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lat work is beyond his ability during his College course ; nor anyone pretend that, as a rule, the grammar of the New Testat is at present thus acquired. Jelf is, we believe, the authority most students for references only ; but the value of Jelf, in a logical sense, may be understood from the fact that he decides force of one of the most critical of genitives not by usage, but n appeal to a theological work. Furnished by such aids, the ent may easily master, verbally and grammatically, the historibooks of the New Testament, especially with occasional reference Cllicott or Alford. If it be thought more desirable that one he epistles should be studied, no better text-books could be d than the works of Dr. Ellicott. They are of the highest r of merit. We mentioned besides these things an examination. lonthly examination would be found, we think, most advanta8; it would quicken the sluggish, and correct the mistakes of nore careless. We again wish it to be understood, this change t to render the prelections of professors unnecessary, but to lement them, and render them more effective. Our desire is reater thoroughness in the study of Scripture,, that “the man od may be thoroughly furnished.”
SUNDAY READINGS.-NO. VII.
THE STRUGGLE OF THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT.
his I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh : lese are contrary one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye ."-Gal. y.
Galatians were Gauls settled in Asia Minor, of the same itive race with the main stock of that people, which, by union the Franks of North Germany, has become the French nation ace marked by the impressionableness and consequent versaof all the Celtic families, disposed to the same animated life nse, and to an external religion of pomps and ceremonies. In
part of the world the firmness of the converts to the Gospel according to the usual method of Providence, appointed to be
by the assaults of error as well as of persecution. Wherethe apostles went, there went also those Jewish zealots, chiefly Jerusalem, who compassed sea and land to make one proselyte, who sought to reduce the converted Gentiles under the yoke oses and the bondage of the law. The Galatians fell an easy to the influence of these heretics. They had in a body
abandoned true Christianity, had forgotten both its facts and doctrines, and had adopted, with the rite of circumcision, the custom of sedulously observing new moons and sabbaths, days, ad months, and times, and years, founding on these observances the hope of salvation. St. Paul wrote his earliest epistle in order reclaim them, for along with false doctrine had naturally com unhappy life; they were all at war with one another, brother wit brother, and church with church,-wrath, strife, seditions, heresie and even worse things, were common among them. They wer " biting and devouring," so that they were in danger of being “con sumed one of another.” The wolf had broken into the fold Christ, and was making havoc of the flock.
The apostle now appears again upon the mountains of Galati standing as an "angel of God," having on the beautiful sandal of salvation," and proclaims again the
first principles of the Gospel of Christ. We learn what that Gospel was as much from the erra which he denounces, as from the direct statements which b makes. (i.) He first unfolds again the credentials of his divine com mission and of his independent apostleship, asserting in the mos solemn terms his authority from God to teach infallibly the doctrine of Christ, and threatening with perdition accordingly any whe presumed to teach "another Gospel.” He (ii.) next shows that he will assert this claim against all pretended teachers of Christianity “ to whom we give place by subjection, no, not for an hour.” H recites a passage of his history at Antioch, in which, when th Judaising influence had in a moment of weakness carried awa eren Peter and Barnabas, he bad asserted the truth in con tradiction to their example, and they had submitted to bi reproof. He then (iii.) shows that, as he said in this memorabl reproof, the law is not and cannot be the means of a sinder justification before God, but that Christ is the foundation of right eousness for sinners before God, having delivered us from the curs of the law, so that we now “look for the hope of righteousness b faith.” He next shows that this was the old religion that existe before the Mosaic law, and that Abraham was justified by faith i God's promises, as it was written of him, arguing further that the entrance of the law could not disannul the previous title to the inheritance by free gift. He now (iv.) shows that being delivered from the law, whether moral or ceremonial, a Christian is no longer a slave, but a freeman and a son, and therefore should not return to the weak and beggarly elements of a law which could do nothing but irritate and develope corruption, and inflict the stroke death for sin. “We have been called," he says, “to liberty. In Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature ; whose life is faith working by love. We, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith
He ends the fifth chapter by a description of the natural man and of the regenerate Christian, and of the internal struggle between " the flesh and the Spirit;" the Spirit's victory in which struggle, through the grace of the Gospel, constitutes and exhibits the character of a child of God. It is on this passage that we offer the following reflections :
1. Paul regards all the events that constitute the general course of this world, whether of private history or public affairs, as being what he denominates the works of the flesh—the natural and necessary effects of a depraving cause existing in the condition of humanity. As water cannot rise beyond its spring, so neither can life rise beyond its origin and inspiration. The natural life of man is“ animal.” The awful catalogue which is given of the "works of the flesh,” is a condensed history of the world of mankind in all latitudes, in all ages. There is a profound truth in this description of human nature-a truth which the imperfect speculation of Dr. Darwin faintly shadows forth. There is a close alliance between man and the animal raceś. Not that man derives his origin from them by transmutation of species and by lineal succession, but that be was originally made to be the completion of a series—the pvereign type of the vertebrated races—his body constructed on he same physiological principles as theirs, his passions and propenities resembling theirs, but his form made upright, and his face iplifted to the heavens, indicating the hope of a loftier destiny, ad his spirit framed in the moral image of his God. Forsaking tod, who alone can raise him to the immortal life of heaven, he falls," -he sinks to the rank of the animals,-he gradually becomes ke them, and finally incurs subjection to their law of death eternal. 1 this state the Gospel finds mankind -fallen, and still fallingcoming
“ like the beasts which perish.” How common is the mark that nearly every face resembles in expression some one of le animal races.
