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own infinite conscience. No moral being whatsoever can have a right to be capricious in will. Even an infinite Being can have no right to do anything that is wrong. To advocate for Him such a right is, in thought, to extinguish within Him, or to ignore in relation to Him, that moral constitution which is the basis of His highest glory. It is impossible to conceive that even God could ever have a right to shut out His own infinite intelligence, and infinite heart, from their legitimate play upon His infinite will. And hence we have no right to suppose
thatin those spheres of operation in which there is scope for the play of reason or of love-God ever did, or ever will do, anything, at the instance of mere will.
In all such spheres of operation, He wills to do only what His infinite reason commends to His choice, or what His infinite reason and love, combined, agree in commending:-Dr. Morison's Commentary.--Note on Matt. xx. 15.
ple, and should be implied in the benediction also. Some prefer to use the form, “ be with us all,” instead of“ be with you all." If this preference be from any fear of priestism, it is enough to say that Paul uses these words, but only in the affectionate spirit of a brother. Might not other passages of Scripture, besides that of 2 Cor. xiii. 14, be occasionally used; as Num. vi. 24, Eph. vi. 23, Heb. xiii. 20, 21? We may ask, if it is not better to give the text in its native simplicity than to paraphrase it ?-Public Worship : by the Rev. J. S. Pearsall, page 146.
STYLE OF PREACHING RECOMMENDED TO YOUNG MEN
BY MR. WESLEY. In Wesley's Journal, under date of Thursday, July 18, 1765, is the following entry :-“In the evening, I began expounding the deepest part of Holy Scripture, namely the First Epistle of St. John, by which, above alī other, even inspired writings, I advise every young preacher to form his style. Here are sublimity and simplicity together, the strongest sense and the plainest language ! How can any one that would speak as the oracles of God, use harder words than are found there?”
GOOD IDEA OF DEATH. That death and sleep are very much alike, the sages all tell us; but see how attractively Leigh Hunt describes the latter :-“ It is a delicious moment, certainly, that of being well nestled in bed, and feeling that you shall drop gently to sleep. The good is to come —not past; the limbs have been just tired enough to render the remaining in one position delightful; the labour of the day is done. A gentle failure of the perceptions comes creeping over one; the spirit of consciousness disengages itself more and more with slow and hushing degrees, like a mother detaching her hand from that of her sleeping child ; the mind seems to have a balmy lid closing over it, like the eye; 'tis closing, 'tis closing, —'tis closed. The mysterious spirit has gone to take its airy rounds."
THE BENEDICTION. THE benediction should not be pronounced in a perfunctory manner, nor as if it were a priest's blessing, but with the primitive simplicity. The early custom for the lector to commence with the words, “ Peace be with you," and for the congregation to reply, “ And with thy spirit,” was expressive of that sympathy which should exist between pastor and peo
A WORD FROM THE WEST,
NEVER DESPAIR." It is about twenty-seven years since I was first brought to see myself a sinner, so as to feel the need of a Saviour, and of giving myself entirely to Him. I laboured for some weeks under a burden of sin, before I felt satisfied that my iniquities were forgiven. And although the Lord minifested Himself to me in blotting out my transgression, I remember the hindrances to pardon and peace, the fightings without and fears within.
In fact, it was uphill work, and, but was going to have; but while I was for the grace of God, I should have here I was convinced of my sin." given up in despair; but “ by the Yes, this persecutor became congrace of God I am what I am.
verted to God, and lived the life of a My principal hindrance was shame; Christian. He is now removed to for even in the darkest night, and the rest above, having left behind away from every mortal ear, except him a testimony that he now lives my own, I was ashamed to bend the
with those who have washed their knee or hear my own voice in prayer. robes and made them white in the I say this
was the principal hindrance blood of the Lamb. with regard to myself. But some Christian reader, be not surprised readers of our magazine may have if thy worst enemy is one of thine own other hindrances, such as pride, co- family; for the devil generally begins vetousness, evil company, the love of at home. Remember the words of drink, or love of worldly amusements, thy Lord and Master: “Ye shall be These things prevent our salvation. hated of all men for my name sake ; and are ruinous in the extreme. but he that endureth to the end shall Dear reader, if anything stands be- be saved.” A consistent, persevering tween thy soul and God, then away course, in the strength of the Lord, with it at once: it is in vain to expect will be honoured by him, in convertpardon and peace unless there be, ing our worst enemies, as the above first, a giving up of these things on narrative will show. But let me our part.
