XXI. THE DEATH FOR ALL NATIONS.
[Lincoln's Inn, 5th Sunday after Trinity, June 22, 1856.]
St. John XI. 49, 50.
And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said to them, You know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
We naturally ask ourselves why Caiaphas should have taken this tone in speaking to his colleagues in the Sanhedrim? What did he wish them to do which they had not shown themselves ready to do? Had they not sent officers to take Jesus? Had they not encouraged the impulse of some among His hearers to stone him, if they had not issued a formal decree that He should be stoned? The explanation lies, I think, in the fact that Caiaphas was a Sadducee. It might be straining the words, 'Then gathered the chief priests AND the Pharisees a council,' to conclude from them that the priests in general were not Pharisees. But there are other good reasons for thinking that the accession of Caiaphas to the office of High Priest marks the commencement of a Sadducean ascendency. Now, the views of these schools respecting Jesus, however they might ultimately coincide, must have been determined by their other opinions. The Sadducees will have been much more disposed to regard Him as a fanatic than as a blasphemer; they will have dreaded His doctrine much less than the belief of His kingship among the multitude; consequently, they may have thought the experiment of putting Him to death by stoning very unwise. It was making a trial of their native jurisdiction which was, at least, hazardous; it might lead both to a tumult among their countrymen, and to interference from their masters. In the council which was held after the raising of Lazarus, it is evident that the indignation against Jesus for 'making Himself equal with God,' — even the indignation at a Galilæan for pretending to be a prophet — has been merged in the fear, lest if 'they let Him alone, the Romans should destroy both their place and nation.' Caiaphas takes advantage of the feeling, by whomsoever it may have been expressed, to state and defend his own policy. 'You know nothing at all' — 'you who are trying to punish Him by your own laws. You do not consider that if we are in the danger you apprehend, "it is expedient that one man should die for the people:" that we should give Him up to the Romans, as a rebel against them; gulping down our scruples about our dignity and our reluctance to ask aid from the Cæsar for crushing an enemy, rather than that "the whole nation" should "perish," through our obstinacy in maintaining an ancient and doubtful privilege.'
This was genuine Sadducean language, — precisely what one would expect to come from such a mouth. But it was also triumphant language. The Pharisee must yield to it, or else forego the gratification of his own chief desire. He might very much have preferred to assert Jewish law. He might have been willing to run some risk in enforcing it. To do otherwise was to stoop to the maxims of a sect which he detested. But a compromise was the only possible course. By adopting it, he could ensure a general agreement among the rulers in bringing about the death of Jesus at the next Passover. And there would be some compensation. The death would be more ignominious than the national customs would have made it. We are told, therefore, that 'from that day forth they took counsel to put Him to death.' There was now no division, either about the end or the means. Pilate was to be the judge; the death they were to aim at was the death of the Cross.
Such, I suppose, was what Caiaphas himself understood by the words, 'It is expedient for us that one man should die for the nation, and that the whole nation perish not.' A narrow meaning enough, — one in which there was nothing of patriotism, in the vulgarest sense of that word. Caiaphas would save his nation by binding the chains of foreign domination more strictly upon it; he would put on a new badge of slavery, that it might be permitted to exist. But then, as now, men utter words — made, as they think, to fit an occasion — intended to express only some paltry device of their minds — which are pregnant with a signification that ages unborn will confess and wonder at. St. John does not say to his Ephesian readers or to us, — 'We can see another force in the words of the High Priest than that which he put on them; we can translate them in our way and to our use.' But he says, 'There was that force in them always.' Caiaphas had not the power to contract his speech to the dimensions of his wit. 'Being high priest that year, he prophesied.' The grandeur of the office, which had witnessed the relation of God to His people for fourteen hundred years, manifested itself through the poor creature, who could look no further than the expediency of the moment; to whom the past and the future were as nothing. He who believed in no angel or spirit was compelled to be the spokesman of the Divine Word, even when he was plotting His death. Strange and awful reflection! And yet so it must be, — so experience shows us continually that it is. Our words are not our own, — we are not lords over them, whatever we may think. Is it not well for us to ask who is Lord over them; how such terrible instruments — so immeasurably more terrible than swords or rifles — may be used lawfully, for the protection, and not the destruction, of our brethren; how we may be the willing, and not merely, like Caiaphas, the unconscious, proclaimers of a Divine purpose; how we may execute it by obeying it, not by the crimes which strive, vainly, to defeat it?