How full is the Bible of references to the teness between men and the animals, now that the glory is dekrted. Wicked men are likened to swine, dogs, wolves, foxes, rpents, vipers, adders, mules, horses, lions, bears. Human minion is symbolised by the prophetic images of the most rocious and bloodthirsty beasts of prey. And is there not deep ath in the use of these symbols ? Apart from moral repentance d the life of religion, human life is animated by exactly the same ssions and purposes as the animal races ; by the love of sensual easures, the lust of plunder, the passion for violent dominion; ere is the same cunning as in the fox, the same hoarding as in e squirrel, the same ostentation as in the peacock, the same low d grotesque demeanour as in the ape, the same bloodthirstiness in the wolf and the tiger. Man has incomparably greater inlectual power, but the application of it in the ultimate purposes
of life, apart from a religious aim, is precisely similar to tha which governs the action of brutal passion and instinct in the rich beneath him. Where the human race exists in a condition whid has the least felt the influence of the redeeming mercy, there exhibits itself in all the hideous degradation of the animal lif without God. Man becomes a horrid beast of prey; war, murde cruelty, licentiousness, infanticide, and cannibalism completin the picture of the fallen lord of the world.
2. They that lead this “animal” life, under whatever form civilization or of barbarism,"cannot please God.”. “The filesh not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be." For ever created object there was a pattern idea in the Divine mind. Th idea of God for man was, that he should in his life reflect th image and glory of God. For man to lead the life of an animal i an abomination and offence to the Godhead. While he remains i the fallen animal condition, he is “in his sins," continues unde the curse, and is liable to die eternally.
3. But God in His mercy has provided redemption for man from his fleshly or animal condition—from sin and its consequences the incarnation of the Deity, of the Divine Word, by the sacrifia of the Cross, by the resurrection of Christ, and by His new creating Spirit. Christ is the new head of life for mankind—the second Adam. Everyone who would obtain eternal life and salvation must, by regeneration, be united by the Spirit to Christ. Those whe are not born twice will die twice. "Ye 'must be born again,” . “die the second death." Salvation then comes, not by law, but by grace—by free gift—and does not depend on circumcision, or on th observance of ceremonies, but on the work of Christ embraced by faith, and the work of His new creating Spirit, yielded to in love Apart from Christ and His Spirit of redemption, mankind resem bles the herd of helpless animals violently driven down by demon power over the precipice into destruction and perdition. "Man lel to himself is utterly and for ever hopeless.
4. But God affords His Spirit of renovation to dwell with al believers. Christ is lifted up upon the Cross, and every dyin sinner who “ looks" to Him is saved thereby, and receives the per power and life of the Holy Ghost. This Spirit sets up a struggle of forces within the nature of a Christian, symbolized by the strug gle of the children in Rebecca's womb, the issue of which is, that the elder serves the younger, the newer vanquishes the older man -the wild and shaggy animal, Nature, is subdued in the Israel ol God, by the smooth and civilizing power of divine grace.
We are surrounded on all sides in the creation by the struggles of rival forces. In man's physical nature there are some remarkable examples, both of balanced and of victorious powers. The muscles on either side of the body exert an equal degree of force,
and thus preserve the contour of the form If they did not exactly balance each other, there would be everywhere obliquity of vision, distortion of countenance, crookedness of the trunk or limbs. Again, the whole body is drawn towards the earth by the attraction of gravitation; and this force, if unresisted, as in a corpse, would drag it to the ground. But the muscular power in life struggles agaiust the attraction of the globe, and vanquishes it so far as to enable us to stand upright, to walk, and to run, and to bear burdens. Again, the laws of inorganic chemistry seize upon the body in death, break up its tissues, and speedily dissipate the gases of which it was composed. But during life the vital powers have the ability to resist these chemical laws, and to establish the supremacy of a higher chemistry, which operates on the aliment consumed and on the fabric of the frame, so as to perpetuate and constantly restore its wasting substance. There is a vehementstruggle ever carried on of life against death. And lastly, we see that the globe itself is the subject of such a struggle between opposing forces -one drawing it with mighty power towards the sun, the other impelling it to go off into the infinite darkness in a straight line, at right angles to that force. The result of the composition of the two is to send the earth along its nearly circular orbit.
But there is no struggle in physical nature half so interesting or half so glorious as this inward contest between the flesh and the Spirit in regenerate men. It is emphatical a war between heaven and earth, in the body and soul of man. Michael and his angels fight against the Dragon and his angels. The condition of the contest is, that God by His Spirit supplies new power, in supplying a new life. It is the part of man, az a living and intelligent will, to yield to the inspirations of the new power and life, and so to overcome the works of the flesh. “ This, I say, then, walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the works of the flesh.” God does not operate irresistibly as upon dead matter, but intellectually and spiritually as upon honest mind. He worketh in us to will and to do; but we must “work out our own salvation.”
5. How does the Holy Spirit (which, if a man have not, it proves that he is none of Christ's) accomplish the work of renewal in the Divine image ? As it were by infusing a new blood into the system-a new life. And what is this life-blood ? It is the truth of Christ. “ Sanctify them by thy truth.” The work of the Spirit is to bring Christ to the soul-Christ as the Atoning Priest -- Christ as the teacher-Christ as the King. “He shall take of mine and shew it unto you.” He openly sets forth Christ crucified, made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God
As He was reckoned among the transgressors, so are we reckoned among the saints and angels, and sons of God freely, by " the riches of #is grace."
God clothes us, like the Church in the