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the mammon of unrighteousness, that, when ye fail, they may receive you into everlasting habitations,' [u.Wlous ornas,] and it means this ;–Use your outward, worldly things, things not specially religious, in such a manner, that, when ye fail of finding satisfaction in them, ye may have a refuge in your own thoughts and feelings towards God, and heavenly things; may be received into spiritual resting places, everlasting habitations.' So true it is, that it is the spirit which quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing.'
This meaning of the word alwbies we believe to have been in the mind of our Lord, when he uttered the words now under consideration, as well as on many other occasions.
With this meaning in our minds, turn to the portion of scripture beginning at Math. xxv. 31, and continued to the end of the chapter, and the whole passage sets forth these thoughts; viz. • There shall be a judgment, in and upon every human soul. When it takes place, the wicked, the unconfessing, the unreconciled to God, shall pass into anguish, disquietude, and horror; a wretched condition of mind, in conscious enmity with God—spiritual suffering, [rodao sv clarov] but the righteous into peace, power, and happiness, in conscious unity with God-spiritual life, [Samy almov.] The mere use of the word alwysov, in either clause of the verse, neither asserts nor denies, that the felicity of the one, or the wretchedness of the other, shall be either perpetual, or temporary. This we believe to be the true import of the passage, and what our Lord Jesus intended herein to teach.
In this interpretation, we are further supported, by the use of the word sodatie, in this place, for describing the niisery of the wicked. This word is used but once only, in the New Testament, excepting in the passage which we are considering ; that is, 1 John iv. 18. •Perfect love casteth out fear, because fear hath torment [rodcow.].' The torment of fear, is undoubtedly suffering of mind. The word life, on the contrary, signifies happiness of mind; and the text might, with equal justice to the original, have been translated, “These shall pass into spiritual anguish, and the righteous, into spiritual felicity.'
Now, with regard to the abstract question, whether these contradistinguished states of happiness and misery, shall continue eternally, it depends entirely on the question, whether the several states of goodness or wickedness in the individuals shall continue eternally. Happiness or misery of mind, must continue as long as these states of the soul endure, in beings always exposed to the searching presence of God. And, whether these opposite states of the soul in individuals, shall endure forever,
after that judgment which they go through, when they forsake the flesh and are present with the Lord,' is a point which it would be presumptuous to decide, until it shall be given to imperfect beings to fathom the depth, and measure the extent of that Divine Love, which seeks, convinces, and converts souls ; and saves them in free grace, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.' Still
, in regard to the possibility of a change of character after the human being shall have emerged from its earthy envelopements, and become wholly spiritual, we will go so far as to say, that spiritual beings have changed their character once, when angels fell; and we see not, why they may not change again. And if they do turn cordially back, and become reconciled to their great Sovereign, they must be happy, independent of outward place or circumstance. We must also remark, however, that when sin, in any mode, becomes deeply wrought into the soul, and becomes, as it were, a part of the very affections of the man, then it seems almost impossible to eradicate it entirely. Spiritual wickedness, appears to possess a kind of unchangeableness, like the leopard's spots, and the Ethiopian's skin. But then, there is a power, which is able to wash out the darkness of the one, and change the variegated hues of the other. That same power is able to convert the sinner, in the darkest regions of hell, as well as at the altar of God, or in the christian church. But we do not read any explicit promise, that such conversions shall take place in the world to come, and we can gather no further hope of it, than what springs from this ;—that inasmuch as death is abolished, and life and immortality are brought to light, we may contemplate human souls as everlasting existences; and then the same God, who exerts his influence over them so powerfully in this life, notwithstanding the many causes, which hinder, as one may say, his access to their hearts, may, for aught which is written to the contrary, exert that influence upon them with much more power, in a world, where they shall be more directly exposed to the immediate impressions of Him who is unwilling to give them up, till, discerning God on every side, and constantly experiencing the disquietudes of rebellion against him, they may at last surrender, and repent, and be converted to God; submit themselves to his service and will, and seek his good spirit; and if they do this, they must be happy and blessed.
While, therefore, on the one side, we read no explicit promise, that such a change shall take place in the future state; so neither, on the other, do we read any positive assertion that it shall not. As we cannot find a warrant for maintaining the absolute certainty of the restoration of all men, at some period of their perpetual existence, to God and goodness; so, contrariwise, we cannot find positive evidence that sin and misery, the one of which God hates, and in the other of which he takes no pleasure,' shall endure in human souls for ever and ever. Knowing, however, that it is not in our power to love the creatures of God so well as he loves them, we are content to leave them, and ourselves among the number, to his disposal in the spiritual, as in the natural world.
This also we know, that it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God,' at any time, or in any mannerto be taken captive for judgment, and retribution ; and that there are some expressions in the scriptures, which denote a period of long enduring and intense spiritual anguish to the impenitent, when condemned at the throne of God, though we see no positive assertions whether that period be temporary or perpetual. Knowing, therefore, the terrors of the Lord, but not knowing to what extent either of power or duration they shall reach, we desire to persuade men, and move ourselves, to be reconciled to him, and serve him in the gospel of his dear Son, while it is an accepted time, and a day of salvation ; trusting it to himself to accomplish, in his own way and at his own time, the prediction revealed by his inspiration, that Christ must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet, and then deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, that God may be all in all.