Caiaphas prophesied, says St. John, that 'Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God which were scattered abroad.' It is not chiefly the form of the High Priest's sentence which suggests this thought to him; he does not play upon the words of it. The proposition, that Jesus should not be tried for violating Jewish law, but should be given up as a treasonable subject of Rome, involved the breaking down of barriers between the nations. The cross was emphatically a message to mankind, — to all tribes and races within the circle of the empire that had appointed this punishment for rebels and slaves. It is a thought which possessed the minds of all the apostles, — of none more than St. John. The cross was to do what the eagle had tried to do. It was to bind men in one society. I shall not dwell upon the words that announce that doctrine here, because it forms the most prominent subject in the following chapter of which I am going to speak. We shall find, I think, that every discourse and narrative in it is penetrated with the idea of crucifixion. So it becomes the suitable close to the records of our Lord's public ministry, — the right preface to those private interviews of which St. John is the only historian.
We are now arrived at the point in which the narratives of the different Evangelists coincide. All the others lead us from Galilee to Jerusalem at this Passover. St. John, who has taken us so often to Jerusalem at other feasts before, yet prepares us, by many significant intimations, to feel the special grandeur of the present.
'Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went from there to a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim, and there continued with His disciples. And the Jews' passover was nearly at hand; and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. Then sought they for Jesus, and spoke among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think you, that He will not come to the feast? Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where He were, he should show it, that they might take Him.'
He had walked the twelve hours of the day, and no stone had reached Him. But the night was closing in. The Jews were about to take the great step of confessing Cæsar to be the only king; therefore the King must prepare to be the Sacrifice.
The story which follows connects the two characters together: — 'Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom He raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him.'
I spoke, last Sunday, of the domestic tone which pervades the history of the resurrection of Lazarus; how St. John refused to regard death except as the breaking of a family bond — resurrection except as the renewal of it. The same tone is preserved here. The family feast is the resurrection feast; it is the union of the several limbs of a body which had been torn asunder. There is no change of relation or of sympathy; the old ways of expressing it are retained. Only service has been ennobled. He who sits at meat, and she who serves, are brother and sister. For there is a Guest at the table whose life has been a service, and yet whose acts are all kingly. The awe of Lazarus, who has known the secrets of the grave, does not interrupt fellowship; for He must know them better, and He is with them, sharing in their gladness. 'And what is He? Is He only the elder brother of one household? May He not be the elder brother of all households? Has He only done acts of mysterious grace and power for us? May He not be the Ruler everywhere — over the whole earth, and over those who are in the region from which Lazarus has come back?'
Such thoughts may have been in the minds of both sisters. Martha cannot express them save by fulfilling her simple household duties; they are done for Him. He can translate them into heavenly ministries. Mary must find some other way to utter what is working in her heart, — what no words can give expression to. 'Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment. Then said one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray Him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?' Mary was probably puzzled by this question. She could not the least have defended her act, or even have explained what she meant by it. She had heard of the anointing of kings, and of the anointing in tombs. The thought of royalty and of burial would become associated in her mind. But why she should have done this thing, — why she had not reserved the money for those who needed it, — she could not have told. Judas may have seemed to her a prudent and religious man for reprimanding her. And the other Evangelists say that he was not alone in the complaint. The Apostles generally seem to have agreed in it, and felt its reasonableness.
