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should sparkle like gems in the breast. plate of the Jewish high-priest, and be worn as frontlets between his eyes! Brought thus to see what is required of us as candidates for the heavenly world, our least delinquencies stand out as in bold relief, and compel the cry— “Unclean, unclean are wel" “Wort thou strict to mark iniquities, O Lord! who could stand 2" And, alas! alas ! by what slow degrees does the human heart progress in the knowledge of Divine things! How few are its attainments! how faint its aspirations after the Source of all good The grovelling things of this passing world weigh down its pinions: it struggles and struggles, but seldom does it soar beyond the things of time and sense. These, like the mountains of the material world, shut from its vision the far-off land of spiritual delights. In the growth of grace, so many storms assail the plant, so many blights its opening buds, it is long, very long, ere the delicate flower expands; and when it does, it is often very imperfectly. The ungenial elements by which it is surrounded tend to destroy its vital juices; and but for the fructify. ing beams of the Sun of Righteousness, and the refreshing breezes of the Holy
Spirit, which counteract their influences,
it would never come to maturity. “This sweet exotic of celestial birth Can flourish only in celestial air." Yet let us not be discouraged by these difficulties of the way; let the disclosures of self-inspection urge us forward, in the strength of the Lord, to be more vigilant over our spiritual foes, and more circumspect in our outward deportment, so that, “growing in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” our faith may become more vigorous, our hope more strong; and thus we may go on from one degree of holiness to another, until we shall have “grown up into Christ in all things." In the spiritual as in the material world, everything is progress
ive. The morning sunbeams do but
partially illumine the castellated tower, whose ivyed turrets are reflected in the clear stream that runs at its base; but as the great luminary climbs higher and higher, more and more picturesque beauties are revealed ; and when at length he has gained the zenith in the blue heavens, no part of the building is left in shadow: its fair form and elegant proportions stand out in unshrouded loveliness. If, then, in the works of creation, we see everything but gradually advance towards perseetion, shall we wonder that Christian holiness, with so many impediments to oppose, so many jarring interests to discourage, should so slowly develop itself; or that we sometimes halt, and become dissatisfied by the difficulties which impede our progress to maturity? But let us not, on this account, stop short of the goal! Let us hold on our way; still reach after these glorious attainments, still strive to enter in at the straight gate, with unwearying"ardour, encouraged by the promises— “To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life which is in the midst of the paradise of God.” “In due time ye shall reap, if ye faint not." After such reflections, we would ask ourselves and others, what ought to be the practical effects on the mind? And, first, we would say, that, since we discover so much evil in ourselves, we should be careful to exercise a spirit of charity towards others. Charity is the connecting link which unites man to man, and earth to heaven ' If this grace bo in us, and abound, it shall “make us to be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ;" whilst, without this in our hearts, the bonds of society would be uprooted, and earth relapse into a second chaos'
“This is the grace that lives and reigns
In proportion to the strength of this grace, will be evinced that concern for our neighbour which is binding on all the followers of Christ. Benevolence is one of its most fruitful branches; and only in proportion to the exercise of charity or love, can man be said to be a transcript of his Maker. What has characterised our conduct in the past year? Secondly. In order to avoid those lamentable deficiencies more general among us, as well as our grievous shortcomings in all the requirements of God's holy law, let our self-inspection during the year that has now dawned be more frequent—so shall our sense of delinquency be more keen; and with an habitual watchfulness, and prayerfulness, and Divine assistance, we shall find, on looking back, that we are advancing in the Christian course. Thirdly. Let us take to ourselves “the whole armour of God,” and in this panoply go forth conquering and to conquer, until every spiritual foe is disarmed, and the shout of victory is heard in our spiritual tabernacle—“I thank God through Jesus Christ my Lord!" But it has been said, “Self-knowledge is the most difficult of all knowledge." True; but “knowledge of our faults is the first step to improvement.” We shall do well to bear this in mind, and nothing is so likely to produce both as self-inspection. The motives which originate, mingle with, and colour our best actions, are so insidious, so imperfect, that it were vain to attempt to analyse them; their number and variety would occupy a volume, if, indeed, to do so were possible; their true merits are known only to the Searcher of hearts:
but, we repeat, where the essential elements of Christianity exist, there will be found that charity, or love, which we have been holding up as the grand regulating spring of all our thoughts, feelings, and actions. The spirit of pure benevolence, which teaches to “forgive our enemies;" to minister to the wants of others; which “thinketh no evil;". which feels indignation at hearing the unfortunate maligned; which has a heart to feel for, and a hand to rescue, the oppressed and the stranger; that checks the tongue of slander, and heals the breaches between friends: such a spirit will ever, more or less, distinguish the Christian character. And while this shall be the case, there will be no connivance at sin; he will but throw over the failings of his fellow-creatures that mantle of charity which the Scriptures commend, and which he needs to cover his own delinquencies. In conclusion, let us ask ourselves, as well as our readers, if, in this partial anatomy of the heart, this probing of spiritual wounds, there have been detected no incongruities, no palpable errors, no absence of good, no presence of evil? The writer pleads guilty; and but for the blood of Christ—that “fountain opened for sin and for uncleanness"—would despair of salvation We cannot, then, do better, with the opening moments of a new year, than resolve, by Divine assistance, to continue the habit of self-examination, and for the future to live more nearly and more entirely to Him who hath given
himself for us. S. S. S.
