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´╗┐Title: Some Essentials of Religion
Author: Roper, J. C., Bidwell, E. J., Little, H. M., Owen, D. T., Doull, A. J.
Language: English
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SOME ESSENTIALS

_of_

RELIGION


VOL. I

LAYMAN'S LIBRARY OF

PRACTICAL RELIGION



Editorial Council:

  THE RT. REV. J. C. ROPER, LL.D., D.D.
  Bishop of Ottawa, (Chairman)

  THE RT. REV. E. J. BIDWELL, D.D., D.C.L.
  Bishop of Ontario

  THE RT. REV. J. A. RICHARDSON, D.D., D.C.L.
  Bishop of Fredericton

  THE RT. REV. A. J. DOULL, D.D.
  Bishop of Kootenay



TORONTO

THE MUSSON BOOK COMPANY LIMITED



Copyright, Canada, 1922

By THE EDITORIAL COUNCIL



FOREWORD

These chapters have not been written for hurried reading; they are
studies of Central and Vital Truths, for those who wish to think them
out again under the guidance of the Church.

JOHN CHARLES, OTTAWA.



Note:--In placing these books before Church people through the churches
no financial gain is contemplated for anyone concerned.  Those who are
initiating the Library, and all the writers, are content if the Church
they serve is benefited thereby.



CONTENTS


   I.  God, our Father.  By the Rt. Rev. J. C. Roper, LL.D., D.D.,
       Bishop of Ottawa

  II.  Fundamental Thoughts about Jesus Christ.  By the Rt. Rev.
       E. J. Bidwell, D.D., D.C.L., Bishop of Ontario

 III.  The Bible.  By the Ven. Archdeacon Paterson-Smyth, D.D.,
       D.Litt., Montreal

  IV.  What Is Faith.  By Rev. H. M. Little, L.S.T., Montreal

   V.  Prayer.  By the Very Rev. D. T. Owen, Dean of Niagara

  VI.  Holy Communion.  By the Rt. Rev. A. J. Doull, D.D.,
       Bishop of Kootenay

 VII.  Immortality.  By Rev. Canon Cody, D.D., LL.D., Toronto



GOD OUR FATHER

By The Rt. Rev. J. C. Roper, LL.D., D.D.  Bishop of Ottawa.


VITAL IMPORTANCE OF THE TOPIC

The first word of the Layman's Library may properly be a message from
Laymen.  These are the terms of it.

"The hope of a brotherhood of a humanity reposes on the deeper
spiritual truth of the Fatherhood of God.  In the recognition of the
fact of that Fatherhood and of the divine purpose of the world, which
are central to the message of Christianity, we shall discover the
ultimate foundation for the reconstruction of an ordered and harmonious
life for all men."

These words have a theological ring about them.  They are however the
words not of theologians, but of representative and responsible
statesmen in conference on urgent questions of public welfare.  The
message was issued by the premiers of Great Britain and of all British
Dominions to all citizens of the British Empire.  It forms a remarkable
confession of faith in the spiritual basis of human life.  The peace of
the world depends on goodwill among men, and goodwill among men rests
on spiritual forces, and of these forces the source of all and the
greatest of all is the fact of God our Father and of His gracious
purpose for the world.


WHERE CAN WE LEARN OF GOD?

All who wish to know God truly must put themselves to school under
Christ the Master.  A wonderful school it is.  Little children are at
home in it and the greatest minds among men find in it always something
new to learn.  The wonder of the school and the power of it lie not
only in the personality of the Teacher but in the fact also that He
Himself is what He teaches.  What Jesus Christ was God is.  The
revelation of God we possess in Christ is a revelation that is personal
and complete.  "This is life eternal to know Thee the only true God and
Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent."

This does not mean that the knowledge of God--or even of God as
Father--is the exclusive possession of Christians.  A long line of
Hebrew prophets, called and inspired by the spirit of God, revealed
God's Name and will and attributes in different ways and in different
portions to generation after generation of His chosen people.  It was
the special privilege of Israel to receive the oracles of God.  Christ
Jesus, Whose coming the prophets foretold, took over the revelation of
God that each had given, corrected it where it had been misapprehended,
endorsed it, set it in order, and completed it.  In the fulness of the
knowledge of God that had been given them Israel stood unique among the
nations.  Nevertheless other races had some knowledge of Him also.  God
has not anywhere or at any time left Himself without witnesses.  In our
classical studies we heard of Jupiter or Zeus "Father of men and of
gods".  Greeks of old in their philosophic search for unity, Hindoos in
their longing for absorption into the divine, Chinese in the moral
precepts of Confucius, Mohammedans in the constant call to prayer which
they obey, all bring before us religions that are sincere in their
adhesion to one or other of the great truths about God which they have
discovered.

I stood one night on the deck of a ship on the ocean.  The moon was at
the full and was shining in a cloudless sky.  The light penetrated
everywhere.  No part of the wide expanse of water was beyond its reach,
and yet straight before me was a broad pathway of light reaching as far
as I could see.  So bright was this pathway, that compared with it on
this side and on that all else seemed to be in darkness.

Some rays of the knowledge of God are recognized in all the great world
religions.  Along the line of the prophets of Israel the light of God's
self-revelation shone with special brightness, sometimes waxing it is
true and sometimes waning, until the day dawned and Christ the Sun of
righteousness arose.

This is what St. Paul means when he tells the Christians at Corinth
that God Who commanded the light to shine out of darkness has shined in
their hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
the face of Jesus Christ.


WHAT DO WE KNOW OF GOD?

But what is the knowledge of God that has been revealed?  We find it in
the Old Testament gradually unfolded, in the New Testament perfected.
What truths does it contain?  We must approach this question with
humility and reverence.  He of Whom we are thinking is the Living God.
We are in His presence while we think and speak of Him.  The whole
splendour of God's Being is beyond us.  He is the Creator and Lord of
all.  Nevertheless, if we are guided by the Revelation He has given us
in Holy Scripture, we can wholly trust our thoughts of Him as far as
they carry us, just because they are not our own but have been given us
by Him.


GOD IS PERSONAL

"The Lord God is the true God, the Living God and an Everlasting King."
He is also our Father.  God then is Personal.  He is One on Whom we can
lean, to Whom we can pray, whose works we can study in the Universe He
has made and in the history of men and of nations which He controls.
This is the first truth of God our Father that comes home to us when we
learn the Lord's Prayer.  It is also the last and most profound that we
shall rejoice in when we meet Him face to face, and know Him as we are
known.

It is a truth of vital and practical importance, affecting our whole
outlook on life.  Because God is Personal with mind and heart and will
we believe that this great world has a plan on which it is being
fashioned and a purpose towards which it is tending.  Within this plan
and purpose we too have a place, and no mean place.  We too are persons
with minds and hearts and wills.  We are not then mere straws on the
stream of destiny, or victims of blind fate.  We are children of our
Father Who is working in and through all mightily in wisdom and in love.

This is not a theory only; it is true to the experience of religious
men.  In it is found the secret of confidence, strength and joy.  It is
the infinite and varied record of this experience which the Psalms
contain that gives to them their special value for our use today.


"Thy hands have made me and fashioned me, O give me understanding that
I may live.  Be Thou my stronghold whereunto I may always resort, for
Thou art my house of defence and my castle.  The Lord is my shepherd
therefore can I lack nothing.  The Lord is my light and my salvation.
The Lord is the strength of my life.  Who so dwelleth under the defence
of the most high shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."


In a faith like this we can face our duty manfully.  In life's
responsibilities and perplexities we can trust our Father.


IT IS A TRUTH OF PERMANENT VALUE.

Personality in God and in man are closely related one to another.  That
men are persons and must be so regarded is a matter of intense
practical concern to us all and to the social life of this and every
age.  We cannot ignore personality in man.  To do so is to awaken
resentment, unrest and strife.  The statesmen already quoted are
clearly right.  Peace and progress in the world depend on the
recognition of this truth growing more and more adequate until we
realize fully the brotherhood of men which is implied in God's
Fatherhood.  We cannot ignore Personality in God, or pass it by as a
truth that belongs to childhood only.  It is a vigorous intelligent
faith which commands the allegiance of men.  Ultimately the dignity of
our own manhood will be found to depend upon it.  To lose sight of it
is to lose our way in religious life and thinking.  To hold it fast is
not an attempt to make God in our image, but to acknowledge that we are
made in His.


GOD IS HOLY

In the Old Testament God is the Holy One in Israel.  In the New
Testament also we remember Christ's own words in prayer, "Holy Father
keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given me, that they
may be one as we are one".  God's Holiness is closely connected with
His glory; we must associate with it all passages in Holy Scripture
which attribute to Him majesty and radiance, beauty and light.  The
religious value of this truth is very great.

In the vision of the Holiness of God men have found their chief impulse
to worship Him, and have felt the claim on their own lives exercised by
the moral splendour of God's own character.  "The righteous Lord loveth
righteousness."  Further, in proportion as they have realised God's
holiness and moral claim, men have felt the need in His presence of
acknowledging their own infirmity and sin.  This was the experience of
Isaiah and of St. John.  It has been the experience of an innumerable
company since.  We all have our share in it in the services of the
Church.  It finds expression in one of the greatest of our hymns,

  "Holy, Holy, Holy, though the darkness hide Thee,
  Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
  Only Thou art Holy, there is none beside Thee,
  Perfect in power, in Love and Purity."


This is undoubtedly the first great impression that the Holiness of God
should make upon us.  There is, however, another truth within it which
must not be forgotten.  There are in both the Bible languages Hebrew
and Greek two words which in English are represented by the one word
"holy".  One of them stands for moral righteousness, the other has the
meaning of set apart or consecrated.  This latter word when used of God
means that God is set apart from the world He has made.  Not in the
sense that He is separated from it, for He is very near; but in the
sense that He is not himself a part of it or identified with it or
confused with it.

This truth was needed in Old Testament times to save God's chosen
people from falling back into dark immoral forms of nature worship
which possessed the kindred people from whom they had been called out.
It is needed no less to-day to save us from falling back into
non-Christian ways of thinking.  God is distinct from His world; He is
never separated from it.  Is this difficult?  An illustration may help
if it is not pressed too far.  An eagle is perched on the topmost bough
of a tall dead tree.  A motor boat hurries by at some distance across
the water.  The great bird takes flight.  It is in the air.  It
breathes the air and is upheld by it.  The air is in the bird, in every
quill, I believe, of every feather.  Yet the bird is not the air, and
the air is not the bird.  They are distinct; separated they cannot be.
Without the air the bird could not exist.  "In God we live and move and
have our being."  We cannot for a moment imagine Him away.  Without Him
we could not exist.  Yet man is not God.  We are close akin, He is very
near.  But God is not man, nor man a part of God.  We hear sometimes
that God is all and all is God.  Christian truth cannot be expressed in
this way.  Our faith in the Holiness of God declares that He is within
the world but distinct from it, above it, around it, controlling it,
making it the servant of His will, that He is the source of all, the
upholder of all, the Master of all.


GOD IS ALMIGHTY

God our Father, Maker of Heaven and Earth, is Almighty.  "The Lord God
Omnipotent reigneth."  Here also are two words and two thoughts, not
one alone.  God is Almighty in the sense that His power is supreme and
irresistible.  This is wholly true but it is not the thought that
stands in the forefront either in Holy Scripture or in the creed.  It
is there in the background, where sheer force must be and ought to be.

The prominent thought, however, when we profess our faith in God the
Father Almighty is the thought of His wise, holy sovereignty.  He is
the Ruler of all, the Master of all, of Himself and of all persons and
things.  Not by might but by persuasion He is content to exercise His
Dominion over men.  So God governs the world and in His government we
find the model for the true government of men.  Force has its use only
where freedom has failed.  It is not God's power but His patience that
excites our wonder and at times our perplexity.  We are puzzled because
He does not intervene more directly with His outstretched arm, but
waits on man's agency and allows such latitude to man's self-will and
blindness and cruelty.  It is the price of our freedom.  This we know
and more we do not know as yet.  But we can trust our Father for what
Jesus Christ was God is.

We know therefore in the story of the Cross and of the Resurrection
that while sorrow and suffering and disaster are not removed from human
life, God does not stand apart from them and unconcerned.  All who pass
along the way of sorrows and into the valley of death may find in
Christ, that is in God Himself, the sympathy of One Who has passed that
way before, and the strength of One who has conquered death and all its
powers.


GOD IS EVERYWHERE PRESENT AND KNOWS ALL THINGS.

The attributes of God pass inevitably and naturally one into another.
It cannot be otherwise because they are all ways in which the Living
Eternal Being reveals Himself.  In thinking of His Holiness and of His
power we are led to think of His presence and in thinking of His
presence we are led to think of His knowledge.

"The eyes of the Lord are in every place beholding the evil and the
good."  It will not be possible to speak here in any fulness of the
knowledge of God.  Two facts, however, should always be kept in mind.
Nothing can be hid from Him Whose eyes are in every place.  Nothing is
obscure to Him Who is everywhere.  Yet it is not God's knowledge of
them that causes men to be what they are or to act as they do.  There
is a big problem here.  In theory it is too big for solution, but in
practice the problem is not so great.  God's knowledge does not compel
us more than does His will.  Within the limits that we are well aware
of, that come to us from inheritance and from environment, we are free
and because we are free we are responsible.

A second consideration is this.  The Holy One Who is ever present, Who
makes His moral claim upon us and expects the best of us, is no other
than our Father.  He knows us through and through.  Yet as a Father he
has compassion on His children.  He knoweth whereof we are made; He
remembereth that we are but dust.  The presence of God may best be
studied in close connection with His Personality.  It is as a person
that He is present.  The 139th Psalm will help us best to realize how
universal His Presence is.  We can then follow out the teaching given
there and elsewhere in Holy Scripture, in the witness of the Church,
and in the experience of men.  He Who is everywhere present, just
because He is our Father, can be present with us by His own appointment
in special ways and places and for special purposes.  He is present in
nature in its vastness and in its minuteness, and in both we can read
His thoughts after Him.  He is present in the affairs of men and of
nations in all ages.  He speaks to men in the voice of conscience and
we hear Him in its strange authority to command and to forbid.  In
Christ He is present revealing Himself in human experiences and in
human deeds and words and service.  Where two or three are gathered
together in Christ's name He is in their midst.  In the Sacraments He
is present to give His sacred gifts.


GOD IS OUR FATHER.

We have considered now some of the great truths of God which have been
revealed to us, but the Fatherhood of God in itself, what is it that we
know of this?

In the teaching of Christ our Master,--the Fatherhood of God is the
central truth of all.  It gathers into itself all other attributes and
gives to all a special quality.  It is our special Christian heritage.
The heart that believes God to be "Our Father" has room for the
conviction that "God is Love".  We shall perhaps gain fullest insight
into the greatness of this truth if we concentrate our thoughts on
certain facts which stand out with special clearness in Holy Scripture.

