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forces. It will be a happy day when all combine and conspire harmoniously for the true regeneration of the world.
Yet, while cordially inviting the co-operation of all, we must ever bear in mind that of all agencies for the regeneration of society, the spiritual force, the force of the Gospel of salvation, is by far the strongest. In the first place, it is when we look at man in the light of the Gospel that we realize his greatness, and feel how worthy he is of our best efforts to raise him up. An immortal being, a fallen being, a being who has lost God's image but may yet recover it, susceptible himself of endless suffering or bliss, and exercising a daily influence on all around him either for weal or woe-how terrible is his ruin, how glorious his recovery! As Pascal used to say, man is a mystery—a compound of greatness and littleness. Generally it is his littleness that is most apparent; and when that view of him fills the eye, there is little effort to save him, and little concern for his wrecked life : he
be sent into the wars as food for gunpowder, or sent to sea in a crazy ship, and if he is drowned, what matters it—the ship was insured. But in the light of the Gospel, it is the great. ness of man that fills the view—his immortal capacity, his neverceasing influence on others, his fitness to become a servant of God, useful in his work—nay, a son of God, rejoicing in his fellowship and restored to his image. What an unprecedented impulse does this view of man give to those who labor for his regeneration ! Again, it is only when the Gospel is brought to bear on man that he himself is thoroughly roused to a due sense of his position as an immortal being, and to any measure of hope that his regeneration can be effected. Show a man that the Son of God died for him, the just for the unjust, to bring him unto God; that God desires him for a son, and has ready for him an inheritance of exceeding great worth-where he himself dwells in glory; show him that the Holy Ghost, himself God, is
; in his soul, to fashion it in purity and beauty like that of a Son of
a God, and that to resist the impulses that move him upwards is to resist the work of God himself; let him feel that the grace of the Gospel brings peace of conscience, a hope full of immortality, fellowship with God, in short, every blessing that God can conferwhat an unrivalled force is thus furnished for his elevation-a force equal, through God's blessing, to the very highest results !
After all, let the duty of others be what it may, it is the Christian Church, in its various branches, that must charge itself with the chief responsibility of reconquering the lapsed classes. It is the church that is in possession of far the most powerful artillery, if only she is willing and knows how to use it. The work is so important and so difficult that, to accomplish it, the church would need to summon her utmost energies and resources. In this paper, under the designation of lapsed classes we have had chiefly in view those who lie at the bottom of the social scale, the detritus of society in every sense.
But we cannot forget that since the days of Dr. Chalmers the “ lapsed classes'' have been swollen by other elements, and that we have now to embrace under it an array of cultivated unbelievers who are as far removed from Christ as any. The problem becomes more and more difficult as time wears on. All the more is it necessary that the Christian Church should look it full in the face. It is the function of the church to conquer all these classes to Christ, and all divine encouragement awaits her efforts if only she will face the enterprise in faith and courage. On the other hand, if she shirk it, shutting herself up in a more comfortable and apparently desirable region, she cannot expect to prosper. She may content herself with drawing adherents from the more willing and well-to-do classes, and with building up congregations on whose comfortable condition the eye may rest with complacency. But this will not be following the footsteps of her Lord. Like the Son of Man, she must go forth to seek and to save that which is lost. Her true glory does not lie in any measure or kind of worldly prosperity, but in the degree in which she draws the lost to Christ and assimilates them to him. There is something radically wrong when, confronted with men perishing for lack of knowledge, the church passes by on the other side, thinking neither of the loss to the individual, nor to the church, nor to the world, nor to God, when even one soul is lost, much more souls without number! Happy, on the other hand, the church that maintains its affections warm and tender towards the erring, and understands the joy there is in heaven over one sinner that repenteth! It is this evangelistic
spirit that brings us closest to the very heart and soul of our Lord. It gives us wonderfully close fellowship with him in his moods of exceeding tenderness, as when he beheld the city and wept over it. And it gives us not less close fellowship with him in his moods of triumphant joy when he sees of the travail of his soul and is satisfied, forgetting all his sorrow, like the woman in travail, who forgets all her anguish for joy that a man is born into the world.
WILLIAM G. BLAIKIE.
KANT, AND HIS FORTUNES IN ENGLAND.
T is now a century since the philosophy of Kant was born
into the world, suddenly, we might almost say secretly, the ungainly and repulsive offspring of a solitary thinker, adorned by no graces of style, recommended by no famous name. Men of our day may indeed wonder how it ever excited the interest of the philosophic world, for a book of such form as Kant's great Critick would now hardly find a publisher, still less a public, to adopt it. But we must remember that in the eighteenth century style was unknown in German philosophy; there was hardly a model existing, save in the mystic dawning of Jacob Boehme, or the tedious and barren clearness of Christian Wolff. He that read philosophy in those days, beyond the range of French and English literature, was well accustomed to dryness of matter and mustiness of taste. Kant's style was no worse than the style of his contemporaries, and therefore brought upon him no special neglect. On the other hand, his matter was so new and startling, that it could not fail to attract an age throbbing with political and religious excitement, and casting aside the old and the traditional in the restlessness of its fever. In fact, the age which gave birth to so revolutionary a system created an audience to receive it with respect, and in a very few years German thought had started upon a new career. No single philosopher, except perhaps Descartes —we cannot yet judge of Darwin-ever drew so clear a boundary across the flowing continuity of human thought; he stood, a second Aaron, between the living and the dead, and the plague of dogmatism, which had long benumbed intelligence and para
lyzed thought, was suddenly stayed. The plague returned again, no doubt-an endemic malady in Germany, like the fevers of certain cities; but how new and suggestive the dogmatism of Schelling and of Hegel, how well reasoned and specious the dogmatism of Pessimists and Darwinists, how altered the whole tone of European speculation !
Even more remarkable is the periodical recovery of the Germans from their attacks of dogmatism, and their return to the sound attitude and critical caution of Kant. Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, have all waxed and waned: the former two, perhaps, swallowed up by the comprehensiveness and logical majesty of the last ; but now even his day is gone by in Germany, and for one man who follows or reads or refutes Hegel, there are an hundred who follow and read and refute Kant. The nation has grown hot again over his interpretation, rival schools claim the ægis of his authority; and of late the Darwinists, the great apostles of Positivism, and the deadly enemies of metaphysic, have declared that he alone of the philosophers is worthy of study, and to him alone was vouchsafed a foreglimpse of the dawn of true science.
The common herd, indeed, of vulgar sciolists in the study of nature are still disposed to class him with the rest of pure philosophers, and deride him as an à priori theorist ; but the deeper thinkers of the movement seem to have arrived at the truth which he long since inculcated, that the question for every thinker in every science was no question between metaphysic and no metaphysic, but between good metaphysic and bad metaphysic. Every human being that thinks enough to theorize must be a metaphysician of some sort, and the more ignorant, the more dogmatic; because such people argue upon theories which they have never stated to themselves, and assume results as attained which have defied the pursuit of centuries of
Thus the old lady who maintains the sudden and instantaneous action of the Holy Spirit in conversion will tell us that there must be a moment-an indivisible point of time-before which the soul was in a state of condemnation, and after in a state of grace; and upon this ground we have the doctrine of gradual salvation rejected as absurd. Here is a theological argument