« PreviousContinue »
6 No man
any thing derived. Indeed, that Al- he is designated by his name, and mighty power and wisdom
the acts of clothed with his attributes. He meets, pardon, grace, and protection-could therefore, with the same consideration be predicated of any other than God, and respect which are due to the Being it would be absurd to affirm. From whose character he sustains. But these considerations, many have been this, I answer, is by no means uniformly led to conclude, that in the Old dispen- the case. The two àngels who came sation, as well as in the New, the to Lot in Sodom, said plainly, “ the agency of an Almighty Saviour is dis- Lord hath sent us." The angel, also, coverable. Dr. Clarke, in his com that appeared to Zacharias in the temmentary, observes, that“ in all transac- ple, said, " I am Gabriel, that stand tions between God and man mentioned in the presence of God; and am sent in the sacred writings, we see one uni- to speak unto thee.”! Besides, Hagar form agency.
great Mediator in seems to have addressed the “angel" all, and through all; God ever coming in the way of worship; and Jacob, also, to man by him, and man having access at Peniel, as the prophet Hosea atto God through him."'* Whether this tests—" He took his brother by the opinion, expressed in so unlimited a heel in the womb, and by his strength manner, is altogether correct, is not he had power with God; yea, he had now the subject of inquiry. But if the power over the “ angel," and prevailpassages already adduced have been ed; he wept and made supplication rightly interpreted, there can be little unto him: he found him in Bethel, and doubt of the sustaining and invigorating there he spake with us; even the Lord agency of the Saviour under the old God of hosts; the Lord is his memodispensation. Christ is “Alpha and rial."s In the 5th chapter of Joshua, Omega, the beginning, and the end, we read, that “when Joshua was by the first and the last."
Jericho, he lifted up his eyes, and look(saith our Lord himself) hath seen God ed, and behold, there stood a man over at any time; the only begotten Son against him with his sword drawn in which is in the bosom of the Father, his hand, and Joshua went unto him, he hath declared him."
and said unto him, Art thou for us, or This opinion, however, has been for our adversaries ? And he said, strenuously opposed by many learned Nay; but as Captain of the host of the and ingenious critics, who deny the ne Lord am I now come. And Joshua cessity of resorting to any such exposi- fell on his face to the earth, and did tion of the phrases adduced. That worship, and said unto him, What saith God should divest himself of his hea- my Lord unto his servant ? venly glory, and appear in mortal Now, it is alleged, that in these inshape--that he should hold familiar stanees divine worship was paid, not intercourse and communion with his to the “ angel” himself, but to that Be. creatures--reveal to them his counsels, ing whose Representative he was. It and forewarn them of his judgments, matters not (says Le Clerc) whether would appear to these men too great a God addresses his people immediately degradation of the Divine nature-too from himself, or by a heavenly messenhumiliating a condescension to obtain ger, since, in either case, their homage belief. But the candid inquirer needs is naturally directed to him who is the only to examine their arguments in or Creator and Governor of the universe. der to perceive their futility. The an- --But on this principle it will be diffigel (say they) sustains the part of God, cult to explain, why, on the one hand, as an actor in a play that of the cha- Joshua's worship was accepted; and, racter he personates. Acting as the on the other, St. John's rejected, as remessenger and substitute of Jehovah, corded in the Revelations And I
John saw these things and heard them. * On Gen. xvi. the same opinion has been held by many learned Christians, from the times of the fathers to the present period. See Simp.
* See Le Clerc on Gen. xvi. 13. son's " Plea for the Deity of Jesus." Part ii.
Luke i. 19.
Gen. xix. 1S.