First of all it is His presentation of the Fatherhood of God which
gives to our Saviour's teaching its wonderful tenderness and power.
Not power alone, nor tenderness alone, but both.  He tells us that our
Heavenly Father knows our every need; that He Who feeds the birds of
the air and clothes the lilies of the field will not be unmindful of
the children of men; that our Father's heart is full of that eager,
forgiving, redeeming love which wins our heart in the parable of the
Prodigal Son.  On the other hand, He would have us ever mindful that
our Father, when we approach in faith and penitence, is One Whose Name
is to be hallowed, Who is the Lord of heaven and earth to Whom all
things are possible, Who governs all things and knows all things, even
the inmost thoughts of men.

Again, the Fatherhood of God is unchanging and universal.  It must be
so for He is the Eternal Father, and "He maketh His sun to rise on the
evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust."
Nevertheless, man's power to respond to God's Fatherhood is not
everywhere the same.  We shall understand this best if we study the
Bible teaching on sonship and brotherhood in the light of the
revelation which God has given of His Fatherhood.  There are in the
Bible different kinds of sonship, or sonships on different levels.  The
fact that we are created and created in the image of our Maker
constitutes sonship.  He is our Father Who gives us life.  "Have we not
all one Father, hath not God created us?"  There is, therefore, a
sonship which is natural and universal, but it is not in itself
complete.  Its value consists in the fact that it is the ground of a
higher relationship.  It is the capacity for sonship, which, however
hidden or dormant, we believe to be in every man.

Nevertheless so long as men are ignorant of God and indifferent to Him,
they are not in any full sense His sons.  We find, therefore, in the
Bible another kind of sonship.  God is our Father because He gives us
more abundant life, a life of redemption from ignorance and sin.  This
is illustrated in the Old Testament by the choice of Israel and the
great covenant promises involved in it, "I will be their God and they
shall be My people," "I will be his Father and he shall be My son."  In
the New Testament we find the same principle in the choice by Christ of
His Apostles and disciples for special privilege of knowledge and
grace.  This choice is perpetuated by Christ in His Church.  Our
Christian sonship is a special sonship.  It is ours by Baptism wherein
we are made members of Christ, children of God, and heirs of the
kingdom of Heaven.  Two practical considerations follow.  First, if
there are different levels of sonship there are different degrees of
brotherhood.  The message of the premiers is right.  The hope of a
brotherhood of humanity _does_ repose on the deeper spiritual truth of
the Fatherhood of God.  This brotherhood, however, is not a
relationship which comes to us simply by nature; it is a relationship
which in social, individual, national and international life must be
morally won.

Again, those who have Christian knowledge and grace have not received
this privilege for themselves alone.  They are God's sons who have
special gifts in trust on behalf of all mankind who have them not.  The
call to Missionary work is based on this responsibility, and will
remain so until "the earth is filled with the knowledge of God as the
waters cover the sea."

Finally, there is the unique sonship of Christ Himself.  His sonship is
perfect and complete.  It is also the channel through which our
sonship, whether of creation or redemption, comes to us.  "All things
are delivered unto Me of My Father, and no man knoweth the son but the
Father, neither knoweth any man the Father, save the son and he to
whomsoever the Son will reveal Him."  It is this Eternal sonship which
constitutes the special significance to our confession of faith in God
the Father in the Apostles' Creed.  Christ is One Who comes to us from
the Eternal life of God.  That life which though inseparable from man
and from the world is yet forever holy and distinct.  The Christian
doctrine of the Holy Trinity helps us here.  It arose out of simple
loyalty to New Testament teaching.  From the first it has been a living
practical faith.  Christians learnt to recite their belief in God the
Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost; they were baptised in the
threefold Name and sang the Doxology before they thought out the
doctrine of the Trinity in Unity and before they were called upon to
defend it.  We find in this great truth the most profound realization
of Personality in God.  We see in it a vision of eternal fellowship in
life and in love, towards which we strive on earth.  In the light of it
we begin to understand that man, not only as an individual, but also as
a social being, is made in the image of God.



II.

FUNDAMENTAL THOUGHTS ABOUT CHRIST

By The Rt. Rev. E. J. Bidwell, D.D., D.C.L., Bishop of Ontario.


TWELVE FUNDAMENTAL THOUGHTS ABOUT CHRIST BRIEFLY SUMMARIZED.

    (I) Christ's Religion is a "Revealed" Religion.

   (II) Jesus Christ the Son of God eternally existing in the Godhead
        became Man for our salvation.  This is called the Incarnation.

  (III) He was born of a Virgin.

   (IV) The Gospels ascribe to Christ not Divinity only, but Deity.

    (V) He is also true Man, and Sinless.

   (VI) When He spoke God spoke.

  (VII) He is the Saviour of the world.

 (VIII) He rose from the dead.

   (IX) He founded a Church.

    (X) He is the Mediator between man and God.

   (XI) He is with His Church and her members to the end of the world.

  (XII) He is the Light of the world and the Lord of Life.


CHRISTIANITY A REVEALED RELIGION

Christianity, of which Jesus Christ is the Founder and Divine Head, is
essentially a "revealed" religion.  It is not, that is to say, the
result and culmination of the progress of evolution in man's beliefs
about God.  Nor was it the outcome of an impact made upon Judaism by
Hellenistic thought.  It is, and has always from the first claimed to
be, a direct revelation by God of Himself to man through Jesus Christ.

To say this does not mean however that the world was not in any way
prepared for the coming of Christ.  On the contrary, the traces of that
preparation are clear throughout the Old Testament, from beginning to
end.  If the Old Testament is read in the light of a progressive
revelation of God's Nature and Being, and His relations with mankind,
its difficulties disappear, and it is seen to point clearly to the full
revelation of God in Jesus Christ.  But the method is that of God
pointing out the way to man, not of man's discovery of it for himself.
When almost the whole of the then known world had been brought under
the sway of the great Roman Empire, the time was ripe for a World
Religion.  So "when the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His
Son" to bring the message of salvation to the whole of mankind.


THE PRE-EXISTENCE AND INCARNATION OF CHRIST.

The Christian Creeds make it clear that the coming of Christ was the
fulfilment of God's plan when they state, as does the Nicene Creed,
that our belief is in "One Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of
God, Begotten of His Father before all worlds, ... Who for us men and
for our salvation came down from heaven, And was incarnate by the Holy
Ghost of the Virgin Mary, And was made man".  The Church plainly
teaches the belief in the pre-existence of the divine person from the
beginning, as alone meeting all the facts, and has steadily rejected
every other belief, in spite of all difficulties.  That Jesus was man
was perfectly clear: His Godhead was much more open to attack.  So the
belief that in Jesus Christ God became man is put in the very forefront
of our confession of faith.


THE VIRGIN BIRTH.

The belief that Jesus Christ was born of a pure Virgin is entirely in
keeping with the belief in His pre-existence as God.  There is no space
to set forth here the weighty reasons for the importance of this
belief.  It is sufficient to say that it is inseparably interwoven with
the whole Christian conception of His Incarnation, namely, that in
Jesus Christ we have perfect God and perfect Man.  The Virgin-Birth
keeps the balance even between His Deity and His humanity.  This
article of the Creed, which is based on the direct statement of two of
the four Gospels, is therefore most helpful in enabling us to
understand that in Jesus Christ we behold Divine and human nature
joined in perfect unison, He being "God of the substance (essential
nature) of the Father, begotten before the worlds, and Man of the
substance (essential nature) of His Mother, born in the world".


GOSPEL PROOFS OF THE GODHEAD OF CHRIST.

The Credal statement that "Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is
both God and Man; yet He is not two but One Christ" is not an arbitrary
dogma, but is based upon the facts as set forth in the Gospels.  There
are our Lord's own direct statements as reported in St. John's Gospel;
("I and My Father are One".  St John X. 30.  "He that hath seen Me hath
seen the Father" St. John XIV. 9.)  There is also His reply to the
question of the High Priest at His trial, reported by St. Matthew
(XXVI. 63, 64.), St. Mark (XIV. 61, 62.), St. Luke (XXII. 70.), in
which our Lord distinctly claimed Divine Sonship, and that in the sense
stated in the Creeds, as is shown by the fact that He was at once
adjudged to be guilty of death for blasphemy, which would not have been
the case had not His claim amounted in the mind of His judges to that
of equality with God.  Passing for the moment Peter's confession of
faith at Caesarea Philippi (St. Matt. XVI. 16) there are certain
inevitable inferences establishing the belief that in Christ God became
Man which are drawn from His life and teaching while on earth.  Some of
the most salient of these are;--

1.  He invariably speaks to men about God not as one whose thoughts are
the outcome of even the deepest and most perfect spiritual insight a
man could possess, but as one who had absolute knowledge.  We feel
instinctively that it is God who is speaking to us about God.

2.  Next, he makes a claim upon men that no man, however perfect, ought
to, or would dare, to make; a claim which men would strongly resent
another man making on them.  For He claims men body, soul, and spirit,
and not only for time, but for eternity, and tells them that the
acceptance or rejection of that claim will make all the difference to
their eternal destiny (e.g. St. Matt. X. 32).  And He could only make
this claim as One who speaks as God.

3.  His teaching is delivered with an absolute authority that no man
could possibly arrogate to himself.  What he says is final; "I say unto
you".  Nor does he offer salvation through acceptance of a system or
philosophy of life, but through Himself; "Come unto me"; "Follow me";
"I am the way, the truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father,
but by me"; and many similar statements abundantly illustrate this fact.


CHRIST'S MANHOOD.  HIS SINLESSNESS.

We need no proof of the Manhood of Christ, as we can read about it for
ourselves in the Gospels.  We can see from the records therein
contained that Christ was man like as we are.  But there was one most
important difference between us and Him.  He is the only man who was
ever free from the taint of sin.  He alone could fearlessly ask the
question:--"Which of you convicteth me of sin"?

But the fact that He was sinless does not imply that He was never
tempted.  Had He been entirely free from temptation, His manhood would
have been so utterly different from ours that it would mean little or
nothing to us.  But He was not so free.  This we have on His own
authority, as the account of His temptation in the wilderness can only
have come from Himself.  And there can be no doubt that He was tempted
not only on that occasion but constantly throughout His earthly life.
As the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews says, "He was in all points
tempted like as we are, yet without sin."

But the sinlessness of Christ does not if rightly understood repel us,
or prove any barrier between us and Him.  It is not an abstract belief
about Him, but is exhibited in His life as a man, thereby showing of
what manhood is capable if the human will be brought into perfect
harmony with the divine will.  We know ourselves that the closer we
bring our will into agreement with the Divine will, the less liable we
are to fall before temptation, and we also know that the nearer we draw
to Christ, the easier it becomes to will for ourselves what God wills
for us.  The sinlessness of the Son, Whose will was always in perfect
agreement with that of His Father, has always been the inspiration of
the saint, and at the same time the great attraction of His personality
to the sinner.


THE MISSION AND THE TEACHING OF CHRIST.

Jesus did not begin His public Mission till He was about thirty years
of age.  It opened with His baptism by John the Baptist, when by the
descent of the Spirit of God upon Him and the voice from heaven He was
marked out as the "Beloved Son", or as the Fourth Gospel represents
John the Baptist saying, "The Son of God".  Then followed a retirement
of forty days into the wilderness, at the close of which He faced and
overcame the severe temptations, which were all intended to debase and
destroy the ideal embodied in His Mission as the Saviour not of His
nation only but of the whole world, and the Founder of a spiritual
Kingdom in the hearts of men.  He soon gathered together disciples, of
whom He selected twelve, whom He named Apostles, to be His constant and
intimate companions.  They did not fully realise either the mystery of
His Person, or the object of His Mission, till after He rose from the
dead.  The conviction that a flash of spiritual insight brought to
Peter at Caesarea Philippi (St. Matt. XVI. 16) was not sufficiently
strong to prevent Him from publicly denying His Master at His trial.

It is difficult to summarise our Lord's teaching, for it cannot be
reduced to any system.  His Ministry was one of Reconciliation of man
to God.  As He said, He came to "seek and to save that which was lost".
His Gospel is the "Gospel of the Kingdom of God", or "The Kingdom of
heaven".  This Kingdom was not relegated to the dim and distant future
but was to be inaugurated here and now.  In all those who should become
members, a change of heart, a turning towards God instead of away from
Him, and a complete readjustment of values were required.[1]  He was
Himself as it were the Door to this Kingdom, which could only be
entered through Him.  He asked men to make Him the centre of Life,
instead of self.  'If any man will come after me, let him _deny
himself_.'

It should always be remembered, in studying the teaching of Christ,
that it is based upon the fact that men have a spiritual as well as an
intellectual and physical life; in other words, that they have a soul
as well as a mind and body, and of these the life of the soul is the
most important.  He does not set forth an elaborate system of conduct,
but rather enunciates certain great general principles on which the
Christian life is to be based.  These principles are to be applied to
every human relationship.  The teaching of Christ does not deal with
particular circumstances, which vary from age to age, and differ in
different countries in different races of men, but with human nature
which is the same everywhere in its fundamental characteristics.
Consequently His teaching is never out of date, but each generation can
obtain the light it needs therefrom.  It is not any flaw in the
teaching of Christ, but the very imperfect application of it by men to
the circumstances of life, which has from time to time caused the
charge of failure to be brought against Christianity.


CHRIST OUR SAVIOUR--THE ATONEMENT.

The purpose of the Incarnation was not only to reveal to men through
the Person and teaching of Jesus Christ the true Nature and Being of
God.  It was also to effect the reconciliation of men to God.  To
accomplish this purpose the great obstructing barrier of sin had to be
broken down.  The means chosen, in the infinite wisdom of God, was the
Death of Jesus Christ upon the Cross.  By this supreme act of
self-sacrifice He opened to men the way of reconciliation to God, and
became their Saviour from the dreadful power of sin, which by
themselves they could not and cannot overcome.  It should also be
remembered that in speaking of this sublime subject we are dealing with
a mystery, which it is beyond human power fully to explain, and that
for that reason no really adequate theory of the Atonement can be set
forth.  But of the fact there is no doubt.  The experience of countless
men and women has proven conclusively the saving power of the Cross.
When they have accepted that sacrifice made for the sins of men, and
have taken Christ into their lives, the predominant feeling is that
their sins have been forgiven.  And the fact that it is through
Christ's sacrifice, and not by anything they themselves have done or
could do, that they have won pardon, so far from lowering their moral
sense as might be expected, in that they are simply benefiting by the
action of another, invariably on the contrary makes a profound
impression on both life and character, enabling them through the
resulting loyalty and devotion to Christ to reach a standard of life
and conduct much beyond that which had previously satisfied them.


THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST

That Christ rose from the dead on the third day has been from the very
beginning the unquestioned belief of the Christian Church.  It is the
main theme of the first Christian sermon ever produced, that by Peter
on the day of Pentecost.  The Gospel records are perfectly plain as to
the nature of Christ's Resurrection.  He rose from the grave in His
complete Personality, spiritual and bodily, though His risen body was
free from certain limitations of pre-resurrection life.  It was the
same body as His disciples had known before His death.  Of this He bade
them assure themselves by actual contact.  That He rose from the dead
in His human as well as in His divine nature is the guarantee that we
men can share in His resurrection.  "Even so in Christ shall all be
made alive".

