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Tao Te Ching

Lao Tzu, James Legge (trans.)

The Souls of Black Folk

W. E. B. DuBois

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle

Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

An exposition of the Epistle to the Galatians

by James Alexander Haldane


For the wisest and most important purposes, the Lord separated from the rest of the world the family from which Christ was to spring. He sent them down to Egypt, where they increased to a nation, were brought into bondage, and delivered in a manner calculated to excite in them the most lively gratitude to the God of their fathers, as well as to illustrate the redemption of the true Israel. He established his covenant with them, avouching them to be his peculiar people; He delivered to them laws, statutes, judgements, and commandments, which they were to observe till the appearance of One who should rule as a son over his own house, and explain the parables which the faithful servant had employed to shadow forth the nature of his spiritual and everlasting kingdom.

At length this glorious Personage made his appearance, and having sat down on the throne of his glory, issued those laws by which his subjects should be governed. During his abode upon earth, He dwelt among his brethren after the flesh; He sojoured in that family which had been separated from all others, manifesting himself as the Saviour of sinners; and before He left the world, commanded the Gospel to be preached to every creature. But the mind of Israel was blinded, and because His kingdom was not of this world,— because He required his subjects to deny themselves, to take up their cross and follow him,—because his Apostles declared that all national distinctions were at an end, and that there was now neither Jew nor Greek, circumcision nor uncircumcision, but that the same Lord over all is rich to all that call upon him,—they refused to have Him to reign over them, affirming that they had no king but Cesar. Their city was, in consequence, burnt up, and themselves scattered among the nations, with whom, however, they are not permitted to mingle, but remain to this day—a pillar of salt—a distinct people, whose present circumstances,—so minutely described by Moses and the prophets,—form a conclusive proof of the truth of the Gospel, which they still so obstinately reject.

False brethren, both Jews and Gentiles, unawares crept into the churches in the days of the Apostles. The former, like Lot's wife, fondly looked back to the system which, having answered its purpose, was virtually at an end. Like their forefathers, who remembered with regret the luxuries they had enjoyed in Egypt, they reflected on the imposing splendour of the temple worship, with the feasts and ceremonies enjoined by the law of Moses. Their carnal minds loathed those spiritual and heavenly blessings, which constituted the only inducement to be followers of Christ. They easily persuaded many of the Gentiles to unite with them in mixing up Judaism and Christianity. Hence it is written, "The mystery of iniquity doth already work." The Apostles, under the influence of the spirit of prophecy, foresaw, in the attempt to blend the doctrine of Moses with that of Christ, the embryo of the man of sin, and warned the disciples against the snare which the snbtilty of Satan was spreading for them.

When the Apostles had finished their course, grievous wolves entered into the churches, and many of the disciples, while retaining the name of Christians, turned back to the beggarly elements of Judaism, which were more congenial to their carnal apprehension than the spiritual doctrine of Christ. In process of time, this mongrel system attracted multitudes, and at length the number of nominal believers became so great, that the Roman Emperor, whether from policy or conviction, declared Christianity to be the religion of the empire, became the head of what was termed the Church, and regulated it by his authority.

Long and severe wag the struggle between the civil and ecclesiastical powers to obtain the government of the Church. At length the latter prevailed, the beast with seven heads and ten horns was revealed, "and all the world wondered after the beast." At the Reformation, he appeared to have received a deadly wound. The Scriptures, which had long been taken out of the hands of the people, and altogether neglected by those who assumed the name of the clergy,* were now widely diffused, and many of the abominations of popery were abandoned by various nations in Europe. But still they retained the very essence of antichrist,—the connexion of church and state, and Protestant nations deemed themselves authorised by the example of the kingdom of Israel, which they took as their model, to enforce the observance of the religion of Jesus, retaining various Jewish practices which had been adopted by the papacy.

In some countries of Europe, especially in our own, religions toleration is enjoyed, but the attention of believers is turned away from the rules delivered in the New Testament for the management of the churches of Christ in every age, by the unfounded assertion, that, in consequence of the difference of our circumstances, these rules are insufficient for our guidance.

Before we admit the validity of this principle, we must inquire, in what the difference of our circumstances consists? The reply must be, that the primitive churches consisted of those whom it was meet for the ApostleB to view as partakers of the grace of Christ, 1 who had come out and separated themselves from the world that lieth in the wicked one, that they tnight observe the ordinances of Christ, and mutually watch over each other in love. For the government of such an association, the few and simple rules laid down in the New Testament are amply sufficient, but modern churches embrace whole nations, and their complex machinery requires many regulations which were totally inapplicable to the primitive churches.

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