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no knowledge of the joy and peace wrath; but to obtain salvation by of a truly religious frame of mind, our Lord Jesus Christ. Who died no prudent care or love of his im- for us, that whether we wake or mortal soul, no real desire to pre- sleep, we should live together with serve an upright and approving him.”—1 Thess. v. 8–10. conscience, and no sacred awe or “ Wherefore we labour, that reverence of the power, goodness, whether present or absent, we may wisdom, holiness, and majesty of be accepted of him. For we must God. The inhabitants of the all appear before the judgment seat humble cottage are earnestly and of Christ, that every one may reaffectionately exhorted to cultivate ceive the things done in his body, piety and submission towards God; according to that he hath done, and, on every proper occasion, to whether it be good or bad.”_ pray to him in secret, with their fa- 2 Cor. v. 9, 10. milies, and with their Christian • When thou liest down, thoy brethren in his house. Happy are shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt those poor, from whose dwellings lie down, and thy sleep shall be the voice of supplication, praise, and sweet.”—Prov. iii. 24. thanksgiving, continually ascends He who pretends that he cannot to the throne of grace. Happy are find time to pray to God for spirithose fathers and mothers, whose tual mercies, to read and meditate hearts are filled with the love upon the Holy Scriptures, to comof their divine Redeemer; who mune with his own heart, to humtake delight in approaching to ble himself before his Maker, or God, and have no greater joy than in any way whatever to consult the to see their children walking in interests of his soul; will find, it is truth. Choose you this day whom probable, that he has time to en
will serve ; but as for me and my dure the afflictions of this life, withhouse, we will serve the Lord. out receiving any comfort from the 3 John, 4.; Josh. xxiv. 15.; Isa. consolations of religion; and will lviii. 2.
also find, unless he repent, whilst
repentance can be accepted, that, EVENING.
even when time shall be no longer, “ I will both lay me down in he has to suffer the punishment peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, justly due to his sins. only makest me to dwell in safety.” The gay and thoughtless, the -Psalm iv. 8.
busy and the worldly, trifle away “ Let my prayer be set forth be- the few days allotted to their exfore thee as incense; and the lift- istence here, and live as if there
hands as the even would be no future and eternal ing sacrifice."-Psalm cxli. 2. state; but the faithful Christian,
“ Be ye kind one to another, however exalted or humble his statender-hearted, forgiving one an- tion, always acts as in God's precther, even as God for Christ's sence, and looks up to him in every sake hath forgiven you."-Eph. part of his conduct; he earnestly iv. 32.
prays that he would so teach him Being made perfect, he be- to consider the shortness and uncame the author of eternal salva- certainty of the present life, and tion unto all them that obey him.” the proportion of it which is al-Heb. v. 9.
ready past, as to direct his con“ Let us, who are of the day, stant attention to the cultivation be sober, putting on the breast- of heavenly wisdom. plate of faith and love, and for a Although our blessed Lord has helmet, the hope of salvation. For not thought proper to make known God hath not appointed us to to us the particular day of our
death, or the manner in which we other day we may sleep in death; shall die, he has left us without ex at the midnight hour the alarm may cuse if we be unprepared; for he be given; Behold, the Bridegroom has solemnly admonished us to cometh; go ye out to meet him. take heed, to watch and pray; and Watch ye therefore; for ye know has assigned as a reason for this not when the Master of the house continued watchfulness, the uncer cometh, at even, or at midnight, tainty of the time for ye know not or at the cock-crowing, or in the when the time is. The hour of our morning; lest coming suddenly, he death cannot be far distant; many find you sleeping. Blessed are of our fellow-creatures have been those servants whom the Lord, when unexpectedly called this day into he cometh, shall find watching.the unknown world, and it may be Matt. xxv. 6.; Mark, xiv. 33– that our sun is even now setting; 35.; Luke, xii. 37. and that before the dawn of an
See in the east his seraph Star arise?
What precious gifts attend the God-born child !
Rejoice, ye ransom’d! you your God hath freed
And wrung from Death its triumph and its sting.
And tell the blessings of a Saviour's birth !
ON THE WITNESS OF THE SPIRIT.-ROM. VIII. 16.
