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well say Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not-how dreadful is this place-this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." But in truth, if a film were not over our eyes, that ladder would be always visible, the connection between things temporal and things eternal would never be forgotten, and the presence of God would be realized at all times and in all places.

The servant of the prophet was greatly alarmed in Dothan when the Syrian army compassed the city by night" Alas! master, how shall we do?" The prophet consoled him by the assurance that there was a stronger army on their side than the one against them, and he prayed that his eyes might be opened. Before this he perhaps believed, but soon there was transition from faith to knowledge, the eyes of the spirit were opened, and lo! the mountain was crowded with horses and chariots of fire, the chivalry of God were there, the cohorts and legions of the immortals, so inconceivable in power and splendour.

Paul the holy was caught away into the third heaven, himself not knowing whether he left the mortal vesture behind or carried it with him; and heard things not lawful to be uttered. John the beloved beheld doors opened in heaven, and saw the worship of the Almighty proceeding amid thunderings and lightnings and voices, the golden altar, the divine Priest, the Seven Spirits before the throne-all within the range of his spiritual

vision.

All the miraculous circumstances recorded in the Pentateuch or in the Gospels may be considered as signs, signifying the reality of the unseen yet eternal and imperishable kingdom of power and glory. Whatever additional purposes might be served by them, such is the cardinal lesson, the main and commanding aspect. Man, who is a spirit clothed in flesh, could discover no high road into the invisible. In fighting his life-long battle with hostile elements, he was in danger of concluding that this was the only life, and that death finished all. Hence, all the signs and wonders were tokens from God, proclaiming the reality of a higher life, and another dominion eternal in the heavens. In the midst of animal revel or soulical despair, the colours and insignia of God appear, the powers of the "world to come break into this world, the glories of the auspicious golden age glimmer on the peaks of this age and crimson the horizon.

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The famous Strauss, who emptied the Gospel of all miracles, says, "There is no right conception of what history is, apart from the conviction that the chain of endless causation can never be broken, and that a miracle is an impossibility." This is, doubtless, an atheistic dogma; for if we believe in a personal God, we cannot conceive of Him as the slave of His own laws. The order which we observe among His works, the action and counteraction among great forces, may be varied from time to time according to the wisdom and pleasure of the Almighty Creator and disposer. Unless this be admitted, it would be difficult to tell what history" is, for ancient histories are full of wonders and the old rocks are crowded with marvels; no history, ecclesiastic or scientific, could meet with credence if we made our present experience and observation the test of reality, or the measure of the universe. Experience does nothing more than disclose to us the present order of things. This is no assurance that things have been the same in the past, or that they will be the same in the future. Hence, to argue from the present, to immutable order, backward and forward, is an offence against the majesty of reason. One of two things is certain: either there has always been a huge blind force in existence, or there has always been a living God with intel

Observer, Dec. 1, '71

ligence and will. In the midst of a stupendous system of worlds replete with smooth-working mechanism and visible harmonies, which shall we choose? Is that universe God, which has no knowledge or will, no heart or life, or spirit, or love? Or is there one in His pavilion of unapproachable light, from eternity to eternity, where power, wisdom and love are in equal measure and in continual interpenetration? We choose the living God who created the sun and the moon and the stars, and man in His own image, laying the foundation of the world in miracle and mystery.

Keeping before us the existence of the Almighty-the King Eternal, with thrones, dominions, principalities and powers gathered around Himwe conclude that there is a moral as well as a physical order, and that the physical must always be subservient to the moral. He who called the things which were not, as though they were, can and will give orbs to the blind, or life to the dead, whenever such signs may serve great purpose among moral agents, who are of far more consequence and of more intrinsic grandeur than stars of the blue vault or rocks by the wild seashore.

Time and

Rénan, who followed Strauss in unbelieving criticism, declares that discussion is fatal to miracles, and that it has become an absolute rule in criticism to deny the possibility of such a thing, He, however, has the grace to reveal the method by which even he might be convinced. The great deed is to be performed in Paris, before learned savans. place duly specified, and a commission of physicians, chemists, critics and physiologists occupying the hall as judges, the miracle, once performed, on request to be repeated." This is no joke, but has been seriously propounded by the learned Frenchman as the reasonable method of ending the controversy. The proposition would doubtless be received as a very common-sense one in cafés and restaurants, but if there be any merriment in regions above the earth or under the earth, it would in such places awaken considerable laughter. We cannot call for a thunder storm in the Alps, or a tempest on the Atlantic; it is vain for us to order a discharge of fiery lava from Etna, or an earthquake at Lisbon or Mexico. The extraor ordinary things of mere nature are not to be summonsed when physicians and physiologists are sitting, though it is perhaps a pity that such a commission should not be gathered waiting for a miracle, and have an earthquake to drop in among them in a friendly way! There is no wisdom in the project; the common people can tell, as well as the physiologist or physician, the difference between a dead man and a living man, between a blind man and a man with sight, between a storm and a calm, between a withered, shrivelled arm and one firm in muscular tension. When men foaming at the mouth with preternatural madness, were instantaneously restored to the plenary use of reason, a fisherman could note the fact as well as a chemist or a doctor of the academy.

