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following the ark. “When ye see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests and Levites bearing it, then shall ye remove from your places and go after it, . . . that ye may know the way by which ye must go: for ye have not passed this way heretofore.” As soon as the feet of the priests that bare the ark were dipped in the brim of the water the Jordan divided, and the people passed over right against Jericho. How are these circumstances applicable to the Christian ? The journey of Israel was an ensample of the Christian life, the ark was a type of Christ. In the course of his earthly pilgrimage the Christian will pass through new states, and will have to encounter new difficulties, and endure new trials and temptations. He will often experience the truth of the words, “ Ye have not passed this way heretofore.” And what is the means of his safety and his triumph ? Christ is to the Christian what the sacred ark was to the children of Israel. The ark was to them the symbol of the Divine presence, and through it therefore they had power and protection. Is the Christian brought to face some new difficulty which he has no human means of surmounting? The command to him is–Follow Christ. The grace and the example of Jesus are sufficient for us at all times, especially in times of difficulty and perplexity, of trial and temptation. Here is a principle to guide us in all our conduct, by following which we shall surmount all obstacles and overcome all temptations. In all periods and conditions of life circumstances will arise unlike any in which we have hitherto been placed. In youth almost every step in the way of life is new; new views, new hopes, new feelings spring up
within the breast, and with them new trials in which some fixed principle of action is required ; and the only means of security against the temptations which beset the path of the young are the grace and example of Christ. But every period of life is incident to trial, arising out of new circumstances which cannot be foreseen or prevented. In this world of change and uncertainty, reverse of fortune brings many into circumstances which they never anticipated, and for which they are totally unprepared. In this and in all other trials in which we have no previous experience to guide us, we have come to a trying part in life's journey which we have not passed heretofore ; but if we faithfully and confidently follow the ark, we shall be led in safety to our promised rest.
Essay against the Johannine Authorship of the Fourth Gospel. By
DR. DAVIDSON'S essay appeared in the Theological Review, No. xxx., for July 1870, where it occupies about thirty-four pages ; the “ Answer" before us is in a pamphlet of forty-four pages. The comparative brevity of each bespeaks for them popular perusal. Both publications may be read by the student with advantage to his learning : the former for presenting in a critical way a fresh member of the general argument urged against John being the author of the gospel attributed to him ; and the latter, for being a critical examination of that member argument, proving, think, very satisfactorily, that it fails to sustain the view it advocates. “He
that is first in his own cause seemeth just; but his neighbour cometh and searcheth him" (Prov. xviii. 17). The controversy as to whether John was really the author of the gospel ascribed to him was forced into prominence during the concluding half of the last century and the beginning of the present by English Deists and German theologians. Those efforts to overturn an opinion which had for upwards of fifteen hundred years been held nearly undisturbed by the Christian world, excited the attention of educated churchmen; and they turned their scholarship in so many directions to the general subject, and handled the objections which had been urged with so much ability and learning, that they came to be regarded as possessing no weight of importance against the accepted anthenticity of the gospel, and this, so far as we know, is the normal state of the controversy up to the present time. Silence, indeed, has not been entirely imposed; the quietude induced has been occasionally broken ; the most recent instance being that presented by Dr. Davidson's essay. Dr. Davidson's method, as it appears from Mr. Bache's treatment of it, is to shew from a variety of literary points of view that John was not the author of the fourth gospel. First, From the asserted absence of the testimony of the ancient fathers on the subject. Second, That some of the fathers who do refer to it are not credible witnesses. Third, That the fathers who quote from this gospel, and thereby intimate their belief in its authenticity, do not give us verbatim citation, and therefore they do not furnish admissible evidence. Fourth, That a spurious gospel of Peter was used in the early Church, and there being then no canon of Scripture, we can have no certainty that the gospel attributed to John is his. F'isth, That the direct testimony of Irenæus is an imperfect and coloured recollection of his youth, and that, because he exaggerated, and was an uncritical and credulous man, his testimony cannot be accepted. Sixth, That no part of the New Testament was elevated into the rank of Holy Scripture until A.D 170, and that the writer of the Muratorian fragment, who wrote about this time, and who testifies to John being the author of the fourth gospel, is not to be credited, because he admitted other books into the canon which he looked upon as superstitious. Seventh, That the early Christians represent John to have been a reluctant writer, which may be taken as an intimation that he could not have been the author of the gospel ascribed to him. Eighth, That supposing John to have written the Apocalypse, it is a psychical inconsistency to believe that he wrote the gospel also. Ninth, That John never roundly asserts himself to have been the author of the book. Tenth, That the theology of the gospel ascribed to John knows nothing of Christ's birth from a Virgin, of his descent from David, of the Lord's Supper, of His second coming to judge the world, &c.
These, at first sight, seem a formidable list of objections, but each, with some others, is taken up by Mr. Bache, and handled with evident ability and skilful refutation. Those who take an interest in these questions of literary criticism will find in Mr. Bache's “Letter" a variety of scholarly and valuable arguments against the objections taken to the Johannine authorship of the fourth gospel, presented briefly in clear English, with a fair Christian temper.
