« ForrigeFortsæt »
work of Christianity, and of true conversion, is yet to mind. A few days after, I took up, (as I would then begin in them! At the time we parted, though I have said,) by chance, ‘Doddridge's Rise and Progress.' should have much desired to see more indubitable fruits As I slowly perused sentence after sentence, I began to of grace in her, yet it would have been difficult for me see what I was in the sight of God. I was aroused, to decide that these were entirely wanting. Her ex- alarmed, and thrown into agony unutterable. Then I perience, since the Spirit of God became her instructor, saw how grievously I had offended my God, how I had has settled the question-bas shown her the danger of despised all his warnings, trampled under foot all the the state she was then in-how empty and delusive is high privileges which for years had been placed before the form without the reality of religion,—the vast and me, despised all his gifts, mispent that time and essential difference, formerly unknown to her, that money which might have been a blessing both to mymust ever subsist betwixt the name only and the thing. self and others ;—but it were needless to recapitulate all -I remain, &c.,
IIENRY GREY. the distress and agony of mind I endured for sors " Rev. And Dear Sir, I cannot longer delay mak. weeks, until it occurred to me that by reading the Bil'e ing known to you the blessed and happy change which
I might find some instruction and comfort. But I knew it has been the will of the most gracious God to effect
not where, in what part of the then sealed book, to lock upon one long dead in trespasses and sins,' even
for what I so ardently desired. For the first time in delivering me from the power of darkness, and trans
iny life, with words of my own, I besought the mot lating me into the kingilom of his dear Son; the
blessed God to direct me to that portion of his ori so, as I feel assured I have had the benefit of your from my knees and opened the Book of God at these
which would be for the edification of my soul. I rose prayers in my behalf. Though you knew that the blessed truths, which you so faithfully and zealously
words: ' And you hath he quickened, who were dead ir declared Sabbath alter Sabbath in my hearing for a
trespasses and sins.' Instantly was communicated o) long period of years, had been of no avail for the sal.
me that light, even the light of the knowledge of the
glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.' It is impos. vation of my soul, and though you saw me rashly run
sible for me to describe what I felt; but you, reveren ning away from the means of grace, yet I fet l confident you did not cease to petition the God of all grace to
and dear Sir, who are a participator in that bliss whi: have mercy upon me; and it will be some comfort to
can be shed abroad in the human heart only by the you, even at this distant period, to know that your power of the Holy Ghost, will understand the nature prayers were heard, and that the mi-crable sinner for of my feelings at this time. But of the meaning of a' whom you pleadeil has received of the Lord's hand this I was then iguorant; only this I knew and felt ae• double for all her sins.'* It will distress but may
sured of, that I had been made a different creatura, not surprise you, to know, that though I had regularly God so abounded in my soul, that I could hardly re
My joy and delight were so great, and thankfulness to attended upon your ininistrations for eleven years, yet at that time I was utterly ignorant of all the doctrines frain from uttering his praises even before my family, of our most holy faith, not even being acquainted But I bad yet every thing to learn, baving only fewith the plan of salvation. For years I had myself
ceived power from my gracious God to imbibe instras been aware of this; my ignorance being, in truth, the
tion from his blessed Word; and to that Word, wid only knowledge of myself I possessed. It was a petic devoted; and gradually he was pleased to unfoid to us
fervent prayer, every spare moment of my time w tion in the last prayer I ever heard you utter, brought back forcibly to my remembrance at the distance of six- all the leading doctrines of our holy faith. It was, teen months, in the course of a sermon I then heard however, some considerable time after this before I x 3 preached, which was the only human instrument the enabled to see that 'to him that worketh not, but k. Lord saw fit to employ in turning me • from darkness lieveth on Him who justifieth the ungodly, his fa: to light, and from the power of Satan to God.' A few is counted unto him for righteousness. For lon: ! days before I left my native land, in June 1835, you fought hard to attain to a righteousness of my owa; were kind enough to call for us, and, in offering up a
