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'not whither he goeth: because darkness has
blinded his eyes. But he that loveth his • brother, abideth in the light, and there is no 'occasion of stumbling in him. For he who dwelleth in love, dwelleth in God, and God in him.'
Therefore cast away the works of darkness, and put you on the armour of light, and be good men and true.
For of this the Holy Ghost prophesies by the mouth of St. Paul, and of all apostles and prophets. Not of times and seasons, which God the Father has kept in his own hand; not of that day and hour of which no man knows, no, not the Angels in heaven, neither the Son; but the Father only: not of these does the Holy Ghost testify to men. Not of chronology, past or future: but of holiness ; because he is a Holy Spirit.
For this purpose God the Holy Father sent his Son into the world. For this God the Holy Son died upon the cross. For this God the Holy Ghost, proceeding from both the Father and the Son, inspired prophets and apostles ; that they might teach men to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light; and become holy, as God is holy; pure, as God is pure ; true, as God is true; and good, as God is good.
THE SHAKING OF THE HEAVENS AND THE
(Preached at the Chapel Royal, Whitehall.)
· HEBREWS XII. 26–29.
But now he hath promised, saying, Yet once more I shake
not the earth only, but also heaven. And this word, Yet once more, signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken, as of things that are made, that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear ; for our God is a consuming fire.
M HIS is one of the Royal texts of the New
I Testament. It declares one of those great laws of the kingdom of God, which may fulfil itself, once and again, at many eras, and by many methods; which fulfilled itself especially and most gloriously in the first century after Christ;
which fulfilled itself again in the fifth century; and again at the time of the Crusades; and again at the great Reformation in the sixteenth century; and is fulfilling itself again at this very day.
Now, in our fathers' time, and in our own unto this day, is the Lord Christ shaking the heavens and the earth, that those things which are made may be removed, and that those things which cannot be shaken may remain. We all confess this fact, in different phrases. We say that we live in an age of change, of transition, of scientific and social revolution. Our notions of the physical universe are rapidly altering with the new discoveries of science; and our notions of Ethics and Theology are altering as rapidly.
The era looks differently to different minds, just as the first century after Christ looked differently, according as men looked with faith towards the future, or with regret towards the past. Some rejoice in the present era as one of progress. Others lament over it as one of decay. Some say that we are on the eve of a Reformation, as great and splendid as that of the sixteenth century. Others say that we are rushing headlong into scepticism and atheism. Some say that a new era is dawning on humanity; others that the world and the Church are coming to an end, and the last day is at hand. Both parties may be right, and both may be wrong. Men have always talked thus, at great crises. They talked thus in the first century, in the fifth, in the eleventh, in the sixteenth. And then, both parties were right, and yet both wrong. And why not now? What they meant to say, and what they mean to say now, is what he who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews said for them long ago in far deeper, wider, more accurate words — that the Lord Christ was shaking the heavens and the earth, that those things which can be shaken may be removed, as things which are made-cosmogonies, systems, theories, fashions, prejudices, of man's invention: while those things which cannot be shaken may remain, because they are eternal, the creation not of man, but of God.