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from month to month. At present, we with Scripture and common sense, the request attention to the following re- language of those who talk of natural marks, in which a popular mistake re- men seeking repentance, or faith, or the specting the meaning of a text of Scrip-Holy Spirit, &c. For those cannot doture is pointed out.
Edit. sire heavenly gifts, who have no spia
ritual discernment; though they may
like well enough that indefinite someNOTE ON HEB. xii, 17.
thing, called heaven or happiness, which they hear is connected with them. If
this were Esau's case, it would have po" Por he found no place of repentance, though thing in it strange or uncommon; for, he sought it carefully with tears."
many an ungodly man, as well as he, The above declaration is made con- | has grieved at a severe loss, and would cerning Esau, who, having resigned his gladly have had it exchanged for a great birth-right, in order to gratify his ap- advantage ; although, like him, under petite, was afterwards sorely grieved, the influence of no gracious principle when the time came that he should whatever. But the expressions cannot have inherited the blessing. It is by without great force be so interpreted; many supposed to intimate, that Esau , since, it is said very plainly, that he made strong and painful exertions to get found no place of (not pardon or blessing, repentance, but was disappointed in all but of) repentance. . his efforts. Indeed, even, if the term Now, if, while we prescrve the proper repentance, denoted (as multitudes ima- ' import of the term in question, we, at gine) a godly sorrow for sin; we can the same time, refer it not to Esau, but neither conceive, how he that sincerely to Isaac, the sense will appear obvious; sought what was godly, should fail of and, the passage may be paraphrased obtaining it; nor, how he that was un- thus : Esau anxiously desired, and eargodly himself, should sincerely seek nestly entreated, that his father would after that which was godly. But, if we change his mind, and bestow upon him take the word in its proper acceptation, that blessing which Jacob had just reand understand by it, a change of mind; ceived; but he found no room left for the circumstance of Esau's seeking such the wished-for change, no possibility repentance carefully, and with tears, that Isaac could alter his intentions, carries with it inconsistency still more and reverse what he had done. This is obvious: for, on the one hand, if Esau illustrated by the historical account of had not experienced a change of mind, the transaction, as it is written, When why did he now lament the loss of what | Esau heard the words of his father, he cried he had before joyfully given up? and, with a great and exceeding bitter cry, and on the other hand, if his mind had in- said unto his father, Bless me, even me also, deed been changed, how could it be said O my father. However, we find that all that he found no place of repentance ? his tears availed him nothing; for
Some, who seem aware of these diffi- | Isaac had put it beyond his own power culties, propose to solve them by to retract, having already given the making repentance to stand for the blessing to Jacob: Behold, saith he, I effect of repentance, i. e. the blessing have made him thy Lord, and all his brewhich had been forfeited. Indeed, some thren have I given to him for servants; and such explanation as this will always be again, I have blessed him, yea, and he shall found requisite, in order to reconcile l be blessed.
Fell at his feet, and bathed them with her tears;
And breathed the story of her crimes and fears.
Balm for the deep and deadly wounds of sin—
And still the upbraiding voice that spoke within.
And read sweet mercy in his mournful eye,
Breathless she hung upon his pitying sigh.
T. W. H.
Review of Dr. J. P. Smith's Scripture Tes. I in question; but, they all agree in de timony to the Messiah.
nying, that our Lord meant to intimate,
that his own presence, and his own [Continued from page 184.]
