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thing," nothing then remains for him but to be cast forth and virtually separated from the body of Christ as a branch that is withered.
In the seventh and eighth verses, our Saviour again recurs to that which constituted the whole difficulty to the mind of Nicodemus; " Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” Now why is there the sudden change from the singular to the plural? and why does Jesus alter the expression he had before used, and say, Ye must be born again, instead of a man must be born again? The change was made emphatically to declare that this new birth was requisite for Jews as well as for Gentiles; not only for men generally, but for you, the descendants of Abraham according to the flesh.
The next verse is the only one in which I would propose any variation from the authorized version : and that variation is to render #vevua at the commencement of it by spirit rather than wind.* And this alteration appears requisite on two grounds : first, upon the general principles of translation, which require that an important technical term shall be rendered uniformly, if possible, throughout any compact discourse in which it is frequently used. Now it is clear that have vua, which occurs four times in this discourse, does, in three of the cases, undoubtedly mean spirit. And besides, in no other case in the New Testament does tvɛvua occur in the sense of wind, avɛuos being uniformly used for that purpose. The word pwyn is also more properly expressive of an articulate sound, than of a noise like that occasioned by the wind : while ónov Oɛlɛl appears at least to refer to a subject capable of volition.
But besides these arguments from verbal criticism, the whole argument leads to the conclusion that wind cannot be the proper rendering of tvevua in this text. The commentators generally presume that Nicodemus could not bring himself to believe that such great effects as deserved the name of a new birth could be produced by an invisible agent; and that Jesus directed his attention to the powerful effects produced by the wind, as an expressive illustration of the efficacy of the Spirit. But no where in this dialogue is it hinted that Nicodemus had any doubts of the power of invisible agents. As a Jew, he must have known that the world was created by an invisible agent, and that the formation and natural birth of every human being was the work of invisible agency; how then could he doubt but that the same invisible agent had power to effect the new birth also ?
On the other hand, we have seen that his previous opinions must have disinclined him to receive two most fundamental truths respecting the kingdom of Messiah. He doubted that it could be indifferently open to Jew and Gentile, and he doubted whether there was any possible sense in which a descendants of Abraham could be born again. To these doubts Jesus addressed himself, saying in substance, “ Marvel not if I have said that you, even you, the descendants of Abraham, must be born anew of water and of the Spirit, before you can be admitted into the kingdom of Messiah. The Spirit breathes, that is to say, exerts his spiritualizing agency where and upon whom
• In this I follow the Vulgate version. VOL. XII. NO. 'VIII.
he pleases. You are conscious of his dictates ; but you cannot know that he comes to you in virtue of your natural descent from Abraham, and you cannot tell to what other classes and nations of men he may extend his saving efficacy. So is every one that is born of the Spirit; he is the object of an act of free grace, for which he can give no reason, but that such is the gracious will of the Spirit towards him."
On the remainder of this interesting discourse I have nothing new to offer; and indeed I find that the remarks which I have made are not so absolutely new as I imagined them to be. To those who have learned to consider the writings of Calvin and his followers as authoritative expositions of the sense of Scripture, I am aware that the manner in which regeneration is here spoken of will appear strange and unscriptural. But the theological technology of the Jews was a very different thing from that of the Calvinists, and no one was ever more aware of this difference than that most learned Calvinist, Lightfoot.
Thence from the velvet womb of earth, Spring fruits, and herbs, and trees to birth ; And cattle, as they idly stray, Nip the soft grass that clothes their way. To cheer man's thoughtless heart, the vine Bears its rich load of gladsome wine; The olives juicy odours shed, To swell the honours of his head; And health and strength are onward borne, Triumphant in the waving corn. Wide, Libanus, athwart each glade Thy cedars spread an holy shade, Their mighty branches upward fling, And glory in eternal spring. There, undisturbed, in simple rest, The sparrow builds its little nest; There broods above each pine-clad walk The lonely summer-loving stork; The goat, the rabbit, and the bare, In fearless freedom wander there. Lord, by Thy laws the infant sun First learned his ordered course to run; And the pale moon, with feebler ray, To catch the sinking fires of day. Shrouded in that uncertain light, Roam forth the wanderers of the night; The lion quits his forest-sward, And seeks provision of the Lord. But lo! on balmy zephyrs borne, Wake the faint blushes of the morn; Instinctively the savage train Speed to their secret haunts again, And man resumes his daily toil, Sole monarch of the kindred soil. Lord! in each view we ceaseless trace The wonders of almighty grace; These are the works thy wisdom plann'd, The varied creatures of Thy hand ! Nor these alone glad tribute bring To Thee, their Maker, and their King; Sporting around the coral caves, Where Ocean rolls his ancient waves; Unnumbered forms their pastimes keep, And animate the busy deep. There go the ships—and in the sun Basks idly the Leviathan; While countless myriads, by his side, Among the dimpled waters glide. These to Thy mercies anxious flee, And ask and gain support from Thee; Or conscious, hide their trembling form, And quake beneath the mighty storm; At Thy rebuke, dissolve again, And melt into the empty main. Born in that smile, whose faintest ray Beams brightly a celestial day, Calmıs every storm, and dries all tears, The halcyon of a thousand spheres.
