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think that our Lord's kingdom was of this world, whereas he said it was not; and to look with national pride for crowns and sceptres, instead of prostrating themselves in humility, as sinners, before the cross of Calvary." We are not aware how Mr. McNeile interprets the words just alluded to; but we know how some others interpret them, to make them cohere with their theory: they say, "Our Lord's kingdom was of this world; he never asserted that it was not: what he said, rightly translated, was only, it is not of the present age or dispensation; the time was not yet come for a temporal crown and sceptre: it was merely a question of chronology, not of government." With regard to T. W. C.'s reference to Bishop Horsley, we by no means admit that the Bishop's strong language on the forty-fifth Psalm, or elsewhere, is to be interpreted in the sense of some modern expounders of unfulfilled prophecy; but if it were, this would not affect our opinion; for it were strange to adduce the most fanciful of writers, to prove that an hypothesis is not fanciful. As, however, Horsley's name is urged, we scruple not to say that there are few writers whose authority, even if authority were a test, would weigh with us on such a question less than his; for this precise reason, that he was morally disqualified for the profitable study of sacred mysteries. A man, proud, overbearing, dogmatical, un-devout in his habits, and, we fear, sometimes too ready to take that side of an argument on which he could best exhibit his powerful intellectual gladiatorship, was not the inquirer by whom the inspired page itself expressly declares that "the words closed up and sealed" shall be deciphered. The secret of the Lord is with those that fear him;" and though this does not prove that every good man shall understand prophecy, it shews that more is necessary for the understanding of it than gigantic talents and accumulated learning.
Our Correspondents who continue to address us, pro and contra, on the Case of Miss Fancourt, will, we are sure, upon further consideration, allow us to terminate this too long protracted discussion, especially as all the chief facts and arguments on both sides are already before the public. We shall ourselves set them the example, by not wasting our pages on any further reply to the statements in the Jewish Expositor, and Morning Watch; the truth and candour of which may be inferred from their charge that we have suppressed evidence, whereas Mr. Fancourt's friends have had it, orally and in writing, again and again, that we would insert every tittle that they considered necessary to their side of the argument. The circumstance on which they throw out the charge was this:-H. S. Č. H. sent us two short notes from Dr. Jarvis, which we offered to insert. In the mean time Dr. Jarvis wrote a third, which nullified the two former; and we therefore apprised H. S. C. H. that we were still willing to insert the first two, but that we must, of course, add the third; though we saw no necessity to publish documents which, thus balanced, proved nothing; much less gratuitously to drag Dr. Jarvis before the public, to explain his notes, which extraneous explanation would add nothing to the point in hand. This we expressly stated to H. S. C. H. repeating, however, our willingness to publish the three notes, if Mr. Fancourt's friends wished it: otherwise we should only give the result, as we did (January Number, p. 64), namely, that " Dr. Jarvis's recollections do not allow him to give any precise statement as to the nature or extent of the disorder,” though "he does not deem the case miraculous." No reply was sent to us in answer to this; and we heard no more of the matter till we saw it stated, in the Morning Watch, and Jewish Expositor, that we had surreptitiously suppressed evidence. We might retort the charge, that they have suppressed evidence, by not giving Dr. Jarvis's third note, as well as the two former. The three shall be inserted in our next Number, if Mr. Fancourt's friends wish it; but they prove nothing beyond what we have said.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY.
ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY. (Nos. 78 and 79.)
We append a most interesting account of Hayti, which fully refutes the false statements of the pro-slavery advocates respecting that island. It is true the growth of sugar has diminished; and there were causes enough why it should do so; but order, happiness, and even wealth, may exist without the inordinate culture of sugar; and some of the scenes described in these notices exhibit pictures of peace and plenty and enjoyment which are rarely seen among the peasantry of Europe, and never among the slaves in our own vaunted islands. Contrast with the free peasant of Hayti the afflicting case of the female slave of Mr. Bridges, also alluded to in these papers, and in a manner much to the honour of Lord Goderich and his Majesty's government.
commencement. In both dispensations we trace that identity of feel
Sketches of ORIGINAL SERMONS ing which pervades all good men.
BY THE REV. ROBERT HALL.
(Continued from p. 205.)
2 Chron. xv. 15: And all Judah
The expressions of David of old, are the expressions of our devotion now: as face answers to face in a glass, so doth the heart of man to man.
We must confess that care is necessary not to press the comparison of the two dispensations too far, so as to lose sight of the difference between the two. The types and shadows must not be too curiously urged. We must not apply immediately to the state of Christians every promise in the Old Testament. Some of the promises were confined to the Mosaical economy: some of the prophecies, also, received their accomplishment in the age when they were delivered, or in those immediately following; and therefore are not to be fulfilled now. Similar cautions may be extended to other points, in the comparison between the Old and New Testament.
