Great Texts of the Bible by James Hastings - Psalms 110:3 - 110:3

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Great Texts of the Bible by James Hastings - Psalms 110:3 - 110:3


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This Chapter Verse Commentaries:

A Volunteer Army

Thy people offer themselves willingly in the day of thy power:

In the beauties of holiness, from the womb of the morning,

Thou hast the dew of thy youth.—Psa_110:3.

1. This psalm was composed by some patriotic Hebrew poet on the sallying forth of the king to war, to whom he hears Jehovah promising support and success in the coming campaign, and sees in imagination Jehovah Himself accompanying the king as his chariot rolled away, driving with him, seated by his side, to the battle. Fired by this vision, he pictures him triumphantly victorious over his foes, their power shattered, and the field heaped with their dead bodies; while he describes the enthusiasm of the people for the sovereign and his cause, the readiness with which they flock to follow him on his march to the frontier, the great multitude eager to put themselves at his disposal for the fray; and the splendid appearance of the troops, in their glittering armour, like priests clad in sacred vestments, or victims decked for the sacrifice, innumerable and brilliant as dew-drops from the womb of morning, and fresh as dew in comprising all the fine youth, all the young blood and vigour of the land.

But in the course of time the psalm came to be read as a prophetic description of what should be achieved by the future Messiah of whom the nation dreamt; to whom, indeed, would be the gathering of the people; who would prove the champion of Israel’s redemption, and of whose Kingdom and dominion there would be no end, His name enduring for ever, His name continuing as long as the sun throughout all generations.

This was a favourite psalm of Luther’s. “The 110th,” he says, “is very fine. It describes the kingdom and priesthood of Jesus Christ, and declares Him to be the King of all things and the intercessor for all men; to whom all things have been remitted by His Father, and who has compassion on us all. ’Tis a noble psalm; if I were well, I would endeavour to make a Commentary upon it.”1 [Note: R. E. Prothero, The Psalms in Human Life, 122.]

2. In accordance with the warlike tone of the whole psalm, the subjects of the monarch are described as an army. The military metaphor comes out more clearly when we attach the true meaning to the words, “in the day of thy power”: Calvin translates, “at the time of the assembling of their army”—“au jour des montres,” “in the day of the review.” And the meaning is, “Thy subjects shall be ready in the day when thou dost muster thy forces, and set them in array for the war.”

I

Patriots

“Thy people offer themselves willingly in the day of thy power.”

1. The subjects of the King are true patriots. There are no mercenaries in these ranks, no pressed men. The soldiers are all volunteers.

There are two kinds of submission and service. There is submission because you cannot help it, and there is submission because you like it. There is a sullen bowing down beneath the weight of a hand which you are too feeble to resist, and there is a glad surrender to a love which it would be a pain not to obey. Some of us feel that we are shut in by immense and sovereign power which we cannot oppose. And yet, like some raging rebel in a dungeon, or some fluttering bird in a cage, we beat ourselves all bruised and bloody against the bars in vain attempts at liberty, alternating with fits of cowed apathy as we slink into a corner of our cell. Some of us, however, feel that we are enclosed on every side by that mighty hand which none can resist, and from which we would not stray if we could; and we joyfully hide beneath its shelter, and gladly obey when it points. Constrained obedience is no obedience. Unless there be the glad surrender of the will and heart, there is no surrender at all. God does not want compulsory submission. He does not care to rule over people who are only crushed down by greater power. He does not count that those serve who sullenly acquiesce because they dare not oppose. Christ seeks for no pressed men in His ranks. Whosoever does not enlist joyfully is not reckoned as His.

An ironic historian sets side by side Frederick the Great’s account of the performance of his troops in one battle and a home letter of a recruit engaged in it. “Never,” says Frederick, “have my troops done such marvels in point of gallantry, never since it has been my honour to lead them.” And the soldier tells his squalid story, of men driven into battle with blows from sergeants’ canes, skulking, when they could, behind walls, and taking the opportunity of passing through a vineyard to desert in scores. Frederick won many battles, but he won them in spite of a detestable system, and this poet finds a promise of triumph for his King in the glad loyalty with which He inspires His soldiers.1 [Note: W. M. Macgregor, Jesus Christ the Son of God, 59.]

