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the speculative side, but death sets in from there is unquestionably à most intimate and the moral side. Had the Saviour only taught necessary connexion Our Saviour does un. “earthly things,' not 'heavenly things,' He doubtedly assume the Divine origin of the would have been but a greater Socrates, not Mosaic Institution. He recognizes the Divine the Saviour of the world. Had the Gospel authority of the Jewish Scriptures. He estabeen a morality without a dogma, it would blishes the truth of His own teaching, by have gone
of other moralities. There appeals to "The Law, the Prophets, and the is one thing weaker than a religion without a Psalms.” And, independently of His authority, morality, and that is a morality without a it is found impossible to assign any adequate religion.”*
cause for the Jewish religion, other than that 3. We may glance much more briefly at the Divine original which is claimed in the Jewish error of those who reject this or that particular Scriptures. Those who demur to this conclu. doctrine of Christianity, because it fails to sion have failed to account for the singular secure the approval of their reason, or the circumstance that while every other people sanction of their "verifying faculty.”
slid into Polytheism, the Jews alone adhered to This is but, in another form, to repeat the the Unity of God; they have failed to account first error noticed above. This eclecticism
" for their being men in religion, children in which chooses and rejects at pleasure, has everything else; behind other nations in the nothing in common with the simple faith that arts of peace and war, superior to the most accepts as Divine the sayings of a Teacher come improved in their sentiments and doctrines from God. Its votaries may indeed assume to relating to the Deity."* be Christian philosophers, but they certainly But the old fashion, revived by Voltaire, of are not disciples of Christ. The genuine attacking Christianity through the sides of disciple is too well assured of the truth of the Judaism, is far too fascinating not to have Divine message as a whole, to be staggered by been eagerly adopted by his more modern imi"a hard saying” in this or that part of it. tators. Particular instances shall be adduced Divine revelation, though it cannot contradict in a subsequent chapter; meantime it is quite true reason, must necessarily transcend it. If sufficient to observe that “some objections of it did not it would be merely a revelation in this class are founded in misconstruction, which nothing is revealed. But between these some in exaggeration; but all proceed upon a two there is absolutely no incompatibility that supposition which has not been made out by is not seeming or temporary. It may be the argument, viz., that the attestation which the result of a false interpretation. It may be an Author and first teachers of Christianity gave illusion of prejudice mistaken for the voice of to the Di ne mission of Moses and the prophets sound reason. It may be nothing more than extends to every point and portion of the an imaginary opposition, where there is real Jewish History;" and so extends as to make harmony. “Two distinct truths may be Christianity responsible in its own credibility, thrown by perspective on each other, and for the circumstantial truth, and even for the appear to clash ; when on a nearer view, there critical exactness, of every narrative contained is a valley between them, and each
claim in the Old Testament. its own place among the eternal hills." To 2. Far removed, however, from the blasoverlook these facts is to fall into a double phemies of Morgan and Voltaire and the Wolferror. It is to indulge, on the one side, our enbuttel fragments, and deserving a very difpride; on the other, our unbelief. It is to ferent consideration, is that kind of difficulty defeat the main purpose for which revelation which has been thus expressed : "The New Tes. is given, as well as to strike at the root of its tament, at least, in the main, is a revelation authority as a message from Heaven.
worthy of God, and approves itself to our II. Postponing for the present the considera- inmost conscience. We cannot deny the fact tion of the various questions relating to in- that it is linked closely with the Old Testaspiration and miracles, we may conclude this ment, and seems to recognize in it an origin chapter with an examination of the difficulty as Divine as its own. We also admire and which is sometimes felt to spring from the enjoy the greater part of the Psalms, and many connexion of Christianity with the Jewish passages in the prophets. But still, the book, History.
as a whole, jars greatly with our moral instincts. 1. For between that History and Christianity We wish from our heart that Christianity * The Very Rev. the Dean of Emly, at the York Congress. * See Paley's Note, "Evidences," part III., chap. iii.
stood alone. We should love it more, and of the most barbarous kind, to Polytheism, count it more worthy of its Author, if it were then to Dualism and Pantheism, and finally to encumbered by no connexion with the Jewish Monotheism. The history of all nations is law, and the trivial ceremonies, or stern and carved into shape to suit this fancied law of repulsive features, of the Mosaic economy.” human development. The interval to be tra.
Now, the two features of the Old Testament versed then is immense; whether man is left to which bring down upon it the dislike of meta- the hopeful task of raising himself from the physical theorists and sentimental dreamers in worship of rags, flies, and monkeys, to the pure religion, are, on the one hand, its minute cere. absolute religion; or whether, as Christians monial details and barren genealogies, and, on believe, it pleases God to carry on the great the other, the severe, awful, and alarming tone work by supernatural revelations of His will. of its messages.
