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forgiven, is accordingly maintain- | into the land of Canaan: Moses ed by the author of the exposition might be directed to go before in question. If it can be clearly them. The threatening itself was shown, that those idolators were on reason, but the promise implied not forgiven, his hypothesis falls in the threatening, was a good reato the ground. The principal ar- son, why such a direction should gument on which the hypothesis be given. Hence, rests, is this. If God had not for- 3. God did hear Moses, as it is given the people, He would not said by him in Deut. ix. 19: “ But have directed Moses to lead them the Lord hearkened unto me at into Canaan. 66 Whosoever hath that time also.” God did not sinned against me, him will I blot grant all that Moses desired: but out of my book: 'Therefore, now, God did grant what Moses most go, lead the people unto the place desired. He was desirous that the of which I have spoken unto thee." idolaters should be pardoned; but God's determination to destroy more peculiarly desirous that the the people, it is said, could have nation should not be exterminated. been no reason, why He should Though he did not obtain the forgive such a direction to Moses. mer request, he obtained the latter. To obviate this difficulty, I would If these observations be just, then observe,
the author's arguments are una1. That God bestows many tem- vailing. Admit that it was not poral blessings, on vessels of wrath, their idolatry which shut that genfitted for destruction. Through eration out of Canaan; that Moses Moses' intercessions, He might was heard, in behalf of the nation; bear long with an idolatrous gen- that this sin,, considered as a naeration, without revoking a deter- tional offence, was forgiven; or mination to blot them, even out of that the nation was not on this the book of life. Without forgiv- account punished with utter exter. ing their sin, God might have mination; it by no means follows, brought them into Canaan. But, that the individual offenders were
2. God might have directed Mo- forgiven. They were not forgiven; ses to lead the people into Canaan, for even though he had immediately 4. They were given over to destroyed all the risen generation. moral, judicial blindness. Said The generation rising, were pro- the Martyr Stephen, “ They made bably by far the more numerous. a calf, in those days, and offered They were indeed sinners, but sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoicthey were not guilty of worship-ed in the work of their own hands. ping the idol. Moses prayed, that | Then God turned and gave them God would not cut off the people up to worship the host of heaven." from being a nation; and that he Accordingly they were uniformly would forgive this sin. By ex. distinguished for their impiety and pressing His determination to blot wickedness.
They were bent those who had sinned, out of His to backsliding. “How oft did book, God virtually promised to they provoke Him in the wilderspare the rest. Though He refus-ness, and grieve Him in the desed to forgive this sin, He virtually ert? Yea, they turned back, and promised not to visit, in this in- tempted God; and limited the Hostance, the iniquities of the fathers ly. One of Israel.” They never upon the children. Israel was reformed. Though, “ They renot to be cut off from being a na- turned and enquired early after tion: the people might still be led God-they flattered Him with
their mouths, and they lied unto blotted out, of either the book of Him with their tongues. For their God's remembrance, or the book heart was not right with God ; of His decrees. If in his prayer, they continued not in His cove- Moses referred to the book of nant.” They were not forgiven, God's remembrance, then he must therefore, for God does not forgive have prayed either that God would those, whom He gives over to hard blot his sins out of that book, or ness of heart and a reprobate mind. that God would forget that he ev
4. They died unbelievers. - er existed. We have seen that “With whom was He grieved for- Moses did not ask the former. If ty years; but with those who be- he asked the latter, he asked what lieved not, whose carcases fell God was both naturally and morin the wilderness? The finally un-ally unable to do, and what was believing are never forgiven, but undesirable both in itself and on go away into everlasting punish the whole ; which Moses cannot ment. Hence it is said by the be supposed to have presumed to Apostle, To whom swear Me in ask. If he prayed to be blotted His wrath, that they should not out of the book of God's decrees, enter into His rest; but to them he must have prayed that God who believed not? It is added, would become perfectly regardless " They could not enter in, because of him, and suffer him to drop inof unbelief." Though they heard to annihilation. That Moses did the gospel, " The word did not pray to be annihilated, has not profit them, not being mixed been already shown. with faith in them that heard it." 6. Moses did not pray to be God said to Moses ; “In the day blotted out of the book of the livthat I visit, I will visit their sin. ing, merely. To be blotted out of He said, “I will not go up into the book of the living is not merethe midst of thee, lest I consume ly to die, or meet the common lot thee in a moment, for thou art a
of all men.