but at last I was enabled to see, that of God the bless! prayer to God in our behalf, you carnestly supplicated Jesus was made unto me ' wisdoin, righteousness, sari' that those who were almost Christians might be made tification, and complete redemption. Then I cut's God's own people. These words, uttered by you in
set to my seal that God is true, and can declare, bless the conclusion of your prayer, made a forcible impres- be his name, that the work of righteousness is pezzi, sion on my mind. I felt that, in place of being almost and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assura: a Christian, I had not one religious feeling within me. for ever.' Though I am often in heaviness, throwHowever, in a day or two, with tie hurry and confusion
manifold temptations, and the abounding corruption attending upon our departure, it was forgotten, and all
of my desperately wicked heart,—though I need 27 was again still and lifeless within me as the dead, until stantly to mourn over its icy coldness towards La the occasion already referred to, when the Rev. Mr
who hath so loved me,—yet I ain seldom assailed with travelling missionary, passed through this dis
more than a moment's doubt regarding the assurance of trict, spent a few days with us, and preached the ser
my being accepted in the Beloved of the Lord; and mon above alluded to, in which he made use of the
have great reason to sing his praises at all times. Vi saine words that had so forcibly struck me when uttered eldest daughter has been led, slowly, silently, but I by you to God in our behalf. Again I was compelled trust surely, to the precious Saviour; and for the last to think what I was, and this time, blessed be God, twelve months bas avowed herself, both by practice and the subject was not permitted to be driven from my Her sister appears to be following on in the same glo
profession, to be a disciple of the meek and lowly Jesus. • In this expression, the writer manifestly means "a double or abundant pardon, for all her sins.".
rious path. I have to crave your pardon for this epistle,
but hope that my placing before you one other instance the sight of all the people ; for he was above the people; of the rich, free, sovereign mercy of our God, will and when he opened it, all the people stood up; and abundantly reward you for the trouble of reading so Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God: and all the lengthened a detail. Might I beg the favour of some people answered, Amen, Amen, with lifting up their counsel and instruction from you ?-it would indeed hands; and they bowed their heads, and worshipped confer upon me inexpressible delight. Now your coun- the Lord with their faces to the ground. Also Jeshua, sel and advice would not be treated as in former years. and Bani, and Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Every day makes me see more and more my own igno- Hodijah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, rance, and how very niuch I need instruction. At any | Pelaiah, and the Levites, caused the people to underrate, may I request an interest in your prayers, and, if stand the law: and the people stood in their place. So you think it right, in those of your people? That you, they read in the book, in the law of God distinctly, and reverend and dear Sir, may be abundantly blessed with gave the sense, and caused them to understand the readtimes of refreshing from the presence of the Lord, and ing,” (viii. 1-8.) The persons introduced here as that you may be an instrument in his band of daily add- officiating, were, First, Ezra, who was a priest and ing to the Church such as shall be saved, is the poor scribe, in which latter capacity he now acted ; Secondly, but oft-repeated prayer of yours sincerely in Christ thirteen other priests or chiefs of the people, who stood Jesus."
on his right and left hand, countenancing the duty, and
lending it the support of their authority, and probably MEANS OF RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION.
also, taking turn with him in reading, as the service
was continued for six hours. Thirdly, a number of BY THE Rev. DUNCAN MACFARLAN,
Levites, thirteen of whom are named. Ezra and his Minister of Renfrew.
companions appear to have been surrounded by such of
the people as understood the original Hebrew, (2, 3.) IV.—The Ancient SYNAGOGUE.