“ What can be wider apart The change is like the upheaving of a deep than Kant's Treatise on the Pure Reason,' ocean-bed to form a Himalayan range, that Schelling's 'Theory of the Absolute,' or Hegel's may pierce far into the blue vault of heaven. "Scheme for the Evolution of the Universe out Now, if the all-wise God undertakes this great of the Possible, and the first chapters of work, may we not expect that He will do it Chronicles, or the offerings of the princes in wisely? In His messages to mankind, must the Book of Numbers? What more opposite He not begin by stooping to their actual state, to that amiable, gentle, passive benevolence, that He may raise them above it? Will not which appears to sentimental worshippers the the degree of light which He sees fit to impart real image of Divine goodness, than the account depend, more or less, on the capacity of vision of the plagues of Egypt, or the overthrow of which has been the result of previous steps in Sodom and Gomorrah by fire from Heaven? the course of Divine revelation ? If the Word How can such a revelation, they ask in per- of God be food, must not the milk be supplied plexity, have proceeded from Him whose Name
earlier than the strong meat ? if light, must is Love?"
not the twilight come before the day break, and But it is important to remember that these very the daybreak before the brilliance of noonday? features of the Old Testament which seem tocon. In short, are not the words of our great poet trast so strongly with the New have not been left the sketch of a truer and juster philosophy for modern objectors to discover, but are promi. of revelation, than the monotony of spiritual nently stated in the Gospels themselves.
effulgence, imposed by these objectors as a law Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth to the messages of the Almighty ?"* came by Jesus Christ.” Grace in contrast with the Law's judicial severity; and truth, in equal “So law appears imperfect, and but given contrast with its copious historical details, and With purpose to resign them, in full time, its multitude of outward rites and ceremonies. Up to a better covenant, disciplined The difficulty is not eluded; on the contrary, From shadowy types to truth, from flesh to spirit, the contrast is stated in such a manner as to
From imposition of strict laws to free imply that no real difficulty was seen in it by
Acceptance of large grace, from servile fear
To filial, works of law to works of faith." the apostle who had risen the highest in heavenly contemplation, and drank most deeply
The other feature of the Old Testament of the spirit of love. It is no sunken rock on which our faith may be stranded, because its
which repels or perplexes many, is its sternness first discovery is due to the ingenuity of un
and severity. And this, too, admits of a full believers. It is rather a landmark on the wide
explanation, when we gaze with reverence on sea of Divine revelation, which the New Testa
the perfections of the Most High, or look ment itself holds up prominently to our view.
thoughtfully into the hidden depths of our own It is highly important to observe also that
being. Benevolence, justice, and mercy, are the ceremonial features of the Old Testament,
the three contrasted, yet harmonious, elements
of the Divine goodness. But of himself, man regarded as an earlier, preparing for a later
is as unable to harmonize them, as he is to quiet revelation, are in full agreement with the favourite theories of these philosophical ob.
the fears of a guilty conscience, or to reduce jectors themselves. They delight to represent
the blind flatteries of hope into concord with mankind as self-educa without any Divine
the voice of righteousness. When the thought interference whatever. “In their theory of
of God's justice has flashed out upon him, he progress, the race ascends through Fetichism * Rev. T. R. Birks' "Modern Rationalism," pp. 67, 68.
