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any church in Great Britain which is necessary, or even lawful. It is true, Archbishop Laud composed a form of consecration, but it was never allowed, much less established, in England. Let this be remembered by all who talk so idly of preaching in unconsecrated places.'
On the 22nd, he preached at Sandwich about ten a.m., at Dover at two, and at Canterbury in the evening.
Once more Mr. Wesley was called to the Vicarage of Shoreham as a house of mourning. On December 15th, 1765, he writes: "I buried the remains of Henry Perronet, who had been a child of sorrow from his infancy....All fear being taken away, he cheerfully gave up his spirit to God.' Three days after, Mr. Wesley was on his way through the Borough to comfort the bereaved father, when his mare's feet flew up, and she fell with his leg under her. A gentle man stepping out, lifted him up and helped him into his shop.
'I was exceeding sick,' he states, but was presently relieved by a little hartshorn and water. After resting a few minutes I took a coach; but when I was cold, found myself much worse, being bruised on my right arm, my breast, my knee, leg and ankle, which swelled exceedingly. However, I went on to Shoreham, where, by applying treacle twice a day, all the soreness was removed, and I recovered some strength, so as to be able to walk a little on plain ground....... The Word of God does at length bear fruit here also; and Mr. P
is comforted over all his trouble.'
The effects of the accident were removed gradually by electricity; and a few days after, we find the sufferer in the Foundery, by four o'clock, ' ushering in the new year with the voice of praise and thanksgiving.' During the following week, however, he allowed himself some rest at Lewisham, where he read Bishop Lowth's answer to Bishop Warburton.
In February, 1766, he was there again, to finish the "Notes" on the Book of Job'; but, before leaving, he
read Bishop Lowth's ingenious Lectures on Hebrew Poetry.
Towards the close of the year 1765, Mr. Wesley having received from Canterbury 'most tragical accounts, as if the Society were all fallen from grace,' proceeded thither to 'search this to the bottom,' examining 'the members one by one; and was agreeably surprised to find them all, none excepted, upright and blameless in their behaviour.' Passing on to Dover, he found a little company more united together than they had been for many years.' In particular, his Word to a Smuggler had taken effect. Whilst several of them,' he remarks, 'continued to rob the King, we seemed to be ploughing upon the sand; but, since they have cut off the right hand, the Word of God sinks deep into their hearts.' Of Margate, he observes: 'A few people here also join in helping each other to work out their salvation; but the Minister of the parish earnestly opposes them, and thinks he is doing God service!' Riding to Faversham, he was informed that 'the mob and the magistrates had agreed together to drive Methodism, so called, out of the town.' After preaching, therefore, he told his hearers what he and his friends had been instructed to do by the magistrate at Rolvenden, who, perhaps,' he intimates, 'would have been richer by some hundred pounds had he never meddled with the Methodists.' In conclusion, he declared, 'Since we have both God and the law on our side, if we can have peace by fair means, we had much rather; we should be exceeding glad; but, if not, we will have peace.'
It was in the course of a ride through the fields and gardens of Kent, in November, 1766, that he reflected on
'The huge encomiums which have been for many ages bestowed on a country life.... But, after all,' he exclaims, 'what a flat contradiction is this to universal experience!
See that little house, under the wood, by the river-side; there is rural life in perfection. How happy, then, is the farmer that lives there! Let us take a detail of his happiness. He rises with, or before, the sun; calls his servants; looks to his swine and cows; then to his stables and barns; he sees to the ploughing and sowing his ground, in winter or in spring; in summer and autumn he hurries and sweats among his mowers and reapers. And where is his happiness in the meantime? Which of these employments do we envy? Or do we envy the delicate repast that succeeds, which the poet so languishes for?
"O quando faba, Pythagoræ cognata, simulque
Uncta satis pingui ponentur oluscula lardo!" *
'O! the happiness of eating beans well greased with fat bacon-nay, and cabbage
too! Was Horace in his senses when he talked thus, or the servile herd of his imitators? Our eyes and ears may convince us, there is not a less happy body of men in all England than the country farmers. In general, their life is supremely dull, and it is usually unhappy too. For of all people in the kingdom, they are most discontented; seldom satisfied either with God or man.'
Had Mr. Wesley lived to see what our eyes behold among the farmers as the result of modern improvement, and especially of the diffusion of true Christianity, he would have materially modified these unqualified opinions. Even in his own journeys among the 'chaw-bacons,' whom he thus criticises, he found some cheering tokens of better things.
