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gious address, in any assembly, is to study the countenances of the audience as it disperses. If you see a softened, an ennobled,
solar look,” to use one of the phrases of Bronson Alcott, one may be sure that religious truth has done good. I saw the solar look yesterday on the street in hundreds and thousands of faces. I saw it sometimes in the gaze of shop-girls, perhaps.
Yes; but high culture in Boston does not care much for shop-girls. Well, it is time it should. There is a low-bred, loaferish liberalism uttering itself occasionally in sneers because the poor have the Gospel preached to them. That sneer has been heard ever since the days of Celsus and the games in the old Coliseum, and it has a peculiarly reptilian ring. There are many kinds of liberalism. Christian liberalism I honour; literary and ästhetic liberalism is to be spoken of with respect in most cases; but below what I have called a limp and lavender and unscientific liberalism there is a 'W-bred and loaferish liberalism. This, in Boston, has impudence, ut no scholarship; rattles, but no fangs. In the great multitude the solar look is the best prophecy that can be had for the American future. It is a radiance that is like the rising of the sun to any man who is anxious about what is to come in America.
After noticing that look, and thanking God for it, I walked on, and happened to pass a lonely Boston corner, where the Paine Hall and the Parker Memorial Hall stand near each other—"par nobile fratrum." On a bulletin on the Paine Hall, the street in front of which looked deserted, I read : “ Children's Progressive Lyceum Entertainment this evening." " The Origin and Amusements of the Orthodox Hell." “Twenty-ninth Anniversary of Modern Spiritualism, April 1st.” Passing by the Parker Memorial Hall, where, no doubt, words of good sense have been uttered occasionally, I found in the window this statement: “To-night, a Lecture on the Arctic Regions, with a Stereopticon and Seventy Views."
All over the world, the equivalent of the scene I saw on that Easter morn may be looked upon almost everywhere within the whole domain of Christendom. Infidelity in Germany is no stronger than it is in Boston. Out of the thirty universities of that most learned land of the globe, only one is called rationalistic to-day.
When the sun stands above Bunker Hill at noon it has just set on the Parthenon, and is rising on the volcanoes of the Sandwich Isles. As Easter day passed about the globe, the contrasted scenes which the sun saw here-a multitude fed with God's Word, and a few erratics striving to solace themselves without God-were not unlike the scenes which the resplendent orb looked down upon in the whole range of civilization. In two hundred languages of the world the Scriptures were read yesterday; in two hundred languages of the world hymns were lifted to the Triune Name yesterday; in two hundred languages of the world the Gospel was preached to the poor yesterday.
What is our impecunious scepticism doing here? Has it ever printed a book that has gone into a second edition ? Theodore Parker's works never went into many editions. I do not know of a single infidel book over a hundred years old that has not been put on the upper neglected shelf by scholars. Boston must compare her achievements with those of cities outside of America, and take her chances under the buffetings of time. Where is there in Boston anything in the shape of scepticism that will bear the microscope ? For one, I solemnly aver that I do not know where, and I have nothing else to do but search. Theodore Parker is the best sceptic you ever had; but to me he is honey-combed through and through with disloyalty to the very nature of thingshis supreme authority. It was asserted not long ago, in an obscure sceptical newspaper here, that Parker's works ought to be forced into notoriety by his friends ; it was admitted that there was not much demand for the book; but it was thought that if now there was an effort made strategically, one might be put upon the market. You have no better books than these, and there has been no marked demand in Boston for these, and the attentive portion of the world knows the facts. Why am I proclaiming this? Because outside of Boston it is often carelessly supposed that the facts are the reverse, and that this city is represented only by a few people who, deficient in religious activity, and forgetting the law of the survival of the fittest, are distinguished far more by audacity than by scholarship, and are members of a long line in history, of which Gallio stood at the head.
