Sivut kuvina

provide for him a version in his this growing light? Can the bishnative tongue, are most awfully ops of this day say that all has pledged to see that that version is been done which ought to have a good one- e-is the very best that been done to take away from the learning and talent and acknow- cause of God and Protestantism ledged piety and diligent collective the saucy reproach of Rome, that, research can make it. Shall the after all, the Holy Scripture is an body of learned Christians rest obscure book? If all had been satisfied from age to age in this done that might have been done, respect, if passages bearing upon would it have been possible, in man's duty and his eternal inter- the 19th century, for any unlettered ests remain obscure, not because layman, who can only read his their Author made them obscure, mother tongue, however well-meanbut because the Church has not ing in purpose, and pious in his used the best secondary means to own submission to the authority illuminate them? Granted un- of Scripture, to have disturbed the equivocally, that our own author- English reader with a parade of ized version is pre-eminently good; 20,000 emendations of the sacred that above 200 years ago all the text? Surely, after making all best ability of the land was brought due allowance for the justifiable to bear on the revision of it; that hesitancy to disturb the hallowed it stands forth in a stereotype, bold permanency of a national version, and sharp and bright, so that, as there is enough on the face of Dr. to all material points of doctrine Conquest's title-page to show, that and practice “ he who runs may

the authorities of the Church might read it;" yet it may be asked, have moved profitably in this matHave the Church autho ities, the ter, if they had deeply felt the paralearned part of the clergy, done mount importance of the Protestant their duty in this matter? Will

principle; and that amidst the any competent scholar say that all cares that pressed down the mitre has been done which might have upon their brow, other things not been done to give the plain and so vitally momentous have appearsimple reader of an English version ed to claim more forcibly, perhaps all the help that he might have in too forcibly, prelatic attention. But searching the written will of God ? surely, there can be few positions taHas this unspeakably important ken more safely than this, that if it subject weighed sufficiently on the is right for the common student of minds of the right reverend bench? Scripture in the vulgar tongue to In the midst of secular parliament- search for himself, it is of the very ary discussion, have they rightly first moment to see that the version felt the burden of this matter, and put into his hands should be as neargiven it the advantage of their late ly as possible a clear, calm, unvaciland early investigations? In the lating reflection of the original. course of two centuries and a half, The duty of the private Christian much valuable criticism and much is a very plain one. It is to deal, prayerful enquiry into the meaning in the first place, (humbly and reof the text of Scripture has occur- verently, of course, as he would red. Has there been no perma- with an act of parliament, or with nent or occasional commission to the charter of the liberties of his watch with holy eagerness over country. The collective substance these researches, and to give the of its meaning must be the grand authorized version the benefit of point with him. And this is to be obtained, not by guessing, nor by God operates by the word to prosudden discovery, nor by the exer- duce new principles, feelings, tencise of a fanciful ingenuity in twist- dencies, and actions; to alter, by ing plain passages, and bringing his own indwelling, the relation in out mystical meanings; but by which the creature stands to God: calm and patient and diligent read- and to make all his moral acting ing and re-reading, comparing pas- thenceforth, not an independent sage with passage, history with creature-agency claiming individual precept, prophecy with fulfilment, merit before God, but an emanatype with antitype, spiritual things tion from the heavenly source with with spiritual, till the whole har- which it has become vitally identimonious system of this volume of fied-an offshoot from the commua thousand years stands out in nicable holiness of God. bright, intelligible prominence be- Now, it is a great matter to have fore him.

arrived seriously at this view of the We have spoken hitherto of the Holy Scripture. It is the exclumode only by which either the sive channel of spiritual quickening learned or unlearned student is to and renovation. Whether men reattain to the simple grammatical ceive it through the secondary meaning of the text of Holy Scrip- agency of books which quote the ture. There is another point to word, or ministers who preach it, which we purpose to advert, which or prayer-books and liturgical seris of deep importance to both. vices that embody it, the work is There is something more to be the same; and it stands alone; the found in the Word of God than Holy Spirit accomplishing the eterthe grammatical meaning of its

nal purpose


grace, dictates the several sentences, or the collective written word, and then flows wisdom of its whole announcement; through it as a channel into the there is divine teaching; there is

human soul to rescue it from the intercourse with God; there is the fall and condemnation, and to make agency of the Holy Spirit through “it a partaker of the divine nature." the written truth, upon the human How infinitely this exalts the mind. This is the grand object Scriptures! In what an exclusiveand purpose of the written record. ly dignified position it places “the The Almighty, by the agency of

