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very essence of temptation is the liability to sin. Remove this and temptation is a mere form; a shell without the kernel; a cannon without ball; noise without execution. Without the great liability, Christ's temptation was not in any point like ours, and, therefore, could not possibly strengthen us.
Still God cannot sin, cannot be tempted with evil, and Jesus Christ was tempted in all points like as we are. Doubtless the mystery of this temptation will be solved when the mystery of the God-man is revealed. Beaver Dam, Wis.
The figure of Belshazzar-thanks to monumental study-has emerged from the mists and taken distinct historic form. He was not of a royal race, but was a descendant of “the deeply-wise prince,” which may explain the success with which his father, Nabonidus, usurped the kingdom. Nabonidus seems to have shown some spirit in the early part of his reign, but soon fell into inactivity and indolence, though he must have expected an invasion from the East. For several years he remained in Tema-probably a quarter of Babylon—while “the king's son" commanded the army in Akkad. He had not only antiquarian tastes, bat also aimed to become a great religious reformer, and thereby produced discontent and disloyalty among the people. The queen seems to have been much with the army; at least she was with the army when she died. Not till his seventeenth year was Nabonidus aroused, and then he sacrificed to the gods, and made some preparation for defense. The army of Cyrus neared the city and gained a victory over a part of the BabyIonian army at Rutum, near Pekod, in the south. The army extended thence even to the midst of Akkad, in the north. The people of Akkad revolted, and the city of Sippara was taken without fighting, Nabonidus fleeing to Babylon. Two days later, on the sixteenth of the month Tammuz, Gabryas, the governor of Gutium and general of Cyrus, reached Babylon, and the city surrendered without fightiug. It was nearly four months later when Cyrus descended to Babylon. He immediately placed the religion on its former basis, and the people rejoiced. Naboniilus was a prisoner.
The name of Belshazzar occurs frequently on the tablets. Nabonidus calls him “my firstborn son, the offspring of my heart," and prays for him to his God: "The fear of thy mighty divinity cause thou to dwell in his heart; may he not be given to sin, and favor not untruth.” In the first year of Nabonidus, Belshazzar borrowed a quantity of grain and wrote the transaction on a tablet, and again he is connected with a larger transaction in grain. His name is connected with the sale of a slave. He pays to the temple of Samas at Sippara the tithes due from lois sister on account of cattle which she owned. He seems to have been a prominent figure connected with commercial life in Babylon. As early as the fifth year of the reign of his father he had a household of his own, and was the
crown prince” of the kingdom. Daniel became “the third ruler of the kingdom.” After the surrender of Babylon, Nabonidus being a prisoner, Belshazzar-nominally king, but perhaps he had been associated with his father in the government-still held out in some stronghold of the city. On the night of the eleventh of the month Marcheshvan, Gabryas attacked this stronghold, and, as the record goes, “The son of the king died.”—Daniel v, 30, says the same. The six days' official mourning were observed four months after his death. Warren, Pa.
J. N. FRADENBURGH.
There are thirty million Italians nominally Papists. Their first need is the simple Gospel, presented directly and on its own merits, in its spirit and power. This, working in their hearts under the Spirit will renew and elevate individual lives, by them restore and sanctify the family, and, judiciously diffusing itself through all social and civil channels and institutions, will be an ever redeeming and rejuvenating leaven in the old national life and in the actual civilization. The converts, not segregated as a new confraternity, but sharing the people's common activities, sympathies, and aspirations, and abiding with God in the relations wherein they were called, will be, and be accounted, at once true Christians and true Italians, an appreciable and validly advancing moral and religious force. Such the long sustained aim and endeavor.
