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Free Books » Bonar, Horatius » Light & Truth: The Lesser Epistles

Light & Truth - The Lesser Epistles - Footnotes Light & Truth: The Lesser Epistles by Bonar, Horatius





[1] This verse may perhaps mean, 'I wonder that ye are so soon removed from Him who called you in His grace, even Christ.' Both renderings equally bring out 'the grace' on which the apostle lays such stress as the very essence of the good news. No grace, no gospel; imperfect grace, an imperfect gospel.


[2] In the 8th verse the apostle adds, 'This persuasion is not of Him that calleth you.' The πεισμονη of this verse is suggested by the πειθω ('obey' or 'believe'). This new direction of the πειθω (i.e. the πεισμονη) is not of Christ (ch. 1. 6). 'This new faith into which you have been drawn or persuaded, is not your old and 'original faith or gospel.'


[3] Elsewhere he speaks of πασα χτισις (Colossians 1:23), the whole or universal creation, including everything belonging to God as Creator; πασα ο?χοδομη, the whole building (Ephesians 2:2 1), including all that belongs to God as the great Master Builder: so here he speaks of πασα πατρια the universal family, including all that belongs to Him as Father.


[4] This is another meditation from the same text as the previous, but taking up some different points.


[5] Or 'the energy of error,'-i.e. error or delusion working with full power, working at high pressure.


[6] The exact meaning of the passage is as follows': 'As the reports come to me of your love and faith, I give thanks, while praying, on' your behalf; that thus your faith, being participated in by all around, may be operative (may work effectually) in diffusing the knowledge (or by leading to the recognition) of every good thing which is in you towards Christ Jesus.'


[7] Every prayer does the same; for we pray to he kept from falling. Each time we ask for light we are saying, 'If we do not get what we ask, we shall go back into darkness.' The apostle, in the 4th verse, puts the case of a lapse very strongly; but what he says here is in substance implied in every warning. It is only God's election that secures the perseverance of the saints.


[8] Does the following sentence not read as if Bunyan and not Shakespeare had written it? 'I am for the house with the narrow gate; which I take to be too little for pomp to enter: some that humble themselves may; but the many will be too chill and tender; and they'll be for the flowery way that leads to the broad gate and the great fire.'


[9] The whole passage should be noted. There is Sinai burning with fire, verse 18. There is the blood of sprinkling, verse 24. And then there is the service and worship; the kingdom that cannot be moved rising out of the shakings of the things that can be shaken; and then the exhortation, 'Let us hold fast the grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear; for our God is a consuming fire,'-i.e., though gracious, yet to be reverenced and feared.


[10] Horeb is the name of the mountain range, Sinai of the one mountain.


[11] 'Glory,' the personal and intrinsic excellence; 'majesty,' the outshining splendor and greatness (μεγαλωσ?νη); 'dominion,' or rather strength, personal strength (χρ?τος); 'power,' or rather authority (?ζ νσ?α), legal or official authority to exercise that strength.


[12] It is said, that in the last days of the old Roman empire, when its 'decline' was passing into its 'fall,' everything was paralyzed by luxury save music, which was cultivated to utter intoxication. Old Rome died music mad.


[13] Fathers and mothers, watch over your children. Keep them from the world; train them up for the world to come. Draw out their young hearts in admiration of the coming glory, so that earth's vanities shall fade from their eye. Be careful as to what books or magazines they read. Discriminate between the useful and the useless, between the wholesome and the poisonous. Lead them not into temptation. As the world goes on in its apostasy from God and its deification of humanity, its snares will become more subtle, and its falsehoods more beautiful, especially for the young heart and eye. Strait is the gate and narrow is the way that leadeth unto life. No amount of 'progress' or 'culture' or 'liberality' can make that gate wider or that way broader, either for yourselves or your children.