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for her own sake, but that she may become the channel for conveying His blessings to others, is growing among us. The hard and fast lines by which the human race was divided into the two classes of elect and hopelessly reprobate are being obliterated. And instead there is coming in the conception of the church as an elect company whom God has chosen to be the ministers of His grace to the mass of their fellow-men, dead and living, upon whose sorrow and darkness the light has not yet shined. Here, while holding fast to the Scriptural doctrine of election, and of the sovereignty of Qod, for which Calvinism has made just and stout contention, we get also on to ground, which deserves a better name than "extra-biblical," where we see that Qod has not separated the church by any arbitrary decree from the rest of the human race, but that, in accord with the organic laws which underlie its constitution, He has chosen out a class who are the first-born in His great family in which there are to be later-born, and who are called to raise up the name of the dead upon their lost inheritance. We are quite sure that both the Andover speculation about a future probation for the heathen, and the Princeton doctrine which affirms that death fixes destiny, need to be supplemented by this larger and truer view of the purpose of God in electing a church "from the foundation of the world to the praise of the glory of His grace." (Bph. i. 4^6). The Andover mistake is in mimimizing this special salvation, and in supposing that the door to it is still kept open during an intermediate state. The Princeton mistake is in viewing "the glory of His grace " as limited to these objects of it. Whereas it must shine out from them as its first recipients, upon wider and wider circles in the great family of our common Father, "from whom every family in heaven and earth is named," (Eph. iii. 15, R. V.) and who has provided to bring all within its scope through their recovery out of death to another life.
The Object Op Life.—In the same number of The Forum Mr. Grant Allen discusses this question, "What do we live for? from the stand-point of the materialist. He speaks of the "old exploded dogmatic fallacy that the cosmos has been constructed upon a definite plan and with a deliberate design, instead of being merely, as we know it to be, the inevitable outcome of unconscious energies." As, therefore, the universe has no scheme and no designer, "life has no object, any more than the revolution of the planets has an object, or the double refraction of Iceland spar, or the particular flow of the back currents that swirl and eddy below the spray of Niagara."
Such a monstrous conclusion can only be based upon a monstrous assumption. Such an one we find in the first sentence above quoted, in which the author starts out with the assertion that "we now know the cosmos to be the inevitable outcome of unconscious energies." Who told Mr. Allen that these energies are unconscious? Where did he find this out? We advise him to go to school for a whileto the Theosophists. They are now telling us that even Matter can think. And among the evolutionists there are those who assure us that the most scientific conception of the universe is that it "is made of mind-stuff." Mr. Allen, we suppose, believes him. self to have consciousness. He defines himself to be "a highly envolved final outcome of kinetic energy, falling upon the aqueous and gaseous envelopes of this particular earth's surface-" Such, he tells us, was the genesis of the human race, which, viewed abstractly, has no more purpose to subserve in the scheme of the universe than the fungus of the vine-disease. But, granting that man is a product of the energies of nature, we would ask how can "unconscious energies " produce a self-conscious man? Is it not fair to assume that the forces which beget such a product must be themselves conscious? And here we come to the Biblical conception of the universe, as a system pervaded by conscious, intelligent, forces, the ministers of the One Supreme Force, the Almighty Maker of heaven and earth. It is a monstrous fallacy to assume that all these energies at work in creation from the beginning are unconscious. It must soon become a necessity of Science, as it is a truth of Scripture, to regard the forces of nature, known to us by such names as light and gravitation, and electricity and "kinetic energy," as the angels of His might, and to confess that "by Him were all things created, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions pr principalities or powers. All things were created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things. And by Him all things consist." The idea of conscious life as the product of unconscious energies is so thin an absurdity that even a materialist ought to be able to see through it.
Vol. III.] SEPTEMBER, 1887. [No. 9
THE CHRISTIANITY OF THE FUTURE.
