Thomas Hancock.

The pulpit and the press, and other sermons, most of which were preached at S. Nicholas Cole Abbey online

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can really be a " Church " school until the children of
rich and poor are taught side by side in it the same
social and humane doctrine as they are taught by the
sacrament which brings them alike into the Church.

True it is that the clergy have been for many ages
not only the educators of the nation, but have possessed
and used schools as instruments of education. Hence
it may seem hard that they should now be forced, by
the processes of Christ's world-government, to give up
their schools, and to fulfil by other methods their per-
manent office as the educators of the nations. But
what the Lord is now doing will surely seem less hard
to us if we will but recollect that it is a mere accident in
the Church's history, that it is only by an exceptional
act of His providence, that His Church became and con-
tinues partially to be a keeper of any schools save such
as are for the particular education of the clergy. The
Church, as Mr. Matthew Arnold has said, is a society
for the promotion of all good. It is the society which
not only holds forth the ideal of all other societies, but
which supplements their defects. If in any time or
place the Church sees some good work undone through
the proper doers neglecting to do it, it is her business to
set about doing it as well as she can, until the work is
taken up by those whose proper function it is. This is
why the clergy have taught not only the gospel, which
they are permanently bound to teach, but have also
taught mathematics, history, geography, reading, writing,
summing, drawing, needlework, and all sorts of things
which do belong to their province as the educators of
the nations. On the same ground, in the Middle Ages,
it was the Church which provided the nations of Europe
with painters, architects, sculptors, musicians, philoso-
phers, scientists, and all the ministries of culture and
manners. On the same ground the Church became the



160 COLE ABBEY SERMONS

reliever of the poor, the registrar of such census as there
was, and the parish priest often officiated as the secular
head of the local commune.

But a time comes in the providence of Him to whom
all authority is given in heaven and on earth, who is
head over all things to His Church, when these non-
ecclesiastical functions of the ministers of His Word and
sacraments and greatly by reason of the unperceived
educating influence of His Church upon the nations
are claimed by those to whom they properly belong.
So it has been with painting, architecture, music, science,
poor-relief, registration, and secular office. So it must
now be with schooling. All increase of the sense of
obligation to the whole in State and Commune, all
growth of conscientiousness in the society or the indi-
vidual, ought to be recognised and joyfully welcomed
by the Christian reason as a product of that one and
the same manifold grace of God which called him out of
darkness into light, and from self-seeking to duty to his
neighbour.



THE COMMON SALVATION AND SCHEMES
OF SALVATION '

" Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them,
that every one of them may take a little." ST. JOHN vi. 7.
(Holy Gospel for Trinity XXV.)

IN to-day's Gospel, which is also the Gospel for
mid-Lent Sunday, the Lord reveals Himself as the
economical Reformer, as the Saviour of the bodies of
men, as that " King" whose manifestation in this world
the prophet foretells in to-day's Epistle, " A King shall
reign, and prosper, and execute judgment and justice in
the earth. In His day Judah shall be saved, and Israel
shall dwell safely ; and this is His name whereby He
shall be called, the Lord our Righteousness." It is an
especially seasonable Gospel in this particular year. It
is being read at every parish altar in the nation, at every
centre where the local community is called to the
" Common Prayer," during a week in which a great-
hearted and astute sect-founder, endowed with no mere
two hundred pennies, but with thousands of pounds,
and followed with the undiscerning laudations of the
rich, the mighty, and the noble of the world, is engaging
himself to do a miracle not unlike that which the Lord
did. What He did amongst the hungry by the power
of His Word and by the simple obedience of His twelve



November 23, 1890.



12



161



162 COLE ABBEY SERMONS

chosen apostles, Mr. Booth promises to do by the power
of money, and by the work of his male and female
captains. A frightened world, or age, believes him, and
is pouring out its money at his feet. For, as Jesus said
to that age, in the discourse which precedes the miracle,
" I am come in My Father's name and ye receive Me
not If another shall come in his own name, him will
ye receive."

