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all our fears! In Him we see the distance annihilated, the curse removed. That majestic Divinity is united with suffering, sympathetic humanity; that unapproachable Light is vested and softened, so that we can gaze upon it :— that consuming Holiness becomes a ground of hope rather than an incentive to despair. We see the Father in Him—and learn in the true spirit of son-ship to cast ourselves into the embrace of the Father's love and power. As the "first Adam" by his sin linked us with evil, so the second Adam by his mediation links us with God and the Heaven of Eternal glory-as by the offence of our first head our nature fell from its integrity, we all became wanderers from the true home of our being, children of wrath, heirs of death-so by the righteous. ness of our second Head we are "brought nigh," we "receive the reconciliation," and rise up to claim our true inheritance of life for evermore.

Let us try to bring this great truth down from the high, transcendental region, of mere theological science, to the level of practical life.

If we could only realize daily its personal bearings on ourselves, how benign would its influence be, how noble and beautiful the practical effects that would follow. If we could only live day by day under the full impression of what we owe to Christ, of the wondrous position in which He has placed us, of the great things He has done for us,—of the great calamities and miseries from which He has ransomed us, how freely and unreservedly should we give ourselves to Him in return. Let this be our aim-to place every faculty of our being upon the altar as a sacrifice of grateful and adoring love,—and turn every situation and incident of life into an occasion of service. Every honest tribute thus paid to Him quickens and strengthens the living bond that binds us to Him. To exalt Him, is indeed to "ennoble ourselves." And such a purpose in life shall surely be crowned at last with a share in His eternal glory.


False and True Glory.

ST. JOHN V. 4.

"How can ye believe which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only."


SOMETHING is lost in this rendering by the introduction of the word "honour" in the place of glory. Another loss and a more serious one is the substitution of the words "from God only," for the undoubted phrase of the original "from the only God." In both cases a commoner idea is presented by the Authorized Version in place of a more unusual, but far more expressive When we think what Glory is in its universal Scriptural use, the forthshining of light, in other words, the manifestation of excellence, the putting forth of invisible or spiritual beauty, and a perfection inherent in the person spoken of, we see what a powerful rebuke, what a divine irony, lies in the phrase, "receiving glory one from another;" implying, as it does, that there is a claim of perfection, and an inherent and self-existent excellence involved in that giving, and in that receiving. The creature is taking to itself the very attributes of the Creator, in presuming to give, or consenting to receive the thing in question, not honour which may be due, not honor which may be paid without any forgetfulness or any disparagement of the alone great, and the alone good

One, but glory. To speak of it in connection with any created being is to forget creation, is to deny the fall, is to deify man, and to dethrone God; and this has in it irreverence as well as vanity, and blasphemy as well as falsehood.

The other substitution is still less excusable. "The honour that cometh from God only" is by no means equivalent in English to "the honour that cometh from the only God." The very object of the expression is to show there is none goɔd but one, that is God. There is but one Being who has light to emit; there is but one Being who has excellence to manifest. Any other glory must be counterfeit must be illusory. To accept or to profess to give it is an affront to the majesty of God Himself as the one being, who alone is light, to whom alone is glory. Thus we are brought, as our real text, to the rendering of the Revised Version "How can ye believe which receive glory one of another, and the glory that cometh from the only God ye seek not."

We shall see three special thoughts in the phrase thus rendered.

I. THE TENDENCY WHICH IS IN ALL OF US TO RECEIVE GLORY FROM ONE ANOTHER. This is a different thing from that of which St. Paul says, "Render honour to whom honour is due;" or St. Peter "Honour all men." St. Paul never said give glory to whom glory is due, and St. Peter never said give glory to all men. Honour is respect, the recognition of the claims of position, or of the claim of character, or of that of humanity itself which was made in God's likeness, to our regard and consideration as such. We see the difference when we read of the impious flattery paid to a worthless being who was instantly smitten with death by the angel, because he gave not God the glory.

But, brethren, the Word of the Lord is true, that much of that which men give to and expect from one another is, being examined, not honour, but glory. It is the ascription of an excellence of some sort, not derived, but inherent; the ascription of this excellence to the being who was created, to the being who has sinned, to the being who must die. It is not thought respectful, it would be felt not to be courteous, to qualify praise by such considerations as these. We should call it cant or hypocrisy to remind or to be reminded of God as the Author and Giver of that strength, or of that wisdom which makes a man a sagacious statesman, or an eloquent orator; we feel it as a disparagement of his merit, as a distinct diminution of our applause to introduce one suggestion of indebtedness or of derivation, even as to the source of all greatness and goodness in the gift of God. Such reflections may be suitable in sermons or books of devotion, they cannot be carried with us, even as qualifying considerations, in our contact and converse with men. We receive this glory; if we do not seek we accept it; nothing rises within us to repudiate or resent it; we allow the ascription to us of that which cannot be ours.

