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own personal life to keep it from complete confusion, and if it be possible to make it grow strong and rich and true, out of these very circumstances which, perhaps, we hopelessly deplore?

One answer only I can give, and that is very simple. In all the uncertainty and change it is the true man's place to find what there is that is permanent and certain, and to cling to that. In other sorts of times men do not distinguish between what is lasting and what is transitory. All seems fixed together. Ice and rock alike are solid. In times like these, when the ice breaks up, the rocks stand out solid and strong among the loosened waves. It is a time to find out what is sure and certain and eternal.

Let me try to tell you in a few words what it seems to me are the solid things to which a man may cling. First and most prominent, because most superficial, is the solidity and persistency of nature, the calmness and oldness and orderliness of this world of growth and matter. It means something that, in the disorder of thought and feeling, so many men are fleeing to the study of orderly nature. And it is rest and comfort. Whatever men are doubting, the rock is firm under their feet. and the steadfast stars pass in their certain courses overhead. Men who dare count on nothing else may still count on the tree's blossoming and the grape coloring. It is good for a man perplexed and lost among many thoughts to come into closer intercourse with Nature, and to learn her ways and to catch her spirit.

And secondly, it surely is a time when one ought to make much of the experiences of life which are perpetual, and so which always bring us back to something solid. Joy, sorrow, friend

ship, work, charity, these are eternal. They do not change with changing times; and if a man throws himself heartily into the life of his fellow-men and takes the pleasures and pains that come out of the touchings of his life with theirs, he is brought into association with these unchanging verities, and his own life becomes less oppressively unruly. Have you never known something of this? Have you not sometimes, when most perplexed and bewildered with many thoughts, found refuge, strength, health, and peace in mere return from solitude to those relations with your brethren for which man was made? A joy that comes by human company, even a sorrow which has its root in a true human love, brings a man back from the solitude which is not good for him, and which is haunted with perplexity. It puts him again into company with the humanity which has known joy and sorrow all through its changing life.

And the next thing which is permanent, and which a man ought to cling to with special closeness now, is duty. How old it is, how strong and sure? How strong it makes us when we think that this same simple, single instinct of right and wrong, which makes us do our act to-day, is precisely the same instinct that made men honest and kept them pure before the Flood. So many of the perplexities of our time are on the surface. They do not reach down to where the conscience lies calm and serene below. And when "this unchartered freedom tires," when we "feel the weight of chance desires," it is good to supplicate for the control of duty, and find a


repose that ever is the same." When a man, lost and confused, comes to you saying, "How can one live in such a time as this? What shall I do ?" Answer him first of all simply

and strongly, "Do right! Do your duty!" and you have given him at least one sure thing among all that is


But then, above all things, there is the strength and permanence of religion. Never was there such a time for a man to cling to that. "Ah, but," you say, "that is the most uncertain of all things! What is more unsettled than religion?" But no, there may be doubt and doubters, difficulties and perplexities, things hard to be understood, but the things which are unseen are eternal. God, sin, the spirit, redemption, victory over death, these are changeless certain-free-will. Its whole value was in its ties of which we can say "The Word of our God shall stand for ever." PHILLIPS BROOKS.

1. A real consecration was an act of

voluntary character. There are no less than sixteen places where God's ancient people are directed how to present gifts of their own choice, which were added to the requirements of the Law.

Moral and Spiritual

II. CHRON. xxix., 31.

"Then Hezekiah answered, and said, Now ye have consecrated yourselves unto the Lord."


THE reign of Hezekiah, King of Judah, was like the spasmodic brightness of a candle about to go out for The kingdom was tottering to its fall. Situated between Egypt and Assyria, it was like wheat between the upper and nether mill-stones. When the idols had been cast out, the Temple cleansed, and the worship of God re-established, the king reminded his people, but especially the Levites, the chosen ministers of God, that they were under the solemn obligation of a consecration to Jehovah.

secrate is an Old Testament word, and is used but twice in the New Testament. But the idea which the word expresses is in every book in the Bible. The root principle involved in consecrating anything is the recognition of God's exclusive ownership to it and its free surrender to Him. The Jewish husbandman, on Bethlehem's slopes or along the Galilean valleys. beheld the yellow first fruits of the harvest. But he recognized them not as his own. They belonged to the God of the harvest. Whatever was consecrated was not the man's, but God's.

