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ceases when we recollect how fallible a creature man changed into the likeness of Christ, and that therefore is, and that the most enlightened disciple is prone to the only questions to be gone into by the One who err the moment he allows his fleshly judgment to act. went away to prepare heavenly places for his people
Though the Holy Spirit is given to every believer, will be concerning the bestowal of His rewards; we have to keep ourselves in subjection to his gui- “Behold, I come quickly, and my reward is with me, dance, and unless we keep watchful, failure is sure to to give to every man according as his work shall be.” follow. Hence the exhortations of Scripture- The inquiring reader is referred to 1 Cor. iii. 10-15, “Grieve not the Holy Spirit,” “Quench not the which clearly shows the character of our Lord's Spirit,” &c.
judgment when dealing with his dear blood-bought The leaders of this movement no doubt desired to friends. be Scriptural, and in adopting the distinctive title of Our readers will perceive that our object is not to ". The Brethren considered it a term almost syno- cry up” “the Brethren,” of whom we are not, but to nymous with “Christian.” But the name has become give that which we think many need—a brief stateas much a badge of a sect as that of “Baptist." ment of their “standing.". “The Brethren" doubtless thought it impossible to “ The Brethren" soon began to multiply. Meetwalk in separation from corruption and false teaching ings for worship, teaching, &c. were established in without becoming a distinct order. This, however, Dublin, London, Bristol, Plymouth, and many other was mere human judgment, and is entirely opposed places. The assemblies were mostly held, as they to the Word of God. Any Christians, however few, are still, in obscure neighbourhoods, in rooms of the who may act upon such a Scripture as 2 Tim. ii. 19— most unpretending character. Following the prac22, and separate from all that dishonours the name tice of the earliest churches, they came together on of Christ, and follow “righteousness, faith, love, the “First Day of the week” for the special purpose peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure of "breaking bread,” in order to " show the heart, " have no need to ticket themselves, or fix Lord's death till he come,” as the Lord ordained. upon a name. There is but one body and one Head; Gradual but steady progress in the knowledge of the the name of the Head is “CHRIST ;' the name for mind of God, characterised the Brethren for some each member of the body is “CHRISTIAN," -nothing years, and many souls rejoiced in the liberty of the more is needed, everything added is a hindrance. truth. But, in course of time, there came to pass
“The Brethren,” however, in real, simple faith in that of which Paul warned the Ephesian saints, the abiding presence of the “Comforter,” became men arose “teaching perverse things to draw away diligent and dependent SEARCHERS of the Scriptures; disciples after them." A very grievous heresy began the truth was wondrously opened up to them, and to be taught at the gathering at Plymouth, viz. they rejoiced in “the liberty with which Christ had “That the Lord Jesus Christ, as man, was assomade them free." They became a company of true ciated with the place of distance in which man in worshippers, worshipping the Father in Spirit and the flesh was, and therefore that he had through obediin truth." They accepted the glorious revelations of ence to find his way to that point where God could meet God respecting Christ and his Church ; they became IIim,” fc. This is a specimen of the teaching put a WAITING people, having been “turned from idols forth. to serve the living and true God, and to wait for It is well understood that but very few were tainted his Son from heaven.” Their spiritual search into with this heresy; but it became the occasion of a Scripture brought to their joyful souls the intelligence permanent rupture. Some who had obtained a very that the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is prominent position as leaders among "the Brethren" to be looked for and hoped for by all believers—that insisted upon the excommunication, not only of any the coming of the Lord for his Bride is quite a diffe- who received the heretical teacher or teachers, but of rent thing from his coming to earth in judgment;-whole gatherings that declined to deal with the that though both events are distinctly foretold, they question at the dictation of certain self-constituted are most emphatically stated as separate ;--that, in rulers. We have long had the impression that the truth, when the Lord comes for the Church he will section which resisted this assumed authority became descend into the Air (1 Thess. iv. 17), whereas when known as “the Plymouth Brethren," while the despotic He appears in judgment, previously to setting up his party specially repudiated the local title and mainMillennial reign, he will come to the EARTH. More- tained their claim to be “ the Brethren." We are over, that the final judgment of the unsaved dead is assured, however, that this is not so, but that the again quite distinct from, and not to be confused term “Plymouth " came into use at a time when the with, the judgment of the nations upon the earth. Christians who came out from systematic religion in It became also evident to these students of the Word, that place were rather numerous, and we suppose under the guidance of God the Holy Spirit, that, were not very well informed as to the fact that the though, Scripture plainly declares “ we shall all precious truths opened up to them were being widely stand before the judgment seat of Christ,” true promulgated in other towns and cities. believers will never stand to be judged for their sins, This, however, is very unimportant. That which because the Judge himself has put them away, is of far greater interest to us is, that, as we are blotted them out for ever by the Sacrifice of Himself. informed, all sections of “the Brethren” and “PlyThey also learned that when the believer stands mouth Brethren" utterly repudiate the false doctrine; before the judgment seat, he will have been already that the one who introduced it has long since ceased
THE PROPHET OF THE LORD MUST SPEAK ONLY
WHAT THE LORD SAITH.
