« EelmineJätka »
TAKEN FROM THE
TO ILLUSTRATE THE CRITICISMS OY
if standing at the bar of God. I SOME SPECIMENS
SACRED WRITERS every duty I perform, with so many errors and sins in professors, that by these things my LONGINUS ON THE SUBLIME. heart is heavily pressed, and í could dwell long on these pain- INSTANCES of the pathetic are ful subjects. But as to myself, found in the words of our Saviour I am more or less daily a burden to the poor Jews, who were im'to myself. I find my heart to be posed upon, and deluded into my chief, if not my only enemy. fatal errors by the Scribes and If the devil accuse me, I seldom Pharisees, who had long been accuse him; and it often disgusts guilty of the heaviest oppression me to hear professors charge on the minds of the people. their sins on that evil spirit. When Matt. xi. 28–30, « Come unto I was young in religion, I wanted me, all ye that labour and are joy and assurance; but what I heavy laden, and I will give you now mostly desire is, the morti- rest. Take my yoke upon you, fication of all corruption, the and learn of me, for I am meek spirit of Christ in my heart, and and lowly in beart, and ye shall a universal conformity to the will find rest to your souls. For my and image of God. My con- yoke is easy, and my burden is sciousness of great deficiency in light!” these things fills me with shame So again in Matt. xxiii. 37, after and sorrow; nor shall I be per- taking notice of the cruelties, infectly casy and happy till I am humanities, and murders, which perfectly holy. O! how sweet, the Jewish nation had been how beautiful, is true holiness! guilty of towards those who had This is no part of our justifying exhorted them to repentance, or righteousness, but it is a great would have recalled them from part of our salvation. I desire to their blindness and superstition, love the truths, and to embrace to the practice of real religion the promises of the gospel, not and virtue, be on a sudden only as calculated to enlighten breaks off with my understanding, and to rejoice “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou my heart, but also to transform that killest the prophets, and me into the divine image, and to stonest them wbich are sent unto fill my soul with a boly admira- thee, how often would I have tion of the infinite Jehovah. I gathered thy children together, want to lose sight of self in the even a hen gathereth her refulgence of his glory, and to chickens under her wings, and ye shrink into nothing, that God would not!" may be all in all. I long, I long, There is a continued strain of at least in some of my happier this sort of pathetic in St. Paul's moments, to serve, to praise, to farewell speech to the Ephesian glorify my dear Redeemer, as my elders, in Acts xx. What an chief business, my chief delight, effect it had upon the audience is and as the chief part of my hea- plain from verses 36-38;
O when shall I praise him scarcely possible to read it serias angels do!"
ously without tears.
The Deity is described, in a
Then they cry
thousand passages of scripture, the miserably distressed. It in greater majesty, pomp, and ends in that fervency of devotion, perfection than that in which which such grand occurrences Homer arrays his gods. The are fitted to raise in the minds of books of Psalms and of Job the thoughtful. abound in such divine descrip- “ He commandeth and raiseth tions. That particularly in Ps. the stormy wind, which lifteth xviii. 7–10, is inimitably grand: up the waves thereof. They
“ Then the earth shook, and mount up to heaven, they go trembled, the foundations also of down again to the depths; their the hills moved, and were shaken, soul is melted away because of because he was wrath. There trouble. They reel to and fro went up a smoke out of his nos- like a drunken man, and are at trils, and fire out of his mouth their wits-end. devoured: coals were kindled at unto the Lord in their trouble, it. He bowed the heavens also and he bringeth them out of their and came down, and darkness distresses. He maketh the storm was under his feet. And he rode a calm, so that the waves thereof upon a cherub, and did fly, and are still.
Then are they glad, came flying upon the wings of because they be quiet; so he the wind.”
bringeth them to their desired So again, Psalm lxxvii. 16-19: haven. Oh that men would
“The waters saw thee, O God, praise the Lord for his goodness, the waters saw thee, and were and for his wonderful works to the afraid; the_depths also were children of men.” troubled. The clouds poured No author amplifies in so noble out water, the air thundered, and a manner as St. Paul. He rises thine arrows went abroad. The gradually from earth to heaven, voice of thy thunder was heard from mortal man to God himself. round about; the lightnings “ For all things are yours, wheshone upon the ground, the earth ther Paul, or Apollos, or Céphas, was moved and shook withal. or the world, or life, or death, or Thy way is in the sea, and thy things present, or things to come; paths in the great waters, and all are yours; and ye are Christ's, thy footsteps are not known." and Christ is God's.” 1 Cor. iii. See, also, Psalms xlvi. Ixviii. lxxvi. 21, 22 : see, also, Rom. viii. 29, xcvi. civ. cxiv. cxxxix, cxlviii.; 30, and 38, 39. as also chap. iii. of Habakkuk, A sublimer image can and the description of the Son of where be found than in the song God in the book of Revelations, of Deborah, after Sisera's defeat, chap. xix. 11-17.
