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pretty clearly authenticate this view; for by combining these two inspired deliverances, we obtain the conception of man's royalty exercised, indeed, over sheep, oxen, beasts, fowl and fish, and yet carried over into the coming habitable earth wherein the Son of Man, even Jesus, is to bring man's sovereignty into visible realization. It is true that this consummation of the world's destiny as man's royal sphere can now, since the Fall, only be reached by a baptism of fire; but what is this save an expressive cosmical correspondence with the other revealed fact that man himself becomes equipped for his destined sovereignty only through death and resurrection, or else a personal change practically equivalent thereto? Many> perhaps, will still be hindered from thus blending earth and heaven in one view; but it seems to us that herein they are not wise—they neither let down the light of an ultimate heaven upon the primal earth, nor lift up the ultimate earth into the sunshine of a descending heaven. Nevertheless, it is only by doing this very thing that we come to feel at home with the teaching of our Lord when He sets forth as the destiny of man his admission into an agelasting kingdom of life prepared from —not before—the foundation of the world. The calling of the Elect Church conducts to a higher plane, and dates from before the foundation of the world [Eph. i.]. It is the kingdom in its former aspect, however, which here comes before us; and such humanenesu as Christ can approve shall attain it. God will assuredly destroy no man who is worthy of the name. Let us resolutely open our eyes to what our Lord has here told us, and not fear to believe it.
2. But with regard to these other brethren of the King whom He sets on His left hand as guilty of criminal inhumanity, what are we to say? Their punishment is sufficiently severe to make us tremble, even if we interpret the words of verse forty-six respecting them is expressive of no more than agelong chastisement;* for even so their doom is to "depart into the ageduring fire prepared for the devil and his angels" [verse 41]. Their chastisement is a fiery, and therefore searching and terrible- one, and it would seem that it must be a chastisement long continued, and rt least one that cannot be terminated until it has done its work. It is not, perhaps, very clear what fire it is that is "prepared for the devil and his angels;' and we surmise that our Satanology [so to speak] is not yet sufficiently matured to enable us to pronounce upon this point with confidence. It scarcely follows that it is the fire Gehenna merely because into this last Satan is, as a fact, ultimately cast. It would suffice, perhaps, to suppose it may be the fire of hades [Deut. xxxii. 22; Luke xvi. 24], especially seeing that these who depart from the King under a curse have not yet suffered the first death, and seeing further that their being cast into the fire would appear to take place a whole millennium before hades is merged in the alldestroying lake of fire [Rev. xx. ], however, on this point we refrain from speaking with confidence. We wait for more light.
*On the whole, we think enlightened and impartial opinion must gravitate to this as substantially the correct rendering of the redoubtable words vEONIAL KOLASIS. The one question is, must the adjective GONIAL compel the noun KOLASIS to relinquish its disciplinary import, so as to mean punishment unending; or, on the other hand, must the known correctionary significance of KOLASIS restrain (EONIAL from meaning absolutely endless? We are not insensible to the force of the argument drawn from the application of iEONIAL to the life awarded to the righteous in the samesentence; but we are inclined to think that argument has been pushed too far. Suffice it to RENDER the word in precisely the same way in both clauses; "AGELASTING correction," "AGELASTING life." To say that, because the agelasting life is in fact endless, therefore the very process of CORRECTION must be so too, is to take very high ground indeed, for taking which it would be hard to offer a sufficient justification. No one pretends that vEONIAL is endless, IRRESPECTIVE OP WHAT IT QUALIFIES; when it touches God and His throne, and the indissoluble life of the Redeemer, and the consequently indissoluble life of the saved, it is endless; but the Hebrew priesthood was not endless, yet it was iBONIAL; the service of the Hedrew bondsmen was not endless— it was, in fact, only lifelong—yet it was JEONIAL. Therefore, unless we first assume the condemned to be in themselves deathless (against all the evidence), it does not follow that their correction must be an endless process. It may even be endless IN RESULT, if it issue in ultimate amendment and life; and it may in any case be GONIAL, or agelasting, if it be maintained during the whole state of things under which it is inflicted or during the whole existence of him on whom it fall, even although that existence should prove to be terminable. We do not see how more than this can justly be affirmed; and therefore we quite fail to perceive in Jeonial any such inherent and necessary endlessness as to put constraint on K0LASIS and force it to mean hopeless chastisement, or mere vindictive punishment. That KOLASIS has primarily a corrective sense is admitted, at least in its classical usage. As contrasted with TIMORIA (which has "a VINDICTIVE character") KOLASIS "is more the notion of punishment, as it has reference to the correction and bettering of him that endures it" (Trench, "Synonyms of the New Testament," p. 23).
SOME PERTINENT QUESTIONS.
We are raising the question whether in the Presbyterian Church the Confession or the Church is master. Did " the system" create the Church, or the Church the system? And which has the right to rule.
Is the tyranny of a system any less fatal to the Protestant principle of liberty than the tyranny of a Pope?
Has the Church nothing more to learn of God and of His Word? Has the office of the Holy Spirit as her teacher become superfluous? If not, by what right does she so tie herself to the standards of the past as to preclude her growth toward the more perfect knowledge of the future?
Which is better,—a spiritual freedom that may even run here and there into error, or a bondage to dead forms or formulas which the life of the spirit has outgrown?
CHURCH UNITY MEETING.
There was held in this City on Good Friday, a meeting in response to the following call:
TO THE CHRISTIAN PEOPLE OF PHILADELPHIA.We, whose
names are signed below, believing that those who profess and call themselves Christians ought to endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace; and believing that this unity is made bounden by the fact that there is one body, one spirit, one hope for our calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and one Father of us all; and being alive to the great evils we are in by reason of our unhappy divisions; and remembering the Master's promise that when two or three are gathered together in his name there he is in the midst of them.
We therefore heartily unite in inviting all those who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours, to meet together at four o'clock on Friday afternoon, March 30th, being Good Friday, in the First Baptist Church, N. W. Cor. Broad and Arch streets, that we may pray together for the speedy fulfilment of our Lord's last wish for his people when He prayed "that they all may be one, as thou Father art in me and I in thee that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
Rev. F. W. Conrad, D.T)., editor Lutheran Observer.
Rev. Jos. D. Newlin, D.D., Rec. Ch. of Incarnation.
The services at the meeting called above will be according to the following order:—hymn. The Lord's Prayer. Selection of Psalms, responsively, hymn. Scripture lesson. The Apostles Creed. Prayer, hymn. Prayer. Explanatory Address, hymn. Church Unity Society Prayers. Bendiction.
A large congregation assembled at the appointed hour, very many were unable to crowd their way into the church, and went away. The services were mainly devotional. One address was made by Dr. Geo. Dana Boardman (Baptist), in which he showed that nothing short of ultimate organic unity would satisfy our Lord's Prayer, and that such unity was not only desirable, but practicable, and would someday be accomplished, not in the way of compromise or surrender of honest convictions, but through a union so well founded and so large as to comprehend all honest diversities. Appropriate hymns were sung, suitable selections from the Psalms were read responsively, the Lord's Prayer and Creed were said in concert, the Lord's last prayer for the church (John xvii.) was read, and prayers were
offered. The closing prayers were read by Bishop Whittaker, and were as follows :—
Almighty God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross, who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the jffoly Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
[ To be concluded ]