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amounts to a decision that no minister who denies that all the dead of mankind—except the elect body of Christ— have been doomed to everlasting torment, and who teaches that there is gospel for all in the provision to raise all from the dead, is worthy to be recognized as a minister of Christ in the Presbyterian church. By this action we hold that that church must answer before the court of the universal church and before God, the Judge of all, to these chargesIt stands charged,—
1. With marring and perverting the gospel by the denial of this vital feature of it, that there is hope for mankind at large in the provision for a general resurrection of the dead.
2. With the substitution of the rule of the Standards in the church for the rule of the Spirit and Word of God.
3. With the denial of the principle of liberty of conscience and of private judgment upon which that church, itself is based.
4. With holding her ministers to a strict allegiance to a confession some of whose formulas are no longer a candid and honest expression of her faith.
5. With thus forcing them into a position of intellectual dishonesty which damages their spiritual strength and life.
6. With quenching the Spirit, by assuming that He has nothing more to teach the church beyond her Standards, and by putting under a ban those who attempt to "prophesy" outside these limits.
7. With obstructing the church's progress toward "the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God" by forbidding progress beyond her boundaries.
8. With delaying the conversion of the world by thus delaying the unity of His church for which Jesus prayed, and which He declares to be essential in order that the world may believe.
A flagrant vice of controversy is the imputation of moral wrong to views in ethics or religion that antagonize our fixed and cherished beliefs. Even if the adverse opinions be erroneous, error honestly held is not guilt. But a heated contest for victory, which is no nearer than when you began the siege, easily runs into a persuasion that your stout opponent is not only tricky in argument, but is furthermore a wickedly confirmed disbeliever of what you claim to be some vital truth. Yet aside from the pending dispute, you may know him to be your equal in manly virtues. His position may not be sound; its practical results may not be entirely wholesome. That is unfortunate; but an intellectual mistake is not in itself a sin. It is a great selfmastery—and all too rare—for a keen controversialist to hold fast the charity which concedes an honest mind and conscience to the party of the other side. If he plainly and palpably is not this, by explicit proof, then let fly a reasonable measure of moral indignation at the fraud. But if this proof be only a personal aversion to his doctrine or himself, the indignation thus expended is not moral, but unmoral: not permanently harmful to its object, but surely damaging to the manliness of its subject, and to whatever
cause he may champion. It is every way a pitiful wastefulness to be angry at anything but real sin. For people to lose their temper or their Christian truthfulness in contending over moral and religious issues, practical or theoretical, is a serious oifense against reason, common sense and the spirit and precept of Christ.—Dr. Joseph Parker.
THE "NEW DEPARTURE."
The Independent of June 7th contains an article upon this subject, by the Rev. J. E. Rankin, D. D., which it especially endorses as expressing its own views and that of nine-tenths of its readers. It starts out with the assertion:
The New Departure does not claim to have the Bible as its authority. It is its own authority. It is founded on the speculations of men, has no shadow of authority in the words of the Saviour, and makes the author of the Bibledeny his own utterances. If the Epistle to the Romans, for example—where this whole subject is thoroughly discussed—teaches the probability or the possibility of a preaching of Christ in another world, the common mind will discover it and believe it; and if there is no such teaching there, the common mind will reject the whole theory as of man and not of God. Nor will this common mind be much moved, even if all the colleges and theological seminaries in the land rise up to greet this New Departure at its coming, and spread for it tables of hospitality. It was asked in the day of our Lord: "Have any of the rulers or the Pharisees believed on Him?" Still the common people kept on hearing him gladly.
Now upon this we have to remark that the New Departure the writer has in mind is a very different form of the larger hope from the one we teach. We do not believe in probation after death in the prevalent form of that opinion. But we do most profoundly believe in probation after resurrection. And inasmuch as death and resurrection, as acts in the Divine economy, are as wide apart as the poles, so there must be a wide difference in these two modes of stating and defending the larger hope. Dr. Rankin does great injustice to the Andover school, the weak point of whose position we have ourselves often pointed out, when he asserts that "they do not claim the Bible as their authority." On the other hand he knows very well that they constantly profess that the general tone and spirit of the Bible is with them, and that particular passages must be interpreted in the light of its general teaching. Moreover he knows that the New Departure appeals confidently to special texts, and that one text, 1 Peter iii. 19-21, with its parallel in iv. 6, so distinctly teaches not only the "probability or the possibility," but the fact " of a preaching of Christ in another world," that not only the consensus of catholic interpretation admits it, but even "the common mind" refuses to be deceived by the bungling attempts of modern exegetes to twist away the words of the apostle from their obvious meaning.
But leaving the Andover school to defend themselves as they may, so far as our view is included under this head of "New Departure," we "not only claim to have the Bible as authority ;" we were compelled to adopt it against lifelong prejudices and convictions and in the face of worldly interests, because the whole plan of revelation requires it, and we must either accept it or be disloyal to the Bible. We have repeatedly shown that the Andover teaching is scripturally weak, because it interposes a long delay between death—the wages of sin—and the sinner's sentence and punishment. It fails to see that the definite penalty for sin must be inflicted on the sinner before the grace of God can again take up his case, and that therefore whatever hope may visit him in the future cannot be connected with his loss of life in death, but with his recovery to life through resurrection. If the doctrine of the larger hope were only thus stated as not a probation after death, but after restored life; if the" death-state had been rightly regarded as the penal state, just as the Bible views it, and all hope for men ruined by sin and lost in death had been connected with the provision to raise them out of death, each in their own time and order, and as heirs of life, or as still under judgment, according to character, then not only would this "New Departure" have planted its feet on Scripture ground; it would be seen that it is the very cream of all that God has been speaking by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began—the very essence of that gospel which was to be glad tidings of great joy to all people. Nothing makes us more indignant than these oft-repeated assertions that what is known as the wider hope is "a mere speculation," "withoutany warrant in Scripture." Whatever may be true of the defective forms that hope has taken on, because of the blind adherence of most of its advocates to the tradition that the sinner's judgment-day and future punishment lie beyond his resurrection, sure we are that when once the student of God's Word is enlightened to perceive the redemptive value