall I shall have left ? Must not He who
made me always have power over me ? And if so,
how will it be if I am against Him ? Can I be safe,
or saved, unless He and I are friends ? These are
the questions. Some such words as these will be
breaking from honest lips, '^ ]\Iy mind crieth out for
the living God." " He only can make it well with
me, safe to live, safe to die. Without Him it will be
all death, and worse than death."

Along with this intellectual part of you speaks
another part, your conscience. Look where you will,


either into the interior world of thought^ or around
jou, jou see that some things are right, others wrong.
There is one indelible, unalterable, everlasting divi-
sion line. Unprincipled men have been trying — by
their politics and their sophistries — for six thousand
years, to blur over or blot out that distinction, to
make right things look wrong, or wrong things as
good as right, trying to get out of the way the
troublesome difference between ^' Thou shalt,*' and
" Thou shalt not."

They have nev-er bridged the gulf, or lessened it
by the thousandth part of the breadth of a hair. They
have only broken their own bones and gone down.
80 at every step there is a warfare; selfishness, pas-
sion, sin, fighting, all the way, from cradle to grave,
against love, purity, holiness. Very often the battle
goes hard. Worse yet, it goes Avrong, and then there
is misery. Self-accusation and shame swell in the
breast ; retributions of inward agony 5 other people
made wretched, — these and other penalties are what
make the earth so unlike heaven, and keep the whole
creation groaning and travailing in pain together until
now. We must be made of quite different stuff from
what we are to escape these baptisms of fire. Name
thera as you please, their only remedy is in a suffer-


ing and forgiving Lord, honoring the law, but heal-
ing the law-breaker by a saving sacrifice. And
therefore the meaning of their cry is, ^^ I am athirst
for God," ^^ like a dry and thirsty land where there is
no water.'' David wrote that in a wilderness, and a
wilderness is where you feel yourself to be.

Mind and conscience are not all. We are made for
love. Affections tie us together in families, and in
larger circles. By their wondrous attractions the life of
others becomes a part of ourselves, and from that mo-
ment the joy of living, in many cases all that makes
life worth having at all, depends on being loved by
them. What boundless possibilities of suffering enter
by that door ! Suffering from not being loved
enough, from being loved too much, from being for-
gotten, from injury and ingratitude, from all the
variety of ills befalling those that are dearest, by the
separations of distance, by disease, by death, by sin.
Strike these all out and you would go far to transfig-
ure the vale of misery itself into a Paradise. God is
love. He alone loves enough and not too much,
never forgets, never changes, never disappoints,
never fails, never slumbers, never dies. In Christ
He takes the sympathies and affections of man ; His
love becomes a human love, yet wiser than any


man's, in tenderness passing the love of woman,
all-patient, all- enduring. Can we frame the faintest
conception of an affection like that without desiring
the mercy of it 1 It has been disputed whether
there are really any such things as broken hearts.
There certainly are enough that are terribly bruised ;
and there is not a habitation on earth where some
heart does not want a love that the world cannot

Turn the cry of nature into the supplication of
faith. Let the unconscious need of God pass into
the free confession of the new man, His penitent
child. Go home to your Father. Sit down at the
table with the Son. ^' Let him that is athirst come."

" 'Tis mercy all that Tliou hast brought

My mind, to seek her peace in Thee;
Yet while I seek but find Thee not,

No peace my wandering soul shall see.
Is there a thing beneath the sun

That strives with Thee my heart to share?
Ah, tear it thence, and reign alone,

The Lord of every motion there ! "

OTHOU, Almighty Father, who hast created and formed us,
who hast put into our minds desires which this world
cannot fill, and longings which nothing on the earth can satisfy,
draw us, we beseech Thee, unto Thyself and replenish our souls


with heavenly light and strength out of thine infinite abun-
dance. Help us in every place to see Thee, in every weakness
to lean upon Thee, in every temptation to flee to Thee for de-
liverance, and in all our work to seek Thy favor, which is our
life. Scatter our doubts and relieve all our necessities ; and to
that end, dispose us to the faith which overcomes the world,
through Christ our Lord. Amen.