It is to meet an stiff-necked people.” Therefore, timely death. If in his prayer " The Lord plagued the people," Moses referred to the book of the and sent great numbers of them living ; then God said he would immediately to hell. Others were blot him that had sinned, or every spared, not to be benefitted by the idolater out of the same book of the gospel, but to fill the measure of living: that is, He threatentheir iniquities, and to be made ed to bring that idolatrous genemonuments of Divine justice.ration to an untimely end. But most They were not forgiven, therefore; of that generation probably died for whom God justified, them He natural deaths. If they all met an also glorified. They failed of glo- untimely death, it was not intendry, and could not have been the ed in this threatening. For had subjects of justification, or for- they not afterwards rebelled, on giveness. If they were never to the report of the spies, the sin be forgiven, God did not promise here threatened had not even shut to forgive them. If He did not those who were then living out of promise to forgive them, when He the land of Canaan. If God did said He would blot them out of not threaten their untimely death, His book; then Moses, in praying then Moges meant something more, to be blotted out of that book, did than the book of the living. not pray to be forgiven. There- If Moses did not pray to be an
nihilated ; nor pray to be blotted 5. Moses did not pray to be out of any literal book ; nor pray
to be forgiven ; nor pray to be was unnecessary that God should blotted out of either the book of be informed of his intention to God's remembrance, or the book make, if possible, an atonement of His decrees, or the book of the for them ; provided their forgiveliving; then
ness could not be otherwise ob7. Moses prayed to be blotted tained. As he went immediately out of the book of life. As this up unto the Lord, and prayed for is the only book from which the their forgiveness, before he offered people were blotted, it must have to make an atonement, he must be been the only book, froin which understood, as praying that God God threatened to blot them; and would forgive them of His own therefore, the only book, from sovereign goodness, without this which Moses prayed to be blotted. atonement. Yet now, if thou The 'people deserved everlasting wilt, forgive their sin" (without an destruction. Moses desired their atonement) “if not," pour thy salvation, and said unto them; wrath upon me in their place, “Ye have sinned a great sin. Yet "blot me out of thy book which now I will go up unto the Lord, thou hast written.” peradventure I shall make an a- An answer to the 2d enquiry, tonement for you." For the Can Moses' prayer be reasonably purpose here specified, he went justified ? wiil be attempted in my up unto the Lord. God knew the ob- next.
ISHMAEL. ject of his coming. Moses knew it
FOR THE HOPKINSIAR MAGAZINE.
the first day, are liable to be inter
rupted in their devotions by the ON THE SABBATH.
visits or labours of those, who keep No. III.
the evening succeeding ; while At what hour does the Sabbath be those who keep the evening sucgin?
