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notably Joseph, Daniel, and Ruth. The great crept in amongst them to claim a greater place in king of Israel himself — David showed many their counsels and to their obedience. marks of a gentle spirit.
Personally, he was willing to be nothing, but he Indeed, the first reference to this grace, forming knew that to allow false claims to be set up, and a a distinguishing attribute of God, is from his pen. party spirit to prevail, was to endanger the cause of “Thy gentleness hath made me great” (2 Sam. Christ on all sides. Dear reader, did you ever ponder xxii. 36). Stern though he could be, when Paul's mode of address to these people who had righteousness required it, the character of David is so wronged him? "I beseech you," he twice repeats, marked all along by a generous spirit, and generosity “by the gentleness of Christ." " I beseech you,"
. is closely allied to gentleness. * He can afford to that I may not have to assume the position you deny be generous," said one, when speaking of a person me. This surely is his meaning. Happy thought.
, endowed with large temporal possessions. But such If the gentleness of Christ were to pervade our chagenerosity, though much to be cominended, is but racter, were to influence all our conduct, how many the fringe and ornament of a generous mind. hindrances would be removed from our path, how
But it is Gentleness we are now thinking of much vain controversy be avoided. Wisdom is to God's gentleness had made David great, had multi- be sought in all that we do, and purity of wisdomplied his possessions, and given him a great position. truth, that is--direct from God Himself, the fountain And this first use of the word is the key to its use of all that is wise, pure and holy. But gentleness afterwards.
is its leading characteristic, in presenting it, and in We are such complex creatures. Our motives carrying it into action (James iii. 17).
) are like a mosaic of many colours—some dark, some It is urged as one of the marks of the true light; and it requires the Eye of God Himself to servant of the Great Master that strife is to be discern and separate the good from the evil. God's renounced and gentleness take its place, and that, forbearance in conduct, gentleness of manner in too, towards all men ; remembering our own former dealing with His servant, were needed to place condition, a condition painted in colours well calDavid in such a position as that His gists could be culated to keep us humble indeed (Titus iii. 2, 3). dispensed with a liberal hand. And he did so It need hardly be added that gentleness forms a dispense them. His faults were many, his sin part of that rich cluster of fruit which should hany great, and his punishment awful, but few ever upon every branch of the Vine (Gal. v. 22). made a greater use of opportunities, or showed 3. But, finally, let us see how Paul speaks to the a nobler spirit, than David. “God was the tower Church of Thessalonica on “gentleness." of salvation for His king” (2 Sam. xxii. 51), and trast to his lofty appeal to the Corinthians, he says in that Place of Refuge his character was purified to these obedient Thessalonians, “ We were gentle and finally formed. Twice besides is the word among you, as a nurse cherisheth her children” used in the Old Testament. Once, when David (1 Thess. ii. 7). We are accustomed to consider craved a gentle treatment for his wicked and re- Paul as one of the greatest minds that was ever drawn bellious son, but in vain—and once when in the to the side of Christ, one of the ablest defenders of glowing rapture which breaks from the lips of th the truth, one of the sternest rebukers of sin—and so Prophet as he catches the first glimpse of the glory he was. But in him, as in his Great Master, there were of the early days of the Messiah. “He shall feed seen also those graces which exercise such winning His flock like a shepherd, and
shepherd, and . . . gently lead power. In Christ, indeed, they were the natural those that are with young (Isa. xl. 11). His characteristics of a perfect life. He united the tender consideration for all persons and all circum- strength and power of Manhood with the softness stances was to stand out in marked contrast to the and gentleness of Womanhood. To Paul, as to all hard and cruel indifference which sin had engen- Christ's true followers, they were gifts from His Life. dered. “Gently lead," this is His way if we will The leading thought suggested by gentleness is, let Him. Only once and again did He ever when then, here presented—Cherisheth. The characters on earth use strong language ; even when dealing of those with whom we come in contact is thus with hypocrisy and deceit, His manner towards all developed-Cherisheth. We end as we began,
was kind, considerate, refined, meek, and gentle. “Thy gentleness hath made me great,” says the
2. We find Paul, when dealing with the way- great King of Israel, the “Man after God's own wardness of the turbulent Corinthians, urging them heart." • We were gentle, as a nurse cherisheth," by the “gentleness" of Christ to lay aside all oppo- says the great Apostle. The warrior and the preacher sition to authority, and to render all due respect to of Christ meet and are found to have the same elethose who, like himself, had been the instrument of ments of character. How wonderful is that Lifeleading them to Christ. “I beseech you,” he says, Life of Christ—which can thus take all the diver“by the meekness and gentleness of Christ” (2 Cor. gent qualities of man, and, touching them with His x. 1). He had abundant cause for complaint. They Hand, mould them to His likeness and bring them questioned his authority as an Apostle of Christ, to perfection at the last. and even admitted some false teachers who had
HENRY F. BOWKER.
