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July 8, 1892. THE WELSH WEEKLY, 11 THE KHASI'S PRAYER. AN ARGUMENT AND AN EXPOSTULATION. By Rev. John Hughes, M.A., Liverpool. (Continued.) " An, U Blei, lada me don, to pynpaw ia lade ha rya." Looking at the Scriptures therefore as a revelation of the Supreme Being, and further regarding them in the light of divine institutions ordained by God to impart to man a knowledge of Himself, we invite to them the unbeliever, the practical as well as the speculative atheist, believing that by their honest and continued perusal of them, a life of faith in the Divine Existence will be begotten in them. We are confident to believe that the Word of God will prove, to all who peruse them with simplicity and earnestness of pur¬ pose, the great emancipation from scepticism and unbelief. " The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding to the simple." So saith the Scripture, so saith the experience of Christians, and the conversion of many unbelievers by the truth. The Bible and the Bible alone is the best and surest remedy for scepticism and unbelief. And why should it not be so ? Is there anything paradoxical in believing in the divine power of the Book to quicken a man's sense of the Supreme Being, even when his intellect is frozen in atheism ? Surely there is nothing incredible in this Book-revelation of God. Book-power is the greatest power of the age. What miracles are performed through books, and what mighty works are done through the printing press ! It is through books that man searches the spirit of man; broods over his intellectual darkness, and speaks with power, " Let there be light,''and there rises within him a new world of thought and sentiment, that forms a characterjand builds up a life. It is books hat give us our civilisation and our progress; and even through the books of men the Divine Spirit is fast forming a new heaven and a new earth wherein righteousness will dwell. Probably the majority of living men have felt through books a power which they have not, nor indeed could feel through anything else ; a power not so improving, it may be, yet greater thanall thescience and themechanics of the age. Now, if it is through a book that man's spirit has access to man, and influences him most, then there is nothing incredible in the fact that God should use the same means and confer the same power upon the Bible, but the history of the world proves that it has a unique position among books; it is of all the only divine book, and hence the one which has been most signally blessed. Its history has amply justified its claim to a unique position as the only medium of divine and saving knowledge, and is itself the strongest argument for the Being of God. And we cannot lay too much stress upon this uniqueness, this singularity, which belongs to the posi¬ tion of the Bible as God's book to man; and it is as such we regard it as the surest remedy for un¬ belief. We are not sure but that many of the books written to prove the inspiration of the Bible, and th6 truth of the religion taught therein, divert people's attention too much from the book itself ; and it may be that a great deal of the scepticism of the age, and especially that scepticism which lurks under a profession of Christianity, and nestles in the altar of the sanctuary, is due to this flood of apologetics which Bweeps men's thoughts away too much from the Book itself. We need being reminded in this age of books, good, bad, and indifferent, that " The Bible, and the Bible alone, is the religion of Protestants " ; and that it is also the best apologist for itself. It is too often regarded in these days not as the Book among the many, but as a book of the many; and hence the obscurity and uncertainty of the books of men fill our minds, rather than the light and assurance of the Book of God. Even Christians need reminding in these days that the Bible is more than a book, it is an institution standing alone and apart from all other books upon its divine foundations, as a revelation of the Supreme Being, to impart to mankind that knowledge that alone can make them wise unto salvation. As such it is the most powerful institution in the world; not even the Church itself has been so signally owned by Almighty God for the promotion of evangelical religion and the sup¬ pression of infidelity . and unbelief as the Bible. Christians will do well, therefore, to enthrone it in their hearts as the Divine Oracle ; let them take heed that no book, not even the Christian apologetics of the age, estrange them from it; let their reverence for the Scriptures overtop all other books, so that their delight will be in the law of the Lord, and their medi¬ tation ever be on the sunny heights of the Mount of Transfiguration; and we shall soon find that the Church of Christ is the best Christian Evidence Society in existence. This supreme devotion to the Scriptures on the part of professing Christians will soon make itself known and felt in the world by a revival of religion; and the unbelief and scepticism which stalks through the land upoD the borrowed stilts of a false philosophy will have to retreat, covered With contempt and shame. With the same confidence we invite the professed atheist, and beseech him to cast himself humbly and prayerfully upon the Bible itself. Regarding it not only