The thought "What hast thou that thou didst not receive?" though it lies of course on our theological shelf, is not a welcome thought when it presents itself as a monitor. We cannot divest ourselves of the feeling, though it does not put itself into words, there is some merit in the being successful, or in the possession of such and such gifts of ability or address.

We have borrowed the word "talent" from one of our Lord's great parables, but we have divorced it from its context as the memento of an absent, yet present Lord who distributed to his servants, bade them to occupy for Him, and prepare for a strict and solemn account. The subject before us is a very common one, and I have not a new word to say upon it; yet it can never

be unseasonable, I think, in any congregation to invite men to look into the matter for themselves, how much of their daily life is lived in the mutual glorifying of which the text speaks. It cannot be gainsaid by thoughtful persons that the question "What will the world say," is in one form or another constantly recurring; to the reference of everything said and done to its effect upon others, to the impression it may make upon those who form our world, and to its reaction upon ourselves in the shape of praise or blame, of popularity or dislike, is at least a temptation substantial and formidable, and that in various degrees it does present itself as a real hindrance to the other reference of everything to the approval of God, which, as Christians, and even as men, we all admit to be the right thing, and that alone justifiable.

II. Now in contrast with the habit of receiving glory one from another, OUR LORD Here sets beFORE US THIS ALTERNATIVE, the seekING OF GLORY FROM THE ONLY GOD. Some ancient authorities read "from the only One." It seems strange after defining glory as the manifestation of excellence, to speak of seeking it from God as something which He can communicate. We have called it an inalienable property of God Himself to possess this light of which glory is the forth-shining; and yet our Lord speaks of seeking from God that forth-shining in ourselves. It, is indeed, a frequent thought and saying of Scripture; it is involved in that expression “the glory that shall be revealed in us." St. Paul speaks of this glory as outweighing beyond comparison the sufferings of this present; and St. Peter calls himself a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed. Thus the seeking of glory which the text speaks of, might be understood to be a living in the constant effort to attain the future inheritance. But we do not so read it. The glory which cometh from the only God is the antithesis and alternative of the glory received now one from another, and the moment that God is seen as the giver of glory, that moment glory may be predicated even of the creature.

The impious and blasphemous thing is the ascription of an independent and separate excellence to the thing made, which is the self-flattery and the mutual flattery reproved in the former clause. But to seek the recognition of God Himself for that excellence of which he is the Giver, is no blasphemy, and no impiety, but the lawful and Christian ambition of those whose life is hidden with Christ in God.

Brethren, the life to which Christ calls us is no tame, or spiritless, or unenterprising monotony; it is a seeking of glory; it is the ambition, as St. Paul says, to be accepted; and it is an aspiration far above any applause, that earth and the world wot of. It is the desire, it is the pursuit, it is the appetite of glory; in other words, of that approval of God Himself, which attends upon each several exercise of that Christ-like mind, of that God-like character, which comes of living the life unseen, the life of union with God Himself in Jesus Christ, by the Holy Spirit. Where this life is, there is an elevation at once above all that lying world-worship, of which St. John in his Apocalypse has written that withering, scathing description. "All the world wondered after the beast-which is itself,-yea, worshipped the beast, saying, who is like unto the beast, and all both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond received the mark of the beast, which is the world,—in their right hand, or in their foreheads; and no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark or the name of the beast,-which is the world,—or at least the number of his name."

Brethren, if this ambition is new to us, let us begin to feel it at once. If hitherto we have been consciously or unconsciously, for either is possible, receivers of glory one from another, let us give room and lodgment from today to this seeking of glory from God to which Jesus Christ calls us.

There must be a beginning of it in a few experiments. If hitherto we have allowed the thought of other people, what they will say, what they will think, to come in perpetually, creating sidelooks, and back thoughts, and low motives in every act and word even of duty, even of kindness, even of charity, yes, even of devotion, spoiling our best, and profaning our holiest, till there is nothing left of either but an empty, hollow hyprocrisy, let us make trial now of the very opposite of all this; let us begin to do little acts of good which no one can possibly discover, not allowing even the left hand to know what the right hand doeth; shutting and barring behind us the door of the chamber in which we pray; fighting in secret some sin which no one suspects us of; forming in secret some good habit which has hitherto falsely been ascribed to us, and thus were it but in a very small way, seeking a glory which comes only from the only God till we can carry the thought with us always and everywhere, referring nothing any longer to the world, referring, henceforth, everything to a Father who is and who seeth in secret.

