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is phenomenal, transient. The earth whereon we stand, the air we breathe, the firmament that inspheres us, will pass away; the goodly fellowship of humanity will yield before the separating years ; the hands clasped in tenderest love will part; the child, the friend, the whole encircling life of the world, will be lost to us for a while at least, as we go “to the land of darkness and the shadow of death.” The present complexity of life and relation settles surely into a simplicity in which only self and God remain — self alone with God! Hence life in its full sense, ideal life, is simply a true adjustment and interplay between these two, self living unto and in God, and God returning upon self with joy, — a process more stable than the universe and as enduring as God himself. The final word of the soul is : “And now I come to Thee." After one has entered on such an obedience as this, he soon begins to find that he is mainly acting in the sphere of two personalities, - himself and God. I mean this: he is not acting under certain laws and principles, — these conceptions grow dim and become mere phrases and conveniences of speech ; but he comes to realize that he is living unto, and as it were, in God. And as he goes on, all things at last resolve themselves into this complection; it is God whom he serves, and God is his reward ; he wants no other; he lives and dies with one all-satisfying word in his heart and on his lips :
66 Whom have I in heaven but Thee ?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides Thee.”
"Love is inexorable as justice, and involves duty as the sum of the commandments of the law.” — MULFORD, Republic of God, page 190.
"My heart's subdued
Othello, I. 3. 6. The love of Jesus is noble, and spurs us on to do great things, and excites us to desire always things more perfect.” — The Imitation of Christ, Chap. V.
“The hold which Christianity has depends on Christ, and the hold which Christ has is chiefly dependent on those personal affections and reverential regard which souls that receive Christ entertain towards Him." - PRES. WOOLSEY, Sermons, page 355.
LOVE TO THE CHRIST AS A PERSON.
“And verily I say unto you, wheresoever the gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, that also which this woman hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her.” – ST. MARK xiv. 9.
THE fact that three of the New Testament writers rehearse this story shows how fully they entered into Christ's purpose to perpetuate it. They have different plans, and omit or include events and words accordingly, but they do not omit this event and Christ's comment upon it. Evidently it is a marked thing. It is the only intimation made by Christ that any record was to be made concerning Him. Here is something, He says, that shall have a universal record. Yet these faithful historians tell the story somewhat differently, not in a contradictory way, but as each felt it; as a poet, a historian, and a moralist might describe a battle, harmonizing in the main points, but each coloring his account with the hue of his own mind. This variation is a great help in getting at its meaning. St. Matthew and St. Mark adhere to the express purpose of Christ to set the deed of this woman before all the world, and so put their emphasis upon its memorial feature, but St. John seems to forget this, and can only remember that the anointing was for the burial of his Lord. His love blinds him to the main point enjoined by Christ; but the omission itself is sig. nificant, as it shows how the central idea had already been accomplished in him; he does not think of the woman, but of the service done to his Master. And the event has been used by a great preacher of the age, kindred in spirit to this disciple, to show how keen is “the insight of love" in detecting the true uses and ends of service. The apostle and the preacher were held by a feature of the event, but how beautiful and profound the attraction !
The beauty and pathos of the incident is apt to shut us off from any critical thoughts about it. The passion and humility of the love, the abandon of its expression, the fine symbolism of its minuter features, anointing not the head only but the feet, and gathering from thence to the flowing honors of her head the now sacred ointment; these points catch and hold the eye till we are inclined to think its main use is to adorn the sacred page as a picture. But it is more than a picture. If events are grouped and colored in such a way as to excite our sense of the beautiful, we may, indeed, pause a moment to reflect how inevitably divine things are beautiful, how surely a true act has a grace of its own; how, as we come into the higher ranges of conduct, truth and beauty and goodness melt into each other. But such thoughts must be transient, the delicious recreation of a moment only, after which we pass on to the substantial truth behind the picture. When we approach it with analysis, we are struck with the fact that in certain respects