PB Hassell's Church History

01- PREFACE

A hundred or a thousand years hence the good or the evil opinions of human beings with reference to this book will not be of the slightest importance to me; while I shall be wholly interested in the approval or the disapproval of God. And, by reason of the entire uncertainty of the continuance of this mortal life, such may become the state of my feelings at any moment. Such indeed have been my feelings, I believe, to a great extent, in the preparation of this volume.

For the Preface, Introduction, and General History of the Church, no one but myself is responsible; while of the Kehukee and Primitive Baptist History in the latter part of this work, with very little exception, my father is the sole author.

It was the intention of the early members of the Kehukee Baptist Association to have its history written up and published at the close of each generation. The Association was organized A.D. 1765. The first history was written by Elders Lemuel Burkitt and Jesse Read, and published in 1803. The second history was written by Elder Joseph Biggs, and published in 1834. And my father, Elder Cushing Biggs Hassell, was in 1876 appointed by the Association to prepare the third history of the body, as well as a sketch of the History of the Church from the creation. After having written nearly all the Kehukee and special Primitive Baptist History, and the history of the Church from B.C. 4004 to A.D. 350, he passed from the scene of his earthly labors, April 11, 1880. I was appointed by the Association in October, 1880, to complete the work. Upon the examination of my father's manuscript I found that the General History of the Church needed considerable and laborious revision, which he designed, but did not live to accomplish. I have made this revision to the best of my ability, and I have also brought forward the history from A.D. 350 to A.D. 1885.

My father traveled and preached extensively among the Old School or Primitive Baptists of nearly all parts of the United States from 1840 to 1880, and was cordially received by them everywhere; and if any one understood their views he must have done so. He was, and I am, the Moderator of the Kehukee, the oldest Primitive Baptist Association in America; and, while this book does not profess to be the organ of the Primitive Baptists, still I am satisfied that the views of my father and myself on spiritual subjects are, in general, substantially the same as those of the great majority of our brethren. In regard to the religious innovations of post-apostolic times, with reference both to doctrine and to practice, the words of the Lord in Pr 22:28; Jer 1:17-19; 6:16, and Jude 3, have been especially and deeply impressed upon our minds.

For about two years I earnestly endeavored, by private correspondence and notices in our religious periodicals, to obtain complete lists of all the Old School or Primitive Baptist Churches and Elders in the United States; but so very few responded that the list is entirely too defective to be published. I have inserted in the history of the eighteenth century a list of all our churches of which I have been able to get any account, formed during that century. At the close of the Kehukee History is given the list of our associations in the United States, very much as left by my father.

The most eminent of modern church historians have zealously devoted from thirty to fifty years to the accomplishment of their labors. The present work has occupied the careful attention of my father and myself about nine years, he having employed upon it about three-and-a­-half, and I about five-and-a-half years. As we have had comparatively so short a period for the survey of the history of the church for nearly six thousand years, we have been absolutely compelled to avail ourselves extensively of the best results of investigations made by other men, indicating our indebtedness by quotation marks, and frequently giving the authors' names. We have aimed, not at a vain show of originality, but at utility; and we have freely laid under contribution the best stores of religious knowledge on earth. It would require not only great intellectual and spiritual ability, but a long lifetime spent diligently in the great libraries of Europe, to write the history of the church as it ought to be, but never has been written. My father and I have, in general, at points where the truth is assailed, purposely used the very language and the reluctant admissions of such as occupy the highest positions among the enemies of the truth, so as effectually to silence the gainsayings of those who defend error with less information and less ability. We have dwelt sorrowfully, but emphatically and solemnly, upon the extravagant Pharisaism and the extraordinary religious superficiality of the nineteenth century. The world presses into the nominal church, multitudes compass sea and land to make proselytes, while the unfelt horror of spiritual death reigns throughout almost the entire extent of the civilized as well as the uncivilized populations of the globe. But while gross darkness covers the rich, proud and corrupt Egypt of the world, as of old, the few poor, humble and despised Israel of God are blessed with divine light in their dwellings; and, to the spiritual mind, it is intensely interesting and edifying to observe the providential course and circumstances of that heavenly light as it comes down to us through the historical wilderness of the ages. Straight and narrow, high and holy, spiritual and divine is the mysterious path along which patriarchs and prophets, apostles and martyrs, and all the dear people of God have been led by the Spirit and providence of the Most High. The infallible Scriptures, illuminated by the Divine Spirit in our hearts, alone can enable us to discover that heavenly path, and to walk therein, and find rest to our souls.

As is well known by those best acquainted with my conduct in accepting and carrying on the difficult and onerous task of revising and completing this work, and in arranging for its publication, I have not been influenced by motives of worldly gain, but, as I trust, by a desire to promote the cause of truth, even at a great sacrifice of my temporal interests; and I hope that I have been divinely enabled in the compilation of the history, to rise above worldly considerations, and, in the solemn light of eternity and the consciousness of my great responsibility, to set forth what I believe to be the truth. I have not tried to write a popular or salable book. I seek neither the ephemeral applause nor the perishing riches of men; and I hope that the fear of God has been implanted in my heart, and delivered me from the fear of the face of clay soon to moulder into dust. I have not written for the purpose of either pleasing or displeasing men; but I have endeavored, like an impartial witness, to state plainly, calmly and essentially "the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, " whether men like it or not. If the truth please them, I shall be glad, for nothing else can make them free; if it displease them, I am not responsible. For the truth, however distasteful, I am not responsible; but for accurately reporting what I am satisfied is the truth, I am responsible to God. While it is impossible, as Macaulay says, for history to give the whole truth, the best historians exhibit such parts of the truth as most nearly produce the effect of the whole, and seek to discover and explain the principles interpenetrating and underlying the facts. Such has been my view of the true province and object of history; and this ideal I have endeavored, as best I could, to exemplify in the present work.

I have labored to set forth the truth in creation, in history, and in Scripture. There is but one God, and He is equally the God of nature, of providence, and of grace, as everywhere recognized by the sacred writers.; and it is disloyalty to Him to deny or contemn His work in either of these great domains. May He always, preserve me and my readers from such irreverence.

I lay no claim to inspiration or infallibility. I believe the Old and New Testament Scriptures to be absolutely the only inspired and infallible book in human literature; such is the fundamental doctrine of the Baptist Church and of the Protestant Reformation. By this divine standard I desire the present volume and every other creatural work to be finally tested -to be accepted if and when in accordance, and rejected if and when not in accordance, with the standard. "The best of the interpretations of the Bible are but the interpretations of fallible men." The right and duty of private judgment in the interpretation of the Scriptures is also a fundamental Baptist and Protestant doctrine; such right I not only claim for myself, but I willingly allow to every other human being -only let each one remember and admit that no person and no set of persons now on earth are infallible. Papacy is equally offensive to reason and to faith. He who claims infallibility for himself or for any other man since the Apostolic Age, ceases to that extent to be a Baptist, or a Protestant, or a follower of Christ, and renounces those precious principles of religious liberty, in defense of which have flowed rivers of the best blood on earth. A proper knowledge of genuine church history delivers us from the tyranny of both ancient and modern popes of every name, and directs us to the Bible as the only authoritative standard of faith and practice. Old School, Primitive, or Bible Baptists, should be the last people in the world to have a pope or popes among them. No book, no pamphlet, no periodical, no document of any kind, must be taken as a substitute for the Bible; and no author, no editor, no preacher, no teacher, no writer, and no body of men must be substituted for Christ, who is the only Prophet, Priest, and King of His people.

The great importance of church history is shown by the fact that it occupies two-thirds of the Bible. It has been called "the backbone and storehouse of theology, and the best commentary of christianity itself. Next to the Holy Scriptures, which are themselves chiefly a history and depository of divine revelation, there is no stronger proof of the continual presence of Christ with his people, no more thorough vindication of christianity, no richer source of spiritual wisdom and experience, no deeper incentive to virtue and piety, than the history of Christ's kingdom, as sublimely indicated by the eleventh chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews." -Prof. P. Schaff. {1} The history of the past gives us a more correct knowledge of the present, and a more correct judgment as to the future. The history of the people of God "eminently illustrates the laws of the divine administration, evinces the truth of prophecy by showing its fulfillment, and, in due subordination to the study of the Scriptures and of our own hearts, furnishes the best school of human nature, although commonly postponed to that of frivolous society and superficial worldly wisdom. It tends to elevate and enlarge our views beyond the petty bounds of personal, sectarian and local interests; to discourage bigotry, and moderate controversial bitterness, without impairing our attachment to the truth itself; and to suppress crude innovations and absurdities, both in theory and in practice, by showing that the same, in substance if not in form, have been canvassed and exploded centuries ago." -Prof. J. A. Alexander.

A feature distinguishing Christianity from all other religions is its unique historical character-the religion and history being inseparably and supernaturally blended during a period of 4,100 years; the very facts themselves being parables and symbols illustrating spiritual and eternal truths. In the midst of a depraved polytheistic world the God of the Universe, the God of History, the God of Grace, preserved for forty centuries the pure faith and worship of Himself, in the lines of Seth and Shem and Abraham, until, in accordance with His repeated promises and types recorded in the Old Testament Scriptures, He manifested His great and glorious salvation in the spotless life and atoning death and triumphant resurrection and ascension of His incarnate Son; and then, in accordance with His purposes and declarations from the beginning, He dispersed the descendants of Abraham, with their ancient prophetic Scriptures, and sent his servants with the Scriptures of the New Testament, showing the fulfillment of the Old, among all the Gentile nations of the earth, and to the latter also mercifully displayed His spiritual, holy and everlasting salvation. "Holy men of God foresaw and foretold that the Gentile nations would come to worship the God of Judah, the Jehovah of Zion, at a period when nothing in the possible horizon of the times could have afforded the faintest indication of the wonderful future. To their minds the future was not as it is to other men, for they spoke of the coming ages just as the ages indeed have come."

"Christ, " says Prof. H. B. Smith, "is the center of God's revelation and of man's redemption; of Christian doctrine and of Christian history; of Christian sects and of each believer's faith; yea, of the very history of this our earth, Jesus Christ is the full, the radiant, the only center-fitted to be such because He is the God-man and the Redeemer. Christ is the center of the Christian system, and the doctrine respecting Christ in the heart of Christian theology. Christianity gives us all that philosophy aims after, and in a more perfect form; it also gives us more than philosophy can give; and this more that it gives is what man most needs, and what reason alone could never divine. And therefore we conclude that it is not within the scope of the human mind to conceive a system more complete, richer in all blessings. The highest ideas and ends which reason can propound are really embraced, the deepest wants which man can know are truly satisfied, the sharpest antagonisms which the mind can propose are declared to be reconciled in the ideas, the means, and the ends which are contained in that revelation which centers in the person of Jesus Christ our Lord."

May the God of all grace vouchsafe to bestow His all-important blessing upon these pages. Without Him neither writers nor readers can do anything acceptable in His holy sight. To his merciful, righteous and sovereign will, would I desire to commit myself, my labors, my natural and spiritual kindred, and all my fellow-creatures, both for time and for eternity.

SYLVESTER HASSELL WILSON, N.C., February, 1886.

Footnotes:

{1} To such of my readers as may desire to pursue the study of church history, since the coming of Christ, beyond the limits of the present volume I believe that I am doing a real service to say that the most recent, accurate, impartial, thorough and satisfactory works on the subject with which I am familiar are the following by Prof. Philip Schaff, of New York: "History of the Christian Church" (4 volumes already published, A.D. 1-1073-to be followed by, others); "The Creeds of Christendom, with a History and Critical Notes" (3 vols.): and the "Schaff-Herzog Encyclopædia of Religious Knowledge" (3 vols.). As of especial interest and value to all loving students of the New Testament, I take sincere pleasure in recommending the first volume of his "History of the Christian Church, " entitled "Apostolic Christianity A.D. 1-100, " which may be purchased separately for $4, from the publishers, Charles Scribner's Sons, New York. For a study of the original authorities, J.C.L. Gieseler's Church History, in 8 vols., is indispensable to those acquainted with ancient and foreign languages.

These commendatory remarks are made after a careful study of the best church histories published in Europe and America; and, like all similar remarks in the present volume are entirely unsolicited on the part of the authors of the works recommended.

02- INTRODUCTION

The Bible is of incomparably more value than all the literature of the world. Composed of sixty-six books, which are not literally, but spiritually united, written in all the forms of literary composition, during a period of at least sixteen centuries, by about forty inspired authors, in all the ranks of society, from the highest to the lowest, in Egypt, Arabia, Palestine, Babylon, Asia Minor, Greece and Rome, indited in three languages, Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek, and translated into about three hundred languages, it unfolds the history of the world and of the church from the beginning to the end of time, contains "the spiritual biography of every human heart, " authoritatively declares the character of God and of His salvation, and portrays the opposite conditions of the two divisions of the human race in eternity. It is of equal interest and profit "to king and beggar, to philosopher and child."

During the eighteen centuries that have elapsed since the close of the Scripture canon, not a single statement of the written word of God has been disproved by any human discovery. All the attempts of scoffers and critics and historians and scientists and philosophers to throw discredit upon the inspired volume have only rebounded upon themselves, and illustrated the impiety, virulence, ignorance, shallowness, and conceitedness of their authors. Next after the assaults of the first three centuries upon the Christian Church, the most vigorous, learned, and persistent efforts to undermine the religion of the Bible have been made by some votaries of (1) Criticism, (2) Science, and (3) Philosophy during the last hundred years. Led on by the enmity of the unrenewed and unspiritual mind against God, and by the strategy of the prince of the power of the air, these assailants of divine revelation have left the solid ground-work of facts, and pretentiously soared into the aerial regions of speculation and conjecture, and, by the ordination of the Most High, they have become so bereft of that common sense or reason which they idolize, as to suppose themselves able by their unsubstantial gossamer theories to overturn the everlasting foundations of the Zion of our God. Eliminate the guess-work from their baseless fabrics, and all their splendid structures are at once reduced to airy nothingness. "The path of every possible hostile theory has been pursued to its utmost limit and has returned upon itself." The conjectures have been changed as often as the seasons, and are either admitted to be mere assumptions, or have been abandoned by their authors or their successors. Along all the lines of intellectual skepticism a disastrous retreat is sounding. As in ancient times, so now, a few men raised by God to occupy the very highest eminences of human thought have become valiant champions for the truth of the Scriptures, and are gifted with wisdom to rout the armies of the aliens. We know, however, from the Scriptures, that these broken hosts will be rallied by the arch-enemy again, but that their final overthrow by the power of God will be signal and complete.

1. CRITICISM-"Niebuhr, the founder of modern historical criticism, recognized the atheistic unbelief of his day as a species of demoniacal frenzy."

As the evening precedes the morning in each of the six creative days, so the Old Testament, the evening dispensation of the world, preceded the New Testament, the morning dispensation. Malachi, the last Old Testament prophet, expressly predicts, in his last chapter, the rising of the Sun of Righteousness with healing in his wings. Four hundred years afterwards that blessed and glorious Sun did arise in the person of Jesus of Nazareth, the incarnate Son of God, and usher in the heavenly morning of the Gospel Day. Let it never be forgotten, however, that the Old Testament was the first or evening dispensation-shadowy, rudimentary, introductory, insufficient, imperfect, external, local, formal, temporal, typical and prophetic, though, with interruptions, continually rising in inwardness and spirituality, the feeble light of God's revelation gradually increasing from the protevangelium in Eden to the perfect day. In the dim light of the old economy, men could not see clearly-"it was difficult to discriminate between evil persons and evil principles-there was much prevalence of personal revenge, a kind of wild justice less evil than torpidity of conscience-prudential motives and temporal rewards were prominent-the dispensation was, not wholly, but predominantly a system of law and justice, and achieved its triumph in demonstrating (as God had designed) its own failure, and in thus preparing the way for a better, a higher, a brighter, a perfect and a final dispensation." Under the inscrutable ordination of the Most High, the nocturnal heavens of the ancient heathen world were enshrouded in black and heavy clouds-the obscure rays of nature and providence, to their sin-blinded, proud, foolish, and idolatrous minds Ro 1:20-32 became almost totally eclipsed-and pandemonium reigned throughout Gentile civilization. But, in the land of God's chosen people, under divine ordination, the clouds were more or less rolled away, and the moon and stars appeared and poured down their heavenly light; the types and prophecies fragmentarily yet multifariously declared to spiritual Israel the nature of God and His salvation, and the old patriarchs and elders walked haltingly, yet trustingly, with God, feeling themselves to be strangers and pilgrims on earth, and looking for a better, even a heavenly country. Gradually the ceremonial law was distinguished from and subordinated to the moral law; mere formalism in religion was denounced in the most scathing terms; the necessity of a hearty spiritual worship of God was tremendously emphasized; and the poor, humble and needy soul was directed to the Holy One of Israel as the Lord his Righteousness, his Redeemer, his Strength, and his Salvation, who was to be manifested in human flesh, and smitten by the sword of divine justice for the transgressions of His covenant people, make an end of their sins, make reconciliation for their iniquities, and bring in for them an everlasting righteousness, and then to re-ascend, as the King of glory, to His eternal throne; and, in unchanging faithfulness, as time rolled on, to gather around Him all the jewels of His mercy in that blessed land whose walls are salvation and whose gates are praise; where the Lord shall be their everlasting light, and the days of their mourning shall be ended. "The unrivaled loftiness, authority, directness, and pungency of the Old Testament Prophets, as well as of the New Testament Apostles, strikes the spiritual mind as a voice from within the veil."

The religious books of the ancient Hebrews are utterly distinct in their tone and essence, their spirit and monotheism, from those of all other ancient peoples. The religions of the most cultivated ancient heathens, the Egyptians and the Greeks, degenerated into the most multitudinous and debasing polytheism, the Egyptians deifying brutes, and the Greeks making gods of such crimes as drunkenness, fraud, sensuality, and murder. The Decalogue is, on the other hand, the moral core of the Hebrew Scriptures which represent God as the High and Holy One that inhabiteth eternity. The freshly exhumed and deciphered monuments of ancient Assyria and Egypt are furnished daily corroboration of the historical truth of the Old Testament Scriptures. The original Iranian or Persian religion of dualism, teaching that there were two original, uncreated, creative spirits, one good and the other evil, approached more nearly, both in theory and in purity, to the Hebrew monotheism, but it became mixed and corrupted with Magism, or the worship of the elements. "Monotheism and expiatory sacrifice, " says Prof. George Rawlinson, of Oxford University, "were parts of the primitive religion, and except among the Hebrews, these principles were everywhere variously corrupted through the manifold and multiform deterioration of human nature in different races and places." "All the founders of the false religions of the world, " says the Duke of Argyle in his magnificent work on the "Unity of Nature, "" were themselves nothing but Reformers; and the reforms they instituted have themselves all more or less again yielded to new developments of decay. From Brahminical Pantheism Buddhistic Atheism was an extreme revolt; but the latter has become equally idolatrous and degraded. Scholars who have begun their search into the origin of religion in the full acceptance of what may be called the savage theory of the origin of man-who, captivated by a plausible generalization, have taken it for granted that the farther we go back in time the more certainly do we find all religion assuming one or other of the gross and idolatrous forms which have been indiscriminately grouped under the designation of Fetishism-have been driven from this belief by discovering to their surprise that facts do not support the theory. They have found on the contrary, that up to the farthest limits which are reached by records which are properly historical, and far beyond those limits to the remotest distance which is attained by evidence founded on the analysis of human speech, the religious conceptions of men are seen, as we go back in time, to have been not coarser and coarser, but simpler, purer, higher-so that the very oldest conceptions of the divine Being of which we have any certain evidence are the simplest and the best of all-the very oldest Egyptian and Hindoo compositions speaking of God in the sublime language which forms the opening of the Lord's Prayer; and it has been ascertained that, to some extent, these pure, primitive, monotheistic conceptions still survive even among the degraded and idolatrous tribes of Africa."

Herbert Spencer, of England, the chief human god of nineteenth century infidelity, the impersonation of the most horrible blasphemy of the God of the Bible, the man who pretends to be the most earnest and successful of all seekers after truth, in his last book, entitled "Ecclesiastical Institutions, " published in 1886, wherein he professes to derive the religion of mankind from dreams and ghosts, shows an utter ignorance or a willful suppression of the fact of the primitive monotheism of the human race-a fact now thoroughly established and admitted by the ablest scholars in the world-a fact which completely undermines and annihilates the very foundation of all his false theory of the evolution of religion.

The composition of the New Testament in the first century of the Christian era inevitably implies not only the pre-existence of the Old Testament for hundreds of years before that time, but the reverent belief of Christ and His Apostles in the divine inspiration of the Old Testament. Christ is both the main substance and the chief witness and guarantor of the truth of the Old Testament Scriptures. Believers before the flood dimly beheld Him as the suffering but victorious seed of the woman. Abraham rejoicingly saw Him as his own seed in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed. Jacob viewed Him as the descendant of his son Judah, the Shiloh, unto whom the gathering of the people should be. Moses saw Him as the Prophet whom the Lord God would raise up like unto him, from among his brethren, to whom they were to give ear. Job, in the depth of his affliction, beheld Him as his Divine Redeemer, who should stand at the latter day upon the earth. David saw Him as his own Son and the Son of God, the anointed King of Zion, yet agonizing before God, and pierced in His hands and feet by the assembly of the wicked, and going down into the dust of death, but not seeing corruption, and rising from all the humiliation of His earthly life, and passing, as the King of Glory, within the everlasting gates, and sitting down on the right hand of God, the almighty and gentle Shepherd of Israel, ruling in the midst of His enemies, making His people willing in the day of His power, making them lie down in green pastures, leading them beside the still waters, restoring their souls, leading them in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake, accompanying them all the days of their lives with His goodness and mercy, giving them the victory over every foe, even death, and making them dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Isaiah beheld Him as Immanuel, God with us, a child born, a son given, whose name was Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father and the Prince of Peace, the sure foundation-stone laid in Zion, tried and precious, and as the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, bruised for our iniquities and healing us with His stripes. Jeremiah saw Him as the Lord our Righteousness. Ezekiel beheld Him as a man and yet as the Lord, of a bright, fiery appearance, seated upon a sapphire throne, and encircled with a rainbow. Daniel saw Him as a little stone cut out of the mountain, breaking in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold of Nebuchadnezzar's image, and as the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven to the Ancient of days, and acquiring universal and everlasting dominion, and as Messiah the Prince, who should come to the holy city, and be cut off but not for Himself, and should make an end of sins, and bring in an everlasting righteousness, and seal up the vision and prophecy, a short time before the destruction of the city and sanctuary. Micah beheld Him as the Ruler of Israel, whose goings forth had been from everlasting, coming out of Bethlehem-Ephratah. Haggai saw Him as the Desire of all nations, coming to the second temple, and filling it with greater spiritual glory than the first temple, and in that place giving peace. Zechariah saw Him as the King of Zion, just and having salvation, lowly, and riding upon a colt the foal of an ass into Jerusalem, betrayed for thirty pieces of silver, pierced by the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but bringing them to mourn with a great and solitary mourning for Him, and opening to them a fountain for sin and for uncleanness-as the Shepherd of God, a man, and yet the equal of the Lord of hosts, smitten by the sword of God, who them turns his hand of mercy upon the little ones. And Malachi beheld Him as the Messenger of the covenant, the Lord suddenly coming to His temple, and purifying the sons of Levi as gold and silver in the furnace, that they might offer unto the Lord an offering in righteousness, and as the Sun of Righteousness arising, unto all that fear His name, with healing in His wings. And Jesus always refers, in the most reverential manner, to the Hebrew Scriptures as the infallible, the literally and perfectly true testimony of God. The same books of the Old Testament that we now receive were then received by the Jews and by Christ as canonical and inspired. Christ, in His sayings recorded in the New Testament, alludes to every period of the Old Dispensation. "He speaks of the creation of man, the institution of marriage, the death of Abel, the flood in the days of Noah, the destruction of Sodom, the history of Abraham, the appearance of God in the burning bush, the manna in the wilderness, the miracle of the brazen serpent, the wanderings of David, the glory of Solomon, the ministry of Elijah and Elisha, the sign of Jonah, and the martyrdom of Zechariah-events which embrace the whole range of the Jewish record." Whatever, therefore, may be said by self-constituted, pretentious, ungodly and ignorant critics in regard to what they presume to call the incredible myths of the Bible, the children of God may be as perfectly assured of the literal truth of every word of the Old Testament, as well as of the New Testament, as if every word had been written by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.

"The Fourfold Gospel is the central portion of divine revelation. Into it, as a reservoir, all the foregoing revelations pour their full tide; and out of it, as a fountain, flow all subsequent revelations. The genuineness of the Four Gospels is attested by a mass of evidence, external and internal, altogether unparalleled and quite overpowering. No work of classical antiquity, even the most undoubted, is half so well attested, or can lay claim, one might say, to a tithe of the evidence which the Gospels possess. Every ancient writer referring to the Gospels possessed all four of them. Their genuineness and apostolic authority are attested by the evidence, in the second century, of Papias, Irenaeus, the author of the Muratorian Fragment, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and Origen, who expressly name them; and by the evidence of the Syriac and the old Latin versions of them; and by the evidence, in the latter part of the first century and in the second century, of Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Ignatius, Polycarp, the author of the Epistle to Diognetus and Justin Martyr, who quote from or refer to them; by the Jewish Greek in which they are written, and which could have been written only in the first century; by the accurate and numerous incidental allusions which they make to the geography and topography of Palestine; the mixed political condition of the people, their manners and customs, religious principles, observances and prejudices, and the sects and parties into which they were divided; by the great number of undesigned coincidences between them; by the altogether unprecedented character of Christ, as the Divine and suffering Savior of men from sin, which they describe, and which no human mind could ever have imagined unless it had been a reality; by the fact that, outside of the Christ whom they portray, there is no harbor of refuge for the tossed and weary soul; and by their fresh and undying vigor triumphantly surviving every form of antagonism for eighteen centuries."-David Brown, in Jamieson, Fausset and Brown's Bible Commentary.

It seems certain that at least the Four Gospels, the Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles of Paul, the first Epistle of Peter, and the first Epistle of John, were in general public use in the churches after the middle of the second century.

The fundamental hypotheses of the (German) Tubingen criticism-the most respectable and formidable critical assault ever made upon the New Testament-have entirely dissolved under later and more careful researchers, so that the members of that theological school have fled to secular fields. The composition of all the four gospels, as well as of the epistles, must be referred to the first century, to eye-witnesses and ear-witnesses of the life of Christ; not Paul, but Jesus, was the author of Christianity, and there were no radically antagonistic Pauline and Petrine parties in the Apostolic Church.

In his "Beginnings of Christianity, " Prof. G. P. Fisher, of Yale College, clearly points out three unmistakable "water-marks of age" in the New Testament writings, proving that they were composed in the first century of the Christian era: 1st. The Apostles' fleshly expectation of the speedy coming of Christ in final judgment upon the world. 2nd. The entire absence of any distinction between the terms presbyter (or elder) and bishop (or overseer)-such distinction arising early in the second century; and 3rd. The New Testament allusions to only two formidable perversions of Christianity, the Judaizing and the Gnostic, both of which developed into open heresy in the second century.

As admitted by the highest legal authorities, thoroughly trained in examining evidence, the few trifling variations (apparent but not real contradictions) of the evangelists confirm, instead of weakening, their testimony, by proving them to have been independent witnesses, between whom there was no collusion. "More formal analytical biographies could not possibly have equaled the four gospels in presenting an authentic and vivid portraiture of Christ; the authors are lost in the subject; they attempt no studied delineation of Jesus, but allow Him, in all their narratives, to stand in the foreground, and speak and act for Himself." This is of course the very next thing to the reader's living on earth when Christ was in the flesh, and actually hearing His words and seeing His deeds.

The latest and ablest scholars place the four gospels in the following chronological order of composition: Mark, Matthew, Luke and John; Mark and Matthew having been written before A.D. 70, Luke before A.D. 80, and John before A.D. 100. "They are plain, unadorned reports of facts in the life of Christ, impressed by a fourfold repetition; especially the great facts of the death and resurrection of Christ are rehearsed to us four times in the minuteness of circumstantial detail. The sense of reality revives within us in reading the gospels, which furnish an effectual antidote against abstraction and speculation. The gospels give us four aspects of Christ, though but one portrait; in Matthew He is, predominantly, the Royal Lawgiver; in Mark, the Mighty Worker; in Luke, the Friend of man; in John, the Son of God. Matthew, the Hebrew gospel, is the true commencement of the New Testament; it represents Jesus as the son of David, the son of Abraham, and continually refers to the fulfillment of the Old Testament Scriptures. Mark, Peter's gospel, represents Jesus, as Peter said to Cornelius, as anointed with the Holy Ghost and power, going about doing good and healing all oppressed with the devil; it is the gospel of action-rapid, vigorous and vivid. Luke, Paul's gospel, presents Jesus, not as the son of Abraham only, but as the son of Adam; it seems broader in its human sympathy, and is pre-eminently a gospel for the Gentiles-the gospel of the Son of Man, its key-note being mercy; the gospel for women, dwelling upon Elizabeth, the Virgin Mary, Anna, Martha and her sister Mary, and the female disciples who ministered to Christ and His Apostles; the gospel for children, dwelling upon the birth and youth of John the Baptist and of Jesus; and the gospel of sacred poetry, the first two chapters being a paradise of fragrant flowers, where the air is resonant with the sweet melodies of heavenly gladness and thanksgiving; the gospel of Luke, says the infidel Renan, is the most beautiful book in the world."-T. D. Bernard.

The gospel of John dwells especially upon the divine and eternal glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. Because of this fact, and of its recording the astounding miracle of the resurrection of Lazarus, and on account of its containing several long spiritual discourses of Christ, the especial malevolence of modern skeptics has been most learnedly and laboriously attempted to relegate its composition to the latter part of the second century and to some unknown and unreliable author. But critics have been forced to retreat from A.D. 170 to about A.D. 100, as the time when it was known and used by the church-that is, to the lifetime, if not of John himself, of many of his friends, upon whom such a work, if spurious, could not have been imposed. The internal proof of its authenticity is stronger than that of any classical work of antiquity. Its general structure and contents furnish a convincing argument for its strict historical truth. It contains more touches of an eye-witness than any other of the gospels; it is more observant of chronological order, and, confessedly, the most valuable for consultation in the scientific construction of the Savior's history. It alone gives an adequate explanation of the manner and time in which Christ's death was brought about (by His raising Lazarus from the dead, near Jerusalem, after the latter had been dead four days, and thus presenting the strongest proof of His own divinity, and offending the Jewish rulers more than ever before). Even Baur, the founder of the Tubingen school, admits that the author of the fourth gospel was a man of remarkable mind, of an elevated spirit, and penetrated with a warm adoring faith in Christ as the Son of God, and the Savior of the world, and he compares him with the Apostle Paul. Surely such a man could not have fabricated a life of his Master. Baur and Keim give the gospel of John the highest praise as a philosophy of religion. "Going from the first to the second century," says Professor Fisher, "is passing into a far different atmosphere, descending from the heights of inspiration to the level of ordinary and often feeble thinking, so that setting a work like the fourth gospel in the second century is a literary anachronism." No man but the Apostle John could have written it. "If he did not write it," says Neander, "then its authorship is the greatest of enigmas." "Through the Fourth Gospel, while the Apostle John is never mentioned by name, there moves an unnamed, veiled form, which sometimes comes forward, yet without the veil being entirely lifted; the author must have well known who this person was, and he must have been the person himself, whom it was the whole joy of his life to know that Jesus loved, but who modestly and delicately suppresses his own name." The authenticity of this Gospel was abundantly acknowledged in the second century, and was not disputed till the nineteenth century; the first epistle of John is remarkably similar, and must have been by the same author. The most radical critics admit that the Apocalypse or Revelation was written by the Apostle John; and they maintain that the Fourth Gospel is so much purer, calmer, and more grammatical Greek, that it could not have had the same author. But the latest and profoundest scholars believe that the Apocalypse was written by John, as Boanerges, a son of thunder, about A.D. 69, after the Neronian persecution, Re 6:9-11 and amid the terrible and portentous events just before the destruction of Jerusalem; Re 11:1-14 and that the Fourth Gospel was written by him some twenty or thirty years afterwards, when he had been residing many years in the Grecian cities of Asia Minor, and had acquired a much freer use of the Greek language, and when he was in extreme old age, and, with memory refreshed by the Divine Spirit, according to Christ's latest promises, he was occupied with tranquil and delightful reminiscences of his beloved Lord. Similarly, Paul's Thessalonian Epistles, which are eschatological, like the Apocalypse, and are, in our New Testament, appropriately the last in order of his epistles to seven churches, were written first. The Apocalypse was, expecting the gospel and epistles of John, and possibly the gospel of Luke and the Acts, the last written of all the books of the New Testament. The John of the Apocalypse and of the Fourth Gospel differ no more than the Socrates of Xenophon and of Plato. John was the first and last of the glorious company of the Apostles, the chosen one of the chosen three of the chosen twelve, the bosom friend of Jesus, the protector of His widowed mother, the survivor of all the Apostles, and Apostle of love, which is the greatest of Christian virtues. "He was pre-eminently qualified to give to the church the inside view of that most wonderful person that ever walked on earth. In his early life he had absorbed the deepest words of his Master, and treasured them in a faithful heart; in extreme old age, yet with the fire and vigor of manhood, he reproduced them under the influence of the Holy Spirit, who dwelt in him and led him into the unerring truth." "John's Gospel, " says Prof. Philip Schaff, in his most valuable "History of the Christian Church, " is the golden sunset of the age of inspiration, and sheds its lustre into the second and all the succeeding centuries of the church. It is as simple as a child and sublime as a seraph, gentle as a lamb and bold as an eagle, deep as the sea and high as the heavens-the most original, the most important, and the most influential book in all literature. It lifts the veil from the Holy of Holies, and reveals the glory of the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. It unites in harmony the deepest knowledge and the purest love of Christ. While pure Greek in vocabulary and grammar, it is thoroughly Hebrew in temper and spirit, even more so than any other book, and can be almost literally translated into Hebrew without losing its force or beauty. It has the childlike simplicity, the artlessness, the imaginativeness, the directness, the circumstantiality and the rhythmical parallelism which characterize the writings of the Old Testament. The sentences are short and weighty, co-ordinated, not subordinated. There are no involved periods, no connecting links, no logical argumentation, but a succession of self-evident truths declared as from immediate intuition. There breathes through this book an air of calmness and serenity, of peace and repose, that seems to come from the eternal mansions of heaven."

The first century of the Christian era was, above all others in human history, the age of miracles. Many miracles are recorded in the Old Testament, but many more, performed by Christ and His Apostles, are recorded in the New. The denial of the possibility of a miracle or the supernatural in the universe, is a sheer assumption or arrogation of omniscience, and the equivalent of atheism. Science does not know what either matter or force is, and is therefore incompetent to deny what Omnipotence can effect with or upon them. The will of man may change the combinations of natural lays to accomplish its purposes; much more may the Divine will. The high and worthy object of the miracles recorded in the Bible was to testify to the divine commission of those inspired teachers who wrought them. As to even the New Testament miracles being myths, as imagined by Strauss, whose theory would annihilate all history, later and deeper historical research has shown that the first century of the Christian era, when Christ and His Apostles lived on earth and the New Testament was composed, was the most critical and skeptical age of the world up to the sixteenth century after Christ-the age of Tacitus, the most philosophical uninspired historian that ever lived-the period of the old age and decline of the ancient world, when childish stories were not believed.

"No other gospels than our four canonical ones were accepted by the church teachers and the great body of Christian people in the second century; the silliness and clumsiness of the so-called apocryphal gospels, which deal mainly with the mother, the nativity and the infancy of Jesus, set off the perfection of the true gospels."

The numberless undesigned coincidences in the Acts of the Apostles and in Paul's epistles, as shown in Paley's "Horeae Paulinae, " afford an unanswerable argument for the genuiness both of the Acts and of those epistles. No ancient history has so many surprising internal proofs of having been written by a careful and accurate contemporary author as the Acts of the Apostles. Even Baur admitted the genuiness of Paul's four epistles, to the Romans, the Corinthians and the Galatians; and his successors have admitted the genuiness of several others of Paul's epistles.

2. SCIENCE-If it was not below the dignity of God to do His wonderful works in nature as well as in grace, certainly it cannot be below the dignity of even His most intelligent and holy creatures to investigate such works in order to see in them the reflection of their Creator's glory. The Scriptures make numerous allusions to the works of God in nature, and refer to the kingdom of nature as an image or type of the kingdom of grace. No discovery of science invalidates, but all corroborate and illustrate the truth of the sacred Scriptures. While the faith of God's elect does not and should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God, it is well enough, in order to help dissipate the vaporings of carnal reason, to know that in the Bodleian Library at Oxford is deposited a manifesto, drawn up and signed at the meeting of the British Scientific Association in 1865, by 617 scientific men, including some of the very highest eminence, declaring their belief in the truth of the Holy Scriptures and the harmony of the Scriptures with all the natural sciences. The most eminent professors in the Universities of Halle, Bonn and Berlin have taken an emphatic stand for the truth of the Bible against German rationalism and infidelity. While the utter falsity of all heathen religions is demonstrated by the absolute monstrosity of their cosmogonies or accounts of creation, the wonderful coincidence of the order of fifteen creative events in Genesis and in science furnishes, according to the law of permutations, 1,307,674,368,000 probabilities that God made a special revelation to Moses of the facts which the latter records, against only one probability that He did not make such revelation.

Prof. Arnold Guyot, of Princeton College, who has had no superior as a scientist in America, says in his last work (published in 1884) on "Creation, or the Biblical Cosmogony in the Light of Modern Science:" "The conclusions of the so-called modern, higher criticism, whose object is to shake the faith in the authenticity of the book of Genesis, have often been fully refuted by more competent men than their authors. The best explanation which science is now able to give of the creation of the universe and the earth, is also that which best explains, in all its details, the first chapter of Genesis, and does it justice. Whatever modifications in our present view of the development of the universe and the globe may be expected from new discoveries, the prominent features of this vast picture will remain, and these only are delineated in the admirable account of Genesis. The same divine hand which lifted, for Daniel and Isaiah, the veil which covered the tableau of the time to come, unveiled to the eyes of the author of Genesis, by a series of graphic visions and pictures, the earliest ages of creation. Thus, Moses was the prophet of the past, as Daniel and Isaiah and many others were the prophets of the future." Scientists, like the founders of the pagan religions, make constant mistakes even in their own chosen and limited departments of investigation; but the inspired writers of the Bible never make any mistakes in either natural or spiritual matters. Science simply measures the conditions of natural phenomena, and differs, not in kind, but only in degree, from every man's knowledge, and does not at all solve the mystery of our relationship to the unseen and eternal. "These scientific individuals, " says Thomas Carlyle in his "Sartor Resartus, "" have been nowhere but where we also are; have seen some handbreadths deeper than we see into the Deep that is infinite, without bottom as without shore. Man knows not the Alphabet of the Volume of Nature, whose Author and Writer is God. This fair Universe is in very deed the star-domed City of God; and through every star, through every grass-blade, and most through every living soul, the glory of a present God still beams. But Nature, which is the time-vesture of God, and reveals Him to the wise, hides Him from the foolish."

Science goes quite beyond its province in attempting to explain the first origin or the final destiny of things, and destroys itself in substituting vain imagination for sober truth. Such a course marks the decay of the truly scientific spirit. Even Darwin admits that the actual transmutation of one species into another is not historical, but only inferential. The science of today, like the science of past ages, furnishes not the slightest evidence of the self-origination and self-maintenance of the universe independently of God. The drapery or setting of the supernatural in Scripture, the correctness of the numberless allusions to geography, chronology, history, literature, law and government, customs and manners, is receiving stronger confirmation every day by scientific research; and no skeptic has ever been able to satisfy himself, much less any one else, in his impossible attempt to dissever the natural from the supernatural in Scripture. "The time over which scientific observations can travel, " says Mr. C. H. Spurgeon in his "Clew of the Maze, "" even if it be extended into ages, is but as a watch in the night compared with the eternity of God; and the range of human observation is but as a drop of the bucket compared with the circle of the heavens; and therefore it may turn out, in a thousand instances, that there are more things in heaven and earth than were ever dreamed of in the most accurate philosophy of scientists. If it ever comes to a matter of decision whether we shall believe God's revelation or man's science, we shall unhesitatingly cry, "' LET GOD BE TRUE, AND EVERY MAN A LIAR.'"

3. PHILOSOPHY-The greatest supernatural event recorded in Scripture is the creation of the universe. As Immanuel Kant, the profoundest of German philosophers, demonstrates in his "Critique of Pure Reason, " the universe pre-supposes, for both its origin and continuance, and almighty, intelligent, righteous, infinite, eternal Spirit, whose purposes embrace and provide for all events, and who is Himself a Person, and who may receive personal worship and affection, and reveal Himself to His creatures by personal manifestations. Every man of common sense, whether ancient or modern, heathen or Christian, sees design in nature. It would be far more reasonable to consider a watch an accidental coming together of pieces of metal than to regard the human body or the solar system or the universe as accidental. The vigintillions of probabilities against the fortuitous meeting of all the molecules in all the organs of all the creatures on the earth make it as certain as mathematics can make it that these creatures were brought into being by a wise and powerful Creator. A materialistic, pantheistic, atheistic or agnostic theory of the spontaneous evolution of all things out of nothing-a theory ignoring common sense, hypostasizing logical abstractions into real agents, obliterating all the distinction between Creator and creature, force and law, mind and matter, life and death, consciousness and unconsciousness, right and wrong, good and evil- instead of illuminating, intensifies the darkness which envelops the Great First Cause, by substituting a mysterious, uncaused, omnific stardust for God. A system of godless evolution is but a mass of unproved and unprovable assumptions, and is rejected by very many most eminent scientists as a bundle of romantic dreams. As ably shown by President Noah Porter, of Yale College, this theory destroys conscience, degrades man, strangles science, subjects all things to blind chance, makes the educated more selfish and the uneducated more discontented, is pretentious, dogmatic, specious, sophistical, incoherent and immoral; is not practically believed by those who maintain it, and who thus only amuse themselves with ingenious and frivolous speculations, brilliant but shallow kaleidoscopic fancies; and, finally, as plainly set forth by President J. W. Dawson, of Montreal University, it commits theoretical suicide, disproving itself, by exhibiting, in its present nominal acceptance, not a progression, but a retrogression to the crudest and most uncritical human cosmogonies found in ancient heathen philosophy and poetry, seeking to string all our vast stores of knowledge upon the thread of an antiquated hypothesis, and indicating, if it were really believed, that the human mind has fallen into a state of senility, and in its dotage mistakes for science the imaginations which were the dreams of its youth. Agnostic or chance evolution rests on two subordinate hypotheses, equally unverified and unverifiable-spontaneous generation (pronounced even by Darwin absolutely inconceivable, and by Huxley and Tyndall altogether unproved), and transmutation of species (pronounced by the profound biologist Mivart irrational and puerile). It is impossible to prove the physical descent of species from each other. The unity between them is not material but immaterial-the unity of plan in the mind of the Creator. Dr. Beale, the foremost microscopist of the English-speaking world, declares that Huxley's protoplasmic theories are in flagrant contradiction with the facts; that no one has proved or can prove that life and mind are in any way related to chemistry and mechanics. The able and learned English scientist, Dr. Elam, says: "That such verbal hocus-pocus should be received as science will one day be regarded as evidence of the low state of intelligence in the nineteenth century." "If man is a materialist, " says Professor Tholuck, "we Germans think he is not educated."

"The assumption of atoms, " says the distinguished philosopher, Sir William Thomson, "can explain no property of body which has not previously been attributed to the atoms themselves." Says Prof. J.C. Maxwell, of Cambridge University, England: "No theory of evolution can be found to account for the similarity of the molecules throughout all time, and throughout the whole region of the stellar universe; for evolution necessarily implies continuous change, and the molecule is incapable of growth or decay, of generation or destruction (so far as human observation extends). The exact equality of each molecule to all others of the same kind precludes the idea of its being eternal and self-existent, and proves that matter must have been created. The molecules of matter continue this day as they were created, perfect in number, and measure, and weight; and from the ineffaceable characters impressed on them we may learn that those aspirations after truth in statement, and justice in action, which we reckon among our noblest attributes as men, are ours because they are the essential constituents of the image of Him who in the beginning created not only the heavens and the earth, but the materials out of which heaven and earth consist." "Such is the true outcome of the deepest, the most exact, and the most recent science of our age. A grander utterance has not come from the mind of a philosopher since the days when Newton concluded his Principia by his immortal scholium on the majestic personality of the Creator and Lord of the Universe." "How came the atoms or molecules to be what they are? Who preserves to them their absolute identity, notwithstanding their infinite variety? Who endowed them with their inalienable properties? This and every other fact in nature must previously have been a thought of God. Nature is full of plan, and yet she plans not; she is only plastic to a plan. Morphology and teleology are but revelations of plan, and, as such, have guided to the most splendid of scientific discoveries. Where science assumes a use, religion affirms an author. The prints of divine forethought are scattered over the face of universal nature, and the convictions of a Great First Cause which they engender, are ploughed into the very subsoil of the human mind."-S. Wainwright.

"The process of the negative philosophy, " says the Duke of Argyll, "systematically suppress more than one-half of the facts of nature; and as systematically they silence more than one-half of the faculties of man. Moreover, the faculties which they especially try to silence are the very highest faculties of discernment which nature gives to us. In the physical sciences, we know what results would follow from such methods of treatment; every fact has to be carefully kept and weighed, and even then our results are imperfect. Yet in the far more difficult work of interpreting the vast system of nature, with all its immeasurable wealth of mind, the agnostic philosophy deliberately sets aside everything that is kindred with the highest parts of our own moral and intellectual structure. These are all absolutely excluded from the meanings and the sequences-from the anticipations and the analogies of creation. To those who have grasped the great doctrine of the unity of nature, and have sounded the depth of its meaning and the sweep of its applications, this method of inquiry will appear self-condemned."

"Men of science, " says Mr. Charles Kingsley, "are finding more and more-below their facts, below all phenomena which the scalpel and the microscope can show-a something nameless, invisible, imponderable, yet seemingly omnipresent and omnipotent, retreating before them deeper and deeper, the deeper they delve-the mysterious and truly miraculous element in nature which is always escaping them, though they cannot escape it- that of which it was written of old, 'Whither shall I go from Thy presence, or whither shall I flee from Thy Spirit?'" In the modern doctrine of the conservation of energy, and the convertibility of forces, science insists, with increasing emphasis, that all kinds of force are but forms or manifestations of some one central force, issuing from some one fountain-head of power. Sir John Herschel has not hesitated to say that it is but reasonable to regard the force of gravitation as the direct or indirect result of a consciousness or a will existing somewhere. Such an omnipresent and omnific will is required much more to account for the world of mind than even the world of matter. In his masterly discourse, "As Regards Protoplasm, " bristling in fact and crushing in argument, Dr. J. H. Stirling, of Edinburgh, finely and axiomatically remarks: "This universe is not an accidental cavity, into which an accidental dust has been accidentally swept into heaps for the accidental evolution of the majestic spectacle of organic and inorganic life. That majestic spectacle is a spectacle as plainly for the eye of reason as any diagram of mathematics. That majestic spectacle could have been constructed, was constructed, only in reason, for reason, and by reason."

The entire agnostic literature is, but a demonstration of the truth of the Apostle Paul's declaration, that "The world by wisdom knows not God, " and that "The natural man cannot know the things of the Spirit of God, for they are spiritually discerned."- (1Co 1:21; 2:14 A godless human philosophy is a wilderness, in which "the pupil's hold the sieves while their masters milk the he goats, " and which ends in darkness and death and nihilism. We need the light of heaven to shine in this darkness, and direct our footsteps to a "land of rest, with green fields and living rivers."-J. McCosh. "It is true, " says Francis Bacon, "that a little philosophy inclineth man's mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men's minds about to religion. For while the mind of man looketh upon second causes scattered, it may sometimes rest in them, and go no further; but when it beholdeth the chain of them, confederate and linked together, it must needs fly to Providence and Deity."

"The evidences of the truthfulness of the Bible are written where its enemies can never destroy them-in the very framework of the universe; in the earth and in the sky; in the stones and in the stars; in the experiences of millions of human hearts, and in all the records of human history."-G. S. Bailey.

President J. W. Dawson, in his "Origin of the World, " presents the following learned summary of the religious history of the human race:

"The Turanian or Hamitic races (including the Mongolians of Northern Asia, the American Indians, and the oldest historical populations of Western Asia and of Europe), are remarkable for their permanent and stationary forms of civilization or barbarism, and for the languages least developed in grammatical structure. These people had and still have traditions of the creation and early history of man similar to those in the earlier Biblical books; but the connection of their religions with that of the Bible breaks off from the time of Abraham; and the earlier portions of revelation which they possessed became disintegrated into a polytheism which takes very largely the form of animism, or of attributing some special spiritual indwelling to all natural objects, and also that of worship of ancestors and heroes. The portion of primitive theological belief to which they have clung most persistently is the doctrine of the immortality of the soul, which in all their religious beliefs occupies a prominent place, and has always been connected with special attention to rites of sepulture and monuments to the dead. Their version of the revelation of creation appears most distinctly in the sacred book of the Quiches of Central America, and in the creation myths of the Mexicans, Iroquois, Algonquins, and other North American tribes; and it has been handed down to us through the Semitic Assyrians from the ancient Chaldaeo-Turanian population of the valley of the Euphrates.

"The Aryan or Japhetic races (including the Hindoos, Persians, Medes, Scythians, Thracians, Greeks, Romans, Celts, Teutons and Slavonians-the modern Europeans, in general, and their descendants), have been remarkable for their changeable and versatile character. Their religious ideas in primitive times appear to have been not dissimilar from those of the Turanians; and the Hindoos, Persians, Greeks, Scandinavians and Celts have all gone some length in developing and modifying these, apparently by purely human imaginative and intellectual materials. But all these developments were defective in a moral point of view, and had lost the stability and rational basis which proceed from monotheism. Hence they have given way before other and higher faiths; and at this day the more advanced nations of the Aryan or Japhetic stock have adopted the Semitic faith; and, as Noah long ago predicted, 'dwell in the tents of Shem.' No indigenous account of the genesis of things remains among the Aryan races, with the exception of that in the Avesta, and in some ancient Hindoo hymns, and these are merely variations of the Turanian or Semitic cosmogony. God has given to the Aryans no special revelations of His will, and they would have been left to grope for themselves along the paths of science and philosophy, but for the advent, among them of the prophets of 'Jehovah, the God of Shem!'

"It is to (the Hebrew branch of) the Semitic race that God has been most liberal in his gift of inspiration. Gathering up and treasuring the old common inheritance of religion, and eliminating from it the accretions of superstition, the children of Abraham at one time stood alone, or almost alone, as adherents of a belief in one God the Creator. Their theology was added to from age to age by a succession of prophets, all working in one line of development, till it culminated in the appearance of Jesus Christ, and then proceeded to expand itself over the other races. Among them it has undergone two remarkable phases of retrograde development-the one in Mohammedanism, which carries it back to a resemblance to its own earlier patriarchal stage, the other in Roman and Greek ecclesiasticism, which have taken it back to the Levitical system, along with a strong color of paganism. Still its original documents survive, and retain their hold on large portions of the more enlightened Aryan nations, while through their means these documents have entered on a new career of conquest among the Semites and Turanians. They are, however, it must be admitted, among the Aryan races of Europe, growing in a somewhat uncongenial soil; partly because of the materialistic organization of these races, and partly because of the abundant remains of heathenism which still linger among them; and it is possible that they may not realize their full triumphs over humanity till the Semitic races return to the position of Abraham, and erect again in the world the standard of monotheistic faith, under the auspices of a purified Christianity". Ro 11:12-15

It is a mournful prediction of the inspired writers that, in the latter days, formal godliness should increase, while vital godliness should decline; and yet the entire New Testament is a fervent protestation against the bondage of forms as a species of self-righteousness, and a declaration of the all-sufficiency of Christ and the essential spirituality of His religion. To represent our acceptance with God as conditioned upon human works, either apart from or along with faith, Paul regarded as a fatal error, as a dishonor to Christ, because setting the ground of salvation, either in whole or in part, outside of Christ; it would imply that man might truly believe in Christ and still be in his sins and unsaved; it would imply that the work of redemption was not finished by Jesus on the cross. "The false Jewish theory of the law as a source of life and salvation, is deeply imbedded in every natural heart; and, therefore, to combat this fundamental, universal and capital error, God raised up His most eminent Apostle, who was designedly born out of due time, and who did not even know Christ after the flesh, but only was Him in glory, that he might give the church the highest spiritual instruction-who had full experience, in his own heart and life, of the false Judaistic theory-and who was suddenly converted to the gospel that he might teach, with the greatest distinctness, the contrast between salvation sought by law through works, and salvation found by grace through faith, and the mighty change in the world within when the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus makes a man free from the law of sin and death."-T. D. Bernard, in "The Progress of Doctrine in the New Testament."

"A believing and attentive reader of the New Testament could not have expected that the history of the church after the close of the Scripture canon would have been essentially different from what it has been. The closing words of Paul, Peter, Jude and John forbode direful tribulation for the people of God; the distant hills are black with the gathering multitudes of Apollyon's forces; and the last exhortations of those faithful soldiers, as they are about to fall at their posts, call on their comrades and those who are to follow them to endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ, to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints, to be faithful unto death." Opposed and persecuted by the world and its religions, they have, like the prophets and Apostles of old, been slandered, reviled, tortured, put to death, with every imaginable device of cruelty; the survivors have wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, in deserts and mountains and dens and caves of the earth, destitute, afflicted, tormented. But by heaven-born and heaven-bound faith they endured, as seeing Him who is invisible, and choosing rather to suffer affliction in the service of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, having respect unto the recompense of the reward. Thus has the Most High never left Himself without a witness on the earth.

The period of the history of the church of God from the creation to A.D. 100 is not only more than two-thirds of the entire period from the creation to the present time, but it is incomparably the most important part of church history; because we have the infallible light of the Holy Scriptures to guide us during that period, pointing out, without any mistake, the path of the true servants of God, their labors and sufferings, their errors and chastisements, their repentance and salvation. During the remaining period, from A.D. 100 to 1885, I have earnestly endeavored, in tracing the footsteps of the flock of Christ, to be entirely guided, not by the unscriptural writings and opinions of fallible men, but by the light of Divine revelation. The humanly ascribed titles of spiritual father, confessor, doctor, rabbi, pope, cardinal, archdeacon, archbishop, reverend, etc., which are utterly out of place, and unscriptural, and worthless in the kingdom of God, have exercised no influence in the composition of this volume. The tracing of God's spiritual or hidden people through the wilderness of the eighteen centuries since the apostolic age is of course a most difficult undertaking; and I do not suppose, neither do I claim, that I have made absolutely no mistakes in this delicate and important delineation. The Scriptures mentioned under "Footsteps of the Flock," before the Preface, have been, with the aid of the Divine Spirit, as I hope, my chief guide. As for a nominal, natural, outward, or mechanical succession, the God of providence and grace, eighteen centuries ago, forever buried all such claims in the dark, impenetrable gulf of the seculum obscurum, or obscure age, immediately succeeding the death of the leading Apostles and the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70, and extending to A.D. 100, as freely acknowledged by the ablest scholars of Europe; the irreconcilable inconsistencies and contradictions of the leading Roman Catholic authorities in regard to the pretended Romish succession during this period furnish a sufficient illustration of this fact. According to the entire tenor of the New Testament Scriptures, what we are to look for is, not such outward succession, but a spiritual succession of principles, of inward, vital, heartfelt religion. Names are nothing, principles are everything, in the true kingdom of God. In all ages and countries, that people who, in all spiritual matters, acknowledge Christ as their only Head and King, form a part of the true church of God. They have mostly been dissenters from "state churches" and political religions-Christ having declared that His kingdom is not of this world; and, like the prophets and Apostles and Christ Himself, and as he predicted, they have been hated, slandered and persecuted to the death by worldly religionists, not only by heathens and Mohammedans, but even far more numerously by professed Christians, both Papists and Protestants; Mt 5:10-12; 13:34; Mr 10:30; Lu 21:12; Joh 5:16; 15:18-21; 16:33; Ac 7:52; 8:1; 9:5; 14:22; Ga 4:29; 2Co 4:9; 2Ti 3:11-12; Heb 11:35-38; Re 7:14; 12:13; 13:7,15; 17:6; 20:4 and, instead of persecuting their enemies in return, they have returned good for evil and prayed for them. Mt 5:44-48; Lu 23:34; Ac 7:60; Ro 12:14,18-21; 1Co 4:12; 13:4-8; 1Pe 2:23; 3:9 So the inoffensive lamb and dove and sheep, used in the Scriptures to represent the Son and the Spirit and the people of God, are slain and devoured by predaceous animals and birds. These persecuted people of God have had, since the first century, a variety of names, generally given them by their enemies, and derived from their location, or from some of their leading ministers, or from some doctrine or practice of theirs which distinguished them from worldly religionists. Until the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, they were known as Montanists, Tertullianists, Novatians, Donatists, Paulicians, Petrobrusians, Henricians, Arnoldists, Waldenses, Albigenses, United Brethren of Bohemia, and Lollards; many of these were called by the general name of Ana-Baptists (or Re-Baptizers), because they did not acknowledge the scripturalness or validity of infant baptism, and therefore baptized (Paedobaptists said they baptized again) those who joined them on a profession of faith. While these various classes of people differed in minor particulars, and while some of them were in much darkness and error on certain points of truth, they yet held substantially to the same general doctrine and practice-insisting, above all, upon the spirituality of the church of God and her heavenly obligation to walk in humble and loving obedience to all His holy commandments, both in an individual and a church capacity, and not in obedience to the unscriptural traditions and commandments of men. For the last 365 years (since A.D. 1520) they have been called Baptists (for about the first 100 years of this period, also Ana-Baptists), because they baptized (that is, immersed in water, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost) all who, upon a credible profession of their repentance towards God and faith in Christ, desired to unite with them in a church capacity. The cardinal tenets of Bible Baptists, being also those held by the apostolic churches, as set forth in the New Testament, and those held, in the main, by the people of God in former times, are: The exclusive and supreme authority of the Holy Scriptures; The exclusive headship of Christ over His church; The three-oneness of God as Father, Son and Spirit; the total depravity of all mankind since the fall of Adam; The special and effectual electing love of God the Father, redeeming love of God the Son, and regenerating love of God the Spirit, manifested, in due time, to all the vessels of mercy; The baptism of believers, and the partaking of the Lord's supper by those properly baptized and in gospel order; Salvation by grace and faith alone; A regenerated and orderly-walking church membership; The universal priesthood and brotherhood of believers; The divine call and divine qualification and equality of the ministry, who feed and care for the flock of God among them, not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind, not as being lords over God's heritage, but as ensamples to the flock; The independence and yet cordial brotherly association of gospel churches; The separation of the church from the world, The non-alliance of the former with the latter in any kinds of religious institutions; such corrupting associations being pointedly forbidden in both the Old and New Testament Scriptures Ex 12:38 with Nu 11:4-6; Ex 34:12-16; De 7:1-11; 2Ch 18:1-3 with 2Ch 19:2; Ezr 9; Ne 13:1-3,23-31; Ps 26:4-5; 106:35-43; Isa 8:12; Ac 8:20-21; 2Co 6:14-18; the separation of church and state; The liberty of every human being, so far as other people are concerned, to worship God according to the dictates of his own conscience; The resurrection of the bodies both of the just and the unjust; The final and general judgment of the world by the Lord Jesus Christ; The everlasting blessedness of the righteous, and the everlasting punishment of the wicked.

In giving the history of the church since the birth of Christ I have divided the periods into centuries, the oldest, simplest, and clearest method. All methods of division are more or less arbitrary, artificial and mechanical. The modern German periodologies are endlessly diversified, inconsistent, and confused, and almost destroy any profitable comparison with each other.

As portrayed by the Scriptures of infallible truth, how unspeakably solemn is the condition of man, as he stands upon these mortal shores, before launching upon the great ocean of Eternity! As testified by the Inspired Word, he has entered upon an everlasting career, either of happiness or of misery. Beyond the portals of natural death, into which he may at any moment be ushered, his estate will be unchangeable. "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul? Or what shall he give in exchange for his soul?" is the momentous inquiry of God manifest in the flesh. May the Lord Jesus, by His blessed Spirit of grace, seal this most solemn question upon our hearts and upon those of our fellow-men; give us to realize the vanity of earthly things, and the supreme and transcendent importance of our spiritual and eternal interests; lead us, under a deep sense of our sinfulness, with weeping and supplication, to the throne of His mercy; enable us to count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord, and to behold Him, by an eye of faith, as pierced and dying for our sins and rising for our justification; may He shed abroad His renewing and transforming love in our hearts, and elevate our thoughts and affections above the corrupting and fading shadows of this world to the pure and enduring realities of heaven; may He create within us a desire to identify ourselves with His afflicted, lowly, despised, and persecuted church and people; enable us to adorn the doctrine of God our Savior by loving obedience to all His holy commandments, and thus prepare us for a blissful and eternal communion with Himself in the General Assembly and Church of the First-Born, who are written in heaven.

03- Chapter I-The Creation

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth." {1}

God puts His seal upon the forehead of the Bible. Thus, in the volume of Inspiration, with the first breath of His mouth, He destroys forever the deadly errors of polytheism, pantheism, atheism, deism, materialism, agnosticism, accidentalism, evolutionism, positivism, naturalism, rationalism, dualism, two-seedism, fatalism, nihilism, pessimism, idolatry and superstition. This one statement of the Scriptures is of infinitely more value than all the words of all the uninspired men that ever lived. It transports us at once above all human science and tradition and philosophy, above the dark, interminable, labyrinthine wanderings of the natural mind, beyond the bounds of time to the clear divine depths of the ancient eternity. It declares to us, in language of the sublimest simplicity and truthfulness, that "In the beginning, " at a period of the distant past unknown to mortals, "God, " Elohim, the Almighty Trinity, {2} Father, Word, and Spirit, the alone Eternal, Self-Existent Being, by an act of His sovereign will, and for the manifestation of His own glory,  Col 1:16; Re 4:11 Not one atom, not one spirit, through all the infinity of space, but owes its origin to God. Atoms, to which science reduces all matter, have, with their determinate weights and volumes, all the properties of "manufactured articles, " and cannot, therefore, be eternal and self-existent, says Sir John Herschel, the finest {3} scientific intellect of the nineteenth century. The material forces, says the learned and accurate Carpenter, must, in the ultimate resort, be an expression of will. Spirit unerringly points away from matter to a spiritual Father, God, says Dr. Emil du Bois-Reymond, the greatest {4} of living physiologists.

The ablest {5} minds have always referred the seen universe to an unseen spiritual source; and the facts of the seen universe continually direct the true scientific mind to that unseen Spirit. "Without revelation, " says Prof. Tayler Lewis, "science is a valley of dry bones, and philosophy a land of darkness." All natural discoveries and theories, so for as eternity is concerned, have well been called "an awful nothingness."

The spontaneous evolution of nothing into atoms, force and spirit, is the height of unscientific absurdity. "In prosecuting investigations into the origin of things, " says President McCosh, "science comes to walls of adamant, which will not fall down at its command, and which if it tries to break through, will only prostrate it, and cause it to exhibit its weakness before the world." It cannot account for the origin of these five things: 1st, Matter with its forces; 2d, life; 3d, animal sensation or feeling; 4th, mind; 5th, conscience.

Biogenesis, or the production of life only from life, is now the accepted doctrine of science. No creature power can span that gulf of all gulfs -the mighty gulf between death and life. The answer to the riddle of life, says Tennyson, is

"Behind the veil, behind the veil."

To get rid of the necessity of an ever-living personal God, the unbeliever is actually reduced to the supreme folly of assuming that all matter is, in some sense, alive, conscious and immortal. -Stewart and Tait's Unseen Universe, pp. 242, 243. "Since the days of Democritus, atheism has run for shelter to the doctrine of atoms. Although the microscope has never made an approach to this mysterious domain, never having brought to light an atom, or a molecule, or even a molecular combination, yet here in this utterly unknown region, a false science pretends to find life, consciousness, memory, thought, imagination, reason, will -all that constitutes personality or individuality in our present state of being." "Science, " says Dawson, "does not show the origin of new species, but only of new sub-species, varieties and races. The influence of a struggle for existence is greatly exaggerated by the Darwinian school; it gives chiefly depauperated and degraded forms." The "survival of the fittest" has no other meaning than the "survival of the survivor, " and explains nothing. In seeking to trace the genesis of man, evolutionists agree that some of the indispensable links in the chain are buried beneath submerged continents. But the most recent and accurate science declares that the same gulf which is found today between man and the ape goes back with undiminished breadth and depth to the first period of the age of mammals.

Darwin, the leading naturalist of Europe, though he, contrary to human experience, reason and revelation, seeks to derive all animate beings from three or four, or even one species, yet admits that God must have created the first species. Herbert Spencer, the chief infidel philosopher of this century, dares not attempt to explain, in his pretentious Biology and Psychology, the first appearance of life or of mind, and confesses that he finds, beneath all phenomena, evidence of an unknown and unknowable power. {6} In a region of thick darkness, he would kindly allow us the Athenian privilege of erecting an altar to the Great Unknown. Huxley, while acknowledging the unequalled morality of the Bible, would have the worship, at that altar, chiefly of the silent sort. And Tyndall, though pronouncing the first chapter of Genesis "a beautiful myth, " declares that "no atheistic reasoning can dislodge religion from the human heart."

Neither of these four infidels is a geologist; and it is geology, more than any other science, that refers to the events described in the first chapter of Genesis. The three leading {7} American geologists, President J. W. Dawson, of McGill University, Montreal, Canada, Professor James D. Dana, of Yale College, Connecticut, and Professor Arnold Guyot, of Princeton College, New Jersey, as well as Professor W. C. Kerr, the late learned State Geologist of North Carolina, writing in the year 1882 to the junior author of this work, avow their unshaken belief in the perfect scientific accuracy of the first chapter of Genesis.

If accurate, as undoubtedly it is, then it was a revelation from God to man, whether made first to Moses or to Adam or to Enoch; for none but God knew of these events. And this divine revelation, made at least 3,000 years before the rise of geology, stamps the whole book, of which it is the only appropriate and inseparable introduction, as divine. The manifest purpose of the Scriptures is not scientific, but much higher -it is moral and religious. "The first verse of the inspired volume places God, as the one all-sufficient Creator, on a height infinitely above every other being; and it is well fitted to remind us of our dependence on Him, of our responsibility to Him, and of our obligation to submit to His authority, and to live for His glory."

No fact of science is opposed to any statement of the Bible; it is only the fallible, ever-changing, self-contradictory theories of some scientific men that are so opposed. Accurate observers are sometimes very inaccurate reasoners. The utter absurdity and inconsistency of some of the latest theories of scientists may be plainly seen by reference to A. Wilford Hall's Problem of Human Life Here and Hereafter, Judge J. B. Stallo's Concepts and Theories of Modern Physics, the 38th volume of the International Scientific Series, published in 1882, and Samuel Wainwright's Scientific Sophisms, published in 1883.

"With all their scientific attainments, " says Schellen (Spectrum Analysis, pp. 337-8), "the deepest astronomical thinkers have, in regard to the stars, the same feeling as the little child:

"'Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are!'"

In reference to all the most interesting and important truths of the stellar worlds, the skies are as silent to men as of old.

The theories (not the facts) of geology seem to violate the laws of logic in basing inferences upon local, partial and negative evidence, and to commit the fallacy of the vicious circle in deducing the age of strata from the age of the contained fossils, and then deducing, the age of the fossils from the age of the containing strata. And theoretical astronomy and geology are at swords' points today in regard to both the internal fluidity and the antiquity of the earth. Geology maintains that the earth consists of a thin crust or shell full of all intensely heated molten mass; while astronomy maintains that the visible crust of the earth is only one-half as dense and solid as the interior. Geology has been insisting that the earth is at least a thousand million years old, and even now maintains that it is a hundred millions; while mathematical astronomy inexorably reduces the age of the earth to about twenty or even less than ten million years. -Encyclopedia Britannica. 9th edition, vol. 10, p. 297. Thus the uniformitarian theory, which Sir Charles Lyell spent his whole life to prove, has to be abandoned, and the announcement is made in the highest scientific circles that the whole foundation of theoretical geology must be reconstructed. With the reduction of the earth's age, and the overthrow of uniformitarianism, the entire system of an accidental godless evolution falls to the ground. Thus Jehovah still sets the swords of the Midianites against each other, and vindicates His cause on earth.

True science is always modest. Sir Isaac Newton, the greatest {8} scientist that ever lived, said, a short time before his death, "I do not know what I may appear to the world; but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, while the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me." He did not seem to fear that, if he had been permitted to navigate that ocean, he would have been in danger of making shipwreck of his faith. He was a firm believer in the inspiration of the Scriptures. Humboldt, the most distinguished savant of the present century, admits that the challenge of God to  Job 38; 39; 40; 41 "If any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know". 1Co 8:2 "Now we see through a glass darkly, and know" only "in part". 1Co 13:12 So that humility is the cardinal virtue as well of reason as of revelation.

Moses, the meekest and greatest character in all antiquity before the coming of Christ, and a prophet like unto Christ, Nu 12:3; De 18:15 was the undoubted author of the Pentateuch (including Genesis), and the lawgiver of Israel and civilization. Christ gives Moses and the other O1d Testament writers all the weight of His own divine authority. Mt 17:3; Lu 24:44 "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, " says the glorified Abraham, "neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead". Lu 16:31 The Bible is the great standing miracle of history.

The Mosaic narrative of creation is the oldest of human records, the original of all cosmogonies, incomparably superior to all the monstrous pagan and infidel evolutionary cosmogonies, which derive all objects from one unaided and eternal nature, while Genesis represents God as the Great First Cause and Governor of nature. "In its great antiquity, its unaccountableness, its serene truthfulness, its unapproachable sublimity, its divine majesty and ineffable holiness, the Mosaic record towers high and forever above all human productions."

The old monumental Assyrian records, lately recovered and deciphered by G. Smith, H. Rawlinson and A. H. Sayce, while corrupted with many human and polytheistic errors, substantially confirm the Mosaic accounts of the creation, man's original innocence, temptation, fall and curse, and his subsequent, great depravity, and the deluge; just as the leading facts of Exodus are corroborated by the monuments of Egypt.

The creation of the universe was a series of stupendous miracles or supernatural acts, surpassing and introducing all the other natural miracles of the Bible. So science finds infinite depths in nature, inexplicable mysteries or miracles everywhere. For He who hast made still upholds all things by His omnipresent and omnipotent power, and the world by wisdom knows Him not.   Heb 1:3,5; 1Co 1:21 And "the invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead; so that they men are without excuse. Ro 1:20 "I had rather believe" says Bacon, "all the fables in the Legend, the Talmud and the Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind." Even Cicero remarks that "those works of nature which require the minds of so many philosophers to explore them could not, have existed without some greater mind at the bottom." The existence of God has been believed by the greatest minds that have ever appeared on earth -Pythagoras, Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, Augustine, Bacon, Copernicus, Kepler, Euler, Newton, Leibnitz, Shakespeare, Butler, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hall, Johnson, Kant, Napoleon, Coleridge, Davy, Chalmers, Miller, Faraday, Herschel, Guizot, Maury and Agassiz, in addition to the gifted characters mentioned in the Scriptures. It is, according to the Psalmist, only the "fool" who "says in his heart, There is no God". Ps 14:1 Infidelity or atheism has its seat, not so much in the head as in the heart. "The argument of Butler's Analogy is, " says John Stuart Mill, the representative infidel of England, "from its own point of view, conclusive; the Christian religion is open to no objections, either moral or intellectual, which do not apply at least equally to the common theory of deism." And so the leading American infidel confesses that if there be a God of nature, the God of the Bible is He. -North American Review, vol. cxxxiii, No. 2, p. 113.

Haeckel, of Germany, runs full tilt against the common sense of the whole human race in maintaining the dysteleolgy or purposefulness of all things. Countless instances of design throughout the universe demonstrate not only the existence, but the infinite power, wisdom, goodness and holiness of the supreme, designing, creative Spirit. The unity of the Great First Cause is proved by the unity of plan, purpose and result; and the omnipresence, omnipotence, immutability and perfection of God are shown by the universal operation of His unchanging laws.

Three of the leading peculiarities of the character of God, as vividly portrayed to us in the first chapter of Genesis, and also in the reminder of the Bible, are His individual personality, His infinite sovereignty, and His almighty power. Instead of an unconscious impersonal force, He is as strictly a person as was Adam. He creates, He speaks, He sees, He hears, Ps 94:9-10 He enters into a covenant with man, and punishes man for his disobedience. With no being to counsel Him, Isa 40:13 He creates and fashions all things, sun, moon, stars, world, plants, animals and men, according to His own will and pleasure; Re 4:11; Da 4:25; 3; 3:5; 1Ti 6:1,5; Ro 9:15-28 and He has but to speak and it is done, to command and it stands fast. Ps 33:9

According to the infallible testimony of the inspired volume, God is the Most High and the Most Holy; inhabiting eternity; immeasurably transcending in rank and in moral purity all the orders of His creation, men, angels, archangels, cherubim, seraphim, thrones, dominions, principalities and powers; dwelling in light unapproachable; and reigning sovereignly and majestically over the universe forever and forevermore, through all the eternities of the eternities. "Contrasted with the living ideas of these sublime reverberations, the interminable rows of conceptionless decimals used by science, our millions and billions, are like the barren x y z of a frigid algebraic computation, as compared with the endless re-echoing of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus."

There is a deep and instructive significance in the names of God and Christ given in the Bible. I find that, of the 9,788 times that the names translated God or Lord occur in the Old Testament, Elohim (God) occurs 2,225 times, Jehovah (Lord) 6,521 times, Jehovah Elohim (Lord God) 298 times, and other {9} Hebrew names of God 744 times; and that, of the 3,232 times that the names translated God or Lord or Christ or Jesus occur in the New Testament, Theos (Elohim or God) occurs 1,277 times, Kurios (Jehovah or Lord) 691 times, Jesus (Jehovah-Savior) 709 times, Christ (Messiah or Anointed) 304 times, Jesus Christ 197 times, Christ Jesus 47 times, and other Greek names of God 7 times. Or, of the 13,020 times that the divine name occurs in the Bible, 6,521 plus 298 plus 691 plus 709 plus 197 plus 47, or 8,463 times (which is about two-thirds of all the times it occurs), it either is or contains the name Jehovah or its equivalent {10}

Elohim (Theos or God) signifies Almighty, and is the general name of God in relation to the world, as the Creator, Sustainer and Governor of all things. It occurs thirty times in the first chapter of Genesis, and is the only name of God in that chapter. It is in the plural number, the plural of majesty and the plural of essence (including Father, Word and Spirit); Ge 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Mt 28:19 and, though plural, it is, when referring to the true God, always, with the rarest exceptions, where there is a partial reference to polytheism, joined to a singular verb, showing the unity of the Godhead. So Christ is the general name of the Messiah or Mediator.

But Jehovah {11} (Kurios or Lord) signifies, according to God's own interpretation. I AM THAT I AM, Ex 3:14 that is, the Eternal Unchangeable Being, (  Mal 3:6; Jas 1:17; Re 1:8 He is "the same yesterday, and today, and forever". Heb 13:8 Indeed, it was the "Angel of Jehovah, " or Christ, who appeared and spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, Ex 3:2 and in the fourteenth verse is called God, and announces as His name I Am That I Am, and who said to the Jews, "Before Abraham was, I Am" (#Joh 8:58)

Thus 8,463 times in the Bible is the EVERLASTING UNCHANGEABLENESS of God towards His dear children affirmed even in the Divine Name; God "abideth faithful, and cannot deny Himself" (#2Ti 2:13) The Moon, representing the Church, may apparently change, and is always thus changing; {12} but the Sun of Righteousness, which arises with healing in His wings upon all that fear His name, (#Mal 4:2) shines with the same resplendence forever. Having loved Israel with an everlasting love, God draws her with his loving-kindness, makes an everlasting covenant with her, ordered in all things and sure, puts His fear and law in her mind and heart, forgives and forgets her sins, to the praise of His glorious grace, rejoices to do her good, and declares that with His whole heart and soul He will assuredly plant her in the heavenly Canaan (Jer 31:3,31-37; 32:36-41 Well might the poet sing:

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
You who unto Jesus for refuge have fled.

E'en down to old age all my people shall prove
My sovereign, eternal, unchangeable love;
And when hoary hairs shall their temples adorn,
Like lambs shall they still in my bosom be borne.

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake.

Jeremiah, the prophet of sorrow, uses this dear name of the Covenant God 728 times, which is more frequently than any other inspired writer; and the name Jehovah occurs next oftenest in the Psalms, 681 times. We are thus taught that, in our sorrows and in our devotions, we should especially address ourselves to God as the Unchangeable King of Zion, our Everlasting Father and Friend.

The Hebrew word translated created is Bara, and occurs 45 times in the Old Testament; its Greek equivalent, Ktizo, occurs 35 times in the New Testament. Bara is the strongest word in the Hebrew language to express making out of nothing (Gesenius' Thesaurus), and it always conveys the idea of something new. The only subject of this verb in the Bible is God; He only can create. Four times in the Old Testament, Ps 51:10; Isa 65:17-18 and four times in the New Testament, Eph 2:10; 4:24; 2Co 5:17; Ga 6:15 it denotes a spiritual creation, of which God is the author. Bara occurs in three verses of the first chapter of Genesis (verses 1, 21 and 27) Ge 1:1,21,27, in speaking of the creation of the universe, of animal life, and of man. Everywhere else in that chapter God is said to have simply made or formed (asah or yatzar) from an already created material. {13}

To account for the origin of evil, Plato imagined that evil was inherent in matter, and that matter was independent of God, and therefore eternal, and not created; the most of the false philosophical religions are thus dualistic. But the first verse of Genesis tells us that God created all things; and the third chapter of Genesis implies that evil or sin originated from the ungodly exercise of creaturely free-will. Sin is not all attribute of matter, but of spirit. The most holy God is not in any sense its cause or author Ge 18:25; Job 15:15; Ps 145:17; Hab 1:13; 1Jo 1:5 -such a thought were the most awful blasphemy. Man's body, as created, was very good (Ge 1:31) and not sinful. Christ's body was never the seat of sin; Lu 1:35; Heb 7:26 and the glorified bodies of the saints shall be free from sin. Ro 6:7; 1Co 15:42; Php 3:21; Re 21:4,27

God is the only eternal Being revealed to us in the Scriptures. Ge 1:1; De 33:27; Isa 57:15; Ro 1:20; 1Ti 1:17; 6:16 Angels, as well as men and animals, are His creatures; Ps 104:4; Heb 1:6-7; Re 22:8-9 and all God's creatures were "very good" when He made them. Ge 1:31 When and where angels were created, has not been revealed to us.  Some of them, the non-elect (1Ti 5:21), kept not their first estate, but sinned, and left their own habitation,* and are now reserved by God in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.-2Pe 2:4; Jude 25 There is, therefore, no redemption or salvation for them. Our Lord speaks of them as "the devil and his angels".  Mt 25:41 Left to his own free will, instead of worshiping, he rebelled against the Son of God. Heb 1:6; Mt 4:9 In the form of a serpent he tempted Eve; Ge 3:1-7,14-15 and he is the prince of darkness, Eph 6:2 the god of this world, 2Co 4:4 the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience, Eph 2:2 who deceiveth the whole world; Re 12:9 is the everlasting enemy of Christ and His people, as shown by his names, Satan (adversary) and Devil (accuser), and as proved by all the Scriptures; and he will finally be bruised forever under the feet of Christ and His church, Ge 3:15; Ro 16:20 cast into the bottomless pit, Re 20:2-3 and consigned to everlasting fire. Mt 25:41

In Ge 1, and elsewhere, when speaking of natural things, the language of the Bible is simple and phenomenal, or according to the first appearances of things to our senses (Heb 11:3)  It is the language of common life, for all seeing eyes and all conceiving minds of all countries and ages. Scientific language, which, however, is also phenomenal, is a little further removed from the senses; but, as human science advances, has to be perpetually corrected; and, in our present state, can never reach the ultimate fact, and would have been unintelligible for thousands of years; it is, therefore, entirely unsuitable to Scripture.

While the general agreement of the Mosaic record of creation and geology is very apparent -first, light and moisture as prerequisites of vegetation, then the latter as the antecedent food of animals, then animals in an ascending gradation, and lastly man as the superior being for whom the earth had been made and furnished; still, as geological knowledge is yet very imperfect, no detailed adjustment of the two accounts thus far made is entirely satisfactory. There are two leading methods of reconciliation.

The first method considers that there was a long period, ending with a chaotic catastrophe, between the first and second verses of Genesis, and buries all the past geological ages in that vacuum, and maintains that Moses simply describes the creation of the present species of plants and animals -his object not being to give a full scientific account of the earth, but only to describe briefly the creation of the objects contemporaneous with man, and then enter upon the religious history of man. It is claimed by most Bible scholars that this method is the least objectionable and most respectable.

The second method of reconciling Genesis and geology considers the creative days coincident with the geological eras, and is preferred by Christian scientists and some eminent scriptural students. These harmonists maintain that the word yom, translated day (very much like the English word day), is the most common Hebrew word for an indefinite period -as in the phrases, day of God's wrath, day of His power, day of calamity, day of salvation, etc.; that it has three different meanings in the Mosaic account of creation -in chapter 1, verses 5 and 14, Ge 1:5,14 meaning first the period of light, and then the period of light and darkness, and in chapter ii., verse 4, Ge 2:4 meaning the whole creative week; that the first six days are God's days of work, and the seventh His day of rest, which is not yet ended (Heb 3 and Heb 4); that the evening of the first day seems to have been the past eternity of darkness, while the morning of the seventh divine day, or Sabbath, has scarcely yet dawned upon the world, God still rested or ceasing from creation, but carrying on His Sabbath Day's work of redemption; that God is eternal, and His days are long; that, "one day with the Lord is as a thousand years"; 2Pe 3:8 that in the 90th Psalm, Ps 90 which was written by Moses, the author of Genesis, the inspired penman, just after speaking of the creation of the earth, declares that "a thousand years in God's sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night" that the days and weeks of prophecy (in Daniel and Revelation) are vast and extraordinary periods like those of creation; that the ineffable character of the creative days was asserted by early Christian writers long before geology was thought of; that there is no mention of a sun to divide the creative days until the fourth day, so that the last three, like the first three, must have been, not sun-divided, but God-divided days; that the language of the fourth commandment Ex 20:11 is but the repetition of the language of Genesis, and throws no light upon the meaning besides implying that man's Sabbath should be like God's, one-seventh of his week or working-time; and that, while God is almighty and could, therefore, have created all things instantaneously, He did not choose to do so, but took six days for the work, and those days, in accordance with the general vastness of the whole subject, may have been vast periods, in accordance with the indications of the fossiliferous rocky crust of the earth twenty miles in thickness, made by God, and full of the remains of long since extinct plants and animals. The latest and ablest writers of this class {15} consider the first and second creative days coincident with the azoic (lifeless) period of geology; the third and fourth creative days with the eozoic (dawn-life) period, the age of primitive plants; the fifth day coincident with the palaeozoic (ancient-life) and Mesozoic (middle-life) periods, the ages of mollusks, fishes, reptiles and birds; the sixth day, the Cenozoic (recent-life) period (or tertiary and quaternary), the age of mammals, including, at the close, the creation of man; the seventh day, the period of human history; and the eighth day, the period of the new heavens and new earth, the Sabbath or rest that remains to the people of God.

After Moses tells us that In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, he says: -And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Both in Scripture and in science, the earth is, of all worlds, the most important to us now, and therefore more is said about it than about any other. When first made the earth was a desolate, uninhabited and dark vaporous or aeriform or mass; and so would it have remained forever but for the omnipotent outgoing of God's light-and-life-creating Spirit. Job 26:13; Ps 104:30 That Spirit moved (or lovingly, cherishingly, vivifyingly hovered, brooded, throbbed) over the dark, dead, chaotic mass, and quickened and energized it. And God said, let there be light; and there was light. God's Spirit and word cooperate in the work. Light is the immediate result of molecular activity, and is one of the most mysterious and glorious works of creation. Science does not yet know what light is. The prevailing undulatory theory is but a revival of the old Aristotelian notion, and even now in the so-called broad light of most the twentieth century of the Christian era, makes the most inadmissible demands upon our credulity in asking its to believe in the existence of an adamantine solid, called luminiferous ether, pervading all space and matter, and exerting upon each square inch a pressure of seventeen million million pounds (Stallo's Modern Physics, pp. 115, 116). Persons who can believe such insane imaginations have no right to ridicule the faith of those who accept the truths of God's written revelation. The Hebrew word Aur, translated light includes light, heat, and electricity, the three prime forces of matter. "Throughout the Scriptures light is not only good, but an emblem of a higher good -spiritual enlightenment." God divided the light from the darkness, and called the light Day, and the darkness Night; and the evening and the morning were the first day. Darkness having preceded the light, evening is mentioned before morning. According to the divine arrangement, gravitation now began to act, so that the rotary motion of the earth around its axis was begun, and that part of the earth turned toward the source of light (perhaps the nebulous mass afterwards concentrated into the sun) had day, and, as the earth continued to rotate, a few hours afterwards the same part had darkness. {16} In De 4:19, and De 17:3, the sun and moon and stars are called "the host of heaven." These bodies are, therefore, included in the term "heaven" in the first verse of Genesis; and from the fact that heaven is mentioned first, as well as from Job 38:4-7, we infer that the sun and moon and stars were "created" before the earth, although not "made" or completed, and fitted for their proper functions, until the fourth day. This view is confirmed by the use of Bara (create) in the first verse, but of Asah (make or form) in the sixteenth verse. It is the opinion of the most of scientific men, as expressed in the nebular hypothesis, that the entire solar system was at first one incandescent mass, which by rotation threw off rings that formed planets and satellites; and the latter, being smaller, became cool and opaque, while the central mass remained hot and luminous, and was gradually condensed into the sun. The thick waters (verse second) or watery or nebulous clouds or photosphere around the earth at that early period, such as are still around the distant major planets of the solar system, made the space near the earth barely translucent to the feeble light of the unformed or uncondensed sun -that space not becoming transparent to the solar light, or the earth not sufficiently cooling and its photosphere not disappearing, and the heavenly bodies not becoming visible in the firmament, until the work of the second and third days was finished, and the sun and moon were completed on the fourth day.

On the second day God made the firmament, and divided the waters above from the waters below, and called the firmament heaven. Rakia, translated firmament (from raka, to spread out), signifies, not solidity {17} but an expanse -the atmosphere -in which fowls fly (verse 20). Ge 1:20 The earth being still intensely heated, the lower strata of air became warmer and lighter than the upper, and continually ascended, and, becoming cooler, deposited their invisible vapor in the form of visible mist or cloud, while between these clouds and the surface of the earth there was a stratum of clear air; and the earth radiating its heat into space, and cooling, and crusting over, much of the moisture was deposited, in the form of water, on its solid surface. Some think that the work of the second day was the individualizing of the earth, or the making it an independent sphere, by separating it from the general mass of the solar system. Many able physicists believe that the ether supposed to fill the interplanetary spaces is merely an excessive expansion and attenuation of the atmospheres and aqueous vapors of the planets.

On the third day God collected the waters previously covering the surface of the globe into seas, and made the dry land or earth appear, and caused the earth to bring forth vegetation. From Job 38:7 and Ps 104:6-9, as well as from science, we infer that, by the action of subterraneous forces, God uplifted the lower sedimentary (Azoic) rocks where He designed to make continents, and depressed them into vast hollows where He designed to make oceans and seas, and the water all over the earth ran into these basins, while the dry land was left to itself. Then God caused the earth to bring forth grasses, herbs, and trees {18} -the three divisions of the vegetable kingdom -each species distinct from its kind, and having its seed in itself for future propagation. The language of Moses here is in strict accordance with scientific facts, though opposed to the evolutionary theories of a false science. (1Ti 6:20) According to all human observation, each species of vegetable (as well as of animal) life is distinct -is "permanently reproductive, variable within narrow limits, but incapable of permanent intermixture with other species." We learn from Ge 2:4-5, that God, the author of life, created the life of each vegetable before it was in the earth. {19} All life comes directly from Him in whom we live and move and have our being. Ac 17:25,28 Science sustains Moses in representing plants to have been created before animals. For the lowest stratified rocks contain large quantities of organic limestone and graphite-carbon, results of plant life; the cooling earth was at first more fitted for plants than animals; vegetation was needed to rid the atmosphere of an excess of carbonic acid, and supply its place with oxygen for animals; and vegetation is the necessary food of animals. (Dana's Manual of Geology).

On the fourth day God is said by Moses, not to have "created" (Bara), but to have "made" (Asah), that is, formed and prepared, the sun, moon and stars, for two great purposes -to give light and to divide time. He "created" (Bara) the heaven, or heavenly bodies, "in the beginning; " but they were not completed for their present functions till the fourth day, at which time the atmosphere was so purified as to be transparent, or the photosphere of the earth almost disappeared, and the sun and moon and stars were clearly visible in the sky. The word "made" is supplied before "the stars; " and the reference seems parenthetical. Why this work was postponed to the fourth day, we do not know, says Prof. Taylor Lewis any more than why Christ's advent was postponed to the fourth millennium of man's history, or why so large a part of the earth is even now a desert or a watery waste, and still a moral chaos. The light of the solar system is not even yet wholly concentrated into the sun, but much of it streams out, in his chromosphere and then in his corona, nearly two millions of miles from his surface. Not only were the heavenly bodies intended by the Creator to give us light, but to be our standard measures of time, dividing it into days and months and seasons {20} and years, a most important use for all the duties and relations of life. Moses dwells more upon the formation of the heavenly bodies than of any other object besides man -probably to teach us that, although the sun, moon and stars are the most splendid objects that we behold, still they are not gods to be worshiped (De 4:19 and De 17:3), but are the creatures, like all other things, of the great invisible God, who made them, in part, at least, for the benefit of man, and who absolutely controls them according to His sovereign will and pleasure. In the language of the Psalmist, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork." Ps 19:1 "They continue this day according to His ordinances; for all are His servants". (Ps 119:91) The heavenly bodies were made by God for "SIGNS" also. In their steadfast and permanent radiance, they are glorious emblems of the permanence and steadfastness of their Creator's grace towards all His covenant people. (Jer 31:35-37; Ps 72:5; 84:11; 89:36-37; Isa 60:20; Mal 4:2; Mt 13:43; 2Co 4:6; Re 1:16)

For the second time in this chapter, the word "created" () is used, and now in reference to the great forms of animal life, such as the huge saurian reptiles, especially the crocodile. (Here rendered "whales, " but elsewhere, in the Old Testament, rendered "serpents, " "dragons, " and meaning crocodile in at least two passages and ). Moses was familiar with the degrading Egyptian worship of the crocodile, and therefore here takes especial occasion to declare that this animal, instead of being a god, is, like all other great animal monsters, but "an humble creature" of the true God. From a critical examination of the language of Moses, and from scientific knowledge, President Dawson concludes that "the prolific animals of the fifth day's creation belonged to the three Cuvierian sub-kingdoms of the Radiate, Articulata and Mollusca, and to the classes of fish and reptiles among the vertebrata." Birds also were then first created. Their numerous footsteps and skeletons are first found in the Oolitic and Wealden rocks of the reptilian age, or mesozoic period. The miraculous accuracy of Moses may be clearly seen by a comparison of his narrative, at this point, with the latest works on geology. Only the God who created birds could have inspired Moses to tell exactly when they were created. "The Creator, on the fifth day, recognizes the introduction of sentient, life by this new work of his hands." During the period of the fifth day, "in the warm and moist atmosphere, overcharged with carbonic acid gas, humble cryptogams attained to the size of stately forest trees, and luxuriant ferns and kindred plants, being slowly submerged by oscillations of the land and covered with deposits of mud and sand, were transformed into coal; and thus the land being repeatedly and slowly raised and submerged, and numerous other similar forests growing and being carbonized, the vast, coal-beds so precious to civilized man were formed. In this manner, also, the carbonic acid gas of the atmosphere was fixed in the coal-beds, and the oxygen was returned to the atmosphere for the furtherance of animal life."

