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He said at the opening of His Galilean ministry, " because He hath anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor, to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.” * These were the great realities that confronted Him in life; and His mission was to restore the divine powers of humanity thus everywhere impoverished, wounded, and enslaved. He healed the sick and cured the maimed by His simple word. He forgave sins. He spoke of good news to the miserable. All who had erred and gone out of the way—who had fallen under the burden, or been seduced by the temptations, of life — He invited to a recovered home of righteousness and peace. He welcomed the prodigal, rescued the Magdalene, took the thief with Him to Paradise. And all this He did by His simple word of grace : “ Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” + “ If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask Him?” I

This was the Christianity of Christ. This is * Luke, iv. 18. + Matt. xi. 28. Matt. vii. 11.

the Gospel. It is the essence of all religionthat we feel ourselves in special need or distress, and that we own a Divine Power willing to give us what we need, and save us from our distress. Other questions outside of this primary range of spiritual experience may be important. They are not vital. What is the Soul ? What is the Divine nature? What is the Church? In what way and by what means does Divine grace operate? What is the true meaning of Scripture, and the character of its inspiration and authority ? Whence has man sprung, and what is the character of the future before him? These are all questions of the greatest interest; but they are questions of theology and not of religion. I do not say that they have no bearing upon religion. On the contrary, they have a significant bearing upon it. And your religion and my religion will be modified and coloured by the answers we give or find to them. We cannot separate the life and character of any man from his opinions. It is nevertheless true that our religious life, or the force of divine inspiration and peace within us, do not depend upon the answers we are able to give to such questions.

It is the function of theology, as of other

sciences, to ask questions, whether it can answer them or not. The task of the theologian is a most important one—whether or not it be, as has been lately said, * “the noblest of all the tasks which it is given to the human mind to pursue.” None but a sciolist will depreciate such a task; and none but a sceptic will doubt the value of the conclusions which may be thus reached. But all this is quite consistent with our position. The welfare of the soul is not involved in such matters as I have mentioned. A man is not good or bad, spiritual or unspiritual, according to the view he takes of them. Men may differ widely regarding them, and not only be equally honest, but equally sharers of the mind of Christ. And this is peculiarly the case with many questions of the present day, such as the antiquity of man, the age and genesis of the earth, the origin and authority of the several books of Scripture. Not one of these questions, first of all, can be answered without an amount of special knowledge which few possess ; and secondly, the answer to all of them must be sought in the line of pure scientific and literary inquiry. Mere authority, if we could find any such authority, would be of no avail to * Mr Gladstone, ‘Contemporary Review,' July 1875, p. 194.

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the Gospel. It is the essence of all religionthat we feel ourselves in special need or distress, and that we own a Divine Power willing to give us what we need, and save us from our distress. Other questions outside of this primary range of spiritual experience may be important. They are not vital. What is the Soul ? What is the Divine nature? What is the Church? In what way and by what means does Divine grace operate ? What is the true meaning of Scripture, and the character of its inspiration and authority? Whence has man sprung, and what is the character of the future before him? These are all questions of the greatest interest; but they are questions of theology and not of religion. I do not say that they have no bearing upon religion. On the contrary, they have a significant bearing upon it. And your religion and my religion will be modified and coloured by the answers we give or find to the Te cannot separate the life and charact man from his opinions. It is never that our religious life, or the for inspiration and peace within us, d upon the answers we are able + questions.

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