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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will no more enable them to be brotherly, to forgive
their enemies, in the nineteenth century than it did in
the first century. Unless we have already been made
brothers, unless we are brothers, we cannot be made so
in Love's, or Right's, or in any thing's name. If we are
brothers there must be that in ourselves which witnesses
to the reality of our kinship a brotherly Spirit who is
uniting each to each, is calling each to brotherly con-
duct ; a common Spirit rebuking each and resisted by
each when his conduct is merely animal, separatist,
" sensual," unbrotherly, or as the apostolic writer says,
" having not the Spirit"

But a common spirit in men as brothers, whether it
inwardly inspires them to Love, or whether it inwardly
orders them to be and do Right, can be nothing else
than the spirit of a common and universal Father.
Brothers we are not, brothers we never can be, unless
the first article of the Catholic Creed the Faith for
" all Nations " and " every creature " be the first
principle of the social and political life of men, unless
we all have one Father. To preach to men the miserable
tidings, " You have no Father," is surely an odd way of
bringing the rich and the poor to believe that they are
all brothers : to proclaim to men, " No spirit of the
common Father of all men has been given to you,"
is an odd way ot bringing the capitalist and the
labourer, the landlord and the commoner, to believe
that they have an inward power of regarding one
another and behaving to one another as brothers.
Every man knows if he yet quite knows himself that
there is that in him which St. Jude describes as sensual


animal, separating, and unspiritual ; he knows that when
he lets it rule it makes him capable of every degree of
greed, tyranny, and unbrotherliness. You and I know
it. It is that in us which scorns, or dislikes, or hates, or
at last purposely does wrong, to this or that fellow-man.
It is in the Social Democrat as well as in the Christian :
it is the old Adam which lusts to banish, imprison,
crucify or hang the advocates of the poor and needy for
asserting they are robbed of the rights which are theirs
as the equals and brothers of the rich and powerful. Is
it not also the same old Adam which in the day of
revolution or judgment refuses to acknowledge a brother
in any man who has hitherto not been poor and needy,
and which exhibits its belief in universal brotherhood,
by fanatically cutting off the head of a brother because
he is a king or a capitalist ?

Things can do nothing. Love as a thing can do
nothing. Right as a thing can do nothing. Christianity
as a thing can do nothing. Socialism as a thing can do
nothing. But the Spirit, which the Father has given
through Jesus Christ to the Church and to mankind,
can do everything. We are feeble in ourselves to good,
we are powerful in ourselves to wrong, but omnipotent
in Him to all good. " I can do all things," said the
apostle, " through Christ who strengtheneth me."
The Church can do through Him, if she will let Him
have His perfect work upon her and Christ will judge
and punish her terribly if she does not all social and
individual good which the Social Democracy wishes to
see done, but which as a mere Sect it can never do.
" But," exclaims the doubter, who demands a new
Pentecost, a new gospel, and a new Church, " the Spirit
which Jesus Christ gave the disciples has been at work
in the Church and the world for nearly two thousand
years, and the social regeneration of humanity seems to


be as far off as ever." The Church declares that the
Spirit of God has not only been at work in her, but at
work in every one, in you that He has been and is
urging you to live as a son of the eternally Good and
Right, and as a brother of every man with whom you
come into contact or conflict. The Spirit has been
doing this for twenty, thirty, fifty, perhaps, seventy
years. What has this Spirit as yet effected in me and
in you ? Are you, am I, much less selfish, sensual,
separatist ; much more brotherly, social, spiritual now
than you and I were twenty years ago?

LIB 1 "* A P v


" Into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this
house ! And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest
upon it : if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same
house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give : for
the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house.
And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat
such things as are set before you : and heal the sick that are
therein, and say unto them, The Kingdom of God is come nigh
unto you." ST. LUKE x. 5-9.

