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LIBRARY OF THE THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

PRINCETON, N. J.



PRESENTED BY



BR 85 .B9325 1883 v.l
Bushnell, Horace, 1802-1876.
Selected works I



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S E RM o ]sr s



ow



CHEIST AND HIS




ist



HOEAOE BUSHl^^'ELL.



NEW YORK:
CHARLES SCRIBNER'S SONS,

743 AND 745 Broadway.



COPTBIOHT BT

MABY A. BTJSHNELI^
1876.



Tkow's



■TKBEOTTPrD BT R. H. HOBBS, PRINTING AND 'booKBINOINO ^O

Hartford, Conn. 205-213 Enst 12th ^t., ^ '

NEW YORK.



TO

JOSEPH SAMPSON,

OP NEW YORK.

Itl DEAR FRIEND:

H «B» -esigning my pastorship, five years ago, you will remember
thbt j'y- put it before me to consider myself engaged now in a " Minis-
try at L> ge;" serving in it, by the pen, or by whatever method, accord-
ing to tf ? ability left me. the cause we both have made our own. In
this modified ministry, I have had the sense of a worthy and sacred
charge upon me . still as before, and in it, as I have occupied, I seem
also to have prolonged, my life. This, and another volume, on The
Yicarious Sacrifice which is ready in due time to follow, are the
principal fruit of my broken industry. Without consent obtained, I
venture to connect them with your name, as the spontaneous tribute of
my true respect and strong personal friendship.

HORACE HUSHNELL
Hartford, June 10. 1864.



CONTENTS.

I.

CHRIST WAITING TO PIND ROOM.

PAOB

Luke ii. 7 — "And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped
him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because
there was no room for them in the inn." 9

II.

THE GENTLENESS OF GOD.
Ps xviii. 35^ — " Thy gentleness hath made me great." 28

III.

THE INSIGHT OF LOVE.
Mark xiv. 8. — "She hath done what she could; she is come afore-
hand to anoint my body to the burying." 61

lY.

SALVATION FOR THE LOST CONDITION.
Matt, xviii. 11. — "For the Son of Man is come to save that wSich
was lost;' 11

V.

THE FASTING AND TEMPTATION OF JESU^.
Matt. iv. 1, 2. — " Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wil-
derness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted
forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered." . 93
1*



VI CONTENTS.

VI.

CONVICTION OF SIN BY THE CROSS.

PAGE

John xvi. 9-11. — "Of sin, because they believe not on me. Of
rigliteousness, because I go to the Father, and ye see me no
more. Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged." 116

VII.

CHRIST ASLEEP.
Matt. viii. 24. — "And behold there arose a great tempest in the sea,
insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves; but he
was asleep." 139

VIII.

CHRISTIAN ABILITY.
James iii. 4. — "Behold also the ships, which though they be so
great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about
with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth." . 161

IX.

INTEGRITY AND GRACE.
Ps. vii. 8. — "Judge me Lord according to my righteousness, and

according to mine integrity that is in me." 180

X.

LIBERTY AND DISCIPLINE.
Mark ii. 19, 20. — "As long as they have the bridegroom with them,
they can not fast. But the days will come, when the bride-
groom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast
in those days." 201

XI.

CHRIST'S AGONY, OR MORAL SUFFERING.
Luke xxii. 44. — "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly,
and his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling down
to the ground." 225



CONTENTS. vii

XII.

THE PHYSICAL SUFFERING, OR CROSS OP CHRIST.

PAOB

EIeb. ii. 10. — "For it became him, for whom are all things, and ty
whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make
the captain of their salvation perfect through sufiferings." . . 24.

XIII.

SALVATION BY MAN.
1 Cor XV, 21. — "For since by man came death, by man came also
the resurrection of the dead." 271

XIV.

THE BAD CONSCIOUSNESS TAKEN AWAY.
Heb. X. 2. — "Because that the worshipers, once purged, should
have had no more conscience of sins." 293

XV.

THE BAD MIND MAKES A BAD ELEMENT.
John viii. 48. — "Then answered the Jews and said unto him — say
we not well, that thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil?" . .312

XVI.

PRESENT RELATIONS OF CHRIST WITH HIS FOLLOWERS.
John xiv. 28. — "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away

and come again unto you." . . 331

XVII.

