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miracles in writing of the periods to which they belong. So far as his design can be conjectured, it was probably to illustrate and exemplify still further our Lord's variety of method in the working of his cures, by stating a case (perhaps the only one) in which the cure was gradual.' These remarks are as ingeniously perverse as it was well possible for them to be. For it is curious to observe with what emphasis the unique character of the miracle is insisted on, at the same time that by wantonly disconnecting it from the previous context all chance of understanding it is cut off. Nor is the reason given for thus severing the cure from its natural connexion a whit less ludicrous. Because forsooth Mark often omits miracles ‘in speaking of the periods to which they belong, therefore, when he goes out of his way to insert one quite peculiar to himself it must be isolated from its context. Let us now see what Bishop Hinds makes of the passage, by simply not flying off at a tangent. Of course he takes up the whole paragraph, and here is his luminous comment upon it:

“And he cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto him, and besought him to touch him. And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up; and he was restored, and saw every man clearly. And he sent him away to his house, saying, Neither go into the town, nor tell it to any in the town.”

“This miraculous cure of a blind man has an evident allusion to the dulness of our Lord's disciples, which was noticed in the last section. In reference to this he had asked them, Having eyes, see ye not? and having ears, hear ye not? and do ye not remember? When I brake the five loaves among five thousand, how many baskets full of fragments took ye up? And they said, Twelve. And he said unto them, How is it that ye do not understand? The very slow and gradual way, too, in which his miracle of healing the bodily infirmity of the blind man was performed, itself indicates this intended analogy. At first, the blind man looks up, and sees men as trees walking; and it is only in a further stage of the miracle that he sees plainly. Now with miracles performed on the blind and deaf, the apostles had by this time become familiar. The secondary application too of these miraclesthe hints they conveyed of what our Lord was doing for the minds and hearts of men—they must by this time have well understood. But in the present instance, the application of the miracle to their case more especially was intimated by the terms of the reproof which he had just before given them. “Having eyes, do ye not see?” They were, therefore, one would think, led forcibly to attach a mean: ing to a feature in this miracle, which distinguished it from other similar cases of sight restored; and to suspect, that the peculiarity was intended to point at them, and at that dulness which had lately called forth such strong expressions from our Lord. Nothing perhaps more required to be impressed on their minds, than that while Jesus was commending and rewarding their faith, by clearer and clearer revelations, they were still to be on the alert about discovering the whole truththat their faith, until they should arrive at the perfect man, was even like the slow-coming vision of this blind man restored to sight, and the objects of it like the men which he saw as trees walking.’

Another illustration and we have done. In Mark ii. 18–22, containing Christ's answer to the Pharisees respecting his disciples not fasting, our author misses altogether the beautiful and strikingly allusive character of our Lord's teaching there so admirably exemplified—his manner, we mean, of pregnantly hinting at earlier lessons and events of his ministry. We, of course, do not quote all the five notes. One will be enough for our purpose, viz., that on the 22nd verse, in which, as before, we have reasons duly assigned for the unreasonable procedure. We give both text and comment.

* “And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.”

“The same essential truth is now propounded in another parabolic form, likewise borrowed from the experience of common life. Instead of old and new cloth, the antithesis is now between old and new skins as receptacles for new wine, the fermenting strength of which distends the fresh skins without injury, but bursts the rigid leather of the old ones. The word bottles is of course to be explained with reference to the oriental use of goat skins to preserve and carry water, milk, wine, and other liquids. The attempt to determine who are meant by the bottles, and what by the wine, proceeds upon a false assumption with respect to the structure and design of parables, which are not to be expounded by adjusting the minute points of resemblance first, and then deducing from the aggregate a general conclusion, but by first ascertaining the main analogy, and then adjusting the details to suit it. This is the method universally adopted in expounding fables, which are only a particular species of the parable, distingnished by the introduction of the lower animals, as representatives of moral agents. In explaining AEsop's fable of the Fox and the Grapes, no one ever thinks of putting a distinctive meaning on the grapes, as a particular kind of fruit, or on the limbs of the fox as having each its own significance. Yet this is the expository method almost universally applied to the parables. By varying the form of his illustration here, without a change in its essential import, he teaches us to ascertain the latter first, and then let the mere details adjust themselves accordingly. The last clause furnishes the key to both similitudes. New wine must be put into new bottles. In religion, no less than in secular affairs, new emergencies require new means to meet them; but these new means are not to be devised by human wisdom, but appointed by divine authority.”