Later knowledge led St. John to say, 'This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.' But at the time he may have shared the feeling of the others. The covetousness of the betrayer may have been quite concealed by his judicious charity; Mary's act may have been measured by his rules. If it were so, John and his fellows showed that there was in them that mind which was rapidly becoming the only mind in Judas. It might become victorious in them; it might be overcome in him. This perhaps was a very critical moment in their lives. Mary's act was essentially a woman's act. No man would be commended for it; a man who imitated it would not be doing what he could, but attempting awkwardly to do what he could not. To rough men, therefore, it was a trial to understand her and sympathise with her. They had need to pass through many hard processes themselves — to be purged of the covetous spirit, — to be under the guidance of a Spirit who was not yet given, — before they could enter into the worth of services which they were not called to perform, before they could judge them by their origin, not by their immediate results, before they could see what a force love may put into symbols, and how that force may be felt from generation to generation by the humble and meek, whom words and notions affect very little.
But there was one who knew Mary's meaning not only better than they knew it, but better than she knew it. 'Then said Jesus, Let her alone: against the day of my burying has she kept this. For the poor always you have with you; but me you have not always.' What the day of His burying was, must have been unintelligible to the disciples generally; but the reference to it, and to a time when He should not be with them, may have had a solemnising effect upon them; they will have been less ready to judge, more inclined to honour those whom He honoured. Mary may have divined a little more of His meaning. The thought of His burial might perplex her. But it could not cause her despair. She knew that a body which had lain in the grave four days had been safe there. Surely some anointing, better than hers, would keep His body if it was laid in any tomb. In her the instinct of love made the thought of death and sacrifice, however wonderful, not incredible. On Judas it is evident that the sight of Mary's devotion had a withering effect. First, it led him to hypocritical professions about the poor, that he might persuade himself he had some benevolent feelings; then, when Christ drove him from this ground, — when he was reminded that he might always help the poor if he chose, — a conscious hatred against goodness began to unfold itself in him. He went away from that feast a traitor in heart, prepared to accomplish the prophecy that Jesus had uttered concerning Himself. He was to be present at one more feast, — to take one more sop, — then all would be dark within him.
The Evangelist leaves a strong impression upon our minds of the hurry and confusion in Jerusalem at that feast; the curiosity of the people to see Jesus and to see Lazarus; the questionings of the council whether the excitement could be removed without the death of both; the half-formed thought, which might soon take shape and lead to some act, that perhaps the king was among them after all. And then follows the story of the entrance into Jerusalem, which is told at less length than in the other Evangelists; but to which there are two additions that are worthy of note. St. John quotes, as St. Matthew has done, the prophecy of Zechariah: — 'Your king comes, meek, and sitting upon an ass:' and then adds, 'These things understood not His disciples at the first: but when He was risen from the dead, then remembered they that these things were written of Him, and that they had done these things to Him.' The illumination of his own mind, and of the minds of his fellow Apostles, respecting the sense and connection of the Scriptures, — how they learned to connect with Him the descriptions of a King reigning in righteousness, which the Old Testament contained, — how the resurrection from the dead identified Him as the fulfiller of them, — how it linked His relation to God with His relation to man, — this we learn more clearly from St. John than from all the other apostolical writings. They take the matter, in a certain degree, for granted; he enables us to see the process of it. I have spoken of this subject in considering the passage, — 'The zeal of your house has eaten me up.' The more we meditate upon it, the more, I believe, we shall be able to trace lines of thought running through the Old Testament, by which the formal critic is puzzled, — the more we shall find how little the word written in letters could profit, if the Living Word did not expound it to the heart and reason, — the more we shall be sure that the laws which governed men in the old time are those which govern us; that we must have the same Teacher as they had; or that while we seem to know everything we shall know nothing.
The other addition is this: — 'The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, Perceive you how you prevail nothing? behold, the world is gone after Him.' The words may indicate a doubt whether the new scheme which Caiaphas had devised was likely to succeed so well as their own; whether the feeling of the people for the Christ would not prove stronger than their submission to the Romans; whether it was not better, therefore, to accuse Him of breaking a law which the multitude did regard as sacred and Divine, however little they might understand it. At any rate, they show how much men, who have lost all sympathy with truth, are apt to overrate the power of mere numbers, and to underrate the effects of one simple, humble, brave act. The crowds that shouted 'Hosanna!' alarmed the Pharisees. Yet, in a few days, the temper of those crowds was changed; they could cry that Barabbas might be released, and Jesus crucified. The mere coming into Jerusalem royally, yet without the outward signs of royalty, was nothing in their eyes. Yet therein lay the real effective message to their city; that was the hour of its visitation; that has been received by generations of men, in the most cultivated nations of the earth, as the warning of its doom.
