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existence may find lumination and peace. • This God is our God for ever and ever: He will be our Guide unto death, and beyond it.' Without this Awful and Blessed Being, man has no adequate object, even during these days of his brief earthly existence; his thought, his affection, his purpose spring up and are exercised only that they may presently waste and die. With God the human soul not merely interprets the secret of the universe ; it comprehends, and is at peace with, itself. For God is the satisfaction of its thirst; -He is the Object of Religion.”
The human soul, as the subject of religion, next engages the attention of the lecturer. He enlarges beautifully on the sense of personality which each of us experiences, and points out the manner in which the consciousness of this distinguishes us from the animal creation. “Man," he remarks, “ besides belonging on his animal side to an animal species, yet knows himself to be, in his individual capacity, a solitary essence, personal and indivisible." He discusses various theories affecting the origin and destiny of man's spiritual nature, and after touching on the discoveries of Christianity, winds up this Lecture also with some powerful appeals. “It has indeed been said that the old phrase of saving one's soul' has ceased to have much meaning for the religion of educated people in the present day. If this be indeed true, we can only rejoin, in all truth and sorrow, So much the worse for the educated people.' Whatever be a man's place in society or in letters, whatever his circumstances in this earthly scene, it remains true that, to close with the offers which Christ makes to sinners, to work out his salvation with fear and trembling,' is his one most important business here. The eternal realities do not change with our intellectual fashions; and, like the laws which govern our physical frames, the spiritual rules under which we live or die are the same for all of us. The day will come when the God-fearing peasants of Devonshire or Yorkshire will rise in judgment against the cultured irreligion of the centres of our modern civilization : not because it is cultured, but because it is irreligious; because in the glare of its enthusiasms for the additions which it has made to the knowledge of our material home and structure, it has forgotten almost or altogether the Eternal Home beyond."
The next subject brought forward is sin, as the obstacle to religion ; and then the lecturer proceeds, in the fifth discourse, to prayer as the characteristic action of religion. Many of his remarks on this subject are well deserving of attention. He shows how real prayer calls into exercise all the faculties of the soul,—the understanding, the affections, and the will; and he enlarges on the fact, that God is the Hearer of prayer, meeting the several objections which, in the present day, are urged against this most precious truth. We value especially his observations in reply to the first of these,—that derived from the scientific idea of law, reigning throughout the spiritual as well as the material universe. "Does not,” he inquires, “the very word law,' by reason of its majestic and imposing associations, here involve us in some indistinctness of thought ? What do we mean by law? When we speak of a law of nature are we thinking of some self-sustained invisible force, of which we can give no account except that here it is, a matter of experience ? Or do we mean by a law of nature only a principle which, as our observation shows us, appears to govern particular actions of the Almighty Agent who made and who upholds the universe ? If the former, let us frankly admit that we have not merely fettered God's freedom ; we have, alas ! ceased to believe in Him. For such self-sustained force is either self-originating, in which case there is no Being in existence who has made all that constitutes this universe. Or otherwise, having derived its first impact from the creative Will of God, this force has subsequently escaped altogether from His control, so that it now fetters His liberty; and, in this case, there is no Being in existence who is Almighty, in the sense of being really Master of this universe. If, however, we mean by law the observed regularity with which God works in nature as in grace, then, in our contact with law, we are dealing, not with a brutal, unintelligent, unconquerable force, but with the free will of an intelligent and moral Artist, who works, in His perfect freedom, with sustained and beautiful symmetry. Where is the absurdity of asking Him to hold His hand, or to hasten His work ? He to whom we pray may be trusted to grant or to refuse a prayer, as may seem best to the highest wisdom and the truest love. And if He grant it, He is not without resources ; even although we should have asked Him to suspend what we call a natural law. Can He not then provide for the freedom of His action without violating its order ? Can He not supersede a lower rule of working by the intervention of a higher ? If He really works at all,—if something that is neither moral nor intelligent has not usurped His throne,-it is certain that the thing that is done upon earth He doeth it Himself;' and that it is, therefore, as consistent with reason as with reverence to treat Him as being a free Agent, who is not really tied and bound by the intellectual abstractions with which finite intellects would fain annihilate the freedom of His action. No! to pray for rain or sunshine, for health or food, is just as reasonable as to pray for gifts which the soul only can receive,-increased love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith. All such prayers presuppose the truth, that God is not the slave of His own rules of action; that He can innovate upon His work without forfeiting His perfection; that law is only our way of conceiving of His regularized working, and not an external force which governs and moulds what we recognize as His work. It dissolves into thin air, as we look hard at it, this fancied barrier of inexorable law; and, as the mist clears off, beyond there is the throne of the Moral King of the universe, in whose eyes material symmetry is as nothing when compared with the spiritual well-being of His moral creatures."