As to the exact nature of our own Resurrection body, naturally it is
not possible to speak with exact certainty.  Yet it is certain that the
Christian doctrine of the Resurrection of the dead means much more than
the survival of the spirit.  It teaches plainly and clearly a bodily
resurrection.  In the inspired statement of St. Paul, found in the
familiar Lesson of our Burial Service, (1 Cor. xv. 20-end), we have
four great facts set forth regarding the body which is laid in the
grave, and what it will become at the Resurrection:

First: It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.

Secondly: It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory.

Thirdly: It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.

Fourthly: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.

From this it is clear that our resurrection body will be such, as under
the different conditions prevailing in the future life, will have every
element of personality which we possess now, but in a glorified and
spiritual form.  "I" shall be "I" in the resurrection body, and
recognisable as such to those who know and love me now.  Beyond this we
need not go.  For it is God Who will raise us from the dead, and to Him
nothing is impossible.


CHRIST AND His CHURCH.

Though the actual word "Church" is only found twice in the Gospels, on
both occasions in St. Matthew (XVI. 18 and XVIII. 17)--that Christ
meant His followers to form a visible Body with proper equipment for
the task of evangelising the world after He had left it in the flesh is
shown clearly by the following facts.  In the first place He selected
twelve men, whom He kept together, trained together by close and
constant association with Himself, and to whom He gave the distinct
commission not merely to preach the Gospel but to admit men into the
fellowship by the Sacrament of Baptism.  He also instituted the
Sacrament of the Holy Communion which, though it had other purposes,
was certainly intended to be, and was in fact, from the first, a bond
of visible corporate union of all Christians.  Also the early records
of Christianity, as found in the Acts of the Apostles and the Epistles,
point conclusively to the conviction that in the foundation of the
"Churches" in different places, and in the beginnings of very definite
organization that are there seen, general instructions given by our
Lord were being followed by the Apostles.  It has been argued that, as
the first Christians were convinced that our Lord's return would be
quite soon, they would not have concerned themselves with the
foundation of a Society intended to last for an indefinite future.  It
is quite true that they did believe that the second Advent of Christ
would not be long deferred.  This belief arose partly from a mistaken
interpretation of certain sayings of our Lord, in which they confused
His prediction of the fall of Jerusalem with the end of the present
age, and partly from a very natural idea that His manifestation in
Glory could not be separated by any length of time from His
Resurrection and Ascension into heaven.  The fact remains, however,
that the foundations of the Christian Church were planned with the care
and forethought that an age-long existence called for, with the result
that, when the expectation of an almost immediate return was seen to be
unfounded, the disappointment did not in the slightest degree weaken
the faith or check the growth of the Church.  The certainty that Christ
would return remained, as it still remains, one of the component parts
of the Christian's belief about Christ.  When the time comes, He will
most certainly return "to be our Judge", but as He Himself said "Of
that day and hour knoweth no one ... neither the Son, but the Father
only".  It is not for us to speculate therefore about the exact date of
Christ's return, but to endeavour to live in such a state of
preparation that we should be ready to meet Him at whatever time His
second Advent may occur.  "Blessed are those servants whom their Lord,
when He cometh, shall find watching."

Christ is the Head of His Church, which is therefore a Divine
Institution, though it works in the world by human instruments.  Into
this Body we are admitted at Baptism, and by virtue of Christ's
Headship become by our admission "Members of Christ, Children of God,
and Inheritors of the Kingdom of Heaven".


CHRIST AS MEDIATOR

As Christ is God and also shares our humanity, and in virtue of His
great Act of Reconciliation shown on the Cross, we rightly approach God
the Father through Him.  That is why we end our prayers with the
words--"through Jesus Christ our Lord", and plead the Sacrifice of the
Cross before the throne of God in the Blessed Sacrament.  St. Paul
(Romans VIII. 34.) speaks of Christ as making intercession for us at
the right hand of God.


HIS CHURCH AND HER MEMBERS

Christ told His disciples that He would be with them always, even to
the end of the Age.  This promise He, as Head of His Church, fulfills,
both to that Body at large, and to the individual members thereof by
the presence and power of the Holy Spirit through which He works both
in the heart of the individual and in the whole Body, to which He has
given the charge of the Means of Grace.  We also rightly believe that
He is specially present in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood, which
He Himself instituted and ordained for His followers.


CHRIST THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD AND THE LORD OF LIFE

In closing this brief and therefore necessarily very imperfect summary
of a vast subject, our final thought may well be that in union with
Christ lies our supreme hope both in this world and in the world to
come.  For He is the "True Light, which lighteth every man that cometh
into the world"; the only Guide Who will never lead us astray.  And the
closer we draw to Him in prayer and sacrament, worship and service, the
more abundantly shall we recognize the truth of His own inspiring word;
"He that believeth on the Son hath ever-lasting Life", for Christ is
the Lord of all life, now and for ever.



[1] Note.--In Infant Baptism this requisition is made of the Sureties,
or God-Parents; "which promise, they (i.e. the Infants) when they come
to age themselves are bound to perform."  (Catechism).



III.

THE BIBLE

By The Ven. Archdeacon Paterson-Smyth, D.D., Litt.D., D.C.L.


This is a vast subject.  What is one to do with it in an essay limited
to twenty pages?  Keeping in mind the purpose of the editors I have
decided to confine myself to one main thought: Reassurance as to the
unshakeable position of the Bible amid present-day doubts and disquiet.

With all his reverence for the Bible there sometimes come to a
thoughtful layman perplexities and tacit questionings.  This is partly
because we are thinking a little more than our grandfathers did, but
still more because God has given in our day fuller knowledge of the
truths of history and science, and also of the making of the Bible
itself through the keen investigations of what is called Higher
Criticism.

There is no space to discuss such questions here.  But if it be not
presumptions after many years of study of these questions I should like
to assure the reader that not only is there no peril to the Bible in
any of this new knowledge, but that when he has got over any disquiet
caused by some shifting of his point of view it should make the Bible
for him a more living, appealing presentation of God.  At present I can
only help him to examine his foundations.


I.--FOUNDATIONS

1.--If the fear should ever come upon you, my reader, of the
possibility of the Scriptures being discredited by present-day
controversies after having been accepted as God-given for three
thousand years, first pause for a moment, and let the full weight of
these thoughts press upon you of all that is implied in the fact (1)
that any set of old documents, always open to scrutiny and question,
should for thousands of years have been accepted as of Divine origin;
(2) that they should have been yielded to by men as an authority to
guide their conduct by commands often disagreeable to themselves; (3)
that this acceptance and obedience has been chiefly amongst the most
thoughtful and highly-cultured nations of the world; (4) that it has
gone on age after age, steadily increasing, and never in any age has
made more progress than in this cultured, enlightened, all-questioning
century in which we live.

2.--What has given these Scriptures such authority?  Remember they were
only separate documents, often with hundreds of years intervening
between them, written by different writers of different characters to
different people, and under different circumstances.  Remember that in
many cases we do not know their origin, or how they assumed their
present form.  And yet somehow we never can reach back in their history
to a time when they were not treasured and reverenced among men as in
some way at least above human productions.  There they stand, a long
chain of records with one end reaching away into the far back past, and
the other gathering around the feet of Christ.

And remember especially this, that they were selected out by no
miracle, that they rest on no formal decision or sentence of Church or
Council, or pope or saint, nay, not even of the Blessed Lord Himself;
for long before He came, for centuries and centuries there they stood,
testifying of Him, cherished and reverenced as a message that had come
from above "at sundry times and in divers manners".  All study of their
history shows that their acceptance rested on no decision of any
external authority.  They were accepted as of Divine origin for many
generations before they were gathered into any fixed collection.  "The
Church", said Luther, "cannot give more force or authority to a book
than it has in itself.  A Council cannot make that to be Scripture
which in its own nature is not Scripture".

It is true that the great Synagogue, or their official descendants,
collected the Old Testament Canon of Scripture.  Yes, but when?
Somewhere about the time of our Lord, when the books had been for ages
recognised as of God.  It is true that the Christian Church collected
the New Testament writings into a Bible, and arrived at a decision
concerning certain books the authority of which had been in debate.
Yes, but when?  After they had been for 300 years accepted as the
God-given guide of the Church.  _Evidently it was not their being
collected into a Bible that made them of authority, but rather the fact
of their possessing authority made them be collected into a Bible_.

3.--Again, I repeat the question, what gave them that authority?  And
there seems no possible answer but this, that they possessed it of
themselves.  They commanded the position they held by their own power.
Men's moral sense and reason combined to establish them.  They appealed
by their own instrinsic worth to the God-given moral faculty, and the
response to that appeal through all the ages since is in reality the
main foundation of the Bible's position.

Look at the Old Testament.  If we at the present day are asked why we
receive it as inspired, we usually reply that we receive it on the
authority of our Lord and His apostles.  They accepted it as the Word
of God, and handed it on to us with their official approval of it.
Well, but why was it accepted before their day without any such formal
sanction?  How did men come to believe and obey as Divinely inspired
the words of Moses, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, and the rest?  Except in
the case of Moses, there were no miracles or portents; no external
voice from heaven to command men's allegiance.  They were not
established on their Divine supremacy by any single authority.  Why
then were their utterances accepted?

It seems evident there can be but one answer.  They asserted that
supremacy by their own intrinsic power.  Men were compelled to
acknowledge that their declaration that "the word of the Lord had come
to them" was true.  There was that in the messages of the prophets and
in the evidence by which they were accompanied, which compelled this
belief.

The books of the New Testament became recognised among Christians just
as the books of the Old Testament had been recognised among the Jews,
by virtue of their own inherent evidence.  Certain witnesses came
forward and recorded in writing the teaching of our Lord, or announced
certain messages for which they had His authority, or the guidance of
His Spirit in communicating them to their fellows.  Men had to decide
for themselves whether they believed those claims.  The Apostles were
supported, indeed, in many cases by miracles, but not always; and
though those miracles afforded momentous evidence, they were not
recognisable in themselves, when standing alone, as decisive of the
whole question.  No apparent miracle, it was felt, could of itself
authenticate a message from God which did not bear internal evidence
also of having proceeded from Him.  The appeal in the early Church was
directed, as in the time of our Lord Himself, to the hearts and
consciences of men.  He Himself could but appeal to those hearts and
consciences, and men accepted and rejected Him, not by reference to any
external authority, but in proportion to their capacity for recognising
His Divine character.

"_Thus from the first to the last, the authority of the Scriptures has
been equivalent to the authority with which they themselves convinced
men that they had come from God_."

I have been anxious to show you that the position of the Bible rests
not on any miracle, or any external authority of the Church or Council,
but on its appeal to the minds and consciences of men.  You may doubt a
miracle, you may doubt your individual instincts, you may doubt the
competency of any one body of men; you cannot doubt so easily the
conviction of a hundred generations.  They found in it a power to make
them good and they were convinced that it had come from God.[1]

Now consider that this Bible has held its authoritative position in the
face of the most violent attacks all through the centuries; that
infidels have dreamed that they had overthrown it and exploded it times
without number, with the result only that its power has steadily
increased, so that to-day it would be almost as easy to root the sun
out of the heavens as to root this Bible out of human life.

Take this single fact as an illustration.  A hundred years ago Voltaire
refuted it quite satisfactorily, as it seemed to himself.  "In a
century," he said, "the Bible and Christianity will be things of the
past."  Well, how has his prophecy been fulfilled?  Before his day the
whole world from the beginning of it had not produced six millions of
Bibles.  In a single century since, and that too, the enlightened,
critical nineteenth century, _two hundred millions_ of Bibles and
portions of Scripture have issued from the press, in five hundred and
forty-three languages.  And I have read somewhere that the house in
which Voltaire lived is now one of the depots of the Bible Society.


II.--THE WITNESS IN OURSELVES.

1.--I have pointed out that the authority of the Scriptures has been
equivalent to the authority with which they themselves convinced men
that they came from God.  Now let us try to bring this conviction home
to ourselves--_to test on ourselves_ the power of these Scripture
utterances which persuaded men of old that they came from above.  For
it is as they compel in us the same convictions that we can readily
understand the making of the Bible.

Get outside all thoughts of an authoritative Bible.  Forget the fuller
light of Christ in which you stand, which reveals comparative
imperfection in those ancient writers.  Put yourself in their place.
Picture the nations of the earth in their ignorance and depravity, with
their blind gropings after God, reaching no higher than fetishes and
idols, and the tales of classical mythology.  Then listen wonderingly
to those prophetic voices in Israel amid the surroundings of that dark
old world before Romulus and Remus were suckled by the wolf:


"Jehovah, Jehovah.  A God full of compassion and gracious, slow to
anger and plenteous in mercy and truth, keeping mercy for thousands,
forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin, and that will by no
means clear the guilty.

"Rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your
God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great
kindness, and repenteth Him of the evil.

"Thus saith the high and holy One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name
is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place with him that is of a
contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to
revive the heart of the contrite one.

"What doth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with thy God?"


And mingled with these noble thoughts, like a golden thread woven
through the web of prophecy, see that strangely persistent groping
after some great Being, some great purpose of God in the future--from
the Genesis prediction of "The Seed of the Woman" to the vision of the
Coming One by the great prophet of the exile "Surely He hath borne our
griefs and carried our sorrows ... the Lord hath laid on Him the
iniquity of us all."

Try to realise the impressiveness of it.  All down the Jewish history
in the midst of a dark world came these mysterious voices telling of a
holy God,--teaching, threatening, pleading, encouraging, pointing to a
gradually brightening ideal and to the hope of some Great One who yet
was to come.  And to deepen its impressiveness notice that these
prophets asserted passionately their conviction: "These are not our
words.  These are not our thoughts, God has put them into us."  "The
word of the Lord came unto me.  Hear ye therefore the word of the
Lord."  How could the people doubt it?  They were not good people.
They were stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, "who did
always resist the Holy Ghost".  They hated the high teaching.  They
killed the prophets and stoned those who were sent unto them.  But
conscience insisted that these prophets were right and, by and by, in
deep remorse they built them sepulchres and treasured up what fragments
they could find of their sacred words.  How could they help it?  Put
yourself in their place.  Do you not feel that you must have done the
same if you had been there?

2.--The same is evidently true of the Psalms, the hymns of the Jewish
Church.  They, too, owe their position to the appeal which they made to
the highest in men.  They were the utterances of noble souls who with
all their imperfections knew and loved God, and all kindred souls then
and since have felt their power in inspiring the spiritual life.  The
author's name did not matter.  In most cases it was not known.

