Lamentations 1:12
Great Texts of the Bible
The Perfection of Sorrow

Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me.—Lamentations 1:12.

1. These words take us back to a time nearly six hundred years before Christ, when Jerusalem had fallen into the hands of the conquering Chaldæans. There is no ode or elegy in literature more pathetic or more tragic than this Hebrew poets wail over his desolate city. It gives expression to feelings which must have stirred many a patriotic Hebrew heart in those dark and troubled days. “Solitary lieth the city, she that was full of people, she that was great among the nations, a princess among provinces. Zions ways do languish, her gates are desolate, her priests sigh, her virgins are afflicted, all her friends have betrayed her and she is in bitterness.” In the text Jerusalem herself is represented as plunged in the lowest depths of despair and as appealing for sympathy and help. She appeals first to passing travellers, then to the larger circle of the surrounding nations, and lastly to her God. Already the suffering city has spoken once or twice in brief interruptions of the poets descriptions of her miseries, and now she seems to be too impatient to permit herself to be represented any longer even by this friendly advocate; she must come forward in person and present her case in her own words, “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me.”

2. The appeal to all who pass by is most familiar to us in its later association with our Lords sufferings on the cross. But this is not in any sense a Messianic passage; it is confined in its purpose to the miseries of Jerusalem. Of course there can be no objection to illustrating the grief and pain of the Man of Sorrows by using the classic language of an ancient lament if we note that this is only an illustration. There is a kinship in all suffering, and it is right to consider that He who was tried in all points as we are tried passed through sorrows which absorbed all the bitterness even of such a cup of woe as that which was drunk by Jerusalem in the extremity of her misfortunes. If never before there had been sorrow like unto her sorrow, at length that was matched, nay, surpassed, at Gethsemane and Golgotha. When He who was “holy, undefiled, and separate from sinners” came into direct relation with sin, He suffered as it is not possible for us to realize. To our Lord, the sin around Him was that from which His nature, and His intense loyalty to His Father in heaven, shrank with unspeakable pain. In its climax we can even see how it led to an actual sense of separation from God; for when sin, in its hate of Him, hung Him up as a “cursed thing” upon the cross, as malefactor, outlaw, and outcast, it pictured forth its own deadly power to kill the representative of the race, sinless though He was. And the silent heaven seemed to the breaking heart of the Christ as the hiding away of the Face of Eternal Love, who in that dark hour knew a grief which we understand not, while “he spared not his own Son.”

In one of the best and most widely known hymns on the crucifixion of Jesus—Isaac Watts “When I survey the wondrous Cross”—attention is concentrated upon that pitiful spectacle of suffering, and a challenge is thrown out. The verse reads—

See from His head, His hands, His feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down;

Did eer such love and sorrow meet,

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Those were almost the last words of Matthew Arnold, who died suddenly in Liverpool of heart failure on Sunday, April 15, 1888, when on his way to the Landing Stage to meet his daughter returning from America. He had attended Ian Maclarens church in the morning, and after service he was heard repeating to himself the words of the hymn which had been sung by the congregation. The hymn had evidently impressed him—and yet, Hellenist as he was, and typical man of culture, he felt the spell and the power of that awful tragedy in comparison with which all other tragedies pale.1 [Note: Thomas Sanderson, Unfulfilled Designs, 72.]

I know as I know my life,

I know as I know my pain,

That there is no lonely strife,

That he is mad who would gain

A separate balm for his woe,

A single pity and cover;

The one great God I know

Hears the same prayer over and over.

I know it, because at the portal

Of heaven, I bowed and cried,

And I said: “Was ever a mortal

Thus crowned and crucified!

My praise thou hast made my blame;

My best thou hast made my worst;

My good thou hast turned to shame;

My drink is a flaming thirst.”

