But let me add that there is something far beyond the well-being of the body, far beyond the cultivation of the mind, it is the salvation of the soul. Here was the greatest part of that finished work. "He restoreth our souls; He leadeth us in the paths of righteousness for His Name's sake." And to show that this is all in all, how often have the despised been among His holiest servants, the weakest among His chosen saints ; how often have we seen His hand strew dust and ashes over the unhallowed genius and guilty glory of mankind. The world of heathendom, after centuries of philosophy, was emphatically " a world without souls." Now our Blessed Saviour stooped to no idle and degrading discussion whether man had a soul or not; nor did He attempt any futile analysis of what the soul may be. No; but, simply appealing to the intuitive sense of men, He told them of the soul's immortality, of its accountability, of its Divine origin, of its complete redemption, of its Heavenly Father, of its Eternal Life. He uttered to them those solemn words which have rolled to us across the centuries with ever-increasing significance, " What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ? " And that word failed not, because it rested not only on a doctrine which men could believe, but on the Life of One whom all could love. It was ardour for His service which kindled the glorious devotion of those saints who shine like a river of stars athwart the Church's firmament. They are the true glory of Christendom,— lucentes et ardentes—the Cherubim of knowledge, and the Seraphim of love. One celebrated collection alone (the Bollandist) contains the lives of 25,000 of these heroes of unselfishness; and how high and grand, how full of poetry and nobleness they are! (Compare the men whom Christianity has canonised with those who won the apotheosis of heathendom, and we shall have some plummet to sound the moral abyss which yawns between the two religions.) And if, as many tell us,—and as seems, alas, too true,—if in our refinement and perplexities,— if in our luxury and mammon worship,—if in our despair and faithlessness—the race of these hero souls be past, yet at least the race of the humbler children in God's great family abides. They, thank God, may be counted in their myriads still, and henceforth as heretofore shall the world for which Christ died abound with these beautiful and holy souls. And as the moon can shine only by reflection of the sun, so do these, as they borrow their life and light from the Sun of Righteousness, become the clearest evidence, the predestined issue, the living illustration of their Saviour's work. And while these remain it shall always be believed. Yea, Lord, the enemy may reproach, and the foolish people blaspheme Thy Name, but that Name shall be exalted for ever above every name, for:
"The glorious company of the Apostles praise Thee. " The goodly fellowship of the Prophets praise Thee.
"The noble army of Martyrs praise Thee. " The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee.
"Thou art the King of Glory, O Christ: Thou art the Everlasting Son of the Father".
Witness of History to Christ, p. 127.