all error and ungodliness, and for His enabling is a wading through snares, discouragements, you by His grace to endure to the end, that hazards, deaths, and dangers, and who is, so ye may everlastingly triumph with Him in right honourable and dearly beloved in the glory. So, hoping that I need not desire you Lord, your real and constant friend and to be mindful of a poor wrestling, bleeding, servant in all Christian duty, and wronged Church; and of him whose life





[ocr errors]



(Continued from page 178.) HAT the Apostle teaches dualism selves artificial and forced upon the texto

is a groundless allegation. The What, for example, can be more groundless contrast between light and dark- than the assertion made by so many critics, ness is represented as moral, as from Baur to Keim, that, according to this having its roots in the will (John Gospel, Jesus was not baptised? What fair

iii. 19-21; cf. viii. 47 with viii. 34, minded reader, with John i. 32, 33 before and xii. 35, 36, with xii, 43), Where is there him, would ever have attributed such an intent room for dualism when all things were made to the evangelist? How, it might be added, by' the Word ? How can the Jews be thought could the author, whoever he was, expect to of as, metaphysically

speaking, of the realm dislodge from the belief of Christians a fact of darkness when it is said of Christ in rela- like this, ingrained as it was in the Gospel tion to them that 'He came unto His own'? tradition? If he were foolish enough to It is manifest that John has a certain concep- undertake such a feat, how could he hope to tion of Jesus, and announces it at the outset effect his end by merely omitting expressly to of his narrative. The same is true of Matthew, record the circumstance? It is one of the who will show, partly by a comparison of facts fancies of the Tübingen critics that Nicodemus with prophecy, that Jesus is the Messiah. The is invented as a type of unbelieving, signonly question is, Whence was that conception seeking Judaism. Why, then, should he be derived? Was it excogitated in the writer's depicted as attaining more and more faith own brain? Was it a dogma acquired by (iii. 2, vii. 50, xix. 39)? The Samaritan woman, speculation? Or did it arise from the im- on the contrary, is said to be a type of the bepression made on the mind of the writer by lieving heathen. Why was not an actual Jesus Himself and by His testimony respect- heathen chosen to figure in this character ing His relation to God? A man, let it be rather than a Samaritan who believed in supposed, proposes to depict the life of Wash Moses and was looking for the Messiah? But ington. He may have an enthusiastic convic- into the details of exegesis it is impracticable tion that his hero was the noblest of patriots. here to enter. He may so express himself at the beginning It is a strange error into which the critics of his book. But if he derived his persuasion fall who have said that the author of this from what he saw and knew of Washington's Gospel attaches no value to miracles, setting career, and if he sustains his view by present- them up, so to speak, merely to bowl them ing a record of facts within the limits of his down. It is true that, as he looks back upon personal knowledge, his procedure is surely the Saviour's life, everything in it is seen to legitimate. The credibility of his narrative be a manifestation of the glory that was veiled is not in the least diminished. Is it a condi- in the servant's form. The nature of the only tion of trustworthiness that a historian should begotten Son shone out in supernatural exerbe an uninterested chronicler ? The main tions of power and mercyThat which is thread in John's narrative is one that belongs censured in the Gospel is the disposition to to the facts as they occurred. Did not the rest in the miracles as bare facts which unbelief and malignity of the Jews actually minister to wonder, or supply some lower grow as Jesus more and more revealed Him- want, instead of catching their suggestion. self to them and disclosed the nature of His Unbelief, even when not denying that they kingdom? Why, then, should not John, were wrought, failed to look through them. casting his eye back on the course of events, They were a language the deep import of see them in their real nexus, and shape his which was not comprehended. They were narrative accordingly?

opaque facts.

Hence the Jews called for If it could be made to appear that the vari- more and more. They clamoured for someous parts of the narrative are artificial or con- thing more stupendous—for 'a sign from trary to probability, the conclusion of Baur heaven.? might be warranted. But the interpretations This is the view of miracles which is found by which this is sought to be done are them in the Fourth Gospel. There is not the re