Miracles come according to the necessities of man, and according to the wisdom of God, and are not to be exhibited like fireworks, when King Herod or Monsieur Rénan want a spectacle. Nor are they the greatest things. The spiritual beauty of the character of Jesus is far above all columns of descending fire or troops of dead men rising; and His words have power over the heart and the conscience, which could never come from the eclipse of the heavens, or the rending of the earth. But though this be true, miracles have been before, and miracles will be again, and who can say that we have no miraculous circumstances now. There are two seas meeting-both seas of death; two winds blowing against each other-both evil. On one side, millions of materialists who resolutely deny

well say 66 'Surely the Lord is in this place, and I knew it not-how dreadful is this place-this is none other but the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven." But in truth, if a film were not over our eyes, that ladder would be always visible, the connection between things temporal and things eternal would never be forgotten, and the presence of God would be realized at all times and in all places.

The servant of the prophet was greatly alarmed in Dothan when the Syrian army compassed the city by night" Alas! master, how shall we do?" The prophet consoled him by the assurance that there was a stronger army on their side than the one against them, and he prayed that his eyes might be opened. Before this he perhaps believed, but soon there was transition from faith to knowledge, the eyes of the spirit were opened, and lo! the mountain was crowded with horses and chariots of fire, the chivalry of God were there, the cohorts and legions of the immortals, so inconceivable in power and splendour.

Paul the holy was caught away into the third heaven, himself not knowing whether he left the mortal vesture behind or carried it with him; and heard things not lawful to be uttered. John the beloved beheld doors opened in heaven, and saw the worship of the Almighty proceeding amid thunderings and lightnings and voices, the golden altar, the divine Priest, the Seven Spirits before the throne-all within the range of his spiritual vision.

All the miraculous circumstances recorded in the Pentateuch or in the Gospels may be considered as signs, signifying the reality of the unseen yet eternal and imperishable kingdom of power and glory. Whatever additional purposes might be served by them, such is the cardinal lesson, the main and commanding aspect. Man, who is a spirit clothed in flesh, could discover no high road into the invisible. In fighting his life-long battle with hostile elements, he was in danger of concluding that this was the only life, and that death finished all. Hence, all the signs and wonders were tokens from God, proclaiming the reality of a higher life, and another dominion eternal in the heavens. In the midst of animal revel or soulical despair, the colours and insignia of God appear, the powers of the world to come "break into this world, the glories of the auspicious golden age glimmer on the peaks of this age and crimson the horizon.

66

The famous Strauss, who emptied the Gospel of all miracles, says, "There is no right conception of what history is, apart from the conviction that the chain of endless causation can never be broken, and that a miracle is an impossibility." This is, doubtless, an atheistic dogma; for if we believe in a personal God, we cannot conceive of Him as the slave of His own laws. The order which we observe among His works, the action and counteraction among great forces, may be varied from time to time according to the wisdom and pleasure of the Almighty Creator and disposer. Unless this be admitted, it would be difficult to tell what history" is, for ancient histories are full of wonders and the old rocks are crowded with marvels; no history, ecclesiastic or scientific, could meet with credence if we made our present experience and observation the test of reality, or the measure of the universe. Experience does nothing more than disclose to us the present order of things. This is no assurance that things have been the same in the past, or that they will be the same in the future. Hence, to argue from the present, to immutable order, backward and forward, is an offence against the majesty of reason. One of two things is certain: either there has always been a huge blind force in existence, or there has always been a living God with intel

Observer, Dec. 1,71.