The contrasts between the Lord's salvation and Mr.
Booth's "scheme" of social salvation, I need not say,
are endless. The setting of some of these contrasts side
by side is no act of our choosing ; we see them forced
upon us by the Gospel and by the unthinking madness
and fashion of the world or age, which some days ago
followed Mr. Barnum, yesterday followed Mr. Stanley,
to-day follows Mr. Booth, and to-morrow will follow
another, pouring out its plaudits and its money upon its
temporary hero. Its heroes are in earnest, each in his
degree : but the world is not. The world must have
gigantic excitements, glaring advertisements, gorgeous
promises, and ambitious schemes, or else it will not
pause and attend. One day we run to Olympia to see
the biggest show ever puffed together ; another day we
hope that a new continent is opened for our Babylonish
competition and robbery ; another day we are fascinated
by a huge scheme for feeding and employing the victims
whom our Babylonish competition and robbery have
driven to starvation, forced idleness, prostitution, and
vagabondage. As we asked, "Have you seen Stanley?"
so we now ask, " Have you read Booth's book ? " But
now the excitement of fear and responsibility, the dread
of a great social catastrophe, and the conviction of guilt,
have laid hold upon us. We will gladly pay Mr. Booth
to rescue us, and to do our felt duties of brotherhood
and sisterhood by the proxies whom he has enlisted and



THE COMMON SALVATION 163

commands, and whom he exhibits, in his highly coloured
picture, doing our duties as citizens and parishioners in
the military uniform of his sect.

He has two objects in view, first, a great social reform,
and next, as the means to it, an endowment of his own
Salvation Army. The most competent observers seem
to agree that it has failed most conspicuously in the
East End as a spiritual agency, but he thinks that it
may be made to succeed as a social agency.

1. The King who shall execute judgment and justice
in the earth is not an autocrat.

2. This King asks for no money ; He rather pours
contempt upon it, as an agent of salvation ; He uses
that which He finds, which the providence of the Father
and the diligence of men have placed in His hands.

3. He has no new scheme and no new agents. He
does all that He does by the ministry of the apostles
whom He has chosen, ordained, and sent. I cannot
now attempt to speak at length even of these few
contrasts, but I shall say a little upon two of them
autocracy, and the demand for money.

I.

" When Jesus then lifted up His eyes and saw a great
company come unto Him, He saith unto Philip, Whence
shall we buy bread that these may eat ? " He said
" We."

He did not autocratically say, as if God and men
could be separable in the work of saving love, " Whence
shall / buy bread ? "

Whence shall we buy bread? First, the Saviour
implies that the hungry have by their very hunger a
right to daily bread ; He repeated the doctrine which
He had already taught His apostles in the prayer which



164 COLE ABBEY SERMONS

He had given them. Next He implies that the
obligation of care for the feeding of the hungry is
binding upon the whole society of which He is the
Head and we are the members. There is one body, and
one spirit. The apostles are to ask, as an apostle after-
wards did : " Who shall separate us from the love of
Christ ? " not only from that love which He has for us,
but from that love which He would show by us. The
King who shall execute judgment and justice on the
earth is not a beneficent emperor, pope, generalissimo,
or autocrat, who holds a place, so to speak, outside and
above the multitude. He first humbles Himself that
they may know Him to be their King and Prophet ;
He hungers that He may feed the multitude ; He
makes Himself poor that He may make the multitude
rich. " So He was their Saviour. In all their afflictions
He was afflicted, and the angel of His presence served
them " (Isa. xliii. 8, 9). Then He calls upon His
apostles and disciples to be one with Him by taking up
their cross and following Him.

The Church has learned, as she shows in the Creeds,
how it is theologically true that Jesus, when He acts
thus for the whole multitude, does not use the autocratic
" I," but implies that we all are in Him, and so are con-
naturally partners and co-agents with Him and He with
us, in the work of saving men. He is not a Son of God,
as the heathen heroes and demi-gods were thought to
be. He is the Son. You and I, and all the sons and
daughters of mankind, are included in Him ; so that in
every one of us there is a part of that childhood to God,
that real kinship to the Eternal One, the whole of which
sonship and kinship is summed up in Him and mani-
fested in Him, and represented by Him. He is that
true light who is enlightening every man who comes
into the world. He would have us know that He is in



