Page images
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

All we

Three Opuscules. Reprinted from witnesses. It is refreshing to find a work published by Trubner so much holy truth in the

very centre & Co., entitled Seventeen Opus- of Rome. The Tract is published by cules. By JUAN DE Valdes. Mr. Stock, price 1s. Translated and Edited by John The New Cyclopædia of Illustratire T. Berts, of C. C. C. Oxon., a Anecdote, Religious and Moral, Member of Lincoln's Inn. I. Original and Selected. London: The Christian's Conception of Elliot Stock. Christ (from Italian Original), A GOODLY volume of 540 pages, II. The Mode of Teaching the originally published at 7s. 6d., now Fundamentals of the Cbristian to be had at 5s., without any reReligion (from Spanish Original), daction of matter. There is a -1. What the Doctrines are.

classified list of subjects at the What to Preach.-2. The Order of their Presentation by the Evan- the end of the volume.

beginning, and a detailed Index at gelist.—How to Preach. III.

need say is, that we cannot imagine Upon Christian Assurance (from a discourse that could not find an Italian Original).

illustrative anecdote here. JUAN DE Valdés, born 1500—died

Historical Outline of Fulfilled Pro1541, & nobleman in the Court of

phecy, with a Forecast of the Charles V., an eminent servant of

Future. By T. ALFORD. Lon-Christ, a scholar, a profound theo

don : Elliot Stock. logian, and as an author one of the finest writers in the Spanish lan. Some true things in this book, and guage; Peter Martyr Vermiglio some doubtful. and Bernardino Ochino : Pietro The Coming Kingdom : Being a Carnesecchi and Marcantonio Fla. Review of the Scriptural Stateminio : Giulia Gonzaga and Vit- ments Concerning the Kingdom toria Colonna : with other such of Heaven. By T. K. London: spirits were Juan de Valdes' pupils Stock.

in the School of Christ' assembling A THOUGHTFUL and carefully writtenat Naples from 1535 to 1541. Con- book, in which the testimony of sidering the time when it was writ. Scripture respecting the Coming ten, the light which this Tract Kingdom is presented. We comcontains is surprising. Even in mend it especially to those who are those dismal days the Lord had His not well read in this great matter.


"J. T. L.” writes : “May the Lord bless you and aid you in your useful work ; and may the Rainbow be more widely circulated and be the means, as it has been, of showing men and women the way of life eternal.”

“E. L.” says: “ You have been very helpful to me, as well as to many others. I desire little else as reading than my Bible and the RAINBOW."

" P. Grey.”—Theologians, under the spell of the dark ages, have so. sadly misunderstood the Divine message that Christendom is in dark

[ocr errors]

ness regarding it. Time, patience, learning, gold, are all required, and if their united influence succeeds, under the Divine blessing, in clearing away the fogs of ages, they will be splendidly repaid. Our free list fund, always very small, was exhausted years ago. We send copies of the Rainbow and Tracts, far beyond our means, where we think they will be useful, and would gladly send more if we could.

" OBED writes: “ The seventy-second Psalm in the Authorised Version concludes with the words, . The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended, but in the Prayer Book Version these words are not found. How is this? shall feel obliged if you, or some of your learned friends, will tell me in an early number of the priceless RAINBOW."

• W. E. D.”- We have no theories. The “sleep theory,” as you call it, is not a theory at all. It is a matter of distinct and repeated revelation. It is one of the clearly expressed doctrines of Scripture, and if

you do not believe it you reject a revealed truth. The word sleep, sleepeth, or slept, is spoken of the dead between sixty and seventy times in Scripture, and we have no choice in the matter. It is our duty to believe what is made known to us by Him who knows all things. Yon may dispute His declaration if you will, but you have no right to find fault with us for accepting it.

JAMES LESSLIE, Esq., Ontario, is heartily thanked. This faithful friend of the truth, for whose correspondence and help we are always grateful, says:-“I have sent you, from time to time, such items relating to the new Reformation as I thought would be interesting to you. The last of which I remember was • The New Departure in Presbyterianism,' taken from the Globe, whose managers are of that denomination, together with a copy of their new creed intended specially for · Mission Churches and Presbyteries. The dogmas of the old confession of faith their missionaries apparently find are a barrier in the way of winning souls to accept of the great salvation. They will, however, find that what is required by the heathen abroad is equally required by the heathen at home. It is an important concession to the trath that the creed of that Church, which occupied more than a hundred pages, perhaps, of a book, is now coudensed so as to occupy only about half a column of a newspaper. Those authoritative denominational creeds have formed, in my opinion, the great barrier to the progress of the Gospel, and earnest and intelligent believers everywhere should unite to demand from all leaders in churches the recognition of the sacred right of Free BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION, anfettered by the dogmas of any creed."

J. O.” sends us some tracts with which we are much pleased. Oar friends may circulate them with perfect confidence. There is no poison in them. They are perfect specimens of what evangelistic tracts should be. Their circulation by the million would do great good. They are 1s.

per hundred (Stock). The titles of the four sent us are, “ Christ is Coming;" " What shall I do that I may inherit eternal life ?” “ They told Him that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by ;" “A Misunderstood Thing."


I Wagazine of Christian Literature, with Special Reference to the

Bebealed Future of the Church and the World.

OCTOBER, 1882.


