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it puts upon resurrection, its pages become aglow with this hope, and this principle is seen to be as necessary to its correct understanding as is the law of gravitation to the movements of the solar system. At the very basis of revelation lies God's covenant promise, thrice-repeated, to bless all the families of the earth through a chosen seed. Dr. Rankin's school is continually looking forward to some distant period, when the gospel shall be everywhere obeyed, as the time when this promise shall be realized. In their view the countless generations of the dead were not in view in the promise. Not even this wonder-working God, who could fill the heavens with unnumbered stars, and whose word to Abraham was, "So shall thy seed be," can do anything for the dead; whereas the whole of Scripture turns upon its promise of a redemptive provision for the dead. This promise to bless all nations was to be made good through their recovery from the death they must suffer to another life. He who fails to see that the God who wounds can also heal, and that He who kills can also make alive, and that because of these secret wonders of His power and grace, all nations shall yet rejoice with His people (Deut. xxxii. 39-43) has missed the only key to the right knowledge of the Bible. Dr. Rankin complaisantly appeals to the epistle to the Romans as destitute of even a hint that there is hope of redemption after death. Has he never read in the fifth chapter of " the justification of life" which has come " upon all men " by the righteousness of one? And that this gift is of such a character that where sin abounded to the condemnation and death of all "grace did much more abound?" Can the old Calvanistic limitation of this grace be made to possibly consist with this "much more?" Or has he never read in the eleventh chapter how the cast-off branches of apostate Israel are to be graffed in again, as "life from the dead?" "and so all Israel shall be saved," and that God hath concluded both Jew and Gentile in unbelief, "that He might have mercy upon all." Are the dead of Israel no part of these cast-off branches who are to be restored? To deny that they are is to deny Hosea xiii, and Ezekiel xxxvii, and Jeremiah xxxi, and a host of such passages. No, we cast back the charge in the teeth of our accusers, and declare that the men who deny that there is any hope for the dead in and after resurrection do not understand the Scriptures. They are perverters of its promises and its hopes. Under the self-delusion that they alone understand the Gospel and, are "evangelical," they deny the first principle of the Gospel, by denying every element of grace, and hope, except to the elect, in its provision that "all shall be made alive." Under a conceit that they alone are zealous for the truth and honor of our Lord Jesus Christ, they strip Him of the very honor with which God crowned Him when He raised Him from the dead that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. We give all these brethren notice—and we do it, we trust, riot in a spirit of strife and vainglory, but because we love them and would save them from their ignorance and error, that we do not propose any longer to stand on the defensive and quietly submit to be told that we are mere "speculators" and are not only without warrant from Scripture, but are unwilling to submit our own judgments to it. If anyone wants to know what support we find in Scripture for our views, let them read our recent book on "The Fire of God's Anger." That book is a Scriptural argument from beginning to end. Among the various criticisms made upon it in newspapers and letters, not one has given anything like a Scriptural refutation. And for the very good reason that none is possible, provided the attempt be made along the line in which the argument is presented. It is easy enough to quote certain passages from the New Testament which seem opposed. But when it is seen that redemption through resurrection is an underlying principle in the Old Testament, and that the New can be properly approached only after that principle is acknowledged, then these apparently decisive passages are seen to wear a different aspect. Dr. Rankin makes a good deal of the consent of "the common mind" as ruling out the larger hope. Has he never heard how wofully the common mind in our Saviour's day was mistaken as to all that Moses and the prophets had written "how that the Christ must first suffer and be raised again from the dead?" And is there no possibility that the common mind in our day may be warped by tradition and false education, and "know not the Scriptures neither the power of God?" We say that such teachers as he have been perverting and hiding the gospel of the resurrection from the common mind. And yet, even in spite of long ages of misrepresentation and ignorance of this gospel, the common mind is waking up to perceive that there are larger purposes of grace in God's book than our modern scribes and doctors of the law have told them of. The churches of Christendom are to-day honeycombed with these larger views and hopes. The Spirit of Christ in His people is proving too strong for these long-imposed fetters, and some of these leaders who have been keeping them in this bondage will some day find it out to their sorrow.
As to Dr. Rankin's slighting way of disposing of the just demand of the heathen upon the old orthodoxy, "What of our ancestors?" we have only to say that his ignorance of the foundation principle in the plan of redemption makes him ignorant of the true motive for modern missions. If that motive be to snatch a few of the heathen from the torments of an endless hell, then indeed does the gospel become to them no gospel, but a message of despair. And we need not wonder that few of them believe it. But the true motive is to announce to them the fact that God has raised His Son Jesus Christ from the dead to effect the world's redemption from the power of sin and death,—to invite them to receive in their own souls this great deliverance,—an earnest of future glory,— and as preparing them to take part with Christ in His administrations of grace and power through which even the dead shall hear His voice and live. Hope for themselves and also for their dead is thus seen to be made dependent upon their personal faith in and obedience to Christ who must first gather His first fruits from off these dark fields of death before they can yield their future harvests. Here is indeed a gospel—glad tidings of great joy. But it is one that brings no relief to men so long as they continue in sin, nor no hope for their dead except as the living consent to now yield themselves unto Christ, that they may with Him be baptized for the dead. For in the mystery of this great plan there must be a "church of the first born" before the salvation of the later born. A chosen seed must become the channel of blessing to their brethren who have died without the sight, and who, by reason of sin, have lost their life and heritage. Here at last is a motive for missions which shall one day set the heathen world ablaze with a triumphant gospel.
EXTRACT FROM THE REV. CANON LIDDON.
Now, that the soul of man survives the body at death might be inferred as from other considerations quite independent of revelation so especially from the observed law, as it is called, of the conservation of force or energy in the physical universe. We are told, on apparently solid grounds, that when a human body dies and decays there takes place in reality, not a cessation, but only a transformation of energy. The organic compounds which made up and sustained the living human frame are merely resolved by death into new combinations, which may again be partly taken up into other and living forms, and thus the force or energy of the human body not only does not cease at death, it undergoes neither diminution nor increase, it is after death what it was before death, only it has entered upon the new conditions which it has itself gradually brought about; and when death has taken place this energy is already at work in modifying and transforming such conditions still further. This estimate of death from the purely physical point of view assumes—and we need not dispute the assumption—that there is no such thing observable—I do not say no such thing possible—as the