IN this portion of His charge to the seventy the
Lord has established for all times and all places
the principle of the Union of His Church with the pre-
existing forms of secular society domestic, civic or
parochial, and national. In it also He asserts, as a part
of His Gospel, the principle of the establishment and
endowment of His clergy. It is a fit text for St. Luke's
Day, not simply because it occurs in the Eucharistic
Gospel of the festival, but because the record of the
mission of the seventy is found only in this Gospel, and
because it is characteristic of the document which is
peculiarly the Gospel of the Nations. The Jews held
that Humanity had been divided and organised by God
in seventy, or seventy-two, Nations. It is also a fit text
for the present day, in which it is being loudly pretended
that Christ and His clergy as such have no proper rela-
tion to the forms in which God has providentially


moulded secular society, to households, parishes, and
states ; but that a family, a city, or a nation, as such,
lies somewhere outside the Kingdom of God and His
Christ. A comparison in detail of the likeness and the
difference between the Lord's earlier mission of the
twelve apostles and the later mission of the seventy
disciples would be instructive ; but I cannot pause to
attempt so great a task now, because I have so much
to say much more indeed than I can hope to say
upon this section of His charge to the seventy. 1


Jesus, as the Head of Humanity and the reconciler of
estranged men and estranged societies to their Father
and their fellow-men, sent out His seventy disciples,
first (as the fifth verse says) to households. He sent
them secondly (as the eighth verse says) to cities. The
general object of their mission, so far as it personally
concerned them and their own time and nation, was to
prepare Israel for His own coming. He "sent them,
two and two, into every city and place whither He
Himself would come." Their sending was the sum-
mons, from Him who stands at every door and knocks,
from the Head of each Jewish family, from the Ruler of
each Jewish parish, asking it freely to open its doors to
Him, to unite itself with His universal human Church,
and devote itself and its property to the service of the
Father and the brethren.

The Lord gave the seventy no brilliant promise. On
the contrary, He told them that they would find them-
selves to be inadequate, as to number and as to labour,
for the work which had to be done. " Therefore said

1 The mission of the twelve is given by St. Luke (ix. 1-6), St.
Mark (vi. 7-11) ; but with greater fulness by St. Matthew (xi. 1-42).


He unto them, the harvest truly is great, but the
labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the
harvest, that He would send forth labourers into His
harvest." He repeated to the seventy what He had
already said, almost in the same words, to the twelve
apostles. " Go your ways : behold, I send you forth as
lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip,
nor shoes : and salute no man by the way." The former
of these two counsels was His first indication that it
was not a part of His plan that His bishops and clergy
should spend the most part of their time and powers in
the mere earning of their living, by fishing, or tent-
making, or school-mastering, or journalism, or literature,
still less in scheming how to escape all such work by
the getting what we in England mammonishly call a
" living." The latter part of His counsel, " Salute no
man by the way," indicated the eagerness, speed, ab-
sorption of mind with which they were to make straight
for that one object to which He directed them.

There was indeed to be no salutation before they
reached that object : but it was to be otherwise when
it was reached. " Salute no man by the way " : but
" into whatsoever household ye enter," salute it : " First
say, Peace be to this house." This is the salutation
which the Church bids the priest to use " first of all,"
at his visitation of the sick in every household. " When
any person is sick," says the rubric, " notice should be
given to the minister of the parish : who, coming into
the sick person's house, shall say ' Peace be to this
house, and to all that dwell in it.' "

" Salutation," the Latin word for kindly and courteous
greeting, it is worth remembering, has the very same
thought at its root as the word " Salvation." It comes
from salus " health." It was natural that the Saviour
and health-bringer, the maker-whole, the elder brother


of all the households in the world, should approach each
family and each city, first of all, with the good news of
His eager desire for their outward and inward health.
A salutation from Jesus, a greeting from Jesus to any
conscience or society, must be an offer of salvation of
that health and wholeness to which the conscience or
the society can alone return by owning its kinship to
Him, and by submitting to be informed and governed
by His Holy and whole-making Spirit.