It is appropriate to consider what Christian consecration means. Con

2. Consecration means a giving to God Himself. The idea is involved in the word, like a flashing jewel in its setting. It does not mean merely dedication, but it means dedication to God. The grand point for every one to settle is, whether he is working, giving, using his talents, or wielding his influence for God. All that a man has, all that he is, God gave him as a trust fund. Does he give money, sacrifice his time, or spend the labour of his busy hands or busier brain upon the Church or the good of humanity, it should be because he recognizes God's ownership of all. Most men are afraid of going too far in consecration. They generally feel that what is left, after all other demands have been satisfied, belongs to God. But God wants that which is most precious. Man says of his property, “I came by it honestly. For every pound I paid the price of hard labour. It

unto me a kingdom of priests and an
holy nation," is proclaimed from
Sinai's smoking summit. The highest
attainments in grace are his who puts
himself into God's hands that He who
made him may use him for the great
ends of His redemptive kingdom.
God esteems life devoted to noble pur-
poses as the best sacrifice.

is mine." Just there God differs. "The silver and the gold are mine." Want of consecration here is the crying sin of believers, and a source of moral weakness.

3. Nor will such consecration be complete without a personal consecration. God not only wants the first fruits, but the people themselves. "Ye shall be

Critical Notes on Difficult Texts.

God's Provision for the

they have not heard, they have not
perceived by the ear, the eye hath not
seen a God beside Thee (who) will do
for (one) waiting for Him."

By Barnes: "For from the beginning men have not heard nor given ear to, nor hath eye seen a God beside Thee, Who doeth such things for those who trust in Him."

I COR. ii. 9.


σ’Ἀλλὰ καθὼς γέγραπται ἅ ὀφθαλμὸς ὀυκ Ἧιδε, καὶ ους οὐκ ηκουσε, καὶ ἐπὶ καρδίαν ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἀνέβη, ἅ ἠτοίμασενὁ θεός τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν ἀυτόν.”


Septuagint, ISA. lxiv., 4. “ ̓Απὸ τοῦ αἰῶνος οὐκ ἠκούσαμεν, ουδε οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἡμῶν εἶδονθεὸν πλὴν σου, καὶ τὰ ἔργα σου, ἅ ποιήσεις τοῖς ὑπομενοῦσιν ελεον.”




IT will be observed that the clause - ανεβη ” is not found in the Septuagint, nor is its equivalent found in the Hebrew text, Isa. Ixiv., 3-4. The revised translation of the verse is: "Things which eye saw not and ear heard not, and which entered not into the heart of man, whatsoever things God prepared for them that love Him."



Meyer translates thus: "What an eye hath not seen, nor an ear heard, and (what) hath not risen into the heart of man (namely), all that God hath prepared for them that love Him."

Translation of the Hebrew by Dr. J. A. Alexander; "And from eternity

Though there are acknowledged difficulties connected with the logical and grammatical structure of the passage, and some unsettled questions as to the source of the quotation, yet the language is appropriate, and its meaning sufficiently obvious in the use made of it by the apostle.

Paul contrasts the wisdom of God revealed in the Gospel with the fruitless wisdom of the world, and the boasted rhetoric of the schools. There was nothing in the most abstruse or refined speculations of the philosophers, or in the most erudite and eloquent utterances of the orators, to make men holier or happier, but the Gospel, which had been branded as foolishness, had been revealed by God as the means of human salvation. And of its divine efficiency, the experi. ence of those to whom he wrote bears ample testimony. Hence the apostle declares he came neither as a learned

philosopher nor a skilled rhetorician, but as a faithful witness bearing testimony to great saving truths, which none of the great teachers or rulers of the world ever knew, and which human investigation and research could never have discovered; that the provisions of the Gospel of Christ far transcended all human thought and hope, and were secured in a way which no created mind could ever have imagined. This sentiment recalled to the apostle's mind the language of the prophet, which so aptly expresses the thought, and which, with some modification, he quotes by way of illustration.

This verse is not infrequently quoted as if it referred to the future state, and the ineffable, inconceivable felicities of the blessed in heaven. But neither the apostle nor the prophet refers to anything connected with the heavenly state, but to the present condition and the high privileges of believers. The phrase our glory," used in v. 7, may suggest the final blessedness of God's people, which is the ultimate aim of the eternal purpose hidden from the world, but revealed through the apostles; but the special immediate reference of the language is to the present spiritual enjoyment of the saints, which is a foretaste and pledge of their everlasting joy.

