Contemplations

What I've been thinking and what I've been reading for you to compare notes.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Imago Christi

Imago Christi: The Example of Jesus Christ, by the Rev. James Stalker, Published 1890 in London by Hodder and Stoughton.

This rare old book not only caught my eye because of the age and title, but because of the author. Years ago I read Stalker's well-known Life of Christ. That volume challenged me, not only because of the subject matter, but also because of the author's rich devotional style. Even though the language is somewhat dated, it is one of the best treatments of our Lord's life in my opinion. He also authored The Life of Paul, another noteworthy treatise.

The Example of Jesus Christ used to be much more rare and difficult to obtain than Stalker's Life of Christ. I have noticed that the book was reprinted in 2002. If you can get your hands on a copy you will be enlightened by the insights of this Scottish preacher/professor, also well-known here in America in the late 19th Century.

Here are several comments I recorded years ago when I first read Imago Christi.

P.47 - "If anything could arouse the indignation of Christ is was any attempt to dissuade him from his duty."

P.76 - "One sometimes hears even professedly religious people at the present day disparaging public worship, as if religion might flourish equally well without it - and for trifling reasons or for no reason at all, they take it upon themselves to withdraw from the visible church as something unworthy of them. This was not the way Jesus acted. The church of his day was not a pure one and he could have deemed it unworthy of him."

119 - "It is surprising how many of the notable sayings of Jesus were table-talk."

139 - "Jesus died praying."

209-210 - Stalker points out that, during the French Revolution, Rousseau sent his own children to the Foundling Hospital to save himself trouble and expense. (When you have a chance, study the historic differences between the American and French Revolutions and their leaders.)

213 - "When Jesus gave alms it was the poor giving to the poor."

259 - "Whenever a preacher makes you feel that there is a world of realities above and behind the one you see and touch; whenever he lays hold of your mind, touches your heart, awakens your aspiration, rouses your conscience - that is Christ trying to grasp you, to reach you with His love, to save you."

337 - "A man may strive for influence and miss it. But let him grow within himself - in self-control, in conscientiousness, in purity and submission - and then he will not miss it...The road to influence is simply the highway of duty and loyalty. Let a man press nearer to Christ and open his nature more widely to admit the energy of Christ, and, whether he knows it or not - it is perhaps better if he does not know it - he will certainly be growing in power for God with men, and for men with God."

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