Let me mention, as a fourth prominent trait in this revival, the great effort made for temperance. We have done more in that particular than was done in Boston in Whitefield's day; for in his time men were not awake on that theme. It is a good sign to see the Church and secular effort join hands. It is a good sign when our American evangelist himself can say, "I have been a professing Christian twenty-two years, and I have been in Boston and other cities for most of that time, and I never saw such a day as this is. I stand in wonder and amazement at what is being done. It seems as if God were taking this work out of our hands. Prayer-meetings are springing up in all parts of the city. If you were asked two months ago if these things were possible, you would have said: Yes, if God will open
the windows of Heaven and do them.'" Let us admit that we could all wish for greater blessings. Macaulay said concerning literary excellence that we were to measure success not by absolute, but by relative standards. Matching his own history against the seventh book of Thucydides, he was always humble; but matching his history against current productions, Macaulay felt encouraged. Matching this day in Boston against some things in Whitefield's day; matching it against the dateless noon of Pentecost; matching it against our opportunities, we are humble; we have no reason for elation ; ours is a day of small things. But compare what has been done here by God's Word and religious effort with all that has been done since Boston was founded by the opponents of God's Word, and we are encouraged.
vur opportunity in the second New England is greater than that of our fathers was in the first New England. Let us act as the memory of our fathers dictates. New England, the Mississippi Valley, the Pacific roast, Scotland, Eng!and, always knows whether or not Boston does her duty. A power not of man is in this hushed air. Who will lock hands with him whom we dare not name,' and go forward to triumph in the cause that cares equally for the rich and the poor, and for to-day and to-morrow ?
TAE LECTURE. When the Christian martyr Pionius was asked by his judges, "What God dost thou worship ?” he replied: “[ worship him who made the heavens and who beautified them with stars, and who has enriched the earth with flowers and trees." • Dost thou mean, asked the magistrates, “Him who was crucified (illum dicis qui crucifixus est)? "Certainly,” replied Pionius, "Him whom the Father sent for the salvation of the worid." *
As Pionius died, so died Blandina and the whole host of those who, in the first three centuries, without knowing anything of the Nice ne Creed, held it implicitly, if not explicitly, and proclaimed it in flames and in dungeons, in famine and in nakedness, under the rack and under the sword.
On the Ægean Sea, under the shadow of the Acropolis, there were undoubtedly sung yesterday, in the Greek cathedrals, words which were written in the second century:
“Hail, gladdening Light of his puro glory poured,
Who is the linmortal Father, heavenly blest,
Now we are come to the sun's hour of rest.
With undefiled tongue,
Therefore, in all the worlå, thy glories, Lord, we own.”+
poem is yet a vesper hymn in the Greek Church, and St. Basil quotes it in the third century. It and the “ Gloria in Excelsis and the “ Ter Sanctus,” which yesterday rolled around the world, were written in the second century, to pay absolutely divine honours to our Lord.
When I open the best book which unevangelical Christianity ever printed in Boston-James Freeman Clarke's " Truths and Errors about Orthodoxy"? No! “Truths and Errors of Orthodoxy”—but the first would have been a better title-I read : “ Down to the time of the Synod of Nice, Anno Domini 325, no doctrine of Trinity existed in the Church."* Will that statement bear the microscope of historical science? If it will, I wish to believe it and to reject everything inconsistent with it.
But I hold in my hands this Greek vesper hymn and this “ Ter Sanctus" and this “ Gloria in Excelsis," written in the second century. What do they mean? Here, too, are the dying words of martyrs for three centuries, and all in harmony with the present faith of the Christian world.
* Ruinart, “ Acta," p. 125. See Liddon's "Bampton Lectures," p. 409. + See original in Routh's “ Reliquæ Sacræ," üi. p. 518.
* P. 508.
Here is this statement of the Emperor Adrian, who, when writing to Servian, described the population of Alexandria as divided between the worship of Christ and the worship of Serapis.*
About A.D. 16. Lucian says :—" The Christians are still worshipping that great man who was crucificed in Palestine.”+
Remember Pliny's explicit official letter to Trajan, affirming that cross-examination and torture had elicited from the martyrs only the statement that “they were accustomed to meet on a stated day and sing a hymn to Christ as God,” and to pledge themselves by a sacrament to crush out evil of every kind. I
Calgisianus said to the martyr Euplius: “Pay worship to Mars, Apollo, and Esculapius.” Euplius replied: “I worship the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. I adore the Holy Trinity, besides whom there is no God. Perish the gods who did not make Heaven and earth and all that is in them. I am a Christian.”'S
The followers of Artemon maintained that the doctrine of the Trinity was brought into the Church at a late day. A writer quoted by Eusebius observed, in reply, that the psalms and hymns of the brethren, which from the earliest days of Christianity had been written by the faithful, all celebrate Christ, the Word of God, proclaiming his Divinity..
