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satisfied with our rations, but we shall be able, with greater safety and much greater speed, to "run the race that is set before us." Thus we find that not only for the sake of the grand interests of the earlier petitions, but even for the sake of the lesser interests involved in the later ones, it is desirable, nay necessary, to preserve the order and proportions of the Lord's Prayer, setting before us as it does practical Christianity according to Christ.

We shall conclude by endeavouring to sum up the bearing of what has been advanced upon the progress of the Kingdom of Christ. The direct bearing of it is sufficiently obvious. If all Christian people, or even any considerable proportion of them, were only to begin honestly to try to seek the kingdom of God first, the missionary cause would receive an impulse altogether unprecedented. From the day that the Church began to pray the Lord's Prayer as it is, without reservation, suppression, or reconstruction, the difficulties of the Missionary Societies, so far as men and means are concerned, would altogether

cease.

The indirect effect would, I believe, be even greater. There would at once appear all over the Church a nobler type of Christianity, less vitiated by selfishness, less disfigured by self-consciousness. And the spirit of sect would perish from the Church: men would learn to distinguish between "my denomination" and "Thy Name," "our church" and "Thy Kingdom," our ideas" and "Thy Will."

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And then the most serious objections of modern culture, some of them well enough taken as against much of the current Christianity, would fall to the ground. Our critics could no longer, with any colour of truth, represent

use.

Christianity as a "baptized selfishness," which makes it a man's chief end to seek the salvation of his own little soul; they could no longer, with any colour of truth, speak of Christians as narrow people, quite too pious and heavenly-minded to take much interest in the great public questions of the day; they could no longer charge us with replacing the vice of worldliness with that other one of "other-worldliness," belittling the actual living present, and reserving for some future world, of which we know little or nothing, the best of those energies which were manifestly given for present There is some colour for these criticisms, as things are; but there is not a shadow of foundation for one of them in the Christianity of the Lord's Prayer,—not a shadow of foundation for one of them in Christianity according to Christ. And when our keen critics, after inveighing against the selfishness of Christianity, turn round and inveigh against its unselfishness, its "altruism," as they call it, they will find themselves equally at fault. Here, indeed, especially when we remember that this objection of the impracticability of Christian altruism has been advanced in the name of the infant science of sociology, we can scarcely help being reminded of the "children in the market-place""piping" in the one breath, and "mourning" in the next, and of those likened to them, who said of Christ, "He is a gluttonous man," and of John, "He hath a devil;" for it is often the very same people who first accuse Christianity of the gluttony of selfishness, and then of the lunacy of pure altruism. "But wisdom is justified of her children," those of them at all events whose Christianity is that of Christ. And if our critics would only remember that the altruism of the New Testament is not pure altruism, but is modified by the important fact that it is the first duty of the

Christian to "seek the kingdom of God," they would see that there is here a sufficient safeguard against any folly of altruism such as would lead us to give our money to every beggar on the street, or to surrender our rights to every scoundrel who chose to impose on Christian benevolence and non-resistance. Our Lord, knowing the native selfishness of the human heart, uses strong and often unqualified language to set before us the claims. of our neighbour; but it is manifest that we are not dealing intelligently and honestly with such instructions if we do not carry with us through them all the remembrance that our first and paramount duty is to the Lord our God; that our first care must be the "hallowing of the Divine name," our second the "coming of the Divine kingdom," our third the "doing of the Divine will;" and if only these be first secured, we may carry our altruism to any length without any injury either to ourselves, our neighbour, or society at large. The best way to answer the objections of modern culture is to hold aloft Christianity according to Christ, to take the Lord's Prayer for our guide, and especially to elevate to its proper place that grand enthusiasm which teaches us to seek, far above all else, the promotion of the Divine glory over all the earth.

Finally, it is no small matter, in view of the change of mind that has come over the majority of Christian people since the days when the entire heathen world was regarded as hopelessly doomed to everlasting misery, to observe that the missionary enthusiasm, which so fills. and inspires the Lord's Prayer, is quite independent of any views as to the future condition of the unevangelised heathen. It has been too much the habit of Christian people, in looking abroad upon the heathen world, to regard it not as a kingdom to be conquered for the Lord Jesus Christ, but rather as a great seething sea

of drowning men, a few of whom might be rescued from the general wreck by those whom the Church would send out on her gallant lifeboat service; and, of course, as soon as the idea gained currency that the peril might not be so great or so universal as was once supposed, the enthusiasm which had rested entirely on that view of the case was necessarily affected. But the missionary enthusiasm which finds its inspiration and expression in the Lord's Prayer is liable to no such variation. The idea it sets before us is not the salvation of a few Indians, and Chinamen, and Africans, and South Sea Islanders in the next world: it is the salvation here and now of all India, all China, all Africa, all the islands of the sea, all the nations of the earth; and this alone. ought to be sufficient to stir the spirits of all righthearted men, even if there were no impending danger in the next world, which undoubtedly there is, whatever we may think as to its nature and extent; for to say that the heathen will be judged according to their light is not equivalent to saying that they will not be judged at all.

This is the conception of the missionary work which is found, not only in the Lord's Prayer, but all through the Bible. What was the Gospel in Eden? Was it the salvation of a certain number of individuals? No. It is the triumph of a great cause the seed of the woman bruising the head of the serpent. What was the Gospel as preached to Abraham? "In thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed." What was the grandest of all the promises to Moses? "As I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord." When were the prayers of David, the son of Jesse, ended? After he had reached the height of holiest longing in earnest prayer for the fulfilment of that same promise: "Let the whole earth be filled with His glory." How was it in the days of the

later prophets? "Thus saith the Lord: It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved of Israel I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth." So is it all through the Old Testament. And when Christ came, He kept still the same grand ideas, the same farreaching aims, the same "enthusiasm of humanity," as we may call it, before the minds of men. He went "everywhere preaching the Gospel of the kingdom." We do find Him on occasion making the solemn appeal, "What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" But for once that He speaks about the saving of the soul, He speaks fifty times about “the kingdom." And then, having begun His ministry with the call, "Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand," He closes it with the great commission, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel to every creature."

It is not only the Lord's Prayer, but the entire Bible, Old Testament and New, which claims for missionary enthusiasm the first place, the throne, in the renewed heart. Is it, then, too much to say that the great want of the times, so far as the Church of Christ is concerned, is a revival, not of religion in what may be called the popular sense, but of Christianity according to Christ; a Christianity which shall indeed "seek first the kingdom of God;" a Christianity which shall, in actual fact, begin with the petitions, "Hallowed be Thy name, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven;" and, after humbly asking for daily bread, daily pardon, and daily grace, shall be irresistibly impelled, by a Divine attraction, to soar again to its native heavens with these old words of adoring praise, "For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen"?

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