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Clje l3oI)leii ILccturc0 1879


Influence of Jesus



Delivered in the Church of the Holy Trinity, Phila-
delphia, IN February, 1879



31 West Twenty-Third St.


Tiiii ■■-■■■■ ifORX
PUBl;C library


R 1918 L


By E. P. DuTTON & Ca




John Bohlen, who died in this city on the 26th
day of April, 1874, bequeathed to trustees a fund of
One Hundred Thousand Dollars, to be distributed
to religious and charitable objects in accordance with
the well-known wishes of the testator.

By a deed of trust, executed June 2, 1875, the
trustees under the will of Mr. Bohlen transferred and
paid over to " The Rector, Church Wardens, and Ves-
trymen of the Church of the Holy Trinity, Phila-
delphia," in trust, a sum of money for certain desig-
nated purposes, out of which fund the sum of Ten
Thousand Dollars was set apart for the endowment
of The John Bohlen Lectureship, upon the fol-
lowing terms and conditions : —

The money shall be invested in good subst
safe securities, and held in trust for a fund to be called
The John Bohlen Lectureship, and the income shall be
applied annually to the payment of a quah'fied person,
whether clerg\'man or layman, for the delivery and publi-
cation of at least one hundred copies of two or more
lecture sermons. These Lectures shall be delivered at
such time and place, in the city of Philadelpliia, as the
persons nominated to appoint the lecturer shall fiom time
\o time determine. ;;ivinf;; at least six months notice to

1 the fol-

vi The Bohlen Lectureship.

the person appointed to deliver the same, when the same
may conveniently be done, and in no case selecting the
same person as lecturer a second time within a period of
five years. The payment shall be made to said lecturer,
after the lectures have been printed and received by the
trustees, of all the income for the year derived from said
fund, after defraying the expense of printing the lectures
and the other incidental expenses attending the same.

The subject of such lectures shall be such as is
within the terms set forth in the will of the Rev. John
B-ampton, for the delivery of what are known as the
"Bampton Lectures," at Oxford, or any other subject
distinctively connected with or relating to the Christian

The lecturer shall be appointed annually in the month
of May, or as soon thereafter as can conveniently be done,
by the persons, who for the time being, shall hold the
offices of Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of
the Diocese in which is the Church of the Holy Trinity ;
the Rector of said Church ; the Professor of Biblical
Learning, the Professor of Systematic Divinity, and the
Professor of Ecclesiastical History, in the Divinity School
of the Protestant Episcopal Church in Philadelphia.

In case either of said offices are vacant the others may
nominate the lecturer.

Under this trust the Rev. Phillips Brooks, S.T.D.,
of Boston, was appointed to deliver the lectures for
the year 1879.





The Influence of Jesus on the Moral Life of Man . 9

The Influence of Jesus on the Social Life of Man . 71


The Influence of Jesus on the Emotional Life of

Man 139


The Influence of Jesus on the Intellectual Life
of Man 207





■\T 7HAT is the power of Christianity over
man, — its source, its character, its issue?
This is the question which I wish to study with
you in these four lectures which I have been
invited to deliver. But it is necessary at the
outset that I should indicate the limits within
which I wish to work. All that the subject, as
I have stated it, would include, not four nor forty
lectures could undertake to treat.

I have been led, then, to think of Christianity,
and to speak of it, — at least in these lectures, —
not as a system of doctrine, but as a personal
force, behind which and in which there lies one
great inspiring idea, which it is the work of the
personal force to impress upon the life of man,
with which the personal force is always strug-
gling to fill mankind. The personal force is the
nature of Jesus, full of humanity, full of divinity,

