Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

enough to spurn their effusions out of (metávosavy) i. et a change of opinion and their circle.

MILES. conduct, to salvation not to be repented P.S. A few remarks on Arminianism

of.” Note here, that the words used to will be sent to the next Journal.

express“ repentance," or change of opinion and conduct, and “ to be repented of," are not from the same theme. The one is

μετανοίαν και the other αμεταμέλητον. . For the Christian Journal.

Schleusner also refers to Heb. vi. 1, REMARKS ON HEBREWS xii. 17.-For he Metávoux árò vexpūv čpywr', i.e. a change of

found no place of repentance, though opinion respecting those evil works he sought it carefully with tears. which engender death, and a course of Merevoías, zelp, Témov, 8X seper nion. He quotes likewise a similar use

conduct suited to such a change of opiκαίπερ μετα δακρύων εκζητήσας αυτήν.

of the word in the Alexandrine copy of The sense of this passage is by the LXX. in Prov. xiv. 15, mayoûpyos de most readers misunderstood. The term ép XeTab eis petoyotay. “ The cunning man μετανοία,

which our translators have ra will come to a change of opinion and ther unhappily rendered "repentance," conduct.” is used in various senses both in the From Polybius, who lived but a little Septuagint and the New Testament; more than a century previous to the and, in the classic writers, is seldom to time of our Saviour, and who is therebe understood according to the sense of fore good profane authority on the word our theological word, "repentance." in question, the following quotation

Schleusner has given the various is made :-Φίλιππος πυθόμενος την των senses, of which petavoia is susceptible: Aapdaviwy pestovasav', where, as Schleusner

- 1st. As signifying penitence, grief for remarks, we are to understand,“ Daran act already done; 2d. A change of danios consilium mutasse,” that Philip opinion, a retraction of any thing that found out that the Trojans had altered is done; 3d. The manner prescribed by their determination, had changed their God for seeking and obtaining salva- opinions and plans. tion. This last is termed κατ' εξοχήν, It would seem from the above rethe theological sense of the term. marks, that the signification of the pas

It is in the second sense that the sage under consideration is sufficiently word is here used. Schleusner remarks plain for all those who will look at it on the passage in this manner :“Sic without seeking for difficulties. By Heb. xii. 17, ubi Esavus dicitur repul- searching for difficulties, and by lum

tulisse nec, quamvis cum lacrymis bering learned and unlearned comments petierit, invenisse ustavoias Tomoy, h. e. on Scripture, even the simplest passaefficere potuisse, ut Isaacus sententiam ges may be rendered obscure. ac factum mutaret." Esau was not Rosenmüller has given an admirable able to prevail on Isaac to change his translation of the passage; and with it decision respecting the blessing already the majority of modern commentators bestowed on Jacob, in favour of him- agree. “Scitis enim quod etiam postea, self. Esau found no place left for a quum vellet obtinere benedictionem, change of opinion in his father; because repulsam accepit; quippe non potuit the decision had been already pro- efficere (apud patrem suum) sententiæ nounced in favour of Jacob.

mutationem, quamvis eam cum lacrymis Schleusner quotes 2 Cor. vii. 9, 10, quæreret." For you know, that, when as a parallel passage; where the trans- afterwards he desired to receive the lation would be thus : 56 Now I re- blessing, he met with a refusal; and he joice, not that ye were made sorry, but was not able to effect a change of opithat ye sorrowed unto repentance, (els nion in his father, although he sought Metávolavy) i, e. to a change of opinion it (aurav, eam, either the blessing, as and conduct: for ye were made sorry Macknight says, or this change of opinafter a godly manner,

that ye might re ion) with tears. ceive damage by us in nothing. For The history in Genesis proves that godly sorrow worketh repentance, the exposition of the text given above is VOL. VII.

19

sam

the correct one. Esau could not pre- perked them up, and through life should they vail, with all his entreaties, and all his skulk, ever haunted by their native insignia

cance, as the body marches accompanied by its tears, upon his aged father to make him shadow.-As fer a nuch raore formidable class, reverse what he had already done. I the knaves, I am at a loss what to do with them have blessed him, said he, yea, and he had I a world, there should not be a knave in

it.” . must be blessed : I cannot reverse it now. It is evident, that God designs There is a struggle for eminence Jacob to be the Lord of all, in prefer- amongst men of all professions-an ence to Esau: and so it must be. (See aim at enjoying by some means or other Gen. xxvii. where the history is given the smiles of fortune, and rewards of at length.)

