Abbildungen der Seite

it will cost us nothing but our grub. What home he would have just two to live upon. do you say ?

His lodgings would cost him twenty-two "I should be delighted, and I think I francs ; as he had to provide fire and lights, might. Gibson said there was no need for and there might be other extras, it would me to begin work for a day or two. But not be safe to call it less than twenty-five. then he is so busy."

Dinners in town and odds and ends would “I know he is fond of saying so, but, run away with at least ten francs more, so well then, look here, I have a happy thought. that for clothing, travelling, and the unforeHe does nothing on Saturdays, of course, and seen, he could not reckon on more than likes to take it easy on Sundays. You write fifteen francs--twelve shillings and sixpence a leader to-morrow, and let him have the copy a week-enough for his own personal wants when he drops in during the afternoon. He perhaps, and he must cut his coat according will be delighted, and you will be secure in to his cloth, but not enough to make any his good graces for ever.”

long journeys in search of Vera Hardy. Still, “As you say, a happy thought, and I will as he had a fairly stocked wardrobe to start try to profit by it;

but what on earth must with, and three or four pounds in his pocket, I write about? I am forbidden to touch he might, by practising a rigid economy, on politics; and if I were not, my political possibly do something, when he had got to opinions are not those of the Helvetic know people better and ascertained which Neros."

way the land lay. For the moment he could “What does that matter?” said Delane only watch and wait : later in the season, if in a tone which implied that he did not quite he could obtain a holiday, he would cross the see the relevancy of Balmaine's observation. Helvetic Alps—if need be on foot-and “You can easily fake up something. If you make inquiries at every place about the do not look in at the office to-morrow we Italian lakes, and in Upper Italy, which shall, at any rate, meet at Madame Gui- Philip Hardy's letters to his father showed chard's. Meanwhile I will get the permis." he had visited, provided he had the where

As Alfred wended his way homeward he withal. In the meantime he would work entered into a mental calculation about ways very hard at Italian, the study of which he and means. His salary was to be seventy- had already begun, and try to turn an honest five francs a week, equal to three pounds, so penny by doing something for one or other after deducting the pound he had to send of the London papers.




tent continuance: "love endureth all things. FIRST SUNDAY.

I propose in these readings to take up in Read Psalm xv.; 1 Peter vi. 14-8.

turn each of these. I have slightly altered THE “,

verbial expression, and it is well that but I have placed them in that order in which it should be so. The test of any object's they appear in the heart. Let us try to unfold beauty is its power, its influence, its effect; one by one the blossoms of this sacred flower. we measure it by what it can do. Pauí The first blossom of the flower of love is speaks not of the power, but of the powers of ! intellectual charity—the power to believe all love. To him love is not only the most things. Surely there is something very strange powerful thing in the universe but the most here! Iam living in a world of rampant wickedpowerfully varied thing; its influence is not ness, of open sin, of unconcealed transgresmerely intense, it is intensely diversified. sion; am I to believe that all this is good ? He declares that love has four great powers. Am I to say, “It looks very bad, but Christian It has a power of intellectual charity : “ love love tells me not to trust my eyes; it bids believeth all things.” It has a power of pas- me believe that under the surface all is fair sive strength : "love beareth all things.” It and pure ?” Whatever St. Paul means, he has a power of sanguine expectation : “ love cannot mean this. Is it not a fact of everyhopeth all things.” It has a power of persis- day experience that love is of all things the quickest to detect a flaw? When the step and cries : Christian men and women, ye who begins to lose its fleetness, when the eye be- have been touched with the live coal of my gins to lack its lustre, when the spirit begins Lord's love, I appeal to you not to take up to abate from the elasticity of its earlier days, this reproach against your neighbour. I who is it that first sees the change? Is it the appeal to you by that Divine Love which has eye of the stranger? He may come in and imputed to you its own righteousness, to imout a hundred times and behold no decline. pute your righteousness to the life of your It is the eye of love that first catches the brother. Have you proved your brother's premonition, and it catches it because it is sins ? Can you put your hand on that love. Who, think you, had the deepest vision special deed which has isolated him from the of the sins of humanity ? Was it not the lives of his fellow men ? Can you point to Incarnate Love, and was it not because He anything beyond the rumours of the night was Love Incarnate ? Had He been less loving, which has a right to place him in the twihad He been less tender, had He been less light? If not, then believe him to be pure. enthusiastically interested in the objects on Go down to him in the twilight and cast your which He gazed, they would have appeared shield around him. Cover with your charity to Him more spotless and more fair. But the multitude of transgressions that are His love was so deep that He was unable alleged against him. Spread over him the to pass the blemishes by; they jarred upon wings of your protective love until the His sight, they weighed upon His heart. calamity be overpast. By-and-by the sun The penalty of His love was the necessity of will rise and we shall see all things clearly ; clear-seeing; it forced Him against His will meantime impute to him that light which is to believe that there was something wrong;

