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neither of which does the plain construction of the words require it."
IV. It remains now to present Scripture proof against this theory of a Purgatory, passages which exclude the hope men would willingly cherish of the Intermediate State furnishing opportunity for a change of their eternal destiny.
1. The language of our Lord uniformly, and very solemnly, represents our state hereafter as being determined by the reception given to His offer here. “He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my sayings, hath one that judgeth him : the word that I spake, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John xii. 48). We do not, of course, stretch the application of this or of other texts beyond those who have had the offer of the Gospel in this life : but we must press it in regard to all such.
If thy right eye causeth thee to stumble, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not thy whole body be cast into hell” (Matt. v. 29). The disembodied state certainly furnishes no opportunity for the acts of self-denial by which escape is to be secured from the casting of the whole body into hell.
"Depart from me, ye cursed, into the eternal fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels.”
“ These shall go away into eternal punishment” (Matt. xxv. 41, 46). these words not with reference to the duration of punishment, but to show how conclusively our Lord links the doom with sins which can be committed only in the present life. In Hades there are no hungry ones to be fed, or naked ones to be clothed. The attempts made to escape from the plain teaching of this whole passage are such as make one blush. It is said that our Lord is not speaking of the final judgment, but of some division of men preceding that,—in the teeth of the concluding words, “These shall go away,” etc.; and it is suggested that the final decision cannot be made to turn on particular acts of mercy,-missing the very manifest lesson that Christ is telling us that He himself is represented by the members of His body, and that men's dealing towards these will reveal the relation of their hearts toward Him.
“And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, that they who would pass from hence to you may
not be able, and that none may cross over from thence to us” (Luke xvi. 26). It is matter only for honest indignation that men should try to discharge from these words their obvious and awful meaning by saying, That is a mere parable. No one is ignorant of that : the question is, Did the Son of God so speak? and, Did He not intend us to understand that the hope to which men cling of something more being done than is already done in the Word to produce repentance, is a ruinous delusion? and yet more, that the bourne of Death once passed, change cannot be ?
The same truth is taught, without any parable, in a passage which has always seemed to us the most plain and decisive, one to which we think Canon Farrar has not referred : “He said therefore again unto them, I go away, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sin : whither I go, ye cannot come. The Jews therefore said, Will he kill himself, that he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come? And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above : ye are of this world ; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that
shall die in your sins : for except ye believe that I am, ye shall die in your sins" (John viii. 21-24). Dying in their own sins, i.e. carrying them with them into the future world in their guilt and power, and passing then into a state where Christ can no longer be reached, however strong their desire, are set forth as the doom of such as neglect or reject the present offer of Christ. “Take away the probationary character of this life on
. earth, and that sentence of the Lord is emptied of its meaning. The whole teaching of our Lord is consistent with this central thought.”
2. The language of the later Scriptures is the same. “How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation ?" "As the Holy Spirit saith, To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts !” “Exhort one another day by day, so long as it is called To-day, lest any one of you be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin” (Heb. ii. 3; iii. 7, 13). If there is, after all, an answer to that awakening question, must we not regard the Word of God as here misleading in presenting it as unanswerable ?
"And inasmuch as it is appointed unto men once to die, and after this cometh judgment; so Christ also, having been once
1 Dr. Rigg in Contemporary Review, May 1878, p. 362.
offered to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time, apart from sin, to them that wait for him, unto salvation” (Heb. ix. 27, 28). If there were the least room to hope for change of destiny after death, we may be sure that here it would have been so told us: but, however long the interval between death and judgment, the one is spoken of as the sequel of the other.
In 2 Thess. i. 7-10, the Holy Spirit says, with reference to the Second Advent, “The revelation of the Lord Jesus from heaven with the angels of his power in flaming fire, rendering vengeance to them that know not God, and to them that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus: who shall suffer punishment, even eternal destruction from the face of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be marvelled at in all them that believed (because our testimony unto you was believed) in that day.” It will greatly surprise those who have not read Dr. Farrar's books on this subject, to learn how he discharges from this passage its dreadful significance :
“Neither here nor in any other passage of St. Paul, if the passage be explained on the analogy of Scripture language, is there anything abou torments, or a word to show that the æon of this exclusion can never end. In point of fact, these words were written at a moment of extreme exacerbation against the Jews of Thessalonica, and what is here denounced upon them is a punishment like that of Cain-the poena damni—the being cut off from the presence of God—the rupture of the old Covenant relation. In estimating its force we must remember that the words rendered 'taking vengeance' mean rather 'inflicting retribution ;' that the 'flaming fire' is not the penal flame of Gehenna, but the Shechinah splendour of the Advent; that those
; who are to be judged are not ordinary sinners such as are found among the myriads of mankind, but obstinately unbelieving Gentiles and obstinately disobedient Jews; and that the retribution of æonian exclusion is inflicted at the First Advent, not at the final Judgment Day."-Pp. 465, 466.
