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13A .rJOD XO/O 

Farrar, Frederic William, 

The fall of man 

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It is with great diffidence that I allow these Sermons 
to see the light. It had long been mj' intention not 
to publish any volume of Sermons, and I have often 
stated that intention to friends who spoke to me 
on the subject. VTheu, however, the Yice-Chancellor 
did me the honour to request that I would publish 
the three Sermons preached before the University cf 
Cambridge, it became necessary to add others to them, 
and I have done so, not because I thought that the 
Sermons were worthy of presen-ation, — ^for no one can 
be more painfully aware of their imperfections than I 
am m\-self, — ^but because some, who had a right to 
judge for themselves, wished to know the topics on 
which I ordinarily preached, and the manner in which 
I handled them. 

I have therefore puLhshed them exactly as they 
were delivered, and not given them the advantage of 
that complete revision, and even reconstruction, by 
\\hich many of them would have been improved. I 


have not even thought it desirable to remove an occa- 
sional recurrence of the same form of expression in 
Sermons preached at different places, and before widely 
different audiences. It is hardly necessary to observe 
that they are not in any way intended for a complete 
systematic exposition of theological truths. 

I have acknowledged all that I have consciously 
derived from other writers ; but doubtless there are 
many thoughts and some expressions for which I am 
either indebted unconsciously, or to which I have 
alluded in a manner that did not admit of formal 

I need only add, in justice to that distinguished 
Churchman who has allowed me to offer him this 
Volume as a proof of my personal friendship and 
gratitude, that he has neither heard nor read the 
majority of these Sermons, and that very probably 
they may contain passages with the spirit of which he 
would be unable to sympathize. 




(Preached berore the University of Cambridge, March i, 1868.) 


GiA'FSiS III. 13. — " And the Lord God said unto the woman, - 
What is thiG that thou hast done? " . . . n I 


(Preached before the University of Cambridge, March 8, 1868.) 

Genesis ii. 17.— "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou 

shalt surely die " 32 


(Preached before the University of Cambridse, M.irch 15. i863,l 

^:ATTHEW VIII. 22.— "Follow me, and let the dead bury 

their dead " .44 


(Preached before Harrow School, June 28, 1863.) 

Romans viii. 21. — "The creature itself also shall be de- 
livered from the bondage of corruption " ... 63 




(Preached before Harrow School, on Ascension Day, 1865.) 
Acts i. 9. — " And a cloud received Him out of their sight " . 76 



(Preached at Nottingham, during the Meeting of the British Association, 
August, 1866.) 

Psalm viii. 4. — "What is man, that thou art mindful of him ? 

and the son of man, that thou visitest him ? " . . .87 



(Preached before ihe National Rifle Association, in the Volunteer Camp at 
Wimbledon, July 15, 1S66.) 

I Corinthians xvi. 13.—" Quit you like men, be strong" . 103 


(Preached before Harrow School, on Founder's Day, October 6, 1859.) 
ISAIAH Liv. 11-13. — "Behold, I will lay thy stones with 
fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. 
And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of 
carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And 
all thy children shall be taught of the Lord ; and great 
shall be the peace of thy children " 119 


(Preached in the Parish Church of Doncaster, at the Choral Festival, 1867.) 
Psalm cxxii. i. (Prayer-Book Version).— " I was glad when 

they said unto me, We will go into the house of the Lord " 137 





(Preached before Harrow School, January 15, 1863.) 


Luke xv. i6.— " And he would fain have filled his belly with 

the husks that the swine did eat : and no man gave unto him" 155 



(Preached before Harrow School on the First Sunday of the Summer 
Term, 1864.) 

Genesis xxv. 27. — "And the boys grew, and Esau was a 
cunning hunter, a man of the field ; and Jacob was a 
plain man, dwelling in tents " 171 



(Preached on the .Anniversary at Marlborough College [St. Michael 
and All Angels], September 29, 1864.) 

Genesis XXXII. 26.—" And he said, I will not let thee go, 

except thou bless me " 1S5 



(Preached at All Saints', Huntingdon, December 28, i8<52.) 

Revelation xiv. 13.— "And their works do follow them" . 200 


(Preached before the iSth Middlesex Volunteers, in Harrow Church, 
May 7, 1863.) 

ECCLESIASTES VIII. 8. — "And there is no discharge in that war" 214 



(Preached at All Saints', Huntingdon, January 6, 1866.) 
Joel 11. 25. — "And I will restore to you the years that the 

locust hath eaten " 228 




(Preached before Harrow School, September 30, 1866.) 


Revelation xxii. 4.—" And they shall see his face ; and his 

name shall be in their foreheads " 243 

XVI r. 


f Preached before King's College School, at the Reopening of King's 
College Chapel, June 23, 1864.) 

I Corinthians in. 16, — " Know ye not that ye are the temple 

of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ?" . 258 

(Preached before Harrow School, on Trinity Sunday, May 26, 1861.) 
Revelation iv. 8.—" Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty " 270 



(Preached before Harrow School, 1S64.) 

I Samuel xii. 20. — " Fear not : ye have done all this wicked- 
ness : yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serv'e 
the Lord with all your heart " 284 



(Preached after the First Communion of the Bo)-s confirmed at Harrow 
on March 19, j868.) 

Isaiah lx. i.— " Arise ! shine ! for thy light is come, and the 

glory of tlie Lord is risen upon thee " . . . . 298 



(Preached before the University of Cambridge, March i, iS68.) 

Gl'.N. iii. 10 — "And the Lord God said unto the woman, What 
is this that thou hast done ? " 

The season at which we are assembled, my brethren, 
scarcely leaves us any latitude as to the choice of our 
meditations. The Church which for half of her year 
turns our thoughts to the great doctrines of her faith, 
and for the other half to their direct bearing upon the 
practice of our lives, has especially set apart this solemn 
season to lessons of temptation, of punishment, of 
warning, of repentance. Her Lenten fast is ushered in 
with the dread voices of commination and the wail of 
penitential Psalms ; in to-day's Gospel she brings before 
us the temptation in the wilderness of our Lord and 
Master; and throughout the earlier Sundays of this 
period, and that which immediately precedes it, alike in 
Epistles, Gos;)els, and Lessons, she points our awe-struck 
contemplations to some of the darkest possibilities which 
can befall an apostate soul. There are many who would 
willingly keep these stern lessons out of sight ; the 



appalling simplicity of such Scripture narratives at once 
horrifies and angers them. They would not indeed go 
so far as to bid the prophets "prophesy not unto us 
right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy 
deceits;" but, as though by way of compromise, they 
eagerly bid us wrap our moral teaching in those vague 
conventional euphemisms from which their conscience 
can escape. They are indignant that even Scripture 
should draw the curtain from the dark chambers in 
which the unregenerate heart abounds, and should turn 
full into them that blinding, painful, intolerable glare. 
And, were it in our hands, we should probably listen to 
such appeals, and if we could not obliterate altogether, 
should at least bury in eternal oblivion some of the 
saddest records preserved in the sacred page. Our 
Church has acted otherwise. She has judged that the 
mysteries of human iniquity are too awful, too wide- 
spread, too ruinous to be ignored. Knowing that the 
day cometh when every heart shall lie bare before that 
Eye to whose gaze the very heavens are not clean, she 
has striven to purify the darkness by rending the films of 
self-deceit, and by making the soul start under the 
healing agony of shame. Looking round her on a 
world that lieth in wickedness, — conscious of the con- 
tinuous tragedies which have been enacted on the narrow 
stage of sacred history, and of that history, in one sense 
no less sacred, which we call profane, — not ignorant of 
the deceitfulness which underlies the smooth conven- 
tionalities of nominally Christian lives, — she has bidden 
him who "thinketh he standeth, to take heed lest he 


fall ; " and she has taught us to judge ourselves not by 
the superficial standards of ordinary society, but by the 
things written in that book of record which lies ever 
open before the throne of God. If you would know 
whether she has done aright, examine your own hearts ; 
and for the answer trust, not to the delicate suscei)ti- 
billties of intellectual refinement, but to the voice of an 
awakened, ay, even of a terrified conscience, when, with 
threatening aspect and out-stretched arm, it points at us 
with the steady and dreadful accusation, "Thou art the 
man 1 " 

And because I assume that all among us, even those 
who have striven best and longest, and not in vain, to 
win the answer of a good conscience towards God and 
towards man, would yet see enough in their own lives to 
beat upon their breasts with the cry of the publican. 
"Lord, have mercy upon me, a sinner;" therefore I 
follow the guidance of our Church in speaking to you 
to-day of sin and tem.ptation. Such thoughts may be 
little pleasing, but I cannot believe them superfluous. 
With Scripture, with history, with experience, with the 
records of countless biographies before me, I cannot 
doubt that sin has been, and is, the over-shadowing 
influence — the transient, if not the long-continued gloom 
— of most men's lives; and that while there are many 
among my hearers who are resting (it may be after long 
and weary battle) in the peace and light of God, others 
again are in the twilight, others in the evening, and some, 
alas ! it may be, in the black and dark night. Rather 
do I fear, and I may well fear, lest my words be 

I — 2 



altogether too weak to reach your hearts. And therefore 
I pray you, my brethren, rivet not up those hearts in 
that triple panoply of resistance through which no arrow 
of conviction can wing its way, but rather, seeing that 
we stand all of us before God this day, believe that for 
each one of you there may be some message of prophecy, 
even though it be spoken by feeble and unworthy lips. 
For us all alike now is the accepted time ; for one here 
on this moment may hang eternity, and that one may be 
you; for he who stands here is, for this hour, God's 
appointed messenger, and He may send His seraphim 
unseen with the hallowed fire of His altar, to touch into 
inspiration the stammering lips of whom He will. 

And be not surprised, my brethren, if in speaking to 
you of the growth of sin I purposely draw my text from 
its oldest record, though round these first pages of 
Scripture have raged most loudly the angry voices of 
controversy. It is one of our trials that the Bible, with 
its tender and hallowed bearing upon all that is sweet 
and noble in our lives — Avith its words so stately and full 
of wonder, and full of music, like the voice of an arch- 
angel — should have been made in these days the wran- 
gling-ground for sectarian differences; but if with our 
whole hearts we are striving to live according to its spirit, 
we need fear but little that we shall trip in a right pro- 
nunciation of the shibboleths of its letter. Surely it is 
deplorable that, because of mere questions which after 
all are but questions of doubtful authorship, of historical 
accuracy, of verbal criticism, having for the most part 
little or no bearing on the spiritual or moral life, party 


should be denouncing party, and Christian excommuni- 
cating Christian, and so many hands tearing in anger the 
seamless robe of Christ. It is, alas, the due punishment 
for our lack of charity, our Pharisaism, our unwisdom, 
that while we have been so eager about such controversies, 
the love of many should have waxed cold. Yet they 
who thus cease altogether to reverence God's written 
word, lose one of the most elevating, one of the most 
comforting influences of human life. Oh, if such an 
irreparable loss, my younger brethren, have happened to 
any one of you, let me entreat you no longer to mistake 
the shadow for the substance; not to confuse mere 
questions of exegetical or scientific learning with the 
deep, awful, imperishable lessons which the Bible, and 
the Bible only, can bring home to your souls. In what- 
ever way those questions may be decided, the infinite 
inner sacredness of God's word remains inviolate for 
ever. There may be shifting clouds about it, but through 
them break gleams of the eternal radiance; there may 
be mingled voices, but clear and loud among them all 
are heard the utterances of eternal wisdom. Other 
books may make you learned or eloquent or subtle ; this 
book alone can make you wise unto salvation. Other 
books may fascinate the intellect ; by this alone can you 
cleanse the heart. In other literatures may trickle here 
and there some shallow runnel from the "unemptiable 
fountain of wisdom," — and even these, alas ! turbid too 
often with human passions, fretted with human obstacles, 
and choked at last in morass or sand, — but in this book, 
majestic and fathomless, flows the river of the water of 



life itself, proceeding out of the throne of God and of 
the Lamb. Your time here is largely spent in searching 
out the gold which, mingled with much alloy, may be 
found scattered in the treasuries of Pagan wisdom ; but 
here alone — in more infinite abundance, of more incom- 
parable worth — are the pearls of great price, the wisdom 
more precious than rubies, the " Light from beyond the 
sun." And be sure that the hour will come not rarely to 
you in the destinies of life — the hour of sickness, of 
bereavement; of bitter disappointment, of deathful agony 
— when all other knowledge and all other insight shall 
be as useless dross; but every text stored up in the 
memory, each pure lesson, each bright example from the 
sacred i)age, shall be to your stricken and fainting souls 
" better than gold, yea, than much fine gold ; sweeter 
al.iO than honey and the honeycomb." 

How deep, for instance, are the lessons involved ir 
the story of the Fall, and how little are they affected i 
any of the innumerable criticisms to which it has give 
rise. Men have long been questioning whether it be a 
divine philosopheme or a literal fact; whether man arose 
in one or, like the fauna and the flora which surround 
him, in many centres ; whether the material elements of 
which our bodies are composed sprang at a single crea- 
tive fiat into full-grown and perfect manhood, or in virtue 
of one omnific law had been swept by the magic eddy of 
nature's unseen agencies through generations of lower 
organisms ; whether Adam and Eve, and the happy 
garden, and the tempting serpent, and the waving sword 
of the Cherubim, and the trees of knowledge and of life, 



be transparent allegory' or historic narrative. Enter, my 
brethren, if you will into such inquiries, secure and un- 
dismayed, if you but carry in your hands the golden 
clues of humility and prayer; nothing doubting that by 
such a spirit you shall know of the truth, and the 
truth shall make you free. Only remember that 
such inquiries do not touch for a moment the deep 
importance of the sacred narrative, or its direct per- 
sonal bearing on our religious life. The lessons to be 
here learnt are moral, not ethnological ; spiritual, not 
scientific. For even if the facts be not literal, they 
remain divinely and unalterably true. To prove that 
they are so needs neither learning nor research : it needs 
but the solemn light of each man's personal experience ; 
it needs but that spirit of man which is "the candle of 
the Lord." The story reveals to us how sin came into 
the world, and death by sin, and we find each one of us, 
that it is even thus, and thus only, and thus always, that 
sin enters into each individual heart. The history is no 
dead letter, but a living symbol, a sacred symbol which 
neither scepticism can disparage, nor experience can 
modify, nor philosophy enlarge : it contains the very 
essence and principle of the whole matter, and he who 

' This opinion ha» been held without blame by "divines of the 
most unimpeachable orthodoxy and most averse to the allegorizing 
of Scripture history in general. And indeed no unprejudiced man 
can pretend to doubt, that if in any other work of Eastern origin he 
met with trees of life and knowledge, or talking snakes, ...he would 
want no other proofs that it was an allegory that he was read- 
ing, and intended to be understood as such." — Coleridge, Aids to 
K^jltrdon, p. 204 ; lip. Ilors'.ey, Strm. X\ I. 



would have a thorough insight into the origin of sin may- 
learn more, though he be a child, from these few and 
simple verses, lighted up by such a commentary as his 
own experience may furnish, than from all else that the 
united wisdom of mankind has ever discovered on tne 
subject with which they deal. 

For what, in briefest outline, are the points which give 
to the narrative its main significance? We see our 
parents placed at first in the happiness of a sinless Eden 
in which the whisper of temptation is as yet unknown ; 
but very soon sin, taking occasion by the single com- 
mandment to which they were subjected, deceived them, 
and by it slew them. First came the faint suggestion, as 
of some outer voice, "Yea, hath God said?" — the 
suggestion of a restless uneasy doubt, and with it the 
undefined impulse to rebel, to shake off authority, to 
exert the power of self-will. At first indeed this formless 
temptation is met by the barrier of a direct command, 
and in the spirit of a holy dread, " God hath said ye 
shall not eat of it ;" but then in the exaggerated addition 
" neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die," we see perhaps 
a very subtle indication that there was from the first a 
lurking desire, an undeveloped tendency to disobey. 
And in any case the next step is fraught with danger ; 
for the woman, in all her softness, in all her weakness, 
shutting her eyes to the awful issues involved in the 
workings of her self-will, dallies with the tempter, lingers 
with guilty irresolution on the scene of the temptation. 
She dwells jealously on the one thing prohibited, rather 
than joyously on the many things permitted, until almost 



unconsciously to herself the tempting voice has passed 
from the timid suggestion of a doubt, to the impudent 
promise of a gain, to the bold assertion of a lie. "Ye 
shall not surely die," " your eyes shall be opened," " )'e 
shall be as gods." And then ambition, curiosity, concu- 
piscence are all awake. The good that she knows 
begins to pall upon her, the evil that she knows not to 
shine in alluring colours. Ever, as she gazes passionately 
upon it, the tree seems good for food, and pleasant to 
the eyes, a tree to be desired to make one wise. More 
and more she turns herself from the voice and thought 
of God to the fragrancy and imagined sweetness of that 
forbidden fruit. And from such a beginning there can 
be but one result. They who would pluck flowers from 
the very edge of the precipice must be prepared to fall. 
Them who long to sin God suffers to sin. The lingering 
thought passes into the vivid imagination, the vivid 
imagination into the burning wish, the burning wish into 
the half-formed purpose, the half-formed purpose into the 
hasty act.i Swiftly, as in a moment, the crisis is upon 
her, sharp and sudden, as such crises always are, the 
crucial instant of temptation when life and death hang 
in trembling equipoise in the balance of our destiny. 
Oh, each soul has need of all its resolution then, and of 
all the Holy Spirit's aid, but too often we meet that 
moment, as Eve met it, shaken, weakened, half-despair- 
ing by long familiarity with sin. In an evil hour she 

1 " Primo occurrit menti simplex cogilatio ; dcinde fortis imafji- 
natio : postea delectatio et motus pravus et assensio." — Thomas a 
Kern pis. 



Stretches her rash hand, and a deed is done irrevocable 
for omnipotence, irrevocable till time shall be no more. 
And then the floodgates are open ; the tiny ripple of an 
illicit thought, ever swelling, deepening, broadening, has 
burst into an irresistible river, waters to swim in, a river 
that could not be passed over. The guilty wish of one 
woman has swollen into the irremediable corruption of a 
world. One after another, like crash on crash of thunder, 
the sentences of judgment roll over their heads, till the 
windows of heaven are opened, and the fountains of the 
great deep are broken up, and the world must be rebap- 
tized in the overwhelming waves. In one Sunday Lesson 
we read the story of the Fall, in the next the stor)' of the 
Deluge ; 

" 'Twas but a liltle drop of sin 
We saw this morning enter in. 
And lo ! at eventide a world is drowned ! " 
Is there nothing here for our instruction? Has there 
been nothing like this in your own past lives ? Is not 
the same process repeated at each fresh development of 
the mystery of iniquity ? Look back through the mists 
of memory, and remembering the sins of your past years, 
tell me if you might not have been forewarned then — if 
you may not be forewarned even now — by the method 
and progress of Eve's temptation ? You too have had 
your Eden of happy ignorance, and of an innocence 
yet unassailed. You too, in a sunlit childhood, have 

" heard, borne on the wind, the articulate voice 
Of God, and angels to your sight appeared 
Crowning the glorious hills of Paradise ; " 

but almost with the dawn of an intellectual life began 


the struggle of good with evil, and in that strife the 
innocence of childhood, which is as the dew of God, was 
brushed away from the soul. Self-will sprang up. You 
found the physical nature strong, the moral weak. The 
voice of doubt whispered, " Yea, hath God said ? " the 
voice of impatient rebellion and conscious passion 
shouted, " Ye shall be as gods." But so dear to God is 
the human soul that it cannot at first go astray without a 
shudder and a pang. He has mercifully planted a thick 
hedge around our first transgressions, and relying it may 
be upon that, confident it may be in some instinctive 
sense of horror and of peril, in some frightened momen- 
tary cry for deliverance, in some remembered threatening 
of God's word, in some sweet and holy lesson learnt at a 
mother's knee, above all in some divine yearning intuition 
of a Saviour's love, you did not at once forsake the cove- 
nant of your God, but as though thoughts at least were 
harmless, you indulged your thoughts in a dangerous 
familiarity with wrong. But he whose thoughts are filled 
with earthly imaginations has no room left for thoughts 
of God. His fall is certain. Sin becomes to him mor-e 
fair, more full of alluring sorcery. He who, not led as 
the Saviour was by the Spirit of God, but turned aside 
by the guilty glamour of a self-deceiving heart, leaves the 
ways of pleasantness and the paths of peace, to wander 
in the desert of spiritual danger, must be prepared in 
that desert to be with the wild beasts, to meet temptation 
at every turn, to be tortured more and more with a 
" burning Tantalian thirst," to be dazzled more and 
more to his own destruction by the delusive shine of the 



desert phantom,^ which, as it ever flies before him, will 
but vanish at last before his disenchanted eye amid the 
waste and glare of the scorching sands. Seldom in any 
case, and never save by the special grace of God, do 
guilty thoughts end in guilty thoughts. They are but the 
serpent's egg, from which breaks forth the cockatrice. 
On us, as on Eve, at some unguarded moment, the 
temptation springs " terrible and with a tiger's leaps," 
and then we fall; we fall, and we pity ourselves because 
we fall in a moment ; but that fall is the fall, not of the 
moment, but of all the previous life ; it was but " the 
sign-manual of deed " which sooner or later the powers 
of evil demand from him who in heart has been long their 
own. And, when this sacrament of evil is over, then 
follows the common history. The sin which was at first 
cowardly, becomes next shameless, and lastly secure. 
The " only this once " ends in " there is no harm in it." 
" Abeunt siudia in mores." The scarlet blossom ripens 
into the poisonous and ashy fruit. Delusion ends in 
denial ; denial in insensibility ; insensibility unawakened 
deepens into everlasting death. Oh, if there be one 
here whose feet have gone astray into evil paths, let him 
be warned in time. That road hath but one ending ; the 
hurrying feet of many a generation have trodden it ; yet 

^ It might be a matter of wonder if so common and striking an 
Arabian phenomenon as the mirage were not alluded to in the 
metaphors of Scripture. There can, however, be little doubt that 
this is tlie real meaning: of the word ^Tr , Is. XXXV. 7 (A. V. ' the 
parched ground ;' LXX. r\ arpSpor), a'ld xlix. lo (A.V. 'the heat,' 
LXX. d Kavaay). 



there is not one of them but would confess with hollow 
voice, as from the grave and gate of death, that it is the 
entrance into " those regions, whither, whosoever passeth 
finally, shall lie down and groan with an eternal 

I. The general lessons which result, at once, my 
brethren, from such a retrospect are clear and full of 
solemn warning. And the first is the necessity — alas ! 
the often forgotten, the often wholly-despised necessity — 
for constant watchfulness. From the very constitution 
of our nature, from the inherited tendencies of many 
sinful generations, from the occasion which sin takes by 
the law for our perdition, from the intensity and multi- 
formity of the temptations which may beset us, the very 
best of us is in constant danger ; but none more so than 
you who are yet in youth. None — not even the oldest 
warrior — can ever in tliis world lay aside one piece of 
his panoply ; for our warfare is a warfare in which there 
is no discharge. But, if even the strongest Christian — 
if even he whose courage has been tested in many a 
mighty struggle, and whose hope has been confirmed by 
many a mighty victory over the powers of evil — if even 
//f feels that his hand may never leave the cross-hilt of 
his sword, nor his weary arm drop the shield which has 
been given him — can you, in the very beginning of the 
battle, you whose enemies are stronger, more passionate, 
more inflamed with the fury of conquest — can you, while 
the fiery darts of the wicked one are falling thick around 
you, strip off your armour, and with unlit lamp and 
ungirded loin give yourselves up to sloth or sleep ? 


Yes; it may seem so to you for a time. If you be at 
ease in your youth, if you be living in pride, fulness of 
bread and abundance of idleness, the foes of your 
spiritual being may have abandoned the semblance of 
battle, only because they are secure in the confidence of 
victory. But oh, if you would escape them, watch. 
Remember that terrible metaphor which the Lord ad- 
dressed to Cain when first the fierce, sullen, brooding 
spirit of revenge seized possession of his heart : " If 
thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if 
thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door." At the door 
oi your hearts, no less than at that of the first murderer, 
sin is crouching like some wild beast of prey; but 
" subject unto tliee shall be his desire, and thou shalt 
rule over him." Thou art the master of that n-oXv^aiaXor 
ii'n^iov 1, that blind wild beast of all that is evil within 
thee, and thou canst place thy foot upon his neck. But 
if not, if thou feedest him to thine own ruin, then sud- 
denly will he spring upon thee with flame in his eye. 
and wrath and thunder in his roar, and then God helj) 
thee ! Thou maycst be saved indeed from his devouring 
fury, but it shall be in the wild awful image of the 
|.easant prophet, "as the shepherd taketh out of the 
mouth of the lion two legs or a piece of an ear I" 

2. Then as a second warning, I would bid you be- 
ware of underrating the exceeding sinfulness of sin. 
Ixho not the scornful and faithless question, " Yea, hath 
God said ? " There are not wanting in society alamiing 

1 Plato, /vV- ix. 12. 

Amos iii. 12. 


symptoms that grave sins are lightly thought of, are 
tolerated, are condoned ; and that which is abomination 
to the Lord, that which is the inward curse and devasta- 
tion of men's lives, that which crucified to the bitter 
cross the Son of God himself, is forsooth and, I fear, 
increasingly a subject for slighting allusions or idle 
jests. Unhallowed actions are the natural sequence of 
spurious notions ; and men shrink not from sin and 
worldliness, when its sinfulness is questioned, and its 
penalties are disallowed. 

Daily is this Gospel of Iniquity more insolently 
preached, and its proselytes are more shamelessly as- 
sured. Nay, if we do not take a firm stand, not only 
will this tide of corruption flood the back-streams of our 
meaner literature, but men will not be ashamed to 
advocate the cause of lawlessness, will not blush while 
they " foam out their own shame," and strive " to paint 
the gates of hell with Paradise ; " nay, even will have no 
sense of guilt or of degradation while they drag the sacred 
name and the laurel garland of the Poet into unutterable 
mire. But be sure that that nation is on the high road 
to ruin where men are what St. Paul calls aTrriXyrjKOTtr- 
I.e. where they have once felt but feel no longer ^ ; where 
the fumes of the poison which they have tasted fill them 
with headiness and pride, and before God, and men, 
and the glittering faces of the angel-witnesses, they are 
leprous, and seek no solitude, they are naked, and not 

' Epli. iv. 19. (aTnjXyijKtVas, dv-\ rot iravtroaiyovs aXy^iy. — Sc/wl. 
ad Thuc. 11. 42.) 



ashamed. Tell me not that to speak thus shows a want 
of savoir faire — tell me not that such a view of sin is 
unphilosophical, or that it is not in accordance with the 
view taken by sensible men of the world, or that men of 
genius have spoken otherwise. I speak not as a man of 
the world, — not as would-be philosophers have spoken, 
or as men of genius have sung ere the day came which 
made them repent in dust and ashes ; but I speak as 
that God hath spoken whose minister I am, I speak as 
His Prophets and Apostles and Mart}TS have spoken ; 
nay, I speak even as has been spoken by not a few of 
the best and wisest of the very heathen, whose words 
might well call up a blush, were blushes possible, upon 
many a professing Christian's cheek. And I say, Woe 
to the man, be he headstrong youth or would-be philo- 
sopher, be he an applauded genius or a successful man 
of the world — woe unto the man who dares to exalt his 
petty impotence against the divine majesty of the Moral 
Law. Be not deceived ; to violate it is a peril, to deny 
it is a blasphemy, which brings its own crushing Nemesis 
behind. The fires of Sinai still bum over the history of 
men and nations, and its dread thunders still roll across 
die centuries. " Opinions alter," it has been said, 
" manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral law 
is written upon the tablets of eternity. For every false 
word, or unrighteous deed, for cruelty and oppression, 
for lust and vanity, the price has to be paid at last.... 
Justice and Truth alone endure and live ; Injustice and 
Falsehood may be long-lived, but doomsday comes to 
them in the end." 


3. Then once more I would say to you, If you would 
learn righdy die history of the Fall, beware of the theory 
that sin indeed may be sinful, but that no strict notice 
will be taken, no stern account exacted for the sins of 
your youth; beware of the wicked and perilous theory 
that you can sow (as they call it) your " wild oats " now. 
What ! do you think \.\\at-inclination to break God's laws 
will be accepted as a valid excuse for doing so ? that 
there is no harm in bidding your Maker await your 
pleasure ; in refusing to God the present which you have, 
and offering to Him only the future which you have 
not? no harm in squandering as the portion of your 
youth those fine gifts and inestimable opportunities 
which were meant to furnish the capital of your man- 
hood ? What ! has God granted a plenary indulgence 
to the days of your youth ? has He told you that you 
may pour its brightest years as a libation to the powers 
of evil, and fling its brightest jewels to be trampled 
underfoot of swine ? Never surely did the world in its 
worst folly invent a theory so false, so dangerous, so 
utterly fatuous as this. Every fact of history, every 
lesson of experience, every law of nature, every doctrine 
of Scripture, brands it as a lie. It is to poison the 
fountain, and to hope that the river will be pure. It is 
to make the Holy of Holies a place of riot and infamy, 
and yet to assume that the desecrated chamber will 
breathe none less sweetly with hallowed incense, nor 
reflect less brightly the Shechinah of God. It is to 
break down the hedge of God's vineyard, and to suffer 
the wild boars to rend and trample it, yet to expect the 
F.s. 2 



purple clusters of the vintage unimpaired. It cannot 
be, my brethren ; he that sows the wild oats must reap 
them too. Yes, men have been delivered from the 
snare of Satan who have thus been led captive by him 
at his will. They have lived to know that " strong pas- 
sions mean weak reason," and that they have weakened 
still more their reason, and full-fed their passions into 
fiercer strength. They have been plucked as brands 
from the burning ; saved indeed, but saved out of agony, 
saved so as by fire, saved with the scathing, ineffaceable 
mark of many a wound upon their souls. Ask them, and 
they will tell you that they have " possessed the sins of 
their youth " — possessed them in weary lives, in wasted 
intellects, in weakened powers — possessed them in the 
sadness of remorseful memory, in the bluntness of moral 
sensibility, in the stings of physical decay. And they 
will tell you further, that to have stood thus on the very- 
threshold of manhood with the bitter consciousness of 
a blighted past, — to have, as it were, stumbled over that 
threshold under the burden of a debt which may be 
owing for a little while, while strength lasts, but which 
shall be paid hereafter to the uttermost farthing — to have 
felt that their only return to " the unific rectitude of a 
manly life" lay through erasing the names they had 
entered in such dark characters upon the roll of death, 
was about the saddest, about the bitterest thought that a 
man could face. They indeed have been saved ; but 
how many have not been saved ? " You see," said the 
old philosopher, " the votive garments of those who 
have been rescued from shipwreck; where are the 


memorials of those more countless ones who have 
perished under the stormy waves?" 

O then, in conclusion, my brethren, reverence your- 
selves in reverencing the high and merciful commands of 
God. Even if Christianity were not, if man had nothing 
to guide him but the dim gleam of tradition, or the 
smouldering torch of an unilluminated reason, — even 
then there should be in him " such an honest haughtiness 
of nature," so ingenuous and noble a sense of shame, as 
should make him scorn to sell his high birthright of 
honourable instincts for the mess of miserable pottage 
which sin alone can offer ; as should enable him, as in- 
deed has often been the case, to sit 

" Silf-govermd, in the fiery prime 
Of youth, obedient at the feet of law." 

But you, my brethren, are not heathen, but Christians. 
You are the brethren of Christ, the sons of God ; the 
dignity of His image and likeness is upon you ; the sign 
of His cross upon your brows. Your bodies are His 
holy temple, your hearts the altar on which He has 
kindled the fire of His love. You hear His word, you 
receive His sacraments. You are called by His high 
calling to be holy and pure. The glory of youradoption^ 
the inestimable price paid for your redemption, the en- 
nobling mystery of sanctification, have made you more 
sacred than a dedicated thing. There is nothing high, 
there is nothing noble, there is nothing godlike to which 
you are not clearly summoned, for which you are not 



naturally fit. And shall you descend voluntarily into the 
defilement and pollution of sin? Nay, reverence' your- 
selves, for you are greater than you know. Oh, surely 
when you think of the high and holy men, the household 
and city of God on earth ; or when, yet passing upwards, 
you mingle in thought with the spirits and souls of the 
righteous, in those 

" Solemn choirs and sweet societies 
That sing, and singing in their glory move ; — " 

or when, soaring yet higher on the wings of solemn and 
consecrated thought, you fix your contem-plations on the 
Father who created you, on the Spirit who sheds His 
I'ght abroad in your hearts, on the great High Priest 
who stands to intercede for you by the throne of the 
Majesty on high ; — surely in the light of such thoughts, 
the philosophy which jests at sin, and the worldly wisdom 
which bids you descend from the sunlight of holy com- 
munion to fill your belly with the husks that the swine 
do eat, — surely, I say, in the light of such contemplations, 
the rank theories of the worldling and the sensualist 
become hideous and revolting then. So may they ever 
seem, not for the condemnation of others, but for the en- 
noblement of ourselves. So may they ever seem to us, 
till our lives are worthy of the holy name whereby we are 
called. Wholly worthy in this life they cannot be ; but 

1 JIany readers will recognise in these words an echo of the noble 
language on this subject which is to be found in more than one 
mighty page of Milton's prose works. 



by God's grace they shall be hereafter, when in that city 
into which can enter no e\-il, no abominable thing. He 
who hath loved us, and purchased us to Himself with 
His own blood, clothe our sinful souls in the white robe 
of His own righteousness, and confess our names before 
His Father, and before the angels. 



(Preached before the University of Cambridge, March 8, 1868.) 

Genesis iL 17.— "In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt 

surely die." 

It was the first voice of warning uttered by God to man, 
the earliest prohibition rendered awful by the denun- 
ciation of the earliest and extremest penalty. Yet almost 
as soon as the voice which uttered it had died away into 
silence the command was broken and the penalty en- 
forced. It is the same solemn and humiliating lesson 
which reappears in the history of Moses. The tablets of 
stone, inscribed by God's own finger, were shattered 
even before their laws were promulgated; and while 
around the riven hills yet wreathed the enfolding fire, 
and thick darkness which hid the Presence, the people 
" sat down to eat and to drink, and rose up to play." It 
is ever so, alas ! in the history of man. All the imagin- 
ations of the thoughts of his heart are only evil con- 
tinually, and by the works of the law shall no flesh be 
justified in God's sight. 



And the one main cause of this fatal history is Dis- 
belief. God strives to sway our hearts by the two most 
powerful of motives — Love and Fear. But as sin and 
self-will allure us, we first doubt, then disbelieve, then 
deliberately and determinately forget, until that forget- 
fulness has become a penal blindness. If it be well to 
startle that forgetfulness— if the thoughts, once realized, 
of death, judgment, and eternity, be always potent to 
arrest the most headlong course, let us humbly pause to- 
day for a few moments on our path of life, and consider 
whether we are walking in wickedness, and, if so, to 
what goal that path is leading us. Last Sunday, in the 
record of Adam's fall, we strove to learn from the growth 
of sin some lessons for our instruction ! to-day with the 
same guidance let us strive to learn something from its 
consequences. Here too, if I mistake not, we shall find an 
infinite truthfulness in that simple story of the forbidden 
fruit ; a story the form of which the critic and the man 
of science may explain as they will, but which to our 
faith as Christians has a divine immutable lesson, of 
■which we can neither improve the significance nor ex- 
haust the depth. But to learn that lesson we must 
learn humility. It is a gloomy lesson, it is a monotonous 
lesson, it is a displeasing lesson, it is a lesson absolutely 
revolting to our intellectual and spiritual pride. My 
brethren, were I seeking to please, or to flatter, were I 
mindful of you or of man's judgment^ assuredly I should 

^ I Cor. iv. 3. 'E/toi Se eij e'Aax'fTrfv ianv "va dpaKpiB^ v<j>' v/jwy 



not choose it ; but I ask only is it needful, and is it 
true ? and I see, in answer, that it h needful, because 
the present disbelief of it is pregnant with disaster ; and 
it is true, for not only from the first page of the Bible 
to tlie last, but also from the highest realm of Nature to 
the lowest, in the necessities of physical life, in the 
developments of history, in the workings of the soul, 
we see that sin and punishment are rivetted together * by 
an indissoluble link. The fact that they are so is as 
much God's revelation as the record that they have been, 
and the prophecy that they shall be so ; and the fact is 
too often wilfully ignored, because the warning is con- 
ventionally avoided. But unless the voice of God be 
too plain for us, and the certainties of moral government 
too distasteful for our notice, it seems to me that the 
warning is as little superfluous as the fact. Both are 
needed : the rolling thunder often startles the careless 
wayfarer, over whose head the forked lightning has flasht 

Let us then with meek heart and due reverence on 
this 2nd Sunday of Lent take up the story from the point 
at which we left it. The forbidden fruit is eaten, the 
knowledge of evil is obtained. Flushed and vain- 
glorious as the imagination of the poet has pictured her 
(for, utterly wonderful as it may seem, an insolent self- 
complacence is often the first result of sin). Eve may 
have fancied for a moment that the tempter's lie was 

^ Plato, Phced. IX. "HtrTrep Ik yuas Kopv(pTjs crvyrj^^eyw Sv ovre. 
Isocr. Or. ad Demonic, p. 20. Eufius ai Autoi toi^ rfiovaii Trapoire- 


txue ; and feeling this intoxication of self-will, this blithe 
disobedience, this disordered fancy, this vehement revolt, 
and knowing not that ihey were Death, she did eat, 
and— passing with fatal celerity from the tempted into 
the tempter — " gave also unto her husband with her, and 
he did eat." And barely was that brief and feverish 
fruition past, when, lo, " the eyes of them both were 
opened, and they knew that they were naked." That 
verse is like the first stroke of the knell which tolls the 
message of a departed soul, and while it still shivers 
upon the starded air, chilling the hearts of all that hear 
it, it is followed, verse after verse, with ever-increasing 
intensity, like stroke on stroke, pealing ever with a dull 
and terrible monotony that the wages of sin is death. 
For next they hear " the voice of the Lord God walking' 
in the garden," and hide among the trees ; so came fear 
after shame, and then follow self-excuse and mean re- 
crimination, as their hearts are searched ; and then the 
curse falls, — for the man labour and sorrow and sweat of 
brow, and the thorns and thistles of the soil ; and for 
the woman, subjection and anguish in travail; and for 
both, the loss of their happy Eden, and of the fruit of 
fhe tree of life ; and for both, the sentence of physical 
decay. And this was death — the spiritual death, which, 
if unarrested, ends in eternal death — the glory of the 
soul quenched by the knowledge of evil, the light of it 
burning dimmer and yet more dim amid the vapours of 
the charnel-house, as it descends deeper and deeper into 

> i.e. " the sounding of God." Cf. i Kings xiv. 6. Kalisi;h, 
ad loc. 



the living tomb of years where there is neither God nor 

Now into their future history, Scripture, which was 
written, not for our idle curiosity but for our eternal 
profit, enters not^, and but twice again in all the Bible ^ 
does the name of Eve occur. Whether, as has happened 
to other sinners, they sank deeper and deeper into sin, 
or whether they embraced the hope of mercy which was 
ofiered to them in the earliest prophecy, and were 
healed by faith in that seed of the woman which should 
break the serpent's head, we cannot tell. But here it 
leaves them, Scripture adds one scene from their after 
life, as though expressly to clear up the poor hallucination 
that by " death " God had intended only, or even mainly, 
the death of the body. Yet as one single item in the 
sum-total of their loss, we are told under what circum- 
stances they first encountered in their own race that 
terrible phenomenon. Over them indeed 

" Triumphant Death his dart 
Shook, — but delayed to strike ; " 

yet they must have long conjectured something of what 
this phantom was. Ages before the first man, the 
primeval monsters had torn each other in their slime. 

^ It is instructive to compare Scripture in this respect with Rabbi- 
nical and Mohametan legends, which abound in strange details about 
Adam and Eve. Any one curious in such matters may find them 
to his heart's conteat in Hottinger, I/isi. Oheni., p. 187. D'Herbelot, 
Biil. Orient., s.w. Buddxus, /%;7. /Te^r., pp.383— 388. Heidegger, 
J/isi. Patr., p. 148, &c. &c. 

* Viz. 2 Cor. xi. 3 ; I Tim. ii. 13. 


For long aeons the world had been a theatre "of conflict 
and carnage, of wounds and mutilation ; " and naturalists 
tell us that "no armoury can compete for variety, for 
beauty, for polish, for sharpness, for strength, for barbed 
effectiveness with the lethal weapons of the fossil world^" 
Doubtless therefore they were familiar — familiar with an 
intensity of dread — with the phenomena of decay. They 
had seen it in plants and animals ; they had watched it 
in the fading beauty of the flower and the blasted foliage 
of the tree ; they had seen how loathly at the touch of 
dissolution became the dazzling hide of the wild beast, 
or the glowing plumage of the bird, but never yet had 
they seen that spectacle which some of us have seen, 
that spectacle which of all others can palsy the stoutest 
heart with the sense of unutterable helplessness — 
the spectacle of those whom we loved most dearly, 
who were most necessary to the peace and happiness 
of our mortal life, passing irrevocably from us into 
an unknown void — that awful spectacle of the fair human 
face growing white and cold in the deformities of death, 
and the soft and loving eye fading gradually in its sight- 
less stare. And how did they see it now? Like a 
mighty conflagration their sin had rolled on, and now the 
voice of a brother's blood was crying from the ground. 
Was that lifeless clay the son whom they had loved? 
Yes, and they were standing amazed, helpless, terror- 
stricken, beside the distenanted abode of a human soul. 
The wail of heart-rending anguish, the burst of a father's 
grief, the hot streaming of a mother's tears upon the 
^ Professor Owen. Lecture on "The Power of God." 



brow, were as little to it as to the cold sod on which it 
lay ; of its beauty and tenderness nothing left, save what 
must be buried out of sight in " the intolerable indignity" 
of dust to dust. Nor was this all. For this natural 
death — ghastly, terrifying, humiliating as it was — was but 
a fearful analogy of that other and worse death. For 
whither had the murderer fled ? A fugitive and a vaga- 
bond, with God's mark stamped in the shrinking linea- 
ments of guilt and fear upon his brow, Cain had 
departed from the presence of the Lord. Such then is 
the dread picture wherewith opens the revelation of God 
to man. The first pair driven from Eden, the first-born 
child an alienated outcast, the second a murdered victim, 
the gentle worshipper dead, the murderer dead with a 
death yet more awful — oh, terrible fruit, is this what 
comes of thee ? Yes ! in the day that thou eatest there- 
of, dying thou shalt die ^. 

It was fulfilled i/icn; it has been fulfilled ceaselessly 
thereafter. We live, my brethren, in a world, in a 
universe of death. Nature herself, as though stricken 
with a curse, seems to groan and travail with the anguish 
of her child. She too has her blight and desolation, her 
plague and famine, her phenomena of wTath and terror, 
her hues of earthquake and ecUpse ; she too has her 
terrified stillness before the hurricane, and lights up her 
volcanic hills with awful testimonies of her central 
flames^. And over her surface, thicker than the autumnal 
leaves, lie the mortal relics of our race. Where are the 
great nations who built the Pyramids of Egypt, and the 

» roori niD. » cf. 2 Pet iii. 7. 


temples of Babylon? "Where is the king of Hamath, 
and the king of Arpad, the kings of the cities of 
Sepharvaim, Hena, and Iva?" Their very memorial is 
perished with them. " The soil we tread on," it has 
been said, "is a great city of the dead, with ever-ex- 
tending pavements of gravestones, and ever-lengthening 
streets of tombs and sepulchres, the burial-place of all 
that ever lived in the past, dead individuals, dead species, 
dead genera, dead creations, a universe of death." And 
we, no less than they, are but grass for the mower's 
scythe. We too have advanced far on our way towards 
that great silence into which we have seen so many pass. 
The phenomenon is common to us, but no familiarity 
can rob it of its dreadfulness ; for the dead who are the 
more in number have kept their awful secret unre- 
vealed ; and the child who died yesterday knows more 
than can be guessed at by the looo miUions of living 
men. Yet this death is but the least, and the least 
dreaded part of that other, that second, that spiritual 
death which God meant in that earliest warning, 
" In the day that thou eatest thereof, dying thou 
shalt die." 

I. In considering the nature of this spiritual death, I 
would call your attention to three things. And first let 
us learn its certainty; let us learn to be early undeceived 
by the tempter's falsehood, 'Ye shall not surely die.' Oh 
how often has that first lie beguiled the sons of Adam ! 
how often to this day does the sinner whisper it to his 
own erring heart ! Yet never once — never once in any 
single human experience — has it proved true. If a man 



will serve his sin, let him at least reckon upon this, that 
in one way or other it will be ill with him ; his sin will 
find him out ; his path will be hard ; there will be to him 
no peace. It is marvellous in how many ways the retri- 
bution works, sometimes by divers diseases and sundry 
kinds of death ; sometimes by utter unspeakable weari- 
ness of life ; sometimes by a bitter series of unbroken 
disappointments ; sometimes by the interferences of 
human law and the humiliation of open shame ; some- 
times by terrible surprises of strong temptation which 
shock the soul into despair. And sometimes on the 
other hand by none of these things, so that on the 
contrary the sinners have been wealthy and prosperous 
and to all appearance pre-eminently blessed, and yet at 
the very summit of their hopes have been tortured by the 
sense of an aimless existence, and the thirst and hunger 
of an unsatisfied soul. And such a man is never safe ; 
his fate may come upon him very suddenly, ere the game 
of his guilt is well played out, as when the ashes of 
Achan mingled with those of the stolen garment which 
he had never worn, or as when on the morning after his 
crime Ahab was met by the prophet at the vineyard 
gate ; as when Uzzah fell dead beside the violated ark, 
or the brow of Gehazi burned with leprosy, or Judas 
flung down the unspent price of blood in horror upon 
the temple-floor : or again, it may not come upon him 
till after long, long years, as when Esau's sellmg of his 
birthright ended forty years after in that fruitless repent- 
ance, and that exceeding great and bitter cry. The 
night of concealment may be long, but Dawn comes like 


the Erinnys ^ to reveal and avenge its crimes. Even 
the ancients saw it ; in their proverbs, the Furies walk 
with leaden feet, but strike with iron hands ; the mills of 
the gods grind late, but they grind to powder.^ In the 
stories of Glaucus the son of Epicydes,* and of the cranes 
of Ibycus,* and the gold of Toulouse,^ and of him who 
trampled on the nest of young swallows because he 
heard them calling him "parricide,"' we have but illustra- 
tions of the same teaching as that which warned us that 
there is "nothing covered that shall not be revealed, 
neither hid that shall not be known." Such truths even 
the heathen teach us. Think not then, my brethren, 
think not that throughout a godless life you can eat and 
drink and sin, and yet escape. If our first parents did 
not, neither will you. God has no favourites. He is no 
respecter of persons ; the youngest, strongest, gladdest 
among you, the most promising and the most popular, if 
he have forgotten God, if he be giving himself up to the 
world the flesh or the devil, will find no exemption from 
the inexorable consequence. Oh the quiver of God is 
full of arrows, sharp and manifold ; and for you, if you 
be living in sin, no less certainly than if you saw it with 
your eyes, the arrow is drawn to the very head upon the 
bow of God, — nay, even now it may be singing through 

' Erinnys is Saranyfl tlie Dawn. Max Muller, Lectures, Second 
Series, p. 517. Comp. Mylholog. p. 40. 

^ *Oi^e Qiiav a.\iov(Ti fivXai d\(ovtTi 5e X^Trd. Cf. vffTepoTroifos 
'Epiviis. JEsch. Ag. 58. vaTepoirovs Nt'/xeiriy. Aiit/t. P. 12. 229. 

2 Herod, vi. 85. ■* Antip. Sidon. Epigr. Ixxviii. 

^ Cic. de N. D. III. 30. Just. 32. 3. 

« Plut. De Sera Num. Vind., 0pp. Vlll. 190. 



the parted air, — whose wound shall eat into your soul 
like fire. 

2. For, secondly, not only is this punishment inevitable, 
but it is natural ; not miraculous but ordinary, not 
sudden but gradual, not accidental but necessary, not 
exceptional but invariable. However striking may be 
those strange instances of sudden and unexpected retri- 
bution which men regard as due to immediate interven- 
tions, it is a yet more solemn warning to know that this 
retribution is the impersonal evolution of an established 
law. The criminal may escape external consequences ; 
he cannot escape natural results. You sin, and no 
miracle is WTought; the darkness is not peopled with 
avenging faces, nor do the walls around you begin to 
burn with messages of flame, yet then nevertheless, as an 
inevitable sequence, the law begins to work, and " God's 
light shines on patiently and impartially, justifying or 
condemning simply by shewing all things in the slow 
history of their ripening." " In the day that thou eatest 
thereof thou shalt surely die." Some of the ancients 
doubted, because the thunderbolts seemed to strike im- 
partially the innocent and the guilty ; ^ but God does 
not avenge Himself by thunderbolts, He but leaves the 
sinner to the necessary outcome of his sin ; aye, even 
the repentant sinner. For long after a man has done 
with his sin, his sin has by no means done with him ; 
his deeds live apart from him, and claim their fellowship 

= Ar. Nub. 399 : 

'AA\<i Tdy avrov ye veuy ^a\Ae<, k.t.A, 


with him long after he has grown ashamed of them ; and 
he inherits them, for they are his. Look at the harvest 
rippHng and bowing under the summer breeze with all its 
innumerable ears ; innumerable as they seem, yet there is 
not one of them that did not spring from some seed 
which the sower sowed. Even so it is with the harvest of 
shame, of loneliness, of ruin, of agony which springs up 
in the lives of many men. " Nature," says one, " acts 
with fearful uniformity, — stern as fate, absolute as tyrann y, 
merciless as death, — too vast to praise, too inexorable to 
propitiate, — she has no ear for prayer, no heart for 
sympathy, no arm to save." And he who thus wrote 
believed not in God ; but that which he called Nature is 

t but the sum-total of God's laws, — laws which will work 
ill the moral world as certainly as gravitation in the 

; physical — laws established in mercy for our warning; 

I and our deliverance, — laws which on every cloud of the 

■ stormy heavens, and every grave of the wrinkled earth, 
and on every gleam of that fiery Urim v.-hich is the 
awakened conscience of mankind, write with plainness 
unmistakable that the wages of sin is death. 

3. And thirdly, from these first chapters of the Bible 
.we see that retribution is not only certain — that it is not 
only due to the onward flowing of a great law " in the 
rhythmical succession of muses and effects," — but also 
that it takes the form which of all others the sinner would 
most passionately deprecate, — for it is Iio/miqciieot/s with 
the sins on whose practice it ensues. Eve had desired 
the knowledge of evil, and she had it to her own confu- 
sion. The pure sweet rose of innocence is changed into 

F.S. ■ 3 



the burning, confusing, branding blush of shame. Before, 
they were naked and were not ashamed; now their eyes 
were opened, and they knew that they were naked. They 
had doubted God's love, and now they dare not even 
gaze upon His face. His anger, as it always does, had 
" followed the method of their sins." It is ever thus that 
He " writes the cause of the judgment upon the forehead 
of the judgment itself," and makes the very sins which in- 
sult His majesty the instruments to avenge His will We 
often observe this frightful resemblance of sin and suffer- 
ing even in God's direct judgments ; as when the cruel 
king is mutilated under whose table mutilated kings had 
gathered crumbs,— as when they who professed them- 
selves wise became fools, — as when the haughtiest of 
conquerors is degraded into the most pitiable of delu- 
sions, — as when on the house of him who had become a 
murderer and adulterer descended the twin furies of 
adultery and blood. And it is so in physical and moral 
consequences ; — in " the troubles of the envious and the 
fears of the cowardly, the heaviness of the slothful and 
the shame of the unclean." And oh, when God thus 
punishes the sinner with his own sin, He is most angry 
then. When he is less angry He may smite with tribula- 
tion or disease, but when He is most angr)' He lets alone, 
He suffers the wicked to eat of his own way, and to be 
filled with the fruit of his own devices. The coward 
would flee upon horses, therefore shall he flee. The 
guilty cities shall burn in the madness of sinful flames. 
The unjust shall be unjust still, and the filthy filthy still. 
To the gluttonous Israelites when the heavy wrath of 


God came upon them it was said, " Therefore the Lord 
will give you flesh, and ye shall eat. Ye shall not eat 
one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, 
nor twenty days ; but even a whole month of days, until 
it come out at your nostrils and be loathsome unto you." 
A modern historian ^ has told us of a Queen who wrote a 
letter to her paramour about the murder of her own 
husband : and with these thoughts in her head, he adds, 
" she lay down upon her bed to sleep doubtless, sleep 
with the soft tranquillity of an innocent child. Remorse 
may disturb the slumber of a man who is dabbling with 
his first experiences of crime ; and when the pleasure has 
been tasted and is gone, and nothing is left of the crime 
but the ruin it has wrought, then too the furies take their 
seats upon the midnight pillow. But tlie meridian of evil 
is for the most part left unvext, and when a man has 
chosen his road he is let alone to follow it to the 

Such then are the workings of sin in our mortal 
members, and this is the condition which Scripture 
calmly and deliberately and with no sense of metaphor 
calls death. For indeed it is death. When the glory 
of an unsullied heart is gone, — when in lieu of it has come 
that sense of self-disgust which is the bitterest of woes, — 
when the fiery barrier of a corrupted will waves between 
us and the heaven of our lost innocence, — when like 
some " desolate wreck upon the lonely shore " we lie at 
the mercy of every storm of misfortune, and every surge 
of sin, — when to us, in our guilty fear, the heavens seem 
* Froude. 

3 — 2 



to be full of anger, and " earth to be made of glass," — 
when that which we do we loathe, and of all that we feel 
to be sweetest ai:d noblest our souls despair, — when we 
are suffering in every region of our being the ignoble 
martyrdom of sin, " the scathing of the flame without its 
purification," and the burden of the cross without its 
peace, — above all, when conscious of our vileness we 
hear as it were the sound of God's awful footsteps 
walking among the garden trees, and He, who is our 
Friend, our Father, the Author of our life, the Redeemer 
of our souls, has turned away His face from us, and has 
become to us a thick darkness or a consuming fire, — 
then we may call it a death-in life or a life-in-death, but 
the stern plain Scripture calls it death. For when good- 
ness is dead and hope is dead, and the fire of God s love 
is dead on the altar of his heart, a man may have a name 
to live, but he is dead. To be carnally minded is death ; 
to have lost sight of God in the world's wilderness is 
death. Nay, to show } ou this yet more plainly, yet more 
unmistakably, Solomon takes the young man by the 
hand as he sits at the lighted banquet amid the ghastly 
gaieties in the home of sin, and pointing to the faces 
around him, though they be in the flush of youth and 
strength, though the wine-cup be in their hands, and the 
garlands on their brows, and the hoarse laughter ringing 
on their lips, — he bids him see that the dead are there, 
and that those guests are in the depths of hell. 

And oh, if some of the dead be here — and if they be they 
will be the very proudest, the most contemptuous, the 
most self-satisfied — if they be seated among you with their 


dead and scornful and misbelieving hearts unstirred, to 
them I will say this only, that thus " to be least afraid when 
most in peril," to have strong delusion sent them so that 
they believe a he, to have grey hairs upon them yet to 
know it not, to have " so much of the heart eaten away 
that there is not enough heart left to know that the rest 
is gone" — oh, this is indeed to be beneath God's heaviest 
frown. Seasons like this, with their heart-searchings and 
spiritual admonitions, were appointed, my brethren, to 
save us from sinking into that deathful sleep. But if any 
one here be sunk so, he is past man's awakening ; God 
only, and only God by the sharpest, most burning, most 
intolerable pangs, can awake his soul. It is the only 
thing he can hope for, for all God's love has been in 
vain : and oh, what a state is this, when the only thing 
left a man to hope for is that God's mercy may come to 
him in the fell guise of earthly ruin. And will that con- 
vert him? will it save him, even in extremes, from the 
death that cannot die? Alas, does it not often harden 
men into impenitence and despair? "God hath pro- 
mised pardon," says St. Augustine, "to him that 
repenteth, but he hath nowhere promised repentance to 
him that sinneth." Oh, surely, we all need, and that 
from our inmost hearts, the cry of the psalmist, " Lighten 
Thou mine eyes, that I sleep not in death." 