power, should attend the publication of AFTER Our Lord's resurrection from the gospel to the latest period of time. the dead, and immediately previous to The editors of the Improved Version apo his ascending on high to reign as a pear to think with Pearce and WakePrince and officiate as a Priest on the field, that the expression, “ to the end eternal throne, exercising universal of the world,” means, “ to the end of Bway, he commissioned his apostles, the age, i.e. to the end of the Jewish as his immediate successors in the dispensation ; till the destruction of Jegreat work of establishing his kingdom rusalem and the temple ; soon after in the world, to go and make disciples which, miraculous powers were withof all nations, declaring for their en-drawn, and no personal appearances couragement, that he himself, who had of Jesus Christ are recorded." The hitherto been their guide, their strength, phrase, ý ouvTÉNEK TOū air@s, which Unitaand their stay, would still continue his rian writers render, “ the conclusion of gracious presence, and aid them in the this age," occurs five times in the New discharge of their arduous task, even to Testament, and nowhere but in the the end of the world. But, the apostles gospel of Matthew. There is, indeed, continued upon earth only a short time a passage which much resembles it, after their glorious leader had left | Heb. ix. 26. and which is adduced by them; and, their publication of the Unitarians in support of their interpregospel reached but a little way beyond tation; but, it will be easy to shew, that the precincts of Judea, compared with this is not the same phrase, and that it the 'wide field over which the glad must be understood in a very different tidings of salvation must yet be pub- light. When our Lord delivered the palished. This promise, then, must ex- rable of the tares, and of the net cast tend beyond the time of the apostles, into the sea, the minds of his disciples and have respect to the universal dif- were far from being prepared for underfusion of the knowledge of the Lord. | standing him as speaking of the com·And such, indeed, is the obvious mean- pletion and removing of the old dispening of the passage; the sense that lies sation, and of the awful catastrophe upon the very surface of it, and in which that then involved the Jewish nation in it would be at once viewed by any mind ruin. Of these things, they, as yet, untainted with the prejudices of a party. had no idea whatever. The idea, thereBut, then, such a view of the words, in-fore, which they would naturally CODvelves nothing less than the omni. nect with the words, “the age," would presence of the speaker; for who, but he, that of the whole reign of the HE, who dwelleth not in temples made Messiah,--an idea which, almost every with hands, whose throne is in the page of their own prophets confirmed; heavens, whose footstool is the earth, and, if so, then the termination of that could, without the - most daring im- period must, in their judgment, have piety, make such a promise. And, ac- been the end of the world; “ the awful cordingly, those who have spent so scenes of expiring time. The case much of their time in clearing the stood very differently when the epistle Scriptures of every thing irrational, to the Hebrews was written. By this have not overlooked this passage. Va- time, the disciples of Jesus had received rious opinions are before the public, the illumination of the Holy Spirit, and from the pen of Unitarian writers, . had been led into all truth. The writer respecting the meaning of the promise of that epistle, in particular, had been
favoured with communications of divine condition, employment, and attributes." knowledge of the most extraordinary Every person must admire Dr. Smith's kind; doubtless, for the very purpose remark on this circumstance. “May of qualifying him for explaining as he the mercy of that Blessed One, whose does the prophetical descriptions of the name is thus dishonoured, forgive the abolition of the Jewish economy, and bold impiety, or ignorant unbelief.” for leading the minds of the early con- The next link in the chain of Dr. verts to Christianity from among the Smith's reasoning, respects the personal Jews, away from those things which agency of Christ in the resurrection of were shaken by that event, to the eter- the dead, and the final judgment. The nal and unchangeable concerns of the unequivocal language of Scripture, on kingdom of Christ. The force and this subject is, that God alone can raise beauty of the apostle's words, are very the dead, and that God will judge the obvious; for, doubtless, the very cir- world. But, Jesus Christ, in the most cumstance of our Lord's putting away deliberate manner, and in language sin by his own one offering, was the which cannot be disputed, affirmed finishing of that dispensation. But, even himself to be the future Author of this admitting, that our Lord's promise ex- work, and the Arbiter of those awful tended no farther than the apostolic destinies which will immediately sucage, and that, he merely signified his ceed it.' With respect to every indi. intention of being with his disciples in vidual believer on himself, he declares; the working of miracles, will this ad. “I will raise him up at the last day." mission lessen the absurdity, or remove Putting the abstract effects, as the the difficulties, of the Unitarian inter- strongest expression of their cause and pretation? For, it was certainly more Author, he affirms; “I am the resurthan belonged to any mere man, or rection and the life.” Here, after even to the most extraordinary prophet, quoting at length the express declarato promise his presence and aid, to any tions of Jesus on this subject, Dr. S. number of men, in different parts of the adds; “such is the testimony of Christ world, even for the space of