On the fifth day God caused the waters to bring forth fish and reptiles, and formed out of the ground (Ge 2:19) fowls to fly in the open heaven -these being the lower forms of animal life. "Moving creature is more properly rendered, in the margin, "creeping" creature, or reptile; and "let fowl fly above the earth" is the more correct marginal rendering (in verse 20) Ge 1:20. For the second time in this chapter, the word "created" (Bara) is used, and now in reference to the great forms of animal life, such as the huge saurian reptiles, especially the crocodile. (Here rendered "whales, " but elsewhere, in the Old Testament, rendered "serpents, " "dragons, " and meaning crocodile in at least two passages Eze 29:3 and Eze 32:2). Moses was familiar with the degrading Egyptian worship of the crocodile, and therefore here takes especial occasion to declare that this animal, instead of being a god, is, like all other great animal monsters, but "an humble creature" of the true God. From a critical examination of the language of Moses, and from scientific knowledge, President Dawson concludes that "the prolific animals of the fifth day's creation belonged to the three Cuvierian sub-kingdoms of the Radiate, Articulata and Mollusca, and to the classes of fish and reptiles {21} among the vertebrata." Birds also were then first created. Their numerous footsteps and skeletons are first found in the Oolitic and Wealden rocks of the reptilian age, or mesozoic period. The miraculous accuracy of Moses may be clearly seen by a comparison of his narrative, at this point, with the latest works on geology. Only the God who created birds could have inspired Moses to tell exactly when they were created. "The Creator, on the fifth day, recognizes the introduction of sentient, animal life by blessing this new work of his hands." During the period of the fifth day, "in the warm and moist atmosphere, overcharged with carbonic acid gas, humble cryptogams attained to the size of stately forest trees, and luxuriant ferns and kindred plants, being slowly submerged by oscillations of the land and covered with deposits of mud and sand, were transformed into coal; and thus the land being repeatedly and slowly raised and submerged, and numerous other similar forests growing and being carbonized, the vast, coal-beds so precious to civilized man were formed. In this manner, also, the carbonic acid gas of the atmosphere was fixed in the coal-beds, and the oxygen was returned to the atmosphere for the furtherance of animal life."

On the sixth day God caused the earth to bring forth the land animals, especially the herbivorous and carnivorous mammalia, or quadrupeds, a higher order of animals than those made on the fifth day; and afterwards, on the same (sixth) day, He created (Bara) man in His own image, and made him, under the Supreme Lawgiver, the delegated ruler of this lower world. In the tertiary rocks of the cenozoic period we see the gigantic skeletons of megatheria, mammoths, mastodons and elephantine marsupials; and then, in the post-tertiary or quaternary rocks of the same period, with no chaotic upheaval, it being still the sixth day, we find the remains of men. Thus again is Moses supported by the facts of geology.

Vegetation and all the inferior animals were "brought forth" by the word of God "from the earth" or "the waters"; Ge 1:11-12,20-21,24; 2:19 so that, when they die, not only their body but their life or spirit returns to its earthly origin. Ec 3:21 But, though God formed man's body from the dust of the ground, He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul. (#Ge 2:7) This makes an ineffaceable distinction between man and all other earthly creatures; the Almighty and Everlasting Father of spirits directly breathed into man a higher life or spirit; and, though the body, according to the penalty of the violated law of God, returns to the dust, his spirit, at death, return unto God who gave it. {22} Ec 12:7; Lu 3:38

The everlasting duration of the human spirit (which is hereafter to inhabit the resurrection body, Job 19:25-27; Ps 49:15; Isa 26:19; Da 12:1-3; Mt 5:29; 10:28; 27:52-53; Joh 5:28-29; Ac 2:25-34; 13:34; Ro 8:11,22-23; Php 3:20-21; 1Th 4:13-17; 1Co 15:12-57) is also to be inferred from the fact that man was "created" (Bara, indicating something new) in God's image, as well as from his reason, conscience, religious sentiment, hopes, intuitions and aspirations, and especially from God's covenant with man, which raised him above the physical world, and brought him nigh to God. Ge 2:16-17; Mt 22:31-32 The fact of man's great superiority to all other earthly creatures is to be inferred also from the divine deliberation -Let us make men (#Ge 1:26). The plural number here is thought by some to be the plural of majesty or dignity; by the Jews it is thought to refer to God's addressing the angels as His companions, or the earth as being the source of man's body, while God gave him His Spirit; but, by most of Christian scholars, it is thought to denote the deliberation of the Divine Trinity. {23} see Ge 3:22; 11:7

God created but one pair of human beings, and the Bible everywhere implies but one human species. Ge 1:27; 2:7-8,15,18,21-24; De 32:8; Mt 19:4; Ac 17:26; Ro 5:14,19; 1Co 15:22 And so the entire drift of present science tends to establish the unity of the human race, and the perfect truthfulness of the scriptural doctrine. The confusion of tongues at Babel, Ge 11:1-9 the consequent dispersion of men all over the earth, differences of climate, soil, exposure, food, habits and surroundings, continued for hundreds and thousands of years, have produced the differences between the varieties of the human race. {24} The close affinities, physical, mental and moral, of all the human family; the fertile inter-marriages of all the varieties of the race; and the fact that greater differences have occurred in the same species of domestic animals than exist between the different varieties of mankind, confirm the unity of the human race. As may be seen by an observant traveler, passing from district to district, and from country to country, there are, between all the divergences, innumerable and almost indistinguishable blendings. All mankind are descendants of Adam; all sinned and fell in him; all are conscious of their accountability to a higher power; and, as sung by the church in glory, Re 5:9 some have been redeemed by Christ "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation."

The most recent and careful investigations also prove that the great antiquity (from twenty to a hundred thousand years) heretofore claimed for man by geologists, ethnologists and philologists, is not sustained by the facts any more than it is by Genesis; a few thousand years (seven or eight at the most) are all that are needed to measure man's duration on earth, according to both the scriptural and the scientific records. That man was the last created of all earthly organized beings is the clear demonstration of geology, as much as it is of Scripture. Ussher's chronology, which generally follows the Hebrew text, and which, by the order of the British Parliament, appears in the margin of English Bibles, reckons 4,004 years from the creation of Adam to the birth of Christ. As this system is almost universally employed in history, we use it in this work. But it is proper to state that the Scripture nowhere gives us any direct information on this subject. Any chronology of primitive times is, therefore, inferential; and there are some 200 different computations of the period between Adam and Christ, varying front 3,316 to 6,984 years. The length of the period from the creation to the flood is calculated by adding together the ages of the patriarchs at the time of the birth of their oldest, sons, or heirs; but the numbers in the Hebrew text would thus give 1,656 years; the Samaritan, {25} 1307 years; and the Septuagint, 2,262 years, for the length of this period. "Nothing in ancient manuscripts, " says Prof. G. Rawlinson, "is so liable to corruption, from mistakes of copyists, as numbers." Letters, which were easily mistaken by copyists, were originally written for numbers. "Genealogies, " says Fausset, "are clear measures of time only when complete; but the Jewish genealogies, as published, were frequently abbreviated, the object not being chronology, but to mark ramifications of family and tribal relationship." The word son was commonly used for descendant.

As shown by Principal Samuel Kinns, of Highbury New Park College, England, in his Harmony of the Bible with Science, the following order of fifteen creative events, as taught by science, corresponds with the order given by Moses: 1. The creation of the heavens, and heavenly bodies, before the earth. 2. The appearance of light as the divinely produced result of chemical action and nebulous condensation. 3. The formation of air and water by the combination of gases surrounding the earth. 4. After the formation of the older rocks under the water, their upheaval, in many places, above the universal sea, forming the dry land. 5. The sprouting forth of the lowest forms of vegetable life, the cryptogamous algae, lichens, fungi, ferns and mosses, propagated by spores and not by seeds -translated grass in our version. 6. The appearance of the lowest class of phaenogams, or flowering plants, called gymnosperms, from having naked seeds, such as the conifers -translated, in our version, the herb yielding seed. 7. The appearance of a higher class of phaenogams, with nut-like seeds in fleshy envelopes, found in the middle Devonian and Carboniferous strata -translated, in our version, the fruit-tree yielding fruit (the higher order of fruit trees appearing when "God planted a, garden" later on). Ge 2:8 8. The clearing away of the carbonic acid in the atmosphere and of the heavy vaporous clouds, and the appointment of the sun and moon for lights, signs and seasons, days and years. 9. The swarming of the waters with numerous forms of life. 10. The creation of the gigantic saurian reptiles. 11. The teaming of the earth with winged fowl. 12. The appearance of the mammoth beasts of the earth. 13. The appearance of cattle, or the domestic animals. 14. The appearance of the principal flowers, fruit-trees and cereals Ge 1:29 -called in Ge 2:8, the planting of a garden. 15. The creation of man; after which God ended His work of creation, no new species of plants or animals having appeared since the creation of man.

Now the number of possible permutations in 15 is found by multiplying together the series of natural numbers from 1 to 15 inclusive, the product of which is 1,307,674,868,000; so that there may be about one-and-one-third trillion changes in the order of 15 events. And, as Moses records 15 creative events in the very same order as modern science, and that too 3,000 years before the birth of modern science, even natural reason would say that there are one-and-a-third trillion probabilities that Moses was infallibly directed in his narrative by God, to one probability that he was not so directed. With knowledge of these momentous facts, can any sane mind doubt the divine inspiration of Moses?

It should be carefully noted that in the Mosaic or inspired account of creation, God is continuously active, and does all the work. "The idea of God creating the universe as a perfect machine, acting automatically throughout the ages, according to laws established by Himself, whose government He gives up, is entirely absent, " says Prof. A. Guyot; and he declares that this representation of the continual activity of God in the creation is in perfect accord with the latest and most accurate science. See his last work, on "Creation."

"In the Mosaic record of creation, " says Prof. James D. Dana (in his Manual of Geology, pp. 743-6), "we observe not merely an order of events like that deduced from science; there is a system in the arrangement, and a far-reaching prophecy, to which philosophy could not have attained, however instructed. The account recognizes in creation two great eras of three days each -an inorganic and an organic. Each of these eras opens with the appearance of light; the first, light cosmical; the second, light from the sun for the special uses of the earth. Each era ends in a day of two great works -the two shown to be distinct by being severally pronounced 'good.' On the third day, that closing the inorganic era, there was first the dividing of the land from the waters, and afterwards the creation of vegetation, or the institution of a kingdom of life -a work widely diverse from all that preceded it in the era. So on the sixth day, terminating the organic era, there was first the creation of mammals, and then a second far greater work, totally new in its grandest element, the creation of man." The arrangement is then, as follows:

I. THE INORGANIC ERA First Day -Light cosmical. Second Day -The earth divided from the fluid around it, or individualized. Third Day -(1) Outlining of the land and water; (2) creation of vegetation.

II. THE ORGANIC ERA Fourth Day -Light from the sun. Fifth Day -Creation of the lower order of animals. Sixth Day -(1) Creation of mammals; (2) creation of man.

"The record in the Bible, " adds Prof. Dana, "is therefore profoundly philosophical in the scheme of creation which it presents. It is both true and divine. It is a declaration of authorship, both of creation and the Bible, on the first page of the sacred volume."

"The natural was first, and the spiritual afterward, " says the Apostle Paul (#1Co 15:46) Both are the work of the same unchangeable God; and, therefore, the natural resembles, and is typical of, the spiritual. (Ps 51:10; Isa 43:15; 60:2; 65:16,18; Mal 4:2; Mt 13:1-23; Ac 26:13; Eph 2:10; 4:24; 2Co 4:6; 5:17; Ga 6:15

The first chapter of Genesis, then, in its spiritual application, teaches us the absolute dependence of man upon the Triune God (Father, Word and Spirit) for salvation. The almighty power of the Most High must create him anew; the sovereign efficacy of the Spirit of Love must move upon his dark, disordered heart; and the all-healing beams of the Sun of Righteousness must arise upon his redeemed and penitent spirit. The divine command has gone forth

(Ps 33:9) for him to be fruitful in good works; (Ge 1:28; Joh 15:16) the indwelling Spirit of Christ enables him to obey from the heart, (Ga 4:6; Ps 37:31; Jer 31:33) and to bear -"some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred-fold"-the fruit of "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance". (Ga 5:22-23) These fruits of the Spirit are not the cause, but the result of his spiritual renewal; (Isa 55:8-13) the tree having been made good, the fruit is good. (Mt 7:17) He does not depend upon any works of his own for salvations; (Mt 25:37-39) being born of God, he believes that Jesus is the Christ, (1Jo 5:1) and, believing in the finished righteousness of Christ as his own, (Jer 23:6; Joh 19:30) he enters into Sabbath, or rest (Heb 4:3; Ge 2:1-3). Being married to Christ, or alive unto God, he is dead to the law; (Ge 2:18; Ro 7:4; Ga 2:19) and he serves in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter, (Ro 7:6; Ga 2:20; 2Co 3:6-18) loving God because He first loved him, (1Jo 4:19) and loving those who bear His image, (1Jo 5:1) and thus truly fulfilling the law, (Ro 3:31; 13:10) and bringing forth fruit unto God (Ro 7:4). Yet, during all the days of his earthly sojourn, while the old man abides with the new, there will be an alternation of darkness and light, of evening and morning, to keep him properly humble, (De 8:1-16) to remind him of "the pit whence he was digged" (Isa 51:1; Ps 40:1-3) and of the divine origin of all his strength and righteousness and comfort (Isa 45:24; 49:13). But he has been new-created in the image of the Son of God; (Ge 1:26; Ro 8:28-39) formed from the pierced side of Christ in His death-sleep, he is united to Him by faith (Ge 2:21-24; Joh 19:34; Eph 5:23-32); and the all-giving and all-sufficient grace of the electing and justifying Father, and the dying and redeeming Son, and the quickening and sanctifying Spirit, shall abide with him through all his days and nights, his trials and changes, and shall bring him off more than conqueror at last over every creature-foe, and perfect the good work begun in him, (Ps 138:8; Php 1:6; Heb 12:2; Re 1:8) and give him complete dominion over his redeemed body and spirit, (Ge 1:28; Ro 8:23; Isa 35:10; 53:11) and conform him entirely to the likeness of his Redeemer (Ps 17:15; Php 3:21), and dispel forever the last shadow of darkness and sorrow, (Isa 60:18-20; Re 21:25) and translate him, amid the inconceivable glories of an eternal Sabbath (Ge 2:1-3; Heb 4:9) to the Heavenly Paradise (Ge 2:8-10; Re 2:7; Mt 25:34), where God shall dwell with him, and wipe away all tears from his eyes, (Re 21:3-4) banishing forever all the evils of the earthly Eden, temptation, and sin and sorrow, and death, elevating him to beauties and splendors and joys never imagined on earth (1Co 2:9; Re 21:1-22), pouring into his soul the uncreated and unclouded brightness of the divine nature (Re 21:23-25), and giving him to abide eternally in the Lamb of Life, with all whose names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life, beside the crystal River of Life, beneath the perennial Tree of Life (Joh 10:28; Re 21:27; 22:1-2), where, as a king and priest unto God and his Father, he shall reign forever and ever. (Re 1:6; 22:5)

What a strong consolation is afforded in these blessed and infallible promises to every poor, humble, contrite, mourning children of Adam, weary with a sense of sin, and thirsting to drink of the pure fountain of life, and to be washed from all his defilement in the cleansing blood of Christ, and made whiter than snow! It is a truth more certain than all the perceptions of sense and all the demonstrations of mathematics, that every such child of God, thus born of the Divine Spirit, and consequently exercised by spiritual desires, shall be entirely purified from sin, and shall reach eternal joys in the presence of his God and Father

. (Ps 103:13-18; 107:1-31; 136; Isa 41:10-20; 54:5-10; 55; 57:15; Jer 32:37-41; Mal 3:6,16-18; Mt 5:3-6; Joh 4:10-14; 10:27-29; Jas 1:17; 1Pe 1:1-5; Re 22:17)

On the seventh day

, as Moses informs us, (Ge 2:1-3) God ended and rested from His work of creation, and, therefore, blessed and sanctified that day. Science confirms this statement, and declares that no new species of vegetable or animal has appeared on earth since the introduction of man. In saying that God "rested, " the historian does not mean that "the everlasting Creator" was "weary",   Isa 40:28

As man was made in the image of His Creator, he, too, was, according to the divine arrangement, to work six days, and then rest from his ordinary bodily and mental labors on the seventh day,    Ge 1:28; 2:15; Ex 16:22-26; 20:8-11 if properly observed, it would be a blessing to the whole human race. Man needs, not only the night for rest, but one-sevenths of his days also for rest. As proved by both physiology and history, this rest exercises a most beneficial influence on man's physical, mental and moral nature. A change of employment is a rest; as God devotes His Sabbath to the work of providence and redemption, so it is a great blessing to man to have a frequently and regularly recurring day for solemn reflections upon his relations and obligations to his Creator and fellow-creatures, and upon his eternal interests. Still, "man was not made for the Sabbath"; Mr 2:27 he is not to idolize the Sabbath, or observe it in the oldness of the letter, with pharisaical rigidity and hypocrisy {27}  Isa 1:13; Mt 12:1-14; Mr 2:23-28; Lu 13:11-17; Joh 7:22-24; Ro 14:5-6; Col 2:16; Ga 4:9-11 and Heb 4, who ended the work of His eternal redemption by rising from the dead on the Lord's Day; Mt 28:1-6; Heb 9:12; Re 1:10 and as a "holy priest" should he evermore offer up to his adorable Redeemer the spiritual sacrifices of heartfelt thanksgiving and praise. {28} 1Pe 2:5; Ps 103:1-5; 107:1-32; 1Th 5:16-18

Christ particularly honored the first day of the week, not only by rising from the dead on that day, but also by repeatedly visiting His disciples, after His resurrection, on that day. Joh 20:19,26 The Apostles, too, it would seem, habitually assembled on that day  Ac 20:7; 1Co 16:1-2; Ac 2:1 ever since the resurrection of Christ, the Christian church, delighting to honor their Lord, has observed the Lord's Day, the first day of the week, as the Sabbath, or Holy Convocation, Day of the New Dispensation; {29} but Christian forbearance on this subject is inculcated in Ro 14:5-6, and Col 2:16-17.

The division of time into weeks, even among the patriarchs, is shown by Ge 8:10; 29:27-28.

With the Israelites, not only the seventh day, but the seventh week, and seventh month, and seventh year, and seventh septenary of years, were, by Divine appointment, peculiarly sacred. (De 16:9-12; Le 16:29-34; 25)

Seven

is the representative sacred number of the Scriptures, and is the symbol of Divine completeness, and marks a Divine work, in judgment, or mercy, or revelation {30} Ge 4:24; 7:4; Re 1:4,12-13,20-2:1; 5:1, &c.

In the sacred narrative of creation, we witness the gradation from dust and grass to man. How wonderful the series! And, at each progressive step, everything is pronounced good by the beneficent Creator, as showing beauty and perfection in itself, as well as pleasure and satisfaction in His own mind.

What a spectacle then was there for angels to behold -this noble, erect, God-like being, the creature man, swaying his sceptre over this beautiful new-made world, which his Maker had given him to possess and enjoy! Compare it with the condition of things since the fall, and great will be the contrast.

As this lord of the lower creation stood forth gazing on the universe spread out before him, he contained his wife in his side and the countless billions of the human race in his loins. He named {31} the cattle and the fowls of the air and the beasts of the fields as his Maker presented them to him. Thus was his divinely given power of observation and of speech brought into exercise; and he was also taught his need of a suitable companion, which neither himself nor any of his inferior earth-derived fellow creatures could supply. They had been produced by God entirely from earthly materials; but he had been animated by the Divine Spirit and formed in the image of his Maker.

In what respect was man in the image of God, and in what respect was he not in the image of God? He could not be like Him in body, because God is a Spirit and has no body. Man's body, though beautiful and the topmost piece of the material creation, being the sum and crown and glory of all, yet was made of the dust of the ground of pre-existing matter -was of the earth earthy, and unto dust must return. No image of God here. {32} But in his soul or spirit he could, and no doubt was, in the image of God. "His spirit, like that of the angels, was an immediate creation of God. His ‘breath of life' was, as it appears, more than a mere quickening principle, a vital force, enabling the man as a mere animal to move and perform acts of natural life; but it embraced much more than this -even a rational, ever-enduring, and accountable spirit, now mysteriously united to his animal nature, over which it is to preside and rule. The body with all its powers and members is but the instrument of the soul, a tabernacle in which it dwells, while conversant with this lower world. Ge 2:7; 3:19; Ec 12:7; Ac 7:59; Mt 10:28 And it was in this, his soul or spiritual nature that man was made like God. God is a Spirit, and man in one sense is a spirit. Heb 12:9,23 Yet we do not regard this as an emanation or efflux from God Himself; it is not a part of the divine nature or essence, but is a created dependent sprit, distinct from God, yet partaking of His likeness as a spirit, in its measure." -C. C. Jones, in "History of Church of God."

The respects in which man was made in the image or resemblance of God were: the possession of a soul or spirit, which, by the sovereign will and sustaining power of God, was to endure forever; intelligence; self-consciousness; free will (before the fall); uprightness; and dominion over the inferior creatures.

But Adam {33} was alone: "And the Lord God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helpmeet for him. And the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam', and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, {34} and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of man. {35} Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed'. Ge 2:18,21-25

Thus was the institution of marriage ordained and carried into successful operation by the Almighty, who gave Eve to Adam for his wife. And as it was in the beginning, so it should be now and onward, to the end of time, throughout the world, one woman for one man -one man for one woman -united in the holy bonds of wedlock, at marriageable ages. "The providence of God is in harmony with His word, and this blessed arrangement since, in a most wonderful manner, He keeps up, in the natural increase of the race, the numerical equality of the sexes, at marriageable ages, and that over the whole earth and ever since its foundation; and then continually stretches out His hand against transgressors, who by multiplying wives would disturb this great law; and He subjects them to sure evils in the form of family divisions and strifes, bitter wrath and cruel revenge, diseases, sudden and shameful deaths, ungoverned and wicked offspring, decayed fortunes, and various other judgments"; Ge 4:23; 16; 30:1-27; 37; 19 and chapters 6, 7, etc. Ge 6; 7

"The design of marriage is to promote the comfort and happiness of mankind, the legitimate propagation of our species, the perpetuation of a virtuous, honorable seed in the church, and purity of life and manners on the earth." -C. C. Jones. This law was frequently violated in the patriarchal and Mosaic dispensations, and during the Christian dispensation it has been set at naught by Roman Catholics, Mohammedans and Mormons; but our Lord Jesus Christ strictly enjoins its observance, and points to the first couple as an example for all future generations. Mt 19:3-9 They who violate this law must receive the penalty due to their crimes.

ENDNOTES

{1} The leading Scriptures referring to the Creation are:. Job 38; 39; 40; 41; Ps 8; 19; 104; Pr 8:22-31; Isa 40:12-31; Joh 3:1-10; Col 1:16-17; Heb 1:2; 11:3 The following Scriptures tell us what God did before the Creation:. Mt 25:34; Eph 1:4; 2Ti 1:9

{2} Trinitarianism is essentially distinct from Tritheism, the first affirming the Three-Oneness of God, and the second declaring that there are Three Gods. No Christian can be a Tritheist. The ONENESS of God is the most certain fact and the most prominent article of revelation in all the book of Scripture and the book of Nature; yet the THREE-FOLD nature of this Oneness -the TRINITY or THREE-ONENESS of God -is the second most prominent and important fact revealed in the Scriptures. It would be of no consequence to me that the great body of God's people from the beginning of the Christian era have held this doctrine, that all the oldest Baptist Confessions of Faith declare a belief in the Trinity of God, that ninety-nine-hundredths of the Primitive Baptists in the United States believe it or even that my father believed it -if I did not think the doctrine to be unmistakably taught in the Scriptures. The doctrine of the Trinity is obscurely revealed from the beginning of Genesis to the end of Malachi, and it is clearly revealed from the first of Matthew to the last of Revelation. It underlies and penetrates the whole of Christian experience from its beginning in the past eternity to its consummation in the eternity to come. The entire cause of the poor sinner's salvation is the electing love of God the rather, the redeeming love of God the Son, and the regenerating love of God the Spirit. Thirty times in the first chapter of Genesis -twenty-two hundred times in the Old Testament -is the plurality of the divine nature declared by the use of the word ELOHIM (which literally means The Mighty Ones) as the name of God (Elohim being the plural form of El, The Mighty One -not the dual form, meaning but two or a pair, but plural, and the simplest plural oneness that is not two-fold is three-fold), and in all these instances, where Elohim, referring to God, is the subject of a verb, or where a pronoun is used in reference to Elohim (except rarely, when there is an allusion to polytheism), the verb and pronoun are in the singular number, proving the unity or oneness of the Divine plurality, as is also proved by the plural noun Elohim being combined with the singular noun Jehovah (the two names together being translated Lord God), twenty times in the second and third chapters of Genesis, and nearly three hundred times in the Old Testament. The plural unity of the divine nature is further shown by Ge 1:26; 3:22; 11:7; Isa 6:3,8; Nu 6:24,26, compared with 2Co 13:14; Ex 3:2,6; Ps 2; 45:6-7; 110; Isa 9:6; Jer 23:6; Zec 12:7; Mal 3:1-4, compared with Mt 3:11-12; Ge 1:2; 6:3; Ps 104:30; 139:7; Job 26:13; Isa 48:16; Mt 1:18-25; 3:13-17; 28:19; Joh 15:26; 1Jo 5:7; Re 1:5-6; 22:1,3,17. It is not strictly Scriptural language to say that there are three persons in the Godhead, although the primitive meaning of the term person is character, and it seems to me being "wise above what is written" to say that the Three-Oneness of God Is a Three-Oneness, not of inward nature, but only of outward manifestation. God is unchangeably the same in both time and eternity. Christ says that there is an otherness as well as a oneness in the Godhead; Joh 14:9,16,28 and, unless this language of Christ be true, I fail utterly to see how there can be a real Father, a real Son and a real Spirit proceeding from Father and Son; how the Father could send the Son and the Spirit into the world; how the Son could pray to the Father and be answered by the Father; how Christ could use the pronoun "I" in reference to Himself, and "Thou" in reference to the Father, and "He" in reference to the Spirit; how, while Jesus was being baptized in Jordan, the Spirit descended as a dove upon Him, and the Father spoke to Him from heaven; how Christ could require His disciples to baptize believers in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Spirit: and how, after He re-ascended to glory, He could sit down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. These facts thoroughly satisfy my mind that there is an eternal Threeness as well as an eternal Oneness in the divine nature -that there is something resembling a personal distinction between Father and Son and Spirit, while the distinction is not the same as that generally understood between persons, because Father and Son and Spirit are one. The nature of the Divine Being is the deepest mystery all the universe, and it eminently becomes all finite, fallible, and fallen creatures like ourselves, not to speculate upon the existence of the incomprehensible God -much less to persecute other mortals who cannot exactly pronounce our own favorite shibboleths on this unfathomable subject; but to receive with childlike meekness and faith all that is revealed in the Scriptures in reference to God, our Heavenly Father, our Elder Brother, and our Blessed Comforter. We cannot understand how the Lord Jesus Christ can be at the same time, perfect man and perfect God; yet we believe in this duality of His nature. We cannot understand, though we are quite conscious of the two fold elements of our own nature, soul and body. In our present state, we understand nothing perfectly- we only know in part; but this does not prevent our believing thousands of facts, all of which are perfectly understood. We no more understand the eternity, omnipresence, omnipotence and omniscience of God than we understand the Trinity of His being: but still we believe all these to be attributes of the Most High. "The doctrine of the Trinity, " says Prof. Philip Schaff, the most accurate and reliable of uninspired church historians, "has been looked upon in all ages as the sacred symbol and the fundamental doctrine of the Christian church, with the denial of which the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and the divine character of the work of redemption and sanctification, fall to the ground. It distinguishes in the one and indivisible essence of God three hypostases or persons; at the same time allowing for the insufficiency of all human conception and words to describe such an unfathomable mystery. Sabellius is by far the most original, profound and ingenious of the ante-Nicene Unitarians, and his system the most plausible rival of orthodox Trinitarianism (it is also the least objectionable form of Unitarianism.) It revives from time to time in various modifications. It differs from the orthodox standard mainly in denying the trinity of essence and the permanence of the trinity of manifestation; making Father, Son and Holy Ghost only temporary phenomena, which fulfill their mission and return into the abstract monad." A very few of our highly esteemed ministers and brethren seem to favor something like this view: but I do not believe that it is the view of one in a hundred of the Primitive Baptists in the United States.

{3} In all things, Christ must have the preeminence. Col 1:18

{4} Ibid.

{5} Ibid.

{6} Nineteenth-century Agnosticism (or religious know-nothingism) was first suggested in the antinomies of Kant, and was first taught in England by two ardent philosophic theists, Hamilton and Mansel, in the ethical spirit of Kant, but, as President Porter well remarks, has been travestied, materialized and demoralized by Spencer. Agnostic philosophy has as much reason to pronounce the mind of man unknown and unknowable because it cannot be discovered by scientific instruments, as to pronounce God unknown and unknowable because He cannot be so discovered. A real, an intelligent, and a morally-governed universe points unmistakably to a real, an intelligent and a moral Creator and Governor. A child may know something truly of God, but an angel cannot know Him fully. "They who know the least of him, " admirably remarks President McCosh, "have in this the most valuable of all knowledge; they who know the most know but little after all of his glorious perfections." In the hands of a few inaccurate, dogmatic and unreliable leaders, and their weak, ignorant and credulous followers, Agnosticism (know-nothingism) has turned into Gnosticism, or Pan-Gnosticism (know-all-ism), whose arrogant pretensions to omniscience are, in the minds of all thinking men, as ridiculous as they are incredible.

{7} In all things, Christ must have the pre-eminence. Col 1:18

{8} Ibid.

{9} Three of the other oldest divine names in Genesis are El Olam (the Eternal), El Shaddai (the Omnipresent), and El Elioun (the Most High), corresponding to time, space and decree.

{10} The theories of the various authors of Genesis, as based on the use of the two names, Elohim and Jehovah, are full of self-contradiction, absurdity and impossibility. -McCaul in Aids to Faith, pp. 220-8: Lange's Genesis, pp. 105-9.

{11} This incommunicable name of the God of Israel the Jews feared to pronounce, and called it simply "the name, " or "the name of four letters" (yodh he vav he), "the great and terrible name, "" the peculiar name, "" the separate name, " and shem hammephorash, "the name revealed." In reading, they always substituted for it the word Adonai, Lord.

{12} Notwithstanding the Moon's phases, or changes of appearance, caused by her roundness, opacity derivation of all her light from the Sun, and her monthly rotation upon her axis, she is probably the most fixed, unchanging conservative body in nature -so should the church be; notwithstanding her frequent changes of frames and feelings, still her doctrine and practice and devotion to the cause of God should be absolutely unchangeable. While the Sun causes the purifying currents of the air, the Moon is the chief cause of the tidal ocean waves which constantly cleanse the inpouring rivers of their pollutions. This office of an ever-active sanitary commission is one of the most important functions that the Moon subserves towards the earth -so the church, like the salt of the earth, should keep her garments unspotted from the world and thus exercise a salutary influence upon those without. Her light, which all comes from the Sun of Righteousness, should shine in the night of the world, so that men may see her good works, anal glorify her Father in heaven.

{13} The phrase "created and made" (Bara and Asah) in Ge 2:3, proves conclusively that these words do not mean the same thing. The literal rendering of the Hebrew, as given in the margin, is "created to make, " that is, produced out of nothing (Bara) in order to form or fashion or prepare (Asah).

{14} The word "heaven, " in Lu 10:18 and Re 12:7, is believed by the best scholars to refer, not to the glorified state, but to the church militant.

{15} See Guyot's Creation, Dana's Dana's of Geology, Dawson's Origin of the World, and Taylor Lewis's Six Days of Creation.

{16} Some suppose that the light of the first three days was entirely cosmical or worldly, the result and sign of terrestrial chemical action, the earth being, during the most of that time, intensely heated and self-luminous; and that, by the alternation of darkness and light on those days, the sacred historian, speaking anticipatively, means that that rotation of the earth on its axis was then carried on, which after the appearance of the sun on the fourth day produced the alternation of night and day.

{17} The phenomenal appropriateness of even the old Greek and Latin translations of rakia (stereoma, and firmamentum, something firm or solid), from which our English word firmament is derived, is finely illustrated by the following passage in Prof. Tyndall's address before the British Association. August, 1868: "The blue of the sky is as uniform and coherent as if it formed the surface of the most close-grained solid; a marble dome would not exhibit a stricter continuity."

{18} The word deshe, translated grass in our version, literally means sproutage, and is believed to denote the lowest order of the vegetable kingdom, cryptogams, or flowerless plants, which produce minute spores instead of seeds -such as seaweeds, fungi, lichens, mosses, ferns, etc. The word esebh, rendered herb, denotes the higher order of plants called phaenogams, prorogated by seeds; and this order includes fruit-trees, which were created last.

{19} Sir Wm. Thomson and Prof. Helmholtz, seeking, to account for the origin of the first vegetable seeds on the earth, suppose that they dropped from some passing meteor or comet, just as though their origin on such a body did not need to be accounted for.

{20} There was no change of seasons on the earth till the sun appeared and produced such change on the fourth day. Before that period there was a very warm and moist but equable temperature over the whole globe; either because the internal heat of the earth was then greater near the surface, or because the dense aqueous vapors around the earth better retained the heat of the uncondensed nebulous mass which was afterwards made into the sun. Such a climate was exactly adapted to the production of the abundant, gigantic and pulpy vegetation, the ferns and lycopodiums, chiefly characterizing the carboniferous period, similar to the present climate and flora of some of the islands of the tropics, where it rains 300 days in the year. When the sun blazed forth in all his glory on the fourth day, and began the change of seasons, there was a great increase of ligneous or woody tissue in vegetation or shown by the fossil plants of the Permian system.

{21} The Elasmosaurus and the Edestosaurus of Kansas attained the length of sixty to eighty feet and more: while the Hadrosaurus of New Jersey stood erect from twenty to twenty-five feet high, and the Atlantosaurus of Colorado reached the height of from sixty to eighty feet. The expanded wings of the bat-like Pterodactyls measured twenty-five feet from tip to tip. (See Prof. A. Guyot's "Creation.")

{22} Dichotomy maintains that human nature has only two distinct substances or elements -body and soul or spirit. Trichotomy maintains that there are in man three elements, body, soul, and spirit, In the account of man's creation Ge 2:7 and of man's death Ec 12:7 only two principles are mentioned -that which is called soul in Genesis being called spirit in Ecclesiastes. See also 2Co 5:1-8; Php 1:23-24; Ac 7:59. The Hebrew and Greek terms, in the Scriptures, translated soul, spirit, mind, heart, and life, are often used interchangeably, and denote the immaterial principal that man derived directly from God, each of these terms, however, being frequently employed to denote a particular aspect or function or attribute of that principle. The Greek and Roman philosophers taught that man had three constituent elements: and, in conformity with the usage of his contemporaries, Paul says "spirit, soul and body, " to express the whole of man's nature. 1Th 5:23 In Heb 4:12, the term "heart" includes the two terms "soul and spirit, " the lower and higher faculties of the mind. In Lu 1:46; 24:53, soul and spirit are the same principle.

As to the origin of the souls of Adam's posterity, it should forever abase the pride of human philosophy that it is unable to solve this first and nearest mystery of man's existence -it cannot tell whether each soul is derived by direct creation from God, or by traduction from parents according to divine arrangement.

The claims of materialistic phrenology have long since been exploded by the scientists of Europe. The quality is far more important than the quantity of brain; and there has never been a satisfactory division of the faculties of the human mind, much less an exact localization and mapping of them upon the surface of the brain.

{23} Mr. Charles Darwin's "Chain of Man's Descent from the Ascidian" (a very small, transparent pocket-shaped, marine animal, without head or backbone, or organs of sense, or locomotion, or distinction of sex) is one of the finest products of the modern brilliant scientific imagination, and, to any person of common sense, is as incredible as the Metamorphosis of Ovid. The so-called "chain" is a concatenation of conjectural nonentities, of airy nothings, based, not upon knowledge, but, confessedly, upon want of knowledge. Such philosophizing is a substitution of Nescience for Science. The backbone, the breast and the human brain are insurmountable barriers in the way of selective development, and demonstrate elective design. Mr. A. R. Wallace, "the independent originator and by far the best expounder of the theory of Natural Selection, differs altogether front Mr. Darwin on the question of the origin of man. For the creation of man, as he is, Mr. Wallace postulates the necessity of the intervention of an eternal will, as well for man's body as for his soul, as shown by the latent capacities of even the savage hand, voice, brain, and conscience." Prof. S. G. Mivart, the profoundly learned and critical biologist, declares, in his "Lessons from Nature, " that "Mr. Darwin, in his Descent of Man, has utterly failed in the only part of his work which is really important: and if his failure should lead to an increase of philosophic culture on the part of physicists, we may therein find some consolation for the injurious effects which his work in likely to produce on too many of our half-educated classes. Man differs far more from an elephant or a gorilla than do these from the dust of the earth on which they tread." Even Prof. Huxley admits that "the divergence of man from the are is immeasurable and practically infinite." Dr. Emil Du Bois-Reymond, professor of physiology in the greatest German university, that of Berlin, perpetual secretary of the Berlin Academy of Science, and the ablest biologist now living, declares that Haeckel's '"Human Genealogical Tree" (pretending to trace man by twenty-two steps to the supposed unicellular Monera, imagined to be the base of the animal kingdom) "is as authentic in the eyes of a naturalist as are the pedigrees (from God, and Goddesses) of the Homeric, heroes in the eyes of an historian." Thus the highest living scientific authority emphatically decides that the "scientific" pagan mythology of the nineteenth century is as false and incredible as the Latin Greek mythology of three thousand years ago. The average cranial capacity of Europeans of the Stone Age has been found to have been actually greater than that of the now living Europeans. The brain of the apes most like man does not amount to quite a third of the brain of the lowest races of men.

{24} Dr. J. W. Draper (in his Human Physiology, pp. 586-591) attributes the dark color of the negro skin to the torpidity of the liver, in hot climates, failing to eliminate from the blood a degenerating haematin, which is rich in iron, and depositing this dark matter in the pigment-cells of the skin. The prognathous form of the negro skull he ascribes to the same cause, as well as to his savage and degraded condition in Africa. The black coloring matter underlying the cuticle preserves the surface of the skin from being blistered by the sun; and the thick woolly hair was designed by Providence to protect his brain from the fierce rays of the tropics. It is asserted that negro youths have made extraordinary attainments in the languages and mathematics at college in both hemispheres. About a thousand years intervene between the deluge and the earliest representation of negro features upon the monuments of Egypt.

{25} The Samaritan Pentateuch is a translation of the books of Moses into the Samaritan dialect (a compound of the Hebrew, Chaldee and Syrian), made probably about 700 B. C.

The Septuagint is the most ancient and celebrated version of the entire Old Testament Scriptures; it is a translation into Greek made by the Jews in Alexandria about 280 B. C. and so called either from its 72 translators, or the 73 members of the Sanhedrin that sanctioned it. In the declining state of the Hebrew tongue, about the time of Christ, the Septuagint version was in common use among the Jews, and from it were taken the most of the Old Testament quotations found in the New Testament, which was written in Greek.

{26} Servants and domestic, animals were also to be allowed to rest. Ex 20:10; De 5:14 Only the covetous and carnal were impatient of the Sabbath restraints. Am 8:4-12 Works of necessity and mercy and religious service were in full accordance with the spirit and design of the Sabbath day. Mt 12:1-13; Lu 14:5

{27} The formalistic, self-righteous Pharisees, substituting an ostentatious ritualism for spiritual piety, held to a multitude of so-called traditions of the elders, which they pretended to have derived, by oral transmission, from Moses himself, and to which they attributed a higher authority than even to the written law. They resolved all religion into manifold and burdensome law. "Upon the single topic of the observance of the Sabbath, their Mishna (or second law) contains thirty-nine general rules, under each of which are numerous subordinate precepts, each with specified exceptions. Their labyrinth of casuistry, like that of the Roman Catholic Jesuits, was an instrument for evading moral obligations, and for committing iniquity under the apparent sanction of law." -G. P. Fisher. "After the exile and in the hands of the Pharisees the ed this mechanical ceremonialism, and restored the true spirit and benevolent aim of the institution. When the slavish, superstitious, and self-righteous sabbatarianism of the Pharisees crept into the Galatian churches and was made a condition of justification, Paul rebuked it as a relapse into Judaism. In the gospel dispensation the Sabbath is not a legal ceremonial bondage, but rather a precious gift of grace, a' privilege, a holy rest in God in the midst of the unrest of the world, a day of spiritual refreshing in communion with God and in the fellowship of the saints, a foretaste and pledge of the never-ending Sabbath in Heaven. The due observance of it in England, Scotland and America is, under God, a safeguard of public morality and religion, a bulwark against infidelity, and a source of immeasurable blessing to the church, the state, and the family." -P. Schaff. It must be stated, however, that in no passage of the New Testament is the first day of the week called the Sabbath.

{28} Neither the New Testament nor the literature of the early centuries mention any explicit appointment of the first day of the week as a day of Christian worship, or of the Lord's Day, or Sunday, as a substitute for Saturday, the Old Testament Sabbath enjoined in the Decalogue But the New Testament, shows that the special, religious commemoration of the Lord's Day was a spontaneous exhibition of Christian feeling that sprang up under the eye of the Apostles, and with their approval. Any formal decree abolishing the old, and substituting a new Sabbath would only have offended the weak Jewish Christians. The Sabbath and marriage were instituted by God Himself in Paradise, not for the Jews only, but for the whole human race. The penalty of death for the violation of the Sabbath was not threatened at its institution in Eden, nor even written in the Decalogue, or moral law, on the tables of stone: but it was a peculiar feature of the Hebrew judicial or civil law, Ex 31:14; Nu 15:31-36 typifying the spiritual death of those who, while professing to have entered into the true Sabbath or rest by believing in the finished redemption of Christ, yet, really depend upon their own works for salvation. Heb 3; 4 The Sabbath was instituted by God to commemorate both His first or natural and His second or spiritual creation: Ge 2:3; Ex 20:11; De 5:15 to remind men of Him, their Creator and Redeemer: to turn their thoughts from the seen and temporal to the unseen and spiritual: to afford time for religious instruction and for the public and special worship of God: to give recuperative rest to sinful, toiling humanity; to be a type of that rest which remains for the people of God; and to be a sign of the covenant between God and His people. Ex 31:13,16-17; Eze 20:12 It is thought that nine-tenths of the people derive the greater part of their religious knowledge from the services of the sanctuary.

The Roman Emperor Constantine, 321 A. D., made Sunday a lethal holiday, allowing only necessary agricultural labors on that day. Leo VI., about 900 A. D., repealed the agricultural exemption, thus thoroughly establishing Sunday as a day of rest. Alfred the Great, about the same time, forbade work, trade and legal proceedings on Sunday in England. "Calvin's View of the fourth commandment was stricter than Luther's, Knox's view stricter than Calvin's, and the Puritan view stricter than Knox's. The Puritan practice in Scotland and New England often runs into Judaizing excesses. About the year 1600, a strong Sabbath movement traveled from England to Scotland, and from both of these countries to North America, the chief impulse being given in 1595 by a book entitled The Sabbath of the Old and New Testament, written by Nicholas Bound, a learned Puritan clergyman of Suffolk. Archbishop Whitgift and Chief Justice Popham attempted to suppress the book, but in vain -considering the Puritan Sabbath theory a cunningly concealed attack on the 'Church of England,' by substituting the Jewish Sabbath for the Christian Sunday and all the 'Church' festivals. At last King James I. brought his royal authority to bear against the Puritan Sabbatarianism, and issued his famous 'Book of Sports' in 1618, afterwards republished by his son, Charles I., with the advice of Archbishop Laud, in 1633. This curious production formally authorizes and commends the desecration of the evening of the Lord's Day by dancing, leaping, fencing and other 'lawful recreations,' on condition of observing the earlier part of the day by strict outward conformity to the worship of the 'Church of England.' The court set the example of desecration by balls, masquerades and plays on Sunday evening; the rustics repaired from the houses of worship to the ale-house or the village-green to dance around the May-pole and to shoot at the mark. To complete the folly, King James ordered the book to be read in every parish 'church,' and threatened clergymen who refused to do so with severe punishment. King Charles repeated the order. The people not conforming with the King's decree were to leave the country. The popular conscience revolted against such an odious and despotic law, and Charles and Laud, for this among other causes, were overwhelmed in common ruin. The Puritan Sabbath theory triumphed throughout the British Isles and the American colonies, the citizens of which countries have never been willing to exchange it for the laxity of Sunday observance on the Continent of Europe, with its disastrous effects upon the attendance at public worship and the morals of the people." The Sabbatic view of Sunday is incorporated in the Presbyterian, the Congregational and the Baptist Articles of Faith. In 1678, under Charles II., all labor or business, except works of necessity or charity, were forbidden by a statute which may be regarded as the foundation of all the present law on the subject in England and the United States.

"The Old School Baptists "says Elder S H. Durand of Pennsylvania, in the "Signs of the Times, "" do not observe the first day of the week as the Jewish Sabbath, for Christ and his Apostles gave no such command; but they refrain, on that day, from all works excerpt those of necessity, for these three reasons: 1st, the law of our country forbids unnecessary work on that day, and we are commanded to obey the higher powers: (Ro 13:1-5): 2, it is the day universally appointed for religious meetings, and it is a good thing that we can have one day in the week for the public worship of God without distraction Item business: and 3d, the Apostles and early disciples appear to have met regularly on the first day of the week, though they also met on other days and from day to day. When the child of God believes on the I oral Jesus Christ, he ceases from his own works, as God did from his, and enters into rest, and all the remainder of his life is really God's holy Sabbath with him, and all the days and nights of the week he should not do his own works or speak his own words." Isa 58:13-14

The phrase, "Lord's day, " occurs only once in the Bible -in Re 1:10: but the same Greek adjective for Lord's, kuriakos, occurs in 1Co 11:20, applied to "the Lord's supper, " a literal as well as a spiritual feast: and the phrase, "the Lord's Day, " is used to designate the first day of the week by the following writers of the second century: Barnabas, Ignatius, Irenseus, Justin Martyr, Melito, Dionysius of Corinth, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian.

{29} At first, both days were kept: the Apostles, like Christ, worshiped with the Jews in their synagogues on the seventh day, until the Jews persecuted and prevented them. Mt 12:9; 13:54; Lu 4:16,44; Ac 13:5,14-52; 14:1-7; 17:1-9; 18:4

{30} Numbers in Scripture often have a symbolical rather than a mere arithmetical value. The half of seven, which is three-and-a-half (time, times, and a half, three days and a half, three yours and a half, forty-two months, 1,260 days or years), is the symbol of human agency or evil cut short, the time of the church's pilgrimage and persecution. Da 7:25; Mt 24:22; Jas 5:17; Re 11:2-3; 12:6 Two denotes intensification, requital in full, and testimony. Ge 41:32; Job 42:10; Re 11:3 Three is, like seven, a Divine number. Mt 28:19; Ge 18:2,13; 1Sa 3:4,6,8; Re 4:8 Four symbolizes world-wide extension.  Da 2:40; 7:2; Re 7:1 Ten represents perfected universality. Ge 14:20; Ex 34:28; Mt 25:1; Lu 17:12 Five, the half of ten, is the penal number. Le 5:16; Nu 18:6 Ten raised to the third power, which is 1,000, represents the world pervaded by the Divine. Re 20:2-4,7 Seventy; the product of seven and ten, represents the people of God in worldly captivity or wandering, when their sorrows are multiplied.  Ge 46:27; Ex 15:27; 24:1; Jer 25:11 Twelve squared and multiplied by 1,000, the symbol of the world divinely perfected, gives 144,000, the number of sealed Israelites. Re 7:4; Eph 4:30 Twenty-four represents the elders of the Old and New Testaments combined. Re 4:4; Ge 35:22; Lu 6:13 Six, the half of twelve, is the world kingdom broken, or the world given over to Judgment: Re 6:12-17; 9:13-21; 16:12-16 it is next to the sacred seven, but can never reach it. Six raised from units to tens and hundreds (666), the number of the beast, Re 13:18 shows that, notwithstanding, his progression to higher powers, he can only rise to greater ripeness for judgment. Forty symbolizes trial, chastisement and humiliation -(Ge 7:4; De 8:2; Jon 3:4; Mt 4:2). -Fausset's Bible Cyclopedia.

{31} The first names given to animals were not arbitrary, but were either imitations of their peculiar utterances, or significant of their peculiar qualities or uses.

{32} It is clear from the Scriptures that man's bodily form is similar to the form of the spiritual bodies of Christ, of the angels, and of glorified saints (Ge 18; Jos 5:13-15; Jg 13:6,16,22; Da 3:25; 9:21; Lu 9:30-31; Re 22:8-9). The microscope reveals millions of natural objects invisible to our naked eyes; air, and other gases, though material, are invisible to us; even so spiritual forms are real and shall be visible to us when our eyes are opened 2Ki 6:17.

{33} The word Adam in Hebrew means red earth; the form is the same in all numbers, so that the original signifies either man or men-either the first man or all mankind contained seminally and representatively in him.

{34} Tsela, here translated rib, generally means side, and is here rendered by the Septuagint pleura, a piece of his side. The females of the lower animals were altogether separate in their formation from the males; but woman was formed out of man, to teach us the closeness, tenderness, and indissolubility of the marriage bond, and of the spiritual union of Christ and the church Ge 2:14; Mt 19:3-6; Eph 5:23-32. Woman was not made from man's head, to rule him, nor from his feet, to be trampled upon by him, but from his side, to be his loved and honored, loving and reverential companion 1Co 11:8-9; Eph 5:22-33; 1Pe 3:1-7.

{35} The Hebrew for man in the 23d verse is ish, meaning man of earth, or husband, Adam's designation of himself; the Hebrew for woman in that verse is isha, the feminine of ish, and therefore meaning man-ess, or female man, or wife.

04- Chapter II From the Fall of Man to the Death of Abraham.

After his creation man was placed by his Maker in the beautiful and pleasant garden of Eden, or Delight (probably either in Babylonia or Armenia). He was not to live in dreamy indolence or luxurious enjoyment; but, as work of some kind is necessary for his well-being while on earth, he was placed in a garden, to dress and keep it -the easiest way of life. He was surrounded by his beneficent Creator with all the joys of an earthly paradise, with everything his heart could wish -fruits and flowers, groves and streams, inoffensive animals, perfect health of soul and body, a lovely wife, and the frequent companionship of his kind and omnipotent Maker, who delighted to minister to his happiness. But man must be taught the all-important truth that he is under obligations to, and dependent upon, his Divine, Sovereign Creator, Preserver and Benefactor.

It was the prerogative and pleasure of God to give law for the government of all things created by Him, whether in relation to the motion of the planets or the creeping of an insect, and therefore man could not be exempt from that universal rule. Adam had a law given him which he must obey or forfeit the approbation of his Maker. It was given to him before Eve was formed and presented to him as his wife; but as she was virtually in him when he received the law, it was equally binding on her. He was the head of his wife and whole human race, and represented both her and them. He was as innocent and pure as an angel in heaven, and stood forth, in the image of God, the admiration of the angelic throng as well as of the immense multitude of living creatures around him, all of which belonged to him and were obedient to his commands. In the midst or center of the garden were two peculiar trees, called "the tree of life" and "the tree of the knowledge of good and evil." The exact species or nature of these two trees is now unknown to man. It is supposed that "the tree of life" was an evergreen tree of unremitting productiveness, the fruit of which when eaten tended to preserve the natural health and life of man forever, Ge 3:22 and that it was a symbol or type of the true "tree of life, " or Christ, in the heavenly paradise. Re 2:7; 22:2 The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" is thought to have been of an intoxicating, or morally poisonous nature, the prohibition of whose fruit was a mercy, as well as a test of man's obedience and fidelity to God. In man's unfallen and happy condition we cannot think of a more appropriate or a more benevolent test. This arrangement was the covenant of works. (Ho 6:7; Isa 1:19-20; Ro 10:5; Ga 3:12)

God said to Adam this: "Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die". Ge 2:16-17 We discover the love of God to Adam in this enlarged liberty bestowed on him, and the small restraint imposed. Yet he could not willingly bear the restraint, however small. He was made able to stand, but liable to fall; and in the hour of temptation he fell, and great was that fall. This was a notable epoch in his history; it changed the whole course of his conduct, and involved himself and posterity {1} in guilt and ruin. He was assailed through the weaker vessel, his wife. It was human nature, unaided by the power of God's grace, that was assailed and captured. This temptation was no fancy sketch, figure or allegory. It was a reality, and penned down in the Book of God by the Holy Ghost, and frequently mentioned in the sacred volume. Joh 8:44; 2Co 11:8; 1Ti 2:14; Re 12:9; Ro 5:12-19; 16:20

"Now the serpent {2} was more subtle than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, see 1Jo 2:16 she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat". Ge 3:1-6 Thus we see that the citadel was stormed and carried. Man was left to his own free choice to partake or not. No grace was there -no power of God to restrain him, and he fell an easy prey to the wiles of Satan. "And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig-leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God amongst the trees of the garden. And the Lord God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And He said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the Lord God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat. {3} And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat, all the days of thy life. And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shalt bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman He said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception: in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herb of the field: in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return". Ge 3:1-19

Thus we have the fall of man depicted, his arraignment and condemnation. God drove him out of the garden; and to prevent his returning to it, and eating of the tree of life, and living forever, God placed at the east of the garden cherubim {4} and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life. Ge 3:24 Man could corrupt or destroy himself, but could not purify his own heart or restore himself to the favor and image of God. That had to be done by another.

God had already provided a ransom, and makes it known. "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." Here is a promise of Christ, a Savior, "the seed of the woman, " who was to bruise the head of Satan, while Satan could only bruise the heel of Christ. Christ is the seed of the woman, and his elect children are his seed. The seed of the devil are his angels and wicked men who die without repentance; the term SEED here being understood, not in a physical, but in a spiritual sense. He is a fallen angel, and led his comrades in rebellion, and through the medium of the serpent seduced man also from his allegiance to God. The contest is to be between Satan and Christ; so that while Satan is to bruise the heel or the church of Christ, Christ is to bruise the head or the Power of Satan. Satan may annoy, but Christ overcomes, by destroying him that had the power of death. Heb 2:14; Ro 16:20; 1Jo 3:8

Salvation through Christ was no doubt proclaimed by the Almighty to Adam and Eve; sacrifices were ordained to typify the crucifixion of the Savior. Skins of beasts, probably slain in sacrifice, taken by God and placed around the bodies of Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness, were figurative of the righteousness of Christ, which was to be imputed and placed as a robe around all the saints of God. The system is revealed, and the warfare soon began. The offspring of Adam and Eve, having been born after the fall, of course were brought forth in a state of sin and death, so that those without faith persecuted those who had faith. The first man born was named Cain, and the second was named Abel. Each brought a sacrifice to God. Cain's was without faith, being of the fruit of the ground. Abel's was with faith, and was of the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof, typifying the offering of the Lamb of God in the fullness of the time. Heb 11:4 "Cain in unbelieving self-righteousness presented, like the Pharisee in the temple, Lu 18:11 merely a pretended thank-offering, not like Abel and the publican, feeling his need of the propitiatory sacrifice appointed for sin. God had respect (first) unto Abel, and (then) to his offering; Ge 4:4 and so our works are not accepted of God, until ourselves have been so, through faith His work of grace." -A. R. Fausset. Abel's offering was accepted and Cain's rejected. This displeased Cain so that he slew his brother; and wherefore slew he him? because he was of that wicked one and his works were evil, while Abel's were righteous. 1Jo 3:12 Hence began the warfare between the children of men. The enmity between the seed of Satan and the seed of the woman grows out of the very nature of Holiness and Sin. Satan and his seed or servants, being sinful, will forever hate and rebel against a holy God; and God, being immutably holy, can never tolerate, but will forever express His hatred against their sin. Satan and his seed give expression to their enmity in every form of opposition and ill-will which their ingenious wickedness can devise and their circumstances permit; and there is no work against the glory, happiness, or even the existence of God and His people, which, if unrestrained, they would not exert themselves to accomplish. Cain now stands as a representative of that portion of the human race who persecute the children of God, and Abel represents that portion who are persecuted by men, often unto death. Figuratively speaking, Cain has always been killing Abel, and Abel has all along fallen by the hands of Cain. To Eve another son was given, and she called his name Seth (appointed). "For God, said she, hath appointed me another seed, instead of Abel, whom Cain slew" Ge 4:25

From these two, therefore, we trace to some extent the divergent lines of the race -the one servants of God and the other the servants of Satan. Faith is the great distinguishing feature. "By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh.". Heb 11:4

The names of the chosen line from Adam to Noah are about as follows, viz.: Seth, Enos, Cainan, Mahalaleel, Jared, Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech, Noah.

The names of the rejected line are about as follows, some of their names being like those of the chosen line, viz.: Cain, Enoch, Irad, Mehujael, Methusael, Lamech, and by Lamech's wife Adah, Jabal and Jubal, and by his wife Zillah, Tubal-Cain.

"The resemblances in the names of the two families seems a natural consequence of the use of significant names, at a time when language acquired no great variety; and in both cases several of the names have sense natural at that age, increase and possession. The different number of generations suggests that the period between the children of Lamech and the flood was occupied with the development of the inventions ascribed to them, by their unnamed descendants. The only personal facts of their history are, the foundation by Cain of the first city, which he named after his son Enoch; the polygamy of Lamech; and the occupations of his sons, of whom Jabal was the first nomad herdsman, Jubal the inventor of musical instruments, both stringed and wind, and Tubal-Cain the first smith. The great contrast, however, between the two races, is in their social and moral condition." "It is remarkable that corruption of religion and morals advanced most rapidly in the line of Cain, where the greatest progress had been made in art and in science; thus showing that knowledge and civilization, apart from religion, have no power to purify the heart, or to preserve society from corruption." -W. G. Blaikie.

As the arts and sciences advanced, and population and civilization increased, wickedness also increased. The "sons of God, " the Sethite professors of religion, intermarried with the "daughters of men, " the irreligious Cainites; the selfish, worldly, licentious and warlike offspring of these wicked marriages filled the earth with profligacy and bloodshed. Enoch and Noah, and perhaps other prophets, preached righteousness, and predicted the coming terrible judgment of God upon the ungodly race, but in vain. Enoch walked with God, and, about a thousand years after the creation of Adam, was translated to heaven without dying; just as, about two thousand years afterwards, during the rampant idolatry of the kingdom of Israel, the Prophet Elijah was similarly favored -these two witnesses, before the coming of Christ, thus being divinely enabled to demonstrate to an unbelieving world the doctrine of the resurrection of the body and its existence with the soul in glory. In the same manner, the bodies of the saints who are living on the earth at the second or last personal coming of Christ, shall be changed, in a moment, without dying, from a mortal to an immortal state, and be caught up with their spirits to dwell forever with the Lord. 1Th 4:15-17

The wicked race cared nothing for the solemn and faithful warnings of the prophets; and God's Spirit in His servants would not always strive with corrupt and rebellious flesh. Ne 9:30; Ac 7:51-52 His sparing mercy, extended to them 120 years, was equally contemned; every imagination of the thoughts of man's heart become only evil continually. Noah was the only righteous man left, and he, being warned of God, and believing the warning, prepared an ark to the saving of his house. But the ungodly race continued eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah and his family, with two each of unclean and seven each of clean animals, entered into the ark, and the Lord shut them in, and the windows of heaven were opened, and the foundations of the great deep were broken up, and God, in awful majesty, justice and power, brought in the flood, and destroyed them all {5}. 2Pe 3:5-6; Job 12:15; Ps 104:5-7

From the period when man became a living soul to the day when the waters of the deluge began to fall on the earth, time's duration probably numbered about 1,656 years. About 1,500 years of this time, it may be supposed, there was antagonism between the chosen people of God and the children of the wicked one, -the Spirit of God in His elect on the one side, and the spirit of the devil in his children on the other, warring against each other. The weapons of warfare, on the part of true worshipers, were not carnal, but spiritual; while those used by the enemies of God and truth were carnal and fatal to the bodies of the saints.

Witness the murder of righteous Abel, and the design no doubt to take the life of Enoch, also, who prophesied of the coming of the "Lord with ten thousand of His saints to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him." But God delivered him out of their hands by translating him directly to Heaven. Truth has ever made slow progress in this world, and the antediluvian age, of all, in this respect, is the most remarkable. The number of true worshipers appeared to decrease as time rolled on, until but one man and his family were to be found on earth serving God. Methuselah, the grandfather of Noah, it is thought, died the very year of the deluge, and Lamech, the father of Noah, died five years before; so that Noah was the only patriarch left on earth, the only preacher of righteousness in the world, and the only man who with his house served God truly.

The children of God in this nineteenth century of the Christian era think that they have a hard time of it, while enduring the scoff, derisions and hatred of a gainsaying world; but what is this when compared with the cruel mockings and scourgings endured by their brethren before the flood? While we now write, the visible number of God's people is on the increase; some few are being added to the churches. The churches are scattered over the land, but sparsely, of course, in comparison with the number of other religious organizations. There is nearly one minister for every two churches, and appointments by many are published in their periodicals for itinerant preaching, by Elders and licentiates going in almost every direction, preaching the everlasting gospel of the kingdom. Congregations to hear preaching are large and frequently come together. They are protected in their gatherings and devotional exercises by the laws of the land, so that none dare molest or make them afraid while thus worshiping -while thus defending the faith that Abel, Enoch and Noah had, and at the same time preaching Christ and him crucified as the only way of salvation.

God's people now expect a further increase of their numbers before the day comes that shall burn as an oven, but then they had no such expectation. They were persecuted by fearful odds against them, with their numbers constantly diminishing, and every prospect before them of being overrun by an ungodly world and completely exterminated, according to all human appearances. Yet they boldly fought on, believed in and feared God, daily making their altars smoke with the victims offered up as typical of the great offering afterward to be made by the Lamb of God for the sins of His people; and counted not their lives dear unto themselves, so that they might finish their course with joy and gain the approbation of their God.

These were thought to be very stubborn people, no doubt, by their enemies, and to be worthy of death for their stern and uncompromising spirit. Do we see anything like it in the world now? Can we not readily find a people now who are equally stubborn, equally inflexible, equally steadfast and immovable on the foundation which God has laid in Zion? a people who would yield their lives rather than yield their faith, and will have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness?

Look at the Baptists of the present day and see if they can respond to the call, or if the measure will fit them. Re 11:1-2 We do not mean Baptists merely, so called, for their name is legion; but we mean genuine BIBLE BAPTISTS, those called "Primitive" or "Predestinarian, " by way of distinction from others, and "Hardshells" by way of reproach. These people, who are opposed and abused by all other sects and societies in the world -these who have been hunted in dens and caves of the earth by Mystery Babylon and her daughters for centuries past, and put to death for their faith in Christ, and have only had a respite of about one hundred years from the tyranny of the magistrate and religious despotism. And we ask these people to read carefully and see if they cannot find the counterpart of their own history in the lives of their brethren before the flood. When they look at them and see their unpopularity, their firm faith, their peculiarity, their steadfastness to the end, notwithstanding that nearly the combined world was against them, do they not see themselves reflected as in a mirror, and feel willing to call them brethren? God's people must be the same in all ages, for He never had but one way of saving them. There has never been but one Savior for them. All are saved by grace, through faith, and that not of themselves, it is the gift of God. Eph 2:8

And again, if the truth of God made such slow progress among the antediluvians, coming immediately from Adam and the patriarchs, is it any wonder that it did not make a greater progress under the Mosaic dispensation, or that it does not now under the Christian dispensation?

If success and numbers prove the truth of a creed or party, then the antediluvians who killed the patriarchs and filled the earth with violence, had the best of the argument; and so had the 850 prophets of Baal in the days of Elijah; and so had the whole nation of Israel, also, in his day, as against the seven thousand who had not bowed the knee to the image of Baal; and so had the Jews when they crucified the Savior; and so had the Gentiles when they destroyed Christians by thousands; and so has Rome now, as against the balance of what is called Christendom; and so has the pagan world as against the rest of mankind; and last, though not of least importance to us, so have the so-called Missionaries, as against the Primitive Baptists of the United States; the former are twenty times as numerous. But if numbers and success do not prove the truth and justice of any cause whatever, but rather the contrary, in all the history of the Adamic race, then we may expect to find the minority in the right in all ages of the world, especially in religious matters. Such was the case before the flood, all must agree; such was the case under the legal dispensation, and such is the case under the new dispensation, according to the language of our blessed Savior Himself, who says there are few that be saved: "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." "Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom, " etc., etc.. {6} Mt 7:14; Lu 12:32

Another reflection arises here, which is this: If God Almighty destroyed the old world with a flood as a punishment for the crimes of its inhabitants, and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah with fire and brimstone for the crimes of their inhabitants, and Jerusalem and the nationality of the Hebrews as a punishment for their crimes, what will He burn up this world for in the last great day? Will it be because earth's inhabitants will have become so civil, so truthful, so honest, so upright, so loving, so tender-hearted, so unselfish, so Christianized, so evangelized, that the Lord must forsooth send down fire and burn up their beautiful dwelling place? Or will it be because men will wax worse and worse, iniquity abound more and more, generation after generation become deeper and deeper steeped in sin as the ages roll on, until every principle of morality, justice, judgment and equity be swept away from the minds of men, and cruelty, rapine and murder cover the earth, so as to induce the Almighty to purify it with fire, cause time to cease, and appropriate the planet to some other use?

It was crime that caused the destruction of the old world, the cities of the plain, and the Hebrew nationality; and by a parity of reasoning we may safely conclude that crime will be the cause of the final conflagration and the destruction of this mundane system.

The rain poured down forty days (forty being the number significant of judgment), and the whole known or visible world was covered, and every living creature that had existed on the dry land died. After one hundred and fifty days the waters abated, and the ark rested "upon the mountains of Ararat, " or "the hills of Armenia, " as otherwise rendered; and on the first day of the tenth month the tops of the mountains (or hills) were seen. Forty days afterward Noah, to ascertain the state of the earth, opened the window of the ark and sent forth a raven, which went to and fro, satisfied to feed on the floating carcasses, and never reentering the ark -"emblem of the restless carnal mind." Then he sent forth a dove, which, finding no rest for the sole of her foot, returned into the ark -"emblem of the soul drawn from the world by Christ to Himself." Seven days afterward he sends out the dove again, and, as a sign that even the low trees were uncovered, she returns with a fresh olive leaf, the olive being a tree which can live under a flood better than most trees -"emblem of the Spirit of peace, the earnest of the saints' inheritance." Sent forth again, after seven days, the dove returns no more" emblem of the new heavens and earth which shall be after the fiery deluge, when the ark of the church to separate us from the world shall be needed no more." One year after he entered the ark Noah, on the first day of the first month, removed the covering of the ark, and saw that the earth was dry; and on the twenty-seventh day of the second month, at God's command, he and his family and all the living creatures went forth from the ark. Building an altar unto the Lord, he made burnt offerings of every clean beast and fowl, as a sacrifice of thanksgiving and consecration to God; and the Lord graciously accepted the offering, and promised that He would no more curse the ground for man's sake, "for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth; " neither would He again smite every living thing, as He had done, but that, "while the earth remaineth, seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, Summer and Winter, and day and night, shall not cease." God blessed Noah, and gave him and his posterity the right to eat animal as well as vegetable food; and as a token of His covenant with all flesh, that he would no more destroy the earth with a watery flood, He appoints the rainbow in the cloud -this beautiful and universally visible phenomenon being a most appropriate sign of His natural mercy to all His creatures on earth; clearly indicating the early cessation of rain because, in order to its formation, the clouds must be broken and the sun must be shining through them. Of the same absolute unconditional nature as this natural covenant with Noah and all flesh, God declares His new covenant with spiritual Israel to be. {7} Isa 54:4-10,17; Jer 31:31-37

God gave Noah three new precepts -the abstinence from blood as a food (the blood being the life, and being typical of the cleansing efficacy of the shed blood of Christ), the prohibition of murder (on the grounds that man was made in the image of God, and that all men are brothers), and the recognition of the civil authority ("he that sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed").

From the flood to the calling of Abraham was about 400 years, and during this period idolatry arose and then increased greatly. "Noah lived 350 years after the flood, and died at the age of 950; just half-way according to the common chronology between the creation and the Christian era. He survived the fifth and sixth of his descendants, Peleg and Reu; he was 128 years contemporary with Terah, the father of Abraham; and died only two years before the birth of Abraham himself (A.M. 2006; B.C. 1998). Looking back we find that he was born only 126 years after the death of Adam, and 14 years after that of Seth. He was contemporary with Enos for 84 years, and with the remaining six antediluvian patriarchs (except Enoch) for centuries. We give these computations, not as a matter of curiosity, but to show by how few steps, and yet by how many contemporary teachers, the traditions of primeval history may have been handed down -from Adam to Noah, and from Noah to Abraham, and we might add, from Abraham to Moses." -Old Testament History, by Wm. Smith. {8}

The world was to some extent divided between Noah's three sons, so that we may in general reckon Asia to Shem, Africa to Ham, and Europe to Japheth {9} though of course there was some crossing of these lines by each.

The greatest saints, while on earth, are sinners; and the inspired writers are terribly faithful in recording the vices, as well as the virtues, of Scripture characters. Noah planted a vineyard and became intoxicated with the fruit of the vine, and, while in this condition, Ham discovered his nakedness and reported it to his other brothers in an improper spirit -without sorrow and without respect either to his person or character. "Shem and Japheth" upon this report "took a garment and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father's nakedness. And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger {10} son had done unto him. And he said, Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren. And he said, Blessed be the Lord God of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant. God shall enlarge Japheth, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem; and Canaan shall be his servant". Ge 9:20-27 The curse did not fall upon Ham directly, but what is often the sorest point with a father, he was cursed in his youngest son. In the brief language of Noah, as recorded, Ham's other sons are not mentioned; Canaan is thought to be especially named, because of the future historical relations between the Canaanites and Israelites. But the other sons of Ham Ge 10:6-14 may also have been indirectly intended. Egypt and Babylon, as well as Canaan, were settled by Hamite races, which at first were the most brilliant and civilized, but, because of their irreligion and profligacy, became the most degraded. In saying, "Blessed be the Lord God of Shem, " Noah pronounces the highest possible blessing upon Shem, as he thus declares the Lord God peculiarly the God of Shem; this language was especially verified in the descendants of Shem -Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and their posterity, the Israelites. Japheth was, by his expansive energy and God's providence, to overpass his own bounds (Europe) and dwell in the tents of Shem, as the ancient Greek and Roman, and the modern European and American nationalities, exemplify. And gradually Japheth was to dwell in Shem's tents spiritually, that is, he should be brought to believe in and worship the God of Shem.

By Japheth's dwelling in the tents of Shem, it seems also implied that they should be more confederate, more social, more upon an equality as a class of human beings with each other than with Ham, while he should be servant to both, and sometimes his descendants should actually become servants to others of his descendants, thereby filling the lowest station -"a servant of servants."

The prophecy of Noah has been fulfilled in the destruction and final subjugation and enslavement of the Canaanites, by the descendants of Shem, the children of Israel; in the subjugation and enslavement of the Phoenicians and Carthaginians by the Greeks and Romans, the descendants of Japheth; in the subjugation of the Egyptians and Ethiopians; in the enslavement of Africans in almost all ages of the world, even down to the present day, and their miserable enslavement of each other." What a wonderful prophetic summary, in three short verses, of the history of the world! Who but an omniscient and omnipotent God could have inspired such a prediction?

The genealogical {11} line of the Messiah extends from Noah to Shem, Shem to Arphaxad, Arphaxad to Salah, Salah to Eber, Eber to Peleg, Peleg to Reu, Reu to Serug, Serug to Nahor, Nahor to Terah, and Terah to Abram. "The footsteps of the flock" are very difficult to trace along this period of 400 years. The knowledge and true worship of God seem to have been pretty much confined to the patriarchs, while nearly all their descendants were enveloped in darkness. Indeed, some of the patriarchs themselves appear to have been tainted with idolatry. About 100 years after the flood the town of Babel was commenced by the wicked descendants of Noah in opposition to God's will and to the building of His spiritual kingdom. They were of one language and of one purpose, and that was to defy God and make a tower high enough to reach heaven, to make to themselves a name and build a city that would concentrate the people and rule the world. This same sort of enterprise has been undertaken by others since on nearly the same spot, but all has proved a failure. The language of the first builders was confounded {12} and they ceased to build; God dispersed them. He has also dispersed their successors, Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus and Alexander, Caesar, Charlemagne and Napoleon. God came down and confounded their schemes.

The great length of life, and the great distance of death, seemed to make the antediluvians more reckless and corrupt; and therefore, after the flood, it pleased the Lord gradually to shorten human life from little less than a thousand to less than a hundred years. All men have a natural sense of dependence on a higher power, and therefore have some sort of religion; but the natural heart of fallen man recoils from the perfect purity of the true God and a spiritual worship of Him, and "devises means and mediators of its own for approaching the Most High, paying adoration to the sun, moon and stars, and others of His works, even animals and stones; making images to represent His attributes and worshiping them; asking beings inferior to God but superior to himself to intercede with God on his behalf; and, when most dark and degraded, resorting to magical charms and similar devices as means of obtaining the favor of the powers above. Thus, wherever men went, they forsook the pure worship of the true God, as it had been practiced by Noah, and instituted religious and idolatrous rites and practices of their own." -W. G. Blaikie.

One bright streak penetrates this gloom from the flood to Abraham, and that is the experience of the patriarch Job. {13} He is thought to have been a descendant of Aram, son of Shem. Ge 10:22-23 He was a patriarch, a prophet, a man of God, a perfect man, one that feared God and eschewed evil, and one whose experience and writings have been interesting and profitable to the people of God in every generation since his day, and will be to the end of the world. He lived in the land of Uz, perhaps that portion of country occupied by Uz, the son of Aram. Ge 10:23 It no doubt included the land of Edom, and was a vast country at one time, stretching far into Arabia and the East. Hence Job is called one of "the sons of the East, " His book is one of the oldest of the inspired writings, having been written probably long before Moses was born, and wonderfully preserved, so as to be placed in the sacred canon. It was probably written by Job himself, with the exception of the last line, which mentions his death; that of course was added by the hand of a friend. Job was a real, not an imaginary, person. So the book declares, and God honors him by associating his name with that of Noah and Daniel. Eze 14:14-20 The Apostle James mentions him as an example of patience. Jas 5:11 The extreme antiquity of the book of Job (as evinced by internal evidence), its compact, powerful and majestic style, and its solemn, profound and sublime conceptions, demonstrate the high intellectuality of primeval man. The leading object of the book seems to proclaim the sovereignty and infinite power, wisdom, righteousness, faithfulness and mercy of God, and the purity and omnipotence of His grace in the hearts of His people, causing them to serve Him freely from love of His adorable character, and to triumph at last over all their enemies.

"The patience and the final perseverance of the saints, notwithstanding temporary distrust under Satan's persecutions, which entailed loss of family, friends, possessions and bodily health, are illustrated in Job's history. God's people serve Him for His own sake, not merely for the temporary reward which His service may bring; they serve Him even in overwhelming trial. Herein is Job an imperfect type of Christ. Job's chief agony was, not so much his accumulated losses and sufferings, not even his being misunderstood by friends, but that God hid His face from him, as these calamities too truly seemed to prove. Job 23:3-9 Yet conscience told him he was no hypocrite, nay, though God was slaying him, he still trusted in God (Job 23:10-15; compare Abraham, Ge 22:1-19)."-fausset.

"Job's chief error was his undue self-justification, which he at last utterly renounced." This book shows its author to have been a believer in a Savior to come, and to have been in possession of the gifts, graces and qualifications of the Holy Spirit, such as characterize the people of God now, and have characterized them in all ages of the world. His social and private virtues all bespeak him the child of God, and the church of God at this day would fellowship such an individual and give him freely all the privileges and immunities that appertain to the heirs of promise.

He was afflicted not as a punishment for his sins so much as for the trial of his faith -for his own good in the end, and for a pattern of patience and resignation that should encourage all the suffering saints of God, to the end of time.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, But trust Him for His grace; Behind a frowning Providence He hides a smiling face.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, And scan God's work in vain; God is His own interpreter, And He will make it plain. {14}

About midway between the creation of Adam and the advent of the Messiah, about 2000 A.M. and 2000 B. C., a man was born in Ur of the Chaldees, in Mesopotamia, whose name first was Abram, and afterwards, at the ratification of God's covenant with him by circumcision, Ge 17:1-14 changed to Abraham. This man was chosen and called of God, and set up as the head of a family and progenitor of a nation, that should continue to exist for 2000 years {15} and become one highly favored of the Lord, and be greatly distinguished by spiritual blessings from all the other nations of the earth. In this family the true knowledge and worship of God were to be preserved in the midst of the rapidly increasing idolatry of the world, and the church of God was to be manifested and be taken care of until the Messiah appeared, upon whose death the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile was to be broken down, and then the blessings of salvation were to be extended to all nations, and the church of God be seen among every kindred and tribe of men.

The call of Abram was by virtue of the sovereign, gracious Will of God, {16} not at all dependent upon any human means or measures, and is a fit type of God's call to every man in nature's night, from darkness to light, and from the bondage of sin and Satan into the kingdom of God's dear Son. The first call of Abram moved the family with him; for his father Terah and others accompanied him part of the way. The first stopping place was at Haran, called in the New Testament Charran, east of the Euphrates, "the flood" which divided the old home of the family from the new land of promise. Here Terah died. Here it is thought Nahor remained. Haran, the oldest son, had died, and Abram and Nahor had married his daughters, Sarai and Milcah. At the second call of Abraham he crosses "the flood" (the river Euphrates) with his family and his nephew Lot and his family, Lot being a son of Haran and a brother of Abram's wife. Abram was now about seventy-five years old, having been born about two years after the death of Noah. "His father Terah was the ninth of the patriarchs from Shem and the nineteenth from Adam (inclusive). At the age of seventy (B. C. 2056) Terah begat three sons, Abram, Nahor and Haran. This is the order of dignity; as when we read of Shem, Ham and Japheth; but there is no doubt that Haran was the oldest and Abram the youngest of the three. The name Abram signifies father of elevation, i.e., exalted father, which was prophetic of his calling to be the ancestor of a race chosen for an exalted destiny, while the name Abraham, into which it was afterwards changed, signifies father of a multitude. Abram's future abode was described by Jehovah simply as 'a land that I will show thee; ' and so 'he went out not knowing whither he went.' This was the first great proof of that unwavering faith, which added to his two other names of father the title, 'Father of the faithful.' God's promise to him runs thus; 'I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing to others: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed'. Ge 12:2-3 The last words already involve the crowning blessings of the old covenant, the promise of the Messiah, and that to the Gentiles, all families of the earth". -Smith.

Abram leaves Haran, as it is said: "So Abram departed, as the Lord had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him; and Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed out of Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran: and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came". Ge 12:4-5

Abram crossed the "Great River" (Euphrates), and passing through the great Syrian desert (as we suppose), reached at length the city of Damascus and tarried there awhile. There he added to his family that faithful steward of his house, Eliezer, who was a native of the place. Quitting Damascus, he enters the holy land, and finds a resting place in the valley of Shethem or Sichem, the first in the promised land. Here he built an altar, and here God again appeared to him, with the promise of giving his seed that goodly land. Nine times did God appear to him who was called "the friend of God."

Abram next halted between Bethel and Ai. This was a delightful mountain region, but was scant of pasture for his cattle. He therefore kept moving southward till the presence of famine drove him out of the promised land into Egypt. Here he fared well; but, for fear of losing his life, he called Sarai his sister, which she was indeed, according to the Hebrew and other languages, wherein a niece is called a sister, but was untrue in fact, and a misrepresentation to Pharaoh, who at first took her to be an unmarried woman. {17} Abram left Egypt "very rich in cattle, in silver and in gold, " and traveled back through the south of Palestine to his old encampment near Bethel.

He now soon experienced the inconvenience of having too much property. His herdsmen and those of Lot disagreed, and, in order to keep peace, a separation was agreed on, Abram giving to Lot the choice of direction, in the true spirit of brotherly kindness; and Lot chose the rich plains of the Jordan about Sodom, "well watered everywhere, as the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, " which they had lately quitted.

Abram removed to the oaks of Mamre, near Hebron, in the center of the hills of the south, and there built an altar. Lot's new home brought him into trouble. The five cities and kings of the plain became involved in war with Chedorlaomer, King of Elam, who had established a strong empire in Western Asia, and thirteen years before placed these cities of the plain under tribute. They revolted, and the war was to force the payment of the tribute. The King of Elam secured the alliance of three other kings, and conquered the five kings, carrying off a great deal of booty and many captives, Lot being among the number with his goods.

Upon hearing this Abram resolved to regain possession of his nephew, and to that end made an alliance with the three uncaptured kings; and arming his servants, three hundred and eighteen in number, he overtook and punished the retiring hosts of Chedorlaomer, retook the spoils, and brought them, including Lot, to the valley again. He would receive no compensation for this outlay of time, trouble and endurance; but after giving tithes of the spoils as an offering to God, he gave the remainder to the young kings who accompanied him.

A remarkable scene occurred just here. Melchizedek, king of Salem, and priest of the Most High God, met Abram on his return from the expedition and blessed him, and Abram gave to Melchizedek tithes of all the spoil. Said this priest, who also brought forth bread and wine for the occasion, "Blessed be Abram of the Most High God, possessor of heaven and earth: and blessed be the Most High God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand." Here is a king and a priest not reckoned in the Hebrew or Noachian genealogy, and yet is fully accredited by Abram as a man of God, and one higher in authority than himself, who blesses Abram and receives tithes from him. Without controversy, the less is blessed by the greater.

The Holy Ghost adopts this method of presenting to us the most perfect type of the eternal priesthood of Christ. The Aaronic priesthood was insufficient, because they were not permitted to continue by reason of death; and they were ordained by the law of a carnal commandment, but this by the power of an endless life; without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days nor end of life. Heb 7 This king bears a title, which Jews in after years would recognize as designating their own sovereign, and bearing gifts which recall to Christians the Lord's Supper. "Disappearing as suddenly as he came in, he is lost to the sacred writings for a thousand years; and then a few emphatic words, for another moment, bring him into sight as a type of the coming Lord of David. Once more, after another thousand years, the Hebrew Christians are taught to see in him a proof that it was the consistent purpose of God to abolish the Levitical priesthood." Levi, who afterward received tithes of his brethren, paid tithes in Abraham; for he was in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Thus we have presented to us, apart from the Mosaic genealogy, Job among the patriarchs, Melchizedek among the priests, and subsequently Balaam among the prophets.

In order that Abram's faith might not fail, God renewed His promises to him. He bade him look toward heaven and tell the stars, if he was able to count them, and said unto him "So shall thy seed be." And Abram believed in the Lord, and He counted it to him for righteousness. Ge 15:5-6

And when he was 99 years old God renewed His covenant with him -changed his name to Abraham, because he was to be the father of many nations, and added the sign of circumcision to distinguish his male descendants from the rest of mankind. The name of Sarai (contentious) was also changed to Sarah (princess), and a son promised her, and his name Isaac also given, before he was born. Isaac signifies laughter. Abraham fell on his face and laughed when God made the promise. Ge 17:17

He therefore when born was appropriately called the child of promise, because born out of the regular course of nature, and born by virtue of the promise. Typical was this birth of that of our blessed Savior, and also of every child of grace who is born into the spiritual world.

Ishmael was born after the flesh, and not by promise. He was brought forth also by a bondmaid, and not by a free woman. Her child could not, therefore, either supplant or be heir with the son of the free woman. Ishmael was the product of the impatience of Sarah, who could not brook the delay in the fulfillment of God's promise, and to hasten it, put her servant Hagar into Abraham's bed. {18} The disappointment is well known; and the plan and result are typical of all fleshly-made professors of religion from that day to this. When born of the flesh, or of the blood, or of the will of man, however much zeal may be manifested on the occasion, a mocking Ishmaelite only will be the result. Ga 4:22-31 Circumcision was enjoined as a rite to be imposed on all the male descendants of Abraham, when eight days Old, as well as on the servants and on all slaves when they were purchased. Ge 17:12-13

Ishmael's share in the temporal promise was confirmed by his circumcision; and the rite is still observed by the Arabs, who are his descendants.

Again God appeared to Abraham as he sat in his tent door, under the oak of Mamre. He became aware of the presence of "three men, " for such they appeared to him; and offered them that hospitality which is commemorated in the apostolic precept: "Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have often entertained angels unawares". Heb 13:2 "He soon learnt the dignity of his visitors, when they inquired after Sarah, and rebuked her incredulity, by repeating the promise that she should bear Abraham a son, and fixing the time for its fulfillment." Upon their departure with their faces toward Sodom, Abraham, as "the friend of God, " brought them on their way, when the design of Sodom's overthrow was made known to him. Two of the persons left, and with the other Abraham conversed and interceded for the salvation of Sodom, but without avail, for not even ten righteous men could be found within that devoted city. The person addressed was God, we suppose, or the Son of God veiled in assumed humanity, and the two others were angels who went down to snatch from destruction Lot and his family from the city of Sodom. Lot and his wife and two daughters are all that would leave. His wife, because she looked back, was turned to a pillar of salt; and as he and two daughters entered the city of Zoar (a little city) at sunrise on the morning of the next day, Jehovah rained down upon the cities -Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim -"brimstone and fire from Jehovah out of heaven; and He overthrew these cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities, and that which grew upon the ground" (Ge 19:24-25; compared with De 29:23; Isa 13:19; Jer 20:16; 50:40; Eze 16:49-50; Ho 11:8; Am 4:11; Zep 2:9). {19}

"The plain in which the cities stood, hitherto fruitful "as the garden of Jehovah, " became henceforth a scene of perpetual desolation. Our Lord Himself and the Apostles Peter and Jude have clearly taught the lasting lesson which is involved in the judgment; that it is a type of the final destruction by fire of a world which will have reached a wickedness like that of Sodom and Gomorrah. Lu 17:29; 2Pe 2:6; Jude 7 A more special warning to those who, when once separated from an ungodly world, desire to turn back, is enforced by the fate of Lot's wife, who when she looked back from behind him, became a pillar of salt. (Ge 19:26; Lu 17:32)

"Lot himself, though saved from Sodom, fell, like Noah after the deluge, into vile intoxication, of which his own daughters took advantage to indulge the incestuous passion, from which sprang the races of Moab and Ammon, (Ge 19:30-38)" - W. Smith.

The fourth resting place of Abraham in the Holy Land was Beersheba, at the southwestern extremity of the country, so that the established formula to indicate the whole country was to say "from Dan to Beersheba."  Abimelech reigned in the valley of Gerar, and, through fear of him, Abraham practiced another deception in regard to his wife (Ge 20)

In Beersheba Isaac was born, and the greatest trial of Abraham's faith was made when he was called upon to offer his son Isaac in sacrifice to God as a burnt-offering. There was not the slightest hesitation, however, on the part of Abraham, in obeying this command. He took his son, then twenty-five years old, to the spot designated by the Lord, clave the wood, laid his son on the altar, and raised the knife to slay him, when he was arrested by a voice from heaven, forbidding his doing the deed.

A ram was immediately seen caught in a thicket by his horns, and him Abraham took and offered in the stead of his son. {20} Thus a burnt offering was made and Isaac set free. Isaac became a figure of the church and the ram a figure of Christ.

Abraham intended to slay his son, believing, no doubt, that God would restore him to him alive, so that he and his son could both return to the young men again whom they had left with the ass at the foot of the mountain. Ge 22:5; Heb 11:19

"And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh the Lord will provide: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen". Ge 22:14

Such a trying scene as this has never been surpassed, and to the end of time Abraham must be considered the father of the faithful; so all that do believe in Christ are reckoned the children of Abraham.

Abraham moved again to his old resting place at Hebron, and there Sarah died at the age of 127, which induced him to purchase land of the inhabitants for a burial place; for up to this time he owned no land. He bought of Ephraim, the Hittite, the cave of Machpelah (or the Double Cave), close to the oak of Mamre, with the field in which it stood, for the sum of four hundred shekels' weight of silver, "current money with the merchant" (about two hundred and fifty dollars). "Here he buried Sarah; here he was buried by his sons Isaac and Ishmael; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; Jacob and his wife Leah, and perhaps Joseph. {21} It is said that the sepulchre still exists under the mosque of Hebron, and was first permitted to be seen by Europeans since the Crusades, when it was visited by the Prince of Wales in 1862. Hebron is held by the Muslims to be the fourth of the Holy Places; Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem being the other three."

After the burial of Sarah, Abraham seems to have returned to his old home again, Beersheba. His next care was to procure a wife for his son Isaac. She must not come from the idolatrous and depraved Canaanites, among whom he dwelt, but must be taken from among his own family relations. Therefore, the oldest servant was sworn in the matter, and undertook the task of finding a wife for Isaac. With ten camels and divers outfits and presents he started on his journey and kept on his way, till he crossed "the flood, " the great river Euphrates, and found the city of Haran, in Mesopotamia, where Terah, Nahor, Abraham and Lot first halted after leaving Ur of the Chaldees, and where Nahor remained when Abram and Lot recommenced their journey toward the land of Canaan. God prospered the servant's journey and search; for there at Haran he found the damsel suited to his young master in the person of Rebekah, daughter of Bethuel and granddaughter of Nahor. She was the daughter, therefore, of Isaac's own cousin. The whole narrative, as recorded in the Bible, is very interesting, and clearly shows the hand of Providence as guiding the purpose of Abraham and directing the course of his servant from first to last.

Isaac took Rebekah into his mother's tent, and she became his wife, and he loved her, and was comforted after his mother's death. Ge 24:67 Isaac was forty years old when he was married, and his residence was by the well of La-hai-roi, in the extreme south of Palestine.

After the marriage of Isaac, Abraham formed a new union with Keturah, by whom he became the father of the Keturaite Arabs. He is said to have married Keturah, but perhaps the union was only that of concubinage, as her sons had no inheritance with Isaac and were sent off eastward with presents, so as to be entirely out of Isaac's way, as Ishmael was in the first instance. To Isaac he gave his great wealth, and then died in a good old age. He died, apparently at Beersheba, at the age of 175. His sons Isaac and Ishmael met at his funeral and buried him in the cave of Machpelah. Ishmael survived him just fifty years, and died at the age of 137.

The character of Abraham is one of the noblest in history. Modest, courteous, judicious, hospitable, generous and affectionate, full of reverence, love and submission to God, he lived a life of pre-eminent faith and prayer, and brought up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Yet twice, influenced by the fear of man, he denied his own wife, and he yielded to her wishes, when Isaac's birth was delayed and he became a polygamist.

The Bible is different from all other books; it whitewashes none of its heroes, patriarchs, prophets, priests or kings, but gives an unvarnished statement of all their most important actions, whether good or bad, with the consequences, so that all may properly judge of them, and, while imitating their virtues, avoid their vices. The ancient worthies of the Old Testament, who, according to the Apostle Paul, form such a great crowd of witnesses for the truth, Heb 11 as well as the Apostles and ministers of the New Testament, who give such honor and glory to God, were all sinners saved by grace, and liable to err either in faith or practice occasionally, during the term of their natural lives. There is no perfection in the flesh, even if it is the flesh of saints. But their sins bring sorrow to their hearts, and produce a continual repentance toward God for the same.

