SIR ROBERT ANDERSON
Secret Service Theologian
THE GOSPEL AND
PREFATORY NOTE TO THE THIRTEENTH EDITION.
THE first ten chapters of The Gospel and its Ministry were
written some five-and-thirty years ago for a religious "Monthly." When
published in book form these chapters were supplemented by a number of appendix
notes; and further notes were added from time to time, as new editions were
called for. But, in response to appeals from many quarters, the bulk of the
Appendix was afterwards recast, and printed as Chapters XI. to XVIII. This will
account for the marked difference which the reader cannot fail to notice
between these later chapters and the original ten.
I intended to rewrite Part II. before issuing this "Library Edition" of the book. But, yielding to advice, I have abandoned that intention. For it has been urged upon me that as the work has been so long before the public, and copies of it are in circulation in all lands, drastic changes would be undesirable; the more so as foreign editions and versions are beyond my control. Of these the most recent is a Japanese translation which was published in Fukuoka and placed in the hands of all the native workers of the Church Missionary Society in Japan.
IN these days men have left off faith. The spirit of the martyrs is not in them. Opinions have taken the place of convictions ; and the result is a liberality which is the offspring, not of humility and love, but of indifference or doubt. Opinions are our own, and should not be too firmly held. Truth is Divine, and is worth living for and dying for. But what is truth? Each one, surely, must answer for himself; and does it not resolve itself therefore into a question of opinion after all ? This is just what characterises the day we live in. Listening to the discordant voices that abound on every side, men are content to give heed only to the points on which the greater number appear to be agreed; and even these are held on sufferance till some new voice is raised to challenge them. FAITH is impossible. If an angel from heaven were heard above the discord, or an apostle should return to earth, then indeed the anarchy of opinion might yield once again to the reign of faith. Meanwhile, we must be content to drift on in darkness, blindly trusting that when the day dawns we shall find ourselves in safety.
Was it for this the Son of God lived and died on earth? Was it for this "the glorious Gospel of the blessed God" was preached "with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven"? How different from the spirit of the age is the language of the inspired Apostle! "Though WE or an ANGEL FROM HEAVEN preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." Such warnings in Holy Writ are not the words of wild exaggeration. In the last days the new light which men seek for to dispel "the deepening gloom" will not be wanting; but it will prove a wrecker's fire, though seemingly accredited as the beacon light of truth.
God has given us a revelation. And, while doubt still lingers round innumerable questions on which we crave knowledge, Divine certainty is our privilege in respect of "all things that pertain unto life and godliness." The man who would force his opinions on others is a boor. He who would die for his opinions is a fool. But Christianity has not to do with opinions. It is founded on established facts and Divine truth; and faith based thereon is the heritage of the Church. Her martyrs knew the power of faith. The truth they died for was not "the general sense of Scripture corrected in the light of reason and conscience," and thus reduced to the pulp-like consistency of modern theology. In the solitude of the dungeon, or amidst the agonies of the rack, they calmly rested on the Word of God; and, even when assured that all others had recanted, they could stand firmly against both the world and the Church. Faith, which makes the unseen a present reality, brought all heaven into their hearts, and, refusing to accept deliverance, they braved death in every form.
We are not called upon to wear the martyr's crown, but it is ours to share the martyr's faith. We can have no toleration for the veiled scepticism which is passing for Christianity to-day. Agnosticism is Greek for ignorance, and ignorance is both shameful and sinful in presence of a Divine revelation. The Christian is not ignorant; neither is he in doubt. We do not think this or that: we KNOW. "We know that the Son of God is come." "We know that He was manifested to take away our sins." "We know that we have passed from death unto life." "We know that if our earthly house were dissolved, we have a building of God, eternal in the heavens." "We know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him."
It is in this spirit that "The Gospel and Its Ministry" is written. The book is designed to confirm faith, not to suggest doubts. And what distinguishes it from many other valuable works on the same great subject, is that it is not hortatory but doctrinal in character. Addressed to no special class, it is intended for all who are interested in the doctrine of the Gospel.
Chapter One - INTRODUCTORY.
Chapter Two - GRACE
Chapter Three - THE CROSS
Chapter Four - FAITH
Chapter Five - REPENTANCE AND THE SPIRIT'S WORK
Chapter Six - ELECTION
Chapter Seven - SUBSTITUTION
Chapter Eight - RIGHTEOUSNESS
Chapter Nine - SANCTIFICATION
Chapter Ten - RECONCILIATION
CHAPTER XI. - JUSTIFICATION BY FAITH
CHAPTER XII. - JUSTIFICATION BY WORKS
CHAPTER XIII. - JUSTIFICATION BY BLOOD
CHAPTER XIV. - HOLINESS AND SANCTIFICATION
CHAPTER XV. - CLEANSED BY BLOOD
CHAPTER XVI. - THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST
CHAPTER XVII. - ATONEMENT
CHAPTER XVIII. - THE GODHOOD OF GOD
II. LIST OF TEXTS WHERE (Greek - my PC cannot cope!) OCCURS
HI. LIST OF TEXTS WHERE Caphar OCCURS
IV. THE FATHERHOOD OF GOD
CHAPTER I. INTRODUCTORY.
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