There is also an unrelieved sternness, which pains us by its contrast with Isa.
To be just with sternness was in his eyes a duty.
His father was reserved, undemonstrative even to the pitch of chilling sternness, and among young Mill's comrades contempt of feeling was almost a watchword.
This was due, no doubt, to his revulsion from the sternness of his upbringing and the period of stress through which he passed in early manhood, but also to the sympathetic and emotional qualities which manifested themselves in his early manhood.
The preaching of John the Baptist was thus in sympathy with the ideals of his generation, though the sternness of the repentance which he set forth as the necessary preparation for entrance into the new kingdom of heaven, which was to be made visible on earth, was not less repugnant to the men of his day than of later times.