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Independently of the above remnarko, I think, that as Tracts may now be distributed in vast numbers, at a very little expence, every Christian who expects the protection and blessing of God, ought to take with him as many shilling's worth, at least, of cheap Tracts to throw on the road, and leave at inns, as he takes out pounds to expend on himself and family. This is really but a trifling sacrifice. It is a highly reasonable ono; and one which God will accept. This will be doing good to those 6 of whom you expect noihing again;" and those who do so, have a promise of our Saviour, that they shall be recompenced at the resurrection of the just.”
REMARKS ON AN ANSWER TO A QUERY. Dear Sir,
Your correspondent J. K. in your July Magazine (p.312) at. tempts an answer to a query, inserted in a fornier Number, respecting the words “ He sball be called a Nazarene *;" in the latter part of which, he introduces a subject which appears to me to have no relation to the matter in hand, except in sound.
The word Netzar comes from the root he preserved, and is rendered the brunch in the Scriptures referred to, perhaps, on account of the tenderness of the young shoot, which becomes an object of peculiar care. This seems to furnish the name of Netzar; or, according to Syriac termination, Natzeret, the supposed place of our Saviour's birth, and the real seat of his edu. cation, which probably had many plantations in or about it ; so that Natzeret may be the place of branches, and our Saviour is thus called a Nazarene, as an inhabitant of such a place. See this subject largely and learnedly handled by Bishop Chandler, in his Defence of Christianity, from page 220-230, where the original querist may find ample satisfaction.
But the Nazarite is, in the original, Nazir; the Tsadi is used in the first word; in this the Zain, which signifies “one separated,” as we know Sampson and others were; and, because kings are crowned, and thus set apart from and above the people, the word is used for this sign of royal distinction. Now, though both the Branch and the Nazarite refer to Jesus Christ, who is indeed the Branch of Renown, and the person who, like the Nazarite, is separated from his brethren, and crowned Lord of all, yet it seems to be the first and not the latter type which the Evangelist regards in the place before us.
I am, dear Sir, respectfully yours, Bartholomew Close.
T. S. * Matt. ii. 23,
ANSWERS TO QUERIES.
(See our Mag. for July, p. 313.) Mr. Editor,
The following observations are submitted to your consideration, in answer to the “ Young Enquirer,” in your last, on that part of the Lord's prayer, “ Lead us not into temptation."
It is, doubtless, the easiest, as well as the safest and most judi. cious way, when any difficult passage occurs, to search out its agreement with the general tenor of the sacred word. This mode of investigation may enable us to obviate this seeming difficulty. The word “ temptation,” sometimes means any trial *. It is asserted that God tempted Abraham +; that is, he put his faith and sincerity to the test : it is explained in Heb. xi. 17. The more Abraham's affections were fixed upon his son Isaac, the more evidently would his sincerity towards God appear, in his readiness to offer him as a sacrifice. God still, by various mcans, proves the strength of faith and reality of love, in the souls of his people
At other times, this word is to be taken in a bad sense, mis when it refers to the devices of Satan. By his temptations he de signs to deceive, seduce, and destroy. Thus he tempted our first parents to take of the forbidden fruit. IIis first effort was to persuade them that they had misunderstood the divine seztence, or that God did not mcan to execute his threatening; and that, so far from sustaining any evil by a participation, it would be the mean of increasing their wisdom.
This is the process he still carries on with his temptations,-to misguide the judgment,-seduce from the path of duty,—and thus ruin immortal souls : and, through the depravity of the kumın heart, he is, alas ! too successful.
It is impossible, however, that God should tempt men in this sense, for three reasons:
1. Because, By making Him the author of temptations, we make him the author of sin ; and this would destroy the attribute of his holiness.
2. It would argue against his mercy, and would go to prove that he both delights in the death of sinners, and uses means to promote it. 3. It would plainly contradict Scripture, which gives us
this caution :-"Let no man say when be is tempted, I am tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted of evil; neither tempteth be any mang.
The passage under consideration is thus paraphrased by the excellent Dr. Guyse :-“We humbly intreat that thou wilt keep us out of the way of such trials as might prove too hard for 'us; or if at any tiine temptation lies before us, grant us help
* Roy.jit. 1o.
+ Gen. xxii..
#Psalm xi. 5.
James i, 13
and victory over it." To the same purpose are Baxter and Doldridge:
Every situation exposes to dangers -- some situations more than others; and the dangers are in proportion to the nature and strength of our easily-besetting sin: - this therefore is an humble request to be guided as to the one, and kept from the other. Agar prayed in the same manner & Sensible of the plague of his own heart, he dre:ulel poverty, lest he should murmur against the Lord, and be tempted of injustice; and, on the other hand, he did not wish great worldly prosprrity, lest it should wean his heart from God, and he should think more of the gift tran of the Giver. Thus [ think the prayer is designed to teach us to be much with God, imploring him to fix us in such situations, and so to regulate all our concerns, 26 shall be least favourable to the evil propensities of a Weacherous heart, and the machinations of a tempting devil.
T.P. Prov. XXX. 7, 8, 9.
A STAR, in ptophetical language, denotes an illustrious cha. racter, and is applied to ministers, to nobles, to princes, and to Christ. - This prophecy was partially accomplished in David, who subdued all the neighbouring nations, reduced the Moabites to an ignominious servitude, and treated them with great severity. Of Sheth, we know little or nothing certain. Some authors suppose it was a considerablc city of Moab;-others, that it was the name of a celebrated king. But this clegant passage of Scripture refers principally to the Lord Jesus Christ, who entitles himself " the Night and the Morning Star;" and the Jews called the Messiah Barchochab, or the Son of the Star, in allusiou to this prophecy. Balaam says, “ I shall see him;" i. &r the Son of God will certainly manitest kimself, but not now." I shall behold him, but not nigh;" that wonderful cvent is far distant. Several eminent expositors substitute the present tense for the future, and render it thus:---] see hijn (i. e. the Messiah) but he does not appear now; I behold in vision, but he is not nigh: le shah totally destroy all his enemies, even the most forinidable, and establish an universal and everlasting monarchy. Harwick.
