The Cross On The Mountain
The Beatitudes in the Light of the Cross

© 1959  Sherwood Eliot Wirt

Table of Contents

From the Jacket of the Book || Bibliographic Data

Foreword || Preface

1. Beyond the Rope's End       1

2. Beauty for Ashes       17

3. When the Last Are First       32

4. The Straight Line to God       47

5. The Making of Merciful Men       62

6. The Washing of the Cup       78

7. Unearthly Peace       95

8. Christian Courage       111

Thomas Y. Crowell Company, New York  All Rights Reserved Used by Permission


1. Beatitudes
BT382 W56 ~ 226.2 ~ LC: 59007761 ~ OCLC: 1081564 ~ 129p.

The Cross on the Mountain is presently held by 68 libraries including Bethel Seminary and Trinity International University

From the Jacket of the Book

The Beatitudes from the time of their utterance have remained a challenge to men's minds and hearts. Here they are viewed in the light of the Cross, not so much as descriptions of the "ideal" life as of the "crucified" life. Each of the eight sayings is treated in a separate chapter. Because Dr. Wirt conceived them first as meditations, he has avoided the scholarly or homiletical approaches.

   Dr. Wirt strikes his keynote on the opening page, in discussing "Blessed are the poor in spirit": "Many of us learned the words as children and grew up with them. They are lovely words with a comforting sound, words that seem to promise much and to exact little .... When we examine our Beatitude more carefully, we begin to make discoveries .... It becomes evident that we cannot divorce the teachings of Jesus Christ from His life."

   This book will open new vistas to those seeking an understanding of the Beatitudes and of the Christian life.

Sherwood Eliot Wirt is founding editor of Decision magazine and the author of Billy: A Personal Look at Billy Graham. A long-time associate of Billy Graham, "Woody" (as his friends call him) formerly served as a chaplain in the U.S. Air Force, pastored several churches, and holds Ph.D.'s in theology and psychology from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland (Class of '51). In 1978 he founded the San Diego Christian Writers Guild. Born in 1911, he resides in Bothell, Washington. The Cross on the Mountain is the 2nd of 46 books by Sherwood Wirt.

Webmaster's note: It's fascinating to consider that at the time he wrote this book, "Woody" was very familiar with the cross at Mount Soledad in San Diego [La Jolla], since it was constructed five years earlier and Woody frequently visited San Diego. Thus, I'm featuring at the top of this page, a late-afternoon snapshot of the Mount Soledad Cross taken by my wife when we came there in the Spring of 2005. Woody seems to set this silhouetted Cross to words on page 58: "Beyond Calvary shines the Resurrection..... It is a straight line to God. It leads home."


   IT IS RARE when one finds writing of the caliber offered in this book. It is very rare in books about Jesus Christ.

   Sherwood Wirt has done his subject justice. Not only in the strong, clean literary style, but in spiritual insights into the very heart of Christ, and what it means to be His follower.

   Here one finds a lovely balance between the author's seeing and the expression of that sight.

   If the old, stereotyped religious clichés have slipped over the reader's daily conscience until they no longer leave any impression, this book is required reading.

   Jesus Christ will step from its pages, alive out of the tomb forever, as He really is, stripped of antiquity, approaching the reader with the same great, open, eager heart that broke on Calvary for love of the whole human race.

(Author of 43 books)              


   THE OPENING VERSES of the Sermon on the Mount, known as the Beatitudes, are sometimes taken to be simply descriptions of the "ideal" life, a life of good character and good conduct to which we should all aspire. Yet everything jesus said was colored by His sense of personal mission on behalf of mankind, which issued ultimately in His vicarious sacrifice on the Cross. These pages seek to interpret the Beatitudes not so much as descriptions of the "ideal" life as of the "crucified" life. If the scholarly and homiletic approaches have been avoided, it is because the chapters were first conceived as meditations rather than as treatises or sermons.

   I should like to express appreciation to a large number of people whose influences, prayers, and practical suggestions have helped to shape the book, but must be content to mention only Mrs. Alexander J. Barclay, Mrs. Lewis H. Monk, who typed the first draft, and Mrs. Ronald LaBuff, who prepared the final typescript; as well as my wife, Helen Winola, who shared lovingly and indispensably in the labors throughout.

   My prayer is that God will use this book not only to stimulate and challenge the reader, but to bless him as well.


Oakland, California

Read another online book by Woody: Jesus, Man of Joy

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