And when I had heard and seen, I fell Lord,) before Abraham was, I am.* down to worship before the feet of the The apostle speaks of him as “the angel which shewed me these things. same yesterday, and to-day, and for Then saith he unto me, See thou do it ever.”+ He is represented as the door not; for I am thy fellow servant, and of communication between the Father of thy brethren the prophets, and of and his creatures/-as the giver of gifts them which keep the sayings of this unto men--as the judge of the uniBook. Worship God."* Indeed, this verse. "No man hath seen God at passage alone is fully sufficient to over any time; the only begotten Son, who throw the adversary's argument. For is in the bosom of the Father, he hath though the angel evidently acts as the declared him." ambassador of Jesus, assumes his cha It is evident, therefore, that the anracter, and speaks in his name, yet he gel” referred to was no created being, immediately and wholly rejects the in, but-Jehovah himself. It was he of tended homage of the apostle, and di- whom “all the prophets, and the law rects it to that glorious Being to whom prophesied until Jolin.” It was he of alone it is due.
whom the prophet Malachi spoke Further. In the manifestations of « Behold I will send my messenger, and himself which he has vouchsafed to he shall
before me; the world, the Almighty has ever and the Lord whom ye seek shall sudveiled in mystery the nature of his ex- denly come to his temple, even the istence. When Moses, urged by the "Messenger of the Covenant" whom ye desire of knowing God by his real delight in.”l! It was he who was emname, and perhaps influenced, in some phatically styled by the LXX. Ayyeros measure by curiosity, asks by what Meyahns Bovans, the Angel of the Great title he should proclaim him to the Counsel, or design—the Redemption, Israelites, he receives for answer,“ I Am. and Salvation of man. It was he to hath sent you. The Lord God of your whom the prophet alluded, when speakfathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, ing of the loving-kindness and mercy and of Jacob, hath sent you: this is my of God towards Israel In all their game for ever, and this is my memorial afflictions, he was afflicted, and the Anunto all generations.”+--The same pe- gel of his Presence' saved them.” culiarity is observable in these appear
X, When Jacob asked the “ Angel” who wrestled with him at Peniel, “Tell me, I pray thee, thy name:" he The following has been forwarded for publica said, “ Wherefore is it that thou dost
tion in the Christian Journal by a distant
correspondent. ask after my name?"* i. e. My actions sufficiently declare who I am. When Questions to be maturely weighed by a the “ angel of the Lord" appeared unto
young man concerning the clerical Manoah and his wife, to apprise them
profession. of the birth of Samson, and of the edu 1st. Is there any office in which we cation it behoved him to receive, Ma can render more lasting and substannoah said unto him, “ What is thy tial service to our fellow men, or more name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour ?" The
* John viï. 58. + Heb. xii. 8. angel of the Lord said unto him,“ Why
# John xiv. 6.
John v. 22. askest thou thus after my name, seeing || Mal. iji, 1.
9 Isa. laïï. 9.
* Eusebius says, it is secret."'S
the First-begotten and
Pre-existent Wisdom of God, and the same The language of the New Testament, Word that was in the beginning with God, out though containing nothing direct on of luis superabundant loving-kindness unto man, this point, yet furnishes sufficient gene- appeared sometimes by visions of angels to the ral confirmation of the doctrine. “Veri- habitants on earth, and sometimes by himself
as the saving power of God, unto some of the ly, verily, I say unto you, (says our ancients that were beloved of God, in no other
form or figure than that of man; for otherwise
it could not have been."-Eccl. Hist. L. i.C. ü. Rev. xxij. 8, 9. + Exod. iii. 14, 15. And Dr. Lowth, on Isa.. vi. 1, asserts, that this Gen. xxxii. 29. Judges will. 17, 18, was the unanimous sense of the ancient church.
advance the glory of God? Should heritance of eternal glory---does not not the good of society and the glory of this fact constitute a call
, and the most God influence us in the choice of a pro- powerful call a call
from Jesus Christ, fession?
upon young men of pious dispositions Is there any office, however splendid and ordinary talents, to engage in the or lucrative, of greater real dignity than work of the ministry? that of God's embassador ?
Will not this call continue to be thus Is there any office which affords more providentially addressed to such perand higher prospects of true happiness sons, so long as there remain any flocks in this world?
without a shepherd, or in danger of beIs there any office which affords as ing in that state ? many incitements to piety, as miany 3d. Is it not very often the case, helps and facilities in the work of salva- that the greatest good is rendered to the tion, or a more comfortable prospect of cause of religion, and the souls of men, future glory and reward?
by persons certainly not possessed of Does it require the relinquishment of singular abilities? any habit of indulgence necessary to Do not the promises of Jesus Christ the highest earthly enjoyment?
