« PoprzedniaDalej »
according to my new sympathy with Thee? I know Thou wilt, for this new sympathy is Thy gift-it is the word of Thy promise inspoken, and living in my deepest life.
I have read somewhere, either this, or something much like it :-There was once a most wonderful and blessed Tree, altogether a tree of Renown, made to spring up in this world, by the Power of God. It was truly in nature, but not from nature. It was full of the sweet virtues of God; and being in nature, it was of unspeakable service, as a very medium of life, to all sick and sad hearts. The leaves of this Tree would heal all nations, and all creatures, of whatsoever disease they had, and its fruit, which it brought forth, not once in the year, but every month in the year, and that abundantly and of all kinds, was, beyond all price, precious, filling the soul with exceeding joyfulness. But when all sorts of people came to this Divine, Blessed Tree, instead of thankfully using its leaves for healing, and its fruits for satisfaction, they soon fell into contention about the Tree, about its origin and root, about the right means of getting its leaves and fruit, about the principles
of the same, and their mode of operation.-Insomuch that they fought and divided under this very Blessed Tree, and so this Unspeakable Gift of God, designed by Him to gather together in unity, all mankind, was turned, through their perverseness, into an occasion of strife and division. The Law of Love was in the Tree, but the "root of bitterness" was in them. It is still the Tree of Life to every creature, and waits till all shall agree to derive healing from its leaves, and delight from its fruit, without wrangling, either about the method of apprehending its virtues, or about the terms, expressing the same.
WOULD it not be very strange, if one limb of the body should have prejudices against another limb? And still more strange, if a poor dislocated limb should attribute its uneasiness to the body? and, instead of seeking to be brought again into harmony with the body, should determine to be a law to itself? Whence then come prejudices in the Body of Christ, of limb against limb, organ against organ? Fie upon thee, O limb! What! and thou criest, 'O, but the trunk is so corrupt, I must cut myself off from it, and set myself up in its stead.' Set thyself up in its stead, and be
a monster-limb wilt thou? without proportions, without beauty, without rest? having thine own feverish excitability, instead of the dignity and quietude of simplicity? having a vast amount of conscientious selfness, but not the humility and charity to prefer thine own self-subjection, for the Body's sake? Poor conceited limb! In due time thou wilt break up, and go to chaos. Corrupt as the trunk is, it is the trunk for all that. Moreover, the vitals are there. The heart is there, the lungs are there, the motherly bowels are there. Silly limb, if thou art too proud to acknowledge the trunk, the trunk produced thee. I wish thou couldst see that there are evils quite as corrupt as the corruption of the motherly trunk, of which thou speakest, namely, thine own hardness, and confidence of superior purity. Thou endeavourest to keep the singularity of thine own spirit in an attitude of defiance. The endeavouring which the Holy Ghost commends to thee is quite in another direction: "I beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called with all lowliness and meekness, &c., endeavouring to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the bond of Peace."
"CHRISTIANS that desire to be known by the undue prominence of some single feature of Christianity, are necessarily imperfect just in proportion to the distinctness of their peculiarities. The power of Christian truth is in its unity and symmetry, and not in the saliency or brilliancy of any special sacrament, doctrine, or form." is an absolutely essential sacrament;-but it is Christ. There is an absolutely essential doctrine; it is Christ in us. And there is an absolutely essential form-which is, "the Life of Jesus made manifest in our mortal flesh."
IF, what Mr. Ruskin calls, "the restoration of the innocence of the eye," is of the first importance to the Artist, how much more essential it must be to the student in Theology, to set his mind free from the slavish repetition of its own past experience. Should it not be his constant aim to divest himself of every film and prejudice, if by any means, he may attain to the absolute simplicity of the understanding? "If thine eye single thy whole body shall be full of light."
TAKE heed that you despise not God. In Himself, He cannot be despised, nor in the Glorified Form of His Son. But it is according to His Will to be always in the world, in a form which can be despised. He was despised of Cain, in Abel. He was despised in His prophets. He was despised,
John said: "There
set at nought, in His Son. standeth One among you Whose shoes latchet I am not worthy to unloose." Others saw nothing
there, and in due time, their unbelief hesitated not to cry: "Crucify Him! Crucify Him." There is ever One standing among us, Whom we shall surely not esteem, unless we see with divine eyes, and judge with divine judgment. God is truly in His Church, in His poor, imperfect earthly Church. Just because He is amongst us in men of like passions with ourselves, therefore, "He is despised and rejected of men." More or less, all men are subject to the Jewish infatuation, of not knowing Him, in His Humiliation. A really self-renouncing man, a man of an humble and contrite heart, is strictly the House of God. least of all His disciples.
Christ is present in the "Take heed that you
despise not one of these little ones." A little one, that truly believes in Christ, is of great price before God. See Matt. xviii. 6. Know you not, that the least in the kingdom of Heaven, is greater than the