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sented itself with all the interest of a new revelation, wrought moral wonders which, since the mind of man has become familiar with its truths, it is powerless to work. But this is to suppose that Christianity depends for its success on the ordinary constitution of the human mind, and to overlook the fact that it employs in its service supernatural forces and agencies. "Is the Lord's arm shortened that it cannot save?" Are men's hearts, in the nineteenth century, beyond the reach of His grace? Is the moral paralysis of the Church in these latter days such, that even the Spirit cannot put life into the withered hand? Has the Blood of the Lord Jesus lost its cleansing and sanctifying power? Is it not rather true, as the Christian poet sings, that
"Fresh as when it first was shed
Or was the promise of grace limited to the first be-
II. Let us see now how the Scriptures counteract this mistaken notion of sanctity. It has been already pointed out how Elijah is exhibited to us as showing moral weakness in two great features of it,-weariness of life, and want of patience. But the saints of the New Testament, in whom we naturally expect to find
a higher standard, are also exhibited to us-we cannot doubt with a deep purpose-as exempt neither from infirmity nor error. I will not instance in such points as St. Peter's fall, because this took place before the disciples had been endued with power from on high by the descent of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost; but I take the quarrel between St. Paul and St. Barnabas, as recorded in the fifteenth chapter of the Acts, which led to a dissolution of the partnership between them. How very like it is to those differences among good men now-a-days, which so often issue-so much to the Church's loss-in divided operations! On one side is the partiality of natural affection. John Mark, whom St. Barnabas has fixed upon as the companion of the Apostolic tour, was the sister's son of that Apostle, who was ready therefore to condone his nephew's past misconduct. On the other side, Paul, with his burning zeal, had been justly offended by the half-heartedness of John Mark, when he had accompanied them on their previous journey. Disliking, no doubt, the inconveniences and hardships to which their companionship subjected him, Mark had "departed “from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them "to the work." St. Paul took strongly the view that this conduct was a disqualification for a second trial of the young man. Had not the Lord Jesus Himself said, "No man, having put his hand to the plough and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."? Doubtless St. Paul was not wholly and utterly
in the right. He would have been cooler in the dispute that followed had he been so. Doubtless, he was for showing too little indulgence to one who, though he had been overtaken in a fault, yet now, by his willingness to accompany them on their second voyage, showed himself sensible of it. In short, St. Paul hardly acted in this case on his own inspired counsel to "restore such an one in the spirit of meekness." So the collision of natural affection in Barnabas with the somewhat unchastened, untempered zeal of Paul produced a sharp contention in the original it is "a paroxysm"-between them. Sharp words passed, and mutual recriminations, and the feelings of both parties were exasperated,-alas! so much so, that they found it impossible to work together; they must henceforth choose different spheres of duty. How! Are these Apostles? Are these two of God's most eminent saints? Are these two eminent pillars of the Church of Christ? Yes, reader; Apostles, and saints, and pillars, not as our fancy portrays them, nor as they are now, in the calm and deep repose of Paradise, but as they were in the struggles and collisions of daily life-"men of like passions as we are," -not always subduing those passions, and only subduing them at all by that grace which is offered to us as freely as to them.
But let us now fasten our thoughts on another point in the history of the New Testament Saints, which often seems to be strangely overlooked. We are apt to
form most erroneous notions of what the descent of the Holy Ghost did for the Disciples of Christ. We are apt to think that it endued them in an instant of time with fulness of knowledge, and fulness of sanctity—that it dispelled from their mind all prejudice and error, and raised the curtain at once upon the full panorama of Divine Truth. But what are the facts of history? The facts are that eight years after the descent of the Holy Spirit, it required a vision, and a providential indication, and withal a direct injunction of the Holy Ghost, to induce St. Peter to accept and act upon the truth, that the Gentiles were to be no more regarded as strangers and foreigners, but to become fellow-citizens with the saints and of the household of God. And though these circumstances must have impressed the truth of the Gentiles' fellow-heirship ineffaceably upon his heart and mind, we find him afterwards guilty of moral cowardice in hiding his convictions on the subject. Though now of some standing in the Apostleship, and confirmed (one would think) in his views of Christian Truth, he appears to have forgotten his Master's warnings against putting the light under a bushel, and not allowing it to shine before men. "When Peter was
come to Antioch," says St. Paul, "I withstood him to "the face, because he was to be blamed. For before that "certain came from James, he did eat with the Gentiles: "but when they were come, he withdrew, and separated himself, fearing them which were of the circumcision. "And the other Jews dissembled likewise with him;
"insomuch that Barnabas also was carried away with "their dissimulation."-And who is this, who (if the Word of God be true) thus exhibited narrowness and moral cowardice on a critical occasion, and drew others away after him into compliance with his mischievous example? This is the Rockman', on whom the Lord said that He would build His Church, and to whom He solemnly entrusted the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven; this is a saint specially dear to Christ, and specially honoured of Him; a saint who was enabled to perform many mighty and wonderful works, and whose very shadow was healing, an emblem this of the wholesome spiritual influences which the holy life and conversation of St. Peter diffused around him. Verily "Elias was a man subject to
like passions as we are.”
The truth is (and it is a truth most apposite to the whole argument of the present work) that the Holy Spirit, as given to the Church, and to each member of the Church, is not an illumination once for all, or a confirmation once for all, but a germ of light and strength capable of indefinite development. It is
1 I call him "Rockman," as the most suitable word I can coin to express the etymology of the name which Our Lord gave him (Пéтроs=Пéтрa-os-Rock with a masculine termination). An able note on the interpretation of Matt. xvi. 18, 19, repudiating both errors, that of the Papists, which regards St. Peter as the rock, independently of his confession, and that of the Protestants, which regards the confession (and not the Apostle) as the rock, will be found in “Schaff's History of the Apostolic Church” (Edinburgh: T. and T. Clark, 1854), vol. ii. pp. 5, 6.