has framed a creed of terror and darkness, respective voices should be, severity to the like the dark rites of Egypt, or the Hindu sinner in his rebellion, and mercy to the sinner worship of Siva the Destroyer. When this in his return. It is true that the separation sterner voice has slumbered he has resigned could not be complete. For, united as are himself to the sportive illusions of an airy these three perfections in the Divine Mind, creed like the Grecian Polytheism; though they must all co-exist in every part of the eren here conscience has claimed its rights, Divine Revelation. Still, each part bas its preand spoken to the soul of Nemesis and Tar- dominant feature. Even the Gospel has its tarus, awful Fates and avenging Furies. The revelation of "the worm that dieth not,” and problem of life remained still unsolved. The of God as a consuming fire. And, in the stern mystery was too complex and too deep to be voice of the Law, the thunders of Sinai are not fathomed. The facts of Providence, even in this unmingled with undertones that speak of God's life, were confused and chequered, and there universal benevolence, and deeper notes, re. mingled with them strange and uncertain fore- sounding first in types from the mercy-seat, bodings of a life to come. The soul could but then struck more clearly from the harp of utter its sorrowful complaint, Behold, I go prophecy, which tell of rich mercy still in forward, but He is not there; and backward, reserve, and shortly to be revealed to the sons but I cannot perceive Him; on the left hand, of men, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: And thus we are brought to the conclusion He hideth Himself on the right hand, that I that the very feature of the Old Testament cannot see Him." Amidst the anomalies of which revolts the proud heart, and staggers Providence--notwithstanding countless proofs the sentimental and the timorous, is the very of benevolence-justice ceased to be just; and secret of its Divine wisdom; and that the Law, amidst the sorrows of life, it seemed as if with all its severity, given by Moses, as well as mercy itself had forgotten to be merciful. the grace and truth which have come by Christ
To disentangle the web, and bring out in full Jesus, are alike from the Lord of Hosts and the relief that Divine character which sin had Father of Mercies; and are varied, but har. shrouded, each voice required a separate utter- monious, exhibitions of His character, who is ance. Revelation, to fulfil its great end, must “wonderful in counsel and excellent in work. be parted into two main portions, of which the ling."
A DESERTED HOUSE.
HAVE no guest-chamber to offer, Lord,
The dwelling that I have might be abhorred
its wretchedness should view,
fair; But ravenous beasts, through carelessness of
mine, Have seized and used it for their unclean
Are well-nigh bid with worthless imagery;
Alas! that soiled and tattered they should be!
Is the white beauty of its marble floor :
Yea, it might fill a stranger with disgust,
For miry feet full oft have trod it o'er.
No furnished upper room to bid Thee to;
To sweep its floor, and deck its walls anew. Earth's meanest hovel would with glory shine If Thou wert there-would be with splendour
gilt; Filled with Thy Presence it would grow Divine, Then how much more this house which Thou
Pleasant Readings for our Sons and Daughters
LIVES THAT SPEAK.
X.-MARTIN LUTHER (concluded). BY THE REV. J, B. OWEN, M.A., INCUMBENT OF ST. JUDE'S, CHELSEA ; AUTHOR OF
THE HOMES OF SCRIPTURE," ETC.
UTHER loved an innocent jest; his them; and thus "out of weakness came forth
conscious sincerity enabled him to strength,” the credulous folly of the super. afford it. “God made the priest,” stition being the gauge of the mental energy
said he; "the devil set about an that subdued it. imitation, but he made the tonsure too large, In like manner, the same spirit which led and produced a monk.” But pensive, and even him to how with Oriental prostration before melancholy broodings were the more customary the analogous farce of the pontifical majesty, food of his over-burthened mind. “Forty years supremacy, and hereditary glories of Rome, is more life!” said he, “I would not purchase the index of the amount of resistance to be Paradise at such a price !” Yet with all this overcome, before he could brave the vengeance lassitude of the world, his contemplations of of a dynasty which, in his view, kept the keys death were solemn, even to sadness. “I preach, of heaven and hell. For a man of Luther's write, and talk about dying,” said he, “with a constitutional habits of reverence, to hush at greater firmness than I really possess, or than once the superstitious and ecclesiastical terrors others ascribe to me."
of his infancy and age to sleep-to stand out Luther's enemies have made food for their in the mystic Babylon, like the three youths mirth in the wild visions and fantasies and at the historical one, and refuse to fall down hauntings of devils, which at times disturbed before the golden idol to which "all kinds of him. Intense study deranging the digestive music" allured, and the terrors of the furnace or organs of a man whose bodily constitution re- the stake constrained the worship of all nations quired vigorous exercise, and whose mind had - to isolate himself, like an iceberg, from all been early stored with the wild poetical myths sympathy, communion, or even contact with and legends of German literature, at once his fellow-kind, and infallibly to know before. accounts for, and almost demands, such mental hand the too probable fate of the ringleader phantasmagoria, the presence of which would in such a breach upon the bristling ramparts be more natural than their absence. German of the Popedom,-indicated an antecedent coneducation was like suckling a child with quest of self, to which the annals of hero-craft drams.
