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By the Rev .

G . A .
J O H N S T O N R O S S ,
M . A
Ca mbridg e



M . L R
. .

L OV E .

HATEVE R is value in this little


b ook I have learn ed chiefly from the

wr itings Westcott Go det F W Robertson
of , , . .

Prin cipal Fairbairn Professor George A d am


Smith and th e Bishop of Birmingham : a n d

from co n versatio n s with the Hon a n d Rev . .

William Miller C I E Prin cip al of the Madras

, . .

Christian College .

G A J R . . . .


















On e m a n o f a p a rticula r ra ce and a ge c a nn ot be
th e s ta n d a rd for a ll m en , th e j udge of a ll m en /
0 a ll
a g es a n d ra c es , th e gh um a n m ora l d ev
oa l o f elop m en t ,

unless h e i s s om ethin g
m ore th a n on e m a n a mon g
ma ny

. v
S uc h a un i ers a l m a n hood c h a llen es inquiry ”
g .

G O RE .

PROPOSE to set out upo n an examin ation

o f the memoirs of Jesus in the interest ,

of a cer tain truth about Him —a n aspect of

His uniqueness which it is important that in
these days we Should clearly see : the truth
that in Him is presented to our View the R ep re
se nta tiv e Man in whom the Idea o f the species

is incarnated in whose person all that belongs


to the perfection of every man is in cluded ,

an d who will co ntin ue to draw me n e v ery

where to Himself because He h a s realized in
Himself the final type of Humanity so that ,

i n Him the separate individualities o f me n

find a supreme unity .


The importa nce of this truth for the faith

of the rising generation can scarcely be ex a gger
ated The pivot of a convincin g apologetic

must be th e impression which J esus makes

upo n us and it is inthe last degree important
that we Should rightly realize what thi s impres
sion is even if it be difficult to gather it all

within the fold of one idea .

Jesus stands in some unique relation to the

human race That relation has never yet

been satisfactorily defined or expressed Per .

h a p S it is in the nature o f things that it can


nev er be adequately or at le as t succi n ctly , ,

expressed Nevertheless e ndeavours must be


made and will co n tinue to be made to follow

, ,

the courses of the various streams at whose

confluen ce stands the impression which Christ
has made on the minds o f men .

But my O bj ect in this series o f studies will

be not so much to pursue an int ellectual in
terest as to try to serve a religious need .

Ch rist to th e h um a n

T his r e la t io n (i e. of ra c e )
has ne v
y e t b ee n
er c le a rly a ppre h e nd e d e ith er by
th e Chr is tia n Ch urc h as a w h ole or by a n y c o n s id e r

D a le T h e A ton em en t p 4 0 2

a b le s e c tio n oi it .
, , . .

S ee D orner S y s tem of D oc trin e

, 32 0 , III , .

A lth ou h no q ues tion is m ore c ert a in in t h e ne ar

IS not this generation wistfully s u bc onscious

o f an increase of its dista nc e f rom the historical

J esus 9
Our mode rn methods of thought a nd the
books we read conspire to set Him somehow
back from us to o ur largely un confessed b e

wilderm ent and dismay People told us some .

years ag o that our Views of the gospel were

inadequate and the direction wa s shouted to

us Back to Christ Well we we n t back ,

and we fo un d that they had prepared the

scenery an d the dres ses and the ma nn ers and
customs of His Pal estinian environment and ,

they told us about the subj ects o f His teaching ,

and gave us a syllabus of His method a nd His

views upon religious questio ns and they said , ,

Thus and thus spake the Teacher of Galil ee

in this and that group of sayings we unfold
” 1
to y ou the min d of th e Master It is all .

very beautiful a n d valuable it is always edu

cative to be made conscious of the spaces o f
future to oc c u py t h e m in ds of g f
t h ou h t ul m e n th a n
t h e q ue s tio n of th e pla c e ofCh ris t in t h e c o sm ic
proc e ss , wh ic h q ue stio n
of th a t of H is rela tio n t o th e
h um a n ra c e is o nl y a a rt p .

1 Cf T
. . G . S e lb y , T he M inistry of the L ord j esus ,

1 06 1 07 .
pp . ,
history and to be reminded of facts and truths

which have bee n unduly subordinated But .


has there not been all the while at our hearts

a chill a lo n elin ess
? 1
I s not the deepest
religious ques tion after all for each man
, , ,

this : whether there be i n Christ a prese n t

Saviour who can cover me now with the robe

of His righteousness ? No historic research ,

no exposition o f the doctrines of an old world '

Teacher removes the burden of the friendless

ness of my S in stained soul in a u n iverse ruled

by a holy God If by your scholarship you


so make to live again the classic scenes i n which

the Nazaren e moved and taught that I am
made painfully conscious of the long ce n turies
that intervening divide Him from me : then
all the more if you would secure the abidi ng

o f my faith in Him you must let me se e how


He can still reach me and stand for me the

, ,

D im tra c ts o f t im e d iv id e
T h o s e old e n d a y s fro m m e ,

T h y V o ic e c o m es s tra n e o er e a rs
y of c h a n e , g
H o w c a n w e f ollow T h e e

Co m e s fa int a nd f a r T h y V oic e
F ro m v a les o f G a lile e ,

T h e V ision fa d es in a n c ie n t S h a d e s ,

H o w sh ould w e follow T h e e

wings o f His a ffluent personality outstretch ed

to cover me .

Can this be done 9 Can it be shown that

He is equipped and He alone to be man s
, ,

Representative still ? Our fathers came to

this truth from the side o f His Divinity an d ,

had much to sa y of His Feder a l Headship o f

the race : the intellectual habits of our time
compel us to approach the truth from the side
o f His humanity and by the study of the por

trait left to us of Him .

I invite my readers to j oin with me in this

study and quest believing that the more care

fully we gaze upo n the portrait oi Jesus given

by the Evangelists the more clearly shall we

se e in Him not one man among many im

, ,

bedded in a n d bearing the impress o f a limited

en vironment but the lonely figure o f the

One Universal Man catholic our norm and

, ,

archetype .
C hris t is not a s in le P erson H e is to th ose wh o

k n ow H im C ollec tiv v
e M a n , wh o is lo ed i n the lo e of v
Him F A I R A I RN
B .

T here ha s b een b ut one S on of M a n —F


. . W .

R B .

V ERY on e wh o h as
attentively read the
four gospels has been impressed by the
we alth of the materi al crowded into their

narrow space After fifty years o f study ,

said the late Bishop of Durham each ,

fresh effort and di fficulty lays Open to me

something that adds to the completeness o f
the apostolic record As this feature o f

f ulness is carefully considered it is seen to be ,

due to the rich comprehensiven ess of the life

and character of the central pe rso n—J esus
Ch rist : that the fulness indeed is His ; that
as one reads one is in the prese nce o f a perso n

o f extraordin ary width of ch a r acter sym ,

pathy in tellect in terest purpose e xhibiting

, , , ,

a total o f the highest excellence of faculty and
dispositio n in perfect Balan ce development
, ,

symmetry in all this a new typ e of ma n .

The thing is S O novel that one has n o name

ready for the marvel In medicin e the per

sonal factor which differentiates each case from

exact conformity to law is called idiosy n

c ra sy
. AS on e reads the gospels one tries to

think o f the idiosyncrasy of J esus and one is ,

startled to re alize that He ha d none If some .

one in our presence were to describe His

character in terms of some specific quality or
virtue we should in stin ctively feel the in

adequacy Of the desc ription .NO we Should ,

sa y the Christ of whom I read in the gos

pels is neither specifically strong nor sp ec ific
ally tender neither merciful to the ex clusion
of j ustice nor severe without compassion

mild and gentle He is yet equally courageous


and noble The features of no one Speci al


type of goodness mo n opolize His character ;

He seems to include a n d to bring to perfection
in Himself every conceivable type O f goodn ess ,

and to belong to all time and to be at home in


e very age and place the local th e tempora ry

, ,

the acc idental fade out of sight as I loo k on


Him and there Shine out the lineaments o f


the Univers al a nd the E te rn al .

Let us allow this thought to gather greater

d efiniteness by lookin g upo n it i n detail .

If we thin k of other personages who are pre

sented for our study we fi nd that i n every

cas e certain circumstan ces perso n al or h is ,

toric a l limit o f n ecessity the impression which


is made by these perso n ages on their fellow

men .

I Take to begin with the circumstan ce of

, ,

sex. E ach Of the two sex es into whi ch human

ity is divided possesses its own characteristic
virtues and ideal s We expect and are im

pressed by strength in men and look with the ,

uplifted eye o f admir atio n on a strong man

like Abraham Li n coln We expect tenderness

i n women a n d rever e n ce the ge n tlen ess of a


woman like the mother of our Lord .

Have we ever thought of the peculiar positio n

occupie d by J esus with respect to the ideals
of the sexes No man has ever dared to call
Jesus i n any Opprobrious sense se x less yet
, ,

i n character He stands above and if one may , ,

use the term midway betwee n th e sexes

, ,

His comprehensiv e humanity a veritable store

house of the ideals we associate with both the
sexes NO woman has ever had any more

d ifli c ulty tha n men have had in finding i n

Him the realized ideal Whatever there

is in men of strength j ustice and wisdom

, , ,

whatever there is in woman o f sensibility ,

purity an d insight is in Christ without the co n


dition s which hi n der among us the develop

” 1
ment of contra sted Vi rtues in one perso n .

And that this is no mere play of fan cy is

shown by th e facts of Christian hi story It .

has happened in the Christian Church that one

side Of Christ s character has been o v er em p h a


Si zed to the neglect of the complementary

facts upon the other s ide the In variable result
has been the undermining o f His unique
supremacy over the human heart and the rise ,

O f pseudo Christianity Thus when in the


Middle ‘Ages and especially from the eleventh


century the womanly aspects O f Christ s


nature were subordinated or obscured and ,

His compassion and mercy forgotten in the

presentation o f His j ustice and awful severity
—the inevitable result followed Men s hearts .

We t
s c ott .

recoiled and sought for the satisfaction o f their

yearnings after tenderness in Deity by clothing
the mother of Jesus with the appealing qualities
which were lacking in the priest mediated -

Christ and by robin g her with a more gr acious


Divine maj esty An d when afterwards the


reaction against this Christ of terror led to the

effeminate languorous pietistic Christ o f a
, ,

later sentimentalism ”
a Ch rist devoid not

only o f grandeur but of common manliness
, ,

strong men ro se and abandoned a religio n

whose Ce n tral Person could not answer and
fulfil the aspirations o f their masculine lives
and indeed in our own time the secession
, ,

from the Church o f many men of the most

robust and virile type of manhood is largely
to be traced to the defective portrait of Christ ,

which much O f our modern evangelicalism has

presented and especially to the exaggeratedly

feminine and saccharin e quality of many of

o ur hymns i n honour o f Ch rist .

In Christ then appear in perfect harmony

, ,

the final type of manhood and the final type,

O f womanhood And a s He stands on the


gospel—page so He stand s on the page of hiS


to ry—the Mediator of s ex He h a s in fused .

in to the strength of manhood the gracious
gentleness of womanhood redeeming men ,

from slavery to an ideal O f masterful tru

c ulen c e ; He has elevated and ennobled the
ideal of the femin ine life by showin g that ten
d erness and loving kindness are not inc on
sistent with dignity and courage and moral
force 1
And over all in the poise of the two

ideals in His own s o perfectly b al an ced char

acter Jesus of Nazar eth stan ds out eminent
, , ,

alone .

2 Again this
. fulness O f the human ity

o f Jesus is illustrated by His relatio n to ra cia l

temp era ment It is notorious that men are


differentiated by the races to wh ich lth ey belong ,

limit ed and defin ed by their race s characte r ’

istic temper It is the merest commonplace


of our thought and of our inte rpretation of

past and current history that we look for and

count upon the characteristic differences b e
tween Celt and Teuton Aryan an d Semite , ,

Oriental and Western Have we reali zed to the


full the significance of the impression which

in this matter has been made upon men by
J esus He came of a people tha n whom there
S ee Ma rtine a u H ours of
, g
T h ou ht, I , 2 94 , 2 95

His heart that hum an ity became conscious

o f itself in Him ; and to day the hope and -

prospect of the abolition of race hatred lie In -

the wider kn owledge of Him who is r elated

most closely to a ll men divestin g Himself

with consummate ease O f all that is local and

national enterin g into every nation and every

heart as comin g unto His own the one ,

true cosmop olitan the ultim ate symbol of the


humanity that is to be .

3 Once more as Jesus is free from the


limitations in char acter and endowment which

are imposed upon other men by the a c cidents
o f sex and of race s o also He is not less start

lingly free f rom bondage to the a ge in which

H e liv ed No other man h as absolutely es

caped from the in fluence of his environment ,

and O f his time Jesus is a root out of a d ry

ground His surroundings unable either to

explain or to con fin e Him It is the r arest .

thing to s ee a man step out intellectually a

little way in front of his time : Jesus min d ’

was n ot S imply in advan ce of His time it was ,

detached from any special age aloof from the ,

trammels of every age You can n ot date


the min d of J esus In the c ulture of the


past Thou Christ art the only mode rn

, , ,

Yet the mo d e rn wo rld can no more claim Him

than the an cien t His co lossal intellect spans
all the c entu r ies . It is not their origin ality ,

it is thei r c or respon dence with what must be

e v e rywhere an d at all times and in all worlds
true that is the outstanding f eature of the

wor ds of Jesus . Heaven a n d ear th ,
calmly sai d— an d one marks the curious credi
b ility of the words shall pass away but ,

My words shall not pass away .We fin d our

selves believing this because in point of fact
, , ,

the words ar e as alive with spiritual appeal

as eve r they were : they are the living c on
tempo r aries of every age Christianity is

d omiciling itself in every quarte r of the globe ,

a n d unfoldin g to each generation the true

in te rpretation of that generation s life because

the mind of its Founde r was trammelled by

no pro vin c ialisms an d His thoughts ar e

ete rn al

These thin gs ar e p atent on the gosp el page


can we c o n ceiv e an age or generation in which

the Beatitudes or the Parable of the Good
Samaritan would n ot be profoundly true and ,

to which they would be unfi tted to ca rry a

spi ritual appeal An d again as He is on the ,

gospel pa ge so is He on the page of history


Mediator of the a ges The ancient and the


modern worlds— the Easte rn and the Western

worlds—fin d their common bond the c o ,

Ordination o f their di ffering kinds of kn owledge

in Him He is the Desire of a ll nations When .

the Parliament of Religions came to the close

of its meetin gs it was in His wo rds an d His

alone that all the delegates were able to j oin

for the Lord s P r ayer is not S imply the most

ancient and ven erable liturgical form in use

in the Christian Church it is the one flawless
exp ression extan t of the religious idea in
universal man It is true in the world of

thought as in the world of life that all thin gs

, ,

are summed up in Ch rist .

