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a new purity on the heart; and that a Not that.“ the believer" is a unibeliever is necessarily a very flower versal hero, the paladin of modern of courtesy, and exemplification of days, but that the one sole characeverything desirable in man. Practi- teristic, which never fails, is, that cal experience speaks otherwise. We the Christian will not give in to sin are all aware, in actual life, how - will not yield to be at peace with powerful is the grosser part of the his spiritual enemies, but at all purest nature. We all know, for we times, falling or standing, keeps up cannot help being more or less ac- a contest, and fights if but for the quainted with ourselves, what Paul miserable morsel of ground which knew before us, that while to will is he can only set his foot on. And he present with us, yet how to do we is often not at all a poetical subject; know not; and that our Christianity and we do not recognise any veriin reality is more the perpetual similitude in the ethereal hero of the struggle of a spirit resolved not to pulpit. In short, we want no seconsuccumb, than of an ethereal victor, dary Ideal, constructed by the hands who daily raises himself higher and of men who have no genius for the higher above all the motives and in- manufacture. Here is already one ducements of the world. It is just which it is not possible to prove as vain to endeavour to persuade us erroneous by any test-the example that the gift of faith brings all other set forth, and the ideal manifested gifts with it, and makes the simple by God, who knows best the capabimind philosophic, and the clown a lities and the longings of the nature gentleman. The Bible makes no pro- which He has made. And if any one mise of any such result. The Bible, supposes it is easier to follow the indeed, never for an instant elevates pulpit portraiture of “ a believer" intellectual pre-eminence into spe- than to trace the matchless footsteps cial importance, or represents it as of Jesus, it is but a kindred deluany way involved in the gifts of the sion to that which supposed it more gospel. And the most of us, we do practicable to wake the tender symnot doubt, speaking from our own pathy and interest of St Peter, and experience, can number among our St Paul, and the Virgin Mother, than acquaintance people who are gifted to reach in that same heaven the ear with no remarkable suavity of man- of Christ. ners, nor expansion of mind, whom And it is to this Ideal, so clearly nevertheless we are constrained to and fully set forth by Mr Caird, that recognise as believers, by evidence we want our eyes directed. We are more infallible than these outside beyond all need for imaginary excelqualities. We have known irascible lence. It is vain to shadow out an Christians in our day, and Christians outline of choice perfections, and who were as far from being wise as hold it up to us as a model believer. it is possible to fancy; and if life has The gospel makes us children of a taught us moderation in anything, it great universal family, and sets a is in our judgment of religious cha- tangible Example before us; and it is racter. With how many imperfec- this Example, and not any secondary tions the grain of mustard-seed, the reflection of it, which we require for morsel of leaven, the germ of a God- the daily necessities of our mind and fearing and Christ-loving life may of our heart. coexist, is a matter too grave to be We shall not attempt to go over dwelt upon here. Perhaps the seven all Mr Caird's sermons in detail, thousand whom God knew of, when though there is much in them which Elijah knew of but himself faithful we should be glad to quote, but will amid the idolatries of Israel, were pass over his exposition of Self-Ignoknown to that omniscient Eye alone, rance, of Spiritual Influence, and of and were not even visible to them- the Invisible and Manifested God, to selves. Perhaps the secret of their come to the discourse upon the “Soliunnoted resistance to the national sin tariness of Christ's Sufferings," which was in the divine hands only. But occupies about the middle of the voso far as our perception goes, this is lume. This also is an aspect of the the sole infallible test of Christianity. subject which, if not original, is fresh and striking. The preacher does not come, and thus wrapt our Lord in a endeavour by mere words to deepen solitary knowledge, incommunicable the gloom of that darkened noonday, in so far that His
very disciples were or to celebrate with clamours of incredulous, and would not underspeech the bursting graves and rent stand when once or twice the truth rocks-a process by which so often burst from His human lips;--solitary, as much of its attendant dignity as because He saw with the eyes of His human touch can affect is dispelled Godhead, clear, cold, and certain as from the greatest event in history. His own decrees, the events which It does not dwell upon the nails, and awaited Him-events too unbelievthe spear, and the thorny crown, as able to be received even by His conif these were the instruments of our stant companions as within possisalvation ; but leads us aside to con- bility ;-solitary, because His boly template the Divine Mind and Will nature walked and lived amid a race of Him from whom no man took His polluted, whose sins and imperfeclife, but who laid it down of Himself; tions were unconcealable from Him. and, looking at the subject from this Our author proceeds to show the point of view, pauses to see the lone- last ineffable ingredient in a lonelifiness, amidst all these extraordinary ness which it is not for us fully to pangs, of the Divine Sufferer. Let realise. Our Lord did not refuse to us never forget the terrible facts of receive the wondering and uncomthat sacrifice; and Heaven forbid prehending sympathy of His disciples; we should be too dainty to remember but here is a last grief
