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Clergy have been selfish and mercenary, no less than others : but in them selfishness and avarice are more hateful than in any others, just as much as intemperance and immodesty are unutterably loathsome in a woman, because purity is the special adorning of womankind, and the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. In like manner, sanctity should be the distinguishing glory of the clergy. They should be holy who bear the vessels of the Lord ; and if any such be ungodly, they must suffer the consequences. Ungodly ones there have been : cause has been given for dissatisfaction and mistrust; and a reaction of the kind which is now spreading over our country, especially among the upper classes, is no more than was to be expected. But, like all violent reactions, it is bad. Let the clergy of all churches, therefore, take warning, and ponder well these words of St. Peter, und' ús katakupreúOVTES TÔV kúpwr. Not lording it, shall we say ?—not bearing themselves like petty lords, in open defiance of the Saviour's words : “ Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them : but it shall not be so among you." (Matt. xx. 25, 26.) This, however, is very different from shepherding a Alock, or taking oversight of a church, and it is not the office which is condemned, but the usurpation and abuse of power.

It will be found in fact, that a well-instructed laity cannot be lorded over ; and that only those clergymen who fail to instruct will desire to domineer. To teach and to oppress are so opposite, the one to the other, that the same man cannot long attempt to do both. The faithful teacher does, indeed, govern ; and he means to govern. He means to win the love, the honour, and the confidence of the flock ; he does win all this, because he deserves it all; and he applies himself thus to have the rule over them, not by covert methods, but by giving faithful diligence to perform the duties of his high vocation.

But is it the people that are meant by the kapwr of the text, or the clergy? Romish translators write “clergy ; but Protestants prefer “ heritage,” or some such word. Some of our learned men have ably contended that the Greek word refers to the “possessions” of the church ; but this interpretation conflicts with the fact that the property of the church was administered by deacons, not by elders, or ÉTTLO KOTOŪVTES, having oversight of the flock,—who did not hold the temporalities of the church, and therefore did not exercise lordship over them. We will not plunge into this controversy, which cannot be settled by literal criticism, but observe that the closely literal rendering of our English Bible, while it does not invite a decision on either side, is quite consistent with the most weighty judgment of antiquity, which is, that St. Peter speaks of the people. This judgment is found in the earliest of all versions, the simple Syriac, which bas " flock.” The Syriac verse may be literally translated thus :“Not as lords of the flock, but so that ye may be to them a fair example.” In the Ethiopic, not indeed so ancient, but extremely valuable for the acuteness with which the writer paraphrases the more obscure passages of his original, the sense ascribed to the alýpwr of the Greek text is given


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thus:-“Yet be not overbearing toward the people, but be an example to the flock.”

While censuring the self-importance of our modern“ Brethren," we must be careful to call attention to that free scope for the exercise of all their talents which Christianity gives to the laity. The flock is no more to be silenced than it is to be fleeced. According to the precedents and injunctions of the New Testament, the layman is under an obligation to "be ready to give to every man that asketh him a reason of the hope that is in him, with meekness and fear.” This we too well understand, and most of our readers too freely carry into practice, for us to argue the point. It is a settled matter. Yet certain anti-clerical zealots, who speak as if their lay brethren needed emancipation from clerical constraints, must be informed that such restraints as they complain of were never imposed upon the laity in the earlier ages of Christianity; nor can they now be imposed upon the people in any free Protestant country. Learned and devout laymen may be sure that they are not in any danger of being frowned into silence ; but, on the contrary, that their labours for the honour and extension of true Christianity will ever be welcomed with respectful gratitude. Such labourers, in the earlier centuries, were Justin, the Philosopher and Martyr; Minutius Felix, Arnobius, and Lactantius, rhetoricians and lawyers ; and Origen, master of the Christian school at Alexandria,-a school for martyrs no less than for theologians, a seminary of preachers taught by him for years before his ordination. Such a labourer was the father of our Protestant theology, Philip Melanchthon, who dever took holy orders; and Sir Matthew Hale and Lord Chancellor King represent in later times a mighty host of laymen whose hallowed activities were never discouraged, and will never be forgotten. And, finally, our discontented “Christian Brethren ” may learn from the scores of thousands of Wesleyan-Methodist laymen who preach and teach in intimate union with their ministers, that there is at least one church in the world other churches may be left to answer for themselves—where young inquirers are not left to the precarious benefits of mutual instruction among the untaught or the dogmatizing, but are trained up into maturity, guided, recognised, sent forth to perform the most valuable services, and upheld in the performance, by a clergy whom they do not consider to be incompetent, and by a church which they strive to extend and build up, and not to overthrow. In short, our ministers are not lords over God's heritage, nor do our flocks think themselves too spiritual to listen to the voices of their shepherds. They have not caught the infection of an unscriptural universal priestism, the prevalence of which delusion in some quarters is so much to be deplored.

