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mercy, extended even to the chief points. They often use the beneof sinners. And the believing soulficial or destructive changes, both will invariably find that this view in the natural and political world, of the plan of salvation will have a as types and images of the prospemore sanctifying influence, will rous and calamitous events which more incline it to hate and avoid they predict; the chastisements all sin, and inspire it with a strong which they threaten; the rewards er desire and a firmer purpose to which they promise; the spiritual obey all the commands of God, than provisions of grace, and the decan be derived from all legal ter- plorable consequences of sin which rors, or from any other source. they unfold. They describe the Here then, precious youth, is the glory, the benefits, and the progospel plan of salvation, and the gress of the kingdom which the gospel mystery of sanctification. Messiah was to establish, in lanHere is the use of the moral law of guage and phraseology borrowed God, and the method in which every from the existing condition of the believer, while he loves and ho- 'nation; from their religious services nours and endeavours in all things and customs; from their temporal to obey the law, as he always must, desires, and from the views and will still see that he can neither anticipations of their kings and have peace of conscience, nor any dignitaries.” And how could they confidence toward God, but as he do otherwise, situated as they were, pleads and trusts the finished, the and writing for such purposes? perfect righteousness, of the Lord Their prophecies, to be intelligible, Jesus Christ-In this way then, re- and to produce effect, must be nouncing every other, seek salva- adapted to the manners, modes of tion-and seek it till in Christ you thinking, and intelligence of the find it, to your present satisfaction times in which they lived. With and your eternal well being. Amen. the illuminations of heaven beam

ing on their minds, every thing around them appeared in its proper

light. The splendour of royalty ON A DOUBLE SENSE IN THE SCRIP- would not captivate their fancies;

the bias of publick sentiment would

not mislead their judgments; nor Essay II.

would the witchery of popular ad(Concluded from page 491.) miration, nor the dread of popular If we proceed to examine the displeasure, divert them for a mobooks of the prophets, we shall ment from the straight-forward path find still more decided indications of rectitude and duty. Most of them of spiritual significancy, where the lived and acted, taught and wrote, in literal meaning seems to terminate disastrous times. When idolatry merely in temporal or present ob- and immoralities of every name jects. The prophets," says the were generally prevalent among all distinguished . Mosheim,*

s fre- classes of the people—when poquently employ the names of per- the kingdom, and wasting its ener:

litical convulsions were rending sons, nations, countries, and towns, as well of their own as of former gies, and arming brother against times, in a figurative manner, to brother-when the judgments of indicate persons, communities, and the offended God of Israel were nations, which are either typified falling heavily upon them, and by them, or similar in various making terrible desolations-the

prophet would ascend his watch• Preface to Büsching's German trans- tower at the bidding of Jehovah, lation of Vitringa on Isaiah.

and survey the affecting scene,

TURES.

spread like a map before him, and awakened by those promises, and characterized by all the accurate sustained by contemplating and delineations and shadings of truth. comparing them together; and this With the heart of a pious patriot, faith, by intense meditation on the guarding jealously his country's promises, and an inflexible regard honour, or sinking with despon- to the Rewarder of those who seek dency in view of its degradation, him, would stimulate to vigorous or swelling with indignation against exertions to penetrate the manifold the idolatry and infatuation of its veil of sensuous imagery which rulers, or watching with still deep- surrounded them. And now a higher interest the fortunes of the ark er light begins to beam upon the of God and the institutions of re- soul: faith gives place to the spirit ligion, every view would awaken of prophecy. With his mind firmly emotion, and rouse his intellectual fixed on Jehovah, and elevated with powers to the highest efforts of ge- the grand ideas inspired by a clear nius-to that noble enthusiasm and circumstantial review of those which, in orators and poets of divine leadings, he saw-or was other schools, is admired as the shown; he heard—or was told, what acme of perfection, and deemed should come to pass in future times. an unquestionable title to all the And now, it is rather Jehovah than rewards of genius. Sometimes we the man, who speaks; and yet, in find them revolving the history of reality, the man also expresses his former times, and the providential own thoughts and emotions: all he leadings and characteristick events, says is accommodated to the prewhich had marked the early sepas sent condition of the nation, and ration and progress of their patri. accords with the series and systearchal ancestry, and drawing from matick train of ancient dispensathese sources impressive lessons of tions; yet his thoughts and emoinstruction for their contempora- tions are now so entirely in harmony ries. Here all the promises of fu- with the divine plan, as it is to be ture prosperity made to the patri- developed in future ages, and the archs would rise to view, in affect- terms and phraseology suggested ing contrast with the present aspect are so perfectly appropriate to the of affairs, all verging to ruin. Hence design, that the speaker himself encouragement and hope would na- must be astonished, and must returally be lighted up in their bo- cognise God's(thoughts in his mind, soms, that, though an appalling and God's word in his mouth. The storm was lowering, or a dark night Lord sustains his spirit in this ele. gathering fast upon them, yet ano- vation, and prevents its relapsing ther morning would follow, when to its natural tone. Image after the light of a brighter and a longer image crowds upon his mind; not day would shine upon their country. in confusion, but all in accordance “ It is difficult,” says a distinguish- with the divine plan, and all tended Swiss theologian,* "to saying to the illustration of the prinwhere, amid such hopes, the elevation of native genius terminated, • It is so obvious as hardly to require and gave place to a higher illumina- remark, that these efforts of human intion. Methinks they were often

