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philanthropy, and religion; and, having in view the weal of the country as well as the prosperity of the Church, it adepts liberal courses of study and secures a broad and generous scholarship for aspiring and wellendowed youth. The genius of the Protestant school; its afiliation with governmental ends; its harmony with civil polity; its breadth of scholarly results; and its implantation of religious principles in the minds of its students, distinguish it from the narrow, centripetal Roman Catholic system, and commend it to the generous consideration of our constantly increasing American citizenship.
The cultivation of a thankful spirit is one of the safeguards against the selfishness and the vainglory so natural to the prosperous and fortunate. Great wisdom is also needed to prevent the perversion of gratitude into a means of self-exaltation and forgetfulness of the extra-human source of good. The American citizen is prone to boast of his national inheritance; of the vast acreage of grain, of the mountains of gold and silver, and of the navigable lakes and rivers that make up the territorial republic. He is also proud of the institutions of civil liberty secured 10 him by the patriotism of the fathers and the sacrifices of their sons in times of war, and of their labors in times of peace. He believes no other country to be so rich in absolute resources, so great in positive possibilities, and so manifestly under the guidance of divine Providence as the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Hence, his songs, his prayers, his proclamations, his addresses, and his activities speak in exalted terms of the greatness of the nation, and of God as its chief patron and defender. The recognition of the Republic, its history, its achievements, its reserved forces, and the probability of its still higher and broader development, instead of exciting to deeds of benevolence, humility, and a broad-minded spirit of loyalty to national purposes, may but stimulate to greed, self-satisfaction, and self-glorification. We need to think of other things besides corn, potatoes, iron, oxygen, and gold. and to look beyond the national horizon if we would appreciate the divine plan respecting the nation and ourselves. David said, “ Thou hast put gladness in my heart, more than in the time that their corn and their wine increased;" that is, there is occasion for greater gladness over some things than over corn and wine, though they liave increased. Thanksgiving for material things tends to materialism of thought and affection, as brooding over individual successes tends to egotism and selfishness. God's providence is greater than his bounty; God's plan broader, richer, than a continent. Forgetting the material limitations of life, let the devout soul meditate upon God in history, from which the divine idea flashes, now on the edge of events and then from the very center of august movements; or, interpret the divine dealings with nations, God using them as his agents, as Babylon, Carthage, Greece, Rome, England, and Germany, overthrowing those not in sympathy with his purposes and preserving those in co-operation with himself; or, study special providences in the great leaders of the world, from Abraham to Luther and from Luther to Lincoin; or, commencing with Pentecost, trace the permanent history of the Christian Church in the world, noting how it overcame persecution in all lands, triumphed over the Roman empire, and is installing itself in all nations as representing the spiritual purposes of the Almighty; then will gratitude grow from a small beginning into an expanded and refined consciousness of the divine Presence in the world's universal life. The corn disappears; the fields are dim; the mountains are faded away; even the nation loses its outline, and Goel and man once again meet on Sinai to rehearse the law and on Calvary to hear the sweet and lingering notes of redemption.
56-FIFTH SERIES, VOL. V.