Do yoii trust, my brethren, to time to save you ? 
" Time is no agent^," and cannot save. Do you trust to 
a deathbed repentance? Alas, my brethren, have you 
ever stood by deathbeds? For you too the end may be 
^ Bishop Coplestoiie. 


near which we have seen in others, when in pain and 
anguish, the mind dazzled and confused, the soul dark 
and troubled, the heart distracted with earthly cares, the 
tongue stammering and failing, the thoughts wandering 
aimlessly in the wilderness of a sinful past, our last hour 
is drawing nigh. Think you that penitence is common, 
think you that it is always valid, think you that it is even 
possible in such a state as this ? And if not, " then 
comes what comes hereafter." And I know not how or 
why, but respecting that hereafter men seem to make 
themselves strangely at their ease. Alas, my brethren, I 
know not whence comes this confidence. 

I should hold it indeed to be mere folly to dogmatise 
about a state between which and us is drawn the im- 
penetrable veil of death ; I should hold it wrong to 
assert as positive that which, it seems to me, Scripture 
does not assert as positive, that at death the fate of 
every man alike is decided finally, hopelessly, and for 
ever ; I should tremble to limit so far the merits of 
Christ's infinite sacrifice as to force on any conscience 
with bold anathemas the uncertain doctrine that its 
efficacy cannot by any possibility extend beyond the 
grave ; but while on the one hand Scripture may not 
have excluded the tenability of such a hope, mingled 
with fear and trembling, on the other hand it discounte- 
nances utterly the calm, presumptuous indiff'erence with 
whicli thousands of sinful men regard their end. In 
these days it is quietly assumed that sin can have no 
consequences in the world to come, and a man is coolly 
set down as deficient in intelligence if he believe that 


there is any danger in the death of even a sinfal, im- 
penitent, and hardened soul. And yet I see in life a 
certain stern law of continuity; I see that the God of 
the future is the God of the present too \ I see that it is 
from the soul that sins arise, and that sinfulness of the 
spirit cannot be destroyed by the dissolution of the dust 
which was but its instrument. And when I read in the 
Bible of the undying worm, and the outer darkness, and 
the quenchless flame, I ask who spoke those words ? 
Were they uttered on Sinai that their echoes might 
roll in thunder upon the desert winds ? Did Hebrew 
prophets threaten them in the torrent of their scathing 
denunciation and unutterable scorn ? Nay, it is a fact 
which I dare not ignore, that He spoke them who died 
for us ; He who told us of His Father's care for the 
falling sparrow and the raven's callow brood ; He who 
willeth not that any should perish, but that all should 
come to repentance. Oh voice of most just judgment, 
more terrible because it fell from the lips of eternal love. 
Where then is there room for confidence ? Do we 
believe Christ ? Are we more just than our Redeemer ? 
Do we love human souls more tenderly than He 
loved them ? It is indeed an agony to think that for 
some human souls, aye, for some who have rejoiced 
under the blue sky, and played in the green fields, — 
for some who were once children in the sanctity of 
their lovely innocence, and who once lifted their little 
white hands as they lisped to their heavenly Father an 
infant's prayer, — it should have been better that they 
had never been born. Yet Christ said it. And indeed 



why should the moral dispensation of the present be 
founded on the law of retribution, and yet the same law- 
be set down by modern theosophies as an absurd super- 
stition in the dispensation of the future? Is there then 
no hell here, that we can be so very certain that there 
will be none hereafter ? Nay, seeing here that indigna- 
tion and wrath, tribulation and anguish, fall upon every 
soul of man that doeth evil ; seeing that the Scriptures, 
from beginning to end, and whole books of them, blaze 
like the wall of BeLhazzar's palace with messages of 
doom j seeing that God hath declared His wrath against 
sin as clearly as though He had engraven it upon the 
sun, or written it in stars upon the midnight sky ; — this 
presumptuous ease about the after-life, this growng in- 
difference to the thought of future punishment, this 
philosophy which is so treacherous and so timid, seems 
to me, and I say it deliberately, at once an aberration of 
the intellect and an infatuation of the will. Oh, better 
surely that a sinner should tremble with agony, as the 
last leaves of the aspen shudder in the late autumnal 
wind, than that he should thus falsely presume that he 
knows more of God than God Himself hath taught him, 
and seeing, as has been said, " that wrath is written in 
Scripture against his way of life, should hope that it is 
not wrath but mercy, and so rush upon the bosses of the 
Almighty's buckler as tlie wild horse rusheth into the 

Awake then thou that sleepest, and arise from the 
dead, and Christ shall give thee light 1 Tell me not, my 
brethren, that all this is but an appeal to the lower 



motives of fear, and tliat you are too wise, too learned, 
too philosophical, too enli-htened, to be moved by fear. 
God has said, " Be ye not highminded, but fear." These 
warnings are God's warnings, and to despise them is to 
despise Him who gave them. But after all, my brethren, 
these stern voices of God are the daughters of His love; 
He has established throughout His universe this law of 
inevitable death because He loves us, because He is 
very good to us, because a human soul is an unspeakably 
awful thing, and He regards its loss with a pity too 
infinite for our stained and finite nature to understand. 
And therefore He would save it, if it 7inU be saved, aye 
even by fire. It is never He that condemns, or ruins, or 
curses it; it is self ruined and self condemned. It is not 
He who hardens Himself against us, but we who harden 
ourselves against Him; it is "not He who withdraweth 
His mercy, but we who lose our capacity for mercy." 
And therefore that we may not be cut oft' from Him who 
is our only life, in whom alone our souls find, or can 
find, their fruition and satisfaction. He teaches us that 
sin is death, as nature teaches us that fire burns or water 
drowns. The laws we have been considering are but 
meant to warn us that the lust of tlie flesh, and the lust 
of the eyes, and the pride of life, are cruel and pitiless 
taskmasters ; that in following them we are hurrying to 
our proper ruin ; that sin, of its very nature, is self- 
deception, a missing of the mark\ a selling of the soul 

1 'Afiaprla from anaprdva, " I miss the mark." The same notion 
of sin as essentially a failure may be traced in the words ^''1^ and 
See Miiller on The Christian Doctrine of Sin. (Engl. Tr. I. 
pp. 92, 172.) 


for nought, a bartering for our own destruction of all 
that can ennoble, and beautify, and bless. Such warnings 
are, the voice of the loving father telling his disobedient 
prodigal that the squandered portion and the riotous 
living end in a dark exile and a life' among the swine. 
And ever in lieu of this death He offers us His gift of 
eternal life. Every sin we willingly commit drags us 
further from it ; every year of life which ebbs away from 
us in unrepented wickedness makes it harder and harder 
to obtain. But while yet we live, while yet we hear the 
words of invitation, while yet we receive the ordinances 
of grace, the door is not yet shut, and we may pass to it 
by the narrow way. We have been dwelling upon death, 
— here is the method of deliverance; we have been 
gazing on the clouds, — here, far brighter than that of the 
early covenant, is the rainbow which encircles them. To 
Vj\e was given the dim promise that her seed should 
bruise the serpent's head ; for us Christ has trampled sin 
and Satan under His feet. The star of her distant hope 
has brightened for us into the Sun of Righteousness. 
But only by faith and prayer, only, if we have been 
rebels against God, by the old hard path of repentance, 
of confession, of self-abasement, only by that necessary 
mortification of all that is evil within us, of which Lent 
is the too neglected symbol, can we pass from our dark- 
ness into His light. And for all who have been sinners 
this repentance is the very work of life, a work to which 
all other work is insignificant indeed. But it is a work 
which never failed, and of which the end is eternal life. 
There is no life but that; it is to have found a physician 



for the soul's great sickness, a robe for its inward naked- 
ness; it is to be rescued by a perfect and permanent 
deliverance from the law of death ; it is to hunger no 
more, and thirst no more, drinking from the living 
fountains, feeding on the heavenly bread ; it is the light 
of God's countenance, the hallowing influence of His 
Spirit, the eternal blessing of His peace. It is the only 
happiness possible, and it is open to us all. Without it 
our lives on earth, nay, perhaps our very immortality, 
will be a melancholy failure, an unutterable curse. But 
that this might not be so, Christ died for us, and in dying 
bruised the serpent's head. Whatever we once were, 
whatever we now are, we may still be accepted in the 
Beloved ; we may seek even now in humble penitence 
the fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness ; we may 
arise and go unto our Father, against whom we sin so 
often and so grievously, in deep contrition, until to us, as 
to the happiest of His redeemed children. He have 
granted the sweet assurance that we are washed, that we 
are sanctified, that we are justified in the name of the 
Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 



(Preached oefore the University of Cambridge, March 15, 186S.) 

Watt. viii. 22. — " Follow me, and let the dead bury 
their dead." 

It was the answer of our Lord to one of His disciples, 
possibly, as an old tradition tells us,' to the Apostle 
Philip, who before following Him wished to go and bury 
his father. The extreme urgency of the command is 
plain, nor is its meaning mistakable. ' Thou art living 
in a world of natural and of spiritual death ; thou art 
called to a kingdom of life. Let the spiritually dead 
bury their physically dead. Follow thou me.' 

Who in our Lord's day were the spiritually dead ? In 
the lower strata of society were the dangerous classes, 
sinners and harlots, dishonest servants and discontented 
labourers, soldiers violent and brutal, publicans degraded 
and extortionate. And among these Christ laboured, 
and was received with passionate love, with awe-struck 
gratitude, with penitence and tears ; but more indifferent, 

^ Ka;' (Tu'yxp'lVwi/Tai rrj tou Kvpiov (pajVTj x4yovT0S rw ^iKiTrwto 
t<f>es ToxK veKpovs dd^ai to'us kauTuv v^koovs. Clem. Ale.K. Stiom. 
111. c. 4. § 25. 



and more blind, and naked, and dead were those upper 
classes of society, who fancied themselves so increased 
with goods, so needful of nothing, and over the stagnancy 
of whose surface-respectabilities was stretched the glit- 
tering film of hypocrisy and pride. There were easy 
full-fed Sadducees, who believed in neither angel nor 
spirit ; temporising Herodians, careful only for quiet 
and success ; orthodox scribes, indignantly eager about 
the letter of the law, profoundly ignorant of its spirit ; 
Priests and Levites, self-complacent and dignified, who 
with supercilious indifference could leave the wounded 
in their lonely agony ; treacherous and selfish Pharisees, 
arraying all their splendid authority on the side of a 
corrupt tradition, and ready to put in force every engine 
of popular ignorance and established power to crush the 
truth and those who loved it. From forth this congre- 
gation of the dead our Lord summoned His disciple, 
and the voice of His summ^s is sounding still. Our 
age, like that of our Saviour, is formally and professedly 
religious, yet no less now than then he who would follow 
Christ must come forth, and leave the dead to bury their 
dead. Christianity was a religion eminently heroical 
and high ; yet how little of high or heroical do we see 
in surrounding society ; how little, alas, in our own 
hearts. " Come from the four winds, oh breath, and 
breathe upon these slain that they may live." For the 
high moral grace we see the cautious and calculating 
worldliness ; for the manly Christian poverty an emulous 
madness of desire for wealth ; for the strong Christian 
self-denial a spreading cancer of effeminate luxury; for 



the sweet Christian nobleness, and the life hid with 
Christ in God, a meanness and feebleness of purpose 
which recall the very letter of the serpent-sentence, 
" Upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat 
all the days of thy life." Alas, we see around us a 
hollow Christianity, more of the lips than of the life ; a 
Christianity whose intense inspiring power over the 
hearts of society has well-nigh dwindled into a con- 
vention and a name. And unless a revival of true 
faith call forth a nobler energy, a more transforming 
purpose, and intenser work among the multitudes of 
believers, a voice must sound forth once more which 
shall shake the nations, a voice of summons to the 
gathering battle, a voice which shall cry, not in gentle 
whispers, but like the trump of the archangel and the 
voice of God, " Let the dead bury their dead, follow 
thou me." 

I. And whither then must we follow Christ? In 
spirit, if not in letter, we must follow Him along the road 
He trod on earth, and that was a road of self-abnegation, 
of poverty, of homelessness, of the base man's hatred 
and the proud man's scorn. Let us not disguise it ; it is 
no primrose path of dalliance, but a hard road, hard and 
yet happy, and all the highest and the noblest of earth 
have trodden it ; all who have regarded the things 
eternal not as things future, but merely as the unseen 
realities about them now. Yet oh how busy, how wide- 
spread, how multitudinous are the claims, the interests, 
the arguments of this world of death ; how feverish the 
eagerness with which they are pursued ; how intense and 



incessant the cares with which they are accompanied. 
Now the command is clear and plain. We cannot serve 
God and mammon ; if we follow Christ in anything but 
in name, we must sit loose to the world and the world's 
interests; we must be content, if need be, with the 
beatitudes of poverty and persecution. For easy wealtli 
and epicurean self-indulgence, though we see in them but 
little to reprobate, Christ had nothing but that thunder- 
clap of judgment, and the silence which followed it, 
" Thou fool, this night ; " nothing but the lurid picture of 
one carried from purple and fine linen lo burning thirst 
and tormenting flame. And why is this ? Is it because 
the infinite King of heaven grudges one poor enjoyment 
to atoms such as we ? No, but because the prosperity 
of fools destroys them ; because these coarse luxuries of 
the body, these evil joys of the mind', have no happi- 
ness in them, and yet, such as they are, make the heart 
soft and surfeited and vulnerable, unworthy to enjoy His 
holiness, unfit to do His work. If Christ's warnings 
needed confirmation, the experience of myriads has 
confirmed them ; every page of history and experience 
is full of the wail of sickened worldlings and disappointed 
kings. " All is vanity and vexation of spirit," said the 
wearied Solomon. " Out of fifty years of a reign, 
peaceful, victorious, and pre-eminently splendid, I can 
count but fourteen days of pure and genuine happiness," 
wrote Abderrahman the Magnificent. " I have seen the 
silly round of business and of pleasure, and have done 

^ Virgil places the "mala mentis gaudia," with Fear, and 
Disease, and Hunger, at tho entrance of l.iilarus. ylLn. vi. 27S. 



with it all," said the eloquent and stately Bolingbroke ; 
"I have enjoyed all the pleasures of the world, and 
know their futility, and do not regret their loss." 
" There is nothing in the world worth living for," sighed 
the greatest man of modern days, as he rode through 
London streets. And of all earthly gauds it is pre- 
eminently true ; God never constituted the lowest 
human soul so low as chat it should find sufficiency 
in them. But of the Christian life it is not true. 
There are things infinitely worth living for. Integritj', 
and truth, and high aims, and largeness of heart, and 
love to our fellow-men, and a sense that God is with 
us — these things do sweeten even the bitter cup of 
life. " Happiness," it has been said, ' may fly away, 
pleasure pall or cease to be obtainable, friends prove 
treacherous, and fame turn to infamy, but the power 
to serve God never fails, and the love to Him is never 

If then we would follow Christ, we must shake off the 
baser objects of earthly desire as nothing better than the 
dust which gathers upon the cere-clothes of mortality. 
So Christ taught us, and so He lived. Has it ever 
occurred to you, my bretlireri, that all which we know 
of nearly all except three years of His mortal life, from 
earliest bo)'hood to full manhood, from the glimpse 
which we catch of the child in the temple to Him 
who was baptized of John in Jordan, is contained in 
one single word, a word which no pious fraud has 
excluded from the Gospel of St. Mark, though it ha> 
attempted to do so, a word which lights up, as with or e 



broad flash, the unrecorded obscurity, — o tiktuv i, " the 
carpenter." "Is not this the carpenter?" Yes, the 
home of a Gahlean peasant, mean and poor, containing 
probably but a single room, and no furniture except a 
mat, and some clay vessels, and a painted wooden chest ; 
— yes, the shop and the employ of a carpenter in the 
most despised village, of the despised province of a 
despised and conquered land, this was the trade, this the 
home, while He had a home, of our Lord and Master, 
the Son of Man, and for thirty long years of obscure toil 
it sufficed Him. What a lesson of divine humility ! We 
are heady, high-minded, anxious ; we lade ourselves v ith 
gilded dross ; we daub ourselves with thick clay ; we live 
and move and have our being in the very atmosphere of 
the infinitely little. Not so He whom we are bidden 
to follow ; for Him the shop of the carpenter sufficed. 
No fierce ambition agitated His calm soul ; no savage 
indignation lacerated His trustful heart ; as now in His 
glory, so then in His humiliation. His soul was where 
He has bidden us ascend with Him ir heavenly places. 
And when in the hungry wilderness the kingdoms of 
the world and the glory of them were lying at His feet, 
poor though He was and homeless. He spurned them 
from Him without a thought, as wholly beneath Him 
and unworthy of His regard. Well might He do so : for 

' Mark vi. 3, Ovx ovtos cVtic o Tfuray ; Tlie attempts both 
textual and exegetical to get rid of this memorable testimony, show- 
how deeply it is required. " Wor/cing in a humbh trade, to seme 
his <nun and his mother's needs. He grew to the state of a man." 
Bp. Jer. Taylor, Credeiida. (,0pp. vil. 162, ed. Eden.) 

F.S. 4 



in truth at that moment there was living one to whom 
Satan had given them, an undisputed despot, an em- 
peror deified and unapproachable, " at once a priest, an 
atheist, and a god\" And at that very moment, wearied 
and disgusted with the cares of government, he had 
flung them off to make his secure retirement in a de- 
licious islet in the loveliest spot of earth ; and there in 
its purple grottoes, surrounded by a crystal sea, he had 
wooed every luxur)-, and exhausted every Circean cup 
that could be conceived by the fertile inventors of evil 
things. And what came of it all? Let the historian 
answer that he was " tristissimus, ut constat. homLnum^" 
confessedly the most gloomy-hearted of mankind; let 
himself answer who wrote to his fawning senate from his 
corrupted home : " May all the gods and goddesses, 
Conscript Fathers, destroy me worse than by that death 
I daily feel, if I know what, or how to WTite to you." 
" Thus," says Tacitus " neither his fortune nor his 
solitude protected him from the acknowledged anguish 
of a sin-tormented soul." Yet who that looks at the 
pride, and the pleasure-seeking, and the mammon- 
worship of not a few in our great guilty cities, in the 
things they hunt after, and the things they love, would 

^ The expression occurs in an early French work of Gibbon. 
Plin. Hist. Nat. xxviil. 5. 

3 Tac. Ann. vi. 6. " ' Quid scribam vobis, Patres Conscripti, aut 
quomodo scribam, aut quid omnino non scribam hoc tempore, di me 
deajque pejus perdant quam perire me cotidie sentio, si scio.' Adec 
facinora et flagitia sua ipsi quoque in supplicium verterant...Quippe 
Tiberium non fortuna, non solitudines protegebant, quin tonnenta 
pectoris suasque ipse posnas fateretur." 



not suppose that their ideal was the Roman emperor 
rather than the Crucified ; that they were followers 
rather of Tiberius than of Christ ? Oh that there were 
more to set the open example of ruining, if need be, over 
and again, in any righteous cause, what their friends 
are pleased to call their interests; of openly repudiating, 
for the sake of truth, or of freedom, or of conscience, 
both wealth and all that leads to it; more who would 
adopt the prayer of St. Thomas of Aquinas, " Give me, 
O Lord, a noble heart which no earthly affection can 
draw down ^ ; " more who were ready to treat their 
money as contemptuously as St. Edmund treated it, who 
leaving it always loose upon his window-sill would often 
smear it over with earth, saying " Ashes to ashes, dust lo 
dust." Former ages were more fruitful in such examples 
than our own ; and if they be not higher, better, nobler, 
wiser examples than the mammon-worship of our own, 
then not only is all Scripture false, but 

"The pillared firmament is rottenness. 
And earth's base built on stubble." 

2. First then in self-denial ; and secondly, you must 
follow Christ on the road of toil. Here too the manual 
labour and the mission labour of His own life are our 
example ; and were it possible to overlook its meaning. 
His own words would emphatically supply it. But it is 
not possible to misread lessons so clear and so heart- 
searching as those of the two sons and the labourers in 
the vineyard, and the unprofitable servant, and the stern 

1 " Da mihi Domine cor nobile, quod nulla deorsum trahat 
terreua affectio." See Ckrislian Schools and Scholars, ll. 8o. 




apologue of the barren trees. It was the first law of 
Eden, ' work; ' and thougn the work was changed to toil 
by a penal decree, even that toil by faithful obedience 
has been transformed into an honour and a blessing. 
" It is," as St. Chrysostom calls it, " a bitter arrow from 
the gentle hand of God." But then the work must be 
approached in a right spirit, must be work in God's 
vineyard, and work for God. Thousands of men work, 
nay, toil, nay, grind and slave with a blind groping 
illiberal absorption at their often vulgar and mechanical 
routine ; not for duty, or for the glory of God, or for the 
lilessing of man, but simply to further their own emmet 
interests. Such work followed in such a spirit is but a 
little less baneful than idleness ; if it does not corrupt 
the habits, it ossifies the heart. Unblessed of God, it is 
often burned up in a moment, after it has been followed 
for a life, and even when most successful it can bring 
neither happiness here nor hope hereafter. But, on the 
other hand, few earthly paths are more rich in intrinsic 
and immediate blessing than when, with earnest un- 
divided hearts, with lofty unselfish purpose, we devote 
our lives to God's service. The man who does it may 
know well, and know long beforehand, that he shall never 
live to see the fruit of his labours ; he may know that 
they will cost him strong contempt, and secret dislike, 
and incessant opposition; he may know that they will 
ruin his earthly prospects, and leave him with ample 
cause for anxiety and care ; but yet such a man, if he 
trust in God, if he be trying, however poorly, to follow 
Christ, will not lack of inward consolation, which is 



loftier and sweeter than happiness itself. He will have 
no time for evil thoughts ; every day he will work as if 
he had to live for ever ; he will live as if he had to die 
at once^; and when he lies down at night in happy and 
trustful weariness, the angels of God will breathe over 
him an evening blessing, and shut to the doors of his 
heart. Till at last the weary day is over, and it ringeth 
to evensong : the work is done, the rest is prepared for 
him in heavenly mansions, and God giveth His beloved 

To such a life you are called, and happy will it be for 
you if you obey the calling now. These bright years of 
college life may be to you inestimably precious ; years of 
large growth in knowledge, and nobility, and self-control ; 
years above all of growth in grace, and the knowledge of 
our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which, though they 
will speed away like a dream when one awaketh, may 
supply you with inexhaustible sources of inward serenity 
for the years of heavier responsibility and sterner care. 
But, on the other hand, they may be emphatically 'years 
which the locust hath eaten ' ; years of debt, and dis- 
sipation, and extravagance, and frivolity, in which the 
youth uses his earliest liberty to offer to Satan the very 
firstfruits of his life ; years such as one of our own poets 
has described of 

Idleness, halting with his weary clog, 

And poor misguided Shame and witless Fear, 

And simple Pleasure foraging for death'. 

^ The favourite motto of St Edmund of Canterbury 
2 Wordsworth, The Prelude ; Cowper gives a very similar picture 
iu The Task, Bk. ii. 



And since the yesterdays of life are ever the parents of 
its to-morrows, there will always be too much reason to 
dread that these years, if thus changed from a blessing 
to a curse, will be the neglected avenue to an unprofitable 
life. A University, in its very conception, is a place for 
intellectual energy, directed to the glory of God, and the 
service of mankind ; and if any man who neglects to 
train and cultivate his reason to the utmost is neglecting 
a simple and elementary duty which devolves on him in 
virtue of his mental and moral constitution, he is doubly 
guilty who neglects it here. Life is no more game, and 
there are such entities as the mtellect and the soul. If 
any one among you be degrading a great University into 
a scene of amusement, and nothing more; if he be 
wholly and openly sacrificing its high aims to the poor 
ambitions of a bodily exercise, in which after all man 
can never attain the powers of some of his meanest 
congeners, he is living unworthily of himself, unworthily 
of the great society to which he belongs, unworthily of 
the high demands of the Christian calling. The days 
are long past for geiitlemaily ignorance ; and he who 
has no ambition beyond the strenuous idleness of sport, 
is living for an excellence which is neither noble nor 
eternal,-— for that which a few passing years shall unstring 
to feebleness, and a few years more dissolve to dust 
Let him consider carefully whether he be following 
Christ's command, or whether to him belongs the solemn 
warning that "He who wandereth from the way of 
understanding, shall abide in the congregation of the 



3. Whether such a warning be necessary or needless, 
you know, my brethren, better than I \ but let me hasten 
to say, thirdly, that he who would follow Christ must not 
only follow Him on the path of self-denial and of labour, 
but must follow Him also in the strength of Enthusiasm, 
must be baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire. 
And herein too he must let the dead bury their dead. 
For the dead of this world hate this fiery spirit. " Above 
all no zeal," said the witty, crafty, successful statesman ^ ; 
"fervent in spirit," said St. Paul, or, as it should be 
rather rendered, "boiling in spirit^" It was not the 
word of a fastidious Atticist, or long-robed Pharisee, but 
rather one of those words that were thunders, one of the 
words that have hands and feet. And never was it more 
needed than now; for never more than now did the 
world hate enthusiasm, and never was it more certain 
that by a noble enthusiasm it can alone be saved. For 
it is an age of unbelief, of hollowness, of cynicism : and 
these are the inevitable symptoms of decay. And de- 
caying times need no smooth and drowsy voices, no 
conventional remedies, no flattering words. They need 
the living zeal that cannot sleep and settle on its lees, 
but which reels and staggers as with an invincible 
exaltation. The Hebrew word for prophet comes from a 
root that means to bubble like water on the flame ^ ; and 
even the heathen imagined their seers as convulsed with 

^ Prince Talleyrand. 

' (toi/T(s vffv,uari, Rom. xii. II. Cf. Acts xviii. 25. (^sch. 
TM. 708.) 

' N^33 from z.f. ebullrjit. i Sam. xviii. 16. 



the descending deity and speaking only with frenzied 
lips the utterances that reached through innumerable 
years 2. All this is strange to us; but it was not strange 
to St. Paul, who was caught up to the third heaven 
whether in the body or out of the body he could not 
tell; nor have these records of overpowering religious 
emotion been strange to many of those who, as though 
heaven's own lightning had flashed upon their faces, have 
become fusile throughout their whole being with the 
spirit of their Lord. Upon these souls, so wild, dis- 
ordered, and yet so full of heaven, these souls that yield 
themselves like the strings of a harp to unseen players, 
we look down with a superior pity. Let us spare our 
contemptuous pity : the icy, glassy surface of our religious 
life is in no sort of danger of being swept by such 
tornadoes of spiritual emotion; but, oh, better is the 
clearing hurricane than the brooding pestilence ; better 
the rush of the resistless torrent than the stagnancy of 
the putrid marsh. And though " enthusiast " be now a 
term of ridicule, though men in general seem to have 
adopted the inscription which may be seen in one of our 
southern abbeys, " Any one who leaves the trodden path 
will be prosecuted^ though it has been weU described 
as the tendency of the day "to tame goodness and 
greatness out of their splendid passion, and stamp virtue 

* Virg. y£n. VI. 44, 77. Lucan, Phars. v. 161. Plato, Pkadr. 
p. 244. 

2 Heraclitus, ap. Plut. 2, 397 A. 

^ The Cistercian Abbey at Netley near Southampton. The 
inscription is alluded to by Montalembert in his Monks of the Wat. 



itself into coinage of convenience;" yet witliout en- 
thusiasm the world would long ago have been that 
barren plain in which, if I may borrow the eloquent 
image of a modern statesman, " every mole-hill is a 
mountain, and every thisde a forest-tree." No deed of 
permanent greatness, no deed of regenerating force, can 
be achieved without it. By it the great forerunner stood 
up undaunted before the murderous tyrant and the 
adulterous queen ; by it the Prophets and Apostles 
poured forth the messages which are still so pregnant 
with ethereal fire ; by it the martyrs and confessors made 
the emblem of a slave's death triumph over brutal armies 
and pagan emperors, and with " the irresistible might of 
weakness " shook the world. What was it but enthusiasm 
which inspired Origen the Adamantine, when, at the age 
of fourteen, he stretched forth a hand that longed for the 
crown of martyrdom? or Athanasius, when, at the 
Council of Nice, he rose up in a flame of zeal to 
denounce the giant heretic? or Luther, when going to 
face angry priests and threatening princes, he said that, 
if there were devils on every tile of the roofs of Worms, 
he would go there still? or Milton when in his great 
pure youth he looked at abuses "with such an eye as 
struck Gehazi with leprosy, and Simon Magus with a 
curse"? or Whitfield, when, 'amid the pelting scorn of 
half an age,' he stood up at taverns and drunken fairs to 
preach the love of God to low women and degraded 
men ? or Henry Martyn, when, with strange folly as men 
thought, he left the brilliant prospects of a Cambridge 
senior wranglership, to preach and fail among the hea- 



then, and to die a few years afterwards in lonely anguish, 
vainly trying to cool his fevered head by thrusting it 
among the damp boxes of his luggage ? Why, these are 
the men who in their eccentricity of goodness, their 
fanaticism of faith, tower above the dead and sluggish 
level of ordinary Christianity, as some volcano of the 
^Vest — an Orizaba or a Chimborazo — which rears its 
majestic summit into the still depths of the aerial ocean, 
whose sides are clothed with every season and every 
clime, and whose burning crown shines forth like a 
beacon to the mariner over leagues of the rolling and 
barren sea. And when our grovelling comforts are 
ended, when our poor accumulations are scattered, when 
our petty self-importances are forgotten or remembered 
only with a smile, and when we stand afar off among the 
dense common universal herd of those who may have 
loved God a httle, but who loved mammon much, — 
these men, and such as these, aye some of those who 
have been scorned as. the very dregs and outcasts of the 
earth, " the faithful who were not famous," common, 
vulgar, unknown people, of whom bishops might very 
humbly have asked a blessing, — before kings, and con- 
querors, and priests, and learned men, shall be beckoned 
into the nearer presence, into the more glorious felicity 
of that Saviour who chose not His companions among 
Pharisees and formalists, but honoured with the harvest 
of regenerated nations the passionate zeal of Peter the 
fisherman, and the burning love of Paul and John. 

If you would obey your Saviour's summons, you too 
must catch the same kindling love. But if not, if you 



want to eat and drink and make money and be successful, 
if \ ou want to walk in tame smooth avenues, answering 
tlie world according to its idols, and never letting the 
stroke of your challenge ring on the broad shield of its 
hypocrisies, if, in short, you would live as though you 
were your own, and Christ had not bought you with His 
blood, — why then you must remain in the congregation 
of the dead. You may live a decent life, but it will not 
be a noble one. You will in heart prefer Mammon to 
Christ; you will deliberately prefer mean successes to 
splendid failures. Not for you will be the glory of con- 
secrated knowledge, or the rich blessings of him who 
turns a soul from the error of his ways ; not for you the 
steady love of good even if it be persecuted, or the 
steady scorn of evil even if it be enthroned, — but for 
you the frivolous insipidity of unreverend amusements, — 
the dull and discontented mind ignoble when with others, 
wretched when alone. Great deeds will be done, but 
you will not be at the doing of them ; high thoughts 
uttered, but they shall wake no echo in the seared con- 
science and the sodden heart. Beyond you shall sweep 
the godhke procession of the nobly virtuous and the 
greatly wise, but you shall not be of them. And so 
flake after flake, and fold on fold, the chilling cares of 
an unprofitable and unpitied life will fall upon you, and 
your souls will be grey with age and satiety and weariness, 
long years before the grey hairs crown your heads. 
Successful you may be, honoured you may be, rich you 
may be, hut you will he dead. Your course will be strewn 
even from youth with the white ashes of burnt-out 



passions, or, if you escape this swifter destiny, you will 
still be heavy, and clogged, and surfeited, and, in the 
scornful intensity of the Psalmist's image, " Your hearts 
will be fat as brawn." 

But, in conclusion, if you follow Christ, what shall be 
your reward? And here let us not be mistaken; 
Christianity is no far-sighted prudence', no vulgar aiming 
at a mere absence of disappointment and of pain ; if 
you serve with a selfish eye to the reward your service 
will not be accepted ; you must love the battle not the 
victory, the work not the success ; you must be prepared 
to perish, the forlorn hope of humanity, in the yet un- 
conquered breach; you must be prepared, again and 
again, " to give up your broken sword to Fate the con- 
queror with a humble and a manly heart" As the world 
goes, your reward shall be nothing — not the palace or 
the equipage, not the marble monument or the wTeath of 
fame ; — these may be won by " intense selfishness, intense 
worldliness, intense hardness of heart," but your nobler 
reward shall be the bleeding feet which yet are beautiful 
upon the mountains, and the aching brow which shall 
have an aureole for crown. Successful ? nay, such a man 
may be miserable, — miserable as many a Prophet has 
been before him, amid the shout of the world's hatred 
and the sneers of its merciless contempt — and yet " In 
the willing agony he plunges and is blest 2." He will 
thank God daily, from his inmost heart, that he is thought 
worthy of that high suffering ; nor would he change it 
for anything the world could give, or anything which it 

* Froude. ^ Newman's Poems. 



can take away. " Felix est qui sic miser est ; " — the 
breath of God shall be to him as "a moist whistling 
wind " amid the glare of the streaming flame^, and in the 
world's burnt wilderness his food shall be manna from 
the Paradise of God. 

And surely, brethren, such lessons should be easier in 
a place like this, where not only is Christ's example daily 
set before you, but where His steps have been followed 
so often in Christ-like lives. This is no vulgar home in 
which it is your high privilege to dwell, but a home 
haunted by the spirits of the immortal and the wise. In 
our chapels the martyrs have worshipped, in our cloisters 
the saints have trod. From our halls their honoured and 
familiar faces look down upon us with a grace of more 
distinct humanity. It was here, in the quiet court of 
Pembroke, that Ridley paced up and down, Greek 
Testament in hand^ learning by heart the Epistles of 
St. Paul ; it was here, in Caius College, that Bp. Jeremy 
Taylor learnt, in the sweetness of humility, that fervent 
yet tender eloquence which has all the melody of a lyric 
song ; it was here, in Christ's College, that Milton fed his 
young and fiery heart with the passionate scorn of all 
things base ; it was here, in the noble courts of Trinity 
College, that Bacon and Newton and Ray learnt that if 
we " toil in God's works with the sweat of our brow. He 

1 "So that the flame streamed forth from the furnace forty and 
nine cubits.. .But the angel of the Lord came down into the oven... 
and made the midst of the -furnace as it had been a moist whistling 
wind, so that the fire touched them not at all, neither hurt, nor 
troubled them." Sung of Ihe Three ChiUr,:;t, li,— 2.1. 



will make us partakers of His vision and His Sabbath\" 
Let us live worthy of these famous men, and the fathers 
who begat us ; let us too strive to be of those, into whom 
the Spirit of God entering in all ages, has made them 
Sons of God and Prophets. These are as the beacon- 
heights, which, from generation to generation, have 
caught and reflected back the risen light of the Sun of 
Righteousness ; it is good to gaze upon their brightness ; 
but it is better far to fix our eyes upon the source from 
which it sprang, and, " with open face, reflecting as in a 
glass the glory of the Lord, to be changed into the same 
image from glory to glory." So may we all — with willing 
jelf-abandonment, with long toil, with burning zeal, — 
through praise or blame, through success or failure, in 
peace or in agony of heart, — follow Christ now, that we 
may see His face hereafter, and, whithersoever He goeth, 
be not found absent from His side. 

Lortl Bacon's Piayer, 



(Preached before Harrow School, June 28, 1863.) 

Rom. viii. 21. — " The creature itself also shall be delivered from the 
bondage of corruption." 

" I KNOW that ye seek Jesus who was crucified. He is 
not here ; He is risen, as He said." So spake the sweet 
angel voices to those devoted women whose love made 
them the last beside the cross of Jesus, and the earliest 
at His tomb. So spake the sweet angel voices, and their 
words roll to us with the divine echoes of joy and hope 
over the long interspace of 1800 years. Hardly less 
sweet are these memories of Christ's Resurrection to us 
who have reached the age of manhood or declining years, 
than are the merry bells and blithe carols that tell of the 
Nativity to the mirthful and the young. To them in the 
bright morning of life belong especially the rejoicings 
which fitly commemorate that holy infancy of Jesus, so 
full of favour with God and man ; to us, who have all 
drunk some drops of His bitter cup, and felt some sparks 
of His fiery baptism, belong rather the triumphs and the 
hopes which, as our years draw onward and pass into 



the ever-deepening shade, remind us, with stronger 
significance, that our Lord and Master died as we must 
soon die, and that He put His foot upon the skull of 
death, that He might still the groan of a travailing 
creation, and take from us all dread of the conquered 

AVe are told that most savage nations live in a constant 
horror of death ; their life is one long flight from it ; it 
poisons their happiness ; it bursts like a ghastly phantom 
upon their moments of peace. It is not death the agony 
that they shudder at, though there may be something 
terrible in that, but death the mystery, and "next to God 
the most infinite of mysteries ; " death that slips the last 
cable of the soul, and sets it afloat on the shoreless sea 
of an eternal world ; there it is that lies for them " the 
mute, ineffable, voiceless horror before which all human 
courage is abashed." Can you wonder at this continuous 
dread ? They know of no world beyond the grave, and 
what would life be without the trust in that? How 
purposeless and mean, how weary and hopeless; a 
journey leading nowhither ; a gate opening upon no- 
thing ; a ship sent forth only that she may founder in 
the bare unknown deeps. Look steadily at life, and con- 
sider what it is : how changeful, how short, how sorrowful. 
A light and thoughtless youth, of which the beauty and 
brightness pass rapidly away ; and after that, chance and 
change, and bereavement ; cravings that meet with no 
fulfilment ; the dying away of hopes, the disappointment 
of ambition, — a disappointment, perhaps, more bitter 
when it is gratified than when it fails ; the struggle for a 



livelihood, the cares of a family, the deceitfulness of 
friendship, the decay and weakness of health and the 
faculties, as inevitable old age comes on ; and all the 
while heard at every silent interval with a plainness 
that creeps along the nerves, as though our ears caught 
the pacing of some ghostly tread in the far-off corridors 
of some lonely haunted house — all the while the monoto- 
nous echoing of death's mysterious footfall, heard louder 
and louder, as day by day he approaches nearer and yet 
more near. And all this for so short a time that our 
petty schemes are broken off perpetually like a weaver's 
thread, and the meanest works of our hand survive us, 
and last on for other generations to which our very names 
shall be covered with darkness. "And is this all? Is 
this then the period of our being? Must we end here ? 
Did we come into the world only to make our way 
through the press, amid many jostlings and hard struggles, 
with at best only a few brief deceitful pleasures inter- 
^spersed, and so go out of it again?" Alas for man if 
this were all, and nought beyond, oh earth ! 

And then again, if there be no resurrection of the dead, 
how infinitely pathetic, how quite unspeakably heart- 
rending, would be the phenomena of death itself. " If 
Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain; and 
your faith is also vain ; and we are found false witnesses 
of God ; and ye are yet in your sins ; and " — all this is 
terrible enough, but mark the pathos of the climax, a 
pathos too deep for tears — " and then they also that are 
fallen asleep in Christ are perished." Perished ! what a 
world of desolate anguish, what sighs of unutterable 
F.S. 5 



despair, lie kid iii that strange word. Most of you are 
too young to have ever stood, as all the eldest of us 
have, by the bedside of death ; but none of you are too 
young to feel how awful such a scene would be if we did 
not believe, and know, that Christ has risen from the 
dead. There on that low bed lies one we loved, for 
whom our whole hearts yearned, to whom our whole 
affections clung ; he was noble and good, he was one of 
the very few who loved us, and he would have under- 
gone for us any sacrifice, and he had borne bravely and 
meekly the buffets of the world. It was a short life 
hardly checkered (good and beautiful and upright as it 
was), hardly checkered with any sunshine amid its shade, 
and now it is over ; it ends here ; the bright eye is dull 
and glazed ; the gentle face is white and cold ; the good 
brave heart has ceased to beat. He has no more a part 
in anything that is done under the sun. The day 
was when he would have sprung to meet us, his 
whole face brightened at our approach ; and now he 
lies there, cold to the voice of our affection, unmoved by 
our hot tears, with all the light of the soul quenched 
within him ; gone, if there be no resurrection, to a dreary 
land where all things are forgotten ; all that was good in 
him, all that was great in hirn, perished for ever, as we 
and ours must perish soon. Oh, if there were no resur- 
rection, how could we bear it? would not the thought 
crush us down for very grief into the same open grave ? 

Many of you will have read the famous vision of him 
who saw a bridge of threescore and ten arches, which 
spanned the rolling waters of a prodigious tide, and how 


the Genius said to him, " The bridge thou seest is 
Human Life; consider it attentively." And as I looked 
more attentively I saw several of the passengers dropping 
through the bridge into the great tide that flowed under- 
neath it ; and upon examination perceived that there 
were innumerable trap-doors, concealed in the bridge, 
which the passengers no sooner trod upon, but they fell 
through them into the tide and immediately disappeared. 
My heart was filled with a deep melancholy to see 
several dropping unexpectedly in the midst of mirth and 
jollity, and catching at everything that stood by them to 
save themselves. Multitudes were very busy in the 
pursuit of bubbles that glittered in their eyes and danced 
before them ; but often when they thought themselves 
within reach of them, their footing failed, and down they 
sunk. " Alas ! " said I, " man was made in vain ! how 
is he given away to misery and mortality ! tortured in 
life and swallowed up in death ! " 

And consider how frightful it would then be to live, 
as we are living in a world, in a universe of death. 
Frightful, if there be no resurrection ; but, thank God, 
we believe in the resurrection of the dead. Many a time 
have such thoughts swept across my mind, as I have 
stood gazing on the rich landscape from the summit of 
our churchyard hill ; never I think more overwhelmingly 
than they did but two days back, troubling every chord 
of thought into a sweet though melancholy music which 
I vainly endeavour to recall. It was one of those golden 
summer evenings for whose peaceful loveliness, so sweet 
in its influence upon the anxious heart, we ought ever 




to thank God. The sun was setting, not in torrid and 
crimson splendour, but in a haze of soft light, which 
bathed the green fields in its quiet lustre. From the 
cricket-field below, the pleasant evening breeze brought 
to my ears the sounds of continuous enjoyment, — shout 
after shout, and peal on peal, of happy laughter. It was 
natural, it was harmless, that among those who were 
enjoying that hour of innocent gladness, death should be 
the very remotest of all thoughts. But it could not be 
so with me. I had just heard of the death of one who 
was a boy here but three years back. And around me 
the dead were lying, into whose ears the sound of 
laughter cannot come ; and nearest to me, at my feet, 
lay the mortal body of another also who but a short time 
back was one of you. But two short years ago I well 
remembered to have seen him at that annual holiday so 
long looked forward to; there he had not only been 
mirthful among the mirthful, and gay among the gay, but 
he had attracted my special notice and attention by the 
unusual exuberance of his mirth, by the exciting, un- 
checked flow of his natural gaiety. I little thought then 
that I should so soon see the flowers blossoming upon 
his grave. Sad indeed, beyond all sadness, if the bright 
river of human life had no other ending save in that dark 
sea. But even then I remembered that it was not so ; 
that for the body there is a resurrection, for the soul an 
immortality ; that death and the worm are not the uni- 
versal conquerors ; that death and sin are not the powers 
or the realities of the universe, but lying rebels which for 
our sakes God hath vanquished and trampled under 


foot ; that with a body the same though glorified, with 
a soul the same though infinitely enlarged, we shall live 
when time itself shall be no more ; the same, — but 
baptized, we trust, in the river of the water of life, and 
with all its many many blots and stains washed white in 
the precious blood of Christ the Lamb. And so at last, 
stately, and full of wonder, and full of music, as though 
uttered by the voices of the Cherubim, the words of 
revelation crowded upon my memory, " We shall not all 
sleep, but we shall all be changed ; in a moment, in the 
twinkling of an eye, at the last trump : for the trumpet 
shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, 
and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put 
on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immor- 
tality." Even so we had heard the words, and read 
them in dim churches with eyes made blind with tears ; 
— and thinking of them even while we recall our own 
beloved ones who sleep under the sod far away in 
English villages or Indian churchyards, can we not rise 
above all the dust and turmoil of this wretched world, 
and do not our hearts add, as with a cymbal-clang of 
exultation, " O death, where is thy sting ? O grave, 
where is thy victory ? " 

Yes, Christ is risen. O how do those words change 
the whole aspect of human life ! The sunlight that 
gleams forth after the world has been drenched, and 
dashed, and terrified with the black thunder-drops, 
re-awakening the song of birds and re-illuminating the 
bloom of the folded flowers, does not more gloriously 
transfigure the landscape than those words transfigure the 


life of man. Nothing short of tliis could be our pledge 
and proof that we also shall arise. We are not left to 
dim intimations of it from the reminiscences of child- 
hood ; vague hopes of it in exalted moments ; splendid 
guesses of it in ancient pages : faint analogies of it from 
the dawn of day, and the renovation of spring, and the 
quickened grain, and the butterfly shaking itself free of 
the inclosing chrysalis to wave its wings in the glories of 
summer light : all this might create a longing, the sense 
of some far-off possibiHty in a few chosen souls, but 
not for all the weary and suffering sons of humanity a 
permanent and ennobling conviction, a sure and certain 
hope. But Christ is risen, and we have it now; a 
thought to comfort us in the gloom of adversity, a belief 
to raise us into the high privilege of sons of God. They 
that are fallen asleep in Christ are not perished. Look 
into the Saviour's empty and angel-haunted tomb ; He 
hath burst for us the bonds of the prison-house ; He 
hath shattered at a touch the iron bars and brazen gates ; 
He hath rifled the house of the spoiler, and torn away 
the serpent's sting ; " He is not here : for He is risen, as 
He said." They that sleep in all those narrow graves 
shall wake again, shall rise agairt Weep not, oh 
widowed wife, for him whose image was in thy heart ; 
for thou shalt see him again. Weep not, oh father, for 
that gallant son, whose life-blood welled out as hje lay 
face upward on the field of death. Weep not, oh orphan 
boy, for the sainted mother, whose kiss shall never again 
be warm upon thy brow. Thy dead men shall live ; 
they that sleep in the dust of the earth shall arise ; out 



of the dust of the earth shall they unfold the wings 
wrapped within them, and rise redeemed from earth, 
and fly under the sunlight, and shake from their stained 
cerements the ashes of mortality and death. In innu- 
merable myriads from the earth, and from the river, and 
from the rolling waves of the mighty sea, shall they start 
up at the sounding of that angel trumpet ; from peaceful 
churchyards, from bloody battle-fields, from the cata- 
comb and from the pyramid, from the marble monument 
and the mountain-cave, great and small, saint and 
prophet and apostle, and thronging multitudes of un- 
known martyrs and unrecorded heroes, in every age and 
every climate, on whose forehead was the Lamb's seal — 
they shall come forth from the power of Death and Hell. 
What a mighty victory ! what a giant spoiling ! what a 
trampling of the last enemy beneath the feet ! Aye, 
Death smote for ages God's fair creation, he lifted ujj 
his hand against the Lord's anointed, he seemed as 
irresistible as terrible ; and yet not kings only and 
mighty men, but the soul of the meanest beggar that 
ever died of want in the crowded city street, and the soul 
of the tenderest newborn infant that passed away like a 
thin breath of air a thousand years ago, shall be delivered 
safe and uninjured, yea, glorified and immortal, out of 
his armed and icy hand ! What a hope I say again, what 
a change in the thought of life ! Bravely and happily let 
us walk through this Dark Valley ; for though the rocks 
overshadow, and the Phantom haunts it, at the end of it 
is a door of hope — a door of Immortality that opens on 
the gardens of heaven, and the trees and streams of life. 



A dim, weary, troubled life here perhaps, if God sees fit, 
ended by a spasm, a struggle, an agony, — and then to 
have the whole soul flooded by the sense of a newer and 
grander being, and our tears wiped away by God's own 
hand. This is the Christian's hope, and truly herein 
Christ maketh us more than conquerors ; more than 
conquerors, for we not only triumph over the enemy, 
but profit by him, wringing out of his curse a blessing ; 
out of his prison a coronation and a home. " It is sown 
in corruption, it is raised in incorruption ; it is so\mi in 
dishonour, it is raised in glory ; it is sown in weakness, 
it is raised in power ; it is sown a natural body, it is 
raised a spiritual body." 

Entering, my brethren, as we all are, on a season of 
unusual holiday and unusual excitement, a season which 
might well tempt you to think that life was meant for 
pleasure, and for idleness, and for sunshine only, I have 
been influenced irresistibly to turn your attention to those 
mighty thoughts, and those mighty themes, which are 
best fitted to remind us of the solemn grandeur and 
awful reality of life. For sobriety is the girdle of all 
innocent enjoyment, and the amethyst which can alone 
preserve you from the intoxication of excess. Nor am I 
anxious now, even if the time pennitted me, to impress 
on you those vast lessons which flow naturally and at 
once from truths like these. To the Holy Spirit of God 
I pray that He may write with His own finger even on 
the stoniest hearts the truth that if your bodies or souls 
be now mastered by evil passions, with that same dis- 
hallowed body, with that same desecrated soul, unless it 


be cleansed, you will stand before the burning eye of 
God ; that if you are sowing to the flesh, in that flesh 
and of that flesh shall you reap corruption ; that whatso- 
ever things you have done in the body, those very same 
things, not other things, you will receive. O let not one 
of those who hear me forget this; and thou that hast 
been false to the simple, and cruel to the timid ; thou 
that hast hindered the diligent, and corrupted the inno- 
cent, and thwarted the good, thinkest thou not that if 
there be one thing more damning than another, it will 
be, when amid the infinite judgment hall, one whom thou 
knowest and shalt recognise will arise to point at thee 
the finger of condemnation, and raising the voice, whose 
wailing thou hast often caused, until it peals above 
the sentence of a thousand dooms, shall say, "/ have 
perished in my unrepented sins, and shall he escape who 
first planted in my breast the seeds of hell ? " 

It was over such as these that the very lips of love 
pronounced their immortality to be a curse, saying, " It 
were well for that man if he had never been bom." My 
brethren, what shall become of such as these? Who 
knoweth ? Curtains of impenetrable darkness, gulfs of 
fathomless mystery conceal them from us, and we know 
not. Let those who will deal out upon them the precise 
form and fact of their damnation, and assert its finality, 
and with the hands of human feebleness trifle with the 
\ ery thunderbolts of Heaven. Let others if they will 
condemn those who refuse to dogmatise when God has 
not spoken, and brand with their reproach of heretic the 
men who will not bar up against their brethren the 



irrevocable gates of hell. For me, I will never assert 
that of which neither I, nor any man, knows or can know 
anything beyond the very little which God has positively 
revealed. The form, the fashion, the duration, of that 
which may be hereafter I know not ; but this I do know, 
and have said before, that Heaven and Hell are not 
distant localities, not golden cities in the far-off blue, or 
lakes of brimstone in the central fire, but that they are 
now, and that they are here. The pure, the peaceful, the 
loving, the earnest heart, that is heaven now ; the guilty, 
the coward, the useless, the corrupted, the envious, the 
discontented heart, that is hell now, and, till purged and 
cleansed, can never be anything but a hell, which the 
worm and the fire can make no worse. Yes, the Eternal 
is not opposite to the Temporal, but to the Visible ; it is 
not a period, but a condition ; not a locahty, but a state ; 
not a thing of the future, but of the for-ever. Let us live 
with the sense of it about us now, and then we cannot 
live those utterly drear)', empty, idle, unprofitable, vicious 
lives which we sometimes see. The eternal things are 
all around us. Let us then live in purity, knowing that 
no step that defileth can pass over the golden streets. 
Let us live in love, lest we blush, with burning shame, to 
find that God honours, and the Lamb of God receives 
into his bosom, those whom we coldly neglected or 
wickedly despised. Let us live in humility, lest God 
punish our pride and leave us in horrible dispraise. So 
will Eternity unveil itself to us more and more in our 
daily walk, " So will the Love, and the Goodness, and 
the Truth which lie at the foundation of the Universe 



come out to us through all the thick clouds which our 
selfishness, and the selfishness of men have raised to hide 
them from us. We shall learn that they belong to us, 
and that there is in them a power to make us like to 
them, and to make our acst in conformity to them 
This shall make us noble and happy in life ; this shall 
strengthen us to smile at death ; this shall cause us to 
live all our days in the continual light of those two most 
marvellous of all Christian truths, 

The resurrection of the body— the immortality of the 

1 Prof. Maurice, in a Sermon on 2 Cor. iv. 1 8, which is one of 
the noblest and loftiest sermons either of ancient or modern times 
which it was ever ray happiness to read. 


(Preached before Harrow School on Ascension Day, 1S65.) 
Acts i. 9. — "And a cloud received Him out of their sight." 

And that cloud still remains. To their eyes doubtless it 
was luminous as the floor of heaven, — soft and beautiful 
as those that lie cradled near the setting sun, and do but 
vail its too blinding splendour ; but to the eyes of the 
world, and oftentimes to our own, it has grown thicker, 
and blacker, and more vast; it has rolled its darkness 
over the blue sky; it has blotted out the light of day; 
not even the rainbow circles it ; it has become a cloud 
of wrath and terror, and no gleam save that of the 
lightning tears a way out of its lurid depths. It is no 
mere fleeting mist which has hidden Christ the Sun of 
Righteousness from our eyes, but an earthbom fog, bred 
in the dismal region of unbelief, reeking upwards from 
the abysses of human guilt; sin is its very substance, 
and an unhallowed pride, and a dreary science, and a 
godless criticism, and an unredeemable despair, have all 
added fold on fold to that midnight screen. So that now 



v/e see not in its brightness that beloved face, marred 
more than the face of any man with sorrow for our sakes, 
— that face like our own face, bends down no longer to 
listen to our prayers; no longer, as upon the dying 
martyr, does it beam the tenderness of its compassion 
over the trials of our daily life ; no longer, as on " the 
fusile Apostle," does it flash the sense of unutterable 
conviction on our doubting souls. Men have long been 
asking ' where is the promise of His coming ? ' And as 
century after century, millennium after millennium, has 
sped by in its deep unbroken silence, — as no voice from 
heaven has made itself heard during long aeons of 
ignorance, of error, and of crime, — as no new word of 
revelation has stilled the passions of fanatic enthusiasm, 
and the battle-cry of deluded sects, — as the world has 
sunk more and more into the dead and dreary level of a 
life given up to its farm and its merchandise, — men have 
learnt to say in their hearts ' There is no God,' or, if there 
is, He has withdrawn Himself far away into His inmost 
heaven, and cares nothing for such worms, such atoms as 
men are; nor do His ears hear the cry of their lamenta- 
tion, nor do His eyes behold the scarlet of their sins. 
And thus have men lost the sense that a Man like them- 
^ch es, but divine, immortal, infinite, loves them and is 
loved by them ; that a Voice like their own voice comes 
through the thunder; that a Hand like their own shall 
liing open to them the gate of life; — and losing this they 
have lost with it all the charm, and all the sunlight, and 
all the dignity of life. In the night there is no gracious 
presence to enlighten ; in the storm no gentle voice to 



Utter 'It is I, be not afraid.' The cloud has hidden 
Christ out of their sight. Lord, on this Ascension Day 
may it not be so with us ; may the dark clouds of sin, 
and of unbelief, that hide Thee from us be rolled away ; 
may we see Thy face, and see Thee as Thou art, and 
seeing Thee, be changed into Thy likeness from glory to 
glory ! 