ambitious exertion. It is a long ladder Before closing this article, one thíng and a high; and sometimes difficult of ought to be particularly noticed. It is ascent. Still a few proud individuals tbis :"Nothing spoken here, nor in gain its top, and sport for a season on the history in Genesis, to which the the lofty eminence. The reverse, howapostle refers, concerns the eternal ever, comes, and all is changed :-instate of either of the two brothers. stead of uninterrupted Irappiness and The unfortunate use of the word “re- joy, misfortune arrives, and they find pentance?' in our version, has led to a themselves at the bottom of the ladder very improper exposition of this text by in a much shorter time than it took some well-meaning, but, perhaps, mis- them to reach the top. These are comtaken Christians. They have said that mon reflections; but peculiar circumEsau wąs eternally reprobated, and stances and occurrences often impress could not find any place of repentance them more deeply on the mind. We before God. He had not such a sor cannot fail drawing useful lessons from row indeed," says an old divine of the the every-day transactions of life; and Calvinistic school, « as to bee dis- philosophy always has fresh charms, pleased with himselfe, and to repent, when it is the result of actual observabut had onely an amazement mixt with tion and experience. spite, and disdaine."** The incorrect It was on a February morning that I ness of such a rendering is shown above. sallied forth to transact some business But to cut short these notices :- It may in Broadway. It had been snowing be remarked, with Dr. A. Clarke, that through the night previous; and the " the use made of the transaction by light fakes were yet descending to their the apostle is of great importance: rest on the bosom of our mother earth. Take heed Test, hy apostatizing from I thought of various things, as, wrapped the gospel, ye forfeit all right and title in my cloak, I trudged along on the unto the heavenly birthright, and never swept side-walks. Ah, said I to myagain be able to retrieve it. Because, self, this snow is pure and unsullied; they who reject the gospel, reject the and every drop that falls seems as the only means of salvation.”

image of purity : but it will soon be defiled by the tread of hundreds, who will trample upon it, regardless of its for

mer purity I could not help thinking For the Christian Journals

of the parallel that might here be drawn The Fickleness of Fortune. with regard to multitudes of the charac

ters I met. How many persons did I " Orkt upon the world! gay 1, that its affairs æc administered so ill! They talk of reform:

see, who were once pure and unspotted good heaven! what a reform would I make like the virgin snow, now like it defiled among the sons, and even the daughters of and trodden down by every passenger! men! Vown immediately should go fools from Then they lived amidst the endearthe high places where misbegotten chance has

ments of social life, blessed with all • See “ Pious and Learned Annotations

that nature and fortune could bestow, the Holy Bible: plainly expounding the most basking in the smiles of family and famous divine, Mr. John Diodati, Minister of all around them. But now, by some difficult places thereof

. By that godly and friends, and admired and caressed by the Gospell; now living at Geneva.” Ed. Lond. 1648 New Test. p. 386.

fatal step, having burst in sunder those

L. J.

upon

endearments of social life, having for- low," axiv. 24-the other from first feited their claim on the favours of na- Samuel, « The Lord maketh poor, and ture and of fortune, withering under maketh rich: he bringeth low, and listthe frown of family and friends, exposed eth up. He raiseth up the poor out of to the pity of the good, and the con- the dust, and lifteth the beggar from the tempt of the bad, they have become lost dunghill, to set them among princes, to virtue-lost to all that exalts and dig- and to make them inlierit the throne of nifies human nature. Alas! said i, glory," ii. 7, 8. how miserable is our race!

True, thought I, true indeed. The Such a train of thought led to many picture spoke for itself; and the Scripother reflections which cast a damp ture does indeed sanction its truth: for upon my feelings : and I pushed my it is the Lord alone who “puts down way along the crowded street règard- the mighty from their seats, and exalts less of the individuals I met. I should, them of low degree."* perhaps, have continued for a long There was some connexion between time in this mood of mind, had not Ì the train of thought now excited, and found my way suddenly obstructed by the one which had before occupied my a crowd of people; who were fixed to mind-a change as to fortune and to one spot. Lifting my eyes, and at the fame. I still dwelt upon it as I resumed same time raising my hat, so as to open my walk. Fortune, thought I, is as the to myself a wider field for observation, ancients represented her, false and I found the crowd were gazing at the fickle as the wind. Hondur, integrity various pictures exposed at the window all the virtues that tend to elevate of a print-shop. The oddest conceit I man above the rest of this earthly creaobserved (for I stopped also to gaze tion, are, not unfrequently, passed by with the multitude) was a coloured

en in the distribution of her favours. Dis. graving, entitled “ The Wheel of For- honour, knavery, and all the vices that

