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How is its universality to be accounted for? If you say by tradition, you cannot stop until you go back to Noah or to Abel; and in both cases you have satisfactory evidence that they were institutions of God.
Or, if you say that the idea is instinctive in man's mind, I would still say that you virtually grant the point, for an instinctive idea is a divine implantation.
II. THAT THE RELIGION OF MAN IS VALUABLE ONLY AS IT IS BASED ON EVANGELICAL FAITH. “By faith.” What made Abel's sacrifice acceptable? It must have been either because of the thing offered or the mode of offering. Was it the former? It is true that there was a difference in the sacrifice. Cain brought of the fruit of the ground as an offering, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock, and of the fat thereof. As far as the offerings themselves are concerned, one seems to be as good as the other; and as far, also, as they were related to the offerers, each brought what he himself had reared. Cain brought not a living creature, for he was tiller of the ground, and Abel was the keeper of a flock. Each brought what was his own, and this seems to have been proper. And in their relation to God, too, they seem equal. The fruit of the ground was as acceptable to Him as the fruit of the cattle. Under the Jewish law He actually enjoined both. We cannot, therefore, discern the difference in the sacrifice itself. The one sacrifice, in every respect, seems to have been as good as the other. Both had offered from their own property; and each of such offerings God in subsequent time, required and accepted. If then the difference is not to be discovered in the offerings ; it must be in the offerers, in the different states of mind they possessed. And this accords at once with our reason and the passage itself-Abel had faith—faith in God-faith in his moral relations-faith, too, perhaps, in the necessity of mediation ; and Cain had not this. The virtue was not in the sacrifice, but in the sentiments ; not in the materials presented, but in the minds of the presenters.
III. THAT THE RELIGION OF MAN HAS EVER BEEN OF IM
“Whatever is not of faith is sin." Paul speaks of this faith as doing three things. First : Giving divine acceptableness to existence. God had respect to Abel we are told. (Gen.) Faith gave acceptableness to Abel, and nothing else could. A man may make the greatest sacrifices; he may devote his property, his time, labor, health, life, all, yet without faith his attempts at worship are only insults to Omniscience. Without faith it is impossible to pleruse God. Faith generates the spirit of reverence, gratitude, and worship. Secondly: As giving moral righteousness to existence. “By which he obtained witness that he was righteous.” But in what does righteousness consist ? In being right in our external relations, right in relation to God, to His government, to the universe, and in being right in the spirit of our minds. The human heart is corrupt; it is deceitful, and desperately wicked. This must be rectified, &c. But how did God testify of the acceptableness “of his gifts”? Perhaps by fireGen. xv. 17 ; Lev. ix. 24 ; Judges vi. 21 ; 1 Kings, xviii. 38. Thirdly: As giving an honorable and lasting significance to existence. “He yet speaketh,"—in the margin“ is yet spoken of.” These different translations express a different idea ; the one the undying influence of his life, and the other his immortal fame ; both ideas are true and vitally connected, and therefore we canvass not the merits of their respective translations. We assert an undoubted historical fact, which includes both ideas, when we say that his faith gave a lasting and an honorable significance to his life. His voice comes down to us through sixty centuries, and it says that the great God will accept the worship of sinners, if offered in evangelical faith, and that He will honor and bless such worshippers with the testimony of His approval. True faith, or moral goodness, alone gives a lasting and honorable significance to life. The men who live in history and are honored by posterity, are only the men of genuine moral worth.
SUBJECT :— Mediatorial Influences Mirrored in Showers.
“As showers that water the earth."-Psa. lxxii, 6.
Inalysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Sebenty-sebenth. The influences of gospel truths in relation to humanity, are in other places of scripture, as well as here, compared to the rain of heaven. (Isa. lv. 10.) I. BOTH DESCEND FROM THEIR CREATOR. Whence come the showers ? “ He waterėth the earth from his chambers,” &c. No one else can send them. Gospel influences, the influence of redemptive truth, and love, are of God. No man could originate them.. " Eye hath not seen,” &c. II. BOTH DESCEND WITH APPARENT
First : In relation to place. On some spots showers descend more copiously than on others, and some places they scarcely ever visit. So of gospel influences. They are abundant in England, there are other lands on which they have never fallen. Secondly: In relation to quantity. On the same scenes showers descend more copiously at some times than on others. So with gospel influences. They sometimes come very powerfully upon the heart. III. BOTH
Three objects are aimed at by both :The production of Life-Beauty- Fruit. “As the rain cometh down from heaven to water the earth that it may give, ” &c. IV. BOTH ARE OFTEN ALLOWED TO RUN TO WASTE. The man that never tills his ground will not secure the full benefits of the showers. Nay, the rain will only nourish the weeds, thorns, and thistles, that ruin his land. So with gospel influences. Unless man work, all will run to waste. V. BOTH ALWAYS PROVE INJURIOUS WHERE THEY ARE NOT USEFUL. Showers either mollify or harden, vitalize or deaden, consolidate or rot, invigorate or weaken. So will gospel influences. They either nourish in the heart the hemlock of depravity, or the vine of holiness and truth. They ever prove either “the savour of life unto life, or the savour of death unto death."