repeat to thee the title of this article: But such is the loving kindness of “Never despair." God, He overruled even my shame Allow me to make a few more refor His glory. At that time, I had marks, for I have another brother, an ungodly brother, who was my that was once an outcast of society, worst persecutor, and who tried vari- principally through that demon drink! ous means to defeat me; but, finding But now he is clothed, and in his his ordinary efforts a failure, he right mind. Thanks to God and the resolved to try the following scheme. temperance cause, he is now a devoted In consequence of my being so much Christian, full of Christian zeal and ashamed, of course I sought the op- love. Once I despaired of his conportunity to retire to bed alone. He, version, and almost gave him up as seeing this, made off to bed before me lost. Reader, if thou hast such about one evening; and, on my entering thee, pray on, and never despair. the room, he was apparently sound in Being a local preacher, some years sleep. It was Saturday evening, and ago I walked to the village of Pon the following Sabbath there was a distance of eight miles, to preach. to be a love - feast at the chapel. My congregation was about a dozen. Consequently, I felt overjoyed, and I talked as well as I could, and felt whispered to myself, “I shall have a at liberty with the friends. After the good day to-morrow.” The Sabbath evening service, I walked home again. came, and I found my way to the Eight years passed away before I love-feast; but just as I thought of
visited that place again ; but, on my enjoying it, this persecuting one
next visit, I was reminded of my serwalked in, and that proved another vices eight years before. shock to me. Time passed away,
lady that entertained me said : “Mrs. and he became more calm, until the was brought in under something next love-feast, when he stood up and you said when you were here last. said, Some time ago, seeing my
This circumstance has taught me brother went to bed alone, I deter- never to despise small congregations, min to trap him, and, for this pur- or too hastily consider my labour pose, went to bed first, and pretended lost. to be asleep, to see and hear what he Brethren, our journeys may be long, did; and I heard him going about and congregations small, and our the room saying, “I shall have a hands may hang down. The devil good day to-morrow.' Then I deter- may tempt us to stay at home, but let mined to come here, to see what he us go on, and never despair. D. B.
THE ADAMIC CREATION. SIR,-I observe in your September number, page 281, à criticism on a short “ note' on the above subject which appeared in the new Edinburgh monthly periodical, entitled, “ Biblical Notes and Queries." As the writer of the note in question, will you per. mit me to explain why I am still of opinion that “there is no single word in Hebrew (any more than in Greek, Latin, or English), that expresses the idea of creation from nothing ; that can only be done by a phrase or combination of words." You challenge the accuracy of this, and say, “ What other word do we want in English in addition to the word create, to express the production of something by an exercise of almighty power? I submit that you require the two words “from nothing," for the English word create does not by itself, either etymologically or otherwise, express a “production from nothing.” If I say that Mrs. Stowe has “ created a great sensation about Byron," or that George III. "created the national debt," I do not teach that these things
“ created from nothing,” nor does any one doubt but that there were materials out of which these things were made.
In opposition to your unnamed “ Jewish Lexicographer, Parkhurst, and Dr. A. Clarke," I would put Gesenius, Fürst, Lee, Pusey, Ewald, and a host of others; but I am content with referring to Gen. i. 21 and 27, where the same Hebrew word is applied to the production or creation of whales and man, who surely were not from nothing. Did my time permit or your space allow, I would have been glad to have treated the subject at greater length, but your readers by turning to the pages of the “ Biblical Notes and Queries,” or to my“ Critical Comments on the New Translation of the Bible,” issued by the same Edinburgh publishers, they will see abundant proofs of the correctness of my statement. Wishing you all success in your work, I remain, yours truly,
[Reluctant as we are to make this Magazine the vehicle of controversy,
and inconvenient as it would be to open its pages to correspondence with authors in relation to our Literary Notices” and criticisms, we nevertheless are glad to admit so brief and courteous a communication as the above from a respected and talented writer. At the same time we unhesitatingly declare ourselves on the side of such English and Oriental scholars as Dr. A. Clarke, Parkhurst, and a host of others, rather than on the side of the modern Germans and their disciples, on such points of verbal criticism as touch : theology. We intend not to disparage German scholarship; but it has its own tinge and its own bias.
