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also all that appertained to them perished ; and yet in Numbers xxvi. 11, the sons of Korah are excepted. How can these two passages be reconciled ?
A. E. S.
The expression, “ all that appertained to them," applies to all who joined in the rebellion, with their personal effects, &c.; and we have no reason to believe that the sons of Korah were of this faction, especially as they are excepted in the latter text, which is in itself a sufficient explanation of the former.
The Ethiopian and the Leopard. DEAR SIR,—Will you oblige me with the meaning of Jeremiah xiii. 23.
Yours respectfully, S. C.
The prophet is speaking of the inveterate stubbornness of the human heart, and its inability, when hardened by a long course of sin, to turn to God. The figures he employs are so simple and intelligible as to have passed into a proverb. No phrase is more common among ourselves to express an impossibility, than the truism, “You cannot make white, black; or black, white.”
The Judgment. Sir,– Will you inform me whether you think the righteous at the judgment day will be called strictly to account for his sins, and whether every sin will be made known? Yours, &c. &c.
TITTY GO FRIEDY.
God shall bring every work into judgment with every
secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil. Eccl. xii. 14.
Capital Punishments. SIR,-In your April number, a question is asked relative to Genesis ix. 6.
Your reply to that particular text is perfectly in accordance with my own opinion, but I must confess I do not know what to infer from your allusion to the Jewish law. What I wish to know is, whether you consider it binding upon us ?
Yours, very respectfully,
We do not consider the temporal or ceremonial observances of the Jewish law binding upon those who live under the gospel. Our Saviour's own comment, for example, on the law, “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth,” (Exod. xxi. 24,) supersedes that particular command, (see Matt. v. 39.) The meaning of a certain text was all that was asked of us, and we kept close to the question, as we are always compelled to do, in order to save space.
Heathen Law. Dear Sir,- I have had several conversations with persons older than myself concerning those ancient and modern pagans who sincerely follow out what they think to be right, although they know not the true Saviour, relying upon their religion, and doing whatsoever their consciences direct them; and we cannot agree as to whether they will be saved or not. If you would give me your opinion, you would greatly oblige,
S. B. B.
We can add little to the declaration of the apostle, (Rom.
As many as have sinned without law, shall also perish without law; and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law.” It is worthy of serious remark that these heathens are described as perishing without law; not as being saved without it. God's charge against the human race is not that they are ignorant, but wilful—“ To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.” James iv. 17.
Baptism. Sır,— Will you, or one of your correspondents, kindly answer the following question in your “ Enquirer.” Can a true believer be saved should he die unbaptised ? I am, Sir, yours sincerely,
We are quite sure that the penitent thief was saved; and can speak with almost equal certainty of his never having been baptized.
What the apostle says of circumcision among the Jews, applies to baptism among Christians—“ He is not a Jew which
is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart: in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men but of God.” Rom. ii. 28, 29.
No question can possibly be raised as to the salvation of the “ true believer.” It is to him, and not to the formalist who undergoes a mere outward rite, that God has promised it.
Working time. Dear Sir,-Encouraged by your kind attention, and satisfactory answers to your numerous enquirers, I request your opinion upon John xi. 9, 10. I have frequently pondered over those verses, but cannot derive that spiritual instruction I think they are intended to convey:
We think these verses are best illustrated by a parallel passage in John ix. 4; their literal meaning appears sufficiently obvious, and we do not think they were intended to be understood figuratively
THE SCEPTIC'S DEATH-BED. (From 'Winslow's Infidelity,' or the Sceptic's Death-Bed. ;* Let us approach the sceptic's death-bed. His period of probation was drawing to a close, and the curtain that was now falling upon all the dreams of this life, was but revealing another stage of being, where all would be a fearful or a blissful reality. Heaven and hell were before him, and now the most momentous question would be decided, for which he was prepared. His religion was to be brought to the test. His principles were to be placed in the furnace, the day of sifting and of trial had come. May the Holy Spirit of God impress the solemn scene, deeply, lastingly, and savingly upon the reader's mind!
It will prepare him for what is to follow, to be informed that in the early part of his illness, the scepticism of M—W— began to shake. From the awful post of observation which a dying bed affords, the past and the future appeared in different lights to what he had before viewed them. Fiction was exchanged for fact; shadows for substance, and dreams for reality. The principles on which he had thought he could composedly die, began to give way one by one ; and with them fled the hopes they once inspired, and the consolations they once yielded; every lying refuge' failed, and M—W— found himself at sea, tossed on a dark, tempestuous ocean, without a chart, without a compass, without a star; yea, without God, without Christ, and without hope. This was the commencement of the Holy Spirit's work in his soul, which ended, we trust, in his full conversion to Christ.
