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DOING GREAT THINGS.
It is a common adage that it is easier to do a great thing than a small one. It is undoubt edly easier to raise a large sum than a smaller and inadequate one. We understand that a proposition will be made to our next General Assembly to plan a program calling for the securing of pledges for $40,000,000 during a period of live years. To those of us who have been plodding along un der the shadow of the thousand, to begin to talk in terms of millions is rather startling; but that is about all there is to it. Let us notice that this is not such a large sum per capita. Th^e are, in round numbers, 400.000 members in the Southern Presbyterian Church now and we will grow some in five years. This simply means that every Presbyte rian will have to give $20 each year for the ex tension of God's kingdom in the earth. That means that they are to l>eeomc interested to the extent of 6 cents a day in the salvation of immortal souls. What docs God think of sueh niggardliness? To say that it is impossible is simply to say that we have no more interest in the salvation of the world, for which Jesus gave Himself, than the cost of a drink at the soda fountains. In fact, the launching of such a campaign will necessitate the. arousing of our Church to its duty and calling its attention sharply to its intense selfishness and lack of interest in the sending out of the Gospel of Jesus. Dr. C. II. Parkhurst declared that the average Christian did not care a sixpence for the salvation of the souls of men. lie may be right. If this cam paign could result in extending and enlarging that interest it would be worth the effort. AVhen we consider the immense sums given by Presbyterians that are not included in our reports of the Every Member Canvass, it does not seem unreasonable. For instance, if we counted tlic $1,000,000 raised in the Synod of North Carolina and the similar sums being raised in almost all our Synods we could easily .count up the $8,000,000 we would be required* to raise. In fact, if~we counted in, and we ought to he allowed to do so, certainly when \yej2ompnre ourselves with the other Churches who do, we will have gone nearly to" that amount now. In fact, it is not the $4,000,000 that burdens us, but the numberless other calls that come. If we could put all our benevo lence into one amount, and exclude and choke off the others that we have no business to listen to, we could raise the amount easily. When we think of thg Church consciousness that would develop we would gladly welcome this effort. It is only by attempting large things that we come to a knowledge of what we can do and what we are in God's sight. We venture to say that a clear call from our General Assembly to do this great thing would send a thrill of anticipated loyalty to our Church that we have longed to see and feel. A few gaping critics would, no doubt, yelp, but the whole Church would rise with a new con sciousness of our ability that we have not had. Attempt small things and you degenerate to the smallness of your effort. We would elicit the interest and gifts of men of large ideas and monies. We remember a Session of a church, that under the appeal of an earnest man was ready to raise thousands of dollars for the cause. When the man sug gested a hundred, with a feeling almost of dis gust, certainly of disappointment, these large business men voted the hundred dollars and thought they had wasted there time listening. We have not dwelt on what this money would do. We venture to say that the very effort would be turned into a real evangelistic work : and above all the cynical and wise world would sit up and note that the Church really was in earnest and really had something worth while. The trouble now is, this sensible world sees we are playing with this business of religion, and either sets us down as hypocrites or as children playing with a toy. And it does not want the reputation of either kind. As an object lesson to the world it would be worth the effort. Let us not say we cannot do it. We can and we ought, and bccausc we ean and we ought, we must. A. A. L. Contributed THE MILLENIUM. An Exegetical Study of Revelation, Chapter 20, in the Light of the Book as a Whole. By Rev. Eugene C. Caldwell, D. D., Professor of New Testatinent Interpretation, Union Theological Seminary, Richmond, Va. (Continued.) IV. . The Significance of the ' ' First ' ' Resurrection. John is full and explicit here, and we do well to observe closely his exact language. Speak ing of the faithful of his day who had either perished in martyrdom or passed away in peace, he declares: "And they liv^d, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. This is the first resurrection." Literally, "the resur rection the first." "First" is emphatic. It is perfectly obvious that the antecedent of "this" is the living and reigning of the souls of the faithful with Christ in heaven. That is, John ? makes of the "first" resurrection a specific and peculiar thing: it is the living and reigning of these souls in heaven. John proceeds. "Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first res urrection : over these