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The New Christian Year
Oxford University Press, London, 1941




IN Christ ye are under grace.  Comprehending Him, ye are comprehended in His death; with His human body ye are made dead.  All human possibilities, including the possibility of religion, have been offered and surrendered to God on Golgotha…Golgotha is the end of law and the frontier of religion…through the slain body of Christ, we are what we are not.

Barth: Epistle to the Romans.




THE beginning of our Lord's entrance into the terrible jaws of this second death may be justly dated from those affecting words, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death; tarry ye here with me and watch." See here the Lord of life reduced to such distress as to beg the prayers, watching, and assistance of His poor disciples!  A plain proof that it was not the sufferings of this world, but a state of dreadful dereliction that was coming upon Him.  O holy Redeemer, that I knew how to describe the anguishing terrors of thy soul, when thou wast entering into eternal death, that no other son of man might fall into it!

William Law: An Appeal.




AS He was uplifted above others in gifts of graces, so was He lowered beneath others by the ignominy of His sufferings.

Aquinas: Summa Theologica.


THE will maketh the beginning, the middle, and the end of everything; it is the only workman in nature, and everything is its work.  It has all power, its works cannot be hindered, it carries all before it, it creates as it goes and all things are possible to it.  It enters wherever it wills and finds everything that it seeks, for its seeking is its finding.  The will overrules all nature, because nature is its offspring and born of it; for all the properties of nature, whether they be good or evil, in darkness or in light, in love or in hatred, in wrath or in meekness, in pride or humility, in trouble or joy, are all of them the offspring or birth of the will; as that liveth, so they live, and as that changeth, so they change.

William Law: Divine Knowledge.




I ASKED Him to let me suffer for my friends and for Him both in body and soul.  But I had envisaged noble and pure suffering which, as I now see, would only have been another form of joy.  I had never dreamed of this infernal suffering that He has sent me and that has consisted in His seeming withdrawal from me and leaving me defenceless in the midst of my cruellest enemies.

Leon Bloy: Letters to his Fiancée.




His hour was not yet come.  This is, because He was not so pleased; for our Lord was not born subject to fate.  Thou must not believe this even of thyself, much less of Him by Whom thou wert made.  And if thine hour is in His will, is not His hour in His own will?  His hour then here does not mean the time that He was obliged to die, but the time that He deigned to be put to death.

St Augustine, quoted by St Thomas: Catena Aurea.


THE originator of this cup is also one with him who drank it.

St Augustine: Lectures on St. John.




WHAT will move you?  Will pity?  Here is distress never the like.  Will duty?  Here is a person never the like.  Will fear?  Here is wrath never the like.  Will remorse?  Here are sins never the like.  Will kindness l Here is love never the like.  Will bounty?  Here are benefits never the like.  Will all these?  Here they be all, all in the highest degree.

Lancelot Andrewes: Sermon on Good Friday, 1604.


WHEN the Messiah...stands alone before the high-priest, deserted even by the chosen disciples ...he is the sole representative at that moment of God's holy people; he bears in his own person the whole burden of Israel's appointed destiny.

Doctrine in the Church of England, Report of the Commission.




WHO but Himself could trouble Him?  Christ was troubled, because it pleased Him to be troubled; He hungered, because it pleased Him to hunger.  It was in His own power to be affected in this or that way, or not.  The Word took up soul and flesh, and whole man, and fitted it to Himself in unity of person.  And thus according to the nod and will of that higher nature in Him, in which the sovereign power resides, He becomes weak and troubled.

St Augustine, quoted by Aquinas: Catena Aurea. 


NO manner violence offered him in body, no man touching him or being near him; in a cold.  night, for they were fain to have a fire within doors, lying abroad in the air and upon the cold earth, to be all of a sweat, and that sweat to be blood; and not as they call it diaphoreticus, "a thin faint sweat," but grumosus, "of great drops"; and those so many, so plenteous, as they went through his apparel and all ...never the like sweat certainly, and therefore never the like sorrow. 

Lancelot Andrewes: Sermon on Good Friday, 1604.