Images de page

performance of the hallelujah chorus in Handel's Messiah caused a vast assembly, as if animated with one soul, to rise simultaneously from their seats, and to stand as if enraptured in an unearthly ecstacy.

But its most delightful charms are its soothing influences on the sons and daughters of affliction. It sweetly calms the troubled spirit, it cheers the desponding and the disconsolate, it emboldens the weak and faltering Christian, and relieves from the burthen of untold sor Tows the fainting heart. "Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust,', is Heaven's gracious specific to the humble poor overwhelmed with earth's travails and griefs. From every captivity the ransomed of the Lord return with songs of praise, shouting their hosannas to their Divine Redeemer. Songs unknown on earth, and even new in heaven, were sung by myriad choirs around the throne when the Lamb of God consented to unseal the book of earth's mysterious fortunes so far as involved in the destinies of the church. On "harps strung and tuned for endless years" they sung a song of triumph in anticipation of the glorious issue of the mighty agony of six thousand years. If in heaven their joys are enhanced by sacred music, need we not its aids on earth!

But why should I expatiate on the power of music, or argue its importance in the church of God? The beloved participants of the high and holy calling for whom I write, for whose sake this series of essays is begun, so far as known to me, universally concur in its utility and importance. They all agree in the conclusion that this noble faculty was bestowed on man for religious and moral uses-to extend his influence over his companions, as well as to augment his own enjoyment of the works and ways of God. No one dissents from me on the importance and the necessity of its cultivation and practical use in the worship of God. You, my Christian brethren, are fully persuaded that a power of such mighty influence for good or evil ought to be consecrated to the Lord. If in the mythologies of Pagan. ism it was celebrated as subduing the tiger passions of our nature, and as softening into piety and humanity the obduracy of the human heart--if among the Jews it gave life and fascination to their worship, proclaimed liberty to the captive, and the year of release to the oppressed, should it not also in the Christian temple animate the pure emotions of Christian piety and rouse into ecstacy the holy affections of the devoted heart? And might it not also propitiate the ears of sinners to the gospel message of peace, at the first promulgation of which the heavens themselves echoed in mortal ears the inelodies of angels, and taught man to repeat the sacred hosanna and to prolong his hallelujahs to the Lord? To all this every Christian responds Amen! With us at present, then, the great question is, How shall this part of Christian worship be most profitably and acceptably performed?

The subject of the song and the music of the soug are the two main points of inquiry on the part of those who are concerned in the right performance and in the full enjoyment of this divine ordinance. We are divinely commanded to teach and admonish one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs—to sing with grateful hearis, thus making melody in the ears of the Lord of hosts. The subject matter of the Christian psalter, psalm or hymn-book, is therefore of the first importance; as, next to the Bible, no book in the world has such influence on the heart. No volume, indeed, ought to be studied with more care, and composed with more special regard to the sacred style, than this book of Christian worship. The world is full of hymn-books, psalmbooks, sacred melodies, psalters, &c. &c.; but where is the volume free from servile imitation of the corrupt speech of a captivated Christianity, or pure from the speculative theory of a sectarian profession!

Trinitarianism, Arianism, Unitarianism, Calvinism, Arminianism, Fullerism, speculative, didactic, pragmatic, and scholastic theology are converted into metre or rhyme, and sung under the name and style of Christian psalmody. Books containing these various poems are estimated according to their size and number of their pages, and are appreciated for their bulk and cheapness. The Lutherans have been commended because they have had in use some 20,000 hymns; and those books are most esteemed by many which have from 500 to 2000 hymns. When God inspired the poets of the Jews and entrusted them with the psalm-making endowments during six centuries, they only. gave to the church 150 pieces, and half of these are very brief. But Christian privileges are enlarged, and we ought to sing by the thouo sand! Still it is a fact, so far as my observation goes, and to it I have been attentive for many years, and will now repeat it with much emphasis, that all Christian families and churches of my acquaintance have generally settled down in the use of some twenty or thirty songs, although their books may have contained as many hundreds. The phi. losophy of this fact we shall attempt to develope in our next,

A. C.

THE COMING OF THE LORD.--No. XV. I had fully expected before this date to have gone into the examipation of the views already laid before our readers on the coming of the Lord. Circumstances, however, have hitherto prevented the accomplishment of this intention; amongst which none of the most inconsiderable is the variety of new views which are continually pressing upon our attention. Our uniform course, as is well known to all our constant readers, has been to afford them both sides, or all sides of all disputed questions, desirous that they should form their own conclusions with a full view of the evidence for or against every debateable proposition. The subject of this series of essays is one of increasing interest to all the community. More minds are employed and more pens are in use at this time on this all-absorbing theme, than at any other time in the memory of the present generation.

I have through the kindness of the Editor of the “Signs of the Times," been furnished with the whole series of tracts and essays, or the entire prophetic library of the Millennial School, consisting of some dozen separate treatises from different authors deeply imbued with the idea of the almost immediate personal appearance of the Messiah. It becomes my duty as far as convenient te examine these. I regret, however, that the Signs of the Times" has not as yet laid before its readers any of our remarks in opposition to the theories propounded by that school. This is no very good sign of a time of free and impartial discussion. I confess I should be gratified to see a little more of that impartiality and respect for the best interests of the inquisitive which I imagine the dignity and importance of the great questions at issue demand.

I have just received the following summary of conclusions, deduced from the scriptures and from other sources of information on the whole premises, from a brother in the West, who has been a close and constant student of the Bible for many years, and especially of the prophetic portions of it. We should like to have from him a full expose of the process of reasoning and document by which he arrives at these conclusions. In the mean time, as we can find little room in this number for a regular essay on the subject, we shall lay these eight conclusions before our readers for the consideration and examination of such of them as are especially interested in such investigations:

Dear brother CampbellI have been looking lately at the 8th chapter of Daniel, and will give you in brief my conclusions:

First.—The little horn is the Roman Pagan Power.

