Imagens da página
PDF
ePub

Moses must have felt for the people for whom and with whom he had prayed and striven through long years, and may reverently wonder at the heroic patience and meekness wherewith he accepted his hard lesson, and told those who might well have regarded him with unspeakable awe as the companion of God, that he too must pay the penalty of rebellion against JEHOVAH, and not enter into Canaan.

Most pathetic is the brevity with which he related his punishment, seeking neither to hide nor disguise his pain, yet passing swiftly over those keen pangs of sorrow which, with some, would have called forth wild if unavailing regret, inflicted by the rejection of his one prayer for himself by the God Who had granted his many requests for others. With grandly silent strength he, the lawgiver, the prophet, stood and told the people of his charge that no longer might he lead them when the perils of the way were past; giving vent to no lamentation, though our hearts even now can hardly repress one, repeating the stern refusal of his God: “Let it suffice thee : speak no more unto Me of this matter." Years afterwards the strong, tender heart of David yearned for him in those hours of pain, so that the Psalmist dwells on the sin of the people and the doom of their leader, “He punished Moses for their sakes." Fully had David gauged the depths of pain when he dwelt on the blow inflicted on the meek man of God through the work he fulfilled so faithfully and loved so well.

Not in vain lamentations did Moses spend the intervening time between receiving his sentence and its execution. Not smothering, but patiently enduring, the full bitterness of his own grief, he sought by every means to awaken in his people the firm resolve to be faithful to the God Who had redeemed them; and to honour Him in the land whither they went; even while his soul was clouded with the knowledge that they too would rebel like their forefathers ; unstable, capricious, “ starting aside like a broken bow.” Then when the recital of their wondrous journey, which from those lips might well have stirred them into loyal enthusiasm, was ended, and the pleading tones of that last farewell took the form of loving exhortation, mingled with prophetic warning, it was for the assembled tribes to look their last upon the kingly face of their leader as he turned from them to make his final ascent of the mountain height. If there are moments in life when the very agony of pain sustains the sufferer, surely it was some such moment to him, as with his sight undimmed and his powers strong and vigorous, he climbed to the feet of God to resign his task. Our hearts go with him as he thus leaves his beloved people, until in the dimness of the evening mists his form becomes indistinguishable, and in his departure the watching crowds might surely recognise the vindication of the majesty of God's honour, which in one thing only he had impugned.

The summit of the mountain reached,—ever the symbol of God's Presence,-in the vast solitude of that Presence he beheld afar the land he had longed to tread, and then yielded himself to the guidance of the Hand which it had been his to behold, and trod the lonely way to the true land of promise,—the eternal rest.

Though a stern meaning is contained in this illustration of God's dealings, we may see in it, not only a Divine punishment, but also a crowning lesson, given by a tender and merciful Father for the training of a soul very dear in His sight,—the great lesson of failure which teaches all saintly workers, all hero-souls, the true meaning of carrying the Cross, the need of endurance to the end, that they may have courage not to rest, but to suffer upon it, when the goal is reached.

The very first step in our heavenly education is learning to be in earnest about whatsoever we do; then follows the necessity for patience in bearing the pain that comes to us through the cause we love, for no one ever yet really strove for any purpose without finding that purpose become dear to him; and then the final, crowning lesson, - willingness to give it up, to relinquish to other hands the task we treasure so highly that it almost seems that their touch will profane it. It may be hard to have to confess ere our work is done, “My good right hand has lost its cunning now;" but it must be tenfold harder to resign our task while we feel that we have power and will to complete it, and to see it pass away from us as we practise our last submission, and are ready not to do. But as with Moses, so with all high and noble workers, does God teach the lesson of detachment from all save Himself. If a record could be kept of all the souls that have toiled nobly, and received the Master's call just ere the promised land of success was reached, we should know what it is only too easy to forget, that God not only loves, helps, and guides His chosen ones, but also trains and educates them, that they may be, not faulty, weak, and imperfect before His Throne, but strong, pure, and mighty,conquerors over self. To his fellowmen a worker's life may seem singularly complete, his object attained, his success assured, his reward present or at hand. But ask himself, ask the toiler who sees the goal he has set himself ever receding,--and he will implore that he may have longer time wherein to finish his work; he will dread, with the intense dread of helplessness, the command to stay his hand, and when that command comes he will recognize in it, only too easily, the result of some past mistake, as he follows the steps of the Man of God, while his heart echoes the chiding rebuke, “Speak no more of this matter.”

