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inspiration from the Bible. Fourthly: Not the commercial
Merchandise is a divine institution ;-Christianity urges us to be “diligent in business.” Fifthly: Not the social world. It does not crucify any natural social feeling, nor disregard any natural social relationship, but the reverse. What world then does it crucify? The corrupt moral world of human nature ; —the corrupt spirit that governs men in this world as sinners. What is that spirit ? (1) It is the spirit of practical atheism. Men live in God's world ignoring His existence. The Cross crucifies this. (2) It is the spirit of animalism. Men live to the flesh; the soul is submerged in matter. “What shall we eat, and what shall we drink?" &c., is the question. The Cross crucifies this. (3) It is the spirit of selfishness. Every man seeks his own as the primary end of action. The Cross crucifies this, and inspires man with benevolence. This is Christianity; this is the Cross. Who is ashamed of it?
In the Cross of Christ I glory:
Towering o'er the wrecks of time,
Gathers round its head sublime.
Hopes deceive and fears annoy,
Lo! it glows with peace and joy.
Light and love upon my way,
Adds more lustre to the day.
By the Cross are sanctified;
Joys that through all time abide.
Towering o'er the wrecks of time;
SUBJECT :-The Body, the Dark Medium of Spiritual Vision.
“Now we see through a glass darkly.”—1 Cor. xiii. 12.
Analysis of Homily the Four Hundred and Thirteenth. It needs no illustration to show that our vision of spiritual things is very dim. The cause of this is our subject :-the medium is dark, that medium is the body. Through the five senses we gather all the lights that flash on our consciousness and form within us ideas. But why is it dark ? I. THE
BODY TENDS TO MATERIALIZE THE CONCEPTIONS OF THE MIND.
THE DECISIONS OF THE MIND.
We "judge after the flesh.” II. THE BODY TENDS TO SWAY
“ The desires of the flesh” often move and master the soul. III. THE BODY TENDS TO CLOG THE OPERATIONS OF THE MIND. Business, sleep, refreshment, exercise, disease,—all these interrupt the soul. Our visions of spiritual things being so dim. First: None should pride themselves in their knowledge. Secondly: None should arrogate infallibility of judgment. Thirdly: We should anticipate brighter and fuller visions, when the medium is removed, and we
see face to face.”
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.]
CONSCIENCE AN ORIGINAL FACULTY.
Geometry rests on axioms, Optics REPLICANT. In answer to QUER- on phenomena attested by the eye, Ist No. 1, p. 54. Conscience, which Music on the listening of the ear. is sometimes termed the moral In discussing topics which belong sense, is that by which we judge to these sciences, you are perone action to be right, another to petually compelled either to refer be wrong. All sciences depend directly to, or to take for granted, on first principles, and these first these first principles. So in Moprinciples are the immediate dic- rals, if you are discussing the dates of our nature. This will be right or wrong of a particular obvious on a moment's attention. action, the argument cannot move
INDIVIDUAL AND CORPORATE
à step without assuming certain viour, so now there are a universal first principles, such as, that we need and vague aspiration for the should do as we would be done consummation of the blessing. unto, or, that a man ought to regard the welfare of his children, or that we ought to respect the intentions of God as manifest in REPLICANT. In answer to QUERthe constitution of our nature. IST No. 3, p. 54. As my name A cultivated conscience is one was associated with U. T.s query which by practice has learnt to No. 43, vol. 8, page 531, which apply these principles to parti- P. M. H. has reproduced at cular cases, but the principles greater length, perhaps I may be themselves are granted at first by permitted to offer the following all human beings, in whom there | in reply:is not a natural defect, so soon as (1) “ Has any individual a they come to years of under- right to expect, or require, any standing. This appears so obvi- act from another, which he would ous as to need no demonstration. not perform himself ? ” On the In vain would you attempt to assumption that that other is in educate a man morally who had the same position and circum. no notion of duty. As well might stances as himself, certainly not. you attempt to teach a man born But I need not remind P. M. H. blind the nature of color. The that there are relative duties, as natural faculty which gives us well as individual ; and that what the notion of duty, and enables is perfectly right in a parent, a us to form moral judgments, as master, òr a ruler, might be perthe eye gives us the idea of color fectly wrong in a child, a servant, and enables us to identify and or a subject. distinguish colors, we call Con- (2) “Should any consistent science or the Moral sense.
advocate of capital punishments object, or refuse, to carry out by
his own hands the last penalty of REPLICANT. In answer to Quer- the law ?! When circumstances ist No. 2, p. 54. We know of no point him out as the proper perbetter interpretation than that son to undertake such a duty, which was given in our April certainly not. But we must alpumber. Neither do we see any ways distinguish between quesobjection to include inferior ani- tions of conscience, and questions mals, so far as their nature ren- of physical nerve. We may inders such reference possible. stinctively shrink from doing Beasts are affected by man, since many things which we know in man is their lord. Raise men our consciences to be indubitably and you benefit beasts, and vice right. versa. The 19th and 20th verses (3) “ Assuming that capital might include a reference to punishments are in harmony with beasts, but, of course, in a vague Christian ethics, is not the odium and looser way.