12 The Influence of Jesus

and powerful with a love for man which com-
bines in itself every element that enters into love
of the completest kind. The inspiring idea is
the fatherhood of God, and the childhood of every
man to Him. Upon the race and upon the
individual, Jesus is always bringing into more
and more perfect revelation the certain truth
that man, and every man, is the child of God.
This is the sum of the work of the Incarnation.
A hundred other statements regarding it, regard-
ing Him who was incarnate, are true ; but all
statements concerning Him hold their truth
within this truth, — that Jesus came to restore
the fact of God's fatherhood to man's knowledge,
and to its central place of power over man's life.
Jesus is mysteriously the Word of God made
flesh. He is the worker of amazing miracles
upon the bodies and the souls of men. He is
the convincer of sin. He is the Savior by suffer-
ing. But behind all these, as the purpose for
which He is all these, He is the redeemer of man
into the fatherhood of God. It would be deeply
interesting to dwell on any one of these special
aspects of His wondrous life ; but when we want

On the Moral Life of Man. 13

to gather into one great comprehensive statcmcnl
the purpose for which Jesus lived, and the power
which His hfe has had over the lives of men, we
must seize His great idea and find His power
there. For every man's power is his idea multi-
plied by and projected through his personality.
The special actions which he does are only the
jjoints at which his power shows itself, — the
tips of h-is powerful life, where its magnetic force
is manifested, but not where it is created. And
so the power of Jesus is the idea of Jesus multi
plied and projected through the person of Jesus.
His power is not in the miracles that He did, not
even in the marvellous nature which He bore, but
in the great truth, the primal and final fact of all
the universe, so far as man has any part in it,
which the whole nature of the Savior uttered,
and with whose splendor every miraculous touch
of that nature on the world, or on man's body of
man's soul, burst forth into light.

I have said already what that idea is, — the
relation of childhood and fatherhood between
mai. and God. Man is the child of God by na-
ture He is ignorant and rebellious, — the prodi-

14 The hijlueiice of Jesus

gal child of God ; but his ignorance and rebellion
never break that first relationship. It is always
a child ignorant of his Father ; always a child
rebellious against his Father. That is what
makes the tragedy of human history, and always
prevents human sin from becoming an insignifi-
cant and squalid thing. To reassert the father-
hood and childhood as an unlost truth, and to
re-establish its power as the central fact of life ;
to tell men that they were, and to make them
actually be, the sons of God, — that was the pur-
pose of the coming of Jesus, and the shaping
power of His life.

Of course it is not possible to speak of such an
idea — which is indeed the idea of the universe —
as if it were a message intrusted to the Son of
God when He came to be the Savior of man-
kind. It was not only something which He knew
and taught ; it was something which He was.
No other truth ever so inspires a merely human
teacher, so fills his whole life with itself, so
comes to be not merely the creed which his lips
declare but the life which his whole living utters,
as this truth of man's childhood to God. A.nd in

On the Moral Life of Man. 15

Him who was at once the manifested God and the
completion of humanity, the idea and the person
are so mingled that we cannot separate them.
He is the truth, and whoever receives Him be-
comes the son of God.

As I read the Gospels and see what Jesus is
trying to do with men, it seems to me as if this
truth that man is the child of God were to him,
in a certain genuine sense, a final truth, — a
truth beyond which the soul cannot or at least
need not go, — a truth which, if it could be really
laid upon the soul, would bring its own evidence
and its own interpretation. It is indeed capable
of being analyzed. It may be resolved into the
several elements which make up its meaning.
It includes the notions of a common nature be-
tween the Father and the son, of a spontaneous
affection of the Father, of an essential obligation
of the son, and of a possibility of the son's un-
limited growth into the Father's likeness. All
these are present, are assumed in every declara-
tion of man's sonship to God which Jesus ever
makes. But He does not unfold them and define
them. It seems to Him as if, when He says to

The bijitience of ycsus

any human creature, " You are God's child," all
these included truths revealed themselves to the
soul in such degree as his spiritual nature was
then able to receive them. It seems to Him as if
when He says to a sinner, forgetful of his sonship,
" Rise up and be God's child," all these included
truths came in with their own power to restore
his life. He always treats the truth of Father-
hood as the best children of the best earthly
fathers treat it, not ignorant of the elemental
truths of which it is composed, but best satisfied
to let it rest in its own unity, as if any analysis
must disturb its beauty and its power.