But scarce my prayer was said

Ere from that place I turned;

I trembled, I hung my head,

My cheek, shame-smitten, burned;

For there where I bowed down

In my boastful agony,

I thought of Thy cross and crown—

O Christ, I remembered Thee.1 [Note: R. W. Gilder, Five Books of Song.]


1. “A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” This title, from the well-known, marvellous fifty-third chapter of Isaiah, which tells of the “suffering Servant of Jehovah,” has been applied by universal consent of the Christian ages to the Son of God—the Christ who lived on this earth for men, and died broken-hearted through their sin. When did our Lord begin to realize that His earthly career was to be one of sorrow? We do not know. We should certainly like to think of His childhood as having been happy. Indeed it must have been so: for they alone are happy who are innocent, and the childhood of Jesus was altogether sinless. His very presence in that humble home at Nazareth must have made it happy; and when He Himself looked back afterwards upon His childhood, that season of His life must have seemed to Him like a dream of peace and love. Although we cannot tell at what period our blessed Lord had His first experience of heavy sorrow, or His earliest prevision of the cross, we know that when He was only twelve years of age He had already become alive to the singularity of His relationship to God. And we have evidence also that almost at the very beginning of His public ministry He knew that He was to be crucified for the worlds sin; for He spoke of that to Nicodemus and He had referred to it even earlier (John 2:19; John 3:14). The solemn event must have been foreknown to Him before His ministry began, even before He had left the home of His youth at Nazareth.

The answer of Jesus (“Wist ye not that I must be about my Fathers business?”) to the reproachful question of His mother (in Luke 2:48) lays bare His childhoods mind, and for a moment affords a wide glance over the thoughts which used to engross Him in the fields of Nazareth. It shows that already, though so young, He had risen above the great mass of men, who drift on through life without once inquiring what may be its meaning and its end. He was aware that He had a God-appointed life-work to do, which it was the one business of His existence to accomplish. It was the passionate thought of all His after-life. It ought to be the first and last thought of every life. It recurred again and again in His later sayings, and pealed itself finally forth in the word with which He closed His career—It is finished!

It has often been asked whether Jesus knew all along that He was the Messiah, and, if not, when and how the knowledge dawned upon Him—whether it was suggested by hearing from His mother the story of His birth or announced to Him from within. Did it dawn upon Him all at once, or gradually? When did the plan of His career, which He carried out so unhesitatingly from the beginning of His ministry, shape itself in His mind? Was it the slow result of years of reflection, or did it come to Him at once? These questions have occupied the greatest Christian minds and received very various answers. I will not venture to answer them, and especially with His reply to His mother before me, I cannot trust myself even to think of a time when He did not know what His work in this world was to be.1 [Note: J. Stalker, The Life of Jesus Christ, 23.]

2. What did the sorrow of Christ consist in? Physical pain formed one of its ingredients; but we should not allow our minds to dwell too much upon that. It is a stupendous mistake to enlarge so much as some poets and painters and emotional pulpit rhetoricians have done upon the mere physical accompaniments of the death of Jesus Christ—the crown of thorns, the Roman scourging, the pierced hands and feet. It is true that the Roman scourging (which, it will be remembered, was inflicted more than once upon the Apostle Paul) was one of the most terrible tortures ever invented by the cruelty of man; and crucifixion was a most agonizing and lingering method of killing. The agony in the garden was appalling; but we have our Lords own testimony when He was enduring it that it was not merely or chiefly physical pain that bowed Him to the ground. His words were, “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” And we cannot believe that His mind and heart were overwhelmed simply by the fear of crucifixion. Peter and others of the disciples of our Lord have been crucified, and have suffered greater physical torture, in the form of punishment, than the Blessed One Himself; for in His case the end came sooner than usual, and the authorities were astonished to discover that He was so soon dead. We know that Socrates, the Athenian philosopher, faced his martyrdom with perfect composure, and declined to avail himself of the escape from prison which his friends had planned. We know also that a multitude of Christian martyrs have with sublime fortitude given their bodies to be burned, and have confessed, amidst their dying agonies, that they received from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself the strength which enabled them to endure. No one of the four Evangelists lays any emphasis upon the bodily sufferings of Jesus. They say little of the physical pains of Christ; and Nature drew a veil over the face of the sun during His last agony. How irreverent it is of any man to try to snatch that veil away and let in the vulgar glare of day upon the agony of Christ! To dwell upon the details of His physical sufferings is to divert the thoughts of men from the main source and character of His sufferings.