as a book, but as a Divine institution, so largely blessed in all ages, and having the promise of the Divine Spirit to aid and delight, and indissolubly bound up with its honest perusal, we fearlessly invite the most hardened unbeliever to its pages as the best solvent for unbelief. It maybe that I am speaking to one who regards himself as being an honest doubter and a sincere sceptic; one who is able to address us in the following words: " I have trodden the common paths of the arguments for the Divine Existence, I have perused the theadbare proofs for the Being of God, with all the impartiality I could com¬ mand, but I must declare myself still unsatisfied; and without a sound conviction of the great truth. I take no pride in my unbelief; I would be glad to welcome the teacher who could remove all doubt from my mind, and make the Being of God the root of my life, the axiom of my daily conduct. But I must confess that, after hearing all you have to say upon the question, I am a sceptic. I have studied the argument in its different branches, and its seems to me like some fossil tree in form and structure ; not without interest, but it has no life to touch my soul. I look in vain for the rustling of the leaves, and the song of birds, and that cool refreshing shade which the living tree affords. Some parts of the argument do, indeed, stagger my doubts for a moment, but slay them they cannot; and all I have to say, after my perusal of the argument, is this : Well, I find here sufficient proofs of the ingenuity of man but not of the Being of God. I have not, therefore, come to any settled conclusion upon the matter, other than to leave it an open question. I cannot know for certain that God is, or that He is not; in fact, I am an agnostic." In reply to all this we would say, if this agnosticism is anything but a fine name, it brings with it the obligation of using every means possible to obtain a knowledge of the truth. It is absurd to imagine that this agnosticism finally disposes of the question. Dogmatic atheism settles the question once for all with a bold negative, and this negative is the iron fetters that bind the mind in the Castle of Doubt; but agnosticism leaves still a door open through which morality and religion can enter the soul. It involves the obligation of seeking with all sincerity the know¬ ledge of this God, the possibility of whose existence is not denied. " There is a certain duteous movement," says Dr. Chalmers, " which the mind ought to take, on the bare suggestion that a god may be. The cer¬ tainty of an actual God binds over to certain distinct and most undoubted proprieties. But so also may the imagination of a possible God, in which case the very idea of a God. even in its most hypothetical form, might lay a responsibility, even upon atheists. The very idea of a God will bring along with it an instant sense and recognition of the moralities and duties that would be owing to Him. Should an actual God be revealed, we clearly feel that there is something which we ought to be and to do in regard to Him. But more than this ; should a possible God be imagined, there is a something not only which we feel that we ought, but there is a something which we actually ought to do or to be, in consequence of our being visited by such an imagination. To this condi¬ tion there attaches a most clear and incumbent morality. It is to go in quest of that unseen Bene¬ factor, who, for aught I know, has ushered me into existence, and spread so glorious a panorama around me. It is to probe the secret of my being and my birth; and, if possible, to make discovery whether it was indeed the hand of a Benefactor that brought me forth from nonentity, and gave me place and entertainment in that glowing territory which is lighted up with the hopes and happiness of living men. It is thus that the very conception off a God throws a solemn respon¬ sibility after it.'" This responsibility is attached to the non liquet of the agnostic ; it is incumbent upon him to do all in his power, by the use of the instituted means, to attain to a clear and sound knowledge of the existence of God. Having failed to acquire this knowledge from the light of nature, and Irom the teaching of man, let him bring his agnosticism to the Word of God, and, guarding against that treacherous duplicity of mind that plays the understanding against the heart, and like Ishmael, the son of the bondwoman, turns every earnest purpose into a jest, let him peruse it as the divinely instituted means of bringing mankind to the knowledge of God. With an earnest purpose and a powerful spirit, he may still find in Scripture what he has failed to find in the works of nature and the words of men. There is an impression of power and divine majesty here which is more pre¬ vailing against unbelief than the marvellous works of nature. "There are greater and more evident im¬ pressions of divine excellencies left on the Written Word, from the infinite wisdom of the Author of it, than any that are communicated unto the works of God, of what sort soever. Hence David, comparing the works and the word of God, as to their instructive efficacy in declaring God and His glory, although he ascribes much unto the works of crea¬ tion, yet doth he prefer the Word incom¬ parably before them, Ps. xix. 1-3, 7-9; cxlvii. 