“I am with you always even to the Are not multitudes in the world, pos- end of the world”—“ my grace is suffisessed of ability to serve God in the cient for you"-furnish every good work of the ministry, prevented by the man with just grounds of confidence in love of ease, or of pleasure, or of profit, this respect ? or of distinction?
Is it not as much, and even in a While it is admitted that much may greater degree, our duty to rely upon be done in every condition of life, for the sufficiency of grace for the work of the spiritual benefit of men, and the the ministry, than in the work of indiglory of God, by zeal, ability, and vidual salvation? piety, can as much be done in any other Do not the solemn and unequivocal for these ends as in the ministry?
promises made to persevering prayer, 2d. Is not every man, when he is through the intercession of Christ, exsent into the world, endowed with ra tend to prayers offered up for ability to tional and bodily powers of ordinary glorify God by advancing the salvation excellence-is he not called and com of souls? manded, not only to work out his own 4th. Have you not ordinary talents ? salvation, but to assist others to the ut Have you not pious dispositions ? most extent of his ability ?
Do you not love Christ?
not love the souls of men ? terminated, have we a right to expect a
Is not his Almighty grace promised supernatural designation to the sacred to you? office-or any thing more than circum
Is not his Almighty grace sufficient stances and dispositions providentially for you? favourable, or not providentially unfa Has not his providence afforded you vourable ?
the means, or the prospect and assurAre we not bound to use our own en ance of means to enable you for the deavours to renove obstacles, and sup
work? port inconveniences in this cause, as
Would not the efforts used for your well as in any other?
worldly establishment in some other Does not the fact that there are manner, succeed in accomplishing this? many whole congregations going astray Are not souls now perishing, which, from the way of life, rendering no wor- by the blessing of God, you could be inship to their Maker, ignorant of their strumental in saving ? danger, their wants, their privileges, Will
hear Christ call in vain ? and their Saviour, and in the broad Shall they perish ? road to destruction, who might, by the : Before you deliberately weigh these blessing of God, through the exertions considerations, invoke on your knees of a pious minister, be rescued from the guidance and overruling power of vice and misery, and be led to the in- the Holy Spirit.
From the Christian Remembrancer, for leave it an easy task for his excellent successor January, 1823.
to accomplish. Death of the Bishop of Calcutta.
During his residence in London, he connect.
ed himself closely with the Society for ProMost melancholy is the duty which we have moting Christian Knowledge, he entered warnto discharge, in announcing the death of this ly into all their designs, and gave much of his apostolic prelatè. Early in the last month the valuable time and attention to their objects. In fatal tidings were received, and the impression the year 1813, he was appointed to deliver a which they have made upon every pious and public charge to the Rev. M. Jacobi, one of the thinking mind, is such as never will be effaced missionaries of that society to the East. The In Bishop Middleton, the Church of England impressive manner in which he discharged this bas lost an able and affectionate son, and the duty will never be forgotten by those who were Church of India a founder and a father. But fortunate enough to be present; the charge while we bow in submission to the afflicting was afterwards printed, and much admired, as hand of God, we have yet the consolation the first-fruits of those thoughts and powers granted us to gather round his tomb, to dwell which had already been directed to the great upon his holy memory, and to record his la theatre of action upon which he was so soon borious and Christian life:
destined himself to appear. What imparts an His father was a clergyman of the Church of additional interest to the memory of this transEngland, the incumbent of Keddleston, near action is, that both he who gave, and he who Derby ; under whose roof he imbibed those received the exhortation, are now both gone to principles of early piety, , which were after. their reward. The young and amiable Jacobi wards so singularly conspicuous in his whole soon sell a viction to the climate, and too soon character and conduct. He received his educa after him has his venerable pastor entered into tion at Christ's Hospital; and, in consequence his rést. of his exemplary behaviour and his classical at Nor did he neglect the duties of his archdea. tainments, he obtained a scholarship from the conry; his charge to the clergy under his juris. trustees of that seminary, and was entered at diction will long be admired for the just and Pembroke College, Cambridge. He proceeded