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the foot of the pages, there are short explanatory notes, with references to previous observations, and authorities for the interpretations given. The whole concludes with the fourth Eclogue of Virgil, and so much of Constantine's Oratio ad Sanctorum Cætum as relates to it. This is extracted from Eusebius.
cations or epistolary correspondence. Of the three volumes, the first is devoted to the lives, in chronological order, of the first reformers, the Zuinglians, and the Calvinists; the second to the Lutherans; and the third to the great fathers of the English Church. We have no fault to find either with the design or the execution of the work; nor should we have objected to the reflections which are occasionally interspersed with the biographical sketches, were it not that we are suspicious of the writer's orthodoxy. On this subject, as guardians of the true doctrines and tenets of the Church, we are exquisitely sensitive; so that, however honest a man may be, and however we may admire his honesty, we cannot allow his errors to be diffused abroad, without guarding against the evils which they might otherwise occasion,
Prophecies of Christ and Christian
Times, selected from the Old and New Testament, and arranged according to the Periods in which they were pronounced. By a Layman. Edited by the Rev. H. CLISSOLD, A. M. Minister of Stockwell Chapel, Lambeth. London: Rivingtons. 8vo. 1828. Price 6s. 6d.
We have no opinion to give as to the literary importance of this volume, because it is a merely," what it professes to be, “a compilation from the Bible;" but so far as its claim to notice as a compendium is concerned, we have no scruples against commending it to the good offices of our friends. The student will find it a use ful collection of passages of the most interesting kind; and may, perhaps, be induced to follow up the suggestions of the Preface, in the continuance of a subject thus commenced, for “thc improvement and happiness of man, and the glory of God."
The book is divided into eight chapters; the first seven relate to the prophecies of Christ; the eighth to prophecies by Christ. These chapters are again divided into sections, numbered according to their import; embracing 236 passages from the Old and New Testaments, arranged according to their relative connexion. At
The Nature and Time of the Second
Advent of Messiah, considered in
Though inquiries into the intent of those prophecies, which yet remain to be fulfilled, cannot be expected to arrive at any positively certain conclusion; still, so long as they are conducted without transgressing the caution, “ not to be wise beyond that which is written,” they tend to promote the acquisition of scriptural knowledge, and consequently to extend the spiritual improvement of mankind. Such works, therefore, as this of Mr. Madden cannot be justly charged, as they sometimes are, with inutility and presumption; more especially, as he has treated his subject with great perspicuity, and in a manner calculated to throw considerable light upon a point, which has given rise to some difference of opinion. With respect to the nature of the second Advent, the same words, trapovola and é aveia, which are applied to the first coming of our Lord, are also used to designate the second; and therefore as the first was confessedly a personal appearance, it is reasonable to conclude that the second will be so likewise. Now it appears from a variety of predictions, that a general restoration of the whole Jewish people to their ancient inheritance will eventually take place, and be attended with marvellous things, according to the days of their coming out of Egypt, (Micah vii. 15) to be wrought by the same divine agent which wrought their former deliverance. But it is now almost universally admitted, that the agent upon this occasion was the second person in the Godhead; and that his Hebrew appellation, which the English translation renders “ the angel of the Lord,"
would be more properly translated “the Angel Jehovah." Hence it appears that as this visible presence of the Son of God was the most marvellous of all the marvels then exhibited; so at their future restoration he will again lead them visibly and personally; not indeed veiling his glory as of old, but in the glorified bodily form in which he formerly appeared upon earth. It follows also that the time of the second advent will precede the restoration of Israel; and consequently it will also precede the complete conversion of the Gentiles, which will be subsequent to that event.
Such is the outline of the proposition which Mr. Madden has undertaken to prove; and although we do not feel bound to assent to all his deductions, we cannot do less than recommend his work, especially at this season of the year, to the attention of our readers.
and in short renew and transform and sanctify us wholly, though gradually, till we at length become meet for the inheritance of the saints in light, and are received by him to his own glory and joy. The course of this sanctifying process with its various impediments and helps we have also traced, and have thus followed the Christian through his career of conflict to his final triumph.-Pp. 305, 306.
We recorded our opinion, in our last Number, of the general inefficacy of pulpit-discussions on the evidences of christianity; and this opinion, though there is much good writing, close reasoning, and forcible application in the volume before us, we are in no wise inclined to retract. We have been pleased by the perusal of our Author's sermons: indeed the volume contains much which cannot be read without benefit by every Christian. On this account we are sorry to observe a tendency to Calvinism in Mr. Marsh's exposition and application of some of the doctrines of the Gospel, which, we fear, will be a considerable draw back to the advantage which, in every other respect, his labours are well qualified to produce.
