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formation is the same as the law of our growth in childhood. For precept must be upon precept, line upon line, here a little, there a little.' And therefore our advancement depends on our care to bring each detail of life under the pressure of the true ruling principle. We profit by our Lord's example only if we live as the student, who succeeds in copying a picture by observing, and transferring to his canvas more and more perfectly, the finer tints and more delicate lines which give the real tone and character to the original. Our Lord has taken the human form to embody before our eyes a perfect Humanity ; what must be the result, if we neglect wilfully any portion of the Eternal Truth, which He thus revealed ?
"O Divine Heart of Jesus! of all the wounds that Thou hast received since Thou hast ascended into the Heavens, none has cut so deeply as the neglect of Thy most holy life by those who profess religion. “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not ;' was the most touching instance of shame and grief that the Apostle S. John could express, when he speaks of the love of the Incarnation. They, of whom S. John speaks, knew Him not. We know Him, and have seen Him. But thou sayest, 'I am following Him. It is the law of our nature, the law of His own Revelation, that union, intimacy, and constant beholding, lead to a growing likeness. Try thyself, then, by this test. Is the form of His most holy life growing upon the form of thy own nature, so that thy nature is being swallowed up of grace? In the last great day, wben we shall see Him face to face, what might He then say to us, if we have failed to copy His example? “I left My eternal rest, the unchanged glory of My Being, and subjected Myself to change and time, to pain and violence, ceasing to be only God, and becoming a creature. I clothed Myself in the garments of thy mortality, fed upon thy food, shared the same home, made Myself familiar with all men. And this I did for thy sake only ; yet thou heedest Me not, and passest Me by, and I am to thee as a dream when one awaketh, and My Life on earth is as though it had never been, leaving no impression on thy heart, making no change in any portion of thy life. But I came that thou mightest follow My steps, and, following Me, be as I am, that so thou mightest be with Me for ever.' It was one who lived before the Incarnation, who said, “When I awake up after Thy likeness, I shall be satisfied with it.' What will be the unutterable loss of those who have lived to 'see,' and 'look upon,' and 'handle’ the Divine Humanity, and yet shall hereafter awake up, and in them no trace of that likeness be discerned ?”—Pp. 10, 11.
And this again is more philosophically drawn out in the Lecture succeeding :
“ It was impossible that our LORD could assume a peculiar, a single form of sanctity. He is God, and therefore the source of all forms of sanctity. He giveth to all men severally as He will, and is Himself the origin of all He gives. All vocations alike emanate from Him, and find in Him their type. All created forms existed first in His mind, had an actual existence in Him, as His Living Ideas, before they took substantial shape. He could live only as the Eternal Existence, conVOL. XXII.
taining in Himself all possible forms of being, created or uncreated. To take to Himself a distinctive form would be to limit His Being, Which is infinite, and so cease to be the origin and end of all life. And it could make no difference when He took a created nature. He could not but be all that Humanity could express in its utmost extent of being, bringing out in human lineaments the living ideas of humanity pre-existing in the Eternal Mind. He must thus exhibit all such ideas, or they would cease to be. He was Himself perpetually all that humanity could be, though it is impossible for us to realize, except in detail, and even then only by glimpses, the individual features. The several attributes constituting the complex beauty and sanctity of His created being, come out to view separately as He wills. Thus the illuminative life came forth on Mount Tabor : the contemplative life in His midnight retreats on the mountain; the Apostolic life in His toilsome ministry ; the ascetic life in His long fast; the suffering life in His Passion; the social life in His presence at the entertainments of which He partook; the domestic life all through His early years. We catch one by one these several forms of sanctity, as in a mountainous country the eye follows the light falling on one peak after another in the range, while each in turn is flooded with glory. But though we can thus embrace His life only in its separate portions, He was in Himself a comprehensive unity, at all times All in all.
“As this combination of the several forms of sanctity was thus necessary for Himself, so it was equally necessary for us. Our LORD does not enter into any single manhood, but into our whole nature. He assumed our nature, and lives in our nature as a whole, and He did so in order that He might leaven the whole, that He might impart His image, dividedly on each, but wholly on the whole Body.”—Pp. 14–16.
