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know to refuse the evil and choose fufilled. Archelaus succeeded his the good," many understand the father Herod in his power in Judæa, age of two or three years to be though profane authors do not style meant-(Scott in loco). But I think him“ king.” He was banished to that age was intended at which the Vienne in the tenth year of his auchild would have attained such ex- thority, which may very well be in perience and strength of reason, as the tenth year* of the age of our in general qualify a young man to Saviour. It was in the thirteenth take a part in the business of mature year of his age [when he was twelve life. And this on two grounds : years old, Luke ii. 42], that Jesus first, because the words themselves Christ was found by his parents seem to denote greater acquirements sitting among the doctors in the of wisdom than could be attained so temple. early as the age of two or three On either supposition, the termiyears ; but principally because, in nation of this series of kings was in the fourth verse of the eighth chap- peaceable times, and attended with ter, it is declared that an event, no extraordinary calamities to the which was to happen within this people of Judæa. short time after the birth of a child Thus, if we apply to the word there mentioned, shall take place“ kings" the idea of series of kings, , “ before the child shall have know- it is impossible to refer the proledge to cry My father, and My phecy to any other than to Jesus mother.” I conclude that different Christ; and it fixes the time at ages are described by such different which he was to be born-nameforms of expression.
ly, just before the end of the second As the second series of kings was series of kings.
G. S. to end before the child knew « how to refuse the evil and choose the good," and as peace was to continue until he had attained this Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. knowledge, it follows, that the termination of this series of kings The inquiry which has taken would not be attended with such place in the late Numbers of the judgments as accompanied the re- Christian Observer, in regard to the moval of the house of David from doctrines advanced by M. Malan the throne. The fifteenth verse in “ the Conventicle of Rolte," has seems thus to have very great force excited very general interest, and and propriety.
certainly claims the serious consiNow, the second series of kings deration of all who are anxious for in Judæa began about 107 years the propagation of scriptural senbefore Christ, and continued in the timents and sound divinity. As you family of Maccabeus till Herod the have expressed your wish to close Great, about thirty-seven years be
the discussion, I shall not go over fore Christ, overcame Antigonus, the general ground which has been and obtained the regal power and occupied by your correspondents ; title. Herod died a few months but I beg leave to offer a few reafter the birth of our Saviour. Scott, marks on two or three incidental understanding the age of the child points, in reference to the paper of in verse fifteen, to be two or three W. H. in your number for May. years, supposes the prophecy ac- W. H. observes, that the English complished in some sense by the translation of the “ Conventicle" death of Herod.
But on the supposition that the * The date of Herod's death not being age denoted in verse fifteen is that exactly known, these paragraphs are writabove contended for, the prophecy be taken to them on account of this unis in many instances grossly incor. guarded and unscriptural nature, rect. But I beg leave to state in and which surely ought to be correply, that not only have I atten- rected. W. H. asserts (p. 259, line tively compared it with the ori- 12, first column), that the believer ginal, and found it to be almost performs good works, “ not because invariably faithful and spirited; but it is his duty to do them." This M. Malan himself asssured me, doctrine is the very spirit of Antithat, having minutely examined it, nomianism : it is not only diamehe thought it not only 'most cor- trically opposite to M. Malan's senrect, but the best translation of any timents, but it is highly disparaging of his works into the English lan- to the eternal and unchangeable guage. I would just notice two of law of God. It is true that W. H. in W. H.'s criticisms upon the trans- other parts of his paper seems to lation, which appear to me to be contradict this statement; but still altogether erroneous. He speaks it ought not to be allowed to pass of the phrase employed by the unnoticed. The Law is to be retranslator, “ Believe in God," in- garded in two points of view : Ist, stead of “ believe God," as incor- Materially, for its mere preceptive rect. But, “ believe God" and part, and as it teaches us what is “ believe in God" are used syno- the will of God; or, 2dly, Formally, nymously in Scripture. Thus the as it is a covenant, whether of works sacred historian, in Genesis xv. 6, or grace. The Law considered matetells us that Abraham “ believed rially is always the same, being the in the Lord;” while the Apostle, in transcript of the Divine image. It the fourth chapter of the Romans, is eternal, unchangeable, and everspeaks of the patriarch“ believing lasting. All the creatures of God, God,” and immediately after uses in every situation, are bound to obey the expression “ believe on God,” it, and can never be freed from this precisely in the same sense. obligation. Both under the covenant
ten subject to any objection which may has been exactly and remarkably certainty.
