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introduction of Christianity. As respects the demoniacal posses.. sions, there seems here to be a confusion of thought on the part of these objectors, since it was not possession that was the miracle, but dispossession. From the scripture account of these matters, it is. manifest that possession by a demon was regarded as an affair quite in accordance with the laws both of the spiritual and of the human nature, and that the miracle consisted in controlling or suspending those powers or privileges which spirits possessed in accordance with these laws. Demons seem to have had no difficulty, at any time, in entering into men, and not the slightest wonder is any where expressed at such an occurrence. Having once entered, the difficulty was to get them out again, and this it was that required miraculous power, and excited the astonishment of the Jews. For our own part, we are quite content to leave the matter where the scriptures thus place it, and to believe that spirits may dwell in the human body, and actuate, by a direct agency, the human mind. It is to our philosophical objectors, that we may legitimately leave the performance of those mighty miracles of logic by which these spirits are to be expelled.
With regard to the “ gift of the Holy Spirit,” the '“ out pouring of the Spirit,” &c., if from the use of the terms "out-pouring,” “gist,” &c., any one regards these manifestations as miraculous, or as at any time necessarily connected with the exhibition or imparta -tion of miraculous powers, we would merely remark, that one or two phrases afford a very slender foundation for so weighty a conclusion, and would recommend to him a closer examination of the scriptures upon this subject. He will there find that Peter expressly applies the promise (Acts ii. 39) to all that were to be called, whether amongst the Jews or the Gentiles. He will also find that Paul, in speaking of the common salvation, (Tit. iii. 4,5, 6,) distinctly affirms it to be effected by “the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, which,” adds he," he shed on us abundantly, * * * that we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life."* And to this agrecs the language of the same apostle, in the Epistle to the Romans, (viii. 9–17,) where it is shown that the possession and indwelling presence of the Spirit of God is essential to sonship; sonship to heirship, and heirship to a well founded hope of eternal glory. While the objector, then, in the former case, confounds
* To prevent cavil, we will state, that the verb here translated “shed,” is the very same in the original (KXEW) as occurs in the prophecy of Joel, quoted Acts ii. 17, and that it might be rendered in both cases "poured out," with equal propriety. SERIES IV.VOL. I.
things that are different, he attempts, in the present instance, to make a distinction where there is no difference; all the phrases in question, the “gist,” the “shedding," " the pouring out” of the Spirit, having reference to the same grand fact—the great characteristic of the Christian institution—the impartation of the Holy Spirit to every believer; a matter which is to be regarded as independent of the miraculous powers, or any other accidents connected with Christianity.
After all, indeed, it may have been unnecessary to refer to these objections, since they who make them do admit man's spiritual habitability at the present day, so far, at least, as respects the Spirit of God, and the Adversary of God and man. This admission is, as respects the main subject before us, quite sufficient for my present purpose, and I have been led to make the preceding remarks, not because this admission is not broad enough to cover the ground on which we design:to build, but because, on the part of some, it seems to be nothing but an admission, and not a matter of lively faith and earnest affirmation; a guarded, and, as it were, a reluctant assent to a loose, general proposition, rather than a cordial reception and zealous support of an important practical truth. It is easy to admit, in general terms, a general, or even a special Providence, yet explain away each particular case by the doctrine of circumstances and the laws of nature. It is easy to admit the existence of ministering angels, yet, by the timely aid of accident and luck, accomplish their work, and leave nothing for them to do. It is easy to assent to the proposition that the Spirit of God dwells in the heart of every true believer; yet, at the same time, by a theory of his mode of action, restrict his influences entirely to external media, and while he dwells within, deny to him the power to act, except from without. Such admissions amount to nothing. They grant to the ear what is afterwards denied to the understanding, and render the whole subject confused and dark, from their incompatibility with the philosophical menstruum in which men vainly endeavor to dissolve them.
I desire not, however, to run a tilt at the wind-mill machinery of theoretical religionists or metaphysical abstractionists, or 10 controvert the received or modern philosophy of the various forms of insanity or monomania, but it is not easy to perceive why direct interference with the mind should be restricted to so few cases, or why it should be supposed that Satan, rather than his subordinates, should be, in every case, the active agent in creating the moral,. intellectual, and even physical disturbances and distractions of life.
In all these matters, it seems to me best to look at philosophy through the Bible, rather than at the Bible through philosophy; and to be, even if it be so, superstitious with the former, than sceptical or infidel with the latter. Certain it is, that the Bible presents far different views from those often entertained on these subjects, and that the professing Christian makes a poor exchange, when, for the rationalism, motivity, and frigidness of philosophy, he barters away the very soul of religion; the chief joys which the Bible presents to faith; the ministering angels of the divine covenant, and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit of promise, the only earnest of a future inheritance.
SEPTENARY INSTITUTIONS AND THE WESTMINSTER
(Continued from page 277.] In our last number, we had so far examined the article in the November number of the Westminster Review, on Septenary Insti. tutions, as to show that the writer had not only assigned a false position to the advocates of a Sabbath observance, in representing them as asserting that the hebdomadal division of time was universal among ancient Eastern nations, but that he had also totally failed in attempting to account for the admitted general prevalence of such a division in the earlier periods of history, upon the hypothesis that it grew out of the lunar festivals. We showed, that whether we take the synodic or sidereal lunar month, it is altogether impossible that either could have given origin to the division of time into weeks. The week, in fact, has no fixed relation, either to the lunar or the calendar months, nor any other astronomical period, not even the year, and is a division of time which must have had its origin, as the Bible represents it to have had, in a positive enactment of acknowledged authority.
