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THE WORKS AND THE WORD. The thoughts and groupings of texts which follow have been so owned of the Lord wherever they have been spokou; they are
therefore inserted here as they bear upon our subject, that He may give them a wider sphere of blessing.-B. G. L. H.
Tae Moon in ScripturE, A SYMBOL OF THE CHURCH OF CHRIST.
The Moon, so far as we know, is a world devoid of life; in herself a burnt-out luminary now, whatever she may have been ; receiving all her beauty and glory from the Sun, when in a certain attitude towards him, and shedding upon a darkened earth the light she receives, during its night season ; proving truly that the Sun still shines though unseen.
And The Church, apart from her Lord, who is her light, is as barren as the Moon's disc; all her glory and beauty comes to her also from another, and that one the Sun of Righteousness; and in proportion as she keeps her position in relation to Him. And it comes to her that she too may shine on the world, during its night of sin, and sorrow, and suffering; and thus be a living witness to the present glory of her
a absent Lord. The Moon,
I.- Der Beauty. “Fair as the Moon." "He commanded, and they "Thy renown went forth among the heathen for were created.”
thy beauty . . . perfect through My comeliness.” Cant. vi. 10; Ps. cxlviii. 5.
Ezek. xvi. 14. Just as the Moon's fairness is altogether the reflection of the Sun's brightness, without him she were a dark unsightly cinder: so the beauty of the Church is but a reflection of the glory of her Lord, without whom she were still sitting in darkness and clothed with ashes.
Ver Position and Orbit. “God set them in the firmament of heaven, to “God ... made us sit together in heavenly give light upon the earth, and to rule over the places "_"as lights in the world.”
. night." Gen. i. 17.
Eph. ii. 6; Phil. ii. 15. The Moon forms no part of the earth, though she has a definite place in connection with it; so the Church has no communion with the world, though she has a peculiar office to fulfil with regard to it; and the orbit for both is the mighty will of God.”
III.—Der Appointment. “He appointed the Moon for seasons."
“ I have chosen you and ordained you, that ye Moon which Thou hast ordained.”
should go ..." Ps. civ. 19; viii. 3.
John xv. 16. Not by chance or uncertainty was the position of the Moon, or Church, fixed, but by the “Word of the Lord” (Ps. xxxiii. 6). He “ appointed the ordinances of heaven” (Jer. xxxiii. 25); of the sphere in which the Moon and Church are destined to move ; and not for a little space, but “ throughout all generations” (Ps. lxxii. 5). The Moon, with no power of choice, does not resist her Divine appointing; how often the Church, to whom is committed the power and responsibility of choosing, seeks her own will instead of her Lord's !
IV.- Der Witness. “Established for ever as the Moon, and as a "Ye are my witnesses," "The world seeth Me faithful witness in heaven.”
but Ps. lxxxix. 37.
Isa. xliii. 12; John xiv. 19. In the night season the earth does not see the Sun, but the Moon does, and thus reflects his
she is given “ for a light by night” (Jer. xxxi. 35), and so it is with the Church ; now is the night of this world; and she" with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord” (2 Cor. iii. 18, R.V.), bears witness to His unseen presence. But if the Moon comes between the Sun and earth, there is an eclipse of the Sun, and could she be seen she is but a black spot on the Sun's disc; so when in the Church, self comes in between her and the source of her radiance she ceases to be a light-bearer, and becomes rather a stumbling-block in the way.
ye see Me."
V.--Reeping Position. "I beheld the Moon, walking in brightness." “ Walk in the light of the Lord.” “ Jalk in the
Job xxxi. 26. light as He is in the light.” Isa. ii. 8; 1 John i. 7. If the carth is between the Moon and the Sun, there is an eclipse of the Moon; she gives no light: and so if the world, or worldly things, come in between the Church and Christ, they interrupt His shining upon her; she no longer beholds His face, and consequently becomes darkness rather than light. There is a contrast here. The Moon cannot help interruptions that come in her path, but the Church is out of position at once if for a moment anything comes between her and the light; for such is the will of God concerning her. Again, the young Moon is not lit alone by the Sun-a dim light is reflected back on her from the earth, she has little of her light comparatively from the sun's pure rays— but this can be no longer the case when she is turned full face to the Sun. Then it is only the Sun's light that is reflected. It is often thus also with young members of the Church—when they first bear witness to the light there is something of the world sometimes intermingled; it is not altogether “Christ " whom they represent, but more and more as they turn wholly to Him and become out and out for Him it is “ Jesus only.”
Another fact is—though we cannot quite work out the analogy—that there is a side of the Moon unseen by the earth; and there is also a hidden side of the Church which is “not unto the world” (John xiv. 22).
