Imatges de pàgina
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remote past of the earth in which we live, of the race to which we belong—the many languages of the past and of the present, in their laws, their origin, and their affinities—the great master-pieces of art and genius which the world will not willingly let die—the story of wars and dynasties, and laws and constitutions--all these things it is good, according to our power, to study and to know. It were ill done to banish any one of them from the range of Christian study; though of many, perhaps of most of them, we must be content, for the most part, to know but little. And yet, if the knowledge end here, it does not sustain, it does not comfort, it does not purify. The lives of men of letters and men of science show that it hardly seems to raise them above the low ambitions and the petty jealousies of life. The wider vision which it gives, or promises to give, is often found united with the narrow aims and contracted sympathies of a miserable selfishness. If it mounts as to the Alpine heights from which men look out upon fair valleys and fertile plains and great cities, and stand at the fountain-head of mighty rivers, and trace them in their winding course, it brings with it too often the chill wind that benumbs and narcotizes; and the light which is without love is like the glare from the wild fields of snow, that first bewilders and then blinds utterly.

No! there must be more than this. With knowledge there must be also wisdom-the temper of reverence, tranquillity, content, which sees things as they are in their relation to the eternal life; which, if it hate ignorance much, hates sin yet more ; which, if it value largeness of heart as it should be valued, gives a yet higher place to its purity. Knowledge puffeth up; but charity-love, the love which is part of wisdom-buildeth up. Whatever may be the worth of a man's work as a labourer in the great mines of knowledge, even though he contribute new discoveries in nature, or solve some of the dark problems of human history, though the result of his long years of labour be to add something to the inheritance which his generation transmits to its successors, yet, as regards himself, if he has done nothing more, the work

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is hollow and unsubstantial. There is the semblance, but not the reality of growth. The touch of pain, adversity, disappointment,—the remorse that follows on the sense of a misused life,—the shame and confusion of the thoughts that accuse each other—these will make short work with its pretensions, and it will collapse utterly. But to go on day by day, walking in the light while we have the light, using the knowledge which God has given us to His glory, doing His work, not with eye-service, as men-pleasers, but in singleness of heart; to persevere steadily with all patient continuance in well-doing—this it is to build surely and safely. Every day we add stone by stone to that edifice of our lives; and if it is founded upon the eternal rock, then, though the rains fall and the winds blow and the floods beat upon it, yet it will not fall.

Canon PLUMPTRE.

The Preacher's Finger-Post.

on

Subject : THE CONSTANT RE-EN

way in the religious life. (1) ACTMENT OF AN OLD CRIME. They had been “enlightened.”

“They crucify to themselves True spiritual ideas had the Son of God afresh."-HE- broken in upon the darkness BREWS vi. 6.

of their minds. (2) They Although in the New Series had participated in the "diof the Homilist, vol. ii. p. 601 vine.' They had been made to 616, we have some remarks "partakers of the Hols this

passage, a new method Ghost.” The divine spirit of presenting the subject may had come into them. (3) justify another reference to They had relished the truth, it.

“tasted the good word of There are here two remark. God.” They had experienced able things that strike us at a certain amount of delight the outset.

in their religion. (4) They First: Professed Christians had been subject to spiritual engaged in perpetrating the forces, “ brought tinder the greatest crime.

powers

of the world to come.” who are here represented as Considerations drawn from "crucifying the Son of God the Invisible, the Spiritual, afresh, had

gone a great and Eternal had begun to

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influence them.

These are Down deep in the regions the persons

of whom the of the soul, where no eye can apostle speaks. And are not penetrate, the such persons Christians to a where moral actions are pergreat extent? Anyhow, they formed. are as much Christians as the First: This fact

agrees

with best conventional Christians our sense of moral propriety. of our age. The startling point | Who does not feel, that if his is, that these Christian men conduct were to be estimated are spoken of as “crucifying by his overt acts, rather

, the Son of God.” Had they than by his inward motives, been heathens, atheists, pro- he would be grossly misfligates, one would not have judged ? (1) Our outward marvelled. Conventional Chris- actions often misrepresent our tians crucify Christ. The motives, either by mistake or other remarkable thing that intention. (2) Our outward strikes us here is :

actions are insignificant in Secondly : Professed Chris- number compared with our tians charged with this enor- volitions. mous crime thirty years after Secondly: This fact urges Christ had left the world. A the necessity of a thorough disgeneration of men had well-cipline of the heart. Keep nigh passed away since the thy heart with all diligence. tragedy of the crucifixion; Keep the fountain pure, let and yet here is an inspired the roots be healthy. person charging the crime Thirdly: This fact suggests upon living men, men who unexpected revelations at the had never seen Him. How

last day.

Men judge each is this to be explained ? The other after outward appearfollowing propositions will ance; and hence many great give the necessary light.

sinners here pass for great I. That the essence of an saints, and the reverse. But action consists not in its EX- it will not be so in the great TERNAL FORM, but in its SPIRIT. day of final assize.