Second.-The daily sacrifice has but one meaning in the scriptures, and that is the morning and evening offerings.

Third.-- The place of his sanctuary is Jerusalem.

Fourth.—'His sanctuary,' is a phrase which, although used figura. tively, in some instances, was uniformly understood to refer to the Temple in all other instances, means the Temple in this place.

Fifth.-) prefer the reading of the Se enly-viz. 'twenty-four hun. dred days' because the Lord and his Apostles always quoted from the Septuagint.

Sixth. --The taking away of the daily sacrifice took place when the place of his sanctuary' was cast down to the ground by Titus Vespa. sian, about A. D. 70.

Seventh — The calculation of the period of twenty-four hundred days, or years, is to be commenced at the time when Daniel saw the vision; say five hundred and fifty-three years before the advent of Messiah, and will consequently end about the year 1847.

Eighth.-The 'cleansing of the sanctuary' means the return of the Jews and the rebuilding of Jerusalem.

I think that I could give reasons for all these conclusions, but will defer doing so until another time."

A. C.

DID JUDAS EAT THE LORD'S SUPFER. Did Judas partake of the bread and wine which the Lord Jesus dispensed to his disciples on the night he was betrayed, and which he directed they should continue to at'end to in remembrance of his death, &c.?

'The Christian world do not seem to question it; and not a few give it as a reason why none should be excluded that feast, as Judas partook of it.

Let us look at the facts set forth, not by one, but by the four narrators of that event.

And first, we do not find the sacrifice of the Passover, or eating the Paschal lamb, any where called a supper.

We should also bear in mind that the killing of the paschal lamb at evening of the 14th day, was a type of the killing of the Lord Jesus as the Lamb of God; and in accordance therewith, so was he put to death at evening on the 14th day; and after the lamb it was to be eaten roasted with bitter herbs, standing in their households, and no resemblance to a. sop in a dish, into which bread was dipped, as was the case when the Lord gave Judas the cup. It is to be observed also, that in the morning the Jews would not go into the judgment hall lest they should be defiled, and so could not eat the passover that day at evening.

Wherefore our Lord and his disciples could not keep that Passover, nor did they eat of it, as he was slain at the time of the killing of the lamb; but ihe Lord the night previous substituted the bread and wine, which from thenceforth was partaken of by his disciples in remembrance of his death. Such substitution was also on the 14th day, which began after sunset of the 13th according to the Jewish reckon. ing of time.

On the preparation day, the 13th, there was a supper or feast prepa. rative to the killing and eating the lamb on the 14th day, composed of a sauce of bitter herbs; another of sweet, as dates, figs, raisins, and other ingredients, calculated in eating of it, to remind the Jews of the sufferings of their fathers in Egypt. This was mixed up to the consistence of mustard, and intended to be a memorial of the clay in which their fathers 'labored making brick. At this supper they sat, and into this mixture the Lord dipt the bread which he gave to Judas.



The eating of the Passover was to be done standing, there was no sop, it was roast and eaten as the Lord commanded Moses.

After the cup Judas went out; and then follows those sublime, cheering, transporting words, contained only in John's narrative, as in the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th and 17th chapters.

In the account we have of the partaking of the bread and wine, which was substituted in place of ihe lamb to be killed, the order of time, as in many other instances, is not regarded, as in Luke, for instance, xxi. 20. Likewise the cup after supper, though in the 17th verse it is stated he took the cup and gave thanks. In Matth. xxvi. the sitting down with the twelve was to eat the preparation feast or supper; then was the washing of feet and giving the cup. Never, never could the language addressed by the Saviour to his disciples after Judas went out, be applicable to Judas; nor would the words, “Do this in remembrance of me," be applied to Judas while viewing the hread and wine as a substitution of a new feast in remembrance of his death, together with the address and prayer in John. There is an agreement and consistency which could not subsist had Judas been there, as is contended for by those who are in favor of correct communion, as it is justly called.

.I have endeavored to condense my views and considerations; but enough is set forth for your taking up the subject, which, if it has been handled before, I never met or heard of it.


From the Baptist Record.

PUS E Y IS M. The following exhibition of the doctrine of the Oxford Tracts, is from an English correspondent of the National Intelligencer, under dale of January 1, 1842. These doctrines have been to some extent embraced by many of the clergy of the Church of England, and by some of the Episcopacy in this country. They contain many of the worst features of Popery, and are utterly subversive of the doctrine of the cross. Some who have fully adopted them have gone into the Roinish Church, and it would be well for the purity of Protestantism if all who favor them would return to her embrace, and give up tho name, as they have the substance, of Christianity. We rejoice that a check has been given to the progress of this heresy in this country, and that Episcopalians as well as others, unhesitatingly denounce the system as antichristian.

R. "One of the most important movements which ever took place in The established church of England is now in operation. I allude to the rapid spread of what is called Puseyism among the members of the church. The proselytes to these opinions are among the most talented, and in some cases the most influential, of the hitherto un doubted orthodox eons of Episcopacy. The leaders in this new schism are Dr. Posey, Hebrew Professor in the University of Oxford, and Canon of Christ Church; Mr. Newman, Fellow of Oriel College, and Vicar of St. Mary's, in Oxford; and Mr. Keble, the late Professor of Poetry in that University--all men of great talent, and of no ordinary slamp of mind. These men, and many others who have espoused

« PrécédentContinuer »