The position of the Psalter, then, is not due to any author's name, to
any Council's sanction, but to its compelling appeal to the highest
side of men in that old Jewish Community.  That was how the Holy Spirit
wrought in making the Bible.  Judged by the higher standard of Jesus
Christ we can see imperfections and faults due to the poor imperfect
men who wrote the Psalter.  Strange if it were otherwise in that dark
age in which it grew.  But when all allowance has been made for these,
who can doubt that that Psalter, which has been so powerful in
inspiring human life through the ages since, caught on to men's souls
in those early days and convinced them that it came from God.

Again let us test its compelling power on ourselves.  Keep back still
in that dim old world with its self-seeking, and idolatries, and human
sacrifices, and lustful abominations, with no real sense of sin, no
longings after holiness, and listen to the Jewish shepherd reciting in
the field, and the Jewish choir boy singing in the church:


"Praise the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, praise His Holy
Name, Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, Who healeth all thy diseases.
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction, Who crowneth thee with loving
kindness and tender mercies....  Like as a father pitieth his own
children, so is the Lord merciful to them that fear Him, for He knoweth
our frame, He remembereth that we are but dust.

"Lord, who shall sojourn in thy tabernacle, who shall dwell in thy holy
hill?  He that walketh uprightly and worketh righteousness and speaketh
the truth in his heart.

"The Lord is my shepherd.  I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down
in green pastures, He leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth
my soul.  He leadeth me in the path of righteousness for His Name's
sake.  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I
will fear no evil, for Thou art with me."

"Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy loving kindness, according
to the multitude of Thy tender mercies, blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin....  The
sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O
God, Thou wilt not despise."


Are not such songs in such an age one of the miracles of history?  How
could men help loving and reverencing and preserving such songs?  How
could they help feeling that a divine Spirit was behind them?

3.--The rest of the Old Testament is the history of God's dealing with
the nation, a story gathered under the guidance of God's providence in
many generations, from many sources since the far back childhood of the
race.  The historians were evidently men with the prophetic instinct.
But I make no appeal on the score of their being prophets.  The appeal
is made by the history itself.  Was ever national history so
extraordinarily written?  It is the history of an evil and rebellious
people, yet everything is looked at in relation to the God of
Righteousness.  Records of other ancient nations tell what this or that
great king accomplished, how the people conquered or were conquered by
their enemies.  In these Jewish records everything is of God--a
righteous, holy God.  It is God who conquered, God who delivered, God
who punished, God who fought.  There is no boasting of the national
glory, no flattering of the national vanity; their greatest sins and
disgraces and punishments are recorded just as fully as their triumphs
and their joys.  In the records of other nations the chief stress is
laid on power and prosperity and comfort and wealth.  In these strange
records goodness seems to be the only thing of importance.  To do the
right, to please the holy God is of infinitely more value than to be
powerful or rich or successful in Life.  "He did that which was right
in the sight of the Lord."  "He did that which was evil in the sight of
the Lord," are the epitaphs of their most famous kings.

Therefore the national history of Israel also holds its position by its
appeal to the religious instinct.  No author's name, no theory of its
composition affects its position.  Whatever its imperfection, it has
impressed itself upon us as the simple story of God's dealing with men.


III.--THE WITNESS OF CHRIST.

I now point you to the chief ground for every Christian man of his
belief in the Divine origin of the Bible.  It is this.  _That it all
centres in Jesus Christ Himself_.  It cannot be dissociated from Him.
It is closely, inseparately bound up with His life.

The Old Testament tells of the preparation for Christ.  The New
Testament tells that when that preparation was complete "in the fulness
of time God sent forth His Son."  Jesus Christ, as it were, stands
between the Old Testament and the New and lays His hand upon them both.
The Old Testament contains the Scriptures which He told men were of God
and which bare witness of Him.  The New Testament is the story of His
words and works, and the teaching of apostles and early disciples sent
forth by Him as teachers with the power of the Holy Ghost.  It is this
fact that Christ is its centre which accounts for the striking unity of
this collection of separate documents.  The parts belong all to each
other.  And surely for us Christians our conviction as to the authority
of the Bible is increased a thousandfold by the attitude of Christ
Himself towards the only Bible that He had, the Old Testament.

It was the Bible of His education.  It was the Bible of His ministry.
He took for granted its fundamental doctrines about creation, man,
righteousness, God's providence and purpose.  He accepted it as the
preparation for Himself and taught His disciples to find Him in it.  He
used it to justify His mission and to illuminate the mystery of the
cross.  Above all He fed His own soul with its contents and in the
great crisis of His life sustained Himself upon it as the solemn word
of God.  And I cannot help feeling that the Bible which was good enough
for Christ on earth should be good enough for me.


IV.--THE WITNESS OF ITS POWER.

1.--Need I remind you of that practical conviction of every earnest
Bible student, the conviction which Coleridge expresses when he speaks
of the way in which it "finds me".  Men feel by their own spiritual
experience that the Book witnesses to itself.  "The Spirit itself
beareth witness with their spirit" that the Book is the Book of God.
It "finds them" as no other book ever does.  Its words have moved them
deeply; it has helped them to be good; it has mastered their wills and
gladdened their hearts till the overpowering conviction has forced
itself upon them, "Never book spake like this Book."

Need I point you to the world around, to the miraculous power which is
exercised by that Bible, to the evil lives reformed by it, to the
noble, beautiful lives daily nourished by it?  Did you ever hear of any
other book of history, and poetry, and memoirs, and letters that had
this power to turn men towards nobleness and righteousness of life?
Did you ever hear a man say, "I was an outcast, and a reprobate, and a
disgrace to all that loved me till I began to read Scott's poems and
Macaulay's History of England?"  Did you ever hear a man tell of the
peace and hope and power to conquer evil which he had won by an earnest
study of the Latin classics?

You can get a great many to say it of the study of the Bible, ten
thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands.  You can see
the amount of happiness and good that has come to the world even from
the miserably imperfect following of it.  You can see that the world
would be a very paradise of God if it were thoroughly followed.  Misery
and vice would vanish forever, purity and love and unselfish work for
others would hold their universal sway on earth.  The millenium would
have begun.

Need we be disquieted about a Book that comes to us thus accredited in
so many powerful ways?  Can we not see with restful hearts that all for
which we value it is safe from assault; that we never can doubt that it
has come to us from God.

With this confidence in our foundations we shall study peacefully and
with interest all new knowledge on the Bible.  Instead of fearing a
conflict of Science and Scripture we shall learn to read our Bible more
wisely.  For example, we shall read the Creation story not as a
scientific treatise but as a simple religious primer for an ancient
child race three or four thousand years ago to teach them first lessons
about God.  And if Higher Criticism teaches us that some of the old
books have been edited and re-edited before reaching their present
form, that David did not write all the psalms, that Moses did not write
the whole of the Pentateuch as it stands to-day, we shall learn to
regard it as a matter of mere literary interest.

Such questions may be discussed with a quiet mind.  For if the
authority of the Bible rests not on any external miracle, nor on any
author's name, nor on any theory of its composition, nor on any
pronouncement of any one body of men, but on its own compelling power
to convince men that it came from God, then its foundations are safe
enough, and the question how the Books grew or by whom they were
written or edited or brought together into a Bible is a matter of
literary interest in no way vital to the authority of Scripture.

We shall therefore need in our Bible reading more thoughtfulness, more
study, more prayer.  But the outlay of these will be repaid a
hundredfold.  The Bible will shine forth for us more real, more
natural, more divine.  Our beliefs will rest on a firm foundation.
And, though there may be still things that puzzle and perplex us, we
shall learn that our Christian life does not depend on the
understanding of all mysteries and all knowledge, but on the humble
obedience to the will of God, which for all practical purposes is
clearly revealed.

  Blessed Lord, who has caused all Holy Scriptures to be
    written for our learning; grant that we may in such
      wise hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly
        digest them, that by patience, and comfort
          of Thy Holy Word, we may embrace
           and ever hold fast the blessed
           hope of everlasting life, which
                Thou hast given us in
                  our Saviour Jesus
                    Christ.  Amen.



[1] I am quite conscious that I may be pointed to the acceptance of the
Koran and the Sacred Books of India as a fact that weakens this
argument.  I have no hesitation in admitting that, in part, the reason
of their acceptance, too, lies in their appeal to the consciences of
men through their containing broken rays of "The light that lighteth
every man coming into the world."  I should be sorry to think that
Christianity required my belief that the God and Father of all men left
the whole non-Christian world without any light from Himself.  But
surely there is a vast difference between the position of these books
and that of the Bible.  All that is good in the Koran existed already
in Christianity and Judaism, and is mainly derived from them.  The
Sacred Books of India, with their pearls of spiritual truth gleaming
here and there amongst a mass of rubbish, can surely not be compared
with the Bible in reference to the above argument.



IV.

WHAT IS FAITH?

By The Rev. H. M. Little, L.S.T., Rector of the Church of the Advent,
Montreal.


A careful reader of the Gospels must be struck with the insistence
which Jesus Christ places upon faith.  "Verily I say unto you I have
not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."  "Why are ye fearful, O
ye of little faith?"  "Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of
the palsy, son be of good cheer."  "According to your faith be it done
unto you."  "He did not many mighty works there because of their
unbelief."  "O woman, great is thy faith, be it unto thee even as thou
wilt."  "Dost thou believe on the Son of God?"  "Ye believe in God,
believe also in me."

What then is this faith which Jesus Christ asks of people?  Is it
nothing more than a "looking upward" by one in need to one able to
supply the need?  Jesus was never satisfied with this attitude.


THE TRUE NATURE OF FAITH.

In the case of the twelve Apostles we see what the nature of true faith
is.  Jesus Christ chose them that they might be with Him in order that
they might learn His "secret"--the knowledge of His Personality.  He
wished for such confidence in Him that they would commit themselves
wholly to His keeping.  For the lack of this faith He rebuked them in
the storm on the lake.  Their faith failed them again at the
Crucifixion; and it was the first task of the Master after the
Resurrection to build again this confidence which was shattered by the
tragedy of His death.  He was successful.  The early chapters of the
Acts record the degree of calm confidence with which these same men
committed their lives to His keeping (though absent from their sight)
as to One possessing all authority in heaven and on earth.  Such is the
true nature of Faith.


THE EVERLASTING WHISPER.

Perhaps it will be better to clear away a misconception existing in
some minds arising from a confusion of thought between the exercise of
personal faith and the facts themselves of which the Christian
revelation consists.  The two are quite distinct.  "The Faith" means
the facts of revealed religion made known to us through the Church and
interwoven into the very texture of the Creeds and the Book of Common
Prayer,--originally the content of the oral gospels.  We speak of the
Articles of the Christian Faith, meaning the Apostles' Creed.  The
doctrine of the Holy Communion or of the Ministry of the Church, etc.,
are parts also of "The Faith"; of this "faith" the Church is the
guardian and the teacher.  This is essentially different from that
inward personal movement of the soul towards God which we are now
considering.  The former may be thought of collectively as an objective
thing--something quite apart from the individual,--which he may
disregard or fail to understand; whereas personal faith is a movement
of the soul of man which as we shall see vitalizes his being and calls
into operation all his capacities.  It is possible to be thoroughly
instructed in the verities of "The Faith", and at the same time to be
devoid of personal faith; while on the other hand persons are to be met
with who possess an intense personal faith in the Three Persons of the
Blessed Trinity who have through no fault of their own but a very
slight intellectual grasp of the contents of "The Faith" as it has been
committed to the Church of God.  Yet "The Faith", "the Christian Faith"
must be cherished by faith (that movement in the soul of man towards
God) if the believer is to grow up unto the knowledge of God.


FAITH NOT ANTAGONISTIC TO REASON.

We find ourselves in a world of material things and physical phenomena.
We watch and study nature; we witness its orderly movements.  We ask
questions.  Is matter the real thing and the true explanation of it
all?  Does nature reveal an intelligence behind the universe and
working in it?  Are the movements in nature the product of law,--and
how did the laws begin to operate and when?  We listen to the answer of
the materialist, but it does not satisfy, because somehow or other it
does not account for everything.  Surely, we say, if the operation of
law accounts for everything, there must be a lawgiver.  Besides this we
observe in nature both design and beauty.  This suggests to us a mind
behind nature.  Man looks also within himself as part of creation and
finds he has a moral sense.  He makes distinctions between right and
wrong; there are present to his mind ideas of justice and mercy and
love,--whence came these, he enquires, for these are not material
forces at all, they are intellectual and spiritual?  He sees men die
and infants born, and he asks whence do they come and whither are they
going.  He refuses to believe that this life sees the end of man for he
has within himself the witness that he is spirit and not matter.  It is
in this refusal of the innermost being of a man to consent to any
materialistic explanation of the phenomena of nature or of human life
that faith declares itself.  The judgment which insists that the only
adequate explanation of the universe (as science has made it known)
must be sought on the basis of the existence of a spiritual world
permeating all that is seen in human life, and that behind it all as
its source and origin, as its upholder and controlling power, is
God--this is faith.

Further.  Faith--living faith--is the elemental act within man going
forth from him as a son in search for the knowledge of God as Father.
It is the greatest energising force within man, for it includes within
itself the other capacities within man's personality, such as his
emotions and his will; and in the case of the intellect,--it embraces
all that the intellect can accomplish, and then goes beyond the limit
which intellect can reach.  For faith takes all the conclusions arrived
at by man's intellect, and then, supported by these conclusions, makes
its venture as it were by the very power which is its own.


FAITH GOES FURTHER THAN REASON.

Think for the moment of the subordinate part played by reason in
relation to both heroism and love.  Heroism is universally admired.  It
springs spontaneously from within.  It makes few calculations.  It
seldom weighs the pros, and cons.  It may act rationally or in defiance
of reason.  It cannot stop to argue.  It may court certain destruction.
The challenge is accepted.  The heroic action is done.  And is it not
the same with the affections?  Whoever met the lover who became so
through his intellect?  Who can know what love is except by loving?
The lover does not sit down and reason the matter out, and after
weighing all considerations say, "Yes, I will now love."  Tell him to
act thus and he will laugh outright.  Love it is which draws him and
causes him to act.  He finds himself acting as he does just because he
is in love, that is all.  'Tis true that reason exercises her part.
Reason may show him that his love is harmful, or on the contrary that
it has the sanction of his best judgment.  But it can do no more.
Evidence can be found everywhere to the fact of love recklessly
pursuing its career in spite of reason.  Reason has its limitations and
love goes beyond it; outstrips it like heroism.  It is exactly the same
with faith.  If you want to know what faith is, give yourself up to its
influence, let yourself go out in response to it, let it carry you
along, until by experience you will come to know the power of faith and
the illumination of faith and the reality of faith.  Other faculties
will come to your aid to assist and to guide, but they can never be a
substitute for faith.  The personal knowledge of God can only be
reached through faith.  (Heb. II. 6.).


FAITH GOES FURTHER THAN REASON IN HUMAN AFFAIRS.