liy MN or THE TWELFTH CENTURY.
Welcome, bright morning, All the earth adorning! Gentiles and Jews shall own thy sway. Kings have confess'd thee, Prophets have bless'd thee, But never lived to see the day.
To us is given, Like a glimpse of heaven, Light of that glory promised long. Oh, may it brighten, Till it shall lighten All earth with radiance full and strong I
O God most holy! Fain would we, though lowly, Send up our mingled praise to Thee; Thine is the giving, Ours the receiving— Thine shall the endless glory be l— From the Christian Treasury.
33rbittu of Religious publications.
1. An Argument for SHANG-TE, as the proper rendering of the words Elohim and THEos, in the Chinese Language; with Strictures on the Essay of Iłishop Boone in fivour of the term SiiiN, sc. joc. By the Rev. JAMEs LEGGE, D.D., of the London Missionary Society.
2. Letters on the rendering of the name God, in the Chinese Language. By the Rev. JAMEs LEGGE, D.D.
These are remarkable pamphlets, not because they have been published in China, and have so speedily found their way to England, but because they are distinguished by high scholarship, and extraordinary ability, and are devoted to the discussion of a subject intimately connected with the highest interests of more than Three Hundred Millions of the human family. Dr. Legge's classical and other attainments were known and acknowledged before he entered the great missionfield, where he is evidently intended, by the Head of the Church, to occupy a prominent and commanding position ; and now his profound and critical acquaintance with the language of China must be admitted by all who will bestow an examination on the pamphlets before us, and are competent to give an opinion on the subject. When, therefore, such a man speaks, he is entitled to be heard; and doubtless he will be heard, not only by the mission-brotherhood in China, but by Christians in all lands, who are alive to the importance of presenting a faithful and truthtelling version of the Scriptures, in a language forming the medium of communication with more than a third of the population of our globe.
In order, then, to cxcite an interest among Christians in England, and, perhaps, to call forth their remonstrances, we shall endeavour to present a brief and rapid outline of the question discussed by Dr. Legge. That question is—What is the best and most appropriate term by which the Hebrew and Greek desigrations of God may be rendered into Chinese? and to its discussion Dr. Legge has brought learning and logical skill, combined with a candour that evinces solicitude for nothing but truth.
It appears that there exists among Protestant missionaries in China, a diversity of opinion as to the fittest word or symbol for conveying to the Chinese mind accurate conceptions of what is intended by the terms Dorios and eeds, when employed by inspired writers. But, with one exception, these opinions do not come into direct antagonism, nor do they involve pernicious errors. Were this exceptional opinion, which is advocated by Bishop Boone, extinguished, the others would doubtless harmonise and blend into one. Whilst, then, Dr. Legge glances at the other opinions, it is for the express purpose of exposing the dangerous tendency of that of Bishop Boone, that he has entered on the discussion. The opinion of Bishop Boone is, that Shin is the fit and appropriate term for rendering Erios and ecos into the Chinese language. But, from the very learned and masterly investigation of Dr. Legge, it appears that this term is at once inappropriate and pernicious, as a translation of the Hebrew and Greek designations of God. It is unsuited alike on grammatical, philological, and theological grounds. It stultifies the whole question of the Divine existence, reduces Jehovah to the level of inserior beings, and sanctions the worst forms of polytheism. It is, as Dr. Legge shows, by a large induction of examples, a generic word signifying “spirit;" and on that ground alone is utterly unsuited as a designation for an absolute and independent being. A generic term, such as spirit, man, stone, horse, &c., designates a class, or an individual of a class, and consequently precludes all idea of absoluteness or independence. On this ground alone, then, it must be obvious to the plainest, common-sense, English mind, that to employ the term, or symbol, Shin, as a designation of the Great I AM, who cannot share his glory or his attributes with another, is tantamount to the extinction of his existence, as far as the Chinese mind is concerned. If a class or generic name is given to God, he is brought down from the absoluteness of his being—is stripped of the incommunicable distinctiveness of his character—is associated, on common grounds, with a crowd of existences, comes one of them, and consequently is no longer the great I AM, who claims universal supremacy, unapproachable grandeur, and a mysterious oneness that admits of no resemblance, saying, I am God, and there is none else.
