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emotion is a system of philosophy, or a code of morals, without imagination or inspiration. It may be potent within a provincial sphere, it can never be universal and omnipotent. The angels do not sing over its coming; their legions are not ready for its aid.
No religion has ever been touched with so beautiful an emotion as Christianity. Its sacred book opens with a garden where the soul of man walks with God in the shadow of the trees before it goes out on a long wander year, and closes with another garden whither the soul returns after its bitter travail, white and victorious. A world, foul with sin, is hidden beneath the deluge, on whose black waste of waters floats the Ark of God with a remnant of the race, and the angel of death smites the firstborn of the oppressor, that the oppressed may go free. The waters of the sea stand in crystal banks to allow the people of God to escape ; the newborn nation is fed with manna from Heaven, and water from the flinty rock; and they come at last into a land flowing with milk and honey. The earth is full of voices and revelations to spiritual souls, and the visible world becomes the parable of God. The Eternal
will yet set up His kingdom among men, and the sufferings of the race are to end in an age of gold when there will be nothing to destroy in all God's holy mountain, and a little child will lead men captive. The Old Testament moves forward with a rhythmic step to the coming of the Messiah.
It was fitting that Jesus' own life should be heralded with singing, the song of the angels, the Magnificat, and the Hymn of Simeon, for from beginning to end it was an idyll. If the mighty archangel who stands in the presence of God announced His coming, the young child was born among beasts of burden, and cradled in a manger. At twelve years old He amazed the doctors in the Temple by his questions, at thirty years He is tempted of the Devil in the wilderness. He comes from the waters of the Jordan, where He has taken up the burden of His life, to change the water into wine at a marriage feast. Unto appearance He is the poorest of men ; without a home of His own, eating the plainest food, living with the lowliest people. Yet men fall back from before His face, death yields up its prey at a word, the sick gather for healing to His feet, the very winds and waves obey Him. What devotion of the
people to Him, what dark conspiracy of enemies against Him, what picturesque interviews with inquiring souls, what lonely hours on the mountain side! What a tragedy of suffering, what a triumph of goodness! Without the learning of the schools He confounded the Rabbis, with the simplest of images He taught the deepest truths. Along the paths of the country, on the grass of the mountain side, from fishing boats, in village synagogues, in the High Priest's palace, and in the Temple of great Jerusalem He delivered His soul.
Across the sea, along the shore,
A young man preaching in a boat. The same emotion touches that society which Jesus created, and which we call sometimes the Church and sometimes the Kingdom of God. Every member is a son of God, and a brother with all his fellow Christians : he is a servant in the work of God, and a soldier in God's battle. Im
perfect to sight he is a saint in idea, and though he be as poor as Christ on earth, yet he is an heir of God. To him belong great treasures, where the thief cannot steal, and his future dwelling is our Father's House. Dying, he sees the heavens open, and Jesus at God's right hand, or living he beholds the new Jerusalem come down from Heaven as a bride adorned for her husband. Tortured in the Roman arena, or burning at the stake, he sings hymns of triumph, counting it all joy to suffer for Christ. From time to time this emotion bursts forth like a new spring and makes green the wilderness of the Church. St. Francis forms his order of poverty, and St. Bernard sings hymns of praise to Jesus. Xavier in his missionary zeal stretches out his hands to the far East and cries, “More sufferings, Lord, more sufferings." The Moravians surrender their goods, and go forth to conquer the Arctic regions for Christ. Father Damien dies with his lepers, and Livingstone falls on sleep upon his knees in Africa. The women of the Salvation Army nurse the outcasts of society, and crowds of people are moved by an evangelist as when the wind sweeps over ripe corn. Christianity takes for its symbol the Cross on which its Founder died, and by the victory of humility Christianity has conquered. Our faith has only two rites—in one the baptized buries the past and begins life as a new creature ; in the other communicants are united in one fellowship of suffering with Christ and His disciples, and pass from hand to hand
The Holy Cup
What do you call this? Fact, doctrine, conduct ? Surely, but something else and something more. It is poetry, the most revealing and the most inspiring which our ears have heard. Christianity is not founded on logic but on passion. We are not moved by argument but by devotion. Christianity is a sublime emotion. When that ceases for a time our religion dies down to the roots, as in winter time : when there comes a baptism of new feeling Christianity bursts into spring. It was the great achievement of Schleiermacher, to distinguish religion from knowledge, declaring that "quantity of knowledge is not quantity of piety," and also to distinguish religion from morality, for “while morality always