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FAMILIAR CONVERSATIONS ON ROMANISM - SEVENTH CONVERSATION -- THE MASS

N. Well, Mrs. James, good evening. I suppose James will be here.

Mrs. James. He will; for he went to see Bill M., and they will come, I expect, together. Sit down, sir, if you please. They will soon be here; and the two gentlemen will, too, I suppose.

N. Well, Mrs. James, and what do you say to what you have heard?

Mrs. James. I am very thankful for my husband, and for Bill M. It would have been a great grief if James had been led away from the truth. I could only look up that he might be kept. But to think of his being led into what I knew was false; and then the children! It was terrible! but God is very gracious. I was astonished at some things I heard; and it is a sorrowful thing to think that what the blessed Lord planted so fair and lovely by His Spirit, should have become so awfully corrupt. But I think, sir, when persons have known redemption and forgiveness themselves, and rest in Christ, they do not want all this. They have found a sure resting-place themselves in the work and Person of the Lord Jesus Christ -- can cry, Abba Father, in the consciousness of the present grace wherein they stand. They know that what they have got is the eternal grace and truth which came by Jesus Christ, who loved us and gave Himself for us; they trust that love; they have known and believed the love that God has to them: and their spirits are at rest in the love and favour of God. And I have found that these Romanists (but I do not say but some of them love Christ) are for slaving to gain His favour, and by penances, as if God wanted to torment them; and prayers, as if praying was not a delight and comfort, and none like it; and, after all, it ends in absolution and purgatory. It is not Christianity in which by divine love and God's righteousness we are reconciled to God and have peace. They seem never to have real peace. Satisfied some are, but no true peace with God, or they could not want to be working so to make it, seeing that Christ has died for us and we know God's love.

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N. It is most true; still I do not doubt that some of them love the Lord. There is piety, but no knowledge of redemption.

Mrs. James. I see some of them pious, but their piety is all mixed up with looking to the Virgin, who is not God, and never died for us, and of course could not; and to penances, and mortifying the body, and voluntary humility, as you know the scripture says, sir. Their piety is not true Christian grace and happiness, any more than their doctrines are Christian. I never saw one that had the liberty of the Spirit; and pretending still again to offer Christ must keep them there. They do not know what it is to believe that God has said "their sins and iniquities will I remember no more," because of Christ's precious offering of Himself, by which He has perfected for ever them that are sanctified. It is a blessing to think what the love of God has been to us.

N. And is, Mrs. James: we dwell in it; at least that is the Christian's abode, even here below.

Mrs. James. It is true.

N. But you are right; "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself." Well, we must pray for them, and that the word may be blessed to them; for it is sorrowful to think that the pious ones you speak of should be kept from the blessed liberty of divine favour in which Christ set us in Himself, and which we enjoy through the Holy Ghost. The last point you referred to is the one we are to take up this evening. But it is true that when a person really knows redemption, Romanism is at once to them a fable, and the very denial of Christianity; but how many pious persons, and not only among Romanists, but Protestants though mercifully preserved, who do not know redemption! I do not mean they deny it, perhaps have professedly no other hope, but who do not know it so as to possess its present peaceful effect by faith. How many there are who truly own Christ to be the Saviour, who think it presumptuous to be assured of forgiveness and salvation! Yet, Scripture is plain enough. In that day, when the Comforter would be come, they should know, it is written, they were in Christ and Christ in them. How can they cry, Abba Father, which is what distinguishes the Christian state, if they do not know they are children?

But here are your husband and Bill M. Good evening.

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James and Bill M. Good evening, sir. I see the gentlemen are not here, so we are not too late.

N. We were speaking, while waiting for you all, of the assurance of salvation, or at least had got on that point, when you came in.

Bill M. I wish I had it.

N. Well M., it is the plain privilege of every simple believer. It is written, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life"; and again, "By him, all that believe are justified from all things."

Bill M. Well, I suppose then, I do not believe, for I cannot say that I have everlasting life, nor that I am justified.

N. Your conclusion is not just. Do you not believe in your heart that the blessed Jesus is the Son of God?

Bill M. That I surely do; that is not what I doubt, but I do not know I have any part with Him; and the more I see the blessedness of it, and the more I know myself, the more I doubt.

N. All this searching of heart is very useful; but, as to the truth, you see, God has pronounced in your case. You believe on the Son, and the word of God declares that whoever believes on Him has eternal life and is justified.

Bill M. I see; at least in my mind, I see it clear.

N. What we are going to speak of may clear it up still more for you; still it must be a faith wrought by God in your soul. This doctrine of justification by faith was just what was brought out at the Reformation; and indeed they went too far then, so as yet to cloud it a little. They held that personal assurance of one's own salvation alone was justifying faith, and that is just what your reply amounted to; and this was condemned by the Council of Trent, as the vain confidence of the heretics. But this was the believing something about oneself, not about Christ; whereas Scripture presents Christ as the object of faith, and tells us judicially that he who believes on Him is justified. But Christ, not our own justification, is the object of faith, and we know it when we submit to God's judgment about it, instead of forming our own about our state, which must leave us in doubt. And we have to be humbled, and, as to this, emptied of self and self-righteousness in its subtler forms, to bow to God's way of justifying.

Bill M. But it is said somewhere we are to examine ourselves whether we are in the faith.

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N. The words are there; but it is only half a sentence, and cutting off the first half entirely changes the sense. The whole sentence is, "Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, ... examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." "Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me" is an unfinished sentence; and before concluding it, there is a parenthesis which is evidently such, and then the original sentence is concluded with "examine yourselves," etc., as already quoted. And the apostle immediately appeals to their certainty that they were Christians to shew their folly in questioning his apostleship. "Know ye not your own selves, how that Christ dwells in you except ye be reprobates?" How did he come there, if Christ had not spoken in him, for he had been the means of their conversion? Paul had been proving he was an apostle, which the false Judaising teachers had called in question, because he was not ordained and sent by Peter and the others. Paul appeals to his miracles and labour amongst them, and every other proof of his apostleship. And at last, reproaching them for their folly, says, "If I am not an apostle, how are you Christians? 'Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, examine yourselves.' If Christ did not speak by me you are not Christians, for, as he says, I have begotten you all by the gospel." It was an unanswerable argument to them. They denied their own Christianity if they denied his apostleship.

James. I see plain enough; I never noticed that. Why, Bill, it is no precept to examine ourselves at all, but to them a confounding proof he was an apostle.

N. It is all well to examine if we are walking up to it; but that is another thing. But tell me, M., how should you like your children to inquire if they were your children?

Bill M. Nay, that would never do.

N. Surely not. It would be ruinous. But if they were to examine themselves, and judge themselves as to whether they were dutiful children, walking up to the place and duty of children?

Bill M. I wish they always did.

N. We see the difference clearly; and the latter is all right, provided it is done because we are children, and in the true confidence of a child in his father's love. We all pass through the other; and it is very natural, when we are in earnest, till we see redemption clearly; because we are inquiring what we are for God, not believing what He has been and what He has done for us. Now judging ourselves as to holiness of walk and living to Christ is all very right; but if I connect this with my acceptance, I have not learned God's love to me when a sinner, nor the efficacy of that work in the value of which I stand before God. It is in principle self-righteousness, though very useful to make us find we cannot make out any true righteousness. So the prodigal talks of being a hired servant before he met his father; once there and the father on his neck, that was all over; his place depended on what his father was for him, not what he was for his father; his fitness to go in was the best robe -- Christ. Yet he was going right from the time he came to himself. Never forget, M., that our duties flow from the place we are already in. The duties are not the means of winning it, for they are not duties till you are in it. You cannot have the duties of a servant to me, because you are not such. Your children are bound to obey you, because they are your children.

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Bill M. That is plain, but we have a deal to get rid of.

N. Get Christ as a Saviour and you get power too, and liberty from sin: "Sin shall not have dominion over you, for ye are not under law, but under grace."

But here are these gentlemen. Good evening, Mr. R. good evening, Mr. D.

Mr. R., Mr. D. Good evening.

N. We were waiting your arrival, and have not entered on our subject, but were speaking of the peace we have through Christ.

R. We are about the hour fixed, I think. Peace is a happy thing no doubt, but we must take care we do not deceive ourselves. Presumption is a dangerous thing, and we may most easily deceive ourselves. "No man knoweth love or hatred by all that is before him."

N. Assuredly we may deceive ourselves, and there are cases where warning may be timely; but that is the comfort of resting on God's word. This cannot deceive us. Your quotation from Ecclesiastes has no application to our Christian place. "Hereby know we love that he laid down his life for us." Do we not know evil in the world's rejection of him, man's hatred against God? We know perfect love, and alas! perfect hatred in the cross. To say nothing of our own enjoyment of it, it is monstrous to apply this to the gospel or to the Christian. John says, "we have known and believed the love God hath to us." "God hath commended his love to us, that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us"; surely we ought to believe in it. Ecclesiastes takes up what is done under the sun -- whether mortal man can find satisfying happiness here, and learns that all is vanity and vexation of spirit. It is not the revelation of grace in the Son of God.

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James. Pray be seated, gentlemen. We are all anxious to hear you on the subjects you spoke of. Bill M. knows more about it than I do; but we are both glad to hear what you have to say, and to know the truth.

Bill M. I should above all, if you are so kind, desire to hear about the Mass. It was made so much of with me, and seems the great point with the Catholics. They go to hear Mass, and say it brings people out of purgatory, and is for the remission of sins. I shall be glad to hear about transubstantiation, but this is a darker matter for me, which I do not much understand. But everything was made of the Mass with me; and if there is still a sacrifice for the remission of sins, it is a wonderful thing and no one should despise it. I see a great deal more than I did of the good of Christ's one sacrifice, but about the Mass I am not clear.

N. If these gentlemen have no objection, then, we will begin with the Mass, and speak of transubstantiation afterwards. "He goes to Mass" is the very definition of a Roman Catholic, so to say. I do not think, important as it may be and is, it will keep us very long.

R. I have no objection, nor I suppose Mr. D. either.

N. Well then, we will take up the doctrine of the Mass; we have ample authority as to the Roman Catholic doctrine on the subject, but we had better let Mr. R. make his own statement.

R. We must approach so holy and solemn a subject with reverence, but the proofs of the truth of it are as simple as they are strong. No religion in the world was ever without a sacrifice, and when men left the true God to worship idols, they still kept up this thought, identified, as it is, with the instincts of human nature, and sanctioned by the revelation of God, beginning with Abel, who was surely taught of God as to it, and developed in the sacrifices commanded to be offered under the law. It is impossible to believe that Christians -- the true religion of God -- should be left without any. Moreover it is contrary to the plain revelation of prophecy. Malachi declares as plainly as words can express it, "From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same my name is great among the Gentiles; and in every place there is a sacrifice, and there is offered to my name a clean oblation." This is express. So we find in Genesis 14 that Melchisedec brought forth bread and wine, and (or indeed for) he was priest of the most high God. And Christ is a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec; so that bread and wine in connection with priesthood according to the order of Melchisedec is fully confirmed. I might adduce 1 Corinthians 10 where we read, "Ye cannot drink the chalice of the Lord and the chalice of devils; you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord and of the table of devils," etc. Now the table of devils was their altar; hence we must clearly conclude that what is called the Lord's table is also an altar. This makes the institution of it by the Lord very plain which took place on the word,, "This do": in which the sacrifice was instituted, and they were consecrated priests with the command to offer it: for "doing" is a sacrificial word. We have also the uniform testimony of the Fathers from Justin Martyr, Clemens Alexandrinus, Cyprian, all of whom speak of this sacrifice and in the strongest terms. And it is not merely Catholics, but the whole professing church has accepted it -- Greeks and all sects which have sprung up -- outside the pale of the church.

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N. Well, Mr. R., you have fairly given the proofs alleged by Bellarmine, and even the Catechism of the Council of Trent. Milner does but repeat the same more briefly. One would say, he felt weak on the point. He refers back to what he had said in his letter on the means of sanctity as a motive for being brief -- a convenient cover for having little to say, if people do not refer to the letter; for there he has said nothing at all, save quoting Malachi, the universal resource, and the words of institution which he does in this letter on the Mass. Again Dr. Milner's definition of a sacrifice is clearly false and poor. He says, "it is an offering up and immolation of a living animal or other sensible thing to God in testimony that He is the master of life and death, the Lord of us and of all things." Now, not to say that there were sacrifices which were not of living or sensible things under the law, as the meat offering, and confining myself to what was sacrifice in the full sense of it, all that he speaks of leaves out the question of sin altogether. The majesty of God is owned as having power over life and death, but upon the face of his definition no thought of sacrifice for sin has any place. The Council of Trent gives us no definition of sacrifice, but states pretty fully its doctrine of the Mass: only that the church has a visible sacrifice to represent Christ's bloody sacrifice, and that was to be permanent (Sess. 20, cap. 2), referring to the institution of the Lord's supper and Malachi's prophecy.

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Into what is said of the sacrifice of the Mass itself, I will go fully though briefly. I only note here how the idea of sacrifice is lost in its true value. Bellarmine's definition is "an external oblation made to God alone, which in acknowledgment of human infirmity and profession of the divine majesty, the object of the senses and permanent, by a lawful minister, is by a mystic rite consecrated and transmuted" (Bell. de Sacr. Euch. 10 Lib. 5, cap. 2, 26 ) This would lead us very little to a just thought of the sacrifice of Christ. The Catechism of the Council of Trent, De Eucharistia Sacramento, cap. 4, 71, gives its being offered to God as the essential difference between sacrament and sacrifice in the Eucharist. But leaving these generalities, valuable only as shewing the vagueness and unsatisfactoriness of the Roman Catholic idea of a sacrifice, I turn to that on which it is precise enough, the sacrifice of the Mass. That is a propitiatory sacrifice available for the sins not only of the living but of the dead -- truly propitiatory. (Conc. Trid. Sess. 22, 2 ) Christ is unbloodily immolated there. The decree of the Council, after grossly misapplying Hebrews 4: 16, which speaks of Christ's priesthood in heaven, not of sacrifice, adds, "for by the offering of him [Christ] the Lord is appeased granting grace and the gift of penitence, forgives crimes and sins, even very great ones [ingentia]: for it is one and the same victim, the same one now offering by the ministry of priests, who then offered himself on the cross, the manner of offering alone being different. Wherefore it is rightly offered according to the traditions of the apostles, not only for the sins, punishments, satisfactions, and other necessities of the faithful who are alive, but also for the dead in Christ not yet fully purged." So in the Catechism of the Council of Trent somewhat more fully (Part 2 De Eu. Sacr. 76 ) "The Mass is and ought to be considered one and the same sacrifice with that of the cross, for the victim is one and the same ... . The bloody and unbloody are not two but only one victim whose sacrifice is daily renewed in the Eucharist ... . The priest is also one and the same, Christ the Lord." And alleges as proof that the priest does not say 'This is Christ's body,' but 'This is my body.'" It is a truly propitiatory sacrifice by which God is appeased and rendered propitious to us ... . For so delighted is the Lord with the odour of this victim, that, bestowing on us the gifts of grace and repentance, He pardons our sins. Hence this usual prayer of the church 'as often as the commemoration of this victim is celebrated, so often is the work of our salvation being done.'"

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It is even more distinct in expression than the Council of Trent. Its benefits extend "to all the faithful whether living with us on earth, or already numbered with those who are dead in the Lord, but whose sins have not yet been fully expiated." This is very plain. Christ offers Himself visibly, permanently, or renewedly (both expressions are used); often, daily renewed, is the expression in the Catechism. This sacrifice, offered by Christ, appeases God, is propitiation for the sins of the living and of the dead in Christ when they are not fully purged, says the Council of Trent; 'expiated,' says the Catechism of the Council of Trent, 'confers pardon of sins,' besides many other graces.

Does Christianity recognise this? It not only does not do so, but with diligent care expressly denies it in every part. It is instituted, we are told, that the church might have a perpetual sacrifice by which our sins might be expiated and our heavenly Father turned from wrath to mercy. Let me make a remark in passing that the statement that the priest's saying 'This is my body' shews he represents Christ is a mere fallacy. It is in the Mass a recital of what Christ said at the last supper. The canon of the Mass says, "who" (Jesus Christ) "the day before he suffered took bread in his holy and venerable hands ... saying, Take and eat all of this, for this is my body." They are clearly and only the words of Christ the day before He suffered.

To clear my way I would say that sacrifice lies at the basis of all relationship of man with God. But at the same time such an expression as turning our heavenly Father from wrath by it is not by itself a true or scriptural way of putting it; though Protestant confessions have continued it on from Rome. God is a righteous Judge, and the atonement was absolutely necessary that grace might reign through righteousness. But the origin and source of all is left out in this statement. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son. The Son of man must be lifted up, the holy victim be offered up. But where to find it? The love of God saw us all lost sinners, and did not spare His own Son for us. Christ "through the eternal Spirit offered himself up without spot to God"; nay, in the same love, said, "Lo, I come to do thy will, O God." But if righteousness required the propitiation, love provided the victim. Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." And this changes the whole character of the gospel; God's love was the source and origin of it all, though it became God to make the Captain of our salvation perfect through suffering. As the apostle John states it, "But we have seen and do testify that the Father sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world." The Father's wrath indeed is not a scriptural expression at all; God's wrath is. A Father is the Father of His children.

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That the heathen took up sacrifice from corrupted traditions of the truth and the necessity of the human heart, I believe with Mr. R., and do not doubt that Abel's offering was by God's will, for Abel we are told offered it by faith; Hebrews 11. That in Christianity there is a sacrifice, I admit as truth and vital truth, the basis of our relationship with God, as what I need for my own salvation. Indeed, I do not doubt a moment that all other sacrifices from Abel on rested on divine and divinely taught reference to this, the heathen sacrifice, being corruptly derived from this original source, connected with false ideas of God, namely, that the gods were hating and jealous beings who had to be won, a thought which still exists in corrupted Christianity.

But you will remark, Mr. R., that the early sacrifices were bloody sacrifices. The law, in special figures of Christ, introduced meat-offerings along with these, and most interesting is the instruction they afford; but what was essential was that death and the shedding of blood should come in, because therein man owned that sin and death by sin had come in, and that only by the death of another could man come to God. Abel came with this; Cain with what cost him far more toil and labour, but which did not own sin and death, and separation-from God, and was rejected with his offering. What first effectually covered man's nakedness was that God clothed him with the skins of slain beasts. Man's state in sin, death, and separation from God was owned, and met. This (which is of the essence of the one true sacrifice and carefully set forth in the earliest types to which you and I both refer, as making the essential difference of what was necessary and acceptable to God, as all their sacrifices, and peremptorily the difference of Cain and Abel's demonstrate) is wholly left out in Milner's and Bellarmine's definition of a sacrifice. When we remember what the sacrifice of the Mass is, it is not difficult to understand why. If death and the shedding of blood be essential to an acceptable sacrifice, the Mass, avowedly an unbloody sacrifice, and so called, is not really one at all. A commemoration or memorial of such it may be, but not itself such. It fails in what is essential, and, I must add, denies the whole true ground of relationship with God; it legitimates Cain's sacrifice which God rejected.

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Bill M. That is true, though I believe we must have the death and blood-shedding of Christ itself for forgiveness. How dark one is in one's thoughts!

R. But the blood is consecrated apart, expressly to shew forth the shedding of the blood.+

Bill M. To shew it forth, it may be; but you do not mean to say, sir, that there is a real shedding of the blood of Christ.

R. Not materially, of course. It is an unbloody sacrifice, and so the church teaches.

Bill M. Then I do not see what it is worth. But I should let Mr. N. go on. I beg pardon for interrupting.

N. You are quite free, M. I am glad you noticed this truth distinctly. As to its being commemoration of the sacrifice of Christ, and I will add, of Himself, giving Himself in love, and a blessed one too -- this is surely true and held by all Christians; but the seventy-ninth Article of the Catechism of the Council of Trent is precise on the other doctrine. "It is not a mere commemoration of the sacrifice of the cross, but also a truly propitiatory sacrifice." It is propitiation and remission without blood-shedding. We have seen it is a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of the living, and for those of the dead in Christ not expiated; appeases God and obtains pardon; is daily renewed, Christ Himself being the offerer. Now what does Scripture say? It declares positively and in formal terms that there is no more sacrifice for sin. The whole Romanist system is founded on, has its practical existence from, that which is formally denied by the word of God.

+Milner, Letter 39.

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James. That is true though.

N. But I must be more precise. We are told that it is the same Christ that offered Himself upon the cross that offers Himself daily in a renewed sacrifice. I read in the word of God -- I quote your own translation (Hebrews 9: 25-27) "Nor yet that he should offer himself often ... for then he ought to have suffered often from the beginning of the world; but now once at the end of ages he hath appeared for the destruction of sin by the sacrifice of himself." You tell us that the sacrifice is renewedly offered, permanently in the church. The word says (Hebrews 9: 28), "So also Christ was offered once to exhaust the sins of many; the second time he shall appear without sin to them that expect him unto salvation": and again (chapter 10: 18), "Now where there is a remission of these [sins], there is no more an oblation for sins." And He gives the blessed reason in chapter 10: 14; "For by one oblation he has perfected for ever them that are sanctified." The word of God teaches that by His one oblation He has exhausted the sins of many, and appears the second time to take them to glory; and that the sins being remitted, there is no more oblation. You tell me there is, and that for the remission of sins, and truly propitiatory. If we take your translation -- "exhaust the sins of many" -- it makes it still more clear, that if exhausted, they cannot be brought up again against the Christian, or any other sacrifice be needed. You tell me that it is an unbloody sacrifice, that blood is not shed there. The word tells me (Hebrews 9: 22) that "without shedding of blood there is no remission." That is, in every point the word of God teaches me the exact contrary of what Rome teaches, and teaches too in what is the centre and substance of all her worship.

Bill M. Well, Mr. R., I am astonished. This Mass was their great subject with me, besides the church; and I see the word of God condemns it altogether, and I see too that the abiding efficacy of Christ's blessed work is in question.

R. But Mr. N. interprets the Scriptures, and we are not capable of doing that; we must learn what the church teaches from it, and in all ages it has held that the Eucharist was an offering made to God.

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N. Excuse me, Mr. R., I do not interpret at all; I set your authorised statements in simple juxtaposition with your own scriptures.

They say Christ does not offer Himself often. You say He does.

They say that there is no more oblation for sin. You say there is.

They say that without shedding of blood there is no remission. You say that it is an unbloody sacrifice, but there is remission.

I need no interpretation; the statements contradict one another. A great deal more might be said, were I to reason and expound; for Hebrews 9 and 10 discuss the point fully, and elaborately, and blessedly, I will add, for us; but it is not necessary. These chapters insist, all their reasonings for blessing and for judgment are founded, on Christ's offering being one only, and once for all, never to be repeated. Nothing can be stronger or plainer. Either the Scriptures are false, which God forbid, or the Romish religion is, in the very heart and foundation of its worship, and of its teaching on the foundation of all our hopes, the work of Christ.

Bill M. Sure it is not interpreting, Mr. R. Teaching is not wanted. If the word of God says Christ is not to offer Himself often, and you say, He is and does, both cannot be true. It is plain enough how the matter stands. I was somewhat puzzled about the church, but this is plain enough. But what it is to be ignorant of the word of God! But then, to be sure, my soul was not right with God. I do not say I am all right now, but this about the Mass is clear enough.

D. But it is a commemorative sacrifice or offering.

N. You forget, Mr. D., that we have seen that the Catechism of the Council of Trent, the highest possible authority, tells us that it is not a mere commemorative sacrifice, but a truly propitiatory one. The Mass is a denial of the abiding value of Christ's work once for all and completely accomplished and accepted of God, so that He sits at the right hand of God, when, as the Rhemish Testament expresses it, He had been once offered to exhaust the sins of many.

James. But what do the Roman Catholics say to this, sir?

N. The Council of Trent and the Catechism of the Council of Trent prudently say nothing; they are wholly silent as to it. Bellarmine however takes up the objection as to Christ's not offering Himself again; he replies that He was not to do so in the way of dying, coming out of heaven and dying again, and that the apostle refers to this, for he says, "Then must he often have suffered." But this wholly misrepresents the apostle's argument; he does not say He was not to offer Himself in a bloody way, so as to suffer, but that He was not to offer Himself often, for then He must have suffered often. It is an additional proof. The apostle had no idea of an offering of Christ without suffering. His statement is that He was not to offer Himself often; for that if He did He must suffer: the strongest possible testimony against the Mass. To the point of no remission without blood-shedding, he replies, That speaks of Jewish sacrifices. But to what purpose is the apostle using the witness of these sacrifices? In themselves he declares the blood of bulls and of goats could never take away sins, and makes the general and absolute statement that there is no remission of sins without blood-shedding, and applies it to Christ, saying that He has suffered once for all, and gone into heaven itself, not with blood of others, but by His own blood entered in once into the holies, having obtained eternal redemption; Hebrews 9: 22-25.

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Dr. Milner states that the apostle is barely proving to the Hebrews how infinitely superior the sacrifice of Christ is to those of the Mosaic law, particularly from the circumstance which he repeats in different forms, namely, that there was a necessity of their sacrifices being often repeated, which after all could not of themselves, and independently of the One they prefigured, take away sin, whereas the latter, namely, Christ's death on the cross, obliterated at once the sins of those who availed themselves of it.

Bill M. But that is just a proof that it had not to be repeated. Ah! it is all plain enough.

N. He adds that this does not militate against the Mass, because it is the same as to the victim and as to the priest, the manner only being different.

Bill M. But even so it is repeated, and according to them has need to be repeated, only in a manner that takes away its reality, for there is no suffering for sin, no blood-shedding. I see through it all. But it is awful to think they should have invented it.

N. It is awful, but I do not know that we can charge them with inventing it all at once. The Fathers, so-called, though often falsely quoted as to this, used the most glowing language as to the Eucharist, and talked of tremendous mysteries, to act on the superstition of the people who had no real faith. So soon as the full efficacy of the sacrifice of the blessed Lord was lost to the church's faith, and the testimony that all sins were put away from him that believed by the sacrifice, they were obliged, even for those who really loved the Lord, to have some means of quieting the conscience. Persons of severe habits of mind allowed no known forgiveness after baptism; others allowed it once. The church, with growing superstition, provided means for it in a system which gradually developed itself, as the Eucharist turned into the Mass, and absolution. Then purgatory was invented, at least its first germ, in the seventh century. The Mass was not fully developed till a great deal later; but when once perfect acceptance in Christ was unknown, souls could not find rest, and sought it in superstitious observances, and heathenism was deliberately introduced into Christendom. I have said, "Lost to the church's faith"; but the language is not exact: the church never had it since the apostles. In the word our acceptance is clear enough; many a poor soul whose record is on high may have enjoyed it; but in the history of the church our full acceptance in Christ is never found.

[Page 15]

D. What do you mean?

N. What I mean is very simple. The apostle Paul tells us that the mystery of iniquity did already work. He tells us too, that as soon as he was gone, both from within and from without the evil would break in, or develop itself. And it is a matter of historical fact, that truth such as Hebrews 9 and 10 afford us, to go no farther, and true faith in the presence of the Holy Ghost were never found in the historical church. Objective truths (and I fully admit their importance), what we may call orthodoxy, were maintained, taking the history as a whole; but the relationships of a true believer with God as perfected in Christ, and the sealing with the Holy Ghost which gave him to know it, and his place as a son with the Father, and the union of true believers with Christ as members of His body, is not found in church history. For example, take Hebrews 10, to which we have referred. The worshippers once purged having no more conscience of sins, that Christ is for ever+ at the right hand of God because by one offering He hath perfected for ever++ them that are sanctified through the offering of His body once for all; not like the Jewish priests, who stood, as priests do now, to offer often because the work was never really done; the consciousness that we are in Christ and Christ in us, by the Comforter given to us, of which we are assured by the Lord Himself in John 14, "In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you": and blessed it is to know that we are perfected for ever in Christ, and in Him; and in Him our being sons with the Father, and that He is gone to His Father and our Father, His God and our God: all this is lost, never found in church history, but a system of ceremonies to make good the loss of it. In Scripture it is plain enough.

+eis to dienekes, uninterruptedly.

++Ditto

[Page 16]

D. But is it not dangerous to say, however sincere, that we are perfected for ever?

N. Is it not so written in the word? Is it not very presumptuous to say that what God says is dangerous for the soul? That sinful man will abuse every favour God has given him if he trusts his own heart is quite true; but it is not in denying the truth he is secure. We are sanctified by the truth. One truth too guards another, and, remark, every one who professes to be a Christian professes to be perfected for ever, unless he makes a gospel for himself; for Christ's gospel so speaks. Indeed, Dr. Milner, in terms, is forced to admit it; he says, as we have seen, "Whereas the latter," namely, Christ's death on the cross, "obliterated at once the sins of those who availed themselves of it." Now every true Christian has, and every professing Christian professes to have, availed himself of it.

R. But he must use the means the church affords.

N. I fully admit, and am thankful that God has furnished us with means, as prayer, and the word, and the ministry, the Lord's supper, and fasting if rightly used; but these add nothing to the value of Christ's work; and you will please to remark that Dr. Milner says -- is obliged, in commenting on Hebrews 9 and 10, to say -- "Obliterated at once"; but if so, it is all settled, and the conscience purged, and if I am to believe the word of God, we are sanctified to God, by His offering, and perfected for ever. Remark another thing; there can be no spiritual affections without this. How can I feel as a child and a son if I do not know whether I am one or not? How even can I be thankful for acceptance before God, if I do not know whether I am accepted? But however this may be, the Mass is formally condemned by Hebrews 9 and 10 There is no more oblation for sin. Allow me, Mr. R., to ask you, Does Christ die in the sacrifice of the Mass?

[Page 17]

R. Of course He cannot.

N. Surely not; He dieth no more. But then your Mass sacrifice is of no worth at all, for to redeem and put away sin He poured out His soul unto death; He made His soul an offering for sin; and He does no such thing in the Mass. It is utterly without value. There is, says Scripture, of necessity the death of the testator. I need hardly insist on the death of Christ being the ground and basis of all hope and of the very essence of His sacrifice; Isaiah 53: 10-12; Hebrews 9. Is Christ made sin for us now in the Mass?

R. No, He cannot now; He is in glory. That was on the cross.

N. Then the Mass is no true sacrifice. It is Christ being made sin for us that gives the sacrifice its value, that we may be the righteousness of God in Him. The cross alone is a true sacrifice. Does Christ bear our sins in the Mass?

R. That cannot take place now; He sits on the right hand of God.

N. Then the Mass is no true sacrifice, and can procure no true remission. It is by bearing our sins in His own body on the tree, that He has obtained forgiveness, and has obliterated them at once, as Dr. Milner says. Again, you admit that it is an unbloody sacrifice; that there is no shedding of blood in the Mass.

R. It may be mystically figured in pouring the wine into the cup; but we all own there is no actual shedding of His blood.

N. "Mystically figured" we shall not quarrel about. We all own the blessed value of it as a memorial and commemoration, but if there be not, as you admit, and it is evident, the Mass is nothing worth -- gives no remission of sins nor makes peace with God; for without shedding of blood there is no remission; and He has made peace by the blood of His cross; Colossians 1: 20 Thank God, He has made it. Further, is Christ made a curse in the Mass?

R. He cannot be made a curse now.

N. Then it is no redemption from the curse, for that is by His being made a curse for us -- another thing that is so wholly and evidently wanting that I do not ask you about it, but yet is essential to the true sacrifice. There is no redemption in the Mass; for we have redemption through His blood: and if Christ were put to death in the Mass -- and the thought would be absurd and blasphemous as a present thing -- where is resurrection? As a memorial, I need not bring that in; I commemorate His sacrifice consummated in His death; but if you will have it a real sacrifice, there is no resurrection, and we are yet in our sins. The whole thing is false. Not one element of true sacrifice, the sacrifice of the cross, is there. No death, no blood-shedding, no curse, no cup to drink, no bearing of sins, no being made sin, no suffering the just for the unjust, no forsaking of God -- not one single element of what makes the wondrous cross of the blessed Saviour an accomplishment of redemption, on which our salvation rests secure -- a perfect and finished atonement through which we have remission, and a perfectly purged conscience, and acceptance with God. It is a mere return to the repetition of Jewish sacrifices, which proved that nothing was really done, only denying thereby that Christ's work is accomplished, instead of pointing to it, as those sacrifices did. If a sacrifice is still needed, the work of redemption is not accomplished. It is only a vain delusion to say it is the same, it is a repetition, not a thing done once for all, as the Epistle to the Hebrews insists, and is not the same in a single element which gives value to a sacrifice, which makes it true and really such. That is found in the cross and in the cross only.

[Page 18]

But allow me to ask you another question, since we are speaking of the value of the sacrifice, Is it not your doctrine that the body, blood, soul and divinity are in the one species, as you call it -- what I should call the bread, but which you, of course, would no longer call such after the words 'This is my body' are pronounced over it -- but in the one kind? and that it is on the ground that it is so in the body, that you declare the communicants at large lose nothing by not having the cup, because the blood is in what you hold to be the body -- a whole Christ, as you would say -- or what is called the doctrine of concomitancy?

R. Surely we do.

N. But then, if He be a whole Christ, there is no redemption or remission; for, for this the shedding of His blood was needed. "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." A whole Christ is the perfect blessed Son of God even if in humiliation on earth, but there is no redemption while He is such. And further, if the pouring the wine into the cup figures the shedding of the blood, how have you the blood still in the body in the one species of bread?

[Page 19]

D. But is not this somewhat sophistical?

N. No, Mr. D.; it is merely exposing the sophistry which is found in the attempt to reconcile what is utterly false in every respect, and to satisfy those whom the system you now delight in deprives of half the institution of Christ, and persuade them they have still all. What is false will never stand examination, though it may puzzle. You speak of sophistry because you have no answer.

R. But we do not deny it is a memorial.

N. It cannot be a memorial if it be the thing itself. And you make it a true propitiatory sacrifice, denying that Christ finished this, and that it was done once for all.

D. But why cannot we consider it as offered to God so as to present to Him, and call to mind what Christ once did?

N. Then do not call it a true propitiatory sacrifice, but call to mind to whom? If it call it to mind to us, it is all well, we do it in remembrance. But such a view gives wholly false thoughts of God as forgetful (God, forgetful!) of Christ's work, or an unpropitiated God who has need to be put in mind of what has been done to appease Him; and also sets aside other parts of truth. For Scripture speaks of the efficacy of that blood being always under God's eye within the veil, and Christ always appearing in the presence of God for us; so that the eternal efficacy of the one sacrifice is always before God. And explain it as you will, it is a repetition of the sacrifice, if it is a sacrifice at all, as if the value of Christ's sacrifice were not so present to God. But more than this: the offering to God, though needed, is not the sacrifice properly; the Roman Catholic definitions deny, by omission, what is essential. Christ did offer Himself through the eternal Spirit to God as a victim, but then when the spotless Lamb had thus given Himself to God for this purpose in endless love, God made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin: that was not His offer of Himself, but God making good that for which He offered Himself. The Lord hath laid on Him our iniquity. He offered Himself spotless to God, and God laid the iniquity on Him; 2 Corinthians 5: 21; Isaiah 53: 6. We may look at it as a whole, but when Scripture takes up the question distinctly, it does not confound these two things. Even the Greek words are different: prosphero and anaphero. The first part is Christ offered Himself, prosenegke; secondly, He bore the sins as a victim, and was sacrificed as on the altar -- bore the sins there, anenegke. Commonly the Roman Catholic doctors confound these to save the credit of the Mass, but usually they in general take up the first part only, and so really does Bellarmine in his definition, leaving all the true sacrificial part out. Subsequently Bellarmine, feeling the difficulty, treats the question of death when offered: I will speak of it in a moment. Dr. Milner uses the word "immolation," but then it is only to own God's title over life and death; no question of sin is raised in it.

[Page 20]

D. But what do you say then to those passages to which Mr. R. already referred, as for example, Malachi?

N. Let us take the passage: "For from the rising of the sun even to the going down of the same my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name and a pure offering; for my name shall be great among the heathen, saith Jehovah of hosts." Is that fulfilled? Is Jehovah's name great from one end of the earth to the other? Has not the great mass of the world remained, and do not some three-quarters of it still remain, heathen? Your prophecy, according to your own interpretation of it, is not fulfilled. It is vain to allege that the gospel went out into all the world, as the Fathers sometimes do. In a certain sense nobody denies it; but the essence of the prophecy is, not that it should go forth, but that Jehovah's name should be great everywhere among the Gentiles, and this is not so: no pure offering is offered.

R. But it will be.

N. That is no answer; but who told you it will be? That this prophecy will be fulfilled, I am fully assured, but that is another thing from saying it refers to the Mass, for it is not true in fact as to that. Nor is that all; do you own that we Protestants have a pure offering?

R. You have none at all.

N. Then here is a very large part indeed of Christendom where you would say it had been, where it is not. And the Greeks?

R. Well, they are nearer, but they are heretical as to the Holy Ghost and are in schism.

[Page 21]

N. Is their offering pure?

R. Well, I cannot say it is.

N. And Mahometans in Asia and Africa, where once there were numerous churches?

R. They of course have nothing to say to it.

N. Your pure offering then has largely lost ground.

D. But there it is in the prophecy, and you profess to receive the Scriptures.

N. What is in the prophecy?

D. That Jehovah's name will be great among the Gentiles everywhere and a pure offering offered.

N. That I fully believe. But that it is the Mass is another question. Of that it is not true, the limits even of Christendom have receded. Nor is there the slightest ground for saying that the spread of the gospel will accomplish this work. "When thy judgments are in the earth," says Isaiah, "the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness," Isaiah 26: 9. And Zephaniah is as plain as possible. "Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey; for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy. For then will I turn to the people a pure language that they may all call upon the name of the Lord to serve him with one consent." I might multiply quotations, but it would be going too far. These shew distinctly that it is when God's judgments are executed on the earth that the universal blessing will take place. The Son of man will gather out of His kingdom "all things that offend, and them that do iniquity." It is Jehovah's power in judgment, not the Father's sending the Son in grace, which sets the world as such right. It is the most gratuitous notion, without any ground whatever, that the pure offering to Jehovah is the Mass. It is neither true in fact, nor according to the statement of Scripture. That an offering of heart, and mind, and praise to God, and worship exists wherever grace works, is true, but the application of the prophecy of Malachi to the Mass has no ground whatever.

D. And what do you say to partaking of the table of devils and table of the Lord? The table of devils was clearly an altar, and so must the table of the Lord be.

[Page 22]

N. I reply to these arguments as you all allege them, but they are really only a proof of how little you have to say for your doctrine. You all quote the same texts, because there is nothing else, and prove there is nothing really to plead for your cause, if that could be, against the positive statement of the Epistle to the Hebrews, which formally contradicts your doctrine. The table was in no case an altar, neither with heathens, Jews, nor Christians. The altar was the place of sacrifice and offering; the table the place where they ate, in certain offerings not wholly burnt, a part of the animal which had been offered: but they never did so at the altar. Sacrifice and feasting were never the same; but feasting on what was a part of the animal offered, when done with knowledge, identified him who did so with the altar where the other part was offered. Hence the apostle expressly puts the case of being invited to a feast; in such case what was put on the table they were to eat without any question for conscience' sake; if it was said this was offered to idols they were not to eat, for that would practically, at any rate in the mind of him who said it, identify them with the idol. But that did not make the table an altar. Take the Roman Catholic system: -- the people eat of the wafer. That identifies them with the altar; but their place is not at the altar at all. The table is not the altar in any case; the case actually put by the apostle is a common meal; but if it was said, This is offered to idols, then he did not eat, because the animal of which he ate had been offered to the idol, and part sacrificed actually to it. The table was not the altar, but what he ate identified him with the idol; and the table at which he sat covered with idol meat was figuratively the table of demons. If he sat at meat in the temple, the case was more apparent; but even then they did not eat off the altar, but of the meat offered to the idol on it; and that is the ground the apostle takes. It is the communion of the body of Christ, the communion of the blood of Christ; it is not where it was eaten, but what it was which was in question. Take the offering of Christ; did they eat where He was offered? Eating of the altar is not eating off it, as if the table was an altar. We own an altar spiritually, but it was where Christ was really offered once for all: feeding on Him by faith does identify us with that. Bellarmine himself says he does not urge Hebrews 13: 10, because many Catholics take the altar there for the cross. But if this be so, eating of the altar does not mean that the person eats off it so that the table is an altar. We eat of what was on the cross, but not off it as a table. The whole thought is false.

[Page 23]

As to Melchisedec, if the bread and wine were an offering to God, a priestly service, is it not strange that the Epistle to the Hebrews makes not the slightest allusion to it? And though Christ be priest after the order of Melchisedec, when the word speaks of the exercise of Christ's priesthood, it is uniformly a comparison with what Aaron did, and the Jewish sacrifices. In the Old Testament there is not the most distant hint of his offering to God. Melchisedec was a priest on his throne on earth, not a sufferer on the cross; there was no death in his case, but a testimony that he lives. He brings forth the bread and wine, but bringing forth is no offering. You are obliged to say with Bellarmine, We must suppose that he did so, admitting he brought it out to Abraham to eat, but that he must be supposed to have offered it first. In the account, they cannot deny, there is no trace of it. Now Melchisedec is a figure of Christ when He takes to Him His great power, and reigns as king of righteousness over the earth. Now He exercises His priesthood after the similitude of Aaron in the holy place-heaven itself as Hebrews teaches us -- which Melchisedec does not at all. But when Christ takes His own throne, it is He who has suffered and offered the one sacrifice, and therefore, as Melchisedec, He has none to offer; He confers the blessing contained in the revelation of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth, on those who belong to Him and have conquered. As Melchisedec, He has no sacrifice to offer, because this has been done once for all. Now His service is different; He is gone within the veil, not without blood, and there, we know, sits on the Father's throne, at the right hand of God till His enemies be made His footstool. Then the rod of His power will go out of Sion. But His present exercise of priesthood is not according to Melchisedec, as the Epistle to the Hebrews fully shews.

I add that Bellarmine's statement, that Judges 6: 18, 19, shews that the Hebrew word used for brought forth signifies priestly offering, has no foundation. Gideon brought out meat, and broth, and cakes, and Jehovah turned it by His power into a sacrifice; but the word does not mean "offering"; habi does, because it is the opposite to this word. Yatsa is "brought out"; bo is "brought in or nigh." The last is used for bringing up to be a sacrifice, which means the contrary to bringing forth (yatsa). But on their own shewing there is no statement of any offering in Melchisedec bringing forth bread and wine, because they are forced to suppose that the offering had been made before it was brought forth. All this, as I have said, I have answered because it is alleged; but it is a mere lame attempt to get up some evidence out of nothing by far-fetched reasoning, the difficulty of answering being, that there is no tangible reason for it -- nothing really to answer. I rest on the great fact that the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the truth of Christianity, deny and reject altogether the whole doctrine of the Mass.

[Page 24]

But let me ask you, Mr. R., where does the sacrifice take place in the Mass?

R. I am not a theologian, and it may be somewhat difficult to answer. But our teachers do not enter on that in their ordinary instruction, but speak of its value and blessing. Some attribute it to the priest's consumption of it in eating it.

N. And can you really believe that the priest's eating the wafer is the real propitiatory sacrifice of Christ so as to obtain remission of sins?

James. But do they really say that, sir? Well, I could not have believed it. It is a strange system.

Bill M. Well! I am confounded: to liken that to Christ's dying when He had offered Himself up to God for a blessed saving sacrifice! It is horrible to think.

N. Mr. R. however is right; they do say that. Bellarmine holds it; others, owning it as a probable opinion, seek in another part of the Mass the true point of sacrifice.

James. But there is no such difficulty in finding a sacrifice in the blessed Lamb of God. He offered Himself without spot to God, and bore our sins, and was made a curse for us, and died. And then we know His sacrifice is accepted, for He is risen and gone to sit down at God's right hand. All is plain there.

N. Because it is a sacrifice: but they are thoroughly puzzled to make one out of the Mass. But why, Mr. R., if this be so, is not the people's eating it a sacrifice?

R. Well, the priest does it as part of his sacerdotal office, which the people cannot do. But, as you have read Bellarmine, you will know what he says as to it.

N. Well, he is greatly at a loss; he admits bread and wine are offered, first, as such, but offered to be changed; but then the difficulty arises, that they are not yet Christ at all. However, not to follow all his reasoning, he makes three acts which constitute the Mass a sacrifice: first, what is common is consecrated; secondly, it is offered to God as placed upon the altar; and then adapted to change and destruction which is necessary to a sacrifice, only here done sacramentally and under the form of bread. The priest's eating it answers to the burning of the burnt offering. The first offering is necessary to the integrity, but not to its essence; so of the consecration; for the Lord in the institution never so offered, nor is the breaking either. But its consumption by the priest is its essence, though not its whole essence. The consecration alone cannot be it, as then mere bread would be sacrifice, not Christ. Still the consecration is essential to the sacrifice, though destruction being necessary, the priest's eating it is what properly constitutes it a sacrifice. His commentator tells us the opinion of two consumptions or destructions is probable, but the other opposite opinion more probable: that is, that what makes the real essence for Bellarmine is not so at all, but the consecration only. Who could think that all this wretched cavilling was the sacrifice of the blessed Son of God, He Himself offering it? But it is of importance in order to shew that they do not know themselves how to find any truth or reality in it.

[Page 25]

The learned editor of the Venetian edition of the works of Gregory the Great, after the Benedictines of St. Maur, published with the permission and privilege of the superior authorities, has another system in his Isagoge (9, B. 169 c., 3, 15, 16), and one that shews more reverence at least. He says that the offering may be of a victim to be immolated, or that has been immolated, confounding the bringing the victim up to be a victim, and the actual offering when slain, on the altar. He holds that Christ offered Himself to God at the institution of the Supper, and was an actual victim on the cross. Now He is offered, though still alive, like the scapegoat, as one who has been slain as a victim. The slaying is thus on the cross; the Mass only an offering. Others, he says, put the force of the sacrifice on the slaying of the victim; we in the offering of a victim slain or to be slain. They will have sacrifice to be instituted as a declaration of God's supreme dominion over His creatures; we to represent Christ's death. Surely he has more truth here. Milner takes the other view, but his illustration from the scapegoat is unhappy, because he goes away with his sins on him. Did Christ do that after being a victim? For so he takes it in connection with the goat, whose blood was put on the mercyseat. The editor of Gregory closes by saying whichever opinion seems the truer and stronger to maintain the Catholic dogma against the innovators, let each follow, mindful of that word, in what is necessary unity; in doubtful liberty; in all charity. But this is a poor uncertainty to get forgiveness and grace by, the evident effect of trying to make a sacrifice of what is not one, resulting too in making uncertain altogether what it consists in. In this writer's case, the consumption on the altar being the only true offering after being slain, this second offering after being slain cannot take place now. It is really mere remembrance. Indeed he says pretty nearly as much (c. 12, page 168) There is a sufficiently plain testimony moreover, of the representative nature of our sacrifice in those words of Christ, "As oft as ye shall do these things, do it in remembrance of me"; and he adds a good deal more, that in doing this continually in commemoration of that (the bloody sacrifice), we confess by act that Christ is entered once into the holy place, eternal redemption being found.

[Page 26]

R. But these are individual opinions, not the church's teaching.

N. Be it so; but when the church has taught it is a truly propitiatory sacrifice, her ablest children cannot find what the sacrifice consists in, because there is none there. It is killing under the form of bread, killing being necessary to sacrifice, but no real killing there. It is a striking proof of the falseness of the whole thing. Bellarmine felt the difficulty, for if consecration were the sacrifice, then bread was what was offered, as is evident, though they think consecration turns it into the body and blood; but then it must be that first to be sacrificed I so he will have it to be essentially the priest's eating it, though consecration be essential to it.

D. But do not you think we may treat it with more reverence?

N. The truth of Christ's sacrifice with the profoundest and Christ-adoring reverence. But treat what with reverence? The Mass, or Christ's sacrifice on the cross? I am citing what they say. What they say of the Mass, and the utter irreverence of it, the moment we think of the cross of the blessed Lord, is just the proof how utterly distant it is from and opposed to the blessed sacrifice once offered there. As a sacrifice it has no relationship with or resemblance to it. You deceive people by identifying them, and desiring for the blasphemous fable of the Mass, as you once professed to think it, the reverence with which the sacrifice of the blessed Saviour should be spoken of. And I shew you that their language as to the Mass is irreverent folly instead of being the sacrifice of Christ. Just think of the priest's chewing the wafer being Christ's giving up His blessed life as a sacrifice for sin. I am almost ashamed to put them in the same sentence.

[Page 27]

James. I wonder such reasoning does not open their eyes. I should think it ridiculous folly if it was not so shocking. But people do not know these things.

N. It is astonishing it does not open them. But we must make allowance for the effect of education, and the fact that all their own importance is connected with it. All worship the wafer, but the more ignorant know nothing of the theological explanations given. In a country where I have known the effect of the system well, it is a common expression, "You would not fear the man that can make God?"

R. But you do not attribute that to Roman Catholics in general.

N. I should attribute it as an effect to the doctrine they teach. It is with the unlettered the natural expression of their belief that the priest by the word, "This is my body," turns the bread and wine into the body and blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. But I confine myself to the sacrifice itself at present.

Bill M. Of course they look at it so. How could they sacrifice Jesus Christ, if it was not Himself that was there?

James. Well, I am glad I was kept from such unholy notions.

Bill M. But you know nothing of all this when you are brought in. It is only, Hear the church, and you have a sacrifice and get forgiveness of your sins; and the Protestant has none. And when you do not know that you are forgiven and accepted, that is a comfort. But we will let these gentlemen go on.

James. I understand well what you mean. It all depends on knowing the value of the blessed work of Christ. But you are right; we will let these gentlemen proceed. Mr. D. was ready to say something.

[Page 28]

D. I was only going to say that it is the uniform testimony of the Fathers that there is a permanent sacrifice in the church, and that the Eucharist is that sacrifice.

N. Have you ever examined them for yourself?

D. I have looked at some, but they are quoted by all who have treated the subject.

N. No doubt. I attach no importance whatever to the statements of the Fathers. No one can have read them, or studied the history of the church, but must know, if he knows the truth at all, how early the truth was lost. If he takes for granted that they have the truth, of course he will receive what they say, if he can receive nonsense and contradictions. But the apostle John warns us to hold fast to what was from the beginning, and that they clearly were not. He tells us that they who are of God hear them (the apostles). You say they were nearer the apostles, and so must be nearer the truth, as they were nearer the source. But we have the apostles and the source itself, and do not want to know what was nearer or farther.

R. But there is the interpretation of the Scriptures, which too are in dead languages.

N. And there is the interpretation of the Fathers, which are in the same dead languages. For example, on this very subject your most learned men, who quote and read the Fathers, cannot tell what the essence of the sacrifice is in the Mass. But I will refer to them simply because they quoted them. And if we wait on God He will help us to understand His own word, but not mere uninspired writings of men. In these discourses to the people they do speak in the most florid terms, somewhat later indeed, of this tremendous mystery. And they speak generally of the sacrifice, and refer to the passage in Malachi; but it is far from true that they had the thought of a proper sacrifice in the Mass. It was the custom to bring offerings of bread and wine, etc., which were then used for the service or otherwise, as for the poor; and this is constantly spoken of as the sacrifice, which is quite another matter; and the whole service is spoken of in terms which deny the Roman Catholic interpretation of its meaning.

Milner is bold enough to quote Justin Martyr, which, if I mistake not, Bellarmine is too wise to do. Milner refers to his dialogue with Trypho the Jew; but there, after referring to the sacrifice of the great day of atonement among the Jews, and the Lord's coming when rejected, and His coming again when the Jews will own Him -- for this Justin held very positively+ -- he adds, "And the offering of fine flour, which was ordained to be offered for those to be purified from the leprosy, was a type of the bread of the Eucharist, which Jesus Christ our Lord ordained to be celebrated for a commemoration of the sufferings which He suffered for the purging of the souls of men from all iniquity; and that at the same time we may give thanks to God, that He has created the world, and all that is in it for man's sake."++ Again, in the same dialogue, "It appears that this prophecy (Isaiah), concerning the bread which our Christ taught us to offer (poiein+++), for a commemoration of His taking a body on account of those who believe on Him, for whose sake also He became a sufferer, and concerning the cup which He taught us to offer,++++ giving thanks for a commemoration of His blood."

+He says all orthodox Christians did.

++Dial. c. Tr. 259, 260

+++Poiein I have translated "offer," to leave no handle; but it is used for any celebration of a feast, or ceremony for the dead of any kind, to keep a feast, to have an entertainment, dinner, etc. It was celebrated for a commemoration.

++++Ditto

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But we have Justin's sober account of their Sunday Service, Ap. 2, page 97, Colonia, 1686: "When the prayers are finished, we salute each other with mutual kisses; then bread and a cup of water and wine mixed [with it]+ is offered to him who presides among the brethren; and having received these, he sends up praise and glory to the Father of all things through the name of the Son and of the Spirit, and then makes long thanksgiving that He has counted us worthy of these things Himself. And having finished the prayers and the thanksgiving, all the people present assent, saying, Amen ... . And the president having given thanks, and all the people assented, those who are called deacons among us give to each of those present to partake of the bread for which thanksgiving has been made, and of the wine and water, and carry of them away to those not present. And this nourishment is called by us Eucharist (thanksgiving)." Then after saying it was only given to Christians, he says, "For we do not take it as common bread or common drink; but even as by the word of God, Jesus Christ our Saviour being made flesh, had both flesh and blood for our salvation, so the nourishment for which by the word of prayer which is from Him, thanks are given, from which by change our flesh and blood are nourished, we have been taught to be the flesh and blood of that incarnate Jesus." He then repeats the account of the service: "that they meet, read the Scriptures, and the president preaches; after that we all rise together and offer prayers; and as we have related, the prayers being over, bread is offered, and wine and water, and the president according to his ability sends up prayers and thanksgiving; and the people assenting, say, Amen. And the distribution and reception of those things for which thanksgiving is offered, takes place with each, and it is sent to those not present by the deacons." Now there is not a trace of a sacrifice or the offering of anything to God, except bread and wine, and that by the people. not for them. It is not a question of doctrine, but recounting to the Emperor what passed at their meetings.

+Kramatos which means wine and water or some other thing mixed, but as water is mentioned I put wine.

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So Irenaeus. Lib. 4, 18 (34 Old Editions). God is no appeased by a sacrifice -- we offer to God the first fruits of His creatures. And he then declares, that they are not common bread and wine, but composed of two things, the earthly and heavenly. Now that superstition as to ordinances sprang up rapidly in the church, I not only admit but insist on. But God not being appeased by a sacrifice, offering the first fruits of His creatures, and the Eucharist being composed of two things, sets aside the Mass and transubstantiation too. The conclusion Irenaeus draws from it is, that our bodies, being nourished by it, will rise. But the notion of a propitiatory sacrifice in the Mass is not to be traced in him or in Justin. From this last Father I must quote another passage which is positive to this purpose. He quotes the prophet, saying, God would not receive the sacrifices of the Israelites dwelling in Jerusalem, but did accept the prayers of the dispersed, and calls these prayers sacrifices. He had declared that God accepted no sacrifices but from His priests, and that Christians were the true priestly race, as God declared, referring to Malachi's prophecy, and that they offer the sacrifices in His name which Christ taught them -- the bread and wine of the Eucharist. I Then, after saying the prayers of the dispersion were agreeable when the sacrifices at Jerusalem were not, he adds, God accepts and calls their prayers sacrifices. When therefore prayers and thanksgivings are made by those worthy, I also say, they are the only perfect and acceptable ones to God. For these alone also Christians have received to offer (poiein), and in memory of them dry and moist nourishment wherein also are commemorated the sufferings which God suffered by God Himself. The last phrase is of a singular structure (en e kai tou pathous o peponthe di autou o theos tou theou memnetai).+ But it does not affect our question. If the Eucharist were a propitiatory sacrifice in which Christ Himself, "His bones and sinews," is offered by Himself, it is impossible Justin could thus speak of it. All Christians, priests; bread and wine the things offered; prayers and thanksgivings, the only true sacrifices acceptable to God, and in the Eucharist a commemoration of the sufferings which Christ suffered: no one who believed in the doctrine of the Mass could write thus. All Christians priests to offer bread and wine; then prayers and thanksgivings offered the only true and acceptable sacrifices; and these prayers God calls sacrifices. He is applying Malachi's prophecy. The sacrifices of blood in Jerusalem God had not accepted, but their prayers and thanksgivings He did, and so of those offered by Christians at the thanksgiving of bread and the cup (epi te Eicharistia). These statements of Justin Martyr and Irenaeus do not agree with the doctrine of the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice -- could not have been used if that had been believed.

+Dial. c. Te.: 345.

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Cyprian affords us little help. He uses sacrifice for what the people bring as gifts. (De Op. et El. Pearson, 204.) He says they offered sacrifices for martyrs after their death (seemingly an allusion to heathen celebrations), and in a letter to Caecilius shewing that there must be wine, not merely water. It does not seems to be His blood, he says, if it be water, and wine be wanting; he refers to Psalm 110, and says, Who is so great a priest of the Most High as our Lord Jesus Christ who offered a sacrifice to God the Father, and offered the same that Melchisedec had offered, that is, bread and wine, namely, His body and blood. Here then is no reference to the Eucharist, but to what Christ offered. And, again, Nor is anything else done by us than what the Lord before did for us, that the cup which is offered in commemoration of Him is offered mixed with wine. No trace of any propitiatory offering, nor even of transubstantiation. (Ep. to Caecil.: 64. Pearson, 148, 9)

As to Tertullian, whom Cyprian owned as his master, he knows nothing of such sacrifices as the Mass. In his treatise against the Jews (5), in his book against Marcion (3, 22; 4, 1), in the last referring as all do to Malachi, he insists that it is by praise, simple prayer out of a pure heart, spiritual sacrifices, that Christian and true sacrifice is offered to God, and that in contrast with any external carnal sacrifice. So to Scapula he answers the charge of not sacrificing for the Emperor, that they did it as God had commanded them to sacrifice with a pure prayer to their God and his.

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I will only quote one more, because he comes considerably later -- Eusebius. Wherever the Fathers are speaking of the contrast of heathenism or Judaism with Christianity, they reject the material sacrifices of blood and incense, and insist on what is spiritual. Eusebius, in doing this, and after largely insisting on Christ's sufferings and being made a curse, and quoting Moses and the apostle in the Galatians, and that He thus offered to His Father for our salvation a wonderful sacrifice and most excellent victim, adds, "He instituted a commemoration for us to be offered instead of a sacrifice to be offered to God continually," mnemes anti thusias to theo dienekos prospherein, and subsequently, after quoting Malachi, as usual, states that Christians offer sweet incense and sacrifice to God, but in a new way, according to the new covenant, prayers, hymns, self-consecration in holiness, quoting the Old Testament to prove they were better taught as they were, that they were more grateful to God than a great number of victims with blood and smoke and odour of fat, repeatedly saying it was a commemoration of Christ's sacrifice which He had instituted. The passage is too long to quote. It is found in Dem. Ev. lib. 1, at the end (page 38-40, Paris ed. 1628).

Now I do not quote these Fathers to prove any point of doctrine whatever; I would not do so for any consideration. We must have what was from the beginning, the word of God. I quote them to shew that the assertion that the Fathers held the Mass as a propitiatory sacrifice is historically not true. But I will now also refer to a proof of the use of sacrifice applied to what the people brought which may seem strange -- the Canon of the Mass which originates with the great pope Gregory, famous in such matters. You will see from it at once, that the offering of the people before the service is called 'offering' and 'victim' even, as we have seen it called 'offering' in the Fathers, and the bread and wine called 'creatures' after consecration, as they also do.

The priest with various rubrical directions begins by begging the Father that He will "accept and bless these gifts, these offerings (munera), these holy pure sacrifices which in the first place we offer to thee for thy holy Catholic church," etc. Then for the living -- naming the objects of the Mass, and all who stand around, etc. -- "for whom we offer to thee, or who offer to thee this sacrifice of praise for themselves, and all theirs for the redemption of their souls for the hope of salvation," etc. And further on: "this oblation of our service, but also of all thy family, we beseech thee, O Lord, that appeased thou mayest receive and dispose our days in peace, and snatch us from eternal damnation," etc. Then, "which oblation, O God, we beseech thee, thou mayest deign in all things to make blessed, imputed (adscriptum), sanctioned, reasonable, acceptable: [he makes the sign of the cross once on the victim (hostiam) and once on the cup], that it may become to us the body and blood of thy most beloved Son!" And then follows the prayer of consecration and the consecrating words, "This is my body," but as recited or said by Christ at the time of institution. And then the cup.

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Thus we have the clear testimony that what are called gifts, oblations, and so offered and in the Rubric or direction to the priest, victim (hostia) is so called before it is consecrated, and the offering of the people (omnium circumstantium) referred to; and it is called, as by the Fathers, a sacrifice of praise. Further, after consecration, it is said, "Whence, O Lord, remembering the passion, resurrection, and glorious ascension into heaven of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord, we thy servants offer to thy illustrious Majesty of thy gifts and bestowings a pure victim, a holy victim, an immaculate victim, the holy bread of eternal life, and the cup of perpetual salvation." Then, "on which deign to look with a propitious and serene countenance, and accept, as thou deignedst to accept the gifts of thy righteous servant Abel, and the sacrifice of our patriarch Abraham, and the holy sacrifice, the immaculate victim, which thy high priest Melchisedec offered to thee." Then he prays that the offerings may be carried by the hands of God's holy angel to the altar on high, etc., and at the close: "by whom (our Lord Christ), thou, O Lord, ever createst, sanctifiest, vivifiest, blessest, and bestowest on us all these good things." And in saying this he makes at each of the three last words the sign of the cross on the host (hostiam) and the cup. Now the elements are positively called bread and the cup after consecration, and I ask if they really believed that it was Christ offering Himself, could they pray that God would deign to accept it as a pure and immaculate victim, and deign to look on it with a propitious and serene countenance as He had deigned to accept Abel's sacrifice? Could a believer thus speak of the acceptance of Christ's sacrifice when He offered Himself, or is it still in question? And further, at the end speaking of the host and cup, he says that God by Christ creates, sanctifies, vivifies, blesses and gives us all these good things, clearly holding the bread and wine still as creatures given of God.

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The ancient form which is all confusion by the growing superstition which made the elements after consecration to be Christ's body and blood, but preserved the forms which treated them as bread and wine and as offered by the people,+ is turned into blasphemy by using language quite appropriate as applied to God's creatures created by Jesus Christ as if it referred to the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. God by Jesus Christ creates, sanctifies, vivifies, blesses and gives to us all these things. Can that apply to Christ Himself? Yet, according to the modern doctrine of the Mass, nothing else is there. The preservation of the old form which treats them as bread and wine still shews the modern doctrine to be as modern as it is false.

It is evident that the Roman Canon of the Mass bears tokens of an earlier doctrine and usage on the subject, inasmuch as before consecration the priest offers it for the holy Catholic church; then speaks, in the commemoration for the living, of sacrifice of praise; and then, after the commemoration of the dead saints, prays that the Lord appeased may accept the oblation, and that He would deign to make it blessed and acceptable, that it may become to them the body and blood of His most beloved Son. Then he recites Christ's act and words, "for this is my body," and then adores the host, then consecrates the cup adding several words to what Christ said, and adores it, and then offers the host, but calling it God's gift -- de tuis donis et datis, and then, strange to say, begs God may deign to regard it with a propitious and serene countenance, and accept it as God did Abel's, which, if they believed it to be really Christ, would be nonsense or a blasphemy; and then prays that it may be carried by the hand of God's holy angel to His altar on high in sight of His divine Majesty.

+It is curious enough too that the Canon of the Mass, in speaking of the cup, says (following the Vulgate), not 'is poured out,' but 'shall be poured out,' referring to the sacrifice as a yet unaccomplished thing. 'There was no need so to put it according to the Greek. It is simply 'poured out,' or 'being poured out'; but Jerome has given it historically, having no idea of sacrifice in the institution save as it referred to the cross.

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But there is more than this, though this still shews marks of the corruption of a more ancient system which did not view the offerings in the same light. The Roman Mass stands alone among all liturgies. None attributes the transubstantiation, or whatever it is called, for the word though now used and the doctrine generally believed is not a formal doctrine of the Eastern creed, nor the word acknowledged in their symbols, indeed it seems many still reject the doctrine -- we can speak of that when we come to the question; but the Canon, so-called, of all other masses or liturgies is wholly different in principle. What they hold to be the consecrating words are entirely absent from the Roman Mass, and approach nearer to more ancient doctrine. The Greeks say it is absurd to suppose that the mere recital of Christ's words as spoken by Him can make the change -- that there must be a positive looking to God to do it. So that after saying, "Take, eat: this is my body which is broken for you, and distributed for the remission of sins," and "this is my blood of the New Testament which is shed for you, and for many, for the remission of sins," and subsequently saying, "In behalf of all and for all we offer thee thine own of thine own," and in that called of St. James, "We offer thee, O Lord, this tremendous and unbloody sacrifice" -- they pray God to "send down the Holy Ghost ... and make this bread the precious body of thy Christ ... and that which is in the cup the precious blood of thy Christ, changing them by the Holy Ghost, so that they may be," etc.

I have chiefly copied St. Chrysostom's, so-called, but all are substantially alike. The change is professedly made by the invocation of the Holy Ghost, not by the words of institution, which have been already pronounced when they pray it may be changed. This invocation, which is found in all liturgies, is wholly absent from the Roman Mass.

It is sorrowful to think of the degradation to which, by the superstition of east and west, the blessed commemoration of the Lord's precious sacrifice has been reduced. In the modern service in Russia they prepare the bread and wine in a side chamber and on a separate table. They have a loaf or loaves, and a spear with a cross generally at the handle; the loaves are prepared with a certain seal or stamp upon them; the priest thrusts the spear into the right side of the seal, saying, "He was led as a lamb to the slaughter"; then into the upper part and into the lower with other words; then into the right side, saying, "For his life is taken from the earth"; then the deacon turning the loaf up says, "Slay, sir," and he slays it crosswise, saying, "The Lamb of God is slain"; then again turning it on the upper side, reciting what the soldier did; then mixes the water and wine, reciting John's account of the blood and water coming out of His side. Thus the elements are prepared; then with a procession they are carried to the altar; and the rest of the service already alluded to -- invoking the Holy Ghost to make it Christ's body -- goes on. They have no difficulty at any rate where to find the slaying of the victim, and at least have it accomplished before the memory of it is celebrated. For if it be a now living Christ, the slaying Him afterwards by the priests eating the consecrated host, as Bellarmine states, is a perfect monstrosity. How either, degrading and degraded as it all is, can be called worshipping "in spirit and in truth," is hard for any to understand. But in the Greek form the whole must be taken as a shadow, for the Christ they thus profess to slay in figure is not yet, by the epiklesis, or invocation of the Holy Ghost, trans-elemented into the body of Christ. But how poor, when spirituality is gone, is the effort to work up by superstition some forms of imitative service!

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D. But this is not the Catholic service.

N. No, it is not. There it is done by chewing it in the priest's mouth. While deepening the darkness of superstition where blindly followed, it produces disgust and irreverence where it is honestly inquired into: as to spirituality of thought or worship, that I cannot say it has destroyed, it has no pretension to it.

R. I do not deny I am perplexed. It is clear the principles of the Roman Canon, and the more ancient ones of St. Chrysostom and St. James, are essentially different; the absence of the invocation of the Holy Ghost, whatever its effect, and which it cannot be denied was of very early date, is a very serious point. I am not of course a Greek and always took for granted they were wrong and schismatic, but thought that on this point they were substantially the same as we were, and so Roman Catholic writers declare and Dr. Milner would make us believe; but there is force in the objection of the Greeks, that the recital of the words of Christ can hardly operate such a change. And, as I have said, the invocation was ancient. But long habit and religious authority are hard to break with, and it is a solemnising thought that we receive Christ.

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N. If it was His dwelling in the heart by faith, feeding on Him spiritually, nothing more precious or important: but I cannot think the mere physical receiving what is material can add anything to what is spiritual. His words are spirit and life. But this we must look further into in speaking of transubstantiation, though it is hard to separate the two subjects.

R. Yes; they run into one another.

Bill M. But is all this pretended slaying of Christ before all the people, sir, among the Greeks?

N. No, that goes on in a kind of side chapel. It is shewn to the people when it has been consecrated on the great altar, as it is after consecration in the Roman Mass, as you know. And masses can be said without their being there at all.

James. Well, I certainly had not a thought of such unholy acting like a play. I do not know which is worst, Greek or Roman, but I am sure neither of them is of God. There is nothing of the simplicity that is in Christ. And it is quite clear that a real living Christ, glorified now, cannot even in a figure be sacrificed.

D. But allow me to repeat, Mr. N., that the Greek service (which I admit, though originally more simple and pure, is stuffed with a vast deal of unprofitable dialogue and ceremonies) is not the Roman Mass.

N. Quite true; I do not adduce it, of course, as such, but it -- and not the Greek only, but all other liturgies, and they are more ancient than the Roman Mass -- condemns the Roman Mass in the very essence of its doctrine and structure. The words of Christ at the institution of the last supper do not, according to these liturgies, transubstantiate the bread and wine; that is subsequently sought in the invocation of the Holy Ghost. And you must remark here, that I am not setting one liturgy against another as better or worse one than another. What I say is, that all the ancient liturgies, called by the names of St. James, St. Mark, St. Chrysostom, St. Basil, and others derived from them, all entirely condemn the Canon of the Roman Mass; so that, if these are right, that is, the universal liturgical tradition -- and there is little doubt that these in some form or other were the origin of the Roman liturgy itself -- there has never been a really consecrated host in any Roman Catholic Mass at all. If transubstantiation were true, there has been none, no true body and blood of Christ.

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R. What do you mean? what a strange statement!

N. It is very simple. That to which all ancient liturgical services attribute the consecration and change in the elements is not in the Roman service at all: the invocation of the Holy Ghost. And Rome is quite aware of this, for, when she has won some who had these ancient liturgies, she has changed her services. The Maronite service I do not know; but for the Abyssinians and Armenians, she has changed them, and not gained much that I see after all. She has retained the invocation of the Holy Ghost for them -- I suppose not to scandalise them, and in the Abyssinian has added 'consecrated.' Instead of saying, 'make this bread the body of Christ,' she says, 'make this consecrated bread the body of Christ.' But this makes the matter worse, because it is avowing that what she calls consecrating, all she has in her own Mass, leaves the bread still not the body of Christ. It has still to be made so, so that in her service it is never made so at all. In the Armenian she has been a little bolder, and, instead of 'make this bread the body,' says, 'make this bread, to wit (videlicet) the body of Christ to be,' etc., for blessing, that is, to the communicants. But further, this change by the invocation of the Spirit is according to patristic tradition also, though the Father's use of it denies transubstantiation altogether. We have seen Irenaeus declaring that after the invocation there were two things, earthly and heavenly, denying positively transubstantiation, but making the change he did believe in, the consequence of the invocation. I rest my faith wholly on Scripture, but the antiquity you so rest in, in its ancient liturgical services, condemns this Roman Mass. If we are to believe Gregory the Great, the only prayer at consecration was the Lord's prayer. The Roman Catholic commentators seek to get rid of this, but so he says.+

R. It is very perplexing, and tends to make one doubt of everything.

+"Mos apostolorum fuit ut ad ipsam solummodo orationem [dominicam] oblationis nostram consecrarent." Ed. Ven 1771 Vol 8, 56, Ad. Joh. Epis. Syracusanum. Lib. 9, let. 12 (64 Ac.).

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N. To doubt of what rests on tradition, but it does not touch what was from the beginning, the inspired word of God able to make us wise unto salvation. There we have divine authority and divine certainty, the truth itself; not human traditions. It is a common effect of gross superstition connected with the profession of Christianity, and all taken as true together, that when the falseness and absurdity of the superstition, of what man has added, is seen, all is rejected together. Infidelity is its natural fruit when the mind begins to work. The word has never had its just authority, and men do not separate what is human and divine. Without the word man believes as he has been taught, that Jesus is God, and that the wafer is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. He finds the latter a delusion and, not resting on the word which teaches one and not the other, but as to both alike on human tradition, he throws up both and is an infidel.

When we examine the question of transubstantiation, we shall see that the most famous doctors of the church denied that doctrine five centuries later, and that it was never settled as a defined doctrine till 1215, nine centuries later, so that the Mass was impossible. For if the element be not really the body of Christ, such a sacrifice is impossible. I rest on what is said in Hebrews 9 and 10, which chapters not only teach what is inconsistent with it, but formally contradict it in every part. That Christianity has a sacrifice is a fundamental truth, but that Epistle teaches that it was one, only one, offered once for all upon the cross, never to be repeated, and its not being so repeated essential to its nature and value.

Bill M. Well, what do you say, Mr. R.? For me I confess it is plain enough that, if there was to be no more sacrifice for sins, the Mass cannot be true. What made me like it was that there was forgiveness and a present offering one could think of as offered when we were uneasy in our consciences. But I see God will have us not get our consciences made easy from time to time; but come to Christ and have all we are and have done manifested in God's sight, and be reconciled to Him through that one sacrifice Christ has made of Himself in wonderful grace on the cross. It goes a deal deeper into one's soul in the conviction of sin. Of the peace that follows I cannot say much yet, but I see the word of God speaks of it plain enough, and I hope I will find it; but I know that sin is a very different thing when you have to bring it all out before God, and get cleansed there, and when you get your conscience quieted by absolution and receiving at the Mass. It is another thing to be a sinner before God.

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James. What to me is so dreadful is that the blessed efficacy of Christ's sacrifice is set aside -- that which was done once for all at such infinite cost and suffering to Himself, the dreadful cup He had to drink, and the truth that it is done and finished once for all, and accepted of God, so that He sits at God's right hand when He had made purification for our sins and obtained eternal redemption. They may talk about its being the same sacrifice repeated; but then it is not finished and complete; something more is needed to put away sins. To have a sacrifice for sins still is to say the whole work is not finished on the cross; and it unsettles too all our peace before God. And Christ cannot suffer now. It denies the efficacy of the cross and Christ's glory in it, and the sure foundation of our peace and rest, and God's glory too, for all is still unfinished. And what is said in the Hebrews is plain enough. I wonder how persons calling themselves Christians could dare to go so plainly against God's word.

D. You seem to make nothing of the teaching of the church, but take your own crude and rash opinions as a warrant for a dangerous self-confidence.

James. Excuse me, sir. I do not take up any opinion at all. I trust God's word as the truth through grace. An opinion is brought to me which contradicts it, and I do not receive it. As to confidence, such grace as was shewn in the gift of God's blessed Son does give confidence in God, and the work of Christ when believed in, gives peace to the conscience. Confidence in myself would, I know, be as wrong as it would be foolish and dangerous; but it is not in myself, but in God's love and His word, and the work that Christ has accomplished. Will you forgive a poor man if he asks you humbly, Have you got this peace? "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself."

D. I am not accustomed to give an account of my own feelings. The privileges and graces given to the church, I know, are very great, and so wonderful that I feel it presumptuous to appropriate them to myself; but I trust, being found within her pale, I shall have the benefit of the grace conferred upon her through His sacraments and the promises made to her. God alone knows how far we have profited by them, and the day of judgment will make all manifest.

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N. But this is an unhappy state of uncertainty, Mr. D. How can you invite others to come to Christ and they shall have rest, when you have not rest yourself? Either (and God forbid such a thought!) what Christ has said is not true, or you have never come to Him. And Scripture is quite plain, saying, "We have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption, crying, Abba Father." The Spirit of adoption, which is the practical condition of the Christian, cannot exist if I do not know I am a child. In your state you cannot say, Abba Father. I speak only from what you say yourself. "I write unto you, little children," says the apostle John, "because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake."

D. What do you mean? that I cannot preach the truth if I am not sure of my salvation?

N. You cannot preach the gospel as Scripture presents it, and the Lord Himself. You may repeat the words, but you can announce the gospel with no personal consciousness that it is true, so as to preach it yourself with conviction, so as to have truth and heart in your preaching.

D. But I am not preaching to heathens, but to Christians.

N. I admit the difference, and in some respects important difference; but they, or at any rate the mass of them, and yourself too, have not peace, have not the rest of heart and conscience which Christ promises. Neither you nor they are where the gospel sets a man, where it has put James, and, thank God, many others who have found what Paul declares to be true, "Being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have access into this grace [or favour], wherein we stand." Besides, let me ask you, Can the church answer for you in the last day?

D. No; but in following her directions, I shall be able to do so.

N. Have you followed her directions hitherto?

D. Well, we follow badly the blessed guidance that is for us; still I have as far as I could, faithfully done so, and hope to be able to do so.

N. And if you were taken away now, you do not know if you would be accepted or not; and when once you leave this, the church can do no more. It has not given you peace, and purged your conscience here, and cannot answer for you there. Conscience must be individual, pardon must be individual, a new life must be individual. Each one must give an account of himself to God individually; and a church and its system which quiets the conscience here, but gives no peace, nor purges it, and cannot answer for us there, is a poor substitute for the perfect and ever-subsisting efficacy of Christ's one sacrifice, by which the believing soul born of God has peace and constant peace. The conscience, really purged before God, and receiving the Holy Ghost, walks in joy, possessing a power in a living Christ, which destroys the dominion of sin. Do not suppose I think the true doctrine as to the church of no moment. It is most blessed and important; but the word of God always puts the individual relationship with God and the Father first, and then the truth as to the church after; because my personal relationship with God must be settled, bringing me into the privilege of a son, before I enter on our union with Christ, or God's ways in dwelling in the assembly by the Holy Ghost. And your doctrine of the Mass sets aside the full abiding efficacy of Christ's blood, hides the love of God, brings uncertainty into the conscience, and fear into the heart; denies the most precious truth of God, and just gives the carnal mind quietness from time to time, without being really turned to God, leaving the heart practically in the world where it was; takes peace from the believer, and gives a quiet conscience to the unbeliever in heart, who has no thought of walking with God. I do not seek to use hard words, but Masses, as you have acknowledged, are really blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits. There is no sacrifice of Christ but one, and once for all.

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R. I do not complain of your language, because I know it is only a quotation from the Articles of the Established Church. But do you not think this confidence you speak of is dangerous? Does it not tend to destroy humility?

N. We spoke a little of that already; still it is so common an objection that I still reply. I know your teachers do and must object to it. It would take the whole matter out of their hands; people would not want them. But a vast body of Protestants too resist it.

But I take the matter up broadly, and say, The scripture never recognises a person uncertain of his salvation as in a Christian state. Certainty or uncertainty has nothing to do with humility. If it be uncertain whether a child be really the child of his parent, this has nothing to do with his humility; he may not have the shadow of a question as to his being such, and be a humble obedient child. But true divinely given certainty brings us into the place of humility, because, where real, it brings us into the presence of God through the rent veil of Christ's sufferings to walk in the light as God is in the light. There we feel our own utter nothingness, how far we are from having reached the mark; and all is seen in that light. Yet we have confidence, because grace has brought us there, and we know God is love and loves us infinitely. It is said, the love wherewith He loves Jesus, and that He accepts us because of, and by, and according to, the value of the perfect work of Jesus, who appeared once in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Through His offering we have no more conscience of sins -- perfected for ever as to acceptance by His one offering. The Lord has given us the picture of this uncertain state in the prodigal son. When he had not yet met his father, though his heart was turned by grace towards him, he says, "Make me as one of thy hired servants." There was no certainty or enjoyment of the relationship. When he met his father, there was no such word uttered. What his father was to him was known because he had met him; the thought of being treated as a servant only proved he had not met him yet. There is a new nature in him who is born of God which loves holiness, but there is no true development of holy affections until we are at peace with God. And the Mass denies the ground of our relationship with Him, the holy and righteous God, and the true scripturally revealed value of Christ's work.

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R. Well, Mr. N., you have given me something to think of. I see some have a peace I have not. I do not profess to be convinced, but certainly Hebrews 9 and 10, to a plain mind make the doctrine of the Mass extremely difficult to receive. But Protestants I meet have not that peace which such a statement, if believed, would seem to give. I do not mean now careless men of the world, but serious men. It is a serious thing to give up the doctrine and authority of the church. But I have got subjects for inquiry.

N. Be assured, dear sir, in looking to the Lord, He will give you light and understanding; only give His word its just authority, I entreat you. We own it all, you as well as we, as God's word; and let men say or claim what they may, if God has spoken, we are responsible to hear and bow to what He says. He, though patient in grace, will hold us responsible for it when He judges the secrets of men's hearts, when no priest or church will be of any avail.

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R. But we are taught to bow to and avail ourselves of them here.

N. But they cannot answer for you there; and if God has certainly spoken, and in grace too, we are bound to hear. It is true that multitudes of Protestant Christians have not, nay reject that peace; but I do not ask you to listen to them, but to the word of God itself.

R. We have not touched on transubstantiation yet, which is indeed closely connected with our present subject; and I have been sufficiently interested in what has passed to be glad to enter on that too if it were possible. I really desire to know the truth.

N. I do not doubt it in the least. I think our friends here who first led us into all these questions desire to hear it too; and I dare say James will still let us make his house our place of meeting.

James. With pleasure, sir, and much obliged to you for coming: and Bill M. of course may be here, and will, I know, wish it.

N. Well, then, it is understood.

R. I will now then say, Good evening: and we are much obliged to James for his kindly receiving us.

James. It is quite a pleasure to me. Good evening, sir.

R. Mr. D., I suppose, is coming. I wish you all good evening. Good evening, sir.

Bill M. I see more into all than ever I did, and what true Christianity is -- how Christ has made peace by the blood of His cross; But I dare not say much yet.

N. Carry it all to the Lord, M. There it will all be clear with Him.

Bill M. But many pious people do not see all this clear. I did not see it at all, or so understand it, for I was not pious before I turned Roman Catholic. But I did not hear of it either.

N. No, as Mr. R. said, many, even pious, Protestants do not-at all see the holy place where grace has set them. Hence too, they are so mixed up with the world. But, thank God, it is clear in the word: only divine teaching must be there to possess it really. But now I too must say, Good evening.

