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RELIGIOUS WORLD., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 74, 27 March 1909
SEKM.ON BY THE REV. W. L. 5? ATKINSON, ALA., LONDOX."'" ~~ T,i all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called To be saiu'ts.-—Horn. 1., 7. Saintship must not be confounded with Churchmanship. Note three points: Saintship is a matter of morality, not of ceremony, not of cermonialism. It has to do with meekness, patience, truthfulness. charity, sobriety, unselfishness; Laving these you have the saint, whether you have rvt\>rics, robe 5 ;, fastings, sacraments, or nol. It i.-i simply a question of the depth, completeness, and fullness of holy life. Saintship is revealed in practical, secular, everyday life, not in sacramentarianisui. One of the grandest things the EefonnatioD did was to bring the Church into the house, and to show that the sublimest religion expressed itself thro!i£jh every-day duty and action. The summer flowers, white, blue, and gold creep down the rough railway cutting 3 until they kiss the iron road and turn the very railway track info a path 0/ beauty; so ' TRUE RELIGION PENETRATES THE ROUGH, PRACTICAL WORLD in which we men and women live, giving it the colour and fragrance of heaven. Saintship is displayed in public life, not in cloistered life. "Unto the Church ' of God which i 3 at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints" (I. Cor. i., 2) ; '"Paul, to the saints who are at Ephesus" \£ph. i., 1): To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi"' (Phi. i.. I); "'To all that! be in Rome, beloved to God, called to be Raint3" (Rom. i.. 7I ,- saints not in seclusion, but in Philippi, Ephesus, Corinth. Rome, mingling with city life, with its excitements, splendours, corruptions, temptations, and sorrows. And to-day Christ's inheritance in the saints is not only in convents, retreats, and country parsonages, but in the ships, the factories, the warehouses, the forges, the mines, the shops, streets, and markets of our towns. "Here is the faith and the patience of the saints." SAINTSHIP IS HIGH CHARACTER, not high Churchmanship; it is beautiful Irving, not a golden nimbus on the forehead, or a eucharistic lily in the hand; it is in pure, noble deeds in the walke of common life, not in mineter music, masses, and mitres. Passionate devotion to God, pure love to all mankind, practical righteousness, which all men understand;, and all men feel—this is saintliress. Oh, yes, there have been more than two saints since Luther! Thousands of humble men and women, full of faith, and love, and purity —refined, heavenly, and as zealous, as St. Francis, St. Dominic. St.* Bernard, nay, as St. John, St. James, or St. Paul. THERE IS ANOTHER NOTION OF SAIXTSHIP ■which is far from being correct. The saints, we have seen, are men of moral refinement and force, men of fine, high, spiritual character, as modest as the violet, pure as the lily, sweet as the rose. But this special standard of judgment is in danger of being- forgotten by some. "We are asked to believe that the saintliest people are those who have certain crochets, and some Christians are little better than such things. Godliness used to be a question of thp Ten Commandments, the seven Beatitudes, and the three Graces: now it is too often a question of holding peculiar doctrinal views of holiness, of Second Comings, of ■Bethshans, and eccentric evangelisation; are the saints'. Men who do not sympathise with these peculiarities, are considered to lack the note of saintship; they are regarded as only tie half-converted, outercourt worshippers. Remember the three points already mentioned: they are equally valid here. SAIXTSHIP IS MORAL, XOT CEREMONIAL. I said it was a question of character, not of crosses, rosaries, and festivals; I say now it is a question of character' not of Bethshans. millenniums, or of special doctrines of sanctiflcation and fellowship or Sabbaths. y Saintship is displayed in practical life It is a question of character, not of any form of religious, doctrine, freemasonry, or worship. Bringing character to high full, delicate beauty in daily, rough practical life, is the essential thine The poet telLs that Timotheus "raised a mortal to the skies." whilst Cecilia "draw an angel down." Christianity does both- it lifts the "mortal to the skies," gives to men experiences of unearthly purity rapture, glory, and hope; but it also draws the '"angel down"—that is it causes celestial goodness to reveal itself in ordinary mortals, in lowly places, in the tasks and trials of daily 'h'.imble life This is saintliness. SAINTSHIP IS DISPLAYED IN PUBLIC LIFE. Not merely in the brightness of our face, in the gracdousness of our spirit amid the circle of believers and worshippers, do we discover holiness; but in the graces of home, the moralities of the market-place, the virtues of citizens the charities of the Church—here is the final test. Character brought to its highest— nnrufHed temper, unmurmuring patience, charity that thinketh no evil, purity as modest as it is unblemished—here is saintship, for really there is only one rote of saintliness—holiness of mind and life; and this Christ will acknowledge in all who display it, no matter in what fold they are found. "Howbeit the firm foundation of God stanaeth, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are His: and, Let everyone that nameth the name of the Lord depart from unrighteousness." 11. THE SAINTLY CALLING—OR, WHO ARE CALLED TO BE SAINTS? We reply. Those vrho profess and call themselves Christians. We are all called to this rare purity, patience, love, and goodness. Some affirm that it is altogether impossible for the great mass of Christians to become saints; tier lack the neceseary organisation. Hen require a strong head, a warm heart, a vigorous ■will, richness and fulness of faculty, if they are to shine as saints. If Nature has not first richly endowed them, grace can nover make saints of them. You must have a. very fine and peculiar organisation, a special genius, or the rare g'.ory of exalted piety and. untarnished virtue is impossible. * Those who argue thus conclude that average human nature is utterly unequal to this transcendent goodness. These critics who talk so cleverly of the things they do not understand, affirm that preachers do the mediocre multitude great wTong by setting before it unattainable ideals of character, by pointing to lofty heights it has no wings fo_ roach, "Exalted piety is as unattainable by the common 'hard as exalted poetry." .......
