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laws of his own origination, and of a plan of salvation which makes light not merely of earthly potentates seeking the destruction of the Lord's anointed, but also of stars and systems and sciences which impede their normal development. Of all such scientific processes it is written by the psalmist, “He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision." Owatonna, Minn.

H. G. BILBIE.

DEPRAVITY.

Two articles appeared in different issues of the "Arena" for 1898 which, if not misunderstood, seem to the writer to be unscriptural, unmethodistic, illogical, and dangerous. The first declares that, “as to man's total depravity, it is nonexistent, save in the imagination of the most cast-iron Calvinist. It is impossible among finite creatures, and is nowhere taught in the Scriptures." If not total, then it must have been somewhat, or partial. If partial, then some degree, some trace, some germ of moral goodness or righteousness must have remained in man's moral constitution. If so, that moiety would be rewardable and possible of growth, and to that extent would supersede the necessity of an atonement. Such an increase in moral excellence might progress to perfection of character under favorable and possible conditions, and thus make the tragic scene on Calvary a cruel, needless spectacular mockery. Is not the following, rather, the true view? The depravity resulting from man's fall was entire, “total,” it was as completely so as that of angels that fell, leaving no trace of moral excellence remaining; but simultaneous with the fall the benefits of the atonement through “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world” provisionally and prospectively took effect, thus extending the probation of the first pair, so that whatever of good may be discoverable in man is wholly due to the measure of “the free gift” that has come “upon all men unto (in order to] justifcation of life.” Thus is salvation all of grace.

The second article teaches that “all depravity arises out of actual transgressions. Each one's personal sin is what brings it [depravity] to him, not that of an ancestor, near or remote.” To this I reply that Adam and Eve became depraved by willfully and knowingly yielding to temptation. Infants, before they are capable of temptation and intelligent action, manifest unmistakable evidence of depravity in selfishness, anger, resentment, and other ways. And in some form or manner this manifestation is universal. Whence comes it ? “ The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies.”

Nevertheless, everyone, from his birth to the end of his probation, is every moment under the remediable provisions of the atonement of Christ, and all who die before they become accountable are saved in virtue of the same. Jacksonville, Iu.

W. F. SHORT.

THE ITINERANTS' CLUB.

REPLENISH THE SOURCES.

THERE is constant waste everywhere. The physical system tends to decay, and must have proper nourishment in order to perform its functions. A physician giving advice for the preservation of health insists on the taking of sufficient food, and that of the best character, as absolutely essential. Attention to the quality and amount of sustenance is the modern method for the retention and recovery of bodily vigor. This observation applies equally to the person who is constantly performing mental or spiritual labor. There is a tendency to exhaust resources which we have without replenishing the sources.

This is evidently the case with the Gospel minister. He is persistently drawing upon the reservoir of mental and spiritual strength which has been accumulated in his previous studies and experiences. His years of training in academy, college, and theological seminary have not only disciplined his faculties, but have given him experiences and supplies of information which are of great value in meeting the responsibilities of his early ministry. He brings to his duties not only physical, but mental freshness, which causes him to be heard with pleasure, so that often he is preferred to those of greater maturity of thought and wisdom. He is drawing on his accumulated materials, and is in danger of thinking that the well of his knowledge and experience is fathomless, and of ceasing to replenish the sources which are, unconsciously to himself, diminishing It is against this unconscious loss that the young preacher needs to be warned. Just as the man with impaired physical strength goes forward, boasting that he was never so well or so vigorous in his life, while his failing power is well known to others, so the minister goes forward, often completely unaware that his resources are giving out, although the fact is quite apparent to those who receive his ministrations.

There is a remedy within the reach of everyone if not deferred until the case has become chronic, and that is to replenish the sources. He should secure abundant supplies and continue to do so until the time comes in the order of nature when it is at once a duty and privilege to rest. He should replenish the sources of spiritual supply. We have recently called attention to the Holy Scriptures as the fountain of spiritual truth, but we are now considering the inner life, the secret place of the soul, where God dwells by his Spirit as the Comforter and the Sanctifier. There is danger that the professional performance of spiritual functions may lead one to forget his own need of spiritual counsel and of fresh spiritual experiences. There must be new experiences of divine things, new repentance for transgressions, new baptisms of power, if one would keep from decay in spiritual life. These results may be secured by mingling in the society of the more saintly members of the congregation, especially those who have a deep consciousness of God in the soul. They are often unschooled in worldly lore, but they are profoundly read in the things of the Spirit; they have not tasted to any great extent of the springs of human wisdom, but they have drunk deeply from the river that flows" hard by the throne of God.” Many preachers have found their visits to the afflicted to be seasons of great spiritual refreshing, and they have received from their pastoral visits more than they have imparted. It is not, however, to urge the method of replenishing the supplies of spiritual grace that this is written. With this the minister of the Gospel is acquainted, both theoretically and experimentally. But our purpose is to impress upon the young minister the great necessity of keeping the spiritual life ever fresh and vigorous by a constant replenishing from the great fountain which is constantly open and from which all may freely draw at their pleasure.

