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Probably some of David's Psalms about those Psalms which David of this period were penned while penned after he mounted the throne; he was living in the service of the still I must draw my remarks to Philistines, those dreaded foes of a close. Even about David's wanhis country. How shall we recon- derings in Saul's reign I have cile this fact with the pious tone of not said nearly everything that the sacred songs in question ? Per- might be said; for a subject so haps in this way, Philistia was wide cannot be fully dealt with in governed, not by one, but by five a couple of papers. My end, howkings, and it is quite possible that ever, will have been gained, if I Achish, to whom he fled, may have can lead my readers to study more been less hostile to the Israelites carefully the history and character than any of the rest; indeed, what of David. Perfect he certainly we read of him seems rather to was not, but for this very reason favour this riew. At any-rate, we can feel for him and learn from Achish may not have been at war him. If, in many respects, we with Israel just then, nor likely to cannot follow him as a model, we be for some time; while in the may yet take courage from his native tribes, such as the Amale. example, and say, “See, here is a kites, the Philistines may well man who served God well in spite of bave had foes from whom David many faults. Thus then we learn might lawfully defend his protec that our faults need not prevent us tor. * As yet I have said nothing from being a blessing to the world,

if only wo copy those graces in * 1 Sam. xxvii. 30.

which "David excelled.”

BOOK NOTICES. THE pressure of matter this month M.A. We shall endeavour to notice which we cannot omit, precludes them at greater length next month, our usual book notices. We and in the meantime those of our have received from the enterpris- readers who are interested in these ing publishers Messrs. T. and T. works would do well to furnish Clark of Edinburgh, two volumes themselves with them without of their series of the works of St. delay. Other works, and for the Augustine. These two volumes same reason, will have to lie over contain “The City of God," trans- till our next issue. lated by the Reģ. Marcus Dods,

Poetry.

WAITING.
LEARN to wait-life's bardest lesson,
Conned, perchance, through blind.

ing tears;
While the heart-throbs sadly echo

To the tread of passing years. Learn to wait hope's slow fruition ; Faint not though the way seem

long: There is joy in each condition ; Hearts though suffering may grow

strong.

Constant sunshine, howe'er welcome,

Ne'er would ripen fruit or flower; Giant oaks owe half their greatness

To the scathing tempest's power.
Thus a soul untouched by sorrow

Aims not at a higher state;
Joy seeks not a brighter morrow;

Only sad hearts learn to rait.
Human strength and human gresto

ness Spring not from life's sunny side ; Heroes must be more than drift-wood,

Floating on a waveless tide.

[graphic][merged small]

NEW CONNEXION MAGAZINE.

NOVEMBER, 187 1.

Theology and General Literature.

SOUND DOCTRINE.

2 Timothy iv. 3, 4. . Tue Socond Epistle to Timothy has been well termed “a divine provision for perilous times.” It is certain our lot is cast in perilous times, and that the evils foretold abound and are of daily observation ; it is, therefore, our duty diligently to avail ourselves of the provision the epistle supplies for our security in the midst of these evils. It is not my purpose, however, to dwell upon this epistle as a whole, but rather to single out for present meditation the prophecy respecting the tendency of these times to think lightly of Scripture teaching. The inspired writer says, “the time will come when they”- I suppose he means believers generally—“will not endure sound doctrine ; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

What is meant by sound doctrine? The word doctrine, as used in Scripture, has a much wider meaning than is given to it in our theology. It is used in Scripture to siguify teaching. This is the general meaning of the word. , . When Christ used the phrase "my doctrine,” he evidently meant all that he taught, inclusive alike of what God had done and what he requires now to do. It is obvious the Saviour used the word in this general sense when he complained of the Pharisees “ teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” So in the Sermon on the Mount : “Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so (to do), he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven : but whosoever shall do and teach them (to be done), the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” And so likewise in the apostolic cominission, “Go disciple the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.” The great Apostle said to Timothy, “Thou hast fully known my doctrine, that is, my teaching,

P P

my instruction, the kind of knowledge I have communicated to thee : the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also.”

Sound doctrine is doctrine the Great Teacher and his apostles revealed and sanctioned. It is doctrine according to godliness. It is doctrine that tends to promote the spiritual health and happiness of those who receive it. It is sound, in opposition to what is hollow and Pharisaical ; true, in contradistinction to what is false and fabulous; divine, in contrast to what is human. But what is comprised in sound doctrine? It comprises, in truth, all that God has been pleased to reveal to us in the Bible from first to last; for“ all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine." We can only give, therefore, a very limited and imperfect enumeration of a vast number of vital points comprised in sound Scriptural teaching. The teaching we conscientiously believe to be sound includes the doctrine of man's depravity—that he is far from original righteousness, and that in his flesh dwelleth no good thing; the doctrine of man's practical sinfulness—that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, and that every imagination of the thoughts of the heart is only evil continually; the doctrine of man's helplessness—that he is without strength, and morally incapable of himself of performing any works that are acceptable to God; the doctrine of man's danger—that as a sinner he is condemned already, and the wrath of God abideth on him and that he is every moment liable to be driven away in his wickedness into the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone ; the doctrine of man's regeneration that he becomes a new creature by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; the doctrine of man's justification—that he is “justified by faith without the deeds of the law,” “justified freely by (God's) grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus ;" the doctrine of atonement—that Jesus Christ by the grace of God tasted death for every man, and his blood cleanseth us from all sin. These are some of the doctrines most assuredly taught in Scripture, and which we must receive and hold fast if we are to be sound in the faith. But this is not all : to comprehend what the Apostle meant by sound doctrine, we must point out the sound practical character of Scripture teaching.

For example-1. It is sound doctrine to preach Christ's death on the cross as God's means of working within us a death unto sin. Holy Scripture teaches Christ's death for us and our death with him. To preach the one, and not the other, is to preach an unsound doctrine. The apostles of our Lord joined them together. They did not preach the atonement and omit the crucifixion of the flesh, nor preach the crucifixion of the flesh and reject the atonement. They never taught that Christ died to give reprief to the life of the flesh from death

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