The following from the Chicago Times, of July 17, gives utterance to thoughts which are now stirring in many minds:
It is probable that we are to be forced, ere long to the serious consideration of how closely Christianity, as taught and practiced, is in accord with the actual spirit of its Founder. Somehow it is meeting with unexpected opposition in the world, which raises the question of whether Christianity is really Christian. We shall have to confess that it is not satisfactorily so, says an exchange. If the question was put in this form, Is Christianity Christlike? we should readily admit that it is not. It has lost, or grown weak in some of the main characteristics of its Founder. It does not adequately preach the Gospel to the poor, nor do its members seek first the kingdom of God; they do not love their brethren as themselves, nor are they touched with the feeling of others' infirmities to the degree which impels them to adequate measures of relief. While it has gained much, Christianity has also suffered in its contact with the world—it has lifted the world up immeasurably beyond its old position, but it has also been dragged down from the sublime ideal established by Jesus Christ. It must return. It cannot stoop and conquer. Its only hope of acceptance lies in maintaining itself as the one thing pure, to which men may give themselves with the assurance that there is nothing better. It seems unnecessary to say that current Christian practice does not conform to such an ideal as this. It is easy to say that Christianity is to be judged by its ideal precepts and not by the actions of its adherents. But in the practical world it is not judged by its ideal precepts—it is judged by its fruits. It will continue to be judged so. Therefore it is impossible to see how it is to succeed in extending itself much further without our broadening our conception of human brotherhood, deepening our sense of human wrongs, miseries, and sins, and without a larger degree of self-sacrifice, sympathy, and purity of life. As Canon Wilberforce says: '' The only thing Christianity needs just now is Christians." And these sooner or later it will have to find. We shall be driven by increasing scepticism and indifference to raise our standard of personal fidelity to Christ and His command. Nothing will eventually be found to answer except that every Christian shall try to be a Christ. Christianity will learn to be not only Christian, bat Christlike, else it cannot venture to offer itself as a rejnedy for human wrongs and an antidote for human fears and sorrows. It is a fact that Christianity has always made most rapid progress in those periods when its theology has been simplest and its practice purest. The creed of Christendom has never been so simple, nor its life so pure and Christ-like, as in apostolic times, when it spread so raj>idly around the Mediterranean. The great Wesleyan revival originated in the feeling that the age had drifted, both in theology and in practice, very far from the teachings of Christ, and its entire strength lay in the emphatic call to greater simplicity of faith and purity of life. The Church was compelled to raise its standard of living by the same causes that are operating now, the spread of atheism among the learned, and indifference and immorality among the ignorant. The Wesleyan revival was the only answer that was ever needed or could be given to the infidelity of the eighteenth century—only it did not go far enough. There is a degree of beauty and completeness in the example of Jesus Christ never dreamed of by Wesley and his followers, and this it belongs to the Christians of our time to discover and illustrate in their lives. It will be cure enough for the infidelity and indifference of our time.
When we inquire into the causes of the weakness of modern Christianity, which we are obliged to confess is here truthfully sketched, we are compelled to specify them as mainly these:
I. A perverted conception of the salvation which Jesus brings to men. It is viewed mainly as rescue from everlasting punishment, rather than from the sins which make punishment necessary. This depreciates character. Men need to be aroused to the truth that God has no other way of saving men from the penalty of their sins, except as He lifts them out of that sinful nature to which penalty and suffering are attached. Men are saved so far as they are emancipated from the appetites and passions, the pride and selfishness and greed of their old evil nature. And this can be completely done only by the death of that nature. They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with its affections and lusts. Many people seem to look upon the atonement as a device by which a special class can slip through. Whereas, the very meaning of it is the bringing of the old nature of sin to judgment. If professing Christians refuse this judgment against themselves, and persist in living after the flesh, obeying its dictates and allowing its ideas and selfish desires to control their lives, they must reap corruption. "If ye live after the flesh ye shall die." God's harvest law admits no exceptions. "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap." Too many professing Christians expect to evade this law by a faith which shall be counted to them instead of righteousness. Whereas, a faith whose fruit is not unto righteousness is worthless. "Without holiness no man shall see the