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Christ, to be an effectual mean of conveying instruction to the ignorant, and to them that are out of the way? Is it foolishness to lecture on languages and philosophy, on law ' and medicine, on politics and history? Are not multitụdes, in this manner, well instructed in these sciences? and, are no means to be employed for acquiring the knowledge of divinity
All nonsense! How unseemly the expression in the mouth of one who retains the name, at least, of a Christian ! :. What consistency is there between your external profession and the sentiment by which you so rudely pour your contempt on the preaching of Christ? “Nonsense! After such a reflection on your own, need you be put in mind how much you insult the understanding of others, not merely of the lower orders, but of those who have been the first ornaments of their •ge and their country, in regard to the improvement of their minds? Will he not be reckoned more brutish than any man, who condemns that which has been so highly valued by the Boyles and the Lockes, the New tops and Addisons of our own and of every other country?.
It is all nonsense! What impiety in the expression, when we know that the office of the ministry is an ordinance of God ever since the Fall!for to the Old Testament church was the gospel preached, as well as unto us. Did not the blood of every victim, laid 'upon the altar of God as a substitute for guiliy man, impressively proclaim peace on earth, and goodwill towards men? How beautiful in the most remote, as well as in later times) were the feet of them that brought good tidings, that published salvation, that said unto Zion, l'hy God reigneth! Was not Christ himself given for a light to the Gentiles? In the days of his flesh, did he not preach righteousness in the great congregation? Did not his lips keep knowledge? Many found, in their happy experience, that he had the tongue of the learned. His most inveterate. enemies. were obliged to confess, 'Never man spake like this man. Christ, who hath all power in Heaven and on earth, gave commission to his apostles, saying, 'Go ye into all the world, and preachi the gospel to every creature; and they went forth . (in obedience to his command after his ascension) and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following.' Still Christ'gives some apostles, some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry ;' and have you the courage to call that foolishness which, by the only wise God, is appointed and blessed for the salvation of mankind ? 'for it hath pleased God, by the foolishness of preaching, to save them that believe. That the foolishness of God is wiser than men, is abundantly evident from the glorious triumphs of the gospel over darkness, error, and superstition. Jews and Gentiles can
attest the truth of this. Does not that which had so happy ah influence on Mary Magdalene, on Saul of Tarsus, on the jailor at Philippi, on Manasseh, and on many others, deserve a very different epithet? : Why talk at this rate of that which has been productive of the most blessed effects on the minds and on the conduct of mankind? What is wisdoin, if this be folly? Where shall you find good news and glad tidings .equal to these? Where is that law which can be compared to this, the spirit of which is, “ All things, whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them? What can promote the felicity of men, bath here and hereafter, if this be: despised ?
It is all nonsense! To you, perhaps, it may be foolishness. By repeating the assertion so confidently, will you lay ús under the necessity of giving you credit, so far at least as you yourself are concerned ? Though your understanding be darkened; though it be true that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, others may see clearly. They may know the mysteries of the kingdom. • The spiritual man judgeth all things.' To you they may be foolishness; neither may you know them, because they are spiritually discerned. You cannot, therefore, be admitted as a judge. You know what to think of a blind man pretending to be a judge of your own art. Who would appeal to him, so far as light and shade are concerned? Who, that is a perfect master of arranging both, would believe him when he denied their existence ? - and can We credit them who cannot see afar off, when they bring down to their own level the wisdom of all those who know Him that is true, who see light in his light clearly, - who know the doctrines of the gospel, who believe theni, who rely on them for eteľnity, who would rather suffer the loss of all things than be moved away from the hope of the gospel ! .
It is all norisense! Repeat the expression no more. Renounce the sentiment with shame and confusion. May not God have his messenger to carry an embassy of peace to them who are engaged in a desperate rebellion against him? May not the King of glory have his heralds to proclaim war against the kingdom of Satan, and to publish peace, and to say to Zion, Thy God reigneth? If this be allowed the meanest who wears a crown, who shall infringe the prerogative of Him who sito upon the holy hill of Zion, on whose head are many crowns, to whose sceptre every knee must bow!
The friends of the truth whoin you revile, cordially invite you to come and sit at the feet of Christ, and hear the blessed words that proceed from his mouth. They do not preclude the closest examination of what they teach, provided it be begun and carried on with humility and candour, under a deep sense of their ignorance, with such a prayer as this, ' What I know not, teach thou me.' Go you and do likewie. Do it without delay,, with an earnest desire that God may be glorified; that your own soul may be saved in the day of the Lord; that you may be instrumental in training up the children whom God hath given you in the knowledge of the truth; that you may be valiant for the truth upon earth, in proportion to the opposition you have made to it, the contempt which you have cast upon it. Thus you shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and the stars for ever and ever! Otherwise, your sun shall go down, your day shall end in eternal night! You are thus addressed in Scripture-language, because, I suppose, you have not yet cast away the Bible altogether; because the light of truth hath penetrated hearts as adamantine as yours mar yet be; and because the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, can make a conquest of yours. With an earnest prayer for your complete and eternal salvation,
I am yours, &c.