And they therefore required no translation ; and hence The word Synagogue, which is properly Greek, as well the number of their instructors was limited. But the as the Hebrew expression, of which the Greek is a Levites spoken of in the seventh verse, had also “to translation, cannot perhaps be better turned into Eng-cause the people to understand the law," and hence the lish, than by calling it, when applied to the building, unlimited addition made to the thirteen—" and the the Meeting-House; and when applied to the assembly, Levites.” It is probable, or rather certain, that these the Meeting, or Congregation. Now, this term occurs, as must bave been separated among a number of stations, formerly noticed, in the seventy-fourth Psalm, and which for the accommodation of the people; and their duty is applicable to an age preceding the captivity. But on was to translate and expound in the vernacular Chaldee, the return of Israel to their own land, a general change the meaning of the original. And it is further noticeseems to have taken place. The writings of the Old able, that the order of service among these was, First, Testament were now collected and set forth by Ezra; prayer, during which all the people stood up; and at and as the people had very much lost, both the language the end of which, they responded, Amen, Amen, lifting and religious habits cultivated in earlier times; and as up their hands, and bowing themselves to the ground, they were now disposed to give themselves very fully (5, 6.) to the worship of the true God, it was found necessary
The effect of those exercises was greatly to melt the to new model the general platform of religious worship people, even to weeping, when they were comforted and discipline. Something like the commencement of and instructed by Ezra and the Levites. And the day this may be observed in the eighth and ninth chapters after, " the chief of the fathers of all the people, the of the book of Nehemiah. After ascertaining the genea- priests and the Levites, gathered together unto Ezra logical descent of the people, they were found to amount the scribe, even to understand the words of the law,” to forty-two thousand three hundred and sixty, besides (13.) And on finding that the people ought to dwell servants, of whom there were seven thousand three in booths, during the feast of the seventh month, they hundred and thirty-seven. And it is added, that “all issued a proclamation accordingly. And during the the people gathered themselves together as one man, whole seven days of the feast, there was reading out of into the street that was before the water-gate; and the book of the law, “ day by day,” (18.) And again, they spake unto Ezri the scribe, to bring the book on the 24th day of the month, that is, after the expiry of the law of Moses, which the Lord had commanded of the feast, the people again assembled for fasting, to Israel. And Ezra brought the law before the con- confession, and prayer. And speaking of the Levites, gregation, both of men and women, and all that could it is said, “they stood up in their place, and read in the hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh
book of the law of the Lord their God, one-fourth part month. And he read therein, before the street that was of the day; and another fourth part they confessed and before the water-gate, from the morning until mid-day, worshipped the Lord their God,”(ix. 3.) And here again, before the men and the women, and those that could the officiating ministers are divided into two bodies. understand ; and the ears of all the people were at- First, there are eight who stood upon the stairs, (rather tentive unto the book of the law. And Ezra the scribe the scaffold or platform, on which Ezra stood before,) stood upon a pulpit of wood, which they bad made for and referring to their confessions and supplications, it the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, is said, “ they cried with a loud voice unto the Lord and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on their God," (4.) This was probably in Hebrew, and his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mi- for the guidance of such as understood that language. shael, and Malchiah, and Kashum, and Hash badana, Ze- | Then there were other eight Levites, and it may be chariah, and Meshullam. And Ezra opened the book in many more not named, who are not said to have been
on any platform, and who were probably spread among, our Lord's ministry, not fewer than four hundred and the people. And these called upon the people, saying, eighty synagogues. Schools also, and colleges in con"Stand up and bless the Lord your God for ever and nexion with these, were from time to time erected. ever; and blessed be thy glorious name, which is ex- And it is remarkable, how much the general character alted above all essing and praise," &c. (4, 5.) This of these corresponded with that of the scholastic inprayer occupies thirty-three verses, and was probably stitutions which sprung up in the Christian church topronounced by the Levites in Chaldee, and responded wards the middle ages. There seems, indeed, to be a to by i ne people.