'And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: the same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip comes and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.' The event seemed to the disciples a little one. They were used to see Greek proselytes at the great festivals; it was not strange that some of them should have heard of the Teacher from Galilee; or that, if they had heard of Him, they should wish to judge of Him for themselves. Coming with such feelings, to perform what must have seemed to them so easy a request, how they must have been astonished to see the emotion which it caused their Lord, and to hear Him answer them thus: — 'The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say to you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone: but if it die, it brings forth much fruit. He that loves his life shall lose it; and he that hates his life in this world shall keep it to life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour. Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I to this hour.'
It is impossible, if we are not utterly loose in our mode of interpretation, not to connect these words with the Greeks who had come to the feast, whether we suppose that they were present and heard them, or that the answer was simply addressed to Philip and Andrew. And then the questions arise, — Why should this be such an hour of trouble and of glory? How should the appearance of a few strangers have led to a discussion respecting the falling of wheat into the ground, and its death, — respecting the saving of life and the losing it? You will remember that when our Lord spoke of those other sheep He had, which were not of the Jewish fold, and whom also He must bring, He connected the formation of the one flock with the death of the one Shepherd. He signified clearly that the union could take place only upon this condition. The assertion is in strict harmony with the comment of the Apostle upon the words of Caiaphas to which I have alluded already. The death upon the cross was to take place that He might gather together in one those scattered children of God. If you turn from St. John to St. Paul, — from this Gospel to the Epistle to the Ephesians, — you will find the breaking down of the middle wall of partition between Jews and Greeks is said to be effected 'in the body of Christ's flesh, through death;' that He is said to have 'nailed the enmity to His cross.' If you reflect on these passages, you will perceive (as I said in my discourse on the 10th of John) that what we sometimes speak of very lightly, as if it were only an accident of the New Testament, — the calling in of the Gentiles — the unfolding of a universal society out of the Jewish national society, — is treated by our Lord Himself, and by His Apostles, as that wonderful event to which all God's purposes, from the beginning of the world, had been tending. You will perceive that they looked upon this reunion, or reconciliation, as unveiling a deep mystery — the deepest mystery of all — in the relations of God to man, in the being of God Himself. Without sacrifice, — so the Jews had been taught from the beginning of their history, — so the other nations had believed just in proportion as they were nations, — without sacrifice, there could be no unity among the members of a race. Sacrifice must bind them to God. Sacrifice must bind them to each other. This great political and Divine truth had been confirmed by the human conscience, even when it protested most against some of the inferences which priestcraft had deduced from it. Only he who can give up himself — so the heart of mankind testified — is a patriot; only he obeys the laws; only he can save his country when it is falling. There had been then a sure conviction expressed by prophets and holy men, planted deep in men's hearts, that any larger union — any union which should be between all nations, which should really be for mankind — must involve a mightier and more transcendent sacrifice; a sacrifice in which there should be no blemish. As the conscience was awakened by God's teaching more and more clearly to perceive that all resistance to God lies in the setting up of self — that this is the great barrier between Him and His revolted creatures — it began to be understood that the atonement of man with man must have its basis in an atonement of God with man, and that the same sacrifice was needed for both. One thing yet remained to be learnt, the most wonderful lesson of all; and yet of which God had been giving the elements, line upon line, precept upon precept, from the beginning. Could sacrifice originate in God? Could it be made, not first to Him, but first by Him? Could the sacrifices of men be the effect, not the cause, of His love and free grace to them? All our Lord's discourses concerning Himself and His Father, — concerning His own acts as being merely the fulfilment of His Father's will, — concerning the love which the Father had to Him because He laid down His life for the sheep, — had been bringing these mysteries to light; had been preparing the humble and meek to confess, with wonder and contrition, that in every selfish act they had been fighting against the unselfish God, — that in every self-sacrificing act they had been merely yielding to Him, — merely submitting to die, according to the law of His Eternal Being, which He had created men to show forth. And so far as they had any glimpses of the accomplishment of God's promises, — that He would bring all into one, — that the Gentiles should wait for His law, — that He would be a Father of all the families of the earth, and that they should be His children, — so far they had the vision of a transcendent and Divine sacrifice.