THIS IS THE JUTX_\__nT OP SOEPTiGISM.
on the possibilities of average human nature. But it is not the judgment of Jesus Christ. "Ye therefore shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." It is delightful to think now many noble people there are. Men and women of deep, true, beautiful character abound. Of course, the singular gifts of some make them specially conspicuous; yet humble, unknown, ones, are none the less true saints of God. One star differeth from another star; some stars are very brilliant, but the smaller orbs are still reckoned members of the glorious brotherhood of the heavens; the glory of the celestial is one, although one star differeth from another star in glory. In the garden we do not count as flowers only the queenly rose, the precious orchid, the rich orange blossom, and shut out the pinks, the mangolds, the lavenders, the wall-flowers—these all rank with the sweet sisterhood. So the saints cannot be made alike, but all may be bright and lovely, attaining in Christ Jesus the perfection of a nature that is not less than divine. CHURCH NEWS AND NOTES. Within the last few years there has ■been a wonderful development in the Richmond portion of the Borough of Grey Lynn, and the Presbyterians are making inquiry for a suitable site for the erection o£ a clrarch. As soon as one has been acquired, it is proTjafole that arrangements will be made foj- religious services to be held by the Presbyterian body iv the Richmond district. After 40 years' service in the English Postal Department, Mr. P. F. Hook, at the age of CI years, has passed the Bishop of I/itehfield's theological examination, and was appoinited curate of St. John's, West Bromwioh. The iETelensville Presbyterian charge is now vacant, 'but it is hoped that a fully qualified, minister will soon "be found to look after that widely separated, but itnportant district. Mr. W. T. Williams, Hawke's Bay, and Mr. W. H. George, of Wellington, have been asked to represent the Wellington Association at the World's Conference of the V.M.C.A., to be held in Germany this year. An important movement has been made by the Vivia-n-street Baptist Church in Wellington, namely, the appointment of twelve deaconesses to undertake systematic visitation, and the oversight of cases of poverty. Year ;by y-eajr the various denominations are recognising the value of woman's work amongst the sick and tlie indigent. Mr. J. C. Sutherland has left the Presbyterian Home Mission charge at Whakatane, mudh to the regret of the people there, who are now anxiously looking for a successor. Unfortunately, the supply of both Ministers and Missioners is very limited at the present juncture, in the 'Presbyterian Church, and as a consequence many places cannot be supplied until nioTe men are available. The Marist Brothers Old Boys' Club have, at the suggestion of Bishop Lenihan, decided to acquire the rooms in- ' habited by the Marist Brothers in the large building at the corner of Pitt and Wellington streets, provided that other living accommodation is secured. The idea is to fit up the present living rooms as a club. It is intended to raise money to provide better living accommodation for the Brothers by means of a bazaar. The Rev. Father W. Ormond will probably arrive from Gisborne within the next fortnight. The Holy Father has desired the Archbishop of Westminster to convey to His Majesty's! Government: his heartfelt thanks fo-r the services rendered to his spiritual children, especially at Reggio, by the officers and. men of the Royal Navy. His Holiness makes a specially grateful allusion to the efforts that they made to provide not only for the material relief of the victims of the earthquake, but also for their spiritual wante. The Archbishop has communicated the Holy Father's message to the Prime Minister. The Rev. Father Edge was recently presented with a handsome goid watch as a mark of the esteem of the people oi the Sacred Heart parish. The celebration of the four hundredth anniversary of the 'birth of John Calvin will be celebrated in Germany next July. At Clapton Congress Hall, 650 Salvation Army bandmasters met recently for a week-end conference with Mr. Bramwell Booth. It is interesting to learn that in connection with the Salvation Army there are now no less than 1222 bands owning , instruments to the value ol £ 120,000. A Young Men's Christain Association building, which cost £8000, has just been opened at Seoul, Korea. It is proposed to erect others in Pekin, capital of China, and Kyoto 3 the old capital of Japan. At a meeting of the Standing Committee of the Auckland Diocese, it was unanimously resolved that steps should be taken throughout the diocese to observe the centenary of the birth of George Augustus Selwyn, first Bishop of New Zealand, and in a circular letter issued to the clergy of the Diocese, Bishop Neligan points out that steps have already been taken in England to secure the observance of the centenary, and it is proposed that on broad, general lines the same system should be followed here. It is suggested that each parish should adopt such a plan as may be convenient to it. The connection between S. George's Day and the Bishop of New Zealand is, that he was first prelate of the Order of S. 'Michael and S. George. A great public meeting is to be held in Auckland in the third week in May, probably on the night of Ascension Day. His Excellency the Governor has very kindly consented to preside on that occasion, stating: "I am very pleased and proud to take part in honouring Selwyn." As this public meeting really only affects Auckland city and suburbs, it may be wise for different centres to 'have their own public meetings, if thought desirable. The Bishop adds: "It seems a very important thing bnat we should if possible help the national life with the glory of the Selwyn story." The circular further states that the English eammi'ttee has directed the people so far as possible to give to one of the following objects: "Endowment of &lwyn College, Cambridge," and "The Patteson Memorial Wing of St. John's College, Auckland." After stating that the prime motive of observing the Selwyn centenary is not with the object of raising -jnoney, tflie Bishop concludes: "As you know full well, one of the objects nearest my heart is the provision of permanent buildings at S. John's College, Auckland, so that the great ideal of the great Selwyn in providing a residential College, not only for men reading for Orders, ibu.t for men leading for any profession, may be farthered by us in our age and generation. I pray that we shall all be co directed that everything we do there in connection with the Selwyn Centenary may help on our national life because it helps on. the cause of God"
RELIGIOUS WORLD., Auckland Star, Volume XL, Issue 74, 27 March 1909
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