, into which no that by the shedding of blood, the won- human sympathy, however elevated, derful, unapprehended consumma- could reach, the sorrow of a Creation of all the sacrificial rites of ages, tor amid His ruined works,” which our redemption, was accomplished. Mr Caird proceeds to enforce upon But still there are amplifications far his hearers as the last and greatest beyond the reserved and simple nar- particular of the Redeemer's sorrowrative of Scripture, in which our ful solitude. fashion of preaching delights and abounds. For our own part, though
“The feelings of Jesus, I have said, we believe it conveys a comfortable in beholding, and living amidst, the moral idea to some devout minds more not those merely of an exquisitely pure
ruin and degradation of mankind, were pious than refined, we should prefer and sensitive buman spirit : they flowed another formula in which to express from a far deeper and more awful source. our thanksgiving for salvation, than It was not merely the gentle-hearted and "there is a fountain filled with blood;" pitying Man of Nazareth that trod our an image, by the way, totally uncoun- fallen world; it was nothing less than tenanced by Scripture. But everybody the world's great Creator that, concealed knows how often the coarsest enlarge- in that humble guise, surveyed and ment and details of our Lord's per- moved for thirty years amidst the ruins sonal sufferings fill up the pulpit re
of His fairest, noblest work, lying widepresentation of His sacrifice, to the spread around Him! For though this
, exclusion of matter still more wonder- indeed, is a thought into which our inful—the will that chose to suffer them, adequately enter, are we not borne out
perfect minds can but faintly and inand the Spirit which bore a heavier by Scripture authority in the affirmation, load even than the flesh. It is in that grief for the moral ruin of humanity some points with a touching delicacy is an emotion to which the Divine mind that Mr Caird directs our attention is not a stranger ? You all remember to his view of the sublime and ex- that remarkable passage in the Book of traordinary solitude in which our Genesis, in wbich the mind of God is Saviour stood during that time of represented as filled with sorrow and darkness, and through the entire indignation at the sad issue of His great course of His life in the world. We creating work-'When God saw that the cannot attempt to extract in full the earth, and that the imagination of the
wickedness of man was great upon the preacher's conception of that presci- thoughts of his heart was only evil ence divine, which kept before Him, continually, it repented God that He from His earliest years, the unfailing had made man upon the earth, and it consciousness of all His pangs to grieved Him at His heart.'
• When Jesus was come near the city,' it assert that there may not be some is written, 'He wept over it.'
clerical head shaken over this last On the authority of the word of God, paragraph. Perhaps it is somewhat then, as well as from the reason of against the traditions of the pulpit the thing, we hazard the assertion, that to make so bold a speculation. Yet one awful ingredient in the sufferings of that mysterious mourner must have been his reward in the interest and ani
we have no doubt that Mr Caird has grief for the desolation of His grandest work--the anguish of spirit with which mation of mind, not to say the for thirty years He bebeld everywhere deepened awe and reverence, which confronting Him the proofs that the soul such a suggestion naturally gives of man was a ruin. : ... When Jesus rise to. Those whose purpose in walked our world, His eye, we may well their works is somehow overthrown, believe, was not arrested by the bustle throw away the work itself, most and importance of its outward scenes frequently in pettish disgust at the and interests. From all mere external change. God does no such thing. things His observation was ever diverted It is His divine act to bring someto what from all other eyes was bidden, thing better, higher, and more enthe awful mystery and moral deformity of the secret world of souls. Could a
tirely beyond created conception, human being for a single week be in- out of the apparent failure of this vested with a mysterious power of seeing race; yet the Lord who saves us, into the hearts of those around him, and grieves over us with a pathetic touch detecting all the feelings and motives of human mortified love in His divine that are working beneath the breasts of sorrow. It is a most moving sughis fellow-men, doubtless, even to man's gestion ; and just so much as we feel imperfect moral sensibility, the disclos- convinced that there is no influence ures thus made would be too horrible in the world so potent over men as for endurance, and the fatal power of in- that marvellous conjunction of divispection would be gladly resigned. But nity and humanity, fully set before that which would be intolerable even to them, are we disposed to rejoice at a fallen and imperfect being, was a spec. tacle from which the eye of the pure and every independent and thoughtful holy Jesus could never for a moment mind which sets itself
