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the Dead, the Final Destruction

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t ~ta
EDITED BY

Issued monthly by "The Bible Standard Publication Society," Lincoln.
Geo. A. BROWN,
'fHE BIBLE STANDARD devoted to the exposition is


Resurrection of Reign on earth.

Pastor of Mint Lane Baptist Church, Lincoln.
of Biblical Truth, especially the doctrine of Conditional Immortality, the literal

of the Wicked, the Signs of the Times, the Second Coming of Christ, and His Personal

" The Wages oj Sin is Death;

but the gift oj God is Eternal

Life throuqh. Jesus Christ our LOTd."

No. 7.
PEACE WITH ALL MEN INCOMPATIBLE FIDELITY
A Sermon by

APRIL,
WITH TO CHRIST.
Geo. A. Brown.

1878.

Price Id.·

" Think not that I am come to send peace on the earth; I came nob to send peace but a sword."-)latt. x. 34. How strange this sounds, falling from the lips of Him whom the Scripture calls the "Prince' of Peace!" When the angels heralded His birth, was it not of "peace" that they sang, saying, "Peace on earth, good will towards men? " And did He not say Himself to His disciples, when about to leave them to go to the Father, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give unto you?" How can this declaration of war, even of a sword, come from the same lips and heart that spake of peace? Does a fountain send forth water both sweet and bitter? 01' a tree bear two manner of fruits? How can we reconcile this announcement of conflict with Christ as the Prince of Peace? The conflicting statements are seen to be in perfect harmony as we recognize the fact that they are spoken of the Saviour in different relationships and as viewed from different standpoints. One-the proclamation of war-is a view of the battle-field; the other-is the scene where victory is won. One is the war-cry; the other, the echo of the grand festal day, when the battle-ground is changed to Paradise, and men's persons as well as hearts have been transformed, so that they wear the image of the Heavenly. Christ's first advent inaugurated a great revolution in the religious system of his land and time. It brought the gloom of evening to the long day of reputed orthodoxy; and finally, settled many of its cherished beliefs down in dense and eternal night. For years and centuries dogmas and forms had held the Jewish worshipper in captivity. Creeds were stereotyped' and patented. And human theology had embedded truth in the grave of tradition. Ligh is that once shone brightly had grown dim and gone out in death; and the race of

godly men was fast becoming extinct. The path of life was blocked by religious teachers who ostensibly held the keys of the gate ; they surrounded the entrance of the narrow way with a thousand unnecessary rites and commandments. Through the stately theological institutions they had founded, men must neec1s pass before they coulc1 be in the path leading to glory and honour and immortality. False interpretation given to Scripture had well nigh extinguished all hat was God-like and holy. And this false theology as become part and parcel of their nature. The mother sung it to her babe; it was learnt among the first lessons of tenc1er childhood; the youth who would win the smile of the public eye must graduate therein at some school of Gamaliel. And this traditional faith and religion had so far taken hold upon the convictions of the people, that they had come to think that no other way was or could be right. They had made void the commandments of God by their traditions. Such was the state of the Jewish Church when Christ was born; and when in His manhood He entered upon His mission-a lone Man! Unsupported by any body' of men,-not ordained by man, nor holding in His possession any document of credentials 01' authority from the schools of theology-He stooc1,a Man of U'aT! A Man whose heart was fired with holy and Divine truth! No weapon in His hanc1 but the sword of the Spirit. And with this He struck, and His blows were felt; for they fell with power upon the heads and hearts of those who had for many years been looked upon as almost divine. He-this Man of war-went from town to town, from village to village, from mountain top to ship's deck, proclaiming doctrines and principles antagonistic to sin and to the erroneous religious system and tenets of His day. He gave error no quarter; He claimed no friendship with the sanctimonious Pharisees, for the sake of "peace." Nay, otherwise; for the peace that had long lain on the bosom of a worldly and backslidden Church, He brake-He ruthlessly brake! War was' proclaimed ; and with that lone

