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three centuries to a wider hope, to a larger charity, to a more cautious reticence. Routine or sensational preachers may use the old language, but the great masters of theology, though at first they may anathematize each other's creed, at last come to understand how much they hold in common. They can hardly realize the force of the current by which they have been borne along. They seem to forget how different the language of the majority of Christian teachers in the past from what they now represent as the teaching of all Christendom."
"'Tis in the advance of individual minds
Our minds cannot grow without ideas, and ideas are worth nothing unless formed into individual views, and— thank God that it is so—individual views that are our own, and so growing and germinant, are obtained only by work—by my work for them. "The Son of God has given us an understanding that we may know "—" not the knowledge is given," says one, "but the ability, the power and the opportunity to gain the knowledge." "If the intellectual possessions of the present," says another, a great secular writer, "are not to melt under our hands they must be acquired anew;" and he goes on to quote from another, "What you have inherited from your fathers, acquire it that you may possess it."
All this is of greater importance in biblical matters by as much as they rise into vastly more enduring significance. God would have us busy at His book', honestly busy, busy through our own powers. Inherited wealth, we often say, is not a blessing, where it stands in the way of its possessor learning anything for himself. Too much seeing through other's eyes, learning through other's toil, may prove, the most delusive kind of seeing and learning. If our Christianity is to become strong it must cease as soon as possible to be fed with a spoon. How long we. puzzled in years gone by over the fact of so much Bible. Why was it not the little book that many practically make it? Why, we answer in reply, was not the land of Canaan the contracted region in the centre of Palestine that it threatened to become? Because they needed the training and discipline of the whole gift of promise. Not Judah alone, nor Reuben alone, nor Naphtali alone, but each and all must fight till the whole land was in possession. "Nor can a Christian rest in anything which has been already gained. New acquisitions of knowledge, new modes of thought, new forms of society, are always calling for interpretation, for recognition, for adjustment."—Prof. W. W. Lovejoy.
An apology is due to our subscribers for the discreditable printing of the last number. Our former printer gave up business at the beginning of the year, and we were induced to transfer the work to a new office just beginning business, which proved to be not properly equipped for it. We bore with the mistakes in the February and March numbers in the hope that the disadvantages under which the work was being done would disappear. The April number was hurriedly printed before we had been given our usual opportunity to revise the proof, and we were mortified to see it appear with numerous blunders, which must have made it anything but pleasant reading to our subscribers. We have made new arrangements with an old established office, and hope there will be nothing to complain of in the future.
Errata.—These were so marked in the last number as in many places to obscure the sense. We note some of the more serious.
Insert quotation marks before "There is " on p. 98, and after "pure" on page 99.
On 17th line, page 99, insert "is the " before "principle."
On page 101, 6th line, insert " of the " after "statement."
On 8th line insert "the hope" before "itself."
On page 102, 8th line, read "which " before "centers," and on 6th line "strait " for "straight."
On page 103, 9th line, insert " larger" before " hope."
On page 121, line 13, read " ages " for " eyes."
On page 122, line 23, read "divided" for "divine."
On page 123, 3rd line from bottom, read " love " for "lore."
Transfer paragraph at bottom of 124th page to bottom of 125, and omit dash.
NOTES ON CURRENT TOPICS.
Prayer For Church Union.—The Good Friday service held in Philadelphia for this purpose was not all that we could have desired. It was lacking in the elements of confession of the sins which have brought discords and divisions in the one body, and there was a lack of specific prayer that God would show us all at what points we have gone astray, and reveal to us the truth as to the things in which we differ. But there were strong desires for closer fellowship; there was the manifestation of love which is the bond of perfectness.
We cannot but hope that there has been set an example in Philadelphia which will be widely followed throughout the country. Our readers will remember how often the earnest desire for just such a meeting has been expressed in this magazine. We have all along felt that church union could come in this way alone—by spontaneous gatherings of Christians of different names to confess the sin and ignorance of division, and to seek from God that larger illumination and more unselfish love before which even frowning barriers which now separate us would disappear. Such a mighty impulse to this movement will some day b'e given from the Spirit of God. The times are ripe for it now. We are not aware that any meeting of precisely this character has ever before been held. There have been many friendly conferences over the subject of church union, and many earnest prayers for it. But this is the only instance we have known of, in which all the Christian people of a large city have been invited to come together to pray that the Lord would bring us and His whole church into that perfect unity for which He prayed, and in which so many leading pastors, including the Bishop of the church which has heretofore been regarded as the most exclusive among Protestants, united their hearts and voices for this end. May God grant that this cloud, now no bigger than a man's hand, may soon overspread the sky, and pour down its blessings upon the whole land.
The Princetonian, in giving the account of the recent meeting at Cincinnati of the Alumni of Princeton College, speaks of the speech of President Patton, who was present, as follows:
"He began to outline what he hoped Princeton University would be, and the duties of its President, as he understood them. Here was the especially meaning part of the address. No one present will forget the man and his manner when he said in this connection, while the thin lips straightened and the spare figure drew itself up, and the syllables came with slow, distinct utterance " We will submit to no ecclesiastical dictation in matters of philosophy. We will not read Aquinas because the Pope says so. And we will read Spencer if we want to."
It appears to us that this is the same kind of thing that we have just been condemned for. We believe, however, that the right way of liberty in the Presbyterian Church is to make room within the church for its honest exercise. If but a few of the leaders of the church who believe in the principle of liberty had been willing to follow that principle to its logical results, and had spoken out their real convictions, the issue of our contest for that principle would have been a very different one.
It is impossible for us to interpret the Old Testament in any other way than as conveying a promise that, beyond the death and destruction which God must visit on men and nations for their sins, He will raise up to another life these banished ones. All our Saviour's words about retribution must be interpreted as subordinate to this great promise, although He further teaches that this new gift of life can be freed from penalty and become a blessing only as it is freed from sin.
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS.
A devoted Christian lady, who has been long a member of the Presbyterian Church, writes to us from the vicinity of New York: