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Octavius Cesar Augustus, succeeded him, being appointed in Julius' Will his heir, and declared to be his adopted son. He was finally seated on the imperial throne, and lived to the advanced age of 70.He died August 19, A. D. 14, having under various titles, commanded the destinies of Rome for almost 50 years. Tiberius succeeded him. In the fifteenth year of his reign John the Baptist commenced his ministry, as Luke informs us. These three Cesars, Julius, Augustus, and Tiberius, were monsters of iniquity; and though of high intellestual character, wanted all the attributes and elements of moral dignity and real worth. He died March 16, A. D. 37, aged 78 years, having reigned 23 years.
Olympas. Susan, can you tell us who was governor of Judea and the Syrian provinces of those days?
Susan. Pontius Pilate governed Judea, Herod ruled over Galilee, Philip was tetrarch of Itrurea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was tetrarch of Abilene.
Olympus. William, explain these officers and the countries over which they presided.
William. Pilate was procurator of Judea, a sort of president govern. or, appointed by the Roman Emperor. Herod Antipas and his brother Philip, together with Lysanias, were tetrarchs, or governors of the fourth part of an old estate or territory once under one governor. Thus Galilee, Itruria, Trachonites, and Abilene were four provinces, three of them provinces of Syria, willed by Herod the Great to his sons Herod Antipas and Philip. His Will was confirmed by Augus, tus, and the estates were continued to the family.
Olympas. Who, James, were high priests in those days?
Olympus. Could there be, Thomas, two high priests at once, according to the law of the priesthood?
Thomas. Annas being father-in-law of Caiphas, was principal high priest, and Caiphas was a sort of deputy or assistant high priest. That they officiated in turns is supposed by some; but I think you taught us that although the law of Moses recognized but one high priest for life, after the subjugation of Judea by the Romans it appears that they appointed high priests as they could. According to Josephus Annanias or Anas had been high priest eleven years, but had been deposed by the Roman governor before the time here mentioned by Luke; and we are expressly informed that Caiphas was high priest the year in which our Lord was erucified. The Jews, in all probabi. lity disregarding the deposition of Annas by a Pagan governor, still regarded him as a legitimate high priest according to their law, but were content that either of them should officiate under that jurisdic. tion.
Olympas. Luke intended to challenge the scrutiny of the whole world as to the events he narrates. He gives them persons, places, and dates in profusion. Here is Tiberius Cesar in the 15th year of his reign over the Roman world, and here are four governors of Roman provinces, and two high priests connected with the nation of the Mes. siah and the theatre of the great drama of Christianity in its grand introduction into the world. And such is the preamble to the introduction of John the Baptist's mission and dispensation as the harbinger of the Messiah.
What new and strange doctrine did John preach, Reuben? Give us a full statement of his doctrine, place of ministration, manner of life, &c.
Reuben. John came as the harbinger of the Messiah, and in that capacity proclaimed a deep and thorough reformation of both principle and practice. He proclaimed a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. It was not mere mental regret, or sorrow for the past; but, superadded to that, and emanating from it, he enforced a reformation in all persons and in all things. Soldiers, publicans, and all the people came to him, asking what they should do. He commanded a genuine and universal reformation, which was signified by a peculiar immersion in the Jordan.
Olympas. For what were John's prosslytes immersed?
Reuben Matthew says that they were immersed into reformation, or that they might reform, professing reformation, and with a special referencc to the remission of sins. Hence the confession of sins made in baptism was indicative of a forsaking of them and a remission of them. The points in John's preaching were repentance, remission, and the immediate appearance of the Messiahấthe new era and its accompaniments of judgment and mercy. All that sincerely repented were baptized and turned to the Lord escaped the impenda ing vengeance then threatened as just to be poured out upon the ungrateful nation.
Qlympas. Did he not also exalt the person and character of the Messiah, and develope some attributes of the coming reign?
Reuben. He spoke of the superiority of the Messiah in very bold and decisive terms, and of the searching and discriminating character of his dispensation, and also of a baptism of the Holy Spirit and of fire, to one of which all that heard him should be subjected.
Olympas. Can you give an instance of a similar phrase in the evan. gelical history?
Reuben. The Apostles were “a sweet savor of Christ 10 thə saved and to the lost;"' but not in the same sense all that heard Jesus were to be baptized, but not in the same manner-one class in the Holy Spirit, another in fire: for so the context, as you allege, would intimate. The Spirit of God is frequently in its influences and effects compared to water, but never to fire, so far as I recollect. All that hearkened to Jesus were participants of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, and those who did not obey were subjected to the fire of divine indignation. Jesus gathered the wheat of the people into his garner, but he burned up the chaff in a fire unquenchable. The verdant trees he made fruiiful, but the dry and withered he converted into fuel.
Olympas. What means the phrase "wrath to come,” as used by the harbinger, William?
William. The vengeance promised to the wicked Jews in Malachi, last chapter, and afterwards explained by our Saviour. I presume reference is had to the final destruction of the nation of Israel. This was the impending jndgment from which baptism alone could save them.
Susan. But if John baptized to save men from impending vengeance, why was Jesus baptized?
William. To honor every institution of God: for so he expressed himself when John at first declined the honor of baptizing him.
Olympas. Have we any intimation that John spake on any other topics than those enumerated by the Evangelists?