in thee. How then could Paul say that it is the Son of Man, Who hast revealed to me the office of Christian love to “believe all things”? beauty of my own nature, help me to beIf love intensifies my vision of reality, how lieve in Thee that I may believe in the possican I in the presence of love see things as bilities of my brother. Help me to see my they are not ? How can I, with the spirit of brother in the light of that life which has Christ in my heart, and the forms of wicked- been lived by Thee. Help me to feel in the ness before my sight, believe that the forms vision of Thy manhood an exalted sense of of wickedness are a delusion and that the the possibilities of all manhood. It is because spirit of Christ reigns alone? How can I, my eyes are bent downward that I take when there is put into my hand an optical reproach against my brother; lift upon me instrument whose express design is to the light of Thy countenance, and in Thy magnify those forms of danger which hover light I shall see light. In Thy light it shall round my brother man, insist on seeing no longer seem natural to me that things through that instrument only the absence of should be base and mean. I shall see them all danger and the vanishing of all fear? reflected in Thy beauty, I shall look up and

But I find I have altogether mistaken St. expect them to rise. Shine out, Thou divinely Paul; I find that he has a totally different human, Thou humanly divine glory, that in meaning when he says “love believeth all Thy shining I may behold the naturalness of things. Consider, what are the things in man's elevation; when Thou hast taught me whose goodness charity is to believe? Not to expect all things, I shall learn to believe actions which are seen, but actions which are all things. not seen. The sphere for charity of belief is not the world of observation, but the world

SECOND SUNDAY. of non-observation—the world which as yet Read Luke vii. 36, to the end; Romans xii. 9, to the end. is dark to us. There are times in the life of In our last reading we unfolded the first my brother-man in which his character is in blossom of the flower of love—its power shadow. It is not blasted, it is not con- to believe all things. We went down into demned, it is not proved wicked; it is simply the twilight and found our brother there in the twilight. Men speak of it with bated under the shadow of reproach. No one had breath. They do not lay their hand upon a aught to say against him except that there crime, but they talk in innuendoes. They point was a shadow. No sin had been brought to down into the twilight and exclaim, "If one light, but suspicion said it was there. We dared speak he might say something, but the unfolded the first blossom of the flower, and least said the better”—and there is more said it said, "Believe all things.” It bade us rein the unspoken utterance than in a thousand pudiate the shadow of our brother until it accusations. Into this twilight Paul comes was proved to be more than a shadow. It


[ocr errors]

called upon us to cast the shield of our love him to be bad and forgive him still. It can around him over whom the world had thrown no longer deny that the woman who touches the cloak of its calumny. It told us to im- it is a sinner, but, admitting the fact of her pute to him our own light until his light sin, it can receive her touch and pronounce should dawn.