There are people who feel that they can only tread where the ground is
solid; where they see quite clearly what is ahead; who take no risks;
who venture nothing.  Yet it is utterly impossible to live so in real
life.  Most of the business transacted in the world is based on a
system of credits; and credit is but another name for faith in personal
honesty.  The financial investments that are made are ventures of faith
as to profits and returns.  Business foresight which is a great asset
to success in life relies upon the invariableness and calculated
changes likely to occur.  The invalid carries out the doctor's
instructions to the extent of his faith in his physician.  The reader
of the daily newspaper has faith in the reliability of the news served
up to him.  The history that men read, or the school textbooks used by
children, postulate the veracity of the authors of these works.
Friendships are an impossibility without the repose of faith.  In short
everywhere and in every department of life there can be no knowledge
nor growth nor progress without faith.  As I write the International
Conference is taking place at Genoa where the chief obstacle to the
task of putting Europe upon a peaceful economic basis is the
suspicions, the lack of faith in one another that prevails, not without
cause, among the nations.

So when God, Who is Spirit, tells us He can only be apprehended by
faith it is childish to quarrel with this necessary condition, because
He is only asking of His children the same attitude towards Him which
is everywhere adopted by humanity in its social relationships,
consciously or unconsciously, as an essential condition of human
happiness and progress.


FAITH A BOND OF FRIENDSHIP WITH GOD

Faith is required of men, not because God grudges information, but
because He desires for man the unspeakable blessing of a willing,
longing, intimate friendship with Himself.  Among the heathen nations
"He left not Himself without witness, if haply they might seek after
Him and find Him."  He selected Abram and called him forth from Ur to
be a father of a nation.  To that nation, tried and disciplined, He
disclosed Himself "in fragmentary portions and in divers manners," by a
long line of inspired writers and prophets, until at last "in the
fulness of time God sent forth His Son."

The Incarnation discloses the distance the Father will travel to meet
His lost children, if by faith they will return to Him, and live the
life of restored fellowship.  Thus we understand why Jesus pleads and
entreats and warns; it is because the loss of faith has such terrible
consequences--consequences which in their harm to oneself and to others
are incalculable.  Through Jesus God has revealed the passion of His
heart, His yearning love for the souls of men.


GOD DEMANDS OUR ENTIRE PERSONALITY.

The faith which God requires will include within it the exercise of all
man's capacities and powers; there will be in the end no part of his
personality and no department of his life which is not contributary to,
or influenced by, his faith; for faith will be the means for the
rounding out and the perfecting of the character.  It will include the
directing of the will, it will find scope for the emotions, it will
receive the sanction of the intellect--it will be the movement of the
entire man Godwards.

How very necessary it is for people to do some thinking regarding their
religion, and how very little is done.  Many people think that what is
good enough for their parents, is good enough for them in religion.
But this is the only department of life to which this idea is attached.
These people make no enquiries, they conform to certain formularies and
rules of conduct, they have prejudices and great limitations.  The
fruit of this is an extraordinary haziness existing in men's minds
regarding religion.  Here a purely moral life is deemed the same thing
as a life built upon faith in Christ.  Or compare the emphasis put upon
ethical duties directed towards one's neighbour (e.g. he is a good
husband and pays his debts); when little or no account is taken of the
obligations due to God (such as Christian worship or the sinfulness of
profanity).  Or again, people put their trust in the reception of the
sacraments without clear ideas as to the "necessary dispositions" for
the proper receiving of the sacraments, a tendency to treat them as
charms.

There are difficulties connected with our faith, such as the problems
of pain and suffering, or inequality of opportunity, the prosperity of
the ungodly, which require much thought.  Besides all this the trust
which men repose in God, not only in their everyday affairs, but also
in those crises that happen from time to time, is strengthened
immensely when the intellect contributes its support, when man knows he
is passing through a desolating experience, but knows also that many
others have passed through the like upheld in the darkness by faith.
Every Churchman should make an effort to bring his intellect by reading
and study to the support of his faith.

And the emotions, too, have their right place in the development of
faith.  Have we not been somewhat suspicious of the emotional element
in religion, due perhaps to a disproportionate and exaggerated use of
it by some religious bodies?  Has there not been a tendency to suppress
the emotions because there are emotional religious cults almost
divorced from morality and the intellect?  Perhaps, too, it has
something to do with temperament?  British people used to be little
moved by feelings; lately they have changed somewhat.  We need the
vision of Jesus Christ, Who is the revelation of God the Father, as One
to be supremely loved above all others--as Mary Magdalene, as St. Peter
and St. John, loved Him.  It would help us in worship if we used fewer
subjective hymns and more hymns of the type of S. Bernard's, "Jesu the
very thought of Thee," or "O Love, how deep! how broad, how high!" if
we could have some simple litanies of devotion bringing to the mind of
the worshipper the purity, gentleness, tenderness, patience, sympathy
and meekness of Jesus Christ; our faith in him would become more
tender, warmer, more personal, and without this our faith cannot be
complete.


FAITH MUST ISSUE IN CHRIST'S SYSTEM OF MORALS.

A further feature in this venture after the knowledge of God is the
moral one.  It is only to the pure in heart that the vision of God will
become a reality.  To believe in Jesus is to accept His teaching in the
sphere of morals quite as much as to appropriate His promises of
present pardon and future rewards.  In fact the promise of pardon is
interwoven with the condition of doing His will, and the heavenly life
is held out as a reward to those who follow His example.  Jesus claims
the sovereignty over man's whole personality.  Those who call Him
"Lord, Lord," must do the things He says.  It is just at this point
that the world tests the Christian faith.  The world is practical; it
demands not profession, but works.  It knows that Jesus bequeathed a
system of morals to His followers, especially in the Sermon on the
Mount; and, while it is ignorant of the grace Jesus bestows to enable
human nature to rise above itself, yet in its rough and ready way it
holds faith of no value which is not shown in "fruits".  When Society
talks about the "failure" of Christianity what it usually has in mind
is the failure of Christian people to conform to the Christian standard
of truthfulness and justice, of honesty and straight dealing, of
continence and self-respect; being like other people, lovers of money
and applause rather than examples of that love for their neighbour
commanded in the Gospels.  The human will needs supernatural strength
to live Christ's system of morals.  God demands that the entire
personality, intellect, emotion, will, should be committed to Him in an
all-embracing, loving faith.


A FINAL PERSONAL WORD.

A few words must be said as to the outcome of vital Christian faith.
How will it be recognized or known?  We answer by its interest in, and
its works on, behalf of others' good.  Christian faith must justify
itself in service.  The sphere and the nature of that service must be
sought from Him Who has drawn the disciple to Himself.  Sometimes it
means the taking up of the old task in an unselfish way; sometimes it
will lead to a new departure or an additional undertaking; sometimes it
sends one far off among the Gentiles.  It is not so much the kind of
work that needs the emphasis, but rather the fact that if faith is
being perfected it falls short of completion unless the disciple views
all his activities, even the most humble ones, as occasions for service
for others' good.

There is need of caution, however.  We live in a busy age, and activity
is nearly idolised.  It is not that we must always be busy, but rather
that what we do is not a mere fad or notion taken up enthusiastically
and, when difficulties present themselves, then just as quickly
dropped.  The outcome of faith is a task done for God on behalf of
others, when toil will cheerfully be borne, drudgery endured, trials
met with patience, and--through evil report and good report--the work
continued.



V.

PRAYER

By The Very Rev. D. T. Owen, D.D., Dean of Niagara.


I would ask you to think with me as simply and directly as possible
about one of the greatest things in the world.  It is something that we
can all do, for it requires no special learning; it is something which
we can all do at once, for it requires, from one point of view, no
special training; and it is something, which if we will do, will bring
guidance, peace and power, into our own lives and into the lives of
others.  What is this thing which is so great, and yet so close to
hand, which is so worth while doing, and which we can all do, and do at
once?  It is prayer.  It is just saying our prayers.  "Oh! how humdrum
and commonplace!" we say, or "How difficult and discouraging I have
found it; I know I should pray, and I make resolutions sometimes to
that end, but somehow it gets either formal, or crowded out, or
forgotten".  Yes, while we all know about these difficulties and
appreciate their strength, let us think this subject out again.


WHAT IS PRAYER.

In the first place let us set before us quite clearly this great fact.
God, as He has been revealed to us by His Son, wishes us to pray to
Him.  Prayer--the privilege, the duty and the value of prayer--is part
of the revelation of God.  It goes with His nature, as that nature has
been revealed to us.  He is the God Who wishes us to speak to Him, and
to take Him into our confidence,--in a word He is the God Who wishes us
to treat Him as Father.  What is prayer?  There is God ready to hear
us, ready to heal and guide, to give rest and peace, to give light and
strength, to help carry our cares, to direct our feet into straight
paths.  And here are we with our great needs, our cares and
perplexities.  Prayer is the point of contact between ourselves and
that great God.  Indeed, we can say more than that, for when we pray we
become our true selves.  We are spirits of Eternity.  For a time we
live upon this earth having many duties to perform, and many important
offices to fulfil,--but when we pray, when we praise God, we are
performing our essential work as spirits.  We have dropped for the
moment the outer covering of our lives, and stand forth as being what
we really are,--spirits who came from God, who are doing a certain work
for God here, and are to return to God.  The moment of prayer is a
great moment, for then it is that "deep calleth to deep", and spirit
calleth to the Father and Source of all spirits.  And so it comes to
pass that in the moment of prayer it is not merely that this man or
woman, called by this name or that here on earth,--a workman, a
business man, a housekeeper,--but an eternal spirit of God is calling
upon the Author of all Spirits.  Such is prayer.  "Prayer is that act
by which man, conscious alike of his weakness and his immortality, puts
himself into real and effective communication with the Eternal, the
Self-Existent and the Uplifted God."[1]


WHY SHOULD WE PRAY.

In trying to answer the question, "What is prayer?" we have, in part,
answered this question also, but it is so important that it must have a
section to itself.

In the first place, we should pray in order to make acknowledgment of
the glory and the power of God.  It is because of what God is Himself
that we have need to fall down before Him in adoration and praise.  We
are inclined to think too much of our own needs in relation to prayer.
Indeed when we mention the word prayer, we begin at once to think of
our needs, of what we want, and of what other people want.  These are
important, but these are not first; and until we understand that they
take the second place in prayer, and do not constitute its chief
argument, we cannot realize the real reason for Christian Prayer.  The
real, the first reason for prayer from the Christian point of view is
to glorify God,--to praise Him for what He is, and to fall down before
the greatness of His power.  We have a model prayer which teaches us
about this.  Among many other things it teaches us the chief reasons
for prayer.  It comes to us full of answers to our question, Why should
we pray?  "When ye pray, say, Our Father, Which art in Heaven, Hallowed
be Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, in earth as it is in
heaven."  This surely means that God must be first in our prayers.[2]
We are half way through the Lord's Prayer, we are more than half way
through, before we begin to talk about our needs.  Our Lord Jesus
Christ has taught us that in prayer we are to think first of such
things as the Father, Heaven, His Name, His Kingdom and His Will,
before we say anything of the bread and our other needs.  Yes, surely
the great reason for praying is to honour God, to unite ourselves with
His great purposes in heaven and earth.

Again, I would ask you to think of this from another point of view.
One of the great objects of life is to know God.  To know God!  This
sometimes seems a very mystical, far away subject, does it not?  It
belongs, surely, to those who have been specially endowed, or to those
who have the mystical temperament!  I do not think this is true.  I
think we grow to know God as we grow to know our friends.  And how do
we grow to know our friends?  We speak to them, we take them into our
confidence, we tell them of the things that make up our lives, and by
so doing we grow into friendship.  If we neglect this for long our
friendship begins to wane.  Now I think it is very much the same with
our relations to our great Friend.  We grow in our knowledge of Him and
His ways, and in our understanding of His mind, just in proportion as
it is our habit to go into His Presence and to take Him into our
confidence about our lives.  And this is what prayer is.  By prayer we
grow to know God.  The highest prayer is "Thy Will be done", and we can
only come to those heights of prayer by praying,--for it is by talking
to God, looking at Him, taking Him into our confidence that we come to
understand some of His ways and purposes, enter into the secret places
of His dwelling, and thus learn to say, "Thy will be done!"  Only they
who have learnt in the School of Prayer to say, "Father ... Hallowed be
Thy name" can go on to truly say, "Thy will be done".  The object of
prayer is not to bend His Will to ours but to so learn of him, and to
so enter into His Friendship day by day that we can say, "Thy will be
done".

But, of course, in prayer we are meant to ask for things for ourselves
and for others.  What has been said above by no means indicates the
complete reason for praying.  No, the Christian prays for things for
himself and others.  It cannot be too strongly stated "that prayer gets
things done".  "Ye have not," says St. James, "because ye ask not".  It
is the Will of the Father to give us things in response to prayer.  Our
Lord in the model prayer taught us to pray definitely for certain
things in human life.  His Father, so He teaches us, is interested in
the whole of human life, all its needs, its cares, its joys, its
perplexities, its strain,--all these can be made the subject of
intercourse between the Father and the child.  The Father cares about
them so much that they must find their place in our prayers.  Indeed,
they are so important that they must have _their own place_.  And their
own place is second.  So in all our praying let us remember it is God
first, ourselves second.  But we go further than that.  It would seem
as if we were not in a position to know our real needs sufficiently
well to pray about them with intelligence, unless first of all we have
allowed the light that comes from thinking about God, adoring His Name,
and falling down before the majesty of His purpose and His will, to
shine upon our life's needs.  Yes, we are indeed to pray for our varied
needs and those of others, but we cannot know our real needs unless God
is first in our prayer, and we have prayed, "Our Father, Hallowed be
Thy name, Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done".[3]


HOW SHOULD WE PRAY?

It would seem to be perfectly clear from the teaching of the Bible and
the Church, and from the experience of those who really pray, that men
and women can live lives of power, peace, and usefulness, whatever
their lot may be, if they would but pray.  There it is before us.  It
is the challenge of prayer.  If you pray, you can do great things for
God and man.

There the challenge stands.  "But", someone says, "I personally have
found it very difficult to pray, possibly my gifts lie in other
directions."  This is often said as if the speaker thought he were
unique.  He is quite right about one thing,--it is difficult to
pray,--but he is wrong in thinking he is unique.  Prayer is one of the
hardest things to do.  This is one of the reasons we shirk it.  Do not
be surprised if you find it hard.  "It is hard," someone has said,
"because it is high".  Most things that are very well worth doing are
things we find hard, especially at first, to learn to do.

Now let these facts stand very clear before us.  God asks us to pray to
Him.  Of all the things we do, there is nothing that can be more worth
while doing.  If we will do it, we most certainly will grow into better
and nobler and more useful men and women.  But we shall find it hard to
do.  Now let us be quite clear about the problem of the hardness of
prayer; there is only one thing to do about this subject of prayer, and
that is to pray.  The only way to solve the problem of praying is by
praying.  Nothing will do instead.  In spite of the difficulties, in
spite of distractions, of weariness, of failure, of moods, of
coldness,--we pray.  Nothing will do instead.  Nothing else will solve
the problem.  Reading books and listening to sermons on prayer will not
do instead.  The only way to learn to pray is to pray.  The people who
get things done are the people who, not having the time or the
inclination often, in spite of these things,--pray.

