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The epistle bears evidence in all its parts that he was so. The dark things and the bright things are all full of light and mercy, as they are viewed from the standpoint of the Christian system. Adam's sin and its consequences are not introduced for the purpose of explaining how sin or death entered the world, but only to illustrate the universality of the blessing of Christ's work for mankind. Paul's thought did not occupy itself chiefly with the question how sin found its into our race, but with the means by which it could be removed from our race. The predestinating purpose is referred to, not for the end of showing the relation of foreknowledge to decrees, or of raising the inquiry as to those who do not fall within its limits, but only to give assurance to the Christian believer that no evils can withdraw him from the love of God and prevent his attaining the glorious life of the future. Israel's history and lapse, as the apostle thinks of them in his argument, are not filled with the dark shadows only, but they are lighted up in all their mystery by the infinite mercy which shines from the future consummation. The law brings wrath, and the service of sin is a bondage. But there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Being justified by faith in Him, the believer has peace with God and joy in hope of the glory that awaits him. Nay, even he can rejoice in that which least of all seems joyful to human view the tribulations of the present life, since he can know beyond a doubt or question, that their natural working for those who believe is towards the confirmation of hope. The fullness of the Gentiles shall be brought in. All Israel shall be saved. Joy, hope, and confidence are manifest in every line and verse. They rise above and out of the sadness of the sad words, and illuminate and inspire and fill with thankfulness all the glad words. The theologian who has forgotten this in his speculations or discussions, has left the largehearted, rejoicing apostle at the very threshold of his thinking.

In the interpretation of the Epistle to the Romans, as in the case of all the other Pauline epistles, we must remember that it is affected in its style, not only by the peculiar character of the author's mind and education, but by the very fact that it is a letter. A letter is, in its nature, individual and particular. It has relations to the readers for whom it is designed. Its modes of expression are influenced by the present condition of their minds, as well as by the present thinking of the writer. The range and method of its discussion of the theme in hand may be limited as compared with what is allowable in a treatise. Its sentences may not be always as closely and intimately connected as those of a more formal discourse. The manner of pursuing the single or main line of thought may have something peculiar in the epistolary form. Paul's letters, moreover, were not written by his own hand, but dictated to an amanuensis. They naturally, therefore, have the characteristics of letters prepared in this way. They are more full of

himself, as we may say-as he would have appeared and would have expressed his thoughts in an earnest conversation. We can almost see him in the conflict with his adversary, anticipating his objections, refuting his arguments, appealing to his sound judgment, commending to him the evidences for the truth. As in such a conflict on a single great question he would not have arrested or turned aside the conversation to settle the forms and formulas of the Church, but would have followed his opponent steadily to the end at which he aimed, so he directs his course in this living, earnest, victorious letter to the establishment of one comprehensive, yet individual, proposition-the fundamental doctrine of the Christian system.

In the ardor of his feeling and the impetuosity of his defence of his doctrine, his thoughts move faster than the amanuensis can record his words. Hence we find him passing into a new statement before he has given us the link which binds it to the one already made, or losing the grammatical sequence in the logical progress, or introducing a reasoning particle in every clause, or turning off at the suggestion of some single word to a side argument, from which he does not come back to take up the word again, or pouring forth the expressions of his confidence, or his earnestness, in repeated and triumphant questions which admit of but one answer. How far he was from the philosophic calmness of the schools and the teacher who quietly, and without emotion, arranges his system of thought in its divisions and subdivisions! He was a combatant, an advocate, a preacher. He was contending for one grand idea, earnest to prove its truth, on fire in his inmost soul with the love of it, striving from the first word to the last of his whole discussion to persuade his readers to accept it, and to realize in themselves its life-giving power.

I cannot assent to everything which Mr. Beecher says in his interesting, appreciative, and characteristic article; but there is much truth in his remark that "something of Paul is needed to understand Paul," and that his thoughts "cannot be understood or interpreted by the grammar and dictionary alone." The grammar and dictionary, however, are not the worst enemies of right interpretation in the case of the Pauline writings. It is those who have approached these writings, without following in the way pointed out by these useful guides, who have missed most frequently their true meaning. The failure to conceive of the Epistles as letters to individual churches, and the assumption that they must contain all the doctrines of a particular doctrinal system have been the chief sources of erroneous interpretation. If we can have the dictionary and grammar, and the Pauline spirit also, we shall most successfully enter into the thought of the Epistle to the Romans.

II-HOMILETIC ILLUSTRATIONS FROM SHAKESPEARE.

BY PROF. J. O. MURRAY, D.D., PRINCETON, N. J.

APT quotation is a great aid in all forms of public address. It illustrates a point or clinches an argument. It brings to the enforcement of the truth the wisdom of other men, and sometimes in forms so striking or so beautiful that the quotation is the barb to the arrow, which makes it stick in the mark, after it has flown swift and strong from the hand of the bowman.

In the pulpit, of course, a cardinal rule for its use would be that it be never profuse and always pertinent. If it be too frequent it bebecomes pedantic. If it be far-fetched, or be inapt, too general or too commonplace, it loses its power for want of definite aim to justify its insertion. Literary quotation in sermons should be held under severe control. The moment a literary air is given to sermons, their strength as preaching is sapped.

