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us, in our passage through this mortal life.

Or consider our feelings of religion itself. Few and far between, perhaps, may be our prayers and thoughts of serious things; we may find it most difficult to keep them alive (who does not?). But do not despise what

One verse from the Bible may be enough to sustain us in sore temptations; one prayer from the Prayer-book may stick to us closer than a brother or a friend; one fixed determination to do what is right may be the rallying-point round which our whole better nature may form and strengthen itself. True, ' We are not worthy so much as to gather up the 'crumbs' of our heavenly Father's table; but He ' is the same Lord, whose property is always to have 'mercy. He blesses, He owns our humblest efforts. For the sake of saving that single spark of good within the soul; for the sake of kindling that smoking flax, and of raising up that broken reed, He sent His Son to this earth - to this land on which our lot is cast — to sacrifice Himself for us, in His life and in His death.

II. These thoughts are all brought to a head in considering the country on which we shall this day enter. It is a land, of which the glory has passed away-of which the interest belongs almost entirely to the past.

But it is a land, notwithstanding, of which the name awakens feelings which no other land on the face of this world awakens-a land in which all have a common interest - which is known to the humblest cottager in England, as well as to the loftiest in rank or station. How are we to make use of it properly? It is by 'gathering up the fragments that remain. There are nothing but fragments. We must not expect grandeur of scenery or splendour of temples; we may, if we choose,' pass through • from Dan to Beersheba,' and say, all is barren: • there is nothing to be seen.' But it is by thinking of what has been here, by making the most of the things we do see in order to bring before our minds the things we do not see, that a visit to the Holy Land becomes a really religious lesson. The heroes and saints of the Old Testament have been here before us.

To see the places where they lived and fought and died is not much, but it is something, towards enabling us better to understand and feel what it was for which they so fought and lived and died. The hills and the valleys, and the cornfields, and the birds, and the sheep, and the shepherds, and the vineyards, are the very same as those to which the Psalmist, and the Prophets, and our blessed Lord Himself in His parables, made allusions. The Psalms which describe those who go down to the sea in ships, and do their business in great waters,'' the descriptions of the waves of the sea bursting over the rocks?, or having their bounds set that they should not pass,


were suggested by this very harbour of Joppa, in which we now find ourselves. From the vision of S. Peter in the house of 4 Simon the tanner on the seashore at Joppa, went forth the Gospel to the Gentile world, till it reached our own distant land. We go up to Jerusalem, where Christ died and

1 Ps. cvii. 23.
3 Jerem. v. 22.

2 Ps. xciii. 3, 4.
4 Acts x. 6, 9.

rose again. To see that Holy City, even though the exact spots of His death and resurrection are unknown, is to give a new force to the sound of the name whenever afterwards we hear it in Church or read it in the Bible.

I do not wish to exaggerate in this matter. It is, thank God, perfectly possible to be just, and holy, and good, without coming to Palestine. Pilgrimage is not really a Christian duty. Holy Places are not really holy in the sight of God, except for the feelings that they produce. The Crusaders were in error, when they thought to save their souls by fighting to regain the Holy Land. It is not the earthly, but the heavenly Jerusalem, which is the ·mother of us all' our mother in the widest and most endearing sense.

But not the less are all these things helps to those who will use them rightly.

When Richard I. for the first time came within view of Jerusalem, he hid his face in his armour, and said, 'Ah! Lord God, if I am not thought worthy to win

back the Holy Sepulchre, I am not worthy to see it.' That is a fine feeling; it is a feeling, at the same time, beyond anything at which we strive to aim. We are not pilgrims : we are not crusaders. But we should not be Christians — we should not be Englishmen — we should not, I had almost said, be reasonable beings, if, believing what we do about the events that took place here, we could see Jerusalem and the Holy Land as we would see any other town or any other country. Even if it were only for the thought of the interest which thousands in former ages have taken in what we shall see — if only

for the thought that we shall now be seeing what thousands have longed to see and not seen -- if only for the thought of the feeling which our visit to these spots awakens in the hearts of thousands far away in our own dear homes in England:-we cannot but gather up some good feelings, some more than merely passing pleasure, from these sacred scenes; and can we forbear to add, that there is, besides and above all this, the thought that we may possibly be thus brought more nearly into communion with that Divine Friend and Saviour, whose blessed feet, eighteen hundred years ago, walked this land through whose words and acts in this country every one of us, at some time of his life or other, has been consoled and instructed, and hopes at last to be saved ?

*Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost;'—throw away nothing of what we see or hear; throw away nothing of the good recollections and calls to a good life that are still left to us by God's merciful Providence. And, oh, may He gather up, and enable us to gather up, whatever good there is in our hearts and souls! Little enough, He well knows, there is. But whatever that little be — whatever be the pure intention, or pious feeling, or just thought, or better mind, that remains in each of us—may He enable us to make the very most of it, here and elsewhere, now and always.




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