« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
what is sufficient for his calling, and that is the reason for the charge being you know no more. Is not this the universal. Every expression of surmeasure of ignorance? Men are igno- prise is its manifestation—every prerant so far as they fall short of their judiced objection is its display; and go necessity. A preacher is ignorant as
you will find these, not he lacks either experience or informa- always in the mildest form. “Indeed !" tion; and the rule applies everywhere. and – Bless me !" are very transparent The merchant cannot be said to be screens before many a dark mind. nescient who is “well up” in every III. How annoying it is to have to do particular of commerce, though he with such illiterate people! Well, yes, may know only those. Hence men are it is, but then it should furnish its own mutual helps and mutual benefactors. suggestion promptly to you. Try to The partial knowledge in every mind improve them. By such means you will finds a contra-part in each, and these rid yourself of the annoyance. Not are stimuli to the spread of truth. only so, you will have the conscious
II. “Do you really think that the ness of doing some good, however railways of England have contributed small. "You could not think of it!" very much to the present commercial “Oh dear no! Of course not!" I had activity ?” was asked by one who has forgotten it, it would be beneath you. many claims to the style of "learned." How strange it is, we don't see the The question was honest. The interro- most annoying quality of ignorance gator really wanted to know. Of course -its facility of self-exposure. Very he was marked as an “ignorant fellow.” many unfortunately continue in their Had he questioned concerning things brutal ignorance, because others in belonging to his own vocation, the their refined ignorance will not consurprise would have been on the other descend to assist or attempt to elevate side. No one can mistake as to the them. Perhaps the fashion will change associations ever accompanying the some day before long, and then-But narration of the incident. But is the we'll wait till it does. Meanwhile, of idea of ignorance here a correct one? what mutual annoyance is this want! Lord Brougham said, “One ought to The poor are cursing the rich. The know something about everything, rich are despising the poor. If by and everything about something. some means classes could be brought Very true! but then the latter “some- into closer relationship, very much of, thing” must be that which is useful to pay all, these unpleasantnesses would
The questioner in the case above be cleared away. The kindly purpose asked cencerning something which had and the grateful disposition would be nothing to do with his profession. discovered, and each helped to healthier What was necessary to the pursuit of glow.
If there is the annoyance his vocation was very different from because of presumption in the one cotton bales, or grain bags, or rapid case, there is the annoyance because transit, or short credit. Does not a of indifference, neglect, or scorn in great deal of the outcry upon igno- the other. Neither side can rightly rance come from this misunderstand
cry "aggrieved" until either side alters ing? The merchant is ignorant who- its course of action. Look at the knows nothing of Comto or Descartes, Education Bill for instance, framed the theologian is ignorant who is at a doubtless in very sincere wish and loss as to the state of the share mar- purpose, itself an evidence of the darkket or the last panic on the bourse. ness of its framers as to the feelings or All through the world of society class sensitiveness of those for whose benefit is laughing at class because of “its it was intended, carrying in its proignorance, or lamenting because of visions a gross insult-a stinging sar" its depraved condition.” Better
So it is. It is the same the shake hands and allow the difference. world over. The plenty in the one Such difference is an eternal one. It case renders blind to the poverty in is only the future perfection in its the other. The poverty of the one present imperfect embryo. All mnen makes the plenty of the other to be a are ignorant! True, but then all men cirse. Because of this, come the are wise,-wise in something or other. varied tyrannies and rebellions. The All wise men have a right to make ignorant, "I'll make you," provokes the charge of ignorance. Perhaps the ignorant, "I won't be made.'
The Doctrine of the Trinity.
295 IV. “I wish I had never read anything logical museum." These differences but my Bible," said one, “I have read will die out. The “ologies” and so much of the “ologies” and “isms," “isms" will have lost their “ aroma" that what I thought I knew and be- or their relish.” Instead of "dogma" lieved one day I have doubted and cast we shall hear of “the Divine," and from me the next. I would freely instead of "creed” we shall be taught change existences if I could with that “ Christ." Ignorance is narrow, preold woman who knows nothing but the judiced, bigoted. Truth is broad, Bible.” Perhaps only one from a large charitable, universal. There may be number this, and somewhat explanatory "a certain amount of rest and ease in of the universal restlessness there is ignorance." The acquisition of knowjust now. Superficially regarded, a ledge “may tend to speculation and very bad sign; carefully considered, unrest.” It is better to think and an evidence of healthy desire. Any speculate and be wrong, than not to restless inquiry is a proof of the in. know at all. If the thoughts be purquirer being weary of his lack of sued in common fairness every way, knowledge. Such weariness is a help the thinker will come to the place of to acquisition. “Yes, I know all over- rest in the end. These differences are feeding is productive of indigestion. only the considerations and reflectings It does often happen so with those who
of the " one universal mind.” “The have been starving for a while. They world's mind" is marching on in stately come right in due time." And so with progress to its resting place. Every all the restlessness and perplexity. A individual thought is a drop in the little patience and a little further per- great wave which rolls along to the severance, and the differences will be
shore of peace.