The third Lecture is altogether on “the spirit of mortification," showing how it marked our Lord's whole life in the flesh, and ending with a very just threefold division of that state of grace :
“We distinguish three degrees of mortification, aud these degrees mark its gradual progress. The first degree is to mortify actual vices. The second is to mortify the desires, the thoughts, the senses, the affections, out of which vices spring. The third degree is to welcome more tification for its own sake, because it is of CHRIST. These three degrees are plainly marked in the Scriptures. The first degree is enjoined in the words, · Mortify your members which are on the earth, fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. This is the mortification of actual vices. The second degree is enforced in the following passage : "They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts ;' not merely the vices but the flesh out of which they spring. And the third advance is marked in S. Paul's description of the saintly life; 'I am crucified with CHRIST, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but CHRIST liveth in me; and the life I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me;' a very union with Christ through faith, because of the loving will that has freely embraced the mystery of mortification for His dear Name's sake.”-P. 35. The most striking Sermon of all perhaps is that on the Discipline of the Will.” In this, having noticed that most mysterious feature of the Divine Will, as exemplified in the Providential government of the world, that it is at once unchanging and yet open to be influenced, the preacher proceeds to bring together several very striking yieldings of His will, through discipline, in the Life of our LORD :
“Such was the case towards His Blessed Mother at the marriagefeast, when she urged Him to supply the wine that was needed. His words at first imply the rejection of the desire ; Mine hour is not yet come.' His mother still trusted that He would grant the petition, and she bid the servants be prepared : · Whatsoever He saith unto you, do it.' The desire of love, the sense of the need, acted upon Him, and He yields. Fill the water-pots with water, and they filled them up to the brim.' The same yielding occurs from time to time throughout the Gospels, e.g., 'When JESUS was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying, LORD, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And JESUS saith unto him, I will come and heal him. The centurion expressed a degree of faith at which JESUS ‘marvelled,' and He changed His purpose. He said unto the centurion, Go thy way, and as thou hast beliered, so be it done unto thee. And his servant was healed in the self. same hour.' He went not down. He healed him where He stood. It was the influence of strong faith having power to change our LORD'S original purpose, and leading to what seemed a greater exercise of His grace. Again, after His Resurrection, as He accompanied the two disciples to Emmaus, when they drew nigh unto the village whither they went, He made as though He would have gone further. But they constrained Him, and He went in to tarry with them.' It was love laying on Him its sweet restraint, and His will yielding to it.”—Pp. 57, 58.
Another passage shows very well how truly in respect of “the discipline of the will” Christ is our example:
“1. It is the law of our nature that we should be trained to a submissive will by degrees through the early discipline of childhood, afterwards through self-discipline, under the controls, the checks, the hindrances, the disappointments, the sorrows, the reproofs, the denials which make up so large a portion of the experience of life. It is the grace of God working through such means, which by successive steps subdues the will; and these steps by which the will is thus subdued, form so many crises of life, entailing suffering, but through the suffering raising and perfecting us, just in proportion as we yield our will to God. Now this which is the law of our growth, was also the rule which our LORD vouchsafed to use for His own growth in the flesh, and each child that is patiently humbling his will to a parent, each one of maturer years that is mastering the strength of his natural temper, and chastening it into an enduring habit of patience, may feel to the full the blessedness of an assured sympathy with our LORD; for not only does the Scripture say of Him that He 'increased in wisdom and
in stature, and in favour with God and man,' but also that · He learned obedience by the things which He suffered ; and being made perfect He became the author of eternal salvation. He was pleased to advance along the same path of gradual progressive development, involving trial and effort. He tasted the very same pain in the progressive discipline of His Soul that we experience, though without the imperfection or the sin.
