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"THE PERFECT GIFT."
By Rev. C. O'N. Martindale. 2 Cor. 9:15 (in the light of John 3:16), "Thanks be to God for Ilis unspeakable gift." Jas. 1:17, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights." Matt. 5:48, "Ye, therefore, shall be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect." When we think of "The Perfect Gift" as furnishing matter for a needed passage, espe cially to young people, we are at once bound to think of ? I. The Christ. Christ! What an object of thought! Per fect as God, perfect as man, perfect in Himself and perfect in all His relationship. Perfect in organization and perfect in continuance. Per fect in character and perfect in conduct. Per fect in ideal and perfect in its realization. Growing all the while in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. Ilis preaching was perfect. His teaching was perfeet. His healing was perfect. His praying was perfect. ("Thou hea rest Me always.") He was per fect. What; He did was perfect. He was a model in every respect, a perfect pattern. You can neither add to nor take from Him (as pre sented in the sacred records) without marring Ilis perfection; this is true even of Ilis priva tion, humiliation and penal suffering for sin un to death and burial. His work was a finished work. It left nothing to be desired. II. The Christian. The Christian is the life to which Christ summons us all, not only by word but exam ple, not only by precept but by practice, not only in person but by His Spirit, Word and ser vants. To this He calls us ? into the plaee of separation unto Himself and the good and sep aration from the world that is evil. The Chris tian is the one called unto Christ, called to be with Christ in heart and purpose and fact, called to be like Christ, called to be for Christ inside and outside. He is ealled to be a com ponent part of the "people called for Ilis Name" (the Church) and fittingly to repre sent Him before men, called to be perfect even as He is perfect, called to give self perfectly, completely, to Christ, and to treat others as the heavenly Father treats them. Observe, that both of these ? the Christ and the Christian life ? are gifts, the life of Christ and the life for Christ. Cod gave His Son and we are to give ourselves and our sons and our daughters to Ilis Son ; yea, they are to give their own selves unto the Lord. That is the best gift in the world and in one's power to give to God or man or woman or child, self with all its powers, not only to be saved, but to be used of God as He wills; not only to be helped but to be helpful to others. Perchance you have not done so, will you not now accept God's gift and will you not give God's Son the gift of life He asks of you? God waits, the Saviour waits, the Spirit waits, the angels wait, the Church waits, the world waits to see you come to the great decision and take your stand for Christ and the Church. What time could be quite so appropriate as the present? What circumstances could be so auspicious as those in which you now find yourself ? III. The Ideal Made Real. God has a plan or purpose or ideal or aim for each and every life, and the best thing that could happen for our lives is, by the help of God's Holy Spirit, to understand that plan, purpose, ideal, aim and to have it become real, be actualized, be carried out in and by our lives. Do we want it to be even so with us? Now, because of sin in nature and in prac tice, there is just one way for this to be ful filled, and that is by yielding our lives wholly to the perfect Christ, and, by His Holy Spirit's guidance and enabling, let Him perfect the good work He has begun in us unto the end. As we give ourselves to the Perfect One, He perfects us into likeness to Him day by day, that we children of God may be perfect as our heavenly Father. It is the gift one cannot buy that lie wants. "Money cannot buy the gift that True love brings for those Wlio'vc known the anger of the thorn Before they've plucked the rose. "You cannot find it in a store, All up and down the mart, But only in the singing cclls That build the human heart. "It is not gained by conquest proud, Nor won in bloody war; It is not on the market stands, Nor sold in any store. "And yet, when given, it is the jewel 01' all the gifts most dear, A grace that lifts the heart from grief And brightens it with cheer. "It'is as fair as the flowers, As elfin as the trees; As full of witchery as the breath That blows from magic seas. "And all prefer its precious glow To all things else on earth ? The Gift of Love that with the Babe Or Bethlehem had its birth." Reidville, S. C. SOME OBJECTIONS TO DR. CALDWELL'S "EXEGETICAL STUDY OF REVE LATION.'' By Rev. Eugene Bell. There are so