J. M. H.
'THE LIFE AND WORK OF ST. PAUL':†
Up to the middle of his second
Christian belief in the letters of St. Paul, to measure the loss that would have accrued to Christianity had he remained the simple Missionary. But Providence ruled otherwise. The tongue in which he wrote, his provincialisms notwithstanding, was the tongue of giants. Plato, Eschylus and others had been before him, and had laid the foundations of a culture which has permeated all succeeding civilization. Did this poor Missionary, with his 'I speak as it were foolishly,' foresee in Corinth, where he began to write, that a day would come when Plato and Eschylus would be the recondite delight of the learned few, while his own humble letters would be read with thankful prayer in many languages, to the ut
*When will the pulse Pythagoras liked so well,
The Life and Work of St. Paul. By F. W. Farrar, D.D., F.R.S., Canon of Westminster. Two vols. Cassell, Petter, Galpin and Co.: London, Paris and New York.
most isles of the sea, when of his then living work not a trace would remain ?
It is clear that no story of the 'Life and Work of St. Paul' can be in any sense complete or well-proportioned which does not largely take account of his claims as a writer. And, therefore, we are altogether in sympathy with Dr. Farrar when he says in his Preface: My chief object has been to give a definite, accurate and intelligible impression of St. Paul's teaching; of the controversies in which he was engaged; of the circumstances which educed his statements of doctrine and practice; of the inmost heart of his theology in each of its phases; of his Epistles as a whole, and of each Epistle in particular as complete and perfect in itself. And since, throughout, he seems to have found the difficulty of conciseness all but insurmountable, we are not inclined to dispute the judgment which has led him to assign at least a third of his volumes to the Epistles.
There is one characteristic of St. Paul's letters which no one who hopes adequately to apprehend them can afford to neglect. They were incidental and supplementary; they were almost entirely written as called forth by the exigencies, local and temporal, of his work. This gave room for the free play of the individuality of the writer. Dr. Farrar has certainly turned this fact to good account, as our readers will perceive from the following paragraph (which is actually without a foot-note!) taken from his prefatory remarks on the first letter to the Corinthians :
"The lustral water of Baptism had been sprinkled on their foreheads; they fed on the sacrament of the Body and Blood of Christ; but, alas! Corinth was not heaven, and the prose of daily life followed on the poetry of their first enthusiasm, and it was difficult to realize that for them those living streets might be daily brightened with manna-dews. Their condition was
like the pause and sigh of Lot's wife, as, amid the sulphurous storm, she gazed back upon the voluptuous ease of the City of the Plain. Might they no longer taste of the plentiful Syssitia on some festive day? Might they not walk at twilight in the laughing bridal procession, and listen to the mirthful jest? Might they not watch the Hieroduti dance at some lovely festival in the temples of Acrocorinth? Was all life to be hedged in for them with thorny scruples? Were they to gaze henceforth in dreaming phantasy, not upon bright faces of youthful deities garlanded with rose and hyacinth, but on the marred visage of One Who was crowned with thorns? O! it was hard to choose the kingdom of God; hard to remember that now they were delivered out of the land of Egypt; hard for their enervation to breathe the eager and difficult air of the pure wilderness.'
Other passages of similar import will be found.
St. Paul continued writing at intervals during a period of nearly twenty years. Twenty years of travel, toil, peril, sorrow and suffering they were, but too seldom brightened with a gleam of earthly joy. It would be strange, therefore, if in his writings we did not find startling transitions. Now there is a pleasing tenderness as deep as that of St. John; now a stern abruptness of reproof and warning such as might well have fallen from the lips of Moses. Many of these points of style are skilfully touched on by Dr. Farrar, and again and again. tradition and history are called in to give vivid effect to utterances the significance of which commentators have often failed to recognize. We look in vain, however, for a progressive analysis of the Apostle's writings taken as a whole. For instance, a good deal is said as to the import and historical relationship of certain expressions, which came afterwards to be known as amongst the leading terms of the Gnostic heresy; but no sufficient account is given of those influences which bore with such weight upon the Apostle's style that they led him from Semitic to Aryan forms of thought, such as we find
paralleled only in the writings of St. John. In the earlier letters we meet with such phrases as this: 'Purge out, therefore, the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened' (1 Cor. v. 7); or this: "They drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that Rock was Christ' (1 Cor. x. 4). Again, as late as the letter to the Galatians we have the allegory of Agar, Sinai, and Jerusalem. Later still we read: 'Till we all come...unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ' (Eph. iv. 13). How came it that the rugged Hebraistic turns of thought in succeeding years gave place to the softened and cosmopolitan phraseology which would be received and readily understood in the marketplaces of Ephesus, Athens and Corinth ? Wanting this larger treatment, we could almost have spared the somewhat pedantic excursus on the Rhetoric of St. Paul.