very noticeable parallelism between the Jewish church These notices are the more important, that it is be- subsequent to the withdrawal of the prophetic spirit, lieved, that out of these beginnings, the forms of wor- and the Christian church after the age of the Apostles. ship in the synagogue took their rise. And before tak. With the earlier progress of either, we are comparaing leave, therefore, of these introductory scenes, it tively but little acquainted. But we know the result may be well to notice by what means it was proposed in both; and we have at least some of the elements to inaintain so many office-bearers. And this will suf- out of which it was formed; and certain facts also to ficiently appear, from a circumstance noticed in the last guide us in tracing their operation. Scholastic distincchapter of the same book. " And before this, Eliaslıib tions and metaphysical quibbles, started up in the colleges the priest, having the oversight of the chamber of the of the one as well as of the other. The love of allehouse of our God, was allied unto Tobiah : and he had gory took the place of sound exposition ; and the say. prepared for him a great chamber, where aforetime they ings of the elders of traditions, were in authority, even laid the meat-offerings, the frankincense, and the ves beyond the written word. To such an extent were sels, and tithes of the corn, the new wine, and the oil, these, and very minute criticism carried, in the schools (which was commanded to be given to the Levites, and of the Rabbies, that like weeds in a piece of worn-out the singers, and the porters,) and the offerings of the and over-wrought soil, they are ever suggesting to the priests." “ And I perceived that the portions of the reader, the simple wish, that the soil of the Scriptures Lerites had not been given them; for the Levites and had just been let alone, and thus allowed to yield its the singers that did the work, were fied, every one to even natural and spontaneous fruits. This was very his field. Then contended I with the rulers, and much the state of Jewish learning in the days of our said, Why is the house of God forsaken? And I ga- Saviour ; and it will perhaps, from this be inferred, thered them together, and set them in their place. Then that we ought just to let it alone. But first, it is not brought all Judah the tithes of the corn, and the new respecting the spirit of the observances, that we are to wine, and the oil, unto the treasuries. And I made inquire, but merely their outward form; and secondly, treasurers over the treasuries, Shelemiah the priest, our object is not Jewish but Christian. It is not so and Zadok the scribe; and of the Levites, Pedaiah ; properly our wish to know what the synagogue was, as and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the how the Apostolical churches were originally constitutson of Mattaniah: for they were counted faithful ; and ed; and this because, as is universally admitted, they their office was to distribute unto their brethren," were first formed very much after the model of the (4, 5, 10—13.) This passage shows that the Levites synagogue; and with these views we shall now substill retained possessions in land, (10.) It shows also, mit, under a series of heads, the leading features of the to whom the tithes were now, as well as in earlier ancient synagogue. times to be paid to the priests, scribes, and Levites, 1. When built.-It seems to have been observed as the very parties who afterwards conducted the service a general rule, that no synagogue could be built unless of the synagogue, (13.) And it still farther shows, there were ten Batelnim—men of leisure. Lightfoot under whose management these were to be distributed understands by these, men qualified to become officeA band consisting of one from the priests, one from bearers, or at least to take part in conducting public among the scribes, and one from among the other Le-worship. But this has been thought doubtful; and vites, were appointed; and they had under them, as the only thing agreed upon is, that they must have been acting manager, another and separate individual, (13.) persons, so much at leisure, as to be able to attend all
It is also probable, that from this time, or soon after, the ordinary meetings of the synagogue, and which took the attention of the people began to be directed to scho- place on three days of the week. The statement of lastic studies, and that schools and colleges, as well as Maimonides is simply to this effect: “Every place synagogues, began to be established. The original ark wbere there are ten men of Israel, there it is requisite of the covenant was now no longer in the temple, as a to build a house, whither they may resort to prayer af witness between God and his people; the Divine glory every time of prayer; and this place is called a synano longer overshadowed the mercy-seat ; the Urim and gogue : and the men of the city are to urge one another Thummim were now wanting ; the sacred fire, which to build a synagogue, and to buy them a book of the ever burned on the great altar, was now no more, its law, prophets and hagiographa." We are also told, place being supplied with common fire; and though with regard to the necessity of at least ten being prelast not least, the spirit of prophecy had departed. In sent, that "the Divine Majesty dwelleth not among the language of an apostle, “the former covenant had fewer than ten;" and that wherever this number could now waxen old, and was now ready to vanish away. be assembled for purposes of worship, the Divine Being The more ordinary means of instruction were accord