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The Jewish nation is roused to ferocity and murder. The Man-and illustrious warrior-has sprung up the greatest heathens clamour and seek to destroy the Church of God. controversy the world has known. Prisons and bonds are tried as means of cure, to shut the And still the war rages, as severe as ever. Truth is not mouths of these men. But, useless all! No incarceration crushed, nor does she sue for peace. She yet holds up her 'could seclude them, or prevent the spreading of their head in bold defiance. She presses her complete victory doctrines; and no threats of the worst that man can do here in this world; for the ground on which we tread is could succeed in getting them to promise that they would hers. The crown of honour and glory must alone deck her speak no more in that Name that created such dissension. brow; and then only will she stop the fight. She will not The complaint against the Apostles was that they" turned have peace till by herself she stands the vanquisher of 3,11 the world upside down." They did not agree with existing her enemies. religions. And not agreeing with the traditions and shams Christ held out no flag of truce. He was stern in His of their day, they struck heavy and tremendous blows at denunciations of evil. In grave and emphatic words He these cheats and delusions. Great Diana of the Ephesians warned His disciples against the" leaven" of the Scribes was openly attacked, as well as the inventions of that Church and Pharisees, making allusion to their" doctrines." that claimed the name of God as an authority for its This onslaught roused the lethargy of the religious practices. The axe was laid at the root of the tree; and slumberer. It awakened the anger of the priesthood. They they dealt unsparing blows at what only deserved to perish. found an enemy born in their very midst, fighting to overThen raged with blind and wild-beast fury the worshippers throw their beloved and cherished system. Apprehending their danger, they determined, if possible, to C1'Ush the Man of these several systems, and they called in the civil arm who dared to disturb the theological peace. against'the audacious Christians. In the pages of history The conflict waxed hotter and hotter. The anger, malice we read of the dark and horsible deeds of cruelty perpetrated and hatred of the human heart were stirred to their depths, by the pagans against the Jhurch, from the Emperor N ero down to Diocletian. and the culmination is well known-it ended in blood! The We might continue, and speak of the war and its progress forces of the Rabbis, led by the treacherous Judas, took from that day to this; but enough. We see through all the Jesus, and in the presence of a mob interspersed with high past ages that the principles and doctrines of Christ when religious functionaries they crucified Him. But this was not completed until He had accomplished a work that faithfully proclaimed have caused a disturbance of the peace. It is true that the Church has at times fallen into a lull, subsequent time has not been able to undo. He had won a few followers, gained some hearts, made some impressions. and even sought the favour of the world, with an inglorious . peace. The sword has remained in its scabbard, when it And He died, leaving the world in a perfect uproar. Doubtless His enemies thought they had rid themselves should have been used in fidelity to Christ. She has sunk of a great and dangerous pest when they saw their Foe a into a kind of half-and-half unionist, as in the days of corpse; and hoped for a return to the peace of the olden Constantine. For the sake of peace, she said less and less times. But such thoughts and hopes were destined to prove about the idolatry of the pagans until-natural result-she delusive, and they are now to know more than ever the began to copy it, so that one could hardly discriminate truth of Christ's declaration, that He came not to send between Christianity and heathenism. It was peace they peace but a sword. wanted. But, like the Israelites of old, they rested in the But a few' days elapsed, and they were disturbed by the wilderness only to make to themselves idols, and depart from news, spreading with wondrous speed, that the Lord was the living God. Our Master had said, " Think not that I risen from the dead! And, but a brief period from that am come to send peace on earth, I came not to the Risen One armed His followers with a power against send peace but a sword." He meant this sword which nothing could stand. His enemies could not resist to be used; and the Church for the sake of peace had the Spirit which He gave them on the day of Pentecost. put it aside. It has frequently been so. But, friends, this Astonished and confounded, they saw and heard the sword must be wielded by somebody to fulfil the words of Heaven-endowed warriors of the cross. Unlearned men, Jesus, and when one class of men refuses to contend for having the courage of lions, spake with unearthly authority, righteousness and truth, God raises up another who will and won rebel hearts to the Royal cause. And the result of fearlessly and loyally carry on the war commenced by our that one day alone, so successful was the siege, was the Divine Master. turning over of three thousand men on the Lord's side! We live not in those days of fiery persecution. But is the Now the warfare assumes a wider range and larger probattle over? No, no; let us realise it. Our age, as ages portions. The twelve, within a few years, carry it into all of the past, demands our utmost energies for Christ. Error lands. It is both of an aggressive and defensive nature. abounds=-is everywhere. And we must oppose it. We

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THE RICH MAN AND LAZARUS.