Of course, no estimate of St. Paul as a writer can be approximately accurate which does not keep in view the main ideas that characterize all his work. The occasions of his letters might be various: the return of a runaway slave, or the need to refute some bitter heretic polemics; but the object was always the same-the setting forth of the risen Christ, and of salvation solely by faith in Him. These are permanent factors with which every expositor will have to deal. We have no complaint whatever to make of Dr. Farrar's treatment of the first of these topics. Many expositors of St. Paul, mystical and rationalistic alike, have spoken as if he went to and fro in Asia and Europe to proclaim an immediate second advent, as if that were the secret motive of his hurried and frequent journeys. But Dr. Farrar altogether dissociates the great truth from the bewildered speculations which disturbed the Early Church, and the equally confused vaticinations of modern times.
So far we are, on the whole, inclined to agree with him.
We wish that we could say as much for the treatment of the other great central truth of Christianity-justification by faith. Every reader of St. Paul will know where to turn for his thesis of this doctrine, from which, however, in thought he is never far distant. The letters to the Galatians and to the Romans, both written in the same year and from the same place, contain it in its fullest statement, and so constitute in many respects the most precious heritage which the Apostle left to the Church. We have already quoted Dr. Farrar's opinion on the Galatians; suffice it to say that his views of the letter to Rome are equally emphatic, and that he gives one hundred pages to it alone, and chiefly, in his summary and comment thereon, deals with the doctrine of justification by faith.
We have no desire to revive in
these pages, where a short time since it was so ably dealt with, the question of the relation of Universalism to evangelical truth, but it is a matter of great regret that Dr. Farrar's Universalist theories have been allowed to mar what ought to have been the most satisfactory portion of his book. In justice to him and to our readers, this matter cannot be wholly passed by. A passage in the second volume (page 189) fairly typifies much of the confused petitio principii which has preceded many recent statements of a similar kind. The italics are Dr. Farrar's: 'Speculative metaphysics, doctrines of sin, theories of imputation, transcendental ontologythese in the course of time were inevitable; but these are not the foundation, not the essence, not the really important element of Christianity.'
It needs but the assumption of a few vague premises of this kind, for the subsequent logical advance in any preconcerted direction, and for the
overturning of any conceivable doctrine. But even if the category were a category of essentials, it would be equally illegitimate to class them together in this way. What earnest seeker after standing-ground in the moral world but has at times found an overwhelming conception of the nature of sin formulated for him by bis conscience? However men may differ as to their aggregate notions concerning the Scripture teaching about sin, yet to every one who reads that he may learn, its utterances are intensely definite and real at some time or other, while 'speculative metaphysics' will probably for ever be speculative. Any one casually looking into Dr. Farrar's book might suppose the preceding caution superfluous on meeting with the following passage:
'Faith, in this full range of its Pauline meaning, is both a single act and a progressive principle. As a single act it is the self-surrender of the soul to God, the laying hold of Christ, the sole means whereby we appropriate this reconciling love, in which point of view it may be regarded as the root of the new relation of man to God in justification and adoption. As a progressive principle it is the renewal of the personal life in sanctification-a preservation of the "righteousness of God" objectively bestowed upon us, in the inward and ever-deepening righteousness of our own life; it is, in fact, a new and spiritual life, lived in the faith of the Son of God, Who loved us and gave Himself for us.'
But further on he begins to manipulate the terms he intends to use. He says our Lord became 'a propitiatory Victim-not (except by a rude, imperfect and most misleading anthropomorphism) as regards God, but from the finite and imperfect standpoint of man; and, therefore, the Apostle adds that Christ becomes such to us by means of faith in His blood.' (P. 210.)
Take, again, the following sum
mary of the Apostle's teaching in the letter to the Romans : 'The
word "ALL," as has been truly observed, is the governing word of the entire Epistle. All-for whatever may be the modifications which may be thought necessary, St. Paul does not himself make them...... All have been temporarily rejected, all shall be ultimately received. All shall be finally brought into living harmony with that God Who is above all, and through all, and in all,-by Whom, and from Whom, and unto Whom, all things are, and all things tend.'
It is little to the purpose that later on in his running comment, Dr. Farrar affects to believe that those who hold the established interpretation find a harsh and gloomy satisfaction in ideas of eternal retribution. After all the criticisms and remonstrances called forth by his Eternal Hope, he ought to know that no men feel more deeply in their hearts a reverent grief that any soul should be lost than those who hold that the doctrine of universal restoration is not in the Epistle, but has to be brought to it; and it would be easy indeed to show that in his various expositions Dr. Farrar is inconsistent with himself, just as his own 'doctrine of sin' compels him to maintain, and that not very indirectly, that so also is St. Paul.*
Bearing in mind the fact that the Authorized Version ascribes the Epistle to the Hebrews to St. Paul, and, in so doing, has directed the judgment of the great majority of people, it was with a feeling of disappointment that we found it summarily dismissed in two brief foot-notes, one of which states-that the Epistle to the Hebrews was not written by St. Paul, is now almost universally believed,' while the other assigns the authorship of it to Apollos.
Dr. Farrar's doctrinal positions, touched on by Mr. Fowler, will be examined more at length in our next.-EDITOR.