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of that work is beyond his ability during his College course ; nor will anyone pretend that, as a rule, the grammar of the New Testament is at present thus acquired. Jelf is, we believe, the authority with most students for references only ; but the value of Jelf, in a theological sense, may be understood from the fact that he decides the force of one of the most critical of genitives not by usage, but by an appeal to a theological work. Furnished by such aids, the student may easily master, verbally and grammatically, the historical books of the New Testament, especially with occasional reference to Ellicott or Alford. If it be thought more desirable that one of the epistles should be studied, no better text-books could be found than the works of Dr. Ellicott. They are of the highest order of merit. We mentioned besides these things an examination. A monthly examination would be found, we think, most advantageous ; it would quicken the sluggish, and correct the mistakes of the more careless." We again wish it to be understood, this change is not to render the prelections of professors unnecessary, but to supplement them, and render them more effective. Our desire is for greater thoroughness in the study of Scripture,, that “the man of God may be thoroughly furnished.”
SUNDAY READINGS.NO. VII.
THE STRUGGLE OF THE FLESH AND THE SPIRIT. " This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the lesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh : and these are contrary one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye Fould.”—Gal. v.
THE Galatians were Gauls settled in Asia Minor, of the same primitive race with the main stock of that people, which, by union with the Franks of North Germany, has become the French nation -a race marked by the impressionableness and consequent versatility of all the Celtic families, disposed to the same animated life of
sense, and to an external religion of pomps and ceremonies. In every part of the world the firmness of the converts to the Gospel was, according to the usual method of Providence, appointed to be tried by the assaults of error as well as of persecution. Whereever the apostles went, there went also those Jewish zealots, chiefly from Jerusalem, who compassed sea and land to make one proselyte, and who sought to reduce the converted Gentiles under the yoke of Moses and the bondage of the law. The Galatians fell an easy prey to the influence of these heretics.
They had in a body
abandoned true Christianity, had forgotten both its facts í doctrines, and had adopted, with the rite of circumcision, custom of sedulously observing new moons and sabbaths, days, months, and times, and years; founding on these observances ti hope of salvation. St. Paul wrote his earliest epistle in order reclaim them, for along with false doctrine had naturally a unhappy life; they were all at war with one another, brother brother, and church with church,-wrath, strife, seditions, heres and even worse things, were common among them. They w "biting and devouring," so that they were in danger of being“ 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 Gala standing as an "angel of God," having on the “beautiful sant of salvation, and proclaims again the first principles of the Go of Christ. We learn what that Gospel was as much from the en which he denounces, as from the direct statements which makes. (i.) He first unfolds again the credentials of his divine co mission and of his independent apostleship, asserting in the m solemn terms his authority from God to teach infallibly the doctri of Christ, and threatening with perdition accordingly any w presumed to teach “another Gospel.” He (ii.) next shows that will assert this claim against all pretended teachers of Christianit “to whom we give place by subjection, no, not for an hour.” ! recites a passage of his history at Antioch, in which, when Judaising influence had in a moment of weakness carried an eren Peter and Barnabas, he bad asserted the truth in a tradiction to their example, and they had submitted to reproof. He then (iii.) shows that, as he said in this memoral reproof, the law is not and cannot be the means of a sinde justification before God, but that Christ is the foundation of rig eousness for sinners before God, having delivered us from the cu of the law, so that we now “look for the hope of righteousness faith.” He next shows that this was the old religion that exist before the Mosaic law, and that Abraham was justified by faith God's promises, as it was written of him, arguing further that entrance of the law could not disannul the previous title to t inheritance by free gift. He now (iv.) shows that being deliver from the law, whether moral or ceremonial, a Christian is no long a slave, but a freeman and a son, and therefore should not return the weak and beggarly elements of a law which could do nothin but irritate and develope corruption, and inflict the stroke death for sin. “We have been called,” he says, “to liberty. I Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircun cision, but a new creature ; whose life is faith working by lori We, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith.
e ends the fifth chapter by a description of the natural man and the regenerate Christian, and of the internal struggle between he flesh and the Spirit;" the Spirit's victory in which struggle, rough the grace of the Gospel, constitutes and exhibits the aracter of a child of God. It is on this
that we offer the lowing reflections :1. Paul regards all the events that constitute the general course this world, whether of private history or public affairs, as being at he denominates the works of the flesh—the natural and necesy effects of a depraving cause existing in the condition of manity. As water cannot rise beyond its spring, so neither can : rise beyond its origin and inspiration. The natural life of man 'animal.” The awful catalogue which is given of the “works of : flesh,” is a condensed history of the world of mankind in all itudes, in all ages. There is a profound truth in this description human nature-a truth which the imperfect speculation of Darwin faintly shadows forth. There is a close alliance between in and the animal races. Not that man derives his origin from em by transmutation of species and by lineal succession, but that was originally made to be the completion of a series—the ereign type of the vertebrated races—his body constructed on : same physiological principles as theirs, his passions and propenes resembling theirs, but his form made upright, and his face lifted to the heavens, indicating the hope of a loftier destiny, 1 his spirit framed in the moral image of his God. Forsaking d, who alone can raise him to the immortal life of heaven, he alls,"—he sinks to the rank of the animals,-he gradually becomes e them, and finally incurs subjection to their law of death eternal. this state the Gospel finds mankind -fallen, and still fallingcoming
“ like the beasts which perish.” How common is the nark that nearly every face resembles in expression some one of e animal races.
How full is the Bible of references to the eness between men and the animals, now that the glory is deEted. Wicked men are likened to swine, dogs, wolves, foxes, pents, vipers, adders, mules, horses, lions, bears. Human minion is symbolised by the prophetic images of the most ocious and bloodthirsty beasts of prey. And is there not deep th in the use of these symbols ?. Apart from moral repentance
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; re is the same cunning as in the fox, the same hoarding as in squirrel, the same ostentation as in the peacock, the same low
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 races beneath him. Where the human race exists in a condition which has the least felt the influence of the redeeming mercy, there it exhibits itself in all the hideous degradation of the animal life without God. Man becomes a horrid beast of prey; war, murder, cruelty, licentiousness, infanticide, and cannibalism completing the picture of the fallen lord of the world.
2. They that lead this “animal” life, under whatever form of civilization or of barbarism, “cannot please God.” “The flesh is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be.” For every created object there was a pattern idea in the Divine mind. The idea of God for man was, that he should in his life reflect the image and glory of God. For man to lead the life of an animal is an abomination and offence to the Godhead. While he remains in the fallen animal condition, he is “in his sins,"' continues uuder 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—by the incarnation of the Deity, of the Divine Word, by the sacrifice 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 who are not born twice will die twice. "Ye must be born again," or “die the second death.” Salvation then comes, not by law, but by grace—by free gift—and does not depend on circumcision, or on the 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 resembles the herd of helpless animals violently driven down by demon power over the precipice into destruction and perdition. Map left to himself is utterly and for ever hopeless.
4. But God affords His Spirit of renovation to dwell with all believers. Christ is lifted up upon the Cross, and every dying sinner who “ looks” to Him is saved thereby, and receives the new power and life of the Holy Ghost. This Spirit sets up a strugg 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, tha: the elder serves the younger, the newer vanquishes the older man -the wild and shaggy animal, Nature, is subdued in the Israel of 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 cone 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 into you.” He openly sets forth Christ crucified, made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. 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 His grace.” God clothes us, like the Church in the