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of the rules and doctrines of the divine word on our own hearts and consciences. One prominent purpose which this discussion may, it is hoped, subserve, is to bring this subject more closely home to our people, and to lead us to ask ourselves, Have we entered into the kingdom of Christ, or are we still standing without?

We think that the test which we seek can be found by every man in his own heart. To the same view looks the apostolic injunction: "Examine yourselves whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves." We must search out that deep ground in the heart on which rest all our professions, confessions, and confidence in our religious state.

After so many preliminaries, let us now announce distinctly where we think this dividing line, which separates the righteous from the wicked, is to be found. It is in the leading or prevailing intent of the heart; the attitude, so to speak, of the soul. It is defined in the following words of Paul: Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or obedience unto righteousness." So when we determine within ourselves to adhere to Christ and his doctrine, to make his law our rule of life, and his example our pattern, we may then justly style ourselves righteous, and claim to ourselves the privileges of that state, although we find at times the law in our members warring against the law in our minds, and subjecting us, as momentary captives, not as willing servants, to sin.

When we speak, as above, of a determination to adhere to Christ, we intend of course an abiding decision, and not a mere momentary resolve. We mean that this shall be and remain the ruling motive and predominating desire of the soul. We mean that the face shall be continually set Zion-ward, and the soul be true to the deep influences of Christian love.

The magnetic needle thus is true to the pole; other and more powerful influences nearer at hand, may cause it to swerve; yet still it struggles to turn towards the centre of its vital loyalty; and when the distracting substance is withdrawn, returns trembling to point again towards the pole, in obedience to its permanent inner law. When

we find that this virtue exists in it, we do not hesitate to pronounce that it is a magnetic needle, in contradistinction to all common needles, even though it may be for the time deflected from the true point.

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So the righteous man may be drawn away from his faithfulness to the Christian law; in the world's conflicting influences he may tremble, and waver, and cry for help; but when he settles it is on loyalty to duty, devotion to truth, faith in Christ, and love to God. And if a man finds this loyalty in his heart, he may appropriate to himself those messages of the divine word which speak to the righteous. Then may he place himself along side the early Christian, and join him in repeating these words, a meditation on which has led to the writing of this article : Seeing then that we have a great high-priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not a high-priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Heb. iv. 14, 15, 16. But how can he hold fast a profession who dares not, even in his secret soul, to make one. He does not draw the gospel to his bosom, but holds it at arms-length from him. It is a great error of our denomination that we repudiate these Christian tests and professions. The mischief of this error is seen in the fact that a large number of our most amiable and devoted men and women, are placed in a false position, where they neither enjoy the privileges, nor attain to the ripeness, of Christian character, which is their proper due. It is painful to know that such persons often hesitate or are unable to give a definite answer when asked if they are Christians, or have experienced religion. Whereas if they did justice to themselves, and to that Christian truth in which they trust, and to which they are loyal, they should give a most decided or at least hopeful affirmative. Grant if you will that the current questions upon this topic are often deeply tainted with cant, and disfigured with misconceptions and formalism. Still beneath all this they contain the root of a question of the deepest importance. It is one which every person should be

ready to answer to every man that asketh a reason of the hope that is in him, with meekness and fear." 1 Pet. iii. 15.

The apostolic direction, that such hopes, and their reasons, are to be stated with meekness and fear, brings to mind another practical objection which operates among us to deter many of our best spirits from any attempt to decide definitely their spiritual state. This religious state is often claimed, and its consequences, or more frequently its supposed consequences, are asserted with such a tone of spiritual arrogance as to disgust a really religious mind. The ineffable airs of spiritual aristocracy with which a party, who style themselves "we saints," lord it over another portion of God's heritage, which with whining pity they style "you sinners," is indeed utterly repulsive to a mind which has truly caught the spirit of Christian humility and gentleness. But we deeply wrong ourselves if we permit this folly to prevent us from enjoying, and professing, Christian confidence and hope, and giving our reasons therefor with meekness and fear.

