C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.
All other great men are valued for their lives; He, above ail, for His death, around which mercy and truth, righteousness and peace, God and man are reconciled; for the cross is the magnet which sends the electric current through the telegraph between earth and heaven, and makes both Testaments thrill, through the ages of the past and future, with living, harmonious, and saving truth.
Christs method is divine. His words have the charm of antiquity with the freshness of yesterday; the simplicity of a child with the wisdom of a God; the softness of kisses from the lip of love, and the force of the lightning rending the tower. His parables are like groups of matchless statuary; His prayers like an organ peal floating round the world and down the ages, echoed by the mountain peaks and plains into rich and varied melody, in which all devout hearts find their noblest feelings at once expressed, sustained, refined. His truths are self-evidencing. They fall into the soul as seed into the ground, to rest and germinate. He speaks, and all nature and life become vocal with theology.
Go to the family where darkness and suspicion and jealousy and disorder reign, and if they will but receive Christ, mark how light and confidence and order and peace spring up. Go to the regions of superstition and idolatry, and see what transformations are effected by Jesus.
Gods beloved Son, leaving the echoes of His cries upon the mountains and the traces of His weary feet upon the streets, shedding His tears over the tombs and His blood upon Golgotha, associating His life with our homes, and His corpse with our sepulchres, shows us how we, too, may be sons in the humblest vale of life, and sure of sympathy in heaven amid the deepest wrongs and sorrows of earth.
In His discourses, His miracles, His parables, His sufferings, His resurrection, He gradually raises the pedestal of His humanity before the world, but under a cover, until the shaft reaches from the grave to the heavens, when He lifts the curtain, and displays the figure of a man on a throne, for the worship of the universe; and clothing His church with His own power. He authorizes it to baptize and to preach remission of sins in His own name.
One has said that Christ excelled all other moralists in this, that He puts the padlock not upon the hand, but upon the heart. But He does not use the padlock at all, He renders such a thing unnecessary. He takes the tiger from the heart, and replaces it with the lamb.
The enthronement of Christ over the minds of men is steadily going forward. His kingdom embraces the princes in the realm of mind. It embraces the nations of highest civilization. They are all beneath the cross. It is maintained by simple authority. Other mental monarchs rule by logic; Christs word is lawit is satisfying to His subjects. His truth in the hands of His disciples, like the bread He broke upon the mountains, is an ample supply for the millions that gather at His table.
The Lamb is, indeed, the emblem of love; but what so terrible as the wrath of the Lamb? The depth of the mercy despised is the measure of the punishment of him that despiseth. No more fearful words than those of the Saviour. The threatenings of the law were temporal, those of the gospel are eternal. It is Christ who reveals the never-dying worm, the unquenchable fire, and He who contrasts with the eternal joys of the redeemed the everlasting woes of the lost. His loving arms would enfold the whole human race, but not while impenitent or unbelieving; the benefits of His redemption are conditional.
The world cannot bury Christ. The earth is not deep enough for His tomb, the clouds are not wide enough for His winding-sheet; He ascends into the heavens, but the heavens cannot contain Him. He still livesin the church which burns unconsumed with His love; in the truth that reflects His image; in the hearts which burn as He talks with them by the way.
While Christianity is speaking in languages more numerous, by tongues more eloquent, in nations more populous than ever before; marshaling better troops, with richer harmony; shrinking from no foe, rising triumphant from every conflict; shaking down the towers of old philosophies that exalt themselves against God; making the steam-press rush under the demand for her Scriptures, and the steam-horse groan under the weight of her charities; emancipating the enslaved, civilizing the lawless, refining literature, inspiring poetry; sending forth art and science no longer clad in soft raiment to linger in kings palaces, but as hardy prophets of God to make earth bud and blossom as the rose; giving God-like breadth and freedom and energy to the civilization that bears its name, elevating savage islands into civilized states, leading forth Christian martyrs from the mountains of Madagascar, turning the clubs of cannibals into the railings of the altars before which Fiji savages call upon Jesus; repeating the Pentecost, by many an ancient river and many a palmy plain; thundering at the seats of ancient paganism; sailing all waters, cabling all oceans, scaling all mountains in the march of its might, and ever enlarging the diameter of those circles of light which it has kindled on earth, and which will soon meet in a universal illumination,you call it a failure! A little more such failure, and we shall have, over all the globe, the new heavens and new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.