Imágenes de páginas

obtained convictions which clashed with the prejudices and worldly interests of his contemporaries. These convictions referred to Christ. Secondly: He exerted himself faithfully to declare those convictions. “Ye stiff-necked,” &c. Had he kept them to himself, compromised them, or endeavored to tone them down to the corrupt spirit of his age, he would have avoided such an end as this. But he was true to the true thing in him ; he flashed his convictions on the rotten spirit of his age, and thus set it on fire with wrath. Thus it will always be. The true man must have the frown of the world.

We observe :

II. THE BRIGHT SIDE OF PIETY. Piety looked upon from the world's side of things is rather a miserable object,—but not 80 when viewed from the spiritual side. First: His being was in vital connexion with God. “Filled with the Holy Ghost.” God was in him. This does not mean anything miraculous. We are commanded to be “filled with the spirit;" that is, to have God's disposition, &c. Paul in suffering had this, and said, “We glory in tribulation,” &c. Filled with God, as the Holiest of all with the Shekinah, as the body with the soul, as the loving child with his parent. Secondly : He had a glorious vision of heaven. “He looked up stedfastly to heaven and saw the glory of God,” &c. Having God within him, everything without was full of God. “ The heavens opened,” &c.

If God be in thee, the material will withdraw its curtains, and the spiritual universe will beam forth. A true inner light will brighten the outward universe into glory. Thirdly: His spirit was invested with the sublimest magnanimity. His enemies were “cut to the heart,” they were exasperated, they “stopped their ears,” they “ gnashed their teeth.” But how calm is he. He is the conqueror. He can pity them, and pray for them. “Lord lay not this sin to their charge,” &c. Fourthly: He had a delightful departure from the world. (1) He commended his spirit to Christ. “Lord Jesus receive

Vol. IX.

my spirit.”. (2) He fell asleep." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” The death of the good is the spirit going to Christ, and the wearied body to the refreshing slumbers of the grave.

Had we this Stephen-like piety we should feel that suffering is blessedness, that death is life, that time is eternity.

“Our earth is but a grain of sand

That tumbles in the surging sea !
God holds creation in His hand,
With worlds as countless as the sand

Time breaks upon eternity.”

SUBJECT :Being and Well-Being:

“ With thee is the fountain of life; in thy light we shall see light.” -Psa. xxxvi. 9.

Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Thirty-fourth. LIFE and Light are the greatest blessings of which we have any conception. All feel life to be valuable. “Skin for skin,” &c. What would life be without light ? A world without light would be cold, dark, and monotonous. God is the source of both. I. HE IS THE SOURCE OF BEING. “Fountain of life.” The word fountain suggests :-(1) Causation. (2) Plenitude. (3) Activity. II. HE IS THE SOURCE OF WELL-BEING. He is the light-the blessedness of being. His revealed character is the light of the soul. Two things are necessary to make light a blessing :-(1) A healthy visual faculty. If the eye of the soul is not sound, light may be a pain, a curse. (2) Beautiful objects of vision. If the eye is made to look upon the monstrous, and the horrific, light will be a bane.

Theological Notes and Queries.



[The utmost freedom of independent thought is permitted in this department. The reader must therefore use his own discriminating faculties, and the Editor must be allowed to claim freedom from responsibility.]


old scripture that says“ the letter Referring to the


of killeth but the spirit giveth life;" P.M.H., No. 3, and the analytical and underlying this query may form of reply of E. J. J. ; will clearly be seen that golden, heartyou allow me in consequence of reaching law, proclaimed by our the suggestive character of both, great law-giver, “Do unto others to appear as REPLICANT, No. 2 ? as ye would &c.

As a prefatory remark, I would All ethical truth is traceable beg to express my high estima- to one source, whatever garb it tion of the value and importance, may assume, and that source as a spiritual help, of the is the inspired scripture. The Homilistic“ Open Council.” Free question has been characterised as are the Institutions of this as a "probing” one.

It unquescountry and candid as is the tionably is such, as all questions genius of the people, the erection allied to everlasting truth, if of a platform for the discussion heard aright, are, not only heartof theological points and scrip- reaching, but soul reforming. tural subjects in an unsectarian, The query is in reality but a honest spirit, is not only a grand paraphrase of the above great acquisition to the thoughtful command, which has no limits, student, but must also prove to and is in no wise affected by the those who believe that the object relative positions of men. Do of all enquiry should be to elicit unto the old, the young, the poor, truth, a subject for much thank- the outcast, the stranger, the serfulness and congratulation. vant, and to every unit of the

Adopting the form of reply human family, as pursued by E.J.J., and approach- have them do by you, were you ing the divided queries, seriatim, in their place and they in yours. permit me to notice the first, and Who under the Christian disI hope in a spirit quite in har- pensation possesses the right, as mody with that which pervades a parent, a master, or a ruler, to the pages of “ the Homilist;" and require from a child, a servant, or which is ever free from the dog- a subject, that which he feels matical, hypercritical, and con- should not be required of him, troversial.

were he in any one of those (1) “Has any individual a socially relative positions ? We right ?” &c., (page 99). Now I are what we are by the Grace of certainly think that this query the Great Father of all, whom it might have been submitted in a might have pleased to place in more logical form, yet there is an very opposite positions to those

you would



we now occupy; and the recog

wrong exists.