Setting aside authorities, however, we submit that either there has been the production of something where before there was nothing, or that matter is eternal. If matter is eternal, there can be no personal God. If matter is not eternal, it must have been, in the proper sense of the word, created, and there must be a personal God who created it; and that is manifestly the teaching of Gen. i. 1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,” that is to say the material thereof, afterwards disposing the material into order and beauty and utility. “He spake, and it was done; He commanded, and it stood fast.” (Ps. xxxiii. 9.) That looks like a circumlocutory mode of representing the act of creation; but there is no circumlocution in the formula, “ God created the heavens and the earth.” There, one word expresses the act of originating the universe.
With regard to the English word create,” we are fully satisfied that it does of itself and etymologically express the full idea of origination, and that our respected correspondent has suggested such examples of its use as are secondary and accommodational; just as we speak of an infinite number when we mean only a great number, although the word infinite expresses the idea of illimitability. Men are perpetually making use of terms in such accommodational sense, both in conversation and in writing. Such use of words cannot be accepted as disproving their primary meaning.-Eds.
is reached, the procession enters, and
the outside world sleeps on again. “ THE MARRIAGE AT CANA." What a feast is spread before the
company! What delicacies, supplied STAND in imagination near Cana in
with a lavishing hand! What joy is
here! What mirth! as day after day Palestine. Daylight has fled, the
these festivities last. soft dew is moistening wild flowers,
The end of the seven days is apfantastic grasses, the stately cedar, and the palm.
Afar across the sandy plain proaching, but ere it arrives we will grandly tower the mountains. The
enter and mark one day's proceedings. traveller has sought a resting place, the
Yonder, at the head of the table, sits
the “ruler," or governor of the feast. birds of song hide their heads beneath their wings and sleep. Upon a tran
The guests are many, and servants are waiting upon
them. Wine and quil world yon stars look down, and the placid moon is gleaming. Oh!
fruit are passing freely, and happithe beauties of the landscape! What
ness smiles around. How beautifully a silence! The bleating and lowing
adorned is the place! What an inof the cattle have died away, and
teresting group of faces !
more than the rest strikes us. Whose everything slumbers or is stilled by
can it be? the hush of night. There is a spell on all things that one half wishes
The day wears on apace, and lo, might never be broken. It is the
the news is whispered, “The wine is spell that only midnight weaves.
gone." One of the company bears Hark!—from Cana comes the shout
the words to him upon whom we have of voices, and thrilling tones of music
been so wistfully gazing. The speaker are borne on the gentle air. What
is his mother. It is evident by the can it be? See! there gleam the
expression of her countenance she
wishes him to meet the exigency. flambeaux, and those four men are carrying a palanquin! It is a mid
We are struck with his reply: “Wo
man, what have I to do with thee? night wedding. They are wending their
mine hour is not yet come.” He has way to yonder stream that sparkles in the moonlight! Linger no
authority, certainly; for the servants longer; we will join the happy group.
obey his commands, by filling vessels
with water, and bearing the liquid to The palanquin rests. The veiled bride, richly apparelled, and the
the governor. It is poured into his bridegroom, step under a canopy.
cup, when, marvel of marvels ! it is
no longer water—but wine, and at The “ taled ”or square veil, with tufts
once the conviction fastens itself upon at each corner, is placed upon their
us-He who caused this is none heads. The rabbi pronounces the other than the Christ, the Son of usual benediction over a cup of wine,
God. which is tasted by bride and bridegroom. A plain gold ring is now put
“The modest water saw its Lord, and blushed,” upon the bride's finger by the bride- as one has beautifully said; and thus groom, who reads the marriage con- have we seen the first miracle which tract, and hands it over to his bride's the Saviour performed at the marriage relations. Wine is again brought, feast in Cana of Galilee. but in a brittle vessel. Six blessings Jesus has manifested His glory in are rehearsed over it, and husband all its brightness. Does the brideand wife sip its contents, the rest is groom know the divine nature of the then thrown upon the ground, and guest he is entertaining?-perchance the vessel is dashed to pieces in me- he does. At any rate his is a high mory of the destruction of the temple; honour, to have such a person eating and thus this solemn yet pompous and drinking from the festive board, service is ended.