THE WRATH OF THE LAMB.
Rev. vi. 16, 11. — "And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on
U3 and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the
throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. For the great day
of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand ?" . . 351



Viii CONTENTS.

XVIII.

CHRISTIAN FORGIVENESS.

PAOB.

Eph. iv. 32. — " Forgiving one anotlier, even as God for Christ's sake

hath forgiven you." 372

XIX.

CHRIST BEARING THE SiNS OF TRANSGRESSORS.
Heb. ix. 28. — " So Christ was once ofifered to bear the sins of many." 393

XX.

THE PUTTING ON OF CHRIST.
Rom. xiii 14. — "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ." . , . .413

XXI.

HEAVEN OPENED.
John i. 51. — "And he saith unto him — Yerily, verily, I say unto
you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God
ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." .... 434



I.

CHRISTWAITING TO FIND ROOM,



^^And she brought forth her first-horn son^ and wrapped
him in swaddling clothes^ and laid him in a manger^ be-
cause there wa^ no room for them in the inn^ — Luke ii. 7.

In the birth and birthplace of Jesus, there is some-
thing beautifully correspondent with his personal for-
tunes afterward, and also with the fortunes of his gospel,
even down to our own age and time. He comes into
the world, as it were to the taxing, and there is scant
room for him even at that.

A Roman decree having been issued, requiring the
people to repair to their native place to be registered
for taxation, Joseph and Mary set off for Bethlehem.
The khan or inn of the village is full, when they ar-
rive, and, being humble persons, they are obliged to
find a place in the stall or stable, where the holy child
is born. It so happens, not by any slight of the
guests, in which they mock the advent of the child,
for he makes his advent only as the child of two very
common people. But there is a great concourse and
crowd — senators, it may be, land-owners, merchants,
money-changers, tradesmen, publicans, peddlers, men
of all sorts~-and the most Ibrward, showiest, best



10 CHRIST WAITING

attended, boldest in airs of consequence, take up all the
places, till in fact no place is left. What they have se-
cured too it is their conceded right to keep. If the
carpenter and his wife are in a plight, people as hum-
ble as they can well enough take the stable, when
tliere is nothing better to be had.

So it was, and perhaps it was more fitting to be so;
for the great Messiah's errand allows no expectation of
patronage, even for his infancy. He comes into the
world and finds it preoccupied. A marvelous great
world it is, and there is room in it for many things ;
room for wealth, ambition, pride, show, pleasure;
room for trade, society, dissipation ; room for powers,
kingdoms, armies and their wars ; but for him there is
the smallest room possible ; room in the stable but not
in the inn. There he begins to breathe, and at that
point introduces himself into his human life as a resi-
dent of our world — the greatest and most blessed
event, humble as the guise of it may be, that has ever
transpired among mortals. If it be a wonder to men's
eyes and ears, a wonder even to science itself, when the
flaming air-stone pitches into our world, as a stranger
newly arrived out of parte unknown in the sky, what
shall we think of the more transcendent fact, that the
Eternal Son of God is born into the world ; that pro-
ceeding forth from the Father, not being of our system
or sphere, not of the world, he has come as a Holy
Thing into it — God manifest in the flesh, the Word
made flesh, a new divine man, closeted in humanity,
there to abide and work until he has restored the race



TO FIND ROOM. 11

itself to God ! Nor is this wonderful ani.uT.ciatlou any
the less welcome, or any the less worthy to be cele-
brated by the hallelujahs of angels and men, that the,
glorious visitant begins to breathe in a stall. Was
there not a certain propriety in such a beginning, con-
sidered as the first chapter and symbol of his whole his-
tory, as the Saviour and Eedeemer of mankind ?

But I am anticipating my subject, viz., the very irri'
pre-ssive fact that Jesus could not find room in the world,
and has never yet been able to find it.

I do not understand, you will observe, that this par-
ticular subject is formally stated or asserted in my text.
I only conceive that the birth of Jesus most aptly in-
troduces the whole subsequent history of his life, and
that both his birth and life as aptly represent the spir-
itual fortunes of his gospel as a great salvation for the
world. And the reason why Jesus can not find room
for his gospel is closely analogous to that which he en-
countered in his birth ; viz., that men's hearts are pre-
occupied. They do not care, in general, to put any in-
dignity on Christ ; they would prefer not to do it ; but
they are filled to the full with their own objects al-
ready. It is now as then and then as now ; the selfish-
ness and self-accommodation, the coarseness, the want
of right sensibility, the crowding, eager state of men in
a world too small for their ambition — all these preoc-
cupy the inn of their affections, leaving only the stable,
or some by-place, in their hearts, as little worthy of his
occupancy and the glorious errand on which he comes.