to realise and escape. All liearts were unveiled to investigate the fulness of Christ. Him. He surveyed not merely the For this reason we hail with joy forms and countenances of huinan be- such distinct realisation of the ings : a thousand indications tell us that Saviour's Person and Identity as we He kvew what was in man'--that He find in the Sermons we have quoted. read their souls. And everywhere as He They are full of a vivid and apprelooked, He saw that soul that had sprung hensive faith in themselves, and they a pure, holy, happy thing from His hands are of a kind to stimulate other now filled with selfishness and pride and minds to desire the same noble acenvy and impurity and all ungodliness --that soul that had been destined for quaintance, which is, so far as our the companionship of God and angels, judgment goes, the highest office of now ripening for the blackness of darkness preaching. Doctrine and System, for ever! And can we doubt that His the Creed of Churches, and the was an anguish at the sight into which Science of Theological Schools, are all no finite mind can enter ? He could excellent and necessary. But that feel for external sufferings-He looked is the true gospel preaching which up to heaven and sighed for the deaf-- keeps a perpetual remembrance of He wept and groaned in spirit for the
our Lord before the common audidead. But what were external suffering and death to this? To Him the worlå ence, where are always hundreds of was strewn with a more awful than solitary hearts vaguely longing for material desolation-with the wreck of the universal Friend. We have no spiritual grandeur, the memorials of lost desire to put upon the preacher the and ruinea souls- Oh, my Father!' we whole responsibility of his hearers' almost hear Him exclaim, is this the edification ; on the contrary, we world over which the morning stars sang believe that, in general cases, one together, and all the sons of God shouted man, however warmly an evangelist, for joy!'”
can do but little for another; but
that little may be of vast importance We will not take upon us to to a great many speechless and uncommunicating individuals. Whe- vidual impersonation, into what we ther our Sabbath-day service quick- know. en in us such knowledge as we Agreeing with Mr Caird, however, have of our Lord and His require- so much and so warmly as we do, we ments; whether it rouse our thoughts must also be permitted to differ with to personal inquiry after Him, and a him in one of the questions he treats. real apprehension of all the immedi- The sermon in which, to our thinking, ate share He takes in our life, and he fails to reach the heart of his subhow much He has to do with us, or ject, or, at all events, to speak more whether we find ourselves com- modestly, disagrees with us, is that pelled to assist at somebody's glori- which he has entitled “Participation fication, who is clever, and means to in the Sufferings of Christ.” It is a be a popular preacher, but who has subject, mysterious and sacred, which absolutely nothing to do with us,- many a sad heart has wondered lies very much in the power of over, and many a wistful soul_has preachers themselves to determine. longed, yet feared to claim. How It is true that another alternative we who deserved more evil than still remains, as it by no means God's mercy ever inflicts upon us, follows that a man must be clever should venture to suppose ourselves and popular because he wants the participators in those pure sufferhighest faculty of preaching. There ings which were wholly and totally is gentle dulness, which means no- undeserved, seems at first sigbt thing in particular, and which, from something too presumptuous for habit or kindness, a great many human boldness, and so it might people put up with ; and there is dul- be, as so also might be all our trust ness not gentle, which blusters its in God, but for the divine authohalf-hour about something which rity which makes us aware of our nobody disputes, and proves hotly privilege. “We are partakers in the an unquestioned commonplace to the sufferings of Christ," says the apostle. admiration of scoffers. Yes, a great How? We believe no one has ever many of us have our trials in the thought seriously upon sacred things, way of preaching : either we can't without giving to this a perplexed help ourselves, or secondary motives and anxious consideration. "Dare we influence us to such a point, that we take to our heart the comfort of havwon't help ourselves, for love or for ing suffered with Him, who suffered shame; but it is not less an afflic- for us? and how can our griefs, tion. If those dear young heroes deeply deserved as they are, be named who practise the ornamental branches as partaking the same nature with of the profession in all churches, His? It is one of those questions who take their nibble of delightful which we can only inquire into with heresy, or set up their dramatic con- humility and awe, and which perfessional-would only think of this haps permits the latitude of answer a little! In their own