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broken law, but that he did do all this for us. The idea that "Jesus paid it all," and "in our stead," would be the very opposite from mending or satisfying a broken law; it would be equal to saving us in our sins, instead of saving us "from" our sins; it would go far beyond the teaching of Universalism. The correction of this kind of tradition, by Dr. Fiske and others, will necessarily be followed by other corrections of unbiblical traditions and phrases, because a truth will in course of development refute all ideas that do not agree with it.
The traditional phrase, "for Christ's sake," so often appended to prayers, is not biblical, and is also contradictory to the article on the atonement above referred to. In the last verse of Ephesians iv, we read the following in the King James translation, "Forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." But this is mistranslation. The revised translation reads correctly, "As God also in Christ forgave you." The original text is very plain, Oɛòç έv XprσTŲ.
The phrase," for Christ's sake," is the only one of this kind in the whole Bible; and the fact that it destroys the sense of the original proves it to be a human invention. Moreover, this traditional phrase rests on the glaring error that the Lord Jesus Christ by his suffering and death did reconcile God, the Father. The Father never needed reconciliation: "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son;" "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself.", Here it is plainly shown that God does not require to be reconciled to sinning men, but that the unreconciled world which was and is in enmity God did and does need reconciliation. God in Christ was and is the reconciling party.
To pray to God to hear us, for Christ's sake, implies the erroneous idea that Christ is used as a shield to receive upon himself the Almighty's displeasure, instead of its striking us. Can we not see that in using the Lord thus as a mere shield, he is not at all made an object of prayer? Is the one "who is over all God blessed forever" not worthy to be approached directly in prayer?
What then does it mean, to pray in the "name of the Lord?" By the name of the Lord Jesus Christ" we must not understand an empty title, but by that "name we are to understand the character and being of our glorified Lord, because he is the "Alpha and Omega. the beginning and the ending, . . . which was and which is to come, the Almighty." Therefore, to pray in the name of Christ is, to approach God in Christ; because we do not know anything of the eternal Father, as he is in himself, since the finite cannot comprehend the Infinite. What we know of the Infinite is through Jesus Christ the Lord. "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared [nyhoaro] him." Therefore to pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, or to God in Christ, is correct and biblical, but "for Christ's sake" is not.
THE ITINERANTS' CLUB.
RITUALISTIC TENDENCIES OF OUR TIME.
EVERYTHING that affects the advance of the Gospel is a matter of interest to the Christian ministry. In the New York Observer, some little time since, it was stated that the Rev. Abraham Kuyper, D.D., member of the States General of the Netherlands, and professor in the Free University of Amsterdam, had delivered a lecture upon "A New Development of Calvinism Needed," in the lecture room of the Collegiate Church, Fifth Avenue and Forty-eighth Street. The paper states that Dr. Kuyper has been lecturing at Princeton and elsewhere, and comes to us as a representative of the scholarship and piety of a great branch of the Church of Christ.
The point of his address to which we call attention is this: "The symbolical tide of our day is dangerously undermining the foundations of our Calvinistic Churches. True, neither ritualism nor symbolism has noticeably intruded into our Calvinistic services. But is not confessional indifference slipping in? Symbolism begins by instilling aversion for dogma, and so digs the bed for the flow of its glittering ritualistic stream. Ritschel's antidogmatical school, the new school of Sabbatier in Paris, Rome's withholding the Bible, as well as its dethronement by the higher criticism, and so also the confessional indifference, are all moving on the same line, and the terminus of that line is no other than sensual worship and dim symbolical adoration."
It is not our purpose either to affirm or to deny the statements of Dr. Kuyper. He is evidently an authority of the branch of the Church for which he speaks. One cannot be blind, however, to the ritualistic development going on at the present time in the nonepiscopal Churches. The time was when the sermon was the chief feature of Protestantism. It may well be questioned whether it is such in many of the leading Churches at the present time. Years ago the services of all Protestant Churches were so simple that one had no difficulty in adjusting himself to the situation when exchanging pulpits. But it is now quite important for a minister who undertakes to conduct the service of any of our Churches to study beforehand the forms observed in that particular Church. Sometimes they are exceedingly complex. Not only is it necessary to understand the arrangement, but there is also an evident tendency to conformity to the Episcopal ritual. The language of the Prayer Book has become more or less incorporated in the language of Protestant Christendom. This is not a matter for complaint, for the Prayer Book and liturgy are the growth of ages of pious devotion, and are a fitting expression of the spiritual life of God's people. The fact, however, serves to emphasize a growing tendency toward formalism
and ritualism. One cannot fail to observe, also, that the tones of voice and modes of utterance adopted by some ministers is quite similar to that found in the Protestant Episcopal Church, where there is great uniformity in this particular. The writer was in a prominent church quite recently, and in the reading of the Psalter, if his eyes had been closed, he would have believed that the minister conducting the service was an Episcopal clergyman.