Every suggestion of the unseen is precious, every door opening into it. And ah! Protestant as I am, even image-worship does appeal to a part of mans nature. There is an old stone of granite by the roadside, as you wind up the hill at old Buda, upon which a worn and defaced image of our Saviour is cut, which I used often to pass. Below the granite block are the words (from the Vulgate version of Lamentations 1:12)—“O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte si est ullus dolor sicut dolor meus.” The through woe-begoneness of that image used to haunt me long: that old bit of granite—the beau-ideal of human sorrow, weakness, and woe-begoneness. To this day it will come back upon me, and always with that dumb gaze of perfect calmness—no complaining—the picture of meek and mute suffering. The memory of it comes up fresh as when I first looked upon it.1 [Note: “Rabbi” Duncan, in Colloquia Peripatetica, 41.]


1. The necessity of sorrow in the life of Christ came from the spiritual character of His work. From the point of view of the disciples, and the popular conception of the Messiah, a certain amount of conflict and hardship could readily be allowed for. The Roman could not be expected to yield without a blow; and as it became clear that opposition from within His own nation was to be expected, temporary disappointments and misunderstandings would fall within the disciples scheme of the future. They were ready for the hardships of an earthly struggle, i.e., to drink His cup as they understood it. They were not prepared for the cross, because they had not a deep enough conception of His work. Not Roman or Sadducee, but sin, was the enemy; Christs aim was the establishment of a spiritual and universal empire. The national mission of the Son of David had passed into the world-wide mission of the Servant of Jehovah, and the means which might have sufficed for the one would no longer serve the other. His work moved on a higher plane, and the weapons of His warfare must be more mysterious and spiritual than any outward miracle. These weapons were the attractive and atoning power of service and sorrow. The cross, the life of service, and all it implied of sorrow and suffering, were necessary because He had come to give His life a ransom for many.

It was with a great rush of emotion that Jesus first announced the coming of the kingdom. His message was emphatically the “Gospel” of the kingdom of God. He commenced, like John, with announcing simply that the kingdom was at hand; and there is no reason to doubt that there existed in the public mind a sufficient amount of Messianic sentiment to make this announcement attract attention and excite enthusiasm. At first everyone would interpret it according to his own ideas of the expected kingdom; and so the rumour of the preaching of John and Jesus rang through the land, and all men were in expectation as to the shape in which the promised kingdom would appear.

As soon, however, as Jesus began to explain Himself, it became manifest that the majority of His countrymen and He were expecting the fulfilment of the promise in totally different forms. Both employed the same phrase—“the kingdom of God”—but His countrymen laid the emphasis on the first half of it—“the kingdom”—while He laid it on the second—“of God.” They were thinking of the external benefits and glories of a kingdom, such as political emancipation, a throne, a court, a capital and tributary provinces, while He was thinking of the character of the subjects of the anticipated realm and of the doing in it of the will of God as it is done in heaven.

Browning, in the opening pages of The Ring and the Book, compares the poets art to that of the goldsmith, who, when he is working with the finest gold, has to make use of an alloy, in order to give the precious metal sufficient consistency to enable it to stand the action of his tools and assume the shapes which he desires. But, when the form is complete, he applies an acid, which evaporates the alloy and leaves nothing but the pure gold of the perfect ring. The popular conception of the kingdom of God was the alloy with which Jesus had to mix His teaching, in order to make it fit to mingle with the actual life of the world of His day. Without it His thought would have been too ethereal and too remote from the living hopes of men. He had to take men where He found them, and lead them step by step to the full appreciation of His sublime purpose for the world. He was not to be the king of the Jews, but King of an infinitely diviner realm; yet it was by aiming at the throne which He missed that He reached the throne which He now occupies.1 [Note: J. Stalker, The Christology of Jesus, 146, 163.]

