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to Qúvatos, deathhave been greatly obscured, or entirely lost sight of by the heathen fiction of the inherent immortality of every man.

The necessity of a great doctrinal reformation to bring men back to the sublime teaching of the Bible respecting life and death, God and man, was so impressed upon me that I could not rest without an effort to do something in that direction. Perhaps it was foolish, or rash, on my part, showing much lack of worldly wisdom. Well, be it so. People have really said this, and I am not disposed to contradict them, for I have found out long ago that my share of worldly wisdom must be small, if by that you mean concealing conviction to gain the goodwill and the gifts of an orthodoxy poisoned by infusions from the stagnant pools of paganism and popery. I have not that wisdom, and pray that I may never have !

I often wonder that the RAINBOW has existed so long. One “candid” friend assured me when it was three months old, that it would be “ dissolved” in another month. I asked if he had read it? “No." Would he give anything to keep it from the predicted dissolution ? "No." " Then," said I, “it will live without you, if the Master has work for it.” But had this gentleman been a true prophet, I should have felt that failure in such a cause involved no dishonour ; nay, I should have felt that, WITH NY CONVICTIONS, it was more honourable to make the attempt and fail, than not to make the attempt at all. I knew perfectly well that everything was against me-orthodoxy, prejudice, popular dislike, in these days of trashy serials, to the study of serious subjects, the certainty that such a publication could never become commercially profitable, and my inability to keep it up should its sale fall short of its cost, and should Christian people show no practical sympathy with what I felt to be a work of faith and a labour of love, by which I wished to serve them, and to honour our Divine LORD. That blessed One is at once our Redeemer, Teacher, Exemplar, Head, Life, and Hope ; and work for His glory is surely our glory.

If for His sake, therefore any of His friends will help to continue this testimony, I will gladly derote to it the short time of active

service that He may yet be pleased to allow me. Death has removed many subscribers, whose places it is very desirable to fill up with new names ; and I should be glad to send copies to many influential persons who never see the Magazine, if those who value the doctrines will generously authorise me. But, in the meantime, it is matter of joy and thankfulness that the truths we have so long persistently taught-with unshaken faith that they will some day be the orthodox creed of Christendom-are spreading over the world; whilst many, rejoicing in their holy light, and convinced that there are yet grand facts in the Bible to reward research, and to gladden the eyes and hearts of believers, are cheerfully and hopefully MARCHING SUNWARD.

EDITOR.

THE MISUNDERSTOOD PRAYER. “And it came to pass, that as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased one of His disciples said unto Him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.

And He said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth” (Luke xi. 1, 2). WERE TERE we asked to point to the loftiest position of man and to

describe him in his holiest act, we should at once reply, When he is on his knees, speaking to the invisible Ged. There is something about that position and that act which language cannot describe. An unseen grandeur, a hidden sublimity, and a holy reality are there. It is the man in communion with his Creator; the spirit, speaking to God, who is a Spirit. It is the beneficiary at the feet of his Benefactor; the child looking up to the face of his Father. The world must not follow there; it is left outside for the time being, and the door is shut. Satan may be near, but he is powerless and harmless, though envious and impatient, and can throw no fiery darts until the interview close. The great High Priest, whose name is used by the kneeling man, takes the prayers from his lips, and presents them upon the golden altar, accompanied with the incense of His own inexhaustible merits. It is a great thing to pray thus. We speak of true prayer: not of form without fervour; not of words without meaning; not of prostration without heart. “Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit; and they that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth” (John iv. 23, 21). Such solemnity attaching to prayer, it is manifestly important, not only that the heart and the understanding should reverently present themselves before God, but also that the petitioner should know what he asks—that. is, should have from unerring authority direction respecting those blessings which are in accordance with the will of God, and the receipt of which, consequently, would be of real advantage to the suppliant.

Such, doubtless, were the convictions of the disciples, when one of them, in the name of all, came to Jesus with the request, Lord, teach us to pray." His answer forms that beautiful cluster of petitions which is known as the Lord's Prayer. An analysis of this Divine model of petition is not my object in this place; but to ascertain, if possible, what we are to understand by those parts of it which stand at the head of this paper.

" Hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven so in earth.” What do these requests mean? We need not say that the Lord's Prayer is perpetually in use in all Christian churches. It must be used repeatedly in our Established Church on the first day of the week. In the case of other churches, of course its use is optional; but I suppose there are very few of them who do not from time to time employ it, either verbally or substantially, in their public supplications. Some good and wise men have written volumes upon it, eulogizing its beauty, simplicity, and comprehensiveness. Men of opposite character have scorned it, in the vain hope of dislodging it from its place in the Christian temple. And the devout mother takes care that her children shall whisper it morning and evening as soon as they are able to speak. Yet with all this unesampled popularity of the words, how many are there who have never made themselves acquainted with their meaning! I do not refer here to those myriads who, under the influence of ignorance, superstition, or formalism, repeat them as a kind of religious charm, and whose vain repetition of them so sadly corresponds with the senseless devotions of the idolater. To hear those holy words muttered and babbled thus is distressing enough to the enlightened mind; but then it would be folly to ask such persons what they mean. I refer, therefore, not to them at all, but to the majority of sincere Christians when I say that the petition “Thy kingdom come" is, in their lips, a misunderstood prayer. They ask something of which they have a mistaken idea. The petitioner is speaking to the Father, and the petition is, “Thy kingdom come.” What can this mean but that a system, or economy, or dispensation, which may be strictly called “ The KINGDOM of God," may come, or appear, or be set up, in the very world where the petitioner is kneeling? Clearly this is the natural meaning of the language, and I have yet to learn that the God of truth and order has allowed us to understand His words in a non-natural sense. This mode of interpretation may suit the convenience of the sophists and Jesuists of a nominal Protestantism, or prove an opiate to the consciences of mere system worshippers; but He who is the Light of