But this is not all. Shin is not merely a generic term ; it is the designation of a class of inferior beings, who are regarded as altogether subordinate to the great Shang-Te, and with whom the departed spirits of men may be associated in dignity and employment. The Shin class of beings seems, indeed, to hold, in the creed of the Chinese, a place corresponding to that of the inferior agencies, or subordinate deities, with which the mythology of Greece and Rome peopled the mountain, the grove, the glen, the stream, the field, the city, and the homes of men. This is shown by Dr. Legge, in a manner so simple and convincingly distinct, by references to the popular and classical literature of the Chinese, that it may be seen and appreciated by the common English reader. If, then, Shiu is a term in the Chinese language uniformly significant of an inferior class of beings—if it is never on any occasion employed to convey or embody a conception of the Great Supreme— if, in no instance, it is found to be the word or designation for a god, surely it must be obvious to every mind capable of the simplest process of reasoning, and unwarped by prejudice, that, to adopt it as the symbol or name of Jehovah is to be guilty of dishonouring the great I AM, and of deepening and confirming the idolatrous debasement of the empire of China. It were better, indeed, we conceive, that no attempt should be made to render the Scriptures into the language of China, if this very objectionable term is to be
employed as the translation of to and
€eós. Already, and independently of foreign instruction, as Dr. Legge has demonstrated by their classical literature, and the opinions of some of their most distinguished scholars, the Chinese have some conceptions of a Supreme Being, with whom all things have originated, and by whom all things are controlled. If, then, Christianity is to be presented to them as originating with an inferior being, or a class of inferior beings—which will inevitably be the case should Shin be adopted as the fit
rendering of Erios and eeds—the conse
quence will be, that it cannot sail to be rejected as inferior to the doctrines of their own philosophers; or, if received, can only tend to confirm their idolatrous practices, and deepen their moral debasement. Let, therefore, all who are jealous for the glory of the great I AM, and seek the redemption of the millions of China by the instrumentality of the gospel, as that which has been appointed by God, enter their firm and united protest
against every attempt to countenance the adoption of the term Shin, as the rendering
of Doi and ecos, in the translation of the Scriptures into the language of that mighty empire. Unhappily this term was adopted by Morrison and Marshman in their translations, and doubtless thereby the character of Jehovah has been dishonoured, and the progress of the gospel not a little impeded among the Chinese. But now that we have discovered the “more excellent way"—that the most accomplished Chinese scholars have been conducted, by patient and laborious research, to the conclusion that Shin is altogether unfit for the purpose intended—let the Christians of England distinctly avow that they cannot be parties to its countenance or adoption. If men, under the influence of prejudice or inca. pacity, will cleave to this very obnoxious term, let them be given to understand that, to whatever section of the church they belong, they must stand on their own responsibility, and must incur the penalty of their error. But whilst Dr. Legge exposes the erroneousness and pernicious tendency of Shin, as a
rendering of Corios and eeds, he does not deem his task accomplished by doing this. His great object, indeed, is to present the right term or phrase by which the Hebrew and Greek designation of God may be translated into Chinese. And this, every candid reader of his pamphlets must admit, he has done, in a manner that reflects the highest credit on his learning, judgment, and piety. He enters into a learned and masterly examination of the words criol, ecos, and God, in order to ascertain their exact meaning, and to determine the class, or category, to which they must belong, according to the principles of grammatical arrangement. By this investigation he is conducted to the conclusion that power, dominion, supremacy, are the ideas that etymologically belong to the words; and that, instead of being regarded as proper names, or generic nouns, they must be classed in the category of relative terms. These important points being determined, Dr. Legge adduces, and contends for, the term which he deems the fitting symbol for representing the Divine name in Chinese. That term or phrase is Shang-Te, which, by a process of the most lucid and convincing reasoning, conducted in a spirit of manliness and candour, and based on a profound and extensive acquaintance with Chinese literature, he shows to be the only exact and appropriate rendering of Eno and eeds. He shows that Shang-Te is not a proper name, or a generic word, but, like God, a relative term ; that it embodies ideas of power and dominion; and that it has been translated, Supremus Dominus, Supremus Moderator, Summus Imperator, Souverain Seigneur, Supreme Ruler, Ruler on high. By a large and varied induction of examples from the literature of China, he makes it appear incontestably evident, that the word God is the only fit and appropriate translation of Shang-Te, and, consequently, that the translator of the Scriptures into the Chinese language has simply to adopt that term or phrase as the rendering of to and
