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J. BALDWIN BROWN, B.A.,
100 g. 247
The accompanying Sermons on “Misread Passages of Scripture” form part of a series which the author projected, but which through ill health he has been unable to complete. He sends them forth in this imperfect form, in compliance with the wish of the publishers; and in the belief too that the topics of some of them will not be without interest, in the conflict of thought on theological subjects which waxes rather than wanes year by year.
The reader will see that much space has not been occupied with critical discussions; nor has the author gone out of his way to correct the English version of the Scriptures. He appreciates fully the value of critical inquiries; but it is wonderful how the sense of leading passages of the Bible gets moulded, apart from, and even in defiance of, critical considerations, by the bias of the various theological schools. Each school makes, if not its own version of the Bible, its own interpretation of the leading passages; and tradition plays an important part in the Protestant as well as in the Roman Church. The text being accepted, each party makes its own version of it, and widely different senses are extracted from the same words. Hence it happens that important passages of Scripture have certain ideas associated with
them in the popular mind, which, if they are erroneous, are not to be corrected by a simple announcement, on competent critical authority, of the true rendering of the text.
The author of this little volume believes that there are some very popular but very detrimental misapprehensions, not of the true reading only, but of the true bearing of many important passages; and he offers this slight contribution towards a true understanding of them in the earnest hope that it may stimulate some so to search the Scriptures as to find in them not the confirmation of cherished dogmas, far less stones for the slings of theological war, but the Word of Eternal Life.
J. BALDWIN BROWN.
Misread passages of Scripture.
THE KINGDOM OF CHRIST.
"My kingdom is not of this world.”—John xviii. 36. PERHAPS there is no passage of Scripture more constantly misunderstood than these simple words; and certainly there is no misunderstanding of Scripture which has exercised a more detrimental influence on the life and development of the Church. The whole passage contains the very marrow of the doctrine of Christ concerning His kingdom. It is the basis of its constitution. To this, its subjects have rightly looked in all ages for instruction as to its fundamental spirit, principles, and aims. Words more solemn, more pregnant, were never spoken in this world, in this universe, than these. They were spoken at the very crisis of universal destinies. They form the dividing line between the two eternities. From eternity all things had been working towards that hour -the consummation of the incarnation; and to eternity the influence of that hour would go forth, remoulding, regenerating all the worlds. Beyond any words that have ever been spoken, these words are worthy of intense and reverent attention. They are the words with which the Son of God passed on to the cross, that He might pass up to the throne.
The two kings stood there in presence. The représentative of the king of this world, who wielded all its force and guided all its movements, the man who had