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THE REV. W. B. MATHIAS..
(With a Portrait.)
The portrait given this month is that of an esteemed Clergyman, at Dublin, another portrait of whom was published in a former number, near the commencement of our work. Circumstances have forced upon us the re-publication on an emergency, but being the production of another artist, and esteemed by some a better likeness, we hope that the repetition will not prove unsatisfactory. Mr. Mathias's memoir would have been given, had we not been hurried in its publication. We do not know if he is the author of any other pro, duction than a Sermon before the Missionary Society.
Vol. IX. No, 3.
ORIGINAL AND SELECT. From the Interleaved Bible of a Deceased Clergynran.
: GENESIS, CHAP. XIV. 18. And he was the Priest. The Hebrew will bear the rendering, for he was the Priest, that is, this act was an act of Priesthood. Bishop SPARROW's Ration. of the Com. Prayer. 341.
CHAP. xv. 6. Believed in the Lord: or believed the Lord, as appears from St. Paul's citation of this place. Rom. 4, 3. Lock's Reason. of Christianity. p. 23.
18. The River of Egypt. Not the Nile; but a small river running through the desert, between Palestine and Egypt, which was anciently reckoned the common boundary of both. PRID. Connect. Part 1. B. 1. p. 66.
CHAP. XVI. 2. I may obtain children by her; for the children born of a bond slave were reckoned as the children of the mistress. And the reason of giving Hagar to him, was the eager desire and hope of being the mother to the Messiah, before she had a child of her own. COLLYER'S S. Interpret.
| CHAP. xvI. 23. Every male. This (circumcision) was done about 20 years after he (Abraham) came out of Egypt; and, probably, divers of those Egyptian servants he brought with him out of Egypt, and
their descendants, must be then alive and in his house, and circumcised with him, which could not be if they had undergone that rite before, wbicb shews that the Egyptians were not circumcised in Abraham's time, and consequently that that rite did not come from them. Revel. Exam. with Candour. Vol. 2. p. 186.
CHAP. XIX. 24. Rained upon Sodom. This is taken notice of by Diodorus Siculus, lib. 29 : by Strabo, lib. 16: by Tacitus, Hist. 5: by Pliny, lib. 5, c. 16, and lib. 35, c. 15: and by Solinus, c. 36 : Edit. Salmas. See Grotius de Verit. Christ. Relig. lib. 1, c. 16.
CHAP. XXII. 2. Upon one of the mountains. The Greeks and Persians, and most other nations, worshipped the Gods, and sacrificed upon the tops of mountains, and from this passage, the antiquity of this custom appears. POTTER's Antiq. of Greece, vol. 1. p. 185.
14. As it is said to this day. See the Annot. on Gen. xii. 6. It does not follow, that Moses could not be the author of this passage, because it is said, it was an usual proverb in his time who writ it. For Abraham or Isaac might be the first authors of it, and might be continued among God's people, to the time of Moses. Nay, Moses himselt might be the author of it, when, at the Red Sea, he said to the people, Exod. 14, 13. * Fear ye not, stand still, &c.' from wbich day forward, it might have been remembered, and so have passed into a proverb, and 20 or 30 years afler, Moses might write it with his own hand. LORIMER's Exam, of P. Simon's Crit. Hist.
CHAP. XXVIII. 18. Poured oil. From this practice of Jacob was derived that ancient mode of consecrating stones by unction, as the most ancient rites among the Greeks, were derived from the Phænicians, and to them from the Jews. This very stone of Jacob, the Jews say, the Phænicians afterwards worshipped, and consecrated others with the like unction, and called them Bætylia, or Batylos, in memory of that erected at Bethel. Reeve's Minutius Felix.
A LETTER FROM A CLERGYMAN TO A
MY DEAR SIR,
Perhaps you have before this barboured the thought that I had either forgotten or violated my engagement: this sheet of paper will remove such a reflection, though I am apprehensive it will not effect much more. To write is easy, but to write with any propriety is, at least to such a dull mind and heavy hand as mine, a difficult task. Climbing, as you are, the sacred ascent of Pisgah, admiring the splendour of Labanon, and breathing the fragrant gales of Hermon, I feel a pain to stop your progress or divert your attention by making you listen to any thing that I might advance. I am aiming to learn various lessons, which I hope will be serviceable in future life ; for truly to be the real Christian, and the wise and prudent man, is not a small labour: he is, in my estimation, the real scholar, who knows most of the Bible, most
of his own heart, and most of the world. These are, if I err not, three volumes, of which it may be said, in the well-known line of Horace, “nocturna versati manu versate diurna.” The deeper we dig into the mine of revealed truth, the more shall we find, if God prosper our labour, of its value and glory; the more we examine our own hearts, the more we shall discover, if God give us fidelity, of their iniquity and deceitfulness: the more we attend to the world, the maxims and ways of men, we shall find that folly is vanity, and wisdom substance; that he is wise and rich, and happy, who has a happiness, a wealth, and a wisdom, of which the generality are destitute, and about which they are perfectly indifferent. You have seen and heard more of the world than I have. I am inclined to think the greater familiarity with it, the greater will be our dislike; and that it is only a pilgrimage is a consolatory idea. Per varios casas, per tot discrimina rerum tendimus in Latium. Ausonian fields were pleasant to the tempest-driven Æneas: and wbat is the disposition of a sorrowing mortal towards that blest land, whose air is fragrance, and whose skies are serenity? I need not repeat, that I can say nothing at all about my present settlement; if you favour me with your correspondence my next letter may be more explicit. I am briefly informed, that your future place of residence is situated in the vicinity of - If I do not mistake, this is congenial with your wishes. Truly, 1 rejoice, if my intelligence be not wrong, that you are so soon settled, and you will have my best wishes for your happiness, and above all, that the glorious Gospel of the blessed Emanuel may prosper in your ministration of it. This, I am fully convinced, will be your greatest happiness.