one hour, concerning himself. If we believe that or one minute. “It may," however, testimony, is it possible to resist the "be conceded," says Mr. Belsham, conclusion, that he is Omniscient-the "that our Lord is, or may be personally Just One, of essential and infinito present, in this world, and actively en- righteousness, Almighty, and Eternal; gaged at all times, in some unknown and, since these cannot be the propermanner, for the benefit of his church." ties of a human, or of any other created But what will the reader think of the being, that, in his person, ANOTHER ground on which this concession is nature must exist, even that which is made? It appears to be because the " over all, blessed for ever?” The Calm Inquirer thinks all that can be ad. section of the work in which this part vanced on the subject, is mere specula- of the Scripture testimony is considered, tion. "The truth is,” says he,®“ that is replete with important matter; the the Scriptures have left us totally in the Doctor's arguments appear to us absodark with regard to the present condi- / lutely incontrovertible; the objections tion, employment, and attributes of and glosses of his opponents are met Christ; and, therefore, it is in vain to with much candour, and fairly and ef. spéculate upon the subject." This is fectually overthrown. The whole con. the result of Calm Inquiry into the cludes with a short, but remarkably Scripture doctrine respecting Jesus: pointed caution to those who are in the the Scriptures leave us totally in the habit of converting the awful realities of dark, respecting the present condition, divine truth into mere figures of employment, and attributes of Christ!! speech. “Let those who regard the Whom does Mr. Belsham preach to his Lord Jesus Christ as a figurative priest, congregation ? Perhaps, he would re- la figurative lawgiver, king, and judge, ply, w we preach Christ, and him cru- beware lest, in the day of their excified.” But, should any of his follow- tremity, they find only a figurative salers ask him, “Who is he, that we may vation." believe on him ,” Mr. Belsham's answer the nature of the homage which is to be found in his Calm Inquiry, Jesus, on different occasions, permitted
P. 324. “The Scriptures have left us to be paid to him, forms a very promi*totally in the dark with regard to his nent part of the Unitarian controversy. h The word generally made use of on / xix. 8. The last opinion noticed by Dr. these occasions, does not necessarily | Smith is that which he himself mainsignify the external act of religious tains, and which he has well established worship. It properly denotes that bend-by an appeal to the highest authority; ing down, or sometimes prostration, it is this, that the apostle intended his which was the mode ainong the oriental words as an address directly to the Lord nations, of expressing civil respect to Jesus Christ, and that they were so acpersons of superior rank. The cases, cepted by him. “This,' says he, “is therefore, in which it is to be under the just and regular meaning of the senstood of religious adoration, and those tence, and any deviation from it is conin which it denotes nothing but civiltrary to the ordinary use of language." homage, can be discriminated only by In support of his opinion, and in the attending to the circumstances of each." way of meeting the strongest and most The word “A pOoxuvēly," says Dr. Smith, plausible objection urged by the Uni“occurs sixty times in the New Testa- tarians, the author argues that: “ With ment.” In about twenty-five instances respect to the case before us, there might it clearly and undeniably denotes the be something, either in the discourses worship due to the Most Higa God; held, or more probably in the mind and and, in fifteen others, it relates to acts feelings of Thomas, which, if we knew of homage paid to Jesus Christ: the lat- it, would shew that the confession of ter class he has individually examined. that apostle, understood as to us it ap
Of these it is impossible here to take pears necessary to understand it upon particular notice, but we would solicit the fair principles of the interpretation attention to a remark or two on the ex- of language, was not insulated or irreleclamation of Thomas, “My Lord and vant.” That it is probable Thomas had my God." These remarkable words been present on those occasions when have been variously interpreted. They the Jews charged Jesus with making are by some supposed to be a sudden, himself equal to God; that he was acand almost involuntary, exclamation of quainted with the charge of blasphemy conviction and astonishment: by others upon which Jesus had been condemned, they are understood as an ejaculation of and with the lofty declaration by which admiration and gratitude, addressed di- | he had met the accusation, asserting bis rectly to God the Almighty Father: some own dignity as the Son of the living suppose that the first member of the God, and predicting his exaltation to sentence was addressed to Jesus, and “the right hand of power, and his comthe next to God the Father; and Uni- | ing in the clouds of heaven.” To these tarians, in general, refer the whole sen he adds another cause, and which, he tence to the Father. “This is a sudden observes, furnishes a complete solution exclamation of astonishment,” says Mr. of the difficulty-the DIRECTION AND Belsham, “q.d. My Lord! and my God! INSPIRATION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: how great is thy power! Or, My Lord and that as the prophets had, by the and my God has done this!” The an- Spirit of Christ which was in them, tesnotator on the Improved Version has, tified before-hand of the sufferings of in a note on this passage, endeavoured Christ, and the glories that should folto represent Beza as patronizing this low them, it cannot be thought incrediinterpretation; but