We have received several com pose of seeing in what particulars munications on this important pas. I differ, and, after due considerasage, in consequence of the re- tion, amend my own opinions. marks of D. R. in our number for This I find an effectual method of March, p. 94. Perhaps the fol- compelling my attention to the lowing extracts may retain the most sacred text; and whilst I am conimportant ideas. We should gladly tinually led to perceive a beautiinsert more did our limits allow. ful harmony and connexion in
passages wherein I had not noticed Sir,- In offering an opinion upon it before, I hope I may not be this passage, I feel sensible, that thought presumptuous, if, togemany of your readers are far better ther with your correspondent able to treat the subject than my- D.R. I sometimes persist in dif„self; and that some degree of ex fering in opinion from eminent planation is, therefore, due on my divines. I have been thus parpart for venturing in this instance ticular, because, as I have met to take up the pen. I shall only with individuals who have expeobserve, that when I sit down to rienced the same obstacles to study study the Scriptures for my own which I have mentioned, they may private edification, the familiarity be induced to try the method Í which I have acquired with them, have also described for preventing from frequently reading and ex the inconvenience; and I feel perpounding, often prevents me from suaded, that every person who will giving that close application and thus paraphrase and interpret for serious attention to them which is himself (whether he read the Henecessary in order to profit: I take brew, Greek, or English text), it too decidedly for granted, that and when he comes to difficult I understand « the mind of the passages will ponder them for a Spirit” as I pass on; and am not day or two before he gives them always sensible where the real up, satisfying himself with a slow difficulty of a passage exists. I progress, and always reading and feel a similar hindrance when I studying in a spirit of prayer ;-I read a commentary together with say I feel persuaded, that he will the text: it saves us the trouble of find the plan attended with esthinking for ourselves; and though pecial benefits, even though he we determine not to lean to any may not always arrive at a comman's system, we imperceptibly plete understanding of his subject, contract our author's mode of in- And a further motive for being parterpretation; if for no other rea ticular in this respect is, that it „son, because we have not formed forms my apology for replying to one for ourselves. In order, there- D. R. I have lately been through fore, that I may not read the word the Epistle to the Romans in this of God in a superficial manner, way; and though I am far from my plan at present is to take a supposing that my view of the Gospel, or Epistle, or any other passage in question must be corselect portion of the Bible, and rect, yet, as it too frequently hapreading it in the original text with- pens, that those who might give out note or comment, I translate, more satisfactory expositions are, paraphrase, and expound the from one reason or other, prewhole, committing it to writing as vented from writing, so it may I proceed; and when I have prove the case in this instance; tinished the Gospel or Epistle, I and I am unwilling that the matter refer to commentators for the pur- should altogether drop.
Before, however, I enter upon that no testimony, conviction, or the verses which D. R. proposes impression can be correct which is to discuss, I must be pardoned if at variance with that Word. But I previously refer to his opinion surely there are other modes in concerning the witness of the which the Spirit witnesseth; viz. Spirit. I had not, in the first in- by miracles, as in Acts, xiv. 3; by stance, intended to notice it, though the spirit of prophecy, as in Acts, I cannot coincide with his view; xx. 23; Rev. xix. 10; and by an but conceiving that silence might inward conviction or testimony be construed into concurrence, I with our own spirit or conscience, shall endeavour, as briefly as pos- as in Rom. ix. 1; and 1 John, iii. sible, to state the reasons of my 24; iv. 13; v. 10 : in the former of dissent.
which passages, the word trans1. I differ, first, because though lated “bearing witness ” is the the
which D. R. puts same as in the passage in quesupon this
passage may be made tion; and certainly it cannot in this to quadrate with the single text instance be said, that the Holy which he brings forward, it is Ghost means the written word, at the expense of rejecting a host which bore witness, together with of other texts which are directly the apostle's conscience, that his parallel, and which appear to me, sorrow was continual. when duly considered, to form a 3. In the third place I differ, hemore natural solution. Why may cause the mode of interpretation not another person bring forward proposed by D. R. appears to me some other solitary text and pro- to destroy the harmony and conpose it to the exclusion of the nexion of the chapter. The apomany? as for instance, Heb. xi. stle declares, that they only are 4; and assert, that the witness or saved from condemnation by Christ testimony in this case was, in all who are led by “the Spirit,” 1–8; probability, by a voice, and there that this is the Spirit of Christ he fore that “the witness of the alludes to, is evident from the 9th spirit” means a voice audibly verse; that the same Spirit dwellwhispering or speaking to the soul: eth in us, and will quicken out which opinion, indeed, some have mortal bodies in the day of the (and I think erroneously) main- resurrection, is declared in the 11th tained.