able views which it presents of subjects the to his Batchelor's degree in 1792, and to his most important to his clerical brethren. These Master's in 1795. On entering holy orders, he preferments he held for scarcely two years ; undertook the laborions curacy of Gainsbo for in 1914 he was selected as the fittest man rough. Here it was that he formed a matri do fill the newly established See of Calcutta. monial connexion with one of the daughters of · Earnestly dissuaded, as he was, from accepting John Maddison, esq. a connexion which he re this high but perilous dignity, he paused, and peatedly declared to havebeen the greatest blesse after some consideration sent in a decided re. ing of his life. By his eminent scholarship, fusul. Upon a repetition of the offer, his mind and devoted attention to his pastoral charge, he was much agitated; it appeared to him that attracted the attention of the Bishop of Lin. Providence had called him to the arduous sta. coln, and of his brother, Dr. Pretyman. The tion: he dreaded the responsibility which would sons of the latter were intrusted to his care, attend its rejection, and under these imprese and with them he went to Norwich. In this sions, he was content to sacrifice his comforts, city he resided several years, and was held in his connexions, and his country. He went ous, high estimation, both as a preacher and a man. not knowing whither he went--not knowing, During his residence here he completed his ce whether from the regions to which he was lebrated work upon the doetrine of the Greek hastening, he should ever be permitted to reArticle; a work which will ever be considered turn. Often did the friends, whom he best as a text-book in that department of Greek li- loved, urge him to consider the dangers which terature. He was afterwards presented by the awaited him, and to relinquish so hazardous a Bishop of Lincoln to the livings of Tansor and post; but he resisted all their solicitations, and of Bytham, in Northamptonshire ; on the for resolutely closed his eyes upon every prospect, mer of which he constantly resided. In this but that which his duty to heaven appeared to state of comparative seclusion his mind was not upföld. In the May of 1814, he was conseinactive, though he often panted for a wider crate: Bishop of Calcutta; in the following field of Christian exertion. Little did he then month he embarked at Portsmouth on board think that he would hereafter exchange the the Warren Hastings, and in November he ardall river which crept before his door for the rived at his high destination. miglity Ganges, and that in this little village he In this short outline of his life and character, was laying in those stores of theological learn- it would be impossible for us to enter into any ing and experience, which were afterwards to detailed account of his active and unwearied be displayed with so much kistre in the king course. It will be sufficient for us at present doms of the East. From this retirement he
that of his exertions in the sacred cause, was suddenly called in 1812, when he was the British public can form no adequate notion. presented, by his former patron, to the vicar. The fatigue both of body and mind which he age of St. Pancras, and to the archdeaconry of underwent, and the difficulties by which he was Fluntingilon. From this monient he entered harrassed, are more than our imaginations at into public life. His labours in the vast and im. home can readily conceive. The time will portant parish in which he was placed were shortly come, as we have reason to hope, when unce::sing; into every design which might pro the public will be put in possession of a full and mote the growth of religion and piety, he en. accurate account both of his labours and of his tered with an ardent and indefatigable activity. designs. It is an account to the appearance of Though disappointed in his immediate efforts which we shall all look with intense anxiety and to build an additional chureh for his numerous interest. The history of his episcopal acts and and increasing parishioners, he was yet en ministry, the journal of his long and laborious abled so to prepare and digest the plan, as to visitations, the researches which he made into Vol. VII.
the history of the ancient churches in the East, prelate. His mind was naturally ardent and the development of his comprehensive views excursive, but it was always under the contre in the propagation of the gospel, will, together, of the most disciplined and calculating discreform a volume, the publication of which will tion. He had a masculine and a practical unconstitute an æra in ecelesiastical literature. derstanding; he rapidly conceived the most We are happy to hear that he has left behind extensive plans, and would digest with facility him such numerous papers and such ample even their most circumstantial details : but he documents, that nothing will be wanting to ef never anticipated their season, or hurried their fect this important purpose.
