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THE KEY TO MY BOOK.
OW beautiful are the arms which have embraced Christ, the hands which have touched Christ, the eyes which have gazed upon Christ, the lips which have spoken with Christ, the feet which have followed Christ. How
beautiful are the hands which have worked the works of Christ, the feet which treading in His footsteps have gone about doing good, the lips which have spread abroad His Name, the lives which have been counted loss for Him. How beautiful upon the mountains were the feet of them who brought glad tidings and published peace, saying unto Zion “ Thy God reigneth :" how beautiful was the wisdom of those unlearned and ignorant men, whose very opponents felt that they had been with Jesus.
I will endeavour to write of the nineteen Saints commemorated by name in our Book of Common Prayer, with the Holy Innocents neither named nor numbered, with St. Michael and his cloud of All Angels, with All Saints as the stars of the firmament and as the sand by the sea-shore innumerable : and lest any one in reading what I write should condemn me as dwelling too prominently on the servant in lieu of the Master, I pray him
I to recall the words of Abigail, who, because she was the King's bride, protested, “Let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.” Or if one say, “Was Paul crucified for you?” I answer that I desire to follow St. Paul not otherwise than as he bade us thus follow Christ. But if one object that many of my suggestions are exploded superstitions or mere freaks of fancy without basis of truth; and that if I have fancied this another may fancy that, and another again that, till the whole posse of idle thinkers puts forth each his fresh fancy, and all alike without basis; I frankly answer, Yes: so long as with David our musings are on God's works, among the chief whereof is His sinful Saint made perfect; and so long as with St. Timothy our meditations are on charity, faith, purity, which array the Saints of Christ in a robe more excellent than the glory of Solomon or the loveliness of a lily. And whereinsoever I err I ask pardon of mine own Master to Whom I stand or fall, and of my brother lest I offend him.
Those verses in the Book of Revelation which name the twelve apostolic foundation stones of New Jerusalem, when set against the Calendar naturally assign the jasper to St. Andrew; and thence progressing in a regular order throughout, the amethyst at last to St. Jude : according to which arrangement, in default of any clue to the contrary, I have written concerning them.
For as all virtues have one and the same root, even so does that one root shoot
virtue: and although on one tree of God's own planting the branch of love may overshadow its fellow branches, bearing aloft the double rose of love to God and man; while on another the lily of faith may exalt its whiteness above its fellows; and on a third every twig may be tipped with azure bells of hope which trembling make music; yet no single plant, be it lowest or loftiest, be it indomitable trunk which may break but will not bend, or frail climber clinging and mounting around another's strength, can lack the germ if no more of each grace ; the least indeed may elude notice on earth, but in Paradise it shall become a thousand.
Wherefore, to quote one instance as a sample of all, I am not afraid to adorn my conception of St. Andrew with the jasper stone, or to endeavour among its characteristics to find some emblem which may befit him : for little as I know of him now, I know that he lived and died and shall wake up after the likeness of our common Lord; and much more, I know that He Who is full of grace cannot but show forth every grace when reflected in a faithful mirror, even though it be one from which many flaws have had to be abolished. Thus shall the stones also cry out Hosanna.
But precious things of the earth and of the deep are for those who are gorgeously apparelled and live delicately and are in kings' courts. I think the Gospel