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must be. its pronounced antagonists. This is a part of our mission. Talking of error, both in doctrine and practice, how it covers the ground! To-day it is in exaltation. The posts of honour, the plaudits, the laurels, are all given to it. And truth-Divine truth-glorious, saving truth-is kept down as much as possible, It needs manliness to take the sword of the Spirit and go out to meet it. It requires valour and self-sacrifice in th~s holy war. For it will bring the same results as ever. It will raise against all who stand in the ranks of the faithful in Christ the indignation and malice and false witness of him who loves darkness rather than light. But, alas! our heart is sad; for we discover a disposition on the part of many to ingratiate themselves and live in the smiles of the enemy. They seem to be holding out a flag of truce, and claim to have discovered neutral ground where they can dwell with opponents of the faith, in union, and free of controversy. They will give up all distinguishing doctrines in which they are at variance with tho~e who list to fables, just for the sake of peace. Unfaithful. This will not do, brethren. God has given us truth that produces discord, that breaks up societies that are based upon a false foundation, and it is our imperative duty to wield the sword of the Spirit in the name of Him Who promises a grand and glorious victory to them who are faithful. This war will go on until the Prince of Peace shall come, and when He comes He shall hush the tempest with His voice, and crush the wrong, exalting the true, the noble, the Godlike. Then the grand angelic anthem shall be realized. " Peace on earth and good will to men," for Christ shall reign from sea to sea, and from the rivers to the ends of the ·earth. Then shall error sink never more to rise, and truth exalted shall sit enthroned never more to be trodden under foot of men. Then everyone who has fought the fight well, and overcome by the word of God, shall be praised by the Captain of their salvation, and being immortalized, shall in the kingdom of God spend one endless day of peace; for to the ends of the earth shall discord have died away. Let us in view of that time gird up, with all diligence, the loins of our minds for opposition to error and unrighteousness even to the end, not seeking peace on a false basis, nor giving quarter to that that is against God and His revelation; and may we be good soldiers now, that we may have glory and honour, and incorruptibility then. Amen.

THE imagery of the parable is borrowed from the opmions of the heathen concerning Hades, or the invisible world, the state of the dead-which the Jews, in the time of the Saviour's ministry had in part imbibed. There is sufficient evidence, both internal and external, to prove that the passage is a parable. Dr. Whit by argues conclusively that the passage is a parable, and states that it was. not original with Jesus, but was quoted by him from some Jewish writings. "That this is only a parable, and not a real history of what was actually done, is evident, 1st, because we find this very parable in the Gemara Babylonicum, whence it is cited by Mr. Sheringham, in the preface to his Joma; 2nd, from the circumstances of it, viz., the rich man's lifting up his eyes in Hades, and seeing Lazarus in Abraham's bosom his discourse with Abraham, his complaint of being tormented with flames, and his desire that Lazarus might be sent to cool his tongue ; and if all this be confessedly a parable why should the rest, VAhiC. is the very parable in the Gemara, be accounted istory?" (Wlntby, Note on Luke xvi. 29.) Again, Archbishop Tillotson remarks, that 111 some ancient MSS. the passage commences as follows: "And He spake a parable unto them, saying, There was a certain rich man," &c. Dr. Hammond gives his unqualified opinion that this is a parable, in his commentary on the passage. The language of the venerable Dr. Lightfoot is strong and energetic. He throws the contrary opinion into ridicule. He says, " Whosoever believes this not to be a parable, but a true story, let him believe also those little Friars whose trade it is to show the monuments at Jerusalem to pilgrims, and point exactly to the place where the house of the rich glutton stood; most accurate keepers of antiquity, indeed, who after so many years, such overthrows of Jerusalem, such devastations and changes, can rake out of the rubbish the place of so private a house, and such an one, too, that never had any being, but merely in parable. And that it was a parable, not only the consent of all expositors may assure us, but the thing itself speaks it." (Works, xii. 157,158.) The learned and orthodox Dr. Proudfit very judiciously remarks, " We are not to conclude that such persons (the rich man and Lazarus) actually existed, but they are intro-, duced for the occasion, to urge more strongly the moral intended." (Lecture on Parables, p. 190.) We think that the above quotations will suffice to convince any unbiased mind that the ground is conceded that the Rich Man and Lazarus is a parable. It may be said by our opponents, " We grant you that it

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'THEdoctrine of eternal misery appears first in " Clementina," a forgery by some unknown writer, about the middle of the 2nd century. Until that time it seems to have been unknown in the Christian Church. Universal salvation was first taught about one hundred years later.