VI.-Øer Influence. " Precious things put forth by the Moon." "To “The same bringeth forth much fruit." "Hath rule by night.” Deut. xxxiii. 14; Psa. cxxxvi. 9. made us kings."
John xv. 5; Rev. i. 6. The Moon has a strong influence over the earth, - a power of attraction which is daily witnessed in the ebbing and flowing tides. This attraction extends its power to secret and subtle lengths. In the Himalayas, for instance, a certain plant is filled with a water-like fluid, or dried up, according as the Moon is full or new. And if the Church is true to her Lord, there are no limits either to the visible power, or the secret influences which will go forth from her. “Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the end of the world” (Rom. x. 18). And side by side with this power of attraction in the Church, will be a power of repulsion. “Let her only shine, and the worldly ones will leave her or join her.” Soine “were the more added," but, “ of the rest durst no man join himself to them” (Acts v. 14, 13). It will be so again, if she is a faithful witness and just in proportion as she is so, will there be no possibility of anyone standing on neutral ground in her vicinity.
VII.-Øer Blory. “The light of the Moon shall be as the light of the “ The glory which Thou gavest Me have I given sun, and the light of the sun shall be seven-fold.” them, that they may be one as we are." Isa. xxx. 26.
John xvii. 22. Then comes the time when everything shall be hidden in the presence of the Lord ; " neither for brightness shall the Moon give light unto thee, ... but the Lord." Yet "neither shall thy Moon withdraw itself, for the LORD shall be thy everlasting light,"—(Isa. Ix. 19, 20). Not needed any more to
Lord give light in the night season, for there is "no night there” (Rev. xxii. 5), the Moon's shining will henceforth be one with the Sun's brilliancy; and the Church—her time for thus witnessing for ever over, because her Lord has appeared—will have become one with Himself in eternal glory,-even the “ Lamb's Wife” (Rev. xix. 7).
" Then shall the righteous shine as the sun in the kingdom of My Father" (Matt. xiii, 43).
The Moon never fails in running her course, and keeping the place assigned to her. She is a faithful witness. Shall the thing symbolised fall short of its symbol ? Yet is it not so ? How often the Church fails in fulfilling her course, even in keeping her place, because she is not obedient to His will; and thus she gives cause to the enemies of our Lord to deny His presence.
"Ye are the light of the world, . . . Let your light so shine before men,
Matt, v. 14, 16.
To the confession of Christ there can be none but CONFESSING CHRIST. " If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, captious objections: Christ needed, Christ found, and believe in thy heart that God hath raised Him from the Christ saving from sin “unto the uttermost," Christ dead, thou shalt be saved.”— Rom. x. 9.
dwelling within, Christ keeping from falling, Christ Jesus is to be confessed by the penitent seeker as the bread of life, --not a crust, but the whole loaf,' a necded Saviour. This first confession is often made as Rutherford confesses,-Christ the well of water by coming to an inquiry meeting. Jesus is to be in the heart, and Christ a perfectly satisfying porconfessed as a pardoning Saviour. This is deemed tion. But why confess Christ a perfect Saviour ? a vital point. Every skilful pastor urges on the For the same reason that He is to be confessed at convert this confession by baptism and the Lord's all. If He is enthroned within and reigns after all supper, and by a constant declaration by the tongue His foes are expelled, let Him have the laurels of a of Christ's forgiving grace. Jesus, as a complete conqueror wreathing His brow. This is especially Saviour, able to save to the uttermost from fear and obligatory, since the devil has loudly professed that doubt and indwelling sin, is to be confessed to His he has so entrenched himself in the human soul honour, to the praise of the Holy Ghost, the efficient that he is impregnable till death's power is added Agent, and to the glory of the Father.
to that of the Son of God. Why not let people Christ should be the direct object of our con- find out by our lives instead of our lips that Christ fussions, and not self as justified, r.or self as cleansed, is made unto us sanctification? Why not by the uor self as filled with the Holy Ghost. St. Paul, to same method let the world discover your apprchenbe sure, does seem to put self first in his profession sion of the forgiving Christ? The answer in both of perfected holiness; but he puts self first as nailed cases is, that Christ Himself has appointed the to the cross, and then he magnifies Christ, the instrument by which He shall be confessed, namely, inward, living and Almighty Saviour: "I am the mouth, while the life confirms what the lips crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that live, utter. In this use of the mouth lies the test of our but Christ liveth in me." There is needless offence loyalty. The more we find in Christ, the higher given when we profess sanctification instead of this test becomes. There is a philosophy of confeshumbly confessing Christ, “ made unto us sanctifi-sion which Jesus did not see fit to develop. He cation.”
