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the relation which believers sustain toward one another as brethren in Christ, and in the early days of the church it played an important part in the furtherance of the gospel. In both these epistles its importance is recognized; to brethren it must be accorded, to false teachers it must be denied. John affirms that he had already written to the church, but his letter had been suppressed or disregarded by Diotrephes. That letter some suppose to be his first or second epistle. Certain authorities insert av after črpava, and the Vulgate reads, scripsissem forsitan. But if few of the words of the Master have been preserved, it is not strange that many of the writings of the apostles have perished. Diotrephes was an officer or a man of commanding influence in the church. He not only refused to obey the word of the apostle and receive the brethren whom he commended, but them that would obey he cast out of the church. It is a strange picture. The authority of the last of the apostles is openly defied and resisted within the church. The enemies of Paul withstood him upon the ground that he was not one of the twelve, and had no right to the title of apostle. Now the authority of John is set at naught, the last of those who had seen Christ in the flesh. Diotrephes brought malicious charges against him,"prating against us with wicked words.” Of the nature of these charges no intimation is given; but the motive that actuated his condnet is made plain, he “loveth to have the pre-eminence among them.” The love of place and power is deeply imbedded in human nature. It was one of the sins for which Christ most sternly rebuked the Jews. (Matt. vi. 1-5, 16; xxiii. 1-12.) Repeatedly be warned his disciples against it (Matt. xviii. 1-4; Mark xiii. 38-40; Luke xiv. 7-11; John xiii. 12-17), yet all the weight of his authority and his example conld not repress the spirit of ambition. The sons of Zebedee desired that they might sit one on his right hand and one on his left hand in his kingdom, and the ten when they heard it were moved with indignation. (Matt. xx. 20–28.) At the table on which were spread the emblems of his body and his blood, beneath the shadow of the cross, “there arose a contention among them, which of them is accounted to be greatest.” (Luke xxii. 24.) The spirit of self-seeking which John had once shared is now directed against himself. Diotrephes regarded the government of the church as his peculiar province, with which not even an apostle should be suffered to interfere. The epistle thus affords an early and striking instance of that spirit of ambition which has wrought such havoc in the history of the church. The most prolific source of schism is selfseeking.
Against Diotrephes John asserts his apostolic authority. As before in the realm of doctrine, so here in the realm of government, he claims the first place, and speaks with the calm consciousness of power, assured that bis presence shall suffice to put his adversaries to shame. “If I come, I will bring to remembrance his works which he doeth."
In contrast with Diotrephes, Demetrius is commended. Bishop Alexander thinks that he may be identified with Demetrius, the silversmith of Ephesus (Acts xix. 24), but there is little to support the conjecture. He may have been sent with these brethren to convey the letter and act in the name of the apostle. He is highly honored, having the witness of all men, of believers in general, and perhaps of “them that are without” (1 Tim. iii. 7); of the truth itself, to which his life was conformed, for “wisdoin is justified of all her children” (Luke vii. 35); and of the apostle and those associated with him in the church. Demetrius and Diotrephes are examples of the good that must be followed and the evil that must be shupned.
Much remains to be said, but writing has grown irksome to the old man, and this letter, like the second, concludes with the hope that “I” shall shortly “see thee, and we shall speak face to face," and with friendly salutations.
Thus these letters set before us a life-like portrait of the beloved disciple, sketched by his own hand, as his long life was drawing to a close. His anxious care of the churches, his personal regard for the members of his flock, his love of the brethren, his firm grasp of truth, his zeal for righteousness, his abhorrence of falsehood, his watchful interest in the spread of the gospel, the decision with which he distinguishes between truth and error, his devotion to the name, his recognition of the absolute and all-embracing nature of the teaching of Christ, these are features of his character that stand out in bold relief. To draw near the disciple is to draw near the Master, and his lofty intuition, his tender emotion, his heavenly mindedness, his intense personal affection for his Lord, are destined to exercise a larger influence npon the theology and the life of the church. It is the element of personal love to Christ, which he supremely represents, that gives to Christianity its distinctive character and power.
In the Apostolic Constitutions (vii. 46) he is said to have been ordained bishop of Philadelphia by the apostle.
3 John uses the term fuzi.noia only in this epistle and in the Apocalypse, and always in the sense of a particular society of believers, never, as Paul, of the whole body of the faithful.
