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pleasure that it should come upon us.' The number of deaths having greatly increased during the week following, the child, in all innocence, remarked, 'God has taken his pleasure this week, mamma.' Does not such a conclusion as this suggest that the mother's answer was radically false ?"

On one other occasion I was asked, "Do not all spiritual blessings come from believing in Jesus, and, as I do not feel that I have that faith, how can I be sure that I am saved?" To this my answer was something like the following:

Faith is a comprehensive term, and even the faith of Christians has its different phases, and has split up Christianity into many sects and parties, from which bitterness of spirit, persecutions, wars, and many other evils have arisen.

To my mind Christ, in his parable of the Prodigal Son, proclaims the Gospel of Humanity—a gospel which, if unrecognized by the conflicting sects of the present day, is still that which the Great Teacher himself proclaimed. Here is exhibited the love God our Father bears to all His erring, prodigal children, which He shows so soon as they repent and turn to Him, without asking them for any other faith than in His willingness to receive them. In the parable no plan of salvation by faith is mapped out or suggested, there is no hint of doctrines of Atonement, Substitution, Justification, Vicarious Sacrifice, Baptism by dipping or sprinkling, or Priestly Absolution. The prodigal believed that he was lost, and acting upon this, he said, "I will arise and go to my Father, and will say unto him, 'Father, I have sinned.'

He had no other plea, of merits of his own or merits of his Saviour. He did not say, "Father, here am I-I believe in Christ, I have received the sacrament, I have been baptised, my priest has absolved me." No! his only and prevailing plea was, "I have sinned."

This was Christ's Gospel, by which he enunciated the love of God to all lost and sinning ones: "The Gospel of the Grace of God." But Theologians have encumbered this beautiful Gospel with accretions, forms and plans enough to perplex an anxious soul and drive it to despair. Roman Catholicism cries, "Believe in the Pope and hear the Church: the direct way to heaven is through Rome!" The Baptist cries," He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved, and he that believeth not shall be damned." The Presbyterian exclaims, "Don't go by Rome, that is a round-about way and full of miasma; the Baptist's way is dangerous, don't go by water; come with us, we go by Geneva, which is a nearer and safer way, and we have a Westminster Confession. for our guide." No!" says the Wesleyan, "neither by Rome, by water, nor by Geneva is the right way; John Wesley in his five sermons has marked all the road out for every weary sin-laden traveller. Come with us, and our Armenian path will lead you direct to the Celestial City." Yet another, with a Bible under his arm, says, "Brother, stay! don't heed these alluring voices, hearken to me, come to our Plymouth bethel, surrender your conscience to our dogmas ; break bread with us, and thus you shall have a passport to heaven."

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Amid these babel voices one could imagine-as indeed has often been the case-an anxious inquirer stopping his ears and exclaiming: "Gentlemen, I thank you, yes, indeed, I thank you; you are all very kind and good, and no doubt wish to show me kindness; but, gentlemen, pardon me, until you agree among yourselves as to the true way to heaven, I must decline to go with any one of you. So pray

leave me to my God and your God, who, as I think, is too kind and good ever to misdirect any of His creatures who come to Him for guidance or help or forgiveness."

The lady now began also to perceive that her views of salvation were far too narrow. As Tennyson, in

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"O God! I cannot help it, but at times
They seem to me too narrow. All the faiths
Of this grown world of ours, whose baby-eye
Saw them sufficient."

If the work of Christ is confined to this Eon merely, we have a sad experience of its efficacy after a period of nearly nineteen centuries, as, judging from past history and the present times, when wars are slaughtering their thousands, commercial and financial robbery are heard of everywhere, and vice and wickedness are rampant, we must infer that the victory, hitherto, has been more on the side of the Devil than on that of Christ. At present we have but scant evidence that the millenium is at hand, or that Christ is to "see of the travail of his soul," in this age the complete reward.

This will, doubtless, be accomplished "in the ages to come," when this old world of ours, which has passed through so many evolutions already, will reach the last phase. Then, too, may we not hope that the progress of man towards higher things will reach its climax in universal redemption, and "a new heaven and a new earth," blurred no longer by sin, suffering and death, will appear. When Christ, having destroyed all sin, shall give up the kingdom to his Father, that God may be "all in all." Is not this a glorious eschatology to contemplate: no hell, no curses, no single creature lost, but everything that hath life praising and loving God!





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