Christ's salutation to men, through the mission of the
apostles and disciples to whom He entrusts it, is not to
be thought of as loose, haphazard, or spasmodic in
action. He, as Saluter and Saviour of Humanity,
sends His bishops and clergy directly to those organic
fellowships into which the Father has already consti-
tuted Humanity. Christ's " twelve " and Christ's
" seventy " are to go to men not as to mere individual
units, but as to members of the already existing pro-
vinces of the Kingdom of God to the household and
to the city. "Salute no man by the way." Do not
stop at the chance, self-isolated individual. Pass by
him who is self-separated from his fellows. Go straight
to men as I have made men, as members one of another.
Your function is domestic salute ye the household
Your function is political salute ye the city

The Son of God insisted (first of all, as the qp- angelist
tells us) that it belongs to the mission of His bishops
and clergy to acknowledge the household and the city
as the divine establishments of His and our Father. He
sent them forth to proclaim, first of all, the union of the
Church with the family, and the union of the Church
with the city and the town (Stadt and Markt, as Luther
has it). We discern here the presage and pledge of the
ultimate union of His Church (after the destruction of


Jerusalem and the falling to pieces of the false and
forced unity of the Roman Empire), with the greater
social organisms of the Nations or States. The union
of the Church with the household and family, the union
of the Church with the city, town, and parish, was
evidently in the plan of Jesus Christ. Since the state
or nation is a social organism which God's providence
as world-ruler has evolved out of the commune and
parish, as He evolves the commune out of the house-
hold, it must be a part of the plan of God's Son, and a
step towards the fulfilment of the Father's will, for His
Church to seek union everywhere with the nation,
fatherland, or state.


Jesus is the Judge as well as the Saluter and Saviour
of Humanity. Hence He distinguishes between two
sorts of households, two sorts of cities. One sort of
household and city will " receive " His clergy, and will
sustain them so far as it can. Another sort of house-
hold and city will " not receive " them. But the
distinction between those two classes of households and
cities is altogether a moral distinction. It is a difference
of their own making, not of God's making. It is the
product of the good and bad will of the kinsmen of the
household or the burghers of the city towards the
Father and the brethren. This distinction is not in the
original call and constitution of the social organism of
household or city by God Himself. Every family, as
God made it, is good. Every city, as God congregated
it, is good. Therefore apart from the moral character
which the domestic or political society may itself after-
wards exhibit, apart from the welcome or rejection with
which it meets the salutation and salvation of the Son
of God His apostles and disciples are to approach


every household as already God's family, every city as
already God's congregation. " Into whatsoever house-
hold ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house." Any
and every household, any and every commune in the
world, any and every nation or state, is assumed by
Jesus, quite apart from its conversion and obedience to
Him or its union with His Church, to be a divine
fellowship, a family and city of the Father, the social
product of His humane providence, a province of His
kingdom. For this reason it behoves Him who comes
to men in the Father's name to send His salutation to
it. Therefore Jesus, the Elder Brother, commissions
His bishops and clergy in all ages to greet the members
of every household as His brethren and sisters. There-
fore the Christ, the King whom the Father has anointed,
sends his apostles and disciples to call the burghers of
every commune to live as fellow-citizens with Him.
The mission of bishops and clergy is to proclaim to
each social organism what it is in the idea of God, how
magnificent its character is, what a vocation from God
and what a work for men belongs to it. He sends us,
as He goes on to say, " to heal the sick that are therein,
and say unto them, The Kingdom of God is come nigh
unto you." There is a sickness in every conscience,
household, parish, and nation until it knows, accepts,
and acts upon the glad tidings concerning itself which
Jesus sends to it by His Church. The Church holds, by
the gift of the Son of God and Son of Man, the one
valid tradition and the one only perfect ideal of personal
manhood ; the tradition and ideal of the family ; the
tradition and the ideal of organic neighbourhood ; the
tradition and the ideal of nationality ; the tradition and
the ideal of humanity.

