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Man came not to destroy but to save. This fact teaches at the same time that John had not, as is often represented, a weak, sentimental disposition which received impressions without analyzing or resisting them. His love was of a strong, deep order, and might, on this very account, pass over into as strong a hatred, for hatred is only love invested. Most probably the surname: “Sons of Thunder,” which Jesus gave to the sons of Zebedee Mark 3: 17, had reference to this trait, and denotes the intensity of feeling, the passionate strength of the affections, which might easily give rise to such angry outbursts as oceurred on the occasion mentioned. An impetuous disposition grapples to itself with great force the object of its love, and repels with as great force whatever stands in conflict with it. Whilst this temperament was not purified and sanctified by the divine Spirit, it might have operated in a violent, destructive way, like the destroying, dark rolling thunder. In giving John this surname, Jesus rebuked his imprudent zeal and his carnal passion, and gave him a significant hint of the necessity of curbing his nature and rooting out its ungodly elements. But if this temperament were once brought under the influence and guidance of the Spirit, it might, like every other natural gift, bring to pass great things in the kingdom of God. In this respect, the appellation “Sons of Thunder" carries in it something of honor, inasmuch as the same thunder which at one time destroys, at another purifies the air and fructifies the earıla with its accompanying showers.' That which was good and true in his zeal, remained in the regenerate John, namely, the moral energy and decision with which he loved the good and hated the bad. The natural gift was cleansed from all sinful admixtures, mellowed and made to subserve the interests of Christianity. Over the pages of the Apocalypse rolls loudly and mightily the thunder of his wrath, against the enemies of the Lord and of his bride. In the Gospel and in the Epistles, it is true, there breathes a gentle, quiet spirit, but the storm frowns at least in the distance, when he de. scribes the coming to judgment of the Son of God c. 5: 25, 30. With what holy abhorrence he speaks of the traitor and of the increasing rage of the Pharisees against the Messiah ! He allows the Lord to call the Jews who harbored murderous thoughts
"Incorrect is the opinion of the Greek Church fathers who refer the title Boavspy's or vioi Bpovpris to the striking presentation of profound ideas, and to the convincing power of eloquence. In such case it would convey simply the idea of honor or merit and not at the same time of reproach, and would stand in no connection with the fact in Luke 9. 51-56.
children of the devil (8: 44); he himself calls every one who does not confirm his christian profession with a godly walk a liar (1 John 1: 6, 8, 10), who hates his brother, a murderer, (3: 15), who commits sin wilfully, a child of the devil (3: 8). How earnestly and urgently he warns men of the denier of the Christ Incarnate, as of the liar and the Antichrist (1 John 2: 18; 4:1, &c.)! In the second Epistle v. 10 and 11 he even forbids to salute a heretic, and to take him into the house. Bearing this in mind, the narration of Irenaeus' will appear in no wise improbable. This venerable Apostle, it is said, having met with the Gnostic Cerinthus in a public bath, left it with these words: he was afraid the building might fall to pieces, because Cerinthus, the enemy of the truth was in it. If we do not consider the character of John as composed to a great extent of weakness in the opinion, at least, of sentimental romance writers, we will be able without much difficulty to reconcile these apparently contradictory traits, his inward glow of love and the consuming wrath, his heavenly meekness and impetuous zeal. It was one and the same inward disposition which exhibited itself in both cases, but in different modes; at one time it drew within its embrace what accorded with the Divine will, at another it rejected what was opposed to it, just as the sun, which shines upon and warms that which has life, but advances the putrefaction of that which is dead. He who supposes christian love to be a goodnatured indulgence to sin, has an entirely perverted notion of its nature, and only destroys the moral character of him whom he would save by such sentimental indifference. In proportion to the depth of the love with which a mother loves a child will be her vigilance to discover and punish its faults, that it may by repentance, improve in spirit, and become more attractive. The more intensely and unreservedly a man loves God, the more decidedly and unchangeably will he hate sin and Satan.
If we compare John with Peter, we will find that, though agreeing in faith and united by the bond of love, they exhibited in different ways the glorified image of God. Peter had a disposition which took delight in outward activity, in organizing congregations and legislating for their wants; John, on the contrary, loved to retire within the secret chambers of the soul, to converse with its heavenly aspirations and was admirably qualified for training up an organized congregation in the spirit of sound doctrine, and of love. In the Acts, we find both at the
* Adv. bær III, 3, comp. Euseb. III, 28, and IV, 14.
