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temple, that sometimes bursts in beauty upon the traveller's view amid the parched sands of the desert, refreshing his mind with the memory of the splendour and the piety which once made their abode within its now desolated walls; these scintillations of a latent fire in man's heart, petrified by selfishness, indicate its high original and its destiny. They convince us that man was not always, nor is always to continue, the selfish, sensual, being he now is. These vales in the desert of life—these verdant spots upon which the heart loves to repose, as it treads its weary way through the barren wilderness of this selfish world, tell us what a bright and lovely scene this earth exhihited, when Adam walked with God, beneath unclouded suns, amid the shady bowers, and by the crystal stream of paradise ; when all was purity and peace; they tell us what a scene this earth would still exhihit, were those natural affections fully developed, sanctified, and evangelized; were that “God" who “ is love" restored to His rightful supremacy over the affections of every heart, from which sin has dethroned Him; and were the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of the Lord and of His Christ.

To these natural affections, the last connecting link between man and his Creator, religion often stoops to raise the soul to God. The sanctifying Spirit purifies them from the corrupting taint of selfishness; God breathes again upon them, as in primeval paradise, the breath of a Divine and an immortal life: and converts them into charity.

Is there no parent who looks around on a domestic scene which is the centre of all his interests, the home of his affections, and which, amid all the toils of daily business and all the cares of this troublesome world, is the solace of his labours, and the comfort of his heart? And does he not sometimes permit imagination to wander, even to the limited future of that family's temporal destiny? While year after year rolls over him, and each brings with it some infirmity of body, whose stubborn evidence forces him to admit that he has ir

no abiding city here," does he not see, with cheering hope, in the opening virtues of some amiable and beloved child, the staff of the tottering steps of his own declining years—the solace of his infirmities and cares, when those days shall arrive, of which his soul shall say “ I have no pleasure in them "—the proteetor and the father of those remaining objects of his care, whose helpless age or sex would add another pang to the agonies of expiring nature, while he shuddered at the thought, that he was now about to launch them, without a pilot to steer their course, upon the dark ocean of life, and amid the wild waves and storms of this treacherous world?

Such are the feelings which animate you. Such is the end of all your earthly toils and cares which each parent proposes. I would then declare to you the only means by which that end can be attain. ed-that object can be accomplished. I would unbesitatingly assent, that nature can forge no chains of temper to bind to those duties of charity the principles and affections of the natural man : that true religion alone possesses energy and power to subdue that selfishness, which, in some one of its infinite varieties, is the alone animating principle-in fact, the essential nature of the unregenerate soul. But, strange inconsistency ! many a parent seems fully sensible of

and desires for his child those moral virtues, and, to a certain extent, that religion, which his own heart and life practically reject

this ;

and despise. Many a one would divide, and adopt half of Joshua's profession; and say, “ As for me and my house, it shall serve the Lord.” But this is a vain expectation. Family religion, so far as the agency of the parent is concerned in its production, can only be the fruit of personal religion. The soundest principles, whether of religion or morals, which we so frequently hear pressed upon children by parents who have, in many particulars, cast off the restraints of both, must be powerless. Deprived of the weight of example, and of the energy of experimented truth, which alone could send them home to the heart, they fall upon it, pointless and inefficient. Nor is this the worst. When enforced by compulsion-for, even by the most irreligious and profligate parents, moral duties, at least, will be so enforcedthey call forth all those irritable and malicious tempers, which tyranny and injustice are ever sure to elicit from the proud nature of fallen man. Preaching without practice, will, in most minds, associate with the precepts inculcated, the disgust and aversion which the hypocrisy of a false professor never fails to excite. Duties urged by precept, and not seconded by example, always, too, engender a smothered feeling of contempt and hatred for the authority which enforces them : in the case of children, for parental authority. And as it might almost be said, that, to the infant mind, the fifth is the first and great commandment; that it is the germ of all its discipline, the scale by which it ascends to God; contempt for parental authority will soon develope itself in a general insubordination of mind-a spirit equally at war with God and man, and therefore equally a foe to man's present and eternal bappiness.

The youngest mind will naturally seek to interpret the abstract principle inculcated by the sensible comment which the life of its teacher exhibits; and thus it will fall into either of two fatal snares. If it does not perceive the parent's error of life, but views him as a model, it will mistake the nature, or at least the extent, of those principles in which the religion and virtue of its future life are to be built. If, on the other hand, it detects—and the youngest mind is far more quick and shrewd at detecting the inconsistency of a parent's life with the duties he inculcates, than men are apt to imagine—it will rebel, in spirit, against the authority which enforces them. It will say, in heart, to that parent who should be to it the representative of God, “ Thou that teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? Thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God!"