4 We seek in vain for limitation i n J esus


we cannot even locat e Him a mong the socia l

ra nk s .The s on of a peasant woman He was ,

of the house an d lineage of David : He con

sorted with the common people and the out
cast but He awed kings and great rulers by the

maj esty of His bearing There was n o r an k .

of S ociety which He did not understand and

dominate none that could appropriate or

control Him He washed the feet of His


peasan t companions but it w a s as their Lord ,

and Master He compelled a haughty Pharisee


to be ashamed in the presence of a fallen

woman an d rej ected with more than r egal

S corn a king s attempt at patronage A Royal


Cou rt wa s stricken with a tremor of fear

when He wa s b om —b om the child of wayfarers
in the stable of a country in n when He died ,

poor women and learned and rich men j oined

in ministering at His bu rial An d onc e more.

as He is on the gospel page s o is He on the


page of histo ry—Mediator of ran k For if .

in our or in an y age there be any hope that the

misunderstandings which exist between class
and class between rank and rank shal l be
, ,

done away that hope must lean back on Him

, ,

who alone has stood through all the ag es the ,

un c la ssifi a b le Ma n yet S peaking to the heart


of every class in a dialect which all could

un derstand oblite rating a ll man made diff er


en c es by the directness of His appeals and the

impartiality of His solicitude .

We need not labour these illustrations

furthe r Test Him by habits and by tempera

ment ; and everywhere He eludes localiz ation .


YOu cannot say He was more contemplative

tha n active : do not the days of busy work
balance the nights of lonely praye r ? You
cannot s a y He was more fond of solitude than
o f company lay emphasis on eithe r side and ,

the r e is somethin g in the gospels to whic h y ou

do inj ustice . He is equally at home it ,

has been beautifully said , with the saints

on the Mount of Tran sfigu r ation and with ,

the S inners bowed at the base There is no

temperament sanguine or phlegmatic that

, ,

will define Him no type o f outlook that will

describe His for He con cei v e d His purposes

on the most gigantic scale yet spent Himself


in the interest of individuals The gr eat ex.

p erienc es o f His life a r e seen n ow to be p r oto

types of generic spiritual expe riences of man
' ”
kind it is the lot said Pascal whose gaze
, ,

so pierced the spi ritual ,

it is the lot of every
Christian to have those things happen to him
which happened to Jesus Christ Christ is .

the Universal Human Norm : His life the


mould in which is fashioned the life o f the

humanity He came to create His death the ,

symbol and spring of the universal experience

by which men eme r ge into spiritual freedom .

Such is the truth of the Universality of

J esus which it will be the purpose of these
chapters further to exhibit One cannot S pe a k

in a matter of this kind of adducing incontro

vertible proofs But much may be done

and this is what will here be attempted

—to bear in upon the mind a convincing
impression of the reali ty and value of this
Universality by a series of studies in the
story of Jesus setting forth what is pl a inly

congruous with the idea of His world — wide

significance This series of studies will be

entered upon in our next chapter meanwhile ,

it may be well to note one or two of the most

obvi ous consequences to our view of Christ
and of His work which must follow upon a n
appreciation of His centr a l position as the
sole instance of t h e Catholic Man .

I .
—T O begin with how comes it that the

gospels fragmentary as they co n fessedly are

, ,

combine to portray a Figure so perfect in sy m


metry ? You do not s a y the la st word o n

Inspiratio n when you have appe a red to demon
st rate th at the gospels come from manifold
s our ces contain many strata of docume n ts
, ,
were written not by the four authors whose

n a mes they bear but pseudonymously and


by many later hands The more complex the


origin of the gospels the greater is the marvel


o f the Resultant Portrait which they present

to our view So long as the flawless beauty


o f that Figure and its lonely eminence in the

perfect balance of all the parts of its uniquely

rich humanity remain to astonish the world ,

so long will a problem as to the origin of these

gospels remain which no critical disintegra
tion of their documentary elements can ever
solve In the end of the day the Unity of

the Central Figure in these stories will poin t to

the unity of the One Mind that in spired them ,

and the Conception of the Universal Divine

man which they ensh rine will bear to candid
eyes the seal of its own Divine origin .

2 —
. Again if J esus be thus lonely in His

univers al ity have we not need of caution


when we speak of the humanity o f J esus ,

as though it meant that He is simply one of

ourselves If all that I hav e tried to suggest
as to His freedom from lim itations be correct ,

then it is p recisely in H is hum a nity tha t He

sta nds a p a rt from us , an d ou r instin c ts di d n ot
character The Christian ideal
. is n eithe r
characteristically noble and grand no r charac ,

teristic a lly ami a ble and beautiful but both

in an equ a l degree perfectly and indistinguish

ably the fusion of the two classes O f qualities


being complete so that the mental eye though

, ,

it be strained to achi ng cannot discern whether ,

tha t on which it gazes be more the obj ect of

reveren ce or O f love ” 1
If then the Christian
, ,

character h a s a premier virtue it is magnani ,

mity ; if it has a pre mier vice it is parochial ,

ism The exclusive narrow provincial selfish

, , ,

S pirit is the n egation O f Christianity He is .

likest to Christ who like Him holds the world

, ,

in his heart c a rries it on his bosom In Inter


c esso ry solicitude : works the brother of a ll ,

good men for its reconciliatio n to God

, .

4 .
— And finally to see clearly the Ca th oli
, ,

city o f J esus , is to feel assured of the future

universality of His S way We begin to catch .

a glimpse of that vision which so fascin a ted

the eyes Of Paul in his later years—of an age
long purpose of God to bring about through

Christ the reconciliation the gathering ,

together of the scattered and disparate

G o l w in S m ith .

elements of creation The nations of the earth


J ew and Gentile alike— have had for ages
each the ir o wn discipline in separation sister

races they have been
, garden s enclosed .

Heroes and le aders o f thought God had raised

u p each the embodiment of His people s ideals


alike the expression and the helper of the

national discipline . But i n the fulness of
the time the New Man appeared whose nation ,

ality was frontierless whose sympathies were


wide as the love of God whose appeal was to


the hum an ity He represented I n Him began .

the reco n ciling movement and the nations as


they knew Him began to draw together We .

are but at the beginning o f this process still

for how little is He truly known But we are
beginning to see the nations bringing their
glory — their distin ctive contribution— to
the fulness of His kingdom We here out in .

the West understand but a fragment of His

colossal mind : the mystical collectivism o f
the E ast must ally itself with the aggressive
individualism of the West ere His wisdom , ,

which SO perfectly holds the balance between

the two or rather envelops both ca n be trans
, ,

lated and made plain It is time to be do n e

with hasty scorn of Easte rn thought as though
we Westerns who use a foreign text book

fo r our religion perfectly understood

, No ; .

we cannot comprehend Him alone nor will ,

He be adequately interpreted until the nimble

an d dexterous energy of the West the pensive ,

patience of the East the strenuous gr avity


o f the North the tender passion o f the South

, ,

combine to Show Him forth and the Universal

Church in its varied thought and life reflect
, ,

the manifold wisdom of God as it is seen in


Christ J esus our Lord .

Eph . iii . 10.



HIS thing was not done in a corner ,

said Paul to Agrippa speaki ng o f the


cardin al facts which constitute the beginning

O f Christi anity But this is precisely the re

proach which has O ften been ca st by imper

f ec tly informed minds upo n th e Christia n
religion viz that its capital events occurred

in a remote a n d obscure part of the world ,

their place a n d o c c a sion being so mean that


they are wholly incongruous with the idea

that Christianity 13 the final religion and its ,

Founder the Divine Saviour o f the world

Were Christ th e fi na l Herald of God to m en


it is urge d , He would have been set on high

where me n could see and hear Him the theatre
o f His mission would have been some great

world centre where the great interests an d


races of mankin d were represented and con

verged and not in a secluded un important
, ,

province fanatical in religio n it is true but

, , ,

otherwise lying out of the stro ng current of

human life and ente rprise It is absurd to .

inflate into a world religion a movement whose -

essentially parochi al natur e is stamped on eve ry

fact of its origin .

An d it is to be feared that even some Chris

tian people i n the interest of a sentimental

cult of the lowliness O f J esus have so rept e ,

sented the remoteness an d O bscurity O f His

origin a s se riously to distort the facts imagin

ing that the grace of Go d is magnified by

attributing His choice of the locus and en v iron
ment of the Advent O f His So n to a love o f
obscurity for O bscu rity s sake ’

Now what are the facts


J esus was a Syrian and to appreciate the

significance of that fact one must know some
thing however elementary Of Sy ria s place
, ,

in history an d in the world Happ ily we ma y .


S o m a ny Sim ple sh e p h erd s k e e in p g flock s
I n m a ny m o on lit fi e ld s ' b ut , o nly t h ey
5 0 lon e , so lon g a go , so fa r a wa y

On t h a t o ne W inter s ni h t a t B e thl e h e m

g , ,

To ha v e w hi t e A n e ls s in in g
la ud s f o r t h e m 1g g

S ir E d w in A rn old T h e L i h t of A si a , g .
world s most famous highways


fo r ce n turies by the carriers betwe en East

and West .

Among these gre a t thoroughfares there a re

three that have especially affected the history
o f me n the great trade route passing through
Damascus which conveyed the products of

India to Venice Genoa Marseilles

, , the old
war road from Assyria to E gypt the frank
incense road to Arabia— highway o f the mer
ch an t and the pilgrim Commerce ; W a r ;

Religion z —these delivered themselves

across these bridges between the two h al ves
of the known world . An d there are no greater
unifi ers of humanity than these The .

exchange of goods helps to circulate one lan

guage an d one common standard of j ustice

the exchange of thought helps men however ,

wide apart their traditions have been to con ,

c eiv e of their lives as one even armies despite


the curse and S in Of war have been in the


mysterious providence of God among the fore

most heralds o f fraternity .

Now these roads carrying upon them the


very machinery for the unification o f humanity ,

laden with the burdens which were the har


bingers and promise o f reconciliation met in ,

Ga lilee the province of Syria i n which J esus


was brought up Nazareth lay within fifteen


miles of the seaport by which the Roman o ffi

c ia ls and soldiers poured into the E ast The .

home of J esus so far from being a cou n try


town of proverbial insig nifi c a n c e was in ,

constant intercourse with centres O f business

a n d news ,
and as regards the early rec eiv

ing of these from Rome had the advantage ,

even of Jerusalem an d Judea T here— a t .

the crossroads of the world— in closest touch

with the busiest life of the world grew up the ,

Saviour of mankin d Verily this thing wa s


not done in a corner but in a land i n cont act

alike with the mystery o f the E ast and the
promise of the West preserved fro m stagna

tion by havin g been for centuries the theatre

o f war and receiving into itself cosmopolitan

influences as no other land could do there in ,

the fulness o f the time the Catholic Man ,

was born .

In the fuln ess of the time . However

Dr S e la h Merrill G a lilee in th e T im e of Chri st
, .
unle arned we may be the broad facts rega r di n g

the state of the known world at the b eginmn g

O f the Ch ristian era must have filtered down
into our minds and we must have heard how

singularly favourable that epoch was for the

advent o f a Universal Man an d a Universal
Religion It is notorious that j ust then the

world had come to have a centre as it had never

had before . Even ap art from Ch ristianity ,

the reign of Augustus over the whole Roman

empire was an epoch making period Never

before had the various races of mankind been

united under one univers al empire whi ch

promised to be permanent As a po litically

independent state Greece had received her

mortal wound : and dying had le ft as a
, ,

legacy to her Roman conqueror her language ,

her culture the skeleton O f her philosophi es

her Vices and her gods The East too bowed

, ,

her impassive head before the Roman victor

and other races j oin ed in the epidemic of sub
mission ; till from the Euphrates to the

Atlantic from the shores o f Britain and the


borders of the Ge rman forests to the san ds of

the African desert the whole Weste rn world

was co nsolidated in to one gr eat common


wealth united by bonds of la w and gove rn


me nt by facilities of communication and


commerce and by the gen er al dissemination


of the Greek and Latin languages To .

all this Augustus added a perfectly devised

centr alization which made the empire a c om
pact whole so that any new in fluence made

its throbs felt from ce n t r e to extremities in

wonderfully sho rt time ”
An d this vast organ

ism was tenanted by one spirit but it w a s a


spiri t O f weariness of unrest of soul hunger

, ,

The O ld nation al cree ds were fast disappear

ing and were being submerged in the vast

cosmopolitan religion o f Rome The.

various deities were looked on as interchan ge

able manifes tations o i a Supreme fate power -

who reign ed al one in the invisible world while ,

in this visible ea rth the genius of Rome seemed

to be the on e O bj ect o f worshi p The old

national religions with their well define d


outlines and limits were bein g gr adu ally

effaced and men were longing for some religion

which while it had the u n iversal character


which the times required should have mo re


in di viduality an d pe rsonal power in it than

were supplied by the thoughts of a sup rem e
Sp i ritual fate by the more mate rialist con
” 1
c ep tio n o f the genius o f Rome .

Now in on e part of the world and one only

, , ,

lay hidde n th e thought which could bring satis

factio n to this soul hunger and refreshment -

to this wide spread weariness an d transform


this agglomeratio n of weary slaves of Rome

into a univers al b rotherhood in religio n a ,

household of faith Syria was the home of

a religion more narrow and provinci al than

any of the varied cults tolerated within the '

Roman Empire yet at the heart of that Syrian


faith lay encrusted and obscured by the tra


ditions of men the co n ception o f One Holy


God the God of Righteousness the God of

, ,

the whole earth merciful and gracious long

, ,

suffering and abundant in goodness and truth ,

keeping mercy for thousands forgiving iniquity ,

a nd transgression a n d sin Could but the .

saving force that lay in such a conception of


God as this be released and made available

for all the world n ew life and hope would stir

the heart of the weary nations And in po in t .

o f fact the records o f the history o f these


L in d s a y ,
A rt . Chr istia nity , E n cy c l
. B ri t .

