The After-glow of a Great Reign - Four Addresses Delivered in St. Paul
56 Pages
English

The After-glow of a Great Reign - Four Addresses Delivered in St. Paul's Cathedral

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The Project Gutenberg eBook, The After-glow of a Great Reign, by A. F. Winnington IngramThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it,give it away or re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included with this eBook or online atwww.gutenberg.orgTitle: The After-glow of a Great Reign Four Addresses Delivered in St. Paul's CathedralAuthor: A. F. Winnington IngramRelease Date: January 23, 2007 [eBook #20430]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE AFTER-GLOW OF A GREAT REIGN***E-text prepared by Al HainesTHE AFTERGLOW OF A GREAT REIGNFour Addresses Delivered in St. Paul's Cathedralby theRIGHT REV. A. F. WINNINGTON INGRAM, D.D. Bishop Suffragan of Stepney, and Canon of St. Paul's CathedralLondon Wells Gardner, Darton & Co. 3, Paternoster Buildings, E C 1901.CONTENTS.PAGEI. HER TRUTHFULNESS II. HER MORAL COURAGE III. THE RAINBOW ROUND ABOUT THE THRONE IV. THE LAW OF KINDNESSThe After-glow of a Great Reign.I.HER TRUTHFULNESS."Behold, Thou requirest truth in the inward parts."—Psalm li. 6.We stand to-day like men who have just watched a great sunset. On some beautiful summer evening we must all of ushave watched a sunset, and we know how, first of all, we see the great orb slowly decline towards the horizon; thencomes the sense of coming loss; then it sets amid a blaze of glory, and then it is buried, ...

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Published 08 December 2010
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TGhree aPt rRojeeigctn ,G buyt eAn. bFe.r gW einBnoionkg,t oTnh Ien gArftaemr-glow of aThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere atno cost and with almost no restrictions whatsoever.You may copy it, give it away or re-use it under theterms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.orgATidtlder: eTshsee sA fDteelri-vgelroewd  oifn  aS t.G rPeaaut l'Rs eCigant hFeodurralAuthor: A. F. Winnington IngramRelease Date: January 23, 2007 [eBook #20430]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)***START OF THE PROJECT GUTENBERGEBOOK THE AFTER-GLOW OF A GREATREIGN***E-text prepared by Al Haines
THE AFTERGLOW OF A GREAT REIGNFour Addresses Delivered in St. Paul's Cathedralby theRIGHT REV. A. F. WINNINGTON INGRAM, D.D.Bishop Suffragan of Stepney, and Canon of St.Paul's CathedralLPoatnedronno sWteerl lsB uGildairndgnse,r ,E  DCa r1to9n0 1&. Co. 3,
CONTENTS.EGAPI. HER TRUTHFULNESS II. HER MORALCOURAGE III. THE RAINBOW ROUND ABOUTTHE THRONE IV. THE LAW OF KINDNESSThe After-glow of a Great Reign..IHER TRUTHFULNESS."Behold, Thou requirest truth in the inwardparts."—Psalm li. 6.We stand to-day like men who have just watched agreat sunset. On some beautiful summer eveningwe must all of us have watched a sunset, and weknow how, first of all, we see the great orb slowlydecline towards the horizon; then comes the senseof coming loss; then it sets amid a blaze of glory,and then it is buried, buried for ever so far as thatday is concerned, to reappear as the leader of anew dawn. In exactly the same way have we for
years been watching with loving interest thedeclining years of our Queen, years that declinedso slowly towards the horizon that we almostpersuaded ourselves we should have her with usfor ever. Then came, but a few weeks ago, asudden sense of coming loss, then her sun set in ablaze of glory, and yesterday she was buried,buried from our sight, to reappear, as we believe,as a bright particular star in another world. We donot grudge her her rest. Few words can expressmore beautifully the thoughts of thousands thanthese words just put into my hand—  "Leave her in peace, her time is fully come,    Her empire's crown    All day she bore, nor asked to lay it down,  Now God has called her home.  Let sights and sounds of earth be all forgot,    Her cares and tears    She hath endured thro' her allotted years,  Now they can touch her not.  From that fierce light which beats upon a throne    Now has she passed    Into God's stillness, cool and deep and vast,  Let Heaven for earth atone.  All gifts but one He gave, but kept the best    Till now in store;     H iNs opwe rHfee ctd ogtifht  aofd dr etsot .a"l l[ 1H]e gave beforeaBfutte,r -juglsot wa sr einm tahine ss luonnsge ta fat ebr etahuet isfuul n ahnads t esnetd, esro