her pardon. It can no longer cherish the But now let us suppose that his light has hope that the rumours of the crowd are but dawned. Let us suppose that the twilight the voices of calumny, but, receiving their has passed from around him, and that the rumours as the voice of truth, it can utter life of the man is revealed as it is. What if the words of complete emancipation : “Thy it should prove that the passing of the twi- sins which are many are all forgiven thee." light into day is the passing of suspicion into "Love beareth all things." The words in certainty? What if it should prove that the the original are very suggestive; they signify, dissipation of the shadows has simply dissi- “Love suffereth all things silently." Only in pated all doubt of my brother's guilt

, and Christ do we see the fulfilment of that prorevealed beyond the possibility of gainsaying mise—the union of suffering and silence. that he has indeed been the author of the Nowhere else in the world of the past were sins laid to his charge? What under the the suffering and the silence combined. The circumstances will become of my first blos- Jew suffered in the presence of sin, but he som? Can it live any longer amid the cold was not silent; he called on the heavens and and the frost of certainty ? Can I any longer the earth to avenge the deeds of the sinner. retain possession of the charity that believeth The Greek was silent in the presence of sin, all things after it has been demonstrated be- but he did not suffer. It was the absence yond doubt that my brother is guilty of sin? of suffering which made him silent; he was No, you cannot. Remember, the first blos- too indifferent about transgression to cry out som of love is only for the twilight. The for vengeance.

But down in that lowly charity that believeth all things is only meant valley of Gethsemane there was enacted at to continue as long as the actions of my one and the same hour the most perfect judgbrother are unknown. The moment they ment on sin, and the most complete forgivecease to be unknown this charity must die. ness of the sinner--the suffering and the The moment the sun has risen there will be silence. The heart of the Son of Man was no longer any need of the charity that be- crowded with the sins of the sons of men. lieveth all things; the day will declare all He bore all things—the malice, the hatred, things whether they be good or bad. If the the envy, the all-uncharitableness, the lust day shall declare that my brother was calum- of the flesh, the lust of the eye, the pride of niated there shall no more be any place for life-He bore them all. He bore them withcharity; my brother shall be proved not to out avenging but not without dying; they need it. If the day shall declare that my could not break His love, but they broke brother was indeed guilty, charity shall no His heart. It was because His love was unlonger have any right to believe that he is broken that His heart was broken. Had He innocent. It cannot put the false for the been less loving, had He been less devoted, true, for it comes from the heart of Him who had He been less absorbed in the interest of is the centre of truth; the moment the sin His brothers, the reproach of them would not shall be established the first blossom cf love have broken His heart. But His judgment must die.

came from His love, His anguish came from. What then, is there no other blossom ? Is His devotion. In one great throb of pardon there no part of the flower which is fitted the strings of His heart snapped in twain, for the special circumstance of a man over- and in a mighty gush of pity He yielded up taken in a fault? Yes, there is a second, His life. Mercy and truth met together; and a yet more glorious blossom. It is some- silence and suffering embraced each other. thing to believe that my brother is innocent Mercy kept the love unbroken, truth comere yet he has been proved to be guilty, but pelled the heart to break. The judgment of it is something more divine still to extend sin fell upon the spirit of Him who saw it; my sustenance to him after he has been the thunders were turned inward upon

Himproved to be guilty. The charity that be- self. In one act of death, in one hour of Lieveth all things must die, but in its room anguish, in one throb of infinite pity the sins there shall bud forth a charity more re- of the sons of men were at once condemned splendentstill—the love that beareth all things. and forgiven. It can no longer believe that my brother is O Thou great sin-bearer, Thou Who hast good when he is bad, but it can recognise worn upon Thy breast the second blossom of