2. Again, His sorrow was the clue to His loneliness. See Him looking from afar over the city of David, the home of His race, the centre of its history and of its religion, the city and the temple that He loved. His soul is melted to tears, as He thinks of her bygone works and of the destiny that awaits her. “How often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Rejected in Galilee, despised in Jerusalem, He stands of all men the Man of Sorrows. He had friends and followers, it is true, who had left all to be His disciples. Yet even here He knew the sorrow of contact with egotism, self-interest, perversity of understanding, unbelief, even treachery. How many of those who thronged Him sought Him not for His own sake, not for love of Him, but for the loaves and the fishes! And He knew it. His closest companions were occupied with hopes and ambitions which centred in an earthly and visible kingdom. Yet these were the men to whom His soul turned at a time when many forsook Him, yearning for the solace of human sympathy, with the pathetic appeal: “Will ye also go away?” At last, the time came when all forsook Him and fled. Alone, hated of men, forsaken and betrayed, He went to His bitter passion and death, the death of the cross. Over much of His life that cross had cast its dark shadow. He knew that the path He was treading led to Calvary, and “he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem.” Even in the hour of that mystic glorifying, when He talked on the Mount of Transfiguration with Moses and Elijah, what He spoke of was “his decease which he should accomplish at Jerusalem.” That certainty was all along present to His mind. And then the anticipated hour came at last, the hour of darkness and of the transient triumph of the powers of evil, the hour of betrayal, of mocking, of torture, of bodily exhaustion, of spiritual depression, when God Himself seemed to have forsaken Him, the hour of supreme anguish and of death.

The severest of all the limitations of Jesus lay in the isolation of His life, both actual and spiritual. It is recorded that He was homeless, but the absence of a dwelling-place—sufficient privation in itself—was a symbol of an intellectual, moral, and spiritual homelessness such as, in its last rigours, passes our comprehension. No man has ever been so lonely as was Jesus. None has ever experienced so entire a disappointment of the social instinct. It is true that He had the attachment of His disciples, but these men were inaccessible to the ideas and motives which formed His constant theme. With infinite patience He strove to make them partakers of what was the inspiration of His own life, but to the close they misunderstood Him.

However deeply personal misunderstanding wounded Him, there is no trace of scar in the Man as we behold Him; it was when “the kingdom” was misunderstood, when the spiritual was exploited in interests political or legal, when human life was cheapened, when the Magdalens gift or the publicans hospitality was misconstrued, it was then that the wound was inflicted, that the isolation became anguish. This is something so altogether beyond the experience of ordinary life that many men and women must live and die without so much as a glimpse of the lonely regions Jesus trod.1 [Note: T. J. Hardy, The Gospel of Pain.]

3. But the real sorrow of Christ was “the travail of his soul” in bearing the burden of our sin. In some mysterious manner He became identified with the guiltiness and sinfulness of our poor human nature. He was “made to be sin for us, who knew no sin.” The sting of death is sin; and it was necessary that He should receive that sting into His own bosom. In Gethsemane He trembled under the fearful oppression of the touch of sin; but the trembling at length passed away, and He braced Himself to endure the cross, and be “made a curse for us.” He reached the climax of His unspeakable anguish—the darkness, blacker than midnight, which for a space rested on His soul—when He cried out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” To be forsaken of God is the last consequence of sin—the very hell of hell. The Redeemer had to endure for a season the awful sense of Divine rejection and desertion, in order that we sinful men might be readily reconciled to God, and become partakers of eternal life.