Certain features of the life of the church, too, are portrayed. It has an established faith and polity, and is engaged in missionary labors, sending out and supporting evangelists. The first place in the local church has become an object of ambition. That there is no hint of persecution points to the reign of Nerva, or the early days of Trajan. The dangers that threaten lie within, and are the same that have marred the peace and unity and crippled the power of the church in every age, heresy and schism. The root of schism is personal ambition. Mark how soon heresy arose, how widely it spread, what fundamental doctrines it assailed. There is no deviation from the faith, no corruption of morals, which has stained the history of the church, that may not be traced to the days of the apostles. But over against error is set the truth, and over against self-seeking is set the might of love, and love and truth shall prevail, for Christ is the truth, and God is love.
J. RITCHIE SMITH. Peekskill, New York.
V. LATTER-DAY JUDAISM.
Rev. Dr. Charles has published this year a book on prophecy which is itself a prophecy. It is a readable book. It limits discussion to those passages in the word of God which, in his judgment, apply to the four topics set forth in his title. As an interpreter he is a literalist. In his eschatology he is a pre-millenarian. His aim is a practical exposition of prophecy for plain, thoughtful readers. He is not polemic. He does not combat opposing views or even argue the correctness of his mode of interpretation. His object is to give the result of his studies in prophecy and an exposition of the views of his school of thinkers. To one who questions his extreme literalism, and whose accepted order of eschatology is not pre-millenarian, this work will prove unsatisfactory, since it demonstrates nothing, and begs what it might reasonably be expected to prove. But concede the order of decrees which the author postulates, and grant his fundamental assumption—that all predictive prophecy which can, with any show of plausibility, be construed literally ought to be so construed—and we have a logical, luminous, though startling, volume, popular in style, devout in spirit, and marked by profound reverence for the infallible Scriptures. Its style is lucid, its discussions brief, and on every page intensely in earnest. It is a frank and a mathematical effort at the solution of mooted questions of prophecy. It sets out before us a programme of the times and seasons which the Father hath put in his own power, and which are not for us to know-a programme that for audacity equals the wildest dreams and fancies that have characterized the ill-starred speculations of millenarians of the past centuries. His diagram of the future will commend itself to such as have a capacity for belief without evidence. There is a fallacy in
LECTURES ON PROPHECY: An Exposition of Certain Scriptures with Reference to the History and End of the Papacy; the Restoration of the Jews to Palestine, their Repentance, and Enlargement under the Reign of the Son of David ; and the New State in the Millennium. By Benjamin H. Charles, D. D. Fleming H. Revell Co., Chicago. 12mo, cloth. Pp. 320. Price, $1.25.
his primary assumptions, and the "key" which he applies to the symbols of prophecy will seem adequate only to those whose imagination is at once powerful and disordered. Aloost every position which the author assumes is a controverted one. Yet he eteers clear of controversy. He is fair and courteous to those whose views run counter to his; and no one can read these lectures without feeling a respect for the author's zeal and piety.
But let us see what Dr. Charles teaches. He identifies the « little horn" of Daniel with the man of sin" of First Thessalonians, and declares that they represent the papacy, which also is represented by Babylon, the great whore, and the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, in the Apocalypse. “The ten horns” of Daniel are ten kingdoms into which the Roman empire was disrupted by the barbarian hordes from the north. The "three horns" which fell are the three sub-divisions of the old empire over which the Pope obtained civil jurisdiction, to-wit, the Exarchate of Ravenna, Lombardy, and the State of the Church or Rome The second coming of Christ, which is to wipe out the foul blot of papacy from the earth, will usher in the millennium. The seven kings of the seventeenth chapter of Revelation, of whom five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come, and which præterists refer to as many Roman emperors, represent seven successive dynasties or forms of government which ancient Rome enjoyed. The five that were fallen are the kings, the consuls, the dictators, the decemvirs, and the military tribunes. The one that “is” is the government by emperors; the one “not yet come” is the dukedom which followed the transfer of the capital to Constantinople. This dukedom was, after two centuries, swallowed up by the papacy, which is to last from its beginning twelve hundred and sixty years. The end of the papacy is not to be converted but to be destroyed at Christ's coming, which, in this year of grace, is now near at hand.
The Apocalypses of Daniel and John are designed to give us the “history of the world.” In Christ's saying in the twentyfourth chapter of Matthew, that “this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled," the author makes "generation” mean "dispensation,” a meaning which the Greek word used has