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zB'MtttMsii>ttx.







THE DWIKE MASTER.







a4^u cA^i^



THE



DIVINE MASTER.



^cnt\) l^irition.



LONDON :
J. MASTERS AND CO., 78, NEW DOND .STREET.



MDCCCLJtXVIll.



•KH



Non est alia via ad vitara et ad verara internam pacem
nisi Via Sanctae Crucis. Ambula ubi vis, quaere quodcunque
volueris, et non invenies altiorera viam supra, nee securiorem
viara infra nisi Viam Sanct.b Crucis.

De Imit. Christ, lib. ii. c. 12,



TO HIM
FROM WHOSE HA^DS HAS BEEN RECEIVED

m)t 13realr of ICifc,

A>'D FROM WHOSE LIPS HAVE BEEN HEARD

THE WORDS OF THAT WISDOM

WHICH IS THE

BRIGHTNESS OF THE EVERLASTING LIGHT,

THIS POOR FRUIT

OF HIS TRUE TEACHING

IS WITH DEEP GRATITUDE

INSCRIBED.



2026S28




In preparing a Second Edition of the " Divine
Master," it will be necessary only to contradict
the erroneous statement which has been made in
various quarters, that it is an adaptation from the
French : — this is not the case ; the text is en-
tirely original in every respect, and the mistake
has probably arisen from the fact, that the en-
gravings which have been used in this volume,
were originally published in France, along with
a manual bearing the same name. But the
Author has never seen either "Le Divin Maitre"
or a translation.

Embeh Week,
Sept., 1862.




It may be advisable to explain, in a very few
words, that it is not intended in the following
pages to give the history of an individual in the
person of " the child," who is represented as re-
ceiving instruction from the " Divine Master,"
but simply to illustrate, under this convenient
form, the various trials and difficulties, incidental
to the progressive stages of the Spiritual Life.
Yet whilst indeed it may be hoped, through God's
mercy, that no one person could, in the course of
their earthly probation, be subject to all the
temptations and errors herein recorded, it is
certain at the same time, that none whose war-
fare is with the world, the flesh, and the Devil,
would ever be exempt from the whole of them ;
and it is equally sure, on the principle which
teaches, that if a man fail in one jot or tittle of



Vlll PREFACE.

the Law, he hath failed in all — that no Christian
Grace can have been mentioned here, which the
members of Christ's Church are not bound
zealously to labour for, under all the different
phases of their heavenward course.

It must also be understood, that the term
" Child" has not been adopted as applying to
the Lambs of the Blessed fold, for whom most
of the sorrowful evils here described must still
be unknown dangers : but in acknowledgment
of the deep truth which was set forth on that
day when a Babe was placed in the midst by a
Hand Divine, that there are none, however lofty
in intellect, or wise in this world's knowledge,
who shall ever enter into the Kingdom of God,
except they do indeed receive it in the spirit of
a little child.

Lent, 1852.




CHAPTER I
The Way of the Cross



CHAPTER II.

The Way of the Cross in Repentance

CHAPTER m.
The Way of the Cross in Humility

CHAPTER rV.
The Way of the Cross in the Sacraments

CHAPTER V.
The Way of the Cross in Obedience

CHAPTER VI.
The Way of the Cross in Perseverance .



PAGE

1



12



. 24



37



51



67



X CONTENTS.

CHAPTER VII.

PACK

The Way of the Cross in Holy Zeal . . ,,85

CHAPTEE VIII.
The Way of the Cross in Temptation , , 101

CHAPTER IX.
The Way of the Cross in Suffering . . .120

CHAPTER X.
The Way of the Cross in Death . , . , 140





€^t Wmnt UmUx.



CHAPTER I.

THE WAY OF THE CROSS.

Wi)c Bi\)inc J^astcr. My child, hearken unto
Me ; for thou art set upon the threshold of thy
mortal life within an evil world, and this is not
thy rest. The home that I have purchased for
thee, with My Blood, is in a land that is very
far off, and the path that leadeth thereunto is
dark and difficult ; dangers beset thee on every
side. Thy threefold enemies, the Devil, the
"World, and the Flesh, keep watch around thee
night and day ; and with desire have I desired
to lead thee safely to that Haven where thou
wouldst be : for many shall seek to enter there,
and shall not be able. Child of Mine Agony, for

B



2 THE DIVINE MASTER,

whom My soul hatli travailed in suffering and
in woe, hast thou considered well, that there is
none other way, whereby thou mayest reach the
delightful mansions of My Father's House,
save only the way of the Holy Cross ?