grounded this requirement on His own authority, If our peace is as the Amazon, deep, broad, and and not on our discovery of His reasons. Nevercontinuous in its flow, it is a great mistake to isolate theless He had reasons which constitute the philoit from its source, and, in our testimony, to eclipse sophy of confession. Christ by thrusting our emotions between the His Messiahship, His Kingship, must be acknowhearers and “the Light of the world.” Thus did ledged. This can no more be done by an upright not St. Paul, who, though caught up into Paradise life than such a life in time of rebellion can evince and hearing heavenly things unlawful (impossible) loyalty to the reigning monarch with no act or word to utter, never forgot to say of Jesus, " He is our indicative of such loyalty. Since there were many peace," He is “the Lord of peace."
moral men adhering to the Federal Government, The separation of the gift from the Giver, and and many supporting the Confederate States, a the exaltation of the gift of purity, while leaving mute, upright life was not sufficient to determine the Refiner in the shade, is the fruitful cause of a man's political principles. Jesus was not satisfied much of the distaste for professions of holiness with men's good and beautiful lives. He was everyamong good people. Moreover, there is lurking where propounding the question—“What think you in the words “profess” and “profession" a mean- of Christ ?” “Who do men say that I, the Son of ing of pretence, of blowing one's own trumpet, Man, am ?" He went about seeking recognition, which is not found in the word “confess” and hungering to be acknowledged in His true character “ confession." It is unfortunate that the words and claims. “If any man confess Me before men, “ profess” and “profession,” as relating to our him will I confess before my Father.” To the acknowledgment of Christ, were not in the New Tes- unbelieving world He is dead and buried, and, tament translated “confess" and "confession," since like Cæsar, rules the world only through history, there is but one set of words in the original Greek. through the train of influences originated by Him,
and through the words left behind Him, and not in their consciousness that He “is able to save by His personal presence. Yet He promised to be them unto the uttermost who come unto God by present with believers, “ Lo, I am with you always." Him.” So long as Jesus, the adorable Son of God, “I will not only be present, but I will manifest is the object of our confession, we cannot be exMyself unto you.” This prophecy is nugatory if cessive, for He is the object of eternal confession in there are no witnesses of this spiritual manifesta- heaven—“Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to tion, no attestation of the incoming of the personal receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, Christ into consciousness, addressing Himself to our and honour, and glory, and blessing." spiritual perception. A good outward life cannot
DANIEL STEELE. convince the world of this fact. Morality can be exemplified on the plane of nature. Thousands are
HOW SHOULD THE BIBLE BE READ ?* outwardly as pure as Christians while utterly ignoring Christ's claims. But has the risen Jesus made
BY REY, K. THEURER, OP STUTTGART. Himself known to any soul by infallible proofs ?
(PART II.) Bring Him to the witness stand.
He has important
We will now take a glimpse at the Book of the testimony. Let him open His lips, and give to Prophet Isaiah ; but, for the sake of brevity, will the world proof that its Saviour is invisibly yet confine ourselves to the second part--from chapter gloriously present, that He gives victory over sin, 40 to 66. There are twenty-seven chapters, and that He is the soul's sanctification, peace, and joy. they fall into three equal parts of nine chapters each. “The inner life,” says Lacodaire, “is the whole The concluding words of the 48th chapter—that is, man, and forms all the worth of man. Happily, of the first nine chapters-runs thus : " There is no ,
and thanks to God, there are orifices through which peace, saith the Lord, to the wicked.” our inner life constantly escapes, and the soul, like
At the conclusion of the 57th chapter-at the the blood, hath its pores. The mouth is the chief end, therefore, of the second succession of the nine and foremost of these channels which lead the soul chapters — the expression is intensified : “ The out of its invisible sanctuary; it is by speech that wicked are like a troubled sea, whose waters cast man communicates the secret converse which is his up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, real life.” Can any one testify of an indwelling to the wicked.” Christ manifesting Himself in the soul's inner life Again, after nine chapters, at the end of the whole as the purifier of silver ? Let Him speak and book, it is said in the strongest way, " Their worm confound an infidel world while he confirms the shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; promise of Christ to make His abode with those and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh." who love Him. Let Him speak, for there are
Now, while these three divisions all declare the thousands groaning over the dross discovered within, misery of the wicked, we find a wonderful contrast who are longing to find one able to refine them when we turn to the middle, to the central chapter, instantaneously in the consuming fire of His love, which has thirteen before it, and thirteen succeeding without the slow fire of adversity. Let him, by his it
. It is the fifty-third, the culminating point of testimony, make known to an unbelieving Church all Old Testament prophecy regarding the sufferings “the exceeding greatness of Christ's power to us
and death of the Messiah. Like a mountain peak ward who believe." If the great Physician has at dawn of day, the words beam forth : “Surely He thoroughly healed any soul, let Him stand forth hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrowsso that a world full of paralytics may see Him, and He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as be induced to apply to Him, and be made “every a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened whit whole."