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ENDNOTES:

{1} As the remedy is determined by the disease, one's whole system of theology is decided by his view of original sin. Pelagianism (so called from Pelagius, a British monk of the fifth century), which is a form, not of Christianity, but of Rationalism. asserts that Adam's sin injured only himself; that men are born into the world in the same unfallen state in which Adam was created; that men may, and sometimes do, live without sin: that the law is as good a system of salvation as the gospel: that men have no need of divine assistance in order to be holy: and that Christianity has no essential superiority over heathenism or natural religion. But it is the plain testimony of Scripture, as well as of all known experience and history, and it has always been the doctrine of both the Jewish and the Christian Church, that the sin and guilt of Adam were imputed to all his posterity. Adam was the natural and federal head and representative of his race. Everything said or granted or promised or threatened to him had as much reference to his posterity, as to himself. They, like him, have dominion over the lower animals: their law of marriage is like his; the penalty of transgression pronounced upon him has fallen upon them; the earth is cursed to them, as to him; they too have to earn their bread in the sweat of their face; the daughters of Eve suffer the same peculiar pains as their mother; all mankind, even unborn infants, die, and their bodies return to dust. Since the fall our first parents, all their posterity have been born outside of Eden, away from the favor of God, and with the sinful natures of the first fallen pair. Eph 2:1-3 It seemed good Mt 11:26 to our wise and holy Creator that our race should have its probation or trial in Adam. Adam, when created, was surrounded with a multiplicity of the most exquisite means of innocent enjoyment: he had no natural inclination to evil; he had no known bad company; he was not a child, but a man in the maturity of his powers; he had the noblest possible motives to stand; there is absolutely no reason to believe that any one of his descendants would have done better. Had he stood, we should have enjoyed all the benefits of his obedience. Just as Christ, the second Adam, is the federal head and representative of all His people, and they are made alive and righteous by His obedience, so the first Adam was the federal head and representative of all his children, and, by his disobedience, they were all made unrighteous and spiritually dead. Ro 5:19; 1Co 15:22,45; Eph 2:1 The inborn depravity of human nature is proved by the early manifestation, the universality, and the incorrigibility of sin, by the abundant testimony of both the Old and New Testament Scriptures (Ge 6:5; 8:21; Job 14:4; 25:4; Ps 14:3; 51:5; Isa 1:5-6; Jer 17:9; Mt 7:16-20; 15:19; Joh 3:6; Ro 3:9-20, etc.) by the necessity of redemption by the death of Christ, and of regeneration by the Holy Spirit, by the experience of all Christians, by the whole course of human history, and by the universality of death. The Wesleyans, while admitting the imputation of Adam's sin to his posterity, maintain that such imputation was Just in God only on condition that He should give every individual of the human family sufficient grace in Christ to enable him, if he chooses, to attain salvation -thus taking back with the left hand what they give us with the right, and making themselves semi-Pelagians, and contradicting the whole tenor of the Scriptures, which everywhere affirm or imply that God's gift of Christ was an act of pure and unmerited mercy.

The mysterious principle of representation pervades both Scriptures and nature (Ge 9:22; 25:34, compared with Ob 21; Ex 20:5; 34:6-7; Nu 16:32-33; Jos 6:25; 7:24-25; 1Sa 3:14; 15:2-3; 2Sa 12:10; 21:1-9; 2Ki 5:27; Jer 32:18; Mt 23:35, etc.) The God of nature visits the crimes and vices of individuals in many ways upon their posterity. By finite minds God's "judgments are unsearchable, and His ways past finding out". Ro 11:33 But, though "clouds and darkness are round about Him," his children know that "justice and judgment are the habitation of His throne.". Ps 97:2 We cannot understand the doctrine of representation or imputation, any more than we can understand why an infinitely wise, powerful, , holy and benevolent Being should gave ever permitted the existence of sin and misery in the universe.

{2} In the early rites, symbols and legends of all the most ancient nations is found the tradition that the serpent was somehow associated with the ruin of the human family, and that he was, when thus employed, the vehicle of the Evil Spirit. We are told in the New Testament that a legion of devils, on one occasion, entered a herd of swine, Mr 5:9-13 and that, after the last supper, Satan entered into Judas. Joh 13:27 So the chief of the fallen angels, who may once have been before his fall, the vicegerent of God on earth, and who is now "the prince of the power of the air.", Eph 2:2 hating God, and envying man's happiness, plotted to mar this fairest object of God's terrestrial creation. To accomplish his malignant purpose, he selects the serpent, the subtlest or craftiest of all the animal tribes, and inspires him to tempt Eve, the weaker of the human pair. 2Co 11:3; Re 7:9; 20:2

{3} We see thus the mean, selfish and ungodly tendency of sin, which is to cast the blame upon some one else, whether it be an inferior animal, or another human being, or even upon God, our Maker, who "cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man", Jas 1:12-15 though He tries or proves His people. Ps 7:9; Jer 20:12; Zec 13:9

{4} Or, as the original Hebrew means, "At the gate of the garden God tabernacled, or set as the dwelling place of His shekinah glory, cherubim and a sword-like flame which turned every way, to keep the way to the tree of life." The pointed flame, darting its resplendent beams around on every side, so as to present an effectual bar to all access by the old approach to the garden, symbolized God's unchangeable holiness and justice; while the cherubim symbolized his mercy. The name and the cherubim at the front of Eden seem to have constituted the antediluvian local tabernacle, Ge 4:3-4,14-16 and were the forerunners of the sanctuary, where the cherubim on either side of the shekinah cloud represented the meeting together of God's mercy and Justice in man's redemption. The cherubim, as sculptured or wrought figures in the Tabernacle or the Temple, seem to have had human forms and faces with angelic wings, representing that redeemed men are to be equal to angels; Lu 20:26 and in the visions of Isaiah, Ezekiel and John, they. are living creatures, having four or six wings apiece and having (as in Ezekiel) each four faces, or a lion, an ox, a man and an angel, or each having (as in John) only one of these faces -the four leading forms of animal life being used to represent the perfected life in glory of those redeemed from all the world. Re 4:7; 5:8-9

{5} God's purpose was to destroy the entire wicked race of man, except the family of Noah, and to show the world's need of divine purification. Ge 11:13; 1Pe 3:20-21; Joh 3:5 The flood was no doubt universal, so far as the occupants of the Ark could see, Ge 7:19 and so far as the human race was concerned; but the word "all, " both in Scripture and in popular language, frequently means only a large part. (see Ge 41:57; Ex 9:6,19; De 2:25; Mt 3:5; 21:26: and Webster's Unabridged Dictionary, last edition) These and similar passages of Scripture, together with numerous scientific considerations, have led some of the ablest Bible scholars to believe that the region submerged covered only about a million square miles in Western Asia, where man first dwelt -the object of God being to destroy the corrupt human race. Reckoning 21 inches for the sacred cubit, the ark was only 525 feet long, 87 1/2 broad and 52 1/2 high, and these two-and-a-half million cubic feet could have held, it is said, only one-fourth of the clean animals alone, taking in seven of each kind. The steamship Great Eastern is one-third larger than was the Ark, but it would have been far too small to have held a million living creatures, with twelve months provisions for them, as it must have done, it is said, if the flood had been universal, and two of every unclean and seven of every clean animal had been taken on board. Besides, it is computed that it would have required three times as much water as there is on the globe to have covered the entire earth to the depth of five miles, the altitude of the highest mountains; and Moses does not tell us that any water was created for the purpose, but he does say that the material creation ceased with the creation of Adam. Ge 2:2 Like most of the historical descriptions in Scripture, the account of the deluge is probably the truthful statement of an eye-witness, perhaps Shem, handed down to Moses. As far as his eye could reach, everything on earth was submerged beneath the waters. How forcible an emblem was the deluge of baptism, 1Pe 3:20-21 and the Ark an emblem of Christ. Ge 7:23; Ac 4:12 The Assyrian Deluge Tablet, 4000 years old, but recently exhumed and deciphered, states thirty of the very same facts as are mentioned by Moses in his narrative of the deluge.

After all that may be said, we know that God is omnipotent, and that there are no physical difficulties with Him, and the deluge that He sent upon the wicked race may have been literally as well as optically universal.

{6} The above argument does not prove that, in religious matters, every minority is right; but it does completely destroy, the force of every argument that bases the defense of any religious party upon the great numbers of that party.

{7} Isa 54:7-10 was the first text ever taken by the Junior author of this work in his public ministry, December 10, 1871, at Skewarkey meeting-house, near Williamston, Martin Co., N.C.

{8} Between Adam and Isaac were only two links, Methuselah and Shem. According to the Hebrew numbers, Adam and Methuselah were contemporaneous 243 years. Methuselah and Shem 98 years; and Shem and Isaac 49 years.

{9} The names of Noah's sons were prophetic. Shem signifies name or renown (the Scriptures have been given to us through the family of Shem, and Christ was of that family); Ham signifies hot or black (his descendants mainly peopled Africa); and Japheth signifies either fair or enlarged (his descendants are the white-faced Europeans, who have gone forth and established colonies in all the other grand divisions of the globe).

{10} Qatan, in the twenty-fourth verse, translated "younger, " is elsewhere rendered "'youngest", 1Sa 16:11; 17:14 and its literal meaning is "little." "Little son, " or "young son, " with the Jews often meant grandson: so that many scholars think that the expression here denotes Noah's grandson, Canaan: and they suppose that Canaan first saw Noah and told his father Ham, who then told Shem and Japheth. The word Canaan means low, and denotes him and his posterity as low, morally, socially and geographically. The Canaanites mainly inhabited the Mediterranean lowlands of Palestine and the low-depressed valley of the Jordan. Like their father, they were exceedingly sensual and depraved. Sodom and Gomorrah were Canaanite cities.

{11} The tenth chapter of Genesis is the most interesting and valuable ethnological record in the world. The latest and most critical scientific researches establish its entire accuracy.

{12} The confusion of tongues divinely produced at Babel accounts for all the radical differences between human languages.

{13} Uz, the country of Job, was probably in the middle of Northern Arabia; and the statement of Eusebius, that he lived two ages before Moses, or about the time of Isaac, some 1800 B.C., is probably as correct as can now be ascertained. It is supposed that Moses became acquainted with the book of Job during his stay in Arabia, near Horeb, and introduced it into the Hebrew canon, as calculated to teach the Israelites patience under their afflictions. Job's disease is believed to have been elephantiasis, or black leprosy, the most loathsome and terrible of all diseases. Job 2:7; 7:5,7-8,13-16; 16:8; 19:17; 30:17-21,27,29-30

{14} Elder Silas H. Durand, of Southampton, Penn., is the author of an admirable book called "The Trial of Job, " price $1 (A Hymn and Tune Book, by Elders S. H. Durand and P. G. Lester, may be had of Elder Durand for $1.25).

{15} Though now scattered over the world, the Jews are still a separate and distinct people -living proofs, everywhere among the Gentiles, of the truth of the Old Testament -an absolutely unique feature in the history of the world, which ought to enchain the serious attention of every thinking mind; especially when this extraordinary fact was predicted by Moses 1500 years before their dispersion. De 30:3

{16} "In the midst of his polytheistic kindred, " says Prof. Max Muller, the ablest living philologist, "Abraham obtained his knowledge of the true God by a special divine revelation." So must every true child of God obtain a saving knowledge of the Most High. Mt 11:27; 16:17; Ga 1:12

{17} No other book is so candid and truthful as the Bible. "The faults of the most eminent saints are not glossed over; each saint not only fails at times, but is represented as failing in the very grace (for example, Abraham in faith) for which he was most noted." This proves that all their graces were not of themselves, but were gifts of God; if He did not sustain them they failed. "It deserves to be noticed that throughout the history of the chose race, Egypt was to them the scene of spiritual danger, of covetousness and love of riches, of worldly security, of temptation to rest on an arm of flesh, on man's own understanding, and not on God only. "-A. R. Faussett.

{18} Polygamy began with the Cainites, Ge 4:19-24 and no doubt greatly helped to bring on the fearful Judgment of the flood. Ge 6:1-5 It was practiced by the Hebrews until after their return from Babylon. "The desire of offspring among the Jews was associated with the hope of the promised Redeemer. This in some degree palliates, though it does not justify, the concubinage of Abraham and Jacob. The seeming laxity of morals thus tolerated is a feature in the divine plan arising from its progressive character. In the beginning, when man was sinless, God made but one woman for one man. But, when man fell, and, in the course of developing corruption, strayed more and more from the original law, God provisionally sanctioned a code which imposed some checks on the prevailing licentiousness -the very permission being a witness against the hardness of man's heart. Mt 19:8 Christ restored the original pure code." Mt 19:3-9

{19} It is believed that the wicked cities occupied a part of the site now covered by the Dead Sea There are vast quantities of sulfur and bitumen and salt, and numerous evidences of other than volcanic combustion, in and around that most mysterious body of water. The surface of the Dead Sea is 1,800 feet below the level of the Mediterranean, and its water, in the northern part, is 1,800 feet deep. It is the deepest depression on the surface of the earth: and the air above and around has a hot, steaming, stagnant, sulphurous character; neither animals nor vegetables live in the water: dead driftwood fringe the shores -apt emblems of the low morals of the corrupt inhabitants of the plain, and God's terrible judgment upon them, -spiritual and eternal death.

{20} It was then that Abraham saw Christ's day, and was glad.  Joh 8:56 and yet that faith would not have proved its reality and vitality unless it had worked in loving obedience to God. 1Co 13:2; Ga 5:6; Jas 2:14-16

{21} "Whence came the extraordinary, passionate affection of such sensible men as Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, father, son, grandson and great-grandson, for the hilly and rocky land of Canaan, inhabited by an idolatrous and most corrupt people, while all that they possessed in that land was little more than a grave? What drew Abraham to it from the fertile plain of Mesopotamia, brought him back to it from wealthy and civilized Egypt, and would not let him hear of Isaac leaving it? What made its attractions so irresistible to Jacob, bringing him back to it after long absence, in spite of his exceeding fear of Esau? What made Joseph, the great lord of Egypt, decline the honors of pyramid and mausoleum and bind his brethren so solemnly to bury his bones in the soil of Canaan? Of these strange facts no other feasible explanation can be devised than that it was the promise of God to give to them and their posterity the land of Canaan, and to cause to be born of their descendants, in that land, one in whom all the families of the earth were to be blessed." -W. G. Blaikie.

05- Chapter III From Isaac to the Death of Joshua.

About twenty years after the marriage of Isaac to Rebekah (her barrenness being removed), she brought forth twins, Esau (hairy) or Edom (red) and Jacob (the supplanter). Perhaps no twin brothers were ever more dissimilar in appearance and character than these. There was commotion in the womb, and at birth the hand of Jacob grasped the heel of the first born, Esau, denoting that craft by which he should eventually supplant his brother, and gain the birthright. {1} They were unlike each other mentally and physically. Esau was ruddy and hairy, and became a wild hunter; while Jacob was a smooth man and became a quiet denizen of the tent. These differences of character were fostered by the improper partiality of the parents, which always produces unhappiness in the family circle. "Isaac loved Esau, because he did eat of his venison; but Rebekah loved Jacob". Ge 25:21-28

Esau parted with his birthright, and thereby became a "profane person, " according to the Apostle Paul, Heb 12:16 and he was not in the regular line of succession from Abraham to Christ. On returning from hunting once, very much fatigued and quite hungry, he discovered Jacob preparing some red pottage of lentils, and quickly asked for "some of that red, red." Being impatient for it, his brother seized on the occasion to buy his birthright, and Esau readily promised it to him for the sake of the pottage. He parted with a great deal for a very little. By right of birth he was the head of the family and entitled to be its prophet, priest and king. By birthright he was the head of the chosen family; on him devolved the blessing of Abraham, that in his seed all families of the earth should be blessed. Ge 22:18 By "despising his birthright" he "despised" those rich provisions and great temporal and spiritual blessings which God had in store for the family of Abraham.

When the time came, therefore, for his father Isaac to impart the patriarchal blessing to his first son, Jacob, {2} at the command of Rebekah, served the savory meat to his father, and received the blessing before Esau came with his venison. Isaac was deceived, but would not recant or change his blessing, believing it to be God's will that Jacob should have it; and Esau could not obtain it though he sought it with tears. Ge 27:34 Isaac dwelt quietly in the land of Palestine, his life forming a great contrast to that of his father, Abraham. About Beersheba he resided mostly, and was not allowed to go down into Egypt or out of the promised land. He was much mortified at the marriage of Esau to his two Hittite wives, and favored the errand of Jacob into the land of Padan-aram (Mesopotamia) in search of a wife from among his own kindred. Many years afterward, when Jacob visited him at Hebron, he died, at the age of 180 years.

Jacob pursued his journey toward the land of Padan-aram, with staff in hand, a solitary wanderer, along the path by which Abraham had traversed Canaan. Proceeding northward he lighted on a place, the site, doubtless, of Abraham's encampment near Bethel, twelve miles north of Jerusalem, where he found some stones which probably belonged to the altar set up by Abraham, one of which he made his pillow. Though a poor, selfish sinner and an outcast, in a "waste, howling wilderness", De 32:9-10 a covenant-keeping God graciously visited him in a dream, {3} showed him a ladder {4} reaching from earth to Heaven, upon which the angels of God were ascending and descending, and he heard the voice of God renewing His promises of protection. Jacob concluded that place to be the house of God and the gate of Heaven. He set up his pillow for a monument, consecrating it with oil, and called the place Bethel -the house of God. He is thought at this time to have been in his seventy-seventh year. Jacob arrived at length at Padan-aram, and there the pastoral scenes are revived that were presented to Abraham's servant when he reached there in search of a wife for Isaac. Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban, comes with her sheep to the well, like her aunt Rebekah just a century before, and brings him to the house. Jacob remained with Laban twenty years -fourteen of them for his daughter Rachel, and six on wages. It cannot be said that he served a day for Leah, but she was imposed on him by the craft and deception of her father. During the second seven years Jacob had born to him, by his two {5} wives and their handmaids, eleven sons and one daughter. Benjamin was born on his return to Palestine, near Bethlehem, and his mother died from the effect of giving him birth, and called him Ben-oni (son of my sorrow). But his fond father changed his name to Ben-jamin (son of the right hand).

The following is a list of the twelve sons and a daughter:

"(I.) The sons of Leah: Reuben (see! a son), Simeon (hearing), Levi (joined), Judah (praise), Issachar (hire), Zebulon (dwelling).

"(II.) The sons of Rachel: Joseph (adding), Benjamin (son of the right hand).

"(III.) The sons of Bilhah, Rachel's handmaid: Dan (judging), Naphtali (my wrestling).

"(IV.) The sons of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid: Gad (a troop), Asher (happy). Besides Dinah (judgment), the daughter of Leah. (Ge 35:23-26) -W. Smith.

After twenty years, absence from Canaan, and just after escaping from his avaricious father-in-Law-laban-jacob, returning to Palestine, has to meet his dreaded brother Esau, whom he had defrauded of his birthright and his blessing. The God of Bethel comforts Jacob again with a vision of angels at Mahanaim. But Jacob learns that Esau is approaching him with four hundred men. What shall he do with his large and helpless family and flocks? Defenseless, distressed and terrified, poor Jacob betakes himself to his only possible resort, a covenant God, and utters the first recorded prayer of Scripture, Ge 32:9-12 a prayer most remarkable for faith, fervor, humility and tenderness. Feeling unworthy of the least of all God's manifold mercies and truth, he implores the God of the covenant to deliver him and his family from the hand of his brother Esau; and he pleads the Divine promises in his behalf. Rising up the next morning, he sends his brother a present of five hundred and fifty cattle to appease his anger; he takes his family across the brook Jabbok, and returns himself alone to the north bank of the stream. That night -the most solemn of Jacob's life -the angel of Jehovah (Christ) appears to him in human form, and Jacob wrestles with him until the break of day, for a blessing (compare Lu 6:12). "God frequently does not answer the prayer of His people till the last moment -till, by the very delay -strengthening the spirit of prayer, and by the continued exercise of it -their hearts are brought into such a state of submission and of faith that they become suitable recipients of the blessing." Then, to show that the blessing is all of grace, the angel touches Jacob's thigh and puts it out of joint, and, when the poor man is able to put forth no more strength of his own, he still hangs upon the angel with supplication and tears; Ho 12:3-4; Heb 5:7 and thus "not by might or power, but by the indwelling Spirit of the Lord of hosts, " Zec 4:6 he prevails at last, "teaching us the irresistible might of conscious weakness, hanging on Almighty strength". (Job 23:6; Isa 27:5; 40:29-31; 2Co 12:9-10) Jacob's name is changed by the angel to Israel, wrestler with God, because he has been permitted by grace Zec 4:7 to struggle with God and prevail. He asks God's name, and the only reply is, God "blessed him there." Blessing is God's name or character wherein He reveals Himself to His people. Ex 34:5-7 Jacob called the place Peniel, the face of God. The sun arises upon him, naturally and spiritually, and he rejoices in its beams; but, stripped of vain self-confidence, he goes a poor cripple -a poor sinner saved by grace -all the remainder of his life. When Jacob meets Esau the next day, the anger of the latter is all gone, and the occasion is one of tenderness, and weeping, and love. Pr 16:7

Abraham bought only a burial place in Canaan; Jacob bought a dwelling-place near Shechem (or Sychar), and in his field dug a deep well, through the rocks, where Christ afterwards rested. Joh 4:6 He erected an altar for the worship of God, and soon after was greatly troubled because of the sins of Dinah, Simeon and Levi. By God's direction he removed to Bethel, and there also raised an altar to God, and purged his house of idols; and God again appeared to him and renewed the covenant of promise. Soon after, he lost his beloved Rachel, and he and Esau buried their father Isaac, who died at the age of one hundred and eighty years.

The vision of Abraham, notifying him of the sojourn of his posterity in the land of Egypt four hundred years, as in a house of bondage, must be verified, and the envy of Joseph's brethren made way for it. Joseph was the favorite son of his father, and this partiality was so clearly seen that it produced envy in the minds of his ten older brethren. This was the fault of his father, but none of Joseph's. The character of Joseph is one of the purest in the Bible; his history one of the most interesting, and his life one of the most forcible types {6} of the Messiah. His dreams predicted the superiority of his position to theirs, and they but hated him the more for his dreams, and they resolved to kill him. On being sent by his father to see how they fared while watching their sheep, he found them at Dothan, and there they designed to destroy him, but were diverted from their purpose, and they finally sold to a company of Midianites that were passing by on their way to Egypt, bearing spices and gums from the Syrian desert. They sold him for twenty pieces of silver, and the purchasers took him into Egypt and resold him to Potiphar, captain of the king's guard. Everything prospered in the house of Potiphar for Joseph's sake, and his wife became so enamored with him that she assaulted his virtue, unsuccessfully, however, and then became his bitter enemy and accused him to her husband, who thrust him into prison. Things in the prison prospered under his management, and he became an interpreter of dreams. Pharaoh had dreams, and Joseph was taken to his presence to interpret them. He did so under the enlightening influence of God's Spirit; and told the king that there would be in Egypt seven years of plenty, to be immediately followed by seven years of famine; and advised him to appoint some one to superintend the matter, and gather up in store a sufficiency during the plentiful years to support the people during the seven years of scarcity.

Pharaoh wisely concluded that he who interpreted the dreams was the most suitable person to entrust the business with, and appointed Joseph second ruler in his kingdom. He made him his vicegerent over Egypt, and gave him his own signet, the indisputable mark of royal power. Clothed with fine linen robes, wearing a collar of gold, and riding in the second royal chariot, before which the people were bidden to fall prostrate, Joseph was proclaimed, with all the ceremonies which we still see represented on the monuments, prime minister of Egypt. He was only then about thirty years old, being seventeen when sold by his brethren. "The Coptic name which Pharaoh gave him was Zaphnath-paaneah (a revealer of secrets). He also gave him for wife Asenath, the daughter of Poti-pherah, priest or prince of On (Heliopolis), who bore him two sons during the seven years of plenty. As a token of oblivion of his former life he named his elder son Manasseh (forgetting), and he called the younger son Ephraim (double fruitfulness), in grateful commemoration of his blessings. When Joseph afterward became his father's heir, the double share of inheritance which fell to him was indicated by each of his sons ranking with the sons of Jacob as the head of a distinct tribe."

When the years of famine set in and the corn in Canaan was exhausted, Jacob sent his ten sons down to buy corn in Egypt. Joseph spake harshly to them, but let them have the corn without charge. The second time they went he was made known to them, and they returned home with the glad tidings to their father that Joseph was alive. The incidents of these two visits are, we have thought, among the most interesting and thrilling in history; and the pathetic appeal of Judah before Joseph in behalf of Benjamin's release is, for pathos and true merit, we think, unsurpassed by any oration ever committed to record.

At the urgent request of Joseph, Jacob and his family went down into Egypt and settled in the goodly land of Goshen. Thus we find the church in Egypt, in the year of the world 2294, B.C. 1706, to be nursed by the Almighty, and to multiply until it became a nation to vindicate its own rights and march through unfriendly nations to the promised land again

The number is made up as follows:

I. The children of Leah, 32, viz.: (1) Reuben and four sons, 5 (2) Simeon and six sons, 7 (3) Levi and three sons, 4 (4) Judah and five sons (of whom 2 were dead) and two grandsons, 6 (5) Issachar and four sons, 5 (6) Zebulon and three sons, 4 Dinah, 1 II. The children of Zilpah, considered as Leah's, 16, viz.: (7) Gad and seven sons, 8 (8) Asher, four sons, one daughter, and two grandsons, 8 III. The children of Rachel, 14, viz.: (9) Joseph (see below) (10) Benjamin and ten sons, 11 IV. The children of Bilhah, considered as Rachel's, 7, viz.: (11) Dan and one son, 2 (12) Naphtali and four sons, 5

___ Total of those that came with Jacob into Egypt, 66 To these must be added Jacob, Joseph, and two sons, 4

___ Total of Israel's house, 70

These are the numbers of the Hebrew text, Ge 46; De 10:22 but the Septuagint completes the genealogy by adding the children of Manasseh and Ephraim, who of course ranked with those of the sons of Jacob, namely, Machir, the son of Manasseh, and Galeed (Gilead), the son of Machir (2), Sutalaam (Shutelah) and Taam (Tathath), the sons of Ephraim, and Edom, the son of Sutalaam (3), making five in all. These five added to the seventy makes seventy-five in all, the number mentioned by Stephen in his defense before the Sanhedrim, quoting from the Septuagint -the version commonly used then, especially by the Hellenistic Jews, with whom his discussion began. Ac 7:14 Wonderful is the comparison between this handful of persons and that vast multitude who left Egypt under Moses, when the day of their bondage had ended. Moses then estimated them to be six hundred thousand men, able to bear arms, from twenty years old and upward, besides women of a corresponding age and all minors, both male and female.

Four hundred and thirty years are reckoned from the promise made to Abraham to the giving of the law at Sinai (B.C. 1921 -B.C. 1491), according to the received chronology. Ga 3:17 This period of time was about equally divided by Abraham and his descendants -say 215 years in Egypt.

From the death of Joseph to the exodus was 144 years, and we may conclude that the length of rigorous oppression was only about 100 years. Their increase in numbers was perhaps unprecedented, as it is said of them, before another king arose who knew not Joseph: "And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them". Ex 1:7 And when oppression came, their increase was not much retarded, but went on almost miraculously.

The patriarch Jacob dwelt in Egypt seventeen years, and then, yielding up the ghost, was gathered to his fathers, and buried by Joseph and his brethren, the elders both of Israel and Egypt and a great military retinue, in the cave of Machpelah in the land of Canaan. He lived to the age of 147 years.

Before dying, he called his sons to his bedside and told them what should befall them in the last days. He describes their characters and predicts their future tribal careers. This is a very interesting portion of Scripture, even to our dull understanding, and if we could exactly understand all that is said, it would be more so.

In the prophetic scene opened to the dying patriarch, Judah is the central figure. Ge 49:8-12 He was to be the praise of his brethren, and the conqueror of his enemies. Jacob likens him to a lion; the standard of this tribe afterwards was a lion. Jacob adds: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." All Jewish and Christian antiquity understood this to be a prophecy of the Messiah, or Christ. Judah was to be the chief or ruling tribe (as it indeed proved to be -all the descendants of Jacob now in the world being called Jews, from Judah); and Judah was not to lose its political existence and supremacy until Shiloh, or the Peace-giver, should appear out of that tribe, and unto Him should the obedience of the nations be. "Judah never ceased to be a tribe with at least a tribal sceptre and lawgiver, Sanhedrim or Senators, until the destruction of Jerusalem, A.D. 70. The power of life and death is said to have been taken by the Roman procurators, or governors, about A.D. 30, or the time of the crucifixion of Christ. Joh 18:31-32 The Idumean, Herod the Great, though appointed by the Roman Senate king of Judah, B. C. 40, ruled as a native sovereign, even rebuilding or extensively repairing and beautifying the temple, until his death, B.C. 4. A short time before his death, in the same year, Christ was born. Archelaus, Herod's son and successor, was deposed A.D. 6. Then Rome appointed foreign procurators over Judea in the following order: Sabinus, Coponius, Ambivius, Rufus, Valerius, Grams, and Pontius Pilate. This is the first of four Old Testament prophecies of the very time of the coming of Christ, the other three being Da 2:44; 9:24-27; Hag 2:6-9.

Joseph survived his father fifty-four years; no doubt he remained in favor at the Court of Pharaoh while he lived. Before dying he took an oath of his brethren, that they would carry his bones for burial into the land of Canaan, when the Lord should visit them with deliverance. He died at the age of 110. His remains were embalmed and preserved in Egypt until the Israelites left it, and were then taken along with them and buried at last in Canaan.

When there arose a new king over Egypt which knew not Joseph, Ex 1:8 then the afflictions of the Israelites began in earnest. He was afraid of their numbers and doubted their allegiance. In case of a foreign war he apprehended they might takes sides with the enemy and thereby achieve their own independence. Said he to his people, They "are more and mightier than we." "Let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, " etc. Ge 1:9-10 Task-masters were placed over them, heavy burdens imposed, and they were made to serve with rigor. They still increased. The king commanded the midwives to destroy their male children at birth. This command was disregarded, because the midwives feared God more than they did the king. Then he ordained that every male child should be thrown into the river, and charged all his people to carry into execution this edict. In this he overreached himself, as Satan often does; for a Hebrew child thrown into the river was instrumental in plaguing his people, leading off every Israelite from his dominions, and spoiling the glory of his empire.

"Amram, the son of Kohath, son of Levi, had espoused Jochebed, who was also of the tribe of Levi, and they had already two children, a daughter called Miriam (the same name as the Mary of the New Testament), and a son named Aaron. Another son was born soon after the king's edict. With maternal fondness increased by the boy's beauty, and in faith (as it seems) on a prophetic intimation of his destiny, his mother hid him for three months. Ex 2:2 When concealment was no longer possible, Jochebed prepared a covered basket of papyrus, daubed with bitumen to make it water-tight, and placed it among the rushes on the banks of the Nile, or one of the canals, leaving Miriam to watch the result at a distance. To that very spot the daughter of Pharaoh came down to bathe. She saw the ark, and sent one of the maidens to fetch it. As she opened it the babe wept, and touched with pity she said, 'This is one of the Hebrews' children.' At this moment Miriam came forward, and having received the princess's permission to find a nurse, she went and fetched the child's mother. While she reared him as the son of Pharaoh's daughter, she doubtless taught him the knowledge of the true God and the history of the chosen race. In all other respects Moses was brought up as an Egyptian prince, and 'he was educated in all the wisdom of the Egyptians.' Stephen adds that 'he was mighty in words and in deeds; ' and whatever we may think of the traditions about this period of his life, it was certainly a part of his training for his great mission." (Ac 7:22) -W. Smith.

When Moses was grown he "refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter; choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt". Heb 11:24-26

He went out to see how his brethren were faring under their grievous oppressions. He saw an Egyptian task-master beating one of them. He slew the oppressor and hid him in the sand. The second day he went out to see them, and found two of them striving together; and said to him that did his neighbor wrong, "Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow?" And he said, "Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? Wilt thou kill me as thou killedst the Egyptian?" And Moses feared and said, "Surely this thing is known." When Pharaoh heard of it he sought to slay Moses, but Moses fled from his face and dwelt in the land of Midian. Ex 2:11-15 The Midianites were, no doubt, descendants of Abraham and Keturah, and at that time inhabited the desert which surrounded the head of the Red Sea. He made the acquaintance of Jethro (also called Reuel and Hobab), the priest or prince of Midian, who had seven daughters, one of whom (Zipporah) was given to Moses in marriage. Moses dwelt in Midian forty years. His life may be said to have been divided into three equal parts, viz.: 1st, forty years an Egyptian; 2nd, forty years an Arabian; and 3rd, forty years the leader of Israel; making one hundred and twenty years in all. His long and splendid human training in Egypt had not corrected his natural rashness and self-confidence; therefore God disciplines him in humility forty years in the wilderness, apart from human habitations; and, as the result of his Divine schooling, Moses becomes the most meek, patient and self-distrustful of men, feeling himself, when he was really most qualified, to be least qualified for the great work of delivering and leading Israel. Nu 12:3; Ex 4:1-17 And so, about 1500 years afterwards, the rash and self-confident Saul of Tarsus, who was to become the great Apostle of the Gentiles, was led by the providence and Spirit of God into this same Arabian desert, far from flesh and blood, and there effectually taught, not by men, but by God, the utter insufficiency of all human learning and all legal righteousness -even the strictest obedience to the law given by Moses -and the glorious freeness and almighty power of the gospel of the Son of God. Ga 1; Php 3:3-11; Ro 1:15-16

At the end of forty years in the desert, God appeared to Moses in the back side of the desert, on the mountain of God, even Horeb, and there gave him an unmistakable call as the leader of His people out of Egypt. The burning bush, which was not consumed, gave him a striking figure of the afflictions of the Israelites in Egypt, and also was a forcible type of God's people in all ages of the world. Like the thorn-bush of the desert, they are lowly and poor and naturally unattractive; Zep 3:12; Isa 53:2; Ro 8:29; 1Co 1:27-28 and they have been burning, and burning, and burning, under the cruel hand of oppression, throughout every dispensation to the present time, and are even yet not consumed. The promise of Christ has hitherto been fulfilled, and will be to the end of the world: "Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". Mt 16:18 The flame in the bush also represents that God dwells in His people. Ex 3:2; Zec 2:5; Isa 4:4; 57:15; Mal 3:2; Mt 3:11; Ac 2:3-4

God assured Moses that he had seen the afflictions of His people in Egypt, had heard their cry and had come down to deliver them. Moses pleaded his want of eloquence and his slowness of speech, and wished to be excused from making the announcement to Israel, and from appearing before Pharaoh. But Jehovah was not to be put off with excuses. Moses was the chosen vessel of God to demand the release of His people from Pharaoh, and to lead them out of Egypt, and he must obey the call. His brother Aaron was to accompany him as the more fluent speaker. The former king had died, and Moses ventured to approach his successor. But he found two obstacles in the way; first, the unwillingness of Pharaoh, and afterwards, the unwillingness of the Israelites because of their increased burdens; for, as the demands were repeated, their burdens were increased.

Pharaoh refused to let the people go three days into the wilderness and worship their God, and the Almighty began to afflict Egypt. Sometimes the heart of Pharaoh would begin to relent, but soon was hardened again, so that he would recall his promise and bid the task-masters increase their abuses of, and augment the heavy tasks imposed on, the poor afflicted people of God.

The plagues came in this order: 1. The plague of blood; 2, the plague of frogs; 3, the plague of lice; 4, the plague of flies; 5, the plague of the murrain of beasts; 6, the plague of boils and blains; 7, the plague of hail; 8, the plague of locusts; 9, the plague of darkness; and 10, the plague of slaying the first-born in every house. The last plague sufficed, and Pharaoh and his people rose up and urged the Israelites to leave their land.

The Israelites were prepared to go; having borrowed (or rather requested) what they would of the Egyptians -having killed the paschal lamb, sprinkled the lintels of their doors with its blood, and eaten its flesh as their paschal supper -with loins girded and staff in hand, they awaited the command to march. God gave the command through Moses, and His presence in the pillar of cloud to direct their course encouraged their hearts, and they moved out of the land of Goshen toward the Red Sea. It was a vast multitude, and, although so numerous, order was preserved and no stragglers left behind. Their number is estimated to have been 2,500,000. They went out on the fourteenth day of the Jewish month Nisan or Abib (March to April), Which begun about the time of the vernal equinox, and which thus made the first month of the ecclesiastical year. This was the great day of the feast when the paschal supper was eaten, but the preparations had already been made by the command of God. Seven days afterwards the Israelites were to eat unleavened bread, and no leaven was to be found in their houses.

This paschal lamb typified the Savior of sinners, "the Lamb of God who taketh away the sin of the world". Joh 1:29 The wrath of God passed over the houses of those whose door-posts were sprinkled with the blood of the lamb; and so does the wrath of God pass over the souls of those the door-posts of whose hearts are sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. Re 13:8 Says Paul to the Corinthians: "Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us; therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth". 1Co 5:7-8

"This exodus or departure of the Israelites from Egypt closed the four hundred and thirty years of their pilgrimage, which began from the call of Abram out of Ur of the Chaldees. Having learned the discipline of God's chosen family, and having been welded by the hammer of affliction into a nation, they were now called forth under the prophet of Jehovah, alike from the bondage and the sensual pleasures of Egypt, to receive the laws of their new state, amid the awful solitudes of Sinai." -W. Smith.

Pharaoh, who is a type of Satan, after being compelled to let the people go, repented of his lenity, and grieved at the loss of his slaves. That he might be entirely overthrown, he gathered six hundred of his chosen chariots and all his military array, and pursued after them. He overtook them at Pi-hahiroth, about thirty miles in a direct line from where they started. They had gone three days' journey, and in doing so turned aside from the apparent direct course, and encamped before Pi-hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea, over against Baalzephon. This apparently strange and unexpected route pleased Pharaoh well -the sea on their east, the mountains on their south and west, and the wilderness in their rear, with the pursuing army pressing on to cut off their retreat. Well might the king say, "They are entangled in the wilderness; the sea hath shut them in". Ex 14:3 At the command of God, Moses commanded the people to hush their murmuring -to stand still and see the salvation of God. He stretched his rod over the sea, and then urged them to go forward, when the waters divided, standing up on the right hand and on the left, and the entire host passed over dry-shod, and rested on the opposite shore. The Egyptian army, though so near them, could not trouble the hosts of Israel, because the pillar of cloud went back, and stood at the rear of the Israelite army and in front of Pharaoh's, presenting darkness to the latter and light to the former, until the peril was over. Then the army of Pharaoh pursued along the same path in the sea, making slow progress, until their entire number was situated between the two shores; when, at the command of God, Moses again lifted up his rod over the sea, and the waters returned to their original bed, drowning every man and beast of the entire Egyptian host.

This was one of the most celebrated miracles ever performed and recorded in the history of the chosen family of God since the flood. And, like that wonderful phenomenon, the remembrance of it hath run down the generations of man among contiguous and distant nations, outside the chosen family, to the present period, as well as having been noted and extolled, in song and sermon, by Jews and Christians, through all the past ages since its occurrence, and will be to the end of time.

The Israelites, after giving thanks to God for their deliverance, took up their line of march for the mount of God. They thirsted and complained, and found the waters of Marah, which, being bitter and unpalatable, they murmured the more. These were sweetened by a tree which Moses threw into the waters, and then the people became contented. {7} But great was their delight when they reached the beautiful oasis of Elim, where there were twelve wells of water and three score and ten palm trees, the trees to afford them shelter and the wells to afford them water, as a recompense for their weary journey over thirsty land and in the heat of the sun. These were figurative of the twelve tribes and seventy elders, in the old dispensation, and the twelve apostles and seventy ministers of the gospel, in the new. Their food brought from Egypt failing them, God rained down manna from Heaven to them, which they only had to gather and eat, and this continued during their stay in the wilderness. The Sabbath may have been disregarded to some extent while they were in Egypt, and if so it was now revived and its observance enforced by the prohibition to gather any manna on that day, a double quantity being gathered on the day previous. Ex 16:4,35 The manna is a forcible type of Christ, who is the bread that cometh down from Heaven, of which, if a man partake, he shall never die. Joh 6:50 They next march to Rephidim, where they become thirsty, and break out in an angry rebellion against Moses. God commanded Moses to smite the rock in Horeb, which he did, and the waters gushed out in sufficient quantity to supply all their need. And not only so, but it continued to supply them during their journeyings in the wilderness. Hence the Apostle considers this the rock that followed them, and that it was a type of Christ 1Co 10:4; Ex 17:2-7; Ps 78:16. It was at Rephidim that Israel fought his first great battle, and gained the victory. It was against his kinsman Amalek, a nomad tribe, descended from Eliphaz, the son of Esau. The Amalekites seem to have inhabited the southern part of Palestine and all Arabia Petrea, so as to command the routes leading from Egypt into Asia. The cause for attacking Israel is not stated; whether for plunder or hatred we cannot determine. Israel prevailed by the sign of their lawgiver holding up and having his hands held up till the evening (probably representing "the efficacy of intercessory prayer"). When his hands were up, holding the rod, Israel prevailed; and when his hands were down, Amalek prevailed. In order to victory, Moses was seated on a rock, and beside him on the mountain stood his brother Aaron, and Hur, the husband of Miriam, one on either side, supporting his hands until the going down of the sun. This battle was representative of all the others fought by them before their entrance into Canaan. For, in all the others, they sometimes lost and sometimes gained the victory, but finally gained until they crossed the Jordan in triumph. Joshua was chosen leader of the host. Moses was commanded of God to write this battle and triumph in a book and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua. "For, " said he, "I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven." "And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah-Nissi" (Jehovah is my banner), as though he had held up his God to the Amalekites when the battle was raging. Ex 17:8-15 About this time Moses' father-in-law Jethro visited him, and brought Moses' wife and children to him, and advised him to share his labors with others -to ordain captains over tens, fifties, hundreds, and thousands, which he did.

The Israelites next halt at the wilderness of Sinai on the first day of the third month -Sivan, June, Ex 19:1-2 and present themselves before the Lord. God had said to Moses, "When thou hast brought forth the people out of Egypt, ye shall serve God upon this mountain". Ex 3:12 They had now reached the place, and they awaited in awful adoration what was to follow. Thus we behold a nation, at the foot of a mountain in a waste howling wilderness, preparing to sacrifice to and worship God! What a sublime spectacle! History furnishes no parallel. Four hundred and thirty years before, one man was called out of Ur of the Chaldees and a numerous seed promised him. Two-and-a-half millions of his posterity (large numbers having died in Canaan and Egypt in the interim) appear before Him this day, A.M. 2513, B.C. 1491. Here God was to address them from the mountain, and tell them what to do and what not to do. Here was a nation, as one man, looking up to God for direction, and promising obedience to His commands.

The lightnings and thunderings, the noise of the trumpet, the shaking of the mountain, the smoke on its crest, the voice of God addressed to them, all produced such dread and consternation that they were overwhelmed with fear; and they stood afar off beseeching Moses that they might not hear that voice again. The Ten Commandments were proclaimed by the voice of the Almighty, and then written on two tablets of stone by Him, and entrusted to the care of Moses. The first four declared the duty of the people to God, and the remaining six their duty to each other. Ex 20:1-17 The Savior reduced them to two, and said, On these two hang all the Law and the Prophets -viz.: Love to God and love to man. Mt 22:37-40 Moses was then taken into thick darkness on the mountain, where God spake with him so long, even forty days, imposing the observances of the judicial and ceremonial law, that the people lost their patience, and requested Aaron to make them gods to go before them, for "as for this man Moses, they wist not what had become of him."

This was on the fortieth day of his absence. They gave their jewelry to Aaron, who threw it into the fire, and out came the likeness of a calf, the image of the Egyptian god, Apis, unto which they made an altar, before which they feasted and rose up to play, crying, "These be thy gods, O Israel, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt". Ex 32:1-6

Moses and Joshua, coming down the mountain, saw what the people were doing, and Moses was so filled with anger that he threw down and broke {8} the two tables of stone on which God had written the Ten Commandments. He reproved Aaron and the people for this idolatrous proceeding -burnt the calf -made a powder of it -put it in water and compelled them to drink the mixture, and sent volunteers of the tribe of Levi through the camps slaying in all directions, until three thousand fell before the terrible sword in one day, as a punishment for this great transgression.

The nation of Israelites at this time contained vast numbers within its limits that were not spiritual members of the mystical body of Christ -did not belong to His spiritual kingdom -by living faith in Him as their Redeemer to come. It is true that the nation was typical of the church of God under the Christian dispensation, in many respects; yet there were those among them who were only children of the flesh and not the children of promise. "For they are not all Israel which are of Israel". Ro 9:6

As a nation they were in covenant relation to God; but many among them were continually breaking the covenant and rendering themselves obnoxious to His displeasure. Their wanderings in the wilderness are typical of the peculiar experience of God's people in their pilgrimage from bondage to rest -rest in the gospel church, and rest in Heaven, of both of which Canaan is, in some respects, a type (Heb 3 and Heb 4).

God gave to Moses other tables of stone, like unto the first, and required him to deposit them in the ark for safe keeping. The first represented our safety in Adam, which failed; the second represented our safety in Christ, which cannot fail.

Moses was commanded to make a tabernacle and its furniture; and he did so according to the pattern shown him in the mount. This was set up for the worship of God; in it were placed the ark of the covenant and all the vessels necessary for use in the worship of God. Aaron and his sons were anointed to the priesthood; and God manifested His approval and presence by the cloud which rested upon the tabernacle and the fire that descended from Heaven on the sacred altar. This tabernacle was to be used in all their wanderings and wars until the temple of Solomon should be built, of which this was a model, and then its contents were to be placed within that magnificent structure, and the priests find rest for the soles of their feet.

The court, or outer enclosure, of the tabernacle was surrounded by canvas screens, and enclosed a space of fifty cubits (about 75 feet) north and south, and a hundred cubits (150 feet) east and west. The entrance was at the eastern end. Between the entrance and the tabernacle proper was the brazen altar of burnt offering; and between the altar and the tabernacle was the laver, at which the priests washed their hands and feet on entering the tabernacle. At the western end of the court or enclosure was the tabernacle proper, an oblong rectangular tent-covered structure, thirty cubits long by ten broad and ten high, open at the eastern end, and divided internally into two apartments. The central ridge-pole of the tent was fifteen cubits high. The first or eastern apartment of the tabernacle was twenty cubits long, and was called the first or outer or anterior tabernacle, or the sanctuary, or the holy place; the second or western apartment was a cube of ten cubits each way, and was called the second or inner or interior tabernacle, or the oracle, or the sanctum sanctorum, or the Holy of Holies, or the Most Holy Place. Between these two apartments hung a veil of blue and purple and scarlet and white linen, the predominating color being blue. To every part of the tabernacle and its furniture was applied the holy anointing oil. On the south side of the Holy Place stood the seven-branched golden candlestick, supplied with pure olive oil every day, burning all night long, and snuffed with golden snuffers every morning, and the snuff carried off in golden dishes. Opposite the golden candlestick, on the north side of the Holy Place, stood the gold-overlaid table of show-bread, on which were twelve cakes of unleavened bread, arranged in two piles, with a golden cup of frankincense on each, and two bowls of wine between the piles, the loaves being renewed every Sabbath, and the stale loaves with the frankincense being eaten by the priests. Between the table and the candlestick, in the Holy Place, just before the veil, stood the golden altar of incense, on which incense of a peculiar, rare, and sacred composition was offered every morning and evening by the priests, the fire being always taken from the altar of burnt-offering. In the Most Holy Place, just within the veil, and in front of the altar of incense, was placed the ark of the covenant, containing the two tables of the law, the golden pot of manna, and Aarons rod that budded, and covered by the golden lid called the mercy-seat, on each end of which stood the figure of a cherub, with outstretched wings, and with faces inclined toward each other, and toward the mercy-seat. Between the cherubim, and just above the mercy-seat, was the golden cloud of the Divine Presence, called the Shekinah, (or dwelling). The cost of the tabernacle and its furniture is estimated to have been a million and a quarter of dollars. In Solomons temple, the general proportions of the tabernacle were doubled, the length being sixty cubits, the width twenty, and the height of the Holy Place thirty cubits, of the Most Holy Place twenty cubits, making the latter a perfect cube, as in the tabernacle; there was no window in the Most Holy Place. The estimates of the cost of Solomons temple range from half a billion to five billion dollars, there being such a vast quantity of gold used in its construction. It was small but very costly. The court of Solomons temple is thought to have been one hundred cubits north and south, and two hundred east and west. The temple of Zerubbabel was one hundred cubits long, sixty broad and sixty high; and this temple, as thoroughly repaired by Herod, had an enclosure four hundred cubits square (about a furlong square), containing three courts, those of the Gentiles, of women, and of Israelites. The dimensions of Ezekiels ideal (millennial) temple at Jerusalem were the same as those of Solomons temple; but it had an outer court measuring five hundred reeds on each of its sides; that is, about a mile square, which is larger than the entire area of ancient Jerusalem

Some of the spiritual lessons which God teaches Israel by the tabernacle we will now endeavor briefly to indicate. The tabernacle represents Christs mystical body, the church, in which God dwells, and Israel draws nigh to God through atonement and regeneration, and with offerings, prayers and praises. The court represents the Jewish dispensation; the Holy Place, the Christian dispensation; the Most Holy Place, the glorified church. In the worlds great wilderness, the church is a little garden enclosed by divine grace. Its aspect is toward the rising Sun of Righteousness. Every one who enters the true church must have the saving application of the Holy Spirit, represented by the holy anointing oil, and must pass by the altar of burnt-offering, and with the eye of faith behold the Lamb of God atoning thereon for his sins; and he must be washed in the laver of His precious bloodcleansed by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost. The blood comes first, and then the water; so faith in Christs blood should come first, and then the water of baptism, and then admission into the church. In the midst of the spiritual darkness of this world, the child of God should let his light shinethat light proceeding entirely, not from the candlestick, but from the oil of the grace and Spirit of Christ in his heart. In order for that light to burn well, the snuffs of carnal thoughts, words and deeds will frequently have to be trimmed off with the snuffers of trial, reproof and admonition, and, so as not to defile the sanctuary, be carried off with the snuff-dishes of either repentance or church censure. Having the old leaven of malice and wickedness thus purged out, he is prepared to approach the table of the Lord, and celebrate that sacred and solemn feast with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth, and thus from Sabbath to Sabbath have his spiritual grace renewed. Though a poor sinner, and feeling himself to be such, he is yet a priest unto God, and therefore every morning and evening, and indeed evermore, should he desire to approach the golden altar, and draw as near as he may to the blessed mercy-seat, and, through the medium of Christs prevailing atonement and intercession, pour out his fervent supplications and thanksgivings to the God of his salvation. His great High Priest and Mediator, after having made a real, an agonizing and an efficacious atonement for him, passed beyond the veil of the white, scarlet and purple clouds, and the blue heavens, and entered the true Holy of Holies, and there now successfully pleads the merit of His blood for every member of His mystical body. The seven branches of the candlestick represent all the different churches of Christ at different times and places, each independent of the other in its local government, but all united to one stem, Christ, and pervaded by the oil or grace of one Spirit, having one Lord, one faith and one baptism. The twelve loaves of bread represent the twelve tribes of Israel, continually shown or presented before the Lord, dedicated to Him, and accepted, with all their offerings, by Him, through the sweet frankincense of Christs mediation, and ever partaking of His blessings. The profusion of gold represents the preciousness, beauty, solidity and purity of the church of Christ. The perfect cube of the Holy of Holies, 10 by 10 by 10, with squares in every direction, containing the Shekinah in the midst of darkness, symbolizes the perfection, order and stability of the Divine Trinity, dwelling in inaccessible light, enveloped with impenetrable darkness. It is the parable of Gods presence and nature in creation, in providence and in grace. The cherubim represent the highest creaturely life, at once manifesting and concealing God, and glorying in loving submission to Him, and interested in His wonderful plan of redemption. The ark of the covenant is Christ Jesus, who above all others has ever kept the holy law of God, and who has kept that law for His people, so that the mercy of God covers all the violations of the law, and God always l rod of universal and eternal power, and an everlasting sufficiency of heavenly provision for all the needs of His covenant people. The perpetual preservation of the law in this innermost shrine of the Divine worship represents the infinite and unchangeable holiness of God, also requiring perfect holiness in all those who abide in His presence. None can so abide except the living, as indicated by the blood brought annually into the Most Holy Place by the High Priest; for the blood is the life; and yet, separated from the animal, it also represents death, signifying that, in order to worship God aright, the flesh must be slain, the heart must be dead to all creature-worship, and alive unto God. The duplication of the tabernacle in Solomon's temple represented the double emphasizing of all these momentous truths.

The priests typified all spiritual Israelites, while the High Priest typified Christ. The priests (the family of Aaron) were especially chosen of God; the peculiar property of God; holy to God; and offered gifts to God, and received gifts from God. Their ceremonial holiness was indicated by their original consecration by the holy anointing oil (representing the Holy Spirit in every believer); by their constant purification by water; by their cleanly linen robes; by the completeness of their bodily parts, and by their avoidance of bodily defilement. They were to devote themselves to the service of the Lord, and were to have no earthly inheritance, but the Lord was to be their portion, and to supply all their needs. All elect saints are priests unto God, 1Pe 2:5,9; Re 1:6; 5:10 specially chosen by the Father, specially redeemed by the Son, and specially purified by the Spirit; qualified to offer up to God the acceptable sacrifices of humble, broken and thankful hearts, and to receive assurances of His pardoning love; and they should always keep their garments unspotted from the world; and feel deeply to rejoice, whatever temporal ills may betide them, that the Lord is their all-sufficient and everlasting portion.

The High Priest was anointed far more abundantly than the priests with the holy anointing oil, which was poured upon his head, so that it ran down upon his beard, and even to the skirts of his garments; just as Christ was anointed (the very name means anointed) with the Holy Spirit without measure, and this Spirit of holiness and love streams down from Him upon all, even the lowest members of His mystical body. Joh 3:34; Ps 138; Mt 9:20; Joh 1:16 The rich, gorgeous, variegated ephod of the High Priest, with its sky-blue robe, typified the glorious, heavenly righteousness of Christ. "The skirt of the robe was ornamented with pomegranates of blue, purple and scarlet, a small golden bell being attached between each two of the pomegranates; the bells' sound heard from within the veil by those outside assured them that the High Priest, though out of sight, was still alive, and was ministering in their behalf acceptably before God. These sweet-sounding bells typified the gospel's joyful sound; Ps 89:15 and the pomegranates represented the spiritual fruits which accompany gospel preaching. Eph 5:22-23 On the two shoulders of the High Priest were two onyx stones engraved with the names of the twelve tribes of Israel; and on his breastplate were twelve precious stones, in four rows, also engraved with the names of the twelve tribes; just as the names of the twelve tribes are on the twelve pearl gates of the New Jerusalem, and the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb in the twelve foundations of precious stones. Thus was it forcibly declared that the weight of our salvation, if we are spiritual Israelites, rests upon the shoulders of Christ, and our names are always on His heart before God, not one name being wanting." Isa 49:16; Joh 10:3; Re 2:17; 3:12 If any of our readers wish to know whether their names are on the jeweled breastplate and shoulder of the antitypical High Priest, in the Lamb's Book of Life, let them tremblingly and prayerfully read the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth verses of the third chapter of the prophecy of Malachi. In the breastplate of judgment were the Urim and Thummim (lights and perfections), by which the High Priest consulted the will of God in reference to Israel. Ex 28:30; Le 8:8; De 33:8 It is not known what these were. Some suppose that they were two stones, engraved with these two Divine attributes and placed in the folds of the breastplate, by gazing upon which the High Priest was absorbed in heavenly ecstatic contemplation, and enabled to declare the Divine will; others think that one of these stones taken out by him at random indicated the answer of God; others, that the High Priest heard the voice of God from within the veil; and others think that the Urim and Thummim were simply a change in the appearance of the twelve stones in the breastplate, indicating the Divine answer. After David's time the higher revelation by prophets superseded the Urim and Thummim. Christ is the perfect revelation of God's will. "Like the High Priest, Christ sacrificed for, prays for, blesses, instructs, oversees the service of His people in the spiritual temple, blows the gospel trumpet, and judges. Having such a 'High Priest passed into the Heavens, '' over the house of God, ' we ought to 'hold fast our profession, '' without wavering, ' ever 'drawing near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience'." Heb 4:14; 10:21-23 During 1560 years, from 1491 B.C. to 70 A.D., there were seventy-six High Priests. Then, at the destruction of Jerusalem, the God of providence removes the needless type, as the God of grace had already sent the eternal antitype in the person of His Son.

As it has been well said, the key-note of the whole sacrificial system is the same- self-abdication and a sense of dependence on God. Every sacrifice was assumed to have a vital connection with the spirit of the worshiper. The offering, unless accompanied with the heart of the offerer, was rejected by God. Ps 40:6; 50:8-15; Pr 21:3; Isa 1:11-15; Jer 7:21-23; Ho 6:6; Mic 6:7-8; 1Sa 15:22; Mt 5:23-24 There were three kinds of offerings for the altar, in the following historical order: 1st, The burnt-offering, which, throughout Genesis, seems the only offering made by the people of God; 2nd, the meat-offering (un-bloody), or the peace-offering (bloody); and 3rd, the sin or trespass-offering. Le 1; 2; 3; 4 The legal or ritual order was: 1st, The sin-offering; 2nd, the burnt-offering; and 3rd, the peace-offering. Le 8 The idea of sacrifice was complex, involving three elements, the expiatory, the self-dedicatory, and the eucharistic. All these three ideas entered into every sacrifice; but expiation or propitiation or atonement was the predominating element in the sin or trespass-offering; and thanksgiving in the meat or peace-offering. The spiritual order corresponds to the ritual; the sin of the worshiper must first be taken away by an atonement; then he must be consecrated to God; and then he can offer up acceptable sacrifices of praise and love. The sin-offering was in part burnt upon the altar, in part given to the priests, or burnt outside the camp; the burnt-offering was wholly burnt upon the altar; the peace-offering was shared between the altar, the priests and the sacrificer. The incense offered, after sacrifice, in the Holy Place, and (on the day of atonement) in the Holy of Holies, was a symbol of the intercession of the priest (as a type of the great High Priest), accompanying and making efficacious the prayer of the people.

The same five animals that God commanded Abraham to offer in the sacrifice of the covenant Ge 15:9 are the five alone named in the law for sacrifice: The ox, sheep, goat, dove and pigeon (the ancient Jews kept no home-bred fowls or chickens). These animals fulfilled the three legal conditions; they were legally clean, were commonly used for food, and formed a part of the home wealth of the sacrificers, who thus offered up the support of their life for that life itself. Every sacrificial animal was to be perfect, without spot or blemish, neither diseased nor deformed; except that a victim with a disproportioned limb was allowed in a freewill peace-offering. A male animal was generally required; and the age was from a week to three years old. "Such animals only were allowed in sacrifice as are most useful and valuable to man, and such as are most domestic (or nearest to man), harmless, patient and cleanly. Neither filthy swine, nor devouring lions, nor the warlike horse, nor the subtle fox, nor the voracious dog, nor any creature that subsists on animal food, was appointed for sacrifice; but, in general, those alone which represent most aptly what Christ would be, and what His people ought to be; as the laborious, patient ox; the gentle, harmless and cleanly sheep; and the tender, loving, mourning dove; for even the useful goat was sacrificed far less frequently than sheep and oxen." -T. Scott.

The unbloody offerings are generally acknowledged to have been expressions of dependence, thankfulness, and homage to God; but it is impossible to explain satisfactorily the bloody offerings except as originating by Divine appointment, and pointing forward to the one great spotless antitypical Victim who was to come in the fullness of time, and suffer for the sins of the spiritual Israel. Life was the divinely appointed forfeit of sin; Ge 2:17; Eze 23:20; Ro 6:23 the blood contains the life, according to both Scripture Le 17:11 and science; and, therefore, for the remission of sins, the life-blood must be taken. Le 17:11; Heb 9:22 But the victim must be more closely related to us than are the inferior animals; he must be, according to the first proclamation of the gospel, in Eden, Ge 3:15 a seed of the woman; and yet he must be without any blemish or sin of his own, as typified by the legal sacrifices; and he must be able to bruise the head of the serpent, or conquer Satan; in other words, he must be a holy, omnipotent man, one partaking of the nature both of God and of man, the Son of God and the Son of man; in order that, in His human capacity, He may render all the active and passive obedience that the law required, even unto death; and that, in His Divine capacity, He may rise again, re-enter Heaven, and ever live to make efficacious intercession for the purchase of His blood. In the mind of every spiritual Israelite, even under the old dispensation, the lessons conveyed in the symbols of the altar must have all converged, with more or less distinctness, towards the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, Re 13:8 who was to come at the appointed time, that he might fulfill all righteousness, Mt 3:15 and realize in the eyes of men the true sin-offering, burnt-offering and peace-offering; who has now been made sin for us, though He knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him; 2Co 5:21 who has given Himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor; Eph 5:2 who is our peace, that He might bring us nigh by His blood; Eph 2:13-14 our true paschal lamb which has been slain for us, 1Co 5:7 to the end that by eating His flesh and drinking His blood we might have eternal life (Joh 6:54) -S. Clark. The nature and effect of Christs atoning sacrifice was forcibly illustrated by the ritual of the Day of Atonement Le 16; 23:26-32; Nu 29:7-11; Heb 9. This was the tenth day of the seventh month (third of October), five days before the Feast of Tabernacles. It was the only day of fasting and humiliation enjoined in the law. It was a Sabbath, a day of holy convocation or assembly, on which the children of Israel were to afflict their souls, and do no manner of work, under penalty of being cut off from the Lords congregation. The one absorbing thought of all was to be the great atonement by the High Priest on that day. No other priest was allowed to be in or about the sanctuary on that solemn day, teaching that his antitype, the Messiah, has a priesthood exclusively His own, and no work of another is to be added to His complete work of atonement. The High Priest bathed and dressed himself in white linen garments, symbolizing the holiness required for the admission into Gods presencethe holiness of Christ. This was the only day in the year on which the High Priest, even, entered the Holy of Holies. Taking a censer with burning coals from the brazen altar, and applying a handful of incense, he entered the Most Holy Place, where the mercy-seat became enveloped in the cloud of smoke from the incense, typifying Christs merits incensing our prayers, so as to make them a sweet-smelling savor to God. Re 8:3-4 Then, being a sinner himself, the Jewish High Priest atoned for himself and family; the true High Priest, being sinless, has to make no atonement for himself. Afterwards the High Priest offered an atonement for Israel. This consisted of two goats, on one being written 'For Jehovah,' on the other 'For Azazel' (or 'For Complete Removal'). The lots were cast, and one goat (that for Jehovah) was slain, and its blood was sprinkled upon and before the mercy-seat, typifying Jesus' vicarious bearing of our sins' penalty, death; and the other, or scape-goat, after the High Priest had laid his hands upon its head and confessed over it all the sins of Israel, was sent away by a fit man into the wilderness, a land not inhabited, and there let loose, typifying the complete removal of our sins out of sight to where no witness will rise in judgment against us, 'as far as the east is from the west', Ps 103:12 'Christ's rising again for our justification', Ro 4:25 so that, being dead to sin and the law, we live by union with His resurrection life, sin being utterly put away in proportion as that life works in us Joh 14:19; Ro 6; Col 3. Death and life are marvelously united alike in Christ and His people. The same fact was symbolized by the slain bird and the bird let loose after having been dipped in the blood of the killed bird. Le 19:4-7 The Jewish High Priest entered the Most Holy Place once every year to repeat his typical atonement; but the true High Priest infinitely transcends the type, for He entered Heaven, the Most Holy Place, not made with hands, once for all, having 'by one offering forever perfected them that are sanctified, ' and 'obtained eternal redemption for us, ' so that 'there is no more offering for sin' (which condemns the Roman Catholic notion of the Lord's supper being a sacrifice). After the typical High Priest's atonement, the veil between the Holy and the Most Holy Place continued as before to preclude access to priests and people alike; but the veil was rent at Christ's death, throwing open the holiest Heaven continually to all believers through faith in His sacrifice. The Jewish Gemara states that the High Priest tied a tongue-shaped piece of scarlet cloth on the scape-goat, and that as the goat was led away, the red cloth turned white as a token of God's acceptance of the atonement, illustrating Isa 1:18, 'Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; ' but that no such change took place for forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem -a singular testimony from Jewish authority to Christ, as He was crucified, or made the true atonement, just forty years before the destruction of the holy city; the type ceased when the antitype was realized. The day of atonement was the indispensable preparation for the joy that followed in the Feast of Tabernacles; and so we can only truly 'joy in God' when 'through our Lord Jesus Christ we have received the atonement." (Ro 5:11) -A. R. Fausset.

Including the Day of Atonement, the Jews, before the Babylonian captivity, had nine sacred seasons, five connected with the Sabbath -the weekly Sabbath itself, the Feast of the New Moon, the Sabbatical Month and Feast of Trumpets, the Sabbatical Year, and the Year of Jubilee; and three great annual festivals -the Passover, the Feast of Pentecost, and the Feast of Tabernacles or Ingathering. After the captivity they had also the Feast of Purim and the Feast of Dedication.

The Weekly Sabbath was a day of rest and recreation and mercy after six days of labor, in celebration of Gods completion of creation, and also of His deliverance of the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. It was a day of holy convocation; the morning and evening sacrifices were doubled; the show bread was renewed; in later times the worship of the sanctuary was enlivened by sacred music; the people consulted the prophets; and instructed their children in sacred things. After the Babylonian captivity, and in the New Testament times, the Jews had public worship in their synagogues on the Sabbath day. Christ and His Apostles occasionally attended such worship. The monthly feast of the New Moon was announced at the first sight of her new crescent by the sounding of two sacred silver trumpets; the day, though not kept as a Sabbath, had special sacrifices. The Sabbatical Month was the month of Tisri, being the seventh of the ecclesiastical, and the first of the civil year; its first day fell on a Sabbath, and this, the civil new years day, was ushered in by the blowing of trumpets, and was called the Feast of Trumpets. It was a holy convocation, and had special sacrifices. The tenth of this month was the great Day of Atonement; and from the fifteenth to the twenty-second of the month was the Feast of the Tabernacles. The Sabbatical Year was each seventh year; and God, the proprietor of the land, required His people not to sow the land that year, nor even to gather the spontaneous fruits, but to leave such for the poor, the slave, the stranger and the cattle, and to release all Hebrew slaves and debtors. Treble fertility in the sixth year was promised for the support of the people in the seventh, eighth and ninth years. They could in this year make their clothing, fish, hunt, take care of their bees and flocks, and repair their buildings and furniture; and, especially in the Sabbatical year, were men, women, children and strangers to be gathered and taught the law. The non-observance of the Sabbatical year was one of the chief national sins punished by the Babylonian captivity, during which the land was left desolate for seventy years, that it might enjoy its Sabbaths. The Year of Jubilee came after a Sabbatic series of Sabbatic years, and was every fiftieth or pentecostal year. It began with the great Day of Atonement, the tenth day of the seventh month (Tisri). After the sacrifices of that solemn day the trumpet of jubilee pealed forth its joyful notes, proclaiming liberty to the captive prisoner and slave, and the restoration of land to its original proprietorsa great protection to the poor, and an effectual safeguard against the accumulation of vast estates. This year completed the great Sabbatic cycle, and made all things new. It was a year of rest from labor, and of religious worship. The very existence of these Sabbatical laws, so uncommon in the world, and so irksome to the covetous nature of man, proves the reality of the miracles wrought by God through Moses; for nothing else could have made an unspiritual people willing to submit to such restraining laws. All the Sabbatical seasons typified Christ, the true rest of spiritual Israel; for He it is who, by virtue of His great atonement, has been anointed with the Spirit of the Lord, above measure, to preach the gospel to the poor, healing to the broken-hearted, deliverance to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, liberty to the bruised, and comfort to all that mourn in Zion, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified. Isa 61:1-3; Lu 4:16-21; Mt 11:28-30; Heb 4:3 Thus, by these constantly recurring seventh periods of rest, would God perpetually remind His spiritual people of their only true source of perfect rest, CHRIST JESUS. This glorious rest will not be fully realized by the people of God until the heavenly jubilee of the resurrection trumpet is sounded, when every redeemed man, with reunited and incorruptible soul and body, shall enter upon his eternal possession in the antitypical Canaan (Le 25:13; Isa 35:10; 1Co 15:53-57; 1Th 4:16-18; Heb 4:9; 1Pe 1:1-5).

Three times every year, at the three great annual festivals, Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles, all the Hebrew males were required to appear together before the Lord, at the tabernacle or temple, and make an offering with a joyful heart. God's object was to promote, in this way, the religious zeal and knowledge and union of His covenant people, to bring them frequently together in loving brotherly fellowship for the worship of God -the very same object that is now beautifully and pleasantly sub-­served by the frequent assemblies of the people of God in their quarterly, yearly, union, corresponding, and associational meetings. Devout women often attended these sacred festivals. Not only from all parts of Palestine, but, after the captivity, from all parts of the civilized world, the people of God assembled at these meetings. Ac 2:5-11 The three great annual feasts had a three-fold bearing -natural, historical and spiritual (or typical or prophetical); "the thing that hath been is that which shall be, " says Solomon; Ec 1:9 or, as Bacon expresses it, "All history is prophecy."

The Passover was about the first of April, and marked the beginning of the grain harvest; the first green ears of barley were cut, a handful presented to the Lord, and others were parched and eaten by the people. It was a memorial of the nation's birth, when the destroying angel passed over the houses of the Israelites, whose door-posts were sprinkled with the blood of the paschal lamb, while he destroyed the first-born in every Egyptian family, thus delivering the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. For each family a lamb was slain and roasted entire, and eaten, with unleavened bread and bitter herbs, by the members of the family, standing, with loins girt, feet shod, and staff in hand; and if any of the lamb remained till the morning it was to be consumed with fire. The first-born thus specially delivered by the Lord were specially devoted to Him, and specially redeemed. Ex 11:5; 13:2,13; Heb 12:23 Christ is the true paschal lamb sacrificed for spiritual Israel. 1Co 5:7 By His death, and His blood being applied by the Holy Spirit to our hearts, we are delivered from ruin. In celebrating the Christian Passover, or the Lord's Supper, we are to put away the leaven of hypocrisy and wickedness and eat the bitter herb of godly sorrow for our sins, and remember that we are pilgrims here, just ready, at any time, to depart to a better, even a heavenly country. Heb 11:13-16 We should be devoutly thankful and consecrated to God for being specially redeemed by the precious blood of the Lamb. 1Pe 1:15-21; Re 5:9 The body of the paschal lamb was cooked entire, no bone being broken, to denote the completeness of the redemption of Christ, and the indissoluble oneness of His mystical body; and it was roasted, and not boiled in water and wasted, to indicate the preciousness of Christ's salvation and of His people; and, if any remained till morning, it was consumed by purifying fire, to prevent it from seeing corruption or from being put to a common use -indicating that God's people are never to become reprobates. In later times, the Israelites, at the Passover, sang the Hallel, or Ps 113; 114; 115; 116; 117; 118. It is believed that this was the hymn sung by Christ and His Apostles after the Supper.

The Pentecost, or Harvest Feast, or Feast of Weeks or First-Fruits, was about the last of May, fifty days or a week of weeks after the Passover, of which it was the supplement, and therefore was called by the Jews Atzereth, or the concluding assembly. As the Passover began, the Pentecost ended, the grain harvest, the wheat now being ripe, and two loaves of fine flour, were offered to the Lord, as a joyful dedication of the whole harvest to Him as the Giver -both the land and the people belonging to Him. Pentecost was a social thanksgiving feast, and the Levite, stranger, fatherless, and widow, were invited. Historically, it is believed to have been a memorial of the giving of the law from Sinai, the second great era in the history of the elect nation -the fiftieth day after the deliverance from Egypt (Ex 12 and Ex 19). The second chapter of Acts explains the typical significance of the Feast of Pentecost. As God descended in consuming fire on Mount Sinai to give the moral law to national Israel, so He descended in the purifying fire of the Holy Ghost upon His disciples in Jerusalem, and wrote the new law of love upon the fleshly tablets of the hearts of His covenant people. Ac 2; Joh 16:7-11; 2Co 3; Heb 8; Mt 22:36-40 And, just as certainly as the Pentecost was the supplement or conclusion of the Passover, just so certainly will the Holy Ghost descend upon all the purchase of Christ's blood, and consecrate them to the service of God. Ps 110; 107:1-31; Isa 35:10; 41:14-20; 53; 54; 55; 61:1-3; Jer 31:1-9,31-37; Eze 36; 37; Da 7:13-14; Zec 12:10-14; 13; Mt 1:21; 11:27; 16:16-18; 28:18; Joh 1:17; 5:25; 6:37; 10:11,14-16,27-30; 17:2-3,6,9-10,24-26; Ro 5:19-21; 6:23; 8:29-39; 1Co 1:30; 15:22-23,57; 2Co 4:6; 5:17-21; Ga 1:4,12,15; 2:20; 3:13,17-29; 4:4-6; Eph 1; 2; Php 1:6; 1Th 5:9-10; 2Th 2:13-14; 2Ti 1:9-10; Tit 3:4-7; Heb 1:3; 8:8-12; 9:14; 10:10,14-18; 12:2; 13:20-21; 1Pe 1:1-5; 2Pe 1:1-4; Re 1:5; 5:9; 14:1-5; 21:27 Like the sure following of the Pentecost upon the Passover, these Scriptures establish the reality and the efficacy of Christ's atonement.

The Feast of Tabernacles, or Ingathering, was about the first of October, after the oil and wine had been gathered in; and it was a great and joyful thanksgiving for all the harvests of the year. It was also a commemoration of the time when the Israelites dwelt in tents during their passage through the wilderness, and called forth the gratitude of the people to God for their settled homes in a land of plenty. The people took boughs of palm and willows of the brook, and made temporary huts of the branches, and sat under the booths, during this festival. The weeping willow (Salix Babylonica, Ps 137) was an emblem of sorrow; but the willow of the brook (Salix Alba), because of its vigor, was a symbol of joyful prosperity. Isa 44:4 The palm was also an emblem of joy, because of its erect growth, its usefulness, and its rich foliage. Ps 92:12-14; Joh 12:13; Re 7:9 In later times, at the hour of morning sacrifice, during the Feast of Tabernacles, water was drawn from the Pool of Siloam in a golden goblet, and poured into one of the two silver basins on the west side of the altar of burnt-offering, and wine into the other, while the words of Isa 12:3 were repeated, in commemoration of the water drawn from the rock in the desert; the choir sang the great Hallel, and waved branches of palm. It was in allusion to this ceremony that Christ stood and cried in the last day of this feast, "If any man thirst, let him come unto me and drink". Joh 7:2,37 "Coming next day at day-break to the temple court, as they were extinguishing the artificial lights, two colossal golden candlesticks in the center of the temple court, recalling the pillar of fire in the wilderness, Jesus said, 'I am the light of the world'. Joh 8:1-2,12 As the sun by its natural light was eclipsing the artificial lights, so Jesus implies, I, the Sun of Righteousness, am superseding your typical light. The believer having received redemption and the Holy Ghost, waits still for his inheritance and abiding home. The Feast of Tabernacles points him to the heavenly Canaan, the everlasting inheritance, of which the Holy Spirit is the earnest. Eph 1:13-14; Heb 4:9 There shall the true church ever hold with her Divine Head a Feast of Tabernacles, rejoicing in His presence, satisfied with His fullness, and her rest and pleasure will be heightened and enhanced by the remembrance of her toils and tribulations in this wilderness world forever past."

"There was in the Three Feasts a clear prefigurement of the Three Persons of the Godhead; the Father, in the work of Creation, specially adored in the Feast of Tabernacles; the Son, in the Passover sacrifice; and the Spirit, in the Pentecostal Feast."

The Feast of Purim, or Lots, was an annual commemoration of the deliverance of the Jews in Persia from the massacre plotted for them by Haman (see the book of Esther) Es 1-10; it took place the last of February. The Feast of Dedication (mentioned in Joh 10:22) was instituted by Judas Maccabeus to commemorate the purification of the temple from the profanations to which it had been subjected by Antiochus Epiphanes (B.C. 165); it occurred about the twentieth of December.

We have thus gone through the books of Exodus and Leviticus, and found the ceremonies and institutions of the Mosaic law replete with gospel truth. To every child of God the marvelous correspondence of these manifold types and antitypes is an unanswerable demonstration of the Divine origin and the plenary inspiration of the Pentateuch. A careful perusal of the book of Leviticus will convince every unprejudiced mind that not a single atonement, redemption, intercession, or purification therein mentioned was indefinite or conditional; but every one was special and effectual -every offering and cleansing was for a particular person or persons, and it was ceremonially effective; in a ritual sense, the sin was actually forgiven, the person was clean, the property was restored. The Arminian notion, therefore, that the atonement of Christ was indefinite and conditional, is annihilated by the divinely established legal types of that atonement.

We proceed now with the historical narrative. God commanded Moses to number the men of war, and he still found the number to be about 600,000, viz.: Reuben, 46,500; Judah, 74,600; (Joseph) Ephraim, 40,509; Simeon, 59,300; Issachar, 54,400; (Joseph) Manasseh, 32,200; Gad, 45,650; Zebulon, 57,400; Benjamin, 35,400; Dan, 62,700; Asher, 41,500; Naphtali, 53,400; making all of the military array 603,550.

The tribe of Levi is omitted because of the priesthood; and the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh are each included, which makes up the number twelve.

In order to aid Moses in the government of the people, God directed him to appoint seventy men, who should be constituted into a Senate or Sanhedrim, and whose office continued until the time of Moses' death, after which we hear no more of it until the return from the Babylonish captivity.

The wanderings of the Israelites were singular in consequence of the many different directions which they were compelled to take before reaching the promised land. Sometimes they came very near to it, and then went directly from it. For their murmurings and faithlessness, God punished them in various ways, and kept them in the wilderness forty years. Those twenty years old and upwards who came out of Egypt died in the wilderness, save Caleb and Joshua, who were two of the twelve spies sent into Canaan and reported favorably, while the other ten, distrusting the power and faithfulness of a covenant God, were destroyed by the plague. The manna was given them until they entered the promised land, then ceased. The manna was a double miracle inasmuch as, in its falling, none came on the Sabbath, and a double quantity on the day previous; and, if gathered on any other day except the day preceding the Sabbath, it would spoil if kept over.

The time for entering the promised land approached. Miriam, the sister of Moses and Aaron, died. Aaron was taken to the top of Mount Hor and stripped of his garments by Moses, who placed them on Aarons son Eleazar, and there Aaron died. The Israelites designed crossing the river Jordan into the promised land a little above the Dead Sea; and sought permission of the Amorites to pass through their country peaceably. Their king not only refused the request, but marched out all his forces to give Israel battle. He was slain, with his two sons, at Jahaz, and all his people, even to the women and children, were destroyed. Israel took possession of his land and dwelt in his cities from the Are and Arnon to the Jabbok. Thus fell Sihon, king of the Amorites. They followed up their victory by taking Jaazer, a stronghold of the Amorites in Mount Gilead; and then they crossed the Jabbok into the district of Bashan. There they encountered the giant king Og, who ruled over sixty fenced cities in the district of Argob. He was defeated at Edrei, and slain with his sons and his people, as had been done to Sihon. The whole territory of these two kings, therefore, fell into the possession of the Israelites, unexpectedly to them. They supposed their inheritance was to be on the west side of Jordan only; but, as these kings opposed their progress to the river, they were compelled to make war with them, and the result was their extermination and the addition of their territory to the land of Canaan. So goodly was this land that the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half the tribe of Manasseh applied for it as their portion of the inheritance, and Moses gave it to them. At last the Israelites made their encampment on the east side of Jordan in the desert plains of Moab, supposing that all opposition to their crossing the river was at an end. But there still remained work for them to do on the east side of the river. The hills of Abarim, which rose close behind them, were seen occupied by a watchful and wily enemy. The conquest of the Amorites had roused the Moabites from their doubtful neutrality. Their king, Balak, the son of Zippor (the king who had been defeated and despoiled of part of his territory by Sihon), seeing that Israel was too strong for him in the field, made a confederacy with the sheikhs of Midian, several of whom appear to have led their Bedouin life within the territories of Moab, owing a certain allegiance to the king. The united forces encamped on the heights of Abarim; while Balak sought mightier help from another quarter. There was living at Pethor, in Mesopotamia, a prophet named Balaam, the son of Beor; one of those who still retained (some) knowledge of the true God, by whom he was favored with prophetic visions. He seems, however, to have practiced the more questionable arts of divination, and to have made gain of his supernatural knowledge. His fame was spread far and wide among the tribes of the desert. I wot that he whom thou blessest is blessed, and he whom thou cursest is cursed, Nu 12:6 is the belief in which Balak grounded his invitation to Balaam to come and curse Israel, after which he hoped he might prevail against them and drive them out of the land. The message was carried by the elders, both of Moab and Midian, with the reward for his divinations in their hand. The temptation was too great for the prophets integrity, and he forsook the right way and went astray, into that which the Apostle Peter calls the way of Balaam, the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness 2Pe 2:15. In Jude 11 Balaam is ranked with Cain and Korah as types of the wickedness of the last days. Both as a prophet, and from the fame which had spread over all the surrounding countries, he must have known that Israel were the people of God, and that he had nothing to do with the messengers of Balak. He hesitated, and was lost, but not without repeated warnings. Instead of dismissing the messengers, he invited them to remain for the night, while he consulted God. He received the plain answer: Thou shal thou shalt not curse the people, for they are blessed; ' and in the morning he sent them away. Nu 22:1-14

"Balak again sent more numerous and more honorable envoys, with a more pressing message, and promises of great honors and rewards. Balaam declared his inability, for all the wealth of Balak -not to entertain the proposal for a moment, but -to go beyond the word of the Lord his God, to whom he again referred the case. And this time God visited him with the severest punishment, which He reserves for the willful sinner: He 'gave him his own desire'; Ps 78:29 but, while delivering him to the destruction he courted, He made him the instrument of blessing Israel in strains among the sublimest in sacred poetry. Balaam was commanded to go with the men, but -as he himself had already said -to utter only the words that God should put in his mouth; and, in all that follows, we see how vainly he strove to break through the prescribed limit and to earn the wages of his apostasy. Nu 22:15-21

"He received one last warning in a prodigy that befell him on the road. The beast that bore him swerved twice from the way, and saved him from the uplifted sword of the Angel-Jehovah, who had come out to withstand him; and the third time, where the pass was too narrow to escape, she fell down beneath him, and, on his smiting her again, 'the dumb ass, with man's voice, forbade the madness of the prophet'. 2Pe 2:16 His eyes were now opened, and he beheld the Angel, who refused the offer which he now made to turn back, and repeated the injunction to go with the men, but to speak only what He should say to him. Nu 22:22-35

"Balak went to meet Balaam at a city on the Arnon (perhaps Aroer), and brought him to the city of Kirjath-huzoth (commonly interpreted a city of streets or of visions: it may have been a sacred city, and therefore fit for the prophet's residence), where the king held a great feast in the prophet's honor. On the morrow Balak and Balaam began their unhallowed ceremonies. Nu 22:41-23:26 Thrice they ascended those eminences, which were consecrated to the worship of the heathen deities, (compare De 12:2) as places whence the prophet might see and curse the people, and thrice did 'Jehovah their God turn the curse into a blessing, because Jehovah loved them.' Lest Balaam's courage should fail him at the sight of the vast encampment surrounding the tabernacle, with its sign of Jehovah's presence in the cloud, Balak took him first to a hill sacred to Baal, whence he could see the utmost part of the people. Here Balaam bade Balak prepare seven altars, on each of which he offered a bullock and a ram, and then retired to another hill to consult Jehovah. From His mouth the prophet received the word; and he returned to confound Balak and his princes by asking, 'How shall I curse whom God hath not cursed? or how shall I defy whom Jehovah had not defied? -at the same time prophesying Israel's separation from all nations, and their countless numbers; and concluded by the oft-quoted ejaculation, 'Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his!'

"The experiment was repeated from another eminence, 'The field of Zophim on the top of the Pisgah, ' a more elevated point of observation, but still not commanding the great body of the camp. Here the same ceremonies were repeated, with the same result; and God's message by the prophet declared His own eternal truth; His forgiving love to His people; His perpetual presence among them, making them proof against enchantment; and their future career of lion-like prowess against their enemies. Balak vented his disappointment in the cry, 'Neither curse them at all, nor bless them at all; ' but he would not give up without a last trial. Nu 23:14-26

"This time he brought Balaam up to the very sanctuary of the national deity Peor, the same topmost summit -Nebo, the head of Pisgah -from which Moses soon after viewed the promised land. The seven-fold sacrifice was repeated, but Balaam laid aside his arts of divination, for he saw that it pleased Jehovah to bless Israel. His view embraced the whole camp of Israel spread out among the acacia groves by the river at his feet; it ranged over their promised possessions in the hills of Judah, Ephraim, and Gilead; and as 'he saw Israel abiding in their tents, according to their tribes, the Spirit of God came upon him, and he took up his parable, ' the prophecy of the man whose eyes were at length opened. In the goodly array of their tents he saw the omen of destruction of the nations around: and ended, 'Blessed is he that blesseth thee; and cursed is he that curseth thee'. Nu 23:27-24:9 Heedless of the rage of Balak or of his cruel sarcasms, 'I thought to promote thee to great honor; but, lo, Jehovah hath kept thee back from honor, ' Balaam declared that, before returning to his home, he must complete his prophecy of what the people should do to the heathen in the last days. Nu 24:10-14 For the fourth time he opened his mouth and proclaimed his distant vision of the 'Star of Jacob, ' the 'Sceptre of Israel, ' who should smite Moab -a prophecy in part fulfilled by the victories of David; but, as the titles plainly show, pointing forward to the kingdom of Messiah over the outcast branches of the chosen family. Then, as his eye ranged over the distant mountains of Serf, the home of Edom, and the table-land of the desert, over which the children of Amalek wandered, and the home of the Kenites full in his sight, among the rocks of Engedi, on the farther shores of the Dead Sea, he predicted their destruction; till the vision carried him back to the banks of his native Euphrates, and he saw the conquests of Asshur overturned by ships coming from the coasts of Chittim, the unknown lands beyond the Western Sea, and he exclaimed, 'Alas! who shall live when God doeth this!' And he rose up, and returned to the place assigned for his abode. Nu 24:15-25

"Balaam remained among the Moabites and Midianites, clinging doubtless to the chance of reward; and provoked his fate by a new and more effectual plot against Israel. By his advice the people were tempted to share in the lascivious rites of Peor, and to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. Nu 25:1-3; 21:16 The wrath of Jehovah was shown in a plague which broke out in the camp, and destroyed 24,000 men. Moses doomed all the offenders to death, and Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the high priest, set an example of zeal by transfixing with a javelin a man of Israel in the arms of a woman of Moab, whom he had brought into his tent in the face of the congregation as they wept before Jehovah. The plague was stayed, and the covenant of Jehovah was renewed with the house of Eleazar, assuring him a perpetual priesthood. Nu 25:4-15

"For these plots against Israel, as well as for their former inhospitality, the Moabites were excluded from the congregation to the tenth generation; De 21:3-16 and the Midianites were doomed to destruction. Nu 25:16-18 The execution of this sentence was the last act of the government of Moses. All the men of Midian were slain, with the princes who had been allied with Balak, and Balaam {9} died in the general slaughter. Their cities were burnt and their spoil taken, and the women who had been saved alive were slain by the command of Moses, the female children only being spared. At the same time a law was made for the equitable division of the spoil between those who went forth to battle and those who remained in the camp" (#Nu 21) -W. Smith.

We have dwelt at an unusual length on this item in the Old Testament history wherein Balaam was called in by Balak to curse Israel. It is an interesting and remarkable circumstance, showing the corrupt nature of man, even of a prophet of God, and the superabounding influence of God's Spirit over the venal propensities of His professed servants.

God told Balaam emphatically not to go to Balak -not to curse Israel, because Israel was already blessed. But his hankering after gold inclined him to go; and when he asked God the second time, He told him to go -that he might have his own way and be destroyed, literally. He compelled him, however, even against his natural will, to declare glorious things concerning Israel, and also the setting up of the gospel kingdom in the world.

Moses delivered a series of addresses to Israel, encouraging them to obedience, warning them against evils of rebellion and disobedience, and pronounced his last blessing on the twelve tribes. Joshua was consecrated by the high priest Eleazar to be the successor of Moses, and Moses was summoned away into the immediate presence of his Maker. He "went up from the plains of Moab unto the mountain of Nebo, to the tip of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the Lord shewed him all the land of Gilead, unto Dan, and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim, and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah, unto the utmost sea, and the south, and the plain of the valley of Jericho, the city of palm trees, unto Zoar. And the Lord said unto him, This is the land which I sware unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying, I will give it unto thy seed: I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither. So Moses the servant of the Lord died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the Lord. And He buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Beth-peor; but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day. And Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died; his eye was not dim not his natural force abated" De 34:1-7. The secrecy of his interment, in the wisdom of God, was perhaps to prevent the Israelites from gathering his bones to keep as sacred relics, which might lead to idolatry, and also to designate the end of the legal dispensation. {10}

Joshua, as the leader of Israel, began his march from Shittim towards the Jordan, which allowed him to cross it dry shod, even as their fathers had done in crossing the Red Sea. As soon as the feet of the priests bearing the ark touched the water it abated and was piled up below and above, and they stood in the midst of the bed of the river until all the people had crossed over; then they passed to the west bank of the river and the waters returned to their original condition. The host then encamped in Gilgal, where Joshua set up twelve stones taken from the bed of the river as a memorial of the event. The Red Sea was divided to allow Israel to pass out of Egypt, and the Jordan also, to allow them to pass into Canaan, without wetting their garments or having to build bridges. It was according to Divine arrangement.

They entered Canaan on the tenth day of the first month (Nisan-April B.C. 1451: Jos 4:19). This was the day appointed for the selection of the paschal lamb, and on the evening of the fourteenth day the people kept the Passover for the first time on the soil of their own inheritance, exactly forty years after their fathers had first kept it before leaving Egypt.

The forty years are made up about as follows: In Egypt before the Passover, 14 Days From Egypt to Sinai, 1 Month 16 Days Encampment at Sinai, 11 Months 20 Days March to Kadesh, 4 Months 10 Days Wandering in Wilderness, 37 Years 6 Months March from Kadesh to the plains of Moab, 10 Months Encampment there to the passage of the Jordan, 2 Months ________ _________ _______ Total 40 Years ... ...

Thus with a high hand and a stretched out arm the God of Israel had brought him out of Egypt and planted him in Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey. Wonderful must have been the change to the tribes, when contrasting their goodly heritage with the barren wilderness through which they had been wandering for such a great length of time. The manna ceased to fall, and they ate of the fruits of the earth thereafter.

To the people of God, whose citizenship is in Heaven, this world is a wilderness land. During all the weary years of their sojourn here they are poor sinners, and are visited with the rod for their transgressions. Sometimes they go, as at first, directly toward Canaan, but sometimes "toward the Egypt of the world, and sometimes toward the Sinai of legalism, Jehovah, however, still not withdrawing His pillar of cloud and fire." The Lord is peculiarly their God all the while. When they could not deliver themselves, their covenant God delivered them from the terrible bondage of sin and Satan, and He loves them to the end. He writes His holy law upon the spiritual tablets of their hearts. He sustains their inner life with heavenly food and living water. He guides them every moment of the day and of the night. He defends them from their enemies. He teaches them their absolute dependence upon Him. He dwells above the mercy-seat for them evermore, and will never leave them nor forsake them; but will assuredly at last conduct them across the Jordan of death into the glorious land of everlasting rest. Then let them repose continual and unfaltering trust in the God of their salvation.

It is the omnipotent, eternal and unchangeable God of nature, of providence and of grace, who thus, by the events of a nation's history, illustrates His holy and merciful dealings with His spiritual people through all the generations of the world.

Joshua was about twenty-five years (B.C. 1451-1426) in destroying and overcoming all the nations of the Canaanites and dividing their lands among the children of Israel; the number of whom, when entering Canaan, was supposed to be about equal to the number that marched out of Egypt, viz., two-and-a-half-millions. The first attack was made on Jericho, a well-fortified, populous and wealthy city that was situated in a grove of palm trees about six miles from the river Jordan, and ruled by a king.