It was a picture in which old degrade the character of man, too geneTime (with his sickle and wings ac- rally taste her dainties, and bask in her cording to ancient hieroglyphical repre- smiles. The elevation of one to emisentation) was turning an enormous mence and distinction, and the depreswheel, on the circumference of which á şion of another to misery and worldły variety of individuals were stationed. disgrace, too often depend on the By the rotatóry motion of the machine, slightest of causes. And where innoeach was represented as taking his up's cence should have received the palm of and downs, while others were waiting honour, and the reward of justice, we below for their turns to come for as- frequently find that guilt usurps its laúcending the wheel.

fels, and carries away its well-deserved A pompous gentleman and a dis- meed. The smiles or the frowns of tressed tradesman, an upstart dandy and fortune are not the just criterion of a petty shoebląck, a female exquisite and mental or moral worth: nor should her a low washerwoman-all varieties of caresses so often prove, as they unforpeople were here represented as revolve tunately do, the basis upon which men ing, and taking their turns at fortune or found their estimate of human, characdistress, and bearing, either sadly or ter.t Alas! affluence and wealth are cheerfully, the force and fulfilment of poi apportioned alike to all. Perhaps that just, although vulgar proverb. it is better that it is so than otherwise. “Every dog has his day.” Many were These adventitious appendages are liapressing forward on the lower ġround to ascend the sides of the wheel, anxi. * Luke i. 52. ous to try how fortune would favour + Juvenal, in his severe, yet humorous style, them; while those who descended from this speaks of the fickleness of fortune the wheel went off in another direction. Si FORTUNA volet, fies de Rhetore Consul: Tô solemnize the picture, texts of Si volet hæc eadein, fies de Consule Rhetor.

Sat. VII. 197. Scripture were appended below :-the one from Job, “They are exalted for FORTUNE is all: she, as the fancy springs,

Mates kings of pedants, and of pidants kinger a little while but are gone and brought

Gifford."

tune."

an

ble to many changes. To-day one may ing floods. At another time,“ a voice rise to honour and renown-to-morrow more than human” proceeded from the he may sink into disgrace and contempt. cloud of fire and smoke which enveloped Wealth may to-day be his lot—to-mor- the Divine Majesty. Again, he was row poverty. And though toil and ex heard in the visions of the night, when ertion be used, yet unexpected circum- the “ still small voice” sounded in the stances may frustrate the most promis- ear.

But that mode of appearance ing designs, and blast the fairest hopes, which is most singular and interesting, leaving the wretch who sought for and which has excited most controversy glory, for wealth, and for distinction, to and examination, is that which was perweep and die unknown, and unlament- formed by the ministration of an angel. ed. "Well has it been said by Gray- To a short consideration, therefore, of

a few passages relating to this subject, “Ambition this shall tempt to rise, “ Then whirl the wretch from high,

I would now call the attention of the “ To bitter scorn a sacrifice,

reader. “ And grinning infamy:'

Every one who has read the Holy These were common reflections, and Scriptures, must have observed, that in such as are every day excited in the the Old Testament, and especially in mind. But yet I could not refrain from the Pentateuch, the word angel seems

often to be taken in unusual indulging in them.

accepta I continued my walk in a sort of sul- tion, and to imply something more than len silence induced by my feelings at

the minister or messenger of God. In the time. Arrived at my place of des

numerous instances, instead of standing tination, I soon transacted my business it appropriates the attributes, and

even

for a mere substitute or representative, and, again urging my way through the crowd of passengers, sought my own

the name of Jehovah. That sacred solitary chamber. Here I was left to appellation, which the Jews in after myself to indulge in such thoughts on

ages considered as too. awful to be utterhuman misery, and the changes in hu- ed, is applied fully and unreservedly to man fortune, as well became the state

HÍM who is elsewhere called “ Angel of my feelings at the time. Happy, said of the Lord”—“Redeeming Angel” 1, is the Christian, who, “amidst all “ Angel of the Presence," or " Mesthe changes and chances of this mortal senger of the Covenant.” By this aulife,” 'rests contented with his lot. gust character, ushered in with these Knowing that time and chance hap- magnificent titles, the commands of peneth alike unto all,” he placeth not

God were made known, bis supremacy his hopes on earthly objects. He looks asserted, and his power exemplified. forward to a city which hath founda

This mode of appearance differs from tions, whose builder and maker is God.” the rest, inasmuch as in these instances

I. K.

a visible agent stands before the patri. archs, dispensing rewards and punish.