to have any connection with either party; and that
“ And the messenger that was gone to call Micaiah spake of the many evils arising out of the first mistake
to him, saying, Behold now, the words of the prophets declaro made by “the Brethren ” in taking a name to dis- good unto the king with one mouth: let thy word, I pray tinguish them from their fellow Christians. Had thee, be like the word of one of them, and speak good. And they been content with simple Scriptural usage in Micaiah said, As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saitu unto the matter, their meetings would have been but me, that will I speak.”—(1 Kings xxii. 13, 14.) Christian assemblies, as the early churches were ; The incidents narrated in 1 Kings xxii. and and none but those meetings which were tainted 2 Chron. xviii. are full of instruction for such as are with false doctrine would have had to deal with it, willing to learn under the guidance of the Holy probably it would have been confined to a single Spirit. Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, had gathering But with a distinctive name came a dis- hitherto been careful to follow the precepts and comtinct organisation. As a mere human arrangement, mandments of the Lord, and had been jealous for the "Brethrenism” has failed, as man's cleverness always glory of God. For this faithfulness God had prosdoes; yet so much of it as was of God (we mean as pered him. But he fell into temptation. “He had to principles of association) has stood, and will stand. riches and honour in abundance,” (2 Chron. xviii.) "The Brethren,” from the first, came together in the he had hundreds of thousands of soldiers at his power of the Lord's assurance—“Where two or command, and, as if to display his power, he "joined three are gathered together in my name there am I affinity with Ahab,” the sinful king of Israel, “which in the midst of them.” Owning the Head of the did sell himself to work wickedness in the sight of Church as present in their midst, and subjecting the Lord, whom Jezebel his wife stirred up.” Alas! themselves individually to the guidance of the Holy for the union of Jehoshaphat and Ahab; though Spirit, their assemblies still present (to the astonish- brief, nothing but evil could come of it. May the ment of Christians who follow the letter, but not the children of God take the lesson to heart! How spirit, of God's word) numbers of believers worship: many Jehoshaphats are there at the present time ping "the Father" in spirit and in truth, and fighting in a common cause, hand in hand, with the realising, in measure, while yet upon earth, their enemies of God? It may be ostensibly fighting for heavenly portion as eternally associated with Christ, the Lord, but He will never own their labours. the Son of God. It is not a small thing for little Ahab gladly welcomed the arrival of the king on gatherings of true followers of Christ to company Judah; "he killed sheep and oxen for him in abuntogether, and realise the Lord Jesus in their midst; dance." Ah, it is very enticing to be received in this yet this
may, with certainty, be said of the meetings way, and to be made much of; but mark what follows. of "the Brethren.”
In the midst of the feasting, Ahab “persuaded him But as a consequence of having combined together to go up with him to Ramoth-gilead,” to fight against under this name—a body separated from “the one Syria. Jehoshaphat bad misgivings about it. He body," i.e., the body of Christ,—they have to bear, knew in his soul that the expedition could not succeed more or less, the odium of whatever false teaching unless approved by God; he therefore said to the has emanated from any one of their gatherings. king of Israel, " Enquire, I pray thee, at the word Thus, not only the enemies of the cross of Christ, but of the Lord to-day. “ Therefore the king of Israel Christians, who, through self-interest or other un- gathered together of prophets 400 men, and said worthy motives, seek to prevent the return of be- unto them, Shall we go to Ramoth-gilead to battle, lievers to the simplicity and blessing of the first days or shall I forbear? And they said, Go up: for God of “the Church of God," sneeringly apply such a will deliver it into the king's hand." term as “ Plymouth Brethrenism” to those who, in This was very satisfactory to Ahab. If the prothe exercise of a good conscience, have separated phets will only prophesy in accordance with the from whatever they consider dishonouring to the desires of wicked men, their words will always be name of Christ. Among teachers in Christendom gene- welcome. But this is the very height of folly'; for rally, there are few who can be compared with those what real encouragement can be found in the oracles found among the Brethren” in the faithful exposi- of lying prophets ? The 400 prophets prophesied in tion of the Scriptures ; none know better than they that the name of God, and professed to ascribe to God all there is but "one body,” comprising all the members the glory of the victory they foretold. There was of Christ. Yet, marvellous to say, they persist in perfect unanimity and absolute confidence. “ All the constituting themselves another body!