motest suggestion that they are not actual mous works were composed. This took place occurrences. The narrator does not stultify chiefly among the Alexandrians, but was not himself in this manner. In every instance confined to them. Conscious that the age of where Baur appeals to exegesis in support of inspiration had gone by, authors felt prompted his view of the evangelist's intent in this to set forth, under the name of Enoch, Solomon, matter, he is obliged to do violence to the or some other worthy, the lessons which they passage in hand. For example, when Jesus thougḥt suited to the time. They aspired to said, Blessed are they that have not seen, enter into the mind, and speak in the spirit, and yet have believed, there is, to be sure, á of the prophet or sage whom they personated reference to the reluctance of Thomas to In this literary device there was often no debelieve without seeing; but to believe what? liberate purpose to deceive. It early led, Why, the miracle of the resurrection to which however, to intentional fraud. This practice the other Apostles had testified. This was passed over into certain Christian circles where the object of faith. It is not on faith inde- Judaic and Judaising influences prevailed. pendent of miracles, but on faith independent The distinction between esoteric and exoteric of the ocular perception of miracles, that Jesus doctrine, which may be traced to the Alexanpronounces His blessing.

drian philosophy, availed as a partial excuse Scattered over the pages of the Fourth for it. Writings were fabricated like the Gospel are numerous indirect proofs that the Sibylline Oracles and the Pseudo-Clementine author draws his material from personal re- Homilies. But pious frauds of this nature, as collection. Only a few illustrations can be every one feels, are repugnant to the sense of here presented. “And it was at Jerusalem truth which Christianity demands and fosters. the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. Christianity brought in a purer standard. In And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon's the ancient Church, as now, books of this sort porch' (John x. 22, 23). Why should it be were earnestly condemned by enlightened mentioned that Jesus was in this porch ? | Christians. Tertullian informs us that the Nothing in the teaching recorded in the con- presbyter who was convicted of writing in the text called for it. How can it be accounted name of Paul the Acta Pauli et Thecla confor except on the supposition that the fessed his offence, and was deposed from his scene was printed on the author's memory? office. This incident shows what must have Stating this fact, he must needs explain to been the feeling entertained by Christians heathen readers why Jesus walked in this generally in regard to this species of benevosheltered place. 'It was winter :' the festival lent imposture. The reader can judge for occurred in December. A similar instance of himself as to the moral tone of the Gospel obvious recollection is John viii. 20. The iron and Epistle which we are considering. Did boxes constituting the treasury' the author the author, as regards sound ethical feeling,

The image of Jesus as He stood stand on the low plane of the manufacturers near them was present in his recollection. of spurious books? Would such a man fabriWhy should he refer to 'Ænon,' where John cate, in the name of an Apostle, a fictitious was baptising, as near to Salim'? (iii. 23.) history of the Lord ? Such a work, let it be Why should he describe the pool at Jerusalem noticed, is of an utterly diverse character from as being by the sheep-gate-as called in a merely didactic writing. Doubts have been

— Hebrew * Bethesda'-as having five porches ? entertained, both in ancient and modern times, (v. 2.) Why should he interrupt his narrative of the genuineness of the Second Epistle of (viii. 1) with the statement that Jesus went Peter. But if we can conceive of a wellunto the Mount of Olives, and early in the meaning Christian, with a conscience impermorning came again to the temple,' a bare fectly trained, undertaking to compose a chronological fact with nothing to hang upon homily under the name of an Apostle, it is it? What else can it be but an accurate re- still something utterly different from the miniscence? Other chronological statements, attempt to traverse the ground, which to him extending not only to the day, but to the hour, must have been sacred ground, that was are frequent. They come in, not as if they already covered by the authentic Gospels. had been sought, but as a component part of The irreverence, the audacity, of such a prothe author's recollection. For what reason is cedure far outstrips any examples furnished Philip designated (xii. 21) as 'of Bethsaida of by the Gospels known to be apocryphal, which Galilee,' the incident here recorded not requir- mainly confine themselves to the infancy of ing any such particularity of description? Jesus and to the Virgin Mary. Baur, in deWhat reason is there for adding to the state- fending his position, actually compares the ment that Pilate sat down in his judgment author of this Gospel to the Apostle Paul. seat, that the place is called the Pavement, Paul, he reminds us, was not one of the but in the Hebrew, ‘Gabbatha'? What can Twelve. Why should there not be still this be but an instance of precise description, another Apostle? Think of the Apostle Paul such as is natural in referring to a spot where sitting down to invent a fictitious history of one has witnessed a memorable event ? the Lord Jesus Christ! And yet the author

If the Fourth Gospel was not written by of the Fourth Gospel is put by Baur on a level, John, it is the product of pious fraud. Among as regards moral and spiritual worth, with the the Jews, in the later period of their history, Apostle Paul. prior to the time of Jesus, many pseudony- There are some other traits of the Fourth

[ocr errors]

had seen.