To faithful pastors there is this promise :-“ And when the chief Skepherd shall appear, ye shall reccive a crown of glory that fadeth not eeny." A promise which not only declares the imperishable nature of the reward which awaits them, but indicates the earnestness of their labour, and the agonizing steadfastness where with they struggle against every hostile

power. They stand in a peculiar relation to the Lord Jesus Christ, the chief Shepherd; they being under-shepherds ;--Christ the Captain, they the soldiers ;-they enduring hardness, He giving them the victory. Then, when the good fight shall have been fought, He will appear in majesty and glory, the Lord, the righteous Judge, to give to each of those who love His appearing tòv otépavov ủyapártivov,—the amaranthine crown. As, of old, the Greeks wove for the victor's brow an unwithering crown, made of that autumnal plant called “amaranth,” because its purple "ear,” carrying no fading leaf, nor emitting any evanescent odour, spread itself hardily into a wider growth, and shot up the sprouts again more vigorously as it was plucked the more ; and even the crown thus woven, when laid aside and dried the winter long, would be revived and spring again, if moistened with a vernal shower ; (Plinii Hist. Nat., xxi., 23 ;) so shall the Christian pastor be crowned with unfading praise. Hard endurance, courage never wavering, love never cold, faith never failing, humility unfeigned, all by the grace of God, shall, by the grace of God, be crowned with unwithering glory.




Among the ancient places in Palestine which belong exclusively to OldTestament history, is Hebron. I went to this patriarchal town, from Jerusalem, by way of Bethlehem. Leaving the city by the Jaffa gate, after descending the western side of Mount Zion, and crossing the valley of Hinnom, you find the road turning southward across the plain of Rephaim, and running for the most part parallel with the aqueduct from Solomon's Pools. This aqueduct consists of stones hollowed into cylinders, well cemented at the joints, and supported on walls or terraces of rock or earth, being mostly concealed from sight. Occasionally, a stone drawn aside discloses a fracture in the trough beneath, where the rambler may quench his thirst. Along this path the eastern Magi travelled from the court of Herod to "the newborn King” in the stable at Bethlehem. Here is, too, the “Well of the Magi," to which tradition has appended a pretty legend, assigning it as the spot where the star re-appeared to the wise men. It was night; and they were uncertain as to their farther course ; when, as they stooped over the well's brink, they suddenly saw the heavenly messenger, which had led them from their own land, brightly reflected in the still water below. They looked up, saw it glistening over head, and followed it till it rested above the manger in which Jesus lay. On the right is the plain of Rephaim, with the Convent of John the Baptist, erected, it is said, on the spot where he

and here you are led to the grotto where the Virgin pronounced the sublime hymn, beginning, “My soul doth magnify the Lord.”

we came to Bethlehem, we passed within a stone's throw of Rachel's Tomb. It lies in sight of the town, scarcely a mile distant. This is one




of the few shrines which Moslems, Jews, and Christians agree to honour, and concerning which their traditions are identical. The Jews call it by the simple name of “Our Mother Rachel.” The narrative in the Bible (it is hardly needful to say) is simple, graphic, and affecting. “ They journeyed from Bethel ;* and there was but a little way to come to Ephrathi........ And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem.” The pillar Jacob set up over the grave of his beloved wife was still there in the time of Moses ; (Gen. xxxv. 16-20 ;) and Samuel speaks of “ Rachel's sepulchre in the border of Benjamin.” Josephus alludes to it as "over against Ephrath," (Bethlehem,) which describes its situation exactly. There is nothing imposing in the building which now beans Rachel's name; but that it covers her dust there seems to be no doubt. The spot is as wild and solitary as can well be conceived. There do palms or cypresses give you their shelter from the blast ; not a single tree spreads its shade where rest the ashes of the beautiful mother of Israel. Hard by the spot marked by this simple monument, where Rachel had died in giving birth to Benjamin,t Jacob's tents were pitched ; and around it his flocks pastured during that anxious time of heart-wearing suspense. The“ pillar" reared by the mourning patriarch has long since been swept away; but thirty centuries of sorrow have not been able to sweep away the memory of its site from the hearts of Rachel's posterity. The Jews have recently succeeded in purchasing from the Moslems the shrine so dear to them ; and around the graves of their mother their own tombs are scattered.

