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Vol. 3, No. 12
Dec., 1994

“At the End of Twelve Months”

by Glenn Conjurske

God had given a very plain warning to Nebuchadnezzar, in a dream of the night, in the interpretation of the dream by the man of God, and in Daniel's solemn admonition to him, to “break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquities by showing mercy to the poor, if it may be a lengthening of thy tranquillity.” (Dan. 4:27). He had been plainly told, “they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and they shall wet thee with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over thee, till thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” (Verse 25).

Nebuchadnezzar was no doubt guilty of sins enough, being a heathen and an idolater, but it was his pride which God had determined to judge. The end of the judgement decreed was that Nebuchadnezzar should “know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will.” The effect of the judgement when it was finished was that Nebuchadnezzar himself must say, “those that walk in pride he is able to abase.” (Verse 37). Yet he continued in his pride a full year, and still the judgement did not fall. He likely comforted himself that the stroke would never come at all (for sin blinds and hardens), though he well knew that Daniel was a man of God----for God had spoken to him by Daniel before, and in such a way as left no room for doubt that Daniel was the messenger of God. Yet he hardened himself and set at nought Daniel's message----and apparently did so with impunity, for the threatened stroke did not fall. Only “at the end of twelve months” did he feel the rod of God (verse 29).

But in this we see only that the God who is “slow to anger” is slow also to smite, even after his anger is kindled. He bears long with the ways of man----endures with much longsuffering even the vessels of wrath. Though the judgement of the old world by the flood was purposed and pronounced, yet would he strive with man a hundred and twenty years. Though the destruction of the Canaanite was determined, yet will God delay four hundred years, for the iniquity of the Amorite is not yet full.

Daniel probably watched the king, and, seeing him as puffed up as ever, wondered that the promised judgement did not come. And so sometimes do we. We see a man turn away from the narrow path of rectitude, and go on month after month hardening himself in unrighteousness, and we wonder that the rod of God does not fall upon him. We see a woman turn from love and truth, and go on hardening herself in pride and malice and hypocrisy, and we wonder that the Lord does not smite. We even call upon God, that he would use the rod to arrest the beloved soul in its downward course----and yet all things continue as they were. Why is this?

In the first place, God gives to every man, to every church, to every nation, “space to repent.” When men do not repent in the space which God gives to them, but harden themselves in their own way, the Lord often allows them to go on further and further, sinning as they please, concealing and covering all of their unrighteousness, securing everything just as they would have it, and apparently doing all of this with impunity----and then, when they least expect it, the rod of God falls upon them. There is a great congruity in the judgements of God. He fits the stroke of the rod to the character of the sin. Nor is he careless of the time at which that stroke shall fall, though it may appear to us that he is neglecting to chasten at all. But he is neither negligent, nor tardy. He designs both the character and the timing of the stroke, so that it will be the most deeply felt by the delinquent character, and also that it may best manifest the righteous hand of God, to both the delinquent party himself, and also to others. Nebuchadnezzar could therefore go on for a full year apparently secure in his sin, for it was only “at the end of twelve months” that the time and circumstances were right for the stroke to fall. Only then, while he walked in his pride in his palace, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house

of the kingdom, by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty?”----only then did the stroke fall upon him, but it fell suddenly, “While the word was in the king's mouth.” (Dan. 4:30-31). While we, therefore, may wonder that he does not take up the rod of correction, the Lord stands by and allows his delinquent child to go on month after month, mixing more and more of the bitter cup of which he must drink at the last. And the Lord may permit him to mix a full cup ere he pours it out, that he may be the more thoroughly corrected when the stroke at length falls.

So it happened to David. David committed a great sin, and sinned more in covering his sin than he had in committing it. And yet month after month passed away, and he who has said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten,” neither rebuked nor chastened him. God, it seemed, was oblivious to his devious way, and he was secure in his sin. Uriah was put out of the way, and Bath-sheba secured to his own bosom. Their ill-begotten child was born to grace their home, and David was no doubt hardened, puffed up, and infatuated, perhaps even supposing that the blessing of God rested upon his illicit way. “But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord,” and the stroke of his rod, though long delayed, was nevertheless sure, and neither David's repentance, nor his fasting and crying to God, could prevent it. The child must die.

But there were yet heavier strokes than this in store for David, and these were not to fall until years afterwards. Many of the strokes of the rod of God are designed for other purposes than to turn the sinner from his evil way. Men may not sin with impunity. They may not sin today, repent tomorrow, and go scot free. Though they have turned indeed from their evil way, they must yet feel the rod of God----and often years later. The prophet Nathan, sent to David to pronounce the judgement against him, said, “Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house.” “I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house.” “The child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.” The one stroke fell upon him immediately, but the other did not come until years afterwards----evidently more than ten years.1 After all of David's deep and true repentance, after all of his penitential tears, and after years of quiet and peaceable walking with God, then these heavy strokes must fall upon him. This was not to turn him from his sin. That was done long ago. And long ago also the prophet had assured him, “The Lord also hath put away thy sin: thou shalt not die.” (II Sam. 12:13). He was long turned from his sin, and his sin was long forgiven, and yet he must feel the rod for it, though he felt no strokes at all while he continued in the sin.

This may all seem strange----as strange to us that the rod must fall upon him years after his repentance, as that it did not fall while he walked in the sin. Yet such is the actual way of God. As longsuffering as he is, as slow to anger and as reluctant to smite as he is, yet he will show himself righteous, and that openly and publicly, so that he says to David, “For thou didst it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” (II Sam. 12:12). And in the New Testament, “and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts. And I will give unto every one of you according to your works.” (Rev. 2:23). All of us must say one day or other, “As I have done, so God hath requited me” (Judges 1:7), though the stroke may be very long in coming. As I mete, so it will be measured back to me. God secures this, and brings it about. Long after all of David's bitter tears and sincere and thorough repentance, God laid these heavy strokes upon his back. “He will prove to every spectator,” says C. H. Mackintosh, “that He has no fellowship with evil, by the judgment which He executes in the midst of His people. Nothing could avail to wipe off the stain which had been cast upon the truth of God but the public judgment of the transgressor.”2

Yet how little men think, when they wrong others, what a bitter brew they are stirring for themselves. As we have said before, there is congruity in the judgements of God. He fits the stroke of the rod to the character of the sin. But it is more than congruity. There is an awful equity in the strokes of the rod of God. Haman must hang on the gallows which he had built for Mordecai. “He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity. He that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword.” (Rev. 13:10). “Whoso diggeth a pit shall fall therein, and he that rolleth a stone, it will return upon him.” (Prov. 26:27). “He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.” (Job 5:13). “Whoso causeth the righteous to go astray in an evil way, he shall fall himself into his own pit.” (Prov. 28:10). He that judges his brother shall be judged himself. He that slanders his neighbor shall be slandered himself. He that has separated best friends shall have his own friendship destroyed, but God shall delay the stroke until he rests happy in the sweetness of that friendship. Those who have raised clamors and sowed discord shall have all the same return into their own bosom, but God shall wait till he finds them secure and comfortable ere he stirs their nest. Those who have destroyed the labors of others shall see their own labors destroyed, but the Lord shall allow them to labor on a while, so that they may the more deeply feel the stroke when it falls. The stroke of God may be long preparing. It may come only “at the end of twelve months.” Nay, it may not come till the end of twelve years. But though long delayed, it is sure, and it will be surely felt when it falls.