prophets prophesied so, saying, Go up to Ramoth
gilead, and prosper: for the Lord shall deliver it We purpose, if the Lord permit, in our next | into the hand of the king." Butnumber, to show wherein "the Brethren" have What a solemn lesson is here! May the reader otherwise fallen short in faithfulness by slighting learn it thoroughly. Who were these 400 prophets ? the Lord's ordinance of Baptism. May the facts They took the place of being prophets of God; but into which we have been looking stir the Lord's they were in fact the KING'S PROPILETS! They must people everywhere to increased carefulness, and an consequently prophesy for the king; and they thereearnest, stedfast conformity to the Holy Word and fore accept the inspiration of a lying spirit, instead the Holy Spirit of God.
of that of the Holy Spirit of God. Ahab is well
pleased with his prophets; they have nothing to say stifle his faithful testimony. “Consider," they might but what would exactly suit their master's purpose. have said, “that though Ahab is a bad man, JehoHe listens to their hone ed words, caring nought shaphat is one approved of the Lord; refrain, for about the hidden, lying source whence they flow, and his sake, or at least modify the severity of your is lured by them to his own destruction. Ah, there judgment. Then, again, see what confusion you have always been such prophets; and they abound are creating ; here are 400 prophets-and you can—these prophets of the king-in our day. Oh, not deny that they are prophets-yet they say with beware of them; they prophesy smooth things; their one voice, Go up and prosper. Surely you must be word is ever “Go up, and prosper.” They have wrong. It is really too bad to oppose. All these nothing to say against self-will and carnal desires; men, who are as good as you-perhaps better, have they pronounce God's blessing upon your undertakings as much right to their opinion as you have to yours. with confidence and unanimity. But they themselves You know that many of God's words admit of diffeare not subject to the “Spirit of the Lord ;" and their rent interpretations. You are positively bringing word will prove to be nothing but a delusion and a all prophets into disrepute--who will believe any
thing if one controverts what is stated by the others ? However satisfactory to the king of Israel, these Then, too, do you not see how angry you are making words of the prophets afford little encourage the king ? what will become of you if you persist in ment to Jehoshaphat. Though erring for a time, he your singular views ?” knew the value of God's guidance. He does not, it All this, and much more, such reasoners argue is true, disown Ahab's prophets, but he is not satis- now, and doubtless would have done then. But fied with them. “And Jehoshaphat said, Is there Micaiah has got one simple answer to it all—“What not here a prophet of the Lord besides, that we the Lord saith unto me that will I speak.” Ah, this might enquire of him ?'' Yes, that is what the is very precious ; how it simplifies everything! May earnest enquirer wants—not the ready promises of we be careful to have a “ Thus saith the Lord,” and those who may bear a mere official standing as then tes ify in defiance of every opposition. prophets, but the true testimony of “a prophet of God's Word is sure—not one jot or tittle of it can the Lord."
fail. Ahab wreaks his malice
of “And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, God; he consigns Micaiah to prison, with bread and There is yet one man, Micaiah, the son of Imlah, by water for his fare. But in that place the prophet has whom we may enquire of the Lord: but I hate him: a portion the King knows nothing of, " the peace of for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but God which passeth all understanding,” and he has evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so." | doubtless a high reward in the glory which is to be Micaiah is therefore summoned in haste ; and the revealed. The ruler of Israel may display his power messenger sent for him takes upon himself to depre- for a little while ; but he is fighting against God. cate anything like an adverse answer to the question Vainly does he seek to avoid his doom by disguising the kings of Israel and Judah wish to propound. himself before going into the battle. “A man drew “ The prophets have declared good unto the king, a bow at a venture, and smote the King between the will he not speak as one of them? “ And Micaiah joints of the harness.” Thus he had by his disguise said, As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto escaped the captains of the king of Syria, but to fall me, that will I speak.”