The manner of attack was of divine arrangement. The entire host was to encompass the city seven days. For six days they were to march around it once, the chosen warriors marching in front of the ark, before which seven priests were to bear seven trumpets of rams' horns; the rest of the people were to follow in silence, while the trumpets alone made noise, sounding a continual defiance. And on the seventh day they were to encompass it seven times, and at the end thereof to give one long, loud blast with the trumpets. All this was done according to direction; and at the close of the seventh blast on the seventh day the walls of Jericho fell down flat, and all Israel went from where each man stood directly into the city, took the spoil and destroyed the people, not one of whom escaped except Rahab the harlot and her family, who were saved alive because she, believing in the God of Israel, protected the two men sent by Joshua, previously to spy out the land. The fall of Jericho affords proof of miraculous interposition, equal to that of the plagues in Egypt, the crossing of the Red Sea or Jordan, or any of the wonders in the wilderness. The city fell an easy prey to the invaders, and the curse of God rested upon it thenceforward. The city of Ai was next captured and the inhabitants destroyed, but the main camp of Joshua remained at Gilgal. These victories secured the passes of the Jordan, and gave the Israelites access to the open country in the center of Palestine. Terror had already seized the Canaanites before Joshua crossed the Jordan, but, after the fall of Jericho and Ai, all the tribes were greatly alarmed and feared annihilation. The Gibeonites alone sought protection by submission and deceit. They succeeded, and saved themselves thereby from the general overthrow, but became slaves to Israel, mere "hewers of wood and drawers of water" the remnant of their days. By reason of the oath which Joshua and the princes made to them, while under deception, their lives were spared, but they had to be kept in subjection by the public authorities; so that it became a proverb -"The Canaanite is still in the land." This was typical of the experience of God's spiritual Israel; by reason of indwelling sin, they have to acknowledge "the Canaanite to be still in the land." They perpetually harassed, but never could dispossess Israel. The other kings west of Jordan formed a league to resist Joshua and punish the Gibeonites. And, as they appeared before Gibeon, Joshua attacked them, took them by surprise, and utterly routed them near Beth-horon. He pursued them down the steep from the upper to the lower Beth-horon, and, as the Canaanites fled, they were overtaken by a hail storm, which slew more than had fallen in battle. Such was the success of the Israelites that Joshua desired the day lengthened, and commanded the sun and moon to stand still, that the victory might be complete before night. The Lord granted his request, "so that the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day." {11} Joshua pursued them to Makkedah, where the five kings hid themselves in a cave; he bade stones to be rolled to its mouth, and pursued his victory. Upon the return of the victorious army to Makkedah, Joshua caused the five kings to be brought out, and ordered the captains to place their feet upon their necks, as a sign that a like conquest should be gained over all their enemies; and then he slew them and hanged them on five trees till the evening. Their bodies were then taken down and thrown into the same cave, and its mouth was closed with great stones.

This great victory was followed by the conquest of the seven kings of Makkedah, Libnah, Lachish, Gezer, Eglon, Hebron and Debir. These were taken and utterly destroyed, together with all their people, and everything that had life, within their jurisdiction. Joshua again returned to his camp at Gilgal, in the valley of the Jordan.

The Israelites were the chosen instruments of God (as the waters of the flood and the fire and brimstone from Heaven had been His chosen instruments in former times) to execute His righteous vengeance upon the idolatrous and sensual Canaanitish tribes; to become themselves thoroughly convinced of the unity, spirituality and holiness of God, and to transmit this pure monotheistic faith to coming generations. The miraculous separation of the waters of the Jordan, and prostration of the walls of Jericho, and prolongation of the day at Joshua's command, showed the world that the extirpation of the wicked Canaanites was the work of a holy and sin-avenging God, who, having mercifully sent these people such spiritual teachers and examples as Abraham and Melchizedek, and then given them a most solemn warning in His fiery overthrow of the corrupt cities of the plain, was now about to visit them with utter destruction, as He will the finally impenitent of all nations on the last day, when His people are gathered into the heavenly Canaan. The corrupting influence of the few Canaanites left in the land proves the extreme importance of the destruction of those wicked idolaters for the preservation of a true faith and a pure worship on earth. "To the doomed nations it was an act of just severity; to the world at large, of unspeakable mercy."

Joshua next turned his attention to the nations in the northern part of Palestine, where many kings and tribes were leagued against him, whose numbers were reckoned "as the sand of the seashore for multitude, " besides chariots and horses. Josephus estimates them at 300,000 foot, 10,000 horse, and 20,000 chariots. Joshua routed this great army by the waters of Merom, and chased them as far as "great Zidon" and the valley of Mizpeh.

Joshua cut the hoof sinews of the horses and burnt the chariots, in obedience to God's command. Jos 11:9 He next took Hazor, putting its king and inhabitants to the sword, with some other cities of the confederates. Israel was now master of a large portion of the country. But some kings held out in their fenced cities for a number of years, and it was a long time before the land rested from war.

The result of the conquest up to this time, say B.C. 1445, was about as follows, viz.: Two kings, Sihon and Og, on the east of Jordan, and thirty-one kings on the west of that river, including the seven nations mentioned in the first promise to Abraham -the Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, Hivites, Hittites, Jebusites and Perizzites Jos 12 "The defeat of these thirty-one kings did not involve in every case the capture of their cities. Jerusalem, for example, was not taken till after the death of Joshua, Jg 1:8 and its citadel remained in the hands of the Jebusites till the time of David. Many other cities held out for a long time."

And, besides these cities, there were yet whole tracts of country promised to Abraham yet unsubdued, and which were not to be included in the conquests of Joshua. Jos 13:1 They were reserved for his successors to subdue, but Joshua included them in the division of land among the twelve tribes.

Joshua becoming old and well stricken in years, he calls the tribes together and gives them the last warning and word of encouragement. It was a solemn scene. He recounts to them much of the dealings of the Lord with them, and with their fathers before them, and urges them to obedience and the true service of God. Said he, "Be ye therefore very courageous, to keep and do all that is written in the book of the law of Moses." And he finally ends with an appeal that strikes them forcibly: "If it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". Jos 24:15 The people responded with a great deal of earnestness that they would serve God only and discard all idols. And they kept their word and remained faithful {12} to God during the life of Joshua, "and all the days of the elders that over lived Joshua, and which had known all the works of the Lord that He had done for Israel." Joshua died at the age of one hundred and ten years, and was buried "in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in Mount Ephraim on the north side of the hill of Gaash." "And the bones of Joseph which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in a parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of silver (supposed to be about $62.50); and it became the inheritance of the children of Joseph." Eleazar also died about the same time of Joshua's decease. Jos 24:29-33

ENDNOTES:

{1} "As Jacob took his brother by the heel in the womb, Ho 12:3 so the spiritual Israel, every believer, having no right in himself to the inheritance, yet by faith, when being born again of the Spirit, takes hold of the bruised heel, the Divine humanity, of Christ crucified, the firstborn of many brethren." -A. R. Fausset.

{2} "Jacob's seeking a right end by wrong means entailed upon him a lifelong retribution in kind. Instead of occupying the first place of honor in the family, he had to flee for his life; instead of a double portion, he fled with only a staff in his hand." And, as he had deceived Isaac, so Laban deceived him in regard to Leah and his wages; and his other sons cruelly deceived him in regard to Joseph, pretending that he had been slain by wild beasts, when they had sold him into bondage.

{3} Among the most insoluble mysteries, and among the strongest proofs of human ignorance, are the phenomena of dreams, hypnotism, somnambulism and insanity. This strange region is not accessible to accurate and adequate scientific observation; and therefore numerous conflicting opinions prevail in regard to it. The Scriptures, as well as physiology and psychology, prove that many, if not most, dreams have a natural origin, being due to some peculiar conditions of the body or mind; Ec 5:3; Isa 29:8; Jude 8 they seem to be broken fragments of former thoughts revived, and heterogeneously brought together, well compared to "chaff" by the Lord to the prophet Jeremiah (Jer 23:28). Some think that the mind is always active, whether asleep or awake; others think that, during profound sleep, all the mental powers are dormant. It is agreed that, during dreams, the reason is nearly always, and the will is always dormant or asleep, and the mind is therefore passive or receptive. On this account it is, as Elihu says, Job 33:15-17 that in dreams God sometimes "opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction, that He may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man." When man's reason and will are asleep, he can take no credit to himself for the impressions on his mind. This was to be, not only under the old, but also under the new, dispensation. Joe 2:28; Ac 2:17 And we know from the direct testimony of Scripture that some dreams, under both dispensations, have had a supernatural, a Divine, origin. God sent instructive dreams to Abimelech, Ge 20:3 to Jacob, Ge 28:12-15 to Laban, Ge 31:24 to Joseph, Ge 37:5 to Pharaoh's butler and baker, Ge 40:5 to Pharaoh, Ge 41:1-32 to a Midianite, Jg 7:13 to Solomon, 1Ki 3:5 to Nebuchadnezzar (Da 2 and Da 4), to Daniel (#Dan 7:1), to Joseph, the husband of Mary, Mt 1:20; 2:22 to the wise men from the East, Mt 2:12 and to Pilate's wife. Mt 27:19 Visions of the night are identified in the Bible with dreams. Ge 46:2; Nu 12:6; Job 20:8; 33:14-15; Da 2:28; 7:1 Not only Abraham, Jacob, Balaam, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Daniel and Zechariah had visions from God, but also Peter and Cornelius, Ac 10 Paul Ac 21:9-10; 2Co 12:1-4 and John (Rev.)   Re 22:1 Yet we know, from Ac 2:17, and from Christian experience, that God still comforts, warns and instructs, and humbles His people in dreams, according to His sovereign will.

{4} The ladder in Jacob's dream seems first to have represented "God's grace and providence arranging all things for His people's good through the ministry of angels; Ge 32:1-2; Heb 1:14 but chiefly typified the Messiah through whom Heaven is opened and also joined to earth, and angels minister with ceaseless activity to Him first, then to His people. Joh 1:51; 14:6; Heb 10:19-20 Jacob, the man of guile, saw Him at a distance, at the top of the ladder; Nathanael, an Israelite without guile, saw Him near him at the bottom in His humiliation, which was the necessary first step upward to glory." -A. R. Fausset.

{5} Jacob's polygamy was contrary to the original law of paradise. Ge 2:23-24; Mt 19:5 Leah was imposed on him, when he had designed to marry Rachel only; and the maids were given him by his wives to obtain offspring. The times of ignorance, when the gospel had not yet restored the original standard, tolerated evils which would be inexcusable now. Jealousies were the result of polygamy in Jacob's case, as was sure to happen." -Fausset.

{6} Joseph was a type of Christ in his father's special love for him, in his being sent to his brethren, rejected by them, sold to the Gentiles, delivered to death in the sanctity of his life, in his humiliation, in his exaltation to be a prince and a savior, in the bowing down of his kindred before him, in his first speaking to them harshly to humble them but all the while loving them, and dealing kindly towards them, not taking their money for his corn, and finally settling all of them in the goodly land of Goshen, for which they paid nothing. He was a prophetic interpreter of dreams, married in a priestly family, and ruled as a king over Egypt. He was thirty years old when he entered on his public ministry. He was the first-born son of Jacob and his favorite wife, Rachel, and received a double portion of his father's inheritance for Manasseh and Ephraim; and had from his father the blessings of the everlasting hills.

{7} Even so, as it has been beautifully remarked, the bitter waters of affliction are always sweetened by casting into them the tree of the cross.

{8} Typifying that the first use which man makes of God's law is to break it.

{9} From such wonderful and sad cases as those of Balaam the Prophet, Saul the King, and Judas the Apostle, we learn -not that the child of God can eternally perish -but Joh 10:28; Ro 8:38-39; 1Pe 1:1-5 that any amount of religion in the head, even though accompanied with high religious office, will avail us nothing without the grace of God's love in our hearts. 1Co 13; Mt 22:36-40; 1Jo 3:14

{10} Like Aaron and Moses, no doubt many other subjects of grace died in the wilderness, as afterwards in the Babylonish exile. The Fact that Moses, by whom the law was given, died before reaching Canaan, typifies that the people of God will reach Heaven, not by their obedience of the law, but by the wisdom, strength and righteousness of their Divine Joshua (Jesus, or Jehovah -Savior).

{11} Like Jg 5:20 -"the stars in their courses fought against Sisera, " meaning that a terrific storm, as if from the stars, burst upon Sisera -so Jos 10:12-14 is poetical and optical (being a quotation from an ancient anthology, "the book of Jasher"), meaning that "the light of the sun and moon was supernaturally prolonged by the same laws of refraction and reflection that ordinarily cause the sun to appear above the horizon, when he is in reality below it." -Jamieson. Pfeiffer connects the long day of Joshua and of Hezekiah 2Ki 20:11 with the Egyptian tradition of two strange days mentioned by Herodotus, ii. 142. Compare Ovid's Metamorphoses, Book 2. God may have actually stopped, for a while, the daily rotation of the earth upon its axis, and thus stopped the motion of the sun and moon in their apparent daily orbits, and He may have prevented all the natural evil consequences of such stoppage, for all things are possible to omnipotence.

{12} Typifying the zeal and carefulness of the soul in its early love.

06- Chapter IV From the Conquest of Canaan to the Babylonish Captivity.

The ancient Canaan was about 170 miles in length, and 40 in average breadth, covering some 7,000 square miles, about the size of Wales. The length of the country under Solomon's dominion was about 200 miles, with a breadth of 60 miles, and an area of some 12,000 square miles.

Canaan, or Palestine, was designed and arranged by God when He laid the foundations of the earth and divided to the nations their inheritance, to be a natural fortress for the preservation of religious truth and purity; a home in which a covenant people might be trained and educated in the household of God and directly under His eye, to be zealous of good works themselves, and to be a royal priesthood to mankind; to carry out in their history God's promise to the founder of their race, that in Him should all the families of the earth be blessed. And therefore God surrounded it with natural fortifications, which kept it separate and secluded "even although placed in the very midst of the most concentrated populations of the world, in the very focus toward which their intercourse with one another radiated" until the objects of the hermit-training and discipline of its inhabitants were accomplished. God hedged round the vineyard in which He planted His own noble vine with tower and trench, with sea and desert, against the boar of the wood and the beast of the field. From the foul Baal and Astarte worship of Syria in the north, it was defended by the lofty mountains of Lebanon; from the degrading brute and plant idolatry of Egypt it was guarded, in the south, by a long stretch of pathless wilderness; from the Assyrian deification of lawless force, and the monstrous incarnations of the east, the deep depression of the Jordan valley, the swift, deep current of the river, and the intricate fastnesses of the arid hills and valleys beyond, formed a sufficient protection; while between the people and the baneful effects of the beautiful and captivating human apotheoses of Greece and Rome, the Great Sea rolled its wide waste of waters. This remarkable isolation of the country prevented the inhabitants from having any commercial intercourse with the outlying nation. Nu 23:9 With the single and very doubtful exception of Joppa, there was no suitable harbor in which ships could be sheltered; all the havens along the western coast being unsafe. Not a single navigable river flowed from the interior to the sea; the principal stream, the Jordan, flowing parallel with the coast, and being very rapid, crooked and broken, and so deep below the surface of the adjacent country as to be invisible and difficult of approach, and finally losing itself in an inland gulf which is as far below the level of the ocean as the mountains around it are above. Not a single one of the many cities that at different times held the rank of capital was situated on the seashore, Jerusalem being built in the wildest and most inaccessible part of the interior. All these circumstances favored the design of God, and acted in harmony with the spirit of the Jewish law, which discountenanced commerce as much as it encouraged agriculture. The Jews could not help being a nation of farmers. As a new seed of Adam, subjected to a new trial of obedience, they were placed in this new garden on Eden, to dress and keep it, in order that through their tilling of the ground the wilderness and solitary place might be made glad, and the desert rejoice and blossom as the rose. Very rich and varied were the natural resources of Canaan. No other country in the world presented, within a limited area, such diversities of soil and climate. On the one side it rose ten thousand feet above the level of the sea; on the other it sank one thousand three hundred feet below it; and between these two extremes there was the utmost variety of scenery, temperature and productions. All the seasons had their perpetual abode in this favored country. Perpetual Spring smiled on the green slopes of Galilee; Summer that knew no blight glowed on the tree-covered hills of Carmel; Autumn lingered around the corn-fields of Bethlehem and the purple vineyards of Hebron; while grim Winter sat forever on his icy throne on the brow of Lebanon, and sent his cooling breath over but dared not lift his destroying arm upon the land. Going from the north to the south was like passing through the circle of the year and Jordan there was the sweltering heat of the tropics; in the hill country of Judea the mild dews and soft air of the temperate zone; and far up the sides of Lebanon the icy rigor of the Arctic regions. Almost every species of the vegetable kingdom -forest-tree, fruit and flower, field and garden product -is found in Palestine. Containing, in ancient times, from three to six million inhabitants, it was the most fertile and highly cultivated country in the world, and amply sufficed to sustain its population without any extraneous support, without any need of commerce or merchandise. The whole landed property of the country was divided inalienably among the inhabitants in such a way as that the possession of each family was capable of yielding, in years of ordinary productiveness, not merely a comfortable, but even a luxurious maintenance. Each Israelite sat under his own vine and fig-tree, without fear of famine. The whole land was self-contained and independent, and thus its isolation from surrounding nations was still further secured. By the necessity of a careful cultivation of every inch of the soil, the Jews became distinguished above other nations for habits of industry, intelligence and economy; while their world-wide variety of soil and climate fitted them for their universal destiny." -H. Macmillan's Sabbath of the Fields.

Moses gives a fine description of the "pleasant, "" goodly, "" glorious land of promise" in De 8:7-10. And the Lord asks by the mouth of Isaiah (Isa 5:4), "What could have been done more to my vineyard, that I have not done in it?"

The peculiar situation and boundaries, and the wonderful and unrivalled excellences of ancient Palestine -the proofs of which excellences are even now plainly visible after eighteen centuries of war and ruin and plunder and neglect -demonstrate the eternal foreknowledge, predestination, omnipotence and special covenant love of God to Israel. They prove that the God of Israel is the God of the universe.

All types are imperfect. Canaan is a type not only of the gospel church, but also of Heaven (Heb 3 and Heb 4).

The descendants of Abraham are in possession of the promised land -by conquest and actual possession of a part of it, and by virtue of God's promise claiming the whole of it, and have already divided it by lot. They are in covenant relation to God, and as such typify the church under the gospel dispensation; yet among the natural descendants of Abraham there are to be found, at all times, wicked and impenitent persons who, being only children after the flesh, persecute children of the promise and of the Spirit. It is these spiritual Israelites, therefore, who constitute the true worshipers of God, and who suffer persecution at the hands of their fleshly brethren; and also have to suffer for their brethren, who so often provoke the Most High to punish the whole people for the sins of a part. These two classes also typify the fleshly and spiritual natures in all Christians. The Israelites, notwithstanding their professions before Joshua of great faithfulness, soon forgot the God of their fathers and turned to the worship of idols; for which the Lord punished them in various ways, and especially by giving their enemies the mastery over them, and causing them often to groan under the rigid oppression of the nations around them.

During the history of the judges -about 320 years -they were much afflicted by reason of their transgressions, and had often to cry to God for mercy, who delivered them out of their distress. God raised up judges for their deliverance, but they would soon forget God and relapse into idolatry again. This sin beset them more or less until after the Babylonish captivity. The preface to the history of the judges represents the different tribes moving to acquire the possessions allotted them. Judah took the lead in this movement, accompanied by Simeon. These gained a signal victory over the Canaanites and Perizzites in Bezek, and took prisoner Adoni-bezek, a great tyrant, who was justly punished for his cruelty to others.

Judah then aided Simeon in recovering his lot. They took several cities, but could not entirely drive out the inhabitants; and the various tribes made but small headway in gaining entire possession of their inheritances. God told them, indeed, that as they had failed to keep His covenant, He would not drive out the people before them. They apparently repented, in a public demonstration, at a place which was afterward called Bochim (the weepers), which was thus named on account of their sacrifices and cries of repentance. Jg 2:1-6

"After this introduction we have the general summary of the vicissitudes of idolatry and repentance, servitude and deliverance, which we have already noticed. It ends with the enumeration of the heathen nations which were still left, 'to prove Israel by them;' a trial in which they failed, intermarrying with them, worshiping their gods, doing evil in the sight of Jehovah, forgetting their own God and serving 'Baalim and the groves'. Jg 3:6-7 These statements are illustrated by the dark records of idolatry, vice and cruelty which occupy the closing chapters of the book, and which seem to belong to the earlier part of the period of the judges. They are expressly mentioned as examples of the disorder of those days, when 'there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes'". Jg 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25

The affecting and interesting history of Ruth {1} the Moabitess occurred during the period of the judges. She became the wife of Boaz, and bore a son to him named Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, from whom sprang Christ, the Savior of sinners; Boaz also being the son of a sinful Canaanitish woman, named Rahab, of the city of Jericho. Among the other wonderful things connected with the salvation of men is that of the condescension of our Lord to be born of such progenitors. Surely He is the friend of sinners; and His grace is able to cleanse and save the vilest, Gentile as well as Jew.

The judges in Israel were an extraordinary order of rulers, raised up in emergencies, and not contemplated or provided for in the constitution of the state.

They did not succeed each other immediately or in regular order, but were indicated by inspiration and signs, on great emergencies, which the people readily recognized, as a divine arrangement in their behalf. There were fifteen of them in all (including Abimelech, the usurper) from Othniel, Caleb's brother, to Samuel, who was both judge and prophet, viz.: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, {2} Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, Sampson, Eli, {3} and Samuel.

The period of the judges was a very chequered one, in which, down to the time of Samuel, God taught the Israelites His hatred of sin, not by prophets, but by events. When the nation fell into idolatry and immorality, He allowed their enemies to defeat and oppress them; and then, when they cried unto Him for mercy, He raised up judges to deliver them from their enemies. Thus were the people taught that the way of the transgressor is hard, but that the Divine blessing rests upon those who fear and serve the Lord.

Among the eminent saints in private life, during the ruling of the judges, we might name Manoah and his wife, Naomi, Ruth, Boaz, Elkanah, and Hannah.

During the government of the judges, a change took place in the succession of the high-priesthood. It descended from Aaron to his oldest son Eleazar, and from him down to Uzzi. After Uzzi it was transferred to the house of Aaron's younger son Ithamar, and Eli is chosen high priest. This order remained until about eighty years after, when Solomon changed it back again to the house of Eleazar by deposing Abiathar and appointing Zadok in his stead.

The ark during the time of the judges remained at different places -a long time at Shiloh, a still longer time at Kirjath-Jearim, then at Jerusalem, and finally was deposited by Solomon in the magnificent temple which he had erected. When thus deposited, it contained nothing but the two tables of stone; the golden pot of manna and Aaron's Rod that budded, having been lost during its capture or frequent removals. With little exception it remained in the Holy of Holies, in the temple, from its dedication B.C. 1003, to its destruction B.C. 588 -a period of four hundred and fifteen years. Moses made it B.C. 1490, and it perished in Solomon's temple B.C. 588, having been in existence nine hundred and two years! What a miraculous preservation! The second temple had no ark.

The sacred history of the four centuries from the passage of the Jordan to the reign of Saul is comprised in three short books, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and a few pages in the book of Samuel- all of which might be read in half a day! We naturally inquire, Why so short? The answer is ready. The Holy Ghost who inspired the record preserves only such incidents as will be of spiritual profit to the people of God in after times.

At the close of the period of the judges the kingly and the prophetical office was set up in Israel in regular succession. The priestly office was already established. There was a succession of prophets from Enoch, the seventh from Adam, to Moses, the great lawgiver and prophet, who died before the conquest. Among these might be named Noah, Job, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Joseph. During the period of the judges, about three hundred and sixty years (including Joshua's leadership), there was an almost entire absence of the spirit of prophecy. But when Samuel, the child of faith and prayer, was called a lively interest was manifested in him by the people. All recognized him as a prophet of God, and honored him as such from Dan to Beersheba 1Sa 1; 2; 3. From him there was kept up a constant line of prophets, men inspired of God and called to the work, during the kingly reigns over Israel to their termination, and those over Judah down to the close of Malachi's prophecy, about four hundred years B.C. These men spake as with authority from the Most High, and, as a general thing, kings, priests and people were subject to them Jer 1; and from Enoch to Moses, and from Samuel to Malachi, they were pious men and eminent servants of God. The chief vacancies appear to be from Moses to Samuel, and from Malachi to the coming of Christ. Some of the prophets under the kingly reigns appear on the stage, deliver their messages and retire, without any record of their names even; others chiefly in the courts of kings; others mostly intermingling with the people.

Some leave no record of their predictions or admonitions, while others, sixteen in all, have done so, and their books may be found in the canon of Scripture, viz.: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, called the four greater; and Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi, called the twelve lesser prophets. They spoke the truth fearlessly, whether it offended or pleased others. This was the spirit that characterized them, "As the Lord liveth, what the Lord saith unto me, that will I speak" 1Ki 22:14; Jer 23:20-40. False prophets sometimes arose and occasioned great trouble. When fairly detected they were to be put to death according to law, De 13 and this was the reason why Elijah had so little opposition in having four hundred of them put to death, on the memorable occasion of the sacrifice at Carmel. The people, however, were so idolatrous themselves that they would often let the false prophet escape and punish the true one.

There were "companies" or "sons" of the prophets 1Sa 19:19-20; 2Ki 2:3; 4:38-41; 6:1-7, but the object and end of their associations are little known to us. They are mentioned only in the days of Samuel, David, Elijah and Elisha. They appear to have been young men who admired the prophets -sought their society -waited on them and received instruction from them in sacred music 1Sa 10:5; 2Ki 3:15; 1Ch 25:1-7, but could not be made prophets of by their teachers. God chose whom he would and raised them to the prophetical office, without any regard to their former human training Am 7:14-15; 1Ki 19:15-21:1. Nothing of the kind appears in the New Testament.

From Samuel to Malachi were six hundred and fifty years, a long time for the continuation of the prophetic line set up in Samuel. What a vast volume of warnings, predictions and commands must have been poured forth by them in that period of time! Well might the apostle have said, "God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son". Heb 1:1

The God of Israel communicated with these ancient men of God in various ways, just as it pleased the sovereign of the universe -by inward revelations, in dreams, visions, voices and by angels. And the effects upon the bodies and spirits of the prophets were sometimes remarkable. Ge 15:12; Da 8:10-18; 10; Hab 3:16; Eze 1:18

"The priests were at first Israel's teachers in God's statutes by types, acts and words. Le 10:11 But when under the judges the nation repeatedly apostatized, and no longer regarded the dumb acted lessons of the ceremonial law, God sent a new order -the prophets -to witness for Him in plainer warnings." "They were bold reformers, and reprovers of idolatry, iniquity, and hypocrisy; they called the attention of the people to the moral law, the standard of true holiness; they showed the inefficacy of ceremonial observances, without the obedience of faith and love; and they kept up and encouraged the expectation of the promised Messiah, and more fully declared the sufferings of Christ and the glory which should follow. Their claims to be considered as God's appointed servants were demonstrated by the unimpeachable integrity of their characters, by the intrinsic excellence and tendency of their instructions, and by the disinterested zeal and undaunted fortitude with which they persevered in their great design. These were still further confirmed by the miraculous proofs which they gave of Divine support, and by the immediate completion of many smaller predictions which they uttered." Their grandest object was to declare the spirituality of God's religion, the necessity of repentance, and the fullness and freeness of the Divine salvation which was to be wrought out by the coming Messiah; we see the truth of this remark especially in Isaiah and in the last and greatest of the prophets before Christ, John the Baptists. The ancient Jews always acknowledged that the chief design of the prophets was to foretell the times of the Messiah. "The dress of the prophets was a hairy garment with a leathern girdle Isa 20:2; Zec 13:4; Mt 3:4; and their diet was the simplest 2Ki 4:10,38; 1Ki 19:6, a virtual protest against abounding luxury." "The absence of greater clearness in their predictions is due to God's purpose to give light enough to guide the spiritual, to leave darkness enough to confound the carnal mind. Many of the prophecies have a temporary and local, foreshadowing their final Messianic, fulfillment. The prophets were the poets and historians of their people."

"While it is certain that, for some two thousand or seventeen hundred years, the prophecies of the Old and New Testament Scriptures have been read in public assemblies, dispersed into several countries, translated into several languages, and quoted and commented upon by different nations, so that there is no room to suspect so much as a possibility of forgery or illusion, it is certain that we see many of these prophecies fulfilled and fulfilling at the present day. We see the descendants of Shem and Japheth ruling and enlarged in Asia, Europe and America, and the curse of servitude still attending the wretched descendants of Ham in Africa. We see the posterity of Ishmael multiplied exceedingly, and become a great nation in the Arabians; yet living like wild men, and shifting from place to place in the wilderness; their hand against every man, and every man's hand against them; and still dwelling a free people in the presence of all their brethren and of all their enemies. We see the family of Esau totally extinct, and that of Jacob subsisting at this day; the sceptre departed from Judah, the people living nowhere in authority, everywhere in subjection, the Jews still dwelling alone among the nations. We see the Jews severely punished for their infidelity and disobedience to their great prophet like unto Moses; plucked from off their own land, and removed into all the kingdoms of the earth, oppressed and spoiled evermore, and make a proverb and a by-word among all nations; still by a constant miracle preserved everywhere as a distinct people for the demonstration among the Gentiles of the truth of the Scriptures and for the completion of other prophecies relation to them; while their great conquerors are everywhere destroyed -the Assyrian Nineveh devoured by fire and barely able to be exhumed from the rubbish of its ruins -Babylon made a desolation for ever, a possession for the bittern, and pools of water -Tyre become like the top of a rock, a place for fishers to spread their nets upon -and Egypt a base kingdom, the basest of the kingdoms, still tributary and subject to strangers. We see, of the four great empires of the world (the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Græco-Macedonian, and the Roman) represented by the great image in Nebuchadnezzar's dream, the fourth and last, which was greater and more powerful than any of the former, first divided into the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, and then subdivided into many smaller and weaker nations, and among them the great idolatrous apostasy of the Christian Church, in a city seated upon seven mountains, wearing out the saints of the Most High, and thinking to change times and laws, his temporal dominion now taken from him, Da 7:26 but still asserting his spiritual power, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, enjoining the worship of Mary and other departed saints, and opposing and exalting himself above all laws, human and divine, and sitting as God in the Church of God, proclaiming himself the infallible vicegerent of God on earth, the last Supreme Judge of the human race." -Fausset, Scott, Gray and Newton.

Our remarks upon the Messianic prophecies of the Old Testament, shown to be fulfilled in the New, are reserved for the close of the Old Testament period.

The fulfilled and fulfilling prophecies of the Scriptures peremptorily demonstrate the Divine inspiration of the Bible, and God's absolute foreknowledge and control of all things for the salvation of His people.

Toward the close of Samuel's life the kingly power was set up in Saul. Samuel's sons, like those of Eli, were too unworthy to become his successors. The people demanded a king in order to be like other nations; and although forewarned of the evil consequences of a monarchy by Samuel, they disregarded all, and urged him to select a king for them. This displeased Samuel; yet God said unto him, "They have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them." "Hearken unto their voice: howbeit yet protest solemnly unto them, and shew them the manner of the king that shall reign over them."

Samuel did so, but they disregarded his warnings and demanded a king; which God gave them in His anger, and yet did not forsake them. He directed Samuel to anoint Saul, the son of Kish, a Benjamite, to be a king over them, and to go forth as their captain to deliver them out of the hand of the Philistines, because their cry under oppression had come unto Him 1Sa 9:15-16. In making up the army of Israel cavalry was forbidden, lest the kings and people should trust in horses and chariots, and exhaust their resources too rapidly by keeping up such an expensive show of formidable array, and be tempted to engage in demoralizing foreign wars. They were rather to trust in the living God, while they went forth in person to combat.

The kingly power, thus set up, did not overturn the previously existing theocracy; for the king was only the servant still, or vicegerent, of God, to enforce His commands, and to be established in his authority or dethroned, as seemed good in His sight. The king's authority extended to all temporal and spiritual affairs, and in this respect church and state were united, God, however, being admitted to be the righteous Ruler and Governor over all.

Saul, for unfaithfulness and presumptuous sins in office, was rejected from the throne, as was all his house. David, the youngest son of Jesse, was anointed and appointed to succeed Saul, and in his family it pleased God to make the kingly power hereditary. Saul came to the throne B.C. 1095, and reigned over all Israel forty years. In the battle of Gilboa he was defeated by the Philistines, and took his own life. Saul was aware of David's having been anointed by God's prophet to be king over Israel, yet sought often to kill David so as to defeat God's purpose in this respect.

Quite similar was the conduct of Herod about one thousand years afterwards, when, after having been specially informed that the king of the Jews was born in Bethlehem, who was to reign over the house of Jacob forever, he sent forth executioners, who slew all the male children in that vicinity from two years old and under, in order to frustrate the declared purpose of God! How unreasonable, impious and inconsistent is the unrenewed mind of man!

David was the first proclaimed king over the tribes of Judah and Benjamin at Hebron, B.C. 1055, and reigned there seven years. Ishbosheth, Saul's son, was proclaimed king over the ten tribes at Mahanaim, and a seven years' war ensued between him and David. David finally prevailed, and was anointed king over all Israel, B.C. 1048. This was his third anointing. The year following he made Jerusalem the capital, and reigned there thirty and three years, making forty years in all. He shortly after removed the ark from Kirjath-Jearim to Jerusalem, and purposed building a house in which to worship God; but, although this purpose was approved of God, yet he did not suffer David to carry it into execution, because he had been a man of war and had shed much blood. The work was reserved for his successor. For fifteen years after he began to reign in Jerusalem (1048 to 1033) he was almost continually engaged in war with the old enemies of Israel, such as the Edomites, the Moabites, the Amalekites, and Ammonites, the Philistines and the Assyrians; and, conquering and subduing all these nations, he pushed forward his dominion until it had included all that had been originally promised to Abraham and his seed (Ge 15:18-21; De 11:23-24; Jos 1:4, compared with 1Ki 4:21-24; 2Ch 9:26). Of all the kings that reigned over Israel, David and Solomon only extended their jurisdiction to the utmost borders of the vast country promised originally to the Hebrews, viz.: from Egypt to the Euphrates, about fifty thousand square miles -Palestine only occupying twelve thousand square miles; and their joint reigns lasted but eighty years. Nevertheless, these two reigns constituted the golden age of the temporal grandeur and spiritual enjoyment of the chosen people.

David was said to have been a man after God's own heart 1Sa 13:14; his name signifies beloved; he was a type of Christ and of the church, and his experience is that of every child of grace, more or less. Even after his regeneration he committed great sins; but God gave him great grace, superabounding over his sins Ro 5:20, and enabling him truly to repent (like Peter- Ps 51; Lu 22:61-62); God forgave him, but, to vindicate His own holiness, Le 10:3 and to give His servant the needed discipline, Heb 12:5-11; 1-13 His nature was exceedingly devotional -sometimes enthusiastic. The Psalms written by him reveal his character as a humble, penitent and devout worshiper of the Most High.

"The three most eminent men in the Hebrew annals -Moses, David and Solomon -were three of their most distinguished poets. The hymns of David excel no less in sublimity and tenderness of expression than in holiness and purity of religious sentiment. In comparison with them the sacred poetry of all other nations sinks into mediocrity. They have embodied so exquisitely the universal language of religious emotion, that (a few very fierce and vindictive passages excepted, natural in the warrior poet of a sterner age) they have entered with unquestioned propriety into the ritual of the holier and more perfect religion of Christ. The songs which cheered the solitude of the desert caves of Engedi, or resounded from the voice of the Hebrew people as they wound along the glens or the hillsides of Judea, have been repeated for ages in almost every part of the habitable world, in the remotest island of the ocean, among the forests of America and the sands of Africa. How many human hearts have they (under the application of the Spirit of God) softened, purified, exalted! of how many wretched beings have they been the secret consolation! on how many communities have they drawn down the blessings of Divine Providence, by bringing the affections into union with their devotional fervor." -Milman.

And notwithstanding all that may be said in favor of this eminent servant of God, we should not forget that he was a man -a depraved mortal -a man of like passions with ourselves -at best a sinner saved by grace, and liable to err through the temptations of Satan, the seductions of the world, and the deceitfulness of his own heart. He did err greatly; the Lord punished him for it severely; he repented deeply, and God in mercy forgave him freely. All these things are carefully set down for warning, admonition and encouragement to spiritual Israel thenceforward to the end of time.

Solomon, the son of David, succeeded his father, and was crowned king B.C. 1014, in a time of profound peace, and equaled him in the length of his reign -forty years. He was much devoted to God in the first part of his reign. He built the temple, {4} placed the ark within it, and dedicated it.

He was seven years and a half in building it, and completed it B.C. 1004. Immense sacrifices were offered to God upon its dedication; the glory of God filled the house after the ark was carried into it, so that the priests could not minister because of the cloud; Solomon, kneeling, spread forth his hands towards Heaven, and offered the prayer of dedication; after which he dismissed the people, who returned to their homes joyful and with glad hearts 1Ki 8. This, no doubt, was the greatest and happiest day the Hebrew nation ever witnessed. The hundreds of thousands who could not be present at the dedication considered themselves equally interested and alike participating in the joyful festivities of the occasion. Wisdom was specially given to Solomon. God asked him, before this time, what he would have, and he asked for wisdom to govern Israel well. They were God's people -they were then a great people -and he desired wisdom to govern them well for their good and God's glory. He did not ask for long life, or for riches or honor, but for wisdom. The Lord granted his request, and, in addition to wisdom, conferred on him riches and honor exceeding that of all other men. The temple was a small structure in comparison to many others, both ancient and modern; but it was the most costly of all, chiefly on account of the quantity of gold and silver used in its construction. In this respect it was a forcible type of the true church in all ages of the world, which, though so much smaller than the false church, is yet the most costly of all -having cost the precious blood of Christ as of a lamb slain from the foundation of the world, and being clothed with His imputed righteousness, which outshines by far all the righteousness of man.

After the dedication the Lord appeared unto Solomon again, assuring him that He had heard his prayer and had blessed the temple, and would establish his (Solomon's) throne over Israel forever if he proved faithful; but, should he turn from the Lord and serve other gods, He would cut off Israel out of the land, and cast the house which He had hallowed out of His sight! 1Ki 9:2-7

Now was the zenith of Hebrew greatness. The sun of national Israel had pierced the horizon when Abram was first called from "Ur of the Chaldees, " and had been gradually rising higher and higher -higher and higher still -for nearly a thousand years, until, at this auspicious period, he stood forth in his meridian splendor, shedding his benign rays over the beautiful land of Palestine, the garden-spot of the world, with all the tributary nations around it. Added to this was the religious character of the people; who were loud in their praises of, and faithful in adoring, the only true God. Israel in spirit was but little annoyed by Israel after the flesh: the sons of Belial shrunk back from persecuting the sons of God, and all seemed united in love, peace and prosperity -from Dan to Beersheba, and from the great river to the sea. Spiritual Israel here had rest, {5} indicative of that which remains for the people of God in Heaven, and indicative of that rest which all experience when changed from the legal to the Christian dispensation, or translated from the kingdom of Satan into the kingdom of God's dear Son. But these halcyon days under the reign of Solomon were of short duration -God's people must not expect a long continuance either of temporal or spiritual happiness in this poor, sinful world -both are fleeting in their character and soon pass away; but, while spiritual enjoyments are renewed from time to time until they are perfected by the transcendent glories of eternity, temporal enjoyments terminate at the grave.

Solomon transgressed the law of his God. He did not prove faithful to the end. He gave himself up to carnal pleasures. He made an affinity with Pharaoh, king of Egypt, by marrying his daughter, and took many wives from the heathen nations around him, all of which was expressly forbidden. His strange wives were idolaters, and he indulged them in idolatry. He built them high places for the worship of their deities, and joined some of them in their infamous worship. With the decline of his zeal for God and the honor of his name came a decline of his earthly greatness. God made known to him His displeasure, and notified him of the downfall of his kingdom and the rending off the ten tribes in the days of his successors. He appeared not then to repent of his sins, but no doubt did before his death, which took place B.C. 975, when he was succeeded by his son Rehoboam 1Ki 12.

During the reigns of both David and Solomon, as at all other past times since the fall of Adam, while there were a few spiritual worshipers of God, the mass of the people either worshiped idols, or only outwardly worshiped God in accordance with the will, the example or the command of their rulers. "But the constant tendency was to idolatry; and the intercourse with foreign nations which Solomon maintained, as well as his own example, greatly increased the tendency. Under Solomon, indeed, idolatry struck its roots so deep that all the zeal of the reforming kings that followed him failed to eradicate it. It was not till the seventy years' captivity of Babylon that the soil of Palestine was thoroughly purged of the roots of that noxious weed." -W.G. Blaikie.

The question is sometimes asked, Was Solomon a spiritual Israelite, a child of grace, an heir of God, and has he gone to Heaven? We answer, Yes. All the writers of the books both in the Old and in the New Testaments were Heaven-born and Heaven-bound. God would not permit an unregenerate man, a heathen, a barbarian, to write a book for Him, and then place it in the sacred canon of Scripture. This would be a most preposterous thing. Besides, it is said that he "loved the Lord, walking in the statutes of David his father" 1Ki 3:3. And again, the Lord said of him, "He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: but my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee" 2Sa 7:13-15. The Lord made two special revelations to him, and gave him more wisdom than any other man; and this wisdom was spiritual as well as natural. And, in addition to all this, Solomon wrote three books that are preserved and handed down to us in the Old Testament, viz., the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes and Proverbs; in all of which there are evidences of a spiritual mind, and the unction of the Holy Spirit is clearly manifest.

During the reigns of Saul, David and Solomon there was almost an entire absence of miracles, being a period of about 120 years; yet the Lord revealed himself to His people by Urim and Thummim, through his prophets; also in visions, as in the case of Solomon and others; also by visible manifestations, as at the dedication of the temple, when the cloud and the glory descended and filled it.

We have said that during the reign of Solomon the sun of Israel's greatness was at his height; and from his reign that sun began to decline, sinking lower and lower, until it finally set amidst the darkness and desolation that followed the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army under Titus (A.D. 70). The nationality was then overthrown, and the remnant of Israel scattered among the nations.

King Solomon was succeeded by his son Rehoboam; and very soon thereafter the ten tribes revolted, and set up Jeroboam to reign over them. This separation continued until the return of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity, when what was left to return, both of Jews and Israelites, united as one nation again, and were thenceforward called Jews. The ten tribes had revolted twice before this against the throne of David; first, under Abner and Ish-bosheth, after the death of Saul, for seven years; second, under Absalom, and at his death under Sheba, for a short continuance. This last revolt (under Rehoboam) was about the year B.C. 975. The ten tribes were captured and carried away into Assyria by Shalmaneser, B.C. 721, which gave them an independence of the throne of David for 254 years. The kingdom of Judah, composed of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin and the most of Levi, continued from the setting up of Rehoboam to the first taking of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar (a period of 369 years), B.C. 606, from which the date of the seventy years' captivity commences. According to this, the two kingdoms, that of Judah and Israel, were separated 439 years, say from 975 to 536 B.C., when the seventy years were ended. During all this period of separation, however, they were one people still, in feeling, in origin, in religion and destiny, and had more or less intercourse with each other. Besides this, many from the ten tribes, during the wicked reigns of Jeroboam and his impious successors, found their way to Jerusalem and the jurisdiction of Rehoboam and his successors, before Israel was carried off into Assyria.

It is deplorable to notice the sad declension of the ten tribes after this third revolt until carried away. They had not a righteous prince to rule over them during the whole period from Jeroboam the first to Hoshea the last. All were wicked, all idolatrous, and caused Israel to sin. What must have been the mortification and suffering of God's spiritual worshipers among them for that long 254 years! They had nineteen kings to rule over them in nine distinct dynasties. Of these nineteen, seven were murdered by conspirators, namely, Nadab, Elah, Jehoram, Zachariah, Shallum, Pekahiah, and Pekah; one, Zimri, after a brief reign, to avoid falling into the hands of his competitor to the throne, burnt himself up in his palace; another, Ahab, died ingloriously in battle, "whose blood the dogs licked; " another, Ahaziah, died in consequence of a fall through a lattice in his house; and the last, Hoshea, was dethroned and carried a captive into Syria; eight only died quietly in their beds, namely, Jeroboam, Baasha, Omri, Jehu, Jehoahaz, Jeroboam II., and Menahem.

The kingdom of Israel was scourged with wars, and these were mostly with the kingdom of Judah. Their armies or populations were nearly the same, Judah having, as is supposed, two-thirds the number of Israel, some of the tribes having run down very low, and many persons uniting their fortunes to Judah, a powerful and the most religious tribe. The advantages gained on either side were about equal in the end.

"The separate history of the idolatrous kingdom of Israel may be well divided into four periods: 1st. Idolatry taking root -about fifty years, during the reigns of Jeroboam I., Nadab, Baasha, Elah and Zimri, and during the prophecies of Ahijah and Jehu. 2nd. Idolatry rampant -about forty-eight years, during the reigns of Omri, Ahab, Ahaziah, and Jehoram, and during the prophecies of Elijah, Micaiah and Elisha. 3d. Idolatry slightly checked- about one hundred and two years, during the reigns of Jehu, Jehoahaz, Joash, Jeroboam II., and Zachariah, and during the prophecies of Jonah, Hosea, and Am 4. Idolatry terminating in ruin -about fifty-four years, during the reigns of Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, Pekah and Hoshea, and during the prophecy of Oded." -W.G. Blaikie.

The enemies most to be dreaded by Israel were the Assyrians, who finally conquered and swept them away. Tiglath-pileser, king of Assyria, in the reign of Pekah, B.C. 740, conquered and carried into captivity the two tribes, Reuben and Gad, the half tribe of Manasseh, east of Jordan, Naphtali, and portions of Galilee on the west. 1Ki 15:20; 1Ch 5; 2Ki 15 The others of the tribes in the reign of Hoshea, B.C. 721, were carried away captive by Shalmaneser, king of Assyria.

The captivity of the ten tribes was a punishment from God, "because they obeyed not the voice of the Lord their God, but transgressed His covenant, and all that Moses the servant of the Lord commanded, and would not hear them nor do them" 2Ki 17; 18 This captivity was a terrible punishment to idolaters, but not more than they deserved and not more than God had already threatened. He was faithful to carry out His long-declared purpose, known to these wicked rulers and these wicked people, from generation to generation, by His holy prophets. 2Ki 17:20-23; 1Ki 14:7-16 This is the last account we have of these tribes as an independent and separate body of people. History is silent concerning them afterwards. Many of their descendants returned to Jerusalem, no doubt, upon the cessation of the Babylonish captivity, when Israel and Judah became one stick again. Eze 37:16-17 The Babylonians conquered the Assyrians and carried many Israelites to that country, probably before the Jews were taken there from Jerusalem. When they met, they fraternized, and felt to be one people.

The land of Israel was not left desolate when the king of Assyria depopulated the country. He brought in others to fill their places, men, women and children, from different provinces of his empire, to secure the country which he had conquered; and in this way Samaria was settled. Here originated a most remarkable people, both in regard to their religion and their perpetuity. The zealous king of Judah, Josiah, undertook to destroy the idols in the lands once occupied by the ten tribes, ninety-three years after their captivity. He met with resistance else-where, but not in Samaria. There he killed the idolatrous priests, which they were willing to, and had no objection to the worship set up by Josiah. Ninety-two years afterwards, viz., in the year B.C. 536, when Ezra under the decree of Cyrus was laying the foundation of the second temple, these people desired to assist him in the work on the ground of a common religion. Said they: "Let us build with you: for we seek your God, as ye do: and we do sacrifice unto Him since the days of Esarhaddon, king of Asshur, who brought us up hither." But the Jews replied: "Ye have nothing to do with us to build an house unto our God: but we ourselves together will build unto the Lord God of Israel as Cyrus, the king of Persia, hath commanded us" Ezr 4 Upon this refusal of their assistance they became much displeased, and did what they could ever afterwards to hinder the work, and actually prevailed with the king of Persia to put a stop to it for awhile. The bitterness engendered on that occasion has never passed away. It continued between the two people all the time during the existence of the second temple. In the days of our Savior "the Jews had no dealings with the Samaritans, " and we presume the prejudice remains to this day, whenever they come in contact. The Jewish nation has been broken up for eighteen hundred years, and their descendants are now dispersed abroad among the nations of the earth without the least sign of nationality; while the Samaritans occupy their old ground still, hold fast to their old religion, and are full of their old prejudices. They worship on Mount Gerizim, and hold to the five books of Moses, with the books of Joshua and Judges in a corrupted form. The Pentateuch, however, is their Bible, and they still look for a Savior to come.

Their copy of the Pentateuch is very ancient, and written in the ancient Hebrew or Phoenician character. When they received it or what is the date of it is unknown -perhaps a little before the Babylonian captivity.

What are we to expect by the preservation of these people through twenty-five centuries? There is mystery involved. Conquering nations have swept over them for many long centuries like waves of the sea, but they have not been washed away; there they are yet, on their same old Mount Gerizim, with Pentateuch in hand, affiliating with neither Jew nor Christian, Mohammedan nor Pagan, Romanist nor Protestant, nor with the church of God, yet looking for the Messiah to come!

They are reduced in number, it is said, to about one hundred and fifty souls, the oldest, the smallest and the extremist sect in the world, and yet, for aught we know to the contrary, it may please the Divine Mind to allow them to remain until they shall behold from their same old mountain the true Messiah, coming in the clouds of Heaven with His holy angels, to gather His ransomed people home, and take vengeance on them that know not God -not the first, but the second time, without sin unto salvation.

During the reign of nineteen kings in Israel, till their being carried away, there were only twelve who reigned in Judah, and nineteen in all down to the Babylonian captivity- and all these in a direct line from David.

Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, did well for a few years of his reign. He ruled wisely, and walked in the way of the better days of his father and grandfather. His reign was honored and revered, and so devotional was he that numbers of priests, Levites and people of Israel, moved into Judea away from the idolatry and oppression of their own rulers. But a sudden change came over the mind of Rehoboam. So soon as he felt established on his throne and everything seemed prosperous around him, he forsook the law of the Lord and plunged into idolatry and almost every vice, and drew most of his subjects with him. God brought down his high looks and defiant attitude by sending Shishak, king of Egypt, to look after him. He invaded Judah, took the fenced cities, and approached Jerusalem. He and his princes came down at once, at the preaching of the prophet Shemaiah and the approach of Shishak's army, confessed their faults and pleaded for mercy, as did the Ninevites at the preaching of Jonah. The Lord hearkened and saved them from destruction by causing the invading forces to turn away after they had taken the treasures of the house of the Lord and the treasures of the king's house and Solomon's shields of gold.

There was strong opposition by God's spiritual children in Judea all the time to the wicked devices of the king; but they were in a minority, as usual, and could not prevail. Rehoboam did better after this, but never altogether reformed 2Ch 11:5-23; 12; 1Ki 14:22-24.

Abijah, son of Rehoboam, succeeded to the throne. He did not entirely reform abuses, but professed to be jealous for the honor of God, and reproached Jeroboam, king of Israel, with forsaking Him. He made war with Jeroboam, under this plea, among others, and relying upon the Lord, he went into battle with an odds of two to one against him, and defeated Jeroboam, slaying five hundred thousand of his men -being one hundred thousand more than was numbered in his own army. He strengthened his kingdom greatly, and died after a short reign 2Ch 13; 1Ki 15.

Abijah's son, Asa, succeeded him, and proved to be one of the best kings that ever reigned over Judea. He earnestly sought to extirpate idolatry and immorality from the land, and repaired the fortified places of Judea; and, in the strength of a covenant-keeping God (see his remarkable prayer in 2Ch 14:11), he met the mighty invading Ethiopian host of a million men, under Zerah, and utterly routed them. Encouraged by the prophet Azariah, he now became still more zealous in the destruction of idolatry. But Baasha, king of Israel, moving against him, his faith in God seemed for a time to fail him, and he, with the treasures of his palace and the temple, hired Benhadad, king of Syria, to invade Baasha's northern frontier; and, being rebuked for this by the faithful prophet of the Lord, Hanani, he cast the latter into prison. Asa was attacked with a disease in his feet; and seeking not to the Lord, but to physicians (probably foreign idolaters), he died.

His son Jehoshaphat succeeded him, and he proved another worthy son of the house of David. One of his first acts was to conclude a peace with Israel, which had been broken for sixty years. There had been trouble and war, more or less, existing between the two kingdoms from B.C. 975 to 915. This wise and virtuous king suppressed it altogether. He was zealous for the cause of God. He did more than others before him -he became a preacher -a public instructor in the law of the Lord. He went to the extent of his dominion exhorting the people to obey God, keep his law inviolate, and worship the God of their fathers exclusively. And as he established judges throughout his territories, from Beersheba to Mount Ephraim, in the various fenced cities, he exhorted them to discharge their duties in the fear of the Lord. He not only went himself, but he commissioned others to go and teach the people in the knowledge of the Lord and remove ignorance from their minds. "He sent five princes, accompanied by nine Levites and two priests, to teach in the cities of Judah: and they taught in Judah, and had the book of the law of the Lord with them, and went about all the cities of Judah and taught the people." This was in advance of anything ever before done in Judea, and seemed pointing to the spread of the gospel under the Christian dispensation. Our blessed Saviour both preached His own gospel in the cities and villages of Palestine, and called and qualified His disciples to do the same thing.

Jehoshaphat was unfortunate in agreeing to make an alliance with Ahab, king of Israel, and with Ahab's son and grandson -Ahaziah and Joram. It was of no advantage to Israel and great disadvantage to Judah. He was greatly blessed of the Lord, however: he strengthened his kingdom, and had an army, prepared for war, numbering one million, one hundred and sixty thousand men -seven hundred and eighty thousand of Judah and three hundred and eighty thousand of Benjamin.

The two prosperous reigns of Asa and Jehoshaphat were soon shorn of their excellency by the wicked reign of Jehoram, son of Jehoshaphat. He married the daughter of Ahab, and engaged in the wickedness and idolatries of that abominable house. He murdered in cold blood his brothers who were better than he, restored the idolatrous high places on the mountains of Judah, and endeavored to compel all the people to forsake the worship of the true God and go with him in all his impurities of idolatrous worship. In the full tide of his apostasy he received a letter, written to him by the prophet Elijah, who died in the reign of his father, but who saw what the future course of this young prince would be when he came to the throne, and therefore wrote this letter, to be handed to him in proper time. He had fulfilled the prophecy to the letter. "He had not walked in the ways of Jehoshaphat, his father, nor in the ways of Asa, king of Judah: but had walked in the way of the kings of Israel, and made Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to go a whoring, like to the whoredoms of the house of Ahab; and had slain his brethren of his father's house which were better than he." All this he had done! And what was to follow? Heavy and miserable judgments, unless he should repent, and Judah with him. "Thus saith the Lord, Because thou hast so done, behold with a great plague will the Lord smite thy people, and they children, and thy wives, and all thy goods; and thou shalt have great sickness, by disease of thy bowel, until thy bowels fall out by reason of the sickness day by day." This letter of Elijah was despised both by king and people. The judgments followed rapidly. The Edomites revolted from under his hand. The Philistines and Arabians invaded his territories, entered Jerusalem, sacked his palace, carried away his wives and all his sons save one. "And after all this the Lord smote him in his bowels, with an incurable disease; and after the end of two years his bowels fell out by reason of his sickness: so he died of sore diseases, without being desired, after a reign of eight years; his people made no burning for him, and gave him no burial in the sepulchre of the kings" 2Ki 8; 2Ch 21.

What a remarkable letter was this! Was such a one ever written or received before that day? God is a being of infinite wisdom and foreknowledge, and He inspired His prophet to write a letter to this man before he came to the throne, telling him what he should do to others, what others would do to him, and with what disease he should die. He died, leaving a weak and wicked nation behind him.

His son Ahaziah, sometimes called Azariah and Jehoahaz, succeeded him and walked in his footsteps. He also married in the wicked family of Ahab. He went to war against Hazael, king of Assyria, with Joram, king of Israel; they were defeated, and returned, and both were slain by Jehu, king of Israel, who was raised up to take vengeance on the house of Ahab. Ahaziah was slain in the first year of his reign 2Ch 22; 2Ki 9.

Athaliah, the mother of Ahaziah, upon learning the death of her son (and who had counseled him for evil during his life), caused all the seed royal of the house of Judah to be put to death, except one that escaped, and then usurped the throne herself. Wickedness appeared to be triumphant at this juncture, and Baal's worshipers were in the ascendant. The valuable and sacred things of the temple were taken and bestowed upon the worship of Baal, and this idol was set up in Judah as it had been in Israel, with its altars, images and priests.

"But Jehoiada the priest resolutely held the temple during the six years of Athaliah's usurpation, and conducted the services in the prescribed forms" 2Ki 11:1-16; 2Ch 22; 23 He was one of the most remarkable men of the times, and seemed to stand superior to any other in his day for wisdom, prudence, and devotion to God, from first to last, without any defection or abatement of zeal for the law of the Lord. He had great influence with the people; they revered him as Israel did Samuel of old. He was contemporary with Solomon, Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, and Ahaziah -seven kings. He secreted the escaped son of Ahaziah, Joash or Jehoash, his wife's nephew, in the temple until he could succeed in deposing Athaliah, which was done in the sixth year of her reign; and he had Joash, a child of seven years, proclaimed king of Judah, who for twenty-seven years did that which was right in the sight of the Lord, because his uncle counseled him. He brought the people generally back to the worship of God, and the bright and peaceful days of Asa and Jehoshaphat seemed to be returning again. But Jehoiada died at the advanced age of one hundred and thirty years; being kingly in life, he was honored with a kingly burial at his death.

"And they buried him in the city of David among the kings, because he had done good in Israel, both toward God and toward his house."

So soon as Jehoiada died, the young king fell into the hands of wicked men, who soon led him astray. "They left the house of the Lord God of their fathers and served groves idols." "Yet the Lord sent prophets to bring them again unto the Lord, and they testified against them, but they would not give ear."

Zechariah, son of Jehoiada, became high priest, and used his utmost exertions to stay the tide of the wide-spreading idolatry; but a conspiracy was raised against him, and at the king's command he was stoned to death in the house of the Lord! Our Saviour tells exactly where- "between the temple and the altar" Mt 23:35. Here was a priest of the Most High God slain in His sacred temple (while performing sacred rites), by order of a king whom his father secreted, protected, raised, had crowned king of Judah, and counseled for good all his life, and he a relative at that! How could it be otherwise than that this blood should cry aloud to heaven for vengeance? It did cry aloud for vengeance, as well as that of Abel and of the Son of God; and that divine wrath, which had been slumbering so long, fell upon an after-generation of this people, with untold misery and woe, and the remnant have been scattered to the four winds of heaven -the despised and persecuted people among the nations of the earth.

The death of Zechariah is the first recorded martyrdom of a priest of the Most High God; martyred while officiating in the holy temple service and by the professing people of the Lord! How awful and gloomy the scene, and yet how frequently has it been re-enacted since the introduction of Christianity into the world! Ministers of the gospel, pastors and elders, have been torn from their flocks and from their ministrations in holy things, hundreds and thousands of them, and cruelly slain for their faithfulness to God by those who professed to be Christians, the people of God, and the servants of Christ!

God punished Joash by the hand of Hazael, king of Assyria, and afterwards his servants slew him in his bed 2Ki 11; 12; 2Ch 23; 24.

Amaziah his son succeeded him, and his reign was an improvement upon that of his father, though it was far from being good. He made a successful war against the Edomites, but publicly introduced the gods of Edom into Jerusalem as his own, for which God punished him by the hand of Joash, king of Israel. Joash made war on him, defeated and took him prisoner, destroyed part of the wall of Jerusalem, seized and carried off to Samaria part of the treasures of the temple and the king's house, after which he was conspired against and murdered 2Ki 14; 2Ch 25. While Amaziah reigned, Jonah, the first of the sixteen prophets whose writings appear in the sacred canon of Scripture, was prophesying in Israel 2Ki 14:25.

Uzziah, also called Azariah, succeeded to the throne of his father Amaziah, and had a long and somewhat prosperous reign. He reigned fifty-two years. He sought God in the days of Zechariah, another of the sixteen prophets whose writings are in the sacred canon. He fortified Jerusalem, increased his army, and became famous abroad. He permitted idolatry among the people, though he did not practice it himself. Prosperity ruined him at last. He became so self-important that he attempted to officiate as priest in the temple, but Azariah, the chief priest, and eighty other priests, withstood him and thrust him out. And while he was wroth with them for so doing, leprosy rose up in his forehead, in the house of the Lord, beside the incense-altar, and he himself hasted to go out, because the Lord had smitten him. He was a leper to the day of his death 2Ch 26. Joel prophesied during a part of his reign, and Isaiah the last year of it, while Hosea and Amos prophesied in Israel 2Ch 26; 2Ki 15.

Jotham was son and successor to his father Uzziah. Sacrifice and burning of incense were yet tolerated in high places, though Jotham was a moderately good king, and followed the general policy of his father. He did not attempt to usurp the priesthood.

In his latter days the Lord began more seriously to press Judah with her old enemies, Syria and Israel 2Ch 17; 2Ki 15; Mic 1; 2. The next king in Judah was Ahaz, son of Jotham, who excelled all of his predecessors in idolatry. He openly espoused it, "sacrificing and burning incense, in the high places, and on the hills, and under every green tree; " and was the first of all the kings of Judah or Israel that sacrificed human sacrifices- even his own son -to the dumb idols! He revolutionized the whole system of religious worship in Judea, completely ignored the worship of the true God, cut in pieces the vessels of the house of the Lord, caused the sacrifices of the temple to cease, turned the priests out of doors, and closed the doors of the temple, so that the worshipers of God found no entrance. Those doors which had remained open for 267 years (B.C. 1005 to 738) were now closed, and remained so for twelve years. God punished him for all this. He set the king of Assyria on him, who defeated him in battle, and carried many of his people away as captives to Damascus. Pekah, king of Israel, also slew 120,000 of his subjects, and carried away 200,000 women and children captives to Samaria. The captives and spoil were returned, but none of the dead came back. The Edomites of the south rose up, smote Judah, and carried away captives; and the Philistines overran and retained possession of the south of Judah. Nothing seemed to touch the heart of this wicked king. He became more and more hardened, and deaf to all the appeals for reform that could be made to him. How the ways of Zion mourned during this long season of cruelty and idolatry, and how deep must have been the sorrow and mortification of all spiritual worshipers of the true God during this long night of abomination!

Hezekiah, the son of the wicked Ahaz, in the royal household, was fully alive to the wickedness of his father's course, and mourned in secret with other devout souls over the desolations of Zion. Expecting to occupy the throne at his father's death, he had already made up his mind to abolish these terrible abuses. Accordingly, in the first month of the first year of his reign, and on the first day of the month, he re-opened and cleansed the house of the Lord. And he revived the celebration of the feast of the Passover, sending messengers all through the land of Israel as well as of Judah to invite the faithful to the sacred and solemn festival, which was kept with greater joy than any since the days of Solomon.

Indeed, the whole course of the priests and the observance of the law appear in every particular to have been reconstructed and established by Hezekiah, and the reformation extended throughout Judah and Benjamin, and in Ephraim and Manasseh also. The groves were cut down, the high places thrown down, and the images broken to pieces. Hezekiah was honest and sincere in what he did; his heart entered into the work; and the worship of the true God was beautiful to behold in all quarters of his kingdom. Not so exactly with all the people; for, in respect to many of them, Isaiah said: "Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me; but have removed their heart far form me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men; therefore will I proceed to do a marvelous work among the people, " etc. (Isa 29:1-14, etc.) Hezekiah engaged in successful wars with both the Assyrians and Philistines 2Ki 18:1-16; but Sennacherib invaded his country in the fourteenth year of his reign, and forced him to tribute. Before the arrival of the Assyrian king, Hezekiah was miraculously healed of his sickness by the prophet Isaiah, and assured of the lengthening out of his life fifteen years by the sign of the going back ten degrees of the shadow of his dial. {6} And he was delivered out of the hand of Sennacherib, the Lord miraculously destroying his army.

These favorable circumstances exalted Hezekiah, and he became vain; they were a snare unto him. He was thought highly of and honored by the nations around him. The king of Babylon, Berodach-baladan, among others, had to send him ambassadors to congratulate him on the recovery from his sickness, and Hezekiah, in a fit of vanity and pride, showed them all his wealth and magnificence.

The prophet Isaiah reproved him for this, and pronounced the judgment of the captivity against him, his family, and his kingdom. Upon this, "Hezekiah humbled himself for the pride of his heart, both he and the inhabitants of Jerusalem; so that the wrath of the Lord came not upon them in the days of Hezekiah" 2Ki 20. So much for this worthy, patriotic, conscientious and devout king, Hezekiah. His son was a perfect contrast to him, and excelled in wickedness all who had preceded him.

Manasseh, son of Hezekiah, succeeded his father, and was crowned at the age of twelve years. Those who ruled him were sons of Belial, {7} and plunged him into the commission of almost every crime. If the exact opposite of every good thing his father did was set down to his account it would reveal in part, but not in whole, the carnal and Satanic course of Manasseh. "He shed innocent blood very much, till he had filled Jerusalem from one end to another!" and finally succeeded in seducing and carrying the people along with him "to do more evils than did the nations whom the Lord destroyed before the children of Israel!" He reigned in all fifty-five years. But in the twentieth year of his wicked career he was taken captive by Esar-haddon, the king of Assyria, and carried in chains to Babylon, then his capital. Manasseh was humbled by the Spirit of God, repented, and begged for mercy, and the Lord pardoned his sins and restored him to his kingdom again. He might have quoted Paul's experience, wherein he says, "That in me, the chiefest of sinners, Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on Him to life everlasting" 1Ti 1:15-16. He devoted the remainder of his life to the service of God, and exhorted all the people to be zealous of the law.

Amon succeeded Manasseh, and imitated his father's idolatry; but his life was suddenly terminated, in two years, by his assassination, in his palace, by conspirators, and he thus gave way to Josiah, the last of the pious kings of Judah. Josiah was crowned at the age of eight years, and at sixteen converted to God by His Spirit. He followed in the footsteps of Asa, Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah and Manasseh, and in personal piety excelled them all. Saith the Holy Spirit: "And like unto him was there no king before him, that turned to the Lord with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; neither after him arose there any like him" 2Ki 23:25.

He made a thorough purification of the temple and city of Jerusalem, of all the cities and high places in his own kingdom; and pushed his reformation into other cities and places where he might be allowed. Israel had been carried away, but there was a people substituted in their place, called Samaritans, who offered no resistance, and Josiah purged the cities of Manasseh, Ephraim and Simeon and a portion of Naphtali; destroying the houses of the high places in the cities of Samaria which the kings of Israel had made, and slaying the priests who sacrificed thereon. He made thorough work of it; and during his reign the people had rest, and departed not from following the Lord God of their fathers. Near the close of his reign he opposed the march of the king of Egypt through his territories towards the Euphrates. He made battle against him and was wounded. He was brought to Jerusalem and died in peace. All Judah and Jerusalem, especially the prophet Jeremiah, mourned for him. During his pious reign he enjoyed the ministry of the prophets Jeremiah, Zephaniah, Nahum and Habakkuk 2Ch 34; 35; 2Ki 20; 21; La 4:20.

God's threatened wrath and captivity against Judah and Jerusalem were delayed during Josiah's reign, but, as soon as he was gathered to his fathers, the vials were poured out.

His wicked son, Jehoahaz, succeeded him, and was deposed and carried away captive into Egypt by Pharaoh-necho, in three months after his coronation, and died there. Pharaoh-necho made Eliakim, another son of Josiah, king in his stead, changed his name to Jehoiakim, and laid him and his people under tribute. Urijah prophesied against the city and the land, for which Jehoiakim had him slain with the sword, and his body cast contemptuously into the grave of the common people.

Nineteen years before the accession of Jehoiakim, Jeremiah, the son of Hilkiah, a priest of Anathoth, three miles north of Jerusalem, in the territory of Benjamin, having before his birth been ordained of the Lord a prophet, had been called when a mere child to the sacred office. Naturally gentle, sensitive and timid, he was made, by the indwelling Spirit of God, strong, and bold, and fearless -a defensed city, an iron pillar and a brazen wall -against the wicked king, and princes, and priests, and false prophets, and people of the land, to declare to them their religious superficiality and hypocrisy, to denounce their idolatries and corruptions, and to predict that God would, for their abominations, carry them into seventy years' captivity {8} in Babylon; but that, though he would make a full end of their Babylonian oppressors, He would not make a full end of them, but in covenant faithfulness would visit them again and restore them to their own land. Jeremiah was accused of being a traitor to his own people and a friend of the Babylonians: he was mocked and persecuted more than any other prophet -hated, taunted, derided, put in stocks and in a miry prison-pit, and sought to be killed. Both literally and spiritually, more than any other servant of God in the Old Testament dispensation, he experienced the fellowship of the sufferings of Christ -his whole life being one long martyrdom in the cause of truth. At times, when left to himself, he became bitterly despondent, and bewailed, like Job in his extremist agony, the day on which he was born -feeling that his whole life was a failure (as the people did not heed his warnings), and doubting whether his very mission was not a delusion, and thinking that he would afterwards keep silent; but the word of the Lord was like burning fire in his bones, and he continued to deliver his solemn prophetic messages, and his eyes became fountains of tears for the sins and coming calamities of his people. Yet, "in that stormy sunset of prophecy, he beholds, in spirit, the dawn of a brighter and eternal day. He sees that, if there is any hope of salvation for his people, it cannot be by a return to the old system and the old ordinances, divine though they once had been (Jer 31:31). There must be a new (and spiritual) covenant. The relations between man and God must rest, not on an outward law with its requirements of obedience, but on that of an inward fellowship with Him, and the consciousness of entire dependence. For all this he saw clearly there must be a personal center" -the Messiah, the righteous and royal branch of David, the Lord our Righteousness, bringing salvation to Israel, writing His law in their minds and hearts, making a personal and inward revelation of Himself to them as their God, and forgiving their iniquities (Jer 23:5-6; 31:31-34). Of this Messiah, in His persecution by and His suffering for His people, there was no more striking human type than Jeremiah, who is believed to have been finally carried to Tahpanhes in Egypt, and there stoned by the Jews, irritated by his rebukes.

The godless and reckless Jehoiakim, in the fourth year of his reign, rebelling against Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar captured Jerusalem, and carried off to Babylon the vessels of the temple, and a number of royal and noble, handsome and gifted Hebrew youths, including Daniel, Hananiah (Shadrach), Mishael (Meshach), and Azariah (Abednego), to be trained in Chaldaean learning for his service. Jehoiakim, after reigning three years as a vassal of Nebuchadnezzar, rebelled again, and was conquered and put to death, as Jeremiah had prophesied. His son Jehoiachin (or Jeconiah, or Coniah -Jah or Jehovah having abandoned him) was placed on the throne of Judah by Nebuchadnezzar because of rebellion; and the conqueror carried off to Babylon the king and all his officers, and all the chief men and soldiers and artisans, including Ezekiel and Shimei, the grandfather of Mordecai, and the remaining treasures of the temple and palace -leaving none but the very poorest people in Judea. Mattaniah, the uncle of Jehoiachin, under the name of Zedekiah, was made king over the miserable remnant.

Zedekiah rebelled in the eight year of his reign, and, upon the approach of the Babylonian army, professed penitence; but, as soon as the army turned away, he again broke his covenant with Babylon. Having defeated the king of Egypt, Nebuchadnezzar resumed the siege of Jerusalem, and took the city for the third and last time, fulfilling the word of the Lord which he spake by the mouths of His prophets, "I will wipe Jerusalem as a man wipeth a dish, wiping it and turning it upside down" 2Ki 21:10-13. Nebuchadnezzar took Zedekiah, slew his sons before his eyes, then put out his eyes, bound him in fetters and carried him to Babylon, and kept him a close prisoner till he died. He made a public example of seventy-four distinguished men of Jerusalem, who had been engaged in the rebellion, by putting them to death. He sacked the temple completely. "He burnt the house of the Lord, and the king's house, and all the houses of Jerusalem, and every great man's house he burnt with fire." He demolished the walls of the city, rooted and burnt out the population, leaving the city a heap of rubbish and smoldering ruins. With the exception of a few poor people, who were left in the fields and vineyards, he carried all away to Babylon as prisoners. "So Judah was carried away out of their land". (2Ki 24:17; 25:1-21; Jer 39; 52:1-23)

"In the kingdom of Judah, as in that of the ten tribes, the captives had been carried off in three detachments: In B.C. 606, Daniel and his three comrades and other princes; in B.C., 598, about 10,000 chief people, including Ezekiel, 7,000 soldiers, 1,000 craftsmen, and about 2,000 nobles; and in B.C. 587, nearly all the people. A small remnant was still left in the land, under Gedaliah, most of whom were massacred by Ishmael; of the remnant, the greater part went to Egypt with Johanan, while a very small fragment continued to hover about their ancient seats." -W.G. Blaikie.

The threatenings of God had been fulfilled. The kings and priests and people would not take heed, but kept on their rebellious road to ruin. "The Lord God of their fathers sent them by His messengers, rising up betimes and sending; because He had compassion on His people and on His dwelling place; but they mocked the messengers of God, and despised His words, and misused His prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against His people, till there was no remedy" 2Ch 36:11-21. The land at last lay at rest and kept Sabbath for seventy years.

Israel existed as an independent kingdom 254 years; Judah 133 years longer, making 388 years to the captivity. During these 388 years Judah had seventeen kings and one queen -a usurper; and two more kings after she became tributary to Babylon, making nineteen kings in all, and every one of the house of David, according to the promise of God.

"The separate history of the kingdom of Judah may be divided into four periods: 1st. First religious decline and first religious revival -about 86 years, during the reigns of Rehoboam, Abijah, Asa, Jehoshaphat, Jehoram, Ahaziah, and Athaliah, and during the prophecies of Shemaiah, Iddo, Azariah, Hanani, Jehu, and Jahaziel. 2nd. Second decline and second revival -about 207 years, during the reigns of Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, and during the prophecies of Zechariah (son of Jehoiada), Joel, Zechariah (son of Berechiah), Isaiah, Micah, and Na 3d. Third decline and third revival -about 88 years, during the reigns of Manasseh, Amon and Josiah, and during the prophecies of Zephaniah and Jerermiah. 4th. Final decline -about 23 years, during the reigns of Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah, and during the prophecies of Habakkuk and Obadiah. After the return from the Babylonian captivity there was a revival under Zerubbabel, and this was followed by the Pharisaic decline, which has now lasted for more than 2,000 years, but is destined, according to the sure word of prophecy, to be succeeded by the most glorious revival of any." (Ro 11:15) -W. G. Blaikie.

Nebuchadnezzar appointed Gedaliah ruler over the land of Judah at the time he left a few people there. He had Jeremiah taken out of prison, and his fetters loosened, and gave him leave to go wherever he pleased. He offered to take him to Babylon and provide well for him, or allow him to remain with Gedaliah. The prophet, like a patriotic and true man, resolved to remain with Gedaliah and the remnant, and share their destiny. So the king's officer gave him victuals and a reward, and let him go to Gedaliah, who was at Mizpah, the seat of government after the destruction of Jerusalem.

Baalis, king of the Ammonites, for some cause unknown, sent an assassin, in the person of one Ishmael, to slay the good governor Gedaliah, and he did so while feasting at his hospitable table; and, with the assistance of ten men at his side, slew the Jews, the men of war, and the Chaldeans found there with him. He also slew eight more unsuspecting men who came up from Shechem, Shiloh and Samaria for religious purposes. Then gathering the people together, he departed to go over to the Ammonites, but was speedily pursued by Johanan and the captains of the forces, and overtaken in Gibeon. The captives were recovered, but Ishmael made his escape to the Ammonites with eight men.

Johanan and the leaders of the people, though having acted bravely and wisely, seemed to fear that the Chaldeans would come up and punish them for Gedaliah's assassination. They loved idolatry still, and feignedly sought the advice of Jeremiah in regard to hiding down in Egypt. He forbade it, and warned them of the danger of going there, saying that the sword, pestilence and famine would overtake them if they did. They heeded not his warnings, but went down to Tahpanhes in Egypt, carrying the prophet with them. There they could indulge in idolatry to their hearts' content. Both men and women justified themselves, saying "When we worshiped the queen of Heaven we saw no evil; and when we ceased to worship her we were consumed with sword and famine." One of the most remarkable features of character in the Hebrew nation and people was their proneness to idolatry from the conquest of Jericho to the Babylonian captivity, in the face of everything that God had done for them and was continually doing for them through so many centuries -continually blessing them in their allegiance to Him and cursing them in their worship of idols.

Jeremiah's predictions in regard to those who slid off to Egypt came to pass. Sixteen years after they went down there (B.C. 570), Nebuchadnezzar conquered Egypt, and the Jews perished under his hand, except a mere remnant who had settled there previously, or who had been compelled to go there like Jeremiah, against their will Jer 44:11-14,28.

All shadow of civil government had now passed away in Judah, and the government of the Hebrews in the land of Canaan had entirely ceased.

What proportion of those carried away by Nebuchadnezzar were truly pious -were of the remnant of believers, though small, that were at all times reserved according to the election of grace -we cannot say; nor the number of such who were forced down into Egypt along with Jeremiah; yet we feel assured there was a remnant at that day as well as there had been at all times during the 864 years of their existence in Canaan. God never has left Himself without a witness on earth.

With slight intermissions, the people of Judah, like those of Israel, became more and more corrupt -more wealthy, cultured, extravagant, luxurious, licentious, covetous, dishonest, venal, deceitful and oppressive to the poor; and God sent upon them just punishment for their sins. They were now scattered in five different countries -Egypt, Palestine, Chaldea, Media and Assyria; the prophecy of Moses (Le 26 and De 28), uttered nearly 900 years before, had received its first but not its last and greatest fulfillment.

A notable feature of Hebrew history during the kingly period is the readiness with which the people followed their kings in matters both secular and sacred. Their government was a theocracy, even when their kings reigned; because the king was considered the agent or vicegerent of God to carry out His designs; and, in cases of doubt, the last appeal was made to God. When the king did evil, so did the people; and when he did well, so did the people -proving the correctness of Solomon when he said: "Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?" Ec 8:4.

Down to the captivity the books of the Old Testament had been completed to the second book of Chronicles, and the works of these prophets in chronological order, viz.: Jonah, Joel, Amos, Hosea, Isaiah, Micah, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Obadiah and Jeremiah, together with his Lamentations -eleven in all.

ENDNOTES:

{1} "We have nothing so lovely as the book of Ruth in the whole range of epic and idyllic poetry." says Goethe. It has been beautifully called a "Garden of Roses at the Gate of the Gospel." It affords touching illustrations of God's providence and grace, the afflictions, poverty and sorrows of God's people, and the nature and results of true faith, piety, virtue, humility and unselfish love. Naomi is a type of the church; Ruth a type of every child of grace; and Boaz a type of Christ. Naomi finds nothing but sorrow in the land of Moab; Ruth cleaves to her poor, despised mother-in-law with intense and undying love; and her near, wealthy, powerful kinsman, furnishing himself all the dowry, espouses her to himself. There is no more affecting passage in all literature than the language of Ruth to Naomi, "Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me, and more also, if aught but death part thee and me."- Ru 1:16-17. Every one who has this feeling toward the true church is a child of God.

{2} Jephthah vowed that, if the Lord would give him victory over the Ammonites, whatsoever should come forth of the doors of his house to meet him on his return in peace, should surely be the Lord's, and (or or) he would offer it up for a burnt offering. The margin states truly that the "and" may be rendered "or." If a person met him, he would renounce all claim to such person, and wholly dedicate him or her to the service of the Lord's sanctuary; of an inferior animal met him, he would offer it up on the altar. His only child, a daughter, first met him: and with a broken heart, because it meant lifelong separation from her, he dedicated her life to Jehovah as a spiritual burnt offering in a lifelong virginity. Volumes have been written upon this mysterious subject; but this seems to be the view held by those who have investigated the matter most profoundly, especially by taking into consideration the following passages of Scripture; De 12:29-31; Le 27:1-5; Nu 18:15-16; 1Sa 1:11,20,22,28; Heb 11:17-19,32.

{3} Let it never be forgotten that Eli and his house were cut off by God, because, though Eli was himself a pious man, yet when he knew his sons made themselves vile he simply reproved, but did not exercise his parental authority to punish and restrain them 1Sa 3:13-14 -a most solemn warning to all over-indulgent parents, pastors and rulers who fail to exercise proper discipline within their peculiar spheres.

{4} Solomon's Temple Spiritualized; or, Gospel Light Brought Out of the Temple at Jerusalem, by John Bunyan, is probably the most wonderful piece of spiritual interpretation of Scripture in the world. A few of Bunyan's seventy points we must give. Mount Moriah, on which Solomon's temple was built, was a type of Christ, the mountain of the Lord's house, the rock against which the gates of hell cannot prevail. The foundation stones of the temple were types of the prophets and Apostles. Christ is the foundation of His church personally and meritoriously; but the prophets and Apostles, doctrinally and ministerially. Solomon, the wise and wealthy and peaceable king, as the builder of the temple, was a type of Christ. The trees and stones of which the temple was built were first selected out of the forest and quarry where there were others equally good by nature, and were thoroughly hewed and squared and fitted for their proper place, and then brought to the temple and properly adjusted without noise or confusion; so with God's people, who are chosen by Him in the wild field of nature, then hewed and squared by His word and doctrine applied by His Spirit, and afterwards brought in and added quietly by Him to His Zion. The temple, with its chambers, was narrowest downwards, and largest upwards- different from all other buildings; so the hearts of God's people should be narrow in their desires for earthly things, but wide in their desires for spiritual and eternal things; those in the church who are nearest or most concerned with earth are the most narrow-spirited as to the things of God. The pinnacles of the temple were types of those lofty, airy, heady notions with which some men delight themselves while they hover like birds above the solid and godly truths of Christ; these are dangerous places- Satan tried to destroy Christ on one of them. Christians, to be safe, should be low and little in their own eyes. The porters had charge of the treasure-chambers, and had to keep diligent watch lest any not duly qualified should enter the house of the Lord; these were types of God's ministers. The door of the temple represented Christ. The wall of the temple was His divinely sustained humanity, and the fine gold on the wall a type of His righteousness. The windows were narrow without, but wide within; types of the written word, through which as through a glass we now darkly see something of the glory of the Sun of Righteousness; by the light of the written word, the church can see the dismal state of the world and how to avoid it, but by that light the world sees but little of the beauty of the church. The chambers represented rest, safety, treasure, solace, and continuance. The two winding stairs from the first to the second story, and from the second to the third, were types of the two-fold repentance of the child of God, that by which he turns from nature to grace, and that by which he turns from the imperfections which attend a state of grace to glory. The molten sea was a figure of the pure word of the gospel, without men's inventions, mingled with the fire of the Holy Ghost. The twelve oxen upon whose backs the sea stood were types of the Apostles and ministers of Christ, who should keep their uncomely parts covered with gospel grace, and should proclaim the gospel in all the world. A golden censer is a gracious heart, heavenly fire is the Holy Ghost, and sweet incense the effectual, fervent prayer of faith. The Holy Place was a type of the church militant; and the Most Holy Place a type of the church triumphant. Both parts of the house have the same foundation, and the same family of occupants. The way into Heaven is through the true church of Christ on earth. Things in the Most Holy Place could not be seen by even the highest light of this world, but only by the light of the fire of the altar, a type of the shinings of the Holy Ghost. The floor of the temple was overlaid with gold, like the pure golden streets of the New Jerusalem. The walk of God's people should be beautiful and clean; and, when we happily reach the Celestial more step into the mire or stumble upon blocks and stones, or fall into holes and snares, but all our steps will be in pure gold. Oh what speaking things, says Bunyan, are types, shadows and parables, had we but eyes to see, had we but ears to hear!

{5} The word Solomon means peace.

{6} This effect may have been produced by a cloud or a modification of the laws of refraction; some eminent astronomers suppose that it may have been produced by an eclipse of the sun. But by whatever method produced, we know that the retreat of the shadow ten degrees on the dial was not the work of man, but of Almighty God.

{7} Belial means worthlessness; it is not strictly a proper name, but used so by personification.

{8} "The exact number of years of Sabbaths in 490 years, the period from Saul to the Babylonian captivity; righteous retribution for their violation of the Sabbath Le 26:33-35; 2Ch 36:20-21. The seventy years probably began from the fourth year of Jehoiakim, when Jerusalem was first captured, and many captives, as well as the treasure of the temple, were carried away; they end with the first year of Cyrus, who, on taking Babylon, issued an edict for the restoration of the Jews Ezr 1:1. Daniel's seventy prophetic weeks are based on the 70 years of the captivity (Da 9:2,24)." -A. R. Fausset.

07- Chapter V The Babylonish Captivity and the Restoration to Canaan.

The land of Judah, according to prophecy, was to enjoy its Sabbaths, and therefore the king of Babylon did not do with that what the king of Assyria had done with Israel, viz.: Substitute another population in place of the people removed. This country remained open and at rest, ready to be reoccupied when the people to whom it had been given should return from their captivity.

The history of the ten tribes from their captivity to the captivity of Judah -one hundred and thirty-three years -is a blank never to be filled. The distinction was no longer to exist. Israel was lost sight of. Many of the ten lost tribes {1} returned and associated themselves with Judah during the 133 years. The others were dispersed in the Assyrian provinces; and, when the empire of Babylon included Egypt, Assyria, and other nations to the number of one hundred and twenty-seven provinces, the remnant of Israel belonged to that empire, and therefore were found to exist under the same government with their brethren of Judah after the fall of Jerusalem. They became one people again then, under the reign of the Babylonish kings, and were so reckoned and so treated by those great eastern rulers. Henceforward all the descendants of Abraham were called Jews down to the Christian era, and have been ever since so called. According to this view the ten lost tribes need no longer be searched for; they are already found. Nebuchadnezzar was a great king; he was the great "head of gold" among the kings of the succeeding empires. He was "the great tree which grew and was strong, whose height reached unto the Heavens, and the sight thereof to all the earth; whose leaves were fair and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: under which the beasts of the field dwelt, and upon whose branches the fowls of Heaven had their habitation". Da 4 Under the shadow of this great tree the chosen people of God, Judah and Israel, now dwelt, and dwelt as one people, though scattered beneath the shadow of various branches of it.

Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, who had been carried down to Babylon when Nebuchadnezzar first took Jerusalem, were destined to occupy places of distinction under the reign of that and succeeding monarchs. After four years' preparation they were permitted to stand before the king, and he gave them positions even within the royal court itself, where they might be prepared, when necessary, to render assistance to their kindred in captivity.

Ezekiel, who had been carried to Babylon in the second deportation from Jerusalem, was called to the prophetic office about B.C. 595. He was located among the captives on the river Chebar, which is described as falling into the Euphrates about two hundred miles north of Babylon. Thus far away in the heart of this vast empire his solitary voice was heard, and the people received his communications and sought his instruction. Eze 8; 14; 20 He prophesied in all about twenty-two years. His prophecies, regarding the destruction of Jerusalem and the conquest of Egypt by Nebuchadnezzar, are the same in substance with those of Jeremiah, though widely separated, and unable to hold correspondence with each other. The prophecies were fulfilled to the letter. This proves them to have been prophets of God, and both moved by the Holy Ghost to speak and write as they did. Eze 1-24 Ezekiel died B.C. 574.

Daniel was known to Ezekiel, for he twice names him in his prophecies. Eze 14:14; 28:3 Daniel attained a high distinction in the king's court among the heathen, as well as among his own people, and was regarded by both as being superior to all other men for wisdom and holiness.

He was very similarly situated at the court of Nebuchadnezzar, as was Joseph at the court of Pharaoh.

"The one stood near the beginning and the other near the end of the Jewish history of revelation; both were representatives of God at heathen courts; both interpreters of the dim presentiments of truth expressed in God-sent dreams, and therefore raised to honor by the powers of the world; so representing Israel's calling to be a royal priesthood among the nations; and types of Christ, the true Israel, and of Israel's destination to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, as Ro 11:12,15, foretells." -Auberlen. "Among the prominent characteristics of Daniel are his personal purity and self-restraint amidst the world's corrupting luxuries (Da 1:8-16; compare Moses, Heb 11:24-27; Joseph, Ge 39:9); his faithfulness to God at all costs, and fearless witnessing for God before great men, Da 5:17-23 unbribed by lucre and unawed by threats ( Da 6:10-11); and his intimate communion with God, so that, like the beloved disciple and apocalyptic seer of the New Testament, John, he also is called 'a man greatly beloved,' and this twice, by the angel of the Lord ( 

    Da 9:23; 10:11 also, expressly by name, and as a 'prophet',  Mt 24:15,21; Da 12:1 or death, when the high priest adjured Him by the living God. Also in Lu 1:19-26, 'Gabriel' is mentioned, whose name occurs nowhere else in Scripture save Da 8:16, and  Da 9:1 in 1Co 6:2, and 2Th 2:3-4; the narrative part, as to the miraculous deliverances from the lions and the fire in Heb 11:33-34. Thus the book is expressly attested by the New Testament on the three points made the stumbling block of neologists -the predictions, the narratives of miracles, and the manifestations of angels." -Fausset. The language of the book of Daniel, partly Hebrew and partly Chaldee, and the exact knowledge which the writer shows of the ancient Babylonian manners and customs, as confirmed by the latest monumental discoveries, prove the authenticity of the book. The ancient Jews classed Daniel in the same division of the Scriptures (Ketubim, writings) as the Psalms, Job, Proverbs, Ruth, Ecclesiastes, Canticles, Esther, Lamentations, Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles; and they showed their high regard for the book of Daniel by having it, with other portions of the Ketubim, read before the high priest on the night of the Day of Atonement.

The astonishingly exact fulfillment of many of the prophecies of Daniel demonstrates the divine inspiration of the book. The extraordinary importance of this book must be our excuse for the extended space that we give to its consideration in this work.

"Daniel, with deliberate purpose of heart, would not defile himself with the king's meat or wine; because to have partaken of it would have been a tacit sanction of idolatry, seeing that an initiatory offering had been made of it to consecrate the whole meal to idols. He who was to be the interpreter of Jehovah's revelations against the heathen world-power, must not himself feed on the dainties, nor drink from the intoxicating cup of the world. Like Moses, he must 'choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.' Faith was the secret principle of Daniel's consistency. Faith alone can enable the young to overcome the carnal appetites of sense, which are especially strong in early life and youthful vigor. They who would excel in wisdom and piety must learn early to keep the body in subjection to the spirit. Temperance is conducive alike to the health of body and soul. A pampered body clogs the intellect, and still more incapacitates the man for spiritual exercises." -Fausset.

