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observations on the genius and idiom of great rational change for which Provi. the Hebrew tongue, which those who dence, as it humbly appears to us, is wish to study it critically, or who are al- slowly, but surely and contemporaneously ready so engaged, will know how to prize. preparing the way. The argument, for example, drawn in It is but due to Mr. Chamberlain to say, favour of verbal inspiration, at p. 24, ap- that his “Notes” (as he modestly en. pears to us both original and forcible, and titles his work) were written long before such as no other language, ancient or the present crisis in the East, and are all modern, would afford.
the more interesting upon that account, As to the question, whether the restora- as the result of an independent and untion of the Jews is to precede or to follow biased judgment. theirconversion ? there is greater room for In fine, if it does nothing more than to differing with our author, as he indeed stimulate men to a deeper interest in the admits, although himself supporting the future of Israel,-that future which is former. This he does, in our opinion, destined to be the grand moral, as its past somewhat lamely, and is the most objec- has been the standing MIRACLE of all tionable part of the work. Upon this human history, this work will neither discussion we have not space to enter. have been written, nor will it be perused It is just possible, however, that both of in vain; and we cordially recommend it, these events may happen so very closely and the subject of which it treats, to the upon each other, that they may be con- consideration of the diligent and devout sidered identical, as the two sides of one student of Holy Scripture.
NOTICE TO CORRESPONDENTS.
A LONG and rather sharp letter, signed "Justice," and " Justice"-or between the Association has been sent to us for publication, rebuking which he has volunteered to defend, and the us for a brief allusion, in our February American missions, the more we think of it, the number, to tho " Edinburgh Ladies' Emanci. more we are shocked at the attempt thus made pation Society," and defending the conduct of by professing Christians to injure the subscrip. that association with reference to the American tions now raising in Scotland in aid of these Board of Missions. We beg respectfully to missions in Turkey, which God has so signally decline publishing this document, because we blessed, on the ground that the Board in the have no intention of making our pages a United States does not reject the money of slave. vehicle for long letters and replies upon a holders! It is quite possible that the Ladies' subject in which so few take any interest, and in | Association may not have power to obtain the which, we hope and firmly believe, nine-tenths manumission of a single slave; but it is quite of the people of this country can have but one allowable in them to meet, if they think fit to do opinion. For the satisfaction, however, or in. so, as often as they please, to take down the formation of our respected correspondent, we sederunt, and keep regular minutes, raise sub. beg briefly to state,
scriptions to defray expenses, have annual meet. J. That we were invited by the circulars of the ings, make motions, and write letters upon society, and not by other parties, as he seems to negro slavery in America. All this will do no think, to pay particular attention to this move. harm to others, and may be gratifying to them. ment against the Mission Board,
selves. But when these same ladies begin to 2. We were ignorant of the existence of the plot, and write circulars, and use their local in. society, and of its success, whatever that has fluence, whatever it be, to injure a noble mission, been ; or if we ever heard of the society before, then they do become a ren], and not a mere noour memory has failed us. So far, we confess, minal power, which, if successful in arresting that our “philanthropic information has been one pound on its way to assist evangelizing limited."
Turkey, becomes a power, in our opinion. 3. We beg to assure our excellent friend, directed against good, and on the side of evil: “Justice," that we believe the darning of stock. and if so, then “Justice," with mercy and truth, ings, &c., quite " consistent " with seeking to compel us to oppose it as we have done, and shald emancipate three million slaves, and sincerely do, with our whole heart! We need hardly add, regret having so far forgot our own dignity and that we are not actuated by any personal motives politeness for a moment, as to have even hinted in all this, for, as far as we are aware of, we have at the possibility of the mombers of such a not the honour of knowing by sight even, . philanthropic society neglecting their home single member of the society, and only know the duties. We doubted only how far they compre. name of the secretary by seeing it printed in hended their public ones.
connexion with the circular, 4. As to the question in dispute between us
By the Rev. David Brown, Minister of St. Bernard's Church, Edinburgh.
“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will
come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."-REV. iii. 20.