The Son of God could not identify Himself absolutely with the human race without mysteriously realizing the last consequence of sin. From that even He shrank: but it was inevitable. He drank the bitter cup to the dregs, and it killed Him. As a distinguished physician has pointed out, all the physical symptoms indicated that Christ died literally of a broken heart. He did not die of crucifixion. In the ordinary course of nature He would have lingered for many hours. But when God mysteriously forsook Him, it was more than He could endure and live. It broke His heart literally and metaphorically. Body and soul alike were crushed by the awful experience, and, with a loud cry, He yielded up His spirit to God. He was a willing victim. No man took His life from Him. He laid it down of His own accord; and by so doing He paid such unparalleled homage to His own justice and His own righteousness that henceforward He could consistently be both “just and the justifier” of sinful man.

St. Johns record of the Passion is from the beginning to the end a revelation of majesty. No voice of suffering, no horror of thick darkness, find a place in it. Every indignity is so accepted by the Lord as to become part of a gracious and willing sacrifice. The words with which He goes forth to die are a declaration of a victory which has been already achieved: “I have overcome the world.” The words which precede His voluntary death are the ratification of a work perfectly accomplished: “It is finished.” The betrayal is fruitless till He places Himself in the hands of His enemies. He is Himself the Judge of His judges. Hanging upon the cross the Lord discharged with calm and tender authority the last offices of personal affection, the last requirements of the Scripture which He came to fulfil. He gave up His Spirit; and still He lived through death.1 [Note: B. F. Westcott, The Victory of the Cross, 95.]

4. Christs sorrow was wholly vicarious,—that is, it was pure sympathy, as pure as the rain which drops from the clouds, before it has become defiled by contact with the earth. It was the faithful reflection of the Divine sorrow. It was the sorrow of one who Himself knew no sin, but who sorrowed for those who did. All the weight of sorrow which He bore was, strictly speaking, ours and not His. He had not known sorrow if He had not known us. It is a very common mistake to regard vicarious suffering as being an institution of religion and as such needing apology; whereas, so far from being in conflict with our highest ideas of justice and morality, it is an inevitable part of all deep moral experience, and has operated throughout the history of the race as a powerful redemptive force. No one has ever tried to serve others without having had to face the necessity of suffering on their behalf. Suffering is the experience in which men feel their oneness with their kind. Christ, too, by suffering felt His oneness with men; but largely in order to assert a singularity beyond. Through suffering He became like unto men, but only that He might effect through suffering a lonely and a singular service for them. We know from common human experience that there is no real sympathy with suffering save in the breasts of those who have themselves suffered. In the school of pain men learn lessons that can be taught them nowhere else. And we can hardly conceive a Saviour who could be equal to our deepest need unless He were also one who was touched with the feeling of our infirmities. And when we take sin into account the same thing appears more clearly. We may dupe and deceive ourselves for a time, but it thrusts itself upon our attention, and the consciousness of it cannot be gainsaid. Because it is the burden of our life, therefore it was the burden of Christs. He had to face it if ever He was to become the Redeemer of the world; and it was no light and easy task. He can speak to the soul in the anguish of penitence as no other can, because He has Himself done battle with the enemy, has faced the worst that evil can do and come out in the end victorious. The cross of Jesus confronts us with the perfection of sorrow, which is the perfection of sympathy, and out of this assured sympathy spring redemption and reconciliation and pardon and peace and everlasting life.