See how it was. with him in his life. Herod heard



12 CHRIST WAITING

the rumor that the Messiah, that is, the king, was born,
and it being specially clear that there was no room for
two kings in Galilee, raised a slaughter general among
the children, that he might be sure of getting this par-
ticular one out of the way. Twelve years later when
Joseph and his mother turned back to seek the child at
Jerusalem, where they had left him, and found him sit-
ting with the doctors of the temple, asking them ques-
tions a'nd astonishing their comprehension by his an-
swers ; when also his mother, remonstrating with him
for remaining behind, hears him say that he " must be
about his Father's business," and goes home pondering
his strange answer in her heart ; how clear is it that
they, none of them, have room, even if they would, to
take in the conception of his divine childhood, or the
history preparing in it. John the Baptist, again, even
when he has testified in the Spirit on seeing him ap-
proach — " Behold the Lamb of God that taketh away
the sins of the world!" and has all but refused to bap-
tize him because of his superior dignity, grows doubt-
ful afterward, yields to misgivings, gets perplexed,
like any poor half-seeing sinner, with his mystery, and
finally sends to inquire whether he is really the Christ, oi
whether some other is still to be looked for I His great
ministry, wonderful in its dignity and power, wins but
the scantiest hospitality ; he journeys on foot through
many populous towns and by the gates of many pal-
aces, sleeping in desert places of the mountains, as he
slept his first night in a manger, not haying where to
lay his head. Nicodemus, with many others, probablj



TO FIND ROOM. . IS

in the higher conditions of life, felt the sense of some
mysterious dignity in him, and went, even by night, tc
receive lessons of spiritual instruction from him, yet
never took him to his house, and too little conceived
him, to so much as break silence at his trial by a word
of vindication. The learned rabbis could have bid
him welcome, if he had come teaching " corban," or the
precise mode or merit of baptizing cups, or tithing an-
ise, but when he spoke to them of judgment and mercy
and the right of doing good on Sundays, they had no
room, in their little theologies, for such a kind of doc-
trine. His own disciples got but the slenderest concep-
tion of his person and mission from his very explicit
teachings. They still wanted even the explanations of
his parables explained. It was as if the sun had
broken out upon a field of moles — there was a wonder-
ful incapacity and weakness in all their apprehensions ;
he shone too brightly and they could see only the less.
The priests, and rabbis, and magistrates, saw enough
in him to be afraid of him, or rather of his power over
the people. They charged him, before Pilate, with a
design to make himself king instead of Caesar, and
when he answered, in effect, that he came only to be
king of the truth, Pilate, greatly mystified by his an-
swer, and the more that he had the sense of some
strange power in his person, wanted still, like a child,
to know what he could mean by the truth ? On the
whole it can not be said that Christ ever once found
room, and a clear receptivity for his person, any where,
during his mortal life. Mary and Martha did thcii

■ 2



14 CHRIST WAITING

best to entertain him and give him a complete hospital-
ity, and yet their hospitality so little conceived him as
to assume that being nicely lodged, and complimented
with a delicate housewifery, was a matter of much more
consequence than it was; even more, a great deal,
than to fitly receive the heaven-full of honor and
beauty brought into their house in his person. And so
it may be truly said of him that he came unto his own,
and his own received him not. He was never accepted
as a guest of the world any more than on that first
night in the inn. There was not room enough in the
world's thought and feeling to hold him, or even to
suffer so great a presence, and he was finally expelled
by an ecclesiastical murder.

At the descent of the Spirit there was certainly a
great opening in the minds of his disciples concerning
him, and there has been a slow, irregular, and difiicult
progress in the faith and perception of mankind since
that day, but we shall greatly mistake, if we suppose
that Christ has ever found room to spread himself at all
in the world, as he had it in his heart to do, when he
came into it, and will not fail to do, before his work is
done.