Christ's apostles and disciples were thus ordered to
recognise and proclaim the divine character of every


household and every city. The sectary or separatist
regards a household, a city, or a state, as such, as mere
parts of " the world," and consequently asserts that
" the Church," whatever he may mean by it, ought not
to be in union with them, but rather in opposition to
them. Hence his " Church " is not parallel with the
" congregation " which God has already gathered
together as one family, one parish, one fatherland ; but
it is an aggregation of individuals whom he has induced
to separate themselves from the divine, real and
necessary " Congregation." " Into whatever household
(oticta) ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house " (oticoe).
The one " house," or material building, is a symbol of
the oneness of the social "household," or family. In
the fellowship of kinsfolk and servants, "in the lively
stones," as St. Peter has it, the Master-builder and
Father of all, who has brought them together by nature
and providence, sees the indivisible oneness of a house
which He has built. Every household has a oneness
in Christ, and under Christ, of which His Spirit makes
its members mindful ; but its members may ignore and
deny that oneness, and split away each from the other
in conduct, character, politics, or religion. In the
households of Jewry, to which the Lord especially sent
forth the seventy, they may have found one member to
be a Pharisee, another to be a Sadducee, another to be
an Herodian, another to be a fellow-disciple, as we now
find in households one to be a Papist, another to be a
Wesleyan, another a Secularist, another in every sense a
Catholic. The individual members of a household, the
individual citizens of a city, may think they ought to
break from God's congregation, and individually aggre-
gate themselves into separatist houses, separatist cities.
But the apostles and the seventy, according to the
commandment of the Lord, must ignore the schisms


and separations which the members of a household or
the parties of a city themselves originate, and must
address them one and all as an indivisible social unity
which the Father has established. The Church of
Christ does not correspond to Christ's ideal and plan,
nor to the facts of nature and providence, by establish-
ing a union with an individual or a group here and
there, but only by establishing a union with the house-
hold as a whole, with the city as a whole, and with
the nation or state as a whole. The union of Church
and State is an integral part of the Gospel of Christ.
He sent forth His apostles and disciples with the
mission of uniting His Church in all ages and places
with the household, the parish, and the state, which are
also His.


I have spoken so long upon one aspect of the
Salutation which Jesus sent to households and cities by
the seventy, that I shall be obliged to say much less
than I intended upon the next clause of His commission.
He warned them that some households and cities would
reject His Salutation, and refuse to be in union with
His Church. But other households and cities would
gladly receive them. As to such He commanded, " In
the same household remain, eating and drinking such
things as they give, for the labourer is worthy of his
hire." Again, " And into whatsoever city ye enter, and
they receive you, eat and drink such things as are set
before you."

Here we see Jesus Christ Himself, as the Head over
all things to His Church, not only solemnly and
deliberately establishing, but solemnly and deliberately
endowing His clergy. The germ of every subsequent
parochial or national establishment and endowment lay


in this daring charge of the poor and property-less Son
of Man. " In that same household," He said, " remain
ye " ; that is, " Establish yourselves in that household,
without hesitation or misgiving. The household, as
well as the apostolical brotherhood, is My Society.
The city, as well as the Church, is put by the Father of
humanity under Me." In the Person of Christ Jesus,
the Church and the State, the ecclesiastical and the civil,
what is eternal and what is secular in humanity, are
mediated and united. He does not obliterate the
distinction, but He insists upon the union, of Church
and parish, of Church and State. In obedience to Jesus
Christ's charge, in the full conviction of Christ's rights
as Lord over all human societies, the apostles established
the Church in the cities of the Roman Empire. In the
same faith His later missionaries established the Church
amongst the communes and the nations out of which
the modern States of Europe have been developed by
God's world-government.

