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of man; He had died the death of man. Was He not then, a high priest, a sacrifice, a mercy seat for man? Could St. John dare to say He is a mercy seat for our sins only? Must he not say, 'He also accomplishes what the · Gentiles have been dreaming of in their miserable propi* tiations? He is the mercy seat for the whole world. · The world is atoned or reconciled in Him. All have a

right to draw nigh to God as their Father in Him. All ' have a right to cast away the fetters by which they were ' bound, seeing that He has triumphed over sin and death

and the grave, seeing that He is at the right hand of God.' Therefore we have a right to say, 'Our race, our manhood ' is glorified in Him. Whether we live in London, or

Paris, or Constantinople, we are no longer separated. • There is a common Lord of us all. There is a common life for us all. Confessing that common Lord, renouncing by the strength of this common life our selfish divided • life, we become men indeed; we obtain the rights, the stature, the freedom, the dignity of men.'

This, then, is the second part of our Christian ethics. The groundwork is laid in the revelation of God to man, as the Light in whom is no darkness. That revelation was made to creatures who had sinned and walked in darkness. It told them that they were meant to rise out of their sins and to walk in the light. To-day we have heard of the elevation of men into union with God. Jesus Christ the Righteous is the Person through whom the revelation of God is made. Jesus Christ the Righteous is the Person in whom mankind recovers its true position and glory. Therefore our ethics are in the strictest sense Christian; but they are also in the strictest sense human. They adapt themselves

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PRAYER, EVIL AND GOOD.

67

to the wants of individual men. They concern societies of men. They prove that there is a fellowship for the whole race of men.

Next Sunday we are to enter, if God permit, upon another subject :-the worth of commandments—the nature of obedience. That subject is wholly unintelligible, so long as we fancy that an advocate or a propitiation is necessary that we may escape from our obligations or from the penalties of neglecting them. But there is another practical topic of which I must say one word before I conclude.

The longing of men for fellowship with God—the sense in men of a separation from God-had both found their expression in prayers or litanies; some of these had been general, offered up by the priest for a whole congregation or society ; some had been special, the utterance of an individual's cry for help under his own misery, the acknowledgment of his own evil. These prayers were, I may say, the very signs of humanity, the proof that man does not and cannot reckon himself among the beasts that perish. They point to the past : they look on to the future; they are connected with all the needs of the present. And yet these prayers might become most inhuman. They might be struggles in one man to get something which his neighbour had; they might be cries to a divine power to aid a strong man in crushing a weak one; they might be coverings for deceit and violence, and encouragements to persevere in them. Prayers and sacrifices have served these vile ends. As long as men think meanly of God—as long as they forget their relation to each other—they must serve such ends. Christian ethics rescue prayers from these vile applica

tions, and vindicate the strong conviction of human beings that without prayers they cannot live. When we believe that there is an Advocate or Representative of mankind, who ever lives to make intercession, that we may not sink but rise, that we may be delivered from our own darkness, that we may know the God who is Light-our prayers become cries against a common enemy—the pursuit of a common blessing. When we believe that Jesus Christ the Righteous is the Propitiation or Mercy Seat for us and for the whole world, that He has made the sacrifice of Himself which is well pleasing to God, our confession of our individual sins increases our confidence in the purposes of God for the universe ; our most earnest petition being that He will make us true and loving sacrifices to accomplish His good will to us and to mankind.

LECTURE V.

DOING AND KNOWING.

1 John II. 3—7.

And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

He that saith, I know Him, and keepeth not His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected : hereby know we that we are in Him. He that saith he abideth in Him ought himself also 80 to walk, even as He walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.

I AM speaking to those who attend the Sunday evening class on the relation of the Law to the Gospel. Speaking is not the word I ought to use, if it conveys to any one the notion that I am giving lectures on this subject, or laying down certain maxims upon it. Our plan is, to read alternately the Pentateuch (what are called the five books of the Law) and the Evangelists (what we call the four Gospels). By considering them together we try to ascertain what are the characteristics of each, how they are related to each other.

For instance, it happened a Sunday or two ago that we read the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy, which contains the repetition of the Ten Commandments. Either just before or just after, I forget which, we read of our Lord's conversation with the young ruler, who came asking Him, 'What good thing shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?' To his surprise, the young man who had fancied he was to do

some great thing, which other people could not do, that he might attain some great prize which other people could not attain—who fancied that he certainly could and should do this great thing, if he only was told what it was—heard that the way to enter into life was to keep those commandments which had been addressed to all Israelites as well as himself, and which he said he had kept from his youth up. Such a doctrine, coming from such lips, forced us to askhow heeding the commandments which bore upon such ordinary works, which prohibited such ordinary crimes, could have anything to do with the eternal life which God is said to bestow, and to bestow freely? The question offered itself to us, in one shape or another, in all our readings; we could not avoid it if we tried; and as we wanted light upon it, of course we did not try. But I refer to this one example, because the very words which occupied us when we were considering the passage about the young ruler, in the Gospel according to St. Matthew, are those which present themselves to us in this Epistle of St. John. We have been hearing of life—of an eternal life that was manifested in Jesus Christ. Of this life the Apostle says he and his disciples at Ephesus may partake; they may have fellowship with it. That is the highest blessing, the greatest reward he can hold out to them; if they had that, their joy would be full. And now he comes to speak of commandments. ' And hereby we do know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.'

It is a curious phrase,' we do know that we know Him.' But it is a familiar one to us in other applications. I say to a friend, ' Are you sure that you know that man? I am • aware that you meet him often. You see him, perhaps,

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