Charles versus John

On the Doctrine of Perfection

by Glenn Conjurske

That both John and Charles Wesley held a doctrine of perfection from the early beginnings of Methodism, and throughout all of their lives, is a certain fact, but in their later years they did not always retain the same doctrine. It is probable that both of them changed in their views, and this no doubt gradually over a period of time. The result of this change was that Charles held a doctrine of perfection much sounder than his brother John's.

The fact that Charles's doctrine did differ from John's is evident in the following, which John addressed to Charles on June 14, 1768: “I think it is high time that you and I at least should come to a point. Shall we go on in asserting perfection against all the world? Or shall we quietly let it drop? We really must do one or the other; and, I apprehend, the sooner the better. What shall we jointly and explicitly maintain (and recommend to all our preachers) concerning the nature, the time (now or by-and-by), and the manner of it (instantaneous or not)? I am weary of intestine war, of preachers quoting one of us against the other. At length let us fix something for good and all; either the same as formerly or different from it.”

What John therein proposed was of course impossible, for neither the one nor the other of them could force their minds to the other side of the question. But be that as it may, it is certain that when John wrote the above, he and Charles stood on opposite sides concerning the doctrine of perfection. They both asserted it, but did not agree as to the nature, the time, and the manner, of it.

As to its nature, they did agree that it was the rooting out of inbred sin. What they held was in fact “sinless perfection,” but they found that any statement of the doctrine which suggested sinlessness gave so much offense that John preferred to leave the negative side of the question alone, and preach it as a positive thing, namely, the being perfected in love. Thus, “By perfection I mean the humble, gentle, patient love of God and man ruling all the tempers, words, and actions, the whole heart by the whole life. ... And I do not contend for the term sinless, though I do not object against it.” He preferred not to emphasize sinlessness, especially when speaking to opposers of the doctrine, but he could not honestly object to the term, for the notion of the eradication of sin was always a fundamental part of his doctrine, and it was this which raised a world of objections against him----this which obliged him to be continually explaining and defining and splitting hairs. To another he writes on this, “Sinless perfection? Neither do I contend for this, seeing the term is not scriptural. A perfection that perfectly fulfils the whole law, and so needs not the merits of Christ? I acknowledge none such----I do now, and always did, protest against it. `But is there not sin in those that are perfect?' I believe not; but, be that as it may, they feel none, no temper but pure love, while they rejoice, pray, and give thanks continually. And whether sin is suspended or extinguished, I will not dispute; it is enough that they feel nothing but love.”

But as time went on, it evidently became apparent to both John and Charles that those who thought themselves perfect simply were not so. Whatever they were, they were not sinless. The flesh still lusted against the spirit. But here they diverged: John lowered the standard, while Charles raised it. John began to explain and define sin in such a way as to make its presence consistent with his doctrine of its absence. Charles, on the other hand, abandoned the doctrine of an instantaneous eradication of sin by a simple act of faith, and placed perfection at the end of a long course of discipline and self-denial.

Thus John wrote to Charles (July 9, 1766), “One word more, concerning setting perfection too high. That perfection which I believe, I can boldly preach, because I think I see five hundred witnesses of it. Of that perfection which you preach, you do not even think you see any witness at all. Why, then you must have far more courage than me, or you could not persist in preaching it. I wonder you do not in this article fall in plumb with Mr. Whitefield. For do not you as well as he ask, `Where are the perfect ones?' I verily believe there are none upon earth, none dwelling in the body. I cordially assent to his opinion that there is no such perfection here as you describe----at least, I never met with an instance of it; and I doubt [=suppose] I never shall. Therefore I still think to set perfection so high is effectually to renounce it.”

Charles had published, in 1762, his Short Hymns on Select Passages of Holy Scripture (from which many of the pieces quoted below are taken), in which he maintained actual perfection, and repudiated any quick and easy way to it. These hymns created some unpleasant work for John. He wrote, for example, “Certainly sanctification (in the proper sense) is `an instantaneous deliverance from all sin,' and includes `an instantaneous power then given always to cleave to God.' Yet this sanctification (at least, in the lower degrees) does not include a power never to think an useless thought nor ever speak an useless word. I myself believe that such a perfection is inconsistent with living in a corruptible body; for this makes it impossible `always to think right.' While we breathe we shall more or less mistake. If, therefore, Christian perfection implies this, we must not expect it till after death.

“I want you to be all love. This is the perfection I believe and teach. And this perfection is consistent with a thousand nervous disorders, which that high-strained perfection is not. Indeed, my judgement is that (in this case particularly) to overdo is to undo, and that to set perfection too high (so high as no man that we ever heard or read of attained) is the most effectual (because unsuspected) way of driving it out of the world.

“Take care you are not hurt by anything in the Short Hymns contrary to the doctrines you have long received.”

“That high-strained perfection” evidently refers to that which was preached by Charles. No doubt John had formerly set perfection as high as Charles did, but both of them being compelled to yield to the force of facts, John lowered his notions of perfection, while Charles maintained them, and apparently admitted that he knew of none who had attained it. If John had merely lowered his notions of perfection, it would have been well, but he went further, and rather than allow that the Bible doctrine of perfection is not sinless perfection, he lowered the definition of sin. Thus, among some at least of Wesley's followers, what was commonly called the doctrine of holiness was actually used to excuse sin.

On this theme John says, “One would be apt to imagine...that no right temper could be wanting, much less any degree of a wrong temper subsist, in a soul that is filled with love.” (“Filled with love,” and “perfected in love,” are Wesleyan terms for perfection.) “And yet I am in doubt whether there be any soul clothed with flesh and blood which enjoys every right temper and in which is no degree of any wrong one, suppose of ill-judged zeal, or more or less affection for some person than that person really deserves. When we say, `This is a natural, necessary consequence of the soul's union with a corruptible body,' the assertion is by no means clear till we add, `because of the weakness of understanding which results from this union.'; admitting this, the case is plain. There is so close a connexion between right judgement and right tempers as well as right practice, that the latter cannot easily subsist without the former. Some wrong temper, at least in a small degree, almost necessarily follows from wrong judgement: I apprehend when many say, `Sin must remain while the body remains,' this is what they mean, though they cannot make it out.”

Wesley naturally uses soft language when speaking on this subject, but what his language really amounts to is an admission that those who are perfect are yet subject to “wrong tempers,” the result of their deficient understanding, which is the result of the soul's union with the body----a condition, therefore, which must remain until death. But Wesley, of course, does not like to allow that these “wrong tempers” are sin, for that would in fact be giving up his doctrine of perfection. He is therefore driven to the unfortunate task of defining sin in such a way as to explain it away. This he does in three ways. He sometimes calls the motions of sin “temptation” rather than sin. He sometimes attributes them to the devil, rather than to the flesh. And he defines sin to consist solely of voluntary and deliberate transgression.

