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Mahomet, may, God forbid I should say it will, possibly bring us somewhat near to the treachery of Judas. Only if we find we have so fallen let us not despair. There is, thank God, no reservation in the promise of forgiveness to all repented sin against the Son of Man.



UPON my bended knees I seek,

If haply on the ground,
Some traces of Thy wounded Feet,

May yet, dear LORD, be found.
Up Calvary I early go,

Ere dawning lights the sky,
To see if broken hearts some trace

Of that lost Love can spy.

I walk within the silent streets,

Where busy feet have trod :
“Did gentle Jesus pass this way?

Is that far off my God?”
A little child with angel face,

His hand slips into mine-
A moment, and I think 'tis He

They call the Child Divine !

I tread beside the moaning sea,

For here one day He pass'd,
His sweet voice spoke the words of calm,

And stilled the tempest vast.
But weary worn, I hie me home,

My LORD I have not found;
He is not by the moaning sea,

Upon the shell-tricked ground !
An altar stands not far from hence,

Built up by holy hands ;
A white-robed Priest uplifts to-day,

A chalice as he stands.
Behold,” I hear an angel say,

“Thy long-sought God behold;
Like Galahad, thy quest is o'er,

His hands thy Maker hold!"

So He, I know, who long ago,

At early dawn came near,
And touched by sorrow, showed Himself

To Mary in her fear-
Repeats to-day for me and thee

That glad surprise of Love;
He travels far at Easter dawn,

To greet thee from above :

Known as of old to faithful souls,

And those who ere the dew
Has left the Easter lilies come,

Thy sepulchre to view.
“Mary,” Thou whisperest, “servant true,

I wait thy plaintive cry-
Master,” to answer full of love,
“ Risen, behold, 'tis I!"



“God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our LORD JESUS CHRIST." - Gal. vi. 14.

“ Blest Sign of man's Redemption, I adore

Not thee, but Him Who did not fear thy pains.





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I do not owe thee worship—but I ne'er
Would join with those who through some sickly fear
Of rite idolatrous, on thee would pour
Contempt and scorn,

and level with decay
God's finger-post that points the narrow way.”


Not yet has the offence of the Cross ceased ! But still this Holy Sign and Symbol of the Faith is to some men a stumbling-block and to others foolishness. For the arch enemy who dreads and trembles and turns to flight at this blessed Sign, either industriously stirs up intense hatred and abhorrence of this Sacred Symbol of our Holy Religion, or else tries to rob it of all meaning and significance whatever by trailing it in the mire, making it cheap and common, and causing it to be trodden under foot of men.

To furnish our readers with answers to objectors, and to give them a reason for the hope that is in them, by setting forth the history, use, and meaning of the Cross, is the object of the present paper.

It will readily be admitted that symbols naturally precede written characters. And conventional symbols have, in many instances, perhaps in most, laid the foundation and prepared the way for alphabets. Whilst on the other hand sacred symbols pregnant with mystic meaning have survived the introduction of letters, and have been used in all ages and among

all nations. We see this in the case of the ancient Egyptians, the Assyrians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Thibetians, the Aztecs, and many others. In the Egyptian paintings and in the Assyrian sculptures we meet with numerous symbols of various significance : the votaries of Bacchus used the phallus as a symbol of the generative powers of nature; the crescent is the distinguishing symbol of the religion of Islam, and the Buddhist still uses the "gbastly parody of the Catholic Church," the Cross fylfott 1.1

As then symbols have ever been employed by men of different races, languages, and religions to set forth sacred ideas, and as marks and badges of their faith ; even so in very early, nay probably in A postolic times, Christians adopted The Cross as their sacred Symbol, the outward mark and sign and profession of their Faith. And thus it comes to pass that the Cross, which was once a synonym for everything vile, and base, and refuse, and degrading, a word of scorn, and contempt, and shame, and reproach-nay more, the “very formula of cursing”is now borne upon the crowns of emperors and of kings, surmounts the sceptre and the orb holden in their hands, forms part of our own national flag, is lifted up to heaven on countless spires and towers and pinnacles, is worn by Bishops on their breasts, ay, and by brave soldiers also (seeing that it forms in this country the highest and most coveted distinction "for valour”) and is in many ways a mark of honour, a word of glory and rejoicing !