With regard to now attaching to the Sheriff's the Gentile world “waiting for assistant most illogical ? ” Unthe manifestation of the Sons of doubtedly it is : and it would be God,” we see no difficulty. In scarcely less so, on the assumpthe same way as the universal tion that capital punishments desires for redemption were an were contrary to Christian ethics; unconscious prophecy of the Sa- for then the odium would pro
THE GROANING OF CREATION.
perly attach to those who advo- cannot have in his individual cate, and those who order, execu- capacity. To the former of these tions, rather than to the execu- no exception can be taken ; and it tioner exclusively. But there is is, as P. M. H. intimates, a truth something far more illogical than peculiarly important now, when this alleged odium of the hang- combination for all kinds of pur
It is when writers on poses is so universal, and when “ Christian ethics” adopt popular we so often see how such divided sentiment (real, or supposed) as responsibility tends to weaken ina test of truth, and insinuate that dividual conscience. With respect " odium” is an evidence of wrong. to the second proposition, I would If we followed out such a deduc- respectfully urge our QUERIST to tion from popular feelings, whether reconsider his position; for he will on this side the Atlantic or the find, on consulting his New Tesother, we should arrive at some tament, that society in its nasurprising conclusions.
tional form has most important (4)
“ Can any consistently rights and functions, which do not advocate war, who is not ready belong to individual citizens. forthwith to take up arms, and Thus Christianity prohibits prished blood ?” Again, distinguish- vate vengeance (Rom. xii. 19.), ing between conscience and phy- but it recognises public vengeance, sical fitness, I reply No;-but on as the divinely appointed mission this condition, that by “forthwith” of civil government (Rom. xiii. 4 P. M. H. means, “so soon as the –6). P. M. H. seems to view circumstances have arisen under society as only an aggregate of which such an
one advocated independent units, instead of what war. We may thank God that, it is, an organized whole. Perat the worst times, a very small haps by observing the language proportion of the population is and conduct of inspired nien we required actually to engage in may obtain more satisfaction on warfare ; and in a nation of free, these points than by vague genebrave the duty of volunteer- ralities about “moral rights and ing for such service can safely be immunities,” “theory of society," left to individual judgment. As &c. St. Paul did not court assassiregards consistency, methinks it nation-he guarded against it is no more inconsistent for one (Acts ix. 25—xxiii. 17.); yet to maintain the lawfulness of war, when before Festus he used these while he sees it not his own duty words, (Acts xxv. 11.)—"If I have to practise arms, than it is for committed anything WORTHY one to advocate the spread of DEATH, I refuse not to die." Now Christianity without himself be- if St. Paul knew that in reality coming a missionary.
no crime was worthy of death, Our friend's remaining para
and that his execution as graphs do not take the form of actual malefactor would have questions, and are not very easy been as much a murder as his of analysis. If I read them aright being destroyed by the populace they involve two, and only two, for preaching the Gospel, how propositions. (1) That man in could he, whose special glory it his corporate action is as much was to bear witness to the truth amenable to the laws of rectitude, “ before the Gentiles, and kings," as in his private conduct. (2) allow himself to use such language That man in a corporate capacity as this ? To his hearers it could acquires no moral rights which he convey but one meaning; and to
suppose a mental reservation on Judgment-day? until when, the his part, under such circumstan- amount of good or evil effected ces—when, if ever, the guilt of through our influences will not death punishments should have be revealed. SPES. been solemnly denounced—is to impute to him a supressio veri,
5._"Let him that is without which to reconcile with his manly
sin cast the first stone,” Did our straightforwardness were difficult,
Saviour here allude to sin in and with his inspiration, impos- general, or to its particular phase sible.
then brought under His notice? E. J. J.
6.-In any revision of our Bible,
what would be a fuller rendering Queries to be answered in our next of the Scripture which now stands Number.
thus?_“Give us this day our
daily bread ?" ANGLICUS. 4.-To those who feel assured during life of salvation, and after 7.-No declaration appears in life of eternal joy (and many the first chapter of Genesis, that Christians of different denomi- “God saw that the work of the nations assert their assurance of second day was good.” Is this such blessedness), of what great simply a translational omission? or actual importance will be the
The Pulpit and its Three Handmaids.
HISTORY, SCIENCE, ART.
THE NEMESIS OF CIVILISATION.
No reflection is borne home with more melancholy impressiveness upon the student of history than that of the range and potency of the great law of mutation. Man sees this law acting in the universe around him, but he is slow to open his eyes to the extent of its sway over himself. If the forest has grown green and faded for hundreds of years, he yet knows it will some day fall. He has a terrible suspicion that the very soil of the world may be
come exhausted. He can believe that the stars will grow old; but he is exquisitely ingenious in shielding his breast from thought of his own death, and still less does he realise that even the forces gained by the social union are unable to resist the approaches of decay, and that nations and politics sink into the grave as well as individuals. It is a melancholy thing to behold the system of civilisation which has illumined the world for a thousand years smouldering in grey ashes. Yet
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