Moreover one of nition and practical adoption of the greatest wants of man is this truth, is essential to our moral beauty.

St. Paul recog. progress as a Christian people. nises this truth when he says, “Should any consistent

“ Whatsoever things are pure, advocate of capital punishments whatsoever things are lovely, refuse, &c.?” Replicant No. 1 whatsoever things are of good introduces in his reply the law of report,” &c. Is the occupation " circumstances” and the antag- of an executioner a thing of good onism which may exist between report ? Is it an honourable one conscience and “ nerve." As or the reverse ? If it be of bad regards the former, when do report, it is a strong argument “circumstances" ever point out a against death punishments ; but

as the proper person to at all events who has a right to carry into effect a death sen- ask a man to do that which is of tence ? Taking facts as they bad report?” are, what are the “circumstances

Can any one consistently which point out our executioners advocate war who is not himself as the proper persons for the prepared ?” &c. War is now office ? Are they not to be regarded as one of the open traced at once to the bribe questions of the day by a large which is offered ? Keep back the portion of the community. But gold and where shall we find an of the two phases of war (such executioner ? No sheriff's in is the progress of right views) these days would feel that "cir- only one is now so regarded, cumstances” pointed them out namely the defensive. It cannot as the proper persons to hang the however be said by Christians condemned. Can they, therefore, that the subject of missionaries or any of us, conscientiously is a debateable point. The misdepute to, require from, sionary spirit is inseparable another, an act which is socially from Christianity. It is one of and morally regarded as a most its highest characteristics. No degrading and repulsive one? In Church can neglect it and prosallusion to conscience

per. Every true member of nerve, it may be remarked, that a Church must possess and ex. if an active conscience may be hibit the missionary qualities. found associated with weak “Let your light so shine before nerve, the reverse may too often men,' &c. He is to be " a living exist, namely, latent conscience epistle known and read of all and strong nerve.

men." He is to " show his (3) “If capital punishments faith by his works." The duty are in harmony with Christian of the Church is to convert the ethics is not the odium” &c. I world. The non-recognition of quite concur with Replicant No. this latter fact by the Society of 1, that this odium is clearly Friends will prove the destruction illogical, if the acts which pro- sooner or later of that once prosduce it are righteous, and join perous and useful body. issue with him upon the point, When Replicant No. 1 states that popular sentiment is not that it is no more inconsistent to always to be taken as a standard advocate war without being inof truth. Nevertheless as in our dividually prepared to fight, than private ways, so in our public, it is to advocate missions without

consciousness of right and becoming a missionary, I think




he goes beyond the question. , their liberty. The “immunity” Christ was not both the Prince | possessed by the slave-holder to of Peace and advocate of war. Aog his slaves and sell his human All followers of Christ are bound property is no vague generality.He to use their individual efforts and gets this unholy immunity through means to convert the world. the collective action of his society. No one, however, can say he is A man all the world over may equally bound by Christianity to be morally wrong in a matter, take up arms himself or to fight but legally right, and the reverse. through the agency of others. We have moral rights which al

Touching the latter point, I though not written upon parchwould only say, that when the ment, are as binding as any legal son of Quintius Fabius Maximus rights. As regards “theory' of advised his Father to seize on a society, this is no vague expost, saying it would only cost a pression. E. J. J. himself calls few men, Fabius drily answered society an organised whole Any (in the spiritevidently of R. M.H.) system or organisation without "' wilt thou be one of the few ?” a theory can have no consistent

(5). E. J. J. here has well practice. deduced one valuable proposition As regards St. Paul, when befrom the query of R. M. H., fore Festus, he, like all the early namely, “that man in his cor Christians, had no desire to come porate action is as much amenable into collision with the civil power, to the laws of rectitude as in his to modify it, or to overthrow it. private conduct.”

They understood the root of the (6). 6 That man in a corporate matter. Reform, purify, and elecapacity acquires no moral rights vate, the hearts of men, and good which he cannot have in his in institutions will be the inevitable dividual capacity.” This declara result. ORA ET LABORA. tion of the querist I most unreservedly endorse. Our laws

Queries to be answered in our next were made by men, and by men are they administered. “The

number. laws of a country are no standard 13 Is our Lord's reply conof rectitude. In the name of law cerning the payment of tribute by what crimes have been com the Jews to the Romans (Matt. mitted ?" Men can never dele. xxii. 21) to be considered as one gate a power they do not possess. of approval, or disapproval; or are It is a wise arrangement which weto conclude that He left the quesrefers the redress for private tion undetermined, that so, neither wrongs to a disinterested tribu Pharisee nor Herodian should nal, and great is the blessing claim the victory ? If it was one when such a tribunal is guided of approval, or if it left the quesby the eternal laws of the deca tion undecided, are there any dilogue. E.J.J.charges the querist | rections in the New Testament with indulging in vague generali requiring a Christian to refuse payties ; such as “ moral rights,” and ment of taxes, the appropriation “immunities,” and “theory of So of which he condemns ? E. S. J. ciety.” In America the slave 14. Does Proverbs, ch. xvi. v. 4, holder has a legal right to a pro- teach the doctrine that God made perty in his slaves. The querist a certain portion of the human may assuredly declare that the race for destruction? If this verse şlaves have a “moral right” to teaches this doctrine how are we

« AnteriorContinuar »