[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Gospel which are adapted to impress the of direct falsehood, amounting almost to percandid reader with the conviction that it is jury. He asserts that he saw water and blood the Apostle John who writes it.

issue from the side of Jesus as He hung on the 1. The peculiar mode in which the author- cross (xix. 35). Baur correctly interprets the ship is indicated. There is one prominent dis- writer as speaking of himself. He would reciple whose name is not given. He is referred solve this alleged direct perception of material to by a circumlocution. At the Last Supper objects into a kind of spiritual discernmentthere leaned on the bosom of Jesus 'one of an intuition of spiritual effects to follow the His disciples whom Jesus loved'(xiii. 23). To death of Jesus. What is this but to trifle him, described in the same terms, Jesus com- with historical statements? What is it but mits His mother (xix. 26). He accompanies to confound sober prose with a poesy which Peter to the tomb of Jesus—'the other disciple hardly consists with a sane mind? If the whom Jesus loved'(xx. 2). Once more (xxi. author of the Gospel did not see what he so 7) he is designated in the same way. He it is solemnly asseverates that he did see, his miswho is spoken of as 'another disciple' and statement is due to something worse than the that other disciple' (xviii

. 15, 16; compare mysterious agency called by the critic, ‘die XX. 2, 3, 4, 8). Nor will it be doubted that he Macht der Idee.' is the one of the two' whose name is not 3. The Gospel is, in a sense, an autobiogiven (i. 40), the associate of Andrew. In graphy. It is a record of the origin and the appendix to the Gospel (xxi. 24; compare development of the author's faith in Jesus as verse 20) he is declared to be its author." As the divine Son of God. It is the grounds of might be expected from the passages just his own faith which he professes to set forth. quoted, he refers to himself in the third person And his purpose is to bring others to the same when asserting that he had witnessed a par- faith or to establish them in it. Why not reticular occurrence (xix. 35). That he was one count the very facts which had planted this of those personally conversant with Jesus is deep persuasion in his own heart? Why releft to be inferred from his use of the first sort to fictions? Were not the words and person plural of the pronoun (John i. 14; 1 works of Christ which had actually evoked John i. 2, 3): “We beheld His glory, &c. It faith in his own soul sufficient for others? was not denied by Baur, nor is there any 4. The personal love of the author of the reason to doubt, that the author of the Gospel Gospel to Jesus is inconsistent with the supintends his readers to believe him to be the position that it is a spurious work. It is Apostle John. Now, if it is the Apostle him- evident from the whole tone of the composiself who, from a certain delicacy of feeling, tion that he regards Jesus with a warm perprefers to veil himself, as it were, instead of sonal affection. Whom does he love? Is it referring to himself by name, this peculiar an unreal person, called into being by immanner of indicating the authorship of the agination? The person whom he loves is the book is easily and naturally explained. If it historic Jesus. Of Him he says: “Whom we be not John, what is the alternative? It is have seen with our eyes, which we have looked not simply that we must infer that deceit is upon, and our hands have handled? (1 John intended, but it is deceit of a very different sort i. 1). He is conscious, with a mingled humility from that which has been referred to as be- and joy, that he had been specially an object longing to pseudonymous writings. There is of the love of Jesus—the disciple whom Jesus adroit painstaking; there is, as Weiss ob- loved.' With Jesus he is consciously united serves, an abandonment of the naïveté which by the closest personal tie. Shall we say that belongs to the authors of those books, and the author imagined a character, and then, which is the sole apology that can be pleaded conceiving of him as an actual person who had in behalf of them. They do not go to work said and done what imagination had ascribed in this sly way. They do not seek to decoy to him, gives to this product of fancy his the reader into ascribing the book to the pre- heart's deepest love? This is to impute to tended author. They assume his name with the author insanity. out hesitation. On the contrary, if the Fourth 5. The tender simplicity which marks so Gospel was not written by John, we have an many passages of the narrative stamps them artful imposition, carried from beginning to with the seal of truth. The record of the end of the book. The forger not only assumes tears of Jesus on witnessing the sorrow of to be John, but in order to accomplish his end Mary and her friends; the saying that as affects modesty. He puts himself side by side death approached, having loved His disciples, with Peter, leans on the breast of Jesus, goes ‘He loved them to the end;' the pathetic to the sepulchre, stands before the cross, there words, Behold Thy mother,' 'Behold Thy to have the mother of the Lord committed to Son, which were spoken from the cross—to his charge; but, in order to impose on his think of these as the inventions of a theologireaders more effectually, takes pains to avoid cal speculatist, who is bent on writing up or writing the name of John-except where he writing down a person or theory, is an unnaspeaks of the Baptist, whose usual title he tural and offensive supposition. suppresses---doing thus from cunning what To complete this discussion, it is necessary John the Apostle, being of the same name to notice a middle theory which has found and his disciple, would have done naturally. favour with some recent writers--namely,

