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into sundry practical admonitions and counsels, designed to stimulate and guide the Thessalonians in the pursuit of a deeper personal piety, as if to prepare them for the great day of the Lord. His exhortations range freely throughout the whole scale of moral duty, embracing in detail almost every practical obligation and interest of the Christian life. He counsels them first of all with respect to those who labour among them, and are over them in the Lord, to esteem them very highly for their work's sake. He then admonishes them to live at peace among themselves, and to engage in kindly ministries one to another, just as each has need, rendering to no man evil for eril, but to all men alike and universally only good. He exhorts them to rejoice evermore, to pray without ceasing, to give thanks in everythiny, neither to quench the Spirit nor to despise prophesyings, to prove all things, to hold fast that which is good, and, finally, to abstain from every species of evil.* “But,” he adds—not “and," as in our version, for this would break the line of his thought" But may the God of peace Himself sanctify you wholly, and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved whole without blame in the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” As much as if he had said : “ Give all diligence to observe these several precepts. Exercise yourselves sedulously and babitually in every department and in every form of practical godliness, and become thereby as complete and perfect as may be. But as all this will not avail to your entire need, and will in fact avail but little on its own account, may God Himself sanctify you wholly,' &c.
The rendering of the passage I have adopted is the one given by hishop Ellicott, and is substantially the same as that given by all modern critics. It requires indeed no special Greek scholarship to see its literal exactness. Very emphatic and very extended in meaning is the word translated “ wholly.” It expresses the entireness and universality of the operation prayed for in regard to its objects. “Your whole selves" is the idea intended, which collective idea is immediately after broken up into the three-fold division of “ body and soul and spirit.” The sanctification desired is thus to be the sanctification of every single power in particular, and of all the powers in their organised unity, making holiness the one characteristic feature and all-pervading quality of the entire man. So in the second part of the passage the term rendered " whole” has a special sigcificance not observable in our common English translation. It appears there as a mere qualifying adjective, whereas its true function is that of a determining predicate. The Apostle does not pray that their “whole spirit and soul and body may be preserved," but that each separately and all together may be preserved whole--each, as it were, entire in itself, and all in their organic oneness, alike spotless. What else then can the answer to this prayer be than what is meant by entire sanctification ? And what else can the answer to both prayers together be than what is meant by Christian perfection ? Any answer short of this would clearly fall, by that very amount, below the Apostle's fervent and enlarged desire.
• "All appearance of evil,” is our English rendering, but to nartós cidous Tompow clearly means every form or species of evil,
Yet one other observation in relation to these two remarkable prayers ought not to be omitted, if only for its practical influence and effect. Connected with the first is a virtual declaration on the part of the Apostle, in the form of a most majestic ascription, that God is able to do all that he explicitly and fervently prays for. Connected with the second is a distinct and formal declaration that He will do it. Here are the words :“ Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the Church, by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end." “ Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it."
Our space forbids us to consider in detail any other passages from the writings of St. Paul, though many of like character solicit our attention. For the same reason we are unable to compare his teaching or this subject with that of St. John, and, what would be still more interesting, the teaching of both with that of our blessed Lord. Were this possible we should find many confirmatory proofs of precisely the same doctrine, and many peculiar and suggestive forms of expression beautifully helpful to its further and completer exposition. We have chosen specially to dwell on the testimony of St. Paul, because he appears to have dealt with the question more formally and systematically than any other inspired teacher, following in this, no doubt, as in most other things, the native bent of his genius ; and because, again, the passages which contain his thoughts upon it are such as readily lend themselves to a free discussion of the whole subject.