Thus: “Nothing is sin, strictly speaking, but a voluntary transgression of a known law of God. Therefore every voluntary breach of the law of love is sin; and nothing else, if we speak properly. ... There may be ten thousand wandering thoughts and forgetful intervals without any breach of love, though not without transgressing the Adamic law.” Thus he labors to secure the fact that the imperfections of the perfect are not sinful.

Again, “If useless words or thoughts spring from evil tempers, they are properly evil, otherwise not; but still they are contrary to the Adamic law: yet not to the law of love; therefore there is no condemnation for them, but they are matter of humiliation before God. So are those (seemingly) unbelieving thoughts; although they are not your own, and you may boldly say, `Go, go, thou unclean spirit; thou shalt answer for these, and not I.”' Thus unbelieving thoughts must be attributed to an “unclean spirit,” rather than to “sin that dwelleth in me”----and even at that he will only call them “seemingly” unbelieving. So the good man labored to reconcile truth and error.

Again, “The difference between temptation and sin is generally plain enough to all that are simple of heart; but in some exempt cases it is not plain: there we want the unction of the Holy One. Voluntary humility, calling every defect a sin, is not well-pleasing to God. Sin, properly speaking, is neither more nor less than `a voluntary transgression of a known law of God.”' Nothing, therefore, which has not the character of voluntary and deliberate transgression, is actually sin. It is “temptation” merely.

Now there is something altogether proper in Wesley's reasonings on this theme, and also something altogether false. The term “sin” in the Bible is not confined always and everywhere to a single meaning. Sometimes it is used of the voluntary commission of sin, which defiles the conscience, destroys fellowship with God, and brings his judgement if persisted in. But at other times the Bible uses the term “sin” to refer to the involuntary corruption of our nature, such as we cannot help, and such as renders us neither guilty before God, nor amenable to his judgement.

Thus James says, “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:14-15). In this passage, lust is called temptation, while sin is obviously the voluntary commission of sinful acts. Nevertheless, Paul plainly equates lust with sin, saying, “I had not known sin but by the law, for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not lust.” (Rom. 7:7, Greek). Sin here is not transgression, or the commission of sinful acts, but only sinful desires within, tempting to sinful acts, as James speaks----so much so that Paul can say, “It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.” (Rom. 7:17). Now this “sin that dwelleth in me” is precisely the lust of which Paul speaks, and the temptation of which James speaks. And this “sin that dwelleth in me” is precisely what the Wesleyan doctrine of perfection called for the eradication of. It availed Wesley's doctrine nothing to affirm that we are delivered from transgression, while wrong tempers must remain so long as we are in the body. George Whitefield or Richard Baxter might have affirmed as much----only they would have acknowledged those wrong tempers to be sin, as Paul calls them in Romans 7.

It is altogether proper to distinguish between sins which we voluntarily commit, and sin which involuntarily dwells in us. It is altogether necessary to educate desponding souls in the fact that there is “no condemnation” in the latter. But to tell them that there is no sin in it, that sin has been rooted out of them, and that they are perfect, while the motions of sin are at work in them all the while, this is false.

The Wesleyan doctrine of perfection of course forced the same dilemma upon Charles Wesley----how to reconcile what they held to be the truth with what they saw to be the facts----but Charles handled the matter in a manner altogether different. That he held perfection to be the eradication of inbred sin is evident in the following. (“Full Redemption,” it should be noted, is another Wesleyan term for perfection.)

For Those that Wait for Full Redemption

O Thou gentle Lamb of God,
Hear Thy ransom'd follower pray,
Wash me in Thy cleansing blood,
Bear my inbred sin away;
All the curse, the plague remove,
All the hell of creature-love.

Take the guilt and power of sin,
Take its cursed relics hence;
Make me throughly pure within
By Thy love's omnipotence;
Let me all Thy nature have,
Feel Thine utmost power to save.

Bounds I will not set to Thee,
Shorten Thine almighty hand:
Save from all iniquity,
Let not sin's foundations stand,
Every stone o'erturn, o'erthrow;
I believe it may be so.

Wilt Thou lop the boughs of sin,
Leaving still the stock behind?
No, Thy love shall work within,
Quite expel the carnal mind,
Root and branch destroy my foe;
I believe it shall be so.

This was published in 1749, and Charles wrote many things in the same vein at various times, apparently never wavering in his belief that the eradication of inbred sin was attainable in this life. But as to when and how it was to be attained, he became a firm opposer of what was in fact his brother's doctrine. It is not likely that he consciously set himself against his brother, preferring rather to direct his shafts at the proud and presumptuous “young enthusiasts” who embraced his brother's doctrine. Nonetheless, it was his brother's doctrine which he was opposing. The two following pieces are both on Hebrews 6:1, “Let us go on to perfection.”

“Go on? but how? from step to step?
No: let us to perfection leap!”
'Tis thus our hasty nature cries,
Leaps o'er the cross, to snatch the prize,
Like Jonah's gourd, displays its bower,
And blooms, and withers, in an hour.


Which of the old apostles taught
Perfection in an instant caught,
Show'd our compendious manner how,
“Believe, and ye are perfect now;
This moment wake, and seize the prize;
Reeds, into sudden pillars rise;”
Believe delusion's ranting sons,
And all the work is done at once!

John Wesley regarded the constant expectation of the “second blessing” as being of great utility towards keeping the soul alive to God, and of course was jealous of any doctrine or ministry which dampened that expectation. He could not fail to perceive that the doctrine of his brother Charles would have exactly that effect, and so wrote to him (in the same letter in which he admonished him about setting perfection too high), “Yes, says William, `Mr. Charles will stop their prating in the bands at London, as he has done at Bristol.' I believe not. I believe you will rather encourage them to speak humbly and modestly the words of truth and soberness. Great good has flowed and will flow herefrom. Let your `knowledge direct not quench the fire.' That has been done too much already. I hope you will now raise, not depress their hopes.” The bands were the societies which Wesley instituted for those who professed perfection. But John no doubt appealed in vain to Charles to raise rather than depress their hopes (of attaining instantaneous perfection), for to depress those hopes is exactly what Charles designed to do. The following is another keen shaft directed at John's doctrine, in the persons of those who professed it. This is based upon I Peter 5:10, “The God of all grace, ...after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect,” etc.

“But ah! they damp our eager thirst,
Who tell us, we must suffer first;
But ah! they cool our flaming zeal
Who bid us labour up the hill;”
Yet so the old apostle taught,
And though ye set his words at nought,
I think, he knew the surest road,
I think, he had the Spirit of God.

Their “prating” in the bands is a reference to their relating their experience, that is, declaring their perfection----a thing which John Wesley very much encouraged them to do, as a means of stirring others up to seek the blessing, or as a means of retaining the blessing which they had received, for it seems that most who professed perfection did not retain it, or their profession of it. Thus John wrote to one, “Every one ought to declare what God has done for his soul, and that with all simplicity; only care is to be taken to declare to several persons that part of our experience which they are severally able to bear, and some parts of it to such alone as are upright and simple of heart. One reason why those who are saved from sin [another Wesleyan term for perfection] should freely declare it to believers is because nothing is a stronger incitement to them to seek after the same blessing. And we ought by every possible means to press every serious believer to forget the things which are behind and with all earnestness go on to perfection.” Charles was of a different mind altogether, and wrote upon I Cor. 4:8, “Now ye are full, now ye are rich, ye have reigned as kings without us”:

Ye full, of confidence unsound,
Ye rich, in gifts and faith untried,
Whose joys with nature mix'd abound,
Self praised, self-pleased, self-satisfied,
Slight not your aged fathers poor,
Nor boast your own salvation sure.

