Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

eth the hearts knoweth what is first embraced the doctrine of the mind of the Spirit, that he the Holy Spirit's personality ? Or maketh intercession for the saints rather, dare they to impugn our according to the will of God. proposition, that this doctrine, held

2 Cor. xiii. 14. The grace of by the Catholic church, has been the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love brought down through an uninterof God, and the communion of the rupted succession from apostolic Holy Ghost be with you all. times? The

page

of ecclesiastical On this passage Dr. Hawker history is indeed deformed by an justly inquires : Are the qualities infinite variety of error, but never of the grace of Christ, and the love of yet has heresy so fearfully preGod, which, it will not be doubted, vailed, as to merge into insignifi- . are such personal qualities as afford cance the Catholic church, or to the probability of their being im raise doubt on that which she proparted from one to another, more fessed to hold; and it is then so than the communion of the Holy neither rash nor vain to assert the Ghost; or would they be joined apostolicity of one of its chief and with the communion of one that is fundamental doctrines. himself a creature, an attribute, or Although I do not look on the energy

system which would have us deny But in the Greek of the New personality to the Holy Ghost Testament we sometimes find a with the same loathing and utter masculine article or pronoun joined

abhorrence which the Socinian to the neuter averpa; now why, if scheme imperatively demands ; not especially to denote personality, yet I am fully convinced that the is this violation of the laws of error of the one will lead to the Grammar ?

monstrous and life-destroying docThus John xvi. 13. We have trine of the latter, and that the Οταν δε ελθη εκεινος, το πνευμα. Also convert to the former, nerved and John xiv. 26. xv. 26. Ephes. prepared by his former desecration, i. 13.

will soon learn to deny deity to the These passages then, and such Lord Jesus, to trample on the as these, were the land-marks to atonement, and to degrade our which I clung, knowing that either Lord and Saviour into a creature. the inspiration of the book must be Many, very many, bereft of the denied, or that they must be ad- Spirit's influence, could trace their mitted in their obvious and gram apostacy to doubts on his personmatical sense.

The cause of my ality. I have written nought but doubts on the personality of the what I conscientiously believe; Holy Ghost sprang from what I at then think me not harsh, but rather first conceived to be the generally esteem this braving of your disunfavourable tone of Scripture to pleasure, as in truth it is, an affecthe doctrine.

tionate regard for your eternal hapAnd now you will pardon me, piness. Surveying the abyss which if I urge you, again to review the

yet yawns beneath you, may God arguments which have induced you of his mercy, and the offended to forsake the faith which I shall Holy Spirit give you the power to boldly declare to haye been once fly from that perdition which I fear delivered to the saints. Can those commonly ensues on a continuance who assert the contrary furnish us

in this vital error. with the date when the church of .

Very truly yours, Christ, descending from her purity,

H. F.

THE HISTORY OF PROPHECY.

No. III.

THE PROPHECIES OF JACOB, CONCERNING HIS SONS.

The next passage of scripture to west, and to the east, and to the which our attention is drawn, is north, and to the south : and in that very striking one which de- thee and in thy seed shall all the scribes the last days and dying families of the earth be blessed." language of the patriarch Jacob, Looking backward then, through when about to terminate his earthly the hundred years which had pilgrimage, as a stranger and so- elapsed since the reception of this journer in the land of Egypt. promise, and forward, through the

In very few instances recorded more than two hundred which in holy writ, does the power of faith were yet to pass before its accomappear more illustriously operative. plishment, the patriarch takes up Let the circumstances of the dying the language of prophecy, and patriarch be considered. True it describes the future features and was, that by the peculiar opera- allotted destinies of “ the tribes of tions of God's providence, one of Israel,” when coming into posseshis

younger sons had recently been sion of the promised land; and even raised to a post of high authority the leading features of their history under the sovereign of Egypt. But down to the Messiah’s coming. . with that single exception, in what The first of these predictions we situation were his children, or what find in the close of chapter fortyhad been his own condition and that eight of Genesis, in which Joseph's of his fathers, but that of homeless presentation of his children to his and wandering shepherds. Very father is related. Jacob then tells lately bad both he and they appre- bis best beloved son, that he has hended actual death by famine ; “given him one portion above his and although a refuge had been brethren." And the history of the provided for them in Egypt, yet Israelites shews the fulfilment of the station and estimation conceded this promise, in the settlement of the to them there, is indicated by the descendants of Joseph's two sons as language of Pharaoh to Joseph: two distinct tribes among the twelve. If thou knowest any men of acti- The tribe of Levi being taken out of vity among them, then make them the twelve, and set apart for the rulers over my cattle.Gen. xlvii. 6. peculiar service of God, room was

And yet, thus dying, a stranger made for this extension, and acand a sojourner in a land where cordingly we find, in the book their very occupation was held in of Numbers, in the encampments abomination (Gen. xlvi. 34.), still, of the children of Israel, no place such is the triumphant faith of the assigned, or mention made, of the patriarch, that his last words are tribe of Levi,--but' on the other occupied in bestowing sceptres and hand, we have the descendants of dominions on his children ; grasp- Joseph claiming their double poring as he does, with the firmest tion, as the two tribes of Ephraim hold, that ancient promise of God, and Manasseh. made to him above a hundred years But further ;- in blessing these before, in the vision of Bethel, his favoured grandchildren, Jacob The land whereon thou liest, to erred, as it seemed unto Joseph, in thee will I give it, and to thy seed: placing his right hand on the head ... thou shalt spread abroad to the of Ephraim, the younger, and his JUNE 1833.