The first difficulty connected with the verse is a grammatical one. Dr. Charles Hodge says the sentence is incomplete, and suggests as a satisfactory solution that the apostle quotes the passage without weaving it grammatically into his discourse. Another suggestion is that the words we speak" should be supplied, and the passage would then read: But we speak things unseen, unheard and unconceived of. Or by connecting it with v. 7, and translating aλλa, yea rather, when the connection would be,



We speak what none of the princes of the world knew, yea rather that had never been heard, seen or thought of. (Adam Clarke, Kling and Meyer.) We prefer to connect v. 10 with this verse, though objected to by Meyer, and then the passage would read in logical order thus: We speak God's wisdom, which none of the princes knew, yea, such things as eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor mind conceived; the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him, which things God hath revealed to us by His Spirit.

Another difficulty is, whence does the apostle make the citation which he introduces by his usual formula, when quoting from the Canonical Scriptures? The verse has no exact counterpart in the Old Testament. Hence Meyer supposes that the apostle intended to quote a passage from the Old Testament, "but by some confusion of memory took the apocryphal saying for a Canonical passage, possibly from the Prophecies." This supposition is gratuitous and unwarranted. Chrysostom thinks it may have been taken from a lost prophecy. Origen and others, as Meyer and Bleek, refer to an apocryphal bookthe Apocalypse of Elijah or the Ascension of Isaiah; Grotius, to the writings of the Rabbies. Jerome says, "Apostolus non verbum expressit e verbo, sed παραφραστικώς eundem sensum

aliis sermonibus indicavit." With him most commentors agree, as Calvin, Alford, Bloomfield, Wordsworth, Beet, Hodge. There can be little doubt, if any, that the apostle makes a free use of the language of Isaiah, which he finds suitable and pertinent to the subject of which he is speaking. The citation is made rather in the way of illustration than of authority. In the preceding chapter we have two similar citations from the

often from memory. Hence slight changes are made, and sometimes only the sense given. Citations are usually introduced by the phrases "it is written or "it is fulfilled," and they are made for different purposes-for explanation or proof, as evidence of prophecy fulfilled, as descriptive of a similar event, or for the expression of ideas in familiar and attractive language. Many passages cited are to be regarded as descriptive rather than predictive. See Matt. xiii., 35, ii., 15 ; John xv., 25, Rom. i., 17; James ii., 25; and 2 Pet. ii., 22.

Old Testament, i., 18-20 from Isa. xxix., 14; and i., 31 from Jer. ix., 23. In quoting from the Old Testament the apostle does not always use the language in the sense of the original writer, but simply because the language is fitted to convey correctly and impressively his own idea, or in some way to illustrate, enforce or confirm it; and sometimes, as in the present instance, he modifies the language to the subject which he is treating, or merely gives the general meaning of the passage, or of a number of passages. Indeed, the reference to what is written may not be to any special statement of the Holy Scriptures, but to a truth clearly revealed and taught in them. The phrase "It is written " would then be equivalent to saying: "To use the language of Scripture." There can be no question that citations from the Old Testament are applied to events in the New Testament, to which they have no apparent historical or typical reference. Verbal accommodations are common in all languages, and made by all classes of writers, and are not infrequent in the Scriptures. Quotations are made by New Testament writers from the Hebrew, or from the Septuagint, most frequently from the latter, and possibly

The Child the Father of the Man.

Thq Children's Sequiqe.

I SAMUEL iii., 19.

"And Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him, and did let none of his words fall to the ground."

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THE history of Samuel is one of extraordinary interest and profit to the young, for Samuel may be considered the best example or model of

The conclusions are: First-The meaning of the passage is that the truths of the Gospel preached by Paul were such as human reason could not discover, nor, unaided by the Spirit of God, receive-namely, the blessings of a present, complete, eternal salvation. Second-The citation is from Isa. lxiv., 4, and is substantially the meaning of the passage in the prophet applied by the apostle to a different theme, which the language aptly described, and that such a mode of using the Old Testament is common with the writers of the New Testament.


a child whose earliest years were given to God, and whose whole life was set to do God's will. In our text, it is said of the boy Samuel that he grew and the Lord was with him, and let none of his words fall to the ground. He became the prophet of the people of Israel, whom all trusted, and what he said proved true. He had said that great troubles were to come on account of the wickedness of

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