The second (Da 2) and the seventh chapters of Daniel (Da 7), under different figures, foretell the same events -the successive existence of four great world-empires, to be followed by a fifth indestructible and finally -universal spiritual kingdom to be set up by the God of Heaven and the Son of man. "In the second chapter, the world-kingdoms are seen by the heathen king in their outward unity and glory, yet without life, a metal colossus; in the seventh chapter they appear to the prophet of God in their real character, as instinct with life, but mere beast life, terrible animal power, but no true manhood; for true manhood can only be realized by conscious union with God, in whose image man was made. The Son of God as the 'Son of man' is the true ideal standard and head of regenerated humanity. When Nebuchadnezzar glorified and deified self he became beast-like and consorted with the beasts; but, when he lifted up his eyes to Heaven, his understanding returned, and he blessed the Most High, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion." -Fausset. The First world-kingdom is represented by the golden head of the image and by the lion with eagle's wings; the second by the arms and breast of silver, and by the bear with three ribs in its mouth; the third by the belly and thighs of brass, and by the four-headed and four-winged leopard; and the fourth by the legs of iron and feet partly of iron and partly of clay, and by an unnamed, terrible, exceedingly strong, ten-horned, iron-toothed, brazen-nailed beast, different from all the others, and devouring and stamping the others in pieces. The first world-kingdom, as Daniel himself says, was the Babylonian, whose vigor began and ended with Nebuchadnezzar -chief among the kingdoms, like gold among the metals, and the lion among beasts, with wide-spread and rapidly acquired power, indicated by the wings of an eagle. The second world-kingdom is almost universally admitted to have been the Medo-Persian, formed by the union of two nations, the Medes and the Persians, as the two arms are united in the breast -inferior to the Babylonian kingdom in antiquity -and its early effeminacy and the dependence of its king on his nobles, as silver is inferior to gold and the bear to the lion -cruel and slow-moving like the bear- the three ribs in its mouth representing Lydia, Babylon and Egypt, not properly parts of its body, but seized by Medo-Persia. The third world-kingdom is by the union of the Greeks and the Macedonians, as the two thighs are united in the body (or the two thighs may represent the principal and longest-lived kingdoms into which the Macedonian empire was divided, that of the Seleucidæ in Syria and that of the Ptolemies in Egypt), of an inferior mercenary character, and with its soldiers clothed with brass or bronze armor -the leopard representing slyness and pertinacity, and the four wings the unexampled rapidity of the conquests of Alexander the Great, and the four heads the four Diodochi, or successors, among whom Alexander's dominions were divided, Ptolemy in Egypt, Seleucus in Asia, Lysimachus in Thrace, and Cassander in Greece; the inferiority of the Macedonian empire is forcibly illustrated by the repeated and protracted debauchery and intemperance of Alexander and his army, and by the very brief duration of his empire. Divine Providence brings good out of evil; the wide diffusion of the Greek language in Western Asia was among the most important natural preparations for the spread of Christianity. In regard to the identification of the fourth world-kingdom opinions vary. A few modern scholars think that it was the Syrian monarchy of the Seleucidæ, or the Seleucidæ of Syria and the Ptolemies of Egypt; the ten toes and horns representing the monarchs of the Syrian dynasty especially-the foreign Greek element of iron, and the native Oriental element the clay; intermarrying with the Ptolemies, but still hostile to them; the little horn plucking up three others, and having the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things, being supposed to be the Syrian king, Antiochus (IV.) Epiphanes, of whom it is generally agreed that Daniel prophesies in his eighth, eleventh and twelfth chapters. But the Seleucidæ and Ptolemies were the thigh sequelæ of the brazen Macedonian kingdom; and it was the almost universal opinion of the ancient Jewish and Christian scholars, and it is still advocated by a very large proportion of English and German interpreters, that the fourth world-kingdom was the ROMAN. If not the Roman, then the prophet, in his anticipatory survey of the kingdoms of the world, has omitted the greatest world-kingdom that ever existed, and one which was existing not only long before but actually when Christ came into the world, and one with which and its subdivisions His kingdom has had the most to do; and yet the prophet, at the proper place in his predictions had used remarkable language that applies more appropriately to the Roman empire than to any that ever existed. For these reasons we are satisfied that the fourth world-kingdom was the Roman. It was a gigantic monstrosity, surpassing, in terribleness, all the beasts of the field and all the other kingdoms of the world. "Irresistible in the battlefield, within there were internal weakness, the struggles of fierce factions, civil dissensions, and finally an oligarchy of rich men, the most corrupt, since the deluge, that ever existed on earth, before whom all manliness vanished away. To save itself it had to bow to the yoke of absolute power, and at length, from the necessities of administration, was divided into the western and eastern empires, symbolized by the two legs, in which there was still vast strength, but also much weakness, the extremities of the Roman dominions being constantly harassed by incursions of the barbarians, who often even carried their raids into the very heart of the empire. It was thus partly strong and partly broken (or brittle), because, while its armies of mercenaries were irresistible, its own subjects were too feeble to defend themselves; and its toes were of iron, if protected by fortresses and regular armies, but of clay if these aids were withdrawn. As finally the government of this vast realm was ever the prize of revolt, of artifice and of crime, the emperors were always trying to strengthen themselves by 'mingling with the seed of men,' by marriages with members of rival families, and by national alliances, but in vain. The two dreams carry the description of the Roman empire down to a period long subsequent to the foundation of the Messiah's kingdom -the ten toes and ten horns representing the subdivisions of the Roman empire, the number ten being the prevalent one at the chief turning points of Roman history, and it may be the number of kingdoms into which Rome shall be found finally divided when Antichrist shall appear. Re 13:1; 17:12 And of Messiah's kingdom itself we have not merely the beginning, but the growth, until it had crushed and taken the place of all these empires." -R.P. Smith. The "little horn, " in the seventh chapter (Da 7), is the intensest development of the God-opposing, haughty spirit of the world represented by the fourth monarchy, and plainly denotes the Pope of Rome, plucking up three horns, the exarchate of Ravenna, the kingdom of the Lombards, and the state of Rome, which constituted the Pope's dominions at first, obtained by Popes Zachary and Stephen II., A.D. 754, in return for acknowledging the usurper Pepin lawful king of France -the fact of three states first constituting his dominions being still indicated by the Pope's triple-crown, a tiara with three coronets rising one above another. This little horn is diverse from the others, has in it the eyes as of a man, denoting intelligence and cunning, and a mouth speaking great words against the Most High -no other blasphemy ever equaled that of the Pope of Rome, and he wears out, persecutes and murders the saints of the Most High, and thinks to change times and laws, assuming to himself all the authority of God on earth, and finally culminating in avowed Antichrist.

These four great military world-kingdoms, though seemingly so splendid, powerful and enduring, are in reality but transitory shadows. "The metals in the image lessen in specific gravity as they go downwards; silver is not so heavy as gold, brass not so heavy as silver, and iron not so heavy as brass, the weight thus being arranged in the reverse of stability, indicating the ease with which the image can be destroyed." -Tregelles. A stone cut out of a mountain without hands smites the image upon its feet, and breaks it to pieces and makes it like the chaff of the summer threshing-floor, scattered and, as it were, annihilated by the wind, while the stone becomes a great mountain, and fills the whole earth; that is, "in the days of these kings, " the kings of the fourth or iron kingdom, the God of Heaven sets up a kingdom, which shall destroy all the world-kingdoms, and itself fill the earth, and stand forever. Or, as the same great fact is described in the seventh chapter, the Ancient of days, the Everlasting Father, the Infinitely Holy God, with garment white as snow, and hair like pure wool, appears upon a fiery throne, surrounded by myriads of the angelic host, during the existence of the fourth beast ( Da 7:7,9-10,11,23 The ancient Jews understood the "stone" in the second, and the "Son of man" it the seventh chapter of Daniel, to be the Messiah. Metallic images are made by the hands of men; but stones and mountains are made by God. Christ is "the stone of Israel", Ge 49:24 "rejected by the builders, but become the headstone of the corner", Ps 118:22 a "stone of stumbling" to carnal Israel, Isa 8:14; Ac 4:11; 1Pe 2:7-8 but the sure chief foundation stone of the true church. Isa 28:16; Eph 2:20; Mt 16:18 With distinct reference to these words of Daniel, Christ said: "Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder". Mt 21:44; Lu 20:17-18 Cut out of the same mountain originally, it ends in becoming a mountain; coming from Heaven, it ends in establishing Heaven on earth. "High in the impalpable air, above the highest human colossus and human kingdom, projects itself another colossus formed from the mount and rock of the heavenly Zion. A stone from this holiest of mounts looses itself and falls. If it destroys the earthly material which it strikes, it brings also with it that new, pure, heavenly spirit and material which shall fill again the earth with a stronger mount, and found a new and better city, Zion." -Ewald.

"Thus, then, the captive Jewish youth unrolled before the eyes of the tyrant that had crushed his country, his home, and the temple of his God, the course of the five universal empires. Four rise, one after another, each to fall. For a while they beat down and destroy and fill the fair surface of the earth with tears and misery: for their weapons are force, violence and cruelty; and scarcely has one seized the sceptre before another rises to wrench it from his loosening grasp. At length, ushered in by no trumpet-blast, with no clashing of arms nor banners fluttering in the breeze, but by a still, calm, unseen influence, the fifth empire begins to arise. Its armies are recruited from the poor, the outcast, the slave. Those whom men despise are summoned to its standard; and that standard is one of suffering; but with this for their symbol, they shall conquer. This empire has its heroes; they are martyrs who bear the utmost cruelty that debased men can invent, and bear it with joy, for their love to Him who gave His life for them. It has its warriors -men who use no carnal weapons, and who wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of darkness. It has its armies -thousands whose joy it is to do well and bear evil for their master's sake. And the regeneration of the race will come when the Spirit of Christ, working in the hearts of all, has won the world for the Lord. The Persians robbed the Babylonians of the sceptre, the Greeks tore it from the Persians, and the Romans from the Greeks. But Christ is an eternal King, the true King of kings, and His people will never perish, for the very gates of hell will be forever powerless against the spiritual kingdom of our God." -R.P. Smith.

The great, proud, lifeless, many-metalled colossus of the world stands up as the idol in every human heart, until the Spirit of God overturns this haughty image, humbles the heart, and prepares it to be filled with the glorious presence of Christ.

Daniel's language, in his second and seventh chapters, contains an allusion, not only to the first, but to the second, coming of the Son of man. As He ascended to glory in a cloud, so shall He return, surrounded with His holy angels, to consign His enemies to the "burning flame, " while He welcomes his people into "life eternal". Ac 1:11; Re 1:7; Mt 25:31-46 Charlemagne, Charles V. and Napoleon have in vain endeavored to establish a fifth temporal universal empire. "The fourth, or Roman empire, in its subdivisions and colonies, still continues. We live under it; our civilization, letters, language and laws are essentially connected with those of imperial Rome. This fourth kingdom, though now professedly Christianized, is regarded in Scripture still in its essence to be ranked among the God-opposed beast-like world-powers, not only not better, but actually worse, than its three predecessors, in the ultimate intensity of its opposition to God and His Christ, and the full development of Antichrist, 'the man of sin,' 'the son of perdition,' that denieth both Father and Son. 2Th 2:1; Joh 2:18; 4:3 The New Testament views the present age of the world as essentially heathenish, which we cannot love without forsaking Christ. Ro 12:2; 1Co 1:20; 2Co 4:4; Ga 1:4; Eph 2:2; 1Jo 2:15,17 The present outward Christianity is to give place for a time to an almost universal apostasy under the last Antichrist 2Th 2 As the first, or Old Testament Antichrist, Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria B.C. 176-164, whose career is circumstantially predicted by Daniel in the eighth, eleventh and twelfth chapters of his prophecy, was the product of the highest ancient Greek civilization, so the last New Testament Antichrist is to be the product of the highest modern civilization, ignoring and despising God and vital religion, and substituting therefor a false liberalism in faith and practice, a growing laxity of morals, and a worship of money and of human science and art and invention, degenerating into avowed atheism and an unholy alliance with the Pope of Rome, for the extermination of the Church of Christ." -A.R. Fausset.

Upon the interpretation of his dream, Nebuchadnezzar conferred extraordinary honors on Daniel; made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon, and chief of the governors over all the wise men of Babylon, and declared the God of Daniel to be supreme over all gods. His three companions, whose Chaldean names now were Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, were also made rulers over the affairs of Babylon, but Daniel sat in the gate {2} of the king.

Kings' minds are changeable, as well as those of other people. Nebuchadnezzar soon forgot Daniel's God, and made one to suit him etter. He set it up in the plain of Dura, and commanded all his subjects to fall down and worship it. Daniel was overlooked, it seems; but Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were not. They were watched, and complaint made against them as refusing to obey. They still refused to worship the idol, and, as a punishment therefore, were thrown bound into a burning, fiery furnace, {3} heated seven times hotter than usual; that is, as hot as possible. The heat of the furnace destroyed those who cast them in, but only burned off the shackles of the three who were willing to die rather than worship an idol. The king looked into the furnace and exclaimed: "Lo! I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." He called on them to come out, and he blessed the Most High for their deliverance, and said: "I make a decree that every people, nation and language which speak anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill, because there is no God that can deliver after this sort." The king again promoted them to their distinguished positions as before. Da 3

Thus by faith the violence of fire was quenched. And the hearts of these three men, as well as of all the children of God who heard of it, were strengthened and confirmed.

The king had a second dream in regard to himself more particularly. Daniel interpreted that, and then besought the king to break off his sins by righteousness, and his iniquities by showing mercy to the poor -that it might be a lengthening of his tranquility; but he heeded not the warning and went on his course, rejecting all allegiance to God and deifying himself until the Almighty struck him down, divested him of reason, {4} turned him into a brute, and drove him from the haunts of men. Seven years passed over him -his reason was restored, and so was his kingdom. He was a changed man. He no longer desires to bind other people or take their lives if they do not do as he says, but, as a pardoned sinner, he looks to himself, and praises God for what He had done for him. "Now I Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol the God of Heaven, all whose works are truth, and His ways judgment; and those that walk in pride He is able to abase". Da 4:37 Here was a God-fearing man upon the throne now, ready to wield his power in protecting and enlarging the liberties of God's people dwelling in all parts of his dominion.

Evil-Merodach, his son and successor, when he came to the throne of Babylon, soon released Jehoiachin from prison and honored him highly, and gave him ample support for the remainder of his life. His father, in the case of Jehoiachin, had commuted the death penalty into imprisonment for life. And this act shows the kind feelings of this monarch toward the Lord's people, and that God, though He had sent Israel into captivity, remembered them in mercy.

Belshazzar, {5} the son or grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, succeeded Evil-Merodach, and during his reign Darius the Median overthrew Babylon and took the kingdom. Belshazzar made a great feast, and among other impious acts of his, ordered the gold and silver vessels that had been taken from the temple in Jerusalem to be brought forth and used in this sacrilegious carousal, and the order was obeyed. At that moment the fingers of a man's hand appeared to be writing upon the wall, and these are the words written: "Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin." None could interpret the writing but Daniel. It may have been in the older Hebrew, or in altogether strange characters. Daniel was sent for, and interpreted it as follows: "Mene (numbered); God hath numbered thy kingdom and finished it. Tekel (weighed); thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting. Peres (divided); thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians." (In upharsin, u means and, and pharsin means dividers; Peres, the singular passive participle, is substituted by Daniel for pharsin, the plural active participle of the same verb, probably because of its greater similarity to Persia.) Then they clothed Daniel with scarlet, and put a chain about his neck, and proclaimed him the third ruler in the kingdom. In that night was Belshazzar, the king of the Chaldeans, slain, and Darius the Median {6} took the kingdom. Da 5

"It is an appalling scene when a sinning mortal knows that the great God has come to meet him in the very midst of his sins! How changed the scene from the glee of blasphemous revelry to paleness of cheek, convulsion of frame, remorse of conscience, and dread foreboding of doom!" -Cowles. "What a picture we have in king Belshazzar of every reprobate sinner's course and final ruin! Unwarned by the judgments inflicted on others before him, on account of pride and rebellion against God, the sinner still takes no heed to glorify the God in whose hand his breath is. Instead of humbling himself in repentance, he either openly or else virtually lifts up himself against the Lord of Heaven, following after worldliness, covetousness or sensuality as his portion, and making the perishing things of time his idol. At last judgment, long deferred in mercy, goes forth. God brings to the appointed end the allotted number of the sinner's days. Then follows the judgment whereby, weighed in the balances of God, he is found wanting in the only thing that carries weight with God -faith working by love. His past privileges are taken from him forever, and given to another, whilst he himself is 'cut asunder, and his portion is appointed with the hypocrites, where shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.' As God's writing against Belshazzar was perfectly fulfilled, so let the impenitent be warned that no one tittle of God's writing in His volume of inspiration shall fail to come to pass: alike the self-righteous, when weighed in the balance of the law, and the formalist and hypocrite, weighed in the balance of the gospel, shall be found wanting and shall suffer accordingly."

"Daniel faithfully and fearlessly sets before the proud, impious king his great sin; and he interprets the mysterious writing not for any hope of reward, though the inalterability of the decrees of the Medo-Persian kings thrusts the promised rewards upon him. Estimating all things, even spiritual realities, by the standard of money, the ungodly think that the godly do the same; and therefore they try to bribe the servant of God Da 5:16-17 to procure for them deliverance from wrath, and an easy mind. But the true child of God will show a spirit superior to the love of gain, even as Daniel agreed to read and interpret the writing, but declined to accept the king's gifts and rewards. Nothing tends more to injure a believer's usefulness than that he should be seen by the world, like Balaam and Gehazi, to be greedy of gain; and, on the contrary, nothing tends more to make the worldly feel that believers are influenced by principles far above their own, than that they should see the children of God, as Daniel and Paul, Ac 20:33-35 ready to perform the work of faith and labor of love, without regard to worldly advantage." -Fausset.

The Scripture prophecies relating to the conquests of Babylon, the method of the conquest (draining the river Euphrates), the name of the conqueror, Cyrus, and the restoration of Israel to their own land, may be seen in Isa 13; 14; 16; 44, and Jer 25; 50; 51:1 How astonishing that Isaiah, in 712 B.C., should have predicted the very name of Cyrus, as the conqueror of Babylon in 538 B.C. -174 years before the event! And then to state the exact method of conquest which Cyrus would employ! What a clear proof of the Divine inspiration of the prophet, and of the perfect foreknowledge of God!

When Belshazzar was overthrown, there was an end of the kings in Nebuchadnezzar's line, and an end of the first great universal monarchy mentioned in the prophecies of Daniel.

Darius (associated with Cyrus or governing in his stead, by appointment, at the time) was well apprised of the character and standing of Daniel, and appointed him chief of the three presidents, whom he set to aid him in managing the affairs of the nation, and also chose him as prime minister of the realm. Thus it appears that the captive Jews had friends at court still, notwithstanding the change in the dynasties.

Others in court who hated the Jews and envied Daniel's distinction, not being able to bring an accusation against him in regard to his want of wisdom, or high moral standing, brought one against him for praying to his God in violation of a decree which themselves were the cunning authors of, and which they had with flatteries induced the king to sign and seal. Daniel, on learning the nature of the decree and the penalty attached to its violation, in the sublimest exhibition of Divine faith and moral courage, opened his window, and, with his face turned toward Jerusalem, prayed three times a day to God, as he was wont to do. He was brought before the king for punishment, and much against his will he had to sentence Daniel to be thrown into a den of lions. Daniel was calm and quiet, and so were the lions, while the king was miserable and spent a sleepless night. He went early to the den and found Daniel alive, had him taken out and his accusers thrown in, with their wives and children, who were destroyed immediately by the wild beasts. Thus after his three friends had through faith "quenched the violence of fire, " he by the same power "stopped the mouths of lions." Daniel's God locked their jaws. The same want of conformity to the world and faithfulness to God have characterized His elect people in all ages of the world, before and since the coming of Christ; and for their "stubbornness, " as the world calls it -if for nothing else -they have been horribly maltreated, both under the legal and Christian dispensations. And we in this connection would ask a candid world, who of all the people on the face of this earth at the present time, do they believe, would be as willing to follow these four men and sacrifice their lives, for the testimony of Jesus, as these people called Primitive Baptists? They may be called "stubborn, "" unsocial, "" unyielding, "" too exacting, " etc., but when the Son of man cometh again on earth, where will He find faith if He does not find it among them?

"Amidst the business of a vast empire Daniel found time habitually to pray three times a day. As Daniel, in exile, looked towards the earthly temple, so let us lift up our eyes towards Christ, our heavenly temple, from this earthly scene of our captivity. As Daniel prayed openly and avowedly, so let us act as God and conscience dictate, and not as the fear of man's anger or love of his praise might suggest. And as Daniel, even when earthly prospects were dark, and destruction seemed impending, still gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime, so have we, in our highly favored position, still more cause to thank God at all times, and to have his praise continually in our mouth." (Ps 34:1) -Fausset.

The years of captivity were nearly ended; Daniel confessed his sins and the sins of his brethren in captivity, and prayed to God for pardon for his sins and the sins of the captives. He prayed for the fulfillment of the promise, and that the Lord would make a way for the return of the people to Jerusalem, and give him a clearer insight into the particulars thereof. The Lord heard his petition, the angel Gabriel touched him and talked with him, and gave him to understand: 1. That a commandment should go forth for the return of the people and for the rebuilding of Jerusalem. 2. The long expected Messiah, the Prince, should come sixty-nine weeks from the rebuilding of the walls and settlement of Jerusalem. 3. In the seventieth week He should be cut off, but not for Himself, but for His people; and by the one offering of Himself should make reconciliation for iniquity, bringing in everlasting righteousness, doing away with all typical sacrifices, sealing up in fulfillment vision and prophecy respecting Himself, and making an end of the dispensation which looked forward to His advent. 4. Finally, after His advent and death, a people should come and destroy city, temple and sacrifice, and break up the civil state of the church forever. This is the third prophecy (Ge 44:10 the second) that fixes the time of our Lord's appearing, and of the end of the civil constitution of the church of God. Da 9

This is the most definite prophecy of the very time of Christ's coming that is contained in the Old Testament. The fact of its general fulfillment in the coming, ministry and crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth, which was followed, in about a generation, by the destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman army under Titus, A.D. 70, has been admitted by the ablest scholars for 1,700 years; though there have been a great many different opinions as to the exact date when the seventy weeks, or 490 years, began and ended. The Jewish historian, Josephus, and both the old Jewish Gemaras, and the prevailing Talmudic and Rabbinical traditions of the early centuries of the Christian era, considered the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus predicted in Da 9:26-27. The Old Testament Scriptures had been carried over the civilized world before the birth of Christ; and the old pagan Roman historians, Tacitus (Hist. v. 13) and Suetonius (Vesp. iv.), inform us that there was, on account of some ancient prophecies, a general expectation, in the first century of the Christian era, that there would arise out of Judea, at that time, a great personage, who would obtain the sovereignty of the world. The prophecies referred to were, no doubt, principally those in Da 9:24-27. And the very learned Jewish Chief-Rabbi of Venice, Simon Luzzato, in 1590 A.D., declared that "the consequence of a too extended and profound investigation on the part of Jewish scholars would be that they would all become Christians; for it could not be denied that, according to Daniel's limitation of the time, the Messiah must have already appeared." Sir Isaac Newton says: "He who denies Daniel's prophecies undermines Christianity, which is founded on Daniel's prophecies concerning Christ." And Christ Himself (in Mt 24:15,21,28,34) not only affirms the prophetic character of Daniel, but applies Da 9:26-27 to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans, which was to take place before the passing away of that wicked generation that rejected and murdered Him.

The word shabuim, rendered weeks in Da 9:24-27, literally means sevens, that is, as it probable from (#Da 9:2), sevens of years. (compare Le 25:4-8) Seventy sevens of years make 490 years. Now there is allusion, in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah, to five different commandments for the restoration of the temple or city of Jerusalem: 1st. the commandment of God, the date of which is not given; (Ezr 6:14) 2d. Of Cyrus, B.C. 536; (Ezr 1:1-4) 3d. Of Darius, B.C. 520; (Ezr 6:1-14) 4th. Of Artaxerxes to Ezra, in the seventh year of his reign, B.C. 458; (Ezr 7:11-26) 5th. Of Artaxerxes to Nehemiah, in the twentieth year of his reign, B.C. 445. (Ne 2:1-8) The commandment of God, we know, was the cause of the other commandments; but He has not revealed to us its date. The commandments of Cyrus and Darius were of a general nature, not directed to any particular persons, and authorized the rebuilding only of the temple. But the commandment of Artaxerxes to Ezra, B.C. 458, is special, full and explicit, authorizing Ezra to "organize the colony in Judea, and institute a regular government, according to the laws of the Hebrew people, and by magistrates and rulers of their own nation, with full power of life and death." The text of Artaxerxes' commission to Nehemiah is not given in Scripture; but it is simply said that, at Nehemiah's request, the king gave him letters to the governors beyond the river (Euphrates), ordering them to help him on his way, and to furnish him with materials for building the palace and wall of the city. The weight of authority is, therefore, in favor of considering B.C. 458 as the initial date of the seventy sevens, or 490 years, in Gabriel's prophecy to Daniel (Da 9:24). In the next three verses (Da 9:25-27) this period of seventy weeks is divided into three unequal periods -seven weeks, sixty-two weeks, and one week. The first seven weeks of years, or forty-nine years, was the closing period of Old Testament revelation, the age of Ezra, Nehemiah and Malachi. The sixty-two weeks, or 434 years, are the intermediate period between the seven and the one, in which there was no new revelation designed to increase the sacred canon. And the closing one week (or seven years), in the midst of which the Messiah was to be cut off, and cause the legal sacrifices and oblations to cease their virtue and efficacy, includes the three-and-a-half years of Jesus' own preaching to the Jews, and the three-and-a-half years of the Apostles' preaching to the Jews only; then the martyrdom of Stephen and the persecution following drove the evangelists from Jerusalem to Samaria. Soon afterwards Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles, was called, and Peter, the Apostle of the circumcision, preached the gospel to Cornelius, the Roman centurion; and, though multitudes of the Jews had been converted before, we read of very few having been converted afterwards. The Jews were not immediately cast off upon their murder of Christ; Lu 24:47; Ac 3:12-26 but, after the martyrdom of Stephen, A.D. 33, they were virtually and theoretically dead, though Jerusalem was not destroyed by Titus till A.D. 70. All the arithmetics make a mistake in computing the interval of time between two dates, one of which was before, and the other after Christ; as there is no year in history known as B.C. 0 or A.D. 0, but the year immediately preceding A.D. 1 is called B.C. 1, the sum of the nominal years must be diminished by one (Sir John Herschel's Outlines of Astronomy, section 916). Even the very learned and usually accurate A.R. Fausset and William Smith, apparently not aware of this fact make the seventh year of Artaxerxes Longimanus 457 B.C. instead of 458 B.C., which it was, according to all the best authorities. Thus, 458 added to 33, and diminished by one, makes the 490 years of the prophecy. Christ was born four years before the beginning of the common Christian era; because He was born before Herod the Great died, and the latter died four years before the commencement of the common era. As he was 30 years old at His baptism, He was baptized 26 A.D. or 27 A.D., and crucified 30 A.D., in the midst of the last week (or seven years) of the prophecy. Still He, after three days, arose from the dead, and was present by His Spirit with His Apostles in confirming the covenant with many Jews the three-and-a-half years that composed the last half of the last prophetic week. Kanaph, translated overspreading, in verse 27, (Da 9:27) literally means wing. Sir Isaac Newton thinks that it refers to the Roman ensigns (silver eagles) brought to the east gate of the temple, and there sacrificed to by the soldiers. During the siege of Jerusalem by Titus it was perfectly evident, even to the Jewish general, historian and eye-witness, Josephus, that the Jews were "desolate, " or forsaken of God. Josephus asserts that it was the most ungodly generation that ever existed on earth; and he declares his belief that, if the Romans had not destroyed Jerusalem, the city would have been "swallowed up by the earth, or overwhelmed with a flood, or consumed, like Sodom, with fire from Heaven." Titus besieged Jerusalem in April, A.D. 70, just after the feast of the passover, when twelve hundred thousand Jews, according to Josephus, or six hundred thousand, according to Tacitus, were crowded together in the city. Divided into three hostile factions, the Jews fought with and destroyed one another; reduced to famine, mothers ate their own children, as Moses predicted; De 28:49-57 they suffered unexampled horrors, as Christ had foretold.  Mt 24:21), and upon the predictions of Moses and Christ! And it is a most remarkable fact that, as Christ had warned His disciples   

 Lu 21:20-21) of his prophecy, to inform them that seventy times seven years must elapse after their return before Messiah would come, and that even then Messiah would not come as yet in the glory foretold by the earlier prophets, and anticipated prematurely by the Jews, but would come to die for the making an end of sins. Thus, the faith and patience of the ancient servants of God were to be greatly exercised. Daniel studied the revelation given from God in the letters of Jeremiah (Da 9:2), in order to know the times and events foretold. Herein we see his teachableness and humanity." Gabriel told Daniel to "consider the vision, and understand the matter" (Da 9:23); just as Matthew, in reference to the same prophecy (Mt 24:15), says: "Whoso readeth, let him understand." "God's promise of deliverance from the Babylonish captivity did not restrain Daniel from prayer, but was rather his incentive to greater earnestness in supplications, as having the strongest ground of assurance that his prayers would be heard. Daniel humbly confessed, not only his nation's, but his own sins, and acknowledged the righteousness of God in their punishment, but pleaded, in his own and Israel's behalf, God's covenant and mercies and forgiveness. Daniel's confession of sin precedes immediately the revelation as to the coming of Messiah. So it ever is. The Spirit first convicts the soul of its sin, and next points to Christ, 'the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.' Messiah died in the midst of the great prophetical week, for the confirmation of His covenant with the many who believe on Him: by His one sacrifice all other sacrifices are done away with: and by the fact that the four hundred and ninety years have long since elapsed, the falsity of the Jews' expectation of Messiah, as if He had not yet come, is unanswerably proved." -A.R. Fausset.

Daniel went not back to his own country. He could give greater assistance to his kindred by remaining in Babylon. He witnessed the moving forward of the first caravan, and heard of the laying of the foundations of the second temple. He delivered his last prophecy in the third year of Cyrus. Da 10; 11; 12

The eighth, eleventh and twelfth chapters of Daniel (Da 8; 11; 12) (the eleventh in the most minute detail) foretell "the successive histories of Xerxes of Persia; Alexander the Great, king of Macedon, and conqueror of Persia; the four-fold division of Alexander's kingdom at his death and the consequent conflicts between the kings of the north and the kings of the south, the Seleucidæ and the Ptolemies; and, lastly, the proud violence of Antiochus Epiphanes (of the Seleucidæ) against the covenant people of God, and his final doom. The history of Antiochus's furious persecution of the Jews will be given in its proper place. The details are given with such minuteness beforehand by the prophet, in order to strengthen and support the faithful ones among God's ancient people in the fiery ordeal through which they were about to pass during the long period when they were to be without any living prophets. If the world-powers were about to be permitted to trample under foot the people of the covenant, the latter would take comfort in knowing that their God had told them of it 'in the Scripture of truth'   Da 10:21 Let us then, with holy zeal, chastened with humility and love, 'earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints'." (#Jude 1:3) -Fausset.

"Towards the close of the visions of Daniel there is a melting away, as it were, of the things of time, and a transition to the things of eternity. It is, therefore, impossible fully to explain these portions of the book of Daniel. They are left as a precious possession to the church of Christ, till the time shall come when their fulfillment shall reflect light upon the written word of God." -Rose.

Daniel is thought to have lived to be over ninety years of age, and to have died in his office at court. With him died the prophetic office in the land of captivity. He had no successor. To the remnant of the twelve tribes who yet remained scattered abroad God gave no prophet. Their spiritual advantages thereafter to be obtained were by going up to Jerusalem annually, which many of them did, even down to the second destruction of Jerusalem. The prophets in Jerusalem at the rebuilding of the temple were men who had come up with the people out of Babylon and her provinces.

Of the captivity now brought to a close we may say that it was foreordained, and predicted by Moses, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Zephaniah and Habakkuk. It was to purge away the dross from the church, even the mass of formalists, apostates and idolaters, and purify and sanctify God's elect ones who adhered to Him, together with their seed and those connected with them. It certainly cured the Jews of gross idolatry, such as the worshiping of images, the sun or moon or anything which God had made. This change was, probably, more natural than spiritual, and mainly caused by their disgust at the idolatries of their conquerors, and a patriotic clinging to their own national monotheistic religion. Mental idolatry, wherein a man loves something else better than his Maker, the Jews never got entirely rid of, neither have Christians to this very day. The captivity was of great advantage to the Jews, because it humbled them -gave them a spirit of confession and supplication with deep humility, and prepared them with their whole heart to praise God for the fulfillment of this prophecy: "For thus saith the Lord, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then ye shall call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity." "And I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive". Jer 29:10-14

The captivity, with the light emanating from Judea for centuries previous, was of advantage to the heathen world, not indeed generally and permanently, but in particular instances and for a season.

In the first year of his sole reign at Babylon (B.C. 536), Cyrus, acknowledging that the God of Israel is the Lord God of Heaven, proclaims that the Jews may return to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple of God. {7} The time arrived for the departure of the caravan, consisting of nearly 50,000 persons -say 42,360, besides their servants and maids, 7,337, and their singing men and singing women, 200. For the transportation of these, with their clothing, provisions and property, they required 736 horses, 245 mules, 435 camels, and 6,720 asses -a total of 8,136 beasts of burden. Ezr 2

The People were chiefly of the tribes of Judah, Benjamin and Levi -those last carried away; and their ecclesiastical rulers and guides were their military leaders in this march. It was a sublime spectacle to behold this peaceful caravan marching through the great wilderness that intervened between Babylon and the Holy Land.

Long was the march across the barren waste, and tedious was the journey. But with their splendid outfit they accomplished it in safety. On arriving in Judea each one or family selected his or their own location, and, after a partial settlement therein, came together, at the old site of Jerusalem, as one man, and upon its old foundation built the altar of the Lord, which had been overthrown at the destruction of the temple; and, on the first day of the month, set up the worship of God. From that day forth the priests lodged in the city and kept up the daily sacrifice. The smoke as of old ascended heavenward from amid the solitary ruins of the once great Jerusalem, the people came from all quarters to this identical spot, to engage in the public worship of God, and nearly the whole month was consumed in the exercise of religious services, and finally closed by the celebration of the feast of tabernacles. Ezr 3

The rebuilding of the temple was resolved on and the work hastened. The king of Babylon made a royal contribution, but not sufficient; then all the people, from the highest to the lowest, donated what they could afford, and some of them gave abundantly. In the second month of the second year of their return they laid the foundation of the building. Zerubbabel the governor, the high priest Jeshua, and all the priests and Levites, were present. There was great rejoicing on the occasion, but some mourning. Some of the old men who had seen Solomon's temple standing, shed tears when they saw the great contrast between that and this.

The Samaritans hindered the building of the temple, and caused an order for its suspension to be issued by the king of Babylon, and the work remained dormant fourteen years. It was no disadvantage to the Jews, because they had the more time to attend to and improve their own private affairs. At length, being urged by the prophets Haggai and Zechariah, the people renewed the building of the temple.  Ezr 5:1; Hag 1:1-11, is the fourth Old Testament prediction of the time of Christ's coming. A part of the language of Haggai has reference to Jacob's dying prophecy of the coming of Shiloh, or the Peace-Giver, unto whom should the gathering of the people or nations be. Ge 49:10 Divine Providence shook all nations by allowing the wars of the Græco-Macedonian and the Roman Empires, making the Greek language and the Roman dominion universal, for the early rapid propagation of Christianity. And God shook the Heaven, in Christ's time, when He spake from it; the earth, when it quaked; and the sea, when He commanded the winds and waves. He who alone can satisfy the true desires of all nations came, and by His holy and peace-giving presence filled the second temple with greater glory than the first. See Isa 59:20-21; 60; Mal 3:1; Mt 12:6; 21:12-14; 26:55; Joh 1:14; 14:27; Col 1:20; 2Co 4:6 Herod thoroughly repaired, enlarged and adorned Zerubbabel's temple, but the Jews still considered and called it the second temple (Josephus, Ant., xv. 11; War, vi. 5). They expected their Messiah to come before its destruction (Josephus, War, vi. 5). The temple this time was twenty years in building, from B.C. 535 to B.C. 515. Its completion was joyfully celebrated by the offering of seven hundred sacrifices of bullocks, rams and lambs; and a special offering for all Israel of twelve he goats, according to the number of the twelve tribes of Israel. The priests were set in their divisions and the Levites in their courses, and the whole routine of temple worship fully reinstated once more. Of course the ark, with the tables of stone, the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the mercy-seat, and the cherubim, and the mysterious Urim and Thummim, were all wanting. The dedication being over, all the people observed the Passover for seven days; and then the temple remained open for the worship of God, and so continued until He who was greater than the temple entered it amid the shouts of the surrounding multitude, crying, "Hosanna to the son of David: blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest". Mt 21:9

Xerxes the Great, who was king of Babylon, was equally favorable to the Jews as his predecessors. So was his son Artaxerxes, called Longimanus, B.C. 464; and he is the Artaxerxes alluded to by Ezra, (Ezr 7:1). He is also the king Ahazuerus, who divorced his wife Vashti in the third year of his reign, and married Esther, one of the Jewish captives. Es 1; 2:1-15 After reigning six years he appointed Ezra, the priest, governor over Judea, and authorized him to go up to Judea with all those who wished to accompany him. Ezra accordingly gathered a company at the river Ahava, there proclaimed a fast, and humbly asked the Lord for wisdom and direction in the great undertaking, so that they and their little ones might be protected. Artaxerxes and his counselors were liberal in contributions to support this second exodus from Babylon to Canaan, and poured out their silver and gold freely. The king authorized him to draw on his treasury at Babylon for what he needed, and also gave him an order on the treasurers beyond the river for silver, wheat, wine, salt and oil. He also relieved the ministers of the sanctuary from toll, custom and tribute. He authorized Ezra to appoint judges, and have justice executed in the land, and directed him to have the people taught the laws of God and the king.

Ezra left the river Ahava with his caravan on the twentieth day of the first month, and reached Jerusalem in the fifth month (Ezr 7 and Ezr 8). The whole number of persons who accompanied him appears to have been 7,104, made up of 1,776 males and 5,328 females and children.

There were seventy-eight years between the appointments of Zerubbabel and Ezra; and we infer that Zerubbabel was dead when Ezra was appointed. Ezra corrected the vice of intermarrying with strangers, so that many put away their wives. The prophet Zechariah encouraged the church about this time by saying, "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass". Zec 9:9

Mordecai {8} was a man of wisdom and integrity, and, although a captive, was faithful to his king. During the first year of queen Esther he discovered a plot made by two of the king's chamberlains to murder their royal master, and, upon his making it known to the queen, the conspirators were hanged. The king commanded his prime minister Haman to dress up Mordecai in the royal apparel, place him on the king's horse, lead the horse through the streets of the city, and proclaim to the multitude the honor thus conferred on Mordecai. This was done at the very time that Haman was about to obtain the king of Persia's permission to hang Mordecai on the gallows fifty cubits high, that he had made for that purpose, because Mordecai rose not up when Haman approached him, nor did him reverence. But the king, on learning that Haman was the author of the decree to have all the Jews in his empire destroyed, for the offense of Haman, ordered Haman to be hanged on the gallows which he had made for Mordecai. He also virtually reversed the decree which had been made against the Jews, and authorized them to slay their enemies on the very day that they were to have been slain by them, and made Mordecai prime minister in the place of Haman. Thus we see that in the days of Ahasuerus there were a queen and a prime minister at court of the Jewish race, and, of course, friends of the Jews. Es 2:21-23; 3; 4; 5; 6; 7; 8; 9; 10

King Artaxerxes (Ahasuerus) appointed Nehemiah, his cup bearer, who was full of wisdom and courage, governor over Judea in place of Ezra, who had been governor there twelve years (from B.C. 458 to B.C. 446). Nehemiah went up with a full military escort, authorized to rebuild the city and the walls around it. All engaged in building the walls, priests, princes, smiths, merchants, etc., and even females. It had to be done in troublous times. Da 9:25 For, by reason of the deadly opposition of the Samaritans, the workmen on the walls had to work with one hand and hold a weapon with the other. But the work progressed and was completed in fifty-two days.

Strange wives had to be put away again, and the people under Nehemiah and with Nehemiah confessed their sins and the sins of their fathers, and entered into a solemn covenant, under a curse and an oath, to walk in the law of the Lord -to observe the Sabbath and the Sabbatical years -to consecrate their sons -to pay tithes -to worship God, and never forsake His house. They wrote the covenant and sealed it (Ne 8-10). The Jews were now cured of gross idolatry. At last that vile passion, which had prevailed so fearfully for so many centuries, seemed to have disappeared.

Nehemiah's government of Judea was long and prosperous, though he met with much opposition at times, in carrying out his noble reforms, from sinful and rebellious Jews. Nehemiah was alive after Joiada became high priest; Ne 13:28 but the termination of his government over Judea and the end of his noble and useful life are hidden in obscurity.

Malachi, the last prophet of the Old Testament, is believed to have lived at the same time with or just after Nehemiah; and his prophecy was probably composed about 420 B.C. Its canonicity is established by several New Testament quotations. Mt 11:10; 17:12; Mr 1:2; 9:11-12; Lu 1:17; Ro 9:13 Like Nehemiah, Malachi censured the profane and mercenary spirit of the priests, the people's marriages with foreigners, the non-payment of the tithes, and the rich men's want of sympathy towards the poor. He predicts the coming of John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ, under the name of Elijah the prophet, and also the coming of Christ, as the Lord coming suddenly to His temple. He points to the great separating time between the righteous who serve merciful and unchangeable Father of all that fear Him and think upon His name, arising upon them as the Sun of Righteousness with healing in His wings, keeping their name in His book of remembrance, and finally gathering them as His jewels to Himself; while he represents God as the righteous and terrible Judge of the proud and wicked, whom He will smite with a curse, and forever destroy with burning.

From the close of Nehemiah's rule over Judea and the end of Malachi's prophecy to the birth of our Savior, was about four hundred years; and the account of God's chosen people during this long period must be gained from profane history, and a few items from the apocryphal {9} writings of the Jews. These latter writings are, to a great extent, inconsistent and unreliable; and the history of the Jews by Josephus is, to some extent, unreliable during this and former periods. Events that came under the notice of Josephus during his life, including the last war with Rome, the destruction of the temple, and city of Jerusalem, etc., are regarded as quite authentic.

Although the four great monarchies overran and subdued Jerusalem and Judea, yet they were not permitted by an all-wise and covenant-keeping God to destroy utterly the people of that land, or even break down their nationality until Christ came to set up His spiritual kingdom on earth. The prophet Ezekiel is to the point here. He was a captive in the Babylonish empire, and predicted the succession of the three great natural kingdoms to come (the Persian, Greek and Roman), and then the coming of Christ to overcome them all by His spiritual reign. Said he: "Thus saith the Lord God, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown; this shall not be the same: exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose right it is; and I will give it him". Eze 21:26-27

These three great overturnings were to take place after Ezekiel's prophecy, and then Christ should come, whose right it was to reign over His people, spiritually, among all nations, and have no need whatever for any further temporal nationality. To Him as the Shiloh should be the gathering of His people, irrespective of locality. As saith He to the woman of Samaria: "The hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor at Jerusalem, worship the Father." "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth". Joh 4:21,23-24

ENDNOTES:

{1} It has been seriously and learnedly argued, in recent books, that the American Indians are the ten lost tribes of Israel.

{2} The gate is the place of holding courts of justice and levees in the East. Es 2:19; Job 29:7 So 'the sublime Porte, or Gate, denotes the Sultan's government, his councils being formerly held in the entrance of his palace. Daniel was a chief counselor of the king, and president over the governors of the different orders into which the Magi were divided.' -Fausset.

{3} The ancient cuneiform inscriptions on bricks found among the Babylonian ruins mention that burning was one of the national punishments of Babylon.

{4} The mental disease with which God afflicted Nebuchadnezzar is believed to have been one of a well-known class of maladies known by such names as lycanthropy (wolf-man), kynanthropy (dog-man), etc., according to the animal which the patient imagines himself to be, and whose habits he imitates. During his madness, his counselors and lords Da 4:36 carried on the government.

{5} The identification of Belshazzar and of Darius the Median with persons mentioned by uninspired writers is among the most intricate problems of ancient history. Combining the evidence of Scripture and of profane historians and the cuneiform inscriptions, the succession in the Babylonian monarchy was probably as follows: Nebuchadnezzar, 43 years; Evil-Merodach, son of Nebuchadnezzar, 2 years -murdered and succeeded by his sister's husband, Neriglissar, who reigned 4 years; the latter's son, Laborosoarchod, a mere child, reigned but 9 months, and was slain by a conspiracy, which elevated a usurper, Nabonnedus, to the throne, which he occupied 17 years. During the latter part of his reign, he associated with him in the empire his oldest son, Belshazzar, who was grandson, on the mother's side, of Nebuchadnezzar. The term "son, " in Scripture, often means grandson, or descendant. Nabounedus was at a neighboring city, Borsippa, where he surrendered to Cyrus; while Belshazzar perished in Babylon the same night of his sensual and blasphemous banquet. Such joint kingships were not uncommon in ancient times. As his father and himself were the first and second rulers, Belshazzar offers to make Daniel only the third ruler in the kingdom. Da 5:16 (As to the identification of Darius the Median, see the next foot-note.)

{6} It is most likely that Darius the Median was the same as Cyaxares II. (mentioned by Xenophon), who was the son and successor of Astyages (called also Ahasuarus), king of Media. Cyrus, a Persian nobleman, conquered Astyages, and married the daughter of Cyaxares II. (or Darius); and, uniting the Medes and Persians into one kingdom, and wishing to conciliate the Medes, he yielded his aged and weak uncle and father-in-law a nominal supremacy at Babylon, where the latter reigned till his death two years afterwards, while Cyrus, the real conqueror of Babylon, being fond of war, continued his military career, going against the Hindoos, the Derbaces, and the Massagatae. In accordance with this explanation, Daniel (Da 9:1) says that Darius "was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans." Some think that Darius the Mede was Astyages himself, the grandfather of Cyrus.

{7} God caused Cyrus, Darius and Artaxerxes to be favorable to His people. "The king's heart is in the hand of the Lord, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will";  

 Pr 21:1 and Ezr 7. Xerxes, the Ahasuerus of Esther, intervenes between Darius and Artaxerxes. Ahasuerus was a common title of many Medo-Persian kings. Though the name of God does not occur in Esther, His presence pervades the book. Although invisible, He is none the less active. God works no less by His providence in the world where he is veiled, than by His grace in the church wherein He is revealed. He exercises a special providence for the preservation of all His chosen people, wherever they may be." -Fausset.

"No scene of Scripture history is more often applied to a spiritual use than Esther's bold venture into the presence of the 'king of kings' (as the Persian monarchs called themselves), and his reaching out to her the golden sceptre as the sign of grace." -Wm. Smith.

{9} Apocrypha means hidden or spurious. The books called the Apocrypha, in the Old Testament, are not contained in the Hebrew Bible at all, but are found in the Greek Septuagint. They were written by unknown authors from 300 to 30 B.C. They are not quoted at all by the writers of the New Testament, and they abound in fictitious stories and doctrinal errors. The Catholic council of Trent in 1546 endorsed as canonical or inspired all the Apocrypha except 1st and 2nd Esdras and the Prayer of Manasseh. The Hebrew church, "to whom were committed the oracles of God", Ro 3:2 and all the Protestant or non-Catholic denominations, reject the Apocrypha as uninspired. These writings are interesting as showing the workings of the Jewish mind in the interval between the Old and the New Testaments. It is from the Apocrypha that the Roman Catholics derive the texts for the proof of their unscriptural doctrines of purgatory, prayers for the dead, and the meritoriousness of good works. In the Apocrypha, as derived from the Persian Zend-Avesta, two-seedism, or dualism, can find its strongest arguments.

08- Chapter VI From the Restoration of the Jews to the Coming of Christ.

The affairs of the Jews continued about the same under the Grecian as under the Medo-Persian reign. While Jaddua was high priest in Jerusalem Alexander visited the Holy Land III person, was well received, and promised to befriend the inhabitants. It is said that he was met, before his entrance, into Jerusalem, by the priestly tribe in their white robes, accompanied by a vast number of citizens dressed in white, and the high priest (chief ruler) at their head, accompanied with a band of priestly musicians, clashing their cymbals. The sight was very imposing, and obtained favor in the sight of the world's conqueror. His name was well received in Palestine during his short reign of about thirteen years, and both Jews and Samaritans embraced every opportunity to entreat his favor on themselves and urge his punishment on their opponents. For about a century and a half subsequent to the death of Alexander, Palestine was considered a province of the Græco-Egyptian kingdom. It was the principal stage across which "the, kings of the south, " the Alexandrian Ptolemies, and the "kings of the north, " the Seleucidæ from Antioch, passed to and fro with their court intrigues and incessant armies, their Indian elephants, their Grecian cavalry, and their Oriental pomp. Immediately succeeding the "death of Alexander, Judea came into the possession of Laomedon, one of his generals. On his defeat, Ptolemy, the king of Egypt, attempted to seize the whole of Syria. He advanced against Jerusalem, assaulted it on the Sabbath, and met with no resistance, the superstitious Jews scrupling to violate the holy day, even in self-defense. The conqueror carried away 100,000 captives, whom he settled chiefly in Alexandria and Cyrene. In a short time, following a more humane policy, he endeavored to attach the Jewish people to his cause, enrolled an army of 30,000 men, and entrusted the chief garrisons of the country to their care. Syria and Judea did not escape the dreadful anarchy which ensued during the destructive warfare waged by the generals and successors of Alexander. Twice these provinces fell into the hands of Antigonus, and twice were regained by Ptolemy, to whose share they were finally adjudged after the decisive defeat of Antigonus at Ipsus. The maritime towns, Tyre, Joppa and Gaza, were the chief points of contention: Jerusalem itself seems to have escaped the horrors of war. During this dangerous period Onias, the high priest, administered the public, affairs for twenty-one years. He was succeeded, the year after the battle of Ipsus, by Simon the Just, a pontiff on whom Jewish tradition dwells with peculiar attachment. His death was the commencement of peril and disaster, announced, say the Rabbis, by the most alarming prodigies. The sacrifices, which were always favorably accepted during his life, at his death became uncertain or unfavorable. The scape goat, which used to be thrown from a rook, and to be dashed immediately to pieces, escaped (a fearful omen) into the desert. The great west light of the golden chandelier no longer burnt with a steady flame; sometimes it was extinguished. The sacrificial fire languished; the sacrificial bread failed, so as not to suffice, as formerly, for the whole priesthood." -Milman.

"Palestine was subject to the first five Ptolemies of Egypt about a century, B.C. 301-198. Simon the Just was succeeded by his brother Eleazar, his son, Onias being under age (B.C. 292-251). His long rule seems to have been profoundly tranquil, under the mild governments of Ptolemy I., Soter (the son of Lagus), and Ptolemy II., Philadelphus, who succeeded his father in B. C. 285 and reigned till B.C. 247." -W. Smith.

About this time the translation of the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses) was undertaken, under the auspices of Ptolemy Philadelphus, at Alexandria. Whether it was to gratify the king by enriching his library, and thereby adding to his fame and the gratification of learned men in that age of the world; or whether it was brought about by the combined efforts of the Jews in Alexandria and throughout the kingdom of Ptolemy, history does not authentically inform us. There are many unreasonable and fabulous statements made in regard to the matter. We may reasonably suppose, however, that the vast number of Jews scattered among the nations even at that period, who spoke the Greek language, so prevalent in the world, wanted a translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into the Greek tongue. At any rate, it is said that seventy men, noted for learning, were selected to perform this work, and did so, since which time it has been called the translation of the LXX., or Septuagint, the Greek Old Testament, and remains the Old Testament of the Greek "church" to this very day. There was a revival of learning about this period, and Alexandria was noted for her learned men. In that fostering atmosphere there sprang up those influences which she exercised, over the Jewish church, and the Jewish over the Christian church and professed Christian church for two thousand years.

Learned men have pronounced this translation very inaccurate, and yet perhaps no translation was ever more popular with the people. It was in use among the Jews at the time of our Savior's appearance on earth, and was quoted by Him and His Apostles, evangelists, and early followers, and no scholastic, criticism has been able to gain foothold against such a Divine sanction as that. The New Testament writers correct the Septuagint by the Hebrew when needful.

Most of the books called Apocryphal were written between the return from the Babylonish captivity and the Christian era, and form a sort of appendix to the Jewish Scriptures, and aid to some extent in filling that blank which would otherwise exist for 400 years of the Mosaic dispensation.

Antiochus IV., Epiphanes, {1} king of Syria, B.C. 175, became one of the most cruel oppressors the Jews had ever met with. He wished to Grecianize everything-names, places, fashions, religion and all. He acted like a madman. He attempted to exterminate the religion of the Jews, and substitute that of the Greeks. At one time he approached "Jerusalem, took it without much resistance, put to death in three days" time 40,000 of the inhabitants, and seized as many more to be sold as slaves. He entered every part of the temple, pillaged the treasury, seized all the sacred utensils, the golden candlestick, the table of show-bread, the altar of incense, and thus collected a booty to the amount of 1,800 talents (about three million dollars). He then commanded a great sow to be sacrificed on the altar of burnt offerings, part of the flesh to be boiled, and the liquor from the unclean animal to be sprinkled over every part of the temple; and thus desecrated with the most odious defilement the sacred place, which the Jews had considered for centuries the one holy spot in all the universe. Menelaus retained the dignity of High Priest; but two foreign officers, Philip, a Phrygian, and Andronicus, were made Governors of Jerusalem and Samaria." He designed the entire destruction of the Jewish race, when, in two years after this unhallowed course, he authorized one Apollonius to carry into execution his design with cruel dispatch. "Apollonius waited until the Sabbath, when the whole people were occupied in their religious duties. He then let loose his soldiers against the unresisting multitude, slew all the men, till the streets ran with blood, and seized all the women as captives. He proceeded to pillage and then to dismantle the city, which he set on fire in many places; he threw down the walls, and built a strong fortress on the highest part of Mount Zion, which commanded the temple and all the rest of the city. From this garrison he harassed all the people of the country, who stole in with fond attachment to visit the ruins, or offer a hasty and interrupted worship in the place of the sanctuary; for all the public services had ceased, and no voice of adoration was heard in the holy city, unless of the profane heathen calling on their idols. The persecution did not end here. Antiochus issued an edict for uniformity of worship throughout his dominions, and dispatched officers into all parts to enforce rigid compliance with the decree. This office in the district of Judea and Samaria was assigned to Athenaeus, an aged man, who was well versed in the ceremonies and usages of the Grecian religion. The Samaritans, according to the Jewish account, by whom they are represented as always asserting their Jewish lineage when it seemed to their advantage, and their Median descent when they hoped thereby to escape any immediate danger, yielded at once; and the temple on Gerizim was formally consecrated to Jupiter Xenius. Athenaeus, having been so far successful, proceeded to Jerusalem, where with the assistance of the garrison he prohibited and suppressed every observance of the Jewish religion, forced the people to profane the Sabbath, to eat swine's flesh and other unclean food, and expressly forbade the national rite of circumcision. The temple was dedicated to Jupiter Olympius; the statue of that deity erected on part of the altar of burnt offerings, and sacrifice duly performed. Two women, who had circumcised their children, were led round the city with the babes hanging at their breasts, and then cast headlong from the wall; and many more of those barbarities committed, which, as it were, escape the reprobation of posterity from their excessive atrocity. Cruelties too horrible to be related, sometimes, for that very reason, do not meet with the detestation they deserve. Among other martyrdoms, Jewish tradition dwells with honest pride upon that of Eleazar, an aged scribe, ninety years old, who determined to leave a notable example to such as be young to die willingly and courageously for the honorable and holy laws; and that of the seven brethren who, encouraged by their mother, rejected the most splendid offers, and confronted the most excruciating torments rather than infringe the law. From Jerusalem the persecution spread throughout the country: in every city the same barbarities were executed, the same profanations introduced; and, as a last insult, the feast of the Bacchanalia, the license of which, as these feasts were celebrated in the later ages of Greece shocked the severe virtue of the older Romans, was substituted for the national festival of tabernacles. The reluctant Jews were forced to join in these riotous orgies, and carry the ivy, the insignia of the god. So near was the Jewish nation, and the worship of Jehovah, to total extermination" -Milman.

Many have been the scenes described in ancient and modern history, where the people of the Most High God have suffered persecution purely for conscience' sake, but we believe very few have surpassed in enormity that which they suffered under Antiochus Epiphanes about 167 years before the Christian era. There was no insubordination, no revolt, no political pretext, for this cruelty toward his own peaceable subjects, but simply a determination to destroy the visible signs of God's worshipers or destroy the people themselves! Antiochus Epiphanes died at Tabae, in Persia, B.C. 164, of a most horrible and loathsome, disease of the bowels, it is said, eaten alive with worms, emitting an intolerable odor, acknowledging that his illness was sent upon him by the God of Israel for his cruelty and sacrilege, and becoming raving mad before he breathed his last.

It seems to be a matter worthy of note that while the successors of Alexander who ruled in Egypt were generally mild in their dealings with the Jews in Palestine; those who ruled in Antioch were almost invariably cruel and oppressive toward them.

Before the final extinction of the Jews and their worship God raised up their deliverers in their very midst, who by natural means resisted this "abomination of desolation, " took up arms against the mighty power of the Syrian monarch, and finally gained their independence so far as to be permitted to worship the God of their fathers as in days of old. Jehovah did not in a miraculous way destroy their enemies and give them relief, but He did it by raising up a certain individual and his five sons, who, by holy zeal, bravery, stratagem, and true wisdom, discomfited large armies, crippled the resources of their great adversary, and secured peace.

In the town of Modin, in Palestine, fifteen miles West of Jerusalem, there lived a man by the name of Mattathias, who had five sons by the names of Johanan, Simon, Judas, Eleazar and Jonathan. When Apelles, the officer of king Antiochus, came to Modin to enforce idolatry on the citizens, he manifested great regard for Mattathias, and made him splendid offers to propitiate his favor, and secure his influence in carrying the edict of Antiochus into execution. Mattathias refused his offers, and declared his determination to live and die in the faith of his fathers.

While viewing, with holy indignation, the sacrifices offered to the heathen deity, he espied an, apostate Jew officiating at the altar; this was more than he could bear to behold. Like Phineas of old, in a transport of zeal for the cause of God, he struck the offender dead upon the altar, and then turned upon Apelles, the king's commissioner, and slew him. Here was a conflict raised single-handed with the mighty potentate at Antioch, and Mattathias prepared himself for the struggle. He called together his five sons and as many as had sufficient zeal to do so to follow him, and be retired at once to the mountains. His forces rapidly increased, but a thousand of them were surprised and destroyed by the Syrian troops on a Sabbath day -because the Jews would not fight on that day. Mattathias, therefore, resolved henceforward not to regard the Sabbath day in war, but to defend himself on that day as well as on any other. "The insurgents conducted their revolt with equal enterprise and discretion. For a time they lay hid in the mountain fastnesses; and, as opportunity occurred, poured down upon the towns, destroyed the heathen altars, enforced circumcision, punished all apostates who fell into their hands, recovered many copies of the law, which their enemies had wantonly defaced, and re-established the synagogues for public worship, the temple being defiled and in possession of the enemy. Their ranks were swelled with the zealots for the law, who were then called the Chassidim. For, immediately after the return from Babylonia, two sects had divided the people; the Zadikim, the righteous, who observed the written law of Moses, and the more austere and abstemious Chassidim, or the holy, who added to the law the traditions and observances of the fathers, and professed a holiness beyond the letter of the covenant. From the former sprung the Caraites and Sadducees of later times; from the latter, the Pharisees. But the age of Mattathias was ill suited to this laborious and enterprising warfare; having bequeathed the command to Judas, the most valiant of his sons, he sank under the weight of years and toil. So great already was the terror of his name that he was buried, without disturbance on the part of the enemy, in his native city of Modin." -Milman.

The youthful general added vigor and enterprise to the cause, without lessening the prudence and skill which had hitherto attended it.

Judas unfurled the banner of the "Maccabees, " the reason of which name is involved in obscurity, but under which he and his brothers fought, and their names became famous on earth. One succeeded another until the whole of them disappeared, without reproach, from the scenes of earth. They governed Judea for about sixty years, and then their descendants for seventy years longer (until 37 B.C.).

The rulers in Judea were much troubled, about 100 years B.C., with dissensions, of a religious character, in their midst. The controversy between Pharisees and Sadducees increased, and the more rapidly as peace prevailed between Judea and other nations. Their views were quite opposite. "The Pharisees were moderate predestinarians; the Sadducees asserted free will. The Pharisees believed in the immortality of the soul and the existence of angels, though their creed on both these subjects was strongly tinged with Orientalism. The Sadducees denied both. The Pharisees received not merely the prophets, but the traditional law, likewise, as of equal authority with the books of Moses. The Sadducees, if they did not reject, considered the prophets greatly inferior to the law. The Sadducees are said to have derived their doctrine from Sadoc, the successor of Antigonus Socho in the presidency of the great Sanhedrim. Antigonus taught the lofty doctrine of pure and disinterested love and obedience to God, without regard to punishment or reward. Sadoc is said to have denied the latter, without maintaining the higher doctrine on which it was founded. Still, the Sadducees are far from what they are sometimes represented, the teachers of a loose and indulgent Epicureanism; they inculcated the belief in Divine Providence, and the just and certain administration of temporal rewards and punishments.

"The Pharisees had the multitude, ever led away by extravagant religious pretensions, entirely at their disposal: Sadduceeism spread chiefly among the higher orders. It would be unjust to the Sadducees to confound them with that unpatriotic and Hellenized party, which, during the whole of the noble struggles of the Maccabees, sided with the Syrian oppressors, for these are denounced as avowed apostates from Judaism; yet probably, after the establishment of the independent government, the latter might make common cause and become gradually mingled up with the Sadduceean party, as exposed alike to the severities of Pharisaic administration. During the rest of the Jewish history we shall find these parties as violently opposed to each other, and sometimes causing as fierce and dangerous dissensions as those which rent the commonwealths of Greece and Rome or the republican states of modern Europe. It was at the close of his reign that Hyrcanus broke with the Pharisaic party, and openly joined the opposite faction; a measure of which the disastrous consequences were not entirely felt till the reign of his son, Alexander." -Milman. Hyrcanus reigned twenty-nine years, and was an able, faithful and successful ruler.

Judas, whose Greek name was Aristobulus (son of Hyrcanus), succeeded his father in the year 106 B.C., gained the character of the "Lover of the Greeks, " and won the admiration of Gentile writers by his moderation towards them, and by the energy with which as his father had incorporated the Edomites on the south, so he conquered and absorbed the Ituraean borderers on the north. He lived but a year in office, and that was a year of crime and misery. He imprisoned his mother, and starved her to death; and imprisoned three of his brothers, and had one of them slain. But that for which he was chiefly remembered was that he was the first of his family to assume the regal title and diadem, B.C. 106. Once more there was a "king in Israel, " but bearing the name unknown before and to acquire before long a solemn significance, "King of the Jews." "It was still, however, as high priest that he reigned, and it was not till his brother, Jonathan, mounted the throne, under the name of Alexander, that the coins alternately bear the names of Jonathan, the high priest (or, more rarely, the king) in Hebrew, and Alexander, the king, in Greek. In common parlance he was known by the two names combined, Alexander Jannaeus."

Alexander, after an unquiet and eventful reign of twenty-seven years, departed this life, and his widow, Alexandra, succeeded him, and became first "Queen of the Jews, " B.C. 78. Upon his recommendation before his decease, she threw herself upon the protection chiefly of the Pharisees, as the most powerful and influential, as well as the most turbulent, of the sects. Alexandra reigned prosperously for nine years, and then fell sick and died. The Pharisees, emboldened by the favors shown them in her time, began to persecute the opposing sects. Her first son, Hyrcanus II., had been made high priest during her reign, while her second son, Aristobulus, a man of daring and intrigue, succeeded in placing himself at the head of the weaker party, the Sadducees, and finally at the head of the army outside of Jerusalem, and upon his mother's death sought to make himself master of the place. He marched against it, but was opposed by the Pharisees within, and his brother, Hyrcanus II., as high priest, at their head. He, however, succeeded in obtaining possession of the city, and his brother, the high priest, yielded his claims and agreed to return to private life, B.C. 69. This blow, for a season, was fatal to the Pharisaic party. The time had now arrived when commotion succeeded commotion, by the turbulence of the three sects into which the Jews were divided, viz.: Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes, {2} the latter being much more quiet and retired than the other two. But there was another enemy to arise which would be more dangerous to the Asmonean house than the Pharisees. Antipater, the father of Herod, an Idumenean of noble birth, was the son of Antipas, who had been governor of that province under Alexander Jannaeus. He had influence over Hyrcanus, and induced him to seek the protection and aid of Aretas, king of Arabia; so that Aristobulus soon found himself assailed by 50,000 men -Aretas, Antipater and Hyrcanus at their head, B.C. 65. He was defeated and fled to Jerusalem, where he was unsupported by the people, and shut himself up in the temple and prepared for defense. A deliverer at length arose in the person of the Roman general, Pompey, who ordered the siege to be raised, and summoned both Aristobulus and Hyrcanus to appear before him at Damascus that he might decide the matter between them, B.C. 63. When the time of hearing the cause came on, representatives of Aristobulus, Hyrcanus and the Jewish people stood before Pompey, each complaining of the other. The people charged both the brothers as having usurped the prerogatives of high priests and tyrannized over them, and they therefore wished the kingly office entirely set aside. Pompey dismissed the parties courteously, without deciding in favor of either.

Aristobulus returned home, and, suspecting the goodness of his cause at court, endeavored to put his country in a state of defense. Pompey, after a while, began to assume a higher tone. He marched into Judea, and, after a stern resistance, entered Jerusalem, B.C. 57, and went himself into the Holy of Holies, {3} to the great horror of the Jews, and so, to their astonishment, carried off none of the treasures of the temple. He appointed Hyrcanus high priest without the regal authority- levied his tribute on the people, and departed with Aristobulus, his two sons and two daughters, designed to adorn his triumphal march into Rome.

The Romans, having deprived the High Priest of all royal authority, established, in five different cities, five independent Senates or Sanhedrims, according to the form of the great Sanhedrim of seventy one, which perhaps had existed from the captivity. The places where the Sanhedrims sat were Jerusalem, Jericho, Gadara, Amathus and Sepphoris. This form of government lasted until Julius Caesar reinvested Hyrcanus with the supreme dignity, B.C. 44.

During the great civil war in Rome the fate of Judea, like that of nearly all other nations, hung in trembling suspense. After the death of Pompey the prudent Antipater rendered Caesar essential service in his campaign in Egypt in favor of Cleopatra, and was rewarded with the full rites of Roman citizenship for himself, and (B.C. 47) the appointment of procurator or governor over the whole of Judea; also the full. re-establishment of Hyrcanus in the high priesthood. Antipater, still further presuming on the favor of Rome, proceeded to appoint his elder son Phasael to the government of Jerusalem, and the younger Herod to that of Galilee, B.C. 47. Herod soon began to develop his natural decision and severity of character. He arrested robbers and destroyed them without trial, and set at naught the authorities in Jerusalem. When brought before the Sanhedrim he appeared in arms, and by affrighting them escaped punishment. Only one man, Sameas, dared even to rebuke him; and, strange to say, when he afterward slew the other members of the Sanhedrim, he spared this man Sameas. He afterward obtained by a bribe the military command of Coele-Syria, and advanced against Jerusalem; but, by the intervention of his father, withdrew his forces.

Upon the death of Caesar, Capias assumed the administration of Syria, B.C. 43. Judea was heavily oppressed every way, and the taxes were so exorbitant that the whole population of some towns were sold as slaves to raise tribute.

Herod was ever dexterous and bold. After the great battle at Philippi Herod made his approaches to the rising sun, and obtained the favor of Mark Antony. Antipater had been poisoned by Malichus to prevent the rising and then powerful Idumenean influence in Judea.

"An unexpected enemy arose, to trouble again the peace of Judea. At this juncture the Parthians under Pacorus, the king's son, entered Syria and Asia Minor, and overran the whole region. A part of their army, under Barzapharnes, took possession of Coele-Syria. Antigonus, the last remaining branch of the Asmonean race, determined to risk his fortune in the desperate hazard of Parthian protection; he offered 1,000 talents and 500 Jewish women -a strange compact -as the price of his restoration to the Jewish kingdom. Antigonus himself raised a considerable native power and entered Judea, followed by Pacorus, the cup-bearer of the king, who had the same name with the king's son. Antigonus fought his way to Jerusalem, and, by means of his party, entered the city. Jerusalem was torn asunder by the contending factions; and the multitudes who came up at the feast of Pentecost, adopting different parties, added to the fierce hostility and mutual slaughter. The Antigonians held the temple, the Hyrcanians the palace, and, daily contests taking place, the streets ran with blood. Antigonus at length invidiously proposed to submit their mutual differences to the arbitration of Pacorus, the Parthian general. Phasael weakly consented; and Pacorus, admitted within the town, prevailed on the infatuated Phasael to undertake a journey with Hyrcanus, and submit the cause to Barzapharnes, the commander in chief. He set forth on this ill-fated expedition, and was at first received with courtesy; the plan of the Parthians being to abstain from violence till they had seized Herod, who, having vainly remonstrated with his brother on his imprudence, remained in the city. But the crafty Herod, receiving warning from his brother, whose suspicions had been too late awakened, fled with the female part of the family toward Masada. The journey was extremely dangerous, and at one time Herod, in despair, had almost attempted his own life. At Masada, a strong fortress on the west shore of the Dead Sea, he received succor brought by his brother Joseph from Idumea; him he left in command at Masada, and retired himself into Arabia, from thence to Egypt, and at length to Rome. In the meantime Hyrcanus and Phasael had been made prisoners; the former, Antigonus not wishing to put him to death, was incapacitated forever from the office of High Priest by the mutilation of his ears. Phasael anticipated the executioner by beating his brains out against the wall of his prison." -Milman.

The Parthians plundered the city of Jerusalem and ravaged the country, notwithstanding their alliance with Antigonus. Herod, in the meantime, gained favor at Rome beyond his expectations, and Augustus and Antony united in conferring the crown upon him, 40 years B.C. He returned at once to Palestine, raised a force, rescued his brother and bride, who were shut up in the fortress of Masada, and reduced to great extremities by the besieging army of Antigonus, and, overrunning Galilee, at length sat down before Jerusalem. Silo, a Roman general who was acting with Herod, proved treacherous, and retired from before Jerusalem, and Herod was compelled to do the same.

Herod fixed his headquarters at Samaria, and contented himself with destroying robbers, B.C. 39. The next year, with Roman auxiliaries, he made another attack on Jerusalem, and was defeated. He retired to make his complaints to Antony at Samosata, and, while absent, his brother risked a battle, against Herod's advice, with the forces of Antigonus, and was killed. Herod on his return avenged the death of his brother Joseph by the total discomfiture of Pappus, the general of Antigonus. In the spring of the next year, B.C. 87, he formed the regular siege of Jerusalem; during the siege he returned to Samaria to consummate his marriage with Mariamne, the beautiful granddaughter both of Aristobulus and Hyrcanus. By this marriage he formed an intimate connection with the line of the Asmonean princes, and he hastened to secure his throne by the conquest of the capital. Jerusalem held out for above half a year, but was finally taken by the Roman army under Sosius. Great cruelties were inflicted on the people, and much injury done to the town by the exasperated Roman soldiery, even against the expostulations of Herod himself, who did not wish to be left king over a desert. Antigonus was sent to Antony at Antioch and slain. Herod was fairly installed, by the authority of Rome, king of Judea, B.C. 37.

This was that Herod the Great who swayed the sceptre over Jerusalem and Palestine till after the birth of our Savior.

He did more by far for the outward improvement of the cities, towns and fortresses of Palestine than any other king or ruler since the captivity. He thoroughly repaired and greatly enlarged and adorned the temple of Zerubbabel at Jerusalem. He was upheld by the great power of Rome, and, while adding to his own fortune, he added to the wealth and ornament of his country. But he was one of the most jealous and vindictive of men in all his private relations, and cruel to the last degree toward all whom he suspected of designs on his crown or disobedience to his authority. He had ten wives and fourteen children. The particulars of his reign might be traced, year by year, down to the period of big death, but they are so revolting, so cruel, and bloodthirsty, that the reader might as well be spared the shocking perusal. Suffice it to say that in addition to the vast number of murders committed by him during a long, unbroken reign of over forty years, may be mentioned that of his beautiful and noble wife Mariamne, her grandfather, father, brother, uncle, and two of her sons, most noble youths, who were his own children, who were educated at Rome, and unsurpassed in promise by any in the land. All these were accused of treasonable designs toward him, without any foundation in truth. He himself arraigned before Caesar his two sons for trial, and took the lead in person to manage the case with all imaginable and unnatural hatred. No wonder then that such a monster in human shape should play off his hypocrisy with the wise men of the East, and, so soon as the birth of a "King of the Jews" was announced to him, send forth and slay all the children in Bethlehem from two years old and under, in order to include that one who, he supposed, would aspire to his throne. Neither need we wonder that a king so steeped in human blood, and so fully convinced that the execrations of an outraged people were resting on him, should, in order to make the people mourn, instead of rejoicing, at his death, order some of the principal men in every family in the land shut up in prison, so that an executioner should be ready at the announcement of his own death to slay them also. The innocents were slain in the last year of his life, it is supposed. And the last public act of his life was to order the execution of his son Antipater, who was in prison, and who, it was said, had attempted to bribe the keeper to let him out. He was slain just five days before his father's death. Herod for a long time was awfully afflicted both in body and mind; he was haunted with dreadful forebodings and distressing dreams, and yet nothing appeared to soften his, stony heart or cause him to relent or repent for one hour. His conscience was seared, and failed to admonish or have any government over his mind. He lived to be seventy years of age, having been king of Jerusalem thirty-seven years, and died a few years before the Passover, B.C. 4, at Jericho, after suffering the most horrible agonies, mental and physical. Josephus states that he had fever, and an intolerable itching over all his body, and intestinal inflammation, and dropsy, and worms, and putrefaction. God thus gave the inhuman monster a foretaste of the awful and eternal retribution awaiting him beyond the grave.

Sadly, indeed, does the Old Dispensation close, with such a ruler over Israel as was Herod the Great. The nation was, for the most part, demoralized, and but little better than their ruler; yet in them were found the seed royal and a remnant according to the election of grace.

Thus we have endeavored to notice some things connected with a certain race of men from Adam to the coming of Christ, a period, according to the common chronology, of 4,004 years. The record shows what sin has done for our race, and also what grace has done. Where sin abounded, grace, when applied, has much more abounded, because it hath in every instance gained the victory. One of the most prominent features of Old Testament history is the numerous wars therein stated to have been waged since the Fall. The first man born slew his brother, and brother has been slaying brother from that day to this. The proneness to war and the worship of idols seem to predominate in the human mind, and such is the frequent occurrence of them in history that the heart almost sickens at their perusal. Yet it need not, for the same working is in the hearts of all men (even now) untouched by grace, and we only read of ourselves when we read of others. "The human heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" While darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people, the Lord has arisen upon some few and His glory has been seen upon them. The spiritual family of God have been few in all ages as compared with fleshly professors and open reprobates. God's people are always chosen in the furnace of affliction, and in this world must suffer tribulation. We have noticed the suffering and faith of the people of God in the Old Testament dispensation, and the same will compare favorably with the New. The Apostle, in the eleventh chapter to the Hebrews, enumerates many who lived and died in the faith under the Old Dispensation, and thereby from a cloud of witnesses encourages the hearts of many professing Christianity to hold out faithful to the end of their earthly pilgrimage.

Those specially mentioned by him are Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jepthah, David and Samuel, who, through faith, subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens, etc., etc. Surely, Faith overcomes the world.

After the captivity there were added to the books of the Old Testament the prophecies and lamentations of Jeremiah, the prophecies of Ezekiel, the books of Ezra, and Nehemiah, and the prophecies of Daniel, Habakkuk, Zechariah and Malachi. These completed the sacred canon, which then consisted of thirty-nine books, now arranged in the following order, viz:

Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, First and Second Samuel, First and Second Kings, First and Second Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, and Esther; Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Solomon; Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel; Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.

These books were held sacred and considered authoritative and divinely inspired, and handed down by the Jews from generation to generation to the days of our Savior. He accepted this canon as the embodiment of the Scriptures and the authoritative word of God. He commanded men to search them. He quoted them in His teachings; and all the writers in the New Testament quoted and referred to them as the Scriptures of Divine truth and the sacred oracles of God, from which there was no appeal. Paul says of them in his epistle to Timothy: "The holy Scriptures are able to make us wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works, " These are the Scriptures which the Apostles carried with them into all the world when they went forth preaching the gospel to every creature, and these are the Scriptures out of which they reasoned, in order to bring men to the obedience of faith.

They were the only rule of faith and practice to the church from Malachi to the Christian era, a period of about 400 years, and -until the twenty-seven inspired books of the New Testament were added to them, which completed the whole volume of inspiration -God's authoritative and revealed word, contained in what is generally known as the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.

As we have now arrived at the close of the Old Dispensation, it will be proper to include some remarks upon its general character, and its relation to the New or Christian Dispensation.

There are in the New Testament, in addition to numberless allusions, about two hundred and sixty direct quotations from the Old Testament, or about one for every chapter of the former. It was a wise remark of Augustine, In Vetere Testamento Novum latet, et in Novo Vetus patet, "In the Old Testament the New is concealed, and in the New the Old is revealed. The Old was the type, and the New the antitype. "There was a pre ordained connection between the two. The antitypical realities of the gospel were the ultimate objects contemplated by the mind of God in establishing the types of the old economy. To prepare the way for the introduction of these ultimate objects He placed the church under a course of instruction by types, or designed and fitting resemblances of what was to come in 'the ends of the world,' or 'fullness of the times,' or the gospel age. The church of the Old Testament was in a state of comparative childhood, supplied only with such means of instruction, and subjected to such methods of discipline, as were suited to so imperfect and provisional a period of her being. This instruction and discipline, however, should not be regarded as employed simply for the sake of those who lived during its continuance. While primarily and wisely adapted to them, it was also fitted, and indeed chiefly designed, to tell with beneficial effect on the spiritual life of the church in her more advanced state of existence. The man of mature age, when pursuing his way amid the perplexing cares and busy avocations of life, finds himself continually indebted to the lessons he was taught and the skill he acquired during the period of his early culture. And, in like manner, it was undoubtedly God's intention that His method of procedure toward the church in her state of minority not only should minister what was needed for her immediate instruction and improvement, but should also furnish materials of edification and comfort for believers to the end of time. In both Test- aments there are the same great elements of truth; in the Old these were exhibited in a form more level to the comprehension of immature minds. The Mosaic ritual had at once a shell and a kernel; its shell, the outward rights and observances it enjoined; its kernel, the spiritual relations which these indicated, and the spiritual truths which they embodied and expressed. The symbolical institutions of the Old Testament were shadows of the better things of the gospel; Col 2:17; Heb 8:5; 10:1 that is, they were obscure and imperfect resemblances of the same Divine truths. By means of an earthly tabernacle, with its appropriate services, God manifested toward His people the same principles of government, and required from them substantially the same disposition and character that He does now under the higher dispensation of the gospel. For, look beyond the more outward diversities, and what do you see? You see in both alike a pure and holy God, enshrined in the recesses of a glorious sanctuary, unapproachable by sinful flesh but through a medium of powerful intercession and cleansing efficacy; yet, when so approached, ever ready to receive and bless with the richest tokens of His favor and loving kindness as many as come in the exercise of genuine contrition for sin, and longing for restored fellowship with Him whom they have offended. The same description applies equally to the service of both dispensations; for in both the same impressions are conveyed of God's character respecting sin and holiness, and the same gracious feelings necessarily awakened by them in the bosom of sincere worshipers. But, then, as to the means of accomplishing this, there was only in the one case a shadowy exhibition of spiritual things through earthly materials and temporary expedients; while, in the other, the naked realities appear in the one perfect sacrifice of Christ, the rich endowments of the Spirit of grace, and the glories of an everlasting kingdom. The religious institutions of earlier times contained only the rudiments or elements of religious truth and life. The church, while said to have been 'in bondage under the elements of the world.' Ga 4:3 The expression in Ga 3:24, 'the law was our pedagogue to bring us to Christ,' conveys much the same idea; since it was the special business of the ancient pedagogue to train the youth to proper habits, and, without himself imparting more than the merest elements of learning, to conduct him to those who were qualified to give it. The law did this for such as were placed under it, by means of its symbolical institutions and ordinances, which at once conveyed to the understanding a measure of instruction, and trained and disciplined the will. It was from its very nature imperfect, and pointed to something higher and better. Believers were kept by it in a kind of bondage, but one which, by its formative and elevating character, was ever ripening its subjects for a state in which it should no more be needed. But the most of national Israel, being unspiritual, soon perverted these local, earthly, outward, imperfect ordinances into formality, carnality and corruption. God, therefore, destroyed the outward by the hand of the king of Babylon, and drove national Israel afar from the scenes of her long idolatry. The times of Daniel and the captivity formed, in some degree, the turning-point from the Old to the New, and thenceforward the one was continually shading into the other. God thus spiritualized and elevated the ideas which the Israelites entertained of Divine things, and prepared a gracious remnant for the far more spiritual and elevating teachings of Christ and His Apostles. When the veil was rent in twain, abolishing the distinction at the center, all others of an outward kind necessarily gave way. When the great High Priest had fulfilled His work, no work remained to be done by any other priest. The gospel of shadows was conclusively gone, and the gospel of realities come. And the compliances which the Apostles generally, and Paul himself latterly, made Ac 21 to humor the prejudices and silence the senseless clamors of the Jews, though necessary at first, were yet carried to an undue and dangerous length. They palpably failed, in Paul's case, to accomplish the end in view; and, in the case of the Jewish Christians themselves, were attended with jealousies, self-righteous bigotry, growing feebleness and ultimate decay. 'Before Messiah's coming, the ceremonies were as the swaddling hands in which He was wrapt; but, after it, they resembled the linen clothes which He left in the grave. Christ was in the one, but not in the other.' The apostate Romish church, being unspiritual, like the majority of national Israel, at an early period mistook the means for the end, embraced the shadow for the substance, converted what had been set up for the express purpose of leading men to Christ, into a mighty stumbling-block to obstruct the way of their approach to Him, fell back, by a retrograde movement, from the high, mature, inward and spiritual, to the low, childish, outward and natural. By that great apostasy everything was gradually carried back from the apostolic ideal of a spiritual community, founded on the perfect atonement and priesthood of Christ, to the outwardness and ritualism of ancient times. The sacrifices of the laws, it was thought, must have their correspondence in the offering of the Eucharist; and, as every sacrificial offering must have a priest to present it, so the priesthood of the Old Covenant, determined by genealogical descent, must find its substitute in a priesthood determined by apostolical succession. It was but a step further, and one quite natural in the circumstances, to hold, that as the ancient hierarchy culminated in a High Priest at Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine, so the Christian hierarchy must have a similar culmination in the Bishop of Rome, the capital of the world. In these and many similar applications of Old Testament things to the ceremonial institutions and devices of Romanism, there is a substantial perpetuation of the Judaizing error of apostolic times -an adherence to the oldness and carnality of New have come. According to it, everything in Christianity, as well as in Judaism, is made to turn upon formal distinctions and ritual observances; and that not the less because of a certain introduction of the higher element, as in the substitution of apostolical succession and the impressed character of the new priesthood, for the genealogical descent and family relationship of the old. Such slight alterations only affect the mode of getting at the outward things established, but leave the outwardness itself unaffected; they are of no practical avail in lifting Christianity above the old Judaistic level. The whole movement was a retro-gradation to the weak and beggarly elements which in earlier times had proved the constant source of imperfection and failure, and from which the church of the New Testament should have counted it her distinctive privilege to be free. Ga 5:1 Instead of the common priesthood of believing souls anointed by the Spirit of holiness, and dwelling in the secret place of the Most High, a select priesthood of artificial distinctions and formal service were constituted the chief depositories of grace and virtue; instead of the simple manifestation of the truth to the heart, there came the muffled drapery of symbolical rites and bodily ministrations; and for the patient endurance of evil, or the earnest endeavor to overcome it with good, resort was had to the violence of the sword, and the coercive measures of arbitrary power. Strange delusion! As if the mere form and shadow of the truth were mightier than the truth itself -or the circumstantial adjuncts of the faith were of more worth than its essential attributes -or the crouching dread and enforced subjection of bondmen were a sacrifice to God more acceptable than the childlike and ready obedience of loving hearts! Such a depravation of the spirit of the gospel could not fail to carry its own curse and judgment along with it; and history leaves no room to doubt that, as men's views went out in this false direction, the tide of carnality and corruption flowed in; the professed Christian theocracy, as of old the Jewish, was carried captive by the world; the pretended spouse became an harlot.

"This mournful defection was descried from the outset, and in vivid colors was portrayed on the page of prophetic revelation, as a warning to the church to beware of compromising the truth of God, or attempting to seek the living among the dead. Da 7:25; 2Th 2; 1Ti 4:1-3; 2Ti 3:1-5; 4:3-4; 1Jo 2:18; Re 13:11-18; 17 What constitutes the peculiar glory of the gospel, and should ever have been regarded as forming the main secret of its strength, is the extent to which its tidings furnish an insight into the mind of God, and the power it confers on those who receive it to look as with open face into the realities of the Divine kingdom. Doing this in a manner altogether its own, it reaches the depths of thought and feeling in the bosom, takes possession of the inner man, and implants there a spirit of life, which works with sovereign power on the things around it, and casts aside, as being no longer needed, the external props and appliances that were required by the demands of a feebler age. For the kingdom established by the gospel is essentially spiritual -it is a kingdom of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost; and when true to itself, and conducted in harmony with the mind of its Divine Head, it must ever give to the spiritual the ascendancy over the carnal, and look for its gradual extension and final triumph to the power and influence of the truth itself. The Spirit-endowed church of Christ is the true theocracy in its new, its higher, its perennial form; since it is that in which God peculiarly dwells, and with which He identifies His character and glory. Every individual member of this church, according to the proper idea of his calling, is a king and a priest to God; therefore, not in bondage to the world, nor dividing between the world and God, but recognizing God in all, honoring and obeying God, and receiving power, as a prince with God, to prevail over the opposition and wickedness of the world. Every particular church, in like manner, is, according to the idea of its calling, an organized community of such kings and priests; " therefore, subject, in religious and spiritual matters, to no earthly potentate or aristocracy, but only to the King of kings, feeling to be redeemed from iniquity by His precious blood, desiring to be found holy and without blame before Him in love, and praying that His kingdom should come, and His will be done on earth as it is done in Heaven.

Protestantism, which never cast off all the fatal errors of Romanism, and which has been gravitating back towards Romanism ever since its secession in the sixteenth century, in predicting the salvation of the sinner upon himself instead of upon God, makes the same fundamental mistake in its typology as that made by the Romanists, and noticed above. "Its carnality is continually betraying itself in a tendency to depress and lower the spiritual truths of the gospel to a conformity with the simple letter of Old Testament Scripture. The gospel is read not only through a Jewish medium, but also in a Jewish sense, and nothing but externals admitted in the New, wherever there is descried, in the form of the representation, any reference to such in the Old." The natural offspring of Abraham are said to represent the natural offspring of believers; circumcision is converted into infant baptism; the authority of the priesthood into the authority of "Mother Church; " the Hebrew theocracy into an alliance of church and state; the stoning of blasphemers into death of heretics by torture, fire and sword; the "fathers" and "reformers" are substituted for the Rabbins; and the lie is given to Christ, and inefficacy to His finished work, by robbing the church of its simplicity and spirituality, and loading it with dead materialism, formalism, traditionalism, sacramentalism and hierarchism.

One of the most fashionable Judaizing errors of the present day is the modern method of explaining away the New Testament doctrine of personal and eternal election. "The advocates of a modified Arminianism maintain that this doctrine is improperly understood of an appointment to personal salvation and eternal life, on the special ground that the election of the Jewish people was only their calling as a nation to outward privileges and a temporal inheritance. Rightly understood, however, this is rather a reason why election in the Christian sense should be made to embrace something higher and better, like all the other Old Testament types. For the proper counterpart under the gospel to those external relations of Judaism is the gift of grace and the heirship of glory -the lower in the one case shadowing the higher in the other -the outward and temporal representing the spiritual and eternal. Even Macknight, who cannot certainly be charged with any excess of the spiritual element in his interpretations, perceived the necessity of making, as he expresses it, 'the natural seed the type of the spiritual, and the temporal blessings the emblems of the eternal.' Hence he justly regards the outward professing church in one case, with its unconditional election to the earthly Canaan, as answering, in the other, to the invisible spiritual church, consisting of believers of all nations, with its unconditional election to the heavenly Canaan." Ge 15:18; Ac 13:48; Ro 8:29-30; Eph 1:3-4; 1Pe 1:1-5 -P. Fairbairn, in Typology of Scripture.

All the Old Testament is one great type and prophecy, which finds and will find its full accomplishment in Jesus Christ. As He told His disciples both before and after His resurrection, "All things which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me, must be fulfilled". Lu 24:44 "Think not," said He, in His sermon on the mount, "that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets; I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill". Mt 5:17 Said the angel to John, "The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy". Re 19:10 "Pure gold is not found in large masses; the value of the mass lies mostly in the small particles of the rich metal scattered through it." The golden vein of Messianic prophecy runs through the Old Testament Scriptures, and gives them a Divine unity; and the New Testament, with the same unity, describes the fulfillment of these predictions in Jesus of Nazareth, The Messiah Da 9:25-26 was to be the seed of the woman, Ge 3:15 of the family of Shem, Ge 9:26 Abraham, Ge 12:2-3 Isaac, Ge 21:12 Jacob, Ge 28:14 Judah, Ge 49:10 Jesse Isa 11:1-10 and David. Jer 33:15 He was to be preceded by a messenger like Elijah, Mal 3:1; 4:5 crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord. Isa 40:3-5 He was to be born of a virgin, Isa 7:14 in Bethlehem of Judea, Mic 5:2 just before the sceptre departed from Judah, Ge 49:10 in the days of the fourth universal (Roman) empire, Da 2:44 about 460 years after the issuing of the Persian king's decree for the restoration of Jerusalem, Da 9:24-27; Nu 4:3; Lu 3:23 and before the destruction of the second temple. Hag 2:6-9 (His earthly ministry must therefore have occurred more than 1,800 years ago; and, if it did not occur then, the Old Testament Scriptures must be false.) Rachel, who was buried near Bethlehem, Ge 35:19 was poetically represented as weeping for her slaughtered children, Jer 31:15 and God was to call back His Son out of Egypt. Ho 11:1 He was to be preeminently the Anointed One, Ps 2:2 a Prophet like Moses, De 18:18 a Priest like Melchizedek, Ps 110:4 a King like David. Isa 9:7 He was to be the King of Zion, Ps 2:6; Zec 9:9 higher than the kings of the earth, Ps 89:27 altogether lovely; Song 5:16 the Ruler of Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting; Mic 5:2 the Maker, Redeemer, and Shepherd of Israel; Isa 54:5; Eze 34:23-31 He was to open the eyes of the blind, unstop the ears of the deaf, make the lame man leap as a hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing; Isa 35:4-6 He was to have the law of His God in His heart, and delight to do His will, and to preach righteousness; Ps 40:6-10 He was to be the glory of Israel, and a light to the Gentiles; Isa 49:6; 60:1-3 the Star of Jacob and Sceptre of Israel, who should smite His foes, and have dominion; Nu 29:17,19 the Sun of Righteousness, arising, with healing in His wings, unto all that fear the Lord; Mal 4:2 He was to be the Lord of the temple, the Messenger of the covenant; Mal 3:1 and yet the Son of God; Ps 2:2,7,12 a man and yet the fellow or equal of God; Zec 13:7 identified with God; Zec 12:10 Immanuel, or God with us; Isa 7:14 the Lord our Righteousness; Jer 23:6 the Divine Redeemer who should stand at the latter day upon the earth; Job 19:25-27 who was to come with dyed garments, glorious in His apparel, traveling in the greatness of His strength, speaking in righteousness, mighty to save, treading the wine-press alone, perfectly able, without any help, to bring salvation to His redeemed, and to destroy all their enemies; Isa 63:1-9 the spiritual Zerubbabel who would make the great mountain a plain, lay the foundation of the Lord's house, and also finish it the headstone with shoutings of Grace, grace unto it; Zec 4:6-10 though a child born, a son given to us, yet Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, and the Prince of Peace, of the increase of whose government and peace there should be no end; Isa 9:6-7 His name to continue as long as the sun, and men to be blessed in Him; Ps 72:17 His dominion to be universal and eternal; Da 7:14 His throne to be the throne of God, and endure forever and ever; Ps 45:6-7 and yet "wonderful, indeed, according to His name" He was to be a servant of God, with visage more marred than any man; Isa 52:13-14 despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; Isa 53:3 He was to come to Jerusalem, as a lowly king of righteousness and salvation, riding upon the foal of an ass; Zec 9:9 He was to be conspired against by the kings and rulers of the earth; Ps 2:2 though never guilty of fraud or violence, Isa 53:9 He was to be betrayed by His own familiar friend Ps 41:9 for thirty pieces of silver, which should be given to the potter for a field to bury strangers in; Zec 11:12-13; Jer 7:32-33; 19; Mt 27:3-10 He was to be derided by His ungodly enemies; Ps 22:6-8 and, having been made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, Ps 8:5; Heb 2:9 and being doomed to have His heel bruised while He bruised the head of the serpent, Ge 3:15 He was to be numbered with the transgressors, Isa 53:12 and pierced by the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem, but be bitterly and privately mourned for by them, and open to them a fountain for sin and for uncleanness; Zec 12:10-14; 13:1; Heb 1-13 be given gall and vinegar to drink; Ps 69:21; Heb 1-13 the sun being turned into darkness; Joe 2:31; Am 8:9; Ac 2:20 stricken for the transgression of His people; Isa 53:8 bruised, by God's appointment, for their iniquities; Isa 53:5 cut off, but not for Himself; Da 9:26 make an end of sins, make reconciliation for iniquity, and bring in an everlasting righteousness; Da 9:24 make intercession for the transgressors; Isa 53:12 take from His people their filthy garments and clothe them with a change of raiment, and remove their iniquity in one day; Zec 3 by the blood of His covenant send forth His prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water; Zec 9:11 be forsaken of His God; Ps 22:1 not to see corruption, Ps 16:10 but rise again the third day, Ho 6:2; Jon 1:17 prolong His days, see His seed, and the pleasure of the Lord prosper in His hand; Isa 53:10 see the travail of His soul, and be satisfied, and by His knowledge justify many, because He shall have borne their iniquities; Isa 53:11; Heb 1-13 He, should come down like rain upon the mown grass, and as showers that water the earth; Ps 72:6 not cry or lift up or cause His voice to be heard in the street, not break a bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax; Isa 42:1-4 He should purify His people like gold and silver, that they might offer to the Lord an offering in righteousness; Mal 3:3 He should be anointed immeasurably with the Spirit of God (as His very name, Messiah, or Christ, indicates) to preach good tidings to the meek, to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all that mourn, to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. Isa 61:1-3

Now reflect that these prophecies, as given by God to His people, were scattered through a period of about thirty-six hundred years, so that, if there had been any deception, it would have required the collusion of about seventy generations, and that, too, to bring about a belief of the human race in the most elevating spiritual blessings -a circumstance utterly incredible; remember that the Jews who persecuted Jesus Christ to death, and who still reject His claims, have handed down these prophetic writings to us as infallibly inspired of God, and are, many of them, today willing to lay down their lives, if necessary, in defense of such inspiration; and then carefully read the New Testament, which was written more than four hundred years after the last Old Testament prophet; and see how these vastly complicated and seemingly inconsistent details were precisely fulfilled in the history of Jesus of Nazareth; and if you have not a darkened understanding, a seared conscience, and a stony heart, you will prostrate your soul before the once incarnate and crucified but now risen and enthroned Redeemer, with the impassioned exclamation of Thomas -My Lord and my God!