2. The soldiers are not only volunteers; they are animated by a spirit of self-surrender and sacrifice. The word here rendered “willing” is employed throughout the Levitical law for “freewill offerings.” It is a striking word in the Hebrew. We have a similar idea in Psa_68:9, where we are told that God has poured forth a refreshing rain for His inheritance because it is weary. And as we receive the refreshing rain of God’s Holy Spirit from heaven, in order that we may become a river pouring out His riches, so the real meaning of the Hebrew is this, “Thy people shall become a freewill offering in the day of thy power.” It is in that host as it was in the army whose heroic self-devotion was chanted by Deborah under her palm tree—“The people willingly offered themselves.” Hence came courage, devotion, victory. With their lives in their hands they flung themselves on the foe, and nothing could stand against the onset of men who recked not of themselves.

For there is this one grand thing even about the devilry of war—the transcendent self-abnegation with which, however poor and unworthy may be the cause, a man casts himself away, “what time the foeman’s line is broke.” The poorest, most vulgar, most animal natures rise for a moment into something like nobility, as the surge of the strong emotion lifts them to that height of heroism. Life is then most glorious when it is given away for a great cause. That sacrifice is the one noble and chivalrous element which gives interest to war, the one thing that can be disentangled from its hideous associations, and can be transferred to higher regions of life. That spirit of lofty consecration and utter self-forgetfulness must be ours, if we would be Christ’s soldiers. Our obedience will then be glad when we feel the force of, and yield to, that gentle persuasive entreaty, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice.”

“I raised such men,” said Cromwell, “as had the fear of God before them, as made some conscience of what they did; and from that day forward, I must say they were never beaten.”

To be true to himself, to renounce nothing which he knew to be good and yet bring all things captive to the obedience of Christ, was the problem before him. He hesitated long before he could believe that such a solution was possible. His heart was with this rich, attractive world of human life, in the multiplicity and wealth of its illustrations, until it was revealed to him that it assumed a richer but a holier aspect when seen in the light of God. But to this end, he must submit his will to the Divine will in the spirit of absolute obedience. Here the struggle was deep and prolonged. It was a moral struggle mainly, not primarily intellectual or emotional. He feared that he should lose something in sacrificing his own will to God’s will. How the gulf was bridged he could not tell. He wrote down as one of the first of the texts on which he should preach, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power,” with the comment that “willingness is the first Christian step.” Thus the conversion of Phillips Brooks becomes a representative process of his age. So far as the age has been great, through science or through literature, its greatness passed into his soul. The weakness of his age, its sentimentalism, its fatalism, he overcame in himself when he made the absolute surrender of his will to God. All that he had hitherto loved and cherished as the highest, instead of being lost, was given back to him in fuller measure. To the standard he had now raised there rallied great convictions and blessed experiences, the sense of the unity of life, the harmony of the whole creation, the consciousness of joy in being alive, the conviction that heaven is the goal of earth.1 [Note: Phillips Brooks: Memories of his Life, by A. V. G. Allen, 82.]

II

Patriot-Priests

“In the beauties of holiness.”

The phrase “in the beauty of holiness” is frequently used for the sacerdotal garments, the holy festal attire of the priests of the Lord. So the soldiers are priests as well as patriots.

1. The King and Leader is Himself a Priest of God’s making, another Melchizedek. In different ages of the world there have been men in whom a certain native priestliness has been apparent, men born to bring others into the secrets of God, and seeming to need no introduction or furtherance themselves; men who, in the Scots phrase, are “far ben,” for they always, with unveiled face, see God. It is their task to make the hidden things apprehensible to those who belong to the rough world outside. And God’s King, when He comes, will be a priest of that kind, whose priesthood is a matter of native endowment and not of human ordination.

The mediæval emperor was a deacon in the Roman Church, just as the pope, on his side, was a great secular prince. In Israel, too, the king had something of priestly rank. But here is no such fictitious dignity. “Thou art a priest of my making,” says God, “another Melchizedek.” Professor Davidson comments on the picture which is given us of Melchizedek—without father, without mother, without descent. “He passes over the stage a king, a priest, living; that sight of him is all we ever get. He is like a portrait having always the same qualities, presenting always the same aspect, looking down on us always with the same eyes, which turn and follow us wherever we may stand—always royal, always priestly, always individual, and neither receiving nor imparting what he is, but being all in virtue of himself.”