THE COMMON SALVATION 165

us ; therefore He says to us, " We." He is the " Christ
in all men," and " the Saviour of all men." He would
have us believe that He is the Christ in us, and that He
saves any man whom we help to save. " Neither is
there salvation in any other," said one who helped Him
in this saving of the multitude, " for there is no other
name under heaven given among men, whereby we may
be saved," and therefore He says to us, " We." This is
why the Church sings in the Quicunque Vult, the
Athanasian psalm, that the Son of God is " One ; not
by conversion of the Godhead into flesh : but by taking
of the Manhood" that is, the taking of you, and me,
and every human being without exception " into God ;
One altogether : not by confusion of Substance : but by
unity of Person. For as the reasonable soul and flesh is
one man : so God and Man is one Christ." Therefore
He says to us, What shall " we " do for the saving of the
multitude ? When Jesus lifts up His eyes, and sees a
company faint, hungry, driven by the robberies of Caste
and Mammon into despair and vagabondage, He also
sees and feels Himself in them. He is as really one
with the multitude as He is one with the apostolate. If
He teaches, feeds, and saves by the hands of His
apostles, He also hungers for knowledge, bread and
salvation in the souls of the people to whom He sends
them. He would have us see Him in all the faint,
hungry, oppressed, and despairing social outcasts. It is
part of His education of His apostles and of His Church
to make them understand their unity with all the
hungry in Him, to have the " fellowship of His suffer-
ings." We are not to think that He speaks in a mere
figure, but we are to believe that He reveals the whole
truth about humanity, when He says, " Inasmuch as ye
did it unto ' these,' or did it not unto ' these,' ye did it,
or did it not, unto Me." So He says to us " Whence



166 COLE ABBEY SERMONS

shall we buy bread that these " our fellow-members of
the one body " shall eat ? " And this He says to-day
to us, as to His Apostle Philip, " to prove " us, to draw
forth and educate His own seed of salvation within us.

So in the real Saviour of Society there is nothing of
the autocrat. His salvation, as His apostle says, is
" the Common Salvation." He worketh in us both to
will and to do. He saves and reigns by our own free
will. He governs men through the will which His spirit
has first made free. Without liberty there can be no
salvation. Jesus can save because He does not " utterly
refuse to have any committee, or any interference what-
ever from the outside." He does not say, like a Caesar-
saviour, or a Napoleon-saviour, " Leave everything to
me : I can and will do nothing if any partners are thrust
upon me : all you have to do is to find me a prodigious
quantity of money, and /will ' buy bread that these may
eat.' " The true Saviour encourages us to question.
He provoked His apostles again and again, as we see
throughout the Gospels, to reason and ask Him questions.

II.

The next characteristic of the true Saviour's salvation
is the rejection of money, nay, the deliberate scorn and
expulsion of the purse and cheque-book, by which it is
preceded. First, to "prove" or educate His apostles,
He shows that He knows them. He asks the very
question aloud which He knew the old Adam, the carnal
and wicked nature in them, to be already silently and
inwardly asking. How can we get means " sufficient,"
money enough, to abolish the gigantic want, hunger,
and misery in this social wilderness ? It has often been
our question. What has crowded the world with these
starvelings, tramps, drunkards, vagabonds, and harlots ?



THE COMMON SALVATION 167

Is it not the sheer want of money? Dives is pious,
respectable, well-fed, properly clothed, has a roof over his
head, his sons feel no anxiety about their bread, his
daughters are married. Take away his money and he
would soon be also a hungry, houseless tramp, and his
daughters sink to the level of their moneyless sisters.
How plain it seems that it is not the reign of the Word
and Spirit of Christ Jesus, but simply more money that
is wanted in order to " execute judgment and justice in
the earth." How plain it seems that if the rich would
but give to some capable saviour " sufficient " money,
then London "might be saved," and England might
"dwell safely."

How truly the Lord had reached the thought of the
natural man in the apostle is clear from the apostle's
answer. " Philip answered Him, Two hundred penny-
worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of
them may take a little." We have not money enough to
save them. The apostle had forgotten that contrast
between the two rival kings, the two rival kingdoms, and
the two rival subjections, which the Saviour had shown
them in His first sermon. He then told them that if they
were to serve the Father, Him who is the daily Giver of
daily bread to the whole human family, they must first
cast off the service of Mammon. He warned them that
they could not save the nations by bank-notes. By the
Father's will, "as it is done in heaven," there is and
cannot but be certainty and sufficiency of bread in the
earth for every one who needs. So wherever and when-
ever the Son sets up His Kingdom in its fulness in the
earth, there and then (as this miracle shows) there is
immediate sufficiency of bread for all the hungry,
and more than sufficiency. Where Mammon's kingdom
is still in possession, and men and women are subjects to
it, there can only be certainty, and sufficiency of daily



