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inclined to consider whatever is said against the truths or the errors we advocate as said against ourselves. But it certainly should be the aim of every disciple of Christ to discuss the great doctrines of Divine revelation with a supreme regard for the truth, with charity towards those who may differ from them, and in as impersonal a manner as possible. That the advocates of the doctrines of Life in Christ are without censure in this regard, we do not assert, for they have had great provocation; but we are constrained to say, that the treatment they have received, and are receiving, at the hands of those who oppose their views, is eminently unchristian and unfair, not to employ harsher terms to characterise it. They have been sneered at, denounced, misquoted, misrepresented, falsely accused, and rarely, very rarely has there been, in all the notices that have appeared of their writings or of their views, any honest attempt to state the doctrine as they hold it, or to meet the real issue. In fact, there has very generally appeared a determination to misrepresent them and their views; and the orthodox organs of our various denominational bodies, through which these misrepresentations have been freely circulated, have been persistently closed against them for the purpose of brief correction or explanation.
The leading characteristic of Professor Mead's book is its personality. Instead of devoting himself to the discussion of great principles, he nibbles at all the little vulnerable points he can discover in the several books he criticises, and directs as much attention as possible to the authors themselves. Hastily running my eye over the pages of his book I count the name of DR. IVES 347 times printed in full, and the personal pronoun is everywhere used still more frequently. The names of Mr. White and of Mr. Pettingell, though, of course, not so often employed, may be found scores of times. This personality cannot be altogether excused on the plea of convenience; for it is really the critical, or logical, or exegetical ability of the individuals themselves that he discusses.
have no reply to make to what is said in his book of the materialistic views of Dr. Ives, and of his definition of the soul as the physical organism, for this is not my doctrine. I have always regretted that Dr. Ives chose to found his argument for the corruptible nature of the soul so largely on a hypothesis concerning it that is certainly open to grave objections in an evangelical point of view, when he might have rested it on a more solid foundation. It is by no means necessary to determine whether the soul be a physical or spiritual entity, or whether it be actually separable from the body and as such capable of independent activity, before we can decide whether it be destructible or indestructible. If, indeed, it can be shown to be only a material organism, as Dr. Ives argues, then it would seem necessarily to share the fate of the body, as he believed. But if it were proved to be a distinct spiritual entity, it does not follow that it cannot be corrupted and
destroyed. If the soul, as such, was created, then it can be uncreated. If it had a beginning, it may have an end, for anything that reason or nature can show to the contrary. And if Divine revelation, which is our only sure authority in this matter, assures us that it is in the power of sin to destroy it, then the teaching of God's Word is to be accepted as conclusive on this point. If indeed we held with Plato and his disciples that soul never was created, but is eternal in its pre-existence, then we can logically believe with him that its future existence will be endless. But Christian philosophy rejects the former part of this proposition as essentially atheistic, and yet, strange to say, its popular defenders hold to the latter part of it, which by itself has no logical force, and to my mind, is equally untenable; and in spite of the teachings of God's Word, gravely asserts, as one of its fundamental axioms, that the soul of man is in its very nature immortal, and, therefore, the death with which it is threatened on account of sin cannot mean real death, but an eternal state of misery, and that the Life everlasting which is promised through Christ is an opposite state of endless blessedness.
Professor Mead holds in his book, as does Dr. Bartlett, another of this school, that life and death are merely modes or conditions of existence, and that therefore living creatures who could not have begun to be without life and the very essence of whose being is life, can exist after they are dead, and not only exist, but fulfil all the functions of their being without any life at all. This we deny. And to characterise it in his own language, to our minds it is "rank nonsense."
He charges us with making no distinction between life and existence. But the confusion is in his own mind. Existence is certainly a broader and more inclusive term than life. Whatever is, exists, whether it have life or not. But he seems to forget that life is the essential thing, the sine qua non of certain kinds of existence. For instance, it takes life to constitute animal existence. Without life no animal can exist, as an animal. What is a horse, for instance, after he is dead? It is certainly not a horse. The dead carcass remains, that exists; but the horse no longer exists, nor can he exist without life. If we were to say that the life or soul of the horse is a distinct entity of itself that leaves the animal at death, this entity does not constitute the animal. It cannot perform the functions of the animal in its separation. It requires a body, and a body with life in it to constitute the animal. And there is not the shadow of evidence, in Nature or Revelation, to show that the same is not true of man, or that the spiritual entity, whatever it may be, is all that is necessary to constitute the man, that he can continue his conscious existence, think, remember, sin, and suffer outside and independent of a physical organisation and without life. The Bible always speaks of man as a unit, formed it may be by the union of a living force with a material organism;
but neither of these alone is a man. It requires both together to constitute a man, as truly as the formation of water is by the union of oxygen and hydrogen; neither of them alone is water. It is a speculative philosophy that undertakes to dissolve man into his constituent elements, and to determine which are and which are not necessary to his existence as a man. If the body were not needful, then of what importance is the great doctrine of the resurrection? a doctrine with this species of philosophy has thrown into the shade, but which Christ and His immediate disciples thought all important: "for if the dead rise not, then they which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished."
But we cannot within the limits of this brief article, give anything more than this general notice of this book.