" God is love/' and '^ Our God is a consuming
fire." We all want to know about God, — what kind
of a God He is^ why He made us, hoAv He feels
towards us, what He will do with us. Without hav-
ing these questions start and stirred in him no one
would, go to church, or prav, or even live and thmJcj
many years. They open the whole secret of religion.

St. John says, '^ God is love." He speaks from
knowledge and on authority. He is a disciple spe-
cially loved, of a loving nature, thoroughly instructed,
inspired by the Holy Spirit. He also says, " He that
loveth not knoweth not God,'' and that is profoundly
true. Only love can know what love is. Only
friends can know what friendship is.

Another disciple, whose words are in the same
Book, on the same authority, taught by the same
Master, inspired by the same Spirit, says, ^^ God is
a consuming fire." They arc both speaking of the


same God, — the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, —
our God and our Father. At first, on the surface of
it, and to most people, it seems like a flat contradic-
tion. Yet both are in God's Word, and as Christians
we know that God cannot contradict Himself.

We shall, perhaps, get the best clue to the diffi-
culty bv going back to the Garden of Eden. What
took place there is the key to the whole mystery.
The story of the first man and woman is the story of
the human race, of each human heart.

^^ Adam and his wife hid themselves from the pres-
ence of the Lord God among the trees of the gar-
den." We are not apt to hide ourselves from those
who love us, unless their love is ill-judged or obtru-
sive or merely sentimental. One would suppose this
man and woman had reason enough to believe what
St. John wrote four thousand years afterwards was
true, that God is love. He had made them both,
and given them to each other, and so far neither of
them had known disappointment, failure, old age,
bodily pain or heart-ache. The garden itself, they
knew, was of God's forming and planting and
blossoming, not an unsightly spot, a blasted
tree, a drought, or blight, or mildew, or frost,
or breath of malarial air in it. Even in our


June or October the face of the earth, with all
its beauty and sweetness, is less perfect than the
primitive Paradise was. Every faculty in them for
healthy work and worship they knew to be God's
giftj and they were living in a universe of light and
freedom, set in order for them by His Hand. That
morning they had worshipped Him with thanksgiv-
ing. Why should they now, as the sun sets, hide
themselves at His voice, and why should Adam an-
swer, ^^ I was afraid " ?

Something has happened, and that something has
changed the relations, the feelings, the intercourse,
not only between the man and the woman, but be-
tween man and his God. God is not to the man
what He was before. Before, God was love } now
He is a consuming fire. When he went out that day
to his business of trailing the vines and dressing the
ground, — " No more toil,'' as poetry says, ^^ of the
sweet gardening labor than sufficed for wholesome
rest and appetite," — he would have been glad to hear
the heavenly voice, or to see his Father's face any-
where ; now he cowers and skulks behind the trees.
Whose fault is it 1 Has God changed towards man
or has man changed towards God 1 That question is
of tremendous import to us, every one. It strikes


into the inmost heart of our faith. It goes to the
bottom of belief and unbelief. It cuts up a thousand
excuses, doubts, discontents^ hy the roots, and scat-
ters delusions from our minds. The right answer to
it would settle a controversy which has been going
on ever since Adam's day, and which has filled great
libraries with elaborate books. Notice that God's
answer to it was twofold ; one answer was a hand
of loving-kindness still stretched out unchanged to
man, to every man, from generation to generation, to
this day, with a Father's protection and pity^ because
" God is love " ; the other answer was a flaming
sword set up over the gate of the way that leads to
the Tree of life, because ^^ God is a consuming fire.''
This dreary eiFort to hide from God, going on among
the sons and daughters of men, always has been the most
hopeless and unprofitable of all human undertakings.
Yet have you never tried to do it, or wished you
could do it, yourself — cither from an accusing con-
science, or because you thought of God as a stranger,
altogether unlike yourself, in whose presence you
were uneasy ?

