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of matter to that of spirit-through the successive order of spirit, power grows more and more effective. The power of the genius of Hannibal multiplied threefold the power of his army. The power of Cromwell's spirit made the Roundheads irresistible. The simple presence of Napoleon was equivalent to an army of ten thousand; while his intellect had force enough to keep all Europe in commotion. In a simply material contest, man would be weak compared with his beast; but intellect makes him "lord of the lower world." But religion is stronger than intellect; the gospel is stronger than man, stronger than all things else,-for while other things are simply powerful, the gospel is power

even the power of God unto salvation.

We deem the point established-in its bearing upon orthodox theories of salvation a very formidable point-that God's power is not restricted to the things of sense and outward phenomena, but that its highest sphere is the soul of man. In a way as different from that whereby it affects matter, as matter is different from spirit,-in a way conformable to the laws of the free spirit, the Divine power is legitimately operative is still omnipotent; and its own time will render effective the Divine wish, even though this include the ultimate redemption of every soul.

G. H. E.


The Hope of Salvation a Working Principle.

THE most effective objection ever urged against Univer valism is, that in making final salvation certain, it takes away all inducement to present salvation. If we are sure to be saved at last, why need we trouble ourselves about salvation now. Why not live on in sin, and have the enjoy ments of sin, seeing that all will come out right in the end? The point of the objection is, that the hope or prospect of

salvation, so far from being itself a working principle inducing men to strive to hasten the object of hope or expectation, is in fact, destructive of all inducement to struggle for this object.

Now while we deem this objection unphilosophical and unscriptural, we find a passage in one of the Epistles which seems to have been written with the special purpose of anticipating and foreclosing such an objection; and we propose here a brief exposition of the passage with special reference to the doctrine, that the Hope of Salvation is a Working Principle. The passage is in 1 John iii. 23, and is as follows:

“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."

These words gave the disciples assurance on three important points, which we must here carefully distinguish.

1. The disciples, who were already accepted as "Sons of God," were told what they were to become. They were to become like Christ. True; this information was in rather general terms. It did not fully appear what they were to be. Still, it was something to know, and this much was assured them, that when Christ appeared they should be like him.

2. Again, this attainment, this becoming like Christ, is specially named as a matter of hope.

3. This hope of becoming like Christ-of finally becoming pure as Christ was pure, is distinctly spoken of as a practical power inducing those who have the hope to make an exertion to become like Christ. "Every man that hath this hope in him, purifieth himself."

First, we may consider the promise to the disciples, that they should become like Christ. A few suggestions will show that this promise, though couched in general terms, and accompanied with the qualification that, as yet, it did not appear what they should be, did nevertheless imply something of very great importance. Observe, that the becoming like Christ was something more than to be "Sons of God." They were this already; but it was something in the future--something to be obtained by and by-some

thing, the full and particular nature of which did not as yet appear, to be like Christ.

There are two distinct senses in which men are said to be the "sons of God." The first sense has no regard to their characters; does not ask whether they are good or bad; it is enough that God made them in his own image. The same as in a human family, it is not the moral characters of the children that make them children. The fact that sons sometimes prove undutiful and even vicious, does not destroy the original fact, that they are still sons, and that their fathers are still fathers. Good behavior does not make, nor does bad behavior unmake the relation of parent and child. Nature makes and nothing can unmake this relation. The prodigal son, though disobedient and away from home, and spending his days with riotous, vicious companions, was nevertheless "the prodigal son," and as such, was all along acknowledged by his father, who in spite of the waywardness of the son, continued to be his father, and joyfully, and even without upbraiding, welcomed his return to the paternal roof.

But there is another sense of the words-a sense in which men may become the sons of God; and this does depend upon character. In an accommodated, figurative use of the words, persons who strive to obey God, who receive, and endeavor to act from, the spirit of God, are acknowledged to be his children in a peculiar sense. They are said to receive the spirit of adoption, whereby they cry, " Abba, Father." It is in the sense of this limited and special relation, that the apostle Paul exclaims, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Rom. viii. 14.)

