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poster, and persecuted his disciples because he believed that this was doing God service. He always affirmed his conscientiousness in these things. He was not a hypocrite of the type of those who professed zeal for Jehovah and Israel while secretly infidel or indifferent, or of those who affected moral strictness in public while privately wallowing in licentiousness. Such hypocrisy he loathed and scorned. His guilt was not so great as if he had rejected and persecuted the Nazarene, knowing him to be the Messiah. "Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." The same mitigation of guilt was pleaded by the Crucified in behalf of his murderers, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." But neither in the case of those who with wicked hands crucified and slew our Lord, nor in the case of the young man who consented unto the death of Stephen and wasted the Church, were ignorance and a false belief a justification. Saul confessed himself a great sinner, the chief of sinners. Wherein? For doing what he honestly held to be his duty, misled, not by a bad heart, not by a will which yielded to evil, but by unavoidable ignorance? Not so; but because he cherished pride, self-righteousness, contempt of his fellow-men, and vindictiveness, which were immoral, shut his eyes against the plain teachings of the Scriptures and the credentials of Jesus, and perverted his views of duty. Our Lord condemned the Jews who did not receive him, and the condemnation was based on this ground, not indeed that they were convinced of his Messiahship in their hearts while they denied him with their lips and lives, but that light had come to them, and they preferred darkness; that they could not appreciate the truth of his doctrine and the divine glory of his kingdom, because of that worldly and carnal soul which sought the loaves and fishes, and the honors which come from men; that they were blinded, hardened, and enslaved by the lusts of their depraved nature and the want of any true love to God or man, and, therefore, were out of harmony with the truth, and under the yoke of falsehood and unbelief. Paul came to see that the secret source of his pharisaic zeal and anti-Christian hate was not a genuine hunger and thirst after righteousness, not the supreme love to God which humbles, purifies, and enlightens, which excites tenderness, gentleness, forbearance and benevolence to all men, not a self-renouncing and truth-seeking spirit, but unspiritual, worldly, unholy tempers and aims that mislead the conscience, that are a film over the inner vision, that are in fact both inhuman and impious. In one place, it is true, many interpreters think that he claims a perfect sincerity in those blaspheming and persecuting times. "And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day." Some interpret, "I have discharged my apostolic office." But whether he referred to his whole past life, or only to the part since his conversion, we may safely say that he did not mean to claim for his pharisaism that singleness of eye which the heart-searching God approves, because he condemned himself with great severity for his course, and because inspiration con- s demned other Jews of the same day and circumstances for their unbelief. His Christian consciousness of sincerity he described in these comprehensive and beautiful words: "For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world." He threw open all the windows of his soul; there was in him no duplicity, but simplicity, singleness; not a manifold nor even a twofold motive and intention, not an appearing to seek one object and a real seeking of somewhat quite different, but all his thoughts lay unfolded for inspection, and his whole aim was to serve God and save souls; his was the sincerity before God which stands the searching test of the pure and brilliant sunbeams; he was not guided by carnal wisdom, the policy that seeks a selfish and worldly success, or scruples not at the means by which to secure a worthy end ; 'he was inspired and directed by the Spirit of truth, holiness, and love in his aims and methods. There was a crystal clearness in his conscientiousness, a crucifixion of self, a fullness of consecration, an abounding charity, a harmony of his whole soul and conduct with the first principles of virtue and piety, which differed radically from his atate when his very breath was fiery with threatenings and slaughter, and he was swept along by the madness of pride and revenge. True, "touching the righteousness which is in the law," he was "blameless." But this was an outward and
ceremonial righteousness of the letter and not of the spirit; not the righteousness which Micah described: "He hath showed thee, 0 man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?" not the righteousness which Christ described, "The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength; this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself; there is none other commandment greater than this."