With ever-deepening reverence we may study the meaning of the exclusion of Moses from the promised land, conveying, as it does, a message which is at once world-wide and individual. Uniting in him. self the offices of king and priest, Moses is the highest type of the most perfect man; and may well hold a chief place in our hearts while we reflect how, to the very last, he magnified his office, reigning kinglike over himself and all his personal hopes and wishes, yielding his life unmurmuringly in expiation of his one transgression. The tender, controlling love of God not only destined him, but also fitted him to hold the high place of emblem of His immaculate law, which might not win the heavenly Canaan for the human race, but whose Divine right was sealed and its work perfected when its great teacher stood beside the true Joshua in the day of the manifestation of His glory.

S. C.

Reviews and Notices. My Sunday Friend, an illustrated volume for children, (Mowbray, Oxford and London.) The volume for 1882 of this well-known little periodical shows a great advance in the quality both of the letter press and the illustrations. It has from the first been an admirable publication for children from the ex. cellence and variety of its contents, but the present Editor has succeeded in adding to its attractions in various ways. The number for June of this year contains a most amusing set of essays by a negro boy, which we commend to the attention of our readers.

The Church of England has not been strong in devotional literature. A sufficient supply, however, is now being rapidly provided, and no writer has done more for us in this department than Mr. Carter, of Clewer. Three volumes of Spiritual Instructions had previously appeared from his pen, and a fourth has now been recently published, intitled The Life of Grace, (Masters.) The chapters were originally designed for the use of the Sisterhood of which he is Warden, but they treat of the common virtues of the Christian character, and so are serviceable for general use. The volume is dedicated to the Bishop of Oxford.

The Rev. H. R. Bramley's Five Sermons on Justification, (Mowbray,) preached in the Church of S. Barnabas, Oxford, are evidently written with great care, and with a full knowledge of theology. Still we fancy some persons will think that they are at once too long and too short,—too short to be a complete treatise on this difficult subject, and too long to keep up the interest of the ordinary hearer or reader.

We have never thought that there was a sufficient raison d'étre for the exis. tence of the “Society for Preserving the Memorials of the Dead in our Churches and Churchyards,” which is more likely to help in preventing than in guiding the restoration of churches. Their “journal,” judging by the speci. mens we have seen, is really a very poor affair. Lectures on Art, published under their auspices, is of a higher character. Some of them are thoroughly good, as that by Mr. Micklethwaite on Parish Churches ; Egyptian Tombs, by Mr. Lane-Poole, and the first of Mr. Morris' are excellent. For the rest we cannot say much. Of course they convey information, but they strike us as scarcely worthy of the subjects or of the writers.

Those of our readers who are acquainted with Mr. Buchanan's “Parish Tracts" will know that he can write in a simple and at the same time pointed style, while he can also so restrain himself as not to offend the prejudices of those to whom he addresses himself. In his new volume, the Isms of the Day, he has given himself more freedom of expression, and he makes no scruple in avowing his opinions very plainly on such burning subjects as Ritualism, and Protestantism, &c. What he says on these subjects is very much to the point, and of course the subjects are in themselves most important. Some things, however, we venture to think, might have been said in a more guarded way.

