Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

was not the net broken. Then the fish were brought into the ship, which yet was itself still on the unquiet sea, even is it thus that men in the present time, who are taken for Christ, are brouglit into the Church soll itsell exposed to the world's tempests; but now, the nets are drawn up to land, to the safe and quiet 'shore of eternity. Then, thetiships were well-nigli'sunk with their burden, for so is the ship of the church enoumbered with evił livers till fit well-nigh makes shipwreck altogether; but nothing of a like kind is mentioned bere;, there, it is merely, men. tioned, that a great multitude was inclosed? but here a definite number, even as the number of the elect is fixed and preordained: and there, no doubt, small and great fishes, for nothing to the contrary, is said I but here they are all great, fori so shall bei all that belong to that kingdom, being alt equal to the angels. 1. Ep1180118 97 916--209 due vasm B - That which follows is obscure and without the key which the sym. bolical interpretation supplies would be obscurer yet. What is the meaning of that meal, which, they found ready for them on the shore, with the Lord's invitation that they should come and share it?" It could not be needful for him with his risen body, and as little for them whose dwenings were near at hand. But we must continue to see an under meaning, and a deep and rich one, in this all.'19 As the TJärge léapture of fish was to them the pledge and promise of labour Ithat should not be vain, ilso'tle meal when the labour was done.tz-a meal of the Lord's own preparing, and upon the shore, was the symbol of the great festival in heaven,

with which, after their learthly toil was over, he would refresh his serhvants when he should cause them to sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom, and as they were bidden to bring of their fish to that meal, so should the souls which they had taken for life, Be their crown and rejoicing in that day, should help and contribute to their glad

a

reqmya Das ness then.astanga splet this

One short paragraph from the same note we must add. It is on our Lord's final address to Peter. d's final address to Peter i huyo bas 91d991

201 10,5411oado, 4.8766 But feed my sheep' is not all. The life of labour is to be crowned with a death of painfulness. And then the Lord, as he hath showp him the end, will also show Peter the way, for when he had spoken this the saith unto him, follow me. Now, we are not to suppose that these words merely signify'in a general way, be thou'an imitator op med Such an explanation would show that we had altogether failed in realizing to oudselves that : olemniscene as it actually took place on the shore of Genngsareth-Thrat scene was quite as much in deed as in words and herę, at the very moment that the Lord spoke the word, it would seem that he Ttook some paces along the rough and rocky shore, bidding Peter to do the name, thus setting forth to him in a figure his future life, which should be a.following of his Divine Master in the rude and rugged way of Christian life. That all this was not so much spoken as done is evident from what follows. Peter turning about, that is looking behind himh, seeth the dis. ciple whom Jesus loved words not introduced idly and as little softhe allusion to his familiarity at the Paschal supper, but to explain the boldness of John in following unbiddens-him he seeth following, and enquires, Lord, what shall this man do & Is he too sto follow by the same rugged

[ocr errors]

path poss

[ocr errors]

12

[ocr errors]

(18310. unity

[ocr errors]

doiriw .gide 90'tojai tripuosd 4799 r!-it ut frin ,

tedt i Art. 111.-ectures on Foreign Churches delicered in Edinburgh qu and i Glasgora May, 1845. in connection with the objects of the 919 Committee of the Free Church of Scotland on the State of Christian - Churches on the Continent and in the East, First Series. Small Judoctavo; pp. 462.'° Edinburgh: W1 P. Kennedy, St Andrew St. -(1901 ylor90 ei ji 919111,9794 (790 Dittogjiditto. Second

i 4:07

407.1846. Son 99903 bis : bonisb10917 bus bazit, 1911,111,101.ph tud Betwevergshowever remote from each other in geographical position, differing however widely in sentiments and feelings on many subjects-are yet members of the same body, the churoh. and -a

all their controversies with one another, and all their warrings

the members of their own body, gannot destroy, How strange is it, then, that a union so real should be so little recognised or acted upon. How strange that

differences in church government or external form should kindle withini usi antipathy to our brethren, so pomerful as almost, if Not naltogether to covermaster the love to which our common

connection with Christi should give rise. Can the world be expected to recognise in us one body indifferent to one another's welfare, distracted of jealous ils we are? For what lengthened periods in the church's history has tlve intervention of a mountain, yalley, or a stream proved a sufficient barrier to all inquiry and sympathy? When such is the case, the members indeed stil, forn, parts of the same body, but the circulation must be feeble and languid in the extreme, when the sense of this is thus obscured or lost. hot When one member suffers, all the members suffer with it."