It was surely not worth while for this learned man to take any notice of words which, so far from having the authority of the Holy Spirit, were written “at a moment of extreme exacerbation against the Jews of Thessalonica." And after that, it seems of little use to point out to Dr. Farrar that he contradicts on page 466 what he has said on page 465, calling that “the first advent" which he has just called “the second.” The most comforting reflection one can have about such a passage--and it is a fair specimen-is that the shame and
Danger of unscriptural teaching.
sorrow with which we transcribe it must be felt also by all reverent persons who read it, and that they will regard with suspicion a theory which has led a good man to do such violent dishonour to the language and to the authority of the Divine Word.
Other texts, particularly from the Book of the Revelation, might have been quoted, and the whole tenor of Scripture might have been further appealed to as teaching the finality attaching to the present life in the case of all who enjoy the light of the Christian dispensation. But enough has been said, we trust, to expose the unscriptural character of the theory of a Purgatory, and of such a position as is taken up in the novels of Dr. George Mac Donald. The prevalence of such teaching, however, is a serious fact, which carnest men cannot afford to despise. It is none the less acceptable to the masses though it is demonstrably false, for all men are by nature ardent Universalists so far as themselves and their friends are concerned, and are only too glad to have the halo of genius and the shield of supposed learning thrown over what they wish to believe. "For"-in the recent words of the Laureate
“these are the new dark ages, you see, of the popular press, When the bat comes out of his cave and the owls are whooping at noon, And Doubt is the lord of the dunghill and crows at the sun and the moon, Till the sun and the moon of our science are both of them turned into blood, And Hope will have broken her heart running after a shadow of good !"
I must once more ask the reader who is interested in the subject not to judge of my views from this paper alone, but to refer to that formerly issued in these pages, specially in connection with the extent to which the Lord Christ has already applied and shall yet apply His own redemption. This paper has been devoted to a single vital point; and if the language used may seem strong, that is because I feel that to use even a hesitating tone about the supreme necessity of becoming united to Christ by instant faith would be criminal and unmerciful in the extreme. To repeat words of the venerable Dr. Angus that were quoted before : "Our modern benevolence is at least very cheap. What if it be also blasphemous and destructive; dishonouring by implication to God's philanthropy and precipitating the very ruin it professes to fear ?"
A. MACLEOD SYMINGTON.
Art. V.—The Spirit of the Father glorifying the Son. Such is the topic that we mean at present to deal with; and
that in a way not of ranging over all Scripture for our materials, but rather of opening up a little of what the Prince of Theologians, the Prince of Peace himself, says about it.
When he, the Spirit of Truth is come, he will guide you into all truth : for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All that the Father hath are mine : therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John xvi. 13-15).
I. There are three distinct views to be taken of the glory of Christ, or three different respects in which he is glorified. These are all beautifully bound up together, as we hope to show, and they are all more or less strikingly alluded to in the amazing discourse with which Jesus closed his earthly ministry.
1. In the first place, there is that glory of Christ which he received personally as his reward for his obedience, but which he received also for the benefit and in the name of his Church. Great grace
and condescension were revealed and embodied in Christ's consenting at all to rise from the dead. He might have said, “The ends of my incarnation, and of my humiliation by being exhibited in human flesh, are accomplished. Let my incarnation itself now cease. Let me be done with it. Let the grave retain the body of my humiliation, while my Godhead's glory shall now be revealed in a manner worthy of Godhead.'
It did not satisfy Jesus to be made flesh for a limited time, however long. Being once God-man, “ this man abideth for ever :" and hence his resurrection from the dead. 'Tis with a view to, and in prospect of, that resurrection that he says (John xvii. 1), “Father, glorify thy Son:” and again (ver. 5), “And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.” Glorify thou him who presents himself before thee in a creature-nature and scorns not