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it dangerous. Its author continued to hold his infidel position till his death, having, in 1865, published his work anew, addressed to the people of Germany. Weisse, in 1838, followed with his "Life of Christ," assailing the Gospels (especially the fourth) in their sources. Renan published, in 1863, his "Vie de Jesus," in which he treats the Gospel as a romance. Keim's infidel "Life of Christ" was issued in

1865.

So much for the infidel treatises.

In 1837 Neander's "Life of Christ" was the first antidote to Strauss' poison. In 1844 appeared Hahn and J. P. Lange. Ewald's learned, but unsatisfactory, “Life of Christ" was published in 1857. In 1862 Andrews (an American) published his admirable work-a careful and sterling addition to this literature. Of Roman Catholic writers on this subject, the most prominent are Sepp (1843), Bucher (1859), Dupanloup (1870), and Joseph Grimm (1876). In 1865 De Pressensé brought out his "Jesus Christ, His Times, Life and Work," translated into English the next year—a charming volume, full of unction as well as wisdom. In 1869, 1871, and 1872 were published the three American treatises of Abbott, Crosby, and Deems. In 1868 Hanna's interesting work appeared. In 1875 and 1877 the popular works of Farrar and Geikie were issued, and in 1883 Dr. Elersheim published his magnificent two volumes, stored richly with Rabbinical learning, entitled "The Life and Times of Jesus, the Messiah;" perhaps the most complete, impartial and sound treatise on the subject ever written. It is imbued with a devotional spirit, the only spirit which should dare to treat so sacred a subject.

Bernhard Weiss' great work, published in 1882, completes our imperfect list. Most of these treatises are scientific, and enter minutely into questions of authenticity, genuineness and inspiration; but some of them start with the assumption of these points and treat the Life of Christ popularly, and yet critically, as regards the interpretation of the sacred books.

VIII. THE DOCTRINE OF EXPEDIENCY.

BY T. W. CHAMBERS, D.D., NEW YORK.

Editor of HOMILETIC REVIEW :

"On page 192 of Meyer's Commentary on Corinthians, there is the following statement by the American Editor, Talbot W. Chambers, D.D.: It is impossible to state more strongly than does the Apostle, the obligation to refrain from indulging in things indifferent, when the use of them is an occasion of sin to others. Yet it is never to be forgotten that this, by its very nature, is a principle the application of which must be left to every man's conscience in the sight of God. No rule of conduct founded on expediency can be enforced by Church discipline.' [Italics mine.]

"Now the Synod of Jerusalem, under the direction of James, sent forth a letter requesting, if not commanding, Christians to abstain from things sacrificed to idols.' It certainly has the appearance of a rule of discipline, for it is said: 'It seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things.' If such a letter were sent forth at the present time by a Synod, would it not be called a 'Rule of Church discipline?'

"Paul bases his argument with regard to 'things offered to idols' on expediency. He was present at Jerusalem when that letter was sent forth, and undoubtedly gave his consent to its contents on the ground of expediency. Now, does it not appear that the Apostle founded a rule of conduct on expediency and enforced it in the Church?

"The greater part of temperance workers base their opinions of intemperance on expediency. If they are right in doing so, and if Dr. Chambers is right in his statement, then the Church has no right to lay down a rule of conduct with regard to intemperance. We have no right to discipline a man for loafing at the saloon. The Church can lay down no rules with regard to dancing or theatre going. It cannot forbid a church member placing his signature on a license paper. We might exclude drunkards from the communion table on other grounds. But many churches have rules of discipline in regard to these things. Are they wrong? If we cannot enforce rules of conduct in these cases, how are we to keep the Church free from men who are bringing dishonor upon the Church?

"These latter questions, to be sure, have no bearing upon the proper exegesis of the passage. They are questions which naturally rise from Dr. Chambers' statement.

"I may misunderstand him; but if I understand him correctly, then he certainly makes St. Paul contradict St. James. "H. H. SANGREE. "Fairfield, Pa."

REPLY BY T. W. CHAMBERS, D.D.