It is a great thing to attain this-to become, in this high and characteristic sense, children of God. Such an attainment marks very high progress in a religious career. When we consider how numerous and how importunate are the temptations which call men away from the right; how at every point they are teased into acts of disobedience; how delusive and flattering are the inducements held out to follow in evil ways, and so enjoy "the pleasures of sin for a season"-when we consider all these influences, it is clear that a great point is reached, when, in the divine sense of obedience, men are accepted as the sons of God. Such an acceptance implies, that, even if they have not conquered VOL. XIX. 7

the evil of this world, they have at least entered upon the battle against it; that even if they still feel the force of temptation, they are nevertheless resolutely resisting the force, and so "are led by the Spirit of God."


But the passage under treatment avers that there is something still better. It is much to have consecrated and firmly fixed in the soul, the sense of obedience, the spirit of divine adoption, and so to be accepted as "sons of God." It is vastly more to be like Christ. The disciples whom John addressed had already reached the good point; but the better point was still future-still a matter of promise. "Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he (Christ) shall appear, we shall be like him."

Considered in relation to his peculiar obligations as a spiritual being, a man may stand in one of three positions, he may be positively and recklessly sinful; or, he may be positively and earnestly working to overcome his sinfulness; or he may have reached the point of victory over sin-may have attained unto the entire purity of Christ. The matter of regenerating the heart-of subduing the passions of resisting the evil inclinations which by nature are so strong, is often compared to a battle between contending armies. The worst thing, the most humiliating thing we can do, is to fly from the enemy without even risking an onset. Too many thus deal with the enemy intrenched within them. They give way to it without a thought of resistance; give way, willingly it may be, because they love its ascendency -because they find slavery to it agreeable-because they find a base yet real gratification in the vile enjoyments which it allows. This is depravity. It is a good thing to turn upon the foe. The attack will be resolutely resisted. We may be sure of bruises, of weariness, of anxiety as to the issue more painful to bear than wounds. But the determination to crush the evil-the determination to be obedient at any cost and at whatever hazard,-even this determination is a great achievement. In itself, it is the spirit of adoption. It receives one into the family of the faithful. It makes him a son of God. The disciples to whom the passage was addressed had already reached this.

But only in the purity of Christ is there victory. Only in this, the final attainment, is there the perfect peace. Till

this triumph is won, the strife, however valiant and however efficient, is still a strife. Up to the very moment of victory, there must be at least the shadow of doubt, and doubt brings anxiety and pain. But in the purity of Christ, the real strife is at an end; doubt and fear are no longer possible; the spirit's rest is secure,-the battle is fought, and the victory is won. This perfect purity the disciples had not reached. It was simply promised them.

We now call attention to the second leading particular contained in the passage from John. The purity of Christ which the disciples were assured would finally be theirs, is presented as a hope-as the object of hope.


The question is important, What makes the purity of Christ a hope? What makes anything an object of hope? The question is answered, at least in general terms, by merely defining the word. "A desire of some good, accompanied with at least a slight expectation of obtaining it,' such, according to the lexicographer, is the simplest definition of hope. Hope is a compound of two ingredients-not desire alone, not expectation, but desire and expectation conjoined make hope. The prisoner chained to his dungeon, under sentence that admits of no reprieve, desires his freedom. The sailor, whose craft has struck the hidden rock rendering all chance of escape hopeless, still desires escape. It is easy to illustrate the fact, that a desire is by no means the same as a hope. On the contrary, we may expect innumerable things for which we can feel no desire. The felon may expect that every time his cell-door is opened, it is that he may be led to execution; the ship-wrecked mariner cast upon a desert island may expect nothing but starvation. The difference between expectation and hope is not less palpable than that between desire and hope. It is only when we have a ground of expectation for an object which we at the same time desire, that we can be said to hope.

The purity of Christ is presented to the disciples as a hope. Hence it was assumed by the apostle, that the disciples would not only expect, but also desire to attain unto this purity.

From these considerations it requires but a slight exercise of the reasoning faculty to perceive, that the Gospel assumes that the love of goodness is natural to man. The purity of Christ is not anything foreign to our natures

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