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First on my brow comes the pearly light,
Dimming my lamp in the new-born day. One long, last look to left and right,
And I rest from my toil,—for the broad sea-way
All incandescent and opaline.
Again in its last van shadows—I shine !
Alone, in the darkness, my blood-red eye
Meets his, and he hauls his groping line. “A point to nor'ard !" I hear him cry.
He goes with a blessing, and still—I shine!
When the night is black, and the wind is loud,
And danger is hidden, and peril abroad, The seaman leaps on the swaying shroud ; His eye is on me, and his hope in God !
While standing alone in the summer sun,
I sometimes have visions and dreams of my own, Of long-life voyages just begun,
And rocks unnoticed, and shoals unknown;
The duty done by this lamp of mine ;
DAVID JAMES MACKENZIE.
THE ORDER OF REVELATION IN ST. PAUL'S
By CANON BARRY, D.D., PRINCIPAL OF KING'S COLLEGE, LONDON.
HE order of Revelation is itself a through what we call the ordinary inspiration
part of Revelation." There are of the Holy Ghost, yet still needing to grow few maxims of interpretation more important in the knowledge of the things of God as and more fruitful than this. The principle of gradually as in all other knowledge; perhaps gradual and continuous development, which more gradually than in any other knowledge, modern Science seems to show us as the ruling in proportion to its greater depth and its principle, alike in the world of force and larger infusion of mystery. Hence it must matter and in the world of organic life, clearly have its gradual development under laws of has its application also to the spiritual world Divine order, which cannot be neglected or of humanity. It is exemplified in the process violated without danger of error. by which any truth, whether of nature or of the various parts of Revelation haphazard, or man, actually makes its way to dominion according to artificial systems of our own, is over the individual mind, or over the world practically to tamper with Revelation itself, at large. Every scientific discovery, every to reduce what is—to use a common phrase philosophical theory of truth, every enuncia- _"an organic whole” to a mass of isolated tion of moral and spiritual principle has its or misplaced limbs. Even then, no doubt, epoch of preparation, its first germinal birth, the Scripture will vindicate its life-giving its subsequent epoch of development, verifi- energy. Invenies etiam disjecti membra procation, and correction, both in the smaller pheta. But it is not Revelation as God gave and the larger spheres. Nor would it be it, perfectly fitted to be the salvation of the difficult to see that “the struggle for exist- soul and the light of the world. ence” and “the survival of the fittest” have This truth ought to be made clear to all their analogies in the spiritual progress of students of Holy Scripture by the simple truth-the development of a true Kosmos of fact that the backbone of the Bible—in this organized knowledge out of the rude instinc- respect unlike other sacred books—is histive conceptions, old as human nature itself. tory; and that the other elements — law,
The revelațion of God's truth can be no psalm, prophecy, apostolic teaching—are all absolute exception to this rule. For it comes engrafted on the historical stem, growing out to us through the medium of human minds, of its continuous and pervading life. Looking supernaturally inspired to receive super- at Scripture as a whole, what can be clearer natural revelation, but human minds still, and than that the central germinal force of truth therefore subject to the laws of humanity. and life is in the manifestation on earth of It is received by human minds, quickened the teaching and the person of the Lord Jesus XXIV-10
Christ; that the whole period of the Old tion of this principle of development, not to Testament is its epoch of preparation ; that Scripture in general, but to the teaching of the period, both of the New Testament and St. Paul's Epistles. These Epistles must, on the whole Church history which it opens, is any calculation, cover a period of about its epoch of development? It is obvious fourteen years--years of extraordinary growth that it is impossible to enter into the mani- of the Christian faith, during which it laid fold unity of Scripture revelation, unless this hold successively of the three great threads of fundamental conception be kept steadily in ancient civilisation, the Hebrew (and Asiatic), view.
the Greek, and the Roman, and fastened all But in practice-even in our generation, (so to speak) to the foot of the Cross of and much more in generations past—this Christ-years, each of which was worth a conception has always been grossly neglected. generation of duller and less critical times, From various causes, for many of which we both in individual conversion of souls, and are not responsible, the ordinary knowledge in the subordination to Christ of the various of Holy Scripture has more of a piecemeal elements of human thought and life. When character than the knowledge of any other the first of these Epistles was sent forth, book. A text is taken as a text, of equal Christianity had but just set foot on the fulness of authority and meaning, from what- shores of Europe, to begin its conversion of ever part of Scripture it comes. A chapter the races which were ruling, and were to is read as a chapter, without the slightest rule, the world. When the last was written, thought of what precedes or follows it. The almost with a dying hand, from the Apostle's traditional order of the books, both in the prison at Rome, the gospel had already Old and New Testaments, is in great degree extended and consolidated its dominion over arbitrary, having very imperfect correspon- the many-sided intellect of Greece, had united dence with the true order of time. The on the shores of Asia Minor Oriental relidistinctive missions and characters of various gion with Western culture, and had finally prophets and apostles, and the relation which established itself in the very heart of the the work of one bears to that of another, are imperial city, and probably in those pronot dreamt of for a moment by the ordinary vinces of Spain and Gaul and Africa which reader. How few (for example) ever think were afterwards to be the first home of a of endeavouring to fit the utterances of the purely “ Latin Christianity.” In the interval, prophets or psalmists of the Old Testament Christianity had been necessarily brought into their places in the history, which they into contact with new principles of thought; must necessarily illustrate, and from which new phases of race and of civilisation; new they must borrow illustration in return? trials, speculative and practical, in connecHow few ever take the trouble to ascertain tion with both Jewish and Gentile life; new the order of St. Paul's Epistles, or to con- aspirations of a world everywhere "feeling sider the stages in his apostolic mission after God." It was impossible that through to which they belong? How few study the all these influences the guidance of the Spirit chronological relation of the Synoptic narra- of God should not have drawn out from the tive to the Fourth Gospel, on which the treasure-house of Christ's Revelation things marked distinctiveness of idea and character new as well as old. The mind of the Apostle in the latter so greatly turns ? The neglect himself, who “counted not himself to have of these considerations, which are within the apprehended," and " forgetting the things reach of any moderately educated person, is which were behind stretched forward unto perhaps excused by the sense, in itself most the things that were before," must have true, that the Bible in all its parts is the been daily growing in width and depth of Word of God to man; but how can this jus- insight into the infinite truth, “learning tify the absurd inference that His Word Christ” (as he himself said), "putting on may be understood without consideration of Christ" continually; entering more and more the order of its sentences, and the chain of deeply into the mystery of God, hidden from its internal connection ? If the old maxim, ages and generations, but now revealed in Bonus textuarius, bonus theologus, has a sound Him. The whole of his life--alike by the meaning enough, yet certainly in the literal energy of evangelistic work, by the quiet interpretation, which seems to be put upon thoughtfulness of study, and by the diviner init in common practice, it must be held to be a sight of devotion-must have been a spiritual delusion and a snare.