There is nothing more worthy of serious ment. What a significance does not the observation, in connection with the revela- fact obtain from the peculiar means by tion which God has made to man, than the which it was to be realized ! Conceive, gradual manner in which that revelation if you can, the New Testament blotted bas been made. All along, indeed, it has out. Try to suppose that you had no the same great essential characteristics : light to guide you save that which spra ng but we have only to compare the later from the old Dispensation. Endeavour books of the New Testament with the to realize the state you would be in, if, earlier books of the Old, in order to see by sume extraordinary process, the memhow much more clear and bright the way ory of all that you have read of Christ in of life is revealed in the one case than in the New Testament were to be wiped the other; how truly the one stands to away, and you will not fail then to see the other, as the noontide splendour of that the knowledge of the means whereby the natural day does to the morning twi- God designed to restore man to himself, light. But even as in the natural day, while it is infinitely valuable in itself, so in this—the development of spiritual | does at the same time shed upon the fact light was gradually made. Glimmering of our deliverance a flood of inconceivable at first faintly on the horizon, it rose and splendour; and then also may you arrive spread through successive ages, slowly at 'some idea of the difference between but surely obtaining a greater distinct. | the revelation of Old Testament daye, Dess, and shedding upon the souls of men and that revelation which it has been & warmer and a richer blessing. At no given to us to enjoy. period, indeed, even when most narrow But it is not in the revelation itself and most faint, was there any ambiguity alone, of the means whereby God dein the divine deliverance. However little signed to restore us to himself, that we might be told, that little was told plainly; recognize a gradual progress through and whatever might be the means of successive ages. We see the same procommunication, whether it was a dream, gress no less in the divine solicitude that a vision, a voice, a sacrifice, or a pro we should return to God. Just as the phecy, the pious mind could find no revelation waxes broader and clearer, so difficulty in rightly interpreting its in- a deeper tenderness is thrown into the tention. All along, the burden of revela- divine deliverances. Denunciations of tion was the divine mercy working out sin still continue sternly to be made; but the restoration of man to the favour of there can be no doubt, that as we apGod. Of this fact man was put into the proach the age of the Messiah, we feel a fullest and distinctest possession immedi- milder influence in the Book of Inspirately after his fall; and therefore, it is ation. The thunders of Sinai are less not in the fact itself that we are to look distinctly heard the farther we remove for the measure of that progressive en- from it, and the scattered fertility of the lightenment with which the world was better country meets us in our journey favoured. It was with regard to the forward. The advancing sun brings with means by which the restoration of man it not only a greater light, but also a was to be obtained that the revelation greater warmth. God forbid, indeed, of God was gradually made. And let that we should assert that the Old Testanot this be disparaged as of little mo. ment is without manifold examples of the divine solicitude for the salvation of sin- rendering the task in impatience at the ners; but it would be both to deny what long delay, or turning away in anger at is the truth, and at the same time to be the senseless obstinacy of the inmate; ungrateful for our advantages, were we surely this among men would be the to say that, along with the more intimate token of unparalleled disinterestedness, view of God which the New Testament mercy, and long-suffering; and yet this has given us, there has not come also the is the picture which the text gives us of breathing of a solicitude far more deep Christ's dealing with the sinner. And and far more tender; and that the New the image will be heightened if we reTestament is not more different from the member the essential dignity of Christ ; Old in the extent of its revelation than it for then we must suppose that He who is in the depth of its earnestoess on be- thus stands and knocks with such unhalf of sinful men.