INTENDED FOR BENEFICENT PURPOSES.
(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.]
worthy of living under grace, of REPLICANT. In answer to QuEk- enjoying the noblest relations Ist No. 25, p. 532. The question
with the father, it is well and
beautiful. Let there be no hint by our anonymous correspondent, relates rather to morals than
of the rod. Let even discipline theology. The text quoted is
be wholly moral in its instruonly one of many in Solomon to
ments, as well as spirits and aim. the same purport. The finding
But if the boy debases himself to of any particular moral, maxim,
the lower and brutal sphere, noor precept, in the Bible, does not
thing will wake him but physical shew it to be a part of revela
pain; and it is mere cant to talk tion.
Were he The Bible contains much
about degradation. matter of the sort, which comes
sensitive to the degradation of under the head of natural law,
the rod, he would be to the and evidences itself to reason.
arguments of his father. Was it We think this maxim about the
not Dr. Johnson who used to say, rod to come under this category
“My dear sir, clear your mind of à moral maxim adopted by bibli
cant”? There is a false, puling cal authority. Some boys have
sentimentalism gaining ground in sufficient intellect and heart to be
certain quarters, which, in relagoverned wholly by moral means;
tion to reason, is illogical, in and the number of such boys
relation to feeling, is mawkish; would probably prove far greater
and which, if carried into practice were the trial more extensively
on the small scale of the family, made. But there are fools who
and on the larger scale of the can neither be reasoned with nor
state, would have the most disastouched by entreaties nor tears;
trous consequences. C. W., M.A. and the soundest practical philo- (We also insert another reply.] sophy says of such—“A whip for
REPLICANT. In answer to QUERthe horse, a bridle for the ass, a
IST No. 25,
Cruelty rod for the fool's back!" Well
and violence according to the for the lad if the father should,
evidence daily before afas Shakspere says:
ford no symptom of being on like an angel come
the decrease. For every effect And whip the offending Adam from him; we should trace a cause. How Leaving his body as a paradise,
is it then that in a Christian counTo envelop and contain celestial spirits."
try, where tenderness, compasChrist came “to put away” worn- sion, goodwill and love, should be out ceremonies, but not to alter household words, we find so many moral truth. The New Testament offences being committed against recognises the
fathers of our flesh as the person ! Do not children having the power of the rod. learn more from example than Whilst the child shows himself precept ?
THE GOSPEL AND THE POOR.
Yet is it not the practice (a sity of the Christian dispensapractice most ancient and world- tion. Old things have passed wide) to visit children with cor- away. May the words, " Come let poral punishment whenever they us reason together," be the lanmay give offence to those around guage of the old to the young ! them, by any intellectual short- The pulpit may teach love and coming, moral failing, or childish the other virtues to a child, but error?
if the home sceptre, the paternal The same class of punishment or scholastic reformatory agency, which is often applied to criminals, is the creation of pain, upon and in many cases held as de- what principle of philosophy moralizing even to them, is can the two influences, church availed of for the development of and home, converge ? rectitude, love, and the charities Who can cause bodily suffering of life, in a child. The rod, a to a child and retain a real, calm, generic name for all appliances unruffled, Christ-like, frame of used for producing pain for cor- mind ? Has Christianity no rective purposes, has one striking substitute for the rod, no advance feature, it is an immediate and to make in this respect upon the summary mode of disposing of a usages of heathenism ? difficulty for the present time.
P. M. H. If it does not cast out, it makes dormant, any evil; moreover it is clearly retributive and sanctioned REPLICANT. In answer to QUERby society.
ist No. 26, p. 533. It is imposThe nature of the rod, however, sible to read this query without is absolutely to govern by brute mentally exclaiming, who is force, and is this right teaching“ Virgitate et Orate" ?-from and proper domination ? Is it what language, living or dead. not ignoring our persuasive and did he select his nom de plume ? reasoning influence ? Granted To what Christian community that a blow may be easier than does he belong ? And what an argument, who can tell the newspapers does he read ? For ultimate effects of the former upon my own part, I am bewildered. the child, or say that the latter, In the Churches of my neighif continuously, strenuously, bourhood (Southwark) the seats and consistently, followed up for the poor are the best placed would fail ? Which is most and best filled parts of the buildChrist-like ? Christ is our model. ings. Sermons to working men He was patient and His power are advertised well nigh ad nauwas a moral one. Are we justi
The lowest theatres have fied in doing that which the mind been used for worship, if by any cannot imagine Him doing ? means their debased frequenters The great lever of Christianity | might be brought into contact is love. Good influences are in- with the gospel.
Incessant apseparable from good examples. peals and efforts are made on beLaw has now succumbed to love; half of visiting societies, scripand who has yet gauged, weighed, ture readers' societies, tract soor fathomed, the vast and won- cieties, home missions, and ragged drous influence which dwells in schools, which, though not strictly those who speak and live out preaching, come fairly within the Christ-like ? The rod, the those endeavors to evangelize literal rod, is surely not a neces- the masses, which the scriptures