tellect and faith, preparatory to the high

er communications of prophetick inspira. lost in each other. Aspirations

tion, can only apply to a part of the reafter higher perfection, (that divine velations made by the prophets ; for in principle in man) would become many instances it is evident, that the hope-would become faith, when voice or the visions of God came uner. cipal object before his mind, pre- of prophetick inspiration and its senting it to his view in the most productions, it will be readily persensible light, and thus rendering ceived what a broad foundation is it, without the least diminution of laid for a double sense—a spiritual its truth, a picture-a spirited ode or prophetick signification, conceal-a prophecy. Transported through ed from the view of the cursory obmany revolutions, (for which the server, beneath an apparently exoccasion or bint is always taken clusive attention to present objects from the existing circumstances of and passing events. And does not the nation,) far into future times, the actual appearance of the prothe mind of the prophet, from its phecies, to a very considerable exelevated point of observation, sees tent, verify the representation ? both the present and the future in How large a portion of the prophettheir sensibly true and just connec- ick books is occupied with the chation; and by this means every racters, and circumstances, and thing which he says under the influ- conduct, and immediate prospects ence of this inspiration possesses of the Jews, or the Israelites, or an internal appropriateness, which their neighbours? If, then, we find distinguishes prophecy, as wide as no meaning here, beyond the simthe heavens, from the dreams of the ple expression of the letter, the imagination. In fact, however high great body of these divine commuhis spirit may soar, however far nications must be antiquated, and into futurity it may penetrate, still nearly obsolete; and the measure a most appropriate reference to the of their importance is frittered existing condition of affairs per- down, to the mere amount of their vades all his ideas: the prophet historical notices and occasional ilstill maintains the character of a lustrations of the principles of true Israelite, who boldly declares God's moral government. We may to the king, to the priesthood, to admire the poetry, and the patriotthe nation, and to their enemies, ism, and the wisdom of these inprecisely what is best adapted to spired teachers—we may gather instruct, to admonish, or to shame from them some lessons of moral them. All his representations are and political wisdom, but they will rational in the highest degree; and prove, with a few exceptions, of even where he takes his loftiest little more importance for the nouflight, he never loses sight of the rishment of faith, or any other puractual condition of affairs among pose of Christian edification, than his people. Properly speaking, in- the rhapsodies of Homer, or the deed, it is the present, almost al- dialogues of Plato: for, comparaways, which occupies the spirit and tively, few and brief are the inthe heart of the prophet; but even stances, and, if we mistake not, in the present he sees the future. almost exclusively confined to IsaiHe announces what Jehovah thinks ah, in which the prophet becomes of the present; but since the so intensely interested in spiritual thoughts of Jehovah on the religious objects—in the future glories of the and moral condition of the nation Messiah's kingdom-as to lose sight embrace, at the same time, views of present objects, and passing of the future, inasmuch as he al- events, and unfold openly and liteways contemplates the present in rally the riches of the coining connection with the future; conse- grace; and even in these instances, quently, these thoughts are genu- his diction, his imagery, his modes ine prophecies: and the prophet of thinking and illustrating, are so thinks and speaks of passing events profoundly Israelitish, as to keep in prophetick tone and manner.” up a continual reference to the pre

pectedly upon them, without the least

regard, so far as we are informed, to any • 1. I. Hess, Von Dem Reiche Gottes. previous preparation on the part of the Vol. i. p. 369.

prophet.