2. The author (if he be not John) is guilty that disciples of John composed the Gospel

[ocr errors]


on the basis of oral instruction which they down everything, and all should certify.' had received from him. Mr Matthew Arnold There is no patristic support for the hypohas conjectured that the Ephesian presbyters, thesis just explained. But what compels its partly on the foundation of materials furnished rejection is the testimony respecting the by the Apostle, are the authors of the book. authorship of the book which the writer Clement of Alexandria, as it was said above, himself gives in the peculiar, indirect form reports the tradition that John wrote at the which has been adverted to. He is brought urgent request of familiar friends. The Mura- before his readers in such a manner that the torian fragment makes a like statement, with necessary alternative of denying his personal the additional circumstance of a revelation to authorship is the supposition of intentional Andrew to the effect that John 'should write deceit.

[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

OW hard can you pull?' inquired that is, He gave you life, and mind, and health,

Grandpa Larue, holding Maurice and made you all in good running order, like
by the two hands; 'let me see a first-class engine.'
how hard you can pull.!

Maurice laughed at this. He could hardly ' 'I can pull hard,' said Mau- forbear puffing and pretending to pull off with

rice; 'I can pull very hard.' a train. Ah, indeed? So you can, so you can. You Now, the important part is to have God are quite strong.'

Himself run you. A great many of God's Maurice was pleased to hear grandpa say engines do a great deal of damage, ruin a great that he was strong; boys like to be considered many other engines, and are destroyed themstrong: Maurice was not a large boy, he was selves, because they like to run by themselves, only nine years old, but he was large for his or because they have the great Spirit of Evil age.

to run them.' I wonder how many pounds you can pull?' Maurice thought this was all very strange;

'I do not know, sir; a great many, I think. he had never before considered himself at all I can pull Jemmy Westcott on the sled,' and like an engine. Maurice began to feel very proud.

Grandpa, when you say “God's engines," * Pull Jemmy Westcott! Why, that must be do you mean people?' he inquired. a pull. I am glad you are a strong boy.' 'Yes, I mean people. Now, what would

So am I, grandpa,' said Maurice, leaping become of that engine over there if it should over a stool, and leaping back again.

be left to run by itself?' 'Come here,' said grandpa, taking both 'I think it would run into the twelve o'clock his hands again; 'what makes you strong, up-train, unless switched off until the twelve Maurice?'

o'clock goes by.' Maurice threw back his head and smiled, And suppose it did not run into any train, and began thinking what to answer, but he what would become of it?' did not seem to find just the right words. “Oh, it would whiz off the track going

· Maurice, you are strong, because God made around the curve, or run smash into another you so,' said grandpa ; your strength is a engine, or into a depot.. power which God has given you. When God Then you do not think it could run by gives us strength of body and mind, He ex- itself?' pects us to pull a great deal.'

* I know it could not, grandpa.' * Does He?' inquired Maurice, a little


'Neither can God's engines run by themplexed; what does He want me to pull ?

selves, although they sometimes think they * Your body is the engine, your spirit is the can; but suppose somebody should run that fire; you are one of God's engines. God will train who would prefer to see it broken in show you what to pull.'

pieces, and who did not want it to go over the Maurice was not sure that he quite under- road appointed for it, that would be as bad as stood.

running by itself; don't you think so?' 'Who made you, Maurice?'

Yes, sir, I think it would.' ‘God made me, grandpa.'

'So, it is very bad and very dangerous for ' Everything that is made is made for some God's engines to be run by that wicked one, use or purpose. If a man makes anything, he who wants to see them go off the track, and makes it for some purpose, does He not?' come to evil.' Yes, grandpa.

Maurice smiled brightly. He saw what 'If God makes a boy, He makes him for grandpa meant. some purpose.