The conquering King whom the psalm hymns is a Priest for ever; and He is followed by an army of priests. The soldiers are gathered in the day of the muster, with high courage and willing devotion, ready to fling away their lives; but they are clad not in mail, but in priestly robes, like those who wait before the altar rather than like those who plunge into the fight, like those who compassed Jericho with the ark for their standard and the trumpets for all their weapons. We can scarcely fail to remember the words which echo these and interpret them. The armies which were in heaven followed Him on white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Christina Rossetti comments on the strangeness of such armour against cut of sword and thrust of spear. But the suggestion is that the soldiers have one heart with their Leader, and are great in consecration like Himself. They go out after Him where hard blows are struck, where there is turmoil and shouting and the burden of the weary day, but they go as priests. That warfare which belongs to the extension of the Kingdom of God calls for services which may often be sordid and ugly and painful; but when they are rightly rendered they are as sacred and as acceptable as any incense offering in the dim seclusion of a temple. The one priestly sacrifice worth speaking of which men can render is the offering of a heart given willingly to the Divine service: and the cause is sure to prevail which can count on volunteers of that complexion.

Dr. Butler, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, writing of Keith-Falconer, who had been one of his pupils at Harrow, says: “I do not think our dear friend and I had any further communication with each other till the end of last year (1886), when I received from him at Davos-Platz a most kind letter of congratulation on my appointment to the Mastership of Trinity. He told me also of the plan which he had formed for going to Aden, and there employing his knowledge of Arabic for missionary purposes. The result of this generous enterprise we know but too well. The work was scarcely begun before it reached its earthly end. To those who believe in the abiding results of devotion to the cause and the Person of Christ, his short life will not seem a failure. His image will remain fresh in the hearts of many as of a man exceptionally noble and exceptionally winning, recalling to them their own highest visions of unselfish service to God and man, and helping them to hold fast the truth that in the spiritual world nothing but self-sacrifice is permanently fruitful, and that the seed of a truly Christian life is never quickened except it die.”1 [Note: R. Sinker, Memorials of the Hon. Ion Keith-Falconer, 23.]

2. The priestly attire suggests that the great power which we are to wield in our Christian warfare is character. Purity of heart and life, transparent simple goodness, manifest in men’s sight—these will arm us against dangers, and these will bring our brethren glad captives to our Lord. We serve Him best, and advance His Kingdom most, when the habit of our souls is that righteousness with which He invests our nakedness. Be like your Lord, and as His soldiers you will conquer, and as His priests you will win some to His love and fear. Nothing else will avail without that. Without that dress no man finds a place in the ranks.

“I have known many a man,” says Thoreau, “who pretended to be a Christian; but it was ridiculous, for he had no genius for it.” This poet was persuaded that his King would go far because of the temper of the people. “They offer themselves willingly; in holy, beautiful garments they come, fresh, young, countless like dew at the dawn.”1 [Note: W. M. Macgregor.]

Turn your energies towards your moral cultivation. In doing so you will accumulate imperishable riches. All that your worldly care can bring will be the doubtful possession of riches of doubtful value. In the possession of the moral wealth of a noble and disciplined character, you possess that which can neither wither nor be stolen. What we have we must leave at the threshold of the grave. What we are goes with us into the other world. Riches will drop from our dying hand into the grasp of others. Character passes with us into the presence of God. Character is everything. This, rather than worldly riches, is the true end of life. The perfecting of this is the true purpose of God in life.2 [Note: Bishop Boyd Carpenter.]

Few things tell on character more surely and precisely than the goal on which the heart is set and the temper in which that goal is sought. And certainly the Christian character, as it appears in Christ-like lives, does not look at all as though it had been formed and fostered and determined by a mercenary attention to a selfish aim. For the faculties and the capacity that grow in those who try to be true to Christ in daily life are strikingly ill-suited for the opportunities of enjoyment which might be imagined in a heaven of selfishness. Christians do not grow in the capacity for selfish pleasure, nor attain an exceptional power of relishing to the utmost a separate and individual gratification. The faculty which they develop is the faculty of self-denial; of glad, unhindered self-forgetfulness for others’ sake; of delighting in goodness and eliciting what is best in others; of simple, cheerful, unclouded self-surrender. These, and such as these, are the powers that accrue to those who choose the Christian life; and it is strange if the way along which they are acquired is a way of self-seeking; strange if, in striving towards a paradise of selfish pleasure, there is formed a character which would be as wretched there as a selfish character in the heaven of the saints. Surely it is a very different sort of aim and quest that is betrayed in the development of the Christian character and in the lines on which it presses forward; its preparation through the discipline of this life is for something else than what is here called pleasure or success; the faculties that are strengthened with its strength must have a work surpassing all our thoughts, and the capacity it brings can never be satisfied with aught that is created. For, in truth, the Christian character prophesies of this—that God has made us for Himself; and that there is neither rest, nor goal, nor joy for man, save in His love.1 [Note: Francis Paget, Studies in the Christian Character.]