wearied patience, is of royal birth and Now, I do not know of any text more station, while he at whose door He stands illustrative of these remarks upon the is the meanest and most degraded of His New Testament side, than that which we subjects. Oh, what is there in all the have chosen. The statement it contains range of human imagery that could give is eminently characteristic, at once of us a picture of such earnest, devoted the full revelation, and of the deep, close, solicitude as this! And then look to the earnest solicitude of New Testament other case. An entrance has been obtimes. In both of its great parts the tained, and the monarch has gone into text is essentially one of the new dispen- the miserable cabin of His poor degraded sation, to be interpreted according to its subject, and at the same table they parlight, and to be understood only by a take together of the same fare. 0, what reference to the doctrine which it teaches. is there in all the range of human injagery For, upon the one hand, the representation that could give us ought so close, so lov. of the Saviour as standing and knocking ing, so intimate in its fellowship as this! for admittance into the sinner's soul can and yet this is the picture which the New never be understood, except by what the Testament gives us of that communion New Testament tells us of the Messiah ; , which every saint is permitted to hold and, on the other band, the representation with his Redeemer. of the Saviour as supping with him who Such is the illustration which the text has given Him an entrance, and he with furnishes of the New Testament, at once the Saviour, can only be understood of the revelation which it gives, and of under that feeling of intimacy with the the mild, tender, loving spirit which it Divine Being which the New Testament breathes. But in order that the salutary inspires; and thus in this text we see impression which the text on the very these two corresponding parts of the New first blush produces, may be deepened in Testament revelation-even of a greater our minds, let us briefly consider it in light along with a greater warmth, of a these three things which it brings under larger communication along with a more our notice; first,-In what it tells us of earnest solicitude.
the natural condition of every man before What image of anxious love could bur- conversion; second, -In what it tells us pass that under which Christ is here of Christ seeking to obtain the salvation represented, as seeking for admission into of the sinner; and third,-In what it tells the sinner's soul? To stand at a shut us of the fellowship that is maintained door knocking for an entrance, when between the regenerate soul and its Reyour only wish is to benefit the inmate deemer. who continues obdurately deaf to every J. Consider, first, what is the natural application,-can you conceive of any state from which the Gospel delivers us, as solicitude more earnest or more anxious it is represented in this text. It is reprethan this? To stand without, night and sented as a house from which a kind beneday, in storm and sunshine, in cold and factor is excluded. The door is closed; heat, knocking without ceasing, not sur- the inmate has shut himself up with such
possessions as he has. He keeps the is without God, and that no natural skill entrance securely fastened, lest any one and no natural knowledge can ever alter should intrude and rob him of his trea- his situation in this respect. The ancient sures. He is alone; he knows no higher world had reached a high degree of civilizenjoyment than what he finds within the ation, yet in their multiplied and degraded compass of his peculiar dwelling; and the superstitions we read how sadly true the range of his thoughts and of his desires description, “without God in the world," having been long confined, he has no was of them; and if- amongst a few a dream of any mode of existence wider or purer idea of the Divine Being was atnobler than that which he spends in his tained, it never went beyond an abstract dark, narrow, miserable abode.
conception, and continued with them to How true a picture is this of the the last an idle, unprofitable, and uninnatural state of every man! That enjoy- formed speculation. It is the existence, ment of a certain kind is quite possible side by side, of a large intelligence in in the unconverted state, the Scriptures other things, and of the most degraded do not deny ; but what they assert is, ignorance of this, which makes the proof that it is an enjoyment quite unworthy of human depravity so affecting. And of a rational and immortal being. That let me say, that the researches that are there may be amiabilities of character in now being made amongst the buried ruins the unconverted state, the Scriptures do of those ancient cities--the abodes of Dot deny; but what they assert is, that a far-past civilization, bringing to light, they are amiabilities which arise only out as they do, the high state of art and of, and spend themselves entirely within refinement which then existed, do but this terrestrial scene, and they represent deepen this affecting proof, when we know to us how unworthy this is of a rational that a civilization so lofty and so extenand immortal nature. That man may sive could flourish side by side with the obtain a koowledge of many things, - most polluted and debasing superstithat he may make considerable advances tion. in civilization, and surround himself with Nor is it only amongst the heathen many comforts, all without God's re- that the description “without God in the generating grace, the Scriptures do not world,” holds true of human nature. deny ; but what they seek to impress Even in Christian lands, the being of upon us is, that all this is of little avail, God may be no better than an idle specuso long as the rational and immortal soul lation; and let me say, that besides the is uncared for.