6. The earth shall be fewer and fewer. Very likely some full of the knowledge of the Lord, as day before long an “evangelical" will the waters cover the sea." be a "rare specimen,” only to be met Portsea.
R. Y. ROBERTS. with in a dim corner of some “theo
THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY. Calvin is reported to have said that Unity (put them together how you he was willing that the name “Trinity" will) penetrate the word of God. The should be “buried and forgot," if only Trinity underlies revelation as the this could be the accepted faith of all, foundation of a building the edifice it that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, supports, or as the fact of a governing each distinguished by a peculiar pro- authority the Charters of the British perty, are one God. As is well known, Constitution. All saving truth is cast the term is not in the Bible; nor do in the moulds of the Trinity. Each “Deity," "Christianity,"
part of the process of human redemption, "and many other useful and neces- tion has all the energies and attributes sary words find a place there. More- of Deity concentrated upon it, and, by over, and for reasons easily understood, consequence, all the guarantees of the Scriptures do not anywhere con- Divinity for its success. Salvation tain a distinct and precise assertion of springs from the loving heart of the the doctrine of the Trinity in the shape Almighty Father, is manifested in and of a creed, or even attempt, in any by the Almighty Saviour, and carried case, a formal proof of it. "Still it is to its perfection in the complete renot difficult to see that the doctrine is newal of our corrupted nature by the in the Bible, and the name is so conve- Almighty Restorer, the Holy Ghost. nient that it cannot be parted with The Scriptures teach us to look upward without some disadvantage. Just as to the One Divine Nature, and to disthe existence and attributes of Jehovah cern existing therein, the Father, the appear in every document contained in Word, and the Spirit, infinitely exthe Bible, though there is not, in any alted above us, and yet condescending one of them, a logical demonstration of in pity and love to obtain eternal rethe being of a God, so the facts of the demption for us. Divine Threeness, and of the Divine Hence the doctrine has uniformly
written if they are not intended to reveal to us the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. And could any personality be more definitely pronounced, or any work more absolutely divine, than that of the Holy Ghost in the concluding chapters of the Gospel of John ? To this One God every believer pledges his obedience, service, and devotion, when he is baptized according to the Saviour's direction into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; and to this selfsame God we are commended in that most solemn and most complete of all Paul's forms of benediction, “ The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with
been accepted by the Church of the Lord Jesus, and is thoroughly woven into her history. Men of great intelligence and transparent honesty have dissented, but the Christian centuries are unquestionably full of the Trinity. Amidst bitter disputes and keen conflicts, much weakness and some wrong, it has ever reasserted itself, at least in its practical form, in the conscience and experience of hosts of sages and saints, and so remained one of the fundamental convictions of the Catholic Church. Bushnell says,
" As soon shall we part with the daylight, or the air, as lapse into the cold and feeble monotheism in which some teachers of our time are ready to boast as the gospel of reason and the unity of a personal fatherhood.” Robertson declares “the doctrine of the Trinity is the sum of all knowledge which has yet been gained by man;" and Neander writes, “it is the fundamental article of the Christian faith, the essential contents of Christianity summed up in brief.” Indeed we can have no higher idea of God, nor one so full of comfort, and sweetness, and power. It represents the richest communication of the Divine to the human, sets forth the Eternal Jehovah, the Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier of men, in all the vastness of His power and grace, circling round weak and sinful man so that He may save him from his sins and dwell in his heart as in a temple-home.