Be assured that a deep'and awfully important principle is involved in that command, which gives to “honour thy father and thy mother" not only a place in the brief summary of the moral law, but even the first place in its second table; which places it parallel with the first and great commandment of the other table : “ Thou shalt have none other God but me.” The fifth commandment indicates as the Divine purpose that parents should stand between the child and God, and thus lead him heavenwards. It declares God's will and design—else God were the minister of sin—that parents should ever be in a condition to say to their children, “Be ye followers of us, as we also are of Christ :" “ Walk so as ye have us for an ensample." Oh ! beware, then, lest you leave the strait and narrow way, and thus compel your

child to violate, either the commandment specially addressed to him, or the first and great commandment. Beware lest you compel him, in honouring you, to dishonour God. No: if you would see religion and virtue, holiness and happiness, flourish among those dear to and intimately connected with you, you must seek it on the terms of personal religion. You must embrace, undivided, the patriarch's wise, and pious, and paternal resolve, “ As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

I should wish to add a few further thoughts, but must defer them to another paper.

J. M. H.


SOCIETIES. [We insert the remainder of our correspondent's remarks upon the pamphlet circulated, “ On behalf of the Trinitarian Society;” but we do not adopt them as our own; for if we considered it necessary to embark upon particular points of Biblical criticism we must go into the matter much more widely and deeply than our correspondent has done. It is not a question which can be settled by the sort of process which Mr. Thelwall has adopted, for there is not a translation of the Scriptures extant which does not contain numerous errors; or what we may consider such; and if the Trinitarian committee, instead of employing their own time, and their subscribers' money, in raising an outcry against the Bible Society, because its versions are not immaculate, would shew how the whole world can be supplied with Bibles against which no objection can be raised, they would solve a difficulty which no church, or body of divines or Biblical scholars, has hitherto been able to obviate. Their own plan has been much more simple; they have declaimed loudly against the versions issued by other societies, but they have never put forth a single version of their own; so that no person can accuse them of having made bad translations. The Bible Society might with much ease have adopted the same plan; but under the guidance and benediction of the Father of lights, it followed, in faith, and zeal, and love, the more excellent way of sending forth to the nations the word of God in the best version which could be procured or circulated, provided that it was substantially faithful, not doubting that he would bless, as he has abundantly done, this pious work to his own glory and the salvation of souls; that he would mercifully pardon many mistakes and imperfections; and that as Scriptural knowledge and sacred learning increased, faulty versions would give place, as was the case in our own land during the reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., Elizabeth, and James J., to others of higher character, though still far short of perfection.

The Bible Society, Mr. Thelwall is constrained to admit, explicitly declares that it countenances no version which does not proclaim “Who and what the Saviour is ; His proper Deity; His one great sacrifice for sin ; His intercession with the Father; His coming again to judgment; man's guilt, condemnation, and helplessness; the Holy Spirit's grace, power, and work." Such being the case, particular renderings are a question for calm, scholar-like, and Christian criticism; not for reviling, as though there were a settled purpose to sophisticate the word of God. Mr. Thelwall, who cannot quote what he is obliged to own to be good, without giving it a jaundiced aspect, is pleased to represent the above “almost good confession of the Christian faith” as quite a new feature in the Society's history, and hopes that it may be “the beginning of better things.” If he is not either very ignorant, or very forgetful, he must well know that the reports of the Society have abounded with such declarations from the commencement.

We decline, then, mixing up the real question at issue with any discussion às to the merits or demerits of a few particular renderings. The very circumstance that men as well informed, as learned, as Scriptural in their doctrines, as devout, as anxious for the honour of God and the purity of His word, and as truly Protestant as any member of the Trinitarian Society can be, do not discover in those renderings the heterodoxy, and wilful corruption, which Mr. Thelwall imputes to them, is of itself sufficient proof, that the task of correcting versions is not so easy as persons unacquainted with the bearings of the subject might suppose.

