« 前へ次へ »
guarantee for its orthodox character. It appears to be compiled with very great care and accuracy, and is one of the most convenient and useful books of reference of the kind we remember to have seen.
Whilst on the subject of Messrs. Bagster's publications, we may also notice “ Tregelles on the Original Language of St. Matthew's Gospel,” a lucid and convincing reprint from Kitto's “ Journal of Sacred Literature.” To say that the writer “makes out a case” in favor of a Hebrew, as opposed to a Greek, original, would be to convey a wrong idea, not only of his argument, but of the spirit and essence of Messrs. Bagster's publications generally. The question lies not so much in the force of reasoning as in the power of facts. It is already a proved thing resting on evidence almost cotemporary, which, after the lapse of so many centuries, it is impossible either to prove or disprove. It must stand or fall therefore on its own merits alone, and these merits appear amply sufficient to establish the author's proposition, notwithstanding all the crooked ingenuity of his opponents.
The following remarks are important, and of general interest.
“ I have had occasion to point out the futility of endeavoring to controvert facts by possibilities or probabilities.
“Let us take as an illustration Matthew Henry's Commentary. In future ages some one might seek learnedly to demonstrate that it must have been written in Welsh. Matthew Henry was a Welshman; he could not have been indifferent to the spiritual good of his own countrymen; his Commentary was written for the instruction of others: would it not be a reflection on his Christian consistency to suppose that he did more for the English than for the Welsh? And, besides, is it not more natural for a man to write in his own language? Again, the Commentary is extant both in Welsh and English; and why should we say that the latter is the original? Does it bear any traces of Welsh peculiarity or solecism? And if not, do it not show that it must have proceeded from the pen of a translator, who knew English far more correctly than a Welshman can be supposed to do? Is there not then every probability that the witnesses were mistaken who say that the English was the original? Besides, did they know even of the
existence of the Welsh copy? or had they any acquaintance with that language? If not, of course their testimony is worth very little, and we may safely discard their opinion.
“ To prevent any one from arguing in this way, be it known to all arguers from probabilities, that seventeen years ago I saw the Rev. Evan Griffiths, of Swansea, busily engaged in making the Welsh translation.
“ Arguments, à priori may be very valuable for showing a probability where there is no evidence, or where it is doubtful; but the least portion of proved fact will destroy all the mere probability."
THE PRICE OF VAIN AMUSEMENT. THE Rev. Caleb Benson was invited by a lady of Plymouth, Massachusetts, to visit her daughter who was at the point of death. As he entered the room and commenced with her, he enquired why she wished to see him?
She said, that she had only consented to see him for the sake of gratifying her friends: that it would do her no good to be visited by him or any other minister.
He asked, why?
She said, the time had been when her mind was powerfully wrought upon by God's spirit, and occupied by serious thoughts about her eternal welfare. She was convinced then, that she was a wicked condemned sinner, and that she needed pardoning mercy. Her convictions, instead of being of a transient character, had distressed her for months. At length she was invited to a ball, or party of pleasure. She was respectfully and urgently solicited by her young and unconverted acquaintances to attend. But conscience strongly remonstrated; she felt convinced that if she went to that scene of vain amusement, it would be jeopardizing the interests of her soul. Still Satan urged her to accede to their requests. While she was preparing to go, however, and while she was on her way to the place where the gay circle met, she felt that she was doing wickedly, and that if she joined them, perhaps God would leave her to herself, and her soul be lost for ever.
She came near the house--she hesitated_doubting whether to go in or not. But at last she yielded to the suggestions of
Satan, and trembling, crossed the threshold. But no sooner had she entered and begun to participate in the evening's amusements, than her convictions left her. Since that time, she said she had had no compunctions of conscience whatever; powerful preaching, personal appeals, judgments and mercies, and even the firm belief that she should soon die, had not affected her hard heart, or awakened the least anxiety in her mind. Her case, she said, was hopeless.
The minister said that Christ had saved a Manasseh, a Mary Magdalen, the thief upon the cross, a persecuting Saul, and that he was able to save her.
Yes, she said, she knew that; she knew that he was able to save all that came unto him for mercy, but she had no desire to come—that the Spirit had taken its flight, and left her to hardness of heart, and blindness of mind.
Mr. Benson proposed prayer, but she told him his prayers would do her no good. She consented, however, to gratify her friends, that he should pray; “But in prayer,” says Mr. Benson, “I had no unction, no liberty. Heaven seemed closed in against all my petitions on her behalf," It was a heart-rending
“You will hear in a short time, Mr. Benson,” said she, “ that I am gone; but remember that my soul is lost!"