Word.” “ The Word of God is his Spirit, has led certain "holy quick and powerful, and sharper men of God,” at different periods than any two-edged sword, piercing of the world, to put forth certain even to the dividing asunder of truths and statements which their soul and spirit, and of the joints minds had previously received. and marrow, and is a discerner of These truths and statements are the thoughts and intent of the not merely to be read, comprehend- heart.” Now it is of the first moed, and thought upon by other ment for the Scriptural student, men; but they are to be the ratio- whether learned or unlearned, whenal channel through which that ther reading in the original lansame divine influence is to come guages or in a modern tongue, to upon their minds also, and to enter be fully and reverentially persuadin and dwell there as a new life, a ed of this fact. Here, in these sarenewing agency.

This is the cred heaven-descended words and great and essential distinction be- thoughts, I must expect to meet tween theoretic and spiritual and God, and to realize the vivifying saving knowledge. The Spirit of influence of his power and grace.


[ocr errors]


I must bow in the spirit of a sub- make the gracious possibility of the missive worship before this Shechi- gift a blessing and not a curse. nah of the divine glory, and expect To the Romanist and the Socinian, life and holiness and peace to ema- the possession of that word, from nate from it into my soul. There which they withhold due reverence, is much in this preparation of the does not preserve them from “beheart. In nature there is an invi- lieving a lie,” or receiving“ strong sible and somewhat mysterious in- delusions;” nay, through their own fluence flowing round the earth, ready and wilful perversion of the called the magnetic. It is found sacred page, it seems to confirm every latitude and every climate

them in their error. So when the of our world. Its influence every- ark of God was captive in the where upon the needle of the com- hands of the Philistines, it was to pass, wherever the mariner sails, them but a source of affliction. proves its universality. This is • The hand of the Lord was heavy well known; but there is another upon them;" and it smote also fact not so generally known—that with equal severity the profane cuall over the globe every piece of riosity of the men of Bethshemesh, iron placed in a particular direction, and the irreverent familiarity of called the magnetic meridian, has Uzzah; while it was a source of a tendency to receive this influence, blessing to the house of Obedand to become magnetic, and to Edom, and all that pertained to develope magnetic qualities; and him. No reverence can be too that any piece of iron placed in a high for the channel of supernatuposition at right angles to that, ral communication. The spirit of which is called the magnetic plane, the 19th Psalm is that which beacquires an incapability to receive comes the scriptural student. We magnetic influence. The influence should regard it as the sun of the is there—is universal. It accumu- moral world, the commanding and lates on the one, it leaves the other unrivalled source of light. The untouched. In the one position, external and internal evidence of every successive vibration increases the inspiration of Scripture is so the magnetic power.

In the other, properly and really sufficient that every vibration diminishes it. no extraordinary display of divine And so it is with the influence

presence or power, no hand-writing of the Holy Spirit through the on the wall, no illumined cross in written word. There is an hum- the sky, should have more direct ble, tractable disposition, which and authoritative control over us places the soul in a right relation than the written word.

If they for receiving and cherishing this believe not Moses and the prophets heavenly guest. There is also a neither will they be persuaded state of mind, even towards the though one rose from the dead.” sacred word itself, a hard, unbro- We should wait before it as subken, self-sufficient, and critical missively as if we saw materially spirit, which neutralizes and rejects in it, what it really is—the cheruit. The unquestionable fact in na- bic manifestation whose flaming ture beautifully illustrates one of sword turns every way, to keep, the greatest mysteries of God's that is, to preserve in covenantmoral and spiritual government; mercy, the tree of life. The pheand calls upon us to take that right nomena of nature may tell much of position towards this only channel the attributes of God, but there is of heavenly influence, which shall here a still small voice which calls on man to wrap himself in the mantle of patient, meditational attention, and to say, “Speak, Lord, for thy servant heareth;” and to wait in humility at the footstool of the throne of grace, for the renewal of that holy and indispensable gift, “ the breath of life.”

They who

do so will find an intercourse opened for them between heaven and earth, and will say at length with joy, “This is none other than the house of God. This is the gate of heaven!”

LATIMER. (To be continued.)


(Continued from page 485.)

