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not appear to many so real, and so commanding of obedience, in the sacrifices it demands. I wish our Presbyterian temple were built with a Court of the Prophets, where the deeper and more solemn thoughts of worthy men might not only be freely uttered, but received in the same spirit in which they were given.
Would that there were a Jerusalem Chamber, which might be fearlessly re-opened and re-visited, at least by such as being moved, beyond the multitude, with the desire to get at truth first-hand, set themselves earnestly to read and understand the Scriptures as the one infallible rule of faith and practice, and so conmune one with another and with the church at large. Believing in my heart that there is much work that might profitably engage the industry of a second Westminster Assembly, and that it is destined to be done by one means or another, and thankful to have any such work, in however fragmentary shape, in the hands of men who are spiritually minded, and loyal in adherence to both the spirit and letter of Scripture, and not rudely iconoclastic as regards the old and established, I have no wish to see the magazine in question transferred beyond the limits of our own communion. Still less have I any conscience to condemn it, or any heart to vote in the direction of its removal. I believe that such teaching as that of Norman McLeod was God's good gift to the Scotch Establishment; and that in such men as Maurice, Farrar, and Brooks, permitted by their colleagues to pursue their work without discouragement, many of the true things that are so old that they sound like new, have come out into the light of these latter days; and one is glad to feel that, even if the ruling majority in our own church cannot conscientiously allow standing room for teachers of this stamp, place is, nevertheless, found for them somewhere in the great Christian household.
But, as long as a man is led to undertake and follow out his study upon the same broad foundation as that which the Confesion of Faith claims for itself, namely, " The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as the only infallible rule of faith and practice," is it a mistake that he is and works in the Presbyterian church?
And to this question permit me to subscribe my emphatic though, doubtless, insignificant, No.
With the prayer that the Holy Ghost may attend your deliberations and dictate your decisions,
I am, your fellow Presbyter,
Leonidas E. Coyle.
The following letter from a member of Presbytery fairly illustrates the feeling under which the decision was reached.
Dear Brother Baker:
It went to my heart to vote against your remaining in our Presbyterian ministry the other night. We shall miss your face and your counsel in Presbytery sadly. It was only a sense of duty to our Lord and his work that led me to vote as I did. I meant to have added when I spoke the other night that I believed it was your duty to preach and teach the gospel as you understand it, only understanding it as you do, not as a Presbyterian minister. The Lord bless and guide you wherever you go, and enlighten your eyes and all our eyes in the knowledge of His word.
Your brother in Christ,
We have no other than the kindest feelings toward our brethren who voted in this way. The very question we were putting to the test was whether the Presbyterian system admits of any broadening at this point. If the church should officially decide that her Confessional teachings of an everlasting torment after resurrection cannot be questioned or reviewed, nor the possibility of any form of change or hope in the state of all who die out of this life unsaved be admitted, then we had no desire toremain in its ministry. We could not conscientiously do so. It was a question with us between the claims of a " system" and the welfare of the church which had adopted it, between fealty to the Standards and to the Word of God upon which they are professedly based. We felt in honor bound before leaving the church to make an effort for its deliverance from a false position, and from bondage to its traditions. Our brethren gave us no countenance in this effort. They doubtless have done what they felt bound to do. We have done the same. God must judge betwen us. We part from them with the kindest feeling and join most heartily in the prayer with which this letter closes.
DIVINE LOVE IN THE OLD TESTAMENT.
We wish that every minister of the Presbyterian Church could read the article with this heading in the last number of the Presbyterian Review, written by Prof. E. L. Curtis, of the McCormick Theological Seminary. He shows, first, how the Old Testament reveals God's love for man as His creature and child. The fall did not abrogate that love, but opened up other channels for its fuller manifestation; whilst toward the people whom He had chosen, God's love is shown to be everlasting and unchanging.
"Though man may be unstable and changeable toward God, there is no change in the Divine purpose of love. 'I am the Lord; I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.' Though in justice God might be compelled to scatter and punish His people for their great and manifold sins, yet He would not cast them off forever.
"This fact of God's wondrous love and faithfulness—a love that knew no limit, a faithfulness whose compassion no wandering child could ever annul—is the golden thread running through the Old Testament, binding it all together. The prophets, in warning, rebuking, and threatening, ever have this in mind. The outline of all their writings is guilt, judgment, and redemption. This redemption is proof of the unwavering love of God. Language in this connection seems almost inadequate to convey the intensity of the passion and yearning which Jehovah had for His people. Hosea lived in a time when there was no regard for truth or mercy, and no knowledge of God; when the grossest immorality—even violent deeds of bloodshed—was most common. Yet, even to the people of such an ungodly character, he brought a message from God full of the tenderest love and feeling, declaring that Jehovah's heart was turned within Him, and His compassions were kindled together, and He would not execute the fierceness of His anger—He would not destroy them—for He was God, and not man—the Holy One in the midst of them. He would heal their backsliding; He would love them freely.
"We find, also, in Hosea, in the parable of the unfaithful wife, the most beautiful and tender declaration of love in the Old Testament, equalling, one can say, if not surpassing, that of the parable of the prodigal son in the New. Out of his own bitter experience, out of his own compassion and love, Hosea was taught by the Holy Spirit the love of Jehovah. In the likeness of his own unfaithful wife, he saw unfaithful Israel. Jehovah chastises His people, and puts them away from Him for a season, yet He restores them unto Himself; and how wondrous is the love with which He does it! In infinite tenderness and compassion, in complete perfect forgiveness, Jehovah says, "I will betroth me unto thee in righteousness, and in judgment, and in loving-kindness and tender mercies. I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness; and thou shalt know the Lord."
Professor Curtis then goes on to show how there are given frequent intimations that God's love is too wide to be confined within these special limitations to Israel. He instances the case of Nineveh, as given in the Book of Jonah, the declaration in the Book of Amos that God had not only watched over the infancy of the nation of Israel, but of the Philistines, bringing them from Caphtor, and the Syrians from Kir, as he brought Israel from Egypt. "Still more strikingly is this wider mercy shown in the promises of the future, when Egypt and Assyria are to be united with Israel as recipients of the Divine blessing, and even the wretched Sodom will have a restoration along with Jerusalem. (Ezek. xvi)."
We can only regret that the writer of this article fails to see, or if he sees, fails to state that these wide promises of mercy to apostate Israel and to the Gentiles must find their ultimate fulfilment in a recovery of both these classes of mankind from the dead. They must first go down to death under the just judgment of God for their sins. But in the Book of Hosea, from which he draws impressive proofs of his theme, it is directly stated (xiii. ch.), that Jehovah's redemption of Israel must have this issue: "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from Sheol." It is a constant surprise to us that men can write in this way of the wide scope of God's grace, and fail to perceive that His provision to restore mankind from the pit of death into which it has fallen by sin, is the very way, and the only way, by which these promises are to be made good. That God should extend any sort of mercy to any class of wicked men after death, seems to them a denial of the gospel. Whereas the very foundations of the gospel, as laid in the Old Testament, are destroyed if this be denied.
The obstacle, which, above all others, hinders our brethren from perceiving that there is a "hope toward God" in even the resurrection of the unjust (Acts xxiv, 15) and which, therefore, beclouds in them true Easter joy, is a wrong notion of both death and resurrection. They assume that death is continued life, that man is essentially immor