Before we begin to complain of the law of retribu-
tion, we are to see how we got where we are. Adam
had broken a commandment, and '' the old Adam "


that does that is in us. The old Adam may have
been getting gradually dead and buried in us since
we were born again, but he comes to life in us every
day. God says to us, '' This fruit, My child, will
hurt you; this pleasant-tasting poison, this lovely-look-
ing indulgence, this wrong thing, this sin of any kind,
it was not meant for you ; let it alone. I know ; I
made you, and I made the fruit. I forbid you to taste
it because sooner or later and in one way or another
it will make you miserable. I do not want you to be
miserable. ^^ " God is love.'^ If you abuse your
body by intemperance, by gluttony, by sensuality of
any sort, by unhealthy habits, your body will be
hurt by some one of those various kinds of torture
which are stationed in all parts of it, like alarm-bells
on the road to danger, to save you, if you will have
sense enough to be saved. If you allow anger or
envy or spite in yourself, it will eat into your soul,
and eat out your peace of mind or your respect
among your neighbors. If you cheat or lie, either
the courts or your conscience will chastise you. If you
sin in any way, in the light or in the dark, in a pas-
sion or in cool blood, your sin will find you out. You
will try to hide, but you cannot hide. You have
been eating of the tree of the knowledge of evil; and


you will hear the voice of the Lord God calling your
name, — perhaps the same night, perhaps long after-
wards, perhaps after you have slept in a grave and
waked up at the judgment ; you will hear Him, and
fear will strike all through and through your soul.
Then will come what Christ makes a picture of
to warn you in His parable of Dives and the beg-
gar, — the separation, the gulf fixed, the cry out of
torment for a drop of water, the ^^ fire " within you,
and on your tongue. God has not changed. He is
the same God of love that He was when He made
you, and fitted you for virtue and honor, and made
the world beautiful like Eden for you to live in. He
cannot shift as you shift, go where you go, be un-
clean as you are unclean, break up His divine plan,
unhinge His blessed order, ^^ deny Himself" because
you ^^ deny Him." You have done what you could
to change Him, to baffle Him, to get around Him, to
drag Him down ; and your failure to break the Rock
and ruin the universe has broken your bones. Satan
told you — you women and you men — as he told your
mother, " You shall not surely die ; sin is sweet,
take it." You believed the lie and took it. You have
turned what was the tenderest and truest '' love '^
into a " consuming fire." Who is to blame?


" Forgive me that I, looking for tlie day,

Forget whence it must shine,
And turn Thy helps to reasons for delay,

And love not Thee, but Thine.
And I have knelt, how often, thanking Thee

For gifts Thy love hath given,
Then turned away to hend to these ray knee,

And seek in these my Heaven.

" On me, unworthy, shed, O Lord, the glow

Of Thy dear light and love,
That I may walk with trusting faith below

Towards the fair land above.
That I may learn in Thy sharp strokes to see

The love that on me smiled,
And find m all 1 have a thought of Thee,

Who still hast blessed Thy child ! "

/^ LORD JESUS, the patient Healer of our souls, create in
^■^^ us by the merciful fire of Thy chastisements a pure heart
and a right spirit. Repair that heavenly image which is de-
faced in us by sin ; pour into our penitent hearts the oil of
gladness, and adorn our deformity with the beauty of Thy
righteousness, O Christ; that being restored by Thy compassion
we may worship and serve Thee acceptably, with the Father
and the Holy Ghost, world without end. Amen.



We have been taught that love may be a fire.
Now let us see what it is that the fire consumes. As
love has two qualities, making the heart where it
lives larger and sweeter, and at the same time bless-=
ing the other life where it is received, so fire has
two. I speak of it as it is in nature, not as we see
it burning uncontrolled in the weak or careless hands
of men ; it consumes, and it purifies. It sweeps
across a marsh or swamp, in autumn, a field covered
with a mass of rank, decaying and unhealthy grass
and weeds, and leaves it cleansed j it catches in a
tangled thicket a nest of unclean vermin, and pres-
ently a heap of pure ashes prepares the soil for nutri-
tious husbandry ; it rages through the dry branches
of an old forest, and there rises on the spot a harvest
of grain or a growth of better timber ; it eats into a
pestilential bog, and burns away death for life. If
these inaninate things that are burnt had sensibility,