(Judges, v. 28,) where the vainThere is a description of a glorious boasts of Sisera's mother, tempest in Psalm cvii. which when expecting his return, and, runs in a very high vein of sub- as she was confident, his victolimity, and has more spirit in it rious return, are described : than the applauded descriptions « The mother of Sisera looked in the authors of antiquity ; be- out at a window, and cried cause, when the storm is in all through the lattice, Why is his its rage, and the danger become chariot so long in coming ? why extreme, almighty power is intro- tarry the wheels of his chariot? duced to calm at once the roaring Her wise ladies answered her, main, and give. preservation to yea; she returned answer to her:
gelf, Have they not sped? have The eloquence of St. Paul, in they not divided the prey; to most of his speeches and arguevery man a damsel or two; to mentations, bears a very great Sisera a prey of divers colours, a resemblance to that of Demost, prey
of divers colours of needle- henes, Some important point work on both sides, meet for the being always uppermost in bix necks of them that take the view, he often leaves his subject, spoil ?”
and flies from it with brave irre, Question and interrogation en- gularity, and as upexpectedly liven and strengthen a discourse. again returns to his subject, How artfully does St. Paul (Acts, when one would imagine that he xxvi.) transfer his discourse from had entirely lost sight of it. For Festus to Agrippa. ' In verse 26, instance, in his defence before he speaks of bim in the third king Agrippa, when, in order to person. “ The king (says he) wipe off the aspersions thrown knoweth of these things, before upon him by the Jews, that he whom I also speak freely:" then was a turbulent and seditious in the following be turns short person, he sets out with clearing upon him—“ King Agrippa, be his character, proving the inte lievest thou the prophets?" and grity of his morals, and his inof immediately answers his own fensive, unblamable behaviour, question, " I know that thou be
as one who hoped to attain that lievest." The smoothest elo- happiness of another life, for quence, the most insinuating com which the twelve tribes served plaisance, could never have made God continually in the temple; such impression on Agrippa as on a sudden be drops the contithis unexpected and pathetic ad. nuation of his defence, and cries dress.
out-"Why should it be thought To which may be added the a thing incredible with you, that whole 37th chapter of Job; God should raise the dead ?" It where we behold the almighty might be reasonably expected, Creator expostulating with his that this would be the end of creature, in terms which express his argument; but by Aying to at once the majesty and perfec-it, in so quick and unexpected a tion of the one, the meanness and transition, be catches bis aufrailty of the other. There we dience before they are aware, see, how vastly useful the figure and strikes dumb his enemies, of interrogation is, in giving us a though they will not be con lofty idea of the Deity, whilst vinced. And this point being every question awes us into si once carried, he comes about lence, and inspires a sense of our again as unexpectedly, by, “I own insufficiency.
verily thought,” &c, and goes on There are innumerable instances with his defence, till it brings of the assemblage of figures in him again to the same point, of the poetical parts of scripture, the resurrection, in ver. 23. particularly in the song of Debo- Transition.—This figure is very rah, and the lamentation of Da- artfully used by St, Paul, in his vid over Saul and Jonathan. epistle to the Romans. His drift There is scarce one thought in is to shew, that the Jews were not them that is not figured, nor one the people of God, exclusive of figure which is not beautiful. the Gentiles, and had no more Judges, v. 2 Sam. 1.