Another volume has appeared of the Diocesan Histories, published by the S. P. C. K. The diocese is that of Worcester, which possesses a kind of unity, from being nearly co-extensive with the territory of the Wiccii, which was formerly a province of Mercia. It had its full share of the vicissitudes which England has experienced; while its geographical characteristics would naturally impart importance to it. The history is the joint work of the Rev. Isaac Gregory Smith, Vicar of Great Malvern, and the Rev. Phipps Onslow, Rector of Upper Sapey, and together, (we are not told what share each had,) they have furnished a very interesting and instructive volume.

Correspondence.
[The Editor is not responsible for the opinions of the Correspondents.]

To the Editor of the Churchman's Companion.
Answers.

| cine as a profession for women? In the

talented story, “ The Tread of Many THE MEDICAL PROFESSION FOR WOMEN.

Feet,” it is said, “ that virtual social SIR,– Will you kindly allow me to ostracism from the best and purest say a few words on the subject of Medi- | people” will follow such a choice. In

justice to those women who have sacri- | anything stronger than water. This is ficed much, may I say that the clever au a fact the teetotallers are beginning to thor is only looking at the subject from realise, and many of them have reone point? Could she witness the intense nounced the eating of beef with the sufferings of young girls and women in drinking of wine. All teetotallers ought the great hospitals, obliged on account of to be strict vegetarians if they are to be internal complaints to be exposed to the consistent. It is a pity while there is gaze of not only the doctors but as many as twenty or thirty young students, she Ribbonists, that their teaching so diwould, I am sure, feel for the poor rectly tends to Socinianism. One is so creatures. The most delicate operations often met with the remark that the are also performed in the operating miracle of Cana should not have been theatres before numbers of students. wrought, that the Almighty ought not This, of course, cannot be helped. Pro to have created the vine, that water, not bably no one will ever know the hun wine, ought to have been alone used in dreds of women who have died, or fallen the Blessed Sacrament. It is useless atinto bad health for life, owing to their tempting to argue with people of this scruples about telling the doctor of their description, but they plainly do not beillness. Such being the case, there is a lieve either in the Divinity of the SAneed for women to be allowed to attend VIOUR or in the Godhead when they say to their own sex. In past ages, the such things. But I have strayed from nuns and other pious women were my original subject. Hoping that the always skilled in surgery and medicine, talented author of "The Tread of Many and did untold good by the exercise of Feet,” whose writings delighted my their skill on the battle-field and the childhood with that most charming of hospital. Why should it be considered stories “ The Wynnes,” will be brought so shameful and degrading in the pre to believe that there are numerous sent generation to prescribe for, not men, women of all classes who do wish to be but their sisters ? Setting apart the attended by a person of their own sex, terrible ordeals to which women are ex and that their sufferings (being more in posed in hospitals, female medicals have number than the lady medicals,) ought done much excellent work in those to outweigh the troubles of the latter in countries where a strong prejudice exists the schools and mixed classes.-Yours, against consulting medical men. No &c., TORQUAY. doubt the mixed class system of teaching is much to be condemned, and the

KINDNESS TO ANIMALS. ladies would gladly escape from the SIR,—I read with great pleasure the painful necessity, but still they are not observations referring to kindness to more culpable than the nurses in the animals in the story lately published in men's wards in hospitals, who are in your journal, i.e., " The Tread of Many structed by the doctors in performing Feet.” Justice regarded as a duty toall sorts of unpleasant but necessary wards animals has not received sufficient offices for their patients.

recognition. We are surrounded by With the portion of the story con mysterious lives and individualities, by cerning vegetarianism, I most heartily lives which are admitted, even by evoagree. Would that we were a vegeta lutionists, to have a close connection rian nation, and then we should have with our own; we should tread gently a better chance of being a sober and a and carefully, even reverently, amidst moral people. For there is no doubt them. May I mention to your readers that immoderate eating of beef produces that one way of working for God's lesser a desire for drink, and inflames the pas- | creatures is by establishing “ Bands of sions to an immense extent. Take away Mercy?” I have founded several of the beef supply, and subdue the body, these Bands, and shall be happy to assist and there will not be that craving for any one who may wish to enter on the

« AnteriorContinuar »