There was One, at least, who lived in the assurance that God's will would be done in earth as in heaven, and whose soul was straitened till that will was accomplished. To His inward eye, the Greeks, who had come to claim their share in Jewish privileges and Jewish knowledge, and who wished to see Him, represented all those who should believe in Him, when His Apostles should go forth to baptize the nations in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. They represented the human race of which He was the head, which should be at last gathered together in Him. How emphatically, then, did that moment speak to Him of the glory of the Son of Man, — of the end of His travail for the race of which He was the brother! It was the sign of that coming victory and glory. But how could He see that final issue, and not feel in Himself all the conflict which was to precede it? There was to be a mighty harvest: but the seed, from which it was to spring, must 'first fall into the ground and die, else it would abide alone; it would give birth to nothing.' Yes! that was the law; He knew it, He realized it in His own inmost being, that He might bring the world under it. He who would not give up his life, must lose his life; he who was content to cast it away, to surrender it wholly, should have the Life which is in God, — the eternal life — the life of truth and love, which cannot be destroyed. 'If any man "serve me," if he call himself after my name, let him go along with me in this path of sacrifice; let him be content to die with me; then where I am, he shall be; he shall share the presence and the love which are my joy and my reward; "him shall my Father honour."' But then comes the agony. The death He called upon others to die with Him, He must taste in its bitterness. He must tread the winepress alone. He was treading it at that very moment. The sense of the glory of the Son of Man — of the work that He would achieve for humanity — brings on the unutterable sorrow. The whole man sinks within Him, — He can only say, 'Father, save me from this hour.' And yet He adds, 'For this cause came I to this hour.' It is not often that these actual signs of the struggle within Him are declared to us. How wise and necessary that we should have only rare and occasional discoveries of it! But of what unspeakable worth have these discoveries been to the hearts of sufferers in every age! The agony must be passed through; the death-struggle — which is most tremendous after the vision of coming good has been the brightest. But the sting of solitude, which is the sharpest of all, is taken out of it. Christ has cried, 'Save me from this hour.' Christ has Himself said, 'That all He had passed through before, had been to prepare Him for that hour.' And Christ changed this cry into another. 'Father, glorify your name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people, therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, an Angel spoke to Him. Jesus answered and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me. This He said, signifying by what death He should die.'
I have heard speculations about this voice from heaven. It seems to me that St. John's words, taking them just as they stand, convey a much clearer impression to our minds than all commentaries upon them. There is a sound. The people take it for thunder. Some, seeing perhaps a sudden radiance in His countenance, think that an angel has brought Him strength and consolation. He hears in it the voice of His Father, — the sure witness that that name has been glorified, and shall be glorified. To Him the mere voice, the outward sound, is nothing. 'That came for their sakes.' It was the outward witness to them of the reality of that which He received into His heart. And surely the message has done its work. The struggle is over. He can see victory in His death. Sentence is passed on the tyrant of the world, — the Destroyer of the world. The trial-hour of the Son of Man is the hour of his defeat and overthrow. 'And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to me.'
'I will draw all men to me.' How can we explain these words? First, let us listen to those which followed them, and then let us consider how far we dare explain them. 'The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abides for ever: and how say you, The Son of man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said to them, Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness come upon you: for he that walks in darkness knows not where he goes. While you have light, believe in the light, that you may be the children of light. These things said Jesus, and departed, and did hide Himself from them.'