ceeding the first day, are liable to Though the great body of pro- be interrupted in their devotions fessing Christians admit the moral- by the visits or labours of those, ity and perpetuity of the holy who keep the evening preceding. Sabbath, and regard the first day This cannot be agreeable to the of the week as the Christian Sab- will of Him, who is a God of orbath; yet they entertain different der, and not the author of confuopinions respecting the hour at sion. which the Sabbath begins. Some Some suppose, that it is a mat. think it begins with the setting of ter of indifference at what time we the sun, on the evening of Satur- begin the Sabbath, provided we day; some think it begins at mid- keep twenty-four hours. But, night ; others, again, think it be- might they not, with as much progins at the rising of the sun on the priety, suppose, that it is a matter morning of the first day. It is im- of indifference which day of the portant that this point should be week we keep, provided we keep settled ; for, while Christians dif- a seventh part of time? If we fer respecting it, they necessarily ought to keep any of our time hainterfere with one another. Those ly, it is because God has sanctiwho keep the evening precedingl fied it, and set it apart for his
worship and service. Our keeping scripture. And besides, different
bath began, we need be at no loss If God has sanctified and made to determine when the Christian holy a seventha part of time, he has Sabbath begins. Time began with doubtless taught us, in his word, darkness, or night. Before the with sufficient plainness, not only sun was formed, darkness was upwhich day of the week it is, but on the face of the deep. Hence, when that day begins, and when it it was natural, in beginning to ends, and it is our duty to search reckon time, to place the evening his word, with a teachable mind, before the morning. Accordingly, and to determine and practice ac- the sacred historian writes, “ The cording to truth, in this, as well evening and the morning were the as in every other instance of our first day.” And as the first day duty. So doing, we shall please was thus reckoned, so were the him, who has made the scriptures following; as we read, “ And the a sufficient, as well as the only evening and the morning were the rule of both faith and practice. second day;" and so on, to the
The following briefobservations, end of the six days, in which God it is hoped, may give satisfaction, was creating. And as the seventh as to the time, when, according to day, on which God rested from his scripture, the day of sacred rest work, and which he sanctified and
blessed, began where the sixth day 1. The time, when men begin ended; so we infer, that it includtheir civil days, will not deter-ed the evening preceding, and not mine when the Sabbath begins.- the evening following. It appears, The time, at which nations begin that God thus reckoned time, at its their civil days, is fixed to suit their commencement. The first Sabbath own convenience and habits, with began at evening, or the setting of out respect to the requirements of the sun, and continued to the fol
lowing evening. And why is not setting of the sun. And this has this sufficient authority for us now been their uniform practice, even to begin our Sabbath at evening? to this day. It cannot be unsafe to follow a Now, as Christ and his disciples Divine example. Indeed, we seem observed the Jewish Sabbath; so bound in duty, to begin holy time, the apostles would, of course, beaccording to the original institu- gin the Christian Sabbath, when tion, unless we find some direction the Jewish Sabbath ended, unless to the contrary on the sacred pages. they had received some precept But, instead of any such direction, enjoining a different hour. The we find evidence, that it is the will change of the day makes no differof God, that the Sabbath should ence as to the time of beginning ever include the preceding, and the day. . As the apostles, upon not the succeeding evening. For, the abolition of the Jewish Sabbath,
4. When God directed the Isra- returned, in obedience to the fourth elites to keep the seventh day, in-commandment, to the observance stead of the first, as their Sabbath, of the day originally sanctified and he required them to begin it, as set apart as a Sabbath; so they well as all their other holy days and would naturally consider the day festivals, at evening, or the going as composed of the evening and down of the sun. Thus we read morning, as days were reckoned in Levit. xxi. 32, “ It shall be at the beginning of time, and, acunto you a Sabbath of rest, and ye cording to the Divine rule respectshall afflict your souls, in the ninth ing all holy days, from evening day of the month, at even: from to evening, celebrate the Christian EVEN UNTO EVEN shall ye celebrate Sabbath." your Sabbath.” It seems, from That the sun sets at different this, that it is God's will, that ho- times in different places, is no vally days should always be reckoned id objection against beginning the from evening to evening; and not Sabbath at sun-setting; since the from midnight to midnight, or from same objection might be made morning to morning.
against beginning the day at mid5. The Jews, in the days of our night, or at sun-rising. The difSaviour, began their Sabbath at the ference of time, at which the sun setting of the Sun. This is evi- sets, in different places in the same dent from the writings of the Evan- country and near each other, is so gelists. The Scribes and Pharisees trifling, as to occasion no inconcomplained of Christ for healing venience. on the Sabbath. Hence, the peo- That the days are of unequal ple, who feared the Scribes and length, in different parts of the Pharisees, would not bring their earth, is an objection of no more sick to our Lord for healing, on weight against beginning the Sabthe seventh day. But, after Christbath at the setting of the sun, than had attended the publick services against beginning it at the rising of the synagogue, on a certain of the sun. In all places below Sabbath, we are told, that " at the polar circles, there are twentyeven, when the sun did set, they four hours in a day, reckoning brought unto him all that were dis- from evening to evening; and those, sed with devils; and all the city at the setting of the sun, keep a was gathered together at the door. seventh part of time. And, as to
This shows, that the Jews, at that those places, which lie above or time, ended their Sabbath at the within the polar circles, they are
them that were posses- who begin and end their Sabbath