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tinguishes man from the lower animals has a superior counterpart in the Great Source of animals, and man, and the universe."

We should like to know how much is included in the term “intelligence" as here used by Dr. Beet? Usually, writers on Theism mean something more than intelligence when they speak of a personal God. Certainly Lotze in that chapter of the Microcosmus, in which he deals with “personality,” includes a great deal more than “ intelligence." Does Dr. Beet include in intelligence selfknowledge, self-guidance ? Is intelligence conscious of itself and of its own purpose ? For Dr. Beet knows that there are in current use such phrases as “unconscious intelligence," " unconscious will,” and a number of other phrases of similar import by which men seek to obtain all the results of conscious intelligence without committing themselves to the Theistic view of the universe. On these grounds we venture to submit to Dr. Beet that when we speak of a personal God we mean something over and above that he affirms. We are persuaded that Dr. Beet's little volume has before it a great career of usefulness, and our remarks are directed towards those parts which to us seem somewhat defective, with the hope of making the book still more effective than it is. It is so very good that we desire to remove some barriers to its usefulness.

JAMES IVERACH, D.D.

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VILLAGE SERMONS. BY R. W. CHURCH. Macmillan, 1892. This volume belongs to the school of the plain sermons of Keble and Mozley in their parochial discourses, but appears to reach a higher standard of power

and excellence. Reality, honesty, sincerity are here, as elsewhere, the leading notes of Dr. Church's teaching. Moral instructions are pressed home with a white intensity of subdued feeling, and a whole-hearted desire to be thorough and honest towards God and His flock; and the style is that of a master-simple, frank, luminous, pure. But there are some points missing. Some will notice a certain lack of the emotional and dramatic element, especially looked for by less educated congregations. Country people often hide behind a stolid exterior a lively flow of movable feeling, and even of romantic sentiment—not least in the west of England-a survival, maybe, of the days of their fathers. There is a vein of deep moral emotion in Dr. Church's sermons, but it is kept under not too little restraint from an oratorical point of view. We miss, too, the smell and taste of the meadows and woods. The familiar surroundings of the farmer and agricultural labourer would have supplied a Kingsley or a Spurgeon with homely analogies and local illustrations, whereas these sermons might have been as appropriately preached in town as in country. Christ's own teaching and preaching in the city and in the Galilean fields varies in style and colouring with its respective environments. There is, too, an entire absence of quotation, yet the English poor love hymns and sacred songs, and a few verses here and there sprinkled appositely would have pointed a sharper moral and adorned a brighter tale.

The most eloquent sermon in the book we take to be xiii., “ The Work of the Spirit”; the most pastoral and affecting, xxxii., “The Farewell"; not the least search. ing, xxxi., “ The Perfect Light of God,” and xix., " The Consequences of Unbelief"; the most direct and aggressive, vi., “The Danger of Delay.” Passing on to a more detailed examination, in Sermon v. (John ii. 1,2), on the trite subject of Christ's presence at Cana, after treating felicitously Christ's willingness“ to be with us in these familiar things which make up the course of our day, and which to many are so full of happiness—ou

our morning and evening meal, our visit to our friend, our social talk with a neighbour about our common interests, the pleasure we receive from a walk, an interesting book, the sight of a beautiful country, the sound of music "—the preacher

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regards the miracle as an example of "turning the weaker into the stronger, the common into the precious. . . And is not this the type of the wonderful way in which Christ deals with the souls of those who put themselves into His hands ? He makes the water wine. A sinner turns in weakness and fear from his sins, hardly hoping that he can ever become fit for heaven, hardly hoping that his infirmity will ever be healed. And in time, according to such an one's faith and earnestness, the old man begins to be destroyed and the new man to be formed in him. The water is made wine.” One misses here the thought of the possibility of instantaneous conversion. Yet the water was not gradually precipitated into wine. The process, though the phases may, or may not, have been a whole series of complicated changes fringing into one another in exquisite order in the eye of heavenly law Himself, was as quick as a flash of light through the firmament. So spiritual transformations may be rapid or slowly developed, according to the order of the Spirit, as He willeth.

From the parable of "The Unjust Steward” the lesson of whole-hearted thoroughness is driven home. “ The world is served more perfectly, more wisely, more successfully than God. We are not talking, as the parable does not talk, of the right and wrong of what he did. The point is, that there were certain things to be done, and he did them. He had the sense to look forward and make ready.”

The preacher can be on occasion very straight and personal; thus in Sermon vi., “ The Danger of Delay,” Acts xvi. 30, “But what are you going to do to be saved who have not even the miserable cloak and shelter of an outwardly fair and decent life to screen you from the wrath of God against sin? What are you going to do to be saved who openly break God's laws by gross and presumptuous sin ?

