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there no instances in the New Tes

tament in which it is distinguishable from envy, and other base passions, and in which it is dissociated from words which have always an evil meaning? Yes; and to these we gladly turn. The term has its noblest signification when applied to our divine Lord, whose disciples, when they saw how He acted in the temple, "remembered that it was written, The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up." Paul used the word in its better sense when, in referring to his kinsmen according to the flesh, he bore witness that they had "a zeal of God." For though that ardent regard for religion which they cherished was "not according to knowledge," it strengthened his heart's desire, and prompted him to more earnest prayer to God, for their salvation. Again, when Paul adverted, in his letter to the Corinthians, to the forwardness of the church in ministering to the needy saints, he told them that their " zeal had provoked very many." Still further it may be named, that when "the Spirit" spoke to the lukewarm Laodiceans, one part of His injunction was, "Be zealous."

We are sure that the Holy Monitor there incited those lively Asiatics to what was good and necessary. And in this high and hallowed meaning of the word we may see how appropriate is the counsel to the condition of the church at the present day. We are ever prone to sink into a state of supineness and lethargy. And as in Old Testament times the prophets were inspired to utter words of warning to arouse those that were "at ease;" and as, in the beginning of the gospel, the apostles had to keep watch over the churches they founded, and to wake them up to the fulfilment of their duties, so must the preachers and writers of this present age use strains of speech, and a style of composition, which shall have the effect of stirring up the souls of all who are not suffi

ciently alive to the things of the Lord.

The final object of Christian zeal is the glory of God, and that object is to be sought in doing good to His creatures-ourselves and our fellowmen. The present welfare of mankind must not be overlooked. To

provide instruction for the mind, and nutrition for the body; to furnish the means of preserving health, and minister relief in the time of sickness; to improve the condition of the indigent, and, if possible, to prevent the temporal ruin of the reckless; all these are important ends, and worthy of being pursued with ardour and vigour. But they sink into insignificance when compared with the spiritual and eternal welfare of our race. Zeal for the salvation of souls is the highest kind of fervency-the most sacred enthusiasm. The zealous Christian cares for what is best in man-for that which is the man, the immaterial spirit, to which the inspiration of the Almighty giveth understanding. He reflects on the infinite worth of souls, and on the peril to which sin exposes them. He views their fallen condition with grief; and both longs and labours for their deliverance from guilt and death.


The zealous Christian is known by presence and procedure in the house of God. He has a place in the sanctuary, and when its services recur he is nearly certain to be in his place, and in it at the proper time. But he is neither a cypher nor a statue there. He speaks or hears, sings and prays, like one whose whole heart is in the exercises. As a church member he will honourably contribute his money to maintain the good cause he has espoused; but he will aim to be useful in action, as well as conscientious in giving. Regarding the church and congregation, with the various institutions attached to them, as spheres of spiritual labour, he will

work for God in them, and will pray for their prosperity.

Zeal, considered as a state of ardent feeling, needs to be well attempered with what is morally good. There should be some meekness, that we may not quarrel with those who are too slow to keep pace with us in our movements, or who see things differently, and so go about their duties in another way. There should be some tenderness of heart, that "all our things may be done with charity," and that no hard word may be harshly spoken concerning any who stand aloof, and have no sympathy with us in our ways or wishes. And there should be, what is so often absent from the very zealous, genuine humility, that we may not make any parade of our performances, and that we may never say by the tongue or through the press, by puffing handbill or by glaring placard, "Come, see my zeal for the Lord of hosts!"

While zeal, in order to be pure, should have other good qualities in happy combination with it, there is a further requisite, namely, knowledge, Christian intelligence. "Wisdom is profitable to direct ;" and few persons need more guidance than those who are prompted by fervent feelings. The warm heart must not aspire to over-rule the wise head. The strong will should be in subserviency to the sound judgment. The ready mind is the father of many a rash deed. He that goes fastly needs good eyes, as well as nimble feet, or he will come into collision with many things which had better be avoided. Zeal is a spur, but discretion is the rein, and no rider should use the one without the other. Or, to quote the old oracles, we may add, " Zeal without knowledge is like fire in a fool's hand." Again," Unknowing zeal is like Satan in the demoniac, which cast him ofttimes into the fire, and oft into the water." And again, "As Minerva is said to have put a a golden bridle upon Pegasus that he should not fly too fast, so our Chris

tian discretion must deal with our Pegasus-our zeal lest, if it be unbridled, it make us run out of course."

Nothing, however, is more easy, and few things are more frequent, than to reproach ardent workers with ignorance and indiscretion. Yet, while a few are zealous without being sufficiently wise, many who have much knowledge are wholly without zeal. How to get the lukewarm into a better condition is as well worth considering as how to promote the higher education of those who are "imperfectly taught in the word."

Among the means of increasing zeal we may mention a lively faith in the facts and doctrines of the Bible. All our spiritual life and energy must be traced to the belief of the truth. This was one of the sources of apostolic zeal. They spoke the word of God with boldness, and they went everywhere to preach it, because of their unwavering conviction of its truth and importance. In accordance with the ancient precedent which they found written, "I believed, therefore have I spoken," they also believed, and therefore spoke. Let us have more faith, and we must thereby become more zealous.