To sum up: 1. The standard of truth and duty does not depend on human opinions. The most thorough conscientiousness in Saul of Tarsus, if proved, could not change the facts of the indictment, that he fought against the truth, blasphemed the Son of God and Saviour of mankind, and persecuted the saints in violation of' justice and charity. 2. The sufferings he inflicted on the disciples and the moral injury of his example on his own people are not the less real because of the honesty of his convictions. When converted, he must have looked back on his conduct with regret, if not with remorse. 3. His proud self-complacency in an outward and ritual righteousness which lacked the heart of love, his arrogant and scornful bigotry, and his fierce delight in persecuting the Church, reacted on himself in narrowing and perverting his moral nature, in stifling all sweet and lovely sentiments, and making him harsh, tyrannical, and vindictive. Yet his conscientiousness preserved him from the reprobacy and baseness of those who slander and tread down what they know to be sacred and divine. We feel a degree of admiration for the earnestness with which he maintained his own principles, but it is mingled with detestation of his haughty and blood-thirsty intolerance. 4. His innocence or guilt must be determined, not by our light and advantages, but by those amid which he lived. A perfectly sin cere Israelite might hold up his head in judgment as well as a perfectly sincere Christian. Complete sincerity seeks with all the soul and strength to know what is true in creed and right in act, for the love of truth and holiness, and does not obscure, nor color, nor refract the light in the interest of covetousness, ambition, or pleasure, or for the gratification of pride of opinion, blood, or character, or to exalt one party and depress'another. We do not attribute to this simplicity, this singleness of intention, omniscience or infallibility, for the soundest eye can see only in the light, and the vision will be dim when the light is feeble. But we do affirm that it is an obligatory virtue and the necessary condition of using aright the light given; that to the single eye God reveals duty and also his own uncreated beauty and glory. Unless we are in this moral state, we cannot claim to be accepted by the Searcher of all hearts, though we believe that creed we confess, and obey the dictates of our conscience. A true estimate of the innocence or guilt of Saul may be formed by comparing two verses in the same chapter (1 Tim. i, 13, 16) which assign different, but not inconsistent, reasons for the special mercy he received, "But I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief." "Howbeit, for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting." Did Saul utter blasphemies against one whom he knew to be the Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth, crucified out of love for a guilty world? Did he know that he was wasting the elect of God, the Church, which is Christ's bride? Not of that wickedness was he capable, or he would have been past hope of conversion, past mercy. God had pity on the blinded sinner. But he was not like Simeon, who waited to see the salvation of God. Jesus could not have said of him as of Nathanael, "Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!" He had not the love of truth and righteousness which led John and James, Peter and Andrew, to be first disciples of the Baptist and then of Jesus. It was mercy, great mercy, that bore with his unbelief, and gave him a special revelation of the Son of God that he might be convinced and saved. His is a monumental case of the long-suffering and grace of Jesus Christ.
'art. III.—THE REGENERATION OF PALESTINE.
Palestine has been for many years a land of ruins ; and ever since its chosen people were banished, as a nation, from its confines, members of the race have indulged in spasmodic efforts to regain its fertile plains, beautiful valleys, and crowning city, as their own. But these efforts have not been national, not even general, and, as a rule, have been little more than vain and enthusiastic plans plaguing the brains and torturing the hearts of a few of the faithful who have hoped to see Jerusalem regained and Israel re-established in his ancient home.
Within the last few years the Jews of some of the European capitals—London and Paris especially—have made some concerted trials to effect organization, and to proceed in a regular manner to possess the land and make it their own. The wealth and influence of Montefiore and tfie Rothschilds, in combination with the labors of the "Alliance Israelite " of Paris, have succeeded at least in calling the attention of the 'world to the fact that the Jews are again active in the matter of regenerating the Promised Land, and fitting it for the advent of their long-looked-for Messiah; and occasional announcements of their enthusiasm and success have led to the popular belief that they are quite likely to be successful in their endeavors. We have been told that their promised inheritance is rapidly becoming their own, and that a remarkable change is taking place through them in the Holy Land. It is stated that the scepter is even now virtually in the hands of that stanch Israelite, Baron Rothschild, who, for the loan of two hundred millions of francs to the Sultan, has a mortgage on the entire land, and may possess it any moment he pleases. According to these floating stories, great improvements are going on among the Jews of Jerusalem and the whole country; they are building up a new city in and around Jerusalem; are founding schools, hospitals, and newspapers; and a body of Venetian Jews is sustaining an agricultural school with a view to train up a community of their brethren to be tillers of the soil. The number of Hebrew residents has doubled, according to these statements, in the last ten years, and every thing is on the high road of modern improvement, even to a railroad, etc.