A Brief Survey of the Evidence and
Nature of the Christian Religion, in Seventeen Sermons, preached in Hampstead Chapel, at Hampstead, by the Rev. EDWARD GARRARD Marsh, M.A. London: Seeley and Co. 1829. 8vo. pp. 323. Price 98.
In order to develope the object which the author had in view, in the delivery of these Sermons, we cannot do better than subjoin the recapitulation of the subject with which he opens his concluding discourse.
I have shewn you some of the proofs, which appear to me clearly to establish the fact, first, that we live under the government of an almighty, gracious, wise, and holy Being, by whom we were created, and on whom we continually depend; secondly, that we have violated his laws, and are for this reason exposed to the sentence of his just displeasure ; thirdly, that he has mercifully instituted a way for our deliverance from this righteous sentence, having given his son to suffer punishment in our stead; and, lastly, I have shewn you, in what this way of deliverance consists, namely, that if, repenting of our sins, we rely on the atonement of Christ for justification before God, he will not only in answer to our prayers justify us freely, and forgive us all our past offences, but also bestow upon us in answer to our prayers the graces of his Holy Spirit, who will dwell in our hearts, mould our thoughts and affections to his will,
IN THE PRESS. Evening Amusements; or the Beauties of the Heavens displayed, for the year 1830.
A View of the Scripture Revelation concerning a Future State ; laid before his Parishioners, by a Country Pastor.
Hours of Devotion for the promotion of true Christianity and Family Worship. Translated from the original German.
Patroni Ecclesiaruin; or, a List, alphabetically arranged, of all the Patrons of Dignities, Rectories, Vicarages, Perpetual Curacies, and Chapelries of the United Church of England and Ireland. With Indexes.
PREPARING FOR PUBLICATION. In the course of next Spring will be published, a Memoir of the Life of the Right Rev. T. F. Middleton, D.D. late Lord Bishop of Calcutta. By the Rev. C. W. Le Bas, A. M. late Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge.
The Civil and Ecclesiastical History of England, from the Invasion of the Romans to the passing of the Catholic Relief Bill in 1829. By C. St. George. 2 thick vols, 12mo.
1829, a Poem. By Edward W. Coxe, au:hor of The Opening of the Sixth Seal.'
Micak v, 2.
But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thou
sands of Judah, yet out of thee shall He come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.
The testimony of Jesus, said the mysterious conductor of St. John in the Revelations, is the spirit of prophecy. And that it should be so, is altogether suitable and appropriate ; for prophecy is at once the most uncommon, and the least suspicious kind of testimony. It is the most uncommon, as it implies a perfect acquaintance both with those latent causes that decide the succession of events, and with the order of the events themselves ;-a knowledge, which, from its very character, must be peculiar to the Deity bimself, or to those whom he has vouchsafed to illuminate with an unusual portion of his celestial light. It is also the least suspicious kind of testimony, as it can neither be susceptible of prejudice, interest, or falsehood-prejudice and interest being precluded by the remoteness of the events to which it refers, and falsehood by its very nature, since predictions not realised by the fact are not prophecy, but imposture. So strong, indeed, and so little liable to perversion, is the evidence deducible from prophecy, that it is accounted by St. Peter of equal, or even of superior validity, to that of personal experience and ocular demonstration. “We have not,” he says to his brethren, “ followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eye-witnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.” To testimony like this, it might well be supposed, that no stronger asseveration could be added. Yet the Apostle continues, “We have also a MORE sure word of prophecy," as if he had said, All human testimony, even the evidence of the senses themselves, may possibly be open to exception; but prophecy, which “ came not in old time by the will of men, but which holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost;" prophecy, which is the word of the true God, must itself be true; and “it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one jot or tittle of his word to pass away."
Perhaps, in the whole compass of the prophetic writings, there is not any single passage more explicit, and consequently more interesting, than that in our text. Though delivered more than seven hundred years antecedent to the coming of our Lord, it fixes, with the utmost precision, the very place of his birth, in the face of a thousand impediments which presented themselves to the obstruction of its accomplishment. Notwithstanding the regal authority, at that time exercised by the house of David, it intimates, that the reigning family shall become lowly and obscure, and that the city where the promised infant shall be born, shall be accounted little among the thousands of Judah; and yet, notwithstanding this apparent degradation, that from the tree of David, thus cut down to the very root, a Branch shall spring out, which is destined to increase and to expand till it overshadow the universe. But instead of dwelling on the general tenour of the prophecy, we shall, for its better understanding, consider briefly the respective particulars which it involves, which are ;