And yet how often have the various branches of the church agunk into a state of utter apathy as to all that was befalling be

yond their own immediate sphere, so that even when the lifeblood has been draining from the vitals of some, am I my -brother's keeper??? has been the sentiment of others. Nay, is it 'not with difficulty, even now, that we repress a rising satisfaction ou kind of secreť triumph, on the fall or failure of our brethren in churches that stand in a position somewhat antagonistie to our AWAI 19 perhaps a sufficient explanation of the facts, that we regulate our affection for, and frame our views of our Christian brethren, rather by the less important matters in which we differ, than by, the more important, yea, vital subjects on which We daret at lone. It was the felt importance of the truths held in common, and the surgenti necessity of union in opposing, a common fee, which in other days enabled Bishop Jewel to inter

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

change 'letters of sympathy and counsel with Peter Martyr and Bullinger, and John Knox, " to serve a cure in the Episcopal Church of England.” When shall such days return! The heart of the reflecting Christian is ready to faint within him as he beholds the church morselled into almost microscopic fragments, too many of which seem rather instinct with repulsien against the others, than warm in the cause which it is their assigned function to promote. Too long have the elements of division and distraction been at play in the church; now, surely we may look for the commencement at least of the sway of those attrac tive principles which, if less congenial to human nature, are certainly far more characteristie of the gospel of peace. And the time will come at last the time when He who is now for wise ends permitting so much unseemly division in the church, will breathe upon it a gale of love that will bring to a speedy end all in its feelings and its actings that is harsh and unchristian, and will inspire' its various branches with the sudden and delightful consciousness, that they are members one of another. And doubtless, a closer union to the Head will be the mainspring of a livelier sympathy among the members. By this instrument God wis speedily destroy the barriers which man has so laboriously raised up." And then will the prayer of our Saviour be "answered: * That they all may be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, 'that they also may be one in 'us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me." $1' This' train of reflections is suggested by the lectures now be

We are willing to regard them as one token among ourselves of a reviving interest in the general well-being of Christ's body the church ; and as such, also a proof of a revived and warmer tone of Christianity at home."

The opening lecture of the course was delivered by Dr Candlish: its subject very appropriately is, « The Relation in which the Churches of Christ ought to stand to one another.” The duty "and privilege of Christian union are very lucidly developed. We offer a single extract.

fore us.

* The boasted unity of popery with its wide-spread ramifications and organization, throughout all lands, is the mimic trival and distorted cari

cature of that all-pervading sympathy, breathing submission to one Canother, and the submission of all to Christ, which overflowing the intersected field of Christianity, should have presented to the eyes of men the one unbroken tide of divine and brotherly love, filling up all inequalities, and covering all landmarks, and making the whole, as it were, one broad and placid ocean, reflecting in its bosom the wondrous unity of father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the one living and everlasting God." P. 10

Towards the close of the lecture, Dr Candlish advocates such a measure as the Evangelical Alliance, and offers the sketch of a scheme for the admission of members. Had our time permitted, it would have been interesting to compare his views. as there expressed with the facts and the position of matters, now that the Alliance is set on foot.