The subject of eternal retribution for the wicked is rather forbidding than inspiring, and few there are who consider it with any thing less than a mournful faith respecting it. One with the spirit of a Nero, or saturated with the ultra-prevlestination of an obsolete theology, might dwell on the sulphurous fate of the ungodly with some satisfaction; or another, touched with a merciful spirit, but recognizing the stern demands of justice and the necessity of the triumph of holiness, might approve of their final doom; but in either case the catastrophe of perdition, as supposed to occur in the case of the unregenerate, is an awful phase of revelation that tender souls would banish from contemplation. It is not surprising that ingenuity has exhausted itself in the vain attempt at allegorizing the word “hell,” or stripping it of its eternal significance. It is not surprising that some theologians, under the stress of the plain declarations of the divine word, have so interpreted the atonement as to make possible the salvation of the race, and, therefore, the unnecessity of a place of punishment. It is not surprising that the most plausible arguments that skill, or logic, or philosophy could invent have been advanced in proof of the belief that the divine administration could not justify itself before the universe by decreeing, for whatever cause, the eternal banishment of a soul from the divine presence into regions of perpetual darkness and woe. One of the stock arguments of the Universalist is, that eternal punishment for temporal sin would subject the eternal Judge to the charge of inequality in administration, and wreck the throne itself. Ile concedes that infinite punishment for infinite sin would be just, but infinite punishment for finite sin would be unjust, out of all proportion, and impossible in a being governed by goodness, wisdom, and justice. But the Universalist revolted too soon against the orthodox theology, and certainly misinterpreted it; for it does not hold that infinite punishment is inflicted for finite sin. This theory is an invention of the Universalist. St. Mark suggests tha sin is eternal in spirit, or of the nature of eternal enmity against God, and so he speaks of it as “eternal sin," on account of which eternal punishment will logically follow. Sin commenced, unless checked and overcome by some redemptive process or agency, will continue and become eternal; and when it has entered upon an eternal course, as it will at the close of this life, it also enters upon eternal punishment, the punishment
parallcling the sin. In this world there is opportunity for reform, and the apparatus of redemption is at hand; but in the world to come all agencies and influences surrounding the ungodly contribute to the perpetuity of sin and compel the perpetuity of penalty. It is a misstatement of our theology to declare that it teaches the doctrine of eternal punishment for temporal or finite sin; but it is true to say, that, receiving the Scriptures as the source of spiritual knowledge, orthodoxy declares eternal punishment for eternal sin.
Wanted! A history of the Christian Church in which the personal bias of the author will not appear; in which its progress will be detailed without reference to the presbyterial and episcopal principles, except as they are the prominent factors of the record; in which denominationalism will be subordinate and the truth of history supreme; and in which, when denominationalism is clearly a necessary part of the past, it shall receive dignified and impartial discussion. It is not a Roman Catholic history, nor a Protestant history, nor a denominational history that is wanted, but a history in which such influences will not be patent in the author's work. This is a difficult requirement. The historian writes according to his prejudices, as is evident in Gibbon, in his Decline of the Roman Empire; Hume, in his History of England; Stanley, in his History of the Jewish Church; Farrar, in his Account of Early Christianity, and Fisher and Blackburn, in their histories of the Christian Church. Nevertheless, such a history as we have described is needed, and such an historian must sooner or later appear. Blackburn's history is veined with the presbyterial principle, and from the stand-point of Methodist partisanship is objectionable. We must express surprise that, as Methodism has scant recognition in its pages, and for other reasons, it is in the course of study for traveling preachers. In Professor Fisher's able work Methodism is compressed into two pages and a half. Of these brief notices we do not complain; but rather of the theoretic spirit that haunts the historian and pervades every page of his record. The Church is waiting for a Samuel, or a Luke, or a Macaulay, who will trace the career of the Church from Pentecost to the present time, elegantly, compactly, completely, and without partiality or hypocrisy.
The seventy-first volume of the Methodist Revier is closed with this number. With becoming modesty we may report that the record of the present year, whether it relates to patronage or permanent influence, is entirely satisfactory to those interested in its publication and in its prosperity as one of the standard periodicals of the Church. The subscription list has increased fifty per cent., the largest increase in any single year of its history, and the total list is larger than it has been in forty years. August Comte says
Savoir c'est predire ” (to know is to predict); but, knowing what lias already been accomplished, we shall not venture to prediet what will be achieved. However, it is believed that, with the full cooperation of the pastors, the present is but the beginning of a still larger circulation, and a more commanding influence in the aggressive work of the Church.
The examiner of the successive numbers of the year will observe that the Revier, while maintaining Methodist thought and dialect, has so widened its scope as to include all the special functions of Christianity; and that, while defending the larger faith, it has aimed to stimulate along the more reserved lines of Christian scholarship and activity.
Our contributors have not all been Methodists, nor were all residents in this country; but many of them have been the leaders of thought in other denominations, and some of them sprightly writers in the old world. Though Robert Browning declines to write for periodicals, and some may be indifferent to the needs of this kind of literature, there is no loss; our contributors are so numerous as to embarrass us; but no one should write for a magazine or review who is not willing to be refused. On this plan we have established an agreeable entente with a large number of writers in this country, and we anticipate a larger list another year.