W. H. has also evidently mis- of works and under that of grace, taken the meaning of the following the matter of the Law is the same. sentence, “ Mais ce sont des Chre. The believer, being united to Christ, tiens que le Seigneur cherche et is for ever freed from the Law as a appelle;" which he says ought to covenant of works, “ the whole be rendered as follows, “ But it is power and sanction of which,” to Christians that the Lord seeks for use the words of Dr. Owen, and calls.” (p. 263, Ch. Obs.) Had conferred upon Christ, and in him this been M. Malan's meaning, he fulfilled and ended.” But he who would have been chargeable with believes in Christ, though he be an egregious error in doctrine, di- delivered from the curse of the rectly at variance with Scripture, Law, is not freed from its precept. as well as contrary to our most Whether a man is under the coveapproved standards. So far from nant of works or that of grace, in Christians being those whom the either case he is bound, though Lord seeks and calls, we know that under the influence of very different it is the “ ungodly," those who are motives, to perform good works ; “ dead in trespasses and sins.” that is to say, to obey the Law. The true translation obviously is, The language of the law of works “ Christians are those whom the is, “ If ihou wouldst enter into life Lord seeks and calls:" that is to say, eternal, keep the commandments; in order to be a Christian, it is not that of the law of Christ is, “ If ye enough to belong to a particular love me, keep my commandments: sect, but we must be sought and and so far from good works not effectually called by the Lord. being a duty, we are told, in the
I was astonished to find in W.H.'s eighty-ninth Psalm, that the dispaper a sentiment of the most un- obedience of the believer is to be CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 308.
punished with a rod and his ini. It involves our best interests ; “ it is quity with stripes. The Apostle our life.” To come to a right consays, “ Do we make void the Law clusion concerning it, and to act through faith? God forbid ; yea, we accordingly, is the truest wisdom; establish the Law"-that is, we esta. it will be our introduction to a state blish it as a covenant of works, which of life, of peace, and of never-endhas been fully performed by Christ; ing blessedness. To neglect to inand also as a rule of life, which we quire into it, or to refuse practically have the strongest motives to obey. to follow up our convictions when The moment, then, that we are de- we have done so, is the height of livered from the Law as a covenant rashness and folly, and will prove of works, this unchangeable law the eternal ruin of our souls. becomes our guide to teach us that Let us then seriously, ard with obedience which we owe to God, diligent prayer for the blessing of and from which neither man nor God upon our meditations, proceed angel can ever be liberated. to consider, First, what are the two
ways mentioned in the text, the way of the foolish and the way of
understanding; and, Secondly, the FAMILY SERMONS.—No. CCXXIV. importance of forsaking the one and Prov. ix. 6. Forsake the
foolish, and going in the other. live ; and go in the way of under- the two ways mentioned in our text
First, then, let us inquire what are standing
-namely, the way of the foolish True religion includes two partie and the way of understanding. culars, called in Scripture ceasing Now, if we would obtain a right to do evil, and learning to do well; knowledge on this subject, we must putting off the old man, and putting not consult the opinions of the world, on the new; taking from us the heart or listen to the prejudices or pasof stone, and giving to us a heart sions of our own hearts; but must of flesh. It implies something to go at once to the word of God, and be renounced, and something to be there learn what is true wisdom and espoused; something to be given up, what is folly, what are the ways of and something to be gained. It is life and what are the ways of death. being turned from darkness to light, 1. And, first, with regard to the and from the power of Satan unto character of the foolish-whom God; or, according to our text, for- and whose ways we are to forsake saking the way of the foolish, which – how different is the estimate of leads to death; and walking in the the word of God from the current way of understanding, that we may opinions of mankind! The world live. Are we then anxious for the usually account that man foolish salvation of our souls? Do we wish who does not make the things of this to be safe and happy in time and life, in one or other of its aspects, throughout eternity? Let us inquire the great object of his desires. The in what consists that great and es- covetous man thinks him foolish sential change of character which who neglects the pursuit of riches, is to prepare us to meet our God; or is not skilful in obtaining them; let us examine the course and the the man of pleasure, him who does end of those two paths, in the one not endeavour to secure ease and or other of which all mankind are amusement; the ambitious man, him walking, but which terminate in who does not attain worldly honours; the most opposite directions,--the the man who is proud of his talents one leading to everlasting happiness, or learning, him who is beneath him the other to eternal destruction. It in mental acquirements. But, in is a subject which demands, and the estimate of Scripture, though will repay, our most diligent search. we had the worldly wisdom of each
or all these classes of persons, and And can any folly be greater, than had not something infinitely above sporting, as it were, upon the brink it, we should benumbered among of eternity; calling down upon us the foolish. The rich man spoken the anger of our Almighty Creator ; of by our Lord, whose ground rejecting the means which he has brought forth plentifully, and who provided for our pardon and reconintended skilfully to unite the love of ciliation, or perverting the Gospel money with the love of pleasure- of his mercy to our own destructo increase his treasures, and build tion? “O foolish Galatians !” says new barns and storehouses for them, the Apostle, “who hath bewitched while at the same time he said to you, that you should not obey the his soul, Eat, drink, and be merry- truth?" Now, what especially was accounted a fool. And why? rendered them liable to this charge because he was laying up treasures of folly was, that they did not sin for himself upon earth, and was not through ignorance; they were well rich towards God; because he dis- acquainted with the way of salvaregarded the great end and objecttion : “ Christ had been evidently of his being ; because he made no set forth crucified among them : preparation for death; because he they knew the doctrines of the Gowas seeking happiness in the short- spel, though they had corrupted lived delights of worldly affluence them: they even made a zealous and gratification, when he knew profession of religion, but it was not that within a few hours—that not in simplicity of heart, for they very night-his soul should be re- had turned aside from “ the truth quired of him. Well, then, might as it is in Jesus ;” and hence says the Apostle say, that “they that the Apostle, “ Are ye so foolish ? will be rich"- that is, who make the having begun in the Spirit are ye acquisition of money, or indeed of now made perfect by the flesh ? any thing merely worldly, their great “ Ye did run well. Who did hinder object of desire and exertion_“fall you, that ye should not obey the into temptation and a snare, and truth?” into many foolish and hurtful lusts, The foolish, then, include all perwhich drown men in destruction sons, of every name and class, who and perdition.”