€eós. And further, he adduces abundant evidence to show that Jews, who have been resident in China for about two thousand years—that Mohammedans—that the most distinguished Romish missionaries—that the most eminent European scholars, not connected with missionary operations—that one of the greatest among the emperors, and some of the literati holding high offices in connexion with the government—have all recogmised and acknowledged Shang-Te as the most appropriate term for designating the Supreme God. In reference to this expression, as the fit rendering of the Hebrew and Greek names of God, Dr. Legge observes:—" They are terms of the same grammatical class, and have the same meaning. Whatever was conveyed concerning the Supreme Being to the Jews by means of El, Etoah, and Elohim, and whatever was conveyed to the readers of the Greek language by means of Theos, may be conveyed to the Chinese by means of Shang-Te.” Having been conducted, then, by long and laborious research, to the opinion that ShangTe, and not Shin, is the term to be employed by translators, for rendering the Divine name into Chinese, Dr. Legge is justified in saying, “Separate its constituent characters, and we shall translate them, “Supreme Ruler;' but they carry home, through the eye and through the ear, one complex idea to the mind, the same with that in the Greek word, which has already been referred to, Pantocrator, the same with that in ‘The Supreme, the same with that in “God.'" Of no other term can this, with any plausibility or semblance of truth, be affirmed. Were Bishop Boone to venture such an affirmation respecting Shin, he would only stultify himself, and incur the rebuke of every Chinese scholar. But when the word furnishes no ground for such an affirmation, it can possess no appropriateness as a symbol of the Divine name; and hence it is altogether beyond our comprehension how any one can cling to Shin, as a transla
Ruler, and reduces him to the low level of the turba deorum, with which the fancy of the people has thronged every region, and to which it has assigned subordinate duties. So destructive, indeed, is the employment of this term of all truth, and so subversive is it of the great design of Christian missions, that Dr. Legge may justly observe, in a spirit of earnestness and solemnity, “The reasonings against the employment of Shin must be met by the advocates of the term, before they continue to use it, and by the directors of Bible Societies, before they dispense the funds entrusted to them, to print it." But will it be credited by the Christians of England, who are anxious to spread the verities of Inspiration, untainted and unobscured, among the millions of China—will it be believed by the constituency of the Bible Society, that its Committee has recently voted a sum of money for the printing of a version of the Chinese Scriptures, embodying not
only Shin, as the rendering of Coos and €eós, but Ling, a term signifying simply an energy, an attribute, an abstraction, as the designation of the Holy Spirit If that great Society had been organised and sustained for the purpose of arresting the progress of Christianity among the inhabitants of China, and perpetuating their idolatrous debasement, it could not more effectually accomplish its dreadful mission, than by dispensing its funds for printing what ignores the supremacy of Jehovah, and virtually denies the personality of the Holy Spirit. The time is not long gone by, when the spirit of English Christianity, and the love of pure Bible-circulation arose, and indignantly protested against Apocryphal adulterations. But the insertion of the Apocrypha was only a small cloud, thrown over the broad disk of the great orb of Inspiration ; whereas the version embodying Shin and Ling, to be sent forth by the Bible Society's funds, among the myriads of the Chinese empire, involves, as far as they are concerned, a deep and midnight eclipse. Surely the Christianity of England will not permit this deep dishonour to be done to its Lord, nor remain silently indifferent whilst a poisoned chalice is put to the lips of the thirsting millions of China. Let the Committee of the Bible Society be reminded, that they have betrayed their trust; let them be compelled to rescind their fatal resolution, and recal their misapplied funds. This may seem strong language; but it is not stronger than is demanded by the glory of our Divine Master, and the everlasting weal of countless multitudes of our fellow-men. We have learned since writing the preceding sentences, that, as the Committee at Shanghae, appointed to issue a revised translation of the Scriptures, have deemed it their duty to decline the grant of the Bible So