OF FAIT H.
“We are wont to imagine that Nature is full destroy the plant), so it is the spiritual life of Life. In reality it is full of Death. One alone which gives the soul power to utilize cannot say it is natural for a plant to live. temptation and trial; and without it they Examine its nature fully, and you have to destroy the soul."* admit that its natural tendency is to die. It is The above is a quotation from an able and kept from dying by a mere temporary endow- deeply interesting work, by one who is not only ment, which gives it an ephemeral dominion enlightened in the things of the kingdom of over the elements-gives it power to utilize for God, but is also evidently thoroughly abreast of a brief span the rain, the sunshine, and the air. the times in all matters of scientific discovery Withdraw this temporary endowment for a and research. moment and its true nature is revealed. Instead The truth enunciated in the foregoing exof overcoming Nature it is overcome. The very tract is one of vast importance. To understand things which appeared to minister to its growth the great principle here set forth, is to grasp and beauty, now turn against it and make it the key to that question which is just now so decay and die. The sun which warmed it, exercising the minds of God's children everywithers it; the air and rain which nourished it, where. Here we have the solution of the great rot it. It is the very forces which we associate mystery, how can the believer be cleansed from with life which, when their true nature appears, all unrightousness and yet have sin as a prinare discovered to be really the ministers of ciple still within him? death.
It is asked, How can sin and holiness dwell "This law, which is true for the whole plant together in the same heart—how can evil remain world, is also valid for the animal and for man. within when the Holy One enters and takes Air is not life, but corruption—so literally full possession? Can a man be sick and well corruption that the only way to keep out cor- at one and the same time? Is he not freed ruption, when life has ebbed, is to keep out air. from disease when he is in perfect health ? Life is merely a temporary suspension of these And may it not be said of the soul on whom destructive powers ; and this is truly one of the Christ has laid His healing hand that, being most accurate definitions of life we have yet made“ whole,” sin as a disease is entirely rereceived the sum total of the functions which moved? The inference therefore is that all sin resist death.'
—not only as transgression, but as a principle“Spiritual life, in like manner, is the sum total is eradicated when the blessing of " full salvaof the functions which resist sin. The soul's tion” is realised. The law of sin then, it is said, , atmosphere is the daily trial, circumstance, and no longer exists, and the very tendency to evil temptation of the world. And as it is life alone is destroyed. which gives the plant power to utilize the
*“ Natural Law in the Spiritual World,” by Henry Drumelements, and as, without it, they utilize it (i.e. mond, F.R.S., F.G.S.
To entertain such notions, is, to say the least, | abandoned all that is good and pure in life, and to have a very superficial knowledge of the true sown to the flesh with all his might and main. condition of things. In a similar way one who But this principle goes further. It says simis ignorant of the laws of natural life might ply, “If we neglect. Any one may see the conclude that a plant whilst manifesting the reason why a notoriously wicked person should activity of vigorous growth is absolutely free not escape; but why should not all the rest of from the influence of those powers which tend us escape ? What is to hinder people who are to reduce it to a condition of death and decay. not notoriously wicked escaping-people who In other words, that so long as the plant is in never sowed anything in particular ? Why is it the vigour of life all tendency to die is des- such a sin to sow nothing in particular? There troyed, or non-existent-that the only power must be some hidden and vital relation between then in operation in fact is the power of life. these three words, Salvation, Neglect, and Escape This would be the popular view of the matter. -some reasonable, essential, and indissoluble But it would not be an accurate conclusion. connection. Why are these words so linked
Now, when a similar mistake is made in the together as to weight this clause with all the matter of our spiritual condition, the conse- authority and solemnity of a sentence of death? quences, as we can well perceive, are most “Theexplanation has partly been given already. serious.