As has well been said, Jesus Christ is the only key in all the universe that fits the infinitely complicated lock of Messianic prophecy.

The Jewish rabbins thought some of the Messianic prophecies so inconsistent with others that they supposed there would be two Messiahs -a Messiah ben (or son of) Joseph who should suffer, and a Messiah ben David who should reign. But the Messianic prophecies of suffering and reigning are indissolubly blended. The principles of bleeding sorrow and holy triumph are eternally blended in Him who is at once and forever the LAMB and the SON OF GOD -the vicarious sufferer and the Divine bridegroom of His redeemed church. Song 5:10; Isa 53; 54:5; Eph 5:23-32; Joh 1:18,29; Ps 2:7; Mt 16:16; Mr 14:61-62; Ac 3:13; Ro 1:3-4; Heb 1:2-3; 1Pe 1:3; Re 1:5; 19:7,9; 22:1

ENDNOTES:

{1} Epiphanes means illustrious; he was, by way of parody, surnamed by others Epimanes, the Insane.

{2} This name is said to mean silent or mysterious. The sect existed from about 110 B.C. to A.D. 70. Josephus estimates their number at about 4,000. Their chief settlement was a large agricultural village in some highly cultivated oases amid the wilderness on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea. They had a few other scattered communities throughout Palestine. Their creed was mainly that of the Pharisees, but their practice was even more rigorous. With Pharisaism they combined stoicism, asceticism, monasticism, celibacy and puritanism. They held all property in common, and were said to be temperate, industrious, charitable, opposed to all oaths, slavery, and war, and commerce.

{3} It is said that Pompey wondered that he found no image of the Deity in the temple -the Pagans were accustomed to having and worshiping images of their gods.

09- Chapter VII THE MINISTRY OF CHRIST AND HIS APOSTLES. -THE GOSPELS AND THE EPISTLES.

The shades of night recede before the approach of morning light; moon and stars fade away when the bright luminary of day gilds the eastern horizon; and thus, when the Sun of Righteousness arose upon the world, the shadows, types, symbols and metaphors of the Mosaic dispensation were fulfilled and had to pass away.

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made." "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth." "The law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ". Joh 1:1-3,14,17

In the days of Herod the Great, king of Judea, the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin {1} espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; "and the virgin's name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favored, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. {2} He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end". Lu 1:26-33

And, in the fulfillment of this prediction made to Mary by the angel, as well as of all those made by the prophets, under the legal dispensation, touching that event, it is written that, in obedience to a decree made by Caesar Augustus, taxing the Roman world, Joseph and his espoused wife "went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house of lineage of David), to be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child. And so it was that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. And she brought forth her first-born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them; and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not; for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you: Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men".

Lu 2:1-13

The words and deeds of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ have been recorded by four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, holy men of old, who wrote as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, and to their testimony we must refer for all genuine information as to the advent and mission of the Son of God while tenementing in clay. They inform us that He was taken early by His reputed father into Egypt to escape Herod's cruelty, and that at the age of twelve years He was found conversing in the temple with the learned doctors of the law concerning the sublime truths of religion.

Profane history, and not that of the evangelists, notifies us that, at the period of the birth of the Prince of Peace, there was peace throughout the Roman empire, which continued for about twelve years, and, as a sign of universal peace, the temple of Janus at Rome was closed, which, before the reign of Augustus Caesar, had not been the case since 241 B.C.

"The external condition and surroundings of the youth of Jesus are in sharp contrast with the amazing result of His public life. He grew up quietly and unnoticed in a retired Galilean mountain village of proverbial insignificance, and in a lowly carpenter-shop, far away from the city of Jerusalem, from schools and libraries, with no means of instruction save those which seemed open to the humblest Jew -the care of godly parents, the beauties of nature, the services of the synagogue, the secret communion of the soul with God, and the Scriptures of the Old Testament, which recorded in type and prophecy His own character and mission. All attempts to derive His doctrine from any of the existing schools and sects have utterly failed. He never referred to the traditions of the elders except to oppose them. From the Pharisees and Sadducees He differed alike, and provoked their deadly hostility. With the Essenes He never came in contact. He was independent of human learning and literature, of schools and parties. He taught the world as one who owed nothing to the world. He came down from Heaven and spoke out of the fullness of His personal intercourse with the great Jehovah. Wiser than all sages, He spake as never man spake, and made an impression on His age and on all ages after Him such as no man ever made or can make." -P. Schaff, in History of Christian Church. His matchless teaching forms the clear, brief, powerful text of all Christian doctrine. "His short ministry of three years, " says Mr. Leckey, the infidel historian of European Morals, "has produced a more deep and lasting impression on the human race than all the disquisitions of all the philosophers, and all the exhortations of all the moralists that ever lived."

"Hillel and Shammai and other eminent ravvins of this period, " says Mr. W. G. Blaikie, in his Manual of Bible History, "were probably alive when Christ came into the world; some of them may have been among those with whom the child Jesus conversed in the temple; and they, or their successors, must have exercised influence in His rejection and death. There could not have been a greater contrast than that between their worship of traditions and Christ's reverence for the Word; between their theory of changing men by an influence from without, and Christ's by a power from within; between the vain, trifling inquiries on which their teachings bore, and the grand realities of life and death which Christ's constantly contemplated; between their pride, formality and contemptuous spirit, and Christ's humility, simplicity and love."

From His twelfth to His thirtieth year nothing is said of His history by the evangelists. But when about thirty years of age, the period when the Jewish priests entered the sacred office, they inform us that He came unto John the Baptist to be baptized by him. John at first refused to administer the rite to Him, urging his great inferiority, but the Savior insisted, and John at length yielded and baptized Him in the river Jordan. After being baptized He "went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the Heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and, lo, a voice from Heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased". Mt 3:13-17

God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, was present on that occasion to honor the sacred rite of baptism and set apart the Messiah for the work of the gospel ministry. This office He then took upon Himself, and henceforward proclaimed the principles of the gospel kingdom till the time of His crucifixion. John was the forerunner of Jesus; he was filled with the Holy Ghost from his mother's womb -his name came from Heaven, and his authority to baptize came from there also. The evangelists call him "John the Baptist." The Savior, having been baptized by him, was surely a "Baptist, " and as He went forth preaching His own gospel He was necessarily a "Baptist preacher, " thereby affording an example for all His ministerial followers to the end of the world. And here is where the Baptists came from. An unbaptized person has no Bible right to preach the gospel.

The birth of John was announced to his father by an angel from Heaven, and it was miraculous, because his mother was barren and his father, Zacharias, a Jewish priest, was well stricken in years. To further strengthen his faith in the heavenly promise, he was made dumb until his child was born and named.

It was a custom of eastern princes, in their visits to distant nations, to send heralds or messengers before them to notify the people in advance of their coming. Our Savior, the Prince of Peace, King of kings, and Lord of lords, sent His messenger before His face, both in His birth and ministerial character, six months in advance.

"The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God; As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins". Mr 1:1-4 He taught the coming of Christ and the setting up of His gospel kingdom on earth. He pointed to Christ, saying, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world". Joh 1:29 "Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip being tetrarch of Iturea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John, the son of Zacharias, in the wilderness. And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins; as it is written in the book of the words of Esaias {3} the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make His paths straight. Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low, and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God". Lu 3:1-6

Filled with the Holy Ghost from before his birth, what a blessed, unworldly, unselfish and faithful servant of Christ was John the Baptist! He disdained the luxuries and smiles of men; he fearlessly rebuked, not only the Scribes and Pharisees and soldiers, but even king Herod, for their sins; and he pointed men away from himself to Christ as the sin-atoning Lamb of God. The embodiment and culmination of the Old Testament, he labored for a short season, and then "in unrivalled humility he disappeared as the red dawn in the splendor of the rising Sun of the new covenant."

While Christ was to increase, John was to decrease. He was beheaded in prison by the cruel monster Herod, in order to please a dancing damsel and her blood-thirsty mother; and his followers for the most part attached themselves afterwards to Christ and His Apostles.

The followers of the Savior were few in number during His life to what they were soon after His resurrection and ascension to glory. He sent out his twelve Apostles first to preach, and then seventy disciples afterwards, but their success appeared to be very limited as to the acquisition of numbers. The number twelve appears to refer to the twelve patriarchs, and the number seventy to the seventy elders under the Jewish dispensation; and teach that the former were to be superseded by the latter.

Jesus called to Him whomsoever He would, and thus set up His gospel kingdom in the world. From among the number of His adherents, He ordained twelve to attend His ministry in person, to become witnesses of His miracles, of His doctrine and sufferings, and, by occupying twelve thrones as judges of the twelve tribes of Israel, spiritually, to hand down to the latest period of time, to all succeeding generations, the principles of the gospel kingdom that He came to set up.

As Apostles they have had no successors, and therefore all matters of faith and practice must be referred to them; that is, to their inspired writings. They received their instructions from the Savior. He commanded them to teach and baptize the people who believed in Him, and then to teach them to observe all things whatsoever he had commanded them. Mt 28:19-20 As also saith the prophet, "Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment". Isa 32:1 The names of the twelve Apostles were "Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alpheus; Lebbeus, whose surname was Thaddeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him". Mt 10:2-4

"During His ministry He had no home, no earthly possessions, no friends among the mighty and the rich. A few pious women from time to time filled his purse; and this purse was in the hands of a thief and a traitor. He associated with publicans and sinners, to raise them up to a higher and nobler life, and began His work among the lower classes which were despised and neglected by the proud hierarchy of the day. He never courted the favor of the great, but incurred their hatred and persecution. He never flattered the prejudices of the age, but rebuked sin and vice among the high and the low, aiming His severest words at the blind leaders of the blind, the self-righteous hypocrites who sat in Moses' seat. He never encouraged the carnal Messianic hopes of the people, but withdrew when they wished to make Him a king, and declared before the representative of the Roman empire that His kingdom was not of this world. He announced to His disciples His own martyrdom, and promised to them in this life only the same baptism of blood. He went about in Palestine, often weary of travel, but never weary of His work of love, doing good to the souls and bodies of men, speaking words of spirit and life, and working miracles of power and mercy. He chose for Himself the humblest of the Messianic titles, 'the Son of Man,' which implies His consciousness that He was originally more than man and is now more than man, having come as man among men in a condition of temporary humiliation, while at the same time the title implies His unique position as the ideal, the perfect, the representative, the archetypal Man. He calls Himself habitually, but no one else, 'the Son of Man,' who 'hath not where to lay His head,' who 'came not to be ministered unto but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many,' who 'hath power to forgive sins,' who 'came to seek and to save that which was lost.' When Peter made the great confession at Caesarea Philippi, Christ accepted it, but immediately warned him of His approaching suffering and death, from which the disciple shrunk in dismay. And with the certain expectation of His crucifixion, but also of His triumphant resurrection on the third day, He entered in calm and sublime fortitude on His last journey to Jerusalem which 'killeth the prophets,' and nailed Him to the cross as a false Messiah and blasphemer. But in the infinite wisdom and mercy of God the greatest crime in history was turned into the greatest blessing to mankind." -P. Schaff.

As says the learned John L. Mosheim: "It is not necessary to enter into a detail of the life and actions of Jesus Christ. All Christians must be perfectly acquainted with them. They must know that, during the space of three years, and amidst the deepest trials of affliction and distress, He instructed the Jewish nation in the will and counsels of the Most High, and omitted nothing in the course of His ministry that could (righteously) contribute to gain the multitude or to charm the wise. Every one knows that His life was a continued scene of perfect sanctity, of the purest and most active virtue, not only without spot, but also beyond the reach of suspicion -the only perfectly wise, perfectly sinless, and perfectly benevolent being that ever walked this earth, according to the unanimous acknowledgment of the human race; and it is also well known that, by miracles of the most stupendous kind, and not more stupendous than salutary and beneficent, He displayed to the universe the truth of that religion which He brought with Him from above, and demonstrated in the most illustrious manner the reality of His Divine commission.

"As this system of religion was to be propagated to the extremities of the earth, it was necessary that Christ should choose a certain number of persons to accompany Him constantly through the whole course of His ministry; that thus they might be faithful and respectable witnesses of the sanctity of His life, and the grandeur of His miracles, to the remotest nations, and also transmit to the latest posterity a genuine account of His sublime doctrines, and of the nature and end of the gospel dispensation. Therefore Jesus chose, out of the multitude that attended His discourses, twelve persons whom He separated from the rest by the name of Apostles. These men were illiterate, poor, and of mean extraction; and such alone were truly proper to answer His views. He avoided making use of the ministry of persons endowed with the advantages of fortune and birth, or enriched with the treasures of eloquence and learning, lest the fruits of this embassy and the progress of the gospel should be attributed to human and natural causes. 1Co 1:21 These Apostles were sent but once to preach to the Jews during the life of Christ. Mt 10:7 He chose to keep them about His own person, that they might be thoroughly instructed in the affairs of His kingdom. That the multitude, however, might not be destitute of teachers to enlighten them with the knowledge of the truth, Christ appointed seventy disciples to preach the glad tidings of eternal life throughout the whole province of Judea. Lu 10:1

"The ministry of Jesus was (principally) confined to the Jews, nor while He remained upon earth did He permit His Apostles or disciples to extend their labors beyond this distinguished nation. Mt 10:5; 15:24 At the same time, if we consider the illustrious acts of mercy and omnipotence that were performed by Christ, it will be natural to conclude that His fame must have been very soon spread abroad in other countries.

"A great number of the Jews, influenced by those illustrious marks of Divine authority and power which shone forth in the ministry and actions of Christ, regarded Him as the Son of God, the true Messiah. The rulers of the people, and more especially the chief priests and Pharisees, whose licentiousness and hypocrisy He censured with a noble and generous freedom, labored with success by the help of their passions to extinguish in their breasts the conviction of His celestial mission, or at least to suppress the effects it was adapted to produce upon their conduct. Fearing also that His ministry might tend to diminish their credit, and to deprive them of the advantages they derived from the impious abuse of their authority in religious matters, they laid snares for His life, which for a considerable time were without effect. They succeeded at last by the infernal treason of an apostate disciple, by the treachery of Judas, who, discovering the retreat which his Divine Master had chosen for the purposes of meditation and repose, delivered Him into the merciless hands of a brutal soldiery.

"In consequence of this, Jesus was produced as a criminal before the Jewish high priest and Sanhedrim, being accused of having violated the law and blasphemed the majesty of God. Dragged thence to the tribunal of Pilate, the Roman praetor, he was charged with seditious enterprises and with treason against Caesar. Both these accusations were so evidently false, and destitute even of every appearance of truth, that they must have been rejected by any judge who acted upon the principles of common equity. But the clamor of an enraged populace, influenced by the impious instigations of their priests and rulers, intimidated Pilate, and engaged him, though with the utmost reluctance, and in opposition to the dictates of his conscience, to pronounce a capital sentence against Christ. The Redeemer of mankind behaved with inexpressible dignity under this heavy trial. As the end of His mission was to make expiation for the sins of men, so when all things were ready, and when He had finished the work of His glorious ministry, He placidly submitted to the death of the cross, and, with a serene and voluntary resignation, committed His spirit into the hands of the Father.

"After Jesus had remained three days in the sepulchre he resumed that life which He had voluntarily laid down; and, rising from the dead, declared to the universe, by that triumphant act, that the Divine justice was satisfied, and the paths of salvation and immortality were rendered accessible to the human race. He conversed with His disciples during forty days after His resurrection, and employed that time in instructing them more fully with regard to the nature of His kingdom. Many wise and important reasons prevented His showing Himself publicly at Jerusalem to confound the malignity and unbelief of His enemies. He contented Himself by manifesting the certainty of His glorious resurrection to a sufficient number of faithful and credible witnesses, being aware that, if He should appear in public, those malicious unbelievers, who had formerly attributed His miracles to the power of magic would represent His resurrection as a phantom, or vision, produced by the influence of infernal powers. After having remained upon earth during the space of time above mentioned, and given to His disciples a Divine commission to preach the glad tidings of salvation and immortality to the human race, He ascended into Heaven in their presence, and resumed that enjoyment of that glory which He had possessed before the worlds were created."

The crucifixion of our Lord and Savior was a matter of as much certainty and necessity as His birth. Both were included in the great design to save poor fallen man, and the former as well as the latter, being known and determined by the Almighty from everlasting, was spread upon the pages of Divine revelation thousands of years before its actual fulfillment; as proved by the animal sacrifices offered up by spiritual worshipers for forty centuries before His coming, and by the numerous Messianic prophecies that we have cited at the close of Chapter VI., and by Ac 4:26-28.

It was of necessity therefore that this man had somewhat also to offer as the great High Priest of spiritual Israel, made after the order of Melchizedek, and not after the order of Aaron.

Jesus was taken by the Roman soldiers from the judgment-hall of Pontius Pilate and carried to Calvary, or Golgotha, a low, rounded, bare hill outside the north gate of Jerusalem. There was He nailed to the cross and elevated above the earth, as a spectacle to angels and men. The crucifixion took place on Friday, most probably April 6th, A.D. 30. Christ hung upon the cross from 9 A.M. to 3 P.M., at which hour He died. From the sixth to the ninth hour (which corresponds with our time from 12 noon to 3 P.M.) there was darkness over all the land. About the ninth hour (3 P.M.) He cried with a loud voice, "Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?" And when He had cried with a loud voice, "It is finished!" "Father, into Thy hands I commend my Spirit, " He yielded up the ghost. "And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many". Mt 27:46-53; Joh 19:30; Lu 23:46

The crucifixion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was the most memorable and wonderful event in the history of the world. The redemption of countless millions of the human race depended on it, and without it there was salvation for none. Yet the dark deed of judicial murder, instigated by the malignity of the Jews, was rebuked by the absent rays of the bright luminary of Heaven, when darkness covered the earth for three dreary, doleful hours on that memorable day. {4} He laid down His life as a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of His people, and remained a captive to death from Friday, the Jews' preparation day, till Sunday, the first day of the week, being the day succeeding their Sabbath. On Sunday morning He burst the bonds of death, and arose a mighty conqueror over death, hell and the grave, and in about forty days ascended to His Father's right hand, leading captivity captive and receiving gifts for men. The same body that was crucified was buried; the same body that was buried arose from the grave; and the same body that arose from the grave was glorified, and is now seated on the mediatorial throne at the right hand of God, in Divine composure until His enemies be made His footstool, and until the consummation of all things, when He shall again come to gather His ransomed people home, and take vengeance on them that know not God.

The object of His mission to earth was to save sinners by the sacrifice of Himself, and to inculcate upon the minds of men the great method of redemption.

If Jesus was, as even infidelity admits, the Sun of Righteousness, then He was what He professed to be, the Son of God. Upon this all-important point infinite reason could not be deceived, and infinite holiness could not deceive others. All hypotheses representing Jesus as a mere man have refuted and destroyed each other. "He learned nothing from human teachers. His wisdom was not of this world. He needed no visions and revelations like the prophets and Apostles. He came directly from His great Father in Heaven, and when He spoke of Heaven, He spoke of His familiar home. He spoke from the fullness of God dwelling in Him. And His words were perfectly verified by His unapproachable deeds." -P. Schaff, in "History of Christian Church."

His doctrine comprehended the nature and perfections of God, the Father, and that He and the Father were one -the misery of fallen man -a declaration of His own character as the Son of God and the promised Messiah -the design of His mission into this world, which was to save His people from their sins, who were the gift of the Father to Him -the impossibility of their perishing or being plucked out of His hand -His eternal union with them as their covenant or chosen Head -His giving them repentance and remission of sins -the divinely-given immortality of the soul -the resurrection from the dead -the certainty of a future state of rewards and punishments -the necessity of a preached gospel to all nations -His appointment by God Almighty to judge the world in righteousness at the last day, and the certain assurance that the Holy Ghost, the Comforter, shall abide with His church forever.

"Christ's ethical teaching shines most brightly in those points where other systems fail, namely, the truthfulness of inward cleansing, the majesty of lowliness, and the glory of love." -T. D. Bernard.

"In His doctrine He rescued the moral law from the false glosses imposed upon it by the Scribes and Pharisees; unfolded its spirituality and extent, as requiring perfect love to God and man; and enforced its indispensable obligation upon all men as the rule of their correspondence with God; declaring that He Himself came not to abrogate or annul one tittle, but to fulfill its utmost requirements by His own obedience and conformity thereunto, and adopting it as the unalterable law of His kingdom, which is to regulate the conduct of His disciples to the end of time." -W. Jones.

The judicial, civil, or political law was intended by God for the special government of the ancient Hebrew nation. The ceremonial or Levitical law was a prefiguration of the gospel, in types and shadows, and was completely fulfilled and ended by Christ. The decalogue, or ten commandments, or moral law, was audibly spoken by the voice of God from Mount Sinai, was written by His finger on two tables of stone, and was perpetually preserved in the Ark of the Covenant, the innermost shrine of the tabernacle and temple. It was perfectly kept by Christ for His people both actively and passively, He doing all that the moral law required them to do, and suffering death, the penalty of their violation of the moral law; so that there is no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus. Those who are in Christ Jesus have His Spirit of life and love in them; and they have not only in their minds, but also written in their hearts, the same holy spiritual law that He fulfilled, so that they delight in that law after the inward man, and serve God in newness of spirit and not in the oldness of the letter, from a principle, not of bondage, but of love. As they have been made free by the Son of God, and are free indeed -not to sin, but to love -and, as where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty, the perfect moral law of God is to them a perfect law of liberty; and the blessed precepts of the gospel are but the Divine expansion and efflorescence of the same holy law, based upon the powerful new motive of the atoning love of Jesus. The oldest Baptist Articles of Faith declare that the moral law is a compendious "rule of life for the Christian; " so did the ablest and soundest Baptist ministers before the nineteenth century. But in the present century some speakers and writers deny that the moral law is a rule of life, and affirm that the precepts of the gospel only are such a rule; and these people have been stigmatized by others as Antinomians, or opposed to the law. The question as to whether the moral law or the preceptive part of the New Testament is the Christian's rule of life is what Paul calls a "vain and unprofitable strife about words, whereof come envy, railings, and evil surmisings, and which we are to avoid". Tit 3:9; 1Ti 6:4 The law within the heart of Christ Ps 40:6-8; Heb 10:5-7 is not inferior to, but is the same as, the law written in the hearts of His covenant people. Jer 31:31-34; Heb 10:16-17 A holy, perfect and unchangeable God makes at all times the same moral requirements of His creatures. According to the Scriptures, love -supreme love of God and love of our neighbor as ourselves -was the essence of the Sinaitic moral law, and is the essence of Christianity, so that there is no difference between the Old and New Testament Divine Moral Standards. This fact is absolutely demonstrated by the following Scriptures: (Ex 20:6; Le 19:18; De 6:5; Ps 1:1-3; 37:31; 40:6-8; 102:27; 119:29,32,45,165,174; Jer 31:33-34; Mt 5:17; 22:36-40; Joh 15:12; Ro 3:31; 7:12,14,16; 13:10; 1Co 9:21; 13; Jas 1:17; 2:8; 1Jo 4:21). Christ was the only man that ever perfectly fulfilled the holy law of God, loving God supremely and His neighbor as Himself; and the entire eternal salvation of His church is based upon His perfect obedience of the Divine law. (Ro 5:19-21; Ga 3:13) Yet all the children of God are led by the same Holy Spirit of obedience; Ro 8:14; Ga 4:6; Ps 23:3 not able, while in the flesh, to obey the moral law or the gospel precepts perfectly, Ro 3:20; 1Jo 1:8 and reposing all their hope of Heaven upon the perfect obedience of Christ. Ro 5:2; 1Co 1:30; Col 1:5,27

In the teaching and meditation of Christ was laid the foundation of Christianity, the principles of which were to be elucidated and made abundantly manifest by the descent of the Holy Ghost on the day of Pentecost, who was to enlighten the understanding of His disciples and bring to their remembrance all things whatsoever that He had said unto them. Joh 14:26

Before the crucifixion of Christ He directed His Apostles to tarry in Jerusalem until they were endued with power from on high. Lu 24:49 Accordingly, they did so, and were found together in one place in Jerusalem, at the end of seven times seven days after His resurrection, and ten days after His ascension, viz., the Apostles and one hundred and twenty disciples, when "suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues, like as of fire, sitting upon each of them, and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance". Ac 2:2-4 Instantaneously light broke in upon their understandings. Their old apprehension of a natural kingdom being set up in the world by their Lord vanished away; its true spiritual character was immediately revealed to them, and, although ignorant and unlearned, as touching all human sciences, they rose and addressed the vast multitudes that assembled on the occasion from various parts of the world, declaring the wonderful works of God, with great precision, in many different languages of earth!

Such a miraculous display of Divine power brought many thousands together to behold it, and three thousand of them, being quickened into Divine life by the Spirit of God Joh 16:7-11 believed the preaching of the Apostles and were added to the number in one day. Thus the mother church was fairly set up in Jerusalem, from which all others sprang. It was a Baptist church, composed of baptized believers; because all who believed, and made a profession of their faith, were baptized straightway. None others were received into fellowship and communion. And here is where the Baptists came from.

The Apostles and primitive saints were endowed with a holy boldness, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit went in all directions, preaching the gospel of the kingdom. They stood in no fear of man, but feared God, and, at the risk of their lives, determined to serve Him. They planted churches after the pattern of the one at Jerusalem, and they were independent bodies, distinct from each other, though all of the same faith and order. Each was a little "republic" {5} within itself, governed by the rudiments of Christ and not of the world. After the Apostles came pastors and deacons as officers in the churches. Such was the evidence of Divine authority attending the doctrine and labors of the Apostles and early ministers of the gospel that large numbers were added to the churches, and the interest was so great that some concluded they had turned the world upside down. Ac 17:6 In this respect it might be inferred that they did greater things than their Master. Joh 14:12

The success which attended the first publication of the gospel is very beautifully described in the book of Revelation Re 6:1-2 by a vision which the Apostle had of the Lamb opening the first seal. "And I saw, " says he, "and behold a white horse; and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him; and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." The history of the Apostles and first preachers affords a striking comment on these words, at the same time that it illustrates to us an ancient prediction concerning the Messiah; (Ps 110:2, etc.) for now we see the standard of Christ first erected as an ensign to the nations; from hence went forth the rod of His strength, by which he ruled in the midst of His enemies, and (from that time, or) in that day of His power the willing nations submitted to Him cheerfully, and "numerous as drops of morning dew." Here indeed was the kingdom set up, which was to stand forever; as saith the prophet; "In the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all other kingdoms, and it shall stand forever". Da 2:44 And here is where the Baptists came from. On the day of Pentecost three thousand were added to the number of the disciples; and, on the day the cripple who lay at the gate of the temple was healed, five thousand were numbered among the believers. And all this conquest made by grace was made in direct opposition to earthly powers, both Jew and Gentile.

If the religion of Christ prevailed in its infancy against the wishes and persecutions of the combined powers of earth, why should it not do so now, when it has spread its roots with the growth of eighteen centuries? Is God Almighty more dependent on men now than He was then to carry on the work of evangelization? Some would have us believe so, who go about begging the unconverted world (which belongs to Satan's kingdom) to give them funds sufficient to break down their master's kingdom and convert the world to God! This is setting up Satan to cast out Satan, thereby dividing his own kingdom, and exalting him above the Almighty. How preposterous!

The Apostles for some considerable time executed the different offices of Apostle, Elder and Deacon; the former, or highest office in the Christian church, being evidently considered as including every inferior one. But when murmuring among the Grecians against the Hebrews was heard, because some of their widows were neglected in the daily ministrations, then the Apostles decided to call the church together, and have men chosen whose chief duty it should be to serve tables, and see that none were neglected in the daily ministrations. By donations made to the Apostles for that purpose, a fund had been raised to purchase food for the poor of the church, and there were two classes who received the benefit of it, viz.: first, those Jews, called Hebrews, who lived in Judea and worshiped in the synagogues at Jerusalem and its vicinity, in the use of the Hebrew and Chaldee languages; and secondly, those Jews who lived outside Judea, and who had been accustomed chiefly to the use of the Greek language, into which the Old Testament Scriptures had been translated (the version which we now call the Septuagint), and which had been for some time in common use, previous to the coming of Christ, in all the Jewish synagogues dispersed throughout the cities beyond the limits of Judea. These last were called Hellenists or Grecians; and of them it would appear that many were at that time, in Jerusalem, members of the church. The church came together and chose seven men, full of wisdom and the Holy Ghost, to attend to this matter, and thereby allow the Apostles liberty to devote their time wholly to prayer and the ministry of the word. They chose Stephen and Philip and Prochorus and Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte of Antioch. Ac 6 Some of them (probably all) were occasionally engaged in preaching the gospel, but this was no part of their office of Deacons (if this was the Deaconship), the latter being restricted to the serving of tables or ministering to the wants of the poor.

Stephen was soon stoned to death. When the worshipers of Moses could not cope with him in argument, they could outdo him with stones, and resorted to the ancient and modern custom of killing those whom they could not convince. Stephen was a heritic of course in the estimation of these Solomons, and therefore he must not be rejected, as Paul afterward advised in the case of heretics, but must be slain by virtue of a decree of the Jewish Sanhedrim. This servant of God died as did his Master, praying for his murderers, and yielding up his spirit unto God who gave it. Saul of Tarsus was there aiding and abetting in this fanatical fury. He held the clothes of the young men who stoned Stephen; and this so whetted his appetite for blood that he persecuted the faithful followers of Jesus in all directions, dragging them to prison and to death, both men and women. The field of his cruelty seemed to expand as his business prospered, and he persecuted them in cities remote from Jerusalem. In the meanwhile the disciples, in obedience to the command of their Lord and Master, yielded to the storm, and dispersed themselves among the cities of Judea and Samaria. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ among the inhabitants with great success. The second church was formed there. He also preached to an Ethiopian eunuch on his way home from Jerusalem, and baptized him upon a profession of his faith in Christ. The Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, while the eunuch went on his way rejoicing; thereby fulfilling the prediction of the Psalmist, "Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands unto God". Ps 68:31 Saul of Tarsus was of Jewish parents, both father and mother. His father was of the tribe of Benjamin, and a freeman of Rome. He was liberally educated. The rudiments he received in his native city, which was a rival of Athens and Alexandria in learning; and he then completed his studies in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel, a noted doctor of the law of Moses and the traditions of the Elders.

The three highest elements of human nobility met in Saul -Roman citizenship, Grecian culture, and Hebrew religion. He had, even by nature, a mind of the highest order, and a spirit of extraordinary mold. As Moses was learned in the wisdom of the Egyptians, so Paul was learned in the wisdom of the Greeks; being one of the "not many wise men called" to the service of Christ. 1Co 1:26 And a wonderful energy, resolution, zeal, fearlessness, sincerity, morality and devotion to the Mosaic law characterized him. Next to the fall of man and the crucifixion of Christ, no incident occupies so much space in the Scriptures as the conversion of Saul of Tarsus. Besides being referred to several times in Paul's epistles, it is related three times in the Acts of the Apostles (Ac 9; 22; 26); first by Luke, the historian, then by Paul to the Jews, and then by Paul to the Gentiles; and, next to the sin of Adam and the death of Christ, no other event in human history is so full of spiritual instruction. If no other conversion had been described in the Bible, and if no explicit statement of doctrine had been made, the simple record of the Divine and instantaneous and total transformation of the bitterest enemy to the most devoted servant of Christ on earth would have perfectly demonstrated, and written, as it were, upon the Heavens, in letters of living light, the sovereignty, the almightiness and irresistibility of the grace of God in the conviction and conversion of the sinner. By the operation of this efficacious grace, the persecuting Pharisee, who was all the while a chosen vessel unto God, became the lifelong martyr of Jesus of Nazareth; and, next to incarnate Deity, Paul became -far more truly than Julius Caesar- "the foremost man of all this world" -the most richly endowed with the Spirit of God to proclaim the unsearchable riches of Christ to all the coming generations of the human race, the great Apostle of the Gentile world, the humblest as well as the most learned of the Apostles, the unselfish moral hero of humanity, the dauntless champion of Divine sovereignty and spiritual religion, the greatest laborer and sufferer and witness for Christ that ever appeared in the annals of time, not only preaching but living Christ "as the source and end of his whole being, " and surpassing all other men (excepting John) in the heights of spirituality and holiness to which he attained. About two-thirds of the Acts of the Apostles are devoted to his career; and he himself wrote nearly one-third of the New Testament. All the greatness of Paul was due to the efficacious grace of God; 1Co 15:10 and one of the most striking effects of that grace was to make him feel to be "the least of the Apostles" (1Co 15:9); and, later in life, instead of feeling that he was getting better, he uses a still stronger expression of humility, and calls himself "less than the least of all saints"; (Eph 3:8) and, still later in life, he felt constrained to confess himself "the chief of sinners". (1Ti 1:15) Like John the Baptist, he could say of Christ, "He must increase, but I must decrease". Joh 3:30 Abandoning the name Saul (meaning in Hebrew asked, and in Greek conceited), the proudest name in the tribe of Benjamin, he wears the Roman or Gentile name Paul (meaning little); and he continued, all his life long, to grow less in his own esteem, while Christ, the hope of glory, grew greater within him. The humblest in the kingdom of Heaven is the greatest, said our Lord; Mt 18:4 and we know that no one was ever more meek and lowly, or ever more great than He. (Mt 11:29; Php 2:6-11) Poverty of spirit is the first beatitude; Mt 5:3 and there is no richer or lovelier sign of grace. Nu 12:3; Job 42:6; Ps 8:2; 34:18; 51:17; Isa 57:15; 61:1; 66:2; Jer 31:9,18-20; Da 5:21-22; Mic 6:8; Mt 11:25; Lu 4:18; 18:9-14; Jas 1:10; 2:5; 4:9-10

The reality of the life and conversion of Paul, and the genuineness of his leading epistles, are unavoidably and frankly acknowledged by the most destructive and infidel historical critics of Germany. While those rationalists futilely attempt to prove that our canonical Gospels were all written in the second century of the Christian era, and are only corrupted copies of the originals, they admit that Paul's epistles, especially those to the Romans, the Corinthians and Galatians (containing all the most important truths of Christianity), were certainly written by Paul in the first century; and that Paul himself was suddenly converted from a persecutor to a preacher of the Christian religion. Nothing but the feeblest credulity can believe that this great change in such a mind as Paul's was produced by a flash of lightning and his imagination.

We will now notice the circumstances of the conversion of Saul of Tarsus, and of Cornelius the Roman centurion, the first described in Ac 9 and the second in Ac 10, as these are good examples of what are called the two classes of Christian conversion.

Saul was making havoc of the church (elumaineto, a term used nowhere else in the New Testament, and employed in the Septuagint and in classical Greek to describe the ravages of wild beasts), endeavoring, with all his might, to exterminate the last vestige of the Christian religion from the earth, not even sparing the helplessness and tenderness of the female sex, Ac 8:3 and doing all this in the name of religion, than which a more heinous crime cannot be imagined; and yet filled with Satanic malignity against God and His people, and breathing out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord, he voluntarily applied to the high priest for letters addressed to the synagogues of Damascus (where were many Jews and some Christians), authorizing him to arrest and bring bound to Jerusalem every Christian man and woman, for the purpose of trial and execution. It was a journey of nearly 140 miles, and usually occupied six days. Saul was accompanied by several attendants. As they neared Damascus, one of the most beautiful and ancient cities in the world, the sun attained high noon; and suddenly there shone from heaven a brighter light than even the meridian splendor of a Syrian sun -the Shekinah, or excellent glory of the Divine presence. The whole company saw the light, and were prostrated to the ground; and all heard an awful sound, but Saul, alone understood the words, because they were specially intended for him. Saul also saw in the Heavens the ascended and glorified Redeemer, Ac 9:17; 22:14; 26:16; 1Co 9:1; 15:8 who said to him in the Hebrew tongue, "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the goads." The name of Saul was repeated to denote special solemnity, as in the case of Abraham, Ge 22:11 Moses, Ex 3:4 Martha, Lu 10:41 Simon, Lu 22:31 and Jerusalem. Mt 23:37 In Paul's first spiritual lesson, Christ identifies Himself with His poor persecuted people; Mt 25:40,45; 1Co 12:27; Eph 1:22; 5:30; Col 2:19 and Christ reminds him that, while all his measures for crushing the church of God are vain, still, like a stupid ox, he is, by his stubborn fury, continually injuring himself. The moment Saul heard the voice of the Son of God he lived; Joh 5:25 from his death in trespasses and sins he was quickened by the Holy Spirit into spiritual life; Eph 2:1; Joh 6:63 he was a new creature; 2Co 5:17 his stony heart was replaced by a fleshly heart, Eze 36:26-27 his carnal mindedness by spiritual mindedness; Ro 8:6 and every thought was brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. 2Co 10:5 In an instant and forever Saul was converted to God. Joh 17:3 "Out of the noonday God had struck him into darkness, only that He might kindle a noon in the midnight of his heart." "It pleased God, who separated him from his mother's womb, and called him by His grace, to reveal His Son in him". Ga 1:15-16 "God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness," soon "shined in his heart, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ". 2Co 4:6 "Trembling and astonished, Saul said, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" From that moment obedience to Christ became the ruling principle of Paul's life. His falling to the ground represented the fall of his pride and rebellion against God; his physical blindness denoted the utter spiritual blindness of his natural mind, notwithstanding his fine education, morality and legalism. Christ directed him to arise and go into the city, and it should be told him what he must do. This he did, being led by the hand in astonishment by his companions, who were themselves witnesses of the marvelous light and sound, though they understood nothing of the meaning. It was all done at noonday, when there could be no deception, and to the utter amazement of all. And the strong-minded, educated, practical, truthful Apostle of the Gentiles knew, as well as he knew his own existence, that he had seen and conversed with the Lord Jesus Christ in glory. His whole future blameless, devoted, suffering, unworldly life is an unanswerable attestation of this fact. Though an angel from Heaven preached a different gospel -which was not a gospel -from his, it was false; for he had his gospel directly from the Son of God. Ga 1:8,12 And Paul was never ashamed of the gospel of Christ, nor of his experience of its saving power, Ro 1:18 relating that experience even before governors and kings. Ac 26

For three days Saul neither saw nor ate nor drank. Then to a certain disciple in Damascus named Ananias, a devout man according to the law, and of good report among the Jews, the Lord appeared in a vision, and said, "Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth, and hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight." And to Ananias's objection the Lord answered that Saul was a chosen vessel unto Him, to bear His name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel; for "I will shew him, " said He, "how great things he must suffer for my name's sake. And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. And immediately there fell from his eyes as it had been scales: and he received sight forthwith, and arose, and was baptized". Ac 9 Thus the Lord revealed His will to each of His servants in a vision; Ac 2:17-18 there was a perfect agreement in the two revelations; Saul was at once pointedly directed to the church, and commanded to enter it by baptism, which he did. In regard to Ananias's putting his hands on Saul, by the command of God, we observe the highly important fact that, not only was it done before Saul's baptism, but it was done by a man who was not an Apostle, nor a successor of an Apostle (if such a thing as succession to the Apostleship were at all scriptural or possible), for the Apostles were all then living; and thus the case of the great Apostle of the Gentiles totally undermines the Episcopal doctrine of the necessity of the confirmation of every believer, after baptism, either by an Apostle or the successor of an Apostle. Upon Cornelius and his company, it is distinctly asserted, in the tenth chapter of Acts, that the Holy Ghost, both in His converting and miracle-working power, was poured out, before they were baptized; and no mention is made of Peter's putting his hands on the company at all. The apostolic imposition of hands after baptism (except for ordination) is mentioned in only two instances in the New Testament; Ac 8:17; 19:6 and in both cases it was certainly used, as we know from the context, Ac 8:7; 19:6 to represent the bestowal of the miracle-working power of the Holy Ghost. Christ put His hands upon unbaptized infants and blessed them. Mt 19:13-15; Lu 18:15-16 As for Heb 6:1-2, in which these six principles of the doctrine of Christ are mentioned -repentance, faith, baptism, laying on of hands, resurrection and judgment, we observe that nothing is said of an Apostle or a successor of an Apostle; it is not said upon whom or for what purpose hands are to be laid; but, if we are to infer from the order, that laying on of hands should follow every baptism, so we are compelled to infer that every baptism must follow repentance from dead works, and faith toward God; and this inevitable corollary of "confirmation, " as deduced from this passage, utterly sweeps away the foundation of infant baptism, a chief corner-stone of hierarchism. The ordination to the Deaconship or Eldership by the laying on of the hands of the presbytery is scriptural. Ac 6:6; 13:3; 1Ti 4:14; 2Ti 1:6; 1Pe 5:1; 2Jo 1-13 So Moses ordained Joshua by laying his hands upon him. Nu 27:18; De 34:9

Saul, before his conversion, "verily thought that he ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth". Ac 26:9 His sincerity by no means proved that he was right or acceptable with God; because it was the sincerity of a carnal and darkened mind. The Hindu is sincere in immolating himself under the car of Juggernaut; but such immolation is suicide.

While a Pharisee, Saul had no doubt uttered long and numerous forms of prayer, but he never truly prayed until quickened into spiritual life by the voice of the Son of God and the power of the Holy Ghost. Ac 9:11; Joh 5:25; Eph 2:1; Joh 6:63

Paul, after his conversion, immediately preached in the synagogues at Damascus, confounding the Jews, and proving that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God. Then, as we learn from Ga 1:17-18, he retired for about three years into Arabia, most probably the Sinaitic peninsula, Ga 4:25; Heb 12:18-21 for the purpose, it would seem, of searching the Holy Scriptures, and, afar from the haunts of men, like Moses, in the backside of the desert, (Ex 3:1, etc.) to commune alone with God on that holy ground where the bush "had glowed in unconsuming fire, and the granite crags had trembled at the voice which uttered the fiery law." The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God who had communed there with Moses 1,500 years before, met His chosen and honored servant, and taught him the momentous lesson that he was to bear in his earthen vessel to the unborn generations of the people of God -the spirituality of the Mosaic law and his own carnality, that thus, through the law, he might be dead to the law, and so might live unto God. (Ac 22:14; Ro 7:14; Ga 2:19; 2Co 4:7) While alive to the law, hoping for salvation by obeying it, and dreading condemnation by disobeying it, he was dead unto God; and it was only when he learned from God Isa 54:13; Joh 6:45 how spiritual the law was, demanding perfect sinlessness of thought as well as of word and deed, and how carnal he was, sold under sin, and having no good thing dwelling in him, did he become dead to the law and all legal dependence, divorced from the legal covenant, delivered from the curse of the law, and truly alive unto God, united to Christ, crucified with Jesus to the sinful and perishing vanities of the world, and yet living, or rather Christ living in him, and he living the life that he now lived in the flesh by the faith of the Son of God, who loved him and gave Himself for him. Ga 2:19-20

The outward miracle of the light and sound was a sign of the inward miracle wrought upon the heart of Saul by the Holy Spirit "delivering him from the power of darkness, and translating him into the kingdom of God's dear Son"; Col 1:13 and he who denies that the conversion of the sinner is a miracle (that is, supernatural) point-blank denies the authority of inspiration. 2Co 4:6; Ge 1:3; 2Co 5:17-18; Eph 2:1-10; Joh 5:25; Ac 9:1-22 If creation and resurrection are not miraculous or supernatural, then surely nothing can be; and such atheistic philosophy would thrust God out of both His natural and His spiritual universe.

In view of Saul's conversion, and the Scriptures just cited, it is no wonder that even Mr. John Wesley wrote: "It may be allowed, that God acts as sovereign in convincing some souls of sin, arresting them in their mad career by His resistless power. It seems, also, that at the moment of our conversion, He acts irresistibly" (Wesley's Works, vol. vi., p. 136, as quoted in Watson's Theological Institutes, vol. ii., p. 444).

The conversion of Saul of Tarsus illustrates the saying of God quoted by Paul from Isaiah (Isa 45:1; Ro 10:20): "I am found of them that sought me not; I am made manifest unto them that asked not after me." The case of Cornelius, the Roman centurion, Ac 10 illustrates what has been called the other class of conversions, which fulfill the promise: "Ye shall seek me and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart". (Jer 29:13) This language of the Lord by Jeremiah was addressed to the chosen people of God then in Babylonian captivity, and it was a most comforting prediction to them: "For thus saith the Lord, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity, and I will gather you from all the nations, and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord: and I will bring you again into the place whence I caused you to be carried away captive". (Jer 29:10-14) These were the chosen people of God all the time, and it was certain, from this Divine prediction, that in the fullness of time they would call upon and seek the Lord with their whole heart, and be found of Him, and be delivered from their captivity.

The conversion of Cornelius, like that of Saul, occupies a large space in the Acts (Ac 10 Cornelius being assured of God's merciful purpose towards him, and being directed to send for Peter; and Peter being informed of the breaking down of the old partition between Jews and Gentiles, and directed to go with the men sent to him by Cornelius. As Peter was entering the house of Cornelius, where the latter had assembled his kinsmen and near friends, Cornelius met him, and, with a deep feeling of reverence for the personage whom God had sent him, such as John felt for the Angel, Re 19:10; 22:8-9 he prostrated himself at Peter's feet; but Peter at once raised him up and said to him, "I myself also am a man." Those who falsely claim to be the successors of Peter totally differ from him in allowing and requiring such homage (contrast 1Pe 5:1-6, with 2Th 2:6). After Peter and Cornelius had told each other their visions, Peter said, in the beginning of his discourse: "Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons; but in every nation he that feareth Him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with Him." By saying that God is no respecter of persons, Peter means, as is proved by the original Greek, and by the thirty-fifth verse, and by 2Ch 19:7; Eph 6:9, that God does not regard external distinctions; or, as Samuel says, "Man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart". 1Sa 21:7 Other Scriptures inform us that God does have especial respect for His lowly, spiritual, covenant people. Ge 4:4; Ex 2:25; Le 26:9; 2Ki 13:23; Ps 138:6 "Fearing God" and "working righteousness" are the most usual Old Testament descriptions of the true spiritual worshipers of God; and these are not the meritorious conditions or prerequisites of Divine grace, but the fruits and evidences of that grace already in the heart, proving that these characters are God's covenant people. Jer 32:38-41; Heb 12:28; Ps 25:14; 33:18; 103:13-17; 147:11; Isa 45:24; 54:17; 61:3,10-11; Jer 23:6; 33:16; Ps 23:3; 24:5; Ro 5:19; Ga 2:21; 1Jo 2:29; Joh 3:3-8 According to the testimony of Luke, the historian, and of the Angel, and of Peter, Ac 10:2,4,34-35 Cornelius was already, before Peter came, a God-fearing, righteous, benevolent, praying man, accepted with God; and Peter was only to instruct him more fully in the way of God. God had already cleansed him, as He had shown Peter in the vision. Ac 10:15 The very fact of his having the spirit of prayer, like Saul of Tarsus, after he was divinely arrested, proved that he was a child of grace. Jer 31:1-9; 50:4-20; Zec 12:10; Ro 8:15-16,26-27; Eph 6:18; Jude 20 Even the Anglican "Speaker's Commentary," which will not be suspected of undue spirituality, admits that Cornelius not only "had the honest and good heart for the reception of the good seed," but also a genuine though "limited faith, which was the basis of prayer and alms-giving." While Peter was preaching Jesus to Cornelius and his company, the miracle-working power of the Holy Ghost, as well as His internal efficacy, fell upon the hearers, and they spoke with various tongues and magnified God, just as the Jewish disciples had done on the day of Pentecost (Ac 2:4; 10:44-46). They were thus partakers of God's eternal salvation 1Pe 1:1-5; Joh 1:12-13; 1Jo 5:4-5 even before they were baptized in water; and Peter then appropriately asked, "Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, who have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?" Only after they become spiritual believers in Christ does Peter think of baptizing them in water; and such is the case with every baptism in the New Testament -spiritual belief in Christ first, and then the burial in water; first the thing signified, and afterwards the sign, which, under such circumstances only, is not a mockery and a delusion. Though the believer should be baptized, in obedience to Christ, and for the answer of a good conscience, 1Pe 3:21 yet Christ, and not water, is his only God and Savior. Isa 45:21-22; Ac 4:12

"The saving grace of God teaches men to worship Him with reverence and godly fear, to serve Him conscientiously, to unite justice and charity, and to pray with constancy and perseverance. It leads men to order their households in the fear of God; and commonly they become instrumental to the good of those around them. The excellent and devout Roman soldier, no less than Saul the persecutor, the converted jailor, and the thief upon the cross, was saved only by the atonement of Christ; that no flesh should glory in the presence of God." 1Co 1:29 "Should the Lord create an humble, teachable and inquiring disposition in the heart of an inhabitant of China, Japan or the unexplored parts of Africa, He would sooner send an angel from Heaven, or a minister from the uttermost part of the earth, to show him the way of salvation, than leave him destitute of that knowledge, for which he longs and prays without ceasing. The alms and supplications of such persons spring from right principles and motives, and go up as a memorial before God, not to merit His favor, but to plead with Him to fulfill His gracious promises." "The sublime subjects which pertain to redemption through the blood of the Son of God seem more proper for the tongues of angels to proclaim than for us poor worms of the earth. Doubtless, in many respects, they could preach them unspeakably better; yet our humiliating and thankful experience may balance something on the other side. In that case, however, it would not be so evident that the excellency of the power, which makes the word successful, is wholly of God; nor would their presence and language be so suited to man's weakness, or so conducive to his comfort." -T. Scott.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, " say both David and Solomon; Ps 111:10; Pr 9:10 "the fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever, " says David; Ps 19:9 "unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings, " says the Lord by Malachi (Mal 4:2). These precious declarations are precisely equivalent to the comforting assurance of the Apostle Paul, "that He who hath begun a good work in you will perform (epiteleo, bring to an end, accomplish, perfect) it until the day of Jesus Christ" Php 1:6 -not only the day when He is manifested as the Sun of Righteousness and the Divine Savior of the trembling sinner, but, as shown by the fourth verse below, Php 1:10 and by 1Th 5:2, and 2Pe 3:10, the day at the close of this dispensation, when Christ shall come in final judgment. This one verse, Php 1:6 like Heb 12:2, in which Jesus is called both "the Author and Finisher of our faith, " and like Isa 35:10, in which it is declared that "the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads, " and like many other verses of Scripture, cuts up the system of conditional salvation by the roots, and incontestably and eternally establishes the system of salvation by sovereign grace, beginning and consummating the good work in the sinner's heart, so that all the glory, without the slightest reservation, shall be given by the saved sinner to God. Ps 107:1-32; 120:1; Ex 15:1-19; Re 5:9; 15:3; Ro 3:27-28 Every system of conditionalism represents the sinner as doing that which insures his salvation, and which should, therefore, entitle him to the chief glory. As for good works, they are, as we have shown by abundant scriptural quotations, but the fruit of Divine grace implanted in the heart.

I now condense, mainly from the writing of T. D. Bernard and P. Schaff, some excellent remarks upon the books of the New Testament, especially the epistles.

"In the Gospels Christ is manifested as man and as God; in the Acts He is preached to the world; in the epistles he is received by His indwelling Spirit in the hearts of believers; and in Revelation He is, in His mystical body, the church, after great tribulation, translated to glory. In the Gospels we see the Divine temple building; in the Acts we see the doors thrown open and Jews and Gentiles fleeing into it as a refuge; in the epistles we become inmates of the temple ourselves, and behold its internal, spiritual and assimilating glory; in the Revelation the temple, with all its inmates, after passing through manifold fiery trials, is perfected and elevated into the immediate, beatific and eternal presence of God."

Some general and comparative remarks in reference to the Four Gospels have been given in the Introduction to this work.

The book entitles the Acts of the Apostles "forms the bridge between the Gospels and the epistles. It is a direct continuation of the third Gospel, by the same author, Luke, and is addressed to the same Theophilus ('friend of God'), probably a Christian convert of distinguished social position. In the Gospel Luke repeats what he heard and read; in the Acts what he heard and saw. The Gospel records the life and work of Christ; the Acts the work of the Holy Spirit, who is recognized at every step. The word Spirit, or Holy Spirit, occurs more frequently in the Acts than in any other book of the New Testament. It might properly be called 'the Gospel of the Holy Spirit.' The Acts is a cheerful and encouraging book, like the third Gospel. It represents the progress of Christianity from Jerusalem, the capital of Judaism, to Rome, the capital of heathenism. It is a history of the planting of the church among the Jews by Peter, and among the Gentiles by Paul. More than three-fifths of it are devoted to Paul, and especially to his later labors and journeys, in which the author could speak from personal knowledge. Luke was in the company of Paul, including some interruptions, at least twelve years. He was again with Paul in his last captivity, shortly before Paul's martyrdom, his most faithful and devoted companion. 2Ti 4:11 He probably began the book of Acts or a preliminary diary while with Paul at Philippi, continuing it at Caesarea during Paul's two years' imprisonment there, and finishing it soon after Paul's first imprisonment in Rome, before the terrible persecution in the summer of A.D. 64, which he could hardly left unnoticed. The Acts and epistles supplement and confirm each other by a series of coincidences in all essential points. Paley's examination of these numerous and undesigned coincidences in his Horoe Paulinoe, and James Smith's Voyage and Shipwreck of St. Paul, furnish to readers of sound common sense and unbiased judgment unanswerable arguments for the credibility of the Acts. No ancient work affords so many tests of veracity as the Acts, because no other has such numerous points of contact in all directions with contemporary history, politics and topography, whether Jewish, or Greek, or Roman. No other history of thirty years has ever been written so truthful and impartial, so important and interesting, so healthy in tone and hopeful in spirit, so aggressive and yet so genial, so cheering and inspiring, so replete with lessons of wisdom and encouragement for work in spreading the glad tidings of salvation, and yet withal so simple and modest, as the Acts of the Apostles.

"The epistles are addressed to baptized believers, and aim to strengthen them in their faith, and, by brotherly instruction, exhortation, rebuke and consolation, to build up the church in all Christian graces on the historical foundation of the teaching and example of Christ. The prophets of the Old Testament delivered Divine oracles to the people with 'Thus saith the Lord;' the Apostles of the New Testament wrote letters to the brethren, who shared with them the same faith and hope as members of Christ -a more open, equal and hearty mode of communication, suited to the gospel day, showing rather companionship than dictation, reasoning out of the Old Testament Scriptures and teaching the brethren how so to reason, giving the individual experience of the writer, yet bearing lofty, authoritative, unwavering, sure testimony to the truth, and sometimes making definite additions to former revelations. The epistles are the voice of the Spirit within the church to those who are within the church. The essential thought is 'Of Him are ye in Christ Jesus.' God is represented as the immediate and the still continuous author of our existence in Christ. In the epistles, we know, as Christ promised, Joh 14:20 that He is in His Father, as well as His Father is in Him, and that we are in Him and He in us. Believers are in Christ, and so are partakers in all that He does and has and is -they died in Him, rose with Him, and live with Him; when the eye of God looks on them, they are found in Christ, and there is no condemnation to them; they are righteous in His righteousness, and loved with the love that rests on Him, and are sons of God in His Sonship, and heirs with Him in His inheritance, and are soon to be glorified with Him in His glory; and this relationship was contemplated in eternal counsels, and predestined before the foundation of the world. So Christ is in those who believe by His indwelling Spirit, leading them to God and giving them the earnest of their eternal inheritance. Thus, by intertwined relations, the life of the believer is constituted a life in Christ and a life in God. This idea underlies all the epistles, both their doctrine and their exhortation. It is a new world of thought -a new element. All their relations and actions are in Christ. And, finally, this character of existence is not changed by that which changes all besides -they die in the Lord, and sleep in Jesus, and, when He shall appear, they will appear; when He comes God shall bring them with Him, and they shall reign in life by Him. Men bid us live in truth and duty, in purity and love -they do well; but the gospel does better, calling and enabling us to live in Christ, and find in Him the enjoyment of all that we would possess, and the realization of all that we would become.

"The epistles of the New Testament are without a parallel in ancient literature, and yield in importance only to the Gospels, which stand higher, as Christ Himself rises above the Apostles. They presuppose throughout the Gospel history, and often allude to the death and resurrection of Christ as the foundation of the church and the Christian hope. They compress more ideas in fewer words than any other writings, human or Divine, excepting the Gospels. They discuss the highest possible themes -God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, sin and redemption, incarnation, regeneration, repentance, faith and good works, holy living and dying, the conversion of the world, the general judgment, eternal glory. They are of more real value to the church than all the systems of theology and all the confessions of faith.

"The appointed epistolary teachers of the church were Peter and John, the two chief of the original twelve Apostles; James and Jude, the brethren of the Lord; and Paul, the great Apostle of the Gentiles, who wrote five times as much as all the other four together.

"The seven epistles of James, First and Second Peter, First, Second and Third John, and Jude, usually follow, in the old manuscripts, the Acts of the Apostles, and precede the Pauline epistles, perhaps as being the works of the older Apostles; they are now placed last, probably because they are supplementary and confirmatory to the more elaborate writings of Paul. The epistle of James was probably written before A.D. 50 (some think as early as A.D. 44), and is thought to be the oldest book in the New Testament; First Peter (probably also Second Peter and Jude) is believed to have been written before A.D. 67; and the epistles of John between A.D. 90 and 100. Of the epistles of Paul, those to the Thessalonians were written first, A.D. 52 or 53; then Galatians, Corinthians, and Romans between 56 and 58; then the four epistles of the captivity, Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon and Philippians, between 61 and 63; last, the pastoral epistles, but their date is uncertain, except that the second epistle to Timothy is his farewell letter on the eve of his martyrdom. The epistle to the Hebrews was probably written about A.D. 63. Its author is unknown; but it has been generally thought that Paul was its author; on account of its uncertified authorship, it was placed after Paul's other epistles. From the fourth to the eighteenth century the Pauline authorship was the prevailing opinion; this was based upon the unanimous tradition of the Eastern church -the mention of Timothy and the reference to a release from captivity (Heb 13:23) -and the agreement of the epistle with Paul's system of doctrine, the tone of apostolic authority, and the depth and unction of the epistle. The non-Pauline authorship is argued on the following grounds: the decided opposition to the Pauline authorship by Western tradition, both Roman and North African, down to the time of Augustine (about 350 A.D.); the absence of the customary name and salutation; the phraseology in Heb 2:3, seeming to distinguish the author from the Apostles, and very different from the language of Paul in the first chapter of Galatians; the difference from Paul's writings, not in substance, but in the form and method of teaching and arguing; the superior purity, correctness and rhetorical finish of style; the difference in the quotations from the Old Testament, the author always following the Septuagint, while Paul often quotes the Hebrew. As to the real author, five of Paul's fellow-laborers have been proposed, either as sole or as joint authors with Paul -Barnabas, Luke, Clement, Apollos and Silas. The arguments for and the objections against them are equally strong, and we have no data to decide between them. Whoever may have been the writer, the inspiration and leading ideas are those of Paul.

"The following suggestive doctrinal arrangement of Paul's undoubted epistles has been made:
1. Anthropological and Soteriological -Galatians Ga 1-6 and Romans Ro 1:1.
2. Ethical and Ecclesiastical -1st and 2nd Corinthians (1Co 1-16) (2Co 1-13).
3. Christological -Colossians (Col 1-4) and Philippians Php 1-4.
4. Ecclesiological -Ephesians (Eph 1-6) (in part also Corinthians).
5. Eschatological -Thessalonians (1Th 1-5; 2Th 1-3).
6. Pastoral- Timothy (1Ti 1-6; 2Ti 1-4) and (Tit 1-3).
7. Social and Personal -Philemon (Phm 1-25).

"As Matthew is the fit beginning of the Gospels, linking the New with the Old Testament, so the epistle to the Romans is the fit beginning to the epistles, giving the genealogy of the doctrine of Christ through the Old Testament. The Apostle Paul, in this epistle, firmly holds his ground in the prophetic and historic line of the Old Covenant, and from that standing point opens the dispensation of the Spirit. The Acts left him in Rome; the succeeding epistle is addressed to the Romans. It stands justly at the head of the Pauline epistles. It is the most comprehensive and systematic statement of Paul's theology, both theoretical and practical, for which he lived and died. It gives the clearest and fullest exposition of a vital and fundamental subject, salvation by free grace, the need, nature and effects of gospel justification for individual souls, vindicated by the witness of the Law and the Prophets. Luther calls Romans 'the chief book of the New Testament, and the purest gospel;' Coleridge styles it 'the profoundest book in existence;' Meyer, 'the greatest and richest of all the apostolic works;' and Godet denominated it 'the cathedral of the Christian faith.'

"The epistles to the Corinthians are addressed to the Greeks who seek after wisdom; and these epistles condemn a spirit of self-confident freedom both in thought and conduct -in other words, the essential spirit of the world, and they assert the Divine and indefeasible authority of the gospel, which claims the subjection of the mind and the regulation of the life of the church. These epistles abound in variety of topics, and show the extraordinary versatility of the mind of the writer, and his inspired practical wisdom in dealing with delicate and complicated questions and unscrupulous opponents. For every aberration he has a word of severe censure, for every danger a word of warning, for every weakness a word of cheer and sympathy, for every returning offender a word of pardon and encouragement. The first epistle contains the unrivaled description of the chief Christian grace, Charity or Love; the second epistle gives us almost an autobiography of the Apostle, and is a mine of pastoral wisdom.

"The epistle to the Galatians encounters, not the spirit of presumptuous freedom (as those to the Corinthians), but the spirit of a willful bondage, which returns, after its own stubborn and insensate fashion, to the elements of the world and of the flesh; and this epistle asserts the direct revelation from Christ of the apostolic doctrine which shines out more clearly as a dispensation of the Spirit and of liberty. It was directed against those Judaizing teachers who undermined Paul's apostolical authority, and misled the Galatian churches into an apostasy from the gospel of free grace to a false gospel of legal bondage. The epistle to the Galatians treats of the same subject as that to the Romans -the preparativeness and subordination of the law to the gospel. It is a remarkable fact that the two races represented by the original readers of these epistles -the Celtic and the Latin -have far departed from the doctrines taught in them, and gone back from gospel freedom to legal bondage -thus repeating the apostasy of the fickle-minded Galatians. The Pauline gospel was for centuries ignored, misunderstood, and (in spite of Augustine) cast out at last by Rome, as Christianity itself was cast out by Jerusalem of old. But these two epistles, more than any other books of the New Testament, inspired the Reformation of the sixteenth century, and are to this day the Gibraltar of evangelical Protestantism.

"The succeeding epistles of Paul address those whose minds are now cleared, settled, and secured. The Apostle ascends to a more calm and lofty stage of thought in his epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians, wherein, no longer in collision with human error, he expatiates in the view of the eternal purposes of God, and of the ideal perfections of the church in Christ; if inspiration was asserted in the other epistles, here it is felt; yet, in both epistles, this high strain passes by the most natural transition into the plainest counsels; and, in the epistles to the Philippians and Philemon, the voice is that, not only of a prophet, but of an affectionate brother and friend. These four epistles were written in captivity, probably during Paul's first imprisonment in Rome. He glorified in being a 'prisoner of Christ.' He experienced the blessedness of persecution for righteousness' sake, Mt 5:10 and 'the peace of God which passeth all understanding'. Php 4:7 He was thus divinely enabled to turn the prison into a pulpit, to send comfort and joy to his distant churches, and render a greater service to future ages than he could have done by active labor. Chained day and night by his right arm to the left arm of a Roman soldier, he preached the gospel to his keepers, and many in the praetorian guard and in Caesar's household believed. The epistle to the Colossians is the most Christly of Paul's epistles, the Christology approaching very closely to that of John; and the Epistle to the Ephesians is the most churchly book of the New Testament -the very reverse, however, of churchy, as nothing can be further removed from the genius of Paul than that narrow, mechanical and pedantic churchiness which sticks to the shell of outward forms and ceremonies, and mistakes them for the kernel within. The churchliness of the epistle to the Ephesians is rooted and grounded in Christliness and has no sense whatever if separated from this root. A 'church' without Christ would be at best, a prayer-saying corpse (and there are such so-called 'churches'). Paul emphasizes the person of Christ in Colossians, and the person and work of the Holy Spirit in Ephesians. Ephesians is, in some respects, the most profound and difficult, as it is certainly the most spiritual and devout of Paul's epistles. It is the Epistle of the Heavenlies, an ode to Christ and His spotless bride, the Song of Songs in the New Testament. Philippi was the first place in Europe where the gospel was preached. Here Paul was severely persecuted and marvelously delivered. Here were his most devoted brethren; for them he felt the strongest personal attachment; from them alone would he receive contributions for his support. The epistle to the Philippians is like Paul's midnight hymn of praise in the dungeon of Philippi. Its key-note is thankful joy. He had no doctrinal error or practical vice to rebuke, as in Galatians and Corinthians. The epistle to Philemon was written and transmitted at the same time as that to the Colossians, and may be regarded as a personal postscript to it. Onesimus, a slave of Philemon, had, on account of some offense, probably theft, run away from his master, who was a zealous Christian at Colosse, and had experienced a hope in Christ under Paul's preaching at Rome, and now desired to return, as a penitent, in company with Tychicus, the bearer of the epistle to the Colossians. Paul accordingly sent back Onesimus to his master, yet under a new character, no more a contemptible thief and runaway, but a regenerate man and a beloved brother, with the touching request that Philemon might receive him as kindly as he would the Apostle himself. The epistle reveals Paul to us as an unsurpassed Christian gentleman; it is a model of courtesy, delicacy, and tenderness of feeling.

"The Thessalonian epistles complete Paul's addresses to seven churches, and, though first in composition, are properly the last in the canon as they are distinguished by the eschatological element, and sustain the conflict of faith by the preaching of that blessed hope and the glorious appearing and coming of the day of God. Paul wrote these two letters from Corinth, during his first sojourn in that city; and it seems to have been a chief object of the Apostle to correct a misapprehension into which the Thessalonians had fallen in regard to the speedy coming of Christ. He taught them that the Lord would not come so soon as they expected, but that first there must be a falling away, and the man of sin, the son of perdition, must be revealed; that they could not make a mathematical calculation of the time when Christ would come; and that in no case should the expectation check industry and zeal, but rather stimulate them.

"To this rich body of doctrine the pastoral epistles add their suggestive words on the principles and spirit of the ministerial office, which has the care of the church and the stewardship of the truth. There is a very marked difference between the ecclesiastical constitution of the pastoral epistles and that of the second century. There is not a word said about the Divine origin of episcopacy; not a trace of a congregational episcopate, such as we find in the Ignatian epistles, still less of a diocesan episcopate of the time of Irenaeus and Tertullian. Bishops and presbyters (or Elders) are still identical as they are in the Acts (Ac 20:17,28), and in the epistle to the Philippians (Php 1:1). Even Timothy and Titus appear simply as delegates of the Apostle for a specific mission. These epistles agree with Paul's doctrinal system in clearly tracing salvation to Divine grace alone; they are illuminated with flashes of his genius; they bear the marks of his intense personality; they contain rare gems of inspired truth, and most wholesome admonition and advice, which makes them to-day far more valuable than any number of works on pastoral theology and church government. They contain several passages which, for doctrine or practice, are equal to the best Paul ever wrote, and are deeply lodged in the experience and affection of Christians. Nothing could be a more fitting, a more sublime and beautiful, finale of such a hero of faith than the sixth, seventh and eighth verses of the last chapter of his last epistle (2 Tim.) (2Ti 4:6-8), written in the very face of martyrdom.

"The epistle to the Hebrews presents to the perplexed Hebrew-Christian mind the correct divinely-intended relation and subordination of the Old Covenant to the New. The internal evidence is that it was written from Italy between A.D. 60 and 70, before Paul's martyrdom. The author was a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and gifted with a tongue of fire. He had the grace of exhortation and consolation in the highest degree. The epistle is a profound argument for the superiority of Christ over the angels, over Moses, and over the Levitical priesthood, and for the finality of the second covenant. It unfolds far more fully than any other book the great idea of the eternal priesthood and sacrifice of Christ, offered once and forever for human redemption, as distinct from the national and transient character of the Mosaic priesthood and the ever-repeated sacrifices of the tabernacle and the temple. He shows from the Old Testament itself that God had designed the latter as but the temporary shadow, type and prophecy of Christianity, the abiding substance. The epistle is, like Colossians and Philippians, eminently Christoligical, and forms a stepping-stone to the Christology of John. The object of the author was to warn the conservative Christians in Jerusalem of the danger of apostatizing to Judaism. His arguments were providentially emphasized soon after by the destruction of the city and temple. The language of the epistle is the purest Greek of the New Testament. The opening sentence is a rich and elegant period of classic construction. The description of the heroes of faith in the eleventh chapter is one of the most eloquent and sublime in the entire range of religious literature.

"The seven epistles following Hebrews in the canon are sometimes called Catholic or General; but his designation properly applies to only five of them: James, First and Second Peter, First John, and Jude; the second and third epistles of John are addressed to individuals. These writers do not enter into theological discussions like those of Paul, but give simpler statements of truth, supplementing and confirming Paul's doctrine.

"James was not an Apostle, but the brother of the Lord, and the first pastor of the church in Jerusalem, where he died a martyr. He was a man of the most exemplary piety, being called even by the Jews 'the Just,' and he enjoyed almost apostolic authority, especially in Judea and among Jewish Christians. He had high regard for the Mosaic law. His epistle is addressed to 'the twelve tribes scattered abroad,' and is directed against a one-sided, speculative, dead, Antinomian faith, and shows the practical ethical side of the doctrine of Christ. James exhorts his readers to good works of faith, warns them against a merely nominal orthodoxy, covetousness, pride and worldliness, and comforts them in view of present and future trials and persecutions. Though meager in doctrine, it is rich in comfort and lessons of holy living based on faith in Jesus Christ, 'the Lord of glory.' It is a commentary upon Christ's sermon on the mount. James was unwilling to impose the yoke of circumcision upon the Gentiles, Ac 15:19-20 and he recognized Paul as the Apostle of the Gentiles, giving him the right hand of fellowship. Ga 2:9 There is no real contradiction between James and Paul on the subject of faith and works. James says: 'Faith is dead without works.' Paul says: 'Works are dead without faith.' Both are right: James in opposition to dead orthodoxy, Paul in opposition to self-righteous legalism. James does not demand works without faith, but works prompted by faith; while Paul, on the other hand, likewise declares a faith worthless which is without love, though it remove mountains. James looks mainly at the fruit, Paul at the root. Paul solves the difficulty in one phrase -'faith working through love'. Ga 5:6 By 'faith' Paul never means dead faith, but James sometimes does. James maintains the absolute necessity of living faith; Jas 1:3; 2:1,5,18,22-23; 5:15 and Paul emphasizes the value of good works as evidencing our faith, profiting others, and glorifying God. Ro 2:13; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 1Co 16; 2Co 9; Ga 5:6; Eph 2:10; 5; 6; Col 1:10; 3; 4; Php 4; 2Th 2:17; 1Ti 2:10; 5:10; 6:18; 2Ti 3:17; Tit 2:7-14; 3:8 Paul's life of self-sacrificing labors for Christ speaks more loudly on the importance of works of love than all his writings.

"Peter, writing to the Pauline churches, confirms them in the Pauline faith. In the Gospels, the human nature of Simon appears most prominent; the Acts unfold the Divine mission of Peter in the founding of the church, with a temporary relapse at Antioch (recorded in Ga 2); in his epistles we see the complete triumph of Divine grace. Deeply humbled and softened, he gives the fruit of a rich spiritual experience. In no other epistles do the language and spirit come more directly home to the personal trials and wants and weaknesses of the Christian life. In his first epistle he warns against hierarchical ambition in prophetic anticipation of the abuse of his name among the Apostles (1Pe 5:1-4), calling himself simply 'an Elder,' and exhorting his fellow-Elders to 'feed the flock of God, not for filthy lucre but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.' God overruled Peter's very sins and inconsistencies for his humiliation and spiritual progress. Nowhere, except in Christ, do we find a spirit more humble, meek, gentle, tender, loving and lovely. Almost every word and incident in the gospel history connected with Peter left its impress upon his epistles in the way of humble or thankful reminiscence and allusion. Christ having prayed that his faith should not fail, and having looked upon him after his denial, Peter was enabled by Divine grace to weep bitterly and turn again to his Lord, and thus he is still strengthening his brethren. Not-withstanding Paul's sharp rebuke of him before the church at Antioch, Peter, in his second epistle, makes an affectionate allusion to his 'beloved brother Paul' and his profound writings, which he classes with the 'other Scriptures.' Thus he probed how thoroughly the Spirit of Christ had, through experience, trained him to humility, meekness and self-denial.

"The first epistle of John is a postscript to the fourth Gospel. It is a practical application of the lessons of the life of Christ to the wants of the church at the close of the first century. It is a circular letter of the venerable Apostle to his beloved children in Asia Minor, exhorting them to a holy life of faith and love in Christ, and earnestly warning them against the Gnostic 'antichrists,' already existing or to come, who deny the mystery of the incarnation, sunder religion from morality, and run into Antionomian practices. The second and third epistles of John are short private letters, the second to a Christian woman (some suppose to a Christian church), and the third to Gaius (whether in Macedonia, Ac 19:29, or in Corinth, Ro 16:23; 1Co 1:14, or Derbe, Ac 20:4, is unknown). The second epistle greatly resembles the first, and so does the style of the third. In both the Apostle calls himself 'the Elder.' as Peter had done. True grace produces modesty and meekness.

"Jude was a brother of James, a half-brother of Christ, and not probably an Apostle. Some, however, suppose that both James and Jude, the authors of the epistles, were Apostles. The epistle of Jude (Jude 1-25) strongly resembles the second chapter of the second epistle of Peter (2Pe 2). It is a solemn warning against the licentious tendencies of Gnosticism. The allusion to the remarkable Apocryphal book of Enoch gives an inspired sanction only to the truth of the passage quoted, not to the whole book. Jude fitly closes the epistle by exhorting his readers to 'contend earnestly for the holy heavenly faith once delivered to the saints by prophets and Apostles, looking unto Him who is able to keep them from falling, and to present them faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy.'

"The epistles of the New Testament were divinely intended for the redeemed, regenerated and spiritual family of God, who inwardly feel their need of Divine mercy and guidance and comfort and preservation; and these precious gifts of the Divine Spirit should be constantly, habitually, familiarly and reverently studied.

"It is most remarkable and confirmatory to notice that the first intimation of every truth revealed to the Apostles by the Spirit, came from the lips of Christ. Joh 14:26; 16:13 The whole great doctrine of justification by faith elaborated in Paul's epistle to the Romans is involved in Christ's declaration in Joh 3:16; and the doctrine of Christian liberty in Galatians is comprehended in Christ's language in Joh 8:36; and the sacrificial doctrine of the epistle to the Hebrews is fully implied in Christ's words in Mt 26:28."

The various ecclesiastical traditions, handed down from the second and succeeding centuries, representing that the Apostles labored in different countries outside of the Roman Empire, are strange, uncritical, contradictory and apocryphal.

The system of salvation proclaimed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to His Apostles, and by them orally and in manuscript to contemporaneous and future generations, was all perfect and complete in the outset. Unlike all other systems of religion, science or art, nothing can be added to it or taken from it, to increase its beauty, usefulness or perfection; all attempts in this direction serve to mar rather than add luster to its excellence. And for 1800 years the only way to obtain a perfect knowledge of Christian principles is to consult the original record and to gather a "Thus saith the Lord" for all that His people say and do. If men speak not according to this Word they speak at random, and give evidence that there is no light in them. Isa 8:20

ENDNOTES:

{1} Matthew gives, in his first chapter, the descent of Christ from David and Abraham, according to prophecies made about 1000 and 2000 years before, and he abridges his genealogies, as the Jews frequently did, giving three lists, each containing fourteen names, probably to aid the memory. Luke, in his third chapter, gives the descent of Christ from Adam, or "the seed of the woman, " according to the promise made to the first pair in the garden of Eden, 4000 years before. Joseph, as Luke tells us Lu 3:23, was not the real, but only the supposed or reputed father of Jesus. According to Nu 36:8, Joseph and Mary must have been of the same tribe and family. It is thought that Jacob, the father of Joseph, as mentioned by Matthew, was the brother of Heli or Eli, mentioned, as the father of Joseph, by Luke, and that Mary was the daughter of Eli; so that Joseph and Mary were first cousins, and Joseph was the son-in-law of Eli -son-in-law being called son by the Jews. Thus, while Matthew gives the royal or legal descent of Joseph, it is likely that Luke gives the natural or private descent of Mary. The Jews, in their genealogical tables, reckoned descent wholly by males. The bitterest early enemies of Christ did not deny His descent from David. Many able scholars believe that both Matthew and Luke give the genealogy of Joseph -Mary's descent from David being implied.

{2} Jesus means Jehovah Savior; the reason of the name being given by the angel to Joseph in a dream- "for He shall save His people from their sins". Mt 1:21

{3} Esaias is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Isaiah.

{4} This darkness could not have been an ordinary eclipse of the sun, which is caused by the coming of the moon between the sun and earth, and never lasts, in its totality, more than eight minutes; because Christ was crucified at the Jewish Passover, which was always when the moon was full, and therefore on the opposite side of the earth from the sun, and the darkness lasted three hours. The darkness at Christ's death was nature's sympathy with her suffering Lord. As the glory of the Lord shone around the scene of His birth, Lu 2:9 so a pall of darkness was fitly spread over His dying scene. Amos (Am 8:9) predicted that the sun would go down at noon, and the earth be darkened in the clear day. The darkness might precede and accompany the earthquake that took place on the same occasion; for darkness almost nocturnal, arising from sulphureous vapors, often precedes an earthquake. Both the darkness and the earthquake at Christ's crucifixion were no doubt supernatural.

{5} This is the term used by Edward Gibbon, in the famous fifteenth chapter of his "History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, " to designate each one of the primitive churches. No uninspired historian has ever surpassed Gibbon in accuracy of statement.

10- Chapter VIII THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM -THE THREE PERIODS OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE- THE BOOK OF REVELATION.

The Roman Empire, previously under Divine restraint, 2Th 2:6-7 protected Christianity; but "openly assumed the character of Anti-christ with fire and sword (Re 13:1-18:21) in the tenth year of Nero's reign, A.D. 64, and by the instigation of that very emperor to whom Paul, as a Roman citizen, had appealed from the Jewish tribunal. It was, however, not a strictly religious persecution, like those under the later emperors; it originated in a public calamity which was wantonly charged upon the innocent Christians." Nero, the last of the family of Julius Caesar, was an unsurpassed monster of iniquity. He murdered his brother (Britannicus), his mother (Agrippina), his wives (Octavia and Poppæa), his teacher (Seneca), and many eminent Romans, and finally himself, in the thirty-second year of his age. On the night between the 18th and 19th of July, A.D. 64, the most destructive fire that ever occurred in history broke out in Rome. It lasted nine days and nights, and destroyed one-third of the city, including multitudes of lives. The eighteenth chapter of Revelation seems to have a primary allusion to this dreadful catastrophe. The cause of the conflagration was unknown, but, as recorded by contemporary historians, the people attributed it to Nero, "who wished to enjoy the lurid spectacle of burning Troy, and to gratify his ambition to rebuild Rome on a more magnificent scale, and to call it Neropolis." Suetonius relates that several men of consular rank met Nero's domestic servants with torches and combustibles, but did not dare to apprehend them; and Tacitus states that the report was universally current that, while the city was burning, Nero went upon the stage of his private theatre and sang (from Homer) "The Destruction of Troy." "To divert from himself the general suspicion of incendiarism, and at the same time to furnish new entertainment for his diabolical cruelty, Nero wickedly cast the blame on the Christians, and inaugurated a carnival of blood such as heathen Rome never saw before or since. A 'vast multitude' of Christians was put to death in the most shocking manner. Some were crucified, probably in mockery of the punishment of Christ; some were sewed up in the skins of wild beasts and exposed to the voracity of mad dogs in the arena. The Satanic tragedy reached its climax at night in the imperial gardens, on the slope of the Vatican: Christian men and women, covered with pitch or oil or resin, and nailed to posts of pine, were lighted and burned as torches for the amusement of the mob; while Nero, in fantastical dress, figured in a horse race, and displayed his art as a charioteer. Burning alive was the ordinary punishment of incendiaries; but only the cruel ingenuity of this imperial monster, under the inspiration of the devil, could invent such a horrible system of illumination. It is probable that the Neronian persecution of Christians extended to the provinces; and it is believed that the Apostles Paul and Peter suffered martyrdom about this time or soon after (the dates of their death varying from A.D. 64 to 69). It is generally held that Peter was crucified at Rome, whither he had gone for the first time in the same year; and Paul, being a Roman citizen, and not subject to crucifixion, was beheaded about three miles from Rome, on the Ostian road, on a green spot, formerly called Aquæ Salviæ, afterwards Tre Fontane. It is thought that the Apostle John was banished by Nero to the lonely island of Patmos in the Aegean Sea (or Grecian Archipelago), where he saw the visions recorded in the book of Revelation about the same time (A.D. 68); though it has heretofore been generally thought that this banishment was under the emperor Domitian, A.D. 95.

 

"There is scarcely another period in history so full of vice, corruption and disaster as the six years between the Neronian persecution and the destruction of Jerusalem. The prophetic description in the last days by our Lord began to be fulfilled before the generation to which He spoke had passed away, and the day of judgment seemed to be near at hand. So the Christians believed, and had good reason to believe. Even to earnest heathen minds (such as those of Seneca and Tacitus) that period looked as dark as midnight, according to their own descriptions. The most unfortunate country in that period was Palestine, where an ancient and venerable nation brought upon itself unspeakable suffering and destruction. The tragedy of Jerusalem prefigures in miniature the final judgment, and in this light it is represented in the eschatological discourses of Christ, who foresaw the end from the beginning." -P. Schaff.

 

Intimately connected with the early progress of Christianity was the destruction of Jerusalem, and the entire and final overthrow of the Jewish nation. The Jews crucified the Lord of life and glory, and persecuted His followers in the most cruel manner until their nationality was put an end to -a period of about 40 years from the Savior's death. The Jews asked that His blood should be on them and on their children, Mt 27:25 and their imprecation was answered. He had already foretold of their overthrow and the certainty that God's vengeance would fall on them. Said He, "That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate". Mt 23:36-38 When the disciples showed Him the buildings of the temple that He might admire them, He "said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down". Mt 24:1-2 And again said He: "The days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another". Lu 19:43-44

 

As the accomplishment of these predictions ended in the utter abolition of the Jewish church and state, a constitution which was originally founded in Divine appointment, and had existed during a period of fifteen hundred years; and as it was unquestionably the most awful revolution in all the religious dispensations of God, and which, moreover, in various ways, contributed greatly to the success of the gospel, it seems to merit especial attention at our hands.

 

From Nero to Vespasian there were five different Roman emperors, if we include these two, in the short space of eighteen months; and during this period the empire was a scene of confusion, desolation and misery, and not in a mood to persecute Christians, as it was subsequently.

 

After the death of king Herod Agrippa, {1} the particulars of which the reader will find recorded in Ac 12, Judea again became a province of the Roman Empire, and Cuspius Fadus was sent to be its governor. He found matters very much unsettled in Palestine. The country was infested with banditti, and an imposter named Theudas had drawn large numbers after him, promising them to divide the waters of Jordan, as Joshua had done, by his single word, and lead them to pleasures beyond, etc. Theudas was taken and beheaded, and his followers dispersed, the Jews were quelled, and the banditti partially suppressed. Cuspius was succeeded by Tiberius Alexander, an apostate Jew, who very shortly gave way to make room for Ventidius Cumanus, under whose rule the troubles began which ended in the downfall of Jerusalem.

 

One of the Roman soldiers, at the time of the Jewish Passover, insulted the Jews by exposing his nakedness, and this exasperated them to such a degree that they complained of it to Cumanus, and charged him with ordering the offense to be given. He endeavored to reason with them, but could not succeed by words, so that he ordered his troops to the spot; and this so terrified the Jews that they fled in every direction, and twenty thousand were stifled to death in their flight by running over one another in the confined avenues that led to and from the temple.

 

Cumanus was succeeded by Claudius Felix as governor of Judea, and under his administration things went from bad to worse. The country swarmed with banditti; Jerusalem became the prey of false prophets and pretended workers of miracles, who were continually inciting discontent and sedition; and numbers of assassins, under the name of Sicarii, abounded in all the cities and towns of the country, committing the most horrible murders under the pretext of religious and patriotic zeal. These Sicarii could be hired by any one to assassinate an enemy or any person who seemed to stand in the way of another. The Jewish priests, and even the pontiffs, made no hesitation in hiring these assassins to rid them of all such persons as were obnoxious to them. In the meantime Felix went forth with his soldiers in every direction, punishing the innocent with the guilty, and thereby destroyed all confidence in the Roman government as a power for the promotion of justice and equity in the land.

 

Felix was succeeded in the government by Festus, who, when entering upon the duties of his office, found the very priesthood engaged in war with each other. The high priests claimed their full share of tithes, and those who had been deposed claimed a full share also, while the inferior priests were loath to yield what belonged to them. Thus parties were formed, and, each party hiring a squad of the Sicarii to accompany them dreadful encounters often occurred, wherein many were murdered, both in Jerusalem and other towns; and even the very temple itself was defiled with the blood of these victims. Festus, therefore, had a threefold task upon his hands; he had to suppress the violence of the priesthood against each other; that of the seditious Jews against the Romans and such as contentedly submitted to their government; and that of the banditti abroad, who infested the whole country, and robbed, plundered and massacred everywhere without mercy.

 

Festus dying soon after Paul was brought before him; Nero nominated his successor Albinus, of whom it is related by historians that he was such a cruel and rapacious monster that Felix and Festus, with all their faults, were angels when compared with him. After a two years' tenure of office he was succeeded by Gessius Florus, the last and worst of all the Roman governors. His rapines, cruelties and acts of oppression, his compromising with the banditti for large sums of money, and, in short, his whole behavior, were so openly flagitious that the Jews were disposed to regard him rather as a bloody executioner sent to torture than as a magistrate to govern them. His great object seemed to be to goad the Jews to open rebellion against the Roman government, and he succeeded well at that.

 

In the days of Felix a dispute arose between the Jews and Syrians as to the ownership of Caesarea, each claiming it. It was referred to the emperor, who decided against the Jews, and the latter became indignant, and took up arms in defense of their claim. They assailed both Syrians and Romans in all places and on all occasions of their meeting together. Throughout all Judea little else was heard of but robberies, murders, and every species of cruelty -cities and villages filled with the dead of all ages and each sex, and of every quality, down to the tender infant. The Caesareans fell suddenly on the Jews in their city and massacred twenty thousand of them; two thousand were murdered at Ptolemais, and fifty thousand at the city of Alexandria, in Egypt. At Jerusalem, Florus one day caused his troops to go and plunder the market, and to kill all they met; and they accordingly murdered three thousand five hundred persons, men, women and children, and the streets of the city were day after day deluged with blood. Florus gloated over the carnage, and wrote to Cestius, the governor of Syria, casting the blame of all these horrible cruelties upon the Jews.

 

This war of open rebellion against the Roman government was fairly inaugurated in the second year of the government of Florus, in the twelfth Nero's reign, A.D. 66.

 

The Jews next pushed their conquests beyond the river Jordan, took the fortress of Cyprus, razed it to the ground, and put all the Romans to the sword. The governor of Syria then bestirred himself, marched into Judea with a powerful army, burned the towns and villages in his way, massacred all the Jews he could come at, and then encamped before Gibeon about the feast of tabernacles. "The Jews at Jerusalem, hearing of his approach, forsook the solemnities of their religion, and, even though it was on the Sabbath day, flew to arms and proceeded to meet him with such fury, that had not the cavalry arrived at the moment to the support of his infantry, he had sustained a signal defeat. He lost five hundred men, while the Jews lost but twenty-two." Cestius proffered terms of peace. The Jews killed one of his messengers, and wounded another. Enraged at this, he marched forward, and encamped in order of battle before Jerusalem on the 30th of October, A.D. 66. This put the Jews in great consternation, and they abandoned all their outworks, and retired to the inner cincture near the temple. Cestius fired the former, and laid siege to the latter, and took up his headquarters in the royal palace. He now hesitated; his generals were bribed; the Jews made a sortie and succeeded in repulsing him; they drove him back to his camp at Gibeon, harassed his rear, secured the passes, and attacked his army in flank. "Hemmed in on all sides, the mountains re-echoed with the hideous cries of his soldiers, and having lost four thousand foot and two hundred horse, favored by the intervening night, they on the eighth of November happily found a pass through the narrow straits of Bethoron and escaped."

 

Milman says that the Romans might easily have made themselves masters of the city of Jerusalem: and it was to the universal surprise that Cestius called off his troops. Though the war continued, Jerusalem was not besieged again till April, A.D. 70. During this interval of about two years and a half the Christians in Jerusalem, remembering Christ's words of warning, Mt 24:15; Mr 13:14; Lu 21:21 fled beyond the Jordan to Pella, in the north of Perea, in the mountains of Gilead, some sixty miles northeast of Jerusalem, where king Herod Agrippa II. opened to them a safe asylum; and thus they escaped the horrors of the final siege of Jerusalem.