VL^c ©f)iltf. I have considered it, beloved
Master ; for I remember the words Thou spakest
when Thou didst yet tabernacle in the flesh, —
"He that taketh not his cross and foUoweth after
Me, is not worthy of Me;" and "Whosoever
will come after Me, let him deny himself, and
take up his cross, and follow Me." I am content
to do it, O my God, if by any means I might
attain unto the Eesurrection of the Just; for I
know that our life is but as a vapour, so soon
passeth it away, and we are gone : and I will not
be of those who, looking not beyond it, walk in a
vain shadow, and disquiet themselves in vain. I
know the fleeting joys of this fair world, could
never stay the yearning of my deathless soul, for
it is athirst for God, yea, even for the Living
God : and in Thy Love, Thy present and eternal
Love, alone, can be the satisfaction of my being,
and the fulness of joy for evermore. Therefore
will I now embrace Thy Blessed Cross, and say,
" This shall be my rest for ever."

JBibinc J^astcr. It is well, My child ; yet take
heed that, whilst thou art forward to promise with



THE DIVINE MASTEE. 3

thy lips, thy heart deceive thee not ; see thou
that it faint not within thee, when I come to lay
it bare, stripping it of every earthly hope and
wish, whose weight may clog thee on thy way.
Art thou very sure that thou knowest what it is,
in deed and in truth to bear My Cross ? for there
are many on the earth who call themselves My
disciples, and profess to carry it within their
arms ; but the token which they wear, although
it hath the shape and form of a cross, is but a
mockery of the stern and deep reality ; it is too
light to check the wandering of their feet in paths
of human pleasure, where the memory of Mine
Anguish, or the prospect of My Judgment, is for-
gotten in the sweet indulgence of the senses. It
gives no pain or weariness ; it hath no goading
sharpness, driving them to labour as I laboured,
night and day, in hunger, cold, and faintness
often : it hath no piercing power to cut into their
very souls, and drag the loathsome sins, from
their concealed depths, before their weeping
eyes, — nor crushing weight to lay them in the
dust of penitence : rather is it but an ornament,
in the sight of that bad world, which hateth Me,
yet hates them not : and to themselves a flatter-
ing delusion, which leads them, while they seem
to follow Me, in ways I never trod, where swift
upon their steps are speeding the Enemy and



4 THE DIVINE MASTER,

tKe Avenger. Beware, My child ; draw back thy
hand, for it is stretched to take up some such
empty symbol. Look where, close within thy
grasp, there lies a true cross, heavy, and sharp,
and ponderous as was Mine. I will not lay it
on thee, for thy life is given thee as a prey, and
thou mayest mould it as thou wilt ; but by My
fainting on the road to Calvary, for love of thee,
I bid thee to take it up.

®l)iltf. Master, when T hear Thy voice, more
sweet than the songof angels. Thy love constrain-
eth me ; like unto him whom they compelled to
bear Thy burden on that weary way. Thou hast
the words of Eternal Life ; unto whom else shall
I go ? Be it done unto me according to Thy
will. Yet Thine is a hard saying ; open it unto
me as Thou wert wont to lighten the ignorance
of Thy disciples. Must even the weakest bear
the heaviest cross ? Are not there some more
light, proportioned to my little strength and
feeble soul ? I thought a cross so like to Thine,
was only fit for those, Thy bright, peculiar saints,
who walk in highest paths of holiness. If I am
all too weak for such a sharp and terrible ascent,
may I not humbly follow with a lighter burden
on a lower path ? It is not given to all to sit
upon Thy Eight Hand and Thy Left, witliin Thy
Fathee's kingdom ; are there not many who



THE DIVINE MASTEE. 5

by Tliy holy Cross, shall joyful enter there, who
yet attain not to the loftiest place ?