One thing at least is clear from them, that entire sanctification, whatever its precise meaning, is a definite article in the Apostle's creed. Another thing is no less clear-that this entire sanctification comprehends so much more than regeneration that it is something, if not distinctly apart from it, yet considerably in advance of it. The two are manifestly not identical in the view he takes of them. They may be, as doubtless they are, naturally connected; but they are not therefore the same. The connection, moreover, need not be such that the one must by necessary consequence complete itself in the other, any more than that the child must become a man, or the bulb just putting forth its green shoot become a fair and fullgrown lily. The Corinthians, Ephesians, Colossians, Thessalonians--all were at the time of the Apostle's writing of the household of God," " sanctified in Christ Jesus," "saints and faithful brethren.” They could not have been this unless they had been “ quickened," "converted," "born again of the Spirit." They must at least have entered upon that stage of Christian experience in which a man, having repented and believed, has become really and consciously “a new creature in Christ Jesus." And yet, though this was their spiritual condition, though thus regenerate, and therefore in the same degree sanctified, they were in the Apostle's estimation so little sanctified as hardly in reality to be sanctified at all,
Not that regeneration is inconsiderable in itself. The bare word alone forbids this supposition. It implies rather a change of vast extent and of immeasurable interest. The moral and spiritual condition into which it brings an individnal is, to borrow the strong but not exaggerated language of Mr. Wesley, “ inexpressibly great and glorious." This our Apostle must himself hare thought, or he would not have called the regenerate believer “ a new creature," or have spoken of the process by which he becomes such now as a creation, and again as a resurrection from the dead. But there is, notwithstanding, in his view and hence also in his theology, a state, if not more new, yet of much higher character ; and it is only in comparison with this that the other appears so much less than it really is. The terms in which he speaks of it are, as we have seen, of singular energy and suggestiveness, and of very wide comprehension. It is hardly possible to assign to them any definite limits. There is no conceivable degree of holiness within the compass of man's finite nature to which they do not reach, and no conceivable supply of grace, as a means to its attainment, for which they do not supplicate. The Apostle would have the believer perfect throughout, alike in the individual virtues of his character and in the measure of their united development and growth. He would have him, therefore, much more than regenerated. Regeneration breaks the power of sin, but leaves it still existing within him ; the Apostle would have him free from it universally, both legally and morally, both experimentally and practically. Regeneration makes him a new creature, but leaves him still a child ; the Apostle would have him become a man, even up to the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. Regeneration implants within him a new and germinant principle of holy and heavenly love, but leaves it little more than a principle; the Apostle would have him so completely in the possession and under the sway of this divine passion that he shall love the Lord his God with all his heart, and with all his mind, and with all his soul, and with all his strength. He would have him, in short-for what can equal his own words ? -"sanctified wholly," and "filled up to all the fulness of God."
And this is what we mean by Christian perfection. This, I think, is what the Scriptures mean by it, when the term is used with reference to individual character and attainment. It unites, with purification from all sin, maturity in those several virtues and graces which are denominated the fruit of the Spirit, and which in their complementary and associated glories constitute in man personal boliness.
Let us, however, guard against possible mistakes. Though the language of Scripture is thus “ exceeding broad,” it is not addressed to our imagination, but to our reason ; not to our fancy, but to our faith. The perfection of which it speaks is capable, if not of definite yet of very intelligible restriction. It is essentially human perfection, and must therefore bear the impress of strictly human attributes. It is human in the sense of not being final but progressive, as otherwise it could not be the perfection of a being who is himself progressive. The “maturity " of which we have several times spoken is not intended to denote a fixed and uniform quantity, but one varying continually with the increasing capability of the subject. So that of the same individual it may be said, he is perfect and yet daily becoming more perfect. The vessel enlarges by what it contains, and with this, of course, the absolute measure, though not the absolute fulness. The believer's horizon widens as he ascends. The goal at which he aims moves farther off the farther he runs. The prize of his high calling is at the same time gained and not gained. It recedes as he approaches it, and thus invites him continually onward towards an end that is never actually reached.
It is human, too, in the further sense that it need not be progressive, and yet cannot remain stationary. Unlike the perfection of angels and of glorified spirits, it is always in this life perfection / under discipline and in a state of probation. For which reason it is clearly susceptible of damage and loss, and even in the long run
—though surely only by a very remote contingency- liable to utter failure and ruin.
