網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

STATE AND CHURCH

(32)

IN 1492 AND IN 1892.

BY
PRES. AUGUSTUS Hopkins

STRONG, D.D.

PHILADELPHIA :
AMERICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY,

1420 Chestnut Street.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1892, by the

AMEKICAN BAPTIST PUBLICATION SOCIETY. in the Oifice of the Librarian of Congress, ai Washington.

BV
631
S92

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

In Deuteronomy 6: 23, the inspired INTRODUCTION. writer says of God's leading of Israel:

" And he brought us out from thence, that he might bring us in, to give us the land which he sware unto our fathers."

“He brought us out, that he might bring us in." Out of Egypt, into Canaan ; out of slavery, into freedom; out of the despotism and idolatry of the Pharaohs, into the good land and large where they could worship the God of their fathers. It was the first great national deliverance, the beginning on earth of civil and religious liberty. No wonder that the glory of it is ascribed to God. Only his mighty outstretched arm could have drowned the oppressor in the sea, led his people like a flock through the wilderness, turned a multitudinous rabble of cowardly bondmen into a disciplined army, into an independent, liberty-loving, God-fearing nation. But the God who brought Israel out also brought Israel in. He did not leave those whom he had redeemed to perish in the desert. He provided a land for the people,

3

as well as a people for the land. There in Palestine, secure under his protection from the ravenous heathen monarchies around them, Israel entered for the first time in human history upon the sublime experiment of combining just civil government with the service and worship of the true God.

The hand that brought Israel out, that it might thus bring Israel in, was the hand of Christ. Moses was the human instrument, but the real agent was one greater than he. For this reason we read in the Apocalypse of “ the song of Moses ... and the song of the Lamb.” It is intimated that this first deliverance of God's people through Moses was a victory of the pre-incarnate Son of God, and that it was the type and beginning of a long series of deliverances scattered through history and culminating in the final triumph of Christ and his church, when they shall stand on the heavenly shore, looking back upon that glassy sea mingled with fire in which the last enemy has been overwhelmed. Every advance of liberty, culture, faith, takes place under the leadership of Christ. All patriotic songs are written, consciously or unconsciously, in his honor. It is he, the Lamb of God, who from age to age brings out his people, in order that he may bring them in.

Human history has been the history of migrations. The immense westward movement that first populated and then depopulated the classic lands, that first established the Greek and Latin empires and then overthrew them, was the most significant political event of the

RELATIONS DEFINED.

5

AND

IN

FOUR

A

ancient world. And the greatest political event of the modern world is that same westward movement in its continuance to the American shores. The discovery of this continent by Columbus is the beginning of modern history; and about it turns the whole future destiny of nan. It is fit that we should mark this four hundredth year by a solemn recognition of what-Edward Johnson, the old Puritan writer, called “the wonder-working providence of Zion's Saviour." With this view I have taken for my

STATE AND CHURCH IN 1492 AND THEME: IN 1892 ; OR, THE PROGRESS OF CIVIL

RELIGIOUS LIBERTY HUNDRED YEARS, WITH AMERICAN CHRISTIANITY AS FACTOR IN THAT PROGRESS.

As we follow the march of the nations from the Tiber to the Thames, and from the Thames to the Mississippi, we shall find equal reason for rejoicing, whether we consider from what our American Israel has been brought out, or to what our American Isracl has been brought in.

Fourteen hundred and ninety-two RELATIONS OF —how looked the world in that year CHURCH AND STATE of our Lord ? What were Church DEFINED.

and State, and what the relations

between them? As for the church, we may answer that it had utterly forgotten its spiritual vocation, and had become, over all Europe, the servile abettor and instrument of civil despotism. How low it had fallen, and how far it had departed from the ideal of

« 上一頁繼續 »