Images de page

under the influence and power of it; and the consequences were love, joy, peace, and all other Christian virtues and graces. But in making these grand developments there were many views and similitudes most striking and appropos, which greatly interested the hearts of his audience. But as it afterwards appeared, he touched those veins of thought and modes of reasoning which involved in many doubts and difficulties the disconsolate Eusebia.

Amidst his perspicuous and familiar imagery and comparisons he drew a very striking portraiture of her mind in his description of an unhappy wife, whose husband was indeed an impersonation of every personal and conjugal excellence. The source of this unfortunate lady's discontent and unhappiness was the profound sense which she entertained of the superior excellencies and peerless claims of her husband, and a fearfulness that her respect and affection for him were neither in quality nor degree what she both desired and thought they should be. And what rendered her case still more grievous and hopeless was, that the more she sought after those feelings in her heart, and looked internally for the evidences of unfeigned attachment, the less she discovered of them, and therefore the more was she alienated both from herself and her husband.

The cure of this lady from this malady of morbid feeling, already chronic and confirmed, was as philosophically rational and simple, as it was delightfully pleasing and successful. Telling the exercises of her heart one day to a friend of more than ordinary discernment and intellectual vigor, she was addressed by him in terms to the following effect: 'My dear Madam,' said he, 'you are asking the way to the gates of the morning Sun, whence he enters upon his diurnal race, while your steps are all towards the chambers of the West. Think no more upon your frames and feelings, forget yourself, and leave all your thoughts to the admiration of the manifold excellencies and unspeakable loveliness of one whose unparallelled charms are admitted by all his acquaintance, whose claims upon your confidence and affection are in no respect diminished by your mistakes of the head, or of the heart, or by all the vicissitudes and alternations of hope and despondency, of joy and sorrow, through which you have passed.-You might as well look to the earth for light, as into your heart for love, unless you have an amiable object in your vision-one who can by his own excellencies, when duly seen and appreciated, ingratiate himself into your affection and engrave his image upon your soul.-Only place yourself in a proper attitude for the contemplation of his perfections and cordial regards for you, and for an unconditional submission to his will in every thing, and all will yet be well.' She took the

[ocr errors]

advice of her friend, and I need scarcely say to you, that a happier woman and a more devoted wife is not to be found in any of the states that constitute the wonderful nation of New England.'

Eusebia is thoroughly convicted of her errors, and resolved no more to seek the stars in the earth. She began to lift her thoughts to heaven; and as she advanced in the formation of the new habits, her health, physical and moral, began to improve, and the sequel of her story became as instructive and consolatory as the years of her former experience were replete with darkness and despondency.

A. C.


Mr. C. WHAT do you think is the meaning of the phrase which occurs Eph. i. 14.-"The redemption of the purchased possession"?

R. R. Commentators, I believe, have found no little difficulty in this passage. It is of great importance to ascertain the precise meaning of the term redemption in this connexion. The Apostle, in the same chapter, ver. 7., defines redemption through the blood of Christ to be "the forgiveness of sins."

Mr. C. This definition will not apply in the passage in question.

R. R. It will not. This word is undoubtedly used like other words-both in a literal and figurative sense. It occurs frequently in the laws and regulations delivered by Moses, and may doubtless be clearly understood by referring to the Old Testament.

Mr. C. This is the proper course to pursue. I am much in favor of recurring to those ordinances, events, and sayings which were so familiar to the Jews, and of which the Apostles make such frequent use that they have become, as it were, the alphabet of Christianity.In the 25th chapter of Leviticus, then, we read as follows, ver. 1–13. *** 23-34. ***** 47-55. Here the word redeem evidently Ineans to purchase back again that which had been sold or forfeited. The land of eight persons of the Israelites were always subject to be redeemed. This could be done either by the person himself or by some of his relatives, and at any period before the year of jubilee, or release-when redemption was no longer necessary. This law of redemption among the Jews is the key to the sense in which the word is used by the Apostles. Thus Christ became our kinsman in order "to redeem us"-"to obtain eternal redemption for us." () Thus we are represented as being "bought with a price," and Christ by a figure prosopopeia? of speech is called our "redemption," 1 Cor. i. 30.

R. R. In this affair there are several things to be considered. We have first to inquire what it is that is redeemed, and this may be - answered by asking another question-What is it that was lost, or forfeited? Life and bliss-perpetual existence is that which was lost by our first parents. The tree of life put it in their power to "live forever." It is therefore eternal life which is brought to us through Jesus Christ.

Mr. C. Life may be said to include every thing-the possession of the earth-the enjoyment of happiness. Every property is valued according to the tenure by which it is held. Life therefore is made to comprehend all the blessings which proceed from its possession.He who redeems our life redeems us.

R. R. The person who redeems is Christ, who, as you observe, became our kinsman for this purpose. We have also to learn, in order to the just application of the figure, from whom or from what sinners are redeemed. This is a question which I have not seen satisfactorily disposed of. Hervey, in his Theron and Aspasio, makes an attempt to answer it by the scripture which says, "Thou hast redeemed us to God." (?? see Ex.) But this does not meet the case. The person To whom we are redeemed, is not he FROM whom we are redeemed. This would be to redeem us from himself!