2 E

left hand on the head of Manasseh, thou shalt not excel; because thou the elder. Jacob, however, imme wentest up to thy father's bed.diately intimated to him that no · Reuben's incest had been comthing, in these prophetic proceed- mitted forty years before, and proings, partook of error or uncertainty; bably was repented of, and parbut that this apparently mistaken doned as to its eternal punishment : or capricious arrangement was only yet, being a crinie of so infamous another instance of that discrimi a nature, it was on this occasion nating exercise of the sovereignty remembered, and his tribe was deof God, which in his own case had graded on account of it; to testify determined, as touching himself and not only Jacob's, but the Lord's, Esau, " The elder shall serve the abhorrence of such abominable younger.Of Manasseh the pa practices, for a warning to the triarch instantly assures his son,

Israelites, and to all future ages.' that “he also shall be great, but

And in full accordance with this truly his younger brother shall be prediction, the tribe of Reuben greater than he, and his seed shall never had the pre-eminence in any become a multitude of nalions." respect; nor is a single individual

The fulfilment of this promise is of this tribe mentioned in the whole abundantly apparent. Even in the of Scripture, as attaining to any wilderness we already find that the distinction or honour among the children of Ephraim were forty children of Israel. thousand, while the tribe of his elder Nor did the blessing of the firstbrother numbered only thirty-two born descend upon the second or thousand. But this predominance third sons of Jacob. Simeon and increases as we proceed, and Moses Levi had also grievously transspeaks of them in his dying pro gressed in the massacre of the phecy, as the ten thousands of Shechemites, and their sentence ran Ephraim and the thousands of thus, 66 Cursed be their anger, for Manasseh.And, when we ad it was fierce, and their wrath, for vance further, we find that in the it was cruel. I will divide them in days of the prophets, Ephraim is Jacob, and scatter them in Israel." repeatedly spoken of as the very • Accordingly, the tribe of head and leading tribe of Israel, Simeon had only a portion within and as, in short, synonymous with the lot of Judah, where being Israel itself. As, for instance, in straitened, part of them went in Isaiah vii. 2. " It was told the quest of rew settlements, and were house of David, (Judah,) saying, thus divided in Jacob. Tradition Syria is confederate with Eph also reports, that numbers of this raim.' And in Jer. vii. 15. I tribe were dispersed among the will cast you (Judah) out of my other tribes, as instructors of chilsight, as I have cast out all your dren, for their support.

The senbrethren, even the whole seed of tence in Levi's case was not reversEphraim.

ed, but converted into a blessing, But we must advance to the next in

consequence

of the service which chapter, wherein the patriarch dis his descendants performed, in their tinguishes his other sons, and their zeal against the worshippers of the descendants in succession. He golden calf; so that being conseLegins with Reuben, his first-born, crated to God, as the priestly tribe, upon whom his chief blessing they were honourably and promight be expected to descend. fitably divided and scattered in that But Reuben had sinned in an character throughout Israel.—But especial manner, (Gen. xxxv. 22.) the tribe of Simeon, being deeply and his judgment is marked and criminal in the matter of Baal-peor, pieculiar. Unstable as water, were not so favoured.'-- Scott.

The

The blessing of Judah, the fourth progenitor. With such wondrous son, was especial and peculiar, but exactness did the spirit of prowe reserve the consideration of it, phecy delineate by the lips of the and pass on to the other tribes.

dying patriarch, even the provincial “ Zebulun shall dwell at the distinctions of character of the haven of the sea, and he shall be future tribes. for a haven of ships : and his The characters of the tribe of border shall be unto Zidon.

Dan, as subtle and mischievous, Not until two hundred and fifty from whom Sampson descended; years afterwards was Canaan di of Naphtali, to whose tribe vided among the tribes of Israel ; Barak belonged ; and of Gad and and the division then took place Asher, are more briefly sketched, by lot. Yet how exact the fulfil and to understand their full import ment of the prediction !

and accomplishment, we need more third lot came up for the children detailed knowledge of the internal of Zebulun ; and their border went history of the Israelites than we up towards the sea.Joshua xix. at present possess, Joseph is pecu10, 11. This tribe possessed the liarly honoured, and

we have sea-coast, nearly from the sea of already remarked, that his

younger Galilee to the Mediterranean, and son Ephraim so immensely increasits border reached to the territory ed, as to become, in fact, the head of which Zidon was the capital.