Mr. Sangree bases his objection to the doctrine that Church discipline cannot be used to enforce rules of conduct founded on expediency, upon two grounds. One of these is the action of the Council at Jerusalem, which required Gentile believers to abstain from "things sacrificed to idols "-the very things which the Apostle deemed in themselves indifferent. Here is a difference certainly, and a great one; and the more striking because Paul was present at the Council, agreed to its conclusions, and bore them to the Gentile churches. The solution of the difficulty is found in the dates of these proceedings and their circumstances. The Council was held about 50, A.D., and the reason of its convocation was the claim of the Judaizers that Gentile believers should be circumcised and keep the law-should become Jews as well as Christians. Disputes on this point became so hot that they threatened to rend the infant church, and the apostles and elders were assembled to consider the matter. What were they to do? They could not concede the necessity of circumcision and keeping the Mosaic statute, without perilling Christian liberty and overshadowing gratuitous justification; yet, if they made no reserve whatever, they would grieve and offend the believing Jews. Hence the middle course of insisting upon a few of the ceremonial requirements, which would impose no very heavy burdens, and yet would imply some respect to the Old Economy. Now, eight years afterward, the Apostle discusses this very theme in his letters to the Corinthians and the Romans, without making any reference to the action of the Jerusalem Council. What is the legitimate inference? Simply that the decree of the year 50 had served its immediate, temporary purpose, and was no longer binding, It conciliated for the time being the opposing parties, and then left the questions at issue to be settled by the natural progress of Christian doctrine, as the apostles, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, put the truth on record. This seems a sufficient explanation of the discrepancy between the views held at Jerusalem in the year 50, and those set forth to Rome and Corinth in the year 58. Certain it is that Paul did not hold the partaking of idol meats, etc., to be proper matter for discipline, for he only states principles and applies them; whereas, in the case of the incestuous Corinthian, he directed the Church to take action, and the offender felt the arm of ecclesiastical authority. It is for the violation of plain Christian duties, and not for his use of his Christian liberty, that any one is held amenable to church courts.

Another objection to the view I uphold, is the inference that the Church cannot lay down rules as to dancing, theatre going, signing applications for license to sell liquor, or "loafing at a saloon." I admit the inference, and insist that the church transcends its rights and duties when it makes any bar to communion save what is plainly stated in the Scripture. I have been over forty years in the ministry, and never yet saw a case in which the attempt to discipline persons for inferential wrongs succeeded, while I have seen not a few in which the result to all concerned was evil and only evil. Church authority, although only moral and spiritual, is a tremendous power, and for that very reason should be exercised only where a plain Thus saith the Lord is the basis of its action. Nor is there any loss in this. Church officers, in a private way, by judicious counsel and the quiet but earnest expression of opinion, can do what no summons, trial, or sentence can effect. Persons will often yield to suggestion and entreaty what they will not yield to authority, the rightfulness of which in this matter does not commend itself to their reason and conscience.

SERMONIC SECTION.

OF THE PETITION OF CERTAIN GREEKS. BY LEONARD WOOLSEY BACON, IN THE WOODLAND CHURCH, PHILADELPHIA. Now there were certain Greek's among those that went up to worship at the feast: these therefore came to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: Andrew cometh, and Philip, and they tell Jesus. And Jesus answereth them saying, The hour is come, that the Son of Man should be glorified. [With the following verses.]—John xii: 20-33.

THIS being, in some respects, a difficult Scripture to intelligent readers (it presents no difficulty at all to the unintelligent) is presumptively a specially profitable Scripture to as many as shall come to understand it. For it is God's method in the difficulties of sacred Scripture, first, to provoke and stimulate inquiry, and then splendidly to reward it.