David ELGINBROD. By GEORGE MACDONALD, LL.D.
Hurst & Blackett.
MR. MACDONALD is one of the many writers of the present day who, having to some considerable extent shaken off the fetters of established religious formulæ, venture to think for themselves : and hence his works have always a certain charm of originality. In the volume under notice, while there are sentiments expressed and embodied from which the New Church reader may dissent, there is also much that will receive his cordial approbation. Two ruling ideas are presented in it. One of these is the power
of reaching the hearts of others, as channels for good and holy influences, possessed by individuals whose hearts and lives are penetrated and permeated by a vital belief and trust in God as a God of love. The second is the danger of spiritism, and the difficulty of deliverance from thraldom, and that only by an earnest seeking of Divine aid—of those who surrender themselves to the will of another, in the degree implied in some of the asserted phenomena of biology and mesmerism. This part of the tale may be considered highly instructive, when allowances are made for the licensed exaggerations of fiction ; only, it unfortunately happens that admonitions thus conveyed are seldom read by those to whom they are specially applicable.
The following extracts will be generally appreciated. — “Would you do nothing that other people should know God, then, David ?
Onything ’at he likes. But I wad tak tent o’interferin', He's at it himsel frae mornin' to nacht, frae year's en' tae year's en’. “But you seem to me to make out that God is nothing but love ?"
Ay, naething but love. What for no ?” “ Because we are told he is just.” “Would he be lang just if he didna lo'e us ?” “But does he not punish sin ?"
“Would it be ony kin'ness no to punish sin ? No, to use a' means to pit awa' the ae ill thing frae us? Whatever may be meant by the place o' meesery, depen' upo't, Mr. Sutherland, it's only anither form o' love, love shinin' through the fogs oʻill, and sae gart leuk something verra different thereby. Man, raither nor see my Maggy-an' ye'll no doot ’at I lo'e her–raither nor see my Maggy do an ill thing, I'd see her lying deid at my feet. But supposin' the ill thing ance dune, it's no at my feet I wad lay her, but upo' my heart, wi' my auld arms aboot her, to haud the further ill aff o'her. An' shall mortal man be more just than God? Shall a man be more pure than his Maker ? O my God, my God.” (p. 65.)
“ Is not salvation the uniting of all our nature into one harmonious whole-God first in us, ourselves last, and all in due order between? Something very much analogous to the change in Euphra takes place in a man when he learns that his beliefs must become acts; that his religious life and his human life are one; that he must do the thing that he admires. The Ideal is the only absolute Real ; and it must become the Real in the individual life as well, however impossible they may count it who never try it, or who do not trust in God to effect it, when they find themselves baffled in the attempt.” (p. 376.)
MESSRS. HARPER AND BROTHERS have commenced the publication of a series of books for girls, between the ages of eight and eighteen, by the author of " John Halifax." Two have been published, “ Little Sunshine's Holiday,” and “ The Cousin from India.” The first is a simple narrative of a journey to Scotland, and the experiences and exploits of a little girl of three years old. The other volume sketches the experience of a little girl of six, brought to England from India, where she had no training, and had been petted and spoiled by native nurses. She makes sad work in the wellordered English household, but is finally tamed, and becomes a thoughtful, conscientious child through the sickness and death of little Davie, whom she loves with a most absorbing affection.—N. J. Messenger.
banish all direct religious teaching from SOCIAL SCIENCE CONGRESS.
the schools, and to confine Government
aid and local rates to exclusively secular ONE of the prominent signs of the times instruction. Sir John is strongly in is the increased attention given by favour of the continuance of religious thoughtful persons to social questions. instruction, though evidently conscious Leaving the thorny paths of party con- that it cannot be continued in the inflicts, large numbers of intelligent and terest of any of the religious sects, not inquiring minds are becoming intensely even of the Established Church. Hence occupied with the actual condition of he gives the following suggested solusociety, and the best and most prudent tion of this difficulty :-“A solution of means of promoting its improvement this question, which seems well worthy and elevation. To aid in the necessary of consideration, has been suggested by inquiries, the discussion of ascertained a reverend friend of mine, Canon Melfacts, and the diffusion of knowledge ville, to the effect that in schools in on subjects relating to social life, an which religious instruction is to be annual Congress is held in one of the given Boards should authorise the large provincial towns. This year this teaching of the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Congress has been held in Leeds, and Commandments, and the outline of the attended by an unusual number of dis- Christian faith. The best mode of tinguished visitors. The subjects dis- accomplishing this latter object would cussed had relation to jurisprudence, be by the Apostles' Creed, but if that education, health, economy, and trade.
should be held to be inconsistent with Advantage was also taken of the as- the restrictions in the Act, there would sembly to hold a series of public meet- be no difficulty in selecting passages ings on popular and important social from the New Testament well adapted questions. These meetings were open
to effect the same object.” to the public, and were largely attended. The chairman of the educational de. Two subjects obtained unusual promin- partment was Mr. Baines, M.P. To ence.