“ Behold the Man!” (John xix. 5). HEN conscience and policy are opposed, the opportunity of

testing character is given. A man, worthy of the name, will speedily settle the conflict. He will give the victory to conscience, and drive policy beaten from the field. He in whom conscience dominates does not calculate consequences, or weigh probabilities, but promptly obeys the voice within, however adverse the immediate results may be to his position, or temporary interests.

Never in the history of our world had any public official a grander opportunity of asserting the nobility of manhood, under the sceptre of conscience, than had Pontius Pilate, the resident Roman governor of Judea, at the time when he uttered these never-to-beforgotten words, “Behold the man!” He might have gained for himself imperishable renown had he obeyed the mandate of conscience, which told him not to slay the innocent, and resisted with lofty indignation the whispers of policy, that it would be greatly to his interests to gratify the Jewish Sanhedrim in the crucifixion of Jesus, whom he knew and declared to be innocent. To bring Him forth before His enemies with the blood streaming from the wounds caused by the crown of thorns, in the hope of moving their pity-if that was Pilate's motive-was an expedient showing but slight acquaintance with the workings of human passion, for the sight of one so deeply injured would only exasperate the hatred of those wlio had injured Him ; and this was precisely its effect; for when the chief priests and officers saw Him, the wild cry of “Crucify Him ! crucify Him!” rang over the city, the ominous herald blast of the doom in store for it. Pilate understood not the logic of John respecting the first murderer and his victim : “ Where

* A Sermon. By the Editor. Preached at Salisbury, August 31st, 1882. On occasion of the Conditioral Immortality Association Conference.


[ocr errors][merged small]

fore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous!” And accordingly "they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this Man, and release unto us Barabbas : who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison. But Pilate, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they continued crying, Crucify Him, crucify Him. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath He done? I have found no cause of death in Him: I will therefore chastise Him, and let Him go. And they were urgent with loud voices, requiring that He might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required. And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they desired; but he delivered up Jesus to their will."

Alas! Pilate, you have allowed the splendid opportunity of acquiring immortal fame to pass by for ever. Your, “No! I will never yield to your insensate cry, born of jealousy, for the death of this good Man,” would have crowned you to all generations as one of the noblest of men and purest of judges. But the golden moment has gone unseized, the bench is dishonoured, the ermine is stained, and it is not in the power even of Imperial Rome to redeem the dishonour or remove the stain.

But leaving the representative of Tiberius as unworthy of further criticism, let us take the three words he used on this most solemn occasion, and find in them a depth of meaning, an official call to the study of a marvellous person, of which the official himself was entirely unconscious. For the occasional utterance of profound truths by men in office, whilst ignorant of the full meaning of their words, we have apostolic authority : “ Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on Him. But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done. Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we ? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let Him thus alone, all men will believe on Him; and the Romans shall come and take

away both our place and nation. And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all, nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not. And this spake he not of himself; but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation; and not for that nation only, but that also He should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad. Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put Him to death" (John xi. 45-53).

Pilate's invitation to the Jews to look at the humble, patient, uncomplaining prisoner before them, has been a key-word to Christendom through all its generations. “Behold the Man," is


the heart and soul and substance of the Christian faith; the Divine text of every Gospel sermon that ever was preached in the world; the direction of the Jewish lawgiver to the Tribes respecting One who was to be raised up after him; and the command of God Himself out of the cloud of glory on the holy mount—" This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ; hear ye Him."

What light have we on any subject that concerns our well-being, what solution of any of the problems that come before us with perplexing persistence, and what right to imagine ourselves members of the Divine community called the body of Christ, if we do not constantly, as a matter of holy habit, behold the Man ? Without this the Gospel has no meaning, Christian doctrine no coherence, the Church no foundation, the law no fulfiller, the invisible God no representative, and man no hope. It is vain to tell me that certain abstract doctrines constitute, in their unity, a system, the belief of which will give me peace of conscience and mental rest. It is altogether a mistake. I may be a systematic theologian without a ray of the Shekinah enlightening my mind, an eloquent advocate of a symmetrical creed without the incense of adoration ascending from my heart, and a loyal member of my ecclesiastical tribe, without a place in the wonderful edifice which is “ built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone, in whom all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord."

No. Your abstract doctrines must have a living person at the heart to give them concrete vitality, a living, loving centre of union, breathing the warm glow of its own spirit through them, to give them vitalising force upon the human heart and mind. The hem of the garment will be as utterly useless to the sin-poisoned sufferer .as the rotten rags of Rome, if virtue go not forth from the Lord Himself to heal the disease. Let us, therefore, as we belong to a world and a race that have fallen among thieves, earnestly and eagerly behold the Man, if it be true that He has a heart to pity and a hand to help us.

But how comes this “Man" to stand for life or death at the bar of a Roman procurator ? It is a marvellous story altogether; and, if there be not an all-wise God regulating, disposing, controlling the numberless events, social, political, national and international, that make up the history of the world, with a settled and unchanging purpose ultimately to realise His own design, whatever that design may be, in spite of all the forces that may oppose it, then we may give up all reasoning, all logic, all faith, all hope, and fall down before the blind, dumb, deaf, brainless idol, ticism,” which some so-called “thinkers ” prefer to the Word of the living God.

Let me now enjoy the privilege, brethren beloved, of leading your thoughts along the line suggested by our text. 1. Let us behold the Man that we may get some distinct idea of



« PreviousContinue »