Mr. C. This was to avoid the alternative of supposing that Satan is the being from whom we have been redeemed, and to whom the price of our redemption was paid. Such an opinion has obtained with many, and is attempted to be sustained by those passages which speak of Satan as the Prince of the power of the air, (supposed by some to denote Jupiter,) as possessing all the kingdoms of the world-and ruling in the hearts of the children of disobedience. As it is Death, however, which has taken away our life, so Death is that from which we are in this figure said to be redeemed. Thus in the Prophet—"I will redeem them from death-I will ransom them from the power of the grave-O Death, I will be thy plague. O Grave, I will be thy destruction.' Death was the penalty required by the divine law-it was a sentence pronounced by God himself. Death therefore rightfully reigns over all, because all have sinned.' To suppose that sinners are redeemed from Satan, or rather to suppose that the price of our redemption was paid to Satan, is to suppose that his right to reign over men was acknowledged by the Divine Being.

R. R. This is undoubtedly a scriptural and just view of the important matter. The price was paid to Death-in honor and vindication of the divine law. And the price paid was life-life for life.

Mr. C. To this answer the scripture "He gave his life a ransom for

[ocr errors]

many"-He paid the forfeiture-"The life is in the blood"—"We have been redeemed not with corruptible things as silver and gold," says Peter, "but with the precious blood of Christ."-He hath "washed us from our sins in his own precious blood." Sin being the cause of death, is often used metonymically, or as including all is consequences. Hence redemption comes to signify "the forgiveness of sins."

R. R. In this view the figure is perfectly consistent. For various usages of this term see "day of redemption," Eph. iv. 30; "purchased possession," Eph. i. 14.; the body-"waiting for the redemption of our bodies," Rom. viii. 22.

Saturday Evening, May 6, 1837.

From the Baptist Record.


We promised, in a short notice of the new version of the Bible recently, to notice it more fully at some other time. We now partially redeem that promise. The work is one exclusively of individual enterprize, and for its correctness individuals alone are responsible. We make this remark, because we perceive some Pedobaptist papers are calling it the Baptist Bible. The Baptists as à body have had nothing to do with its preparation. No denominational society has had any connexion with it, nor any interest in it, and it is no more proper to call it a Baptist Bible, than it would be to call the editions published by the late Mathew Carey, a Romish Bible, because he was a Romanist; or to call the common version an Episcopal Bible, because its translators were Episcopalians, and its publishers in England are of the same sect. We protest, therefore, against our contemporaries connecting the Baptist denomination with any enterprize which they have not themselves undertaken. It is not reasonable, it is not Chris tian; but it is bringing false accusations, to accomplish their own ends. Let this version be examined critically, and stand or fall by its own merits. It is an individual enterprize, and was prepared and carried into execution by a few persons who thought there was a necessity for a new version of the Bible in the English language. In order to have it as correct as possible, the proprietor has spared neither expense nor care. An individual of ample scholarship for the work was selected to go through the whole book, both Old and New Testa ments. This occupied a great length of time; but it was given to it, that no undue haste might mar the excellency of the translation. His labors in the Old Testament were submitted to the revision of one of the best Hebrew scholars in the country, and subsequently to the careful examination of an eminent Pedobaptist professor, who has certified to the accuracy of the translation. The work thus translated then passed through the hands of a thorough English scholar, who re.. vised the style of the translation. It was then put into the printer's

YOL. VI.-N. S.


hands. The New Testament as it came from the hands of the first individual was submitted to Professor Kendrick, whose Greek scholarship will not be questioned, and who has prefixed his name to this part of the work as a guarantee of its correctness. Such is its history.

Is a new version necessary? On this subject we are scarcely prepared to give an answer. That the received version is often incorrect; that it contains many indelicacies of expression, and many obsolete phrases which ought to be altered, we presume no man can doubt.— At least we have no doubt of this. Such has been the opinion of many of the ablest critics on the Bible. Campbell, M'Knight, Doddridge, and others, have made some efforts to amend, and Noah Webster expurgated some of the indelicacies and obsolete phrases from his version. As, however, the common version was universally received by those who appeal to the Bible as a rule of faith and practice, and all professed to be governed by it; and as this cordial reception of a version introduced by individual enterprise could not be expected, we have believed, that divided as the Christian world is, we had much better have relied on that which all receive as a standard. We wish to be understood; we have no objection to a new version, and to the correction of every error in phraseology or in translation which occurs in the old version. On the contrary, if it could be done harmoniously, we should rejoice in it. Our objection is, that it multiplies versions, without providing a standard by which Christians will measure their doctrines and practices. But those who differed from us had an equal right to their opinions on this subject, and they have interfered with no privilege of ours, or of any other man, in publishing their version of the Bible. The labor was theirs, the risk is theirs, and if the Bible will not bear a critical examination, that pecuniary risk is no trifle.

Is this version, then, a correct one? Is the translation accurate? We have not had time to examine all the alterations which we have met in looking over the work with some care. Those which we have examined are correct, though in every case we do not approve the variation. In the Old Testament the indelicate expressions are so changed, without at all weakening their force, that they may be read in public, or in the family, with great propriety; and in some of the alterations there is great beauty and force joined with correctness. Some of the alterations in the New Testament we are not prepared to approve.We are aware that critical scholars give the terms used the preference over those in the old version; but as long as the original was fairly and properly rendered, we can see no need of alteration; and in one or two instances we think the force of the passages much weakened. In relation to the substitution of in.merse for baptize, we have never had but one feeling. It is unnecessary. Baptize has but one meaning, and with the use of that word, incorporated as it is with our language, the truth has been triumphing and will triumph. That immerse is correct we hesitate not to affirm, and we envy not the conscience of the man who will venture to deny it. But we knew this, and we had the concessions of the best and wisest Pedobaptis's who have lived that such was its import; and with this it does seem to us needless to abandon the use of a word which is so expressive, and so endeared by its long use to every Christian. In this is our chief objection to the new version. In the main we are pleased with it. The translators have done

« PrécédentContinuer »