0! if, my God, Thy glorious power
Fade as a madman's idle dreams.
AUGMENTATION OF SMALL LIVINGS. MR. EDITOR,—Since much has been said of late respecting the disproportion of emoluments in the Church Establishment, may I be permitted to suggest one plain and simple mode of improvement in this respect, to which no reasonable objection can be urged. By the 5th of Queen Anne, cap. 4, the Archbishops and Bishops of each Diocese are required to inform themselves, by the oaths of witnesses, of the clear improved yearly value of every benefice, with care of souls, within their respective jurisdictions, which does not amount to 501. per annum, and to certify the same into the Exchequer, in order that such benefices may be discharged from the payment of the Firstfruits and Tenths, and that all above the value should, by their First-fruits and Tenths, contribute to the augmentation of the former. The Governors of the Royal Bounty have proceeded in the regular course of augmentation since the year 1714, on the valuation then made of all ecclesiastical preferment; but it is computed that 300 years will elapse before all the livings, already certified as under 501., will, under the present system, be augmented even to that sum. If the present improved value of all ecclesiastical property, to which no care of souls is annexed, were ascertained, which the same act of Queen Anne might, I presume, empower the Bishop to do, and the First-fruits and Tenths of such property applied to the augmentation of such small benefices, in the course of fifteen years each benefice would be rendered sufficient for the residence of a beneficed clergyman. Nothing can be more equitable than that every ecclesiastical preferment, which has not the care of souls, should contribute the actual value of its First-fruits and Tenths to 'the augmentation of benefices which have the care of souls.*
1. R. B., Napton Vicarage, Warwickshire.
Our Correspondent should have suggested some plan by which Lay Impropriators might have assisted in the fulfilment of his laudable proposal..
THE BIBLE. " " A single book has saved me; but that book is not of human origin. Long had I despised it; long had I deemed it a class-book for credulity and ignorance ; until, having investigated the Gospel of Christ, with an ardent desire to ascertain its truth, its pages proffered to my inquiries the sublimest knowledge of man and nature, and the simplest and, at the same time, the most exalted system of Moral Ethics. Faith, hope, and charity were rekindled in my bosom : and every advancing step strengthened me in the conviction, that its morals are as superior to human morals, as its dogmas are superior to human opinions."-M. L. BAUTAIN, M.D. Professor of Philosophy to the Faculty of Literature at Strasburg, 1827.
TO THE SYNDICATE OF THE CLARENDON PRESS, OXFORD.
GENTLEMEN,—I have long had the intention of addressing a few words to you on the printing of folio Prayer-books for the desks of churches and chapels; and the necessity of giving a new edition, on occasion of our recent loss, seems to present a proper opportunity. Every circumstance tending to the propriety and decorum of the prayer and praises of the admirable service of the Church of England cannot but be worthy of notice : through the favour, therefore, of the Christian Remembrancer, I beg to observe, that I have been in Holy Orders upwards of thirty-four years, and have, during that time, performed the service generally three or four times a week, and for some years twice every day; consequently have had much experience in the several points conducing to the decorum of that service: to one of those points, connected with the printing of those prayers for the public use of the Clergy, it appears advisable to call your particular attention. I have repeatedly observed in the performance of others, and have myself felt the inconvenience of turning over a leaf during the utterance of a prayer, occasioned by the printer having arranged the letter-press so that a part of the composition is on one page, and another part on the following page. The person officiating is therefore compelled to prepare himself by previously taking the leaf in his hand ; or should he omit this interruption to the congregation, he is in danger of inconveniently attracting their attention from their devotions, by a hesitation in turning the leaf over; or sometimes by two leaves adhering together : and all this interruption is occasioned without the least necessity, as perhaps half a page, or even more, is left blank at the end of the Morning, and the same at the Evening Service. This hindrance and inconvenience might easily be prevented by arranging the blank spaces on each page so that the whole of every prayer should appear on the same page.
While I am on the subject of printing, it may be as well also to notice the alterations and omissions that are sometimes made by the compositor, without competent authority, and without correction by the superintendent of the press. It may be sufficient, for