* In modern times, this rule is understood simply of men. "Ta ingly multiplied. Now, at least, Moses began to have
constitute a congregation for the performance of public worship. “in every city them that preached him, being read in requires, according to the decisions of the Rabbies, at least ten men, the synagogues every Sabbath-day." And we are told, who have passed the thirteenth year of their age. In all placea, ia
which this, or a larger number of Jews can be statedly assesbied that in Jerusalem alone, there were, about the time of they procuro a synagogue,"-ALLEN's Mopean Judaisu,
was specially present. It is apparently in reference to 1. Elders or Rulers of the Synagogue.- On some this, that our Lord said to his disciples, Again I say occasions there was probably but one ruling elder, and unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth, as hence the phrase “the ruler of the synagogue,” (see touching anything that ye shall ask, it shall be done for Mark v. 35.) but in other cases, and perhaps more gethem of my Father which is in heaven.” “ For where nerally, there were more than one, (see Acts xiii. 15.) two or three are gathered together in my name, there And it is affirmed by Jewish writers, that the proper am I in the midst of them." (Matt. xviii. 19, 20.) It number was three. In certain matters of judgment, is as if he bad wished to show his disciples, that the three appear to have been necessary. These, as their principle of church communion, with all its privileges, name imports, sat in judgment. They did so with reis to be carried farther out under the Christian dispen- gard to matters of discipline and worship, but they did sation, than it had before been ; that wherever it should so also in a variety of offences, both civil and criminal. be found even to exist, as in the case of two persons, They judged in money matters, in matters of theft, of the privilege was secured. And this surely renders the losses, of restitution, of violence done to females, in the Christian even more inexcusable than the Jew, if after admission of proselytes, and the laying on of hands, &c. all, he be found among such as forsake the assembling of 2. The Sheliach Zibbor, or Angel of the Synagogue. themselves together. And yet bow high is the exam- – The person bearing this name, was the chief minister ple which the Jews have set us! They allowed not of religion, and in particular, be offered up the prayers even ten qualified individuals to live without a syna- of the congregation. And as in this he acted for the gogue; and we allow hundreds, it may be thousands, people, he was called their Angel or Messenger. And including men of all circumstances.
hence, as is believed, the name applied in the book of II. The Buildings. These are so concisely, and on Revelation to the presiding minister in each of the the whole so well described by Horne, in the third vo- seven Churches of Asia" the Angel of the Church." lumne of his Introduction, that we can scarcely do better It is also probable, that the angel of the synagogue sat than copy his account. “ It does not appear," says he, with the ruling elders as one of their number, and that " from the New Testament, that the synagogues had he came in this way to be distinguished from them, any peculiar form. The building of them was regarded only by his labouring also “in the word and doctrine.” as a mark of piety, (Luke vii. 5.) and they were erected 3. The Chazan or Overseer. The person bearing witbin or without the city, generally in an elevated this title, is held by some to be the same with the angel place, and were distinguished from the proseuchae by be of the synagogue; and Jewish authorities have been ing roofed. Each of them had an altar, or rather table, cited in support of this opinion. But Vitringa has exon which the book of the law was opened ; and on the amined the whole question at great length, and bas east side, there was an ark or chest, in which the vo- shown on evidence very satisfactory, that the office of Jume of the law was deposited. The seats were so the Chazan was subordinate ; and hence the name, and disposed, that the people always sat with their faces also the duty assigned him in the synagogue at Nazatowards the elders, and the place where the law was reth, (Luke iv. 20.) He is there called minister or kept ; and the elders sat in the opposite direction, that attendant; receiving also the book from the officiating is to say, with their backs to the ark, and their faces to minister. And according to Jewish writers, he had a the people. The seats of the latter, as being placed general charge of the synagogue with its sacred utensils, nearer the ark, were accounted the more holy; and and of the order of worship. bence they are in the New Testament termed the chief 4. The Readers. These were usually seven in numseats in the synagogue, which the Pharisees affected, ber; but they were not so properly office-bearers as and for which our Lord inveighed against them, (Matt. simply members of the congregation, who were from xxiii. 