the world, though He often spoke in metaphor and used parables, did not employ human language in an unnatural sense. To bring men to the knowledge of the truth was His object, not to perplex them with terms and phrases whose ordinary signification was quite different from that which He attached to them. He did not conceal in the secret recesses of His understanding an idea of which the words He used were not the appropriate symbols. The instructions given by“ a Teacher sent from God ” we should naturally expect to be characterised by the combined simplicity and sublimity of the works of God. This we should predicate of any Divinely-inspired and authorized teacher ; but when we listen to Him who is Himself the Word of God, we not only expect that He will speak as never man spake, but that He will “ show us plainly of the Father.” We look for language whose corresponding ideas will be marked and definite-language fairly meeting the case, and correctly indicating the things represented. Nor do we look in vain. There is ample evidence that by the “ kingdom " for which the disciples were instructed to pray is meant the establishment over all the earth of a Divine government under our Lord as universal King. It seems taken for granted, however, by multitudes that it means the diffusion of the Gospel, and that the prayer “ Thy kingdom come” is equivalent to “ May the Gospel be preached in all the world ; and may men everywhere be brought under its saving power.” But the Gospel is not a kingdom; it is news, intelligence, information respecting a kingdom. It is not an end, but means to an end. It does not terminate with itself, but points above and beyond itself. It is a declaration that there will be a Divine dominion set up in our world, in God's good time. So far from the preaching of the Gospel being the same thing as the kingdom of God, the former is the express herald of the latter, and they are thus distinguished by the King Himself, who calls the truth which His servants were appointed to preach “the gospel of the kingdom.“ This gospel of the king. dom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come (Matt. xxiv. 14). The good news, or glad tidings, “ of the kingdom "cannot, therefore, mean the kingdom itself; no more than a letter from your beloved friend, announcing his intention to visit you, is the same thing as the arrival of the writer in person. You would prize the letter, as enabling you to say, “He is coming ;” but what would he think of your professed love for him, if informed that you were satisfied with the letter itself, and told your neighbours that by his promised visit he merely meant sending the information you had in your hand ? The Gospel is not the kingdom, but the announcement of God respecting it; and therefore it might be preached in all the world, and yet the kingdom referred to be future. Nay, I can suppose the belief of the truth universal, all men being disciples of Jesus, and yet it would still be proper for them to pray,

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" Thy kingdom come.” The announcement of a design is not its “ execution; the declaration of a purpose is not its realization; and the Gospel of the kingdom is not the kingdom itself.

Others, seeing the obvious fallacy of identifying the Gospel with the kingdom, say that the Christian Church is the kingdom of Messiah, and that praying that it may come means praying that the Christian Church may be universal. Now, in the sense of the Church being subject to Christ, the word “kingdom” may be admitted by way of illustration. If formed and regulated exclusively by the laws of Christ, we might call it a kingdom, qualifying it hy the term spiritual or religious; but the question is, admitting the propriety of calling the Church a kingdom in this sense, whether we are to understand the Church when we pray, “Thy kingdom come." We think not. For though there are parables about the kingdom, yet we are to recollect that they are but parables, and that they all contain a moral, or significant lesson, which points to something beyond, which will be realized in its fulness and perfection only when the things indicated by parables shall cease. They indicate an unfinished work, an unsettled state of things, the collision of adverse forces, the gradual corruption of truth, and most truly represent the present economy of mingled good and evil-sunshine and storm, successes and reverses ; but they do not represent, and were never intended to represent, that settled, immutable, and well-ordered kingdom of which the inspired seers speak so frequently in terms of holy exultation. They describe scenes which are taking place every day before our eyes; but not those scenes which fell beneath the vision of Isaiah, Daniel, and John, when they saw the golden age. The parables of our Lord are prophetic descriptions of the condition of things down to the close of the present dispensation, that is, until the personal return of the King Himself to set up that kingdom for whose coining He instructed His followers to pray. But the Church is not a kingdom. Its characteristic appellations are, Body of Christ, Brethren, Building of God, Flock of God, Fold of Christ, Heirs of God, House of God, Light of the World, Members of Christ, Pilgrims, Sons of God, Pure in Heart, and so forth-titles which faithfully describe it under several aspects, and intimate its relations both to its Lord and the world ; but the kingdom and dominion have not yet been given to the saints of the Most High ; Christ hath not yet taken to Himself His great power, and reigned; so that, though the Church has been in the world eighteen centuries, we must still pray, “ Thy kingdom come.”

Others think, or rather say- for it is an abuse of language to intimate that there has been any thought expended on the mattır—that this petition is a prayer that we may be fitted for heaven. In other words, the doctrine is, that instead of asking that the kingdom of God may be set up on the earth, we are to ask that He would prepare us for leaving the earth, and entering

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