ART. XII.-1. The Works of Samuel Parr, LL. D. with
Memoirs of his Life and Writings, and a Selection from his
the Royal Society, &c. 8 vols, 8vo. London. 1828. 2. Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Opinions of the
Rev. Samuel Parr, LL. D. with Biographical Notices of many of his Friends, Pupils, and Cotemporaries. By the Rev. William Field. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 1828. Of the first volume of these Memoirs by Mr Field, some notice has already appeared in our pages ;* and the wish that was then expressed, for an ampler account of the private lise
See Christian Examiner, Vol. V. No. 2.
and habits of the celebrated personage to whom they relate, is fully gratified in the volumes before us.
The life of Dr Parr is indeed of no ordinary interest to scholars and theologians. He was one of the last survivors of a race, whose names and whose writings have been familiar to our early youth; the associate or cotemporary of Jolinson and Burke, of Bennett and Porson, of Sheridan and Fox, of Watson and Sir William Jones; and his extensive correspondence through a long life, connected him, nearly or remotely, with most of the distinguished names in church and state, among his own countrymen, of the last half century. His celebrity as a classical scholar, his ability and success as an instructer of youth, his fidelity as a village priest, and his ardent love of liberty, civil and religious, amidst his passionate fondness for establishments, are the points on which his admirers love to dwell. That he had the power also, with all his faults, of inspiring strong personal regards, is evident from the numerous affectionate tributes, that have been offered to his memory Of the copious memoirs, whose titles we have affixed to this article, the one is from the pen
of a Dissenting clergymen, near Warwick, who was for thirty years his neighbour and friend ; the other by an eminent physician, in Birmingham, who, by a still longer, and, it would seem, a confidential intimacy with him, was well qualified for the work. For he tells us ;
'I can appeal to my own recollection, and my own personal knowledge, for such an account, as shall best display him in those different points of view in which it is most useful to contemplate character—in the full vigor of manhood and in the hoary holiness of age, at home and abroad, in public and in private, in the hours of business and of conviviality, in the bosom of his family and employed with his pupils, or when he was showing the force of his understanding in public instruction, or in some of the freaks of his humor, among his familiars.'— For thirtyfive years I have seen him in numberless varieties of our imperfect condition.'—'We have travelled together the wearisome road of life in narrow circumstances, and in abundance.' Johnstone's Memoirs, pp. 7, 8.
Dr Parr was born at Harrow, in 1747; and before he had completed his fourteenth year, was the head boy of that celebrated school. Of his childhood, his only sister, at the desire of his biographer, wrote an account, part of which we shall transcribe, not only as it presents at a very early period some of the distinguishing traits of Parr's character, especially his love of power ; but as it may remind not a few of our readers of a similar account, from a kindred source, of the earliest years of our lamented Buckminster, who, though happily differing from Parr in many great particulars, strongly resembled bim in his
early predilection for his profession, and in his passionate attachment for classical literature.*
• My brother might be styled slovenly in his dress. I do not recollect that he entered much into the usual sports of boys. He was from childhood of a studious turn of mind, but with me he was playful, though, I must confess, at times, rather obstreperous, as he would approach me with clenched fists, though in perfect good humor.'—'His earliest study and longest cherished delight, next to Mother Goose, was the history of the Seven Champions of Christendom. From the age of nine or ten, he evinced a strong inclination for the clerical profession; insomuch, that he was accustomed, when our cousins from Eton were with us during their vacations, (they, together with myself, forming the congregation,) to read the Church Service, (after the due tolling of a bell tied to the banisters, by those who officiated as clerk,) and sometimes he preached, and we youngsters often thought him prolix enough. He made one sermon for Christmas day, when under twelve years of age, which was shown to the vicar of Harrow, who said it was so good and appropriate a composition, that no clergyman need have been ashamed to deliver it. He substituted for a surplice a shirt of my father's, taken from the press. This reaching the ears of Mr Saunders, the vicar, he had a gown and cassock made for him, with which my brother was highly delighted. So enwrapped was he in his predilection, as even (notwithstanding my father's remonstrances,) to persist in reading the burial service over dead birds, kittens, &c. Another of his amusements was bell-ringing.'-—He always assumed authority among his playmates at home, making his cousins call him uncle. He was, I think, between twelve and thirteen, when, together with Sir William Jones and Dr Bennett, bishop of Cloyne, he wrote and acted a play.— Sam was the darling of his mother, and her death, which happened in 1762, was severely and lastingly felt. She was indeed but too indulgent to him; every wish and whim was attended to, and his appetite so consulted, as to have hot meat suppers prepared for him from early childhood.'
• He finished his school education under Dr Sumner. The doctor was very partial to him, had the highest opinion of his abilities, and always said that Parr would wear lawn sleeves. Johnstone, pp. 16——20.'
It seems to have been bis father's intention to have educated him at home for his own profession, as a physician; but his love of ecclesiastical pomp, his gravity of temper, and fondness for religious services, accompanied, as they were, with unfeigned piety, overruled his father's wishes, and he became a student of Emanuel College, Cambridge, in 1765.
At the University he was distinguished by his incessant application and his exemplary obedience to the discipline of the college. But the death of his father, and other domestic sorrows, which he was soon called to experience, left him poor, and he was glad to avail himself of the offer of his friend and patron, Dr Sumner, to become his first assistant in Harrow school. It was in this celebrated academy, that he commenced his labors as an instructer of youth, in which, at Stanmore,
* See Life of Buckminster, prefixed to his Sermons.