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a living faith. The child thus engrafted into the covenant, is heir to all the blessings of the great family of God. The child is planted in the house of God, and, growing from grace to grace, shall still bring forth fruit in old age, to show that the Lord is good, and that there is no unrighteousness in Him.
Now, what sunshine and rain and dew are to the growing plant, Christian nurture is to the child. He is simply to be responsive to the divine forces that are at hand in the family and in the Church. There is room now for growing in grace and in the knowledge of the truth as it is in Christ Jesus. The family life is the bosom on which this young hope rests, as the young bird in the feathered nest, instinctively prepared for it. It feeds upon the Christian elements that are round about it. The family life in the earlier period of development, under the Spirit of God, is the consecrated channel through which divine forces flow over into the young soul, and upon which it feeds. “At the proper season they must be handed over to the Church to be prepared by catechetical discipline for the other great Sacrament; and, finally, thus prepared, they must be introduced to all the privileges of their church state, that they may grow up from this point onward, by proper use of the means of grace, to the stature of full manhood in Christ. Religion, according to this view, is something that rests in the general life of the Church, capable of organic transmission,-not by blood nor by the force of mere natural example and teaching, but by the order of grace as a divine historical constitution in the Church itself, including resources, having capacities and powers in its own being for this very
All life is the result of growth. Heathen mythology devises something that springs up in the full maturity of its powers, in a moment. But nature and grace, in every line of their activity, come to perfection only by growth. Even Christ increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. There was a development of His whole nature. There was a gradual expansion of those powers which, in the full swing of their ripened energy, raised the dead, confounded all the wisdom of the world and finally conquered the grave.
* Nevin on the Catechism, page 157.
In like manner the partaker of that same life must grow up into it. It is after a long summer's day of growth that Paul can say, I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. The development of the whole spiritual life is a growth under the educational influence of Providence and grace. The child engrafted into Christ grows into Christian manhood or womanhood under the genial influences of Christian culture, warmed into life by the ever present power of the Holy Ghost. The living word, the Church and the Sacraments form a trinity of forces that enter into the life of the individual, and, allowing the fullest room for the exercise of the freedom of the will, waft him onward and upward to the heavenly home. Now he is the son of God, and it doth not yet appear what he shall be, but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
A prominent Episcopal clergyman said, in substance: Zwingli and his works have not been appreciated; the time, however, is just at hand when this precious mine of truth will be worked for all it is worth. He shall yet be appreciated. And when this time comes, it will be found that he has done more of the thinking that meets the needs of this present time, than any other of the Reformers. His few works will be found to contain more help in the solution of the mightiest problem that ever vexed the human mind, than all the Reformers.
In like manner may it be said of the Church of which he was one of the most prominent founders. It has not been properly appreciated. Its heroic loyalty to Christ, its broad catholicity of spirit, its irenic tone, its hearty piety and its educational life and spirit should have won it a larger place in the affections of the great Christian brotherhood. In the near future, when the grand problems of this the greatest century in the whole volume of the book of time must be met and answered, the Reformed Church will have a voice which can bring a calm when some of the loudest voices of to-day shall be dumb. The manly tone in which these problems are propounded, shows in what spirit they must be met and answered.
Occupying the stand-point of Reformed theology, we are sure that the past is secure, and that God has never left Himself without witnesses. We look upon the present as seething with divine-human possibilities, hurrying hither and thither in the thundering loom of time. We in faith look for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ who shall recapitulate all things in Himself. We cannot be satisfied with anything short of unity on necessary points of doctrine and life. We will grant the widest liberty to our brethren on non-essentials. We will exercise long-suffering and hopeful charity to all. We are sure that prophecies, prompted by denominational pride, shall fail ; that tongues, busy in scattering strife among the brethren, shall cease; and that knowledge which is not peaceable and kind and gentle and easy to be entreated and not given to hypocrisy, shall vanish away.
THE PRACTICAL SIDE OF CULTURE.
BY CHARLES H. LERCH.
CULTURE is not a strange word. We hear it on all sides of us. It is the chief end of all training, whether it be in the world at large or in the schools, or colleges, or seminaries, or universities. When a man, we will say, goes to college, it is pretty generally understood that he goes for a purpose, and that purpose is culture. The more definite, the more clear that purpose is kept continually before the mind of the student, the better for him. We go to college and we forget that we are going to college. We study and we forget that we are studying. We are on the road to culture, but we forget to ask ourselves whether we are on the move in this road or whether we are in the right road. Our work is mapped out for us and handed over to us. We do not always ask, What does it all mean? The student often goes through a course of study, and at the end of it and perhaps not until some years after that, begins to realize in some measure, that he has actually gone through a course of study. Consecutive years of college and seminary work have a tendency towards producing monotony. And monotony means death. We say, “have a tendency,” not that they inust produce monotony any more than consecutive years of church-going must produce monotony. Identifying one's self with a college or any institution of learning does not make the student. Saying that you are a student or a graduate of a college is not saying that you are a cultured man. Going through the process of culture is often nothing more than serving a sentence of imprisonment within the college walls, imposed by a parent or a guardian, with perhaps the extra term of three years added in a seminary or a law office, or a medical university.
The trouble often with seven-tenths of the young men who go to college, is their anxiety to preach, to plead cases in court, to heal the sick, before they have begun to serve out their times of apprenticeship. Especially is this the case with young men who look forward to the ministry. A college or a seminary graduate is often nothing more than a premature, effete, little dominie.
Now if a man wishes to run a large establishment he must have capital. And the danger always is that his capital is too small rather than too large. The professions, which now more than ever demand large men, also demand large capital. And that capital is culture in all its various meanings and ramifications. An uncultured preacher, teacher, lawyer, or doctor is a professional bore. Dynamite is dangerous, but it is not more dangerous than a one-sided, undeveloped, careless culture. The only difference is that the one destroys physically, the other physically, intellectually and spiritually. Going to school, to college, to seminary, to university, is just as serious business as preaching the gospel, pleading for justice, driving away disease.
Perhaps you will wonder by this time what I mean by culture. By culture I mean that process, that force, that something which converts a rude, undeveloped, unpolished man into a broad, liberal, refined student.
It means taking Saul and making a St. Paul out of him. It means Christ, the embodiment of all knowledge, all wisdom, all truth. The Divine life of Christ plus all the truths about man, nature, God, permeated and assimilated by his Divine Life, constitute culture. Whenever we say Christ, we mean the sum and substance of all culture. And by this statement we mean that for the cultured man Christ must become his life, and the centre around which all his studying must be done, so that all history, all philosophy, all science, all poetry, all theology,