But, to leave this digression, or rather introduction to our subject, we have before us an account of the reformation in religion made by king Asa. Abijah his father had encouraged idolatry: he had followed the last days of Solomon: but Asa's heart had been touched with the fear of God at an early period; and, throughout his reign, it was perfect before God, allowing for some serious drawbacks. Piety is no protection against external calamities. An invasion of an Ethiopian prince took place: probably * Delivered on Thursday, Feb. 8, 1827. the troops were composed of some CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 353.
The Old Testament is replete with typical persons, typical ceremonies, places, things, events, institutionsespecially its sacrifices. It was throughout, the Apostle informs us, "a shadow of good things to come.' We are to compare one with another. We discern in the Gospel that finished work of which the Law was the
tribes of the Cushites of Arabia, or the neighbouring parts. Ethiopians, in Scripture, generally mean the Arabs, and not the inhabitants of the country south of Egypt. This prince came upon Judea with a million of forces. Asa applied in prayer to God, and pleaded that it was nothing with Him to help, whether with many or with them that have no power; and that in His name he went against the multitude of his enemies. "Let not man, O Lord," concludes the pious monarch, "let not man prevail against Thee."
Thus he rested; cast himself upon God: and God justified his confidence and heard his prayer. Asa not only drave back his enemies, but enlarged his own territory: he recovered Gera, which had been taken by the Philistines. Azariah, the son of Oded, a prophet, of whom we read nothing but upon this occasion, met Asa immediately upon his victory; and, after appealing to the dealings of God with Israel in past times, and solemnly warning him of the consequences of disobedience, invited Asa to return to the Lord, and institute a national reformation. From this time Asa took courage; assembled the people, and attempted a serious and important reformation; removed the abominable idols; renewed the decayed altar of the Lord; re-established his worship at the temple; deposed Maacah the queen, and cut down her idol, and stamped it and burnt it at the brook Kidron, as an expression of abhorrence. Then he engages his people in a covenant to seek the Lord God of their fathers; "and they sware unto the Lord with a loud voice, and with shouting, and with trumpets, and with cornets." This was a repetition of the covenant made at Mount Sinai.
The text then assures us of the manner and spirit in which the engagement was made. They rejoiced at the oath; and especially because of the unanimity which accompanied it. This was attended with instruments of music, and shouting, agreeably to the splendour of that dispensation, when instrumental music was
peculiarly appropriate. We read of similar reformations under Jehoshaphat, Hezekiah, and lastly under Josiah; in each of which the proceedings were national. The king took the lead-for the kingdom and the church were the same: the king was the head of the church, though he was not permitted to interfere with the priesthood: he was the vicegerent and lieutenant of the Almighty; for God himself was their supreme Lord and King, and the kings had a delegated power under him. This was designed to unite the nation under one and the same species of government, for the preservation of the purity of worship, and to perpetuate the statutes and ordinances given by the hand of Moses.
Let us, then, consider, I. The nature of the engagement, and its connexion with our duty now. II. The spirit with which that engagement was entered into, and especially the joy and satisfaction which accompanied it.
I. It was an engagement to return to that covenant which God had made with their fathers, by which God avouched them to be his people, and entered into alliance with them as their God. This embraced the exclusive worship of God, and an acknowledgment of the duty of cultivating all those affections, and performing all those actions, which are due to God. It was an engagement to serve God supremely and entirely; to love him with all their heart; to place their dependence upon him; and to regulate their conduct by his will. Real engagements with God are under all dispensations the same substantially for God is the same— he changes not-and man is the same; and the nature of that religion of which God is the object cannot change, though it may be distinguished by different circumstances, and by various degrees of light. This engagement is called an oath; and it is said, "they sware unto the Lord;" though, whether they took the oath in the formal terms, and with the solemnities observed in judicial mat
ters, may be doubted. But as they publicly appealed to God for the sincerity of what they professed, the engagement had all the force and sanction of an oath.
1. When the Christian convert first engages in the service of God through Christ-who is the object of his obedience, love, confidence, and trust-this engagement may be termed an oath. Every one who enters into covenant with God, enters into an engagement equivalent in force and solemnity to an oath: it implies a solemn appeal to the omnipresent and omniscient God. A formal oath cannot bring with it any thing more awful than the making God the inspector and judge of the sincerity of our declaration; except, perhaps, as to our fellow-creatures not being witnesses so distinctly of the transaction, as in the case of oaths in civil and criminal proceedings. But as to the substance of the appeal, every conversion to God implies an engagement equivalent in seriousness to that of the people under Asa. The vows of God are upon the convert. He appeals to the Supreme Creator, the Searcher of hearts; which amounts, in fact, to an oath. He acknowledges himself to belong to Christ. He avouches the Lord to be his God. He feels and confesses that he is not his own, but bought with a price, that he may glorify God with his body and with his spirit, which are God's.