168 COLE ABBEY SERMONS

bread for the rich and the competent. All the rest
must depend for their bread, in a nearer or more remote
degree, upon the will of the landlord and the money-lord.
The one has appropriated, or inherited the appropriation,
of the land which is the only source of bread for all, and
which God has given to all, " to the children of men."
The landlord says to the hungry, whose commons he
has enclosed by laws made by those who have more than
sufficiency of bread, " Get off my land. I want it for a
park, or for a hunting-ground, or for a number of new
streets ; I will not have it ploughed and sown. Go
across the sea to some other land ; go into the towns,
and ask the money-lords for work." The money-lord
can say, " I have no work to give you ; my business is
bad ; I am overstocked. I must cut down your wages ;
if you cannot live upon them, there are hundreds out-
side who will gladly take your place." Contrast with
this the last words of the prophet in the Epistle, so
eucharistical and evangelical, " And they shall dwell in
their own land." When and where that true King
reigns and executes judgment and justice in the earth,
then and there the poor are fed, and therefore He says,
" Distribute it yourself. You must join the Army, and
not pay its General to find proxies to do your fighting,
and to receive the blows which ought to fall upon you."
" With what glad hearts and clear consciences might
noblemen go to rest," said Bishop Latimer to the
thievish Tudor Court, " when they had bestowed the
day in hearing Christ complain in His members, and in
redressing their wrongs."

III.

The Author of "the common salvation," which the
rich and the poor alike need, asks of us, and asks within
us, "What shall 'we' give that the hungry and the



THE COMMON SALVATION 169

oppressed may be saved ? " We give nothing, He tells
us, although we subscribe thousands, until we give our-
selves. We give ourselves only by giving up all our
powers, and giving up reputation, honour, autocracy, self-
confidence, lust for leadership and dictation to others,
vanity and self-satisfaction in our own schemes. The
first requisite of every saviour of the wretched is
obedience. A man who says, like a Caesar or a Pope,
that the first requisite of his scheme of salvation is that
he shall and must be the one absolute commander, who
substitutes his own " I " for the Saviour's "We," can never
so reign as to execute judgment and justice in the earth.
The King who must reign, the true Saviour and
Leader, " though He were a Son," says the apostolic
writer to the Hebrews, "yet learned He obedience by
the things which He suffered, and being made perfect,
He became the author of eternal salvation unto all them
that obey Him ; called of God a High Priest after the
order of Melchizedek." I doubt, though you may not
share the doubt, whether a man fully obeys Christ so
long as he refuses to acknowledge Christ's apostles.
So St. Paul taught': so St. John taught : and the Lord
Himself said " He that heareth you heareth Me ; and he
that despiseth you despiseth Me." The pope of this new
international sect, like the Pope of Rome, may hold that
the Bishops of the English nation are no successors of
Christ's apostles, and in that case he does right in
ignoring their office. But if he so thinks of them he
ought plainly to say so, and not ask them to give him
money to endow his army.

The true Saviour is no " Separatist." Under His reign
" Judah shall be saved," the nation and not some natives
of it, " and Israel shall dwell safely." He by his birth
confessed fellowship with the whole of humanity, all who
are born. So by His circumcision He confessed fellow-



170 COLE ABBEY SERMONS

ship with the entirety of His own nation. He set up
no new sect, and no new temple of His own invention.
He owned and purged from the robbers the national
and established House of His heavenly Father, and
claimed it as the house of common prayer for all nations.
As He used their loaves and would not turn the stones
of the wilderness into bread : so, as He said to the High
Priest, " I ever taught in the Synagogues and in the
Temple." He set up no separatist " barracks." His
Church was not one more addition to the world's sects,
it was the extension of the Kingdom of His father
David over every people, and made " Jerusalem a praise
in the earth," and has caused her " to be called by a new
name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name " the
kingdom of Jesus, the Holy Church throughout all the
world.

