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The Solidarity of Salvation.

The Solidarity of Salvation.

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Published by glennpease

— i Cor. xv. 22, 23,

— i Cor. xv. 22, 23,

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Published by: glennpease on May 23, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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THE SOLIDARITY OF SALVATIO.REV. H. S. HOLLAD, M.A. — i Cor. xv. 22, 23,A MA whom we know, a friend whom we love, — howdistinct, and separate, and individual seems to us allthat he says and all that he does ! Each word issuesfrom some fount of free spontaneity; each act, eachmovement is charged with peculiar character. o onebut he could have said just that — could have madeexactly that motion of the hand or of the head. Andit is the incessant discovery of this uniqueness, of thissubtle yet inexhaustible difference between him andall other beings in the world, that makes the delightand the charm of a friendship. His most markedpeculiarities become dear to us simply because theyare his and his only. His character stands out to us,cut off, as by a knife, from all else. He is himself andhimself alone, solitary as a star. There is not a move-ment of his eyes, or a sound in his voice, howeverminute, however momentary, which we should not dis-tinguish at once, with unhesitating and inevitabledecision, as a movement, as a sound of which no other144 Conversion.human being could ever, in all the ages, be conceivablythe author or the owner.And yet, if we go to his home with our friend,counter-discoveries greet us on every side. Thereis his father; and we see, at once, whence cameto the son that look in the eyes that we know sowell. There is his mother; and who can mistakethat turn of the mouth, that shade of colour inthe hair, which we have delighted to watch in him ?And was it not his voice that startled us just now inthat young brother? And we almost laugh as wecatch sight of little tricks long familiar to us, and thatto us were marks and tokens which isolated him from
all we had ever known, but which are detected nowto be the common heritage of sister and brother alike.And the more we watch, the more we can trace anidentity, close, intimate, secret, penetrative, pervadingthe entire household ; until, at last, there is nothingthat our own friend can do or say, in which we couldnot track and note the signs of his parentage, theflavour of his birth, the breath of his home.Yet is he any the less to us what he was before — acharacter, a living being, as distinct as a star ? Is heany the less free, spontaneous, unique ? ay, his ownpeculiar distinctness is as real and unwavering anddelightful to us as ever. We have not even the shadowof a perplexity about it. Yet how deep our searchingmight go, how far it might reach, if we pressed homeour inquiries into the hidden ground of our friend'slife. The county whence he came — the interminglingsof Saxon and of Dane, that crossed and fused in theThe Solidarity of Salvation. 145dales that lie about his home — these have shaped andmoulded his figure and his face, by the inward pressureof hereditary instincts that are inwoven into the verytissue and texture of his body. obody who knewthat countryside could doubt for a moment whence hadbeen born and bred the tones in which he speaks, thephrases that he finds congenial.And Science could take up the very touches whichwe most love to associate with his presence and hismanner, and could show us their exact parallel in un-known populations still living in the ancient homes of the English, on the sandy shores of the Baltic, or bythe green waters of far orwegian seas. or is it hisbody only into which these multitudinous influenceshave entered ; his character, his imagination, his mind — these all have roots that dig deep into the commonsoil. They are unmistakably English, and English of a peculiar type: nobody but an Englishman couldever dream of thinking after his fashion ; nobody butan Englishman would come to those decisions at whichhe voluntarily and naturally arrives ; in contact witha foreigner, every fragment of his being is seen to
have received the impress of his national bent.ow, let us stop again and ask, These decisions of his, are they at all less valid or less genuine becausethey are the issue of a will that cannot, whatever itdecides, escape from the clutch of an English impress,from the fetters of a national type ? Far, far from it.It is wholly the contrary. Just as he would have beenpleased to have heard it said of some utterance, thatissued directly out of his instinctive feelings, " There146 Conversion,spoke your father's son," just as he would have beendelighted if you had cried at some quick turn of hishead, " Ah, how like your mother," so now, his innerfreedom, his self-possession, his spontaneity, theseall are braced, heightened, intensified, encouraged bythe recognition, in them, of an inevitable type ; he isnot the least alarmed lest his individuality shouldtherefore be weakened, or his identity suffer loss ; he isdelighted to discover that he is swayed by secret andinevitable forces of which he knew nothing as theymoved him, and as they made him. The discoverednecessity vivifies his freedom, instead of destroying it ;he feels all the more free, in discovering that he isinevitably, and of sheer necessity an Englishman.or does this discovery stop there. Science passeswith swift foot from shore to shore, from century tocentury, and in every land, and amidst every soil, andat every period, she enters upon traces of yet deepercommunications that pass, from out of the entire humanrace and the entire human story, into the brain andinto the heart of every separate man and woman in thischurch to-night. In every motion of our limbs, we areusing the stored experiences of bygone generations ;we are built up out of their patience ; we are the out-come of their toil ; the very passions, the very instinctsof those dead forgotten peoples are alive in us all to-day, and make us what we are ; and, do what we will,we cannot throw off the domination of their hiddenforces, for they lie at the most secret places of our

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