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of God, and what I find inimical to that "sure word of prophecy' to expose; and as a citizen of Zion, I feel it my highest honour to stand forward in defence of the honour and character of my Sovereign, and to maintain every feature of the charter of the city.
I conclude with one request to my brother H— that is, not to be so rash in judging his brethren, should he at any future period take up his pen, under similar circumstances.
By giving this an early insertion, you will much oblige,
Your's and H—'s in our dear Lord Jesus,
Hoxton, June 3,1827. T. W. H.
(For the Spiritual Magazine.J
When I first heard the announcement of the departure from this world of sin and sorrow to the abodes of immortal bliss, of that highly-favoured servant of the most High God, the Rev. Robert Hawker, my soul was ready to exclaim with the royal psalmist, "The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart; and merciful men are taken away." The church militant has sustained, I was about to say, an irreparable loss; but no, blessed be our gracious covenant Head, is it not a most blessed consolation that though the under shepherd is removed, yet the great Shepherd of the sheep ever lives? Perhaps you will allow me through the medium of your pages, to pay my feeble tribute of affection to the memory of our dear departed brother in the Lord.
Although I knew him not in the flesh, yet can I truly say, that under the operation of God the Holy Ghost, his writings have been truly profitable to my soul. That he was an able, and faithful minister of the new testament, none who are blest with a knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus will deny; and his writings will bear ample testimony that though skilled in human learning, yet he had the infallible teaching of God the Holy Ghost,—that he was under the fresh anointings and unctious operations of the great Remembrancer of the church. Thousands who have had the opportunity and great privilege of either hearing the gospel of the Son of God in all its glorious purity drop from his venerable lips, or have perused his invaluable writings, will bear testimony to the truth of these statements, that the church has sustained a loss.
To those who know the value of a pure gospel ministry, need I repeat he was truly a burning and shining light; and have we not reason to bless and adore the great Head of the church for having spared him so long to labour in his vineyard? and not only having made him faithful, but graciously supporting him and keeping that dear servant faithful; thereby fulfilling his most gracious promise in our dear brother's experience, "Lo, I am with you always, even
unto the end." Well, the pilgrim is arrived at the end of his pil'grimage; he is now beyond the fiery darts of the enemy; he is safe landed on the shores of eternal bliss, out of the reach of the archers, who, while in this vale of tears, shot at him sore. Blessed Immanuel! covenant Head of thy body the church, raise up, we beseech thee, §uch another soldier of the cross! Holy Spirit! Divine Testifier of Jesus, qualify and send forth into the vineyard many more such eminent servants of the Lamb, who shall stand bold to declare the matchless glories of Immanuel's Person, the fulness, the freeness, of his glorious salvation, and the efficacy and preciousness of Jesus' invaluable blood.
But while the church laments her loss, it is our dear departed brother's eternal gain. Yes, now he is in the full meridan of eternal day! Now he sees his honoured Lord and master as he is: and shall we sorrow as those without hope? shall we not rather anticipate by precious faith the moment when we shall be ushered into the assembly and church of the first-born, and join the spirits of the just made perfect, and to meet those whom we loved in the Lord on earth, and who are departed hence in the Lord? and, above all, to meet our gracious elder brother, Jehovah Jesus, the mediator of the new covenant, God over all blessed for evermore.
While the church of Christ here is lamenting the great loss, methinks 1 hear the enemies of the cross enjoying a partial triumph. The archers, not content with letting fly the envenomed shafts at our dear brother while here below, now that he is gone far above their puny efforts, endeavour to vilify his ministerial character. His moral character, even his most inveterate enemies are constrained to acknowledge stands unimpeachable. Peace to his sacred dust! it now rests in the grave in joyful hope of a glorious resurrection to eternal life, at the last great day of account.
"The memory of the just is blessed:" and "the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance." Nor can it be doubted, that the memory of our departed brother will long be held in remembrance by the saints of the living God. I cannot conclude these reflections without praying the Lord of the harvest that he will please to send more faithful labourers into his vineyard, who shall set them to declare the whole counsel of God. May the Lord the eternal Spirit make Jesus more and more precious to each elect vessel of mercy brought to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus; and grant us precious faith, dearest Lord, which is thine own gift, that we may be followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises, considering the end of their conversation, Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
I remain, Mr. Editor,
Your's in covenant bonds,
London, April 3t, 1827- A SlNNEB.
(For the Spiritual Magazine.)
CONCERNING OUR BLESSEn LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST. BY
THEODOSIUS, A JEW, WHO LIVED IN THE TIME OF JUSTINIAN, AS
RELATED BY SUIDAS.
