CCXCVI. The Nation.

REV. xxi. 24. “The nations of them which are saved shall
walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring
their glory and honour into it.”

THROUGHOUT the Bible a clear and most instructive dis-
tinction is drawn between the chosen people of Israel and
the nations. In this vision the Church and the nations are
one in the open presence of God. Meanwhile there are for
the nations separate works. Let me remind you of some
features in the nature and obligations of national life.
I. The idea of the nation is, like the idea of the family,
involved in the very constitution of man. There is some-
thing within us which impels us to a companion beyond
the limits of our own kindred.
II. We are, as citizens of a nation, debtors of an incal-
culable past. What we are, what we can be, has been de-
termined for us in great measure by our English ancestors.
We hold in trust for our fellow-men and for our fellow
nations treasures of untold price. Let us resolve to trans-
mit what we have received, purified by new victories of
self-control, extended by new triumphs of sympathy, to
those who shall follow us.
III. To do so we must ponder the laws and constitution
of national life, we must bear in mind three principles—of
dependence, of authority, of equality; and be assured that
in the nation we are swayed by their salutary influence.
Brooke Foss Westcott, D.D.

print

Spread God's love