Bibine jl^astf r. No man, having put his hand
to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the
kingdom of God. Hast thou forgotten the words
which I have spoken, — Be ye therefore perfect,
even as your Father Which is in heaven is per-
fect ; and be ye holy, for I am holy ? Said I ever
unto any man, — Thus far shalt thou serve Me,
and no further ? thus far shalt thou purify thy-
self, and no more ? Did I mete out to thee with
niggard hand the love wherewith I loved thee,
or the agony wherewith I bought thee ? If I had
sought to stint the measure of My Atonement
for thy sin, what power should have saved thee
from the nethermost hell, O child of thankless
heart ? Darest thou with tearless eyes speak to
Me of those who, owing Me no more than thou
dost owe, have sought to pay Me with the utter-
most surrender of that life, which thou wouldst
share between Me and My enemies ? Weep,
rather, weep in sackcloth and in ashes, that even
the imperfect service of thy fellow-man doth
shame thy black ingratitude ; for thou knowest
that I loved not them more entirely than I have
loved thee, when My Life-Blood was spent for
all alike.

e^Jjiltj. Oh, Master, spare me ! Thy rebuke



6 THE DIVINE MASTEE.

hath broken my heart. Alas ! did I shrink from
watching with Thee but one hour, — this little
hour of life, when Thou didst leave the glory
and the blissful rest of Thine Eternal Fathee's
Bosom, to weep upon a Human Mother's knees,
a homeless Child, for me ? Did I seek to spare
my body, when each nerve in Thine was wrung
with fiercest pangs ? or my poor soul, when Thine
was so very sorrowful, even unto death, that often
Thou, the joy of all created beiugs, didst deeply
sigh and groan within Thyself? But now it shall
be so no more ; I will leave all, and follow Thee.
I will no longer offer Thee but half a heart, when
Thine for me was altogether pierced through and
through with that sharp and cruel spear. Only
call Thou me ; I cannot follow except Thou draw
me after Thee by Thy most loving Voice. Bid
me come to Thee, though even, like Thy saint of
old, it were upon the whelming waters, the deep
whelming waters of tribulation . Bid me come to
Thee, that I may have power to arise and fling
away all clogging joys and dreams of earth, as
Bartimeus cast aside his garment when he heard
Thy tender call. But, Master, like to him, I too
am blind ; I cannot see my way. Be Thou my
Light ; O lighten my eyes, that I sleep not in
death. I know not how indeed to bear the cross
which Thou dost offer, it seems so great and



THE DIVINE MASTER. 7

heavy ; I cannot tell how I shall walk beneath its
weight, though I could have taken up that little
one, and found it, as many around me do, an easy
task to carry it through life.— Yet am I ready ;
my heart is fixed, O God ! my heart is fixed.
Lead me, guide me, and I shall not wander,
though the way be dark and long.

J3ifa{ne JHaster. Fear not : they who follow
Me shall never walk in darkness. Thy footsteps
shall not slip ; mercy shall hold thee up when
perils encompass thee about, and though the
sunshine of this world's joys be dim for thee, in
My light shalt thou see light. I know thy spirit
is willing, though thy flesh is weak : therefore
will I teach thee now, what is in truth that way,
wherein My Bleeding Feet have trod before ;
thou canst not miss it, for thou shalt know it
soon by the many thorns scattered there, which
fell from My sharp, piercing Crown as I toiled
on. They are the lesser pangs which men must
bear who truly follow Me. But now I speak of
the one great offering, which thou must make to
Me, of thy whole heart and soul ; for the servant
is not above his Master, nor the disciple greater
than his Lord : and even as I gave Myself for
thee, in one sufficient Sacrifice, so unto Me must
thy whole self be given. Know then that from
that blessed hour when I did first embrace thee,



8 THE DIVINE MASTER.

a helpless infant in the Arms of My Mercy, and
buried thee with tender care in the Baptismal
waters, that I might raise thee from them a re-
generate being, to live with Me in righteousness,
— thou hast been pledged to crucify the old man
within thee, and utterly to abolish the whole
body of sin. Attend unto these words, for in
them thou hast the perfect revelation of that
taking up of My true Cross, which thou dost seek
to understand ; the inward crucifixion, daily, ut-
terly, and ceaselessly of thine old nature, which
is at enmity with God, is the sole means whereby
thou canst so cling to Me, thy only safety and
thy only hope, that it be not torn from thy grasp
by the strong powers that work against thee, as
thou passest through the waves of this trouble-
some world.