Some of the Biblical witnesses to this doctrine are of a very strong and direct character. They speak without ambiguity, with an emphatic tone, and both invite and reward examination. They declare at once the unity of God and the deity of the Lord Jesus and of the Holy Spirit. The separate threads of the threefold cord are seen in some passages in perfect independence, in others so firmly woven together that they appear as, and are in fact, one. Doubtless God is our Father. there is one God, the Father, from whom all existence proceeds, and we are for Him. But the Word was God, as well as dwelt in the beginning with God. His names and titles are divine. His works and we are those of the Mighty God. His sovereignty has no exception beyond the range of the divine nature, for all things are put under Him. It seems to us the gospels and epistles have been very badly
But besides this direct and wellknown testimony, there is a large measure of an incidental and indirect character, gathered from the manner in which the doctrine enters into the very structure of Scripture, and lies at the basis of the plan of mercy for fallen man.
Mr. Patterson has exhaustively and ably treated this line of proof in the voluine before us,* and given to the student of theology one of the most convincing, solid, and practical defences of the doctrine of the Trinity in our language. Briefly stated, his plan is this. The Bible adınits of a triple division. The Old Testament shows us the Father. The gospels contain the story of the manifestation of the Son. The acts and letters of the apostles exhibit the work of the Holy Ghost. But in the older writings anticipations and foreshadowings of the Incarnation and of the effusion of the Spirit appear; in the Evangelists a fuller revelation of the Father and a clearer prediction of the Comforter are given; and in the annals of the Primitive Church the Holy Spirit glorifies Christ and leads men to the Father; and so, while (to quote our author,) "Redemption is the central subject of revelation, yet just as it is unfolded, there is found" taken for granted the distinct personality of the three persons of the Godhead, and their concurrent yet distinctive action in the economy of man's salvation.”
The amount of this indirect evidence is truly astonishing. The Bible is
* The Doctrine of the Trinity underlying the Revelation of Redemption. By the Rev. G. Patterson. Edinburgh : W. Oliphant & Co.
A Plea for St. Paul's Epistles.
pervaded with it. Suggestions are found in Genesis, indications in Numbers, allusions in the Psalms, and complete statements in the Prophets. The Trinity is the background of the Incarnation. It gleams forth at the Messiah's baptism, colours His teaching and ministry, and reappears with Him after His resurrection as He gives His last words to His disciples and commands them to immerse all believers in the name of the Divine Three. Paul's writings are full of it. Peter is not. less emphatic. Jude has said little, but has included this.
The Revelations of John crown and complete the whole. It is found in ardent ascriptions of praise and humble prayers, in loving salutations and incisive argument, in lengthened disquisition and brief practical directions, in oldest litanies and severest rebukes, in anxieties about the present and in visions of the unseen future. specimen of this evidence and of the way in which it is treated, we may take the twelfth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians. The subject is that of spiritual gifts, but “the apostle views them mainly as related to the three persons of the Godhead. Whatever variety might be among them, be asserts that as gifts or graces they were wrought by one Spirit; as ministrations or services they were by the authority of the one Lord; and as to their origin they were all from the Father. "Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same SPIRIT. And there are diversities of administrations, but the same LORD. (This is Paul's usual mode of speaking of Christ.) And there are diversities of operations, but
it is the same God that worketh all in all.' In the remaining part of the chapter Paul considers spiritual gifts in their relation to each of the three divine persons successively in the same order as above stated. First he shows in the paragraph from the 7th to the 11th verse that there are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit. Secondly he treats of their relation to the Son from the 12th to the 27th verse, showing that while there are diversities of operations it is the same Lord. He is the head of the one body (v. 12). And then thirdly he considers the relation of these gifts to the Father (v. 28 to 30), showing that all is by the sovereign appointment of the Father, who has appointed the various offices through which these gifts are exercised. Thus the whole chapter contains a discussion of the relation of spiritual gifts to each of the three persons in the Trinity in order, as produced by the Spirit, ministered by the Son, and appointed by the Father.”
Our space will not allow us to illustrate further. But we earnestly commend this volume to our readers as one that will certainly deepen and extend their acquaintance with the Scriptures, and fortify them in that practical recognition of the Blessed Trinity which has ever been and still is the sign of a vigorous and progressive piety.
J. CLIFFORD. The student may find service in the following references to authors on the subject of this notice: Chalmers' Institutes of Theology, vol. ii. Howe's Works, vol. ii., p. 527. Pye Smith's Theology. Neander's Church History. Neander's Planting of Christianity, sub. voc. Robertson, vol. iii. p. 45. Robinson's Essays. Huntington's Christian Believing and Living, sermon xx Bushnell's Christian Trinity a Practical Truth.