head of the infant Church ; Peter, however, greatly surpassed John in the imposing grandeur of his deeds; he always stood forth as the convincing preacher, the powerful worker of miracles, the prince of the Apostles, who courageously cleared the way for the advance of the Christian system. The Apostle of love stood modestly by his side, wrapped in mysterious silence, and yet commanding in his very silence; for men felt that he bore in his quiet soul a whole world of ideas, which he would reveal at the proper time and on the proper occasion. Whilst Peter and Paul had the talent of planting, he, like Apollos, had that of watering Christ did not commit to him the duty of laying the foundation of the Church, but of building it up when laid. As his Gospel both in time and nature presuppose the other three, so, also, his writings in general, in order to be fully understood, require the presence of a matured experience in Christian knowledge. In temperament Peter is of the sanguine order, with a strong admixture of the choleric; on this account, very suscepti. ble of outward influences, quick of decision; easily excited, not always persevering and reliable, because moved by outward impressions, a man for the present, and of direct word and act. John is melancholic; on this acconnt not so easily aroused to action, but when once excited, more deeply agitated, and disposed to cling with more intense affection to the object of his love; indifferent to the affairs of the outward world, he lingered with fond delight along the track of the Past, and has the honor of being a master in knowledge and love. Both disciples loved the Lord with all their might, but, as Grotius truly remarks, Peter was a friend of Christ (próxplotos), John, a friend of Jesus (peaoimooùs), i. e. the former admired particularly the office of the Saviour, his Messianic dignity, the latter gazed first upon His person, and, on this account, stood in closer connection with him, and was, so to speak, his bosom friend. Besides, the love of the one was more productive and manly, that of the other more receptive and virgin-like. Peter found his happiness in exhibiting in act his love to the Lord; John in permitting himself to be loved by Him, and in the consciousness of being loved by Him, on which account he so often calls himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. A similar relation obtains in the female characters of the New Testament, between the practical, busy, ever-active Martha, and the contemplative Mary, who calmly reposed on the love of Jesus and forgot the bustle and noise of the outward world. Yet upon both rested the good pleasure of the Lord; both were necessary for the kingdom of God; the absence of either of them would mar the beauty of the Christian life, as displayed in the New Testament.
John had, in common with Paul, profundity of knowledge. They are the two Apostles who have left behind them the fullest and most complete doctrinal system. But their knowledge is of a different order. Paul who received his training in the schools of the Pharisees, is a thinker of extraordinary acuteness, and an accomplished dialectician ;-a representative of Schol. asticism, in the best sense of the term, who exhibits the christian system by a progressive development of ideas from cause to effect, from the general to the particular, from propositions to their conclusions, with logical clearness and acumen. The knowledge of John is intuition and contemplation. He gazes in spirit upon the object of his love, he surveys everything as in a picture, and thus presents the profoundest truths, as an eye-witness, without any proof, in their original, native simplicity and freshness. His knowledge of heavenly things is the profound insight of love, which always darts its look to the central point of things, and from this forth surveys in one view all the parts of the periphery. He is the representative of all genuine Mysticism. Both together furnish supplies for the wants of the spirit that thirsts for wisdom, for the acute, discriminating understanding, as well as for the speculating reason which binds in unity the scattered fragments of thought, for the mediated reflection as well as for the immediate intuition. Paul and John have revealed in their two fundamental forms the eternal characteristics of all true Theology and Philosophy; eighteen hundred years have passed, but the contents of their writings have not yet been exhausted. -Peter has been aptly styled the Apostle of Hope, Paul the Apostle of Faith, John the Apostle of Love. The first is the representative of Catholicism, the second of Protestantism, the third of the ideal Church, in which the discordances of the first two will be brought to an end. Mercersburg, Pa.
The Hulsean Lectures for 1845 and 1846. By RICHARD
CHENEVIX TRENCH, M. A. From the Second London Edi
tion. Philadelphia: H. Hooker. 1850. Pp. 322—12 mo. The Star of the Wise Men; being a Commentary on the Sec
ond Chapter of St. Matthew. By RICHARD CHENEVIX Trench, B. D. Philadelphia: H. Hooker. 1850. Pp. 116.
These works have come into our hands, since the preparation of the article which goes before on another work of the same author. We are happy to say, that they serve to sustain abundantly the favorable judgment we have already been led to express in his behalf. They are works which we are able to commend with a good conscience, to all who take an interest in theology and religion. We should be glad to know, that they were widely circulated and read; and especially should we look upon it as no small gain for the cause of our common Christianity, if the ministry generally, not of one denomination only but of all, might be brought to give them their serious and patient attention. Here in a comparatively popular form, with a truly learned culture at the same time, is just such a representation of the gospel as we take to be of most needful account for the present wants of the Church. A sound christological feel- . ing in particular runs through the whole; producing a theology which is at once deep and fresh, and that takes full hold of the understanding, while it powerfully moves the heart. We are not fed with the husks of a dead mechanical tradition merely, whether of the schools or of the conventicle; the forms and shams of a faith which has fallen away entirely from its own original life, and which in these circumstances shows itself too often fanatically full of zeal for the shadow of what is thus gone, only to make up to itself the sense of such loss. Theology, as it meets us in these writings of Mr. Trench, is no tradition, but the power of a present life, the outbirth of religion itself, announcing its own glorious authority for the soul of the world, from Him who is at once its author and perpetual ground. In such form, it is necessarily churchly; for a living Christianity, as distinguished from a doctrinal theory or a philosophical school, necessarily implies the idea of a Church, which is the Body of Christ, the organ and medium of his presence in the world, and in this view" the pillar and ground of the truth” as well as the channel of all spiritual blessings to his people. All this howev.