and leader of the ten tribes, so Issachar is a strong ass, corch that the kingdom of Israel was ing down between two burdens. commonly called

“ Ephraim." And he saw that rest was good, and Benjamin is described as ravening the land that it was pleasant; and like a wolf, and certainly no tribe bowed his shoulders to bear, and evinced so fierce and cruel a charbecame a servant unto tribute.acter, as did that which descended

An unwarlike, but prudent cha from this, the youngest son of Jacob. racter is here described. Accor But, to revert to Judah, the dingly, we seldom hear of this fourth son, upon whom the blestribe, as mingling in the contests sing of the first-born was laid, we of their brethren. Once they are

find it said of him : enumerated, and in remarkable Julah, thou art he whom thy terms. Among those who came lrethren shall praise ; thy hand to David to Hebron,to turn the shall be in the neck of thine enekingdom unto him, according to the mies; thy father's children shall word of the Lord,” there came bow down before thee. Judah is of Ephraim, twenty thousand and a lion's whelp; from the prey, my eight hundred, mighty men of val son, thou art gone up; he stooped our ;

" and " of Zebulun, such as down, he couched as a lion, and as: went forth to battle, expert in war, an old lion ; who shall rouse him fifty thousand which could keep up? The sceptre shall not depart rank.and of the other tribes in from Judah, nor a law-giver from like manner; but of the children between his feet, until Shiloh of Issachar, men that had under come, and unto him shall the gathstanding of the times, to know ering of the people be.what Israel ought to do, the heads The first feature in this sketch of them were two hundred, and all is, that of the pre-eminence of the their brethren were at their com tribe of Judah. The blessing conmandment." 1 Chron. xii. Here ferred by Isaac upon Jacob, " Be we have that characteristic of pru lord over thy brethren, and let thy dence, and aptitude for counsel, mother's sons bow down unto thee, rather than for war, which had been is here transferred, in almost the ascribed to them by their dying same words, to Judah, Thou art

[ocr errors]

never

he whom thy brethren shall praise ; not depart from Judah, nor thy father's children shall bow lawgiver from between his feet, down before thee."

until Shiloh came, to whom the This pre-eminence was gathering of the people belonged.” lost. In the march from Egypt to The implied inference is equally Canaan, the tribe of Judah always clear, that when Shiloh came, the led the van.

After passing Jor sceptre should depart, and the lawdan, on taking possession of the giver cease, in Judah. promised land, this tribe was first This prediction was given, as no put into possession of its portion. Christian will for a moment doubt, After the death of Joshua, the Is some centuries before either sceptre raelites asked the Lord, " Who

or lawgiver was known in Judah. shall go up against the Canaanites This is one point to be observed ; first ; and the Lord said, Judah but even the sceptic must admit shall go up.The crown, also, the other, namely, that it was exafter the single reign of Saul, was tant centuries before the sceptre fixed in their tribe, and the temple and the lawgiver departed. This of the Lord was fixed in their city departure was, in the prediction, of Jerusalem. And, even when distinctly connected in point of ten tribes fell from their allegiance, time with the coming of Shiloh, so strong and numerous was Judah, —he who was sent, the peaceable that with one other tribe, Benja one, or the Prince of Peace. min, it maintained its independ The coming of this Prince of ence, and outlived its rival.

Peace took place seventeen hunBut the remaining clause de dred years after the giving of this mands more particular attention ; prophecy. Up to that period seeing that it is one of those pas the sceptre and legislative authosages which bear peculiar and irre rity of Judah had continued; the fragable testimony to the divine nation retaining its organization origin of the Holy Scriptures. even through the Babylonish cap

Supposing, for an instant, that tivity. But in the very same we consented to enter into an argu generation which saw the coming ment on the authenticity of the of Shiloh, the Prince of Peace, an Scriptures, and to speak of their entire end was put to Judah's divine origin as a matter to be sceptre, and Judah's laws. The proved. Viewing the matter in this judgments executed upon their Tight, it is, as every one knows, a nation by Titus, were of the most matter on which even a tolerably exterminating character. The whole informed infidel can entertain no nation was scattered and dispersed doubt, that the Pentateuch is a over the face of the earth; a cruel book of very great antiquity. In captivity being the lot of all, and fact, there is no more reason for nothing but the especial power of doubting that the books of Moses God, performing his own word, were actually written by him could have preserved their race whose name they bear, than there from entire oblivion, is for supposing that the comment The inference is unavoidable. aries of Cæsar, or the histories of God himself, (Isaiah xlvi.) claims Livy or Tacitus, were fabricated this power of revealing future by other persons, and in a later age. events to be his own peculiar pre

Here, then, in the passage rogative. 66 There is none like me : before us, is a plain prediction, declaring the end from the beginand that in a writing which there ning, and from ancient times the is abundant collateral evidence to things which are not yet done, sayshew, existed many centuries before iny, My counsel sdall stand, and Christ, that'" the sceptre should I will do all my pleasure."

« AnteriorContinuar »