On the right of Rachel's tomb is the village of Beit Jâla, probably the Zelzah mentioned by Samuel in sending Saul home after anointing him king at Ramah. (1 Sam. x. 2.) The place was called Zelah by Joshua. (xviii. 28.) Beit Jala is beautifully situated on a hill-slope, embowered

* It was here that “ Deborah, Rebekah's nurse, died; and she was buried beneath Bethel under an oak : and the name of it was called Allon-bachuth," the oak of seep ing. (Gen. xxxv. 8.)

+ Benjamin, “son of the right hand," was appropriately named by his mother, Benoni, “son of my pain.” His father, however, not improbably to avoid the bad omen implied in such a name, and to indicate the succour which he expected to receive from the child in his declining years, gave him, by something like a play on the word, the name of Benjamin, which differs in sound but little from the name chosen by Rachel.

$ “ Ascending the hill from the tomb," writes Lieutenant Lynch, in describing bis journey from Jerusalem to Bethlehem," and for the second time during the ride recognising the Dead Sea through gorges in the mountains, we passed some extensive olise orchards, and, after turning aside to the left to look at a nearly dry cistern, called David's Well, we entered Bethlehem. To the east of Bethlehem is the hill where the shepherds heard the annunciation of the birth of the Messiah ; and in the pkin below, the field where Ruth gleaned after the reapers. The country around was luxuriant with vegetation, and the yellow grain was falling beneath the sickle. Along the lower slopes, and in the bottom of the valley, were continuous groves, with a verdant carpet beneath them. It was the most rural and the loveliest spot we had seen in Palestine.” The pretty tale of early agricultural life, contained in the Book of Ruth, gives a pleasant interest to Bethlehem and its corn-fields.

amidst olive and fruit-tree groves. It is inhabited solely by Christians. The tradition formerly was current, that no Mohammedan could live in it more than two years. Its taxable males, above fifteen years of age, are reckoned at five hundred ; indicating a population of about two thousand souls. Here the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem has his residence, and a large church has also been built by the Romanists. On the right, also, is the Wilderness of St. John, wherein the Baptist practised his austerities. In that direction, too, on the route from Jerusalem to Gaza, is the valley of Elah, now the Wady-es-Sumt, where David slew the giant; and in the valley before us, it is said, the army of Sennacherib the Assyrian was encamped, when

“ The angel of death spread his wings on the blast." After proceeding a little farther, and riding up a somewhat steep path, we entered Bethlehem. Independently of all associations, its appearance is striking. It is situated on a narrow ridge, which projects eastward from the central mountain-range, and breaks down abruptly in terraced slopes to deep valleys on the north, east, and south. The terraces-admirably kept, and covered with rows of luxuriant olives, intermixed with the fig and the vine-sweep in graceful curves round the ridge, regular as stairs. On the eastern brow, separated from the village by a kind of esplanade, stands the great convent, grim and grey as an old baronial castle, and resembling a fortress more than an ecclesiastical edifice. It is strong; and its defensive power has often been tested by the Arabs. In its low door is seen a curious evidence of the turbulence of the land. This is not four feet high, being made thus low to prevent marauders from riding boldly into the house. You find an enormous irregular pile of buildings, consisting of the Church of the Nativity, with the three convents, Latin, Greek, and Armenian, abutting respectively on its north-eastern, south-eastern, and south-western sides. Externally, there is nothing to call attention, save the size, the strength, and the commanding site. You look down upon those fields, the scene of Ruth's romantic story; and over that wilderness where David, her great-grandson, kept his father's sheep, (1 Sam. xvi. 11,) and where, probably, the shepherds were abiding with their flocks by night, when“ the glory of the Lord shone round about them,” and an angel proclaimed the “good tidings of great joy." (Luke ii. 8–18.) “Bethlehem, in the land of Judab,"is, in very truth,“ not the least among the princes of Judah.” There dawned the light which illumines and blesses man while time is, and, when time is no longer, guides him to a glorious immortality. There is but one faith now professed in Bethlehem; and that is the faith of Him who was laid an infant in the manger here. But, alas! Christianity is little more than nominal ; so disfigured is it by superstition. The inhabitants number about three thousand. They are peasants, and cultivate the fields and terraced gardens around; while some of them also carve shells illustrative of Scripture subjects, and make crosses, rosaries, &c., for sale to the pilgrims. Some of the articles, wrought in mother-of-pearl, are carved with more skill

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