Syrian S emites Show that from the very earliest

times there lay within the racial bosom the
consciousness of a religious mission to a ll man
kind Their great chief Abraham k new
, ,

himself c a lled to be a blessing to a ll the

families o f the earth and though the mission
a ry task had never been undertaken and the

common people of the Jews for centuries had

read their univers alistic religion in a provincial
translation and construed the broadest calls
to redeem the world as intimations o f exclusive
privilege for themselves yet the best spirits ,

among them had not forgotten the meaning

o f the sacred deposit entrusted to them and ,

had both read the n ation al history and sought

to shape it i n terms o f the nation s religious ’

mission to the world Now it was from the


heart o f this people that the Nazare n e sprang

, ,

who was to take up the neglected task of His

people and proclaim to the world the life

giving truth which for centuries His people had

hidden under the bushel of a sorry national
ignoranc e and pride .

T o -d a y it is t h e sa m e I t is t oo m uc h
. s c a rc e ly

to say t h a t m o d ern o rt h o d ox
J ud a is m n eith er ma k e s
c on verts n or d e s ir e s t h e m .
Standing the hillsides of Galilee —G alilee

of the n a tions —o u the whispering gallery o f the

world —the Syrian Jesus heir of the best


Jewish traditions yet free from every trace

of J ewish exclusive n ess proclaimed the truths

o f the u n iversal love o f the Father Go d of ,

freedom for the captive o f rest for every


weary soul and of th e o n e universal Kingdom


of God and it is matter of history h ow swiftly

the good news spread how the moribu n d

world stirred from its weary apathy and ,

m any souls were se t free each holding by


Christ s word

An d from that hour to this ,

the happy news has spread —bringing life and

h Op e to regions far beyond the limits of the
ancient world : and the Christian religion ,

born in Judea formul ated in Greece organ ized

, ,

in Rome accepted and with unparalleled


vigour propagated by Teuton and Fran k yet ,

neither Jewish Gree k Roman nor Saxon

, ,

has spread and is Spreading throughout the

whole earth constituting itself in every land

the basis of an E mpire of Christ more solid and

lasting an d infi nitely more compact in loyalty
and freedom than the proudest empires of the
W orld.

HE in terest whi ch we feel in the origin of

any o n e who h as deeply a ffected the life

of men is never merely curious it is always
more or less consciously a search for explana
tion for an answer to the question
, W h ence

hath this man these thin gs

The extant memoirs of J esus diff er widely in
the degree to whi ch they respond to this i n ter
est The earliest gospel which is n ow o nly a

torso plunges into the story without any


acco un t of the parentage o f J esus ; for the

phr ase Son of God in its opening verse

, ,

cann ot be take n a s in tended to be an account

o f His origin it is rather a succinct estim ate
o f His reli gious significance The l a test gospel

o n the ot h er hand begins in the unsc a lea b le


heights of pre Creatio n days and declares that


ere the worlds began to be in the u n beginning


life o f God lived the conscious and luminous

life which afterwards was manifest among men


as J esus o f Nazareth The question of the


origin of J esus is thus pressed back by the

fourth gospel out of the region of history alto
gether Midway between these extremes are

the Gospels of Matthew and Luke which lay ,

an unmistakable stress on the facts of the

human ge n ealogy and pare n tage of J esus an d ,

for our pres e n t purpose it will be well to thin k

chiefly of these accou n ts a nd what they are

i n te n ded to import

Wh en we have read the first few verses of

the first chapter of Matthew it becomes ev i,

dent to us that the compiler of the genealogy

with which the book opens must have had in ,

his min d some purpose other t han the mere

writing of a chronicle or the production of an

accurate table of pedigree I n poin t of fact


the genealogy he writes down is demo n strably

no more than approximately accurate : it is
o ut of ge a r with versions of the same fam ily
tree of greater antiquity And in deed when
, ,

we look closely at his opening sentence it b e

co m es clear that some other than a physical

succession is in the writer s mind The boo k .

o f the genealogy of J esus Christ the son of ,

David the son of Abraham
Abraham had no .

son named David in the usual meaning of


the word son It is obvious that we are

having recalled to us a succession into the con

c ep tion of which mo r e than the idea o f physi

cal generation enters It is a na tiona l suc


cession but the nation (as is made evident by

the choice of names in the incomplete list )
is viewed in some special relation When our .

eyes travel down from the opening of the

gene al ogy to the summary of generations at
its close and note the promin ence given to

two great political religious crises in the history


o f the nation to whom the individuals in the

genealogical list belong it begins to be e v

that the succession which is in view is a succes
sion of persons carrying forwar d and illustra t

ing a na tiona l discipline of whi ch discipline


J esus is presented as in some way the c onsum

mation .

Now what in point of f act w a s that dis

, ,

c ip lin e ? What was the Divine idea behind

the training of the J ewish people whose history
is here summari zed by means of a selection of
representative names The answer is not far
to seek It is matter of histo ry that the J ew

ish people have had from the earliest times a

special religious bias and their most ancient ,

records reflect th eir conviction that a s a peo ,

ple they were called to be the religious teachers


o f mankin d

For th is end they were not only


to know religious truth but were to illustrate ,

it in their own lives This was the Divi n e idea


behind their extraordinary history and to ,

wards its realizatio n the national discipline

w as meant to tend The typical result in the

individual case of that discipline w a s called

faith i e the capacity to appreciate the
. .

spiritual the S pirit that ventures forth upon

an d seeks to find itself in the wi ll o f Go d

the spirit of self surrender to the Divine pur


pose It was by this

. faith that the
elders obtain ed a good report in other
words it was faith that made names great in

Israel and the ideal Israelite wa s the alert an d


expectant servant of God .

Now if we keep these things in mind we

, ,

begin to se e defining itself the atmosphere in

which the nati vity stories in the gosp els of
Mat thew and Luke are meant to move We .
kind S prang J esus in whom the Divi n e idea of

a r eligious Her al d to all the world w a s at last

incarn ate .

It is from this point of view then that we , ,

should look upon the persons who surround

the nativity of J esus It is their religious signi

fi c a n c e that is m ade dominant in their portrait

ure : it is th eir character an d their sen se of
Go d that are emphasized Let us see h ow

this is illustrated in the perso n wh o next to

J esus is central in the gr oup —Mary His ,

mother .

The Protestant revolt against the Roman

cultus of Mary has not been e ffected without
loss especially loss of the habit of appreciating

Mary s place in the history of religion


Protestants have contented themselves with

thin king o f her mainly as a sa d spirited wist -

ful and not always wise disciple of her Son


or at the most have dwelt a little sp ec ula t

, ,

iv ely a little sentiment al ly

upon the pensive ,

beauty of the soul o f th e woman whose face

Christ s most resembled from whom He drew ,

that womanliness which in Him blended so

marvellously with vigorous manhood a nd ,

from whom He must have learned His fi rst

religious lessons But for the rest Prote st
, ,

ants commonly think oi Mary S imply as a maid

of Naz a reth they do not think of her place
at the summit of Old Testament religion nor ,

o f the status of august eminence to which sh e

was raised by the gr a ce of God within her ;

and by this neglect her peculiar fitness to be
the mother of J esus Christ is forgotten or
ignored But consider how the facts stand
. .

The really lonely eminence of Mary is neither

( as the Roman Church has sometimes rep re
sented it ) —the eminence of chastity nor the ,

emine n ce of sorrow The chief o f the glorie s


o f Mary was her primacy in self surrender


Recall once more the fac t that the Div in e

servic e w a s the idea central to the history o f
her p eOp le : that time and agai n in the pre
ceding centuries God had tested her people to
see whether there was still alive among them

the se rvant Spirit To these tests m any had


failed to respond the faithful Remnant had

always answered , Here am I .But not till
n ow had the s up reme test of the spirit of self

surrender been issued and it w a s to Mary of


Na z ar eth—Heart of the Rem n an t—that the


c a ll c a m e She was called to a service which

n o t only involved the risk of life — how was

s h e to know that the price to be paid for the

motherhood of the Messiah would not be

death but which involved the surrender o f

that which to a true woman is more than life ,

her honour : not that is to sa y her purity

, , ,

but the comfort of purity in the inevitable ,

exposure to misunderstanding and shame .

She was called to a se rv ice which meant the

expulsion o f the ego from its most intimate an d
guarded fast n ess— me a nt too the absolute , ,

abandonm ent o f herself and o f all that her

previous piety had made her to be worth in
her o wn sight in venturesome faith upon the

commanding word of God Hear her res .

pouse Behold the han dmaid of the Lord


be it unto me according to Thy word .

It was the highest i nstance the world had

yet seen o f that faith by which her pious

ancestors among God s people had obtained
a good report it wa s th e high water mark -

o f human piety up to that time This d a ugh .

ter o f Abraham called to the painful eminence


o f service had given herself up as her great

, ,

forefather had done to be the chan nel of bless


ing to the families of the earth and in her ,

heart sh e knew somethin g of the potencies

within her act of self surrender -
From .

henceforth sh e sang
all generations shall

call me blessed .

Here then up to the measure then reached


by human capacity trained by long discipline ,

was incarnate th a t S pirit of utter self abandon -

ment to and union of will with the Holy will of

Go d which is the ba sa l idea in univ
, ersa l reli

g i o
.n It was surely ,
fitting that Sh e

who by the grace of God thus incarn ated that

, ,

Spirit should be the human fount of the being

o f Him who carried to so much loftier heights

the spiri t of self surrender and who has real


iz ed in Himself a perfect union with the will o f

God which has issued in incalculable service

tO mankin d .

No t until this unique historical position of

Mary o f Nazareth has been realized are we
able rightly to approach the subj ect of the
Virgin Birth of Christ—the allegation that
Mary a lone on the human side was concerned
in the physic al origin Of Jesus The subj ect .

is at on c e too i n tri c ate a nd too delicate to b e

fully t reated here but it has too direct a bear
ing on the truth whi ch it is the purpose of these
chapters to illustrate to be al together passed

by The credibility of the story will in the e n d


depend on the estimate form ed of the persons

involved in the sto ry and on the estimate

formed of the story s congruity with their whole

histo ry Not that there are not other grounds


for believing the allegation of the Virgin Birth .

The external evidence of the story is .

stronger than is often supposed and has never


been quite successfully torn asunder An .

sw ering to aspirations which had foun d ex

pression in Paganism the story is yet On every


line of it not Pagan but J ewish— Pal estinian


in origin and in colour ; yet it runs directly

counter to the instincts of J ewish monotheism ,

and its inv en tion o n J ewish soil is to any one


who kn ows what Judaism w a s and is absolutely ,

in credible Again the narrative makes upo n


the reader the impressio n of holy b eauty of ,

modest reticence of devout chastity and a s

, ,

one reads and reads again the conviction is


d riven home not only that the al ternative to


its truthfulness is unthinkable in itself but ,

that it is inconceivable that out of the alte r


native could have aris en a story whi ch itself is

virgin pure -

On grounds like these a foothold may be

found for favourable acceptance o f the story
at least by those who have n ot foolishly fore

closed the subj ect by d p riori antagonism to

the supernatural .

But as I have s ai d in the end intelligent

, ,

faith in the Virgi n Birth must lean back upon

and be a consequence of an appreci a tion of the
place in relig i on both of Mary and her Son .

E speci ally if we are rightly impressed with H is

lo n ely emin ence in the moral and spiritual
world with His supremacy a s the incarnation

a n d type of holy purity Shall we feel the force


o f the contention that the Virgin Life de

mands the Virgin Birth and if we see in
J esus (a s the gospel narrative does exhi bit Him
to be ) a New Type o f m a n and in His coming

the creation of a new order of human bein gs

possessin g His ca tholic temper and indwelt by
the same Divine spirit that possessed His life
—if we see In Christ a new starting point in -

hi story in the direction of a goodness that


will be univers al then the congruity o f the


Virgin Birth with the holy beginnings o f this

era of the Universal Religion will profoundly
impress us For what is the analogy o f the

only two other creative acts of God of whi ch

we have any knowledge the creation o f
intelligent human life and the creation of
Spiritual life
Intelligent human life began whe n the Spirit
o f Go d overshadowed and breathed the bre a th

o f self co n scious life into that animal organism


which a s the outc ome of long p rocesses of de


v elopment was the fittest to receive it

So at.

thi s hour self conscious spiritual life begins


when the Holy Spirit of God bears down upon

the yielding human spirit which the discipline
of thought a nd life h as brought to the poin t o f

surrender .

In both creations the Divine source of u n i

versal life unites itself directly with the earthly
organism tha t is p repa red for the Divin e design .

Now betwee n these creative acts lies the


mystery of the origin of J esus His human .

life beg an whe n the Holy Spirit o f Go d Univer ,

s a l Lord and Giver of Life overs h adowed and


united Himself directly with that yieldin g

hum an organism which a s the outcome of a ge

long p rocesses o f v
elop ment
de a nd discip line ,

T is the unco n cealed disappoi n tment o f

Chri sten dom that we kn ow so little o f
the adolescence of Jesus The two or three

senten ces i n St Luke s Gospel enshrining one



charming but puzzling incident in which His ,

boyhood is referred to d o not satisfy our desire


to know about the in flu e n ces an d processes of

mind which made Him the man He became .

They picture His growth in words which

vaguely suggest the harmo n ious development
o f all His powers an d p erhaps it is n ot pressing

language too far to sa y that they briefly de


scribe the adolescen ce of an ideal human boy .

But they disappoint u s for this special reason

Jesus O f Na z areth is the greatest expert the
world h as seen in the domain of the problems of
sin : absolutely unapproached both as inter
preter and healer o f the bitter troubles of
the human heart which arise from collision
with goodness and from self disgust Now we

want to know whence He obtained His so com

p lete mastery of the pathology of the human
heart through what moral struggles He Him

self p assed in youth what vicissitudes marked


His progress what influences shaped His


O pinions and still more His character ; and

, ,

whether there was aught in His early youth

that accou n ted for His subsequently manifest
ing so si ngular a combi n atio n of detachment
from sin s attractio n s with compassionate in

sight in dealing with sin s slaves .