live in sin, who neglect God, who In short, sin of every kind—irre- break his laws, who slight or perligion, disobedience to God, and vert his Gospel, who choose this carelessness respecting our immor- world for their portion, who are tal interests--is called in Scripture careless respecting their eternal salfoolishness. It is the fool who says vation, who believe not the record in his heart that there is no God; which he has given us of his Son, and of the same character are all and embrace not the offer of mercy who live as if there were none. which he has made to us through “ Fools despise wisdom ”-that is, his infinite merits and all-sufficient especially, religious wisdom—"and atonement. hate knowledge." “ Fools make 2. Such being the way of the a mock at sin.” “ They say to foolish, we may easily infer what is God, Depart from us, for we desire the way of understanding. “Benot the knowledge of thy ways.” hold,” said Job, “ the fear of the “ It is an abomination to fools to Lord, that is wisdom ; and to dedepart from evil.” “We ourselves,” part from evil is understanding." says St. Paul, “ were sometimes * The knowledge of the Holy," says foolish;" and why? Because, he Solomon, in the chapter from which adds, we were “ disobedient, de- our text is taken, “is understand. ceived, serving divers lusts and ing ;” and “ a good understanding," pleasures, living in malice and envy, says the Psalmist,“ have all they hateful, and bating one another." who do his commandments.” The truly wise man, then, is he who lives world of never-ending darkness and not“ in the world as of the world;" despair. Now, to all this we exbut who, viewing all earthly things pose ourselves by our spiritual folly. as infinitely subordinate to the con- Shall we not, then, forsake so dancerns of the soul and of eternity, gerous a path, a path beset with makes the glory of God and his thorns and snares, and which must own everlasting welfare the great lead to everlasting perdition? And objects of his care ; who is anxious more especially shall we not be to “ work out his salvation," and to anxious to do so, when a most merwalk in that parrow way which leads ciful promise is added, that in so to life everlasting—that way of wis- doing we shall “ live ? ” “ If ye live dom, which, rugged and intricate as after the flesh, ye shall die; but if, it may seem to those who have not through the Spirit, ye mortify the entered it, is the only true way of deeds of the body, ye shall live." pleasantness, and the paths of which And what is this life? It answers are peace.
to the death before mentioned ; it These two ways being thus set is life spiritual, and life eternal. The before us, we are to consider, Christian, it is said, “ lives accord
Secondly, the importance of for- ing to God in the spirit ;"—he is saking the one and going in the “crucified with Christ ; nevertheless other. “ Forsake the foolish, and he lives ; and the life which he now live ; and go in the way of under- lives in the flesh he lives by the standing."
faith of the Son of God, who loved 1. And, first, let us inquire why him, and gave himself for him;" — we must forsake the foolish-that is, “ his spirit is already life, because as we have seen, the ungodly-un- of righteousness ;” and he looks godly companions, ungodly prac- forward to a world where, “when tices, ungodly thoughts, ungodly Christ, who is his life, shall appear," books, every thing that is ungodly. he shall be for ever with him; and It might be sufficient to satisfy our « shall eat of the tree of life," reason to answer, that our Creator and “ wear the crown of life," and has commanded us to forsake them; reign in life, by Jesus Christ," that He who has a just right to all 2. But, in addition to the comour services has given us laws mand to forsake the foolish, our which we are bound to obey, con- text adds, “ And go in the way of firming them by the sanction of his understanding." These two duties own supreme authority. But, in are indeed connected and inseparaaddition to the assertion of his own ble ; for the first step out of the path right to command, he is pleased to of destruction, is a step in the path appeal to our hopes and fears, by of life; yet it is important that each promises and threatenings adapted should be particularly noticed, beto our condition and feelings; and cause we are too apt to content such an appeal is made to us in the ourselves with a few feeble adtext : “ Forsake the foolish, and vances, a few superficial attainlive;" implying that the ways of ments in religion, as if the victory the foolish are ways of death; death, were complete when we are but not merely natural, which, in con- girding on our armour for the warsequence of the fall of Adam, all fare. But true religion is a state are subject to, but death spiritual of constant progress : we do not and' eternal. This death includes forsake one path that we may stand the separation of the soul from still or loiter in another; but that, God, who is the fountain of life ; an having quitted the wrong track, and alienation of heart from his service; entered the right one, we may press the absence of his favour; the eter- on with vigour to the conclusion of nal loss of his presence in heaven ;
our journey. It is not enough that and the infliction of his anger in the we have learned that the ways of