Ye talkers of your perfect love,
Who kings, without your teachers, reign,
As pillars in the church above,
That never can go out again,
Be warn'd; or pride will cast you down,
And Satan rob you of your crown.

We wish your full perfection here,
We wish your soothing dreams were true,
That faith's almighty Finisher
Had form'd your sinless souls anew,
Stablish'd, enthroned in lasting peace,
In all the heights of holiness.

Some of Charles's keenest shafts were directed against this “prating.” The following was written upon Proverbs 27:2, “Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth.”

Sinners, the vain delusion see,
And sink abased in your own eyes;
Admired by blind credulity,
But pitied by the sober wise,
While your own praises ye repeat,
And boast your state to all ye meet.

Can confident assertions prove
The truth of your abundant grace?
Ye talkers of your perfect love,
Your pure consummate holiness;
So highly who yourselves esteem,
And make yourselves your endless theme.

The highest seats no longer take,
Or sacrifice to your own net;
Learn your first elements; awake!
Your own important selves forget;
Your own religious selves deny,
And deeply now for mercy cry.

Many other verses Charles wrote in the same vein, deploring and deprecating, sometimes with deep irony, the profession of early and sudden perfection. Thus on Phil. 3:13, “I count not myself to have apprehended,”

No; not after twenty years
Of labouring in the word!
After all his fights, and fears,
And sufferings for his Lord,
Paul hath not attain'd the prize,
Though caught up to the heavenly hill:
Daily still the' apostle dies,
And lives imperfect still!

“But we now, the prize to' attain,
An easier method see,
Save ourselves the toil and pain,
And lingering agony,
Reach at once the ladder's top,
While standing on its lowest round,
Instantaneously spring up,
With pure perfection crown'd.”

Such the credulous dotard's dream,
And such his shorter road,
Thus he makes the world blaspheme,
And shames the church of God,
Staggers thus the most sincere,
Till from the gospel-hope they move,
Holiness as error fear,
And start at perfect love.

It is unlikely that any of John Wesley's most determined enemies ever wrote anything any stronger than this. Yet Charles was thoroughly devoted to his brother, as well as to the doctrine of perfection. It is not perfection which he here opposes----for he fully believed it was to be attained in this life----but the instantaneous possession and the empty profession of it. Yet in opposing the instant expectation of it, on the part of babes and novices, he was most surely opposing one of his brother's pet doctrines. It seems to me also that John's advice was just such as would be most likely to encourage an empty profession of perfection----a perfection which could not be reconciled with plain facts. Thus he writes, “I perceived that, about the time when you wrote before, your treadings had wellnigh slipped. You was within a little of casting away your confidence and giving up what God had wrought. But His eye pitied you, and His hand held you up and set your feet again upon the rock. Now, my dear maid, abide simple before God! And if the thought comes (as it may do a thousand times), `How do you reconcile this or this with pure love?' do not reason, but look unto Jesus, and tell Him earnestly and without delay, `Thou shalt answer for me, O Lord, my God.”' “Pure love,” it should be observed, is another Wesleyan term for perfection. But observe, the casting away of our confidence has nothing to do with our perfection, and if thoughts arise a thousand times concerning how to reconcile such and such things with our perfection, then the actual facts must testify rather conclusively against the profession we have made. To tell a person in such a case not to reason is only to foster deception. The very same advice is given to support superstition and error of all kinds. We may leave off reason and “only believe” if such and such things in God seem to militate against what he says; but if there are things in ourselves which contradict the state which we have professed, we have no business whatever to leave off reason. To equate our state with the work of God is only to beg the question. And to affirm that Christ shall answer for me----though in another letter it was the unclean spirit who must answer! (see above, pg. 271)----what is this but to make Christ the minister of sin, and that under the notion of perfect holiness? Just here is the worst and weakest part of Wesleyan Methodism----a movement which in other respects was a great power for good and for God. But Charles Wesley plainly saw this, and stood against it.

I have quoted only the most telling verses of the preceding three poems. The following piece of inferior poetry is brief, and I give it entire, for the sake of the interesting note appended to it by John Wesley. It was written upon Proverbs 4:18, “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Shall we mistake the morning-ray
Of grace for the full blaze of day?
Or humbly walk in Jesu's sight,
Glad to receive the gradual light,
More of His grace and more to know,
In faith and in experience grow,
Till all the life of Christ we prove,
And lose ourselves in perfect love!

On the phrase “gradual light” John Wesley appended a note which reads, “And the sudden. J. W.” This indicates that he was certainly feeling the real difference between his own doctrine and his brother's.

There was something sound and Scriptural in the doctrines of both of them. Charles' doctrine was sound in expecting “perfection” (whatever it may be) as the result of a long course of discipline and self-denial. John was sound in affirming that human fraility must cling to us while we live, though mistaken, I believe, in attributing that fraility entirely to the body, and refusing to allow any sin in it. They were both unsound in expecting the eradication of “sin that dwells in us.” They were both sound in pressing men to the earnest pursuit of holiness, but John's way was quick and easy, and unscriptural. Charles's way, though long and hard, was sound and Scriptural.

There is yet abundance of material on the subject which I have not touched in this article, but I must bring it to a close, which I do with the following from Charles, upon I Cor. 3:12 & 13, “If any man build upon this foundation,” &c.

But O, take heed, ye souls unskill'd,
What fabric on this ground ye raise;
Gold, silver, pearls, on Jesus build,
Your solid, vital happiness,----
Doctrines which may the test endure,
Actions, and words, and tempers pure.

Taught by the oracles of God,
The permanent materials choose,
Doctrines which have for ages stood;
But every novel scheme refuse:
Nor on that one Foundation lay
The wood, the stubble, or the hay.

Wood, stubble, hay,----of creeds untrue,
Traditions, miracles unknown,
Worship Divine to saints undue,----
The various ways for sin to' atone,
The flames that venial sins consume,
And all the boasts of modern Rome.

Wood, stubble, hay,----of lifeless forms,
Of canons, rites, inventions vain,
Of precepts taught by erring worms,
Of laws which God did ne'er ordain,
Of fancy's dreams, and wild excess,
And instantaneous perfectness.

The Radio and the Great Commission

by Glenn Conjurske

Ever since the invention of the radio many evangelicals have hailed it as the greatest God-given tool for the fulfillment of the great commission. For my part, I will neither deny that the radio can be used of God, or that it has been, while I yet insist that the great commission cannot be fulfilled by means of radio. If God at times uses the radio to accomplish his work, this proves no more than that he is sometimes pleased to condescend to our weakness and our ignorance, and to bless our sincere endeavors to do good, though those endeavors are not altogether according to his will. Yet I am certain that the great commission cannot be fulfilled by means of the radio. The very terms of the commission forbid it.