In a word, we have to treat prayer as work, as part of our definite
work as Christians.  We know how it is with our work.  We do it every
day.  We do it whether we feel like doing it or not.  We keep on doing
it day after day, month after month, year after year.  Prayer is work.
We must treat it with the respect we give to our work.  Again, what a
mistake it is to wait on the mood.  What a mistake to say, "I do not
feel like praying to-day--perhaps to-morrow!"  Our moods come and go.
They are very fragile things, rooted sometimes in trifling causes.  One
of the greatest mistakes in this connection is to think that the
effectiveness of our prayers depends upon the particular state of our
feelings at the time.  It often happens to people who pray that they
have found the greatest blessings they have won for themselves or for
others have been in times when "the heavens were brass", and they had
little or no sense of reality or warmth in prayer.  It is said that the
difference between the professional and the amateur is that the amateur
depends on the mood, but the professional goes on with his work day
after day, paying no attention to a mood here and there.  We must be,
in this sense, professionals.  Prayer is part of our work as
Christians.  Let moods come or go, the work must go on,--the great work
of Praise, Petition, Intercession, Thanksgiving.

Again, if there is one thing more than another that Our Lord was clear
about in His teaching concerning prayer, it is that we must be
persistent in our prayers.  We must pray for an answer.  This is not to
say that we are to pray until we receive the answer we wish, but until
we receive some light and leading in relation to the subject of our
prayers.  It will not be necessary to do more than remind you of the
two parables on this subject in St. Luke's Gospel.  There was once a
man upon whom there came an unexpected traveller one night, and he had
"nothing to set before him".  He went to a friend at midnight and said,
"Friend, lend me three loaves," and would not go away until he had
received the loaves, but kept on asking and seeking and knocking.  "I
say unto you", said Our Lord, "that though he will not rise because he
is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will arise and give
him as many as he needeth.  And I say unto you, ask, and it shall be
given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto
you."  And again, there was in a certain city a judge, "which feared
not God, and regarded not man", and to him came a widow with the
persistent plea, "Avenge me of mine adversary."  And he would not for a
while, but afterward he said within himself, "Though I fear not God,
nor regard man; yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her,
lest by her continual coming she weary me".  These two parables, taken
with Christ's own example in Gethsemane when He prayed three times
concerning "the cup", make it very clear that His followers, when they
decide this or that is a matter for definite prayer, must not leave
that petition or intercession out of their prayers until they have
received some answer, some light or leading from the God Who always
hears, and always answers earnest prayer.

And last of all, in answer to our question, How should we pray? we
should pray in that name which is above every name--the name of "the
one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus."  We have this
great name to plead.  Though in our weakness we feel unworthy to pray,
though in our ignorance we know not how to pray, and though with the
best of our prayers there is so much that is imperfect, we have in that
One Who ever lives to make intercession for us, One Who takes our poor
and imperfect acts of devotion and makes them to be heard in the
Presence of the Divine Majesty.  It is "through Jesus Christ our Lord"
we pray.  Here is our confidence.  In this realization we find fresh
strength and hope for the whole work of prayer.  His perfect knowledge
of our lives and of our temptations, coupled with His place of Honour
at the right hand of the Father, gives us great re-assurance that our
prayers come before that Throne with power.  "Having then a great high
priest, Who hath passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us
hold fast our profession.  For we have not an high priest which cannot
be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but one that hath been
in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.  Let us,
therefore, draw near with boldness unto the throne of grace, that we
may receive mercy, and may find grace to help us in time of need."


FINDING TIME FOR PRAYER.

We are anxious that these articles should be very practical, and that
our readers may be helped to practise their religion more definitely
from reading them.  Most of us are very busy people, and often it will
seem as if there was no time for prayer.  But we always make time to do
things we consider absolutely essential.  Prayer is one of the absolute
essentials of the Christian life.  You will notice that it was during
times of unusual pressure of duties that we are told that Our Lord
found time to pray.  It was when the people thronged Him to listen to
His words, and to receive healing and comfort for body and soul, that
we read, "And it came to pass in those days, that He went out into the
mountain to pray; and He continued all night in prayer to God".  And
again it was while "all the city was gathered at the door" that "in the
morning, a great while before day, He rose up and went out, and
departed into a desert place, and there prayed".  He always found time
in the midst of His thronged ministry, when "many were coming and
going", and He had "no leisure so much as to eat", to go apart to enter
into communion with His Father.  We, too, must find time to pray.

The important thing is not how long our prayers are or how short, but
that our spirits have come, if only for a moment, into contact with
Him, Who is Himself Spirit.  This is the vital thing.  This is that
which brings rest and refreshment to the soul and strengthens it in its
life on earth.  Let me repeat, the great essential is to get into touch
with God, and to get into touch every day.  Now it would seem as if the
morning, first thing in the morning, is the time especially to do this?
Before the distractions of the day have dulled the delicate perceptions
of the spirit, before the noonday sun has absorbed the early dew of
morning, is the time to open the door of the heart to God, and to lift
up the hands to Him.  It was in the morning, "rising up a great while
before day", that the Son of Man prayed.  So it should be the first
thing in the day with us.  It need not be anything complicated or
involved.  Indeed, it can be quite simple.  Perhaps this simple
suggestion may be found helpful.  When we get up in the morning, we
remember that it is God first.  We must let the thought of the glory,
the power and the goodness of God take possession of our hearts.  We
bow before Him, from Whom we came and to Whom we go, and say, "Glory be
to the Father, and to the Son; and to the Holy Ghost; as it was in the
beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end.  Amen."  Then
a word of thanksgiving for sleep and rest, one or both of the Collects
for Morning Prayer, a little prayer for others, and special needs of
the day, and the Lord's Prayer to end with, and to sum up the whole
act.  Such is the barest outline, but it is something that everyone
could do, and could do every day.  Why not?  And why not forthwith?

If we are to know God, we must pray.  If we are to become our true
selves, we must pray.  If we are to walk bravely and honestly through
this life, we must pray.  If we are to be useful to others, we must
pray.  And what is prayer?  It is getting into touch with God, and
getting into touch every day.



[1] In further token that it is so we find, apart from Christian
Revelation and experience, an instinct to prayer practically universal
among men.  This natural capacity to pray is one of the greatest
attributes of human nature.  Man has ever felt the desire to confer
with the unseen.

[2] Prayer, therefore, if it is to follow the teaching and example of
Christ must rise above the thought of making a bargain with God.  (E.g.
"If this petition is granted then I will do this or that").  Christian
petitions are offered in absolute trust, "Nevertheless not as I will
but as Thou wilt."

[3] God knows what is best for us and wills the best for us.  We do not
pray "Thy will be changed," but "Thy will be done."  Our Lord Christ,
Who had perfect knowledge of God, used prayer as one of the greatest
forces to accomplish God's purpose.  If we withhold prayer we leave
unused a force God Himself calls for in carrying out His purposes among
men.



VI.

THE HOLY COMMUNION

The Rt. Rev. A. J. Doull, D.D., Bishop of Kootenay.


This volume of theology is written for laymen of the Anglican Church,
and it is to them that I address myself primarily in this chapter.
There can be no question in our minds regarding the importance of this
subject which we are now about to consider; nor yet of the necessity of
arriving at a clear understanding concerning the truth.  We are about
to tread holy ground, therefore a reverent spirit is needful above all
things else.  We are about to investigate, albeit in the briefest
manner, the nature and character of that Sacrament which our dying
Saviour left as the bond of comradeship between His followers and
Himself, and between His followers with one another, but which
historically has been the occasion of more strife and discord betwixt
Christian people than any other institution or fact of our holy faith;
therefore we must cast aside all prejudice and preconceived opinions,
and placing ourselves at the feet of Jesus seek to learn from Him the
real truth which He alone can impart.

I believe that Christ is especially anxious to teach us the truth
to-day after all these centuries of strife, and I am convinced that so
far as the Anglican Church is concerned that there is a wonderful
measure of agreement between all her members concerning the doctrine of
the Holy Communion when they heed the advice of our great theologian,
the judicious Hooker, and "the more give themselves to meditate with
silence what we have by the Sacrament and less to dispute of the manner
how."

Let us try and consider in simple faith and simple language what is
revealed to us in Holy Scripture concerning this Sacrament, what truths
about it are therefore enshrined in the Book of Common Prayer, and what
it is accordingly that all Anglicans really believe though their mode
of expressing their common faith, and though their phraseology, may
somewhat differ.


INSTITUTED BY CHRIST.

Firstly, we believe that this Sacrament is of Supreme importance
because it was instituted by Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ
and by Him commanded to be observed and celebrated by His Church until
His coming again.  The writers of the first three Gospels give us
substantially identical accounts of what our Lord said and did in the
same night that he was betrayed.  St. Mark, whose narrative is probably
the oldest, tells us that on the first day of unleavened bread when
they sacrificed the Passover, in the evening Jesus and the twelve kept
this distinctive feast of the Old Testament dispensation according to
the accustomed manner.

"And as they were eating, he took bread, and when he had blessed, he
brake it, and gave to them and said, Take ye; this is my body.  And he
took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave to them and they all
drank of it.  And he said unto them: This is my blood of the Covenant
which is shed for many."  (St. Mark XIV. 22-24 R.V.)  St. Matthew's
account and that of St. Luke are practically identical.

St. John, whose gospel was written at a much later date than those of
the synoptists, does not record the institution of the Holy Communion,
but does preserve for us Our Blessed Lord's wonderful teaching
regarding Himself as the Bread of Life, which has such an important
bearing upon a clear understanding of the true and proper place of this
Sacrament in the Spiritual life of Christians.  (V. St. John VI.).

St. Paul, in the eleventh chapter of the first epistle to the
Corinthians, writes: "For I received of the Lord that which also I
delivered unto you how that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was
betrayed took bread; and when he had given thanks, he brake it and
said, This is my body which is for you; this do in remembrance of me.
In like manner also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the New
Covenant in my blood; this do as oft as ye drink it in remembrance of
me."  The only other occasions upon which St. Paul uses similar
language to "For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered
unto you," is with reference to the Resurrection of Our Blessed Lord (1
Cor. XV. 3) and to the essence of the Gospel Message taught him by the
revelation of Jesus Christ, (Galatians 1. 12).  We may believe
therefore that St. Paul in emphasizing the sacred importance of the
Holy Communion knew himself to be under the special guidance of Christ
Himself.


THE CENTRAL RITE OF DISCIPLESHIP.

Secondly, we believe that from the days of the Apostles down to the
present time the Holy Communion has ever been regarded as the
distinctive act of Christian Worship and the highest means of Christian
grace.  It is impossible to go into the proof of this statement here
but it can easily be verified by those ready and desirous to
investigate.  From the very earliest times of the Apostles, when on the
first day of the week the disciples met together for the breaking of
the bread, down to the present time Christians have ever regarded the
Holy Communion as the Central rite of discipleship, the Sacrament or
bond of comradeship between Jesus and His people, between Christ the
Lord and those who are members of the Church which is His Body.


THE REAL SPIRITUAL PRESENCE.

Thirdly, we believe in the fact of Christ's presence with us in the
Holy Communion.  Regarding the fact there is unity of belief amongst
all Anglicans, I might go further and say amongst all Christian people.
It is only when men proceed to define the mode that differences arise.

Some would regard his presence as due to a Sacramental change in the
elements, or to a new relationship established between the elements and
the Body and Blood of Christ.  Others prefer to connect it with His
promise, "Where two or three are gathered together in my name there am
I in the midst of them," and to lay stress upon the fact that if ever
there be an occasion when two or three are gathered together in
Christ's name it is when in obedience to His Command they assemble to
break the bread and bless the cup.

This fact of the real spiritual presence of Christ in the Holy
Communion has ever been the belief of the Church Catholic and of the
Anglican Church as a part thereof.  Bishop Andrewes in the seventeenth
century, writing in reply to Roman Controversalists, at a time when the
Church in England had at length settled down after the upheaval and
conflict of the Reformation period, asserted the belief of the Anglican
Church as to the fact but also her refusal to dogmatize as to the mode
of the Saviour's presence.  "The Presence we believe no less truly than
you to be real.  Concerning the mode of the Presence, we define nothing
rashly, nor, I add, do we curiously enquire."

True to the teaching and to the Spirit of the early Church the Church
of England devoutly accepts her Lord's words, neither attempting to
explain them or to explain them away, but leaving them where He has
left them a holy mystery not requiring and therefore not receiving
definition.  Not as attempting to define, but as a safeguard against
errors which have at various times been prominent in the Church,
representative writers of the Anglican Communion have been accustomed
to speak of Our Lord's presence as being at once real and spiritual.
To understand the full significance of this language it is necessary
that we dismiss forever from our minds the idea that there is any
opposition between that which is real and that which is spiritual.  On
the contrary, we must grasp the fact, which all are coming to recognize
more and more, that the spiritual is the real, and the real is the
spiritual.  I do not think that it would be possible to have this truth
concerning the Sacramental Presence of Our Lord expressed more clearly,
more beautifully, or more truly than it has been by Dr. Hall, the
present Bishop of Vermont, who says that "Christ's presence in the
Baptized is as real as His presence in the Eucharist, His presence in
the Eucharist as spiritual as His presence in the Baptized".  Moreover,
the presence of Christ in the Eucharist cannot be said to differ in
kind or in degree from His presence in and with His people at other
times and in other Sacramental ordinances, but it does differ in
purpose.

Our Lord is present with us in the Eucharist for certain very definite
and specific purposes and we must now proceed to enquire what those
purposes are.  We shall be on safe ground if we say that Our Lord as
the great Head is present with the members of the Church which is His
Body to do those things which He did or commanded to be done at the
last supper.

Why then did Our Lord at the Last Supper institute and ordain the
Sacrament of the Holy Communion and command it to be celebrated and
observed by His Church until His coming again?


THE CONTINUAL REMEMBRANCE.

It was ordained for the continual remembrance of the Sacrifice of the
death of Christ, a commemoration of Our Saviour's meritorious Cross and
Passion.  This commemoration is made before God, before ourselves,
before the world.

(_a_) It is a commemoration of the Saviour's death before God.  The
whole service of Holy Communion as celebrated in the Church of England,
with the exception of certain exhortations and invitations, consists of
prayers addressed, as all prayer must be, to God.  The most important
of these prayers is the one which we call the prayer of consecration.

In this prayer the Celebrant, as the commissioned leader and mouthpiece
of the Congregation, commemorates before God that which Our Lord did in
the upper room as the Passover feast on the same night in which He was
betrayed.

