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1. The term “trespass” is certainly used generically. Under the law, there were both sin-offerings, (chattalb,)and trespass-offerings,(asham.) The former seem to have been for those offences which were committed through ignorance against negative precepts, (Levit. vi. 2-13, 22, 27,) or "things which should not be done.” The latter were appointed for certain offences committed unwittingly—that is, without a knowledge of the facts in the case-as the touching the carcase of things unclean without knowing it; or taking an oath leading to consequences which were not foreseen, (Lev. v. 2, 6;) and five other cases specified:- 1st. Sacrilege, (Lev. v. 16.) 2d. Regarding things stolen, &c. (Leviticus vi. 2-7.) 3d. The injury against a bondmaid named in Lev. xix. 20–22. 4. The case of the Nazarite as detailed in the 6th chapter of Numbers. And 5th. The offering for the leper as described in Lev. xiv. An examination of these cases will show that while only two of them are for offences against individuals, they include both kinds of private offences. The first is against the rights of property, and the second against the richts of person.
Even under the law, then, trespass was a generic term, signifying fault, blame, guilt, and was limited ir its import only so far as the qualifying terms of the law required. But our Saviour uses no qualifying words except such as limit the term to individuals, and it must therefore be allowed its full signification. Indeed the Greek word (hamartia) which the Saviour uses, is the common word in the New Testament for sin; and Isaiah in the 53d chapter uses the Hebrew asham with respect to the sacrifice of our Saviour, translated sin-offering. The Saviour, speaking of the sin against the Holy Spirit, says, “All manner of sins,' &c. (pasa hamartia.) Of course this is generic.
The true point of this part of the Saviour's discourse, taken in its entire connexion, seems to have been to teach the great doctrine of forgiveness. Under the law private offences, both against person and property, authorized the exaction of penalties. It ivas eye for eye, tooth for tooth; or a full restoration of the principal and one-fifth added thereto. Instead of this system of penalties, the disciples of Christ are taught the principle of forgiveness, unlimited forgiveness, upon repentance and confession. “Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king,” says the Saviour. This was hard doctrine, whereat the Apostles said unto the Lord, “Increase our faith.” That this was the real object of our Lord is further evinced by the fact, that the mere forms of procedure prescribed, were such as the Jews were already accustomed to, being the same as employ
ed in the synagogue. The pleadings remain the same, the law, the principle by which the difficulty must be settled, only is changed.
2. The pronoun "you" is "thee” in the common version, which more definitely expresses tha number of the original, which is singular. The Saviour keeps up the supposed case"If thy brother offend against thee,” and is prescribing the rule for the individual throughout. But for the person offended to treat the offender as a heathen and a publiean, and this by the decision of the church, and the church at the same time to treat him as a brother, would be absurd. He must be excluded upon the ground of insubordination to the will of Christ.
3. The highest order of ecclesiastical punishments amongst the Jews was the shemetha or casting out, by which the offender was excluded from all the privileges of the Jewish commonwealth, and no longer treated as a citizen by the rest of the Jews, but regarded as a heathen and a publican. Our Saviour brings the matter to the game result in the discipline of his kingdom, and requires that those who refuse to submit to its laws shall no longer be regarded as members of it, but shall be excluded from its blessings and privileges.
We hope these responses may prove satisfactory; if not, we are ready still further to lend our aid, as far as we are able, to every inquirer after truth. We have other queries on hand, which shall be noticed in due time, the Lord willing.
W. K. P.
THE CHRISTIAN'S HOME.
I HAVE 110 resting place on earth, On which to fix my love;
GETHSEM A NE. The student of the classic page delights to linger around those places which have been the scene of noble achievements; and many spots on wave and shore are but other names for the glorious deeds they witnessed. What noble emotions are wakened in his heart at the mention of Thermopyla’s famed Pass—he beholds the Persian millions rushing with headlong fury upon the Grecian phalanx, which stands firm as the wave-washed rock, at whose base the angry billows beat in vain; he feels something of the spirit by which that noble band were inspired-like them he feels he could conquer or die.
Platea and Marathon are magic words; they stir the heart like a trumpet's call, they give strength to the arm of the warrior when he mee;s the foe; and the courage of the seaman burns with new ardor when he remembers the triumph which freedom gained at Salamis. The Christian, too, hath his classic ground; and, anima. ted by holier feelings, turns to the land hallowed by the feet of Prophets and Apostles, where the Redeemer of man first made known his mission of mercy, and delights to find there many sweet yet solemn resting places for memory.