In the reign of that most religious emperor, Justinian, there lived a certain man, a ruler of the Jews, whose name was Theodosius. He was very well acquainted with many of the christians, and among the rest, with the emperor before-mentioned. About the same time there was a certain christian, called Philip, by trade a silversmith. This person knowing the concerns of Theodosius, and, by a constant familiarity with him, having gained some influence on his temper, took upon him one day to exhort and persuade him to become a christian: wherefore this said Philip found an opportunity to discourse with Theodosius after this manner. 'Sir, (said he,) I would willingly know the reason why you, (who are a wise man, and one who exactly understands what both the law and the prophets have spoken concerning our Lord Christ,) believe not in him, and become a christian? For I am persuaded that it is not for want of knowledge in the inspired writings, which have foretold the coming of our common Lord Jesus Christ, that you refuse to turn christian. Be speedy then, and save your own soul, believing in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, lest by a continuance in your infidelity you subject yourself to a severe judgment at the last day.' The Jew hearing what was said by the christian, gave his approbation and thanks for his kind admonition, and returned him this answer: ' I very well approve of your love to me towards God, because you are so careful of my salvation, and endeavour by your good exhortations to convert me to the christian faith; for which reason, as I am in the presence of God, who sees and knows the secrets of the heart, I will speak to you with no manner of guile or dissimulation, but with all imaginable truth.' 'That therefore Christ, who was spoken of by the law and the prophets, and whom you christians worship, is already come I am firmly assured, and frankly confess it to you, who are my sincere and loving friend, and one who is so studious of my welfare; but human reasons overcome me, and hinder me from turning christian ; and in this I condemn myself; for as to my present circumstances, I am a chief among the Jews, I am in high honour, presented with the richest gifts, and want nothing this world can afford to make my life easy and pleasurable; for suppose I was made the patriarch of the catholic church, and you should dignify me with higher offices and larger command, yet. I presume I should not meet with greater respect and reverence than I do now in my station as a Jew. Therefore that I may not be deprived of the seeming pleasures of this life, I neglect that which is to come, and in this I do evil. But to set before you my true reasons for the sake of your love towards me, I entrust a mystery with you which is kept secret among us hebrews, from which we know for certain, that this Christ, who is adored by you christians, was he ho was foretold by the law and the prophets. Nor are we persuaded of it by what has been written in old times only, but by what is committed to writing and kept secret among us; which secret is thus. In ancient times, when the temple of Jerusalem was building, it was a custom among the Jews to constitute as many priests in the temple as there are letters in our alphabet, which are twenty-two, whence likewise we reckon twenty-two books which are divinely inspired. There was a book laid up in the temple, in which were written the names of the twentytwo priests, together with the names of the father and mother of each of them. Now as soon as one of the priests was dead, the rest were convened in the temple, and there by a common suffrage, chose another to supply the room of the deceased, so that the number of twenty-two might be compleat; and in this book was set down the day the priest died on, and who was his father and who was his mother; so likewise the name of him who succeeded, and who was his father, and who was his mother.
This custom having obtained among the Jews, it happened abont the time that Jesus dwelt in Judea, one of the two and twenty priests died before Jesus had made himself known to the world, and taught people to believe in him: wherefore the rest of the priests met together in order to substitute another in the place of the deceased. Now when every one by himself had nominated a particular man whom he thought worthy of the priesthood, the rest did not approve of him as being deficient in those virtues which ought chiefly to recommend a person in so holy an office; for allowing him to be a wise and discreet man, of approved life and conversation, yet if he had not a competent knowledge in the law and the prophets, he was by no means judged worthy of the priesthood. Wherefore after this manner many priests being put up to the vote, and all disapproved of, one among the rest rose up, and standing in the midst, spake thus: you see that many who have been nominated to the priesthood have been found incapable, give me therefore leave to name one, who on all accounts may very fitly supply the room of the deceased; and I am of opinion that there is not one among you who will not freely give in to my determination. The rest of the priests having granted him liberty of speech, he went on: I would have, said he, Jesus the son of Joseph, the carpenter, chosen in the room of the deceased; as for his years indeed he is but young; but his youth is set off with eloquence, a good life, and unblameable conversation; and I verily think of all the sons of men none was ever yet like him for probity and religion: you who live in Jerusalem are eye witnesses of this, which is beyond all exception. When the rest of the priests heard this, they received the man he had nominated, and confirmed their vote by a decree ; by virtue of which Jesus was elected, as one in all respects capable of the priesthood. Notwithstanding some objected that he was not of the tribe of Levi, but of the tribe of Judah, supposing him to be the son of Joseph, for such he was taken to be by the Jews. Now they all bore witness that Joseph was descended from the tribe of Judah, and not of Levi. And for this reason, because he seemed not to be of the Levitical tribe, they would have hindered him from the office of the priesthood. But the priest who had nominated him first, answered them, that his race was a mixed race; for in antient times there had been a mixture of the two tribes, and hence was the stock of Joseph derived. When they had heard this, they all concurred in the approbation of their former decree, and in their public assembly they were pleased to declare Jesus successor to the deceased. But because it was a custom to write in a book, not only the name of the priest elect, but the names also of his father and mother, one of them cried out, that his parents should be first sent for to give in their names, and to know of them whether he was their son, who was chosen into their society. This they all consented to; but he who had named Jesus to the priesthood, told them that Joseph, the father of Jesus, was dead, and that he had none but a mother living. Wherefore they all agreed that his mother should be sent for to appear before the council, that they might hear from her own mouth whether she was the mother of Jesus, and whether she brought him forth, and knew the name of her husband by whom she had him. This took with them all, and therefore they sent for the mother of Jesus, and said unto her,—whereas one of our priests is dead, we are willing to place your son Jesus in his stead; but according to custom, we must write the name of his father and mother in a book; tell us therefore if Jesus was your son? and if you brought him forth?
When Mary had heard this, she answered the priests thus: I confess that Jesus is my son, for I brought him forth, and of this both the men and the women who are now alive, and were in the room when I was delivered, can bear me witness. But that he had no father upon earth, if you please I can prove by undoubted testimony. For when I lived in Galilee, in a state of virginity, an angel of God, while I was broad awake, and not inclined to sleep, coming into the chamber where I was, brought me the glad tidings that I should bring forth a son by the Holy Ghost, whose name he commanded me to call Jesus. After I had seen this vision* being then a virgin, I conceived, and bore my son Jesus, and have remained a virgin to this very day, even after I had brought him forth. When the priests had heard these things, they immediately sent for some faithful midwives, and commanded to enquire diligently whether Mary was truly a virgin at this time. Upon which the matrons being satisfied by matter of fact, in which they had certain knowledge, affirmed her to be a virgin. Besides, there came certain women then living, who were present at her delivery, and bore witness that Jesus was her son. The priests being astonished at the speech of Mary, and the testimonies concerning the birth, said unto her, tell us freely, that we may Vol. IV.—No. 39. H