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her anxious questions, the severe dogmas of the Confession of Faith. And when Ingersoll says that, although he does not know that there is a God. yet if he finds himself in the presence of one beyond the grave, he is sure that he will find him to be as good as be is, what can Dr. Field veply? If Dr. Field but knew the real meaning of the gospel of Jesus and the resurrection, he could have written a much more candid and convincing letter to the man he seek3 to reclaim. And if Ingersoll had only been brought up in Hs father's house on this gospel which is full of " hope toward Hod" fo- the human race, and not of despair, he would neve" have been driven into the infidelity and blasphemy which has cursed his own life and thousands of others through his influence. And his is not the only case we have known of where the sons of, Presbyterian ministers, and even of theological professors, have been driven away from the faith of their fathers through a view of God and of His dealings with mankind which shocks their sense of justice and humanity, and makes it impossible for them to believe in Him as a God of love.
John G. Whittier —The eightieth anniversary of the birth of this venerable poet has called out numerous tributes to his many noble qualities. It is something which the church of to day needs to ponder well, that the men who have given expression to the deepest thoughts and noblest sentiments of mankind, and who most command their reverence and attention, are men whose thoughts of God and humanity have been out of harmony with the orthodox creeds. The church, in blindly clinging to the harshest statements in those creeds, has had to contend aga'nst the rising tide of the influence of the world's best poets and thinkers. In fact, she has herself been obliged to sink these old formulas out of sight in her pulpits, and has herself caught the vision of higher and better things in the relation which the human race holds to the God who gave it being. But why should the church remain in this inconsistent position? Why should our ministers be forced to labor under the immense disadvantage of standing for doctrines, which, if they faithfully preach them on Sunday, their people go home to find contradicted in Longfellow, and Emerson, and Whittier and Tennyson, and by all the sages and seers and poets who have the ear of mankind? We cheerfully grant that some of these writers do not fully comprehend the Christian scheme. They may even be ignorant of what salvation in Christ really means. They may be prophets of an old dispensation, following the Star in the east, and laying their choicest gifts at the feet of the infant Christ, and yet not knowing the full glory of the risen Christ and that all things are to be made new in Him. But they certainly have been gifted with high and noble thoughts of God, and are preachers of both His righteousness and love. It is utterly useless for the church to expect to make headway for the old doctrine of endless torment against the counter influence of such noble thoughts as one meets with in "InMemoriam" and "The Minister's Daughter." Oh that the church were wise 1 Oh that she understood the "hope toward God" contained in the very foundation of her faith—"But now is Christ risen irora the deadl" Oh that she vroti'd insist upon giving honest utterance in her Standards to wh .t has already come to believe 1
Thb Washington Conference.—The Evangelical Alliance Meeting recently held at Washington was an impressive one. Many excellent papers were read NoDle sentiments respecting the church's duty to arouse herself to the demands now made upon her were uttered. And the conviction, that to meet the occasion she must draw her scattered bands into truer sympathy and closer union, was strengthened. But, after all, how little was accomplished in this direction. One is pained to think that there is likely to be but little practical result from all this fine talk. And the reason is, because the brethren assembled there are not yet ready to go down to the bottom of the case They have not yet admitted, either before the world or to themselves, that the existing divisions in the church are a crying sin against God and a criminal disloyalty to her Divine Head. This is the reason why God's power is not seen in her midst, and why her Lord gives her up to shame and weakness before her foes. What is wanted in this land, and in every land of Christendom, is a coming together of Christians of every name to confess the sin and shame of their divided state, and to implore God to forgive, and to lead them out of this confusion. The church must be compelled—if in no other way, by her disasters and defeats—to get back on to the ground of the one body. This is the only ground upon which her Lord will fairly meet her, and listen to her cry. She is not to wait until Bhe may first reconcile her differences by debate or compromise. She must obey her Lord and come together, and trust Him to adjust her differences afterwards. He will show her light, when once she puts herself in His light. So long as we assume that the interest of the whole body can be promoted, while at the same time the interests of our special denominations must be maintained, we are building upon the false assumption that "Christ is divided." Until an overmastering love for the whole church, the one body of the one Lord, shall override the love of denominations, and swallow up all selfish aims and selfish interests connected with their maintenance, such gatherings as this at Washington will only issue in fine words. And meanwhile the Lord will more and more give up to shame and weakness a church that misrepresents Him at the very point He urged her, and with all the tenderness of parting words, to be faithful. '' Ye are my Iriends, if ye do whatsoever I have commanded you." "A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another." 'Hereby shall all men know that ye are my disciples." And when we inquire what He means by love to the brethren, we find that nothing less is meant than a perfect, sacrificing love, which puts aside all self-seeking, all emulation and strife, which is ready even to lay down life for the brethren. Can any one doubt, if the great leaders of the church, such as were gathered at that conference, had in this matter the mind of Christ, who loved the church and gave Himself for it, that they would speedily find some way out of this night of distraction and defeat into that place of unity and strength where the glory of the Lord would rise upon her and shine through her to victory.