as our flesh and nerves have, they would smart
and scream under this purifymg process. Life and
health are precious, and so they are costly, in the
body and the souL They are worth what they cost.
Birth, conversion, repentance, redemption, are all
painful. Old Testament and New Testament show
us that, and our every-day experience shows it
just as plainly. You cannot conquer your faults
and get them under your feet without a battle
with yourself as full of distress as any fought with
sword or shot. You have found it harder, per-
haps, to be generous to a rival whom you dislike, to
pray for one who has slandered you, to " turn away
wrath '^ with "" a soft answer," to confess a fault, to
govern your tongue, to be reverent and pure in a
company where there is profanity or indecency, than
to draw blood from your arm or to hold your finger
in a flame. '^ Our God is a consuming fire.'' These
laws of life and death, of sin and recovery, of a strug-
gle with temptation and a new heart, are His ways
of working — working in you and working out your
salvation. Do they not make it plainer how the
same God is '^ Love,'' and a ^'consuming fire''? You
are not consumed. Your worst enemy within you is
consumed. The garden of the world is not burnt up;


if its iniquities, its wrongs, its cruelties, its miclean-
nesses, its plague spots, its dishonesties are, let us be
thankful. If these horrible evils last, then the fire
must last, and be '' everlasting fire," because God is
eternally good, not because He is eternallv angry.
He did not burn up Eden ; He drove the man and
his wife out of it. They drove themselves out by their
disobedience ; and that was their " fire." So it was
with Dives 5 so it is with rich men and poor men^
too, to-day, who will not let themselves be purged of
their selfishness, and will not be ^' persuaded, though
one rose from the dead ; " so with Ahab and Jeze-
bel, Ananias and Sapphira, Judas, Herod, some
Pharisees, many unrepenting sinners in every rank
of society who ^' have ears " and will not " hear."
With their own hands they go on preparing the wood
and the sulphur, and they kindle the fire.

It is just after the magnificent description, in the
twelfth to the Hebrews, where the giving of the law
for us at Sinai is seen under the terrific imagery of
the mount that burned with a blaze in surrounding
" blackness, and darkness, and tempest, and the
sound of a trumpet," that we have the text about
the consuming fire. One suggests the other. The
meaning is that men are in so much danger of going


Tvrong that they need a tremendous power of alarm
and pain to keep them right. Law is their first les-
son » That sounds into their ears and their con-
sciences ; they learn that law leads up to grace —
Moses to Christ. The black tempest clears the air
for the sunlight on the hills of Eternal Peace ; and
the fire that consumes becomes the spirit of Life.

When your heart feels one motion in it towards the
new life of penitence, faith and prayer, remember
that your God is love, your home is your Father's
house. When you have sinned, and see your guilt,
remember there are no shadows or screens on earth
where you can hide from God. Rather go to Him.
When you are tempted to harm any man or woman,
think of Christ's parable to those who in this life care
only for this life's good things. And when you are
hindered or discouraged in the way of duty, lift up
your eyes to the city of the living God, where are
" the Mediator of the new covenant," and ^' the in-
numerable company of angels/' and " the spirits of
the just.''

"Beneatli Thine hammer, Lord, I lie,
With contrite spirit prone ;
mold me till to self I die,
And live to Thee alone !


With frequent disappointments sore,

And many a bitter pain.
Thou laborest at my being's core

Till I be formed again.

** Smite, Lord ! Thine hammer's needful wound

My baffled hopes confess.
Thine anvil is the sense profound

Of mine own nothingness.
Smite, till, from all its idols free,

And filled with love divine,
My heart shall know no good but Thee,

And have no will but Thine ! "

f\ GOD, who art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, mei-
^"^ cifully grant unto us such a sense of uncleanness that we
may seek Thy cleansing; such a knowledge and confession of
sin that by the fire of Thy love our hearts may be purified; and
such amendment of life that we may behold Thee in the
brightness of Thy heavenly glory, through Jesus Christ our
Lord. Amen.