Christ sending forth women as His apostles, for the work they had to do, the evils they had to grapple with, required stern, hardy characters; but the services of women were received and appreciated by Him and have been chronicled by the Holy Spirit for our benefit. In Luke viii. we

read-" And the twelve were with him. And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's steward, and Susanna, and many others, which ministered unto him of their substance." What a glorious privilege to minister unto Jesus! Yes, my sisters, those women were highly privileged, certainly, but we may share the privilege, for hath not Jesus declared that, "whosoever shall Do the will of God, the same is my brother and sister and mother." And does not He also say, in clothing the naked, feeding the hungry, visiting the imprisoned, the sick and infirm, helping even the least of those who are His brethren, that we render service unto Him, and that the smallest service rendered' in His name shall have its reward. Has not the fragrance of that alabaster box of precious ointment, which was poured upon the head of Jesus by the hands of a loving woman, descended along the stream of time even unto us? It will continue till time shall be no more. Was not the widow's mite more lustrous in His eyes than all the treasure which the rich and noble had previously cast in? And one of the finest sermons ever preached, was listened to but by one woman, who, being impressed with the truths uttered, went forth from the presence of the preacher exclaiming, "Is not this the Christ?" "She left her waterpot, went into the city and called upon the men to come and see Jesus." They obeyed her call; they saw, they heard, they believed that it was indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world, she had summoned them to see. Knowing that we are Christ's and that Christ is ours, should we not, like the woman of Samaria, call upon others to share our joy?

"In the upper room in Jerusalem, where abode Peter and James and the other apostles," we find them associated" with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren." When Peter was imprisoned, prayer was made without ceasing by the Church, unto God for him; and upon his deliverance he at once went to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. "And on the Sabbath we went out of the city by a river side, where prayer was wont to be made; and we sat down, and spake unto the women which resorted thither." These texts appear to us to furnish sufficient evidence that females took part in the prayer meetings, and Paul, in the Corinthians, recognizes their right so to do, by giving instruction concerning the manner thereof. (1 Cor. xi.)

Women may acceptably instruct in Christian verities, even the otherwise learned and accomplished, as Priscilla did the eloquent Apollos. (Acts xviii. 26.) Peter was at Lydda when messengers from Joppa entreated his presence there; upon his arrival he found weeping and sorrow, for Dorcas was dead; she had found a sphere of usefulness and had enshrined her memory in the hearts of the poor and the widowed; her hands had relieved and clothed them, and lovingly they displayed to Peter the gar ments she had fashioned for them, and sadly lamented her departure. No doubt their hearts were very heavy as they took, as they supposed, a last look at their departed friend and, at Peter's bidding, left him alone with the corpse. But what joy must have been theirs when Peter presented

Observer, Dec. 1, 71.

her alive to the anxious company! Turning to Romans xvi. we find honourable mention of many female names; commencing with Phoebe, whom Paul speaks of as also a servant of the Church and a succourer of many. Tryphema and Tryphosa, women who laboured in the Lord; and how much we gather of the life of Persis by Paul's brief sentence" Salute the beloved Persis, who laboured much in the Lord." Few words, but full of meaning. "The beloved." Depend upon it she was a loving woman, love begets love, and if we manifest love and kindness to others, in time "the beloved" may be applied to us, if, in conjunction therewith there is activity in the Lord's work-Persis laboured much.

Thus, in answer to the question, What can women do in the Church? we think that a wide sphere has been marked out, wherein they can acceptably move without taking from man any of his proper work. An able writer thus gives the relative working position of the sexes :"Men and women both have their spheres of action. It is not my purpose to decide which of these is most important. The circle of human destiny is only complete by the union of the two. We cannot talk of superiority among spheres and duties, where both are alike spiritual. You must not, therefore, begin to say that I am demanding too much of you; that it is man's particular business to push on the great work of which I have spoken. It is man's business just so far as you are unable to do it, and no further. Whenever the work comes within the line of utility for you to act, then it is no longer man's, but yours. Nature is a great economist. Everything within her wide domain is conducted upon the principle of division of labour. Here ten thousand moving energies are all operating in their appointed spheres. No one thing is doing the work of another. The result of this management is harmony everywhere in the physical universe. What is true of all organic, material life, is equally true of all mental or spiritual life. God himself has never done for us what we could do for ourselves, but only that which we could not do. Precisely so should men act toward you; and, whenever you demand anything further, in the same ratio do you weaken your interest and show yourselves unworthy the great trust reposed in you. He is bound to protect you and to provide for you all those things which you are unable to provide for yourself. But, then, you are equally bound to give him those things which you possess and which he is unable to obtain without you. It is an overwhelming fact that, as woman led man away from God through Adam the first, she has been divinely appointed, by Adam the second, to aid in bringing him back again. The religious circle, therefore, is emphatically her home-the sanctum sanctorum of her earthly tabernacle.'

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On the day of Pentecost, the prophecy of Joel is declared to be fulfilled Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, . . and on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. Then they that gladly received his word were baptised and, the same day, there were added unto them about three thousand souls."

...

From then until now we can trace no distinction between the privileges of male and female disciples; they are called upon to take the same steps -faith, repentance, immersion-introduced into the kingdom it becomes the duty of each to use all legitimate means to bring others into the same position.

Men and women are perishing for lack of the knowledge which will eternally save them; error is rampant and active, while the labourers in

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