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James and Bill M. Good evening, sir.

Bill M. Well, Jim, what do you say to all we have heard? What I think I feel most is, how awfully I was in the dark, and how sad to think how little the true love of God and work of Christ is known and preached! And glad I am to have heard what I have. I think it is over with the Mass, and all that belongs to it, for me.

James. Well, Bill, I am thankful more than I can tell you, having found peace with God and the salvation of His grace, and surely sovereign grace to me, has brought; thankful too, to have escaped the snare I was just falling into. And it is such a comfort too in the house, and my missus was sorely tried about it. And now we can get on happily together, and look to God together for the children. I do not mind so much now about the rest, because I am all clear myself, but glad to hear.

Bill M. I do not so much mind either; but then it is a great thing with the Catholics, and very hard to get them out of it, because they think it is the very body and blood of Christ; and when they receive, that they receive that, and that they are all perfect-like. So I shall be glad to hear. But now, Good night.

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THE DISTINCT CHARACTER OF THE SEVERAL WRITINGS OF THE NEW TESTAMENT

There are some subjects difficult to establish in mere ordinary statement, because their proof results not from palpable evidences of facts, or positive testimony cognisable by sense or intellect, but from characteristic exhibition; the apprehension of which implies both capacity for understanding its nature, and habitual exercise on the subject before us. The perception, however, of them may be conducive to a fuller entering on the whole scope of truth and its order. It is the peculiar character of minds of power (communicative power) in natural subjects to seize the prominent features which may act on the mind of others, in introducing the perception of or controlling the mind to subjection to these points as manifested truth; associating their minds with the principles of truth. In spiritual subjects, it is the object of much distinct converse in them to be able to present them primarily and vividly, so as to lead the way to fuller investigation of the divine mind.

The expression of one's own thoughts, and the acting so as to awaken similar thoughts in others, I find by experience to be two very different things; and the latter to be a rarer and more self-denying attainment than the other. By God's Spirit alone can it be done in power. I find myself utterly deficient in this power, and I feel that I must charge upon myself failure in spirituality in respect to this. I am led into this by an effort to present some thoughts, the result of habitual reference to the subject, which have grown up in my mind, strengthened after their first suggestion, not by an elaborately attempted proof, but by the continual development of them in subjects to which they refer -- the best proof I find in scriptural subjects, and one to me the least communicable to others. But I shall state, as simply as I can, the thoughts, and leave their development where chiefly they will be found of value in the daily course of Christian reading.

I allude to this -- I believe that the Gospels are by no means mere concurrent and coincident testimonies to Christ, and valuable simply as corroborative one of the other. Of course they are so, nor do I despise this positive help to the acknowledgement of the instrument and standard of faith -- the written word. But the believer, acknowledging this as his foundation, seeks for the enlargement of heart which the fuller and more complete apprehension of that word may give him. I believe them to be (recognised as true and all bearing witness to the same great facts, and shewing thus their unity) the testimony of the Holy Ghost to distinct characters, in which the one Person they bear record of was revealed, and which He filled. All fulness dwelt in Him, not only of the Godhead bodily as to His Person, but the accomplishment of every character in which He could meet the requisition of God from man, and man's necessities, or satisfy the testimony of the Holy Ghost in the word of old, as exhibiting the divine glory. He came in "by the door," so that to Him the porter should open; and thus He became "the door," the only door in or out, to all else.

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Now the Gospels generally fill up their peculiar place in their witness in this respect; they fill up the place of representing Jesus from His birth to the resurrection, sealed by His ascension into heaven, wherein He became properly the last Adam -- the spring from which all the ministration of the living word flowed, and on which it was established -- and the testimony of the righteousness of God set forth as His glory to be revealed. That is, all that Jesus was, is that which will be exhibited in glory: we see its substance, its texture, the beautiful order of all its filaments in His unglorified state; yet is He none of these things which He is meant to be, that is -- save to faith. The glory exhibits it to the world. The artist skilled in the composition of the structure can see the exquisiteness of its parts -- the nicely adapted arrangement of the materials -- the perfect wisdom with which it is composed. Its presenting as a whole to the world will give the whole result externally.

He was the Son of man in all the varied moral truth which that name conveys; He will be the Son of man in glory. He was the Messiah in all the requisitions and gifts which had been appointed, and even recorded by prophets; He will be Messiah in the reign of His glory. He was the Son of God in His Person, as conversant in the world; He will appear in His glory as Son. As the potter's work goes in with all with which it will come out, yet would the eye unpractised see nothing of its beauty -- none but the potter could see it; so none but one eye, and those taught of Him, can see the exquisite beauty which was in all this fulness of Jesus, or understand the beauty and glory and true majesty, in which He shall be revealed when every eye shall see Him. They "saw no beauty in him that they should desire him"; yet He was but cast into the fire that He might come forth to their astonishment with all the beauty which God could set upon Him -- "his Father's glory and his own" -- the glory of administered power, in the glory, the results of grace -- "to be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believed." Nothing can exceed the delight and profit I apprehend, through perception and connection of this glory of what Jesus was, in the veiled perhaps, but heightened and beauteous order of all His character in grace, with the glory in which it shall be revealed in the day of His appearing to His saints and the excellency of His kingdom.

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The testimony and ministrations founded on these great truths, as building the church upon them belong to the Epistles and the subsequent contents of the New Testament, and not to the Gospels, whose office it is to state the facts, and develop in conversations the universal truths on which it is founded.

Now, there are three great characters besides His personal biography, in which the Lord is set forth: as the Messiah; as the Second Man known in the moral character of the divine nature which God required, the Last Adam; and, which is the climax of them all, His personal glory from which all flows as Son of God. First, His character properly Jewish; secondly, that in which it was co-extensive with the term man, and applied itself to this as coming from the hands of God; thirdly, that in which it was paramount to either, His personal association with the Father of glory as the Son of God, in which the value was attached to the others; and the power of quickening, in which alone they could have unity, was established and verified.

This, I say (as establishing promises, exhibiting grace, and founding the stability of both, in the Person of Him in whom they were fulfilled, with the personal grace and graciousness of His conversation and ministry in the world) forms the respective subjects, more especially of the four Gospels. We find them exhibited in John 11 and 12; that is, the Saviour exercised or owned in them by His power and the ordering of the divine counsels on His rejection by the Jews. Chapter 11 exhibits His resurrection power after that rejection "for the glory of God, and that the Son of God should be glorified thereby"; chapter 12, His kingship over the Jews as the Son of David, and, secondly, His headship over the Gentiles, His standard of conversion and attractive power in death, in that which took place in the desire of the Greeks to see Jesus.

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Of the first of these characters which I have mentioned, Messiah, the Lord's connection with the Jews, Matthew is the appointed witness. Of course, the same truths are recognised everywhere. Luke exhibits our Lord in His converting character, and detecting in moral principles the inconsistency of man's estate with the divine character. John eminently presents Him in His Person and Sonship. Matthew, as fulfilling the law and the promises, "the minister [as the apostle speaks] of the circumcision for the truth of God"; Luke, as a witness of what is in man, and of the openness of the Father's house, and the love of the Father's heart to them that return, to the returning prodigal, "that the Gentiles should glorify God for his mercy"; John tells us that "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and was God ... and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." I believe the notice of this conduces exceedingly to the understanding of the different Gospels.

The evidences of it are some of them obvious, others more from use. We have one immediate one in the genealogies traced up in Matthew, to the sources of Jewish dispensation, David and Abraham; in Luke, to Adam, the Son of God. Again, if anyone will compare the first two chapters of Matthew and Luke, they will see how completely the one is appropriately Jewish; the other presents us with the child,+ one who "grew in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man."

Another thing is remarkable; it will be found on examination, that, except in the positive necessary facts of His birth and death, Luke states circumstances, not according to their chronological order, but according to their moral connection; hence affording a most important link of interpretation. This is so, not merely in unconnected facts, where it is obvious, but even in the temptation in the wilderness. The sermon on the Mount, the character of the parables, of which Matthew 13 and Luke 15 may be taken as the types, all confirm and illustrate the position I am taking; and this is the real interpretation of the different language used in parallel passages. In one, the Holy Ghost preserved what bore upon the subject of one Gospel; in the other, what bore upon that of the other, and gave what the church needed, and God pleased: if all had been given, "the world could not have contained the books." The whole of Luke 7 and 8 illustrate in a string of circumstances the moral application of facts. A comparison of the closing scenes of our Lord's intercourse with His disciples and the Jews, and the prophecies consequent thereupon, further remarkably illustrate the difference.

+Till His birth, however, there is no allusion to anything but Jewish hopes; the passage which seems so is a mistranslation -- "to you and all people" should be "to you and to all the people," Luke 2: 10.

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In Matthew is given the full development of Jewish dispensation, and this so much so, that I could not apply any of the statements in Matthew 24 or the like to Gentile circumstances; whereas Luke explicitly opens the door, and brings them into the scene, as may be seen in the close of chapter 21 Whence also, I believe He introduces "all the trees," the fig-tree being the specific emblem of the Jewish corporate nationality. The close of the Gospel of John is equally distinct, or more evidently so in its character. But I do not feel in this synoptical view, that I need enter into any explanation of the Gospel of John. It is evident upon the face of it, that the Person of our Lord, as paramount to dispensation, though as coming subject to it, is its declaration.

The Gospel of Mark I believe to be the declaration of the personal ministry of our Lord, "the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God," and the circumstances of that ministry, to trace from circumstance to circumstance the character of minister in our Lord, His personal character, not in broad facts or prophecies the Messiahship, the faithful and true Witness, the Lord from heaven, the Son of God, one with the Father, but He who was all these become the patient considerate Servant, in actual ministry of those with whom He was conversant. Hence it commences with His ministry or baptism, giving no account of His birth.

When I retrace at all the enjoyment which I have had through the Spirit of grace, and of God, in that from which these observations are drawn, the studying our Lord in them, I am doubly conscious how little they can in any sort convey to another the resources of that enjoyment; nor indeed can this be. All I can hope is, that they may be the instruments of leading the minds of others into the same sources or streams, in which the infinitude, the unspeakable infinitude, of divine grace flows from and in Him in whom they are all concentrated, and concentrated for us, even Jesus the Lord, in whom "dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily." It is in communion with Him in the word, that these blessings are found; and communion whose depth, whose height, is never reached, but the fulness is ours, and that in the very peaceful strength in which He has adapted Himself to us. May He open our mouths in the understanding of His praise. It is this, after the establishment of our faith in the great truths of the Epistles, explanatory truths, that leads us back to the Gospels, to enter into and dwell upon the blessedness and fulness of Him in whom all the truths have their centre and accomplishment.

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While my own mind rests specially on the Gospels in this view, as illustrating the Person of our Lord, I add at the wish of some a short synoptical view of the books of the whole New Testament, which will, at the same time, strengthen and confirm the remarks I have made upon the Gospels. It appears to me to be a presenting of Christ, the subject-matter of the faith which is in Christ Jesus, from His incarnation, which associates Him with David, and Abraham, and Adam, and presents Him as the substantiation of the mind of God, of which they are but prefigurements, though real ones, to the time when He shall return again -- His second coming, when He shall illustrate all that He is in power. Hence, in the Gospels, we have all that He was traced to Adam, David, Abraham, the Word of God, and shewn forth in ministry with the great facts on which the testimony of the gospel was founded.

In the Acts we have the founding of the church of Christ, stating His resurrection and ascension, on which the Jewish and Gentile church is built, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit -- the Acts not of the apostles, but of the apostles Peter and Paul (though recognising of course the others, particularly those who seemed to be pillars), that is, of the apostles of the circumcision and uncircumcision the ordering of the church by the deacons; the subministration by evangelists, deacons "who have purchased to themselves a good degree and great boldness in Christ Jesus"; the general diffusion of the word of the gospel by all the faithful preaching (Acts 8: 4); and the foundation of the Gentile church, more peculiarly so called, on the ascended glory of Christ, that it might be "Christ in them the hope of glory," with the ordering by the Spirit of all their labours.

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We have, then, in the Epistles, the ordering and care of the church and churches of Christ thus planted, in their various necessities, arising from the weakness of men, and permitted thus to arise that we, "upon whom the ends of the world are come," might have the answer, the rescript of God upon the case. In the Epistle to the Galatians, we have the great basis laid of justification by faith, and its connected doctrines, to the exclusion of all judaising to such an end. In the Romans we have a whole body of divinity in the way of dispensation, justly coming first, to chapter 8, developing all that was short of "no condemnation" -- stating the whole of the Christian position in chapter 8, on the basis of thanksgiving for Christ; and from chapter 9 out, tracing the positive dispensations of God ordered beforehand, and resulting therefrom, closing with practice and a resume of the whole dispensation. In the two Epistles to the Corinthians we have the internal order and management of a church by the Spirit of God in the apostle. It would appear as if there had been no elders, that we might have direct from the apostle the arrangements necessary and pleasing to God for the purposes of the divine order; at least, elders do not at all appear throughout the books, but the directions are immediate to the church. I think this a remarkable and singular providence; to us at least it is so, and worthy of notice. For surely no goodness and provision for our weakness and folly is singular with God; boundless, multiplied, have they been. There are some who would despise it, as of little or no profit for the purpose for which it is given. What else is it for? I can conceive nothing more base than, having by perverseness disabled one's self from the use of means which God has provided, to turn round and say the means are deficient, without a symptom of humiliation for the real cause.

The Ephesians and Colossians bear many stamps of identity of purpose, but they are very beautifully distinct. They both follow up the dispensation into its fulness; but the Ephesians views it in the glory, the conferred or predestinated glory of the body -- the Son's; the Colossians looks at the fulness of the Head of the body, as constituting that, through which the whole is brought into this order in and by the Head. The Philippians I would give as depicting the affectionate interchange of love in the intercourse between the parental apostle and his beloved and attached churches. Thus he unfolds his hopes, for in this way does the doctrine come out, and leads them in the same healthful train, opening the blessed truths to them, and so of his estate and thoughts of theirs.

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The two to the Thessalonians are the building of the church in the great doctrine of the Lord's second coming, as an immediate and protracted expectation and hope, and the result of this special apprehension of it in the very healthful state of the church. These epistles afford very full doctrine on the subject, and guard against the only prejudices which the vanity or wit of man could form out of it or abuse. I need hardly say, that Timothy and Titus are the ordering of the church, as to its government and management by those set over it in the Lord (justly coming last with others first), the character of those appointed, and the use and service of such a ministry specially in guarding against evil, with all the absolute or external arrangements of the ministry and its dependencies, and the manner of using it. Its importance will be fully noticed by the service it is applied to, and its abuse at the present day. Its uniformity of character is given by adding the Epistle to Titus, and variety of use according to the circumstances in which it is placed. In Philemon we have the evidence of that minuteness of care, apostolic care, which recognises the ordering of an individual's concerns, and what would now be so multifariously despised -- the church in a house.

The Epistle to the Hebrews is an instruction to the church, not an apostolic address to a church as such, of the way in which the types of the Old Testament were fulfilled in Christ, and how He was the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, answering to Moses and Aaron, but after another order; and how, consequently in this also (as with the saints of old) it was a dispensation of faith, and we must therefore go "forth without the camp," as well as be strangers in the world, while Christ is on high. I should feel gratified at some other occasion, to enter more in detail into the structure of this beautiful and instructive Epistle, but would not do it now. Thus we see how the church, being built and ordered by a wise master builder under Jesus, closed by this important testimony to the Hebrews, carrying forth the principle of faith to them and bringing in all the value of their ministrations to us in Jesus as that principle of faith.

We have, however, some further developments of the mind of God before we close, but by other hands, that these pillars might all prop up the beauteous arc of God's canopy of heaven over the church, the shield of order and of beauty. The Epistle of James is the order of righteousness, the test of church order as a moral question, the statement of practical wisdom and righteousness, with a "Shew me." This is the church's part. "The Lord knoweth them that are his" the other side of the seal, not the sovereign claim and authority, but the order and recognition of His power and character. "Let everyone that nameth the name of the Lord depart from iniquity." This latter part James the just administers in its principles; and the principle of its application "shew me," first in purity, secondly in goodness or mercy; while the sovereignty of the Lord is fully recognised and declared. It is then church righteousness and order, I mean in its principles. This fully explains the reasoning of the Epistle, and the comparison with the reasoning of the apostle Paul; one giving the root, the other, the manifestation. If taken not as acts of faith, the works James refers to were bad works -- one the slaying a man's son, the other betraying a person's country.

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Peter's Epistles, or to speak more properly, the instruction of the Holy Ghost by him, gives us further light. They shew, though there is but one body in glory, the continuing care in ministration of the gracious and unchanging God over the Jews, the strangers scattered, for such are the persons addressed in the first Epistle, the parepidemois diasporas among the Gentiles, where they thought our Lord spoke of going and losing Himself. His great thesis is the resurrection, and leading the believing Jews in this to their right place in faith, and shewing the appearing again of Jesus to be the great time of bringing in the promises by it; that the remnant were the chosen people who had not stumbled at the stumbling-stone, but had, according to the word of the Lord testifying of His own resurrection in Psalm 34, "tasted that the Lord is gracious"; identifying Jesus and Jehovah the stone of stumbling, but of preservation, Jehovah tsabaoth otho but l'miqdash -- the Lord of Hosts Himself but for a sanctuary. The whole of the Epistle is addressed to the Jews, or rather to the two houses of Israel or their remnant, and pleads the resurrection and patience. The order and dispensation and the parenthetical character of this are very distinctly drawn in from verses 10-13 inclusive, of chapter 1. The second Epistle, though savouring of that character of ministry in all its motives and arguments, is general in its address "to them that have obtained like precious faith with us," more particularly however embracing Israel in the apostle's mind, as we may see in chapter 3: 1. It declares the judgment on apostasy, stating the adequacy of supply or the means of preservation in the memorial of the written word, founded on the faith of the seen and coming Jesus, and the instruments of that apostasy, false prophets and teachers, the character of it, and the remedy in that great subject which he had presented before them -- the coming of the Lord, which is here presented to the apostates in the character of judgment, "the day of the Lord." And he exhorts them to diligence, that they may be found of Him coming, to be in that day without spot and blameless.

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In the deeply interesting Epistle of John we have the intrinsic evidences of the power of Christianity as flowing from God; its essential and internal abiding character; our strength in it, as giving fellowship with the Father and with His Son Christ Jesus; and hence in the knowledge of His love, or rather of love, by that which has brought us into this fellowship, security against the haughty assumption of antichristian seduction, in the assurance which flows from that fellowship, and is conscious that it is already in that which is falsely assumed to be presented, or which we may be charged with being without; while this, characteristically presented in its necessary fruits, guards against deception on the one side and the other. This is effected (first no declaring its source in chapter 1) by the two personal evidences, He laid down His life, "by his Spirit dwelling in us"; and external, as a guard against the assumption of others and the denial of our own righteousness, by keeping His commandments, and loving brethren. The unity of the testimony to Christ's glory, in the Spirit, the water, and the blood, is there stated; and the internal and external witness distinguished: one, the blessing of the believer; the other, the condemnation of the world; closing with the general contrast "we are of God, and the whole world lieth en to ponero." "We know that the Son of God is come, and He hath given us an understanding": the next point is, "to know him that is true"; and the next, "we are in him that is true, even his Son Jesus Christ our Lord." He is the "true God and eternal life." Amen. All else is but "Little children, keep yourselves from idols."

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How blessed is the testimony that in Jesus we are in the true God, and -- which is our interest, and blessing, and everlasting comfort in it -- eternal life in Him! In Jesus we have eternal life, and in association with Him are thus capacitated for understanding and enjoying all that is in Him the Lord and true God. In the second and third Epistles we have the individual, living, and faithful care of the Spirit in the apostle against any falling into the seduction of losing the true doctrine of Christ: whoever fails here, that is, abides not here, has not God; and direction for the uncompromising boldness in rejection of such as partake of his evil deeds; the direction being, in the one, not to receive seducers, or we are partakers of them; in the other, to receive faithful witnesses of truth, because in them we are partakers in the truth. Both rest on this, "walking in the truth"; they are the details of Christianity, such as develop themselves in service.

Jude returns to the apostasy, but in a more generic character, that is, in its principle, tracing it as developed from Cain; its address, therefore, is universal. Further, all ungodliness is shewn to be apostasy in character; while the force of it through false teachers is shewn in 2 Peter 2. The Epistle, though short, is full of depth and beauty of moral power, though severe as needing it in its character. Nevertheless nothing can be more full of gracious beauty than the directions for our portion, till the mercy comes which holiness is taught to expect; for as the Lord's first coming is grace to sinners, so His second is glory to saints, and destruction to all those who have heard and known not His name. The Lord hasten it in its day, and us to it!

How fitly the Revelation fills this up and closes this book, I need hardly say. The apostasy has been shewn previously to have come in, the tares sown among the wheat. This closed the care of apostolic ministry, and fitted in, as it were, to the great final apostasy. The Lord is therefore shewn at once judging in the midst of the churches; and in His own immortality of glory and holiness on His Father's throne, in the intermediate time, governing till He comes forth in His power, and ordering all things for His church; making "all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose"; ending with the perfection of the blissful state, the heavenly Jerusalem come down, and the joy of the whole earth thus blessed in communion with it, sorrow gone from before the presence of God, where it never can abide, when He comes forth in power; and in power He does then come forth, and no evil remains before Him. Meanwhile the church is comforted with seeing the Lord cognisant of all the troubles and circumstances through which she is to pass, and is ready to join in the cry of the apostle with which he closes the book of God's testimony, "Even so, come Lord Jesus." The first part of the book gives the care of the Lord; the second, the character of the apostasy, and of course how it resulted in judgment. Thus the dealing begins with judgment at the house of God, and ends with judgment on the ungodly and sinners -- two distinct classes; and then blessing from Him from whom the book, the testimony came. I do feel, in writing thus rapidly (I trust for the profit of the church), the extreme solemnity of the truths, thus by the mercy of our God brought before us, that we might enjoy the blessings which are their result. To Him whose it is be all the glory and praise; and may He keep us, adding of His grace in our ways, "that an abundant entrance may be ministered to us into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ."

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There are one or two remarks I would make in addition to this brief and hasty review of the bearings of the parts of this blessed book. I have given it because I believe it shews its perfectness and its adequacy, in answer to the lies and blasphemies which would denounce its imperfection; though, I am well assured, it will be understood and rested on by none who are not taught by the Spirit of God. I would remark then, first, the circumstance of the distinction between the epistles to individuals and to churches, "mercy" being always added in the address to individuals. The church is set in mercy, for it is looked at and known only as so addressed in the mercy of God. The individual is the daily subject of mercy to all his imperfectness and weakness, and is kept only by it.

Further, it will be found that the title given to the churches, when churches are addressed, is accordant to the subject of the Epistle, and the aspect in which it presents the church. Thus, to the Thessalonians, it is the church "in God the Father," because it is addressed in the full liberty and hope of sons, as waiting for the glory, in the coming of the Son of God, of the Father's house as sons. The Ephesians and Colossians, "the saints and faithful in Christ Jesus," as rightly holding the Head, and united to Him in one body, and in the hope of the glory of Him the Head -- their Head; therefore in Christ Jesus especially, whence all their fulness flowed, as all fulness dwelt in Him. Nor are they therefore called the church, but viewed as saints, and faithful in that position or common connection with all the saints, as the Head of all, and parts of one body which should form the whole mystical man over all things, even as "all the fulness of the Godhead was in him bodily." In Philippians, we find "Paul and Timotheus to all the saints in Christ Jesus, which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons"; the comprehensiveness of that general affection which we have shewn therein. In the reproving Epistle to the Galatians we have simply "the churches of Galatia."

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In the Epistles to the Corinthians, when the order and conduct which became the church as a "church of God" is entered into at large, this is the title given to it; and I must remark here that the church is never called in Scripture the church of Christ. I am not questioning ta ema panta sa, kai ta sa ema, but the only passage in which it is at all so spoken of is "on this rock I will build My church," which is clearly outward profession and confession of the truth; and hence, though it may be in given times pure, the church of Christ is known by its profession of Christianity, that is, of the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. But this has nothing to do with the church of God. The church of God will be within that confession,+ but the church of God is that for which the Lord Christ, the Lamb of God, gave Himself, purchased with His own blood, and shall be presented faultless in the presence of His glory. Now this may be encumbered with many outward circumstances, but judgment is applied to it as to the church of God; and hence the address I believe in the Corinthians: nor can spiritual judgment apply itself to any else, when the church is so mixed up as to render the separation of them impossible. Where there is not energy of the Spirit, and spiritual life to throw off the evil as a distinct thing, judgment is impossible; it cannot be addressed as being, nor is it at all, a church of God; it may come under the general designation as a part of the church of Christ, which is the subject of judgment in other sort, and excision in its external character; though the gates of Hades shall never prevail against it, as they did not against that on which it is founded, because the living resurrection Lord shall catch the children out of the judgment which He shall then exercise on him that has the power of death and his companions, into the glory that shall appear in Him and with Him, and their life shall be the rather in glory -- life indeed. Then it is the church lives indeed in resurrection, proving more abundantly than ever, that the gates of Hades shall not prevail against the children of the living God -- believers in Christ the Son of the living God. The opening of the Epistle to the Romans opens itself in the fullest manner, and indeed is a remarkable and beautiful illustration of that on which we are speaking; for every part and order of the dispensation is brought out, and fixed in its resulting and proper power, on those addressed in the opening part of this Epistle. The truth of Jewish, and power of Gentile or resurrection character, is addressed to, and finds its application in, all at Rome "called," etc. I have been, perhaps, too long on this, as I only throw it out as a hint.

+[The author would not now speak of the church of Christ as within the church of God, which is rather the last generic expression and embraces not only the body of Christ for which Christ gave Himself, but the house of God where His Spirit dwells. -- Ed.]

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Though I do not say that the order of the Epistles is divine, I do not mean to break it by speaking of the Galatians first, for I believe it to be most providentially perfect: I merely alluded to it as containing a first principle. In order, Romans and Corinthians most suitably come first.

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HAVE WE A REVELATION FROM GOD?+

It is evidently an all-important question, Have we a revelation from God? a communication of His thoughts on which we can rely? Is there nothing certain, nothing certainly known, nothing which enables me to say, I have God's truth? Have I from God such a revelation of His mind as is authentic and authoritative, such that I can know from Himself what God is?

I cannot trust in man. Man who has not had such a revelation is lost in what degrades human nature. I cannot trust the church or doctors. They too have their history, and what a history it is! -- and, in these days they are a reed which, if a man lean on it, breaks and pierces the hand. Where am I to turn to be able to say, Here I have the truth I can love and rest on? Here is what God has given me from Himself? To have this I must have two things: a revelation from God; if every man is a liar, here is truth. But I must have it also communicated authentically to be able to reckon it. It is a matter of fact that men have not known God, nor His character without a revelation. Universal heathenism, civilised and uncivilised, is the witness of it. They have not liked retaining Him in their knowledge when He was revealed to them. It is no use telling me that the worship of Lingam and Yoni, of cats and monkeys and fetishes, is a true knowledge of God. It may prove that man wants a God, that he cannot help having one; but, if so, that he cannot find Him, or will not have Him.

The case then stands thus: I look all around to find God and His truth. The heathen cannot point Him out; I cannot find man among them that is not degraded. He deifies his passions and adds degradation to them.

I am told perhaps, But Plato, does he tell us nothing of God? Well, if I leave the universal heathenism, and enclose myself in the narrow groves of the academy, I find one who teaches the grossest communism, women and all, and makes men and women a mere stock for breeding human beings for the republic, and holds that the supreme God can have no direct communication with the creature; but that it must be by demons, and mediately, perhaps, the logos. He was, with the Rabbinical Jews, strange to say, the inventor of purgatory. The later forms of it brought in Arianism. I cannot find it among Mahometans, nor their paradise of Houris above and the sword below. The Koran, which is on the face of it a wretched imposition -- revelations invented for the occasion that called for them -- the Koran or the sword is not a revelation of God, save as a judicial scourge of Christendom. The Jews cannot tell me of God, cast out from Him according to their own scriptures. Am I to learn it in the intrigues of the Jesuits, rendering every nation under heaven restless? or in the infallibility of the Pope, which nobody, but grossly ignorant partisans, believes and history gives the lie to? Am I to worship the golden idols of the mother of God set up on steeples and highways where there is power to do so? Is this to be my resting-place?

+A Review of Professor Smith's Article 'Bible,' in the 'Encyclopedia Britannica,' ninth edition.

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Shall I turn to Protestants? But the mass of teachers amongst them are infidels in most parts. Perhaps I may have the choice of Puseyism or liberalism, or countless opinions and heresies which contradict and destroy each other. Am I told that there is a real consent in the evangelical creeds? I do not quite admit it; Luther did not think so. They all agree in one thing -- baptismal regeneration. But if I inquire whether the teachers believe in the formularies they sign -- not one of them: they are obsolete. What am I to do? Say with Pilate, What is truth? and wash my hands in despair and give up Christ to His enemies? But we have the word of God to rest on.

Ah, here there is something -- God worthily revealed. But -- "the most unkindest cut of all" -- it is not, I am now told, the word of God. It is a compilation of various traditions and documents some seven or eight centuries after it professes to be written, drawn God knows whence (only not from Him), and by God knows whom; partly a law produced some seven or eight hundred years after it professed to be written, with some of its documents recognised as already existent, perhaps, at that date; professed prophecies put together by some compiler frequently under some name they do not belong to; a long conflict having subsisted between the moral element and the ceremonial or priestly, but the former got the victory in Ezra's time, but only then, though they never had the law as it is till Josiah's time! and yet, strange to say, they got the victory only to fix the nation in ceremonialism and the authority of priestly tradition in which it had never been before! Besides the two chief documents, however, from which the early history is compiled, and other parts suited to them by the compiler, another author has been discovered whose writings are intermingled with the two chief ones, and whose object is to attach importance to the progenitors of northern Israel. Prophets claim an intuition coming from God; still their great object was not future events.

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Such are the scriptures. They are, if we are to believe these learned men, not the word of God, but an uncertain compilation flowing from the progress of Israel's history, partly from priests, under whom the laws grew up, never complete till Ezra, partly from prophets contending with their principles (not, mind, with their sins against God or their breaches of the law, it was not formed yet), partly from lay life in the midst of the people. These are the factors (that is the word) of the Old Testament. As to the New: well, four epistles may be Paul's, the expression of the higher spiritual life in the Christian; the rest spurious or doubtful, and much of it comparatively a modern attempt to reconcile the Pauline and Petrine factions in the church, or a late fruit of Alexandrian philosophy and reveries or Jewish symbolism.

It is no great wonder if a very large body of the French Protestant clergy declared they would sign nothing, no apostles' creed, nor anything else; they supposed men would have to believe something, but they did not know what it was yet; and the poor laity, not so learned, but more of babes, said, as I know them to have done, "Pourtant, si nous sommes des Chretiens, il nous faut un Christ quelconque" (Well, but if we are Christians, we must have some kind of Christ). Such is the point to which what is called the church has brought us. Not now priestly ceremonies and traditions combated and corrected by prophets professing divine intuition, but priestly and ecclesiastical ceremonies and traditions bringing weariness to the spirit (where it does not rush to popery as a refuge), merging into heartless and flippant infidelity, living in a speculative pseudo-historical outside, without one spiritual apprehension of the divine substance of what lies at their door and before their heart -- speculations which last some twenty years or so, first Paulus' gross denial of miracles and resurrection, then Strauss with his mythical Christ, and then Baur and the Tubingen school, the false speculative fancies of which are already judged and given up;+ and now the later forms of these and De Wette and the like, warmed up anew for Scotland; as the English in such things generally do when they have passed their day in their native country.

+That I may not be thought from scriptural prejudice to overstate the judgment formed on Baur's theory, I may refer to a laudatory article on Baur in the columns of the "Encyclopedia Britannica," in which the article of Professor Smith which has given rise to these remarks is found. "Unhappily," so the article closes, "his own opinions were influenced, not merely by his study of facts, but by a great speculative system which dominated his intelligence and prevented him from seeing," etc.

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It is admitted that Professor Smith has exaggerated what a child may see in Scripture, and, I add, through ignorance of Scripture not understood it, and that his system as to the books of the New Testament cannot hold water. I shall be told that for all this Astruc's theory and Baur's reasoning have produced an immense effect. They have, in those not taught of God; not in substituting any certain system, but in turning lifeless dogmatism into speculative infidelity and scepticism.

And where is the word of God? Where it always was, as light is in the sun. Men may have found olive leaves, and these be broken up into small patches of light, or hang over the spots in a way not to be explained. It may be found that the spots are coincident with auroras and magnetic disturbances; but those who have eyes walk, as they ever did, in its full and clear divinely-given light. It shines as it ever did, and the entering in of the word gives light and understanding to the simple. They have a nature that can estimate it in the true character God gave it, which these learned men have not; for He hides these things from the wise and prudent, and reveals them unto babes. "They shall be all taught of God," is the declaration of the Lord and the prophet for those who can hear.

That the Old Testament scriptures were collected into their present form a good while before the Lord was on earth, no one is interested in contesting; indeed, far from it, for Christ owns the divisions which now exist. Attributed to the great Sanhedrim, on (it is said) insufficient ground, or referred to Ezra, they were at any rate so collected; though Mr. Smith slurs it quickly over to refer to doubts as to Esther. Josephus is very express. There are not, he tells us, a multitude of books, but just twenty-two: that they had histories and writings after Artaxerxes, but these had not the same authority, they were not tested by prophets. That the books were collected, we can thank God for. Whether the history of Ruth be connected with Judges, or the Lamentations with Jeremiah, or relegated to the Ketubim, is of no sort of consequence. Their place in the history is plain upon the face of them. It is not to the believer a question who wrote Ruth. He receives them as the word of -- God. God is their author. It is, as Matthew expresses it, upo Kuriou dia tou prophetou -- of the Lord by the prophet. It is also true that, in collecting the books, short notes may have been added, such as, There they are to this day, or other brief note of the kind. Such there are, interesting as divinely-given history, but in no way affecting the revelation. The book clearly shews that as a whole it is inspired and ordered in its structure by God; and when all this was done to make it a whole, this divine ordering of God's hand and wisdom may be in such notes as elsewhere. The question is, Is this book given to us of God as a revelation, given to us as it is? Is what is in it revealed of God, or man's thoughts?

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The book professes to be an account of all God's ways from the creation (and even in purpose before it) till the Lord comes, and even to the end of time, till God can say gegone, It is done; I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending. It professes further to give us a revelation of the Father in the Son. Is this immense undertaking a revelation of God? or a development of national life in a little petty nation, for our learned men can see no more? No man hath seen God at any time: the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him. Is this a revelation of God or not? That is, is the account I have of it of God, as God has given it to us? for otherwise it is no revelation to me or to anyone else.

Serious questions these: the very undertaking proves its source. Had man done it, what should we have had? What have we outside this wondrous book? Their theory is, it is an imposture; for giving statements hundreds of years later than their alleged date, as if all were written by inspiration at that date is an imposition, and this from a nation constantly running into idolatry, and condemned by the book! And further (can any but learned men be blessed with such credulity?) persuading the people whom the forgers were condemning by it, that they had always had this law as a law from God Himself, when, if these doctors and the Josiah theory be true, they never had had it at all, it was brand new, or some old traditions furbished up from different old documents for the occasion; and remark further -- for this we must now look into -- that Christ and His apostles either from God confirmed the delusion, or deceived the people, and all those they taught, on purpose! That an imposture, moreover, is the holiest production that ever appeared in the world, bearing to every one that has any moral sensibilities a divine stamp upon it, which nothing else in the world has! Credat Judaeus Apelles. As Rousseau said, It would have been a greater miracle for man to invent such a life as Christ's, than to be it.

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I will touch on some of the grounds they build their theory on; but I first turn to the book itself. First of all, it is treated as a whole by Christ and His apostles as having a well-known and specific character. "The scripture cannot be broken," John 10: 35. "Then opened he their understanding, that they should understand the scriptures," Luke 24: 45. "Search the scriptures," John 5: 39. They were a recognised collection which the Lord owned; and, yet more precisely, owned as we have them now and the Jews had them then. "All things must be fulfilled which are written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets and in the Psalms, concerning me." Here is the Torah, Nebiim, and the Ketubim -- the three divisions which the Jews distinguish by the Gradus Mosaicus, Gradus Propheticus, and the Bath-Kol: in the two first, authorised by Numbers 12: 6-8; the latter human, in which their idea is that the writer, though inspired, expressed the sentiments animating his own mind, not knowing that all that was contained in it was the mind of the Holy Ghost; which is doubtless true often in such books as the Psalms.

Christ owned, then, what we call the Old Testament, and owned it as we and the Jews have it. But He goes farther; He owns them according to their present character and authors. "Did not Moses give you the law, and yet none of you keepeth the law?" (John 7: 19.) "Moses, therefore, gave you circumcision, not because it is of Moses, but of the fathers" (verse 22). There is one that accuseth you, even Moses in whom ye trust; for had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me; for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?" (John 5: 45-47). "If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken," chapter 10: 35. This alludes to the Judges being called Elohim in Hebrew; they shall bring him to the "judges" being very commonly Elohim, god or gods." Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham; but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead," Luke 16: 29-31. How true it has been with these poor Jews and these unhappy infidels! Christianity and the resurrection of the Lord are of no avail if Moses and the prophets are not believed, and believed in their writings, for surely they had them. "He wrote of me. If ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?"

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Remark further here that Septuagint translations, the "Compiler's" additions, and all that these speculators allege, were there then the same as now, the same collection, the collection as we have it; and Christ owned and insisted on the authority of that, and that as being Moses' writings.

But further, after His resurrection, not even when dealing with Jews who owned them, but of and from Himself for His disciples, the risen Lord, "beginning at Moses and all the prophets, expounded to them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself," Luke 24: 27. Think of the risen Christ expounding to His disciples a set of ill-compiled and contradictory old documents, pretended to be Moses and the prophets! But this is not all; they will say perhaps -- for what will the folly of learned infidelity not say? -- they were only the things concerning Himself which He selected. "These are the words which I spake unto you while I was with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me. Then opened he their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written." Ah! the written word is what He valued. Only just think of the risen Lord opening with divine power His disciples' understanding to understand a spurious compilation professing to be written by Moses and others! That He should do so that we might understand the divine word, we can well conceive, and, if taught of God, we know the need of it; but to do it for an imposition, pretending to be what it is not, an infidel speculator alone would believe. But the "unjust knoweth no shame."

Again, the Lord recognises the prophets as we have seen, and specifies the one most called in question, Daniel, "the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet." The reading is called in question in Mark, but not in Matthew, and the reading in Mark confirms the genuineness in Matthew, and further recognises the commandments as given by Moses to be spoken by God: for God commanded saying, Honour thy father and thy mother (Matthew 15: 4); and again Isaiah (verse 7), Well did Esaias prophesy concerning you, saying. This is in the first part. But He takes up also the second part of the "Great Unnamed." There was delivered to Him the book of the prophet Esaias, and when He had opened the book He found the place where it was written (ah! that is the word), The Spirit of the Lord is upon me ... . And He began to say, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears. He was content to accept it as Isaiah, and affirms, what is of far more importance, and only really so, that it was of God Himself; Luke 4: 17-21. In the same chapter He authenticates the books of Kings and the history of Elijah and Elisha. He indirectly authenticates again the last part Or Isaiah (Luke 7: 27) in the prophecy of John Baptist; Isaiah 40: 3. I need hardly quote more passages.

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The discourses, life, and outgoings of the Lord's soul, though going necessarily far beyond it, and shewing it was to be set aside, as under the old covenant, for the accomplishment of far more glorious counsels, that the law and the prophets were until John, since then the kingdom of heaven was preached -- the whole discourses and life of Jesus, I repeat, if the Gospels be read in simplicity of heart will be found interwoven with the truth of the law and the prophets as they are presented to us in ordinary Bibles, authenticating them as they are, so that you must tear away all the revelation of Christ in them to remove the authority of the law and the prophets. He did not come to destroy, but to fulfil them. Fulfil what? A poor compilation of Ezra's time, or fragmentary documents made up by man, gradually grown up into a law unknown at the beginning? or the word of God given by inspiration to Moses and those whom Jehovah had sent? He was born in Bethlehem, because by God's will the prophet had said so. He dies, because if not, how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled that thus it must be? Till heaven and earth passed, not one jot or one tittle would in anywise pass from the law till all be fulfilled.

I may turn then to the servants of Christ when He had been rejected, the apostles and writers of the New Testament. The apostles, those authorised and sent by Him to announce Christian truth, and inspired by the Holy Ghost for this service, and the other inspired writers of the New Testament affirm, or which in a certain aspect is stronger, assume, everywhere that the Old Testament, as we and the Jews (enemies of Christianity, but in this witnesses with it) have it, is an inspired record, written by those to whom it is ascribed, and given of God. I can understand that the Baurs and Smiths (who, as rocks that, originating nothing, can only repeat a sound) echo them, thinking themselves more competent to tell us what Christianity and the truth is than Christ and His apostles. I have met such, men who did not scruple to say so, though checked somewhat by the scandal so speaking of Christ gave; I have met them in Europe and the United States; but all are not quite fit for that yet. Such thoughts are soon sunk in the deep sea of lifeless infidelity.

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Let us inquire then what the apostles or others do say. And first I will take what are called the great Epistles of Paul, what Baur takes as the sure ground of historical Christianity. To begin with the Romans, though chronologically the last of the four, Paul, he tells us, was separated to the gospel of God which He had promised before by the prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, made of the seed of David according to the flesh. Here holy Scriptures, holy writings, are owned; the prophets are God's prophets; and the whole system announced by them of the promise to the seed of David running through the prophetic writings and Psalms, from Samuel and all the prophets, is fully and clearly owned. Paul founds his own teaching on them, aiding of course the fact of the resurrection. What advantage had the Jews? Much every way, but chiefly what? That unto them were committed the oracles of God. Such were these holy writings. The special blessing, and they had many, was that they had the oracles of God. Poor Paul! to be so dark, untaught, as I have heard such say, by modern science. But what was the force of this? Man's unbelief could not make the faith of God of none effect. These oracles were so thoroughly of God that His faithfulness was involved in them, in making them good. But He shews Jews and Gentiles all under sin. How is that? It is written; chapter 3: 10. The Psalms and Isaiah are warrant for the assertion, and as to the text, the "Great Unnamed" has the passage; Isaiah 59. It may be wearisome to quote so many texts; yet they shew that it was not a mere quotation to support a point, but that the apostles lived in, and based their teaching on, what modern rationalists deny.

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What (Romans 4) saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, etc. Here Genesis is authenticated as the scripture, the word of God. Next David describeth the blessedness of this man. Here the Psalms are authenticated. Again, in chapter 5: 14, it is Genesis 5. Death reigned from Adam to Moses. This was until the law. Here the whole history of Genesis as to the fall of Adam under a law as to the forbidden fruit, no law till Moses, but death reigning by Adam's fall, then the law being given by Moses changing the ground on which man stood, not as to sin and death, but as to transgression, when there was (as in the two cases of Adam and Moses) an actual law, is treated not merely as a Jehovistic or Elohistic fragmentary compilation, but as God's account of man's whole moral standing with Himself till grace was rejected in the gospel, prophesied of indeed, but now actually meeting man's need as taught by the apostle in this Epistle, which, precious as it is, it is not my business to enter into now.

I pass over some passages confirmatory of this use of the Old Testament, and stop for a moment at chapter 9. Here Israel are dear to him as having law and promises, and even Christ as concerning the flesh. But where was all this shewn to be so when they were a rejected people? Not as though the word of God had taken none effect; and then all the history of Genesis is treated as the word of God, and the account in Exodus is cited, first, as declaring that God spoke to Moses, and then as to the history of Pharaoh. And here it is as Scripture says it. This is for Paul the same as God saying it. Next Hosea is cited as the word of God. "He saith in Osee." Esaias also crieth, quoted as of the same authority as God speaking in Osee: and this estimate of Scripture we shall find uniform. If he quotes the law (chapter 10), Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law. And here note Deuteronomy is quoted as what Moses says. For the learned men this is the Deuteronomic law first recognised by Jeremiah in Josiah's time! Perhaps from the latest hand of all, at least if we are to believe Graf. But farther it appears that the "Great Unnamed" was for Paul Isaiah himself. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report? (Isaiah 53). Then Deuteronomy is again quoted as written by Moses, and the "Great Unnamed" again as Esaias, who is very bold; Isaiah 65. Then we have the book of Kings authenticated; Romans 11. God has not cast away His people. How can I know this is God's mind? Wot ye what the scripture saith of Elias? ... But what saith the answer of God unto him? I can reckon on the scripture as giving me God's mind and purpose. So if Israel be blinded for a time it is written (chapter 11: 8), quoting Deuteronomy 29: "And David saith": so the Psalms were a true testimony of God to what was going to happen. Again in Romans 15 we find Deuteronomy quoted as "He"; that is, in the formula of quotation, the scripture is God speaking. The Psalms and Isaiah himself are quoted as the word of God.

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In Corinthians, a book of church details, the quotations are not so many, but it shews that Scripture is taken for granted as divine. The law is the law of Moses (chapter 9: 9); and this is God's mind, taken for granted as being so. "Doth God take care for oxen?" What Moses taught was what God taught. The history of the Exodus and the wilderness was God's history of His people, and His dealings with them recorded for our instruction; 1 Corinthians 10: 1-14. Again (chapter 11: 9), the creation of Adam and Eve (Genesis 2) is quoted as a divine account sufficient to build moral duties on. In chapter 15: 54, 55, Isaiah and another of the prophets are quoted as fulfilled in resurrection. In 2 Corinthians 3 the account of Moses veiling his face is quoted from Exodus as shewing the true character of the law, and Israel's state.

Galatians gives us the same testimony. Take chapter 3. The Pentateuch is referred to as a sure and certain testimony for faith, and Scripture spoken of as God Himself, being His word. "The scripture foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith," than which nothing can be stronger as to the inspired apostle's estimate of it. Nor is this all. The teaching of Genesis, and promises there made and confirmed (Genesis 12 and 22), and the history of Mount Sinai, are taken in their order as the basis of God's ways. A promise made unconditionally could not be disannulled or modified by additions 430 years after, and all this identified with its fulfilment in Christ in due time. The place the law holds in God's ways, and the epochs of it, are made the basis of his argument, and of the true character of Christianity. The promise was what God gave, Christ was its fulfilment, the law came in between, 430 years after the promise, added because of transgressions, till the Seed should come to whom the promise was made. What for the rationalist is an uncertain compilation of uncertain fragments, the development of national life, is for the inspired apostle the orderly revelation, as it is given in our Bibles, of God's ways, His own revelation of them historically, so as to form the basis of the true character of Christianity which was in question among the Galatians. The accounts of Hagar and Sarah are for him sure ground to stand upon. Nor has he ever any other thought. If he answers to King Agrippa, he spoke none other things than those which the prophets, and Moses in the law, did say should come. Finally, we find in 2 Timothy 3 a formal testimony to the holy Scriptures, when the church should have the form of godliness and deny the power, with the direct declaration that all Scripture was given by inspiration of God.

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John gives us the formal testimony that the law was given by Moses; and John the Baptist's declaration, quoting the latter part of Isaiah as being of him, and himself the fulfilment of it, as a sure prophecy, and of God. "Moses in the law and the prophets did write" is recorded as a known and received truth; the Psalms equally so. In chapter 2 "the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up." Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness; chapter 3. What Moses gave (the manna) was not the true bread from heaven; where Exodus and the Psalms are alike authenticated. "It is written in the prophets" is sufficient for the Lord Himself; not a bone was broken, that the scripture might be fulfilled; and His side was pierced that another scripture might be fulfilled, quoting Isaiah. They shall look on Him whom they have pierced; chapter 19.

Peter on the day of Pentecost rests on the authority of Joel, of David in Psalm 16; Acts 2. Moses it was who promised the prophet like himself; chapter 3. Yea, Samuel and all the prophets had spoken of those days, and all the holy prophets are brought in declaring the future blessing that was to come, the heavens receiving Jesus till then. Psalm 2 was being fulfilled; chapter 4: 25.

Peter formally declares that the Spirit of Christ was in the prophets, who studied their own prophecies to know what He (1 Peter 1: 11) did signify in them, and quotes Isaiah, what is contained in the scripture, as of sure authority, warranting what was going on; chapter 2: 6. He accepts the account of the flood in Noah; chapter 3: 20.

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The Gospel of Matthew, which specially presents Christ to us as the Messiah of the promises, Emmanuel, on His rejection, the substitution of the kingdom in mystery (chapter 13), the church (chapter 16), the kingdom in glory (chapter 17), bases, I may say, all its statements on the testimonies of the old prophets. Christ is Son of David, Son of Abraham. So numerous are the quotations that I can only notice the formal character of them, and one or two in particular. The formal character is spoken of (upo) the Lord by (dia) the prophet, a definite assertion of their true character. He quotes some as giving the events happening, ina "in order that" the prophecy might be fulfilled, opos "so that" there was a fulfilment, tote "then" when it is only a case in point. The latter part of Isaiah is "Esaias the prophet."

I need hardly quote more from the writers of the New Testament, besides a multitude of allusions in those I have referred to, to shew that Christ and the apostles accepted the Bible as we have it (I mean the collection of the books of the Old Testament as a whole) as of divine authority, as the word of God, inspired, and of absolute authority with them. It is that by which the Lord overcame Satan, to which Satan resorted to cover his guile. Man had to live by every word which proceeded out of the mouth of God.+ Such is Scripture to the believer by its own intrinsic authority, and the words of Christ and the apostles carry an evidence which no cavils of infidelity can shake, while they call themselves Christians: and the authority of Christ Himself and of the apostles weighs more than the speculations of men, based by each on some new fancy of his own, and though helping on infidelity as it passed and the ruin of man's hopes, passing away with the influence -of the mental energy which created it. I only, in addition, beg my reader to remark that these quotations authenticate the writings and the writers, and the writings as being those of the writer whose name they bear, as well as the truths contained in them as given of God, and that with the authority of Christ and His apostles.

We are left then, according to this system, with no certainty at all as to any truth of God. Objectors have subtilly spoken of authority, but there is no certainty. Not even the statements of the Lord Jesus and the apostles give us any; and, if not, these are uncertain and unauthoritative too, and we are left to the dark mists of infidelity and a world which has historically proved itself wicked and blind, without one sure communication from God.

+This, as all the Lord's replies to Satan, is quoted from Deuteronomy, as the word of God -- words proceeding out of God's mouth, sufficient for Him, and sufficient to leave Satan without reply.

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Before I turn to the more interesting and instructive proofs of the unity of the Old Testament from internal proofs, it may be well to consider for a little the article which gives occasion to these comments. It seems to me slovenly both in substance and in form. On the latter I need not dwell; but when a writer tells us of Jesus speaking of the new dispensation founded on His death as a New Covenant, citing 2 Corinthians 11: 25, I am justified in saying it is slovenly. I thought this might be a misprint, but I really cannot make out to what he refers. No scripture ever calls this dispensation a new, or the new covenant, though we get all the blessing of it spiritually. Christ's blood in the institution of the Lord's supper is called the blood of the new covenant; and Paul (2 Corinthians 3) says He was a minister of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. But this does not call for protracted notice.

But, though the writer speaks of Genesis, having lost sight of the divinely-given use of the Old Testament, all resolves itself into the development of a little nation, with a national God, and more or less priestly superstition. But in Genesis we have the history of the world from the creation to Israel's going down into Egypt and his death, with all the great principles of God's relationship with man, except what are properly dispensational. There is not the law, nor the church, the two great subjects of God's ways afterwards for heaven and on earth. But leaving them aside, you have all the great root-principles of man's state and relationship with God, and in promise the cradle of all his hopes. Of these we must expect no trace in these heartless systems, but Elohistic and Jehovistic fragments, and interweaving by a compiler, one referring to the priestly party in Israel, the other not; why put together by the compilers, we are not told; but of the state and interests of man, or the glory and purposes of God -- though both, as we have seen, are fully wrought into the New Testament as the basis of eternal truth -- no hint, no trace. Man fallen, a world judged (a story to which Christ sets His seal), Christ promised, Israel's hopes founded, and their apostasy, and God's deliverance of them foretold, all in vain. Grace and judgment, and all God's ways, Christ promised and come and unfolding them, as did also the apostles, in all their momentous bearings, must give way to Ewald's "Geschichte," and Mr. Newman's "Hebrew Monarchy," and Baur, and Hupfeld, and Mr. Smith, in speculations which only shew they can see nothing where God has, in its germ, laid down everything that casts light upon a ruined world (for a ruined world it is), and God's dealings in grace with it.

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But it is only fair to shew that the statements are slovenly: perhaps flimsy or superficial would be a more correct word. The theory is that there was a gradual development of the law. From Joshua to Samuel national feeling was much weaker than tribal jealousy. That there was a general dissolution, through idolatry and all seeking their own, is true, and Ephraim claimed a place hardly owned by others; but this broke out far worse afterwards even in David's time, and after Solomon's death divided the kingdom.

During the time of the Judges, we are told, the sanctuary and priesthood of the ark was the chief centre of monotheism. Of course it was at all times; there could be no other. There was no mercy-seat but there; there could be no day of atonement without it. Samuel, it is said, was by education a priest; but it was as prophet, not as priest, he accomplished his work. He never was a priest, and could execute no priestly office. Afterwards, to shew the progress, we are told that he fully sanctioned Exodus 20: 24, and did not act on Deuteronomy 33: 19. All this is utter neglect of both the letter and the mind of Scripture. There was no sanctuary at all during Samuel's activity. A tremendous judgment had fallen on Israel. Jeremiah refers to it (chapter 7) as prognostic of what would happen to Jerusalem.

There are three offices, as is often said, through which God has to do with His people -- prophet, priest, and king. The priesthood, which was set to guide even Joshua, had utterly failed. Eli died broken-hearted, his two sons slain, and the ark of God taken. There was no restoration of the ark till the king restored it, though God sustained His own glory. The link of the people with God on the ground of their own responsibility, with priestly mediation, was entirely broken: no day of atonement, it could not be; Ichabod was written on it all. God had "delivered his strength into captivity; his glory into the enemy's hand." But a prophet is sovereign interference, and God could not be debarred this, and He had prepared Samuel as He had prepared Moses. Samuel maintained the worship of Jehovah as an acknowledged prophet and judge. But as a system the people failed here too, and demanded a king; and God gave them a king in His anger, and took him away in His wrath. Then God by Samuel called David, who became king and brought back the ark, but to Zion, not to the tabernacle; which was no longer at Shiloh, but at Gibeon, without any ark or mercy-seat at all; it was not owned by David. Solomon went there; but David, guided as he was and taught of God, placed singers at the ark to say "His mercy endureth for ever."

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In spite of all their sins, power in grace had wrought restoration. The record is repeated in Nehemiah of the same faithfulness of God, and in the closing psalms, predictive of Israel's future blessing, prepared to be sung with greater testimony to its truth than ever, after Jerusalem has received at the hand of the Lord double for all her sins (Isaiah 40: 2), and that in the kingly power of Christ in grace. Hence, in Hebrews Zion is contrasted with Sinai, the place of the law and the old covenant. Such is the scriptural statement of the matter. The thoughts about Samuel and the difference of the altars overlooks the whole real history of Israel at that time. Samuel acted with prophetic authority when there was no ark, and the whole priestly order was judicially set aside. The prophets did refer to the moral state of the people largely, but prophesied of a Messiah to come and grace for Israel and a new covenant. But God owned no covenant as the old covenant, but what He had made with Israel in coming out of Egypt. This is what is expressly referred to.

There is no thought of a development of religious ordinances from a relatively crude and imperfect state. The prophets recalled Israel to a well-known system: but it will be found that the blessings and judgments in Judah, which still owned the temple and Jehovah, were invariably dependent on the conduct of the king, under whom they were placed, and on whose conduct blessing or the contrary depended. We are told, indeed, that the proof of the development view "cannot here be reproduced." It is a pity: still the author does his best. I only remark that, while there was progressive prophetic light, the kings ordered the details of priestly service, as David did, and was inspired for it. As a system, the headship of the priest was given up in Shiloh, though not their exclusive service. We are told that the prophets, when they failed to produce immediate reformation, began from the eighth century, if not earlier, to commit their oracles to writing. Reformation of what? Who were these prophets? The eighth century was Hezekiah's reign. This was about four hundred years from Samuel. There were from time to time prophets who gave warnings; but what reformation were they attempting? All this is fable. David set up the new system, and "Solomon built him a house." Ten tribes went off because of the folly of the king, had no priests but false ones, and afterwards two most remarkable prophets, who wrought miracles authenticating their mission; which the Jewish ones did not, because Jehovah was publicly owned, and the whole system they recalled Israel to was fixed long ago, and owned by the people. The reforming prophets from Samuel to the eighth century is a fancy of the writer's. The former prophets (Samuel, and Kings) give us the history, and this was what God meant them to do. That they were the chroniclers is often repeated and easily shewn.

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But to return to inquire for the proofs of the development of crude ordinances: if I read Exodus and Leviticus, they may be wise or not, yet they are not crude but elaborately detailed, and, if true at all, framed according to a pattern shewn on the mount. If they were not established by Moses, the whole history is a fable, utterly false from beginning to end; for "Jehovah said unto Moses" is the emphatic authority, save a few to Aaron, where it was special priestly service in what was established; and, I ask, was the pattern shewn on the mount a crude thing, to be developed by Moses? But the proofs -- An altar of earth or unhewn stone is commanded, if they made one (Exodus 20), and this Samuel did when there was no priestly service and Shiloh was judged, and so did Elijah when Israel had left the temple. It guarded against idolatrous imagery. But we are reminded that God was to put His name in one place, according to Deuteronomy, and so He did, and faithful kings were constantly destroying the high places (for planting trees was equally forbidden), thinking to bring back things to order, not to make progress or develop. In Exodus 20 He speaks of recording His name in a place, and there He would meet them -- blessed promise! But the next thing in the same book is the history of the tabernacle, to which in the wilderness they were bound to bring every animal they killed in the camp or out of the camp, under pain of death; and in the same Jehovistic account, if you will have it so, they are to appear before Jehovah at the three great feasts. Talking of development as to this is really nonsense: the earthen altar is the first ordinance given -- a development, I suppose, of the crude details of the tabernacle given after; and then we jump to Samuel!

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The quotation of Deuteronomy 33 is a prophecy of the last days of Israel in the blessing of Moses, the man of God. Even so they call the people to the mountain. What mountain? There they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness. Why should it not be the mountain of Jehovah's house established on the top of the mountains? This is a prophecy for the last days too. In Deuteronomy we have the three great feasts, and their going to the appointed place obligatory, and images and groves forbidden -- all Jehovistic. The full directions as to going to the place where God had set His name are in Deuteronomy 12, when the Lord should have given them rest, and what they might eat at home and what not. But this had been even more strictly imposed in the camp, because in the land the distance might be too great, an altar of brass being made in the same book and place according to the pattern shewn on the mount.

Deuteronomy is a peculiar book, penned evidently for the confusion that might be found in Israel when scattered about the land. The Levites hold a much more considerable place, and the people. The Levites are not priests, as the article says, but the priests are very rarely mentioned, and provision made for this state of things, yet anything but development of ordinances. It is for the land entirely; Exodus and Leviticus, with very rare exceptions, exclusively for the wilderness. Probably, from what Amos and Stephen say, not one sacrifice, unless the regular daily ones, was ever offered. The history, though doubtless their duty then, is one of types, and written for our instruction, on whom the ends of the world are come; and though this be said of their history, yet the types of the sacrifices and the like are precious to every one that knows Christ. He knows Christ, our Passover, is sacrificed for us; he knows what Pentecost prefigured; and if intelligent in the things of God, what Tabernacles are too, not yet fulfilled; but to these things I will revert. Thank God, they were perfect at first, and only properly so then. All was made according to the pattern shewn to Moses on the mount. Rationalists may despise the New Testament too, and despise Alexandrian Epistles to the Hebrews; but we have not yet learnt that the most wonderful display of grace, holiness, and wisdom, wrought into a whole that none can rend, is only an imposture.

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But the other proofs? -- Ezekiel's temple. This is instruction for the restoration, not the historical one. Then instead of Jehovah-Shammah and the prince, they were miserable captives to the kings God had set over them in His anger; at least so Nehemiah thought. It is prophecy for a time after Gog is destroyed, so that all the nations may know that Jehovah is Israel's God, who had led them into captivity, and brought them out, and left none of them there at all. For there will be such days, let rationalists think what they like. It is a prophecy; in nothing an historic proof of any development made after the Exodus. When Ezra fixed the legal state of Israel, he did not fix Ezekiel's temple. This is really child's-play, fit only for rationalists. This, the writer tells us, is his "clearest proof," unless we may suppose the unreproduced ones may be.

But there remains yet one as to which the writer makes a pretty round assertion -- Josiah's book. "The legislation of this book does not correspond with the old law in Exodus, but with the book of Deuteronomy." So it is stated. I must suppose he refers to there being one place of worship; but this was more strictly fixed in Exodus when the tabernacle was set up (that is, at first) than in Deuteronomy, only one for the land, the other for the wilderness. But of the contents of the book there is not one word in the Kings. I do not exclude from what Josiah says Deuteronomy more than Exodus or Leviticus, in which last we have the most terrible threatenings of all (see chapter 26). Josiah heard the words of the book of the law, and his heart was tender; but he had no idea of a new book or a new law. It was the book of the law that was found. In the long reign of Manasseh it had been utterly neglected; but he speaks of it as no new thing. "Great is the wrath of Jehovah that is kindled against us, because our fathers have not hearkened unto the words of this book."

I have now completed the consideration of the produced proofs of the development of crude ordinances under the law. Rebellion, idolatry, desertion of Jehovah, gracious dealings on His part, and "hewing" them by prophets there was, and growing light as to Messiah; a new order of the details of service as to song and temple service by inspiration through David; a provision for walk in the land and failure in Deuteronomy; but of development from the pattern shewn in the mount not a trace. The writer tells us Ezra came with "the book of the law of Moses." Yet, according to him, it was not the law of Moses; but, if the Pentateuch be not all false, an improved code on what God had established by Moses. How "a nation which had attained a high degree of literary culture" was to be enlightened "in spite of the crass and unspiritual character of the mass of the people," I may leave to rationalists to explain. It is grammatico-historical exegesis, I suppose. Was I unjust in saying the article was superficial in form and substance?

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I refer to one passage more. He alleges 1 Samuel 8: 7 as contradicting Deuteronomy 17. But how God in anger, as Himself rejected and giving the people their own way and telling them how it would turn out, is a contradiction of a statement of how it ought to be done, is beyond me. If my reader is not weary of such futilities, I am; they are characteristically rationalist.+

I may turn to Astruc's and his followers' Jehovistic and Elohistic documents. According to Mr. F. Newman, they can be separated by mechanical means -- a pair of scissors, for instance. With this I agree. It is an apposite statement. They can be separated with nothing else. But are these learned men incapable of making a difference between God abstractedly as a supreme and self-existing Being, and a relative name in which He makes Himself known to men, so as to be in special relation with them? My father is a man; but, besides that, he is my father without ceasing to be a man. Supposing I took the New Testament and said there must be two documents which scissors could separate because He is called God and Father? But Father is given as a relative name in the New Testament as much as Jehovah in the Old.

+The allegation, that "there are six laws as to the passover, which, if not really discordant, are at least so divergent in form and conception that they cannot be all from the same pen," is another of these careless assertions without a shadow of foundation. In the first place, they are not all of the passover, but some of unleavened bread, which, though connected, was a different feast, and the difference morally important; and in two cases specially connected with the consecration of the firstborn. As to the rest, we have the historical account in Exodus, and reference to it when the three great feasts are particularly directed to be kept. How these are divergent, my reader must find out; I cannot. It will be found that in Exodus 13 there is no special additional direction as to the firstborn and unleavened bread, and no law as to the passover at all. So in chapter 34: 18. Moreover, they are all Jehovistic; so that the Jehovistic and Elohistic documents, as of two definite authors, come to nothing. But the statement is ridiculous, a proof of the folly and levity of all that is alleged. See page 135.

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Abstractedly I have no objection to more documents than one, provided I have the result from "the mouth of God"; but in their reasonings after Astruc I see no proof of anything else than the absence of moral or any sense, and that, being empty in mind of divine truth, this fancy of Astruc's was one they could spin cobwebs out of. What fly but a rationalist would be caught by Hupfeld's third author of the northern party, and Mr. Smith's curious remark on it -- "His literary individuality is, in truth, sharply marked, though the limits of his contributions to the Pentateuch are obscure"? This is strange! "literary individuality sharply marked, but the limits of the contributions obscure": their character is sharply marked, but it is obscure where they begin and end. Who will explain this for me?

But how does Scripture present the subject? God is God, but God has entered into relationship with men. These relationships are fourfold in Scripture, all referring to God abstractedly as such: El Shaddai (God Almighty); Jehovah (unhappily translated in English LORD in capitals, as a rule; better in French, l'Eternel); rather, which, save in mere figures, is entirely a New Testament name; and Elion, Most High, which, while revealed in promise is God's millennial name, -- and will be displayed as possessor of heaven and earth, all antagonistic power being set aside. And these are clearly thus set forth in Scripture, though the last be less clearly, as being yet future.

The two first are expressly distinguished. Thus Exodus 6: 2, 3: "And Elohim said unto Moses, I am Jehovah; and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob by the name of El Shaddai, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them." Not that He was not Jehovah, but He did not give Himself this name in His ways with them. (See Genesis 17, 28 and 32.) With Israel He was then Jehovah, as the great question was settled on Mount Carmel; "Jehovah, he is Elohim.

With Christians, the Son Himself being come, the Father is revealed, as the Lord Himself says (John 17): "I have manifested thy name to the men thou gavest me out of the world ... . Holy Father, keep through thine own name ... . And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it, that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them." So Paul: "When the fulness of time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons; and because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father." Blessed privilege! peculiar to those to whom, through faith in Jesus, He has given the title to take the place of sons, for we are all the sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

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The first time we get Most High is when Melchisedek comes to meet Abraham. Not that God was not ever the Most High, but He had not taken it as a revealed name with His people on the earth. Here was a greater than Abraham, who blesses him after his full victory over his enemies. And God takes this title, not in connection with Abraham (which was El Shaddai, though he owns Him as such and as Jehovah too), but with the mysterious personage, figure clearly (according to Psalm 110, as developed also in the Hebrews) of Christ, King of righteousness, King of peace, now sitting on the right hand of the Father, on the Father's throne (Revelation 3: 21), not yet on His own, a priest after the similitude of Aaron now though not after his order, but who shall come forth at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, when Jehovah-Elohim-Shaddai shall take to Him His great power and reign; the Ancient of days who sits on His throne, but the Ancient of days who comes (Daniel 7), whom the King of kings and Lord of lords, the blessed and only Potentate, shall shew, but who is King of king and Lord of lords; when, after the last confederacy against Israel (Psalm 83), through the judgment of the confederate enemies, men shall know that He whose name alone is Jehovah is the Most High, Elion, in all the earth, as the punishment of the host of the high ones on high shall have shewn Him Most High there (Isaiah 24: 21), the Son of God and Son of man to whom all judgment is committed. So when the Gentile power, which God set up when He took His throne from Jerusalem, Nebuchadnezzar, comes to his senses, he writes, "I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted up my eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom from generation to generation," Daniel 4: 34. I do not quote Daniel 7 for Most High, save verse 25, because the word is plural and means, I doubt not, "the high" or "heavenly places." In verse 25, however, the beast speaks words against Elion bringing in judgment by them. But the kingdom of the Son of man is then set up. The little stone will have dashed the feet and toes of the image to pieces in judgment, and becomes then a great mountain which fills the whole earth; Daniel 2.

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Who then is this Most High? This is the question so beautifully discussed in a poetic dialogue in Psalm 91. There are two great subjects in Scripture when personal reconciliation to God is settled. Sovereign grace puts poor sinners in the same glory as the Son of God, that He may be the first-born among many brethren, which is not our subject now -- displayed in the transfiguration.+ The other is the government of this world (see Deuteronomy 32: 8, 9), of which the Jews are the centre, as the church is of the heavenly glory under Christ. Our present subject is the Old Testament, the earthly part. Here then Jehovah, the Jewish name of Elohim, is in question. Who then is the Most High? He who has this secret will be blessed. He who dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of Abraham's God, the Almighty. Who shall say where the Most High is to be found? Messiah says, I will take Israel's God (Jehovah) as the Most High; I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge. Verses 3-8 are the answer. Then Israel speaks, Because thou hast made the LORD (Jehovah) which is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation, there shall no evil come nigh thy habitation. Verses 10-13 continue this. This is the passage by which Satan sought to tempt the Lord Jesus to try Jehovah if He would be as good as His word, acting in self-will out of the path of obedience; efforts which crumbled to nothing in impotency before the authority of that word which rationalists deny, but which the Lord trusted and authenticated as proceeding out of the mouth of God. In verse 14 to the end Jehovah declares His mind, closing grandly the dialogue, and putting His seal on Messiah's confidence in Himself, on whom He had set His love, as having taken the form of a servant. Here Jehovah, Israel's God, is shewn to be the Almighty and Most High, in the latter character bringing in the blessing of the earth: Jehovah, my God, even the Most High, has the blessing promised to Abraham. "Father" is of course left out, the name which belongs to the heavenly family when the Jews are cast off for having rejected Jesus, a state of things coming in between the end of the sixty-nine and the last half of the seventy weeks of Daniel, "the time of Jacob's trouble," (See Daniel 9).

+Both the celestial and the terrestrial parts are revealed in Luke 9.

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Hence, in the scriptures of the Old Testament, Jehovah is the name regularly taken up by the writer, whose whole calling was by the revelation of it (Exodus 6), and by all the prophets of the nations whose God He was. But it was of all importance to them that He was that God who is the ehyeh asher ehyeh, "I am that I am," God ever existing, subsisting in Himself and creating all else. And this is one great truth of what I may call the translation of the name in the Apocalypse; not "who was, and is, and is to come," but "who is" (o on), "who was" the God known of old, the promiser withal, and who is the "coming one" o erchomenos, when He will be Ancient of days, and Most High, possessor of heaven and earth, and His name known (even that Jehovah, and Jehovah alone, is so) over all the earth.

Hence, too, it was all-important that this same Jehovah should be known as Abraham's God who had, and first had (save Christ prophetically) the unconditional promise. (See the historic basis of all this which Joshua 24 gives us.) Even Shem's race had fallen into idolatry (of which there is no trace before the flood), and Abraham's own family. Then God calls out Abraham out of the order and connection He Himself had formed, country, kindred, and father's house, to be to Himself, to a country He would shew him. Sovereign grace which chose him, the calling of God, and the promises were the great principles brought out when the world was not only wicked before God but had put demons in His place. The revelation of the church was only after Pentecost; but Abraham is the root and starting-point of the blessed race. Adam was the head of a fallen race; individual saints we have from Abel, and the judgment of wickedness in the flood, and government set up in Noah to restrain it; but in Abraham first is the head of a race that belonged to God in the earth, be it according to the flesh or the Spirit, the root of the olive tree of God; Romans 11.

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Many are the important lessons connected with this, but I cannot touch on them now. Jehovah, the God of Israel, was the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob. This was His name for ever, this His memorial for all generations; Exodus 3: 15. God as God, the Being who is, not a creature who begins (esti, not ginetai), but exists in Himself -- the Almighty, who called the vessel of promise without condition, and Jehovah the God of Israel under whom the Jews took the promises under condition of obedience,+ must be identified. Hence, while it was of all importance to keep God's essential name of God, and God self-existent contrasted with every creature, and to keep this essential character present before their minds, it was equally so to shew Jehovah was that God, not a mere country god as those of the heathen. This, and the difference of promise on condition, and unconditional, we shall find running through the Old Testament from the Pentateuch to Nehemiah;++ and the distinction is the basis of Paul's reasoning in the New Testament.

We find then, when it was what God as God did or was, it is God, Elohim: where it is the account given by those who knew Jehovah, it is Jehovah; and when the solemnity of the name of God as such is to be added to God known in relationship, it is Jehovah Elohim; when in special bearing upon Israel, it is Jehovah thy God, or our God -- so constantly as a personal address in Deuteronomy. A spiritual-minded person will always feel the difference between the two. It may be the mere state of feeling sometimes expressed in it; sometimes it is of real importance when God's glory, as such, is concerned in it.

+The whole doctrine of the "four great Epistles" of Paul, particularly of Galatians, and those foundational Epistles, is based on this difference of Abraham and Sinai respecting Christ the title to promise.

++Thus, in Exodus 32: 13, Moses appeals to God's promise without condition, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; Solomon, for the temple, and the blessing of Israel in connection with it, does not go beyond Moses and the Exodus (1 Kings 8), on which judgment was pronounced when the Lord cursed the fig-tree; and in fact this was all lost, and finally under that covenant. So in Leviticus 26, where Jehovah goes through all His judgments as governing the people to the end, He goes back, not only to Moses, but to the original unconditional promises to Jacob and Israel and Abraham. They will have the blessings of the promises under Moses, but through God's remembering His unconditional covenant, which comes first. Nehemiah refers only to Abraham as a covenant, though He speaks of their deliverance by means of Moses, for this was a deliverance by grace. We have only to read Ezra and Nehemiah to see the utter folly of Jehovistic and Elohistic accounts. I suppose Ezra and Nehemiah were not compiling their own history from Jehovistic and Elohistic fragments. The reader may also notice another title, "the God of heaven," as now no longer sitting between the cherubim, a distinction which will help him in understanding the book of Revelation also. (See Revelation 11: 4, 13.)

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An analogous difference is found in the New Testament. Not only is it said, Come out from the world, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith Jehovah Shaddai; but in Hebrews, where the question is how man can approach God, as such, we never find the Father -- it is always God; nor in the Revelation (save chapter 14, where His name is written on the foreheads of the special remnant there mentioned, but it is His Father). It is the throne of the government of the world which is in question, and it is Jehovah Elohim Shaddai, Lord God Almighty, as in chapters 4, 11 and 15.

In John's writings, while as to what concerns the nature of God, the name God is used -- as "God so loved," "God is love," "God is light" -- and the same as regards our responsibility in respect of it, the moment the divine action in grace is spoken of, it is Father. Thus, chapter 4, God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him, must worship Him in spirit and in truth, "for the Father seeketh such to worship him." This comes out in a striking way in the first four verses of 1 John 1, and in the rest of the chapter. So in chapter 1: 18 of the Gospel, and it will be found to run through all his writings. Suppose I were to say, Here is a Patristic and a Theistic document, and use "the scissors" to make the difference: it would prove nothing but alienation from God and moral incapacity. The principle is just the same.

In the Psalms the difference of Jehovah and Elohim is most marked. In the first book it is always Jehovah, the remnant is in Jerusalem, covenant blessings not lost. In Psalm 42 they are confessedly outside, worship in Jerusalem is remembered. There it is God. So in Psalm 63 it is God Himself. In Psalm 84 it is the tabernacles of Jehovah, though still of course God there. In the second book Messiah having been brought in, it passes in Psalm 45 from God to Jehovah and the God of Jacob. God Himself having interfered in their favour, and deliverance having come, He is Jehovah Elion (Most High) and a great King in all the earth, though (Psalm 48) He reigns in Zion.

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I might go through the book of Psalms (and indeed have done it), and shew the constant fitness of the names used. There the truth that God Himself is their God, Most High, Jehovah, is fully developed; but their Father would not be found from Psalm 1 to 150, nor the Spirit of adoption which uses it. It is the government of the world, and that as Jehovah, great in Zion, God Himself, their (Israel's) God. But these instances must suffice. The attentive reader, waiting on the Lord, will readily, on reading the Psalms, apprehend the force of the expressions. To make two writers is simply absurd.

Mr. Smith tells us that "in a large part of the Psalter a later hand has systematically substituted Elohim for Jehovah"; and the proof? Stat pro ratione voluntas. There is simply none: a more utter incapacity for seizing the divine side of the contents of divine writings I never saw than in the remarks on the Psalms. The structure of the book, even as plainly shewn in its contents, and the different subjects of the five books or divisions found in it, there is not a glimpse of, though it lies really on the surface of the collection, and indeed shews a divine hand in collecting them. But this would be too large a subject to enter on here.

I only remark that, to get rid of the proof of the absurdity of the Elohistic and Jehovistic scheme, for which even the "mechanical means" would not suffice here, he boldly asserts they have had one name substituted for another, without an attempt at proof, or shadow of it. They are not "reproduced."

The stupid remark as to Elihu, borrowed from Mr. F. Newman, or perhaps by him too from "some learned German," recalls me to Job. In the most perfect way Elihu comes in (when the friends would have it that this world was an adequate proof of God's moral government, which Job rightly denied, though his heart rose up against God too), and as the interpreter, one among a thousand, he shews there is a discipline of the righteous, blaming the friends, yet shewing how Job was wrong too. He stands in a mediatorial character, a kind of daysman, to explain God's way, before Jehovah comes in in His majesty. I cannot conceive more total want of spiritual perception than this borrowed judgment as to Elihu. Yet I might have left this, but that I would remark that, in the introduction and in the account given at the end, Jehovah is found in the writer's part: in all the intercourse of Job with his friends, and Elihu, God and Almighty. What can the scissors do here? Cut the head and tail off, and lose the key to and the conclusion of the whole story.

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Take another case. In the Proverbs it is always "Jehovah" -- (I think there is one exception) -- the direction of practical wisdom for those who had Jehovah for their God. In Ecclesiastes it is always "God," because it is the vanity of man's path and efforts after happiness here below in contrast with what God is as such. It is not a condition of covenant relations but man as such, and it is not therefore Jehovah.

Now in Genesis 1 and 2 to the end of verse 3 we have the great fact that God created. It is simply this truth known to no heathen (not that Jehovah, God known under a particular name of relationship, but) that God created the universe, and creatures, and man, and rested the seventh day. This completes that all-important statement. We know it by faith; Hebrews 11. Then begins a new subject, not a new account of creation. This is not so. It is barely and very briefly alluded to in connection with there being no man; and then the condition, nature, and moral position of man is detailed, where God put him, under what conditions, the place of animals, and the woman. It is not that God created, but the condition and status of man before Jehovah Elohim. That God who was the one true God with whom man had to do, but had revealed Himself as Jehovah to him who told the story of all His ways from the fall, and man without law, and a judged world, and restraint and promise and law, and indeed, the whole condition of man with God till grace came and the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour; though of course the historical details up to law are given afterwards, God having taken up a people by redemption so to try man. Every principle of the whole history is given us in Genesis, only on the basis of promise, not of law and redemption and God's presence on the earth, which is in Exodus and what follows. But he who learnt this plan at the first connects that name Jehovah -- a God of judgment -- with the origin of it all. The Elohim of chapter 1 is the Jehovah of Exodus 6, and the narrative of Jehovah recounts all the history, up to law, of the true Elohim who now reveals Himself as testing man under law. To say that there are two accounts of creation is utterly untrue; there is nothing of the kind, no trace of it, but a special statement of man's state and condition as to God and all the creation around him; let it be shewn if there be.

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In chapter 3 we have the writer using the term Jehovah Elohim. The great truth now comes out, but Satan saying in the same sentence, "Yea, hath God said?" to Eve; speaking in no sense of revealed relationship, God the Creator had said: so Satan again "God doth know." But the writer says they heard the voice of the Lord God (Jehovah Elohim), and so of all that follows. To make the first verse two distinct documents is just simply absurd. In chapter 4, Eve, taking up a promise, says, though mistakenly, "I have gotten a man from Jehovah." Here we have always Jehovah, not Jehovah Elohim, a simple history, not the solemn tale of man's ruin in his relationship with God. Is this a third document? In verse 25 God, says Eve, has appointed me. This speaks merely of the fact of what God, who works all things, had given her. In chapter 5 we have God again as such; nor could you say in the likeness of Jehovah, because it is a relative name, one specially revealed as to God, not that of the Creator, the divine Being. So Enoch walks with God. The earth (chapter 6) was corrupt before God as such. Yet the writer always speaks of Jehovah and His dealings (verses 3, 5, 6, 7). And "God" deals with the earth as so corrupted; again, verse 22, as "God" commanded him, not Jehovah. Then in chapter 7 Jehovah said to Noah, and as Jehovah (verse 5) commanded him; then as God commanded him (verse 9), and again as God commanded him, and Jehovah shut him in (verse 16). Here again if you separate the verse into two, the last part refers to and connects with nothing, for Elohim is the word used when Noah went in.

In Deuteronomy 4: 32-34 where Elohim stands by itself in its proper force of Elohim, did God ever do such a thing as Jehovah our God has done? It is the force of the words, not two different accounts. To Joshua 24 they presented themselves before God as such, and Joshua said, Thus saith Jehovah, the God of Israel. That is, not only I find cases to which the fancies of Astruc cannot apply, but I find the reason why there are the two words.

One more case remains to refer to, mentioned by the article, that of Joseph. This is to be by Hupfeld's third author, a northern. It agrees, we are told, with the Elohistic author in a great part in the use of the name of God (Elohim), but is widely divergent in other respects. But this slurs over the facts to cover what upsets the theory. The first part of the account is Jehovistic; that is, the writer's account of Joseph uses the name of Jehovah. He says, Jehovah was with Joseph. That is, Moses knew the faithful One who bore this name with Israel, as he says, when God commanded Noah, and he went into the ark, Jehovah shut him in; when he recites what passes between Joseph and the dreaming servants of Pharaoh and Pharaoh himself, he of course says God. What had they to do with Jehovah, or any relationship with Him? In the rest of the recital of facts it is Elohim.

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But a second account is out of the question; they are two parts of the same one. What brought "Jehovah" and "God" both into it? Was it a northern author? Jacob in his trial turns back to the God of promise and calls him El Shaddai. And, in Joseph's discourse to his brethren, it is clearly God as such in contrast with his brethren's (man's) doings. In Jacob's blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, while referring to God Almighty, he naturally desires a blessing from God upon them, not covenant blessings from Jehovah, but God's blessing on them. What the widely divergent things are, we are left to guess.