many such serious objections to interpretations given by Dr. Eugene C. Cald well, Professor of New Testament Interpreta tion, in Union Theological Seminary, Rich mond, Va., in his pamphlet "The Millennium," published by the Presbyterian Committee of Publication, Richmond, Va., that it seems strange that it has found commendations and been given such wide publicity. That sr. little has been said in reply can only be explained by the general reluctance to enter into any kind of controversy. Not to go into detail or to take up many interpretations open to quf?s tion, I do wish to call attention to one or two. On page 22 Dr. Caldwell makes this state ment: "Their bodies had perished but their souls, escaping from the dying body, ascended into heaven to the throne of God. This as cension and enthronement is what John meant by the 'first resurrections.' " In other words he makes the first resurrection a spiritual res urrection of souls. I have sften the following statement made on what seemed to me good authority: "The Greek word, anastasis, meaning resurrection, is never used in the New Testament, except to denote the coming up again of the fallen body from the grave. It occurs more than forty times and always in this one uniform and ex clusive sense." But suppose it could be shown that in some rare and exceptional case it did have the unusual meaning he gives it in this passage, would that justify such a meaning here where it is also used in the same passage in its regular and accepted sense? I do not claim to have such a knowledge of the Greek as would enable me to be at all dogmatic, but the; eminent Greek scholar and commentator, Dean Alford, makes the ? following remarks concerning such an interpretation: "I cannot consent to distort the words from their plain sense and chronological place in the prophecy, on account of any consideration of difficulty, or any risk of abuses which the doctrine of the millennium may bring with it. Those who lived next to the apostles, and the whole Church for 300 years, un derstood them in the plain, literal sense; and it is a strange sight in these days to see expositors who are the first in rever ence for antiquity, complacently casting aside the most cogent instance of consensus which primitive antiquity presents. As regards the text itself, no legitimate interpretation of it will extort what is known as the spiritual interpretation now in fashion. If, in a passage where two resurrections are mentioned, where certain persons live at the first, and the rest of the dead only at the end of a certain speci fied period after that first ? if in such a pass age the first resurrection may be understood to mean a spiritual rising with Christ, while the second means literal rising from the grave, then there is an end of all significance of lan guage, and Scripture is wiped out as a definite testimony to anything. 1 If the first resurrec tion is spiritual, then so is the second, which [ suppose none will be hardy enough to main tain ; but if the second is literal, so is the first, which in common with the whole primitive Church and many of the best modern exposi tors I do maintain and receive as an article of faith and hope." On page 25 Dr. Caldwell sets up and knocks down what 1 consider a man of straw, regard ing the use of the word "millennium." But the real and unanswerable objection remains that he interprets Revelation in harmony with his teaching that we are now living in the time when Satan is bound; and as the rest of the sentence says, "that (in order that) he should deceive the nations no more till" this period be finished. Whereas, plain, common observation of world conditions is proof posi tive that Satan is not now either bound or re strained 1n any such sense, no matter how much he may be checked and held within cer tain limits by an omnipotent God. Besides, the Apostle Peter is authority for the statement that "Your adversary, the devil, walketh about seeking whom he may devour." The Devil is, at the present time, almost totally de ceiving some natiohs, and partly deceiving very large portions of all nations. As I under stand the use of words, he is not now bound in any sense whatever, consistent with the fol lowing inspired words: "Bound him a thou sand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled, and after that lie must be loosed a little season." I shall not argue with Dr. Caldwell as to whether or not *ve are now in the Millennium. Every period of a thousand years is a millen nium. But I do say, that the conditions de scribed in the passage just quoted, with refer ence to the binding of Satan are not now ful filled. Shelbyville, Ky. Two persons will not be friends long if they cannot forgive each other's little failings. ? La Bruyere.