« AnteriorContinuar »
When we have done wrong it is not sufficient for us to go on doing right for the future; we have first of all to repair to the utmost of our power the wrong that has been done, and then to receive with patience whatever our heavenly Father may see fit to send in the way of chastisement Indeed, when the penitence and sorrow are very deep and earnest, the blow when it comes may sometimes scarcely be elt. The Rainbow.
OPINIONS OF THE EARLY FATHERS.
"The prophets spake before concerning him (Christ), that He might abolish death and make known the resurrection from the dead, that he might make good the promise before given to our fathers."
"If we please (the Lord) in this present world, we shall also be partakers of that which is to come, according as He promised to us that He shall raise us from the dead."
"Blessed are those priests who, having finished their course before these times, have obtained a fruitful and perfect dissolution. For it is written, Enter iuto thy chambers for a little space till My anger and indignation shall pass away; and I will remember the good day, And Will Raise You Up Out Of Your
"I say not that all souls shall die. At the time of judgment those souls that appear worthy of God Die No More.
"God alone is uncreated and incorruptible; but all things beside Him are created and perishable.
"For this reason Souls Both Die And Are Punished. For the soul cannot live of itself as God does. But as the personal man does not always exist, and body aud soul are not forever conjoined, but whenever this harmony may be dissolved the soul leaves the body, and the man is no more: so likewise, whenever it is necessary that the soul shall no longer be, the vital spark leaves it, and the Soul Is No More, but itself returns whence it was taken."
"The soul in itself is not immortal, but mortal: nevertheless it has the power of escaping mortality."
But some will say. •' Was man made mortal by nature? By no means. If immortal, He would have made him a god. If mortal God would have seemed to be the author of sin. Therefore He made him neither, but capable of both, so that if he was carried to the things that lead to immortality, he might reoeive immortality as a reward and become godlike. But on the other hand, if he should turn to the works of death he might become the author of death to himself. Now, God repairs the evil. For as man brought death upon himself by disobedience, so by obeying the will of God, he that chooseth may obtain for himself the Eternal Life. For God has given us a law and precepts which every one who does may be saved, and obtaining the resurection, may Inherit Immortality.
NOTES ON CURRENT TOPICS.
A friend has handed us the following, taken from the New York Times.
Florida, N. Y., Dec. 25.-The Rev. R. E. Campbell, who for five years has been Pastor of the Presbyterian church here, this morning tendered his resignation in order to enter the ministry of the Protestant Episcopal Church. In the course of his sermon this morning he said: "Everything for the last century has been reacting towards the catholic tone and spirit expressed in the English Prayer Book, while with the dogmatic and metaphysical creeds of the reformation period, especially with the Westminster Confession, the very opposite is true. Calvinism means formula and separatism. It is hard on the weak and foolish; it is liable to be harsh and one-sided. The Presbyterian church is honey-combed with men who have subscribed to it, and yet in their innermost hearts do not believe it. The "five points," preached in their integrity and logical affinities, will offend the people and empty the churches. This only goes to show that the Presbyterian Church is in more sympathy with New Testament and catholic Christianity than her theologians would confess or her standards allow. I cannot any longer subscribe to a system of faith, which if it is spoken at all, is spoken with the lips of death.
We do not propose to repeat what we said in respect to the] similar case of the Rev. Rollo Ogden, who gave up his church in Cleveland a few months "ago and withdrew from the Presbytery. It seems plain to us that if the Presbyterian church is as faulty in its theology as is here represented,—and we have not been slow to point out its defects—it is someone's duty to endeavor to remedy |the matter. If there is this incongruity between her formulas of faith and the secret beliefs of her ministers and members, then it is manifestly the duty of somebody to strive to bring the church on to a more honest ground. We cannot see why it was not Mr. Campbell's duty to attempt something in that line before he abandoned it. "" Have we not all vowed to seek to promote her peace and purity? Are we to assume that the system is greater than the church, and that its dead letter is more than the life of the body? If so, then is the Presbyterian Church under even a worse bondage than the Papal, by as much that it is better to have a living man for a master than a dead formula. And we may all well turn our backs upon it. We believe, however, that the Church which has made one creed, can and will make another, at whatever point God may give her greater light. We believe that if she is in bondage, her own children should go to her relief. If she has gone astray at any point, they are the ones to lead her back. For our own part, we have refused to accept the theory that the Confession is our master, and are striving for the principle that the Church is a far larger adn more vital thing than any human system. Wearecon tending within the Church for the liberty wherewith Christ has made us free, and for the larger and more catholic views which this brother says she already largely cherishes in secret, and which will bring her into fuller sympathy with that Catholic Christianity which he admires.
We are only sorry that such men as Mr. Campbell and the many other malcontents with which he tells us the church is honeycombed, do not speak out and come to our aid.
The Rev. Chas. A. Barry, who has just declined the call to the Plymouth Church, Brooklyn, thus concisely defines the need of the hour. "There is need of a broad, evangelical, interpretation of the Gospel which shall be credible by a man's whole nature."
The Presyterian's critique upon our recent book, The Fire Of God's Anger, reads as follows:
Mr. Baker's theory is that "resurrection is redemptive,"and that in respect to the wicked dead, God will "take up their case" again, and that some of them through the power of Christ will be saved-but not all. There is to be a second election of grace, a second company of the redeemed, and then incorrigible sinners are to be left among the lost. But why not another intervention? Why may not God '' take up their case'' again? There is about as much evidence for the third as for the first.
This criticism is meagre and unfair, i. In that it fails to pronounce upon the truth or falsity of the principle upon which the argument proceeds. If resurrection is not a recovery from death—the wages of sin—what is it?
2. In that it creates a prejudice against our argument that the countless multitudes of the race who have died without any true test under the gospel of Christ, are to be so tested in a resurrection, by denominating all of this class, "the wicked dead" In our view it includes devout heathen, and probably that infant portion of the race who are not "sanctified" in believing parents, (i Cor. vii. 14).
3. In that its query-why not another intervention'-assumes there is no more evidence for this intervention through resurrection than for successive interventions ; whereas the Scriptures plainly teach the '' hope toward God that there shall be a resurrection both of the just and the unjust," but says nothing about successive resurrections. On merely rationalistic grounds there might be force in the inquiry-Why not another? But this book professedly confines itself to the argument from Scripture. The Bible does plainly promise a future resurrection for all who died in Adam. It gives no promise of a second resurrection out of a second death
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
A valued correspondent in Toronto says:
Your Janunary No. strikes a good note in "Truth for the Times." But on page 19 your sratement to support a conjecture that martyred saints may have been already raised (which of course is at least open to question) seems to me to run adverse to Paul's d eclaration in 1st Thess. iv and v. You say the drift of New Testament teaching is toward the conclusion that not all the saints are raised together. Paul certaiuly maintains, as you say in one part, that every man is raised in his own order or rank; but that does not contradict what he states to the Thessalonians in chapters 4th and 5th, that the dead in Christ are first raised, and then the living remainder, as I take it, of the whole body of Christ; —the Church—are simultaneously gathered with them into the air to meet the Lord.
There is much force in our friend's exposition of the apostles teaching in this passage. The fact is there are two aspects of Scripture