It is well to remember that these German writers start with the assumption that no account which relates miracles can be historical. That is, they beg the whole question to begin with. Inspiration is itself a miracle; creation is the greatest miracle of all, the intervention of God's will and power to produce that which would not have been without it. I am quite aware of the question of general laws, which, after all, are only the constant operation of God's will, and cannot therefore preclude its action. Let us remember, too, that the absolute denial of action, independent of general laws, denies Christianity altogether; for resurrection is not a general law nor natural sequence. Death is not a cause of resurrection. But if Christ be not risen, our faith is vain, and, as Paul tells us, the witnesses of Christianity are false witnesses. Let me add the remark here, that, in a book otherwise interesting and useful, the Duke of Argyle has slurred over this point. If miracle cannot be historical, Christ is not risen, and if Christ be not risen, Christianity is not true.

This is not the ground, if I understand the article in the Encyclopedia Britannica, which its author takes; but this will come up if we go on to the New Testament: as yet we are occupied with the Old. Now as to this, if the German theory be true as reproduced in the article, the whole of the Old Testament is an imposition; I mean if the law be not a system established of God by Moses, as we find it, but a late compilation in which crude materials were adjusted, and a system developed out of national life. As far as the law goes, it all professes to be words addressed by God to man through the mouth of Moses. Genesis has necessarily another character, equally requiring direct inspiration; for who among men can give an account of creation and the world's history, and a history on which all God's dealings with men (save the church and the law, of which we have spoken) are founded in their principles, and, as we have seen, the New Testament is based? Nor, indeed, can the beginning of Exodus be separated from the end of Genesis. I need not quote texts to shew that "Jehovah said unto Moses," and in this way communicated His will to the children of Israel, is the constant language of the law. It is a clear positive revelation of God's words and will by Moses as it stands, or it is an imposture. In Deuteronomy Moses rehearses it all, and speaks to the people, insisting on obedience, and recalling all that had passed in order to enforce it and keep them from idolatry, adding details of civil government for the land. Documents may or may not have been used; but the whole contents are, either a history and the original establishment of God's law for the people, with the deepest typical instruction for us, given by Moses from God; or an imposture.

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The adding an account of Moses' death at the end of Deuteronomy does not touch this question. Mr. Smith tells us that copyists added what they liked, and did not feel themselves in the least bound to distinguish the old from the new; there was no notion of anything like copyright; they took large extracts and harmonised them by such additions and modifications as they thought necessary. A nice thing to rest one's faith on as the word of God, Scriptures that cannot be broken! But lawyers say, "Allegatio ejusdem rei cujus dissolutio petitur nil valet"; and what is the proof the Semitic genius, the Bible, is a stratification, not an organism? What proof has he of the Semitic genius? The Bible. There is no other ancient Hebrew book. And the question is, Is it such an unauthentic compilation? We have nothing but his assertion about the Bible itself, except that there were cells in the temple -- that of course not being arranged according to God's direction either, it was the Semitic genius!

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I need not say that the prophets openly declare their inspiration, that "The word of Jehovah came to them," "Thus saith Jehovah," and the like; that in the history, as of Kings for example, it is openly stated that they used the royal chronicles. But prophets used them and drew them up, as we have the example in Isaiah, that we might have them as the word of God. That God is not mentioned in Esther is just the opposite, as shewing the secret providence of God keeping His people when they were scattered and disowned of Him as a nation.

Thus not only have the Lord and the apostles owned the Old Testament as we possess it as God's inspired word, but it presents itself, as to the law as the direct fruit of Moses' communication with God, given fully and in detail originally, and the prophets, as the direct communication of God's mind and words from Himself; and all of it -- history, psalms, and all -- as an organic whole owned of the Lord Himself, and whose perfection, as such, will be perceived by those whose understandings He has opened, and who learn the whole scheme of God Himself.

In passing from the discussion of particular points and objections to a direct inquiry into more positive and essential evidence from the contents of Scripture, I recall to every heart that the question is -- Is there a revelation from God? Man is departed from God. Is there any revelation from God by which, as far as the revelation of God goes, man can know Him? We know what man has come to without it. Are we to be left as the heathen, if haply we may feel after Him and find Him? or was there really a law given by Moses, and are grace and truth come by Jesus Christ? We have seen that the Lord declares the writings which the Jews received to be the writings of Moses, and does so not only to the Jews but to His disciples, and that He opened their understanding to understand them -- the apostles the same, basing their arguments on the truth and contents of them. To one who is not audacious in incredulity this is sufficient. To those who affirm that a miraculous history must be unhistorical (that God cannot act, or will not at all now, having once established an order of nature), and so decide the question before it is examined, the statements of Christ or the apostles have no weight. But then it is pure impudence to call themselves Christians. It is flagrant dishonesty to accredit themselves with a name while they reject all it imports. We may earnestly desire their conversion, but that is all. They labour on what they hold to be an imposture, and profess to be followers of the imposture, and would have us believe that the holiest, most gracious, deepest, and yet truest and fullest communication of the knowledge of God is by an imposture. This is hard to think; but it is this we have to do with.

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But again, there are those who believe there is a revelation, yet no inspired divine communication of it to others. Some allege that it is not even claimed. Now, see how rational this is. God has thought good to give a revelation of Himself, His truth, His grace, to men at large for their good; He has made this revelation, but in such a manner that it can go no farther in its perfectness than the person who receives it. It is given for the good of all, and perfectly given; but it stops at the first person who is the vessel of reception and communication, and to the rest comes only in the imperfection of man as to apprehension and communication; a divine communication for men, but by divine arrangement so communicated that it never reaches men as such! Nothing they can trust as divine is communicated to them. Can anything be more absurd?

But Paul states the case: When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by His grace to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the heathen. There was a revelation to him for this purpose by God, but he could not do it! though for others, it could not reach them, actually given for them, but in such a manner that it could not reach them. This is the theory. But he did not handle the word of God -- mark what it was -- deceitfully; he did not adulterate the pure wine, but by manifestation of the truth commended himself to every man's conscience in the sight of God; 2 Corinthians 4. So the Thessalonians received it, not as the word of man, but, as it was in truth, the word of God (1 Thessalonians 2: 3); so that if (2 Corinthians 4) his gospel was hid, it was hid to them that were lost. Their minds were blinded by the god of this world. In 1 Corinthians 2 he states it formally: "Which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth ... . But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God ... they are spiritually discerned." They are revealed by the Spirit (verses 10-12); communicated in words which the Holy Ghost taught, that others might have them as God revealed them to Paul (verse 13), and discerned by the Spirit (verse 14). (Compare verses 4, 5.) And such he asserts everywhere. The things which he wrote were to be received as (and were) the commandments of the Lord. The Old Testament prophets and Moses declare what they communicate is Jehovah speaking; so does the apostle.

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Not only then is the Bible a revelation from God, but the communication of it is His work too -- Thus saith Jehovah, or Jehovah said, in the Old, or "in words which the Holy Ghost taught" in the New; so that what we have is the word of God. It is "of the Lord by the prophet," or in words which the Holy Ghost taught. God did not leave us floating about in uncertainty. Only when it is presented, it is discerned spiritually, or, if rejected, is hid to them that are lost. With this as to the history, we find it drawn up by the prophets, and sanctioned by the Lord and the apostles.

It may be said that there are errors, and that we have only translations. I recognise that it was committed to the responsibility of man, just as in a certain sense man's personal salvation is; yet he is kept by the power of God, and it is so too, liable to the effects of human infirmity. It is quoted, recognised, and authenticated by the Lord and the apostles, and the law constantly referred to in the earliest writings of the prophets. As to translations, no one gives any as a criterion of truth; they are a means of communicating it, and the criterion remains as it was, providentially preserved of God; the New (as Mr. S., I thank God, admits) adequately proved to be authentic, and if so, the Old authenticated, as no other book in the world is, by it, that is, by the Lord and His apostles. It is alleged the LXX is quoted. This is confessedly a translation, and, as commonly known and used, is commonly quoted; but it is not when the writers of the New as taught of God had any reason for doing otherwise. They authenticate it only as to that for which they quote it.

But I turn to a pleasanter part of my attempt. I would speak of the unity of mind in the whole Old and New Testament. Whatever controversy may be raised as to dates, there is no question of their being writings separated by wide distances of time. Infidels do not question that. In some shape Jewish literature began with Moses. Jehovistic and Elohistic documents may be compiled, but there were such documents to compile. There were prophets many centuries before Christ; there were psalms composed by David, the sweet psalmist of Israel, as by others contemporary or more recent, as some assuredly were. There are different authors, different styles, different epochs; the grammar even became changed in its details in the process of ages, as the use of Hu for the feminine and of Nahar marks early Hebrew. Various authors and styles, in a word, follow each other through a series of some 1500 years. In the New Testament there is a development of truth and divine counsels, part of which is declared to have never been previously revealed, and in the nature of things could not have been so: I mean the mystery of which Paul, and Paul only, speaks -- the union of Jew and Gentile without difference in one body for heavenly places, which it was impossible to reveal while Judaism subsisted, as setting it aside absolutely in its nature. For Judaism kept up, while Christianity broke down, the middle wall of partition.

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Now, if with all these authors, and epochs (in the last case setting aside the previously existing system, though fully sanctioning it as divine), places, and times -- if through judgment, promise, law, gospel, and the revelation of the church completing the word of God, I find one plan, one mind, through the whole, whose is it? Unconscious of the bearings of it on the whole, each occupied with the present moral bearing of that which was confided to him, ignorant in large measure of what others might have to say, or even setting aside what had existed and occupied others, I yet find all minister to one single plan. I find the clearest and strongest proof that one mind, one inspiring power, which knew the end from the beginning, and had this plan before it, is the real author of what we call the Bible. I insist upon its being a number of books (Jehovistic and Elohistic documents, if you please, employed, though I do not accept what is said) of different ages and characters. Prophecy, history, poetry, moral lessons, man before law, man under law, a narrow system to maintain the true unity of the Godhead when all was idolatrous, and a large system to every creature under heaven, which maintained the authority of the law but set it totally aside as a way of relationship with God; but through all one single thread of divine purpose running, which makes every part subservient in its place to the whole, making over sixty books (or, taking Jewish computation of Old Testament, forty-nine) one single book -- the Bible.

I can only in such a paper as this take some special elements as shewing this, after stating from Scripture what the divine purpose is, only noticing (what is of the last moment) that it is not a mere purpose as to facts to be accomplished, but that these involve the whole moral basis of man's relationship with God: innocence, loss of it, moral responsibility, the law given as a perfect measure of it with divine authority, man doubly guilty by breaking it, remedial means in the testimony of the prophets and in the coming of the Son of God Himself, all in vain, issuing in the judgment of the world, and every mouth stopped, and all the world guilty before God, and a perfect salvation by grace on God's part, according to His own nature and glory, laid hold of in promise throughout all ages, and then fully revealed; and finally heavenly glory, and a restored earth under Messiah and the new covenant, and then eternity; and, I may add, the church's special place in all this, which is peculiar, all made manifest and unfolded in the development of this purpose, and issuing in the fulness of the divine glory, and the infinite and eternal blessing of those who believe.

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The purpose is this, as stated in Scripture (Ephesians 1), that for the administration of the fulness of times He should gather together in one (anakephalaiosasthai) all things in heaven and in earth in Christ (the Son of God and Son of man), in whom we have obtained our inheritance. In this there are two great scenes -- heaven and earth, and as to them two great objects of revelation under Christ -- the church and glorified saints in heavenly places, and the Jews in earthly: the one reigning with Christ; the others reigned over, as is all the world, by Him as Son of man raised and glorified, with the Father's house, where He is gone, as our home: one being the expression of the sovereign grace which has put us into the same glory as the Son of God; the other, the government of this world. See Ephesians 1: 22, 23, and 9-11, and Deuteronomy 32: 8, 9, for a brief statement of the Jewish part, verses 8 and 43. All are under the Son of man, or united to Him. This latter part, as peculiar to the church, I leave aside for the moment.

God began, not of course with the Last, but with the first Adam -- not with the Man of His purpose, but with responsible man. This responsibility, as traced and followed out in innocence, fallen and without law; then (passing by promise, which was of grace and brought out in Abraham) under law; then in sending Christ after patient warnings and encouragements by the prophets, saying, They will reverence my Son; but they cast Him out of the vineyard and slew Him. Then, the probation of man having been thus fully gone through, man is treated as lost: only a full salvation provided for him in the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom, the Last Adam, the Son of man, all the promises and purposes of God are to be fulfilled. He is the man of God's purpose, all promises in Him Yea and in Him Amen; taking the inheritance of all things man was to have in the purpose of God, according to the redemption in which God was perfectly and in every respect glorified. Through all we have the great adversary revealed in all that was needed, that we should know clearly the position of those concerned, but no further.

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The result of all this and its general principle is already brought out in the garden of Eden; not a promise to the first man -- there is none, but the purpose of God when the first man had failed in responsibility. This responsibility he was put under, tempted by the adversary, and failed. The Lord God judged the woman for listening, but makes known the second Man, the Last Adam. He, the Seed of the woman, was to bruise the serpent's head, the serpent to bruise His heel -- the latter in the cross, the former when He comes in power. This is no promise to the first man, though his faith might lay hold of it, but a revelation of the Second. Adam assuredly was not the Seed of the woman. The history is referred to as unquestionable truth by Paul (1 Timothy 2: 9-15), as a ground for minute details as to woman; as a basis of the profoundest doctrine (Romans 5: 12-21), shewing sin to have been there by this means before the law, and when there was none; but referring to Hosea 6: 7,+ shewing that Adam was under a law (not to eat of the tree of knowledge), but that from him to Moses man had none, confirmed as to the character of judgment (Romans 2: 12), those that have sinned anomos, without law, being distinguished from those who have sinned under it. So for watchfulness it is referred to in 2 Corinthians 11: 3. So the whole order and structure of God's plan in Christ, connected with ruin in the first Adam, is unfolded in 1 Corinthians 15, specially verses 20-28, and verses 45-49, and that in resurrection. The accomplishment in Jews, Gentiles, and the raised saints, is founded on Isaiah 25: 6-8.

But there were other and special promises made to the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, renewed in David and confined to Israel, though mercy was to be extended to the Gentiles on their failure. Of this Genesis is full, and the state of Israel under promise and failure is the whole subject of the Psalms, besides Christ personally brought in as connected with them. (See Genesis 15 and 17.) These promises, given unconditionally to Abraham, were taken up conditionally at Sinai; so that, though the promises remained, yet under Moses the law was introduced, and on the ground of the old covenant their accomplishment depended as much on Israel's fidelity as on God's. God said, If ye obey my voice; and Israel said, All that Jehovah hath spoken we will do.

+For "men" in text, read Adam, as in Hebrew and margin.

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Thus not only historically Israel stood on the ground of the old covenant, but an immense principle was established and question raised, Is man's righteousness the ground of his standing before God, or is God's righteousness that on which a sinner can be accepted? But Israel also thus stood on a double ground -- promises made to Abraham, and righteousness under the law; and yet grace, unless God were the God of the Jews only, must reach out to the Gentiles, and this must be in Christ, and as taking His power as Head over all things, as we have seen, as Son of man. During the subsistence of the middle wall of partition, the blessing of the Gentiles was not shut out in hope, but left, as they were, in obscurity and darkness. When the world was idolatrous, the maintenance of the knowledge of one true God made this necessary, and so perverse is man, was with the utmost difficulty maintained. In the promises to Abraham it is as clearly as possible revealed in Genesis 12, and after Isaac's being offered up as a figure, and so received as raised from the dead, confirmed to the Seed. All nations were to be blessed in Him.

When Moses and the law had come in, then it was only on the judgment of Israel that this blessing came out, and that through Christ. (See Romans 11.) So Deuteronomy 32: 28, the judgment being solemnly insisted on in what precedes, both of Jews and Gentiles, though sparing a remnant in Israel, owned in verse 43 as His people, but the nations to rejoice with them. We have seen these two recognised in Isaiah 25, with the resurrection added, and all united with Christ's reign in 1 Corinthians 15, quoting Isaiah.

The contrast of law and gospel is fully discussed by Paul, and the promises without condition, and the law with both promises and gospel, in Romans and Galatians. In Galatians 3 he insists on the promise without condition, and that the law 430 years afterwards could not be added to an unconditional promise confirmed to the Seed, nor that promise disannulled. The law was broken, and that, as it depended under the old covenant on Israel's obedience whether the blessing was to be fulfilled, was easily disposed of. But the promises? They were to be made good through the promised Seed, the Messiah, a fact made clearer and clearer as Israel's disobedience grew more and more manifest, and indeed fully established in the promise to David; but then it must be through bruising the serpent's head and wider than Israel. When failure in the land under priesthood in Eli, and under prophecy in Samuel, and the direct government of God by these means had been fully manifested, God's king, the beloved, was raised up; and this double blessing of Israel and the Gentiles and man's glory as in Christ was brought to light, grace in power, though it was but a remnant in Israel who would finally profit by it.

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But here the difficulty of the unconditional promises came in, and the promises of the Seed in which they were to be fulfilled. The law, as I have said, was clearly broken from the days of the golden calf. But the promises were to be fulfilled in the Seed, in the Son of David. Israel rejected Him, and lost all title whatever to any promises. God had taken away His throne when they went captive to Babylon. The cherubim and the glory that sat there judged the city and went up. But the promises? A residue was preserved and brought back, shorn of its glory as God's people, but still having these promises; and Messiah came, the promised One, a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and they rejected Him, and God wrought a salvation effectual for man. His salvation to the ends of the earth yet will accomplish His promises to Israel, only on the ground of pure grace, while He takes those that own the rejected One to be His companions in glory in heaven and to reign with Him. It is this that makes the apostle exclaim, O the. depth of the riches!

Now as Galatians 3 and Romans 2, 3 and 4 (and 7 yet more experimentally) discuss the law and grace and promise in its moral bearing for any, so Romans 9-11 discusses it in reference to Jew and Gentile in a dispensational way. In chapter 9 God must be sovereign, or Ishmaelites and Edomites must be let in, and all Israel, save Moses, shut out, and God would use His sovereignty to let in the Gentiles. Then Israel's rejection and stumbling at the Stumbling-stone was all foretold, and God's being found of the Gentiles; chapter 10. But it was not final rejection. Paul was a Jew, so there was a remnant; Deuteronomy 32. The letting in of the Gentiles was to provoke them to jealousy. But lastly, according to infallible promise, the Deliverer would come to Zion; Romans 11.

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Thus in the law we have, not only a dispensation of God with Israel, but the great question of human righteousness raised for every soul. It was not an arbitrary rule, but God's perfect rule for man, taking up all the relationships in which He had placed man as now fallen, with Himself and each other, and requiring man's acting up to them, and he should live; but the flesh, man in his Adam-nature, was not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be so: then they that are in the flesh cannot please God (no one in Adam's standing). Man's righteousness not only does not exist in fact, but is set aside in principle, but, as we have seen, without law, man was lawless, under it a transgressor, and, when God was manifested, then the Lord could say, Now they have both seen and hated both Me and my Father. Hence we read, Now is the judgment of this world, but, thank God, Now is the prince of this world cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me. But now once in the end of the world (the consummation of ages) He hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. The heel of the Seed of the woman was bruised, but the work done gave Him a title in righteousness, according to God, to bruise his head. The power of the enemy was, by death, disannulled morally (ina katargese), and will be wholly set aside in heaven and earth when the Son of man shall come in His glory; not all enemies, it is true, subjected at once, but He having taken to Him His great power to reign and do so.

But not only were the Gentiles left in darkness during the narrow period of testing man under law, and the promises confined in their actual application to a peculiar people, but life and incorruptibility were brought to light only under the gospel, and access to God allowed, The state under the law was marked by the veil, and the barriers which forbade it; now the holiest entered, God's righteousness being by faith for Gentile as well as Jew, and all the higher glories revealed in connection with resurrection, and a new state of man and a new creation, of which Christ risen and glorified is the firstfruits and head, "the second Man from heaven" (o deuteros anthropos ex ouranou), and now gone back there as Man.

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The reader who is acquainted with Scripture will have seen that I have only made an abstract of its statements in all I have said, and put them together so that we may see that it is one complete plan of God, of which the moral principles and the historical development, though distinct subjects, cannot be separated. But let us see if we cannot, in some leading details, trace it through the scripture, shewing them more in detail, enchained by the plan of one mind. Indeed it begins before the world, of course then in the thoughts of God, but revealed to us, through mercy, not till the gospel came, not till the first man had been fully tried and tested in his responsibility. Thus we read (Proverbs 8), speaking of wisdom (and Christ is the wisdom of God and the power of God): "I was [before the creation, which is poetically described] daily his delight, rejoicing always before him, rejoicing in the habitable parts of his [Jehovah's] earth; and my delights were with the sons of men" -- here, in the nature and principle of His place, the Son of man.

Hence, when Christ was born, we find the angels celebrating his birth with, Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace [not goodwill towards, but] good pleasure in men. He did not, as it is written, take up angels, but He took up -- here narrowing it to grace and promise -- the seed of Abraham, consequently associating it at once with Old Testament history. So we read in 2 Timothy 1: 9: "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began, but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ." So Titus 1: "In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began, but hath in due times manifested," etc. So 1 Corinthians 2: "We speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, which God ordained before the world for our glory." Now, till the rejection of Christ, these counsels of God in grace were not brought out to light as we see stated here; because the first man, and the possibility of his recovery were being tried, though God, who knew what man was, was quickening souls from the beginning. Still we shall find full traces of all that concerns both the history of Christ, His rejection and future glories, or, as Peter expresses it, the sufferings of Christ, and the glories that should follow.

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Let us take Messiah and Son of man, and the connection of their titles with Israel and the future glory of Christ. In Psalm 1 we have the remnant carefully distinguished from the ungodly, as Isaiah says: "Except Jehovah of hosts had left us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom, and like unto Gomorrah." But it is well to note, before we proceed to the chain of texts, that the Lord expressly tells us that this peace on earth was not to be accomplished by His first coming. "Suppose ye," He says, "that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay, but rather division: for, from henceforth, there shall be five in one house divided, three against two, and two against three" (Luke 12: 51, 52), practically a quotation from Micah 7, where it is presented as the extreme of evil, evil drawn out in its worst forms in fact, by the perfect manifestation of good, of God Himself, shewn in the death of Christ, and in hatred of those faithful to Him; for all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

But as to Christ, He was to suffer and make atonement, sit not yet on His own throne, but on the Father's at the right hand of God -- expecting till His enemies were made His footstool; where He is now, the work perfectly accomplished which perfectly glorifies God, gives us a perfect conscience, destroys in title the whole power of Satan, is the sure foundation of eternal blessedness, the new heavens and the new earth: but, through which we are called to take up our cross and suffer, who are to have the heavenly inheritance, and be like Him in glory, but must wait here with Him now, and while He waits, having the sympathy of our great High Priest, or with Him as to our spirits, if called away before He comes. If He is crucified, we must suffer, not reign, till He takes to Him His great power and reigns: till then Satan is still the god and prince of this world, not cast down from the heavens.

From the beginning man, under his influence, has spoiled what God set up good -- spoiled it the first thing: so the first man himself, so Noah got drunk, so the golden calf was made, so Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire, and the holiest was closed to Aaron save one special day; so through Solomon's sin the kingdom was divided; and, under Nebuchadnezzar, the Gentile power became a beast; so always, the apostasy set in before the apostle's eyes were closed.

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But Satan will be cast down from heaven (Revelation 12), where he is now the accuser of the brethren. Then we shall have, as Luke tells us, peace in heaven, and glory in the highest; and "Blessed be the king that cometh in the name of the Lord" here below (Luke 19: 38): though, then, it was babes and sucklings that were found to utter His praise, to still the enemy and the avenger, or the stones would have cried out. It is when He comes again that evil will be put down.

But to come to the citations of passages of scripture: in Psalm 2 after giving the character of the remnant in Psalm 1, we have the determination of Jehovah to set His King on the holy hill of Zion, the anointed Man, the Son of God as born in this world, who is further to ask for dominion over the heathen, whom He will rule with a rod of iron, and break in pieces like a potter's vessel. (Compare Revelation 2: 26, 27.) But for the present He is rejected. The kings of the earth and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed (Christ or Messiah). Adonai, sitting in the heavens, shall laugh at them. In Acts 4: 26, 27, the Holy Spirit expressly applies this to Christ's rejection and death.

In Psalms 3-7 we have the consequent sorrows of the remnant, on which I do not enter. But in Psalm 8 Christ is celebrated in another character, when the Jews can celebrate Jehovah's name excellent in all the earth, and as having set His glory above the heavens, and as their Lord or Adon: a state of things not yet accomplished in fact, while the second verse is used by the Lord in the passage first quoted from Luke, as the testimony enforced, so to speak, by God, when the Saviour was here and rejected, quoting also Psalm 118, of which we may speak as specially referring to this future time of Christ's return in power. Now I quote this to shew that it is identified with man's being set over the works of God's hands. The Son of man, which the Lord constantly applies to Himself,+ coming specifically into view, a passage as applied to Him in its full import as inheriting all God's purposes as to man; used as defining the whole position in the results of divine administration more than once by the apostle Paul, as (Ephesians 1: 22) "And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body" (compare Colossians 1: 15-18); and again, in 1 Corinthians 15: 20-28, when all things are to be put under the feet of the risen (the second) Man, except Him who put all things under Him. Here the whole scheme is unfolded; and again in Hebrews 2 we are told that we see not as yet all things put under Him; but we see Jesus made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour. Nothing can be more precise to both the divine purpose and the measure of its accomplishment, than these passages.

+He never calls Himself the Christ save to the woman of Samaria (John 4) when He had left Judaea.

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The general fact is again brought before us, in quite another part of scripture, in contrast with the earthly power of evil in Daniel 7. The chapter is divided by the expression, "I saw in the night visions," verses 1-6, 7-12, to give the last beast (the principal one) more particularly, then 13, 14; from 15 to the end, inquiry and explanation, bringing in both the saints killed by the beast (and who, as is confirmed in Revelation 20 go into heaven) and Israel. I quote verse 13: "I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him," etc. This was when the thrones had been set for judgment. But afterwards we find it was the Ancient of days who came when judgment was given (verse 22) to the saints of the most high (the high places). So in Psalm 80, where Israel is crying out (not merely Jews) for their final deliverance, it is (verse 17): "Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the Son of man whom thou madest strong for thyself." Thus the rejected Messiah, cut off, and who took nothing of the kingdom and glory, but cut off Himself, is the one who is the head over all things as Son of man according to the purpose of God.

This truth runs through the Gospels where no passage perhaps is quoted. Nathanael owns Jesus to be the Christ according to Psalm 2: "Thou art the Son of God, the king of Israel." "Thou shalt see greater things than these," says the Lord. "Henceforth thou shalt see the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man." He takes His place as Son of man in contrast with and beyond that of Psalm 2. In John's Gospel the Jews are treated as rejected and reprobate from the first chapter (1: 10, 11), a remnant born again and believing, alone owned, because Jesus is God, and Him man never received, but was enmity against.

The three other Gospels present Him as Messiah, Emmanuel, Jehovah, the Saviour (Matthew); the prophet-servant (Mark); and Son of man in grace after the first two chapters, a lovely picture of the remnant in Israel (Luke). Hence we have genealogy from Abraham and David in Matthew, up to Adam in Luke.+ When the Jews are utterly rejected at the end of Matthew 12, so that He no longer seeks fruit in His vineyard and fig-tree (verses 46-50), He goes out to sow, but He that sows the good seed is the Son of man; the kingdom in mystery, that is, without a present king (chapter 13), the church (chapter 16), the kingdom in glory (chapter 17), are substituted for Israel under the old covenant, but in chapter 16: 20 they are charged to tell no man that He was the Christ: The Son of man (chapter 17: 12) must suffer of them; more immediately contrasted, in Luke 9, which ends the chronological history (see verse 21) when Peter, taught of God, owns Him to be the Christ, "He straitly charged them and commanded them to tell no man that thing, saying, The Son of man must suffer ... but be raised the third day"; and then He shews them the glory of the coming kingdom; the Son of man would come in His own glory, in the Father's, and of the holy angels, as Son of man, Son of the Father, and as Jehovah. But (Matthew 17: 9) this belonged to another scene, and man as a new creation. They were not to tell it till He was risen again from among the dead, and (Luke 9: 36) they kept it close, withal wondering what rising from among the dead should mean,++ (Mark 9: 10), and from that day began to press upon them that the Son of man must suffer; Matthew 16: 21; Mark 9: 31; Luke 9: 44. In John we have this under another form, namely that of a full testimony from God, when Israel had rejected Him, as Son of God, Son of David, and Son of man. The first is raising Lazarus; chapter 11: 4. "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, and that the Son of God should be glorified thereby."+++ He is the Resurrection and the Life. Then (chapter 12: 13), they meet Him, according to Psalm 118, crying, "Hosanna! [save now, I beseech thee] blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord." Then the Greeks (Ellenes) coming up, the wider scene of Gentiles, the Lord says: "The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but, if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit"; and (verse 32), "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." So in His rejection, abjured by the High Priest, He owns He is the One spoken of in Psalm 2, the Christ, the Son of God, but adds: "Nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven." Thus that which dispensationally set aside the Jews under the old covenant, and ended their title under the promises, brought out the far deeper truths of the enmity of man's heart against God in goodness -- "They have both seen and hated both me and my Father" -- but the accomplishment of that glorious work in which salvation was provided for Gentile as well as Jew, and God perfectly glorified in all that He is; the Christ rejected, Messiah cut off, as Daniel declared; and that as Son of man, not now taking the glory, but as suffering, yet vindicated of God as such; the whole truth of Psalms 2 and 8, Adam the image of Him that was to come (Daniel 9, 7) brought into light and accomplishment, and this not in quoted passages, but in realising facts, and then, when the Holy Ghost was given, the passages applied and explained, as in Acts 4 and Ephesians 1, 1 Corinthians 15, Hebrews 2, with no appearance of putting together or arrangement by those who uttered these things, but shewing one mind and thought and plan behind it all, the word and counsel of God. I might multiply passages as to the use of Son of man, but I have only quoted what brought the bearing of Psalms 2 and 8 together. But the death of Christ closed the earthly history of Scripture, till the Son of man shall come in His glory. Hence Stephen, summing up that history from Abraham, when the promises began, shews the law broken, the prophets killed, the Just One betrayed and murdered, and the Holy Ghost resisted; and then sees the Son of man standing at the right hand of God. He had taken His heavenly place, though not yet set down. Now He sits at God's++++ right hand till His enemies are made His footstool, having by one offering perfected for ever (eis to dienekes) them that are sanctified. It was the time of the church, His body, and the habitation of God through the Spirit. Hence the Son of man is no longer spoken of, save as giving Him His place on high; Hebrews 2: 6. But as soon as I come to the Revelation, what Christ had declared before the high priest, partly as seen by Stephen and taught in Hebrews 2, the accomplishment of Psalm 110 is, as to the latter part, brought out prophetically in Revelation 14, coming as Judge for the ripe harvest of earth and the vintage of God's wrath (verses 14-20). We find Him judging the church as responsible on earth in chapter 1. But from Acts 7 to Revelation He is never spoken of as Son of man, save that Psalm 8 itself is quoted (Hebrews 2), to shew where we are in this history. Even then He is not called so.

+I should read Luke 3: 23: ("Being, as was supposed, son of Joseph), of Heli," etc. tou Eli is connected with Jesus, not with Joseph.

++All as Pharisees believed in the resurrection of the dead.

+++The stupid rationalists cannot, of course, see why this miracle was brought in here.

++++Christ had interceded for them on the cross, to which Acts 3 is the answer; but this also, Christ glorified, is rejected; and so all man's history closes in Stephen, and He sits down till Christ's enemies are made His footstool.

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I may briefly refer to some other points where this unity of mind is developed -- the three great feasts of Israel, ordinances which pointed to the great principles and power of the gatherings of God's people. There were other feasts: the Sabbath, a sign of the covenant made with them, but also that His people are in due time to enter into God's rest (here that of the first creation, for us of the new creation, as risen); the new moon -- a sign, I doubt not, of the restoration of Israel; as the tenth day of the seventh month was of their future mourning, and entering into the delivering power of the atonement; but on these I do not enter here. At the three other feasts, Passover (with unleavened bread), Pentecost, and Tabernacles, all Israel was to go up to the place where God had put His name. Full of interest as they are in themselves, I must now confine myself to them, as forming a chain of unity in the history.

PASSOVER has an unquestionably historical character. It was "a night much to be remembered," when, protected by the blood from judgment, they ate their unleavened bread in haste, preparing to depart out of Egypt. There is no evidence that I am aware of that they kept it after Sinai (Numbers 9) till they were in Canaan. Those born in the wilderness were not fitted to do so, being uncircumcised until across Jordan; when, under Joshua they were, they did so (a very instructive figure, but a little beyond my purpose now). I only add, it is only when dead and risen with Christ we are circumcised, knowing what it is, and "the reproach of Egypt rolled away." Patience and proving in the wilderness do not belong to this. Hezekiah kept it, and Josiah kept it, as it had not been kept for long years. This criminal neglect of Israel is constantly used as an evidence by the Germans that the law was not given.

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It was clearly established, in commemoration of God's sparing the people when judging Egypt and Pharaoh at the time of their deliverance from the bondage they were in. So it was ordained to be kept, and, as far as kept, was so. In Deuteronomy 16 it will be found to have a peculiar character; for there the three great feasts are spoken of in connection with the state of soul under the effect of that which they figure. In the Passover, the unleavened bread, type of holiness and the absence of sin, is the bread of affliction; and they were to turn to Him in the morning and go to their tents, though the feast lasted seven days. There is no thought of common joy, as in Pentecost and Tabernacles, though in these in different measure. When in presence of judgment, though spared, holiness is bread of affliction, the spirit of repentance is the form of purity, and it is necessarily solemn and individual. But the great idea of security from God's judgment was there in the blood of the paschal lamb: afterwards, of course, only a memorial of it. Every Christian knows that Christ was the true Passover. The chief priests sought to hinder His being taken on the feast-day; but God's purpose did not await their decision, and on the day of the Passover He was sacrificed as the true paschal Lamb, "the Lamb of God," to take away sin. Eating at table with His disciples,+ the Lord Himself so instructs us: "With desire have I desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer; for I say unto you, I will not eat any more thereof till it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God" (Luke 22: 15, 16): so that we have a clear instance of the intention of God in an institution formally established by Himself, by the hand of Moses, celebrating their escape from judgment in Egypt, yet definitely purposed to be indicative of a better and more lasting deliverance from the bondage of sin and Satan, and more directly from the judgment of God, by which we were bound down under its consequences. "Christ, our passover, is sacrificed for us." When God sees that blood, He passes over, where faith has believed the word.

PENTECOST we know to have been connected with the coming of the Holy Spirit. It was the feast of firstfruits (not the first of the firstfruits, the wave-sheaf the morrow after the sabbath, that is, Christ risen on the first day of the week, but) when the harvest was reaped. Here leaven was to be in the two cakes offered (for sin is always found in man), even if offered to God in the power of the Holy Ghost. At the same time a sin-offering was to be offered to meet this defect, not offered in the previous case of the wave-sheaf; but they could not be burned themselves as a sweet savour to Jehovah. Then, as it was connected with the Holy Ghost, they were directed, in Deuteronomy 16, to rejoice together in grace, and bring a free-will offering, according as Jehovah had helped them. All this abides in its true force -- its purport accomplished at Pentecost, and its effect abiding to this day. Was it arranged of man for the future in its institution? or was its accomplished antitype, the Holy Ghost come down from heaven, arranged by man on that day? We have it in Leviticus, we have it with other details in Deuteronomy: one, Leviticus 23, a history of the whole time from Egypt till the Lord comes again at the feast of tabernacles; the other, Deuteronomy 16, the characteristic detail of which gives the moral import of the observance. If not arranged by man, it is a testimony to that purpose of God which makes the whole book one in the revelation of His mind.

+For the Jews the same day, though not for us, and at the time when leaven was put away for the feast.

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We have yet the feast of TABERNACLES, but without any antitype at all, which makes it the more remarkable. This was for the land solely. They were to dwell in booths, a testimony that Israel had been wanderers; but that now the promises were fulfilled, and that they were at peace in their land, never, as Amos says, to be plucked up any more; and, as Ezekiel has it, gathered back all of them. It was to be kept after the harvest and the vintage; in result, when ingathering and judgment were accomplished. We have seen in Revelation 14 the Son of man reaping the harvest of the earth, and treading the wine-press of the wrath of God. In this character He comes, chapter 19. In this character He is prophesied of (Isaiah 63), when He comes in dyed garments from Bozrah, when the day of vengeance is in His heart and He treads the peoples in His anger. Compare Isaiah 34; chapter 26: 9, and Zephaniah 3: 8; and in each case the promises to Israel following.

How could the Lord keep this feast? He could not. He will appear and shew Himself plainly enough to the world when He executes judgment on the quick, and so we find it in John 7, "If thou do these things," said His unbelieving brethren, "shew thyself to the world." Then Jesus said unto them, "My time is not yet come, but your time is always ready. Go ye up unto this feast. I go not up+ unto this feast, for my time is not yet full come."

+The "yet" is not genuine.

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But, then, there was another thing in this feast, an eighth day, a specially solemn day; it reached beyond the seven full days of this world's week to the first day of another which began afresh. On that day, "that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink. He that believeth on me (as the scripture said), Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit which they that believe on him should receive, for the Spirit was not yet [given] because Jesus was not yet glorified," John 7. He could not associate Himself with Israel at this feast, but He could tell them on that special day, which went beyond the order of this world, that the Holy Ghost would be given consequent on His taking a heavenly and glorious place as Man, with which that Holy Spirit associates us. With the rest of Israel on earth comes in, what is yet a hope for us too, association with Christ in heavenly glory, as shewn in its manifestation in the kingdom on the mount of Transfiguration, of which the Holy Ghost is given to us as earnest while Christ is entered as a forerunner, expecting till His enemies shall be made His footstool. Then He shall have all things gathered together in one in heaven and on earth; and then shall be fulfilled in Israel, and far better for us, the declaration of Deuteronomy 16: 14, "And thou shalt rejoice ... because Jehovah thy God shall bless thee in all thine increase, and in all the work of thine hands; therefore thou shalt surely rejoice." It was a feast hardly kept, and no wonder, in all their history; in Solomon's dedication, lost in the general joy, so to speak, and observed in Nehemiah's time (chapter 8: 14), when they had learnt, though sore smitten, to sing again David's song, "His mercy endureth for ever." Is all this without a purpose or an order, in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and in the Lord's remarkable conduct and words in John? while all the testimonies of the Lord's judgments, and of the rest of heart, far too numerous to quote here, confirm the truth of it, and lead, as it will, to the full singing of that lovely word so repeated in the end of the Psalms, l'olam chesedo, "His mercy endureth for ever": while we have better things in glory with Him where He is gone; yet all things to be gathered into one under Him "for the administration of the fulness of time," Ephesians 1: 10.

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The SACRIFICES and other TYPES of the Old Testament connect the whole Bible from Abel to Christ evidently. Moses made the tabernacle after the pattern shewn him in the Mount. There was therefore a purpose and intention in it. Christ has passed through+ the heavens, as Aaron entered into the most holy place. The history is taken up, not only in the Hebrews where the whole is gone into, but in 2 Corinthians 3. And as to Hebrews, it is not a partisan confirming Jewish ceremonial; but, while treating it as of God, putting it wholly aside, and contrasting it with Christianity, the heavenly thing. The whole system is judged; "a shadow, indeed, of good things to come," and yet fully recognised. And, observe, not the temple which they had before their eyes, and which men would have thought of (this is never alluded to in Hebrews), but the tabernacle in the wilderness: for there the Christian is, though with a heavenly calling. It had a full moral and spiritual signification for us; yet was all contrast, a veil that closed the way to the sanctuary, not a rent one which opened the way in; a priest sitting down because all His sacrificial work was finished, not standing because it never was accomplished.

The whole history, I may say, of the wilderness is recorded in 1 Corinthians 10, and applied to Christianity. We have the ark in Joshua, under Eli, and David; and the history of Aaron's rod and the manna confirmed in Solomon's temple, and that by an allusion, as to a well-known thing, the strongest confirmation possible; though having a moral force that the means of journeying were gone when the rest was come; 2 Chronicles 5: 10. The temple order, substituted by David and Solomon for the tabernacle, is found, though slighted, and the temple defiled, all through the Kings. Now, though fifteen centuries separated the establishment of the two systems, the first has far more sense and import now to them that understand, than they had then. They were "shadows of good things to come," but "the body is of Christ," Colossians 2: 17. This applies to every part of the ordering of the tabernacle, where though priests could go and others could not, yet in contrast, as I have said; for the veil is rent, and the holy and holy of holies, have, so to speak, become one. What the altar meant, what the laver, details alluded to, I doubt not, in John 13, has its full force now. The mind which gave Moses the pattern in the Mount thought of Christianity in giving it; and Christianity, while setting the shadows aside, more than fulfilled their import.

+Not "into," as in the English version (Hebrews 4).

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With the HISTORY, if less obvious, it was equally the case. "All these things happened unto them for ensamples (tupoi), and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come," 1 Corinthians 10: 11. Hence we find them knit, as they are found in the Pentateuch, with the constant instructions of the New, and the aptness seen by every intelligent Christian; indeed the whole history acquires its value, from its present application to everyday life, with the utmost and most instructive exactness. Historically the accounts of the Pentateuch are referred to and used for the judgment and instruction of Israel, as all the dates at which the Psalms may have been written, as Psalms 18, 78, 81, 99, 105, 106, 114. So the history of Judges in Psalm 83. The minuteness of the allusion in Psalm 80 shews more than any quotation how their minds were imbued with the history, God using it by His Spirit. God is appealed to as Shepherd of Israel, and leading Joseph like a flock, to shine forth from between the cherubim; and, it is added, "Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh." Why these tribes? They were the three next the ark at the rear of the tabernacle. The allusions are numberless. The spirit of the people from David to Babylon was filled -- saturated -- with the history in the Pentateuch, the Judges, and Samuel. The public neglect of Jehovah was great, and the judgments many; but their recollections and their desires lived in the history (see Judges 6: 13) we learn in the Old Testament, and what their prophets told them of the future. It was what made them know God.

If we turn to the SACRIFICES we find the same neglect of God, as in everything; but the full intention and unity of intention is evident, indeed plainly stated. We find it, from Abel onward, the only legitimate ground of access to God. "Without shedding of blood is no remission." "It is the blood that maketh atonement for the soul." Sacrifices were offered to God, but for men; worship was connected with an altar, a deep and important principle notified to us in Cain and Abel, and in the patriarchs; nor in the tabernacle service could any strange fire be used to burn the incense, the neglect of which cost Nadab and Abihu their lives, and closed the entry of the holiest to Aaron save on the great day of atonement. Sin and death had come in; and death and the acknowledgment of sin must come in for man to approach God; and when all was ordered of God, a clean and spotless victim must be offered. Such offerings occur, and mark the career of the godly (the Abrahams, whose earthly life was a tent, his divine life an altar),+ and repeated too often to call for any individual notice. When all was ordained in connection with the tabernacle, and detail entered into, there was the burnt-offering which was on the ground of sin being there and atonement made (though not for particular transgressions), but was all burnt to God, an absolute sweet savour; the meat-offering, in which was no leaven (figure of sin), but all kneaded with oil and anointed with oil, and that in each minutest part; much frankincense, but all burnt to God, fully tested by holy judgment and only sweet savour. Then others feasted on what was slain as did the offerer, priest, the priests, and God too, while the same abiding law held good as to the blood and fat; and lastly, when there had been actual sins, there were offerings for them confessed on the victim's head; and if the blood was carried into the sanctuary, the body burnt without the camp. If the efficacy of the atoning blood went into heaven, the victim was rejected outside the camp, an earthly religion (connection of a people with God upon earth) ceased and was impossible. And especially on the great day of atonement the blood was carried into the holiest of all -- God's own presence, according to what He was, not merely man's responsibility met by what was done on the altar of burnt-offering without. Besides this there was a sacrifice connected with their journey through the wilderness, for any uncleanness contracted there, unfitting any, otherwise entitled, to go up to the worship of God. This last was carried out, not by the shedding or sprinkling blood again, but by sprinkling with living water, into which the ashes of the burnt heifer had been put. The blood had been sprinkled seven times where God met the people.

+He had none in Egypt, nor till he returned to Bethel.

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All this had a purpose and a meaning. The prophets and Psalms refer to it as, with more or less order, it was historically continued. The resting on the mere outward offering with an unbroken heart is judged; but, as in Isaiah 53, there was One stricken for the transgression of God's people who made His soul and offering for sin, offered to God because sin was there; but a whole burnt-offering of a perfect sweet savour, God glorified in Him; as the meat-offering, pure as man conceived of the Holy Ghost, anointed with the Holy Ghost, and all He did by the Spirit, all sweet odour of grace going up to and referring to God above, though priests may scent its sweetness, fully tested by the fire of God's judgment; no leaven was there, all was a sweet savour to God. We feed on this sacrifice as the peace-offering, though the life and its energies were all offered to God -- feed on it indeed, as bread come down from heaven, and as a sacrifice in death, only that death is become sure life to us, and what was absolute ruin before is now redemption and life, and we drink the blood too; not only atonement made for our sins and guilt taken away in our believing, but God perfectly glorified in His nature and intrinsic righteousness, measured by what He is and not merely by what we owe, and all our sins gone where they never can be found again. Such was the special offering of the great day of atonement.

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There is for the believer no more conscience of sins; he is perfected for ever as to his conscience, while provision is made for restoring communion if we have defiled ourselves, the Holy Ghost by the word restoring the self-judging soul in virtue of that which shews sins for ever put away. He appeared once in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself (complete in result in the new heavens and the new earth); and as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. God is perfectly glorified in His nature through redemption, and the believer's sins gone for ever, so that he has boldness to enter into the holiest.

I cannot, of course, here enlarge on so wide a subject as the sacrifices, profoundly interesting as it may be. What I have here to note is, that the word of God affords us, from Abel's time, a distinct line of thought, brought out in detail in the law of Moses, and prophetically applied to God's coming Servant in Isaiah, spoken of in the Psalms in words used by the Lord Himself on the cross, and then in the Gospels plainly declared "the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world," "the Son of man come to give His life a ransom for many"; and reasoned on, as everyone knows, in the Epistles, shewing Christ who died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, the Just for the unjust, a Lamb without blemish and without spot. The lamb of Abel's faith is the Lamb in the midst of the throne, whose bride the heavenly Jerusalem is Himself the light and glory of it -- "a lamb as it had been slain."

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The same divine thought runs through Scripture from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Revelation; the divine thought, prefigured in Abel, in the Exodus, and the sacrifices of the tabernacle, sung in holy strains in the Psalms, prophesied of by the prophets of God, even to the price He was to be sold for, accomplished in the Word made flesh, and unfolded in the instructions of the Holy Ghost -- God's precious Lamb, whose blood cleanses us from all sin. Was it a compiler of fragmentary documents in Ezra's time, or God, who has taught us all this, one immense moral truth from Abel to the consummation of all things, the foundation of the stability of the new heavens and the new earth which makes grace righteousness -- the righteousness of God, and sets man at His right hand in glory, opening heaven to us now, and in time taking us there? It was God's thought, God's work of love, and God's revelation, never lost sight of, as it never will be when even the kingdom shall be given up that God may be all and all.

These may suffice as illustrations of how divine thought runs as a continued stream of purpose through the Bible as a whole. I insist upon its being many books, by many authors, collected no man knows by whom (not the "learned Germans" more than I or Mr. Smith), but proved to be divinely inspired, individually and collectively, by the divine oneness which pervades their contents, and the more from their being many authors in remote ages. But I will now take two special parts of the great collection; for collection, whoever made it, everyone admits it is, the Lord Himself setting His seal of acceptance on it as such -- I mean the Gospels and Psalms -- to shew the divine mind in each.

The traditions of Mark's Gospel, composed at Rome from Peter's testimony as its source, and Luke more or less from Paul's, I attach no importance to. It is quite alike to me whether a secondhand tradition (not very early either) be true or false, if an apostolic source be true or not. The question is whether God is the source. If so, the human instrument is of no moment. Mark was intimate probably with Peter, and certainly Luke with Paul; but the latter could not have himself given testimony from personal knowledge to him, and Luke attributes it to another source. This is true, that the tone and import of Luke's Gospel fall in more with Paul's ministry of grace to all; but all the preaching in the Acts (and we have only sermons to Jews from Peter and Paul) is based on the commission in Luke, for they are distinct in each Gospel.

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It is very doubtful if the Epistles of Jude and James are from apostles. This is not the real question. That the apostles had a special mission, whether the twelve or Paul, for these also are distinct, is sure to every Christian; but if God inspired others, their word was just as sure; and if an apostle spoke or wrote or acted not by the inspiration of the Spirit, this was not the word of God. Those who believe in inspiration have, just as these historical critics, rested on traditional circumstances or proofs, or human evidence, strong indeed, I admit, for authenticity and the letter, but which leaves untouched the real question, Are they inspired of God?

The proof of Scripture in this respect is in Scripture, in the power of the word wielded by the Holy Ghost. When in that power it reaches the heart and conscience, its character, its divine character, is known, not only in the particular point in which it reaches them, but as to the true power and character of that which has done so. The woman of Samaria does not say when thus reached, "What you say is true," but, "Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet." What He said came from God. His character and word were known to her. So it is with the Bible when a man is taught of God. It is recognised as His word, as Christ was recognised by those whose eyes were opened to see what was divine. Human testimony may prove the folly of human doubt, but no more, and so be useful; but divine operation alone gives divine faith. "He hath opened mine eyes." When men believed only through proofs to man, by miracles, Jesus did not commit Himself to them; He knew what was in man. It was man's judgment about Him, very justly formed, but only man's judgment, no revelation of the Son of God to the soul: this is by the word through the operation of God; and then a man is born of God and sees. But I must pursue my inquiry.

As to the Gospels then, they carry their own testimony with them. Men may make Harmonies or seek to prove discrepancies, or give us Eusebius's account of traditions, or, if we are to believe Eusebius, the foolish old man Papias' account of his pleasure in hearing legends of what Christ said -- a good pious old man, I doubt not. One has only to read the Apocryphal Gospels to see what they are worth, the utter nonsense that is in them.+ But each Gospel bears its distinct character, proving itself and completing the others. For while each can give us enough to shew what the blessed Lord's life was, yet the account would not be complete according to divine thought without all. First, there is a characteristic difference between John's and the Synoptical Gospels. They present Christ to be received as Son of David, Son of man, though of course the Christ and the Prophet-Servant; and in all He is rejected. In John, being God and the Son manifested in the world, the real ground of His rejection, we read in the first chapter that the world knew Him not, and His own received Him not; and they, the Jews, are treated as reprobate all through, and He is always come into the world, sovereign and quickening grace alone leading to His reception. And what He is in Person, and the Holy Ghost's coming, are fully treated of.

+One tells us that Jesus was as a child the death of so many who meddled with Him, that His mother kept Him in the house at last. He was making mud birds one Sabbath and ponds, and a big boy came and broke His ponds. The birds took life and flew away, and the Child said, "As you have dried my ponds, you will be dried up"; and so he dried up and died.

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But let us see briefly these characteristics, so as to shew, in some measure, the divine completeness of the whole; and it is not pretended there was a clever compiler of the four here. I can only touch on a few leading heads.

In Matthew He comes as Messiah, Emmanuel, Jehovah, to His people, yet if Messiah, of course as Son of David. Hence His genealogy is traced to Abraham and David, the great vessels of the Jewish promise of the Seed. He was Emmanuel, Jesus, that is, Jah Hoshea, Jehovah the Saviour, for He shall save His people from their sins. Born at Bethlehem according to prophecy, the anti-king seeks His destruction, and He flees to Egypt, called back out from thence to be the true Son of God here below. Then John the Baptist executes his mission. Both here and with the Magi, while the Jews are the immediate object, yet a remnant only is owned in Israel morally, judgment is at hand, and grace can make of stones children to Abraham, and in the Magi the Gentiles are owned but in connection with one born king of the Jews.

Then Christ takes His place among this remnant, and immediately heaven is opened, He is anointed with the Holy Ghost, and the Father owns Him as His Son. The whole Trinity is for the first time fully revealed, and man's place (for us in redemption), according to God's counsels, made good in Him when He takes His place amongst them, Son of God there. Owned such He goes up, led of the Spirit, to meet Satan; for us refuses, if Son, to leave obedience in His taken place of servant, and overcomes Satan for us in perfectly waiting on God's will to act -- overcomes his wiles, and sends away the adversary, and then goes to Galilee to the poor of the flock, calls disciples, and all the history of His service in Matthew is given in chapter 4: 23.

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Then He describes the character of those who would have part in the kingdom without speaking of redemption. Israel were on the way with God to judgment (compare Luke 12: 49-59), and, if they did not agree, would be cast into prison, and not come out till they had paid the last farthing. And there they are to this day.

In chapter 8 He is Jehovah, and the Gentiles are again noticed. In chapter 9 we have the character of His ministry, which is forgiveness and power in grace (according to Psalm 103), and characterised by grace. In chapter 10 mission is exclusively to Israel in His own time then, to the end of verse 15; after He was gone, from verse 16, and that to the end till the Son of man should be come. In chapter 11 John the Baptist's ministry and His own are both rejected by Israel, and He takes the character of Son of God, unknown because of His Person, and alone able to reveal the Father to the comfort of the heavy-laden, and as the obedient man shewing the yoke they must bear to get rest. In chapter 12 the Jews are formally judged, and He disclaims any relationship on earth except that produced by the word. In chapter 13 He seeks fruit no more in His vineyard, but as Son of man carries out the seed which was to produce fruit; but the field is the world and the kingdom of heaven is described, that is, God's kingdom when the King is in heaven, taking the place of His presence on earth. He will come in judgment as Son of man, and the righteous shine forth as the sun in the Father's kingdom.

In chapter 14 He still continues His ministry in grace, but Israel and man are judged in chapter 15, and grace to the farthest from God according to Jewish dispensation vouchsafed to those who had no promise in His Person. In chapter 16 we have the church Christ builds (founded on the title "Son of the living God," proved in resurrection) to replace Israel, as in chapter 13 the kingdom in mystery, in chapter 17 the kingdom in glory. The disciples are forbidden to say any more He is the Christ, for the Son of man must suffer. In chapter 18, to the end of chapter 20: 28, we find the principles which were to guide the disciples and characterise their walk when He was gone -- lowliness, His presence among them, forgiveness, judging the inward man of the heart instead of observing the outward law, and other great principles of conduct and service.

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In all the Synoptics, the history of the last events, another chapter of the Lord's history, His death and not His life, begins with the blind man of Jericho. And He begins by again taking the character of Son of David, and presenting himself to Jerusalem as such. Then the Jews and their various sects come up one after another and are judged. The testimony of God in Judah till the Lord comes (chapter 24: 1-31), with exhortations to verse 44; the judgment of Christendom in chapter 24: 45 to chapter 25: 30, and verse 31 to the end the judgment of the Gentiles, to whom the message of the kingdom had been sent in those last days; in chapters 26 and 27, the last scenes, in which He is specially the victim here, led to the slaughter and dumb before His shearers, and every human comfort looked for in vain, the Christ the Son of God, but henceforth Son of man in glory, the veil rent. Then His resurrection and joining the poor of the flock again in Galilee, but no ascension: the twelve being sent out to disciple and baptise the Gentiles, a commission from Jesus risen, of the accomplishment of which we find no history in Scripture. The mission to them is surrendered to Paul, as recorded in Galatians 2.

The perpetual quotation of and reference to the Old Testament scriptures is evident to the most careless reader, with ina when it is the object of the passage cited, opos when it is an accomplishment of it, tote when it is only an instance of the thing. I have only noticed of course here what shews a perfect and systematic course of teaching, all based on the essential character of the Gospel. The events are not given in historical order in the life of the Lord, though generally following it, but are subjects treated of. The whole history of His life and ministry is in one verse, and then what characterised it -- the mind of God in it. The rationalist may search very imperfect legends how it originated and was put together,+ conjecture or reason on a Hebrew original or the contrary, and the Nazarene Gospel. The Christian taught of God sees with perfect certainty the character of the Lord as Messiah, Emmanuel, Jehovah, a Man amongst men, but Son of God, presented to Israel with all the principles He brought as such, and rejected by Israel to make way for deeper counsels and a better salvation: stating indeed a heavenly place for those rejected for His sake, but carrying on testimony, not from heaven, but from resurrection.

+If any one be curious, he may read Marsh's conjectures.

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The gospel of Mark I need not dwell on. It is the ministry of Christ, and is more exactly in chronological order, the same as Luke when he is chronological, but not calling for special notice for the purpose for which I comment on the Gospels. The reader may notice that the Lord's life closes here too with Galilee, as far as the Lord's words go, chapter 16: 9-20 giving a short summary of what is recorded in Luke and John.

I turn to Luke, but only for some brief remarks, with a view to my special object. It begins with a lovely picture of the godly remnant in Judah, and the prophetic Spirit amongst them, hidden in the midst of the abounding iniquity of Israel; but where, as in the cave of Adullam, a godly priest, the true king, and the Spirit of prophecy are found. But the Jews are under the power of the Roman "beast," and events are dated by his reign. Then comes a genealogy,+ which traces Christ up to Adam. He is Son of man come in grace, not the heir of promises to Abraham and David. At once, in chapter 4, He shews God's goodness extended to the Gentiles, so that they were going to kill Him. Then we have His power over demons and diseases, cleansing the leper and forgiving sins on earth; He is come to the sick. His disciples could not fast then -- the bridegroom was there; -- nor could new wine be put into old bottles, the truths of grace and the gift of the Spirit into Jewish ordinances. He is found (as constantly in Luke) praying as Son of man, and slighting their thoughts of the Sabbath; He was Lord of it as Son of man; it was the sign of the covenant with Israel; Ezekiel 20. He gives then the summary of blessings and woes (the disciples are "ye poor"), but not the principles on which they would enter into the kingdom. There is more faith in a Gentile than in Israel, and then He raises the dead. The poor multitude and publicans justified God; the Pharisees rejected His counsel and are rejected. But wisdom is justified of all her children; and the child of wisdom is shewn in the poor woman, a sinner in the city; not in the Pharisee who, with God in the house, decided, as rationalists do, that He, most clearly, could not be a prophet. But forgiveness, salvation, and peace are the portion of the poor woman, to whose heart and conscience God had revealed Himself in Christ as light and love.

+Chapter 3: 23 should, I have no doubt, be read "(Being, as was supposed, the son of Joseph) [the son] of Heli"; that is, son of Heli refers to Jesus, not Joseph; there is no "which was" in Greek. The Talmudists make Mary the daughter of Heli to be tormented in the other world. The vision of Isaiah (A.D. 68), it is said, makes Mary to be of the lineage of David. So does Tertullian according to Kaye. But this only by the bye.

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Then, in chapter 8, the sowing the word is spoken of; but we have not the mysteries of the kingdom. This Gospel is not dispensational; but the Lord rejects association, according to the flesh, with Israel. We have then an account of the expulsion of the legion of demons in Gadara, and, as often in Luke, more details as to the man. He would go away out of his home in this world with Christ, but was sent back for a testimony. The world gets rid of Jesus; and, I have no doubt, the rushing of the herd of swine is a picture of Israel's conduct when He was gone; but this is a mere figure I leave to every one to judge of. He goes to heal Jairus' daughter, but has to raise the dead. Only whoever touches Him with faith, in the way as He then was, is healed.

After feeding the multitude He is transfigured; and in the Gospel of Luke only we have the talking of His decease, and the going into the cloud, the heavenly part of the kingdom -- a very important element. Their selfishness is detected in every form from the grossest to the most refined; and Christ is to be everything. This closes the orderly historical part of Luke. Christ's time was come for Him to be received up, and He stedfastly sets his face to go to Jerusalem. In the beginning of chapter 9 He had given His last testimony to Israel, only there was no inquiry who was worthy; and then comes the kingdom in glory, and entering into where the Father was, the excellent glory, and the strict prohibition any more to say that He was the Christ. We have no going through the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come -- no prohibitory notice of Samaritans and Gentiles; we have the history morally, not dispensationally, given: here, too, He was praying when He was transfigured; no replacing the Messiah in Israel by the church founded on the title Son of God, but the heavenly and earthly glory when the Christ was rejected, and the cross, in bearing which they were to follow Him. On this He insists, while the multitude wondered at His present power. He sends His messengers before His face on His way to Jerusalem, the parting testimony to Israel; but the disciples were to rejoice, not because devils were subject to them, but because their names were written in heaven. Grace is taught, independent of Judaism, in the man that fell among thieves. Then we have hearing His word, and prayer. He was the test of every soul. The evil generation, as pictured in the return of the unclean spirit, is left out. Still the nation is judged morally.

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The folly of the world in its desires is taught, and the fear of man to be conquered, and for disciples full trust in God exercised; while the heavenly portion of those who watch, and the rule in the return of Christ of those that serve, are beautifully brought out. The effect of His present coming in dividing nearest friends is told, and the application of being in the way with the adversary made clear. Judgment was on all the nation, the Sabbath is set aside in the work of grace, the kingdom very briefly announced in its external form, but in connection with entering in at the strait gate. He would often as Jehovah have gathered Jerusalem, but now her day was past. The sabbath again yields to doing good, and the call to the great supper and its results is spoken of: only the sick and the poor are added to what is in Matthew. We have then, what is in Luke only, grace in seeking and grace in receiving by the Father, God's joy in the salvation of a sinner thenceforth; what man, a steward out of place, is to do with his master's goods in view of everlasting habitations; and the veil withdrawn from another world, putting the outward blessings in this, promised to Israel, in their own true place. This morally substitutes Christianity for Judaism.

After some moral principles, He is substituted for the temple and Judaism in the case of the healed Samaritan: the kingdom of God was there. Prayer is urged, but when the Son of man came where would be faith? and self-judgment preferred to self-righteousness, and the heart searched instead of the commandments outwardly kept. There is none good but God. Salvation is only of Him.

He approaches Jericho; the story of Zacchaeus is added, full grace to a publican, but responsibility in service when He should be gone, and reward according to labour. Then in approaching Jerusalem on the ass, the remarkable expression, Peace in heaven. Till Satan should be cast out thence, no rest on earth could come. Jerusalem is wept over in grace.

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In the prophecy to His disciples (chapter 21) we have no abomination of desolation, but the siege of Jerusalem by Titus not mentioned in Matthew. The true secret of Peter's fall is brought out, and the entire change in Christ's position now, as being there, not as Emmanuel, King in Israel as He had been, but as a malefactor on the cross. In Gethsemane is more deep human sorrow than in any Gospel; on the cross none. He is the perfect man: not here the victim before God, true as this ever remains. He went through the sorrow with His Father; and there was calmness itself when the sorrow was actually there. We have the account of the converted thief, and the assurance of a blessed intermediate state before He came in His (Christ's) kingdom: a most instructive and important history. I should have added that in instituting the Lord's Supper He does not speak of eating it new in the kingdom, but of the present thing, its being fulfilled in the kingdom of God.

We have the lovely history of the disciples' journey to Emmaus; and, passing rapidly over the circumstances of the resurrection, no going to Galilee, but going out to Bethany; the ascension related, and their blessing in connection with His going to heaven. It is He himself, the same Jesus who is risen; He eats to shew it; He opens their understandings to understand the Scriptures: repentance and remission of sins are to be preached in His name; but they were to wait for the power at Jerusalem for the promise of the Father -- that is, the coming of the Holy Ghost. It is on this commission, as I have said, that the preaching of the gospel took place, as related in Scripture.

The whole Gospel gives us the moral change, and introduces the present and heavenly state of things, not dealing with dispensation, though of course with the setting aside of Judaism. It is the Son of man, and in divine grace. While Luke is especially characteristic, it is less easy to reproduce its character in a summary, because it is many minute traits which form that character: grace in the Son of man. Still the introductory chapters, the place and scope of the genealogy, the introduction of the parables in chapters 14, 15, 16, the introduction of going into the cloud in the transfiguration, the ascension, the thief on the cross, the woman that was a sinner, the frequent praying of Christ, the introduction of Gentiles, all marked grace that reached out beyond promises to Israel, and the Son of man in whom that grace came.

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The Gospel of John, on the contrary, gives very broad lines of truth as to the Person of Christ and the coming of the Holy Ghost. Its character is totally distinct from the other three Gospels. It is not a history to display what Christ was here, His rejection and death, but a statement of all that He was in Himself. The Jews are all set aside, and indeed man, in starting; but all that Christ is, save His relative characters, is found already in the first chapter; in the third, what was revealed and needed for Israel and man to have part in the earthly and heavenly blessings. We have only to follow the contents of the Gospel to see its bearing. The sovereign operation of needed grace is found also from the beginning. What was found by results and experience in the first three Gospels is taught as truth here.

The first chapter begins before Genesis, because it treats of what was, not of what was done. As to Christ, He is God, in nature a distinguishable person with God, not become so by incarnation, but with God in the beginning. He was, when all began. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men: but the light shone in darkness, that is, amongst men, but the darkness comprehended not. God, in patient love, sent a witness to draw men's attention to that light. Next, verse 14, He became flesh, egeneto, became, not now en, was. He became flesh, was this amongst men as man, was a Son with His own Father, dwelt among men full of grace and truth. Christians have all received of His fulness, and grace for grace. Grace and truth came by Him, they were there, egeneto. The law was given by Moses. Then His work: He is the Lamb of God, the taker-away of the sin (not sins) of the world, and the baptizer with the Holy Ghost; He was anointed and sealed with it Himself. Then, as John had witnessed to Him as Lamb of God, His disciples gathered round Him. He is the Son of God and King of Israel. But much more: henceforth the heavens would be seen opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of man. He is not the Christ for Israel in this chapter; nor Priest above; nor Head of the church. John does not own the Jews, nor has he indeed to do with the church: all is individual, not counsels, but God revealed in the Son declaring His Father; and eternal life come down to be imparted to man, the Word become flesh.

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In chapter 2 we have the result when the history of the gathered remnant closes, the joy of the marriage, the purifying water turned into wine, and the temple purged of all that profaned it. This closes the introductory part as to all that concerns Christ.

We have now what concerns men. But the incarnation is the introduction of what was before the beginning of all things, in the power of life in a Man, into the scene of the all things, to be eternal life indeed as from everlasting in His Person; but a wholly new thing, though a true Man amongst men -- a new beginning. But the mere human conviction by evidence was nothing, and not to be trusted. Man must be born again (anothen), wholly anew. Nicodemus ought to have known this as a teacher of Israel. The prophets (see Ezekiel 36) shewed it plainly that, even for Israel to enjoy the earthly promises, there must be a new birth; how much more to have part in the heavenly! This He would teach as coming thence, as no one else had to tell it, the Son of man, who was even then divinely in heaven. But the Son of man must be lifted up, that a people separated by faith should have a part in these heavenly things. The need was there on man's side, and the Son of man met it. The love of God was there on God's side, and the Son of God was given; but it is the world, not Israel. The condemnation now was that light was come into the world; and man hated it, and did not come to it. In the rest of the chapter John the Baptist unfolds who he is, the testimony being closed by the evangelist himself with the Father's love to the Son, and His having put all things into His hand: he that believed on Him had everlasting life. Man, God in grace, Israel, the world, and the Son of God come in grace revealing the Father, bringing eternal life, grace and truth -- all find their place here; what Christ is, and the truth as to man, the being born again, and the atonement on the cross.

This closes the introduction, the epoch being marked by John being not yet cast into prison; after which Christ began His public ministry. In chapter 4 the Lord leaves Judaea, His country as come amongst the Jews; and we find grace with a Samaritan, prerogative mercy above Jewish relationship, and connected with His Person and humiliation, but no understanding of it in man; and this produced by dealing with the conscience. Worship must be in spirit and in truth, for God is a Spirit; but the Father, His name in grace, revealed in the Son, seeketh such. In chapter 5 we have the benefits under the law, dependent on the power of the person who is to use them, and there is none: the disease to be cured has taken away the force to use the remedy; Christ as Son of God brings it with Him. The Father raises the dead, and quickens them, so the Son quickens whom He will: and he who believes has eternal life: then man's responsibility as to it, life being come in His Person, with the evidences of John Baptist, His own works, the Father, their own scriptures: but they would not come to Him to have it. In chapter 6 He is Son of man, owned prophet, refusing to be king; He ascends up for priestly service, and the disciples go away alone; He rejoins them, and they are immediately where they went. Our food, meanwhile, is Christ humbled, the bread from heaven, and His flesh and blood; but if this last, His death, be not fed on, there is not life; in such case their portion is resurrection in the last day, in a state man never was in, even innocent. In chapter 7 the Holy Ghost takes the place of tabernacles, as we have seen, of which there is yet no antitype; in chapter 8 His word is rejected; in chapter 9 His work; in chapter 10 He will have His sheep at any rate out of Israel and the Gentiles too; in chapters 11, 12 we have the testimony rendered of God, as we have seen, to Christ when rejected as Son of God, Son of David, Son of man: but then He must die.

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This closes His history, and He is now looked at as going to His Father -- this from chapter 13. He must leave His disciples; but if He cannot stay with them, He must have them with Him gone now to God. For this He abides a servant, and washes their feet: for being washed (converted), that is done once for all. Their walk remains to be seen to. Further, God is perfectly glorified by Him in His death: so man goes into God's glory. In chapter 14 He went to prepare a place for them above, and will come back and receive them. They knew where He was going, for He was going to the Father; and they had seen the Father in Him, and so knew the way too. Further, when the Comforter was come, they would know not only that He was in the Father, but that they were in Him and He in them. In chapter 15 Israel was not the true vine, though a vine brought out of Egypt. He was so: and they the branches, and this on earth. Then the work of the Comforter is fully developed in chapter 16: sent by the Father in chapter 14 in His name: by Him, from the Father, as the glorified Man in chapters 15, 16. In chapter 17 speaking to His Father -- wondrous grace that we should be admitted to hear Him -- He puts the disciples (founding it on His work and glorifying, and revelations of the Father in Himself) on the same ground as Himself with the Father and with the world.

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Then we have Gethsemane and the cross in chapter 20, His revelation of Himself to Mary Magdalene and to the disciples, and this whole period of Christian blessing characterised. The Jewish remnant, who loved Him, could not now have Him back in bodily presence, but they were now His brethren; He went to His Father and their Father, to His God and their God. He is in their midst, communicates life in resurrection in the power of the Holy Ghost, as God breathed into Adam, committing the administration of forgiveness of sins on earth to them. Thomas represents the remnant in the latter day. In chapter 21 we are in Galilee again with this remnant; and the service of Peter, who is blessedly restored through grace, and of John: one as the apostle of the circumcision to find his labour in Israel come to nothing as regards the nation, and he a martyr, as Christ; and John to linger over the condition of the church till He came. It is purposely given mysteriously, and in part refers to the last days. The net is the millennial haul, and does not break, as the gospel net did. (Of Paul's ministry we have nothing; it stands by itself, a dispensation committed to him.) We have no ascension in John's Gospel. It will be remarked, that, all through, it is the divine side and the purpose of God as to Christ, which is treated here; with the Holy Ghost who takes His place on earth.

I would still notice the distinction of the closing scene in the Gospels. In Matthew Christ is the victim, perfect in calmness and patience, with no ray to comfort Him, no heart to feel for Him; He is led as a lamb to the slaughter (man's wickedness frightfully brought out), but a perfect victim of propitiation, told out on the cross by the solemn words, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" In the midst of plans of the priests and the vacillation of Pilate, God's purpose is carried out in the true passover; and Christ is, before both, condemned for His own testimony to the truth.

In Luke you have deeper human conflict in Gethsemane, though perfection in it: being in an agony, He prayed more earnestly. On the cross there is none. He had gone through it as man with His Father, and the perfect result is peacefulness on the cross. Also, here, as man, He commends His spirit to His Father.

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In John we have the divine side -- no sorrow in Gethsemane, none on the cross. In Gethsemane they go backward and fall to the ground, and He delivers up Himself, saying, "If ye seek me, let these go their way." On the cross He puts His mother under John's care, and delivered up His own spirit when all was finished in the work He had to do. We have to learn in part, and the various parts separately, that we may know all. John was nearer Christ in His agony, but Matthew gives it, not John. Matthew saw the people go-back and fall, but says nothing of it. The Holy Ghost gives by each what suits the whole tenor and subject of that Gospel. Yet our Baurs and other Germans can see nothing but a composition to make peace among Christian squabblers in the end of the second century. Can there be greater poverty, more total moral darkness? Mr. Smith, professing for some other reason to believe, debits out this threadbare infidelity, without a ray of light to lighten the darkness, or say it is not true; or he would persuade us that Christ sanctioned, as written by Moses, and as the word of God relative to Himself, what was not written by Moses at all -- an imposture in which he, forsooth, can see no harm! and he would have us believe that the Lord and the apostles were all wrong, and Dr. Baur and himself right.

I have referred to the Psalms as another illustration of unity of purpose and mind as collected. It is well known there are five distinct books, each ending with ascription of praise to Jehovah -- Psalms 1-41; 42-72; 73-89; 90-106; and thence to the end. Each book has its own object and character. The first two Psalms, however, are an introduction, and give the key to the whole book. In Psalm 1 there is a remnant distinguished from the ungodly of the nation. Psalm 2 gives the counsels of Jehovah to establish, in spite of rejection by Jews and Gentiles, Christ (the Anointed) as King on His holy hill of Zion; also God's Son, as born into the world; and, finally, to subdue the Gentiles with a rod of iron.

I would now mention a principle of order which helps us to understand the connection of many Psalms. One or more psalms give the platform on which the thoughts and feelings of the following Psalms are based.+ But, first, as to the character of the five books. In the first the remnant is still in Jerusalem, and the name Jehovah is used throughout, though in two Elohim be introduced. And here we have more prophetic reference to Christ, though rejected.

+It will be found in individual Psalms, the first verse or two giving the thesis, the rest what leads to it.

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In the second book the remnant is out of Jerusalem; but their state is pursued through rejection till the authority of the Son of David be established. This begins with Elohim; but after Psalm 45, when the King is brought in in power, we find Jehovah, and triumph. Blood-guiltiness is owned, the sufferings and sorrows of the people under oppression and hostile power are recounted: and Elohim is largely, sometimes exclusively, used in contrast with man powerful in wickedness. Still judgment is looked for in faith, and true repentance in Israel. But the remnant all through are cast out, though their praise is ready (Psalm 65) when restored. In Psalm 69 Christ associates Himself with Israel, bearing their sins, and carrying their sorrows in His heart, though rejected of them; and here Jehovah comes in again. It closes, as already said, in the Son of David being established in glory and power.

The third book goes beyond the Jews, and takes in all Israel. They are to be received after the glory, and though faith does bring in Jehovah at Psalms 73: 28; 78: 21; 80: 4; 81: 10, still Elohim is the constant cry: they are not yet restored by the glory. Still we have this prophetically, and all the exercises of heart and faith and hope about it furnished to them by inspiration. Here too the old associations of Israel as a whole are far more fully before us. In chapter 83 Jehovah comes fully in again, on the judgment against the last confederacy being executed, and is used even in the depth of their humiliation (Psalm 88), their guilt under the old covenant. In the next Psalm mercies are recounted and Christ brought in (verse 19 called "holy one" wrongly. It is still Chesed, so the same as in the first verse generally; in verse 18 Kodesh), that is Jehovah. This closes the book.

The fourth book is the bringing in the First-begotten into the world. Jehovah has been ever Israel's dwelling-place. Of Psalm 91 I have spoken, where Jehovah is identified with the Most High in the accomplishment of the promises to Abraham. This is celebrated by faith in the next psalm. Then, with Psalm 93 as a preface, the introduction of Jehovah Messiah into the world, from the appeal of the suffering remnant who inquire if Jehovah is going to reign conjointly with the power of evil (verse 20), on to the calling up the Gentiles to worship at Jerusalem, where the presence and glory of Jehovah are fully established, in Psalm 100. In Psalm 101 we have the principles of the earthly kingdom; and Psalm 102, how Christ, who was cut off, could be there. He was Jehovah, eternal in nature (Atta Hu), and His years, too, as man should never fail. (See Hebrews 1) Psalm 103 celebrates Christ as Jehovah (compare Matthew 9) in Israel; in Psalm 104 it is the God of creation who is celebrated; in Psalm 105 the God of Israel of old, but whose judgments are now in all the earth. In Psalm 106 Jehovah's faithfulness is looked to in spite of all their misdeeds.

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The fifth book, from Psalm 107 to the end, is more general, but we have them gathered out of all lands; the great revelation that Messiah Melchisedec was to sit on Jehovah's right hand till His enemies were made His footstool: then His power would come out of Zion. It is fully celebrated that "Jehovah's mercy endureth for ever." The circumstances of deliverance are rehearsed in the Mahaloth, the law written (Psalm 119) in the heart of Israel who had gone astray like a sheep that was lost: and finally the great Hallelujah of now accomplished deliverance. Psalms 72 and 145 alone, as far as I remember, describe the millennial state itself: the first as to Christ; the second as to His association with the people. Psalm 118 is the full description of the return of Israel's heart to Jehovah, recognising His ways and their own fault, and is constantly quoted by the Lord in the Gospels, and brought out by the power of God in the last entry in Jerusalem; and it is quoted also in the Acts.

I return to note a few details based on the principle referred to at the outset. Psalms 1, 2, are the preface and key as I have said; then Psalms 3-7 the thoughts and feelings Christ's rejection has given rise to in the remnant, ending in His character as Son of man; Psalm 8. Of this I have spoken before. Psalms 9, 10+ are the sorrows of the Jews and the delivering judgments of God; in Psalms 11-17 their thoughts and feelings, Christ's resurrection, trust and righteousness being introduced, ending in Psalm 18, when Christ's sufferings are made the key to Israel's history, from Egypt to the establishment of the kingdom in power. Psalms 19-22 are deeply interesting, creation testimony, the testimony of the law, of a Christ suffering, from Man exalted to glory and punishing all His enemies, of a Christ suffering indeed from man but then crying to God and forsaken, yet perfect and making atonement; nothing but wider and wider blessing flowing from it to the remnant which becomes the church, literally accomplished in John 20, to all Israel, to the world, and those born in the millennium: "He hath done this."

+I do not understand how Mr. S. makes there an imperfect acrostic. It is looking inexactly and superficially at the outside, and missing all the force of the Psalms. We have a, a, b, b to begin with in Psalm 9; 1, b, k, r in Psalm 10.

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Psalm 23 forms another starting-point: Jehovah the Shepherd who cares for His tried one; Psalm 24 Christ the Jehovah who enters in triumph into the gates of righteousness on earth. The exercises on this go to Psalm 39. Then we have the accomplishment of the counsels of God, undertaken by a suffering obedient Christ, the key to all; and then the blessing on him (Psalm 41) who understands the poor, as He said, Blessed are the poor in spirit, "ye poor"; and we can say, This poor man cried, and Jehovah heard him.

I need not go any farther to illustrate general principles, which is all I can attempt to do now. The divine sequence and connection of the Psalms is, I think, evident; yet they are confessedly isolated songs, composed at different times, even if mostly David's: a collection, but the mind of God shines through them as a collection; His purposes in Christ and in Israel, when Jehovah shall be owned as Most High in all the earth, a suffering remnant and a Messiah who has entered into their sorrows. Of course the Father's name is not and cannot be found in them, nor the Spirit of adoption. It is deeply interesting to see that, while His human sorrows can be viewed in Psalm 20, His atoning sufferings can be expressed only by His own mouth; Psalm 22.

I would say a few words on Petrine and Pauline teaching, as it is greatly dwelt on by these "learned Germans." It is folly, as they take it with their speculations, but most interesting, when rightly looked at. That the Jews had the strongest prejudices against the Gentiles is notorious, and that the Jewish Christians were not exempt from them is evident upon the face of the New Testament history. We possess in the Acts of the Apostles the case of Cornelius, and it is plainly in point both as regards Peter himself and those at Jerusalem. The affair between him and Paul (Galatians 2) tells the same tale, and reveals, as do other passages, the effort to force circumcision on the Gentiles. The council in Acts 15 under God decided otherwise at Jerusalem itself, which was the important point. But, clear as may have been the Christian decision, prejudices remain behind decisions acquiesced in. "Certain came from James" marks this clearly. Only in Hebrews 13: 10-13 are they summoned to give up Judaism.

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But there was much more than this. The writings of Paul contain a doctrine unknown to all other parts of scripture -- the church as the body of Christ. It is not mentioned by any other New Testament writer. The word is not used. It was a dispensation committed to him, besides the gospel, to complete the word of God. He was the wise master-builder who laid the foundation. It had been hidden from ages and generations: in proof of this, see Romans 16: 25 (read "prophetic scriptures," not "scriptures of the prophets"); Ephesians 3: 1-10; Colossians 1: 24-26.

John had nothing to do with this question: his ministry did not reach out to it. It was the revelation of eternal life, and the Father in the Son, and His becoming our life; but his ministry is always individual. If the children were to be gathered together in one by Christ's death, as well as the nation died for, it is individually as a family, not as the body of Christ. And in the mysterious end of his Gospel it passes from Peter, closes his life and ministry as Christ did, and passes on to Christ's coming: in ministry fulfilled in the Apocalypse. In this last chapter of John, Paul does not come in at all. John speaks of Christ's and our going to heaven but four times, as far as I remember. (Chapters 6, 14, 16, and 17.) His ministry was the display of what was divine here below: hence its attractiveness.

Paul presents us in Christ before God: and this leads to union with Christ as His body. Peter's ministry, after presenting grace, redemption, and birth by the incorruptible seed of the word, and speaking of Christ's bearing our sins, very clearly dwells as his speciality on the government of God: in the first Epistle as to the saints; in the second as to the ungodly. I speak in all these cases of what characterises them. But none ever touches on what constitutes Paul's special ministry. I may add, John still speaks of preachers who had gone out taking nothing of the Gentiles, of Christ dying, not for our sins only, but for the whole world. He puts our standing clearly in Christ (1 John 4: 17); but it is still individual.