Is it true that there was no doctrine of the Triune Name before the year 325 ? Or, if you admit there was a Triune Name before that date, do you deny that these martyrs, who died with prayers to Christ as God, knew what they were about ?
Follow up the unimpeached record, and you will find it beyond controversy that the first three centuries taught explicitly the doctrine of the Triune Name. Was that a practical truth?
To be analytical —in order that, if possible, I may be clear-let me say that I wish to show by detailed documentary evidence that the Ante-Nicene Christian literature proves that in the first three centuries the church held the doctrine of the Trinity.
1. This literature copiously asserts that Christ possessed proper Deity.
2. It teaches copiously that believers are saved by the atonement made by our Lord.
3. It affirms abundantly that the Holy Spirit is a present Christ.
4. It everywhere proclaims that God, as three and one, is omnipresent in natural law.
5. These must be regarded as the most practical of all religious truths, if judged by the work they have done. They were the inspiration of martyrs' lives and the solace of martyrs' deaths.
6. These truths contain the doctrine of the Trinity implicitly, and the doctrine of the Trinity contains them implicitly and explicitly.
7. That doctrine, therefore, is the teaching of the first three Christian centuries.
We are to-day to breathe the spring-time of Christianity. The sights and the sounds of that period may well move us, for they have conquered the world. We are to gaze upon an age which is renowned * Ab aliis Serapidem, ab aliis adorari Christum. Apud Lamprid., in Vita Alex. Severi. + De Morte Peregrini, c. 11.
# Pliny. Ep.,
Lib. x. Ep. 97. Ruinart, “Acta," p. 362.
| Eusebius, " Hist. Eccl.," v, 28.
now, and is to be more and more renowned as the centuries roll on, as that of the Apostolic Fathers. I hold in my hand the first volume of a celebrated series of books (published by T. & T. Clark, of Edinburgh) called the “Ante-Nicene Library'_that is, Christian documents existing before the Nicene Council was called together in 325. I am to read you nothing upon which I have not put elaborate study; but that fact is not assurance that I am right. The world has boxed about these documents in close controversy for one thousand five hundred years; and if anything is known about history, it is known that the select passages I am to present to you are genuine records of the first three centuries. Do not think that I forget, although I cannot mention here in detail, how much is interpolated here and spurious. But scholarship has been walking over this record till it has found every boggy spot in it; and I am to have you put your feet now only on a few stepping-stones which infidelity itself considers firm as adamant, so far as their historical genuineness is concerned.
There is a marvellous Church of St. Clement, near the Coliseum, in Rome. You remember the words “Rejoice always; and again I say, rejoice. In the verse preceding that St. Paul mentions a certain Clement of Rome, and that Clement is supposed to be the author of this letter, which now, in the year 1877, in Boston, you may hold in your hands, and which was sent from Rome to Corinth by one church to admonish another, in a majestic age of the world. Clement, the author of this epistle, is known to have written it about the year 97. Ву common consent he is regarded as one of the pupils of St. Paul. This epistle Eusebius calls “ great and admirable," and says that it was very often read in the churches before and during his day.t
Purposely I avoid following analytically the order of the propositions I am defending; but at hap-hazard almost I take passages out of this unspeakably electric record, and you shall judge whether or not all that my propositions assert is here implied :
“ Content with the provision which God had made for you, and carefully attending to his words, ye were inwardly filled with his doctrine, and his sufferings (whose sufferings ? God's sufferings] were before your eyes. Thus a profound and abundant peace was given to you all ; and ye had an insatiable desire for doing good, while a full outpouring of the Holy Spirit was upon you all. Full of holy designs ye did, with true earnestness of mind and a godly confidence, stretch forth your hands to God Almighty, beseeching him to be merciful unto you, if ye
had been guilty of any involuntary transgression. Day and night ye were anxious for the whole brotherhood, that the number of the elect might be saved with mercy and good conscience."--P. 8.
How fresh is this breeze, as from spring hill sides—the bursting April of Christianity! It is written in the record of a day which dawned on the world eighteen hundred and forty-eight years ago yesterday, I that while it was yet dark Mary Magdalen came to the sepulchre, and the beloved disciple and Peter also; and that, although the beloved disciple outran his companion, Peter went first into the sepulchre. It was yet dark then; but is it not getting to be, in the history of the world, when this letter was written, gray-brindled
# Phil. iv. 4,
+ Eusebius, ii. 16.