ments, and receiving homage and devoFor the Christian Journal.

tion. A heavenly visitant appears to

them in human form, but exercising Remarks on the word ANGEL, as it

power divine. The holy patriarchs occurs in some passages of the Pen- bend in reverence-fall down before tateuch.

him-invoke, and supplicate him. The revelations of the will of God, All this is sufficiently evident from under the Old Testament dispensation, the sacred narrative. In the 16th chapwere made in various ways. At one ter of Genesis, where the ill treatment time, natural agents were employed to and flight of Hagar are detailed, the evince his presence, and declare his “ angel of the Lord” is represented as power; he was recognized in the roll- finding her by a fountain of water in ing thunder—the flashing lightning- the wilderness. Speaking, as it would the receding waters, and the overwhelm- seem, immediately from himself, he ad

vertises her of the fate of her posterity, Ode on a distant prospect of Eton Celleze. and at the same time assures her of his

favour and protection. “I will multi In chapter 32d, the "angel” who ply thy seed exceedingly, that it shall wrestled with Jacob, convinced the panot be numbered for multitude." Mo- triarch, by a touch, that he prevailed ses himself, also, designates the angel only through the sufferance of the Alby the title Jehovah; for he says, “ She mighty : “ As a prince hast thou power called the name of the LORD that with God and with men, and hast prespake unto her, Thou, God, seest me.” vailed.” Or, more properly, “ Thou < Wherefore (he continues) the well hast had power with God—with man was called Beer-Lahai-roi, i. e. the well thou shalt also prevail.” And Jacob of the Living One that looked upon 6 called the name of the place Peniel; me.”

for (says he) I have seen God face to In the beginning of the 18th chapter, face, and my life is preserved.” it is said, “ The LORD appeared unto In chapter 48th, verses 15 and 16, Abraham in the plains of Mamre.” Jacob pronounces a remarkable bene And the historian goes on to relate, that diction on Joseph's sons: 6 And he he appeared under the semblance of an blessed Joseph, and said, God, before 6 angel,” accompanied by two of the whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac heavenly host.* The LORD acquaints did walk, the God which fed me all my Abraham with the terrible visitation life long unto this day; the angel which was hanging over Sodom and which redeemed me from all evil, bless Gomorrla, because of the greatness of the lad!" To whom can this refer sọ their cry, and the enormity of their naturally as to him who had blessed wickedness. The patriarch humbly en and strengthened him at Peniel --who treats God to spare them in his mercy, had directed the footsteps, and been and appeals to him as “the Judge of the refuge and support of his fathers in all the earth," who would by no means time of trouble and distress? That the “slay the righteous with the wicked," patriarch would invoke a created being but render impartial justice to all. He on this, or any other occasion, seems expresses himself with the deepest re- unlikely. His views were evidently verence, humility, and awe, in the au- fixed on the Lord his Redeemer ; his gust presence of Jehovah; “ Behold, hopes were founded on the Rock of now, I have taken upon me to speak his salvation.” unto the Lord, who am but dust and In the 23d chapter of Exod. 21st and ashes!" Every thing evinces the im- 22d verses, it is written, “ Behold, I mediate presence of God, and totally send an angel' before thee to keep excludes the supposition of an inferior thee in the way, and to bring thee into being.

the place which I have prepared. BeIn the 22d chapter, which contains ware of him, and obey his voice, prothe account of the patriarch's singular voke him not, for he will not pardon trial, and extraordinary faith, the me- your transgressions; for my name is in lancholy catastrophe of an only son cut him.These words were pronounced off in the morning of life by the hand by God himself, and contain a clear deof an aged and affectionate parent, is finition of a highly exalted and fearful suddenly prevented by a voice from Being; of a Being in whom reside the heaven* The angel of the Lord" name, the majesty, and attributes of called unto him out of heaven, and Jehovah. The mighty acts of pardon said, Abraham! Abraham! And he and grace are committed to him-his said, Here am I. And he said, Lay favour must be propitiated by obedinot thine hand upon the lad, neither do ence—'tis terrible to incur his venthou any thing unto him; for now I geance, for “the name of Jehovah is know that thou fearest God, seeing in him.” thou hast net withheld thy son, thine In these, and other examples which only son-from me.

might be adduced, it is evident that the

“ angel" alluded to is something more * Gen. xviii. 2. There called “three men;" than a created being. Qualities are but in Heb. xiii. 2, where a reference to this

ascribed to him infinitely above every place seems intended, they are termed anre!s.

thing human, and incompatible with

« PreviousContinue »