6.) A similar proceeding seems to have crept time to time called out for the purpose. The first into the places of worship, even of the first Christians; chosen was, if such were present, a priest; the second, and hence we may account for the indignation of the a Levite ; and the other five simply Israelites. The Apostle James, (ii. 3.) against the undue preference portions of Scripture read, were, as will afterwards that was given to the rich. The women were separated appear, large; and they were read from a scroll in the from the men, and sat in a gallery inclosed with lat. original Hebrew, wbich bad become in the days of our tices, so that they could distinctly see and bear all that Saviour, very much a dead language. This will of it. pussed in the synagogue, without themselves being ex- self show, that the persons chosen for Readers, must posed to view." To this account we sball only add, have been men of education. that the synagogue, at least in favourable circumstances, 5. The Interpreter.- The Readers stood each in turn was usually accompanied with a school for children, a in the place appointed, and read distinctly from the Beth Michash, or Divinity School, and a Beth Din, or Hebrew scroll verse by verse, the Chazan meanwhile Hall of Judgment.
looking on. At the end of each verse he made a pause, III. The Office Bearers.—According to Vitringa, and then the Interpreter rendered it into the vernacular whose authority in all matters of this kind stands de- language, adding such glosses as were fitted to make servedly high, these varied in different circumstances. the original better understood. He was accordingly, a In large cities they were numerous, and consisted in regular oflice-bearer of the synagogue. all the higher offices, of learned men duly set apart ; 6. The Teacher or Doctor.--Under this name, we whereas in cases of less importance, they were fewer mean the Teacher in the Michash or Divinity School, and not so fully qualified. And this is perhaps the true and who had also his interpreter. But we are not sure explanation of discrepancies among writers of the high whether the duties of the school were not in most cases est reputation. And with this explanation we now discharged by the office-bearers of the synagogue proper, proceed to detail these in order,
It is even stater, that the President of the Eldership
CHRIST THE SOURCE AND SUPPORT OF SPIRITUAL LIFE.
sat as chief Doctor in the Beth Michash. Still, the That I may watch thy opening character duties of the two offices are so distinct, according to Expanding like thy father's, bright and pure, our apprehension, that they will in this way be best
The Christian and the scholar; yet, my boy, conceived of; and they are so stated by Lightfoot him
All these fond wishes of thy mother's heart
Are merged in one,—that thou may'st be His child, self. Moreover, we have in this distinction of duty,
own devoted child, to spread His glory; whether of office or not, the probable origin of the dis- Whether in earth's dark places, or on high, tinction “ Pastor and Teacher."
In labours such as holy angels know. 7. The Pamasin or Deacons. These were but little And He will hear the prayer, He will accept connected with either the worship or discipline of the The offering He hath strengthened me to make. synagogue. They collected money, sometimes appa
Even thus, of old, a babe was offered uprently by a kind of assessment, for the maintenance of
Young Samuel--for the service of His Temple;
Nor He refused the boon, but poured on him the poor, and where other means were wanting, for the
The anointing of all gifts and graces meet general support of the synagogue, including the stipends For his high office. So may'st thou, my child, of the office-bearers. And they have accordingly been In thine own humbler sphere, be consecrate. associated with the Deacons of the Christian church. Sleep on, then, dearest; safe from peril, -safe, And their office, and that of the seven, who were elected Though sickness be thy lot. In life or death,
Be but His arms around thee, thou art safe. to relieve the Apostles of the duty of serving tables,
Oh! it is bliss to live, even on earth, are certainly like each other. At the same time, as they are both matters of controversy, which may come
Labouring for Him,-gathering His elect in,
From a dark sinful world, to His fair fold ! afterwards to be reviewed, it is enough for our present And it is bliss to die !—to soar on wings object to notice them in this general manner.