and sanctifying by His presence the And now as they wend their way rite of marriage, instituted by God's back to the town, the dance recom- own authority. mences, and shouts and music-strains The ruler of the feast pays a high go echoing across the plain. At compliment, and the servants, like length the house of the bride's father ourselves, are filled with astonish
ment, and begin to spread the fame high abode where Satan never enters, of Jesus. The faith of the disciples, and drunkards do not dwell. And as Andrew, Philip, Peter, and Nathaniel, we look and listen, the cry bursts is strengthened in His Messiahship, forth from our hearts, and He has proved himself equal with
Oh, let us join yon happy band, the Creator.
And in their midst sit down; “O wondrous Being, we adore thee."
Partake with them the royal feast,
And wear the golden crown. It was the custom of the ancients to
ALBERT. place a skeleton in the midst of the banqueting room, to remind the guests THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS. pleasure has an end, and bid them THE first time I heard Dr. A. Clarke think on death.
preach, he said:
“Some people, in Here, at Cana, however, is no such speaking to God in prayer, tell him ghastly sight to evoke gloomy . how great he is. Now, there is no thoughts; but Jesus, the Lord of necessity to tell Him that, for He Life,” is present, rejoicing with those must know more about His greatness who rejoice, and by His presence than any creature can tell Him." checking the excesses of the intem- This remark of the doctor had this perate, and preventing Satan's reign- effect upon me, that, since that time, ing supreme, as he too often does in in approaching God in prayer, I have like festivities.
not used a number of words expresUnspeakably happy are they who sive of His greatness, wisdom, or make the same Jesus a welcome power. guest on all such eventful occasions. There are other practices in prayer
What an evidence is here of the into which we fall, which have no great interest the Son of Man takes in sensible ground to rest on. There is the whole round of human life: alike one which is very common, and which does He visit the house of mourning, I may call the depreciatory practice. consoling the suffering and sorrowing; The last preacher I heard, in his and the house of joy, cheering and opening prayer, was telling God what blessing ; proving himself to be the woful beings we are; that if He had bearer of our sorrows, and acquainted only noticed a millionth part of our with our griefs--one with ourselves, sins, we should have been weeping even our elder brother.
and wailing and gnashing our teeth. But we must bid farewell to the These sentiments uttered in his whole scene. The feast has ended ; prayer were brought up again in his the music has ceased; the bride has sermon, and the way in which he been conducted to her husband's spoke of mankind reflected no honour, house, and the guests have departed; I thought, on our great Creator and but never through the long ages of Preserver. This way of speaking of eternity will this wonderful display of ourselves or of others, as far as my divine power and sympathetic benevo- knowledge of the Bible extends, is lence be forgotten.
not supported by the oracles of truth. And as we depart, our imagination Man, though a ruin, is a glorious opens up another scene, surpassing in ruin : there are remains of that tembeauty the one upon which we have ple which at the first was filled with been so delightedly gazing. Another the Divine glory, and it is destined banqueting hall appears before our yet to be filled with the Holy Ghost. eyes, where Jesus is mingling with Man is low enough, when we view the hosts of those who have accepted him as a fallen being: and although the invitation of the “ feast of feasts the gospel is intended to raise him and pleasures. He again provides for from his fallen condition, this will the guests, as at Cana He provided not be done by sinking him lower the wine. Ten thousand times ten than he really is. One wonders, thousand are pai taking of this feast, when such sentiments as the above which will last for evermore; and are uttered from Methodist pulpits, sweeter music far than that of tabret, where the preachers have got their harp, or cymbal, floats through that lessons from : surely not from Him