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MR. CONSTABLE'S PAPER. tone of speculativeness to his argu

SIR,—I have been much struck ment as to “ the spirits in prison." with Mr. Constable's view of “The Moreover, Mr. Constable is inconSpirits in Prison,” which is to sistent with himself when, after say the least—very ingenious. Yet discarding merely human comments, it seems to me not sufficiently com- supplied to bridge a difficulty, he plete, or conclusive. There is falls back upon a theory perhaps another passage in the next chapter propounded for a similar end, and

– 1 Peter iv. 6—which, apparently, whose authority, it may be, is not belongs to the same subject, that Scripture but " Paradise Lost.” he has overlooked in his interpre

Will you kindly allow me to ask tation. I would fain hope that he Mr. Constable where, in the pages will kindly give us the benefit of of revealed truth, he finds any his thoughts thereupon, as bearing

warrant for the assumption of on his view of the passage in the

fallen spirits who had transpreceding chapter. I freely confess gressed before man was created that the first few verses of the 6th

who were the means of first introof Genesis have been a matter of ducing sin into our world "--who some perplexity to my mind. There “not in prison at all,” and seemed to be difficulties to under

who
16 wander

our earth, stand it either way-which were

seeking whom to devour.” And, hard to overcome. And opinions especially, will

Mr. Constable differ so much. The view expressed kindly give us chapter and verse, by Mr. Constable is certainly more

or as near that as possible, for the in accordance with the literal text,

statement that the one who prethe difficulty lying in the union of sented himself in the holy convocathe physical and spiritual natures,

tion of “the sons of God," as being the only one. I can scarcely

recorded in Job i. ii., “had once accept his view of Peter's words been a son of God, but was such applying solely to such, if at all,

no more." I have searched the until the passage I refer to be made Scriptures many times during the more clear. But light is breaking past thirty years for a declaration, through much of the darkness so

or even an intimation, in support long settled down upon us and our

of these points, or either of them, theology ; and the day will be de- but always in vain. If Mr. Conclared by a glorious dawn to those

stable can point to such, he will, who search for truth. To this true by doing so, do something towards consolation I cling, and wait, and

simplifying a perplexed question. learn.

S. B.

I am, Sir, yours faithfully,

JOHN LARRITT.

97, Lyndhurst Road, Peckham. “THE SPIRITS IN PRISON.” Sir,-Mr. Constable's position

Literature. as to 1 Pet. iii. 19, in the current number of the Rainbow, is really Things which must Shortly Come impregnable ; the less therefore to Pass," as seen by Nathaniel does it need to be fortified by what Starkey, Minister of Union Chamay be only a cut and dried theory pel, Victoria Park Road, South as to fallen angels before the era of

Hackney. London: Elliot Stock. Gen. vi., and his recourse to such MR. STARKEY has reprinted from an assumption tends to impart a the RAINBOW those interesting

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papers on eschatology, which our anspeakable importance, which are readers will remember with pleasure. not now in the far distance, but They form a handsome volume of rapidly approaching, as many events more than a hundred pages, and clearly indicate. deal thoughtfully with matters of

NOTICES.

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WANTED, the RAINBOW for February and March, 1866; May and December, 1867; and February, 1871. If any friend who can spare these numbers will post them to the Editor he will feel much obliged, and will, of course, pay full price for them. " S. B." says,

Your Meditation on Life' is a very precious paper, and expresses, I believe, the feelings of many hearts."

“ B. C.” (Maitland, South Australia), says—"I beg to forward you enclosed Money Order for £1, my subscription to Rainbow (2 copies) to June, 1880. I cannot, however, simply send my subscription without testifying to the continued interest I feel in the precious truths it advocates. It is in the hands of the Holy Spirit a wonderful help-not to fill the head with doctrine, but to enrich the soul with substantive truth, drawing to the Father and to Christ-parting the curtains of the night and revealing the 'glory that is to follow.'

"S. D." says, “ Your paper on “Life, a Meditation,' thrilled me through and through. I read it again and again. It is the whole question in a few words. I thank you !"

“ W. M." says, “You are my friend, and the friend of every believerif every believer would know it-in your grand work in the RAINBOW. God speed the sale, and bless the noble, earnest, and patient editor. I hail the Rainbow as my most precious monthly visitor. I love it more than ever; and the grand doctrine of Life in Christ only, and the Blessed Hope,' are dearer to me every day. I preach the Gospel of Life and the glorious Hope of the coming of the glorious One. In several places where duty has called me, I have obtained readers for the RAINBOW."

“ J. M.” (Kirkcaldy) is thanked for his interesting letter respecting the Macrae case. Mr. Macrae and his congregation-who, to their honour, stand by him—will not we trust spoil the victory of truth by joining any " denomination." Let them remain independent, free of the bondage of human creeds, and glorying in the living Head-Christ!

“ S. P. B.”—The Apostle Paul, writing to the churches in Galatia, teaches a great truth, and illustrates it by reference to seed-time and harvest, thus : “ Be not deceived ; God is not mocked; for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption ; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. vi. 7-10.) The two kinds of seed and the corresponding harvests are clearly described. The antithesis is complete - flesh, and corruption ; spirit, and life eternal. It is jsut a summary of the entire teaching of the Bible—death, the wages of sin ; life, the gift of God.

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THE RAINBOW: J Magazine of Christian Literature, with Special Reference to týe

Rebealed future of tge Church and tậe World.

OCTOBER, 1879.

"THINGS WHICH ARE BEFORE.” IF «

believe Him. If those things are in their nature fitted and intended to affect the human race, we feel personally interested in them, for though their actual advent may be delayed beyond the time of the existing generation, yet we cannot be indifferent to events which will influence the lives of our children's children, and furnish them with topics of thought and conversation respecting the designs of the Almighty before He “Made the earth and created man upon it,” And if those things are certain greatly to increase the joy of human life, and to unfold and develope the beauty of the Divine character, we will most certainly hope for them.

