« AnteriorContinuar »
secret of worldly mindedness. Thus it is that piety cannot exist in its company.
If you open your bosom to it, it will rush in and fill every corner, and occupy every avenue, so that the love of God can find no place there. The christian cannot look around him without observing melancholy proofs of this, in the lives of men engaged in favourite pursuits, to which religion is an interruption. He cannot look on his own history without recollecting, that, by multiplying his engagements, he has often palsied his religious sensibility, and diminished the influence of his faith. He finds that settled worldly mindedness is the destroyer of religion, and that every degree of worldly mindedness diminishes its power.
How important, therefore, that all our pursuits be mingled with piety, and how wisely has christianity guarded our worldly tendencies, by requiring of us a piety which is not of set times and forms only, but a babit of thought and life, a principle of action. The world is so dangerous, because we are in ihe midst of it; it surrounds us; it presses us on every side; it urges, entices, and would make us wholly its own. The preventive to this, is constant watchfulness, babitual devotion, and daily recurrence to the great and powerful motives of our faith. When we have our conversation in heaven, the world is not able to lead us astray.
It is a common error to suppose Meekness the gift of nature only; a grace not to be acquired by effort and discipline. la the estimation of very many, he is the meek man, who is possessed of a quiet good nature which came to bim at his birth, and is maintained without any exercise of the will on his part ; who is always still and acquiescing, because he cannot be otherwise ; and is never ruffled by passion, because he has no passions. Now undoubtedly this is a meek man; and, however the world may ridicule him as pusillanimous, his disposition is, in many respects, a desirable one. But it is certainly a mistake to consider such a one alone as meek, to give such only the praise of this virtue, which stands so high on the list of the gospel; when it is so entirely constitutional that it costs bin nothing to maintain it, and is incapable by any effort of being increased. The consequence of such a definition must be, to make this quality contemptible in the eyes of men, and set the christian temper below the false spirit which the pride of the world cherishes. Certainly, that virtue, whatever it may be, is
most honourable and praiseworthy, which has been acquired by toilsome discipline, and preserved by unremitted exertion. And yet it happens, that the man who has laboured with toil, anxiety, self-denial, to subdue the headstrong passions which nature has given bim ; who has wept, and watched, and prayed, that he might get the mastery of his own spirit, and build up the temper of Christ on the ruins of his original violence and pride ; even although he has struggled with success, and has become able to restrain his irritability and impetuosity, and religiously keep silence where he once would have cursed; this man would yet be refused by many the title of meekness.
But is it reasonable? Is there any merit greater than that of self-victory? Is there any nobler triumph of christian principle, than that over the stubbornness of the will, and the ferocity of passion ? Can any one deserve better the name of christian, than he who has fought and conquered to obtain it? Or is a virtue the less his own, because he is obliged to set a perpetual guard over it? Perhaps there is sometimes an evident struggle to preserve it; you discern a little of the workings of bis former self; you see him sometimes struggling to quell the spirit, which attempts again to rise within him in rebellion against the spirit of the gospel. But this marks his fidelity; it is unjust to deny bim on account of it, the credit of possessing what he so vigilantly defends. The stream which runs through his grounds would burst its banks and inundate all, if he had pot dammed it carefully, and did not watch it continually : and because it occasionally breaks a little through the entrenchment, and you see him obliged to watch and repair, will you deny bim the praise you give to his neighbour, whose stream flows quietly, and never was turbulent, and never needed restraint? Let us be more just to the merits of our fellow-men, and call things by their right names.
To say, indeed, that meekness is merely a constitutional thing, would be to say, that God requires of all, a temper of which he has created many incapable. This would be absurd and impious. It may undoubtedly be “put on,” as the apostle expresses it, by any who will go through the necessary discipline; and although the credit of possessing it may be denied them by men, yet in the sight of God it will be “an ornament of great price.'
TITLES OF OUR LORD.
The following list of the titles given to Jesus Christ in the New Testament, is worth examining. It is taken from a note to a sermon of Dr. Lant Carpenter.
I believe the following calculation, made by the assistance of Schmid, will be found sufficiently correct, and may assist in leading the reflecting reader to some conclusions, not unfavourable to the Unitarian scheme. In the New Testament our Lord is called Jesus upwards of 600 times, principally in the Gospels; Jesus Christ or Christ Jesus, about 130 times; Christ or the Christ, about 270 times, principally in the Epistles; Lord Jesus Christ, or Lord Jesus, or Jesus Christ our Lord, &c. upwards of 100 times, but never in the Gospels; Son of God, about 20 times; the Son of God, about 30 times; Son (implying the same thing,) about 40 times; the Son of Man, 80 times; Son of David, 14 times ; Beloved Son, 8 tiines; Only begotten, 5 times ; First begolten, 5 times; Saviour, 17 times; Mediator, 4 times; Redeemer, not once; Word, or Word of God, 7 times; God, or a God, once, (John i. 1. see Improved Version and compare John x. 34, 35; on this point however, there is considerable diversity of opinion;*) the image of God (compare 1. Cor. xi. 7.), twice; the Brightness of God's Glory and express Image of his Person, (more correctly, a Ray of his Glory and an Impression of his Perfections), once; Lord of all (i. e. of Jews and Gentiles Acts x. 36,) ooce; Lord of the dead and of the living, once; Lord of the sabbath, once ; Lord of Glory, twice; Alpha and Omega, once, (see Griesbach on Rev. i. 11;) King of Kings and Lord of Lords, twice; Prince of Life, Prince, Captain of Sulvation, Author and Finisher of our Faith, once each, (the original translated Prince, Captain, Author, signifies a Leader or Chief ;) the Life and the Light, several times each; Kurios (generally translated Lord in the Public Version) is applied to Jesus in so many instances, and with so much diversity of signification, that it is almost impracticable to give any general state. ment respecting it. If any suppose, that since this word is em
* For a
more complete statement on this point, see note to Mr. Chanding's Sermon.
ployed in the Septuagint and the New Testament for the Hebrew name Jehovah, therefore Jesus Christ is Jehovah, let them look into Schmid under the word, and examine the passages in which it is employed. When applied to Jesus it may be rendered Lord, Master, Sir, according to the connexion.- I am not certain that my enumeration is complete ; if not, however, it is not through intention.
EICHHORN'S ODE TO THE PROPHETS.
[The following lines are a translation of a copy of Verses, prefixed by
Professor Eichhorn to his recent work on the Hebrero Prophets. We offer them to our readers merely as a specimen of the poetical talents of this celebrated man, and of his manner of thinking on a most important subject.]
0! trusted of th' Omnipotent, I greet you!
thou of Sinai, wbo, midst cloud and storm,
Leaving the world and thy dark times beneath thee,
What do I see? who join themselves to these
Memoirs of the late Mrs. Mary Cooper of London; extract
ed from her Diary and Epistolary Correspondence. By Adam CLARKE, LL. D. Fourth Edition. London, 1818.
12mo. pp. 260. To the Christian Philanthropist, who has so much occasion to lament the divisions which have been multiplied among the disciples of the same Lord and Master, and who has observed with grief the fierce dissentions and bitter controversies, which have resulted from differences of theological opinion, and which have so much retarded the proper influence of Christianity, it is consoling to perceive, that these have not been tbe only effects of the religion of love ; but that, under all its various forms and different disguises, it has never ceased to be effectual in purifying the corrupt, strengthening the weak, and guid