with what justice ble that a similar influence should have the reader may judge from Beza's own enabled Thomas clearly to declare & words, which Dr. S. inserts. From the truth which, at the time, he could not pronoun to him, it appears that the words know its full comprehension. These which follow are not merely the expres- remarks, and particularly the last, are sion of the apostle's admiration, as the highly satisfactory; and it is not with Nestorians used to evade this passage, the view of adding any thing to the but the words represent him addressing force of Dr. Smith's reasoning, but beJesus himself as the true God and his cause we think it may probably interest Lord. The Vulgate therefore is mis- some of our readers that we subjoin taken in translating the passage in the few thoughts suggested to us by an nominative case: and there is not a examination of the passage. There are more express instance in the Gospels, of some circumstances attending this case the invocation of Christ as the true God, which, it must be confessed, are very It is an exclamation, the nominative remarkable. From the different acbeing put for the vocative, as in chap. counts of our Lord's appearance to his
disciples after his resurrection, it would consequence at all, the stress does not seem that they took place under dif- lie on that circumstance. Jesus in an ferent forms. This we think is clear, instant appeared in the midst of the not only from its being mentioned, Mark company; he was not seen to enter. xvi. 12., but also from the circumstance | Doubtless, then, the united force of all of his being in general unknown to these circumstances operating on the those to whom he appeared, at least for mind of Thomas, which was evidently some time, till “ their eyes were opened." opened by Jesus on this occasion, as were As far as this difficulty can be solved, the minds of the others on previous ocwe must look for the solution in the casions, to see the spiritual body of the circumstance of our Lord's body being Redeemer, drew from him this plain, now, in the strictest sense of the apos- but rapturous expression of his full tle's words, “a spiritual body," of the conviction that he was the LORD God. properties of which we can form but a It may not be altogether irrelevant very inadequate conception. One thing I just to notice here the absurdity of however is plain, namely, that the ap- the objection that Jesus did not shew pearances of Jesus during his personal himself to the multitude after his resurs ministry were in all respects in strict ac-rection as he had done before. Those cordance with those laws by which we who make this objection, do not seem know the operations of nature to be aware that to have done so would have limited; after his resurrection the case been to open the eyes of the multitude was far otherwise : his appearances were in a miraculous manner, to see what sudden and unexpected, and under such could not be discovered by the natural forms as evidently prevented those from power of vision. The manifestation of recognising him with whom he had Jesus to those who saw him after his been most intimate. On those occa- resurrection was a matter of pure distinsions also our Lord's disappearance from guishing favour, and as much an inthe view of his disciples seems to have stance of supernatural power upon the been equally sudden and striking; and mind as when Stephen saw the heavens there evidently was some very particu- opened and Jesus standing on the right lar reason why those who saw him hand of God; or as when Jesus appearshould not venture to touch him, Johned to Paul on his way to Damascus, or XX. 17. It may be objected to this that when he was caught up to the third heathe disciples did eat and drink with him, vens in a vision; oras when John saw Jeafter he rose from the dead; but so did sus in the midst of the seven golden canthe patriarchs with spiritual beings who dlesticks. Jesus was as much present in appeared unto them. It may also be the city of Jerusalem after he rose from said that some of the women to whom the dead, as when he was teaching in he appeared embraced his feet and the temple ; but the multitude saw him adored him; so also we are told of not; they could not see him ;-the gosJacob wrestling with an angel: and if pel of salvation was to be published to Jesus permitted this in one instance it all the ends of the earth for the obedience. does not appear certain that it was per- of faith ; and therefore, it was sufficient mitted in any other or even rendered that the witnesses chosen of God should necessary. Others indeed were invited see him of whom they were to testify; to do so, Luke xxiv. 39., but the invita- and as to the number of those, infinite tion and the immediate exposure to wisdom was the best judge. their view of the marks of his cruci- In concluding his remarks on the fixion 'seem to have produced the desired homage which Jesus permitted to be conviction. And this appears very ob- paid to him, Dr. Smith remarks that: vious in the case of Thomas.Our “ It was a point which the Lord Jesus Lord's address to Thomas was the lan- evidently held very important and saguage of omniscience; it was a reply to cred, never to countenance any claims the strong expressions of his incredulity of worldly sovereignty, either acknowwhich he had uttered before he had ledged by himself or made by others on seen the Lord. Besides, Jesus entered his behalf. He strongly disavowed the the apartment where Thomas and the receiving of honour from men.” He others were assembled in such a way as decidedly refused to interfere in civil bespoke omnipotence: the doors were affairs, and rebuked one who used toshut;-whether as some suppose they wards him the language of compliment: were strongly fastened within is of no “Why callest thou me good?". When