In the first place, the first requirement of the great commission is that we go. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations.” (Matt. 28:19). “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” (Mk. 16:15). I, of course, am well aware that this does not require every saint to pack his bags and go into all the world. Some are particularly called to go. “Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” (Acts 13:2). They were not all to go, but to separate out the two whom the Lord had called to it. And the great commission itself was addressed to the apostles, and not to all the saints. I am not disposed to deny any of that. Yet the fact remains that for those who are called and separated unto this work, the Lord's first word to them is, “Go.”

It will avail nothing to contend that times have changed, and that it was not possible for them to “go” by means of radio waves, or other modern inventions which we have at our disposal. That may be technically true, but it is also true that the apostles had a practically equivalent avenue open before them, had they been disposed to walk in it. They might have written tracts and letters, and sent them “into all the world” by travellers and merchant ships, and claimed that these missives were the God-given means of fulfilling the great commission----that by this means a man might greatly multiply his sphere of influence, going into a hundred places instead of one. And the apostles did indeed send missives, but they never dreamed of substituting this for going themselves. Picture the great apostle Paul sitting for a few hours a day in a plush studio, dictating tracts and letters, and then going out to the churches to raise money to defray the expense of producing and sending them, and praising God for this wonderful means of preaching the gospel to the world.

No. Surely when the Lord said, “Go ye into all the world,” he did not mean this----and it is vain to talk of fulfilling the great commission without obeying it. “Go” and “preach” are the terms of that commission. Now supposing we have found a means by which we might preach without going, what then? This is not obeying the commission. But we are told that the doors are closed, and we cannot now literally go into all the world, but we can nevertheless go, “in a very real way,” by means of the radio. But what doors were open to Peter, James, and John? James was imprisoned and slain early, Peter imprisoned for the same end, and though given a respite by a miracle, yet still slain in the end, and John languished out his last days in banishment on the Isle of Patmos----and all this for obeying the simple terms of the great commission: “go” and “preach.” And what doors were open to Paul? Much of his evangelistic work he did in prison, and when he was free, he was “as it were appointed to death” (I Cor. 4:9)----the threat of it hanging always over his head.

But who would not rather speak into a microphone in a plush studio in town, than to forsake home and friends, and the comforts and ease of civilization, and live a life of self-denial braving the wrath of hostile governments, crossing stormy seas and scorching deserts, trudging dusty mountain trails, penetrating thick jungles, and matching wits with fierce beasts and fiercer men? The real fact is, all of this talk of closed doors, and of fulfilling the great commission by radio, suits the soft and self-indulgent spirit of the modern church altogether too well. The apostles of Christ were of a different mind. “Endure hardness,” says Paul, “as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.” (II Tim. 2:3). The original Christianity of the New Testament required something of men. It could not so much as exist except on the foundation of rigorous self-denial, whole-hearted devotedness, and unwavering commitment. There was divine wisdom in this. Those soldiers who must enter the ranks through hardship and self-sacrifice are worth something on the field of battle. Those who think to win the battle without seeing the battlefield are not fit to be soldiers. They are not made of the right stuff. And neither are those who wish to take the danger, hardship, and self-denial out of the work of the Lord. Self-denial is the first principle of Christianity----“If any man will come after me, let him deny himself,” the Savior says----and they are but little fit to preach Christianity who have but little experience of it. Men of God and apostles of Christ are those who have the divine religion molten into the very fiber of their being, and this takes place in the crucible, not in the armchair. There is divine wisdom in the very terms of the great commission, and those who think to fulfill it while they by-pass the first term actually secure their own unfitness for the task.

But there is yet more. If men will persuade themselves that they may fulfill the second term of the commission without troubling themselves about the first, yet they must utterly fail when they come to the third. “Go ye therefore and teach all nations, BAPTIZING THEM in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.” And again, “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth AND IS BAPTIZED shall be saved.” Supposing you may preach to men without going to them, yet you cannot baptize them. How do you baptize a man by radio? The fact is, there is no substitute for personal contact in the work of the gospel. A bond must be established between the preacher and the converts, a fellowship established among them, and authority and order established. Paul's way of preaching the gospel was “we were gentle AMONG YOU, even as a nurse cherisheth her children. So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls.” (I Thes. 2:7-8). Thus he won them to himself as well as to his Lord. He did not manufacture proselytes, but begot children, and gave himself to them as a mother does. This is of God's ordination, and it cannot be accomplished without personal contact. Those who impart “the gospel of God only,” and not their own souls also, do not impart the gospel effectually. The preachers of the gospel are physicians of souls, and in most cases it is simply out of the question to think of healing those souls without the personal presence of the physician. The Ethiopian Eunuch already had the word of God in his hands, yet he must have a man to effectually expound it to him. Nor did God send an angel to preach to Cornelius, but a man, though he must send an angel to tell him where to send for the man. The personal presence of the preacher was essential to the work. And the Lord was wise enough to commission us in such a way as to absolutely necessitate and secure that personal presence, in order to the fulfillment of the commission.

Those who are wiser than God may inform us that baptism is not essential to the work of the gospel, or even that it has nothing to do with the work of the gospel----even that it is detrimental to the work of the gospel. We will not stay to argue the point with them. We only insist that baptism is an absolute necessity to fulfill the explicit terms of the great commission, as it is given by both Matthew and Mark. This in turn absolutely necessitates the personal presence of the preacher, and that in turn eliminates the radio as a means of fulfilling the great commission.


To Every Creature

by Glenn Conjurske

The Son of God has bled and died,
In grief and pain was crucified,
A full salvation to provide,
For every creature.

The messengers that first he sent,
Went forth to spend and to be spent:
Through tears, and blood, and fire they went,
To every creature.

A host has followed in their train,
Through hardship, poverty, and pain,
To preach the Lamb for sinners slain,
To every creature.

And can we dwell in careless ease?
And can we live ourselves to please?
Nay----rise and follow after these,
To every creature.

Go forth and preach the Savior's name,
And spread abroad his healing fame:
Redeeming love and grace proclaim,
To every creature.

Chats from my Library
By Glenn Conjurske

Hudson Taylor &
The China Inland Mission

In 1853 J. Hudson Taylor sailed for China under the Chinese Evangelization Society. Four years later----for the sole reason that the Evangelization Society was in debt----he resigned from the Society, and went to work trusting in the Lord for support. Up to that time most of the mission work in China had been done in the coastal cities, and Hudson Taylor became deeply burdened for inland China, where lived a quarter of the population of the globe, and where a million souls a month died without Christ. In 1865 he founded the China Inland Mission. Under its auspices hundreds of missionaries went to China, and evangelized it in every part. Taylor was a man of faith and action. I cannot approve of all that he believed and thought, but I can approve and admire what he did. If William Carey had tendencies toward the unspiritual, Hudson Taylor tended toward the hyperspiritual, and I very much prefer the sound, sane, solid spirituality of Adoniram Judson to either of them. But Hudson Taylor was a great man, with a great vision and great faith, who did a great work. With so great a field before him, Taylor could not be over-careful about what kind of laborers he employed, and I do not think the work of the China Inland Mission was generally as deep as it was broad, but it was a great work. Evangelization was his object, and he was content to employ missionaries of differing theological persuasions and ecclesiastical relations----Baptists, Brethren, Anglicans, etc.----merely assigning them to different parts of China, which was big enough to contain them all.