John Richard Green, before he began to write his history of England, was a curate in the East End of London, and he bore the burden of the East End upon his heart. He tells in one of his letters how he tried to reclaim some of the fallen, and he says that the appalling thing to him was this—to find that they were where they were simply because of their indifferent attitude. He said to them it was such a little thing to step down there, and now he could not get them to realize that it was a big thing to step from down there up here into the life of purity. It was all indifference that was responsible for that. The sorrows of humanity and its sins broke the heart of One whose cry is to the end of time, “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?” If I could, I would take every one of you where you could see it, the Face that was marred more than any mans and the form more than the sons of men. If you asked me why, I should say, “The consequences of your guilt, the curse of your sin, rested upon Him, the innocent for the guilty, that He might wake your soul and bring you to God, and help you to save the world.” Is it nothing to you, nothing? Is that your final answer? Have you nothing more to say than that Jesus Christ and His Passion are nothing to you? “Oh, no,” you say; “No, we do not say that; we do feel something, and think something.” What is your practical answer? That is the only thing that matters. What is your practical answer to Jesus Christ and Him crucified? Is it nothing, or rather does it pledge you once again to give your youth, your powers, and all you have, in glorious self-abandonment for the service of God, and for the good of humanity?1 [Note: C. Silvester Horne.]


1. To Jesus the suffering He was called on to endure was not aimless, and gave Him no reason to doubt the goodness and mercy of His Father. He saw, as we often do not and cannot, behind the veil. He realized that there was a purpose in it all, and the joy that was set before Him became as a blessed anodyne that helped Him to endure the shame. His lowly service and suffering were such integral parts of the work He had come into the world to do that He took them quietly and almost as a matter of course. And His example teaches us at least this, that we may look for the silver lining to the clouds above our heads. In much of what we are called to endure there is a gracious and fruitful discipline, and happy are they who can see it and whose faith can help them to be still and open not their mouths. There is not one who sorrows now, no matter what his grief and gloom, who cannot find his pain met, and overwhelmed, and swallowed up in the sea of eternal suffering love that presents itself in Jesus Christ. The followers of Jesus Christ take the problem of sorrow for granted. It is there before them. But in Christ they find its practical solution. Behold the Man of Sorrows, the One who is acquainted with grief. His experience gives us the power by which we accept sorrow. If in an evil world He knew sorrow as He did, by the same token He says to us, “Ye now therefore have sorrow.” And we are bidden accordingly to look “unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.” Through His sorrow we may surely see something of the purpose of sorrow, as a privilege peculiar to man. It lifts him forward and upward to a destiny not vouchsafed to nature below him. If man is to rise in the struggle which must be and is against sin in an imperfect world, sorrow is a necessary condition and a purifying element.

One of the characteristic paradoxes of Christianity is that its sorrow and happiness co-exist. Christ is the Man of Sorrows, yet we cannot think of Him for a moment as an unhappy man. He rather gives us the picture of serene and unclouded happiness. Beneath not merely the outward suffering, but the profound sorrow of heart, there is deeper still a continual joy, derived from the realized presence of His Father and the consciousness that He is doing His work. Unless this is remembered, the idea of the Man of Sorrows is sentimentalized and exaggerated.1 [Note: C. W. Emmet.]

2. The sorrow of Christ has been a blessedly fruitful sorrow. All sorrow yields fruit according to its kind; but it is not possible to measure the fruitfulness of the atoning death of the Redeemer. His sorrow on earth was the path to His eternal reward in heaven; and the depth of His sufferings is the measure of the height of His mediatorial exaltation. “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.” Because He was the Man of Sorrows He is now the King of Glory. And who can tell how fruitful of blessing the Redeemers sorrow has been to His people? Jesus wept that He might one day wipe away all tears from the eyes of millions. He sorrowed that multitudes might rejoice. He shed His blood that many a bleeding heart might be healed. He tasted death that a new life might be breathed into the souls of men. He was made “perfect through sufferings” that He might “bring many sons unto glory.” Every believer can testify of the Redeemer, as Bunyans pilgrim did: “He hath given me joy by His sorrow, and life by His death.” Christs cross is His throne, and it is by His death that He has ruled the ages. Yet we must not understand this as if His power was only or mostly shown in binding men, by gratitude for the salvation He won them, to own Him for their King. His power has been even more conspicuously proved in making His fashion of service the most fruitful and the most honoured among men. If men have ceased to turn from sickness with aversion or from weakness with contempt; if they have learned to see in all pain some law of God, and in vicarious suffering Gods most holy service; if patience and self-sacrifice have come in any way to be a habit of human life,—the power in this change has been Christ. But because these two—to say, “Thy will be done,” and to sacrifice self—are for us men the hardest and the most unnatural of things to do, Jesus Christ, in making these a conscience and a habit upon earth, has indeed performed the very highest service for man of which man can conceive.