Before God in this prayer commemoration is made of His gift of His only
begotten Son to suffer death for our redemption, before God
commemoration is made of that which Christ did for us upon the Cross,
before God the institution of this Sacrament of perpetual memory is
recalled, before God the very acts and words of Our Saviour Christ in
instituting and ordaining this Holy Sacrament are solemnly rehearsed
and enacted.  It is impossible for any Priest of the Church of England
to celebrate the Holy Communion, or for any member of the Church of
England to take part in the celebration of this Holy Sacrament, without
making before God the most solemn commemoration of the death of Christ
and His all sufficient Sacrifice which it is possible for the mind of
man to conceive.  And in so doing we are at one with the Historic
Churches in all ages.  If it be objected that God needs no such
reminding of what Christ did, then the objection is equally valid
against all mention of Christ's holy name in prayer as the ground and
basis whereby we trust such prayer will be accepted and answered by
God.  The commemoration before God in the Eucharist is but the doing in
act by the whole body of the faithful of that which each individual
Christian does when he says, at the close of his prayers, "Grant this
for Jesus Christ's sake," or, "through the merits of Christ Jesus Thy
Son Our Lord."

It is the doing in act, and by use of those very elements and words and
actions which Jesus has Himself commanded, of that which we do when in
the Litany we supplicate, "By the mystery of Thy Holy Incarnation; by
Thy Holy Nativity and Circumcision, by Thy Baptism, Fasting, and
Temptation, by Thine Agony and Bloody Sweat; by Thy Cross and Passion;
by Thy Precious Death and Burial; by Thy Glorious Resurrection and
Ascension and by the Coming of the Holy Ghost, Good Lord deliver us."
This aspect of the Eucharist is perfectly expressed in Canon Bright's
well known hymn, a hymn which by many not of Dr. Bright's School is
regarded as their favourite hymn, and which has commended to them the
truth of the commemoration before God, in a way that might not have
been possible had the same form of words been cast in a prose setting.

  And now, O Father, mindful of the Love
  That bought us, once for all, on Calvary's Tree,
  And having with us Him that pleads above
  We here present, we here spread forth to Thee
  That only offering perfect in Thine eyes
  The one true pure, immortal Sacrifice.

  Look, Father, look on His anointed face
  And only look on us as found in Him
  Look not on our misusings of Thy grace,
  Our prayer so languid, and our faith so dim
  For lo! between our sins and their reward
  We set the Passion of Thy Son Our Lord.


Our Blessed Lord is therefore present as the Head of the Church which
is His Body, as the great High Priest to enable us in union with Him to
plead His Sacrifice, which is the sole ground of our approach to and
acceptance with God.  In that which has been called the Companion hymn
to Dr. Bright's, part of which I have quoted just above, the Saintly
Bishop Bickersteth expressed the same great truth from his standpoint
as an Evangelical Churchman.

  O Holy Father, who in tender love
  Didst give Thine only Son for us to die,
  The while He pleads at Thy right hand above
  We in One Spirit now with faith draw nigh,
  And, as we eat this Bread and drink this Wine,
  Plead His once offered Sacrifice Divine.


(_b_) But not only is the commemoration of the Lord's death made before
God, it is also made before and amongst ourselves.  The breaking of the
Bread, the blessing of the Cup with the use of Our Saviour's words do
remind us in the most solemn manner of the cost of our redemption and
the great love wherewith He loved us and gave Himself for us.

The more we ponder God's amazing love in Redemption, the more wonderful
does it appear and the deeper and more ardent becomes our love whereby
we love Him who first loved us.

Perhaps the chiefest essential in the Christian life is that we should
have a living faith in God's mercy through Christ, with a thankful
remembrance of His death, and nothing helps us to secure this essential
so much as the due and devout observance of the Lord's Supper ordained
by Our Blessed Master Himself in the same night in which He was
betrayed and on the very eve of His tremendous death and Sacrifice.

(_c_) There is a third aspect of the commemoration which must not be
overlooked.  The Eucharist is a means of proclaiming or preaching the
Lord's death before the world until His coming again.  "For as often as
ye eat this bread and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord's death till
He come" (1 Corinthians, XI. 26).  There is not space at my disposal to
do more than merely call attention to the evidential value of the Holy
Eucharist to the truth of Christianity and to the Gospel history.  But
its constant celebration week by week is a fact, a fact which even the
world must take note of, a fact which proclaims as no other institution
of religion does that Jesus died and rose again.  And He, Who has
promised to be present where two or three are gathered together in His
Name, He, Who has pledged His presence to His Church in the
proclamation of the Gospel, is ever mindful of His promise when His
followers meet together at His table, and amongst themselves and before
the world proclaim and herald the death of Him Who died to be the
Saviour of all mankind.


THE SPIRITUAL FOOD OF HIS BODY AND BLOOD.

The Holy Communion was ordained, and Our Blessed Lord is present in
that Holy Sacrament, in order that He, the true Bread from Heaven, may
feed us with the Spiritual food of His Body and Blood.  In the language
of the Prayer Book itself "it is our duty to render most humble and
hearty thanks to Almighty God our Heavenly Father, for that He hath
given His Son Our Saviour Jesus Christ, not only to die for us, but
also to be our Spiritual food and sustenance in (this) Holy Sacrament."
Whilst our Catechism asserts that "The inward part or thing signified
in the Lord's Supper is the body and Blood of Christ which are verily
and indeed taken and received by the faithful in the Lord's Supper."
The seeker after the truth must read and compare very carefully the
following passages of Holy Scripture.  St. John VI., the whole Chapter;
St. Matthew, XXVI. 26-30; St. Mark XIV. 22-26; St. Luke XXII, 15-21; 1
Corinthians X. 15-22; 1 Corinthians, XI. 23-end.

If this be done there will remain no doubt but that Our Blessed Lord
proclaims Himself to be the Bread of Life, the food of man's spiritual
nature and being, which needs food quite as much as his physical and
mental nature and being; that He ordained the Holy Communion to be the
means and channel whereby we receive His flesh and blood, that is His
very perfect life and nature, according to His promise as recorded in
St. John VI. verses 48-58; and that St. Paul so understood its purpose
and meaning.

Realizing that we are moving in the realm of the Spiritual and
meditating upon the words of the Incarnate God, the very truth who can
neither deceive or be deceived, we will not ask with the unbelieving
Jews how can this man give us his flesh to eat, we will leave all
questions as to the manner how where Christ Himself has left them, and
with a most thankful heart will make the words of Hooker, the great
Elizabethan Divine, our own, "What these elements are in themselves it
skilleth not, it is enough that to me which take them they are the body
and blood of Christ, His promise in witness hereof sufficeth, His word
He knoweth which way to accomplish; why should any cogitation possess
the mind of a faithful Communicant but this, O My God thou art true, O
My Soul, thou art happy."


THE REASONABLE, HOLY AND LIVING SACRIFICE OF DISCIPLESHIP.

There is another purpose why Our Blessed Lord is present with us in
Holy Communion.  He is present as the Great Head of the Church, in
order that we His members with Him and in Him may offer ourselves a
living Sacrifice holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable
service (Romans XII. 1).  We have sadly forgotten the real essential
meaning of worship.  What is worship?  Surely self oblation.  It is the
offering of ourselves, our bodies, souls and spirits, our talents, our
gifts, all we have and all we are to God for service.  But this is just
what we poor sinners cannot do of ourselves, it if only _in Christ_
that we can give ourselves to serve God and humanity.  And so Our
Blessed Lord comes to us as the Head of the Church which is His Body,
the living organism in which He lives and through which He carries on
His work.  He comes and pleads on our behalf the merits of His atoning
death and Sacrifice once offered, He comes and applies to us the saving
efficacy of His atonement, He feeds us with His Body and Blood, making
us one with Himself so that He dwells in us and we dwell in Him, so
that we are one with Him and He one with us; and then, in Him, in union
with His eternal oblation of Himself, He offers and presents us, His
Body, as living Sacrifices to the eternal Father, and sends us forth to
do service for Him and our brethren, not in our own strength and power
but in His to whom all power in Heaven and earth has been given.

The present era in the history of the Church and the world is one which
calls for great power if Christ is to be brought to a distracted
disorganized sin-laden, sin-weary world,--and if the world is to be
brought to Christ its one and only possible helper and Saviour, its
Saviour from present and future evils in the age that now is as well as
in the ages to come.  That power is in Christ and is made over to His
followers when in simple faith they come to Him in a receptive attitude
and with the determination to use it.  The fundamental importance of
the Holy Communion is, that it stands forth preeminently as the
principal channel through which this power is bestowed.


May all those who bear His name and desire to do Him service realize
what an inexhaustible treasury of Divine strength and power the Master
has provided for us in this Sacrament of His Love.  Just a few words in
conclusion as to our use of it.

It is food, therefore, it must be received frequently and with
regularity.  It is food, therefore it presupposes life and at least a
degree of health in those who take it.  A corpse cannot receive food,
the sick have no desire for it.  The Holy Communion is for those who
are Baptized and have received the life of the Risen Lord.  It is for
those who have been forgiven and who long to show their gratitude by
becoming strong through the assimilation of Christ the Bread of Life to
do Him service and perform His will.

It is food, therefore not a Spiritual luxury for good people, but the
ordinary necessary food for us all, poor weak pardoned sinners, God's
Children reconciled in Christ, who are trying to become good and to
love Him who first loved us.

The realization of our own nothingness and the all sufficiency of
Christ is the condition of heart and soul requisite for a good
Communion.  Repentance for the fact that it should be so with us, faith
that He will supply all our needs, because He alone can and because He
so wills, is the attitude of those who would really know what this
Sacrament was meant to be and can be to those who come to Him "as sick
to the Physician of Life, as unclean to the Fountain of Mercy, as blind
to the Light of Eternal Splendour, as needy to the Lord of Heaven and
earth, as naked to the King of Glory, as lost sheep to the Good
Shepherd, as fallen creatures to their Creator, as desolate to the kind
Comforter, as miserable to the Pitier, as guilty to the Bestower of
pardon, as sinful to the Justifier, as hardened to the Infuser of
Grace."



VII.

IMMORTALITY

By The Rev. Canon Cody, D.D., LL.D., Toronto.


IF A MAN DIE SHALL HE LIVE AGAIN?

This question is as old as the race.  Men cannot let it alone.  It
exercises a strange fascination.  One generation, immersed in pleasure
or in business, may think that _this_ world is quite enough and may
push the question aside: but the next generation will ask with
increased intensity: "If a man die, shall he live again?"  At one
period of his life a man may care little for a question that carries
him beyond the horizon of the present; but by and by no question comes
to him with more poignant urgency.

The question will not rest, because death will not let us alone.  As
long as death breaks into our family circles, the problem will recur.
Death came with his legions during the War and compelled a fresh answer
to his challenge.  No one who can think or feel is able to look unmoved
on the face of death: he must ask "Shall he live again?"

It is passing strange that this should remain to any degree an open
question.  Why have not men reached a decisive answer?  As a matter of
fact, the history of nations and religions shows that man's tendency is
to answer "Yes, he will live again."  The natural inclination of man
everywhere is to believe, not in his extinction, but in his survival.

The Christian doctrine of immortality implies vastly more than the mere
survival of personality after death.  It involves a _quality_ rather
than a _quantity_ of life.  Let us first, however, gather the manifold
rays of light from various quarters that illuminate a future life of
any kind.  Some of them may be only candle lights; but their
combination will reveal a trend towards immortality.  It will appear
that it is less difficult to believe that a man will live again than to
believe he will be extinguished by death.


WHAT HISTORY SAYS.

I.  A survey of human history discovers some candle lights on the
problem of survival.  These lights are certain well-established facts.

1.--All peoples and tribes, in all ages and of all grades of
intelligence have conceived a life beyond death.  Isolated exceptions
are so rare that they may be accounted for by the loss, through
degeneration, of an instinctive idea.  This belief built the Pyramids
of Egypt, reared the great Etruscan tombs, led men to embalm their
dead, placed food and utensils within the tomb for use beyond,
slaughtered the horses of the dead warrior and burned the widow on the
husband's pyre.  There is a deep-rooted and universal feeling that the
spirit of man is distinct from, and superior to, the body, and survives
the body.  The universal fact of mortality has suggested the universal
belief in immortality.  This is all the more remarkable in face of the
lack of immortality in nature.  Nature presents the aspect of an
indefinite series of things succeeding one another.  It would seem that
the human mind is so constructed that it tends in the direction of
belief in the survival of personality.  This may be but a _candle_
light; yet it is a _light_.

2.--This belief in immortality persists.  Various fancies and
superstitions have been outgrown and cast aside in the progress of the
ages.  Many conceptions of the past have proved unworthy to survive.
But this belief has a stronger grip on the modern world than it ever
had in the past.  While advance in knowledge reveals an interdependence
of soul and body, it accentuates their distinction.  To-day progress is
interpreted to mean the triumph of the spirit and is marked by an
increasing consciousness of the reality of the self which knows and
wills and feels.  A belief which thus survives must surely have in it
something of the vitality of truth.

3.--This belief develops and waxes strong as life itself develops and
climbs higher.  The higher a man is in the scale of being, the wider
his thoughts, the deeper his affections, the nobler his life; the more
likely is he to believe that the soul lives on.  The more fleshly,
selfish and materialistic is the life, the harder it is to be sure of
immortality.  Thousands may live in the slime, with the beasts, and may
not have a steadfast hope in a life beyond; but the great-minded and
great-hearted men of the race are surest of life everlasting.  Tennyson
once said to Bishop Lightfoot: "The cardinal point of Christianity is
the life after death."  Tennyson is supremely the poet of immortality.
It is his master thought; and herein he is typical of the greatest
minds in human history.  This belief, universal and persistent, is most
vigorous in the hearts of the supreme men of our civilization.

4.--This belief, however vague may be the ideas in its context,
exercises a real influence on life.  It energises men.  It nerves them
to struggle and achieve.  It enlarges their view.  It inspires them for
vaster enterprises.  It enables them to do hard things and to persevere
to the end.


WHAT PHILOSOPHY SAYS.

II.  Philosophy lights more candles on the problem.  Philosophy goes
deeper than the statement of facts; it gives a theory of the facts; it
seeks to find causes, relations and purposes.

1.  The _thoughts_ of the normal man are long thoughts.  He has an
instinctive yearning for immortality.  If this instinct is absent, the
man is not normal.  If this instinct is suppressed, the man's soul is
injured.  If he does not believe in immortality, he will believe in
something far less credible.  It may be continued existence in the
complex-life of humanity; it may be absorption of individual
personality in some Oversoul.  The issue is sorrow of heart, bitterness
of soul, pessimism of creed, "Pessimism is the column of black smoke
proceeding from the heart in which the hope of immortality has been
burned to ashes."  If a man remains normal, he believes in immortality.
What is the inference?  Tennyson has drawn it.

  "Thou wilt not leave us in the dust,
  Thou madest man, he knows not why;
  He thinks he was not made to die;
  And Thou hast made him, Thou are just."


A just Creator will not place instinctive longings in His Creature's
soul, only to betray them.

2.--The _affections_ of the soul are as true witnesses as the mind.
"The heart has reasons which the reason cannot understand."  It is
impossible for love at its purest and strongest to believe that death
ends all.  Love shrinks in pain from such a possibility.  It protests
against such a violation of the fellowship of heart with heart.  The
longing for reunion is no vain desire, awakened only to be mocked.