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The Platonism of John is a fable; it is anti-Platonic in its revelations, and expressly so. The notion even of disputes after the destruction of Jerusalem seems to me unhistorical -- save some Nazarenes and Ebionites in Palestine, soon sunk into insignificance. Judaism proper sank into oblivion. The Alexandrian corruption of Christianity issuing in Arianism was later and connected with Neoplatonism. Justin Martyr (A.D. 140) was infected with it, and others of that school in his time. But it was another thing. This is true that the full doctrine of redemption as taught by Paul never took root in the church: the church itself Judaised, and has remained in this state to this day. The return to Paul's teaching, and partially John's, is what is disturbing its slumbers at this day.

What was special in Paul's doctrine was that by the descent of the Holy Ghost believers, perfectly saved, were united in one body to Christ, Jews or Gentiles: and the fulness of redemption in a new creation was manifested, by the glorifying of Christ, as man, on high. Paul's conversion connected itself with this. He never knew Christ on earth -- was a strict legal Jew. Christ was revealed to him in glory, and Christians spoken of by Christ as being Himself. He was delivered from the people and from the Gentiles, and sent to these last in connection with a glorified Christ, all disciples being one with Him: and the apostles at Jerusalem give up to him their mission to the Gentiles; Galatians 2. Of course this gave a special character to his mission, though the gospel, the basis of personal salvation, remained the same. It was a dispensation committed to him, a mystery kept secret since the world began.

This is the reality of the difference between the Petrine and Pauline teaching, which is sufficiently important. But this was too early lost (and the Pauline doctrine of redemption and the church merged in outward forms and organisation) to have been a ground for any great controversy. None held Paul's doctrine. The Pope is the successor of Peter, not of Paul, though the last may be smuggled in to appropriate and hide him. John's teaching had nothing to do with the question. Indeed the Baur theory is pretty much given up. I speak of it to free the intrinsic importance of the additional truth taught by Paul: for it is no difference of gospel, but a very much larger revelation of the counsels of God, from the idle, and (they must forgive me) low, husky, speculations of those who know nothing of the real contents -- husks half gone already; for rationalist speculations cannot be expected to last above twenty years.

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The accusations of plagiarism I do not make much account of. But I do not see original research in the article "Bible." It is the current speculation of the day. But that must be borrowed somewhere. De Wette, Ewald, F. W. Newman (who borrowed it from the Germans), Hupfeld, all give it to us: and I now see it in Professor Kuenen, whom I have just read. It is a mere reproduction of what these teach, and unless there was real personal research, it could hardly be anything else. "Opinionum commenta delet dies, naturae iudicia confirmat"; only for "naturae" we must substitute "aeternae veritatis."

You may consult Eichhorn's (a rationalist's) judgment: -- (1) None but ignorant and thoughtless doubters can suppose the Old Testament to have been forged by one deceiver: (2) They are not the forgery of many deceivers ... . But how could they forge in a way so entirely conformed to the progress of the human understanding? and was it possible in later times to create the language of Moses? He goes through other suppositions, and says, How could a whole nation be often deceived and a different periods, and by what degraded themselves? The whole passage, too long to quote here, may be read: Moses Stuart has translated it. The writers all quote, he says, or refer to what has been written before. Profane history refers to Moses as the lawgiver of Israel. It would be a serious difficulty, if anything be a difficulty to a theorist, to see how or why an elaborate system of tabernacle arrangement, professing to come by direct inspiration from God, should be recorded, when a totally different one was before their eyes. No one reading the Old Testament for himself but must see a clear and orderly succession of historical events, though much more -- collected afterwards, no doubt, into a volume -- and that the effort to invalidate it supposes more absurdity than any other theory. It is too closely bound together historically. All is false if the whole be not substantially true as it stands, for it all hangs together and supposes itself all throughout. But faith depends on other workings in the soul than these external proofs. Doubts may be easily awakened, but did these reasoners ever present us with one certain solid truth?

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As the matter has come publicly before all the world, I must say that Mr. S.'s defence is worse than his previous acts. To disseminate pure infidelity (for this it is), destroying the inspiration of the Bible as we have it, without a hint of anything else, and then to say he believes it for other reasons, is too bad to be qualified by any term I could use. It results in making it no matter to falsify the real origin of the books; and in making Christ and the apostles put their sanction on such a course, or declare one to be the true author when he was not. And if it were true, where was the inspiration of the writer?

The question is not as to Professor Smith (of whom I know nothing but what is published); but, Are plain souls to have the word of God, what "proceeds out of the mouth of God," quoted by the Lord and His apostles as such, and Christianity communicated in words which the Holy Ghost taught? or the fancies of Astruc and Baur and Smith, with no real communication from God Himself? What is my soul to lean on?

Happily, when the great conflict between man in the Last Adam and Satan took place, words which proceeded out of the mouth of God were sufficient for the Lord and for Satan, as they ever will be; and in the hour of His deep and atoning agony sufficed to express what was in His heart, that which no other heart could ever fathom or express. If there be a blessing in the world besides the Lord Himself in grace, it is to have God's word as He Himself has given it to us, like that Lord Himself, what is divine and heavenly but perfectly suited and adapted to man, in the heart of man: the Old Testament as a pipe which brings it, partially drunk at by those who conveyed it; in the New the heart itself, first the vessel drinking for its own thirst, and then the water flowing forth from the inmost man. "When it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb and called me by his grace to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen." All of it is that word of God which works effectually in them that believe. "If that which was from the beginning abide in you, ye also shall abide in the Son and in the Father."

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NOTE. See page 79.

In order to shew the advantage of reading the foregoing along with the article on which it animadverts, we give a quotation from it on alleged "Parallel Narratives" and divergent laws, in the Pentateuch: --

"This view is supported by the fact that, even as it now stands the history sometimes gives more than one account of the same event, and that the Pentateuch often gives several laws on the same subject. Of the latter we have already had one example, but for our present argument the main point is not diversity of enactment, which may often be only apparent, but the existence within the Pentateuch of distinct groups of laws partly taking up the same topics. Thus the legislation of Exodus 20-23 is partly repeated in chapter 34, and on the passover and feast of unleavened bread we have at least six laws, which, if not really discordant, are at least so divergent in form and conception that they cannot be all from the same pen (Exodus 12: 1-28; chapter 13: 3-10; chapter 23: 15; chapter 34: 18; Leviticus 23: 5-14; Deuteronomy 16.) Of historical duplicates the most celebrated are the twofold history of the creation and the flood, to which we must recur presently. The same kind of thing is found in the later books; for example, in the account of the way in which Saul became king, where it is scarcely possible to avoid the conclusion that 1 Samuel 11: 11 should attach directly to chapter 10: 16 (cf. chapter 10: 7).

"The extent to which the historical books are made up of parallel narratives, which, though they cover the same period, do not necessarily record the same events, was first clearly seen after Astruc (1753 A.D.) observed that the respective uses of Jehovah (LORD) and Elohim (God) as the name of a deity afford a criterion by which two documents can be dissected out of the book of Genesis. That the way in which the two names are used can only be due to difference of authorship is now generally admitted, for the alternation corresponds with such important duplicates as the two accounts of creation, and is regularly accompanied through a great part of the book by unmistakable peculiarities of language and thought, so that it is still possible to reconstruct at least the Elohim document with a completeness which makes its original independence and homogeneity matter of direct observation. The character of this narrative is annalistic, and where other materials fail, blanks are supplied by genealogical lists. Great weight is laid on orderly development, and the name Jehovah is avoided in the history of the patriarchs in order to give proper contrast to the Mosaic period (cf. Genesis 17: 1; Exodus 6: 3) and, accordingly, we find that the unmistakable secondary marks of this author run through the whole Pentateuch and Joshua, though the exclusive use of Elohim ceases at Exodus 6. Of course the disappearance of this criterion makes it less easy to carry on an exact reconstruction of the later parts of the document; but on many points there can be no uncertainty, and it is clearly made out that the author has strong priestly tendencies, and devotes a very large proportion of his space to liturgical matters. The separation of this document may justly be called the point of departure of positive criticism of the sources of the Old Testament; and present controversy turns mainly on its relation to other parts of the Pentateuch. Of these the most important are: 1. The Jehovistic narrative, which also begins with the creation, and treats the early history more in the spirit of prophetic theology and idealism, containing, for example, the narrative of the fall, and the parts of the history of Abraham which are most important for Old Testament theology. That this narrative is not a mere supplement to the other, but an independent whole, appears most plainly in the story of the flood, where two distinct accounts have certainly been interwoven by a third hand. 2. Many of the finest stories in Genesis, especially great part of the history of Joseph, agree with the Elohim-document in the name of God, but are widely divergent in other respects. Since the researches of Hupfeld, a third author, belonging to northern Israel, and specially interested in the ancestors of the northern tribes, is generally postulated for these sections. His literary individuality is in truth sharply marked, though the limits of his contributions to the Pentateuch are obscure." -- Ed. B. W. and R.

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INSPIRATION AND REVELATION+

We have to avoid the wiles of Satan continually. His temptations are ever there in all we pass through; but there are some things which come more directly from him, errors by which he seeks to deceive Christians and undermine the truth, as Irvingism, Puseyism, Rationalism. And these are to be met as coming directly from him. If we meet them thus we may expect help from God, while if tampered with in a friendly way we cannot. Such is the question which turns up on every hand around us now. Infidelity and the undermining the truth and the authority of the word are rampant. It does not surprise the Christian acquainted with Scripture; it confirms his faith in it, because he is warned there that it would be so. It is his painful experience however, but Scripture has taught him that in the last days perilous times would come.

The active mind of Germany has been the officina, the workshop, of this in various phases in these latter years. Paulus and Strauss and Bauer, and the rationalists from Semler and Eichhorn down, and England and other countries, have been infected with it. Scotland, through the forms of its church government, has recently been most openly under the public eye.

I have nothing to do with the church matters of that little section of Christendom which made itself conspicuous in Europe by a public claim to purity and disinterestedness beyond others, nor have I to do with what is expedient for United Presbyterians if the question arises there. Their internal affairs are no concern of others, save as the Christian must care for everything that concerns Christ's truth and Christ's people. Nor do I expect them to listen to Dr. M'Cosh advising the rationalists to leave and set up for themselves. If Satan is at work, as I have no doubt he is, honesty is not what you are to expect. But the question concerns every Christian.

Dr. M'Cosh has told them,++ what every one outside themselves can see, that the principal dissenting bodies in Scotland, and eminently the Free Church, are on their trial. It is not merely, as Dr. M'Cosh says, "What are the churches to do?" nor is any "shrewdness" required in the matter. The question is, What are those who believe that Scripture is inspired to do when Rationalism, Broad-Churchism, as Dr. M'Cosh calls it after its English name, has reared its head and infected the ecclesiastical bodies of the country, and when, as in the case of the Free Church, though it suspended Mr. Smith as professor, they are really trifling with the faith? -- the latter, in the last form the question has taken, having shelved the matter by what is called moving the previous question. I do not trust in churches; I do not know which of them is to be trusted. Is Rome or Greece, is the Lutheran -- the very seat of infidelity -- or the reformed, who are in the same state? Holland is far worse than Dr. M'Cosh represents it: the well-known converted Jew Capadose left it a few years ago because it was universally infidel. France is notorious. Will the Anglican, with its Puseyism and Broad-Churchism, give me rest? or now, Scotland falling into the same track of heartless indifference to the truth? "Ephraim has grey hairs here and there upon him, and he knoweth it not." The attack on the word of God is not from heathens as of old, or open infidels, but from the bosom of Christendom itself. Men who are called its ministers are undermining the confidence of the simple in what was the basis of their faith, the true basis of all faith, the word of God. "If it were an open enemy, I could have borne it; but it was thou, my companion, mine own familiar friend." They tell you they believe in the Bible, nay, in inspiration, only taking up literary questions. It is false; utterly false. None can deny that it is but the crambe repetita -- the dishing up afresh -- what is borrowed from the Eichhorns, though he is now left far behind, the De Wettes, Bleeks, Ewalds, Riehms, Grafs, Knobels, Bertheauts, and a host of others, to say nothing of Kuenen, who avows himself a Unitarian and ready to join with Jews, only they would not probably do so at present. I have not read all these. But I have read some of them. It is all one system. Some more insolent and bold, as Graf and Kuenen and De Wette (though there was in his history and views, it would seem, a drawing to the truth of Christ as he went on, which was interesting). But I do not speak of the individuals, knowing none of them. I speak of a regular system unfolded in their books, and now propagated by professors and ministers of the Free Church of Scotland. They differ from each other in details; nay, you must know what edition you read of the principal ones, or you will be stating something false about them.

+A review of Dr. Marcus Dods' sermon, Inspiration and Revelation, with a preface (Edinburgh, 1877); and the system of rationalism of Dr. Ewald of which it is a popular echo.

++In his pamphlet Broad-Churchism in Scotland.

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But this is not really the question. They all develop a system which destroys the authority of the word of God, which denies it comes from Him to us. This is attempted to be denied, and covered up, and softened down, not to frighten honest minds, not to say Christian ones, too soon. But this is only Satan's craft, and if those who talk of literary inquiries into the history of the sacred writings believe really that we have God's revelation, they must know that this system undermines it, that it denies that we have God's revelation on God's authority. I shall proceed to shew this.

There are two systems in the main, if you take thoroughgoing destructives as Graf and others (De Wette grew somewhat more sober); that Deuteronomy was the first book written, and in Josiah's time, or a little before, but produced then by the high priest; and that the legal enactments of the Pentateuch were added after the Babylonish captivity, Moses' name being used to secure the priestly influence established in them. I suppose this is not inspiration.

According to Ewald, the great body of these laws were drawn up by a priest very soon after the building of the temple by Solomon. This is the "Book of Origins." He admired greatly the character of the writing, which is the production of a great and elevated genius aroused by the reigns of David and Solomon. This too was to enforce the priests' rights and authority. This history includes the creation, to which, being of an elevated mind, he could look back, and went on to the history of the Judges' time, but this is lost, and was very briefly related; for he tells us what parts of it are clearly lost. But he holds there was before this a book of covenants which recorded various covenants of Abraham and Abimelech, and Isaac and Jacob, etc., and Exodus 20 to 23. This was written about Samson's time. Even before this there were written documents, as songs, and the book of the wars of the Lord, and that of Jasher. After the Book of Origins, the great work of Solomon's time, there were in his earlier editions a third and fourth, in the last, a third, fourth, and fifth writer, to complete the recovery and collection of the old traditions, adding and connecting and modifying, and, besides this, one who put all together and added some passages to make a rounded whole of it.

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Bleek is certainly soberer in his judgment of details, but he does not in the least believe in the inspiration of the word of God. None of them ever thinks of such a thing. The difficulty of shewing it in positive statements arises, as far as any exist, from their taking it for granted there is none. Nothing of the kind ever crosses their minds. Even Lange, so much thought of, speaks of it in his Life of Christ as an obsolete thing which hindered all development of the truth.

But before I shew from Ewald and Bleek the real character of the system -- and I choose the most capable and respected (indeed, Ewald may be taken as the most complete, and as a representative of the moderate system; as Kuenen, Graf, and others whom I have not read, of the daring and open contempt of the word of God; Bleek as the most sober of all); but, I repeat -- for none regard the Scriptures as the oracles of God -- according to none of them can man live, as the Saviour teaches us (quoting Deuteronomy as authority against Satan, and silencing him by it) by words which proceed out of the mouth of God.

But I shall begin nearer home with the sermon of Dr. Marcus Dods and his excusing preface. Dr. Dods goes so far as to admit that, when the prophets say "Thus saith the Lord," a revelation has been made to them. Would he allow me to ask him, Has none been made to us, when the prophets say "Thus saith the Lord?" This you will not find from Dr. Dods. Happily, if we do not find it from him, we can from such words find it out without him. But the whole point lies there; is there a revelation to us? How God revealed the truth to the prophet is not, as he would have us believe, in question at all. No one can tell how, save as, in some cases, told us in Scripture; Numbers 12: 6, 8. But how the word of the Lord came to them, those to whom it has not thus come are not likely to know. Nor do I believe a prophet could explain it to one who had not experienced it. The question is: Is it the word of God for me as given out by the prophet? Well, if "Thus saith the Lord" be true, it clearly is; though Dr. Dods will not say so. "Similarly of the apostles," adds Dr. Dods, "I, of course, believe they are the authoritative teachers of the church, and that, in order to fit them to be so, special revelations were made to them." Is what they have written the word of God to us? This is the question. Paul tells us very distinctly how the matter stood. God has given to "us not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God; which things also we speak not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth." And he adds the third step too. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit: but they are foolishness unto him, because they are spiritually discerned."+ We may compare the words of the Lord in the special case of their answering before magistrates: "Take no thought of how or what ye shall speak, for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you." The theory of these doctors is that the gracious Lord would put words in the mouth of His servants for their difficulties: but in what was to be truth for the church at all times, the basis of its faith and its security against error, direct communication (I do not say revelation) to us of the truth was not so made by those to whom He made the revelation of it for that purpose.

+And note here, there is a difference between revelation and inspiration, a point for many reasons I should insist on. But revelation is to the divine vessel or instrument: inspiration is the communication he makes of it. The spiritual apprehension is in him who personally profits by it.

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Dr. Dods does not deny that in the case of the prophets man had revelation made to them; but he does carefully distinguish between this and the inspiration of the Scriptures, and he distinctly denies that any revelation is made by them to us. Now, in the case of the prophets, the matter is palpable, and he shirks it in the sermon, and confines it to a revelation to them in the preface, and as to the apostle says: "In their case also, I desire, as Paul himself obviously did, to bring the revelations made by God into the foreground, and to allow the inspired state of the human mind to fall back into a secondary place."

This is very poor special pleading. Of course Paul's business was not to explain a "theory of inspiration." Who thinks it was? But when the revelations were brought into the foreground, who received them then? to whom did they, or do they, become revelations? That I need to be spiritual to enjoy them is true; or, if it be gospel to a sinner, grace to work in bringing it home to him. But that is another question. But if Paul brought the revelation unadulterated, not corrupting the word of God, for so he calls it, into the foreground (that is, in his communication of it to others, I suppose, according to the measure of their spirituality), they received it, that is, the revelation he brought into the foreground, the revelation he had received himself. It was to this end it was so given to him. "When it pleased God who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, to reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen." And his boast is that through the Spirit he brought it to others as pure as he had received it himself. (See the end of 2 Corinthians 2 and 4: 2.) Of course the revelation of truth was the thing of importance. But revelation to whom? If to the hearers or readers, it was God's word to them as the apostles and prophets had received it. Thank God!

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I only recall here in passing the utter absurdity of a theory, which would tell us that God, willing in grace to give a revelation to the whole church, and in some respects to all men, gives it in such a way that, as a revelation, it goes no farther than the one to whom it is communicated. It is a very convenient system for the clergy, who may desire that we should believe all that they give us as authoritative teachers, but a poor case for us Christians that we have no revelation from God. Our good friends will say, Were not the apostles authoritative teachers? Surely; but they tell us how and why. "For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe," 1 Thessalonians 2: 13. They imparted to them the gospel of God. It was "not yea and nay, but in him was yea" -- yea "all the promises of God" were; and Peter took care they should have the things "in remembrance," and John wrote his epistle that they "might believe." There were not only authoritative teachers, which no Christian denies; but we have what was authoritatively taught, and was and is the word of God. Either we have what was revealed to Paul or others as purely and as fully as he received it, as he asserts (2 Corinthians 2: 17); or, the authoritative teachers being gone, we have no authoritative word of God at all. Nor had they directly then. Nor has, in fact, Dr. Dods any, as I will plainly shew a little farther on.

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But, before I turn to his more direct subject -- the historical part, there is another point I may notice, which refers also to the subject we have been upon. Dr. Dods believes the prophets when they say, "Thus saith the Lord." Now in the greater part of the Pentateuch (and he will "contend for the historic credibility of the narratives") we find, "And the Lord spake unto Moses," very commonly adding, "Speak unto Aaron," or "to the priests," or "to the children of Israel, and say unto them," etc. Is this true? If so, we have, not a revelation of God in history credibly reported, but the word of God revealed to us. So in Deuteronomy we find "These be the words which Moses spake unto all Israel," and then (chapter 4) he says, "Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you." Is it true, or did he deceive them or not? If not, all the commandments, which are inseparable in the four last books from the history, and the history with them, are the word of God. If it is not true, or he deceived himself, or meant to deceive others, we have no sure warrant for the history, nor any revelation of God at all. If it be true, we have the revelation made by God to Moses. I do not insist on the absurdity of a system which makes the words of the prophets in warning to the Jews, and in statements occupied with their history and future hopes as a nation, a revelation from God; and the account of the fall of man, the promises, the law, the judgment of the whole world -- a subject infinitely more important to us all -- no revelation at all. The absurdity of it stares every intelligent Christian in the face.

And now, to turn directly to the historical part of Scripture, Dr. Dods' theory is that God has revealed Himself in certain great acts, as the flood. These are revelation, and we have a credible history of them.+ Dr. Dods ignores here the word of God, and the operation of the Spirit of God in every way, and represents in a way utterly false the documents he is speaking of. Speaking of Paul's writings he says: "I may not be able at once to accept all he teaches; I cannot accept it merely because it comes to me with authority. I can only accept in doctrine that which fits itself in with my previously received ideas and my stage of mental growth." ... "Having accepted Paul or any one as an authoritative teacher, it is of course at my own risk I disagree with him in any one particular." Can there be a more complete denial that it is the word of God, or of our having any revelation from God? Who in his senses would talk of disagreeing with God in any particular?

+In the Bible, then, we meet with two things -- God's revelations of Himself, and the literature in which these revelations are recounted and preserved. Speaking of the flood, he says: "That is the revelation, and the Bible gives us an account of this revelation."

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Unless, with strange inconsistency, it be the inferior revelation of prophets, Dr. Dods has no revelation from God at all. Next, it must "fit itself in with my previously received ideas, and my stage of mental growth." Could it not possibly correct your previously received ideas, Dr. Dods? If the ideas which Paul gives us are God's ideas, do you not think they might? As to mental growth, I find, if it be mere man's mind, He hides these things from the wise and prudent, and reveals them unto babes; He chooses the foolish things to confound the wise. That there is progress in divine knowledge no one denies, and that we need the Holy Ghost to apprehend spiritual things I fully recognise; but in Dr. Dods' statement, neither as to source nor power, is there the smallest recognition of God as to our receiving what is in Scripture. What Dr. Dods would have is to "apprehend the distinction between these two things -- God's revelation of Himself, and the narrative or record of that revelation in the Bible" (page 12). There is no revelation in the narrative, note. So (preface, page 6) "All that we need contend for is the historic credibility of the narrative." It will be said, he only refers to "a special theory of inspiration." He does in order to reject the plenary inspiration of Dr. Hodge; but his theory is a theory of no inspiration, but of historic credibility. So far as the historical contents of Scripture are concerned (we have spoken of the prophets and apostolic writings), "revelation stands firm, though there should prove to be no such thing as inspiration." Now this is absurd in principle; and Dr. Dods' statements false in fact, and false as to the ground of reception. Paul tells us that all or every scripture is given by inspiration of God. I do not go through the proofs rapidly summed up in the tract Have we a Revelation from God?+ but no honest man can deny that Christ and the apostles quote all parts of the Scripture as inspired. Perhaps Dr. Dods may not agree with them; but if he does not, he does "wait with a warning over his head." He may be assured of that.

+Reprinted from vol. 1, Bible Witness and Review.

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But his moral theory is all false. Truth is presented to the conscience, and the conscience reached, but the effect, according to Scripture, is to believe the message and the messenger. The woman of Samaria, when her conscience was reached, did not answer the Lord, Who told you that? by what historical document, or story of another first witness, do you know that? but, "Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet." Her convinced soul recognised the divine authority and source of the word spoken to her. The noble ones of Berea, when it was the general truth of Christ, searched the Scriptures whether those things were so; they recognised their authority; "therefore many of them believed." Their inquiry was not whether the new truth "fitted in with their previously received ideas." Most certainly it did not (it is always fresh truth which tests the faith of the heart); but whether it fitted in with the Scriptures, the certain word of God, the revelation of God. Fresh truth which calls for faith never can be part of the historical revelation of God, or it would not be fresh. It will never be inconsistent with, but confirm, what was previously revealed. The truth previously received one may adhere to, and pride one's self in, and reject the new. "The time cometh when he that killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things they will do unto you, because they have not known the Father nor Me." I do not doubt we have all revealed truth in Scripture. In these "perilous times" we are referred to the Scriptures and expressly as inspired of God -- certainly not to my previously received ideas. And we have the promise "they shall be all taught of God." Dr. Dods recognises neither.

Further, Dr. Dods refers to the narrators in the New Testament as claiming no other ground, but that of being eyewitnesses, referring to the common objection of infidels, namely, what is said in the beginning of Luke. Now that the Lord in gracious condescension did use eye-witnesses, so that men should have no excuse for not believing, is most true and precious; but that the credibility of Scripture statements is "grounded not on any inspiration" is utterly false. I will not rest on Origen's comment on Luke's words that the others had taken it in hand as men, and Luke's was divinely undertaken in contrast with that. But, in the first place, Luke states exactly the contrary of what Dr. Dods says: "not," he says, "in any inspiration which could give him a knowledge of events of which he could not in any other way be cognisant, but upon the ordinary grounds of belief in history, namely, that he had his facts from those who were eye-witnesses." "Many," Luke says, "having taken in hand to set forth the things most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them, who from the beginning were eye-witnesses of the word, it seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first" (parekolouthekoti anothen, the word being the same as that used by Paul to Timothy (2 Timothy 3: 10), with the addition of anothen). The others had related the history as delivered by eye-witnesses. But this did not satisfy Luke; so he wrote his Gospel having perfect knowledge of everything.

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But note here that it is not merely inspiration for the knowledge of facts which is denied, but such a guarding of the writer as should preserve him from writing a false account. It was "the ordinary grounds of belief in history." Now the Lord expressly speaks of both grounds as to the apostles. The Holy Ghost would come and testify of Christ; "and ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning." Nor is this all. In John 14 the Lord says to His disciples: "he, the Comforter, shall teach you all things, and shall bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you." Dr. Dods puts on the ground of confidence a spiritual state in the apostles which made them sensitive to everything in Him which was of the highest value. We are in a spiritual region because we are in the hands of spiritual men. They had the Spirit of Christ, and so coincided with Him as to what was important. Now this shews the hollowness of all this theory. Dr. Dods has given up inspiration in the history of Christ, and even guidance, so that they should not commit errors, and we are cast upon the apostles coinciding with Christ, being spiritual men. When? When they saw all the things which passed in His life down here. What does Dr. Dods himself tell us? "We can scarcely suppose that the evangelists saw all that had to be seen in Christ, but we can only see through them." But then they must coincide with Him, and see as important what He saw as important. Now, through grace they believed He was the Christ and had the words of eternal life, and dung to Him. But will Dr. Dods shew me one single instance where they entered into His mind, where they understood Him, or, if they did, did not remain entirely opposed to what He told them? "We have no bread," when the Lord warned them against the leaven of Pharisees or others. "Hath any one brought him meat to eat?" when, rejected in Judaea, the blessed Lord's heart was expanding through the opening blessing that reached out beyond it through the conversion of one, a stranger to covenant and promise, and He had meat to eat that they knew not of. And when He told them that He should die and rise again, "they were exceeding sorry," and again, "That be far from thee,

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One sole instance we have, a heart whose affections rose with the rising hatred of the Jews just ready to kill Him, and spent the best she had in lowliness on Him; and this was to be told wherever the gospel was to be preached -- a solitary case, so strange to Him who looked for comforters and found none -- and it has been. And even after the resurrection they say on the road with Him, "We thought it had been he which should have redeemed Israel"; and the apostles most closely bound up with Him and with one another saw (were eye-witnesses, Dr. Dods) and believed, for as yet they knew not the Scriptures that He must rise from the dead, and went home again; and that was all about it for them. And another woman, clinging to His empty grave (all the world was to her if He was not there), is made to the apostles themselves the messenger of the highest privileges the saint can have, from the lips of Jesus Himself. Then, after that, He opened their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures; but He assured them too, that "blessed are they who have not seen and who yet have believed." Were they, before He made them understand the Scriptures? "Mainly this, that they had the revelation at first hand, that they were the men before whom the revelation was made, and who were so impressed with it, and saw its meaning as to be moved to preserve and perpetuate this impression for the sake of others?" What does John tell us in one case? "These things the disciples understood not at the first; but when Jesus was glorified then remembered they that these things were written of him, and they had done these things unto him," John 12: 16.

Impossible for anything to be more contrary to Scripture, or I must add greater insensibility to the sweetness and true history of that Bread which came down from heaven, than the statements of Dr. Dods. And, if it were only after He was glorified that they could tell the wondrous tale and have told it to us, blessed be God! It was not that they were impressed with it while He was there and saw its meaning; but that the Holy Ghost was come down from heaven, and they gave us a history of the Son of God, and Son of man, as none but the Holy Ghost could give, or make us understand and delight in.

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Dr. Dod's theory and principle is utterly false. Nothing but the utter darkness of man's mind and heart that could give us such a statement as that it was spiritually valuing what He valued that made them competent witnesses; that it was those who were most in sympathy with the purposes of God and who were most imbued with His own Spirit, who were best prepared to see and recount His revelations. But it is every way false. First, who could tell them of a glorified Christ? They could follow Him to the cloud; the angels told them He would come again; but what about Him while He was away? The Comforter would come and take the things of Christ and shew them to them. All things that the Father had were His: therefore He said, "He shall take of mine and shew it unto you." Where were the eye-witnesses now? Yet, sweet as it is when at peace through His precious blood to dwell and feed on that Bread come down from heaven, and attractive in itself even to the sinner, the blessing is not to look upon the things that are seen, but the things that are not seen, which are eternal, to set our affections on things above, not on things on earth. Where is our Livy or Thucydides, as they miserably say, for thus?

Hence Dr. Dods tells us what we have got by Paul's teaching is, "spirit supersedes law" -- rather poor Presbyterian teaching; but that is all he can lead us to find in it. "This is the ultimate teaching the world needs or can have." Is there nothing of the Person and glory of Christ and God's purposes in Him? I find him telling me that eye indeed hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him; but "God hath revealed them to us by his Spirit; for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? Even so, the things of God knoweth no man but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God; which things also we speak."

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Now it is quite clear that all these blessed things on which our affections are to be set, where our conversation (our politeuma) is, are known only by the revelation of the Spirit. For Dr. Dods all is simply "spirit supersedes law." Besides, Christianity is the ministration of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 3), and the veil on Moses is done away in Christ; and thus the sacrifices, the pattern of things in the heavens, and the whole scheme hidden in the shadows of the law, have their true force given to them through a suffering and glorified Christ, sitting at the right hand of God the Father till He comes again, His enemies being made His footstool. With all this history has nothing to do. It is all revealed and understood solely by the Spirit of God. There can be no history of the facts and glory of heaven. What could be heard when one went there could not be revealed at all; and the history we may in one sense have of it has no sense for us till it ceases to be history and becomes shadows of better things which the Spirit opens up to us in them.

But even in the earthly part, to spiritual intelligence the operation of the Holy Ghost in the Gospels, in the revelation of Christ on earth, is as plain as in the heavenly part. The four Gospels reveal Him in four distinct characters, as has been long ago remarked -- (1) Emmanuel-Messiah; (2) the Servant-Prophet; (3) the Son of man in grace (after the two first chapters shewing Israel's and the remnant's position); (4) the Word made flesh, eternal life in the Son of God, and at the close, the other Comforter, the Spirit, promised. And in each Gospel the Holy Ghost calls up before us, through the mind of the evangelist, what presents the Lord in the character it treats of. Take the closing scene: all is power and divine in John without suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross; in Matthew the sheep dumb before his shearers, the suffering victim without a comforter all through; in Luke more suffering expressed in Gethsemane, none on the cross; there all was grace and confidence. Mark is substantially here the same as Matthew; he takes the place of suffering instead of active service. The mission of the disciples is distinct in each Gospel. Into all this I cannot enter here, but it is not as eye-witnesses we have the accounts. Matthew was present when all went backward and fell to the ground, but tells us nothing about it. John was nearer to Christ when in an agony, but it is not his subject. John was one of those that slept, but there is not a word of it. Mark was not, but tells us all about it. Who told them the infancy of the Lord? If we believe Lange, it was Mary, with plenty of nonsense about it. The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, the Word made flesh, was worthy of one historian, alone capable of writing His history, the Spirit of God; happy those who were made the instruments of doing it! No Christian denies that the twelve, at least, were eyewitnesses, and he appreciates God's grace in it in dealing with men. But none but an infidel as to God's revelation denies the operation of the Spirit of God in the testimony they have given.

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It remains for me to speak of the history of the Old Testament, before I shew what the principles of this school are, a school with which Dr. Dods has fully identified himself, not only in general principles, but in the whole scheme on which these principles are carried out. My reader need not suppose I charge Dr. Dods with agreeing with them in details, for no two of them agree. Dr. Bleek, for example, declares Ewald's as utterly unproved and ungrounded. So Ilgen's, of which I only know by report. But these details merely refer to the dates at which the different histories of which the Pentateuch is compiled were written. There are in the main two schools, one making Deuteronomy the first book, and the body of the Pentateuch worked up after the captivity, with some Mosaic tradition, but no regular book of law till Josiah's time (that there was no regular book of the law is pretty much Bleek's view too); the others that the body of the laws are Mosaic, though not written by him, save a song or two and register of journey, Deuteronomy with Joshua coming in their natural order.

But all leave a revelation by Moses entirely out of the question, indeed all revelation; and it is to this system in its actual form Dr. Dods in the note to page 18 gives his adherence, besides insisting in the text on the infidel principle of it. The Bible is not a revelation, but a record of the historic facts in which God has revealed Himself, such as the flood, etc. Now all this is as shallow and poor as can be. We have an ordinary historical account, "the ordinary grounds of belief in history." But first, by the historical writers of Scripture Dr. Dods does not mean what we have actually in Scripture at all -- that is merely an account compiled out of them; at any rate, "not always those who brought the books into their final state, but those, whoever they were, who first recorded the revelations made." One thing is never thought of in any shape -- God's having anything to do with the record. The prime requisite is knowledge of these facts at first hand. But this we have not got at all, "Whoever they were!" Some fragments may be preserved, songs and genealogies, and different documents, a very few from the first hand, and these curtailed, added to, fashioned according to the thoughts of those "who brought the books into their final shape." So that what we have got may be as to a part of the history from the first hand, whoever he was, but may not be. But at any rate they were "brought into shape," so that "first hand" we certainly have not!

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But there are other serious difficulties. Though there are important facts revealing God's ways, the greater part of the historical books are not composed of facts at all. They are laws, exhortations, promises, warnings, prophecies, institutions, which were the shadow of good things to come -- feasts which prefigured great future dealings of God; things purposely ordered to be patterns of things in the heavens; God's estimate of men, the conduct of men as laying the ground of God's ways with them, and that often of the deepest instruction and the finest development of motives in men, and in God as to His government; the elements, as in Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, of God's future dealings; personages who came out involving immense principles of God's dealings in otherwise trifling incidents, and principles and relationships which run through God's ways on to glory, yet with no great revelation of God in the acts themselves, as for instance, Melchisedec; things "which happened unto them for examples, and written for our admonition on whom the ends of the world are come." There seems a purpose here in their being written. Whose? Of those who first recorded the revelations, in all these details, or those who brought the books into their final shape? or of God in His wise and holy counsel?

But I have some further inquiry to make on this statement that God gave revelations of Himself in His acts, and then we have a credible account of them from eye-witnesses at first hand. Take Dr. Dods' example, the flood. What eye-witness gave us the account of this, or of the tower of Babel -- nay, even of Abraham's altars, of Jacob's wrestling? Did Adam record for the benefit of his posterity his disobedience and sin, and exclusion from paradise, and the barring of the way back to the tree of life on which the whole history of man, and Satan, and redemption, and mediately or immediately judgment, depends? What "first hand" wrote the ordinary credible history of what passed in the garden? We may go farther, if need be, to do so. Has Dr. Dods got the morning stars and the sons of God who shouted for joy to give us a credible history of creation?+ Was anyone there to hear, "Let us make man in our image?"

+The tabernacle, some of these doctors tell us, could not have been made or exist in the wilderness, did not in the land, as the history of the nation proves, but was invented, being copied from the temple when it was known. This shews the importance of the principle, for it was made after the pattern in the mount; and it is so treated in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

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But why should I continue? Was ever such senseless stuff? Whether we consider the delicate shades of thought in a thousand cases, small events of the utmost import, statements of what God thought and said, and a multitude of facts which no eye had seen, and all forming part of an immense scheme of God as to man, and of His glory in Christ, and gathering together all things in Him, every part of the record (which, thank God, we do possess) shews the gross and senseless absurdity of the whole scheme.

I shall shew what the authors of this system, those from whom all this is drawn, and whose system is substantially accepted in Dr. Dods' note, to which I have referred, make of these "Urkunde und Quellschriften," those who first recorded the revelations; but I thought it best first to take up Dr. Dods' statements themselves as he presents them. He does not go so far as the gravest of them as to the prophets; he carefully confines himself to the historical books, and I have done so. Divine and interesting as the prophets are, the history contained in Genesis is of far more importance to us. Of this, according to the system, we have no revealed record, but only what rests on the ordinary grounds of historic credibility; and, moreover, in cases where the whole plan of man with God depends on it, and redemption has all its sense from it, we cannot possibly have any such history at all. Does the revelation of the thoughts, and what I may call the private thoughts, of God, rest on the ordinary grounds of historic credibility? It is puerile absurdity, an infidel rejection of what Christ and the apostles have told and taught us as to these books; while the saint who has to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God, that word which pierces to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, has no such word to look to at all.

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I turn to Ewald and Bleek, leaving aside Kuenen and Graf, whom I may call openly infidel. Ewald shews at once his view of the matter. The beginning of his "Geschichte Israels" is a dissertation on the nature of legend; how it develops itself, and the forms it takes under various circumstances; in fact, a mere abstract statement of what he is going to tell us of the Bible, and drawn from his view of it. I leave aside the references to the Book of the Wars of the Lord, and a supposed account of Moses' life,+ to one of which the Scriptures themselves refer, as not material, to come to his first larger source of the history, the "Book of Covenants." Here all refers to covenants -- Jacob and Laban, Isaac and Abimelech, Abraham and Abimelech -- shewing restless and unsettled times. This, therefore, will have been written in the time of the Judges, in the latter half of the period, or more exactly at the beginning of Samson's rule, etc.

But Genesis 49 leads to a closer knowledge of the time. This flows entirely from seeing the twelve tribes as they dwelt scattered in Canaan in the time of the Judges. Nothing could describe in a more lively way their then state than this song. Deuteronomy 33, which was a copy of it made in the time of kingly rule to fill up the felt want in that of Genesis, shews it was made earlier, when Israel's unity was not established. But verses 16-18, where Dan is spoken of most exactly, shew us the time, as they clearly refer to Samson's time and his being in the judge's office, describing his heroic dealing against the Philistines; and in a note it is added, as also among the Arabs, the image of a warrior as a serpent is largely developed. And the more certainly this position of the tribe under Samson was soon over, so the more surely must such an utterance be written down during the short happy elevation of Samson. So the state of things related in Judges 1 is evidently the state of things in the time of the composer -- a state already so fully changed under the Kings, that the "Book of Origins" sketches a totally different picture of Joshua's and Moses' days. The stream of accounts handed down flowed more richly, as we might expect, when no more important time had eclipsed them. So the legends as to the patriarchs were taken up into this work evidently circumstantially, and with remembrances whose completeness subsequently constantly suffers. Their time was so distant from that of the composers that he could there venture on a higher artistic presentation with poetic freedom. That the dying man had a clearer sight, and specially a dying patriarch could cast his view over the future of his posterity, was the view of all antiquity. And so the composer dared to bring in the dying Jacob as a higher voice of pure truths to be spoken of all the tribes. As he had to praise and sharply blame some of them on seeing the state of the scattered tribes with a troubled heart, his spirit takes refuge in++ the memory of the patriarch Jacob and it. Not only Moses' blessing (Deuteronomy 33), but such utterances as Genesis 48: 15-19; chapter 27: 27-29; chapter 39 ff.; Numbers 23 f., depend entirely on this model.

+He refers what is said of Jethro to this, and I think this only.

++Or "goes off to" flüchtete.

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Now I ask if, in all this account of the recorders of the first revelation of God, there is the smallest sign of God's Spirit, or of anything coming from God at all? It is purely a human composition, not a contemporary one; and if there be an allusion to an event which the professed author puts forth as a prophecy, it is a proof that it was written at the time prophesied of. That is, there is a complete denial of all inspiration. From this author we have the decalogue, only without the reference in the seventh day to the creation which was added by the author of the "Book of Origins." But that blessing of Jacob's shews a genuine prophetical spirit, so in the conclusion of covenant with God; Exodus 23: 20-23. He adopted older songs, already written down, into his work, as Exodus 15: 1-19; Numbers 21: 17, profiting by the above-mentioned Wars of the Lord. "On the other hand, it is impossible to think that such verses as Jacob's blessing (Genesis 49? springs from anything else than mere artistic power in composition.

I add this part as shewing what genuine prophetic spirit means. So we must regard a considerable part of the Mosaic laws as got from old writings, which must be from an earlier date, as he introduces them as communicated to Moses by God after the decalogue to be laid before the people. "The book of Jasher" contained songs which furnished abundant materials in historical songs. It was an historical book of instruction without connected history. It was written in the beginning of Solomon's reign. This brings us to the "Book of Origins," written, says Ewald, at that time. Only I must add (124) that Exodus 20: 23 to chapter 24: 19 was introduced into the "Book of Covenants." But what I have given as to the "Book of Covenants" may suffice.

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The "Book of Origins," Ewald tells us, was a much larger work than the "Book of Covenants," and more recent, belonging to the reign of the early kings, which gives its whole character and we have much larger fragments of it. The date is clear from the way in which, in the midst of describing the time of the patriarchs, he is looking at his own time. The author of the "Book of Covenants" had only once made Jacob cast his eyes forward to the latest future, and therewith into the beclouded time of the author (time of the Judges). But the author of the "Book of Origins" (in Solomon's time) is bolder, and in this the voice of God appearing to the patriarchs overflows often in cheerful utterances and joyous promises for the seed or later posterity, as if the time of the author (to which such utterances with the hope that their blessings would yet last to future times properly refer), was one of the rare times which from a mighty train of complete prosperity feel themselves lifted higher, and look forward to yet greater; and we find, among other things, Abraham and Sarah and Jacob would become a multitude of nations, and kings would arise out of them. How then could the blessing be limited to a definite and peculiar, and so evidently accidental, a blessing as that kings should descend from the patriarchs? This question can never be answered unless we hold fast that the work was composed in the times of the first opening bloom of the kingdom, which furthered Israel's true good.

So the change from kings in Edom to heads of tribes comes from David's conquest of Edom. And the name of Hadad, who fled to Egypt, is found in the name of the last king. But the exact time is learned from 1 Kings 8: 2. Much, no doubt, as we now have it, is worked up by a later hand; still we have much of the authors, and yet it must be before the glorious time of the kingdom was over, and no better termination than "the glory of the Lord filled the house" would be found, so that we may hold for certain that the work was completed in the first third of Solomon's rule. He favours thus Judah, but was a Levite, as the author of the "Book of Covenants" certainly was not. His object in this time of rest was to take a survey of history in its whole compass, bringing it down, however, always to Israel as the central object, following constantly that line of genealogy, but going up to the origin of all history like the Grecians after their conquests over the Persians. But then he goes back to the origin of the various heads of the four ages, Mosaic, Patriarchal, Noachic, and Adamic: so it is a book of origins. This refers to the expression, "These are the generations" (Toledoth) of such a one as Noah, and then, as in Genesis 5: 1 "these are the generations of man" (Adam). But the picture (Schilderung) rises up boldly yet beyond all that, seeking to declare (erklaren) or expound the origin even of all that is visible in a history of the creation (Genesis 1 and 2: 1-3); yet this only to be treated as an introduction to the proper work which begins at chapter 5: I. It might give us still oftener the title "These are the generations" (origins), even afterwards as to the tribal genealogies of Israel, if the most of these parts of the work were not at present lost.

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There is, he tells us, a special charm in these accounts. A not less healthful than strengthening breath of an elevated spirit blows on every feeling reader, and only the author, because he lived through his own time with the warmest participation in it and a treasure of royal thoughts, could understand what was most elevated in antiquity in the liveliest way, and bring forward for posterity with a master hand what lay there not to be lost and elevating, and paint it with increasing attractiveness, without for that reason failing to recognise the higher happiness which the bloom of the present kingdom afforded. Then attention could be turned also to the whole state of the people as to laws, as it had formed itself gradually since the dark times of antiquity and then existed, but certainly had never till then been the exhausted subject of writing; for attempts indeed at shorter compilations of the most important laws of the people, besides the decalogue, had been made in writing, and many of them might at that time have been long written, as the oldest somewhat circumstantial attempt at a code known to us (Exodus 20: 2, or rather 23, to 23: 19), was inserted in the former work ("Book of Covenants"), and as the "Book of Origins" has adopted two smaller collections of laws. But the smallest trace fails us, and it is in itself improbable that the whole wide compass of all possible (denkbaren, thinkable) legal determinations and holy instructions had ever been made in writing at an earlier time.

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He tells us that Hosea (chapter 8: 12) sets out as supposed that, in his time, and specially in the northern kingdom, a number of books like the "Book of Origins," and not a few highly esteemed, were current, but not in the least heeded by the government. But this stream of myriads of written laws could not be very old.+ This expression of Hosea's shews that such writings at first had no public recognition, but as free products of skill in authorship were current for centuries among the people, and some of them, perhaps, had won a higher consideration and become holy, and so must we evidently think of the "Book of Origins." This specially as regards the origin of the Mosaic sanctuaries and institutions and the rights of the priestly race, and as it paints all that was of law and rights as having its origin in the first beginning of the olden time (Urzeit); so also in that account sets it forth with so much the greater diligence and development, so that it should be valid at the present time (David and Solomon) as pattern and rule. So it was, he tells us, with the Indian Puranas. And as the previous writer ("Book of Covenants") had his point of departure from the idea of the covenant established in Sinai; so the "Book of Origins" undertakes to shew what divine laws and covenants had their origin already in the beginning of the previous ages under Abraham, Noah, and Adam, and how the laws and precepts, like man's race, even from the simplest beginnings onwards have always spread out and been developed. (Genesis 17; chapter 9: 1-17; chapter 1: 27-30 are quoted.)

Right and law are not in all times the same. They change, especially according to the great changes and windings about of all human history: and yet every valid right must stand on ground above men and bind them as a divine command, as if it took effect through a covenant between God and mankind. And as he had the consciousness that many laws which prevailed in the community had their origin in the olden time before Moses, so he links the explanation of the obligation and use of circumcision to a suited occasion in patriarchal times. Hence in the proper Mosaical history he seizes every occasion to insert what is of law; expounds at the exodus from Egypt, in full detail, the laws as to the passover and firstborn; and puts off the chief subject of Mosaic institutions and laws (the sanctuary and the priestly race) into the short time of the sojourn of the people at Sinai; partly while according to all fixed remembrance the people were really formed anew under the establishment of the last great covenant of men with God, and partly because of the suitable resting-place for the exposition of a great connected collection of institutions and laws; and specially so as to the sanctuary, the highest centre of the religion and constitution of the people, and as to the ark glorified by being received into Solomon's temple, made after the pattern of that sanctuary. And thus the author starts from that visible sanctuary (the temple) in his sketch of the whole that was to be pictured; describes it with all that belonged to it as made according to the divine pattern shewn and prescribed to Moses; and then gives the sacrifices and their order and use. Only Numbers 19 ought to be inserted after Leviticus 16.

+In the English translation we read: I have written to them the great things of my law. Ewald translates "great thing," rebehv myriads, and I suppose does not heed my law torathi.

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If we treat now the whole manner and way in which the author puts in order and describes the Mosaic laws in recounting the history, there cannot be the smallest doubt that it is solely on this account that he describes them as communicated from Jehovah to Moses, and through Moses to the congregation, or Aaron, if the contents concern the priesthood; namely, that, as in his time they were in force as holy, an historian could only place their origin in that commencement of the congregation. They had won their force and holiness through long use, and so the author puts them as divine commands. Hence he has to seek what goes back to Moses' time, and what gradually or from other causes had come in. The author does not set up to be Moses. And when a prescription in the connected whole of the description applied only to the land, not in the wilderness, the author makes Moses announce it prophetically, sometimes with the addition, "When ye are come into the land." He revives the law-giving time, and depicts Moses and Joshua as models of leaders of the people, himself imbued with the same spirit. And certainly he took much out of the former historical work, or worked it up after his own manner, and took what was already in it, the inimitably described manifestation at Sinai, and with it the decalogue (where the words Exodus 20: 9-11 are an addition from himself), the rather, as it was necessary in itself. He then praises largely the author for a priestly, lawgiving, leading royal spirit, and closes with thus apostrophising the author's elevated spirit whose writings have for centuries succeeded in being taken for those of the great hero Moses himself. "I know not thy name, and guess only from thy traces where thou walkedst in time, and what thou didst; but these traces lead me irrecusably on not to take thee immediately for him who was greater than thee, and whom thou couldst thyself honour as he deserved. So see that in me there is nothing false, and no desire not to recognise thee altogether as thou wast."

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Having given Ewald's estimate of the historical books, and, where it was of moment, in his own words, as regards the two chief original histories, the rest need not occupy us long. There were, he tells us, a third, fourth, and, in the second edition, a fifth narrator, who worked it up. And here remark it is not that there were original documents used, which is possible: but what we have is the work of those who composed the history. The earliest (save a small fragment or two of a life of Moses, and the Book of the Wars of the Lord) was composed in the time of Samson; we have not even the ten commandments as they were originally given. The various morsels of the third narrator are given in page 145 (third edition). The special excellence of this writer is the uncommonly high and clear view of the work of the prophetic and divine Spirit which appears more or less in different minds, and gives us some of the finest pieces in the Old Testament, as Numbers 11. Still though elevated, he is far from the artistic painting and bolder picturing of him (the fourth) who will soon be described. He had much to do with the account of Joseph, but a good deal was woven in afterwards. He lived in the time of the prophets Joel and Elias, in the ninth or tenth century before Christ, and belonged to the northern kingdom, so that his work was for it what the "Book of Origins" was for Judah. He gives the different bits in the Pentateuch which belong to this writer. I shall only give what shews the estimate of these new German views, which are to replace inspiration and the revelation of divine thoughts and intentions in the word of God. The pieces of the fourth narrator shew a high and ripest cultivation of all spiritual powers and capacities of the ancient people which can hardly be surpassed. One may justly maintain that, in the handling of the original early history, this work presents the progress to the extremest freedom of conception and picturing beyond which nothing more is possible as the pure artistic giving form to, and profiting by, legend; and one recognises easily, in the form of the whole popular life of the time which shines out from it, the commencing of loosening the chains of the old limits of the Mosaic religion, and the powerful rising again of many new thoughts and strivings.

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This in a note to the reference he compares to the bright days of Islam after the Crusades, though in a different spirit then. The prophetic spirit which characterises it, flowing out ever wider, over its nearest limits, also completely fills now the original early history and transforms it with the greatest freedom into more beautiful new forms. Thus Messianic hopes link themselves, as we see in the great prophets, the most easily to the historical beginning of all the higher life of the patriarchs. The beginning and end meet -- what is between is only development -- so that we hardly find more elevated expectations uttered by the great prophets. The third narrator kept closer to tradition, and was in the prophetic point of view what the "Book of Origins" was to the lawgiving; whereas the prophetic thought in this work governs the history as its own field, and handles it from the outset onward with all freedom. To this is ascribed Genesis 12: 1-3; chapter 18: 18 ff., chapter 22: 16-18; chapter 26: 4 ff.; chapter 28: 13, the fully-formed Messianic hopes, the truth of the infinite grace of Jehovah surpassing everything, along with the deepest sinfulness and corruption of the earthly (natural) man, the like of the not accidental origin of evil in man, are such luminous thoughts as the sun of that century first elicited from holy ground (that is, the ninth or eighth century before Christ). This fourth narrator introduces, losing sight of the difference of times, Mosaic sacrifices, as in the case of Noah, and even in Cain and Abel, without anxiously asking if they belonged to the gate of paradise. The wickedness of Gibeah was the pattern of that of Sodom, as one cannot have originated without the other. And as Amos refers to Sodom and Gomorrha only, our narrator confines himself to these. Through this new birth of old history much has been preserved from legendary traditions, but also through this working up much has been broken up (aufgelost) and become unrecognisable, or thrown away as of no importance.

The fifth narrator belongs to about Joel's time. From him the first great collection and thorough working up of all the previous sources of the original early history proceeded; to him the whole present Pentateuch and book of Joshua must be referred, except the three kinds of additions which were inserted later. So that we have a narrator who indeed sketches much altogether new with his own hand, and according to his own thought, as the need of his own time seemed to require it, but most of it only out of older writings, either verbally repeated, or here and there somewhat changed, and on the whole is more a collector and thorough worker-up than an independent writer and original historian. The distinction of Israel and the other nations is more strongly marked, particularly Edom, Moab, and Ammon, who were then throwing off Israel's yoke, whence the prophecy of Balaam, the Assyrian being looked at rather as a friendly power, Josephus enabling us to trace the place of Amalekites and Kenites then. The ships of Chittim refer to a war of the Phoenicians for the subjugation of Cyprus, whence pirates had been attacking all those coasts, as we read that Elulaus, king of Tyre, conquered those of Chittim, etc. But, through this division of foes and friends of the spiritual religion, which was much more marked then, this historian introduces a remarkable supplement to the "Book of Origins," in that he sets up in the olden time before the flood an opposition of holy and corrupt, of good and bad among men; Genesis 4.

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After the previous one had already pursued the origin of wickedness farther up to the first man, and has developed it there at the same time in a prophetic way, he brings in striking pictures of things before the history, as Genesis 15 before 17, and so on. But he leaves out a great deal of what he had before him. So he sets Jehovah in addition to Elohim (Genesis 2: 5; chapter 3), which he had from the fourth narrator, but gives up the unusual dragging double name in the simple relation; Genesis 4. However freely the fourth narrator has handled the original history, it is never with a law-giving object; for the single time when he brings forward laws he does it only in his usual competition with the old sources (Exodus 34: 10-26), in order to declare the decalogue and its origin in his own way. Leviticus 26 is inserted by him, and could only have been written after the dispersion of one kingdom, as we have the sorrowful feelings of the descendants of those dispersed (verses 36-40), so that this could not have been written before the end of the eighth or beginning of the seventh century (B.C.).

Last of all came the author of Deuteronomy in the time of corruption after Hezekiah, and the author (desirous, as this advanced age required, to improve the Davidical kingdom yet existing) introduces Moses himself as speaking; and as he conceals himself under the name of Moses, so does he the king, whom he wishes to improve the state of things, under the name of Joshua; but he deals more boldly with history as in so far removed a time.

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I need not go farther into the details as to Deuteronomy. Its character and that of Joshua in Ewald's eyes is clear from what has been said. It was written in the latter half of King Manasseh's reign, and in Egypt. It was the book which was the foundation of the reformation in Josiah's time. Deuteronomy 33 is an imitation of Genesis 49. The song (chapter 32) was already written in Jeremiah's time. The wish that Judah should come to his people shews the time of composition, when it was hoped all Israel would be subject to the king of Judah. It appeared as a distinct work, but was wrought up into one with the previous works, already much read. Ewald describes the way in which he who put it all together managed. The Deuteronomist calls the great previous collection Law of God, or of Moses; so the old name of the "Book of Origins" and others was forced into the background. Then, by the later transformations and additions, the true old divisions of the "Book of Origins" were made thoroughly obscure, and the whole work such as it became at last, we know not by whom, thrown into six parts. Still, out of the wreck of the older writings, and the multitude of later additions, much of what was original glimmers forth, and all later transformations have been able to cast fully into darkness neither the elevated remains of writing of the earliest time, scattered in the work, nor the whole history of the origin of the work -- at least with the more accurate search which alone is the fruitful as it is the becoming one.

My reader will now understand what Dr. Dods means when he says of the historical writers of Scripture, "Meaning by the historical writers of Scripture not always those who brought the books into their final shape, but those, whoever they were, who first recorded the revelations made": only remembering that Scripture is not a revelation. For Dr. Dods God's public acts are that, Scripture only an account of them. His "theory of inspiration" as to these books is that there is none at all. We have nothing really from God but old legends, the first a hundred years after Moses, containing a chapter and a half about Jethro, and then a number of books, the two principal writers in the Judges' and Solomon's time, but transformed (umgestaltet), worked up (umarbeitet, verarbeitet) and added to, for centuries, and at last Deuteronomy and Joshua added, and the whole brought into form. Prophecies of events give the date of writing, because the reference to them shewed the writer has these events before his eyes. The result is easily apparent now. What an uncommon fate this great work ran through before it received its present form! How from a little beginning, with every important change of the whole Hebrew literature on to the end of the seventh or beginning of the sixth century, it grew and was changed! In the course of the strong changes and transformations which this great work experienced, much in it has lost its original clearness and peculiarity more and more!

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A comfortable look-out this for those who sit down to read the word of God, or even a credible history of God's revelations of Himself!

I turn to Bleek. He is, in certain respects, more sober and moderate than others, but rejects all inspiration avowedly, and in his statements there is no ground left for any at all. I shall quote enough to shew this, but be more brief, as the main general principles are already given from Ewald, and as to details none of them agree. Bleek rejects Ewald's system, as Ewald had done one of his own previously formed. Bleek says, "Ewald there (in G. I.) assumes, as we have said, but for the most part without bringing forward any actual proof." And again, after speaking of Ewald's system, he says, "I cannot say, however, that I see anything at all to lead me to this view, but the contrary," etc.

Bleek holds to the notion of Elohistic and Jehovistic documents invented by Astruc,+ but that with more sober judgment than most, holding that the great body of Moses' laws were made for the desert, as shewn by expressions in them, and written contemporaneously with their enactments, but that discrepancies, dislocations, repetitions of the same scenes, prove other hands, and diverse documents to have been made use of in compiling it. But his proofs of Moses' authorship or of that of contemporaneous authorship of the laws from the allusions to the camp and the naming of Aaron, Riehm (Stud.-u-Krit.) holds not to be at all valid. Indeed we have only to read the various systems of the writers to see how untrustworthy they all are. United in one thing the denial of inspiration asserted explicitly by the apostle Paul, whom they ignore, as indeed by the Lord Himself, who teaches us to live by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (and where are these to be found if Scripture be not inspired?) not one of them agrees with the other. Each frames a system for himself, and often changes his own, as Ewald himself and Bleek did.

+Ewald had resisted this but (it seems) changed his mind; so he says little about it.

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Note here the immense difference as to the intelligence of Scripture involved in inspiration, and the way they are thrown into these false systems by denying it. First, the general purpose of God, the mind of God, is lost. It is the notion or feeling of the individual writer which governs the statements. All true clue to the bearing of the passage is lost, the difference between grace and government under law. But, further, as the denial of inspiration precludes prophecy, where any allusion to subsequent facts is made, this must be written after the things had happened.

Paul tells us further, "these things happened unto them for ensamples (types, tupoi), and they are written for our admonition on whom the ends of the world are come." Now, if God be the author, I have here, to be sought patiently and humbly, what the admonition is in the things which happened for this purpose; but if a possibly credible history framed by the feelings of the writer be all I have, I cannot look for what the apostle tells me is there.

Again, as an illustration of their dislocations (Numbers 19), the red heifer ought to come after the sacrifices in Leviticus. Now this only shews total ignorance of the mind and grace of God in these things. In the beginning of Leviticus we have all the aspects of the sacrifice of Christ in the most exquisite detail, and the exact expression of its divine truth and bearing: but as it is in itself, and its various value as the basis of our approach to God. Numbers gives us our journey through the desert, where we are in danger of defiling our feet, and rendering ourselves unfit for communion, though belonging to the Lord and under the efficacy of the atonement through which the Lord imputes no sin. Here, therefore, exactly in its place, the provision for the defilement which interrupts communion is made known. But, where there is no inspiration, there is no mind of God to be sought for. A mere credible arrangement of facts with human motives gives no ground for it. For these writers, consequently, there is no thought of a mind of God in the book at all. If there is such a thing, therefore, they have wholly lost the clue to the interpretation and order of the books. Thus it is not a question of a theory of inspiration. There is in the book no revelation of the mind of God at all.

[Page 165]

Bleek does not conceal this, nor make really any middle system between verbal inspiration and human authorship. Carpzov, he says, holds that the Biblical historians generally received the whole contents of their works both in matter and form by immediate inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and not by means of tradition or independent inquiry. But such an assumption is altogether unnatural' and untenable, if we take an impartial view of the contents and form of the historical works in the Holy Scriptures. Opinions, indeed, vary as to the exact mode in which the Holy Spirit co-operated, etc.; but it will be acknowledged by all without further question, that, if their history treats of times and events which they had not themselves lived in or taken part in, the knowledge of them must have come to them by means of tradition ... . But the probability of the purity of tradition handed down from ancient times is always greater if it comes through writings removed as little as possible from the date of the events than when it is merely oral.

I have some doubt of this. Oral tradition may be vague, of course, but written accounts of this kind are not sober history but myths, and arranged by priests in connection with their false gods, ancestral worship and what ministers to their influence. Take the written accounts in Cory's Ancient Fragments, the Vedas and Puranas, or even G. Smith's account of the flood, one of the most striking of these legends, or Deucalion's, or the history of the Titans; and see whether written accounts secure accuracy. I shall be told that these are poetry and myths. All of them are not, save (which is the very point I insist on) that these ancient accounts always seek the marvellous. Accounts are handed down, and when by men left to themselves, they make myths of them in every country, whilst Scripture gives the divine account of events which in man's hands were made myths of.

But there must be more than man to present the truth, the divine view of it, and to give even a certain account of events far back in the world's history. Besides, who is to select the facts which are morally important so as to bring out responsibility, and promise, and law in their order, and lay the foundations of grace in sin and God's sovereign love, giving hope by prophecy, while law and responsibility were insisted on, till the rejection of the Son of God come in love shewed that grace only could avail for man; while the ordering of the sacrifices gives a far fuller view of that of Christ than anything in the New Testament, though when offered, after all they were not understood? It is a whole which certainly man never put together. I have no objection at all, as I have long ago said in reply to this infidelity elsewhere, to a thousand documents, provided it is God who out of them gives me His mind.

[Page 166]

But to return to Bleek. He accepts the Elohistic and Jehovistic theory of Astruc and others; and the main body of history he accounts with many to be the Elohistic one, the same, he declares, as Ewald's Book of Origins. But repetitions of the same story as Bethel, Beersheba, etc., prove it was put together, not written by Moses, or one Mosaical author. But there is more. As to this he is very decided. The idea of inspired prophecy is not admitted. He might assume with Ewald that the interest in Joseph might arise from its being from a northern author, if their composition happened so late as Ewald states it. But if so, how came Judah to receive it? As to God's having anything to say to the history, that is not in question. He then settles that this Elohistic writing extended down from the creation to Saul. The references to taking possession of the land of Canaan, and Joseph's bones, so again the promise that kings should descend from Abraham, are proofs of the date at which it was written. This is done in such a way that it may be supposed with great likelihood that he had the fulfilment of these promises before his eyes; so that it was not written, at the earliest, before the days of Saul. No other author but one who had set forth the command of Joseph concerning his bones would have related so trivial a circumstance as their burial. The certainty of faith that God would fulfil His promises, noticed withal in Hebrews 11, never enters their head. It was doubtless drawn from more ancient accounts by the Elohistic writer; but it was natural that they should be interested in such a part of their ancestors' history, and this was revised and expanded in our book of Genesis. However, Ewald's account of it is lacking in proof and clearly arbitrary. It would seem, however, that the author of our Elohistic ground writing did not employ the materials he derived from the earlier records exactly in the same way as the Jehovistic completer of the work dealt with his sources. Instead of simply appropriating them in all their original peculiarities of form, he adopted them in accordance with his own individuality as an author.

[Page 167]

The Elohistic "writing endeavoured to avoid introducing references to Mosaic or post-Mosaic circumstances and regulations into the patriarchal times." Thus there is nothing of clean and unclean beasts. Did Noah make the difference, or did he not? "It does not certainly admit of a question that the author of the Elohistic writing formed his narrative in general accordance with the historical tradition as he found it already existing, in ancient, perhaps pre-Mosaic, records. But we should expect from the individuality which he exhibits as an author, if he himself had belonged to a time when David and Solomon had raised the tribe of Judah to such great distinction and pre-eminence over all the other tribes, that the ancestor of that tribe would have come forward far more prominently among his brethren than is actually the case." Ewald's view is quite inadmissible, etc.

The sum of the discussion in which he seeks to refute Ewald is based on the principle that the whole character of the writing is produced by the circumstances in which the author found himself, whether under Saul, as he says, or Solomon, as Ewald holds. But it is too long for me to introduce here. Only all this shews that there is not a thought of God's hand in it or inspiration, or even God's guardian care, but simply and solely of man. But I will add a few passages to confirm this on Exodus 15. As to a part of it, he says, from the context, and the whole relation which this bears to what precedes, it is not likely that Moses would have expressed himself in this way immediately after the passage of the Red Sea, etc. Again, "These unmistakable inaccuracies and things not agreeing with the context could not in any way have got into the narrative, if the latter had been appended to their laws by Moses himself or a contemporary of his, and above all, not very easily if the whole were the work of a thoroughly independent historian." ... The circumstances attending it lead us to think that the visit of Jethro to Moses is placed too soon in the history; also, that the Mosaic ordinances on the institution of the tabernacle of covenant likewise have too early a place. It is likewise previously remarked that in other respects the narratives are in themselves somewhat obscure and inaccurate, not rightly agreeing at least with other accounts of the Pentateuch.

[Page 168]

Now I do not hesitate to say that all this judgment flows solely from ignorance of the divine mind in the passages, and consequent inability to estimate the perfect and admirable order and connection in which the passages occur. They are a series in which that divine order is singularly striking; but those who leave out God in the matter cannot, of course, discern His wisdom or His order in it. "There are several times in Exodus accounts of something being written down by Moses, once in reference to historical matters of fact, and twice as to legal ordinances, yet there is plainly nothing about them which, by its whole internal character, would shew them to be genuinely Mosaic. In Leviticus 26 the author of this admonitory discourse, as it here runs, probably had the circumstance under his notice that the people had been punished, at least partly, by expulsion from their country, and consequently its composition in its present form must have occurred at a later date than that of the Jehovistic. This last is perhaps not later than the reign of David, and not quite in the latter part of his reign." (Volume 1, 299, Venables' Translation.) As to Balaam's prophecy, I think it must be assumed that the speeches of Balaam were not literally recorded just as he delivered them, since even a contemporary Israelitish author could not easily have gained an exact knowledge of them. We have reason to suppose that the prophecies received the form in which we now have them through the Hebrew author, who composed the whole narrative and perhaps knew nothing more definite of their purport than that the foreign seer, instead of cursing the Israelites conformably to the wish of the Moabitish king, had repeatedly blessed them. Can we have a more complete setting aside of God in the whole matter? After further dwelling on the language (Hebrew), and the name Jehovah, neither of which the Mesopotamian would have used, he says: "Now if our assumption as to the authorship be correct, we may, of course, very well suppose that the circumstances by which he himself was surrounded floated across the mind of the Hebrew composer of the narrative, and in this way he came unconsciously to intermingle with it references bearing the marks of his own time, or the wishes and hopes which he entertained." Thus he ascertains the date. He is disposed, though it be difficult, to decide it was in Saul's reign. Hence the Elohist may have written it, otherwise the Jehovist must have met with and adopted it. There might perhaps have existed in the Elohistic writing a shorter and somewhat differently-shaped narrative of Balaam's history; and this is pointed out to us in chapter 31: 8-16, since Balaam here appears under somewhat different circumstances ... . It is not to be denied, however, that the last verses in Balaam's speeches present great difficulties ... . To me it continues to be the more probable view that the conclusion of his discourse ran somewhat differently in the original narrative than it does at present, and that its present form belongs to a later time than the composition of the rest of the account, and of the whole book of Numbers, etc.

[Page 169]

To such straits do those reduce themselves who deny inspiration. Denying the possibility consequently of prophecy, they fix the date of composition by the circumstances mentioned in it, and, when there are several as here, are at their wits' end. But the ridiculous notion of a credible contemporary history disappears as much as inspiration; and what have we got instead of the word of God?

But these, as we have seen, are substantially on the same ground, be it in the sober speculations of Bleek, or in the enthusiastic admiration of the more poetic Ewald. The historic books of scripture are treated as mere traditions worked up by human authors; that is, as human compositions, and if any part has the form of prophecy, it is used as a proof that the author lived at the time the event referred to happened, and then put it in a prophetic form into the mouth of Moses or Abraham, etc.

I do not think Dr. Dods, in the very flimsy sermon and excuse for it which he has published, honest on the point. He says, so far as regards the narration of events, in which God has revealed Himself, we find the historical writers of scripture, in thorough agreement with criticism, asserting that the prime requisite is knowledge of these facts at first-hand; and he quotes Luke, and quotes him falsely, making him say exactly the contrary of what he does say. But what has this to do with the matter in question? This is substantially the inspiration of the Old Testament, where he passes over the fact that in the most important parts of it such a principle can by no possibility apply. There are no accounts written by eyewitnesses, as in a measure (though not as to large and most important parts) in the New Testament. In all the law-giving part of the Old Testament divine communications are asserted to have existed. Jehovah, or Jahve if they like it better, spake unto Moses. This does not go on the ground of credible witnesses, nor are they facts they could be witnesses of. They are not facts in which God revealed Himself, but words from the mouth of God. This is either true or false. God did speak to Moses or He did not. But it was not that of which any could be a witness save at the first revelation at the foot of Sinai. The great law-giver might prove Jehovah had spoken by him by making the earth open her mouth and swallow up those who resisted the authority he had by it; not God's way, no doubt, in these days of grace. But this only proved that in the communications there were no witnesses. Yet this large part of the Pentateuch is not the case of credible witnesses to God revealing Himself in facts, but God giving a revelation of His will by His word without any fact at all. As to the fall and all the circumstances of it, it is the weightiest fact, save the coming of the blessed Lord to redeem us from it, that ever happened in the world, knowledge at first-hand being just nonsense, unless it be first-hand from God Himself, which Dr. Dods openly denies.

[Page 170]

But Scripture does not simply give facts in which God has revealed Himself. It tells us things in which man has revealed himself when there was no divine fact at all; in which the devil has revealed himself and will, and his ways and wiles, till he be cast into the lake of fire, and all the development of the various relationships between God and man till he rejected the Son of God: I may say the whole history of the world as related to God, with all in man and in God, and in Satan that it depended on; minute facts historically in which God had no part, but on which all depended; responsibility and life-giving power in all their bearings and relations one to another from the garden of Eden till glory and judgment; in innocence without law, under law, under grace, through the cross and the Holy Ghost given; up to glory and judgment. Who would have the discernment to choose the right facts to give all this? This theory lowers the whole nature and moral value of Scripture, as it is ridiculous theoretically that we are to have the facts of Genesis from credible eye-witnesses.

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I do not think it honest of Dr. Dods to talk about a theory of inspiration. Wisely or unwisely, men may have theories about this, generally unwisely I think; for God's way of communicating, though He has partially in the case of Miriam and Aaron spoken of it, is not much within our ken, nor, as I have said, if I were inspired could I communicate the manner of it to one who was not. If it be said "The word of the Lord came" is clearly direct inspiration, what is the meaning of that as to the manner of it? But it is not honest, because Dr. Dods denies as to the historical parts of scripture that they are a revelation at all. God's acts are the revelation; the scripture is not God's revelation at all. Those may credibly record His acts; but this is man's doing. It is nonsense, because the greater part of historical scripture, and that which is used in the New Testament as divine, is made up of what are not God's great acts; yet all hangs inseparably together -- what refers to man's responsibility as well as what God often, consequently, did. It is nonsense, because of the most important part you have and can have no account from firsthand eye-witnesses at all -- moral nonsense, because man would not be competent to choose the important facts on which the whole history depended morally, having, outside Scripture, proved himself incompetent even as to the great facts, by turning the tradition of them into myths, one more absurd than another, and in those most like Scripture connecting it with false gods and wrong principles, and falsifying the facts themselves, as in the recovered Babylonish account of the deluge. It is absurd, because it supposes God meant to reveal Himself to man, and yet did it so that the revelation could not in the most important points, or indeed in any, reach men with any certainty at all. And further, it is, as to the word of God, infidelity. According to Dr. Dods there is no such thing at all.

Let not Dr. Dods flinch. May his conscience indeed feel the destroying the whole ground of faith for simple souls! But he expressly declares that the revelation is some act in which God revealed Himself; that Scripture is at best a credible account of it by man. I see nothing in it but the effect and flimsy reproduction of the more open infidelity of the Germans discussing Hebrew literature; and the note can leave no question as to its source in any mind acquainted with German writers. But it goes beyond, not their principles, but their statements; happily for others, unhappily for Dr. Dods, in that he denies that the historical part of Scripture is a revelation at all. I should have a great deal to say to many details of his reasonings; but I am not going to merge in a controversy of details the great and vital question, Have we in Scripture (that is, the historical part) a revelation from God? I say the historical part, because Dr. Dods so expresses himself; but it would involve all the words of Christ and the apostles, for they all treat it as such.

[Page 172]

I may add, though it be of little moment in view of the all-momentous subject, that Riehm (though differing from Bleek in many details, as all these writers do from one another, constantly rejecting utterly the grounds on which their proofs are based;+ yet) in all that is important, entirely agrees with him. Genesis 17: 6 is a proof that it was written in David's time! Bleek put it too soon in Saul's; he is right in holding that Deuteronomy was written in Manasseh's reign! The Deuteronomist had the four first books of the Pentateuch before him (see Studien und Kritiken, 1862)!

I add also that we may see what man and tradition make, not of creation, for none believe in that, but of the formation of things out of chaos (Sanchoniathon quoted by Eusebius in Cory's Fragments).

He supposes that the beginning of all things was a condensed dark misty air, or a breeze of thick air, and a chaos turbid and black as Erebus, and that these were unbounded, and for a long series of ages destitute of form. But when this wind became enamoured of its own principles (the chaos),++ and an intimate union took place, that connection was called Pothos (cupid or desire), and it was the beginning of the creation of all things. And it (the chaos) knew not its own production, but from it with the wind was generated mist, which some call Ilus, mud, but others the putrefaction of a watery mixture. And from this sprung all the seed of the creation, and the generation of the universe. And there were certain animals without sensation from which other animals were produced, and these were called Zophasemin, that is, the overseers of the heavens, and they were formed in the shape of an egg; and from mist shone forth the sun, the moon, and the greater and lesser stars.

+Thus Bleek of Ewald. Ewald's view is much more involved; much, however, in it is incapable of proof and part quite erroneous. Again, the opinion of Bertheau, which is generally allied to Ewald's and likewise quite groundless. Such passages are common.

++This explanation is Cory's.

[Page 173]

I need not go farther; other such statements may be found, and less absurd perhaps in the records. This is Phoenician. But it is not only for the absurdity I note it, but to remark that we have a vague tradition of the Spirit of God (it is pneuma, the same word as wind) moving on the face of the waters, and find what it becomes when His account is not given in its purity by the hand and inspiration of God. It is connected with all the worst principles of the heavenly powers of the zodiac and of astrology; mere human generation, a great principle of heathenism; and in other accounts, as the Babylonish, with the creation of the false gods, the mundane egg, encircled by the serpent and after the flood, of which the tradition was naturally better known, though the facts are falsified and connected with idolatry, the tower of Babel and the like, but all falsified and turned to the setting up false gods and mythological fables. Out of Scripture where is there credible testimony? how came it there only? The theory is a gross absurdity, contradicted by well-known facts. What a mercy it is to have the blessed WORD OF GOD, and to believe it, authenticated by the Lord Jesus and the apostles! What do men fall into where they have not got it? I have taken my review of Bleek's statements from Venables' translation, and Ewald from the original. I might have multiplied quotations from both; but the system is plain from what I have quoted.

As to Deuteronomy, the author cannot well have been Moses. We have already seen that the Deuteronomic legislation contains those very laws which by their form and purpose are very unlikely to have been promulgated by Moses in this shape, for example, the precept as to kings, and the legal ordinances as to military concerns to which many others might be added; also that there are certain passages in these discourses of Moses which contain much that it is most improbable should have been spoken by him in this way. The view taken of the high places is a great topic with Bleek and all these writers in connection with subsequent history. Hence he concludes: "It is evident from what goes before, that it (the date) cannot be fixed until a long time after Solomon, perhaps not before the age of Hezekiah, king of Judah"; Hezekiah having been the first who rooted out not only idolatry but also the high places. He rejects the postponing it to the Babylonish captivity; there would have been more reference to it in the threats. He rejects the Josiah fable, and puts it between Hezekiah and Josiah. What is said of the Josiah story he declares often quite uncertain, often absolutely improbable. The blessing of Moses is not from him, as he once thought. It was probably written about 800 in Jeroboam 11 and Uzziah ... . "The purport of most of the sayings, and particularly the conclusion of the whole song, leaves us no room to doubt that it was composed at a time when the Israelitish people, the ten tribes, were, as a whole, in happy circumstances. For if present circumstances can alone account for such being referred to, we must guess at the time of composition." He rejects here also Ewald's view and says, "We may consider with the greatest probability that the author of Deuteronomy was also the last editor of the whole Pentateuch, and that the work received from him the extent and arrangement in which we now have it ... . We may easily imagine that by his hand perhaps certain things were altered or inserted in the previous books." And I might add, from his remarks on Judges, Samuel, Kings, a multitude of similar -- perhaps of stronger passages; but the same principle of human composition and judging. Such is the account by the very soberest of these German speculators on the Pentateuch, on the date by the notices of events, which could only be known by their being in the author's own day. One who rejects the wild statements of the bolder infidels believes the Mosaic laws in general refer to the desert, and rejects the fable about composing Deuteronomy in Josiah's time. Not that we gain much by that, for it was after Hezekiah's; but inspiration is utterly rejected by all, credible history and contemporary history not believed in; the most recent part of the history, the Exodus and Moses' time composed some 500 years afterwards, part of it 700 or 800 years with some traditions no doubt; and the whole under the influence of the state of things the composer was in and the supposed prophecies drawn from the circumstances in which the composer lived.

[Page 174]

And this is called a literary consideration of the Pentateuch, as contrasted with the religious point of view! Contrasted it is surely. Only one must remember that the literary point of view denies all that makes the scriptural history a religious book at all. The later editors have composed it according to their views, and the writers arranged it according to theirs. God had no part in it at all, as far as appears in either. And I beg my reader to notice that I have not quoted here the more openly infidel, but the most solid and sober, Bleek, translated into English by Canon Venables, who, though not agreeing with everything, translates it as a specially valuable introduction to the Bible. But they are all alike in their rejection of divine inspiration. It is not "every scripture is given by inspiration of God," but no scripture is. Dr. Dods does not go so far; he admits the prophets are when they say, "Thus saith the Lord."

[Page 175]

Mr. Smith with versatile inconsistency, which on such a subject is the most culpable want of seriousness, says that he believes for other reasons in inspiration, when he has published what he holds to be proof, borrowed indeed from others, that they are mere human compositions; and draws from and authenticates, unless I much mistake, the worse class of infidels, that is, those who are more open and impudent in their treatment of Scripture.

[Page 176]

THE QUESTION AND THE CRISIS

Halifax, Nova Scotia, April 19th [1877].

My Dear Brother,
I send you some details on the statements made in the papers you sent me. Mr. Smith says, Ezra 9: 11 proves that Deuteronomy 7 must be from the prophets; but we have exactly the same statement in Exodus 34: 11-17; so that his proof proves nothing, unless Exodus be from the prophets too. But prophet is a mere word for those who spoke the word of God, as Abraham is called a prophet, and Moses.

Besides, the argument is an absurdity. It is an absurdity to pretend that Ezra, a ready scribe in the law of Moses, who, it is alleged, compiled it in its last form, should speak as if it was not given by Moses at all, and say it was the prophets, and yet say, in the same sentence, Israel was going into the land to possess it when the commandment was given, as he does. Only a rationalist, who can believe anything but the simple truth, but no one of sound sense, could swallow such a fancy as this. If Ezra referred to Deuteronomy (which is very likely, as he speaks of going in to possess the land, which characterises that book), then he assuredly refers to it as given before the Israelites entered into the land. None but those accustomed to assume, and justify too, forgery in documents which pretend to be divine, could allege that Ezra attributes to prophets of the seventh or eighth century a statement of the law which he was teaching as the law of Moses; and, in the deep grief of his heart about their sins before God, accredit and state the forgery in speaking to God. Upon the face of it, to apply "thy servants the prophets" (saying, "the land into which ye go to possess it") to prophets hundreds of years after they possessed it, is a gross absurdity. The defilement of the land is not particularly spoken of in Deuteronomy 7; it is much more in other chapters, and more especially in Leviticus 18.

I must add a few words on the prudent wise speech reported in your Scotch journals as that of Dr. Rainy. I can only take it as it appears, "wary and well-considered." Supposing, speaking of course as a mere natural man, that some one had given my mother a box on the ear, instead of knocking him down or thrusting him away, I say, Well, but I must see if the fingers reached to the ear: otherwise this is not a box on the ear; if it only struck the cheek, the accusation is not correct. With what feelings should one view such a son? With profound contempt. Here I must add indignation, because the faith of thousands is in question. The speech would insist that it should not be felt there was a crisis. There is a crisis, and the crisis is this: Whether the Free Church of Scotland in its public profession be, however many may object to its tenets or forms, a body maintaining the faith of Christianity as based on the word of God, or not? It is not Professor Smith who is on trial; it is the Free Church. I have no interest in either, save as a Christian ought to be interested in all men and all good; but in the authority of the word of God every one who is loyal to Christ must be.