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and large, is fixed between them; insomuch that a just man that hath compassion upon them cannot be admitted; nor can one that is unjust, if he were bold enough to attempt it, pass over it." Now it is unmistakeably from this "Pharisaic doctrine of Hades that we have the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus. The Pharisees did not', however, get the idea from their own Scriptures, but from the heathen philosophers. The unanimous testimony of the Scripture writers goes to show that lIades is a place of silence; it is u place where all the dead are, (i.e., not living), it is therefore translated many times into our English word [J1'ave. We will cite the following passages to prove our position relative to Hades :" What man is he that liveth, and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the qraue" (Hades, Sept.)? Psalm lxxxix. 48. " For in death there is no remembrance of thee; in the grave (Hades) who shall give thee thanks? " Psalm vi. 5. This passage affirms that ill Hades (for I now quote from the Greek version of the Old ~stament) there is no "remembrance" which is an attribute of conscious existence, and llO one gives thanks, and, therefore, affords conclusive evidence that it is a place of unconsciousness. But to make this point clear beyond a doubt relative to the dead being utterly unconscious in Hades, we quote Eccl. ix, 10. : " Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave (Hades) whither thou goest." WLitby says, that Shoel throughout the Old Testament, and Hades in the Septuagint, answering to it, signify not a place of torment, or of the souls of bad men only, but the grave only, or the place of death. We have now brought before you the doctrine of Hades according to the Pharisee, who in turn had imbibed it from the heathen philosopher and we have also shown you the Scriptural idea of Hades which makes it a place of death and and not of life. Which shall we believe? The learned Dr. Campbell gives the whole weight of his authority in favour of the supposition that the Jews Lad been corrupted in their views by the heathen, and that the form of the parable was drawn from the heathen notions which they had imbibed. He says. "It is plain that in the Old Testament the most profound silence is observed in regard to the state of the dead, their joys or SOlTOWS, happiness or misery!" The opinion neither of Hebrews nor of the heathen, remained invariably the same. And from the time of the captivity, more especially from the time of the subjection of the Jews, first to the Macedonian empire, and afterwards to the Roman, as they had a closer intercourse with pagans, they insensibly imbibed many of their sentiments, particularly on ,those subjects, wherein their law was silent. On this subject of a future state we find a considerable difference in the popular opinions of the Jews in our Saviour's time, from

is a parable, but it must be established upon a literal fact." In reply, we would say that, "Such is not the case, for we find many parables in the Bible which are not founded upon facts at all." Will our readers please read the parable found in the 9th chap. of Judqes, from the 7th to the 15th verses? Taking for granted that you have read this parable, we would ask you if trees talk, or ,do they assemble themselves together to appoint kings, and yet it is stated in this parable that" The trees went forth to anoint a king over them." This at once answers for an illustration that all parables are not founded upon facts. We now proceed to show that the Saviour referred in the parable, not to the views concerning Hades entertained by the sacred writers, but to heathen notions of Hades which had been in part imbibed by the Jews,-not, however, to aclmowledge the heathen fables to be well founded, but, by the parabolic use of them, to set forth a train of interesting facts. We now come to a very important enquiry, viz., Does the representation of Hades in the parable agree with the views of the sacred writers on that subject. We answer that it does not, but agrees perfectly with the ideas entertained by the Jews themselves concerning Hades. We will give you a quotation from J osephus on the Jewish belief of this subject, and you will at once see that Christ drew His parable from their own theological opinions concerning the state of the dead. But by no means does He sanction it by using the same in parabolic form. Josephus says, "Now as Hades, wherein the souls of the righteous and unrighteous are detained, it is not necessary to speak of it. Hades is a place in the WOTld not regularly finished, a subterraneous region where the light of this world does not shine j from which circumstance, that in this region the light does not shine, it cannot be but there must be in it perpetual darkness. ," This region is allotted as a place of custody for souls, in which angels are appointed as guardians to them, who distribute to them temporary judgments, agreeably to every one's behaviour and manners. In this region there is a certain place set apart as a lake of unquenchable fire, whereunto we suppose no one hath hitherto been cast, but it is prepared for a day afore determined by God, in which one righteous sentence shall deservedly be passed upon all men. The just are now indeed confined in Hades, but not in the same place wherein the unjust are confined. For there is one descent into this region, at whose gate we believe stands an archangel with a host: which gate, when those pass through that are conducted down by the angels appointed over souls, they do not go the same way, but the just are guided to the right hand. This place we call the bosom of Abraham. But as to the unjust, they are dragged by force to the left hand by the angels allotted for punishment, no longer going with a good will, but as prisoners driven by violence into the neighbourhood of Hell itself j who, when they are hard by it, continually hear the noise of it, and do not stand clear of the hot vapour (01' flame). Not only so, but where they see the place of the Fathers and of the just, even hereby are they punished j for a chaos, deep

