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The Worm Ouroboros

E. R. Eddison

The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian

My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse

The Secret Doctrine, Volume II Anthropogenesis

H. P. Blavatsky

A short meditation on the moral glory of the Lord Jesus Christ, by J.G.B.

by John Gifford Bellett


It has been said of the Lord—" His humanity was perfectly natural in its development." This is very beautiful and true. Luke ii. 52 would verify this. There was nothing of unnatural progress in him: all was orderly increase. His wisdom kept pace with his stature, or age. He was the child first, and then the man. By and by, as a man (God's man in the world), he will testify of the world that its works are evil, and be hated by it; but as a child (a child after God's heart, as I may say), he will be subject to his parents, and under the law, and as one perfect: in such conditions he grew in favour with God and man.

But though there was progress in him, as we thus see, there was no cloud, or perversion, or mistake: in this he distinguishes himself from all. His mother pondered things in her heart; but cloud and indistinctness, nay, darkness itself, beset her mind, and the Lord had to say to her, "How is it that ye sought me?" But with him progress was but one form of moral beauty—his growth was orderly and seasonable; and, I may add, that as "his humanity was perfectly natural in its development," so was his character entirely human in its expressions: all that displayed it was common to man, as I may say.

He was the tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth its fruit in its season (Ps. i.); and all things are only beautiful in their season. The moral glory of "the child Jesus" shines in its season and generation; and when he became a man, the same glory only gets other seasonable expressions. He knew when to own the claims of his mother, when she made them; when to resist them, though she made them; when to recognize them unsought. (Luke ii. 51, viii. 21; John xix. 27.) And, as we afterwards track him, it is the same. He knew Gethsemane in season, or according to its character; and the Holy Mount in its season, winter and summer, to his spirit. He knew the well of Sychar, and the road which led him to Jerusalem for the last time. He trod each path, or filled each spot, in that mind that was according to the character it bore under God's eye. And so on occasions which called for still more energy. If it be the defilement of his Father's house, he will let zeal consume him; if it be his own wrong at the hand of some Samaritan villagers, he will suffer it, and pass on.

And all was perfect in its combinations, as well as in its season. He wept as he was reaching the grave of Lazarus, though he knew that he carried life for the dead. He who had just said, "I am the resurrection and the life," wept. Divine power would leave human sympathies free to take their full course.

And it is assemblage, or combination of virtues, which forms moral glory. He knew, as the apostle speaks, "how to abound, and how to be abased;" how to use moments of prosperity, so to call them, and also times of depression. For, in his passage through life, he was introduced to each of these.

Thus, he was introduced, for a moment, to his glory; and a very bright moment it was. I allude to the transfiguration. He was high in his honours there. As the Sun, the source of all brightness, there he shone; and such eminent ones as Moses and Elias were there, taking of his glory from him, and in it shining with him. But as he descended the hill, he charged those who had been with him, "the eyewitnesses of his majesty," not to speak of it. And when the people, on his reaching the foot of the hill, ran to salute him (Mark ix. 15)—his person still reflecting, I believe, though faintly, the glory which it had lately borne—he does not linger among them to receive their homage, but at once addresses himself to his common service; for he knew "how to abound." He was not exalted by his prosperity. He sought not a place among men, but emptied himself, made himself of no reputation, quickly veiled the glory that he might be the servant; the girded, not the arrayed One.

And it was thus with him a second time, after he had become the risen Jesus, as we may see in John xx. He is there in the midst of his disciples, in such a glorious character as man had never borne or witnessed, and never could. He is there as the conqueror of death, and the spoiler of the grave. But he is not there—though in such glories—to receive the congratulations of his people, as we speak, and as one naturally would, who was finding himself returned to the bosom of friends and kinsfolk, after toil, and danger, and victory. Not that he was indifferent to sympathy: he sought it in season, and felt the want of it when he did not get it. But he is now, risen from the dead, in the midst of his disciples, rather as a visitor for a day, than as in a triumph. He is rather teaching them their interest, and not displaying his own, in the great things which had just been accomplished.

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