You who sin with a high hand in the face of heaven, you to whom all the world, all who know you, bear witness week after week that you are sinners, even in the eyes of men ? ”

As a whole, this volume will in no degree diminish Dr. Church's high reputation. A book more helpful towards reality of character, a better model of style to a young clergyman who wants to be a manly, simple, earnest sower of the Word of Life could not be found than this last and not least valuable offering of a gifted mind and a loyal soul to the serious endeavour of his day.

J. F. VALLINGS, M.A.

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CURRENT ENGLISH

THOUGHT.

THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND AND THE TRUE RULE Of Faith. (The Church Quarterly).In the Book of Revelation, where the conflict of the Church with the world is described, and her fortunes, so to say, during the period of her probation foretold, we meet with that remarkable passage concerning Christ's two witnesses, of whom He says (Rev. xi. 1-12, R.V.), “ I will give unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth. These are the two olive trees and the two candlesticks, standing before the Lord of the earth.” One class of interpreters, “ the Futurists,” suppose these two witnesses to be two persons who are to return to or appear in the world at some future date; but if, as seems very probable, the 1,260 days represent the whole period of the Church's probation, the present dispensation, then these witnesses who testify throughout the period must represent something enduring and constantly present in the world. We are not concerned, however, with the different views that have

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been taken of this passage (Rev. xi. 1-12). We are not even obliged to insist upon the correctness of the interpretation that we here adopt. If the passage does not serve for a foundation of our argument, or a justification of the conclusion we shall arrive at, it will answer very well as illustrating the principle for which we are contending.

It is, at any rate, a significant and undeniable fact that when Jesus Christ left the world, two witnesses for Him did arise in it. First, the Christian Church, the company of professing Christians. He said to His Apostles collectively, “Yę shall be my witnesses," just as He had said to His disciples previously, and in anticipation, “Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.” It is equally certain that there is another pre-eminent witness for Jesus Christ in the world besides the Church. Along with the Church there grew up in the world " the Book”—the volume of the New Testament. He actually has said of the message which is the sum and substance of the New Testament's teaching, “ This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations."

The Book of Revelation, interpreting itself, tell us that the candlestick, or lampstand, represents the Church, or a branch of it (Rev. i. 20). In the first chapter of this book seven candlesticks represent the whole Church. But if the two lamp-stands represents the Church, most appropriately will the two olive trees, from which through the golden pipes a continuous stream of oil flows in to feed the lamps (Zach. iv. 3, 12), signify the Holy Scriptures, the Scriptures from which, through the ages, as from a pure and never-failing fountain, the Church receives perpetually the material of her illuminating power.

And these two witnesses to the truth, each “ prophesying,” or proclaiming the Gospel to the world, though they lean upon and corroborate each other, yet are they separate and independent witnesses. It is true that the Church is, as the article says, the witness and keeper of Holy Writ, and that one principal ground on which we receive the books of the New Testament as the inspired Word of God is the witness of the whole Church to the fact. It is also true that the Holy Scriptures testify to the existence in the world of the visible Church, the kingdom of heaven upon earth, to her Divine origin and her office; but the fact that two witnesses bear testimony to each other's probity, and mutually corroborate one another, does not prevent them from being distinct and independent witnesses. The Holy Catholic Church is not the creation of the New Testament. The Church was established in the world and widely spread before the New Testament came into existence. On the other hand, though the New Testament is witnessed to by the Church, and though her Apostles and Evangelists were inspired to write the several books which we receive as canonical, yet the New Testament does not owe its existence in any sense to the Church. The Church never designed or proposed to produce such a book. Just as the Church grew up in the world, so the Book grew up. It is an independent creation. Though the work of different persons at different times, and with different objects, it has a great purpose pervading it—it is a unique book, and is as much a distinct creation of the Holy Spirit of God as is the Church herself.

It is not vital to our argument, as we have said, whether or no the passage in the Revelation applies to these two witnesses, the Scriptures and the Church. There, as a matter of fact, they stand together, the Holy Scriptures and the Holy Catholic Church, testifying to Jesus Christ and preaching together His Gospel to the world. It was intended that the world should have the united testimony of these two witnesses. But unhappily the event, as too often is the case, has not fully corre. sponded with the good purpose of God.

In the early days of her conflict with the world, the Church, having no other weapon to use, relied on, and used faithfully, the one weapon the Holy Ghost had placed in her hand, " the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” The temptation to the Church of the greatest city in the world, and to the bishop of that Church, to become political, was a natural temptation, and a most powerful one, and the Church and Bishop of Rome fell under it.

Let the causes, however, have been what they may, certainly the Church of Rome to a great extent, and for centuries, put the Bible out of sight. So has it been, so in a great measure it still is, with the Roman Church. In saying this we do not of course forget, still less question, the love and veneration in which individual Roman Catholics hold the Scriptures-even our English version of them. Mr. Meynell tells us of Cardinal Manning, that, he had a great desire that his flock should love what he called the music of the English Bible,' and he published at his own cost St. John's Gospel, in a form which made it available for the pocket.” But we are speaking of a system, not of individuals.

