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vating the spirit of Sidney Lanier as he looked out over the marshes of Glynn on the Carolina coast :
"As the marsh-hen secretly builds in the watery sod,
Behold I will build me a nest in the greatness of God.
the skies. By so many roots as the marsh-grass sends into the watery
sod, I will heartily lay me a-hold of the greatness of God.”
CHRIST AND THE CHRISTIAN
"And there are also many other things, which Jesus did, the which if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that should be written.”—John 21:25.
ILLIAM HAZLITT, in his essay “Of
represents this topic as having been suggested by Charles Lamb in the literary club of which they were the centre. One suggested, “I suppose the first two persons you would choose to see would be the two greatest names in English literature, Sir Isaac Newton and Mr. Locke.” With impatience restrained by courtesy, Lamb stammered, “ Yes, the greatest names but they were not persons—not persons.'
"Not persons ? “ That is, not characters. By Mr. Locke and Mr. Isaac Newton you mean the “Essay on Human Understanding' and the ‘Principia’ which we have to this day. But beyond their contents there is nothing personally interesting in the men. But what we want to see anyone bodily for is when there is something peculiar, striking in the individuals more than we can learn from their writings. I dare say Locke and
Newton were very much like Kneller's portraits of them. But who could paint Shakespeare?” Lamb had no wish to see Shakespeare, because he had seen so much of him on the stage and bookstalls and mantel-pieces that he was heartily tired. Milton he did not desire to see because his picture showed him too stiff and puritanical. Sir Thomas Browne and Fulke Greville, he would have been pleased to encounter on the floor of his apartment in their nightgown and slippers, because of a certain air of mystery which they breathed. Chaucer was desired by the company, but not Spencer because the bringing in of the individual might rob his romantic poetry of its charm. The Wandering Jew was set aside as spurious, while Columbus was left to the new world. Pope, Dryden, Goldsmith, Fielding, and Richardson were called for. There was but one statesman in the whole of English history that anyone expressed the least desire to see—Oliver Cromwell, with his fine, frank, rough, pimply face and wily policy; and one enthusiast, John Bunyan." It seemed that if he came into the room, dreams would follow him and that each person would nod under his golden cloud "nigh sphered in heaven,” a canopy as strange and stately as any in Homer. Leonardo was presented with majestic beard and watchful eye. Raphael's graceful head and Michael Angelo and Titian were beheld. When Julius Cæsar, Alexander, Tamerlane, and Genghis Khan were suggested, “Excuse me," said Lamb. “On the subject of plotters and disturbers of the world I
have a crotchet of my own which I beg leave to reserve." "I would like to see Judas Iscariot,” continued Lamb. “I would fain see the face of him who having dipped his hand in the same dish with the Son of Man, could afterwards betray Him.”
“ There is only one person I could ever think of after this,” continued Lamb, “but without mentioning a name that once put on a semblance of mortality. If Shakespeare was to come into this room, we should all rise up to meet him; but if that person was to come into it, we should all fall down and try to kiss the hem of His garment.”
That tribute is the universal tribute to Jesus Christ by well-nigh all the great masters of thought and life through nineteen centuries of European civilization. Whether they agree in doctrinal interpretation of Him or not they do unite in proclaiming the eternal supremacy of His matchless personality. William Ellery Channing said, “His character is entirely removed from human comprehension.” Jean Paul, “He is the purest among the mighty and the mightiest among the pure." Sabatier, the broad-visioned French theologian gave this insight into the habit of his life, “When wearied of life and knowing not where to turn, I go to Jesus of Nazareth because in Him alone do I find optimism without frivolity and seriousness without despair."
This supreme and universal tribute, was it from what He was, from what He did, or both? This shall be the purpose of inquiry at this time. In this day when long accepted political, scientific and social
traditions and customs are being overturned it is no wonder that the institutions and doctrines of religion have had to pass through the storm of the strong winds of criticism. Now it is well for us to take our bearings and we shall find that not one hair of vital doctrine has been injured; though some things that might have been thought necessary have only shown themselves to be a kind of surviving appendix.
It is of vital import to consider the relation of Christ to the Christian enterprise.
First note the magnitude of the Christian enterprise.
The work accomplished in three short years of a young man's life seemed so stupendous that an admiring biographer in concluding what we would call “ An appreciation " said, overwhelmed with the greatness of the subject of his sketch, that if everything that He did were written down that he supposed even the world itself could not contain the books. But this Man was not bothered about writing books on paper either about His teachings, or Himself. Unlike Rousseau or Augustine, He had no time for confessions, autobiography, or written statements of His ideas. He was too busy impressing Himself on His generation. He stooped down and wrote upon the sand, but stooping He wrote Himself into men's hearts. And they became living epistles read of all men.
He was a tremendous worker. He realized that His time was short. “I must work the works of