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Bunyan or Luther with fresh zeal for God; the other reposes with Mary at the feet of Jesus, and having chosen the better part, will not have it taken away. The one, in the hour of spiritual depression, would rush into the world of action, bear burdens, do difficult things, and become all things to all men, so that by any means he might glorify God; the other will steal away into secrecy, where the love-laden soul may hold intercourse with the Bridegroom of the Church, and pour out its sorrows and joys into the ear of Heaven, for the mere luxury of doing it. The one is a servant toiling for an absent Master, the other is a virgin waiting for the coming of the Bridegroom. How shall these two perpetually reappearing types of character ever be harmonized ? Where is the link that shall make both of these one? Since they do exist, can we wonder that the prayer is long in being heard, “That they all may be one, even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee."
III. The third great division is that due to differences arising out of external circumstances. The bond and the free are the terms which Paul uses to describe this great contrast. It is the hope of this generation that the curse of our race, which has so long been protected under the shadow of Christianity, shall become a thing of the past. The Roman empire presented the worst specimens of slavery of which we have any knowledge. Down to the reign of Hadrian the slave property of the Roman citizen consisted of the captives taken in war, of men and
women whose cultivation and affections and manners were often of a higher class than that which their owners could lay claim to; and these were the victims of lust and rapacity, were compelled to become prostitutes or gladiators at their victors' caprice; and were often crucified out of mere whim. Modern slavery has not been so offensively iniquitous as was the Roman slavery, but it has cried aloud to Heaven for vengeance, and at length has begun to stink in the nostrils of mankind. England has led the vanguard in the crusade against it, Mohammedan Turkey and the autocrat of all the Russias have followed the example; and now we have seen the great nation of the far West arising up like a strong man after sleep to wipe out, though in tears and blood, this black stain on its fair fame.
But though formal slavery be abolished, the distinction between different classes of men is not obli
erated. Caste still prevails in India; the difference between the black negro and the Southern planter or Northern merchant will still abide in America. The struggle between capital and labour, and the contrast between rank and wealth and power on the one hand, poverty, dependence and obscurity on the other, are as vigorous and obvious as they ever were. How hard it is to bridge the gulf between the lordly owner of a county and the half-clad, unclean, besotted, diseased inmate of some hovel within sight of his palace! How difficult to make even Christian people lay down their pride, and their caste, and love one another with a pure heart fervently! Legislation, common griefs and joys, healthful literature, and free press, are bringing these separated classes into one another's view, and some of the reserve and mutual antipathy may be overcome in the foremost of the nations; but still within the Church, as well as outside its pale, there are the bond and the free. There are visible on all side of us men who are born slaves ; who never will, not to say never can, emerge from the condition of dependence, poverty, and weakness; who will be the property of those who are possessed of the power to rule them. The interests of the bondsmen and the freemen are really identical, yet they are always being brought into competition. Now these fundamental differences in condition have always been found within the Church, and they still remain there to distract the faith and interfere with the harmony of the body of Christ. How full the Epistles of St. Paul were of principles intended to reconcile the master and the slave, to adjust the relations of the rich and poor Christian, to reveal the sublime truth of the unity of human blood, and the grandeur of the humanity shared by king and peasant, lord and slave! From that day to this, in East and West, the Church has suffered deeply from these sources of division; and so the mighty unity of the many discordant elements of human life is slow of realization. “The Jew and the Greek, the male and the female, the bond and the free,” represent tendencies to individualization, to divergence, to schism, to divided organization, to clashing interests, to misrepresentation, mutual distrust, and antagonism. Sometimes even within the bosom of the Church they have been aggravated by direct combination, and sometimes neutralized by being differently arranged; and so it , has come to pass that we have within the Church of Christ the princely hierarch and the humble disbeliever in any priest or king lower and less than Christ Jesus; we have all the difference represented by the spirit of the convent and that of the battlefield; we have the Puritan and the Pope. There are strange inconsistencies and discords due to the various combinations of these elements of human nature, but I believe there is after all in the religion, nay in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the true point of contact for them all, and a degree and sense in which we may see even now, that in Him there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor
male, but that all are one. It is to this that I now call your attention; and desire to shew,
(1) That the intellectual antagonism between Jew and Greek, of every age and Church, finds in Christ its true counteraction. It is true that the Jew requires a sign and the Greek seeks after wisdom, and that to meet each requisition the gospel of Christ crucified is preached. Now what is the consequence ? Let the Apostle Paul inform us. As long as the Jew remains unbelieving and unregenerate, to him the person and cross of Christ is a stumbling-block, and he stumbles at this stumbling-stone. As long as the Greek folds himself in the garment of his own pride, and refuses to hear the truth, he derides and scorns the cross as folly. But let both perceive in the cross of Jesus its true meaning, and each will find in it what he was seeking so eagerly and hopelessly elsewhere. In it the Jew sees all the sign of hea
‘' venly presence and power that he needs. In the cross he beholds the climax and the crisis of his national glory and disgrace, and he sees at once the curse and hope of mankind. The deluge of Noah and the thunders of Sinai do not speak more solemnly to him of righteousness; all the sacrifices of the temple service, all the hecatombs of bleeding lambs, all the smoke of the burnt-offerings, and all the shadowy procession of his ancestral priests from Aaron to Caïaphas, do not reveal to him now, so much of God the Father and the King, as that one cross. The modern representative of the Jew within the Church, when he looks through the form and the letter, and the medium and the visible sign, to the reality which makes him Christian, heartily confesses that it is Christ crucified who satisfies his search. He finds in the God-man Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who “suffered death upon the cross for our redemption, who made there (by His one oblation of Himself once offered) a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction, for the whole world” — that which gives to his sacrament, to his Bible, to his creed, to his Church and priesthood, all their meaning, all their value to him. Like the Jew who