Now, concerning crucifixion, to whom so fitly
couldst thou come to learn its nature as to Me,
the Crucified? look then upon My Body, stamped
,by its awful marks for ever, and read the truth
respecting it, which men so shrink from learning.
Say, first, if My Torn and Bleeding Form doth
not speak to thee of the extreme of mortal agony,
and can that Spiritual Crucifixion then, of which
Mine was the type, be without sharp, enduring
pain ? Next tell Me if thou seest one of all My
members withholden from the racking torments,



THE DIVINE MASTER. 9

Hands, and Feet, and Heart, even to the inmost
core, were not all given ? and so must thou submit
each power and sense within thee to the bitter
discipline. Behold Mine Arms outstretched and
fastened down upon that Wood alone : can they
grasp at this world's treasures, its good things, or
its hopes ? so must thine own be nailed back, lest
thou shouldst take unto thy bosom the deadly
love of earthly joys, of ease, of luxuries, and va-
nities, till they eating into thy very heart, for ever
quench therein thy little spark of Love for Me.

This, My child, must be thy crucifixion, — to
take My Will holy and perfect. My Will which
is thy Sanctification, for the one sole law of thy
entire being ; and forasmuch as this first nature
which thou must kill is altogether opposed to it,
whereinsoever thou shalt find one thought or
word, or deed, one hope, affection, or desire, which
springs not from the pure resolve to serve Me
and Me only, then must thou take that rebel,
though it be entwined with the very fibres of thy
heart, and nail it to My Cross, forcing it to yield
up its life in pain, whilst thou, released from its
corrupt control, dost bend thyself once more to
the rule of stern submission. Within and with-
out shalt thou bind thyself to do My Will:
within, — by the deep purification of thine heart
and soul, and spirit, till every thought be brought



10 THE DIVINE MASTEE.

into captivity to My obedience, for by holiness
alone canst thou look for Me or find Me : without,
— by incessant labour for the coming of My king-
dom. Thy feet shalt thou nail down, that they
quit not that undefiled way, wherein I walked,
for ever ministering to others. Thy hands shalt
thou pierce through to rivet them unto My work
alone. My heart shalt thou cut open with a
sharp, keen wound, that thou mayest cleanse it
from all corrupt affections and desires and so
crucified with Me, and dead to Sin, and to the
World, bearing indeed My Cross on earth, with
Me shalt thou rise, with Me ascend, to dwell for
ever and for ever, with My Fathee, and thy
Fathee, with My God, and thy God.

Cri^illr. Oh, thanks be unto God for His un-
speakable Gift, whereby so glorious a reward
may be the hope of mortal man. Oh that I
might ever live to see Thy Face in Glor3\ But
alas, Good Master, this is indeed a fiery trial
which is to try me : how shall I endure to be
partaker of such Sufferings as Thine ? who is suf-
ficient for these things ? like unto Thy disciples
when Thou didst open the way of Eighteousness
unto the rich young man, I am exceedingly
amazed, and am fain with them to cry out,
"Who then shall be saved?"

IBiJ3in« i^astcr. As I answered them, so do



THE DIVINE MASTEE. 11

I now answer thee ; with men this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible. Wert thou
not made in Baptism the Temple of the Holt
Ghost, and doth the Blessed Dove not hover
still within thy fainting Soul? take heed that
thou blaspheme not : is there aught too great of
purity or holiness for God's Almighty Spirit to
accomplish ? did I bid thee follow Me in thine
own strength, when without Me thou canst do
nothing ? did I ever ask more of any man than
I would give him power to perform ? have faith,
and thou shalt be enabled to say unto the moun-
tain of thy sins and weakness, " be thou removed
for ever."

®f)iHr. My Loed and my God, it is enough :
I believe that I can do all things through Him
Who strengtheneth me. In Thee will I put my
trust, and I shall yet give Thee thanks for the
help of Thy Countenance. Lead Thou me on; for
Thou alone shalt be my guide even unto death ;
and now to follow Thee do I come forth bearing
my Cross, as Thou didst come from Pilate's Judg-
ment Hall, bowed down beneath Thine Own.




CHAPTEE II.



THE WAY OF THE CROSS IN REPENTANCE.

IBibine JWastcr. My child, for whom I watched
in anguish many a dreary hour, amid the cold
night dews ; My child, for whom I was uplifted,
naked and marred in shame and spitting, a spec-
tacle to men and angels, — is it thus I find thee,
lingering treacherously on the path wherein I
bid thee follow Me with steps unfaltering, and a
heart strong in its burning love, — thus dragging,
slow and far behind thee, the cross to which I
bid thee nail thyself, in thoughts, and words, and
deeds of daily self-denial, and with a veil cast
over thee, that the flattering world may not see
thee as thou art — yea, as thou must fray to be,
if ever thou wouldst reach My sweet and sinless
rest ; — even a penitent, soul-stricken, self-abhor-
ring, crushed beneath a weight of sins, well sifted
and brought up to light by thine own hand j a



THE DIVINE MASTER.



