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rationalistic hypothesis, thus narrowing the discussion to the alternative of receiving Christianity or doing violence to history.

The appendix to the lectures is exceedingly valuable, consisting of an exhaustive defence of the credibility of the book of Acts against the onslaughts of Dr. Davidson.

Art. VI.Tithes and Offerings : A Treatise on the Princi.

ples, Practice, and Benefits of devoting Portions of our Substance to the Service of God. By C. W. Boase. Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark. 1865.

The church is ever being called upon, by the providence of God in the progress of his kingdom in the world, to meet new practical issues and to take new and higher positions in view of them. From time to time the old order of things practical is outgrown, and old platforms must be left behind, just as the successive stages of the scaffold used in the erection of some cathedral are one by one left behind by the workmen as the building rises toward completion. And as the wise builder is always found building upon the latest staging erected, so the church, in its work on the great spiritual temple, should always be found building from the highest and latest platform to which God has called her. We carry the figure further, and affirm it equally true of the earthly and the heavenly temple, that the work wrought from a lower level than that already attained by the summit of the walls does nothing in lifting them toward the capstone, and can have at best but a secondary value, if any at all. There are abundant indications on every hand that the providential demand for pecuniary means to be used in the evangelizing of the world is slowly waking the church of the present day to the necessity of taking a great step forward in the matter of Christian giving. From these indications we single out the formation of national organizations for the promotion of enlarged beneficence, as illustrating the general tendency of the times. The British Systematic Beneficence Society was established April 29, 1860. It has for its object, as we learn from its official organ, the Benefactor, “to promote, by the Press, the Platform, and the Pulpit, a sound and scriptural public opinion in favor of, 1st, Conscientious giving to God, Prov. iii. 9, 10, etc. ; 2dly, Proportionate giving to God, Gen. xxviii. 20, 22, etc. ; 3dly, Systematic giving to God, 1 Cor. xvi. 1, 2, etc.” It numbers among its members some of the leading men of the British islands. The Systematic Beneficence Society formed at New Haven, January 19, 1869, was also designed to be a national organization. Its idea originated at the meeting of the American Board at Norwich, Conn., in the autumn of 1868. The Constitution declares that, “its object shall be to promote the practice, among Christians and others, of giving a certain per cent. of their yearly income to charitable objects, having regard to the Divine rule,' as God hath prospered them.'” Its president is Hon. H. P. Haven, of Norwich; its treasurer, Moses H. Sargent, Esq., of Boston, and among its supporters are to be found Rev. Prof. George E. Vay, of Yale Theological Seminary, President Cummings, of the Wesleyan University, Rev. Dr. Tyng, of New York, and Rev. Albert Barnes, of Philadelphia. But the stately octavo volume of Mr. Boase, issued by the great Scottish religious publishing house of T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh, is perhaps one of the best indications of the importance which this subject is assuming in the mind of the Christian public. It contains, under a peculiarly Jewish title, an elaborate discussion of the subject of Beneficence in most of its bearings, ancient and modern. The author we take to be a Church of England Scotchman. Ilis book exhibits the churchliness of the one and the metaphysical proclivities of the other. The Scotchman in him we credit with the thorough scriptural grounding of some portions of the book, and the hosts of inferences ofter so incomprehensible to any one but a metaphysician after the well-known definition of the old Scotch woman. In truth, in undertaking to read his book, it may as well be understood at the outset, that with much reverence for the Scriptures, Mr. B. combines the ability to see as much of the invisible and to gain positive knowledge of as much of the unknowable as almost any man who can be imagined. The Churchman in him we credit with the peculiar backward drift of the teachings of the book, setting toward the tithe system and Judaism. It is freely admitted, however, that, notwithstanding these damaging peculiarities which render it impossible to accept its teachings as a whole, or to follow the line of discussion in any of its parts, we still regard it as a valuable contribution to this branch of our religious literature, grounding some fundamental propositions most thoroughly, leaving scarcely an important practical question untouched, presenting a condensed view of the literature and bibliography of the subject of tithes, everywhere eminently suggestive,-and accordingly fitted to benefit the thoughtful and discriminating reader.