by the arrow of a nameless warrior. The man drew Micaiah's faithfulness has to be fully put to the the bow" at a venture,” but an unseen power sped proof. Ahab and Jehoshaphat arrayed in their royal the shaft. Jehoshaphat fought with the Israelites in robes, and surrounded by their retinues and the pro- the battle, and barely escaped destruction at the hands phets who have responded so cordially to the wishes of of the Syrian captains, who mistook him for Ahab. the kings, were calculated to seduce or overawe Returning afterwards to Jerusalem in peace, he had the prophet of God. But the servant is true to his to bear the reproof of Jehu, son of Hanani, the seer,
He has received the word of the Lord, “who went out to meet him, and said to the king, and there shall be no doubt left as to what is Shouldest thou help the ungodly, and love them that the mind of God about the proposed expedition. hate the Lord ? Therefore is wrath upon thee from Micaiah is undismayed by the splendour of the scene, before the Lord. Nevertheless there are good things -undeterred by the frown of Ahab or the conscious- found in thee, in that thou hast taken away the groves ness that his message is most unwelcome, or the fact out of the land, and hast prepared thine heart to seek that his voice is the only adverse one. The 400 God.” prophets may scorn him, and Zedekiah may smite him on the cheek; but Micaiah falters not. Re. gardless of consequences, he tells them the inevitable result of their attack upon Ramoth-gilead. “Ahab
As proposed in our lust, we now purpose to look into the shall there be slain and the people shall be scattered." application of 1 Cor. xiii. It is needful, however, to notice first How they despised his words ! what a pitiful figure that the word “Charity" has in our day a more circumdid Micaiah present, according to men's thoughts, in scribed signification than when originally used as a translation the midst of that scene of excitement and
earthly thing spoken of; though every kind of true benevolence may grandeur! How eagerly the sophists of our own
well be included in the full apprehension of this christian grace. time, had they been there, would have sought to Substituting therefore the word "love" for that of “charity,"
TRUE CHARACTERISTICS OF CHARITY (LOVE) IN THE
CHILDREN OF GOD.
let us look at the entire passage. “Love suffereth long, and is sincerity.” But while Christian preachers who hold high kind ; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed places before the children of God and before the world, are not up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is
set forth the simple, faithrul teachings of not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; rejoiceth not in iniquity, Scripture, our unquestionable duty is, to withstand them to but rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things, believeth all the face, for they are to be blamed. things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
Now all these characteristics of the love which includes charity are manifested by the true-hearted Christian in his
REPORTS OF SCRIPTURE MEETINGS. individual dealings with others. All the sweet qualities enumerated show that the grand lesson enforced is, thorough
Search the Scriptures.'-—(John v. 39.) unselfishness. We will apply each expression to the Christian reader, as a child of God. In the exercise of the love which (335A, STRAND, opposite Somerset House, Mondays, at 7 p.m.) has been planted in you, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,
June 19. Acts i. 12-14. you will be long-suffering and kind. Instead of resenting injury you will hear it; and you will not then wish harm to
“Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount any who offend; on the contrary you will be actively kind.
called Olivet.” It was remarked, that in returning thus to You will not envy others, neither with respect to spiritual gifts Jerusalem the disciples were taking the path of obedience, (the subject of the previous chapter), nor any other blessing. for the Lord had previously commanded them to wait in You will not vaunt self; your love will be quiet and un
Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. The path of obtrusive. You will not be puffed up; pride and self- obedience is ever the path of blessing, not only to ourselves, sufficiency cannot dwell with true Christian love. There will but to others through us. What a great blessing descended be in you no unseemliness of behaviour ; but a meek and to these obedient ones on the day of Pentecost, and through gentle bearing towards all. You will not be self-seeking, but them to how many others ! your actions will be generous and disinterested. You will not be easily provoked. The treasure is in an earthen vessel, so
Not only did they believe the promise, and obediently perchance you may be provoked, but not easily. You will accord' in prayer and supplication." Times of weakness
return, and patiently wait, but “all continued with one think no evil; and you will put the best construction upon the will be times of united prayer, and of clinging together, as motives of your brethren. You will not rejoice in iniquity; does a poor, fearful, defenceless flock of sheep. The shep. you will have no part in it, and will be grieved to see it in whatever form it may appear. You will rejoice in the herd was personally withdrawn, and the righteous cry ; truth. The Word of God will be always precious to you, anon, the Holy Ghost descends, and “the righteous are as remembering the prayer of our Lord, “Sanctify them by thy bold as a lion." Ob, that Christian assemblies generally truth, thy Word is truth." You will be ready to bear all would be more content to be weak outwardly, rest less on things;
whatever trials may be laid upon you, especially in visible resources, and seek, by prayer in the Holy Ghost, connection with the wrong doings of others. You will be to “be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might.” ready to believe all things, generously and hopefully; unlike Though the blessing for which they are waiting is prothe natural man, who is usually suspicious and unbelieving. mised, and promised not many days thence, yet they conYou will hope all things; when others would give over the hardhearted, the ungrateful, and the rebellious, your love will fulfilment of the promise. The churches on earth should
tinue in prayer, doubtless, among other things, for the still hold on and hope for a change. You will be ready to endure all things, in patience and self-devotedness, remember
still take the same posture of waiting and praying ones ing Him who first loved you and gave himself for you. All
- Behold, I come quickly. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." this applies to yourself in your dealings with mankind. It is “ With the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus." entirely an exemplification of unselfishness and self-sacrifice How remarkable that the last time we hear of Mary, it is for the advantage of those on whose behalf Christian love is as a praying one! what a rebuke to that large section of brought into exercise.