H. A VaLLINCx HEART .






THE DIVINE MASTEE. 13

penitent, so humbled at thine own deep defile-
ment, that thou wouldst have all men know thy
hatefulness, lest any should increase thy con-
demnation by speaking well of thee ; a penitent,
knowing that in thee dwelleth no good thing, and
that thou hast no claim for aught but sternest
punishment, save in the shedding of Mine inno-
cent Blood alone. Thou wouldst not let thy
fellow creatures see thee thus, rebellious child,
though at My Feet thou darest not come in any
other guise ; but thou hast hidden thy corrup-
tion deep within thy heart, where it doth rankle
festering ; and for thine outward practice of fair
and pleasant virtues hast been content to win
the praise of men.

And say, thus veiled, what hath been thy ser-
vice after all ? — a grudging, measured offering ;
just so much as would satisfy thy conscience and
thy fears : that conscience, dulled by self-indul-
gence, and distorted by conformity to the world's
rule of piety, else had it told thee that this out-
ward, painless service, which robs thee not of one
of earth's enjoyments, or of a moment's ease, —
this light performance of thy pleasant duties, —
could never be that hiding of thy life in Me, the
Crucified, whereby alone thou canst appear before
the awful Throne of Him in Whose sight the very
bright stars are not pure ! Hast thou thought



14 THE DIVINE MASTER.

the way wherein I walked, bleeding and afflicted,
could ever be such soft treading unto human feet?
O, My child, My child ! while thou hast dragged
thy cross so far behind thee, through the mud
and mire of this world's joys and comforts, and
still more through its hollow lax religion, where
hath been thy inward crucifixion ? Hath it so
much as touched thee with its sharpness ? Canst
thou show Me any wound, within thy self-de-
ceiving heart, which it hath made ? Is there one
darling hope or wish nailed down on it in bitter
pain ? What hath been the arresting of each
thought within thy soul, each word upon thy
lips, each deed thy hand was set to do, to prove
if it be an offering fit for Me, and if the stain of
selfishness or earthly desire was found upon it,
straightway slaying it as I was slain ? Men have
nought to say against thee : no glaring evil hast
thou done : but tremble at the thought of all
that thou hast left undone. Think on these words
which I have said long since, — " If any man
serve Me, him will My Fathee honour." Canst
thou dare to say, thy service hath been such as
He, the Awful in Holiness, could honour ?

©]^iltf. O, Master, no ; at but the thought my
very soul sinks down in terror, and in trembling,
as though it must expire before that God, Who,
by His purity, in truth is a consuming fire ! I



THE DIVINE MASTER. 15

have sinned, I have sinned ! I can feel it now
Thy words have pierced my heart, and rent the
veil that was upon it, hiding it even from myself.
I have been like unto one that is in a dream, for
the days went by, as I thought innocently, and I
would have scorned any who said that I was not
Thy faithful servant. Yet now I see how, step
by step, I have grown colder and more sluggish ;
so that I have nought to offer Thee, my Loed,
save only Thy talent as Thou didst give it me, —
no less, perchance, but alas ! no greater.

And now all is dimness and confusion within
me, I have so deceived myself with easy service
and stingless self-denials, that I know not by what
means I have fallen from that first love and zeal,
BO full of sweetness and of longing, which filled
my soul when, at Thy dear command, I took my
cross and followed Thee. Oh that I were as in
months past, as in the days when God preserved
me, when His candle shined upon my head, and
when by His light I walked through darkness !
But turn me again, O my Master, and let Thine
anger cease from me ; for I know that, as Thy
Majesty is, so is Thy mercy. Unto Thee will I
pay my vows once more ; to Thee will I return ;
for Thou dost abundantly pardon. Only show me
now wherein I have wandered, that I may take
better heed unto my ways ; set my misdeeds be-



16 THE DIVINE MASTEB.

fore me, and my secret sins in the light of Thy
Countenance, for Thou tellest my Sittings, and all
these things are noted in Thy book. I thought
that I had striven against sin, though I know I
have not yet resisted unto blood, nor unto any
suffering : as when I fell, and even then I knew
I did full oft, I failed not to repent.

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