persons, it is which different minds may give; but not to be expected that they have we cannot think that Mr Caird very much to teach us—no shame to throws anything like a satisfactory them ; but then the world is older light upon it. He handles it timidly, than they are, and most people were with an unusual uncertainty and born before them. But could they hesitation in his manner, as if not all but learn what force and excel- quite convinced even of his own lence lies in this office of Remem- judgment; and does so by an atbrancer,--how it is really quite un- tempt to place Christ's servants in necessary to discover anything, and some such independent position tohow the grand duty of their office, in wards sin as Christ Himself occupied. a Christian country, is to stir up, to He tells us that “ sin, though alien stimulate, to keep alive what we from the experience of a being such as have already heard of, and help us, Christ, may yet be to him the occasion not to that cold knowledge which or the cause of bitter pain and sorrow. is unfruitful and unsatisfactory, but There are indeed pangs of inward to put life and reality, a warm indi- anguish on account of sin, which in all their intensity only such a Being but they take his sin to their hearts can know. And it is only in pro- —it is their trial, their burden, their portion as our inner nature is re- “crook in the lot.” The parents in fined into an approximate purity to the calm of their age think of nothing Christ's, that we can, with reference else night and day. The brothers to these, become partakers in Christ's and sisters, in the inexperience of sufferings.".
their youth, feel the very firmament From this beginning the preacher clouded by the delinquent's sin. It derives the idea, that we can par- is a common case enough unfortutake in Christ's sufferings, in the nately, as everybody knows; but is first place, by means of the pain this partaking in the sufferings of “which a pure and holy nature must Christ ?” feel from the mere contiguity of No, and again No! Our Lord had evil ;" again, “from the reflected or the right to grieve over the world borrowed shame and pain which which lay in wickedness; but we, noble natures feel for the sins of where is the beam in our own eye, those with whom they are closely when we stand pathetically forth as connected.” It is true, indeed, that suffering for the sin of our brother? "rivers of waters ran down the eyes” It is a position quite impracticable of King David,“ because men keep and out of the question for sinful not Thy law :” it is true that Elijah men. The sins of the world might desired to die, because he thought prick upon an angel's vision as close himself the only believer in Israel: and overwhelming as visible objects it is true that prophets and saints are said to pass upon the newly-remake an unfailing protest and outcry stored sight of a man who has been against a world which will not per- blind; but to us a more familiar surmit itself to be saved ;--but still we rounding throws partial obscurity fear that it is not very safe for us to over the general wickedness. Our place ourselves so entirely in our own heart, which is ever nearest to Lord's position. Something like a us, can never take the place of a uniwant of experience of actual life versal monitor, or be conscious of seems to us to peep through this vicarious suffering, because it is imtheory. Noble natures are doubtful possible to rest upon any affliction postulants in a Christian argument; which ever befalls us with the conperhaps noble natures are but too apt sciousness that it is undeserved. We to feel shame and pain for the sins must all recognise, if we know ourof those connected with them, and selves, evils in ourselves which are find it rather too easy to repent their but too perfect a balance to the evils neighbour's transgressions; but we of others. We do not see how it is fear it is only youth, or inexperience possible to establish by this means deeply alive to the errors of others, any claim to a participation in and still without a practical acquain- Christ's sufferings; the very idea tance with its own, which can feel seems a dangerous inlet to all that itself secure upon this standing- natural arrogance which is at all ground. There is an unspeakable times fain to set up its own superior difference to start with, between our claims. We could almost imagine Saviour and ourselves, which defeats that Mr Caird had here followed
out many a modern parable, and makes too closely the near relationship and many an allegory break down. There sympathy existing between our Lord are circumstances in which it is easy and believers, and carried it the to understand how persons of simple length of pure thought and speculamind and undisturbed life may find tion, instead of keeping safe among themselves, to their own thinking, in the limits of human possibility and a position of vicarious and praise- truth to nature. Life and time teach worthy suffering. Perhaps one of a harder lessons; and we fear that few family has sinned so deeply as to who are labouring through the midinjure the family living, and soil the way of their existence, could be able family fame. The household are to suppose themselves participants bowed to the ground with grief and in Christ's suffering, by means of the humiliation—they have not sinned, shame and pain inflicted on them by