Besides doing a great work, the China Inland Mission also produced a great quantity of literature, thanks largely to three prolific historians----Dr. and Mrs. F. Howard Taylor, and Marshall Broomhall. A large and full biography of Hudson Taylor, in two volumes, was written by Dr. and Mrs. Howard Taylor, and first published in 1911 and 1918. The first volume is entitled Hudson Taylor in Early Years: The Growth of a Soul, and the second, Hudson Taylor and the China Inland Mission: The Growth of a Work of God. These are both large volumes, comprising 1150 pages between them, well indexed and well illustrated, but I suppose that most readers will find them a little tedious in details. Before tackling these tomes I would recommend a good popular biography, such as Hudson Taylor, by Marshall Broomhall, James Hudson Taylor, by James J. Ellis, or Hudson Taylor's Spiritual Secret, by the Howard Taylors (a biography, in spite of its title, but with a thrust for the so-called “deeper life”). Hudson Taylor also wrote a good autobiography, entitled A Retrospect, which proceeds, however, only as far as the formation of the China Inland Mission. A memorial volume (anonymous, but the preface is signed by Marshall Broomhall) contains reports of the addresses at the memorial service held in London upon his death, letters of tribute, and reminiscences by Benjamin Broomhall, the husband of Taylor's sister. Its title is In Memoriam: Rev. J. Hudson Taylor.

Taylor authored a few small expositional works, of no importance except as a means of knowing their author. They are Union and Communion (on the Song of Solomon), Separation and Service (on Numbers, chapters 6 and 7), and A Ribband of Blue and Other Bible Studies.

There are several histories of the China Inland Mission: by Mrs. Howard Taylor, The Story of the China Inland Mission, in two volumes; by F. Howard Taylor, These Forty Years; by Marshall Broomhall, By Love Compelled: The Story of the China Inland Mission, and The Jubilee Story of the China Inland Mission. Marshall Broomhall also wrote two books recounting the providential and financial care of the Lord for the work of the mission, an early one entitled Faith and Facts, and a later one entitled Our Seal. The mission did not solicit funds for its work. Broomhall also traced the history of the translation and circulation of the Bible in China, in a small volume entitled The Bible in China. This, of course, includes the work of many not belonging to the China Inland Mission.

At the time of the Boxer rebellion in 1900 Broomhall wrote Martyred Missionaries of the China Inland Mission, with a Record of the Perils and Sufferings of Some who Escaped. Two more excellent books recount the perils and deliverances of individual missionaries in those days. They are: A God of Deliverances, by A. R. Saunders, and A Thousand Miles of Miracle in China, by Archibald E. Glover. A similar work recounts a similar deliverance from the Communists a third of a century later. This is The Restraining Hand, by R. A. Bosshardt----a good book, and not particularly scarce. There were at least three editions of it printed in the first year of its publication (1936). A Thousand Miles of Miracle has also been often printed, is popular, and deservedly so.

There are also a number of accounts of individual missionaries and particular areas of the work. By Marshall Broomhall: John W. Stevenson----Pioneer Work in Hunan----and Heirs Together of the Grace of Life: Benjamin Broomhall and Amelia Hudson Broomhall. By Mrs. Howard Taylor: The Call of China's Great North-West----With P'u and His Brigands----Behind the Ranges: Fraser of Lisuland----Borden of Yale '09----“By Faith...”: Henry W. Frost and the China Inland Mission----and The Triumph of John and Betty Stam. By A. Mildred Cable and Francesca L. French: Dispatches from North-West Kansu----Through Jade Gate and Central Asia----A Desert Journal----Making of a Pioneer----and Ambassadors for Christ. Others are The Fulfillment of A Dream of Pastor Hsi's, by A. Mildred Cable, Among the Tribes in South-West China, by Samuel R. Clarke, and Twenty-Six Years of Missionary Work in China, by Grace Stott. This list could undoubtedly be much enlarged.

I mention also a few biographies of Chinese Christians: In Quest of God: The Life Story of Pastors Chang and Ch'u, by Marshall Broomhall, Pastor Hsi, originally published in two volumes, by Mrs. Howard Taylor, and Everlasting Pearl, by Anna Magdalena Johannsen.

I mention one more book, though any connection it has with the China Inland Mission is only indirect and incidental. It is China's Book of Martyrs, by Luella Miner, being a record of “Heroic Martyrdoms and Marvellous Deliverances of Chinese Christians During the Summer of 1900”----that is, during the Boxer uprising. This is a book of over 500 pages, excellent in content.

Ï Stray Notes on the English Bible Ï
by the Editor


There are a number of very interesting----and not unimportant----questions associated with the translation of the name “Jehovah” in the Bible. Though the name occurs some thousands of times in the Hebrew Old Testament, it appears only seven times in the King James Version, four times absolutely, and thrice in the compound names, Jehovah-Jireh, Jehovah-Nissi, and Jehovah-Shalom. Of the places when the name is used absolutely, the first two times are for an obvious reason. These are:

Exodus 6:3----“I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.”

Psalm 83:18----“That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”

For the same reason, the abbreviated form of “Jah” is once used, in Psalm 68:4, where we are enjoined to “Extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH.” Yet in scores of other places where “the name of Jehovah” occurs in the Hebrew Bible, we read “the name of the LORD” in English.

In the other two places where the King James Version uses “Jehovah,” it is probably because Jehovah (which is usually translated “LORD”) is there coupled with the Hebrew Adonai, which is also translated “Lord.” Nevertheless, these two places are no different from many others, where the same expression is rendered “Lord GOD.” The two places are:

Isaiah 12:2----“the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song.”

Isaiah 26:4----“in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.”

Two questions arise here. Whence comes this practice of translating the Hebrew Jehovah as “Lord” or “God,” and is the practice legitimate? The practice seems to have arisen in the superstition of the Jews, who regarded the divine name as too holy for human lips, and therefore declined to voice it, even when reading the Scriptures. They substituted another divine title, Adonai, for it, and in writing the name, used the vowel points which belonged to Adonai. And though I believe this to have been in fact superstition, it was not necessarily a particularly evil or deleterious superstition, for it was founded in that reverence which feels itself to be standing on holy ground in the presence of the name of God, and puts off its shoes. Nothing can be said against such reverence, and it would be well for the church if we had a little more of it today. Nevertheless, the refusal to pronounce the name of God was an ill-advised application of that principle of reverence. Men are not wiser than God, and the God who indited the Holy Scriptures used that Holy Name some thousands of times in them, and surely intended that men should read it.