The The moral character of an ac- hidden things of darkness will tion is not in the muscular then be brought to light. exertion, but in the moral Motives will be everything. volition. “ As a man thinketh II. That the spirit that in his heart, so is he." True

PERPETRATORS philosophy agrees with Christ OF THE LITERAL CRUCIFIXION IS in teaching that a man might be a thief, who had never TIONAL CHRISTIANS. What intaken a fraction of another spired the chief priests and man's property,—a murderer, the Pharisees of old ? " Envy." who had never struck a blow. What inspired Judas ? Not

ANIMATED

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malice, but love of money- CONCLUSION: (1) Be care“What will ye_give me?” ful, in denouncing the monWhat inspired Pilate? Not sters in history, that you are personal dislike nor sense of not as bad in heart as they. justice, but love of popularity. (2) Realize the urgency of What inspired the populace heart-renovation. “Marvel not to cry

out for Barabbas ? A that I say unto you, Ye must stronger sympathy for brute be born again.” (3) Estimate force and courage, than for the

transcendent value of spiritual goodness and moral Christianity. It is the only inheroism. What inspired the strument that can work resoldiers who nailed Christ to formation amongst motives. the cross, plunged their spear into His side ? A miserable servility, a desire to please

to please Subject: THE MIND OF CHRIST. their masters. Now, do not

"But we have the mind of these feelings run through Christ."-1 Cor. ii. 16. all modern society: Envy, We have the mind of Christ greed, popularity, admiration

in three senses :of brute force, servility and First: In the sense of meanflunkeyism? The spirit, I say, ing. We are said, in common that animated all, eighteen language, to have the mind of hundred years ago, engaged another when we understand in the tragical crucifixion, is his leading thoughts, aims, here heaving the spirits of spirit. In this living men.

minds of great men III. Under SIMILAR down to us from distant ages. CUMSTANCES THIS SPIRIT WILL There are three ways in which MAKE SIMILAR MANIFESTATIONS. they descend to us. Suppose a man to appear in the character of their disciples. London from the humbler The schools of ancient philoclasses of society, a poor sophy handed down the peasant, one

MINDS of their founders and form or comeliness," who teachers, Christ founded a should set out upon a misson school, and that school has identical with that of Jesus of transmitted His transcendent Nazareth, denouncing every- mind to us.

(2) In literwhere the merchants, the

The minds of priests, the rulers, the saints, great men have come down hurling his fulminations in- to us in their books. A book to the ears of the hollow of

is a body with which men go all classes, how long would up and down the earth, and he be tolerated-three years ? thunder out their thoughts No, before three months he

ages after their earthly body would be in Newgate.

has crumbled into dust. Thus

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without any

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same

Homer sings to us now, and spiration.

" Let the Demosthenes fulminates, and mind be in you as was in Socrates reasons. True, Christ Christ Jesus;” that is, let His wrote no books; but He had ideas, aims, spirit, become the amanuenses, and they have inspiration of our spirits. transmitted his MIND to us in Unless we have His mind in their biography. (3) In his- this sense, better we had never toric influence. There have had it in any other form, been human minds on this better He had never come to earth, such as Alexander, us through His school, or Cæsar, Charlemagne, Napo- through His book, or through leon, Luther, who have His historic influence. created epochs, and thus sent If we have thus the MIND their minds down through of Christ, what are the prachistory. History is what it tical lessons ? is to some extent because I. Then we have the MOST of them. Thus, too, Christ's VALUABLE BLESSING IN God's MIND has come down to us. UNIVERSE (1) Nothing is so He created the greatest epoch valuable as mind. One intelin the history of humanity, ligent, loving, undying mind, His "Mind” created Christ- is in itself of more value than endom.

the whole material world. We have the mind of

What are

suns, moons, or Christ in another

sense, stars to a man, compared with namely, Secondly: The sense the companionship and love of personality. We are not of one such mind? (2) Some certain that the minds of minds are more valuable than other men, however great, her All souls are not come down to us in their

equally valuable. There are personalities; but it is so with

some few minds in all

generaChrist. He is not only with tions of more real vitality, us in the teachings of His worth, and influence than school, in the records of His millions that make up the biography, and the influences

bulk of the age.

(3) The of His history, but in His own most precious mind in the personality : “Lo, I am with universe is the mind of Christ. you. He is not only in the His mind is the perfect reBook, but with the Book.

presentation of the Infinite Homer does not go with his mind. He alone knows God Iliad, nor Bacon with his fully. What an unspeakable philosophy, nor Milton with blessing, to have such a mind his Paradise Lost; but Jesus as this amongst us ! I thank goes with the New Testament, God for the great minds He emphatically His book.

has sent down to me in the Third: In the sense of in- | elevating and immortal books

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