It lies still further, however, in the meaning of Never in this life are we absolutely free from the word salvation. And this, of course, is not the presence of sin—the tendency to sin and at all salvation in the ordinary sense of forgivedeath is ever with us. As with the plant so ness of sin. This is one great meaning of salwith the holiest saint, the vital principle has vation—the first and the greatest. But this is only to be withdrawn for a moment, and the spoken to people who are supposed to have had natural tendency is at once apparent. Apart this. It is the broader word, therefore, and from Christ as our In-dwelling Life even the includes, not only forgiveness of sin, but salvamost advanced believer would at once relapsetion or deliverance from the downward bias of into his former condition, because the tendency the soul. It takes in that whole process of to evil would no longer be counteracted. rescue from the power of sin and selfishness
This teaches us that in ourselves we have that should be going on from day to day in nothing to glory in—that our holiness does not every human life. We have seen that there is consist in a state of purity which we can possess a natural principle in man lowering him, apart from Christ. Nor that our blessedness deadening him, pulling him down by inches to arises from any supposed freedom from the the mere animal plane, blinding reason, searing natural tendency to sin, but rather from the conscience, paralysing will. This is the active glorious fact that Christ is stronger than Satan destroying principle, or sin. Now, to counteract and sin, and that when He takes full possession this, God has discovered to us another principle of the soul He so completely overcomes all the which will stop this drifting process in the soul, evil and meets the force of its power that the steer it round, and make it drift the other way. believer is no longer hindered in his progress, " This is the active saving principle, or salvaor robbed of his peace.
tion. If a man find the first of these powers The same writer just quoted, commenting on furiously at work within him, dragging his the words, “How shall we escape if we neglect whole life downward to destruction, there is 80 great salvation,” observes:—“Now why should only one way to escape his fate—to take resosuch fatal consequences follow a simple process lute hold of the upward power, and be borne like neglect ? the popular impression is that a by it to the opposite goal. And as this second man, to be what is called lost, must be an open power is the only one in the universe which has and notorious sinner. He must be one who has the slightest real effect upon the first, how shall
a man escape if he neglect it? To neglect it is That fair home's high simplicity—the step, to cut off the only possible chance of escape. The light elastic step heard now no more... Salvation is a definite process. If a man The firm will sheathed in gentlest courtesyrefuse to submit himself to that process, clearly That high pale brow, that spiritual light he cannot have the benefits of it.
As many as
That dwelt there like the perfume in the flower received Him to them gave He power to become Unbound, yet by no wind of circumstance the sons of God.'”
Dislodged,—and all the halo of that life, Here is the secret of a life of continual That passing in and out cast everywhere
Its own white shadow unsuspectingly deliverance from the power of evil. It is to
To linger in the darkness, and to light receive Him into the soul. The soul, in its
In other hearts the likeness of his own, highest sense, is a vast capacity for God. It is To God's high praise ! For well did he engrave like a curious chamber added on to being, and His own fair epitaph abidingly somehow involving being — a chamber with In other lives, which thus became his lips, , elastic and contractile walls, which can be When his, alas, lie silent in the dust, expanded, with God as its guest, illimitably, To tell his Master's message unto men, but which, without God, shrinks and shrivels And wake the Christ within us. until every vestige of the Divine is gone, and
Strange indeed God's image is left without God's Spirit That last long week we spent in Conference
What the life is to the plant Christ is to the Between his death-bed and his open gruve,soul. There is a fulness of power in Him to That long week of strange twilight betwixt Time counteract the whole tendency of evil. He And God's Eternity, when all seemed hushed, dwells within, not as a temporary endowment, As some unearthly Presence unperceived but as an eternal principle. To be brought Had come and stood among us, and the door into union with Him is to have the “power of
Of the Unseen stood open at our side
And none dared shut it ! an endless life.”
Strange to us, indeed, That he should lie by his loved Conference All that long week of silence and speak not,
And yet no voice was sounding in all ears BY THE GRAVE OF CANON BATTERSBY. Like his—the absent leader, teacher, friend, Yet there's no change in Nature ! As of yore Father, and counsellor, presiding still The mighty hills couch grandly in the glow With that persuasive calm, and silvery smile Of evening's splendour; yea, Heaven's sunset gates Of saintliest eilence, like some lone high tarn Westward, slow kindling into pomp, henceforth Trod by the riven cloud's tall slanting rays Break open daily at thy feet, O Friend,
In mystic stillness-till The Tent's frail walls, Loved Friend, here laid in thy last resting place, As by some sudden tide of glory pierced, Beside the trembling lake thou lov'dst so well, Before Faith's vision faded noiselessly, With all its bays and purple promontories,
And mortal with immortal in one band, And wooded isles that float in liquid light,
Like one unbroken family of light, Asleep on their own melting images
In awful fellowship seemed blended now In conscious peace!
