Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub
[graphic]

ask another, her spiritual guid the wicked feeling she had ha to send her trials and temptation

The reader of The Gaywort) man's interview, in Selport jail, warned against hardness of hea shortly be sent to meet his God answering, as he takes the pipe see that person. I'd have a w once found Him." The words and God's minister was shocked, be, God saw deeper, and was m dozen chapters later, an accou previous history-as of a man fiercely, and upbraidingly, as one God, and a guidance, and a goc been hardened and bewildered, not make it seem to be; but 1 "In his darkest hour, when, with wished that he might see that I rate utterance of a goaded sou One only possible redress.” N type has Mr. Kingsley in view

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[ocr errors]

such as it is, of Alexanie met smaller Alexander, he als a thing to be read mini Job's wife school, who lang to feel to curse God and die, ale how they could anse God chose. What, he asks what say to any one who now it go be quoted) of the Life Dress without any after atonement inte tasto towards Him whom he dit "Father, simply because be a and famous and self glaring als waiting awhile?" les je cursing is such as Blackzenek himself, venting the visit

e in sin that grace us-God forbid.' gh and Holy One Almighty to forbid tion by a solemn the Greek words ged Name, the de

hardly could have e an intellectual as andment, he may, in vain.)

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

d well studied in Moses) Out of the first commandVinor, the second, faith. so that it is done, as we ziseros ; Minor : Ego sum Divine argument as to evil uch more, à fortiori, shall ne rigueur mathématique : e le meilleur d'entre nous; ricorde, nous sommes sûrs

And yet no ; the peale plis no such restriction a las covered the new pozicija scoming God

, and licence to uporai, on the image said genius prants Kingsley, voli, pa

[ocr errors]

being."1 Elsewhere again, Dr. Holmes speaks sympathetically of the noble frankness in his highest relations which, says he, did honour to the courage of the father of the faithful.

Wilt thou be altogether unto me as a liar? is the daring remonstrance of the prophet: and as waters that fail? Of a greater Prophet than Jeremiah, even of the Prophet that should come into the world; even of One whose day father Abraham desired to see, and saw it, and was glad ; of Him stands it written by an apostle's pen, that He committed Himself to Him who judgeth righteously.

With another apostle, what shall we say then ? is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. Ti oủv époŵper ; un đổikia Trapà OcQ; Mỹ yévoito. (Purposely the Greek is here quoted, and with special reference to the un yévolto, as rendered in the English version, “God forbid.” For thereby hangs a tale, not too well known,-at any rate out of university circles. Some years ago, a score and upwards, a popular preacher held forth from the pulpit of a university town, his text being one of the several passages in which, as here, un yévolto is Englished into “God forbid.” He is now a dignitary of the Church; something more than a plain Reverend; say, for instance, a Very Reverend. The pulpit he occupied on the occasion in question was not indeed the university pulpit ; but it was the parish pulpit of the Regius Professor of Greek,—to whom therefore, ex officio, any gross blunder in his own department must have been more than a little galling. Well, if not in absolutely the following words, in words strictly to this effect, the preacher declaimed. “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? The apostle shall answer for us,—'God forbid.' He answers by appealing by name to the High and Holy One that inhabiteth eternity. He invokes the Almighty to forbid the thought. He repudiates the bare notion by a solemn appeal to his Maker,” etc., etc. Now as the Greek words present a conspicuous absence of the alleged Name, the declaimer's rhetoric was sadly far fetched; he hardly could have gone farther and fared worse. If there be an intellectual as well as moral breaking of the third commandment, he may, in a sense, be said to have taken that Name in vain.)

1 “Il y a un DEVOIR réciproque entre Dieu et les hommes. ... Quid DEBUI? “accusez-moi,' dit Dieu, dans Isaïe. Dieu doit accomplir ses promesses,” etc.—Pensées xxiii. 3.

It has been said of the early ministry of New England by an intense admirer of its leading men, that the letters of these to one another form a literature altogether unique. Hopkins sends to Edwards the younger his scheme of the universe, in which he starts with the proposition that God is infinitely above all obligations of any kind to his creatures. Edwards replies with the brusque comment:-“This is wrong; God has no more right to injure a creature than a creature has to injure God." Very straitlaced system-mongers would shrink from such diction as the psalmist's, “ Judge me, O Lord my God, according to Thy righteousness”-simply an appeal of confidence in the right doing of the supreme Judge.