verse; that it is a Spirit of adop2. A second objection I have to tion, and an inward witness of our the exposition of D. R. is, that it union with God, is set forth in the requires us to make a compass, 15th and 16th verses; that it is an and arrive by a circuitous route at earnest of our redemption is imthe meaning, when we might, by plied in the 23d verse; and that adopting a contrary view, take a this Spirit likewise helpeth our inshort and direct cut. Far-fetched firmities and maketh intercession expositions should never be re- for us, is expressly stated in the sorted to, unless there is a diffi- 26th and 27th verses. Allowing, culty in rendering any explana- therefore, that St. Paul is enlargtion. It tends to destroy that de- ing upon the influences, consolafinite meaning which it is so de- tions, and aids of the Spirit, the sirable to attach to words, and to chain of connexion appears conrender them uncertain and sus sistent throughout; but adopt the ceptible of any interpretation what- idea of D.R. for the 15th verse, ever. I grant with D. R. most de- and you snap this chain in the cidedly, that one witness of the middle: for it will not, I appreSpirit is the Word of God; and hend, be denied, that the imme
diate agency of the Spirit is in- upon us his seal, and stamps us tended in all other places *
for his own. And this consists, I Lastly, I differ from D. R. be- apprehend, in a special operation cause his view of the subject is cal- or impression (for the metaphor of culated (though I am persuaded sealing encourages me to persist in not designed) to lower the doctrine the use of the term) of the indwellof the Spirit's agency,-a doctrine ing Spirit upon the soul of the bewhich some, who think very dif- liever, which assures him of his ferently from your correspondent in pardon and acceptance with God, the main, would gladly see in any and enables him to feel his interest degree frittered or explained away. in, and to appropriate, the proI cannot but remember that, in the mises of the Gospel. It is achistory of the church, whilst some companied with a delightful sense divines have been employed in in- of union and communion with quiring, how much power is to be God and with Christ; a rapturous attributed to the written Word, view of the divine attributes; “ where its influence as the instru- peace which passeth understandment terminates, and that of the ing; “a hope full of immorHoly Ghost as the immediate agent tality; ”..“ a joy unspeakable;” a, begins,
-others have taken oc- love, which, being shed abroad in casion, from their discussions, to the heart, enlarges it with bowels deny that operation altogether, and of mercies and kindness towards to reduce the work of the Spirit in our fellow-creatures. This is that the heart to the ordinary effects revealing of the Saviour to the produced by paper and ink. I an- soul, as he does not reveal himself ticipate the cordial acquiescence of to the world g; this is the entering your correspondent when I state, in within the veil, and taking a that although we have the written realizing view of the glory to Word as
a lamp to our feet," we come il The man who has reneed the Spirit of Christ to demon• çeived this witness may lose his strate that Word to our souls to divine consolations for a time; but, take of the things of Christ and in the midst of his conflicts or show them unto us t. And what temptations, this is the experience is this, but the shining of the to which he reverts; this is the Spirit into the soul ?
year of the right hand of the Most Yet even this is a view of the High” which he remembers I; this Spirit's witness subordinate to that is the
seal on which he looks, and which I am led to believe the still considers it the earnest and passage in question justifies me in pledge that bis religion was real adopting. The one shows, that and his hopes built upon a sure when, through the influence of the foundation. And moreover it was Spirit
, we receive the testimony of given to him, according to the tesChrist, we set to our seals that timony of Scripture, for the exGod is true t': the other shows press purpose, that he might have that, having believed, Jehovah sets some foretaste or carnest before
hand of the glory to come, in
order to support and encourage * I would, also, observe bere of two eminent critics, though of different sentiments in religion, viz. Dr. Guyse and Gil
Having stated my sentiments bert Wakefield, that the former proposes to render Αυτο το Πνευμα in this verse, , § Joho, xiv. 15-23. Rev. ii, 17 ; “ the spirit himself; and the other, “this very Spirit," as more congenial with the || Heb. vi, 19.
| Psalm, lxxvii. 10. t i Cor. ii. 4. John, xvi. 13-15, ** 2 Cor. i. 22; v. 5. Ephes. i. 13, #John, iii. 33.