If it is so important to distinguish our own country, and still continue between the glorious object of the to be. And who would dare to Bible Society and any infirmity or

wish this blessed work suspended supposed awkwardness in its machi- or curtailed? nery, it is not less so to regard it in Yet, after all, what are all the its twofold character of home and operations of the Bible Society in foreign operation. I am persuaded Britain compared with those athat the Society often suffers from broad? and is it reasonable or a too exclusive view of its home Christian to be so taken up with proceedings. I admit that the pa- what appears to be exceptionable rochial minister has a right to re- in its home proceedings, as to lose gard himself as responsible for the sight of the grandeur and extendue supply of Bibles amongst his siveness of its foreign operations? flock; and I admit that the Society If the clergy will supply the wants for promoting Christian Knowledge around them in their own way, by would not fail to meet every de- all means let them do so. Only mand that may thus be made upon let every one in our beloved counthem; nor should I be otherwise try possess a Bible, and we care than glad to see every parish not from whence it issues. throughout the land supplied But can a clergyman really conthrough this channel; nor would I template the wants of the world at blame the clergyman who resolved large, and for a moment hesitate to to discharge his duty to his parish- avail himself of that sole existing ioners through this medium, and instrumentality by which they can through it alone. Yet still our be supplied! parishes have not got thoroughly Every thought is comparatively supplied with Bibles through the of little moment in the contemplaparochial clergy; nor has the zeal tion of the universal dissemination of the Bible Society in its home of the divine word throughout the operations provoked the members world. And we repeat it again of the Church by way of emulation and again, we are so anxious that to do their duty herein. One it should be duly and calmly ponglance at the Reports of the Bible dered, that there is no other maSociety may suffice to show how chinery in existence for supplying necessary have been its efforts in the world's wants but the Bible So

ciety; so that until there is another ture to deny that Christ is pleased institution in existence with its 160 to own Dissenters for his servants, translations and versions, they who and to bless their work? Can he stand aloof from the Bible Society cast his eye over the world and either on principle refute the neces- survey the great things which they sity and duty of circulating the are doing abroad, and for a moment Scriptures throughout the world, doubt this? Then if Christ is or, professing to acknowledge this manifestly employing Dissenters duty, incur the responsibility of for his work in the world, who are hiding their talent under a napkin, we and what are they, that we and run the risk of being regarded should refuse to go hand in hand as slothful servants. ·To him and heart in heart with them in that knoweth to do good and doeth the furtherance of an object which it not, to him it is sin." Oh, that we all admit to be unexceptionable my dear brethren in the ministry and essential? Oh, that the matwould consider in their excessive ter could only be rightly regarded sensitiveness regarding contact in this point of view. with Dissenters, which leads them But if ever there was a time practically to lose sight of the when the Bible Society presented grand object which it has in view, itself as of the most urgent importthat the Great Head of the Church ance, it is the present. Popery, in does not disdain to promote his de- its various influences, is making a signs by such alliances; nay, in his fearful, though we believe an exmysterious wisdom he has been

piring struggle. But its dark, pleased to accomplish his greatest chilling clouds are overshadowing works by unhallowed and unworthy Christendom, and chiefly Britain; associations of fallible beings. The how important, then, that the very planting of his Church on word of God should shine forth earth was not, even under all the everywhere as the sun in the firmadelicate and difficult circumstances ment; how important to be in of the case, to be effected by an haste to fill the world with Bibles ! entirely faithful and devoted band And if we look at our Missionof fellow-helpers; but amongst the ary settlements, a spectacle pretwelve apostles a traitor was per- sents itself which saddens and dismitted to have his place, even to

turbs our feelings beyond anything the end. I am putting the case in that has hitherto had to be contendan extreme point of view, and ed with. It is not the prejudice must not be understood as placing and the impracticable ignorance of the Dissenters for a moment on a the natives; it is not the difficulty footing with Judas; but I think of the languages; it is not the sathe argument is conclusive; and crifice of health and life; no, all that we have a right to ask, if this and much more has been overChrist saw fit to employ a Judas

The Stronger than the in the establishment of his kingdom strong man armed has manifested on earth, is it for a Churchman himself as mighty to save.

The to stand aloof from the most pro- Spirit has been poured out, and we bable and most unexceptionable have almost seen “nations born in method of extending that kingdom, a day:" but the sight which makes because they who differ from him us weep, is that of the Jesuits and are nevertheless anxious to partici- Popish missionaries going forth to pate in its accomplishment? Will disturb the native churches, and to the most bigoted Churchman ven- uproot, if it were possible, all that


« EdellinenJatka »