Were a man to enter some great cathedral of the old
continent, of which there are many hundreds, sur-vey
the vaulted arches and the golden tracery above, wan-
der among the forests of pillars on which they rest,
listen to the music of choirs and catch the softened
light that streams through sainted forms and histories
on the windows, observe the company of priests,



TOFINDROOM. 15

gorgeously arrayed, chanting, kneeling, crossing them-
selves, and wheeling in long processions before the
great altar loaded with gold and gems; were he to
look into the long tiers of side chapels, each a gorgeous
temple, with an altar of its own for its princely family,
adorned with costliest mosaics, and surrounded, in the
niches of the walls, with statues and monumental
groups of dead ancestors in the highest forms of art,
noting also the living princes at their worship there
among their patriarchs and brothers in stone — spectator
of a scene so imposing, what but this will his thought
be : " surely the infant of the manger has at last found
room, and come to be entertained among men with a
magnificence worthy of his dignity." But if he looks
again, and looks a little farther in — far enough in to
see the miserable pride of self and power that lurks un-
der this gorgeous show, the mean ideas of Christ, the
superstitions held instead of him, the bigotry, the ha-
tred of the poor, the dismal corruption of life — with
how deep a sigh of disappointment will he confess:
"alas, the manger was better and a more royal honor!"
So if we speak of what is called Christendom, com-
prising, as it does, all the most civilized and powerful
nations of mankind, those most forward in learning, and
science, and art, and commerce, it may well enough
seem to us, when we fix the name Christendom — Christ-
dominion — on these great powers of the earth, that
Christ has certainly gotten room, so far, to enter and hi
glorified in human society. And it is a very great
thing, doubtless, for Christ to be so far admitted to liia



16 CHKIST WAITING

kingly honors — more, however, as a token of what will
sometime appear, than as a measure of power already-
exerted. Still what multitudes of out-lying popula
tions are there that have never heard of him. And the
states and populations that acknowledge him, — how
unjust are their laws, how intriguing and dishonest
their diplomacies, how cruel their wars, what oppres-
sions do they put upon the weak, what persecutions
raise. against the good, what abuses and distortions of
God's truth do they perpetrate, what idolatries and*
mummeries of superstition do they practice, and, to in-
clude all in one general summation, how little of Christy
take them all together, appears to be really in them.
ISTow and then a saint appears, a real Christly man, but
the general mass are sharp for money and dull to
Christ, and whether sharp or dull, are for the most part
extremely ignorant as regards all spiritual knowledge,
even if they happen, as men, to be specially intelligent,
or practiced much in philosophy. The savor of Christ,
in short, is so weak that we can scarcely get the sense
of it once in a day. A wind blowing off from his cross
might almost be expected to carry as much grace with
it — so slight, evanescent, scarcely perceptible, doubt-
fully real is the evidence shown of a genuine Christly
power, even in just those upper tiers of humanity,
which are called the Christendom, or Christ- dominion
itself

But we must take a closer inspection, if we are to
see how very little room Christ has yet been able to
obtain, and how manv things conspire to cramp the



TO FIND ROOM. 1*1

efficacy and narrow down tlie sway of his gospel.
Great multitudes, it is well understood, utterly reject
him, and stay fast in their sins. They have no time to
be religious, or the sacrifices are too great. Some are
too poor to have any heart left, and some are too rich —
so rich, so filled up with goods, that a camel can as
well get through a needle's eye, as Christ get into their
love. Some are too much honored to receive him, and
some too much want to be. Some are in their passions,
some in their pleasures, some in their expectations.
Some are too young and wait to give him only the dry
remains of life, after the natural freshness is gone.
Some are too old and are too much occupied with old
recollections and stories of the past forever telling, to
have any room longer for his reception. Some are too
ignorant, and think they must learn a great deal before
they can receive him. Others know too much, having
stifled their capacity already in the dry-rot of books
and opinions. The great world thus, under sin, even
that part of it which is called Christian, is very much
like the inn at Bethlehem, preoccupied, crowded fall in
every part, so that, as the mother of Jesus looked up
wistfully to the guest-chambers that cold night, draw-
ing her Holy Thing to her bosom, in like manner Jesus
himself stands at the door of these multitudes, knock-
ing vainly, till his head is filled with dew, and his
locks are wet with the drops of the night.

So it should be, as you will easily perceive before-
hand ; for Christianity comes into the world by suppo-
sition, just because the world is not ready to receive it.