But even from the beginning God left not Himself without witness to that Tree of Life, which was to bear such precious Fruit on Calvary: for the great outer world of nature, as well as that smaller world, wherein man exercises his powers, were alike full, then of Divine foreshadowings, as now of Providential reminders, of the Cross. The figure of the Cross is engraven on the productions of nature, seen in the works of men, in the position of inanimate objects, and in the

1 For examples of the Cross fylfott on Runic arms and ornaments, see also Archæologia Cantiana, Vol. viii., plates 3, 4, 7, 8, where we find the fron the Müncheberg spearhead, on the Cöslin golden ring, on the Skodborg gold brooch, and on various other ornaments.

actions and gestures of the living, as in rowing, swimming, and anciently in praying also (Psalm cxliii. 6.) It is revealed to us in the infinitely little and the infinitely great, by the microscope and by the telescope, in nature and in art. We see it in the snow crystals and in the stars, in man's own form, and in a multitude of common things which meet us on every hand in daily life.

“ It almost seems as if God had marked the Cross on all things we see around us, on purpose that we should never be able to forget it. You cannot see a bird fly in the air, but with his wings he makes the Sign of the Cross, teaching us thereby that if we also seek to rise above this world, it can only be by means of the same holy thing. You cannot see a tree but its side branches and trunk present the same figure, reminding us of that Tree to which our LORD was nailed, and the glorious Fruit it has brought forth throughout the earth. You cannot see a ship but the Cross is set forth by its masts and yards, showing us by what means we also may hope to pass the waves of this troublesome world. Flowers have the Cross painted on their leaves, sunset skies in their clouds, and in the Southern Hemisphere there is a beautiful constellation which bears this


Again, the sails of a windmill take the form of a Cross; the fingerpost, which we set up to point the way when two ways meet, is fashioned like a Cross; the railway semaphore with its moveable arms, which contribute so much to our safety, is in fact a Cross ; the telegraph post when it carries two wires takes the form of a Cross; a sword of the ancient pattern intermediate between the Chinese and Japanese shape, (which has no handguard,) and the Scottish baskethilted sword, is nothing but a Cross. All sorts and conditions of men are perpetually coming in contact with shadows of the Cross in the implements of their craft, or in the outward surroundings of their daily life. And thus we see how the soldier in his sword—the sailor in the masts and yards of his ship—the miller in the sails of his mill—the railway pointsman in his semaphore—the banker in his scales—the tailor in his scissors—the smith in his hammer—the carpenter in his T square—the gardener in his rake—the navvy in his pickaxe—the archer in his crossbow-the schoolboy in the frame of his kite—the traveller in the sign posts—the lame man in his crutches—the botanist in the colouring and in the parts of many plants—the physicist in the forms assumed by crystals and by sand sprinkled on a sheet of glass that is caused to vibrate by the sound of a musical notel--the astronomer in the form of nebulæ% and in the position of fixed stars—thus, I say, we see how each and all of them, have before their eyes an outward visible reminder of that Cross, whereof the Apostle saith, “ GOD forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of our LORD JESUS CHRIST, by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world.” Whilst further it is not once nor twice only that the Cross has been seen in the sky—as in the vision of Constantine ;3 in the case of Cyril, Bishop of Jerusalem, who on the 7th May, A.D. 351, saw "a Cross composed of light, visible above the earth for many hours, exceeding in glory the rays of the sun ;” in that dark Cross observed at Jerusalem in A.D. 1838, for many successive nights (“ Unseen World," pp. 18, 19 ;) in the appearances often connected with mock

1 Dr. Neale's “ Christian Heroism,” p. xi.

suns ;

and in that Sign of the Son of Man which will appear hereafter in the heavens at the end of the world.

But not alone in the outer world is the Cross to be seen, for the Old Testament Scriptures themselves are full of types prefiguring the Cross, in symbol and in act, as the Fathers of the Church have not been slow to recognise.

“The Tree of Life in the midst of the garden"4 prefigured that other Tree of the Cross, whereon our Blessed LORD lifted up His Hands as an evening Sacrifice, and brought life to them that sat in darkness and the shadow of death. There is a tradition that the mark set

upon Cain to preserve him was the Tau Cross T (i.e. the letter Tau, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet,) that he might be reminded thereby of his latter end. The wood of the sacrifice borne crosswise by Isaac on his shoulders, foreshadowed that Cross, which our Blessed LORD, the True Isaac, bore up the selfsame hill in after ages. That act of Jacob's, in crossing over his hands when he blessed the two sons of Joseph, spake of that Cross, which bringeth life and peace and blessing, and of which it is written “ blessed is the wood whereby

1 After the above was written I found the following passage in Dr. Neale's“Un seen World,” p. 16, “If on a thin metal plate you sprinkle sand, and then strike on a stringed instrument that note which is the fundamental sound—the key note, if we may use the expression, of the plate—the sand will immediately arrange itself in the form of a Cross.” See “Tyndal on Sound,” pp. 141, 143, 148—150.

2 See “ Gallery of Nature and Art,vol. I., pl. 1, fig. 5.

* For a graphic and pictorial description of this see Neale’s “Christian Heroism," pp. 29–40.

4 See Neale’s “Text Emblems,p. 47.

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