not His mouth.” Therefore all the motives of gratitude to Jesus,
Thus these twenty-seven chapters lie before us, and of benefaction to men, conspire to impel ad- like a mountain landscape, with elevations on every vanced believers to seize a speaking-trumpet, mount side, but rising in the centre to its most splendid the house-top, and proclaim to a blind world the altitude. greatness of its Redeemer, and to a despairing Church
* An Address delivered at the Annual Meeting of the the perfectness of her Saviour, who has demonstrated Bible Society, held at Basle, June, 1881.
Let us now take a cursory glance at the New We now come to our last point. A forester may Testament. We will choose the Gospel of St. John. go into a wood to inspect the various kinds of trees Children have a great facility in becoming acquainted to be found there, and to examine them individually. with it. We will open it in the middle, as it has He may wish to know the different forms of the twenty-one chapters, the middle one is the eleventlı. oaks that are scattered about, where and in what And what does it record ? The most beautiful, and numbers they grow. Another time he may turn at the same time, the most sublime incident in the his attention to the beeches or firs; or, as a botanist, life of our Lord, His greatest miracle, which caused he may investigate into the flora of the wood. The the hatred and anger of His enemies to rise to student of the Bible should proceed in the same the highest point ; namely, the raising of Lazarus. way ; beginning from the lowest and easiest level, From this chapter we can easily review the ten he may first consider the Bible as a book of morality. which precede, and the ten which follow it. Let Leaving all else aside-history, and prophecy, and us take the last first. With the twelfth chapter miracle- he should confine himself to the strictly begins the account of the anointing at Bethany, the ethical teaching of the book. entry into Jerusalem, the visit of the Greeks, and The foundation of all morality is laid down in so the beginning of Passion Week. The thirteenth the primitive institution which God has ordained chapter records the washing of the feet, and the for human life—“Replenish the earth and subduo intimation of the traitor. The fourteenth and two it,” by which man is constituted the moral guardian following chapters contain the last discourses. Chap- of the race. In the 2nd chapter of Genesis, the ters eighteen and nineteen recount the sufferings and sanctification of the day of rest, as a means of union death; and the twentieth and twenty-first the resur- of man to God is insisted upon. Thus, a certain rection, and some of the appearances of the risen One. amount of work, even in Paradise, is enjoined. But if we look at the first ten chapters, the first And a little farther on, God says,
“ It is not good shows us the Eternal Word with the Father, then that the man should be alone; I will make him an manifested in flesh, witnessed to by John the Baptist, helpmeet for him. A man shall leave his father as the Lamb of God, and the Son of God, and the and mother, and shall cleave unto his wife.” adhesion of the five disciples. In the second chapter | Words in which the high and deep significance of we have Jesus at the wedding, where He turns the the marriage state is declared. After the Fall, water into wine; and in the Temple, where He uses comes the highly characteristic utterance regarding the scourge of small cords. In the third chapter the dual nature of man : “If thou doest well, shalt Jesus converses with Nicodemus about the new
not thou be accepted (and especially acceptable to birth, and the gift of the Son, and the Baptist thyself), and if thou doest not well sin lieth at the speaks of Him as the Bridegroom. In the fourth door. But let it not have the mastery, but rule chapter He converts the Samaritan, and heals the
Man is thus placed in conflict with nobleman's son.
himself, and while, at first, the subjection of the In chapter 5, Jesus cures the impotent man; in earth was confided to him, the victory over indwelling chapter 6, He is the Bread of Life ; in chapter 7, He sin is now made his sacred duty, if he would be at gives streams of living water; in chapter 8, Jesus is peace with himself. After the Fall, while the killing the Light of the World ; in chapter 9, He cures the and eating of animals was allowed, the awful word blind; and in the 10th chapter, He is the Good is heard : “He that sheddeth man's blood, by man Shepherd, giving His life for the sheep.
shall his blood be shed.” Murder is here declared It is not difficult to put this order and connection
a crime, the avenger of which is to be human society. before children in a clear and interesting way, so When heathenism arose, Abraham received as the that it may be impressed on mind and memory; and foundation of all morality, the Divine declaration : if they have still to learn the deeper sense of what “I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be Jesus did and said, yet they have obtained an insight thou perfect.” This is the root, from which the into the arrangement of the book, in which the acts decalogue afterwards sprang. With regard to the and words of the Lord are presented to them in a education of children, the Divine expression of continuous order, and this order is a thing especially necessary to children.
* German translation.
over it." *