[Page 177]

Members of commissions may laugh if it be asked, Are we to have a Bible or no? but this is the question. Germans may hold, still pretending to be Christians, that the allegations of miracles at once render a book unhistorical; but the proofs by which they convince others that it cannot be are the proofs by which Mr. Smith would prove that the Pentateuch, and especially Deuteronomy, are unhistorical, and these are with heartless indifference, on the ground of legal technicalities, to be allowed to be valid on the plea that Mr. Smith on other grounds holds them trustworthy. And what grounds are these? That, because these Shemitic historians, like Thucydides or Livy giving speeches they invent as spoken by the persons they wrote about, do not think it fraud to put the words in their heroes' mouths, we must take them as they gave them, and they were received at the time; and this is divine inspiration! Does he mean, or does the speech mean, that this fabled Shemitic system was held at the time for divine inspiration? That they received what was known to be put into Moses' mouth by a modern author to polish crude legislation, as the WORD OF GOD by the mouth of Moses saying, "Jehovah spake unto Moses saying," when they knew and received it as Mr. Smith does now (namely, that it was not so given), though some few portions might be true traditions of what Moses taught? Let us see what the "wary and well-considered" compromise speech in the journal amounts to. Mr. Smith is guarded enough. We have this account of Scripture from him: the written record of the revelation of God's will which is necessary unto salvation makes use of certain forms of literary presentation which have always been thought legitimate in ordinary composition, but which were not always understood to be used in the Bible. Used by whom? How carefully the inspiration of the writings is avoided! Mr. Smith does not call this fraud as Dr. Kuenen honestly does ("pious fraud"): that is his opinion, but not the question.

[Page 178]

Classical authors no one is troubled about; men did the best they could, or what they would, to present matters as they saw them, or would please their readers. Did the Holy Ghost do so? The record uses the fraud of literary compositions which I do not call fraud! But where is God in the matter? How carefully He is left out! What more can an infidel want? What does an extreme infidel as Dr. Kuenen, or a violent-tempered but more sober-minded infidel as Ewald, or one in borrowed plumes as Mr. Newman, desire but to reduce the Scriptures to this level? This is what the system of Mr. Smith does. He now tells us that for other-reasons (which he withheld in what went out to all the world, and till this was called in question) he believes in the authority of these books; but the proofs he gives to all the world, and which are unrecalled, are proofs, not (mind) of a date, but that the books are not what they pretend to be. Does he believe that the composers and compilers and polishers were inspired to say that their work was God speaking by Moses? Nothing can be clearer than that it was so given, and sanctioned by the Lord's authority as such. Their nature, their authority, their contents, depended on these contents being inspired. They had no other, they have no other; the very circumstances are identified with the truth of their being by Moses and from God, for that is inseparably interwoven with the history they contain. On this I shall speak again in touching on the reported speech. But the Scriptures, even in his defence, are not spoken of by Mr. Smith when defined as inspired. When he justifies the statement by quotation of the Confession, they are a record of the revelation of God's will but formed after the pattern of literary compositions which ascribe to orators or the like speeches invented for them. This is not inspiration of the Scriptures. It may lead us to distrust "Confessions" as no better than a sieve, as a means of securing truth, and saving those who hold the opposite of what their authors held, but that is all.

But I turn to the reported speech and the wary defence of Mr. Smith. The speech saves the credit of the speaker. "On reading the article it was with the greatest possible feeling of apprehension and pain. Not only he did not agree, but it would not meet with general approbation; he had a very strong impression that they were fitted in the greatest degree to create bewilderment, anxiety, and misapprehension in the mind of members of the church." What about? Was it not as to the authority and inspiration of the Scriptures? Yet such a question, we are told, cannot possibly arise, or might be soon settled. Now, I do ask what was the bewilderment and anxiety about? Mr. Smith accepts and gives the proofs of infidels that the Scriptures were the development of crude legislation and national life, large portions professing to be what they were not, nor of the age nor of the person who was stated to have received them from God as God's law -- gives these proofs as general satisfactory proofs that the case was thus, without a hint that he thought otherwise. He propagates infidelity, for everybody knows it is infidelity and the elaborately wrought-out theory of infidels; which we are now to understand he does not believe, though he believes all the proofs of it.

[Page 179]

As to the canon, one was really a love-song about the purity of northern Israel contrasted with Solomon, which we should have lost but for a false theory about its being an allegory; but the bewilderment and anxiety was not about the inspiration or canon of Scripture, nor whether we are to have the whole Bible! But Mr. Smith and all agree, we are told, that the Bible is inspired. What then was his article about? The escape from the difficulty is: The question is not about inspiration, but whether certain positions brought in, in connection with the explanation of Professor Smith's views on the Bible, are really inconsistent with this position. A queer roundabout sentence; but have we no views of Mr. Smith on the Bible, or on parts of it? Nothing but positions in connection with the explanation of his views? And is what every one knows to be characteristic of modern infidelity in the theological sphere to be spread broadcast by professors of theology, without a hint of anything else? Nay, accepting really as desirable progress views that are to every honest mind totally destructive of the inspiration of Scripture, and then to be told there is no question about inspiration? And how is it excused in a compromising way? We are not, we are told, to deal with it as if some party were rising up to unsettle and undermine these great doctrines. But a party has arisen up, and, as every one occupied with these subjects knows, unsettling and undermining these great doctrines; and all that Mr. Smith has done is to popularise them in a well-known book of general science, the Encyclopedia Britannica, wherever the English language is spoken in the two continents. He has reproduced and disseminated for all English readers, and as valid, the wellknown modern grounds of infidelity as to these great truths. Scotland and the Free Church have been the source, or. if not the source, the instrument, of spreading over the world modern infidelity as to inspiration and the canon of Scripture, as a part of the more accurate knowledge of modern science in a popular publication. This is the broad fact, and no special pleading in church courts and committees in Scotland will alter it; nor, it is to be feared, if the Free Church clear itself, undo it.

[Page 180]

The speech defends the position of the committee as far as it dares; it does not agree with Mr. Smith, but defends its "deliverances" on the substantive merits, mark, not on the competency of the committee. "You will not succeed in laying a libel for heresy in connection with this view of Deuteronomy." I should not call it "heresy"; infidelity is its true character. However, the published speech declares that to hold that a book purporting to be spoken by Moses immediately before Israel's entrance into the land, and directly from Jehovah as words from His mouth in reference to their conduct as so entering, was not so spoken but written some hundreds of years after, proving this by passages alleged to be in contradiction with what was ordained by Jehovah originally, is not heresy as to the inspiration of the books. Such false statement, it is alleged, was a generally allowed licence of literary composition. Were these late modifiers of the old law moved by the Holy Ghost to say that Jehovah spake it all by Moses before Israel's going in to possess the land? "It is," we are told, "a different case where there is a general disposition in certain quarters, or in any quarter, to move off from these fundamental doctrines." Is there none such? Every one knows that large masses of Protestants, and Protestant teachers, have moved off from these fundamental doctrines both in Germany and in England; that their works are translated into English, and have largely affected the public mind; that this attack on the inspiration of the Scriptures is one of the chief characteristics of modern infidelity; that the "Deuteronomist" is one of their chief points along with the "Great Unnamed," Zechariah, and the Song of Songs as a northern pastoral.

[Page 181]

Now, I will suppose that as yet this hacking up of Scripture has not penetrated into the Free Church, at least in "any quarter." The speech assures that an attempt to make "heresy" of these views will not succeed. A man is "not particularly wise who is particularly sure about them," that is, about the usual orthodox view of the inspiration of Deuteronomy, etc. True, "a man is not particularly wise who is particularly ready to raise questions about them." The questions on many points as to authorship, date, and so on, are "awkward questions." "They are really not matters of faith at all." How calculated to relieve "bewilderment, anxiety, and misapprehension, in the minds of members of the church"! Mr. Smith had done something to relieve this feeling in his answer to the sub-committee. He tells us of a "persuasion of the divine authority of the book (of Deuteronomy), which rests on the witness of our Lord, the testimonium Spiritus Sancti. It would be possible to adjust the result thus. But this the speech cuts away from under our feet. As to the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, it "does not believe that Jesus and his apostles ever said anything on that subject." But kirk commissioners will hardly make sober men think that it is declared by inspiration that "Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying," when it was not Moses at all; and that when the Lord says "Moses' writings," "He never said anything on that subject."

It is trifling to talk of who wrote down the words; the question is, Is it a divinely given, and therefore, perfect account of what God spake and did by Moses, and was really uttered by Him, interwoven as it is with all the details of the history of God's people? We know that, save the one to the Galatians, Paul wrote none of his epistles. In one case we know who did it for him: "I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle." He signed each, saluting in grace, that it might be authentic. Does anyone think, because Tertius adds that, sanctioned as it is by the Pauline salutation, we have not Paul's inspired writings? All this is child's play, and worse. The speech does "not see how a very conclusive argument could be raised against anyone maintaining that the book of Deuteronomy was written after the promised land was occupied, and therefore by some one living in the promised land, though he was directed and enabled to embody in that book the authentic declarations and speeches of Moses." This will tacitly, seemingly at least, screen the infidel system which insists on its being written afterwards in the land and not by Moses. But save in one fatal word it does not touch the question. It is perfectly immaterial when and where it was written, as in Tertius' writing the Epistle to the Romans, provided I have a divinely given and therefore divinely authentic word and reproduction of what Moses said before Israel entered into the land, as the book professes to be. We have no statement that Moses textually wrote anything but the song in chapter 32 and the law put beside the ark of the covenant, but there is no "embodying" what Moses said in some other record. It professes to give what Moses said by God's command and with God's authority to the people before their entry into the land, stating where it was spoken; and all through the book it is almost chapter by chapter repeated, "the land which ye go in to possess." Now who wrote it is no more important than Tertius in Romans; but if it be not Moses who spoke the things before Israel's crossing the Jordan, and really the directions for Israel in the land when actually going in to possess it, the book is a false book, not an inspired one -- an imposition of some later hand, not a revelation of God. And this is what the system in fact alleges.

[Page 182]

It does not "embody" what Moses spoke. It gives, and states that it gives, what he spake and where. And if this be not true, the book is not true. But the statement of the speech, while screening the statement of Mr. Smith, does not touch it. That statement, as of all the infidel school who hold this, is that the Deuteronomist put Moses' name in as a licence of literary composition; that it was written centuries afterwards -- some Mosaic revelations and modifications and adaptations of later development thrown into the form of a declaration and testimony by Moses. A crude legislation -- such is the theory -- was developed and perfected by the priests and the national life of the people. Let any one read Deuteronomy and see what it professes to be, and say if such be its character; whether it "embodies" sayings of Moses, or whether it be not, save the last chapter which has nothing to do with the question, the directions of God by Moses to Israel before going into the land. I deny the alleged additions and contradictions. That there are provisions for a state of things which did not exist in the wilderness is quite true. A considerable part consists of civil enactments adapted to their condition in the land when the kingly government did not exist. There are two probable interpolations, like "there it is unto this day" (chapter 2: 10-12 20-23), and possibly one other passage besides (chapter 3: 9), which may or may not be; that is, one or two small parentheses evidently such, which do not affect the substance of the book, nor have anything to do with a later date.

[Page 183]

And let it be here remarked, the question is not about dates or writers where Scripture does not state who speaks or writes, but about inspiration. People may discuss who wrote the Hebrews as no author is named: it may be wise or unwise; but that the Spirit of God dictated it, that it is inspired, is another question.

I hold the tradition as to Luke and Mark wholly irrelevant. The question is, Are they inspired accounts of the Lord's life? Learning from Peter is nothing to the purpose if they are not inspired; from Paul as an eye-witness Luke could not: indeed his own statement leaves no ground for it.

The question is this: When Deuteronomy says, These are the words which Moses spake, are they really such? or something concocted, centuries after, out of a crude legislation given under Moses through the development of national life, by priests or prophets who contended against them? Though, indeed, we are called on to believe that the law which was the priest's work, at least the Deuteronomic or more advanced form of it, was concocted by a prophet, one of the class opposed to the priests; for we are to believe anything, provided it be not inspiration and the truth of God. I have nothing to do with Mr. Smith or commissions of the Free Church. The question is far wider than that: it is of the propagation of an infidel view of Scripture all over the English-speaking world in a popular book of science. The Free Church is indeed on its trial as to faithfulness, but the evil has to be combated on its own merits. It may be sorrowful to see every professing body of Christians more or less giving up the truth; but the question is there, and we cannot avoid it. The word of God, the Scriptures, are what we are taught to rely on; and those who are taught of God will rely on them. The enemies' attacks are especially directed against them. Cavils and special pleading will not do in this conflict: it must be the faith of God's elect, or spiritual "traditores" on whom no reliance can be placed in the conflict.

[Page 184]

I have had some doubt as to sending you this, because I believe, as I have said above, the question must be treated on its merits, and this is (save the first paragraph, as to Ezra) on the kirk commission, and what is reported as Dr. Rainy's speech, to me far more painful than Mr. Smith's article. It is a question of the Free Church about inspiration as well as about inspiration itself. It is only a bye-battle, and it ought to be treated for God on its own merits. But if you think it may be useful for souls, you may use it. But the question is raised, and will have to be discussed, not as a local but as a fundamental question. As I have said before, it has long pressed upon me as an impending conflict.

[Page 185]

UNION IN INCARNATION, THE ROOT ERROR OF MODERN THEOLOGY

The subject on which I would engage the attention of your readers is one which affects the whole character and nature of Christianity, branching out into what is really infidelity on one side, and abominable heresies on the other; but held in its root principles by persons who would utterly reject both. It is found in the most highly-esteemed ministers of the Free Church of Scotland and widely spread in it; in the Baptist Colleges, and taught by eminent Baptist ministers in the United States; elaborately developed in the revived energy of evangelicalism in Germany, whence it has passed in a gross Puseyite shape to the Dutch Reformed Church in the States. Its full doctrinal results were developed in Irvingism. The worst kind of infidelity is based on it, to which the German doctors approach wonderfully near.

The question is this: Was Christ in incarnation united to humanity to renew it? or is the life of believers a wholly new life in every case, and, in the case of the church, believers united by the Holy Ghost to Him glorified? Those orthodox in the main take up only the renewal of the first man; the full-blown doctrine is Christ's union with fallen man. It is a capital question; because this makes fallen man, the first Adam, that which is taken up of God for blessing as such, to which the Word therefore united Himself, and that (however sinless they may hold Christ to have been personally) in its sinful state, before redemption. The truth looks upon man in the flesh as utterly rejected and lost; that Christ stood alone, though a true and very man, till He had accomplished redemption, and then, when He had accomplished it, a redemption available in justification and life to faith, before as after the cross; that a wholly new nature was given, in which man enters into the benefit of it, there being also in the case of the church actual union with Him glorified by the Holy Ghost, members of His body.

The Wesleyans have not, that I know of, the doctrine of such union of Christ with fallen humanity, but they take up in practice its effect, with the assertion of some good in fallen man, and that what is wrought in salvation is the setting right the first Adam, not the communication of a totally new life. The German doctors agree with them in this. Without it, they say, there is no "Anknupfungspunkt," no point to which grace can attach itself. Now God does act on man's knowledge of good and evil, or conscience, but a new life is given. Christ, the last Adam becoming our life in contrast with the first, needs no "Anknupfungspunkt." Irving held that Christ, while sinless in word or deed, had a sinful human nature; lust, where the will did not consent, not being sin, as is held by Roman Catholics, Wesleyans, and a very great many others, as for example, our modern perfectionists -- a horrible error. The apostle Paul expressly makes sin the source of lust in Romans 7. It is an error which makes void the tenth commandment, as he there uses it. Christ, according to Irving, by the Holy Ghost kept sin in the flesh down, and so kept all His ways holy, and was perfect, and obtained thus the Holy Ghost for us, that we may do the same. The substitution of Christ as bearing our sins, and therefore dying for us, he expressly denied (and the truth of the atonement, viewed as substitution, is involved in the question), holding that He died because of what He was as a mortal man, not because of our sins. I need not go farther into his doctrine.

[Page 186]

Dr. Moody Stuart, late moderator of the General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland, says: "We are renewed in the whole man after the image of God," a most false presentation of what is said in Scripture, where the new man only is spoken of in Ephesians 4: 24, as a new creation, in Colossians 3: 10 as renewed in knowledge; but in both, the new man, in contrast with the old, he continues, "in mind, in will, in heart, and sin hath not dominion over us, because we are under grace," carefully omitting "because we are not under law."

Mr. M'Leod, Presbyterian minister in Canada, says: "They" (those whom he calls by a name of reproach) "falsely teach that in regeneration the old nature remains the same, the new is introduced. They speak of it as if it were the introduction of a new power into the soul, not as if it were the regeneration of the soul itself, as if the Holy Ghost created a new being, and inserted it into us; while the Bible teaches, not that any new power is added to the soul, but life from God is breathed into the soul, as it were, or in the language of Scripture the soul is born again, passes out of its former state of unbelief and darkness, and enters into a new state of faith and holiness. All the powers of the soul are so affected as to be renewed, and to bring forth fruit unto God"; and he, confounding Christ's taking true humanity with union with humanity as a race, objects to saying, "between humanity as seen in our Lord and humanity as seen in us there could be no union." He says if so He could not stand in our stead, again confounding union and substitution; whereas it was because He was alone in sinless humanity that He could stand in our stead.

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Dr. Bonar openly ridicules the idea of two natures, or anything equivalent to it, in the Christian. He indeed puts Christ in our sinful place, though sinless, all through His life.

I will give an extract, from the discourse of a president of a Baptist College, of a sermon preached with applause at a convention and conference of Baptists, which will shew the doctrine in its fulness and true root plainly stated, not saying that all have received every part of it, but as here presented in a full formal way. It is borrowed, sometimes almost verbally, from a German theologian, and has been reproduced in the same terms by one whom perhaps I might call the leading evangelical minister in Switzerland, at any rate in his own canton. It is current in a modified shape everywhere, even where its full bearing is not understood. It has been carried to its extreme results by Menken, in Germany, of whom I know little, and by Irving in England, of whom I know a great deal. Its effects, diluting Christianity and subverting the truth, prevail where, as I have already said, sometimes its true root is unknown and its just consequences utterly rejected; but their Christianity is mutilated and spoiled by it. The sermon itself is a dream of Christ's life, founded on the doctrine of which there is not a word in Scripture, reproducing the German or Swiss I have alluded to.

"Connected in every fibre of His nature with the common nature of mankind, He saw that He must suffer, the Just for the unjust. It could not be that human nature should fail of enduring the settled and necessary penalty of its sin,+ and He not only had a human nature, but in Him human nature was organically united, as it never had been before, except in Adam; if the members suffer, should not also the Head? When He was but twelve years of age, the consciousness of this divine commission had dawned upon Him. Sitting as an humble questioner before the doctors of the law, the conviction had become overmastering; I am He, the teacher and prophet promised long ago ... . I am He, the sent of God, the Son of God. And the eighteen years that followed had made this conviction part and parcel of His very being; growing with His growth, and strengthening with His strength, it had taken up into itself all the energies of His soul, conscious or unconscious, until His life and His work were identical, and He could say, 'Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God.'" I will not pursue the wretched picture, created by an unscriptural imagination, which is given of Christ's conflicts, through realising what was before Him. Suffice it to say that it resulted in His consecrating Himself, and that as devoted to death, in His baptism by John.

+Here we see how atonement is involved in it.

[Page 188]

But as to this the preacher then takes up a third point, founded on Christ's baptism by John. It is "a proof of Jesus' connection with humanity, with its sin, and its desert of death, Jesus' connection with human sin, and His consecration to death for the sins of the world; how clearly that stands out in the baptism!" "Jesus personally," he tells us, "and in every act and thought of His life, was sinless ... and here we come to the greatest mystery of God's grace -- the Person of Jesus Christ, and His assumption of the common nature of us all. If Jesus had no connection with a sinful and lost humanity, or if that connection with a sinful and lost humanity had been merely a factitious and forensic one, then it would have been the greatest breach of justice, the sheerest insult to purity, the most extravagant of absurdities, that the Lord Jesus should have submitted to an ordinance which was in some sense a confession of sin, and a declaration that this sin deserved nothing less than death. My friends, we can never explain the baptism of our Lord, unless we remember that Jesus was made sin for us,+ taking our nature upon Him, with all its exposures and liabilities, that He might redeem it and unite it to God"; not sinners, mind, but "it." "But this one mighty fact, the taking upon Him of our nature, does explain it. As one with humanity, He was about to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself." I might go on with much more, but it is hardly needed.

+Note here the monstrous interpretation which I had heretofore supposed it impossible for any to hold, that "him who knew no sin" means Jesus in His divinity; and "made sin" the incarnation, "that holy thing," not the cross and atonement then.

[Page 189]

In all he says of John's baptism there is not a word of truth. Actual sins, not sin in humanity at all, were confessed. Did Jesus confess such? In Him it was fulfilling righteousness entering in by the door. Jesus went, not with sinful Jews, but with God's remnant in their first step in the path God's word had led them into, as the door of the kingdom. So far was John's baptism from being to death, that not one who had been baptised of him would ever have put Christ to death. If all had received it, they would have received a living Christ, Messiah; and He would not, as far as that went, have been put to death at all. But this is not my business now. Dr. Strong uses it as a proof of His doctrine. My business is with the doctrine itself, which is here pretty fully brought out, not by an adversary, but by an advocate of it; and that, not an openly heretical teacher, but one who speaks truth when he comes to the application of it -- a fair sample, in its best forms, of the system. "I also," he says, "must die to sin, by having Jesus' death reproduced in me. I must rise to a new life, by having Jesus' resurrection reproduced in me." I do not accept the form of this statement: still it connects itself with vital truth. But then comes the ground. "The putting away of the sin and guilt of humanity, which was the essential feature of Christ's work, must take place in me, and this I must do by having my life incorporated with His life."

This really denies the atonement. What is the "guilt of humanity"? But on its own ground this is quite unscriptural. Not I, says Paul, but Christ liveth in me (Galatians 2: 20); but I do not now enter farther on this. The foundation is thus laid; "It was humanity that bore the curse in His death, and all the true life of humanity rose from the dead in His resurrection." He then puts our death and resurrection as a result of corresponding death to sin and resurrection to holiness. This is an unscriptural way of putting it, based upon the error I combat-the denial of our evil nature, always the same but reckoned dead already by faith, and kept down through the Spirit by a totally new life. But I cannot pursue it here.

It is a common way of putting it, and connected with reforming the old man, the root of all being now exposed in this doctrine, and cropping out all over the world; largely taught in the Free Church of Scotland, in various shades and degrees, sometimes not knowing what it means, sometimes in its mere practical results; but likely to be widely spread by last year's Cunningham Lectures on the kenosis, or self-emptying of Christ, which are a developed index or "catalogue raisonne" of German speculations and heresy; where their effect too is already seen in the way the blessed Lord is spoken of, even by the author.

[Page 190]

How different, how contrasted with all this, is the calm and beautiful simplicity of the scriptural account of Christ's life! Let us see how Scripture states the incarnation. After stating (John 1) what Christ was (Theos en o logos), John tells us (verse 14) what He became; the word was made flesh (sarx egeneto), and dwelt amongst us. So in Hebrews 2: 14: "As the children were partakers [kekoinoneken] of flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner took part [meteschen] of the same, that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death." He became a man, was made a little lower than the angels, that He might die; Hebrews 2: 9. But His being born in flesh was by the power of the Holy Ghost, so as to be holy as so born; Luke 1: 35. "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore that holy thing [to agion] which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." He was as to the flesh born of God, holy, Son of God; what was born of Mary was a holy thing. He was, by divine power and the operation of the Holy Ghost on that blessed and obedient handmaid of the Lord, born a holy thing, as man. This was not sinful flesh. He was (Galatians 4: 4, 5) genomenos ek gunaikos, genomenos upo nomon, that He might redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. But this, in us, is thus the fruit of redemption. To as many as believed (John 1: 12) on Him, He gave authority to take this place, to none others. But to proceed. We have here no union with sinful humanity; but, what was wholly unique, a sinless Man, born holy in a miraculous way. The place of sons for others belongs only to those who received Him.

Does Hebrews 2 lead to any other thought? "Behold I, and the children which God has given me"; only these are spoken of. These children were in flesh and blood; so He took part in it. But the objects of His doing so are carefully distinguished from the race. I am not questioning that Christ died for all; I believe it. But His drawing all men was by His death, not by incarnation, but by what wrought redemption when man had despised and rejected Him, and the world was judged, and the whole of it lay in wickedness; 1 John 5: 19. He had to draw those (John 12: 32) not united, but far from Him. But I have said the objects are carefully distinguished from union with the race. They are (Hebrews 2) the children God had given Him. He took up (takes up their cause) not angels -- what an occasion to speak of His connection with the race! -- but He takes up the seed of Abraham. As they were in flesh He took it, but not a word of union with humanity. But more than this, we have the positive statement of who those are who had part in this oneness. He who sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one (ex enos),+ and they are so as so sanctified. Death He tasted for every man; but union with man is unknown to Scripture. They speak of His being bone of our bone, flesh of our flesh; Scripture never. If the words in the New Testament (Ephesians 5: 30) be genuine, we are of His flesh and of His bones when He is glorified. And in the Old Testament Eve was such of Adam, not Adam of Eve. In every form the theory is as false as it is mischievous.

+It is confined to those who are sanctified. They are ex enos.

[Page 191]

The other quotation in Hebrews 2 confirms the same truth: "I will declare thy name unto my brethren," which was accomplished after His resurrection, as Psalm 22 plainly intimates, and is so beautifully unfolded in its accomplishment in John 20. The words which follow fully establish the point: "In the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee." The truth is, there is no such thought in Scripture as Christ being united to men or humanity. He was a true man, but there was no union with other men in their sins. Nor is union with humanity a scriptural thought at all. The only connection with men, which can in any way be alleged or pretended, is in 1 Corinthians 11, "The head of every man is Christ"; but there it is power, not union, which is spoken of, relative position of dignity. The setting union previous to redemption work falsifies Christianity and the state of men. The passage has been quoted, that we were "crucified with him." This is indeed faith's apprehension, and God's apprehension of us as looked at as in Christ, inasmuch as He died for us. But it only confirms the great truth I seek to establish. Who are the "we" or the "I" crucified with Christ? The believer, and the believer only. Were all the ungodly sinners who die in their sins, and who never heard of Christ, crucified with Christ?

[Page 192]

That He was a propitiation for the whole world I read in 1 John 2, but there He was alone for others. It was done towards God, and the blood on the mercy-seat opens the door of the gospel to all sinners. But this has nothing to do with union with the race. It was done for, not with, them. When the title of Son of man is shewn to belong to the Lord, how does He take it up? Through His death. The Father took care that, if men despised and rejected Him, the testimony to who He was should be there. The resurrection of Lazarus demonstrated Him Son of God; the riding in on an ass bore witness to the glory of the Son of David; then the Greeks come up, and the Lord says (John 12: 23): "The hour is come that the Son of man should be glorified." Here the race is in question. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Son of God and King of Israel He was, according to Psalm 2; but to take His place as Son of man, according to Psalm 8, in the glory that belonged to Him according to that title, He must die. His Spirit then enters anticipatively into that scene, and He warns His followers they must follow Him in that path, but bows in perfect submission to His Father's will, seeking only His glory; and this, as it ever did, opens out to Him the vista of His glory which flowed from it; "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." For in truth they were far away. So far was it from union, that it was as wholly rejected from the earth, lifted up and away from it, that He would draw men. When man had rejected Him utterly, and the world was judged in consequence (John 12: 31), lifted up out of it, He, the crucified Jesus, through death, and by it, became the attractive point to all men in grace. The sin of man, in total alienation from God and the love of God, in redeeming power for such, must both be made manifest, and meet in the death of the Lamb of God, before there could be any bond between them. Redemption is the sole basis of blessing. A living Saviour was, as in the world, Son of God, Messiah, entitled to be King of Israel. A Son of man who has died and risen again can alone take the world, and take it as a Redeemer and Saviour. He who descended into the lower parts of the earth is the same that is ascended far above all heavens, that He might fill all things (Ephesians 4: 10); and He, and in that character, takes the place and power in grace and glory which belongs to Him. So when His hour was really come (Luke 9: 51), and the disciples own Him as the Christ of God, "He straitly charged them to tell no man that thing, saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day" (Luke 9: 20-22); and then shews them His glory.

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No doubt as Son He quickens whom He will, and has, from Adam on; but He is not for us the life and the resurrection, but the resurrection and the life; John 11. Hence in John 6, where He is the bread of life, He so insists on resurrection at the last day. It was on totally new ground, founded on His death, man could have blessing; verses 39, 40, 44, 53. He gives His flesh for the life of the world; and unless men eat the flesh and drink the blood of the Son of man, they have no life in them. Whoso eats that has eternal life. Union with men, and sinful men, without giving life or redemption, is a Socinian fable; unwittingly often I freely admit; but it is so. "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground, and die, it abideth alone." He took flesh and blood, but stood alone, quickening indeed, as Son of God, whom He would, but as man in the flesh, alone in the place He stood in, until by death He could righteously bring in others, and redemption (without which -- save of course Himself -- none could have to say to God) was accomplished. A Son of man, alive in the days of His flesh, in union with men, without giving life, and without justification or redemption, is unknown to Scripture; but a union with sinful man, giving life and redemption, or justification, before His death, is alike unknown to it. "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." A union of Christ with sinful man is wholly unknown to Scripture.

What then was God doing with men before? Quickening souls assuredly from Adam on; but in His dispensations with men testing their state for their own instruction; in the former world setting them in innocence in the garden of Eden, where they fell, and then on to the flood without any special institution, though not without testimony. That world became so bad, that it was destroyed by the flood. Then in the new world came government in Noah; promise to Abraham called out from the midst of universal idolatry; the law, testing men and bringing in transgression; the prophets, to recall to the law and testify of Christ. Then God said, I have yet one Son: it may be they will reverence my Son. And when they saw Him they said, Come let us kill Him, and the inheritance shall be ours. Not only was man lawless without law, and a transgressor under law, but when grace came in the Person of the blessed Son of God, they would none of it. The presence of a divine Person drew out the enmity of the heart of man against God: "Now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father." So far from their being a link with humanity, or man as a race, it was the final test of their state: God come in grace, as a man in their midst. The result was: Now is the judgment of this world.

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Hence, in speaking of Christ's death (Hebrews 9: 26), it is said, "Now once in the end of the world [the consummation of ages] he hath appeared." Morally it was the end of man's history; not the communication of life, hypothetically even, to a race, nor the taking it up into union organically; but the deliberate and entire rejection by that race of Him in whom was life. And so it is stated (John 1: 4, 5), "In him was life, and the life was the light of man" -- emphatically such; "but the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not." "He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came to his own, and his own received him not." To as many as received Him, He gave title to be children; but they were born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God (verse 13). It had nothing to do with the first Adam and his nature; if He was received, it was in being born of God. Light had come into the world; and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. That light was life, but with the testimony of John the Baptist, of Christ's work, of the Father, of the Scriptures, whence they thought they had eternal life, they would not come to Him, that they might have life. There was no mixing the Last and first Adam, no renewing the latter by the former, but the utter rejection of the former by the latter, and the judgment of a world convicted of sin by His rejection. Union in incarnation is a mystical and mystifying fable. Man must be born again.

This leads me to the second point -- the form the error takes when union with sinful man in incarnation is not so distinctly held as by the Germans and their scholars among Presbyterians and Baptists -- namely, that nothing new is given to man; that the old and new man are not contrasted in the renewed man; but that there is simply a renewal of man as he is, in his affections, thoughts, and whole soul. Such is the Wesleyan doctrine. Such is the basis of perfectionism; such is the current doctrine amidst crowds of Christians and their teachers, exalting the first man to the losing of the full and blessed truth of grace in the Second. Amidst a large class, such as the Wesleyans, it has taken this form: man, body, soul, and spirit, was in a good state before the fall, in a bad state after it; then, by the operation of the Spirit, in a good state again. And thus, they consistently hold, a man may be born again ten times a week, and also be perfect; but it is the perfection of the first man, not of a Christ in glory, conformity to whom is alone spoken of as our goal in Scripture. With all classes who have these views, varying in details, lust is not sin, unless the will consents -- a horrible, unholy doctrine; and denying that sin in the flesh is condemned, and the whole truth of the fallen state of man. But my part is to see and state what Scripture says as to this, not now to go into details as to the false doctrine itself. Possibly at the close, if there be any profit in it, I may state, from the respective writings of those who hold them, the views into which this evil root of doctrine has branched out.

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Scripture states distinctly that divine life is a wholly new thing given of God, always in absolute contrast with the flesh, for which death is the only remedy. I have been somewhat surprised at this truth being contested. Certainly some years ago the conflict of flesh and Spirit was generally owned amongst real Christians, if we must not except the Wesleyans. But our business is with the word of God. First, I quote the wellknown passage (John 3), "Except a man be born again" (anothen), again in its origin and source, for anothen means from the very beginning or starting-point, as in Luke 1: 3, "from the very first." And this was in reply to Nicodemus, who thought he could be taught and led right by teaching. Further, in insisting on it and answering Nicodemus, who did not see how so totally a new life could be possible and puts the case of a natural new birth, the Lord declares that that which is born of the flesh is flesh, is of that nature, as every animal even is of the nature of that which is born; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit -- has its nature.

Now the mind of the flesh (Romans 8) (not the carnal mind, as a condition of soul, but to phronema tes sarkos) is enmity against God, is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. "They that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you." Is not that a new thing altogether? And if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. So that all have not this new thing. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead, because of sin; and the Spirit is life, because of righteousness. Is not the Spirit being life, Christ being in us, a new thing? But again (1 John 5: 11, 12): "This is the record that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life, and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life." Is not having the Son a new thing to the sinner? Not merely changing his affections and thoughts, but having the Son, we have life; not having Him, we have not life. Hence Christ says, "Because I live, ye shall live also," John 14: 19. He gives His sheep eternal life; John 10. He is that eternal life (1 John 1: 2) which was with the Father and was manifested to us. The Last Adam is a life-giving Spirit; 1 Corinthians 15. "When Christ, who is our life," says the apostle (Colossians 3: 4); and again in Galatians 2: 20, "Nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." It is life which is given us, life in Christ in the power of the Spirit; "the law" -- that is, its nature and uniform character -- "of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus." We are alive unto God in -- not Adam, but -- Jesus Christ our Lord; Romans 6: 11. It is a well of water (John 4), God's gift in Christ, springing up unto everlasting life, in its highest state of eternal glory. When the full Christian place is understood and enjoyed, there is a life of which God is the source. We are born of God through the Spirit, and the Spirit dwells in us, giving power and liberty in this life with God, and from sin, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. But into this, blessed as the subject is, I cannot enter here.

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Being by the word (James 1: 18), that which is heavenly and divine, yet suited to, and, when in Christ, belonging to man, is communicated for the sanctifying of the affections and thoughts, a nature having been communicated, when born of God, capable of enjoying what is thus revealed. "Of his own will begat he us, by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures." "We are born again of incorruptible seed by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever," 1 Peter 1: 23. Hence we are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus; Galatians 3: 26. The things revealed by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 2) are communicated in words which the Holy Ghost has taught. And so far as man lives rightly, he lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God; Matthew 4: 4. This quickening and forming of the Christian's affections, by the word revealing things above, is fully acknowledged, and, I trust, cherished by my readers, as by myself. But the examination of Scripture will shew that the flesh, or old man, is an evil thing, gauged and rejected of God and of faith, accounted dead by reason of Christ's death, but never renewed, never changed. Its history in Scripture shews it to be hopelessly bad; lawless when left to itself, transgressing the law when placed under it; when Christ came in grace, hating and rejecting Him; when the Spirit dwells in a man, lusting against it, and, if he be taken up to the third heaven, seeking, if it had been permitted, to puff him up about it. We are not simply sinners, but sinners dealt with in long patience by God -- a patience that has brought out the full evil of our heart; we are by nature the children of wrath.

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First, that which is born of the flesh is flesh (John 3), a positive specific nature, which has its own lusts and delights, such as they are. Its works are manifest -- may be seen; Galatians 5: 19-21. The mind of the flesh is enmity against God. The renewed mind knows that in me, that is in my flesh, dwells no good thing; Romans 7. The fruit of the Spirit is in formal contrast with its works; not only so, but it lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against it, and these are contrary the one to the other; Galatians 5: 17. They that are after the flesh mind the things of the flesh; but if we live after the flesh, we shall die. If through the Spirit we mortify its deeds -- for it is a nature which has its deeds -- we shall live; Romans 8. Is there any forgiveness, any amelioration, any remedy applicable to it? None?

All sins, with one exception, can be forgiven; but there is no forgiveness of an evil nature. God, sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, has condemned sin in the flesh; Romans 8: 3. It is the nature and standing of the first Adam, and, when we are in this, we are said to be in the flesh. What then is the remedy? Is there none? One only, if remedy it is to be called -- death. It was condemned in Christ's death, as we have seen in Romans 8: 3 (not that He had any of course, but as made sin for us); but that, if it was its condemnation, was also death. He that has died is justified from sin; Romans 6. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live: but not I, but Christ liveth in me; Galatians 2. They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its affections and lusts; Galatians 5: 24. Knowing that our old man is crucified with Him; Romans 6: 6. If ye be dead with Christ; Romans 6: 8. Ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God; Colossians 3: 3. Hence the very place of faith is to reckon ourselves dead to sin (Romans 6: 11), and, as the flesh is still in us which lusts against the Spirit, to bear about in our body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our body; 2 Corinthians 4: 10. Christ having died, it is, for faith and the life of Christ in us, as if we had died, and we reckon ourselves dead, crucified with Him; dead to sin, dead to the law, crucified to the world, and the world to us, Christ lives in us, alive to God -- not in Adam, for our old man is crucified with Christ, but -- in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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Scripture is as uniform and as clear as it possibly can be. There is the flesh which lusts against the Spirit, things contrary the one to the other; but we are entitled and bound to reckon ourselves dead, inasmuch as in us, that is in the flesh, there is no good thing. But Christ being in us, the body is dead because of sin (its only fruit, if we are alive in the flesh), and the Spirit life because of righteousness. Hence we say we have put off the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and put on the new, after God created in righteousness and true holiness, renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created us. And note, it is not merely the deeds, but the old man with his deeds; the truth as it is in Jesus is the having done so and having put on the new man.

The first part of the Epistle to the Romans treats of guilt and forgiveness, through Christ having died for sins; the second, our having died with Him, so that by Him we might live to God. Scripture is clear in the contrast of flesh and Spirit, the old man and the new; but we are entitled to hold the first for dead, and our life to be Christ and not the flesh. Also before God, we are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in us; Romans 8: 9.

To deny that a new life is communicated to us, and that the old man, the flesh, is always contrary to the Spirit, is to deny the plainest testimonies of Scripture; while our privilege and duty, if indeed the Holy Ghost dwells in us, is to know that we are in Christ, not in the flesh, and to reckon ourselves dead, the old man crucified with Christ, seeing His death is available to us for that also. The perfect result will be our being like Christ in glory, as was shewn to the disciples in the transfiguration. Nor is there any other perfection for the Christian than this: only we are to realise it here, Christ in us the hope of glory; and if Christ be in us, as our life, is not this something wholly new, and contrary to all that the flesh is? We are in Him for acceptance, He is in us for life and walk. If my reader would see this life fully developed, let him read Colossians 3: 5-17. Let him note that in chapter 2: 20 our death with Christ is laid as the basis where our being alive in the world, in the religious aspect, is not allowed; and in chapter 3: 1 our being risen with Christ. We are associated in life with Him risen, now that He is glorified, our life hid with Him in God. No thought of sustaining the old Adam-life, nor taking it up into Him, or infusing His into ours by a kind of incorporating power; but, on the contrary, we are dead and gone as to this, and Christ is our life, and so belong to heaven, where He is, though not yet there.

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This only remains to refer to, the positive testimony that our union is as believers with Christ in glory. We have seen it already, when speaking of the alleged union of Christ with us in incarnation (Hebrews 2), that only they that were sanctified were of one with Him. But there remains some positive evidence to notice. In John 14 the promise of the Comforter is given, expressly upon the ground of Christ's being gone on high as in John 7, the Holy Ghost was not yet [given] because Jesus was not yet glorified. When He was come, as we read in John 14, "In that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you." Who? Humanity? No, the disciples only. The Comforter was not for the world -- "whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him; but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you," John 14: 17. And this is the more definite, because in the early part of the chapter the Lord speaks of the Father being in Him, and He in the Father, but not of the disciples being in Him, or He in them. This belongs to the present time, when Jesus is glorified, and the Holy Ghost come.

The same great truth is brought out in Romans 8. There is no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus; but this is through the presence of the Holy Ghost, the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, consequent on the death of Christ. "Ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his; and if Christ be in you," etc. Here is union, and through the Spirit; Christ being glorified, we in Him and He in us. So in 1 Corinthians 6: 17, "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." "Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God, who hath also sealed us and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts," 2 Corinthians 1: 21, 22. So "if any man be in Christ, it is a new creation; old things are passed away, all things are become new; and all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ," 2 Corinthians 5: 17, 18.

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So in a more special character of this union, the being members of His body, it is to Christ as raised from the dead by God's power and set at His right hand, and we by the same power quickened with Him, and raised together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Him. Thus God has given Him to be Head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fulness of Him who filleth all in all. So indeed in Ephesians 2: 12-18. So in chapter 5, connected with the comparison with the husband and wife, and Eve's union with Adam. So it is largely developed in 1 Corinthians 12 as a system established here on earth, that it is by one Spirit we are all baptised into one body, to which Christ, and those united to Him by the Spirit, are compared. The whole groundwork of the New Testament, and the truth taught in it, is that Christ, though a true man, was alone until He had accomplished redemption; and that then, when He was glorified, we are in Him, united to Him, by the Holy Ghost, He the Head, and we the members. John gives us our being in Him individually; Paul also our corporate union with Him the Head, as living members of His body (He, the Head, being glorified on high).

Christ's union with sinful humanity is an anti-scriptural fable.

The life the Christian receives is a wholly new one; he is born again, that which is born of the flesh being flesh, that which is born of the Spirit being spirit. He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. God sent His only-begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. There is no renewing or ameliorating of the flesh; it is enmity against God and cannot be subject to His law.

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Our union is with Christ glorified, in a new life in Him, through the indwelling of the Holy Ghost, of whom our bodies are the temple, and against whom the flesh always lusts.

Let me add that God, in His history of man, has shewn what flesh is, and even the creature left to himself. The first thing man has always done is to spoil what God has set up good. Man himself -- the first thing we read of him is eating the forbidden fruit. The first Noah did, after offering thanksgiving for his deliverance, was to get drunk. Israel made the golden calf, before Moses came down from the mountain. Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire the first day after being consecrated, and Aaron never went into the holy of holies in his garments of glory and beauty. The son of David, Solomon, loved many strange women, and the kingdom was divided. The Gentile head of gold persecuted the godly, and became a beast, characterising the empires that followed him for the seven times. What shall we say of the church? How soon did all seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ, and forsake the devoted and faithful apostle! John could say, "There are many antichrists, whereby we know that it is the last time." But God has worked on in grace, in spite of this, to shew what He is, His longsuffering and goodness and patience. So all those things -- man, the law, the priesthood, royalty in the Son of David, He that rises to reign over the Gentiles, His being glorified in His saints -- all is made good in its place in the Second Man, the Last Adam. May His name be eternally praised! As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy. As is the Heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, so also we shall bear the image of the Heavenly. And in the ages to come God will shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. I speak of man's evil, not surely to delight in it, but that we may so know it, and that in conscience, that we may take, through grace, Christ instead of ourselves, and be occupied with Him.

I cannot but recall to the reader what this system involves -- that "Christ, who knew no sin, was made sin for us," means that Christ, having been sinless in His eternal divinity, was made sin in being made man! By whom? Not when He offered Himself without spot to God, but He was made a bad sinful being by God, when coming into existence in this world!

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CHRISTOLOGICAL PANTHEISM

There is a very grave question at issue now in the professing church of God, which branches out uniformly into many collateral points, all of which, though in different degrees, affect Christianity; that is, the true nature of Christianity itself. The root of the whole question however is, Where is the bond, the union, the living association between what is divine and men?+ It takes the form of Popery or Romanism; Ritualism or Puseyism, so called, in the Episcopal body in England and in this country;++ the Stahl and Hengstenberg school in Lutheran Germany; and in what is called Mercersburg theology among the Dutch Reformed here. The last is allied to a new school in Germany, propagating actively its views on the Person of Christ; but all, however various the shades of theology, are essentially the same. They all hold union to take place in the incarnation, to be with humanity, not (consequent on redemption) of believers with a glorified Christ; and, without in words denying it, they put redemption entirely in the shade. Redemption, in their view, is not really accomplished by the atonement, but by the incarnation.

Their system of union develops itself in the life-giving power of sacraments; and in insisting on the importance and organic power and authority of the church, but meaning thereby the clergy. Where the German school has infected it, it introduces the organic and historic development of Christ's life in the world, and that in all arts and sciences, a kind of Christological pantheism. In all cases, the mystical power of the clergy, and organism of the life-giving power of the sacraments which the clergy alone can introduce into them, is its practical character. It slights the written word and the operation of the Spirit of God; and, while speaking much of historical development, carefully avoids historical facts, as well as scriptural statements, and the direct authority of the word of God over the soul as from God Himself. That is, private interpretation, the church, the creed, the Ecumenical Council, in result, the clergy, are to be trusted. The church has developed the imperfect elements of Scripture; and theology (which is of course in the hands of the doctors, that is, themselves) is alone full and formal truth. +++Union with God, spoken of by both Evangelicals and Ritualists, is a thing (save, of course, in the Person of Christ) unknown to Scripture.

+America

++America

+++America

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It is remarkable how God is set aside in this system, and man, humanity, exalted and made everything of, even in Christ and His work, as far as His work is made of any account.

I shall notice some details, but I shall take up the root-question as concerning every one; for it is a question of what Christianity is -- what the truth is. The consequences are deplorable and demoralising wherever it prevails; but, without denying that there are pious persons and real Christians ensnared by it, I affirm that, as a system, it is a denial of the truth of Christianity, of Christianity itself in its foundation and vital truths, as revealing what man is, and bringing what man is, and bringing him savingly, to God. I add these last words because the error, save in the German school of the system, is not in the objective part of Christianity (or no one could be a Christian who adopted it), but in the application of its efficacious power, and the way in which God has dealt with man. They do not deny that those who oppose their system believe in the Trinity; in the incarnation; in the true humanity of the Lord; in the atonement; in the union of the two natures in one Person in the blessed Lord; as I myself adoringly recognise all this: and the true value of the two ordinances established by the Lord, baptism and the Lord's supper -- both (and especially the latter as a continuous thing in the Christian's life) precious to his soul. I may add the exercise of ministry as given and appointed by Christ. These are not the questions at issue; at least I have nothing now to do with those who call them in question. For me, as to all the first truths, there is no Christianity without them, nor orderly Christianity without the latter. The question is, Where is the point of contact between God and man, these things being true?

But I go farther in what may be considered agreement with the school of error. I do not deny, but assert and affirm strongly, that the Lord established a church, that is, an assembly, on earth; which, in one point of view, is His body, formed by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; and which, in another character, is the habitation of God on earth by the Spirit (not the clergy; they are in no sense the church). This (and the word means nothing else) is the assembly. But, though individual relationship with God is always put in the first place by the word of God (relationship with the Father in grace and Christ the First-born among many brethren, and responsibility, conscience, and faith are uniformly individual), yet God did establish an assembly on earth, designated as "the body of Christ," and as "the habitation of God by the Spirit." Further, the Lord instituted two great ordinances in connection with it -- baptism and the Supper of the Lord. He established also a ministry in gifts given by Himself from on high -- evangelists, pastors, and teachers, as He founded it by apostles and prophets, besides its being compacted by that which every joint supplies, so that it should, in the edification of itself, increase with the increase of God. All this is plainly stated in the word of God itself. No history is needed to give it authority or validity. The particularly views of Rome, of Dr. Pusey, or of Dr. Nevin, about these things, are another question. They are not inspired; the word of God is.

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But I go farther still. The Person of the blessed Lord is the centre of all Christian affections and all Christian truth for the believer (and God has given us eternal life in Him -- "he that hath the Son hath life"); as, in God's time, all things will be headed up in Him in heaven and in earth. This is supremely dear to the believer's heart. But how and where are men brought into living association with Him? All those to whom I refer say, in the incarnation and the sacraments. That life is and was in His Person is most true. His Person is the foundation of everything; but where are we brought into association with Him? The formulary among the Episcopalian Ritualists was, the sacraments are a continuation or extension of the incarnation. German theology, and American borrowed from the Germans, has added a principle of historical development before as well as after the incarnation, which the soberer Episcopalians have not adopted, as far as I am aware, but confine themselves to the continuation of the incarnation of the Son of God by the sacraments in the church, and have not followed the reveries of the Germans; but the doctrine, as far as the truth I am occupied with is concerned, is the same.

The atonement loses all its importance as a redeeming work; at-one-ment, as Irving said and they say, was in the Word being made flesh and receiving humanity in His own Person. Our connection with God is restored by incarnation. Many grave errors flow from this as to justification and the like; but I confine myself to the root of the matter. Thus it is stated in this country:+ "The Son of God ... assumed humanity and became the universal man, standing related to the race as redeemed in Him, as the first Adam stood related to the race as fallen in him. The humanity of the One is as broad, as universal, and comprehensive, as the humanity of the other." "The very assumption of that nature, in its sinless perfection, was itself the redemption of humanity. In Him humanity stands redeemed already, as the source and fountain of the new race which proceeds from Him." "The church becomes, accordingly, an object of faith, inasmuch as it is a continuation of the mystery of the incarnation." "The sacrament of baptism is the divinely instituted means by which, ordinarily, the life-communication takes place."

+America.

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How far this goes in the hands of the followers of the Germans, and how it lowers redemption to what is human, may be seen in what follows: "He, taking upon Himself our nature, not simply as an individual, to stand forth as one in the teeming race of Adam ... but, grasping the very foundation of our human existence, appropriates it to Himself as the generic force and life of our race; not a man, but the man; the second Adam, like unto the first, as the bearer of the totality of our humanity, comprehending in His Person the whole of our human life." Now that He was the last (not second) Adam is all right, and that He took all that constitutes a man is all true; but this means a vast deal more. "For man is man, in the proper sense of the term, only as his life reveals itself in the outward forms of the institutions and relations in which it becomes actual in the world. The family, the state, learning in all its departments, the arts, the sciences, and all monuments besides of the activity of the human soul, stand not apart from, but are truly comprehended in, the constitution of our human life. These departments, if we may so call them, and all others besides, comprehended thus in the wonderful constitution of our humanity, must come at last to a vital union with the divine. Failure in this is failure equally deep and disastrous in the purpose of its being; it is death. But to attain to this is to attain to life and immortality! It was in this comprehensive sense that the Logos apprehended our nature, and took it into union with His divinity. These are the 'all things on earth' which the divine will would gather up in Christ, even in Him, of which St. Paul speaks."

I give this long quotation to shew how entirely man, as in and for this world, is in the mind of those degraded (for such it is) by this system. Not a trace of spiritual blessing in heavenly places in Christ, to say nothing of God Himself, communion with the Father and the Son. It is bringing Christ and the effect of His incarnation to the sphere of the mere natural man; indeed this is stated in terms. Again:

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"Moreover, we must bear in mind that the humanity of Christ is, and must necessarily be, co-extensive with Adam's. Its remedial powers must be commensurate with the ruins of the fall, and reveal themselves wherever these effects are to be found. We look, therefore, for their regenerating and sanctifying potencies in every department of human life. The family, the state, our social relations in all their phases, art, science, learning, and all the outward revelations of human powers, are gathered up in this supernatural constitution," etc. "There all things in earth were gathered up and completed in the Person of Christ and the mission of the church on earth is to carry forward this germinal realisation to an actual development in the world." Christ come in the flesh in this world, the incarnation prolonged (to speak with them) in the church, has its object in this world to take up human development in what are man's natural faculties. This is "the meaning and design of the incarnation of our Lord, and the constitution and powers of His holy body, the church." Of a citizenship in heaven, or affections on things above, not on things on the earth; not a trace, save the denial of it. I add another short quotation to shew it is systematic teaching, not merely individual opinion.

"The gospel is emphatically a world-saving power. It enters into the life of the world in an organic way ... the scheme that says, 'There can be no real marriage of divine and human powers, of the life of Christ, with the life of the race, in an abiding, historical, sacramental union, and continuing in the world in such a way as to carry forward society in a living process of life and growth in knowledge, and in faith, and in hope, and in charity, and in all that belongs to the existence of an emancipated and regenerated humanity' ... is not only unreal and unhistorical, but it seems to run directly in the face of the plainest teachings of the word of God. This teaches that God is in Christ, and that Christ is the life of the world," etc. Thus writer, indeed, though making God create the world by His omnipotence, yet, as to its present form, whether accomplished in six days or six long geological periods, tells us that "all nature was made to rise, by an inherent law and tendency, from one gradation of development to another under the moulding generic power of the Almighty, until, finally, the whole culminated in the creation of man," which is little less than Darwinianism, and the progress from atomic cellules by "an inherent law and tendency."

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But we must now see the introduction of this life in Christ. "Christological theology must be historical" ... "His [Christ's] deepest, truest, and most real coming through the Old Testament is a coming in flesh and blood, a coming in and through generations, a coming in history; not in the events of history merely, but in that human life in which lay and from which operated the life of history. Yea, more, if we acknowledge, as all Christian historians do, that the incarnation is premeditated in heathenism, we are in like manner impelled to escape the subtle deception into which the mind so naturally falls, that this same prevening heathen history could have such a relation to the incarnation, if the eternal Logos had not such an aptitude for the human as that His own life should also be in some kind of underlying and underacting communion with the life of whose activities this heathen prophetic history is the creation and the result. If such be the relation of the life of the Logos to human life and history, previous to His actual incarnation, how infinitely deeper and more certain must be that relation after He has actually entered the human in a personal way, and so joined His own divine-human-life with the life and history of the race!

"Let us not deceive our own minds by separating history from life. Christian history, the history of Christianity, is the coming of Christ," etc. "Thus Christ came in humanity as its genuine principle of life, before He was actually incarnate in the fulness of time. But the mystery was not completed in this prevenient union of His with humanity."

Now, that the Son quickened souls from Adam onwards, no Christian, I suppose, would deny. That in God we live, move, and have our being, so that we are in a certain sense His offspring, we know is scriptural truth. But this is vastly more. It is in heathenism, as such, communion with divine life in Christ. The whole of this argument (and here the theologians run completely into the same channel both here and in Europe, with a large class of Germans whose system is infidel) confounds the wants and cravings of a being created for God, when they have Him not, with the answer that grace gives to those cravings in Christ: a very grave blunder.

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But I must pursue my subject. To notice all their errors would be endless. It is the antiscriptural, antichristian character of the system, as a whole, which occupies me -- "that His saving life exerts its redeeming and restoring power in humanity," and "that the person of the God-man, which is constituted by the real and true union of the divine and human, is the ultimate generic principle of redemption, the generic head of the new humanity." "He was the principle of that hereditary blessing which laid hold of human life generally."

Now it is perfectly clear, that in the counsels and wisdom of God before the worlds (Proverbs 8) His delight (Christ's, as wisdom) was in the sons of men. His incarnation, as celebrated by angels, was the expression of good pleasure in men; Luke 2. They were the race of His predilection, and it was in Christ, the Word made flesh, that this was to be accomplished. But our theologians use this truth as a basis to their own speculations. Adam was only a candidate for the grace of life,+ to be enjoyed only in the event of his "predetermination admitting him into the wonderfully mysterious sacrament of the tree of life." It is "not, and never was, designed by the Creator that man should have life in himself, but only as he stood in vital union with His own being as the absolute ground and source of all life. To be out of and separated from God is to be dead; to be in union with Him is to have life." Note well: this denies the immortality of the soul, and confounds permanent life with the divine life as possessed in Christ. Either Adam, as created, had not life in himself by creation, or he was united with God already, and fell when he was. Nay, the very devils could not exist. It is a theory involving ten thousand absurdities and heresies, at once confounding death and separation from God; spiritual death with dying as a creature, and life, as existence, with divine life in communion with God. As to union with God, though used by many Christians, save as regards the Person of Christ it is a wholly false and unscriptural idea; it is always with Christ become a Man, and risen from the dead, that we have union.

But I continue: "In what form the reunion of the human and divine would have taken place, had not sin entered into the world, it is not necessary for us here to inquire. It is enough to know that it would have taken place ... . There was no miscalculation in the divine reckonings which the presence of sin for the first time revealed." However, sin came in; but "the union of the human and divine was originally involved in the plan of creation, as its ultimate design and end; in this union as it holds in the Person of Jesus Christ, do we find the revelation of God's will touching this precise interest." "The appearance of sin as a disturbing force, growing out of man's free self-determining power, was confronted immediately by this very resource for its effectual overthrow." It is not thus denied that Christ's going down to death, and meeting the penalty of the law, was needed; as He took humanity, He took it as it was, subject to its penalties, and consequently died on the cross. But, "though finding in sin a fresh call for the incarnation, yet this determined not the fact, but only the form under which it should hold." "The archetypal conception in the divine mind, overthrown by the fraud and malice of Satan in the first Adam, we find in this second Adam in the complete elimination of all the abnormal forces, carried along in the bosom of humanity, not only restored and realised, but perfected and advanced." This is in Christ incarnate down here. He "exhibited what, from the start, lay really and truly in the normal sense of humanity." Nay, even "the church, it fully appears, was no necessity of the fall. It existed anterior to the accident of sin; and, had the fall never occurred, would have continued, though not under the subsequent form of mediatorial offices and propitiatory agencies, but as a divine instrumentality, answering man's normal development. It sprang necessarily out of our moral constitution and our relation to God as the subjects of His moral government." "True to this law of his own moral being, he would have been advanced, without bodily decay and decomposition, to a state of full glorification, but only through the appearance, ultimately, of the Logos incarnate." Thus sin was an accident, impotent, as is said elsewhere, to hinder the course of God's purposes, foreseen indeed of God; and redemption by blood itself, an accident, a provision, a "change of procedure," "a subsequent form," dependent on this accident. "But it will be borne in mind that Christ was not a new humanity, a creation de novo; His was Adam's humanity as under the power of the curse." "In its commencement it was human nature, as that of His virgin mother, and therefore fallen." It is added indeed, "From the moment of the holy conception sin was eliminated."

+This is really the foundation of annihilationism. Would he have died if he had not eaten of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?

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But this is not the doctrine of their leading theologian, and in a discourse published by the request of the Synod he holds that "on the divine side, that which was divine was mediated by the divine Spirit, and so found pure generical beginning in fallen and depraved human nature. In this bosom of the abnormal human the divine gradually assumed the normal human, by a steady victory over corrupt human nature in the womb, forward to the birth of the Holy Child." "So on through life, it is fully and naturally human. Though as human He is tempted, truly and really tempted, He is always victorious over defect and corruption of that nature. "Under the law" which He has assumed, and which ever presses upon and vitally touches His pure life at every point, thus presenting to the world the picture ... of a sinless man. Thus in His own personal human nature He obtained, first of all, a complete victory over that abnormal humanity with which He had formed a union, presenting it fully restored to its normal purity, in His own Person, especially exhausting and overcoming at every point the virus of sin and death, till He came forth from the grave victorious over its last power and penalty, and glorified human nature in the heavens. All this was one continuous, silently-working, steady, victorious miracle, going forward in His own Person, a victory of sinlessness overcoming depravity by the process of His divine-human life in the womb. Though made of the woman ... He was still made under the law, that is, His human nature had to be purely developed out of the bosom of an impure humanity." (See Romans 8: 2; 2 Corinthians 13: 4.) I add the quotations to shew that they carry the principle on to the cross.+

This is pure Irvingism. A sinless effect was produced, but by His being victorious over an evil nature within: where defect and corruption existed, He restored it to purity, but it was with corrupt abnormal humanity He had formed a union and had to overcome the virus of sin. Where was it? "This victory was first in Himself, that it might be also for us. It had to take place in Him, because He is the principle and fountain of life to all. 'For their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.' Let these great words be understood." They are wholly misunderstood. They were spoken when He was going to His Father (John 17), as He says in the passage, "Now, I am no more in the world." He was setting Himself apart as the glorified Man in heaven; not what He had been doing all His life. He knew no sin. It was a "holy thing" that was born of the Virgin Mary.

+Note the absurdity of the system, a divine-human which was sinless, overcoming depravity in an impure humanity. So He had two humanities in the womb, besides what was divine. How thoroughly degrading mentally the system is!

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So, to the same purpose, is quoted by them, "He learned obedience," and "being made perfect." "As His own divine-human life thus sanctified and perfected" (think of a divine life needing sanctification!) "was to become the restoring and perfecting life of humanity, it had to extend beyond Himself, that it might begin and carry forward to a like victory fallen and depraved human nature in others." "But it must lay hold also on the fallen world beyond man." "And all the particular miracles wrought by Him are only individual manifestations of that same divine-human miracle life." "The miracle is supernatural because its force is the life of a higher world." Consequently, dividing the Red Sea and the Jordan was no miracle, nor the earth opening and swallowing up Dathan and Abiram. Christ's divine works were miracles of good: but the definition is as false as the doctrine is.

I do not go into all this system, fully developed as it is in Europe, and borrowed here. "Human nature in its creation ... free from all sin ... was not yet perfect, but awaited process ... in order to become perfect. How much more was such a process of development, not only possible, but also necessary, in the fallen humanity which the Son of God assumed." "We assent here, with Lange, that the very idea of temptation implies the possibility of sinning." "His triumph over the temptation of the devil was a personal victory, a step in the process of His own perfecting of Himself, as well as for the benefit of His people." "This view is required by the nature of Christ's human will." It is then said, "if the human in the Person of Christ had been compelled by an overshadowing power to will as it did." But this flows from their idea that the corruption and "virus of sin," of a fallen abnormal nature was there. The non-possibility of sinning did not even arise from a compelling power, for then, without that power, He might. It would not have been the holiness of His nature, but from the intrinsic rightness of Christ's will, in His holy Person, as a man. Their darkened understandings have not been able to distinguish between morally impossible (and here absolutely so), and impossibility by compulsion; because they have a false unholy Christ. The Christ of God had no inclination to sin. His will was only to obey: and He was led of the Spirit to be tempted.

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As regards the sympathy of the Lord, on the ground of which His liability to inward temptations, and even His peccability, is insisted on, it fails altogether. For the sorrow and discouragement of sincere souls does not come from the existence of sin in the flesh, but much more from their yielding to it. Now, if they are to get sympathy here by Christ being in the same state, He must have failed. But then all is lost. And if not, the whole argument is proved false on its very base. Such persons do not know what true deliverance is. Nor do I ask for sympathy for sin, but the word to judge it, and deliverance from its power by redemption and the Holy Ghost, in the knowledge that I have no strength. The advocacy of Christ to restore communion if we do fail, when we are free from the law of sin and death, is founded on righteousness and propitiation.

But as I am on this point, I add, they have no true Christ at all. I read, "How such human nature, as body, soul, and spirit, including a human will, could be held in personal union with the divine, so that this humanity was complete, without a human personality or ego, we cannot understand, but we believe it is a mystery revealed for faith." Where? Why does the blessed Lord say, "Not my will but thine?" Why does He say, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" if there was no ego, no human personality? Why does Hebrews quote, "will I sing praise," and "will put my trust in him," "behold I and the children which God hath given me," if there was no I (ego)? Why does He say, "My God and your God, my Father and your Father" (not our), if there was no personality?+ And this last remark, that Christ never says "our" with His disciples, I borrow from a European minister of some note, thoroughly imbued with the German system, where it is at home, not borrowed, and itself spoiled, as it is at Mercersburg. And this last statement, that Christ had no human personality, no ego, which is really heresy (though God and man were united in one person), and the mere folly of man attempting to fathom the mystery of His Person, when He has said, "No man knoweth the Son, but the Father," is found in the Article of one by no means the worst of their doctors. His antecedent respect for the blessed Lord has not been destroyed, as in others of them. But all hold it was corrupt fallen human nature which He took and had; not that He took human nature from a fallen mother but without sin, miraculously, by the power of the Holy Ghost. But he is the least bad on this point.

+I am quite aware of and accept the ordinary orthodox statement of two natures in one person, though what was at first insisted on as orthodox as to upostasis was afterwards condemned, and the meaning of the word changed; but the statements quoted in the text are really Monothelite. It shews the danger of those early discussions, for the simple faith that Jesus was God and man in one Person can be easily accepted as plain and vital truth; but the moment you deny personality in the man Christ Jesus, you run into a thousand difficulties and errors. What is really denied is Christ's individuality as a man, as it is in terms elsewhere.

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But my object here is to bring the system fully into the light. Hence I quote several passages to shew it is the system, not individual opinion. Thus another says to us, "The temptability of Christ grew out of His peccability; His peccability out of the realness of the human side of His being. What is less than infinite is temptable and peccable. Christ's humanity was less than infinite; therefore His humanity might have been overthrown." And that, note, united in one Person to Godhead, without there being even an I, or human personality -- a word wrongly used really -- in His human nature! Was ever such folly and confusion? God united to fallen humanity, with defect and corruption and the virus of sin in it! My hand revolts at writing such blasphemous absurdities.

This taking the fallen human nature, the ultimate generic principle of redemption, "accounts for the striking analogy between the birth of the God-man,+ and the new birth of every human soul that is now born from Him. Both alike are a birth to a true and pure human life, out of a fallen and defiled humanity, by the operation of the Holy Ghost." "This birth is vouchsafed to as many as receive Him." This last gross misapplication (indeed false sense) of John 1: 12 I quote, as connecting itself with the subsequent teaching as to baptism. I add another here, to shew the strange heretical confusion of those teachers: "If therefore we say that in baptism a real immanence of the nature of Christ and of human nature, a mysterious oneness of His holy essence and the sinful essence of man, is brought about, we also hold fast to the idea that this is not to be regarded as an immanence finished and immediate, but one endless beginning." Think of one endless beginning, of a oneness, of Christ's holy essence and the sinful essence of man! Is this endless oneness(!) of holy essence and sinful essence a moral oneness, or what?

+Strange to say, this expression was utterly condemned as heresy in the early ages.

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We have thus the Lord's incarnation, the point where (they say) He connects Himself with human nature; not merely personally, or rather not personally (so they expressly say), but in nature as the new head of the race (He is not a man, not a human personality, but) with humanity, and that fallen humanity the new head of the race. This is continued in men by a new birth, the continuation of this divine human life, and this last not by the word but by baptism, through which there is a mysterious oneness of His holy and man's sinful essence, and this forms the body of Christ! I must give some quotations to make the last point evident. The general statement is thus: "The Spirit in Christ, the Spirit having entered into the apostles in the mystery of Pentecost extraordinarily, the Spirit, by their divinely appointed ministrations, through holy baptism." Thus it grows into a holy temple. "The life of Christ infuses itself through the foundation and the entire organism of this life-building."

Further, preaching presents the claims to us: "This preaching is the means by which the quickening energy of the Spirit opens the blinded eye of faith to an apprehension of the sinner's estate as dead, and the spiritual discernment of the kingdom of life, as the power of deliverance from this ruin. Now, this faith is the organ of the human spirit by which the objective supernatural order is discerned, and its participation is made possible. But this subjective power of discernment and receptivity is by no means one with an actual entrance into it and a participation in its life. It is only the qualification and ability so to do." "But unless the human activity is met by a curative response on the part of Christ, the soul still remains under the power of death" (only it has got its eyes opened). "The office of the apostle, preparatory preaching, is then simply to effect the preparation on the part of the sinful subject for the reception of the communication of grace. The meeting of the human and divine activities we have in the sacrament of baptism."

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"The question now is by which of these means specifically does God design to effect this wondrous work; by the word or by the sacraments? Not by the word, that is, as we have defined it, the preaching of the gospel, and for this plain reason: preaching is directed to the mind or intellect, the moving of the affections and of the will is not reaching the life-centre of the being; the intellect or mind is not the life of man; all the thinking, feeling, or willing that one can do, though assisted in their acts by a divine power, cannot of themselves make a man a new creature in Christ Jesus. This inward radical divine work must be accomplished, therefore, by the only other means -- the sacraments ... . Baptism is the ordinance of this mysterious union ... . Holy baptism is the means of grace whereby the Holy Spirit ingrafts, for the first time in any substantial sense, the believer into Christ, and thus brings him into a state of salvation."

I continue: "In that Christ as the unseen Head stands in an inward indisputable relation to the church as His mystical body -- that is, that total organisation of souls which has its point of personal unity in Him, receives the power of life from Him through it, renews and animates itself, and the members themselves are all its organs -- He, by means of baptism, causes this universal organic relation to become effectual in each single new point of life which He appropriates to Himself and His kingdom. As He continues His life through the church as a whole, so He also continues it through this particular mode of individual life, and therefore makes Himself the true beginning of life to it."

But, faith being necessary, as they hold, "The child stands on the warm bosom of the faith of the church, which, through its parents or sponsors, is pledged in its behalf." "Neither can we say that the word is the specific means of grace, whereby men are ingrafted into Christ. The word, as preached by the apostles, was a call to Christ. This was its object, to turn the attention of men to Him, as the true Messiah, the Son of God, the Saviour of the world. When they were ready to receive Him, they were baptised into Him, and thus made members of Him." "Christian baptism then, we think the Scriptures teach, is the sacrament of our incorporation into Christ." "The word has to do with truth; the sacrament with life. The one operates upon the intellect and affections; the other upon the centre of the being. By the word men are brought mentally and morally into contact with Christ; by the sacrament into actual life contact." "The theology then we speak of is churchly. It believes in the church ... in the bosom of which only, not on the outside of it, the gospel can be expected to work, as the wisdom of God and the power of God unto salvation. So far as this goes, of course, it owns and confesses that the church is a medium of communication between Christ and His people." (His people, then, are not the church!) "They must be in the order of His grace, in the sphere where this objective working of His grace is actually going forward, and not in the order of nature, where it is not going forward at all (but where Satan reigns and has his own way), if the work of redemption and sanctification is to be carried forward in them with full effect. In this sense, most assuredly, salvation is of the church, and not of the world," etc. Now that, as a general truth, sanctification is to be looked for in the church, not in the world, is all true enough. But the gospel, they say, cannot work outside of it; the poor heathen are in a bad way, and redemption is carrying on, and that only inside it. Salvation is not of the world, assuredly, but it is to the world, and could never have been, had it not come to it as such; nor could the church otherwise have existed. The grace of God brings salvation -- where? to those already within, or to men without to bring them in?

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There are some points I shall touch on just in detail; but I assert now that the whole of this system is totally antichristian and antiscriptural. "Christ incarnate is the point of union, and His divine-human life is continued by baptism; the word is not the means of communicating it; baptism incorporates into Christ; the accident of sin produced a change of procedure (that is all): man was to be perfected in Christ at any rate." All this is false: Scripture, as to the main points, teaches precisely the contrary; and God's glory is wholly, totally, left out in a most extraordinary way. Human perfection is the only thought.

Now, that it was in the wondrous counsels of God to have man in the same glory as His Son is, however wonderful, blessedly true. That Christ is life, our life who believe, is equally so. The question is, where and how life in this system, not death, is the means of redemption. "His saving life exerts its redeeming and restoring power in humanity, not by becoming an individual man among men, and then operating on the general life of humanity, but by entering into it; and this entering is by birth, so that the new creation of human nature in its organic being falls together and co-ordinate with natural human birth. The reheading of humanity is thus effected in its very beginning by the union of the divine-human life" -- (two human lives again in Christ) -- "with human life in a human birth; even as man's first creation was completed by the conjunction of the breath of God with the human lifeless form, when God made man a living soul by breathing into him the breath of life. From all this we cannot but see that the Person of the God-man, which is constituted by the real and true union of the divine and human, is the ultimate generic principle of redemption."

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Humanity (in its nature) is redeemed by incarnation; and this is carried on by baptism! Now, all this is definitely contrary to the revelation of God; and, in that sense, is a denial of Christianity. It is true, that conformity to the image of God's Son is the portion of God's saints; true, that God's delight was in the sons of men before the world, and that the Lord did not take up angels but the seed of Abraham: true, that the incarnation was the expression of good pleasure in men; true, not that the human-divine life of Christ was the generic source of the race before the incarnation, but that the Son quickened souls from Adam onwards; true, that He is now the life of all believers, and the Head of His body, the church. But reunion with Christ, connection with Him, is with a glorified Christ, and with a glorified Christ alone, after He had accomplished redemption. As the first Adam sinned and was cast out before he began to be the head of the race, so the perfect and divine ground of righteousness was laid and complete before Christ, as man, became head of a new race as man. It is with a glorified Christ that the church is united, and with no other. There are many errors and heresies in the system; but, if this be so, the whole system is fundamentally false. It is a false Christianity, "another (a different) gospel, which is not another," for another there cannot be. Death and redemption must come in before we can be united to Christ. What Scripture shews us is the counsels of God before the world for uniting us in grace to Christ in glory; then God beginning not with that, but with the responsible man, Adam. When he had failed, and fully tested, was found an enemy of God, there came the second Man, the Lord, to seek and to save what was lost; and, when He (having glorified God as made sin) had accomplished redemption in His death, to unite us with Himself as gone on high.

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Man failed in innocence, failed under the law, killed the prophets sent in mercy; and then God said, "I have yet one Son; it may be they will reverence my Son." "But they cast him out of the vineyard and slew him." There was lawlessness without law, transgression under law, and, when God came in grace, absolute enmity against Him. The Son had quickened whom He would, no doubt, all along; and their sins were forgiven through His blood: but man, as such, was then fully and finally proved enmity against God. Flesh was not subject to the law of God, nor could be; and they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Not only was man driven out from God's paradise on earth, as a sinner; but he had, as far as he could do so, driven God out when He came in grace into this world. "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin; but now they have no cloke for their sin ... . If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin; but now they have both seen and hated both me and my Father." Such was man, guilty in fact, and lost in estate. Redemption was needed, not merely a communication of life: not redemption by a mystical communication of life -- a thing totally unknown to Scripture; but redemption through Christ's blood, propitiation: not the folly of "oneness of a holy essence and a sinful essence," but to be born anew, wholly "created in Christ Jesus"; being redeemed out of the state he was in, and associated with the Redeemer, but only when the redemption was accomplished. Christ the Lord came, as Son of God and King of Israel according to Psalm 2; a minister of the circumcision, to fulfil the promises made to the fathers; but the kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers took counsel together against Jehovah and against His Anointed. He was the despised and rejected of men. He came into the world, and the world was made by Him, and the world knew Him not. He came unto His own, and His own received Him not. Those who did receive Him were born, not of the will of man, but of God.

Still His title was good. He was also Son of man. But when was He to take this? When rejected, God gave witness to Him, as Son of God in raising Lazarus, as Son of David in riding in on the ass. One title yet remained; when was He to take this up and have others connected with Him? The Greeks came up desiring to see Jesus: "The hour is come," He says, "that the Son of man should be glorified. Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it ABIDETH ALONE; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit," John 12. The Son of man must die, that others might be associated with Him. Without that, He abode alone.

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Hence it was, that, when He had given full testimony, He charged His disciples strictly to tell no man that He was the Christ; saying, "The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected, and put to death, and rise again the third day." Hence, as in the former passage, in John 12, His soul was troubled, and He said, "Father, save me from this hour, but for this cause came I to this hour; Father, glorify thy name"; and then, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." It was a dying Saviour that was this point of gathering; one rejected by man, but, by sovereign grace, therein a Saviour. He rises again, and is glorified to be in the place where He connects man with Himself; so that "He that sanctifieth and they that are sanctified are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren." And if He was made a little lower than the angels, why so? "For the suffering of death, that he, by the grace of God, might taste death for every man" (or "thing"). And then we read, "It became him for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." It was not by incarnation He sanctified any one. "By the which will we are sanctified, by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all."

And now see another aspect of it, the glory of God and of the Son of man Himself. It became God, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the Captain of their salvation perfect through suffering. These doctors only see man, humanity, aptitude for humanity: God and His glory have no place in their system. They quote the passage, "The life was the light of men." Let me finish the sentence for them, which they do not: "And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not." Rejection, and increased guilt, and proof of sin, was the only fruit in man of incarnation taken by itself. It was condemnation, not life, to others, "for this is the condemnation that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil." When the blessed Lord, being in the form of God, made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men, was it there His blessed career of grace stopped? No! "Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross; WHEREFORE also God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow," Philippians 2. Here it is He takes the place of Head of the new creation.

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In John 13, as soon as Judas went out to betray Him, the Lord says, "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him; and if God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him"; and He has, as man, been exalted into the glory of God. So in John 17, "I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do; and now, Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory I had with thee before the world was." And it is as thus perfected in glory that He has become "the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him."

But God was glorified in Him also. All good and evil came to an issue on the cross, and there only perfectly. There was man's absolute evil, enmity against God come into the world in goodness; power in grace that removed every evil brought in by sin, even to death; but, as that displayed God's presence, it drew out man's enmity. The sin was not healed by it, but made fully manifest in its absolute character. They killed the Prince of Life. There the complete power of Satan over men was manifested and exercised -- the prince of this world came. There the perfection of man in Christ: the prince of this world had nothing in Him; but there was perfect love to the Father, and perfect obedience displayed by Him. Perfect righteousness against sin, in God, was displayed as nowhere else; but perfect love to the sinner. Nor could these both have been manifested together in any other way. Cutting off men might be righteous, but no love; sparing them all without atonement, held to be love, but no righteousness; nor would destroying them all be God's glory but defeat and failure. But through Christ's death God's majesty, what became Him, His righteousness, His infinite love and truth -- all have been glorified, and the foundation of the new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness, laid in Christ's appearing (in the consummation of ages) to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself. "Through the eternal Spirit he offered himself without spot to God," Hebrews 9. All this we are to believe is through the accident of sin, which changed the mode of procedure, humanity being the end of all! But if the prince of this world was cast out by this wondrous work, then was the judgment of this world.

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Where then, in all this, was reconciliation? The incarnate Word, the Son of God, was rejected. The premediating heathen, in whom Christ's life was germinally and prophetically, as they tell us, were -- the apostle tells us (Ephesians 2) -- without Christ, strangers to the covenants of promise, and without God in the world, given up in judgment to a reprobate mind (Romans 1), because they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, by nature children of wrath, walking according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air. And how reconciled? or where redemption? In incarnation, and the uniting the divine life in Christ with fallen humanity? Not at all. "And you, who were alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death," Colossians 1. "God was in Christ reconciling" -- not He had by incarnation done so. The world would not have Him in that character. He was occupied with that work, but totally rejected. Satan was the prince of this world, and the world came under judgment. The wrath of God was revealed; and then, Christ having died, the work was committed to His ambassadors.

There was no link formed by Christ Jesus with other men by His incarnation. Preparation was made for it: but it issued in the judgment of this world. If we look to life and union in the church, the body of Christ, its fullest and highest character; is it in incarnation, or with a glorified Saviour, and (for us) by a new creation? No union till He is glorified! "What is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in heavenly places, ... and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." He is not in the place of head till He is glorified. And, when we were dead in sins, God hath quickened us together with Christ, and raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ. We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works. If any man be in Christ, it is a new creation: "old things are passed away, all things are become new." Therefore the apostle knew no man after the flesh; yea, though he had known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth he knew Him no more. Christ had come as the Messiah of the Jews, as the crown, if He had been received, of humanity; but as such He had been rejected; and now it was only through redemption by blood, and as a glorified Christ that man could have connection with Him.

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Does Peter, who enters less into the counsels of God than Paul, take a different ground from this? No; "we are begotten again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." Is redemption otherwise than by blood? "We are redeemed, not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ"; and we "by him do believe in God who raised him up from the dead and gave him glory, that our faith and hope might be in God." It is by His stripes we are healed, and, if He be our life, it is as risen. In Colossians as in Ephesians, when we were dead in sins He hath quickened us together with Him; He suffered, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God. Hence in John also (chapter 6), where He speaks of the bread come down from heaven, He takes care to add, "If ye eat not the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you."

They tell us that God has gathered together all things in Christ. Scripture does not say so; but that God has made known to us the mystery of His will, that in the dispensation of the fulness of times He will do so, in whom (Christ) we have received an inheritance, and that we are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, till the redemption of the purchased possession to the praise of His glory; Ephesians 1. So, in Romans, we are heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ, if so be we suffer with Him that we may be glorified together. Not only so, but we are assured that all things are not put under Christ now (Hebrews 2), but He is crowned with glory and honour, according to Psalm 8, and He is sitting, not on His own throne yet, but on His Father's, expecting, at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens, till His enemies be made His footstool. So in 1 Peter, the prophets, searching their own prophecies, found it was not to themselves but to us they did minister the things which are now reported to you by them that have preached the gospel to you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; and we are to be sober and hope to the end.

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God will head-up all things in heaven and in earth in Christ, but, though He was incarnate that it might be so, incarnation did not put Him in this place. Though all power is given Him in heaven and in earth, He is not in this headship yet. His incarnation brought Him into universal rejection: man saw no beauty in Him to desire Him; it was the time of His rejection, not of every knee bowing to Him, nor is this time come yet. Now He sits on the right hand of God expecting. These doctors make it a sanctifying of arts, sciences, etc., on earth, by penetrating life. The Scriptures make it a bearing of the cross now, separate from the world; a suffering with Him, and then a glorious Christ, under whom are reconciled all things in heaven and in earth, as reigning in glory: and that we only are reconciled now by His death, and He expecting till His enemies are made His footstool; and always (eis to dienekes) now, and, till then, sitting at the right hand of God, while His joint-heirs are being gathered.