general evidence, there is a special token And while the Scriptures do in many of depravity exhibited, where the Gospel ways set before us the evils of our natur. has been published, and is yet refused. al state, the great broad fact on which in this case, it is not God only that is they are especially solicitous to fasten represented as outside the soul, but down our consideration is, that it is a Christ also. Man was unable to find out state without God. It is from this that God by searching; and so God brought all the various evils of our natural state himself nigh in the person of Jesus proceed ; and not until we receive this Christ. And yet, in how many instances, as a faithful representation of ourselves, through the perverse opposition of the can we effect the least entrance among creature, does the Creator's mercy rethe blessings of the Gospel. Without main without fruits! But it may help still God in the world—such is the state of all further to deepen the salutary sense of men by nature; and no amount of know-our natural sinfulness, if we will rememledge in other things, no intellectual ber that there is no one, even amongst skill, however great, can ever obtain for those who ultimately receive Christ, who us the reversal of this sad description. has any desire of himself for Christ; or All that we have ever read of heathen would ever, from his own inclination, dations is just so much accumulated tes- throw open his soul to receive Him. timony for the truth, that man by nature Everywhere Christ comes to a soul closed against Him, and it is only to the earnest | seen and wrongly felt; and it is this state solicitations of His Spirit that an entrance of things which renders it impossible for is permitted.
the soul to raise itself by an attention to It will be well for us to remember this any precepts, however excellent. A state truth, 60 plainly taught in the text. of things entirely new must be fashioned When we speak of deprávity as repre-out, light must be admitted into the sented by the heathen, we may be apt to house, it must be swept and garnished, feel as if this were hardly our concern. the unwholesome food must be taken When we speak of it as represented by away, and the table spread with true, those who continually resist the Gospel, heavenly, nourishing fare ; and in order we may hardly see in this any right to this, an entrance must be given to picture of ourselves; but when we re- Him who alone can effect these things, member that every soul is naturally and who now stands without knocking at closed against Christ, that it never the door. And thus we find the text 'would open 'io' Him of its own accord, consistent with every New Testament and that the earnest solicitations of His representation, that Christianity is bound Spirit must be brought to bear, in every up in Christ,--that He is the author case, before an entrance can be obtained, and the finisher of our faith-the way, we cannot but feel that this is strictly and the truth, and the life. To admit applicable to us, and that it becomes Him into the soul is to begin to be relithose of whom this is true, to carry gious; and progress in religion is just the through all their fellowship with Christ cultivation of His fellowship. To know a humble and a thankful spirit.
Him is to have religious knowledge; to II. But, in the second place, consider love Him is to have religious affection; the solicitude of Christ for the salvation to obey Him is to perform religious duty;
of the sinner, as it is represented in this in short, to live in fellowship with Him *text. He says: “Behold, I stand at the is to live religiously. door, and knock;" or, as it would be. It is also worthy to be observed, that better translated, . Behold, I have stood,' the representation here made marks the as marking the unwearied patience of continued exercise, in all ages, of the * Christ. Now, observe distinctly the re- offices which Christ assumed when He presentation that is here made of real became our Redeemer. It is most iaiChristianity. There cannot be a doubt portant that we should fix our attention, that what the text sets forth is the man with especial interest, upon His great ner in which religion is produced, and sacrifice on the cross, because it is from kept, and fostered in the soul. It tells that point that all His various influences us how men begin and continue to be radiate ; and it is the redemption there religious, according to the method of the accomplished which stamps with a warNew Testament. And how is that? It rant all His other offices. Without the is'not by a conformity to any rules, or an shedding of blood there can be no reobedience to any laws or precepts, how mission; and His intercessions as our ever numerous and excellent. It is by great High Priest within the veil, His the admission of Christ into the soul. prophetic teachings, and His kingly rule, It is not denied that there are precepts would have been without any efficacy, in the New Testament; but we must not just because they would have had no mistake the intention of the New Testa- warrant and no meaning if the Saviour ment precepts. Their intention is not to had not died. create spiritual life, but to give to spirito ! But we must not so confine ourselves ual life a wise direction after it has been to the scene of Calvary, as to feel that created. What gives spiritual life is the He has ceased from all His interest, and entrance of Christ into the soul. Until from all His ministrations on behalf of then, the soul is desolate and dead. It the human race. He is still the Head is like a dark, polluted, and uncomfort of the Church, He is still King in His "able house, where everything is wrongly uwn kingdom, He is still the interceding