Yes, may we see Him ; and then we too shall be full 
of joy, as were the holy Apostles when those glittering 
angels told them that He should come again. Then 
shall the sky be dark no longer, but bright as with the 
light of seven suns ; then shall the Voice of God be 
hushed no more, but heard in every murmur of the 
world and every echo of the soul. Then nothing shall 
conquer, nothing shall afiright us ; if it please the Lord 
to bruise us with many troubles, even then we shall not 
quail, for He who liveth and was dead has borne them 
all. And if looking upon " that hideous thing a naked 
human heart " we are appalled to think that all these evil 
monsters which lurk in its sunless caverns are ever bare 
before the Father of Lights, — or if, again, while we gaze 
on the great sins of society, on the hidden cancers that 
eat it away, on the crimes and miseries that ever seethe 
amid the moral corruption of its swarming myriads, we 
are half tempted to atheism or to despair, then we are 
comforted, even to exultation, by the thought that " the 
very nature which we see, which we feel to be capable c f 
such infinite degradation, yoiu: nature and mine, has betii 
taken, redeemed, justified, glorified by the Son of ISIan, 
and that in that same nature, un divested of a single 



attribute save sin, human yet perfect, He stands as our 
Iligli Priest and Representative at the right hand of 
Clod." Feel then, my brethren even to the youngest of 
you, feel, I pray you, with great joy that Ascension Day 
is a day of triumph, of glorious triumph, for which the 
mightiest clang of the whole world's minstrelsy and 
music were not too loud. For what have we to fear any 
longer? the only enemies we had ever need to fear were 
Sin, and Death, and Hell ; and look how high the 
heaven is from the earth, so far hath God removed our 
Sins from us ; and Hell we are told shall deHver up her 
dead, and be flung into a lake of fire ; and, putting all 
enemies beneath His feet, Christ shall crush last the skull 
of Death. It is our pledge of victory in the Armageddon 
of the world; the victory of truth over lies, of God's 
love over the devil's hate, of the slave over his oppressor, 
of divine glory over human degradation, of the spirit 
over the flesh, of God's transcendent power and mercy 
over man's corrupt and fallen will. Enter into the spirit 
of your own beautiful hymns which catch that thunder 
tone of triumph, — 

Now empty are the courts of death. 

And crushed thy sting, despair, 
And roses bloom in the desert tomb, 

For Jesus hath been there ! 

And he hath tamed the strength of hell. 
And dragged him through the sky, 

And captive behind his chariot-wheel 
lie hath bound captivity. 



God is gone up with a merry noise 

Of saints that sing on high ; 
With his own right hand and his holy arm 

He hath won the victory. 

Bear with me, then, my brethren, while very briefly 
and simply I point out to you, without attempting fully 
to enforce or to expand, the obvious lessons which result 
at once from Christ's Ascension ; may we so realize them 
that the cloud which hides Him from us shall pass away. 

I. And the first is heavenly-mindedness. 'Lift up 
your heads, oh ye gates ; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting 
doors ; and the King of glory shall come in ; ' yes, but 
not He alone. When the triumphs of the chariots of 
God, even thousands of angels, swept behind Him in 
their unseen procession, the everlasting portals closed 
not after them ; they are open still, open to us, and to 
our race, and through them pass, and shall pass till the 
end of time, the thronging souls of the redeemed. He 
went to prepare a place for those whom He loved ; He 
went up on high. He led captivity captive, to receive 
gifts for men, " yea even for his enemies, that the Lord 
God might dwell among them." He went but as the 
great forerunner o^ His people, and we must follow in 
His course; where the Head is there should the members 
be ; and our treasure, our life, our affection are meant to 
be with Him at the right hand of God. 0 how long 
then shall our hearts be grovelling in the world; how 
long shall they be tossed hke bubbles on the waves of 
its unrest ; how long shall they be covered with the dust 
of its meanness and the stain of its sins : shall they 



never unfold the wings wrapped within them, and thither 
ascend, and shake the mire of earthliness from the white 
robes of spiritual resurrection? Shall they thus stoop, 
and pine, and waste away for ever ? 0 rather let us hear 
the cries that come to us from heaven above and from 
the earth beneath, from the works of nature, and the 
voices of conscience, and from the wail of the weary, 
and from all the graves of men, the cry of Sursiim corda, 
' Lift up your hearts ; ' and from eveiy one of us let the 
answer be ' We lift them up unto the Lord.' 

2. And the second lesson is a lesson of simple duty. 
In that Epistle which I have already quoted so often, 
which is emphatically the Epistle of the Ascension, and 
of which the Ascension is the very idea and motive, I 
mean the EpisUe to the Ephesians, this is the aspect of 
the doctrine which is always urged. Read it for your- 
selves and see. Because Christ is very high exalted, 
because we are raised up together with Him and sit 
together in heavenly places, therefore we are told in it to 
be lowly, and meek, and to forbear one another in love, 
to put off the old man which is corrupt according to the 
deceitful lusts, to put away theft, and lying, and corrupt 
communication out of our mouths, and foolishness, and 
filthy talking, and inconvenient jesting, and the fellow- 
ship with those unfruitful works of darkness and secrecy 
of which it is a shame even to speak; for now being 
light in the Lord, ye are to walk as children of the light. 
You see the simplest, the plainest, the vulgarest morality 
if you will, is also the loftiest and the most sublime. 
You are not bidden to the martyr's agony, or to the 
F.S. 6 



hermit's cell ; you are bidden only to live your ordinary 
lives, to go through the trivial round, the common task, 
as the servants of Him who looketh down on you from 
His lofty throne ; to abstain from lying, and evil speaking, 
and youthful lusts, because Christ your king and captain 
hath ascended into the heavens, and no unclean person 
or idolater hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ 
or of God. It is the same plain and unvarnished and 
homely lesson which is taught in two of those glorious 
Psalms which the Church has appointed for the service 
of to-day. " Lord, who shall dwell in thy tabernacle, or 
who shall rest upon thy holy hill?" Is it only the lofty, 
the unapproachable, the devoted, the timely-happy? no, 
but common men who by God's grace have lived their 
common lives in the paths of purity and duty, the lowly, 
the undeceitful, the unmalicious, the uncorrupt Who 
shall ascend into the hill of the Lord, or who shall rise 
up in His holy place ? Even he that hath clean hands 
and a pure heart ; " he who doeth the thing which is 
right, and speaketh the truth from his heart. He who 
doeth these things shall never fall." 

3. And the third is a lesson of holy fear. My 
brethren, how are you living ? What kind of lives are 
yours? AVhat things are most often on your thoughts 
and lips? are your minds set upon right, oh ye con- 
gregation ? If so, your souls are delivered for ever from 
craven fear, for He that is very high exalted defendeth 
you as with a shield, keepeth you as the apple of His 
eye, treasureth you as the jewels of the Lord, bindeth up 
your names in the bundle of life. But, if not — if yours 


is the wicked boldness wliich bids you defy God and 
walk after your own lusts — if yours is the soul-corrupting 
ideal of the world, scorning meekness, and diligence, and 
purity, and faith — if pride, and passion, and pleasure are 
) our gods — if yours are deadly habits 

" Spotted like a crown 
Upon tlie insolent aspiring blow 
Of spurious notions," 

then fear, and tremble ; yea, every soul among that god- 
less band tremble and shiver as the skeleton leaves of 
the naked grove that sigh, and tremble, and shiver in the 
November wind. Fear, for your sin will find you out ; 
fear, for the root of your prosperity shall be as rotten- 
ness, and the blossom of your strength and beauty shall 
go up as dust. Fear, for you have made God your 
enemy ; fear, for from the throne whereon He reigns, far 
above all principality and power and every name that is 
named. His scorching eye, which is as a flame of fire, 
burns into the unbared secrets of your souls ; fear, for 
though hand join in hand your wickedness shall not be 
unpunished ; fear, for death is nigh, and after death the 
judgment and the eternity ; fear, for to you the throne of 
the Ascended Saviour shall be more terrible than flaming 
peaks of Sinai ; fear, for as He ascended, so shall He 
one day descend to awful judgment, 'thundering omni- 
potent vengeance on the astonished ear,' dashing His 
foes to pieces like a potter's vessel with His iron rod, 
charioted on the rolling clouds and armed with the 
consuming fires, with that face before which the heaven 




and the earth shall flee away. Will the world's banded 
effeminacies, will the world's gilded lures, will the world's 
delicate pleasures, will the world's insolent ideal, serve 
you then? Oh, if you be an impenitent and hardened 
sinner, and will continue impenitent and hardened still, 
then fear ; for then to you the lesson of Christ's Ascen- 
sion is a lesson of wrath and doom. 

4. But lastly, if you be loving justice and mercy, and 
walking humbly with your God, if you be striving, how- 
ever faintly, to be true and pure and good, then the 
lesson of the Ascension is a lesson of hope. It is a 
pledge to us of that forgiveness which Christ died to 
win. You may have fallen very low; the white robes of 
j our baptismal innocence may have contracted many and 
many a stain ; yet you may be full of hope ; " though ye 
have lien among the pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of 
a dove which is covered with silver wings, and her 
feathers like gold." For Christ is our Intercessor. Once 
in the year, v,-ashed, and crowned, and clothed in fine 
white linen, bearing in his hand the incense of kindling 
perfumes, sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice upon the 
consecrated gold, passed the Jewish High Priest through 
the embroidered curtain into the Holiest Place, and then, 
reclad in the splendid vestures of priesthood, in blue and 
purple and crimson, woven with pomegranates and 
fringed with bells, he came forth to bless the people, 
M-hile on his breast shone the Urim and Thummim 
ardent with oracular gems. But this ceremonial of 
gorgeous significance was but the antetype of a truer 
propitiation. For us, in the shining vesture of a stainless 



life, with the nobler sacrifice of His own blood, and the 
more fragrant incense of His own prayers, has passed on 
this day through the blue and starry Vail of Heaven our 
great High Priest for ever to the throne of His never- 
ending rule. And therefore when we are summoned to 
the bar of God's Judgment-seat, we may hope : for the 
soft rainbow like unto an emerald encircles it, and we 
liave an Intercessor; humble yet unabashed may we 
stand where the very seraphs must vail their faces with 
their wings, for He is by our side. And it shall be with 
us as with Joshua the High Priest in Zechariah's vision, 
when he stood before God, and Satan stood at his right 
hand to resist him: "And the Lord said unto Satan, 
The Lord rebuke thee ; even the Lord that hath chosen 
Jerusalem, rebuke thee : is not this a brand plucked from 
the burning? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy 
garments, and stood before the angel. And he said 
unto those which stood before him. Take away the filthy 
garments from him ; and unto him he said, Behold, I 
have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will 
clothe thee with change of raiment... So they set a fair 
mitre upon his head, and clothed him with garments, and 
the angel of the Lord stood by." Oh with the thought 
of an Litercessor such as this, to the skirts of whose 
garment we may cling and be safe, \\\\\ sa\ c us from 
our sins, and hide our shameful nakcihiess wiili His own 
white robe, — oh with su(.h thoughts as this, is not the 
lesson of the Ascension, for those who love, for those 
who try to love their Lord, is it not a lesson of infinite 
peace and hope ? 


Oh my young brethren, if you forget, as you will forget 
at the first light word which meets your ears after you 
have left the chapel-doors, these teachings of heavenly- 
mindedness, of duty, of fear, of hope, yet take %vith you, 
I pray you even to the youngest, this one simple thought; 
that Christ your King, your Saviour, your High Priest, 
who wears your nature, who knows your temptations, 
who mourns over your sins, who reads your hearts, is 
living still, living in heaven, watching you with love and 
hope, drawing you to Himself, turning away your eyes 
from the bewildering magic, and the crushing disappoint- 
ment, and the scathing curse of a world that ruins and 
deceives ; searching, even at this moment, with love or 
grief the most secret thoughts of your very hearts. Do 
you think that you can conceal them, if they are thoughts 
of sin and shame ? oh no ! the cloud, that has received 
Him out of your sight is no cloud to Him ; oh pray 
that it may be no cloud to us, no cloud to you. Believe 
me, then will life itself be different to you, and lit with 
the light of heaven. 

— " Believe thou, oh my soul, 
Life is a vision shadowy of truth ; 
And vice, and anguish, and the wormy grave, 
Shapes of a dream ! The veiling clouds retire. 
And lo ! the Throne of the redeeming God 
Forth flashing unimaginable day, 

Wraps in one blaze earth, heaven, and deepest helL" 



(Preached at Nottingham, during the Meeting of the British Association, 
August 1866.) 

Ps. viii. 4. — " What is man, that thou art mindful of him ? and the 
son of man, that thou visitest him ? " 

Many of you may have seen last year the painting of a 
great artist in which he represents King David sitting 
alone on his palace-roof during the last flush of a summer- 
day. The once fair and ruddy face is aged and sorrow- 
ful, the once bright locks are streaked with silver, the 
once smooth forehead is ploughed with the furrows of 
care. His own hands have eased his brow of the glit- 
tering circlet of sovereignty, which is lying neglected 
beside his feet, and the arm that smote the Philistine 
rests wearily on the parapet of the roof. Far away, into 
one deep gleam of unbroken blue, some doves are winging 
their soft flight, and the king as he follows them with 
his wistful gaze, seems to be murmuring to himself, ' O 
that I had wings like a dove, for then would I flee away 
and be at rest ; ' — or, meditating it may be on his own 


Stained and sin-bewildered life, he is inspired with the 
yearning prophecy, " Though ye have lien among the 
pots, yet shall ye be as the wings of a dove that is 
covered with silver wings, and her feathers like gold." 

On some such evening as the painter has embodied, 
but in a brighter and more hopeful mood, David had 
again been sitting at eventide upon his palace-roof, and 
the sun had set, and from the bulwarks and battlements 
of Jerusalem, and from the olives that rested in grey 
clouds over the hills around, the last blush of evening 
had faded, and overhead the moon had begun to shine, 
and the stars to gather and gather for the mighty march 
of their unnumbered hosts, until the whole heavens 
seemed bursting into starlit depths. How did David 
feel, as he gazed on that soul-annihilating spectacle? 
Did liis mortal spirit reel and stagger under the sense of 
infinitude ? was he like the modern poet, half-crushed 
to gaze on those 

" Innumerable, pitiless, passionless ej'es, 

Cold fires, yet with power to bum and brand 
His notliin;^ness into man?" 

Let this Psalm answer j — for, as he was musing the 
fire burned, and he burst into those rapt and glowing 
words — words which come surging upon the memory of 
many of us on the rolling waves of organ-music and 
choral song, — " O Lord, our Governour, how excellent 
is thy name in all the world, thou that hast set thy glory 
above the heavens ; — when I consider thy heavens, the 
work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars which thou 


hast .ordained, what is man that thou art mindful of him? 
and the son of man that thou visitest him ? " — And then, 
in an instant, as with a mighty reflux of thought, the 
answer comes, What is he ? not one to quail before the 
thought of immensity, but to pervade it with his mighty 
destinies ! not one to be crushed before the dread glory 
of the unintelligent creation, but to be its lord and king ! 
not one to worship the orbs of lieaven, but to weigh them 
and measure them, and discover the constituents of 
which they are made. " Thou madest him a little lower 
than the angels ;" no, not than the angels, as our English 
version has it, but thou madest him a little lower than 
God, " thou hast crowned him with glory and honour ; 
thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy 
hands, thou hast put all things under his feet." 

Very different is the response to the same question in 
that Psalm (the 144th) which David seems to have 
written, not in the quiet hour of meditation, but in the 
proud moment of victory and success. There too he 
asks ' What is man ? ' but there the answer comes (more 
like the wail of a dying penitent than the song of a tri- 
umphant king), " man is like a thing of nought, his time 
passeth away like a shadow;" and then, as though 
longing to be delivered from the whole mean and ma- 
lignant crew of enemies and blasphemers that encircles 
him, he cries, " Bow thy heavens, oh Lord, and come 
down : touch the mountains, and they shall smoke : cast 
forth thy lightning, and tear them, shoot out thine arrows, 
and consume them." It is the same when on the lips 
of the ruined Job the same question is repeated j and it 


is as though both Job and David were to cry in the spirit 
of the modern singer, 

" Let the heavens burst and drown with deluging storms 
The feeble vassals of wine, and anger, and lust, 
The little hearts that know not how to forgive. 
Arise, my God, and stiike, for we hold Thee just,— 
We are not worthy to live." 

All Scripture is full of the same sharp contrasts. 
Formed out of the dust of the ground, yet made in the 
image and similitude of God ; children of the Most 
Highest, yet crushed before the moth ; — drinking in 
iniquity like water, yet filled with the inspiration of the 
Almighty which giveth him understanding ;— a worm and 
a thing of nought, yet with a destiny higher than the 
sons of light ; — there is in man's nature a terrible dualism, 
' the angel has him by the hand, or the serpent by the 
heart ; ' he may rise to the heights of heaven, he may 
sink to the abyss of hell. Through all literature, ancient 
and modern, runs the same antithesis, from the ' man is 
a god on earth ' of the Roman orator, to the ' man is the 
shadow of a dream ' of the Greek tragedians ; from the 
stately utterance of our great dramatist, " What a piece 
of work is man ! how noble in reason ! how infinite in 
faculty ! in form and moving how express and ad- 
mirable ! in action how like an angel 1 in apprehension 
how like a god," down to that late bitter condemnation 
of another, " However we brave it out, we men are a 
litde breed." 

Nor is it in the thoughts of others alone that we find 
such contradictions ; they are patent enough to our own. 



On the one hand, we are amazed at man's greatness, on 
the other, we blush for his degradation; on the one 
hand we see him as the lord of Science, binding the 
wayward winds in the white wings of his vessels, and 
kindling his silver beacons on the wave-tormented crags, 
as though to light up the broad ocean as the highway for 
his commerce, the lord who has subdued the all-shattering 
electric flash into a harmless vassal to girdle his habitable 
globe, and carry his messages even under the raging seas, 
and has bidden the imprisoned vapour speed him as a 
slave over the wastes of sandy deserts and through the 
heart of iron hills ; and on the other we see him sunk 
into a degradation lower than that of beasts that perish, 
disinherited of all the radiance of his origin, the only 
creature that thwarts the purposes and violates the 
majesty of his Creator, the lowest because the guiltiest, 
the guiltiest because the most responsible of all that God 
has made ; — so that when we gaze first on the glories of 
his dominion and then on him who was made its 
monarch, it is as when one wanders through a p3Tamid, 
passing through pictured corridor to pictured corridor, 
and from granite hall to granite hall, only to see en- 
shrined in the last dim chamber the mummy of a 
senseless animal, or the handful of charred ashes which 
are all that remains of some nameless king. 

For alas ! when we look around us how little we see 
of a life in accordance with the splendid dignity, with 
the immortal hopes, of one whom God's own hand 
crowned with the diadem of honour. Little surely that 
is high, little that is heroic, little that is valorous, little 


that is charitable ; commonplace, conventional lives ; 
petty aims, petty interests, petty faults, dwarfed natures, 
and ever dwindling achievements, and everywhere over 
the dead level of routine and mediocrity a dense under- 
growth of paltry vices. This is not an age of great 
crimes, but an age of little meannesses ; an age too 
timid for individuality, too calculating for enthusiasm. 
There are few murders, but plenty of malice ; few thefts, 
but abundance of avarice ; little true charity, but large 
ostentatious philanthropy; rare positive lies, but floods 
of timid trickery ; little open hatred, but oceans of secret 
blame. " ^^'o unto us ! the crown is fallen from our 
heads, for we have sinned." Oh we need the lightning 
flash to burn away as tow the bonds of those feeble in- 
terests which tie down the energies of our souls ; oh we 
need the wild fearless voice of some indignant prophet 
to rouse our enfeebled natures out of the rleek dream of 
their unheroic repose. Better by far that God's hand 
should shatter the sea of glass beneath our cautious 
footsteps, and let the nether fires glare in our very faces ; 
better by far that He should open the windows of 
heaven, and break up the fountains of the great deep; 
better by far that He should shake down, and level with 
the dust the crumbHng edifice of our insignificant am- 
bitions ; better by far that He should unmoor us from 
our smooth anchorage on that muddy sea which has long 
ceased to reflect heaven's azure or the countenance of 
God, and toss, and beat, and buffet our struggling 
despairing souls amid all His storms to force out what- 
ever of noble they still retain, — tlian that He should 



suffer those souls to rot away piecemeal amid the liollou- 
comforts of life, and to lose all that is divine, and manly, 
and royal within us, in getting, and spending, and putting 
out on good security, and laying by, and settling on our 
lees, and taking this world as it is for our all in all. 

Such then are the contrasts between the magnificence 
of our human heritage and the too often grovelling tenor 
of our human lives ; and their reconciliation is no 
mystery, but a commonplace. In the one we contem- 
plate man as he may be, in the other as he is. The 
former, my brethren, is the nobler contemplation ; it is 
wiser to think of our possible exaltation than of our 
actual fall. It is better to bear in mind the glory we 
might bear with us, and the divine altar from whose 
brightness the flame of our souls was lit, than to conceive 
of ourselves as a mean, a worthless, and a ruined herd ; 
— it is better with David to lift up our eyes, undaunted, 
even to the starry vault of heaven, and to believe 
that on the very throne of the Omnipotent is the likeness 
of a human form, than to regard ourselves with the 
diseased and anguished Job, as the valueless playthings 
of a divine irony, and the scorned slaves of an unmerciful 
decree. For as our thoughts are we shall be ; and if 
they are fixed on glory and immortality, with Christ in 
heavenly places, there is more hope that we too shall in 
heart and mind thither ascend. Oh reverence yourselves, 
encourage in yourselves, not as a feeling of. pride, since 
it crushes all pride and annihilates a conceited self- 
satisfaction into a divine and modest humility, but, as an 
incentive to all purity and to all praise, cherish in your- 


selves the thought of your exalted origin from God, and 
of that lofty destiny which may lead you through the 
grave and gate of death, to stand undazzled before His 
throne. Read, legibly emblazoned in the heraldry of the 
soul, the proofs of its glorious genealogy, and the right 
to rise far above the interests of earth ; claim fearlessly 
your great privilege as the children of a king, claim it as 
your talisman against all weakness and all degradation, 
till your lives catch something of that glory which is 
visible in the example of Him who redeemed them, as 
the face of Moses shone with a divine and dazzling 
lustre as he returned down the flaming mountain from 
high communings with his Father and his God. 

But there are certain enemies which will assail us, 
some now, some hereafter, all perhaps at some time or 
other of our lives. Against these foes, foes that soil the 
white robes of our immortality, and abase the towering 
stature of manhood into the dust, against these foes I 
would now warn you. 

I. The first of them is Care. 

In one of our cathedrals is a nameless grave, and on 
the slab which covers it, is carved, without a date and 
without a record, but one single word. It is the word 
Miserrimiis, ' most wretched.' This and nothing more. 
It is the self-chosen memorial of one who would leave 
behind him no other history : there, in its mute appeal 
against heaven, there, in its silent blasphemy against a 
God of love, it lies in the quiet cloister beside the noble 
pile, and the sunbeam falls athwart it, and the sound of 
children's voices are heard as they play around it, and 


the foot of many a heedless passenger is arrested ere it 
falls on the terrible epitaph. Yet how many of those 
who tread upon it might assume it to themselves : for it 
is the epitome of a careworn life, and than a careworn 
life nothing is more common. The gay, epicurean, lyric 
poet of ancient Rome, sings even in his light strains, of 
'diseased care climbing the brazen trireme, and sitting 
triumphant behind the knight ; ' and modern myriads 
may tell you of cares haunting them in countless swarms 
from sunrise to sunset, nay even 'scaring the midnight 
pillow,' and sitting heavy on the breast that has begun to 
heave already with the throes of death ! cares for our 
livelihood, cares for our health, cares for our prosperity, 
cares for our incomes, cares more anxious than any 
others, about our children and our families, cares 
meanest of all others, as to what people will think of us 
or say of us, cares whether we shall succeed or no, cares 
whether our little comforts will last or no ; cares, out of 
a haunting past, cares, in a restless present, cares about 
an uncertain future, — oh it is a chaos, a weltering sea of 
cares for him who suffers himself to be choked therein. 
They fill healthy life with the unsubstantial phantoms of 
disease, they jangle its peaceful melodies into a tuneless 
discord, they plough with harrows of iron the brows 
which were once bright with baptismal dew. From how 
many have they torn the diadem to brand in its place 
the festering stigma of the slave ; from how many have 
they taken ' the freshness of the meadow, the coolness of 
the stream ; ' in how many have they quenched ' bright 
thoughts, clear deeds, the constancy, the fidelity, the 


bounty, the, generous honesty which are the germs of 
noble minds,' and in which it was once said that 'the 
heroic English gentleman hath no peer ' ? Yet we might 
shake them off for ever; by sitting more loosely to the 
things of earth, by learning to despise the gilded dust 
which debases all who love it and set store by it, we 
might recover our manhood, and be free. The pestilent 
malaria does not creep with more certainty out of the 
stagnant swamp over the doomed city, than does that 
fatal blight which exhales over the soul from the un- 
drained marshes of worldly care. O that we could all 
wring this black drop out of our souls. Then, if cares 
came, we could lay them all on Him who would bear for 
us their intolerable burden, and, after the very heaviest 
misfortune which could befall us, sorrowful it may be, 
but undebased, 

" We might take up our burden of life again, 
Not saying even It might have been. " 

Why should we be care-stricken ? what business have we 
to be sad in the sunshine ? we have nothing to do with 
the past, nothing to do with the future ; we have to do 
with the present only, and that even in the hour of trial 
we are by God's grace strong enough to bear. 

2. But there is another enemy to the true glory of 
manhood of which I would warn you — an enemy which 
will assail you no less certainly than care, I mean 

And of worldliness I accept no such cheap and vulgar 


definition as that which makes it consist in going to races, 
and theatres, and balls. No, I mean something infinitely 
deeper than this. I mean living for what is temporal, 
and not for what is eternal, a crime of which not the 
publicans only, but many a sleek Pharisee is guilty. To 
live as thousands live, mainly it would seem to store up 
their little dues, slowly or quickly to scrape themselves 
up a competence and leave the rest of their substance to 
their babes, to join in the race for wealth, to live without 
public spirit, widiout love to man, with no care but for 
our own selfish comforts, grandeurs, or interests, to take 
the print of a mammon-worshipping age, and so to live 
dismal, illiberal, acquisitive lives, is a terrible danger to 
us all. And oh what a great blank of the soul comes 
upon the man who accepts this life ; how all the ardours 
of his early enthusiasm die away ; how all that was free, 
and delicate, and noble, and attractive about him, all 
artless simplicity, all the tenderness, all the romance, all 
the chivalry, all the poetry of his existence gets con- 
gealed and hardened into conceit and commonplace ; 
how in his easy life evils come upon him which as has 
been well said " vex less but mortify more, which suck 
the blood though they do not shed it, and ossify the 
heart though they do not torture it." The rust and the 
canker eat away all of the little soul that is left, and the 
scurf of a heartless conventionality lies thick all over the 
daily life. Men become like the corpse of the ancient 
Scythian lord, which was carried around, in its stately 
chariot, from house to house, and the banquet spread 
before the glazed eyes in the houses of its friends : so of 
F.s. 7 


these worldly men — they are rich, they are feasted, they 
are at ease, they are successful, they are honoured, but, 
they are dead. 

My brethren, however poor or insignificant, thank 
God, I envy you not the greatest wealth, I envy you not 
the highest rank to which any one of you was born. 
They may be a splendid boon ; they may be a fatal 
curse. If they are to make a narrow life span the 
horizon of your hopes, and the turbid world yield you 
the only joys for which you care, if they are to make 
you lounge through an idle or fashionable life in the dull 
round of insipid pleasures and satiating excitements, if 
they are to make you turn your attention to dress, and 
equipages, and servants, and the heavy adjuncts of a 
vulgar display, then for my own part, sooner than change 
with you, I had rather be the meanest Christian workman 
on whose brow the sweatdrops must stand thick, each 
day, ere he can earn his daily bread ; I had rather be 
the most poor and toilworn fisherman, who draws his 
precarious food from the troubled waters, and whose 
shipwrecked boat and drowned corpse are at last flung 
up without pity, like a plaything of which the waves are 
tired, high upon the hungry and stony beach. Nay even 
as a matter of this world's life, I believe that so I should 
be happier than you in a life of eating, and drinking, and 
dressing, and hunting, and doing nothing. I should at 
least have the bright eye of health, and the brawny arm 
of strength, and the fearless heart of independence, and 
the dauntless brow of honest innocence, and the home 
unvulgarized by useless conventionalities and joyless joys, 



and the simple, unsophisticated, unsated heart, the well- 
spring of trustfulness and peace. But, how much more, 
if I add to these the hopes which the worldly life loses 
for ever? I would not sell one, the smallest, of those 
hopes, for the brightest coronet or the stateliest castle 
you could give me. I would say, as a happy and high- 
minded writer of this age has said of them, "Lead, lead 
me on, my hopes ! I know that ye are true and not vain. 
Vanish from my eyes day after day, but arise in new 
'forms. I will follow your holy deception ; follow till ye 
have brought me to the feet of my Father in Heaven, 
where I shall find you all with folded wings, spangling 
the sapphire dusk, whereon stands His throne, which is 
our Home." 

3. I should not be true to my duty if I did not, in 
very few words, warn you of one more enemy to your 
immortal nature, perhaps the most virulent, and the 
deadliest of all, I mean Evil Passion. 

I need not define it ; it is to suffer the lower, the 
meaner, the animal part of your nature to triumph, and 
to guide the chariot of the soul, of which God has made 
Reason and Conscience the sole safe charioteers. My 
brethren, care may drag us down to earth ; Worldliness 
niay chain us to its trough ; but Sensuality permanently 
degrades the soul, tears off its wings, and trails them in 
the mire. But, believe me, — and I venture to ask your 
earnest and solemn attention to what I say, — God has not 
made it difficult for the simple and manly heart to put a 
curb on evil passions ; if you will remember the lessons 
learnt at your mother's knee, if you will turn with pit.y 



and abhorrence from the conversation of the corrupt and 
base, if you will regard with loathing and anguish the 
thought of degrading yourselves, whose mortal bodies 
are the Temples of the Holy Ghost, it is not difficult for 
any one of you to live, with a white and unstained soul, 
from happy boyhood to noble youth, from noble youth 
to godlike manhood, unassailed by leprous thoughts, 
beyond earshot of "the flapping of unclean wings." But, 
for those who have not resisted the gradual growth of 
evil passions in their own hearts, then, I do not deny it, 
it is difficult — nay it involves perhaps a lifelong struggle 
and a lifelong watchfulness to recover the once-lost jewel 
of immortal innocence. Yet, if you would not be ruined, 
ruined for this world, and ruined for the next, on that 
struggle you must enter. In God's name then, take 
heart of courage ; God and your Saviour, and the Holy 
Spirit of God, will help you, and will lend you their 
omnipotent power to pluck away your soul lest it be lost, 
lost for ever, in that fatal path on which some unhappy 
feet begin to tread so young, which leads nevertheless 
to that gate on which is written, 

"All hope abandon ye who enter here." 

Now in conclusion : — What is man ? The true answer, 
' A little lower than God, crowned with glory and 
honour,' came but in part to David under that starlit 
sky : it came with fuller assurance, it came with a 
Symphony of louder, more triumphant, more immo: 
exultation, not to a crowned king, but, looo years after. 


to humble shepherds under another starht sky, keeping 
watch over their flocks by night. For they were told by 
the angel-voices that the God-man was born : oh if you 
would see the ideal of manhood, look to Him ; care 
fretted Him not, for that Lamb of God lived from child- 
liood in the green pastures and beside the still waters of 
his Father's love ; worldliness debased Him not, for He 
tkspised the kingdoms of the world and the glory of 
them when they lay outspread in their dazzling glory 
before His feet ; ' passion never assaulted Him, for it is 
only the meanest and the dissolutest souls that passion 
long enslaves. But, though He felt not the yoke of these 
temptations, He saw them in others, and with a divine 
liity pitied them. To the careworn He said, 'Come unto 
me, and I will give you rest ; ' to the worldly He said, 
• Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth... but 
la)- up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither 
lUst nor moth doth corrupt, and where thieves do not 
break through nor steal ; ' to the most stained and fallen 
and corrupted He said, ' Neither do I condemn tliee ; go 
and sin no more.' He healed the ravages which sin and 
shame had left upon their faces ; He cast out the devils 
which care and lust had introduced into their souls. 
Let Him, our Lord, our Hope, our Saviour — let Him be 
our ideal, and not the ideal of the world ; let His, and 
not the example of the world, be our example : so shall 
we attain the full height of our destiny, so shall we, 
liartakers of His redemption, and heirs of His im- 
mortality, after a godly life here live with God hereafter, 
the tears wiped from our faces, the scars of sin and 


sorrow healed in our souls, not a little lower, but higher 
than the angels, crowned with a glory and honour which 
can never fade or be dimmed again, and with Death 
itself, the last of all our enemies, vanquished and crushed 
beneath our feet. 



(Preached before the National Rifle Association, in the Volunteer Camp at 
Wimbledon, July 15, 1S66.) 

I Cor. xvL 13. — "Quit you like men, be strong." 

Surely the time at which we are assembled gives to this 
noble exhortation an unwonted emphasis. Meeting as 
we do at a moment when the battle-fields of Europe are 
still encumbered with their unburied slain, — meeting at 
the close of a few days during which the great boundaries 
of Europe have been altered, perhaps for ever, — fresh 
from the spectacle of a brave and military nation, with 
an army the best disciplined in Europe, yet forced after 
one day of raging battle to succumb in hopeless ruin to 
a surer weapon, — while the messages of battle are being 
daily flashed to our quiet homes, and the destiny of 
empires is being weighed in the balances of war, — surely 
I say at such a time, when our eyes are open to the 
possibilities of the future, and our blood stirred by the 
tidings of 400,000 gallant men wrestling in a gigantic 
struggle, — the command must come with a more thrilling 
empliasis, Quit you 2ike meti, be strong. The camp, indeed, 


in which 7ve are gathered is a peaceful camp nor is the 
heather we tread on wet with blood ; but over two other 
and vaster camps on this very summer-day may be 
hanging the smoke of battle, and in other ears on this 
quiet Sabbath may be thundering the roar of artillery 
and the shock of strife. With what widely different 
thoughts and feelings, if they be gathered for worship, 
must the worshippers be actuated in those other camps, 
— the one intoxicated with the triumph of victory, the 
other prostrate in humiliation and despair. But for us, 
thank God, there is neither the dangerous flush of victory, 
nor the burning anguish of shame. Never for centuries 
has our national existence been imperilled ; never for 
centuries has our flag been trampled, or an enemy set 
hostile foot on our inviolate shore. And to-day, though 
our gathering bear the aspect of war, it is a gathering 
subservient to the purest interests of peace, and our 
thoughts are not of defiance but of defence ; our purpose 
not a purpose of aggression or of aggrandisement, 
but the calm and fearless attitude of the strong man 

Yet the tidings of the last few days force us to a 
serious and sober estimate of our actual position. 
Happily we have no cause to blush for the memories 
thus evoked. We call to mind how, six years ago, there 
was some dim menace, some uncertain whisper of danger 
or of invasion. Founded or unfounded, that mere whisper 
of peril, that intangible rumour of attack, was enough; 
at once the slumbering embers of a patriotism, which 
seetned only to be buried under the ashes of self-interest, 



burst into a flame, and, with an ardour wlilcli some nick- 
named a panic, the passionate manhood of England 
sprang to its feet. The foolish ridiculed it as a mania, 
the frivolous sneered at it as an illusion ; but wise states- 
men approved, and grey-haired veterans generously 
welcomed it ; and if it were a panic, it was a panic not 
turbulent, transitory, and irregular, but disciplined with 
the soberest precision and developed into the solidest 
results. And as the yew-tree used in old days to be 
planted in the very shadow of the churches, so that 
our ancestors might at any moment cut their national 
weapon from ground hallowed by God's worship and 
their fathers' graves, so now that National Church, 
for whom, weakened though she be by factions, and 
though her voice have lost something of the noble and 
the ringing tone which it had of yore, yet for whom we 
have 7iot lost as a nation our honour and our love, came 
forward to cheer the movement with her encouragement, 
— to lend to it the sanction of her most solemn services, 
and to bless it with her uplifted hand. 

That was six years ago, when many said with a sneer 
that the mania would be evanescent, yet we are here 
to-day, and trust to be here for many years. Sirs, had 
it been evanescent it would have been contemptible. 
lJut it sprang from causes holier and deeper than a 
lugitive alarm. We did not wish to bequeath to our 
children a tarnished name, an abnegated mission, a glory 
obscured or shorn away. We knew that a great nation, 
if she cannot (which is best) be loved, must at least be 
honoured and feared. The effort was made, and at once 


the waning star of England shone with new lustre among 
the nations. Our volunteers, if they did not save us from 
aggression, yet, without controversy, won us respect 
[ They were a witness against the base old scandal 
: that we are a nation who care only for the counter 
and the till ; they were a witness that, though not 
■military, neither were we pusillanimous, nor would we 
suffer our love of peace to degenerate into fear of 
war, or to become a gilded name for sensuality, for 
corruption, and for death. They proved that the very 
poorest of our sons yet knew that he had a stake, — ay, 
and a stake dear as life, — in his native land, though he 
owned no furrow of her soil. But had the movement 
been short-lived, it would have sunk us lower than it has 
ever raised us. It would have shown that we were only 
capable of spasmodic efforts, and that though, by a 
divine instinct, we might feel some pale and colourless 
affection, if for nothing better in England, yet at least 
for her sweet green fields and wave-washed barriers, yet 
-i it was not a love noble enough or strong enough to make 
us sacrifice for her sake our money or our ease, or con- 
secrate to her service one hour of the many which we 
devote to Mammon or slumber away in rest. 

An institution so rich in blessings, — in blessings which 
it is hardly possible to exaggerate, — as is this germ of 
war in the heart of peace, should not and must not die 
away. It is a blessing that men, — and above all, men 
engaged in the race for wealth, — should be awoke con- 
tinually from low-thoughted dreams. It is a blessing 
that dead and selfish hearts should be stirred to passion 



by an inspiring sense of national unison. It is a blessing 
that high and low, rich and poor, the learned and the 
ignorant, the noble and the working man, should find 
their interests not antagonistic but identical, and should 
stand side by side in a cordial brotherhood, and animated 
by a common cause. It is an infinite blessing, both to 
our soldiers and to ourselves, that our defence should be 
no mere dangerous trade delegated into a few hands, but 
that our soldiers should be citizens and our citizens 
soldiers, a strong barrier at once against popular anarchy 
and tyrannous monopoly, united in the defence of Eng- 
land's liberty and England's fame. It is an infinite 
blessing that thousands, in the midst of money-getting 
and toil-worn lives, should be strengthened by a manly 
exercise, and inspired by an elevating thought, so that 
they may not feel themselves mere slaves, chained to 
the car of Mammon and ever stifled by the noise and 
dust of its grinding wheels, — but,- — scorning that base 
ideal of sluggish and easy prosperity which makes men 
fit to be nothing better than a tyrant's slaves, — should 
take conspicuous part in a service, unpaid indeed by 
material rewards, but richly paid by a nation's gratitude, 
and richly contributing to a nation's praise. 

Nor is it a blessing only ; — let us face the stern, plain, 
unvarnished fact, that though it is a free service it is a 
political necessity, — a necessity even if England never 
dreams of anything higher than her own defence. For 
England is no longer the mistress of the seas, nor is the 
white wake of her vessels any longer " the avenue to her 
palace front," along which no enemy may approach. At 


this very moment a steam-ram floats in her waters which 
no one of her vessels could resist, and armies are armed 
with a gun which at the present moment no soldiers of 
hers could overcome. Are then the glory and the power 
and the looo years of her splendid pre-eminence to lie 
at the mercy of steam-rams and needle-guns? They 
would do so, even more than they do now, but for our 
volunteers. It is not that we have lost one atom of 
confidence in our gallant army. No, they on many a 
bloody field have vindicated their hereditary valour ; and 
the men who fought at Balaclava and Inkermann, and 
formed that "thin red line" which charged up the hills 
of Alma, and marched under the burning sun of India 
to Lucknow and Cawnpore, as they are the sons of those 
who fought at Vittoria and Waterloo, so are they no 
degenerate descendants of the heroes who won at Crecy 
and at Azincour. But can a handful of 50,000, which, 
small as it is, could hardly be concentrated without 
difficulty and delay, meet those 500,000 who could, at 
very brief notice, be poured upon her shores ? And at 
a time when the political horizon is rarely free from 
thunderous clouds, — at a time when rumours of war, 
like " the mighty succession of billows which roll shore- 
ward, and roar, and strike, and are dissipated," again and 
again have swept us into war, or agitated us into ignoble 
hurry and undignified alarm, — does it do at such a time 
to indulge in Utopian dreams as to the possibilities of 
perpetual peace ? No, we are by no means too secure, 
and that we should be secure impregnably is a duty 
which England owes to her God, to the world, and to 


herself. The battle-brunt of an indomitable heroism, — 
the firm solidity of a valour inspired by the sense of 
duty, — a patriotism which can be as little shaken as the 
rocks which gird it round, — the traditional grandeur of 
" a proud and haughty nation, fierce in arms," — yes, on 
these we might reckon to face that tremendous front of 
war, which on almost any day might be arrayed against 
us by the envy, the anger, or the hate of other lands ; — ■ 
but what are these ideal entities before the whirling 
lilasts of an irresistible artillery, — what are these if our 
little army could not reckon on the aid of 200,000 
brother citizens, to screen their terrible advance to the 
final struggle behind "a vail of impenetrable fire"? 

Yes, every one of you in his peaceful but serviceable 
manhood tends directly to the security of England ; but, 
I ask, will it finally content you that England shall be 
secure, and nothing more? Is her glory, her dignity, 
her influence in the mighty destiny of nations — are these 
nothing to you ; mere impalpable things which you 
cannot clutch, mere airy fantasies not to be mentioned 
by practical men, forsooth, in the same breath as taxes 
ami merchandise and wealth? Are you content that her 
\ ' iii e should be hushed for ever, which once thundered 
v.ords of awful weight at the council-board of nations? 
Are you content that she should but selfishly clutch and 
tighten the sword in its scabbard which she once wielded 
in many a generous cause? It is our glory to hate 
aggression and the lust of empire; but shall it be our 
glory to lose all chivalry of sentiment, all 'sensibility of 
honour ' ? If so, England may indeed grow richer, but 


her riches will be garnered for her enemies, and her 
isolation may only tend to make her sink hereafter in 
unassisted perplexity to an unpitied fall. Oh ! proclaim 
it not yet that you will have peace at any price. Your 
theory of non-intervention may be a right and manly 
and unselfish one, but do not stretch it till it cracks. 
Hide it as yet from the nations of Europe that we prefer 
the gilded reality of our wealth to that exploded old- 
fashioned fantastic enthusiasm for England's honour. If 
it be our pride to hold aloof from mere foreign dis- 
sensions, if the progressive interests of our vast empire 
make it a necessity that England should be no longer for 
influence in Europe the England of Elizabeth or of 
Cromwell, yet at least let it be understood that the day 
may come again, ay and that soon, when she will fight 
7 with the invincible majesty of her noblest days. Not 
yet will she learn to stare without a blow at the struggles 
of the helpless and the agony of the oppressed. Though 
it is ever her boast that while there are 6,000,000 soldiers 
in Europe she has but half a million for the whole of 
her vast domain — not yet will she tamely abdicate her 
place in the vanguard of the world's righteous progress. 
Not yet will she erase the lion from her unconquered 
banner, nor for the ensign of Judah which was the lion's 
whelp, and the blessing of Judah which was " the 
sceptre " and " the hand upon the neck of his enemies," 
will she choose the mean banner and the mean blessing 
of Issachar' — a blessing more like a curse — "to be an 
ass crouching between two burdens; and he saw that 
1 See Lord Bacon's Essay on the true Greatness of Kingdoms. 



rest was good and the land that it was pleasant, and he 
bowed his shoulder to the yoke, and became a servant 
unto tribute." If her moral influence be inevitably 
weakened by the duty or the expedience of her material 
inaction, yet let us prove it by our deeds that that 
inaction is not another name for mere selfishness, and 
that if any presume upon it too far, the day may come 
when the lordly heart and giant energy of England shall 
reawaken with a shout. In the words of our greatest 
poet, " Methinks I see a noble and puissant nation, 
rousing herself like a strong man after sleep, and shaking 
her invincible locks, — methinks I see her as an eagle, 
mewing her mighty youth and kindling her undazzled 
eye at the full midday beam, while the whole noise of 
timorous and flocking birds, with those also that love the 
twilight, flutter about, amazed at what she means ! " 

My brethren, if themes like these tend to awaken us 
from that worst and widest of all our vices, our deep- 
rooted individual selfishness, they need no apology ; still 
less do they need it here and now. Nothing is more 
pitiful than a life spent in thinking of nothing but self, 
yes, even in thinking of nothing but one's own soul; 
nothing is more ghastly and revolting than the thought 
of the one thousand millions of human beings who are 
now living on the surface of the globe, if they be but 
one thousand millions of separate atoms toiHng, less 
nobly than the very emmets on an anthill, for their 
individual gains. May such a spirit — though it has been 
often fostered by the teachers of Christianity — be ever 
alien to the spirit of England, as it is alien to the spirit 


of Christianity itself. That spirit teaches us that we are 
not our own, nor are our lives our own ; that spirit bids 
us to " quit us like men, and be strong," not to moulder 
away the faculties which God has intrusted to us in the 
desert or the cell, but to rise from our mere personal 
interests to those of our Church and of our nation, and 
through our nation to the interests of the world. The 
]jhilosopher who denies that Christianity has recognised 
the virtue of patriotism has not represented it aright, for 
Christianity is no dull system of formal ethics, but a 
living impulse, and one that speaks as loudly in patriotism 
as in all the other virtues which it has inspired. And 
l)atriotism may sometimes demand, and demand im- 
periously, the sacrifice of war. I know not how men 
can take the Bible in their hands, the Bible which they 
profess to adore, and of which whole books clang with 
the sounds of sword and shield, — the Bible wherein is 
such fiery intermingling of indignation and righteous 
wrath with peace and love, — the Bible of which whole 
cliapters are like the battle of the warrior with its 
confused noise and garments rolled in blood, — ^and yet 
deny that " agonies of pain and blood shed in rivers are 
less evils than the soul spotted and bewildered with sin," 
and that rather than a corrupt, a rotten, and a mammon- 
worshipping peace, we had better by far have 

" War with a thousand battles and shaking a hundred thrones." 

This is an instinctive feeling, and it is one that belongs 
to the best part of our nature ; it is instinctive, and, like 
all our nobler instincts, it has the sanction of Christianity. 


Christianity is no emasculated religion, no effeminate 
and silken system of bigots and of priests, nay, it is 
preeminently a strong and manly religion, and because 
manly, godlike. " Quit you like men ; " virtue is manli- 
ness; and therefore valour, and chivalry, and passion, 
and enthusiasm, and gallantrj^ and strength of purpose, 
and a burning resentment against lies and cruelty and 
wrong are no mean parts, but rather essential elements 
of a lofty virtue. Say what you will, but no coward, no 
soft, pitiful, creeping character could ever be truly 
Christian ; for Christianity exorcises that spirit of craven 
fear, and brands as contemptible the soul that wastes 
the glory of life with no higher object than eagerly 
to surround itself with comforts and greedily to heap 
up gain. 

r.ut the fict of your presence here speaks better 
things for you, and it is an augury of hope for our native 
land. There are those who say that her day is gone ; — 
not because of the corruptions within her, not because of 
her criminal population, not because of her neglected 
outcasts, not because of her spoliations, her covetous- 
ness, or her greed, — but because of the possible ex- 
haustion of lier great fields of coal, and because nature 
sui)plies no substitute for the stored-up decay of those 
primeval forests, which as they grew and perished long 
myriads of millenniums back, were even then preparing 
the earth in the designs of an unchanging Creator for 
the maintenance and happiness of man. My brethren, 
it may be, or it may not be, that our coal will fail us 
I'cfore a hundred years have passed; if so, let us use 

F.S. 8 


those hundred years in building our greatness on a fairer 
and less perishable basis, for though we may grow poorer 
and weaker, yet no nation can perish and pass away into 
contempt and ruin for any other cause but for her sins. 
And England's tnje greatness, much more her sole great- 
ness, lies in something better than her coal. Not in that, 
though it may have contributed to her wealth and 
strength — not in that, but in whatever there be of truth, 
of purity, of nobleness, of honour in the bosom of her 
sons, lies the real glory and the future hope of our 
native land. Though her soldiers and her Volunteers 
were ten times in number what they are, the enemy 
would no more fear them than a lion fears whole flocks 
of sheep, unless there were in them that animating 
courage which suffices not only for the flash of transient 
valour, but for the long heroism of steadfast endurance. 
If you would see the star of her destiny, look for it in 
the heart of your brethren, look for it in your own. As 
Volunteers you have the high privilege, the inestimable 
honour of definitely, distinctly, immediately, serving your 
native land ; be grateful to God for this high privilege, as 
your country is grateful from her heart to you. But 
forget not that there are ways in which you can serve 
your country even more, — ay, indefinitely, infinitely, more. 
The large majority of you, and of your leaders, are yet 
in the flush of youth, or the noble prime of early man- 
hood : Oh how much you may do for England ! You 
have come forward to help and to defend, to honour and 
to elevate her : Oh would to God that each and every 
one of you would take the solemn and heart-spoken vow 


to save and to ennoble her not only now, not only thus, 
— not only when your uniform is on, not only when the 
rillc is in your hands, — but far away, each one of you in 
yijur own loved homes, in your peaceful villages or 
stirring towns, or it may be hereafter in far-off colonies 
and the islands of the sea. You serve your country 
acceptably in the camp, and at the drill, and when your 
keen eye is on the centre at the range,— and she thanks 
you, and her wives and her maidens honour and bless 
you : But oh ! you may serve her more, infinitely more, 
if you will serve her not only in public but alone, not 
only in your corps but in your lives ; if you will devote, 
not some certain hours, but your very hearts to her 
service, whether it be in the senate or in the factory, 
whether it be in the artist's studio or the lawyer's 
chambers, or the workman's cottage, or the merchant's 
shop. There, and not here only, — there, in the secret 
hour of temptation and the unseen crisis of strife — there, 
in your closet, with no eye upon your struggling soul 
save the unsleeping eye of God, — " Quit you like men, 
be strong." To you, as to a new order of knighthood 
that has sprung up among us, — to the clearness of your 
consciences, to the cleanness of your hands in God's 
eyesight, to the pure and high purposes which, in the 
very " teeth of clenched antagonisms " may inspire and 
animate your noble lives — to you, I say, we look to 
guard and purify the true life-springs of our national 
existence. But if otherwise, if your ranks be filled with 
those who have not learned to conquer their own passions 
and themselves, — why then, if you have not this iron of 


right and truth, and chastity in the blood of manhood, 
neither your skill nor your numbers will much avail. 
For when the hour comes, as come it may, when you or 
your children shall be called to holiday exercises no 
longer, but to the deathful roar of the perilous fight, 
when every ringing whizz of the bullet involves not a 
smile of triumph, but a ghastly and murderous wound, it 
will be too late then : — the strength will be gone from the 
nerveless arm, and the courage from the enervated soul, 
and there will be neither might nor heroism in the hearts 
charred to dust with the fires of passion, and rotten to 
the core with the sins of youth. My brethren, I honestly 
believe that in this sense also, the sense of fighting 
against all wickedness, whether mthout you or wthin, 
all of you wish, many of you strive, to be true soldiers. 
The fact that for a space of six years, out of 200,000 so 
very few have brought dishonour upon their uniform, — 
the fact that the spectacle of a Volunteer in disgrace is 
so rare as to excite marked and special reprobation 
whenever it does occur, — the fact that in this camp, out 
of 1,200 men gathered from every rank, and from every 
quarter, there has arisen, during so many years, no single 
cause for complaint of drunkenness, of insubordination, 
of violence, of unseemliness, — these happy and hopeful 
facts entitle us to assume that, in donning his uniform, a 
Volunteer does feel, as he ought to feel, that he is 
acquiring a new and powerful incentive to that high self- 
respect which shall teach him to rise above the meanne.--; 
and degradation of a sinful selfishness, and to regard hii 
mortal body as the Temple of the Holy Spirit of God. 



For, to sum up ii. one last word ; — not only on the 
fields of Europe now, but ever and everywhere a mighty 
battle is raging round us, a battle in which we all are 
Volunteers, ay, and enrolled Soldiers on either side, — the 
great silent internal battle, of lust and purity, of truth 
and falsehood, of right and wrong. It needs no splendid 
occasion, no stately amphitheatre, no pomp and pro- 
digality of outward circumstances ; — for its seat is in the 
human heart. But its effects and issues are in the world. 
Wherever the haunted conscience, or the desecrated 
frame, have driven men into madness or suicide, — 
wherever the root of a youthful life has been as bitter- 
ness, and its blossom has gone up as dust, — wherever the 
drunkard quakes in the loathly feebleness of retributive 
disease, — wherever in the lazar-house, scorned of man, 
and forsaken (it might seem) of God, lie the miserable 
victims of calculating passions, who once wore the sweet 
rose of innocence, and once were, what but for men's 
sins the}' yet might have been, fair human beings with 
the grace of matronhood upon their foreheads and the 
dew of God upon their souls, — wherever some lost 
wretch creeps to the black river-side under the midnight, 
and there is a dull splash, and all is done, — there, in 
every sob, and every shriek, and in every murky ripple of 
the disturbed wave, are the sounds of this battle ; — and 
its dead lie thick in all our streets, and their blood, the 
blood of their murdered souls, which is spattered on 
many a young man's heart, and the crimson spots of 
which may perhaps even now be staming some haunted 
conscience here, — cries aloud to God for vengeance. 


These are the victims slain in the battle against God ; 
oh ! young Volunteers of England, take your part for 
God in that great battle-field. Be, as I said before, for 
I trust that the expression may linger in your minds, be 
a Christian order of knighthood, sworn by a vow, un- 
spoken indeed yet sacred as that of the knights of old. 
If we be not Christ's soldiers, ready to follow Him to the 
death, if we refuse to receive His counsels, if we delight 
to break His laws;— then little indeed can our arms 
avail, arid the crown must fall from our brows, for we 
have sinned. Oh ! deliver your souls, a pure, a fresh, 
and a noble gift, to Him ; oh, listen to the daily summons 
wherewith He bids you resist His foes. If the sons of 
England win in that fight, then no other can injure their 
native land. Such sans will defend and dignify her more 
ten thousandfold than whole fleets of iron-plated vessels 
and batteries bristling on every promontory with, 
ponderous guns. The land that is given over to lust, 
and softness, and luxury, and greed, that land has the 
law of weakness within herself, and the sentence of 
pitiless destruction, blazing to her condemnation in every 
line of the historic page ; but that nation whose soldiers 
are also good servants and soldiers of Jesus Christ, has 
nothing to fear in the Armageddon of a whole world 
banded against her with unrighteous arms. If she sink 
even for a time, she can only sink to rise again more 
glorious, as a happy, a godly, a Christian people, — even 
as the sun sinks but for a time in the ocean's bed only 
rise once more in greater splendour and 
"Flame in the forehead of the morning sky." 



(Preached before Harrow School on Founder's Day, Oct. 6, 1859.) 

Isaiah liv. Il — 13. — " Behold, I will lay thy stones vith fair 
colours, and will lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I 
will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, 
and all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children 
shall be taught of the Lord ; and great shall be the peace of 
thy children. " 

Such was the splendid picture which rose before the 
mind of the Hebrew poet, when earnest faith and fervent 
aspiration clothed themselves in the language of prophecy. 
Such too is the vision which ever}- true heart among us 
would fain contemplate when we look for^vards to the 
future ; and it is a condition which )-et may be realized 
by united e.xertion and humble prayer. 

