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the world. Nay, it would shut up, lest it should become bankrupt, the treasury of the love of God. She loved much, and she gave her all to show it. Perhaps it reminded the Saviour of another sacrifice, more lavish, more uncalculating still. A sacrifice wherein God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that the world through Him might not perish, but have everlasting life. Wherein, too, the Son gave all that enriched His being, and made His bliss, for the love of unworthy, unthankful man. Simon! measure the love of Christ by the same dull measures; it will stand forth as the very type of prodigality and wanton waste.
Moreover, love like hers is not so uncalculating, though it disdains Pharisaic measures. The woman gave her living, but she won her soul. The ointment was lost, and the money which bought it, but her soul was for ever rid of its burden, and was braced for conflict and heavenly work. Love, though profuse in gifts, clears the intellect, kindles the spirit, stirs the courage, and nerves the hands. Paul, when he had counted all things but floss for Christ, began in earnest his higher ministry to mankind. That woman, having wept out her contrition, and shed forth her love, stood prompt for duty-ready for nobler ministry to souls and bodies, than Simon with all his gold. She loved
much. She showed it lavishly. Let it pass, Simon! Her gift cannot reach the measure of her Saviour's. The world, no doubt, has lost its ointment, but God and heaven have gained a soul.
3. The Saviour says that love like hers may well seek strange and profuse expressions, for it is the parent of a glory and blessedness, which transcends all utterance and thought.
Love is life. The woman who was a sinner, loving much, grew more swiftly and strongly to saintly perfectness, than Simon the just Pharisee measuring and obeying. Love, like electric fire, leaps swiftly to its object. Justness, the quiet sense of duty, the careful measuring of obligations, travels slowly, though wisely and surely, along the road. (Read Luke vii. 47–50.) Perhaps a cautious prudence, a hesitation to commit himself by too pointed courtesies to the Saviour, is the worst that we can lay to the Pharisee's charge. But that sinner's passionate love had already outstripped him far. He was grovelling among his cautious calculations, she was already soaring upwards to heaven and to God. That glow of love in her heart was a nascent glory. That pulse of life which it had quickened within her could never be lost or killed. She went forth from the Saviour's presence already a saint in spirit; she is standing now before her Saviour's throne, a saint in glory and in bliss. It
was of the kindred deed of a kindred spirit that the Saviour declared, “Wheresoever the Gospel shall be preached in the whole world : there shall also this that this woman hath done be told for a memorial of her.” Art has selected this act as the very type of tenderness and devotion, and the angels cherish its memory, and celebrate it in their songs in heaven.
And now,“ HOW MUCH OWEST THOU UNTO MY LORD?” “She loved much: for she had much forgiven.” Man! woman ! how much lovest thou ? How much owest thou? Life, intellect, friends, love, the broad creation, the splendour of the universe, all are there, freely poured forth by His bounty at thy feet. And shall I not say unto thee how thou owest unto Him thine own soul also ? Canst thou sum in full that debt? A burden of guilt lifted which else had crushed thee; a prison-house of Satan shattered which else had held thee a captive in eternal pain ; a grisly terror conquered, destroyed, which else had made thy life a spectre-haunted night! And how much hast thou paid ? Hast thou paid even a word ? Hast thou even confessed His name? Has He ever heard a word of public homage and honour from thy lips? Is not the time come to have done with this trembling, calculating neutrality, and to Aling yourself, like this poor sinner, with a flood of passionate tears at His feet.
“Now I am thine, for ever thine,
Nor shall my purpose move;
And bound me with thy love.
And thy rich grace record;
If I forsake the Lord.” And then go on to fathom the deeper meanings of this woman's sacrifice. Understand what he meant, who said, “ I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live ; and the life that I live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Her tears meant all that-her life we may be sure expressed it. “Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace,” dismissed her to a life which was no feeble or partial sacrifice. The words would have been no mockery on her lips,
66 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small,
Demands my soul, my life, my all."
The Sin that hath never Forgiveness.
“ Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the
damnation of hell?”—Matt. XXIII. 33.
THINK that the most awful word
which has ever been written by a human 70 pen is “ the wrath of the Lamb.” The prelude to its out-pouring is here. Once only was that tender and merciful spirit stirred to vehement and scathing denunciation ; and then it uttered the most terrible anathema which is on record in the Book of God. Of all wrath, the wrath of the Lamb must be the most awful, because the most hopeless. When He who would give the