Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[graphic][merged small]

I.

Longfellow.

SELECTED POEMS.

B

I.

Longfellow.

SELECTED POEMS.

T is sometimes thought that an address from the pulpit cannot be good unless

it starts with a text. But a right grasp of the Bible should teach us how to find "sermons. in stones, and good in everything."

Nothing should be uttered in the pulpit inconsistent with the spirit of Religion, but the Bible need not be incessantly quoted. Let us take a hint from Christ and His Apostles; how did they preach? No doubt they used the Old Testament (the New not being in existence) as something familiar, through which to teach their hearers what was not familiar; it was the schoolmaster leading men to Christ. But the real use of the Old Testament with Christ was, to make men think and feel for themselves; and this indeed is the only kind of teaching worth much in any age. Such teaching is often indirect, but none the less im

pressive. If you take the Bible only as a textbook, you will be in danger of missing its higher power as a spiritual fountain.

Our Lord's use of texts was peculiar; He usually took them to illustrate the differences between His own teaching and that of the Old Testament, as in the Sermon on the Mount. It was thus He taught: Moses said one thing, I say another. The new was in one sense opposed to the old, yet not destructive of it; it fulfilled and absorbed it. When St. Paul alluded to the Old Testament, it was usually to draw Jews through their favourite oracles to something better; but when he turned from the little Jewish sects to the great outside world, we cease to hear from his lips the Bible texts, instead we have verses from the popular poets and philosophers; as when, on Mars Hill at Athens, he finds an altar to the unknown God, and quotes the poet Aratus (B.C. 270), a native of his own city of Tarsus, in the opening lines of the Phenomena

Τοῦ γὰρ καὶ γένος ἐσμέν,

"We are also of his offspring;" showing that even the Greek poets had taught that the human

« AnteriorContinuar »