It is human, yet once again, in the fact that it is connected with a bodily organisation which itself is confessedly imperfect, and which cannot at present be otherwise. The curse which originally lighted upon it has not, at least in its natural consequences, been as yet removed ; nor will it be until that moment of divine transfiguration, when mortality shall be gwallowed up of life. This in many ways interferes with its proper faculty and perfectly healthful function, and so interferes with the full and perfect activity of the immortal soul, of which it is now at once the injured shrine and the imperfect instrument. Man, in a great variety of respects, both in himself and in his outward environment, is “ compassed with infirmity," and this infirmity affects alike his judgment and his action. A mistake in the one is almost sure to lead to a mistake in the other. Perfect knowledge of almost anything is hard to obtain in the present life, and is indeed frequently impossible, even in regard to matters which deeply concern our moral and religious interests. With the necessary limitation of our faculties, there are defects of early education not easily discovered, or when discovered not easily overcome, which tend readily to lead us into irregularity both of thought and conduct. With these, again, there are the deceptions imposed upon us by others, wittingly or unwittingly, and the misconceptions and false judgments into which we are led by the obseurities and seeming perplexities of God's providential dealings with us, of which the natural product is and must be practical disorder of some kind, and at times even of a serious kind. And yet to be subject to all this may rather be considered as our misfortune than our fault. It renders impossible an ideal perfection, but not therefore a real one. A man cannot well be blamed for what he cannot avoid. He is morally and religiously what he is in the spirit of his mind, and this spiritual condition is not injured by occasional irregularities and mistakes which, it may be, no prudence of his could prevent. “ Blessed are the pure in heart," says the Great Teacher, and this inward purity suffers nothing, we must think, in the Divine estimation, because of faults in judgment and behaviour which are not intelligently and directly under the control of the will. A loving and dutiful child is not less loving or dutiful, and should not be deemed so, because, from natural infirmity or unavoidable misapprehension, he does what perfect love and dutifulness, under other cir
cumstances, would not do. And so the believer who professes to love God with all his heart need not be regarded as in any way wanting in this supreme affection, because there is occasionally something in tis character which seems not in complete and absolute accord with it. The motive may be perfect where the knowledge is extremely imperfect. The source of an action may be altogether good where the action itself is not so. The purity of a fountain does not infallibly guarantee the purity of the stream flowing from it throughout its whole course.
But, after all, is the perfection of which we have thus spoken really attainable in the present life ? And if so, what is the divinely instituted method of its acquirement ?
THE LAST JOURNALS AND DEATH OF DR.
DR. LIVINGSTONE was led to undertake his last and fatal travels in Africa in this wise. He had returned to England in July, 1864, with the intention of spending the rest of his days in the bosom of his family and friends. He had already accomplished two great journeys through South and across South Central Africa. During these journeys he had discovered almost innumerable rivers and lakes, mountains and valleys, with beautiful districts of country teeming with life and fertility, inhabited by numerous and diverse races of men, and that too in regions which were supposed before to have been nothing but a waste and sterile desert. There still, howerer, remained a vast tract of South Central Africa to be explored, and several difficult geographical problems to be solved. Between Speke and Grant's and Baker's discoveries in the north, and Livingstone's in the south, there was a vast region of which little or nothing was known. Further investigation and a due consideration of the character of the newly-explored countries led thinking men to doubt and question whether Captain Speke had traced the Nile to its headquarters when he watched it flow a noble stream from the Victoria Nyanza Lake. These doubts and questions soon resolved themselves into actual belief that the head waters of the river of Egypt must be carried as far south, and farther south as some thought, than Lake Tanganyika. The minds of all men interested in African discovery were drawn towards this unknown country between Lakes Nyassa and Tanganyika. The great problem of the watershed between these two lakes had to be solved, and then all questions about South Central Africa would be definitively settled. But who would undertake the work? That was the question. The Royal Geographical Society tried to engage someone to do it, but they did not succeed. They then once more turned to Dr. Livingstone as the only man likely to carry out their wishes. Sir Roderick Murchison, the President of the Society, waited upon the Doctor to tell him of their failure. After a long conversation, during which they