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Lord Bishop of Rochester

Who art Thou, Lord.' — Acts i.\. 5.


Lord Bishop of Rochester

Who art Thou, Lord.' — Acts i.\. 5.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jun 14, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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REVERECEBY ATHOY W. THOROLD, D.D.Lord Bishop of RochesterWho art Thou, Lord.' — Acts i.\. 5.IT has been observed that three qualities re-present the main conditions of a "completeeffective human life," and that reverence is oneof them.Reverence — if we may venture, though withmuch diffidence, to define it — is the habitual,almost instinctive recognition of a goodnesswhich it cannot emulate ; of a wisdom which itcannot fathom ; of an almighty power which fillsthe soul with unspeakable awe, yet of a lovewhich in its inexpressible tenderness passethknowledge. It is the strongest as well as thedeepest souls that arc fullest of reverence ; it isu306 QUESTIOS OF FAITH AD DUTYalso they who know most, and love best, who arereadiest to say,Let knowledge grow from more to man-,But more of reverence in us dwell,That mind and will according well,May make one music as before,But vaster.Reverence, in a sentence, is created and sus-tained by the constant thought of God, whichhelps us not so much to go in and out of Hispresence, as ever to stand in it, with heart andmind and feet and eyes veiled, lest His glorysmite them. Reverence, which, while it re-
strains the lips, feeds the fire within of holy andeven rapturous meditation, is slow to promise,but does not perform less for its not promis-ing, and invisibly moulds the highest and finesttype of character the Church can ever see onearth.The scope of reverence is fourfold : in ourdaily common life ; in the doing of Christianservice ; in the enduring of trouble ; in the offer-ing of worship. In each of these departmentsof our existence we should, again and again, withall his sincerity, if with none of his bewilder-ment, humbly put the apostle's question, "Whoart Thou, Lord ? " Then all our life through,with more or less imperfectness and lack of con-tinuity, His promise will be felt to be fulfilled tous, " My presence shall go with thee and give"THIGS WHICH CAOT BE MOVED'' 307thee rest"; and our hearts' adoration to Himshall be in the words we all love :Holy, Holy, Holy, though the darkness hide Thee,Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may //.>Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee,Perfect in powir, in love and purity.In daily life, with its secular activities, itspleasant companionships, its sudden and some-times critical vicissitudes, and its swoops of temp-tation on the will, nothing so exalts, steadies,dignifies us, as the thought of the nearness of God. To fear God is quite a distinct thingfrom feeling terror of Him. Mow can we beterrified at one Who we know loves us, andWhom we constantly, though with a deep senseof shortcoming, desire to love in return ? Asomewhat inexact way of talking is prone todwell on our being on the way to Heaven ; andit is quite true that an apostle cheers us " by thehope that is laid up for us in Heaven." So far asHeaven is to be understood as a locality, " where
faith is lost in sight, and patient hope is crowned,and everlasting light its glory throws around,"the expression is correct. But in a very realand exalted sense, we are in Heaven now, — "the Hcavenlies," as St. Paul so often describesthem. The author of the Epistle to the Hebrewsdid not conceive himself to be holding up a futurepromise, so much as declaring a present reality,when he wrote to his troubled brethren, " Ye3o8 QUESTIOS OF FAITH AD DUTYare come unto Mount Zion, and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to aninnumerable company of angels, to the generalassembly and church of the first-born which arewritten in Heaven, and to God, the judge of all,and to the spirits of just men made perfect, andunto Jesus, the mediator of the ew Covenant."We are there now, though the limitations of the body make an impenetrable barrier thatdebars us of the sensible fruition of all that gloryand joy. We cannot hear the fluttering of theangels' wings, nor watch the greeting of thesaints as they walk under the tree of life, norhear the harpers harping upon their harps, norcatch the strain of the new song from the lips of the hosts of the redeemed. But it is all therefor us to see. when we are ready. Death willnot so much take us there, as do for us whatElisha did for his servant Jothan, open our eyesthat we may see what has been all round us foryears. This being so, how the thought of ourcitizenship in that glorified society, and ourplace in the rest that remaineth for the people of God, should help us to walk in the commonestacts of our life, worthily of the vocation whereinwe are called ! We are on earth, and we mustfulfil the duties and taste the joys of earth. Butwe are also in Heaven, and there need be no in-consistency between the two. It will take theedge off the keenest disappointment to rememberthat our treasure is in Heaven. The occasional

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