The questions that arise on the first reading of this story are several first, what is the importance of the incident, that it should be mentioned at all? secondly, why there should have been so much hesitation and consultation among the disciples over so simple a matter as this request of "certain Greeks?" thirdly, why it should be that after the request had been related with so much particularity, nothing is distinctly said of what came of itwhether it was granted or not? finally, what was there in this seemingly trifling incident, just mentioned by one evangelist and then dropped, not so much as mentioned by the other three, that should so have agitated the soul of the Son of Man that He should almost be ready to say, "Father, save me from this hour?" What is the connection between the message of Philip and An

drew to their Master that certain Greek visitors to Jerusalem at the Passover wished to see Him, and the answer that he made "the hour is come; the Son of Man is to be glorified-but only through death. This grain of wheat, if it be preserved, will be but sterile; it must fall into the ground and die, and then shall it bring forth much fruit?" If we would know these things, we must study deeply into the spirit of the four Gospels, if by any means we may attain to the fellowship of Christ's sufferings.

The message of the Greeks came to the ear of our Lord just at that juncture in His ministry when He began to feel with its heaviest weight the meaning of those words of the prophet Isaiah, which He had been wont to read aloud in the synagogues of Nazareth and Capernaum-the words "despised and rejected of men." There had been days -the earlier days of His Galilean ministry-when all who heard Him seemed ready to bow in homage before the words which He spake with such authority. In the presence of His mighty works of healing, the voice of selfish bigotry itself seemed to be stricken dumb, and the contradiction of sinners to be abashed and put to shame. Here at Jerusalem, amid the pride of learning of the scribes, and the pride of 'place and nation" of the priests and rulers, it was different; but even here such crowds followed to gaze upon the man who had raized up Lazarus from the dead, that it was said among His enemies, "behold, the whole world is gone after Him." And yet, for all this, it is evident, even to an unprophetic eye, that He is rejected of His own nation. He has come to His own, and His own receive Him not. For long months the bigoted Pharisee and the skeptical

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[Many of the full sermons and condensations published in this REVIEW are printed from the authors' manuscripts; others are specially reported for this publication. Great care is taken to make these reports correct. The condensations are carefully made under our editorial supervision.-ED.]

Sadducee, who never have agreed on anything before, have been working with one accord to entangle Him in His talk, and embroil Him either with one party or with the other. Scribes and priests and rulers have been dogging Him from one retreat to another as spies upon His words and deeds. They have plotted murder in private. They have tried to provoke the mob to bloody violence in the Temple court. Already they are beginning to draw the heathen governor into their plans, and to tamper with one of the twelve disciples with proposals of treachery. His near friends will not believe it when He tells hem; but there is no illusion in His Own mind. He knows the set, fanatic purpose of His enemies to take His life. And, notwithstanding many evidences of popular affection, He knows the circumstances that are combining to abet that purpose. How soon the bloody end of that lovely and blameless life shall come, is evidently a question only of a few days. From amidst the incessant cavilings, disputes, intrigues, treasons, conspiracies, with which all this part of the story is filled, two incidents, which come close together in this Gospel of John, stand out in delightful contrast with the rest. The first is that

jubilant processional entrance into the city and Temple with the palm-branches and hosannas of the multitude; and the other is this petition of "certain Greeks."

Looking carefully into the language of the story we find some slight but clear and unmistakable indications of what sort of people these Greeks were. The tense of the Greek verb used is significant: they were "among those who were in the habit of coming to the feast"-not chance-comers, passers-by on a journey, but habitual attendants at the Passover feast. And, secondly, they were not mere tourists, or sight-seers, such as doubtless did gather to witness that wonderful pageant, so unlike anyting the world beside could show-a -hole nation congregated to solemnize e memory of a Divine deliverance; mese Greeks were among those who ere wont to come up to the feast, not