We have met together, my brethren, to do honour to 
the religious memorj' of a good man, and to remind 
ourselves of the relation in which we stand to a great 
community. The name of John Lyon — of little note to 
the world in general — is full of significance to us. 
To-day at least our thoughts should be occupied not 



with ourselves or our own interests, but with Harrow and 
its interests, and the duties we owe to one another, and 
to this our common home. And of the thousand 
thoughts that rush to our minds, on which we might 
dwell with profit, it is difficult to select the most useful 
and the most opportune. One who speaks on such an 
occasion, and in the honour of such an institution, may 
well shrink from the responsibility laid upon him ; — may 
he not also hope that words, however imperfect, however 
hastily thrown together, may, if spoken from a sincere 
affection and a loyal heart, be received with kindly 
consideration, and by a sympathising audience, for the 
sake of the theme by which they are inspired ? 

And I know not how better to fulfil the object of 
Founder's Day than by asking you to glance with me 
first at the past history of Harrow School ; secondly at 
its one object and purpose ; and lastly at one or two 
considerations which seem naturally to flow from our 
present connection with so famous, so permanent, 
and so honoured a Foundation. May God's good 
Spirit be with us, and bless the word spoken to every 

And First, of the past history of Harrow School. 

In the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries there was a 
mighty awakening of the human mind. Europe was 
stirred to its depths by new knowledge, and as its first 
vernal influences chased away the cold mists of ignorance 
and superstition a thousand intellects sprang into free- 
dom, and a thousand utterances burst into eloquence 
and song. 



It was a noble period ; — the period of giant Progress, 
of conscious liberty, of golden hope. In England a 
sour-hearted and bigot Queen had attempted to bind 
men's souls in the iron net-work of Popery, and the 
blood of five martyr-Bishops ' had hissed in the fires of 
persecution. But Mary had been succeeded by another 
Queen of royal talents and lion heart, under whose 
enlightened and fostering care thought and learning 
flourished, and whose throne was girt by men around 
whose brows the honours of poet, statesman, and phi- 
losopher were often garlanded in a single wreath. Never 
before was the glory of England more pre-eminent ; and 
the fair fame which had been obscured for a moment 
had ri-sen once more, like the sun out of the ocean 

It was during this period some 290' years ago, that an 
honest yeoman, living in the fields of Preston in Harrow 
parish, was led to meditate over the causes which had 
produced for his age and country such magnificent 
results. Those causes were not far to seek ; they were 
universally recognised. It was the forgotten learning 
and neglected thought of the old world which breathed 
fresh vigour into the languid intellect of Europe. Men 
began to see that they were far behind the ages which 
had preceded them, and that in their hands the torch of 
knowledge was burning low ; and from the songs which 
had once thrilled into the heart of youthful nations, and 
the eloquence which had once fulmined over the waves 

* Cranmer, Hooper, Ridley, Latimer, Fanar. 

' John Lyon obtained his charter from Queen Elizabeth in 1571. 



of a ' fierce democratie,' they caught once more the flame 
of freedom and the passion of awakening strength. The 
renewed study of the Classics, — the very study in which 
you are now trained, — led to the Revival of Literature ; 
and literature was synonymous with thought, with energy, 
with life. The Queen herself set the example of earnest 
study ; unlike the would-be fine gentlemen of modern 
days, who know no condition but that of ignorance, and 
honour no life but a life of mental sloth, she studied 
Greek and Latin diligently, even when burdened with 
the cares of sovereignty, — and read hard, " no young 
student at an University more daily or more duly^." 

The Harrow yeoman saw that Language was the best 
instrument for training the intellect, and for furthering 
thereby the interests and the happiness of the human 
race : and unknown as he was, he determined to secure 
for his own village the advantages of that education which 
had been so prolific in mighty consequences. Now John 
Lyon was a simple yeoman, or small farmer ; there was 
nothing in his rank or position to command respect : he 
did not even write ' gentleman ' after his name, and had 
we met him in the streets we should have regarded him 
as an ordinary man. But he was not deterred by his 
obscurity from the endeavour to do good in his genera- 
tion. Instead of spending his fortune for personal 
aggrandisement or immediate comfort he founded with 
it a Grammar School and drew up a few simple regula- 
tions for its future governance, — regulations wisely 
embracing the threefold scope of education, moral, 
' Bacon, Advancement of Learning. 



-.ellectual, physical; the perfection of the soul, the 
:.:md, the body, — and, in their due harmony and sub- 
ordination, the perfection of the living man. One 
of those regulations was characteristic, — and I recom- 
mend it to your earnest thoughts; it was in the 
common spirit of the time, "aut disce aut discede^" 
— it prov-ided expressly that the idle or the incapable 
sh.ould not be permitted to stay for more than a 
year in Harrow School. This was neither the time, 
nor this the place for idlers and triflers. No cum- 
brous, no barren, no injurious stem was to take from 
the fruitful branches the richness of the soil. In John 
Lyon's heritage the axe was to be at the root of the 
barren trees. 

So John Lyon founded Harrow Grammar School. A 
Grammar School I — it may sound a humble designation ; 
but it is what Harrow is and what all the great schools 
are, and it is a title which, when understood rightly, is 
not to be despised. For he who has learnt grammar has 
gained the very key of language, and the inmost secret 
of the mighty mystery of speech. He has learnt to use 
and to value the noblest of human gifts ; — the gift where- 
by man is raised above the beasts ; — the gift whereby soul 
speaks to soul ; — the gift whereby mere pulses of articu- 
lated air become breathing thoughts and burning words ; 
— the gift whereby, like the vibration of a silver chord, 
emotions thrill from heart to heart ; — the gift whereby we 
understand the affections of men and give expression to 

' A motto found in several Grammar Schools— as Winchester, 
St. Paul's, &c. 



the worship of God ; — the gift whereby the lip of divine 
inspiration, uttering things simple and unperfumed and 
unadorned, reacheth with its passionate voice through 
a thousand generations by the help of the Word of 

And when, — a few years after Harrow was founded 
and as yet perhaps but a dozen village lads sat on the 
benches of a single room, — the Invincible Armada came 
sweeping with its broad crescent-line the waters of our 
seas, and, aided by the storms of God, our few ships met 
and shattered it, and drove back its ducal leader in 
defeat and shame, John Lyon must have exulted at this 
fresh proof of English prowess, and must have prayed — 
for he was a God-fearing man — that some of the young 
scholars of his new school, whom he was providing with 
sound learning and religious education, might in their 
turn become brave and loyal and freedom-loving English- 
men, might one day play their parts too as nobly and 
manfully in the great battle of the world. 

The little seed which John Lyon planted grew and 
flourished, and the hopes and fears of generations took 
shelter under the shadow of its boughs. Not from a 
single village, — but from north to south and east to west 
of a great united kingdom ; — not from a few struggling 
village families, but from the many homes and hearths 
of stately houses, the sons of England were to be gathered 

^ Compare the noble fragment of Heraclitus, preserved in Plu- 
tarch : noAu;uo6{T) ou !i5a(r/cet' tj 8« 2ij3u\Ao )Laivoyiiv<f isT6)taTL 
awXa Koi dKaWwirtCTa /col duipKTTa (pBeyyonftrfi /luptwi' iTav Sifjxe- 
Toi 5io riy Qfov. 



as one family, in strange but beautiful unity, under the 
village yeoman's roof. The Lord had built the house, 
and their labour was not lost that built it. That ele- 
ment of strength — God's blessing sought in prayer — is a 
mightier buttress than the labours of nations who toiled 
for centuries at the houses of pride, or the haunts of 
pleasure, the palaces of Nineveh, and the hanging gar- 
dens of Semiramis. 

And Harrow continued to grow and flourish. Ensland 
went through strange and troublous times ; one king 
was executed for trammelling liberty ; another king was 
driven a fugitive for tampering with religion; thrones 
tottered and dynasties were changed, — but whether 
England was annexing new kingdoms, or winning fresh 
empires, or losing the government of mighty continents ; 
— whether she was trembling under the fury of persecution 
or swept by the hot flames of civil war,— the School 
continued stable amid troubles, and permanent amid 
change ; year by year old Harrovians were taking their 
places in the ranks of life as good men, and brave, and 
honourable and true — and year by year the Harrow boys 
were shooting for the silver arrow in the playing-fields, 
and winning the well-earned prize in the quiet school- 
room. It continued, I say, to grow and flourish, and. as 
we may remember with honest gratitude, it was but last 
term that it attained the zenith of a long-continuing 
prosperity, and the maximum of numbers which had long 
steadily increased. 

And now if John Lyon could rise from his grave in 
the churchyard, and shake off the dust of centuries from 



his cerecloth, and walk among us, — if we could take him 
to the Fourth Form room and show him the names of 
poet and statesman and warrior carved by their own 
boyish hands upon the oaken panels — if we could show 
him that 

"Great men have been among us,— hands that penned 
And tongues that uttered wisdom ' ; " 

how from his village school were sent forth poets of un- 
dying memory, great divines, learned scholars, governors 
who ruled millions of new subjects in distant provinces, 
eloquent orators who have held listening senates breath- 
less at their voice, — statesmen who have been the 
foremost to guide the destiny of civilized nations, — 
mighty warriors who have rolled the tempestuous thun- 
ders of victory over land and sea, — if we could show him 
that his foundation has gained royal patronage, and 
risen to unquestioned pre-eminence, and become "a 
name and a power " in English education for ever ; — 
think you not that his whole heart would rejoice within 
him, and that from the past history of Harrow School, 
and the mighty results springing from God's blessing on 
small causes, he would wish you to learn at least this 
great lesson — which his own act, though done by a 
common yeoman, so gloriously exemphfies — the great 
lesson that 


And in this long stabiHty of Harrow School we see the 
pledge of its future permanence. In the language of one 

1 Wordsworth. 



wliose name will be identified with Harrow for many a 
generation, " An institution like this, when it has once 
taken deep root, is a permanent — almost an indestructible 
thing. It cannot in days of humiliation quietly die out 
and be forgotten. In shame or in honour it exists, and 
must exist. It may either rise from point to point till it 
liecomes one of the very greatest of the educational 
institutions of England, or else it may sink into a deep 
obscurity and be known only as the wreck and failure 
of a school What shall be the fate of Harrow, my 
brethren, rests in your hands ; a single generation may 
decide it. Our own hold on the School may be very 
short ; the average time of a boy's stay here is less than 
five years, but the good or the harm he may do during 
those few years is simply incalculable. Although in five 
years from this time hardly one of you will be sitting on 
those benches, yet as you yourselves will have carried 
hence lifelong reminiscences, so also those then sitting in 
your places will be suffering from the sins which jivz^ have 
committed, or reaping the blessings of which you have 
sown the seed. For the time being you are Harrow 
School ; and this congregation — ever varying in its con- 
stituent elements — is the common representative of a 
thousand successors. As the waves pass but the river 
is perpetual, so the members of a great school are 
perpetually dissolving and being recomposed, but the 
School continues still. And it is mainly guided and 
moulded by a powerful tradition to the strength of which 

1 See Dr. Vaughan's Sermon on the Vocation of a Public School. 
(Pep ton Tercentenary. ) 



every single boy appreciably contributes. When we 
have gone, our work has not gone ; it still continues to 
widen its concentric circles of influence ; for good or for 
evil it witnesseth against us still. Harrow boys of this 
generation, answer me — for I answer not the question 
for you either way — has the honour of Harrow risen or 
fallen in your hands ? What has your work been ? 
Have you strengthened the good tradition, or added 
virulence to the evil ? Have you brightened the name 
of Harrow, or even for a moment clouded it ? Think of 
it yourselves, and, if the answer be unfavourable, think of 
it, I pray you, with burning shame. Supposing any one 
of you were the last living scion of an ancient and noble 
house, what would be your feelings if you brought on 
that honourable lineage a lasting, an irreparable disgrace ? 
Yet the blot on the white scutcheon of an illustrious line 
is as nothing to any shame or disgrace brought throuL^h 
your weakness or \\'ickedness upon the reputation of a 
noble school — a school the name of which, if you but do 
your duty, must and will shed more honour on the majority 
of you than you will ever shed on it. 

And yet to reflect some lustre on the place of your 
education,— so to live that generations to come of 
Harrow boys shall say of you hereafter " He, too, was 
a Harrow boy," is to an ardent and generous spirit one 
of the most legitimate incentives to an upright and honour- 
able course. You cannot all be great ; probably very few 
of you will attain to greatness; but none the less you may 
do your duty right royally in the obscurest position, and 
still be counted in the long list of Harrow worthies. They 



whose names are graven on yonder brazen tablets were 
not great or famous men ; but they died in the brave 
and manly performance of duty, and therefore vs^e record 
them as our honoured sons, and never read their names 
without an emotion of sorrowing pride. Even supposing 
God has cast your lot in some unknown and common 
institution, it would have been your duty to honour, to 
cherish, to upraise it ; but He has cast your lot in one of 
the very highest, that confesses itself second in honour 
unto none. A pride in it, if it be a manly pride, is not 
only pardonable but right, not only excusable but de- 
sirable. This school, and not another, claims your loyal 
allegiance ; to this school, and not another, is your 
chivalrous devotion due. " Spartam nactus es, hanc 
cxonia \" If Harrow be failing in anything, endow it 
wich fresh advantages ; fence it round with yet more 
gallant institutes ; store it with yet more precious memo- 
rials ; — drive manfully away the evils, if they yet exist, 
which if they do exist, are now forced to skulk in its 
darkest corners ; above all, remember that eloquent 
advice, which you heard so recently, " to make every 
bedside an altar too," and pray for Harrow with genuine 
affection, till the light of God's own countenance streams 
over it in a living flood. 

For turning, Secondly, to the object and purpose of a 
public school, let me tell you that it is worthy of all your 
pride, and of all your affection. Its object and purpose is 
to prepare the boy to become an intelligent and worthy 

' " Quod reliquum ebt ^Trapray eAa/(es rayroy /tiJo'.uei." — Cic. F.pp- 
ad Alt. IV. 6. 

F.S. 9 



man ; to provide for the health and vigour of his body ; 
to foster his opening intelligence and teach him the value 
of time, and save him from the disgrace and stagnation 
of idleness and ignorance ; above all, to see that he 
grows pure, virtuous, manly, a gentleman and a Christian; 
in one word, its object is, in the often, but never too-often, 
quoted language of our daily prayer, to train him that he 
may be " a profitable member of the Church and Com- 
monwealth, and at last a partaker of the immortal glory 
of the resurrection." 

And however much they may fall short of this glorious 
ideal, the public schools of England have done their 
work so well as at least to be counted, and worthily 
counted, among our English institutions, and to be 
regarded by all Europe with envy and admiration. Let 
me translate to you the opinion of a distinguished and 
competent authority. "There is," says the Comte de 
Montalembert, " in England a spectacle even rarer and 
more magnificent than that of her Parliament, — it is her 
public schools. Under the modest name of schools are 
included three or four vast foundations, among which 
Eton and Harrow hold the first rank, which receive all 
the highborn sons of English families, and offer them, 
under eminent direction, an education at once classical 
and manly. Identified in some sort by their date with 
national history, they offer to tlieir scholars as their first 
influence the memory of the great men who have pre- 
ceded them on those benches which they have quitted 
to preside over the destinies of the vastest empire under 
the sun. These boys enjoy a liberty strange in our eyes. 



Without surveillance, without any other restrictions than 
those imposed by certain traditional usages, and that 
self-respect with which ever)' Englishman is penetrated, 
they commence with an impetuous and precocious force 
their apprenticeship in self-government. Early as they 
are accustomed to liberty, one observes among them 
neither rudeness nor grossness, and when we see them 
at their games we can understand the saying of the Duke 
of Wellington, when — revisiting in the decline of life 
the fair scenes of his education and recalling the sports 
of his boyhood, and finding the same precocious vigour 
in the sons of his comrades — he exclaimed aloud, It is 
here that Waterloo 7aas woti^." 

But, my brethren, although I hold no distinctions 
between " secular " and " religious," and do not for a 
moment apologise for introducing subjects usually foreign 
to a pulpit, let me not forget that it is here — ho-e in God's 
house — that we must look for the culminating influence 
of the public school, — I mean the discipline of the 
heart. Strength and health and beauty and even know- 
ledge are but as the dust of the balance in comparison 
with holiness J and better, far better, that we should 
send from among us one good boy than fifty clever boys 
or strong boys or well-taught boys. My brethren, if 
Harrow has been honoured and successful, I believe that 
the secret of it is to be found in this place of worship, 
and in the steady unswerving endeavour as our fii'st and 
main object to keep the love of God ever in your minds, 

' De PAvenir Politique de V Angleterre, ch. XI., Les Ecoles 
(freely paraphrased). 




and the example of Christ ever before your memories 
and your hearts. You have been under a pious and a 
prayerful guidance, and we never enter on our common 
studies in the morning or close them at night without 
the earnest prayer (in which many youthful hearts join I 
trust continually) that God's blessing may rest upon our 
labours. None will accuse me, my brethren, of ignoring 
the dangers and the temptations of a public school, but 
I believe that if, which God forbid, there be any 
thoroughly bad hearts in the midst of us, they are bad, 
not because of Harrow, but in spite of it. And if our 
pious founder could return once more into the midst of 
us ; if he could gaze with delight on this fair chapel with 
the names of the brave and warrior dead recorded on its 
walls, and with the story of kings and prophets and of 
the life of the Son of God Himself streaming in glorious 
colours from its painted windows ; — if Sunday by Sunday 
he could take part for a while in its hallowed ministra- 
tions, and listen to the sweet sounds of its " solemn 
Psalms and silver litanies ; " if he could hear with what 
passionate earnestness and varied power, with what faith- 
fulness, and fearlessness, yea with what tears of genuine 
emotion, God's precepts are urged upon you, and Christ's 
atonement pointed out as at once the one means of for- 
giveness and the only remedy for sin ; — then would he 
not say that if you fall your blood is on your own heads 
and we are free } Yes, imagine him to come in here in 
his simple yeoman's dress, and to walk up that aisle — (a 
better and wiser man perhaps for all his low station than 
the noblest here) — and imagine him to be endowed with 


voice once more to tell you one lesson about his school ; 
would it not be this ? — 

" If you fall at Harrow School, — if you came to it 
bright and happy, and leave it with but few lessons save 
those of sin and sorrow, — blame yourselves, your own 
warped natures, your own weak hearts, your own wan- 
dering desires, your own forgetfulness of God, and not 
the nurse who would have trained you in all godliness, 
and who taught you to fold your hands in prayer. 
Remember ye, Harrow boys who leave Harrow worse 
than when you came, remember ye that Samuel and the 
sons of Eli were nurtured in the same tabernacle pre- 
cincts ; the light of the sanctuary lamp fell on the 
boyhood of them both, and the glow of the same 
Shechinah flowed for both through the purple of the 
embroidered vail. Samuel heard God's voice, and be- 
came a prophet of the Highest, while the sons of Eli 
were sons of Belial, and were filling God's courts with 
violent rapine and brutal lust. Was it then the Temple 
that corrupted the sons of Eli ? Nay, not more than it 
is your school which ruins you." 

I have been speaking to you as a body, now lastly bear 
with me in patience on this solemn occasion while I 
speak to you a few words as individuals. 

I have said that each boy here has some share, and 
an appreciable share, in creating that tradition which 
permeates the whole life of a public school, and if I 
might particularise further I should say that to do his 
work rightly a boy has need of three great virtues or 
principles of action, — Diligence, Manliness, Deeisioti. Of 



Diligence it has often been our privilege to speak from 
this place before, and to point out the duty and necessity 
of it for all who would serve God or benefit mankind : 
Of Manliness too we have spoken continually, and shown 
you that precocious vice is its deadly and spurious coun- 
terfeit, and that it is only possible to the pure in heart ; 
but of Decision let me speak one word again. My 
brethren, if you would do your duty by your school, you 
must substitute active eiwiity with evil, for passive pur- 
suit of good. At whatever cost, you must make vice 
impossible at least in your presence. You must not be 
afraid of the contemptible sneer of a degraded compa- 
nion, but rather be afraid of judgment, be afraid of sin, 
be afraid of conscience, be afraid of eternity, be afraid of 
God. You say the task of rooting out all evil from the 
midst of a large school is difficult, is painful ; yes it may 
be, just as it is painful to cauterise a poisoned wound, 
and yet the wound must be cauterised if you would not 
have the whole body cankered and killed. But do not 
talk of difficulty : the greater the difficulty, the greater is 
the honour, the greater the necessity ; it is not because 
it is difficult that you do not dare, but it is difficult 
because, and only because, you do not dare^ But 
difficult or not, believe me it is your duty, and it will be 
successful. The youngest boy, the most recent arrival, 
must take his side at once, and, if any one would trifle 
with his simplicity, let him know that he will do so at 
his peril. Do not fear that your influence will be small; 

1 " Non quia difficilia non sunt audemus, sed quia non audemus 
difficilia sunt." 



no inriuence is small; but, even if it were, the aggregate 
of small influences is far more irresistible than the most 
vigorous and heroic of isolated efforts. 

The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the 
temple of the Lord are these ! the whole is God's 
building, built on Christ as the foundation, — and each 
member should be a living stone ; a stone of fair colours 
in the spiritual edifice. Are there not such among you ? 
yes, thank God, there are, — boys who do honour to this 
place, — diligent, honest, pure-hearted, happy, strong, — 
because temperance and sober-mindedness are strength, 
— beautiful of countenance, because beauty is but the 
" sacrament of goodness," — courteous and noble, because 
virtue is the true nobility and noble manners are but the 
fruit of noble minds. These are the stones of fair colours 
on the sapphire-founded shrine ; — varying in their order, 
varying in their brightness, but all beautiful, all worthy 
of being built on the precious corner stone of Christ ; — 
let one represent the amethyst of temperance, and another 
the pearl of purity, and another the ruby of fiery zeal ; 
but each in his own order, each a jewel of the Lord, 
each shining with the lustre of the firmament, and as 
the stars for ever and ever. Give us but this for all 
alike and we will not imagine an ideal Utopia, or an 
Atalantis sunk beneath the waves. Give us but a school 
like this, and we ask no brighter temple, no holier 
sanctuary, no happier home. Give us but this, and 
content with God's presence here, we will not yearn for 
palaces of emerald and chrysolite, for walls of jasper or 
streets of gold. The ideal, translated into fact, will be a 


diviner spectacle than the most radiant combination of 
material images can adequately shadow forth. 

" O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not com- 
forted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and 
lay thy foundations with sapphires. And I will make 
thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and 
all thy borders of pleasant stones. And all thy children 
shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace 
of thy children." 

God grant that this may prove to be for us also the 
language of prophecy, and that the prophecy of to-day 
may be the history of to-morrow ! 

xn eE.': aoha. 



(Ti cached in the Parish Church of Doncaster, at the Choral Festival, 1867 ) 

Ps. cxxii. I. (Prayer Book Version.) — " I was glad when they said 
unto me. We will go into the house of the Lord." 

So spake of old a ^^'an■io^-prophet, a poet-king ; but his 
words sound in many ears like a satire now. " Glad 
when they said unto me " ? — nay, rather is not God's 
service too generally thought of, and spoken of, — spoken 
of openly in conversation, in magazines, in newspapers 
— as the weariest and dreariest of all conventionalities, 
to be avoided as often as possible, to be endured, if at 
all, rather out of a sense of decency, than from a feeling 
of delight? We hear much of the overweening length 
and many repetitions of our services; — much of the 
tedium of sermons to intellectual men ; — much of wrang- 
ling and dissension where all should be love and peace, 
— but little indeed of David's rapture as he draws near 
to the altars of his God and King ; little of washing the 
hands in innocency, and closing the heart in silence, as 
we enter God's sanctuary ; — little indeed of preferring to 



be a door-keeper in the house of the Lord to dweUing in 
the tents of ungodliness. 

Surely, my brethren, it is a sad thing that this olden 
rapture, this olden enthusiasm, should have died awaj-. 
Many of you, I trust, have felt to-day that a day spent 
like this — a day spent in God's courts — is better than a 
thousand. In this weary world, what %vith our sins and 
what with our sorrows, there are not so many sources of 
innocent joy that we can afford to let any one of them 
be lost. The loss may have arisen in part because we 
have so little understood how to make the Sabbath a 
delight. Holy of the Lord, and honourable ; in part from 
the deadness and coldness of spirit that has in many 
places insensibly benumbed our gatherings ; in part from 
the misfortune of that exclusive system which, while for 
the rich it has afforded ample and luxurious accommo- 
dation, has said to the poor man, " Stand thou there, or 
sit here under my footstool ; " — in part from causes that 
lie far deeper and have spread far more wndely than any 
of these. But, be those causes what they may, since 
they tend to rob us of some of the sweetest and brightest 
moments of our lives, let us, in our own hearts at least, 
strive to counteract them. Gathered to-day in this 
beautiful house of God, so happy in the fair order of 
its services, let us strive to learn how we may realize 
some of these lost blessings; how we may learn when, 
Sabbath after Sabbath, our day and our thoughts and 
our prayers are undisturbed, — when, hand in hand, with 
our little ones we pass through the green mounds where 
the bones of our fathers lie, — when, within the sacred 



precincts, we bow our heads in solemn prayer, and shut 
out the vain noises of the world, — we may learn to be 
enriched by all those sweet and softening influences, and 
not sufifer them to fall like the dew of God upon hard 
and barren ground. Assuredly this effort will be its own 
reward. We shall soon thankfully regard our Sundays 
as a blessed and recurring truce amid the trials of our 
earthly warfare, — a truce of God between our nobler 
selves and those evil powers or mean cares which annoy 
and beset us ; a bright interspace of rest and calm in 
which we may creep nearer to the Great Light, and see, 
with eyes less troubled and less clouded, our Father's 
face. Then, what Elim was to the weary and fainting 
Israelites as they rested beneath its overshadowing 
palms, that, week by week, will the Sunday be to us, — 
a sapphire fountain wherein to quench our thirst for all 
high and holy things amid this earthly wilderness of 
deceitful images and burning sands, amid this daily 
dusty path of little anxieties and corroding cares. 

And if I mistake not, my brethren, this refreshful 
influence will be mainly connected with the Divine 
worship of our Church. It is one of our great blessings 
that in England there is not a town, not a village, 
scarcely even a hamlet, throughout its length and 
breadth, which is left without its appointed place for the 
sacred ordinances of our religion. Never, probably, 
have we passed a Sunday in England without hearing 
the music of village chimes, rising and falling from the 
green valleys or scented fields; and even in the great 
dim cities the noisy wheels of work are silenced, and the 



sound of church bells falls pleasantly on our ears. And 
in most places these national churches are, as they ever 
ought to be, the chief centres of attraction and of 
reverence ; in many they have remained unshaken amid 
changing dynasties and changing ages ; under their elms 
generation after generation has grown up and gone to 
rest, — and their spire, pointing heavenwards from amid 
its clustering trees, has been the last sight which the 
village-boy has seen, the last reminder he has had of the 
lessons of home, as he started forth upon his journey 
into the world. They may be poor and mean in outward 
structure and inward decoration; but to all true and 
faithful hearts they will still remain, in the words of 
St. Chrysostom, "the place of angels and archangels, the 
court of God, and the image of heaven." A thousand 
memories make them dear to us : — there the pure and 
solemn melodies of human instruments and human song 
have soothed and elevated our souls ; — there, it may be, 
like lightning from on high, some message of God has 
burst with its revealing blaze into our hearts, and we 
have heard His still small voice stirring the inmost depth 
of our being; — there we have risen on the wings of 
passionate supplication till we felt as though we were 
" kneeling on the sapphire dusk whereon stands his 
throne ; " — there we have felt ourselves one of His great 
human family, while it was borne in upon us that, not 
only under that quiet roof, — but far away from the deck 
of sailing vessels, and from churches built of coral in the 
islands of the sea, and where the light glows from the 
painted windows of stately minsters, and where the 



sunset streams over men of other races from under the 
woven branches of pine and palm, as though all the 
nations of Humanity were kneeling to grasp at one 
moment the hem of His robe, — the voices of ten 
thousand worshippers were all arising with ours in the 
same hallowed words into the listening ears of the Lord 
of Sabaoth. Long may such associations be blended 
together, in one hallowing bond, to add dearness and 
interest to our public worship, and I pray to God's Holy 
Spirit — to that Holy Spirit who not only mitred the 
brows of the Apostles with cloven flame, but who 
can ordain strength even out of feeble and alien lips 
— I pray that He may so bless our thoughts to-day 
that the services of our Church, and the House of 
God wherein they are offered, and the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer in which they are contained, may win 
henceforth a yet deeper and livelier significance in all 
our minds. 

And first, what a blessing it is to possess this Book of 
Common Prayer ; what a blessing that we are not left at 
the mercy of one man's feeble utterances, dictated by the 
narrow limits of his own individuality, and marred, as 
they often might be, by the poverty, the earthliness, or 
even the insincerity, of his mind. No ; our prayers, so 
simple, so noble, so eloquent, are the grandest outpouring 
of those many wants which the long sufferings and the 
long experience of humanity have taught us to feel and 
know. In our own private prayers we must have often 
been haunted by an uneasy consciousness that, after all, 
it might prove better for us if our wishes were not 



granted, — and we must have often felt the need of 
adding to our petitions, 

"Not what we wish, but what we want, 
Thy favouring grace supply ; 
The good, unasked, in mercy grant. 
The ill, though asked, deny : " — 

but assuredly you will not find one doubtful or dangerous 
petition, not one to which the heart cannot assent and 
consent, in the many litanies of this precious book. 
They were composed and uttered, not by men dwarfed 
with the miserable narrowness of party spirit, or swal- 
lowed up in worldly cares, but by those virgin souls who 
lived in the purple dawn of Christian enthusiasm, in the 
early glow of Christian love. These prayers, and such 
as these, were uttered by the confessors from the dungeon 
and the caticomb ; and these, or such as these, the 
martyrs breathed when they lifted their thin hands in 
adoration out of the quivering flames. And this is why 
we find in these prayers — the costly legacy of their 
sorrows and their triumphs — the bright Christian hope 
which recognises all men without distinction as the sons 
of a common Father, and the heirs of a common promise. 
Among professing Christians, how often do we catch an 
echo of that wretched language of the Pharisee, " Stand 
aside, for I am holier than thou." But in our Prayer- 
book, thank God, there is no trace of this self-satisfaction, 
no trace of the self-soothing and trenchant division 
between the world and the saints. No, in the prayers of 
that book we all, the very proudest of us, must come 
before God as sinners ; yet all, the very meanest of us, 



as children too ; all of u-s as brethren of Christ, and 
cb.ildrcn of our most merciful Father, — all of us as 
eciually guilty, yet all as equally redeemed. The priest 
and the publican, the Magdalen and the Pharisee, united 
in one common Saviour, must approach in the same 
words the footstool and the mercy-seat of the same God. 
O let us thank God for this hallowed Book of Common 
Prayer : — for this pure golden censer which, refined in 
the sevenfold fires of affliction, has gleamed so brightly 
from the days of the Apostles in the hands of his great- 
est saints, — for ' this golden censer which was purged at 
the Reformation from all its dross and in which have 
mingled together, amid the storms and agitations of a 
thousand years, those voices of true supplication which 
rise like the richest of all incense through the hands of 
the great High Priest before the throne. 

We begin our service with a word of admonition to 
solemnise our thoughts ; then comes an exhortation to 
remind us where we are ; and this is followed by a con- 
fession of our sins, by the authoritative promise of 
forgiveness; and by the words of that Divine petition 
wherewith our Lord taught His disciples to pray. And 
after this we are in a fit mood for the Canticle and the 
Psalm. Now the necessity of exhortation, of confession, 
and of absolution, are plain to every mind ; but this 
weekly and daily use of the Psalms of David has been 
censured, by more than one eminent thinker^, as indis- 
criminate and absurd. My brethren, when our hearts 

^ Stowell. 

^ Especially by Baron von Bunsen. 



are rightly attuned to the spirit of devotion, do wc really 
find it so ? It is true that d ifferent Psalms are the echo 
of different moods; and the wild utterance of anguish 
wherewith the soul cries "out of the depths" to the 
living God, requires a different condition of mind for its 
realization to that wherein Da\'id bids "take the Psalm, 
and bring hither the tabret, the merry harp with the lute." 
But surely this is the very reason why the Psalms, when 
many are assembled, contain something suitable for the 
varying moods of every worshipper. They are the echoes 
of a deep and passionate emotion; the records of a 
strugghng yet noble life ; and because they came fresh 
and burning from the heart, they will enter fresh and 
burning into it, and will cause to vibrate for ever the 
finest and most musical chords of human sympathy. 
Of David, it miglit be truly said as of the angel of 
Mohametan legend, that his heartstrings were a lute. 
He learnt in suffering what he taught in song. Through 
all that wonderful and moving life of his ; from the time 
when, as a boy, he lived among his mountain flocks and 
smote the lion and the bear, to the glorious youth, in 
which he slew the giant, and lulled with his melodies the 
evil spirit which vexed the dark soul of his king, — 
through all the long reign which dawned in fame, and 
splendour, and manhood, and set in dotage and tears 
and blood, — this man, who, though he had sunk into 
abhorred acts of lust and murder, was yet counted among 
the saints of God, has left us in these Psalms, as on a 
harp with a thousand strings, the thrilling record of every 
sublime thought, of every troubled moment, of every 



fiery experience which swept over the horizon of his 
soul. He was a sinner indeed, but it is 

" the sin wliich practice burns into the blood, 
And not the one darlc hour that brings remorse. 
That stamps us after of whose fold we be : " 

and these Psalms are the living picture of a heart which, 
in spite of all its awful failures, was yet longing, yearning, 
praying continually, with all its energies and through all 
its agonies, for that which was noble, and pure, and 
good : and therefore so long as our souls also live and 
struggle and fail, so long will these Psalms of David 
supply us with the fittest language in which to find vent 
for our experiences; so long will they cheer the de- 
pression of the mournful, and check the carelessness of 
the mirthful ; so long will they teach us how best to pray 
against our temptations, how best to bewail our sins. 

And you, my brethren, in rendering those Psalms into 
music, and so singing merrily unto God your strength, 
are uttering them as David meant them to be uttered. 
Oh be sure that yours is a holy ministry, and let the 
youngest boy in those village choirs who can use the 
sweet voice which God has given him in praise and 
giving thanks, feel happy that God accepts this service at 
his hands. For the influence of music is powerful and 
holy; and, in the words of an old Father, they must 
have hearts very dry and tough for whom the sweetness 
and softness of that which toucheth the ear does not 
convey, as it were by stealth, the treasure of good things 
into man's mind. " They must have hearts very dry and 
tough," says Hooker, "from whom the melody of the 

F.S. 10 



Psalms doth not sometimes draw that wherein a religious 
soul delighteth ; " and have your hearts never leapt within 
you, my brethren, when, with the rolling tones of organ 
music and choral song, you sang in passionate exultation, 
" O praise the Lord of heaven ; praise him in the height ; 
praise him all ye angels of his ; praise him all his host. 
Praise him sun and moon ; praise him all ye stars and 
light " ? or have you never thrilled with sudden emotion 
at the swelling jubilance of the strains which tell how 
God scattered His enemies as stubble before the wind — 
" the tabernacles of the Edomites and Ishmaelites, the 
Moabites and Hagarenes; Gebal and Ammon and 
Amalek ; the Philistines also with them that dwell at 
Tyrus"? Those who, in a world of sorrow and mammon- 
worsliip, are glad and thankful for any noble pleasure 
which can raise and inspire the soul above its low- 
thoughted cares, — which can breathe into it, even for an 
hour, something of that high happiness which God 
intended for every innocent heart, — will rejoice to hear 
the powers of music dedicated to God's praise, and will 
be sure that He who made the common air thrill with 
ten thousand melodies, will not be displeased that our 
worship upon earth should catch some faint echo of that 
''sevenfold chorus of Hallelujahs and harping sym- 
]ihonies" wherewith the song of angels encircles His 
heavenly throne. 

And so we come to the Lessons for morning and 
evening service ; and these chapters, selected as they 
are from the very grandest portions of Holy Writ, — 
forming as they do the most priceless jewels of that 



inestimable treasure-house, — may well be ranked among 
the most blessed parts of our Sunday Service. Oh learn, 
my brethren, — above all learn in these days in which too 
often the Bible is degraded into a wrangling-ground for 
sectarian differences, — learn to love and reverence it 
aright. May it ever be associated in our minds with all 
things which are " soft and gentle and pure and penitent 
and good." In its words, while yet we were helpless 
infants, we were admitted into that fold whereof Christ 
is the good Shepherd ; out of its words a mother— now 
it may be a saint in heaven — taught us at her knee to be 
early accustomed to the story of our Saviour's love. In 
its words of mystery and beauty, we received the blessing 
of God as we stood beside the marriage-altar. In its 
words of healing and hope we found the thoughts of 
consolation and the promises of immortality, when 
Death broke pitilessly into the circle of our beloved. 
We have read its words with eyes blinded by tears in old 
churches far away ; and its words have breathed into our 
souls a sweet and healing calm even as we leant over the 
open grave where we had just laid our best beloved into 
the dust. Never shall we know until the last great day 
what life histories hang upon its every page. It is like 
that tree of northern fable, whose leaves were the lives 
of men. How often, in crucial moments of temptation, 
have its remembered words prevented the commission of 
some dread crime ; how often, flashing into the memory, 
has it awakened the slumbering conscience with thunder- 
crashes of remorse. How often has the drowning sailor 
thought of it when, in some lone sea, the breaker swept 




him from the stranded vessel into the seething depths ; 
how often the dying soldier, as he lay face upwards, in 
the cold moonlight, on the battle-field, with the life-blood 
ebbing from his wounds ; and men and women, on 
peaceful deathbeds, die most often with its words upon 
their lips, when they turn from their sobbing families to 
wet the pillow with their weak tears and die. Oh let us 
treasure, let us love the words which come to us hallowed 
and intensified with such wondrous associations of child- 
hood and innocence, of marriage and sickness, of eternity 
and death. 

And those hymns which you sing, — embalming some 
of the holiest thoughts of some of the holiest men, — my 
brethren, how happy, how truly delightful, a part of 
God's services are they ! What a page of the soul's story 
would that be which should tell us the origin of our 
favourite hymns ! God is our refuge in distress " 
sprang like a spark of fire from the glowing soul of 
Luther in the year when the Princes of Germany pre- 
sented to the Diet of Spires that celebrated Protest from 
which is derived the name of Protestant " Lo, he 
comes in clouds descending " expresses the thought of 
Cennick during the tumults and horrors of European 
war. "Jerusalem the Golden" echoes in Dr. Neale's 
translation the immortal yearnings of Bernard of Cluny. 
" O for a closer walk with God " is the deep sigh of 
Cov\-per when the cloud of insanity was overshadowing 
one of the tenderest and sweetest of Christian souls. 
" From Greenland's icy mountains " tells of that bright 
philanthropy which sent the noble spirit of Heber from 



all his high English prospects to die in his Indian 
bishopric. " Oft in sorrow, oft in woe " was written in 
fragments on the backs of the mathematical papers of 
Henry Kirke White, when that eagle intellect was 
already being pierced by a shaft winged from its own 

" Abiae with me, fast falls the eveningtide, 
The darkness deepens, Lord, with me abide ; 
When other comforts fail, and helpers flee, 
Friend of the friendless, oh abide with me," 

was written by Henry Lyte, when the deep chill waters 
of death's river were beginning already to close around 
him. And yet more various than the circumstances 
under which hymns have been written, are the circum- 
stances under which they have been sung. It was after 
having sung a hymn that our dear and blessed Lord 
crossed the brook Kedron to enter on His agony in the 
garden of Gethsemane ; it was with hymns that Paul and 
Silas, their backs scorched and bleeding with Roman 
rods, solaced their midnight solitude in the dungeon of 
Philippi; it was the song of boy singers with their hymnal 
that woke up the fasting Luther from his dangerous 
swoon in the cell of Erfurdt ; it was a little girl singing 
a hymn on the doorstep of her home that comforted the 
banished Melancthon in the streets of Weimar ; it was 
with hymns that the camp of William the Conqueror 
resounded on the eve of that great battle that changed 
for centuries the destinies of England ; they rang in the 
sweet valleys of the Vaudois while they were being 
deluged with innocent blood; they have given enthu- 


siasm to the warrior as he rode to danger; they have 
cheered the martyr's soul in the hour of death. We 
probably all know cases of the deep root they strike in 
the memory ; — one such instance among many came not 
long ago to my knowledge. By one of those mysterious 
Providences, which shew our utter ignorance of the 
divine ways, it was God's will to call to Himself the soul 
of a young and hopeful boy — as young and as full of 
hope as some of you — and that, not down the lingering 
declivities of disease, but by the sharp stroke of sudden 
accident. It was in the hymns stored up in his memory 
that the dying boy found his main consolation. The 
last hour drew nigh, and he asked his young sister to 
sing for him that earnest and favourite hymn of Toplady's 
which has breathed calm over the tossed soul of so many 
a penitent : 

' ' Rock of ages, deft for me, 
Let me hide myself in thee : " 

but, as her voice first wavered and then broke dowTi with 
tears, sweetly and almost steadily the voice of the d)'ing 
sufferer arose ; sweetly it lingered on the lines of comfort, 
and even while it lingered, the silver cord was loosed, 
the golden bowl broken, and in the very words which he 
had been uttering, the " eyelids closed in death," and 
the young spirit had " risen to worlds unknown," to hide 
in that Rock whereon his trust was stayed. 

It is not my purpose, brethren, to go through the rest 
of our service, — to dwell on those other prayers that may 
kindle our darkening souls as the embers of a fire are 
kindled by breath of air ; on those commandments which 


remind us of the fiery majesty of the moral law; or on 
that Holy Sacrament, which at its every recurrence 
should bring home to us more deeply that " Man doth 
not live by bread alone, but by every word that pro- 
ceedeth out of the mouth of God." But let me, selecting 
but one more topic, pass at once to say a few words on 
that portion of the Service to which so many attach 
an exaggerated importance, and so many an exaggerated 

"Resort to sermons," says the old poet of our Church, 
" but to prayers most, — praying's the end of preaching." 
But yet it is too much of a modern and unchristian 
fashion to disparage or discredit this ordinance in itself 
True it is, — and it would be absurd to deny or conceal 
the inevitable fact, — that from the pulpit are spoken 
many trite, many fatiguing, and many unprofitable words. 
True it is, that not to one in ten thousand, that to 
a few only in a generation, is it given by the grace 
of God 

" To preach as one who ne'er should preach again, 
And as a dying man to dying men ; " 

to stand forth like a heavenly archer, and to hurl into the 
dark heart arrows of lightnings ; to wield the Word of 
God as that which indeed it is, a hammer to dash in 
pieces the flinty conscience ; a fire to devour the stubble 
of human deceitfulness ; a sword to pierce the soul, and 
to divide in sunder the very joints and marrow. But 
what then, my brethren ? Does the unprofitableness, 
does what St. Paul calls the foolishness of our preaching 


arise solely or mainly from the weakness of the preacher? 
Has the listlessness, the weariness, the wilful inattention 
of the congregation nothing to do with it ? Is the failure 
of the sermon the fault of Paul who preached, or of 
Eutychus who slept? How can the words of the preacher 
stir your conscience, how can they touch your heart, if 
you settle yourselves down into supercilious indifference, 
with a predetermination not to be converted, not to be 
instructed, not to be aroused, — if you cover yourselves 
and your sins with that triple panoply of ice and steel, 
wherein is not even one joint of the harness tlirough 
which the arrow of conviction can wing its way ? You 
blame the preacher, my brethren, but was it that he did 
not sow good seed, or was it that it fell on the stony ai.d 
trodden ground ? Was it that he was ineffective, or that 
your own hearts were preoccupied and dead ? You 
listened — aye, you listened critically, impatiently, un- 
concernedly — but where was the meek heart and due 
reverence, where was the humble spirit and the childlike 
faith ? Ah, sirs, let us be humble listeners. Let us try 
to regard the preacher with the kindness and forbearance 
due to a brother, — our brother indeed in sins, in in- 
firmities, in all sad experience, — our inferior, it may be, 
in utterance, in knowledge, and even in every spiritual 
grace, — but still to one who has been set apart as the 
ambassador of God, and who, however feeble, may yet 
have some special message of God for our individual 
souls. Aye, and the Word of God has not lost its power, 
and the arm of God is not shortened. These despised 
sermons may perhaps be, and I believe that they often 



are, the invisible links of that golden chain which keeps 
our souls from falling into utter forgetfulness of God. 

I have spoken, then, my brethren, of the Sabbaths we 
keep — their peace and calm ; of the Services in which 
we join — their beauty and refreshfulness ; of the hymns 
and psalms, which inspire us with their ennobling music ; 
of the hallowed earthly temples wherein we meet for the 
worship of God. Before you leave this church you will 
have the opportunity of assisting by your contributions a 
gathering intended to add to the beauty, to the solemnity, 
to the happiness of our weekly Services; and that oppor- 
tunity I trust and I am sure that you will not neglect ; — 
but oh remember, in conclusion, that all these are but 
what we make them. Not by singing "Lord, Lord," 
but by doing the will of Christ, shall you enjoy a fore- 
taste of heaven. No number of Hallelujahs, sung with 
an unloving heart, can bring you one step nearer to the 
throne;— and he who chants the Trisagion of the 
Seraphim with lips uncircumcised, offers a service as 
little pleasing as the blasphemy of the condemned. 
The very prayer of such an one is turned into sin. Oh 
remember, then, that your duty may become your 
danger ; the happy privilege may be changed into the 
terrible stumbling-block. Your Sabbaths, your songs, 
your Services, — these may be to you a crystal river of 
unreproved enjoyment ; they may become turbid and 
wearisome, an unprofitable burden, an idle form. But, 
for the heart which is cleansed and calm, not these only 
but life itself becomes a Sabbath, whose inward rest no 
agitations can disturb ; a Service which no weariness can 


invade ; a Hymn on which no discord can jar ; a 
Temple of God, about which indeed the clouds may 
roll, but of which no clouds can quench the Light of 
that Presence which shines within. Only through tha 
heart can you see God. " Through the glass darkly," it 
has been said, " but except through the glass in no wise. 
A tremulous crystal, waved as water, poured out upon 
the ground : you may despise it, defile it, pollute it, at 
your pleasure and at your peril : for on the peace of 
those weak waves must all the heaven you shall ever 
gain be first seen : and through such purity as you c?.-:. 
win for those dark waves must all the light of the r; 
Sun of Righteousness be bent down by faint refractiu . 
Cleanse them, and calm them as you love your life." 



(Preached before Harrow School, January 15, 1863. 

Luke xv. 16. — " And he would fain have filled his belly with the 
husks that the swine did eat : and no man gave unto him." 

There are two banquets ever outspread before you, — 
God's banquet and the world's. The fair linen cloth 
upon yonder altar, covering the broken bread and the 
sacramental wine, reminds you of one image of that 
table which God provides us in the wilderness of life. 
The bread from heaven, — -the meat which consists in 
doing the will of God, — the well-spring of water that 
excludes all thirst, and springs up into everlasting life, — 
the tree of life blossoming with t%velve manner of immor- 
tal fruits, and every fruit an innocence or a virtue ; — 
these are the few and simple t}^cs of God's banquet, — 
of that marriage supper of the King's Son to which 
the voice of God invites continually His children in the 

The few and simple types, — there is no lu.xury here, 
no alluring splendour, no regal magnificence. Far more 
outwardly gorgeous, far more dazzHng in its voluptuous 


pomp, is the gay banquet of the world. Wealth lavishes 
upon it her silver and gold, — art degrades for its adorn- 
ment tlie mystery of soft colours, and perfect forms, 
— beauty wears beside it her most dangerous smile, — 
sinful mirth laughs loudly at its reckless orgies. Over 
that table pride waves her haughtiest banners, and the 
trumpets of ambition breathe out their most maddening 
notes. It is a banquet of the world's best which she 
offers to her votaries first; every day she is offering it 
to you. 

These are the two banquets ; but mark the difference 
between them. Eat of the bread of life, and you shall 
hunger no more ; drink of its crystal river, and you 
cannot thirst again. The soul eats and drinks thereof, 
and it is satisfied for ever. But, sit down at the world's 
feast, and what follows ? You eat, and ever as the food 
grows coarser and scantier, the craving hunger gnaws 
you with keener pangs ; you drink, till the wine cup is 
drawn down to the lees, but the bitter draught only 
scorches the parched throat. You are hardly seated 
there, when, as though an enchanter waved his wand, 
you behold it all in its true light ; you are sitting amid the 
gilded relics of corruption ; for beauty there is burning, 
the riches are corrupted, the garments moth-eaten, the 
gold and silver is red with the canker and the rust You 
would not have believed it before ; for everything was 
masked and counterfeit, and the triple veil of folly and 
sensuality were bound upon your eyes. You would not 
believe it before, but you see it now. You look round 
you, and none but the Dead are there. 



Many of you, still under the spell of enchantment, are 
sitting, I say, at this banquet now ; many who have gone 
from the midst of us are among its weary guests. It 
hath never wanted its countless revellers. But, because 
its seductiveness is so strong, and because till you have 
seen its horror no hand can tear you from its allurements, 
and because to-day you are invited to another and a 
purer feast, listen to me while, following the teaching of 
our Lord and Master, I tell you the history of one who 
accepted that fatal invitation. It is the life-history of one, 
— and if of one, then it is also the life-history of countless 
human souls. Perhaps it is the history of some of those 
souls that are looking at me even now with the eyes of 
youth. It is no far-fetched story ; the very youngest boy 
here knows it well ; the sun never shines at morning 
without flinging the picture of it in colours of blue and 
crimson from the chancel windows on the chapel-floor, 
yet it happens that during more than seven years I 
remember but once to have heard it made the subject 
of a sermon from this place, though it is the most 
divinely tender, the most awfully pathetic, of the Parables 
of Christ, the Parable of the Prodigal Son. 

" A certain man had two sons ; and the younger of 
them said to his father. Father, give me the portion of 
goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his 
living." We are those children, and to us does God our 
Father divide His gracious and glorious gifts. To all of 
us Pie gives this earth, with its daily miracles of beauty 
and power ; to all of us the sunrise and the sunset, the 
flowers and the dew of heaven, the mountains and rivers, 


the sky and fields. To all of us the healthy airs of day 
and the soft sleep of night ; to each of us a home, and 
the sweet voice of friend or brother, of wife or child ; to 
each of us the perfect round of life's changing seasons, 
and the sweet mystery of death, and the hope of heaven 
beyond. And to you many special and precious gifts ; 
the glories of living, " the luxury of sight and sound, the 
golden hours of youth," the inestimable gem of Time ; 
to many of you rank and wealth, strength of arm, 
advantage of position, power of mind. These are God's 
talents ; the inheritance He divides among us at our 
birth. He gives them to us, — for what purpose? To 
bury, or hide, or squander them in self-seeking, in self- 
indulgence, for self-glory ? Nay, not so ! They are 
His, not ours j given, not earned ; nay, rather lent, not 
given, — lent us for His service, to be used for His glory 
with contentedness, with industry, with love. 

Alas ! it was not so that the young prodigal used his. 
We have looked on the picture of his home j now mark 
his departure from it. " And not many days after the 
younger son gathered all together, and took his journey 
into a far country." Not many days after ; sad woids, 
full of mournful meaning ! Still in his glad boyhood, 
but a few days after he had received the gifts of life, he 
seeks to leave his father's home. All its sweet memories, 
all its yearning affections, all its loving faces are nothing 
to him. He spurns its pure and holy atmosphere, its 
gentle and wholesome discipline, its secure and uecessaiy 
restraint ; he has never felt the graceful beauty of obe- 
dience, the rich blessing of youthful dependency. What 


tl'ies he care for all that ? He wants to follow the bent 
of his wild wayward passions. His inmost heart burns 
lor a spurious liberty, a ruinous license to have his own 
way. He will be a god, knowing good and evil. His 
father, you see, does not oppose him ; his heart may 
.Tche for it, yet he must let him eat of the fruit of his own 
works, and be filled with his own devices. The wilful 
must have their own way ; they must learn by their own 
experience, both as a punishment and as a cure. When 
an eager boy mounts the chariot of life, and hurls reason 
from the seat, and casts the reins to passion, he must be 
swept away by the wild career of those fiery steeds, till 
their brief strength is broken, and he is flung down 
shattered and bleeding into the mire beneath their 

And so gathering all together, his youth, his health, 
his beauty, his riches, the poor deluded boy, amid 
parting tears and the waving of farewell hands, rides 
away lighthearted from father and from home. Do you 
blame and scorn the gay young fool? Do you say 
that he must have been some "warped slip of the 
wilderness," and no true scion of the old stock ? Nay, 
but is it not what we all have done ? Do we not all, as 
soon almost as we are born, go astray and speak lies, 
and inflame ourselves with our own idols under every 
green tree ? A-re we not daily living among sons who 
have forgotten and flung to the winds all the pure and 
tender lessons of childhood and home ? Have we not 
all known many " a younker and prodigal " who, not in a 
figure, but in fact, has turned his back on the home of 


his infancy, who has left his weeping mother and family, 
and forsaking the guide of his youth, and, forgetting the 
covenant of his God, has plunged up to the lips in the 
giddy vortex of vice and sin, and come back, if at all, 
only as " a forlorn and desperate castaway " ? Have we 
forgotten that the first boy born into the world was also 
the first murderer, and was driven forth from the pre- 
sence of God with a brand upon his brow ? 

He rode forth into "a far country" — alas! how far 
from heaven and from home — how different are the sights 
and sounds of it from all that he has heard and seen 
before ! In old days the young knights rode forth to do 
justice and redress wrong, — and that was a noble and a 
hopeful starting. But this young prodigal's riding forth, 
— it was all meanness, and sadness, and misery. Look 
for nothing brave or manly there. From innocence to 
sin, from sin to sorrow, — there was no beauty in that 
path. To be the slave of Satan, to follow the whisper of 
temptation in the black and dark night, — there was 
nothing but abomination in that errand. A bird hasting 
to the snare, an ox led to destruction, are the fit emblems 
of that pilgrimage. The roads are different, but all 
deadly; one leads to madness, one to suicide, one to 
sudden destruction, one to open shame; but they all 
sweep through the valley of the shadow, they all end in 
the chambers of death and hell. 

And what does the youth do in this far country? It 
is a short and simple description; he "wastes his sub- 
stance with riotous living." You have seen the home, 
and the departure, — fill up the third scene as you wilL 


(live the prodigal all the benefit of his brief pleasuring. 
Let the meteor-lights of delusive happiness dance before 
him in all their dangerous splendour. This is the brief 
madness of the prodigal's delirious dream. Imagine the 
unhappy youth lying at the glittering feast, with his eyes 
sparkling and the crown of roses twined around his hair. 
Let the mirth be furious, and the revels long and loud. 
Add if you will the dulcet flatteries of a false friendship, 
aye, and the base lures of a simulated love. Let Vice 
wear for a time the bewitching mask which has made him 
turn away from the pure face of Virtue to gaze upon her. 
These are the pleasures of sin for a season ; for sin, like 
many another poison, is sweet to the taste at first. If it 
were not who would taste it? Who would ever have 
been tempted by the Lamia of ancient fable, if a sem- 
blance of beauty did not conceal the venomous fangs 
and the serpent folds ? Let the prodigal have this scene 
to himself ; no man has ever enjoyed it long ! The next 
feast at which we shall meet him will be a different one 
from this. 

