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narrative of the birth of Christ, with the things which immediately went before, and those which followed—(chap. 1 and 2-40). Section II, the youth of Christ (2: 41—52). Section III, the preaching of John and the baptism of Christ, together with the genealogy of the latter (chap. 3). Section IV embraces events which occurred in Galilee, during the three years' ministry of Christ (from chap. 4 to chap. 9:51); for, after having narrated the temptation of Christ, which took place in the desert, he immediately adds (4: 14), that Jesus returned to Galilee; and he constantly speaks of Nazareth, Capernaum, and the lake of Gennesaret; describing events which transpired in Galilee to chap. 9: 51. Section V begins at chap. 9: 51, with Christ's last journey to Jerusalem. Hence, all the rest pertains to the latter part of the life of Christ.* By such an arrangement, Theophilus would be likely to gain a clear view of the chief occurrences in the life of Jesus.
We now come again to John, concerning whom we have already spoken so largely that nothing remains to us to be done, except to point out briefly the manner in which he has carried out the object proposed by him in 20: 31; viz., that Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah, and, thus, a being of divine dignity, "in whom dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead, bodily." He commences with the assertion that the Word, that is, Christ (compare 1: 14, 15), was God (1: 1); that he was the Creator of all things (1:3); that he was the source of life (1: 4), and the light of men. The first chapter contains the acknowledgment of John the Baptist, of Andrew, of Philip, and of Nathanael, that he was the Lamb of God, the Son of God, the King of Israel, of whom Moses and the prophets wrote. We have the assertion that he is the Omniscient Searcher of hearts, in each of the first two chapters (1: 48. 2: 24, 25). In his first miracle, it is affirmed that "he manifested forth his glory," i. e., as the Messiah (2: 11). With unquestioned right and solemn dignity, he is spoken of as clearing the temple of unworthy tenants, declaring that it was his Father's house, thus announcing his special relationship to God (2: 14-16). In chapter third, he intimates to Nicodemus, that he is the Son of God, sent to be the Saviour of the world (3: 2—21). In the fourth chapter,
* Rosenmueller, Scholia in Nov. Test., Tom. II, p. 5. VOL. VII.-NO. XXVI. 35
in his conversation with the woman of Samaria, he directly affirms that he is the expected Messiah (4: 26). Afterwards, in successive chapters, he says, "I am the bread of life" (6: 48), "I am the resurrection and the life" (11: 25), "I am the way, and the truth, and the life" (14: 6). He bids men come to him as the source of life (4:10). He declares his right and power to lay down his life, and to take it again (10: 18); and, by reason of the station which he holds, affirms that it is the duty of all men to honor the Son, even as they honor the Father (5: 23). When the Jews murmured against him, as if he assumed too high a rank, and exalted himself to a dignity to which none but God himself could aspire, instead of declining the honor to which he was understood to lay claim, he asserted, as if resolved to fix the impression which they had received, "My Father worketh hitherto, and I work" (5: 17). "The Son of Man, is Lord, also, of the Sabbath." A series of similar assertions and occurrences might be presented from this book, showing that it is an argument, as well as a narrative; an argument nobly conducted, and triumphantly carried out. But we content ourselves with a single additional statement, illustrating the ingenuity of the evangelist in making choice of incidents in the history of Christ, in harmony with his main purpose. He, certainly, knew all that the other evangelists had written. But he used very little of the same. He chose that which was conformed to his design, and, at the same time, had the merit of being new. In the history of the crucifixion, the other writers present the Saviour of men, in his last hours, faint, bleeding, and in agony; forsaken of his Father, yet praying, as with the trusting faith of a holy man, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." But John looks to another part of the scene. He passes over the exhibitions of the man, and is absorbed in the dignity of the God. The words that struck his ear and remained in his heart, were not the prayer of the Sufferer, but the sublime exclamation of the Conqueror: "When, therefore, Jesus had received the vinegar, he said, IT IS FINISHED; and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost." Like one who had commenced a perilous undertaking and brought it to a glorious consummation, he exclaims, in that hour of mortal strife, with a voice of triumph,—as victory came in the moment of his death, "It is finished!"
We will add only, that John, probably, wrote his gospel at Patmos; and that his first epistle, as the "epistle dedicatory," was written as an introduction to the gospel, when he despatched it from the island where he was in banishment, to Ephesus, on the main land. The epistle is evidently on the same topic, and breathes the same spirit. He alludes in it to the fact of his having written the gospel which it was to accompany (1 John 2: 14). Perhaps it was because the church at Ephesus were specially deficient in mutual affection, that the epistle contains so many charges to them on the importance of love.