It must be affirmed, however, that the theology of centuries has inverted many of the propositions of inspiration, changing the locality for the fulfilment of promises from earth to heaven; thus necessitating the repulsive intervention of death before the realisation of the good held out to Hope. But as death is unwelcome to human nature, notwithstanding all the poetic illusions which have been thrown around it to serve the purpose of the inverting thcology, the exercise of a scriptural hope has been greatly neglected through all these ages. Men clung to life, and rightly too, not choosing to hope for things which, according to their teachers, could not be reached except through the gloomy gate of death. To make this the portal of life, the avenue to blessedness, and the entrance to glory, whilst “The King of Terrors” is turned into an angel of light, the loving messenger of Jesus to carry the ransomed soul to the beatific vision,--all this fails to conquer the physical shrinking from dissolution, and the moral loathing of the corruption that follows. Facts and the true instincts of humanity protest against this inverted and perverted theology. Hezekiah and Paul are not the only men who have thanked God for even a temporary respite from the clutch of “the last enemy."

In like manner the hope of resurrection to eternal life, which is

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certainly one of the most dazzling prospects that the Father has unveiled for his children, is neutralised, or rather, in fact, robbed of all intelligent meaning by the theological process of inversion. This process results in sending to heaven, and investing with glory every redeemed soul when it leaves the body. There and then joy and felicity are possessed in full fruition by the “glorified soul,” which is of course à perfect personality with all the faculties and attributes necessary for complete manhood. Nay, more, it is delivered from the "clog" of the flesh; incarnation was a "prison,"

a from which it has happily escaped ; and now it is before the throne of God, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing! If this be true, the apostolic doctrine of resurrection from the dead is worse than superfluous. For you cannot add to perfection; and to bring down the bright tenants of those celestial regions to the world from whose prisons they have escaped, seems wholly irrational, if not an act of wanton cruelty. And so the magnificent doctrine of the resurrection gradually faded from the preacher's vision, and finally dropped from the pulpit as a thing for which there was no conceivable mental or moral use. But the Gospel of Inversion had to be sustained with something like logical consistency; and the ingenuity of the schoolmen discovered that death meant life, and falling asleep meant remaining awake; and heaven and hell are therefore receiving "im. mortal souls” in an unceasing and ever widening stream from age to age through all the centuries of time, the former to inexpressible and ever growing blessedness, the latter to inconceivable and ever deepening woe, and this to all eternity!

Brethren! Is this the gospel? Is this the revealed will of our Father in Christ? Can we contentedly embrace all this as the faith once delivered to the saints ? Does it commend itself to sanctified intelligence as every way worthy of Him “who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in working”? And can we as loving children present it to our Father's enemies and say, “Examine this carefully and you will love Him too”? It is impossible to say “Yes” to these questions; at least, speaking for myself, it is impossible, mentally and morally, to me. Of course if you accept the non-natural, or mystical, meaning of words and phrases as a trustworthy canon of interpretation, you may invert the teaching of Scripture on any subject and to any extent, but in that case you lose the benefit of revelation, and place yourselves at the mercy of your theological teachers. Your faith no longer rests on the wisdom of God, but on the fancies of men. You have left rock for shifting sand, and the house you have built is in hourly peril. You have exchanged the words of God, upon which men live, for vain tradition, which is spiritual famine. A robust and vigorous faith, which can stand the pelting of any storm or laugh at the tongues of fire as they play around the martyr's stake, can only be secured by the solid food which comes from the hand of God. Credit Him with honesty and truthfulness, as meaning exactly what He says, and you will become strong in

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the Lord and in the power of His might, ready to dare, and do, and suffer for His glorious name. You will “grow up into Him in all things, who is the Head, even Christ; from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Although it needs an elaborate volume, and would amply repay the needful labour,-the field is so immensely rich,-it is only in brief outline that I can indicate some of the things which are before us, as the sequel and complement of the present dispensation, and as, consequently, the objects of hope to the friends and brethren of Christ.

1. His return to His world, our world, His inheritance, our inheritance, is the first in importance and foremost in glory of "the things which are before," and for which we hope as the climax and crown of our high calling.

“What, personally do you mean, Christ to return personally ?" asks a startled disciple of the inverted school.

Yes, dear brother," I reply, "there is no other way in which He can return; for He has never been absent spiritually from the Church which is His body, and could not be except He desired its death, for He is its life."

“But,” adds my incredulous querist, “ you mean after the millennium at the day of judgment ? " My answer is now, as it has often been to this

very question : “ The millennium is the day of judgment, according to Scripture; so that it is a matter of both regal and legal necessity that the Judge should come before the millennium.” What is the millennium but the righteous reign of Christ on and over His own world ? He came to His own inheritance of old, and His own people received Him not. They conspired against the heir, cast Him out and killed Him, and seized on His inheritance. But they did not possess it long; for the legions of the Gentile Cæsar crushed the murderers, and Immanuel's land has been trodden down by the heathen ever since, as the Holy One said it should be until the time of His return. Nor did His death annul His claim ; for He rose from the dead and was seen in vision by His loving follower breaking the seals from the title deeds of the inheritance, for which exulting adoration greets Him, as the rightful occupant of the throne of universal power. For be it distinctly understood that the temporary loss of Palestine by the Son of David issues in the permanent sovereignty of the entire world by the Son of Man. The title deeds of the holy land give Him legal right, in resurrection life, to absolute dominion over every nation and people on the face of the earth, and “under the whole heaven.”

The witnesses of the ascension were addressed thus: “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner

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