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earnestly sought deliverance, and was answered by his conde. scending Lord, that his grace, or favour, was sufficient, and would more than compensate for all the reproaches and calumnies of his enemies, and even the disaffection of some of his own converts. Therefore, said the apostle, “ I take pleasure in what might seem to weaken my ministry; for when thus weakened, I am strong." Like his heavenly Master, not sufferings, but impediments to his work, were the subjects of his deprecatory prayer.
Dr. Macknight considers the 3 and 4th verses of the 4th chapter, as applicable to Heathen philosophers and Jewish scribes; in which view the Jewish ritual would be made a means, in the hands of the latter, of blinding the minds of those who did not penetrate beyond the ceremonial: but in this case I should substitute Judaizing teachers for Jewish scribes, since I have no doubt the persons in question had made a profession of Christianity, but shrunk from the odium and persecution to which its separation from other religions subjected them.
On the whole, I consider Dr. Macknight's exposition preferable; and chiefly because, though Divine instructions may be abused to evil purposes, they must still be considered only as the occasional, and not the efficient, or even the proximate, cause of such effects. Also the verb Atolauw is not used in the New Testament save to denote destruction and perishing. Another word, in the foregoing chapter, verses 11th and 13th, is used for the abolishing of the Mosaic dispensation, which is there said to be abolished, or made to disappear, by a superior glory, as the moon fades before the light of the rising sun.
I am your's,
C. L. We add to the above remarks, that it appears to us our correspondents sometimes imagine obscurities and difficulties where there are none. The Apostle having in the preceding chapter, spoken of the Mosaic dispensation as veiled to the Jews, viz. with regard to its shadowy and typical nature, its true use and design, and its intended abrogation, adds, But if our Gospel also (so it is in the original] be hid, xexahUKA Levov, veiled, as well as the law,if, notwithstanding the evidence afforded of its truth and importance, and the display given of its nature and design, men, Jews or Heathens, to whom it is declared, and attested, remain ignorant of it, or unbelieving with respect to it, it is veiled, ey TOS ahoaNuusvois, to or in them that are lost, or are perishing, and shall perish eternally, if they live and die in this state of ignorance and unbelief, both utterly inexcusable. “In chap. iii. 13, 14, the Apostle had observed that there were two veils by which the Istaelites were blinded, or prevented from understanding the meaning of the law, and from perceiving it was to be abolished by the Gospel. The first was a veil that lay upon the law itself.
This veil was formed by the obscurity of the types and figures of the law, and was signified by Moses putting a veil upon his face when he delivered the law. The other veil lay upon their hearts, and was woven by their own prejudices and corrupt affections, which hindered them from discerning the true design of the law, and the intimation given in it concerning its abrogation by the Gospel. Now, in allusion to these causes of the blindness of the Israelites, the Apostle tells the Corinthians, that the Gospel had been so plainly preached, and so fully proved, that, if its Divine original, and true meaning was veiled, it was veiled only to those who destroyed themselves, and were in the way to perish for ever. It was not veiled by any veil lying on the Gospel itself, but by a veil lying on the hearts of men who would destroy themselves by hearkening to their own prejudices and lusts.”
THE WORKS OF GOD DISPLAYED.
To the Editor of the Methodist Magazine. To contemplate the mercy and faithfulness of Jehovah in the redemption of mankind by Jesus Christ, is & most delightful employment for immortal minds, and is productive of the best effects; and though the orthodox agree that it was greater to redeem the fallen sons of Adam than to create the universe, yet it certainly is our duty to survey, with admiring gratitude, the works of creation and providence; and in this, as well as in every other good thing, we shall find it to be our interest to imitate the pious in all past ages. If you think that the following Observations on the Divine condescending Regard to Man, (which I have chiefly transcribed from a work that was published upwards of sixty years ago,) are calculated to edify your numerous readers, you will oblige me by putting them into your excellent Miscellany.
I am, Rev. Sir,
Let us look abroad, and view these objects which are without us, and almost every thing we behold will furnish us with fresh proofs of the Divine condescending Regard to Man. For this purpose, let us first, (as the Psalmist does, Psal. viji. 3, 4,) consider the heavens, which do not more fully declare the glory of God, than they shew his concern for the welfare of man. Why else hath God placed the sun in the firmament to rule the day, and dispense the necessary influences of light and heat to the earth ? Why has he appointed the moon and those other lesser lights
to rule the night in the absence of the greater luminary that gives the day? Why, but that each, in their turns, should administer to the use and convenience of man, the principal inhabitant of this globe? Hence it is that the sun observeth his proper time of going down and uprising, the moon her appointed seasons, and that the other heavenly bodies shed their influence around us; so that the consideration of the heavens, in one view, may be the means of removing those fears which the consideration of them in another might excite. We do not say that it is only for the benefit of this earth the sun shines above us, or that the moon receives her light from it, and reflects it back on us: there are, no doubt, other great and noble purposes answered by all the heavenly bodies; but that they are of such service to the puposes of our abode and accommodation here, is one strong argument of the Divine goodness to us. Nor does it argue him at all the less concerned for us, that his beneficence extends, at the same time, and by the same means, to others. What if the sun enlivens many worlds besides ours, is the Divine care of us the less because it reaches also to others?