It is more important than we often think, that
we should grasp the general idea, the general
purpose, of the life of Jesus. The Gospels be-
come to us a new book when we no longer read
them merely as the anecdotes of the life of one
who, with a great, kind heart, went through the
world promiscuously doing good as opportunities
occurred to Him. The drifting and haphazard
currents gather themselves together, and we are
borne on with the full and enthusiastic impulse
of a s:reat river which knows itself and knows

On the Moral Life of Man. 17

the sea it seeks. And when the ruling i'Jea is
this which fills the life of Jesus, it is doubly true
that only by clearly seizing it can we get at the
heart and meaning of His life. For it is not only
an idea ; it is a religious inspiration. It is not
only the food of the mind ; it is the fire of the
soul. In all its human uses, the idea of father-
hood comes nearer to being a religious idea than
that of any other human relationship. And
when we catch sight of it as the expression of
man's relationship to God, it has all that mys-
terious and beautiful mingling of the most vast
and awful with the most near and personal and
urgent, all that vagueness which we know
includes definiteness, all that definiteness not
excluding vagueness, which is the very essence
of religious impressiveness. And when we think
of it as the idea of Jesus, it must always have
this special beauty connected with it, that Jesus
must have grown up into the apprehension of it
as He grew into the consciousness of His own life.
He must have become aware that all men were
God's sons, and felt the desire to tell them so
and make their sonship a reality, kindling like

1 8 The Injlueiice of Jesus

fire within Him, just in proportion as He came to
know, softly and gradually, under the skies of
Galilee and the roof of the carpenter, the deep
and absorbing mystery that He himself was the
Son of God.

It is not my purpose to prove here that this
which I have given is a true statement of the
idea of Jesus. As He stands there in the broad
sunlight of the Gospels, as His clear words come
down to us through the atmosphere of centuries
which His spirit has purified, I do not see how
any one can have a doubt of what He means by
standing there, what the purpose of His life is
as He himself conceives it. If any man had a
doubt, I should only want to open the Gospels
with him at four most solemn places. Here is
the consummate teaching of Jesus. In His favor-
ite form of parable, with the widest gaze across
the vast field of man, with the most profound
and sad and hopeful sym.pathy with human life,
He tells His story of the Prodigal Son. It is the
everlasting picture of the double possibilities of
man, — obedience and disobedience. The old
parable of Eden, the present mystery of your Jife

0)i tJie Moral Life of Man.

and mine, the far-off Judgment Day, and the
great White Throne, are all gathered in together
and are lying in the crystal depths of that story.
And lo ! these two possibilities live in the house
of one great Fatherhood. '* A certain man had
two sons," and from the embrace of that father's
love neither of the two sons ever departs. Or, if
this seems too metaphorical to be the revelation
of Christ's idea of man, turn to another scene,
and hear Him teaching all men to pray, " Our
Father who art in heaven." Not only the needy
child, who is going in a moment to beg for his
daily bread, but the sinful child, whose lip is
already trembling with the prayer to be forgiven,
begins his petition with the claim of the son
upon the father. In that idea alone the possi-
bility and privilege of prayer grow clear. Or,
still more solemn in its special circumstances,
there is the scene beside the tomb from which
He has just risen, when He draws back the cur-
tain, and with one word proclaims His life and
His disciples' life together. " I ascend unto my
Father and to your Father," He declares. And
when He has ascended, and years have passed

20 TJie Lijiuence of Jesus

away, and all that He did and was have grown
familial to the disciple who loved Him most and
knew Him best ; when that disciple sums up al]
his conception of the life of Jesus, what he says
is only this : " To as many as received Him, to
them gave He power to become the sons of God."
Surely, we cannot be wrong if we say positively
that to Christ himself the truth that man was
God's child by nature was the great fact of man's
existence ; and the desire that man might be
God's child in reality was the motive of His own
life and work.

