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tion, the most familiar and universal organ of our public praise. It is this, but it is more than this; their inspired sympathy with every phase of the Redeemer's life-long Passion, with every sentiment of the Heart which gathered up and recapitulated in Itself the collective heart of humanity, has made the songs of Israel the rightful heirloom and common ritual of Christendom. For the history of the Passion is, in one sense, the history of the Church, and in the streets of that “great city, which is spiritually called Sodom and Egypt,” our Lord is not once, but perpetually crucified.
2. Once more. Jesus not only drew us to Himself by what in our fallen nature was the most intimate and holiest bond of sympathy ; He also transmuted suffering from a chastisement into a means of grace. It became a kind of supplementary sacrament, consecrated in the prayer of Gethsemane, “Thy will be done.” He died not, as some have imagined, to supersede our imperfect satisfactions, but to ennoble them and give them worth. Thenceforth they have a true though derivative value, because they are shadows of His Cross, and sprinkled with His atoning blood. They have merit, not in spite of His meritorious Passion, but because of it. Just as His obedience was not to be the substitute, but the pattern and rule of ours,
See a striking passage on the wide appreciation and use of the Psalter in Stanley's Jewish Church, vol. ii. pp. 146–162. The author's view is not iden tical with that taken in the text, for it lays less stress on the Messianic, and especially the Passion element of the Psalter, but is consistent with it.
so too in suffering He left us an example of penance. He did not abolish for His disciples the common doom of sorrow, but sanctified it. He bade them take up their daily cross, but He showed how that cross might be turned from a curse to a beatitude. The cloud of doubt or perplexity has melted away, and His people are free to serve Him, in the spirit not of slaves but
We know that our poor satisfactions are accepted, because they are joined with His. We therefore pray Him to help His servants, because He has redeemed them with His precious Blood. The great law of retributive justice, that sin must suffer, Spáoavtı Tabelv, which suggested the grandest and most religious drama of the ancient world, lay as a heavy burden at the poet's heart. The Sacrifice of Calvary assures us that the law of justice is also a law of love. Suffering is as the rough ore embedded in the earth, out of which may be fashioned crowns of glory or chains of bondage. It is ours to make friends of the wages of iniquity, by offering our righteous chastisements in atonement for our sin. The Passion has impressed on every act of Christian service a new power of reparation. Since Jesus lived as a 'Man of sorrows,' the trials of life have attained a meaning and a dignity; since Jesus died, the solitude of death, of which a Christian philosopher has spoken,' is less terrible than before, the stone is rolled away from the door of the sepulchre, and a light is shed from the Cross on the
1 "Je mourrai seul.” Pascal. Pensées.
cleansing fires of the world beyond the
When “the two voices' are striving in man's soul for the mastery, there are others than Faust whose hand has been arrested by the music of the Easter bells.
3. In the method of the Atonement, and in its abiding presence in the Church, we are taught the spirit of self-sacrifice, which lies at the root of all human excellence and is the true measure of our perfection. When we come to present that great Sacrifice on the altar, we are bidden to say; “We give Thee thanks because of Thy great glory.” He who has learnt the meaning of those words, has caught the spirit of the Eucharist and of the Cross. Nor only so. tral act of Christian worship is at once a Scrifice and a Communion. It teaches us both parts of the precept of charity, self-devotion to God and self-devotion for the good of man. All genuine nobility of character springs from self-oblivion, and self-oblivion is the spirit of sacrifice. The toil of the mission, the zeal of the apostle, the varied ministries of bodily or spiritual consolation, the meekness of endurance, the heroism of action, the patience of confessorship, the courage of martyrdom-all these are fruits and tokens of the Cross. It is the source of their energy, and the rule of their fulfilment. Tender children, like the boy-martyrs of Japan, have rapturously kissed the cross, whereon
I “The Mass is the compendium of the Gospel. It is a heresy in doctrine to acknowledge the Sacrament and to deny the Sacrifice. Worldliness is guilty of a similar practical beresy with regard to holiness. It admits the claims of all its obligations but one, and that is the obligation of sacrifice." -- Faber, Precious Blood, p. 303.
they counted it a joy and an honour to die, as Jesus died. On others His death has seemed to be almost visibly imprinted, who, from intense and continuous meditation on the Passion, have exhibited the marks, and felt something of the bodily pains of the Crucified." But to all His followers, in their measure and degree, must a share be imparted in that communion of sacrifice. It is a contradiction, to be “delicate members of a body whose Head is crowned with thorns.” Obedience, poverty, and virginity, which are among the characteristic tokens of the Incarnation, are not, as has sometimes been suggested, the specialities of a particular age or condition of society, though the manner of their exercise may vary. Christianity knows nothing of dead virtues,' for in the power and example of the Crucified all graces live. And, even as He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom, so we too are likest Him, when we lay down our lives for the brethren. Nor is that sacrifice less acceptably offered in an age, like the present, of high civilisation and refinement, when direct persecution is hardly to be thought of, though it may not win the praise of men or attract their notice. The inglorious martyrdom of labour, or weari
There can be no doubt about the fact of what is called stigmatization' as in the case of the Tyrolese · Addolorata,' and others, though it may often have been simulated. It is perhaps to be explained as the physiological result of a peculiar concentration of mind on the Passion, rather than as strictly miraculous. But it is not always easy to draw the line. The Precious Blood, and the Five Wounds are among the most popular 'special devotions' in the Church. See also 2 Cor. iv. 10; Gal. vi. 17.
ness, or contradiction--"the pang without the palm ”comes nearest His, who on earth was hidden and despised ; there are many Saints uncertified by public recognition here, whose names are written in heaven. The lesson of love is taught at Bethlehem, on Calvary love is crucified; but the Incarnate Victim is present still, an abiding Sacrifice, in the Eucharist. To understand what that mystery teaches is to understand the scope of our Christian vocation, our highest law of life. For His was a life-long Sacrifice. That is no fanciful picture, with which Overbeck has familiarised us, of the Boy-Christ on the Cross, with the thrilling prophecy written beneath it, Dolor Meus in conspectu
And the sacrifice was not only life-long but complete. “He emptied Himself.” He willed to suffer to the uttermost, to drain to the last dregs the chalice both of mental and physical agony. He used His omnipotence, not to curtail His sufferings or to restrain the fierceness of His enemies, but to prolong bodily life till they had wreaked their worst upon Him. He would teach us,
dare to say so, to measure the infinitude of His Divine attributes by the prodigality of His self-abandonment, the generosity-nay, the • foolishness'—of His Cross. Even the bodily pains of the Passion included, it is thought, every form of suffering to which our mortal frames are subject, except two. The Psalmist had prophesied that a bone of Him should not be broken, and it was not fitting that His sacred Flesh should feel the touch of fire,
if I may