Not so can things be ordained in a world of order.  The poets are the
prophets of the heart; and all the great poets teach immortality.

The heart, which God made, will not perpetually deceive us.  "If it
were _not_ so, I would have told you."  The instinct is true.  The
verdict of the spiritual seers of the race is favorable.

3.--Man is constituted for an ampler and more glorious life than can
possibly fall to his lot in this world.  Human powers are vast in
comparison with human opportunities.  Man is too great to be crowded
within the narrow limits of seventy years.  "So much to do, so little
done" were among the last words of Cecil Rhodes.  To develop the latent
powers we possess, we have no adequate opportunity here.  Deep in our
souls is the quenchless desire for a fuller expression of our powers.
Could God build the human soul with all its capacities for the few
years of this fleeting life on earth?  Not if there is rationality at
the heart of the universe.

4.--This world is an insoluble moral enigma, if there is no other world
to explain it.  Inequalities, injustices, abominations abound.
Circumstances and character are frequently at variance.  Right has
often been on the scaffold; wrong on the throne.  The whole creation is
groaning and travailling in pain.  This world is intolerable, if there
is no other.  There must be a world in which wrong will be righted and
justice done.  Man's conscience whispers that the Judge of all the
earth will do right; but how can He do right with all His creatures,
unless He has more time?  R. L. Stevenson well puts the argument: "We
had needs invent Heaven, if it had not been revealed; there are some
things that fall so bitterly ill on this side time."  Unless this world
has been created from sheer extravagance in the infliction of
purposeless pain, there must be another to justify the present process
of discipline, to heal the wounds of struggle, to comfort sorrow, to
develop holiness.  Somewhere, sometime, character and condition must
correspond.


WHAT SCIENCE SAYS.

III.  Does Science throw any light on our problem?  There may not be
any absolute scientific proof of a life beyond; but Science has no
demonstrative evidence against it.  At least it leaves the question
open.  Some go so far as to say that the results of modern scientific
research, when fairly viewed, are favourable to the reception of the
belief in immortality.  A great modern physicist says: "The death of
the body does not convey any assurance of the soul's death.  Every
physical analogy is against such a superficial notion in nature.  We
never see things beginning or coming to an end.  Change is what we see,
not origin or termination.  Death is a change, indeed; a sort of
emigration, a wrenching away from the old familiar scenes, a solemn,
portentous fact.  But it is not annihilation."

Dangers have seemed to threaten the doctrine of personal immortality
from the standpoint of the physiologist and the evolutionist; but these
dangers have not proved fatal.  The physiologist has demonstrated the
close connection between the brain and the soul.  It was an easy,
though improper, conclusion to assert that "the brain secretes thought
as the liver secretes bile."  But the psychologist speedily pointed out
that the physiologist had gone beyond his province.  He had proved only
that thought is a function of the brain.  Functions may be productive
or transmissive.  Light as a function of the electric circuit
represents a _productive_ function; music as a function of the organ
illustrates a _transmissive_ function.  The music is not _in_ the organ
but in the organist.  The organ transmits it.  So, the brain is but the
organ of the soul.

The evolutionist has made men think in immensities and has given prime
importance to the idea of development.  But a creature like man who is
alleged to be the product of ages of development is surely not going to
be extinguished at the tomb.  Darwin himself wrote: "It is an
intolerable thought that men and all other sentient beings are doomed
to complete annihilation after such long-continued slow progress."

What candles, then, does Science light up for us?

1.--The conservation of energy and the indestructibility of matter
imply that the natural forces of the world are not annihilated, however
much they may be transformed.  May we not hope that the peculiar form
of force known as personality, the highest force in the world, will not
be destroyed by the experience of death?

2.--Unfit organisms perish; fit survive.  Many beliefs which once
formed part of the spiritual life of man have perished in the lapse of
time, but no belief has shown greater vitality and power to resist the
disintegrating influences of changing environment than belief in the
soul's immortality.

If this belief has survived when quickened by the most awful imaginable
strain of the Great War may we not conclude that it is one of those
beliefs fit to live, one of those beliefs which the Creator desires to
live and grow?

3.--Whenever we find a faculty, we discover in environment something to
which this faculty corresponds.  Progress is possible only by the
constant adaptation of faculty to environment.  This is true of the
animal world.  Is it not also true of man?  In man are found faculties
peculiar to himself.  There is a longing for immortality, an expanding
conviction of it.  Does this internal condition correspond to reality?
Yes, else delusion falls on man alone.  For, as a distinguished
scientist (Sir J. Burdon Sanderson) has said, "there is no known
instance of the development of a capacity without the existence of a
corresponding satisfaction."

4.--If there is one increasing purpose through the ages, if there is
development from lower to higher, from simple to complex, it is
impossible to bound our vision with the grave.  If personality has been
attained, it is incredible that the gain of painful ages will be thrown
away.  "_Now_ are we the Sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what
we shall be."  The "forward-looking" habit has not been acquired for
naught.

So far is Science from giving demonstrative evidence against
immortality that it actually presents some considerations in its
favour.  The reasonableness and the beneficence of creation protest
against the extinction of men by death.


WHAT CHRIST SAYS.

The candle-lights of history, philosophy and science cast a cumulative
radiance upon the problem of life after death.  They show that it is
harder not to believe than to believe in immortality.  But we need the
light of the Sun.  We need the demonstration of the power of an endless
life.  This we have in the Risen Christ.  Christ brought into perfect
light those truths about God and man, of which mankind had dim
intuitions.  By His Resurrection Christ abolished death (i.e., deprived
it of force and power) and brought life and immortality to light (i.e.,
gives certainty, richness and power to the hope of immortal life).

1.--Christ has given _certainty_ to the instinctive longing for
immortality.  For the shadow, He has given substance; for dimness,
light; for hope, assurance.  Although this hope has been virtually
universal and inextinguishable, yet apart from Christ it has never
become a certainty.  Though historian, philosopher, poet, lover and
saint have their own special arguments for the Hereafter, it is Christ
Himself Who is the sure Light both of this world and of that which is
to come.  He has turned this hope into a full and glorious assurance.


HOW HAS HE DONE THIS?

(_a_) _By His teaching_.--Two things about mankind Christ took for
granted--sinfulness and immortality.  He did not argue about this life
beyond; He took it for granted.  No part of His teaching is explicable
on the supposition that all ends at the tomb.  His basis for our
immortality is not our instinct but the character of God.  On the bosom
of God's Fatherhood rests man's immortality.  If God is our Father and
loves us as His children, then we are His and He is ours _forever_.
Death cannot break this tie of life and love which binds us to Him; it
cannot rob Him of His child.  That God cannot be the God of the dead,
but of the living, is axiomatic.  His personal relations are real and
are eternal.


The Christian faith is sufficient to give us certainty and comfort
concerning our departed.  We are assured that the blessed dead are in
His safe keeping and through Him we are one with them in a union which
will one day be consummated in everlasting reunion and communion.  Our
Christian watchwords are enough--"love in absence, trust in silence,
faith in reunion."


(_b_) _By His Life_.--To the eye that can see, His life is the supreme
argument for immortality.  He lived such a life of fellowship with God
and so near to the frontier of eternity that the glory of it shone upon
and from His face.  The longing for a life higher than the life of time
is answered in His life.  Such a life could not be holden by death.  It
is eternal.  It has the quality now and always of everlastingness.

(_c_) _By His Resurrection_.--He confirmed the truth of what He taught,
and lived, by what He did.  He rose again, transformed, not merely
resuscitated.  He irradiated the spiritual land.  It is no longer "an
undiscovered country from whose bourne no traveller returns."  The
empty tomb, the cumulative evidence of independent witnesses, the
transformation in the lives of believers, the institutions of the
Christian Church, its continued existence, the personal experience of
the power of a rising life in individual Christians throughout the ages
to the present time--are the attestations of the truth of the
Resurrection.  The Christian Church is built and still rests on the
fact, luminous and sovereign, that Christ rose from the grave in
fulness and newness of power.  To the life beyond, Christ's
resurrection gives reality and humanity and assurance.  It confirmed
men's subjective aspirations, it changed them into "things most surely
believed."  It makes every Christian certain of a higher life beyond
the grave.

2.  Christ has _enriched_ the whole conception of immortality.  In the
ancient, as in the savage world to-day, immortality or the continued
duration of life, was a dreary prospect, a sense of desolation rather
than a source of joy, an impoverishment of life, not an enrichment of
it; its scene was a shadowy realm of silence, where there is no voice
of praise nor human warmth and cheer.  In some passages in the Old
Testament we find a loftier and clearer utterance.  Through his faith
in God, Job reached the idea that death may not be the final word.  The
righteous God would not abandon a righteous man.  In revealed religion
this faith in a life beyond the grave rested not on any conceptions of
man's nature, but on the character of God, the Eternal Righteousness.
If he has called men into fellowship with Him, His faith is pledged to
them.  The Psalmists won their sense of eternal security through their
present fellowship with God.  Along this line of religious experience
of a living, holy and gracious God, the true hope of immortality
entered the world.  Just as union with God guaranteed to the Psalmist a
life that would never end, so union with the Risen Saviour guarantees
to the Christian triumph over death.  Christ has filled this elementary
thought of continued existence with moral content, because He has based
it on a true conception of God.  The Christian hope is not merely
"immortality of the soul" but eternal life; and eternal life is not
merely an infinite prolongation of existence in a future state of
being; but is life at its highest and best, the life of fellowship, of
vision, of growing likeness to God, of ample service.  It is life in
Christ.  It is being with Christ, which is very far better than earthly
life at its worthiest.  It is not the mere translation, but the
transformation of earthly values.  This faith in immortality is moral
and spiritual; it implies enriched and elevated being, as worthy and
glorious as it is endless.

3.--Christ has so increased the _power_ of immortality, of the
Christian Hope, as almost to make it for the first time effective as a
source of courage, hope and consolation.  He has turned the hope of
immortality into the Power of His Resurrection.  All hopes exercise
some influence on those who hold them; yet apart from Christ the hope
of immortality has been less effective than we might expect.  By His
Resurrection Christ has raised this yearning hope into a mighty present
power brought to bear on humanity.  The Christian hope of immortality,
certain and rich in the possession of abundant life, gives breadth and
outlook to all human efforts.  It inspires duty.  Brought to bear on
our work, it makes effort worth while.  If all we have striven to do
and yet failed to do is to be perfected in the eternal morning, we can
face our tasks with fresh courage.  All social reconstructions that
deny or neglect the Christian thought of an endless life fail here.
Their scope is too limited; their outlook too narrow.  The Christian
hope brings the power of endurance and victory to sorrowing hearts.
Death is not a leap in the dark, but the passing into a larger,
brighter room in the House of the One Father.  In short, when this hope
of immortality is tested by life, it is verified by the loftiness of
the character it builds.

The rising life is the present demonstration of the risen life.  All
low, worldly, unspiritual living tends to doubt in it.  If we would
escape from doubt about the future, let us through the Living Christ
make life larger now.  If we would overcome weakening uncertainty, let
us daily practice immortality.  If we set our affections on things
above, our rising life will assure us that we shall live forever.  One
of Gladstone's great exhortations was: "Be inspired with the belief
that life is a great and noble calling; not a mean and grovelling
thing, that we are to shuffle through as we can, but an elevated and
lofty destiny."  This belief is created and can be maintained only by
viewing life in relation to God and immortality.

Every man should therefore put the question to himself: "If _I_ die,
shall I live again?"  "What kind of life am I living now?  Is it life
eternal, or life merely temporal?  Is it a friendship with God which
death can never extinguish?"  Only One Life has ever won open victory
over death.  Only one kind of life ever can win it--that kind of life
which was in Christ, which _is_ in Christ, which He shares with all
whom faith makes one with Him.

"In the midst of life we are in death" such is the cry of bereaved and
dying humanity.  But in Christ we are able to say: "in the midst of
death, we are in life."  "God has given us eternal life, and that life
is in His Son."  Can death touch that life?  Never.



T. H. BEST PRINTING CO. LIMITED, TORONTO



THE LAYMAN'S LIBRARY OF PRACTICAL RELIGION


_Future Volumes_

Volume II.  Lent 1923.  God.

   I.  The God Shown us by Jesus Christ.  By the Rt. Rev. J.
       C. Farthing, D.D., D.C.L., Bishop of Montreal.

  II.  God and You.  By the Rt. Rev. J. A. Richardson, D.D.,
       D. C. L., Bishop of Fredericton.

 III.  God and Evolution.  By the Very Rev. J. P. D. Llwyd,
       D.D., D.C.L., Dean of Nova Scotia.

  IV.  God in the Old Testament.  By Prof. F. H. Cosgrave, B.D.,
       Trinity College, Toronto,

   V.  The Holy Trinity.  By the Rev. Dr. W. W. Craig,
       Vancouver.

  VI.  The Holy Spirit.  By Rev. Prof. E. A. McIntyre, Wycliffe
       College, Toronto.

 VII.  God in Regard to Pain and Affliction.  By Rev. E. F.
       Salmon, Ottawa.


Volume III.  Advent 1923.  Jesus Christ.

   I.  The Messiah.  By Rev. H. R. Stevenson, M.A., Montreal.

  II.  Jesus Christ as the World's Moral Miracle.  By the Rt.
       Rev. David Williams, D.D., LL.D., Bishop of Huron.

 III.  Jesus Christ compared with other Masters, Buddha, etc.
       By Rev. Dr. R. C. Johnstone, Winnipeg.

  IV.  Jesus Christ the Son of God.  By Rev. Dr. Dyson Hague,
       Toronto.

   V.  Jesus Christ the Saviour of the World.  By Rev. F. H.
       Brewin, M.A., Toronto.

  VI.  Jesus Christ and You--His practical methods for you to
       live by.  By the Ven. Archdeacon McElheran, M.A.,
       Winnipeg.

 VII.  The Virgin Birth.  By the Rt. Rev. J. C. Roper, LL.D.,
       D.D., Ottawa.


Volume IV.  Lent 1924.  The Bible.

   I.  How the Old Testament was written.  By the Ven.
       Archdeacon Paterson-Smyth, D.D., D.Litt., Montreal.

  II.  How the New Testament was written.  By the Ven.
       Archdeacon Paterson-Smyth, D.D., D.Litt., Montreal.

 III.  How the Bible came down to us.  By the Ven. Archdeacon
       Paterson-Smyth, D.D., D.Litt., Montreal.

  IV.  The Miracles of the New Testament.  By the Rt. Rev. E. J.
       Bidwell, D.D., D.C.L., Bishop of Ontario.

   V.  The Messages of the Four Gospels.  By Rev. H. H.
       Bedford-Jones, M.A.

  VI.  The Messages of the Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypse.

 VII.  Two methods of reading the Bible, the daily and the
       weekly.  By the Rt. Rev. J. F. Sweeney, D.D., D.C.L.,
       Bishop of Toronto.


Other volumes will follow on such subjects as Prayer, Holy Communion,
The Prayer Book, Baptism and Confirmation, Missions, etc.





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