the flower of love, I fly to Thee. Unto whom only a passive thing. You may refuse to can I go but unto Thee to receive the second punish, you may consent to pardon, you may blossom of the flower ? There are many of decide to make no outward difference in your my brother-men who overlook my sin simply conduct to the offender, and still he may not because they do not see it; they believe in my be to you what he was before. How often integrity because my iniquity is covered from do we use the words, “I will forgive it, but their view. But Thou hast seen my sinas never I can't forget it!” How often do we cry out man saw it. Thou hast searched the inner- even in the act of pardon that our ideal is most depths of my heart. Thou hast de- broken, that our image is shattered in fragscended into the lowest parts of my earthly ments, that our brother can never again be nature. Thou hast tried my reins even in to us what he was in the days of yore! That those seasons of the night which conceal my is because our love wants a blossom; it has deeds from my brother-man. Thine is not learned to bear all things, but it has not yet charity which can believe all things; Thou hast learned to hope all things. Bearing is merely no choice but to believe me bad. And yet tolerance ; it is in itself a joyless thing. To Thou hast pitied, and yet Thou hast pardoned. translate it into joy you must translate it Thou hast taken me into thy bosom just as I into hope. Hope is the third blossom of the am-unhealed, unwashed, unsanctified; Thou flower of love. It is not enough that I forhast lifted me into thy heart when there was give my brother ; I must restore my brother. no strength in me, no health in me, no pro- It is not enough that I abstain from cutting mise in me. Thou hast worn me on Thy down the barren fig-tree; I must dig round breast next to the blossom of Thy flower of about it that I may grant it room for the love, side by side with the charity of forgive fruit that is to be. Come, and let us reason

It is because Thou wearest the second together. You say that you can never beblossom that Thou art able to wear me;

it is hold your brother clothed in his old ideal. because Thou canst bear all things that Thou But the ideal was never his; it was yours, canst bear the vision of my sin. O suffering the painting of your own brush, the creature silence! O broken-hearted unbroken love! of your own imagining. It is not his to-day, O pardoning pity that has grown out of un- it was not his yesterday, but it may still be blemished purity, let me hide myself in Thee. his to-morrow. Impute to him to-morrow; Let me hide myself behind the flower until ring in for him the Christ that is to be ; hope I am able myself to wear the flower ; let me all things for him ; let your love be lit with lay my sins on Thee till Thou shalt teach joy. Often have I been struck with these me also to bear all things.

words which the writer to the Hebrews has

spoken of the Master: “Who for the joy THIRD SUNDAY.

that was set before Him endured the cross, Read Luke xiii. 6–9; Hebrews xii. 1—7. despising the shame.” It was no mere passive Have we now exhausted the possibilities love, no mere disconsolate waiting, no mere of the flower of Christian love? We have forgiveness of despair. His love was on fire seen two blossoms unfolded. We have seen with expectation, on wings with hope, on a power to believe all things while yet the flight with the ecstasy of prospective joy. acts of the man are in shadow. We have He looked upon His brother not as a cold, seen a higher blossom still—a power to bear dead thing which must be forgiven and all things when the acts of the man have tolerated, but as a life rich in possibilities, ceased to be in shadow and have proved radiant with promises, golden with the forethemselves to be sin. Can love go further cast light of coming suns, and His love ran than this ? Is there a goal of glory more out to meet him unto the very borders of perfect than pardon, more fair than forgive the far country of his sins, looking forward ness, more beatific than bearing? Is there a and hastening unto the glorious appearing of blossom more full of summer warmth than the child of God. the power to say, “Thy sins which are many And yet, you say, did He not include all are all forgiven thee ” s Would it not seem men in a common degradation--the deepest as if now we had reached the climax, as if degradation, death? Did He not come to the power of love itself could go no further this world as a world dead in trespasses in its efforts to save ?