Christendom which prays to her! Long after it is said, That this is the true teaching is fully confirmed by the con- “Blessed art thou among women,” we behold her as a text. The Corinthian saints were blessed with all spiritual suppliant, and a suppliant for that blessing we now possess gifts, and they were unhappily giving way to the display of -ihe Spirit as an indweller, thus evidenciog that she these, in ungenerous rivalries and contentions. Self-assertion needed, equally with all believers, to be baptised by one was beginning to predominate. The apostle has, therefore, to remind them that these gifts were not given for selfish use, but Spirit into oue body," and if in the Body it follows that for the edification of all the members of the body of Christ,
she cannot be an independent dispeuser of blessing, because and he concludes the twelfth chapter with the words “ Covet
that glory appertaios necessarily to the Head. earnestly the best gifts : and yet shew I unto you a more
"And with his brethren." In John vii .5, we read "Neither excellent way;” That more excellent way he goes on to show did his brethren believe in hin." But here we see that is Christian love. For the exercise of this no special gift is after his death they do believe. How often are the required. It may be fully practised by Christians who prayers of Christians not answered during their life. The have but little intelligence or brightness of gift. It is greater obduracy of heart of his kindred was one of those respects than faith and hope, for while these will necessarily cease in in which he was tried “ like as we are, yet without sin." the eternal state, Love will endure for ever.
But this in no way interferes with the duties of a Christian teacher. He must be unsparing with all that is in opposition
COMMENTARY ON THE GOSPEL BY to the mind of God. Love prompts him in the exercise of his calling to oppose error, and it may be, "rebuke sharply;" for
ST. JOHN the very reason that he cares for others, not for himself. His
(Written expressly for this publication.) mind is to be in entire accord with the Scripture under examination, but he has duties superadded to those which appertain to ordinary Christian intercourse. He therefore How often we are constrained to pause and wonder, when looks to other portions of the Word of God for instruction in reading the inspired Word, at the peculiar and lofty way in those exceptional duties. When Paul found that the apostle which divine truth is linked together. The most careless Peter was not acting truthfully towards the Gentile converts reader ought to be convinced that the books, called collectively he says_“I withstood him to the face, because he was to be the Bible, are no mere human production. Such thoughts blamed.” The Holy Ghost has had this recorded for warning arise spontaneously when looking at the words of verse 18, in and instruction. We must act in the same spirit. God forbid connection with the contrasted missions of Moses and Jesus as that we should entertain the least animosity towards any stated in the preceding sentence. brother. We love all who “ love our Lord Jesus Christ in Ver. 18.– No man hath seen God at any timo; the only
am not the Christ.'
begotten Son which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath with the “stedfast” purpose of offering Himself a declared, not only declared him, (as the authorized translation sacrifice for sin ; yet these Samaritans refused him a or promulgate God's righteous laws , but the Son of God alone temporary repose by the way! This treatment moved could declare or make known 'the Infinite Unseen" Himself. It his disciples with indignation, and they said “Lord, needed the Son, who was not only from, but in, the bosom of the wilt thou that we command fire to come down from Father to reveal the perfect attributes of God, and, above all, heaven and consume them, even as Elias did ? his amazing love towards fallen men. No man had seen God Jesus turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know at any time. Moses had but a glimpse of him; and therefore not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of none could adequately describe him. But his only-begotten, his well-beloved Son had fully known him, and continued to
man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save." dwell with him, in clusest intimacy. He could declare, he (Luke ix. 54–56.) could show us, not only the 'I Am,'but the FATHER.