III

Patriot-Priests in Perpetual Youth

“From the womb of the morning, thou hast the dew of thy youth.”

Alexander Henderson, expounding this passage, says: “The words are somewhat obscure even to the learned ear, but look to the 133rd Psalm, and there ye will see a place to help to clear them. Always (however) observe here, ‘from the womb of the morning, thou hast the dew of thy youth,’ that as in a May morning, when there is no extremity of heat, the dew falls so thick that all the fields are covered with it, and it falls in such a secret manner that none sees it fall, so the Lord, in the day of His power, He shall multiply His people, and He shall multiply them in a secret manner; so that it is marvellous to the world, that once there should seem to be so few or none of them, and then incontinent He should make them to be through all estates.”

1. The “dew of thy youth” has often been understood to mean the fresh youthful energy attributed by the psalm to the Priest-King. It has been suggested that the historical setting of the psalm is to be found in the Maccabean period. The heroic Judas had fallen in battle. Only one Maccabee remained, an elder brother, Simon, who had been passed over till this time—a great man and a wise one, it would seem, who had deliberately and unselfishly stood aside while his younger brethren had been doing their mighty work. He had been their lieutenant, counsellor, helper in every way. “The father of them all” was the affectionate title which he bore among them; the organizer and statesman of the valiant band; one of those strong, keen, silent souls who are content to work in obscurity, so that the grand object is obtained, but who often have more real power than those who stand glittering in the front. But now his time was come—come when he was apparently more than sixty years of age. He rose to the occasion; he took the critical and dangerous place. He went up to Jerusalem, stood among the excited and trembling multitude, and said: “Ye yourselves know what great things I and my brethren and my father’s house have done for the laws and the sanctuary. You know the battles and troubles we have seen, by reason whereof all my brethren are slain for Israel’s sake, and I am left alone. Now therefore, be it far from me that I should spare mine own life in any time of trouble, for I am no better than my brethren. I will defend my nation and the sanctuary, and our wives and our children, though all the heathen be gathered together to destroy us for very malice.”

The people gazed upon the grand old man. They watched his kindling eye, his martial bearing; they saw the fires of a still youthful spirit burning in the aged frame, and they answered with a loud voice, “Thou shalt be our leader. Fight thou our battles, and whatsoever thou commandest us, we will do.” Then they brought him into the temple, clothed him in the sacred robes, placed the tiara upon his head, and saluted him as the great Priest-King of Israel: and it may be that this 110th Psalm preserves the memory of the coronation anthem sung at that service in the temple when the old man with the brave young heart inside him stood before the awestruck multitudes and took the perilous honour of the lofty place. A joy-shout of the people finds its echo in the text, “From the breaking of the morning, thou hast the dew of thy youth”; that is to say, “Though aged, it is upon thee still.”

Certain leaders in their young days have led their troops to battle, and, by the loudness of their voice, and the strength of their bodies, have inspired their men with courage; but the old warrior hath his hair sown with grey; he begins to be decrepit, and no longer can lead men to battle. It is not so with Jesus Christ. He has still the dew of His youth. The same Christ who led His troops to battle in His early youth leads them now. The arm which smote the sinner with His word smites now; it is as unpalsied as it was before. The eye which looked upon His friends with gladness, and upon His foemen with a glance most stern and high—that same eye is regarding us now, undimmed, like that of Moses. He has the dew of His youth.1 [Note: C. H. Spurgeon.]

As I witness the energies of nature, I feel that the heart that fashioned it was young. There is no sign of age about creation. There is no trace of the weariness of years. It is inspired with an abounding energy that tells me of a fresh and youthful mind. Christ may have lived from everlasting ages before the moment of creation came; but the eternal morning was still upon His brow when He conceived and bodied out the world. There are the powers of youth in it. There are the energies of opening life. “Thou hast the dew of thy youth.”2 [Note: G. H. Morrison, Flood-Tide, 286.]

