If I may stand before His throne,
And look upon His face,
What shall I care that oft, alone,
Like Him, I ran my race.
* * *
Safe on thy ever blissful plains,
My heart’s own treasure gathered there;
Farewell, forever, sins and pains,
Farewell, bereavement, sorrow, care!
If I may stand before His throne,
Apparently some people are ignorant, and others have forgotten, that we have no sense that is capable of discriminating between high and low speed, or even between motion and rest, except by noting the usual accompaniments of motion, such as the apparent movement of surrounding objects, the resistance of the atmosphere, or the jolting due to obstacles in the path. If our surroundings move with us and the motion is smooth, our methods of detecting it fail. Thus, we can not feel the great velocity with which the earth is moving through space. In like manner, a train on a rough road seems to be going faster at forty miles an hour than one on a smooth road at sixty. The sensations of high-speed travel depend largely, therefore, on the conditions of that travel.
In the same way our moral progress can only be measured by the obstacles we meet and overcome.
“Touch a piece of black coal, and flaky soot falls off; fuse that coal with fire, and nature makes it impossible for the carbon to throw off blackness, but only light and heat. One of the biggest facts in human experience is this, that a new heart is possible for a bad men. Salvation is a gift. Once a bitter orange, growth and culture only increases the size and flavor of the bitter orange. The husbandman grafts, as a free gift, the new sweet fruit into the old root. Every tree in the modern orchard represents a twig cut from a tested apple, and grafted into the wild root. Education, the passing years, simply increase the size of the selfish man, but the new impulse is an exotic from heaven, grafted into life. Not growth, but grace saves us.” by N. D. Hillis.
The theme of a sacrificial lamb which rises in victory as the Resurrected Christ was employed in early Christology, e.g. in 375 Saint Augustine wrote: “Why a lamb in his passion? Because he underwent death without being guilty of any iniquity. Why a lion in his passion? Because in being slain, he slew death. Why a lamb in his resurrection? Because his innocence is everlasting. Why a lion in his resurrection? Because everlasting also is his might.”
The 11th century Christology of Saint Anselm of Canterbury specifically disassociates Lamb of God from the Old Testament concept of an “escape goat” which is subjected to punishment for the sins of others, without knowing it or willing it. Anselm emphasized that as Lamb of God Jesus chose to suffer in Calvary as a sign of his full obedience to the will of the Father.
John Calvin presented the same Christological view of “The Lamb as the agent of God” by arguing that in his trial before Pilate and while at Herod’s Court Jesus could have argued for his innocence, but instead remained mostly quiet and submitted to Crucifixion in obedience to the Father, for he knew his role as the Lamb of God.
In modern Eastern Orthodox Christology, Sergei Bulgakov argued that the role of Jesus as the Lamb of God was “pre-eternally” determined by the Father before the creation of the world, as a sign of love by considering the scenario that it would be necessary to send The Son as an agent to redeem humanity disgraced by the fall of Adam.
In modern Roman Catholic Christology, Karl Rahner has continued to elaborate on the analogy that the blood of the Lamb of God, and the water flowing from the side of Christ on Calvary had a cleansing nature, similar to baptismal water. In this analogy, the blood of the Lamb washed away the sins of humanity in a new baptism, redeeming it from the fall of Adam.
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The Angel of Grief
by J. G. Wittier
With silence only as their benediction,
God’s angels come,
Where in the shadow of a great affliction,
The soul sits dumb.
Yet would we say, what every heart approveth,
Our Father’s will,
Calling to him the dear ones whom he loveth,
Is mercy still.
Not upon us or ours the solemn angel
Hath evil wrought;
The funeral anthem is a glad evangel,
The good die not!
God calls our loved ones, but we lose not wholly
What he has given;
They live on earth in thought and deed as truly
As in his heaven.