He " wasted " his substance with riotous living, so that 
we are not surprised to hear that he had soon " spent all." 
There is no moderation in tliat career. It is an amazing 
thing how men do waste the gifts of life ! nay, " waste " 
is a slight word, — how they squander, lavish, spill, devour 
them, — how they empty themselves of all that is pure 
and noble in life, as when one wipeth out a dish and 
turneth it upside down. Soon, very soon, the prodigal 
found that the bare materials of pleasure are gone; 
marvellously soon his youth is consumed, his strength 



sapped, his beauty withered, his wealth devastated, satiety 
has seized him hke a perpetual sickness ; his very sense 
of enjoyment is blunted and palled. The disenchant- 
ment comes wonderfully early : long before youth is over, 
the very capacity for real joy is gone. The youth 
feels that he is killing himself, and that he has killed 
already every healthy and true pleasure within him. 
The devil promises, but he does not care to pay; 
he who sells himself to a liar, must not be surprised 
that he has earned, as his sole reward, a lie. Sin 
gives even her poor poisonous pleasures only grudg- 
ingly : — enough to tempt, not enough to appease ; 
enough to enflame and corrode for a lifetime the 
vitiated taste, not enough to give a sense of satisfaction 
for a single day. She promises rapture; she gives the 
only thing she has to give, and that is her own dis- 
gustful presence, and the Death which dogs her footsteps 
and notches his arrow against her upon the twanging 

So " there arose a mighty famine in that land ; " there 
always has been a famine in that far land. Before the 
spirit is quite quenched, and the soul quite camalised, 
there is a craving for higher and better things, which 
cannot now be realized ; and when the spirit is quenched, 
and the soul is embruted, there is a famine even of that 
false food which is not bread, and thirst for those stolen 
waters which only make the thirst more hot. It is a 
gaunt hungry land, that land of sin, peopled only by 
divers diseases and sundry kinds of death. And its 
famine-stricken inhabitants are forced from worse to 


worse ; to pleasure of a baser and baser sort, to sins of 
a deeper and deeper degradation, which yet, to thtir 
unhappy minds, are ever more and more vapid and taste- 
less. Nothing is more mournfully instructive than " the 
dirges which the tired children of this world are evei 
wailing forth over the departed gladness of their youth." 
It has been with them like a fevered dream; they have 
dreamt of eating, and when they awake, lo ! they are 
hungry. Looking around them they have nothing to 
shew as an equivalent for their own ruin ; where are all 
those hours of folly and of pleasure and of sin ? They 
have not left even a trace behind. For what, after all, 
have they sold themselves ? It is as though they were 
sitting down in the ashes of a palace which their own 
hands have burnt. He "began to be in want." No 
wonder ; it is^ a passage from ten thousand biographies. 
Let me put beside it but one familiar page from real life. 
There was one whose name is often shewn to strangers 
carved by his own hand on our schoolroom wall, but of 
whom, alas ! we have no reason to be proud. Well, he 
had well-nigh every gift that God could give him. He 
was young; he was beautiful; he was rich; he bore a 
noble name ; he excelled in all feats of athletic power ; 
he had burning within him the light of a glorious genius. 
Fortune seemed to have showered upon him, with both 
hands, her brightest stars. The world lay like a jmth of 
light before him, where he might take his ease and 
enjoyment to the full. Well, he tried the experiment, 
and how did this one of yourselves, even this poet of 
your own, write, long before he had attained the full 


flower of life in its prime of manhood ? These are his 
words : — 

"My days are in the yellow leaf, 

The flowers, the fruits of love are gone; 
The worm, the canker, and the grief 
Are mine alone. 

The fire that on my bosom preys, 

Is lone as some volcanic isle ; 
No torch is lighted at its blaze, — 

A funeral pile." 

You see it is the old old story over again; the 
prodigal's famine in the land of sin. That fire which 
preys on the bosom of the guilty — what is it ? Is it not 
most often " that infernal fire, whose fuel is gluttony, 
whose flame is pride, whose sparkles are wanton words, 
whose ashes are uncleanness, whose end is helP?" 

Yes ! for in the next and fourth scene the Prodigal has 
lost every germ of self-respect, and is abased even unto 
hell. " And he went and joined himself unto a citizen 
of that country j and he sent him into his fields to feed 
swine." There is no lighted banquet here, no cro'mi of 
roses, or smiles of pleasure, — no wreathing perfumes or 
intoxicating draughts ; — no, the fourth scene is rags, 
famine, beggary, loneliness ; and therewith an occupation, 
which was degrading even to filthy and witless Gadarenes, 
but which to a Jewish ear carried a sickening sense of 
disgust and detestation, which made it represent the last 
depth of hopeless squalor. What a hideous fall for the 
rich and gay boy who, so short a time before, had ridden 
' SU Augustine. 


forth in hope and beauty, from the peaceful abundance of 
his father's home, to "enjoy Hfe," to be "independent," 
to be " free ! " Where were all his friends and flatterers, 
— the partners of his prosperity, the boon companions of 
his mirthful orgies ? They, like his riches, had departed 
from him. True friendship is not purchased thus ; it is 
an attribute of virtue and righteousness, and can only be 
cemented between high and noble minds. Even the 
good man, who alone knows what a sacred thing true 
friendship is, may miss this blessing, and be forced to 
walk in utter loneliness through the dreary intercourse of 
daily life, scorning that hollow simulacrum with which 
conventionality desecrates the great name of friend ; but 
if the good man 7my, the bad man must miss it. Part- 
nership in pleasure, association in vice and crime, is no 
bond of union, but the sure source of ultimate aversion. 
Those who flatter and spoil you, — those who encourage 
you in sin and sneer at you in what is right, — those for 
the fear of whom or the approval of whom you sell your 
birthright of innocence, and fling the jewel of early piety 
under the feet of dogs, — these never will or can be your 
friends. They only despise you for your weakness, and 
you will soon learn to hate them for the wrong they do. 
You are only their dupe, to be first lowered to their own 
level, then tossed aside with scorn. When they are tired 
of your companionship, they will only laugh at your 
calamities ; when you have ceased to serve their purposes, 
they will send you to feed swine. 

And so, step by step, we have come to that climax of 
the poor youth's history which is contained in the text 


every word of which strikes the ear like the echo of some 
unfathomable despair ; " and he would fain have filled his 
belly with the husks that the swine did eat, and no tnan 
gave unto him." " He would fain ; " why what a strange, 
unearthly, unnatural longing is this, and what a sore sore 
famine it must have been that caused it ! The day had 
been when this boy had lived abundantly on pure and 
wholesome food; had known what it was to wear the 
best robe and the jewelled ring, and feed in innocent 
merriment upon the fatted calf ; but now we have filth, 
and abasement, desertion, rags, beggary, and a hunger 
that crumbles and parches up the very strings of life. 
Oh ! that gna-vving hunger, gnawing like a viper at the 
secret heart; the hunger that nothing can appease, 
nothing allay, nothing satisfy ; the hunger so corrupt that 
it cannot taste the food of virtue, and gasps in vain even 
for the filthy husks that in the hour of famine feed tlie 
unclean beast, that hunger which is worse than hell itself, 
and which is all the after-taste which can be ever left 1 \- 
the world's feasts ; how at one touch does our Lord 
it before us, compressing into a word the history of 
erring souls, the fate of sinflil nations and sinful men ! 
" He would fain have filled his belly." You know that 
when the hunters of Ceylon can get no food, they eat the 
bark of trees as a substitute for food, so with the 
prodigal : there is no question now of satisf}'ing the 
appetite, but only of "filling the belly." And why? — for 
this awful reason ; because when the pleasures of sin 
have long long ceased to be pleasures, they have not 
ceased to haunt and tear the hungry soul; they leave 



behind them the fiery brood of evil habits, to breed in 
and feed upon the soul, so that the wretch longs to fill his 
belly, though he knows that even thus, and even with this 
vile food, he cannot appease the cravings of his want. 
And the same thing is implied by the final touch of all ; 
the last line to this picture of anguish and degradation, 
that infinitely pathetic conclusion of this story of his fall, 
" and no man gave unto him." O sin, thou art indeed a 
hard master to him who serveth thee ! 

Thus have I traced from our Lord's Parable the history 
of a soul's fall. But thanks be to God, there is a most 
tender and touching close to this dark story, the history 
of a soul's recovery. God's mercy enabled this sinner to 
repent. God's voice found him in the bitter hankering 
loneliness of his pollution and distress ; it came to him 
like the first stirrings of the vernal wind that wakes the 
earth from the stupefaction of winter. That dawn of 
repentance in the soul comes in different ways to different 
men. To some it comes with a sudden, overwhelming, 
irresistible power, in a great flash of lightning, and a 
sudden shuddering intuition of God's presence, as to him 
whose conversion the Church commemorates to-day. 
To others it comes by some word of Holy Writ, falHng 
unexpectedly into some open place in the heart of stone, 
as a sunbeam struggles into a dark rift between the rocks. 
I have read of one first awoke to his desperate condition 
by hearing read the mere chapter of a Scripture genealogy, 
where many verses end with the words " and he died," 
which verses brought him face to face with Death and the 
unseen world. I have read of another who first began to 


think of spiritual things when his thouglits were arrested 
by the verse, " A living dog is better than a dead lion." 
He might be mean and low, he knew it ; but at least he 
was living, and the meanest living has an opportunity 
which may have ceased to exist for the noblest dead. 
But in most cases probably it is by means of evil that we 
learn that good is best, and through sin and sorrow and 
punishment we are raised into eternal life. So it was 
that the Prodigal was converted. Broken, humbled, 
ruined, the wanderer came to himself; he remembered 
his Father's home ; and in spite of disgrace, and shame, 
rmd fear — those things which have prevented many a 
poor erring boy from coming back to a home which he 
has left — he takes the only path which the sinner has left 
open to himself, he gives up his sins, leaves them behind 
him, confesses them unreservedly, humbles himself be- 
cause of them to the very dust. " He arose, and came 
to his Father." 

And now will his father receive him? There are 
thousands of earthly fathers ^\ho have not done so, 
though the offence committed against them has been far 
less heinous than that of the Prodigal. One father I 
knew once, whose son had been sent to sea. The boy 
may have behaved badly, but at any rate he was ill- 
treated, he was miserable, and he ran away from his ship 
to seek once more his father's home. How did his 
father — an old man, a clergyman, and one who had 
known sorrow — receive him ? He took the boy to an 
upper room, locked him up there, gave him bread and 
water to eat and drink, and next morning, in spite of 


entreaties and of tears, took him straight back to the 
sliip he hated, and the captaiu from whose persecutions 
he had fled. That boy never again, never again, came 
liack to his father's home. And how could the prodigal 
know that he too would not be received with cruelty and 
punishment, perhaps with stripes and death ? how could 
he expect aught else than to have the doors shut against 
him, and to be driven with infamy from the hearts he 
had desolated, and the home he had stained and 
shamed ? 

You know how he was received. In the whole round 
of human and divine literature there is nothing equal 
to that wonderful depth of impassioned and forgiving 
love. "And he arose, and came to his father. And 
when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and 
had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and 
kissed him," — why need I add the rest, which you all 
know? Oh ! may every lost, every dead son here, be 
thus alive again, be thus found ! for there are prodigals 
here ; prodigals young in years, but old in sin ; unsus- 
pected and unknown it may be, yet assuredly they are 
sitting here, feeling the death-hunger in their secret 
souls. " Go thou up into the tribunal of thy own con- 
science, and set thyself before thyself," and ask if it be 
thus with thee. And if so, as thou hast imitated the 
Prodigal's apostasy, even so imitate his repentance and 
his return. Unhappy one I though thy very mind and 
conscience be defiled, though these very words pierce, 
as with the arrow of conviction, thy guilty heart, yet 
even for thee, who from thy wayward childhood hast 


gone astray at the call of every sin, for thee, as for the 
publicans and sinners who heard these words of the Son 
of God, our Father's invitation is full and free. Oh ! 
turn from the world's banquet, which first palls the taste 
and then offers its last dregs, to that pure feast of the 
true bread to which He still invites you. Come as the 
Prodigal did, even in the filthy rags, even from the 
swinish sty: He will not reject you, nay rather He will 
see you afar off, and cover your unworthiness with his 
own white robe, and will allay your anguish of hunger, 
and make the ground bright with heavenly manna for 
your eternal sustenance, and will cool your raging thirst 
with sweet large draughts of that water of the river of 
Life, pure as crystal, which proceedeth out of the throne 
of God, and of the Lamb. 



(Preached before Harrow School on the First Sunday of the Summer 
Term, 1864.) 

Gen. XXV. 27. — "And the boys grew, and Esau was a cunning 
hunter, a man of the field ; and Jacob was a plain man, dwelling 
in tents." 

The life and the heart of man were essentially the same 
4000 years ago as they are now. The hand of the sacred 
historian draws aside the tent-curtains of the patriarch, 
and shows us the same shades of character as may be 
seen in a modern English home. He shews us two boys 
at play. They are the sons of pious parents, the heirs 
of precious promises, the possessors of golden opportu- 
nities ; but though they enjoy the same privileges, they 
make a very different use of them, and throughout life 
they follow very different paths. 

I. The two boys differed as many among you differ. 
Esau was full of healthy vigour and the spirit of adven- 
ture, exulting in field sports, active, muscular, with the 
rough aspect and bounding pulse of the free desert. 
Jacob was a harmless shepherd, pensive and tranquil, 
dwelling by the hearth, and caring only for quiet occu- 
pations. The one was never so happy as when he drank 


the eager mountain air, while he chased the wild roe 
over Judah's hills, or saw the lion leap " with bare breast 
and unarmed claws upon surrounding deaths ; " the other 
never so happy as when he rested among his sheep at 
eventide, and saw the name of God written in starlight 
on the great leaves of the book of heaven, or, in the tent 
and at the feet of Abraham (now an old man, and full of 
years), listened with a beating heart to the story of the 
Promised Seed. 

So far we know nothing wrong of Esau. In those 
days the chase was no idle amusement, but for those 
who followed it a serious and necessary emplo)Tnent, 
lull of manly perils, and a means of providing for daily 
food. The impulses indeed of Jacob were nobler and 
more immortal impulses, but those of Esau, although 
animal, were not intrinsically immoral. Beware of 
idolising, beware of over\'aluing, mere physical pre- 
eminence. Strength, and speed, and courage, and 
endurance, are blessings not lightly to be despised ; but 
he who confines his ideal to them, as Esau did, chooses 
a low ideal, and one which can bring a man but little 
peace at the last. Esau is not a good example to imi- 
tate. His uncle Ishmael, the Bedouin chief of a roving 
Arab horde, was probably his model, and the Scripture 
calls him " a wild man," or to render it literally, " a wild 
ass of a man." Well, the wild ass of the desert is a 
gallant and dazzling creature, swift, indomitable, and 
strong ; in these gifts even an Ishmael cannot rival, 
much less excel it : but is a son of Abraham, nay more, 
a son of God, to be content, like the ignorant savage, to 



take his name and find his prototype in some unin- 
telligent creature of the wild ? Why then what a pitiful 
thing his life must be, hardly better than the gleaming 
of some gorgeous insect in an hour of summer's sun ! 
For these bodily triumphs, if they be all that a man can 
look to, are only possible for a few short years, and 
where is he, or what pleasures has he left, when youth 
has glided by like a dream, and sickness, or accident, or 
inevitable age, have dried up his strength like a potsherd, 
and brought him to the gates of death ? Live not in the 
present only, but provide for the future too. Vigour, 
and strength, and other physical gifts may be an inno- 
cent, nay more, a glorious, crown round die brows of 
manhood ; but they never can be so if they are sought 
exclusively, if they are not united to other and better 
things. In themselves there was nothing wrong in 
Esau's tastes ; I only say that Jacob's were of a nobler 
and a better kind, inasmuch as time is of infinitely less 
moment than eternity, inasmuch as the body is a meaner 
and earthlier thing than the spirit and the soul. 

Yet God has given diversities of gifts, and we ought 
duly to value and thankfully to recognise them all. To 
every living bemg our Father in Heaven has given some- 
thing which shall enable him to maintain his happiness 
and his self-respect ; in short, to hold his own among his 
fellow-men. One has a noble body, another a keen 
intellect ; one excels in the schoolroom, another in the 
cricket-field : each may find in the other something to 
admire, something to imitate, something to respect ; and 
oh ! that each honoured each, and helped each ; for all 


are brethren ; all sons of the same Father ; all sheep of 
a common fold. If it were so, how far greater and hap- 
pier we should be ; but alas ! it is often not so, even in 
the same family. It was not so in Isaac's. The parents 
might have been proud of the gifts of both, and have 
loved both alike ; but instead of that there was unhappy- 
favouritism. Isaac loved his wild and gallant boy, who 
brought him venison from fields which God had blessed ; 
Rebekah folded the gentler and more thoughtful son with 
deeper fondness to a mother's heart. Nor was it otherwise 
with the brothers. Jacob might have taught to Esau a 
more sober wisdom, and Esau might have inspired in 
Jacob a healthier manliness; but instead thereof Esau 
hated Jacob, and Jacob despised Esau. It is one of our 
great dangers that we live only half lives; we do not 
cultivate, as we should do, every part of our moral and 
physical constitution : 

" In this world who can do a thing will not, 
And he who would do, cannot, I perceive : 
And so we half-men struggle." 

Esau reaches but half the blessing of a man, and that 
the meaner and temporal half; "the other half, that he 
is made in the image of an invisible Being," that he has 
the awful gift of immortality, and a life beyond the 
grave, seems seldom or never to have entered into his 
thoughts. "Narrow life spanned his hopes and ex- 
pectations ; the impure earth yielded him all its joy." 

2. So, side by side, these boys grew up, and the next 
memorable scene of their history shows us that the great 
peril of animal life, the peril lest it should forget God 



altogether, and merge into mere uncontrolled, intem- 
perate sensuality, had happened to Esau. We see him 
in this scene living the lowest life to which human nature 
can be addicted, the mere life of the flesh, and culti- 
vation of the bodily affections, "unreasonable, unspiritual, 
unenlightened." Think of it, I pray you, as I bring the 
scene before you. Esau, now grown up into a strong, 
shaggy huntsman, comes in from his day's hunting weary 
to death. It happens that at that moment, Jacob, sitting 
quietly in his tent, has been cooking pottage of lentiles. 
It was one of the cheapest and commonest articles of vege- 
table food, but to the hungry hunter the steaming mess 
looks so tempting and refreshing, that it fills him with 
voracious eagerness. Caught by its red appearance, he 
exclaims with the breathless impatience of a child, "Feed 
me, I pray, with that same red pottage," or as it is, 
literally translated, " Let me devour, I pray thee, that 
red, that red thing ; for I am tired." In the unbridled 
passion of an animal nature, he cannot stop even to get 
the right word out, but can only demand the thing by 
its colour — that red thing— and he must have it at any 
cost. And then all the astute meanness of Jacob's nature 
displays itself; he sees his opportunity, and knowing 
that Esau will barter anything for the gratification of his 
immediate appetite, he says, " Sell me to-day thy birth- 
right." Now as the main blessing of the birthright is a 
spiritual blessing, and as the spiritual is not sorhething 
to eat or drink or grasp with both hands, as it is not 
even visible, and has never helped Esau in his huntings 
and wild sports, he answers with contemptuous readiness. 


" Behold, I shall die sooner or later, and what good is 
this birthright to me?" Jacob seizes the advantage, 
makes Esau swear to the bargain, and then gives him 
this mess of pottage, for which the sensual himter sells 
in one moment the prophecy of the far future, and the 
blessing of a thousand years. It did not take him many 
minutes to eat it ; and then he Scripture adds — with a 
touch of that deep irony, whicn is all the more profound 
and pathetic because it has none of the world's corrosive 
malice in it — adds half sadly, half humorously, — the 
leisurely description, " So he ate, and drank, and rose 
up, and went his way, and despised his birthright." 

" He ate, and drank, and rose up, and went his way, 
and despised his birthright ; " and there you will say was 
the end of it ; and so many and many a sinner has said 
when he shut his eyes and plunged for the first time into 
some sensual indulgence. But alas ! there was only the 
beginning of it, not the end of it. The end of it was 
that he, with all his fine qualities, so frank, and hearty, 
and brave, and generous, never regained that birthright 
which he had despised. First came the reckless and 
frivolous unfaithfulness, which led him into unholy 
marriages with the daughters of a doomed and guilt)- 
race ; then came the blessing which his folly had 
changed into little better than a curse, life by the 
bloody sword, subjection, and a home, not "of the 
fatness of the earth and the dew of heaven," but, as it 
should be rendered, " away from or without " the fatness 
and the dew, in the red rocks namely and burning 
wildernesses of Idumjea. Then too came the scornful 


name of Edom or the Red, branding him as the man 
who had sold his birthright with all its immortal privi- 
leges for a mere red mess ; and so he passes away into 
the wilderness, where he lives 

" as dead, 

And lost to life, and use, and name, and fame ; " 
and when we catch the last glimmering of the clump of 
spears with which, in impulsive passion, he came forth 
to slay the brother whom with impulsive generosity he 
forgave, we hear nothing more of him except that from 
him sprung a long line of obscure dukes, who did no 
good to man, and of whose dynasties the only petty 
record snatched from fortunate oblivion is that one of 
them found some hot springs^ in the wilderness ; and 
he, the father of them all, has no other epitaph than 
this — the epitaph of a life-time recording for ever 
the consummated carelessness of a moment — Esau, a 
profane person, "who for one morsel of meat sold 
his birthright." 

Surely a miserable fate for one who had so many 
manly and noble qualities ; but alas ! it is the very curse 
of sin that it does degrade and pervert, and destroy 
minds otherwise noble. It breaks the one weak link in 
a chain that otherwise may be strong and sound. That 
life, it has been said, must be reprobate indeed, in 
which sin is the narrative, and not the episode. A 
few fine natural qualities, like the meteoric flashes of 
a stormy midnight, serve but to enhance the general 
darkness. This is the very moral of it ; Esau sets his 
1 A. V. "mules." 
F.S. 12 


affections on the earth, and tlierefore loses even that ; 
selHng his soul for the animal pleasures of this life, 
he gets less even of those than his meaner brother. 
And why? because Jacob, with all the contemptible 
faults which lay on the surface of his character, had 
deep within his soul the faith, the faith in the un- 
seen, the sense of dependence on and love to God, 
which Esau did not even comprehend. So that a crisis 
came in Jacob's life which at last purged away the thick 
dross of his spirit, and left that only which was pure and 
high : the crisis came first when he saw that golden 
ladder from heaven to earth whereon the angels trod ; 
and next when, by the Jabbok, his soul wrestled so 
mightily in the lone agony of midnight prayer, and trans- 
formed him, as by the touch of some celestial finger, 
from Jacob the mean and cunning defrauder, into Israel 
the Prince with God. To Esau no such crisis ever came, 
because he was incapable of it ; the crisis of his life was 
the mess which he so greedily devoured. After that, 
like many another fine and generous and manly fellow 
after him, he dwindled more and more into the slave of 
unruly appetites ; the indifference which ever follows 
their indulgence came upon him ; he cooled more and 
more, and hardened more and more in sin, till "the 
brood of sin had battened upon the bowels of human 
happiness," and the furies of an unregenerate nature had 
wrought their own revenge. " Oh horrible thought," it 
has been well said, " that any one for whom Christ died, 
any one wbo had a place in His Church, perhaps a share 
in His blessed sacraments, who has been visited by His 



grace, upon whom the light of Heaven has once fallen, 
who has lived in the tent of His chosen ones, and been 
borne upon the knee beside His saints — that such an 
one should be given up to the full possession of evil, 
with all that such a miserable casting away implies, — and 
all because one vile appetite craved for indulgence," — all 
because a present gratification was preferred to all the 
future, and one violent lust weighed more in the soul's 
balance than the soul, and eternity, and virtue, and the 
love of God. 

Surely you say, the dearest mess of pottage ever eaten ! 
and the strangest and foolishest act ever done ! no one 
else can ever have been so unspeakably senseless ! 
Pardon me, my brethren, this selling of the birthright, 
this selling of the soul, ay, and selling it invariably for 
nought, is a very very common thing. If Esau sold it 
for a morsel of meat, why. Eve sold it for a forbidden 
fruit ; Balaam sold it for a promise that was never ful- 
filled, and a death on the battlefield among the foes of 
God ; Achan sold it for a dress which he never put on, 
and for some gold which lay for a few weeks under the 
turf of his tent-floor ; Ahab sold it for a vineyard, at the 
gate of which the very next morning the prophet met 
him and made it abhorrent to him \ Judas sold it for 
thirty pieces of silver, not one of which he ever spent, 
and all of which he flung down in horror a few days after 
on the temple pavement; the Prodigal sold it for a 
banquet which began with revelry and ended with the 
husks of swine. But what is this? need we seek for 
examples 2,000 years ago ? Has none of you then ever 

12 — 2 


sold it ? Each of you once had or now has a birthright ; 
— the indwelling Spirit of God, a divin-e voice within you 
restraining you from evil, encouraging you to good, — a 
childish heart full of holy obedience and sweetness, — a 
memory unsullied as a crystal rivulet, — an innocence un- 
stained as an angel robe, — a blush as pure as the auroral 
brightness, — a heart that had never knoAvn the agony of 
sin or shame, — this was a part of your birthright ; — ^WTiere 
is it now ? That heart, whose chamber-walls glow with 
evil imaginations, is it there? — that memory teeming with 
passages of sinfulness, is it there ? — that effeminate self- 
indulgence which shirks every duty, and shuns every 
difficulty, is it there ? — that disobedient, or idle, or stub- 
bom spirit of godlessness and sensuaUty — oh tell me, is 
your birthright there ? If not you must have sold it ; 
for what then have you sold it ? Ask, each of you, even 
to the youngest, for what was it that you sold the birth- 
right of a child's innocence ? was it for anything better, 
anything more enduring, anything less shameful, than 
that red pottage ? Even in the popular tales of the 
middle ages, they who sold themselves to the devil sold 
themselves for " some apple of Sodom which to them 
had but a painted rind, or fairy gold which dissolved into 
dust or changed to idle leaves." You think that these 
are mere idle stories : but it is not so ; they are quite 
true. It is still connnon to sell the soul to Satan, but in 
these days men make no bargain. They sell the soul 
not for countless wealth, or boundless power, but for 
some one miserable besetting sin ; or for the sneer of a 
fool ; or for the temptation of some friend — ay, and 


what a friend ! — who leads them by the hand to tlie gates 
of hell ; or for one indulged passion, or one wicked 
thought. They sell for it " all that once enriched and 
cheered them, yea they sell their soul ; and all that they 
have gained by the sacrifice," and all that you have 
gained if you have done it, is sickness and satiety, re- 
morse and spiritual death, a life blasted at the roots, a 
certain fearful anxiety more dismal than midnight or the 

Esau "ate, and drank, and rose, and went his way, 
and despised his birthright," — and so the sin was very 
quickly finished ; and as all memories of sin are as 
disagreeable as the nausea of drunkenness, he probably 
made haste to forget it. But if he had done with the 
sin, the sin, as has been so often said, had by no means 
done with him. It found him out, as sin always does ; 
not immediately, not even in one year or two years, but 
a long time afterwards, — forty long years afterwards. 
All that time he was, it is probable, tolerably happy, 
as men often are when they have forgotten God, and 
God is gradually abandoning them, while His spirit, as 
in Ezekiel's vision of the desecrated Temple, removes 
first to the threshold, then to the East-gate, and then 
even to the hill beyond the city. It is astonishing how 
contented for a time the full meal of sin will make the 
hardened sensualist. But the day of judgment did come 
at last to Esau, as it will come to each of us. The sins 
of your youth will leap out as from an ambush like 
deadly enemies upon your later years. The sin of his 
youth came to Esau, as I said, no less than forty years 


afterwards. It came to him in that pathetic scene 
wherein the once gallant boy, who had so many 
generous and fascinating qualities, the favourite son 
who should have inherited the father's blessing, finds 
that blessing irrevocably forfeited, and the sin of his 
youth rolling back upon him with accumulations of 
intolerable force. " For ye know how that afterwards, 
when he would have inherited the blessing, he was 
rejected ; for he found no place of repentance, though 
he sought it carefully with tears." And in the language 
of the book of Genesis, " when Esau heard the words of 
his father, he cried with a great and exceeding bitter 
cry, and said unto his father. Bless me, even me also, O 
my father ! Hast thou not reserved a blessing for me ? 
Hast thou but one blessing, niy father ? Bless me, even 
me also, O my father ! And Esau lifted up his voice, 
and wept." Would to God that in the ears of each one, 
who, — (not, it may be, in depravity, but in mere feeble- 
ness of purpose and gaiety of heart, and forgetfulness of 
God,) — is selling his birthright, — would to God that in 
the ears of such an one might ring the anguish of that 
great and exceeding bitter cry ; — might rise the vision of 
that strong man's agony, as he lay prostrate and sobbing 
amid the ruins of his life. 

In conclusion, to sum up the different topics on which 
I have touched, suffer me to give you two short words of 
affectionate advice. 

The first — and I address it with chief earnestness to 
that large class among you who care more for games 
than they do for work — the first is this — Cultivate the 


whole of the nature which God has given you, and in 
doing so, remember that the mind is of more moment 
than the body, and the soul than both. That Royal 
Commission, whose labours have so lately seen the light, 
represents the English schoolboy as one in whom after 
seven or eight years of education, to quote their own 
words, "the average of classical knowledge is low; in 
arithmetic and in mathematics, in general information 
and in English, it is lower still," and they add these 
words — very solemn to those whom hfe has taught the 
awful value of time — " that of the time spent at school 
by the generahty of boys, much is absolutely thrown 
away as regards intellectual progress." Yet this can only 
be true of boys whose idleness, and whose ignorance, is 
a blot on the position and character of an English gen- 
tleman, and culpable alike in the eyes of God and man. 
Be not deceived. To know nothing of the very things 
in which for years you have been instructed is a shameful 
and thankless waste of opportunity and time. Let it not 
be true of any one of you. Choose the better, the manlier, 
and the wiser part. We look with confidence to those 
among you who are most distinguished in the games not 
to lose, this term, the golden opportunity of using their 
influence on the side of steady diligence, manly modesty, 
and cheerful obedience. Set the Lord always before you ; 
remembering that it rests in part with you to maintain 
the fame and the happiness of this great school now, the 
" ancient honours of this godly and virtuous island " 

And my second word of warning which I address to 


all, but more especially to the new b oys, shall be very 
brief. It is this one word, Beware ! Beware lest in a 
moment of weakness, and folly, and sinful forgetfulness 
of God, you sell your birthright, and barter your happy 
innocence for torment, and fear, and shame. Beware of 
false friends. Beware of idle moments. Beware of the 
beginnings of evil. Beware of loose words. Above all, 
and more than all, beware lest you once admit the fatal 
intrusion of evil thoughts. In solemn and awful earnest 
I would say to you, — Watch and pray, lest ye enter into 

So then, cordially and atfectionately greeting you, we 
hope that this term may be to you, and to us all, a 
golden time of innocent and happy summer-days. We 
pray that God may keep you in His safe and holy 
keeping ; that in the moment of temptation He may 
both reveal to you the terrible results, and " raise up a 
brighter picture out of His own precious promises ; " and 
so preserving you uncorrupted in your youth, lead you 
by the hand into settled manhood, and make you men 
great in well doing, honest, and pure, and truthful, and 
diligent, — the children of God without rebuke. 



(Preached on the Anniversary at Marlborough College [St. Michael 
and All Angels], September 29, 1864.) 

Gen. xxxii. 26. — "And he said, I will not let tliee go, except 
thou bless me." 

The patriarch Jacob, amid the few and evil years of his 
earthly pilgrimage, was yet blessed with some peculiar 
marks of God's favour. Once in his early youth, when 
his lie to his father had brought its own punishment and 
he was forced to fly from the fury of his outraged brother, 
he lighted on a certain place, and pillowing his head 
upon the stones, he saw a ladder on which angels 
ascended and descended, and at whose summit was the 
Epiphany of God. In that place he vowed a vow that 
tiie Lord sliould be his God, and he never forgot the 
vow. And now he was returning, not as a wayworn 
wanderer with a single staff, but with wives, and children, 
and handmaids, and all the dignity of a pastoral prince. 
He had just escaped the angry pursuit of his uncle 
Laban, when once more, at Mahanaim " the angels of 
God met him." The rest of that memorable scene you 
learnt from this morning's lesson. Right in front of his 
path lay his injured brother, now grown to a powerful 



Emir at the head of his desert warriors. Full of terror 
and oppressed by a sense of former guilt, he yet took 
every precaution, and saw his wives, and his cattle, and 
his little ones, safely conducted over the deep ravine of 
the mountain-torrent which flowed before him. And 
then the day fell, and the crimson glories of sunset 
burned themselves away like the last watchfires of retiring 
angels on the western heights, and the stars came out 
and the sacred darkness descended, and Jacob was left 
alone. Alone in doubt and terror, under the canopy of 
midnight, amid the silence of the hills. Doubtless it 
was an awful moment ; doubtless the past flashed on 
Jacob's mind, as it will do in such crises of life, with all 
its follies and all its sins, its courage and endurance, its 
service of Mammon, and its visions of God. And then, 
suddenly, it became clear to him that though alone he 
was not alone, but one was with him, and until the 
breaking of the day he wrestled there in mysterious 
communion, conscious that man, mortal man, was 
wrestling alone with God. And, when the first gleam 
of dawn flushed the East, the Spirit said, " Let me go, 
I pray thee, for the day breaketh." And he said, " I 
will not let thee go, except thou bless me." 

But, from the hour when the sudden flame of an 
oriental sunrise burst upon him as he passed over the 
hills of Penuel, lame with the terrible struggle, — from 
that hour Jacob was an altered man ; — no longer Jacob, 
but Israel ; — no longer the mean, selfish, crooked plotter, 
but a Prince with God, a Prince who wresded and had 
prevailed. A change had passed over his being, and had 


glorified it; henceforth it was higher, and holier, and 
more devoted ; until the morning of human life broadened 
into the perfect day, and his last words were that high 
strain of prophecy to sons who had multiplied into nations. 

My brethren, though no vision is vouchsafed to our 
mortal eyes, — although the darkness does not move and 
flash around us with bright faces and glorious plumes, — 
yet angels of God are with us oftener than we know, and 
to the pure heart every home is a Bethel, and every path 
of hfe a Penuel and a Mahanaim. In the outer world, 
and the inner world do we see and meet continually 
these messengers of God. In the outer world God 
maketh the winds ^ His angels, and the flames of 
fire His messengers ; the sun and the moon utter His 
knowledge, and the morning stars shout His praise. 
And in the inner world there are angels too, — the angels 
of youth, and of innocence, and of opportunity; — the 
angels of prayer, and of time, and of death ; 

" Our ads our angels are— ox good or ill, 
Our fatal shadows that walk by us still." 

These too are God's messengers ; these are even more 
to us for practical consideration than Saint Michael and 
all Angels ; they encircle us continually with a curse or a 
blessing, — a blessing for those of the girded loin and the 
burning lamp, but a curse for the idle and the wicked, 
a curse for the heart of the sensual and the life of the 
sluggard. To those who wrestle with them in faith and 
prayer, they are angels with hands full of immortal gifts; 

1 Psalm civ. 4, xix. I, 2. Job xxxviii. 7. 


— to those who neglect or use them ill, they are angels 
with drawn sword and scathing flame. In speaking of 
them thus, I scarcely use language of allegory ; but so 
far as I do, it is language authorised by scripture, and 
too simple to be misunderstood. Listen then, my young 
brethren, while I speak of some of those angels who meet 
us in the path of life ; and earnestly would I exhort you 
to wrestle with them and prevail, as Jacob did — to wring 
from them the blessings they can give, crying to each 
one of them, " I will not let thee go, except thou 
bless me." 

And first is the earliest angel, the angel of Youth, who 
even now beholds the face of your Father which is in 
Heaven. Do not think that you can retain him long. 
Very rapidly will he pass you by, and when once gone 
he is gone for ever. Every year that you neglect him 
will fewer blessings be possible to obtain from him ; 
fewer for the boy of sixteen than for the boy of fifteen, 
fewer for the boy of fifteen than for the boy of twelve. 
Oh ! use, as wise stewards, this blessed portion of your 
lives. Do not spend it, as is so often done, in such a 
way as shall make the rest of life miserable, and the 
remembrance of this portion of it a sigh. Remember 
that as your faces are setting into the look which 
they shall wear in later years, so it is with your lives. 
Remember that " every act of yours is a seed, planted 
either in heaven, or in hell, and producing for you there 
this very hour, the sweetest or the deadliest fruits." It 
depends on your time now, whether you form habits of 
truthfulness, courage, purity, self-denial ; or of falsehood, 


cowardice, selfishness, lust. This angel of youth can- 
as I have seen him lead many another before you— take 
you by the hand and lead you to the threshold of noble 
manhood, strong and patient, great in good works, 
irresistible in innocence, glowing with zeal, armed with 
the helmet of holiness and the shield of truth,— or else, 
shall I tell you what he may do with you? — he may, as I 
have seen him do to many another before you, push you 
tottering out of the privileges of boyhood, useless, selfish, 
ignorant, degraded, — with the leprosy staining the tem- 
ple-walls of your spiritual being, and in lieu of that 
fragrant incense of prayer and praise and pure aspirations 
which should be burning on the altar, only the sick fume 
and fetid atmosphere of a sin-polluted soul. 

And next is the angel of Innocent Pleasure, — which is 
more especially the angel of boyhood ; — not perhaps for 
the boyhoods of poverty and oppression, hard labour and 
scant food, but at any rate of yours ; your mouths at any 
rate are filled with laughter, and your tongues with joy. 
For you that olden picture of youth is true : " he dances 
like a bubble nimbly and gay, and shines like a dove's 
neck, or the image of a rainbow, which hath no sub- 
stance, and whose very imagery and colours are phan- 
tastical." " Innocent happiness," oh ! what a world of 
meaning lies in these two words, and what a heaven 
on earth they signify ! In manhood what memories do 
they recall ! memories of games and triumphs, and of 
a light heart which knew no care, and of knowledge 
won, and of dear friends now perhaps lost or alienated, 
and of bright hopes now perhaps dimmed or dead ; 


memories of the freshness of the dawn, and the un- 
imaginable splendour of sunset ; memories of the glory 
of the lily, and the song of the nightingale, and of long 
summer holidays when we played on the sea-shore, or 
roamed the mountain-side, treading ankle-deep in the 
purple heather, knee-deep in the tall green ferns. And 
oh ! to have it in our power innocently to drink such 
deep draughts of this sweet fountain, as shall last us 
through all the thirsty desert of after years ! as shall give 
us the perpetual sunshine of a merry or peaceful heart 
though the winds of misfortune buffet us, and the waves 
of sorrow are dashing at our feet ! Well might you each 
re-echo the prayer of that English Princess ^, who in the 
hour of temptation wrote with her diamond upon her 
castle window, 


But, my brethren, trifle not with this angel. Remember 
that in heathen mythology the Lord of Pleasure is also 
the God of Death. For if you seek for happiness, as 
thousands of boys do, in sin, which is a transgression of 
God's will : in crime, which is offence against the peace 
or happiness of man ; in vice, which is some degraded 
habit in your own personal life, — then sin, and vice, and 
crime will leave all over your souls the dark trail of guilt, 
which is an abiding and horrifying sense of God's wrath, 
and makes of all present happiness an immediate and 
irretrievable shipwreck. " Guilty happiness ! " — there is 
no such thing on earth. Guilty pleasure there is, — a 

' Queen Caroline Matilda of Denmark, Sister of George III. 


flower plucked from the very brink of the precipice of 
hell ; — a pleasure short, envenomed, ruinous in proportion 
to its guilt. But guilty happiness — no ! nature knows of 
no such thing. There is no such thing on earth ; — for 
guilt and misery are inseparable twins. Happy, while 
the soul burns with guilty secrets j happy, while he knows 
what he is, and loathes it, yet will not be otherwise ; 
happy, while one and another can point to him as the 
cause of their ruin ; happy, while he is tied hand and foot 
at the mercy of his sins, and the quenchless fire of remorse 
is burning, and the gnawing worm of conscience will not 
die ? — No, my brethren, no man can be happy thus ! But 
you are young as yet, and innocent happiness is open to 
most of you. My young brethren, believe me it is a gift 
and grace of God ; it is a foretaste of heaven ; and both 
now and through all your lives, may God the loving, God 
the merciful, God our God and Father, grant it unto you ! 

And then there are the angels of Time and Oppor- 
tunity. They are with us now, and even now we may 
unclench from their conquered hands garlands of im- 
mortal flowers; — yet with beating wing and soundless 
footfall they are ever bearing us onward, — -bearing us 
through a dark river and to an unknown land. Almost 
before you know it, you will be men. We stand with 
our feet in the wave, and noiselessly the river of life 
broadens, deepens, lengthens, rises silently to our ankles, 
to our knees, to our necks, flows over our heads, and 
hurries more and more, while we regard it not, its rapid 
waters, eager to sweep us on to the great eternal deeps. 
O reverence and use aright the hours which as they 



perish are imputed to you. Regard each new day — (and 
remember that the days of even the longest pilgrimage 
are still but few) — as a fresh unstained gift from God, 
and wrestling with it earnestly from its earhest dawn, say 
to it, " I will not let thee go, unless thou bless me." O 
hallow it while it is yet unstained and innocent in your 
morning prayer : — for Prayer too is an angel, — an angel 
whose wing is strong as an eagle's, though it be as the 
wings of a dove, which is covered with silver wings, and 
her feathers like gold ; — an angel who " moves the arms 
of Him who moves the world — an angel who can even 
turn "pollution into purity, sinners into penitents, and 
penitents into saints." Be prayerful and you will be 
happy, and innocent, and noble too. What your prayers 
are, you will be. O my brethren, with deep earnestness 
would I urge you to pray, — habitually, reverently, trust- 
fully to pray to your heavenly Father, — and never to rise 
from your knees until you feel that you rise victorious, 
and that you too have been saying to God in the heartfelt 
purpose which gave might to the olden Patriarch, " I will 
not let Thee go, except Thou bless me." 

Now these, my brethren, the angels of Youth, and 
Time, and Happiness, and Prayer — are angels with whom 
you may wrestle or no; — ^but there is one angel with 
whom we must wrestle, whether we will or no, and whose 
power of curse or blessing we cannot alter — even the 
Angel of Death. We know not when he cometh, but as 
surely as the leaves of your forest, which last spring you 
saw so young and green and bright in the rain of golden 
sunshine, are now fading and falling around us, and being 



trodden down into the dishonoured dust, — so surely the 
generations of men are passing, so surely shall each of 
us be carried among mourners to our last long home, 
outstretched in the cold fixity of death. We are never 
left for long without such warnings. We were not left 
without them nine years ago when I was here, and when 
that painted window at the end of the chapel was put up 
as the memorial ^ of one of the gentlest, one of the 
purest, one of the holiest boys I ever knew. And again 
four years ago, when Death had taken from us a friend 2, 
whom many among us knew and loved, and who suc- 
ceeded me in the office which once, to my own great 
happiness, I held in this place, you were reminded in 
words of solemn beauty, that "this young School is 
growing older, and that, like the man's life, its approach 
towards manhood is marked by the graves of its early 
friends." Alas ! to the number of those graves another 
has recently been added; — another grave in a far-off 
Indian churchyard, of one who was also a Master here ^ 
but who had gone to aid those great labours the thought 
of which fills every Marlborough boy with gratitude and 
pride. Of those labours two years ago he himself 
reminded you. Two years ago he spoke from this place 

' M. S. Theod. C. Stanton, qui pueritia pie, pure, amabiliter 
peracta, obiit in Christo Id. Dec. mdccchv. Kt. xviii. 

' Edward Lawford Brown, late P'ellow of Trinity College, Cam- 
bridge, and Assistant Master at Marlborough College. The quota- 
tion is from the Funeral Sermon by the Rev. G. G. Bradley. 

' The Rev. Thomas Harris Burn, late Assistant Master of 
Marlborough College, and Domestic Chaplain to the Bishop of 



those manly and therefore characteristic words about 
Christian Principle, which are in the hands of many of 
you, and which many of you must still remember ; but 
now that voice is silent and you will see his face no 
more, — for under other stars, away from his own loved 
English home, the grass is green already upon his distant 
resting-place. I little thought when shordy before his 
departure for India he spent a Sunday with me alone in 
a quiet English parsonage, that I should next have to 
name his name as the name of one whom God's hand 
has beckoned away, before an audience of friends whom 
he honoured, and of boys among whom he taught. — But ■. 
Death has been far nearer to you than this : not only ! 
have you heard the sound of his approach, like the still \ 
echo of some ghostly footfall in the far-off corridors of i 
some lonely haunted house, but he has been among you. 
You have seen him in the midst of you ; — you have felt 
the gloom, you have heard the beating of his over- 
shadowing wings ; — you have seen that he sets his foot 
upon us in a moment, and as a child might trample out 
the sparks of a piece of paper, tramples out for ever our 
sins and sorrows, our hopes and fears. Schoolfellows 
whose faces you remember well, whose merry laugh you 
have often heard, the grasp of whose hands but a short 
time ago was warm in yours, have in the last months 
vanished from the midst of you, and others sit in their 
vacant places, while they have carried up with them, to 
God and His Christ, the eyewitness report of what 
Marlborough boys are, and how they live among them- 
selves. The voices then tliat call to you are voices fix»ni 


boys' graves. My brethren, do not these deaths toll in 
your ears with a heavy and solemn warning ? do they not 
say to you in voices awful as the voices from the unseen 
world, " Keep innocency, and take heed to the thing 
that is right, for that shall bring a man peace at the last " ? 
O let them not call in vain. You have seen here, and 
we have seen at Harrow, where in the course of nine 
years I have grieved over the deaths not of one or two 
only, but of many young as you, that even a boy is not 
I too young to say to corruption " thou art my father," to 
the worm "thou art my mother and my sister." Do you 
not see that it is not only the grass that withers, but the 
flower too that fades? The grass withereth, the flower 
fadeth ; but the word of the Lord endureth for ever. 

The word of the Lord endureth for ever : and therefore 
after death cometh the judgment. In one sense our 
judgment is always proceeding, always being recorded, 
i At the foot of God's throne lies an open Book, wherein 
are written, in living characters for the day of witness, 
I every secret and every open sin of our past lives \ and 
each sinner ever bears about 

" A silent court of justice in himself, 
Himself the judge and jury, and himself 
The prisoner at the bar ever condemned ; 
And that drags down his life." 

j But besides this, we must meet on the great Day of 
Wrath the Archangel of Judgment, and give an account 
of our deeds before God's throne, when that which was 
done in secret shall be revealed by fire, and proclaimed 
before God and all angels and all men. And when the 
rolling echoes of that awakening voice, and the long 



tumultuous blast of that archangelic trumpet, have 
startled the unnumbered dead from their long sleep, — 
when all the works of our hands have been consumed, 
and the petty vanities of life have been burned up, and 
its petty hopes and petty successes have shrunk like a 
gilded moth in the devouring flame, and all the lusts of 
the flesh, and all the lusts of the eye, and all the pride 
of life are but as seething "scum in the fiery surge;" — 
when the elements are melting with fervent heat, and the 
heaven is being shrivelled up like a blazing scroll, — on 
that day of St. IMichael and All Angels, where shall we 
be? how shall we pass through those awful scenes? The 
answer lies in our daily lives : look in your own hearts, 
my young brethren, and you will find the answer tliere. 
Think not that we shall escape among the multitude; 
even among the multitude our sins like Achan's shall find 
us out, and amid the crash of universal judgment shall 
peal in our ears the thunder of an individual doom. 
For, whatever we may have done or thought in this 
world, however various and multiform our lives may have 
been, yet in the tablets of the angel-witnesses but one 
brief line of record will suffice to be transcribed upon 
our tombs, — and that not the pompous enumeration of 
achievements or the heraldic blazonries of rank, but the 
shorter and sterner epitaph of Israelitish kings.^- On 
tlieir tombs the unblushing marble might record the 
number of their iron chariots and golden shields, the 
provinces they had conquered, and the ivory palaces they 
had built, — but alike for their lives and for ours, alike for 
the life of magnificence and the life of obscurit)', there is 



but one record which is known in heaven, and that is the 
short unvarnished sentence, "He did that which was good," 
or " He did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord." 

O if you would meet in faith and fearlessness those 
last angels of Death and Judgment, see, my brethren, 
that ye wrestle with those other angels of Youth, of 
Innocence, of Time, of Opportunity, of Prayer. Ye 
may wrestle with them even now, and see that ye do not 
let them go except they bless you. Daily in this place, 
above all, daily in the worship of this fair house of God, 
and to- day on this anniversary of All Angels, and to-day 
on this birthday of the School you love, do they offer 
you the blessings they possess, — the blessings which they 
offer to none more richly than to you. "What could 
have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not 
done unto it ? " oh take heed lest in this day of your 
prosperity, — (for prosperity is more dangerous than 
adversity, and it is in the day of your best prosperity 
that we most tremble for your good) — take heed that 
when God looks for grapes, it doth not bring forth wild 
grapes. Not such the fruit it hath borne hitherto. 
Young as this School is, — the happier perhaps because 
endowed we trust with somewhat of that innocence which 
is the very grace of youth, and not yet hampered with 
the evil traditions of advancing life — young as it is, it 
has yet produced, in large measure, those who have been 
and shall be "profitable members of the Church and 
Commonwealth, and hereafter partakers of the immortal 
glories of the resurrection." To your hands, to the 
hands of each passing school generation, its honour and 
its happiness are intrusted as a sacred and solemn charge; 


beware lest in your hands, beware lest through your sins, 
it acquire the tone and the tradition which may hereafter 
prove an ineradicable curse ; — the tone and the traditions, 
which after all are but the moral atmosphere which the 
life of each boy here leaves behind, and which, if they 
be evil, may even poison all the happiness and all the 
usefulness of this School, and imperil every immortal soul 
committed to its charge. As yet the simplicity and 
purity of tone, the earnestness and manliness of character 
which have here been specially cultivated, that singular 
unitedness of mutual affection and respect which seems 
by God's blessing to bind together the hearts of boys 
and masters here like the heart of one man, are in- 
estimable advantages if you know how to use them 
rightly, — advantages which must be lessened before their 
full value can be realized. But I cannot profess to speak 
impartially. Nine years ago I was one of your number ; 
I say oi your number, for the heart of a Marlborough 
master is like the heart of a Marlborough boy : — and 
though those nine years have brought with them other 
duties and other interests, they have not dimmed my 
gratitude or my affection for a place where I found a 
friend whom, like many others, I love and reverence as a 
father^; and colleagues from whom I received the kind- 

' The late Lord Bishop of Calcutta, whose sudden and untimely 
death was felt by the author, as it was by a very large number of 
deeply attached friends, to be an irreparable personal loss and mis- 
fortune. It can fall to the lot of but few men to be so long and 
afTcctionately mourned as Bishop Cotton has been : to know him 
was at once to reverence and to love him ; and I, for one, shall 
always reckon his warm friendship and unvarying kindness among 
Uie best blessings which life has given. 


ness and sympathy and forbearance of brothers ; and 
pupils, of whom some are here present, who have since 
become friends on more equal terms, and who having 
passed through many distinctions to a useful and honour- 
able manhood, are now fellow-labourers in the same 
great work, striving with you to build up in your own 
hearts and in the life of this great School a Temple whose 
entablature shall be holiness to the Lord ! I return and 
find these friends and other friends unchanged ; I find 
the work still continued in the same hearty, fervent, 
simple, unselfish spirit, and continued with rare and 
increasing success. Those were days of doubt, trial, and 
difficulty : but God blessed the work which was then 
undertaken for His own honour, and we all rejoice with 
grateful hearts to know and acknowledge that these are 
days of advance, prosperity, and triumph. Then the 
friends of this College sowed in tears ; now through God's 
great love and mercy they reap in j.oy. From a full 
heart I pray that these blessings may be continued. 
From a full heart I pray that God may lay your stones 
with fair colours, and your foundations with sapphires ; — 
that all your children may be taught of the Lord, and 
that great may be the peace of your children. From a 
full heart, as one among the thousands who love this 
noble School, I pray that His fatherly hand may ever be 
over you ; that His Holy Spirit may ever be with you ; 
— and that He may so lead you in the knowledge and 
obedience of His word that in the end you may obtain 
everlasting life ! 

A6|a Tif ©fifi. 


(Preached at All Saints', Huntingdon, Dec 28, 1861.) 
Rev. xiv. 13. — "And their works do follow them." 

To those who can read it aright, few books are more 
full of sublime comfort, — few books are more illuminated 
with the glory of a heavenly hope, — than the Revelation 
of St. John. It is true that in the vain attempt to degrade 
it into a prophecy of private interpretation, it has been 
made the battle-field of opposing prejudices, until its 
value has been discredited, its meaning obscured, and 
those simple hearts have almost abandoned it who dis- 
like the noise and dust of idle controversy. But to one 
who reads it with a quiet and truth-loving heart, it is full 
of the most unspeakable wisdom. Marvellous indeed 
was the vision unrolled before the eyes of him whose 
young head had rested on the bosom of the Lord ! 
From the sulphurous mine, from the rugged island, from 
the loneliness of exile, from the convict's company and 
the felon's chain, he is raised into the very presence of 
the mightiest Immortalities ; the glorious spectacle of 
innumerable multitudes sweeps before him, and the 



h)rnns of the highest heaven melt in their speechless 
sweetness upon his mortal ears. True it is that there 
are other scenes which he must witness ; — the seven 
great plagues, and the seven vials full of wrath, the woe- 
trumpets, and the scorpion army, and Death riding on 
his livid horse', and the judgment of her who was 
drunken with the blood of the prophets, and " the hues 
of earthquake and eclipse." But mingled ever with these 
scenes of Retribution, — preceding and following and out- 
dazzling them, — are the visions of the Lamb and the 
Lion, and the white-robed palm -bearing procession of 
happy human souls, and the crowned elders, and the 
victor angels, and Jerusalem the Golden descending out 
of heaven with its walls of jasper and gates of pearl. 
Fitly indeed do the melodies of this bock rest last upon 
our ears ; fitly does it close the gate of Revelation, which 
alone displays to man one brief glimpse of the glories of 
Paradise. When hfe is weary and sad, when sorrow and 
selfishness are oppressive, when aspirations wax feeble 
and hope grows faint, I know no book so well fitted as 
this dying strain of revelation to raise, to ennoble, to 
purify, to cheer. 

It is from one of these awfully intermingled visions 
that the words of my text are taken. Turning to the 
14th chapter, you will find that grand poem which forms 
the Epistle for the day. First, amid voices like the sound 
of thunders and of many waters, St. John hears the voice 
of harpers harping with their harps, — the virgin multitude 
on whose forehead is the Lamb's Seal ; then an angel 
1 'iSoi) '/firiros x^'^f°^- — R^^- ^- Not "pale," as in A. V. 


flies through the midst of heaven having the Everlasting 
Gospel in his hand ; a second angel cries aloud, " Fallen, 
fallen' is Babylon the Great;" a third angel tells how 
the torment of them who worship the beast shall ascend 
like smoke for ever ; — and then the end of the chapter 
is like a garment rolled and drenched in the blood of 
wrath ; a crowned and awful figure is sitting on a white 
cloud, who thrusts his sharp sickle into the harvest, and 
wrings and tramples the blood of judgment from the 
purple clusters of earth until the horrid seas of blood 
are rolling for a thousand furlongs bridle deep; — but in 
the very midst, between the denunciation and the ven- 
geance, as though a dove were floating over the waves 
of that crimson deluge,— a voice falls from heaven, — a 
sweet single voice like a falling star in a dark night, 
saying unto me, " Write, Blessed are the dead which die 
in the Lord from henceforth : Yea, saith the Spirit, that 
they may rest from their labours ; and their works do 
follow them." 

Ah ! how often have we heard those •words, my 
brethren, as we laid om- best beloved under the sod ! 