Through death He has glorified God, through death destroyed him that had the power of death, that is, the devil. It is the travail of His soul that He is Himself to see. Through death He has reconciled us to God; redemption is through His blood. It is as glorifying God on the cross that He is glorified by God; it is by His blood He has redeemed out of every nation: hereby know we love, in that He laid down His life for us; He came to give His life a ransom for many. There He was made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him; 2 Corinthians 5. His incarnation drew out the enmity: by the cross He reconciled Jew and Gentile in one body, making peace. What He had seen and heard, that He testified, and no man received His testimony. When He came, there was no man; when He called, there was none to answer. He spoke that He knew, and He testified that He had seen, and they received not His witness. God came out to man in Christ, and man rejected Him, crucified the blessed One come in grace. But the veil was rent in His death, but never till then, and men can go to God in the holiest. It was not by life, precious as that is, but by death that He redeemed us and reconciled us to God.

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The whole system is utterly antichristian and antiscriptural: moreover it is, as a natural consequence, a perverted and false system practically. It insists on the union of supernatural grace and the order of nature in this world, and makes Christ's headship to be in enjoyable arts and sciences in this world, instead of, as He says, taking up the cross and following Him -- setting our affections on things above, not on things on the earth, as being with Him dead, and our life hid with Him in God. If Christianity be true, this system is false. If it were not for the extreme ignorance of Scripture, both textual and critical, which they display, I should say the audacity of their statements would be marvellous; but I suppose much of it may be attributed to ignorance.

They say that the communication of life is not by the word but by sacraments. Now what saith the scripture? "Of his own will begat he us by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of first-fruits of his creatures," James 1: 18. So Peter: "Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever." We are all children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Now faith cometh by hearing (akoe), and hearing by the word of God: he that heareth my word and believeth Him that sent me hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from death unto life; John 5: 24. It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe; 1 Corinthians 1: 21. Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness; Romans 4: 3. For this cause thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but, as it is in truth, the word of God, which worketh effectually in them that believe; 1 Thessalonians 2: 13. Lastly, when the church had become utterly corrupt, as bad as the heathen, so that the times were perilous, the apostle refers to the Scriptures as able to make wise to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus; 2 Timothy 3. I shall refer to this again when I come to speak a word of the church. I have quoted only direct passages as to the word, of faith in it, quickening and vivifying. There are many other passages which speak indirectly to the same purpose.

They tell us baptism is what gives life and incorporates into the body of Christ. First, as to life, no passage that I can call to mind states anything of the sort. Before Christ, and during His life, it clearly could not be. When Christ was there, the dead heard the voice of the Son of God, and they that heard lived. I can only take their quotations. They quote Peter's statement in Acts 2, but nothing is said there of communicating life at all. They were to be baptised for the remission of sins, and they would then receive the Holy Ghost. They were baptised in Samaria when they believed; of course they were, but no word of life or life-contact. The case of the eunuch is then quoted, the writer being ignorant that the verse is not genuine: but even with it not a word about life. Lydia and the jailer were baptised, and their households: but no word of receiving life. Saul was called to arise and wash away his sins for the formal administration of forgiveness. I do not doubt this had real force, though it is not the ground of it, but the death of Christ whereby we are justified by faith: but not one of them alludes to communication of life by baptism.

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Our doctors claim the interpretation of the Scriptures for themselves; if any one wants to see what it is worth, he may learn. from their comment on the texts they have quoted as to "the word." They prove to us that Peter does not use "the word" of the preaching of the gospel, from the fact that he says that it "liveth and abideth for ever," which cannot be affirmed of preaching -- is not that profound? They seem to be ignorant that Peter only quoted a passage of Isaiah affirming that the gospel was a fulfilment of it. Did they never read "the word preached"? The word is what is preached, and so the apostle would say, "It pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe." Who does not see that it is not the act of preaching (that is, the part of the preacher), but "the word preached"? But God has chosen by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. It is wearisome to notice such absurdity. Supposing I were to say, "Eating his dinner has quite set him up," and a Mercersburg theologian, claiming to be an interpreter of the word and refusing "private interpretation," should say, "Eating cannot set a man up"; what answer can one give to such wisdom but to say, apechei, All right; I quite agree?

The passage of James (chapter 1: 18) is passed over as lightly as possible -- no wonder.

When Paul writes of Christ sanctifying the church "by the washing of water by the word," they tell us it means water and the word, an "unmistakable testimony to the importance and force of holy baptism." What! When the Lord says, Ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you; and note, that if so, the word as spoken of us in Ephesians 5 never can be applied to the soul again: for baptism cannot be repeated. But they have to change the passage to make their use of it. It is alleged that it is affirming that the "Holy Spirit has power to act in an extraordinary way, dispensing with the ordinary organs of communication." So indeed the Lord affirms He does as to this very matter. The wind blows where it lists, and ye hear the sound thereof, but cannot tell whence it cometh or whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. It is curious how they go in the teeth of the word, doubtless through ignorance.

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But the word of God is the ordinary means, the divinely-appointed means, of communicating life, as we have seen: which baptism is never said to be. They speak of magical operation: it is very irreverent when speaking of being born of the Spirit who is the immediate divine agent of imparting the divine nature. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit": but what more magical than a little clean water, and a few words spoken by a man who pretends to have power to do it, being the means of communicating divine life! Far from me to despise baptism; I believe it to be the divinely-appointed door of admission to the place where God has placed His peculiar blessings on the earth. For such a place there was in Israel, and such a place there is in Christendom, awful as its state may be: not of entrance into the body (of this I will speak), but into that habitation which God has set up, and where He dwells by His Spirit. But not only is baptism not life-giving; but it does not mean this even as a sign. It is to the death of Christ we are baptised, unto, not into; we are not baptised into anything, but unto. They were not baptised into Moses, and it is the same word: so, "Whereunto were ye baptised?" Here the translators, though they changed it when they could, could not mis-state it. The answer was "Unto John's baptism." We were baptised unto (eis) Christ's death. How? There is no dead Christ, and you cannot be baptised into His death. We are identified with Him (sumphutoi) "in the likeness of his death."

The only connection with life is the passage in Colossians 2: "Wherein also we are risen with him"; but there it is carefully added, "by faith in the operation of God who raised him from the dead": and even there the coming up out of baptism is resurrection with Him: not simply quickening or life-giving, but formally distinct from it. Baptism is death -- reception in the visible assembly, through death of that which we were, as alive in the first Adam, the death of Christ. As to putting on Christ in Galatians 3, it is only the public profession of Him, as contrasted with Jew or Gentile, barbarian, Scythian, bond or free, male or female. The passage itself is that which declares that "we are all children of God [not by baptism but] by faith in Christ Jesus."

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Nor is baptism incorporating into Christ. There is positive testimony to the contrary: "For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body." The Holy Ghost come down from heaven unites to the glorified Head in heaven. That baptism of the Spirit, we are told, took place on the day of Pentecost. "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit"; others, when they came in amongst them, partook of the same Holy Ghost.

But perhaps the most curious effect in detail of this antiscriptural system is the absolute denial of all operation of the Holy Ghost by the gospel in the world. "It (the church) meets us exactly at the right point, as setting forth the form and manner in which Christ, by the Holy Ghost, carries forward His work of salvation in the world. If we are to hold fast the objective historical character of what this work was first, and still continues to be in His own Person (mark the work is first in the Person of Christ), it cannot be allowed to lose itself in the agency of the Spirit in a general view, it must necessarily involve for us the conception of a special sphere, this likewise objective and historical, within which only (and not in the world at large) the Holy Ghost of the gospel is to be regarded as working. This is the church." "To look for it in the world by private spiritualistic negotiations with God ... is to look for it where it is not to be found."

Now, I ask, in opposition to this teaching, were Paul's evangelistic labours in the church or in the world? That the church was formed by them, where it was not before, no doubt: and doubtless the converts were all baptised. But where was the Holy Ghost of the gospel working? Was it "not in the world at large," as they say? It is as absurd as it is evil. Let us hear what he says. Did he preach the gospel in the church or in the world? He distinguishes this double ministry; Colossians 1. But the Lord Himself before Paul, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature ... . And they went forth and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word by signs following them." And to Paul: "The Gentiles, to whom now I send thee to open their eyes," etc. So Paul: "Whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel which is come unto you, as it is in all the world, and bringing forth fruit, as it doth in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth." And what was this gospel? We read in Ephesians 1: 13, "The word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, in whom also, after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise." He does not think it worth while to mention their baptism, though, doubtless, it took place.

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I said he distinguished his gospel ministry and his church ministry (Colossians 1: 23); "The gospel which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister." ... Then "His body's sake, the church, whereof I am made a minister, to fulfil [complete] the word of God." I may add here, what belongs to another point, that the reconciliation of all things, which they affirm to be going on now, is distinguished from our reconciliation now who form the true church. (See verses 20 -- 22.)

Again Paul declares himself (Romans 1) a debtor to the Greeks and to the barbarians, to the wise and the unwise; not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth, to the Jew first and also to the Greek, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed; and in the doctrinal part of the Romans, all is absolutely individual, only in the hortatory part is there any allusion to the church. There it comes in as a known fact. His boast is that he preached where Christ had not been heard of; 2 Corinthians 10; Romans 1: 5. He would not have anything to do with the church in this service; Galatians 1: 16, 17. It was where Christ was not named; he went directly from Christ, "not of man nor by man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father." (Compare Romans 15: 15-21.) What the apostle boasts of as his glory, these theologians denounce. But more, the commission in Matthew 28 was never carried out; Paul's took its place (Galatians 2: 6-9), and Paul puts his mission in contrast on these points with theirs. They may have gone abroad, as Mark 16; but this is the only allusion to it in Scripture, the tradition as to it being a very late one.

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But, besides, Paul declares he was not sent to baptise at all, but to preach the gospel. I know our theologians, with the Baptists, say this was for fear of its being thought he baptised in his own name. But this is a come-off. He positively declares Christ did not send him to baptise but to preach the gospel: the cross, the death of Christ -- foolishness, no doubt, to a ritualist, but -- to us who are saved the power of God. But is it not a strange thing if life-contact is only in baptism, he should tell us he was not sent to do the only thing which gives life, and to do that which "the Holy Ghost of the gospel" does not do? Pity he was not sent to Mercersburg. And somehow he "laid the foundation" in his ministry. As regards the full revelation of the mystery of the church, a dispensation was committed to him. The whole testimony of Paul, both as to the gospel and as to the church, is set aside by these ritualists; that is, of him to whom the mission to the Gentiles was specially committed by Christ Himself, and relinquished by the apostles at Jerusalem.

But let us consider this doctrine of the church scripturally and historically too: for these doctors avoid history to replace it by dreams of their own fancy. We have the church or assembly of God under three aspects in Scripture, primarily two, and then one of the two as the effect of divine workmanship, and as the effect of the work as entrusted to the responsibility of man: "The body," if we speak of that which is united to Christ, the glorified Head in heaven (Ephesians 1, 5; compare 1 Corinthians 12), set up on earth, but to be complete and perfected in heaven, is not formed by baptism. Simon Magus, for instance, was baptised, but had neither part nor lot in the matter; the one hundred and twenty at Jerusalem had formed the nucleus of the church but were never baptised at all. There is no trace of it, nor anybody to do it: yet they were the church itself at its starting. It is, we are expressly told, "by one Spirit we are baptised into one body." This baptism, we know from Acts 1, was on the day of Pentecost. The truth concerning this one body was more fully developed in Paul's ministry. But Christ exalted on high was the Head, those who had the Holy Ghost the members. He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit. It is never connected with water-baptism, nor are there rotten members of Christ's body. An unbeliever not born of God is not a member of Christ's body! He is "without Christ"; nay, more, "If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." "Ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you." "There is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus." "The whole body edifies itself in love"; they are "members one of another." The "Head is Christ, from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, maketh increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love." So "there is one Spirit and one body, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling"; and then "one Lord, one faith, one baptism"; and then "one God and Father of all": the circle each time widening -- with the Spirit, the Lord, and God the Father. The same distinction is made in 1 Corinthians 12.

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This is one aspect of the assembly of God. There is another -- it is the "habitation of God," and that now "by the Spirit." But this is viewed in a double way in the word: Christ builds; and man builds. "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." But here Christ is the Builder, and the building unfinished, nor can Satan hinder its being built. He can catch the sheep and scatter them, but not pluck (catch) them out of Christ's hand. So in 1 Peter, the living stones come and are built upon the Living Stone, a spiritual house; no human agency is spoken of as bringing them. So Paul: "fitly joined and compacted it groweth to a holy temple in the Lord." This house is not yet finished, it is growing, grace is carrying it on; it is not that life is given by energy in a sacrament: but living stones come.

But when I come to 1 Corinthians 3 it is another matter. Here man's responsibility comes in and man's agency. As a wise master-builder, Paul laid the foundation; but every one was to take heed how he builded thereon. If he builded with gold, silver, or precious stones, he would receive a reward: if with wood and hay and stubble, his work would be burnt up: in a word, the work depended on the responsibility of man. Looked at as to the result on earth, God's temple might be badly built: and man, as he has ever done from Adam, has wholly failed. This I shall shew. The papacy, and then Ritualists, drinking in their sweetened poison through their utterly false views as to baptism (false in every respect), have confounded Christ's work in building, yet unfinished, with their own wood and hay and stubble; or worse, they tell us that, by an organic system of clergy and baptism, it is to restore the race and bring in consecration of everything to God, uniting the supernatural with the natural as it did in Christ, or grace and nature till it culminates in glory!

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Now let us see what God tells us. First looked at as the kingdom of heaven: When Christ had sowed the good seed, the enemy came and sowed tares, and the evil done had to remain till the harvest; the wheat of Christ's sowing was not spoiled, but the crop was here. Next take Jude: False brethren crept in unawares, baptised with the organic system we must suppose, but false brethren always, no life-contact with Christ, but spots in their feasts of charity, and of these Enoch prophesied, The Lord cometh with ten thousand of His saints to execute judgment. The evil went on to the end. In John we have the other character of evil. They had gone out, apostatised, were not of them though they had been among them. The last times were already come marked by these antichrists. Paul more fully: The mystery of iniquity did already work; only there was what hindered it; and, when this was gone, the man of sin would be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy by the brightness of His coming. He could say already, All seek their own, not the things of Jesus Christ.

In 2 Timothy we have the Holy Ghost's directions when the church had fallen into this evil estate. God's sure foundation remained, the Lord knew them that they were His: and whoever named the name of the Lord was to depart from iniquity. In a great house (for such would the church become) there are vessels of gold, silver, and earth, some to honour and some to dishonour; if a man purged himself from these last, he would be a vessel to honour and fit for the Master's use. Spiritual judgment must discern what these teachers were worth in the house, for it would contain all sorts. But, further, so far from trusting the church, in the last days perilous times would come, and a description is given of Christendom, the same (save two or three words) as that of the heathen in Romans 1, not of the world without. There would be a form of piety denying its force; believers were to turn away from such. What was their resource? The Scriptures expressly: what Paul taught, and the Scriptures given by inspiration of God, that, when the church was gone to ruin, the word of God remained sure: and this was to guide.

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So John: If that which ye have heard from the beginning abide in you, ye shall continue in the Father and in the Son. No developed and formed theology: but that which was from the beginning. He wrote this concerning those that seduced them. But further: In the seven churches, he that hath an ear is called upon to listen to what the Spirit said to the churches. Christ was judging them. They therefore could be no authority. He that had an ear for what Christ said was to listen to His judgment of them. Thus, so far from their word being an authority or rule, we are called on to listen to the word which judges their state: and whence can we date the ruin? Paul declares that after his decease wolves from without and perverse persons from within would arise; John that they were already in the last time. It was merely, alas! what had ever happened under man; with Noah, with Israel under the law, with the priesthood, with the Jewish royalty, with the Gentile. Thus, what God had set up good, the first thing man did was to spoil and ruin it. But we have the additional testimony from Paul that evil men and seducers would wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived, the Scriptures and what was taught by inspiration from the beginning being the only resource of "the man of God," and able to make him wise unto salvation. John tells us that the last time was already come: so Peter, that the time was come that judgment should begin at the house of God. And mark this: when Romanists or Ritualists tell us to listen to the church, they merely mean themselves, the clergy; they interpret the Scriptures, doling out as much as they think proper to give us, and cooked up as they please.

Paul, they would have us believe, did not know how to address the church; what was from the beginning is not what I am to hold fast! Let us see what ground there is for this apostate doctrine, this doctrine of Satan -- for such it is: he knows the power of the inspired word of God. To whom did the blessed Lord speak? To the multitude. To whom did the apostles speak and write? First to the world; but then in the Epistles -- all save three short ones -- to the assemblies, the mass of believers. If you choose to call them clergy, the clergy wrote to the mass of common believers. The church, or mass, really never teaches. Those gifted, as sent, teach the assembly; but the Scriptures generally are addressed; always addressed, to the body of believers; God's word is addressed to them without any interpreters. They are God's own word to them, by which I should be called upon, if needed, to judge even apostles, with a curse pronounced upon them if they taught anything else.

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The church never teaches. The teachers are to be judged by the word of God. Sad it is if that be needed, for gifts of teaching there are; but, if needed to be done, God has sent His word to the saints at large. He who comes between and intercepts the message meddles with God's rights, not merely with mine. If I own this title in the clergy, I am withdrawing myself from God's own direct title over me as His servant; but I cannot from my responsibility, for He has addressed His word directly to me. Man cannot withdraw himself from the consequences of his own moral state in reading it; that is true, nor is he meant to do so. If he comes presumptuously, he will reap the fruits of his presumption. If he comes meekly ("as newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word") he will reap the fruits of God's grace. Those teachers who write "Bible-worshippers," and deny what they call verbal inspiration, may learn, at any rate the simple may, what the apostle teaches: "We" (the apostle himself and the inspired teachers) "have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God, that we might know the things which are freely given to us of God." There is revelation: "Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth." There is verbal inspiration. "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, because they are spiritually discerned." There is the intelligence of the things taught in the word, as it is written; and it is the distinctive character of the time of grace: "They shall be all taught of God."

And, now, let us see how far the church is to be trusted -- the historical development. I affirm that the history of the baptised mass is the history of the greatest wickedness -- crimes natural, ecclesiastical, and unnatural -- that ever disgraced human nature, worse and more universal than among the heathen, bad as they were.

Did our theologians ever read the letter of Nicholas Clemangis (rector of the University of Paris at the time of the great schism, the greatest man of his age), and his description of the state of morals? In the middle ages, so great was the violence and disorder -- one pope annulling as invalid all the ordinations of another whom he had driven out -- that a book had to be written to apprise the people there were still sacraments -- unnatural crimes universal, especially among the clergy; and such a state of things in the papacy, that the great Roman Catholic historian, cardinal and Jesuit Baronius, declares that for a century he cannot own the popes for legitimate, but only puts their names in for dates, set up as they were by the mistresses of the Marquis of Tuscany, or by their mothers, mistresses of deceased popes. The Pope got hold of a book written by an honest man, denouncing the state of things, and suppressed it, saying that it would be too scandalous, and that he would punish the most flagrant cases. And the gloss of the canon law on a decretal, speaking of degrading for licentiousness, declares that it cannot be for simple fornication, for then it would be universal. There is no such system of wickedness as the organic system preached up by Ritualists. I challenge them, with their historical Christianity, to state honestly what history states; nor, though more decent outwardly since the Reformation, is it really very much better now. This was the baptised organism that contained -- (can I say the words?) -- Christ's life!

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Let us turn to an earlier date: Did our theologians ever read Cyprian de Pudentia (or Chrysostom's two treatises on the same subject)? Here we go back to, say, 240 A.D. after Christ. But a century before what do we find -- that is, forty or fifty years after the death of the apostle John? Infamy under the form of asceticism. Do our theologians, for I do not much trust their acquaintance with history, know what subintroductae, or pareisaktoi, in full blow at that time were? So common that it had to be taken up by councils. I do not defile my pages with what was read in the churches then as holy practice.

And as to doctrine, I will give a specimen from one called an apostolic father, but who was really the brother of Pope Pius the First: "A man had a vineyard and set his servant to stake up the vines. The servant did so, but did more than he had been set to do -- cleared the garden of weeds. The Lord of the vineyard consulted with his son and his friends what he should do with his faithful servant, and they agreed he should be made heir with the Son. The servant was Christ, who was set to establish the clergy, but did a great deal more than God had set him to do -- namely, cleared away our sins. The Holy Ghost is the Son, the angels the friends." Is not that the church maintaining and forming sound doctrine?

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But our theologians will tell us, it is hunting up evil and finding some obscure individual, and the church cannot be answerable. It was read in the churches, though more in the east than in the west, is quoted by Irenaeus as Scripture, and treated by Origen as questionable, if it was not inspired. They tell us, as proof of the value of the church forming doctrine, that it was only after long struggle that the formal truth as to Christ's Person was established. His divinity at the council of Nicaea. But what does this mean? They do not mean to deny that the truth as to Christ's Person is in Scripture. It means, therefore, that the church had lost the truth of Christ's Person. And so it was. Scarcely one of the known teachers was sound on the deity of the Lord; and those who were, as Irenaeus, were unsound on other things. And Cyril of Alexandria, who set up the title of Mother of God, was a decided Eutychian, so called afterwards in doctrine, justified himself by the authority of Athanasius: it seems to me, he was warranted in so doing. He was as turbulent a ruffian as ever lived, heading the mob at Alexandria to plunder and ruin, and drive out the Jews when Patriarch of Alexandria, and spending all the possessions of the church of Alexandria, which were immense, to bribe the courtiers and empress-sister of the emperor to banish and persecute Nestorius, in which he succeeded. He canonised the man who sought to murder the governor at Alexandria who put down his rioting. The (Ecumenical Council at Ephesus was as great a scene of iniquity and open violence as occurs in history, so that the Emperor sent troops and put the leaders in prison, from which Cyril escaped, and they bribed the court, Nestorius' patron having died. In the previous Council of Ephesus (the Concio Latronum, convened by the Emperor, attended by the Pope's legates, with every element of a general council) the bishops beat old Flavianus, Patriarch of Constantinople, in such a way that he died of it. It was quashed afterwards through shame.

This was the primitive church, its organic progress to sanctify the world! They could not cure the baptised heathen (in life-contact, we are to believe, with Christ by their baptism) of getting drunk at the festivals (memories, so called, at shrines of their relics) of the demigods: so the church allowed it, putting saints in the place of demigods, that at least they might get drunk in honour of saints instead of demons! The church (that is, the clergy, the interpreters of the Scriptures) did this. You will say, What proof is there of it? Augustine states it, who tried to put it down. The same state of things is mentioned in Paulinus of Nola; and Gregory Thaumaturgus left only seventeen heathen in his diocese by means of it: and it was part of the directions of Pope Gregory the First to another Augustine sent to convert the Saxons. It is a curious fact that Sicily, which had never been converted from heathenism, went over, I may say in a body, to Christianity; and gave up their splendid temples for churches as soon as Mary was declared by the Fourth Council to be "the mother of God." God has preserved His testimony and truth in spite of the church thus viewed -- of what Ritualists call the church; He cannot fail. These things were not exceptional, but the general state. But what were saints to do if they listened to the clergy as interpreters when they turned Arian with the emperors -- when, as Jerome says, the world awoke and found itself Arian? When even Hosius and the Pope Liberius gave way, were they to follow the clergy or the Scriptures? The Luciferians, a sect named by Jerome, had their name from one Lucifer, who would not go with the world when all the clergy turned Arians. Athanasius is justly held in honour as to this too; but what was the course of the whole body of the clergy? Have the clergy of the church of Rome organically maintained the truth in the worship of the Virgin Mary, or in transubstantiation and the offering of the mass? Let us have it out plainly. Ought people under their jurisdiction to follow their interpretation, and acknowledge their authority? They are just as much clergy as Oxford or Mercersburg. They tell us that God has divided His attribute of Almightiness between Jesus and Mary -- almighty justice to Jesus, and almighty mercy to Mary. Are their parishioners to believe this? and, as the present Pope has declared, that we must go to the heart of Jesus through the heart of Mary? Dr. Racy has exposed this.

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Very likely Mercersburg does not believe these horrid doctrines. But why am I to trust them more than their adversaries; or why acknowledge their competency to interpret more than the Pope's? Am I to believe in purgatory in Savoy, because the clergy teach it; and cross the lake of Geneva, and hold that it is utterly false in the Canton de Vaud, because the clergy teach so there? Am I to hold transubstantiation as vital truth in France; and declare it idle fables and blasphemous deceits in England? Am I to hold that Christ is God in one parish in France, and deny it if I go into the next? For so I must if I listen to the clergy and their interpretation. Were not -- though, thank God, there is a reaction -- the clergy in France, Germany, Holland, as a body infidel, and still mostly are, or indifferent? It is all well to talk of the church, and hearing the church: but what church am I to hear? The body of the Reformed church was, and in a very large and major part is (particularly the clergy), infidel. Is this the doctrine I am to receive?

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In Geneva the State has abolished ordination entirely. In Neuchatel it has left every man to preach what he likes; and half the national church have left and set up for themselves. In all the principal cantons infidelity reigns among the clergy; the godly laity are getting tired of them and their nothingarianism. They have said to me in France, "But if we are Christians, we must have some kind of Christ"; and then not so very strict either. In Paris Christianity was carried against avowed infidelity by twelve votes of more than 2,600 voters in the Reformed church. I do not doubt that the Lord is graciously acting, but it is not generally by the clergy but in spite of them.

It is vain to say things are becoming better. What became of souls if they listened or listen to the clergy when they are infidels or rationalists? When the clergy turned Arians with the emperors, were they or the word of God to be listened to? If Mercersburg or others teach false doctrine as to the Person of Christ and the sacraments, am I to be saved by listening to them? Can they answer for my soul "in that day"? They insist on the peccability of Christ: we are therefore authorised in putting the case (the Lord avert the blasphemy from every heart, that He did sin!), putting it as a supposition, for they affirm it to have been possible: "God was united for ever to sinful man." Is it not enough to revolt and repel with horror every true soul? Say it, not to doctors, for God hides things from wise and prudent, but to a poor uninstructed saint: he will make short work with clergy interpretation. What simple majesty is in the statement! "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore that holy thing that shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God." For these theologians, who pry into divine secrets and pretend to know the Son, whom none knows but the Father, "the divine" (they are sometimes afraid to say what), "having taken sinful nature up, was gradually victorious over it, purifying it." It was the power of the Highest overshadowing the Virgin Mary for Scripture: for the interpreters, it was "united in the womb to sin in the foetus, and purifying the nature." (Can more offensive folly, of which there is not a word in Scripture, be conceived?+ I am ashamed to speak of it, but it must be spoken to put these pretentious men in the true light): and that, for them, is "redemption"!

+Elsewhere it is: "The victory of sinlessness over remaining depravity by the process of the divine-human life in the womb."

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But we have the faith of the church in creeds: the Apostles' Creed, for instance, universally recommended in all ages by the church. Now this is a deception; they know its history well, they will not venture to speak of the ancient fable, for fables were plentiful in those days (there was one Lucius with uncertain name, a coiner of false documents), that each apostle came forward to give one article. The Apostles' Creed is not, as we have it, as ancient as the Nicene Creed. Some analogous formulary was gradually established in each diocese; the Roman creed was pretty much the same as what we have, save some important articles. But what we have, save these, is first given by Ruffinus (published in Fell's Cyprian) in the fourth or fifth century; but there was no descent to hell in it, and, what is more important, no procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son. This was added, it is said, from Spain, when the Visigoths gave up Arianism, and thence passed into Gaul; but this was quite late, and Leo put up the creed in silver tablets at Rome that nothing might be added, the Council of Ephesus having forbidden any additions. This article, added none knows how, is rejected by the whole Greek church, and is the avowed cause of division. I say avowed, for it is pretty clear it was ambition and rivalry. I am not insisting on rejecting nor on receiving it; but what if true must be of first-rate importance in the creed has divided the professing church, instead of having a common faith by it.

But these professors, as one of them says, leave the poor Greek church out in the cold. In the recent conferences of the archbishop of Syra with the English prelates, this article could not be got over, and then Dr. Pusey, it is said, declared they were farther off than ever from union. A priest or patriarch in Turkey did let in an English clergyman to communion, but was severely taken to task by the ecclesiastical authority for it. I am not sure, but I rather think, he was excommunicated.

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But let us take the Apostles' Creed as it stands. There is not a trace in it that Christ is God; an Arian, nay, a Unitarian, could sign it as well as, nay, better than, one who held the fundamental truth of the trinity of Persons in the unity of the Godhead. Is not this rather serious if it is to be the norm of faith? The Father is God and Almighty, and the Son and Holy Ghost spoken of apart with no hint of divinity! Creation is attributed to the Father+ exclusively; all that is said of Jesus Christ is referable to what He was when become Man.

Now Scripture leaves no shadow of doubt on such subjects. "The Word was with God, and was God." He became Man: "The Word was made flesh." He never became (but in the beginning was) God. When all that has a beginning began, He was; and was a distinct Person. As far as the creed was the expression of early faith (for it was the creed of Aquilina, and we may practically say, of Rome), the church had so lost the faith -- at least its teachers the clergy -- that it required the council at Nice, with the Emperor presiding and keeping order among the disputing bishops, to get it on the ground of the divinity of the Lord: and larger assemblies unsettled it again, and it took council upon council to set things straight. Nor, mark, are the great branches of the baptised organism agreed which councils are general, which not. Augustine declares them to be no final rule, one correcting the other by clearer light.

I know not that I have more to add. Many errors, and important ones, could be noticed, and ignorance of Scripture flowing from following men's thoughts and system. Thus, we are told, that the Holy Ghost after He came is not called the Spirit of the Father or of the Son. He is both: and as far as I can trust my recollection, only after His coming. But I notice this only to shew the rashness of assertion. Their doctrine is false as to justification by faith; it is for them inherent or infused, though professedly not exactly Romish doctrine.

+It is singular enough that, while creation is, of course, ascribed to God in the unity of His Being, when the Persons are distinguished, it is never ascribed to the Father but to the Son and Spirit.

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But my only object was the ritualism, the Person of the Lord, and the church, running into this main point: Is redemption by incarnation, or by the death of Christ? They say, formally, by incarnation (the Scriptures, as formally, by the blood of Christ); and all their system hangs on this. As to the clergy, it is Quot homines, tot sententiae, unless we go to Rome, who treat their doctors as outside the church altogether. Take even their friends the English Puseyites (from whom our Mercersburg doctors declare they borrow their sacraments and clerical system, not from Germany -- alas! they have no bishops, and, if their friends are to be believed, no organic succession at all, no divine channels of grace whatever: happily in Romanism and Anglicanism the clergy are not necessary to baptism -- a midwife can do it, so they may be considered to have life-contact after all!) their Christianity is just saved! As to an interpreting clergy, they are absolutely without any. A goodly system this to secure the truth for the simple! Which am I to believe? Happily I am content with what John, and Paul, and Peter, and the blessed Lord Himself taught, "FROM THE BEGINNING."

"Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming," 1 John 2: 24-28.

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THE ATONEMENT

There is in John 3 a twofold aspect of Christ presented to us, as the object of faith, through which we do not perish but have everlasting life. As Son of man, He must be lifted up; as only-begotten Son of God, He is given by the infinite love of God.

Many souls stop at the first, the Son of man's meeting the necessity in which men stood as sinners before God, and do not look on to that infinite love of God which gave His onlybegotten Son -- the love which provided the needed lamb, the true source of all this work of grace, which stamps on it its true character and effect, and without which it could not be.

Hence such souls have not true peace and liberty with God. Practically for them the love is only in Christ, and God remains a just and unbending judge. They do not really know Him, the God of love, our Saviour. Others alas! with more fatal error, false as to their own state and God's holiness, with no true or adequate sense of sin, reject all true propitiation. The "must be lifted up" has no moral force for them, nothing that the conscience with a true sense of sin needs.

The former was one great defect of the Reformation, the other comes of modern infidelity, for such it really is. Alas! that defect of the Reformation, as a system of doctrine, is the habitual state of many sincere souls now. But it is sad. Righteousness may reign for them with hope; but it is not grace reigning through righteousness. I repeat, God is not known in His nature of love, nor indeed the present completeness of redemption.

The statement of John 3 begins with the need of man in view of what God is, as indeed it must; but it gives as the source and result of it for the soul, its measure too in grace, that which was in the heart of God towards a ruined world. As in Hebrews 10, to give us boldness to enter into the holiest, the origin is "Lo! I come to do thy will; by the which will we are sanctified by the offering of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all." The offering was the means, but He was accomplishing the will of God in grace, and by the exercise of the same grace in which He came to do it: for "hereby know we love, that he laid down his life for us." So in Romans 5 God commends His love to us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. It is summed up in the full saying: Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

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This point being premised, and it is an important one, I add that we cannot present too simply the value of Christ's blood, and redemption and forgiveness through it, to the awakened sinner whom that love may have drawn to feel his need; for by need, and because of need, the sinner must come -- it is his only just place before God. The love of God, and even His love announced in forgiveness through the work of Christ, may, through the power of the Holy Ghost, awaken the sense of need; still having the forgiveness is another thing. That love brought home to the soul through grace, produces confidence not peace; but it does produce confidence. Hence we come into the light. God is light and God is love. Christ in the world was the light of the world, and He was there in divine love. Grace and truth came (egeneto) by Jesus Christ. When God reveals Himself, He must be both -- light and love. The love draws and produces confidence; as with the woman in the city who was a sinner, the prodigal, Peter in the boat The light shews us our sinfulness. We are before God according to the truth of what He is, and the truth of what we are. But the atonement does more than shew this; it meets and is the answer to our case when known. It is the ground, through faith, of forgiveness and peace. (See Luke 7: 47-50.) Christ could anticipate His work, and the child of wisdom go in peace The law may by grace reach the conscience and make us feel our guilt, but it does not reveal God in love. But that love has done what was needed for our sinful state. Hereby know we love, that He laid down His life for us. He was delivered for our offences, died for our sins according to the Scriptures, is the propitiation for our sins, set forth as a mercy-seat through faith in His blood, which cleanses from all sin. With His stripes we are healed. I might multiply passages; I only now cite these, that the simple basis of the gospel on the one side, and on the other the work that love has wrought to purge our sins and withal our consciences, so that we may be in peace before a holy God, who is of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on iniquity, may be simply and fully before us.

We must come as sinners to God, because we are sinners; and we can only come in virtue of that which, while it is the fruit of God's love, meets according to His holy nature the sins we are guilty of. But then, while it is true that our sins are removed far from us who believe through grace, as they were carried into a land not inhabited by the scapegoat in Israel, yet we have only an imperfect view of the matter in seeing our sins put away. In that great day of atonement the blood was sprinkled on the mercy-seat and before it; just as it was sprinkled on the lintel and two door-posts to meet God's eye. "When I see the blood," He says, "I will pass over." It was in view of the sin of Israel, but presented to God. The goat whose blood was shed was called, on the great day of atonement, "Jehovah's lot." The blood was carried within; so it was with the bullock, and with the bullock it was exclusively this. The testimony was there, blessed be God, that as dwellers on the earth our sins have been carried off where none shall find them; but what characterised the day was putting the blood on the mercy-seat -- presenting it to God. On this day only, too, it was done. In the case of the sin of the congregation, or of the high priest, it was sprinkled on the altar outside the veil; but on the great day of atonement alone on the mercy-seat within.

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Now, though the sinner must come as guilty and because of his need, and can come rightly in no other way, as the poor prodigal and so many other actual cases, yet this does not reach to the full character of propitiation or atonement, though in fact involving it. The divine glory and nature are in question. In coming we come by our need and wants; but if we have passed in through the veil, we can contemplate the work of Christ in peace, as viewed in connection with God's nature, though on our part referring to sin. The sins, then, were carried away on the scapegoat, but what God is was specially in view in the blood carried within the veil. The sins were totally and for ever taken off the believers, and never found; but there was much more in that which did it, and much more even for us. God's character and nature were met in the atonement, and through this we have boldness to enter into the holiest. This distinction appears in the ordinary sacrifices. They were offered on the brazen altar, and the blood sprinkled there. Man's responsibility was the measure of what was required. His case was met as to guilt; but if he was to come to God, into His presence, he must be fit for the holiness of that presence.

Not only Christ has borne our sins, but He has perfectly glorified God on the cross, and the veil is rent, and we have boldness to enter into the holiest. The blood, therefore, of the bullock and of the goat, which was Jehovah's lot, was brought into the holiest. The other goat was the people's lot, this Jehovah's: He was dishonoured by sin; and Christ the holy One was made sin for us, was before God according to what God was in His holy and righteous nature.

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Now, says the Lord, is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in Him. If God be glorified in Him, God shall also glorify Him in Himself, and shall straightway glorify Him; and man entered into the holiest, into heaven itself. Having glorified God in the very place of sin as made it before God, He enters into that glory on high. Love to God, His Father, and absolute obedience at all costs, was perfected where He stood as sin before God. All that God is was glorified here, and here only: His majesty -- it became Him to maintain His glory in the moral universe, and thus in bringing many sons to glory, that He should make the Captain of our salvation perfect through suffering; His truth was made good; perfect, righteous judgment against sin, yet perfect love to the sinner. Had God cut off man for sin, there was no love; had He simply forgiven and passed over all sins, there would have been no righteousness. People might have sinned on without its being any matter. There would have been no moral government. Man must have stayed away from God, and misery and allowed sin have had their fling; or he must have been admitted into God's presence in sin, and sin been allowed there; man incapable withal of enjoying God, and, as sensible of good and evil, more miserable than ever.

But in the cross perfect righteousness against sin is displayed and exercised, and infinite love to the sinner. God is glorified in His nature, and salvation to the vilest, and access to God, according to the holiness of that nature, provided for and made good, and this in the knowledge, in the conscious object of it, of the love that had brought it there; a perfect and cleansing work in which that love was known. This, while the sins were put away, could only be by the cross: God revealed in love, God holy and righteous against sin, while the sins of the sinner were put away, his conscience purged, and by grace, his heart renewed, in the knowledge of a love beyond all his thoughts; himself reconciled to God, and God glorified in all that He is, as He could not else be; perfect access to God in the holiest, where that blood, the testimony to all this, has been presented to God, and the sins gone for ever, according to God's righteousness while the sinner has the consciousness of being accepted according to the value of that sacrifice, in which God has been perfectly glorified, so that the glory of God and the sinner's presence there were identified. Angels would learn, and principalities and powers, what they could learn nowhere else.

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And this marks the two parts of propitiation -- man's responsibility, and access to God given according to His glory and nature: in the sins borne and put away, the scapegoat, God judging evil according to what man ought to be; and access to God according to what He is. The last specifically characterises the Christian; but the former was necessary, and accomplished for every one that believes; both by the same work of the cross, but each distinct -- judicial dealing according to man's responsibility, access to God according to His nature and holiness. I he law in itself was the measure of the former, the child of Adam's duty; the nature of God, of the latter, so that we have the infinite blessedness of being with God according to His nature and perfection, partaking of the divine nature, so as to be able to enjoy it, holy and without blame before Him in love. Of this Christ as Man, and we must add as Son withal, is the measure and perfection; and let it not be said that, if we partake of this nature, we need not this propitiation and substitution. This can only be said or supposed by those who have not got it; because, if we partake of the divine nature, we judge of sin in principle as God does, we have His mind as to it, and as upright of ourselves as in it, and so come, as I have said, first in lowliness in our need to the cross, and, then purged in conscience, comprehend the glory of God in it.

These two points, in their general aspect, are clearly presented in Hebrews 9: 26-28: Christ appeared once in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself; and as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after that the judgment, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. It is carried out in application in chapter 10, where we have no more conscience of sins, and boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus.

But this leads us to a still wider bearing of the work of the cross. The whole question of good and evil was brought to an issue there: man in absolute wickedness and hatred against God manifested in goodness and love; Satan's whole power as prince of this world, and having the power of death; man in perfect goodness in Christ, obedience and love to His Father, and this in the place of sin as made it, for it was there the need was for God's glory and eternal redemption; God in perfect righteousness, and majesty, and in perfect love. So that all was perfectly settled morally for ever. The fruits will be only complete in the new heavens and new earth, though the value of that work be now known to faith; but what is eternal is settled for ever by it, for its value is such and cannot change.

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Propitiation, then, meets our sins through grace, according to God's holy nature, to which it is presented and which has been fully glorified in it. It meets the requirements of that nature. Yet is it perfect love to us; love, indeed, only thus known as wrought between Christ and God alone, the only part we had in it being our sins, and the hatred to God which killed Christ.

But it does more, being according to God's nature, and all that this nature is in every respect. It not only judicially meets what is required by reason of our sins, man's failure in duty, and his guilt, but it opens access into the presence of God Himself known in that nature which has been glorified in it. Love, God in love working unsought, has through grace made us love, and we are reconciled to God Himself according to all that He is, our conscience having been purged according to His glory, so that love may be in unhindered confidence. Man sits at the right hand of God in virtue of it, and our souls can delight in all that God is, our conscience being made perfect by that which has been wrought. No enfeebling or lowering the holiness of God in His judicial estimate of and dealing with sin; on the contrary, all that He is thus glorified, no pleading goodness to make sin light; but God in the will and love of salvation met in that judgment and holiness, and the soul brought to walk in the light, as He is in the light, and in the love which is His being and nature, without blame before Him, a perfect conscience so as to be free before Him, but a purged one which has judged of sin as He does, but learned what sin is in the putting of it away. Without the atonement or propitiation of Christ this is impossible. God is not brought in: it is but human goodness which drops holiness and overlooks sin or estimates it according to mere natural conscience. Christ has died, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God.

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It is not innocence, for the knowledge of good and evil is there, nor the slighting of God and an unpurged conscience, nor even the return to the former state of Adam (not knowing good and evil, innocent), but God fully revealed and known in majesty and light and love, and we brought to Him according to that revelation in perfect peace and joy by a work done for us, which has met and glorified His majesty and light and love in the place of sin, as made it, by Him who knew no sin.

The full result will only be in the new heavens and new earth, the eternal state of blessedness, a condition of happiness not dependent on fulfilling the responsibility in which he who enjoyed it was placed and in which he failed, but based on a finished work accomplished to the glory of God in the very place of ruin, the value of which can never in the nature of things change; it is according to the nature and character of God, it is done and is always what it is, and all is eternally stable. Righteousness, not innocence, dwells in the new heavens and the new earth, not feeble man responsible, but God glorified for evermore. The result is not all there yet; but we know that the work is done through the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, and we wait as believers for our portion in the rest when all shall be accomplished, accepted in the Beloved.

Judgment is according to man's responsibility, shut out then judicially into that exclusion from God into which man has cast himself: blessing is according to the thoughts and purpose and nature of God in the exceeding riches of His grace displayed in our salvation through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ come to bring us into His presence as sons.

Sin and sins are before God in the cross, and propitiation wrought. There sin and sins met God, but in the work of love according to holiness and righteousness, which brings to God according to His nature those who come to Him by it, cleared from them all for ever.

In commenting on Dr. Waldenstrom's statements+ as to the atonement, I would begin by saying that I entirely agree with him (and indeed I have long insisted on this in contrast with the church confessions of the Reformation), that it is man who is reconciled to God, and that Scripture never speaks of God's being reconciled to man. The statement and the thought are wholly unscriptural, and shock rather the scripturally-taught mind. And it alters the whole tone of the gospel and the state of soul as to God, both as to peace and the sanctifying power of the truth, for it is the truth which sanctifies. That God is always the same and immutable is assuredly true. Thank God, it is so. There is one thing stable; or what would be?

+Om försoningens betydelse af page Waldenström, Stockholm.

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But while fully acknowledging this, it seems to me that some of Dr. Waldenström's thoughts come from tradition, or from his own mind, not from the word of God; and these I would briefly notice, while my heart would encourage him in his conflict in maintaining the truth of which I have just spoken. And here I would add that I look to the Scriptures alone as the foundation and source of truth; on them alone I shall base any doctrine; and if I call in question any statement of Dr. W.'s, it will be because it is not in the word; and I present to him these remarks, first of all, that he may weigh them before the Lord, remembering how important the truth is, and how all blessing and sanctification flow to our souls by it through grace. It is to the Scriptures that the apostle refers us in 2 Timothy 3 when the perilous times should be come. And are they not here?

Dr. Waldenström's first proposition is "that no change has been effected in the heart of God by the fall." Now as to God's nature, this is surely true. If He is love, He is always love; if righteous, always righteous; if holy, always holy. But because He changes not, His relationship towards others changes, and His conduct and dealings, because they are changed.

God would not, could not, because He did not change, drive man out of paradise when he was innocent. This would have been a change in God if there was none in man. But He did drive him out when he had sinned, because the righteousness (which would have left him to enjoy in innocence the blessings in the midst of which He had placed him while unchanged, and because He Himself did not change) now had to deal with one that was changed, and therefore dealt differently, dealt judicially, with the guilty and alienated, which He had not to do before. Leaving him to enjoy the tree of life, and turning him out and barring the way to it was an immense difference, an immense change, not in God, but in God's ways and dealings with man because He did not change. And to say that God does not change in Himself does not meet the question. Even the love was quite different in its ways and character. The love of complacency in what He had made good is very different from the sovereign love of mercy which works to redeem a fallen, defiled, and guilty creature. God rested when all was created, and all was good; but, when Jesus was maliciously accused of violating the Sabbath, His sovereignly beautiful answer was, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." How could the love of God, a holy God, rest in sin and misery? It could work in grace, but it could not rest. And there is a revelation of that in God in redemption which had no place in innocence. "God commendeth his love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Love takes the character of grace to what is in enmity, not of complacency in what was His own work.

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Here let me remark that, if I do not mistake him, Dr. W., with all who rest in theological traditions, reckons Adam to be righteous and holy. He was neither, but innocent. To be righteous or holy requires the knowledge of good and evil, and this Adam had not till he fell; and the difference is immense. We have only to speak of God as innocent, and the believer's heart at once revolts from it -- is offended by it. Righteous and holy He surely is.

This difference in Adam is clearly and formally stated in Scripture. It was the promise of Satan (Genesis 3: 5), and Jehovah Elohim declares it to be so (verse 22). Tradition has falsified all this, but the word is clear and certain. It does not mean, "You shall know evil who before knew only good." Would Satan have proposed such a thing as this to him, or, still more, could it have this sense in God's mouth? "The man is become as one of us, knowing good and evil." No, he was before innocent, and now makes inwardly the difference between right and wrong, not merely by an imposed law as tradition teaches, but inwardly as God does, though he may be hardened or misled as God cannot be. We must not confound the rule for conscience with conscience. The law is the perfect rule for the conscience of Adam's fallen children, Christ's walk for the Christian; and this the soul taught of God accepts, and with delight. The conscience takes knowledge of the difference of what is right and what is wrong.

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Further, the question is not, as Dr. W. states it, "If the fall was an obstacle in the way of man's salvation." It was no obstacle to his salvation. Salvation was not needed without the fall; but it was an obstacle, and in itself an absolute one, to man's acceptance as he was. Christ came to save what was lost, and that, because God was not changed but remained holy and righteous -- is "of purer eyes than to behold evil and cannot look on iniquity." I do not speak of God's wrath against the world being the obstacle; but the unconverted man is under wrath, a child of wrath. I do not say this was an obstacle to salvation; it was not, because God was sovereign in goodness.

But Scripture does not speak of the matter as Dr. W. does. He asks, "How could he be propitiated that loved?" A person who loves deeply and truly may require something in order that he may shew favour. The eternal maintenance of the unchangeableness of God's character, of the nature of good and evil as He sees it, may require it. Not merely man's being saved is in question, for that is not the result of Christ's death as to all men, if He did die for all, but the public testimony to the immutability of God's nature, and to maintain it in the sight of the universe; yea, to lay the foundation of the immutable blessing of the new heavens and the new earth according to what God is, supreme as righteous, holy, and love. A father with the most perfect love to his child may require for the order of his family that satisfaction to his authority, what maintains it before all, and the rules of his house, be done. "It became him [God] for whom are all things and by whom are all things in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings," Hebrews 2: 10. It became Him. Did He not love that blessed One? Yet it became Him to do this. So that this statement of Dr. W.'s is alike inadequate and incorrect. There is that which becomes God because of what He is, which is not love, though love be His unchangeable nature.

And now see how Scripture actually speaks of the very point. It does not simply say that, where sin abounded, love did much more abound, but grace did much more abound. But more. We were by nature the children of wrath: it was our natural inheritance from God; for whose wrath is spoken of? What belonged to us? "But God who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us." So that wrath against us, as our natural portion from God, is not inconsistent with infinite and sovereign love. Thus Christ in the synagogue looked upon them with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their hearts. The grief was love, the anger His righteous estimate of their sin.

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Grace reigns, blessed be God, but it is through righteousness; Romans 5. Dr. W. seems to say it is in making us practically righteous by removing our sins. But it is "God's righteousness." Does he question it is God's wrath? I quote Romans 1: 17, 18, for both, "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for therein is the righteousness of God revealed." Why? "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven." And then Paul proceeds to prove all the world guilty before God as the reason of this. It is not true, therefore, that wrath cannot be where there is love. A father full of love may be rightly angry with his child, and when Dr. W. says "wrath in the heart," he is misled altogether, and confounds hatred with judicial anger. There is no hatred in God to man assuredly. Yet God is a righteous judge, and God is angry every day and ought to be so.

Farther on Dr. W. admits that there is wrath against sin in God's mind, and therefore against the sinner while he abides in the sin; but what God does is to take away the criminality by Christ, and so He can love the sinner, and His wrath has no ground as the sin is gone. Now, as thus put, it is merely the personal state of the sinner which removes the wrath in removing the occasion of it. And this is doubly, and in every way false. First, it mars the perfectness of God's sovereign love. God loved us while we were sinners, and this is characteristic of His love, His saving love; and, secondly, it ignores the righteousness of God, and the work by which judicially the sins were put away. I do not mean that he denies that Christ died for our sins as a fact; but it is merely the effect in us which removes the wrath, the state we are in which leaves God free to love us; our criminality is gone, we are cleansed, so there is no object of wrath left because we are clean. He speaks indeed of God's wrath being His justice, but all his reasoning is that there is no "change in the disposition from anger to kindness."

But peace had to be made when there was wrath, and the sovereign love that saves is not the favour which rests on those reconciled; Romans 5: 1. God loved us when we were sinners; He loves us without any change when we are cleansed. But we are cleansed, reconciled, we are told. Now I fully recognise, and insist on it, that God loved us when we were sinners, and that we are reconciled. But then, according to Dr. W., the only change is in our state, which leaves God free to love us; whereas He loved us when we were in our sins. The change spoken of is by the operation and work of grace in us. The work of Christ we needed is wholly left out. I do not mean that Dr. W. in terms denies there was an atonement; he says, Scripture teaches the necessity of an atonement. But what is this? Is it anything towards God? "The reconciliation must be effected by our recovering the righteousness in which God through His righteousness could again become our eternal life." There are as many errors as thoughts here; but I only notice now that the mediatorial work of atonement is simply a change in our actual state, otherwise "the righteous One is a consuming fire for the unrighteous," and so over and over again. I quote one passage more: "No: where there is sin, there is wrath; God's wrath is unchangeably manifest, as sure as God is God." I ask in passing, Is there no sin in us? "His justice can take no other form against sin but that of wrath, and it is impossible that there should be sin without the wrath of God." "But where there is righteousness, there is no wrath to be quenched, for there can be none." "But an individual who is blameless respecting the law is outside its wrath, and instead thereof enjoys its blessings." Did God then not love us when we were sinners? If He did, and it is impossible there should be sin without the wrath of God, wrath and love go together. All Dr. W.'s system is false.

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The truth is, all this confounds divine favour resting on us in Christ, and sovereign love to the sinner. The first part of what the Lord says in John 3 is thus left out: "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up." The Son of man, He who represented man, must be lifted up -- die on the cross, and where was such a lamb to be found? "God so loved the world that he gave his onlybegotten Son." The "Son of man" must be lifted up, the "Son of God" was given, the same blessed Person; but "Son of man," to die for man's need, standing for man before God; "Son of God," vessel and proof of God's sovereign love. He is therefore spoken of as representing man, which Dr. W. denies, and not merely God. Nor did He, properly speaking, represent God in dying, nor in being made sin. His doing so was the effect of God's infinite love to man, which was His own withal; but in the work thus wrought He suffered as Son of man made sin. This could not represent God. If the world be reconciled, the relationship is changed, though God be not. But this Scripture never says.+ Christ, Dr. W. tells us, "was struck by the curse of God's wrath against sin." "He descended," he says, "into our sin," and so was "struck by the curse of God's wrath."++ Whom did He represent then? Was Christ, as Man made sin for us and struck by the curse, representing God in this place? That His doing so was the effect of infinite divine love is true; but did sin, and wrath, and the curse represent in the infliction of it God's love or God's righteous wrath against sin? By the grace of God He tasted death, being made a little lower than the angels to that end; but was His tasting death, and drinking that dreadful cup, and sweating as it were great drops of blood at only thinking of it, God's love to Him or apprehended by Him? Did He pray, that if it were possible, the cup might pass, meaning the cup of God's love?

+The Swedish translation in 2 Corinthians 5: 19 says, God has reconciled the world, not God was in Christ reconciling. So far, Dr. W. is excusable; but he knows Greek. The translator is inexcusable. I suppose he followed Luther, who also so translates it. But there is no possible pretence for so translating it in the Greek; the Vulgate does not. And so far from being reconciled, the world rejected Him when He came. Hence the ministry of the apostle was beseeching them to be reconciled. I shall always treat the passage as it really is.

++I am told the exact translation is the curse and wrath. But this makes no difference.

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I am told it was to justify us, to make us righteous. All true; and His not sparing His own Son was the infinite love of God. But what was Christ doing and suffering then in order to that end? We must not slip away from it by confounding the effect in believers and the work or suffering which wrought that effect. God does look upon believers with complacency as righteous in Christ, and the result is far greater and more admirable than all that Dr. W. speaks of. He has obtained for us to be partakers of His own glory according to the counsels of God; but the wrath of God, His judicial wrath against the sin, was removed by Christ's being made sin for us and bearing our sins, not by our state in consequence of it, which is the effect of that. "He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." If the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, He was substituted in drinking that dreadful cup for us. He was our (believers') representative there. God dealt with Him so because of our sins which were laid upon Him, and for that reason peace comes to us; not because we became actually righteous: our peace is the effect of His chastisement. You may quarrel with the word 'appease,' and confound judicial stripes with 'hatred'; but do not let us lose what Dr. W. does not deny, though he argues it away in taking 'wrath' for 'hatred,' and making the ground of our peace our actual state of righteousness; whereas we are made the righteousness of God in Christ because He has been made sin for us; 2 Corinthians 5: 21.

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Our peace is the fruit of God's judicial chastisement falling on Christ. If not, of what is it the fruit? "He was struck when he descended into our sin" (was made sin for us) "by the curse of God's wrath against sin." The sin then, according to Dr. W., has been dealt with in wrath. Whose sin? If Christ descended into our sin (an expression by no means agreeable to me), and the curse of God's wrath came upon Him for it, it is not simply God's loving us. Righteousness dealt with sin in wrath, and thus God's anger (the curse) was executed, and so peace was made: His anger was turned away from us. When He who knew no sin was made sin for us, the curse fell on Him. Never was Christ so precious to His Father as then. "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life." But this is not the question. Did not "the curse of God's wrath" which was due to our sins come upon Him? He had no sin; He was delivered for our offences, and "the curse of wrath" came. If as our representative He bore our sins, and God's curse and wrath came upon Him, He was our representative so as to have the curse upon Him, for because of those sins He so suffered and drank the cup, and the anger was over and gone, as regards all that believe. The anger against our sins had to be executed, and so ceased; with us it would have been eternal condemnation, but through a mediator's stepping in and taking the curse He has redeemed us from it. Christ has redeemed us from the curse by being made a curse for us. Infinite love, no doubt; but whom did Christ represent when "the curse" came upon Him for sin? Was it God when He laid on Him our iniquity? That He was God, and else could not have done it, is all blessedly true; but it is not the question. Did He represent God in suffering the curse which God laid upon Him? He glorified God: that is true ("Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him"). And glorifying God was the first grand object, and not merely love to us. This was part of the glory, no doubt, but it was not all. It is not simply that God was putting away our sins, but there was a mediator with whom He was dealing about sins. God was making Him sin, and dealing with Him in the way of a curse because of it, when He had "offered himself without spot to God." Curse and wrath have been executed; and thus peace has been made. It is not without God's dealing with sin, that He has treated us as righteous, nor was our being made righteous "recovering our righteousness" (a wholly unscriptural thought) which made God righteously favourable to us; but He held us to be righteous because of what the mediator had done, and this was not representing God, but "the man Christ Jesus" bearing the curse of wrath from God. According to Dr. W. himself God takes vengeance. He is not unrighteous who taketh vengeance, and He claims it exclusively to Himself: "Vengeance is mine, I will recompense, saith the Lord." Assuredly this is righteous judgment with Him, not passion or hatred; but it is real. Christ will appear "taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ."

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But through a mediator there is peace made for us. The Red Sea which destroyed the Egyptians was a safeguard, and the way of deliverance, for Israel And it is to this work of Christ God looks in sparing and forgiving, not to the state we are in in consequence of it, true as that consequence may be. When Jehovah executed judgment in Egypt, He did not say, "When I see them righteous, through the slain lamb of course, I shall not smite them"; nor "I will spare them because they have recovered righteousness." The blood was to be put outside the house to meet God's eye, and He says -- "When I see the blood, I will pass over you," Exodus 12: 13. And if I am justified by faith, faith in what? Not faith in my state of righteousness; but faith in the Person and blood-shedding and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. I do know I am forgiven and cleansed through it, but my faith is not in that; for faith in my being righteous cannot be what justifies me, but faith in Christ and His work does justify me. I believe that God has accepted that work. Anger and wrath rested on me; Christ stepped in between and drank the dreadful cup, and there is no more anger for me. There was wrath outstanding against me, and now there is not: call it "appeasing" or not, that is the truth. It is not that God does not impute my sins, because I am now righteous and there is nothing to impute, but because Christ has borne them. I believe on Him who raised up Christ from the dead, delivered for our offences, raised again for our justification; and having been justified by faith I have peace with God; Romans 4: 24, 25; 5: 1.

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My present state of righteousness, though it may be the reason why there is no cause for wrath now, says nothing about my past sins, nor can it be the means of clearing them away; but a real work of Christ suffering for sins, the Just for the unjust. That work may be the means of bringing us into that state, so that God looks on us with complacency. But what did the work? what cleared the sins? Was the cup, and what Dr. W. calls "the curse of wrath," love in itself? Love to us may have caused its being done; but what was it that was done?

And here I must make a remark as to Dr. W.'s use of Romans. He only uses the second part, which does not treat of our guilt by our sins, but of our state by Adam's sin. "By one man's disobedience many were made sinners," Romans 5: 19. The two parts of the Epistle are quite distinct. The division is between verses 11 and 12 of chapter 5. The first treats of our sins and guilt, the second of our sin and state before God; and, though the cross be the remedy for both, yet the difference of its use is very marked. "Christ died for our sins" is what avails in the first part. Believers have died with Christ in the second; they are no longer before God in the flesh. They are "in Christ," "in the Spirit." Their status is changed, they pass (having been "crucified with Christ") out of Adam into Christ. Now this does refer to their standing or state. The first part of the Epistle on the contrary deals with the guilt of their own sins, the sins they are guilty of as children of Adam. This first part escapes Dr. W.'s attention altogether, and it is in this that "propitiation" is found (Romans 3: 25), not in the second. Christ died for us in the first part; in the second we are "in Christ," "not in the flesh." He was "delivered for our offences," in the first part (Romans 4: 25); "our old man is crucified with him" in the second.

Now I shall have some remarks to make on the use of the second part; but I here notice the first. After having spoken of the guilt of Gentiles and Jews, and that God's wrath was revealed against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who hold the truth in unrighteousness, the apostle tells us that God had "set forth Christ for a mercy-seat through faith in his blood to declare his [God's] righteousness for the remission of sins that are past ... to declare at this time his righteousness, so that he is righteous and the justifier of him that believes in Jesus," Romans 3: 25, 26. It is not man's righteousness, but God's in justifying a sinner. God's wrath has been "revealed from heaven." Guilt was there, and consequently wrath was there. Guilt is put away, so that wrath should not and does not reach the believer, though one guilty and deserving it. How so? Christ is presented to man as "a mercy-seat," where he could approach God according to "God's righteousness." And how so? "By faith in his blood." And to whom was the blood presented on the mercy-seat, as on the lintel and the two door-posts? To God. It was not God seeing man's righteousness, and so having nothing about which to shew wrath, but having Christ's blood presented to Him which caused the wrath due to man, as guilty, to be passed away, and not to be inflicted. God sets forth Christ in this character to poor sinners in the gospel to reconcile them; but what He presents is that the blood has been presented to Him in the sanctuary, and He justifies not the righteous, because they are so, but the ungodly, because Christ has died for our sins, and He sees the blood and passes over, and man can approach through faith in Christ's blood.

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All this aspect of the truth is passed over by Dr. W. He turns to the state of those in Christ in contrast with Adam, the second part of the Romans, and speaks of "justification of life" for those who have died with Him, and forgets the justification of "the ungodly" through faith in the blood shed for our sins. My faith, in coming to the mercy-seat, is in that which has been done for the ungodly, in the blood which has been carried into the holiest, and not in my state as having "recovered righteousness," so that there can be no wrath against me. God justifies the ungodly through faith in Christ's blood; not the righteous, because there is no ground for wrath. Justifying is even wrongly used. Even in the second part of Romans it is "of many offences to justification"; not complacency and absence of wrath, because man has righteousness. And wrath is not spoken of there as ceased; but that, if He has reconciled us when enemies, having been reconciled "we shall be saved from wrath through him" in "the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God."

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Nor was it merely forgiving our transgressions that was the effect of Christ's work. He "suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God." The great day of atonement tells us the same tale and the same truth: only then it was signified by "the veil" that men could not go into "the holiest"; whereas now the believer can boldly. Dr. W. affirms that there was but one meaning to both goats; but this is contrary both to the institution and to the explanation in Hebrews. As to the institution, one was called "Jehovah's lot," the other was for the people: not that the first was not in view of the people's sins, but there was the double thought -- (1) of Jehovah's glory and nature in the holiest; and (2) the removing the sins of the people according to their responsibility, gone where they never should be found. Nothing can be more distinctly set before us than this double character; it is one that runs through all the sacrifices and estimates of sin. They may be measured by the responsibility of man as God's creature, and the law is the perfect measure of that, and that is a question of positive guilt, and in general sacrifices at the brazen altar were in view of that; or they may be looked at as fitting me for the presence of God in light. Into this the Jew could not come, whereas we have "boldness to enter into the holiest by the new and living way." The goat whose blood was shed and Hazazel were practically one; but it is evidently a double aspect of Christ's atoning sacrifice: the slain goat was "Jehovah's lot," the other not. This surely meant something; all God's nature and character were connected with it.

I say this not as an opinion, but as stated of Christ as the ground of His being in glory as Man. "Now" (when Judas went out) "is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him; if God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him," John 13: 31. So in John 17: 4, "I have glorified thee on the earth; I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do; and now glorify thou me with thine ownself with the glory I had with thee before the world was." God's glory and the glorifying of Christ are the effects of the cross here, not the putting away of our sins only, which lowers it in its character, blessed as that truth is for us. It was thus "Jehovah's lot." So He was "God's lamb to put away the sin [not the sins] of the world." "He appeared once in the end of the world to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself" (Hebrews 9: 26), a matter clearly distinct in Hebrews 9 from "bearing the sins of many" (verse 28). The blood was presented to God. God had been dishonoured by sin, His fair creation all spoiled and come under the bondage of corruption, His race of predilection (man, in whom His purposes were) the slave of sin and Satan. His glory had to be retrieved, and in the very place of sin; thank God that such a thing should be! As a Man, Christ did so. All that God is was glorified, man perfectly obedient at all cost, the Father perfectly loved, His majesty, truth, righteousness against sin, and love to sinners, all brought out and made good through the blessed One who suffered. We bless God unceasingly, and shall for ever, that it was in that which was done for us. Still we have the Lord's words for it that it was "glorifying God," where He makes no allusion to its being for us. Only man is gone into God's glory through it.

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Hence the blood was sprinkled on the mercy-seat and before it, and also on the altar of incense; and this was the way of approach to God, not merely of putting away guilt, for we have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, and the incense altar is our place as priests. Nor, though it was done in respect of the sins of the people, was it the cleansing them or forgiving them. It was what belonged to God, the holy place and the altar of incense, the place where God dwelt, which had to be cleansed, not the people. It was not forgiving them, though the basis of that, but "Jehovah's lot" cleansing the place of His presence, shewing the character of Him who dwelt there who could not bear sin and uncleanness. Then the people's sins were laid on Hazazel and carried away. But what concerns "Jehovah's lot" is all left out in Dr. W.'s scheme; it is reduced to what was accomplished in Hazazel. Even as to this Dr. W. in his general thought loses its real force, and makes it a reconciliation of the world, an abstract putting away of sin for all, not the actual real, effectual, putting away of sins but of this I will speak further on, when I come to speak of certain passages which he quotes not according to the word of God.

My object now is to shew that the great effect of the distinction of the two goats, and, I may add, of what was done with the bullock, whose blood was employed as one of them, is lost and set aside by Dr. W., and the bringing us to God in the holiest (not merely clearing the world) dropped -- the highest and especial blessing of the saint; and this done, not by forgiving His people, but by presentation of the blood to God, by whom the excellency of this sacrifice in which He has been glorified in respect, yea, through the very means, of sin, is justly estimated. It is far more than forgiveness, it is being brought to God; and by that which is done Godward, in respect of what God is, not manward, though the occasion be what man has done. It is entirely arbitrary to say that Jehovah's lot and the goat for the people have the same signification, though both refer to the sacrifice of Christ. In one God was glorified in respect of the sin that had come in, in the other the sins were removed from the people. It is not all that men be forgiven: sin must be removed out of God's sight; and He has done what accomplishes this blessed purpose. It is what reveals and glorifies God Himself in a wholly new way.

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Moreover, the just anger which rested on the guilty on God's part is removed as to the believer by the sacrifice of Christ, call it "appeasing" or what you will. It did not change God, but it changed the relative attitude of God towards the sinner. What He is, and will be in judging, actually towards the sinner, He is not towards the believer, not because of what the believer is become, but because of what has been done for him in the sacrifice of Christ. As when God said when He smelt the sweet savour of Noah's sacrifice, "I will no more curse"; not because man was become good, for He adds for "the imagination of the thoughts of his heart is evil from his youth."

In sum, then, the blood was presented to God for Him to see, on the door, on the mercy-seat; and Christ entering in not without blood was the witness that He had suffered, borne the sins, been forsaken of God, drunk the dreadful cup. That was not love, it was death, the curse, what Dr. W. calls "the curse of wrath" (an expression I should not use), and consequently God acted differently towards the believer from what He must have acted, had this not been done; not because He was changed, but because He was not; but acted according to His constantly righteous nature. He did not love us because we had recovered righteousness, but when we were sinners. The system of Dr. W. diminishes the love, and alters its character as much as it does the righteousness. God smelled a sweet savour, a eth reach hanichoach, the odour of rest, and said, I will no more curse, and this is called ilasmos, ilaskesthai, and the mercy-seat ilasterion in the New Testament. Now, those words refer to God. They involve forgiveness and favour, but favour obtained by the sacrifice of Christ presented to God. I do not say love caused, for it was infinite love gave the Son to be the lamb of propitiation; but that love wrought by a work which maintained the righteousness and holiness of God in forgiving and justifying: and, though the word may be used for the effect, it is applied to God in the New Testament, and its meaning is "propitiation" or "appeasing." "Reconciling," which is applied to believers, is a totally different word, katallasso katallage. The ilasmos was offered to God, ilasterion was where His blood was placed on God's throne, and it was God who was the object of ilaskesthai, man of katallage (1 John 2: 2; Romans 3: 25; Hebrews 2: 17); and as to katallasso, see Romans 5: 10, 11; 2 Corinthians 5: 18-21; Colossians 1: 20, 21. As to the last word Dr. W. is right. It is man, not God, who is reconciled; but Dr. W. has failed in giving its force to the former.

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I must now shew that connected with this there are a number of statements made by Dr. W. which are from traditional habits of thinking, not from Scripture. The question of sin has wholly lost its judicial character in Dr. W.'s mind. He sees only the moral condition of the sinner. "He who continues in sin is struck by God's wrath against sin, nor is this relationship altered by the death of Christ." "To be carnally minded is death; if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: whenever there is sin, there is unchangeably God's wrath, as surely as God is a righteous God, and salvation from this wrath is only to be obtained by justification from sin," Romans 5: 9. Now all this seems fair enough; but it misrepresents the case, because it confounds the ceasing to be carnally minded (that is, my state) with justification from sin, which is wholly and solely by the work of another, though it may be accompanied by a work in me which does change my state. But the whole statement is a mistake as to the gospel, even as to the love shewn in it. "God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them": and this was when the blessed Lord was here in the world. It was God's way of dealing when the trespasses were there. And, as to justification, it is not the morally righteous He justifies, but the ungodly; Romans 4: 5. We are "justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation [mercy-seat] through faith in his blood."

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Do not let the reader suppose that this implies continuance in sin. That question is met by Romans 6, but not by weakening what goes before in Romans, which really treats the judicial question, but by adding the truth of a new divine life, and death to sin, in Christ. It remains that by one man's obedience many are made righteous. The world will always charge this as being an allowance of sin; but the believer who has a new life knows better. A holy nature, Christ become his life, hates the sin; but this is holiness, not righteousness; and one who is convinced of guilt does not reject the forgiveness and justification of the guilty, because he knows he wants it, though he may be kept a long while from peace because he confounds the two.

Dr. W. does not deny, it will be said, that Christ was a propitiatory sacrifice.+ He does not. What then does a propitiatory sacrifice mean? Was it offered to God or to man? Whom does it propitiate? It is not that man is versöhnt (reconciled), but sühne (propitiation) presented to God. He accepts the words but denies the thing; for example, "If we regard the plain words of Scripture respecting Christ's redemption, we find them treat solely of man's reconciliation." "It is not, God laid His wrath on Him." This is quite untrue. I do not use the word 'wrath'; but stripes, chastisement. He was wounded, bruised for our iniquities, is said. Dr. W. will answer, It was that we might be healed. Thank God it was. But what happened that we might be? Dr. W. calls it "the curse of God's wrath." How can he say God did not lay His wrath upon Him? His mind is running rightly on our being reconciled, and divine love in it; but he contradicts himself when he admits that, when Christ descended into our sin (was made sin for us), the curse of wrath came upon Him. And what he says just afterwards is unfounded and contradictory to itself and Scripture. "It is correct to say that God's justice was satisfied by Christ's atonement, not any demand of God's justice for vengeance over the sinner, for God loved him, but the demand of God's justice for the sinner's justification as a condition of his salvation." This is the merest sophistry. What did that justice demand for this justification? Was it not, according to Dr. W., "the curse of wrath" on Christ? Call it "curse of wrath" or just vengeance against sin, is alike. "Vengeance is mine: I will recompense, saith the Lord" -- emoi ekdikesis, ego antapodoso, legei Kurios. nagam ushilem belong to God, and wrath is revealed now from heaven against all ungodliness, not merely temporal judgment, as in the government of the world. What was the "demand of God's justice for the sinner's justification"? Was it "the curse of wrath" or not? I use in both cases Dr. W.'s words. All this reasoning of Dr. W. avoids the question. The object of the atonement, he tells us, was to remove his (man's) sins; but this was not all: there was glorifying God; but I only ask now, What in the atonement did remove the sins? Was it "the curse of wrath"? and, if so, whose wrath?

+But then the love that gave Him was love to sinners in their sins and under wrath.

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But I turn now to expressions in which Dr. W. states his system, for which he has no warrant in Scripture: "I find it everywhere written that God through Christ reconciled the world to himself." It is nowhere so written.+ If it be said, let us have "faithful adherence to the words of Scripture," I read, "God was in Christ reconciling the world." But, so far from its being reconciled, "the world knew him not," and "his own received him not." It is the statement of God's dealing with the world when here, and goes on then, as a distinct thing, to "the ministry of reconciliation" in the apostle; Christ, who knew no sin, having been "made sin for us." But in no way or form does it say the world has been reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5: 17, 18, distinctly shews that it is those who belong to the "new creation" who are reconciled, and what follows shews that it is by the word; and that God in love is beseeching men to be reconciled. God could not beseech the men of the world to be reconciled if they already were. Again, in Colossians 1: 20, 21, he speaks of the time to come, when the whole order of things in heaven and earth will be reconciled, and then speaks of Christian believers, the holy and faithful brethren at Colosse, "and you that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." So far from saying the world is reconciled, Scripture carefully teaches an exclusive actual present reconciliation of believers. The nearest approach to such a thought does not refer to the efficacy of Christ's death at all, but to the dispensational dealings of God, in which the casting away of the Jews opened the door of grace to the Gentiles as such; Romans 11: 15. In Ephesians 2 again you have peace being made: it was to make of Jew and Gentile together one new man, reconciling both to God in one body, and to that end He goes and preaches peace to the nigh (Jews) and those afar off (Gentiles): but a reconciled world by the cross is unknown to and denied by Scripture. "The whole world is lying in wickedness." That the door of grace and preaching peace to it is opened is true; but believers only are reconciled ("you hath he reconciled," you who are in the faith) according to the positive statement of Scripture; and this affects the whole scheme of Dr. W.

+See Note to page 253.

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Further on, replying to Mr. Welinder, Dr. W. confounds the sovereign love of goodness to a fallen world with love of relationship. Both writers assume the world to be reconciled, and neither sees the difference of special affections and absolute general goodness. I ought to love everybody; but my love to my wife and children is another thing. God loved the world; but believers are His children, and the church of God Christ's bride and body. We are "God's children by faith in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3), sons of God, and "Christ loved the church and gave himself for it" to present it to Himself as God did Eve to Adam. I cannot go farther into this here; but it does shew that in both these writers theology and tradition have eclipsed the light of Scripture.

Dr. W. says: "The atonement spoken of in Scripture was an atonement by which the sins of the world were removed." No such thought is found in Scripture; that He is an ilasmos for the world is said, but that the sins of the world are removed is wholly unscriptural. If so, there could be nothing to judge men for; for they are judged according to their works (Rev 20: 13), and the Lord says: "If ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins"; and the apostle, "Because of these things the wrath of God cometh upon the children of disobedience." It is said of Christ that He is o airon, not of the sins, but of the sin of the world, and that He baptises with the Holy Ghost, not that He has taken away our sins. This taking away of sin will be completely fulfilled only in the new heavens and the new earth, and He, as Lamb of God, is this taker away; but that the atonement spoken of in Scripture was one by which the sins of the world were removed is utterly and wholly untrue.

Further, there is no statement that God gave His Son that the world might recover the righteousness it had lost in the fall -- not even that Adam had righteousness before the fall; nor had the world or Adam any union with God before the fall or after; nor is "union with God" a scriptural expression or thought at all: "dwelling in God and God in us" is, but not union. It is utterly unscriptural. Union with the glorified man Christ is scriptural, and that is by the Holy Ghost. We are "members of his body," but this is the result of redemption (see Ephesians 1, 2); and this even Adam unfallen had not at all. In what follows both controversialists again confound His love of divine goodness towards the world and the love of relationship, and that love of goodness towards the world, as such, with individuals personally; and though I doubt not, thank God, that God sought and seeks wandering sinners in their sins, Dr. W. forgets that in the prodigal son it was a returning prodigal come back to his father, to whom a father's love was displayed, and the best robe put on him, and he received into the house. The two first parables in Luke 15 give the love that seeks, the last the love that receives; and though all be grace in this chapter, and the father went out and sought the elder brother (the Pharisee), he never got what the father's love gave to the prodigal -- his own fault, doubtless, but still true -- he had neither kiss, nor best robe, nor ring.

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When Dr. W. says "God's point of view is solely as follows: God loved the fallen world, and, moved solely by his own love, sent his Son to save and restore us from sin," he states what is quite unscriptural. That God did so love the world is true, but that God's point of view is solely this is not true. Nor is it said that He might remove its sins. God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life; but His point of view is not solely this. This phrase, "that whosoever," etc., is carefully repeated, and what Dr. W. states is not even put first; but "as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whosoever." That is, the scripture carefully states two things, and puts that first which Dr. W. leaves out. I am not objecting, assuredly, to God's love being the source of it. I sympathise with Dr. W. wholly in this; but his statement is contrary to Scripture on the point in question. It obliterates what was needed that this love might be made good. He will say, "I have stated elsewhere that the atonement, a propitiation, was needed." He has; but he has, through pre-occupation with his side of the question, cast out what he fancies opposes this, and falsified its nature, and here falsely stated that God's only point of view is, "God so loved"; whereas, in the very place where this is said, another point of view is formally and in the first place stated, and the blessed Lord is revealed in another aspect in which He had to be presented to God, on man's part, for atonement. "So must the Son of man be lifted up." Had not God given His Son, there could have been none such; but this is added as the way by which the first was accomplished. But there was need that man, for man, should be presented to God, and that "lifted up" -- that is, take "the curse," drink "the cup" (suffer according to Dr. W.'s words) "the curse of wrath." Love provided the Lamb in God's Son; but the Lamb must be slain, presenting Himself as man, "who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God" on man's behalf, and take "the curse" and drink "the cup" from God's hand, forsaken of God. This was not in itself love; but it was propitiation. God's love (though the work was so perfect for His glory that the blessed Lord could say, "Therefore doth my Father love me") did not shew itself to Christ then.

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Dr. W.'s statement as to Ephesians 1 is also ungrounded. He says, "it means"; but it is not what it says, but quite a different thing; and the meaning Dr. W. gives to it is wholly and utterly below and aside from God's thoughts in it. Saving us "through" is not choosing us "in." Our being "in Christ," "the last Adam, the second man," is a great scriptural truth, not yet in Dr. W.'s mind at all. But, for that very reason, I do not go farther with it here.

As to His justice suffering a violation and so demanding an indemnity, I should not perhaps so express it. But "the Son of man must be lifted up" is just that, "the chastisement of our peace" being upon Him is just that. "He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities." His being "made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him," and countless other passages, state clearly what Dr. W. denies. Righteousness declared in the remission of past (that is, Old Testament) sins is declared by Christ's shedding His blood; forbearance had been exercised as to them. This was now proved to be righteous.

Dr. W. has not at all seen that it is God's righteousness which is revealed, when things "worthy of death" had been done, and that through Christ's death, God's wrath being revealed as well as His love. We are "justified by his blood," and using such words as "indemnity" will not alter the divine and substantial truth that "by stripes" and "chastisement from God" we are justified and healed; that by His bearing our sins and receiving from God what was due to them, the cup He had to drink, being forsaken of God and dying, we are cleared and justified. He offered Himself without spot to God to be a sacrifice, He must be lifted up; He prayed that if it were possible the cup might pass, but it was not if we were to be saved; and so, call it "indemnity" or what you please, we are saved from wrath through Him. His death was an apolutrosis, it was a lutrosis, without which there is no apolutrosis for us. Luke and Hebrews both use the word lutrosis which is just redemption by ransom, losegeld, or indemnity, loskaufung. These are exactly what Dr. W. says is not in Scripture. He says "we obtained the righteousness which was a necessary condition for our salvation." Where is this in Scripture? And so far as it is scriptural that "we are made the righteousness of God in him," how is that so? is the question. "He was made sin for us."

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Dr. W., as I have said, forgets it is God's righteousness. God's wrath is the shape or form assumed by God's justice with reference to sin. I agree. But where was this displayed? Was it not in Christ's suffering "the Just for the unjust," a lutrosis, the substitution of Christ as "made sin for us"? And Dr. W.'s argument is all false. He says quenching wrath is then the same as quenching justice. Supposing another is punished in my stead: as to me the wrath or punishment is quenched, and by justice; and justice is executed. The justice remains: but in my going free, and there being no wrath for me. God's wrath against the sinner, by reason of the sin and guilt he lay under, is taken away for the believer by the death of Christ; "by his stripes we are healed." The Lord has laid on Him our iniquity. We were children of wrath, a wrath which will be executed against unbelievers, but we are saved from wrath by Him; He is our deliverer from the wrath to come; 1 Thessalonians 1: 10. And this was by Jehovah laying on Him our iniquity when He made His soul an offering for sin, and His taking the stripes due to us.

It is written; the whole of Isaiah 53 states it. "Christ bare our sins [1 Peter 2: 24] in his own body on the tree," and drank that dreadful cup, the thought of which made Him sweat as it were great drops of blood, "suffered for sins, the Just for the unjust" (chapter 3: 12), "bore the sins of many," and, had He not then fully completed the work, must have suffered often (Hebrews 9). "He was offered to bear the sins of many." Before whom, and from whom, did He suffer? He is gone in "not without blood." To whom presented? Blood must be shed for remission. Why? Dr. W. tells us it was to cleanse us, to obtain righteousness: but why that in order to such an end? He will say he cannot tell. Scripture says it was a lutrosis, an ilasmos, and that it was presented to God. No Christian doubts its cleansing power for faith on which Dr. W. insists. But the present question does not lie there.

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Dr. W. talks of God loving the world less after than before the fall. But all this is misapprehension. There was no world before the fall. There was a being whom God had formed according to His own mind, in which, as the fruit of His own handiwork, He could take pleasure, and view him with complacency. After the fall there was not. It repented the Lord that He had made man upon the earth and grieved Him at His heart; Genesis 6: 6. "The friendship of the world is enmity against God." "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." God could not have the love of complacency in a fallen sinful creature as He had in His own perfect handiwork; and the plain proof is, "He drove out the man." What was that? His love, in the sense of sovereign mercy in Himself, was greater after the fall than before. Unfallen Adam did not need it.