In its particular work, the Révier has become the leader of the opposition to the destructive tendencies of Higher Criticism, as exhibited by certain college professors in this country; and it has made rationalism a living issue. So pronounced has been the editorial position of the Rerien that the Higher Critics have been compelled to answer; and it is significant that their answers consist chiefly of denials, explanations, admissions, and insinuations, without disposing of the proofs advanced against them, without changing public sentiment, except to intensify it against their position. Some of them have passed through various stages of conviction since the arraignment, posing first as defenders of themselves or their views; next wishing to be taken as martyrs, assuming to be persecuted for truth's sake; and finally, pleading like repentant sinners to be forgiven as they have been misunderstood, and did not intend to go so far, or mean so much, or disturb the peace as they find they have done. It is gratiffing that they have been compelled in reply to avow orthodox positions, thereby renou
ouncing former assumptions, and neutralizing the evil of their injudicious bravery in pushing criticism against the Bible. While the personal feature of the controversy is thus eliminated, the Review will devote special attention next year to biblical questions, especially those involved in Higher Criticism, and to this end it has arranged for a series of articles on Old Testament books from the strongest scholars in America. The Review will also recognize the adverse tendencies of literary and scientific thought, and American conditions, and the symptoms of our civilization, taking issue with theories at variance with a sound science, or opposed by constitutional guarantees and the natural rights of man. We may safely promise our patrons a periodical that will not be behind the times, or be contrary to the times, except to institutions, customs, laws, hypotheses, and organizations that threaten the rights of religion and the sphere of liberty. With gratitude to the divine Father for protection and guidance, and with a full sense of appreciation of the support of the Church, we close the volume only to open another.
The word “ orthodoxy” is crowded with history. To the student of religions it embodies more theology, more controversy, more evolution, and more scholarship than any other word in comparative religious philology. In the broad sense it carries him back to the polytheistic religions of Athens, Rome, Egypt, and Babylon, which demanded of their subjects as unimpeachable loyalty to the prevailing religions as Christianity ever exacted of its followers; and in the Christian sense it transports him to the beginning of the Christian Church, which announced certain truths as essential to salvation, and which has never ceased to proclaim them through the vicissitudes of the centuries down to the present day in the ears of a rebellious world. Commonly, the word is restricted to Christianity as interpreted by Protestant teachers and enforced as the exponent of the divine religion, and in this narrow but well-understood sense we propose to use it.
Many questions are suggested by this word which cannot be considered at this time, nor is it necessary even to mention them, since they are not involved in the thought we wish to expound. Some questions not distant in their connection with the subject may receive passing notice; more to set them apart in their own worth than to incorporate them with the historic aspect of the problem we shall presently state. By “ orthodoxy" we do not mean a particular creed of a particular religious organization, for nearly all Christian creeds are inherently correct, and agree with one another in essential teaching. To select one creed, therefore, to the exclusion of others, as the synonym of orthodoxy, would be unjust. Besides, there are creeds whose mammoth proportions excite suspicion of human manufacture, and repel those who are anxious only for simple statements of truth. It is not our intention, therefore, to magnify a particular creed at the expense of other equally well-received formulas of faith, or to speak of specific systems as if they constituted the sum of all the teaching of the Christian religion. Nor is it any part of our plan to undertake the defense of any particular doctrine or of all the doctrines that constitute the general orthodoxy of the Christian Church. Our purpose is neither exposition nor defense, though both ends may be reached as the subject is developed. Without intending to catalogue the doctrines of orthodoxy, it will be sufficient to observe, that from the time the faith of the Church crystallized itself in doctrine it has accepted inspiration, infallibility, monotheism, incarnation, the Trinity, atonement, human depravity, repentance, faith, regeneration, sanctification, heaven and bell as undeniably taught in the word of God, and as of themselves constituting the summum bonum of religious truth. More than these may be found in the Scriptures, but they are in harmony with the main teachings here announced, and do not call for individual treatment.
We deem it of the utmost importance to emphasize the fact that orthodoxy, unlike heresy, or error in general, has had a wonderful providential