 

The retreat of Cestius aroused Nero, who sent Vespasian and his son Titus, in the ensuing spring, into Galilee with an army of sixty thousand men, well disciplined and equipped for service. They burnt Gadara, and marched towards Jotapata; but Josephus, the celebrated historian, and at that time governor of the province, threw himself into that place and defended it for a period of forty-seven days. It was finally taken about the beginning of July, with the loss of all its inhabitants -forty thousand slain, and only twelve hundred prisoners; among the latter was Josephus himself.

 

Josephus predicted the elevation of Vespasian to the throne of the Caesars in three years. Vespasian did not believe it, but treated Josephus kindly as a prisoner, and when he was elected, the next year, emperor of Rome, left the army and Josephus in the care of his son Titus, who gave him much liberty, and sent him occasionally to the Jews to urge them to desist from further rebellion.

 

Titus took Jaffa, two miles southwest of Nazareth, while his father was besieging Jotapata. All the men were put to the sword, and the women and children taken prisoners. Joppa, which had been repeopled by a great number of seditious Jews since it was taken by Cestius, was retaken by Vespasian, and about four thousand of its inhabitants destroyed. Tarichea and Tiberias were next taken. The other cities of Galilee then submitted to the Romans, except Gischala, Gamala and Mount Tabor.

 

Gamala was taken, and four thousand of its citizens were put to the sword, while vast numbers took their own lives rather than surrender to the Romans. Mount Tabor was taken by stratagem, and, after John of Gischala left that city and fled with his soldiers towards Jerusalem, the remaining citizens surrendered. This completed the conquest of Galilee, after which the whole Roman army took a respite at Caesarea before they began the siege of Jerusalem.

 

While Vespasian was resting his army in winter quarters at Caesarea, the Jews were exhausting themselves in Jerusalem by their factions, and warring against each other. They were at that time, no doubt, the worst population on the face of the globe, and eventually suffered more than any other. The dominant party, which was the war party, consisted of men of the vilest and most profligate characters that perhaps the pen of the historian ever described. They were proud, ambitious, cruel, rapacious and addicted to the most horrid crimes. Josephus says they acted more like infernal beings than men. Yet there were men peaceably disposed within the city, and who would have sought terms with the Romans if they could. These were very few, however, and suffered for their virtues. John of Gischala, who fled from that place to Jerusalem to escape the clutches of Vespasian, had placed himself at the head of the dominant party, and practiced the most unheard-of cruelties upon the innocent and inoffensive. At one time he and his party put to death twelve thousand persons of noble extraction, and in the flower of their age, butchering them in the most horrible manner. In short, the whole nation trembled at the mention of the names of these men, and did not dare to be seen or heard to weep for the murder of their nearest relatives nor even to give them burial. When the party of John had quelled, as they supposed, all opposition to them within the walls of the city, they began to turn their murderous weapons against each other, all of which was favorable to the Romans, and well known to them. Famine and pestilence also prevailed in the city and made its conquest the easier. Vespasian marched out of Caesarea in the spring of A.D. 70, penetrated Idumea, and plundered and burnt every place through which he passed, except where it was necessary to leave a garrison to keep the country in awe. On receiving intelligence of his election as emperor, he left the army in charge of his son Titus, and repaired to Rome. His advice to his son was to utterly destroy Jerusalem.

 

Titus lost no time in complying with this command. He set his army in motion in April, marched at once to the walls of that devoted city, and commenced the siege immediately after the passover, when Jerusalem was filled with strangers. It seemed almost impregnable, being on an eminence and surrounded with three walls and many stately towers. The first or old wall, which by reason of its vast thickness was looked upon as impregnable, had no less than sixty of these towers, lofty, firm and strong. The second had fourteen, and the third eighty. The circumference of the city was nearly four English miles. The siege fairly commenced on the 14th of April and ended on the 8th of September, when it was taken and entered by Titus -lasting five months wanting six days. The wonder to us is how a single city could withstand the power of Rome for such a length of time. Unheard of cruelties and sufferings occurred within that period. It was reported to Titus by a deserter that at one of the gates where he was stationed there were carried out to be buried one hundred and fifteen thousand eight hundred and eighty persons from the 14th of April to the 1st of July. Another told him that they had carried out at all the gates six hundred thousand, and that then, being unable to carry them all out, they had filled whole houses with them and shut them up.

 

One circumstance will suffice to show the deplorable famine that prevailed in the city. An unhappy and starving mother, in fulfillment of the prophecy of Moses, De 28:56-57 was reduced to the necessity of feeding upon her own child. "This lady's name was Miriam, who had taken refuge, with many others, in this devoted city, from the breaking out of the war. As the famine increased, her house was repeatedly plundered of such provisions as she had been able to procure. She had vainly endeavored, by her entreaties, to prevail upon them to put an end to her miserable existence, but the mercy was too great to be granted her. Frantic at length with fury and despair, she snatched her infant from her bosom, cut its throat and broiled it; and, having satiated her present hunger, concealed the rest. The smell of it soon drew the voracious human tigers to her house; they threatened her with the most excruciating tortures if she did not discover her provisions to them; upon which she set forth before them the relics of her mangled infant, bidding them eat heartily and not be squeamish, since she, its once tender mother, had made no scruple to butcher, dress, and feed upon it. At the sight of this horrid dish, inhuman as they were, they stood aghast, petrified with horror, and departed, leaving the astonished mother in possession of her dismal fare."

 

"When the report of this spread through the city, the horror and consternation were as universal as they were inexpressible. They now for the first time began to think themselves forsaken of the providence of God, and to expect the most awful effects of His anger. Nor were their fears either unreasonable or ill-founded; for no sooner had Titus heard of this inhuman deed than he vowed the total extirpation of the city and people. 'Since,' said he, 'they have so often refused my proffers of pardon, and have preferred war to peace, rebellion to obedience, and famine to plenty, I am determined to bury that cursed metropolis under its ruins, that the sun may never more dart his beams upon a city where the mothers feed on the flesh of their children, and the fathers, no less guilty than themselves, choose to drive them to such extremities rather than lay down their arms.'" -W. Jones.

 

And yet such was the humanity of Titus that he felt reluctant to destroy so many human beings, frequently tendering them forgiveness upon repentance: and such his regard for the magnificence and value of the temple that it was set on fire, at last, and consumed, against his orders and in defiance of his commands, expostulations, and canings of his soldiers who did the awful deed.

 

Seeing that all was lost, and his endeavors to save the temple ineffectual, "Titus entered into the sanctuary and Most Holy place, the remaining grandeur and riches of which, even yet, surpassed all that had been told him of it. Out of the former he saved the golden candlestick, the table of the show-bread, the altar of incense, all of pure gold, and the book of the law, wrapped up in a rich golden tissue. Upon his quitting that sacred place some soldiers set fire to it, obliging those who had staid behind to come out also, in consequence of which they all began to plunder it, carrying off the costly utensils, robes, gold plating of the gates, etc., insomuch that there was not one of them who did not enrich himself by it."

 

"A horrid massacre succeeded to this, in which many thousands perished, some by the flames, others falling from the battlements, and a greater number still by the enemy's sword, which spared neither age, sex nor quality. Among them were upwards of six thousand persons who had been seduced thither by a false prophet, who promised them they should find a miraculous deliverance on that very day.

 

"The Romans carried their fury to the burning of all the treasure houses of the place, though they were full of the richest furniture, vestments, plate, and other valuable articles, there laid up for security; nor did they cease the dreadful work of devastation till they had destroyed all except two of the temple gates, and that part of the court that was destined for the women."

 

The temple was burned on the tenth of August, the same day of the year it was said that the first temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Josephus states that the hill on which the temple stood was seething hot, and seemed enveloped to its base in one sheet of flame; t hat the blood was larger in quantity than the fire, and all the ground was covered with corpses. The Romans planted their eagles or standards on the temple ruins, offered their sacrifices to them, and proclaimed Titus Imperator with the greatest declamations of joy. Thus was fulfilled Christ's prophecy concerning the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place.

 

"The city was now abandoned to the fury of the soldiers, who proceeded forthwith to plunder it, setting it on fire in every direction, and murdering all that fell into their hands -whilst the factious party among the Jews, that had hitherto escaped, went and fortified themselves in the royal palace, where they killed eight thousand of their own countrymen who had taken refuge there.

 

"Preparations were now making for a vigorous attack on the upper city, and particularly on the royal palace, and this occupied Titus from the 20th of August to the 7th of September, during which time great numbers came and made, their submission to him, among whom were forty thousand citizens of the inferior classes, to whom he gave permission to go and settle where they would. On the 8th of September the city was taken (as has been said) and entered by Titus.

 

"Josephus estimates that one million and one hundred thousand Jews were slain during the siege; eleven thousand died from starvation shortly afterwards; and ninety-seven thousand were sold into slavery, or sent to the mines, or sacrificed in the gladiatorial shows in different cities.

 

"It is not a little remarkable that Titus, though a heathen, was frequently obliged, during this war, to acknowledge an overruling providence, not only in the extraordinary success with which he had favored, but also in the invincible obstinacy, through which the Jews, to the last, preferred their total destruction to an acceptance of his repeated overtures of mercy.

 

"Again and again did he, in the most solemn manner, appeal to Heaven that he was innocent of the blood of this wretched people (Josephus' Wars, b. 5, ch. 12). In almost every chapter we find Josephus also ascribing these dreadful calamities, and the final ruin of his nation, city and temple, to an overruling power; to the offended Deity; to the sins of the people; but nowhere more pathetically than in that chapter in which he sums up a number of dreadful warnings, sent beforehand, not so much to reduce them to obedience as to make them discern the Almighty hand that was ever pouring out the awful vials of His wrath upon them (Josephus' Wars, b. 6, ch. 5, and b. 5, ch. 13).

 

"As soon as the Romans had completed their destructive work of fire and slaughter, Titus set them to demolish the city, with all its noble structures, fortifications, palaces, towers, wells and other ornaments, down to the level of the ground; as though he had nothing in view but to fulfill the predictions of Christ concerning its destruction, as contained in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew's Gospel. He left nothing standing but a piece of the western wall and three towers, which he reserved merely as a monument to future ages of what had been the strength of the city, and the skill and valor of its conqueror. His orders were executed so punctually that, except what has been just mentioned, nothing remained that could serve as an index that that ground had been once inhabited; insomuch that when Titus Himself, some time afterwards, passed through it on his way from Caesarea to Alexandria, in order to embark for Rome, he wept profusely at the sight of a devastation so dreadful, cursing the wretches that had compelled him to be the author of it (Josephus' Wars, b. 6, chs. 8 and 9).

 

"Such was the dreadful issue of this war, terminating in the utter downfall of the Jewish state and nation, from which it has never recovered to this day; it involved in it the destruction of the temple, and the discontinuance of the services annexed to it. The desolation of the country itself went on increasing; till, from being, for its size, one of the most fertile and populous countries in the world, having about five million inhabitants, it is now become the most barren and desolate, the latest computation of the number of its inhabitants scarcely exceeding three hundred thousand.

 

"Not only the wisdom but the justice of God is also conspicuously displayed in this great event. A particular Providence had ever attended these people. They had always been favored with prosperity while obedient to God and His prophets; and, on the other hand, calamity of some kind had been the never failing consequence of their disobedience. But the measure of their iniquities was now filled up, and the wrath of Heaven came upon them to the uttermost. Never had the nation in general shown a more perverse or obstinate disposition towards any of their prophets than was evinced towards Christ and His Apostles, though none of their prophets had ever been sent to them with such evident marks of a Divine mission. Their inveterate hostility to Christianity continues to this day, and so does their dispersion, though they are still a distinct people, and never mix, so as to be confounded, with any of the nations among whom they have settled."

 

All other ancient peoples blended together in an indistinguishable mass; but the Jews, having disobeyed God, and having, according to the prediction of Moses, De 28:49-68 been plucked up out of their own land by a distant, eagle-like nation, of strange tongue and fierce countenance, and having been scattered among all people from one end of the earth to the other, remain still distinct from all other people, for the purpose of being, to all men, living proofs of the truth of the Old Testament, and for the fulfillment of the prophecies that are still to be accomplished.

 

"The reader will perceive that the history of the Jewish war, as detailed by their own historian, Josephus, in many instances a witness of the facts he attests, forms a commentary on the prophecies of Christ. Amongst other things, he has given a distinct account of the 'fearful sights and great signs from Heaven' which preceded the destruction of Jerusalem; and Tacitus has confirmed the narration of Josephus (Tacit. Annal, b. 5). If Christ had not expressly foretold these things, some might have suspected that Josephus exaggerated, and Tacitus was misinformed; but as the testimonies of these historians confirm the predictions of Christ, so do the predictions of Christ confirm the wonders recorded by the historians."

 

While Christ made the one essential thing the relation of man to Himself, He did not formally abolish the ceremonial law, but, on the other hand, He was born under the law and lived under it, and strictly and perfectly obeyed it for His people; He said nothing about doing away with circumcision and the temple worship (except in a general manner as in Joh 4:21); He left the separation of Christianity and Judaism to the Spirit and Providence of God. Even Paul, the great Apostle of Christian freedom, "more than once religiously visited the temple, and accommodated himself outwardly, in various ways, to Judaism. But now the time had come for the church to be delivered from its Jewish swaddling-bands, and God Himself came down in a terrific providence, and destroyed the house in which He had been worshiped, and gave His cause and people the spiritual emancipation which He had designed for them."

 

"By terrible events an end was at length put to the Mosaic economy; for, with the destruction of their city and temple, the whole Jewish polity and church state were also subverted. From that time the remnant of that once highly favored nation have been dispersed throughout the world; despised and hated by all; subjected, from age to age, to a perpetual succession of persecutions and miseries, yet under all these disadvantages, upheld by Divine Providence as a distinct people. They have ever since remained 'without a king, without a prince and without a sacrifice; without an altar, without an ephod, and without Divine manifestations;' as monuments everywhere of the truth of Christianity -yet with this promise, that 'the children of Israel shall return, and seek the Lord their God, and David their king, and shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the latter days'". (Ho 3:4-5) -W. Jones.

 

The Emperor Vespasian reigned ten years. His son Titus, who was superior to his father, reigned only two years, two months and twenty days, when to the great grief of his subjects he was suddenly snatched away, as was supposed by poison administered by the hands of his brother Domitian, who succeeded to the throne in the year 81. In his temper and disposition he seemed to inherit all the savage cruelty of the monster Nero. This was shown toward his subjects generally; for toward the Christians in special he appeared to have no particular hatred, until about the fourteenth year of his reign, when his cruelty toward them showed itself. He had several put to death, and others banished, on account of their religion, both in Rome and in various parts of his empire. Among the number put to death was his own cousin and colleague in the consulship, Flavius Clemens, and among those who were banished were the wife and niece of the latter, both named Flavia Domitilla. The Apostle John is said to have survived the persecution under Domitian, though it is uncertain how long, and to have died in the reign of Trajan, about 98 A.D., at Ephesus, at which city he was buried.

 

The crime alleged against the Christians at this period was that they were atheists, simply because they refused to acknowledge or worship the gods of the heathen, or even throw a grain of incense on one of their altars. And as Christians had neither temples, nor altars, nor sacrifices, it was taken for granted that they worshiped no god, were haters of the gods, and could be nothing better than atheists.

 

Domitian however, before his end, relaxed his persecution of Christians, and recalled from banishment those who had been driven away. He was at length assassinated in the sixteenth year of his reign, and was succeeded in the empire by Nerva, an excellent prince, and whose reign made the Romans as happy as that of Domitian had made them miserable. "He pardoned all that had been imprisoned for treason, called home such as had been banished, restored the sequestrated estates, punished informers, redressed grievances to the utmost of his power, and acted with universal beneficence towards all descriptions of his subjects. He forbade the persecution of any persons for their religious belief, whether Jews or Christians. After an excellent reign of sixteen months and eight days he was taken away by death, January 23, A.D. 98, and was succeeded by Trajan, whom he had previously nominated as his heir, a man well skilled in martial and cabinet affairs. In his deportment Trajan was courteous, affable, humane and just, and perhaps not undeservedly esteemed one of the best princes with whom Rome had ever been favored. And so the first century of the Christian era terminates with the mild and virtuous reign of Trajan."

 

I shall now give some remarks, taken chiefly from "The Early Years of Christianity, " by E. De Pressense, of Paris, on the Petrine, Pauline and Johannine Periods of the Apostolic Age.

 

"It 'is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners'. 1Ti 1:15 He also 'came to seek and to save that which was lost,' and 'to call sinners to repentance.' And it is equally true, we think, that He came to restore the kingdom Of God upon earth: to found and establish a holy community, from which, as from a new humanity reconstituted by Himself, filled with His Spirit and living by His life, the gospel should go forth into all the world. This community is the Christian Church. It differs from all other religious institutions that ever preceded it. It is not limited, like the Jewish theocracy, to one special nation, or bounded by the frontiers of any land. It is finally to conquer all the powers of earth and hell combined against it. Its character is essentially supernatural. Being born of a miracle, by a miracle it lives. Founded upon the great miracle of redemption, it grows and is perpetuated by the ever-repeated miracle of conversion. It is entered not by the natural way of birth, but by the supernatural way of the new birth. The church, resting on no national or theocratic basis, must gather its adherents simply by individual conviction, and such a basis alone corresponds with the breadth of Christianity, because it alone places the church beyond the narrow bounds of nationalities and of territorial circumscription. In truth, setting aside in man the contingent in race and the distinctions of birth, all that remains is the moral personality, the individual soul, to be brought into direct contact with God. Individuality is therefore the widest conceivable basis for a religious community. When Jesus Christ sent forth, to the conquest of the world, the few disciples whom He had gathered around Him and who formed the nucleus of the church, He by that act abrogated the old theocratic distinctions, and implicitly founded the new community, in which there is neither Jew nor Greek, circumcision nor uncircumcision."

 

"The Christian church has a double vocation. It is called first (by the grace of God) to assimilate to itself more and more closely the teaching and the life of its Divine Founder, to be, joined to Him by tender and sacred bonds, to grow in knowledge, in charity, in holiness. Ro 8:29 It is then, by the same grace, to carry everywhere the light and flame thus kindled and fed in the sanctuary of the soul, to the enlightenment of others, and the glorification of God. Mt 5:16

 

"Of all the periods connected with church history, none is so important or interesting as that of the Apostolic Age. Two gifts are peculiar to this age, viz., that of the Apostolate and of Inspiration. The Apostolate constitutes the direct witness for Christ, and the judgment from which there is no appeal; and the Inspiration, the Holy Ghost given in extraordinary measure, to lay a solid foundation upon which the church in all ages, must be built up. These two great facts of the Apostolic Age claim our attention. They are not at once developed, but are progressive in their nature. Such is the order in both the Old and New Testament revelations. Every one who admits that the ideal of the new covenant shines forth resplendent in the person of the God-Man must equally admit that the complete blending of the human with the Divine element is the great consummation of the gospel design. This, which is to be the aim in every age, finds its most nearly perfect realization in the age of the Apostles. Their era, therefore, may be regarded as having furnished, as it were, the theme of the history of the church; for that history is but a free and vigorous development of the great results gained in the first century. The first subject, then, for our consideration is this normal and ideal union of the human and the Divine element in the life of the primitive church."

 

It may be divided into three parts, each designated by the name of the Apostle who exercised the greatest influence upon it. We have thus the period of Saint Peter, that of Saint Paul, and that of Saint John.

 

FIRST PERIOD OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE -PETER.

 

In the first the Divine element predominates, almost to the exclusion of the human, which is in comparison reduced to passivity. This is the period of the purely supernatural: it follows the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and precedes the great internal deliberations in the church. In the second and third the human element is more apparent, though always controlled and purified by the Divine; great questions are stated and debated, church organization begins, doctrine becomes more defined, and, if miracles are still many, they are less abundant than they were before. The latter fact, so far from implying any inferiority in the closing periods of the Apostolic Age, seems to us to mark a real superiority, rather. For in truth when the supernatural element is so infused into human nature that it animates it, as the soul the body, it may be said that the union between God and man is fully realized, and the most glorious results of redemption achieved." -E. De Pressense.

 

Connected with and belonging to the supernatural or first period, wherein the Apostle Peter seems to take the lead, may be mentioned the outpouring of the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, the preaching of Peter and the addition of three thousand to the church; the healing of the cripple at the beautiful gate of the temple, the preaching of Peter and another gathering of believers amounting to five thousand. Multitudes on another occasion, professing faith in Christ, were added to the Lord, both men and women, consequent upon the numerous hearings by the Apostles of the diseased brought to them, or within range of even the shadow of Peter; the release of the Apostles from prison by the angel of the Lord, and a command to go stand in the temple and preach to the people, all the words of this life; the deliverance of the Apostle Peter from prison, wherein he was chained to two soldiers, the prison doors locked, and four quarternions of soldiers guarding the prison outside, without their knowing anything about it; and, as the angel led him along, the great iron gate of the city opened of its own accord for them to pass through; the healing of Aeneas, a bedridden invalid for eight years in the town of Lydda, at which the inhabitants of Lydda and Saron turned to the Lord; the vision of the vessel, like unto a great sheet knit at the four corners, let down from Heaven in the view of Peter, while in a trance on the house top, in which vessel were four-footed beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air, and a voice commanding Peter to slay and eat, etc., which induced him to visit a Gentile who had sent for him, and preach to him and his kinsmen and near friends, upon whom the Holy Ghost descended, and for that reason were baptized at the command of the Apostle. Well then may this be called the supernatural period; for, with but little labor, physically, on the part of the Apostles, no doubt fully ten thousand people professed faith in Christ, and were baptized in obedience to His command, and added to the church.

 

Pentecost was spoken of by Josephus as the feast of the great assembly. According to Jewish tradition, it was the anniversary of the promulgation of the Jewish law. Never were there such wonders performed at the celebration of this feast in Jerusalem as when the Holy Ghost came down and filled the hearts of the disciples with the fire of heavenly love, and enabled them to proclaim the gospel in the various languages of the world. "The miracle of Pentecost was an enacted prophecy of the happy time, when all the diversities created by evil (among the redeemed) will be lost in the unity of love. Is not this prophecy receiving a constant fulfillment as Christianity masters, one after another, the languages of mankind, and makes them the media for conveying its immortal truths? 'The church in her humility,' says the venerable Bede, 'reforms the unity of language broken before by pride.'"

 

"The Apostles had received the Holy Ghost before the Pentecostal tongues of fire were displayed, in a measure, but on that occasion they were completely filled with His presence. All the barriers between earth and Heaven seemed to be removed.

 

"Until this time the young church might be compared to a ship, ready to depart, its sails spread for the winds. The breath from on high now blows upon it; it is no longer an inert mass, it is an animated body; it may set forth on its flight over all seas, and, be they stormy or calm, it be ever advancing towards its appointed haven."

 

The rapid increase of numbers soon brought about an open rupture between the young church and Judaism. The Sadducean party took the lead in the early persecutions, because the point of doctrine mainly insisted on by the Apostles was the resurrection of the dead; which was particularly odious to the Sadducees. "Annas and Caiaphas, who presided over the council before which the Apostles were repeatedly cited, were the well-known leaders of the Roman or Sadducean party. The only judge who showed himself impartial (on one of these occasions) was the Pharisee Gamaliel". Ac 5:17

 

"During all this early time the influence of the Apostle Peter predominates. The part thus taken by him has been urged as a proof of his primacy. But on closer examination it will be seen that he does but exercise his native gifts, purified and ennobled by the Divine Spirit. Peter was the son of a fisherman named Jonas, of the village of Bethsaida, in Galilee. Mt 16:17; Joh 1:44 He was among the disciples of John the Baptist, and was thus prepared to respond favorably to the call of Jesus Christ. He soon received his vocation as an Apostle. His disposition was quick and ardent, but his zeal was blended with presumption and pride. Living in constant contact with the Master as one of the three disciples who enjoyed his closest intimacy, he conceived for Him a strong affection. His impetuous nature was, however, far from being at once brought under control. He had noble impulses, like that which prompted his grand testimony to the Savior: 'Thou art the Christ of God'. Mt 16:16 But he was also actuated by many an earthly motive, which drew down upon him the Master's sharp reproach. Once, under the influence of Jewish prejudice, he repelled with indignation the idea of the humiliating death of Christ. At another time he was eager to appear more courageous than all the other disciples, and, again yielding to his natural impetuosity, he drew his sword to defend Him whose 'kingdom is not of this world.' It was needful that the yet incoherent elements of his moral nature should be thrown into the crucible of trial. His shameful fall resulted in a decisive moral crisis, which commenced in that moment when, pierced to the heart by the look of Christ, he went out of the court of the high priest and wept bitterly. He appears entirely changed in the last interview he has with the Savior on the shores of the Lake Tiberias. Jesus Christ restores him after his threefold denial, by calling forth a threefold confession of his love. Joh 21:15

 

"Nothing but determined prejudice could construe the tender solicitude of the Master for this disciple into an official declaration of his primacy. We are here in the region of feeling alone, not on the standing ground of right and legal institutions. Nor has the primacy of Peter any more legal foundation in the famous passage, 'Thou art Peter.' Jesus Christ admirably characterized by this image the ardent and generous nature of His disciple, and that courage of the pioneer which marked him out as the first laborer in the foundation of the primitive church. The son of Jonas was its most active, and, as it were, its first stone (laid on Christ, the chief corner-stone). He was also the rock against which the first tempest from without spent its fury. Beyond this, the narrative of Saint Luke lends no countenance to any hierarchical notions." The church passed through an experience of three hundred years before any organized body of professed Christians attached the Romish sense to Mt 16:18. "Everything is natural and spontaneous in the conduct of St. Peter. He is not official president of a sort of Apostolic college. He acts only with the concurrence of his brethren, whether in the choice of a new Apostle, Ac 1:15 or at Pentecost, Ac 2:14 or before the Sanhedrim. Peter had been the most deeply humbled of the disciples, therefore he was the first to be exalted. John's part being at this time inconspicuous, no other Apostle is named with Peter, because he fills the whole scene with his irrepressible zeal and indefatigable activity." -Pressense.

 

Even if Peter had been made by Christ the primate of the Apostles, there is not a shadow of Bible proof that Peter either had the right or attempted to confer such primacy upon a successor, still less upon the bishop of Rome, where there is no Bible proof of Peter's ever having been. The Catholic traditions about Peter's presence in Rome are irreconcilable contradictions. Peter was married; the popes forbid clerical marriage. Peter had no silver or gold; the popes have their millions. In the council at Jerusalem Peter assumed no special authority, much less infallibility, while James presided and his judgment prevailed; the popes claim infallibility. Peter was publicly rebuked for his inconsistency by Paul, a younger Apostle, at Antioch; the popes are the lords of Catholicism. Peter in his epistles shows the deepest humility, and "prophetically warns against filthy avarice and lordly ambition, the besetting sins of the papacy." Peter emphatically teaches "the general priesthood and royalty of believers, obedience to God rather than man, condemnation of mental reservation in Ananias and Sapphira, and of simony in Simon Magus, opposition to the yoke of legal bondage, salvation in no other name but that of Jesus Christ."

 

"From its very birth the Christian church is called to defend itself against the attacks of its adversaries, and to contend for the claims of truth. The opposition to Christianity assumes from the outset various forms. The first to be encountered is that of scoffing unbelief. This foe has not yet sharpened and polished the weapons with which in subsequent times it will wound by the hands of a Celsus and a Lucian. But was not the laugh of the scorner heard on the very day when the Holy Spirit descended upon the church? Did not his voice cry, 'These men are full of new wine?" And from the scorner's point of view it was a fair conclusion. The supernatural is absurd to those, who discern nothing beyond the circle of the visible; and herein is its peculiar glory. The laugh of unbelief has never ceased in all these eighteen centuries to ring through the world. But ridicule alone was not enough. Calumny and false, insinuations must be enlisted in the same cause. The miracles of the primitive church were incontestable; they could not be brought in question, but they might, like those of Jesus Christ, be ascribed to witchcraft and to the powers of darkness. The arts of magic were much believed in at this epoch, as in all periods of religious crisis. There was, therefore, profound subtilty in likening the Apostles to common magicians. Such an idea is evidently present in the question of the Sanhedrim to Peter and John, after the healing of the impotent man: 'By what power or by what name have ye done this?'. Ac 4:7 The enemies of the Apostles did not admit that they were the organs of Divine power. The influence, then, by which they made so much stir, must be diabolical or magical. Side by side with this open unbelief, the primitive church had to encounter the ignorance and prejudices of a people of formalists and materialists. They had, with the Divine blessing, to establish the claims of Jesus Christ; that is, of a humble and crucified Messiah before a nation which was ready to believe only in a glorious king -a new Maccabeus.

 

"To meet all objections, the church had ready a simple and popular method of defense. We at once admit that they appealed without hesitation to the testimony of reason for all the facts coming within its competence. Thus in reply to the absurd charge of drunkenness brought against the disciples, Peter urges that it is but the third hour of the day -the hour, that is, of morning prayer, before which the Jews never presumed to eat or drink. Ac 2:15 But the advocates of Christianity do not pause long on such vindications. They have a line of argument peculiarly their own.

 

"It is to be observed that the miracles are rather the occasion than the cause, of them defense which accompanies them. Peter does not say, 'Believe because of this amazing gift of tongues, or these miraculous cures.' He says, on the contrary, 'Believe, in the reality, the divinity, of the miracles on the scriptural and moral grounds, which show their necessity and establish their lawfulness.' These miracles certainly contributed to the rapid spread of the new faith by the impression they produced upon the people; but so little are they the pivot on which the defense of the Apostles turns, that they are, not the proof, but rather the object of the proof. We except one miracle, which is the essential miracle of Christianity. The resurrection of Christ is not merely a marvel; it is also a great religious fact. It is the glorious seal of redemption. Therefore it occupies the first place in the preaching of the Apostles. Peter constantly appeals to it, both before the people and before the Sanhedrim. Ac 2:32; 3:15; 4:10; 5:30 The Apostles regarded themselves, pre-eminently, as the witnesses of the resurrection. Nothing in fact gave so solid, a foundation to the new religion as this splendid triumph of Jesus Christ over death. It was the proof of His Divine mission and of that of the church, and the seal affixed by the hand of God to teaching in His name. 'Between us and you,' the Apostles seem to say, 'God has judged; by raising up Jesus, He has sovereignly declared that He was indeed Christ the Lord.' Next to the proof drawn from the resurrection of the Lord, that which is most prominent in the discourses of Peter is the evidence from Scripture. He sets himself to show the harmony of the facts, in process of accomplishment, with Jewish prophecy. The first defender of the church could take no other ground. An appeal addressed to Jews by Christians of Jewish extraction must be made to a tribunal recognized by all, and this was no other than Holy Scripture. If the Apostles at Jerusalem succeeded in showing that the facts of which they were the witnesses had been foretold in the Scriptures, every upright Jew must be enlisted on their side. The Christian defense did not rise, in this its first stage, to the height to which it was carried by St. John and St. Paul. In form and spirit it was limited and characterized by the views so prominently set forth in the first Gospel." -Pressense.

 

In his discourses Peter quotes freely from the Old Testament Scriptures, pointing to the scenes occurring then and there in his day; and while he charges home upon the people their guilt in murdering the blessed Savior, he fails not to urge repentance for that great crime, with a promise of forgiveness on the part of the offended Majesty of Heaven. The transition from the Old Covenant to the New was gradual and admirably accomplished. While it is true that the Apostles declared the truth of Christ in all its essentials, it is equally true that they enveloped that truth in Jewish forms. They had their own organization and held their meeting separately from the synagogue or the temple, yet they attended the stated worship of the temple during the supernatural period, circumcised their children, and observed many formalities appertaining to Judaism. The bonds between the Old and New dispensation were not suddenly snapped asunder, but suffered to become weaker and weaker, until they entirely disappeared; and upon the destruction of the temple the new church found herself standing alone, unconnected with any of the forms of the Levitical worship.

 

SECOND PERIOD OF THE APOSTOLIC AGE -PAUL.

 

"Every great truth which is to win a triumphal way must become incarnate in some one man, and derive, from a living, fervent heart, that passion and power which constrain and subdue. So long as it remains in the cold region of mere ideas, it exercises no mighty influence over mankind. The truths of religion are not exceptions to this law. God, therefore, prepared a man who was to represent in the primitive church the great cause of the emancipation of Christianity, and whose mission it was to free it completely from the bonds of the synagogue. This man was St. Paul, and never had noble truth a nobler organ. He brought to its service an heroic heart, in which fervent love was joined to indomitable courage, and a mind equally able to rise to the loftiest heights of speculation and to penetrate into the deepest recesses of the human soul. All these great qualities were enhanced by absolute devotedness to Jesus Christ, and a self-abnegation such as, apart from the sacrifice of the Redeemer, has had no parallel upon earth. His life was one perpetual offering up of himself. His sufferings have contributed, no less than his indefatigable activity, to the triumph of his principles. Standing ever in the breach for their defense -subject to most painful contradictions, not only from the Jews but from his brethren -execrated by his own nation -maligned by a fanatic and intolerant section of the church, and threatened with death by those Gentiles whose claims he so boldly advocated -he suffered as scarcely any other has suffered in the service of truth; but he left behind a testimony most weighty and powerful, every word sealed with the seal of the martyr." With the exception of Peter in the case of Cornelius, Paul was the first Apostle to the Gentiles, and being more especially called to that work, he devoted his noble life to it, and visited many countries, and that repeatedly -preaching the unsearchable riches of Christ, and thus inaugurating, as it were, the universal triumph of Christianity.

 

"It was needful that the door of the church should be opened to the thousands of proselytes from Corinth, Athens, Ephesus and Rome, who came up to it and knocked. But the great Apostle of the Gentiles was not satisfied with this irresistible argument from facts; he added to it reasoning equally able and eloquent, and, armed with dialectics perfectly adapted to the habits of mind of his opponents, he victoriously established his principles.

 

"The epistles in which these reasonings have in part come down to us, bear on every page the impress of his heart and mind; they show us the whole man, and the very style depicts in vivid characters his moral physiognomy. His polemics are especially admirable, because with him a negative always leads to a weightier affirmation; he never destroys without replacing, and, like his Master, only abolishes by fulfilling. He is not only an incomparable dialectician in the subversion of error, but he is able also to discern all the consequences of a truth, and to grasp its marrow and inner substance. This great controversialist is, therefore, at the same time, the first representative of that true Christian mysticism which St. John was so fully to develop. St. Paul triumphed over Judaism only by putting in its place Christianity in all its breadth and beauty. What holiness, strength, nobleness of character he displayed in the course of his ministry, his history shows. St. Paul is the type of the reformer in the church; in every fresh struggle for the church's freedom, his will be the track in which courageous Christians will follow. No true reformation can be wrought in any spirit other than that of Paul -a spirit equally removed from the timidity which preserves that which should be destroyed, and the rashness which destroys that which should be preserved.

 

"When God is forming a powerful instrument for the accomplishment of His designs, the process of preparation is long and gradual. Every circumstance was brought to bear on the education of the chosen witness, and every experience, even of wrong and error is made to enhance the power and completeness of the testimony rendered. When a man is called to effect some great religious reformation, it is important that he should himself have an experimental acquaintance with the order of things which he is to reverse or transform. The education of Saul the Pharisee was to him what the convent of Erfurt was to Luther. It was well that he who was to break the yoke of Jewish legalism should himself have first suffered under its bondage. Thus while the question of the emancipation of Christianity had been stated by men belonging, like Stephen, to the most liberal section of Judaism, the Hellenist Jews, it was to receive its final solution from a man who had himself felt the full weight of the yoke.

 

"Saul belonged to a Jewish family rigidly attached to the sect of the Pharisees. His name, which signifies 'The desired one,' has led some commentators to suppose that he being born like Samuel, after hope long delayed, was, like him, specially consecrated by his parents to the service of God, and therefore sent from his early childhood to Jerusalem to study the sacred writings in the most famous school of the age. However this may be, it is evident that his mind had a natural bent toward such studies. He may have received some intellectual development in his own city. Strabo tells us that literary and philosophical studies had been carried so far at Tarsus that the schools of Cilicia eclipsed those of Athens and of Alexandria. It appears, however, from the evidence of Philostratus, that a light and rhetorical school of learning predominated at Tarsus; more attention was paid to brilliance of expression than to depth of philosophical thought. The life of the East there reveled in boundless luxury, and the corruption of manners reached its utmost length. The young Jew, endowed with a high-toned morality, may well have conceived a deep disgust for this Pagan civilization; and these first impressions may have tended to develop in him an excessive attachment to the religion of his fathers.

 

"We may, probably, attribute to his abode at Tarsus the literary culture displayed in his writings. He familiarly quotes the Greek poets, and poets of the second order, such as Cleanthes or Aratus, Ac 17:28 Menander 1Co 15:33 and Epimenides. Tit 1:12 According to the custom of the rabbis of the time, he had learned a manual trade, and, as the Cilician fabrics of goats' hair were famous for their strength, he had chosen the calling of a tent-maker. {2}

 

"Jerusalem was the place of his religious education. He was placed in the school of Gamaliel, the most celebrated rabbi of his age. Ac 22:3 We know how fully the scholastic spirit was developed among the Jews at this period. To the companies of the prophets had succeeded the schools of the rabbis; the living productions of the Divine Spirit had been replaced by commentaries of minutest detail, and the sacred text seemed in danger of being completely overgrown by rabbinical glosses, as by a parasitic vegetation. The Talmudic traditions fill twelve large folios and 2,947 leaves.

 

"Whilst an ingenious and learned school, formed at Alexandria, had contrived, by a system of allegorical interpretation, to infuse Platonism into the Old Testament, the school at Jerusalem had been growing increasingly rigid, and interdicted any such daring exegesis. It clung with fanatic attachment to the letter of the Scriptures; but, failing to comprehend the spirit, it sank into all the puerilities of a narrow literalism. Its interpretations lacked both breadth and depth; it surrendered itself to the subtilties of purely verbal dialectics. Cleverly to combine texts -to suspend on a single word the thin threads of an ingenious argument -such was the sole concern of the rabbis. Gamaliel appears to have been the most skilled of all the doctors of the law. He is still venerated in Jewish tradition under the title of 'Gamaliel the Aged.' The 'Mishna' quotes him as an authority. We are inclined to believe that he may have been less in bondage than the other doctors of his day to narrow literalism, and that he may have maintained a spirit more upright and elevated. His benevolent intervention on behalf of the church at Jerusalem distinguishes him honorably from those implacable Jews who were ready to defend their prejudices by bloody persecutions. The fact of his having had a disciple like Saul of Tarsus, who must have been through his whole life characterized by a grave moral earnestness, leads us to suppose a true superiority in the teaching of Gamaliel. He had not got beyond the standpoint of legalism, but this he at least presented in its unimpaired and unabated majesty. He was not a man to delude the conscience with subterfuges, and his disciples were therefore disposed to austerity of life, and were distinguished by a scrupulous fidelity to the religion of their fathers.

 

"Saul of Tarsus embraced the teachings of his illustrious master with characteristic earnestness and ardor, and, it must be added, infused into it all the passionate vehemence belonging to his nature. At the feet of Gamaliel he became practiced in those skillful dialectics which were the pride of the rabbinical schools, and he thus received from Judaism itself the formidable weapon with which he was afterward to deal it such mortal blows. Here he gained a profound knowledge of the Old Testament. Gifted with a strong and keen intellect, he in a few years acquired all the learning of his master. He thus amassed, without knowing it, precious materials for his future polemics; but his moral and religious development in this phase of his life is of more important, to us than his intellectual acquirements. With all his knowledge he might have became, at the most, the first of Jewish doctors, surpassing even Gamaliel, and shedding some glory on the decadence of his people; but he could never have derived from that vast learning the spirit of the reformer, which was to make him immortal in the church. It is in the depths of his inner life that we must seek the distinctive character of his early religion; he has himself accurately described it when he says, that being 'taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers,' he 'was zealous toward God'". Ac 22:3

 

Saul was no hypocrite, and, therefore, the burning words of rebuke spoken to his sect in general by our Lord did not apply to him. He was conscientious and honest in all his devotional exercises, and verily thought that salvation was attainable by the strict observance of the Judaistic rites and ceremonies. He says himself that be was "as touching the law blameless". Php 3:6 And he again says: "I profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals (in years) in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers". Ga 1:14 Yet this is the same man who, by the grace of God, was made willing to count all things loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, his Lord. For, says he, "when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died; and the commandment which was ordained to life I found to be unto death". Ro 7:9-10 After his baptism he conferred not with flesh and blood, but went forth immediately preaching Jesus to the heathen. Ga 1:16 Yea, saith he, "Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ". Eph 3:8 The spirit that was mighty in Peter to the circumcision, was powerful in Paul to the Gentiles. Ga 2:8 He was the great Apostle of the Gentiles, and he magnified his office. He could not adduce any external connection with the Savior in the days of his flesh, as could the other Apostles; he had not seen the historic Christ, so to speak, but he had seen the ascended and glorified Christ. "This sight of Him, however, was not a mere vision; it was miraculous and positive, and it confers on St. Paul an authority in no way inferior to that of the twelve Apostles. But it is equally true that, in this respect, he more nearly represents the numerous generations of Christians who have had no outward relations with the incarnate Savior. Again he stands apart from that symbolic number of the twelve, which points to the ancient tribes of Israel. He is the Apostle of the church as it bursts the confines of Judaism; the Apostle of mankind rather than of a nation. {3} Lastly, he did not receive his office by transmission: Ananias, who laid his hands on him, was a simple believer. His Apostolate was conferred on him by a direct revelation. It stands in no relation to any positive institution, but it carries its own glorious witness in its results." The revelation "which he received in the temple at Jerusalem bore directly on his mission to the Gentiles; Ac 22:21 and thus presupposed an enlargement of his religious views." -Pressense.

 

His journeys were extensive and ranged in different and distant portions of the Roman Empire. He was usually accompanied by one or more brethren in these travels, and the labors, exposures and persecutions that they experienced were wonderful indeed. Paul made four principal journeys in the discharge of his Apostolic and ministerial duties among the Gentiles.

 

"First Journey. -From Antioch in Syria to Seleucia; by sea to Salamis in Cyprus; by land to Paphos; by sea to Perga; to Antioch in Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, Derbe; back from Derbe to Lystra, Iconium, Antioch in Pisidia, Perga, Attalia; by sea to Seleucia and Antioch in Syria. Ac 13-14

 

"Second Journey. -From Antioch in Syria by land to Tarsus, Derbe, Lystra, Iconium, Antioch in Pisidia; through Phrygia, Galatia and Mysia, to Troas; by sea to Neapolis; to Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea; by sea to Athens; by land to Corinth; by sea to Ephesus; by sea to Caesarea; by land to Jerusalem; back to Antioch in Syria. Ac 15:40-18:22

 

"Third Journey. -From Antioch in Syria, through Cilicia and Cappadocia to Galatia and Phrygia; through the province of Asia to Ephesus; from Ephesus to Macedonia (probably by sea); to Corinth (probably by land); back to Macedonia (probably by land); by sea to Troas; by land to Assos; by sea along the coast of Asia to Miletus, Rhodes, Patara; by sea to Tyre; by land to Caesarea and Jerusalem. Ac 18:22-21:15

 

"Fourth Journey. -From Caesarea by sea to Sidon and Myra (in Lycia); by sea round the south side of Crete, across the sea of Adria to Melita; by sea to Syracuse, Rhegium, Puteoli; by land to Rome." -E. Stock.

 

Have the ministerial labors of any man ever surpassed those of the Apostle Paul? Because he was not chosen an Apostle by the other Apostles, and did not derive his authority as such from them or any institution in Judea, many doubted his Apostleship and caused divers accusations to be preferred against him; but it was absolutely certain that the signs of an Apostle attended his labors and ministry, and there were no reasonable grounds for disputing the same.

 

The first Apostles could point to the work in Jerusalem and in Samaria, but he could point to that which was done at Antioch, Paphos, Iconium, Derbe, Lystra, Philippi, Corinth, and to all the churches founded by him in various parts of the world. The council held by the Apostles and Elders in Jerusalem sanctioned the authority of Paul's Apostolate, his doctrine preached unto the Gentiles, and their release from the burdens of the Jewish ritual. Of this council it may be said that it was purely democratic. It was no autocratic college of Apostles, assembling by themselves and sending forth their infallible decrees as their pretended successors presume to do, but it was an assembly in which all present had a voice -Peter no more than any other, and the one who spoke last and to whom all gave heed was not an Apostle, for he was James the Lord's brother. James, the brother of John, had been slain by Herod before this time. {4} This council, after all, appeared to be only a compromise in the interest of the peace of the church at that time. It was not a final settlement as to the relation of the two covenants. Jewish Christians were required or allowed to observe the law for a season, and Gentile Christians, in the course of time, ate of meats offered to idols and things strangled. Not the slightest authority was given by this council, either in precept or example, to those held under the authority of Constantine the Great, and all those held subsequently under the influence of Romish authority. The decrees of the council in Jerusalem were passed in a free conference of Christians in the behalf of Christian freedom. Those of Rome were held in behalf of worldly interests, human passions, and pride, tyranny and oppression.

 

After the council of Jerusalem the Apostles and brethren separate, never to meet again in council upon the shores of time. Paul goes off to his labors among the Gentiles, and some in one direction and some in another. If we inquire into the peculiar character of the work, labors and preaching of the Apostles to the Gentiles, we shall find them to differ somewhat from those of the foregoing period.

 

"The Divine Spirit works not less mightily in Paul than in Peter, but the apostolic office is more distinctly observable. The thousands converted on the day of Pentecost and in Solomon's porch were acted upon together by a sudden and irresistible influence, produced by the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit. Conversions in masses like these do not occur in this second period of the church. The proselytes are many, but they are made personally, one by one. When we come to examine Paul's teaching, we shall see how wise he was in the adaptation of his discourse to the circumstances of his hearers, and how admirably he sought and found the point of contact between those he addressed and the gospel he preached. His ministry is accompanied with miracles, but he has less frequent recourse than earlier preachers to this method of persuasion. In many places he founded churches without the aid of external miracles. In these missions of the Apostle to the Gentiles, therefore, the Divine Spirit works more directly upon the conscience and less by external manifestations. Man cannot derive any glory to himself from this fact; for though God's method of intervention assumes a different form, it is none the less to this sovereign intervention of grace that the most beautiful fruits of the Apostle's labor are to be ascribed." -Pressense.

 

THIRD PERIOD OF APOSTOLIC AGE -JOHN THE APOSTLE AND PROPHET.

 

"As in the first period of the Apostolic age, the principal part is enacted by St. Peter, and in the second by St. Paul, so in the third period the paramount influence is that of St. John. His natural disposition and peculiar gifts account for this delay in the exercise of his Apostleship. With a soul meditative and mystical, he had neither the impetuous zeal of Peter nor the indefatigable activity of Paul. On him Christianity had wrought most intensively; he had penetrated into the deepest meaning of the teaching of Christ, or rather he had read the very heart of the Master. It was his vocation to preserve the most precious jewels in the treasury of Christ's revelations, and to bring to light the most sacred and sublime mysteries of the gospel. In order to fulfill this mission, he must needs wait until the church was ready for such exalted teaching. The first storms of division must subside. Just as the prophet heard the still small voice which was the voice of God, only after the sound of the tempest and the roar of the thunder; so the Apostle of supreme love could not speak till a calm had succeeded to the storm stirred up by the polemics of St. Paul. His work was not more important nor attested with a diviner seal than that of the great controversialist of the apostolic age; the two are closely connected, and the latter is the natural sequence to the earlier. The revelation of love could not be complete till Judaeo-Christianity had finally succumbed, and had carried with it in its fall all the barriers within which it had sought to limit the grace of God. So true is this that we find St. Paul himself sounding the first notes of the hymn of love, and thus inaugurating the work of St. John. The former sowed in tears, the latter reaped in joy. The one resisted to blood; the other received for the church the prize of the well-fought fight. This diversity in the missions of the two Apostles is manifested in the diversity of the methods employed by them in order to establish the truth of which they are the organs. While St. Paul wields the weapons of warfare in big irresistible and impassioned dialectics, St. John is satisfied with expounding doctrine. He does not dispute; he affirms. It is clear that he has been led into the possession of the truth by a path widely divergent from that of St. Paul -by the path of intuition, of direct vision. His language has the calmness of contemplation. He speaks in short sentences, strikingly simple in form; but that simplicity, like a quiet lake, holds in its depths the reflection of the highest Heaven. 'He has filled the whole earth with his voice,' says John Chrysostom, 'not by its mighty reverberations, but by the Divine grace which dwelt upon his lips. That which is most admirable is, that this great voice is neither harsh nor violent, but soft and melting as harmonious music.'

 

"It is very far from the truth, however, to regard St. John as the type of feminine gentleness, as he is represented in legend and in painting, which is only another form of legend. The ancient church had a far worthier conception of him when it gave to St. John the Evangelist the symbol of the eagle soaring to the sun, as though to signify that the mightiest and most royal impulse -that which carries farthest and highest -is love. The soul of the Apostle of Ephesus is as vigorous as that of Paul. He was called the Son of Thunder before grace had subdued his natural vehemence; and something of this early ardor always remained with him. In proportion to his love of truth was his hatred of error and heresy. Such love is a consuming fire, and, when it sees its object despised or wronged, it is as ardent in its indignation as in its adoration. The truth which St. John loved and served was no mere abstract doctrine; it was to him incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ. He was ever the beloved disciple of the Master, the disciple admitted to His most tender and ultimate friendship; and the church has ever pictured him in the attitude in which he is represented in the Gospels at the Last Supper, leaning on the bosom of the Lord. It was by the power of love so strong and deep that he was enabled to fulfill his mission of conciliation, and to harmonize all the apparent contradictions of the apostolic age in the rich synthesis of his doctrine. Let us now inquire how he was prepared for this glorious vocation.

 

"John was the son of Zebedee, a fisherman of the Lake of Gennesaret, who dwelt at Bethsaida. Mt 4:21; Mr 1:19; Mt 10:2 It is not proved that he was actually poor, as Chrysostom maintained, for his father had 'hired servants'; Mr 1:20 his mother was among the women who ministered to Jesus of their substance; Lu 8:3 and John himself had a house of his own. Joh 19:27 Be this as it may, however, he was of obscure and humble origin. His mother was among the earliest followers of the Savior. John, as well as Peter, was a disciple of the Forerunner; the preaching of John the Baptist answered to the needs of his heart, which was eagerly waiting for the hope of Israel.

 

"Peter and John did not at once leave all to be Christ's disciples. Joh 1:35-42 The Master gave time for their first impressions to deepen before He called them to forsake family and fishing-nets and to come after Him. Mt 4:18-22; Mr 1:19-20; Lu 5:1-11 John appears to have been very young at this time; his grave and thoughtful nature peculiarly fitted him to receive the education which Jesus Christ imparted to His disciples, and which consisted in impressing on them the features of His own likeness.

 

"John, Peter and James were, as we know, admitted to special intimacy with the Savior. There is no reason to suppose that John had, at first, a much clearer comprehension than the other disciples of the doctrine of Christ. He shared their carnal conceptions of the earthly kingdom of the Messiah, Mt 15:20-28 and exhibited sometimes the narrow spirit of the sectary. Lu 9:49-50 His invocation of wrath upon the Samaritans displays an alloy of human passion, blended with his affection for the Savior. Lu 9:54 But this affection was so real and true that it was sure to lead to all the developments of the religious life. He proved his love in a way not to be mistaken at the time of Christ's passion. He followed Him into the court of the high priest, and even to the foot of the cross. Joh 19:26 He is the only one of the Apostles who witnessed the last sufferings of Christ; and probably for this reason he was chosen to render the most emphatic testimony to His eternal glory in the bosom of the Father.

 

"We can well imagine what an ineffaceable image of unparalleled love and sorrow would be left on the soul of John by this scene. Who can tell with what feelings he caught those last words of the God-Man spoken almost in His parting agony, which committed to him the mother of his Lord as a sacred legacy?. Joh 19:27 He was also one of the first to see the risen Christ. Joh 20:8 All these memories, and many more connected with them, were to be successively illuminated by the Holy Spirit till they should form in the mind of John a perfect whole. But he was not himself capable, immediately after the Pentecostal effusion of the Spirit, of receiving, in all its fullness, this Divine revelation.

 

"During the earlier period of the apostolic age we see John by Peter's side, lending him efficient help, but leaving to him the initiative in speech and action. Ac 3:1; 8:14,25 He enjoyed much consideration, but did not exert a preponderating influence; nothing is recorded of his share in the council at Jerusalem, though he appears to have been present. Ga 2:9 At this time he still adhered to the Mosaic law (for Jewish converts), as did Peter and James -a course of conduct confirmed by the decisions of the council at Jerusalem. There are no means of ascertaining in what year he left that city; but he was no longer there in the year 60, when Paul made his last visit. Ac 21:17-18 Nicephorus asserts that he remained in Jerusalem until the death of Mary; but this gives us no exact information, inasmuch as the date of that event is entirely unknown. There is one whole period of the life of the Apostle of which we possess no details (that are to be implicitly relied on). But if we have no precise records of his life during these years, his writings give evidence that the time was not lost in reference to his own development. He learned to contemplate one aspect of the person and doctrine of his Master, which had not presented itself to any of the other Apostles with equal distinctness; this was the profound mysterious fact of His eternal Divinity, His pre-existence and incarnation.

 

"We are free to suppose that the period of his life about which we have no information was devoted (under the directing grace of God) to climbing that spiritual Tabor, on the summit of which the only and eternal Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, was to appear to him in all the glory of His Divinity. The Apostle, like Mary, pondered in his heart all that he knew of his Master; in the silence of devotion he listened to His living voice, and under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit discerned more and more of the mystery of His being. Augustine says, 'While the three other evangelists remained below with the man Jesus, and spoke little of His Divinity, John, as though impatient of treading the earth, rose from the very first words of His gospel, not only above the bounds of earth, air and sky, but above the angels and celestial powers, into the very presence of Him by whom all things were made. Not in vain do the Gospels tell us that he leaned on the bosom of the Savior at the Passover Feast. He drank in secret at that Divine spring: De illo pectore in secreto bibebat.'

 

"All the life of St. John, during the period when scarcely a trace of him is to be found in the apostolic church, is summed up in these words: 'The time was to come when the Apostle would emerge from his obscurity and would in his turn exert a wide and deep influence over the churches of the first century. According to the testimony of Clement of Alexandria and Irenaeus, St. John, after the death of St. Peter and St. Paul, took up his residence at Ephesus. No city could have been better chosen as a center from which to watch over the churches, and follow closely the progress of heresy. At Ephesus the Apostle was in the center of Paul's mission-field in Asia Minor, and not far from Greece. Christianity had achieved splendid conquests in the flourishing cities of that country; but it had also encountered dangerous enemies. 'It was there that false Gnosticism, {5} first of all, showed itself, and perpetually sought new adherents. The Apostle Paul had spoken before his death of its rapid progress. 1Ti 6:20-21 In his second epistle to Timothy (2Ti 1:15-18) he seems to point out Ephesus as the city most threatened with heresy, where consequently the presence of an Apostle would be especially needed. St. John made this city his settled abode, without, however, devoting himself exclusively to the important church there founded. Ephesus was the center of his apostolic activity, but that activity extended over a wide area. Clement of Alexandria tells us how the Apostle visited the churches, presiding at the election of bishops (or pastors) and restoring order where it had been disturbed,' etc.

 

"It is not possible to determine accurately at what date St. John suffered for the gospel. The 'Fathers' differ as to the time of his banishment to Patmos. We are inclined to place it shortly after the death of St. Peter and St. Paul. His exile may have been protracted during some years. The Revelation appears to us to have been written long before the gospel. It carries us back into a period very little removed from the fearful persecution under Nero, which was the great typal war of Anti-christ against Christ. The mode of thought, the form of language, the prominent ideas, the historical allusions, all suggest this date; and, in the absence of any decisive external evidence, we are free to give full weight to the internal.

 

"With reference to the gospel and epistles, tradition is agreed in the date affixed to them. These writings are the slowly ripened fruit of all the labors of the apostolic age; but at the same time, like every other good gift, they come down from Heaven, and bear the undeniable seal of inspiration. They clearly belong to a period when heresy was rife, and especially those forms of heresy which, denying the corporeal reality of the Savior's sufferings, contained the first germ of Docetism. {6} John did not indeed design his gospel to be a systematic refutation of the errors of Cerinthus or of any other heretic. He was satisfied with setting forth true Christian Gnosticism {7} in opposition to false Oriental or Judaizing Gnosticism; and his Gospel is beautifully characterized by Clement of Alexandria as pre-eminently the gospel of the Spirit. We should do injustice to the fourth Gospel were we to regard it as a mere polemical writing, or as only the complement of the synoptics (Matthew, Mark and Luke). The latter supposition cannot be reconciled with the admirable unity of composition to be observed in the Gospel of John. It is full of a creative inspiration. The style is altogether unlike that of a mere commentator who is completing by a gloss a text already given. John epitomises in his Gospel the substance of his preaching at Ephesus and in the other churches of Asia Minor. According to Jerome, he had no intention at first of preserving his discourses in writing, but agreed to do so at the express request of the churches.

 

"We have no detailed information of the last years of the Apostle. Two incidents have come down to us which agree perfectly with what we know of him. Irenaeus relates that, going one day into the public baths at Ephesus, and hearing that Cerinthus was also there, he immediately went out, exclaiming that he feared the house might fall, because of the presence of so great an enemy of the truth. Jerome tells us how the aged Apostle, no longer able to preach at any length, would be carried into the assemblies of the Christians to speak the simple words, 'Little children, love one another.' To his brethren and disciples who asked him why he thus repeated himself, he replied, 'It is the Lord's commandment, and when it is fulfilled, nothing is wanting.' This hatred of error and this holy love give us the perfect portraiture of John. It does not appear that he died a violent death. He fell asleep in Christ at a very advanced age, at the commencement of the reign of Trajan (about A.D. 98 or 99).

 

"Augustine tells us that in his time there was a very current belief that the Apostle was not dead, but was only sleeping in his grave. Evidently, this impression arose from a wrong interpretation of the words of Christ spoken to Peter with reference to John: "If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?'. Joh 21:22 Perhaps also the Christians may have found it hard to believe that the Apostle, whose influence was still so great, had really passed from the world. They were not altogether wrong. As Lucke has said, 'He lives, and will ever live, by his writings, and the future belongs to him even more than the past.'" -Pressense.

 

"Paul is, in his statement of doctrine as in his life, the man of contrasts and antitheses. He aims to show how deep is the gulf between human nature and God, that he may the more exalt the grace which has bridged the chasm; and he traces vigorously the line of demarcation between the Old Covenant and the New. It is not so with John. Having attained gradually, and without any sudden shock, the highest elevation of Christian truth, he starts from the summit and gently comes down again. He does not even pause to establish the superiority of the gospel over the law. With him that is a settled point, an admitted principle, from which he deduces the consequences. John does not commence, like Paul, with man and his misery, but with God and His perfections. His doctrine, by this character of sustained elevation, and by the part assigned in it to love and to the direct intuition of Divine things, bears the impress of mysticism, but of a mysticism which is essentially moral, in which the great laws of conscience are always maintained, and which is as far removed from Oriental pantheism as from Pharisaic legalism.

 

"At the summit of his doctrine St. John places the idea of God. God is the Absolute Being, the great I Am, whom no eye hath seen or can see. He is a Spirit. Joh 1:18; 4:24 All perfection dwells in Him; He is at once light, life and love. As He is Absolute Being, so He is Absolute, Eternal Life, the inexhaustible source, the sole principle of every being. 1Jo 5:20 But this life is at the same time light. 1Jo 1:5 Light represents perfect knowledge and spotless purity. 1Jo 3:20 God knows all things; God is holy. But John does not pause at this abstract conception of moral good. He gives us a concrete notion of it when he tells us that God is love. 1Jo 4:16 This He is as essentially as He is life and light. Love is not only a manifestation of His being; it is His very essence. Never before had this sublime thought been expressed with such clearness; it had been discerned only by glimpses. Under the Old Covenant the love of God was subordinate to His justice. Under the New, this limited view had for a long time prevailed. St. Paul insisted with much force upon the love of God, but he considered it rather in its historical manifestation for the salvation of men than in its eternal principle. It is on this eternal principle that St. John dwells. He sees in the cross not only reconciliation between man and God, but also the revelation of the true name of God, of His very being. He is love; the God who is love is the true God. 1Jo 5:20 Love is so assuredly the absolute truth, that he who loveth is 'of the truth.' He is a partaker of the nature of God. 1Jo 4:7 Thus truth or light is inseparable from love; it is not simple knowledge or mere theory. St. John does not recognize the ray of light which has no flame. Truth is, as it were, full of life; it is life as it is love. To be of the truth is to be born of God, to possess Him, to be what He is: it is, therefore, to have love in one's self. The object of knowledge being the God who is love, it is natural that true knowledge should be inseparable from love. To the Apostle, love is not one of the attributes of God (simply); it is God Himself. The metaphysical attributes are the attributes of the Divine love. God is holy, infinite, almighty love, knowing everything, everywhere present. John delights, therefore, to give Him the name of Father -that wondrous name which commands at once tenderness and reverence." Joh 1:14,18; 1Jo 3:1

 

This eternal and invisible Being is revealed to the world by the doctrine of the Word, by whom the worlds were made, and who came into this world to reveal the Father it His people and to lay down His life for them. Joh 10:15 "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God." "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father), full of grace and truth." "No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, He hath declared Him". Joh 1:1-2,14,18 The Father and the Son are one. Joh 10:30 The Holy Ghost, the Comforter, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is recognized by John also as God. He is the author of the new birth. Joh 3:8 He takes up His abode in the church and abides with her forever. He brings all things to her remembrance, whatsoever the Savior hath said to her. He testifies of Christ. He glorifies Him, and takes the things of Jesus and shows them to His saints. Joh 14:26; 15:26; 16:13-15 He also convinces the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. Joh 16:8

 

"John recognizes the intrusion of a principle of discord into the world. The power of sin has been let loose. He does not enter into any argument on the origin of evil. He affirms the fact, and is content without proving it. A kingdom of darkness has set itself in opposition to the kingdom of light, of which God is the Sun. The devil has had a great influence upon man, seducing him into evil. He is not, indeed, to be regarded as Ahriman the eternal, confronted with the eternal Ormazd; no, the principle of light was before the principle of evil. Satan himself was born (or created) in the light, for it is said, 'He abode not in the truth'. Joh 8:44 It is evident that John supposes a fall in his case, no less than in ours, and that, consequently, in the origin of things, all was light and purity, as became a creation called into being by the Word. The cause of evil is entirely moral. 'Sin,' says the Apostle, 'is the transgression of the law'. 1Jo 3:4 There is a law for the creature. It is this law which John calls the old and new commandment, the commandment of love based upon the very being of God. 1Jo 2:5-10 The blessed destiny of the moral creature is to become like his Creator, conformed to His nature. The creature, soon after being made, voluntarily took part against God; that is to say, he rejected life, love and light. Thus the world became dark from the day in which it turned from God. It is now plunged in moral night; all the higher elements are stifled in man; the outward and sensible life predominates; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, enshroud it in threefold darkness. 1Jo 2:16-17 It is given over to a lie, because it has set itself against good and love -that is, against God and the Word. Its prince is he who was a liar and murderer from the beginning, Joh 8:44 and who, having fallen himself, has dragged after him in his descent all those who have freely, and under no external constraint, followed his suggestions."

 

"The Word, which was the organ of creative love, is also the organ of the compassionate love of the Father. The whole work of salvation rests upon Him. This work is twofold. It is both internal and external; for it is to effect the reconciliation between God and man. It is not enough that God should draw near to man by a series of revelations; it is also necessary that man should be inclined toward God. In truth, that he may come to the fountain of living waters, man must be athirst. Joh 7:37 He must be born from above in order to receive the Redeemer, who comes down from Heaven. Only 'he who is of God heareth the words of God'. Joh 8:23-49 The voice of the good Shepherd is known only by His sheep. Joh 10:27 In other words, the soul must have recovered the sense of Divine things, and there must be an affinity between it and the truth, in order that it may come to the light.

 

"The incarnation is the only reparation of the fall. We know with what emphasis St. John insists upon the reality of the incarnation in opposition to the heresies of his time, which, by a spurious spiritualism, regarded the body of the Savior as a sort of delusive semblance. 'Every spirit,' he says, 'that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh, is of God'. 1Jo 4:2-3 Writing his Gospel and epistles in presence of those dualistic tendencies, which identified evil with the corporeal element, he felt himself called upon to magnify this glorious aspect of His incarnation. He does not dwell on the humiliation of Christ as St. Paul does, but there is no contradiction on this point between the Apostles. If the glory of the only begotten Son of the Father is apparent to John through the veil of mortal flesh, that glory is, nevertheless, revealed in shrouded splendor. He shows us Jesus Christ as subject to the weaknesses and suffering conditions of human life; He is weary, He groans, He weeps, He dies. His death is undoubtedly a lifting up, in a spiritual point of view; Joh 3:14 and it was important to prove this in contradiction to Cerinthus, who regarded His death as only illusory. St. John gives emphasis to the truth, that it is both glorious and real: 'This is He that came by blood.' But death is still death -that is, the depth of humiliation. He is subject to a certain abasement: but He is subject to it voluntarily; it is an act of His Divine freedom. The Son has power to lay down His life, and has power to take it again; Joh 10:18 thus, in our aspect, He is glorious in His humiliation. Yet more, to the Apostle of love the highest glory is that which comes from love. For him, as for Pascal, this is the supreme order of greatness. Thus regarded, what glory can be compared with the glory of Him who gave His life for His brethren on the accursed tree?

 

"After so much suffering and strife, endured from the beginning of the world, Divine love will at length win a glorious victory on the very scene of its conflicts. Even the brilliant colors of the Apocalypse fail to depict this triumph, for St. John exclaims in his first epistle: 'It doth not appear what we shall be; but we know that when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is'. 1Jo 3:2 To be made like God -is not this the highest possibility of the development of the creature? Is it not the realization of the sublime purpose of the redeeming Word? Is it not the fulfillment of the prayer of Christ, 'That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us?'. Joh 17:21 Having ascended to these heavenly heights, the theology of John is complete; no mysticism can soar above it, however bold its flight. The perfect union of the creature with the Creator through the Word is the ultimate expression of the doctrine of love; beyond it there is nothing. This is, therefore, the closing utterance of the apostolic age; the conclusion and not the refutation of all that has gone before; the conciliation of all contradictions in the church; in a word, the last revelation from Heaven, absolute truth, God Himself. Freed from all error, comprehended in all its depth, it will ever be the grandest result wrought out by the historian of theology, who, bending over the book in which it was inscribed by the aged saint of Ephesus, seeks to decipher it from age to age." -Pressense.

 

THE REVELATION.

 

Says Pressense: "So far from being in opposition to the other writings of St. John, this book comprehends all the essential points of his theology, but in the condition of germ not yet fully developed. There is no stronger evidence of this agreement than the place given in the Revelation to the person of Jesus Christ. Everything centres in the Savior. He is called the 'Lion of the tribe of Judah,' and the 'Root of David' -expressions which point to His humanity. Re 5:5; 22:16 His Divinity is no less distinctly recognized. He is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end. Re 1:17; 2:8; 22:13 Clothed in a vesture dipped in blood, He is called the Word or the Word of God, and He is followed by the armies of Heaven. The Revelation is full of the idea of redemption. It delights in representing the Savior under the image of the Lamb slain, whose blood cleanses from all Sin. Re 5:9 The heavenly hosts adore Him. The King of humanity, as He was once its victim, He holds the keys of hell and of death. Re 1:18; 3:21 He is the Divine Head of the church, its guide and defense. Re 3:19 The church, in spite of a Jewish symbolism, which is of easy interpretation, is clearly distinguished from the synagogue. It comprehends a 'multitude of every nation and kindred and people and tongue'. Re 5:9 It is composed of those who have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb, and who are walking in the way of holiness. Re 7:14; 14:3-4 The Apocalypse rests, therefore, on the same doctrinal basis as the fourth Gospel.

 

"The Revelation is not a recital of doctrine -it is, primarily, a book of prophecy; it opens a wide and glorious horizon to Christian hope and paints it with glowing colors. It bears the impress of the age in which it was written. It raises the events of that time to the height of solemn symbols; thus it is at the same time the book of revelations and an important historical record. It was written during a time of persecution, and in it, as has been well said, we breathe the very atmosphere of martyrdom; while, at the same time, it is illuminated throughout with the certainty of triumph. Contrasting the glory of the church above with the indignities heaped on the church below, the Revelation seems to drown the cries and the blasphemies of earth in the songs of the blessed and of the angels. After depicting the conflict and the sufferings of the saints, and the terrible judgments of God upon their persecutors, it opens a vista of the heavenly places. It is one of the grandest conceptions of the sacred writer, perpetually to link together earth and heaven, and to show in the events of religious history the counterpart of other events, of which the abode of the blessed is the scene. The sealed book which contains the mystery of the destinies of humanity, is at the foot of the throne of God. From thence resound the seven trumpets which declare the doom of the wicked; from thence do the angels pour forth their vials of wrath. While for the visible church, all is humiliation and suffering or weary waiting, all is glory for the church invisible; yet never was the mysterious link uniting the two more plainly manifested. 'These which are arrayed in white robes, whence came they?' 'These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple, and He that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of water; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes'. Re 7:13-17

 

"But the sacred writer is not content with proclaiming in a general manner the suffering and triumph of the church. The further he proceeds in his delineation of the struggle between Christianity and Anti-christ, the more definite does he become in detail, though he makes use of a stately symbolism, sometimes strange and always full of variety. Just as ancient prophecy was subject to rhythmical conditions, and uttered its most passionate inspirations in conformity to the rules of Hebrew poetry, so the prophet of the New Testament arranged his abundant materials in harmonious order. The Apocalypse has a rhythm of its own, taking the word in its wide acceptation. The seven trumpets follow the seven seals, and these again are succeeded by the seven vials. In the three cycles of revelations there is always a pause after the sixth link of the series to prepare for the last link, which is itself destined to bring in a new series. This series is not immediately introduced. The prophet seems to be lost for awhile in meditation on the history of the world and of the church. After the three series, intended to be all prophetic of the same visitations, we have the descriptions of the great conflict, which is itself divided into three acts: 1st. The fall of Babylon Re 18-19 2nd. The combat with Antichrist and Satan, terminated by the reign of Christ over His own. Re 20:1-6 3rd. The last struggle and the last victory, the new Heaven and the new earth Re 20:11; 22 Such is the plan of the Apocalypse. We find in it the same gradation as in the prophecy of Christ referring to the last times. Mt 24:3-51 Thus the agonies and convulsions of nature which are to precede the final judgment, the wars, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, the darkening of the sun, the falling of the stars, the universal terror -all these signs, given in brief touches by the Master, are dwelt upon by the inspired disciple in bold symbolism. The terrible rider on the red horse who comes forth at the opening of the second seal to take peace from the earth, is the personification of war; as the man mounted upon the black horse, and with the pair of balances in his hand, represents famine. The earthquakes and the darkening of the sky are heralded by the opening of the sixth seal.

 

"The first trumpets and the first vials announce the same order of judgments, and both have reference to the commencement of the prophecy of Matthew's Gospel. Jesus Christ, after predicting the chastisements and judgments of God in nature, declared His judgments in history, and first of all, the destruction of Jerusalem. St. John, looking beyond this terrible event, proclaims another judgment of God. Sentence is to be passed now, not upon Jerusalem, but upon Rome, the impure and bloody Babylon, the incarnation at that time of the genius of evil. What a grand delineation does the evangelical prophet give of this diabolical paganism -now as the beast with seven heads and ten horns, opening its mouth to pour out blasphemy against God; now as the great whore, robed in purple and scarlet, making the inhabitants of the earth drunk with the wine of her fornications, herself drunk with blood of the martyrs of Christ, having ascended out of the bottomless pit and going into perdition! What an impression was such a prophetic cry calculated to produce, uttered as it was in the presence of the Roman Colossus, still standing in all the pride of its great power! 'Babylon is fallen, is fallen, that great city!'. Re 14:8 'Rejoice over her, thou Heaven, and ye holy Apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her,' etc., etc.

 

"But the church has not only to fight against Antichrist without; it has also to resist Antichrist within; to do battle, that is, with heresy and false prophecy. 'Many false prophets shall arise and shall deceive many,' said Jesus Christ. Mt 24:11 St. John represents false prophecy under the image of a beast coming up out of the earth, in appearance like a lamb, but speaking as a beast, doing great wonders, and deceiving them that dwell on the earth by his miracles. Re 13:11-14 Behind this visible opponent, the Apostle shows us the invisible enemy, the dragon, the old serpent, which gave power to the beast. Re 13:4 The conflict is unto blood alike in the prediction of the Savior and in the Apocalypse. The two witnesses, Moses and Elijah, are types of all the confessors of Christ; though put to death, the Spirit of life from God enters into them again, and they triumph. Re 11:9-11

 

"Thus in the Revelation, as in the prophecy of Jesus Christ, are unfolded the judgments of God as manifested in nature and in history, and the sanguinary and victorious struggles of the church with her many adversaries. The inspired writer has added in his picture new features, drawn from the historical events of the time, and interpreted by the Spirit of prophecy; but the words of St. John have not, any more than the words of Christ, an application restricted to his own age."

 

The seven churches of Asia Minor addressed by Christ through John in the second and third chapters of Revelation are properly regarded as a miniature of the whole Christian church at all times. "There is no condition, good, bad or mixed, of which these seven short epistles do not present a sample, and for which they do not give suitable and wholesome direction. Here, as everywhere, the written word of God and the history of the apostolic church evince their applicability to all times and circumstances, and their inexhaustible fullness of instruction, warning and encouragement for all states and stages of religious life.

 

"By the 'angel' of each church cannot be meant holy heavenly beings, who cannot be charged with doctrinal and practical errors, but, in accordance with the enigmatic symbolism of the book of Revelation, the pastor of each church, as representing the entire membership. Pastors are thus reminded that, like the angels above, they below should fulfill God's commission to them zealously and efficiently.

 

"Each of the seven epistles commences with, 'I know thy works' -living faith will show living works, and dead faith dead works. Each epistle contains a promise 'To him that overcometh.' Each ends with, 'He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.' The title of our Lord in each accords with the special address, and is mainly taken from the imagery of the vision in chapter first. Each of the addresses has a threat or a promise, and most have both. Their order seems ecclesiastical, civil and geographical: Ephesus first, as the Asiatic metropolis, nearest to Patmos, where John received the epistles to the seven churches; also being that church with which John was especially connected; then the churches on the west of Asia; then those in the interior. Smyrna and Philadelphia -outwardly poor, small, persecuted and afflicted, but very faithful and spiritually flourishing -alone receive unmixed praise; they are exhorted to continued faithfulness. Sardis and Laodicea -the most wealthy, having a name to live but being dead, saying that they are rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing, while being really wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked -receive almost solely censure and terrible warning; but there were a few even in Sardis who had not defiled their garments; and with the truly penitent ones in Laodicea Christ promised to come in and sup. Ephesus, Pergamos and Thyatira have a mixed character, and receive both commendation and censure; Ephesus is commended for her orthodoxy, but censured for leaving her first love and her first works; Pergamos is commended for her martyr faith, but censured for her lack of discipline, not excluding those who held licentious doctrines and practices; and Thyatira is commended for her faith, and love, and patience, but is also censured for her looseness of discipline, retaining in her communion those who held Satanic principles and practices." -P. Schaff.

 

We learn, therefore, that Christ requires His churches to be faithful in doctrine, in practice and in discipline.

 

Many suppose that the seven churches prophetically represent the seven successive ages of the general church. Vitringa regards Ephesus as representing the church from A.D. 30 to 250; Smyrna from 250 to 311; Pergamos from 311 to 700; Thyatira from 700 to 1200; Sardis from 1200 to 1517; Philadelphia from 1517 to 1617; and Laodicea from 1617 to the present time. Laodicea, it may be remarked, used to be the capital of the greater Phrygia, and a place of great size, splendor and luxury; but it is now a perfect mass of ruins.

 

The book of Revelation has earlier, clearer and ampler testimonies for its apostolic authorship than any other book in the New Testament. It was evidently intended to complete the volume of inspiration, no further or additional revelation to be given for the use of the church until Christ shall come. Re 22:18-20 "Scripture is one organic whole, its books, though ranging over 1,500 years in their date of composition, being mutually connected. The end is the necessary sequence of the middle, as the middle is the sequence of the beginning. Genesis represents man in his innocence and bliss, followed by man's fall through Satan's cunning, and man's consequent dooming to death and exclusion from paradise and its tree of life and delightful rivers. Revelation represents, in reverse order, man first sinning and dying, then conquering sin and death through the blood of the Lamb; the first Adam and Eve represented by the Second Adam, Christ, and the church, His spotless bride, in paradise, with access to the tree of life, and the crystal waters of life flowing from the throne of God. As Genesis foretold the bruising of the serpent's head by the woman's Seed, so Revelation declares the accomplishment of that prophecy (Re 19; 20)." -A. R. Fausset.

 

"While John, in the Revelation, had in view, primarily, the overthrow of Jerusalem and of heathen Rome, the two great foes of Christianity at that time, his vision was not confined to these momentous events. It extends even to the remotest future when death and Hades shall be no more, and a new Heaven and a new earth shall appear. Although the fulfillment is predicted as being near at hand, he puts a Millennium and a short intervening conflict before the overthrow of Satan, the beast, and the false prophet. We have an analogy in the prophecy of the Old Testament and the eschatological discourses of our Lord (in Mt 24; 25; Mr 13, and Lu 21), which furnish the key for the understanding of the Apocalypse. He describes the destruction of Jerusalem and the general judgment in close proximity, as if they were one continuous event. He sees the end from the beginning. The first catastrophe is painted with colors borrowed from the last, and the last appears as a repetition of the first on a grand and universal scale. It is the manner of prophetic vision to bring distant events into close proximity, as in a panorama. To God a thousand years are as a day. Every true prophecy admits of an expanding fulfillment. History ever repeats itself, though with new variations. The Apocalypse is not a prophetical manual of church history and chronology in the sense of a prediction of particular persons, dates and events. This would have made it useless to the first readers, and would make it useless now to the great mass of Christians. It gives, under symbolic figures and for popular edification, an outline of the general principles of Divine government and the leading forces in the conflict between Christ's kingdom and His foes, which is still going on under ever-varying forms. In this way it teaches, like all the prophetic utterances of the Gospels and epistles, lessons of warning and encouragement to every age. We must distinguish between the spiritual coming of Christ and His personal arrival, or parousia. The former is progressive, the latter instantaneous. The spiritual coming began with His ascension to Heaven, (see   

 

Mt 26:64), to events which are yet to come. Against this view it is alleged that it is inconsistent with the repeated declarations of a speedy fulfillment at the beginning and end of the book itself (Re 1:3; 22:6-7,12,20). Against both these views it is argued that, if either of them is correct, the Christian church is left without any prophetic guidance in the Scriptures, during the greater part of its existence; while the Jewish church was favored with prophets during the most of its existence. The Historical or Continuous expositors believe the Revelation a progressive history of the church from the first century to the end of time. The advocates of this method of interpretation are the most numerous, and among them are such famous writers as Luther, Sir Isaac Newton, Bengel, Faber, Elliott, Wordsworth, Hengstenberg, Alford, Fausset and Lee. The ablest living expositors of this class consider the seven seals, seven trumpets, seven thunders and seven vials as all synchronous, or contemporaneous, or parallel, a series of cyclical collective pictures, each representing the entire course of the world (as connected with the church) down to the end of time; just as the seven churches in the first three chapters (Re 1; 2; 3) represent the universal church, the message to each pointing to the second coming of Christ. So the introduction in the first chapter (Re 1), and the conclusion in the last chapter (Re 22), refer to the beginning and the end of time, and to the second coming of Christ. Three times in the last chapter is His quick coming predicted. For these reasons the book of Revelation has been called the "Book of the Prophecy of Christ's Coming." It is the most difficult and sublime book of the Bible. While foretelling the righteous and terrific judgments of God upon the sins of man, it shows that all things are absolutely subject to the Divine foreknowledge and control; Ac 15:18; Ps 76:10; 46:6; Mt 24:22 and it abounds in the strongest consolation to the tried people of God, revealing the certainty of their final triumph over all their enemies, and their sure entrance into eternal bliss. Hence, it has been impressively remarked that "the book spreads itself out before us like the mantle of dusky night, broidered over with brilliant stars like jewels -enlivening the hope, patience, perseverance and love of the church of God, and affording her sufficient light concerning the future to enable her to find her way in situations of the greatest obscurity, while presenting an impenetrable veil to the profane gaze of the worldly mind." Scarcely are any two leading interpreters agreed as to the exact events alluded to by each prophecy; no doubt many of the prophecies are still future, and cannot be understood until their fulfillment. While the prophecies may have one, or more than one, typical, imperfect, historical fulfillment, there can be no question that they also imply a higher spiritual fulfillment.

 

It is unfortunate that King James's, or the Authorized Version of the Bible, always translates by the same term "beast" the two different Greek words zoon and therion in the book of Revelation. Zoon occurs twenty times in the Revelation (Re 4:6-9; 5:6,8,11,14-6:1; 6:3,5-7; 7:11; 14:3; 15:7; 19:4), and should be rendered living being; in classical Greek it denotes man and the nobler animals below him, and also it denotes a symbolical figure. Therion occurs thirty-seven times in the book of Revelation (Re 6:8; 11:7; 13:1-4,11-12,14-15,17-18; 14:9,11; 15:2; 16:2,10,13; 17:3,7-8,11-13,16-17; 19:19-20; 20:4,10), and is properly rendered wild beast or monster. There are four living beings (or Zoa) mentioned in Revelation. Four is the emblem of creation as revealing the glory of God. Ge 2:10; Isa 11:12; Ps 107:3; Lu 13:29; Mt 24:31, etc. The four living beings are most probably of the same character as the cherubim of the tabernacle and temple and in Ezekiel, and the seraphim in Isaiah. They have one, two or four faces, and two, four or six wings, and contain parts of one or more of four leading animal forms, man, ox, lion and eagle, and especially represent man as the summation (microcosm) and lord of the terrestrial creation, concentrating in himself the highest created energies, and testifying to the power, majesty, omnipresence and omniscience of God, as manifested by the universe of created Life. Instead of being angels, or spirits that were never embodied, they are, in Revelation, emphatically distinguished from "all the angels"; Re 5:11; 7:11 and it is plainly set forth in Re 5:8-10,4-5, that the four living beings denote not only men, but the same class of men as the twenty-four Elders, redeemed men, men endowed with true or spiritual or eternal life, who are to live with God and worship Him forever.

 

On the other hand, the wild beasts or monsters (theria) of the book of Revelation represent the Satanized everlasting enemies of God who are to be cast into the lake of eternal fire (Re 19:20; 20:10). As God has His two witnesses, so Satan or the Dragon has his two, the First and Second Apocalyptic Beasts. Re 13:1,11 The term beast denotes man severed from God, resting on his own physical or intellectual strength, or material resources -the combination of sensual, lawless, God-opposing elements. Ps 73:22; 49:12; 68:30; 2Pe 2:12; 1Co 15:32 The four successive world empires are represented in Daniel (Da 7) as beasts coming up out of the stormy sea of political commotions. Re 17:15 The First Apocalyptic Beast rises out of the sea (Re 13:1) or out of the bottomless pit (Re 17:8), and has seven heads and ten horns, each horn having a crown upon it, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy; he has the power and authority of the Dragon, and makes war upon the saints and overcomes them; and all the world wonders after the beast, and worships him, except those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Re 13:1-10). The First Beast shows himself to be the direct representative of the Dragon, who also has seven heads and ten horns (Re 12:3), and who, first in human history, assumed the lowest beastly nature, that of the serpent. Ge 3 The First Beast represents the World-Power opposed to God -the seven heads implying the assumption of Godhead, and caricaturing the seven spirits of God; Re 1:4 and the ten horns implying the whole cycle of worldly opposition to the Divine perfections. The seven heads seem to be the seven world-monarchies -Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome, and the Germanic Empire (the German hordes that conquered Rome); though many scholars think the last or seventh is not yet developed; it is certain, from the interpretation of the angel to John, that at least six of these heads have already appeared (Re 17:10), and that the sixth was Rome, which reigned over the earth while John was living. Pagan Rome deified her emperors, and worshiped, it is said, 30,000 idols, and dominated the civilized world, and massacred the saints of God in ten persecutions. Christianity seemed, for a brief period, to give its idolatry a deadly wound, in the fourth century; but that wound was healed, that is, the idolatry was restored by the apostasy of Papal Rome to picture-worship, Mariolatry (the worship of Mary), and the adoration of the Pope and the eucharist. The ten horns of the First Beast seem to be ten kings who are to be subordinate to this world-power in its last development (Re 17:12). The Second Apocalyptic Beast is the same as the False Prophet (Re 13:11-18; 19:20; 20:10); and also seems, in most respects, identified with the great, richly-dressed, blasphemous, murderous whore, Mystery Babylon, who rides upon the First Apocalyptic Beast, and is drunken with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus (Re 17); the same as the "little horn" on the fourth beast in Da 7, and the "man of sin," or "son of perdition," predicted by Paul in 2Th 2; and, in its full development, is the chief and last of the "false christs and false prophets" foretold by Christ, Mt 24:24 and of the "Anti-christs" foretold by John in his first epistle (1Jo 2:18). He rises out of the earth, that is, out of civilized and consolidated and peaceful society, and is of the earth, earthy, worshiping earthly idols and not the God of Heaven -it is a beast, all the time, notwithstanding that it has two horns like a lamb, mocking Christ, and appearing mild and innocent, yet really having the spirit of the Dragon, and, out of the abundance of its heart, speaking and acting like the Dragon. While the First Beast was a political power, this adds to the features of the First Beast hypocrisy and deceivableness, and is a pseudo-spiritual power, prophesying and working deceptive miracles for the First Beast, and making an image to the First Beast, and commanding all to worship the image, and killing those that refuse, and setting a mark in the right hands or foreheads of the idolatrous worshipers, and letting none buy or sell except such as have the mark or name of the beast, or the number of his name. The Second Beast (or False Prophet), although assuming the garb of religion, (see Mt 7:15) is more oppressive than the first. The Dragon, Beast and False Prophet, "the mystery of iniquity, " form a hellish Anti-Trinity, counterfeit of "the mystery of godliness, " God manifest in Christ, witnessed to by the Spirit. "The Dragon personates the Father, assigning his authority to his representative, the Beast, as the Father assigns His to the Son; while the False Prophet, like the Holy Ghost, speaks not of himself, but tells all men to worship the Beast, and confirms his testimony by miracles, as the Holy Ghost attested Christ's Divine mission. The mark in the right hand and forehead implies prostration of the body and intellect to the Beast; or the mark in the forehead shows profession, and in the hand shows work and service for the Beast. The mark may be, as in the sealing of the saints, not visible, but symbolical of allegiance." The number of the Beast is said to be the number of a man, and is 666. Countless attempts have been made to solve this enigma. Before the invention of the Arabic digits, numbers were generally represented by letters; so that every name, by the addition of the values of its letters, had a certain numerical value. From the language of the angel to John, Re 17:18 it seems certain that Rome was at least primarily meant; and the most scholarly solutions point to Rome. The language in which John wrote the book of Revelation, like that of the remainder of the New Testament, is Greek; and the numerical value, in Greek, of each of the following words, or phrases, is 666: Lateinos (Latinus, said to have been the first king of the Roman aborigines, from whom they derived their name of Latin); E Latine Basileia (the Latin kingdom); Italike Ekklesia (Italian church); Paradosis (tradition); Euporia (wealth). Vicarius Filii Dei (a Latin phrase, meaning Vicar of the Son of God, blasphemously assumed by the Pope); Vicarius Generalis Dei in Terris (Vicar General of God on earth), have the numerical value, in Latin, of 666. Also the word Romiith (Roman), in Hebrew, has for its numerical value 666. Latin is Rome's language in all official acts.

 

Let it be especially remembered that "the only two Greek nouns in all the New Testament, whose numerical value is exactly 666, are Paradosis and Euporia, precisely the two expressing the grand corrupters of the church, Tradition, the corrupter of doctrine, and Wealth, the corrupter of practice. The only unquestionable 666 in the Old Testament is the 666 talents of gold that came in yearly to Solomon, and were among his chief corrupting influences. 1Ki 10:14; 2Ch 9:13 The two horns of the earth-beast represent the two phases of idolatry which ever corrupt the church, literal and spiritual, image-worship and covetousness. In Pelletan's 'Profession of Faith in the Nineteenth Century,' Wealth is addressed 'Divine Son-Messiah-Redeemer-dumb confidant of God -begotten by mysterious conception, who hast saved men from misery, redeemed the world,' etc." As the woman divinely clothed with the sun, and having the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars, and persecuted by the Dragon, Re 12 represents the true church, so the woman humanly arrayed in purple and scarlet, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, and sitting upon the scarlet-colored beast, and having upon her forehead the name Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth, and drunken with the blood of the saints, represents the false or apostate church with her daughters, whether Roman, Greek or Protestant, not loving Christ, the heavenly Bridegroom, but giving its affections to worldly idols -corrupted by tradition and wealth. The name Babylon given to the head of the image of the world-powers in the second chapter of Daniel is given in Revelation to the harlot. This connects her with the fourth kingdom, Rome, the last part of the image. Her sitting upon seven mountains or hills, Re 17:9 and her being the city which in John's time reigned over the kings of the earth, Re 17:18 also prove her to be Rome. Babylon means confusion, and well describes the rival claims of apostate Rome and her apostate daughters, and the "confused noises and blood-rolled garments" of their many wars upon each other and upon the followers of the Lamb, the Prince of Peace; Isa 9:5-6 but all these persecutors shall stumble, and their "confusion" shall be "everlasting". Jer 20:11 The harlot is at last to be deprived of all her carnal possessions by the world-powers, Re 17:16 and to be visited with the righteous and eternal judgment of God. Re 18; 19 And then it is probably that some infidel supplanter of the papacy, the fully developed false-prophet, under a false spiritual guise, will assume even more blasphemous pretensions than the pope, (still, however, identified with Rome), and will openly avow atheism, and deify Satan in himself, and combine in himself worldly wisdom and worldly power, and endeavor to destroy all who will not worship him, and he will be met by the King of kings and Lord of lords, and be cast with the beast alive (not annihilated) into the lake of eternal fire. Re 19 Even in Babylon God has a people, and they are exhorted to come out of her, lest they partake of her sins and plagues; Re 18:4 just as the believers in Christ came out of Jerusalem before its terrible destruction by the Romans." ( 

 

  Mt 24:15-16 and that the day and hour of the coming of the Son of man were unknown to any man and to the angels, and even to Himself in His humanity, and known only to the Father. Mr 13:32 Therefore all His people are to watch. Mt 24:42 What is called the Year-Day theory is popular with many writers, though rejected by several recent and able scholars. This theory is sought to be based upon such passages as Le 7:5; De 16:9-10,16; Nu 14:33-34; Eze 4:5-6; Da 9:24; and maintains that a day in prophecy means a year in history. It is replied that prophetical numbers are symbolical, and can hardly be thought to be also literal; that the above passages are irrelevant, especially the main passage in Da 9:24, where the word translated weeks simply means sevens; that the theory is contrary to the words of Christ about our not knowing the times or the seasons; and that if it is applied to any prophetical numbers, it should be applied to all, and that would make the Millennium Re 20:1-7 last 360,000 years. Scarcely any Year-Day theorist applies his theory to the Millennium. Still, he insists that, in the latter days, many were to run to and fro, and knowledge was to be increased, and the book of prophesy was to be sealed only to the time of the end; Da 12:4 and that, as the beginnings of the periods are uncertain, although we know the periods themselves, their ends are also uncertain, so that Christ's words would still be true. The three years and a half, or time, times and dividing of time, or 42 months, or 1,260 days, so often mentioned in prophecy, are the same period; and, if the Year-Day theory be true, they denote 1,260 years. As for the fall of Mystical Babylon, we cannot tell the exact date, even if she were to continue 1,260 years. Pope Boniface III., in A.D. 606, received from the Emperor Phocas the title of "Universal Bishop; " Pope Theodore I., in A.D. 648, assumed the title of "Sovereign Pontiff, " and was the last pope whom a bishop dared to call brother; Pope Stephen III., in A.D. 754, by acknowledging the usurper Pepin as the lawful king of France, received form him the three territories of Rome, Ravenna and Lombardy, the beginning of the temporal power of the popes. Reckoning the 1,260 years from these dates, we should reach A.D. 1849, 1891, and 1997. If the latter date were correct, and there was then to be a persecution of God's people, unprecedented in horror, and lasting a literal period of three years and a half, as many suppose, it would make the fall of Romish Babylon about A.D. 2000. (All future dates are, of course, except to God, uncertain.) As shown by Re 19:17-21, "the world, at its highest development of material and pseudo-spiritual power, is but a decorated carcass round which the eagles gather, " as literal Jerusalem was at its destruction by the Romans. Mt 24:15-28 The one was a lively type of the other.