The " King " of whom the Epistle speaks has enlisted
and enrolled His own Army of Salvation, and sent His
apostles to " all nations " to call upon " every creature "
to take up his or her place in its ranks. Mr. Booth's
" Salvation Army " is a noble conception, but a limited
one, and its majors and captains (and privates, if there
are any) are enlisted and constituted after a wholly
different plan. It is a separatist, not a common army.
It is the latest English evolution of the Moravian-
Methodist conception that the life of religion begins in
an emotion towards God, and is marked by the
instantaneous flight from the terror of hell to the
assurance of heaven. It has this improvement upon the
older evolutions of Methodism, that its commander at
once sets all his converts upon work of some kind and
does not allow them to be mere religionists, lost in cares
about their own souls. But the army of Jesus has its
origin in the universal relation of mankind to God.
Most of us were unconscious babes when we were sworn



THE COMMON SALVATION 171

into His sacramental host and were engaged, as the
Common Office for Baptism says, " manfully to fight
under His banner against sin, the world, and the devil ;
and to continue Christ's faithful servant and soldier unto
our life's end." We were not enlisted and enrolled in the
Common Saviour's Army because we felt an exceptional
emotion, or had an exceptional conviction concerning
ourselves, at some hot and noisy meeting amidst the
unwholesome glare of gas and blast of trumpets, and
thereby became spiritual aristocrats, entitled to look on
our fellow-men as a lower caste of outsiders, we being
" in the Blood " and they outside. But we were enlisted
as soldiers of the Son of Man because we were common
babes, vulgar children, such as He said were the con-
natural citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven, exactly
like all our fellows who were not baptized, not enlisted,
but who equally with us have within them the new and
better manhood which is the seed and birth of God, the
kinsman of Christ, and the inheritor of the Kingdom of
Heaven.



THE HEAVEN FROM WHENCE WE EXPECT
THE SAVIOUR OF OUR BODY i

" Who mind earthly things : For our conversation is in
heaven ; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord
Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body." PHIL. iii. 19, 20.

ON Sunday last we looked at some of the contrasts
which are forced upon every thoughtful observer
by the juxtaposition of Christ's acts of bodily salvation
over against these costly paper-schemes of salvation
which are advertised by the religious world. St. Paul's
words in the text set before us the chief of these con-
trasts : Our minding of earthly things is opposed to our
looking to that heavenly commonwealth in which the
Saviour is, and is always ready to be revealed. The
words occurred in the Eucharistic Epistle two Sundays
ago, but they are fit for Advent Sunday, because they
turn our thoughts to the appearing of our Lord Jesus
Christ to change our vile body, both individual and
social, that it may be made like unto His glorious Body.
This is Christ's " scheme," says St. Paul (meta-
schematisei).

Those " who mind earthly things " are not merely
persons outside Christendom, whom we may please
pharisaically to label as " the worldly." The apostle
was writing to a Church. He tells the Christians of

1 Advent Sunday, November 30, 1890.
172



THE SAVIOUR OF OUR BODY 173

Philippi plainly that those whose conduct made him
weep as he wrote, and whom he so indignantly describes
as those " whose god is their belly, whose glory is in
their shame, who mind earthly things," were not such
persons as the religious world calls worldly men and
women, unconverted, or unbelievers, but that they were
Christians who had already made the profession that
"our citizenship is in heaven." The most humane of
our English novelists has shown us how his own belly
may be much more the god of a man who runs about
from tea-meeting to tea-meeting than of the honest,
vulgar inn-keeper and his guests.

I.

There is doubtless for our age and nation a somewhat
unseasonable tone in St. Paul's words. The contrast
between earthly things and heaven is out of fashion. It
is so contrary to the loudest cries of the Zeitgeist^ the
spirit of the age or world that now is, that only the
simple or the thoughtful are likely to make it. Every-
where we hear men saying, apostolic men as well as
others, if indeed they were not the first to say it : " We
must mind earthly things ; our citizenship may or may
not be in heaven ; we have preached too much about a
citizenship which is not knowable by the senses ; the
duty nearest to us is to procure for the great mass and
majority of mankind a more happy and hopeful citizen-
ship here upon earth." This was first said by Maurice,
who was persecuted and cast out for saying it. Many


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Online LibraryThomas HancockThe pulpit and the press, and other sermons, most of which were preached at S. Nicholas Cole Abbey → online text (page 12 of 22)