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the water from the rock, the manna from Heaven, the mystic pillar, the dividing the Red Sea and the Jordan. What wonders too in Canaan, by the hands of Elijah, &c. Fourthly : The splendid intellects which were employed in connexion with it. The unequalled philosophy of Solomon, the lofty poetry of David, the majestic eloquence of Isaiah, the gorgeous imagery of Ezekiel, the profound melting strains of Jeremiah, &c. Divine revelation, as it stands in connexion with Moses, is associated with the most brilliant of human geniuses. For these reasons, amongst others, we say with Paul, that divine revelation, as it stands in connexion with Moses, was “glorious.”
THIS SPECIAL REVELATION
II. THAT THOUGH RIOUS AS IT APPEARS IN CONNEXION WITH MOSES, IT IS MORE GLORIOUS AS IT APPEARS IN CONNEXION WITH CHRIST.
“ How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious.' I shall confine myself entirely to the text for points to illustrate this position, points which appear to me to have been in the mind of the apostle when he penned these words. First: The Christian form of Divine revelation is more adapted to give life than the Mosaic. Its design in both undoubtedly was to give spiritual life. As it stood with Moses at its head, it was well charged with Divine words, which were “spirit and life.” And millions, I will hope, were quickened
But notwithstanding this, men so frequently died spiritually under its influence, that Paul calls it, “the ministration of death.” The Jews exalted the letter, that killeth above the spirit that giveth life, and became so thoroughly the creatures of verbality, form and routine, that they died spiritually. They became a nation of formalists,-a “valley of dry bones.” Compare the effect of the words of the revelation as it came from Christ, addressed by Peter on the day of Pentecost, to the moral effect of the preaching of any of the prophets under the law, and you will find that the one may justly be called a “ministration of death” as compared with the other. Secondly :
The Christian form of divine revelation is more emphatically spirit than the Mosaic. It is called here “the ministration of the spirit.” There was much spirit in the Mosaic form, it was full of the elements of eternal truth, ethical and religious, but not so much spirit as you have in it, as it stands associated with Christ. Christianity throbs through every sentence with the eternal spirit of truth. Then, smaller amount of the spirit in the Mosaic was so overlaid with ceremony that it was almost buried out of sight, whereas the greater amount of the spirit of truth in connexion with Christianity is stripped almost entirely of ceremony. Baptism, and the Lord's supper are all. So that you may with propriety and emphasis call Christianity spirit as compared with the Mosaic revelation. Thirdly : The Christian form of divine revelation is more restorative than the Mosaic. The apostle speaks of one as the ministration of “condemnation," and the other, that of “righteousness." The word righteousness would be as correctly rendered, if not more so, “justification,” and this would make the antithesis more direct. While men were justified by the Mosaic revelation they were more frequently condemned. His revelation had an aspect of terrible severity. What fearful maledictions it contained. Contrast, for example, the “curses” of Moses in Deut. xxvii. 15—26, with the beatitudes of Christ, Matt. v. 3—12). Fourthly: The Christian form of divine revelation is more lasting than the Mosaic. “For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious." The great principles of truth contained in the Mosaic will never be done away; they are taken up
in Christianity and will abide for ever. But all that was local, circumstantial, and ceremonial, is done away. Moses is no longer our master. Christianity is the permanent system. It is the final revelation of God to our world. There is nothing to succeed it.
Such then is a brief illustration of the apostle's position, and the subject in conclusion serves several important purposes :-- First: It serves to expose the absurdity of making Moses the interpreter of Christ. It has been common by professing Christians to look at the New Testament through the spectacles of Moses, and thus to Judaize Christianity. Much in popery, much, alas! in old puritanism, much even in modern theology is but Christianity Judaized: men going back to "the beggarly elements.” Secondly: It serves to show the wrongness of going to Moses to support opinions which you cannot get from Christ. You can support war, slavery, capital punishments, sacerdotalism, by going to Moses ; but you cannot find the shadow of a foundation for these with Christ. Thirdly : It serves to reveal the immense responsibility of men living in gospel times. “If they who despised Moses' law,” &c Fourthly : It serves to indicate the glorious position of a true gospel minister. To show this was the object of the apostle in the text. The position of Moses, David, Isaiah, and all the great teachers under the old administration was glorious, but it is scarcely to be compared with the position of him who preaches that Christ of whom Moses and the prophets did write.
SUBJECT :--Spiritual Consumption.