Ardent love to the Father and Son will give greater earnestness to our Christian zeal. The best preventive of lukewarmness is to "take good heed to ourselves that we love the Lord our God." And the great secret of self-devotion to Christ's service is a well-rooted affection for him. If we have no zeal we may seriously doubt whether we have any love; according to the Latin aphorism, "Non amat qui non zelat"-he loveth not who is not zealous.

Zeal may be assisted by the study of eminent patterns of it. Some of these patterns are presented in the inspired pages. The sacred writings contain but few theological disquisitions, and not any formal lectures in divinity; but they furnish histories and biographies of men whose piety was

practical, and who exemplified all the virtues which we are required to attain. Above all human examples of true godliness we are pointed to the sinless One, and are invited to look intently unto Jesus while running the race which is set before us. As it was His very meat to do the will of His Father, and as nothing either diverted or deterred Him from the work He was sent to do, and the suffering He came to endure, His example is worthy of the universal following which is demanded for it. With such a model of zeal before us, how can we be apathetic and supine?

But among all the means which may be prescribed for making us more zealous, probably none is more effectual than actual engagement in Christian work. We may examine over and over again the evidences of our faith, and may get the fullest assurance that it is based on the sure foundation. We may try, in a period of spiritual languor, to raise our abated love to its original fervour. We may refresh our memories with the worthy deeds of successful labourers in the work of the Lord. But all these exercises, so proper to a life of religious contemplation, must be succeeded by others which pertain to a life of religious action. The sphere of work must be entered. The vineyard must be cultivated. The young must be instructed. The sick must be visited. The poor must be considered. The mourner must be comforted. The public worship of God must be upheld; and the contributions which are needed, in the shape of time, or talent, or money, for the extension of God's kingdom on the earth, must be promptly and cheerfully given. If these things are not done, we may be intelligent, and orthodox, and very orderly, but we are not zealous.

And what is any Christian without zeal? A sapless stem, a fruit

less branch, and therefore not "a good tree." We might even retract some of our own admissions as to the intelligence, and the faith, and the orderliness of men who have no proper ardour in relation to spiritual things. Such men need a better teaching, a sounder belief, and a more upright conversation, or course of life. If we are truly taught of God-if we believe with all our heart-and if we be obedient in all things then we shall be "zealous of good works."

Ŏ for the trumpet of an inspired prophet to sound an alarm in the ears of all who are " at ease in Zion!" O for the potent pen of an apostle, "to awake out of sleep" those who have submitted to the stupifying influences of this sceptical and slumbering age! The rousing appeals of those holy men may be, to some extent, revived at this distant date, and we may hear their "sound" from a faithful repetition of their words. And if, as Latimer told the listless clergy of his own time, if men will not learn to be vigilant and zealous from prophets and apostles, they should be sent to receive the lesson from the adversary who, as a lion roaring, goeth about seeking whom he may devour.

Consider, all ye who are inclined to be weary in well-doing, and who are preferring the quietism which found both advocate and votaries in the seventeenth century, to the enterprize and effort which are demanded in this more mature age of the church, consider the surpassing importance of the work which remains to be done for the Lord! Consider how little time is given to the very longest liver in which to do this work! And consider what a rich reward awaits-and is even now partially received by all who do their service heartily as to the Lord, and not unto men!




THE year that now opens upon us will complete for the body of churches whose interests this serial serves, the term of a century's toil. Most memorable in the religious history of our nation and of the world has this century been. It began in the midst of an evangelistic movement which has carried the name, the teaching, "the method" of one zealous servant of God to every quarter of the globe. It has witnessed in its course the birth of that missionary enterprise which has kindled the zeal of almost all denominations, and led to the preaching of the gospel in almost every heathen land. It has seen towards its close the reawakening, both in this and other countries, of special and anxious interest in the religious condition of the many in our large towns and cities. It has secured abroad the partial emancipation of more than one nation from the tyranny of the Papal yoke; and at home, in its last moments, it has won the freedom of one branch of our national establishment from State connection and control. Thus, side by side with our own humble and earnest efforts, has there been advancing among mankind, in wider measure than our forefathers could have anticipated, "the revival" of "primitive Christianity in faith and practice."

