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the future.

Great tasks, immeasurable tasks, will make their claim upon our energies-great tasks, the magnitude of which we can at present hardly guess at. Shall we be equal to those tasks? We have gained experience, it is true, in the war-work of these last years; we have found out the way of doing things; and we would gladly use this knowledge in the service of our country. But can we stand the strain, the aggravated wear and tear, of all the new work that is coming? Can we stand the terrific strain of all the toil that will be required, if we build up a new England, a new Europe, and a new world?

are to

Well, there is one truth that ought to strengthen us. We are not working now, we shall not be working then, alone and " on our own." We shall not be dependent on our own resources. "We are labourers together with God"; and when we have come to the limit of our self-sufficiency, we can hand on our poor, halfcompleted work to Him, with the assurance that He will finish it and bring it to perfection. That is a faith which ought to cheer us. God works with the faithful worker, so there is no reason for anxiety. And the Lord Jesus Christ, who Himself was once a working man, has surely a special blessing for hard-working people. They will not be left alone. They will not be neglected or forsaken or forgotten. In the land of eternal peace, His own earthly task completed, Christ rests upon His throne; yes,

"But I think the King of that country comes out from His tireless

host,

And walks in this world of the weary, as if He loved it the most: For here in the dusty confusion, with eyes that are heavy and

dim,

He meets again the labouring men who are looking and longing for Him.

He cancels the curse of Eden, and brings them a blessing instead :
Blessed are they that labour, for Jesus partakes of their bread.
He puts His hand to their burdens, He enters their homes at
night:

Who does his best shall have as a guest the Master of life and

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This is the gospel of labour-ring it, ye bells of the kirk

The Lord of Love came down from above, to live with the men who work.

This is the rose that He planted, here in the thorn-cursed soil-Heaven is blest with perfect rest, but the blessing of earth is toil."

XII

THE WAY OF GLORY

"From glory to glory."-2 Cor. iii. 18.

THE Rabbis had a doctrine that Adam, when he fell in Paradise, lost thereby six things. One of these things was immortality; another was his stature, which was supposed to have been greater than that of his descendants. But the chief of the things of which the first man was deprived is called "the glory," and the term is explained as meaning a reflection of the Divine splendour, which in the beginning, before the Fall, irradiated Adam's face. You get the same idea, of course, in the Biblical story of Moses, whose face, when he came out from the presence of the Lord, was so dazzlingly bright that he was forced to veil it. And Dante also has a similar conception. In his description of the blessed spirits who dwell near to God, he lays stress upon their physical and spiritual effulgence. Thus he delineates one of the angels as "transplendent in my sight, like a fine ruby smitten by the sun ; and again he says of Beatrice that—

"She smiled so joyously

That God seemed in her countenance to rejoice."

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The glory," then, signifies the reflection in the created nature of the brightness and beauty of God. And if you interpret this spiritually, not as an outward luminosity, but as an inward reflection of the splendour of the Divine perfections, you will be in a position to understand one of the most striking ideas of the religious philosophy of St. Paul. Let me explain it by a picture. Here, in a world of shadows, stands an eager little Jew, named Saul of Tarsus; and there, confronting him, as it were, holding his gaze and absorbing his attention, is a radiant Figure, the very brightness of the Divine glory, Jesus Himself. And as the man looks and looks upon that shining vision, gradually he becomes transfigured. He grows like that which he beholds. A glory glimmers in his soul; first glimmers, then glows, then grows brighter and brighter, stage by stage and year by year, till at last it is consummated in a radiance that is perfect and plenary and perpetual.

Now, this is the sort of thing, according to the apostle, that happens in the life of every true believer. The aim of the Christian calling, he says in one of his letters, is "the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ." And this glory is to be obtained by intercourse with the glorious Christ-by gazing on Him, by dwelling on Him, by fixing our mind on Him, by giving Him our serious and continuous attention, till in a measure we reproduce Him and become assimilated to His likeness. "We all," cries St. Paul, in the passage from which I take my text, "we all, with unveiled face, reflecting as a

mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory."

The Christian life, then, is a way of glory. And I invite you to consider this view of life a little more attentively, for, when compared with the current conceptions, it seems in many points remarkable.

I

In the first place you will observe that St. Paul pictures human life as a grandeur, as a glory. And is not that a little strange? Have we not here a very glaring contradiction of one of the most characteristic. tendencies of the secular thought of our time? Surely, to the modern mind life commonly presents itself more as a gloom than as a glory. Study the dramatists and novelists. Read Ibsen. Read Thomas Hardy. Read Anatole France. Read Bernard Shaw. Is not the general verdict this-that "the world is a rotten world,” that life is "very bad and not likely to be better," that man amid heaps of riches is doomed to poverty and futility? Moreover, this tendency to depreciate and look askance at human nature and human life has been aggravated by the war. You do not forget, of course, the unforgettable service and sacrifice of our magnificent soldiers and sailors. You cannot possibly forget the stories of heroic deeds, of overwhelming difficulties triumphantly overcome, of the "impossible" achieved by man's indomitable spirit. Yet when you contemplate

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