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ness and communion betwixt those who have “ crossed the flood” and those who are still on the hither side—at least at times of worship and spiritual crisis.

Lectures IV., V. and VI. call for little remark. The preacher seems to be quite on the right track when he explains the prayer of the Agony thus:

“It was (deliverance) from a thing worse than death to the holy soul of the God- Man. It was from that “hour,' then beginning, of the conscious sin-bearing and sin-becoming ;

the conscious incorporation of the Sinless with the sinner in his sin ; the conscious investiture with the defiled garment of all the sins of all the generations."

J. F. VALLINGS, M.A. HOW TO READ THE PROPHETS, being the Prophecies Arranged Chronologically

in their Historical Setting, with Explanations, Maps, and Glossary. By Rev.

BUCHANAN BLAKE, B.D. Edinburgh, T. & T. Clarke. 1892. ENCOURAGED by the favourable reception given to his previous work, How to read Isaiah, Mr. Blake appears before the religious reading public with the above, which is a companion volume, containing the Minor Prophets, from Jonah to Joel, and purposes to complete the series with a third part, embracing Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the post-Exilian prophets. The preparation of and welcome accorded to such books is one of the bright signs of our time. Biblical students are learning that they may appeal to a wider circle of readers than trained theologians and exegetes. Intelligent laymen who can never attempt an acquaintance with the original languages of the sacred writers, or with the larger and more technical commentaries and histories, are demanding reliable guidance to a correct and useful knowledge of Holy Scripture. Had the desire existed as strongly and the want been as well met half a century ago as now, how many of the problems of scepticism might have had no existence!

Mr. Blake's work embraces translation, introduction, history, exposition—the whole forming a guide to the consecutive, chronological, and intelligent reading of the larger part of the Minor Prophets. The book is in three divisions. The first consists of the Biblical text, including the books of the prophets in chronological order, together with historical solutions from other parts of Scripture illustrative of the period. This is given in a version differing from both the Authorised and the Revised, but which has been produced to represent the differing forms of literary composition and to meet the necessity of popular understanding; it does not claim to be a scientific and exact translation ; it never descends to a mere paraphrase. This text is divided into paragraphs with brief explanatory headings.

Division II., taking the prophetic writings according to the order laid down in the former part, develops the character, history, and circumstances of each prophet; the nature of the service they rendered ; and briefly points out the course of thought that is marked by their writings. Questions of contemporary history, domestic or foreign, the broad underlying principles on which they built, and the fulfilment or Messianic applications of their prophecies, are concisely dwelt upon. In Part III. we have a glossary of names and notes upon obscure passages, attention being called to the words and passages annotated by the use of a thicker type in the text.

This book cannot fail to be of service to the careful and diligent reader who is prepared to compare together the text, the explanation, and the notes. Here are presented, clearly, concisely, and popularly, in plain, non-technical language, many of the results of recent criticism, of modern linguistic science, and of modern exposition. It may, indeed, be doubted whether the author has not too readily accepted certain theories of date and authorship, and whether the form of the book is the best. But the purpose, execution, and spirit of the book are excellent, and honest use cannot fail to profit the user.

J. T. L. Maggs, B.A.



WALSHAM, Bishop of Wakefield. Sampson Low, Marston & Co. THESE sermons represent in almost equal proportions the pulpit work of Bishop How as Rector, Bishop Suffragan, and Bishop, extending from 1869 to 1890. They will hardly add to his reputation as a preacher. The reason for this is obvious. Some half-dozen sermons dealing with Apologetics are put to the front of the volume, and they prove to be the least happy alike in conception and execution. The first two were preached before the British Association : one, from which the volume takes its title, on “The Knowledge of God,” and the second on “The Bible and Science.” They must have been profoundly disappointing to those for whom they were intended, men, well versed in some branch of science and with a slight knowledge of what has been done in the whole field, who have been led to relax their hold on religious truth under the impression that their early faith is inconsistent with the new fact. Such men could only go away after hearing any of these discourses on apologetical subjects feeling how little after all a religious specialist could say for the authority of the Bible and the Christian's faith. A sermon on St. John the Baptist's Doubt" is a case in point. The condition of the Baptist's mind as revealed by his question, " Art thou He that should come, or do we look for another ? " is dealt with somewhat strikingly; but when we come to the reply of Jesus Christ, and its application to present day unbelief, the whole meaning of the incident seems to be missed. “And now you are perplexed and troubled by all the controversies and contradictions of men, shaken by shifting winds of doctrine, chilled by driving clouds of formless doubt-this “plague wind of the nineteenth century.' Oh, turn to facts.” And what are the facts ? Jesus appealed to the signs which He did, His mighty works of which this was the crowning fact—"the poor have good tidings preached to them.” But of such things the Bishop says nothing. There is no word for eighteen centuries of triumph over evil by the power of Christ's name; no word for the victories of the Cross which this generation has seen in missionary and philanthropic enterprises; no word for the deliverance of men and women from the bondage of sin, and their uplifting into newness of life through faith in the Gospel, of which scores of instances might surely be given from the Bishop's own experience. No, this is the lame and impotent conclusion. The facts “are these: I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,” and so on, to the end of the Creed. The best comfort he can give the doubter is to persuade him to beg the question.