Notice, however, what the Book of Revelation says shall be the consequence to those who hinder or inflict injury upon these witnesses: “If any man will hurt them fire proceedeth out of their mouth and devoureth their enemies; and if any man will hurt them he must in this manner be killed" (xi. 5). The punishment comes naturally, of necessity, and from the witness that is injured. Printing was discovered, the Bible was translated, the knowledge of its statements was spread abroad ; and the branch of the Church that had neglected and forgotten it, that had obscured its doctrines and disregarded its statements, was brought face to face with, not now a witness in her support, but an accuser, and out of the mouth of the neglected witness the fire came.

And what has been the result to the Roman Church ? She has lost in great degree, we believe, her hold upon the most intelligent nations of Europe. But this has not been all. “In the great moral upheaval of the sixteenth century” many persons and classes, and bodies of men, staggered, shocked by the spectacle of Rome's unfaithfulness, rejected altogether the idea of a visible Church in the world as of Divine institution or according to the purpose of God. The theory of an invisible Church was then invented, and to this novel idea the words of the Holy Scripture were as far as possible applied. And such persons and bodies of professing Christians would find their views accurately expressed by the famous saying of Chillingworth, that “the Bible, and the Bible only, is the religion of Protestants.” So, just as the Romanists put the first witness, the olive trees, the Scriptures, out of sight, these put away the second witness, the golden candlesticks, the Holy Catholic Church. But the second error is as disastrous as the first. Neither witness can be “hurt” with impunity. The Holy Catholic Church is defined by the Baptist community as an invisible body consisting of the truly elect, and being an invisible body, and no one knowing for certain who the truly elect, in this sense, are, it is incapacitated for its office as a witness to the world of anything at all. One does not know what, or where, it is—it has no voice to speak with, no mark by which it may be known-and so, according to the Baptists, the sole public and divinely constituted witness to God's purpose for mankind, to Christ's truth, to His Gospel is the Bible; and the only key to the meaning of Scripture is Scripture itself. Were these two, the Scriptures and the Church, permitted to stand together, hand in hand, and deliver their united testimony, how different the result must have been! As it

1 Second Baptist Confession, chap. xxvi.

is, the unhappy consequences of separating the two, and of disregarding the voice of one or other of them, is evident in the world and on every side-dispute, suspicion, contention, doubt, infidelity.

The Anglican Church seemed, after the Reformation, to be indeed a feeble shoot of the great Western Church, with little vitality, and alone in the world. But the leaders of the Church were wise and temperate men, and the nation, on the whole, calm in its judgments and fair-minded, and, in great peril, the Anglican Church was saved from the danger that lay on either hand. In her communion, by the merciful providence of God, Christ's two witnesses still stand together upon even ground, and conjointly supply what she believes to be the true rule of Faith; nay, in the words of Archbishop Bramhall, “ the infallible Rule of Faith-that is, the Holy Scripture interpreted by the Catholic Church.”

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CURRENT AMERICAN

THOUGHT.

THE EvolUTION OF CHRISTIANITY. LYMAN ABBOT (The New World).-Evolution is defined by Professor Le Conte as “ continuous progressive change according to certain laws, and by means of resident forces." Religion has been defined by an English divine as “ the life of God in the soul of man." It is my object to show that the Christian religion is itself an evolution; that is, that this life of God in humanity is one of continuous progressive change, according to certain Divine laws, and by means of forces, or a force resident in humanity. All scientific men to-day are evolutionists. That is, they agree, substantially, in holding that all life proceeds, by a regular and orderly sequence, from simple to more complex forms, from lower to higher forms, and in accordance with laws which either now are, or may yet be understood ; these last are, at all events, a proper subject of hopeful investigation. The truth of this doctrine I assume: I assume that all life, including the religious life, proceeds by a regular and orderly sequence from simple and lower forms to more complex and higher forms, in institutions, in thought, in practical conduct, and in spiritual experience. As all scientific men believe in evolution—the orderly development of life from lower to higher forms-so all Christians believe that there has been a manifestation of God in Jesus Christ which has produced historical Christianity. Christianity has not been a fixed and unchanging factor, but a life subject to a continuous progressive change; this change has not been lawless, irregular, and unaccountable, but according to certain laws, fixed and inviolable, though by no means well understood; and the cause of this change, or these changes, has been a force not foreign to man himself, but residing in him. Thus, Christianity, whether regarded as an institutional, an intellectual, a social, or a moral life, has exemplified the law of evolution.

The doctrine of evolution makes no attempt whatever to explain the nature or origin of life. It is concerned not with the origin, but with the phenomena of life. It sees the forces resident in the phenomena, but it throws no light on the question how they came there. Evolution traces only the processes of life. The evolutionist insists that these processes are always from the simple to the complex; from the simple nebulæ to the complicated world containing mineral substances and vegetable

Bramhall, “ Preface to Replication,” Works, p. 141.

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