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Parable? What fact did He intend to teach? those which prevailed in the days of the ancient prophets. We believe that He intended to point out the obstinacy of As both Greeks and Romans had adopted the notion, that the Jews, their impending doom for having rejected their the ghosts of the departed were susceptible both of enjoyMessiah, also to show that the Gentiles (who had been ment and of suffering, they were led to suppose a sort of beggars in the estimation of the Jews,) would be brought into retribution in that state, for their merit or demerit in the covenant relationship with the promises and covenants made present. The Greek Hades they found well adapted to to Abraham I and the Jews would be cut_off, and suffer the express the Hebrew Shoel. This they came to conceive as consequences of their obstinacy. including different sorts of habitations for ghosts of different The Rich Man. personifies the Jewish people, who were characters! Here we ask, on whose authority did the Jews rich in religious privileges, being God's chosen, covenant believe that Hades was a place of disembodied souls? people, as the Apostle Paul testified, when speaking of them, Answer.-On the authority of the heathen. It may be said "To whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the that Christ must have sanctioned the Pharisaic doctrine of covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, Hades, or else he would not have used it in His parable. and the promises, &c."-Roln. ix, 4, 5. "Their priests also In reply, we say that if Christ sanctioned the Hadean were clothed in purple and fine linen," and served at the state, according to the Jewish belief at that time, then He plainly and pointedly went against the teachings of the Old , altar "every day." ~ It was the special purpose of our Saviour to teach the Testament writers on the Hadean state. Jewish people that on account of their rejection of Him, This we cannot for a moment believe to be the case, for if Christ sanctioned the belief of the Pharisee regarding Hades, they should lose their peculiar relationship to the gospel benefits, and this and the torments they are represented as then we have His sanction of it in its minutest particulars, suffering, very justly set forth their chagrin and envy arising just as they held it. from the reception of Christ by the Gentiles, and also their With the two side by side, there is no disputing this fact. And that makes it that all the dead are now detained down national overthrow, debasement, and sufferings for eighteen under the earth alive, and this doctrine must henceforth hunched years. become the ultimatum of all Christian faith as to the dead. By the beggar, the Gentiles are represented. In regard Rejecting this, the objection falls to the ground that Christ to divine knowledge they had been poor indeed" when sanctions it by using it to reprove these Pharisees. We compared with the Jews. They had no knowledge of God, might as well accuse .Msop of believing that the birds and nor of His law! and they worshipped the idols which their 'own hands had fashioned. beasts actually talk because he makes them do it in his By the death of the two individuals, is intended the change fables; and if any in his day really believed it, might he not which was then about to take place in the circumstances of be justified if he used their faith to impart unto them the Jews and the Gentiles. The Jews were soon to be important moral lessons by making the birds and beasts deprived of their national privileges, because they had not talk wisely. Indeed in this very connection, Christ founds a Parable made a good use of them, and were to be cast into outer upon the dishonest conduct of an unprincipled steward, who darkness, and suffer the most tremendous evils that had wasted his Lord's goods; and who, when he learned he was , ever befallen any nation. On the other hand, the, Gentiles to be turned out of the stewardship, made a most dishonest were to experience a change equally great: they were to be settlement with his Lord's debtors, cheating Him out of a brought to the knowledge of God, and of that Gospel which large amount. was preached, originally, to Abraham. " To Abraham and Shall we say that our Saviour endorsed this dishonesty his seed were the promises made."-Gal. iii, 16. In this because he founds a Parable upon it, without even intimating way the Gentiles were to become children of Abraham. " Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for ' that such conduct was wrong? In the Parable under consideration, our Saviour at once righteousness; know ye, therefore, that they which are of reached them through their own distorted views of the state faith, the same are the children of Abraham."-Gal. iii, 6,7. of the dead, with the most solemn and important of It is for this reason that Lazarus is represented as being all truths. blessed with Abraham in Hades. He had embraced the Mark with what consummate skill the Saviour handles faith of Abraham. Paul again says, speaking to the Gentiles, these men, and turns the tables against them, by weaving a "If ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs Parable against them out of their own doctrine of Hades, and according to the promise."-Gal. iii, 29. thus in the most effectual, if not the only way, forewarns The poor Gentiles were looked upon by the Jews with a them of their personal and national impending doom. perfect loathing, such were not the characters esteemed by What was the object,' then, of Jesus in uttering the those proud Pharisees. In their estimation, themselves, and