and in sin ? Did He not look upon the form Yes, but it can. The possibilities of the of His brother-man as one looks upon the flower are not yet exhausted ; there is a third form from which the soul has fled, and weep and more glorious blossom yet to come. Your those tears over it which one weeps over the love may bear all things and may be still lifeless clay? Yes, but, strange to say, I have often felt that this is just the most I appeal then unto Cæsar; unto Cæsar hopeful feature in all His Gospel. I know of shall I go. I appeal from love finite to love nothing which holds out such a prospect of infinite, from the imperfect to the perfect, sunrise for humanity as just that common from the judgment of the creature to the degradation in which the Bible finds all. I bar of the Highest. I throw myself upon look around on the spirits of the just made the steps of the altar of divine sacrifice. perfect, on the glorious company of the Thou infinite love, out of the depths I cry to A postles, on the goodly fellowship of the Thee! Thou alone canst hear me in the depths. Prophets, on the noble army of Martyrs, on I do not merely ask that Thou wouldst hope the Church throughout all the world. I look for me; I know that Thou hopest for me above upon the soul-stars which shine in always. I ask that Thou wouldst inspire me the kingdom of their Father, on the Peters with Thy hope, that Thou wouldst create who have completed their courage, and the within me the third blossom of the flower. Johns who have perfected their love, and Help me to see my brother as Thou seest me. the Nathaniels who have intensified their Help me to transform my forgiveness into guilelessness, and the Pauls who have been forgetfulness; help me to change my pardon emancipated from their thorn. I look and into promise; help me to put on the garask whence have these come that are clothed ment of praise in exchange for that spirit of in such white apparel, that are radiant with heaviness which I was wont to wear. When such transfigured glory! And from the I shall say of my offending brother, “It doth calm heaven the answer descends : They have not yet appear what he shall be,” the charity all come from death. These phoenix-birds which bears shall become the charity of have risen out of their own ashes; they have hope. ascended from the same grave where others lie. They were all once dead, and there can

FOURTH SUNDAY. be no degrees in death ; no man can lie lower Read Song of Solomon viii. 5, 6, and 7; John xiii. 1–10. than the grave. As I hear these words I We have seen three blossoms of the flower of begin to understand why the Gospel of Christ love. One yet remains, to attain the noonday is a Gospel of hope. I begin to see how of the soul. My love may believe all things, the secret of the universal hope is just the may bear all things, may even hope all universal degradation. If the phoenix-birds things, and yet it may fall short of its perhave risen from their ashes, why may not I ? fect bloom. To give it its perfect bloom, to If the soul-stars have shone out of darkness, make it the flower of life in the midst of the why may not I? If the white-robed have garden, there is wanted one blossom morecmerged out of great tribulation, why may persistence unto the end. I want a power not 1? These were once all dead, and I am to bear without being weary; I want a now no more than dead ; if one could rise power to hope in everlasting spring. When from death there is no limit to my hope. I have reached the love that can endure all O Magdalene, why sittest thou in ashes of things, I have been planted anew in the despair, looking up at the beautiful plumage garden of the Lord. of the phoenix-birds? These phoenix-birds Have you ever asked yourself, what is were yesterday part of thine own ashes, that point of difference which distinguishes dark and cold and dead as thou. Thou too the love of the sense from the love of the mayest be a phonix-bird, poor Magdalene; spirit? What is that which marks the coninfinite love has infinite hope for thee. Finite trast between the affection of the animal and love despairs of thee, but finite love has no the affection of the man? Is it degree of experience of the dead. It can love only the intensity? I am not sure that it is. There lovely; it has never been down in the valley are some who tell us that the beast of the of the shadow, never touched the spots of field has been known to die through grief; the leper, never made trial of the possibilities greater intensity than this can scarcely be of dust and ashes. But infinite love has conceived. But I will tell you wherein lies been in the depths, and in the lowest depth the eternal boundary-line between the affecit has seen the shadow of a star. It has seen tion of the animal and the affection of the the ashes of the urn yield life, and it can man; it is not in love's intensity but in love's never again say that death is incurable. It endurance. The beast of the field may die has seen the winged spirit of a Paul spring through grief for its master, but if it survive from the caterpillar of a Saul of Tarsus, and the grief its love will die. But my love can thereby it knows assuredly that there is hope survive its grief and live; as the poet-laurcate for thee.

says, it can love more even when it sorrows


« ZurückWeiter »