A PLEA FOR ST PAUL'S EPISTLES. *
BY THE REV. W. R. STEVENSON, M.A. In the last number of the Magazine is lence of the closing paragraphs makes an article entitled the “Great Com- one regret the more the tendency of mission," written by my neighbour, another portion of the article in which Mr. Cox, and containing some admi- the epistles of Paul are compared with rable sentiments well expressed. In the sayings of Christ as recorded in the latter portion of the paper more the Gospels. Mr. C. expressly disparticularly are remarks well worthy claims any thought of undervaluing of perusal concerning the advantages wbat he terms St. Paul's commentary that would accrue to us from a more on the words of Christ, by which he minute and loving study of the words evidently means St. Paul's epistles to of the Saviour. But the very excel- the churches; but I would respect
* Remarks suggested by a paper in last month's Magazine, entitled, "The Great Commission."
fully suggest to him whether the ten- Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no dency of his remarks is not somewhat
And particularly decided in that direction. To me they does this hold true in the case of the seem to strike at the doctrine which apostle Paul. Thus, in his first Epistle up to the present has been the faith of to the Corinthians xiv. 37, he says, almost the whole church, that the “If any man think himself to be a teachings of the apostles, equally with prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowthe sayings of Christ in the flesh are of ledge that the things that I write unto divine authority. This surely cannot you are the commandments of the Lord.” be our friend's meaning; and probably Now, by “the Lord,” in the New Tesin the next number of our Magazine tament
Scriptures we are almost
always he may explain his views on the sub- to understand " the Lord Christ." ject more fully. Meanwhile may I
Again, in 1 Thess. iv. 2, “For ye state briefly the way in which this know what commandments we gave matter, which I deem a most impor- you by the Lord Jesus." What does tant one, shapes itself to my own this mean but that the precepts demind ?
livered by Paul to the Thessalonians In the very last discourse addressed were not the apostle's own commands, by our Lord to the disciples, prior to but Christ's, by whose blessed influHis crucifixion, He said to them (John ence he was moved to deliver them? xvi. 12), “I have yet many things to Christ had promised Paul, at his first say unto you, but ye cannot bear them calling to be an apostle, that He would
Howbeit when He, the Spirit of reveal His will to him. See for proof truth, is come, He will guide you into Acts xxvi. 16. “But rise, and stand all truth. He shall glorify me: upon thy feet: for I have appeared for He shall receive of mine, and shall unto thee for this purpose, to make shew it unto you.” From this passage thee a minister and a witness both of it is manifest that besides the com- these things which thou hast seen, and mandments Jesus had given in the of those things in the which I will appear Sermon on the Mount and elsewhere, unto thee." (Compare also Acts xxii. besides the truths taught in His para- 14.) In accordance with this promise bles and diecourses recorded in the Paul received revelations from time to gospels, there were other command- time the contents of which he commuments and truths the time for which nicated in due course unto his brethren. had not yet come, and which were to An instance of this we have in 1 Thess. be made known to the church by His iv. 15—“For this we say unto you by Spirit after His ascension.
Now, the word of the Lord, that we who are where are we to look for these but in alive and remain unto the coming of the Apostolic Epistles, and in the the Lord shall not prevent (or precede) utterances of the apostles recorded in them which are asleep." Yet another the Acts? Furthermore, it appears,
instance the reader may find in Ephes. from the words of Jesus just cited, iii. 2–6, where Paul speaks of the fact that these additional revelations were that the Gentiles were to be members to be regarded by the church as a of the body of Christ on equal terms manifestation of His will just as truly with the Jews as a secret that had as the words already uttered by Him. been hidden from the world in former “ The Spirit of truth,” Christ says, ages, but had been revealed at length “shall not speak of Himself;" to himself and fellow-apostles, not by shall receive of mine, and shew it Christ in the days of His flesh, but by unto you."
the Spirit. In accordance with this view we From the preceding, then, it appears find the apostles, subsequently to the that when we have been taught all day of Pentecost, speaking and writing that is contained in the sayings of under the consciousness that their Christ comprised in the four Gospels, utterances were the expressions not there will yet remain for our study simply of their own private will, but other commandments and other truths also of the will of a Divine Spirit. revealed by Him for which we must Thus, in their joint letter to the look to the Apostolic Epistles. Let churches recorded in the fifteenth the reader especially bear in mind chapter of the Acts, they say (v. 28), those words of Paul already quoted in “For it seemed good to the Holy 1 Cor. xiv. 37. So that to speak of the