Uneasy at our Lortfs piercing- rebukes for its
faithlessness, its frivolity and its danger, the worldly
nund casts about for some relief under the rebuke,
some escape from the danger. ^lay it not be that
the fierce antagonism in which *' the Prince of this
world '' arrays himself against the Son of Man was
something peculiar to His personality, a solitary
occurrence, happening once in history, but of no
serious concern to other people or other times, at
most incidental to a temporary condition of society
in the Roman Empire and its licentious Eastern prov-
inces ?

But the more steadily we look at Ilis language, the
more undeniably it appears that Christ makes Himself
there at one with His disciples. He is laying down
a law for eyory Christian life lived there or here, in
His time and in our time, in Judaa, and in America.
What is true of the Head is just as true of the whole

THir.D MOXDAY. 129

body, and of every member. If selfishness did not
overcome, beguile, seduce, or secularize Him, then it
will not overcome, or beguile, or seduce, or secularize
the Church where the Church is true to Him ; where
it is filled with His Spirit, and lives His life. And
this, not something else, is precisely, and always, and
everywhere, the Church's business. The world, on
its part, we may be sure, has not altered a whit. Its
temper, habits and objects, its tyranny, meanness,
corruption, falsehood, are now just what they were
then, — no matter what changes there have been in
the houses it lives in, the clothes that cover it, the
language it speaks in, the dishes it cooks, the wines
it drinks. Caesar and Herod and their queens do
not make ^^ the world, '^ nor do Rome with its palaces
and baths and amphitheatre, or Jerusalem and its
slaughter of the Prophets, or Corinth and its sensual
games. No ! The world makes them, and it makes
them over and over again, wherever it can set its
foot and work the charm of its sorcery, here, where
other flowers and pictures crown the feast ; where
the temples are Christian and not Pagan ; where the
traffic is not by caravans, and the robberies are not
open on the highvvays, and the leprosy is not in the
flesh. The fashions shift, but fashion is the same


thing. The Demas who becomes a bad Christian
to-day, who cares more for his social standing than
for the Lord who died for him, who goes more eagerly
to a frolic, a theatre or a dance than to a Sacrament,
who worships the God who made him less heartily
than the fortune he has made, and gives fifty times
as much to his amusements as to his Saviour— is the
same man that forsook 8t. Paul, and departed to
Thessalonica, and died a reprobate, " having loved
this present world.''

And accordingly, by necessary inference, — these
two '' kingdoms " remaining exactly what they always
were, neither of them having changed a particle,
the two being in the same radical and fatal opposi-
tion to one another which selfishness on the one
hand and the love of God and man on the other
must always be in, — it follows that if now-a-days the
Church itself is worldly, if Church men and Church
women are very much the same sort of people with
the world's people, or if when they come into the
Church they bring into it very much the same ways
of judging and thinking and feeling, of envying
and criticising and slandering and sneering at each
other, of getting and wasting and using and abusing
money, — in other words^ if worldliness itself comes


to Church and takes possession of pews and pulpit ;
if the Church's affairs are managed and its finances
are controlled on worldly principles, with worldly
ambitions, by worldly men 5 if the pulpit-message
condescends to be only a pious echo of the world's
opinion, or a solemn sanction of the world's popu-
larities ; if the Fine Arts of the Lord's House,
instead of glorifying Christ and His " Beauty of
holiness," only minister to the same tastes or indulge
the same fancies with the Fine Arts of the Greek
chisel, the Corinthian garden, the gallery and the
play-house, — then the two kingdoms have somehow
got mixed and confounded. Common eyes are puz-
zled to tell which is which. One side or the other
has been betrayed, and there is no need to say which
side it is. The Prince of this world has come and
has found a great deal in common with him in the
body of Christians, — an easy entrance, familiar
voices, friendly faces, and a congenial atmosphere.

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