It is a pleasure to turn from these sermons to others, for the most part earlier in date, dealing with practical aspects of Christian living. In these, while no high standard of oratorical or persuasive power is reached, there is much human sympathy as well as wise counsel, and withal a breezy robustness of character. Many will be glad to know his belief that in the direction of co-operation “is to be sought the surest and most helpful remedy for some of our gravest social anomalies,” though he clearly sees that in “ productive co-operation” there are "great and difficult problems still to be solved.” The following in a sermon on progress is wisely said :

“Many years ago I was talking with a German in Dresden, and, in defending sensual sin, he used a well-worn argument, saying, 'Does not nature itself bid you indulge yourself ?' I am sorry to say I passed the question over with some meaningless words, but I know now what I ought to have said. I ought to have said this : By ‘nature,' I do not understand the passion of the passing moment. I discern something truer, nobler, loftier in nature. I see plenty of claimants clamouring for indulgence, but I see among them faculties and powers evidently intended to restrain and direct and regulate the others. And my idea of nature is that which my Maker meant me to be. I am sure He did not mean me to be the slave of every


passing desire. I am sure He meant me to be supreme in this inner kingdom, that I might crown with authority the rightful ruler, and not some base usurper."

Of course the Bishop is very much of a Churchman. It is by “ Lenten fastings and self-denials and self-searchings” that we are “ learning to wield our weapons that we may the better fight the great battle.” “The doctrine of conversion" must not obscure and overshadow “the life-giving power of the Sacraments.” But it can surely only lead to confusion to boldly assert that “ the Kingdom of Heaven and the Church are the same," and a very large measure of unquestioning faith is needed to accept the Bishop's assertion that “in our Ministry and Sacraments we have, and hold fast, that which has been held always, in all places, and by all the Church of God.” There is a true catholicity and a nobler spirit in other words from the same


“O Christian people, let nothing, no Church, no system, no ordinance, no creed, no person, ever get between you and Christ. . The Church, and Sacraments, and Ministers, all these are just to bring you to Christ and Christ to you." To which we would devoutly add, Amen! The volume is enriched by a very striking portrait.



Minister of Galashiels. London: James Nisbet & Co. 1891. This is an excellent piece of work; interesting, readable, carefully executed, and scholarly. Indeed, for that increasing circle of ordinary readers who study Biblical questions, we know of hardly any other book to place alongside of it on the same subject; while men who are conversant with literature will find themselves edified by Dr. Gloag's gift of clear statement, sobriety of reasoning, and well-balanced judgment. It is superfluous to add that the author's knowledge is competent and exact. Dr. Gloag holds to the traditional opinion that John wrote both the Gospel and the Apocalypse, and it cannot be alleged that he does not meet and weigh fairly the difficulties attaching to this commonly accepted position. After allusions to the differences in doctrine, in spirit, in language and style, it is satisfactory to read, “We do not consider these differences to be of such a nature as to overthrow those strong and convincing testimonies which assert that the Apostle John was the author of the Apocalypse. The assumption that John was the author of the Fourth Gospel and of the Epistles which bear his name does not contradict the assertion that the visions of the Apocalypse were also imputed to him” (p. 311). One can hardly help feeling that some explanation is required for the striking change from the Jewish-Christian spirit of the one writing to the universalistic spirit of the other; and perhaps the interval of thirty years or more which Bishop Lightfoot, whom Dr. Gloag quotes (p. 303), ascribes to the Apostle's residence in Ephesus will account not only for the “contrast of language and imagery," but also for the contrast of the cast of religious thought and point of view. In some respects it is a problem in psychology, which may be regarded from opposite sides, until further light be obtained from historic sources.

Dr. Gloag's introductory sketch of the life and character of the Apostle, if somewhat diffuse in unimportant or irrelevant details, is extremely well done, and gives us pretty nearly all that is ascertainable on the subject. We are rather surprised that he should incline to question the identity of John with “ that other disciple who was known to the high priest.” But in a note (p. 11) the author seems to have questioned this “ questionableness," and remarks that if John be the disciple


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referred to, he was present at the trial of Christ before Caiaphas and Pilate. It is hardly possible for any reader to escape the conclusion that the graphic description of the scenes of that night, as recorded in John's page, came from the pen of an eye-witness; and if so, from whom but the Apostle himself ? Dr. Martineau, in his recent work, The Seat of Authority in Religion, if we mistake not, makes the orthodox faith in Christ turn altogether on the authenticity of John's Gospel. We need not be afraid to accept the challenge implied, and Dr. Gloag, while he concedes that the controversy is not yet at an end, and that there are difficulties arising from the difference between the Synoptics and the Fourth Gospel, while he confesses candidly that no satisfactory solution has been given for the omission of the resurrection of Lazarus from the former narratives, and admits the free subjective use of the words of his Lord by the writer, and the combination of discourses delivered on different occasions, thus sums up his verdict :

** It is not denied that there are difficulties which have, perhaps, not yet been fully solved ; and even objections, as that connected with the day of Christ's death, to which no satisfactory answer has yet been given ; but the difficulties are immensely greater on the assumption of the other view of the subject. There are still more intricate questions to be answered, and graver objections to be solved ; and in particular the whole series of external testimonies in favour of John's Gospel must be explained away and set aside, and all those internal proofs and evidences which lead up to the recognition of the authorship of the beloved disciple must be ignored" (p. 148).