2. We may however take “youth” to be a collective noun, equivalent to young men. In that case the army is described as a host of young warriors, led forth in their fresh strength and countless numbers and gleaming beauty, like the dew of the morning. Did you never see the dew-drops glistening on the earth? and did you never ask, “Whence came these? How came they here so infinite in number, so lavishly scattered everywhere, so pure and brilliant?” Nature whispered the answer, “They came from the womb of the morning.” So God’s people will come forth as noiselessly, as mysteriously, as divinely, as if they came “from the womb of the morning,” like the dew-drops. Science has laboured to discover the origin of dew, and perhaps has guessed it; but to the Eastern, one of the greatest riddles was, Out of whose womb came the dew? Who is the mother of those pearly drops? Now, so will God’s people come mysteriously. Again, the dew-drops—who made them? Do kings and princes rise up and hold their sceptres, and bid the clouds shed tears, or affright them to weeping by the beating of the drum? Do armies march to the battle to force the sky to give up its treasure, and scatter its diamonds lavishly? No; God speaks; He whispers in the ears of nature, and it weeps for joy at the glad news that the morning is coming. God does it; there is no apparent agency employed, no thunder, no lightning; God has done it. That is how God’s people shall be saved; they come forth from the “womb of the morning”; divinely called, divinely brought, divinely blessed, divinely numbered, divinely scattered over the entire surface of the globe, divinely refreshing to the world, they proceed from the “womb of the morning.”

When you go out, delighted, into the dew of the morning, have you ever considered why it is so rich upon the grass;—why it is not upon the trees? It is partly on the trees, but yet your memory of it will be always chiefly of its gleam upon the lawn. On many trees you will find there is none at all. I cannot follow out here the many inquiries connected with this subject, but, broadly remember the branched trees are fed chiefly by rain,—the unbranched ones by dew, visible or invisible; that is to say, at all events by moisture which they can gather for themselves out of the air; or else by streams and springs. Hence the division of the verse of the song of Moses: “My doctrine shall drop as the rain; my speech shall distil as the dew: as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass.”1 [Note: Ruskin, Proserpina, i. chap. iii. § 22.]

Until I heard from my friend Mr. Tyrwhitt of the cold felt at night in camping on Sinai, I could not understand how deep the feeling of the Arab, no less than the Greek, must have been respecting the Divine gift of the dew,—nor with what sense of thankfulness for miraculous blessing the question of Job would be uttered, “The hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?” Then compare the first words of the blessing of Isaac: “God give thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of earth”; and, again, the first words of the song of Moses: “Give ear, oh ye heavens,—for my speech shall distil as the dew”; and you will see at once why this heavenly food (manna) was made to shine clear in the desert, like an enduring of its dew;—Divine remaining for continual need. Frozen, as the Alpine snow—pure for ever.2 [Note: Ruskin, Deucalion, i. chap. vii. § 12.]

3. The soldiers of this King retain their youth. He who has fellowship with God, and lives in the constant reception of the supernatural life and grace which come from Jesus Christ, possesses the secret of perpetual youth. The world ages us, time and physical changes tell on us all, and the strength which belongs to the life of nature ebbs away; but the life eternal is subject to no laws of decay and owes nothing to the external world. So we may be ever young in heart and spirit. It is possible for a man to carry the freshness, the buoyancy, the elastic cheerfulness, the joyful hope of his earliest days, right on through the monotony of middle-aged maturity, and even into old age shadowed by the long reflection of the tombs which the setting sun casts over the path. It is possible for us to grow younger as we grow older, because we drink more full draughts of the fountain of life, and so to have to say at the last, “Thou hast kept the good wine until now.” “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.” If we live near Christ, and draw our life from Him, then we may blend the hopes of youth with the experience and memory of age; be at once calm and joyous, wise and strong, preserving the blessedness of each stage of life into that which follows, and thus at last possessing the sweetness and the good of all at once. We may not only bear fruit in old age, but have buds, blossoms, and fruit—the varying product and adornment of every stage of life united in our characters.

A man is not old, however hoary and bent, who is conversing, as Emerson says, with what is above him, with the religious eye looking upward, and abandoned the while with delight to the inspirations flowing in from all sides. A man is not old in whom the faculty of imagination is undecayed, who throbs with sympathy as eager and strong as ever for whatsoever is just and lovely and pure and true; whose mind, still responsive and aspiring, is fully open to new thoughts and new ideas, and cherishes dreams of the ideal; upon whom no weight of custom or of habit lies so heavily that he cannot move out of grooves under the direction of some felt better way, or who carries with him the optimism which, without hiding its face from the dark and ugly facts of existence, can front them smilingly, and sing its song in defiance of them, because of faith in humanity and trust in the divine purpose of the Universe. A man is not old, who is at one with Michael Angelo when, just before he died on the verge of ninety, he carved an allegorical figure, and inscribed on it in large letters, “Still learning,” or whose heart echoes Robert Browning, when he sang:

Grow old along with me!