The concluding Lecture is on THE MEDIATOR, as the Guarantee of Religious Life. Here Canon Liddon treads upon sacred ground, but to him happily familiar. He turns, with lively satisfaction, from the theories of human philosophy, to meditate on the Person of Hou in whom God comes near to us, to restore us to His friend. ship, and to bring us into vital communion with Himself. day,” he says, “we cease, at least in the main, to measure the forms and density of the clouds which veil the face of heaven from sad but eager multitudes. We pass into the light and warmth of the Sun of Righteousness, to occupy ourselves, from first to last, with His glory and His beauty; we advance to recognize, as I trust, in Him the living bond of unity between the great empire of souls on the one hand, and the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, on the other." In the discussion of this theme, Dr. Liddon limits himself very much to the character and the personal claims of the Lord Jesus. He does not enter at length upon the grand arrangements of the economy of redemption, and dwell on the way in which we obtain a saving interest in the atonement of our blessed Lord, and are so united to Him as to be filled with spiritual life and power by the communication of His Spirit. A few sentences, indeed, are devoted to these subjects in the conclusion of the Lecture; but the chief aim of the lecturer is to rivet atten. tion on Christ Himself, and to fix in the mind the conviction that He was truly and properly Divine. Many of his remarks on this subject are very beautiful and impressive. Dr. Liddon traces the perfection of the human character of our Lord, and then argues from that character, combined with His lofty declarations respect. ing Himself, and the absolute sinlessness which He ever claimed, that He was more than man, even “the Only Begotten of the Father,” manifested in our nature to redeem and save us. he winds up the discussion, he says, “ This is the full and solemn truth; that Jesus Christ is not merely the Teacher, but the Substance of Christianity; not merely the Author of the faith which Christiaus profess, but its central Object. For Christians the popular phrase, The religion of Christ,' does not mean, as Lessing suggested, only or chiefly the piety which in the days of His flesh He exhibited towards the Father. It means the piety, the submission of thought and heart, the sense of obligation, the voluntary enthusiastic service, of which He, together and equally with the Father, is the rightful and everlasting Object; which, when He was on earth, He claimed as His due; and which has been rendered to Him now for more than eighteen hundred years by the best and noblest of the human race."
THE WESLEYAN HYMN-BOOK ILLUSTRATED.