Before the immediate presence of The ThroneBut we, alas, we mourn
There where the unveiled vision of High God That sacred Form withdrawn into the Light- Made Earth's dim outer court commingled now Our loved one vanished from his own fair lake
Even with The Holiest, one for evermore !
Thus he in meekness proved himself to be,
Throughout long years of lowly ministryAs more than aught about him else betrayed (Bear witness, ye ungrudging Brotherhood His bosom's living Inmate—Ah, we mourn
Of kindred souls linked round his open grave !)
One of God's mountain messengers of light,
The Keswick Convention was held this — its The fearful flock, and tempt to breezy heights ninth year-under circumstances of great solemnity. And thymy pastures sweetened by the sun ! The familiar form of him who had so regularly pre
sided at its meetings was absent. A serious illness, Thus nobly did’st thou set thyself, high Soul, From Doubt's cold chilling tenure and decay,
thought at first to be but a passing indisposition, Truth's waste crown-lands to reclaim for the King,— of the day on which the Convention assembled. His
assumed a mortal form, and he died on the morning Thyself unworthy to thyself, but all The consecration of the kingdom thine,
ministry-of thirty-four years, as Vicar of St. John's
Church-was thus closed under remarkable circumThou meek apostle of God's highest Truth,
stances. Of him it may be truly said that no one Unrecognised defender of the Faith, Who scorning ease, preferment, and high place,
was more fitted, by the simplicity and purity of his All reputation to thy God resigned,
life, to take a prominent part in seeking to reWearied with wrangling schools that, still unfed,
awaken the Church of God to live the life of Him
who is its Head. Ready at any time during these Unwearied wrangle o'er the bread of Life,Thyself alone struck up the steep ascent
many years of faithful service, his summons-at
such a moment, when Christians, craving for more And white peaks of far Holiness untrod, And followed where Christ led, Heaven's light thy knowledge and power to live the Christ-life, were
assembling from all parts of the kingdom-overlaw !
CHARLES A. Fox. shadowed the Convention with the consciousness of
a Great Presence. All hearts seemed to be hushed
with the expectation of an unusual blessing from the " CONSIDER THE LILIES HOW THEY GROW !”. Lord ; and it came in overflowing measure. Five Full surrender to the infallible supervision of an days later the whole of the Convention assembled, all - wise Providence is the one thought taught with the parishioners of St. John's, to unite in here! And is not this just the position for the committing the remains of their beloved friend to child of faith! He, our Father, through Jesus, works all things after the counsel of His own will," the grave. Under an almost unclouded sky, the and He would have us submit and surrender our vast assembly silently took their places, filling the wills and ways, our purposes and preferences, all up church and almost the whole of the churchyard, too. to His sanction and all-wise disposal. And can we Several hymns were sung, and a spirit-stirring
. do better? So far as He is concerned, He never address was delivered at the grave by Mr. Webbmakes a mistake! Infallibity rules all along the line of His action, both in providence and grace. Peploe. Such a burial has scarcely been witnessed All the laws of nature, however in our contracted for many a year. views they seem sometimes to clash, yet we are The text selected by Mr. Fox for one of the sure that they are all working with as much harmony sermons preached on the following Sunday expressed as the wheels in Ezekiel's vision, though, to the very truly the character of the departed servant : timid prophet, they seemed terrible in their position, and fearfully complex in their wonderful intervolu “He was a good man, and full of the Holy Ghost, tions. And in the growth of the lilies, storm and and of faith” (Acts. xi. 24). sunshine, thunder and rain, snow and hail, are all The teaching at the Convention was deeper, fulfilling His word, and the lilies live and grow more seaching in its character, and more instrucand blossom through it all. Thus our God and
The tide of blessing
tive, than ever before. Father would have us live.
“ Careful for nothing!' Just trusting Him for all things, the is rising all over the land. The Spirit of God least and the largest, and like the little feeble is doing great things in the conversion of souls, plants of earth, just receiving all that comes in the and in leading the Church onward to a truer order of His grace and providence, as the lily bends walk of purity and fellowship with the Lord. under the storm, and lifts its slender leaf to the dew and the sunlight;
No half“ for we KNOW that all
Progress was very manifest this year. things work together for good to them that love heartedness, no spirit of questioning, or doubt was God, and are the called according to His purpose
" shown. The great assembly filling the Tent from (Rom. viii. 28).-Rev. W. Firth.
the carly prayer meeting, at seven in the morning,