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One master-sin is at the root of all the rest. It is no individual action, or anything that comes of mood, or passion; it is the non-recognition by the man, and consequent inactivity in him, of the highest of all relations, that relation which is the root and first essential condition of every other true relation of or in the human soul. It is the absence in the man of harmony with the being whose thought is the man's existence, whose word is the man's power of thought. It is true that, being thus his offspring, God, as St. Paul affirms, cannot be far from any one of us were we not in closest contact of creating and created, we could not exist; as we have in us no power to be, so have we none to continue being; but there is a closer contact still, as absolutely necessary to our well-being and highest existence, as the other to our being at all, to the mere capacity of faring well or ill. For the highest creation of God in man is his will, and until the highest in man meets the highest in God, their true relation is not yet a spiritual fact. The flower lies in the root, but the root is not the flower. The relation exists, but while one of the parties neither knows, loves, nor acts upon it, the relation is, as it were, yet unborn. The highest in man is neither

his intellect nor his imagination nor his reason; all are inferior to his will, and indeed, in a grand way, dependent upon it: his will must meet God's-a will distinct from God's, else were no harmony possible between them. Not the less, therefore, but the more, is all God's. For God creates in the man the power to will His will. It may cost God a suffering man can never know, to bring the man to the point at which he will will His will; but when he is brought to that point, and declares for the truth, that is, for the will of God, he becomes one with God, and the end of God in the man's creation, the end for which Jesus was born and died, is gained. The man is saved from his sins, and the universe flowers yet again in his redemption.

But I would not be supposed, from what I have said, to imagine the Lord without sympathy for the sorrows and pains which reveal what sin is, and by means of which he would make men sick of sin. With everything human he sympathizes. Evil is not human; it is the defect and opposite of the human ; but the suffering that follows it is human, belonging of necessity to the human that has sinned: while it is by cause of sin, suffering is for the sinner, that he

may be delivered from his sin. Jesus is in himself aware of every human pain. He feels it also. In him too it is pain. With the energy of tenderest love he wills his brothers and sisters free, that he may fill them to overflowing with that essential thing, joy. For that they were indeed created. But the moment they exist, truth becomes the first thing, not happiness; and he must make them true. Were it possible, however, for pain to continue after evil was gone, he would never rest while one ache was yet in the world. Perfect in sympathy, he feels in himself, I say, the tortured presence of every nerve that lacks its repose. The man may recognize the evil in him only as pain; he may know little and care nothing about his sins; yet is the Lord sorry for his pain. He cries aloud, 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.' He does not say, 'Come unto me, all ye that feel the burden of your sins;' he opens his arms to all weary enough to come to him in the poorest hope of rest. Right gladly would he free them from their misery-but he knows only one way he will teach them to be like himself, meek and lowly, bearing with gladness the yoke of his father's will. This is the one, the only right, the

only possible way of freeing them from their sins, the cause of their unrest. With them the weariness comes first; with him the sins: there is but one cure for both-the will of the Father. That which is his joy will be their deliverance! He might indeed, it may be, take from them the human, send them down to some lower stage of being, and so free them from suffering-but that must be either a descent toward annihilation, or a fresh beginning to grow up again toward the region of suffering they have left; for that which is not growing must at length die out of creation. The disobedient and selfish would fain in the hell of their hearts possess the liberty and gladness that belong to purity and love, but they cannot have them; they are weary and heavy-laden, both with what they are, and because of what they were made for but are not. The Lord knows what they need ; they know only what they want. They want ease; he knows they need purity. Their very existence is an evil, of which, but for his resolve to purify them, their maker must rid his universe. How can he keep in his sight a foul presence? Must the creator send forth his virtue to hold alive a thing that will be evil-a thing that ought not to be, that has no

claim but to cease? The Lord himself would not live save with an existence absolutely good.

It may be my reader will desire me to say how the Lord will deliver him from his sins.

That is like the lawyer's 'Who is my neighbour?' The spirit of such a mode of receiving the offer of the Lord's deliverance, is the root of all the horrors of a corrupt theology, so acceptable to those who love weak and beggarly hornbooks of religion. Such questions spring from the passion for the fruit of the tree of knowledge, not the fruit of the tree of life. Men would understand: they do not care to obey;-understand where it is impossible they should understand save by obeying. They would search into the work of the Lord instead of doing their part in it—thus making it impossible both for the Lord to go on with his work, and for themselves to become capable of seeing and understanding what he does. Instead of immediately obeying the Lord of life, the one condition upon which he can help them, and in itself the beginning of their deliverance, they set themselves to question their unenlightened intellects as to his plans for their deliverance-and not merely how he means to effect it, but how he can be able to effect it. They


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