There is perhaps no book from which we may learn 
so much about the condition of the dead as from the 
Book of Revelation. But after all it is but one little 
comer of the curtain that is lifted; let those who will 
lift it more if they can, and strive to peer behind it. 
For us let it be enough that the dead, as well as the 
living, are in God's hand. I ask no more. I know no 
more. I pretend to know no more. For us too the 

' 'Efreirev tTtfat Ba0vXii>i' j) ue-yaA?;. — Rev. xiv. 8. 



veil sliall be one day drawn, and we too shall know. 
Till then, as one who from the shore watches a friend 
sail away towards the sunset, and the vessel sinks behind 
a round of lighted sea, and the sacred darkness follows, 
even so we look after the dead, and know little or nothing 
of the new strange regions which they have sought. Here 
we cannot know ; but, as I said before, one day we 
too shall know ; and meanwhile, in the sure and certain 
hope of resurrection, with these words we commend 
their mortal bodies to the dust. 

This verse calls us to consider the dead, not in their 
new condition, but in their immortal memory; not as 
what they are in death, but as what they were in life : 
and not the dead generally, but the dead who die in the 
I-ord, that is the noble dead. I say the noble dead, not 
the useless and the worthless dead, — " for the hope of 
the ungodly is like dust that is blown away with the 
wind ; like a thin froth that is driven away with the 
storm ; like as the smoke which is disturbed here and 
there with the tempest ; but the righteous live for ever- 
more, their reward also is with the Lord, and the care 
of them with the Most High." 

And mark ! it says that they are blessed that they 
may rest from their labours. It does not contemplate 
the possibility of any dead, i.e. of any blessed dead, who 
have not laboured. He whose sweet voice fell from 
heaven, bearing comt'ort to the mourning souls of earth, 
he knew of none such. There are none such. " Sweet 
is rest when work is done." But if there have been no 
work, there can be no rest. It was the first law that 


God gave in Eden, Work ; — it is the last blessing that 
He utters, Enter, now that thy work is over, into thy 
rest. Here is thy place of work : the great garden of 
the earth to be tilled ; the great vineyard of the earth to 
be tended, and its fruits rendered, and its waste places 
cleared. Work, till death release thee ; then shall thou 
have earned, thus only canst thou obtain, thus only 
couldst thou enjoy, thy rest. For the idle, for the useless, 
for the self-indulgent, there is no place in heaven. 

" For not on downy plumes, or under shade 
Of canopy reposing, heaven is won '." 

O how pitiful, how dreary, how unutterably despicable 
will appear, when the end cometh, a life spent in doing 
nothing ; — how dreary, when the end cometh, will appear 
the life of the worldling and the sluggard, the life of the 
unlit lamp and the ungirded loin, the life of the buried 
talent and the neglected vine ! 

" For they rest from their labours; and their works do 
follow them." What works ? Not those, which, if you 
were to judge from men's lives alone, you might sup- 
pose ; not for instance the gold and silver which they 
toil for, which shall be squandered perhaps when they 
are gone, on purposes which they hated, by hands which 
they despised ; not the idle voice of praise and fame, 
to which the cold ear shall be as deaf as to the wind that 
whispers in the rank grasses of the grave ; not the jewels 
they have worn, which shall flash on the brows of others 
when the worm is on tlieir own ; not the costly robes 

' Dante, Inf. c. xxiv. 


which they shall exchange for the shroud, nor the stately- 
houses which they shall abandon for the damp and 
narrow grave. One day, one hour, shall rob men of 
their pride, their pleasure, their influence, their wealth. 
They must do with these as the great king did who, 
when he received the message, " Prepare thyself, for 
now thou art going to the gods," laid aside his purple 
garments, and wrapped himself humbly in a linen sheet. 
It is not those works that will follow them, for they are 
^'alueless, perishing, and corruptible ; — but their love, 
their truth, their purity, their generosity, the hearts they 
comforted, the souls they saved. And if you would 
know how these follow them, let the fancy of the 
Christian poet add meaning to the image of the inspired 
Apostle. " Thy works," he says, speaking of a Christian 

" Thy works, and alms, and all thy good endeavour 
Staid not behind, nor in the grave were trod ; 
But as faith pointed with her golden rod, 
Followed thee up to joy and bliss for ever. 
Love led them on, and Faith who knew them best, 

Thy handmaids, clad them o'er with purple beams 
And azure wings, that up they flew so drest, 

And spake the truth of thee on glorious themes 
Before the Judge : who henceforth bid thee rest, 
And drink thy fill of pure immortal streams." 
" And their works do follow them," or rather, to 
render it literally, "follow with them^;" as a living 
testimony, that is, that they by God's grace are not 
unworthy of tlieir reward and rest. For here on earth 
their works very often have in no sense followed them. 
1 Ta yip epyo aoTJc dKcXouSu /xct' auTwi'. — Rev. xiv. 13. 


They have not been recognised, still less appreciated, 
still less recompensed ; nay more, they have often met 
with obloquy for praise, and apparent failure instead of 
deserved success. They have worked honestly and 
honourably for the good of others, and all their reward 
here has been the indifference of the selfish, the con- 
tempt of the malicious, and the sneer of fools. Not 
from men, or in his lifetime, does he reap the harvest 
he has sown. The hands of his contemporaries often 
murder the prophet before they build his tomb ; the 
tongues that have blackened his living reputation, hypo- 
critically gild his inanimate dust ; the men he lived for 
often poison his happiness before they fling wreaths 
upon his grave. True fame belongs only to the dead : 
too often shame, and sorrow, and an aching heart, are 
the pay the world gives to her living benefactors. But 
life is short, and the end comes. What matters it? 
Tiieir works do follow them, and Wisdom is justified 
of all her children. " Then," says the Wisdom of 
Solomon, " shall the righteous man stand in great bold- 
ness before the face of such as have afflicted him, and 
made no account of his labours. When they see it they 
shall be troubled, and amazed at the strangeness of his 
salvation, so far beyond all that they looked for. And 
they, repenting and groaning in anguish of spirit, shall 
say within themselves. This was he whom we had some- 
times in derision, and a proverb of reproach : we fools 
accounted his life madness, and his end to be without 
honour : how is he numbered among the children of 
God, and his lot among the saints ! " 


"And their works do follow them ;" — their true works, 
that is, not their schemes of ambition, or their dreams of 
hope. These are the dross that melts in the burning, 
when the pure gold remains. There is no deeper and 
more instructive lesson in history than this ;— the manner 
in which all the deeds done by great men from self- 
interest or pride perish and rot, while their true works, 
their disinterested labours, their genuine beliefs, live and 
grow. Those are the house upon the sand ; these the 
house upon the rock. Those are weak, evanescent, 
illusory; these are real, permanent, eternal. An English 
student, " toiling terribly," has it granted to him to dis- 
cover the most general law which governs the universe. 
An English statesman, filled with generous indignation, 
wipes away from the page of a free country's history the 
infamy of the slave-trade. A private English gentleman 
ameliorates by his single efforts the condition of the 
prisoners of Europe. These are true works ; these are 
the works which follow them when they have entered 
into their rest. But, on the other hand, compare with 
these the false works which in the world's eye look so 
much greater. A young obscure soldier becomes the 
lord of the destinies of a continent ; he conquers, he 
reconquers kingdoms ; he tramples on the flags and 
shatters the power of nations ; he becomes the Emperor 
of a great people, and places on the heads of his 
brothers, his sisters, and his generals many crowns. It 
was mere selfish, aggrandising, untrue work ; — and even 
in his hfetime how does it end ? In petty malicious 
squabblings on a lonely Atlantic rock ! He had wrapped 


Europe in the whirl of triumphant war : but what came 
of it all even in his lifetime ? Nothing. These are not 
the works that follow the blessed dead. This, it has 
been well said, is but " the blazing up of a dry heath." 
For an hour the whole universe seems wrapt in smoke 
and flame ; but only for an hour. The fire goes out ; 
the universe with its old mountains and streams remains 
unchanged. Far, far other — not rolling and blazing up 
only to die away, but glowing and brightening with the 
steady lustre of the sun and stars — is the work of the 
Sons of that beautiful Wisdom, who is " the breath of 
the power of God, and a pure influence flowing from the 
glory of the Almighty, — who, remaining in herself maketh 
all things new ; and in all ages entering into holy souls 
maketh them friends of God, and prophets." 

" Their works do follow them." Not necessarily works 
which the world calls great ; not necessarily works which 
the world ever hears of at all. What is there in the letteis 
of a man's name being handed down here on earth, if 
they be unforgotten by the Angel-witnesses? O my 
brethren, let us strive rather to be forgotten on earth if 
thereby we may be remembered in heaven. I stood once 
in a little church in Rome, dedicated to St Stephen, the 
earliest martyr, opened once a year only, on his day, 
and bearing on its frescoed walls the memory of that 
glorious Christian army who fell in the earliest perse- 
cutions. With but one or two exceptions their names 
are utterly unknown. Standing in such a place it was 
impossible not to tliink what work these men had done, 
and what reward they had received, '\^'hat had they 


done ? They had " through faith subdued kingdoms, 
wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the 
mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, v,-axed 
valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens ; " 
in a word they had Christianised the world. This is 
what they had done ; and how had they been rewarded ? 
By trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, by bonds and 
imprisonment, by being stoned, by being sawn asunder, 
by being tempted, by being slain with the sword, — by 
being destitute, afflicted, tormented, — in a word, by 
being obscurely huddled into malefactors' graves. Yet, 
— standing in the very midst of those ghastly memorials 
of forgotten names, — was it not possible to see that their 
honoured blood had been the seed of the Church ; that 
their monument was more perdurable than the very pyra- 
mids ; — that their works had followed them ? Against 
them were kings and emperors and armies, — the flame 
of the stake, and the wild beast of the arena, and the tor- 
ture of the executioner : but God was for them, and 
His whole blue heaven was their shield, and though men 
obliterated their poor memories from every earthly 
record, and trampled out their lives with crushing 
scorn, all the powers of the banded universe were 
impotent against them whose names were written in the 
Book of Life. 

Has all this nothing to do with ourselves ? Is it those 
\ only who are great, or those only who are splendidly 
good, whose works do follow them ? God forbid. What 
are among these works ? Are there not, as He himself 
has told us, such little things as the widow's mite, and the 
F.S. 14 


cup of cold water given for His sake ? There is a great- 
ness in unknown names, there is an immortality of quiet 
duties, attainable by the meanest of human kind ; and 
when the Judge shall reverse the tables many of these 
last shall be the first Do not be dazzled by the world's 
false judgments. The slave is often nobkr than the 
sovereign, and the common soldier than the general. 
The general who is brave in the hour of danger does his 
duty, but then he knows that his shall be the glory of 
battle : is it not a greater thing when the common 
soldiers, poor and ignorant, and often unconscious what 
the quarrel is about, still do their heroic duty because 
it is their duty, and charge unflinchingly on the carmon 
that vomit on them a storm of fiery death, though they 
know that their names will be forgotten, their fate un- 
noticed, and that where they fall they shall lie ; — are 
these not greater, these " unnamed demigods ■ " ? Yes, 
because they have done their obscure duty, their un- 
known, unnamed, unhonoured, unrewarded duty, because 
it is their duty, and done it well. Nor is it otherwise 
on the battle-field of life. There is, believe me, yet a 
higher and a harder heroism ; — to live well in the quiet 
routine of life ; to fill a little space because God wills 
it ; to go on cheerfully with a petty round of little duties, 
little avocations ; to accept unmurmuringly a low posi- 
tion; to be misunderstood, misrepresented, maligned, 
without complaint ; to smile for the joys of others when 

' This reinarkable expression (and possibly others in the para- 
graph) occurred in one of RI. Kossuth's speeches. 


the heart is aching ; — to banish all ambition, all pride, 
and all restlessness, in a single regard to our Saviour's 
work. To do this for a lifetime is a greater effort, and 
he who does this is a greater hero, than he who for one 
hour stems a breach, or for one day rushes onward un- 
daunted in the flaming front of shot and shell. His 
works will follow him. He may not be a hero to the 
world, but he is one of God's heroes, and though the 
I builders of Nineveh and Babylon be forgotten and 
[ unknown, his memory shall live, and shall be blessed, 
and he shall sit down before earth's noblest and mightiest 
at the marriage supper of the Lamb. 

Your life here, my brethren, will result and issue either 
; in those good works which follow the blessed dead, — or 
j in no works, — or in bad works. In one sense the second 
I alternative is impossible, for " no works " are really and 
truly in their inmost character, and in their necessary 
nature — " bad works." But if any of you grow up with- 
out any noble purpose or steady aim in life, and yet do 
not fall (if this be possible) into flagrant a,nd destructive 
sins, — if you spend your lives in killing your time, day 
after day, in the frivolous search after amusement, — if 
your hfe be like a barren tree yielding neither shade nor 
fruit, — then I suppose we may call this a life of " no 
works." But the chances are that a man who will do no 
good works does not stop short of the bad works. Some- 
times while seeing some picture wherein a mighty artist 
has polluted the vestal fires of genius by kindling them 
on the altar of sin, — or when lighting on the songs of 
poets who have but too faithfully recalled the scornful 


image of St. Jude that they are "raging waves of the 
sea, foaming out their own shame," or the language of 
Isaiah that "the wicked are like the troubled sea, when 
it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt," — and 
while I remember how many evil imaginations have lasted 
long long after they who originated them were dead, still 
pouring forth their corrupt streams, still poisoning the air 
like the carrion from which hfe has long departed, — I 
have thought that here too men's works do follow them ; 
follow them, nay pursue them rather ; pursue them as the 
clouds of smoke, and flakes of burning ashes, and long 
tongues of quivering flame pursued the man who rode 
out of the city he had fired ; pursue them, as the furies of 
old mythology pursued the guilty with snaky tresses and 
shaken torch. But alas ! it requires no genius to do bad 
works, the eff"ects of which will live. The veriest fool can 
do them, and perish in them. The wisest of men 
stood amazed at this pernicious importance for evil 
of a fool ; and we, who see much of varied life and 
character, may well stand amazed at the giant in- 
fluence of wrong even in those of the feeblest intellect 
and the meanest heart. Of these too we say, and 
say with a terrible truthfulness, that "their works do 
follow them." 

If you take home nothing else, take home with you 
this one question. Are your works good works, or no 
works, or bad works ? If they are worthless, if they are 
pernicious, pray to God with all your heart and soul that 
for Christ's sake He do not make you eat of the fruit of 
such works, but enable you to do such good works which 


he that doeth shall even live in them. Whatever your 
work is — gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble, 
— that work, and every man's work " shall be made 
manifest ; for the day shall declare it, because it shall 
be revealed by fire ; and the fire shall try every man's 
work of what sort it is." 



(Preached before the i8th Middlesex Volunteers, in Harrow Church, 
May 7, 1865.) 

EccLES. viii. 8. — " And there is no discharge in that war." 

Death is tlie immediate enemy spoken of in this verse ; 
but the language of all Scripture, from Genesis to Reve- 
lation, warrants us in extending its meaning to every 
enemy who assaults the peace of man or the life of 
nations, and, above all, to Sin — to that spiritual wicked- 
ness of which the world's ruin was the immediate result, 
which gives to the grave its victor)', and to death its 

The war, then, in which there is no discharge, is the war 
against Sin. It is this holy war of which Scripture is 
full. Not only were many of its saints actual warriors, 
but, with a signal and starding frequency of recurrence, 
its very metaphors are chosen from the scenes and 
images of war. How is the Christian's life described ? 
He is to stand fast in the conflict ; he is to war a good 
warfare ; Christ is to be the captain of his salvation. 
Though the weapons of his warfare are not carnal, they 

THE WAR, &'c. 


are weapons still — the armour of God, the armour of 
light, the armour of righteousness ; righteousness is to 
be his breastplate, and faith his shield, and salvation his 
helmet, and his sword is to be the sword of the Spirit, 
which is the Word of God. His hope in the present is 
to be victory, through God's grace, over the world, the 
flesh, and the devil ; and in the future, victory over the 
thraldom of death, and the dust and darkness of the 
grave. Life, then, is of necessity a battle-field ; and 
hence it is, that even the innocent and new-bom babe is 
ushered into tlie militant Church with the watchword of 
strife ; over the smiling features and on the baby brow 
we sprinkle the baptismal dew, and " do sign him with 
the sign of the cross, in token that hereafter he shall 
not be ashamed to confess Christ crucified, and manfully 
to fight under His banner against sin, the world, and 
the devil ; and to continue Christ's faithful soldier and 
servant unto his life's end." 

And though this battle is secret in the heart, no less 
than open in the life, it is of the latter — of the public, 
the national life, the life of each of us as a citizen, that 
to-day I would speak; occupying this place simply as 
one under authority, bound to do so by the duty which 
calls me here ; and, in spite of doubt and self-distrust, 
longing very earnestly, as in God's sight, that this may 
be.iio idle and empty occasion, but that each soul may 
find in the word spoken some thought to elevate and to 

For history, too, is a battle, and its greatest men have / 
been fighters. Such, in Sciipture, were Gideon, and 


Barak, and Samson, and Jephthah, and David; such 
were the great Maccabean princes, such were many of 
the Christian legions of Constantine, and the holy 
warriors of Christendom; such were many of the iron 
soldiers of the Commonwealth, and of the stout 
Covenanters of Cameron ; and such, thank God, have 
been and are many and many of the gallant soldiers of 
England, both of those who are living now, and of those 
whose graves, like the graves of Vicars and Havelock, 
lie far away on the bleak shores of the Euxine or under 
the burning sun of Hindostan. Nor are soldiers the 
only heroes. In Scripture, Samuel and the Prophets are 
ranked with warriors and kings. St. Paul, the gentlest- 
hearted of men, of an affection well nigh womanly in its 
tenderness, and with a voice which breaks with tears, 
fought with lions, and with men fiercer than lions \ and 
chose as the fit expression for the close of a long career, 
" I have fought a good fight." For, even in history, the 
fight against bigotry and ignorance, and error — against 
evil customs, and favourite idols, and victorious lies — is 
a harder and a deadlier fight, and requires a more daunt- 
less courage and a more unshaken faith, than the fight 
against armed hosts. And such warrior-heroes have 
been all the glorious army who came out of great 
tribulation, and washed their robes, and made them 
white in the blood of the Lamb. Such heroes were 
many of the fathers, and martyrs, and confessors of the 
Church in every age. Aye, and it is not too much to 
say that you will not find one great man, in our own or 

> El (tari avBpwiroy iBr/pioi^dxri'ra iv 'E<pe<ra.: — I Cor. xv. 32. 


any history, who did not fight in the teeth of clenched an- 
tagonisms with the stem courage of a heart that could dare 
dauntlessly in the cause of God, or of freedom, or of truth. 

Think not, my brethren, that that Divine teaching of 
Christ's Sermon on the Mount, which you have heard 
this day, contradicts any one word of truths like these. 
" Blessed are the peacemakers ; " yet he who loves peace 
most must fight for it, v/hen the need has come ; and as 
for gentleness and love, would they even be possible 
without the warm spirit of scorn for that which is con- 
temptible, and detestation for what is wrong? Many of 
our best and most resistless fighters have been men 
whose hearts could tremble with the tenderest pity at the 
wrongs done to a dumb animal, and blaze out with the 
fiercest wrath at him who should cause the tears of a 
woman, or the wailing of a child. As the spirit of the 
lightning lies in the dewdrop, so a power of righteous 
anger often slumbers in the noblest breasts, like a fire of 
God, side by side with meekness and compassion. Even 
in Him our Lord, our Teacher, our Saviour, our Divine 
Example, in dwelling on His forgiveness, His lowly- 
heartedness. His longsuffering. His love. His patience, 
forget not that there was another side to His character as 
well. He who wept at the grave of Lazarus also knotted 
a scourge of small cords, and overturned the tables of 
the money-changers, and drove forth those who had 
made the House of His Father a den of thieves. He 
whose love would have gathered the children of Jerusalem 
together as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, 
yet scathed and laid bare the seared consciences of 



Priest and Pharisee, and dropped the molten lead of His 
scorn and indignation upon the souls of the formalist 
and the hypocrite. He who, out of His great love for 
all mankind, never shrank from touching the white sores 
of the leper, and who suffered the penitent harlot to 
weep her hot tears upon his feet, and wipe them with the 
hairs of her head, yet faced untiinchingly the fury of an 
excited synagogue, and sent back a contemptuous mes- 
sage to a reckless and blood-stained king. 

We have need, then, of the dauntless spirit and the 
tried nerve of the soldier, even in the Christian's course. 
Easy, indeed, it were to slink through life, lapped in 
silken effeminacies, never to strike a blow for hated 
truths, never to stand by a maligned man, or an un- 
popular opinion, never to face obloquy, never to defy 
ridicule, never to brave opposition, never to smite at 
folly, never to confront tyranny, never to denounce 
injustice, never to rebuke vice. It were easy to spend 
oar lives in getting food, and clothing, and in hoarding 
our little dues of money, or in usmg it for such paltry 
comforts and mean enjoyments as we are fit for — 
forgetting all but our petty selves, forgetting that we 
are Christians and citizens, forgetting that we are 
Englishmen, forgetting the blood and race of which we 
came. Yes, easy and common too, but for all that 
contemptible. Let us never dignify such wretched 
selfishness by the name of Christian quietude, or deck 
out our slavish pusillanimity in the guise of religion. 
He to whom the whole round of heaven and earth is 
shut up in his farm or in his merchandise, is only fit to 



live as a traitor or a slave. But he who would be a good 
soldier of God, and the worthy citizen of a glorious and 
Christian land, if there be in his spirit one spark of what 
is noble, or generous, or manly, must, when occasion 
comes — whether it be for God, or for truth, or for pity, 
or for right, or for home and native land — must, I say, 
when the occasion comes, fight, and fight hard — strike, 
and strike home. Let no one dare to disintegrate 
Christianity from that manliness, that freeborn courage, 
which in the ancient languages is the very synonym of 
virtue, and which is the might and glory of a man. 
Timidity is no Christian virtue, but the fitting legacy left 
by sin and shame. Let the cheat, and the liar, and the 
drunkard, and the adulterer be haunted through a 
shivering life by the phantoms of remorse and fear ; to 
the Christian soldier belong the high glance and the free 
carriage, and the fearless soul. " The wicked flee when 
no man pursueth ; but the righteous is bold as a lion." 
The meekness of the Christian must never bear the 
brand of the coward ; nor should we suffer the servants of 
Satan to boast and swagger, as though all the daring and 
all the strength were theirs alone. 

My brethren, these thoughts may be profitable or 
profitless, as we make them so for ourselves ; but of this 
I am sure, that the better and braver we are as English- 
men, the better too shall 'we be as men. For sin ruins 
nations no less than men. The tradesman who uses 
false balances or dishonest ways, the farmer who robs 
the labourer of his hire, the rich man who grinds the 
faces of the poor, and the poor man who squanders in 



drunkenness the wages of innocence and industry, and 
all who are indolent, and malicious, and sensual, are the 
curse of their native land. For it is that deep-lying 
selfishness, wrapping us round and round with the 
swaddling-bands of our own narrow, private, personal, 
individual interests, which is the source of half men's 
sins, and the worst enemy to all that is best and greatest 
both in our country and in ourselves. In this respect we 
are behind the very ancients and the Pagans. There 
may have been less purity and less high principle in their 
life than in ours; but there was less also of mere 
mammon-worship and mean contentment with the petti- 
nesses of life, and there was more of magnanimity, more 
of patriotism, more of public spirit. It is well for us to 
be aroused from this absorption in the personal, this 
concentration in the selfish, which is a disease of modem 
society that we carry into our very religion. It was not 
for nothing that God planted us in nations ; and if in 
the thick clay of our own private concerns we forget the 
gratitude and the duty which we owe to the State of 
which we are subjects, and the country in which we live, 
then " the glory of that country will be but the blazonry 
of our impeachment; and its name, for which we are 
often too proud, but never sufficiently thankful, will but 
heighten our fall and aggravate our condemnation." 

And never, assuredly, in all our history, had we more 
cause for this national gratitude than now. Never with 
more unspeakable wealth and freshness of beauty have 
the trees and flowers been bursting into green life from 
the tomb of winter than during these divine and vernal 


days, so rich with their memories of that other and 
greater resurrection, which breathes into man's heart the 
hope of immortahty. And how many things have hap- 
pened to make us thoughtful and thankful during these 
Easter days ! How often has the lightning spark, where- 
with God has taught us to flash our messages with the 
speed of thought along the electric wire, flashed to us 
such tidings of dread and heart-shaking significance, that 
the reading of every newspaper became a solemn moment 
of instruction, and each passing event bore with it its 
own dread note of warning, or summons to heartfelt 
thanksgiving ! Abroad we have seen the first-born of an 
emperor' smitten with some new and strange disease, 
removed to the balmy air of Southern France, and there 
lingering out the last days of his youth in the untold 
agony of a death-in-life — beckoned inexorably away from 
the splendour of an Imperial crown, and the heirdom to 
a sovereignty which would have wielded the destinies of 
a third of the human race — beckoned from youth, and 
life, and hope, and the affection of a family, and the 
reverence of an empire, and the sweet love of a youthful 
bride — beckoned into that dark Unknown where the 
prince and the beggar stand neither as beggar nor as 
prince, but only as naked and sinful souls before the eye 
of God. And in violent contrast to this still scene of 
death, we learnt, but the day after, of another ruler, the 
guardian of interests no less stupendous — not an untried 
youth, but a grey-haired man — not born to the purple, 
but rising from the ranks of common life— not fading 
1 The late Czarowiteh. 



away slowly in the perfumed chamber at Death's repeated 
whisper, amid the tears of friends, but suddenly, in the 
box of a public theatre, in the flush of health, in the hour 
of hope and well-won triumph, dashed to the earth — 
murdered, bleeding, speechless for ever — the thread of 
life slit, as by a fury, in a moment, at the proudest and 
happiest culmination of his career. And rarely has history 
shown a life more significant or more rich in noble lessons 
than this man's, whose murder a world mourns. If Abraham 
Lincoln was not great by genius he was something more ; 
he was great by exalted goodness. Never, perhaps, did 
a simpler, a sweeter, a homelier nature, shape the decrees 
of a great people ; never certainly did a leading ruler 
depend with so steady and entire a humility on God, or 
feel with deeper piety, and avow with manlier courage, 
that he was but a weak instrument for the purposes of 
the Almighty. He was a truly good man ; — a man who, 
encircled with temptations, yet lived without avarice and 
without ambition ; — a man who, while others blustered, 
never uttered one boastful sentence, and while others 
raved, never penned one vindictive word; — a man whose 
very face, they say, in his last days was illuminated with 
the hopes of peace and the power of mercy ; — a man 
whom misfortune did not depress, nor success unduly 
elate — 

" A good man, struggling with the storm of fate," 

through good report and through ill report calmly, 
humbly, hopefully bearing up, and doing his manful duty 
to the bitter end. And God rewarded him: the swift 



death which sounds so horrible to us was an euthanasia 
to him. Though his death was sudden, he lived long 
enough to reap the pure triumph of proclaiming the prin- 
ciples of amnesty and forgiveness, exulting that his ear — 
so soon to be stopped with dust — had caught the notes 
that rang out the death-knell of slavery, and the pean of 
an emancipated race ; that his eyes — so soon to be filmed 
with death — had yet gazed on the sunset of a great 
tyranny and the flushing dawn of a mighty and enduring 
freedom. Have these tidings no significance to us, as 
men and citizens ? Do they not teach us that, whether 
summoned to our fate down the lingering declivities of 
disease, or by the swift stroke of sudden death, our Hfe 
is but as fleeting and uncertain as a mountain mist, or as 
the shadow of a bird's wing on the sunny sward ? Do 
they not teach us to place our hopes and our interests 
higher than that which death can trample out in a single 
hour? And if, whenever it comes, death shall not fail to 
find us at our duty, and if, by God's grace, our souls be 
so calm and so familiar with the thoughts of eternity that 
they shudder not at the grim spectre of sudden destruc- 
tion, let us at least learn, as the members of a nation, a 
deep lesson of gratitude. At home no public crime has 
sharpened the sword of tyranny, or riveted the fetters of 
oppression ; the hopes of our rulers have not been cut 
off; we heard but a week since that our light burdens are 
to be further lightened, that our immense wealth has been 
yet increased, and that peace and plenty flourish over our 
fields. Long years ago did we wipe off the dark blot of 
slavery from the stainless shield of England, and for more 


than two hundred years the blood of Britons has not 
polluted the fair fields of English soil. 

On the very day when the heart of America was 
numbed and paralysed by the horrid tidings of a triple 
assassination, we were keeping our Paschal Feast — we 
were joyously celebrating our great national holiday — 
our hearts were being pleasantly stirred by the strains 
of martial music, and by the grand sight of England's 
assembled army of soldier-citizens, her youth, and her 
manhood, and her chivalry, marching past side by side, 
and united in unbroken brotherhood for a common 
cause ; while we knew that not one of those 20,000 had 
stirred under any stress of influence and compulsion, but 
simply from the sense of patriotism and the dictate of 
duty ; that amid all the din, and smoke, and trampling 
of mimic war, the thoughts of every one of them were 
thoughts not of defiance but of defence, and the motive 
which stirred their hearts was not the criminal passion 
for an unhallowed glory, but the true-hearted love for 
pure and peaceful homes. And so, without one serious 
casualty, the day — so joyous to us, so heavy with sorrow 
to other nations — passed away, and the wind wafted the 
smoke-clouds from those green downs ; and I doubt not 
that, as you marched homewards by the sea — which then 
so smiling, and oftentimes so stormy, was the fit emblem 
of an uncertain peace — you may have remembered that 
its narrow girdle was no longer adequate for our defence, 
and that, for that defence we must trust first to God, and 
next to that stern and noble gallantry in the temper 
even of peaceful men, which saves them from grovelling 



degradation and craven fear, and which should least of 
all be wanting in the breasts of a noble, a puissant, and 
a Christian nation. Truly it becomes us to take the cup of 
salvation and praise the name of the Lord. Marvellous in- 
deed have been God's mercies to us: and of these mercies 
I say again, as we are the inheritors, so we too must be 
the willing, the permanent, and the righteous guardi-ans. 

We must be, and by God's help we will. My brethren, 
I should be the first to scorn myself were I to appear in 
the novel guise of a flatterer ; yet I say but the simple 
truth in declaring, that when I consider the names and 
the character of many in our ranks — what good Christian 
men they are, how upright, how calm, how wise, how 
true — and when I remember that in this respect we have 
no right or reason to suppose our corps to be superior 
to a hundred others — then I am full of pride, and full 
of hope for my native land. That charge of national 
degeneracy which has been openly brought against us 
by our enemies, and whispered doubtfully even among 
ourselves, seems to vanish when we consider facts like 
these. From freedom to glory, from glory to wealth, 
from wealth to vice, has been the career of many 
nations ; but in our beloved England, though there may 
be meanness often, and mammon-worship, we do not 
yet see that insolence of impiety, that drunkenness of 
luxury, that decrepitude of effeminate self-indulgence, 
which has ever been as the hand pointing to ruin on 
the dial-plate of a nation's destiny. Let us cherish, 
every' one of us, in our own hearts, that righteousness 
which exalteth a nation, and we shall not need to fear. 

F.S. IS 



This will be a breastplate of adamant, invulnerable by 
any foe. And, as I would urge on all, so let me urge 
especially on every Volunteer, to be herein a defender 
of his country. It may be that none of us will live to 
take part in any battle fought with an invader on our 
own shores ; but in these great battles of history and 
of life, however low our station, however limited our 
sphere, we are and must be daily combatants. Let all 
of us, then, old and young, remember that we do not 
stand alone, and manfully acknowledge that the bond 
of union which binds us together as the members of a ^ 
common corps, is a bond which also pledges us to the I 
necessity, and aids us in the endeavour to live upright, | 
godly, and righteous lives. 

My brethren, and you, above all, young men, who 
walk in the pride of your strength, hardly knowing as ■ 
yet how many are the snares and pitfalls of life, believe 
me, this is no easy battle — believe me, it is a warfare in 
which there is no discharge. To live lives of heroic 
devotion to all that is brave, and honest, and ti-ue — to 
live in temperance, soberness, and chastity — to avoid 
those dark and slippery ways which are the ways of 
death, and that alluring banquet where the dead, and 
those who are hated of God, are guests — to be in such 
charity with all men as to scorn all petty malignities, 
whether of word or deed — to loathe every form and 
shape of impurity or falsehood — to love the Lord Jesus 
Christ with all our hearts, and never to grieve the Holy 
Spirit of God by sin wilfully indulged — this is the hardest 
3f all tasks, the longest and the sternest of all toils. To 



this, as God's minister, I exhort you ; to this, not God's 
ministers only, but your own consciences, which speak 
with the voice of God within you, and the words of 
Scripture, and the lessons of life, and the hopes of 
immortality. Oh, shut not your ears to these voices of 
God. Resolve, if you have not done so hitherto, resolve 
this day to be true and pure, and to fight manfully under 
your Saviour's banner against the world, the flesh, and 
the devil. If in that warfare there be no discharge, ^ 
nevertheless in that struggle there is no failure ; and 
thus, more than by any service, will you be the living 
columns of your country's prosperity. Oh, if we all were 
thus, what a hope and glory of all lands would England 
be, and how would the very angels and spirits elect 
point gladly to her as to a home of God's chosen people, 
as they lean from the crystal battlements of heaven ! 
May God grant it to our prayers ! And so, when the 
last battle comes — when He, who is the Faithful and 
the True, whose eyes are as a flame of fire, and whose 
vesture is dipped in blood, rideth forth to tread the 
winepress of the wrath of Almighty God ; when kings 
and their armies are gathered together to make war 
against Him, and the angel standing in the sun summons 
all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven to the 
supper of the Great God, that they may eat the flesh of 
kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty 
men — then may we, having well fought the good fight of 
faith on earth, be found among those armies of heaven 
which follow the Lamb of God to final victory, " upon 
white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean." 



(Preached at All Saints', Huntingdon, January 6, 1866.) 

Joel ii. 25. — "And I will restore to you the years which the locust 
hath eaten." 

For a pastoral people, a people who lived under their 
own vines and their own fig-trees, amid the luxuriant 
herbage of rich valleys, or on the slope of hills whose ! 
terraces were beautiful with the white flowers of the • 
almond and the silver leaves of the olive, — it must ; 
have been a moment almost too terrible to conceive, J 
when first, in the quiet noon, they saw here and there l| 
a locust dropping down upon their fields and vineyards. 
Eagerly, almost wildly, they strained their eyes towards 
the horizon to see if these few were the harbingers of I 
more ; and when, far-off on that horizon, they marked a 
black speck ever spreading and spreading into a pitchy, 
rushing cloud, we can barely imagine what agitation 
seized them ; how, in the passionate language of the 
prophet Joel, whose book is suggested and occupied by 
this terrible visitation, the inhabitants of the land cried, 
and all faces did gather blackness. Well might they ' 
cry : for the advent of the locust was the advent of ' 



famine, of ruin, of despair ! Nearer, nearer, nearer, the 
dark cloud moved, until a noise broke from it like the 
noise of chariots leaping upon the hills ; and the very 
sun was hidden ; and the dense air shuddered with 
innumerable wings. Then indeed they knew that the 
locust was upon the land ; and that the noise and 
motion was the noise and motion of their flight, more 
dreadful to the terrified husbandman than the beating 
wings of the Angel of Death. The excited imagination 
of poet and prophet spoke of them as God's great 
army : — an army irresistible as horsemen, and devour- 
ing as flame, that no sword could wound, that no walls 
could stay, — swift, and winged, and numberless, — before 
whose camp the Lord God uttered His great voice. But 
in truth it needed not the delirium of terror to exaggerate 
their ravages. Where they came, farewell to the pride 
of vintage and the hope of harvest, for the corn was 
wasted and the new wine dried up : the fields of the 
forest that had clapped their hands, and the valleys that 
had laughed and sung in the sunshine and the rain, were 
blackened and loathsome, so that the eye could see no 
green thing, and every footfall crunched on the griding 
scales of these crawling or dead invaders. The very 
branches of the palm, the pomegranate, and the apple- 
tree were bare ; the seed was rotten under the clods, and 
the once-green fields were strewn with heaps of putrescent 
death ; what their raging hunger spared, their touch and 
their foulness infected ; their corrupting swarms bred 
plague and pestilence ; their horrible fertility, passing 
through various stages of existence, cut off even the 


hopes of the future by the numberless multitude of their 
multitudes ; the land was as the garden of Eden before 
them, and behind them it was a desolate wilderness. 

Yes ! the coming of the locusts was a day of the 
Lord ; a day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of 
clouds and of thick darkness, a day of bitter and heart- 
rending calamity, of which fathers would tell their 
children, and children to the generations yet unborn. 
And, as all things are double one against another, — as 
the types of the physical have their antitypes in the 
spiritual world, — so, is there not something of which the 
locusts are an emblem, and which is yet more terrible 
than they? — a mysterious something at which in our 
healthy state we shudder, as though an evil spirit passed 
us in the darkness ; — a something dimly imaged by the 
canker that blights all beauty, and the leprosy that eats 
away all life, — a curse that broods over the green fields 
of humanity like the shadow of a poisonous tree ? Aye, 
so it is ! To him whose conscience of sin is afi-aid ; — to 
him whose eyes are opened to see the unseen realities of 
the moral world ; — to him who tries to see as the Saviour 
saw, and who would judge not by the standard of man 
but of his Maker, — the fall of the first accursed locust on 
the smiling plain is not one-tenth part so awful as the 
first little cloud of evil that flung its shadow over the 
innocence of a still-youthful life, — of the life of each one 
here, while he was yet young. To those angels who 
behold the face of our heavenly Father, the first base 
word spoken without a blush, — the first oath that pro- 
faned unwonted lips, the first lie dictated by cowardice 



to screen delinquency, the first duty wilfully neglected, — 
the first wicked thought consciously harboured, and 
rolled like a sweet morsel under the tongue, — the first 
tear called on a mother's cheek, — the first pang caused 
to a father's heart, — the first lapse into drunkenness or 
dishonour, — the first desire to taste of the tree of the 
mystery of evil, and to be as gods, and to whisper to 
the soul. Thou shalt not surely die, — the first wilful act 
whereby the erring soul defies its knowledge of that 
which is true and right, and lifts as it were the banner in 
the armies of the enemies of God, — these, these are the 
deeds which the holy ones chronicle in their tablets of 
sorrow ; and these — far more than the storm, and deluge, 
and niin of the groaning and travailing creation, — these 
far more than the ravage of the pestilence, or the carnage 
of the fight — force from them "such tears as angels 
weep." \Ve may have forgotten it; — to us it may be 
hidden far back in the mists of memory, that first word, 
that first act of conscious wickedness ; — as much as the 
first locust is forgotten when the myriads have come 
down ; — as much as the first spark on the dry leaf is 
forgotten, when it has wrapped the roaring prairie, and 
the primeval forest in the flame of its conflagration. 
But they forget not, and God forgets not. He, who 
foresees " in the green the mouldered tree," knows and 
marks what sin it was, that, first settling on the fair 
promise of a young life, caused the root to be as bitter- 
ness, and the blossom to go up as dust ; He sees the 
pregnant evil gxoN and multiply, and leave the seeds of 
its destruction to spring up into their deadly existence in 



future years, until the field has been blighted into a 
wilderness, and the soul, which is the garden of God, 
has become black and noisome as the valley of Hinnom, j 
and of Death. Oh, my brethren, be not deceived, God is 
not mocked. I know how lightly it is the fashion to 
think and speak of sin : I know how lightly the young 
will don and wear that gay robe, which shall cling to 
them hereafter and tear their flesh like the poisoned 
tunic of fable : I know how boldly and easily they will 
laugh away " the troubles of the envious, and the fears 
of the cowardly, the heaviness of the slothful, and the 
shame of the unclean ;" yet I do not fear for a moment 
that any wise man will consider the analogy too terrible ; | 
if so, let hiin pause and think whether it may not be 
because the veil is upon his heart, and he has sunk into 
that stupor of worldly comfort, that living death of 
spiritual apathy, that easy acquiescence and tolerance of 
habitual sin, which is too often the curse and disease of 
middle life. Alas ! I know that in many a man, who has 
gone on long undisturbed in guilt, the soul and the 
conscience "may die a natural death" amid the dull 
comforts and occupations of the world, until the very j 
sense of guilt is gone, and sin to him has lost all its 
sinfulness and all its shame. 

But if anybody here be thus indilTerent now, if God 
have thus sealed his eyes in penal blindness, and suffered 
his conscience to be clogged with the stupefaction of an 
unpunished course, to him more than to any one is it our 
duty not to speak smooth words or to prophesy deceits. 
For when the day of the Lord has come upon him, when 



the torchlight of the world's dim theatre has been 
quenched for ever, and instead of delusive shadows, the 
awfulness of the eternal reality has burst upon his aching 
sight; then, when self-deception is possible no longer, 
and the deathful slumber of the seared conscience has 
been broken short for ever; then indeed will every 
sinner long that the voice of every one of God's ministers 
could have rung, not with feeble and conventional 
orthodoxies, but as mth that voice of a trumpet sounding 
long and loud which once shook the burning cliffs of 
Sinai, or with the thrilling alarm of that 

" Warning voice, which he who saw 
The Apocalypse heard ciy in heaven aloud, 
' Wo to the inhabitants on earth ! ' " 

Most of us, my brethren, are young no longer. Much 
of our destined term of life lies already behind us, and 
silently the chariot of the hours and days and weeks is 
rolling on, and bearing us to a dark river and an un- 
known land, — and bearing us by a path which we can 
never pass again. For better or for worse, for good or 
for evil, a large and memorable portion — and indeed for 
the moulding of no small extent of our destiny by far 
the most important portion — of our lives is over; over 
for ever ; never to be obliterated, never to be recalled. 
No man bathes twice in the same wave ; no man lives 
twice in the same time. The past has ghded into the 
dim backward; for us it has vanished for ever, and is 
but a decaying memory ; for God it hath been recorded 
for ever, and is an eternal, indestructible reahty. Of the 
days of our years which a child might number ; of the 



ever-passing, ever-renewed, moments which once only 
God grants (and to some here they may be very very few, 
ere the night cometh when no man can work), a large 
portion has been spent by us already. How has it been 
spent? Has it been composed of "years which the 
locust has eaten " ? 

It is a solemn question ! For a few moments, on this 
first Sunday of a new year, let us turn our faces back- 
wards, and gaze (a sad gaze even for the best of us !) on 
the time past of our lives. We have reached those dis- 
tant hills which once looked so blue and bright, and now 
disenchanted, let us look back from these frosty and 
flinty steeps upon the region which we have traversed. 
Brethren, think, is it not a blank for many of us ? In 
forecast those years were like the garden of Eden before 
us, — is not their retrospect for many of us a desolate 
wilderness? A fire burned before them, behind them a 
flame devoureth. And is it not, is it not because the 
locust army of our sins has settled on those fair fields, 
which might still have been green and refulgent, had our 
many good resolutions been any better than the morning 
cioud or than the early dew? The locust army of our 
sins ; singly contemptible, collectively irresistible ; but 
whether singly or in multitudes, ruinous and abhorred. 
Why is it that, for so many men, sadness lies in looking 
back ? Why is it that they would give anything, short of 
their very being, to recover those lost years ? Is it not 
because their labour has been given to the locust, and 
their fruit to the grasshopper? How often have we 
prayed to be nobler, holier, better ? How often have we 



determined to avoid this snare, and wrestle with that 
temptation ! How often have we resolved to break off 
the bad habit, and cut short the selfish career ! How 
often, with stifled warnings of conscience, with forgotten 
prayers, and violated resolutions, have we returned like 
the dog to his vomit again, like the sow that was washed 
to her wallowing in the mire ! Must there not be at 
least some here, for whom thoughts of sin have ripened 
into wishes, and wishes been consummated in acts, and 
acts hardened into habits, which are those locks and 
bars of the gate of hell which no hand save the hand of 
God can burst ? — must there not be some for whom vice 
has become graver sin, and sin against God has become 
crime against man, and unknown it may be to all save 
his own soul and to God, vice, and sin, and crime have 
left all over the soul their darkening trails, obliterating 
all that was beautiful, weakening all that was vigorous, 
poisoning all that was pure, until it is as true of their 
wasted lives as ever it was of the fields of Israel, that 
"that which the palnierworm hath left ha^ the locust 
eaten, and that which the locust hath left Tiath the 
cankerworm eaten, and that which the cankerworm hath 
left hath the caterpillar eaten " ? 

Is not this the reason why there is so much of sad 
truth in the Arab proverb, that the remembrance of youth 
is a sigh ? Very well : be it so. The sadness of such a 
thought is undeniable : to look back over the past years 
of life, and to be conscious that our deeds have come to 
nothing, or had better have remained undone; to be 
conscious that we have sown but evil seeds in a corrupted 



soil, and that now it only remaineth to reap the harvest ; 
to be conscious that we have incurred a terrible debt and 
that nature is a pitilessly accurate accountant, that we 
have wasted our fair early years in storing up inevitable 
misery for those that are to come, — there is, and I may 
not deny it, in such thoughts a sorrow too deep for tears. 
Yet be it so : it is passed for ever ; it cannot be helped ; 
it is irrevocable even to Omnipotence. That which hath 
been shall be. It is God's, not ours. The infinite air 
will thrill for ever with the words which we have spoken ; 
the rays of light will carry for ever from universe to uni- 
verse the picture of the deeds which we have done. All 
that is over, and we cannot alter it. We look back, and 
sigh to think how selfish, how foolish, how wicked we 
have been ; it is a melancholy picture, but it cannot be 
blotted out. It cannot be blotted out, and therefore of 
all follies the greatest folly is to brood upon it continually. 
Nothing is vainer than vain regret. It may be well indeed 
sometimes to glance rapidly along the faultful past ; but 
unless we deliberately wish to fill our souls with useless 
misery and dangerous despair, it is a mere paralysing 
madness to dwell on it too long. If I have pointed to 
any man the threatening clouds which gather over the 
past, it is only that we may gaze together on the unfading 
rainbow which by God's blessing shall span their gloom. 
Let us turn away bravely and wisely ; let us turn to the 
hopeful future from the helpless past. And as the 
traveller who has lost his way by night, and, startled 
suddenly to a sense of his danger by some lightning-flash 
which reveals the rocks and chasms around him, pauses 



terror-stricken to await the dawn; and, when the 
sun has dawned on his darkness, looking back to 
mark his error, shudders to see his own footsteps by 
the dizzy edge of the precipice and the tottering pine- 
branch by which he stumbled over the torrent, and 
then rises with a deep sigh, and thanks God, and 
girding his loins presses forward humbler and holier, 
sadder and wiser, on the road which shall lead him 
right, — so let us too, brethren, resolutely close our eyes 
to all the wasted years which may lie behind us, and, 
praying God that the dayspring may arise in our hearts 
and lighten us into the path of repentance, press 
forward again with every surviving energj-, towards the 
mark of the prize of our high calling. Thickly as the 
locust-swarms may lie over those years, utterly as they 
may have wasted a vain and misguided boyhood, or a 
passionate and foolish youth, yet the very worst of us 
need not despair. For what cause is it that God gives 
us the gift of time, if it be not that we may repent there- 
in ? For us, if we have been sinners, repentance is the 
work of life : Oh, not that we may grow rich, not that we 
may grow famous, not that we may be at ease and live in 
pleasure upon the earth ; not for such purposes is each 
new day allotted us, but only that our souls may be 
reconciled to God, and sheltered once more in His for- 
saken fold. Is the past dark ? be it so ! There at least 
lies the future before us ; fonvard then, and onwards ! it 
is as yet an innocent, it may be a happy future ; it may 
be a noble future, a stainless future, a godlike future ; 
take it with prayerful gratitude, and fling the withered 



past aside. Once more sow the seed, and plant the 
vineyard in the furrows of the contaminated soil. Poor 
may be the aftermath, scant the gleaning of grapes upon 
life's topmost branches that may be left for thee : yet do 
thou thy best to redeem these from the locust swarm. 
Do as Israel did when the locusts settled down. They 
remembered the God who had once swept away the 
locusts with a mighty wind, and drowned them by myriads 
in the Red Sea waves. " Rend your heart," said the 
prophet, " and not your garments, and turn unto 
the Lord your God ; for He is gracious and merciful, 
slow to anger, and of great_kindness, and repenteth 
Him of the evil ; " and they did turn and seek Him ; 
and then mark God's gracious message to them, — 
" Fear not, O land ; be glad and rejoice, for the Lord 
will do great things. . . . And the floors shall be full 
of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine '-ind oLL 
And I will restore to you the years that the locust 
hath eaten." 

In one sense indeed they can never be restored ; fresh 
years we can have, "fresh fields, and pastures new but 
not the old ones, and not the lost riches they might have 
blossomed with. Never can we be again as though we 
had not sinned at all. Let us recognise this stern truth : 
— The remission of sins, as you may read amid the shat- 
tered ruins of many a life, is not the remission of their 
consequences, nor are the perfect freedom and linvexed 
fearlessness of the innocent attainable by the guilty even 
when they have been forgiven. In a day, in an hour, in 
a moment, we may destroy a character which on earth 



can never be rebuilt. For how many men has the sin of 
an instant proved the anguish of a Hfe ! And even if by 
God's grace the deadHness of the wounds be healed, yet 
the unsightly scars must remain for ever on our souls, 
and the malicious hand of merciless man will point to 
them. But, thanks be to God, God is more tender, more 
merciful, more long-suffering than miserable man. When 
our father and our mother forsake us, He will take us up. 
We cannot sink so low but that He will stoop to us out 
of His shining heaven, if we look to Him : even if, after 
our riotous living, we hunger in vain for the very husks 
that the swine do eat, yet if we arise and go to Him, He 
will welcome u? in His forgiving arms, and weep on the 
neck of His returning prodigals. For this Christ died. 
He who lay at the table of the Publican, and shrank not 
from the sores of the leper, and turned not with loathing 
from the fierce and filthy Gadarene ; He who touched 
the stained woman as she sobbed on the Temple pave- 
ment, and said to her in that unutterable gentleness, 
"Neither do I condemn thee : go, and sin no more 
He who suffered the harlot, out of whom He had cast 
seven devils, " to wet His feet with her tears, and wipe 
them with the hairs of her head ; " He will receive us 
too, and love us graciously, and forgive us freely. Litde 
need we reck of man, if God forgives us. And He does 
forgive us. The Holy One who inhabiteth eternity reaches 
to us out of His eternity the fingers of a man's hand, 
and touches into green life again the years that the locust 
nath eaten. Even the memory of guilt He will alleviate. 
Sometimes as we float down the river of life, memory 



flashes up from the hidden depths, and the dark wave is 
peopled with the innumerable faces of once forgotten 
sins, which (as in the nympholepsy of ancient fable) 
menace us from the waters, and prophesy of death. But 
God can enable us to gaze unshudderingly on those faces, 
and say with thankful emotion, " Those sins are not 
mine ; they were mine, but they are forgiven. They were 
my heavy burden once, but now they are nailed to my 
Saviour's cross. They were -svTitten against me, but He 
has obliterated the record with His own hand, pierced for 
me. Such things I did, — but I am washed, but I am 
cleansed, but I am sanctified, but I am purified." We 
may say, like the Queen in the splendid tragedy, that " all 
old ocean's waters " could not wash away the stain of our 
guiltiness ; and that " not poppy nor mandragora nor all 
the drowsy syrups in the world " could lull our diseased 
memories asleep ; — aye, true ! — but one drop of Christ's 
most precious blood can cleanse us for ever ; one whisper 
of His " Peace, be still " can silence the wrathful storms 
of an agitated conscience, and give us songs in the mid- 
night of despair ! 

But remember, brethren, in conclusion, that we must 
not sit still. Let us not fall into the fatal error of fancying 
that we may die in our sins, and yet glide at once through 
the gates of heaven ; — let us not imagine that the soul 
may pass from earth unforgiven, impenitent, leprous, 
degraded, and yet be clasped at once to the bosom of its 
God. It is a fearful delusion. When the locust came, 
the people lit huge fires and dug deep pits, and toiled 
night and day to extermmate them, and cried mightily to 


God. We too must awake " with agonies and energies " 
to shake off the curse of sin which is upon us ; we too 
must turn to the Lord our God. We must do it now ; 
for even if we be not suddenly called away, still year by 
year, like a stream that hurries to join the sea, time is 
sweeping us on more and more rapidly, down its resistless 
wave ; the hours are perishing and being imputed to us. 
Let us then waste no time in unavailing sorrow over the 
past; but rather — as that great chieftam of old, who, 
looking back in a dream, saw moving after him " a huge 
and monstrous form thick set all over with serpents," 
while wherever it moved everything fell crashing before 
it, and who, while he beheld, was bidden to go on his 
way straight forward and cast no look behind, and 
obedient to the mandate marched on to glory and vic- 
tory — so let us go onwards, faint it may be, yet certain 
of success. Is man against us ? let us fly from his proud 
cruelty to the love of God. Are our consciences against 
us ? let us fly from those things of which our consciences 
are afraid to the mercy of God. Is the past against us ? 
let us fly from it now to the yet innocent present which 
He still allows us ; to the happy and holy future which 
He may yet enable us to attain ; to the glorious eternity 
whereof the golden gates are as yet unbarred and are 
flung as widely open to penitents as to saints. So, when 
after a short span of fleeting years, the sea rolls, or the 
turf is green, over the mortal bodies of all who hear me 
this day, may many an immortal soul from this congrega- 
tion meet and recognise in the light of heaven, and there 
in the white robes of redeemed innocence dwell, without 
F.S. 16 


sin and wthout sorrow, in the City which hath foundations 
whose builder and maker is God. There, if not fully 
upon earth, will God restore fully, restore finally to the 
humble, and to the penitent, " the years which the locust 
hath eaten." 



{Preached before Harrow School, September 30, 1866.) 

Rev. xxii. 4.— "And they shall see His face ; and His name shall 
be ill their foreheads. " 

This verse is taken from the last chapter of the Bible, 
a chapter in some respects the most moving and beautiful 
of all. About it, as about the gates of Paradise, lingers 
a reflection from the hues of heaven, and a mysterious 
echo froin angel songs. Its warnings fall with the so- 
lemnity of death and of judgment; its promises are 
unearthly in their images of peace. How unlike are all 
the promises of this book to anything which our own 
poor wishes could have framed ! What should we have 
wished for, had we foreshadowed a heaven for ourselves ? 
should we not have transplanted into it the passions and 
the selfishness of earth ? Would not one have striven to 
realize his sensual vision of pleasure, and another his 
base ideal of comfort, and another his wild tumult of 
ambition, and well-nigh all some deification of their own 
vanities, — till heaven were no heaven at all, but only, 
like earth, a struggle of selfish atoms, a tangle of ravelled 




hopes? Not such is the heaven of which we catch faint 
j^limpses in the Apocalypse of St. John. The vows and 
wishes of the world, the aims and hopes of common 
souls, are absent there. No shadow stains the crj-stal 
waters of that river of life : no step that defileth can pass 
upon that glassy floor. Man in all the base attributes 
of his individuality has disappeared ; God alone re- 
maineth. The crown of Hfe, the leaves that heal the 
nations, the hidden manna, the new name, the song that 
endeth not day or night about the rainbow-circled 
throne, — these blessings, — and these not in differing de- 
grees, not selfishly monopolised, not divided into lower 
or upper grades, — these are the blessings which the heart 
must recognise which is calm enough and pure enough 
to enter upon that rest. 

And of all the promises none is lovelier than this — 
" There shall be no more curse : but the throne of God 
and of the Lamb shall be in it ; and His sen'ants shall 
serve Him : and they shall see His face ; and His name 
shall be in their foreheads." Is it possible that such 
worms as we shall see the face of God ? Even to 
imagine it, is to imagine ourselves lifted to infinite 
lieights above cur present degradation. For to see the 
face of God is to be in light. " Dark deeds are done in 
secret ; drag them into the light, and they cannot stand 
it. A debased soul brought into open daylight, and not 
rushing from it, is naturally purified ; that which was 
darkness in the dark becomes light in the daylight." 
Therefore to see God's face is to be pure from every 
shame. And it is to be elevated above all earthliness. 