On the other hand, in a lucid statement of the true position, for which we must refer our readers to the volume itself (p. 96), Dr. Gloag refutes the exaggeration of Dr. Martineau's assertion. We do not agree with the respected author as to the date which he accepts for the composition of the Gospel (between 70 and 85), inclining to the opinion of Godet, that it must be put forward into the last decade of the first century. Nor do we think that he gains much by explaining the similarity of expression in the reports of different speakers in the Gospel, e.g., our Lord and the Baptist, by presuming that both spoke originally in Aramaic, and that we possess, therefore, only a translation in Greek. That is an argument which may cut two ways. It is possible also that Dr. Gloag, considering his very respectable acquaintance with the literature of the subject, might have ventured to have carried us a point or two beyond the position at which we stand. But he has given us a volume full of accurate and well-digested information, which will be found most serviceable for all students of this great subject.



SERMONS. By Alex. MACLAREN, D.D. Sampson Low & Co. It is certainly appropriate that a new series of sermons should open with a volume by the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr. Benson, if he does not stand in the first rank of Anglican preachers, is known to possess many of the gifts which make preaching powerful and convincing. These discourses will be at once recognized as the product of a cultivated and deeply spiritual mind. His point of view may not secure the sympathy of every reader, but few are likely to be insensible to the charm of his graceful and lucid English style.

The first part of the volume is taken up by sermons preached on special occasions, that, for example, which gives its title to the volume being delivered at the Triennial Festival of Wells Theological College. Starting with the view that “the breadth and length and depth and height” of Paul's great prayer in the Ephesians are “substantive realities someway imaged in these

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abstract terms," and only to be so expressed by the side of the greater object of knowledge, “ the love of Christ,” he proceeds to prove that “the love of Christ” is the true end of theological study in the sense that by it alone are thought and life perfectly blended together. The attitude of the preacher to modern science is impressively set forth in the sermon preached before the British Association, at Southampton, on " the Spirit of Inquiry." He points out the danger of considering, on the one hand, that the proper subjects of inquiry are only those of which the matter can be stated in terms of rigid precision-in other words, the realm of things finite—and of being tempted, on the other hand, to treat the field of inquiry as “practically limitless " and "apparently everlasting," and thus to weaken the force of recognized truths. Such temptations are peculiar to the type of mind which declares what we shall know hereafter before we do know it, instead of foretelling what will happen out of what we know already; but they are vanquished by forewarning ourselves " not to consider the one plane of observation as if it were the whole sphere of thought.” On these grounds, the truly scientific spirit cannot overlook the phenomenon presented by the Christian Revelation of “the first evolution of manhood into God, in one perfect type to be repeated innumerably.” He further insists on the fact that the Spirit of Inquiry has quickly eliminated every other religious system, Buddhism for example, of which Dr. Benson finely remarks, that “its inner peace is the quiet sunset after a day of storms—but a sunset which gives no further hope of dawn.”

The discourses on “ Powerful Rich and Powerful Poor” and “ Love's Debt" are noble expositions of the duty of Christianity in relation to social problems. The first sets forth as the twofold cause of social anomalies the abuse of power on the part of the rich, leading to luxurious living and national corruption, and on the part of the poor, ending in a weakened sense of justice. The problem of the severance of classes is to be solved only by greater simplicity of life and increased justice. Of this discourse “ Love's Debt" is a striking complement. The poor are not to be saved by sanitation, good buildings, and recreations, but by Christian love. Society, to be society, must have society. It cannot be all of one grain. The simplest must have some little range of ranks. It must have some elements of inspiration from without it and from above it, in force sufficient to be felt. Some loving spirits must go and dwell among them, who will not hear of brutality being regarded as the natural law even of the lowest.” In the discourse on

Growing Unity," at the opening of the Truro Cathedral, the Archbishop does not attempt to discuss at length the larger question of the unity of Christendom, but confines the survey of possibility to his own communion. Within these limits, the treatment of the subject indicates an enlightened breadth of view and wise hopefulness. He interprets varieties of worship as “so many renderings of one infinite theme, and all to be rejoiced in ”; and recommends the “ simplest prayer-meetings” as not out of place along with more elaborate and gorgeous worship.

The second part of the volume is a selection of ordinary cathedral sermons, and contains at least one valuable contribution to Christian ethics. His analysis of “Conceit" is marked by great shrewdness and knowledge of human nature. Regarding the Parable of the Ten Virgins as a pictorial setting of the command, “ vigilate et orate,” he emphasizes the duty of “ Perseverance” in a discourse which contains more than one eloquent passage. The fruitfulness of waiting, for example, is beautifully worked out in a glowing paragraph, the close of which may be quoted ::

“Take you the half-civilized sentinel, who stands at attention when the field is strewn with dead and the shells rain over him, because he has received no orders to fall back; and

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