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Here we see the importance of delivering the message God has entrusted any one with. That it should be the true message-the pure gospel in our case there is a still stronger passage in the New Testament: Though an angel from heaven should preach any other gospel, let him be accursed. (Gal. i. 8, 9.)
Now I do not quote these passages with any thought that those who read this would attempt to give forth any other gospel-though it is a startling fact that much that is preached as gospel in this day does come under this condemnation-but to shew how jealous God is concerning His gospel, and that He will hold those responsible whom He sends to deliver it.
Nor need we be surprised at this when we remember that God's glory is bound up with the gospel; that it was at the cost of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ; and that the souls of men, and their destiny for eternity are bound up with its reception.
What a widely different aspect this bears to what is often attached to a young person taking a class in a Sunday school! And yet is it not a fact that many a scholar hears the gospel at no other time? Their attendance is recorded at the Sunday school, and they are looked after if they are absent; but not so at the preaching; there they are not missed, and often stay away when they are supposed to be present. Let them hear the gospel then at the Sunday school: it is God's means of salvation; and He can bless it when given with faithfulness, though it may be with feebleness.
When looking at the grave responsibility of having to do with immortal souls, one is ready to
exclaim, Who is sufficient for these things? The answer is plain-God is sufficient; His grace is sufficient; His strength is made perfect in weakness. How often has the simple unadorned message of God's love and His grace, coming from a heart full of zeal for God and the love of souls-been honoured by some being brought to the arms of the Saviour! when a more showy gift, with less dependence upon God, may have been unused.
O that all Sunday-school teachers felt more their responsibility, and never let a Sunday pass without a word that God can use for salvation. I fear we too often get occupied with lesser matters-about persons and places, and things spoken of in the scripture, things that may instruct, but which leave the soul unsaved. Never let us forget that it has "pleased God that by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe."
BOOKS FOR TEACHERS.
DEAR MR. EDITOR,
I have for some time noticed that there is a great tendency in those who have to do with children to resort to aids and expedients, to which I believe the Spirit of God gives no sanction, and which they would, I feel assured, readily judge and refuse, if availed of by those engaged in a different line of service.
A letter in August "Sunday-school Worker" which has been shewn to me, affords another instance of this tendency. Surely those who have to do with the young, either in evangelising or teaching them, differ only from other evangelists and teachers in this-that they require peculiar
gift to deal with those who are the objects of their service. Their subjects, however, it must be granted are identical, and for the results of their service they are dependent upon the same power and upon the same resources as their fellow-labourers, and it is a sad thing when this is lost sight of, and we find this particular class of workers turning to carnal weapons and human aids, long since, through the Lord's mercy, judged and refused by most of us in the light which has been given. I will not traverse the letter of V. J. A., but simply call attention to this,-that if those who have taken a separate place, are going back to the aids of the "Church of England Sunday School Institute," "Sunday School Union" and Reading Rooms, to furnish and prepare those who teach the young, they are abandoning the ground on which the Lord has set us in His mercy, and the principle involved would as readily sanction an Evangelical College and Preacher's Library. In any and every case, the word of God and the Spirit is what the servant has to depend upon, and while he may be led to take up and use what is at hand, that is very different from studiously furnishing himself with what your correspondent avows himself to believe is an assential to the success of his service.
J. G. H.
[We think our friend goes a little too far. We understand V. J. A. to refer to books only, and that he had resort to the societies he names for the books in their libraries, without any thought that those societies could "prepare" him for his work. It is perhaps well that he was refused, for he might have been drawn into other things, which as J. G. H. says, we profess to have left.
We are no enemies to books, provided, of course, that the right ones are chosen and properly used. We hold that whatever light God gives to a writer, it is not for himself alone, but for the church generally, and it is not wise of us to refuse such aids. J. G. H.'s letter calls to our mind two Christians, both preachers and teachers. One eschewed every book but the Bible, not that he kept strictly to his theory, but we fear in all charity, we must say that he was crotchety. The other holds the first place as a christian teacher, but he is guilty (if it is a fault) of having a very good library. There are the Fathers, Church Histories, Dictionaries of all sorts from the "Bible Dictionary" to "Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology." One bookcase is full of works called "Gentile books," such as Hugh Miller's works, "the Antiquity of Man," &c. &c. Now these books have in no way injured this good man, and have enabled him to write against almost every evil doctrine that has been broached.
We believe Sunday-school teachers need but few books besides the Bible for their work, but we could not wish them deprived of these, nor do we think they would be better without them, provided, of course, they give them their true place. We believe that those who have most books, if they know the proper use of them, will exalt the Bible into the highest possible place as the word of God, by which to judge everything. All else are the works of men, to be judged by God's book. Nevertheless God has given to some, more than to others, light upon His word, and this is for the good of all.-ED.]
STUDY OF THE WORDS USED IN
WORDS BEARING UPON ATONEMENT.
THERE is a group of words used in scripture of great importance to the christian student, respecting atonement, reconciliation, propitiation, redemption, and kindred words.
How often and violent has been the contention as to whether universal redemption or particular redemption is taught in scripture! It must be universal, argues one, or the gospel cannot be offered to all. It cannot be universal, replies another, or all mankind must be saved. A consideration of the above terms will throw light upon such questions.
We shall perhaps get a clearer view of the subject by considering some passages in which none of the above words occur. Such as, Christ tasted death for every man. (Heb. ii. 9.) Some have contended that the word "man" is not in the original, and that the word to be added should be son," making it out that Christ died only for sons. But in their unconverted state none are sons whom therefore could Christ die for? It is better to translate it, "Should taste death for every one," or "for everything," for the word used will bear either construction. To the latter translation a great outcry has been made as to Christ dying for sheep, dogs, &c. But one thing is certain, that the whole creation is suffering from the effects of man's sin, and we read of a time (Rom. viii. 1922) when that shall be removed, and who can say that the death of Christ will not reach in its effects to the whole creation?
For our subject, however, "everyone" is as far