 

"The destruction of Satan's representatives, the beast and the false-prophet, to whom he gave his power, throne and authority, is followed by the binding of Satan himself a thousand years. Re 20:1-7 The Jewish rabbis thought that, as the world was created in six days, and on the seventh God rested, so there would be six millenaries (or six thousand years), followed by a Sabbatical Millennium" (one thousand years). If there were exactly 4,000 years before the birth of Christ, this opinion, if true, would make the dawn of the Millennium about 2000 A.D.; but, as we have stated before, there are 200 different opinions of the exact interval between the creation of Adam and the birth of Christ, so that the matter is, as to its date, quite uncertain. Whether the thousand years of Satan's confinement in the bottomless pit, mentioned six times in the twentieth chapter of Revelation, are to be before or after the second advent of Christ, does not very plainly appear from the Scriptures, and is still a warmly contested point with the ablest Bible scholars. As the Old Testament Scriptures predicted the first coming of Christ -not only spiritually, in mercy or judgment, but also literally, personally and visibly; so, in the most unmistakable language, do the New Testament Scriptures foretell His second coming -not only spiritually, in mercy or judgment, but also literally, personally and visibly. Ac 1:11; 3:20-21; Mt 16:27; 25:31; 26:64; Mr 8:38; 1Co 4:5; 11:26; 15:23; Php 3:20; 1Th 4:14-18; Heb 9:28; Re 1:7 By many ancient Jewish Christians, and by the church generally from 150 to 250 A.D., during a period of great persecution, and by some learned individuals and some transient parties since, it was and has been believed that there would be two future personal advents of Christ, one before and another after the Millennium, or thousand years' confinement of Satan. John Gill (A.D. 1697-1771), perhaps the most learned, able, sound, upright and humble Baptist minister since the days of Paul, was thoroughly persuaded that Christ would come personally upon the earth again just before the Millennium, and destroy His enemies, and reign personally with His saints on earth a thousand years; and, in the second volume of his Body of Divinity, he advances a large number of powerful Scripture arguments in support of this position. And, in the present age, such distinguished Bible scholars as Alford, Ebrard, Auberlen, Birks, Elliot, Fausset, Lange and others, advocate the same opinion. This belief is based chiefly on "these two classes of passages: 1st, Those which seem to connect the future advent with the restoration of Israel, the destruction of Antichrist, or the establishment of a universal kingdom of righteousness on earth, such as Isa 11; 12; 59 (compared with Ro 11:25-27); Jer 23:5-8; Eze 43; Da 7:9-27; Joe 3:16-21; Zec 14; Ro 11:1-27; 2Th 2; Ac 3:19-21. 2d, Those passages which speak of the coming of the Lord as imminent (in connection with those which declare that there is to be a period of generally diffused peace and righteousness preceding the first consummation), such as Mt 24:42-44; Mr 13:32-37; Lu 12:35-40; 1Th 5:2-3; Tit 2:11-13; Jas 5:7-8." Mr. E. R. Craven, American Editor of Lange's Commentary on the Book of Revelation, believes that, as in the earlier Old Testament prophecies, only one advent of Christ seems to have been contemplated, but in the later (compare Da 9:25-26 with Da 7:13-14) there was a prediction of two such advents, separated, as we now know, by millennia; so, while in the earlier portions of the New Testament, only one future advent of Christ seems predicted, in the later portions (compare Re 19:11-16 with Re 20:11-15) there are indications of two -one to establish a universal kingdom of righteousness on earth, and the other to terminate the present order of things in a general judgment.

 

But it is the opinion of the great majority of Bible scholars that there will be but one more personal advent of Christ, and that it will be after the Millennium. They maintain that the idea of a pre-millennial advent is Jewish in its origin, and Judaizing or materializing in its tendency; that it disparages the present, the dispensation of the Holy Ghost; that it is inconsistent with the Scriptures, which teach that Christ comes but twice, to atone and to judge; Heb 9:28 that the Heavens must receive Christ until the times of the restitution of all things; Ac 3:21 that Christ's kingdom is not of this world, but spiritual; Mt 13:11-44; Joh 18:36; Ro 14:17 that it was not to be confined to the Jews; Mt 8:11-12 that regeneration is the essential antecedent of admission to it; Joh 3:3-5 that the blessings of the kingdom are purely spiritual, as repentance, pardon, faith, etc.; (Mt 3:2,11; Ac 5:31; Ga 5:22-23, etc.) that the kingdom of Christ has already come, He having sat upon the throne of His Father David ever since His ascension, Ac 2:29-36; 3:13-15; 4:26-28; 5:29-31; Heb 10:12-13; Re 3:7-12 so that the Old Testament prophecies predicting this kingdom must refer to the present dispensation of grace, and not to a future reign of Christ on earth in person among men in the flesh; and that the church is to be complete at His next coming. 1Th 3:13; 2Th 1:10 These scholars believe that the very difficult passage in Re 20:1-10 has the following meaning: That "Christ has in reserve for His church a period of universal expansion and of pre-eminent spiritual prosperity, when the spirit and character of the noble army of martyrs shall be reproduced again in the great body of God's people in an unprecedented measure (as Elias is said to have lived again in John the Baptist), and when these martyrs shall, in the general triumph of their case, and in the overthrow of that of their enemies, receive judgment over their foes, and reign in the earth; while the party of Satan, called 'the rest of the dead,' shall not flourish again until the thousand years be ended, when it shall prevail again for a little season. Three considerations favor this interpretation: It occurs in one of the most highly figurative books of the Bible; this explanation is perfectly consistent with all the other more explicit teachings of the Scriptures on the several points involved; the same figure, that of life again from the dead, is frequently used in Scripture to express the idea of the spiritual revival of the church. Isa 26:19; Eze 37:12-14; Ho 6:1-3; Ro 11:15; Re 11:11 And three considerations bear against the literal interpretation of Re 20:1-10: The doctrine of two literal resurrections, first of the righteous, and then, after an interval of a thousand years, of the wicked, is taught nowhere else in the Bible, and this passage is a very obscure one; it is inconsistent with what the Scriptures uniformly teach as to the nature of the resurrection-body, that it is to be spiritual, not natural, or ordinary flesh and blood, 1Co 15:44 whereas this interpretation represents the saints, or at least the martyrs, as rising and reigning a thousand years in the flesh, and in this world as at present constituted; and the literal interpretation of this passage contradicts the clear and uniform teaching of the Scriptures that all the dead are to rise and be judged together at the second coming of Christ, Joh 5:28-29; Re 20:11-15; Mt 25:31-46; Ac 17:31; 2Co 5:10; 2Th 1:6-10 which is to be immediately succeeded by the burning of the world, and the revelation of the new Heavens and earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness (Ps 102:26-27; Isa 51:6; Ro 8:19-23; Heb 12:26-27; 2Pe 3:10-13; Re 20 and Re 21)."

 

"The Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testaments, clearly reveal that the gospel is to exercise an influence over all branches of the human family, immeasurably more extensive and more thoroughly transforming than any it has ever realized in time past, which end is to be gradually brought about by the Spirit of Christ in the present dispensation. Mt 13:31; 28:19-20; Ps 2:7; 22:27; 72:8-11; Isa 2:2; 11:6-9; 60:12; 66:23; Da 2:35,44; Zec 9:10; 14:9; Re 11:15 The period of this general prevalency of the gospel will continue a thousand years, and is hence designated the Millennium. Re 20:2-7 The Jews are to be converted to Christianity (but not probably restored to Palestine) either at the commencement or during the continuance of the Millennium. Zec 12:10; 13:1; Ro 11:26-29; 2Co 3:15-16 At the end of these thousand years, and before the coming of Christ, there will be a comparatively short season of apostasy and violent conflict between the kingdoms of light and darkness. Lu 17:26-30; 2Pe 3:3-4; Re 20:7-9 Christ's advent and the general resurrection and judgment will be simultaneous, and then will follow the conflagration of the earth, and the introduction of a new and higher order of things, adapted to the resurrection-bodies of the saints." (   

 

Da 12:1-3; Joh 5:28-29; 1Co 15:23; 1Th 4:16; Re 20:11-15; Mt 7:21-23; 13:30-43; 16:24-27; 25:31-46; Ro 2:5,16; 1Co 3:12-15; 2Co 5:9-11; Ac 17:31; 2Th 1:6-10; 2Pe 3:7-13; Re 21:1 And Mt 25, it is to be observed that Christ is answering three distinct questions of His Apostles: 1st, When the temple and city of Jerusalem were to be destroyed; 2nd, What were to be the signs of His coming; and 3rd, What was to be the time or the sign of the end of the world. Mt 24:3 The questions, perhaps, amounted to but one in the minds of the disciples at that time, because they probably supposed that these three events were to be simultaneous. It is in accordance with the entire analogy of Scripture prophecy to understand that these predictions had a primary and lower fulfillment in the destruction of Jerusalem, but will have a final and higher fulfillment in the destruction of this sin-polluted world. So the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah were intended to foretell, not only the deliverance of national Israel from Babylonian captivity, but also the far more important redemption of spiritual Israel from the bondage of sin and Satan.

 

For the declarative glory of God, the righteousness and mercy of His dealings are to be displayed before the assembled universe on the most solemn and final day of judgment. Mt 11:22; 25:31-46; Lu 10:14; Ac 17:31; Heb 6:2; 2Pe 2:9; 3:7-13; 1Jo 4:17; Re 20:11-15 The time and place and duration of that momentous scene have not been revealed to mortals. Christ, the Mediator between God and man, the Savior of sinners, He who loved and gave Himself for His chosen people, embracing every truly humble soul, is to be the judge; Mt 25:31; 28:18; Joh 5:27; Ac 10:42; 17:31; Ro 14:10; Php 2:10; 2Ti 4:1 otherwise His little ones "would sink in despair before the terrible bar." The persons to be judged are men and angels. Ec 12:14; Ps 1:4; 2Co 5:10; Ro 14:10; Mt 12:36; 25:32; Re 20:12; Mt 8:29; 1Co 6:3; 2Pe 2:4 "The saints will be present, not to have their portion assigned (for that was fixed long before, Mt 25:34; Eph 1:3-4; 2Th 2:13; 1Pe 1:1-5; Joh 5:24), but to have it confirmed forever, and that God's righteousness may be vindicated in both the saved and the lost, Ro 14:10; 2Co 5:10 before the universe." The books that are to be opened are the book of the law, Ga 3:10 the book of conscience, Ro 2:15-16 and the book of God's omniscience; Heb 4:13 and, besides these, another most precious book, the book of God's fatherly remembrance, mentioned at the close of the Old Testament, Mal 3:16-18; 4:1-3 which is the same as the Lamb's book of life, mentioned at the close of the New Testament- a Re 13:8; 20:12-15; 21:27 book containing the names of all those redeemed to God by the blood of the Lamb out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation, Re 5:9; 1:5; 17:14; Isa 35:10; 53:5-11; Jer 23:6; Mt 1:21; Joh 10:15,27-30; 17:2-3,9-10,20-24; Ac 13:48; Ro 5:19-21; 8:28-39; 1Co 1:26-31 their names being written therein, not for their works, but for Christ's work for and in them -the Lamb's book of life. Ro 3:10-20; 6:23; 11:6 The saints are justified freely by God's grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, Ro 3:24 or justified by faith, the gift of God. Ro 5:1; 4:16; Ga 5:22; Eph 1:19; Php 1:29; Heb 12:2 Faith being appreciable by God and the believer alone, Re 2:17 and works being appreciable by all, the saints' "works of faith and labors of love" are published as the external and evidential test to indicate their preparedness for glory, and to vindicate the righteousness of God. 1Th 1:3-4; Mt 25:34-40; 7:16-20; Ga 5:22-23; Eph 2:1-10 Acquitted by the free mercy of God, while humbly feeling their own utter unworthiness, the saints are shown to be the children of God by their divinely inspired deeds of mercy to His people. Mt 25:34-40; Jas 2:13-26; Eph 5:1-2 True faith worketh by love, which is the fulfilling of the law, and the proof that we have passed from death unto life, and are the justified children of God. Ga 5:6; 6:15; Ro 13:10; 1Co 13:13; 1Jo 3:14-18; 4:7-8,11,13; 5:1; Ro 3:24-26; 5:1-5 As for their sins, while they themselves can never forget them, and can never cease to be deeply grateful to Him who loved them and washed them from their sins in His own blood, Re 1:5 their covenant God has long since promised, not only to forgive, but to remember their sins no more. (Jer 31:31-37 the saints will become assessors with the Judge, and heartily indorse His righteous judgments. Ps 149:5-9; 1Co 6:2-3; Re 20:4; 19:1-5 In the light of the "Great White Throne" Re 20:11 all deception will be banished, the secrets of all hearts will be revealed, every individual will appear in his true character; Ec 12:14; 1Co 4:5; Mal 3:18 the wicked, though seeking to justify themselves, will be justly condemned by the holy law of God and by their own consciences, Ro 3:19; 2:12-16; Ga 3:10 and will be sentenced to everlasting misery, while the righteous are welcomed to everlasting blessedness. Mt 25:46

 

"The chief objections to the doctrine of endless punishment, " says Prof. W. G. T. Shedd, "are not Biblical, but speculative. The great majority of students and exegetes find the tenet in the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures. Sin is voluntary; and endless sin must receive endless punishment. The unsubmissive, rebellious spirits of the lost go, with like-minded companions, to 'their own place,' which they prefer to Heaven. History shows that the disbelief of the doctrine of the endless punishment of the wicked is most prevalent in the most corrupt times -itself being both a sign and a cause of the corruption."

 

God said to our first parents in the garden of Eden that in the day they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil they should surely die; but Satan afterwards came in the form of the serpent, and flatly contradicted God, telling them that they should not surely die. So, in the present age of widespread infidelity, Satan, in the hearts of both the professing and non-professing "Christian" world, assures men that, though they go on in sin and impenitence and unbelief till temporal death, they will not die everlastingly-thus meeting with point-blank contradiction the repeated, multiform, emphatic, indubitable assurances of God in the Scriptures. This soothing, infernal poison, a combination of Arminianism and Universalism, is pervading and leavening the great masses in the Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Lutheran and Anglican communions. In the minds of multitudes, a terminable purgatory is taking the place, for all men, of an interminable hell-the idea being derived, not from the inspired Scriptures, but from the ancient Persian heathens, from whom the Jews obtained it and incorporated it in their Apocrypha and Talmud; the Catholics derived it from the Jews, and Protestants derived it from the Catholics. According to this insidious deception, men after death are to be sent into purifying fires, chastened for their sins, instructed in Divine truth, and given another chance to repent and save themselves, and go to Heaven. High ecclesiastical office, pretentious scholarship, splendid eloquence, soul-moving rhetoric, and encyclopedic erudition, followed by countless hosts of lesser lights, zealously array themselves against the plainest declarations of the written word of God and in defense of this Satanic delusion. They urge that the doctrine of eternal punishment is by far the most objectionable part of the Bible to skeptics; and, unless this harsh and cruel doctrine is toned down, the infidel world never will receive the Bible. But there are other teachings of the Scriptures that are intensely offensive to the carnal mind -such as the total depravity of man, salvation by grace alone, the plenary inspiration of the Scriptures, the Divinity of Christ, the atonement, the resurrection, the holiness of God, etc. All these and all other peculiar features of Christianity must be removed from the Bible, or explained away, before the unregenerate world will be willing to receive it. It will, therefore, be much better for all who profess the name of Christ never to begin the work of toning down and explaining away the Scriptures.

 

The present writer has read, with deep attention, the most recent and elaborate arguments advanced against the Bible doctrine of the everlasting duration of future punishment; he has compared these reasonings with themselves, with the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, and with the latest and most authoritative lexicons, and he is constrained to declare his belief that, for the very perfection of sophistry, these infidel treatises have no equal in the entire range of human literature. The same methods of explanation would make anything mean nothing.

 

The terms almost invariably used in the Scriptures to denote everlasting duration are olam in the Old Testament and aion and aionios in the New Testament. While these terms, both in and out of the Bible, sometimes certainly signify indefinite duration, it is admitted by the best lexicographers that their common meaning is everlasting; they are the most frequent terms used in the Bible to denote the everlasting duration of God, and the everlasting duration of the happiness of saints in glory; it is therefore most scriptural to understand that, when they are applied to the duration of the punishment of the wicked, they also mean everlasting. The Scriptures, being addressed in the main to God's people, dwell more upon the perfections of God and the future happiness of His saints than upon the future punishment of the wicked. In the Old Testament olam is used 40 times in reference to God, 94 times in reference to the future happiness of His people, and 11 times in reference to the punishment of the wicked. In the New Testament aion is used 14 times and aionios 3 times in reference to God; aion 9 times and aionios 51 times in reference to the happiness of the righteous beyond the grave; and aion 5 times and aionios 7 times in reference to the future punishment of the wicked. In all these cases the reference is to the future duration of God and of the human race; and the making of a radical distinction in the meanings of these same terms, so that they shall denote infinite duration in reference to the righteous, and finite duration in reference to the wicked, is, says Professor Moses Stuart, "without a parallel in the just principles of interpretation. The conclusion is plain, and philologically and exegetically certain. It is this: either the declarations of the Scriptures do not establish the facts that God and His glory and praise and happiness are endless, nor that the happiness of the righteous in the future world is endless, or else they establish the fact that the punishment of the wicked is endless." In Mt 25:46 the very same Greek: word, aionios, is used by Christ, in the same sentence, in reference both to the duration of the punishment of the wicked and the duration of the happiness of the righteous. The plurals and reduplications and supplementations of these three terms are used several times in the Scriptures to express the duration of the existence and glory of God, and of the future happiness of His people; so also are they sometimes used to express the duration of the future punishment of the wicked. Ps 9:5; Re 14:11; 15:7; 19:3; 20:10 The extreme position has even been taken that aionios has no reference to duration whatever, but simply means spiritual, supra-sensuous, beyond and above time; and that aionian (or eternal) life may last but ten minutes, and aionian (or eternal) death may last but ten minutes. Now the Lord Jesus Christ is, on this and on every other subject, a higher authority than any creature; and in Joh 10:28 He defines aionian (or eternal) life to be imperishable or indestructible life; and in Mt 25:41,46, He defines aionian (or eternal) fire or punishment or death Re 20:14-15 to be the same as the punishment of the devil and his angels, which, in Jude 6, is declared to be aidios, a term never meaning anything but everlasting; and in Mr 9:43 Christ declares that this "fire" is asbestos, unquenchable, inextinguishable; and in Mr 9:44,46,48, the "worm" is described as ateleutetos, undying, endless. In Mr 9:43-48 "the fire" signifies the wrath of God, and "the worm" signifies remorse of conscience. The "great gulf fixed" between the righteous and the wicked after death is declared by Christ in Lu 16:26 to be impassable. Not a particle of all the quibbling about olam, aion and aionios will apply to such unmistakable passages as Mr 9:43-48; Joh 3:3,36; Lu 16:26; Re 21:8 and Re 22:11.

 

The Scriptures everywhere represent the doomed state of the wicked after death as a FINALITY; they contain not one syllable to justify the belief that there is any repentance, or forgiveness, or radical change of state in the world beyond the grave. Even the eye of the Apostle, of love, as he stands upon the last and loftiest heights of inspiration, sees only endless misery for the wicked. The filthy and unjust then will remain guilty rebels against God and wretched sufferers forever. The severe punishment inflicted by an avenging Judge, instead of softening and reconciling, will harden and exasperate the criminal. That a Most Holy God has an infinite hatred of sin is shown by the Noachian deluge, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, of Pharaoh and his host, and of Jerusalem, by the numberless and indescribable miseries of men in all ages of the world, and by the awful summons that one soul every second receives to quit these mortal shores and appear in the presence of its God. And the infinite hatred of a Most Holy God against sin is shown infinitely more than it could have been shown by all the sufferings of all the human race forever, by the BLEEDING UNUTTERABLE AGONIES OF THE MEEK AND LOWLY AND SPOTLESS LAMB OF GOD IN GETHSEMANE AND ON CALVARY WHILE HE EXPIATED THE SINS OF HIS SPIRITUAL ISRAEL. "It is far less possible that the bitter cup should pass from the lips of the finally impenitent than that it should have been taken from the trembling hand of the holy and harmless Son of God."

 

The unanswerable refutation of the entire body of argument used by the infidel "restorationist" is that this feeble, carnal, heathen and ungodly system wholly does away with the atonement of Christ and the sanctification of the Spirit, the most fundamental truths of Holy Writ, and substitutes, in their stead, satisfaction rendered to Divine justice, and purification obtained by each human being, by the actual individual sufferings of each sinner in this and the future world. If this doctrine be true, there is no salvation, in the true sense of the term, for any member of the Adamic race.

 

The Scriptures and arguments already adduced thoroughly refute also the position of those who advocate the annihilation of the wicked at or after death, or what they call a conditional immortality.

 

More fully, clearly and emphatically than all the prophets and Apostles does the Lord Jesus Christ, the incarnate God of eternity, the Savior of men, the last Supreme Judge of the human race, describe to us the awful state of the impenitent dead. May we have the wisdom, by Divine grace, as well upon this as upon every other subject, to turn from all other masters and to HEAR HIM.

 

It seems, according to the Scriptures, that the sufferings of the lost will arise: "from the loss of all earthly good; from exclusion from the presence and favor of God; from the unrestrained dominion of sin; from the operations of conscience; from despair; from evil associates; from bodily tortures; and from the everlasting duration of their sufferings."

 

"When Christ comes again it will be to be admired in all them that believe. Those who are then alive will be changed in the twinkling of an eye; their corruptible shall put on incorruption, and their mortal shall put on immortality. Those who are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of man and come forth to the resurrection of life, their bodies fashioned like unto the glorious body of the Son of God. Thus changed, both classes of believers shall be ever with the Lord. The place of the final abode of the righteous is sometimes called a house, as when the Savior said, 'In my Father's house are many mansions'; Joh 14:2 sometimes 'a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God'. Heb 11:10 Under this figure it is called the new or heavenly Jerusalem, so gorgeously described in the twenty-first chapter of the Apocalypse. Sometimes it is spoken of as 'a better country, that is an heavenly'; Heb 11:16 a country through which flows the river of the water of life, and 'on either side of the river was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every mouth; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse; but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him: and they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever'. Re 22:2-5 Sometimes the final abode of the redeemed is called a 'new Heavens and a new earth'". 2Pe 3:13

 

"As to the blessedness of this heavenly state we know that it is inconceivable: 'Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him'." 1Co 2:9

 

We know not, O we know not

What joys await us there;

What radiancy of glory,

What bliss beyond compare.

 

"We know, however: (1.) That this incomprehensible blessedness of Heaven shall arise from the vision of God. This vision is beatific. It transforms the soul into the Divine image; transfusing into it the Divine life, so that it is filled with the fullness of God. This vision of God is in the face of Jesus Christ, in whom dwells the plenitude of the Divine glory bodily. God is seen in fashion as a man; and it is this manifestation of God in the person of Christ that is inconceivably and intolerably ravishing. Peter, James and John became as dead men when they saw His glory, for a moment, in the holy mount. (2.) The blessedness of the redeemed will flow not only from the manifestation of the glory, but also of the love of God; of that love, mysterious, unchangeable and infinite, of which the work of redemption is the fruit. (3.) Another element of the future happiness of the saints is the indefinite enlargement of all their faculties. (4.) Another is their entire exemption from all sin and sorrow. (5.) Another is their intercourse and fellowship with the high intelligences of Heaven; with patriarchs, prophets, Apostles, martyrs, and all the redeemed. (6.) Another is constant increase in knowledge and in the useful exercise of all their powers. (7.) Another is the secure and everlasting possession of all possible good." -C. Hodge.

 

"The everlasting duration of the happiness of the righteous is shown by its being called eternal or everlasting life, eternal glory, a house eternal in the Heavens, an eternal inheritance, an everlasting kingdom, a continuing city, a better country, a being ever with the Lord, in accordance with the eternal purpose of God and the everlasting covenant of grace; were there any fears of its ever ending, it could not be perfect happiness.

 

"As to whether there will be any degrees in the final happiness of the saints, those passages of Scripture usually brought to support it usually belong to the militant, not to the triumphant, state of the church. The arguments against degrees in glory are: (1.) That all the people of God are loved by Him with the same everlasting love. (2.) They were all chosen together in Christ before the foundation of the world. (3.) They are all equally interested in the same everlasting covenant of grace. (4.) They are all equally redeemed with the same precious blood of Christ. (5.) They are all freely justified by the same righteousness of Christ. (6.) All are equally the predestinated and adopted children and heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ. (7.) They are all raised up from the same low and lost estate by Christ to be kings and priests unto God."-John Gill

 

The church is a unit, and must ultimately triumph over all opposition.

 

The Apostle Paul represents the church as the body of Jesus Christ, as may be gathered by reference to the following Scriptures: Ro 12:5; 1Co 6:15; 10:17; 12:27; Eph 1:23; 4:12; 5:23,30; Col 1:18; 2:17. "He thus represents it as an organic living system of various members, powers and functions, and at the same time as the abode of Christ and the object of His redeeming and sanctifying influence upon the world. Christ is, in one view, the ruling head; in another the invisible, all-pervading soul of this body. Christ without the church were a head without a body, a fountain without a stream, a king without subjects, a captain without soldiers, a bridegroom without a bride. The church without Christ were a body without soul or spirit, a lifeless corpse. The church lives only as Christ lives or works in her. At every moment of her existence is dependent on Him, as the body on the soul, or the branches on the vine. But on His part He perpetually bestows upon her If is heavenly gifts, and supernatural powers, continually reveals Himself in her, and will dwell in her during her entire, militant state, when at last all the principalities and powers of earth will yield free obedience to Him, and adore Him as the eternal Prophet, Priest and King of the regenerate race" -Schaff.

 

Such is the character of that society, of that church, of that kingdom that was ushered into the world in the days of the Caesars, and which has never taken one step backwards, but amidst fires and faggots, prisons and deaths, has marched steadily onward, conquering and to conquer, through the great Captain of her salvation, and will eventually fill the world with the glory of God.

 

ENDNOTES:

 

{1} This was Herod Agrippa I., the grandson of Herod the Great, who sought the life of the infant Savior, and the nephew of Herod Antipas, who beheaded John the Baptist, and the father of Herod Agrippa II., before whom Paul made his defense recorded in Ac 26 Josephus says that the characteristics of Herod Agrippa I. were devotion to Judaism, gentleness, beneficence, and love of popularity. The twelfth chapter of Acts illustrates his Judaism and love of popularity.

 

{2} By this occupation Paul supported himself during his Apostleship. His churches, like the Christians in general of the first and succeeding centuries, were of the lower and poorer classes in society; and he chose not to burden them, but to labor for his own necessities, as well as for those with him. He collected money for the poor Jewish Christians in Palestine, but not for himself. "Only as an exception did he receive gifts from the Philippian brethren, who were peculiarly dear to him." Yet he enjoins upon the churches to care for the temporal needs of their spiritual teachers.

 

{3} It is, however, thought by many that Paul was specially chosen of God to fill the place vacated by the treason of Judas; the selection of Matthias by the eleven Ac 1:26 being regarded as of no Divine sanction or validity.

 

{4} The James mentioned in Ac 12:17,13 and Ac 21:18 was undoubtedly the same person; and it is evident that he was the same with him whom Paul calls "James the Lord's brother", Ga 1:19 and whom Mark (Mr 6:3) mentions as being, together with Joses, Jude and Simon, a brother of Jesus. But it is the most difficult question in church history to decide whether he was the same with the Apostle James, the son of Alpheus (commonly called James the Less, to distinguish him from James the son of Zebedee and brother of John). From the latest and most thorough investigations it is most probable that James the Lord's brother was a different person from James the Apostle, the son of Alpheus. The former was also called James the Just, and was the first pastor of the church of Jerusalem, and wrote the epistle of James, and suffered martyrdom just before the destruction of Jerusalem. He was noted for his morality and wisdom.

 

{5} This was an aggregation of corruptions from all the countries where Christianity was disseminated -a combination of Platonic philosophy, Alexandrian Judaism, dualistic Parsism, pantheistic Buddhism, and phantasmal Christianity. A false Gnosticism exalted knowledge above faith, hope, love, humility, and every other Christian virtue. It represented God as an infinite, unfathomable, unnamable abyss, eternally and unconsciously evolving attributes or eons, the lowest of which, falling combined with dead, empty, eternal matter, and produced a weak or evil Demiurgus or Artificer who made this world; it represented Christ as the most perfect of the eons, but declared his human life an illusion; and it represented the Holy Spirit as a subordinate eon. The system degenerated into utter infidelity and sensuality, especially with the Ophite Gnostics. It originated in the first century, flourished in the second, and gradually lost importance after the middle of the third, but was to a great degree revived in the Manichaeism of the fourth and fifth centuries.

 

{6} While the Judaizing Ebionites of the first century, like the modern Socinians and Unitarians, denied the Divinity of Christ, the pseudo-spiritualistic Docetae, a branch of the Gnostics, considering matter essentially evil, denied His real humanity, regarding His entire earthly life and death as a deceptive show or a mere vision.

 

{7} Instead of the term Gnosticism Mr. Pressense should here have written knowledge. The term Gnosticism (now properly restricted to what Mr. P. calls false gnosticism) is derived from the Greek word gnosis, meaning knowledge. A true Scriptural knowledge of Divine things is highly commended by the Apostles (1Co 1:5; 8:7; 12:8; 2Co 4:6; 10:5; 2Pe 1:5-6; 3:18). A false gnosis, opposing inspiration, is denounced. 1Ti 6:20-21

11- Chapter IX CHARACTERISTICS OF THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH.

The church of the first century was a spiritual kingdom set up in the world by The Son of God in fulfillment of the Jewish economy and in opposition to all other religions of the earth; and this militant kingdom of Emanuel, notwithstanding the combined secular powers of the world, progressed to such an extent that, in about seventy years after the crucifixion of Christ, it pervaded portions of every province of the Roman Empire. In it is an aggressive principle against sin, though purely of love to mankind, that will never cease its action until time shall be no more.

Many errors had crept into the church from time to time in different parts of the world; but that system of discipline which had been established by Christ and his Apostles had proved effectual in removing these errors in faith and practice. "The Apostolic age is the fountain head of the Christian church, as an organized society separate and distinct from the Jewish synagogue. It is preeminently the age of The Holy Spirit -the age of inspiration and of legislation for all subsequent ages. Here springs, in its original freshness and purity, the living water of the new creation. Christianity comes down from heaven as a supernatural fact, yet long predicted and prepared for, and adapted to the deepest wants of human nature. Signs and wonders are extraordinary demonstrations of The Spirit, for the conversion of the unbelieving Jews and heathens, attend its entrance into this world of sin. It takes up its permanent abode with our fallen race, to transform it gradually, without war and bloodshed, by a quiet leaven-like process, into a kingdom of truth and righteousness. In virtue of this original purity, vigor and beauty, and the permanent success of primitive Christianity, the canonical authority of the new testament, the single but inexhaustible volume of its literature, and the character of the Apostles, those inspired organs of The Holy Spirit, those humanly-untaught teachers of mankind, the Apostolic Age has an incomparable interest and importance in the history of the church. It is the immovable ground-work of the whole. It holds up the highest standard of doctrine and discipline." -P. Schaff.

The church of the first century forms the standard and example for the church of all future ages. Should there now exist on earth a body of professed Christians who occupy the same ground in faith and practice as that of the church of the first century, they are RIGHT; and if any should be found occupying a different position then they are WRONG. The true church of Christ and false or merely nominal churches are to be distinguished by a comparison with apostolic standard.

TWELVE MARKS OF THE APOSTOLIC CHURCH

1. The apostolic church consisted only of those persons who had been convicted of sin by The Holy Spirit, and who had given signs of repentance towards God, and faith in The Lord Jesus Christ as The Son of God. Their faith was the faith of God's elect, Tit 1:1 a steadfast and earnest adherence to the doctrine of the Apostles and prophets, Ac 2:42; Eph 2:20; Jude 3 including the total depravity of the human race in consequence of the fall of our first parents, the special eternal election of God's people to everlasting life, the particular redemption purchased by the blood of Christ for all of his people, the effectual calling and the final perseverance of the saints to glory. In all spiritual matters Christ was their Head, King and Lawgiver, as He spoke either personally or by His Spirit in the writers of the old and new testaments scriptures. One word of their Lord and Master was worth more than all the words of uninspired men. They chose to obey God rather than man. The Jewish and heathen doctrine of salvation by human works they utterly refused, while they heartily embraced as their hope the Christian and Bible doctrine of a free and full salvation by the sovereign grace of God. In other words, this FIRST AND CHIEF MARK of the apostolic church was a regenerated or converted church membership, who had been born of The Spirit of God, who had a vital, revealed, experimental religion, who were quickened, the circumcised in heart, the new creation, saints, beloved of The Lord, children of God, the saved, added to the church by The Lord, the elect vessels of mercy, who worshipped God in The Spirit, living stones built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Jesus Christ, a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people, that they should show forth the praises of Him who had called them out of darkness into His marvelous light.

This mark utterly excludes the unregenerate world and unconscious infants from membership in the apostolic church. As Noah was a spiritual child of God, and all the human race since the flood are his descendants, infant membership, if fully carried out, would sweep the whole world into the church. Three of the evangelists inform us that some little children were brought to Jesus, who blessed them, though they were unbaptized; and who, though this was the occasion above all others for it, said not one word about their baptism or their admittance into His visible church. He uttered those forever precious and memorable words, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of God." Mark says that He was "much displeased" when his disciples rebuked those who brought the children to Him. Bible Baptist have always believed that all children who die in infancy are regenerated by the almighty grace of God and go directly home to the loving arms of Jesus; and these with the adult believers compose more than one-half of the human race. As "Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and forever," Heb 13:8 it must still be "much displeasing" to Him that little children should not be suffered, but forbidden, to come to Him for any reason whatsoever, whether the lack of water-baptism or anything else. The language of Christ in Mr 16:16, "He that believeth not shall be damned," shows with perfect clearness that not want of water baptism, but want of faith, is the cause of damnation; and the grace of faith is "the gift of God," Eph 1:19; 2:8; Ga 5:22; Php 1:29; Heb 12:2 it is as easy for Omnipotence to bestow it upon a dying infant as it is upon a living adult. The practice of infant baptism (or infant church membership) is a weak, thoroughly antiscriptural, idolatrous superstition, which most probably arose in North Africa in the third century {1} from the false idea of the magical, regenerating, saving power of water, and which did not become general until the fifth century, thus securing its triumph in the Dark Ages about the same time with the establishment of the papacy; and it is worthy of the Dark Continent and the Dark Ages. "It originated from that inborn human principle of self-righteousness which supposes it so necessary for man to do something to secure his acceptance with God that even the infant, who can not comply with the condition itself, must do it by substitute." It is a vain human tradition which makes utterly void the commandments of God -those commandments requiring baptism after repentance and faith, as fitly symbolical of those internal graces; while the human tradition requires the baptism of unconscious, impenitent, and unbelieving infancy. It is solemn mockery, substituting for the indispensable faith of the recipient the utterly unscriptural proxy-faith of humanly invented sponsors, god-parents and sureties. It is a cruel falsehood and deception, pretending that the unconscious infant is regenerated and grafted into the body of Christ church, and depriving him of the comforts of believers baptism should he ever believe. It is the quintessence of ecclesiastical corruption that would break down all distinction between the church and the world. It is the chief prop and pillar of Catholicism, sacerdotalism, and sacramentalism, totally subversive of the fundamental principle of Protestantism and the spiritual religion of the New Testament. "Romanist deny its biblical authority, and rest its validity upon the authority of the church; and they justly insist, therefore, that Protestants, in practicing the rite, abandon the great principle that the bible is the only and sufficient rule of faith and practice, and revert to the authority of tradition. The German reformers conceded its lack of New Testament authority. The profound and scholarly and impartial German theologians are emphatic in denying that it has either precept or example in scripture." It is absolutely certain that there is no command and no plain case of infant baptism in the bible. This is almost universally scholars frankly admit the fact. Nearly all the standard Pedobaptist historians admit that infant baptism was unknown in the first two centuries after Christ. The last commission which Christ gave to his apostles (Mt 28:19 & Mr 16:16) authorized them to baptize only disciples or believers. The term "infants" does not occur in the commission. Christ, and not water baptism, is the only God and Savior, both of infants and adults. He calls children, not to baptismal waters at all, but to Himself. In case of the baptism of families, there is never any mention of infants, and the context or some other scripture nearly always shows that all those who were baptized, believed, or rejoiced, or devoted themselves to the ministry of the saints, and therefore could not have been infants; there is no proof that there were any infants in any of those families; and if there had been infants in them, we know that the apostolic commission did not authorize their baptism, so that, as the ablest scholars admit, we know, without any special statement, that infants were excluded from such baptisms. The word rendered "holy" in 1Co 7:14 plainly means legitimate. As for baptism being a substitute for circumcision, there is no such statement in the bible, but a powerful array of arguments against it. The old covenant was national and temporal; the new covenant is personal and spiritual. "None were circumcised until they were born; so none should be baptized until after they are spiritually born. The natural seed of Abraham were entitled to circumcision; only his spiritual seed, or believers are entitled to baptism. Abraham's servants were circumcised; it has never been pretended that servants of believers are entitled to baptism, unless such servants themselves believe. Only males were circumcised; both male and female are baptized. Ishmael, though circumcised, was excluded from Canaan; all baptized believers will enter the heavenly Canaan. The right of a child to circumcision did not depend upon the faith of the parents. It was not preformed in the name of God or any other being. The subject of circumcision was debtor to do the whole law. No sponsors were required in circumcision. The apostles baptized Jewish converts who had been circumcised. Jewish Christians continued for many years to circumcise their children. Paul, to satisfy the Jews, even circumcised Timothy who had already been baptized. A dispute arose about circumcising Gentile converts, Ac 15 which could not have taken place if it had been understood that baptism came in the room of circumcision." The Apostles neither at this council at Jerusalem, nor on any other occasion, manifest any knowledge of the substitution of baptism for circumcision. The basing of infant baptism upon circumcision has been abandoned by many of the ablest Pedobaptist scholars of Europe and America. And infant baptism itself is, in all Protestant countries, falling rapidly into disuse as an unscriptural and senseless formality. It is estimated that one twelfth of the infants born in the United States are baptized (or, rather, rhantized). A most terrible and all sufficient argument against infant baptism (and its historical and logical equivalent, baptismal regeneration) is its inconceivably horrible implication that all infants who die unbaptized, even though they die unborn, even though they be elected by God The Father, redeemed by God The Son, and regenerated by God The Holy Spirit, are, for want of a drop or two of natural water applied to them, consigned to everlasting torment or privation of happiness. No man who believes the bible can believe this diabolical doctrine. This horrid Catholic dogma, surpassing in monstrosity nearly all the errors of "heretical sects, " has been well denominated "the entering wedge of tradition which, if driven home, will split Protestantism into fragments." In the words of the two Languages of Germany, distinguished Pedobaptist scholars: "All attempts to make out infant baptism from the New Testament fail. It is utterly opposed to the spirit of the apostolic age and to fundamental principles of the New Testament. Would the Protestant church fulfil and attain to its final destiny, the baptism of newborn children must be abolished. It can not, on any point of view, be justified by the holy scriptures." Mr. Alexander Carson, a most scholarly, profound, and conscientious Presbyterian minister of Ireland (1776-1844), declared after long and earnest investigation: "I found I must either give up the Bible or give up infant baptism." He preferred to give up infant baptism, though with it he had to give up honors, riches, and friends; and he became a Baptist, and wrote one of the fullest and ablest works extant on "Mode and Subjects of Baptism." Out of about 400 millions of so-called Christians in the world, less than 4 millions -less than one in a hundred -insist upon the First and Most important mark of the Apostolic church -a spiritual and regenerated church membership. What a lamentable falling away from the truth is this.

2. The second mark of the apostolic church was the baptism, the immersion of believers in water, in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost. Those giving credible evidence of a living personal faith in the Triune Jehovah were taken by the ministry, or by persons authorized by the church, and dipped, plunged, overwhelmed, or inundated in water, in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost. Thus were those already born of The Spirit born symbolically of the water and initiated into the membership of the visible church, entitled to all her privileges and exposed to all her persecutions. Thus was it clearly and beautifully and divinely indicated that they were thoroughly identified with Christ, made a part of His mystical body, "buried with Him in baptism, and risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised Him from the dead, "" quickened together with Christ from the death of trespasses and sins, fully and freely forgiven and washed from their sins by the blood of The lamb". Col 2:12-14; Ro 6:4-5; Tit 3:5-7; Eph 5:25-27 Thus were powerfully and comprehensively symbolized the central, vital truths of the gospel -regeneration by the purifying power of The Spirit of God and redemption by the atoning blood of The Son of God, and the identity, as shown by the words of the administrator, of The Father with The Spirit and Son -and the personal faith of the baptized in those truths. Thus does this one divine ordinance impressively preach the entire substance of the gospel of Christ. It was instituted and commanded by Christ, and practiced by the Apostles, and is to be observed by the church in all its primitive fullness and beauty down to the end of time.

The highly important apostolically established connection between the believer and the sufferings and triumph of Christ symbolized in the ordinance of baptism -infinitely more important than the temporal union of husband and wife -has been rationalistically and audaciously dissolved by the substitution of sprinkling, or pouring for baptism by the Roman Catholic society and her Protestant daughters. In all human literature there is not another word whose meaning is more certain, and yet more disputed, than the Greek word BAPTIZO. The history of this word presents the strongest demonstration of the willful and obstinate blindness and perversity of the carnal mind. Just as mankind had at first from Adam a natural knowledge of the true God, but soon willfully departed from that knowledge, as shown by Paul in the first chapter of Romans, and greedily plunged into idolatry and vileness, and were given over by God to a reprobate mind; so the true meaning of baptizo, as all lexicography and church history prove, was perfectly well known to the world for more than thirteen centuries after Christ, but, for the last few hundred years, the meaning of this word has been most unblushingly and industriously perverted, not so much by Romanist, as by Protestant theologians, for the purpose of suiting carnal ideas of human expediency, convenience and decency. "The Romanist (as also the Romanizing Protestant) bases the change from baptism to sprinkling, not on an altered view of the original form of the rite, but on the authority of his 'church' to alter rites and ceremonies; "but, as Protestants generally claim to adhere strictly to the Bible, they seek, in order to justify their change of the ordinance of baptism, to explain away the ineradicable ground-idea of the word baptizo, and make it the most general term imaginable for the application of water in any form. This religious error, because of the headway which it has made in English-speaking countries, is embodied in the latest Unabridged Dictionaries of Webster and Worcester. A later and higher authority on etymology than either of these works is Walter W. Skeat's "Etymological Dictionary of the English Language, " in which the only meaning of baptism is "a dipping; " baptist, "a dipper; " baptize, "to dip." The derivation of all these English words is from the Greek word baptizo, for the meaning of which word we must of course consult the Greek Lexicon. Now every respectable Greek scholar in England and America will admit that there is only one standard Greek English Lexicon published in Europe or America, and that is the seventh edition of Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon, published in 1883. It unquestionably represents the latest and highest combined scholarship of Europe and America. This Lexicon is now before the present writer, and gives absolutely but one meaning of baptizo, "to dip in or under water." with several subordinate but like meaning applications, as follows: "of ships, to ship or disable them; (metaphorically) of the crowds who flocked into Jerusalem at the time of the siege; to be drenched (metaphorically), soaked in wine, over head and ears in debt, drowned with questions or getting into deep water; to draw wine by dipping the cup in the bowl; to baptize; (in the middle-voice) to dip one's self, to get one's self baptized." Here it is seen that dipping or immersion is the essential meaning of the word, The meaning "bathe" given in the sixth edition, is omitted, because found to be erroneous. The meaning "repeatedly" ("to dip repeatedly"), given in the second edition, is omitted because erroneous -the word baptizo, from bapto, to dip, being frequentative in form, but not in meaning, having an active or causative meaning, to make or cause another to dip; by a common tendency in language the strong form of a word gradually takes the place of a weak form, with no essential difference in meaning. The meanings "pour, steep, wet, " given in the first edition, published in 1843, were abandoned and expunged as untenable within a year and a half after their publication. The compilers of this standard Greek-English Lexicon are Henry George Liddell and Robert Scott, both of them being deans, clergymen and "Doctors of Divinity" in the Established (or Episcopal) "Church of England; " not their sympathy for the Baptists, but their knowledge and reputation as scholars, have compelled them to give baptizo its only proper meaning of dipping or immersion. "Immersion, as the proper significance of baptizo and the original form of the rite, has been affirmed through all the Christian ages, and is still affirmed by the highest scholarship of Christendom, Oriental, Roman Catholic and Protestant." The Greek Catholic "Church, " which certainly ought to understand the meaning of the Greek word baptizo, has always immersed and still immerses, even in the severe climates of Russia and Siberia, all its members, both infants and adults, and uncompromisingly declares that every other form of the rite is essentially invalid. Contrary to Eph 4:5, triple or trine immersion is practiced by the Greek "Church, " and was the usage of the most Christendom from the end of the second to the end of the twelfth century. The Roman Catholic "Church" at first allowed sprinkling or pouring only in the case of sick persons (clinici) -the first recorded instance being the case of Novatian, of Rome, about A.D. 250; but the sprinkling of well persons "gradually came in, " says the Encyclopedia Britannica (ninth edition), "in spite of the opposition of councils and hostile decrees. The Roman Catholic Council of Ravenna, in A.D. 1311, was the first council of the 'Church' which legalized baptism by sprinkling, by leaving it to the choice of the officiating minister." The first pope that sanctioned sprinkling for baptism was Stephen II., A.D. 753. In England and Scotland immersion was the ordinary practice till after the "Reformation." "What principality tended to confirm the practice of affusion or sprinkling, " says the Encyclopedia Britannica, "was that several of our Protestant divines, flying into Germany and Switzerland during the bloody reign of Queen Mary, and coming home when Queen Elizabeth came to the throne, brought back with them a great zeal for the Protestant churches beyond the sea, where they had been received and sheltered. And having observed that at Geneva, and some other places, baptism was administered by sprinkling, they thought that they could not do the Church of England a greater service than by introducing a practice dictated by so great an oracle as Calvin." It is proper here to state that Calvin, in his Institutes, says: "The word baptize signifies to immerse; and it is certain that immersion was the practice of the ancient church." In his commentary on Ac 8:38, Calvin says that "the church granted liberty to herself to change the rites somewhat." In 1643 the Westminster (Presbyterian) "Assembly of Divines, " through the influence of John Lightfoot, voted for sprinkling instead of immersion by a majority of one -24 voting for immersion and 25 for sprinkling. In 1644 the English Parliament sanctioned their decision, and decreed that sprinkling should be the legal mode of administering the ordinance. The independents, or Congregationalists, adopted sprinkling from the Presbyterians; and the Methodists, in the eighteenth century, from the Episcopalians. John Wesley says: "The ancient manner of baptizing was by immersion." The "form" of baptism was regarded by all these Protestants bodies as non-essential, as though the term "baptizm" was an indefinite one for the application of water in general, which it is perfectly certain that it is not; or as though man has the right or power to change an ordinance of Christ, which he has no more right or power to do than he has to change the course of nature. As God is unchangeable, so is "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today and forever, " and his ordinances, like those of God in nature, are unchangeable. It was a terrible sin visited by a terrible punishment, for a man to presume to alter an ordinance of God under the old dispensation; " Le 10; Nu 16; 1Sa 13; 2Sa 6 the ordinances of the new testament, though fewer in number, are not of less solemnity and authority, nor is there any scriptural evidence that they may be altered by man." He who instituted these ordinances can alone change or abrogate them. No theories or traditions or precepts of men are to allowed to make void or modify the commandments of God. By an examination of the ancient and modern versions of the new testament, we find that when the word baptizo is not simply transferred, but translated, the translators employ a word which signifies to immerse, except in a few modern versions. They never translate baptizo by "sprinkle" or "pour." As Mr. T. J. Conant says: "Translation decides the controversy, and ends it; for only one translation can be given the word baptizo." In his exhaustive work entitled "Baptizein, " this able New York scholar examines 175 instances of the use of baptizo through the entire period of the existence of Greek literature, and finds that "the ground-idea expressed by this word is to put into or under water or other penetrable substance, so as to entirely immerse or submerge; that this act is always expressed in the literal application of the word, and is the basis of its metaphorical uses; that from the earliest age of Greek literature down to its close, not an example has been found in which the word has any other meaning." Now, as the word baptizo invariably involves the idea of immersion, and never means pouring or sprinkling, it is as obvious as the noon-day sun in a cloudless sky that every objection to immersion, and every argument for pouring or sprinkling, as scriptural or apostolic baptism, sink into total insignificance -are indeed, annihilated; and so in every case has the most recent and accurate scholarship found every such objection and every such argument to disappear.

Before proceeding to examine these objections and arguments, let us briefly inquire why Christ and his apostles did not use some other word from the copious Greek vocabulary to designate the ordinance of initiation into His church. "Bapto is found three times in the New Testament, and this also means to dip, but is never applied to baptism. Why not? Because, besides being sometimes intransitive, it also means to dye, and therefore with this word the ordinance might have been misunderstood. Louo is found six times in the New Testament, and means to wash, to wash the whole body, to bathe. If as some say, baptism means to wash, here was just the word to express it. But this word is never applied to the ordinance. Nipto is found seventeen times, and means to wash the extremities, but is never applied to baptism. Why not, if a little water applied to the head may be baptism? Rantizo means to sprinkle, and is found in the New Testament four times. This would have been the very word used to designate baptism if, as some say, that ordinance is properly performed by sprinkling. But this word is in no instance so used. Why not? Because sprinkling is not baptism. Cheo means to pour, and is found eighteen times in various combinations, but is never applied to baptism. If baptism is pouring water on the candidate, why was not this word used some times to express it? Katharizo means to purify, to cleanse, and is found thirty times, but never applied to the ordinance of baptism. If, as some say, the ordinance signifies nothing but purification, this word would have expressed it. Christ and his Apostles selected baptizo to designate the ordinance of baptism, because baptism is essentially a dipping or immersion." -E. T. Hiscox. A dipping in water is both a washing or cleansing and a temporary burying. The immediate immersion or uplifting of the body out of the water, which was always done by John and the Apostles, fitly symbolized both the birth of the Spirit and the resurrection with Christ to newness of life. Mr. E. D. Barclay, in his full, clear and interesting work entitled "A Comparative View of the Words Bathe, Wash, Dip, Sprinkle and Pour, of the English Bible, and of their Originals in the Hebrew Septuagint (or Greek) Copies, " shows that while in the old testament the Hebrew has fifteen words, and the Greek thirty-one words, translated in the English "pour; " and the Hebrew two words, and the Greek sixteen words, translated in the English "sprinkle; " and the Hebrew four words, and the Greek eleven words, translated in English "wash; " and the Hebrew two words and the Greek two words, translated in the English "bathe; " no one of these twenty three Hebrew words and sixty Greek words is ever translated in the English Bible dip, or immerse, or plunge. In the Hebrew old testament two words, tabal and machats, and in the Greek old testament three words, bapto, baptizo, and moluno, are translated in the English old testament "dip" or "plunge; " tabal occurs sixteen times, and is translated fourteen times by bapto, once by baptizo, (2Ki 5:14) and once by moluno; (Ge 37:31) machats occurs one time, Ps 68:23 and is translated bapto; tabal is translated "dip" fifteen times and "plunge" one time; (Job 9:31) machats in its one occurrence is translated "dip, " but is rendered by Gesenius, the ablest Hebrew lexicographer, "to shake, to move to and fro, to stir; " moluno is not defined by Liddell and Scott to dip, but, "to stain, sully, defile." The passage in which tabal is translated by the Septuagint baptizo is in regard to Naaman, who "went down and dipped himself seven times in Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God." Mr. Barclays conclusion is that "the Hebrew Septuagint and English copies of the old testament, taken together, do not furnish the slightest authority for translating baptizo by either 'sprinkle' or 'pour;' but all three copies authorize 'dip' as the translation of this Greek verb." He also shows that the closest and most searching examination of the old and new testaments, in the Hebrew, Greek and English, does not find a single instance of the sprinkling or pouring of unmixed water on any person or thing for any religious purpose whatever, and therefore such sprinkling or pouring is not by Divine but by purely human authority." Jesus says of the unbelieving, tradition observing Jews: "In vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men". Mt 15:9 Jesus himself was, says Mark (Mr 1:10), "baptized (eis) into the Jordan." John baptized in the Jordan and in other places where there was "much water." "In the vast crowds attending Christ's preaching, no allusion is made to the need of water; it is mentioned only where baptizing is referred to. "Much water" certainly could not have been necessary for sprinkling or pouring, as it is not necessary for such a purpose now; "nor do men now go to rivers for sprinkling or pouring. Paul twice alludes to baptism as a burial. (Ro 6:4; Col 2:12) So the eunuch, who had "gone down into the water, came up out of the water". Ac 8:38-39 Along each one of the three roads from Jerusalem to Gaza, modern travelers tell us that there are occasionally streams, or pools, or fountains, or wadies, containing amply enough water for immersion. As for a sufficiency of water in Jerusalem to immerse the 3,000 on the day of Pentecost, the city contained, besides a countless number of large and deep and private cisterns, six immense public pools, with shelving, descending sides, affording the most extensive bathing or swimming accommodations -the Mosaic law and the traditions of the Elders requiring a vast quantity of water for ceremonial ablutions. During none of its numerous sieges did the city suffer from the lack of water. It is not stated that the 3,000 were all actually baptized on the same day; but it could have been easily in a few hours by either the twelve Apostles or by the seventy disciples helping them. Immersion takes very little longer than sprinkling or pouring if the baptismal formula is repeated with each, as is always done. Allowing one minute for each immersion, which is sufficient, twelve could have immersed 3,000 in two hundred and fifty minutes, or four hours and ten minutes; Eighty-two persons could have immersed 3,000 in thirty seven minutes. As Peter began preaching about the third hour of the day (Ac 2:15) or nine o'clock in the forenoon, and it is not probable that he spoke more than two or three hours, but apparently much less time than this, there was abundance of time left for the baptism of 3,000 persons by twelve or eighty two administrators on the same day. The Philippian jailer Ac 21:33 was immersed as the ablest commentators think, in a tank or pool or cistern in the court of the prison -such a reservoir as ancient houses usually had for the receiving the rain from the slightly inclined roof; or the immersion may have taken place in the neighboring river, Gangas, beside which, "prayer was wont to be made" Ac 16:13. In Ac 9:18 it is not said that Paul was baptized in the house of Judas, but he may have been, as "Damascus now abounds in water, and all the better houses either have a reservoir in their court, or stand beside a natural or artificial stream." Paul's remark in 1Co 10:1-2 "that our fathers were under the cloud, and passed through the sea, and were baptized unto Moses in the cloud, and in the sea, " shows that the Apostle Paul had in view, as an image of baptism, not a mere sprinkling or pouring, but a complete immersion or investment.

Peter's comparison of baptism to the flood 1Pe 3:20-22 is highly significant. "The ark in which Noah and his family were saved by water was God's ordinance; it was made according to the pattern He gave to Noah, as baptism is His ordinance; and as the ark was the object of the scorn of men, so is the ordinance of baptism, rightly administered; and as the ark represented a burial when Noah and his family were shut up in it, so baptism; and when the fountains of the great deep were broken up below, and the windows of heaven were opened above, the ark, with those in it, were as it were covered with and immersed in water, and so was a figure of baptism by immersion; and as there were none but adult persons in the ark, who were saved by water in it, so none but adult persons are the proper subjects for water baptism; and though there were few who were in the ark, it was attended with a salutary effect to them -they were saved by water; so such as truly believe in Christ and are baptized shall be saved, and that by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which was typified by the coming of Noah and his family out of the ark, to which baptism, as the antitype, corresponds, being an emblem of the same." -John Gill. In Mr 7:4 and Lu 11:38 the Greek verb rendered "wash" is baptizo (immerse); and this meaning of immersion exactly agrees with superstitious traditions of the Jewish Rabbis, as shown by Mr. Gill from the Talmud and the writings of Maimonides. "The Pharisees, upon touching the common people or their clothes, as they returned from market, or from any judicature, were obliged to immerse themselves in water before they ate; and Scaliger observes that the more superstitious of them, everyday before they sat down to meat, dipped the whole body. And not only cups, pots and brazen vessels were washed by dipping, but even beds, pillows and bolsters, unclean in a ceremonial sense, were washed in this way, according to the traditions of the Elders." In regard to the doubtful statement in the Apocryphal book of Judith (12:7), the writer says that is was night when Judith "dipped" herself in the fountain of water. -An object that has only a few drops of water sprinkled or poured cannot be said to be washed. It was a rule with the Jews that where the law required the washing of the flesh or the clothes, the whole body must be dipped; for said they, "If any man dips himself all over except the tip of the little finger, he is still in his uncleanness" (Maimonides). -In Lu 12:50 Christ calls his own approaching sufferings "a baptism, " thus expressing their abundance, like deep waters and floods, into which he was to be plunged, covered and overwhelmed. (see Ps 69:1-2; Isa 43:2) -"The baptism in the Holy Ghost, (Ac 1:5-Greek), which Jesus promised his disciples, was fitly represented on the day of Pentecost by a complete immersion in the wind and fire, the emblem of The Spirit; Ac 2:2-4 the sound as of a rushing mighty wind filled all the house where they were sitting, and tongues as of fire sat upon each of them. They were thus surrounded by the wind and covered by the fire. The Spirit is not material, but spiritual; and we cannot understand the methods of His operation upon the soul in the new creation, any more than we can understand the methods in which God created the material universe out of nothing. The descriptive terms used in connection with the emblems of The Spirit are special accommodations to the particular emblem employed, and do not denote the mysterious manner of the communication of The Spirit. Natural things cannot explain the method in which The Spirit acts. The Spirit is not like water; but the effects of the two are similar. He is said to be poured, because He is supposed to dwell above, and His influences are like those of water; on the same principle on which God is said to have come down from Heaven, or to look down from Heaven, in accommodation to our ways of thinking and speaking. The ordinance of baptism was not intended to represent the mode of The Spirit's communication. If baptism can be represented by pouring water out of a cup, it can just as scripturally be represented by the falling of water in rain, its springing out of the earth, its running in a stream, its distilling in dew, or by the drinking of water, or the anointing with oil, or the blowing of the wind, or the blazing of fire, or the flying of a dove, or the exhalation of breath. These various terms are adapted to each special emblem, and do not explain The Spirit's mode of operation. Baptism, then, can not be either pouring or dipping for the sake of representing the manner of the conveyance of The Holy Spirit; for there is no such likeness. Pouring of The Spirit is a phrase, which is itself a figure, not to be represented by another figure. Baptism is a figure, not of the mode of The Spirit's operation, to which there can be no likeness, but of the burial and resurrection of Christ, which may be represented by natural things, because it respects the objects of sense. Baptism or immersion in the Spirit does not represent the mode of The Spirit's conveyance, but such complete subjection to The Spirit's influence as an object immersed in a fluid experiences from the fluid." Alex Carson. "Not water-baptism, but the Holy Spirit, is the seal of the new covenant. 2Co 1:22; Eph 1:13; 4:30 The salvation of the dying thief was no doubt meant to be one strong proof that water baptism is not a saving ordinance.-The erection of numerous large baptisteries, or great circular or octagonal buildings with immense cisterns in them for baptism, in Greek and Latin Christendom, from the fourth to the ninth centuries, proves the practice of immersion during that period. As for some of the cisterns being only about three feet deep, it was common at that time for the candidate alone to enter the water and kneel down, and for the minister, who stood outside, to bend the head of the candidate forward into the water; besides infant baptism had then become common, and for the immersion of infants but little depth of water was required. Certainly these large cisterns were never intended for mere sprinkling or pouring. As for baptism being represented sometimes by pouring, in some old mosaics and frescoes and in the Roman catacombs, pouring was sometimes used by the Catholics in connection with immersion; the dates of the representations are quite uncertain; and it is known that additions have been made by modern hands. A deep and lasting impression was made some years ago upon my mind by the solemnity and emotion of a remark addressed to me by a humble, lovely and exemplary gentleman, now deceased, who had been a Presbyterian, but was then a Baptist minister, Mr. Thomas R. Owen, of Tarboro, N.C., well known to hundreds of the readers of these pages. He had visited my native town of Williamston, N.C., some years before the war, while a Presbyterian, and had preached; and now, being a Baptist, he had come again and preached. I heard him both times; and, after the last sermon I approached him, and alluded to his former visit. "Ah! Then", said he, with deep earnestness and feeling-"Ah! Then I was in darkness on the subject of baptism." More than three fourths of the professedly Christian worlds are still in darkness on that important subject. More than three hundred out of four hundred millions have abandoned the original and Divine ordinance of immersion, as instituted by The Lord Jesus Christ, and as practiced by the apostolic church, and have adopted in its stead a feeble human counterfeit. "There can be no question," says Mr. A. P. Stanley, late "Dean of Westminster Abbey," "that the original form of baptism, the very meaning of the word, was complete immersion in the deep baptismal waters, and that for at least four centuries any other form was either unknown or unregarded, unless in the case of dangerous illness, as an exceptional, almost a monstrous case." "In the early centuries baptism was an entire submersion in the deep water, a leap as into a rolling sea or the rushing river, where for the moment the waves close over the bather's head, and he emerges again as from a momentary grave. This was the part of the ceremony on which the Apostles laid so much stress. It seemed to them like a burial of the old former self and the rising up again of the new man. So St. Paul compared it to the Israelites passing through the roaring waves of the Red Sea, and St. Peter to the passing through the deep waters of the flood. Immersion followed, no doubt, the examples of the Apostles and of their Master. It has the sanction of the venerable churches of the early ages, and of the sacred countries of the East. Baptism by sprinkling was rejected by the whole ancient church (except in the rare case of death-beds or extreme necessity) as no baptism at all. The change from immersion to sprinkling has set aside the most apostolic expressions regarding baptism, and has altered the very meaning of the word." No wonder that, on this and many other accounts, Chevalier Bunsen should declare that Protestantism, as well as Catholicism, needs, in order to restore to primitive Christianity, a "Second Grand Reconstructive Reformation."

The apostolic churches were Baptist Churches, because composed of baptized believers; and, even if no intervening links were discoverable, it would be absolutely certain that the churches of the Bible Baptist of the nineteenth century originated from, and are the only spiritual successors of, the apostolic churches. The learned Mosheim said of the Baptist of his day that "their origin was hidden in the remote depths of antiquity." This was quite complimentary to them as coming from a Lutheran historian, of course, but not complimentary enough after all; for, although they originated in the remote depths of antiquity, their origin was not hidden at all. It was apparent and conspicuous as the noonday sun. Did that bright luminary of heaven cast his brilliant rays in the first century over Asia, Africa and Europe? So was the progress of these Primitive Baptist as clearly seen in, Palestine, Egypt, Arabia, Syria, Cilicia, Pamphylia, Lycaonia, Phrygia, Galatia, Cappadocia, Mysia, Macedonia, Greece, Italy, and the islands of the Sea. Nay, verily they were not hidden, but were as a city set on a hill which could not be hid.

3. The third mark of the apostolic church was that the members, being baptized believers, came frequently around The Table of The Lord, and commemorated the suffering and death of their precious Redeemer, by partaking of common bread to represent His body broken, and common wine to represent His blood shed for them. The two practices of Baptism and The Lords Supper, or Communion, were called ordinances of the church, and were strictly observed. Baptism represented the initiation into the Divine life by an identification with Christ in His death and burial and resurrection, and by the regenerating and cleansing efficacy of The Holy Spirit; while communion represented the continued support of the new internal heavenly life by spiritual food, even the body and blood of The Son of God, thus assimilating the children of God more and more to the perfect image of Christ. Life must not only be begun, but it must be supported with proper food; and the Christian life is both spiritual in its origin and spiritual in its continuance, and all is of God. Only those persons who made a credible profession of faith in Christ were baptized (that is, immersed in water in the name of The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost) by the apostles; and only those persons thus believing and thus baptized were admitted by the apostles to the ordinance of The Lord's Supper. Life cannot be supported before it is begun. The apostles, to whom Christ first gave the symbols of His broken body and shed blood, were themselves baptized believers, several of them having been previously disciples of John the Baptist. Christ's commission to the apostles authorized them first to preach or teach or disciple, then to baptize, then to teach to observe all his commandments, one of these commandments being the ordinance of His Supper. On the day of Pentecost, accordingly, after Peter had preached the gospel, those "gladly receiving" it, were baptized; and "they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and in fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers". Ac 2:41-42 At Troas only the "disciples" came together to break bread. Ac 20:7 It was not upon the unbaptized or unbelievers, but upon "the church of God", 1Co 1:2 that Paul enjoined the observance of the Lord's Supper; 1Co 11:23-34 and he praised the brethren for keeping the ordinances as he had delivered them to them. 1Co 11:2 If "brethren" walked "disorderly, " the apostle commanded the church to "withdraw" from such 2Th 3:6 and "not to eat or commune with a man called a brother, but really a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner". 1Co 5:11 It was plainly implied that the church was to judge the qualifications or disqualifications of persons for the sacred ordinance of communion. As it was the Table of The Lord, none but those who were declared by Him to be qualified could be admitted to it. Persons who were unregenerate, therefore could not be permitted to commune; persons who, even if they were regenerate, had not been baptized (that is, immersed in the water in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost) could not be allowed to commune; persons who, even though regenerate and baptized, walked disorderly, could not be permitted to commune. These requirements, laid down by the Divine Head of the church, plainly exclude from the Lord's Table infants, unrenewed adults, and even Christians, if only sprinkled or poured and not baptized, and even properly baptized Christians, if their conduct is unbecoming the gospel of Christ. In regard to these laws of exclusion, the church has no discretion; they were unchangeably instituted by her Divine Master, and are to be faithfully executed by her as long as she has existence on the shores of time. In the apostolic church only those who "continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and in fellowship" communed; Ac 2:42 the cup and the bread were "the communion of the body of Christ" -the many members constituting "one bread and one body". 1Co 10:16-17 The primitive church so heartily loved and fellowshipped one another that they had all things in common Ac 2:44; Joh 13:34-35; 1Co 13:13; 1Jo 3:14-18 blessed union of life and love that will be perfectly realized in glory, Christ. Ps 17:15; Ro 8:29; Eph 3:19; 1Jo 4:8 For communion and worship the apostolic church at first met "daily," Ac 2:46 and afterwards weekly, on the first day of the week. Joh 20:19,26; Ac 20:7; 1Co 16:2; Re 1:10 The churches were not told by Christ how often they were to observe this blessed ordinance, but, "as oft as they did it, to do it in remembrance of Him". 1Co 11:25 Thus was the sacred Supper to be a symbolic and grateful commemoration of our adorable Redeemer, who laid down His precious life for us; an impressive personal profession of our personal faith in Him and His atonement for us; a symbol of church fellowship; and a prophecy of the marriage supper of the Lamb in Heaven. Mt 26:29; Re 19:9 The Lord's Supper is nowhere in the scriptures called a 'sacrament or seal" of salvation, an effective "means of grace," nor do the scriptures teach the gross material Catholic doctrine that the bread and wine become the veritable body and blood of Christ (transubstantiation), or the almost equally gross Lutheran doctrine that the real body of Christ is in, with and under the bread and wine (consubstantiation). The verb "to be" sometimes in all languages means "to represent" or 'symbolize," as in Ge 41:26-27; Ex 12:11; Eze 37:11; Da 7:24; Mt 13:38-39; Re 1:20,9,12,18. Christ calls Himself "the door," Joh 10:9 "the good shepherd," Joh 10:11 "the way, the truth, the life," Joh 14:6 "the true vine," and Paul calls Christ "that rock". 1Co 10:4 And so when Christ says, "This is my body "this is my blood," referring to the bread and wine in His Supper, He speaks, not literally, but figuratively, meaning, "this represents my body-this represents my blood." The bread and wine are the blessed emblems and memorials of our once dying but ever-living and ever-loving Lord, who is now bodily absent from us, and whom we are thus to remember, and show His death till He come. 1Co 11:25-26 They are in no sense to be deified and idolized, as in the Catholic pretended sacrifice of the "Mass" which has become a chief element of Romish worship. The monstrous papal doctrine of the "Mass" is not only a contradiction of our senses and reason, but a contradiction of our faith, which assures us that the offering of the body of Christ was made once for all, by that one offering forever perfecting them that are sanctified, and that His glorified humanity is seated at the right hand of The Father upon His mediatorial throne. Heb 10:10-14; 1:3; 7:24-27 The idolatrous doctrine of transubstantiation was first explicitly taught by Paschasius Radbert, A.D. 831 and was first decreed as an article of faith at the instance of Pope Innocent III., by the fourth "Lateran Council," A.D. 1215. This was more than a Millennium too late for it to be a doctrine of the apostolic church. Neither the apostles nor any of their real spiritual successors or followers could tolerate for a moment the idea of "crucifying the Son of God afresh"; Heb 6:6 only a man made, carnal, unbelieving, unfeeling, ambitious, covetous "priesthood" could ever have devised or sanctioned the gross heathenish idolatry of the "Mass," which they pretend to be an efficacious sacrifice for the sins both of the living and the dead, and which they assiduously use for the purpose of replenishing their purses and perpetuating their power over a superstitious people. "The bread used by Christ was "artos" -a pure unleavened wheaten loaf Ex 12:8-20; Mt 26:17; Ex 29:3 and the wine was the "fruit of the vine," the pure fermented juice of the grape. Unfermented juice of the grape is but a mass of leaven -it is must, and not wine; fermentation is the natural clarification of the juice. Paul exhorts the Corinthian church to "keep the feast, not with the old leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth". 1Co 5:8 Paul's expression is figurative; and Christ seems to have used unleavened bread because it was on hand during the Passover. It is probable that the disciples in Ac 2:46 and Ac 20:7 used common, that is leavened bread; this, however is not certain. The Greek Catholics used leavened, and the Roman Catholic unleavened bread, the latter being in the form of small, thin, round wafers, introduced in the eleventh century, and bearing upon them either the initials of Christ or the initials I.H.S. (IESUS HOMINUM SALVATOR, Jesus the savior of men); the Greek loaf is stamped with the characters I C X C N I K A (Iesous Christos Nika, Jesus Christ Conquers). These are human devices of an idolatrous character, utterly unknown to the apostolic church. The Greek "Church" gives in a spoon the eucharistic bread and wine sopped together; beginning in the twelfth, and fully establishing the innovation in the thirteenth century, the Latin "Church" gives the wine to the priest only, on the pleas that the body (represented by the bread) contains the blood, and that there is danger of spilling the blood if passed from one communicant to another, and that the "church" only sanctioned that which had become a custom, and that the priest being, as they pretend, successors to the apostles, should drink the wine. But the Apostles, at the Last Supper, represented the whole church; and Christ, speaking of the wine, says, "Drink ye all of it"; Mt 26:27 and Mark says "They all drank of it" (Mr 14:23); and, instead of the body containing the blood, the very separation of the two elements, the bread from the wine, the body from the blood, indicates the death of Christ. This withholding of the wine or cup from the "laity" or private members caused the Hussite War in Germany (A.D.1420-1433). Men thus make the commandments of God void by their traditions. -As infant baptism was introduced in the third century, so was infant communion; and the latter continued in the Latin "Church"; the Pedobaptist Protestant "Churches, " through professedly baptizing (but really rhantizing or sprinkling) infants, inconsistently withhold communion from infants -every argument for or against the one practice is equally valid for or against the other; there is no reason or scripture for either. Through the fascinating eloquence of Robert Hall (1764-1831), an Arminian "Baptist" preacher of England, the most of the English churches called Baptist practice open or general communion; but the "Strict Baptist" in England practice close communion. In America the Baptist who first settled here suffered so much from the persecutions inflicted upon them by other denominations that they were at first compelled to observe close communion; and those adhering to the scriptures and the apostolic precepts still practice, not a general or open, but a strict close communion.

4. The fourth mark of the apostolic church was the maintenance of strict discipline. Christ was the only perfect being that ever lived on the earth in human form. Neither the apostles or the apostolic churches attained perfection in the flesh, Php 3:12-14; 1Jo 1:8 but all intelligent students of the bible and church history admit that the strict precepts of the Apostles were more faithfully observed by the apostolic than they have been by any succeeding churches. The church in the apostolic age, especially feeling herself to be the bride of Christ, the temple of The Holy Ghost, earnestly sought to show her love for her Lord by keeping His holy commandments. In that glorious springtime of love, but little comparatively of the dust of the earth seemed to soil her shining garments; and but few cases of rigid discipline occurred or were recorded. The infidel historian Gibbon considers "the pure and austere morals of the early Christians" as among the causes of the rapid spread of their religion. To show the great importance of prompt and strict discipline, God Himself directly interposed in the case of the first offense in the apostolic church, and struck both the joint offenders, Ananias and Sapphira, with instant death. Ac 5:1-11 The offense was falsehood, hypocrisy, covetousness-an outward semblance of devoting all to God, and yet a real heart worship of mammon. Men "cannot serve both God and mammon". Mt 6:24 "If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him". 1Jo 2:15 This prompt and rigid act of Divine church discipline caused "great fear to come upon all the church and upon as many as heard these things;" Ac 5:11 and "of the rest durst no man join himself to them" (Ac 5:13). There can be no doubt that, after this, hypocrites were kept out of the church at Jerusalem for a considerable time. The second example of church discipline is mentioned as having occurred at Corinth. 1Co 5 A member of that church was guilty of incest, Corinth, being at that time the most licentious city in the world. But the general prevalence of this or any other vice is no sort of justification for it being tolerated and retained in the church; a little of the leaven of wickedness soon leavens the whole lump. When Paul, at Ephesus, heard with deep grief of this scandal, he wrote the Corinthian church, and as united in spirit with the church, though bodily absent, he, in the name of Jesus Christ, judged that such an offender should be "delivered unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" "that is, excluded from the church, given over to Satan, the god of this world, for the infliction of bodily affliction, and more the mortification of the sinner's carnal nature, and for the ultimate repentance and restoration of the offender (1Co 5:13; 2Co 4:4; Job 2:4-7; Lu 13:16; 22:31; 2Co 12:7; 1Pe 5:8; Mt 5:29-30; 1Co 11:30,32; Ro 8:13; 1Pe 4:1-2). The church at Corinth, according to the Apostles solemn admonition, when they were met together, excluded the offender, and we learn that he afterwards repented and was restored to their fellowship (2Co 2:1-10; 7:8-12). Even the inspired Apostle did not exclude, but he simply called upon the church, which alone had the authority, to exclude or put away that wicked person from among them. 1Co 5:13 It is the church not merely the pastor or Deacons or any other body, to which Christ directs that a trespass shall be finally told. Mt 18:15-20 Christ alone has the key of the house of David -He alone can open and shut (Isa 22:22; Re 1:18; 3:7). When the church acts by His Spirit, its course will be ratified in Heaven. The keys given to His Apostles relate, not to church discipline, the admission and exclusion of members, but to gospel doctrine-not whomsoever, but "whatsoever ye bind," etc. (Mt 16:19; 18:18); the doctrine of the Apostles, and not church discipline, is alluded to in Joh 20:23, (compare Mr 16:16) for none but God can forgive sins (Ex 34:7; Isa 43:25). In the conference at Jerusalem, the brethren took part with the Apostles and Elders in the deliberation and decision. Ac 15:23 The third recorded case of discipline in the apostolic church is that of Hymeneus and Philetus, doctrinal errorists, who withstood Paul's words and denied the resurrection of the body, 2Ti 2:17-18 and who were "delivered unto Satan that they might learn be disciplined by chastisement and suffering not to blaspheme". 1Ti 1:20 A pervading spirit of genuine brotherly love, springing from genuine love and loyalty to Christ, is the best preventive of offenses in the church. Cherishing this spirit, the members should tenderly watch over one another, and, by mutual Christian encouragement, counsel, admonition, and reproof, provoke one another, not to wrath and evil, but to love and good works. Eph 6:13; Heb 10:24; Ps 141:5; Ga 6:1; Col 3:12-14 The affectionate subjection of one to another was a marked feature of the simple, unworldly apostolic church. This mutual loving watch-care should be active; it was while the men or servants slept that the enemy sowed tares. (#Mt 13:25) -Private or personal offenses are to be adjusted in strict accordance with Christ's directions in Mt 18:15-17. Christ lays down four distinct steps, which are always to be taken in the order given by Him, and not in a reversed order. First: the aggrieved party, if the other does not, is to take the initiative in seeking a private interview with the supposed offender; if he fails to do so, he himself becomes an offender, as he has violated the law of Christ. The privacy of the interview is highly important; the object is, not altercation, but to gain an offending brother. Perhaps the offending brother is laboring under a mistake; the other brother may not have intended to offend him, and may not be conscience of having done so, or he may not have had an opportunity of explaining his conduct. A private interview conducted in a calm brotherly spirit may and should give full mutual satisfaction. If in such an interview the offense is denied, and there are no witnesses of the offense, the next step cannot be taken; for then the complaining party would become an offender, having published a charge which can not be proved. Absence of proof will leave him no recourse but in private admonition and the patient committal of the matter to Providence. Second: If the first step fails, and the offense can be proved, then one or two other disinterested and judicious members are to be chosen as witnesses and mediators, and the whole case is to be considered before them. They may be able to discover what is right between the members at variance, and the latter may be willing to yield to their decision. If the "one or two more" consider the offense as not real or as satisfactorily removed, the aggrieved party, though unsatisfied, can not take the third step; for the offender has "heard them," and the accuser ought to be satisfied with the judgment of the brethren selected by himself. Third: if the second step fails, the case, after due notification of the parties, is to be laid before the church, the proof adduced, and the opportunity given for defense. Here the united wisdom and influence of the whole church is brought to bear to reconcile the difference and judge between parties. Fourth: If the party judged by the church to be in fault still refuses to make amends, it is evident that his heart is fully set in him to do evil, and must be excluded from the church; for his refusal to hear the body proves his contempt for the brethren, and they are therefore compelled to withdraw their fellowship from him. If this important law of the Great Head of the church were properly executed, long continued personal feuds, with their disastrous results, bitterness and factions, would be prevented. Differences between members in regard to worldly affairs are expressly forbidden by the inspired Apostle Paul 1Co 6:1-11 to be carried before worldly courts, but must be referred to the judgment of the wise members of the church, the least esteemed of judge between brethren. Saints are finally to judge the wicked world and angels, and are certainly qualified to judge in small temporal matters. Christians should not contend before the ungodly, and thus bring reproach upon the cause of Christ. Besides, differences among men are often decided in worldly courts, not according to right and equity, but by legal quibbles and technicalities; whereas the children of God should always desire, in reference to their affairs, a judgment according to the equity and the Spirit of Christ.-In regard to moral or public offenses against the order, faith and purity of the church, such as neglect of church obligations, heresy, idolatry, immorality, intemperance, railing and extortion, 1Co 5:11; Tit 3:10; 2Pe 2; Heb 10:25 these may be divided into minor and gross public offenses. Minor public offenses, such as a member may be led, under strong and sudden temptation, to commit only once, and such as do not greatly scandalize the cause of Christ, are to be treated according to Paul's direction in Ga 6:1; these erring members are to be restored by the spiritual in the spirit of sympathizing meekness, as all are liable thus to be tempted; in these cases the method of procedure laid down by Christ for personal offenses Mt 18:15-17 is in spirit to be observed. Tit 3:10 Christian tenderness may also here succeed in gaining a brother. But, in the case of gross, deliberate, habitual public offenses, or such as greatly scandalize the church, where the evidence is public and unmistakable, there should be, though in a spirit of sorrow and not of bitterness, a prompt absolute exclusion, as the Apostle divinely enjoined in regard to the Corinthian offender; 1Co 5 any steps taken to bring such an offender to repentance and restoration should be taken afterwards. 2Co 2:1-11 A confession and promise of reformation are not enough to be required of this class of offenders. They should, for the honor of Christ, be at once cut off; and, if they afterwards, by a godly conduct and conversation, bring forth fruits meet for repentance, and prove genuineness of their sorrow and reformation, then they may be restored. 2Co 7:8-12; Mt 3:8; Ac 26:20 The rule in Lu 17:3-4, plainly applies only to personal or private offenses, which do not bring scandal upon the church-not to public or moral offenses which seriously reproach the cause of Christ. The latter are offenses which the church can not forgive; but, when assured that God has forgiven the offender, she may then receive him back into membership.-In the apostolic church the Elders or presbyters are sometimes called Bishops or overseers or rulers of the flock, and therefore had the special responsibility of maintaining the discipline of the church (Ac 20:17,28; 1Ti 3:4-5; 5:17; Heb 13:7,17,24). Against an Elder an accusation was not to be received but before two or three witnesses, 1Ti 5:19 because his office is a very presumption in his favor, and because, as a minister, he is peculiarly exposed to malice. An Elder, to be efficient, must be "blameless" (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:6-7 must be removed from the communion of gospel churches; a church of Christ is like be overrun with thorns and nettles and weeds, but, by a proper and timely discipline, the weeds eradicated, and the withered branches are gathered and cast out. Third: The good of the offending parties, who, if real children of God, are, by proper discipline brought to shame and repentance for their sins, and an acknowledgment of them, when they are to be received again with all love and tenderness, and to be comforted, that they might not be swallowed up with over-much sorrow." -John Gill.

5. The fifth Mark of the Apostolic Church was the independent or congregational polity or government of each local church, subject only to the Headship of Christ; all the local apostolic churches being united, by no outward bond of force, but by an inward bond of love. The Greek word rendered "church" in the New Testament is "ekklesia, " which is derived from the verb ek-kaleo, to call out, and denotes an assembly called out, a select body separated from the mass of the people. In ancient Greece the ekklesia in each State was the assembly of the free born, native, self-governing citizens, the highest legal body in the land, from which there was no appeal; slaves and foreigners were excluded from the ekklesia. In the Septuagint ekklesia is the usual rendering of the Hebrew word kahal, "the congregation" of Israel or of The Lord, from which were excluded the uncircumcised, the unclean and the "mixed multitude." Ekklesia occurs in the New Testament 115 times; twice referring to the Hebrew "congregation of The Lord, " three times referring to the Greek assembly, and 110 times referring to the Christian church. In 92 of these last cases the reference is to a special, local, visible society of Christians; in the remaining 18 cases the reference is to the entire body of the elect in Heaven and on earth, or what is sometimes called the invisible church (as in Eph 5:25,29; 3:10,21; Col 1:18,24; Heb 13:23). The word is never used in the New Testament to designate a universal (or catholic) visible church, a national church (as the church of Judea or England), or a denominational church (as the church was not divided into different denominations in the Apostolic Age, and there was not then any great organization, like the Presbyterian Church, or the Methodist Church, including in it self a large number of local congregations). A visible church is always in scripture a local body; and every local church, acting by a majority of it's members, in (#2Co 2:6) "ton pleionon" is literally, not "many, " but "the more, " the majority is invested by Christ with the exclusive and final power of receiving, disciplining, excluding and restoring it's members, electing it's officers, and transacting all other necessary business (  Ro 14:1; Mt 18:15-18; 1Co 5:4-5,7,11-13; Ro 16:17; 2Th 3:6; Ac 1:15-26; 6:1-6; 1Co 16:3; 14:23; and, in accordance with the analogy of Ac 6:2-6, the word cheirotoneo in Ac 14:23 is explained by the latest and ablest German scholars to denote the election of the Elders in each church under the supervision of Paul and Barnabas. Especially does the language of Christ in Mt 18:15-18 demonstrate that the church is the highest and last ecclesiastical authority on earth; that there can be no appeal, under the law of Christ, form the decision of the church to a presbytery, or synod, or general assembly, or conference, or convention, or priesthood, or prelacy, or papacy, or Association, or any other earthly authority. After a church has excluded one of it's members, and classed him with the heathens and publicans, it is not only thoroughly unscriptural, but also thoroughly absurd, to suppose that any man or set of men can, by any exercise of authority, put back such an offender in the fellowship of that church. With true repentance, confession and reformation the fellowship will be restored; but without these exercises gospel fellowship can never be restored. Each gospel church is a separate and independent republic, having Christ as it's only Head and Lawgiver, and not subject, in any ecclesiastical matters, to any outside jurisdiction; such, according to the ablest scholars and historians, was not only every apostolic church in the first century, but also of the second century (see works of Gibbon, Mosheim, Neander, Coleman, Whately, Burton, Barrow, Schaff, etc.). The church is repeatedly declared in the New Testament to be the body of Christ; Ro 12:5; 1Co 6:15; 10:17; 12:27; Eph 1:23; 4:12; 5:23,30; Col 1:18; 2:17 the only Head therefore, of this body, is Christ, who guides and controls and preserves the church as His body. Hierarchies and synods are unscriptural, tyrannous usurpations, which have, through the ages, inflicted grievous wrongs upon the people. It is openly and proudly claimed by the advocates of these ecclesiastical monarchies and oligarchies that these systems are the fruit and product of the greatest worldly experience and wisdom; very few scholars, among these advocates, even pretend now to base these systems upon the New Testament. The apostolic church, or church of the first century, they say, was "a strictly supernatural organization, a stranger in this world, standing with one foot in eternity, and longing for the second coming of her heavenly bridegroom; but afterwards, finding that Christ did not come, she, in her new constitution, planted foot firmly upon earth, yet thus became secularized and finally Romanized, and this necessitated a reformation on the basis of apostolic Christianity." Bible Baptists believe that, not only in the first, but also in every succeeding century, God has had on earth faithful, spiritual, unworldly, un-Romanized apostolic churches, each one of which, in it's divinely established individuality and independence, has presented an insurmountable and indestructible breakwater against the countless tides of error, strife, and corruption setting in from every quarter; and all of which have been united by no mechanical, outward, worldly, usurping and oppressive bond of force, but by an inward, heavenly, spiritual, emancipating, purifying and elevating bond of Divine love and peace and fellowship, such as The Lord Jesus Christ, their Ever-Living, Unchangeable and Omnipotent Head, in the last solemn moments of His suffering earthly ministry, tenderly enjoined upon them and earnestly besought His Father to grant them. Joh 13:34-35; 15:12-13; 17:20-23 Born and taught by God, being one body, and having one Spirit, even as they are called in one hope of their calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in them all, they, not in word only, but in deed and in truth, love one another, and endeavor to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. Joh 1:13; 6:45; Eph 4:1-6; 1Th 4:9; 1Jo 2:27; 3:14-18; 4:7-21 They have always corresponded with each other by brotherly letters and messages, and have from time to time met in a general or associational way, not to lord it over God's heritage, but to worship God, and to edify, exhort and confirm one another in the most holy faith once delivered to the saints (Ac 13; 14; 15; Php 2:25; Heb 10:23-25; 12:22-29; 1Pe 5:3,5; Jude 3,20). Scriptural Associations are only general meetings of churches, or brethren from different churches, for the purpose of Divine worship and mutual edification; and, while no church should, either in a private or general way, maintain fellowship with a church which persists in heresy or disorder, yet there is not a particle of New Testament or apostolic authority for any such general meeting assuming the functions of an individual church, such as admitting, disciplining, or excluding members of a church, or electing or disciplining church officers. It cannot be repeated too often that each gospel church is, according to Christ and His Apostles, the highest ecclesiastical authority on earth. While all gospel churches should always so live as to maintain peace and fellowship with each other, Christ nowhere in the New Testament gives the slightest authority for an organic union or consolidation of gospel churches. Such a union would be a fruitful source of corruption and oppression. The New Testament contains not a single example or intimation of the subordination of a church to any ecclesiastical authority outside of itself, whether popes, or diocesan b general assemblies, or councils or associations, or conventions. The simple fact that the Apostles address their epistles, not to church officers or church judicatories, but to the churches of the called and faithful saints of God, proves both the right and responsibility of each church in respect to the management of it's own affairs. The idea that the government of the apostolic church was presbyterial or by Elders, originated from the mistake of supposing that the Christian church was a copy of the Jewish synagogue. Bible scholars admit that neither synagogues nor the government of synagogues were of Divine institution, but that they began to be built and established after the Babylonian exile -after the close of the Old Testament canon. The only place in the Old Testament where the Authorized Version of the English Bible contains the word "synagogue" is Ps 74:8; and the Hebrew word "moed" is here rendered by Gesenius and the best commentators, "tabernacle of the congregation" -or "holy place" -there being no allusion whatever to any organized body of people or any method of government. Christ and His Apostles use not sunagogue, but ekklesia, an essentially different governed body to denote a Christian church. Only once in the New Testament did the Greek word "sunagogue" used even to denote the place of a Christian assembly, and then by the most Judaic writer in the New Testament, James (Jas 2:2). The numerous passages already cited which prove that the church, subject only to Christ, was to govern itself, disprove that elders were to govern it. Elders, bishops or pastors are to lead (hegeomai), oversee or preside over (episkopeo, proistemi), care for (epimeleomai), and shepherd (poimaino) the flock Heb 13:7,25; Ac 20:28; 1Ti 5:17; 3:5; Joh 21:15-17; 1Pe 5:2; they are not to exercise the despotic authority of the Gentile and Jewish rulers (Mr 10:42-45-archon; compare Lu 8:41; 24:20; Ac 4:26), not to lord it (1Pe 5:3- katakurieuo, exercise complete dominion over) God's heritage. Even Christ Himself came not to ministered unto, but to minister (diakoneo, to serve: Mr 10:45); and His apostles are servants of the church for Jesus' sake. 2Co 4:5 All His people are made by Him, kings and priest unto God; Re 1:5-6; 1Pe 2:5,9 Christ alone is the High Priest of our profession Heb 3:1; 5:5-6-He alone is the King of kings Re 19:16. It would be disloyalty to Christ for any church to alienate from itself and delegate to any other persons or set of persons the rights and functions which Christ has committed to her; a gospel church can not have delegates, but may have messengers. But the sisterhood relationship of churches involve sisterhood obligations. They are all members of the same mystical body of Christ, permeated by the same Divine Spirit, and should be sweetly constrained by the same heavenly love to maintain the strict faith and order of the gospel, to have tender regards for one another's feelings, and to keep the unity of The Spirit in the bond of peace. Eph 4:1-6 In temporal things each church is subject, and should be quietly submissive, to worldly powers; Ro 13:1-7; 1Pe 2:13-25 but in spiritual things each church is subject only to Christ. Mt 23:8-12; 17:5; Joh 13:13-14

6. The Sixth Mark of the Apostolic Church was religious liberty, soul-freedom, a complete separation of church and state, the entire independence of each church from all state control so far as regarded the membership, ministry, organization, faith, worship and discipline of the church. Jesus declared to Pilate "My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom was of this world, this would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews". Joh 18:36 Peter and John answered the Jewish rulers: "Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, Judge ye". Ac 4:19 Those made free by the Son of God are free indeed, Joh 8:36 and are to stand fast in the liberty wherewit