But if it is not necessary to soften the name of Jehovah to “Lord” or “God” in our translations of the Old Testament, is it legitimate to do so? And here we must affirm, Yes, it surely is legitimate. We have the highest possible authority for it, in the inspired Scriptures of the New Testament, for though they often quote Old Testament passages which contain the name of Jehovah, they never once so translate it, but invariably render it v (“Lord”) or v (“God”). This was the practice of the LXX (the Septuagint, the Jewish translation of the Old Testament into Greek). It constantly translates “Jehovah” by v , and when it appears together with other divine titles, v v , or v J v . The Latin Vulgate follows suit, with Dominus or Dominus Deus, and however we might have questioned the practice as an uncalled-for innovation when the LXX first used it, it is too late to question it now, for it has the sanction of the New Testament. Though it may be founded upon a needless superstition, yet that superstition was founded upon a healthy reverence, and the Lord was content to honor it.

Yet there have been some who have wished to revert entirely to the use of “Jehovah” in the English Bible. The Revised Version (and its sister, the old American Standard Version) did so consistently, and so did J. N. Darby in his New Translation. Darby went even further, leaving the Hebrew for “God” untranslated also, when it occurs in connection with “Jehovah,” so that where the King James Version reads, “The LORD God,” and the Revised Version, “Jehovah God,” Darby has “Jehovah Elohim.” We do not suppose the course taken by these versions to have been a wise one. To take from us such long-endeared expressions as “the Lord our God,” and “thus saith the Lord,” and constantly put in their place the comparatively unfamiliar “Jehovah our God,” and “thus saith Jehovah”----this may be even more unwise than it would be to remove the name “Jehovah” from the Bible altogether. The course pursued by the King James Version seems to have been wiser, adhering to the practice sanctioned by the New Testament, of rendering “Jehovah” as “Lord” or “God,” but consistently marking its occurrence by printing those words in capital letters. We think the King James translators might have done well to use “Jehovah” a little more freely than they did, yet their course in general we believe to have been a very wise one.

The usage of capital letters to mark the name of Jehovah was a real stroke of genius, and it appears to have originated with the King James Version, none of the earlier versions having used it. The earlier versions in English usually rendered “Jehovah” as “Lord,” and all of them but Coverdale printed it in the same type as the body of the text. Coverdale always printed the word “Lord” in capital letters, and in Roman type, though the body of the text was in Old English type----and his first edition (1535) in Old German type, for it was printed in Germany. Thus we read in Coverdale, in Gen. 2:8 (1537 printing), “The LORDE God also planted a garden of pleasure in Eden.” But this had nothing to do with the occurrence of the name “Jehovah” there, for Coverdale prints “Lord” thus throughout both Testaments, regardless of its original in the Hebrew or Greek. This is apparently designed as a mark of reverence, and was evidently adopted after Luther's example, for Luther does the same in his German Bible, printing Herr always with capitals, regardless of its original. Thus in Exodus 23 he has* in verse 17, dem HERRN dem Herrscher, for the Hebrew Adonai Jehovah; and in verse 25, dem HERRN ewrm Gott, for “Jehovah thy Elohim.” Where Adonai, Jehovah, and Elohim occur together, in Exodus 34:23 (“the Lord GOD, the God of Israel”), Luther has, dem Herrscher, dem HERRN vnd Gott Israel, Herr not being capitalized because it is rendered from Jehovah, but because Luther always capitalizes it. (Tyndale's does the same in his Pentateuch----having sometimes LORde and sometimes LORDE----but only in Genesis, and, except for a few scattered instances, only in the first (1530) edition.)

In the New Testament, however, Luther pursues a somewhat different plan, capitalizing the German equivalent of “Lord” entirely when it is perceived to refer to God, but only the first two letters when it is a title of Christ. Thus “an angel of the Lord” in Matt. 1:20 is ein Engel des HERRN, and he has Heilig, heilig, heilig ist der Gott der HERR, and HERR du bist wirdig, in Rev. 4:7 & 11, but Thomas's confession in John 20:28 is Mein HErr vnd mein Gott. Coverdale, as said, followed Luther's example, excepting that he did not capitalize only the first two letters in the title of Christ, but always capitalized the entire word, wherever he used it. Subsequent English versions, however, did not follow Coverdale's example. Matthew, Taverner, the Great Bible, the Bishops' Bible, and the Geneva Bible print their renderings of “Jehovah” in the same type as the rest of the text, and not until the King James Version were they distinguished by capitals. In the original printing in 16ll we see LORD through the book of Genesis, but this was reduced to LORD from Exodus onward. Yet the King James Version is not absolutely consistent in its usage of capital letters for “Jehovah.” For example, the Geneva Bible, which did not distinguish “Jehovah” by capital letters, apparently introduced them merely for forcefulness in Deut. 28:58, in the expression “this glorious & fearful Name THE LORD THY GOD.” To this we really have no objection, and it certainly does add to the grandeur of the expression. But the King James Version retained it just as it was in the Geneva Bible, though “GOD” is not Jehovah, but Elohim, while “THY” is merely a pronominal suffix, and “THE” is not in the Hebrew at all.

The history of the use of the word “Jehovah” in the English Bible is interesting, to say the least. Though all of the early English versions used it sparingly, some of them used it in places where it has now been dropped, and then again, declined to use it where it now appears.

Thus William Tyndale renders Exodus 34:23, “Thrise in a yere shall all youre men childern appeare before the Lorde Iehouah God of Israel.” Coverdale (1535) rejected this and followed Luther (see above) with “the Gouernoure [original has `Souernoure,' a misprint], euen the LORDE and God of Israel.” Matthew's Bible (1537) retained Tyndale's reading, but Taverner rejected it for “the Lorde omnipotent God of Israel.” But Coverdale retained Matthew's reading in the Great Bible, and both the Geneva Bible and the Bishops' Bible did so also. Yet the King James Version dropped it, and reads “the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.”

On the other side, in both Isaiah 12:2 and 26:4 Myles Coverdale reads, “the LORDE God,” and Matthew, Taverner, the Great Bible, the Geneva Bible, and the Bishops' Bible all have “the Lorde God” or “the Lord God,” yet the King James Version has “the Lord JEHOVAH.”

Once more, in Exodus 6:3 William Tyndale used “Iehouah,” and this was followed by every English version except Coverdale's, which has “LORDE” as usual. In the same context, however, “Jehovah” occurs also in verses 6, 7, 8, and 10, and neither Tyndale, Matthew, nor Taverner, nor the Great Bible, nor the Geneva Bible, nor the King James Version, use “Jehovah” in any of those verses. The Bishops' Bible, however, has “Iehouah” in verses 6 and 8, but “Lord(e)” in 7 and 10. It appears then that it can have been little more than caprice which determined the translators when to use “Jehovah,” and when not.

The Latin Vulgate in Exodus 6:3 departs, for unknown reasons, from its usual Dominus, for a transliteration of the Hebrew Adonai, and so the Anglo-Saxon reads “ADONAI” (thus capitalized), followed with this gloss in parentheses: “êæt is wundorlic on ure geêeode,” which is to say, “that is, wonder-like, [i.e., `wonderful'] in our speech”----not that there is any soundness in the gloss. The Wycliffe Bible, also after the Vulgate, has “Adonay” or “Adonai,” certain manuscripts of the later version containing the sounder gloss (in the margin), “Adonay, êat is, tetragramaton, êat signefieê goddis beyng nakidly, wiêout consideracioun to creature”----this obviously written by someone who knew more than the Latin.