In the following lecture, by Dr. Wilson of Bombay, on the Independent Eastern Churches,” we are presented with a mass of important matter in relation to those churches whose claims on our interest are so many, and have hitherto been so little appreciated. It is not, surely, unreasonable to expect that we s'ould be concerned about the religious well-being of those territories which were the cradle of the human race, and which the Son of God chose for the place of his sojourn while on his mission of love to mankind. The independent eastern churches, though hey have kept themselves free from alliance with apostate Rome, have yet fallen into very many of her errors. Corrupt human nature has led in many cases to the rejection of the same scriptural, and the adoption of the same unscriptural, doctrines in both. Notwithstanding, however, the general obscurity, in which the doctrines of our faith are enveloped, we are sometimes cheered by a feeble ray of evangelical truth struggling to make itself visible among the surrounding darkness. And who can tell how many hidden, yet earnest spirits, in the course of revolving ages, marking the direction of such a ray, and guided by its feeble light, may have been led to the fountain whence the true light shineth. May not the following, extracted from an Armenian prayer-book, have been to many the key to the scheme of redemption ? "Jesus Christ, my Lord, thou hast suffered for us sinners, who have been worthy of condemnation on account of our sins, and thou hast freely saved us without our merits, thanks be to thee. O Jesus, thou art sweet, indeed, and the light of my eyes. Thy, sufferings have been very þitter, and grievous indeed, which thou sufferedst with thy condescension, and this for our sake. O how deeply do I feel that we have so heavily sinned, that thou hadst to suffer for it, &c."-P. 97. The lecture displays no, little erudition in eastern lore, and a minute acquaintance with the oriental churches, a considerable portion of which is derived from personal observation. - 3.15

The two succeeding lectures, by the Rev. T. M-Crie and the Rev. R. Stewart, A.M., late of Erskine, respectively, give a rapid sketch of the ancient history and present condition of the Waldensian church. The subject is in many respects the most inviting, and the lectures are perhaps the most interesting of the series.

To the question, put by a Papist, 16 Where was your steligion before Luther?" it was once-felicitously repliedşv In theoBibleg where yours never was!"9" Stil it is interestingi oto establish the fact, that the doctrines of the Protestant faithowereo believed: upheld, and often bled for, Tongere Luther was summoned fortlah to deal

, with his giant arm, so effective and fatal asblow at the Papacy, and the host of errors and corrdptions ithatofound shelter beneatli its purple. »Mr M'Crie oudceeds in tracing the shish tory of the faithful churches which existed on both sides of the Alps to a very réinote antiquity, and in restablishing at teást a very strong presuniption that their origin was apostolic. to ltr dist remarkable how frequently churches maintaining a greater det

ree of purity thún "those by whom 'theytare surroundedş rháveh found a retreat in the mountain-fastnesses of nature cand how invariably such churches have been subjeeted

to most unsparing and merciless persecution. Witness the unoffending Nestoridas among the mountains of Koordistan, and the faithful Maldenses among the heights of the Cottian Alps, Wolames wright be filledi with the instances of barbarity perpetrated upon the unoffending Waldenses, that have come down to us. And whol may knows the extent and depth of their sufferings, with all their suntold aggravations, of which history furnishes hot records 60-1 Ôn omie occasion, all the Reformed inhabitants of the Valleys were ordered! by an edict of almost unexampled crueltygeto abandoni within three days their native territory, and this in the midst of winter. How numerotis," how overwhelming the calamities oeeasidnedebyi such an'edict, it is not diffeult to conceive. Aspebplorwede thus, in the midst of winter

, withotit time törlprovide for themselves shelter or support, or 46 cravell

might hope to receive from enemies, declared houseless homeless:/-and subjected to the unrestrained brutality of a blood-thirsty sobdieryl Well may, we sympathize with the feelings of the indignmmt Mont

, lined and interwoven with horrible attempts, such bloodyrledicts, such profound stratagems, and barbarous persedationsçibwhole families miserably ruined, and the iwnocent blood of the saints poured out as water on the ground, 2-insomuch that myospirit has often waxed cold within me, and my heart'leven failed me yea, 'my very hand has trembled as with a ft of palsy in the writing thereof." P. 199?" TS 1.3779790- JX91919 yas tehas "It is with pain we observe that even these hallowed retreats have not been entirely free from the eneroachments of evroriand division.' M. Mondon, the pastor of San Giovanniz hadrimbibed Socinian principles during the prosecution of his studies hat Gel

The descendants of the witnesses for the truth could not

neva,

« ZurückWeiter »