There is Jerusalem, over which the Saviour shed tears of compassion-Bethlehem, where he was first made known by the star and the angels-Bethany, where dwelt the sisters of the beloved Lazarus—the lake of Galilee, whose angry waters were hushed by his word; and Calvary's summit, where he died for us. But leave we all these, and seek the gentle declivity of Olivet, where, embosomed in vine, stands Gethsemane's garden; and there, in that scene of sorrow and suffering, with hushed heart and tearful eyes, let us sadly linger.
Let us call to mind that night of grief when the man of sorrows left the noise and confusion of the city to seek its calm retirement, and be alone with God—the moon shone brightly down; but never since creation’s dawn had she looked upon a scene like this—a scene which doubtless caused friends to triumph, and angels (if ever they wept) to stand in mute yet tearful wonder.
The meek and sinless sufferer, borne down by the weight of sins, not his own, sinks to the cold damp earth; and while the dews of night are fast fa!ling, in most plaintive accents make his petition to God--the stillness of the night is broken by his bitter groans, while tears and blood attest the bitter agony which wrings his soul, as he prays, “Let that cup pass from me.” Yes, that cup, when pressed to his lips, caused him for a moment to shrink at its bitter
ness; yet, nerving his soul for a final effort, he added, "Not my will, but thine be done,” and for us he drained the cup of sorrow to its dregs.
Sacred Gethsemane! Scene of infinite condescension of infinite love! To me thou shalt ever be hallowed ground; and while I meditate on the solemn scene which transpired in thee, may my heart be melted into tenderness at the recellection of the Saviour's love, and my eyes overflow with tears for the sorrows he endured for me! And oh! if iny life should be marked by sufferings, amid all my sorrows may I imitate the meek sufferer who once knelt in thee! Like him may I pray, Not my will, O God, but thine be done!
SEASONS FOR PRAYER.
For all the varied duties of the day;
Among thy lab'ring fellows, take thy way.
Though hard thou toilest; and thy daily bread
And by a hand almighty thou art fed.
From which thou drinkest, at the hot mid day,
Gives it his blessing—he has heard thee pray.
Think life's brief journey shorter by a day;
And strong in hope, go on, and pray!--still pray!
Giving a glory to the sunless sky;
From earth, and fix them steadfastly on high.
Thy wearied frame to sweet, oblivious sleep,
That God would thee in his protection keep.
The pray’r of faith shall make the tempter flec;
And set thy soul at perfect liberty.
In that dark vale, a friend, whose words of love
ANECDOTES, INCIDENTS, AND FACTS, Connected with the History of the Current Reformation, never before
published-No. VI. No remarkable incident or event occurred from the notices and allusions in our last reference to the progress of the cause of reformation, till the year 1827. The only publications then in circulation in the community were our Debates on first principles in reference to Christian Baptism and the Acient Order of Things, found in our 'Christian Baptist,' then in its fourth volume.
Brother Scott and myself attended at the Mahoning Baptist Association, meeting at Canfield, in 1826. He was then first introduced to the brethren on the Western Reserve. On the Lord's day he, Sidney Rigdon and myself, addressed a very large congregation, composed of Messengers from all the churches on the Western Reserve, and some from other Associations. I have no distinct recollection of the subjects of their addresses. I followed them on the subject of the Progress of Light, from the last chapter of Malachi and the mission of John. It was a discourse upon the star-light, moon-light, twi-light, and sun-light ages of the world, instituting and carrying through a comparison of the developments of divine revelation, with the progress of natural light from midnight to noon. The period from the transgression of Adam to the annunciation of the seed of the woman bruising the serpent's head, made to our first parents, was the midnight darkness of the human race in the persons of Adam and Eve. The stars that ensued, or that rose upon a benighted world, were Abel, Enoch, Noah, Melchizedeck, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses. The legal dispensation with the subsequent Prophets constituted the moon-light age. The mission and ministry of John was the twi-light age, extending from John's first appearance to the personal coming of the Messiah as a teacher sent from the immediate presence of Jehovah, but not fully developed till he ascended to heaven and sent down the Holy Spirit in the bright radiance of the risen day on the first Pentecost after the crucifixion.
The effect of this presentation of the subject, providentially opportune, was not momentary, but memorable and abiding. It was never forgotten by the ministry then present. But as yet there was nothing done in the way of sending out a proper evangelist to proclaim the word and to convert the people. The spirit, however, of evangelizing was stirred up amongst the brethren, and during the next year the subject was much talked of, but nothing was yet effected.