The Hopefulness of Christ
George H. Morrison
1 Corinthians 13:7
In his admirable monograph on Cromwell,1 Lord Morley2 makes a very striking statement. He says that hope burned in Cromwell like a pillar of fire, when it had gone out in all others. When prospects were gloomy, and everything seemed dark, and other hearts had yielded to despair, still, like the burning pillar of the exodus, hope was aflame in the great heart of Cromwell. Now if that be conspicuously true of Cromwell, there is a greater than he of whom it is true also. Unceasingly, unfalteringly, unfailingly, hope burned and glowed in the heart of Jesus Christ. And as they said of Christ, and said with truth, Never man spoke like this man; so with equal truth might we assert, Never man hoped like this man. There is not one of us within this house this evening but is an infinite debtor to the love of Christ. You may deny it, or you may disregard it, but your indebtedness to His love is still incalculable. But not alone to His love are you indebted-that love which led Him to the garden-grave-you are indebted also to His hopefulness.
Indeed without any exaggeration one might say that hope is the characteristic of the gospel. For the gospel, as it thrills everywhere with life, so does it thrill everywhere with hope. A pagan writer, speaking of the age in which the gospel was given to the world, describes it in words which would be hard to match for pathos and for poignancy. Moritur et ridet is his sentence-it laughs with the death-rattle in its throat. It was an age that, for all its boast of conquest and all its inheritance of art and culture, had sunk into the deadness of despair. Then on that world, strangely and unexpectedly, there was breathed the hopefulness of Jesus Christ. And light stole back again into a thousand eyes, and life leaped up within a thousand hearts, till men began to feel that they were saved, not only by a love that bore the cross; they began to feel that they were saved by ...
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