But, on the other hand, the last half century has witnessed the rise and progress in England of another and less congruous revival. Reactionary and conservative tendencies are sure to be developed where there is a strong and vigorous impulse towards reform. Reverential regard for the hoary traditions of antiquity is almost sure to be provoked by an exulting confidence in the radical and revolutionary spirit of a new era. restoration of medieval superstition, the revivifying of on old body of death with the life of a fresh and youthful enthusiasm, is the difficult task which in our modern English world was certain to be attempted. But there were few, perhaps, who were prepared to find that the attempt would be so largely successful as it has proved. There were few who supposed that


the resuscitation of medieval sacerdotalism in England would be one of the most remarkable and influential religious movements of this nineteenth century, that its power would grow and extend with marvellous rapidity and ease, and that it would gradually draw into itself in great measure much of the intelligence and nearly all the fervour and life of our national establishment. There were none, it may be, who even ventured to dream that the men who at Oxford thirtyseven years ago confessedly aimed to restore the authority of the Church as against individualism in religion, who sought to protect the Prayer Book against the hand of profane revision, who wrote up and preached, who assumed and defended the traditional doctrines of apostolical succession, of the priesthood of the clergy, of the regenerative efficacy of baptism, of the Real Presence in the Eucharist, would be able to gain firm hold upon the minds of Englishmen, and would make it possible, after the struggle of a generation, that sisterhoods, companionships, confraternities, auricular confession, altar, priest, sacrifice, prayers for the dead, and a full-blown Romish ritual should somehow find place with scarcely any let or hindrance in the nourishing bosom of "our holy Mother"-the English Protestant church. How has this been brought about? On what grounds can we account for the marvellous success of a movement which began by reviving pretensions so little in harmony with modern ideas? How has it happened that the vaunted citadel of evangelical truth is betrayed by its own garrison—and the foes of English Protestantism are really those of its own household? It is easy to affirm, and it is undoubtedly true, that the church of the Reformation was but half-reformed, that the Prayer Book was left thoroughly Popish, that Episcopal supervision and the government and discipline of the Church by its ecclesiastical courts have been both lax and feeble. But these things are as they always were, as they have been for over two hundred years; and

while they may afford the opportunity, they do not account for the spread, at least in our own day, of this spirit of priestly mediæ valism. The cause lies deeper than this, and must be sought perhaps partly in the circumstances of the time, partly in the religious condition of the State Church, and partly in the character of the men who have led this new crusade.

Of late years there has been something in the very atmosphere of social life in England favourable to the progress of a revived mediæval superstition. In some circles luxurious ease and an indolent habit of lazy indifference have invested priestly authority with a special charm. It is so painful to be obliged to think for oneself; the right of private judgment is so irksome; the task of proving and of defending one's own principles is so laborious, that most thankfully has the message been accepted which has seemed to take away the burden of responsibility altogether. The shelter of the Church has been hailed as a very bower of delight. The castle of indolence has opened its gates, and proclaimed itself a blessed Paradisealbeit it is a Paradise of fools. It is forgotten that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty, and an earnest, painstaking search the imperious demand of truth. Elsewhere the mechanical and materialistic tendencies of the age have prepared the way for the success of sacerdotalism. The sacramental theory of salvation makes the water of baptism and the bread and wine of the Lord's supper the means of communicating spiritual grace. Religious influences are thus brought within the province of an outward mechanism, and a palpable materialistic agency is available for spiritual results. To the gross, carnal, unætherealised mind, this has been both attractive and welcome. It has drawn out religion in some sort from the unseen and unfathomable realm of the soul, and placed it clothed in objective reality on the level of the bodily senses. In public worship the pomp and display of a sensuous and florid ritual strike the eye and occupy the attention. To see the pageant devoutly, to watch the kneelings and bowings and processions, and take part in them, is a means of grace to the soul. In baptism, as the gentle Keble sings, in his sweet and mystic verse,


"A few calm words of faith and prayer, A few bright drops of holy dew, Shall work a wonder there,

Earth's charmers never knew."

In the Lord's supper the bread of our spiritual life, the blood of our soul's redemption, are touched, and tasted, and handled. The Lord's body, which is life indeed, is taken into our body and becomes part of our life. The Lord's blood, which is our salvation and cleansing, is received into our being and manifests its divine virtues in us. As St. Chrysostom puts it, "The Lord mixes up Himself with us, and kneads up His body with ours." As Dr. Pusey puts it, The Lord's body and blood are our food, not changed into us, but changing us into Himself." Or as Keble sings, in lines altered in his old age,

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"O come to our Communion Feast; There present in the heart,

As in the hands, th' Eternal Priest Will His true self impart."

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How alien is all this to the simplicity of the gospel of Christ! How subversive of the true spiritual conception of religious worship and Christian ordinances! How accommodating to the refined and artistic materialism of our day! Entrance into the kingdom of God is gained by "a few bright drops of holy dew," and the nourishing of the spiritual life is conditioned upon taking from the hand of the priest the Lord's body and blood, that they may be absorbed into our inmost being, and may transform our manhood into the divine likeness.

The aesthetic spirit of our time has also much to do with the extraordinary facility with which medieval superstition wins its way in our land. Almost everywhere there is a strange and passionate love for the antique. It pervades the whole world of taste, and is seen in every department of art. It is found in the illuminated page, in the antique type and antique binding of our favourite authors. The booksellers' shelves tempt us with volumes lettered and edged like rubrics, and bearing on cover and title-page the mystic symbol of the cross. It is seen in our new houses of prayer, in the prevalence of Gothic architecture and painted windows, even among Wesleyan and Nonconformist communities. It is traceable in carved work and pictures, in ornament and decoration in the well-furnished home. It is observ

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