About all this the gospels are silent : the

adolescence they suggest was beautiful and
flawless but remote we are left with nothing

more than permission to guess for ourselves ,

from the incident o f His visit as a boy to the

tem ple whether the problem which He after

wards was seen to have so wonderfully solved

was or was not pressing on His brain and heart .

This puzzling vagueness of the gospels re

gardin g J esus adolescence gives way to a singu

lar d efi niten ess and precision in their account

of His e n tra n ce into public life Th e extant

memoirs agree in not merely dating that em

trance from a definite period but in relating it

to a definite movement— a n upheaval of p op u

lar feeling in Pal estine under th e preachin g of
John the Baptist .

We possess only fragmentary accounts o f

this movement for in the gospels the emphasis

is laid not on the movement i n Itself but o n ,

J esus share in it but its general character is
plain enough It was a tidal wave coming in

from the uneasy never resting se a of man s


consciousness of guilt There are times when


this universal human emotion seems nearly

quiescent such a time we are passing through
now but we can never be sure that any day
will pass when the emotion o f unforgiven sin
may not sweep the world as it swept through
Europe in the days of the Flagellants through ,

England in the days o f the Commonwealth ,

through Palestine in the days o f John the

Baptist .

There were no doubt in Joh n the Baptist s

, ,

ti m e special circumstances favou ring the out

burst of this feeling : a wide Spread sense of

the exhaustion O f moral force a weariness o f


the futilities o f ceremonial worship and of c on


en tiona l morality and a dread of impending

j udgment— these things drove men to break

through the shamed reticence which so O ften
veils the agony of S in an d swept them in crowds

to th e min istry of the Baptist who seemed to ,

have somethin g to co nt ribute to the heali ng of

men s soul d istress


Now of th e si n ce rity ea rn est n ess and (up to


a certain limit ) the ability to de al with this

problem displayed by the Baptist we have
, ,

no room to doubt Inheriti ng from a p riestly


ancestry a bias towards the religious interest ,

and consecrated from childhood to religious

se rvice he had cultivated and t r ained in him

self the religious sense by a n ascetic an d retired

life givin g himself up to the study of the Old

Testament prophets while he watched as a ,

spectator the currents of the life of his time .

As he studied and pray ed he became himself

filled with the old prophetic spi rit an d issu
ing from his retirement he appeared before his
contemporaries with a message which in part
was the confirmation o f their own terrified
expectations but in part a call to repen tance
, ,

and a n o ffer of ass urance of the Divin e forgive

n ess .
horrible malaise of sin have gone with better
hope to a spiritual director than men went to the
B a ptist by the banks o f the Jordan to hear a
comforting announcement of the Divine par
don balanced by a j ust insistence o n genuine

repentance and an assurance o f the d eterm in


ation of the God of Israel to bring the disorders

of human society to an ordered end .

And yet John s very success up to a certai n

point only emphasizes his failure to reach an d

solve the whole problem of the eradication of
. In particul ar in two points his message

wa s defective . On th e one hand he had ,

nothing to sa y on the question o f sacrifice The .

religion he preached ignored it and taught


forgiveness S impliciter Now it is true that

. ,

there is a condition of the human heart when the

only message it will bear is the simple word
The Lord hath put away thy sin but when
the first chilling paralysis o f the soul in which

it has seen only the fact of its sin has passed


dispelled by the sim ple word o f forgiveness

there arises a need for some ration al e o f the
forgiveness—the ashamed soul needs to know
how it comes about that it is forgiven The .

idea of the need of expiation cannot be dis


lodged from the mind : sacrifice somewhere is

craved for some one must bear the sin For .

all this need John the Baptist had n o message

, ,

a n d there is re a son to believe that he felt

keenly the defectiveness of his me ssage j ust


On the other hand he was j ust a s c on


sc io usly inadequate o n the subj ect o f the power

of sin He was assured and definite an d


authoritative on the fact of the forgiveness o f

past transgression— h e had made his own that
section of the doctrine of grace but he could
n ot tell men how to check S in s onset

When .

people confessed their past sin s he an nou n ced ,

and confirmed to them the Divine for giveness

but when they next as ked him how they were
now to order their forgiven liv es he was feeble ,

a n d I n ept to the last degree an d could only ,

st a m m er out a few commonplaces of elemen t

ary morality 1

And John was too full of spiritual discern

ment not to feel his defect I baptize you

he said with water but another m ust baptize

, ,

you with the fire o f a holy dispositio n The .

Spiritu al ardour which would ward off sin s ’

S e e L uk e iii . 1 0- 1 4 .
assaults he could not communicate any more
than he could solve the mystery of expiation .

It is when the story has made these things

plain to us and the impotence of man even

at his be st to redeem his brother h as been

by J ohn s splendid failure conclusively shown
it is then that the curtain is raised which h a s
veiled the adolescence o f J esus and a s the ,

young Christ moves in upo n the sce n e we are ,

made to feel the solemn dignity and promiseful

S ignificance o f HIS arrival He comes to ask

for baptism ; and Joh n who h as see n many


penite n ts and k n ows at o n ce that thi s is not

one of them protests :
, I have need to be
baptized of Thee and comest Thou to me
Jesus turns upo n him the dominance of

earnest eyes and with a word of gentle

authority bends the Baptist s will to His and


the baptism proceeds The two men enter


the water It h a s been John s custom to

demand audible confessio n of S in i n token of

its re nunciation and many a story o f Shame

he must have heard as the candidate for

pardon u nburdened his heart ‘ But n ow as .

J esus stands beside him John hears a n ew


a nd astonishing kind of confession : the sin ,

not of J esus Himself but of H is people of His

, ,

time of the world is carried in confession


’ ’
before God as if it were the man s own John s

ear catch es an en umeration of the sin s o f men

comprehensive unerring detailed— hears the
, ,

note of a new wide reach ing compassion the


a ccent o f an infin ite sorrow— is made to feel

the heat of zeal for holiness that burns through

it a ll : and h is he a rt th rills with j oy a s he
recognizes that here in his very presence is
He who will complete the imperfect message ,

who will explain sacrifice for He Himself ,

possesses the sacrificial Heart : and who will

be the storehouse o f mor al enthusiasm from
which the people may draw what they need to
help them to be good Behold
. John said
to his followers pointing to J esus
, Here is
the S a c rifi c ia l Heart that carries the burden
of the whole world s S in ’
This is He of whom
I spake wh o should convey not pardon o nly ,

but the fire of a holy passion for goodness into

the hearts of men I am not worthy to be

His Slave .

At the very outset of His public career then , ,

there was thus recognized in Jesus by the ma n


who n ext to Himself w a s probably the best

equipped and most catholic mi n ded religio n -

ist then alive a peculiar fitness for a world


wide mission of salvation He carries . ,

s ai d John astou nded by the volume and range


o f Jesus compassion

He carries not a s I do
, , ,

the burden of my country s n eed He bears the ’

sin o f the world '
The n ote of u n iversality is thus struck at
the threshold of Christ s career : already He ’

carries the world in His heart An d as He .

co n secrates Himself to a work which is to be

world— wide and to de al with man as man
, ,

there comes to Him a n experience which is

essentially gene ric the reward everywhere and

al ways of self dedication to God for the


redemptive service of man He sa w the .

heavens ope n ed and the Spirit like a dove


desce n ding upon Him and there ca me a voice ,

from heaven saying : Thou art My beloved

Son i n whom I am well pleased That is .

to s a y His self consecration was rewarded a s


ours is to da y by a clearer visio n o f the purposes


of G o d by a quiet consciousness o f endowment


with God give n capacity for the work an d by


a vivid sense of holy and fili al intimacy with


the Divin e Being Himself It is true that .

inasmuch a s Jesus of Nazareth has re n dered

to mankind a redemptive service in which He
stands alo n e His experience of these three

results of consecratio n was unique i n its com

p le teness and in its vividness But the ex.

p erienc e in itself is generic and lasting It .

repeats itself to day from here to the world s

end wherever me n give themselves to God

for their fellow me n s sake The triple blessing


still atte nds the self surrender of him who


recognizing the uniqueness and the e fficacy

o f Christ s sacrificial a n d inspiring work for

men would yet f a in follow in the train of the


Catholic Man carrying some Share with Him


o f the burden o f the world s S in and burning


to baptize men with a holy spirit and with


T is the obj ect of these chapters to Show

that J esus of Na zareth was and is the
Man for all men Of dogmas regarding Jesus

men have of late grown weary but the ex

p e rie n c e s o f His ,
life so far as they are known ,

ret a i n a nd will retai n their fascination an d

appeal .

I believe it can be shown that these ex

p erienc es so follow the lines of the generically
human of what is true for all men a n d point
, ,

the way to the solutio n o f so many problems

affecting human life universally a s to compel

the co n victio n that this is at least one design

, ,

behind the rec O rd of His car eer Viz that it


should e xhibit once for all the central arche ,

typ al human life in its Victory over a ll in c om

p leteness and over all evil
, . This co n viction
is sp e cially forced upo n any one who po nders
much th e story known a s the Temptatio n of

J esus . Stan ding where it does in the record

o f H is career a ré sumé o f the main elements

in His so ul travail a s He stood on the threshold


o f His life s work it reflects no t His temptations

only but ours : setting forth under the veil


o f parable the universal human threshold


fight the multiform yet essentially threefold


moral conflict which me n everywhere must

endure who would at the outset of their career
place themselves in the path to true success .

We shall see this best if we try to realize

the original setti n g of the i ncident the gene ric
character of the conflict will shi n e through its
i n dividual historical form .

The sto ry must have come at first from

J esus Himself and is clothed in the symbolical

language which He loved to use in His teaching .

The symbolism h a s a double purpose it

gathers within a single pictorial representatio n
the essence of what may have bee n numerous
suggestions of evil and it avails to conceal

details which we n eed not kn ow and probably

could not understand For at the outset we .

must remember the gulf which separates the

fo r m of Christ s expe rie n ces from ours

That .

was unique as His vocatio n was : it is the


moral core of the experie n ce that is ge n eric .

It is plain to begi n with that the co n flict

, ,

attaches itself to the story of His baptism ,

and an swers i n its threefold fo rm to th e thr ee

fold expe rie n ce Of e n dowm ent which came to
Jesus on His self consecr ation at the banks

o f the J ordan At that sac red mome n t He


had bee n give n the Visio n always vouchsafed

to those who consecrate their lives to God
the visio n o f the Divi n e min d and heart i n
its redemptive purpose : He had felt assured
o f adequate equipment for His part in that

gr eat purpose and He kn ew Himself called


to the privilege of peculiarly close fellowship

with God .

He wo uld not have been huma n had there

be e n no excitemen t o f His min d caused
by this nascent consciou sn ess of a S pecial

vocation an d of speci al p rivilege nor are we

surp rised that He Should be d ri ve n to seek
so litude that He might think out the many
implica tes of the revelation j ust made to Him .

For a long time He r em a i n ed so absorbed in

thought that eve n nature s claims were ignored


We can not pierce the veil that covers that

momentous spell of meditation we only kn ow
it i nvolved a survey o f the problem before Him
which gathered up the thin king o f thirty
years even as a boy had He not studied His

Father s busi ness ? — and that it left no

thing out ( For afterwards He moved to


the fulfilme n t o f His work in the S ingular

peace o f one who h a s thought out his plan
completely and is master o f every continge n cy ,

there bein g no unanticipated factor in the

problem to take him suddenly by surprise ) .

We may rest assured too that i n thes e antici

, ,

p a tion s of His share in the unfolding o f God s

redemptive work there was the thrill of j oy


born o f His loving sympathy both for God

and man .

This passion o f intense meditation could not ,

o f course last : an d we feel we are i n the


presence of a very rea l human experience

when we read that it wa s followed by a re
action to languor and perplexity With the .

waning O f u nnourished physical powers the ,

Vivid light that had for the time well nigh


transformed faith i n to sight began to fail

, .

The vision faded : the clamour o f the body s
needs awoke : a nd certitude g a ve place to
wonder and concern God had surely s ai d

This is My beloved Son whence then this

faint n ess and e xhaustio n Had the words
been real as certainly this exhaustion is ?

Wh y not test the matter and make sure ? '

If Thou be the Son of God command that


these stones be made bread ”

Why n ot ?

Surely the Son o f God need not be hungry ,

and may m an ipulate for sacrame n tal e n ds the

creation o f God — and would n ot the bread

He made be a sacramental seal of the Father s
me ssage Besides here was work to be

done and surely for strength for the work on e


must have food ?

But Jesus found protection from the Yea ,

hath G o d said ? by going back on words
of God which could not be gainsaid He had .

read i n the ancient scriptures of the value God

set upon faith a s a means o f man s moral
education and that n ot physical comfort only
, ,

but attendance upon God s min d made the
fulfilment of human life . Now in His bap
tism He had definitely ranged Himself with

and had entered the path God had appointed

for all men towards the fulfilme n t of a ll '

righteousness By that He would abide
. .

Man shall not live He quoted— ( I S n ot


the insti n ct of universality

behin d His use
of Man by bread al one but by every ,

word that proceedeth out of the mouth of

God ”
. If oth er me n in the path of obedien ce
went hungry He would go hungry too God
, ,

who had given Him work would keep Him ,

alive to do it He would n ot prematurely


end God s trial of His faith by the use of

God s gifts for ends of self in dulgence


Now eve ry one can see that this temp tation

marks out th e lines of a decisio n which awaits
men univers ally on the threshold of an i nde
pe n dent adult career and Christ s repulse o f

the temptation indicates the only lines on

which the decision can mo v e if it is to ushe r in ,

a successful career .

To every man there comes at the opening ,

of manhood a period when consciousness of


endowment and power (whether physical ,

intellectual or spiritual ) becomes vivid and

, ,

intense : some natures are apt j ust then to

be peculiarly irresponsible and prodigal of
strength But that period is suc c eeded by a

E ven to begin to understand the other

temptations it is necessary to recall what

were the great factors in the problem before

Jesus He w a s going forth for n othi ng less

than the salvatio n of me n to make a world

wide appeal to men on behalf o f God and to

reintegrate the broken an d scattered elements

o f human ity by means o f a common attach

ment loy alty and debtorship to Go d In

, .

thinkin g out thi s vast design He could n ot


ignore the peculiar position of His own nation

Israel That natio n occupied in the matter

o f religion a place by itself an d must be

, ,

considered by itself It pressed to the fore


front of His thoughts He loved Israel an d


knew the work God had already wrought for

her He loved the temple a n d ven erated the

institutions of which it was the sple ndid centre .