Thomas. Yes: Luke adds, “And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.” And hence it came to pass that he reproved Herod the tetrarch of Galilee for having taken the wife of his half brother Philip while he yet lived. This caused his imprisonment, and finally cost him his head. In consummation of the crimes of Herod, he added this above all, that "he shut up John in prison."And in this unfortunate predicament we are sorry to leave him for the present.
You will study the genealogy of Jesus, as given by Luke, for the next lesson
COMPLAINTS FROM WITHOUT.
Bethany COLLEGE, 24th April, 1842. Brother Editor_One of your previous correspondents, brother Mit chell of Canada, has, in a private communication, proposed a few Queries, requesting as a favor, that you answer them through the Harbinger. They are the following:
1st. Is it proper to hear a complaint against a brother from one out of the church?
And if so, 2d. What evidence from that source would be sufficient to convict a brother? Would you put them upon oath?
3d. What is the meaning of our Saviour in Luke vi. 27, 35, and more particularly from 30th to middle of 35th, with regard to borrowing and lending? What does he mean in the last two words of the 34th verse? With much Christian esteem,
REMARKS ON THE ABOVE QUERIES, &c.
By W. W. E. Though far removed from the field of my first efforts in the dissemination of the apostolic gospel, it is with no small degree of pleasure that I recognize the name of my tried friend and brother-Mitchell. Having, during the past year-as a public writer-aid aside my pen, it is, to me, quite a task to resume it. Under present circumstances peculiarly so. Never should I have presumed to occupy the chair of an editor, much less that of a teacher through the press, could I have circulated through the British provinces the Harbinger. The lawmakers in her Majesty's province of New Brunswick have imposed on American periodicals in pamphlet form an enormous duty. In conseqnence of which it became impossible to spread before that community those high and ennobling principles, so clearly demonstrated on the pages of the Harbinger. Encouraged by my brethren and friends, I therefore commenced a monthly work, entitled “The Christian.” My object was to republish from the Christian Baptist, the Harbinger, and other works advocating and defending the same cause, such articles as I deemed best calculated to call off the minds of my fellowcitizens from the inventions of men, and induce thein to place them on the word of God, .
My knowledge of many communities, with which we were surrounded their peculiar views and prejudices-inexperienced though we were-induced me to write occasionally on subjects which more ihan others engrossed the attention of our readers. Thus ere we were aware of it, the greater part of the Christian was written by myself. Queries from various hands-our brother Mitchell among the number (who, by the way, was quite famous for asking questions,) with some local opposition, induced me to seize my pen as a defender of the faith once delivered to the saints. The demands of the community kept us engaged until hard times in money matters and the delinquency of several hundred subscribers, involved us so largely in debt to our publisher, that, very reluctantly, we were compelled to discontinue our publication. Since then I have turned my attention to other means in order to help forward the good cause of our Redeemer.
Situated as I now am, I can neither see nor feel the necessity of making much use of my pen. From the western bills of Virginia a voice of truth has sounded out. The unveiled beauties of God's holy word have shone forth from this place, unincumbered with the dogmas and absurdițies of the dark ages, and stripped of the tinsel and ornar. ment so_prevalent among fashionable Christians of more modern times. From Mexico to Nova Scotia many have rejoiced in the light, and praise God for the instrument through which it has been diffused abroad. Britain, too, has felt its power, and many of her sons and daughters have joined with their American brethren in holy exultations. The mind, too, under God, which has been instrumental in accomplishing so much good has lost none of its powers. Strong, vigorous, and active as ever, its possessor is yet on the walls of Zion. For nearly twenty years not a month has passed without intelligence and instruction going out from Bethany; yet even now we have not only a hope, but the prospect of as many more years of active usefulness from the same tongue and pen!
Knowing this, I cannot, but with great difficulty, take my pen to write an article for the Harbinger. Its pages have, for so many years, been stored with productions of men standing high in the estimation of all who could appreciare talent and moral worth-not only as men of vast funds of scriptural knowledge, but of high intellectual and religious endowments, to which were superadded an unfaltering and unwaverlng love, reverence, and respect for the Divine Word. With all this before me, I have my fears that should I accede to the wishesof my beloved Canadian friends and others, the pages of the Harbinger would not be occupied with productions of such usefulness and interest as those which have so long characterized it as the messenger of truth and righteousness.
I have by this time introduced myself to the readers of the Harbin. ger; and now I shall endeavor to answer the queries spread before me, leaving it with the editor to dispose of them as shall be, in his opinion, best for the good cause.
The subjects called up for our consideration involve others of very great moment. Nothing is more necessary among us at the present time than correct views of church organization and Christian discipJine.
Practically we are more defective here than on any other point. I say practically; for I trust that so far as theory is concerned, we are all convinced of the indispensable necessity of maintaining that order and decorum in the congregation of the Lord which is so peculiarly requisite not only to our advancement in Christian knowledge and holiness, but also to the spread of truth and the conversion of our sellow-citizens. But, O! how lamentably defective the organization and discipline of many churches-assemblies, 100, with the sacred high-sounding tiile, Congregations of the Lord!
Every church ought to have its Overseers, Bishops, or Elders. They should be in possession of the qualifications prescribed by the great Apostle Paul, (1 Tim. Titus i.) These overseers ought to have the full voice and sanction of the whole body with whom they stand connected. They should have the government of the whole house. With such men to rule, the members individually ought to remember that the voice of God proclaims in plain obvious language, “Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: fon they watch for your souls as they that must give account."
Let it be presumed that a church is properly constituted with its bishops and deacons. An alien prefers a chargo against one of ito