Зображення сторінки

legal decision looks only to the exact question before it. But these phrases (which are dwelt on in the text)-since they were partly mixed up with the questions decided and seemed to go beyond them, and since the inferences naturally drawn from them were taken by many as actual decisions binding on the Clergy_troubled so many persons, and compromised the Clergy so much in the opinion of others, that it was impossible to be silent. It seemed, therefore, necessary to openly claim the liberty we had hitherto enjoyed in quiet, and to deny that the Judgment really intended to abridge it.

To some these Sermons will seem too orthodox, to others the contrary; but I trust that all will recognise in them my sincere adherence to the great doctrines of the Divinity of Christ, of the necessity of a Revelation and an Atonement for sin, and the deep desire I possess that in the midst of those manifold differences of opinion, the existence of which I cherish as a means of arriving at truth, we may not lose our liberty through fear, nor our reverence for truth through recklessness of opinion on the one side, or through a blind devotion to transient forms of thought upon the other.




And he gave some apostles; and some prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come, in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto the perfect Man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ, &c.-EPHESIANS, iv. 11-16.

The conception of Humanity as one organic being is made up of two ideas ; diversity of parts, unity of nature. The unity of nature makes all the parts so related, each to each, that we are enabled to build them up into the conception of one being whom we call the Man. The diversity of parts enables us to compose them into a living whole. They are not like a number of notes of the same pitch and tone, out of striking which nothing comes but a monotonous roar, but are like a number of diverse notes capable of being composed into a finished symphony, every chord and note of which supports, prepares for, is in communion with, enhances, and develops every other note and chord. All are so mutually dependent that not one note could be lost without unloosing the bond which ties them all; and all lead to the single grand impression which causes us to say, in spite of, nay, because of, the infinite variety—that is one conception, a perfect whole.'

It is thus we arrive at the conception of humanity as one Man. Each member is linked to each, necessary to each, assisted by and assisting each, giving and receiving, dying and living in turn, modifying and suffering modification by contrast, by opposition, by concord—and all in the past and present form the one ideal man, whom we call Humanity.

In different countries and times different modes of human nature were worked out, different ideas necessary to complete the great idea of the race. The Hindoo, the Egyptian, the Jew, elaborated their sides of humanity, and left to the future one or two principal conceptions. The Greek worked out the idea of harmony and the necessary results of this worship of harmony in poetry, philosophy, and art. The Roman elaborated the idea of law and the correlative of law, duty. The ancient German the idea of freedom and its correlative, individuality. Add to these general ideas a crowd of particular ones, partly political—as when a society was the expression either of the democratic principle, as in Greece, or the municipal principle, as at Rome ; partly moral—as the assertion of the greatness of temperance at Sparta, or the assertion of the heroism of the struggle against fate, as in the Greek drama; partly ideas belonging to feeling and imagination—as the sacredness of nature and the emotion of the beautiful; and then combine all these in thought into the being of one man, leaving aside those modifications of them which the experience of history has shown to be alien to human nature; and considering—not how they exist as they stand apart, but how they exist in union with, and how they act and react on, one another ;—then behold beneath them all the one human heart and intellect and passions—as the fountain whose waters flow through the whole great river

« НазадПродовжити »