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His unremitted application to study, and to the duties of his of fice, probably precipitated his death. The habit of his body being plethoric, his health had, for some years, greatly depended on the exercise of riding, to which he was, from necessity, much habituated in Virginia. This salutary employment had been, from the time he took the charge of the college, almost entirely relinquished. Toward the close of January, 1761, he was seized with a bad cold, for which he was bled. The same day, he transcribed for the press his sermon on the death of king George the Second. The day following, he preached twice in the college hall. The arm in which he had been bled, became in consequence, much inflamed, and his former indisposition increased. On the morning of the succeeding Monday, he was seized, while at breakfast, with violent chills. An inflammatory fever followed, which, in ten days, put a period to his important life.

What are called premonitions of death, are generally rather the fictions of a gloomy or misguided imagination, than realities. Yet the following anecdote contains so singular a concurrence of circumstances, as gives it a claim to be recorded.

A few days before the beginning of the year in which Mr. Davies died, an intimate friend told him, that a sermon would be expected from him on newyear's day; adding, among other things, that President Burr, on the first day of the year in which he died, preached a sermon on Jer. xxviii. 16. Thus saith the Lord, This year thou shalt die: and that after his death, the peo

ple remarked that it was premonitory. Mr. Davies replied, that "although it ought not to be viewed in that light, yet it was very remarkable." When newyear's day came he preached; and, to the surprise of the congregation, from the same text. Being seized about three weeks afterward, he soon adverted to the circumstance, and remarked, that he had been undesignedly led to preach, as it were, his own funeral sermon.

It is to be regretted that the violence of his disorder deprived him of the exercise of reason, through most of his sickness. Had it been otherwise, his friends and the public would doubtless have been gratified with an additional evidence of the transcendent excellence of the Christian religion, and of its power to support the soul in the prospect and approach of death. But he had preached still more emphatically by his life; and even in his delirium, he clearly manifested what were the favourite objects of his concern. His bewildered mind was continually imagining, and his faltering tongue uttering some expedient to promote the prosperity of Christ's church, and the good of mankind.

His premature exit (he was but little more than thirty-six) was generally and justly lamented, as a loss almost irreparable, not only to a distressed family, and a bereaved college, but to the ministry, the church, the community, the republic of letters, and in short, to all the most valuable interests of mankind. An affectionate tribute was paid to his character and virtues, by Dr. Finley, his successor, in a

sermon preached on the occasion of his death, from Rom. xiv. 7, 8. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the

Lord; or whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live, therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

(To be continued.)


Religious Communications.



THOUGH the apostles in writing, as well as in preaching, used great plainness of speech; yet particular passages, taken by themselves, may to us seem obscure. These however may generally be elucidated by other passages, or by the analogy of faith. If they remain of doubtful interpretation, yet the essential doctrines and duties of religion are not endangered by them; for these depend not on a few doubtful or obscure, passages, but are plainly taught in innumerable places. Still it may be useful to investigate the meaning of texts, which seem obscure.

The writers of the New Testament, it is well known, used the Greek language, except Matthew and the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, who wrote in Aramaan. This was the learned language of the day; most men of education were acquainted with it; and it was the native language of many subjects of the Roman empire; of those particularly, to whom St. Paul wrote most of his epistles. It was, on many accounts, the best language in which the inspired books of the

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New Testament could be written.

The inspired writers had occasion to treat of many things, of which the Greeks had no previous knowledge, and for which they had no appropriate terms. But those writers chose such terms and phrases, as were best adapted to express their meaning. Where perspicuity required, they used description. To ascertain the sense of particular terms, it is not necessary to recur to heathen writers; it is better to consult the sacred writers themselves. As they have used words, so we must understand them. They are their

own best interpreters.

The New Testament is writ- . ten, not in pure, classical Greek, but in a peculiar dialect, which may be called Hebraistical Greek. The writers were Jews, and spake the Hebrew, or rather the Aramean, or Syro-Chaldee language. When they wrote Greek, they introduced into it the idioms of their own language. Thus also did the seventy Jews, who translated the Old Testament into Greek by the command of Ptolemy, king of Egypt. Their translation was in use in the apostles' times, and from it are made most of the quotations from the Old Testament, which we find in the New. Without some ac

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This observation gives an easy sense to an obscure passage, in 2 Cor. viii. 1. Paul exhorting the Corinthians to send relief to the persecuted saints in Jerusalem, refers them to the example of the Macedonians. "Brethren, we do you to wit," or we make known to you" the grace of God, bestowed on the churches of Macedonia." The grace of God, i. e. (according to the Hebrew idiom) the divine, the godlike, the abundant liberality, bestowed, (not on the church-are es, but) by, in, among the churches of Macedonia, for the relief of the brethren in Judea. To this, and only to this sense, the following words agree; "How that in a great trial of affliction, the abundance of their joy, and their deep poverty abounded to the riches of their liberality. For to their power, and beyond their power, they were willing of themselves, &c." Vol. II. No. 4.

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