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HOW IS INFIDELITY TO BE GUARDED
AGAINST? MR. EDITOR,
In a former number of your magazine, a writer called attention to the spread of infidelity and infidel principles; and the importance of having the scholars so instructed in the truths of God that they might be armed against such devices of Satan.
I see that this is of great importance, but I must confess that I see great difficulties in its being done. I see none where the scholars are Christians, but where they are not, I should fear to bring before them any one of the points attacked, except in a general way. The danger is this, as it appears to
; me, that if the errors are only named, they suggest to the unrenewed mind, evil thoughts, of which they may have been previously ignorant: and Satan is ever ready to take advantage of this, and seek to fix in the mind the very error we are seeking to arm the scholar against.
Many a person has been warned against a particular evil (which he perhaps did not know existed until thus warned), and at once the desire arises to run after that
very evil. It must be remembered what the nature is, with which we have to deal. That principle is of all importance which is brought out in the words of the apostle : “I was alive without the law once ; but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.” The principle is the same, though in our case it be a
warning" instead of a commandment.” Sin revives even at a warning.
Of course we may deal in truths in general,
without specifying particular errors ; but this does not seem to me to be sufficient. For instance, suppose
I want to instil into the minds of the scholars the inspiration of the scriptures. I can refer to what God says about the whole of scripture, and shew how He confirms one part by reference to it in another ; shew how events were foretold; and other similar proofs, but without alluding to errors in detail. And all this may be received attentively by a scholar, and be stored up in his memory. And yet the very first sceptic he meets with may ask him how he knows the Bible is the word of God; quote a few passages that no natural person can understand ; and ask if those passages could have been written by a wise and merciful Being; declare that the prophecies may have been written after the events, and not before. And where will the scholar be? His danger is imminent.
I I very much doubt, when we think of arming the unconverted against the attacks of Satan, if we sufficiently take into account the soil in which we have to sow our seed. I am more and more convinced that our chief work with our scholars ought to be to lead them to Christ, rather than educate them, though it be in the truths of the living God. There cannot be a doubt that it is as true concerning a child as of a man or woman, that
the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God : for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Cor. ii. 14.) It does not say the deep things, but the things of the Spirit of God cannot be either known or received by the natural man.
So I believe it to be a fact that many who imbibe infidel principles are not those who have not
heard the Bible read, and received instruction in its truths, as far as the head is concerned, but those who have had religious instruction, and have been led astray notwithstanding. I have some signal instances now before my mind, of great failure in holding even outwardly to the truths of Christianity.
Once the scholars are converted, of course all is changed. Then there is another soil on which the plants of heaven can take root and grow up to perfection. But as to that old soil of the first Adam, I have no hopes. And I cannot understand how some dear fellow-workers who would agree with this fully as to adults, seem to think that with the young
there is some sort of difference. Of course there is a difference as to the growth of evil; but I know of no difference in the nature—the ground on which the good seed is sown.
On the other hand, let us not forget that the gospel is for the unconverted, be they young or old, and is God's appointed means by which to bring to safety and blessing. May God give us all to be seeking the salvation of all those entrusted to us. Instruction then will follow in its right place.
GOLGOTHA AND CALVARY. MR. EDITOR,
Will you explain how it is that in three of the Gospels the Crucifixion is said to have taken place at a place called Golgotha, but in Luke it is called Calvary? In the Gospels that give “ Golgotha, the word is explained as "the place of a skull;" and in Luke the same explanation is given in the margin to the word Calvary.
It is curious how the word " Calvary” crept into the Authorised Version; for in Luke the word in the Greek is Kranion; and if untranslated it would have been the place which is called Kranion;" and if translated into English, it would have been “ the place which is called Skull.” The word stands thus :
In Hebrew, Golgotha
Skull. All these words mean the same, and it will be seen that in the Authorised Version the word is translated into Latin instead of English. The Latin Vulgate had been in common use some hundreds of years before any English translation was made, and thus the word “ Calvary” would have become familiar to Christians: and this may have induced the translators to retain the word. In Wiclif's Testament (A.D. 1380), it is “a place that is clepid of calueri,” with a small c: in the Anglo-Saxon Gospels it is caluarie. It will thus be seen that Calvary is not a proper name; and nothing is said of the place being a hill or mountain, though it is commonly called “Mount Calvary.' The words, “place of a skull” in the three Gospels are given to explain the Hebrew word “Golgotha.” As to why it was called “Skull," is not known. If it was the usual place of execution, and human skulls were lying there, it would naturally be “the place of skulls," in the plural.
NOTES OF A TEACHERS' MEETING.
THE meeting was commenced by one asking the question what could be done to counteract the effects of the vast amount of trashy literature which is abroad, and constantly to be seen in the hands of scholars, more especially the elder ones.
B. said he thought the word of God, and it alone, was what we had to count on to undo and counteract this evil, and referred to Psalm cxix. 89— “For ever, O Lord, thy word is settled in heaven, and pressed the importance of getting the children to commit portions of the word to memory in the week, to repeat on Sunday. He felt sure that the scripture stored in the mind would do more than anything else to prevent the desire for light and baneful reading
C. thought it was very desirable to pluck up all the weeds possible, as well as to sow the good seed. He read Psalm cxxvi. 5, 6. He felt God would especially bring Christ before us as our example, and that in this text we get a little of His spirit. “They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.” Also in Matthew xiii. 3-8, we have the four aspects in which the word is received, and only one out of the four was on good ground. No doubt we have these different aspects in our own classes, but if we have confidence about even a fourth part—if a fourth part of our words is received and blessed-what an encouragement for our hearts! The Lord had all the rebuffs and contradictions of sinners, and very little seed springing up at the time He laboured. This shews us that there is no ground for discouragement if we do not at once see the results. We need only to know more of what is so beauti