What was to be His relatio n to these things

He had a spiritual gift to bestow upon His
people how bestow it if not through the
existin g forms of their religio n ? How else
comme nd the gift ? If He should come to
His people apart from these venerated forms

and abj uring the authority they could confer ,

would not His message be O pposed m isunder ,

stood refused
, But why make such a breach
with the past With Jerusalem as His centre ,

the temple His cath edral the High Priesthood,

His van tage ground with what ecla t might

He not usher in the era of pure worship

J esus kn ew He could secure a ll this if He ,

cared : was He n ot the Son of God Why

not the n put forth His powers to secure a ll

these advantages for His great enterprise ?

In the patriotic task of re vivin g the prestige
o f Israel s ancient forms of faith an d o f in fi llin g

them with a new spi rit might He not cou n t on


the Divin e support

So ran the plausible suggestion appealing ,

at once to Jesus love o f His people and His

faith in God But He reflected that to yield


to this suggestio n mean t to betray distrust of

the Father s equipment and guidance already
given Th e course He was to follow was

alr eady so far in dicated in the Providential

course along which He had been brought He .

was born of the tribe of Judah : o f which

tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priest

hood . He would therefore have been going
, ,
out of His way if He were to become a High
Priest and set Him self upon a hierarchical

emine n ce To seek alliance with the temple


forces would have bee n to mistrust the power

o f His message in itself to do despite to the

powers with which His Father had e n trusted

Him and to S eek Short and eas y an d ambitious

paths to success b y meret ricious aid and by

compromise of truth Jesus with firmness

decli n ed thus to provoke to wrath the Go d of

righteousness .

Here again surely is the prototype of a

u niversal threshold struggle o f young manhood .

Confidence in o n e s powers eve n i n youth

, ,

has its in terstices of misgiving an d one makes

from time to time anxious survey of the forces
against one a n d agai n o f the fo r ces which

may be c alled to one s aid No true m an is


ignor an t o f the se v erity o f the temptation at

such a time to make c omp rom rsm g allian ces
to lean o n something other than God s own ’

manifest equipment and to follow some course


less obviously beset by thorn s tha n the course

His providence has marked out T o seek .

brilliance by the sacrifi ce o f fideli ty a nd

thoroughness to evade toil and sufferin g by

compromising principle—this is the ubiquitous

temptation of uni v ersal man Christ kn ew

an d o ve r came it i n the subtlest and most

specious form i n which it had ev er been pre
sented to a hum a n mind .

Of the third temptation less needs to be
said for its meaning lies more upo n the sur

face The naked brusque n ess of the de vil s


o ffer : All these thin gs will I give Thee if

Thou wilt fall down and worshi p me reve a s

the tempter s desperatio n J esus s a w befo r e


Him as many a man has seen since the

, ,

heritage O f glory that see med the appropriate

reward and the possible acquisition o f His
gifts If He were to live by every word that

proceeded out of th e mouth of G od if He were


to live by and for the spiritual ide al there must


be no thought o f such prizes they must be

abj ured and the heart set only on the ide al
and on its service B u t why not abj ure the

ide al instead and become frankly ca rnal


Why n ot abandon the eternal and live for an

earthly successful now The indign atio n
with which J esus thrusts from Him this de
grading suggestio n is the measure o f the swift
ness o f His perception of its origi n and the
certificate that His earlier victories had braced
Him for its onset The assault o f gross world

liness fell back at once from the might o f His

co n secratio n to the worship and service of
God alone .

But the tireless tempter comes still to

lesser spirits with this same appeal Momen ts.

come and especially on the threshold of man


hood whe n the young aspiran t stumbles and


faints : and his ideals threate n to fall away

from him He co n fro n ts the Hill of Diffi cul ty

an d the tedious climb dismays Why not .

abandon the toil and fran kly abandon spiritual

aspiration Let us eat a nd drink for ,

but the soul that is held i n leash by devotion

to the worship a n d service o f God recovers
swiftly a nd if it h as met earlier a nd more

specious advan ces Of e vil successfully this , .

daring onset of the devil absolutely fails .

Now let us place together these three temp

ta tions of the young Christ . Self gra tifi c a tion

truth compromising ambition

worldliness .

These are three u n iversal threshold foes o f

young manhood is there a fourth The

more closely one studies them the more clearly

on e sees that these exh a ust the tale of the

tempt a tions that vex the path of him w h o is

being Ini tiated into the responsibilities of
life There are refinements and varieties of

each doubtless in myriads : we may cal l

, ,

them what we will— with Saint John the

world the flesh and the devil
, , the Inst of ,

the flesh , the lust of the eyes an d the pride ,

of life or with the modern H a m a c k

, ,

ambition worldliness and sensuality

, ,

b ut they re m ain the s a me triad of moral foes .

And Jesus is the Man for all men not only

because i n His moral conflicts He thus covered
the field of all me n s conflicts at the correspond

i ng stage i n their experie n ce : and not only

because this victo ry was so decisive that His
whole career w as an un broken reflection o f
His resistance to evil on the threshold but
al so because by the paths He chose and the ,

issues to which He brought the life of sacrifice

and o f obedience and of fidelity to spiritual
ideals He h as triumphantly Shown the w a y

to life s fulfilm ent

He who preferred hunger

H a rn a c k , . g
S t A u ustin e ,
p . 1 40.

to impious h a ste for satisfac tio n—in Him n ow

dwells the fulness of the Godhead bodily
He who glorified n ot Himself to be made a n
High Priest i n Israel is n ow co nfessedly the
High Priest o f Humanity the Captai n of its

s al vation its spiritual supreme : and to the


righteously sc om ful rej ector of power un

righteously o ffered is now granted
, all

authority in heaven an d i n earth .

Surely in
Jesus is the secret of Life made manifest .
0 pass at once from the Temptatio n to
the Transfiguration is to leave untouch ed
m uch that not only appe al s to one s revere n t

in terest but is full of suggestion for our present


purpose But first these Studies in the Un i

, ,

versality of Jesus m ake no claim to deal with

more than a few representative fr a gments o f
the records of Christ s life and next I believe

, ,

that the Transfiguration cannot be seen i n its

full significance for us until it is placed in
thought close to the Temptation in the wilder

O n e has indeed need of patie nce of self

, ,

distrust and of the indulgence o f one S fellows


as on e approaches th is experience of Jesus so ,

lofty yet so intimately human Our eyes

, .

are too weak to penetrate to the heart of its

me a ning : we cannot follow step by step the
1 01
course o f an unstain ed human soul as it rises to
the consummation o f its prayer li fe Yet this -

o ne kn ows : that were this experience not a

part of the record o f Christ s life we co ul d not


have recogn ized in Him as we do the faultless

exposition o f the ideas lying behind the aspir ant
life o f univers a l man .

The position o f the incident in the gospel

story is defined with special care It rep re .

sented at once a consummation and a new

beginning .

In the first stage o f our Lord s intercourse ’

with His disciples it had evidently been one

o f His chief designs to lead their mi n ds o ut to

some appreciation o f the uniqu e sig n ificance

o f His o wn person Obviously they could no t

rightly appreciate still less fi tly carry forward

, ,

His work while they remained in the dark a s


to His own place in the designs of God It .

was a task o f supreme delicacy to break the

news of His person s significance to these

simple men without crushing their minds by

supernatural display or alienati ng their a ffec

tion by an obtrusive egoism E very reader .

o f the gospels kn ows h o w exquisitely the work

s ee in the days that were to be The seed .

would grow : alr eady Jesus sa w the Church

o f Peter s fellow confessors rising strong and


i n destructible .

It w as therefore a great moment in our

, ,

Lord s career in its own way a real c onsum

mation Man had been shown what m a n


sho uld be The Ideal h a d been. evidently

set forth .

But the consummation on its other side , ,

meant alas ' only a new beginning Man

, .

needed more than the vision in flesh of the , ,

Ide al realized : he needed the enablement to

re alize th e Ideal for himself But how could .

this en ablemen t be procured for him J esus

knew that could only be by a co n test even to ,

the death with the things that keep man back

, .

From that time forth a ccordingly we read , ,

from that time forth began J esus to Show

unto His disciples how that He must go un to

J erusalem a nd sufier .

The disc rp les an d especially Peter were

, ,

appalled at this new departure What .

The perfect picture to be marred God s own
Anointed to be buffeted and Slain ? The
thought w a s sacrilege to Peter s min d as yet ’

so little kn owing what it costs to save But .

J esus knew the inexorable truth and beca use ,

His disciples could not then understand nor

help Him He went up the mountain side to

commune with God and so be braced for the


dread work before Him It w as then at that


hour of consummation a n d o f reconsecration '

that the u n sought tra n sfi gura tion took place .

There is something peculiarly welcome in

the statement that Jesus took with Him Peter
and J ames and John Th a t act of His looked

back to the confession of Peter and o nward ,

to the work of these men in the Church It .

was right that they should understand more

of what was implied in the name Christ ,

and be witnesses o f the origin in the heights


of Godhead of Christ s saving work And



when Christ s prayer on the hilltop drew Him


as prayer always does into communion with


the great souls who had preceded Him in the

service o f God when they sa w their Master s
true relation to the prophets to some o f whom ,

the half seeing crowds had compared Him :


and when as He prayed presenting Him self

, ,

to the Father in the perfection of His unstained

manhood a nd the old law
, Do this and thou

shalt live came into its highest operation
, ,

and the glory of a higher mode of existence

began to bu d upon His person the three won ,

dering men an d humanity through them

, ,

received a liberal education in the issues and

possibilities of hum a n life and in the maj estic

laws o f the spiritu a l kingdom Their Master .

stood in the co m pleteness o f H is purity yet

, ,

very man a t the gate o f heaven ; and th e


g a te s wung back to await His pleasure and the

glory from within shone upon Him Who .

does not see in th is the Heavenly Pattern o f

the zenith o f universal aspirant life
But there was a hi gher revelation still for
these men and for us to see AS Ch rist s Spirit.

ual comm union proceeded it became evide n t

th a t His mind w a s occupied not so much with
the presen t glory as with the future issues of
His work Moses and Elij ah —so ran the

an cient story had passed painlessly into the


o ffered glory but had left their work um


finished a n exodus unaccomplished : Christ


meditated a sterner choice The heavenly .

glory already all but enveloped Him the ,

heavenly communion drew His stainless soul


An d i n all this progression of choices surely

Ch rist s expe rience outlines the process of the

moral advance of the un iversal hum an so ul

On every plan e of life temptation to swift
self realization and self glorifi c a tion presses
- -

upon us On the physical plan e the temp ta


tion swiftly to end our hunger by i n stan t

self gra tifi c a tion an d to keep for ourselves

our wealth power and resource is notorious


an d in sisten t On the in tellectual plane the


temptation is no less re al and much more

subtle : to keep for ourselves not for useful ,

ends but for ends of pleasure and self infla tion


o ur knowledge and attai n ments How many .

me n have heard the whisper which the French

poet h as put into the lips of the Tempter ,

S ois sa v
a nt et sois seul

But there is a more subtle and intimate

temptation still It is to keep our religion

and its rewards to ourselves : to choose the

luxury and rest of communion before the
ardours o f unselfish work to suffer ourselves
to be bathed in premature glory while hum anity
remains unsaved : to cherish subtle egoism
even in our holy things The exclusiveness .

and the inertness of the Churches in all ages


are both the record of this temptation s tri
um ph A premature heaven is harder to

ren ounce than an inv iting earth When Gau .

tama sat u n der the B0 tree fighting his way to

enlightenment he nearly missed his goal the ,

legend says through thi s temptatio n The


grosser temptations one by one had been con

quered when there came the subtle whisper
, ,

Thou hast done all ; enter Nirvana now '

But a fluttering in the branches o f the tree
above him recalled the Buddha to the needs
o f the creation around him and he refused the

summons to Nirvana It is but a poor adum


bration o f the refusal our Lord made for us

that He might save us a nd that we might

learn that there is need at the heart of human

life for a renunciatio n of the heave n ly as well
as o f the earthly .

Let us recall then the representative and

, , ,

in that sense universal element in the gr eat

crises o f Christ s life so far We have seen .

how in His baptism He foreh eralded the th res

hold experience Of every consecrated life the
world over We have seen how in the T emp ta

tion in the wilderness a re set forth the p rinci

p les w hi ch m ust e v e ry where govern and th e ,
suggestions which must eve ry where be r esisted
by the m an who wo uld rightly use his God

given powers And now in the Transfigur atio n


or rather in that sublime moral c hoice which

, ,

lies at its heart and is reflected in th e lustre


less solitude in which Jesus was seen by His

disciples in the early dawn we see h ow on the

mountain top of devotion Christ fought out

the battle whi ch sooner or later comes to every
man in which th e self life is driven forth ev
from its most intimate fastness—the place o f
religious communion And by His victory

here Christ h a s pointed the way as no other

h a s done to the only possible solution of th e
riddle of this pain ful e a rth .

HEN the constables of the e c clesiastical


police on one occasion refused to arrest

Jesus they explained to their angry superiors

that they had been paralyzed by His utter

an oes the like of which they had never heard

Never m an ,
they said with emphasis ,

spake like this Man The involuntary

exclamation o f amazement has long S in ce b e

come the deliberate j udgement o f the better
part of man kind Christ s min d h a s come to

dominate the h uman in telle c t as no other

single min d h as done In religio n He is v ery

gen erally acknowledged to be the Greatest

Teacher the world h as seen .

It is gr eatly to be regr etted however that , ,

by those who concede this positio n to J esus

it is not more ge n erally see n that the u n ique
n ess of His teaching alike in its substan ce and

11 3
i n its effec t is a witness to the u n iquen ess of
, .

His Person and not merely to the eminen ce


of the equipme n t of His Person in gifts and

graces but to an interpretation o f His Perso n


which i n volves the super n atural i e a flirm s , . .