What a vein of virgin gold Dr. Alexander has here missed, by lazily falling back upon an inapplicable platitude, will appear from the following extract from the ‘Catechist's Manual:’—

* “And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not? And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred; but new wine must be put into new bottles.”

“Keeping in view the tissue-like character of our Lord's lessons, we shall observe, that he sometimes preserves the connexion, not, as in former instances, by repeating the same truth so as to remind them of its having been previously taught; but by clothing some different doctrine in forms of expression which reminded his hearers of a preceding portion of his ministry. It wouid seem that, from the very earliest stage of their training, the apostles were thus taught to consider the counsel of God as a connected whole. In the present instance, suppose St. Mark to have written under the impression that the beginning of miracles at Cana was fully and universally known to his readers, so much so as to be omitted in his narrative: he might still be supposed to preserve the allusions, or apparent allusions to it, contained in the language of our Saviour's reply to the Pharisees: “Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.” That first miracle, as the “beginning of miracles,” might be expected to be pregnant with meaning. Still, agreeably to the view taken of the gradual disclosure of the meaning of all Christ's lessons, it would at the time contain little self-explanation. Read the narrative of St. John, and such is precisely the impression which it leaves—an impression of surmise, which the circumstances taken alone by no means satisfy. For the use of such a lesson, if lesson it were, the Great Teacher would surely revert again and again to the images of that scene; would explain portion by portion; first, darkly, then more clearly; and would finally combine the whole, in the more advanced stages of his ministry, into doctrines clear and explicitly expressed. Here is the beginning of such a process of exposition. The employment of a bridegroom and a nuptial train, as images to designate himself and his disciples, was likely to kindle a train of associations with the marvellous scene at Cana. While the imagination was thus refreshed, our Lord gives a meaning to that scene, which had not yet perhaps been observed, “New wine must be put into new bottles;” intimating that the image on which he was harping was the same as that which he had symbolically presented to them in the feast. And although the truth conveyed was still dim and indistinct, they might perceive that there was some connexion between the symbol of new wine and a new dispensation; and that all was annexed somehow to the “taking away of Him” who described himself as “the Bridegroom.” “If it should eccur to any that in this and in some other cases which may be adverted to in proof or illustration of the connected and tissue-like form of Christ's teaching, the expression was only a common proverb—it should be observed, that were these the only expressions which appear to allude thus to former acts and words, there might be some force in the objection; but observing a long train into which these fit, who can scruple to give them a place amongst the rest? Perhaps even the observation respecting the new cloth and the new garment may be, like the one which accompanies it, an allusion to some lesson unrecorded; to some portion perhaps of that very scene at Cana.”

