« ÎnapoiContinuă »
matter for bare intellect or reasoning, but for faith. As Peter went down to Him upon the water, simply trusting in His power, so must we draw near to Him in our sins, simply trusting in His love. Let us go to Him as sinners, leaving the rest to Him. If we may, to stand behind Him weeping is enough. Let us leave all deeper, higher things for those whom He shall choose. In a little time, it may be, through His tender, forgiving love, we shall have a share in their blissful rest. In a few short years, after a few more sorrows, a few more seasons of buffeting and weariness, after a few more fasts and
prayers, a few more weak strivings, a few more longing communions, we shall sleep in Him, with all those who lean—not now on Abraham's bosom, in the rest of God-but on Him, the Word made flesh, in whom patriarchs, prophets, and all saints find refreshment. They lean upon Him in paradise, waiting for the day when our frail humanity shall be raised excellent in strength, and we shall be united to Him in peace and rest, sinless and deathless, in the glory of His Father.
THE UNITY OF LOVE.
Sr. Matt. xxii. 37-40.
Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Y these words our Lord teaches us the unity
of the kingdom of God. All the commandments of the Law, written in ten divine precepts on two tables of stone, expounded by an inspired lawgiver, and recorded in sacred books; all the precepts and commands of God's prophets, the greater and the less, and of all whose names and words pass before us in the history of Israel ;—all this manifold body of divine injunctions for the government of man and for the worship of God, run up at last into these two simple and divine precepts: to love God with all our heart, and our neighbour as ourselves.
For these two commandments have the same end and scope as all the law of Moses and all the words of the prophets; they contain the whole motive of universal obedience.
And these two commandments in turn run up into a higher unity. For love is one and indivisible, a principle and gift of God. In these two commandments it is parted, indeed, into two heads, as two rays of light issuing from a common fount: two only in direction and relation, one altogether by an absolute unity of origin and nature.
Let us see, then, how this manifold scheme of divine commands and of universal obedience has, at last, but one principle and law.
And first, because “ God is love." There is a divine depth in these words. They not only mean that God is loving, as when we say that He is wise or merciful, but that Love is God. For all that is in God is God. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are not three names, but three Per
Paternity, Filiation, and Procession is God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Ghost. The Intelligence of God is His very Being ; so also His Love, for God is a pure and perfect energy of love and knowledge.
He said of Himself, “I am that I am.” And
our blessed Lord says, “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” He means not only, “I will quicken and raise mankind from the dead,” but “I am the Resurrection, and all rise in Me: I am the Life,' and all live in Me.” So the Eternal Love is the Eternal God.
And further, God's love is God's law. From all eternity He dwelt in His everlasting rest; not solitary, though with no like or second ; for there are not two uncreated, nor two eternals : not alone, though in perfect oneness; for in one Godhead dwelt the ever-blessed Three in mutual love and bliss; the Father in the Son, the Father and the Son in the Holy Ghost; the Holy Ghost proceeding from both, dwelling in the Father and the Son, being the love of the Father and of the Son, the bond of the eternal Three.
So dwelt the Eternal in His everlasting rest, until the uncreated Love, unmoved of any,—for there was none other,-moved only by Himself, began to create, that is, to give life of His life, and to inscribe the law of love upon the creatures of His will. Therefore He created the heavens and all the host of them ;" that is, holy angels, spirits of love and spirits of knowledge, and all the companies of the heavenly kingdom; thrones, dominions, principalities, and powers ; and surrounded Himself with an hierarchy of blessed intelligences. These dwell in the depths of the inaccessible light, in the folds of the eternal love, loving, adoring, and ministering; and the law of their Creator is the law of their existence. They love God with all their strength, with all the energy of angelic natures; they love each other as them. selves, with a perfect equality of pure and heavenly love. They are filled with the light of God's countenance, and they cleave to Him with a perfect adherence of their whole being. They are united in a mutual joy, and their delight is in the depth of an universal bliss. Such is the unity of God's law in His eternal kingdom.
1 Gen. ii. 1.
And that same love moved Him further to create the earth, and mankind upon the face of it. Man was made to love his Maker and his kind. God, in like manner, impressed on him this same law as the law also of his being. When man sinned against God, love moved Him again to redeem the world. God gave the Son of His love to be made man: the Son gave Himself to die. He gave also His Spirit to dwell in His redeemed. The whole work of the Spirit upon earth is a work of love, “gathering together in one the children of God which are scattered abroad," bringing them back once more to the unity of the heavenly kingdom. There is a throne in heaven, and above it