His immediate Divine origi n His present day ,


residen ce i n God and His conscious occupa,

tion now of a unique saving relation to univer

sa l man It is by n o mean s uncommo n to hear

me n in these days express in one breath their

admiration for the teaching o f J esus and ,

their inability to believe in the Divinity of

Christ . S uch an attitude is not permanently
tenable an d can o nly mean that the logical

issue of the admiration of His tea c h lng has n ot

been perceived Only let the teaching so.

ge n erally but vaguely admired be closely

, , ,

studied in its range its characteristic qualities

, ,

an d its kn own results a n d the stude n t will be,

inevitably d riven from the teaching o nward

to the personality of the Teacher an d will ,

fin d it impossible to credit the extin ctio n o f

that perso n ality he will fin d it in fini tely more
reaso n able to believe (however he may dislike
the somewhat infelicitous word Divin ity
that J es us is to da y al ive dwelling in fuln ess
J oseph s ’
son It cannot be strain ing the
mea ning o f these words too far to sa y that
they imply a double impression : a startled
respo nse to the charm of the message an d a ,

bewildered admi r ation of the gifts of the

speake r But scarcely had this e ffect man i

f ested itself when another v ery different

, ,

appeared As the discourse proceeded and


it became evident that the words of grace

and the deeds o f kindly ministry by which
they were sup orted were meant to h av e no
local or n ational limitations the proud pro vin

c ia l selfish n ess o f the audience asse rted itself

with extraordinary v ehemence ; and in a

paroxysm o f anger the congr egatio n rose en
ma sse a n d thrustin g the y oung Teacher o ut

o f the building would hav e d o n e Him to death

had they not be en cowed by His perso n al

dignity an d calm n ess Th e inci d e n t furn ishe s

abu nd an t evidence of the asto n ishing sway

J esus h eld from t h e begi nn in g of His c a reer
o v er th e emotio n s of me n ; and it is notice
able that the emotio n s a t fir st called forth
were those of fascin atio n and a dmiration an d ,

that it w as only whe n the Teacher beg an to

show h ow He proposed to put His teaching

into practice— in other words to co nnect the


teaching in its issue with Himself it wa s—

the n that the sudde n revulsion of f eeling super
vened the discourse having had its full effect

in strikin g home upon the pride of the hearers

a blow which roused their worst passio n s .

Here then is the characteristic effect of Christ s
, ,

utterances as e xhibited from the first by the

be haviour of His contempora ries the word

s mote .Again an d again we read afterwards in ,

the story o f the delight and fascinatio n which


the people showed on hearing the hope bring -

ing good n ews which Jesus proclaimed more

than o n ce we find evidence of their astonish
ment at His gifts marvelling at His wisdom

and learning a n d ran king Him with the greater


prophets but behind all we read that as the ,

messenger s meaning became better u n der

stood the deepest impression made was not


on the people s affections or imagi n atio n s but

on their c onsiience they were n ot so much

attracted or asto ni shed as discovered an d con
vic ted the outstanding n ote of the teaching
was p ower He spake as o n e having a uth o


Now though ex ce rpts only fr om the tea ch ing

of J esus have come down to us e nough t e ,

mains to e n able u s to pe n etr ate some way into

the secret of this unique im pressio n o f power .

We are considerably helped by the significan t

fact that the teaching has been preserved to
us no t in se ries o f aphorisms detached from

surroundings o f time and place no t in treatises


professing to record Jesus words and nothing
but His words but always in a setting and sur

rounde d by a bac kgrou n d of incide n t which

often helps to define the mean ing of the teach
ing an d al ways heightens its in terest
, .

First of all the subj ects on which Jesus


spo k e invariably bore upon what dir ectly

touche d the people s deepest needs an d in

terests Carlyle somewhere bewails the fact


that th e preaching and teaching functio n so

necessary i n itself h a s so failed of fruit because
the preach er s subj ects have so often been

remote from the cen tral n eeds of man if

he ( the preacher ) could but find the poin t

again ' '
Christ had found the point of
human n eed and perplexity and every word

He spoke hit the mark He spoke of sin and


a nnounced a credible pardon thus addressing


Himself to what is peren n ially the bitteres t of

ease and naive directness o f one who is p er -1

f ec tly at home in his subj ect and for the most


part in beautiful similes and parables in which

the people s a w reflected as in a mirror n ot ,

only the external scenes an d i n cidents but ,

the varying moods and proj ects of their d ai ly

e xistence It is not to be wonder ed at that

thi s absolute mastery of fundame ntal trut h

and a man must be a master of his subj ect if
he is able to set it forth in parabolic fo rm
this unf ai lingly accur ate and self evidencing

e xposure o f facts a s they are this ter rifyingly


intimate acquai ntance with man and scarcely


less terrifying familiarity with the Un seen ,

this ministry at once of j udgmen t and of

good hope — ,
it is not to be wondered at that

this should cause to f all upon the people an

impression of bein g in the presence of unex
a m p led power and authority .

But that autho ri ty they could not and did

not attach to the words of the Teacher but to ,

the Teacher Himself He was in deed insep a r


able from His teaching ; it was part o f Him

He gave it its astoundin g weight and force .

It was not simply that they sa w in Him the

suprem e illustration of what He taught : it

is a poor thing to say o f J esus now an d I ,

b elieve it would have been thought by His

contemporaries to be a sm all thing to sa y of
Him then that He
practised what He

preached . He was felt not simply to inc a r
nate the ideal He proclaimed but to be the

sourc e of the idea l the Lord of the realm of the


t ruth about life the j udge of men It was


His eyes a s much a s His words that smote men ,

as it w a s His touch as mu c h as His word that

he aled them it was His presence that made
men feel they were n ow at the naked centre of
things where n o subterf uge was possible : so
from His words to Himself mo v ed inevitably
the min ds of His contemporaries An d as .

time wen t on alike with foe and friend what

, ,

He was an d di d fascin ated even more tha n

what He s ai d His enemies could give no

rational account of what He had taught b ut

they felt the j udgment o f His prese n ce an d
hated Him for His very goo dn ess His own

Apostles whose thoughts of Him are pre


served for our guidance in the Apostolic letters ,

a hn o st never quote from His teaching they

are a bso rbed in the significance of His Person .

And Jesus Himself n ot only took n o p ain s


to avoid this resul t but deliberately drew the


people s thoughts an d the response of their

hearts to Himself showing Himself sensitive


about their verdict on Him a n d asking n ot ,

simply for their assent to His statements but ,

for their attachment to His perso n and entire

submission to His will The egoism of a ll .

this has to be reckoned with much more seri

ously than is sometimes do n e by men who

profess to accept J esus a s Teacher while deny

ing Him as Lord The self assertion of Christ

is either a serious blot on His character or an

integral part of a gracious an d deliberate savin g
purpose of God Jesus kn ew that the hold

He was gain ing upo n me n w as not upon th eir

intellects alone but upon their whole selves :

and He put forth His stre ngth to maintain

that hold and in me n s own in ter est to fasten

them to Himself For this He would eve n


die to this end He did die that He might ,

be Lord I if I be lifted up from th e


earth ,
He said will draw all men unto

Myself .

And if now we turn from J esus life on ’

earth to His work i n histo ry we see the same ,

movement from the teaching to the Pe rson ,

kn owledge but their love What most of

them knew their love taught them No ne of .

them have understood His teaching thoroughly ,

but they loved Him with a lo v e that was

thorough and that made them the men and

women they became .

It is an inversion o f the whole facts then , ,

to speak o f J esus as if He were chiefly a religious

teacher What we have to deal with in Him


is no t first or chiefly His teaching but first

, , , ,

a nd chiefly His Person ,

a Person tran scend

ng the limits o f earthly life and of time and


space and race and language a Person attest


ing himself alive and in power by the work he

does in creating perso n s made new a n d made
strong by love Concede the prese n t day life

o f the Person and His consciousness o f man

as coextensive with m a n s life an d the pe culiar


vitality o f His teachin g while o n earth becomes

intelligible its singular freedom from all that
would be h am p eringly local and provinci al in
its setting takes on new meaning and we begin ,

to u nderstand why the gospel has so wonder

fully acclimatized itself in all lands and why ,

Christendom is alread y th e one truly c o smOp o

litan State .

Heaven and earth Shall pass away said ,

J esus with amazing confidence but My


words shall not pass away . And ag ain


All authority is given u n to Me in heaven and

earth go ye therefore and teac h all nations
and lo I am with you alway even unto the

end of the world .

A s the centuries pa ss it becomes increasingly

evident that the sublime confidence of J esus
was j ustified His words endure because He

endures His words spread them selves o v er


the earth and make disciples among a ll nations ,

because He lives the Oversoul of the universal


human Spirit the Answer to all its questionings

, ,

the Representative a nd Reservoir of its desires

and hopes — the one Word that the wistful
heart o f universal man longs to utter to its
God and the
E ternal Word of God to man .

would f ai n hav e possessed more ln

stan ces than we h ave o f the prayers
o f J esus for those we do possess reveal n ot

only a quite u nique conception of and relation

to God but a unique comprehensio n of the

life of man It is to be assumed that a sin cere


man s outloo k a n d disposition are never so

fully disclosed as wh e n he is overheard at

prayer If this be so then the self disclosures

o f J esus as they deepen in intimacy certain ly

deepen in myste ry His p rayers r eveal a per


sonality whose a fflue n ce in correspondences

with the Spiritual world and with a ll that is
deepest in th e life of univers al man remain a
perpetual astonishme n t ; and to the close
student of these prayers the suggestio n is
a lm ost irresistib le that their author sustain ed
g ,

and still susta ins some such unique relation to


th e hum a n race as the phr ase the Un i ver
s a lity o f Jesus is mean t to shadow f orth .

Besides fragme ntary echoes o f the ej acula

to ry prayers o f J esus two longer utterances

have come down to us distinguished from th e


others by th eir complete n ess and their ful n ess ,

and both illustrate the suggestio n of origin in a

mind singularly aware o f man s gene ric life


These prayers are the Lo rd s prayer a n d

the truly named High priestly Pr ayer re

- -

ported in J o hn x vii It is t r ue that we have


no conclusive evi d ence that J esus e v er adopted

the first of these prayers as His own : it wa s
a liturgical model composed by Him fo r His
friends in response to a request for guidan ce in
praying But we may take it as an illustration

of His View of prayer—of what its subj ects

should be and what its range an d mann er ;

and thus regarded it easily takes th e first


place among extant exp ressio n s of the religious

idea in man It has become n ot merely th e

o ne universal prayer o f Christe n dom : it h as

appealed to an d has been adopted by
the most enlighte n ed exp o n en ts o f oth er
This result is all the more astounding if a s ,
enlighte n ing recollection o f what the world
most truly needs what readj ustment to fra ter

nal fellowship of desire lies behi n d the intel

ligent use o f this petition alo n e ' It mean s
that one sees in structed by Christ that the
, ,

profoundest necessity for the broke n and sun

dered lives of our race is reunion in spiritual
religion in one universal revere n ce to one

worthy thought o f God and to go on in telli

gently to pray ,
Thy kin gdom come : Thy
will be done on earth as it is in heaven is
to desire (a n d surely also to be moved to work
for ) the reorganizing o f man s broke n life o n

the basis of a un iversal subordin ation to Go d ,

orderly and loyal because willing e nlightened

, ,

a n d free Thin k of the power that lies in a


se ries of i n tercessio n s like that to educa te the

interc essor in t h e true meani ng and inwardness
o f the history behin d h im a n d being made

aroun d him ' Th ink of its stores o f impulse

to a cosmopolitan outlook ; its potent force

a s a solvent O f the parochial spirit ' And
then think of the range and depth o f the in
sight of the Gal ilaean peasant who thus
perceiv ed and read th e u n iv ers al needs of
man ' How came He to h ave those eyes

which like God s


are over all the earth

And the rest o f the prayer is n o less marvellous

a s a tran script o f the cry of the worldwide

h eart of man . Gi v e u s this day our daily

bread , give us f or we can neither manu

facture nor for v ery long so much as store the


’ '
raw materi al of life s nourishment forgive
us o ur debts —forgiv e for we can neither

pay for expiate n o r e n du r e unexpiated the


irreparable past : deliver us from evil

for that is the deep set root o f all our woes
- .

IS it not the unanimous voice o f man kin d that

sighs through these petitions Has there
ever been so perfect so adequate an articula

tion of the murmur of t h e hungerin g world

soul ? Is prayer for more than this prayer
i n cludes essential Would prayer for less be
less than vicious Men vary in their power
o f callin g up from the sub conscious region-

the thoughts and sympathies that wan der to

the farthest frontiers of personality and seem
to travel even beyond but this is more than
telepathy in ex celsis it is a knowledge of uni
versal man gathering itself in such a way within
the compass o f a S ingle mind that the inference
is irresistible that this Ma n s consciousness

w as more than individual an d that these ”

things He had lear n ed i n some residence in

G od a n te d ating His residence on earth The .


vast sweep of the Lord s prayer and its ,

astou n ding grasp of what is deepest in the

necessities of the world i n e v ery age go far ,

to make credible eve n the sayin g attributed

to Christ in the fourth gospel Before Abra ,

ham was I am , .

A detailed examin ation of the other most

fully reported specimen of J esus prayers

the High priestly prayer-

in —
Joh n xvii is .

of course less possible here eve n th a n a n ade


quate study of the briefer model but perhaps

there is no segme n t o f New Test am ent litera
ture more earnestly to be commended to the
Stude n t of the mystery of Christ E ve n a .

single alert and care ful readin g o f it brings

one at o n ce i n to the presence of a mind look

ing out upon human life from a unique point

o f view and with unique u n ders tan ding and

sympathy interpreting man s need Let me .

suggest a method of study capable of detailed

application at leisure and fitted to bring

clearly into our View some of the wonders of

this g reat utterance .

G od is addressed a s a Father Holy and Right


eons He is entreated in terms clearly indic a t


i ng the belief in His power and willingness

to protect from evil and to perfect in character ,

and despite the alienations of space and time


and temper to bring together in a unity o f


faith those for whom the praye r i n tercedes ;

His love is leaned upo n in absolute c onfi
dence and declared to wrap around as in a

divine caress the man ifold life of man It is .

essentially the same conceptio n of God a s in

smaller compass shin es through the Lord s ’

pray er here as there God is th e Father o f


us all exalted in holiness over us yet delighting

, ,

i n the sons of men solicitous fo r the interests


o f goodness among men yet careful of human


freedom not despising men s daily life but
, ,

watching and guiding their in dividual and

collective progress companion of their way

wa rdness angel of their vicissitudes ; concern ed


chiefly that they be rescue d from evil an d

becom e an organi z ed h ost of His r e veren t an d
willing sons serving Him in gladness seeing
, ,

His face .