If, with enlarged heart and resources, American civilization is now to be pressed on the old kingdom, wisdom and equity require that with equal agencies and ardor we begin to evangelize the Italians resident among us. Thousands are in all our larger cities and towns, forty-five thousand having landed last year at New York alone. Ignorant, superstitious, impetuous, if neglected and left to the brutalities usually visited upon such ill-favored, ill-placed, and defenseless immigrants by local selfishness and vice, they will not only perish themselves, but become a fatal canker among the roots of our municipal and civil life. For them and for us equally urgent is it that they be speedily evangelized and Americanized; otherwise they will be allies of the audacious Jesuitical attempt now making to abolish our Sunday, our Bible, our public schools, and to Europeanize and Romanize the United States. Here is to-day's nearest duty, invoking prompt and liberal action.
The successful missionary experiments among Italians, spontaneously begun recently by our people in several places, strongly encourage more extended and matured undertakings. These unfortunates, with the tied tongue and sad hearts of strangers in a strange land, are more peculiarly our neighbors religiously than Italians in Rome, inuch more accessible, less prejudiced against Protestants and foreigners, less restrained by family ties, by social relations, by business interests, and by priestly influences. A cordial welcome, a fostering Christian care for his compatriots, is America's due and worthiest tribute to America's discoverer. Syracuse, N. Y.
LEROY M. VERNON.
THE GENERAL SITUATION.
The eyes of all Europe are now directed toward France, and the question is there largely the religious one. No nation can live without religion, and this a large portion of the active Frenchmen would undertake to do. But atheism ignores the greatest needs of the human soul, and sooner or later it must go to the wall, because is simply a negation. Ultramontanism throughout Europe has gained all the soil that free-thinking has lost, and it is now proceeding to an assault. But whatever sympathy it may find elsewhere, it is, on the whole, repugnant to French spirit. Two things in it shock the conscience of the French nation; namely, the autocracy of the Pope, and the exaggerated importance given to religious ceremonies and practices. The deification of the pontiff is the enslavement of civil and religious society, and the worship of him is the invasion of paganism in the bosóm of pure Christianity.
But for the nonce Ultramontanism grasps the reins, and the expulsion of the Jesuits has not weakened its influence. Protestantism is now the only real refuge; and if it as a Church were compact and disciplined, there would be an inclination to accept it, for France needs a national Church free from the trammels of Rome. England and Russia both have national Churches, and these form one body with the nation; they have the same interests and passions as the State, but they do not assume to rule, as does the Ultramontane Church, by the government of the priests. What a blessing it would be for France if the Protestant Church were to become the religious force of the future! It is clear that if the Republic lives it will have to make its peace with religion. If the Monarchy is restored it will need ask itself the question whether, after having served, it will not enslave it? But a clerical republic or monarchy would be alike a scourge; neither would solve the question anywhere. European society is like the bowels of a volcano, where the elements are in fusion, and whence proceed heavy groaning and violent shocks, and from whose mouth may suddenly burst a stream of lava that will cover every thing with ruins.
But if God will protect France, and will graciously spare it from new misfortunes, he will give it a government alike removed from all excesses and extremes, and one that will lead it into the paths of genuine spiritualism, with neither hostility to the State nor yet submission to it. Then independent spirits would soon withdraw from Ultramontanism, and the wise among them lean toward Protestantism. And the Protestants, on their part, should learn how to put an end to their disputes, and offer to France a Church that would be free from papal despotism, from Roman theocracy, and the wild orgies of anarchy.
THE AUTOCRAT OF ALL THE Russias has at last laid his heavy hand on the Lutherans of the Baltic Provinces, and well-nigh crushed them. A rescript from the highest Church official in Russia binds them to the strictest inactivity, and forbids them in any way to have public occasions that shall attract attention from without, such as missionary festivals or meetings of any kind in the open air. They may not undertake to attract to themselves any converts to their faith, may not receive even those who have a desire to return to their faith after having abjured it by force or pleasure for the Russian Church, and, in short, they must abstain from all missionary work, even to the collections for missionary purposes.
