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learn but little, arrange them as we may; then we may hope to see their ideal archetypes, all synchronized and systematized in the Infinite Intellect. Here then is a provision of ambrosia-immortal food for the mind, expressed in the analogical language of Scripture, by “green pastures beside the still waters of the Lamb;" while without the city walls is-“whosoever loveth or maketh a lie."
(4) We have said that mere intellection is not happiness; although under proper circumstances it may lead thereto. It seems necessary therefore to place the essential bliss of immortality in the perfection of the spiritual functions. Spiritual life was defined to be the adjustment [dpuovía] of passion, will, and action, to the Divine Will; accordingly we find harmony constantly employed in the Scripture as the symbol and exponent of heavenly felicity. That union and communion with God will be the final beatitude of man, is a truth no less conspicuous in Revelation, than it is consonant with reason, and universally recognized in the history of the human heart. How close, how ineffably intimate shall be this union of the ransomed in glory with their Living Head, is expressed in Scripture in terms of such sublimity that we might well tremble to adopt them, were they not the words of Him who is “the way, the truth, and the life.” “ To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Such is the saint's charter of “life and peace.” But who may gauge the full meaning of the language ? Suffice it that God shall be “All in all.” It is but an expansion of the grand old oracle, "Fear not Abram, I am thy shield, and thy EXCEEDING GREAT REWARD."
“O Thou supreme,
E. J. J.
The Genius of the Gospel.
ABLE expositions of the Gospel, describing the manners, customs, and localities alluded to by the inspired writers; also interpreting their words, and harmonizing their formal discrepancies, are, happily, not wanting amongst us. But the eduction of its WIDEST truths and highest suggestions is still a felt desideratum. To some attempt at the work we devote these pages. We gratefully avail ourselves of all exegetical helps within our reach; but to occupy our limited space with any lengthened archæological, geographic, or philological, remarks, would be to miss our aim ;which is not to make bare the mechanical process of scriptural study, but to reveal its spiritual results.
SECTION SIXTY-SECOND :-Matt. xviii. 15-20.
“ Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone : if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church : but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven : and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matt. xviii, 15-20.
SUBJECT :- -The Policy of the True Church on Earth, and
its Power in Heaven.
It seems necessary at the outset of our endeavor to reach and develop the spirit of this passage, to get a clear and a definite idea of the thing which Jesus here designates EKKANOIa—the Church. It is scarcely necessary to remark that the simple meaning of the word is an assembly; but in the New Testament sense it means generally, though not always, a religious assembly. Thus the Jews as congregated in the synagogue are called a “church," and thus, far more frequently, the assemblage of Christians for religious purposes
anywhere is called a church.” The term is never used to designate a building, a class of religious functionaries, or a system either of doctrine or of worship. In the Christian sense it means nothing more than an assembly of Christians. The assembly may be large or small, held in a city or a village, in a public building or in a private dwelling, within the precincts of a house or in the
air. We need not travel far from the passage under consideration, in order to get a tolerably correct idea of a true church,—a church in the sense in which the Heavenly Teacher here uses the word. I gather from this passage :
First : That it is a society that may be constituted of the smallest possible number. * Two or three.” You cannot have a smaller assemblage ;-it is the smallest plurality. It is not the number of the assembly that constitutes the true Church, but the quality.
There may be no true Church found in a crowded Conventicle or Cathedral, whilst it may be found in the humble cottage, or in the open air, where but two genuine souls have met in earnest for Christian ends. I gather from this passage :
Secondly : That it is a society morally agreed. Christ here indicates that the whole power of the Church depends upon unity. “ That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask," &c. The agreement is not in mere opinion-this would be impossible and undesirable,- -nor in the measure or mode of operation, but in the inspiring spirit and the master aim. It is in one word, not intellectual or mechanical, but moral. All having one spirit, the spirit of Christ, and all moving by the dictates of that spirit, as all the members of the body move by the volitions of the one soul. I gather from this passage :
Thirdly : That it is a society always acting in the "name" of Christ. “ Where two or three are gathered together in my name," &c.
Not in the name of King or Pope, Calvin, Luther, or Wesley ; not even in the name of Moses and the prophets, but in "my name." Everything must be done in the name of Christ.
His spirit must prompt and His ideas guide in all.. The life which each lives in the flesh must be a life of faith on the Son of God.
Now, it is of this society, which may consist of the fewest possible number, which is ever morally agreed, and which does everything in the name of Christ, of which the Heavenly Teacher is now speaking. This is the ideal Church of which we are about to speak.
I shall take the passage to illustrate :
I. THE POLICY OF THE TRUE CHURCH ON EARTH. “ Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone,” &c. We have, of course, to confine our remarks concerning its policy on earth to the case which is supposed in the passage.
It is the case of an offence of one member against another. It is implied that a member of this true church may be overtaken with a fault, may fall into evil, and do an improper and even a wicked thing. The best men so long as they are on earth are liable to be tempted to the erroneous in doctrine, the unvirtuous in feeling, and the wrong in conduct. " Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”
Now the conduct which the offended member is to pursue towards the offender is here indicated with remarkable precision : “Go and tell him his fault,” &c. The policy as here developed leads us to consider two things,—the magnanimous benevolence of the aim, and the admirable wisdom of the
First : The magnanimous benevolence of the aim. What does Christ require you to do to the brother that has offended you? To disgrace him, to crush him, to wreak vengeance on him? No, but restore him. “If he shall hear thee, thou hast. gained thy brother.” Thou hast, by morally convincing him of the turpitude of his conductand generously offering forgiveness on the ground of his repentance, won him back to a right feeling towards thyself and to his old relation to the church. This is admirable, this is divine. But alas ! in the history of what is called the church, this has been all but invariably
contravened. What has the Church, I mean the conven. tional Church, been doing with offenders? Let the ACTS AND MONUMENTS OF John Foxe with their ten thousand tongues declare; nay, let the history of all the sections of the church, even of those who boast most of their liberality speak, and you will find that the offending brother has generally been shunned with pietistic horror, denounced with pietistic arrogance, excommunicated with pietistic ceremony, and often martyred with pietistic solemnity. Why, even in those denominations who are ever ringing the notes of liberty, catholicity, and progress, let a brother offend even in the mere letter of doctrine and a thousand hoarse, bigoted, voices shall be lifted up to brand him as a heretic, and to warn mankind against him as a fearful enemy of his species. How different this from the policy which Christ here enjoins, and from that which Paul commands when he says, “ Brother, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual restore such an one,” &c.
Secondly: The admirable wisdom of the means. Mark the varied steps pursued for this object. (1) The offended party is to go to the offender alone. He is to go to him. This is not according to the ordinary conduct of mankind in such matters. We generally expect our offender to come to us, to present assurances of sorrow for the offence, and to make suitable apologies. We scarcely dream of the restoration of amity in any other way. With a proud heart we say inwardly, if he desires the renewal of our friendship, let him come to us and seek it ; it is contrary to all order for us to go to him, nor shall we demean ourselves by going to him. Yet this is the policy enjoined here. And it is mani. festly an admirably wise policy, inasmuch as it is adapted to the end. If you wait for the offender to come to you,
the chances are, you will be disappointed ; and even should he do so, he would not gain that impression of your magnanimous nature and forgiving spirit, which would serve to bind him to you in the indissoluble bonds of the highest admiration and love. The policy here inculcated could scarcely be adopted without success. There is something so unique, so