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religion should be promoted in our time. This, indeed, should be our first and chief concern. Worldly men may care nothing about this. If they gain but the corn, the wine, and the oil, it is enough for them ; but God's servants cannot be happy with mere temporal prosperity, if the interest of Christ do not prosper. Nehemiah might have lived io affluence at the court of Persia ; but he could not enjoy it while the city of his God was going to ruins. The true labourers in God's husbandry long to see it abound in fruits : the builders of his temple desire to see it rise. And though our times lie nearest us, yet our prayers and efforts must not be confined to them, but extend to posterity. The succeeding generation should lie near our hearts. In them we hope for materials for God's building. The prayer of David would fit the lips of every godly man, and especially of every godly parent ; thut our sons may be as olide-plants, grown up in their youth ; and our daughters as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace !
Such were the particular objects desired : I shall only add a few words on their desirableness.
We have seen already that the manifestation of the glory of God depends on the progress of his work : by how much, therefore, we are concerned for the one, by so much shall we be importu. nate for the other. It is for the glory of God that Satan's kingdom should be overturned, and the kingdom of his Son established on its ruins. This work is the harvest of all God's other works of glory. It was glorious in him to promise to give his Son the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession : but the glory of this also depends upon its being performed. It was glorious for Christ to die, that he might purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works : but it is by the actual accomplishment of this object that his glory is perfected. It was glorious for God in his providence to drive out paganism and popery from this kingdom ; but if it stop here, what are we the better? The cutting down of weeds will be of bnt little use, if the pure seed be not sown, and spring up, and bring forth fruit in their place.
The progress of God's work in heathen countries has a close connexion also with our spiritual prosperity at home. There is
much beauty and propriety in the petitions offered up in the sixtyseventh Psalm. God be merciful unto us—THAT thy wny may be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations! God blesses the world by blessing the church, and making it a blessing. A statesman would wish for an focrease in population, that the army, and navy, and every other department of society, mighi be filled : and shall not we pray for the prosperity of the church of God; that faithful misisters, missionaries, and every other description of Christians, may not be wanting?
Finally : The regard we bear to the souls of men, especially to the rising generation, must render these blessings desirable. It is not yours, but you, that we seek. Our hearts' desire, and prayer to God for you, is, that you may be saved. If we recommend you to attend the gospel and embrace it, is it because we wapt to enlist you under the banner of a party? God knoweth! Yet we shall say to you, and especially to the rising generation, as Moses said to Hobab, Come with us, and we will do you good; for the Lord, we trust, hath spoken good concerning us : and it shall come to pass that whatsoever good thing the Lord shall da unto us. that will we do unto you.
REMARKS ON THE ENGLISH TRANSLATION.
ALLOWING all due honour to the English translation of the Bible, it must be granted to be a human performance, and as such, subject to imperfection. Where any passage appears to be mistranslated, it is doubtless proper for those who are well acquainted with the origioal languages, to point it out, and to offer, according
to the best of their judgment, the true meaning of the Holy Spirit, Criticisms of this kind, made with modesty and judgment, and not in consequence of a preconceived system, are worthy of encouragement. But besides these, there is a species of criticism which offers itself from a more familiar source, and of the propriety of which the mere English reader is competent to judge ; namely, the division of chapters, the use of supplementary terms, &c.
If the following example of the former kind, be thought worthy of a place in the Biblical Magazine, it is probable I may on a future occasion, send you more of the same nature.
The seventh chapter of John ends with these words : And every man went unto his oron house. The eighth begins with these : Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives. Here I conceive, the for. mer chapter ought to have ended : for bere ends the labour of the day, and each party is described as withdrawing to bis place of retirement.
The whole passage contains a beautiful representation of the breaking up of a fierce dispute between the chief priests, the pharisees, the officers whom they sent to arrest our Saviour, and Nicodemus. In the picture which is here drawn of it, we see at one view the very hearts of the different parties ; and if the subject were made to end with the retirement of Jesus to the Mount of Olives, it would appear to still greater advantage.
The pharisees and chief priests having sent officers to take Jesus, return without him. · Pharisees. Why have ye not brought him ?
Officers. Never man spake like this man !
Pharisees. Are ye also deceived ? Have any of the rulers, or of the pharisees, believed on him? But this people, who know not the law, are cursed.
Nicodemus. Doth our law judge any man before it hear him?
Pharisees. Art thou also of Galilee ? Search and look, for out of Galilee ariseth no prophet. · Historian. And every man went unto his own house : Jesus went unto the Mount of Olives.
What an exhibition is here given in a few simple words, of the workings of mind in the different parties ! Follow them respectively, to their places of retirement, and judge of their feelings. The officers, stunned with conviction, and stung with the reproaches of their employers, retire in disgust. The pharisees, transported with rage and disappointment, go murmuring to their houses.-Nicodemus, having ventured, though mildly, to repel their outrage, feels bimself suspected of a secret adherence to the Galileans, and is full of thought about the issue of things. Jesus, with the most perfect calmness and satisfaction, retires to the place whither he was wont to resort for prayer and communion with God!
How shall I give thee up, Ephraim; how shall I deliver thee, Istaket?
How shall I make thee as Admah : how shall I set thee as Zeboim ? : My heart is turned within me; my repentings are kindled together.
Hosea xi. 8.
This most beautiful passage, by the addition of the supplemental how, to the second and fourth questions, is made to be a continued address from Jehovah, to Israel ; but read it without them, and it is an alternate appeal to his own goodness, and to the conscience of the offender. In the one he looks within himself, and addresses himself in a kind of divine soliloquy. How shall I give thee up? How shall I make thee as Admah? In the other, he looks at Ephraim as an offended father would look at a disobedient child, and asks bim to say, whether he should give him up or not? Shall I deliver thee, Israel? Shall I set thee as Zeboin? Speak sinner, speak! Pronounce thine own doom! Art thou willing to be cast off ? Can thy heart endure, and thy hands be strong, in the day that I shall deal with thee? What sayest thou ? Wilt thou, by persevering in sin, set seal to thine own condemnation ?
It is a kind of debate between justice and mercy, wonderfully adapted to convince and to affect. On the one side there is a most pointed implication that Ephraim, or the ten tribes, deserved to be given up to the destroyer ; for that his wickedness was equal to that of Admah, and Zeboim, Sodom, and Gomorrah. Give him up, (saith justice,) and let him reap the due reward of his deeds! Set him as a mark for mine arrows ! Make him 'an example of divine displeasure ! Let the smoke of him rise up for ever and ever!
On the other hand, mercy interposes, contends with judgment, pleads ancient love and ancient promises : and thus arrests the arm of vengeance. How shall I give thee up, Ephraim? How shall I make thee as Admah? My heart is turned within me! My repentings are kindled together! This appeal of Jehovah to his own love and faithfulness, I need not say, is inimitably tender. It teaches us also, that in showing mercy, he is influenced by no cause out of himself; that all arises from undeserved favour and self-moved goodness.
ANSWER TO AN ANONYMOUS LETTER FROM AN “OB
SERVER,” ON HIS OBJECTIONS TO FOREIGN MISSIONS.
I should not have thought it necessary thus publicly to notice an anonymous letter, had it not afforded me an opportunity of answering an objection to foreign missions, which has been more than once advanced—That of its interfering with exertions in favour of our own countrymen. I shall say but little of the gross