But all this is lost in the confusion of Dr. W.'s statement. He confounds God's nature with His relationships in respect of good and evil, and leaves out His righteous judgment. He insists that the law condemns sin against it as before. Of course it does. But "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." The curse does not reach believers because Christ was made a curse for them. It is a poor cavil to say being made a curse was not punishment; it is "chastisement, stripes, wounding, bruising, forsaken of God," according to the word of God; "the curse of wrath," according to Dr. W. I do not at all admit that it is only unbelief that is punished; but God's wise order is that it is by faith we have forgiveness and justification; and the unbeliever dies in his sins, and is also guilty of refusing the Son of God and despising mercy. His whole theory and all its applications are false, because he holds without a trace of scripture that the atonement has removed the sins of the world. His confounding the distress of unrepentant David ("while I kept silence") with Christ's taking the curse atoningly, shews how far a false theory can lead into darkness; and that is all.

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His statement that "where there is sin, God's wrath is unchangeably manifest as surely as God is God," is deplorable in every way; for what then is love to a sinful world, which he rightly holds, and declares incompatible with wrath? (And see Ephesians 2: 3, 4, and following verses as to activity in grace.) It denies the atonement -- Christ "suffering, the Just for the unjust" -- and it leaves us always under wrath; for "if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." This is the effect of theoretical reasoning instead of simply receiving Scripture. What is said withal in Scripture is that Christ bore our sins in His own body on the tree -- bore the sins of many. "Gave us his righteousness" is not found in Scripture. If it be, let Dr. W. shew it. This is tradition also, not Scripture. He is "made righteousness to us of God" (1 Corinthians 1: 30), is said; but. "gave us his righteousness" is never said in Scripture. The difference is total; and, I insist, with Dr. W., "I must have scripture, not theological theories." And let Dr. W. remember, too, that it is Christ suffering (from whom? of whom was He forsaken?), "the Just for the unjust," that was to bring us to God.

But Dr. W. boldly asks, "Where is it written that man is free from wrath because God in His Son punished sins against the law, so that He can no longer be justly angry with us because of these?" Did Dr. W. ever read Isaiah 53? was "the curse of the law" not the punishment of sins? did He not suffer, "the Just for the unjust"? was He not forsaken of God? what was the cup He had to drink? was not the chastisement of our peace upon Him? is it not with His stripes we are healed? was it not for our transgressions He was wounded? was it not for sins Christ suffered, "the Just for the unjust"? It is, then, "so written." Did it not please Jehovah to bruise Him? put Him to grief when He was making His soul an offering for sin? To whom? Was He not bearing others' iniquities there? was He not bruised for their iniquities? was it not for the transgression of Jehovah's people He was stricken? Was He not bearing the sins of many there? It is written, and written in both Testaments, that "by his stripes we are healed." Stripes from whom? "It pleased Jehovah to bruise him." Oh, it is sorrowful to think that any one, for a theory, can pass over the deep mystery, but revealed truth, that God was dealing with sins, our sins, in the atoning sufferings of the Son of God, "made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death"! What is hard to conceive is, how Dr. W. could ask where it is written.+

+It is never said that justification is accomplished for the whole world. That "Christ died for all" is written. It is never said in Scripture that He bore the sins of all, but carefully avoided, changing the language to "many," or "our," where needed. But propitiation and substitution are all confounded by Dr. W., and the first part of Romans 1 to chapter 5: 11 is left out, and the second part, which speaks of our being all sinners through Adam's sin, taken up; where believers reckoning themselves dead, not propitiation for sins, is discussed. But all these points are jumbled together in Dr. W.'s statements. Here I only draw his attention to statements made without any warrant from Scripture.

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But we are "justified by faith," and it is wholly unscriptural to apply this to the whole world. Scripture applies it solely to believers. I have already said I entirely agree with Dr. W. that Scripture speaks of our being reconciled to God, not God to us. I would insist on it; still I do not agree with what is said of saints and forgiveness; but I make no remark on it. Only Dr. W. seems to have forgotten that the publican's supplication was ilastheti. I admit the expression came to be used in a very general sense; but it would not support Dr. W. in his statements, but the contrary. It is based on the idea of the propitiation; of the offended person being propitiated, and so propitious. Nor does his reasoning on 2 Samuel 21: 14 meet the citation. I have no objection to his translating ahther to be entreated for the land, as the English translation has it. But why was He acherei-ken, thereupon, entreated for it? was it not on a reparation done to His judicial authority on the violated engagement made by Joshua and the princes (Joshua 9: 18, 19)? The same remark applies to 2 Samuel 24: 25. I do not say reconciled; but I ask why, on what ground, was God entreated -- that is, heard the entreaty -- as to the plague, so that it ceased? Was it not because offerings were offered to Him?

His argument as to the ransom money has no force, because the question is, what is the meaning of ransom or atonement through which their lives were spared? That Christ is the only one for eternal salvation no Christian denies.

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Dr. W. rests on objectionable words in his adversaries' statements. Thus he alludes to sacrifices inducing a disposition in God. Now I object to these expressions, as does Dr. W. They are drawn from the false idea of reconciling God, producing (so to speak) love in Him; and this is quite wrong, and Dr. W. on this point quite right. But they were not presented to God simply to reconcile or induce a disposition in the sinner. But, if Jehovah was entreated for the land, it is not that men entreated Him but were not heard; but that they were now heard when they entreated. What was the cause of this? The offerings presented to God, or satisfaction made to His outraged justice. When Jehovah smelled a savour of rest and said, "I will no more curse the ground," on whom was the effect produced by the sacrifice of Noah? The result was the ground was no more cursed, Dr. W. will say. No doubt. So the passage says. But why? Who says that it should not be cursed any more? Who smelled the odour of rest so as not to curse any more? It is too plain and intentionally positive to admit of any question. Dr. W. is not correct when he says "the enmity" in Ephesians is the enmity between Jews and Gentiles, to the exclusion of all else. The passage speaks of reconciling both to God; still God's enmity is not spoken of. In his statements about the goats, Dr. W. seems to me wholly to have missed the mark, but I have spoken of it. I only remark here that one goat secured admission to the presence of God according to His holy nature -- "boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus," as is expressly and elaborately taught in Hebrews 9, 10 -- and the other, the removing of all the sins of God's people according to their responsibility towards Him; and Dr. W. loses an immense deal if he does not see both; and alas! it is the case with many Christians.

It is utterly untrue that nothing else is said of sacrifices than perfecting us. This is not the case, even in the Hebrews, "for then must he often have suffered." What and from whom? Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many. Offered to whom? What was bearing sins? what did it mean as to Christ? Did He sweat as it were great drops of blood at the thought of justifying us? The whole work was done, "finished" on the cross, before my conscience was perfected, or even felt the need of it. He is sitting down because the work is perfect; and God has accepted it in righteousness, has glorified the Man Christ at His right hand, because the Man Christ had glorified Him when made sin upon the cross. It was, I repeat, wholly done, and Christ, sitting at God's right hand in consequence, before anything was done with my conscience at all -- done with God alone -- and, if it had not been, my conscience could not have been perfected at all. Christ's own glory as a Redeemer depended on it. And even as to us, that is not all its import; He "obtained eternal redemption" and an "eternal inheritance." If His blood does purge our conscience, it is because "through the eternal Spirit he offered himself without spot to God." Yea, He fills all things through it. (Ephesians 4: 9, 10, and indeed chapter 1: 23.)

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Besides, it is not said only "God so loved the world," but "the Son of man must be lifted up." There was an incumbent necessity which He had to bear. So, as we have seen, "Jehovah smelled a sweet savour; and Jehovah said, I will no more curse." It is totally untrue that nothing else is said about it in Scripture than that "God so loved the world."

Again, I say, in reply to the assertion "that the world was reconciled to God" in the cross, not God to the world, that it is not the manner in which God's word expresses the matter. Not a text can be cited that says anything of the sort. It is wholly unscriptural, and one of the grand mistakes of Dr. W. which misleads him as to everything. Nor, above all when Christ said, It is finished, was it said that the world was reconciled. It was the closing of the scene as regards the world which proves they had both seen and hated both Him and His Father, and, in that character of reconciling the world which He bore in earth, it would see Him no more; John 14: 19.

I do not accept Dr. W.'s criticism as to "reconcile." In the first place, ilasmos and katallage are quite different, that is, "propitiation" and "reconciliation." And this makes his whole argument utterly worthless. But besides, though kaphar may etymologically mean to cover, it does not follow that the Piel (kipper) does, which he would, in many cases, find wholly out of place. The word for covering sins, in the ordinary sense, is kasah as kasui in Psalm 32; and, as far as kaphar is connected with covering, out of whose sight were they put? and how? Were they not before God, in His sight, when Christ bore them? and what was the consequence as to Him? Was not this the propitiation? In Daniel 9: 24 it is not said, "then shall the transgression be taken away,"+ but to take away. To cover sin is quite another word, kasah. To atone for iniquity is l'kaphar.

+I take the English translation of Dr. W., not understanding Swedish, though having his article in that language. But the force of the Hebrew is plain.

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Further, in Hebrews 9, as to "once hath he appeared to put away sin," it is eis athetesin amartias, "to the removing of sin" (not sins), a wholly different matter, bearing our sins being added as a distinct thing just below. Sin will not be removed, as a result, entirely, till the new heavens and the new earth, though the effectual work which is the ground of it be accomplished.

Nor are the weeks of Daniel accomplished yet. Messiah was cut off after the sixty-ninth, wa ayin lo, and took nothing of the kingdom and Messiah-glory. But to enter into this would lead me too far, though the not giving heed to it has led to much misinterpretation of Scripture in Dr. W.'s statements.

We never find the reconciling of the world to God as an effect of the cross. But if sin were "a wall of separation between God and man," as it was, was not Christ made sin for us, and forsaken of God, according to Psalm 22, and was not propitiation wrought there when He made His soul an offering for sin, and bore the sins of many? What relation was Christ placed in to God then? Never obedience so fully accomplished, never so fully shewing love to His Father, but "made sin for us who knew no sin." It is not, I agree, reconciling God to us; but both Dr. W. and his adversaries take "We are reconciled," for the world, which is wholly unscriptural; the apostle speaks of believers. In 2 Corinthians 5 he is speaking of those in Christ and the new creation. He was reconciling the world; He hath reconciled us. The passage is quite clear, and the ministry of reconciliation was then committed to them, and that toward the world, Christ having been made sin for us. In Colossians it is distinctly "you," that is, the believers at Colosse.

The effect of this error runs through every page. "God was in Christ reconciling" is spoken of as if it was the world which was reconciled, a totally different matter. The statement is wholly unscriptural. "Be ye reconciled" was the apostle's ministry to the world; that is, they were not so yet. The Scriptures are "uniform" in not saying God was reconciled, uniform (it is spoken of twice) in saying believers are, and equally uniform in presenting the world as not so by Christ's death, but that His death gave the basis of the apostle's "ministry of reconciliation." Being reconciled does not mean God being appeased. But what was the basis of that ministry? Was it Christ's taking "the curse of wrath" or not? Was that necessary in order to it, or otherwise the wrath have abode on us? God's love to us was not free "because we were righteous," but wrought its perfect work while we were sinners. "Hereby know we love that he laid down his life for us." That righteous state was the effect of something else, and faith in that was needed to become righteous. This theory destroys the sovereign freeness and fulness of love, as well as the propitiation by a work wrought when we were far from God and unrighteous. "God justifies the ungodly" -- so Scripture says at least -- and that "by faith." Faith in whom and what? Reconciling the "things," which is yet to come, is of the "things," not of God; but Dr. W., in his explanation, does not give any meaning to "having made peace by the blood of his cross," which precedes reconciliation.

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There are many things I should not accept in Dr. W.'s statement here, but I pass them over as not the main point; but he has not explained the ilastheti of the publican in the temple. I am not insisting on reconciling God, for I do not think it scriptural; but the "making peace by the blood of the cross" suffers in the hands of Dr. W. To say that God is not angry with the sinner, because He loves him, is confusion of mind. I can be angry morally and judicially, I cannot perhaps be righteously anything else, with those I dearly love. Did Christ not love those whom He looked at "with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their hearts"? Wrath may be come upon a people to the uttermost, and God not cease to be love, and he even who says it -- Paul -- not have ceased to love them devotedly. The union or meeting of infinite love and "the curse of wrath" is, by Dr. W.'s own admission, the essential character of the cross. Dr. W. must allow me to say that his argument as to the atonement-money or the numbering of the children of Israel is wholly without force. The commandment was not concerning the numbering, but concerning giving a ransom for their souls; lest they should die when they were numbered, being brought, poor sinners that they were, personally and individually under God's eye when thus numbered.

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I must repeat, because the fallacy is incessantly repeated by Dr. W., that the effect produced is not that by which it is produced. He insists that the work of Christ was in order to reconcile men, to cleanse them, to justify them. Agreed. And he cites passage after passage to shew this. I accept them all fully. But this does not touch the question, What was the work done, or what the sufferings endured, that this effect might be produced? What was presented to God? Christ was made a curse for us, made sin for us, suffered the Just for the unjust, was forsaken of God, drinking that dreadful cup, which could not pass away if we were to be saved. The effect was the cleansing of believers; but what was the meaning of that which cleanses them through faith, in which Christ was alone with God that they might be so cleansed? Were not men redeemed from the curse by His being made a curse for them? Was that curse God's love to Him?

And so with the goat of atonement. It was cleansing the holy place and altar, etc. No doubt; but what was done that they might be cleansed? Did not death, in figure, "suffering the Just for the unjust," come in that they might be cleansed, by reason of Israel's sins? As to the two goats, I have spoken of them; but God does not give one explanation of them, as Dr. W. says. It is not said of the first goat, "He shall bear upon him all their iniquities into a land not inhabited"; Aaron having confessed their sins on the head of that goat, not on the other. That both represent one Christ and one cross is true; but in confounding these two aspects of the cross Dr. W. loses a great deal. At any rate, Scripture does not give the same explanation. Is it nothing to have all one's sins taken away, never to be found again? It is Dr. W. who neglects the meaning Scripture attaches to these figures.

In his remarks on Hebrews, Dr. W. omits to notice the real point of the case: the "perfecting" is "as pertaining to the conscience," and by the blood carried in. Through Christ presenting Himself, and then entering in "not without blood," the conscience was purged. And this alone is the purging spoken of, so that we have "no more conscience of sins"; not consciousness of sin, but conscience of sins, sins on the conscience, because Christ has borne them and gone within, "not without blood." It is not our state, but the state of our conscience before God; we as to this are "perfected for ever" (eis to dienekes), always and perpetually, because Christ is always now (eis to dienekes) sitting at the right hand of God; not like the Jewish priests, standing, renewing a work which was never done. No cleansing of our state is spoken of, but of our conscience by Christ's offering who is gone in not without blood. Dr. W. does not state what Scripture states here. It is false that no other import of Christ's sacrifice for God is spoken of than that it was a consequence of God's unchanging love. It hides Christ's forsaking of God and drinking the dreadful cup, and His standing as Son of man who must be lifted up.

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Dr. W. says "God so loved the fallen world that He gave it the offering to restore it. And as there is nothing else said about it in Scripture," etc. There is something else said about it in Scripture. Christ "offered himself without spot to God through the eternal Spirit," and "the Son of man must be lifted up." Dr. W. will say, "that whosoever believeth might not perish." No doubt; but why must He be "lifted up" on the cross as "Son of man" that they might not? And this is said, as well as that "God so loved"; but Dr. W. always passes it over.

It is not true that Scripture says that God never had any anger against him (the sinner). It is expressly said, "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish," will be rendered "to every soul of man that doeth evil," and "wrath from heaven is now revealed." "Now is the accepted time, the day of salvation"; but those who despise the grace of it are "treasuring up for themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God." Wrath from God, therefore, rests on and is executed against men; yet God does not change. Vengeance belongs to Him. "Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance?"

But Dr. W. is all out of the way as to reconciling. I do not return to what I have already insisted on, that Scripture never says the world is reconciled any more than God. Christians are, and Christians only; but there is no foundation for what he says as to the force of the word. Kaphar is a difficult word, at least with al (see Leviticus 16); but Numbers 25: 13 shews Dr. W. cannot make good his statements. But into this I will enter no farther, because it is perfectly plain that in the New Testament reconciling does mean reconciling the people, changing their disposition; and we have no need of turning to nice discussions on words, and their use in the LXX. It is somewhat more than changing the disposition, because it includes a relative object as to which that change takes place-one is reconciled to some person or thing. This being by an offering or the like, the meaning of the word is extended; but it is not merely cleansing, or anything of the kind. In Romans 5 we have, "If, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more," etc. Now this is changing the disposition when one was an enemy, and thus bringing back the mind to God. So Colossians 1: 21, "And you that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled." That it is by an offering which cleanses and purges the conscience, is true, and what I should insist on. The heart could not return really, if the conscience were not purged, nor this unless the sins were purged; but this was by Christ's suffering the agony of the cross, forsaken of God, God's infinite love to us bringing back the renewed heart to Him thereby. The end of 2 Corinthians 5 fully confirms this. Reconciling is bringing into happy relationship with another when we have been out of it, as Matthew 5: 24; and to speak of katallage, diallagethi, as equivalent to ilasmos and ilaskesthai, is unfounded; as making such words as ratsah, or nathar, or chata, or hithchata, or naathar and kaphar the same, is falsifying the sense of words; so yom kastui; so in Numbers 16: 46 (Hebrews 17: 11), wrath, getseph was gone out from the presence of Jehovah, and Aaron was l'kaphar; nor was it to reconcile the people, but to stay the plague, to stop the wrath that was gone out.

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And it is an unhappy thing, because the effect of atonement (when wrath would justly come out against us) is to cleanse and reconcile us, to weaken the truth of that righteous wrath, and its being righteously arrested by the precious blood presented to God, and that bearing of sins, which makes it righteous in God to justify the ungodly and forgive their sins. Appeasing God, ilaskomai, placare, let the word be what it may, is not changing God, but glorifying and satisfying God's righteous judgment; so that He may say, "when I see the blood, I will pass over."

Scripture does know the expression of the anger or "wrath of God." What Dr. W. says of it is not true. "God's wrath is revealed from heaven," and, if we do not believe, abides upon us; John 3: 36 And it is written, "Thou wast angry, but thine anger is turned away," Isaiah 12: 1. And the passages are very numerous too which speak of it. I do not know Swedish; but Dr. W. will know that sühnen and versöhnen are different things, though like the Greek, the meanings run into one another as cause and effect; but they are essentially different: one does apply to God; the other does not. And "we have the propitiation" is an abuse of the word. Dr. W.'s statements on this are most unequivocally unscriptural.

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Dr. W. reverts to the statement already often noticed to give it a particular application, saying, "The forgiveness of sins is nothing but an application to the individual sinner of the taking away the sins of the whole world, which took place in Christ." Every part of this statement is unscriptural. It did not take place in Christ. There is no such thought in Scripture; indeed if there were, there could be nothing to judge them for. And further, no such application would be needed, for the sins would be already taken away. The forgiveness of sins and the imputation of righteousness is by faith; Romans 4.

Ephesians 1: 7; Colossians 1: 14; Hebrews 10: 18, cited by Dr. W., do not say one word of what Dr. W. says. But further, redemption from a state is the commonest use in Scripture and in modern speech of the word 'redeem.' We say "redeemed from captivity," from destruction, from death; so that all the discussion about Anselm and the fathers is to no purpose. We are delivered from the wrath and the curse by Christ's being made a curse for us. From whence did His suffering come? "He hath put him to grief." Debt is used as a figure; but by the Lord. It was not restitution of money; of course it is a mere figure; but it was not to remove the sin of man, that is, from man (which indeed is in every sense an unscriptural way of putting it, and will not be found in Scripture), but by bearing our sins for us; and if Scripture speaks of putting away sin, it is putting it as a state and condition out of God's sight, and that even of heaven and earth, not of forgiveness. He condemned sin in the flesh. But, as for faith we died, were crucified with Christ, we are freed from its law. When we are brought in, then it is Christ who knew no sin was made sin for us; that is, it was what was done for us, outside of us, not our state, though that state (righteousness of God, note, not of man, though the believer stands in it) be the purpose of it, yet not an actual righteous state in us, but we made the righteousness of God in Christ. (See Romans 8: 3; 2 Corinthians 5: 21.) Dr. W. has evidently not taken into consideration this part of the truth.

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I turn to the conclusion: "No change was effected by the fall of Adam in God, or in his disposition, but what was effected was that we fell into sin, and by sin into eternal death. In the work of Christ there was no change in God or in His disposition, but we gained righteousness, and thereby eternal life. And behind this work of Christ Scripture only recognises one thing, God so loved the world." Now though save the last phrases I recognise in general the truth of this,+ yet the statement is fundamentally false, because it suppresses a mass of scriptural truth of the most solemn character, and in the last phrase denies it. Is wrath not spoken of in Scripture? It was no change in God Himself, yet we are not merely fallen into something: God drove out the man, and not only so but shut up the way back to the tree of life, previously free to him; and man must get life some other way. It is the gift of God, and, save in the sense of man's ultimate state in glory, righteousness is not the way of regaining it. Man must be born again when he is a sinner.

Dr. W. speaks of wrath against sin elsewhere; but why, in order to systematise, is so immensely an important thing left out here? It is no change in God; it is righteousness dealing justly with evil. Man fell under wrath by sinning, God's wrath. It is the wrath of God which abides upon him if he does not believe; he is a child of wrath, Jew or Gentile alike; and it is part of the truth which came in by Christianity though not in itself of the grace, that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven. Something does remain "behind," besides "God so loved," that is, "the wrath of God." Already God's driving man out of paradise was an execution of judgment, and the flood was righteous judgment. But it was not fully "revealed from heaven," nor judgment pronounced on man till he had rejected Christ, because another question was to be tried in God's ways: could the first man be restored? He was tried without law, and the flood had to come in; he was tried under the law and broke it (the flesh was not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be; so that they that are in the flesh cannot please God), tried by the patient goodness that sent the prophets till there was no remedy. Then God said, I have yet my Son, my well-beloved, it may be they will reverence my Son. And when they saw Him, they said, This is the heir; come, let us kill Him, and the inheritance shall be ours. Man has both seen and hated both Him and His Father. Then the Lord pronounced the sentence: "Now is the judgment of this world." Except death were gone through, and the curse borne by another, the "corn of wheat" remained alone.

+But Scripture speaks, as we have seen, of God's repenting that He had man on the earth, and its grieving Him at His heart.

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The wrath of God was "revealed from heaven," but by the sin that work wrought which cleanses the believer for God according to God's own perfectness in light, and man took his place in heaven, according to the righteousness of God, in Christ. He came to seek and to save that which was lost -- now proved so. No doubt faith rested on promises and prophecies before the Lord came: but now all came out: the mind of the flesh was "enmity against God," but the veil rent, and heaven opened. The answer to the spear, which made sure that the Son of God, come in love, was gotten rid of from the earth, was the blood and water which cleanses and saves every one that believes, that comes to God by Him. Love was revealed; for hereby know we love, that He laid down His life for us; but wrath was "revealed from heaven." And if "God so loved the world that he gave his Son," so was it equally true that "the Son of man must be lifted up," or we should have perished under just wrath. And it is not true that Christ was only God's representative to take away our sins; He was man's representative and made sin for us, bearing our sins so that it pleased Jehovah to bruise Him, He put Him to grief when He made His soul an offering for sin, having offered Himself "through the eternal Spirit without spot to God."

I have nothing to do with the traditions of theologians and do not notice them, but with what the word of God brings before us. I have spoken of this at the beginning as to principles; but Dr. W. brings it all again forward here, and it is the kernel of the question. I agree with him, reconciling God is not spoken of; but he is one-sided in hiding a mass of truth which Scripture puts clearly forward. All that is said as to God being what He is in His revelation of Himself is delusion. God is love, God is light. But God could not act in wrath to man innocent (for man was neither righteous nor holy, as theologians say) -- He would not have been righteous -- and wrath was not revealed nor judgment, but, solely, the consequence of disobedience that man would die. All that Dr. W. takes up, and all that was said when man was judged in paradise. But God did act in wrath when he had sinned, and turned him out of paradise, and shut the way of the tree of life; but it was not revealed before, and surely not executed, nor was love revealed as it was in redemption. Christ was God's representative on earth, the image of the invisible God. But whose representative was He when made sin, and what was the consequence to Him? With the theories Dr. W. opposes I have nothing to do. He joins with his adversaries in holding that God reconciled the world to Himself; and from this common error one draws his theological consequences, which I refuse, as they are not in Scripture, and the other hides other plain scriptural statements and falls into denying them.

"Incidit in Scyllam, cupiens vitare Charybdim."

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Here, in this section X, Dr. W., as I have already said he did, speaks of wrath. But then how can he say, "Nothing remains besides and behind but God so loved the world"? Because the momentous fact of wrath remains. Perhaps he will tell us, Yes, but the world was reconciled, which is totally unscriptural, and how reconciled so that there is no wrath, if the wrath of God abides upon them, as Scripture says and Dr. W. admits, and Christ is our deliverer from the wrath to come? Yea, they are "heaping up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of the righteous judgment of God." Dr. W. says this reconciliation is "not a change of disposition, but of relative position, placing in another relation to a person"; but how in another relative position when the wrath of God abides on him? That wrath is not executed now (save in chastisement for our good in love, called "wrath" in Scripture, Job 36), and that it is the accepted time, the day of salvation, is true: the wrath is "to come"; but "he that believeth not is condemned already," the "wrath of God abideth upon him." Dr. W. tells us God cannot be angry and love at the same time. If so, there is no wrath abiding on the unbeliever, as he admits it is, or he is not loved.

All this error flows from one-sided reasoning and the utterly unscriptural notion that the world is reconciled, because it is the time of the exercise of grace founded on Christ's death, as the apostle states. I do not comment on the fallacious arguments of Dr. W.'s opponents. He and they have both started from a false tradition.

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I have only to remark, again, that Dr. W. avoids the question; namely, that saying the object of the atonement was to justify the sinner (which all will admit was one object) does not touch the real question: What was done there in order to justify him? What were the stripes with which we are healed? Herein we find again the utterly anti-scriptural doctrine: "The race of Adam was herein justified." We are justified by faith, not without it, though it be through the atonement. The saved are righteous in Christ, but "salvation only for the righteous" is as unscriptural as possibly can be. Christ came to save sinners -- "not to call the righteous, but sinners." God justifies "the ungodly." Christ came "to seek and to save that which was lost." This is another fundamental fallacy of Dr. W., that we are justified by being made personally righteous.

Dr. W.'s argument as to demons is sadly sophistical. The necessity of appeasing God as alleged was, if people were to be saved. If the devil and evil spirits were to be saved, according to God's justice an atonement would be needed; but Christ did not die for them, nor undertake their cause. This is poor sophistry.

"Community of love" is not sovereign love to sinners. All this too is sad confusion of mind. God commends His love to us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The power of tradition is curious enough here, where Dr. W. says such a passage as "God reconciled the world unto Himself," when there is absolutely no such passage in Scripture, just where he is insisting, quite rightly, on seeing how Scripture does speak. The conflict of theologians I leave with Dr. W., thoroughly decided with him to know only what Scripture says.

It is quite true that justice is not wrath or judgment. But as far as men go, we may justly say we turned God into a judge by sin, not assuredly into a righteous Being. When he had created Adam innocent, there was nothing to judge. It would have been judging His own workmanship. But righteousness becomes wrath (not hatred) when evil is in the presence of judicial authority exercised in righteousness. The righteous Lord loveth righteousness; but God is a righteous judge, and God is angry every day. And now wrath is revealed from heaven as surely as infinite love is. In sovereign grace He rises above the sin, and loves without a motive, save what is in His own nature and part of His glory. Man must have a motive for loving. God has none but in Himself, and "commendeth his love to us" (and the "His" is emphatic as to this very point), in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us: the best thing in heaven that could be given for the vilest, defiled, and guilty sinners. Dr. W. seems to me to lower and depreciate the love of God quite as much as His justice and His righteous wrath.

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There is one other point to which, though I have noticed it, I return, as of vital importance. Dr. W. holds that Christ represented God before men, not men before God. The first part is most blessedly true, but even that not to the extent of the inferences Dr. W. would draw from it, that there must be identity of operation. The Son did not send the Father, nor not spare Him but deliver Him up for us. The thought would be utterly anti-Christian. He accepted His part of the work of grace. "Lo, I come to do Thy will, O God"; and, a body being prepared for Him, He took upon Him the form of a servant, and was found in the likeness of men. I may return to this point elsewhere; I merely take note of it now, and turn to the question of representing God to men and man to God. Now, in His life down here, he that had seen Him had seen the Father, a most precious and sanctifying truth. John 14 is express in stating it, as the whole life of Jesus is the verification and illustration of it. He is, moreover, in His Person the image of the invisible God, the brightness of His glory, and the express image of His being, His hypostasis. As to this Scripture is plain; and I have no controversy with Dr. W. Further, that He was true God and true man, united in one Person, is not in question either; it is believed by both of us. The question is, Did He stand for men before God as well as for God before men? That He does in heaven is quite clear. He is gone into heaven now to appear in the presence of God for us; Hebrews 9: 24. But was all His life down here only a manifestation of God to men? When He took His place with the godly remnant in Israel, being baptised with John's baptism, assuredly not confessing sins as they did, but fulfilling righteousness, having emptied Himself and taken the form of a servant and entered upon the path of obedience, en schemati euretheis os anthropos, saying to John, "thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness." When He was led of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil, did He represent God to men? Was it not, as the first man was tempted and fell, the Second man held fast and overcame? Did He not overcome saying, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God, and overcome by refusing to go out of the place of a servant which He had taken, though challenged by Satan to do so as being Son of God? Did He not hold the place of man when He said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God? Did He not, when He dismissed Satan, saying, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve? He was always the obedient man before God, as Adam was the disobedient one; and though He abode alone till redemption was accomplished, the corn of wheat falling into the ground and dying, yet He stood in this world as man before God, as well as God before man. Who was the obedient man, did always such things as pleased His Father, pleaded in Gethsemane when His hour was come in the days of His flesh, with strong crying and tears made His supplication unto Him that was able to save Him from death, and was heard in that He feared apo tes eulabeias. Was this representing man or God?

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That He was alone till redemption was accomplished I fully recognise, but alone, as the sinless man amongst men, to accomplish what was called for from man for God. If He tasted death for every man, was that as representing God to men or standing for men before God? When God laid our iniquity on Him, was it representing God before men? When it became Him, for whom are all things, to make the Captain, archegon, of our salvation perfect through suffering, whom did He represent? When He cried in deep agony, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me, did He represent God to man? That He must have been God to be fit and able to do it is most true. Yet He was not representing God before men, but drinking the cup given to Him. When He was made sin, for whom was He made sin? Did He represent God to man then, or stand for men before God when He took up the cause of man (Hebrews 2)? He did not represent God to men, but it is written in a certain place, "What is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the Son of man that Thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels, Thou crownedst him with glory and honour." He was the Second man, the last Adam. He was the archegos of our salvation, the obedient, sinless, suffering Man who overcame Satan as man for men, was made sin for us, died for our sins, that is, represented us before God, our iniquity being laid upon Him, and drank that dreadful cup, taking it from His Father's hand, "the curse of wrath." Was suffering the curse of wrath representing God to men, or man as made sin under the righteous judgment of God?

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I add that, though the priesthood of Christ be now in heaven where He appears in the presence of God for us, yet all His life was in every sense a preparation for it. He had so taken up man that it became God to make Him perfect in that heavenly place through suffering. He was tempted, suffering being tempted, that He might succour them that are tempted. Not only so, but He was made like to His brethren in all things, that He might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. And so in chapter 5 of the same epistle, comparing Him with the Jewish high priest, though shewing the difference. And it is clear that the priest represented the people before God, confessed their sins on the scapegoat, and went into the sanctuary for them, as Christ has done into the true sanctuary for us. The priesthood of Christ is no doubt for believers; but to deny that He represented men, stood there as man for them before God, and that on the cross (as in Hebrews 2: 17) as man, alone indeed but for men, is ruinous error.

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PROPITIATION AND SUBSTITUTION

My intercourse with saints, and especially with those who preach, has led me to discover that a good deal of obscurity in their manner of putting the gospel (and I may add a good deal of Arminian and Calvinistic controversy) arises from not distinguishing propitiation and substitution. I am not anxious about the words, but about the practical distinction, which is very simple, and, I think, of moment. I say the words, because in propitiation, in a certain sense, Christ stood in our stead. Still there is a very real difference in Scripture.

This difference is clearly marked in the offering of the great day of atonement. Aaron slew the bullock and the goat, which was called Jehovah's lot, and sprinkled the blood on and before the mercy-seat and on the altar. The blood was presented to God, whose holy presence had been dishonoured and offended by sin. So Christ has perfectly glorified God in the place of sin, by His perfect obedience and love to His Father, in His being made sin who knew no sin. God's majesty, righteousness, love, truth, all that He is, was glorified in the work wrought by Christ, and of this the blood was witness in the holy place itself. Our sins gave occasion to it; but God Himself was glorified in it. Hence the testimony can go out to all the world that God is, more than satisfied, glorified; and whoever comes by that blood is freely, fully, received of God and to God. But there was no confession of sins on the head of this goat; it was about sin by reason of Israel's sinfulness; but it was simply blood offered to God. Sin had been dealt with in judgment according to God's glory; yea, to the full glorifying of God; for never were His majesty, love, and hatred of sin so seen. God could shine out in favour to the returning sinner according to what He was; yea, in the infiniteness of His love, could beseech men to return.

But besides this there was personal guilt, positive personal sins, for which Israel was responsible, and men are responsible, according to what is righteously required from each. On the great day of atonement the high priest confessed the people's sins on the scapegoat, laying both his hands on its head; the personal sins were transferred to the goat by one who represented all the people, and they were gone for ever, never found again.

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Now this is another thing. Christ is both high priest and victim, has confessed all the sins of His people as His own, and borne our sins in His own body on the tree. The two goats are but one Christ; but there is the double aspect of His sacrifice, Godward, and bearing our sins. The blood is the witness of the accomplishment of all, and He is entered in not without blood. He is the propitiation for our sins. But in this aspect the world comes in too. He is a propitiation for the whole world. All has been done that is needed. His blood is available for the vilest, whoever he may be. Hence the gospel to the world says, "Whosoever will, let him come." In this aspect we may say Christ died for all, gave Himself a ransom for all -- an antilutron peri panton, an adequate and available sacrifice for sin for whoever would come -- tasted death for every man.

But when I come to bearing sins, the language is uniformly different. He bore our sins, He bore the sins of many. "All" is carefully abstained from. I say carefully, because in Romans 5: 18, 19 the difference is carefully made. The first, our sins, is the language of faith, left open indeed to anyone who can use it; but used and to be used only by faith. The believing remnant of Israel may use it, including the blessing of the nations, for He died for that nation; Christians use it in faith, for all that have faith to use it. The second "many" restricts it from all, but generally has the force of the many; the oi polloi, as contrasted with a head or leaders, the mass in connection with them. Adam's oi polloi were in result all, but all as in connection with him; Christ's oi polloi, those connected with Him. But it will never be found in Scripture that Christ bore the sins of all. Had He done so, they never could be mentioned again, nor men judged according to their works.

That Christ died for all is, as we have seen, often said in Scripture. Hence I go with His death to the world as their ground and only ground of approach, with the love shewn in it. When a man believes, I can say, Now I have more to tell you: Christ has borne every one of your sins; they never can be mentioned again.

If we look at the difference of Arminian and Calvinistic preaching, we shall see the bearing of this at once. The Arminians take up Christ's dying for all, and generally they connect the bearing of sins with it; and all is confusion as to the efficacy and effectualness of Christ's bearing our sins, for they deny any special work for His people. They say, If God loved all, He cannot love some particularly; and an uncertain salvation is the result, and man often exalted. Thus the scapegoat is practically set aside.

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The Calvinist holds Christ's bearing the sins of His people, so that they are effectually saved; but he sees nothing else. He will say, If Christ loved the church, and gave Himself for it, there can be no real love for anything else. Thus he denies Christ's dying for all, and the distinctive character of propitiation, and the blood on the mercy-seat. He sees nothing but substitution.

The truth is, Christ is said to love the church, never the world. That is a love of special relationship. God is never said to love the church, but the world. This is divine goodness, what is in the nature of God (not His purpose), and His glory is the real end of all. But I do not dwell on this, only pointing out the confusion of propitiation and substitution as necessarily making confusion in the gospel, enfeebling the address to the world, or weakening the security of the believer, and in every respect giving uncertainty to the announcement of the truth. I believe earnestness after souls, and preaching Christ with love to Him, will be blessed where there is little clearness, and is more important than great exactitude of statement. Still it is a comfort to the preacher to have it clear, even if not thinking about it at the moment; and, when building up afterwards, the solidness of the foundation is of the greatest moment.

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THE WAY OF HOLINESS

If we pay a little attention to Scripture, we shall see that holiness, while based essentially upon being born of God, our having put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4), renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created us, being made partakers of the divine nature -- holiness, while manifested here, is dependent on, and directly and characteristically associated with, the heavenly objects and hopes, revealed to us by the Holy Ghost, consequent on the glorifying of the Lord Jesus as Man. Obedient and dependent confidence, perhaps I should more justly say confiding dependence, characterise at all times the soul whose eyes have been opened in faith, the divine life in man. But when God was hidden within the veil, and even so known, as to His actual revelation of Himself on earth, the holiness was co-ordinate to the revelation made. Faith, doubtless, may have often looked above it all, and known that God was in heaven, and man upon earth; and prophetic truth might point men farther, and tell men that eye had not seen, nor ear heard, neither had entered into the heart of man, the things which God had prepared for them that love Him; but it could only tell them that man had not, nor had it entered into his heart, and the ordered revelation given of God presented a God revealed on earth, and holiness was referred to His house, and that house was down here; admitted, as it was, that heaven was His dwelling-place, and that the heaven of heavens could not contain Him.

Yet His name and revealed glory were down here in the tabernacle and in the temple, and everything, and all true consecration, was referred to that. There He dwelt with His people, His house was holy -- there were holy flesh, holy garments, a worldly sanctuary, an altar most holy, and holy vessels. They were to be holy, because He who dwelt amongst them was holy -- would allow no uncleanness in the camp. The vessels were holy, and the unclean could not draw near. Everything was consecrated to Him as dwelling there, and once a year an atonement made, and His tabernacle cleansed, because of the iniquity of the children of Israel, among whom He dwelt. Naturally, though further thought might, and did, break into faith, holiness practically referred to the revelation made of God and His dwelling-place, as revealed; relative holiness -- and all true holiness is relative -- relates to God as He has made Himself known.

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The abstract remained true, that holiness became His house for ever, but the measure and character of it referred as obligatory to the way and measure in which the necessary and divine object of it was revealed. But the Holy Ghost signified, by the veil, that the way into the holiest was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle had its standing. A law was given by a mediator; but the people could not come nigh, even to the revelation given of God upon earth. A holy house, and holy vessels, and sanctified priests, surrounded God outside. A figure of Christ in one, for whom it was death if he did not go in with a due cloud of incense, marked that the way of man to God was not opened; and the revelation of God to man was not till the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, declared Him, and the rent veil shewed the open way, with boldness, into the holiest for sinners cleansed by the blood shed in rending it.

But there is more than this. Christ is entered in as Man, and sits at the right hand of God in the heavenly sanctuary. Further, the Holy Ghost is come down, and takes the things of Christ and shews them to us, and all things that the Father hath are His. Hence we say now, not (save as what had been) "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, to conceive the things which God hath prepared for them that love him," without adding, "But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit." Such is the Christian estate, as contrasted with the statement of the prophet, often cited as if it were the Christian state itself. Hence we are called upon to set our affections on things above, not on things on the earth. We cannot set our affections on what we do not know. And note this, that the true character of a man morally is what his heart is upon: a man whose mind is set on money is an avaricious man; on power, an ambitious man; on pleasure, a man of pleasure. He is morally what he loves, and his mind is full of. Our conversation, our living associations, are in heaven. It is the place we belong to, and, in our home affections, are associated with, and as Christians pursue, as the one thing which governs our mind, here indeed in the race, but the prize is our calling of God above (ano) in Christ Jesus. And what is this high calling this calling above? The word of God lives, and makes faith live more uniformly in these things than we are aware of. We find not only the blessed personal names in the unity of Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, but in the dispensed order of the divine economy in grace, God, the Lord, and the Spirit; for God has made Him whom the Jews crucified both Lord and Christ, and thereupon the Spirit is come down here.

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So, in 1 Corinthians 12, there are diversities of administrations, but the same Lord; diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all. So, in Ephesians 4, one Spirit, one Lord, one God and Father of all. So, in all the Epistles, grace is wished from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. To us there is one God the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ; and even in the first announcement by Mary Magdalene to the apostles of the new Christian privileges, based on redemption, after the resurrection of the Saviour, it ran, "Go tell my brethren, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, my God and your God." Thus we are called to walk worthy according to these three titles. In 1 Thessalonians 2: 12, it is to walk worthy of God, who has called us to His own kingdom and glory. In Colossians 1: 10, That ye may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing. So Ephesians 4, That ye may walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, and that vocation is the power of the Spirit of God, God's habitation through the Spirit, one body, and strengthened with might by His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith, rooted and grounded in love that we may be able to comprehend with all saints the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, and to know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge that we may be filled up to all the fulness of God. It is according to a power that works in us.

It is according to these things, Christ being our life, that holiness is formed in us. The new life is a holy life in its nature, but it has its objects by which, in thought and affections, it is formed in its character. While the Father's love is the sustaining and peaceful enjoyment of this state, the love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given to us, Christ personally, as He is now in glory, is the object before our eyes. Other things are associated with Him, but Christ is the central and absorbing object. Christ is all objectively, and in all, as life, the living power in which He is enjoyed as personally in glory. There are two points to observe here in connection with this, as forming this holiness. First, its only measure and standard is Christ in glory, Christ as He is. Secondly, its full attainment and manifestation in us is when He comes and changes our vile body, and we appear with Him; then we are for ever set apart to God, with and like Him, and perfected and perfect.

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The effect of looking thus at Him is a walk down here as He walked in those who are in Him, and whose measure of duty this is. He was that Holy Thing come down from heaven, and "the Son of man who is in heaven"; and so, with perfect patience, and unfailingly displayed, with His own heart's joy above as to its state the effect was a path of perfect holiness, obedience, and love down here, a path which the vulture's eye hath not seen, but which He has traced in the wilderness, in which there is no way. Divine life in Himself, but with His heart in the heaven, to which He belonged, and was in divinely, speaking what He knew and had seen, and on the joy set before Him, as Man down here, He walked in grace and holiness. Now we are united to Him, and His joy is our portion, and as He had life in Himself, so we in Him; and so far as our hearts are fixed on Him, we walk as He walked down here, the heavenly things wherein He dwells being the sphere in which we live, our conversation being in heaven, whence we look for Him to change our vile body, and fashion it like His glorious body. We are to be holy and without blame before God in love. Now this answers to God's nature, holy, blameless in His ways, and love: and, so living before Him, we enjoy Him, the infinite object of a nature which, morally speaking, is the same as His.

We joy in God, and this is evidently a holy joy. But when we come less abstractedly to consider our state, and that by which we live, likeness to Christ, which this verse in Ephesians 1 also expresses, becomes the measure of our moral state. We live by the faith of the Son of God. Being like Him, and with Him for ever, becomes the object we pursue. Thus we are predestinated to be conformed to the image of God's Son, that He may be the first-born among many brethren. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the Heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly; and as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the Heavenly. Such is the wondrous purpose of God: He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren.

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This is the ground of all the blessedness: God's purpose is that we should be associated with, one with, His own Son, the second Man, the last Adam, as Son of man but Son of God, in His manhood, as we are and indeed more closely than we were with the first; not Christ, as is often stated, united to men before and without redemption, but we to Him when He is glorified, having accomplished the redemption which gives us a place in the glory with Him, and He has done all that is needed to bring us there. Of old, before the foundation of the world, He rejoiced in the habitable parts of Jehovah's earth, and His delight was in the sons of men. God prepared Him a body, and He came in time, and to do God's will in our salvation, becoming a true man, made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, now crowned with glory and honour. As man in the glory He had with the Father before the world was, and having become our life, and accomplished the work of redemption on the cross, and gone into glory, gone up on high as man, He has sent down the Holy Ghost Himself our abiding righteousness, that we might know that we are in Him, and He in us; not yet with Him, but in Him, and knowing it by the Holy Ghost (John 14), as it is written, If any one be in Christ, it is a new creation. There is no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus. He has quickened us together with Him, and raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus; but, as said, not yet with Him, nor partaking of the glory.

We have the treasure in earthen vessels. We are thus set, having Christ as our life, redeemed and justified, with the glory before us; Christ, as Man, entered into it -- entered too as our forerunner; with the Holy Ghost dwelling in us, the earnest of it, giving us to know withal that we are in Him, and He too in us, sons, and so heirs, but all in a poor earthen vessel. Our path as Christians is founded on this. Philippians 3 is the expression of it. This one thing I do, says the apostle; and Be ye followers of me, says the apostle, and so walk as ye have us for an ensample; ... for our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, and fashion it like His glorious body. The portion of true believers in heavenly things is settled. We give thanks to the Father, who hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. As the thief was taken to paradise with Christ straight from the cross, paying indeed the penalty of his sinfulness to man, but the blessed Lord having borne his sins, and put them away out of God's sight. But in general we are left to pass through the wilderness, and to manifest the life of Christ -- be the epistle of Christ down here.

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Now, as this new life is a holy life in its nature, so it has its objects -- the sphere in which it lives. They that are after the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit; and He takes the things of Christ, and shews them to us. Now we are united to Christ in glory, one spirit as joined to Him, sitting in Him in heavenly places, and predestinated to be conformed to the image of God's Son, that He may be the first-born among many brethren. We look to have our vile body fashioned like His glorious body. He that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified, are all of one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call them brethren. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; as is the Heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the Heavenly. In our bodies we belong to the old, we have our treasure in earthen vessels. But we are entitled to hold ourselves for dead, crucified with Christ. If Christ be in us, the body is dead because of sin; and Christ being in us as our life, nothing can satisfy the desires of this new life but full conformity to Him in glory, who is its source and power.

The turning of the heart, then, towards this full conformity as the one object of holy pursuit and progress, is clearly pointed out in Scripture. First, I will quote Colossians 3. If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. Now this affection is the very essence of sanctification, as is evident, and we must not suppose that we have not these things revealed to us. Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God has prepared for them that love Him. But we have received not the spirit which is of the world, but that which is of God, that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. So Paul, declaring his own walk, and what became Christians, says, Be ye followers of me ... for our conversation is in heaven, from whence we look for the Saviour, who shall change our vile body and fashion it like His glorious body. But more precisely, as connected with sanctification, the Lord says, in praying the Father for them, Sanctify them through Thy truth; Thy word is truth. And then, For their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified through the truth. He sets Himself apart as the Man in glory to whom we are to be conformed, the Son of God, in whom the whole truth, according to God's mind as to man in His purpose, is accomplished, that it may be brought, in living truth and power, by the Holy Ghost, and wrought in us. Which thing, says the apostle, is true in Him and in you. because the darkness is passing, and the true light now shineth.

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Conformity to Him in glory is the grand result. He is there in it, and the Holy Ghost, taking the things of Christ there, forms us morally into His likeness. Such is God's way. Let us take other passages which, while they shew this, shew the completing of it in God's measure at His coming. In 1 John 3 we have, Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called children of God. Therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. Beloved, now are we children of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself as He is pure. Now the first thing we have to notice here is the blessed truth, how thoroughly we are associated in the mind and word of God with the blessed Lord all through. The world does not know us, because it did not know Him. We children; it does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. This is the sure hope before us, according to God's purpose, and we know it will be accomplished.

What it is has not yet appeared, but we are so identified with Christ, that this we know, that we shall be perfectly like Him, conformed to the image of God's Son. And now see the present and sanctifying effect. He that hath this hope in Him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. The sure certainty of being like Him gives the measure and character of our heart's desires and affections, and we purify ourselves as He is pure. Sanctification, in its development, is the removal of everything, thought, or motive unsuited to that in which Christ is revealed to us as Man in glory, and the realisation in our minds of that which is revealed. In this there is growth. So we read in 2 Corinthians 3: 10. The veil being taken off the glory of the Lord: We with open [unveiled] face beholding the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord. This is the same truth; beholding in spirit the glory of Christ, the exalted Man, we become continually more like Him.

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Another remarkable passage is in 1 Thessalonians 3: 12, 13, as shewing when and where the great result is brought out and manifested. The Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, as we do toward you, to the end He may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. Now this connects, in a most remarkable manner, present holiness in the saints and the appearing of the Lord. The apostle looks to their present state, but draws the veil, and shews it in its full manifested character when Christ appears; so that, if we do not know how to connect these two things, the sentence becomes unintelligible. Present holiness, in its nature and character, is what is manifested in us when Christ appears. So we are told that ministry is that we may grow up to Him who is the Head in all things, and the apostle laboured to present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. And our walk is to be worthy of God, who has called us to His own kingdom and glory. How high and holy is this calling! what a character it gives to the saints! what an association in heart and spirit with a glorified Christ on high!

Our conversation, our living associations, are there, and we wait for Him just to change our vile body, and all will be suited and in order. We have, as a rule, to pass through the world; but the holiness introduced into it is that which is above, suited to the expression in motives and thoughts of what that glorified Man is, who is the object of our affections, who has sanctified Himself, that we may be sanctified through the truth. We are the epistle of Christ here. If God chastises us, it is that we may be partakers of His holiness. We are completely associated with the Second and glorified Man, who is not ashamed to call us brethren. Our holiness is wrought out in our lives down here; but it is formed up there in fellowship with Himself, where our affections and minds get into the state to be manifested down here. There is in that a bearing about the dying of the Lord Jesus, that His life may be manifested in our mortal bodies; but the whole positive side of forming and progress is in realising what He is, separated from sinners, up there, the positive blessedness of the perfected Man.

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This produces what He was down here, the perfect Man down here, and this is what the perfect man [literally, full-grown] means in the New Testament: heirs morally, one who not only knows the forgiveness we need as regards the sins of the old man, but has learned his place and character in the new, has the positive side in Christ. But how blessed is this full association with Christ, the Man of God's purpose, who is according to His heart, and which by the Spirit brings us to know and enjoy Him where He is, and become continually more like Him, to whom we are to be perfectly like when with Him in glory!

May the Lord only give us diligence of heart in seeking it. To be in the holiest, where God is, and to know what holiness is there, and to find Christ there in glory, and to know God's thought and purpose as to man, and to know that we shall be formed in glory like Him, sons in the Father's house -- what infinite joy! -- and to know it is our portion, as Scripture teaches, and that He is not ashamed to call us brethren, in what was ordained before the world for our glory. God, even if it be by chastening, makes us partakers of His holiness, and the Son the pattern of our glory, brought into fellowship with Him according to Ephesians 1: 4, 5. Such is the joy and hope of God's children.

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FORGIVENESS AND LIBERTY

I would, for a few moments, draw the attention of brethren in Christ to a point, as to which I think there has been a good deal of misapprehension in practice, and which, while the joy of known forgiveness seemed to make all plain for a time, has left souls subsequently in distress and difficulty, even when not doubting of their acceptance, though it has sometimes come to that. Forgiveness is not deliverance, and they have been a good deal confounded. It is a very common experience, when a person has found peace through the blood of Christ, that the pardoned and justified soul, filled with joy and gladness to find its sins gone, the conscience purged, the sense of divine goodness filling it, thinks that it has done with sin because it is at the time full of joy, and the Lord's goodness and favour; but thus is not deliverance.

It is deliverance from the burden of sin upon the conscience, but ere long the soul is surprised to find sin still there; yet this deliverance from the sense of guilt, received forgiveness, has very often been taken for the setting free the soul, as in a new position before God. This it is not. It is freedom, compared with the bondage of uncertainty of acceptance in which souls are attempted to be kept. The question of sin in the flesh is yet unsolved. I do not speak of perfection, so-called, which has missed all sound discernment as to the state and hope of the Christian, and invariably lowers the Christian standard of holiness and the judgment of sin, tending to harden the conscience, and lower the state of soul before God. There is no perfection, no goal, for the Christian, but being like Christ glorified Himself. But pardon, in its fullest sense is rarely known by the soul that is happy in the way that I have just spoken of, which only knows the deliverance of the conscience from the burden of sins actually lying on it, and thinks of none else: but even in its fullest conception, that of not imputing sin, forgiveness applies to the sins of which the flesh, the old man, is the source, clears the conscience, but the fruit of Adam life is all that is contemplated by it. It deals with what man has done, as a fallen child of Adam. It leads to the knowledge of divine favour, and, I may add, the hope of glory as revealed in Christ. But, while thus knowing God in His ways of grace, and so far completing my sense of grace, self-knowledge, and the consciousness of a new position in Christ before God, are not yet acquired. That we have sinned, and are guilty, and deserve condemnation, is in such a case fully acknowledged. What we are in the flesh, and what we are in Christ is not yet experimentally known. Hence the soul does not stand in its new position before God, is not delivered, is not freed from confounding the old man and my place before God, nor from the power of sin.

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Deliverance has a double character; perfect freedom with God in love in my place before Him; and freedom from the power of sin in myself. We are in Christ for the former; Christ is in us for the latter. We are no longer in the position of the first Adam. Though outwardly in the world, and the flesh unchanged, we say, "When we were in the flesh." Then the motions of sins which were by the law wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. This new position, and the consciousness of it, flows from the Holy Ghost dwelling in us, while he refers us to Christ's work as the ground of it. I do not now say simply, He bore my sins, and cleared me for ever from them, but, I am in Christ before God, accepted in the Beloved, not in the flesh, but in the Spirit. I am not in the condition of a child of Adam, responsible before God, and thinking of my condition in His sight in connection with my conscious state; I have died to that as wholly and hopelessly evil, and know by the Holy Ghost that I am in a new standing altogether, in Christ, accepted in the Beloved. I am not in the flesh but in the Spirit. Christ has died to sin, and I have died in Him, and He is my life; I am alive to God in this new life in Christ before Him, and reckon myself so by the Holy Ghost. My place is in the second Adam, not in the first. Not only my sins are forgiven me, but I have died out of the place and nature in which I was guilty by its deeds before God, and the second Adam is become my life; I am alive in Him to God. Of this the Holy Ghost gives me the consciousness. There is no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus. You must condemn Christ glorified, before you can condemn me.

Let us see how this is. I may have learnt forgiveness clearly, or I may not. But if I trust in the work of Christ for my forgiveness, as well as in His Person -- for it is a present, effectual, and finished work -- I am thereupon sealed with the Holy Ghost. After having believed the gospel of my salvation, I am sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise. Here is a new position altogether: "He that is joined to the Lord is one Spirit." I have the place of son by faith in Christ Jesus, who is risen; and because I am one, God has given me the Spirit of His Son in my heart, crying, Abba, Father. I know my relationship, and live in it, not in Adam's. But, further (John 14), "I know that I am in Christ, and Christ in me"; I have changed my place before God altogether, and am in a new one -- Christ's who has died, and is risen again. I reckon myself dead to sin; the old man has been crucified with Christ, that I should not serve it. And I am free -- "Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty," not elsewhere. I am not in the flesh, but in the Spirit -- not if I am converted, but, if the Spirit of God dwells in me. I know I am in Christ, and Christ is past sin, the judgment of it, death, Satan's power. That is my standing and place before God. Death is gain, if it comes, for the body is not, as to power, redeemed -- we wait for it. But I reckon myself dead to sin, my old man crucified with Christ. I am before God in Him who is glorified -- in Christ. This is the doctrine presented by the apostle.

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We have owned in our very profession of Christ that we were away from God in the flesh, but have taken our part in Christ's death as a Saviour, in order to be with God; and as He died to sin once, so we thus reckon ourselves dead to sin, and alive to God, in Him who is our life, in the power of the Spirit. The result is in Romans 8, where we enjoy the life in liberty, according to the power in which He lives, and as dead to the sin which was condemned in His death on the cross. We are in Him now. The manner of it is that the sin which held me captive, and distressed me, as a renewed person, was condemned in Him on the cross (verse 3), so that there is no condemnation by reason of it for me. But this was in His death, and it is as though I had been there, as He was there made sin for me, and thus the condemnation is past and finished. But then, as to the flesh, sin in the flesh, I died; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. Thus for faith I am delivered from sin in the flesh, as having died in Christ, in that Christ has, who is my life. It is not resurrection with Him -- that carries us further -- but death in Him on the cross as to the old man and state, and He now at the right hand of God, my life. Such is the doctrine and effect. Christ, who died, my life, and I in Him, in the power of the Holy Ghost, and through that dead to sin altogether, He having thus died, and the sin in my flesh condemned there, but for faith I died to it, for I died in Him. The condemnation He took, but it was in death, so that I reckon myself dead to sin in His death, and He is now my life, Christ in me, the only thing I own, and that by the Holy Ghost, as consciousness and power.

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I am no longer in the flesh. My Adam place is no longer my place and standing before God. The flesh is there, but I am not in it, but in Christ, or not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, because the Spirit of God dwells in me. My place is thus summed up in Romans 8: "There is therefore now no condemnation for them who are in Christ Jesus: for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death; for what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh." The sin in my flesh has been condemned, fully dealt with, in the cross. And afterwards, "But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be the Spirit of God dwell in you"; but "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his; and if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin, and the Spirit is life because of righteousness."

But when I speak of Christ my life, and Christ being in me, the body dead because of sin, its only fruit if alive in its own life, I do not speak of a work done wholly outside me, finished, and accepted of God, so that sin can be no more imputed; but of one which, though really and effectually done for me on one side, or it would be legal efforts, and the spirit of bondage again to fear, as it is in so many, is at the same time realised in me, so as to be experimental. If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin. I reckon myself dead. In a word, experience comes in. Hence, while chapters 6 and 8 give me the ground of faith in what Christ has done, teaching me to reckon myself dead, and alive to God in Christ, because Christ has died, and has been raised from the dead, between this, so far as developed in chapter 6, and the enjoyed effect in chapter 8, we find introduced the painful experience of that from which we have to be delivered.

The delivering work was done on the cross, so that our state, by faith in Christ, is dead to sin, and morally, as to the life this side the cross, in which He, sinless, had to be made it, wholly closed, and alive now wholly beyond it all, with nothing but God to live to; and this, not by our efforts, but by faith through grace; yet, as conviction of guilt goes before known forgiveness, so the experimental knowledge of self before deliverance. No effort clears the guilt; no effort effects the deliverance; but there is the knowledge of self, and that we cannot get free by improvement or victory, as there is the knowledge of the guilt which is pardoned; only here it is self-knowledge and present experience.

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Of this the law is ever the instrument; if we have learnt forgiveness already, the form is modified, takes the shape of hoping we have not deceived ourselves, and the like; but it is always a comparison of our state, and what God requires, and that is law; very useful for the discovery of our state, but bondage. I repeat, as it is important, wherever we reason from our state to what God's acceptance of us may be, that is, in principle, law just as the prodigal son between his conversion and meeting his father. It calls itself holiness, will insist that without holiness no man shall see the Lord, which is necessarily and eternally true, but mixes it with God's acceptance of us, connecting this and our state, so that it is really righteousness, not holiness, that the mind is occupied with: for in holiness we hate evil because it is unholy, not because we are out of divine favour by it; but, whatever shape it takes, it is always really law, a question of evil that makes us unacceptable to God.

Now the doctrine is that we have died in Christ. The law supposes living, responsible men, as, of course, as children of Adam we are. The law has power over a man as long as he lives. Dead, it cannot deal with him as a present responsible person. I cannot accuse a dead man, as a present thing, of evil lusts and self-will. The apostle puts the case of the marriage relationship; death dissolves it, and leaves the person free; we have died under law, but so are dead to law, and now are married to another, a risen Christ, who is, as man, put in a wholly new place, after the question of sin is settled, and then gives the experience of the soul under the first husband, the law, not now as to guilt, but as to the power of sin dwelling in us. Here I learn that in me (it is not what I have done) dwells no good thing; the flesh is simply and always bad. Secondly; it is not myself, being born of God, for I hate it, it is not therefore I. This is often a great relief, though it be not deliverance; but thirdly, though it be not I, it is too strong for me: I am captive to it. All my efforts only prove this to me. As effort and conflict, I give it up as hopeless, and look for another to come in and deliver me. I have learned that I have no strength (not that I am guilty), and that is what I had to learn, the lesson God was teaching me; and when brought there I find it is all done. I am not in the flesh at all, the condemnation of the flesh which tormented me was accomplished on the cross, and I am in Him who is risen and is on high after all was done; and founded on this, I have life, and power, and liberty by the Holy Ghost, by which I am in Him who is risen and know it. The law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death, and the sin in my flesh has been condemned in the cross, on which I died with Christ. I am not in the flesh; that, be it what it may, is not my standing before God, but in the Spirit, accepted in, and as Christ is, boldness for the day of judgment, because as He is, so are we in this world.

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The effects of this are of all importance in many ways. First, the soul is happy, has the Spirit of adoption, liberty in love before God. Secondly, the staff and strength of self is broken. There may be the truest purpose of heart and yet unsuspected and unbroken self, as when Moses killed the Egyptian. And an experienced Christian will soon see the difference. Many do mischief in the church through this. With self we have ever to contend, ever to judge it, but self-confidence is another thing, there is not then the waiting upon God which characterises the exercised soul which knows itself. Only I would add, we may find self-judgment, when not delivered, and only on the way to it, but then confidence in God will be wanting.

Further, the whole character of worship is affected. Where mere forgiveness is known, the ground of it is only deliverance from guilt and ruin; true, but a witness that our conversation is not in heaven, what we were as guilty sinners, rests still on the spirit. Now I believe that the wonders of the grace that redeemed us, and the value of Christ's precious blood, will be more felt in heaven than here, but we shall enjoy what is actually there, not be thinking habitually of where we were. But our conversation is in heaven now, our living relationships for the new man; we belong to it, are in Christ; our affections are to be set upon things above, developed in connection with what is there; the Holy Ghost gives us to know the things freely given to us of God.

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And this will affect every part of the Christian's inward life, and his more outward life and service. Hundreds will be found who have found peace in forgiveness, but not deliverance as taught in the word. I add, as it is sometimes a difficulty, that the two parts of Romans must be read not as in necessary sequence, as to their contents. The first, chapters 1-5: 11, treats of personal guilt, and grace that meets it. The second, chapter 5:12 to chapter 8: 39, our state through Adam's sin, and the remedy for that.

I would add, as a further help, that if there is heart indifference, or even sloth, it is not surprising that we do not find deliverance, or if there is a walk contrary to the mind of the Spirit, or what a Christian should seek, deliverance by the power of the Spirit is hardly to be looked for. But further, if a person who has found deliverance is so walking, though the soul may not get back into uncertainty as to its standing, or return into a state of Romans 7, yet the Spirit which is the power of this new state, being ever grieved, and so communion with the Father and the Son lost, though not the knowledge of the relationship, the affections not being filled with what belongs to this new position -- all is confusion and obscurity in the soul. One is a child, but where is my father? I belong to heaven, but where for me is the heaven I belong to? What I know of both serves but to make me sensible of my actual loss of them. Hence, though it is not subjectively a question whether I am a son, it is objectively a failure of what a son enjoys, so that darkness is on the spirit. I hardly know whether I can call myself so, though I do not doubt it. For this the only remedy is humiliation, and drawing near to the Lord, and giving up the hindering idol.

In dealing with the souls of others, the first point is to discern whether the soul is really delivered, or if it be negligence when it has understood its position in Christ before God. This is a matter of spiritual discernment. Where there is a legal and self-judging temperament, it is not always so easy. And we must remember that there are many true souls who do cry, Abba Father, with God, but through bad teaching are afraid to take their place in acceptance; these we must seek to make clear by the word.

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ON THE DELUSION OF DEATH TO NATURE, AND THE MISUSE OF LAODICEA

Our affections may be all right, and our mind more or less in confusion and in error; and by "our mind" now I speak of spiritual intelligence and real acquaintance with God's mind in the word.

But when one in this state sets about to teach, he teaches confusion and error. It is not merely imperfection in statement, arising from the earthen vessel; which alas! is a pretty constant companion, though ever less, the humbler and the more distrustful of our own thoughts we are, seeking only to reproduce the thoughts of God, so graciously given in His word, and thus feeding His saints, as well as calling sinners.

But such teaching becomes a thought of our own to which the will attaches itself, which is turned to our own glory, nourishes subtilly self, and misleads others into the error accredited by the affections which may have been connected with it.

What has given occasion to these lines is a leaflet which has been sent to me from the North of England, professedly intended only for adepts, as on a large blank space is printed, "For private circulation only."

I do not think the truth hides itself thus, or teaches an esoteric doctrine. That meat should be given in due season, that milk is for babes, and solid food for grown men, Scripture teaches, and no one would deny. But this is not a special private doctrine for the initiated, kept secret from all but adepts. This was charged upon those who were initiated into this system of doctrine, and strenuously denied. Perhaps some unwise females might have acted foolishly; but here it is recognised in print. It is one of the difficulties of teaching by printing that it does cast all indiscriminately broadcast.

But this is not choosing a tract or paper suited to the state of a soul, which every wise Christian would do individually, though he may cast the gospel more abroad; but this is to be confined to private circulation. But this by the bye. I take the question up on its merits, and affirm that the whole basis of the system is false and unscriptural, proving only that the propagators of it are ignorant of grace in its full real character, of what the flesh is, that is, of themselves; and that the whole ground of their system is unscriptural on the point they are so pretentious about. Our introduction into the Father's eternal kingdom, the new creation, is never connected with death to anything. It is all an unscriptural delusion. That bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus enables us, through grace, to manifest His life here, is alike true and practically important; that we reckon ourselves dead as the starting-point, and that God reckons us dead with Christ, is equally true; and the last point makes it true liberty, and not legalism, as this doctrine tends to do. These principles will be found in inverse order, from what precedes, in Colossians 3, Romans 6: 11 and 2 Corinthians 4: 10. And it is of the utmost moment that we seek to have them as realities, and not mere recognised truth. The truth sanctifies, but it must be the truth as it is in Jesus; that is, in living power by the Holy Ghost. It is not some saying, "We are Philadelphians," nor others treating these as poor blind Laodiceans, while they have the gold tried in the fire: neither will do. Put either into the fire, and I fear, if in this state, only a small remnant of gold would be found, and that Christ, and not themselves. We want realities, men of God who do bear about in their bodies the dying of the Lord Jesus. And he who does will be the one who will best know his worse-than-nothingness, and the excellency of Christ as He is in Himself.

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But to come to the doctrine: -- it is not with death to sin, or death to nature, or life out of death, or our being dead and risen, that sitting in heavenly places, or the new creation, is connected. The changes are rung on these without end, and we thus become in actuality the righteousness of God; and that, according to my leaflet, is perfection! All is false. Sitting in heavenly places and the new creation are connected in Scripture with being dead in sins, not to sin. It would not be a new creation if it were not so. (See Ephesians 2.) And hence it is all simple grace and divine power, a creation when we were dead, and, as quickening, the power of God as wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him in heavenly places, and us, when dead in sins, He has taken and set in Him. Hence, it is twice said we are saved, the actual perfect fact (sesosmenous). The system would own, when there was intelligence, that this was true of all believers, but would realise it, etc. Realise what? God's power in raising the dead, as Creator of the new creation! for nothing else is spoken of. It is, moreover, all a past thing which He wrought in Christ, and according to this power in us. And so ever in Scripture; 2 Corinthians 5. All were dead -- had died, if you please -- and there was a new creation, where all things were new, and all things of God.

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On the other hand, where being dead to sin is the point, dead with Christ and risen with Him, there is never found a word of new creation, nor sitting in heavenly places. Our affections are to be set on what is heavenly, where Christ is; in realising it we bear about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus; but it is manifestation of divine life here. The whole doctrine is an unscriptural delusion. The new creation and putting us in heavenly places is a work of God's power as to those dead, not out of nature but dead in nature, and the dying and rising with Christ does not set us there at all, nor is it spoken of as new creation. Quickening even together with Christ, as in Colossians, is not life out of death, that is, death to sin; but in Colossians it is also when dead in our sins and in the uncircumcision of our flesh. The life-out-of-death-to-nature system, or to the flesh, is an utterly false view according to Scripture. Both (that is, new creation associated with sitting in heavenly places, and being dead and risen with Christ) are most important truths: one teaching us what sovereign grace and divine power has done for us; the other in connection with our experimental state down here.

To confound them is not blessed new light, but unscriptural darkness, and ignorance of the word and self.

I shall now take up the second point -- being dead to nature. I fear I may subject myself to some contempt if I suggest that not one of them knows what they mean. What is the nature which the cross deals with? Not the flesh -- that they speak of as a distinct thing. He sees the cross put an end to "his flesh." "But far more intimately still the cross deals with his nature also." Now, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God is very true, but not very new. That they neither marry nor are given in marriage in those blest scenes, we do not deny. If still Laodiceans, we are not Sadducees or Mormons. In this sense surely "full deliverance does not leave nature untouched"; and, more, we may have to hate our father and mother, if Christ be in question, even down here. With all this Christians are more or less familiar, and many practically so; and its realisation cannot be too earnestly pressed, and in connection with being dead and risen with Christ: only not unscripturally confounding it with "breathing the air of the new creation, to rise and rest with Christ in glory."

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This, we have seen, is unscriptural confusion -- very ecstatic, only unhappily not true. But what is death to nature? Elsewhere they have told us it is to the good as well as the bad. Now, morally, there is no good thing in us. So that, either they must hold that there is something good in man (whereas the mind of the flesh is enmity against God), and be utterly astray as to foundation truth, or take nature in the sense of what is entirely out of the moral sphere. Now Scripture carefully guards nature in this sense from being touched or attacked, because it, as such, comes from the hand of God Himself.

The matter stands thus: God made man upright. Man fell into sin, and the will of man became enmity against God, and nature subject to corruption and the various corruptions that are in the world through lust. Grace through redemption brought in for us (all being not yet perfected) the glorious state of the second Man, and, speaking of our actual state down here, a new life, a perfect conscience, and a power wholly above, and not of, the order of things in which we live as a fact, and which connects us with the heavenly Head, the second Adam, who is perfected. Now this power is entirely above the whole system in which nature lives -- as I have said, is not of that order -- does not belong to it. If a person lives wholly in the power of this, so that his mind never gets into the sphere of nature, he will still have to contend with, or be preserved from, the workings of an evil nature. But, as to his active life and service here, he will live out of the sphere of nature. So Paul knew no man after the flesh. His whole life was the fruit of the Spirit: to live was Christ. He lived wholly above it, and Scripture recognises such a state. But where this is spoken of, it has nothing to do with dying to a state here. It is a nature wholly new which cannot die, and belongs to a sphere which has nothing to die to. It is, as in Ephesians 2, a new creation (2 Corinthians 5), a thing wholly apart, and supposes we were dead, not alive to die to anything; and so it applies to service in the love of Christ, not state, save as wholly of the new creation, without reference to any other. So, where the Lord alludes to it, it is for the kingdom of heaven's sake.

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When once we descend into any connection with the old, it is either sin in the flesh, or it is worse than deadly to die to it. Another thing has to be remarked, which, in connection with these new views, is of all importance, and shews the falseness of them where they are new. This state of abstraction to divine things is always connected with our being in Christ, not Christ in us, and hence with sovereign grace which has put us there, and is true of every Christian as to his real standing. Thus, in Ephesians 2, we are sitting in heavenly places in Christ, and it is to usward who believe. So, in 2 Corinthians 5, If any man be in Christ Jesus. Now in Colossians, which is their great battle-horse, it is Christ in us, and we are not sitting in heavenly places at all; it is a hope laid up for us in heaven, and all in conformity to this: Christ sits there at the right hand of God, and we are called to have our affections there.

Hence His Spirit is not introduced, and, being looked at as still on the road, we read: "If ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and be not moved away," and that in view of being presented holy and unblameable and unreprovable in His sight, as a future thing. I do not doubt the faithfulness of that blessed One to keep us, but in Colossians we have to be kept in the midst of evil and temptation. In Ephesians we have no "ifs," but are actually sitting, not yet with, but in, Christ in heavenly places. Hence Christian life in us down here is developed in Colossians as nowhere else in Scripture. And remark that our being in Christ is sovereign grace, not a process, however blessed, in us. You have no development in Ephesians, but a place and state we are to shew out, in contrast with an old and sinful thing.

But further, when Christ in us is treated of, and death as connected with what we are down here, is spoken of, it is sin, not nature, we have done with. In a new creation we have done with nature in the first Adam, have put it off, are renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created us. But where, as in Colossians, it is Christ in us, it is death to sin and the world, not to nature. And in Romans 8, "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin," not because of nature. I am dead with Christ from the rudiments of the world. Indeed it is remarkable in Colossians how the heavenly state is passed over as a state, though suited affections are looked for down here; but it is Christ in us, the hope of glory; or, we appearing with Him when He appears, though in a subjective way affections ordered by it are looked for; and this is because death and resurrection with Christ are treated of, not a new creation. For even in that which goes farthest (chapter 2: 13), and draws nearest to Ephesian truth, we have no introduction into heavenly places, unless in the new creation. And in the new creation death to the old man is never spoken of. The whole system is ignorance of Scripture, not new truth.

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I might add that death to sin and resurrection are connected with testimony and service and spiritual state subjectively down here as to the effect, not with communion in heaven, as far as I am aware. As regards nature, as distinct from sinful nature, instead of having done with it, where it is taken into account -- and if I die, it is taken into account -- it is, in positive opposition to this teaching, carefully guarded and owned. Being without natural affection is one of the signs of the last days, the worst state of evil. As created of God, it is carefully owned. Relations which in nature still subsist were established before the fall. Everything in man is spoiled by that fall; but when nature is separated from its fallen condition, in which it is called flesh -- and this separation is the essence of this doctrine -- it is carefully maintained, not died to; sin is -- at least the Christian is reckoned to be dead to it, not nature. So in speaking of divorce -- that was the effect of sin; but in the beginning it was not so, says the Lord: "God made them male and female," and maintains, and insists on maintaining, what God created -- nature. So the apostle: forbidding to marry was a doctrine of demons, though, if a man could give himself up to Christ's work, it was better.

When the Lord looked upon the young man, He loved him; but as to his moral state, sin, the lust of money, possessed the young man's heart, and he preferred it to Christ, and left Him. In service, till His hour was come, the Lord had only for His mother, "Woman, what have I to do with thee?" But when that was over, in that most solemn moment, He could say, Mother, behold thy son; Son, behold thy mother. It has been even said that the Lord, when returning from the temple at twelve years old, made Himself in grace, in going back with Joseph and His mother, subject to the bondage of corruption! But this makes the law sin, for the law commands it. In competition with Christ, all yields. He created these relationships, and is Lord in and above them; but while a risen state and heavenly things, where they have no place at all, are recognised, they, as formed by God, are fully recognised; and there is no dying to nature spoken of in Scripture. The soul may be in a certain sense out of it, not think of it, as in a fresh sphere into which it has entered; but if one has to say to it, he is bound to own it as of God, though He be paramount to it; and, if it be set in opposition to Him, it is then sin.

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And it is not only existing relationships which are maintained, but the absence of natural affections is a mark of the last degradation of human nature. As regards the relationships, they are surely to be held in the Lord. But nature, if taken apart from sin and flesh -- as it is in this doctrine -- we do not die to in Scripture. It is what God has made. In speaking of it, we have to abstract our thoughts from the state into which it is fallen, as this teaching assiduously does; but, so abstracted, it is what God made and owned and carefully maintained, though a power is brought in which is above it, and out of its sphere: dying to it is utterly unscriptural and false. It is what God owned, and God maintains and owns, as of Him, and asserts it, and even denounces as of Satan what does reject it as created by Him.

That all is corrupted, and that sin in the flesh is condemned in the cross, and that the Christian has died to sin -- this is earnestly insisted on in Scripture.

Another grave error, ruinous to the truth, is connected with the system: our being in Christ and Christ in us being confounded -- truths which go together, but are quite distinct in their nature and bearing. Divine righteousness loses its whole nature, place, and bearing. Sovereign grace has placed us in Christ before God, and Christ is made unto us righteousness; we are made the righteousness of God in Him. He having perfectly glorified God, when He was made sin for us, and bore our sins, God's righteousness has set Him as Man at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens; and part of the righteousness of God is that He should see the fruit of the travail of His soul, and be satisfied: He must have us, therefore, in the glory with Him, and like Himself. Wondrous counsels of God! Wondrous efficacy of the work of Christ! Yet a necessary part of His glory. What would a Redeemer be without redeemed? Yet to us all grace, the exceeding riches of grace. But it is no work in us which is the basis of this, but Christ's work for us, when absolutely alone and made sin for us. He made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him -- not He in us. It is quite true that we must have the life to have the righteousness; but that does not make of the life in us our divine righteousness as they do. They make of our being in Christ and Christ in us, not that Christ is both our righteousness and life in power in us, but that thus that life is our divine righteousness, we are it in the power of that life, the fulness being in us; and on the other hand, that, as Christ who is our life is in God, our life is in God. The righteousness of God, which, Scripture says, we are made in Him, they make out He is made in us: it is our state, not God's righteousness.

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"We behold the righteousness of God subsist in a living person for our hearts." "Righteousness is dwelling in life of new creation." "The Son of God in the power of divine righteousness is the new source of the race whom He leads onward through the desert. There is an energy below which is suitable to the fountain of life eternal above. As truly and really as we were constituted sinners, so are we truly and really constituted righteousness as in Him who has become in resurrection the power of God to us. Christ Himself, risen in victor strength, is to be known in the saint (chapter 8: 10) as really as he felt the power of evil in his Adam state. There is actual positive righteousness, not only justification by faith. It is established in the cross, and in virtue of the work done there; it flows down with glory in its train, and lifts him out of death" ("Voice to the Faithful" -- Pauline Epistles -- Romans); and much more that follows.

Now, is this being "constituted righteous" according to Romans 5, or the righteousness of God in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5? So again, in Ephesians. "Justification of life -- the power of righteousness actually known in the vessel on earth." "But where the living power of him who subsists in divine righteousness comes in, the natural man must wholly retire." "Righteousness as in power and place in God to sustain us in light and glory where he is." "Thus we see our side of the new man as a throne of grace, and God's side the fountain of life and righteousness"; so "we rise higher and higher in the power of God's righteousness." "The whole energy of hidden life in God is now acting in the power of righteousness in glory." I might add much more; but this is enough to shew that divine righteousness for this system is Christ in us, bringing glory in its train; we go up to Him, being dead to nature and to all here, but to find the "power" of righteousness in glory. Hence, in the tract, "All Things are Ours," we read, "And finally as the full result of salvation, made the righteousness of God in Christ."

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This is a result obtained by dying to nature, an experimental condition. In the passage, it is Christ made sin which is the ground of it; in this system, it is our having died to nature, and so having actual righteousness (in express contrast with justification by faith) according to the power of righteousness in glory. And what is the effect? The simple sovereign grace which took us when dead in sins, and set us in heavenly places in Christ, is practically lost, and those under the influence of the system filled with what they call Christ in them -- but really as is ever the case, with themselves -- and Christ in Himself is practically lost to them. It is, we are told, "escaped from the scene below, to look around in that effulgent light with not a mist of earth to intervene." We are to suppose this is the experience of the writer. Nor have I found one who came under the system who was not occupied with himself. But John, in writing of fathers in Christ, has nothing to say of them but "They have known him that is from the beginning."

I have only Laodicea to speak of, a solemn subject, which in itself would require more time and development than I can give to it here. I can only speak of it in connection with our present subject. And my remarks may be very short, as what is said is merely the fruit of human imagination, the gold something extra-extraordinary, this divine righteousness in power in us, as breathed into us in John 20, not union, but more: we receive the positive power of divine righteousness, "not a mist," having left the earthly scenes and nature in a life out of death, identified with the new Man (Christ) in God. Now, reveries of interpretation I should leave where they were; but this is connected with the whole system. Laodicea, I doubt not, is the state to which the professing church is come (outside the gross evils of Thyatira, which also goes down to the end, and is the ecclesiastical form of Christendom into which Puseyism seeks to bring us back), which Christ will finally spue out of His mouth. Still, some who have ears to hear may remain in it, and Christ never deserts His own. And He is there to knock and arouse, not owning the state of things, as in Jerusalem of old, but still dealing with souls in it, and pressing on them the having the divine reality of Christianity -- the fine gold of divine righteousness, the white raiment with which all true saints are clothed, and spiritual discernment to know divinely the truth. Nor is supping with Christ, blessed as all such associations are, anything extraordinary. Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. But this is no special privilege; and reigning with Him, as it is the privilege of all that suffer with Him, is really the lower part of the glory, and what belongs to the government of God; not intimacy of communion, but publicity of glory, what is manifested on earth; as in the transfiguration, not inside the cloud, but manifested to men on earth.

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It is Colossians, which never sets us in heavenly places, but makes us appear when Christ appears. We have only to read Revelation 19 to get both these things. Wonderful it is that poor creatures such as we are should have such a place. Still, it is the governmental glory, not the Father's house, not "to be ever with the Lord." Though with many it is a mere volatile imagination which runs after these things, I have no doubt that there is in many the true desire to live in fuller communion in that which is above, as new creatures, as dead and risen with Christ. God forbid that I should quench this: I believe it to be very much needed; I crave it from the Lord for myself; I would not damp such a desire. All I desire is that it be not mixed up with false doctrines and idle self-winged imaginations.

What some have found is merely the liberty which belongs to every Christian. I speak of a system which I believe to be unscriptural. For my own part, I do not doubt of the true desire of him who is looked up to by many as its author for more living association with Christ in glory. There is a want of patient weighing of Scripture statements, and I dare say, as is usual, disciples have gone beyond their master. Still the unscriptural system is there.