“2. As there are in our case seasons of special trial, or special points in which our nature is peculiarly tempted to resist the will of God, which are practically the turning-points of our destiny, when life is hanging on the struggle, and all depends on the event whether in this one particular we yield our will or no, so in this respect likewise the closest sympathy is to be traced between one so tried and our LORD. The Temptation in the wilderness and the Agony, were special seasons, crises of peculiar trial, when He experienced in their utmost intenseness the same dreadful revulsion of His sensitive Being, the same abhorrence, the same forcing back of the current of the heart's blood, such as in its measure any one of us, in some strong wrestling with the will of God, in some lone hour of trial may be called to endure. We may trace the same feelings, the same in kind, though so far beyond comparison greater in degree in our LORD, linking our sin-stained humanity with His most pure and yet most truly kindred humanity, when He, beginning to sink in the awful struggle in the garden, drew a few favoured friends near Him, bidding them to tarry there and watch with Him, to be at hand to strengthen Him, as though He feared His own purpose giving way, as if He feared being alone, -His prayer three times repeated, the same prayer, the same brief words, the long struggle between each prayer, not once, but thrice endured, -when He was so sunk, so desolate, that when the disciples failed Him, another of the creatures comes and is welcomed, the mute companionship of the angel is felt to be a relief, a stay, for the angel came, not as it was at the Temptation, after it had passed, 'ministering unto Him,' as in joy and thankfulness, but then, during the Agony, and strengthening Him,' as though, but for this stay, His suffering humanity could scarce. have borne the struggle.
“We may draw a comparison touching ourselves even in this stupendous effort of His will, for. He left us an example that ye should follow His steps;' and we bere see a picture, of which a likeness, however faint, may be traced in every true heart that struggles against some stern unbending demand of the Divine Will, when the human will of the sufferer, stripped of all its natural outward supports, yet still grasping hold of the unseen God, though in darkness and desolation is upheld and abideth stedfast. If to many of us there has been no such trial, yet who of us can say but that some similar pressure of the Eternal Will may not yet come upon us in some sudden or some protracted dispensation of trial, when success in that particular struggle is the one condition of the soul's conformity to the will of God, perhaps the last and crowning test of obedience. Or if we be always spared the severer forms of such discipline of the will, yet is there not in the case of every one of us, some one point in which a measure of the same conflict between our natural mind and the pure will of God is ever being felt, and is in truth the trial-point of our religious life ? May we have grace in such crises of our destiny, to gather up our strength, to betake ourselves to prayer, to kneel on beside the prostrate Form, in the shadows of the olive-trees of Gethsemane, striving to master ourselves, nor cease till the hour of our agony is past, and the strengthened will arises to unite itself with all the purposes of God.”--Pp. 61–64.
Gladly would we quote more from this admirable volume, but space warns us that we must draw to a close.
REVIEWS AND NOTICES.
The Wisdom of the Son of David ; an exposition of the first nine chap
ters of the Book of Proverbs. London: Bell and Daldy.
We gladly welcome anything which tends to make us look deeper into the meaning of Holy Scripture. Moreover the subject in this case is well chosen, and the execution of the work betokens a devout and welltrained mind.
The two last chapters which are here passed in review are certainly as striking as any that are found in the Bible. The description of the Divine Word or Wisdom by all the unmistakeable attributes of Deity in the 8th chapter is singularly grand, while the opening of the 9th chapter sets forth a prophetic image of the Church, which for distinctness cannot be surpassed. “ Wisdom has builded her house, she hath hewn out her seven pillars. Come, eat of my bread and drink of the wine which I have mingled.”
The Author, whoever he may be, appears fully to have entered into the spiritual meaning of the whole passage, and has written a plain and devout commentary upon it, which we hope may meet with a large circulation.
It is difficult to give specimens of a fragmentary work of this nature, but we may quote a passage from the Preface, vindicating the right view of Inspiration which will show the principles of the writer.
“It is this controlling power which constitutes the inspiration of Holy Scripture. If we recognize Scripture as really emanating from God the Holy Ghost, although written with a very inadequate appreciation of the Divine purpose, by human agency, we shall scarcely be able to avoid the acknowledgment, that there must be in all the words of Scripture a Divine purpose and meaning, over and above, not contrary to or nullifying, but underlying, pervading, spiritualizing, what the writers would have intended had they merely written as men. To us it is a matter of no concern how far they felt this control; but if we allow the Divine inspiration of Scripture, we cannot limit it by the consciousness or intelligence of the writers, any more than we can limit the operation of Divine grace in the sacraments by the intention or theological acumen of the minister. The spiritual intention of God, in ac