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the Jews and Romans. Jerusalem was a microcosm of iniquity; it contained within its walls the adulterous king, the unjust craven judge, the envious priests, the fickle, blood-thirsty people. To enter the shadow of its houses was to suffer pain. But it was not the sin of Jerusalem alone into which Christ must be held to have plunged; for it was not to reconcile Jerusalem alone that He is supposed to have died. He must in some mysterious and inexplicable manner have entered into the sin of all the world, into that dissolution of all humanity, individual and organized, which is sin.

Entering into this whirl of antagonism, in which all relationships are broken, all union is shattered, and everything is dishonoured, the spiritual enslaved to the physical, the material itself made subject to the law of decay, the conquest of the material over the physical, Christ must have suffered more acutely than man can conceive.

When any refined and sensitive nature is brought in contact with evil, it suffers. I have seen the clean maidenly soul receive its first knowledge of evil, of the horrible dissolution of the moral and animal lives; it has quivered with agony and shrivelled up as the sensitive plant, but it has not been itself injured. The knowledge of evil has been to it as the shadow of the passing cloud, darkening but not staining

Let any delicate-minded man pass an hour in a publichouse amongst the coarse topers, it will be to him an hour of poignant suffering. Let an artist open his treasures to a man of a practical turn of mind, that is, a man as low as he well can be; and the vulgar appreciation will cause all the fibres of his higher nature to thrill with pain.

But to elevate and purify what is jarring, gross, and base, it is necessary to descend to the level of those natures

without surrender of one's own nature. Tu rescue the fallen woman, the sister of charity has often to seek her in her den of infamy, to recover the drunkard the priest has sometimes to enter the beer-shop, to refine the taste of the vulgar the organizer of the popular concert has to descend to inartistic music. No principle is surrendered, but the condescension causes pain, for the higher nature trembles and suffers when brought in contact with that which is inferior, not because it was by nature inferior, but because it is degraded. The contact of man with bird and flower causes no shudder because bird and flower occupy their true position in the scale of creatures, but the contact of man with degenerate man revolts, because the latter has fallen out of his place in the rank and has broken the order of beings; he is a note out of tune, a discordant colour, a faulty step in an argument.

And what is death? That also is opposition. Life is the exact balancing by force and material expended of force and material acquired. When the balance is disturbed sickness ensues, when the latter predominates to the exclusion of the other death results. As I said in the first chapter, the law of organic life and that of inorganic matter conflict in man. Life is motion, the constant reparation of the body wasted by exertion. When the law of inorganic matter has thrown insurmountable obstacles in the way of the renovating stream, death ensues, matter has conquered life.

Death is to the body what sin is to the soul, a degradation, through the lower power mastering the higher. When the animal nature treads out the life of the spiritual nature, man is lowered to the beast ;--that is sin,

When man's egoism is so exclusive that it encases him in an impenetrable cuirass, living for himself alone, he

falls from the condition of a social man to that of a selfish barbarian ;-—that also is sin.

In both cases there is a negation of what is nobler; the lower is opposed to the higher quality, fights with it and overpowers it.

Death is of precisely a similar character, it is the inferior, mineral law conquering the superior, physical law.

If Christ was to be the reconciler of all oppositions,and this is what He is assumed to be,—then His Passion is an inevitable result, rendered inevitable by the fall of man. He must descend into sin to bring together again into peace and good will the animal life and the spiritual life, egoism and solidarity. He must descend into death to reunite in mutual peace the law of inorganic matter and the law of physical life.

What is the dogma of the Resurrection but the consequence of this hypothesis, the work done which by the Incarnation Christ is believed to have undertaken? In His own risen body both laws are reconciled; It can live on for ever, there being no more opposition. In our own risen bodies both laws will be reconciled, we shall live for ever, because, through the work of the Universal Conciliator, the opposition will have ceased universally.

Again, the Incarnation is the manifestation of perfect love, but perfect love cannot halt at anything short of the extreme disintegration wrought by the Fall. Christ must sacrifice Himself wholly to man, or His love is not sufficient to draw man to Him. He must enter into man's joys and man's woes, to meet him at every turn of the winding lane of life. Love is not satisfied till it has made every sacrifice that is in its power to make, and no more complete sacrifice can be imagined than that of honour, ease, and finally of life.


The narrative of Christ's life is therefore one of continuous sacrifice, of emptying Himself of everything in the overflowing l’assion of His love, counting all as nought if only He might catch man's eye and draw him towards Himself.

He came to seek and to save that which was lost. Such is reported by the Evangelist to be the account He gave of His mission.

He came to seek in the grotto of Bethlehem for the love of little children, in Egypt for the exile from fatherland, in the workshop of Nazareth for the labouring man, in the desert for the solitary, in the crowd for the busy traffickers, in the temple for the priest, in the synagogue for the student, by the sea-side on the grassy flats for the hungry, on the shore to which the disappointed fishers drew their empty nets, for hearts heavy with failure; at the marriage feast for the light-spirited, by the gate of Nain for the bereaved, on the mountain top for the ascetic, by the well for the weary, in the garden for the agonized soul, in the palace for the calumniated and misunderstood, on the pavement for those whom men deride and maltreat, on the stairs for those whom men reject with contumely, on the cross for those in acute bodily suffering, in death for those at their last gasp.

He came to seek, by every means love could devise, nothing too self-sacrificing, nothing too costly, nothing too trivial: Peter was sought by a look, Matthew by a word, the Samaritan woman by her pitcher, she with the issue of blood by the fringe of His robe; some by their own infirmities, others by their fears for those they loved; the palsied by his stiffened joints, Jairus by his little daughter, Bartimæus by his darkened eyes, the centurion by his fevered servant, the sons of Zebedee by their drag-net, Judas by the kiss, the thief by his cross, the soldier by His pierced side.

What more effectual method for eliciting love? And love it was necessary to obtain, for by love alone can man's relation to God and consequent restoration to unity be effected.

There was no necessity, some theologians have taught, for Christ to have died; but as S. Bernard says, "Perhaps that method is the best, whereby in a land of forgetfulness and sloth we might be more powerfully and vividly reminded of our fall, through the so great and so manifold sufferings of Him who repaired it.”

“Pain is one of the deepest and truest things in our nature; we feel instinctively that it is so, even before we can tell why. Pain is what binds us most closely to one another and to God. It appeals most directly to our sympathies, as the very structure of our language indicates. To go no further than our own, we have English words, such as condolence, to express sympathy with grief; we have no one word to express sympathy with joy. So, again, it is a common remark that, if a funeral and wedding procession were to meet, something of the shadow of death would be cast over the bridal train, but no reflection of bridal happiness would pass into the mourners' hearts. Scripture itself has been not inaptly called 'a record of human sorrow.' The same name might be given to history. Friendship is scarcely sure till it has been proved in suffering, but the chains of an affection riveted in the fiery furnace are not easily broken. So much then at least is clear, that the Passion of Jesus was the greatest revelation of His sympathy; ‘Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.' And hence fathers and schoolmen alike conspire to teach, that one reason why He chose the road of suffering was to knit

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