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APPENDIX

I add a few words, that my opposition to what I consider error may not be mistaken for opposition to the blessed truth that error clouds. I hold the cross to be the end of man's moral history -- "now is the judgment of this world" -- now "they have both seen and hated both me and my Father"; and that we are livingly associated with a glorified Christ through the Holy Ghost, and that by His power we enter into the enjoyment of that we are called to. Our conversation is in heaven. Not only that we are forgiven and justified as regards our human responsibility in connection with the first Adam, but introduced in spirit into all that Christ is entered into, and are associated with His place as Man and Son, as we were with Adam's. It is the difference of what Scripture calls the perfect (full-grown) Christian. It is because I more and more believe, and I hope more and more realise, this blessed place, that I would clear it of the errors with which imagination and man's mind have surrounded it. I would more than ever earnestly press our place being Christ's place. Only that Scripture carefully guards the individual glory of His Person. Still, He that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one, for which cause He is not ashamed to call us brethren.

I am the rather disposed to make this plain, because it has been sought to identify me with this system. I have received this day a tract entitled, in large letters, "There must be Death upon Nature." I must beg leave to decline any responsibility for tracts not put out by myself. I am told this is mine. But in running over this leaflet I see nothing but what is right; the word 'nature' is used, and there are some incorrect things not very important. What I think of dying to nature will be found in the foregoing pages, written when I had not seen the leaflet I now refer to. Of course we have to have done with our present state of human nature, and, in the measure in which it has lost its power over us as connecting us with all around, we shall be able to act for God in the world, always bearing about in the body the dying of Jesus. But we are purposely left in it here, having to take up our cross and follow Him. I have no doubt that nothing that is of nature in thought can do God's work here, or enter into His presence above. Our bodies are to be "a living sacrifice." But this is not what they mean by nature, nor the effect of being dead to it. Nature on the leaflet attributed to me is being dead to everything which would hinder our following Christ -- hinder His being all. If people are settled in peace, this cannot be too strongly pressed; for, even if men have wives, they must be as those who have none. I am more than ever anxious to press Christ being everything, and ourselves dead to everything that would dim our seeing the heavenly glory. But because I would press this, I would clear that doctrine from what would falsify and cloud it.

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GETHSEMANE

Luke 22: 44

(Translated from the French)

The state of heart has more to do than exegesis with the understanding of this passage. Yet important doctrines, or rather facts and truths relative to Christ, are connected with these remarkable verses. I shall try to bring out the position in which the ever blessed Saviour is found here, although the appreciation of the bearing of these verses depends, after all, on the spirituality of the heart. It will be understood that doctrines about Christ are connected with them, when one knows that verses 43 and 44 have been omitted by more than one manuscript, evidently because according to the view taken by the copyists they made Christ too much a man. Now it is this which gives to these verses their true value: Christ, in the Gospel of Luke, is essentially man. We there find Him in prayer much oftener than in the other Gospels. Thus, after His baptism by John, it was whilst He prayed that heaven was opened upon Him; it was whilst He prayed that He was transfigured; chapter 9. So also He had passed all the night in prayer before choosing the twelve disciples; chapter 6: 12. All this is exceedingly interesting, yea, of profound interest for the heart.

But other elements present themselves in the consideration of these verses which are before us. An immense change was taking place at this time in the position of the Saviour. Until then He had, by His divine power, provided for all the wants of His disciples, entirely disowned as He was, and in appearance dependent on the kindness of a few women (for it was their particular privilege thus to devote themselves to Him), or of other persons, for His daily bread -- if needed, a fish. They brought Him exactly what was necessary to supply His wants. And when He sends His disciples to preach in the cities of the glorious land, He knows how to turn the hearts so that they lacked nothing. But He was to be rejected. The things concerning Him were to receive their divine and wonderful solution, and to be accomplished according to the depth of the counsels of God. He was going, not to shelter His disciples from every evil, but not to shelter Himself, and to be exposed to the outrages of those who said, "He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him." Christ was not yet drinking the cup of wrath. This was accomplished on the cross; it was there, that which He suffered from the hand of God, supreme and expiatory in its nature. But the moment was come which He Himself described by these words: "This is now your hour, and the power of darkness." The hour of temptation, not of wrath but of temptation, when the Saviour must have thought at the same time of the terrible cup that was before Him. The enemy tried to overwhelm Him by the circumstances, before which human nature, as such, would shrink; and in view of the forsaking of God amidst these circumstances. The Saviour entered at this moment into the trial; but He entered into it perfect in every way, receiving the cup in obedience from the hand of His Father. As to the circumstances, and as to that which weighed upon His soul, Satan and the men under his power were everything: as to the state of His soul, they were nothing; His Father was everything. This is one of the most perfect and profound instructions for all our troubles.

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It is to this supreme hour that the apostle John alludes when he says, more than once, when no one touched nor could touch the Lord: "His hour was not yet come." But I would enter into some further consideration of the character of this hour of temptation. The Lord in His grace deigned, led by the Spirit, to allow Himself to be tempted, having associated Himself with us to take part in our miseries and troubles. Satan tempted Him at the beginning by all that which (sin apart) induces man to act from his own will, that which leads him into sin when he listens to his own will -- the need of food, the world and its glory, the promises outside the path of obedience and in distrust of God and of His faithfulness.

But the Second man maintained His integrity, and Satan could not succeed in making Him depart from the path of the Man of God. The strong man was bound and Christ returns, with the power of the Spirit, being untouched in His soul, "to spoil him of his goods." He delivered all those who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him; He was the Man who conquered, gaining the victory over Satan, as the first man had broken down. By the Spirit of God He cast out demons; the kingdom of God was there. All the effects of the dominion of Satan disappeared before Him, even death itself. Alas! this did not change man's heart; who was, in the affections of his flesh, enmity against God. Death was needed for the redemption of man; quite a new state of being, his reconciliation with God; the righteousness of God was to be glorified; the claim that Satan had over man by sin in death and that by the judgment of God, was to be destroyed and annulled. The righteous vengeance of God against that which was hostile to Himself was to be manifested. So that all the enmity of man against God, all the anguish of death viewed as the power of Satan and the judgment of God, all the energy of Satan, and lastly the wrath of God (and it is bearing in the latter that expiation has been accomplished) were to meet on Jesus, and did meet on the head of the Lamb of God, who opened not His mouth before His oppressors. Terrible testimony shewing that the hour of man and of his will is the power of darkness! The hour of God in righteousness for man is but the righteous wrath which abandons Him, and finally excludes from His presence him who is in hostility against Him. What powerful and infinite proof of grace, that Christ tasted this in His grace; that God gave Him that we might escape it, that Christ tasted it, offering Himself without spot to God for that! Outwardly the power of Satan and the malice of men led Christ to death and the cup of God's wrath. And it is thus that the perfection of Christ knows how to separate absolutely these two parts of suffering, and to turn the terrible suffering, from the power of Satan in death, into perfect obedience to God His Father, because He passed through that fearful hour of temptation with God, and without entering into it one moment as a temptation which might have for its effect in Him to awaken His own will. Such is Gethsemane; not the cup, but all the power of Satan in death and the enmity of man taking their revenge (so to speak) on God ("the reproaches of them that reproached thee fell upon me"): all perfectly and entirely felt, but brought to God in an entire submission to His will. It is the Christ -- marvellous scene! -- watching, praying, struggling in the highest degree; all the power and the weight of death pressed upon His soul by Satan, and augmented by the sense He had of what they were before God, from whose face nothing then hid Him. But He always kept His Father absolutely before His face, referring everything to the Father's will, without flinching for a moment, or trying to escape that will by giving way to His own. Thus He takes nothing from Satan or men, but all from God. When He is well assured that it is the will of His Father that He should drink this cup, all is decided for Him. "The cup which my Father hath given, shall I not drink it?" All was between Him and His Father, the obedience is calm and perfect. What ineffable victory, what supreme calmness! suffering, yea, but between Himself and God! Satan now was as nothing, men were the instruments of the will of God, or the redeemed of His grace. See what happens when they come; Jesus went forth, and when He announced Himself, they fell to the ground. He voluntarily offers Himself to accomplish the work, and thus permits those to go in safety, who had no strength to shelter themselves, to subsist in that terrible moment when the triumph of good or of evil was to be decided, and where the righteousness of God against sin lent its force to the power of death and the malice of those who were the voluntary slaves of him who possessed the power of death.

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The perfect bond of love has overcome through the subjection of Christ as Man to the judgment against sin, by which righteousness can triumph in blessing according to love; the expiation of sin has been made, and the power of Satan and of death annulled for him who comes to God by Jesus. But Luke 22: 39-44 presents to us Christ conscious of that which was to happen, and, as man, occupied in communion with His Father, with this final and decisive trial. Was He to enter into the temptation, that is to say, to yield to a will of His own, even by desiring to escape death and the cup of judgment, or to find an occasion of obedience, instead of sparing Himself? For Him obedience, however terrible the sufferings, was the joy and breathing of His soul.

Not to dread the judgment of God would have been insensibility; to avoid it would have been to fail as to the will of His Father, since for this cause He came to this hour. It would have been to fail as regards the salvation of man, in which the whole character of God revealed itself even to the angels. But here Christ does not draw the character of this moment from elevating and encouraging motives, but He goes through it in entire subjection to the will of God with all the pain attached to it. He prays. Verse 43 puts the question in all its simplicity. An angel appeared to Him to strengthen Him. It is a man having need of help from on high. If He had not been that, it could not have been the deliverance of man.

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The pressure of anguish only became stronger on realising the evil with which He had to do; but this struggling agony of soul is only expressed by more intense prayer. His soul attached itself more strongly to God, and He rises -- having perfectly gone through the valley of the shadow of death, the power of Satan, the horror of evil as opposed to God -- He rises victorious. The cup which His Father would give Him He will drink. Then it will not be a question of struggling, watching, or praying, but of subjection. A perfect calmness marks the cross, a calmness of darkness where man's eye does not penetrate; but the subjection is perfect. Here goes out the cry, "Why hast thou forsaken me?" "But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel." It was perfection, the perfection of suffering; of subjection, but not a struggle, where the soul cleaves to God in order not to enter into the temptation, a temptation -- mark it well -- not by means of something agreeable, but of all the power of evil, of death, of Satan, who tried to make the Saviour shrink before the awful cup which was found on the path of obedience, the cup which produced our salvation, and the glory of Jesus as man. On the cross, in the solemn hour of expiation, all takes place between the soul of Christ and God. In Gethsemane, the Christ, in presence of all the efforts of Satan, cleaves to God so as not to enter into temptation, but follow the path of obedience low as it brought Him. Now He descended into the lower parts of the earth, alone, forsaken, betrayed, denied, and, lastly, abandoned of God -- perfect, victorious, obedient, the Saviour of those who obey Him. And notice here, therefore, that in Gethsemane, infinite as were His sufferings compared with all ours, Christ is an example to us. We have to watch and to pray, to struggle in prayer perhaps, so as not to enter into temptation. Sometimes even, when some affliction comes upon us by our own fault (in Christ no doubt it was the fault of others), it is difficult to submit to the ways of God. It is the same thing when, in one way or another, the path of obedience and of uprightness, the path of life, is painful. A more easy path, more verdant to the eyes of the flesh, is to be found by the side of it. Then in our little troubles our portion is that of the Saviour, to watch and to pray so as not to enter into temptation. The trying path (see Psalm 16) is the path of life. There God is found; there is the deliverance for His glory and for our own. May God keep us in it! We need His grace, we need sometimes to struggle in the presence of God, to hold good; but He who overcame is with us. And if we have gone through the trouble of circumstances with God, the circumstances themselves will be but the occasion of obedience when in fact they do happen. This is the secret of practical life.

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In the expiation, it is evident that Christ was our substitute, and is not our example except in the fact of His perfect subjection. There were, doubtless, on the cross, profound sufferings of body and soul, where Christ was a perfect example of patience for us; but in speaking of the cross we are pretty well accustomed, and rightly, to have the moment of expiation before our minds. It is in this sense only that I make a difference, as to the example. It is important in these days to maintain as clearly as possible the idea of substitution where Christ was alone, of suffering in which we had no part but by our sins. One is willing to have Christ as a burnt offering, a Christ who offers Himself (we, by grace, can offer ourselves, we ought to do it); but a Christ who is a sacrifice for sin some often will not have. Are we to suffer for our sins and to bear them? Morally speaking, there is a glory in expiation, in the cross, which is not found even in glory. I shall share the glory of Christ with Him, by the infinite grace which vouchsafed it to me. Could I have shared the cross? The Christian knows what he has to reply. May God teach us in exercises of piety, but may He keep us firm in the simplicity of that faith which rests on a perfect expiation, accomplished by Him who has borne our sins in His own body on the tree!

Hence, to understand Gethsemane, we must understand Christ as Man, as He was at the time of His first temptation in the wilderness; then all the power of evil and of death in the hands of Satan, and in presence of the judgment of God in death against sin. If Christ had not gone through that -- the horrible bottomless pit, this deep mire, where there was no footing, lay on our path -- who could have gone through it? Satan tried to make Christ shrink, before the abyss which our sins had opened, to place it between His soul and God. The effect on Him was to make Him draw near with greater intensity of soul to God, to ascertain His will while realising all the horror of that moment in fellowship with Him, and then thus to find therein an occasion of perfect obedience without entering into temptation.

The cup of judgment itself He drank on the cross.

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A word on our portion in following His example, if a trial is before us. If it be the will of God that we should pass through a trial, if even we dread it, our wisdom is to present ourselves before God, and to place all before His eyes. There may be anguish; that in which the will in us has not been broken will be laid bare. When we would avoid the temptation because it is painful, that is, spare ourselves instead of yielding the fruits of righteousness, instead of submitting ourselves to it for the good of our souls and for the glory of God, the evil path of selfishness, which the heart tries to take becomes evident; we choose "iniquity rather than affliction." When these exercises are sent for the development of grace, grace is developed, God working with the trial in the soul. When it is discipline, positive chastisement, and the soul submits -- receives the discipline from the hand of God, the discipline has lost its bitterness and borne its fruit. In it God is all in holiness for the soul. I do not desire that one should anticipate evil, but that, when the evil is in view, one may pass through it with God and not with man -- that one may watch and pray so as not to enter into temptation.

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THE GOSPEL AND THE CHURCH ACCORDING TO SCRIPTURE: BEING A REVIEW OF "CHURCH DOCTRINE, BIBLE TRUTH," BY THE REVEREND M. S. SADLER

There are many things I accept in this book, truths that the evangelical world have, from circumstances, lost, or which have been thrown by them into the background. I shall refer to some of the chief ones here.

First, I believe the Person of the Lord has lost the place -- at least in revival preaching -- it ought to have, and it makes that preaching, though I doubt not often blessed, seriously defective. Salvation by the love of God to sinners -- surely a blessed truth -- is preached rather than Christ. This I have long felt and remarked. Still, Mr. Sadler is all wrong about it, as I shall shew. He leaves out the salvation -- rather a serious defect, and certainly unscriptural.

Secondly, I have no doubt that worship, with the Lord's supper as the great and characterising centre of it, and not preaching, is the great object of Christians assembling themselves together. Preaching and teaching is the work of individuals, and goes on pari passu. But it is not the assembly's (and church simply means assembly) part to teach or set forth the gospel, but the apostle's, evangelist's, or whoever is able. The assembly is taught, and confesses the truth.

Thirdly, going to heaven -- an unscriptural expression -- has displaced in the evangelical mind the coming of the Lord and resurrection. But, for all that, Mr. Sadler has wholly missed the mark here too. He has read the Scriptures enough to see the defects of the evangelical school, but has not the faith of God's elect so as to know the truth either as to the gospel or the church. Moreover, as to church history, his representation of it -- I do not mean intentionally -- is far away from the truth. He must have read it with a very prejudiced eye.

I must first take notice of his statements as to the Gospels in a few words. Here, as to what is evidently vital, his statements are quite unfounded. "Gospel" is not applied, as he states, exclusively to the announcement of certain events occurring at a particular time in the history of the world. "Gospel" means simply glad tidings, whatsoever they are. The verb is applied to the good news Timothy brought of the Thessalonians to Paul; 1 Thessalonians 3: 6. As to Mark, the incarnation and birth of Christ form no part of what he calls the Gospels. Further, the gospel of the kingdom+ being at hand, which above all is called the gospel in the four Gospels, is not included in Mr. Sadler's list, and could not subsist, as chiefly there spoken of, till all the events which are were past. All that is peculiarly Paul's gospel (though surely recognising all) is outside all the events contained in Mr. Sadler's list. It did not begin, in fact and in doctrine, till Jesus was glorified.

+In Matthew, the kingdom of heaven.

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Paul calls it the gospel of the glory, and this is vital to his mission, and that which connected it with the assembly or church, which he alone speaks of in his teaching as formed on earth, and speaks of as a distinct and separate ministry; and he is specially the apostle of the Gentiles. Nor even does what is said by Mr. Sadler as to the beginning of Romans give any true idea of Paul's statement as a whole there, nor even of that part of it which Mr. Sadler does refer to. I think it of great moment to note, as I have often done in public and in private, how the apostle puts Christ personally forward here as the great subject of the gospel; but Mr. Sadler's use of this fact is partial and false. As "made of the seed of David according to the flesh," we have nothing to do with Christ. He was "a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers": the Gentiles stand on other ground. They "glorify God for his mercy," having no promises, though prophecies spoke of them. As Son of David Christ was not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, and could not take the children's bread and cast it to dogs. He declares, "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." "Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone."

As God manifest in the flesh, He is the object of infinite delight to the believing soul -- its food, as the bread come down from heaven; and when we have found peace through the divine commentaries of the apostle on the value of His work, the soul returns to the Gospels to feed on the bread come down from heaven. But even as to this, though souls may be drawn by the adorable grace manifested in His life, yet, till they eat His flesh and drink His blood, they have no life in them to feed on Him as bread come down from heaven. But, to shew how little foundation there is for this statement of Mr. Sadler, the meaning he ascribes to "gospel" is not the meaning of it in Mark. In the same chapter as that to which Mr. Sadler refers, the evangelist says, "Jesus came into Galilee preaching the gospel [the glad tidings] of the kingdom, and saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand." The preaching is the same; Matthew 4: 12, 23. Such was the constant tenor of Christ's preaching.

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The twelve, consequently, were sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. So, in Luke 4: 18-21, He preached the fulfilment of promise, not His death for our sins, or resurrection; and so, verse 43, He preaches the kingdom of God. In chapter 9: 2 He sends them to preach the kingdom of God. As regards His death and resurrection, we read that, from the time immediately preceding the transfiguration, He forbade them strongly to say any more that He was the Christ; and so far from preaching His death, or that being the gospel then set forth, we find that, when He told them of it prophetically, they could not bear to hear of it. Yet His death and resurrection, now they are accomplished, are become the great subject of testimony (1 Corinthians 15: 3, 4), and that for our sins. Christ according to the flesh (that is, as presented to the Jews as their Messiah, come according to promise) Paul knew no more; 2 Corinthians 5: 16. See Matthew 16: 20, 21; Mark 9: 31; Luke 9: 21, 22.

I turn to what is said of it in Romans. We have seen that Paul begins with the double character of Christ, known as Son of David according to the flesh, and Son of God by resurrection. But Mr. Sadler leaves out that Paul was not ashamed of the gospel, or that it was the power of God to salvation, because the righteousness of God was revealed in it (Romans 1: 16, 17); and that he largely sets forth (chapter 3: 19-26) how Christ was set forth a propitiation through faith in His blood -- how, further (chapter 4: 25), He was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. I believe the gospel will have power in the measure in which it is stated as facts, and I bless God that it comes in the shape of facts, because the poorest can understand it. But what it is for us is spoken of. God commends His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. The shepherd seeks the sheep, the woman the piece of money, the father has his joy in recovering the prodigal.

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It is not merely objective facts concerning Christ, but God's disposition towards us as displayed in them, not merely that Christ was raised but raised for our justification; not merely that God's Son came, but that God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have eternal life. It is not exclusively applied to the announcement of certain events; it is God's dealing with us revealed in them, and our conscience and heart directly dealt with by it. God was in Christ. Yet this is not the way the ministry of the gospel is put, but "God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them." This was Paul's estimate of the gospel history, and then of his own gospel when Christ had died, that, as though God did beseech by us, we beseech in Christ's stead, be reconciled to God. In the passage quoted by Mr. Sadler from 1 Corinthians 15, it is not that Christ died, "a certain event occurring," but Christ died for our sins; the purpose and grace of God to us as sinners is stated.

Mr. Sadler's account, then, of the gospel in the New Testament is a totally false one as to every part of the New Testament, and falsifies the whole bearing of it, and the way God deals with man in it. And this is connected with his whole system. His gospel is a system of facts, contemplated by persons ecclesiastically born of God in baptism. The gospel in Scripture is the expression in facts, and the public declaration by the Holy Ghost (sent down when the facts were accomplished, and Christ, having by Himself made the purgation of our sins, had sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens), of what God is in His love to sinners, and of how they might be righteous before Him through faith in the work accomplished by the Saviour. The gospel is addressed to sinners in the attractive power of grace. "I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me." Mr. Sadler's gospel, whether during the lifetime of Christ or after His death, is not what Scripture makes it. With him it is a history for saints: the Scriptures make it glad tidings for sinners. The facts may be the same, and these facts we have to announce; but he announces them, to those whom he deceives as to their state (calling them saints when they know they are not), as objects of contemplation, while the scripture gospel presents them to sinners as what they need, and the expression of God's love to them.

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"The gospel," says Mr. Sadler, "does not appear in Scripture under the aspect of certain dealings of God with the individual soul apart from its fellow-souls. It does appear as certain events, or outward facts," etc. We have seen how the gospel is stated in Scripture. Glad tidings are hardly actual operations in individual souls, but such dealings are as much presented in Scripture as pertaining to the gospel, as the blessed facts concerning the Lord. "Except a man be born again" is not exactly glad tidings, but it is with this truth the Lord meets Nicodemus. "In the day," says Paul, "when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel." The whole Epistle to the Ephesians is occupied with what Mr. Sadler says is not the gospel, but in a large part is dealing with individual souls: and he is wholly mistaken in saying, as he does, that it is only of the church. The church relationship with Christ only comes in at the end of chapter 1; the previous part of the chapter is occupied with individuals and their relationship with the Father, and if it be not gospel, I know not what it is. The whole of the doctrinal part of the Romans -- and I suppose there is some gospel there -- is occupied exclusively with individual souls, and the church does not come in at all.

The church is not found in the Romans, save in the hortatory part (chapter 12), and for the plain reason that responsibility is individual, conscience individual, justification individual, judgment individual. 1 Corinthians 1, where Paul says he was sent to preach the gospel, is individual. To whom did Paul preach the gospel? to sinners standing on individual responsibility, or to the church? The answer to this will at once shew, not only the falseness, but the absurdity, of Mr. Sadler's statement. See 2 Corinthians 2: 12-16: this was preaching the gospel, and nothing could be more peremptorily individual, and dealing with individual souls. We have only to go to Scripture times to learn the absurdity of the whole system. The gospel is for responsible sinners, not for the church, however needed for what Mr. Sadler calls the church now, as it surely is, because they are largely unconverted sinners, though far more responsible sinners than the heathen, but of the church anon.

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Read 2 Corinthians 4: 14: we have there "the glorious gospel," or rather the gospel of the glory. Paul fancied he was by manifestation of the truth commending himself to every man's conscience in the sight of God. He had not had churchmen to instruct him, it is true. Quite true, he spoke of the death, resurrection, and glory of the Lord Jesus in his gospel. This assuredly is not what I am opposing, but that he spoke of them only as events and outward facts, apart from dealing with the individual soul. That is, what Mr. Sadler says about it is wholly and entirely false; and I repeat, this is connected with and involves the whole system. Scripture tells us God of His own will begat us by the word of truth; churchmen tell us it is by baptism. Which am I to believe? This is the question.

I might multiply proofs of what the gospel is as presented in Scripture; what I have given must suffice. Mr. Sadler seeks to prove his statements by the Gospels, forgetting that these are records of Christ's life and death, and most precious ones for those who believed already (though surely the Holy Ghost may use them to give faith), not preaching the gospel at all. They are memoirs, as called in old times, richly setting forth the Lord Jesus in the different characters in which He came among men, according to the wisdom of the Holy Ghost. He is Son of David, Emmanuel, in Matthew; the Prophet Servant in Mark; the Son of man, in grace, amongst men in Luke; and His whole Person, with the mission of the Holy Ghost, in John.

What little we have of the preaching of the gospel in Acts is altogether the contrary of what Mr. Sadler states. Peter, who never preaches that He is the Son of God, after explaining what Pentecost was, at once charges their individual sin home upon their conscience: You have crucified and slain, God has raised up, Jesus. What was their condition? And they were pricked to the heart, and he tells them, on their urgent demand, what they were to do. It is not a mere outward event, but their act of sin, and God's having owned Him whom they had slain, so as to act by grace upon their consciences. It was for as many as the Lord their God should call. It was individual, and those that received the word profited by it. It is the same story in Acts 3: 13-15, though with a different object.

In Paul's discourse at Antioch (Acts 13) it is the same thing, verses 38-41 dealing with individual souls. The same principle governs them, verses 46-48. We have no preaching to Gentiles, only we learn that its effect was individual faith. God opened the heart of Lydia; they so spake that they believed; and Paul at Athens preached Jesus and the resurrection. When the jailor asked what he should do to be saved, Paul in his answer knows nothing of Mr. Sadler's system, but says, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved. No thought of Mr. Sadler's system here, though there can be no doubt he was added to the assembly. As he that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, salvation is always individual, never what Mr. Sadler makes it to be. The discourse in Acts 17 is Paul's apology, not his preaching. Of course the apostles preached Christ, not His incarnation (perhaps, as Acts 10: 37, 38, His service as "anointed"), but man's rejection of Him, and God's testimony to Him in resurrection, and then whosoever believes shall receive remission of sins. That is, they did not only give many, doubtless all-important, facts, but they did always deal individually with souls. That in reasoning they sought to prove with the Jews that Jesus was the Christ is of course true, but it proves nothing. The commission given in Luke is the one that runs all through the Acts; and this was, that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name, which is strictly dealing with the individual soul.

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One other point remains to be noticed under this head. The church, we are told, after speaking of these "outward events," makes provision that this gospel of the kingdom should be set before her children; "she provides for the setting forth of the gospel, under this one scripture aspect, by the arrangement of her yearly round of fast and festival." We have seen how little true this statement as to the one aspect of the gospel is; but here, assuming the facts of the gospel, a second point arises, the means of communicating it. The church gives a yearly round of fasts and festivals, so that mere outward events may be before the mind without any dealing of God with the individual soul. Such is Mr. Sadler's approved method, adding a small complement of saints and saints' days -- whether to complete the gospel, or for what other purpose, he does not tell us. He seems to bring it in charily (page 12). Scripture says, "it pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe"; but this foolishness of God dealing with the individual soul does not please the wisdom of the church. It has its own way of doing it. It keeps days, and months, and years. They turn again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which they desire again to be in bondage.

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"I am afraid of you," says the apostle. It was, he tells us, going back to heathenism. And Mr. Sadler, with his knowledge of ecclesiastical history, must know that, except Easter, which was the Jewish Passover, and Pentecost, and perhaps some more recently added saints' days, the church festivals were deliberately and formally adopted from heathenism. Christians, so-called, would have festivals, and they tacked on Christian names to heathen ones. The great Augustine informs us that "the church" did it, that if they would get drunk (which they did even in the churches), they should do so in honour of saints, not of demons. One of the Gregorys was famous for this, and left only seventeen heathen in his diocese by means of it. And another Gregory, sending another Augustine to England, directed him not to destroy the idol temples, but to turn them into churches; and as the heathens were accustomed to have an anniversary festival to their god, to replace it by one to a saint. It was thus Europe, Africa, and Asia Minor at least were Christianised. Sicily, which in spite of all efforts had remained heathen, as soon as it was decided that Mary was the mother of God at what I must call the disgraceful and infamous general council of Ephesus,+ gave up all her temples to be churches.

It was as easy to worship the mother of God as the mother of the gods. But everywhere drunkenness in honour of the saints, and even in the churches, took the place of drunkenness in honour of demigods, the great Augustine and other fathers being witnesses. Such were festal anniversaries, Christmas having been (and it is still celebrated in heathen countries) the worst of heathen festivals, to celebrate the return of the sun from the winter solstice, without a pretence that Christ was born that day, but as they could not stop the revelry, they put Christ's birth there. Such, in real fact, is the church's celebration of anniversaries and saints' days. This is certain, that the apostle declares that it was a return to heathenism, so that he was afraid his labour was in vain -- avowedly turning the great and mighty parts of Christianity, by which God acted on souls, to bring them into blessed and divinely-wrought relationship with Himself, individually and collectively, into certain outward events, or outward facts, and exclusively to their announcement as occurring at particular times. "I am afraid of you."

+I do not mean the Concio Latronum, which however, though disowned, was just as much, in every respect, a general council. There the bishops beat poor old Flavian, the patriarch of Constantinople, so that he died of it. Yet in no point did it fail of what made a general council.

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In result the gospel is founded on a series of mighty and divine facts, by which, through the foolishness of preaching, God, in the power of the Holy Ghost, does act on individual souls for salvation, and gather them into one. The church system makes of them a set of outward events, historically remembered by anniversaries, Mr. Sadler rejecting the dealing of God in souls by them. According to him these are born, not by the word as Scripture declares, but by a sacrament without any personal faith or operation of the word on their hearts whatever. Of this system I will now speak. The author's statements are as follows: --

"It may be called the great 'church' truth of God's word; and may be stated somewhat as follows: --


"This body has always been an outward and visible body known by certain outward and visible marks. Men have always been admitted into this church by a rite or ordinance which betokened God's special goodwill towards each one of them. This church, or body, has always been governed and instructed by a visible ministry. This church, or body, or family, always has been, and, till the second advent, always will be, a mixed body; that is, it has always consisted of two sets of persons, good and bad, penitent and impenitent, those who realise God's love, and those who do not."

Every one of these statements is unfounded. That in Israel and the church there was an assembly, or gathering of individuals, is quite true. Of these we will speak in due time. But it was never God's plan to save people by joining them together in a body or family, kingdom or church; specially it was not so from Abraham's time, and men were called of God before. It is false to say they were always admitted by a rite -- false to call them all a church -- false to say this church or body has always been governed and instructed by a visible ministry -- false to say it has always been a mixed body. The statements following are all equally false, some openly absurd.

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People are saved, always were, individually, by grace through the work of the Lord Jesus Christ, and life received from Him, begotten by the word of truth, justified by faith. I admit an outward visible body in Israel and in the church, though in different forms and on different principles. That God has set His manifested blessings in a known place, as Israel or the church, since He raised them up, is true; but in neither is personal salvation by coming into it as a system set up on the earth, though figuratively and formally administered there in Christian times, and, if connected with the personal confession of Christ, then formally received and enjoyed. The church, or assembly of God, has more than one application or aspect, is never the kingdom, has, in its truest sense, privileges other than salvation, and in this sense is distinct from the outward and visible body as it exists at present, though it may be found in it if viewed in a certain aspect. But we must examine the statements.

Abraham is the beginning of the religious institutions of God in the new world, and is the root of the olive-tree of promise. When the world had turned to idolatry (Joshua 24), God called Abram out, and established the promises in his seed. He was the first head of God's family, as Adam of the sinful one. There was no root of a family of God, as Adam was the root of an evil family, till Abram, though there had been saints. This, then, I recognise. But this did not begin salvation. About one-third of the world's history had passed away ere Abram was called of God. Abels and Enochs, and surely many others, had been saved before Abram's time. They were saved, according to Mr. Sadler's own statement, for he begins with Abram, without family, or church, or nation. Was the salvation different in its nature and its ground then? Were they saved in a different way? If not, the whole statement is without foundation. That, as a rule, manifested saved ones are found, where God has publicly and outwardly called a people amongst that people, is quite true. But that is a very different thing from saving men by joining them together as a body, family, kingdom, or church. Either Mr. Sadler must have two kinds and ways of salvation, or his principle is upon the face of it false. For during a third of the earth's existence, taking his own date and commencement of this process of saving men by joining them to a body, family, church, or kingdom, there was nothing of the sort to join them to. Mr. Sadler's system falsifies the nature of salvation.

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In the next place the scripture states the contrary of what Mr. Sadler says. It is expressly said of Abraham (Isaiah 51: 2), "I called him alone, and blessed him." It is first, with Mr. Sadler, a body, and then a church, as if it was all the same. But the blessing of Abraham was neither in a body nor a church. It was in him, and in his seed, really Christ. The true heavenly promises were made to one Seed only, "and that seed is Christ." The apostle carefully tells us it was to one. "Now to Abraham were the promises made, and to his seed. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, and to thy seed, which is Christ." "If we are Christ's, we are Abraham's seed, and heirs according to promise." Now, that these were in the church, and baptised too, the passage itself shews. I will speak of both, but the promise is exclusively to Christ; Galatians 3: 16-29. "All the promises of God are in him, yea: and in him, Amen," 2 Corinthians 1: 20.

As to Abraham himself, our immediate subject, men have always, we are told, been admitted into this church by a rite. A church means an assembly, and nothing else. Into the church as formed on earth, an external body, or Christian profession, men were admitted by a rite, and that rite baptism; into the body of Christ, decidedly not. But as to Abraham and his seed according to the flesh, this is wholly a mistake. Righteousness -- and I suppose that is the way of being saved -- was reckoned to him in uncircumcision. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had, yet being uncircumcised; Romans 4: 10, 11. That is, Scripture insists on exactly the contrary of what Mr. Sadler teaches. Circumcision was the seal in Abraham of the righteousness of faith, and the formal token of the covenant, according to the title possessed by his family. The title was the being of Abraham's house. Uncircumcision was a condition of forfeiture: one who was of the seed of Abraham, and who was not circumcised, had broken God's covenant. Just as if the old man be not put off we have no part in grace, though baptised twenty times.

But though this was the formal covenant token in carrying out the covenant, God was sovereign. Every one actually born in Abraham's house, or indeed bought with money, was bound to be circumcised. Circumcision was the seal of the promise made to Abraham, and if one of the promised seed was not circumcised, he lost his title; but it was a seal to which he had a title by birth. But, further, the real blessing was by promise: circumcision did not bring into it at all. Abraham's seed was called in Isaac, and the covenant promises to that seed, not with Ishmael; but Ishmael was circumcised as much as Isaac [Genesis 17: 23-27]. Nor was, indeed, circumcision, as Mr. Sadler speaks, an ordinance which betokened God's special goodwill towards the men of the family: the promise did that. It was an imposed condition subsequent, giving a required state, and, if it was neglected, the person was cut off.

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Further, this body, or church, we are told, has always been governed and instructed by a visible ministry. Here, note, family is dropped. It would not do. No one instructed Abraham but God immediately, which He did very often. A large part of Genesis, and a very important part, consists of these revelations. When there was a people gathered, there was a priesthood besides Levitical assistants. When the Christian assembly was gathered, there were gifts bestowed in principle on all, though in distinctive efficacy on some, as apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers, and evangelists, and others called miraculous, or which were subsidiary. There were, besides this, local overseers and servants.

The family is now introduced again. This church, or body, or family, "has always been a mixed body." The family was never a body, nor was the church always a mixed body; for at the beginning the Lord added such as should be saved; afterwards, as manifested on earth, it became such; but first by false brethren creeping in unawares; Jude 4. Israel never was a mixed body. In Israel moreover it was never a question of salvation, but of the place and inheritance of the promises according to the flesh, and none but those who were of the fountain of Israel, or joined by being circumcised, could enjoy them. There was a strict middle wall of partition. Each part of the statement is false.

To pursue the statements of the book: "The covenant of God has always been with this visible church." God's covenant was with Abraham, but he was no assembly, which is all that church means, and the promise was confined to his seed -- Christ; but God's church of the New Testament was not revealed then (Romans 16: 25; Ephesians 3: 3-11; Colossians 1: 26): the circumcised alone had part in the blessings. If they were in the covenant of promise, and were not circumcised, they were cut off. Israel subsisted by keeping the middle wall of partition up: this made the church, or the revelation of it, impossible; the church exists consequent on its being thrown down; Ephesians 2: 11-22. With Israel there was the covenant of the law, or the old covenant, and later, in Jeremiah, the promise of a new one to the same people. Of this covenant we reap the benefit of having it in the spirit, namely, forgiveness of sins, and to be all taught of God, and to know Him. But with the assembly there is no covenant made. The Mediator is come, the blood of the new covenant shed. Israel refused to enter into it; and we, while enjoying the spiritual benefit of it, have, if indeed believers, what is far better -- an accomplished salvation, and the Holy Ghost, the Comforter (the witness, present power, and seal of it, and the earnest of the glory that belongs to it) being heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ, and this individually.

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Our body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which we have of God. Of this "the church" knows, perhaps, nothing; but they cannot deny that it is in Scripture, even if they call it fanaticism. They seek to reduce us to the condition of Judaism, but this is not Christianity nor God's church. He has set Judaism aside to establish it. Even in the lowest aspect of it, He has taken away the first to establish the second. The application of church to Israel in the Christian sense (for the word merely means assembly), that is, as the body of Christ or the habitation of God through the Spirit, is without the slightest foundation in Scripture. Nay, more, it contradicts its clearest and most important principles in reference to this subject. Every principle of the one system is in direct contrast with those of the other, save that both belong to God. What the church is I shall consider presently.

"The word of God," we are next told, "has always been addressed to this outward visible body." The Epistles, where addressed to churches, were so no doubt, but all composing churches were held to be really saints. But to say "the word of God has," etc., shews only what a mist of their own raising these people are living in. Paul's gospel, he specially declares, was to every creature under heaven; I suppose that was the word of God. In Mark we read, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." And Paul, in the passage quoted (Colossians 1), carefully distinguishes his being a minister of the gospel, and a minister of the church to fulfil or complete the word of God; and here was one contrast between Israel and the church. Israel had no such commission. It was a nation; and those of the fountain of Jacob had the word and the promises, and there was no word of God to others, but a law and prophets to them. God has raised up a ministry in Christianity because it is grace to sinners, wherever they are.

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Before I proceed further to examine Mr. Sadler's views of the church, I will, because of its importance to souls, examine definitely and more at length whether salvation is individual. The church, to which I attach the greatest possible importance, I will examine fully; but salvation is individual. If there was but one saved person in the world, he would be saved as men are now; but he could not be an assembly. When the Lord says, "Ye must be born again," he speaks necessarily and clearly of individuals. Whether it be by baptism, we will inquire just now, but it is individual. "So is every one that is born of the Spirit" is individual. "The wind bloweth where it listeth." At the end of chapter 3, "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life." The promise of living water in John 4 is individual. "The Son quickeneth whom he will" in John 5 is individual. The promise in John 6: 40 is individual, and whatever the eating means (and most certainly it is not the Lord's supper+), it is individual, as verses 35, 44 plainly shew. Verse 47 is conclusive as to individual salvation. John 7 is individual, as verses 37, 38. So are chapters 9; 10 (verses 27, 28) is as clear as words can make it; and this even if the sheep are all scattered by Satan. "Catcheth," in verse 12, and "plucketh," in verse 28, are the same word. Chapter 11: 25, 26 is individual.

I might quote other passages; but the truth is that all John's writings are strictly individual. The church is never introduced as a truth in them at all -- not even in chapter 17, which seems most like it. It does not speak of the assembly or church, but of the unitedness of the individuals in grace. There is indeed a threefold unity, of the eleven disciples, of those believing through their word, and of all Christians in glory. It may perhaps surprise some, that in the Epistles the church is never spoken of as a body formed on earth by any besides Paul.

In the Acts, Peter's words apply to individuals. "Repent and be baptised every one of you for [to] the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." It was to as many as the Lord their God should call. They are addressed as individuals, and there is no hint of a body or assembly. Men repent individually, and are forgiven sins individually. I do not doubt they came into the assembly, but nothing is said by him about it. The first intimation of union with Christ in one body is at Paul's conversion; Acts 9: 5. In Peter's sermon to Cornelius it is the universal testimony, "Whosoever believeth in him," Acts 10: 43. So Paul: "By him all that believe are justified from all things," Acts 13.

+Verse 51, and other verses, as 54, prove that whosoever eats, as here spoken of, is saved for ever. So that everyone, the worst hypocrite, that took the Lord's supper, would be saved!

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It is the same story with the jailor at Philippi, "Believe on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house" -- no word of joining a body to be saved. I do not doubt a moment that they became part of the assembly of God, but not a word is said of it connected with salvation. So Paul preached "Jesus and the resurrection" at Athens, and "kept back nothing that was profitable" at Ephesus, preaching "repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ": individual dealing with souls, and nothing of the assembly or church, and that in the very place where he afterwards unfolded it.

In Paul's account of his preaching before Agrippa, there is no word of the church in his commission to sinners. He was sent "to open their eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith that is in me." Consequently he shewed everywhere that men "should repent, and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance." It was individuals; he pressed a work wrought in them; but not a word of the assembly, or joining it, in his testimony to the world.

Now this is the more remarkable, because Paul was the one who specially, and indeed Paul only, built up in church truth those who did believe. But, as we have seen, it was a distinct part of his ministry, as unfolded in Colossians 1. I believe what we may call church truth is more important than ever; and in going to the Gentile as he did, Paul laid the foundation of it (for their free admission was externally the basis of that truth, which God is now mercifully bringing out again); but for salvation he preached "repentance towards God, and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ."

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I have already spoken of the Romans, where all in the doctrinal part is individual, as responsibility, repentance, justification, and being dead to sin, must be in their very nature with sinners. Hence, having spoken of what Christians knew as such of the spirituality of the law, he changes from "we" to "I" -- "We know," "I am carnal." But all is without exception and carefully individual.

In Corinthians he speaks of the assembly; but so far is the church, as God's building, from being the way of saving, that he speaks of wood, and hay, and stubble, which was to be burnt; and presses upon them, in chapter 10, that they might be partakers of the sacraments, so-called -- be in the external or sacramental church -- and fall in the wilderness all the same. From that+ on he speaks more of the body than of the house. But of these points anon. But when, as in 2 Corinthians 5, he turns to the gospel and salvation, individuality takes its full place again.

In the end of Galatians 2 again, we see individual state. The promise by faith of Jesus Christ is given to them that believe. The putting on Christ is not salvation, but the giving up being Jew or Gentile, bond or free, male or female, and being Christians and nothing else. It was (begging pardon of the Thirty-nine Articles) a badge of their profession. But we are children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, and heirs crying, Abba, Father, but all this is individual (Galatians 3 and 4); and they are then carefully warned against keeping days and months and years. Faith that worketh by love was the availing thing. All is carefully individual. They were all in the assembly already.

In Ephesians 2: 8 salvation is individual, though it be the Epistle in which the doctrine of the church is most fully unfolded; but it is a second order of truth, not salvation. It is when speaking of the individual, that he speaks of the gospel of their salvation, and then they were sealed, by which they were members of the body; chapter 1: 13. The first truth is children or sons by faith, as in Galatians.

Philippians is all individual, though the assembly be fully recognised.

It is in Colossians the apostle distinguishes his ministry of the gospel and of the church. Holy days were but a shadow of things to come, now passed away; Christ being the body, they were now mere heathenish Judaism, against which he was warning them. Take chapter 3, from chapter 2: 20, indeed, and see how all is individual.

+The transition is in the middle of chapter 10.

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In Thessalonians men obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, not by the assembly, as in chapter 1: 9, where it is clearly individual. In 2 Thessalonians 2: 13, 14, we have a formal statement that it is by sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, whereunto they were called by Paul's gospel to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Of Timothy I will speak. Titus tells us that the grace of God brings salvation, but adds no word of the church. Of chapter 3: 5 I will speak.

Of Hebrews and the rest I need not speak at large. The assembly or church forms no part of doctrine there. That Christ leads our praises in it (chapter 2: 12) we learn, and (chapter 12: 23) that there is an assembly of firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. Conscience, which is always individual, is perfected, and this gives us boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. Faith is that of an individual coming to God, and by that he obtains witness that he is righteous through the more excellent sacrifice. That salvation is through joining an assembly is alike unknown and opposed to Scripture. Men are justified by faith, then sealed by receiving the Holy Ghost, through which they are of the one body. Baptism is their formal admission into the external company on earth. Of this we must now speak, and shew all Mr. Sadler's theory utterly false.

I believe, let me now say, that the truth of God as to the assembly is, in these days, of the last importance; that God's order was to gather souls as well as to convert and save them; and that many of our highest privileges are connected with it. But the assembly or church has two very distinct aspects in Scripture, consequent upon its being formed by the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost -- that of the body of Christ, and that of the dwelling-place of the Holy Ghost. Besides this, in the latter aspect, that is, as God's house, it has a double character -- what Christ builds, and what man builds responsibly.

All this, which is declared in Scripture, is missed by Mr. Sadler. All his thoughts are vague and in confusion; all his statements as to the Ephesians unfounded. He says (page 45), "a kingdom or fellowship which he deigns to call his body." He never calls His kingdom His body. "He instituted means of grace, by which they were to be brought into this fellowship" (page 45), and (page 46) "all baptised into his name are to be accounted as belonging to it ... . In this case the baptised are the church (page 46), and responsible for the grace of having been made members of Christ." All this is false.

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In 1 Corinthians 12: 13 we read, "By one Spirit we are all baptised into one body." That this is the Holy Ghost, and not baptism by water, is as clear as words can make it. The apostle is speaking of spiritual manifestations -- gifts given by the Holy Ghost: "All these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will. For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ. For by one Spirit are we all baptised into one body." One has only to read the chapter to see, with unquestionable evidence, that the apostle is speaking of the Holy Spirit Himself.

But, to leave this beyond all controversy, we have a positive declaration by the Lord Himself of what the baptism of the Spirit is: "Ye shall be baptised with the Holy Ghost not many days hence," Acts 1: 5. Accordingly, on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spake with tongues. That coming of the Holy Spirit was the baptism of the Holy Ghost spoken of, and of these and other gifts, which were the fruit of it, the apostle is speaking in 1 Corinthians.

That the apostles even ever received Christian baptism there is not a trace in Scripture, nor indeed the hundred and twenty who were together. They were to wait for the promise of the Father, receiving power by the Holy Ghost coming upon them, which took place accordingly, and "Christ being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear," Acts 2: 33. This was the baptism of the Holy Ghost, by which they were baptised into one body. That water baptism introduced into the body, or made men members of the body, is a notion wholly unknown to Scripture. "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit." The gift of the Spirit is always distinguished from it moreover. They were to repent and be baptised for (to) the remission of sins, and they would receive the gift of the Holy Ghost; Acts 2: 38.

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In the case of Cornelius, he received the Holy Ghost, God's proof that He would have him in His assembly, as formed down here, into which consequently Peter orders him to be admitted by baptism. Whether before or after, they are always distinct. So in Samaria they believed what Philip preached and were baptised. After that two of the apostles go down and pray that they may receive the Holy Ghost, for as yet He was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus. Then they laid their hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost. So in Acts 19 twelve men, on Paul's instruction, were baptised in the name of the Lord Jesus, and when Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Ghost came upon them, and they spake with tongues and prophesied. Baptism and the reception of the Holy Ghost are distinct; and it is by the latter that believers are baptised into one body, which is a real union with Christ. "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit," by which we are members of His body, He being the Head.

I turn now to being born of God in baptism. This is equally unwarranted by Scripture -- nay, formally contradicted. "Of his own will," says James, "begat he us by the word of truth"; and Peter, "Being born again, not of corruptible seed but of incorruptible, by the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever," 1 Peter 1: 23. Paul tells us, "In Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel" (1 Corinthians 4: 15), and he was not sent to baptise -- strange, if men were born of God by it. He tells the Thessalonians God had chosen them to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth, whereunto He called them by his gospel; and the Lord declares, "Ye are clean through the word which I have spoken to you." I have quoted positive passages. He who keeps to the word will find it confirmed in every page.

But we will examine the passage which speaks of being born, as they allege, in baptism: John 3: 5. It is only an effort to squeeze it out of the passage, for of baptism directly it does not speak. Further, it is well to remark that it is not said, born of the Spirit by, or with, water, but born of water and of Spirit. I have already said the apostles were never baptised (they were clean through the word spoken) nor is there the idea of communication of a nature by water. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit." The water is necessarily dropped here; John 3: 6.

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As a testimony of the extreme ignorance of Mr. Sadler as to scriptural truth, I would cite from page 54 the declaration that we find no allusion to such a use of water in the books of the Old Testament. This is a singular preoccupation of spirit. The Lord demands how Nicodemus, being a teacher of Israel, did not know this: the Old Testament, that is, furnished him fully with this truth. Let us turn to Ezekiel 36: 25: "Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh: and I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them, and ye shall dwell in the land ... . And I will call for the corn," etc., dwelling on temporal promises to Israel in the last day, which last promises lead the Lord to say, "If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things?" and He goes on to the fuller doctrine of the cross, which involved the rejection of Messiah, and the impossibility of the present fulfilment of earthly promises.

This leads us at once to see what being born of water means; it is purifying from evil, sanctifying through the truth; and the Father's word is truth, that by which we are positively told by James we are begotten, born again according to Peter, who distinctly says, "Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit." "Ye are clean," says the Lord Himself, "through the word which I have spoken unto you"; so Paul, "that he might sanctify and cleanse it, by the washing of water by the word." There are two things, and, to set Mr. Sadler quite at ease, at the same time communication of a new life or nature. "That which is born of the Spirit is spirit," and the purifying the soul by obeying the truth, for this birth is by the word, the incorruptible seed of God. The whole tenor of the Lord's statement contradicts the "church" doctrine. "The wind bloweth where it listeth. So is every one that is born of the Spirit." Whereas it is tied in that system to a formal rite, which all are bound by the system to carry out universally. Besides, it is the way of seeing the kingdom, as well as entering it, with the solemn statement of "Verily, verily." Does baptism make people see it? Not now, for the child at any rate, to whom that system habitually applies it, does not see it at all; not the kingdom of glory, for they admit that many baptised never see that at all.

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To a Jew (a rabbi who looked for the kingdom of God, and had read Ezekiel, and looked for the kingdom according to that and other passages) the being born of water and the Spirit had the clearest and fullest signification. But nothing blinds like the church system. Speaking of the insignificance of water does not concern me, as I do not apply it to baptism by water at all. But this is a mistake, because baptisms by water were the universal figure for cleansing among the Jews, even with proselytes, at least women. All the rest of Mr. Sadler's statement has nothing to do with the matter; save that, when he rejects believing as the way of being born, the scripture replies, "We are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus." The word nowhere joins the Holy Ghost and water as baptism, as if the Holy Ghost acted in it and by it. It is always a distinct thing.

But further: baptism is not even a sign of the new birth, but of death. We are baptised to Christ's death. It is a figure of death and burial, as Romans 6 and Colossians 2 clearly testify, and hence is connected with remission of sins because (in coming up out of death -- death with Christ, which is figured by it, and risen with him) we come up forgiven all trespasses, as is said in Colossians 2, and, having, as to our profession, left the old man behind us, we put off the old man, crucified with Him, reckoning ourselves dead.

And note, our resurrection with Christ is not the same as quickening. In resurrection Christ is viewed as a raised man. God raised Him from the dead, and us, for faith, with Him. But we are baptised to His death. I go down there into His death, and am raised with Him, "through faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead." It is not the Son quickening whom He will, nor simply our being born; but Christ a dead man raised, which implies the remission of sins for those who have part in His death, buried with Him, and consequently to walk in newness of life, reckoning oneself dead to sin, and alive to God in Him.

What Mr. Sadler says as to Ephesians is a mistake. Church union with Christ is not the only or great subject of the epistle, doctrinal or hortatory. You do not come to it till the very end of chapter 1. All the previous part, our calling and inheritance, is based on our relationship with the Father, and being in the same place as Christ, as to this, as sons. In the hortatory part we are to be followers (mimetai) of God as dear children, and walk like Christ. In our relationship with Christ, it is with Him as man, whom God has raised. Then the body, and our quickening with Him, is spoken of. There is no reference to this relationship in the hortatory part, except in speaking of husband and wife.

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Now as to other passages connected with baptism, the "church principle" gives remission of sins by it regularly, when the person has committed none. So that the application of all this is singular enough in this system. A heathen or a Jew, baptised to Christ, does, I doubt not, receive administratively forgiveness of all past sins -- I believe a great deal more in connection with Christ's death (a believer, as to his conscience, is perfected for ever), but I believe that he comes in as one who has died with Christ, and left all the old things behind him -- is indeed as a risen man.

But we must consider the passages, which are of great importance in their place. We are all baptised to (never "into") something, as "to" Moses, "to" John's baptism, where it is the same word; and where it is said, "baptised to," or "for, the remission of sins," it is that which is the portion given in Christ, and we come to partake of it, just as we do to have death to sin; where a person has been a sinner, he receives it, as to all he had done, in it. Baptism is that by which we are introduced into the enclosure in which God has set His blessings administratively on earth, though He be sovereign. There is forgiveness there, the Holy Ghost there, the administration of all God's blessings down here. On entering, I enter into the condition and place where these blessings are enjoyed. Hence we find, washing away sins, the consequent receiving of the Holy Ghost, indeed every blessing in Christ, as far as they exist down here, connected with it. But no one save those blinded by "church principles" could, as having read the Scriptures, ascribe operatively and effectually to baptism the possession of these privileges. The blood of Christ, and nothing else, washes away our sins before God; but I come professedly to Christ in baptism, in whom and where this blessing is. It is the admission into the open confession of His name and death, and, in a certain measure, resurrection. Hence guarding it where he says it saves, Peter says, "not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer (request, eperotema) of a good conscience towards God, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ."

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As to being born in it, such a thought is never found. Regeneration is connected with it in Titus, and modern language has connected that word with being born again. It is only found in one other place in Scripture. "In the regeneration, when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory" -- the millennial earth, a new state or order of things. Thus Peter, when he speaks of saving us, is referring expressly to Noah, who came through the flood, which was death to the old world, into a new one, and was buoyed up by that which was death to them, into that new one -- was saved by or through water; so we, seeking a good conscience, find it in Christ's death, brought safe with Him into the new place of resurrection. I believe regeneration in Titus refers to baptism as a sign of this. But we are washed by passing out of the old condition of heathenism, or Judaism, or fleshly life in any sense, into the new state of things, which is, where real, a new creation altogether, of which we are thus -- professedly at any rate -- partakers. But then Paul carefully distinguishes this from the renewing of the Holy Ghost. I have no doubt he is thinking of the regeneration as a real thing, but not as the renewing of the Holy Ghost as an actual inward work. It is a change of state and position, the renewing an actual internal work. This is never connected with baptism.

I have spoken of Acts 2: 38, and of Acts 22: 16. Ephesians 5: 26 has, on the face of it, nothing to do with the matter: the washing is by the word. Mark 16: 16 brings in faith on preaching. Now, if a heathen believed Jesus was Son of God, and refused to be baptised, he refused to be a Christian when he knew he ought; for him it was refusing to confess unto salvation. It has nothing to do with any efficacy in baptism; Titus 3: 5; 1 Peter 3: 21. I have spoken of Romans 6: 1-4 and Colossians 2: 12. To say that being baptised to Christ's death is being born of God is as absurd as to the meaning of the rite, as it is groundless. That death is the force and meaning of the rite is quite true, and it is so used by the apostle; but it has nothing to do with any inward work, or being born again.

On Galatians 3 (page 58) also I have spoken. Romans 6 and Colossians 2 are both used as public profession; Romans, as shewing that living on in sin denied it; Colossians, that this profession of being dead subverted the religion of ordinances, which Mr. Sadler is insisting on. We are no longer alive in the world in Colossians, we are dead to sin in Romans. The conclusion Mr. Sadler draws from the passage in Romans, in page 56, is exactly the contrary of that drawn by the apostle. The difficulty was, if one man's obedience made us righteous, we might continue to live in sin. How shall we that have died to sin live in it any longer? And that is what you did professedly, he goes on to say, in baptism; you were baptised to Christ's death. You are denying your profession of Christ by such an argument.

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As to Colossians 3: 1-10, it is not "yet" (page 57), but "because," and the passage proves the contrary of what it is cited for. If I am risen with Christ, I have power, and am to mortify these evil members -- for he will not recognise the Christian as having his life in this world; he is professedly dead and risen with Christ.

What Paul is shewing in 1 Corinthians 10 is that, belonging sacramentally to the church, taking in both sacraments, did not secure salvation, which I wholly accept. It was a professed deliverance out of the world, but not the new birth. In Jude he shews the same thing: they had an outward deliverance, like Israel, but, he adds, not having believed (and we are children of God by faith), He afterwards destroyed them. This is a poor argument for the value of baptism, and, note, saving out of Egypt has nothing to do with personal or eternal salvation. It was the deliverance of a people, a change of situation; which is just what baptism effects, not involving any real change or internal salvation at all. And so both the passages declare: a very necessary warning when such a book as Mr. Sadler's is written.

It is perfectly true that in his epistles to the various churches the apostle treats those to whom he writes as saints; not indeed on the ground that Mr. Sadler puts it, but on the solid ground of God's work -- on that of real faith -- as I shall shew. In the Galatians alone he speaks doubtfully in one passage, but recovers his confidence in the next chapter. And observing days, and months, and years, was one great cause of his doubts -- the Judaism Mr. Sadler recommends; Galatians 4: 10, 11-20. He recovers his confidence, looking to the Lord; chapter 5: 10. He anxiously warns the Corinthians, but is not in doubt of their real Christianity. Brought out of heathenism by the word and Spirit of God, and passing by baptism formally, as Mr. Sadler says, into God's established place of blessing, the apostle treats them as real Christians, but on the ground of their real faith, never on the ground of a fancied work in baptism. He does shew in two instances what baptism implied in the Christian (Romans 6; Colossians 1), but never as the ground of addressing them as saints. When he does in this way refer to it, it is to warn them not to deceive themselves by such a thought; 1 Corinthians 10. Let us see this.

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In Romans 1: 7 they are saints by God's calling, and (verse 8) he thanks God for them all that their faith was spoken of throughout the whole world. He sought to be comforted by their mutual faith.

The church of God at Corinth were saints by God's calling, sanctified in Christ Jesus. The formal profession is even distinguished as those who everywhere called on the name of the Lord, though treating them as true, unless proved otherwise; and, so far from not esteeming them as real saints, he declares that God would confirm them to the end, so that they should be blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ. God had called them into the fellowship of His Son, and He was faithful. The worst among them turned out in fact, sad as his conduct was, a real Christian, and was restored. Accustomed to heathen habits, they had everything to learn morally. Indeed, as we read in the Acts, God had a great people in this notedly corrupt city. In those days dissipation in sin was called Corinthianising. In the second epistle, they being restored in state by his first, he speaks of them with full confidence, "having confidence in you all," chapter 2: 3. Titus' spirit had been refreshed by them all. His boasting of them was found to be a truth. The whole epistle shews his confidence in the reality of their Christianity. In chapter 12 he is afraid he may have to use sharpness as to some who might have sinned, but of their true Christianity no doubt.

Of the Galatians I have spoken. There for a moment he stood in doubt. But this proves what I am saying, and that Mr. Sadler is all wrong. For they had been all baptised like all the rest. It was their actual state which raised the question, though they had been; and when that was turning from the truth, their baptism availed nothing as to their being treated as saints. "Ye did run well: who did hinder you, that ye should not obey the truth?" Nor does he therefore boldly call them saints at the beginning, though in looking to Christ he regained his confidence. Their baptism did not suffice for this.

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In Ephesians there is no doubt. They were not only saints, but faithful in Christ Jesus; but here the apostle distinguishes between one Spirit, one body, and one hope of our calling; and one Lord, one faith, and one baptism -- the latter, as public profession. But of the Ephesians he affirms that they were quickened of God when dead in trespasses and sins. They had been sealed after believing. His address is not founded on their baptism, but on their faith. Every verse of the Epistle bears testimony to it. The church is one which Christ has loved, sanctified by the word, and will present glorious to Himself: one was as true as the other, His loving, sanctifying, and presenting glorious to Himself.

The Philippians gives the same testimony -- that he looked to a real work. He was thankful for their fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this very thing, that He that had begun a good work would perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ. He writes to them on the ground of true faith and grace, not on that of baptism, assured moreover that the work would go on to the day of Jesus Christ.

In Colossians "faithful brethren" is again added. And what was the ground of his writing? He had heard of their faith in Christ Jesus, and their love to all the saints. It was reality, not baptism. They too had been dead in their sins, and God had quickened them with Christ and forgiven them all their trespasses. Would Mr. Sadler say this to all his congregation, and, as Paul to the Corinthians, that God would confirm them unto the end? and to the Philippians, that He who had begun a good work in them would perform it unto the day of Jesus Christ -- that they were all complete in Christ? or with Ephesians, that the same power had wrought in them which had raised Christ from the dead and set Him at God's right hand? He knows he would not; his whole theory is false and delusive. Preach to them as baptised, and not as heathen -- all well and right. But the Epistles go on the ground of real Christianity in the soul.

With the Thessalonians, he knew not their baptism but their election of God, because his gospel had come to them, not in word only, but in power and in the Holy Ghost; so that they were ensamples, and so spoken of that he needed not say anything. The word worked effectually in them; they were his hope and joy and crown, when Christ came. In the second, their faith grew exceedingly, and the love of every one of them all towards each other abounded.

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Of Timothy, Titus, and Philemon, I have no need to speak: they were individually known and chosen brethren.

The whole thing is an awful delusion, which the reading of the Epistles exposes at once, in its bare nakedness and soul-deceiving character. But we have an Epistle which speaks of the converse of this, and, if possible, proves more strongly, because negatively, what I say. The church was soon corrupted.

Jude tells us that false brethren had crept in unawares. Who could creep unawares into Mr. Sadler's system? Baptised, no doubt, but crept in, and unawares, but shewing distinctly that, where they were not real saints, they were not recognised as saints on the ground of baptism indiscriminately, but detected as having no business there. They had crept in unawares, spots in their love-feasts, feeding themselves without fear. If Mr. Sadler's theory were right, why not address them as saints, like all the rest, by baptism?

Peter equally takes the ground of true saints, elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, and declares they were kept by the power of God, through faith, to the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. They had purified their souls in obeying the truth. Christ was precious to them. In the Second Epistle he stirs up their pure minds by way of remembrance. The other Epistles are mere treatises, not addressed formally to Christians.

Only that in John some had gone out that it might be manifested they all were not of them. They had slipped in undetected, but were manifested as "not of us." God did not allow them to remain: if of them, they would have continued, shewing clearly what "of us" means. But baptism is never laid as the ground of addressing saints as such, but faith and being obedient to the truth: in a word, being Christians in truth, though some false brethren began to creep in unawares.

I conclude then (that, while baptism was the public and outward admission into the Christian assembly, as formed on earth, and so to its privileges here, and so formally to the remission of sins, which was found there, and hence, when sins were already committed, their remission received administratively, and men passed into a new place and position, being accounted to have wholly left in Christ's death, to which men were baptised, their old standing), it is not being born again at all according to John 3, it has nothing good or bad to do with being a member of Christ's body, nor was it any way receiving the Holy Ghost, which is always carefully distinguished from it. It is not receiving life, not being made a member of Christ's body, not receiving the Holy Ghost. The whole theory is antiscriptural as to the meaning and import of baptism, as well as to any fancied actual efficacy.

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I now turn to the scriptural view of the church or assembly of God. It is formed, we have seen, by the descent of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit is given to believers as a seal on God's part of their faith, by reason of their being cleansed by the blood of Christ. They are sealed to the day of redemption. The effect of this in the individual, though full of blessing, and as important as the others of which we shall speak, is not our subject now. But the result, as stated in Scripture, as to the assembly, is that it is the body of Christ, each individual who is thus sealed being united to Christ the Head, and a member individually of His body; all thus sealed constituting His body. This, though it will be perfected as a whole in glory, is constituted on earth; for the Holy Ghost has come down here consequent on the Head being a Man exalted to the right hand of God. This may be seen in Ephesians 1: 19-23, as it is in the counsels of God: and in 1 Corinthians 12 as in fact down here.

But there is another aspect of the assembly, the house of God: only we must remark that the body of Christ exists by true union with Christ by the Holy Ghost. "He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit," and "if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his." If he be thus united to Christ, it is a real thing. "If Christ be in you," says the apostle. People have taken the Spirit of Christ here to be a temper or state; but the words cited which follow shew at once the fallacy of this. "If Christ be in you" is the sense the Holy Ghost puts upon it. Ephesians 5 clearly shews what this body is -- the bride of Christ. It is what Christ loved, and which He will present to Himself, as God presented Eve to Adam. It is no doubt established on earth, because the Holy Ghost is come down to earth, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost took place then; but it is real -- if one member suffers, all suffer with it; if one rejoice, all rejoice with it. We are members one of another. Of this the Lord's supper is the symbol and the outward bond; 1 Corinthians 10: 17. Baptism with water is not what makes us members.

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But I now turn to the house. God's dwelling amongst men is a great truth, and the consequence of redemption. He did not dwell with Adam innocent; He did not dwell with Abraham. But as soon as Israel was redeemed out of Egypt, though by an external redemption, He came to dwell among them in the Shechinah of glory. We read in Exodus 29, "They shall know that I Jehovah their God have brought them up out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them." Consequent on a true eternal redemption, Christ as Man being at the right hand of God, the Holy Ghost comes town, making the assembly His dwelling-place.+ But here we have to look at the house, as Scripture presents it to us, in two distinct ways; according to the purpose of God, and indeed as founded by Him on earth; and as administered by man responsibly.

According to the purpose of God, it is not yet complete. The Lord says, "On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." This is not yet complete. At least, we trust that souls will be yet converted. God is not slack concerning His promise, but long-suffering. So Peter: "To whom coming as unto a living stone ... ye also as living stones are built up a spiritual house," 1 Peter 2: 4, 5. So in Ephesians 2: 21: "In whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord." Here, in the first case, the Lord Himself builds, in the others no instrumentality is spoken of: the living stones come, the building grows, to a holy temple. This is the Lord's work and it cannot fail, and the stones are living stones, built on Christ the living Stone. It may be visible, as it was at the beginning; or invisible, as it has become through man's sin. But the Lord builds His temple, and that cannot fail, and His work cannot be frustrated.

But the external body, as a house and temple down here, in which we are builded together for a habitation of God through the Spirit, has been entrusted to the responsibility of men, as everything has to begin with. "As a wise master-builder," says Paul, "I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon." Here is man's responsibility. Wood and hay and stubble may be built into the house. Till God judges it, it is the temple of God, as the Lord calls the temple His Father's house, though it was made a den of thieves. We have instruction how to conduct ourselves in a state of things which, in its hidden germ, began in the apostles' day. Where there is the form of godliness, denying the power of it, we are to turn away; to purge ourselves from the vessels to dishonour. In the beginning it could be said, The Lord added daily such as should be saved, and that visibly. Now we say, "The Lord knoweth them that are his"; and "every one that nameth the name of the Lord," must "depart from iniquity." The wolf may catch and scatter the sheep, but cannot pluck++ them out of the Saviour's hand.

+The individual saint, doubtless, too; but this is not our subject here. 1 Corinthians 6 gives the individual; 1 Corinthians 3, the assembly. Each is called a temple.

++In the original it is the same word as 'catch.'

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The mystery of iniquity wrought in the apostles' days. All, at the end of his career, sought "their own, not the things of Jesus Christ"; and he knew that after his decease, the barrier gone, grievous wolves would enter in, and from within men arise speaking perverse things to draw the disciples after them. Jude tells us that false brethren had already crept in unawares, and these, we learn from him, were the class who would be judged by Christ at His coming. And John tells us that the last times were already there, manifested by apostates. The church then, as God's house, might be largely composed of what would be burned up -- wood, and hay, and stubble. But when this was so, when there was a form of godliness and the power denied, from such true Christians were to turn away, and walk with those who called on the name of the Lord out of a pure heart. True saints would be hidden, or might be, so that we could only say, the Lord knows them that are His.

But there are explicit directions what to do when this is the case -- turn away from them. The church could have no authority, for Christians were called upon to listen to Christ's judgment of it. See the seven churches. Jezebel would be its teacher, the mother of its children; and from its lukewarmness it would be spued out of Christ's mouth. And the apostle in 2 Timothy 3, when the perilous times of the last days should be come, refers to the Scriptures as able to make us wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. When the church would be a false and insecure guide (having the form of godliness, denying the power of it) the believer is referred to the Scriptures as a secure one, and called on authoritatively to listen to and hear the Spirit's judgment of the church.

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The body of Christ, though set up manifestly and visibly on the earth, cannot have false members, because it is such by real union -- by the Holy Ghost -- with Christ its glorified Head. The baptism of the Holy Ghost formed it, not the baptism of water. It is the church which Christ loved, and for which He gave Himself to sanctify and cleanse with the word, and which He will present to Himself a glorious church without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. He nourishes and cherishes it, as a man does his own body, for we are members of His body. But as this is by the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven, the assembly takes another character. It is the habitation of God through the Spirit -- His house; in its origin identical in its extent with the body -- the Lord adding daily those whom He was saving. This also will be an everlasting character of the assembly of God. Glory in the church, to all the generations of the age of ages, is the desire of the apostle, and in the new heavens and the new earth the tabernacle of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, will be with men. This Christ builds; it is formed of living stones, and grows into a holy temple; the workman is the Lord Himself in His grace. Nor can Satan prevail against it.

But, as man himself, the world under Noah, the law and priesthood in Israel, the kingdom in Solomon, and Gentile power in Nebuchadnezzar, it has, as to present administration and manifestation, been committed to man's responsibility, and man, as in each of the cases named, has signally failed, and failed the first thing. So it was with man, with Noah, with the law, with the priesthood, with the royalty, with the Gentile power. So it has been with the professing church. As to general decay, all sought their own, the last days had come, nor was there to be recovery. As a dispensation on earth, they did not continue in God's goodness, and would be cut off. Evil men and seducers would wax worse and worse; there would be a form of godliness, denying the power; and the evil that had come in by false brethren would grow to be subject of judgment when the Lord came. History only confirms it.

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Things were read in the churches forty years after John's death which would scarcely be received by an infidel now as doctrine, and contained practices as superior piety which would be scouted in decent society. I challenge anybody to deny it who has read the Shepherd of Hermas. It issued in the abominations of the middle ages and of Romanism, which truly made, as an infidel has said, the annals of the church the annals of hell. No heathenism was so systematically bad. Baptism does not make any one a member of Christ. The church was set up visibly, both as the body and the house. The body nothing can touch, because it exists by real union with Christ, the Head. The house, according to the counsels of God, is built by Christ, and is not yet complete; but, as every system ordained of God, as formed down here, it has been committed to the responsibility of man, and man has failed. And not only will it be set aside, but it is there judgment begins. Corruption and apostasy mark its result, and it will be set aside, as Israel was. This, indeed, is a general truth, that everything has been first committed to man's responsibility when it was established, and man responsible has failed, and all is to be set up in power and perfectness in the Second Man.

2 Timothy directs us how to act when the church has failed, as 1 Timothy gives us the order in which it was established. The attributing the blessings and promises, given to the body and the house as built by Christ, to the house as carried out by responsible man and built of wood and hay and stubble, is the origin of popery and what is called Puseyism, leading men to trust in, and cling to, that which God is going to judge and cut off, instead of to the word of God, to which He has referred us in the perilous times of the last days. It is just this, with many false details, which the church services do, and Mr. Sadler seeks to justify.

I notice a few details. Regeneration is a falsely used word. But being born again is not by union with Christ, but by His quickening power by the word; nor is baptism being born again. It is wholly false that the Galatians were children of God by faith, because, as Mr. Sadler says, as many of them as had been baptised to Christ had put on Christ. Indeed Mr. Sadler contradicts himself, for he says it is a needful supplement to faith, and, if a supplement, it could not be because of baptism they were children by faith. The Galatians states they were children by faith, and faith only. That in baptism they had professedly put on Christ, in contrast with being Jews or Greeks, or anything else, is true. But the epistle expressly speaks of the Spirit as that by which those who are sons by faith cry, Abba, Father. The doctrine that a child who has not committed sins receives remission of sins in baptism is a cruel mockery. That he is baptised to that which thus belongs to Christianity, as its leading privilege, may be true, if it be done intelligently.

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Speaking of being baptised "into" anything is a mistake. It is "to," as to Moses, to John's baptism. There is no Christian covenant. The kingdom of God is not the church, nor the body of Christ. That men enter into the kingdom by baptism may be all well, though entrance into the house seems to be more accurate. It is into the public company of God's professing people, but even so "house" is only a figurative word; but they do enter where God dwells in the Person of the Holy Ghost.

I do not discuss the question of Calvinism. Mr. Sadler's statements as to the falling from grace are not sustained at all by the passages he quotes. That they may fall away after being baptised Scripture plainly states. He cannot have a better human statement as to it than his Article 17. Baptism is not the seal of any covenant. It is expressly declared that the Spirit is the seal of faith in the believer. The whole of this part of Mr. Sadler's book assumes as admitted truth what there is not the smallest warrant for in Scripture (as page 95). There is no admission into a Christian covenant. Regeneration is not grafting into Christ. Circumcision was not entering into the covenant, nor did it effect that infants should be children of God under the old dispensation. The whole statement is fancy. "Children of God" was not a title even of believers in the old dispensation; see Galatians 4. This and the following pages are a congeries of unfounded assertions, but the general discussion of the subject in the previous pages suffices.

I will now take up Mr. Sadler's teaching on the Lord's supper, the precious and blessed memorial of the Lord Himself, who deigns to care that we should remember Him. If ever there was anything calculated to touch the heart of a Christian, it is this; nor do I doubt that, as with all means of grace, so, especially with this, positive and direct blessing ensues to the believer. For my own part I know of nothing, of what I may call the institutions of Christianity, connected with so much joy and fruitful influence to my soul. No Christian will despise preaching, teaching, exhortation, reading the word, or common praise and prayer, if he knows his need or his privileges, nor indeed other things less properly institutions; but in none are the affections, as formed by the Spirit of God, so fully and solemnly moved as in the Lord's supper. But I reject, and reject as indeed destructive of this, the view Mr. Sadler takes of it. Solemnity, seriousness, and self-judgment in going to it is every way to be cultivated. But superstition always cultivates mystery and fear in our nearest approaches to God; Christianity, the contrary everywhere. We have boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. We have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear, but the Spirit of adoption whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Fear hath torment, and he that feareth is not made perfect in love. God's perfect love -- for it is God's love that is spoken of -- casts out fear; 1 John 4.

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He would not have us always in torment. And with striking beauty, when speaking of our love to Him, it does not say we ought to love Him, but, in the sense of love fully displayed in what precedes, we love Him because He first loved us. For in the case of a superior even of a mother, or any one we look up to -- and in this case it is infinitely so -- the deep sense of their love to us is true love to them. In what precedes, God's love towards us as sinners, dead in sins and guilty, is shewn (1 John 4: 9, 10); in the Christian enjoyed in a new nature by the Holy Ghost (verse 12); and then perfect with us -- for there is no excuse for the translation, "our love" -- giving us boldness for the day of judgment, because as Christ is, so are we in this world. The thought of God's love has reached from the condition of guilty dead sinners to the day of judgment; and this takes away fear, for we know Him. He has revealed Himself to us as the Father sending the Son, and bringing us, while once guilty sinners, far from Him, as sons into His presence, in Christ Himself; He is fully revealed in Him, and we complete in Him, before Him; and hence, while redoubling our praise and adoration, taking away fear, save the blessed and most wholesome reverence which fears to offend. In this sense "blessed is he that feareth always"; it is the beginning of wisdom and a beginning that is never lost, but increased in our fullest blessedness: indeed then we feel our own nothingness and forget ourselves, but never Him, when sensibly in His presence, as His fear makes us.

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The whole spirit then of Mr. Sadler's system though engaging to the natural man, the effort at mystery and fear, is contrary to the very character and object and nature of Christianity, as made known to us in the word. In it the veil is rent from top to bottom, free entrance into the holiest given, and that with boldness. The only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, has declared God, and made Him known as He knew Him in His bosom. That the Person of Christ is mysterious is most true, but this would go quite too far, for no one knows the Son but the Father; so it is absolutely because of the union of Godhead and manhood in one Person. But in intercourse with men the Lord was openness and affability itself among them, as one that served, and just as free with His poor ignorant disciples as with Moses and Elias in glory, and speaking on the same subject. See the kind of intercourse of Ananias in Damascus (Acts 9: 10-16), and of Paul (chapter 22: 17-21), and how the Lord met them.

The truth is, that it is just bringing us, as the whole system does, to Judaism. There the Holy Ghost signified by the veil that the way into the holiest was not yet made manifest; Hebrews 9. To us the word is boldness to enter in by the new and living way through the veil, that is to say, His flesh. And it is this Mr. Sadler wants to make a mystery and a veil of again; and the Christian may be assured that it is not God's presence known in the holiest that will give him levity or carelessness in his conscience; he will be, as Paul expresses it, "manifested to God," and he is speaking of manifestation as it will be in the day of judgment (2 Corinthians 5),+ for God's holiness and judgment of evil never vary. But it is not fear, because we are before Him in Christ as sons, accepted in the Beloved, blessed, if I am to believe Scripture, as men to whom the Lord imputes no sin. And of that state only the scripture says, "and in whose spirit there is no guile." Why should there be, if we are white as snow? and, if we fail, have confidence in God to confess it, with a full and open though a broken heart, the Holy Ghost who dwells in us leading us, through the advocacy of Christ, to do so?

+"Appear" in verse 10 is "manifested," Paul saying not only we all should be, but he was then.

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I have said thus much because of the importance of the truth of Christianity in itself, its true nature, and because it changes the whole aspect of the subject we are upon. But I will enter directly on the subject. And, first, it is difficult to acquit Mr. Sadler of a want of honesty. It is hardly conceivable that a person who seems to have studied the text of Scripture on his subject should not know that eating "damnation" to themselves is exactly the opposite of what we mean now by damnation. Either the word was not used then as it is now, or the translators were not honest; for the "damnation" here spoken of is a chastisement sent that they might not be condemned. They ate and drank judgment to themselves; for if we judged ourselves, we should not be judged, but when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. And the judgments are spoken of: sickness, which went on even to death, called "sleep" because it was that of Christians. Thus the speaking of "damnation" is in open contradiction of the passage, and subverts its whole purpose and object.

No true Christian doubts the divinity of the blessed Lord, but, solemn as was the institution of the Lord's supper, every word He spoke, and every act He did, was the expression of the same divine Person, so that the attempt to make anything especially mysterious on this account, in the Lord's supper, is utterly groundless; and, indeed, when He says, "in remembrance of Me," it is much more of Him viewed as man, conversant with them on earth, than as to His divine nature. "Remember Me" suits His presence and love down here; and if we add His death, it is certain that, though the whole value of His divinity is attached to His death, and only as a divine Person could He have done it, yet He died as man, not as to His divine nature. He was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death. And whilst holding fast the full deity of the blessed Lord as a very foundation of Christianity, we must not forget there is one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus. His Person was no more mysterious in the Lord's supper, though the occasion was more solemn, than at any other time. If we speak of circumstances as especially mysterious, it was when a babe lying in the manger. But in truth it was always the same.

What we have to examine is what He said. But it may be well, in order to simplify this, to reply first to what is alleged of John 6. The Gospel of John has a peculiar character; it does not present Christ to be received, but, in chapter 1, speaks of Christ as unknown by the world, and rejected by the Jews, save such as were born of God. Electing love is insisted on throughout, and the Jews treated as reprobates. Hence, in every chapter in this part, Christ is brought out in contrast with that people. Here the Passover is referred to, and what Christ was as Jehovah, manifested in feeding the multitude, according to Psalm 132. He is owned as prophet, will not be king in a carnal way, and then sends the disciples away to find their way alone on the sea, and, having dismissed the Jewish multitude, He goes up on high to pray. He is Jehovah, Prophet, Priest on high, rejecting the royalty in a carnal way then. He is on high, and the disciples alone. He then shews their true food while He was on high, and externally separated from Him. Is it Christ Himself, or the Lord's supper? I might say really, or exclusively the Lord's supper? For the Lord speaks of the eating of Him, whatever that is, as one thing, though in two aspects, but of that which is one, and which is in itself absolutely efficacious. Indeed, down to the end of verse 53, it is in Greek the aorist, an act which has happened; from verses .54 to 58 it is the present characteristic of the person spoken of, the eater of My flesh.

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Remark further, you have the incarnation, death, and ascension of the Lord Jesus closely connected one with another; in a word, His whole history, so to speak, as become Man. But the middle and most important part is not Himself, but a rite! so they would tell us. Then the first part of which the eating is equally spoken, and closely connected with the second (verse 51), is not in the Lord's supper at all; so that the doctrine does not fit at all as a whole. When we come to the substance of the chapter, the impossibility of its application to the Eucharist stares you in the face. "This is the bread which came down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die." And it is well to begin before this. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life ... . I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any man eat [have eaten] of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world ... . Verily, I say unto you, except ye eat [have eaten] the flesh of the Son of man, and drink [have drunk] his blood, ye have no life in you [yourselves]. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day ... . He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him."

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I ask if the Lord would say to a parcel of Jews surrounding Him, that they had no hope of life but in the Eucharist, which they had never heard of, and knew nothing about? or did He speak of Himself, whom they were to receive, living and dying? Why, if they had not life by faith in Him -- had not come to Him by faith, they had no place at His table at all. But I quote a few words more: "As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me shall live by me. This is that bread that came down from heaven ... he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever." Now mark, first, if a man has not eaten His flesh, and drunk His blood, he has no life in Him. The man begins all real living Christianity by receiving the Eucharist before he is one! Their own doctrine of receiving life by baptism is all a fable; or, if he has, he must make sure and die spiritually, or he is not in the case to participate in the Eucharist.

They talk of sustaining life by the Eucharist, as men by eating; but these men have life, and daily eat as living men, sustaining life by it, as God has ordered. But here they ha