But there are other positions of this writer, which have a tendency to throw doubt upon the Bible account of the origin of the Sabbath, and we shall now proceed to notice them. It is claimed that the names given to the days of the week, by some very ancient nations, indicate an astronomical origin. It is sufficiently shown; indeed, that, in the ancient Sanscrit, the language of the holy wrie tings of India, and in the various dialects of India and Hindostan, as well as in other ancient Eastern languages, the names given to the seven days of the week were borrowed from the seven planets, as then regarded, of the solar system; but as the division of time into weeks was anterior to the naming of the days, we do not see how these names can throw any light upon the origin of the week itself, especially as it is not claimed that the number of planets had any influence in the origin of this division. If it were contended, that the fact that there were seven planets in the solar system, as known to the ancients, had given rise to the hebdomadal division of time, then it might serve to make the hypothesis plausible, to show that the days of the week were named from these planets. But this position is not taken, and will not, we apprehend, be taken by any one acquainted with the difficulties which would attend its application. On the contrary, nothing is easier than to account for the appropriation of these names to the days of a week already intro. duced and observed. In the primitive Hebrew style, these days were designated by the ordinals first, second, third, fc., to indicate the order of creation; but when the nations departed from the pure worship, and bowed down to the “ hosts of heaven," it was most natural that they should not only appropriate to the worship of certain deities particular days, but that they should also, in process of time, call these days by the names of the divinities to whose service they were specially set apart. Thus, when the idolatrous worship of the ancient people of India had reached such a degree of system as to have the first day set apart to the religious services of the sun, it was most natural that they should call it Aditya-var, (Sun-day.) The second day was dedicated to the moon, and called Sona-var, (Moon-day ;) the third to the planet Mars, and called, therefore, Mangala-var, (Mars-day;) the fourth to Mercury, called Buddha-var, (Mercury-day ;) the fifth to Jupiter, called Vrihaspalevar, (Jupiter-day ;) the sixth to Venus, called Suba-var, (Venus-day ;) and the seventh to Saturn, called Sani-var, (Saturn-day.)* It would
* It will be observed, that the order of these days has no relation to that of the planets themselves, neither if we regard their apparent magnitude, nor their real p "sition with respect to the earth. The order of their apparent magnitude is—1 Sun; 2. Moon; 3. Venus; 4. Jupiter; 5. Mars; 6. Saturn; and 7. Mercury. The order of their real position, according to the Ptolomaic system, is—1. Moon; 2. Venus; 3. Mercury; 4. Sun; 5. Mars; 6. Jupiter; and 7. Saturn. The order of their real magnitudes is different from both these. So that the appropriation of certain days of the week to these planets was wholly arbitrary or superstitious, having no respect to any natural relation of apparent or real magnitude, nor yet of distance or place. Ought we not rather to say, then, that this use of these names had a superstitious, not an astronomical origiu, sinco religion, not science, assigned them?
appear, therefore, that the use of these names originated in the idolatrous worship of the planets on certain days of the week, and not in any astronomical relation between the planets and the week itself. So strong is the propensity of the human mind to name days from the object to which they are consecrated, that we have, in the Catholic superstition, almost every day in the year named, either after some festival or calendared saint; and among the Protestants, many days, besides their regular week.day name, have specific designations, borrowed from the use to which they are devoted ; such as Christmas day, New Years-day, Easter-day, Whitsun-day, &c., &c. We have adopted the Saxon names* for the days of the week, which appear to have descended through the Teutonic races, from the mythology of Western Asia and Africa; but we do not attach their ancient significance to the terms, nor regard the hebdomadal division of time as having originated in the mythology of those remote ages. It appears evident, that the origin of weeks, and that of the names by which the days of the week may happen to be called, have no necessary connection, either in science or religion. Suppose, when popery became firmly established, the Pope had decreed, that inasmuch as six of the apostles of our Saviour are writers in the canon of scripture, therefore, one day of every week should be not only consecrated to the special worship of one of these apostles, but that it should also be called in honor of his name; that next to the Lord’s-day should stand Peter’s-day, then Paul'sday, John's-day, Matthew's-day, James’-day, and Jude's-day, does any one doubt that the custom would have been introduced throughout Christendom; yet, cannot any one see that it would be absurd for a learned sceptic in the nineteenth century, to say that because these names of the days of the week originated in a papal bull, or from saint worship, that, therefore, the hebdomadal division of time, the week itself, had a similar origin? Yet this is exactly the parallel of that logic by which this writer would shake our faith in the divine origin of a Sabbath.
We pass to an examination of the criticism on the etymology of the word seven, which is supposed “to throw some light upon the origin of the institution of Sabbaths.” He says, “ The Hebrew seven, (yəv,) written Saba, or Shaba, and by modern Jews Shebang, signifies age; Sab (av) is grey-headed. Sabbath, (nav,) which we translate by the word rest, also means old age, and is, doubtless,
* By our Saxon ancestors, the seven days of the week were called Sondaeg, Mon-daeg, Tues-daeg, Woden’s-daeg, Thurres-daeg or Thorre’s-daeg, Friga's-daeg, and Saterne's-daeg.