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sex takes the burden of responsibility on itself, the other, in the enthusiasm of love, will vie with it in devotion to Christ's cause. Every development in one will lead to new developments in the other. For, as Bishop Ken says,
" Love must strive, from limits to get free ;
And that sweet strife will everlasting be." To what state of society this tends, Tennyson, in his Princess, has beautifully foreshadowed
“ In the long years must they liker grow;
The man be more of woman, she of man ;
Like perfect music unto noble words." Such we believe to be the deep reason of this inspired limit, and such its beneficent result. Not by an obliteration of the existing distinction between the sexes, but by a judicious recognition of it, can the highest good be accomplished. Thus each learns from the other. Their natures grow into one another, till, in the far future, the man becomes as the woman, and the woman as the man. The goal of humanity is Christ, in whose nature we discern male and female characters in perfect poise. He is the ideal of the woman, as of the man; and the perfection of both in His image involves and carries along with it a similarity which we cannot at present conceive.
In conclusion, allow me to say that this seems a subject of deep importance. We need all kinds of work in the Church of Christ, if success is to be ours. And especially do we require, not the occasional service, nor the diversion of some light and easy task, but the whole-hearted consecration of Christian women. I ask this, then, at your hands. O, my sisters, does there come to you, in your quiet homes, amid your refined pursuits, any wail of the worlds misery? Do you never feel oppressed with the burden of mankind's sin ? Can you be absorbed in small elegancies, in mere gaeity, in the midst of such an, erring, suffering, dying, humanity ? Will you not rise to its help, and say, “while my sisters are perishing body and soul, I cannot luxuriate in indolence ?” Will you not give yourself to elevate your kind ? Come take up the yoke Christ puts on your shoulder, and bear it gladly for His sake. Let this be your life's law—“To me to live is Christ.
“Wherever a service may be rendered to Jesus, I will joyfully render it. Wherever my presence may be a reinforcement to virtue, my presence shall be. Where I can ward from vice and ruin, thither will I hasten, let all who will bar the way.”
No one can tell to what you may rise, if you only stoop thus low. Orpheus' fabled power of drawing stocks and stones will be yours. Like Spenser's Una, by the sweet calm of your presence, you will be able to tame the fierce, lion-like passions of mankind. And you will find, in this self-forgetful toil, occupation, moral elevation, width of sympathy, and such a culture of of your entire womanhood, as will secure for you the noblest happiness, confer new dignity, and draw down upon yourselves and your sex the high approval of God.
THE LAW OF
A. H. CHARTERIS, D.D.,
ONE OF HER MAJESTY'S CHAPLAINS.
“Thou shalt LOVE the Lord thy God. . . Thou shalt LOVE thy neighbour. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”—Matt. xxii. 40.
HEAR, O Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord.” This was the cry of Israel's first leader, of Moses the Lawgiver. The unity of the Godhead was a truth unknown in its completeness to other nations, and the very possession of that truth elevated the standard of religious thought among the chosen people. For, in the knowledge that everything around him, and within him, and above him, was subject to the sole control of Him who sitteth in the heavens, the Israelite had the materials of a creed which raised him far above the grovelling superstitions of heathen races The very unity and simplicity of the thought gave a meaning to all the apparently discordant elements of universal nature. While the shuddering savage thought he saw his sanguinary deity exerting his capricious wrath on the one hand, or showering an equally capricious favour on the other, the Jew recognised the hand of Jehovah, who sitteth on the circle of the universe, and whose judgments are truth and right. While the civilized Greek or Roman, foolish in the things of wisdom, fancied he could trace the action of contending powers, one class benignant and bounteous, one class wrathful and unfeeling, and hence peopled his regions of divinity with a countless motley throng; the Jew still bent the knee in confidence to that one Lord who sendeth His rain upon the just and on the unjust, but who will yet render unto every man according to his works. On the seven hills of Rome rose many a stately temple; in the blue waters of Greece aws mirrored many a lovely shrine; on the broad approaching pathways, came many a crowd to worship the gods and goddesses of their heathen creed-in one they bent before the image of Wisdom, in one they crouched at the feet of Power, in one they shouted the wild songs of Drunkenness; not a lust that rules in man but had its image, and its house; not a fear that sways his being but was adored as a divinity; and the rulers of the wide world thought that they were ruled by thirty thousand potentates, in all things like themselves, save that they were divine! But between the enbosoming hills which stand around Jerusalem, on the sacred heights where, according to tradition, the patriarch had stretched his son, there rose the one temple of the chosen race, sacred to the one God they worshipped; and at the Feasts of the Passover, of the Harvest, and of Tabernacles, came all the seed of Jacob to glorify Him and to fear Him—the One Eternal amid all that fadeth away, the One Supreme over all below-one “God the Lord.” In the possession of this faith, then, that the Lord our God is one Lord, the children of Israel had a heritage far surpassing that of any other people.