But the greatest struggle is in regard to the so-called “re converts." Years ago, allured by the appeals and promises and threats of the Russian clergy, a great many of the less zealous Lutherans allowed themselves to be drawn into Russian Orthodoxy; of which act they now repent, and would fain return to the bosom of the Church in which they were born. But now the State insists on regarding them as of the Russo-Greek faith, and will not let them go. These “re-converts” are now warned also that they will be punished with imprisonment and loss of civil rights, even to annulling marriages made in the Russian Church, if they do not return to it. The Lutheran pastors consider it their right and duty to accept these returning sheep into their fold, and to grant them a church status, and this so far they have done, with few exceptions. In Livland there are no less than forty thousand of these people who had en masse thought it best to accept the flattering offers of the Russian Church. Now the pastors who receive them back are threatened with suspension and loss of support, so that, if there is no turn in matters, no less than sixty-five parishes will be without guardians. These pastors are conscious of this calamity, but still feel, like Luther, that they cannot do less, “so God help them," for the Church is not well served by pastors who obey men rather than God. Therefore, obeying their conscience rather than the State command, they refuse to deny confirmation and communion to those who would be received back into their Church. The Lutheran Church of the Baltic Provinces is now making an appeal to the home Church in Germany, hoping in this way at least to make their case known to the world, praying that God in his mercy may soften the heart of the Russian autocrat.
SWITZERLAND has her troubles arising from her situation as surrounded by nationalities differing from her own in their government. As a republic, on the border of so many monarchies, she is a sort of eye-sore to absolute rulers, but more especially as a place of retreat for fugitives from the neighboring nations, where they can lie in wait over the border, ready to take advantage of the least opportunity to return to their old stamping-ground. Switzerland naturally desires to remain neutral in all these national troubles, and by common consent of the adjoining governments she is allowed to be so if she does it in good faith. But, as a republic, she naturally sides with the Liberals in politics, and, to be consistent, she must offer the right of asylum to them in their retreat from persecution.
This right, therefore, she considers hers as a duty, and endeavors strictly to maintain it for political refugees. But of late years the difference between such and common criminals is not very nicely drawn, and what most nationalities would consider a crime, she is forced to regard as political complication, and on this middle ground between the two she gets into trouble. When anarchists and socialists gather within her borders, and use or abuse her hospitality and protection by making her a retreat whence to foment trouble and disseminate incendiary sheets, it is quite natural that the voice of protest should be heard. Germany has been particularly annoyed in this way, and malcontents whom she treats and regards as common criminals and individuals dangerous to society escape the pursuit of German officials, and turn up in Switzerland ready and desirous to carry on their operations as briskly as ever just over the border. In other days France scolded and threatened when Louis Napoleon and his minions retreated to Switzerland as a refuge, and later he complained when French refugees did the same to him. It makes a great difference whose Bull is gored.
Through these trying situations Switzerland endeavors to hold her own with good conscience. But of late years matters have greatly changed, and in the complicated policies of the great States the dangers have grown much greater. The right of asylum has become a tradition of which she is proud; and she'is, therefore, perhaps a little too slow in refusing asylum to bandits and international brigands whose hands are against every man. It is now becoming clear that the right of asylum within her borders should be revised and made more stern, and her statesmen are inclined to do this. But in the meanwhile they do not like to be threatened, and have increased their little army and are fortifying their strongholds, so that they can at least make a show of resistance in case of attack.
The Schools of FRANCE are at present an object of much solicitnde, and in some respects the gravest matter that is relegated to the new Parliament. The moral future of the country will largely depend on the solution of this great question. The matter has been brought out in bold relief by a report on behalf of the Minister of Public Instriction, à propos of the Exposition, by the Dean of the Protestant Faculty of Theology in Paris. The conclusions given are the result of an extensive inquiry throughout all France in the primary schools, as presented by the teachers of these, and also the controllers of the normal schools for primary instruction, From these it is evident that there is a very dangerous reaction in the schools formerly taught merely as religious schools by the members of the different orders. In endeavoring to make them neutral in the matter of religion they have gone into the error of making them positively irreligious because of the character of most of the teachers, who have