The import of the patriarch's pleading may be illustrated by the devotional argument of one of the opening stanzas of In Memoriam,of which inattentive readers may, and often do, fail to reach the meaning, at once argumentative and devout :

“ Thou wilt not leave us in the dust :

Thou madest man, he knows not why;
He thinks he was not made to die ;

And Thou hast made him, Thou art just.”. The logic of the strain is close and condensed; almost with the air about it of an enthymeme, with one of the premises suppressed. It is as though in response to the summons from above, Come now, let us reason together, the poet had thus reasoned with his Maker : Thou wilt not leave us in the dust, into which, dust to dust, we are by death resolved or dissolved ; and of this we are persuaded because Thou hast made man

1 Luther calls the psalms of David (who had well studied in Moses) “ altogether syllogisms, or concluding sentences out of the first commandment. Major, the first, is God's word itself ; Minor, the second, faith. The conclusion is the act, work, and execution, so that it is done, as we believe. As, Major : Misericors Deus, respicit miseros ; Minor : Ego sum miser ; Conclusio : Ergo Deus me quoque respicit.

The French Pasteur Colani expatiates on the Divine argument as to evil men giving good gifts to their children,-how much more, à fortiori, shall our heavenly Father : “ Ce raisonnement est d'une rigueur mathématique : il est impossible que Dieu ne soit pas meilleur que le meilleur d'entre nous; donc, tout ce que nous pouvons imaginer de miséricorde, nous sommes sûrs de le trouver en lui.”

with an instinctive thought of, if not an innate ineradicable belief in, his immortality; and Thou, who hast so made him, being just, canst not have so made him in vain. From Thee springs his hope eternal of eternal life, and by Thee shall that hope be fulfilled. The inspiration of the Almighty giveth him this understanding, and shall not the Father of the spirits of all flesh assert His fatherhood ? Shall not the Maker who inspired recognise the mortal immortal who therefore aspired ? Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

Abraham reasons as the father of the faithful ; and there is a faith, in the words of a late divine who essayed strenuously (in sermon essays and other modes) to adjust and harmonise the claims of reason and faith,—there is a faith which is the highest reason. “We trust an instinct given to us by a God of truth. We cannot be better than our origin ; as the drop is not more than an infinite source. Having contracted an alliance with the Almighty and Omniscient, we ought not to doubt that He will prove a faithful Creator." The argumenti

1 Which, in its time, has taken all sorts of forms, some of them sufficiently fantastic. Here is a very French form of it, in the words of Vergniaud, on the eve of his execution, together with the other leading Girondins. Haranguing his friends and fellow victims, at that strange “last supper” they had together by permission in the Conciergerie, he told them that death is the most important event in life, only because it is the passage to a higher state of being. Were it not so, man would be greater than God; for he would have conceived what his Creator could not execute. No ! Vergniaud is not greater than God, but God is more just than Vergniaud.”

A grotesque rendering of the like conviction is offered by the impulsive old negress, Aunt Milly, in the tale of the dismal swamp, when asked by a sombre sceptic how she knows there is any heaven anyhow? “Know it?” says Milly, her eye kindling, and her staff well grounded, “Know it? I know it by de hankering arter it I got in here," giving her chest a blow which makes it resound like a barrel. “De Lord knowed what He was 'bout when He made us; when He made babies rooting round, wid der poor little mouths open, He made milk and de mammies for 'em too. Chile, we 's nothing but great babies, dat an't got our eyes opened, rooting round and round; but de Father 'll feed us yet—He will so.”

Little Jane Eyre's wistful query to dying Helen at Lowood, ":But where are you going to, Helen ? Can you see? Do you know?” is answered, “ I believe; I have faith; I am going to God."' " Where is God? What is God?” “My Maker and yours, who will never destroy what He has made. I rely implicitly on His power, and confide wholly in His goodness.” She

« НазадПродовжити »