Magnificent and solitary out of the dust o f

the ages rises this sublime conception of God

in which He is related to every the widest
human need and interest and hope : whence
came this miraculously ex tended co n sciousness
o f ma n i n the min d of Christ that forme d the

base for this stupendous structure

2. An d when we turn from the thought o f
God in the prayer to the reflection it conveys
o f Christ s mind upon the ideals and uses o f

the individual life the same insti n ct for the


universal and the ultimate impresses us .

Take this illustration in the sphere of personal

religion All Mine are Thine and Thine are
M in e and I am glorified in them [sc My
, .

Have we appreciated the depth o f

these words ? There are two poles betwee n
which must move o ur ideas o f the indiv idua l
man s relation to Go d ; these are self dedica


tion to G od and appropriation of God When .

these are i n experience realized i n perfection

then the summit of the mystical life has bee n
reached And if to this be added the utter

most of love for man a love so complete that


one s thought of oneself of one s career one s


success is merged in it then surely religion

, ,

on its ethical as well a s its mystical side h a s

found its completest possible individual ex
pression But h ow could a ll this be more

succinctly gathered together than i n the words ,

All Mine are Thi n e and Thi n e are Min e a nd ,

I a m glorified in these My brethre n Surely

here th e fi nal n orm of personal religio n in uni
versal man h a s found its last expression .

Or take a n illustration or two of Christ s


mind on the uses of the individu al life He .

reports Himself to His Father a s havin g car

ried out the work appoin ted to Him and He,

is blesse d i n having no regrets n o remorses

, ,

no repinings o v er lost or wasted opportunity .

In what spirit then had He liv ed

, , First of
all in a spirit of self abnegati ng witn ess to the

character of God I have glorified Thee o n

the earth ; I hav e manifeste d Thy name ”

Next i n a spirit of aff ectio n ate solicitude for


me n seeking to guard them within th e holy


precin cts of th e in fluen c e of the Divine charac

ter I have guarded these men withi n Thy
N a me Next in a spirit of eagerness to

mediate what He kn ew of Go d an d what o f

God s mind He daily lived o n

I have give n

them T hy word How sim ple the words

sound ' Yet how fathomless they are ' Is

man s co n cep tio n of what his life might be

been obtruded rather they had been sub ordi

n a ted ; here as He gi v es His life up to the


Father they f all away altogether and He

, ,

reve al s Himself co n sciously relat ed to the wide

world its d eep spiritual necessities and its

highest hopes O righteous Father He ,

sadly reports the world hath not kn own


Thee . I t wa s true—true for E ast a n d West ,

for farthest China for Greece for Rome for

, , ,

Northern E urope we know that now but


how did He k now then P The world hath not

known Thee but I hav e known Thee and
, ,

these [His more intimate friends ' hav e

known —not eve n Th ee but that Thou

hast sent Me It wa s an absolutely accurate


statement of the position an d prospects at

that moment o f a right understan di ng o f God
among men We see that clearly enough

now ; but again how did He know then ?

, ,

An d th is knowledge of God of wh ich He thus ,

claimed a monopoly yet longed to share with,

man kin d—h ow was it to be spr ead abroad

By the presen ce in the world of a community
o f faith united by the bond o f a commo n life

in Go d and by its unity perpetually witnessing

to the world of the reality an d the character

of God His Father in other word s He fore


shadows the stupe nd ous idea o f the Catholic

Church and forecasts with—as we now can

see—the most perfect accura c y the n atu r e of

that spiri tual influence by which alone the

reunifying of the scattered fragmen ts of hu
manity can be brought about He r eads the

n eeds of the world through His lo v e of the

world an d wri tes befo r ehan d the esse n tials o f

its history in His praye rful desires .

And e ven beyond what we ca n think of as

histo ry His mind sweeps Back i n to the dark

ness of the eternity of origins He pene

trates and sees Lo ve activ e at the beginn in g
o f th mgs : a s an accoun t o f the remotest

begin nin gs of huma n life is anything essential

left unsaid in the memorable utteran ce Thou ,

lo vedst Me before the foun datio n of the world

And when from the eternity of origin s to
the eternity of issues His thought travels ,

agai n it is u n to the triumph of Love He sees

th ings mo ving th rough the un folding o f th e
true character of God I have declared unto
them Thy n ame and will declare it that the
lo v e wherewith Thou hast lo v e d Me ma y b e

i n them and I in them
, .

This Ma n ca rries the world i n His hea rt .

Overhearing this prayer uttered within twenty


four hours of the sacrifice on Calvary we know ,

we are standing by the high altar of the world .

And it is incredible that a universe embracing-

knowledge and love like this should hav e n o

deeper roots than the mo rtal life of a mere
man afford or that so vast a volume o f in ter

c essory desire S hould be co nfined with in the

limits of that mo rtal life or by death su ff er


extinctio n or arr est T his Man b e cause He

. ,

abideth for ever hath His priesthood unchange


able . For such a High Priest became us ,

holy guileless undefi led separate from S inners

, , ,

and ma de higher tha n the ea vh ens— a Son ,

perfected for evermore. ”



N the earliest Christia n literature—the

New Testament epistles—Calvary is n ever
once mentio n ed The death of Ch rist is the

central fact in these writin gs—is ind eed , ,

largely the reason for their existence—yet the

story o f that death is never o n ce retold a s we
should tell of a recent occurre n ce dwelling on

the d etails of its local settin g The crucifixion


o f J esus was an event less than forty years old

when these letters were wr itte n yet already

its local a n d temporal backgroun d had faded
out o f view and its un iversal import had filled

the fi eld of vision The death o f Christ was


n ot dated by local calen dar itself remade all

calendar s an d marked an era for the world
, .

O n ce i n the end of the world hath He a p

p ea red to p ut away S in by the sacr ifice o f

H imself such is the manner of writing in
, ,

1 45
the epistles about th e death o f J esus The
, .

univers al refere n ce is assumed : the world

itself is conceived a s the broad base of the
altar on which Christ was sacrificed .

This swift outspreading of me n s thoughts

regarding an historical occurrence is without

parallel in human history ; a n d one asks ,

What is there about the death of J esus ,

that accou nts for this early interpretation

o f it as a death o n behalf of and havi n g results

reachi ng out to all mankind

, The questio n
I S I mporta n t for th is early in terpretation of

Christ s death does not stand alone It h a s .

been characteris tic of the gospel of J esus ,

wherever it h a s been made known that the ,

story of t h e death has carried with it its own

self evi d encing univ ersality o f application

Whatev er else in J esus me n hav e bee n in

differe n t to they have not failed to feel that

His deat h meant something for them : th e

story of the Cross has been in al l countries
and among all races of me n the penetrating
point by wh ich Christian truth has pierced
the prej udice and callousness of heathenism .

There must be universal elements entangled

in a deat h which h a s thus e v ery where len t itself
is wr itten this pro videnti al design and in , ,

deed to this day th e fin est Spirits in Israel


recognize that religion is the true ra ison

d é tre o f the J ew . Unhappily the J ews in the
centuries before Ch r ist did not all take kindly
to this conception of their missio n as a n ation ,

and even maltreated their prophets who dared

to in sist upon it and they and their nation al
history became more and more seculari z ed ,

religion sur vi v in g amongst them for the most

part in a perverted frigid and exclu sive


form Here an d there no doubt were to

, ,

be found in stances Of fervent and enlightened

piety a nd of prayerful hope that Israel s

mission would yet be fulfill ed under the leader

ship of the promised Messias but the
nation as a whole was formal in religion a n d
, ,

secular in political outlook A S a consequence


the very roots of Israel s separateness among
the n ations were being destroyed and a b sorp,

tion i n the surroundin g Gentilism was drawing

n ear J ust then appeared J esus
. of the

house and li n eage of David o ffe ring Himself


as Messias a leader and commander to the


people J esus had no political designs against

Rome His aim was to enable His p eople to


use ,
if it might yet be to the height of their

mission as God s apostles of s a vin g truth
to the world Accordingly He set out not by

re c ruiting for an armed rebellion but by ,

preachin g teaching a nd healing

, He ex .

pounded the first principles which He co n ceived

lay a t the heart of the ancient J ehovah religion -

which the J ews were meant to teach the

world ; He summoned H is people to return
in pen itence to these first p rl nc ip les an d by a ,

number of symbolic acts of power He illus

tra ted the e ffects which the accepta n ce of

these principles woul d produce in the world ,

and sketched in miniature the programme of

the Kingdom of God Havin g do n e so much

He o ffered Himself formally to the people a s

their Messias and not to the people only but
, ,

to the people s o ffi cial religious leaders


The reply to His overtures wa s defin ite

and unmistakable It took the fo rm of a

determined hostility culm in atin g I n the com


passin g o f His death He was arr a igned before


a court representin g the ecclesiastical civil ,

and intellectual authority among the people ,

and was after t rial deliberately handed over

, ,

to the Rom an s to be crucifi ed His death

t h en wa s the national rej ection of Him a s

Messias : a rej ection made by the people a s ,

a whole through their o fficial represent ativ es


And the circumstances of the rej ection were

such as to in volve i n a most dramatic way , ,

Israel s formal abdication of its Special r eligious

miss ion The Roman governor Pilate to

, ,

whom J esus had been delivered for crucifixion ,

and who hated and despised the J ews could ,

riot resist the opportunity to gratify h is scorn

and irr itate the J ewish leaders by an ir onic
sce n e He knew the J ews explanatio n of

their v acant thro ne —that they were waitin g

f or the heaven sent theocratic Kin g -
He re .

solv ed to tease a n d infuriate them by letti ng

them see in mockery a J ew upon the vacant
throne His soldie rs had plaited a crown o f

tho rn s and put it on J esus head a n d d r essed ’


Him in a robe of imperial purple an d put a ,

wan d by way of sceptre in His hand He

, ,

had now a ll the insignia o f royalty exce p t ,

the thro n e This Pilate provide d i n his own


j udicial chair Placing J esus upon the chai r
. ,

Pilate tur ned to the people an d said Behold , , ,

1 In J oh n x ix . I3 , sa t down s h oul d be re a d
set Him ( i . s. J esus ) d own .


not simply a n ational ( Jewish ) import but as ,

marking a fatal crisis in J ewish history .

But there was an other element at work

in buil ding up a belief in the still wider effects

and signific a nce of J esus death That new

element wa s the impression of the uniqueness

of His character As men looked back upo n

His life and demeanour as a whole it seemed

, ,

an astounding thing not only that men should

have hated Him as they did but that He

S hould at all have come under the power of

death His spotless holiness had been itself

a terrible j udgment upon the defections o f

Israel and indeed farther afield : Rome no
, , ,

less than Israel had been j udged i n Him and ,

equally the ide al s of Greece had been put to

shame before the new revelations of goodn ess
given in Him —the marvels n ot merely of His
self—control but of His love and self sa c rifi c e

That such an one the Holy and the Just

, ,

should have been slain was indeed an un

paralleled discove ry o f human sinfuln ess and ,

every tender Spirit felt the shaming solidarity

o f me n in sin as the facts were told but wa s
the death not somethin g more ? As men

recalled His life on e arth His teachings and


His warnings ce rtain sayings o f His which


at the time He spoke them had seemed hope

less riddl es began to gain some clearness He .

had foreseen His rej ection and death : had

predicted that it would come ; and yet He
had made no serious attempt to escape it ; nay ,

had dec lared it all to be part of a Divine

plan—had implicated God in this a s in all ,

else within His career What could it mean


W a s this mysterious death of the Holy and

Just O n e then somehow the act of God
, ,
was understood that the indignation of God
must go forth against the men who slew J esus
and yet would this alone fit all the facts
Had not J esus said Therefore doth My

Father love Me because I lay down My life


Could there then be in God something higher

, ,

and greater even than His indignation against

evil—some desIgn to make the very revelation
of human sin the occasion o f the revelatio n
of a Divine appeal What if the death were
not defeat but a Divine triumph the Messias

by it accomplishing far more than Israel could

e v er have accomplished pro claiming a message

o f salvation to all mankind r evealing a God


suffering under the grief of human sin and ,

bearing in His heart sin s penalty and at this ’


cost holding open the o ffer of forgiveness and

return to Him
So the world s haking thought took hold of

human minds that as behind the life of Christ


they had felt the movement o f the life of God ,

so now b elnnd His death wa s the suffering


and the redeeming lo v e of G od And thi s .

thought once taking root in men s minds lo ,

the n ews of Christ s death sped forth a message

to J ew and Gentile—a message burning to

make itself known wherever sin ful men were'

found For there is no wide r n eed among


mankin d than the need of a pardoning Lo v e

whatsoe v er S peak s of such a love i n God speaks ,

in the one tongue the universal human heart ‘

can comprehend and it is because this message

lay at the heart of the death o f Christ
0 h ea rt I m a de , a H e a rt b ea t s h ere '
Fa c e My h a nds fa sh ione d , see it in My s elf
T h ou h a st p owe r n or m a y s t c on c eive o f Min e


B ut lo ve I ga ve th e e with My s elf t o lov

, e .

And th ou m us t lo ve Me w h o h a v e d ie d f o r th e e

it is because this message la y at the hear t of

the death of Christ that me n of a ll r aces ha v e
it be false it remains the most depressing

tantalizatio n extant of human hopes for it ,

leav es the d arkn ess which bin ds our lives

absolutely un broke n What are we to do

with this narrati ve so p uz z ling a nd so d iffi cult


to belie v e May it not be possible that the

idea whi ch we h ave used a s the key to the
explanation of some of Chri st s e a rlier ex

p erien c es will help us to understan d this

section of the sto ry that the thought o f His

universality may throw some light upo n the

story of His r esu rr ection
At first S ight it seems absurd to proj ect s

the idea o f a Rep resen tative Typical Man into

a region beyond human experien ce—the alle
g a tion t h at Christ went through a post mortem -

experience which certain ly no other man before

or sin ce has gone th rough would seem to
shatter the conception of Him a s the R ep re
sen ta tiv e of Uni v ersal Man . But when we
look more closely in to the matter we see that ,

the truth is j ust the other way round No .

man can re prese n t the p erfect flower of wh at

is best though only budding in human ity
, , ,

who has not in his experience somewhat

which answe rs to the in timatio n s that are

w ithin men of a close relation to a larger world

and life For these in timations are an in tegral

part of the equipment of uni versal man They .

are in alliance with the best that is in uS —it is

in our highest and most moral moments that
we are most conscious of our affin ity to a
wider and higher life Whosoever therefore

would represent the essen tial idea of man must

somehow bring this fact of relationship with
the higher world within his experience .

