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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 query 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 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 mony 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 recogprogress as a Christian people. nises this truth when he says,

(2) “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

(4) "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, or 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 versus

per. Every true member of nerve, it may be remarked, that a Church must possess and exif 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 6 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. flog 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 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 56 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

number. are they administered.

" The 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. J.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 attention, and intelligent interest, In Canada, a custom prevails to the good news of salvation that is suited to impart useful through faith in the Atoner. At religious impressions. It is the close of the service, she customary there, when death stated to the minister, under occurs in a family, to invite a the influence of one of those minister to attend on the day of mysterious impressions which interment, and preach a short philosophers cannot explain, that

to reconcile it with the benevolence of God ? if it does not teach this doctrine ? What is its meaning ? JOHN WILLIAMSON.

conversion then merely a change of purpose ? By giving the above a place in your

open council,” you will oblige

F. T.


15.-In“the Homilist" for Dec. 16.-Is it reconcileablewith the last year is a Homily on “The moral government of the world Family of God.” Speaking of the that any man can be tempted life common to "the whole family beyond his power to resist ? As in heaven and earth.” Mr. Pigg the doctrine is an important says, “The change of purpose in one, and cannot be too freely which this divine life first shows enunciated, perhaps some of your itself we name conversion." Is readers will reply. P. M. H.

The Pulpit and its Three Handmaids.




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request was complied with. On Sermons are most effective the day appointed the missionary when not diffuse. Concentra- repaired to “the house of mourntion gives power.

Truth is ing,” gave out a suitable hymn, strongest, not in the broad gold engaged in prayer, and preached leaf, but in the solid ingot ; not the gospel of Jesus Christ. The elaborated to weariness, but con- delivery of his sermon occupied densed into brief, weighty, and only a little while, but the words forcible sayings and illustrations. thereof where clear, direct, con“ The words of the wise are as vincing, and impressive. Among goads, and as nails fastened by the hearers in that small congrethe master of assemblies."

gation, was a sister of the deEvery country has customs ceased, about seventeen years peculiar to itself. Some of these of age, and ill with scarlet fever. customs are foolish and injurious; She listened with unbroken others are wise and beneficial.

in the house, before he would be wanted on a certain proceeding to the burial place. day to preach a funeral sermon Some years ago, at a dwelling in for her. The minister expressed a newly settled part of Canada, his hope that she would recover ; a child died of scarlet fever, but she repeated the statemen. and a missionary was requested she had made. He then intit to deliver a brief discourse, ere mated where he might be found





at the time she had mentioned. Brethren let us keep the one Not many days after, on arriving object of faith-Jesus Christ and at the place specified, he met a Him Crucified continually messenger, who informed him before our hearers. The attracthe young woman was dead, and tion of the cross will always presented a request from the be felt by those who are heavy family that he would preach at laden and weary with the burden the funeral. He went with the of their sins. Drawn towards messenger, and was told that the it by Divine love, and looking short sermon he had preached with faith to the bleeding Saviour, was the means of salvation to their burden will fall off, and the departed. The facts narrated they will go on their way reto him were these. While he joicing. So shall we and they was preaching the dying girl was

ascribe salvation to the Lamb taught by the words which fell that was slain, both now and from his lips, what she must do

Amen. P. S. WRIGHT. to be saved ; was led to rely with all her heart on the Lamb of God, and found “ redemption

Time is the only gift in which through His blood, the forgive

God has stinted us; for he never ness of sins." When he had

entrusts us with a second moleft, she repeated the substance of his discourse, and testified to

ment until he has taken away the her friends, that “ being justified

first, and never leaves us certain of a third.

FENELON. by faith,” she had “peace with Gol, through our Lord Jesus Christ." Her face shone with supernatural brightness, as she said, If a wafer be laid on a surface " I shall soon be gone, but, for of polished metal, which is then me to die is gain,” and she ex- breathed upon, and if, when the horted all to meet her in heaven. moisture of the breath has evaShe held fast her confidence unto porated, the wafer be shaken off, the end, rejoicing in hope of we shall find that the whole everlasting glory. To allay her polished surface is not as it was feverish thirst, she requested a before, although our senses can little water, and sweetly re- detect no difference ; for if we marked, “I shall soon drink at breathe again upon it, the surthe fountain." Seeing her face will be moist everywhere, mother weep, she tenderly said, except on the spot previously * Mother, weep not for me, all sheltered by the wafer, which will is well, my soul is happy, and I now appear as a spectral image am going to dwell with Jesus." on the surface. Again and again Thus she bid adieu to carth, and we breathe, and the moisture entered the home of the blest. evaporates, but still the spectral The missionary, with a glad and wafer reappears.

This experigrateful heart, entreated a weep- ment succeeds after a lapse of ing audience, by her joyful ex- many months, if the metal be perience, to become partakers of carefully put aside where its sur. “like precious faith,” and com

face cannot be disturbed. If a mitted her remains to the dust, sheet of paper on which a key “in sure and certain hope of the has been laid be exposed for resurrection to eternal life,” some minutes to the sunshine, through our Lord Jesus Christ. and instantaneously viewed in

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