8, 9, etc., 19, 20. .... It is given us to make us humble, holy, ivise in spiritual things; to direct us in our duties, to relieve us against tempta¬ tions, to comfort us under troubles, to make us to love God and to live unto Him, in all that variety of cir¬ cumstances, occasions, temptations, trials, duties, which in this world we are called unto. Unto this end there is a more glorious power and efficacy in one epistle, one psalm, one chapter, than all the writings of men, though they have their use also. He that hath not experience hereof is a stranger unto the power of God in Scripture. Sometimes the design and scope of the place, sometimes the circumstances related unto, most by that spirit of ivisdom and holi¬ ness which evidenceth itself in the whole, do effectually influence our minds; yea, sometimes an occasional passage in a story, a word or expression, shall contribute mora to excite faith and love in our souls than a volume of learned disputa¬ tions. It doth not argue, syllogise, or allure the mind ; but it enlightens, persuades, constrains the soul unto faith and obedience."* If, then, there is a soul of good in agnosticism, any shred of earnestnesss about it, these men that profess they know not God, nor can find any sure marks of His Being in the works of Nature will be impelled to the last, the surest, the highest revelation of the Supreme Being—the Word of God. By an honest perusal of this they may still be made to know Him ; by bringing mind and heart to this, tbey may find it a surer proof of the Divine existence than the marvellous works of creation. We take them at their word—that the creation has no voice to speak to them of an Almighty Creator. They will find their judgment anticipated in the very words of Scripture. Speaking of the revelation of the heavens, of the firmament, of the day, and of the night, it saith " There is no speech and there are no words ; their voice is not heard." This is the paradox of Scripture. It speaks of a declaration made by the heavens and the firmament, of the glory of God and His handiwork, of speech by the day, and knowledge by the night, and yet withal it adds " There is no speech nor words ; their voice is not heard." And this paradox is confirmed by the scepticism of the age. The creation, notwithstanding its manifest declaration of the Supreme Being, is speechless and dumb to many. They can find no argument for this Being, no knowledge of His attributes. Wonderful they allow- it to be; but they cannot construe it into a theological argument. * Dr. Owen. REVIEWS. Esboniad ar Actau yr Apostolion. Gau y Parch. Owen Davies, Caerynarfon. Ail Argraphiad. (Pris 4s. 6d.).—We heartily welcome the appearance of a second edition of this important work on the Acts of the Apostles. It is a solid book, written in a clear, calm, and devout style, and is characterised through¬ out by penetrating and lucid thought, a judicious spirit, and a thorough mastery of the subjects treated. It ia a volume of over GOO pages, con¬ taining 86 lectures, with notes and readings, and an appendix full of most interesting matter relat¬ ing to the composition, &c, of the Acts. We have in the lectures a happy combination oi the explanatory, the doctrinal, the practical, and the homiletical, and the whole pervaded with a pure and healthy devotional spirit. While they are instructive and suggestive, they are at the same time devout and most helpful to the spiritual life. The notes and readings placed at the head of each lecture have been well selected, and are of much practical utility, especially in elucidation of the text. We do not know of any book on the Acts, in the Welsh language, equal to this work; and we thank Mr. Davies most heartily for thus enriching our national and biblical literature. For Sunday school teachers, for preachers, and for Welsh readers generally, it must prove a most valuable help in studying this portion of Holy Writ. We find here no show of learning or vain reaching after effect, but the ripe fruit of close and conscientious study, set before us in a clear, unaffected style. Difficulties are met in a fair and judicious manner, and not shirked or passed by in silence. And the great principles contained in this in¬ spired history of the Christian Church are here dealt with in downright earnestness, and with that sound sense, manliness, and spiritual vigour which is so characteristic of Mr. Davies. We heartily commend this book to our Welsh readers. We understand that although the book is marvellously cheap, only 4s. 6d., Mr. Davies is prepared to sell it at a still lower price to Sunday schools who order three or more copies. There are now 133 students attending the London School of Medicine for Women. The only man to be envied, the only man who rightly knows what pleasure is, is he who has discovered his task and is doing it.—P. Anderson Graham. Mr. Douglas Henty, a Chichester brewer, has left a legacy of £50,000, between five Missionary and Bible Societies. The British and Foreign Bible Society gets £15,000 ; the London City Mission, £10,000 ; The Irish Church Mission?, £10,000 ; the Church Missionary Society, £10,000, and the Moravian Missions, £5000. The non-use of faculties is a religious crime. There ought not to be a single faaulty in the body that is not brought out to its right use. If we kill any one faculty by such degree we injure God Himself.—Dr. Parker.