2*



18 CHRIST WAITING

The very problem it proposes is to get room wLere
there is none, to open a heart where there is no heart,
to regenerate opposing dispositions, to sweeten soured
affections, to beget love where there is selfishness, to
institute peace in the elemental war of the soul's dis-
orders. This being true, we can see beforehand that the
grand main difficulty of the gospel in restoring the
world, is to get room enough opened for its mighty
renovations to work. It will come to be received
where there is no receptivity. Mankind will even
seem to be shutting it away by a conspiracy of little-
ness and preoccupied feeling, when formally preparing
to receive it.

What shall Constantine, the first convert king do, for
example, when he enters the fold, but bring in with
him all his regal powers and prerogatives, and wield
them for the furtherance of the new religion; never
once imagining the fact that, in doing it, he was bring-
ing church and gospel and every thing belonging to
Christ, directly into the human keeping and the very
nearly insulting patronage of the state. And so the
gospel is to be kept in state pupilage, in all the old-
world kingdoms, down to the present day — officered,
endowed, regulated, by the state supremacy. Spiritual
gifts have no place under the political regimen of course.
Lay ministries are a disorder. No man comes to min-
ister because he is called of God, or goes because he ia
sent of God, but he buys a living, or he has it given
him, as he might in the army or the post-office. And
so the grand, heaven-wide, gospel goes into quarantine,



TOFINDROOM. T^

from age to age, getting no room to speak, or smite, ot
win, or save, beyond what worldly state-craft gives it.
Call we this making room for the gospel ?

Church-craft meantime has been quite as narrow,
quite as sore a limitation as state-craft. Thus instead
of that grand, massive, practically educated character,
that Christ proposes to create in the open fields of duty,
by sturdy encounter with wrong, by sacrifices of benefi-
cence and the bloodier sacrifices of heroic testimony foi
the truth, it contrives a finer, saintlier, more superlative
virtue, to be trained in cells and nightly vigils ! — ^poor,
unchristly, mean imposture, it turns out to be of course.
To give the church the prestige of a monarchy, under
one universal head, a primacy is finally created in the
bishop of Eome, and now, behold the august father,
occupied, as in Christ's name, in blessing rosaries, pre-
paring holy water, receiving the sacred pufis of censers,
and submitting his feet to the devout kisses of his peo-
ple ! O how wretched and barren a thing, how very
like to a poor mummery of imposture, have these eccle-
siastics, contriving thus to add new ornaments and
powers, reduced the gospel of heaven's love to men I

And the attempted work of science, calling itself
theology, is scarcely more equal to its theme. The
subject matter outreach es, how visibly, and dwarfs all
the little pomps of the supposed scientific endeavor.
What can it do, when trying, in fact, to measure the
sea with a spoon ! A great question it soon becomes,
whether Christian forgiveness covers any but sins com-
mitted before baptism ; as if the flow of God's great



20 CHRIST WAITx'NG

mercies in his Son could be stopped bj tbe date of a
baptism, and the sins of his children, afterward, left to
be atoned by purgatorial fires ! The death of Christ is
conceived and taught, for whole centuries, as being a
ransom paid to the devil ; then, after so many centuries
have worn the superstition fairly out, as an offering, or
suffering, to appease the wrath of God. Meantime it is
carefully held, to save God's dignity in him, that he
does not suffer at all as divine, but is even impassible;
so that what he certainly suffers in his moral sensibili-
ties, even because they are perfect — all to make the
cross an expression of divine feeling powerful on the
heart of sin — subsides into a stifled, unmoved, im-
movable mercy that, in fact, belongs to the stones. It
becomes a great article of opinion also, that God only
wants to save a particular number, and that exactly
is the number He predestinates. Next, to coincide
with this, Christ is shown to have died only for this
particular part of mankind. Next to coincide with
this, a limited or special grace is aflfi.rmed under
the same restrictions. Regeneration, again, is wrought
by baptism. Repentance subsides into doing penance.
And the forgiveness of sins becomes a priestly dispen-
sation.

But the most remarkable thing of all is that, when
the old, niggard dogmas of a bigot age and habit give
way, and emancipated souls begin to look for a new
Christianity and a broader, worthier faith, just there
every thing great in the gospel vanishes even more
strangely than before. Faith becomes mere opinion,



TO FIND ROOM. 21

love a natural sentiment, piety itself a blossom on the
wild stock of nature. Jesus, the Everlasting Word,
dwindles to a mere man. The Holy Spirit is made to
be very nearly identical with the laws of the soul. God
himself too is, in fact, put under nature, shut in back of



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