What a weapon such command of apt quotation may become in the hand of a master in pulpit discourse will be seen by examining Dr. Wm. M. Taylor's volume of sermons "The Limitations of Life." It contains twenty-five discourses, of which the author in his fitting preface has said "there is not a discourse here reproduced which has not been useful to some souls." Quite possibly the quotations in these Sermons may have arrested the attention or helped to lodge the truth in the heart. They are taken mainly from the English poets and are marked by appositeness, variety and beauty, and may stand as models. in the art of felicitous quotation. The following authors are represented in the volume by one or more quotations: Wordsworth, Gray, Coleridge, Keble, Goldsmith, Milton, Cowper, Moore, Macaulay, Pope, Longfellow, Hood, Faber, Whittier, Burns, and Miss Proctor. If inspired authority for use of pointed illustrations in enforcement of Christian truth is asked for, it is easily given. The apostle Paul quotes three times from the Greek poets in his epistles. Once from Aratus (Acts xvii., 28), again from Menander (I. Cor. xv., 33), and yet again from Epimenides (Titus i., 12).

The modern preacher will find a rich storehouse of illustrative quotation in Shakespeare. No poet has sounded the depths of our moral nature as he has done. The moral, yes, the Christian element in Shakespeare is one of his distinguishing characteristics. And it is proposed in this article to give an outline or hint of what may be gained from this source for the modern pulpit. The dramas of Shakespeare specially his great tragedies, like Macbeth, Othello, Lear and Hamlet-should themselves be closely studied for the most effective handling of quotations from them. But there are two books which

may be wisely used as helps. One is "Shakespeare's Knowledge and Use of the Bible," by Bishop Wordsworth (London, Smith, Elder & Co.), the other is "Shakespeare's Morals," by Mr. Arthur Gilman (New York, Dodd, Mead & Co.).

Two suggestions may be in place here as to the way in which such quotations may be best introduced.

1. Some are most effectually employed without any note or comment. This is specially true of the briefer sort. Passages like these need nothing but a point in the sermon to illustrate or enforce : "Heaven doth with us, as we with torches do,

Not light them for themselves: for if our virtues

Did not go forth of us, 'twere all alike

As if we had them not."-Measure for Measure, Act 1, Sc. 1.

"That we would do,

We should do when we would; for this would changes,

And hath abatements and delays as many,

As there are tongues, are hands, are accidents."- Hamlet, Act 4, Sc. 7.

"We are oft to blame in this.

'Tis too much proved, that, with devotion's visage,

And pious action, we do sugar o'er

The devil himself."-- Hamlet, Act 3, Sc. 1.

2. At times Shakespearian quotations gain in power when a short explanation is given of the dramatic situation in which they occur. As in Hamlet when the whole scene of the king at prayer (Act 3, Sc. 4) brings out so powerfully the meaning of the Psalmist's words, "If I regard iniquity in my heart the Lord will not hear me." Or, as in the Merchant of Venice, when the speech of Portia (Act 4, Sc. 1) so beautifully unfolds the Divine attribute of forgiveness, when "mercy seasons justice."

The homiletical illustrations from Shakespeare now to be given fall under the following classes: Those which illustrate the subjects of temptation and sin, conscience and retribution; those which illustrate Divine attributes and Christian virtues; those which illustrate vices of private and public life. It would be easy to extend the list, but this our limits forbid.

1. Temptation and Sin.

The words of Othello (Act 2, Sc. 3) are a striking commentary on the words of the Apostle Paul (II. Cor. i., 14): "For Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light."

"When devils will their blackest sins put on,

They do suggest at first with heavenly shows."

So also the words of Banquo (Macbeth, Act 1, Sc. 3):

"And oftentimes to win us to our harm

The instruments of darkness tell us truths;

Win us with honest trifles, to betray us

In deepest consequences."

In that powerful scene (King John, Act 4, Sc. 2) when Hubert shows the King his hand and seal for Arthur's murder, the King breaks out in the words:

"O, when the last account 'twixt heaven and earth

Is to be made, then shall this hand and seal

Witness against us to damnation!

How oft the sight of means to do ill deeds,

Make deeds ill done!"

Sinful apologies for sin are forcibly illustrated in the words of Edmund in King Lear (Act 1, Sc. 2): "This is the excellent foppery of the world, that, when we are sick in fortune, (often the surfeit of our own behavior,) we make guilty of our disasters, the sun, the moon, and the stars: as if we were villains by necessity; fools, by heavenly compulsion; and all that we are evil in, by a divine thrusting on." Here is almost an echo of the prophet Jeremiah's scathing rebuke of the men of his time who stole and murdered and committed adultery, and then came and stood before God in His house and said, We are delivered to do all these abominations.

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So also the folly of such excuses is well set forth in these lines (King John, Act 4, Sc. 3):

"Oftentimes excusing of a fault

Doth make the fault more by the excuse,

As patches set upon a little breach

Discredit more in hiding of the fault

Than did the fault before it was so patch'd."

The deceitfulness of sin is forcibly drawn in the speech of Bassanio (Merchant of Venice, Act 3, Sc. 2). The whole speech is a series of pregnant thoughts on

"The seeming truth which cunning times put on

To entrap the wisest."

But its opening words are strong enforcements of the blinding

power of sin:

"In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,

But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,
Obscures the show of evil? In religion,
What damned error, but some sober brow
Will bless it, and approve it with a text,
Hiding the grossness with fair ornament ?"

Even more pungently is the truth brought out in the lines from Anthony and Cleopatra (Act 3, Sc. 3):

"When we in our viciousness grow hard

O misery on't!--the wise gods seal our eyes;

In our own filth drop our clear judgment; make us
Adorn our errors; laugh at's while we strut

To our own confusion."

And again in these from the Tempest (Act 1, Sc. 2):

"Like one

Who having, unto truth, by telling of it,

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