after-glow remains long after the sun has set, sowe are gathered to-day in the tender after-glow.And I propose that we should try and gather upone by one—to learn ourselves and to tell ourchildren, and the generations yet unborn, as someexplanation of the marvellous influence which sheexercised—some of the qualities of the Queenwhom we have lost.And let us first fix our minds upon something whichat first sight seems so simple, but yet seems tohave struck every generation of statesmen as athing almost supernatural—and that is hermarvellous truthfulness. Said a great statesman,"She is the most perfectly truthful being I have evermet." "Perfect sincerity" is the description ofanother. Now what that must have meant toEngland, for generation after generation ofstatesmen to have had at the centre of the empirea truthful person, a person who never usedintrigue, who never was plotting or planning, orworking behind the backs of those who wereresponsible to advise her—to have had someoneperfectly sincere to deal with in the great things ofstate—that is something which must be left for thehistorian who chronicles the Victorian erathoroughly to paint. No, my friends, our task now isfar simpler: it is to ask what is the secret of thismarvellous truthfulness, can we obtain it ourselves,and does God demand it?Let us take the last question first, and we take itfirst because it is the question directly answered inour text. The answer is given by someone whounderstood human nature, by someone who had
sinned, had been forgiven, had been roused out ofthe conventionalities of life by a great experience,who had looked out of the door of his being andhad seen God. And he tells us, as the result of hisexperience, and as the basis of his repentance,these words "Behold, Thou requirest truth in theinward parts." It is one thing to say words which,understood in a certain sense, are true, it is onething to avoid direct breaches in our action of thelaw of honour, but it is another thing to be inourselves absolutely sincere, to look up into theeyes of God, as a truthful child looks up into theeyes of its mother, to possess our own hearts likea flawless gem, with nothing to hide, nothing tokeep back, and nothing to be ashamed of—that isto have truth in the inward parts, and that is whatGod demands. It is what He found in Christ, one ofthe things which made Him say time after time,"This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am wellpleased"; He found ever reflecting back His Faceas He looked down upon Him a perfectly sincerePerson, true through and through. That was thesecret of His marvellous influence, that was whylittle children came and crept under the ample foldsof His love, that was why young men came andtold Him their secrets, that was why everybody,except the bad, felt at home with Him, that waswhy women were at their best with Him, that waswhy Herod the worldly found he could not flatterHim, and Pilate the coward found Him devoid offear; it was because right through, not only in Hiswords and actions, but in His being He not onlyhad, but He was, Truth in the inward parts. And itis because our Queen, with her simple and
beautiful faith in her Saviour, caught fromchildhood this attribute of her Lord, because sheworked it out into her character, made it thefoundation of everything she did—it is for thatreason she was able to keep the Court pure, andthe heart of the country true, to get rid of flattery,meanness and intrigue, and to chase away thesycophant and the traitor.Is it not a lesson which the country needs, is thereany nobler monument that we could build to herthan this—to incorporate into the character of thenation the first and great characteristic of her owncharacter, and to try and plant in society, in trade,and in Christian work, truth in the inward parts?Take, first, society. It is a cheap sneer, whichspeaks perpetually of the hollowness of so-calledsociety, as if rich people could not make and didnot make as honest friendships as the poor andmiddle class; but, at the same time, few woulddeny how much of what would be such a goodthing is disfigured by display and insincerity, thatmiserable attempting to be thought richer than weare, that pitiable struggle to get into a smarter setthan happens to be ours, the unreal compliments,the insincere expressions, the sometimes hideoustreachery. If society were purged from these, itwould not be the dull thing which some peopleimagine, just as if this insincerity and frivolity andunreality constituted the brightness of it. No, it isthese things which constitute the dulness and thestupidity. If they were done away with, then societywould be a gathering of true men and women, true