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‘BRING them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.’ There is then some kind of nurture which is of the Lord, deriving a quality and a power from him, and communicating the same. Being instituted by him, it will of necessity have a method and a character peculiar to itself, or rather to him. It will be the Lord's way of education, having aims appropriate to him, and if realized in its full intent, terminating in results impossible to be reached by any merely human method. What then is the true idea of Christian, or divine nurture, as distinguished from that which is not Christian What is its aim f What its method of working 2 What its powers and instruments? What its contemplated results? Few questions have greater moment, and it is one of the pleasant signs of the times, that the subject involved is beginning to attract new interest, and excite a spirit of inquiry which heretofore has not prevailed in our churches. In ordinary cases, the better and more instructive way of handling this subject would be, to go directly into the practical methods of parental discipline, and show by what modes of government and instruction we may hope to realize the best results. But unhappily the public mind is pre-occupied extensively by a view of the whole subject, which I must regard as a theoretical mistake, and one which must involve, as long as it continues, practical results systematically injurious. This mistaken view it is necessary, if possible, to remove. And, accordingly, what I have to say will take the form of an argument on the question thus put in issue; though I design to gather round the subject, as I proceed, as much of practical instruction as the mode of the argument will suffer. Assuming, then, the question above stated, What is the true idea of Christian education ?—I answer in the following proposition, which it will be the aim of my argument to establish; vizTHAT THE CHrLD Is To Grow UP A CHRISTIAN. In other words, the aim, effort, and expectation should be, not as is commonly assumed, that the child is to grow up in sin, to be converted after he comes to a mature age; but that he is to open on the world as one that is spiritually renewed, not remembering the time when he went through a technical experience, but seeming rather to have loved what is good from his earliest years. I do not affirm that every child may, in fact and without exception, be so trained that he certainly will grow up a Christian. The qualifications it may be necessary to add, will be given in another place, where they can be stated more intelligibly. This doctrine is not a novelty, now rashly and for the first time propounded, as some of you may be tempted to suppose. I shall show you, before I have done with the argument, that it is as old as the Christian Church, and prevails extensively at the present day in other parts of the world. Neither let your own experience raise a prejudice against it. If you have endeavoured to realize the very truth I here affirm, but find that your children do not exhibit the character you have looked for; if they seem to be intractable to religious influences, and sometimes to display an apparent aversion to the very subject of religion itself, you are not, of course, to conclude that the doctrine I here maintain is untrue or impracticable. You may be unreasonable in your expectations of your children. Possibly, there may be seeds of holy principle in them, which you do not discover. A child acts out his present feelings, the feelings of the moment, without qualification or disguise. And how, many times, would all you appear, if you were to do the same * Will you expect of them to be better and more constant and consistent than yourselves; or will you rather expect them to be children, human children still, living a mixed life, trying out the good and evil of the world, and preparing, as older Christians do, when they have taken a lesson of sorrow and emptiness, to turn again to the true good? Perhaps they will go through a rough mental struggle, at some future day, and seem, to others and to themselves, there to have entered on a Christian life. And yet it may be true that there was still some root of right principle established in their childhood, which is here only quickened and developed, as when Christians of a mature age are revived in their piety, after a period of spiritual lethargy; for it is conceivable that regenerate character may exist long before it is fully and formally developed. But suppose there is really no trace or seed of holy principle in your children, has there been no fault of piety and constancy in your church, no want of Christian sensibility and love to God, no carnal spirit visible to them and to all, and imparting its noxious and poisonous quality to the Christian atmosphere in which they have had their nurture? For it is not for you alone to realize all that is included in the idea of Christian education. It belongs to the church of God, according to the degree of its social power over you and in you and around your children, to bear a part of the responsibility with you. Then, again, have you nothing to blame in yourselves, no lack of faithfulness, no indiseretion of manner, or of temper, no mistake of duty, which, with a better and more cultivated piety, you would have been able to avoid? Have you been so nearly even with your privilege and duty, that you can find no relief but to lay some charge upon God, or comfort yourselves in the conviction that he has appointed the failure you deplore? When God marks out a plan of education, or sets up an aim to direct its efforts, you will see, at once, that he could not base it on a want of piety in you, or on any imperfections that flow from a want of piety. It must be a plan measured by himself and the fulness of his own gracious intentions. Besides, you must not assume that we, in this age, are the best Christians that have ever lived, or most likely to produce all the fruits of piety. An assumption so pleasing to our vanity is more easily made than verified, but vanity is the weakest as it is the cheapest of all arguments. We have some good points, in which we compare favourably with other Christians, and Christians of other times, but our style of piety is sadly deficient, in many respects, and that to such a degree that we have little cause for selfcongratulation. With all our activity and boldness of movement, there is a certain hardness and rudeness, a want of sensibility to things that do not lie in action, which cannot be too much deplored, or too soon rectified. We hold a piety of conquest rather than of love. A kind of public piety that is strenuous and fiery on great occasions, but wants the beauty of holiness, wants constancy, singleness of aim, loveliness, purity, richness, blamelessness, and—if I may

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