the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and Christ, and they shall reign with him a thou sand years." -These souls are now blessed and holj'. They are perfectly safe: over them the second death hath no power, that is, they will never be cast into the lake of fire. They are priests of God and of Christ ? they live in the immediate presence of God and of Christ: and they reign with Christ, they share Ilis throne a thousand years. To the present writer two distinct impres sions are made by this account of the first res urrection. (1) In the meaning of John the first resurrection is something special and defi nite. By this he means not regeneration, as Christ meant when He declared: "The hour cometh and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live" (John 5:25), or as Paul meant in Romans 6:1-11; Col. 2:12; 3:1-3. Undoubt edly Christ and Paul used the idea of "res urrection" in the spiritual and figurative meaning of regeneration; but John does not mean regeneration here. These martyrs, and confessors were already regenerate before they experienced the first resurrection. Because they were regenerate, they died rather than deny Christ. Their bodies had perished but their souls, escaping from the dying body, as cendcd into heaven to the throne of God. This ascension and enthronement is what John meant by thQ_" first resurrection." And he is. careful to call it the "first" resurrection in order to distinguish it from the general resur rection of the bodies of both good and bad at the final judgment, which he describes later in this same chapter (20:11-15). Thus the first resurrection can not refer to the resurrection of the body. John says spe cifically: "I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded . . . and such as worshipped not the beast." It is the souls, not the bodies, of these martyrg and confessors, all the faithful of his time, that he sees. Moreover the thou sand year period began, as has already been shown, at the first Christian century. Now the "first" resurrection, whatever it is, took place at the same time. Hence, if the first resurrec tion be that of the body, we have a bodily resurrection of some believers at the . begin ning of the Christian era. But that can hardly be true. For we have no historical evidence that the bodies of the faithful of John's day have ever been raised. Besides, the Scriptures teach that the bodies of all Christians of all ages and lands as well as the bodies of the wicked, will be raised only in the general resurrection at the end of the world. There is not a line of Scripture which by any sound exegesis can be made to teach the doctrine of two bodily resurrections separated by a long interval of time. So we conclude that the first resurrection is neither regeneration nor bodily resurrection. What is it then? No better de scription of it can be framed than in the stately and majestic language of our catechism : "The souls of believers are at their death made per fect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory; and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resur rection." That is the living and reigning with Christ ; that is the first resurrection. Of course, John has in mind here the faithful of his day. But what he says of them is also true of the faithful of all ages. For the second death hath no power over any true believer. So we may regard the martyrs and confessors of the first century as the representatives of all the faithful people of God, who have the martyr spirit, whether they suffer martyrdom or pass away in peace. (2) The second distinct impression is that by ^'the rest of the dead" John meant prima rily those false church members of his time who had not borne the testimony of Jesus, but had renounced Christ and His Church and had received on their forehead and on their hand the mark of the beast and thus had made plain the tragic fact that they had never been true believers. "The rest of the dead" in vs. 5 obviously points back to the dead spoken of in vs. 4 and draws a sharp contrast between two classes of the dead. But the dead of vs. 4 are the faithful dead, as we have seen. Hence, "the rest of the dead" of vs. 5 are the unfaith ful, the false church members of the time. As John says in his first epistle written perhaps very soon after Revelation: "They went out from us because they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us ; but they went out that they might be made manifest that they all are not of us." (1 John 2:19.) However, what John says as to the fate of these false professing Christians is equally true of all the impenitent and wicked. So \te may put them all in the same class as "the rest of the dead." What does he say of them? They "lived not." "Lived not" here is the direct sharp negative of "lived" in vs. 4. One class lived; the other lived not. "Lived" in vs. 4 means, as we have seen, life in fellowship with God and Christ in glory ; it means blessed, holy, happy existence. "Lived not" is the precise opposite; it denotes existence remote from God and Christ in the outer darkness, where there is' weeping and gnashing of teeth; impure, unholy, miserable existence. Thus yie word "lived" bears the