We are, indeed, perfectly ready, at any time, to discuss the correctness or incorrectness of those renderings; but it is altogether unfair, not to say preposterous, as every Biblical scholar well knows, to place the character and proceedings of the Bible Society upon the issue of particular criticisms. We might as well place the character and proceedings of the Trinitarian Society upon the issue whether 1 John v. 7, in the Bibles which it circulates, has any weighty sanction of Greek manuscripts. Will Mr. Thelwall, or any other person, venture to assert that it has ? Or will the members of the Trinitarian Society present to the world the evidence upon which they undertake to say that this passage is genuine ? Has one in a hundred of them ever examined the subject? Are they even aware that the Dublin manuscript is the only Greek exemplar in which the passage occurs; and that this manuscript is of comparatively modern date, and of no authority; and that, to use the words of Mr. Hartwell Horne, “ it is a servile imitation of the Latin Vulgate;" Dr. Adam Clarke also stating his opinion that it is the work of some bold critic, who, not finding the text in any manuscript, foisted in a Greek translation of it from the Latin Vulgate. Every scholar knows that it is almost entirely on account of this reading occurring in the Vulgate--not certainly from the authority of Greek manuscripts—that it has been adopted in modern versions. Now if Mr. Thelwall had urged against the Bible Society, that in publishing versions grounded upon the Vulgate it has embodied a passage which is destitute of manuscript authority, he would have brought a far stronger objection than any one of those which he has adduced against those versions. He may himself believe, though without documental authority, that the passage is genuine; be it so; and grant that the passage is genuine; as every Christian scholar would wish to find it, if he might lawfully wish the word of God to be otherwise than God bas given it. Still, is it not clear that we could never print or issue a single Bible, if we must wait till Christian scholars had unanimously agreed to receive or reject this passage, or any other disputed reading, and in the latter case, to expunge it from all translations and copies? Thousands of clergymen and of Christian ministers of every persuasion, and of pious well-informed laymen, use and distribute Bibles with this passage in them, though feeling grave difficulties as to its authenticity. They circulate what they know to be the word of God, though doubtful as to the authenticity of particular passages or readings, It would be preposterous for the Christian Knowledge Society, or the Bible Society, or even the Trinitarian Society, to appoint a committee to examine the arguments for or against the text on the Heavenly Witnesses, and all other disputed texts or renderings, with a view, if the objections seemed to them to prevail, to alter almost all the versions and copies extant. They must issue the Bible in what is judged to be the best accessible or distributable exemplar,

leaving uncertain critical investigations for private consideration. We assert, without fear of contradiction, that no two members of the Trinitarian Society, if competent to examine the question of texts, readings, versions, and revisions, would ever agree in every tittle, or probably in every important matter; so that one would hold up to the world as a part of the word of God what his brother did not believe to be so. What then is to done, but what all churches and Christian societies have done from the beginning; and what the Trinitarian Society itself does and must do, if it issue any one copy of any version extant, or ever likely to be extant? Is it pretended that every person who subscribes a penny a week to Mr. Thelwall's Society has satisfied himself that every passage is genuine, and every rendering faithful, even in our own invaluable authorised translation ? If not, he is placed in the same difficulty as the members of all other Bible Societies; and it would be as absurd as it would be uncharitable to accuse him of veology, latitudinarianism, and tampering with the word of God, because he aided the circulation of versions or editions, which, however useful or excellent upon the whole, he might be shewn were not immaculate.

It is very reluctantly that we have touched upon these questions; because though perfectly familiar to Christian scholars, they are not, and cannot be, understood by persons who have not directed their attention to the subject: The servants of Christ must be willing in this, as in many other things, to bear reproach, while they are endeavouring faithfully to serve their Lord. How would Mr. Thelwall himself, or any one of his colleagues, reply to an illiterate man, who, having read his speeches, should say, “ You offer me a copy of the word of God, but before I accept it I must know whether you will assert that every jot and tittle is so; that it contains that word, and nothing but that word; that there is no addition, omission, or mistake, either in the Hebrew or Greek, or in the English translation.” Mr. Thelwall will reply (we quote his own words in reference to our authorised version) that “ all translations of the Bible, made by the most eminent Christian scholars, must unavoidably be subject to imperfections ;” but that“ the English version is so excellent as to be justly deemed one of the greatest of our national blessings ;" that he has recommended to the Bible Society French and Italian versions “in the main sound and good ;" « substantially good versions, made in the main upon sound principles;" and a Portuguese translation, which, if carefully revised and corrected, would " then form a version, which, though not so good or intelligible as we could desire, yet certainly in the main an intelligible version.” What will the illiterate man, if he adopts Mr. Thelwall's arguments against the Bible Society, reply? “ I asked you,” he will say, “ whether the book you give me is, or is not, the word of God. Instead of replying plainly, Yes or No, you spin out a perplexed and equivocal answer. I had heard that the translation used by the Apostles and the early church was in the main the word of God, though subject to imperfections ; I had heard also that the Bible Society circulated versions which they say are in the main, and substantially, that is, in the great majority of texts, faithful to the original, though some passages are erroneously translated ; but you told me very confidently that they were not the word of God; you would not allow any excuse about substantially and in the main; you quoted here and there a text, and then pronounced the mass to be poisonous; and when I ask you to give me a faithful Bible of your own, you make as many ifs and buts as your neighbours." Mr. Thelwall could give no reply to such remarks, but what would shew the injustice of the style of argument which he has adopted towards the Bible Society ; and this, even if it be admitted, that the Society may have occasionally erred in its adoption of versions. But how are the class of persons among whom the Trini

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