Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

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."

There

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."

be

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

For a

greatest of those who are born of women? Whether you know it, or not, God is in that place. little while He is hidden there, but again a little while, and you shall see His glory breaking forth from those very creatures, who may be in your eyes, of no reputation," and "without form or comeliness."

[ocr errors]

WHEN thou bringest the vessel of thy mind, to any creaturely fountain, take heed that thou bring God in it, and thou shalt derive more from the fountain than it contains. No book is prose when God is the reader.

SOUND-MINDEDNESS.

MAN is the last work of God. He is the fullest work of God too. His nature unites extremes. He ought to shew us in himself the exact balance, of the opposite poles of being; but he has lost the balance. The left hand extreme has made a prey of him. He has forsaken Holiness, therefore integrity of nature has forsaken him. He has abandoned the right beautiful for the false beautiful, which is the base, and he is become base. He is fallen away from God. He has lost his lustre, namely, the glory of God. The most fine gold, which was "as it were transparent glass," is become dim. Man has become dim. The lamp of God, which shone through and through the temple of his nature, has gone out.-"Ichabod!" is a ruin. He is in danger of becoming a yet greater ruin. He is capable of more than angelic perfection. It behoves this king-creature to look well to himself. His nature is too great a thing, too deep, too venerable, too awful, to be made

He

« PoprzedniaDalej »