If there is any truth in this view sent, and form a strong bond of connection in the mind of the pons for assailing the Bible and its reader, between the theocracy, un- advocates.* Oracular indications der which the prophet lived, and of the future have prevailed more the glorious dispensation which he or less in most heathen nations, but predicted. “Non valde multis locis, especially among the Greeks and (to use the emphatick language of Romans, who were accustomed to the distinguished Ernesti, *) prophe- consult their oracles on every octias de Christo credimus esse xata casion of interest or importance, putov et xupiws propositas: Enimvero publick or private, making it a proex altera parte fatendum et defen- minent part of their religious creed. dendum est, prophetias mysticas Here a Jupiter and there an Apollo esse permultas; nec ullo modo con- reared their magnificent temples, cesserim, eas esse illis, præsertim and demanded the costly sacrifices apud Christianum leviores.” While, and splendid gifts of the noble and therefore, the few, which apply ex- wealthy, who could purchase, at pressly to Christ and the interests any price, the knowledge of the of his kingdom, and the provisions futuret-here an oracular cave, and of his grace, stand forth more there a gloomy shrine,f offered to brightly to the Christian's view, the poor and the unfortunate the and apply more directly to his edi. fortunes of their coming days, on fication, the many, which Ernesti easier terms. Multiplied and vacalls mystical, though perhaps re- ried as the ever varying fancies of quiring deeper study and a larger men, were the means employed to measure of spiritual illumination, lift the veil, which bides futurity are richly fraught, like a well fur- from mortal eyes. The dreams of nished storehouse, with various the night, the entrails of the victim provisions of grace, in a form well slain at the altar, the movements adapted to invigorate and improve and the songs of birds, and the apthe spiritual mind, and edify the pearances of the heavens, were seChristian church, in all the stages of dulously investigated for their well its progressive history. For this or ill fated omens. “ 'The manner purpose they were cast into their of delivering oracles varied in difpresent form by the Spirit, and re- ferent places and at different times: corded by the hand of inspiration in some places they were revealed —for this preserved and transmit- by interpreters, as at Delphi; and ted to the present times by provi- in others the gods themselves were dential kindness; constituting a supposed to answer viva voce, by rich treasure, well worth all the dreams, or by lots.”'Not unfrelabour and attention requisite to elicit and appropriate them.

A single specimen may be given from It may not be irrelevant here to Voltaire's Remarks on Pascal's Thoughts, remark, that this view of prophecy in his own words, " Celui, qui donne exhibits the broad line of distinc. deux sens a ses paroles, veut tromper les tion, between the prophetick double hommes, et cette duplicité est toujours

punie par les lois. Comment donc pouvessense, and the ambiguity of pagan vous sans rougir admettre en Dieu ce oracles. The failure, on the part qu'on punit et ce qu'on deteste dans les of Christian writers, to draw this hommes.—Que, dis-je, avec quel mepris line distinctly, has given occasion et avec quel indignation ne traitez-vous to the enemies of revealed truth to pas les oracles des payens, parce qu'ils

avoient deux sens."—Mosheim's Preface confound them together, and out to Bisching's Vitringa. of the combination to forge wea- † Homeri Hymnus in Apoll. 287 & seq.

For a curious description of one of * Narrat. Crit. de Interp. Proph. Messi- these shrines, see E. D. Clarke's Travels. anarum, &c. in Opusc. Theol. quoted in Vol. iv. p. 168.-N. Y. Ed. Doederlein's Institutio Theol, Chris, vol. $ Robinson's Archæologia Græca, B. iii. ii. sec. 228.

ch. 7.

THE

OHRISTIAN ADVOCATE.

JANUARY, 1827.

Religious communications.

finite wisdom, power and goodness THE CHRISTIAN ADVOCATE’s “FORGET - That he should select for you the ME NOT."

whole course of life, guide and This is the season in which it is guard you through it, and assure to usual for friends to present to each you its termination in an eternity other a memorial, or token of re- of bliss ? Now, this will actually membrance, for which the single be done it will be found, not an French term Souvenir, is used by illusive picture of the imagination, some, and by others the English but a substantial and blessed reaphrase, Forget me not. Let the lity, if you remember your Creator Christian Advocate then, present in the days of your youth; if you to his friendly readers a Forget consecrate to your Maker and ReME NOT-mindful himself, and re- deemer the morning of life. His minding them, that an Advocate is own unfailing declarations are one who speaks, not for himself, but “They that seek me early shall find for him whose cause he pleads, and me-Wisdom's ways are ways of whose claims he urges.

pleasantness, and all her paths are Forget me not, is the injunction peace-Godliness is profitable unto of the Father of mercies, addressed all things, having promise of the emphatically to the young. “Re- life that now is, and of that which member now thy Creator in the is to come.All things work togedays of thy youth, while the evil ther for good to them that love God days come not, nor the years draw -All things are yours-whether nigh, when thou shalt say I have no life or death, or things present or pleasure in them.” Reflect, be. things to come; all are yours, and loved youth, and you will be con- ye are Christ's, and Christ is vinced, that this command of the God's.” Can the madness of that Most High is as reasonable and be folly be described, which would nevolent, as it is authoritative and sacrifice what is here promised obligatory: Can any thing be more -promised in words of eterrational, than that the opening fa- nal truth--for vanities fleeting as culties of the mind should be con- the meteor, and empty as the wind. secrated, in all their vigour and Nothing that is worthy of your freshness, to the love and service of rational and immortal nature is proHim who bestowed them all? In hibited by him, who demands your all the bright visions of futurity hearts and your obedience. His which your imaginations delight" yoke is easy and his burden is to create, can fancy itself pourtray light.” Forget him not-Every any thing so desirable, as an allot- sentiment of gratitude unites with ment to be chosen by a Being of in- every consideration of interest, to Vol. V.--Ch. Adv.

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