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is here made to the fifth commandment, because of the words, “which is the first commandment with promise." The only difficulty is, as to how the living long and prospering applies to the present dispensation. But who can say that God does not, in His moral government, give prosperity to those who honour their parents, and indeed give long life in opposition to those who are described, because of their sins, of not living out half their days? It must be noticed also, that the above text is not an exact quotation from the commandment, for the word “earth" is used instead of the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee,” which could only apply to Israel.

THE SABBATH AND THE LORD'S DAY.

DEAR MR. EDITOR,
Can
you

aid your readers—at least some of them who need it-as to the best way of speaking of the sabbath? Questions are occasionally asked of teachers by the scholars, as to whether it is right to do certain things on the Sunday. It often happens that our scholars have been in Sunday schools where a great deal is made of keeping the sabbath holy; and if the scholars have any conscience on that point, they naturally come to their teachers with their difficulties, and it seems to me to require wisdom to answer them, so as not to make the Sunday the same as the Jewish sabbath, and yet not to encourage the thought that it is the same as every other day.

We think our friend is quite right in keeping the

Sunday distinct from the sabbath. The Old Testament is quite distinct in saying that the seventh day was the sabbath, and we have no hint in scripture of the day being altered from the seventh to the first. And if it were so altered, it would still be a part of the law, which many passages shew not to be binding upon Gentile believers. In Acts xv. where the question was raised as to Gentiles being obliged to be “circumcised and keep the law,' it is most clear that if the sabbath had been an exception to the rest of the law, it would have been named there; whereas, we read, " It seemed good to the Holy Ghost and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things. The things are then detailed, but not one word about keeping the sabbath holy.

On the other hand, it is as clear that the first day of the week was observed by the early Christians as a day set apart for their meetings. (John xx. 19, 26; Acts xx. 7; 1 Cor. xvi. 2.) This is called the Lord's day in Revelation i. 10. Now this nane at once gives a character to the day which should set it above all other days in our esteem; a day in which we should abstain from all unnecessary secular labour, and devote it unreservedly to the Lord, whose name it bears. This will answer a multitude of questions as to travelling, &c. Can I say

it is for the Lord I do this or that? If I can, it is right.

This makes the matter clear for the Christian, and could easily be explained to many of our converted scholars; but in other cases there are difficulties. The parents of the children may be those who have placed themselves under the law, and who tell their children that they keep holy the sabbath. If such should ask a question, we should

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hesitate to say, as some unthinkingly might do, “ Your parents are all wrong—we have nothing to do with the Jewish sabbath.” We should rather say, “I prefer to call it, as scripture does, the Lord's day, and only do in it such things as will please Him. If you regard it as the sabbath, and think it wrong to do such a thing, do not do it." At another time, when no question was being raised, we might seek to shew the contrast between the dispensation of law, and the dispensation of grace, and any points that would bear upon the subject. But we must remember that scripture lays down the principle, that if a person believes a thing to be wrong, to him it is wrong.

God, in His merciful providence, has so ordered it, that in this country, the law of the land sanctions, and to an extent enforces the Sunday as a day of rest from manual labour; and we should be very cautious not to undervalue this in any way. It is, indeed, a privilege highly to be prized by the believer and unbeliever. Add to this that it is the Lord's day, and if we devote it to Him, all will fall into its right place.

EZEKIEL XIII. 19, 20. MR. EDITOR,

Can you throw any light upon this obscure passage? “And will ye pollute me among my people for handfuls of barley and for pieces of bread, to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live, by your lying to my people that hear your lies? Wherefore thus saith the Lord God: Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly." There are two questions :

1. What is the meaning of“ to slay the souls that should not die, and to save the souls alive that should not live ?" and 2, What are the pillows" named here?

The prophecy in this chapter is “against the prophets of Israel” who prophesied out of their own heart-out of their own spirit, and who had seen nothing. Prophetesses are introduced in verse 17.

The prophets were often appealed to, to inquire of the Lord, and if they gave the answer out of their own hearts, of course they would be false, and would pervert the ways of the Lord. Thé effect of this would be that some who should be put to death would be spared; and some who should be spared would be put to death. This would be to " slay the souls that should not die,” &c., the word “soul” being often used in this

sense.

The false prophetesses are those who “sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls?" One has well remarked that all accommodating theology is effeminate. The pillows or cushions no doubt allude to the prophetesses making those who came for counsel to be at ease. Great importance is to be put upon the words “all” and “every.” All comers were placed at their ease by these false advisers; and the kerchiefs may refer to some mark of honour placed on every age or stature; whereas the guilty should have been made very uncomfortable and sent away with stern rebuke.

NOTES ON SCRIPTURE.

MATTHEW XXVII. VERSES 3-10. Judas, smitten with remorse, returns the money, declaring that he had betrayed innocent blood. That was nothing to the rulers. They would not, however, put such money into the treasury, but bought a field to bury strangers in.

There are here two difficulties. One, that verse 5

says that Judas hanged himself, which is thought to clash with the account in Acts i. 18, which says “ Falling headlong he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out." But there is no real clashing in the two statements. Judas may have hanged himself but have fallen from the tree through a bough, or the rope, breaking, and burst asunder by the fall.

The other is that verse 9 says that Jeremiah the prophet had spoken of thirty pieces of silver, whereas the quotation is apparently from Zechariah xi. 12, no such passage being found in Jeremiah. Some suppose that Jeremiah wrote, or spoke, part of Zechariah ; others, that several prophets were

! written in one scroll, and that the whole was spoken of under the name of Jeremiah because his was first and chief.

The word used for “ temple,” where Judas threw the money, implies the holy place where he would not be allowed to enter, so it is gathered that he must have gone to the door and thrown them in.

Verses 1, 2, 11-25. Christ is arraigned before Pilate the governor. When appealed to, Christ acknowledged that He was king of the Jews.

Pilate, being accustomed to release one of the prisoners at the feast, puts before them the option

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