A little book, entitled The Man of No Sorrows,” which presents a counterfeit Christ as the real friend of the modern advancing age, startles at first by its apparent audacious blasphemy; until we perceive how in the end the real Christ comes back, at the call of the agony of the world which banished Him—the world which has fallen from the pinnacle of selfish luxury and callous enjoyment to the very depths of hideous anarchy and despair. In repentance and horror the false Messiah cries aloud in agony to the Man of Sorrows, who returns in tender mercy to a world in the very throes of death, and casts across it the colossal shadow of His rejected cross, which shall heal its sin, and its violence and its woes.1 [Note: E. Hicks, Our Life Here, 42.]

One Sunday evening in December, Thackeray was walking with two friends along the Dean Road, to the west of Edinburgh—one of the noblest outlets to any city. It was a lovely evening—such a sunset as one never forgets; a rich dark bar of cloud hovered over the sun, going down behind the Highland hills, lying bathed in amethystine bloom; between this cloud and the hills there was a narrow slip of the pure ether, of a tender cowslip colour, lucid, and as if it were the very body of heaven in its clearness; every object standing out as if etched upon the sky. The north-west end of Corstorphine Hill, with its trees and rocks, lay in the heart of this pure radiance, and there a wooden crane, used in the quarry below, was so placed as to assume the figure of a cross; there it was, unmistakable, lifted up against the crystalline sky. All three gazed at it silently. As they gazed, he gave utterance in a tremulous, gentle, and rapid voice, to what all were feeling, in the word “Calvary!” The friends walked on in silence, and then turned to other things. All that evening he was very gentle and serious, speaking, as he seldom did, of divine things,—of death, of sin, of eternity, of salvation; expressing his simple faith in God and in his Saviour.2 [Note: Dr. John Brown, Horœ Subsecivœ, iii. 189.]

The Perfection of Sorrow


Adeney (W. F.), Canticles and Lamentations (Expositors Bible), 120.

Belfrage (H.), Sacramental Addresses, 81.

Foxell (W. J.), A Mirror of Divine Comfort, 100.

Hickey (E. P.), Short Sermons, ii. 83.

Hunt (A. N.), Sermons for the Christian Year, i. 173.

Hunter (J.), God and Life, 277.

Jerdan (C.), For the Lords Table, 163.

Keble (J.), Sermons for the Christian Year: Holy Week, 183.

Neale (J. M.), Sermons Preached in Sackville College Chapel, i. 288.

Price (A. C.), Fifty Sermons, vii. 377.

Sanderson (T.), Unfulfilled Designs, 72.

Segneri (P. P.), Quaresimale (tr. J. Ford), iii. 194.

Spurgeon (C. H.), Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, xxvii. (1881), No. 1620; lix. (1913), No. 3360.

Vaughan (J.), Sermons (Brighton Pulpit), xi. (1874), No. 879.

Williams (I.), Sermons on the Epistles and Gospels, iii. 124.

Christian World Pulpit, lxviii. 273 (J. Hunter); lxx. 360 (C. S. Horne).

Church Pulpit Year Book, 1909, p. 83; 1910, p. 53.

Churchmans Pulpit: Holy Week, vi. 370 (S. W. Skeffington).

Dictionary of Christ and the Gospels, ii. 665 (C. W. Emmet).

Literary Churchman, xxi. (1875) 74; xxxii. (1886) 156 (F. Foster).

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