‘God must run His own engines if they are Maurice had never thought that God had to go on the right road, and at the right speed, made him for any special use.

then they will come safely to the depot byYou are one of God's engines. He kindled and-by.' a fire in you, and made you have strength- Do you mean heaven, grandpa ?'




do so

that you

before you.'

[ocr errors]

'Yes, I mean heaven. God only can run


but we must try not to make misHis engines to that depot.'

takes.' Am I really and for true one of God's Maurice was looking very thoughtfully up engines, grandpa?'

in Yes, Maurice, He has made you a good grandpa's face.

"God has put power in you, little boy, just stout little engine. He wants to run His little as the engineer puts power in the engine when engine Himself, and put certain loads on for he puts the fire and water in it. God has pu it to pull

, and He wants to bring it by-and-by a strong power in you; now, make sure, all to the depot safe and sound.'

your life, that you are using that power for 'I want Him to run it, grandpa,' said God, and doing the things He wants you to Maurice, gently.

do, and then you will be safe all the way as “Then He will, my boy, He will so;' and you go, and God will bring you to the end of grandpa wiped his eyes and laid his hand your road all right.' lovingly on Maurice's head.

How shall I get Him to run it, grandpa ?'
Ask Him.
Maurice had always been taught to pray,

THE REST WHICH Christ GIVES.— The rest but this seemed such a new, strange prayer, which Jesus gives is not inaction, nor lethargy, that he was altogether perplexed.

but well-balanced, peaceful, and blessed ac“Ask Him, and then be sure, whatever tivity. It implies rest from struggling, from comes or goes,

do just as He wants weariness, from the burden of a guilty conyou to do.

science, from bondage to the world, from the "And what will I pull, grandpa? it is so

condemnation of sin, and from the fear of funny to be an engine.'

death. It introduces us into the path of Pull or push whatever God lays on or

labour for Christ, which is according to the

normal condition of the soul, and implies no 'I do not understand that.'

more painful effort than for a bird to sing, a Suppose you see a boy carrying a load, and gem to sparkle, or a rose to fling its sweetness laugh at him, and tease him as he goes, would to the air! The service of Christ is the that be doing as God's engine should?—it Christian's highest freedom, and he who is would be better to give him a lift. Suppose most active in that service enjoys the subyou help a strong boy, annoy or injure a little, limest rest. weak boy, would that be using your strength as one of God's engines should ?-it would be better to help the weak boy. If papa or mamma gives you something unpleasant or

My Enfant Sleeps! difficult to do, how should you act as God's engine? You will pull the load—that is, do Sink, sink, ye summer moon behind the veil the difficult or unpleasant thing. Whenever

Of yonder steeps! you use your strength of body or mind in Quench, quench your silvery light o'er hill doing something which is right, which you

and dale! know God will approve, you are moving a

My infant sleeps! little of the burden which He has given you Safe, safe beyond the reach of life's alarms, to pull or to push. All the little duties be- She slumbers in the Everlasting Arms ! longing to every day make up the load which God intended you to push or pull when He Set, set, ye summer stars, like jewels spread made you, and gave you strength of body and

O'er yonder deeps! of mind. Every time you do the slightest Shroud, shroud your fires in presence of the thing which you know to be right, you are

dead! pleasing Him, and doing the work He intended

My infant sleeps!

Free, free from pain, her weary head doth rest 'If I do not want to study my lesson, but In peaceful slumber on her Saviour's breast! just do it because it is right, is that moving any of the load, grandpa ?'

Hush, hush, ye summer winds that softly sigh * Exactly.'

Where ivy creeps! And if we want to do a thing very much, Fold, fold your feathery pinions silently, and do not do it because it is wrong, is that

My infant sleeps! anything?'

Long, long she cried for rest, and now at last 'It is giving the best proof in the world Her cry is answered, and she slumbers fast. that you want God to run His engine, and will not run it yourself, or have the wicked Sad, sad, beside a little snow-white bed spirit to run it. To have God run the engine

A mother weeps; is to do right, no matter what comes; to always The strife is over now, and with the dead do right in spite of everything.'

Her infant sleeps ! “But boys make mistakes sometimes when Dry, dry those tears, fond mother, weep no they do not mean to do so.'

more; "God does not leave the engine if a boy Your child will wake upon a happier shore ! makes a mistake when he does not mean to

G. A. T.

you for.


« ForrigeFortsett »