These words are not understood by the world, not We must not omit to notice the remarkable difference of even the Christian world, so called; but they ought expression as to the manner by which men were brought, first under Law, then under Grace. Not only did the One who made to be apprehended by all believers in the Lord Jesus known the latter require for higher qualifications than he who Christ. As for those who merely hold opinions about brought in the Law; the Law was giren, or laid upon, those to Him, the principle here taught cannot be received whom it was sent. They were brought under obligation by it. by them. There must be, by faith, personal interest It was a yoke ; a yoke which, said Peter, ‘Neither our fathers in the Saviour. nor we were able to bear.' Whereas grace and truth came by absolute reliance on and in Him before we can appre
We must have confidence, trust, Jesus Christ; came that we might be attracted by them to Him by whom they came.
The very thought presented by ciate the sublime teachings of the Son of God. the words is impregnated with grace. Jesus came! Who can To those who are with us on this heavenly ground find words to express how gracious it was of Him to come to we earnestly commend the words of our Lord. We us? Well-grace and truth came by Him. We cannot say they accompanied Him; He was the expression of them. He
are led to press them especially at this time through cannot be had without them, nor they without him
; yet he having read the report of what transpired recently at has left them here for us. They are stored up in his word; a general meeting of the Congregational Union. On and happily the Soul who appropriates them takes Jesus with that occasion a number of ministers of the Gospel of
Peace delivered a succession of warlike speeches 19, 20. And this is the record (or testimony) of John when the Jews sent Priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, who which could not easily have been more anti-christian art thou? And he confessed, and denied not ; but confessed I had they been uttered by so many heathens. They
The emphasis with which it is here endorsed the fratricidal war of the Northern Amerirecorded that John confessed he was not the Christ, is cans against those of the South ; they applauded the
The people were no doubt struck with the thought of the undying anger and vengeance which holiness and austerity of his life, and the righteousness of his * And all men mused in their hearts of John, would, under certain circumstances, actuate both
It would have been Englishmen and Americans ; they moreover allowed easy to encourage the thought and even possible, perhaps, for Scripture to be explained away ; for the Rev. Mr. John to have been so inflated by his divine mission as to have Vaughan endeavoured to show that the apostles only suffered himself to be deluded by the suppositions of others. failed to preach the abolition of slavery because they He repudiated however every pretension, not only to Messiahship, but even to the dignity of Elias.
feared the opposition which such a course would have 21–23. And they asked him, what then ? Art thou Elias ? provoked ! ! altogether forgetful that it was the And he saith, I am am not. Art thou that prophet? And he Holy Ghost, upon whom the fear of man could have
Then saith they unto him, Who art thou ? that no influence, who wrought in and by the apostles, we may give an answer to them that sent us? What sayest thou of thyself ?, And he said, I am the voice of one crying in revealing fully the mind of God. the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the
Such teaching not only controverts the spirit of prohet Esaias.' Admirable humility ? He must needs take up “the Word,” but is in defiance of the emphatic dethe prophetic word, but he will not assume prophetic honour. claration of Paul_“I have not shunned to declare He was a 'voice!'-content himself to be of no account, if they unto you ALL the counsel of God”! If, therefore, would only hear him, and prepare the way of the Lord. He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.' Of him who thus the abolition of slavery was a principle of Christiaconfessed himself to be but a voice," Jesus said, 'Among nity, Paul must have declared it. But not only so ; those that are born of women, there hath not risen a greater the plain teaching of Scripture respecting the question than Jobn the Baptist.
of slavery is this —"Let every man abide in the same calling wherein he was called. Art thou called being a slave ? Care not for it: but if thou mayest be made free, use it rather.”
In the days when the New Testament scriptures “ Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.”—Luke ix. 65.
were written, slavery was a common thing; and many The Gospel of Peace has been preached for eighteen slaves became spiritually free—the Lord's freemen. hundred
years, nevertheless it is as needful as ever to It was therefore needful that plain directions should remind Christians that war, strife, and vengeance are be given to them as to the course the Lord would utterly opposed to the spirit of the present dispensa- have them to follow under the trying circumstancea tion. To the hearts of sinful men there seemed good in which they were called. And blessed be His name, reason to call down vengeance upon certain Samari- they were not left in any uncertainty about it tans, who would not allow the Lord Jesus Christ on called in slavery they were s. therein to al his way up to Jerusalem to rest awhile in their God,” not caring about their bondage, the village. He was journeying up to the sacred city might lawfully be " made freo" they
MAN BREATHES THREATENING AND SLAUGHTER :
JESUS BREATHES PEACE.