* This little work is a solemn and startling appeal to infidels, in the form of a death-bed narrative. It is written with great power of argument and eloquence, and will, we trust, prove savingly useful to many. Our extract gives but a very imperfect idea of the whole work, which is issued in so cheap a form that we recommend all our readers to procure it for themselves.
On entering the sick chamber, a picture of moral sublimity presented itself to the eye of the Christian minister, who had been summoned to attend upon the scene, which the pen can but feebly describe. A venerable old black man, who for many years had been a pious, faithful domestic in the family, stood at the bed side grasping his master's hand, and pointing him to the Saviour of sinners. “There, Sir," said the dying man to the minister, "you see a faithful old servant, who has answered the end of his being far better than I have done—he is a Christian, I am a lost sinner. I would rather now be what he is, than what I am, though I possessed the wealth of the Indies. I have been a wretched disciple of Paine ; and what is worse, I have endeavored to make others as bad as myself. Will you pray for me?” With this earnest and affecting request, the minister instantly complied, surrounded by his sorrowing family and friends.
It was a touching and an instructive spectacle. Oh that every boasting infidel into whose hands this narrative may fall, had been present to witness it! There, on that bed of death, lay stretched in mental agony, compared with which the sufferings of the body were as nothing, the philosophic, intellectual, accomplished, and amiable M—W—; now the alarmed, repenting, dying in fidel. Around him knelt, in devout solemnity, the holy man of God, and the sorrowing family, while from the midst rose the earnest petition for pardoning mercy through the atoning blood of Jesus, mingled with the stifled groans and fervent responses of the dying man. It was not the ideal picture, but it was the real fact, of an infidel testing the hollowness of infidelity in the near view of death and judgment.
During the repeated visits of the minister, the repentance of M-Wbecame deeper, and the declarations of the utter renunciation of his infidelity, more decided and heart-touching: “What have I gained,” said he“ by all the deistical works of which I was once so fond ? - nothing but the horror and distress of mind which I now suffer—they are the cause of my misery-Now they seem to me as the poison of the serpent; I despise, I RENOUNCE them all.” On another occasion he remarked, “When I am cold in the dust, tell the people from the pulpit all I have said to you; give them a full history of my case ; tell them I have made full proof of infidelity, and that I have found it, when I came to die, AS A BASKET WITHOUT A BOTTOM. It may do in life, but I know full well that it will not do in death."
Was ever a more true, bitter, heart-melting confession, wrung from the lip of infidelity ? Oh how shadowy must that system have appeared, to have drawn forth such a confession, from such a man, and at such an hour! Listen to it, ye bold, daring, and presumptuous contemners of God and of his truth! See! how the sand glides away: mark ! how the 'refuge of lies' fails; how the hope of the infidel melts away into airy nothing ; how the tempest and the whirlwind drive it away as the chaff of the summer threshing-floor. And is this all your infidelity can do for you ?-is this all?—bolstering you up with its wretched hopes in life, falsifying them in death, and deserting you in the extremity of your woe!
This is all! “Oh comfortless heavens! Oh melancholy earth! Oh gloomy world ! Oh wretched nature ! without the prospect of an entrance into the everlasting kingdom. How fiercely the winds howl! How loudly the waves roar! How cruel the storm!”
Two of his infidel associates calling on him, he was deeply affected, and supposing that they still entertained the sentiments he had just renounced, he addressed them as follows:-"I hope you will not think I am intruding—that you will not be displeased : we once held the same opinions ; I hold them no longer; I renounce that creed,”—and with great emphasis,-“I cannot die an infidel,”—and with increased earnestness, " I implore you to renounce it also.” His
open and unqualified renunciation of scepticism was accompanied by evidences of the most unfeigned godly sorrow for sin. Fear, or the dread of hell, was not the chief ingredient in his bitter cup: it was the wormwood and the gall of heart-felt repentance that he now was drinking. Indeed, he seldom alluded to the penal consequences of sin, but seemed to be wholly engrossed with a keen sense of its intrinsic vile
A very frequent expression of his was, “ All that I can say is, God have mercy upon me, a poor, mean, vile sinner !"" At another time he spoke as follows :-“I am aware that my acquaintances have always considered me a very upright, moral man, a good citizen, and they love me a great deal more than I deserve. But had they known what a heart I possessed, they would have thought very differently. With all my outward morality, I have been at heart a vile sinner.” Smiting on his breast he exclaimed, “Here have been thousands of sins which no eye has seen but the eye of God!"
Never did the gospel appear so truly divine, never so inimitably glorious, and never so unutterably precious, as in the hopes it held out to this