Now this is precisely what the resurrection

of Christ does It is a revelation of a wider

life than we men have experienced but n ot


of a wider than we have wished for and can


conceive ourselves possessing It is a revela


tion of life under quite unexampled conditions ,

but it is a revelation of a distinctly human life ,

and of on e which we feel answers to what we

can conceive as the completion of our here
imperfect lives.

We Shall see this better if we recall the sto ry .

Now we do not possess any account o f the

actual resurrection itself No human eye is

eve n alleged to have witnessed that an d no

description of it is attempted in the memoirs
of J esu s What we do possess is an accou n t

o f what was visible in His tomb three days

after His death together with a series of in ci


dents of His alleged appearance to His friends .

Whe n we read these incidents howe v er it , ,

soon becomes evident to us that a quite new

act is being set forth before us It is quite

evidently not a case o f resuscitation merely ,

e ven from actual death The resuscitation


o f J esus after having been three da ys in the


grave would have been a su fficiently aston


ish in g thin g and di fficult of belief

, But the .

story would not have been without pr ecedent .

The old Hebrew legends had told of men who

had come back to life after a much longer
period than three days in the tomb an d even
in the memoir s of J esus Himself there are
stories of His br inging about such res u scita
tion s One of these cases wa s that of His

friend Lazarus whom He is stated to have


revived after four days in the grave Now .

that story may or may not be true ; but the

point to notice is that eithe r way it is in no sense

a parallel to the story of Christ s resurrection’


We are n ot it is t rue told much about Lazarus

, ,

after life : but so far as the records go there ,

aspect of the same th in g ) the result of sp irit _

ual affinity and love on the part of His friends .

An d yet again the old relatio n ship s are not


resumed The Risen One is an occasio n al


visitant n ot a n abid in g c ompanio n He

, .

refuses the caress o f affection inviting only


the touch of a n inquIrIng faith Yet He is no


ghost He eats before His friends if not with

them But He does n ot eat as guest but as

host and as something more and higher than

a human host
. His a ffections and in terests

have most pate n tly survived—He is quite

obviously the sa me p erson yet He is clothed
upon by new functions and powers and the ,

fi n al issue of it a ll is not so much a departure

as an intimate abiding among men : Lo ,

I am with y ou always even unto the end of

the world
It is foolishness to de al with a story lik e
this as if it were wh at precisely it is not an
, ,

alleged case o f return from death to what we

call life The diflerentia of the story from

a ll others is that it is a rev ela tion of a new

ty p e a nd k ind of life a life human in its in ter

ets and a ffi nities yet superhuman I n I ts po wers

a n d issue Here is a new fact added to the


sum of human experience a new creatio n

a revelatio n of th e possibilities of huma n life .

And what lifts the story out of the rea ch of

scorn and compels our reverence is th e mor al
in terest which pervades it Here is n o pan der

ing to lawless curiosity regarding the unseen

n o pretentious apoc alypse o f the heavenly

places : but the complete life Speaking to the

i n complete in accents educ ative encouragin g ,

empowering fulfilling To make this plain

, .

typical instances of these appeara n ces of the

Risen Christ have bee n selected eviden tly ,

with care and narr ated in detail T wo o f


the inciden ts for example illustrate the dis

, ,

tI eS S —partly intellectual partly moral a nd


affectional—which had been caused by the

death of J esus Him self The perplexity is

n ot simply dismissed by His appearance but ,

r emoved by means which even now appeal to

us as reasonable and replaced by a positiv e

education in religious faith Other in cide n ts.

illustrate the truth that love is the gateway

to p s lrl tu l
a revelat ons an d the supreme con

dition of S piritual growth The narrative .

a s a whole that is to sa
, y forms a real addition

to religious knowledge is a storehouse of sig


nifi c a nt spiritual suggestion and is worthy


o f its place at the climax of a car eer of extra

o rdina ry r eligious brillian ce and o rigin ality .

And there can be n o kin d of doubt that the

story has had a revolutionary e ffect upon
human thought and life It has wor k ed as

we should expect a ge nuin e discovery of a

further stage in human evolutio n to work .

Me n hav e come by the faith of it to regard

, ,

death in a n ew way a s an occasio n o f ch ange

but n ot of ending as a stage i n growth with ,

the persiste n ce i n to the n ew life of all that

is worthy in the old : a n d this thought of
the issue from mortal life has changed the
f ace of the world .

What then a r e we to mak e of this story

, ,

It stan ds alone unparallele d i n the r ecords of


e v en the imagin atio n of man Re4visitations


of this earthly scene by those who ha ve passed

from us have been imagined a nd allege d ofte n

enough : but we look in vain th roughout
the world fo r any se c o n d sto ry even so much
a s imagin in g a huma n life risin g from the

dead soul an d body in indissoluble union

, ,

in unbroken attachme nt to human in te r ests


the highest ideals of the East and of the West ,

harmonizing and fulfilling them and setting,

to all men everywhere an example that they

should walk in His steps If anyw here in

history we might dare to look for a revelation

o f a mode o f existence higher than thi spresent

and yet human it would surely be precisely


where we do find it as the climax and con


summation of the career of the New Man ,

Christ J esus It is fitting that the One Uni


versal Man Should carry further whatever

further revelation is to be given here of the
possibilities of human life : fitting that is ,

to sa y that by Ma n should c ome the resurrec


tion of the dea d He who sta n ding alone


in the middle of human history unfolds in ,

His own full life the possibili ties o f hum an

life on earth He is surely in
, His own order
as the fi rst begotten from the dead the
fi rst to rise out of the womb o f earth into
higher incarnation than this present order
a s yet pe rmits . A nd from this point of View ,

alike the limitations and the extreme simpli

city of the Resurrection narrative become
credible and explicable The story is a series
of first l essons in the New Life that is

before man given and made possible by the


Ma n Christ J esus It is right that

. first
lessons should be short and childlike and
in the main illustrations by sample

' ’
are the lessons of Christ s resurrection
life if we become as little children we Sh all

understand and enter in to the Kingdom of


which they tell .



HE story of J esus crowns its long seri es

o f marvels by the daring of its final

statemen t—that He is still alive on the earth ,

workin g by spir itual means for the fulfil

me n t of His purposes Some six weeks after

His crucifixion we are told a gr ou p of His

, ,

frie n ds gathered
, in one place became ,

suddenly the subj ects of a ve ry viole n t

me n tal and emotional upheaval out o f the

tu rmoil of which they emerged chan ged men ,

full of j oy courage eloque n ce and an aston

, , ,

ish ingly magn animous and generous love .

They attributed the change to the action

of their still li ving Master ; an d co nfi den t

that He wa s working with them th ey set ,

out upon a course of action which h as issued

I n the establishment o f the Christian Church

an d in the changing of the f ace of the wo rld .

This is indeed the source of the pe r en n ial
in terest of this fin ale to the gospel story
that it lin ks itself on to facts which we can
daily see and touch ; an d the questio n of
its credibility and mea n ing p re sses urge n tly
up on us Antecede n tly one would hav e

said that it wa s incre d ible in the highest

degree—th e suggestion that Christ was still
alive an d though u n seen was playing u p on
, ,

men s minds and affectio n s and impulses ;

yet ther e stand the facts especi ally the fact


of the solid structure o f n ew life a n d thought

built up b y the men who attrib uted their

fi rst imp etus in the new directio n to Christ s

own livi n g p r esence a n d inspiratio n .

I cann ot but think that the idea of Christ s ’

univ e r sality goes a lon g way to explain

this sto ry and make it cr edible : that no

formula comes near er e xplaining the phe

momena of the life of the early Chr istian
Chu rch than this : that these phenome n a
were the outcome of the pressure of a ca tholic
p resence on prov
incia l minds .

From the psychologic al p O int o f view ,

there is a per fect naturaln ess about the sto ry


ta neously reached ? Is it any violation of

the laws of min d that their collecti ve
Eureka should lo n g antedate the ir power
of presenting to others in plain intelligible
articula te speech the results of their ten se
thinking an d that at fi rst they should need

new linguistic symbols for thoughts that

were so startling a n d so n ew ? If o n ce we
gran t that in J esus the r e had co n fronted
these Galil aean peas a n ts a person ality of
extr aor d inary an d miraculous complexity ,

posses sing an area of symp athies and k n ow

ledge and outloo k utte rly unirn a gined in their
l —
toil worn an d limited i v es the n th e silence

and the w ai ting of the Rogation days ,

the common praye r the one accord, the ,

moment of colle c tiv e disco v e ry the sudden


roar of the wild win d of thought released ,

the in tellects a fla m e the rushing into activity


of unsuspected powe rs of utteran ce —these

thin gs surely become in telligible an d credible
enough ; and in deed without them the
, ,

story of J esus had been an in explicable and

ta n talizing tor so .

What then wa s it that these men had foun d

, ,

on Pentecost to be the secret and explan a


tion of
J esus It is here that the thought
of univers a lity creeps up before the mind .

We read that when the mul titudes came

together they were confounded because th a t
every man heard the disciples of J esus spe a k
in his own la nguage An d they were all .

amazed a n d marvelled saying one to a nother

, , ,

Behold are not a ll these which speak Gali

laea n s provin cial of the provincial ) ?
H ow hear we every man in our own tongue ?
That is to say ,W hence this universality

o f appe al ? Fo r however we m a y figure

to ourselves the details of the occurrences

of Pentecost it is clear that the appe al o f

C hrist w a s ca rried home to men o f differing

nations by some utterances that drew their
h ea rts together a s on e as we can fancy hearts

drawn together by the universal language o f

love . By some divine possession these G al i
laea n fishermen were carried o ut o f themselve s ,

o ut o f their local interests and national a n d

sectarian narrowness and—long before their


intellects could j udge and approve the novelty

—were compelled to stretch out the arms
o f love to a ll mankind in the name o f the

catholic J esus and pour forth in una c c us



tom ed strains in telligible enough to respons


iv e hear ts but me aningless to the loveless

, ,

the adoration of the maj esty of J esus an d the

love He bore the world I own that no .

thought helps me as this does to believe and

, ,

thankfully to rej oice in Pentecost When .

I read St Peter s defence of the new enth u

sia sm I understand the point of that defence

to be that a new era h as dawned in which

religious an d moral enthusiasm c a n no longer
be the monopoly o f the few in which spiritual ,

gi fts will kn ow no barriers of age and rank

a n d nation an d in which God will be very

directly and impar tially accessible to every

human so ul I n other words St Peter pro
, .

claims the closing o f the era o f limitations in

religion and annou n ces the era O f catholicity
, .

It is surely a touch of inimitable truthfuln ess

in the story that this same Peter whe n the ,

turmoil o f the emotions o f Pentecost had

passed sho ul d only with diffi culty and amid

misgi vings and lapses be able to reali z e in

the actualities of daily conduct this ide al of
catholicity But amid the fervours of th e

first Wh itsunday the conception of a fron,

tie rless kingdom o f G o d of a world wide


the r eligious worship o f the new community ,

while never disowning its antecedents in temple

and synagogue was from the first free de
, ,

ta c h e d from locality portable adaptable

, , ,

potentially universal .

In all this there is the working o f one influ

ence one central idea : that that which had

come to men in Christ J esus had come for

a ll men and was available for all It wa s

the function of St Paul to d r aw out in mani


fold detail the implicates o f this central idea

a n d as we now reading his writin gs try to
, ,

trace the growth o f his m m d it becomes ,

evident that the more he saw o f the work

ing of Christianity in the world the more he ,

came u n der the influence of the universal

istic idea of a reconciliation a gathering ,

together of all things in to one And this .

he in common with the whole apostolic c om


munity traced to the activity undiminished

, ,

by death of Christ in the world—of the Christ


in whom the uni v ersalistic idea was inc a r

n ate— in whom as Paul said there was
, ,

neith er J ew nor Greek Barbarian Scyth ian

, , ,

bo n d nor free —
nay in whom to use his

most darin g word o f all it pleased the


Father that a ll the f uln ess shoul d dwell the

fulness of the Godhead in bodily fo rm .

This is the wit n ess o f Pentecost— of the n ew

era o f the Spir it o f the min ds most deeply

in fluenced by that new era and o f the great


Church they founded — to the Universality

o f J esus That in the literature o f the apos

tolic Church this idea is dominant an d ubiqui

tous is the best of all p roofs that it is worth
o ur whil e to emphasize the idea o f Un iversa lity

sometimes as we have sought to do in these


studies when we contemplate J esus our Lord

, .

We bel eve that this Catholic Christ is by
His living spirit moving still in the hearts
o f men for the fulfilment o f the designs of
God It is true the sp irit o f provincialism

d ies hard : I n political life where men a re


so S low to realize that the catholicity o f J esus

has al tered the content of the idea of patriot

ism and is the herald a n d regulator o f a larger

a n d more cosmopolitan ideal than that o f

the older n atio nal ism : in ecclesiastical life ,

where to the in finite sadde n ing of many


hearts p ride and the fear of ma n are raising


barr iers where th e catholic Christ would fa in


dest roy them : in our moral life wher e a ,

kindly and hospitable goodwill struggles with

the bitterness and selfishness of narrow sy m
p a thies And
. yet the Catholic Ch r ist must
t riumph and for His triumph we must work

and watch and pray not without suffering ,

for he who decli n ing the r ole of proselytizer

, ,

se c tary partisan works for the larger u n ity

, ,

that is to be must endure the fr equen t


r eproaches of the belligerent brother who lives

for the victories o f the hour and the success ,

o f his particular par ty But j ust here is the


patience of the saints they who hav e

see n the vision of th e Universal J esus will
wa it and work and pray even though around ,

them are the thickets an d stockades of a mili

tant sectarianism and though the air is full
of the obscene riots o f party cries — striving
in all they do to contribute to the ful filment
of their High Priest s pray er for a t ruly c a th o

lic unity corresponding to the Universality

o f His Perso n w h e n there shall be the whole
, ,

world over but one flock and one Shepherd

, , .

Ta nner , T/z e S elw ood Pr mtz n: W a r/es , F rom nd L on don


B utler a nd , a

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