ON THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST.
To the Editor, I was exceeding's pleased, some tiine ago, in reading the 31st of Beza's
Epistles. It evidently was written to one who had expressed his scruples respecting the mysterious constitution of the person of Clirist, as God. Man, because he could not sat onally comprehend it. In this letter the
venerable Divine endeavours to obviate these scruples, by a scriptural elucidation of the subject, and by an appeal to Rcason itself, as guided by Revelation. From a single passage of Scripture he fairly deduces the doctrines of the essential Godhead and proper humanity of Christ, together with the inseparable union of both these distinct natures in his one adorable Person.' As just views of the Person of Christ are, on many accounts, of the utmost importance, I conceive that this letter, which illustrates the doctrine, might enrich your valuable Repository.
TRANSLATION OF BEZA'S THIRTY-FIRST EPISTLE.
“ That you cannot by reason comprehend that great mystery of godliness, does not surprize me; for this is the proper business of faith, not of human reasoning. Let us see, however, whether Reason may not be serviceable. Grart me these two principles (neither of which you can reasonably deny) namely, that God is true ; and, that he hath spoken to us by Jesus Christ: then, by that declaration of Christ,“ I have power to lay down my life, and I have power to take it again *,” the Godhead of Christ is necessarily established. For in what respect shall we suppose he spake these words ? Of his body? Not so; because a lifeless corpse cannot so much as request, much less resume, the life or soul of which it had been divested; for a dead body possesses neither appetite nor action. But did he declare this in respect of his soul? If so, he would have said, that he had power to lay down not bis life, but his body, and power to take it again; since the soul can neither lay down nor assume itself, nor the life of which it is composed. It follows, therefore, that he must have spoken these words in respect of another nature, which consists of neither soul nor body, but hath full power and dominion over both. Now, what can this be, unless that which renders the person who possesses it, both in name and id reality, God? For an ability to throw aside life, seems inçleed to be the property of every living creature; but to bestow upon himself a lite once lost, we must necessarily confess belongs to him alone, whose nature is from itself, and therefore comports not with the spirits of the blessed themselves. Hence follows what I mentioned before, that thus the true and proper Godhead of Christ is clearly proved. And again, as the Godhead eannut cease to exist, nor even suffer a change (for otherwise it could not be Godhead) from the same declaration of Christ, it is clear, that the logos (or Word) truly assumed another; namely, a human nature unto himself, because otherwise he could neither have possessed a soul to lay down (that is, to separate from his body) nor a body to re-unite with his soul. Neither can we justly collect from hence, that the God head was ever separated either from that soul or body; but the laying down of his soul, and taking it up again, is to be understood in respect of his human nature exclusively; so that Christ may be said to have laid down his soul when he separated it from the body; and to have taken it again when he re-united it with the same body. Lastly, The hypostatical or personal union of both these natures is also confirined by those words of Christ. For, since he is Lord of all, wherefcre was it necessary to call the particular soul which he laid down his, unless because it was his own in another sense than the soul of Lazarus, or of any other person. Therefore, when he raised Lazarus from the dead, he is said to have re-united not his own soul (though he was Lord of that likewise) but another's, namely, that of Lazarus ; not to his own, but another's body, that of Lazarus. In short, not to bave raised himself from the dead, but Lazarus his friend. Why, therefore, is this the soul of Christ, but because it is a part of which the very person of Christ consists ? And the soul of Lazarus, why is it not Christ's, unless because Lazarus possesses a subsistence personally distinct from Christ ? And this is what we call an hypostatical union of natures. You see, therefore, what I wish to persuade you of, that we are not irrational who declare these things, but that they are entirely beside themselves who
* John X. 17, 19,
It is commonly said, " That the abounding of almost every species of vice in our land, is not so much owing to the want of good laws, as of faithfulness in putting them in execution.” Had ministers of the gospel, and even private Christians, but the fortitude to reprove the openly profane, and did the civil magistrate shew a readiness to protect them from insult, the public ear would not be so often dunned as it is with blasphemous oaths and imprecations. Iniquity, as ashamed, would seek to conceal herself in secret, and no longer dare to set up her head in our streets. The late Rev. James Erskine, of Stirling, being one evening diverting himself in the bowling-green, an officer of the army, who made one of the company, and who, perhaps, had been chagriued on account of bad success in the game, began to ulter some very profane expressions. Grieved at hearing the sacred name of God taken in vain, Mr. E. in as mild and gentle a manner as possible, reprovel him for it. What was well meant; however, on the part of the good man, was not so well taken on that of the indignant officer. On the contrary, he considered himself very highly affronted ; and drawing his sword, swore he would instantly take vengeance for the freedorn that had been used with him. It happened, however, very providentially, when matiers were come to this extremity, that the late Capt. Harrison, who was then a magistrate of the town; entered the bowling greet; and aftur having the affair explained to him by the company, addressed him;elf in this manner to the officer:“Sir, your conduct is neither like a soldier nor a gentleman : not like a soldier, or you would never bave drawn your sword upon an unarmed defenceles3 mau; ---not like a gentlemall, or you wou'd not have insulted a minisier of the gospoli