The best is yet to be,

The last of life, for which the first was made:

Our times are in His hand

Who saith “A whole I planned,

Youth shows but half; trust God: see all nor be afraid!”

1st December 1895. A pleasant party at York House. The conversation straying to Watts, Miss Lawless, who was sitting on one side of me, mentioned that he had said to her: “I think I am quite accurate in telling you that I saw the sun rise every day last summer,” and Mrs. Tyrrell, who was sitting on my other side, told us that he had said to her: “I am seventy-eight, and I hope still to do my best work.”1 [Note: M. E. Grant Duff, Notes from a Diary, 1892–95, ii. 290.]

4. The soldier of the cross should exercise in the world a gracious refreshing influence, like the dew. The dew, formed in the silence of the darkness while men sleep, falling as willingly on a bit of dead wood as anywhere, hanging its pearls on every poor spike of grass, and dressing everything on which it lies with strange beauty, each separate globule tiny and evanescent, but each flashing back the light, and each a perfect sphere, feeble one by one, but united mighty to make the pastures of the wilderness rejoice—so, created in silence by an unseen influence, feeble when taken in detail but strong in their myriads, glad to occupy the lowliest place, and each “bright with something of celestial light,” Christian men and women are to be in the midst of many people as dew from the Lord.

The personal influence of Henry Bradshaw (the librarian at Cambridge University) was extraordinary. It was not gained by any arts, nor did he ever manifest the slightest wish to interfere or to exercise influence. One just knew him to be a man of guileless life, laborious, high-principled, incapable of any sort of meanness or malice. To love is to understand everything, says the French proverb. It is not easy really to improve people by scolding them or lecturing them, but if one knows that a generous, unsuspicious, high-minded man has a real affection for one, it is impossible not to be restrained by the thought from acting in a way that he would disapprove. Bradshaw’s influence over the men he knew was stronger than the influence of any other man at Cambridge. But his affection was sisterly—if one can use the word—rather than paternal. He was fond of little demonstrations of affection, would pat and stroke one’s hand as he talked, and yet there was never the least shadow of sentimentality about it. I have never heard any one suggest that there was anything weak or unmanly about his tenderness. It was preserved from that by his critical judgment, his excellent sense, his power of saying the most incisive things, and the irony which, however lambent, had got a very clear cutting edge, and which he was always ready to use if there was occasion. If any one traded on the affection of Bradshaw or counted on indulgence, he was sure to be instantly and kindly snubbed. It was more that there was an atmosphere of intimacy and confidence in one’s relations with him, which pervaded the time spent in his company as with fragrant summer air.1 [Note: A. C. Benson, The Leaves of the Tree, 225.]

When love has made the most of the man himself it overflows to bless others. Christ’s disciples are not here to be ministered unto, but to minister. Religion, says Christ, is love, and love is gentle toward those with hollow eyes and faminestricken faces. Love is kindly toward those who have a tragedy written in the sharpened countenance. Love is patient toward those who have lost fidelity as a man loses a golden coin; who have lost morality as one who flounders in the Alpine drifts. And this religion of love takes on a thousand modern forms. If it is not rowing out against the darkness and storm, as did Grace Darling, to save the shipwrecked, it is going forth to those tossed upon life’s billows, to succour and to save. For love is making the individual life beautiful, making the home beautiful, and will at last make the Church and State beautiful. Men will not bow down to crowned power nor philosophic power nor æsthetic power; but in the presence of a great soul, filled with vigour of inspiration and glowing with love, man will do obeisance. There is no force upon earth like Divine love in the heart of man, and at last that force will sweeten and regenerate society.2 [Note: N. D. Hillis, The Investment of Influence, 274.]

Literature

Ball (C. J.), Testimonies to Christ, 209.

Critchley (G.), When the Angels have gone Away, 163.

Duff (R. S.), Pleasant Places, 120.

Henderson (A.), Sermons, 9.

Macgregor (W. M.), Jesus Christ the Son of God, 52.

Maclaren (A.), Sermons Preached in Manchester, iii. 321.

Meyer (F. B.), Christian Living, 62.

Morrison (G. H.), Flood-Tide, 282.

Price (A. C.), Fifty Sermons, vii. 129.

Spurgeon (C. H.), New Park Street Pulpit, ii. No. 74.

Spurgeon (C. H.), Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, xlvii. (1901), No. 2724.

Tipple (S. A.), Days of Old, 200.

Vaughan (J.), Sermons to Children, i. 132.

Vaughan (J.), Sermons (Brighton Pulpit), xxv. (1884), No. 1291.