The Kaineow.—It is with sincere regret that we observe the announcement in the las; uitmber of the Rainbow that that magazine w i1 be discontinued. It was one of the most valuable of our exchanges. I's editor, Mr. J. B. Tloiherham, was always—among those who wrote for its page?—especially helpfal and instructive. A profound student of the UiHe. he was singula!'y judicious and candid in ir's ?xpositioas, and a'ong the dark paths of eschatology, he was always a skilled and caul ions leader and guide. We were glad to agree wi.ii him at many points. IT', exposition of Matt, xxv. Sl-4.6. in the list number w.i~ very much like our own. We are glad to notice that it is qu'te piobaLle that his valuable service will be continued in connection wuh a new magazine.
Oversight.—Sy an oversight no index to Volume III was sent out with the December Numoe-. The brand volumes, which will be soon xeady, will coniain it. If any subscriber desires to bind b's last year's numbers, we will be glad to mail an index to all who ask for it. Or upon the return of all (he numbers in good order to us we will mail a bound volume for S3 cents. The price of Vols. I, II, and III has been reduced to one dollar each, or we will send the three for $2.50.
EXTRACTS FROM LETTERS.
From a distinguished Congregationalist:
I neve read with intereL* your late work—noticed courteously in the New York Etan'jdi&t.
In you: main pos:,ion that ihe entire race return to natural life under the remedial judgment or goveTnment of Christ and the risen saints, (the ftavaaTa.TM) you are undoubted!y correct. I should be glad to utow more of you. I have liiken the liberty to order my publi:he:s to send you some works of mine in which you may find something to interest you.
The books have been received, and are being read with much interest and profit.
Another clergyman and author, of the same faith, in writing for the book and to renew his subscription, says:
I like very much your December No. for its article entitled "Serious Objections," and the Notes. Your views and mine agree as to the letter of Dr. Stores The Resume of criticisms is interesting and instructive. You have only to bide your time. The revolution, as you say, in thinking and statement upon certain great problems of theology is fairly upon us. May the blessed Spirit guide your pen in all future leasonings, and make more and more luminous through you the redemptive plan and place of resurrec . tion.
A clergyman in Boston sends with an order for the book and magazine.
"Best wishes for success and the Divine help and guidance in your importaut studies and work."
A Presbyterian minister from the far West writes:
Having just read the June number of Words Of ReconciliaTion, I want to study these great and vital questions further. It seems to meet a long felt want in my experience; to supplement as it were, Drummonds Natural Law in the Spiritual World, which I have just read. I am searching for truth, regardless of man-made creeds and human prejudices; and I want to study these things along with some leading mind.
Enclosed find $1.50 for your book, Mystery of Creation, &c, and the magazine for one year.
A Chaplain of the U. S. Navy writes of The Fire of God'i Anger.
Permit me with my thanks to give expression to the pleasure and profit I have derived from its perusal. Whilst unable in a full degree to subscribe to all your conclusions, I am impressed that your views are in the right line, and that the glory of God will not suffer any diminution by your reverent and honest persistency in searching the Scriptures for the truth as it is in Jesus.