Surely we may conceive that one should say in his own heart, or profess to the world, that he is in the kingdom of "God's dear Son;" that he has "passed from death unto life;" that he is "born of God;" that he has “purified his soul in obeying the truth;" without any spiritual pride, boasting, or arrogance. Indeed, is it not easy to see how these professions must inspire one, who rightly conceives of them, with a more complete self renunciation, and a more heartfelt humility. And are we prepared to say that none now may claim and appropriate to themselves these primal expressions of our faith. Is it indeed become impossible that any one should claim, except under the charge of arrogance, spiritual pride, or undue pretension, that to him is fulfilled those words of our Saviour so profoundly deep in their meaning of spiritual help and divine peace: " he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him." John xiv. 23. Who would dare formally to maintain such a theory? Who dares believe that the spiritual world has receded into some such cold, drear winter solstice, far away from God? And what

penalties must fall on the denomination which, through false humility, or religious mawkishness, practically plants itself on such a position? The penalty of inconclusiveness as to the practical finishing of her faith; to be ever establishing premises, but failing of conclusions; to be always heaping up materials, but never building the house; perpetually to spell the syllables, but never to pronounce the word; to find often her sons and daughters brought to the doorway of the Christian church, yet not daring to enter; their thoughts discovering in some of the highest doctrines and institutions of Christianity, only duties which they dare not assume to perform, or privileges which it would appear presumptuous in them to claim; to have them remain friends or servants of the Christian household, but not sons and daughters of the family. Is there not a very considerable portion of our people who if closely questioned would find it quite impossible to say what they are? They are not heathen, for they have been trained in the light of Christianity, under the influence of sermons, amid the efforts of Sunday schools, with a free church, and an open Bible. They will hardly in the fullest sense call themselves Christians; for there seems an assumption in so doing from which they shrink back. We can only consider them to be a kind of christian raw material, waiting some finishing process or plastic hand of power to shape them into some finished product.


But is the preacher to select in his congregation those who are in either of the two classes designated in the Scripture, and separate them from each other? Surely But he is to declare the tests, and trace the division on this subject. He is to encourage those who are worthy, by fairly stating the Scripture doctrine as to this matter, and making them feel what great privileges are theirs. He is to recognize the important fact, in one word, that there is a large portion of the gospel addressed to the righteous; and that it should be faithfully preached, reasonably applied, and heartily received.


E. F.

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Literary Notices.

1. A Translation of the Gospels. With Notes. By Andrews Norton. Vol. i. The Text. Vol. ii. Notes. Boston: Little, Brown, & Company. 1855. 8vo. pp. 443, 565.

2. Internal Evidences of the Genuineness of the Gospel. Part i. Remarks on Christianity and the Gospels, with particular reference to Strauss's "Life of Jesus." Part ii. Portions of an Unfinished Work. By Andrews Norton. Boston: Little, Brown, & Company. 1855. 8vo. pp. 309.

THESE two publications have long been waited for; and now that they at length appear, they appear as posthumous and unfinished. Happily, however, the Translation was brought into a state satisfactory to the author, before his death; and the first part of the Internal Evidences was so nearly perfected as to want nothing but the last revision. Mr. Norton was a writer who never willingly suf fered any thing from his pen to go before the world, till it had received the highest finish that he was able to give it. The volume of Notes on the Gospels, and the second part of the Internal Evidences, were not so far advanced towards completion. Of each of these, however, the general plan seems to have been mostly filled out, though sometimes in a rough sketch only; and the Editors, who have evidently done their work with a great deal of care and with much judicious tact, have supplied the vacancies that occur, here and there, with appropriate extracts from other works of the author. On the whole, notwithstanding he did not live to complete the preparation of these volumes according to his own high standard, we may yet be confident that we have, in them, even as they now appear, his best and most mature thoughts on the several points which the works embrace. Thanks to the good sense and faithfulness of the Editors, it is only in the dress, rather than in the substance, that we have to regret a want of completeness.

The volume on the Internal Evidences may be regarded as a sequel to the author's former work on the Genuineness of the Gospels. That work has always appeared to us to be in many respects the best that we have read on the subject. Though we are not convinced by some of its criticisms on the text, and though we can not adopt some of its negative hypotheses, the proof which it sets forth of the authenticity of the Gospel narrative seems to us demonstration, while the clearness with which it exposes the absurdity of the current infidel objections and theories, is unsurpassed in any other apologetical writings that have come to our knowledge.

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