execution; he waited with patience, till in the Among the objects to which his attention course of passing events a favourable opportuwas particularly directed, we inust notice his nity should arise, and when at last it presented desire to ipcrease the number and efficiency of itself, he marked it with decision, and he the chaplains in India, and to provide churches seized it with effect. So singular indeed was for the accommodation of the European resi- his judgment, that amidst the various difficuldepts. He recurred to each of these points in ties with which he was daily and hourly doomed his several charges; and but a short time before to contend, he never made a step which he was his death, he congratulated his brethren upon afterwards obliged to recall. the partial success which had attended his ef His talents and attainments were of a supeforts and representations. It was his wish, rior order; he was a sound and accurate schoHowever, that more should be accomplished; lar; and, in the prose department of Greek and he considered the spiritual interests of the literature, he was perhaps without a rival. British population as standing in want of still His conversation was vigorous, sometimes even further attention and support.
playful; his style was luminous and forcible, not The foundation of a mission college by the abounding in imagery, but rising perpetually Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in into a manly and a chastened eloquence. As Foreign Parts, was undertaken at his express a preacher he was powerful and convincing, recommendation, and he watched with the his mind was theological, and his expressions Hveliest interest over its rising prospects. The scriptural. measures adopted by Bishop Middleton, for in The leading points, however, ia his characsuring its completion, will enable others to wit- ter, which threw a clearness and a brilliancy ness the establishment of Protestant Episcopal over every other, were the singleness of his Missions in the East, upon a firm and adequate views, and the simplicity of his heart. In the basis. When Bishop's College shall have been course of his Indian career he had but one obu brought into effective operation, the world will ject--the advancement of the cause of Christhen be enabled duly to appreciate the merit oftianity in the East-to that he dedicated his its founder.
days and his nights, his hopes and his fears, his His death may be attributed to his zealous ex. nioney and his influence. Labour's so disinertions in support of this great andertaking. terested, and services so pure, were not reOn Tuesday, the 2 of June, 1822, he paid a jected—the blessing of the Almighty was upon visit to the college, which is distant about five them and the work of the gospel prospered miles from Caleutta. Here he appeared in the in his hand. The prejudices with which at his full possession of his usual health and spirits. outset he was overpowered on every side, were Soon after he fest one of those strokes of the rapidly giving way; and during his short resisun which are so common in an Indian climate. dence among them, more was done by his A severe head-ache came on; but, though he single instrumentality to prepare the way for was persuaded to take some strong medicines, the conversion of the heathen, than during the he would not suffer any physician to be called whole previous period of the British dominion in. He seenied from the first to labour under in the East. the irritation which arose from the weight of His notions of duty were strict and severe. business pressing upon him, and, on that very He was incapable of casaistry or of excuse; he account, he was the more anxious to work night knew no middle line between right and wrong, and day to accomplish what he had in hand. truth and falsehood, exertion and neglect. With Accordingly, the best day, he sat at his desk an income far below the necessary expenses of eight hours, answering various papers; during his station, he stinted only his own comforts and which time the disease was making rapid in- himself. To the call of liberality or of charity roarls upon his frame. At night he allowed a he was always open, even to his own distress; physician to be sent for, who pronounced him insomuch, that after eight years residence in to be in the most imminent danger. On Sun. India, his savings will be found to amount to day, by his own express desire, he was prayed nothing. for by his congregation, at the cathedral. On The admiration of his personal character in the evening of Monday, the physician left him the East was universal; and this admiration under the impression that he was decidedly was the more valuable, as it was purchased by better. He had not, however, been long gone, no sacrifice either of duty or of principle. when the bishop was again seized with a violent Never in the slightest degree would he conparoxysm of fever; he walked about in great descend to court popularity: he conducted himagitation; soon afterwards, his strength gave self with a conscious and a commanding dignity, , way, the final scene eame rapidly on-and at and never would he resign any right or privieleven he ceased to breathe.
lege which was attached to his station, although Thus fell this great and good prelate, in the he might have converted the resignation into a high career of his holy exertions; and by his source of private favour or personal interest. death he has left a void in the Christian world, It was his aim to lay the foundation of the Inwhich few men can be found worthy to fill. dian Church deep in the rock, and to cement
In no man was there a more singular union them with so much anxiety and caution, as to of all those various qualities, which were each make the future erection of a superstructure a so essential to the success of the first Indian rapid and an easy task. He was, indeed, 2