to themselves, true to one another, and true toGod, and would be a society which God couldbless.Secondly, take trade and commerce. Speaking inthe very centre of a city reared upon a basis ofhonourable commerce, it would be more thanwicked to refuse to acknowledge the splendidhonour and trust on which such commerce isbased; but when we clergy, not once or twice, butconstantly, get letters from those employed in firmsand in business up and down the country, saying,"How can I live a Christian life, when I am obligedby my employer to do dishonest things in business,when I am told to tell lies, or I shall lose my place?"When we have, even within the last few months,terrible instances of breach of trust among thosewho have been entrusted with the most sacredinterests by the widow and the orphan, must wenot acknowledge that a second great monumentwhich we might build to our Queen would be torestore to the trade and commerce of the countrythose principles of honour and integrity on whichthe great firms were built up, and to make it trueagain from end to end of the world that anEnglishman's word is as good as his bond.And so, again—would to God we had not to add it!—what a revolution would be worked in Christianwork itself—Christian work that is supposed todemand from everyone who undertakes it perfectforgetfulness of self, and entire self-abnegation, tohave as its workers men and women conspicuousfor humility, for thinking of others before
themselves, for being ready to bear the cross onthe way to the crown. And yet can we deny—wouldGod we could!—that in Christian work there is anamount of self-advertisement, of jealousy amongworkers, and of insincerity which lowers our cause,and damages the progress of Christianity? Thinkfor a moment what it would be if all Christians werereally united as Christ meant them to be, if theyworked with one another, showing a common frontto the world, one great society, as Christ conceivedit, without jealousy, without conceit, without pride,but throwing themselves into one magnificentcommon cause. Why, nothing could stand beforethe Christian Church if it were like that. Can we notin this coming reign, and the century just begun, tryand plant in the heart of every Christian workertruth in the inward parts?How are we, then—that comes to be the lastquestion—how are we to attain this wonderful gift,the secret of a strong character?And, first of all, let us be perfectly clear as to thefirst essential. The first essential is detachment ofmind. Oh! what cowards we are with regard to theopinion of others! You will find time after time menand women, who think themselves free, livingunder the most degrading tyranny of fear as towhat will be thought of them by others. Not to careat all what anybody thinks is inhuman, but to bebound by a kind of trembling terror as to whatpeople will say or think, is a degrading slavery. Bitby bit it creates in the character a habit ofinsincerity; little by little the question is in the heart
and in the mind, "Will this be popular or not? Shall Ibe liked for this?" We speak or do somethingaccording to the reflection it will make in thethoughts of others. There may be some here whoknow that that is their temptation, who know thatthey are not true, that they are never themselves,they are always somebody else, or the reflection ofthe mind of somebody else. Let the example of ourtruthful Queen speak like a trumpet note the oldwords of the New Testament, "Stand upright on thyfeet," and be a man.And, if the first secret is detachment of mind,putting aside self-consciousness, which is veryoften other-people-consciousness, the secondsecret is an increasing consciousness of God. Is itnot an extraordinary thing that when we are onlyhere for a few fleeting years, and everybodyaround us is hurrying to his grave as fast as hecan, and when the only person whose opinionmatters the least is the eternal God, Who goes ongeneration after generation, and before Whomeveryone must appear at the last—is it not anextraordinary thing how little we think of Him at all?How often during the past week have you thoughtof God? To actually acquire a continual sense ofHis presence, to be conscious that His eyes, theeyes of Him Who is from everlasting to everlasting,are always fixed upon us, to rise in the morningwith the feeling, "One more day's work for God,"and to go to bed in the evening with only one care,"How have we done it?"—that is to gradually fosterin the character the second great thing which willproduce truth in the inward parts—a consciousness