GOD'S HAND IN AMERICA.
God's Hand in America. By Rev. GEORGE B. CHEEVER. New York. M. W. Dodd. pp. 168.
THERE have been a few books, of which it has been justly said that "they made their mark upon the age." We will not venture to predict that this will add one to the number of such books; but we hesitate not to say, that if the sentiments which it inculcates could be incorporated into the principles of action, and form a part of the mental furniture of the politicians, and especially the legislators of our country, it would exert a beneficial influence, second to that of few, if any, human compositions. The author's object is not to add one more to the strange and startling theories of which the present age is so prolific, but to hold out in bold relief the great principles which determine the destiny of nations, and to illustrate the bearing of those principles on the obligations resting upon American citizens. Politicians talk of this measure and that measure, of this system and that system, as essential to national prosperity. In our own country, the protective system, the free-trade system, and various others, have each their advocates, who would make us believe that nothing but the
adoption and the full carrying out of their principles is necessary, to raise the nation to the highest pinnacle of glory, and keep it there. But it is not by these things that the destiny of our country is to be settled. Far other influences than these, are to have the principal agency in determining whether our future course is to be one of glory and happiness, or of degradation and misery. Within certain limits, it is right that we should examine different schemes of policy, and compare their respective merits. In politics, as well as in religion, we should "prove all things, and hold fast that which is good." But still, strict adherence to the great principles of moral rectitude is the life blood of our nation. The gospel, and the gospel only, can save us from running the race and sharing the fate of the republics of other times. How far we may sink in moral degradation, before we reach that point at which our destruction is sure, we cannot definitely say; but philosophy and religion concur in assuring us that there is such a point. Our government depends for its existence on the character of the people. We have no checks on the tyranny of a corrupt majority, no imposing military array to repress by its presence the spirit of insubordination. The love of freedom from restraint, so natural to man, when it gains a complete ascendency over the other principles of our nature, is an uncompromising antagonist of law and government; inasmuch as these involve in their very nature the idea of restraint. In order, then, that a government of laws may be sustained and rendered efficient, some principle must be brought to act in opposition to this spirit of lawlessness. For this purpose we may appeal to the love of safety, of quiet, and of order, and also to patriotism and philanthropy; an this has been done, at least for a time, with some degree of success. Such was the case in the earlier and purer periods of the Roman republic. But none of these principles possess sufficient power, or can speak with sufficient authority, to awe into submission the more violent and tumultuous principles of our nature. They are too weak to be relied on, where interests so important are at stake. The power of religion is needed to give stability to republican institutions. This alone can curb that licentiousness, which often usurps the name of liberty; and guard it from running into fatal excesses.
The first of the great principles illustrated and enforced in this work is, that "God is governor among the nations," and
that our responsibility to him is as absolute in a national, as in an individual, capacity. This truth probably few would dare, in so many words, to deny. And yet, as the author of this work justly remarks, " among the nation at large there is such a practical disregard and denial of it, and of the Divine proprietary claim in human affairs, that the honest assertion and application of it in any deliberative public assembly is very likely to be ridiculed as the dotage of a superstitious mind." How seldom do we see, in the language or the conduct of legislative bodies, any recognition of the fact, that they are entrusted by God with the important office of framing laws for a nation; that they are his agents; and that, as such, they are accountable to him for the manner in which they use the power committed to them. There are happy exceptions, it is true; but with many public men, however much they may think of obligations to their constituents, their party, their country, a sense of obligation to God does not appear to be among the principles which guide their political course, or the elements which form their political character. Why is it thus? Why is it that men, who profess to recognize their accountability to the Supreme lawgiver in the private relations and affairs of life, should deny or disregard that accountability, when administering the affairs of a nation? The causes are all based upon the great fact of man's alienation from God.
In the first place, the very consciousness of possessing power often makes men forget that there is a Power above them. It was this consciousness of possessing power, that led Nebuchadnezzar to exclaim, "Is not this great Babylon, that I have built by the might of my power, and the honor of my majesty." The same consciousness led the king of Assyria to make the blasphemous assertion, "As the gods of the nations of other lands have not delivered their people out of my hand, so shall not the God of Hezekiah deliver his people out of my hand." The consciousness of possessing power easily engenders pride; and, in a heart where pride reigns, a sense of dependence on God and of accountability to him is lost. Pride does not always produce this result in the same way. Sometimes it is a scornful rejection of the divine authority. Its language then is, "Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?" But more frequently it fixes the thoughts exclusively on self, awaking in the soul lofty ideas of human resources, blotting out the sense of dependence on God, and