Two of our hymns, 190 and 586, are ascribed to Nicolaus Ludwig, Count Zinzendorf. This remarkable man was born May 26th, 1700, in Dresden, where his father was a privy councillor, and chamberlain at the court. His godfather was Philip Jacob Spener, the celebrated evangelical pastor and poet, whose dying blessing he received. Till his tenth year, he was carefully instructed by his pious grandmother, Henrietta Catharine, Baroness of Gersdorf, herself a hymn-writer. For six years he was at the College, Halle, under Professor Francke. In 1716, he came to pursue his studies in Wirtemberg, and in 1719 he travelled in Holland, England, and France. On becoming a member of the Council in Dresden, in 1721, he still found leisure for meditation and attendance on sermons. The brotherhood of Moravians was established by him, assisted by Christian David, in 1722, at Herrnhuth, of which, from that time, he was the acknowledged leader and chief.* In 1757, he married Anne Nitschmann, who for twenty-seven years had been superior of the single sisters' choir in the community at Herrnhuth. This was in his fifty-seventh year, his wife being in her fortysecond. She was a woman of more than ordinary talents and great piety. The ardent zeal of the Count appeared in his abundant labours; and his love to Christ and His cause was shown by munificent contributions for the spread of the Gospel. He died in great peace at
• In 1738, John Wesley spent some hours in conversation with Christian David, a carpenter, and originally a Papist, but afterwards & Christian preacher, who, like John Nelson, worked at his trade and preached among his kindred ar d neighbours with extraordinary success. He told Mr. Wesley that Count Zinzendorf sent to Görlitz for Mr. Rothe to be minister of Bertholdsdorf, who mentioned him to the Count, to whom he was previously unknown. The Count wrote to him, and when he came said, “Let as many as will of your friends come bither; I will give them land to build on, and Christ will give them the rest.” He went into Moravia, and led a small party of oppressed Moravians to Bertholdsdorf, making eleven journeys in all, but not without opposition from the Papists, who set a price on his head, and levelled to the ground the dwelling in which he lodged. In 1720 the first meeting-house was built, a mile from Bertholdsdorf, near the great road, and called Herrnhuth, “ The Lord's Watch.” In two years they had increased to a hundred and fifty, and at the time of this conversation were more than a thousand. They were disturbed with a “Calvinistic Controversy," which was settled, in an Arminian sense, at a " Conference” of three days' duration between the Court, Christian David, and others. Like the early Methodists, a few years later, they had to endure persecution.
Herrnhuth, May 9th, 1760, and his lady survived him but ten days. His “Life” was published in eight volumes by his friend Spangenberg, and a complete collection of his hymns appeared in 1845, edited by Mr. Knapp.
There can be no doubt that Zinzendorf's apostolic example instructed and encouraged John Wesley in his arduous and successful toil, by show. ing him what one man could accomplish by diligence and perseverance. The Moravian community furnished the general plan for the organization of the Methodist Societies, and suggested many of the details. Wesley corresponded with the Count, and had several conferences with him. A remarkable colloquy between these two great men, and leaders of men, is given in J. Wesley's Journal, September 3rd, 1741. An estrange. ment between them soon arose, from the Count's unguarded language on the subject of Christian liberty as the privilege of believers, and still more from the speculative and practical antinomianism of his preachers and followers, which Mr. Wesley believed he did not sufficiently discountenance as he might and ought to have done. From his hymns, which breathe a spirit of ardent piety and universal benevolence, John Wesley selected one consisting of thirty stanzas, entitled, “The Believers' Triumph," which he cut down to twenty, in “Hymns and Sacred Poems," and still further, in our present Hymn-Book, to ten. It will be seen from this hymn, which does not exaggerate the sentiments of the original, that the Count not only held the evangelical doctrine common to all the Reformers, but that he maintained that of universal redemption, which many of them did not.
An anecdote connected with this admirable piece is worth placing on record here. Queen Christiana of Prussia, having seen a beautiful child, the little daughter of one of the palace-gardeners, like Dante's Matilda, * playing amidst the flowers, had her brought to the palace next day, and placed on a chair near herself at dinner-time. The Queen was enjoying by anticipation the delight and surprise which she supposed the child must feel and would express at the sight of fo many fine ladies around her, so splendidly arrayed. But to her astonishment, the child, looking quietly down as she sat at the table, repeated the following stanza for a grace or blessing :
"O Christ! Thy blood and righteousness,
My jewels are, my glorious dress;
Bold shall I stand when enter'd there.
No judgment need believers dread;
* All on a sudden there appear'd to me,
As when aught strikes us with astonishment,
Carsing all other thoughts at once to fee,
Singing and gathering flowers, from flowers that wore
(" Purgatorio," xxviii., 37=42.) VOL. XIX.- FIFTH FERIES.