Where, then, shall a law be found in its vast simplicity worthy of this noble faith? Where shall there be found a rule worthy of Him who is alone in might, and dominion, and power? It is the Law of Love. The Great Prophet of old taught that there is one God; the Greater than Moses taught that there is one Law. Even as the knowledge of one God raised the Israelite far above the heathen, so the knowledge of one law raises the Christian far above the Israelite. What Jew in those old days ever learned that of all the many precepts of Moses, of the Proverbs of Solomon, of the warnings of Isaiah and his fellow-seers, the sum was Love? The Law of Love was implied, involved, embraced, enforced, yet it was not fully realised as the sum of the Mosaic Code. In Deuteronomy we have the first part of the great commandment. “Hear 0 Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord, and, thou shalt love the Lord thy God, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deut. vi. 5). In Leviticus we have: “Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (xviii. 10). But though these were in the Old Testament, the Jew did not know that the Old Testament was in them,—that all its requirements were fulfilled and all its duties obeyed, in the observance of that one command, “Thou shalt love."
Mark, ere we pass from this, the unity, the simplicity, the oneness which characterises this Law of Love to God. It is based on the declaration that there is but one God the Lord. Because there is but One, thou shalt love Him with all thy heart, and soul, and strength, and might. There is none to share the homage of the heart with Him, and therefore give it all,-all to Him alone. But further, this law itself is one. It is Love. As a human being, as a member of society, as a member of some family, man owes many a duty to his God; but only one principle shall regulate him in all, and the command is, “Thou shalt Love." There is thus condemned mere outward reverence for God, whether it springs from servile fear, or from respect for custom, or from hope of future advantage, or from love of peace, or from any other of those lower motives which go so far with many of us to fashion our “ religious life.” Nor can we forget that this universal Law, like all the commands of God, is addressed to man as one.
“ Thou shalt love." God does not demand only the homage of the head, or the obedience of the hands, or the praise of the tongue. Nothing less than our own selves must we give to Him. All that makes up the man, the personality, is summed up in that awful word “ Thou” of the Commandments. All the attempts to make religion a matter of mere emotion, or of mere intellect, or of anything less than the whole life and being, are thus condemned.
Now, even as we are commanded to love God because He is the one Lord our God, so there is given as the reason for loving our neighbours this fact, “I am the Lord” (Lev. xix. 18). I am the Lord, I change not; and as ye are all My creatures, the work of my hand, the subjects of My supreme power, formed of one dust, breathing one life, moving onward to one judgment-seat, -learn your equality, and love one another as neighbours. Thus then, the ground of our loving our neighbour is that we have all one Father, and that one God created us. Thou art rich and thy brother is poor; yet love him, for the same God has his image in you both, the same salvation both may share, the same death is before you both, the same eternity must be yours and his. Thou art good and thy brother is evil : yet love him as thyself, for he is God's, even as thou art; and if God thinks him still worthy to live, who art thou that thinkest he is unworthy to be loved ? This, then, is the groundwork and basis of the Law of Love,—this feeling of our equality, this knowledge of our immortality, this perception of the Fatherhood of the one God, and of our common standing and destiny.