present few parallels, and to which no human So far from abating our estimate of Luther's gallantry is equal, apart from the sustaining mental powers, his hallucinations serve to raise arm of an invisible Omnipotence. it. The infirmities of our nature are the real The misgivings which, for ten successive measure of its moral strength. It was easier years, deferred his irreconcilable war with for a Samson to break the cords of the Philis. Rome, clung to him to the last moment of the tines, than to tear himself away from the rupture, as he wrote to Erasmus : "On their tresses of Delilah; had he done the latter, the side are arrayed learning, genius, numbers, victim would have become the victor, and dignity, station, power, sanctity, miracles, and greater glory would have distinguished his con- what not. On mine, Wycliff and Laurence quest of self, than all his victories over the un. Valla, and, though you forgot to mention him, circumcised. Luther did so. He overcame the Augustine also. . . . . For ten years together fiends which, to him at least, were no imaginary I hesitated myself. Could I believe that this terrors, for he had been taught to believe in Troy, which had triumphed over so many
assaults, would fall at last! I call God to wounded with the darts of his enemies, leapt witness; that I should have persisted in my into the Tiber, and swam across it with his fears. if Truth had not compelled me to arms in his hand. speak!”
Luther, with a single eye to the glory of God, But when the sword was once drawn, the kept the powers of Papal Europe at bay, while scabbard was flung away, as never more to his fellow Reformers were completing the be sheathed. Mark the glowing heroism of separation that should cut off for ever com. words, any syllable of which was excommuni. munion with the Papacy; and when the work cation, prison, and death to the speaker :- was completed, harnessed in the whole armour
"To the language of the Fathers, of men, of of God, he threw himself into the river of life" angels, and of devils, I oppose neither antiquity that divided them, and though wounded with nor numbers, but the single Word of the Eter. the floating fragments of the demolished hier. nal Majesty, even that Gospel which they are archy, he buffeted the billows, till he landed on themselves compelled to acknowledge. Here the opposite bank of an achieved religious is my hold, my stand, my resting-place, my freedom. glory, ard my triumph. . . .. At Leipsic, at Still Luther was no coarse spiritual dema'Augsburg, and at Worms, my spirit was as gogue. He advocated the cause of social order, free as a flower of the field.”
assailing the Illuminati, the Iconoclasts, or When he first wrote against the "indul. Image-breakers, and fire-and-sword-regenegences,” Dr. Schurf said, “What are you rators, with the same artillery with which he about? they won't allow it." “What if they had breached the Romish garrison. “ It will must allow it ?” was the peremptory answer. never do,” said he,“ to jest with Herr Omnes
Those whose fastidious taste, or sickly love [with Mr. All-the-World]. To keep that forof God's trutlı, would not let them scotch a midable person quiet, God has established serpent in the sanctuary lest its blood should lawful authority. It is His pleasure that there defile the pavement, were offended with Luther's should be order amongst us here.” They devastating torrents of invective; but they cry out the Bible, the Bible-Bìbel! Bubel ! animated the courage, and won the confidence Babel !" of the multitude. A timid leader would have When the peasants throughout West Gerraised timid followers (if any), who might be many rose in fierce revolt against their lords, afraid either of his leaving them in the lurch, the nobles arraigned Luther as the author of or as a blind leader of the blind, lest both the calamities, but the people invoked him as should fall into the ditch together. No half- ay arbiter in their dispute. A poor
untitled measures would do. “The voice which com
monk responded to the appeal with more than mands in a tempest must battle with the roar pontifical dignity. He exerted over the national of the elements.” Luther could say with mind of Germany, at that crisis, a power more David, “My soul is among lions;" and, if he absolute than that of her thousand princes and opened his mouth at all, it must “roar with a their Imperial Head. Europe now first heard voice like them.” The princes of Germany from his lips those great social maxims, which, and their ministers, Henry VIII. and Lee his elementary truisms now, were strange and chaplain, the sacramentarians and anabap- unknown as mysteries then--viz., that power
is tists, the universities of Cologne and Louvain, confided to rulers not to gratify their caprice, Charles and Leo, Adrian and Clement, papists, but as a sacred trust for the common good; Jesuits, and Aristotleians, and, above all, the and he enjoined their compliance with the just devils whom his creed assigned to each of clains of their oppressed subjects. He then these formidable opponents, as so many in- exhorted insurgents not to dishonour their spiring or ministering spirits,—these were the religion by rebellion, because subordination in hosts against whom Luther bad single-handed human society was a Divine ordinance, designed to contend.
to promote in different ways the moral improveThe earlier history of Pagan Rome immor- ment of every rank, and the general happiness talises the name of Horatius Cocles-a man of all. with one eye-who alone opposed the whole That Luther's advice was not immediately army of the Etrurians at the head of a bridge, followed, was their misfortune, not his fault. while his comrades behind him were cutting Luther's last intercourse with the Court of off the communication with the other shore. Rome was to present the Pontiff with his book When the bridge was destroyed, Cocles, though on Christian Liberty, accompanied with a lettor