I have dwelt long upon this opening explana-
tion. But I must leave it now. My design, in
these lectures, is to try to show how this idea of
Jesus, inspiring and presented through his per-
sonality, becomes the shaping power of men's
lives I want to trace its presence in all of the
higher regions of man's life. I want to see how
it influences man's doing of duty, and his rela-
tion to his fellow-men, and his acceptance of
pain or pleasure, and his treatment of his own
intellectual powers These are my four lectures

On the Moral Life of Man. 21

Man in his various life, touched and influenced
and shaped and led by the Fatherhood of God,
revealed and renewed to him by Jesus. To-day
I shall speak of man's moral life. The second
lecture will be of the child of God in all his social
existence. The next lecture will treat of his re-
lation to enjoyment and suffering, which are the
right hand and the left hand of the same Father,
And in the last lecture I shall speak of that life
of the intellect in which man is most ready to
forget his Father, or to think that his Father has
nothing that he can do for him. They will be
Biblical studies ; for I shall look solely to what
Jesus, the revealer of the Father, did for men in
the few years of which the Gospels tell, in order
to find the types of what it is His perpetual effort
and wish to do. I dare to hope, as the result of
all our studies, that we may be helped somewhat
in that which I think we all find the hardest and
most hopeless work of all our lives, — the effort
to keep our highest ideas and our commonest
occupations in constant and healthy contact with
each other.

Forgive me one word more. It gives me also

22 TJie Influence of Jesus

pleasure to believe that the subject which I have
chosen is one which would not have been un-
welcome to my dear friend of years ago, whose
honored name this lectureship bears, and in
whose behalf I shall in some sort speak. For, of
the men whom I have known, there has been
none whose daily moral life, whose association
with his fellow-men, whose meeting of the jo)
and pain of living, and whose ways of thought
and study, have been more in the power of the
idea of Jesus, more inspired by his Lord's revela-
tion that he was, more obedient and trustful to
his Lord's authority in order that he might
become, the son of God.

The manifestation of God's fatherhood which
was made in Jesus is the shaping power of
Christian morals, — that which makes the moral-
ity of Christian life distinct and different from
any other that the world has seen. In what does
that difference consist } In two things, as it
iieems to me : First, in the complete combination
of pattern and power in the source from which
the morality proceeds; and, second, in the com-

Ofi the Moral Life of Man. 23

b'nation of reason and authority in the basis
upon which tne morality is constantly recognized
as resting. These are the two great character-
istics of family morality, of that rectitude and
goodness which grow up in the child as he lives
in his father's house, sheltered by and fed out of
his father's character. Think of them both for
a moment. Where, except in that primal type
of human influence and benefaction, the human
family, do the pattern of goodness and the power
of goodness meet in such perfect unity } Else-
where there may stand up models of excellence,
but they are distant and cold. They do not
carry in themselves their own enforcement.
They are not clothed with the impressiveness of
a deep natural affection. Elsewhere than in the
home there may be very winning persuasions to
goodness ; but nowhere so perfectly as in the
home does the persuasive appeal come from the
mouth of the very goodness which is the natural
pattern of the life which it tries to win. The
good father at once shows goodness as no other
being can show it to the child, and likewise in-
vites him to it with an influence that no other

24 The hifluence of Jesus

being can possess. And, besides this, the child,
when he has come to goodness Hke his father's
by obedience to his father, finds himself unable
to tell whether the good life which he tries to
live is something which holds him by its own
inherent fascination, or something to which he
submits in willing acceptance of his father's will.
The essential and the arbitrary blend, and are
lost in one another. The child's nature bears
witness to its oneness with the father's nature by
the way in which it makes its own choices those
duties which come to it in the first place as the
father's mandates.

Now these two qualities, shadowed forth in
every true home, come to their completeness in
the home of God, the home of man in God, which
is Christianity. It will be interesting, I hope,
to follow this truth out in some detail ; but first
we can see, perhaps, how true it is, if we turn
suddenly to our Gospels and open them at once
at what is, after all, the great text-book of Chris-
tian morals, the code of Christian life, the cor-
respondent and fulfilment in the New Testament
of the Ten Commandments in the Old. I mean