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to gaze but "to worship." These minute but distinct indications mark this group of inquirers after Jesus as representative men. They belonged to a class destined to fulfil a great and important part in the subsequent history of the kingdom of Christ-the class described again and again in the Acts of the Apostles under such titles as "devout Greeks," "devout persons," "they that feared God." The phrases are familiar to all attentive readers of the book of Acts, and you recognize how great was the part which this sort of people fulfilled in the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. They were not converts to the Jews' religion, you understand. They never had received the sacrament of naturalization and adoption into the family of Abraham, nor acknowledged the obligation on them of the ordinances of the Mosaic law. Outwardly they were Gentiles still; but Gentiles who had seen the folly and falsehood of the heathen idolatries, and were seeking for something better. Such unrest and dissatisfaction with the "outworn creeds" of Paganism were felt throughout the Roman world. Some tried to rest in a general disbelief of all religion. Some tried to borrow a religion from Egypt or the East, and under the pressure of this demand the importing of foreign religions grew into a trade. [This was the ready explanation that occurred to some of the Athenian idlers as they listened to Paul and his "new doctrine" from the benches of the Areopagusthat "he seems to be one of those introducers of foreign divinities."] But in the midst of men's waverings and gropings, these "devout Greeks" had found what they were looking for in the Jew's synagogue. For already the Jews were wandering everywhere, and wherever a few families of them sojourned there was the synagogue. Every sev enth day they met to read in Moses and the prophets of the hope of Israel, and with them, not only the converts who had entered into the Hebrew citizenship, but neighbors and fellow-worshipers who knew no citizenship but

that of Rome - men who, seeking thoughtfully from one school of philosophy to another the answer to the questions, What is happiness? What is virtue? What is the highest good?-had found, at last, in Moses and David, teachers greater than Plato or Aristotle. The synagogue meetings used to be full of these outsiders. The Jews had a name for them, calling them, not converts, for they were not such-calling them "proselytes of the gate," as if hinting that they did not get beyond the threshold.* Such an one was the devout centurion Cornelius at Cesarea; another such was the good centurion at Capernaum, who built the marble synagogue because he loved the Jewish people. They were very apt to be centurions or soldiers. Such were the "honorable women which were Greeks," whom Paul more than once found among his eager listeners in the synagogue. They were very apt to be women, revolted by the wickedness of heathen religions. Such were the multitudes at Antioch in Pisidia, who listened gladly to the Gospel, when the Jews blasphemed and contradicted, until Paul and Barnabas waxed bold and said to the Jews, "seeing ye put from you the Word of God, and judge yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." Wherever the Apostles went, it was the "devout Greeks" that were the open door by which the Gospel entered upon its triumphs in the Roman world. Neither was the preparation of the heathen mind for the Gospel limited to these half-proselytes. Through the heathen literature of this period, the scholar is startled every now and then to come upon thoughts that seem strangely Christian as we readthoughts of a holier God, of a higher morality, of a larger humanity—they are the thoughts of men who are straining their eyes to find the light, and who

*Dr. Edersheim (Jesus the Messiah, vol. ii. p. 390, note) gives a reason, which is hardly conclusive, for reckoning the Greeks, who sought to see Jesus, as "proselytes of righteousness." This view might be admitted without substantially weakening the argument of this discourse.

already begin to get some glimpse of that true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

And alongside of this preparedness to receive the Gospel, which is discovered in the heathen mind of that age, is that marvelous providential preparation to dispense it, which is the admiration of all intelligent history. How often we say to each other, over the morning paper, "we live in a wonderful age!" The men of Paul's time and of Jesus' time lived in an age just so wonderful. Then, as now, the world had been brought into one place. The multitude of wrangling principalities, whose perpetual warfare had kept the earth in turmoil, had blocked the paths of commerce, and had disturbed the retreats of philosophy and the sanctuaries of religion, have been suppressed and supplanted by a universal empire, which may plunder and oppress, but will suffer none beside to do it; the track of whose conquests is the pioneering of great highways of peaceful trade; and whose title of Roman citizen is a panoply and safeguard to its wearer to the ends of the earth. And with the universal empire has grown up the universal language of literature, and thought, and commercethe Greek. On this incomparable language it seemed as if the providence of God had conferred a sort of Pentecostal gift, that by means of it men of the most widely different lands and religions might hear and know His wonderful works.

It is evident-more evident to us than it was to the men of that generationthat the world was ripe for some great change. The nations, an-hungered, were seated by fifties, and there was a hush as of expectation that one should break and bring to them the bread of life.

Bearing these great facts in mind, we turn back to the story of the request of certain Greeks for audience of the great Teacher, and we find that in its method it seems marked with a sense of the grave importance of it. They would not venture to come with it directly to

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