I. The place of the Messiah's birth-Bethlehem Ephratah ; " little among the thousands of Judah."
II. The nature of the Messiah's office ; "a Ruler in Israel."
III. The dignity of the Messiah's person ; " whose goings forth have been of old, even from everlasting."
Even in the place itself of the Messiah's birth, there are several particulars which are well worthy of our potice, as conducing most materially to establish the authenticity of the prediction. Had the Prophet been actuated by any desire of paying court to the family upon the throne, he would doubtless have selected Jerusalem, their royal residence, and the capital of their dominions, for the city which was to give birth to the future Ruler of Israel. Had he sought only to give a colouring of probability to his prophetic declaration, he would have specified some place of importance-Hebron, or Libnah, rather than Bethlehem, which could have had little to recommend it to the exclusive enjoyment of a distinction so exalted. It must have been but a very inconsiderable place in the Prophet's time, since it was then too little to be reckoned among the thousands of Israel; and though it is afterwards distinguished by St. Matthew, as not the least of the Princes of Judah, the Evangelist evidently alludes not to its own intrinsic importance, but to that lustre which should be shed upon it by the Saviour who should be born there. For this reason, the mere specification of a place, so unlikely to be the subject of such an enviable preeminence, is in itself no inconsiderable testimony to the truth of the prophetic writer.
Neither should it be forgotten, that the choice of an insignificant city for the birth-place of the Son of God, is in perfect accordance with the usual economy of Providence, which accomplishes the most important ends by the agency of mean and apparently inadequate instruments. Thus, when Pharaoh is to be punished for his cruelty and hardness of heart, it is the fugitive Moses who is the instrument of the divine wrath; when the martial Sisera falls, it is by a woman's hand; when the haughty Goliath, who defied the armies of the living God, is laid prostrate in the dust, the stripling David strikes the decisive blow. For, says the Apostle, “ God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are, that no flesh should glory in his presence.” And thus it happened, or rather, thus was it ordained, in the most important event which occurred in the history of mankind. All circumstances attendant on the Saviour's birth spoke humility and obscurity; his mother and reputed father, though in reality of royal extraction, were indigent and unknown; his birthplace was not only a mean and despised town, but a manger in that town; while a youth, he was subject to his parents, and doubtless laboured with Joseph in the ordinary occupations of his trade; when he began to be about his heavenly Father's business, and disciples flocked to attend on him, still he had not where to lay his head ; and yet, behind this cloud of transient obscurity, lay eclipsed the eternal splendour of the Sun of Righteousness; yet, out of Bethlehem Ephratah, though“ little among the thousands of Judah, came He that was to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth were of old, (even) from everlasting."
We shall now consider,
That this prophecy refers immediately and exclusively to the Messiah, there can be no shadow of doubt, since we have the testimony of those very persons to this effect, who are most interested in disproving the application. When Herod demanded of the chief priests and scribes of the people, whom he had assembled for the purpose, where Christ should be born, the answer was prompt and unequivocal : “ In Bethlehem of Judah, for thus it is written by the Prophet,” quoting, in proof, the words of the Prophet Micah, as in our text. We find also, from St. John, that a similar persuasion prevailed among the generality of the people ; for when on a certain occasion, Christ reasoned with them so convincingly, that some said, “This is the Prophet,” meaning the forerunner of Christ, predicted by Malachi; and others affirmed, “ This is the Christ himself;" it was immediately rejoined, in allusion to Nazareth of Galilee, where our Lord had been brought up, and which they naturally inferred to be his birthplace, “Shall Christ come out of Galilee? Hath not the Scripture said, that Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was ?" Since, therefore, our application of the prophecy was thus recognized by the Jews themselves, who certainly had the fairest opportunity of forming a correct opinion, and this not only by the unthinking populace, but by the learned and contemplative, whose pursuits led them to make particular inquiry into these things ; we are fully warranted in deducing from it our estimate, both of the nature of the Messiah's office, and the dignity of his person.
"Out of thee, Bethlehem Ephratah," said the prophet, “sball come forth He that is to be Ruler in Israel; or, as the words are quoted by St. Matthew, “ a Governor, who shall rule my people Israel." The allusion here, however, is not, as the Jews vainly imagined it to be, to a temporal kingdom ; for what earthly dominion could be adequate to the dignity of him, whom David, himself monarch of Israel, at the most flourishing period of its empire, calls his Lord as well as his Son ? Besides, temporal authority was disclaimed by our Lord himself, upon every occasion. When, after the performance of one of his transcendant miracles (the feeding of five thousand with a few loaves and fishes), the people would have come and taken him by force to make him a king, he departed and concealed himself from them.
VOL. XI. NO. XI.