reason than they to form such
high pretensions, since they had | hood. It is not upreasonable to been equally guilty of violating cherish a fear that some may hav. the moral law of God, which was come, bither merely to gratify antecedent to the Mosaic, and of their curiosity; yet I cannot but eternal obligation. Yet, not to hope, that many are come also exasperate the Jews at setting out, with a humble desire to worship and so render them averse to all God, to do good to others, or to the arguments he might after get good to their own souls. wards produce, he begins with Whatever may have brought us the Gentiles, and gives a black together, we are now here, where catalogue of all their vices, which God can, and where, I hope, he (in reality were, as well as) ap- will bless and do us good. We peared excessively heinous in the are now called to witness a body eyes of the Jews, till, in the be- of Christians assuming and acting ginning of the second chapter, he according to their own impreunexpectedly turns upon them scriptible rights. They have with; “ Therefore thou art inexcu- thought, and are now about to sable, 0 man, whosoever thou art act for themselves, in a matter of that judgest:" ver. 1. and again great importance, but purely of ver. 3. « And thinkest thou this, a religious nature, and in which 0
man, that judgest them that do no man on earth has a right to in-, such things, and dost the same, terfere. They are accountable that thou shall escape the judg- to God alone for the transactions ment of God,” &c. &c. If the. of this day, In all matters of whole be read with attention, the conscience, matters not affecting apostle's art will be found surpris- the civil rights of others, we are ing, bis eloquence will appear directed to call no man MASTER, grand, his strokes cutting, the at for ONé is our MASTER, even tacks he makes on the Jews suc- CHRIST.' His kingdom is not cessive, and rising in their of this world; has nothing to do strength.-Dr. Smith's Notes, in with state matters, which are his Translation of Longinus.
wisely left to human regulations, guided by local circumstances,
and national convenience. The NATURE
government of the Redeemer em. braces the hearts and consciences,
He governs what mor. GOSPEL CHURCH.
tals cannot touch. His enemies
he sinks 'to hell; his friends, his The following Address was saints, his church, he exalts to delivered by the late Rev. heavei. In Zion he reigns with Thomas Littlewood, of Roch- absolute, undivided sway. The dale, August 10, 1809, at the ordinances, the doctrines, the of Ordination of the Rev. J. Mann, ficers of his church, are all under to the pastoral care of the Bap- his direction and controul. He tist Church, in Steep-lane, near appoints no delegates to legislate Sowerby.
in matters of faith and practice,
nor any one to act on earth as his : "Looking around on the con- UNIVERSAL VICAR; he is him-, grégation before me, I' see some self 'HEAD over all things to his from distant parts, and many church ;' to him only can legal from the surrounding neighbour homage be paid. The spiritual
reign of Immanuel is of the føde- / first churches were all brethren, ral kind, the whole legislative not one of whom could claim any and executive power is with him ; superiority above the rest. Some but for the better regulation of of these brethren, however, poshis church, he divides the one sessed superior degrees of talent, church into many distinct com- of learning, or of grace, and to partments, which in scripture this superiority some deference language are called • Churches of was justly paid : and by long conJesus Christ:' as the church at tinuance these men were very na. Jerusalem, at Rome, at Corinth, turally looked up to. While this at Ephesus. But these are only deference had respect to nothing so many members of the great but superior talents and virtue, it body of Christ. These churches, was justifiable; but by-and-bye however, were not national, or it was paid to the successors of provincial, or parochial; but those eminent men, who claimed strictly congregational. They no- a treatment similar to their pre. where included the whole popu decessors, though they had no lation of a district, but were com- pretensions to it on the score of posed of faithful men and women, excellence. Others, because they professing to believe the doc lived in cities, claimed for them. trines, and to obey the precepts selves a pre-eminence above their of Christ; and who also agreed brethren in the country, and thus, to carry on the worship of God by presumption on the one hand, in one place. Those churches and servility on the other, spirihad not, nor ought they now to tual domination obtained, and bave, any pre-eminency over one prevailed, by little and little, till another. The scriptures give no, the MAN OF SIN seated himself intimation of metropolitan, colle in the chair of infallibility, and giate, or mother churches; but exalted himself above all that is represent them as placed on a called God, or is worshipped.perfect equality. These distinc- Avoid, brethren, this unhallowed tions are the inventions of times spirit, covet no dominion over more modern than the New Tes- your brethren, interfere not with tament. The apostolic office was your neighbours. The officers of of the extraordinary kind ; and the New Testament churches because the necessity of it ceased, were, by the suffrages of their rethose who first filled it had no spective members, chosen from successors appointed. The or- their own body; and the voice of dinary offices of those churches the church was, in this case, ac. were bishops, presbyters, or pas counted the voice of God. Paul, tors, names applicable to the and Barnabas were separated to same office, and descriptive of its the work of the ministry by the various qualifications and duties : church at Antioch, and after this and deacons. These officers were pattern we are now expecting lo appointed for the regulation of see you choose from among yourthe spiritual and temporal con. selves a pastor, who may go in cerns of the churches to which and out before you in the name they belonged: beyond these of the Lord : and when you have limits they had no authority, and chosen him, you will, I trust, could, therefore, exercise no legal stand by him and assist him, by. power out of their respective your presence, your counsels, and, churches. The pastors of the your prayers, to discharge faith