On the Moral Life of Man. 25

the Sermon on the Mount. To that discourse
let us give a few moments' study. In the late
summer, Jesus is coming home from one of his
teaching-tours in Galilee, and in the evening he
and the company that follow him approach Ca-
pernaum. They will not enter the city till to-
norrow morning. To-night the people sleep
around the foot of a great hill that rises near the
town. Bat Jesus, that he may be more alone,
climbs higher, and spends the night in prayer
and meditation. Out of this solitude, out of
this mysterious communion with His Father, in
which He has, as it were, refilled Himself with
the assurance that the human is son to the Di-
vine, He comes when morning breaks, and, gath-
ering His disciples around Him, He speaks to
them, and the multitude who have thronged
about Him, the Sermon on the Mount, which is
written in three chapters of St. Matthew's Gos-
pel. I do not see how any one who reads it care-
fully can fail to feel that in that sermon we have
what is essentially a unit, — one single, separate
discourse of Jesus. It has no rhetorical order
or progress. It d^cs not move in any argumcnta-

2(3 The Injluence of Jesus

Live development. We have but to feel ourselves
back into the bright air and sunshine of that fresh
morning far away in Galilee, with the sweet dis-
traction of the early birds filling the air, and
the soft, dreamy faces of the Galilean peasants
making the listening group, in order to become
aware how perfectly impossible it was that the
discourse should move to any such measure as
might have become the lecture-room of a new
Rabbi. It has its unity in its controlling pur-
pose. It is one by the life-blood of the one idea
which beats through it, and which those ready
and responsive peasant natures feel. And what
is that idea t Neander calls the Sermon on the
Mount " the Magna Charta of the kingdom of
God." It is a fine phrase, and in one sense it
is completely true. But really the idea of God
which fills the great discourse is not the idea of
king, but the idea of father. No doubt the
two, in their original use and in the loftiest use
of them, when, as in the loftiest use of all words,
they refresh the lost memory of their origin, are
really one. The king was originally father. The
Basileia was a family. It belonged to the king,

On the Moral Life of Man. 27

as the family belongs to the father, by right of
blood. It was not like the Turannis, which im-
pdied a usurpation, an unnatural and cruel thing.
Kingship included the three essential ideas of
fatherhood, which, as I reminded you, are one-
ness of nature, natural impulse of obedience, and
the obligation of loving care. The noblest hea-
then always felt all this ; and Zeus is either
king of gods and men, or father of gods and
men, — as if the two names meant the selfsame
thing. But yet the two words always tended to
drift apart. Lordship and command belonged to
kingship ; love and care belonged to fatherhood.
What we really have, then, in the Sermon on the
Mount, what gives it its great, everlasting value,
is the passing over of kingship into fatherhood ;
or, if you please to put it so, the opening and
deepening of kingship till it reveals the father-
hood which lies folded at the heart of it. This,
1 am sure, is the key of the Sermon on the
Mount which alone can unlock its meaning.
Men have often pointed out how largely its sepa-
rate precepts can be matched out of other codes ;
as if the substance and power of a moral law lay

28 The Injliience of Jesus

in its commandments, and did not really rest in
the conception of the commander which breathed
through it and gave it life.

Here, then, is what the Sermon on the Mount
really means. And, in conformity with this, all
through it there are strung those two great com-
binations which I spoke of, — the combination
of pattern and power, the combination of reason
and authority. The pattern is a personal nature,
ultimate and absolute, behind which it is im-
possible to go. The good is good because it is
like Him. The bad is bad because it is unlike
Him. There is no other standard in the whole
discourse than that. It is assumed that a man
may know God and then that he wants nothing
more, that in God he has the perfect test and
touchstone of all life. " Be ye therefore per-
fect," Jesus says, '* even as your Father which
is in heaven is perfect." " Love your enemies,
bless them that curse you" ; and why.? "That
ye may be the children of your Father which is in
heaven." " Seek ye first the kingdom of God and
His righteousness, and all these things shall be
added unto you." What do these words mean,

On the Moral Life of Man. 29

that close like a great choral amen the sweet
and rhythmical injunctions to a divine careless-
ness ? " Take no thought for your life." " Lay
not up treasures on the earth." "Take no thought,

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