We cannot think that the work, however widely it may be circulated by the Congregational Publication Society, will do much to check the progress of the "heresy" at which it is aimed, nor to add to the reputation of its author as a clear thinker and sound theologian, unless by soundness is meant a pertinacious adherence to the traditions and dogmas of the school in which he has been trained and whose creed he is bound to represent and defend. In this sense he is eminently a safe teacher and his soundness is not to be questioned.
Without definitely stating what he does or does not believe concerning the doom of the wicked, he comes to this grave conclusion at the close of his volume. "That the doom of the lost will be just, whatever it is." "That God is just; and the Judge of all the earth will do right." And that we are not qualified to determine what is just or right for God to do in the administration of His government, and that we are to accept the truth as it is made known to us concerning Him, as good and just, whether we can see or feel it to be so or not. "It belongs to us to say, not that such things are not just and therefore cannot be, but that they must be just, because they are the doings of Him whose judgments are true and righteous altogether." The first part of this proposition, that God is just and good, is a truism that no one would think of disputing. The question is not whether God be just and good or not, but whether the acts which men attribute to Him are just and good. If God be good, how are we to know and feel this and to love and trust Him as such, unless we can form some judgment in our own minds of what is good and just? Because God is just, it does not follow that we are bound with an unquestioning faith to accept of doctrines concerning Him that outrage every sentiment of justice within us; that are absolutely hideous, even to the mind of a savage; doctrines that can be made tolerable, only by covering them up, and explaining them away. Whatever may be true of past generations, men of the present day, if they are to be held to the belief in any God, must have one whose goodness they can be made to see and feel, and whom they can love and trust as well as
fear, and a theodicy that commends itself to their moral sense and their hearts. If our theological professors and our great religious publishing societies hope to do anything effectual toward checking the progress of irreligion and infidelity, and keeping the masses within the influence of the gospel and winning them to the love and service of Christ, they need not expect to do it by such a sort of literature as this. J. H. PETTINGELL.
THE INTELLIGENT PLOUGHMAN.
A MODERN PARABLE.
ONCE upon a time there lived a farmer, whose favourite dog
"Alas!" exclaimed the man, "my dog must be destroyed." Then he called for one of his servants, and thus addressed him :
“John, my dog is mad; there is no cure for him—he must perish-go now and destroy him." So John touched his cap and promised that he would do so.
One morning, soon after, as the farmer walked round his fields, he came to a lonely, unused barn, from which he heard a barking and howling of the most terrible nature. Then did the farmer look through a chink in the door and saw his favourite dog tearing round and round the barn with blood-shot rolling eyes and foam streaming from his mouth; at which sight, the farmer went away in a towering rage with his servant, even with the ploughman, John.
"Did I not tell you to destroy my dog?"
"You did, Sir."
"Why did you not do it then ?”
"I did, Sir."
When I have seen the dog myself, alive and suffering, shut up in the barn in the grass meadow, will you dare to tell me that he is destroyed?"
Then the ploughman, John, touched his cap and answered thus to his master :-
"O my master, the dog is destroyed.
No more doth he roam
in freedom the fields and bound o'er heath and brake as he loved to do in time of yore. No more doth he repose at the kitchen fire, or bring the sheep up from the grass meadow. No more doth he fetch thy hat or carry thy stick. Truly he is shut out from all his former, happy life, and from all chance of happiness or usefulness in the future; and he suffereth horribly in the barn in the grass meadow. Thus he has perished. Yes, he has been utterly destroyed, like the dry sticks beneath the gipsy's pot in their encampment down the lane."
But his master waxed still more wroth.
"Go now and destroy the dog immediately, if thou canst understand plain language."
"Even so, but he is destroyed, for many learned authorities explain."
The farmer missed hearing the explanation of the "learned authorities," as he had gone for his gun with the view of giving a practical definition of his language.
Soon after the occurrence above related, the following advertisement appeared in the Farmer's Guide and Rural Times:
66 The Rev. -will be glad to recommend to any agricultural gentleman a farm labourer recently thrown out of work. The advertiser is confident that he will prove a valuable servant, for he has given evidence of marked intelligence during his attendance at the Young Men's Theological Class."
A. DUNCAN GOODY.
THE OLD TESTAMENT PESHITO.
WHAT IS SAID OF ITS ORIGIN.
HAT so much of it as was extant up to about A.M. 3020, was rendered into Syriac by order of King Solomon and presented to Hiram, King of Tyre.
II. That those portions of later date than the time of Solomon were translated by order of Abgarus, King of Edessa, now Orfa or Urpha.
This city is near the head waters of the Euphrates. Near to it Crassus and a Roman army suffered a terrible defeat from the army of the Parthians. Also, that Jude the apostle prompted and directed this monarch in the good work.
I. That which refers to Solomon.
1. What is said of his personal qualifications for such a work as this ?
He prayed for understanding; and the Lord answered his prayer by giving him a wise and understanding heart, so that there was none like him before his time. (1 Kings iii. 12.) A case soon came before him of the two mothers and the changed child. When all Israel heard how he decided it, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to do judgment. (Ch. iv. 29.) "And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding, exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon's wisdom excelled all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all nations round about. And there came, of all people, to hear the wisdom of