The Methodist Episcopal Church has adopted through its General Conference a form of service which is quite simple and certainly unexceptional, but it is a tendency in the same direction. Certainly the repetition of the Apostles' Creed by the congregation and the alternate reading of the Psalter by the pastor and people are a fitting part of Christian service, but they are another indication of tendency. Twenty years ago the minister who had done this would have greatly surprised his congregation. Now it has the authority of the Church. It may be that the usages which grew up at an early period of the Church, combining with the preaching an extended form of devotion, is in harmony with the instincts of our religious nature and therefore should be adopted. It is a sign, however, of a tendency which the writer of this thinks is growing, and which should receive thoughtful attention on the part of the Church. The Prayer Book as revised by John Wesley and published by our Book Concern is not employed very largely, but its use in our churches would be in harmony with the present tendencies of most of the churches. One who has visited England and attended the Wesleyan services there has found at Old City Road Chapel and Great Queen Street the preaching preceded by a liturgical service closely resembling that which he finds in the Church of England. Indeed, the writer recalls a visit to City Road Chapel when the late Dr. Pope, author of the well-known Systematic Theology, preached, and he could observe no difference between that service and the one in Westminster Abbey other than the fact that in the Abbey the preacher prayed for "bishops, priests, and deacons," whereas in City Road Chapel he prayed for "all Christian ministers." The writer also had the privilege at one time of preaching at City Road Chapel, and was permitted to remain in a room adjoining while the preliminary services were conducted, going to the pulpit only when it became his duty to preach. The statement with which this article begins is important to us simply because it seems to be a part of a universal tendency in Protestant Christendom.
DIVERSITY IN SCRIPTURE TRANSLATION-ITS
ANYONE who will compare the successive translations of the Scriptures, especially of the New Testament, will be led to inquire as to the necessity and utility of the varied and sometimes diverse rendering of
the same passage. An illustration of this statement will be found in an examination of the Revised Version. There were two companies, the British and the American, at work upon the English translation. This group of scholars, representing the foremost men in this work, were unable to agree in the rendering of many passages after the most careful scholastic discussion, and so it came to pass that the translation which the majority favored is in the text, while the expression of the minority is in the margin. Then, too, there were a number of places in which the American revisers differed from the conclusions of the English company. In the case of individual translators this is apparent also. A comparison of Wyclif with Tyndale and others will show marked dif
There are various methods of accounting for this fact. The nature of language makes great demands on the skill and patience of a translator. Words in the original have diverse significations, growing out of the constant development of language. The same diversity in the meaning of words appears in the language into which the translation takes place. Our English version shows many instances in which words have a different meaning now from that which they had when they were first employed. Such changes belong to the very nature of language. There is no possible way to avoid the modifications growing out of them. Differences of rendering growing out of diverse conceptions of the meaning of the words are therefore necessary. Further, these variants sometimes are due to ignorance of the precise conditions of the times with which the passage under consideration has to do. Language expresses itself with perfect accuracy to the interpreter only as he appreciates the circumstances that called it forth. To catch the precise meaning of the old prophets is exceedingly difficult for the modern reader, because he is unacquainted with the exact conditions of the writer. The accuracy of the rendering will depend upon the measure with which the scholar grasps the environments in their entirety. If the words are viewed in relation to modern ideas they often seem infelicitous. Here is the field in which modern criticism finds such abundant scope, and we see at once the uncertainty which attends criticism based on so many subjective considerations. Of course it is the business of scholarship to ascertain from the writings themselves and from contemporaneous literature what the conditions of the times were, but at best the conclusions are exceedingly precarious and give room for large diversities of opinion. The point which we are now considering, however, is to show that this difference in the conception of the environments of a passage will necessarily constitute variations in translation. There is a further reason for the matter we are considering, namely, the difficulty of grasping the train of thought. This is akin to the former consideration. One may know the circumstances, but not be able to detect those delicate shades of thought which were in the author's mind, and hence the language is not perfectly transparent. A true translator must have a capacity for
apprehending the modes of thinking of individual writers. One scholar may be amply fitted to translate historical books who would be unable to render accurately the more philosophical portions. We may notice, further, that there are differences growing out of the complexities, and even the uncertainties, of grammatical laws. There are principles of syntax which are still matters of discussion among scholars, and they cannot fail to exert their influence. Men will be swayed by their accepted conclusions, and it is not possible to secure absolute uniformity since there is yet incertitude in regard to the laws of language.
While these various differences may at first sight seem to be evils, on the whole they serve very useful purposes. They are not of a character to disturb our confidence in the word of God. They are all on the human side, and are the result of conditions which are inherent in our nature and environments. God's word stands firm, and the sacred oracles give no uncertain sound. Those parts whose rendering admits of no doubtful sense so far outnumber the kind we have been considering that the latter serve as exceptions only, and not as constant factors in the unfolding of the sacred oracles. No doctrinal differences need result, because all the fundamental doctrines of our holy religion are clearly established by passages concerning whose meaning there is almost entire unanimity. These variances also broaden our vision of the wonders of sacred truth. We see so many passages of Scripture which, whatever rendering may be given, furnish rich meanings to the careful inquirer. Hence it occurs that one may take each statement as an expression of another side of sacred truth. Each form of translation may constitute a fitting division of a sermon. It is not affirmed that each is equally correct, but that each may carry for the reader a great moral or spiritual truth.
Further, these changes afford scope for profound mental application, and thus deepen the intellectual life of God's people. The quickening of the intellect is greatly promoted by the discussions which arise in the world of scholars and also in the Sunday school and by the fireside. The mental life of the Church is chiefly due to the great teachings of the Scripture, is stimulated by the efforts to reach the fine gold which often lies hidden beneath the surface, and the finder often rejoices in his prize in proportion to the labor required in securing it.
We have thus attempted to remove some of the difficulties in the way of those who cannot understand why all passages should not be put in precisely the same form when rendered in a different language. The very nature of the human mind and of human conditions makes it impossible. The harmonies, however, are so marvelous that we cannot escape the conviction that a watchful providence has been over those noble scholars who have done so much to make the sacred word clear to
the minds of men. In the "Itinerants' Club" we have urged upon the ministers the importance of studying the versions of the Scriptures in the various languages as a means of understanding them. We may add