A Russian empress once built a palace of ice, and her 
guests danced and banqueted within its glimmering walls. 
But when .the sun shone, it vanished and melted into 
cold and dripping mud. Even so it is with the aims 
men toil for most. Death comes, and all they have 
longed for looks no better than a palace of icicles, which 
shone with opal colours under the moonbeam, but melts 
into hideous ruin before the light of God. Therefore 
to see God's face is to distinguish the real from the 
illusorj', the true from the false. And it is to be at 
peace. For as the chaos became order and beauty 
under the wings of the Spirit of God, and as the troubled 
waves of GaHlee sank into calm beneath the Saviour's 
feet, so there can be no disquietude in His presence, 
where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary 
are at rest. And it is to live in love ; for it is to have 
our tears wiped away by His hand who made the soul, 
and who alone can understand it, and who gives to it — 
even laden with its infirmities, but washed, and cleansed, 
and forgiven for its Saviour's sake — that which man is 
too poor and too proud to give, a divine tenderness, a 
ceaseless love. To attain to these blessings is a height 
of which we might well despair. Yet never let the 
present " solicit us with its easy indulgence to despair 
of that sweetest and noblest hope." By aiming at it 
we shall at last attain. So have I stood deep in an 
Alpine valley, and still wrapped in the cold and darkness 
far below, have seen the first sunbeam sm.ite with its 
fierce splendour the highest mountain-top, and thought 
that it must be impossible by any toil to reach, from 



our dim, low region, that encrimsoned height ; and yet, 
as the sunrise leapt from peak to peak, and flowed and 
broadened in its golden streams down the mountain 
side, have climbed on and on with long toil, and under 
the full daylight have mounted to that topmost crest of 
eternal snow, heaved high into the regions of blue air. 
So is it in the moral world. He who ever toils up- 
hillward with his eye upon the summit, 

" Shall find the toppling crags of Ehity scaled 
Are close upon the shining table-lands 
To which our God Himself is moon and sun." 

But is this a promise for the future only ? Is it only the 
peaceful, the happy, the victorious dead, whose work is 
over while we toil on ; — who have gained the shore while 
we are heaved up and down upon the labouring sea ; — 
is it they alone who see God's face ? is it not suffered us 
to see it even through the vapours of mortal life ? Not 
fully, my brethren ; only in part ; only as through the 
dim reflection of a silver mirror — IC laonrpov iv diviyiian ; 
only as Moses saw some gleaming of His robe, hid under 
the hollow of His hand in a cleft of the burning hill. 
And yet even thus to see God is our only chance, our 
only hope of happiness here. In thinking of any man's 
present or future, I ask not " Is he rich ? is he noble? is 
he strong ? is he wise ? do men praise him ? do his plans 
succeed ? is he unharassed by mean cares ? " Many of 
whom all this is true are the miserablest of men, and all 
the more miserable because they know it not; — ^but I 
ask, " does he now see, does it seem as if he would ever 



see, the face of God ? " 'I'hat alone can make and keep 
him,— I say not happy— for there is something infinitely 

1 higher and better than happiness at which every good 
man aims, — not perhaps happy, but at noble peace with 
God and man, enjoying trustfully all that the poor 
present can give him, enjoying with yet calmer certainty 
the glory of his future hopes. 

Therefore what I would wish most earnestly for every 

' one of you, what I would wish for you more than know- 
ledge, more than health, more than many friends, more 
infinitely than the fool's paradise of success — is that you 
should see the face of God. And to see it you must 

I seek it. He will see the face of God most brightly who 
strives most earnestly to live the life of God on earth ; 
and his life will be most like the life of God whose 
prayer rises oftenest and most sincerely to his heavenly 
Father. Prayer and a holy life must be his who would 
see his Maker. In prayer you grasp the golden key of 
the gate of Eden ; by a holy life, you may walk, in 
something more than fancy, among its seraph choirs. 
With these the path of life lies open to the very foot of 
the Tree of Life. It was for rebels only that the avenue 
to Paradise was closed. For him who approacheth 
it with prayer and holiness the cherubim vail their 
wrathful faces, and the waving blade of the flaming 

I sword is sheathed. 

But are there any other less obvious helps, by the use 
of which we may the sooner win this blessedness ? Are 
there any other ways in which God reveals Himself to 
mortal man ? My brethren, to the clear and open eye, 


to the pure and simple heart, tliere are many ways ; and 
of one or two I would speak to-day. 

I. First, then, we may learn to see the face of God 
in nature. By nature I mean the sum total of God's 
works and laws. My brethren, I cannot tell you one 
tithe of what I feel on this subject. I know, — for I find 
it alike in Scripture and in experience, — that the love 
and study of the works of nature, the walking through 
the world with open and loving eyes, is one of the very 
best aids to faith, and one of the very simplest sources 
of happiness. Men of the world despise it ; they call it 
enthusiasm and sentimentality, as they call most things 
which are good and true, so that to them the elevation 
of the soul and the innocent delight which God's works 
inspire is thrown away, and the suns rise and set before 
blind eyes, and the air rings with music to dull deaf 
ears. God never meant it so ; it is the diabolism of 
sensual disbelief. When Job lay sick and stricken on 
his dunghill, sneered at and taunted by his little religious 
friends, how did God redeem him ? what lessons did He 
teach him out of the whirhvind ? Do not trust my answer, 
but take your Bibles, and read for yourselves and see. 
Was it some logical formula ? was it some dull, dismal, 
Pharisaic theology;— or was it by pointing him to the 
birth of the dewdrops and the fountarns of the da\vn, — 
to Orion, and Mazzaroth, and Arctunis, and the ocean 
doors, — to the wild ass scouring the desert, and the wild 
goat leaping among the crags, — to the soaring of the 
eagle, and the plumes of the ostrich, and the glories of 
the peacock's wing, — to the pawing of the war-horse 



among the glittering spears, and the wallowing of the 
sea-monster in the foamy depths ? Such teaching it was, 
and not the pedantry of scholasticism, that made Job 
say, " I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." 
And when Christ sat on the green grass of the mountain- 
side,- how did He soothe the troubles of that care-worn 
multitude? Was it not by pointing to the more than 
regal loveliness of the lilies of the field, and bidding 
them learn the tenderness of their heavenly Father by 
His care for the falling sparrow, and for the raven's 
callow brood ? Blessed be the " enthusiasm," hallowed 
the " sentimentality," which teaches lessons such as 
these ! Try, my brethren, to learn them. Study and 
love the works of God ; — they are better worth reading 
than the words of man ; — they will give you simpler 
tastes and purer pleasures ; they will dower the youngest 
son among you with a wealth not to be dreamt of in his 
father's home ; in happy moments they will make you 
happier ; in friendless moments they will give you com- 
panionship ; in troubled moments they will breathe you 
peace. Nor is this all, you will see God in them. He 
will be everywhere. All things will be full of Him. 
The earth we tread, and the air we breathe, the Universe 
and the Conscience, " the starry heaven above and the 
moral law within," will all be witnesses of His presence. 
And the more you know about these works, the more 
will you feel it. Science does but read aloud the awful 
lessons of that great open Bible, the Universe of God, 
on which many of you forsooth look down from the 
whole height of your towering ignorance. In proportion 


to your knowledge of this Revelation will be your interest 
in it. He who loves and admires Creation, yet knows 
nothing of its plan, is like one who stands in a cavern 
of which the riches and beauty are but dimly seen 
but to him who enters it with the torch of knowledge, its 
dim walls become illuminate with ten thousand glories. 
Exchange, while you can, a wise knowledge for a feeble 
and ignorant contempt. Enter it, while you can, with 
holy and humble hearts, and 

" Bid with lifted torch its starry walls 

Sparkle, as erst they sparkled to the glow 
Of odorous lamp tended by saint and sage." 

II. In Nature then you may see God, and secondly 
you may learn to see Him in His revelation to the minds 
of other men. You may find that revelation in the books 
which they have left. Never was anything good, or true, 
of wise, written or spoken without the inspiration of 
God's Holy Spirit, and in reading such words you read 
a revelation of Him. Books, which are "the true reli- 
quaries of the saints, but without imposture," — books, 
which with a potent yet innocent necromancy enable us 
to evoke from their dim tombs the spirits of the dead, — 
books, which are the best heart's blood of great men 
" einbalmed for a life beyond life " — my brethren, they 
are well-nigh the richest privilege, and quite the worthiest, 
the most unshaken and incorruptible friends we can 
possess. Few of us reverence and value them enough. 
Oh ! when I remember how many good and great books 
there are,— books which a life-time could not exhaust, 



books every one of which would make the true reader 
wiser, better, nobler, — loftier in intellectual stature and 
in moral strength, — and which yet are left unread, — I 
stand amazed to think of that silent assembly of un- 
crowned kings which is beckoning to us in vain, while 
yet you will not ask the philosopher for the gathered 
treasures of his wisdom, or the orator for the thunder 
of his eloquence, or the poet for the magic of his song. 
And for whom will you forsake them ? for the bald and 
disjointed inanities of personal talk? There, in our 
Library, are many great and precious volumes of wise 
men's words ; — and for what will you abandon them ? 
I forbear to characterise fully the literature of which 
some among you seem fondest, or which I see oftenest 
in their hands, — books which are no books,' — the name- 
less outpourings of obscure vulgarity, the raw conceptions 
of unknown sensationists, the brainless buffoonery which 
turns even what is noblest into jest. And this prison- 
literature, this romance of the counter and the stable, 
this noisy and utterly ignoble trash, can interest and 
amuse many boys who, as I have long since discovered, 
barely know the names of their greatest poets, or have 
heard so much as the titles of the books of their wisest 
contemporaries. However we view it, such a taste is a 
calamity, and such a literature a nation's curse. Believe 
me, in such books you will never see the face of God. 

But, thank God, there is one book at least, the Book 
of Books, which we all perforce hear, and in which day 
by day we read. In all great literature you may learn 
to see God, but best and clearest there ; and we might 



be content to sacrifice the rest of human wisdom for all 
which that one sentence means, " Come unto me all ye 
that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you 
rest." Oh ! if you can read nothing else which is cahn 
and good and true, read that book; its teachings may 
stay with you in lines of blessing when the world itself 
has begun to fade away. It is told of one of our 
sweetest poets that during his latter years he barely 
opened any book but this ; it is told of another high 
intellect — one of heaven's great ones slandered by earth's 
little— that when all other reading had lost its charms 
he would ask for the Bible which he had once used 
among the cottages. Yes, the Bible is often degraded 
by superstitious usage ; — the dogmatist gets out of it a 
" charlatan's philosophy," — the ignorant quotes its words 
as though they were a material talisman, — the fanatic 
snatches from it the weapons wherewith he would stab 
his neighbour's hopes ; — it has been made, times without 
number, the cloak of the Pharisee and the shield of the 
tyrant, the faggot of the inquisitor and the fetter of the 
slave, — but, however men may pervert, they cannot rob 
it of its glory, they can never make it less than that 
which it has been, and is, and must be still, the hope 
and anchor of the soul, sure and steadfast, the lighthouse 
lamp, that glows unwavering amid the hurricane, and 
beams in divine calm above the frothy uproar of im- 
potent waves. Oh ! if you would see the face of God, 
you must have learnt well its teaching — aye, and learnt 
in your lives to apply its truths. 

III. And thirdly, we may see the face of God in the 



life of Christ's true servants and followers. They see His 
face, His name is on their foreheads now. It has been 
observed that, whereas in the heathen world there were 
barely one or two to whom we should venture to apply 
the epithet " holy;" among Christians, on the other hand, 
there always have been and are many " whose mere 
presence has shamed the bad, and made the good 
better, and has been felt at times like the presence of 
God Himself." In the lives of such men, as you read 
them in Christian biography, — in the conduct of such 
men, if you have ever had the happiness to meet them 
in daily life, you may see reflected, as a planet reflects 
the sun, some faint image of the face of God. Such men 
are the salt of the earth ; their mere being saves it from 
corruption. Their names shine out from the waste 
and dimness of common society, nobly exceptional, 
magnificently alone. 

There are two kinds of life, my brethren, — one is the 
life we all live, the other the life of those who have left 
all and followed Christ, giving up for His sake father, 
and mother, and friends, and home. We live lives 
respecting which I should be a flatterer if I were to say 
that, as far as I can see, they differ in any perceptible 
excellence from the lives of the world ; — lives which 
anyone can live. We get and grudge, — we spend and 
save — \Ve surround ourselves with comforts, — we secure 
what luxuries we may ; — we do what we can for ourselves, 
and show but little care for the interests and feelings of 
others. But these men ! these impractical enthusiasts, 
these derided sentimentalists, have been grandly simple, 



and nobly poor, and eccentrically good. I imagine them 
entering in among us here; — saints of God whom we 
should have patronised; martyrs to whom we should 
have condescended; confessors whom we should have 
thought we were honouring if we shook them by the 
hand, — these " faithful who were not famous," these rank 
and file who kept back the enemy in the batilefields of 
life. We should have smiled at their coarse dress, but 
their raiment is shining now; we should have called 
ourselves their "superiors," but now they are in the 
heaven of heavens; they were poor, but they made 
myriads rich ; they were ignorant, but they taught the 
world more and infinitely worthier lessons than whole 
generations of little scholars. For they knew that 

" The high desire that others may be blest 
Savours of heaven ; " 

their eyes had been opened and disenchanted to see what 
alone is best, what is alone worth living for ; their souls, 
conscious of their high dignity from God, brooked not 
the mean vulgarities of the worldly life. Read such lives 
as that of the Plymouth cobbler who was the founder of 
ragged schools, and the Yarmouth seamstress who was 
the reformer of prisons: — read them, and understand 
that though few noticed or cared for them in life, yet the 
Priest and the Pharisee might have sat very humbly at 
their feet. 

In these three ways then, — in nature ; in the books of 
the great and wise ; in the lives and conduct of the good, 
— and more than any book in the Bible, and more than 
any hfe in that life of Christ on earth which good men 



can but feebly imitate, — we may learn to see the face of 

Alas ! my brethren, had I rather spoken of how men 
lose sight of that face, and live in the darkness, would 
not many of you have felt that I was describing your 
own experience ? For more rapidly than the clouds roll 
athwart the sun do the exhalations from an erring heart 
blot out the face of the Sun of Righteousness. He who 
is growing up in forgetfulness of God, careless and 
prayerless from day to day, — he who is living in pleasure, 
dead while he liveth, — he to whom the world and its 
earthly hopes are all in all, and whose imagination, 
crowded with earthly images, never reaches to things 
beyond, — above all, and worse than all, he who suffers 
the lower passions of his nature to pass into such a 
tyrannous and fatal curse that even his mind and con- 
science are corrupted and defiled, — alas, for him the face 
of God is visible no longer, or visible only in gleams few 
and distant, and ever dimmer and more distant as life 
goes on. My brethren, above all my younger brethren, 
may you never know what this must be. In the gay 
bright days of youth, unvexed by care, when Pleasure 
has not yet stripped off her mask, a sinner may not feel 
the curse of living without God. But life is not always 
undisturbed. Men do live to lose all that they have 
gained ; men do live to have their hearts eaten away into 
emptiness by bosom sins ; men do live to be bereaved of 
all whom they had loved, and pass lonely to the grave ; 
men do live to be wounded in their tenderest affections, 
and to see their children become their curse; men do 


live to lose health and to be racked by disease and 
anguish in every limb. Are you safe from these myriads 
of human misfortunes ? Not one of you is safe from one 
of them ; most, if not all of you, will live to experience 
one or more of them : — and how will it be with you 
then ? If you have seen God's face, you can be peaceful 
and hopeful, if not happy, still : but if that face be 
turned away, how shall you bear such crushing burdens ? 
How shall you pass that last dark river, beyond whose 
billows no fields for you will "stand dressed in living 
green " ? O seek His face now ; call ye upon Him while 
He yet is nigh. Earnestly would I entreat you, young 
new-comers amongst us, to remember this, — that, if you 
turn but a little aside from the right path now, you may 
wander infinitely far; — if you embark now on the for- 
bidden stream, before you know it the stream will be a 
river, and the river will have mingled with the sea, and 
then there will be " no springing back from the boat 
upon the shore." — In the course of eleven years I have 
seen many vacancies on those seats which you now 
occupy; — of those vacancies some, — not a few, — have 
been caused by death, and of those we can think with 
peace and hope, nay almost with gladness now: — but 
some, alas also not a few, have been caused not by death 
but by disgrace — and of those that have thus been 
banished from the midst of us some tliere are that have 
gone from bad to worse. These are the dead who pobt 
our saddest moral, these the dead over whom most we 
mourn. They sat there, and listened to our words, and 
laughed and sinned; and so, Httle by little, became bad 


boys, and disgraced their own lives, and brought dismay 
and misery into their parents' hearts. Yet they were 
once innocent, young, new boys. Think you, that when 
first they listened to the solemn words from this pulpit, 
as you sit listening now, — think you, that they ever 
dreamt in what shame and failure their Harrow career 
after a year or two would end? — Dear brethren, the 
beginning of sin is as the letting out of water : — be 
warned in time ! 

One word more. Many of us kneeling side by side at 
yonder Holy Table will be striving there to pierce the 
mists that encompass with perplexity our mortal lives, 
and to see some dim gleaming of the face of God. 
Before this term has ended we hope that veiy many of 
you will join us there. Let us all be united there in our 
thoughts and prayers to-day. Pray for this great School , 
pray for us ; pray for yourselves ; pray for those young 
new comers of whom I spoke. Let us strive there, 
kneeling side by side, to attain if haply it be possible, 
more love, more sympathy, more nobleness, more happi- 
ness, more hope. " When thou saidst. Seek ye my face, 
my heart said unto thee. Thy face, Lord, will I seek." 

F.S. T7 



(PreaLhed before King's College School, at the Reopening of King's 
College Chapel, June 23, 1864.) 

I Cor. iii. 16. — " Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and 
that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ? " 

1'he three different senses of this phrase " the temple of 
God," mark very distinctly three different eras of God's 
dealings with His Church. In the Old Testament it is 
applied without variation to that stately sanctuarj- of 
marble and gold and cedar-wood which Solomon built in 
the zenith of his power. In the Gospels, on the lips of 
our blessed Lord, we find it used in a new sense, which 
filled the unaccustomed Jews with amazement, — " He 
spake of the temple of His body." Lastly, in the 
Epistles, and especially in those of St. Paul, the term 
Temple receives a significance yet more marvellous, for 
it is applied, as in the text, to the mortal body of every 
Christian man. Let us for a few moments glance at 
these three temples, which mark three mighty dispen- 
sations in religious history — the temple at Jerusalem, the 
temple of Christ's human body, the temple of everj' 
Christian's heart ^ 

* The history of the word is beautifully stated in Bishop Hind's 
little work The Three Temples of the Tine God. 


I. The Most High, my brethren, dwelleth not in, 
temples made with hands. Lo, heaven, and the heaven 
of Ijeavens, cannot contain Him, how much less any 
house that man can build? If that mighty cathedral, 
whose dome is the body of heaven in its clearness, whose 
pillars are the mountain summits, and its cresset lamps 
the sun and moon and stars, be yet too mean for His 
dread magnificence, how shall any perishing structure of 
human toil be deemed sufficient for His abode? Yet, 
out of that mercy which knew and provided for the 
spiritual wants of man. He Himself directed the fashion 
of this earthly tabernacle, and deigned to place the 
symbol of His presence between the outstretched wings 
of the golden cherubim. Through dreary ages of dark- 
ness and error that Temple stood as the visible witness 
against all idolatry of God's creatures ; — the witness that, 
though the great heavens continued dumb, and the world 
rolled on in unbroken silence, and sin, and sorrow, and 
unbelief, and blasphemy, and lust, rioted unrestrained 
among the dark places of the earth, — yet God was sitting 
above the water-floods, a King for ever ; — a King ruling 
in righteousness, although His way is in the sea, and His 
path in the great waters, and His footsteps are not known ; 
— not, as the Epicurean imagined Him, indifferent to the 
sorrows and sins of men, but an infinite and merciful 
Father, yearning in love for the souls of His sinful 
children ; who, though He be so high, yet hath respect 
unto the lowly of heart, and who willeth us to give of 
our best and richest to His earthly temples, as a proof 
ahke of our love and reverence to Him, and of His 

ry— 2 



everlasting presence in the midst of us to accept our 
thanksgivings and hear our prayers. 

2. But after a thousand years our Lord spoke of the 
Temple of God in a manner unheard before. " Destroy 
this temple," He said, when asked for some sign of His 
mission, " destroy this temple ^, and in three days I will 
raise it up." " Forty and six years was this temple in 
building," answered the indignant Jews, " and wilt Thou 
rear it up in three days ?" But He spake of the " temple 
of His body." His use of the word made a deep im- 
pression : it was turned into the main charge against Him 
in the trial before Caiaphas ; it was hurled as the bitterest 
taunt against Him as He hung upon the cross ; it was 
remembered as the key to His most mysterious prophecy 
after He had risen from the dead 2. It well might be 
remembered, for it was full of awful significance. Truly 
hereby the veil of the material temple was rent in twain, 
and access was given to God by a nearer and truer way_ 
God Himself had reared His tabernacle in mortal flesh ; 
the tent of His eternal Spirit had been made " like ours 
and of the same material^." And though that temple of 
Christ's body lasted on earth, not for many centuries, but 
only for a few short years, yet let us not forget that it still 
lasts eternal in the heavens. Earthquakes and storms 
may sweep over the world ; the iron rocks may be shat- 
tered, and the everlasting mountains rent; the great 
gorgeous globe and all that is within it, and the universe, 
with all its suns and stars, may sink and perish hereafter 

' John ii. 19—21. ° Matt. xxvi. 61, xxvii. 40 ; John iL 22. 
3 Archbishop Leighton. 



in the surges of some fiery sea ; but for ever in the heaven 
of heavens that Hving Temple shall endure ; for ever and 
for ever shall the Godhead and the manhood be truly, 
perfectly 1, distinctly, indissolubly conjoined ; for ever and 
for ever, through the thunder " shall come a human 
voice ; " for ever and for ever a face like our own face 
look down upon us in pity from the throne of God ; and 
He who loved His own on earth shall love them to the 
end, and fold them safe, amid the universal ruin, in the 
bosom of His everlasting love. 

3. Nor must we forget that it was through the temple 
of Christ's body, as through some glorious vestibule, that 
the Spirit of God passed into the temple of every Christian 
heart. It was the promise wherewith our Lord had com- 
forted His trembling disciples; and very soon after the 
temple of His mortal body had been taken up into 
heaven, was the new living temple filled with the Glory 
of the Presence, and the brows of the assembled Apostles 
were mitred by the cloven tongues of Pentecostal flame. 
Since that time the mortal body of every one of us has 
been a temple of God — a temple of the Holy Ghost ; 
and the Spirit of God has loved 

"Before all temples the upright he.irt and pure'." 

There is no doctrine on which the Apostles dwell with 
more insistency than this, alluding to it repeatedly in 
their Epistles as to a mainspring of spiritual life. " Know 
ye not," St. Paul asks twice over of his Corinthian 

' iXtfiiii, TfXftjii, dSiaiptTQis, dffvyxvTtos. Cf. Hooker, v. liv. 10. 
' Milton, Paradise Lost, I. 18. 



converts, " know ye not that ye are the temple of God, 
and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you ? " " Quench 
not the Spirit," he teaches the Thessalonians. " Grieve 
not the Holy Spirit of God," he urges on the Ephesians ; 
and again, " Ye are the temple of the living God." Even 
now imagine him to be addressing his old question to 
each one of you, " Know ye not that the Lord Jesus 
Christ dwelleth in you, except ye be reprobates ? " except 
— oh, what a fearful alternative is there ! ^ 

Nor were the early Christians backward to realize the 
same high doctrine — a doctrine too mysterious for the 
heathen world to understand. When Ignatius, the poor 
and aged bishop, was carried before Trajan, the haughty 
victorious emperor, the emperor contemptuously called 
him a KUKocai^noy, " a poor devil." Ignatius took hold of 
the word, and said that one who bore God in him could 
not be called a devil, seeing that the demons depart from 
the servants of God. " Who is it," asked Trajan, " who 
carries God with him ? " Ignatius answered, " He that 
hath Christ in his heart." " Do you mean," said Trajan, 
" Him that was crucified ? " " Him that hath crucified 
my sin," answered Ignatius, "with the inventor of it, and 
put down all demoniac error and wickedness under the 
feet of those who bear Him in their heart." " Dost thou 
then," sneered Trajan, " carry the Crucified One within 
thyself ? " Ignatius said, " Yea ; for it is written, I will 
dwell in them, and walk in them." Thereupon Trajan 
pronounced sentence, " We ordain that Ignatius, who says 

1 I Cor. iii. i6, 17; vi. 19; 2 Cor. \i. 16; i Thess. v. 15; 
Jiph. iv. 30 ; 1 Pet. iv. 14, &c 


that he bears the Crucified within him, be flung to the 
beasts for the amusement of the people." Happiest of 
martyrs ! for though the Libyan Hon might bathe his jaws 
crimson in the human blood, he could not touch the 
celestial habitation. And hence Ignatius was called 
©eo^opoQ, the God-bearer, because he spoke of his carrying 
Christ in him. But his quotation from Scripture shows 
*that he would not have claimed it for a special title, " but 
that he looked on every Christian man as one who bore 
God within him, whether he was mindful of his high and 
awful privilege or not^" 

The true " Shechinah, then, is man^," and "there is 
but one temple in the universe, and that is the body of 
man. Nothing is holier than that high form." Truly, in 
the words of the Christian poet, 

"We are greater than we know'." 
Let us try to realize the thought. God within us ! — • 
not only ever -with us, unseen ; not only watching us in 
our secret moments, and reading the very thoughts of our 
hearts ; not only covering us with the shadow of His 
wings and lighting us with the light of His countenance ; 
but within us, our bodies His temples, our hearts His 
home ! What a glorious dignity ! What an imperial in- 
heritance ! We are the children of God, the heirs of 
immortality, but a little lower than the angels, crowned 
with glory and honour. This is the only thought that 

1 See Maurice's EccUsiastical History, p. 176. The conver- 
sation is given in the Martyrium S. Jgttatii, and is here somewhat 

- Novalis. ' Wordsworth. 



can give true " grandeur to the beatings of the heart ; " 
this is the only thought which, however mean and narrow 
be the stage whereon our hfe is played, can yet make the 
drama " of stately and most regal argument." Oh, if we 
could but grasp the thought, we should live lives nobler 
and more beautiful ; we should breathe a purer, a sweeter, 
and a calmer air ; time would present to us a richer 
aspect, and its daily voices echo in our ears with a sweeter 
melody ; for then, from the cradle to the grave, the dark 
waters of life would be illuminated, and its dense clouds 
would be pierced through and through with the splendour 
of heaven — with the unchangeable sunlight of that eternal 
life which is hid with Christ in God. 

The great city of Ephesus was proud to call herself the 
NtwKopof , the temple-sweeper of the goddess Diana ; and 
shall not we, if we realize this awful dignity, devote our 
whole energies to see that this spiritual temple be erected 
in a cleansed heart, a heart worthy that the fire of God 
should bum on its altar, and the light of God stream over 
its shrine? For if any man defile the temple of God, 
him shall God destroy. But can a man wilfully, willingly, 
lay waste and desecrate its inner sanctities who once has 
felt its awfulness ? Can he ever suffer the walls of its 
very presence-chamber to be defaced with the guilty 
picturings of a foul imagination ? Can he, truly honouring 
himself as a temple of God, be mean, or a liar, or a 
coward ? Can he pervert the hand and the eye of Christ, 
and make them the instruments of sin and shame ? Can 
he ever sink into the swinish self-indulgence of the 
drunkard, or take the members which are dedicated to 


.lis Redeemer, and stain them with a dark and all but in- 
effaceable stain by making them the members of a harlot? 
Verily no, he dare not ! he will prize at too high a rate 
the precious jewel of his godlike faculties to wreathe 
hem around the withered mask of pleasure, or place 
hem as a crown round the foul brows of sensual death. 
Aq. will feel that to devote his best and brightest years to 
vice and self-indulgence, is to hang a jewel of gold in a 
swine's snout, or a diamond on the forehead of a skull. 
Truly, in the words of our greatest poet, " he that holds 
himself in reverence and due esteem, both for the dignity 
of God's image upon him, and for the price of his 
redemption, which he thinks is visibly m.arked upon his 
forehead, accounts himself both a iit person to do the 
noblest and godliest deeds, and much better worth than 
to deject and to defile with such a debasement and pollu- 
tion as sin is, himself, so highly ransomed and ennobled 
to a new friendship and filial relation with God. Nor 
can he fear so much the offence and reproach of others, 
as he dreads and would blush at the reflection of his own 
severe and modest eye upon himself, if it should see him 
doing or imagining that which is sinful, though in the 
deepest secresyi." 

Think, my young brethren, of this mighty doctrine, 
from which flow naturally and immediately all the great 
duties of our life. For if, by God's grace, you can once 
attain to this high consciousness, it will fill you with so 
exalted and abiding a self-respect, as shall be the truest 
source of all virtuous and godlike action ; it will cause in 
' Milton, Reason of Church Government. 



you a pious and just hoaouring of yourselves, which shall 
be a talisman against all meanness and all sensuality ; a 
thrilling sense that all sin is to be loathed and hated as a 
weakness, a corruption, a degradation ; — a realization of 
the holiness of your baptized bodies, which shall work 
within you like the perpetual presence of a king. Thus 
will you loathe to stain the festal robes of your youth by 
any pollution ; thus will you shudder to lay on your white 
souls the stains of lust, or cruelty, or lies ; thus will you 
shrink from the contact of all foulness, as the naked skin 
shrinks from a spark of fire; thus will you learn how 
terrible it is " to burn away in mad waste the divine 
aromas and plainly celestial elements from our existence ; 
to change our holy of holies into a place of riot ; to make 
the soul itself hard, impious, barren !" Thus wU you 
recognise " what virtue is in purity, and continence of 
life ; how divine is the blush of young human cheeks ; 
how high, beneficent, sternly inexorable, if forgotten, 
is the duty laid on every Christian in regard to these 

There is no time to develop or say more on these 
awful truths ; but, oh ! if I have but impressed on one 
young heart a new sense of the sacredness of his mortal 
body, and the nearness of eternity as the shadow of 
God's wing under which we play out our little lives, I 
have said enough. And I will but add a few more words 
on the immediate occasion which has brought us together. 
All those who are interested in this great institution have 
been striving to make this chapel more worthy, by its 
1 Carlyle, Life of Frederick, ii. 36. 


beauty, of that God to whose honour it is dedicated. 
It is fit— both for our own reverence and for God's glory 
— that the church which, as St. Chrysostom says, is 
" the place of angels and archangels, the court of God, 
and the image of heaven," should receive our best and 
most willing gifts. It is true that He who interpenetrates 
the whole universe with His presence, even as the light 
of heaven interpenetrates every atom of a crystal globe, 
no longer overshadows one spot only with the glory of 
His presence. It is true that in one sense the stateliest 
cathedral is less awfully His temple than the baptized 
body of the meanest Christian child. It is true that, in 
the words of an ancient father, " Moses in the midst of 
the sea. Job on the dunghill, Hezekiah on the bed of 
death, Jeremy in the mire, Daniel in the den, the 
Children in the furnace, St. Peter and St. Paul in prison, 
calling unto God, were heard," and that the floor of the 
simplest cottage may, by faith and by prayer, be made 
sacred as the splendour-bursting crags of Sinai or the 
rounds of that ladder on which the angels trod. Never- 
theless, every place of holy and Christian worship is more 
especially God's house, wherein it pleaseth Him to 
dwell ; and you may thank God with all your heart, 
that here, alone with your own hearts, in quiet devotion, 
in heartfelt worship, you may meet Him day by day, and 
learn that the House of God is none other than the gate 
of Heaven. Suffer not that service, my young brethren, 
suffer it not to become — as there is so often danger that 
it should become — a tedious waste, or a heartless form. 
Believe me, it is no light privilege to meet here for brief 


self-communion, for sincere thanksgiving, for earnest, 
uninterrupted supplication, day by day; no light privi- 
lege here to retire from the vain noises of the world, 
and to shut out its weary anxieties and passionate strifes, 
and to kneel in humble and heartfelt adoration, while we 
commune with our Heavenly Father as a man communes 
with his friend : — " Wherewithal shall a young man 
cleanse his way ? Even by taking heed thereto according 
to Thy Word." Oh, may that word be your safeguard 
and your delight ! The day may come, nay, of certainty 
it will come to each one of us, when the very simplest 
lesson learnt in our childhood out of Sacred Writ shall 
be infinitely more to us than all the impassioned thunder 
of Attic eloquence, or the lyrical sweetness of Roman 
song ; when, however dim they now may be to us, its 
messages shall gleam forth with a splendour more awfijl 
and oracular than the graven gems of Aaron's robe. 
An Arab was once passing over the desert, nearly dead 
with heat and thirst. He thought that his camel's furni- 
ture contained one more water-skin, and, as a last hope, 
he eagerly opened it. It was full of pearls, and, as he 
dashed it down to be scattered on the burning sands, 
he cried aloud in anguish, " Alas ! it is only pearls ! " 
Even so will it be, my brethren, with our thirsty souls, 
if we only supply ourselves with the treasures of earthly 
experience and earthly knowledge, and not with the 
pure waters from the living fountains of God's truth. 

My brethren, be it otherwise with you. So shall God's 
grace give to each one of you a heart precious in God's 
sight, pure as the wing of a dove, or the aiu-eole of a 



saint — a heart "bound up by the grace of God, and 
tied in golden bands, and watched by angels a heart 
which shall enjoy perpetually the Vision of God : so 
shall He preserve you uncorrupted in your youth, and 
lead you safely by the hand through the storms of life, 
and make you the children of God without rebuke : so 
shall the preacher, as he leans from this place, cast a look 
of pride and hope and thankfulness upon this youthful 
congregation, as he exclaims, in the full confidence of a 
fervent and an overflowing heart, 




(Preached before Harrow School, on Trinity Sunday, May 26, 1S61.) 
Rev. iv. 8.— "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty." 

It was the Trisagion, the repeated cry of the sLx- winged 
immortalities, which Isaiah once heard calling to one 
another through the incense smoke, which St. John now 
heard as he gazed far upwards into the crystal depths. 
For, not to the Philosopher in his study or to the Em- 
peror in his palace, but to him, once the Galilean 
fisherman, and now the convicted slave in the mine of 
a bleak ^gean isle, the golden gates of heaven were 
opened, and it was given to him to hear with mortal 
ears the celestial melodies of angel multitudes, and to 
see with human eyes the unimaginable glories of the 
Everlasting Throne. Never yet to human ecstasy had 
such unutterable visions been vouchsafed ; visions such 
as poet never conceived, visions which dazzled into 
dross and darkness the pomp and prodigaUty of earthly 
kings. The spirit who in the heathen dream had led the 
mortal into the region of stars, reproved him for his 


glances downwards at the earth ' ; but there was no need 
of such an admonition to the disciple whom Jesus loved. 
His eagle soul bathed in the empyreal lustre, and he 
uttered all he saw in that grand poem which was read 
as the Epistle of to-daj^, — a strain written as though his 
ears still rang with the harp-notes of seraphim, and as 
though one ray of the divine glory still illuminated with 
splendour unspeakable the dimness of his mountain 

0 my brethren, if we had meditated on divine things 
as St. John had meditated, who knows whether to us 
might not sometimes be permitted some glimpse of the 
excellent glory? But how shall we hope for it if our 
hearts and our thoughts are always on the earth ; if we 
are always raking in the dead ashes of earth for the fires 
which are not there ; if our thoughts are for ever of our- 
selves, of our own interests, of our food and our raiment 
and our reputation, rather than of our Creator ; if even 
when those thoughts are fixed on spiritual truths, they 
revert more to sin and to sorrow, to remorse and punish- 
ment, to some selfish dream of happiness, to some selfish 
dread of hell, than to God's glory and God's laws. Let 
us to-day at least humbly silence the importunities of 
self J let us in deep meekness and unfeigned humility 
bow ourselves in heart before the majesty of God. 

My brethren, we commemorate this day an awful 
mystery ; a mystery which the very angels desire to look 
into, and before which they tremble and adore. Far be 

1 "QucESO, quousque humi defixa tua mens erit ? "— Cic. Somn. 
Sap. 4. 



it from me on such a subject to darken counsel by the 
multitude of words without knowledge, or be one of 
those " Fools who rush in where angels fear to tread." 
The very heathen would reprove such rashness. Between 
the contending deities in the Hindoo legend, the Supreme 
shot down a pillar of light, and one of them wnged his 
way upwards with the speed of thought for a thousand 
years, yet found not its summit; and the other sped 
downwards like lightning for a thousand years, yet could 
not find its base. You know how when the great Father 
of the Christian Church was writing his discourse on the 
Trinity he wandered along the sea-shore lost in medi- 
tation, "when suddenly he beheld a child who, having 
dug a hole in the sand, appeared to be bringing water in 
a shell to fill it, and told Augustine that he intended to 
empty into this little hole all the water of the great deep. 
Impossible^ said the saint. Not more impossible, oh 
Augustine, replied the child, than for thee to explain the 
mystery on which thou art now meditating." True, 
brethren ; but the logic of the intellect is transcended by 
the logic of the heart : " He that-gpes about to speak of 
and to understand the Trinity, and does it by words and 
names of man's invention, — he will talk he knows not 
what. But the good man that feels the power of the 
Father, and to whom the Son is become wsdom and 
righteousness, and in whose heart the love of the Spirit 
is spread ; this man, although he understands nothing of 
what is unintelligible, yet he alone understands the 
mystery of the Trinity. In this case experience is the 
best learning, and Christianity is the best institution, and 



the Spirit of God is the best teacher, and holiness is the 
greatest wisdom ; and he that sins most is the most 
ignorant, and the humble and obedient man is the best 
scholar." In this spirit, with God's blessing let us think 
of the Trinity to-day ; and may He who raised Abraham 
when the horror of great darkness fell upon him ; He 
who covered Elijah from the earthquake and the storm 
in Horeb ; He who strengthened Peter, when he cried, 
" Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord : " — 
may He be with us this day, and give us grace to speak 
of Him, even as He gave eloquence to the stammering 
lips of Moses, and sent His flying messenger to touch 
the mouth of Isaiah with a coal of living fire. 

" Holy, holy, holy. Lord God Almighty." I would 
not ask those who dare in presumption to profane with 
light words of daily blasphemy this glorious and fearful 
name, but those who in moments of prayer or thought 
have felt something of His greatness, — I would ask them 
whether they have ever realized the blessing of that 
Revelation which has unveiled before us the Living 
God ? Look at the nations of the world, and see what 
their unguided spirits taught them to worship. Thank 
God that we do not, like the Egyptians, enshrine some 
noxious reptile in our pictured temples ; that we do not 
worship a material element like the magi, or a demon 
such as they adore in the far islands of the sea ; or a 
brute force, or a dead soul of the world, or an irresistible 
vortex of conflicting laws : thank God that we have not, 
like the Romans, reared our altars to Fear and Gluttony 
and Laughter and Despair, or even, — to take the most 
F.S. 1 8 



beautiful of wandering imaginations, — that we do not 
first idealise and then idolise our own weak manhood, so 
flinging a veil of romance over the deformity of vice and 
passion, and " painting the gates of hell with Paradise," 
like those who sang about 

" the azure heights 
Of beautiful Olympus, and the sound 
Of ever young Apollo's minstrelsy." 

Our God is " not a God of thunder and lightning, not 
a doll of gold and jewels, not an incarnation of lust and 
blood ; " not " the fire, or the wind, or the swift air, or 
the circle of the skies, or the violent water, or the lights 
of heaven," — not Nature, which is but God's art of 
governing the world; not Fortune, which is but His 
" unseen Providence, by men nicknamed chance ; " — but 
the Lord, high and mighty. King of kings. Lord of lords, 
the only ruler of prmces, — the God of gods, the very 
God ; the God and there is none beside Him ; the God 
and there is none before Him; the God and there is 
none like to Him ; the God and there is none good but 
He; — the only God, who rides unchangeable upon the 
rolling waves of chance and change; the God whom 
heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain, yet 
who deigns to dwell in the humble heart of a little child ; 
the Light, and the Father of Lights, and He whose 
shadow is the sunlight, and He who dwelleth in the light 
unapproachable ; — Jehovah, the Alpha and Omega, the 
I am that I am, who is and was and shall be, Elohim 
the plurality in Unity, the God of Hosts, the infinite 



in power, the universal in presence, the Ancient of 

And this Awful and Supreme Majesty, — this invisible, 
unsearchable, incorruptible Spirit, — this immortal, im- 
mutable. Almighty God, is our Father. As a Father, 
Christ came to reveal Him. Times indeed there were 
when, standing in the pure and fragrant light amidst the 
gorgeous enchantments of the summer and the spring, 
even the poets of the world could see that " we are all 
His offspring." But if Christ had not so revealed Him, if 
He had not spread abroad in our hearts the Spirit where- 
by we cry Abba Father, — this would have remained but 
a dim fancy or a splendid guess. And how deep, how 
unutterable, how crushing would have been the despair, 
which must then have settled on the heart of man. 
When we look up on some starlit evening and see the 
broad heavens bursting to disclose their light, and fading 
away into the intense void of systems and galaxies ; when 
we know that this world is but a point, a speck, an atom 
in its own universe, and that its very universe is but a 
finer point, a smaller speck, a yet more delicate atom in 
that immensity which is sprinkled like the floor of a 
palace with the golden dust of innumerable worlds; or 
when again we look into the mighty microcosm of a 
single waterdrop, and see how, invisible yet infinitely 
divisible, the realms of being stretch down fathomlessly 
beneath us, never to be sounded by the plummet of our 
philosophy, never to be measured by the coarse and 
feeble calculus of our imperfect minds, — would not such 
great realities as this, — showing to us that we are but 



atoms, lost imperceptibly between two inconceivable 
infinities^ — showing us that we are nothing and less than 
nothing, with abysses stretching over us and abysses 
yawning beneath us, encircled by infinite contradictions, 
striking ourselves at every step we take against the 
adamantine wall of our own impotence, — would not, I 
say, such dread realities as these bewilder us into utter 
madness, or startle us into self-inflicted death? But 
what then ? are we but waifs of week tossed aimlessly, 
accidentally, hopelessl)', on the shoreless immeasurable 
ocean of being? are we indeed but grains of dust 
evolved amid the mighty crashing wheelwork of revohdng 
worlds — no better than " the sand which is blowTi about 
the sea-shore, or the motes that people the evening 
wind ? " Ah ! no, my brethren ! to us, even to us, God 
is a Father; — out of these dark gulfs of nothing He 
stretches to us, in our struggles of agony, the fingers of a 
hand; amid these crashing wheels are the eyes of His 
providence, the Spirit of His love, and the wheels move 
not but as the Spirit moves. ^Marvellous thought, full of 
all blessing ! To us, even to us. God is a Father ; a 
Father by creation, by redemption, by regeneration, by 
adoption; a Father taking us as the eagle taketh her 
young upon her wings; and, though human love may be 
sometimes found divine in its pureness and agonising iu 
Its intensity, loving us His frailest, His vilest creatures, 
with a tenderness yet more delicate, a love yet more 
divine. After meditating on such thoughts as these who 
would not burst into the triumphant thanksgiving, borne 
1 Pascal. 



to us so often on the wings of familiar music, "O come, 
let us worship, and fall down, and kneel before tlie Lord 
our Maker. For He is the Lord our God, and we are 
the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand ! " 

" Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty." But how 
shall we approach, how shall we worship this Spirit 
incomprehensible, before whom the wings of mortal 
imagination drop down as in a vacuum? How shall we 
paint before our souls a glory which is dark to us from 
its excess of brightness? Not as in some smoking 
furnace or a flaming lamp — not as in the burning bush of 
Horeb, or the stormy heights of Sinai, need we conceive 
the Being to whom we pray. Above the firmament of 
terrible crystal, above the dreadful rings, and the en- 
folding fire, and the likeness of a throne, the exile by the 
river of Chebar saw the appearance of a man ; amid the 
ten thousand times ten thousand, in the midst of the 
throne that rose before the sea of fiery glass, the exile on 
the rock of Patmos saw a Lamb as it had been slain. 
Thanks be to God then, we need not " dazzle ourselves 
blind by star-gazing at Omnipotence and Infinitude," but 
we may approach God in the likeness of ourselves. The 
Son of God, the second person of the ever-blessed 
Trinity, stands at His right hand in the likeness of sinful 
flesh, in our image, in our likeness ; through Him we 
have access unto the Father, and in His censer Fie offers 
up our prayers. A face like our own bends over us, 
tenderly listening, now; and, when we die, a hand 
like our own hand shall throw open to us the gates 
of Life. 



" So tlie All-great becomes the All-loving too ; 
So through the thunder comes a human voice, 
Saying, ' O heart I made, a heart beats here ; 
Face, my hands fashioned, see it in myself. 
Thou hast no power, nor may'st conceive of mine ; 
But Love I gave thee, with myself to love. 
And thou must love me who have died for thee.' " 

But here another thought will come upon us. It is 
tliis. Not only is God unspeakably awful, while we are 
infinitely frail — but He is our King, and we have rebelled 
against Him ; He is our Creator, and we have broken 
His laws ; He is our Father, and we have rejected His 
love ; He is pure, and we have polluted His temple ; 
He is holy, and we have profaned His name. Who 
shall roll away from us the mighty load of the sins we 
have committed ? who shall bear the punishment for the 
duties we have left undone ? Most true it is that the 
rocks cannot hide them, and that all the rivers cannot 
wash them clean, — but yet Christ's righteousness can 
cover. His blood can cleanse. Herein is Christ Jesus 
our Redeemer. To redeem us from this downcast horror 
of guilt He died. How this was, how it could be, I 
know not. All we need ask to know is this, that for the 
sin of man the Son of God was content to die. Most 
justly do we thank God above all for His inestimable 
love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus 
Christ, for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. 
For if indeed you cannot conceive this and find therein 
cause for gratitude, then try to conceive the reverse of it. 
Think, above all think in the moments of remorse and 
shame, what would be our case if there were a sin 



without a Saviour ; a sorrow without an intercessor ; an 
alienation without a mediator ; a despair without a hope ; 
a sickness without a balm in Gilead and with no phy- 
sician there ; how would it be with us, if, knowing that 
we had sinned many sins, we knew also that those sins 
could not be forgiven ? It would be a burden in- 
tolerable, a remembrance grievous unto us ; but it was 
from this horror of all horrors that Christ came to save 
us. But for His revelation, how should we have known 
the Father, from whose bosom He came ? but for His 
death, how should we have been delivered from the 
snare of the devil ? but for His intercession, how could 
we ever offer one acceptable prayer ? but for His resur- 
rection and ascension, how should we have known that 
anything lies beyond the dark river? — how should we 
have known that it was not man's destiny to sink, after 
a few fretful years, into dust and nothingness, and to rot 
for ever amid the clods of the valley ? 

This revelation, this deliverance, this intercession, this 
leading of captivity captive, and robbing death of its 
sting, is the work of the Son of God. And one thing 
more, He not only taught us the truth, but He lived it, 
lived as men lived, that we might see before our eyes 
a perfect example. " Be ye perfect even as your Father 
in Heaven is perfect," saith the Scripture. But how 
should we ever hope to imitate God, or attain unto these 
counsels of perfection, if Jesus Christ had not Hved on 
this earth the life of a perfect man ? if His footsteps had 
not illuminated the valleys of infancy, and the mountain 
heights of manhood ? He left us an example of sanctity, 


not a theory of life. " Non elocutus est magna, sed 
vixit." He chose for our instruction a quiet, simple, 
ordinary course; not the gorgeous theatre of human 
magnificence, but the obscure village home ; not the 
glory of a king, but the holier office of a slave ; His 
greatness was not like earthly greatness, a fitful torch, 
" glaring with great emission and suddenly stepping into 
the thickness of smoke," but a hfe of constant and blame- 
less piety, shining to all ages and generations of men for 
ever, like a serene and steady star. 

Surely, my brethren, it is just this unostentatious no- 
bility of demeanour, this silent chivalry, this ceaseless 
self-denial, this beautiful humility, which is or should be 
the object of our aim ; and as he who would shoot his 
arrow high curves his bow towards the clouds, so we 
set before ourselves no meaner example than the perfect 
Son of God. But have we not failed ten thousand times 
in these our endeavours after holiness? Even when we 
have conquered the grosser forms of sin, do we not find 
ourselves infinitely short of what we would be ? Smaller 
vices flourish when the greater are subdued. We long to 
be holy, as Christ was holy ; — whence then this meanness 
which we cannot conquer ? this fretfulness under admo- 
nition ? this base satisfaction at the failure of others ? 
this malicious envying at their success ? this ignoble 
desire to seem rather than to be ? Oh ! my brethren, 
in the best, the bravest, the manliest of us all there is 
more than enough to make us blush. How shall we 
become better? Only by lifting our eyes towards the 
hills, whence cometh our help ; only by saying that it is 


our own infirmity, and remembering the years of the 
right hand of the Most Highest; only through the Third 
Person of the ever-blessed Trinity, whom the Son of God 
hath sent unto us from the Father ; who sanctifieth, who 
is sanctifying, us and all the elect people of God. His 
work is not yet over; it commences at the cradle, it 
ends only at the grave. He is the Paraclete, ever 
willing and ready to help us to realize the great ideal. 
If we truly seek it. He will inspire our prayers to attain 
it ; He will answer those prayers Himself ; He will fill 
with the divine radiance of His own presence every 
corner of His Temple in our hearts ; He will make us 
higher than the angels, and worthy through His own gift 
to claim our brotherhood with the Son of God. 

On this Sunday, my brethren, culminate all the Sun- 
days of the year. Through Advent, and Easter, and 
Whitsuntide we are led up to Trinity Sunday, and the 
remaining Sundays of the year are reckoned and named 
from it. It is well on such a day to ask ourselves if we 
indeed believe in this Triune God; — if we are loving the 
Father with all our heart and soul and strength ; if we 
are believing in and following the example of His blessed 
Son ; if we feel the quickening and sanctifying influences 
of the Holy Spirit ? Alight rust an altar be built in many 
and many a Christian city to the Unknown God ? Are 
not many of us living without God in the world ? If we 
truly loved God, how could " we be haughty for whom 
God became humble " ? how could we be cruel for 
whom Christ died ? how could we be impure and sinful 
for wliose example the Son of Man lived a life tempted 



like as we are, yet without sin ? Let us not be deceived. 
Not every one that saith Lord, Lord, shall inherit the 
kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of the 
Father which is in Heaven. Lay your hand upon your 
heart, and ask yourselves whether you are indeed wor- 
shipping the Trinity of Heaven, or whefher your lives 
show rather that your devotion is given to the World, 
the Flesh, and the Devil — rightly named " the great 
Anti-Trinity of Hell." 

Dissemble not with yourselves, brethren, or with God. 
Remember that His eye is upon you now; — that it shines 
full into the secret heart of every one of you, discerning 
all the thoughts that have been in your minds since you 
entered this chapel, discerning the sins to which at this 
moment your heart reverts. You see Him not indeed ; 
you cannot imagine that He is here. But one day, 
sooner or later, we must all stand before His face, — we 
must stand before Him face to face, before the Father 
whom we have disobeyed, before the Son whom we 
have crucified, before the Spirit whom w^e have grieved. 
Loosen the frail silver cords, and draw the thin curtains 
of death — and lo ! your soul has met its God ! WTien 
last I spoke to you from this place, two months ago, 
I spoke of death, and I used these very words, " It is 
probable, it is almost certain, that one at least of you 
who hear me now, will be called from life before this 
year has run $ts course. Which shall it be? Who 
knows ? " There were some wlio thought those words 
rash and improbable, as addressed to so young a con- 
gTCgation ; and yet, my brethren, since then three among 



us have been down to the very gates of death; and 
there was then one sitting among your number in health 
and youth and strength, who heard those words,- — and 
now his ears are stopped with dust. Little perhaps did 
he think that he was the one who should be taken. But 
God's hand beckoned to him, and he died, and his place 
knows him no more. One of you is now sitting in the 
very spot where he sat ; — but now you are in the bloom 
of health, and the flush of life, and over him the grass of 
the churchyard is already green. To him is known the 
great unspeakable secret, which is not known to the best, 
the greatest, the wisest of living men. How do you 
know to whom among us God's hand shall beckon next ; 
for whom next of us is the Shadow waiting, to whom 
next of us shall the secret be revealed ? For one of us, 
I say again, it must be before long. Oh ! my brethren, 
these thoughts are too solemn, too awful to dwell upon. 
This only will I add : Unhappy is he, — unhappy and 
miserable though he have rank, and wealth, and beauty, 
and though the earth twine her fairest and freshest gar- 
lands to wreathe round his diadem of youth — who knows 
not, and loves not, the living God. The madman, who 
in his bare cell supposes himself to be a king; the 
starving wretch, who revels at the full banquet in his 
luxurious dream, is not more pitiable when his hour of 
waking comes. And on the other hand, happy alone is 
he— happy though poor, and ill-favoured, and ignorant, 
and despised, — happy alone is he who can say with fond 
yearning from his inmost heart, " This God is our God for 
ever and ever, He shall be our guide even unto Death. " 



(Preached before H.-irrow School, 1864 ) 

I Sam. xii. 20. — " Fear not : ye liai-e done all th-is wickedness : 
yet turn not aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord 
with all your heart." 

Among the many words which our common conversation 
debases from its true significance, the word " friend " is 
perhaps the most lightly used. To hear men talicing 
you might suppose that nothing was more plentiful than 
friends ; every one appears to be surrounded by them. 
And there is in the world enough of courtesy and of 
easy good-nature, so far to lubricate the wheels of ordi- 
nary society as to enable us to use the word without too 
transparent an irony. For indeed if the word be used in 
the truest and highest sense, there are but few men living 
— and they the noblest and the happiest — who have even 
one perfect friend. He who has a true friend — a friend, 
not in the hollow conventional sense, not a mere fair- 
weather acquaintance, not a mere agreeable associate, 
not even a familiar companion, but a friend, worthy of 
that high name — has a gift which is past all value. Even 
among you, in the warmer-hearted and more generous 


years of boyhood, there are but a few, I fear, who can 
own the possession of an entire and perfect friendship. 
How many of you have friends here to whom you could 
talk fearlessly and fully of the sunny memories and 
tender associations of your home ? to whom you could 
frankly confess your sins and failings ? and from whom 
at any time you could look for sympathy and advice ? 
before whom you would not be ashamed to weep in 
private, or to kneel down by his side and pray? How 
many of you have a friend, whom, even if you had 
committed some great fault, some great folly, some great 
crime, you might still meet, certain of unchanged sym- 
pathy, certain of free forgiveness ? one whose great, holy, 
love should know your soul and hold communion with 
it ; — whose affection is deep enough to outlive the dreams 
of youth, and the cares of manhood, and the accidents 
of rank, and health, and wealth, and fame — ay, even to 
survive the loss of innocence itself; and who will take 
you into his noble heart not as you might be, but as you 
are, with all your egregious follies, with all your trans- 
parent faults, rebuking all that is mean in you with a 
faithfulness which cannot wound, evoking all that is best 
and tmest with an alchemy which cannot be resisted ? 
Thrice happy the man, — if indeed there be a man, — who 
has such a friend as this on earth. 