He visited her afterwards, but gained no satisfaction: the wretched girl died as she had lived, without hope and without God!
THE PRIVILEGE OF SINNERS. If it be a matter of doubt with you whether you be truly converted, far be it from me to endeavor to persuade you that you are so. Your doubts may be well founded for aught I can tell; and supposing they should be so, the door of mercy is still open. If you have obtained mercy, the same way is open for your obtaining it again; and if not, there is no reason why you should not obtain it now. The consolations I have to recommend are addressed to you, not as converted, nor as unconverted; not as elect, nor as non-elect; but as sinners; and this character, I suppose, you have no doubt of your sustaining. All the blessings of the Gospel are freely presented for acceptance to sinners. Sinners, whatever may have been their character, have a complete warrant to receive them; yea, it is their duty to do so, and their great sin if they do not.--Introduction to Cudworth's “ Looking to Christ." Edited by Bonar. Nisbet.
A TEMPERANCE MONKEY. MR. POLLARD states that in his drinking days he was the companion of a man who had a monkey which he valued at a thousand dollars. “We always took him out on our chestnut parties. He shook off all our chestnuts for us, and when he could not shake them off, he would go to the very end of the limb and knock them off with his fist. One day we stopped at a tavern and drank freely. About half a glass of whiskey was left, and Jack took the glass and drank it all up. Soon he was merry, skipped, hopped, and danced, and set us all in a roar of laughter. Jack was tipsy.
“We all agreed, six of us, to go next day to the tavern and make Jack drunk again. I called at my friend's house next morning, and we went to look for Jack. Instead of being as usual on his box, he was not to be seen. We looked inside, and he was crouched up in a heap. His master called him out, and he came on three legs with the fourth pressed upon his forehead. Jack had the headache just as any Christian might have had after drinking; and we were obliged to wait three days till he was convalescent.
“ We then went out again, and while drinking, a glass was provided for Jack. His master called on him to drink it, but Jack was wiser than his master. Skulking behind the chairs, he managed to shuffle out of the room, and in a moment was on the top of the house. In vain his master called him; he had made up his mind to teetotalism. His master got a cow-skin and shook at him, but still it would not do. He fetched a gun, but Jack whipped over the ridge, and was out of sight in no time. Another gun was pointed at him from the opposite side, but Jack was too much for both his pursuers. He slipped down the chimney holding on by his fore paws. The master was fairly mastered, and though he kept that monkey twelve years, no inducement was ever sufficient to persuade him to break the pledge.”
A sober monkey is at any time more than a match for a human drunkard.
ANECDOTE OF A YOUNG AUTHOR. Mr. SAMUEL ROGERS, the poet, used to say, that he was once very near seeing the illustrious Dr. Johnson, and this is how he tells the story.
“I was a boy, and wrote boyish verses. I was proud of them myself, but I wanted better authority to confirm my opinion. Then the Doctor was the grand literary autocrat, the grand builder-up and puller-down of literary reputations. I took counsel with myself; a bright thought struck me, I plucked up courage, made up my poems in a bundle, and sallied forth to ask the Doctor to pass sentence upon my rhymes. But all the way to Bolt Court my courage kept dribbling out at my finger ends. An interview with the great bashaw was a terrible thing, and, I had rashly hazarded it. However, I would not turn back; I stalked up Bolt Court, upheld by an awful resolution : I stood on the door-step-the Doctor's door-step! I paused for an instant, and then, with a beating heart, and a trembling hand-knocked. The sound rang sharply amid the tall houses. That sound undid me: it brought the full measure of my boldness flashing before me--I paused tremblingly I heard steps inside: it might be Frank, the black servant-it might be the Doctor himself! Awful alternative! I leaped off the door-step, and fled.”
Dr. Johnson died soon after, and Rogers never saw him.
Enquiries and Correspondence.
ANSWER TO ENQUIRY, at p. 139.
7. Sunday Travelling. DEAR SIR, I would suggest in answer to this enquiry, that the writer should go to his heavenly Father in earnest prayer for guidance, as I firmly believe, whatever answers may be given, that it is our Consciences alone which are the best monitors in such matters.
It is quite evident, that if we are doing anything in which our conscience even suggests a doubt, it is sin to us if we still persist.
I should further think, that if the enquirer has joined himself