These were education and sani. Mr. Baines more than to any other tary regulations. The former of these single individual was owing the hossubjects was introduced by the presi- tility of the Dissenters to the Governdent, Sir John Packington, Bart., in ment interference with the public Day his inaugural address. In the course schools when grants in aid were first of this address, he discussed at length introduced. As a leading Nonconforthe several phases of this subject which mist he could not be indifferent to the are at present engaging public attention. painful controversy on which the reliThe work begun thirty years ago by gious party with which he is connected the grants in aid of popular education, is now entering. After reviewing the and more earnestly sustained by recent present state of this controversy, he legislation, was made the text for an says,—“Whilst I feel that the state of elaborate discussion of the present con- things is not agreeable to Nonconfordition and future prospects of this im- mists, I confess my judgment regards portant question. The work done is the replies to their objections as unbut the prelude to the work requiring answerable. It is for statesmen to to be accomplished. Large numbers consider whether the law can justly are still absent from school, and the and wisely be modified ; but I do not course of instruction in many of the
believe it is morally or politically posschools established and aided by Govern. sible (even if it be legal) to punish a ment grants, is narrow, and the teach
poor man for declining to send his ing inefficient. A great difficulty has child to a school of which he conscienalso arisen on the question of religious tiously disapproves : and if it is not instruction, and strong objections are possible to punish, the power of combeing made to the payment of fees from pulsory education is lost for that very the school rates to denominational class of children for which it was thought schools. These objections threaten to most necessary.”.
The annual meeting of this assembly of the Established Church has this year met at Nottingham. Its session was preceded by a large meeting of working men to whom addresses on church principles and aims were delivered by the Archbishop of York, the Bishop of Manchester and others. The sermon at the opening was by the Bishop of Manchester. The following extract will give some idea of the liberal character of this remarkable discourse. The sentiment it expresses was also introduced into his very able address at the meeting of working men :
“One word of explanation before I proceed. I have been using the word *Church'in a way that would be utterly unreal, if I limited it to the senses that are often imposed upon it by this or that narrow ecclesiastical school. I am not thinking of the primitive Church merely, nor of the Eastern Church, nor of the Western, nor of the Anglican Episcopal Church, nor of Protestant non-Episcopal Churches; but my conception was generalized from all these concrete, individual bodies (under none of whose forms is the perfection of the typical idea adequately realised), and was meant to express the aggregate of those spiritual forces radiating from Christ, which even under the limitations of flesh and blood, of earthly passions and human alloy, have done so much for man, and, if they had free course and were glorified, would seem to be capable of the entire regeneration of the world. We all remember Bishop Butler's description of a perfectly virtuous kingdom, when he argues for the future triumph of good over evil from present apparent tendencies in the nature of things. The dream might liave been long since realised, if, according to the measure and scope of the Divine purposes, the kingdoms of the world had become, in any true and sufficient sense, the kingdoms of the Lord and of His Christ. Of these regenerating spiritual forces, the visible organisation to which we belong, may fairly be allowed to claim her full share. But she has no exclusive proprietorship of them : and though I am preaching to a Congress of Churchmen, I should be defeating my own purpose if I tried to fortify them in what would be a superstitious rather
than a rational belief, that the Church, to which we are justly and loyally attached, and whose power of influence we desire to strengthen and extend by every means at our command, enjoys any monopoly of divine grace, or can presume to invite members of other communions, certainly
not destitute of tokens of the Divine Presence, to seek refuge within her pale, on the ground that their salvation is impossible, or at best precarious, where they are. Untenable pretensions react in honest minds on those who make them.
We shall not strengthen our cause, but the reverse, by associating with it preposterous or unsubstantial claims."
The president of the year is the Bishop of Lincoln. As was to be expected of Dr. Wordsworth, he dwells in the past rather than the present. He looks back to the year 1571 as the culmin. ating point of the English Reformation, and traces what he considers the grounds of the Church's success in her maintenance of the authority of the Scriptures, the adoption of a system of sound doctrine,
and episcopal ordination. The power which has resulted from the setting up of Holy Scripture as the rule of faith will be admitted by most thoughtful inquirers. The Thirty-nine Articles will be less generally accepted, and the Bishop himself has drawn a sufficiently gloomy picture of the state of the Church after the Restoration, when episcopacy was restored to its lost ascendency :
“ The principles of doctrine and discipline which the Church of England had promulgated in 1571,” he says, she firmly reasserted and maintained at the Restoration in 1660; but in looking back at that period, we cannot fail to observe that it would have been well if some of our rulers in Church and State had shown more of meekness and moderation, more of suavity and gentleness in the hour of victory, and if the maintenance of sound principles had been more richly adorned and beautified with the loveliest of Christian graces-charity, earnestness, and holi
At the Restoration, Puritan. ism by an excess of reaction generated Libertinism. For the most part, under the Second Charles there was more antipathy to Puritanism than there was zeal for Catholicity; and under his successor there was more fear