Since the Vulgate did not use “Jehovah” at all, neither of course did the Anglo-Saxon, nor Wycliffe. It was William Tyndale, therefore, who introduced the word into the English Bible, and probably into the English language as well. And Tyndale used the word a little more freely than our version does. He has “Lorde Iehouah” (for Adonai Jehovah) a number of times where the subsequent English versions dropped it in favor of “Lord God.” In several of these places it was dropped in Matthew's Bible, in others by the Great Bible, but in Ex. 34:23 not until the King James Version, as shown above. Yet in Psalm 83:18 it was the Great Bible which first introduced “Iehouah,” all the earlier versions having “the Lorde.” The Bishops' Bible relegated “Iehouah” to the margin, having “God eternal” in the text. But the Geneva followed the Great Bible with “Iehouah,” and the King James Version the Geneva, and this text therefore became one of the rare instances where we read “Jehovah.” In all of this there seems to have been more of caprice than of principle.

Some will of course question whether the English Bible ought to retain “Jehovah” at all, since it is so often, and rightly, rendered “LORD.” Thus the New American Standard Version, for example, has discarded it altogether, but to what end? Have they discarded it from their hymnals also? Whether or not William Tyndale ought ever to have introduced the word into the English Bible might perhaps be open to question, but it is altogether too late in the day to think of discarding it. The name is an old landmark in the English church, occupying a place in the hymns, the language, and the hearts of English Christians everywhere. Those who attempt to remove it display little spiritual sense.

Some others, who display no spiritual sense at all, wish to alter its spelling and pronunciation to “Yahveh,” or “Yahweh,” as being the technically correct form. But this is pedantry, and folly besides. Why have they not informed us also that we ought not to say “Jesus,” but Yaysoos? “Yahweh” is the pedantic meddling of unspiritual men----and so is “YAH,” which the New King James version exhibits. “Jehovah” is an old landmark, dwelling for centuries in the hearts of the English people, and to attempt at this time of the day to alter it to something else, which has no heart associations at all, is something worse than folly.

Others again (falsely called Jehovah's Witnesses) introduce “Jehovah” into the New Testament, where it never was and does not belong, God himself having settled that question long ago by inspiration of the Holy Ghost. And this thrusting of “Jehovah” into the New Testament is an obvious after-thought, lately sprung up. Their Emphatic Diaglott (my copy, 1942), containing the Greek Text, an interlinear translation, and a new English version in the margin, contains nothing of the word “Jehovah,” in either Greek or English. But twenty years later, in their New World Translation, it is everywhere. Whence this transformation? They have actually become so bold as to tell us that the text of the Greek manuscripts has been corrupted, and “Jehovah,” which originally appeared in them, removed from them. But see where this leaves us: this is to affirm that every existing manuscript of the Greek Testament contains a text which has been systematically and purposefully corrupted in every place where the name of the Lord occurs, so that the true text does not exist in any manuscript on earth. Thus we are left completely at the mercy of these self-appointed teachers to tell us what the true text is. And if this is the case in so important and all-pervading a matter as the name of the Lord, why not in a dozen other matters besides? This also is something worse than folly.


Index to Volume 3, 1994

Articles by the Editor

Aaron............................................. 130

Against Nature................................ 263

Ashes of Wycliffe (poem)................ 210

At the End of Twelve Months........... 265

Bring Me a Minstrel........................ 248

C. H. Spurgeon on Button-Holing....... 14

Charles versus John (Wesley)

on the Doctrine of Perfection...... 268

“Destroyed Them All”................... 159

Discontent in a Good Place.............. 111

Elijah Truly Shall First Come............ 65

False Interp. and False Teaching

in the True Church of God............ 11

First John 5:7 in Waldensian &

Wycliffe Bibles........................... 92

“If Any Man Draw Back”................. 54

Irresistible Preaching...................... 178

Italics in the Bible........................... 224

Library Chats

Books on Prophecy......................... 57

C. H. Mackintosh.......................... 251

English Concordances................... 139

George Müller................................ 16

Hudson Taylor & the

China Inland Mission................ 281

Methodist Biography..................... 181

Methodist Histories...................... 160

Old Proverbs................................ 238

Presbyterian Histories................... 211

Richard Baxter............................... 89

Sam Jones...................................... 47

Three Baptist Evangelists.............. 115

Not Only Idle.................................. 162

Old Testament Restorations............. 217

Paul Forsaken................................. 235

Pious Unbelief and Impious Faith...... 77

Radio and the Great Commission..... 278

Repentance in the Gospel of John....... 73

Salt................................................ 200


A Sword in Your Household........... 97

Brasen Shields............................. 193

Husband is the Head of the Wife....... 1

Mistakes and Consequences............ 25

Moses and Samuel........................ 121

The Education of Children ........... 145

The Garment Spotted by the Flesh... 49

Scrivener on Textual Criticism......... 254

Stray Notes on the English Bible

An Help Meet for Him.................. 158

Conversation................................ 116

Edification................................... 260

Jehovah....................................... 283

Strait Gate and Narrow Way.......... 215

Strange and Outlandish Women..... 190

“There Went Virtue out of Him”.. 137

“Thou Shalt Not Lust”................... 91

“Your Moderation”..................... 234

The Deceived Multitude at the

End of the Thousand Years........... 43

The Making of Many Books............. 105

The Mark Upon Cain......................... 63

The Ministry of Women..................... 81

The “Reformation Text”

and the King James Version......... 36

The Soul and the Spirit.................... 169

Time in Eternity.............................. 164

To Every Creature (poem)............... 280

Uncertain Riches............................. 221

Was John Wycliffe a Baptist?........... 202

We Know in Part............................. 241

Articles by Others

For an Unconverted Child (poem),

by Charles Wesley....................... 72

Love the Drawing Power,

by S. H. Hadley......................... 186

Ministry of Women,

by James H. Brookes................... 85

Reflections Upon Past Providences,

(poem) by John Wesley.............. 153

The Teacher's Danger,

by C. I. Scofield...................... 120

To Taste a Real Revival! (poem),

by Nita Brainard........................ 177

Extracts and Miscellaneous

Ancient Lines on Christ Bearing His

Cross........................................ 176

Archaic Language in the Bible,

by R. C. Trench......................... 118

Education and Pride,

by William Law......................... 151

Henry Moorhouse & D. L. Moody,

by D. L. Moody......................... 142

Heavenly Contemplation,

by Richard Rolle......................... 70

John Wesley on Gospel Preaching.... 144

Martyrs of Gaul, Eusebius................. 17

Mental Indolence,

by Robt. Vaughan...................... 233

Methodist Revival on a Dance Floor,

by Peter Cartwright.................... l85

Mistakes & Consequences in Marrying,

by Hugh Davey Evans.................. 33

Pre-eminence of Prayer,

Asbury and Spurgeon................... 35

Prizing and Studying the Bible

by J. W. Burgon........................ 167

Text of Rev. 5:9-10,

by H. C. Hoskier........................... 9

Editorial Policies

Old articles are reprinted without alteration (except for corrections of printing errors), unless stated otherwise. The editor inserts such articles if they are judged to be profitable for scriptural instruction or historical information, without endorsing everything in them. The editor's own views are to be taken from his own writings.