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own doctrine, the simple idea is a remedilessdoom, verse 27, presents to us the appeal of the one representative, asking Abraham to send some one to his five brethren. The five brethren in the parable would indicate that this rich man had left behind him those related to him, related in the positions of life, standing together in these relations like brethren, living as he had lived. And now he desires to warn them of their danger, Abraham is made to reply they have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them. This brings us in the parable to its more'direct and personal application to these Pharisees who. were standing before Christ, and it is done with a masterly hand. If they had failed to perceive its bearing up to this point they could fail no longer. The likeness has been drawn too true to life for them not to see the;}selyes in it. And now, like the five brethren left a\ their father's house, they stand before the Saviour with the writings of Moses and the prophets in their hands. And will they hear them? Can they resist the subtile element of truth that is stealing into their minds and reaching after their consciences? Shall not the writings of Moses and the prophets suffice to convince them and break down their un belief? Christ then makes the rich man to say, "Nay, Father Abraham, but if one went unto them from the dead they will repent." Is it possible to conceive of anything more touching than this a-plea put into the mouth of a departed friend, that the very dead might be raised up to warn comrades, who, though possessing the Scriptures, they paid no heed to their teachings. And is it so that even this would avail nothing to reach such men. Alas! it was even so. For the response was' that, "If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead." In the last reply of Abraham to the rich man, we have the moral of the parable, for this assertion was subsequently proved true, for Jesus did raise a real .Lazarus from the dead! but the Jews were enraged at the miracle, and sought to kill Him, because many in consequence believed. And thus they held out, until at lastthe picture so graphically drawn by the Saviour began to meet its fulfillment in terrible fact, for their Temple was destroyed and they were scattered, like autumn leaves before the wind, into all nations, they died to all their former privileges,died as a nation and from that time to this their land has been trampled down by Gentile rulers, and they have been suffering the severest privation and persecution that could ever befall a people. And we have also lived to see the great and wonderful change which from that' time passed over the Gentiles, they have been brought under the immediate blessings of covenant mercy and to-day they rejoice.in the fact that they are made partakers through Christ of the promise made to Abraham long years ago. In conclusion we would direct your minds to the opinion of Dr. Lightfoot on the subjecthe says: "The main scope and design of the parable seems to be this-to hint the destruction of the unbelieving Jews, who, though they had Moses and the prophets, did not believe them-nay, would not believe, though' one (even Jesus) arose from the dead. For that conclusion of the parable abundantly evidenced what it aimed at; if they hear not Moses and the prophets." .

not these despised ones, would be entitled to a place in Abraham's bosom. Shall the delusive dream be broken? Is there any way by which they can yet be reached? If so, this Parable must do it. Verse 22 speaks of the beggar . dying and being "carried by angels into Abraham's bosom." Abraham's bosom, the Pharisees tell us, is that part of Hades at the right hand, set apart for the just, and that these were conducted down by the angels appointed over souls, who are ever in attendance at the gate. That this miserable beggar, this outcast of society, should be thus honoured, was quite a different result from what these men, who trusted in themselves, conceived of the matter. Christ takes the very lowest to represent His character, of those whom the Pharisees looked upon as without hope and God in the world, and places the poor beggar in their Hadean paradise. Could they other than see and feel such a reproof? The rich man dies, and he too goes down to Hades, but not to that part of it where Lazarus was. But he can see the place of the Fathers and of the just, and he cries to Abraham to have mercy on him, this part identifies the rich man as being a representative of the Jews, for none else could at that time call Abraham, Father, How now is the whole scene changed, and changed to the utter confusion of the Pharisees with no hope of relief. For in perfect accord with' their own faith of punishment in Hades. This rich man their ideal of life, a mild type of themselves was sent to the place of torment. In doing this Christ designed to show them their false position, .their fatal error, and break if possible the delusion that had possessed them, and borne them on to deride Him, and could they not according to their own belief see whither they were drifting, verse 25, presents a startling reproof. And not uttered by on(ewhom they hated, but made to come by Christ in the parable in all tenderness from the lips of Abraham .himself Could rebuke be more wisely conceived, or more tremendously and deservedly given? The Pharisees in their doctrine of Hades had fixed a chaos deep and large between the "just and the unjust." So that if one felt to compassionate the tormented on the one hand or bold enough to attempt to escape from the torment on the other, they could not "pass over it." Can anyone mark this continued and perfect correspondence between their doctrine of Hades and the parable, and have remaining a doubt as to the fact that the one was founded upon the other? In this impassable gnlf Christ now hangs them upon their own gallows, as Haman was executed upon his. He showed them their hopeless condition if they continued their worldly course and also continued their rejection of Him as a nation. And he clinches the truth of it upon the very face of their

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By H. L. Hastings. THERE is neither virtue nor profit in standing alone, if OUl' isolation is the result of our own disagreeableness, stubbornness, ugliness, or oddity. It is by no means certain that a man is out of bad company because no one else is near him; and his separation from others may be his fault instead of his duty. If his heart be sour and morose; if his hand be against every man in Ishmaelitish rage and controversial impertinence; if he can agree with no one, and would change his own course if he saw anyone else agreeing with him; if he is alone as lions and tigers are alone,-because they are too fierce and selfish to have company,-then his loneliness is his sin against the common ties of human brotherhood, against the sweet charities of Christian fellowship, against the unity of the "one .body" and against the communion of the "one spirit. " But, notwithstanding all this, there are timea and circumstances which compel the servant of God to stand alone. The grace which has constituted him a son and heir of God; the Holy Spirit which has renewed his heart; the precious faith by which he has been saved and purified; the blessed hope to which he has fled for refuge from the storms of earth; the heavenly heritage which has weaned him from the world and made him but a pilgrim here ;-all these and . other things which distinguish broadly between what he was and what he is. may prove sources of isolation in a world of sin and among a race of sinful men. The Christian isolation is far from being a mere local separation from the presence and occupations of his fellowmen. His is no cloistered virtue, shunning the walks and warfare of an active life; it is no separation from human sympathies and fellowships and tears. It is no going 'out of the world into trackless deserts or lonely hermitages; nor is it passing by "upon the other side" when suffering humanity lies stripped and wounded and weltering in its gore. But it is rather a separation from sin and from sinners in their sinning; a separation from craft and from the crafty in their craftiness; a separation from the blinded multitude and from their blind misleaders ; a separation foreseen and foreshadowed by Him who hath chosen us out of the world, Who hath said, "Thou shalt not follow the multitude to do evil," and Whose message to His people is, " Come out from among them and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing," &c. This is a separation to which any child of God may be called, and from which everyone should be prepared. Much as he may love the fellowship of brethren or the friendship of his associates, yet he must be prepared to sacrifice all, forsake all, and deny self, if thereby he may