III. There is still one thought in the text, and it is THE CONNECTION OF FAITH WITH THE TWO HABITS IN QUESTION. "How can ye believe?" "How can ye believe," the words are all emphatic in the original, " who receive the one glory and will not seek the other?" First then," How can ye believe which receive the one glory?" The answer was obvious enough then. The world of that time was against the acceptance of Christ. However it might be with the common people who are said to have heard him gladly, with the Scribes and Pharisees at all events it was a question of life and death as religious teachers to refuse allegiance to Jesus Christ. They sat in Moses' seat, and Christ called them blind men and hyprocrites. But all this is gone by. Is there still any sense, any real practical connection between the habit of receiving glory one of another and the impossibility of believing? The acknowledgment of Jesus Christ in general terms as our Saviour is not now, as it was then, incompatible with the mutual glorifying; on the contrary it is the open denial of Christ which would be the incompatible thing. How long it may be so we dare not say. The world is moving rapidly towards the toleration of a modified infidelity, and even of a decently reticent atheism. It may be, if we read Scripture rightly, it must need be, that before the time of the end a new license will be claimed for and accorded to a more open and insolent godlessness. At present there is just this to be said for the many antichrists of our generation, that if they consulted only the praise of men they would probably hold their peace. But when our Lord speaks of believing, He means the real thing so called, not the nominal; and of the real believing it is always true that it is impossible in combination with the mutual glorifying of the text. To believe is to realize the invisible; to believe is to see with the soul as nature sees with the body; that is faith. Now is not this the direct opposite of the habit of mind here before us?

To receive glory one of another is to be deaf and blind to all but sense and time. To receive glory one of another is to represent the present as the whole of being, is to say one to another, to say first of all in the ear of the self man,

"Yea hath God said there is world above and beyond and within this world, whose least interests are more important than the world's greatest, whose one day is as a thousand years to the whole duration of earth, whose smallest joys and sorrows outweigh the whole universe of care, and riches, and pleasures of this life. We know better; we are they that ought to speak; we are they that ought to be listened to; all else may be postponed, may be made light of, may be looked down upon; the world's smile and the world's frown, these are the vital things; when we find some convenient season we can call in the other. How then can we believe which receive glory one of another? It is to combine two things mutually contradictory; it is to live two opposite lives in one; it is to serve two masters. Faith and sight are at war, and there is no days-man between them which can lay his hand upon them both.

Finally, the other half of the question, "How can ye believe who seek not the other glory?" Is the answer difficult? No, not to those who know what it is to believe, and I think not to those who know not. If faith were the careless, indolent thing which the world makes it, a languid acquiescence in a string of articles, historical some of them, doctrinal some of them, utterly theoretical and unintelligible the rest of them, it might indeed lie apart by itself silent and uncomplaining while the real life went its way and did its business; but the faith which Christ speaks of, the faith of which the soul is athirst, the faith for lack of which the world itself is a wilderness, is a thing which pre-supposes a searching and a seeking, a feeling after till it finds the God in whom the man himself lives and moves and has his being; it is the half unconscious consciousness that there is a glory which God the alone good and great and glorious, destines for, and can alone bestow upon, His created fallen and banished ones; it is that instinctive feeling-the one survival, I might almost say, of the original image and likeness-that instinctive feeling that somewhere far away in what memory seems to recall as the home of the race, there dwells One whom I cannot help, when I think of Him, calling my Father, One who may all this time of my self-exile be yearning after me as His lost son. It is this which faith takes for granted, it is this to which faith makes an appeal. If there were not this in us before faith spoke, she would speak unto sealed ears and dead hearts or not speak at all; and therefore if there is no idea and no longing and no searching for this glory, there could be no faith, for faith is the laying hold upon the hand which is stretched forth to guide me to the glory, and if I see no beauty in it that I should desire it, in vain does Christ speak, in vain has Christ died for me.

"How can ye believe?" our Lord asks. We are apt to think of faith as a submissive suitor having nothing but smiles and caresses for a multitude that may have their pleasure here or there. It is good for us now and then to be reminded that there is an aspect not of dignity alone, but of difficulty; not of difficulty alone but of impossibility which the faith of Jesus Christ presents to certain classes and characters of mankind. It is good for us to be sternly reminded, from time to time, that there are states of mind incapable of believing, even though incapable means the very opposite of consciously. There is an insolence as well as an indolence in our treatment of the Gospel, requiring the tone rather of severity than of allurement, the thought rather of an unattainably high and unapproachable glory than of a perpetual meek standing without and knocking at closed doors for entrance. "How can ye believe," and yet the

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