If we descend to the earth, which is appointed for our habitation, the evidences of the Divine regard multiply upon us, and we behold here innumerable tokens of his care and contrivance for our good. To this purpose I might mention the convenient and agreeable situation of this globe in respect of the sun, and those wonderful revolutions God has given to it, by means of which every part of it is enlightened and enlivened in its turn from that fountain of heat and light, and has hereby provided that day and night, seed-time and harvest, summer and winter, return in their proper seasons all over the world. But the principal thing I would take notice of, as demonstrating the Divine concern for us, is the rich and plentiful furniture of it for our use, and for our pleasant abode upon it. It is common, indeed, for men to call this world a wilderness, and complain of it as a very unquiet and uncomfortable habitation; and yet, if we were to judge con• cerning it by the fondness which they otherwise express for it, we should rather think it a paradise. The truth is, we generally over-do a great deal, both in our complaining against it, and in our love and fondness for it notwithstanding. We reproach and accuse, as well as value it, more than it deserves : for though (as this world was not designed to be the everlasting state of man), it would be vain to seek for happiness, without any tribulation, in it; yet, as we are appointed to take up a temporary residence here, in our way to a world of exalted and perfect felicity, so it cannot be denied that this earth is well fitted and furnished for our reception, and our entertainment during the short space of our continuance here; and further, it is chiefly our own sin and folly, our insatiable desires, and ungoverned passions, or those of others, that can make it a situation constantly uneasy and distressing. If we coolly examine it, we find that it is replenished with every thing that is necessary for the support of human life, and with a great variety also for our enjoyment and delight; and though its fruitfulness and beauty has been in some measure injured by the curse which man brought upon it; yet still, I say, it would be a false accusation, and a dishonour to its Maker, to call it a barren desert: it is certain the ground, that produces thorns and thistles, and beasts of prey, might have abounded with nothing else ; and though without the care and cultivation of man it will not yield all those things which are necessary for the support and comfort of human life, yet it is a great blessing, that, with due labour, it yields whatever we can reasonably expect or desire; and, with this, whatever is noxious and hurtful may in a great measure be guarded against, if not destroyed.
What innumerable objects has our bountiful Creator provided, to please and gratify every sense of the body, and even to entertain the nobler powers of the mind! What beautiful prospects allore the eye! How many creatures of the animal and vegetable kind conspire to delight the taste! And what a fragrance is diffused through the air, from a thousand ornaments which the earth carries in its bosom! In what a rich dress does every field and wood, every mountain and valley appear! And we know who it is that visits the earth, at proper seasons, and waters it. It is enriched from the river of God, which is full of water. “Thou crownest the year with thy goodness, and thy clouds drop fatness, they drop upon the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side. The pastures are clothed with flocks, and the valleys also are covered with corn, they shout for joy, they also sing." Psal. Ixv. 12.
And can we behold the grass growing for the cattle, and herbs for the service of man? Can we see the consumption, which the necessities or the luxury of man is continually making among the several creatures appointed for our food, fully repaired and recruited by the care of Divine Providence, and yet not own that God is mindful of us? Can we behold nature performing her annual task for our service, and not reflect who has employed her for this purpose? Well may we join with the royal Psalmist, and say, “O Lord, how manifold are thy works, in wisdom bast thon made them all! Thy tender mercies are over all thy works." And if the tender mercies of God are over all his works, how strong is the argument which arises from hence, to prove and support his regard to his reasonable creatures ! To this purpose the Divine procedure in the original creation is very observable : first of all, he divided the light from the darknesss, and caused the day and night to know their times; then he separated the VOL. XLII. AUGUST, 181.9.
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water from the earth, and appointed to each their distinct places; next he empowers the earth to bring forth its several herbs, and plants, and trees; afterwards he creates various species of animals to inhabit the land and the water; and last of all, to complete and crown his work, he said, “Let us make man in our own image, after our own likeness, to have dominion over the fish of the sea,
and over the fowi of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.”
THE PROVIDENCE OF GOD ASSERTED.
To the Editor of the Methodist Magazine. Dear Sir, I was particularly edified by reading Mr. Everett's letter on Providence, which appeared in a former number; and, as another proof that there is a God that reigneth in the earth, I send you the following, copied from the Tuam Gazette.
I am, dear Sir, your's, truly,
R. M. PREECE. A short time since, a man, who resides near Portumna, in the upper part of this county, experienced the awful visitation of Providence in the following manner: A poor widow and himself were in partnership for a profitable tract of land, the annual rent of which amounted to 60l. of which each paid 30l. Previous to the man's going to pay his share of the rent, he called on the woman to know if she was prepared to accompany him. The woman said, she had only 201. at present, but if he would take that to the landlord, she would bring the rest next week. About twelve days afterwards, the landlord called to demand his rent. She told him she had sent 2012 by her partner. On being questioned, he denied all knowledge of the transaction. At length the poor woman, in a half distracted rage, exclaimed in a loud voice, “ My God! my God! wilt thou let such conduct go unpunished. Thou wast our only witness?” To which the hardened wretch replied, “ If you call your God as a witness, he must have been blind at that time, for indeed there was no such thing." Scarcely had these words escaped his lips when he fell senseless on the floor, in which dreadful situation he still continues, and with very little hope of his recovery. At the request of the poor widow, they examined his person, and found the money in the very same way she handed it to him !!
To the Editor of the Methodist Magazine. The following narrative, of the Almighty's interposition to