education in the truth, as well as in the grace, II. It is the purpose of this paper, and of Christ. But, even putting this aside, it is those which follow it, to suggest the applica clear that as the gospel presented itself to various phases of humanity — now to the than presenting new gradations of doctrinal meditative and half-passive faith of the Asiatic, teaching. now to the strong, practical simplicity of the Through these groups it will be easy, folMacedonian Churches, now to the subtle and lowing not a precarious arrangement by daring speculation of the Greek, now to the internal criticism, but plain historical order, legislative and constructive genius of the to trace that development of Christian docRoman-it must have continually developed trine, which the very consideration of the new phases of its teaching, and have been history would prepare us to find. driven, by the very needs and questions which III. But it will be well at once to indicate it encountered, to go down deeper and deeper the particular lines of development, which to the ultimate basis of its truth. It would more detailed examination of the successive be strange indeed, if all these influences did groups will abundantly illustrate. not manifest themselves in a development of The preaching of Christianity is—in a doctrine in the pages of his Epistles. Every sense equally true of no other religion--the where (as Luther has it) the words of St. preaching of Christ, or rather of “God in Paul are “living creatures, having hands and Christ,” being thus at once the truest Monofeet.” The very expression suggests their theism and the truest religion of humanity. subjection to the gradations of development It is in the various phases of this maniwhich mark the whole kingdom of life. festation of Christ that we find the primary
The Epistles, which are to form the sphere development of doctrine, on which all others of our inquiry, fall, without much doubt or of necessity depend. The central Chrisdifficulty, into certain well-defined groups. tian mystery of the Godhead incarnate in
(@) First come the Epistles of the Second man—so familiar to us in the Creeds of Missionary Journey—those Epistles to the the Church, that to repeat it, and in some Thessalonians, which, by a strange and most measure to understand its meaning, are unfortunate freak of arrangement, are placed within the reach of the simplest Christianin our Bibles last of all St. Paul's Epistles to is yet in itself so stupendous and incompreChurches.
hensible a truth, that (as it would seem) it (6) Next, towards the close of the Third needed to be manifested in various phases ; Missionary Journey, we have in rapid succes- beginning from that which was comparatively sion four great Epistles, to the Corinthians, plain and comprehensible, because proving Galatians, and Romans. But these fall into itself in the region of fact, and going on step two subdivisions--the former including the by step, under the guidance of faith in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, and the first word of the Master Himself, through inner nine chapters of the Second Epistle, which circles of truth, till the central shrine of mysdeal on the whole with the problems of tery should be reached. Gentile Christianity—the latter including the At first, it is obvious that the world was conclusion of the Second Epistle, the Epistle challenged to contemplate “Christ as risen," to the Galatians, and the Epistle to the as ascended into heaven, as sitting at the right Romans, which plunge at once into the great hand of God, as destined to come for the conflict with the Judaizing heresy and schism.* judgment of quick and dead. Next, when
(9) Thirdly, after a not inconsiderable in this truth had been grasped, the preaching terval
, succeed the Epistles of the First of the gospel went on to dwell primarily on Captivity, t-the Epistles to the Philippians, “Christ as crucified,” that is, on Christ Ephesians, and Colossians, and the short as the “ Lamb of God taking away the but most beautiful letter to Philemon. sin of the whole world," and as the one
(d) Lastly, the Pastoral Epistles form a Mediator between God and the souls whom group of still later date and peculiar charac- He has made. From this preaching—so emler, differing from all the preceding letters in phatically brought out in St. Paul's Epistles containing Official directions to individuals, of the second group-the mind was next led instead of teaching and exhortation to back to the contemplation of “ Christ as Churches, in dealing therefore mainly with incarnate,” taking into the Godhead the huecclesiastical order and discipline, and rather manity which he came to save; and, as implying and fixing doctrines already taught, implied in this, to the adoring recognition of
Him as the Eternal Son of God, begotten 'The Epistle to the Galatians is fixed to this place only be before all worlds, one for ever with the Father isternal evidence, but internal evidence which appears to be fazziy irresistible.
By the use of this title I assume what the great majority and with the Holy Ghost. It is not, of d students have held-tbat St. Paul was released from the course, meant that at any time one phase captivity in which the Acts of the Apostles leaves him, and afterwards arrested and imprisoned again
of the truth of Christ, and one only,