stand approved of' Him Who hath bought him .with His blood. For peace's sake he may concede much. For Christ's sake he may endure much. But he must not forsake his Lord. He must not prove recreant to his trust. He must not see right trodden down and wrong exalted, and countenance the act. He may deny himself, but he must not deny his Lord. He may sacrifice his pleasure, but he must not violate his conscience. He may waive his opinions, but he must not forsake his faith. He may yield his preferences, but he must not abandon his principles. He may love his brethren, but he must follow his M~ He may consent to that which is expedient, but he must be steadfast for that which is right. He may respect man; he must obey God. Such a man, impelled by such influences, must sometimes stand alone. He knows the right, and he cannot join hands with those who pursue the wrong. He sees the ditch, and he cannot follow the blind leaders who grope along its margin. He perceives the guile of' crafty men, and he cannot link himself with those who are dupes and tools. He cannot strike hands with worldly policy; he cannot veer and vacillate with every changing wind; he cannot accommodate his principles to suit the times or to suit the tastes of selfish men; he cannot lend his influence to crooked policy, nor his countenance to covert iniquity; and so, by . every principle of his new nature, and by every impulse which comes to him from above, he is compelled to stand . alone. He cannot strive or cry or cause his voice to be heard in the streets amid the brawling clamour of a thousand tongues; he cannot be a manof bitterness and jangling and disputation; he cannot mar the gentle charities of heaven by rude contentions with the crafty, the designing, and the bold ;-and hence he finds himself withdrawn from the unquiet clamour to walk in loneliness and obscurity, to strengthen his heart in patience and fidelity, to await the changes which may occur in ways unknown to him, and to abide the call of God and the issues of His Providence, whenever or whatever it may designate his labour and appoint his lot. The man who is thus called of God, who listens to the instructions of the Bible, the teachings of' the Holy Ghost, the voice of conscience, and the indications of D: vine Providence, need not fear or faint, though he finds himself standing alone. The truth which is trampled down and turned out of doors to-day, will soon be lifted up and welcomed back again. The Christ who was crucified on Calvary, amid taunts and scoffs and mockings, arises to reign on Zion, while all the ~ngels worship Him. To-day's minority is the majority of the future; to-day's majority will be the shame and stench of days to come. He who for company's sake has fellowship with eLTOl', wrong, and sin, may find that living in Sodom is vexatious

THE

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strengthened me, that by me the preaching might be fully known, and 1 was delivered out of the mouth of the lion." And John, in exile on the rocky shores of Patmos, beheld the opened heavens, and read the unsealed scroll of destiny, and saw the splendour of the golden city and the glory of the world to come as man had never done before. Thus places of loneliness have become places of wondrous blessing, and many who have reclined in solitude and darkness on .a wayside stone, have arisen to call their restingplace a Bethel because the Lord had there revealed Himself to them. "Let us then go forth unto Him without the camp, bearing His reproach." And in our weariness and solitude and tears, we shall find a preparation for work which God may yet set before us, such as nowhere else is found. Are you called of God to stand alone? Stand then where God would have you. Your trial shall be brief. Your triumph shall know no end. Held back from the protections of men you shall be guarded by the angels of the Most High. Restrained by the word and spirit of God from fellowship with lfnrighteonsness, and error, and friendship with the world, rou shall find sweeter friendship with the Father and witli the Son, and the lost friendships of time shall be more than compensated by the sacred bonds that shall unite us for eternity. And when the weary years of toil and conflict shall be done; when the watchmen who so long have stood alone on distant towers and battlements, shall gather to the hill of God; when the separated ones shall see each other face to face and eye to eye: when the voices that have chanted the midnight lays of sorrow shall uplift the awakening songs of everlasting joy; when all the loneliness of saints in this poor sinful world is forgotten in the meeting, the reunion, and the triumph of the" general assembly and church of the firstborn; when the hidden mystery of all our sorrows is revealed, we shall rejoice that it has been given to us to follow in the steps of Him Whose heart was often lonely in this world, and Who once said to His disciples, "Ye shall be scattered and leave Me alone, and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with Me." THE EASTERN QUESTION: In the Light of Scripture.
Being a short examination of the Prophecies concerning the time of the end; with a Word of Warning to the Church and the World' to which is also appended, a copy of the Will of Peter the Great: Price Sixpence. GLASGOW: of the Author, Mr. DICKsoN, 46, Jamaica Street.