This will not, however, be sufficient. The minister must also replenish his intellectual sources. If one will study himself with care he will often discover that his thoughts revolve in a circle and that his realm of thinking is in reality very small. He has by habit placed himself within certain limitations beyond which, after a while, it becomes difficult to pass. In fact, he becomes pleased with the boundaries of his intellectual movements, and neither sees nor cares to see the great world of truth pertaining to his own chosen profession which lies within easy reach. The minister is, indeed, a man of one book, but how manifold are the realms of thought and action which that book unfolds and with which it is associated in the thought of men ! The Christian literature which is related to the life and work of the ministry is marvelous, both as to its quantity and quality. He should give his attention to the choice works which have been placed within his reach. Some are old and some are new. The great mass of literature neither his time nor his necessities will allow him to study, but the choice thoughts of the choice thinkers must not be passed by. The Review and other periodicals contain notices of the new books which are most worthy of study and reading, and from those the minister may readily select those most suitable to his own modes of thinking and his conscious mental needs. We are not at this time emphasizing what the minister shall read, but are saying that he should read the choice productions which are calculated to give fullness and freshness to his intellectual life. " Reading makes a full man." Let the minister keep the fountain full, replenish the sources, and then, as often as he comes to draw water from the wells of salvation, he will find abundant resources, both spiritual and intellectual, and there will be no mental or spiritual decadence in his pulpit or pastoral ministrations.

If he would keep the sources replenished it must be done steadily, not spasmodically. To preserve our bodies in physical vigor it is in.

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sisted upon that we take our food regularly. Irregular eating, even of proper food, cannot build up the human body to its best conditions for work. No more can the intellectual and spiritual life be kept vigorous by irregularity in the times of reading and study. Growth, to be genuine, must be by normal, not by abnormal, processes. It is true one may by setting aside a part of a year for study lay up a supply that may be useful afterward, but the surest way is by the constant employment of spare moments or the regular use of regular times for special subjects. This, however, is apart from the present purpose, which is to impress upon younger ministers the importance of constantly replenishing the sources of spiritual and mental power.

THE SPIRIT OF THE PULPIT. THE modern newspaper prides itself on its timeliness. It represents not only the spirit of the age or the period, but even the spirit of the precise time in which it is issued. One needs only to examine any firstclass newspaper, to gather what men are thinking about. At present and for months past the chief subject of interest has been the recent war and the probable results. The pervading spirit of the time is that of militarism and governmental responsibilities.

So, too, there is a religious spirit, which is expressed largely by the utterances of the pulpit. In this respect a marked change has come over the spirit of preaching, especially in our large cities. There was a time when the form of preaching was mostly textual and exegetical, and the current topics were the fundamentals of Christian doctrine, such as repentance and faith, regeneration, adoption and sanctification, and the duties of life as founded upon texts of Holy Scripture. While these topics are not omitted it is clear that they do not constitute the current form of presenting truth in the centers of influence, where tides of opinion meet and whence they diverge.

The spirit of the pulpit is shown, in part at least, by the announcements of the topics for any given Sabbath. The writer has before him a great metropolitan newspaper containing a list of the subjects on which many of the pastors proposed to preach on a recent Sabbath. It shows that out of about eighty announcements of religious services fifty-five did not contain the topics of discourses. A number indicated the nature of the exercises, such as “Sunday School and Bible Classes,” the “Service of Song,” “ Classes in the Present-day Problems,” the “Bible Class,” and “ Studies in the Life of Moses," assigning the hour for each. These, with the preaching services, constituted a full day. Some of the notices did not give the preacher's subject, but announced the special music that would be rendered at the service. If we turn to the topics announced they are of great variety. There some which might be designated as evangelical, that is, as touching the vital truths of spiritual life, such as “Jesus Christ, Son of God, and Son of man,"

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“ His Gracious Words," John with Jesus hastening to Calvary," "Faith and Courage,” and “ Christ Seeking Entrance into the Individual Life.” Others were of the religious-ethical type and calculated in their evangelical teaching to develop Christian character, as: “The Character of Samuel,” “ An Earnest Life,” “Moralizing and Christianizing Men,' and "A Review of Methods." Some of the topics were of vital Christian truth, leaving something uncertain, however, as to the precise form of the message to be expected, as Open Windows,” “ Peace on Earth,” "The Faith of Rhoda," "The Story of a Sin,”

” “ Climbing Mount Gerazim," "The God that Answers by Fire,” “Christ's Captivity of the World's Thought,"

" " Sold Out at a Sacrifice,” An Old Man's Song in the Temple," “ Signs of the Times,” and “The Gospel for New York City.” Then there were topics of an ethical or scientific character, which might serve as the basis of a lecture or a sermon, as: “The Protestant Hero of Canada,” “The Responsibility of the Individual,” “The Educational Development of our Native Americans in our Southern Moun. tains,"

," "What the Bible Says about Laughter,” “The Fire and the Calf,"

," "Scenes of the Long Ago,” “ The Huguenot Churches of France,” and " What do the Stars Teach?"

In the list to which reference is made there were a number of services by societies or individuals, not under the organization of the Churches, whose topics are worthy of study, as: “The Seventh Chapter of Revelation,” “Spirit,” “Water of Life,” "Keely, the Fakir,” "Outline Statement Scientific Religion,” and “ Conditions of the Happiness of Homes.” Such is a general summary of the announcements of topics in a newspaper for one Sabbath, as they appeared under the general head of “Religious Notices.”

It has already been stated that more than half the announcements of religious services did not state the topics of the preachers. This seems to be a large number relatively, and may indicate a tendency to omit the public announcement of pulpit topics. The subjects advertised seem, as a whole, both healthful in tone and also instructive. A good while ago the writer had occasion to call attention in the “Itinerants' Club” to the trivial character of many of the subjects of sermons announced in the pulpit notices, and it appears that the present list is a decided improvement on the one he then reviewed. If a criticism were suggested it would be that the number in the first class is not large enough. It is to be presumed, however, that the majority of those who did not announce their subjects intended to preach on texts which do not yield readily to topical treatment. No exception can be taken to purely ethical subjects, unless they are divorced from the ethics of Christianity, which we fear is the case in a few instances. Altogether, a careful study of the list of topics will show a profound interest in the great problems of life and destiny. And we may not despair of the Church or the nation so long as the teachings of the pulpit are in harmony with those of the great Teacher.

20-FIFTH SERIES, VOL. XV.

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