LXXII. The Lord’s Resignation.

LUKE xxiii. 46.
“Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.”

LET me say a few words on this dying speech; first in
its general aspect, then more in detail.
I. It represents to us one of the two main aspects of
the Passion of our Lord—one, and one only. It represents
that one quality of the soul which lies at the root of all
true religion, which Bishop Butler has even ventured in
one sense to call the whole of religion, that resignation.
This is that side of religion represented in one vast form
of belief in the regions of the distant East, whose ad-
herents are known by this one name of the “resigned
ones.”
II. But there is in Christian resignation something which
goes beyond this mere passive submission. We may
take our Saviour’s words one by one as our best guides
in explaining what is meant.
1. “Father!” Light and cheerfulness flash in upon the
soul at last. This gives our resignation a rational, affec-
tionate character.
2. “Into Thy hands”—the hands which are stretched
out to save, upon which we can lean while we are em-
braced. These are the hands into which we surrender
ourselves.
3. “I commend “—I make offer, as a deposit and trust
to God, the gift which He will keep for me. Christ was
not merely waiting for God’s call; He went forth to meet
Him.
4. What is it we give? “My spirit.” Not mere life
only, not mere soul only, but the best part of our life, the
best part of our soul—our spirit.
A. P. S.