in itself, and may have to change his quarters at last with inconvenient haste; while he who, Abraham-like, consents to be a pilgrim on the earth, shall know the purposes of his heavenly Father, and shall view in distant safety the smoke of Sodoru's overthrow, or the tumult of Babylon's destruction. He who is called of God to stand alone, may stand without fear. With truth, he is on the strongest side; with right for his buckler, he shall withstand his foes; with God, he has more than a majority. All flesh is grass, and all the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field; the grass withereth and the flower fadeth, but the word of God endureth for ever. What shall he fear who rests upon that word? All things are working for his good, and all things are his. Tribulation and sorrow, trial or temptation, life or death,-all are his. His are the changes of time; his the compensations of eternity. He need not fret himself because of evil doers, or because of him who prospereth in his way. The momentary vantage is the presage of utter and inglorious overthrow, and temporary defeats culminate in everlasting victories. Let but the humble Simon of Cyrene be forced to bear the Saviour's cross, and his patent of nobility is sure, and a fame wider than that of kings and statesmen clings to him throughout the centuries of time and cycles of eternity. He who stands alone for God shall never lack for company. Though the thoughtless rabble around him cannot see his sun-crowned head above the fogs and mists that blind their eyes, yet he shall have fellowship with God and with His separated people through all the years of time. He is alone, but God is with him. He is alone, but angels guard him. He is alone, and yet he is a member of that True Vine whose branches overspread the world. He is alone; what cares he for loneliness so long as he walks with God? Are you called to stand alone? What then? Did not Noah stand alone when he foretold the flood, prepared the ark, and escaped destruction? Did not Abraham stand alone, when he forsook his kindred and his country to be a pilgrim and a stranger on the earth? Did not J oseph stand alone, when he was hated, sold, enslaved, and persecuted? Did not Moses stand alone when he renounced the splendours of Egyptian royalty to share the fortunes of a race of slaves? Did not Caleb and Joshua stand alone, when all the congregation bade to stone them with stones, because they followed the Lord fully and brought no evil tidings from the goodly land? Did not David stand dlone, when all the hosts of Israel quailed before the giant of Gath? Did not Elijah stand alone, when he confronted the prophets of Baal on the summit of Mount Carmel? Did not the Hebrews stand alone, when they braved the terrors of the fiery furnace? Did not Daniel stand alone, when he passed through the lions' den? Did not Paul stand alone, when Demas left him, when all Asia turned away from him, when his own converts denied his apostleship, and when all forsook him and fled from the presence of his imperial persecutor? Did not John stand alone, an exile on the lonely shores of Patmos? And have not many of God's holiest, mightiest, truest, noblest sons, been called to this same loneliness, from age to age, from the beginning of the world until now? And wh of all this? Noah, though alone, survived a deluged world. Abraham, though alone, had God for hIS Friend, his Shield, and his exceeding Great Reward. Lot, though alone, escaped the fires of Sodom's overthrow. Joseph, though alone, - attained to the heights of earthly greatness, and still held fast the hopes of Israel as his own. Elijah, though alone, prevailed with God ill wonder-working prayer, and at last rode heavenward in a car of fire. Paul, though alone, could say, "The Lord stood by me and

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Mint Lane Baptist Church, Lincoln.
The Pastor, Geo. A. BROWN, will deliver special discourses on Sunday evenings, during the Month, on Prophesy relating to the time of the end and the Second Coming of Christ. The Anniversary Services of the above Church were held on Sunday, Feb. 17th, and on th . Tuesday following a public tea was hel.d, at wl-:ichabout 500 friends were present; afterwards a public meeting took place in the Chapel, when the Secretary read over the annual report, which showed an increase of 120 members during the year, and that the finances of the Church were in a good condition. About £150 was raised at these services, of which sum the Ladies of the Sewing Society contributed about £50.
Printed by CHARLES AKRILL, Silver Street, Lincoln; and pub. lished by "THE BIBLE STANDARD PUBLICATlON SOCIETY," at their Office, No. 24, Mint La.ne, Lincoln.