Of seraph to His bright celestial throne,Some of the articles which have yet to be taken up, To bend, adoring, at the fount of light, exhibit a closer resemblance to corresponding parts of
To dwell for ever in its blaze! My child,
This is the blessedness I ask for thee. the Apostolical churches, than even these; and certainly hold out the prospect of shedding an important light on not a few of those dark questions, about which the friends of truth are so often divided. There is par
A DISCOURSE. ticularly one source of error, which inquiries of this
BY THE Rev. John FORBES, D.D., kind, if properly foliowed out, are fitted to correct. Each class of controversialists, being satisfied of the
Minister of St. Paul's Parish, Glasgow. scriptural character of their own opinions, go to the “I am that bread of life.”—John vi. 48. Apostolical writings, really expecting to find so
something like a picture of their own church ; and it may be an
The more spiritual any doctrine of Scripture is, embodied likeness of their own special opinions. Now, the more diiticult is it to lodge an adequate imwe are quite satistied, that a faithful examination of pression of it in the minds of the unrenewed facts will show, that the Apostolical churches furnished and carnal ; and had we the secrets of men's an exact picture of no church on earth. An exact like hearts disclosed, with regard to the treatment ness of these can be found only in like circumstances.
which has been given to the truths of ChristianAnd if we are thus led to have our minds disabused of ity, we should find abundant confirmation of the fanciful resemblances, we will the more freely, and painful fact, “ that the natural man receiveth the more faithfully seize on great and abiding principles, not the things of the Spirit of God; for they which ought to form the foundation of every church,
are foolishness to him, neither can be know thern and which involve far less debateable matter, than is because they are spiritually discerned.” At the generally supposed.
first promulgation of the Gospel, when our Lord
declared to Nicodemus, a Rabbi in Israel, and : THE MOTHER TO HER SICK CHILD.
ruler among the Jews, that a man must be born SLEEP on, my boy, and o'er thy fevered brow again: that individual, however officially versant May gentle angels keep their silent watch; with the law and the prophets, was an entire May he who is the Lord of angels bend
stranger to this subject, and showed an ignorance His pitying eye, and give thee soothing sleep.
so profound, and a levity so great, as to draw Oh! may he breathe around thy languid from
forth from Jesus an expression of deep surprise. Benignant health, if such his holy will; Yet good that boly will, though sickness sore
And in the chapter before us, when he speaks to Should linger-even sickness unto death!
the Jews, who had crowded to his ministry, and My child, my treasure, I have given thee up who had lately witnessed a most interesting To Him who gave thce me! Ere yet tbine eye
miracle, concerning the same subject, of a divine Rested with conscious love upon thy mother,
life in the soul, and of the aliment or bread neLong ere thy lips could gently sound her name, She gave thee up to God; she sought for thee
cessary for its support, they were equally at a One boon alone,-that thou might'st be His child;
loss to understand wbat he meant; and from His child sojourning on this distant earth,
that time many of them went back, and walked His child above the blue and radiant sky.
no more with him. And are we not called to 'Tis all I ask for thee, belov'd one, still.
fear that there may be some in this assembly to Perchance, in some fond hour, this heart may wish
whom the subject will still seem to bear the High intellect to beam around thy brow, And all that earth counts joy to tend thy steps;
same mysterious and repulsive character; and Perchance I wish thy bright blue eye may cheer who ir stead of humbly desiring to attain to the The remnant of my solitary patlı,
experience and possession of that spiritual life