But mdeed on earth such a friendship is hardly 
possible ; for although a friend may remain faithful in 
misfortune, yet none but the very best and loftiest will 
remain faithful to us after our errors or our sins. For 
the same nobleness which creates the possibility of an 


unselfish friendship is of necessity shocked and alienated 
by meanness or wickedness in the friend it chose and 
loved. Such a man loved us because he thought our 
hearts as grand and as noble as his own ; but when in 
this he finds himself deceived and disappointed, — when 
the ideal of his imagination lies shattered before him in 
the dust,- — in spite of himself his love grows cold, and 
he turns aside with a shudder or a sigh. And thus it is 
that the very faults and infirmities and sins which drag 
us down from our fixed height, — the very errors which 
bring our calamities or oiu- disquietude upon us, — the 
very conditions which make us most need a friend, are 
the very ones which alienate from us those friendships 
which are truest and best worth having, and leave our 
souls alone in their hour of sadness, " like a dismantled 
ship upon the troubled waters, or Hke a desolate wreck 
upon the naked shore." You may remember such an 
instance, and that a touching one, in our own history. 
One of our greatest statesmen had but one dear and 
inseparable friend, and this friend, after long years in 
which he had been loved and trusted, was impeached 
for high crimes and misdemeanors. "The blow fell 
heavy on Pitt. It gave him, as he said in Parliament, 
a deep pang ; and as he uttered the word pang, his lip 
quivered ; his voice shook ; he paused ; and his hearers 
thought he was about to burst into tears. . . . He sup- 
pressed his emotion, and proceeded with his usual 
majestic self-possession," — but the ravelled sleeve of that 
close friendship could never be knit up again ! 

Thus it is that all human friendship is of necessity a 


broken reed, on which when we need it most we lean in 
vain. Are we then alone in this world ? are we terribly 
alone in the hour of sin, and shame, and failure, and 
ruin ? Is there none on whose arm we can lean, no 
bosom where we may rest our weary heads? Ay, my 
brethren, blessed be God indeed there is ; there is an 
arm that will encircle us when all human help has failed ; 
there is a Friend who will not be ashamed of us when all 
human love has perished, and all human countenance 
has been withdrawn ; there is a hand which will tenderly 
remove the hands wherewith we hide our guilty faces, 
and will gently wipe away the burning tears : when 
human sympathy has been forfeited, there is yet an ear 
which will be open in the highest heaven to listen to 
our broken words ; man — cold, proud, sinful man — may 
despise and loathe us, but God the Infinite, — God the 
Holy, God the All-pure, — He loves us. He pities. He 
will never spurn us away ; He is our one, our only, 
inalienable, unshaken Friend. When our father and our 
mother forsake us, then the Lord taketh us up. " Can a 
woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have 
compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may 
forget, yet will I not forget thee," saith the Lord. Oh 
happy indeed is the man that hath the God of Israel for 
his Friend, and whose hope is in the Lord his God ! 

My brethren, it is the special and most perilous curse 
of sin that it obscures, or blots out altogether, or terribly 
distorts this vision of God in our hearts ; it gradually 
reduces us to that most desolate of all conditions, "having 
no hope, and without God in the world." It makes us 


in one form or another forget God. It comes to the 
student of science and whispers to him, " L6ok up into 
those illimitable spaces, sown thicker than dust with 
the light of unnumbered stars ; the least of those twink- 
ling points of light is a sun, vast as that which lights your 
own system, yet separated from every other and from you 
by eternities of time, by infinities of space, by untravers- 
able immensities to which your whole universe with all 
its suns and moons and wandering stars is tinier than a 
mote in the sunbeam, or a grain blown from the desert 
sand ; — what can this God care for an atom such as you, 
living out your little life on an atom such as this ? " Or 
it comes to the historian and says, " See with what awful 
silence, and in what awful darkness, the centuries have 
rolled and are rolling on,- — centuries of ignorance, of 
error, and of sin, — of ignorance which no voice has dissi- 
pated, of error which no aurora has illuminated, of sin 
which no lightning-flashes have avenged. God is in some 
far-off heaven, and Providence is not, and we are but 
dnst in the wheelwork of blind laws to which He has 
abdicated His power." Or it comes to the open or 
secret rebel against God's laws, and says, "Tush, God 
careth not for it. Who seeth me ? I am compassed 
about with darkness, the walls cover me, and nobody 
seeth me ; what need I to fear? the Most High will not 
remember my sins." Or once more, it comes to the 
remorseful, despairing sinner, and says to him, " Do you 
tlunk that such an one as God is will accept you ? That 
the Holy, and pure, and true, will receive a soul mean 
and leprous as yours ? No, God too hates wretches such 



as you. You have no chance. Go on in sin, until sin 
has exhausted you, and gives you up : for a time at least 
the wine-cup will drown the strugglings of conscience ; 
the pursuit of sin will quench the last spark of reason or 
of remorse." 

All these are the accursed lies of the tempting spirit, 
which would hide from us that God is, and that He is 
Love, and that He is not far from every one of us. The 
dread unimaginable darkness, the awful unbroken silence 
of whicli we sj-ioke, are but the ghastly oflspring of our 
own polluted fmcy : there have been those, there are 
those now, in whose hearts on the contrary there is no 
darkness, for the light hath dawned upon them, and the 
])erpetual day-spring liath arisen, and a gleam from God's 
own heaven lies like a sunbeam across their daily path ; 
— there have been those, there are those now, who, so 
fir from that silence, hold daily communion with their 
]\Iaker, and hear His voice like a constant music, and 
talk with Him as a man talketh with his friend, and walk 
with Him as Adam walked of old under the palms of 
Paradise. No human friendship can bring a happiness 
like that friendship ; no human soul but tliose who have 
experienced it can imagine the sweetness of that life. 
Suffer me to read you in his own words the reminiscence 
of a good and great man, about the first time that he 
ever heard that daily voice wherewith God speaks to us. 
" When I was a little boy," he says, " in my fourth year, 
one fine day in spring, my father led me by the hand to 
a distant part of the farm, but soon sent me home alone. 
On the way I had to pass a little pond, then spreading 

F.S. 19 


its waters wide ; a rhodora in full bloom, a rare flower 
which grew only in that locality, attracted my attention, 
and drew me to the spot. I saw a little tortoise sunning 
himself in the shallow water at the root of the flaming 
shrub. I lifted the stick I had in ray hand to strike the 
harmless reptile ; for though I had never killed any 
creature, yet I had seen other boys out of sport destroy 
birds and squirrels and the like, and I felt a disposition 
to follow their wicked example. But all at once some- 
thing checked my little arm, and a voice within me said 
clear and loud, ' It is wrong ! ' I held my uplifted stick 
in wonder at the new emotion, the consciousness of an 
involuntary but inward check upon my actions, till the 
tortoise and the rhodora both vanished from my sight. 
I hastened home, and told the tale to my mother, and 
asked what it was that told me ' it was wrong ' ? She 
wiped a tear from her eye, and taking me in her arms, 
said, ' Some men call it conscience, but I prefer to call it 
the voice of God in the soul of man. If you listen and 
obey it, then it will speak clearer and clearer, and always 
guide you right ; but if you turn a deaf ear or disobey, 
then it will fade out little by little, and leave you in the 
dark, and without a guide. Your life depends on heeding 
that httle voice.'" "She went her way," he continues, 
" careful and troubled about many things, and doubtless 
pondered them in her motherly heart ; while I went off 
to wonder and think it over in my poor childish wa)-. 
But I am sure no event in my life has made so deep and 
lasting an impression on me" — an impression which 
brought its blessing to all his later days. For, my 


brethren, it is a thing of infinite blessedness to recognise 
the still small voice of God, our Friend and Father, 
described in this childish experience. He who has done 
so from his childhood upwards, — he who is not haunted 
by the threatening ghost of wasted years, — he who has 
never stained the festal robe of his youth by any pollu- 
tion, — he on whose white soul rests no shadow of lust, 
or cruelty, or lies ; — he is happier than if his head were 
crowned with the stars of heaven ; he knows no fear, for 
perfect love has cast it out ; misfortune itself is powerless 
against him, for he is the friend of God ! The guilty 
Emperor of old,^ when the lightning flamed and the 
thunder roared across the heaven, was wont to fly in 
terror into the very recesses of his palace, and hide him- 
self in the darkness under a bed, — but the crash of a 
shattered world can wake no terror in his breast whom 
a pure conscience has armed invincibly against every foe. 
He can know no fear, because the God who holds all 
the elements of terror and wrath in the hollow of His 
hand is his Father and his Friend ; he can know no 
loneliness, because even in the solitude of the desert — 

"A still small voice comes o'er the wild, 
Like a Father consoling his fretful child, 
Which banishes bitterness, wrath, and fear — 
Saying ' j\Ian is distant, but God is near.' 

But we have been speaking of the holy, of the pure, 
of the innocent ; and my message is not to them only, 
but even more to the frail, the stained, the fallen, the 
unhappy. Which of us can say, " I have made my heart 
' Caligula. 

19 2 


pure, I am clean from my sin " ? "0 Lord our God, 
other lords beside ITiee have had dominion over us." 
" We have gone astray, we and our fathers." " We have 
fed on ashes ; a deceived heart hath turned us aside." 
We therefore are they who need friends most, because 
we have fallen most, and are in the most sore condition ; 
but, if even man despises and finds no forgiveness for 
our faults, is there any hope that He in whose sight the 
very heavens are not clean, that He will pity us, and 
take us to His breast, and suffer us to live in the glory of 
His Presence ? A\'ill He, who is the friend of the inno- 
cent, be a fric'Kl to the guilty too ? Will He who loveth 
the good and gentle, love also the unthankful and the 
froward? You who have gone astray ever since your 
childhood — you whose whole thoughts are sick, like in- 
fected brass, with sin and vice, you who, calling yourselves 
Christian boys, have yet neglected well-nigh every dut}-, 
and been tempted into many and many a sin, can He 
ever love you — can He ever be a friend to you ? 

Nay ! He does love you ; He is a friend to you ! That 
is my message, my only message in the few plain words I 
speak to you to-day. He loathes your sins, but knowing 
that you are but dust, He loves your souls. He sent 
His Son to seek and save the lost; and when that 
Blessed Son had taken our nature upon Him, with whom 
did He live? Not with solemn priests and correct 
Pharisees, or even self-denying Essenes, but with outcasts 
and Samaritans, with publicans and sinners ; not with the 
young and the beautiful, the noble and the rich — but 
with the aged and the withered, the homeless and the 



diseased, with the palsied and the demoniac, with the 
ignorant and the blind. He never shrunk away with 
loathing when His pure hand touched the foul skin of 
the leper. He never turned aside with disgust when the 
hot tears of the harlot plashed, and her long hair wiped 
His wayworn feet. He cast no look of scorn when the 
detected adulteress sobbed in her shame before Him on 
the Temple floor. He foresa'.v the penitent in the 
prodigal, and the awe-struck worshipper in the fdthy 
Gadarene. Listen to Him as He weeps over undone 
Jerusalem in the day of His triumph: "O Jerusalem, 
Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest 
them that are sent unto thee," — what follows? a call of 
flame from heaven, or the woe-fraught burden of some 
impassioned prophetic curse? Nay, but the music and 
the pathos of this tender image, " How often would I 
have gathered thy children together, even as a hen 
gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would 
not ! " 

(), my brethren, think of such love as this ! a God, 
your God, the only God, 'die Lord of Heaven and Earth, 
yearning, dying in love for such mean, such guilty, such 
wayward souls as ours; calling to us, while we refuse, 
stretching out His hands, while no man regardeth? O 
think of it, especially when your heart is cowardly and 
bowed down with remorse and sin. Never despair; let 
the hope, nay the certainty of forgiveness bring back 
you, as it has brought back many a prodigal to his 
father's house. It may be that you feel and know that 
you are very guilty, corrupt and wicked and rotten to 


your very heart's core, — yet, let no amount of guilt or 
sin be a barrier between you and God. Let not sin or 
Satan ever rob you of that Unchangeable, Eternal 
Friend. Think of His great love, and do not grieve it ; 
think of His cross of anguish, and crucify Him not 
afresh. Many a time, when all other pleas failed, I have 
seen the plea of affeption move the stony heart ; many a 
time, when some proud and wayward boy, whose whole 
life was a perpetual gnef and anxiety to us, stood cool 
and hardened to every other appeal, I have in^ moment 
learnt to forgive him'aii'd think better of him, when I 
have seen the large tears rush to his eyes, ay, and fall 
down his cheeks, at the simple question, "What will 
your father or your mother say to this ? " And just as in 
extremes you would fly to your father or your mother 
first, because you would feel and know that even if all 
others gave you up, they at least would say to you, " Yes, 
we know all, and we forgive all, and take you back to 
our home and to our heart again, and will not love you 
less ; " — so, even so, fly to God, who is our Father and 
our Mother for ever, who has seen all, and known all 
from the first, — ay, and far more than man can ever see 
or can ever know, and yet has forgiven all ; so that under 
His pitying glance, the sin which was as crimson may 
become white as snow. For, though disobedient people, 
you have been and are His people; though lost and 
wandering sheep, you are yet the sheep of His pasture, 
the wounded lambs of His flock ; though erring children, 
you are His children. His dear. His best-loved children 
still. This is the gracious message of my text and of 


many another text, "Fear not; ye have clone all this 
wickedness, yet turn not aside from following the Lord, 
but serve the Lord v/ith all your heart." 

O then awake, and put on strength, ere you die and 
stand for judgment before the awful throne ! As yet, 
each new day is to you a new chance. The past lies 
behind you, it may be wasted and withered, but, like the 
garden of Eden before you lie sleeping in the sunshine 
the golden fields of the present, the rich harvests of the 
future. Each day, each week, each month, each year is 
a new chance given you by God. A new chance, a new 
leaf, a new life — this is the golden, the unspeakable gift 
which each new day offers' to you. O return to God, 
and use it rightly, letting the time past of your life suffice 
you to have walked in the hard ways of sin and shame, 
and turning at last sick and weary-hearted to the paths of 
virtue and of peace. The mistakes, the follies, the sins, 
the calamities of the past may, if you use them rightly, 
be the pitying angels to guide you through the future. 
I>et them keep you in deep humility; never let them 
force you into wretchlessness or into despair. Are there, 
for instance, any of you here, who have wasted, and 
worse than wasted, your school life ; who have alienated 
the love of those who loved you, and forfeited the 
confidence of those who trusted you? any whose time 
here has been profitless and ruinous to themselves, 
injurious and fatal to others? who have lived in daily 
disobedience, and daily idleness, and daily vice, until 
their character is forfeited, and they have gathered all 
that is meanest, losing all that is best and brightest in 


this great school — then to them, ay, to the very worst, to 
the most hardened boy in this chapel, God speaks — and 
would to God that this voice might come to you as the 
sweetest utterance that ever was breathed upon the 
evening wind — " Fear not; ye have done all this wicked- 
ness, yet turn not aside from following the Lord." Fear 
not but that God loves you still. You have one more, it 
may be one last chance. Even of your school-life six 
weeks still remain to you ; redeem those six weeks ; each 
of them is an opportunity for the peaceable fruits of 
repentance and righteousness ; even those poor six weeks 
out of a whole school-life may make all the difference to 
your own souls, all the difference to the way in which 
during future years you will look back on your connection 
with Harrow School. For though God's mercy does not 
change, yet if you continue in wilful and willing sin, your 
capacity for receiving it changes, diminishes, evanesces 
daily. If you put off this present time for repentance, 
the convenient season may never come. As yet the 
door stands open before you : very soon it will be too 
late, and the door be shut. 

O that in this spirit, — knowing, feeling, believing that 
God is our Friend and Father, and that He will not 
reject the very guiltiest of those who come to Him ; O 
that in this spirit side by side every one of us might 
kneel before the Table of the Lord. Let the worst and 
the best kneel with equal humility to ask forgiveness, to 
implore for help. 

" Let not conscience make you li'i,;cr, 
Nor of fitness fondly dreair. ; 


All the fitness He requireth 

Is to feel your want of Him. 
This He gives you ; — • 

'Tis the Spirit's rising beam ! " 

In perfect love and charity with one another, praying 
for one another, forgiving one another, helping one 
another, let us come before our offended but merciful 
Father, before the Son of God, whose dying love we to- 
day commemorate. To the worst prodigal of us all our 
Father will come with blessing and forgiveness when he 
returns to his abandoned home; oh! let no prodigal 
prefer to linger amid the gnawing famine of the land of 
sin. So shall he hear the Father's voice speaking to him 
as to apostate Israel of old, " Is Ephraim my dear son ?. 
is he a pleasant child ? for since I spake against him, I 
do earnestly remember him still : . . . I will surely have 
mercy upon him, saith the Lord." 



(Preached after the First Communion of the Boys confirmed at Harrow 
on March 19, 1868. 

Isaiah Ix. I. — " Arise, shine ; for thy light is come, and the glcry 
of the Lord is risen upon thee." 

^\'HE^I any of the sweet and solemn events of life are 
about to happen to some member of an affectionate and 
united family, the thoughts of the rest are naturally con- 
centrated on him. And in this our family, two events — 
two which are among the most solemn in life's history — 
have happened during a few days' space to many whom 
we love. They have received their youthful Confirma- 
tion ; they have knelt at the Supper of the Lord. Thus 
they have stepped across that clearly-marked boundary- 
which separates spiritual childhood from spiritual man- 
hood. We all feel with them ; we all hope in them ; we 
nave all prayed for them. Our thoughts are with them 
now : and though I hope that with God's blessing my 
words may not prove wholly profitless to any, yet these 
are they to whom I would mainly speak, earnestly de- 
siring that what I say may chime in with all that is most 
holy and most beautiful in the present music of their 



thoughts. To them this day will be a memory to the 
close of life ; may they also to the close of life remember 
that in this quiet chapel, which I trust they love, they 
heard on the Sunday after their Confirmation, on the 
evening of their first Communion, a few simple words of 
encouragement, of warning, and of hope. 

That — with very rare exceptions — you are in earnest, 
that you desire to give your hearts to God, and to conse- 
crate your lives to His service, and that the attitude of 
your souls is at the present moment an attitude of hope, 
I cannot doubt. It will be at once your duty and your 
happiness to cherish that hope ; to keep it aglow by the 
breath of prayer; to suffer no evil influence (and all the 
powers of evil will in these days be doubly busy for your 
ruin) to dim or quench it. The loss of hope in a human X 
soul is the gathering of the darkness ; its increase is the 
brightening of the dawn. To be robbed of it even in 
our poor earthly life is a deep misfortune. For though 
energy may be possible without it, serenity is not ; 
though duty may be faithfully continued, happiness is 
gone. But hope in our earthly prospects matters very 
little, if its eternal treasures be garnered up where man 
cannot rob us of them. It was an ancient fancy that if 
the hues of the rainbow fell on the aspalathus, the flower 
lost every harsher element, and gained an unwonted 
fragranc)\ Let Hope, like that touch of the rainbow, 
transform and glorify the saddest and hardest heart of 
you who at His own Sacrament have felt your Saviour's 
gracious power. But let your hope not be the evanescent 
bow which overarches the thunder-cloud, but that steadier 



iris which gleams above the cataract. " It remained 
motionless," says one who had been watching such a 
rainbow, " while the gusts and clouds of spray swept 
furiously across its place, and were dashed against the 
rock. It looked like a spirit strong in faith, and stead- 
fast in the midst of the storm of passions sweeping across 
it, and though it might fade and revive, it clung to the 
rock as in hope and giving hope. And the very drops 
which in the whirlwind of their fury seemed as if they 
would carry all away, were made to revive it and give it 
greater beauty\" Even so, my young brethren, may the 
bow of Hope span the wor^t sorrow and tumult of your 
lives ; and may it prove to you to be what Eastern fancy 
saw in it, — the bright and narrov.' path u-ay of just souls 
to heaven. 

When some youth, in the happiest days of chivalrj', 
was admitted into the noblest orders of knighthood, he 
spent his vigil with prayer and fasting in some lonely 
church beside his arms. And when morning came he 
was bathed and clad in white robes as a symbol of 
purity ; he knelt humbly at the Supper of the Lord ; the 
crosshilt of his consecrated sword was presented to him; 
.md, with priestly benedictions and solemn services, the 
Bishop bade him to be humble in all things, high in 
courage, strong in danger, patient under difficulties,- — 
above all, to tell the truth always, to take Christ as his 
captain, and do his devoir to all the world. Then being 
clad in his armour, he received the accolade of knight- 
hood, — he was bidden to be loyal, bold, and true, — and 
1 See Prof. TynJall, Faraday as a Discnerirr. 


SO, with high courage in his heart and holy vows upon 
his lips, he " rode forth in morning sunshine and faithful 
hope," ready at any moment in single encounter or on 
Syrian battle-field to yield his pure soul to his Saviour 

It is even thus that I think of each of you, and of the 
work both immediate and future which lies before you. 
The age of chivalry indeed is over; but that, thank 
God, was but a sunht ripple on the abiding river. The 
accidents are gone, the substance continues : the circum- 
stances are altered, the reality remains. For the vigil in 
the cathedral you have had the prayer and preparation 
of many weeks ; for the sword-blow on the shoulder, the 
laying-on of the Bishop's hand ; for the vow of knight 
hood, the " I do " of the Christian boy. Purity, self- 
devotion, courage, as they were the knight's main duties, 
so are they yours ; the chrismal fire of the sevenfold 
blessings is shed no less richly on you than upon him ; 
his armour w-as but the symbol of your panoply of God; 
his foes but the embodied representatives of the powers 
which assault and hurt your soul. You too are follo\ving 
Christ to tire gathering battle ; you too are riding forth 
in the hope that He will make you more than con- 
querors. For the moment you have felt as if all things 
were possible to you. And all things arc possible through 
Christ who loves you ; and, to the faintest-hearted of 
you, victory is certain if you fight under your Captain's 
banner, and in the strength which Christ will give. 

Now if any knight in legend or in reality, — if any 
Christian hero in history or in life, — did great and 



worthy deeds, what influences have sustained him ? what 
perpetual incense has kept the fire of God's love burning 
upon the altar of his heart ? Whence did a Percivale 
or a Galahad, — whence did a Luther or a Milton, — 
whence did a Whitfield or a Martyn, win the mighty 
inspiration which made their lives so true, their swords 
so irresistible, their hearts so noble, their words so 
strong ? Not assuredly in the Circean philosophy of 
the world ; not in the foolishness of darkened imagina- 
tions which make a mock at sin ; not in the haunts of 
the sensualist or at the tables of those who are full of 
meat, — nay, but in the stern school of youthful self- 
denial, under the hardy discipline of laborious duty, in 
the fiery truths of Prophets unglozed by the smooth self- 
complacency of Pharisees and priests. " Lift up your 
hearts," was the voice that ever sounded in their ears ; 
" we lift them up unto the Lord," was always the fervent 
antiphon of their faithful hearts. " Whatsoever things 
are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things 
are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things 
are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report," — they 
thought on those things. And you must think upon 
them too, and on the heavenly sunbeams of such 
thoughts must climb to the Father of Lights, who 
dwelleth in the Light unapproachable. With souls so 
inspired you may hope indeed ; hope not only that you 
may ever shrink from the coarser and viler temptations 
of the world, as from the burning ashes that have been 
fed by the corpses of the slain, — hope not only that you 
may triumph over the subtler temptations of sloth, and 



cowardice, and spiritual pride, — but hope that you will 
by God's blessing be enabled to lead a life far higher 
and more heroical than the vulgar and sleepy standard 
of the so-called religious world, — that God's grace may 
inspire you with such a passion for integrity and truth, 
that you too may be hereafter among those saints of 
God who have inspired the souls of others by the con- 
spicuous example of Christ-like lives. 

Yes, my brethren, such thoughts, such hopes are as 
the unseen Seraphim who swing their holy incense in 
the spiritual temple ; and such a temple your hearts 
should be. Greater are they that are with than they 
that are against you. Evil is not your nature, but its 
ruin ; not the law of your life, but its apostasy ; not the 
fulfilment of your destiny, but its frustration. All good 
angels lean over you with their glittering faces ; the 
silent company of the immortal dead, the household and 
city of God above, are with you ; the hearts of all God's 
true children among the living beat in unison with yours ; 
the Son of God, and the Spirit of God, and the Lord 
God Almighty love the soul that they have created, 
sanctified, redeemed. There is nothing high, there is 
nothing noble, there is nothing godlike, to which you are 
not clearly summoned, for which you are not naturally 
fit. " Fear not, O Jacob, my servant, and thou, Jes- 
hurun, whom I have chosen. Fear ye not, neither be 
afraid ; ye are even My witnesses." Yet while you 
cherish to the utmost these high hopes, cherish them in 
humility, cherish them in trembling. " Let him that 
thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." You are 



buckling on your armour, not putting it off. If you do 
not learn the wisdom which is taught by fear — if you 
feel inclined to value yourselves and to say to others 
" Stand aside, for I am holier than thou " — God may 
teach you, by I know not what bitter ruin, that your 
trust rriust be in Him. You think, perhaps, that in 
trying for these six weeks to struggle with old tempta- 
tions, and to abandon besetting sins, — and still more, in 
tasting to-day of the heavenly manna which Christ has 
offered to your souls, — that j'ou have been disenchanted 
for ever from the sorcery of Satan. Yes, it may be so; 
it will be so if you struggle, and watch, and pray, and 
never turn your eyes from the face of God. But oh ! 
it may be far different ; a dangerous and deadly reaction 
may come over you ; a great falling away, the terrible 
judgment of the backslider and the apostate. "Admitted 
to a holier sanctuary, you may be guilty of a more 
deadly sacrilege." I have stood, my brethren, on some 
mountain-peak, some Cumbrian or Alpine hill, over 
which the dim mist rolled ; and sometimes, through one 
mighty rent in that cloudy curtain, I have seen the blue 
heaven in all its beauty, and, far below my feet, the 
rivers, and cities, and cornfields of the plain sparkled 
in the heavenly sunlight; but soon, and almost imper- 
ceptibly as I gazed, the scene began to fade and waver 
as the thin edges of the mist crept together, and the 
grey atmosphere of the mountain was drawn around me, 
until for the vision and the glory there was nothing but 
chilly vapour and drizzling rain. Even so may it be 
with you. Now as it were through the sunlit vista of 



prayerful days you see heaven opened, and Jesus sitting 
at the right hand of God ; but subtly, invisibly, in- 
creasingly the dense vapours of sin and worldliness may 
arise, and blot out from your souls the light of heaven, 
and leave you disheartened and in danger, weary and 
alone. Many a young knight, in his over-confidence, 
has ridden forth in hope, to return in humiliation ; many 
a young Christian, in his unwatchfulness, has retired 
from life's battle, seamed, and scarred, and in shameful- 
est dishonour. David, the pure and gallant lad whom 
God took from the shceiDfolds to lead His people Israel, 
became, alas 1 a murderer and an adulterer. The same 
Peter who, when all were forsaking Christ, burst forth 
with the passionate confession of His Messiahship, yet 
afterwards denied Him, with scorn and cursing, on that 
dark and terrible evening, by the firelight in the High 
Priest's hall. There is a life of one in the middle ages 
which has always seemed to me pregnant with instruc- 
tion. It is the life of one v;hom God had splendidly 
endowed ; he was beautiful, manly, eloquent, learned, 
subtle ; he was wealthy and famous even from early 
youth ; and not only as a philosopher and a divine, but 
from a natural abhorrence of all vulgar degradation, he 
lived till manhood an unsullied and upright life. Yet 
this man, in the full pride of his fame and intellect, 
fell into deliberate and most disgraceful sin, — met with 
sudden and most hon'ible retribution, — lived in unutter- 
able anguish, died in a broken-hearted fall. Yes ! the 
name of Abelard stands out like a Pliaros upon some 
dangerous rock, to warn all those who are temi)ted in 
F.s. 20 



early life by intellectual eminence or spiritual pride. 
Oh ! my brethren, hope indeed, but still work out your 
own salvation with holy fear. David in ruin and self- 
abasement received again the clean heart and the free 
spirit. The tender divine look of Jesus pierced into the 
very soul of Peter, and the cock crew, and he repented 
in agonies of tears. And in his old age, and anguish 
of body, and sickness of soul, God's grace reached the 
unhappy Abelard. His flesh came to him again, like 
the flesh of a litde child ; in the quiet abbey at Clugny 
he learnt to be meek and lowly of heart — frequent in 
prayer, given to silence, a humble, simple. God-fearing, 
evil-shunning man^. But oh! through what rivers of 
shame and agony had each of these to win their way ! 
May God in His mercy shield each one of you from such 
a fall ; but oh ! if you fall, may He grant to you also, 
even if it be through pain and ruin, a repentance as 
deeply-seated and as sincere. 

But I should be guilty of a glozing foolish conventional 
optimism, which my soul abhors, if I were to imply that 
most of you felt this high confidence of being enabled 
hereafter to live a holy life : it is not so, and to any who 
may wish me to assume it, I would say as a friend of 
mine has said, " I would rather die than lie." Conversa- 
tion with not a few of you has shown me that though you 
may differ very widely from one another, and though all 
of you (except one or two who have not thought, or 
prayed, or striven at all) have felt some hope to-day, it 

^ Such is the testimony of Peter of Clugny in a " letter describnig 
Abelard' s death-bed." 



has been to some of you like the last leaping flame 
among dying embers, — it has been often overshadowed 
by a gloom of distrustfulness, nay almost of despair. 
And to you, my young brethren, my heart yearns most ; 
to you, most earnestly, do I desire to speak a few healing 
or helpful words. Your hope is the bruised reed which 
your Saviour will not break ; the smoking flax He will 
not quench. You are deeply wounded ; you have wan- 
dered far astray ; you are sick with sin and a sense of 
weakness ; you tremble not without reason for yourselves. 
If we tell you that, now you are confirmed, you must not, 
you cannot have anything more to do with such common 
vices as swearing, as debt, as dishonesty in work, nay 
even as openly corrupt communication, you can but con- 
fess penitently that you have been guilty of these things, 
you can but make a humble promise " I will try to do 
them no more." But you hardly feel the strength to 
promise even these very easy things, — things from which 
not only Christianity, but even a certain inbred reserve, 
and " honest haughtiness of nature,'' has preserved many 
a heathen in his ignorance. Even of these you can but 
speak with a hesitating diffidence, born of bad habits 
and numberless transgressions. But oh ! when we go 
farther, and bid you aim at the deeper, higher excellences 
of the Christian life, — when we urge upon you a strong 
manly diligence as an elementary duty immediately re- 
sulting from the very constitution of your nature, — when 
we tell you that it is now your positive duty to strengthen 
your brethren, and to the utmost of your power to save 
them from sin, — when we tell you that you must battle 


with the whole lorce of your souls against self-indulgence, 
against forgetfulness of God, against thoughts of wicked- 
ness, against the cherished idolatry and habitual tyranny 
of some base besetting sin, — then you, knowing your 
own deplorable weakness, knowing not as yet the strength 
and love of your Saviour, — knowing the severity of your 
bondage, not knowing the power of His deliverance, — 
c^n barely summon up the strength to promise. Your 
faint " I will try " becomes " I fear I cannot." " I have 
tried," such an one will say with confusion of face, " tried 
over and over again for years, and over and over again 
have failed. I know that I shall fail. The thing that I 
would, that I do not ; the thing that I would not, that I 
do. To will is present with me, but how to perform 
that which is good I find not. There is a sinfulness 
and a degradation which I loathe, and into which I sink ; 
there is a sweetness and a nobleness for which I yearn, 
and of which my soul despairs. There is nothing which 
can save me from myself, and from the sins which are 
engrained into my very being. Yes, I will make good 
resolutions if you bid me, but all iiiy former good reso- 
lutions have come to nought ; they have been as the 
morning cloud or as the early dew. God has hidden His 
face from me, and barely even in these days, burdened 
as I am and guilty, have I had the will or the ability to 
seek His face in prayer." 

Ah ! my brethren, when you say all this, my heart 
yearns for you, and I am certain that this is the message 
which God would bid me give. Whatever you do, 
hope on, try on. Hitherto your resolutions have been 



resolutions in name alone. Believe in God's love, and 
you, like many another wounded soldier, shall yet win tlie 
battled To say "I cannot" in matters of daily duty is 
weak and feeble ; to say it of spiritual duties is blasphemy 
and death. It is blasphemy, for it charges God with sins 
which you pretend to be unavoidable; it is death, because 
it is the inevitable prelude to self-abandonment and to 
despair. And so God pleads with you to-night ; He tells 
you that " bitter as you are with weariness and sick with 
sin," He still loves you tenderly as a Father. It was for 
you, and such as you, that Christ died ; you are the lost 
whom He came to seek, the sick whom He came to 
heal ; the prisoners for whom He has burst the brazen 
gates. Prodigals as you are, a place is still open to you 
in your Father's home. Come to Him just as you are ; 
come to Him from the land of exile, and the trampled 
husks, and the filthy swine ; return to Him in all the 
shame of your desertion, in all the degradation of your 
sin, and even while you are a long way off. He will go 
forth to meet you, and fall upon your neck with tears. 
Yours, indeed, can be no prayer but the prayer of the 
publican, " Lord, have mercy upon me a sinner ; " no 
cry but the cry of the Psalmist, " I am thine, oh save 
me ! " No other prayers, my brethren, — but are not 
these enough? "Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbe- 
lief," the father cried, and lo ! the spirit was cast out of 
his demoniac son. " Lord, save me, I perish," and lo ! 
a strong hand is outstretched, and Peter is saved as he 

Archbishop Leighton. 


is sinking in the dark and stormy sea. Believe me, 
there is hope for you ; if you have felt it, ever so faintl)-, 
cling to it for your life. You may yet live to say from 
your heart, as one has said who for long years suffered 
as you have suffered, 

" I was a stricken deer that left the herd 
Long since ; with many an arrow deep infixed 
My panting side was charged, when I Avithdrew 
To seelc a tranquil death in distant shades. 
There was I found by One who had himself 
Been hurt by archers. In His side He bore, 
And in His hands and feet, the cruel scars. 
With gentle force soliciting the darts, 
He drew them forth, and healed, and bade me live'." 

To conclude then, my brethren. — Those of you who 
by God's grace have hitherto lived well, strive henceforth 
to live better, with holier purpose, with more courageous 
consistency, with self devotion more entire : — and those 
of you who have lived imperfectly or ill, let the time 
past of your lives suffice you to have done the things 
whereof you are now ashamed. And alas ! none of you 
must expect to be made perfect without long struggle. 
It is said that when the lightning has flashed full in men's 
faces, the electric flame passes in one second through 
every nerve and fibre, permeating and transfusing each 
atom of the sentient frame. It may be so sometimes in 
the spiritual world, but not often 2. ]\Iore frequently the 
grace of God works slowly, like the growing grass or the 

' Cowper. 

South has finely called St. Paul "a y><.r//tf Apostle." 



rising dawn— the green and tender blade which ripens 
into the full corn in the ear, — the grey shuddering dawn, 
that broadens and brightens into the boundless day. 
Slowly, toilfully, not perhaps without many failures— by 
prayer, by watchfulness, by shunning idleness, by avoiding 
bad companions, by fleeing youthful lusts,— will you be 
made first penitent, then holy, then perfect as your 
Father in Heaven is perfect. If you have ever made 
good resolutions, oh ! make them now afresh ; — not in 
your own strength, say rather your own infirmity, but 
remembering Him who loveth you, and hath died to 
redeem you by His blood. Out of the crowd His hand 
has beckoned you ; from your wanderings He has called 
you by your name. Go to Him, and say, " Lord, I know 
that I am stained, and sinful, and feeble, dead in 
trespasses and sins: but, O Lord, I repent, I long to 
return to Thee ; hard and impenitent as it is, yet take 
Thou my heart, for Thou hast made it, and it is Thine ; 
take Thou my life, and do with it as seemeth Thee best, 
so Thou wilt only employ it for Thy service." And 
believe that such a prayer will be answered. And what 
I said at the beginning, I say once more— Hope. " Hast 
thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting 
God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, 
fainteth not, neither is weary ? He giveth power to 
the faint; and to them that have no might He increaseth 
strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, 
and the young men shall utterly fall: but they that 
wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they 
shall mount up with wings as eagles ; they shall run, and 



ot be weary; they shall walk, and not faint." So saith 
He ; and 

" Truly he cannot, after such assurance, 

Truly he cannot, and he shall not fail ; 
Nay, tlicy are known, the hours of thy endurance, 
Daily thy tear.-, are added to the tale. 

" Never a sigh of pas.->ion or of pity. 

Never a wail for weakness or for wrong. 
Hath not its archive in the angels' city. 
Finds not its echo in the endless song. 

" Then, though our foul and limitless transgression 
Grew with our growing, with our breath began. 
Lift Thou the arms of endless intercession, 
Jesus, divinest wlieu Thou most art man." 



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FARRAR (Rev. F. ^ .)— continued. - - ' 

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and wherever it has appeared useful. Notes have been subjoined illustra- 
tive of the 'Text, and, for the sake of more advanced students, references 


MACLEAR (Dr. G. ¥.)— continued. 

added to larger works. The Index has been so arranged as /o form a 
concise Dictionary of the Persons and Places mentioned in tlic course of t lie 
Narrative." The Maps, prepared by Stanford, materially add to the 
vaiue and usefulness of the booh. The British Quarterly Review calls it 
"A careful and elaborate, though brief compendium of all that modern 
research has done for the illustration of the Old Testament. IVe lino7v of 
no work luhich contains so much important information in so small a 
compass. " 

Including the Connexion of the Old and New Testament. New 
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The present volume forms a sequel to the Author's Class-Booh of Old 
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second iiuprtsoiiiiieut at home. 1 ne uiork is dimded ttito tlu ee Books — 
/. The Comu.iw,, i^elween the Old and Nrai Testament. II. The 
Gospel Hi toi) III Ih 4J I II III ' } I I I in 
Chronological Tables. The Clerical T""'- ' . ■ / oiun that 

such an amount of useful and luiere i: ; . noieeis. is 

found in so convenient and smoll a eomoo^,. :o.::',:rranged 

CHURCH OF ENGLAND. New and Cheaper Edition. iSmo. 
is. e,d 

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Public Schools, to supply a suitable manual of instnie/ion in I lie eiiief 
doctrines of our Church, and a useful help in the pref:,a'..-:i f r'-i- 
didates for Confirmation." 77/f Literary Churchman .ti/r , / 
the work of a scholar and dim'ne, and as such, though ca : 
is also extremely instruetroe. There are few clergy wi,<^ 
it useful in preparing Candidates for Confirmation; and ; :.\ ,..l a 
few -who would find it useful to themselves as well. " 

THE CHURCH OF KNCI.AXD, with Scripture Proofs for 
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This is an epitome of the larger C/ass-Iook, meant for junior students 
and elementary classes. The book has been carefully condensed, so as to 
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larger book. 


MACLEAR (Dr. G. Y .)— continued. 


New Edition. l8mo. cloth limp. I.f. 
Tliis Manual bears the same relation to the larger Old Testament Hi - 
lary, that the book just mentioned does to the larger work on the Catechism. 
It consists of Ten Books, divided into short chapters, and subdivided into 
sections, eaa/i section treating of a single episode in the history, the title of 
which is given in bold type. 

New Edition. l8mo. cloth limp. is. 

TION AND FIRST COMMUNION, with Prayers and Devo- 
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In two Introductory Chapters the author notices some of the chief clia- 
ractcristics of the 7nedianial period itself; gives a graphic sketch of the de- 
vastated state of Europe at the beginning of that period, and an interesting 
account of the religions of the three great groups of vigorous barbarians — 
the Cells, the Teutons, and the Sclaves — who had, wave after wave, orver- 
flo'.Lvd its surface. He then proceeds to sketch the lives and work of the 
chief of tlie courageous men who devoted the/nselves to the stupendous task 
of their conversion and civilization, during a peiiod extending from the 
yh to the lT,th century; such as St. Patrick, St. Columba, St. Colum- 
banus, St. Augustine of Canterbury, St. Boniface, St. Olaf, St. Cyril, 
Raymond Sull, and otliers. "Mr. Maclear will have done a great work 
if his admirable little volume shall help to break up the dense ignorance 
zohich is still prevailing among people at large." — Literary Churchman. 

Macmillan. — Works by the Rev. Hugh M.'VCMILLAn, LL.D., 
K. R. S. E. (For other M'orks by the same Author, see CATALOGUE 
OF Travels and Scientific Catalogue). 


MACMILLAN (Rev. H., l^'L.H.)— continued. 

THE TRUE VINE; or, the Analogies of our Lord's 

Allefjory. Third Edition. Globe 8vo. 6^-. 
T/ie Nonconformist says, " It abounds in exquisite bits of description, 
and in striking facts clearly stated. " The Britisli Quarterly says, ' ' Readers 
and preachers who are unscientific •will find many of his illustrations as 
valuable as they are beautiful." 

Globe Svo. 6^-. 

In tins volume the author has endeavoured to shrto that the teaching of 
Nature and the teachiwr of the Ihble arc directed to the same threat end; 
that the Bible contains the spiritual IniHis 7,-hich arc necessary to make us 
wise unto sal-aatiou. and the ob/ccly and scenes <>/ ^\aiiirc arc tbe pictures 
by -ioliuh t'l It J II I Ih / I III I It ti L looild more 

beautiiii :<• !' , iri.icaicd cur cars to voices of praise and messages of 

love III..! : ■:. V c aarc fccii iiiiiicard. " — British Quarterly Review. 

"Br. ' 7 ... ■> praaiiccd a Ouol; which may be fitly described as one 

of the liiippicii ciicns jor cniistiit'c; pliysical science in tlie direct sennce of 
reltsion. " — Guardian. 

Teachings in Nature. " Second Edition. Globe Svo. ds. 

" This volume, like all Dr. Afacmillan's productions, is very delight- 
ful reading, and of a special kind. Imagination, natural science, and 
religious instruction are blended together in a very charming way." — 
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THE MINISTRY OF NATURE. Fourth Edition. Globe 
8vo. ()s. 

' ' Whether the reader agree or not with his conclusions, he will ac- 
kno^vledge he is in tlie presence of an original and thoughtful ivriter." — 
I'all Mall Gazette. " There is no class of educated men and women that 
will not profit by these essays." — Standard. 

Globe Svo. ds. 

M'Clellan.— THE NEW TESTAMENT. A New Trans- 
lation on the Basis of the Authorised Version, from a Critically re- 
vised Greek Text, with Analyses, copious References and Illus- 
trations from original authorities. New Chronological and Ana- 
lytical Harmony of the Four Gospels, Notes an<i Dissertations. 
A contribution to Christian Evidence. By John Brown M'Clel- 
lan, M.A., late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. In Two 


M'CLELLAN (l. 'Q.)— continued. 

Vols. Vol. I. — The Four Gospels with the Chronological and 

Analytical Harmony. 8vo. 30J. 
" One of the jnost remarkable productions of recent times" says the 
Theological Review, ^' in this department of sacred literature'" and the 
British Quarterly Review terms it " a thesaurus of first-hand investiga- 
tions." '•'■Of singular excellence, and sure to make its mark on the 
criticism of the A'cw Testament. " — ^John Bull. 

Maurice. — Works by the late Rev. F. Denison Maurice, 
M.A., Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Cam- 
bridge : 

The Spectator says, — "Fe7v of those of our own gemration whose names 
tt>ill live in English history or literature have exerted so profound and so 
permanent an influence as Mr. Maurice." 

OLD TESTAMENT. Third and Cheaper Edition. Crown 

The Nineteen Discourses contained in this volume were preached in the 
chapel of Lincoln's Inn during the year 1851. The texts are taken frem 
the books of Genesis, Exodus, Numbers, Deuteronojny, foshua, fudges, 
and Samuel, and involve some of the most interesting biblical topics dis- 
cussed in recent times. 

TAMENT. Third Edition, with new Preface. Crown 8vo. 

\QS. 6d. 

Mr. MaiiriiL, in the spirit which animated the compilers of tlie Church 
Lessons, has in these Sermons regarded the Prophets more as preachers of 
righteousness than as were prediifors — an aspect of their lives which, he 
thinks, has been grca'.'f r , . / ' //v our day, and than which, there is 
no)ie we have more '■'ate. He has found that the Old 

Testament Prophets, , . / . iir.iple natural sense, clear up many 
of the dificulties which ivset us ui the daily 'work op life ; make the past 
intelligible, the present endurable, and the future real and hopeful. 

A Series of Lectures on the Gospel of St Luke. Crown 8vo. 9^. 

Mr. Maurice, in his Preface to these Tzveniy-eight Lectures, says, — 
"/« these Lectures I have endeavoured to ascertain what is told us respect- 
ing the life of jfesus bv one of those Evangelists who proclaim Him to be 
the Christ, who says that He did come from a Father, that He did baptize 
with the Holv Spirit, that He did rise from the dead. I have chosen the 



MAURICE (Rev. F. V>.)— continued. 

one who is mast directly connected with the later history of the Church, 
who was not an Apostle, who professedly ivrote for the use of a man 
already instructed in the faith of the A postles. I have follo7ved the course 
of the writer's narrative, not changing it under any pretext. I have 
adhered to his phraseology, striving to avoid the substitution of any other 
for his." 

THE GOSPEL OF ST. JOHN. A Series of Discourses. 
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The Literary Cliurchman tims speaks of this volume: " T,':o>v!i'^'/i 
honesty, n-ZYr. /it;; a)id di\p thoii:;hl pervade the work, - i ' :. r v i- 
way solid ami p/iilosophicn/, as nvll as theological, and a- :■/ .%;.•.•.■ ■ •.-.// 
suggestions loiiiih tJic patient studciil may draw out moro a. • :.i , ; 

THE EPISTLES OF ST. JOHN. A Series of Lectures 
on Christian Ethics. Second and Cheaper Edition. Cr. 8vo. ds. 

These Lectures on Christian Ethics were delivered to the students of the 
Working Men's College, Great Ormond Street, London, on a series of 
Sunday mornings. Mr. Maurice believes that the (jueslion m which we 
are most interested, the question wlueii most affects our st/id/es and our daily 
lives, is the question, whether there is a founilatioii lor liiiinan morality, 
or whether it is dependent upon the opinions and fas/inois ot different as^'es 
and countries. This important question luill be found amf^iy and fairly 
discussed in this volume, which the National I .c\ in\ , ,///.f " J/r. 
Maurice's most effective and instructive work. jI. i, 'ee:i.:ar/v pitted 
by the constitution of his mind, to thro7U light on . /. jifm s iiTitim^'S." 
Appended is a note on Positivism and its Teacher." 


The Prayer-book considered especially in reference to the Romish 
System. Second Edition. Fcap. 8vo. 5^. kd. 

After an Introductory Sermon, Mr. Maurice goes orcr the various parts 
of the Church Service, expounds in eighteen Sermons, their intention and 
significance, and shews how appropnale tJiev are as expressions of the 
deepest longings and wants of all eiass^s of men. 

WHAT IS REVELATION.? A Series of Serinons on the 
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on the Bampton Lectures of Mr. Mansel. Crown Svu. lOi-. 6il. 

Both Sermons and Letters were called forth by the doclri: 
by Mr. Mauie: in lis Bampton Lectures, that I-iraelation . : 
Manifestation of the Infinite Nature of God. Mr. Manure hiaintains 



MAURICE (Rev. F. H .)~continued. 

the opposite doctrine, and in his Sermons explains v/hy, in spite of the high 
authorities on the other side, he vmst still assert the principle which he 
discoruers in the Services of the Church and throughout the Bible. 

TION?" Letters in Reply to Mr. Mansel's Examination of 
" Strictures on the Bam pton Lectures." Crown 8vo. ds. 

This, as the title indicates, was called forth by Mr. ManseVs examina- 
tion of Mr. Maurices .Strictures on h is doctrine of the Infinite. 

THEOLOGICAL ESSAYS. Third Edition. Crown 8vo. 
lo^. i)d. 

" The book," says Mr. Maurice, '^expresses thoughts -which have been 
working in my mind for years : the method of it has not been adopted 
carelessly ; even the c07nposition has undergojie frequent revision." There 
are seventeen Essays in all, and although meant primarily for Unitarians, 
to quote the words of the Clerical Journal, leaves untouched scarcely 
any topic which is in agitation in the religious world ; scarcely a moot 
point between our various sects ; scarcely a plot of debateable ground be- 
tween Christians and Infidels, between Romatiists and Protestants, between 
Socinians and other Christians, between English ChurchTnen and Dis- 
senters on both sides. Scarce is there a misgiving, a difficulty, an aspira- 
tion stirring amongst us now — now, wlien men seem in earnest as hardly 
ever before about religion, and ask and demand satisfaction with a fear- 
lessness which seems almost awful 7vhen one thinks what is at stake — which 
is not recognised and grappled with by Mr. Maurice. " 

THE SCRIPTURES. Crown 8vo. 7s. 6d. 

8vo. 5J-. 

ON THE LORD'S PRAYER. Fourth Edition. Fcap. 
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ON THE SABBATH DAY; the Character of the Warrior, 
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COMMANDMENTS. A ^lanual for Parents and Schoolmasters. 
To which is added the Order of the Scriptures. l8mo. cloth 
limp. IS. 




MAURICE (Rev. F. X>.)— continued. 

SOCIAL MORALITY. Twenty-one Lectures delivered in 
the University of Cambridge. New and Cheaper Edition. Cr. 
8vo. loj. i>d. 

"'Whilst reading it uie are charmed by the freedom from exrliiu'-rejirs^ 
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■world, which animates it from one end to the other. We gain nc-u' 
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THE CONSCIENCE: Lectures on Casuistry, delivered in 
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LEARNING AND WORKING. Six Lectures delivered 
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Procter and Maclean— AN ELEMENTARY INTRO- 
Re-arranged and Supplemented by an Explanation of the Morninij 
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An Amended Version, with Historical Introductions and Ex- 
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were written. 77/<j ^vVv ion ol\;:n-.'i J's.thn inlo s/rophe^, ami 

of each strophe into tin- //i/o< -..■hifh oomposoP it, and oinood Iho orron of 
translation. The Spectator ooHs it ■•one of tiw ii/oit ii!\tntolroo and 
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Psalter (Golden Treasury). — The Student's Edition. 

Being an Edition of the above with briefer Notes. l8mo. 3^.6;/. 
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CHURCH, GLASGOW. By William Pulsford, D.D. 
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Rays of Sunlight for Dark Days. A Rook of Selec- 
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restore the Psalter 



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L.\WS, being the Burney Prize Essay for 1873. \Vith an Ap- 
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8vo. 5j". 

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"Well considered, learned, and powerful discourses." — Spectator. 

TURY. An Examination of the Critical part of a Work entitled 
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"A very important book for the critical side of the question as to the 
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Selborne.— THE BOOK OF PRAISE: From the Best 
English Hymn Writers. Selected and arranged by Lord Selborne. 
With Vignette by Woolner. i8mo. 4s. dd. 



SELBORNE {\^ox6.)— continued. 

It has been the Editor's desire and aim to adhere striefiv, in at! eases in 
which it could lie aseer.'aiiied. lo the jeiuiine niiecrni tted text 0/ the aiitliors 
themselves. The names oj the authors and date of eoin t^osition of the 
hymns, luhen Lnr n, a) li \ t In a 

giving further details. lite Ilvinns are arraner.t ■ - ■ /, ' ,■,'■'/.. 

Thereis not roomjor t'd'o or-inions as lo liie-aahie ,i \- ■ ; 
— Guai"dian. "Approaches as neartv as one eaa i e.. , i: e . 0 ■ . , . //. /■. 
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BOOK OF PRAISE HYMNAL. See end of this Catalogue. 

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Shipley.— A THEORY ABOUT SIN, in relation to some 
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Eight Lectures preached before the University of Oxford, being the 
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in Westminster Abbey. Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. 

in 1872, 1875 and 1876. Crown 8vo. 5.^. 

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of RUGBY SCHOOL. By F. Temple, D.D., Bishop of Exeter. 
New and Cheaper Edition. Extra fcap. Svo. 4J. 6d. 
This volume contains Thirty-five Sermons on topics more or less inti- 
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TEMPLE [Ji-c.)— continued. 

"Great Men;" "Faith;" "Doubts;" "Scruples:" " Original Sin ;" 
'^Friendship;" "Helping Others;" "The Discipline of Temptation;" 
"Strength a Duty;" '■^ Worldliness ;" "III Temper;" "The Burial oj 

E,xtra fcap. 8vo. bs. 

This Second Senes of lor/v-t'^ 'o I'nc!, piniiti ti, ■ ■ - ■> ■ ■ ■ ■ . 7 
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acceptable to all who are <io])ioiiilcd '.m/i Oie J-inu ■ ■. , .. / /. ... : . •// 
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RUGBY SCHOOL CHAPEL IN 1S67— 1S69. E.xtia fcap. 
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Thirteenth Edition. 8vo. i2j. 

This work has taken its place as a standard exposition and interpreta- 
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in four chapters I. On the definition of the Parable. II. On Teach- 
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other Parables besides those in the Scriptures. The author then proceeds 
to take up the Parables one by one, and by the aid of philology, history, 
antiijuities, and the researches of travellers, shetcs forth the significance. 


TRENCH (Archbishop)— <ro«ft««;</. 

beauty, and applicability of each, concluding with what he deems its true 
jnoral interpretation. In the nutiierous Notes are many valuable references, 
illustrative quotations, critical and philological annotations, etc., and ap- 
pended to the volume is a classified list of fifty-six luorks on the Parables. 

Eleventh Edition, revised. 8vo. 12^. 

In the ''Preliminary Essay'' to this work, all the momentous and in- 
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discussed with considerable fulness. The Essay consists of six chapters : — 
/. On the Names of Miracles, i.e. the Greek words by which they are 
designated in the Nei.u Testament. II. The Miracles and Nature — Wliat 
is the difference between a Miracle and any event in the ordinary course 
of N'ature? III. The Authority of Miracles — Is the Miracle to command 
absolute obedience ? IV. The Evangelical, compared with the other cycles 
of Miracles. V. The Assaults on the Miracles— I. The Jewish. 2.. The 
Heathen ( Celsus etc.). 3. The Pantheistic (Spinosa etc.). 4. The 
Sceptical ( Hume ). 5 . The Miracles only relatively miraculous ( SchUier- 
macher). 6. The Rationalistic ( Paulus). 7. The Historico- Critical 
(Woolston, Strauss). VI. The Apologetic Worth of the Miracles. The 
author then treats the separate Miracles as he does the Parables. 

Edition, enlarged. 8vo. cloth. \2.s. 

This Edition has been carefully revised, and a considerable number of 
ne-M Synonyms added. Appended is an Index to the Synonyms, and an 
Index to many other words alluded to or explained throughout the work. 
''''He is," the Athenjeum says, "a guide in this department of knowledge 
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TESTAMENT. Second Edition. 8vo. 75. 

After some Introductoiy Remarks, in which the profniety of a revision 
is briefly discussed, the whole question of the merits of the present version 
is gone into in detail, in eleven chapter s. A ppended is a chronological list 
of works bearing on the subject, an Index of the principal Texts con- 
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TRENCH (Archbishop)— 

ami that all the chief difficulties of //w .A'<-r,' Tcstnwcuf nir to he found 

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in the Epistles. These "Studio- 
much larger scheme, and each . 
mentioned in the Gospels, in a er 

1 1 nit of a 
^'/t episode 
!h ol man- 



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VAUGHAN (Dr. C. I.)— continued. 

of the passage on ■which it is based, and then a practical applicaticn oj 
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VAUGHAN (Dr. C. continued. 

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VAUGHAN(D.J.) -continued. 


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WESTCOTT (Dr.)— continued. 

composed are considered not individually, but as claiming to be parts of the 
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YONGE (Charlotte HI.)— continued. 

I, fun! >n-i\l /ins ltd t/h- niillior to ciidcn'^'our to prepare a reading book 
::ieiit pr study '.eit/i e/ii/dreii, eoiitniniiig the very 7uords of t/ie 

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A. Beautifully printed in Royal 32mo., limp cloth, price Od. 

B. „ „ Small ISmo., larger type, cloth limp, la. 

C. Same edition on fine paper, cloth, Is. 6d. 

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The large acceptanee which has been given to " The Book of Praise" 
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The arrangement adopted is the following :— 

Part I. consists of Hymns arranged according to the subjects of the 
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ment," etc. 

Part II. comprises Hymns arranged according to the subjects of the 
Lord's Prayer. 

Part III. Hymns for natural and sacred seasons. 

There are 320 Hymns in all. 



Date Due