2. On the public confession of our faith before the church at our baptism we enter into covenant with God; we repeat and renew the engagement more privately made between God and our souls. This is a most solemn transaction, a declaration and engagement as solemn as words and actions can convey. By being baptized into the name of each distinct Person in the Godhead, we recognise each particular Person as our Lord and God, according to the parts which they bear in the mystery of our salvation: we recognize and subject ourselves to God the Father, as our Father, who hath loved us, and
given his Son for us; to God the Son, as our Saviour, who became incarnate and died for our redemption; to God the Holy Ghost, as that Divine Agent by whom we are enabled to believe in Christ, and are united to him and the Father in love: we enter into an engagement which has the nature of an oath, to be the Father's, the Son's, and the Holy Ghost's. We have the marks and signs of the covenant upon us. Holiness is the grand qualification for serving God. God has appointed an element to be used in baptism which is ordinarily used in purifying the body from defilement, in order to represent the purifying of the soul by the Holy Ghost: we receive, therefore, in baptism, the symbols and pledges and marks of sanctifying grace: we bear upon our body the impress of the Lord Jesus*.
3. At the table of the Lord these VOWS
are again renewed by the Christian believer. A solemn engagement is then again undertaken. When we receive the sacred elements of the bread and wine, it is a great and most serious promise to take Christ as our Saviour, to receive him as the only ground of our dependence, our Lord, our Pattern, our Prince, our Shepherd, our Friend. We engage ourselves to live upon him, as the Bread of life; and to live to him, as the Lord of conscience, the King of kings and Lord of lords. There is no form of words of the precise nature of swearing, indeed; but this engagement has in it the nature and sanction of an oath. We declare solemnly, in the presence of the all-seeing God, that we are the
Lord's, and that we will renounce pervades all time, all place, the every thing displeasing in his sight. whole man. We are consecrated The very word sacrament, by which to God, with all our bodily faculties the Lord's Supper is most commonly and mental powers. We are not our designated, is derived from the miliown: we resign ourselves to God, tary oath of the Roman soldiers—sa- as his peculiar property; to be kept cramentum militaire-by which they as a sacred thing, to be the habitation swore never to desert their standard, of God through the Spirit, to be the nor fly from before their enemies, seat of everlasting communications. but to continue faithful unto death. In like manner this engagement binds the soul to Christ, and renders it a sacrilege afterwards to alienate it to the service of sin and the world. And, on the other hand, the Lord binds himself, where this engagement is sincerely taken, to bestow on us all the grace and blessings promised in the Divine covenant.
How important a thing, then, is it to make a profession of religion! It is not the calling ourselves by a new name, nor the forsaking one community of Christians and joining ourselves to another; it is not the transferring of our attendance and influence from one place, and one minister, to new ones: but it is an engagement which extends to the whole of our being it is the consecration of ourselves to the unseen but omnipotent Ruler: it is an act which associates us with angels: it is a bond obliging us to live and devote ourselves to God; to turn our attention from all creatures to Him; to account every thing as vanity, but God and his service. And these vows are repeated whenever we approach the Lord's table. We hold out again, on each such occasion, to the world around us, our public profession of faith in Christ: we proclaim to angels, to men, to devils, to the church, to God, and to Christ, that we are not our own, but the Lord's; that we have made ourselves over to Christ, to be guided by him for time and eternity.
This engagement, I would now observe, after thus enumerating the chief occasions when it is made, must reach the heart. It doth not extend to actions merely, and stop there; it doth not extend to times and seasons only, and stop there; but it
This engagement, once more, must be voluntary. So it was in the case of Israel and king Asa before us.
For although God has a claim to all our obedience, and a right over us, which nothing can impair or increase, yet he treats us as he did Israel,-as free and accountable agents. He laid before the nations of Israel, when the covenant was made at Mount Sinai, the Law: he proposed it to their choice, he asked their assent. Upon this the people accepted the conditions of the covenant. In a covenant, the several parties must act a voluntary part. Religion will not bear compulsion. If obedience is compelled, it is no obedience. Though God enjoins obedience by the sanctions of his law, and has an infinite right to it, as our Creator and Benefactor, yet if we yield that obedience reluctantly, it is not true obedience; it has fear, which has torment; it has nothing vital, nothing of love, nothing cordial, nothing acceptable to God. And such compulsory obedience is, moreover, only partial and temporary: it extends only to a few branches of duty; and is like the morning cloud and the early dew, which passeth away.
But this engagement must be sincere and hearty, cordial and affectionate. The Christian yields himself unto God as one that is alive from the dead. He says, Other lords besides thee have had dominion over us, but by Thee only will we make mention of thy name." He renounces all other masters, and cheerfully devotes himself to one Master, even Christ. He is a volunteer in his service; made willing in the day of Christ's power, and presented to him in the beauty of holiness.