But the Lord was not content with commanding His
clergy to establish themselves within the organic forms
which His Father had given, or might give, to secular
society. " Remain," He said, " eating and drinking such
things as they give." " And into whatsoever city ye
enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set
before you." As the Head and Ruler of both societies
He assumes the right to take the shelter and food of
His families, His cities, and His states at least of those
of them which " receive " His apostles and His disciples
willingly and therewith to endow His clergy. " Accept
these endowments," He said to the seventy, " without
hesitation or misgiving ; know and preach that I have
a right to them." He claimed jurisdiction in every
household and every city to which He sent His
salutation and salvation. The rudimentary endowments


of shelter and provision which the seventy received
during their mission were not to be regarded by them
as gratuities to themselves, but as debts due to the Lord
Jesus Christ. He claimed and claims to be the eternal
Householder, the abiding otKoSetrTrorijc of every family,
parish, and state. His very last missionary act before
His Passion, the object of His very last sending forth of
apostles, was the assertion of His right. "The Lord
hath need of them," was all which the apostles were to
say, as they loosed the ass and the foal. St. Peter and
St John were sent to demand as His right the tempo-
rary endowment of His Church with the guest-chamber
in Jerusalem for the celebration of the last Passover and
the first Eucharist.

It is important to recollect, amidst the controversies
now in front of us, that Jesus Christ being the Head
of the secular as well as the ecclesiastical society has
guarded and vindicated in His charge the rights and
liberties of His families, parishes, and states against all
undue encroachment and greed of His clergy. The
seventy were forbidden to force themselves upon un-
willing houses and unbelieving cities, or to demand
more than enough from the willing. Not only so, but
He proclaimed, as the principle of His establishment
and endowment, that " The labourer is worthy of his
hire." By this He not merely liberates His clergy from
all hesitation in accepting a sufficiency of shelter, food,
and other stipend, but He reminds His clergy that
every one who would have " hire " must be a " labourer."
Labour is that which Christ's secular societies house-
hold, parish, or state have a title from Christ to
demand of all the clergy to whom they give shelter,
food, or any sort of stipend. The state, the city, and
the family have a right from the Son of Man Himself
to regulate endowments and to disestablish and dis-


endow every clerical idler. It is against the law of
Christ that a land-owning and purse-owning " patron "
a caricature of the true Father should have the
power of forcing any idler whom he pleases upon
Christ's households and parishes. He condemns it by
His principle that " the labourer is worthy of his hire,"
and by His inference that the "hire" is given or with-
held by the Society.


" She had heard in the country of Moab how that the Lord had
visited His people in giving them bread." RUTH i. 6.

BREAD is almost the cheapest gift which can be
given. The professional tramp, whose lust is for
money rather than bread, often throws the gift away as
useless. I find it more easy to condemn his waste, as
every other idler's waste, than to condemn him. The
tramp is a man : therefore, as the Son of God says, he
does not " live " by " bread alone." He craves for what
is humane or spiritual ; and he knows that he can get
for a little money what mere bread will not give him
an hour of club-life in the warm and social tavern on the
roadside. It is hard to grudge him so short an episode
of brightness, since his life as a whole is cold and joyless
enough, compared with the lives of richer tramps, who
can rest in grand hotels instead of barns or hedges, but
who possibly do not excel him in their reverent esteem
for mere bread.


Throughout the Bible, as in the Sacrament of the
Eucharist, this cheapest and meanest of gifts is set forth
as the symbol, the evidence, and the very vehicle of

1 Sermon preached at Harrow-on-the-Hill.



God's visitation to men. "The Lord had visited His
people in giving them bread." The harvest, as the
writer believed, was nothing less than a visit of God to
the nation, and so a sign to Israel that it was His own
people. All nations had harvests, and so the Hebrew
prophets began to perceive what the Gospel afterwards
declared, and what was later evidenced by the birth
of the Catholic Church on the Day of Pentecost, that
every nation must be a people of God. The English
harvest of this year is the Lord's visitation of England,
and His sign to us that we, as fully as ever Israel was,
are His people.

If you would see the harvest of 1888 for our English

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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 8 of 22)