Three elements must necessarily be taken into account in any adequate discussion of the subject of the Christian giving for the times,-God, the church, and the world: the world, with its hundreds of millions under the influence of deadly error hastening to eternal perdition; God in his infinite grace having purposed to save it, having provided salvation through his only begotten Son, and having made ready for its application to the lost by the Holy Spirit; the church, God's authorized agent, commissioned to bear the knowledge of this salvation to the lost world. We take for granted, as universally admitted, the two facts of a perishing world needing salva. tion, and God's abundant provision for its salvation. The only questions which can in any sense be considered open are those which arise in connection with the agency of the church and in her present relations to the world and to God. It will be seen that our outlook is predominantly from the missionpoint of view. For justification in this, our appeal must be to the pre-eminent grandeur of the mission work; to the fact that in its broadest and most scriptural sense it takes in all the other work; and to the necessity imposed by narrow limits of adhering mainly to a single line of thought.

It is evident that the work which is to be done cannot be done withont the requisite pecuniary means. A first question is, has the Head of the church the right to demand that she furnish these means? If he has not, then the call so often reiterated is unreasonable and arbitrary; if he has, then nothing can absolve her from the duty of responding to the call.

There are three possible modes of acquiring property in any thing: by production, by purchase, and by gift. God claims absolute title to the church in all its membership and in all its possessions by every one of these rights and in the highest possible sense. In creation he is the absolute producer of the church and all it holds ; in redemption, the absolute purchaser of all; and in the covenant, the one to whom every saved sinner makes absolute surrender of himself and all his. His absolute ownership by the right of production, God has placed at the foundation of every covenant with man and the church. The covenants with Adam before and after the fall, with Noah, with Abraham, and with the Israelites; and the whole tenor of the New Testament legislation bear testimony to this. Take away the underlying claim of the right of the Divine Author to do what he will with his creation, and the substance is gone from them all, and there is scarcely a shadow left. The idea of man's voluntary surrender to God and the claim founded upon it, are likewise embodied in all these covenants. In the new and better covenant the Divine claim founded upon the price paid in redemption is superadded to the others. Its language is, “Ye are not your own; ye are bought with a price."

This absolute ownership of the church, with all her possessions of intellect, of power, and of wealth, originally vests in God as the Trinity. In the scheme of redemption it is given to the Second Person of the Trinity incarnate, as mediator. Upon this transfer Christ rests his claim as the head of the church. Because of this he claims power to save: “All things are delivered unto me of my Father," therefore, the invitation and promise to the lost, “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.” Because of this he claims the right to send forth the church with the great commission for the evangelizing of the world: “AU authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teach.

ing them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.

The claim of Christ, as the head of the church, is, therefore, based upon the highest conceivable grounds, scriptural and rational. The obligation imposed upon the church by it belongs to the class of complete obligations. Whether the demand be made to furnish the means for carrying out the commission now, or in the indefinite future, whenever it is once clearly made, there is no possible absolution from the duty.

1. With this necessarily meagre exhibition of the rights of the Head of the church we pass to a more extended and detailed consideration of the special demand made, in virtue of these rights, upon the present generation of Christians.

There may exist the admission on the part of the church of her obligation to furnish, in the course of her history, the pecuniary means requisite to bring about the great ends of redemption purposed by God, and yet that admission be unaccompanied by any clear and adequate sense of present duty. This would seem to be the position of a large portion of the church of this day; they admit that they are to furnish what Christ calls for, some time in the next ten or twenty generations, more or less. We hope contrary to this, from word of God, in which alone is laid down the Divine law binding upon the church of every age, in connection with the indications of Providence, or the signs of the times, in which alone is to be ascertained the peculiar Divine demand made under that law upon the present times,—to show conclusively that Christ calls upon the Evangelical Church of this day for all the means requisite for carrying out the great commission.

a. The consideration of the teachings of the Scriptures upon this subject necessarily comes first. Only in the light of them can the signs of the times be clearly read and adequately understood. The law of the agency of the church in using her wealth in fulfilling her mission is to be found partly in the Old Testament and partly in the New. As both these are parts of one great system, progressing in regulations and motives toward perfection and universality, and in which the basis of all is in the Mosaic legislation, a knowledge of the teachings of

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VOL. XLII.—NO. II.

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