“ Things ready to die.” Rev. iii. 2.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Fifty-fourth.
Physical consumption is fearfully prevalent in this country. But there is such a thing as spiritual consumption. Notice :
I. ITS SYMPTOMS. They are analagous to those of corporeal consumption. First : Loss of strength. Strength to resist the wrong, and to do the right. Secondly: Loss of appetite. No appetite for holy service, wholesome doctrine. Thirdly : Loss of enjoyment. All complaint ;-no pleasure in anything
II. ITS CAUSES. Neglect of proper conditions of health. First: Wholesome food. “As new born babes," &c. Secondly: Suitable exercise. Inaction must lead to disease. “Exercise thyself” rather unto godliness. Thirdly : Pure atmosphere.
III. ITS CURES. Two things necessary.
First: Appropriate remedial elements. “Balm in Gilead.” “ The tree of life whose fruit is for the healing of the nations.” Secondly : Suitable applications of these elements. The medicine is of no service unless taken according to truly scientific prescription. Thank God, spiritual consumption is curable !
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.)
that “righteous Abel” was the first to enter heaven in this sense. If, however, you mean by heaven the final and highest abode and condition of dignity and felicity, then it seems that Christ was the first man to enter it, and that after His resurrection, since we are informed by Scripture that at death His soul descended into hell.
ENTERED HEAVEN ? REPLICANT. In answer to QuER. IST No. 17, p. 317. If by heaven you mean that region of the invisible world where the souls of good men are happy after death, your question need not detain us long. We have simply to ask, who was the first good man to die ? Dismissing the PreAdamite theory as wanting evidence, we ask, who was the first of Adam's children? Some have supposed that Eve had lost some infants between Cain and Abel, and hence called the latter by a name which signifies vanity. This, however, seems likewise to be without foundation, and to be moreover inconsistent with what the record of Gen. iv. 2, naturally implies. We conclude therefore
Replicant. In answer to QUERist No. 18, p. 317. The simple meaningis-If Thou art my Shepherd, none can hurt me. Though I be in the midst of the darkness of death, I fear nought. It appears to us that his words are to be taken in the broadest way. He did not dread death, however
nearly in contact, because he confided in the Good Shepherd.
THE AUTHOR OF ECCLESIASTES.
REPLICANT. Inanswer to QUER1st No. 19, p. 317. Solomon was the author of Ecclesiastes. There was no other son of David and King in Jerusalem, who was capable of writing it; the writer speaks of his works and his wealth in a way which identifies him with Solomon (ii. 4–6), and of his wisdom and of his proverbs (xii. 9). The Jewish commentators and the fathers believed this book the work of Solomon, and we believe Grotius was the first of any notoriety by whom it was called in question. He was well answered by Calovius. That Solomon was the author has since been doubted by Hengstenberg and others, but the arguments adduced appear unworthy of consideration. They are chiefly these :-(1) That writers have frequently assumed such names of distinguished men as appeared most appropriate, and affixed them to their works ; an argument which if allowed, might invalidate the genuineness of half the works at least of ancient literature. (2) The occurrence of Chaldaisms;—but these are so few and of such a nature as to be inadmissible evidence. (3) The difference of style from that of Proverbs, an objection on which we will waste no words.
THE CUP REPLICANT. In answer to QUERist No. 20, p 317. As at table each guest has his portion of
wine in his cup, it was natural for this to become a figure of a man's share of good and evil in life. Psa. xi. 6 ; xvi. 5 ; xxiii. 5 ; lxxv. 8. Isaiah li. 17. Matt. XX. 22.
As to the passing of the cup, the Saviour may have alluded to the custom which obtained on great occasions, of passing round a cup full of wine, when they who did not wish to drink, excused themselves by saying, Let the cup pass.
Query to be answered in our next
number. 22.--During the three days of Christ's burial and His descent into hell, must we not infer that He was in contact with the lost souls there? If so what was the most probable object of the descent ?
To DEUS ME VIDES.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE HOMILIST.
Permit me to point out an omission in my reply on page 376 of your last number. I should have said Cowper in the lines :
“Happy the man who sees a God em
ployed, In all the good and ill that chequer life! Resolving all events, with their effects, And manifold results, into the will, And arbitration wise of the supreme.'
Cowper wisely recognises the Divine hand in human affairs, whilst Pope in the couplet : “Binding nature fast in fate," &c.
ORA ET LABORA.