Yes, brethren, we must either take those words, 'I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to me,' as they stand, trying to learn a little of what they mean from the past history of the world, waiting for God to explain them to us more perfectly in the future; we must either confess that there are depths in God's purposes of love which no creature has sounded, heights which no creature has reached, but of which the Cross gives us the fullest glimpse we are capable of; we must either do this, or we must ask just as the Jews did, — 'Who is this Son of man?' They could dream of a Christ who should exalt the chosen people, who should set them over their enemies. They could anticipate with a kind of faith the coming of such a Christ, and they could be sure that when He came He would abide for ever. But one who identified Himself with men, they would not, could not confess. I use both phrases, for the Bible uses them; St. John uses them at the close of this chapter. There is a hardness of heart, an inhumanity, which makes it impossible for men, for the most apparently religious men, to receive Jesus as the Son of Man. And therefore it is impossible for them really to receive Him as the Son of God, as revealing the mind and character of His Father in heaven. And the Atonement of heaven and earth, of God and man; the Atonement through a sacrifice made once for all; the Atonement by the blood of One who has taken the humanity into God, — who has raised, purified, redeemed, glorified the earthly nature by joining it to the Divine, — is changed into a cold, formal arrangement for delivering certain men from the punishment of a sin which has itself not been purged away. For sin is no longer that root of bitterness, that selfishness, which has poisoned the universe, and poisons the hearts of each one of us — that deadly thing which betrays Christ, and which divides us from the Father; sin becomes the violation of an arbitrary rule, drawing after it the endurance of an arbitrary and infinite penalty. Those who boast of their religion think they can have a Christ who is not a Son of Man; a God who is their Father, and not the Father of men in Christ; a Spirit who sanctifies them, but who does not dwell in the Church, — who is not the witness of a fellowship for all creatures whatever who bear the nature which Christ bore, who die the death which Christ died. No, the cross of Christ — of Him who gave up Himself — is actually so presented to men, that they suppose it is the instrument by which self-seeking men may secure the greatest amount of selfish rewards! Then other men, who know that such a scheme must be subversive of all pure morality, abandon the Gospel of God for what they call the Gospel of humanity. They fancy there can be a society of men without a Shepherd who dies for them; without a Father who loves Him because He dies. And the world begins to be divided between those who deny a Son of Man, because they think only of a salvation for themselves, and those who deny Him, because they worship the body of which we declare Him to be the Head instead of Him.
Brethren, this division will not last. The Pharisees and Sadducees, much as they hated one another, came to understand that they had a common enemy when Christ walked the earth. They will do so again. The creeds of the Catholic Church, all our prayers and thanksgivings, bear witness that there is a Son of Man, — that He died for mankind, and that He lives for mankind. Do you not think there will be a combination against these? Do you think their antiquity will save them? Or do you think there is a heart in our people to say, — 'These witnesses are dearer to us than our lives. Life would be nothing to us without them.' I dare not trust to such a feeling. I know that the cry of 'Hosanna' may be followed very soon by the cry of 'Crucify.' And we have dealt so unfaithfully with these witnesses, they have been such dead letters to us, that I dare not hope the people know the worth of them. Oh that they may not be tolerated any longer because they are regarded as doing no harm! Oh that they may become real torments to those who deny a Son of Man, — real messengers of life to those who seek for one! And to you brethren, I say, — or rather Christ says, — 'Walk in the light while you have the light, that you may be the children of the light.' Cling to these prayers, and thanksgivings, and sacraments, while you have them. Bind the meaning of them to your hearts. Live it out in your families. Serve Christ in your daily tasks. Follow Him in simple, hearty, self-sacrifice. And then, when the dark hour comes, and the open witnesses of Him disappear, and even two or three are scarcely gathered together in His name, you may await the time of His full revelation; the time which shall show that He died indeed to gather into one all the children of God who are scattered throughout this divided world; the men of every age, tongue, clime, colour, opinion; that by the might of His cross He has drawn all to Himself.
From the Gospel of St. John by FREDERICK DENISON MAURICE, M.A, Professor of Moral Philosophy in the University of Combridge. Published by MACMILLAN AND CO in 1882; Produced by Charlene Taylor, Julia Neufeld and the Online Distributed Proofreading Team at http://www.pgdp.net. Lightly updated to the language of the 21st century by D. N. Pham. (c) 2012.
Insights of the past for the present
Gospel of St. John - F.D. Maurice
ON THE BOOK SHELF
May your insights be worthy.