The learned Shuckford, in his “Treatise on the Creation, and Fall of Man,' introduces a criticism on the Hebrew par ', ticle ) (Ki) which considerably removes tlre obscurity of the passage under his review. The phrase wlrich gives rise to his criticism is the following terms and the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed *, ' &c. The particle Ki, it is to be observed, may either be translated for, becaux, or although, as the sense of the passage where it is used shall determine. In several places, our translators have
not been very happy in their choice of the word by which it .. ought to be rendered. In the verse quoted above, if it is rens
dered although, instead of because, the phrase conveys a dif ferent meaning, and less embarrassed with difficulty than it is by our present translation: --! And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Although thou hast done this,'&c.
A more glaring impropriety in translating it occurs in Gen. viii. 21; which, in our translation, carries obscurity, if not . · contradiction in the face of it:-' And the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. It occurs to every reader, that the imagination of man's heart, , ' being evil from his youth, is the reason why God will not curse the ground any more for man's sake; whereas, he would nature ally suppose that this would be the very reason why God would again visit the earth with his curse;- but if the particle Kiis translated although, as it ought to be in this passage (and as it is in the margin) the difficulty vanishes, and the meaning of the
* Gen, iii. 13.
passage is obvious and plain :- And the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man's sake, although the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth. :· In Genesis xlviii. 14, in our translation, the same difficulty occurs :- And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly, tui Manasseh was the first-born.' This was a reason, we should have supposed, why he should rather have laid his right hand on Manasseh's bead; but the above phrase conveys this idea, that Manasseh, being the first-born, was a reason why Israel laid his left hand on him. The difficulty is entirely removed by translating the passage as follows: ' And his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly, althougar Manasseh was the first-bor:
In Psalm xxy. Il same kind . hining there is an impropěr translation of the
cism, the ruly by reading it âgreeably to the above critin c c verse is intelligible and plain. For thy name's sakė,
v Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great. The Psalmst surely cannot mean that the greatness of his iniquity was a reason why God should pardon it; but, by our translation, thePsalmist is made to speak this language, a language which no theological device can reconcile to reason or to Scripture; but when translated as it ought to be, the obscurity of the passage is done away: - Pardon my iniquity, although it is great.'-Those remarks may entertain and instruct 'some of the readers of your useful Miscellany.
It has been the honour of Protestant Dissenters, always to have stood forward as the decided friends of moral cultiva-' tion in the lower classes of society; and, at the preseut period, Providence, by enlarging their sphere of action, has.extended their exertions, and encreased their success. I refer, particularly, to the establishment of Sunday Schools; but whilst I rejoice thai they are become so general, and have been found so beneficial, I lamy.lt that any congregation should continue destitute of such an important institution. It appears to me a duty devolving on every minister, to attempt the formation of such a Nursery for the Church; and it every pastor used his influence with the younger part of his congregation, and gave the first impulse to the work, doubtless, many more Schools might be established, and the benefit of education be rendered more extensive.
If two or three persons in a congregation are determined to
combine their exertions, a School may soon be established, Even an individual zealous in the cause, need not despond; he may begin by instructing a few, till others are animated by his example, and induced to co-operate in his attempts. The work only wants to be begun, and a pleasing result is morally certain, and can any, who are blessed with the opportunity, refuse to labour under the Lord of the Harvest in such a promising field ? - especially, when we consider the expence is small, the plan practicable and easy, - the advantages UAspeakably great!
Let ministers and individuals unite in exertion and prayer, let the cause of the young and ignorant poor be ospoused with zeal, and be maintained with perseverance: blessings will then attend your laboers, and Heaven be propitious to your de signs. The poor children may be unable to return your kindness; but your heavenly Father will not forget your labours of . love, in the resurrection of the just. - A TEACHER.
. LETTER OF THE LATE REV. JOHN HILL
(AUTHOR OF A VOLUME OF SERMONS) Sir,
To the Editore The following is a Leiter, written by the late Rev. Jobn Hill, of London, author of a well-known volume of excellent Sermons. It is taken from a Sermon, preached on the occasion of his death, by the late Rev. T. Hall. As the Letter 's truly excellent, and the Sermon rarely to be met with, it occurred to one of your constant readers, that it might serve some good purpose to publish it in your useful Miscellany
ADJUTOR. My dear Friend,
London, December, 1744, from my Bed. I have been under a dangerous fit of sickness; yet one lesson I have learned by this affliction, which I never knew be fore so perfectly, at least so feelingly, is, the need and efficacy, the infinite merit and conscience-pacifying virtue of the blood of Jesus! When death and judgment appear in view, and the soul has not one good work he can call his own, were he sure he might plead it at God's bar, what must that soul do, upon the edge of an eternal world, whom the law. charges with guilt, whom Conscience condemns for it, who sees Justice armed with vengeance to execute the law's curse, and himself about to fall into the Lord's hand, and to be arraigned before the bar of the living God, wlio has no worthiness to recommend him to the blood of Christ, nothing but guilt and terror, sin and uncleanness, all about him? What an Hell must there be in such a