BLTC Press Titles


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Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe


The Picture of Dorian Gray

Oscar Wilde


The Haunted Bookshop

Christopher Morely


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian


Sermons by the late rev. C. T. Erskine, with a memoir of his life, ed. by the bp. of Brechin

by Charles Thomas Erskine

Excerpt:

S. Luke xvii. 20.

HEN our Blejfed Saviour was ajked, after His Rejurrefiion, by His Apojlles, whether He would at that time " rejlore again the Kingdom to Ifrael," He put them off, faying, " It is not for you to know the times or the Jeajbns ;"1 and bid them expect the Power which jhould be given them from on high; for they were not able to underjland until they had received the Power.

He might, however, have anfwered truly, Tea, or Nay. Nay, for the Kingdom of GOD is yet waited for, and will not be till that time when "the Son of Man jhall jit on the Throne of His glory." Tea, for He jhould immediately take His feat in Heaven as the King of the true Ifrael, and Jhould ejlablijh His Kingdom even in the city of Jerujalem, where He jhould firjl jhed forth the HOLY GHOST on the chojen officers of that Kingdom. But neither anfwer would have been then underjlood. And often, indeed, JESUS jpake thoje things which could not yet be fully underjlood; but an attentive reader of the Gojpel will not fail to remark that He never fpoke that which at the time mujl necefjarily be mifunderftood. If He had jaid that He would

1 Aas i. 7.

not re/lore the Kingdom at that time, they would have fainted with deferred hope, efpecially as He was now going away from them: and if He had jaid that He would then rejlore the Kingdom, how would they have been dijquieted when, in place of entering into Jerusalem again, He ajcended up into Heaven! He gave them, therefore, the promije of that Power which was the jeal of the Kingdom; for all power is from the Crown.

But on the occajion to which the text refers the Pharijees ajked not in zeal for GOD'S honour and of love for the Throne of David: but in mocking and jcorn of Him Whom they did not believe to be the Son of David. They ajked, When will the Kingdom of GOD come? Meaning, that which Thou jayejl is falje, that Thy Kingdom jhall come, for when Thou enterejl into Jerufalem, ere Thou jhalt take pojjejjIon of the kingdom, we have prepared a Crojs for Thee, and Thou jhalt be the jubjefi of the king of the grave! But our Lord manifejling His patience, which "reviled revileth not again," neither "anfwereth fools according to their folly," but even the rather becauje they were evil returns not a jcornful anjwer, but one by which they might yet be injlructed if they would even then give heed. For, indeed, the Merciful and Blejjed One, Who jees the hearts of men, knew that there were many, even among the Pharijees, not thoroughly corrupt at heart, but carried away by the words of others, by inveterate prejudice and by that party jpirit which they juppojed to be patriotifm and zeal for GOD.

And the Lord JESUS, the Eternal King, Who thus manifejled His long-juffering in the days of His mortal Flejh, difplays the jame now that He is Jeated in Heaven. If all the hard jpeeches that are daily jpoken againjl CHRIST and His Church, all the profane words that are poured out againjl the Holy Myjlery of the altar of GOD, all the indignities that are uttered againjl thoje who minijler to the difeajed in jbul the remedy of penitence and pardon: if all this proceeded forth from malice, as it mujl indeed Jeem to thoje who are rightminded and faithful, but inexperienced, and who long, like S. John and S. James, to call down fire from heaven and conjume thoje that infult their Saviour,— if it were jb, then, doubtlejs, the fire would no longer be rejlrained, but we jhould Jee the vijible judgments of GOD as in the days of old. But He Who is Lord of all, and is merciful to all, jeeth how many are carried away by ignorance and mijapprehenjion, and by the jbund of words of which they know not the Jenje; and as at the Crojs, jb now on the Throne the Blejjed JESUS maketh intercejjion for them: "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." Ignorant and prejudiced men will be, through weaknejs of mind, through lack of time to objerve the different jides of the quejlion, and through a variety of caujes, and thus " it is impojjible but that offences will come: but woe unto them through whom they come."1 Woe to them that excite the pafjions of the multitude, and lead on the ignorant and well-meaning to join with the wilful blajphemer and oppojer! They may raije the jlorm, but they cannot jay, "Thus far jhalt thou come and no further ;"s GOD alone it is That "jlilleth the raging of the jea, the noije of the waves, and the madnejs of the people ;" 3 "He 1 S. Luke xvii. 1. 'Job xxxviii. n. a Pfalm lxv. y.


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