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ceased to be capitally punished; thus bringing the effect home to at least one of its causes."
“No statistical chicanery, no legerdemain of partial and defective returns, no picking out of particular years by charlatan phi. lanthropists, can gainsay the conclusive evidence of these great facts. Isolated offences and particular years may indeed be so packed in groups as to vary and possibly, in some instances, to change the result; but all statistics are susceptible of similar jug. glery, and the honest inquirer will have no difficulty in detecting the ruse, and ascertaining the real result of the entire facts. The annual tables published by the Home Office, and collected by Mr. Redgrave, ought always to be consulted by any one who really desires to fathom the subject. Any reference to picked figures which evades the evidence of the whole returns for the ten years is not trustworthy."
“We have already shown that no confidence is due to the statistics of the abolitionists, who have been sufficiently unwary to commit themselves to the absurd statements that the offences in question have diminished. However innocently many of them may have been duped, the imprudence of such an advocacy is fatal to its influence on the minds of all reflecting men.”
We here close our argument. And we conclude this long Article with a simple allusion to one particular practical consideration, which properly has no bearing upon the general argument either of right or expediency–we mean as to what action may be required of a legislature in a given state of public opinion. If the moral sense of the community; (however sound or perverted it matters not;)—if the moral sense of the community be, as a matter of fact, opposed to the infliction of capital punishment for murder; if juries can scarcely be found to try such cases, and judges to pronounce such sentences; then we say decidedly, let the legislature abolish capital punishment. But let this state of facts be first fairly ascertained, and not assumed simply because the abolitionists make a great deal more noise about the matter than the approvers of the law as it is. We have felt bound to take our stand not against such legislative action in such a state of the premises; but against those influences which are so industriously at work to produce such a state of the premises. Our appeal is not to the legislature, but to the people themselves.
Spirit of Prophecy in Relation to the Jews.
TO THE ARTICLE ON MACHIAVELLI IN THE LAST VOLUME.
We beg leave here to correct a mistake which occurs on page 138, Vol. III. In a passage quoted from Machiavelli, he is made to say, “ Upon a thorough examination of Borgia's conduct I see nothing worthy of political reprehension.” The word " political,"
“ is not found in the original; and, though we thought, and still think, it manifestly implied by the context, yet it is but justice to ourselves to say that, in our original draught, we had placed the word in brackets. The brackets were accidentally omitted either in our copy for the press, or by a typographical oversight. We make this explanation because there is nothing in authorship of which we have a greater horror than of falsified or garbled quotations.
Bowdoin College, March, 1847.
THE SPIRIT OF PROPHECY IN RELATION TO THE FUTURE
CONDITION OF THE JEWS.
By Rev. Luther F. Dimmick, Newburyport, Mass. [Concluded from No. XIV. p. 369.1
EZEKIEL. Ezekiel was partly contemporaneous with Jeremiah, though a little later. He flourished, according to the usual reckoning, from B. C. 595–574, a period of twenty-one years. He perhaps lived beyond the latter date.
Ezekiel exercised his office in Chaldea," among the captives by the river of Chebar,” (1: 1). He seems to have been carried away with the second company of captives, connected with Jeremiah, (Jer. 34: 1. comp. Ezek. 1: 2). Most of the people, there. fore, remained at Jerusalem, and in Judea, several years longer, of whom he makes frequent mention.
Ezekiel began his ministry also by declaring the wickedness of the people, and denouncing still further judgments against them. " A rebellious nation,” he called them ; “impudent children;"
“most rebellious;" “impudent and hard-hearted," (2:3, 4, 7. 3: 7). “ Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold I, even I, am against thee, and will execute judgments in the midst of thee. I will make thee waste, and a reproach among the nations,” (5:8, 14). “Destruction cometh; and they shall seek peace, and there shall be none,” (7: 25). I will—deliver you into the hands of strangers, and will execute judgments among you," (22:7).
What does Ezekiel say of the restoration ? “ Thus saith the Lord God, Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come. Therefore thus saith the Lord God, I will even gather you from the people, and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel,” (11: 16, 17). The literal restoration from Babylon is manifestly the thing here intended. Why should the interpreter look any further? The prophet is among the captives, asserting God's just prerogatives in chastening them, threatening further corrections, and then promising the return of prosperity.
In a later chapter, the prosperity is still further predicted : “ Thus saith the Lord God, When I shall have gathered the house of Israel from the people among whom they are scattered, and shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the heathen, then shall they dwell in their land that I have given to my servant Jacob," (28: 25). Restoration from Babylon is evidently here also intend. ed. The exigencies of the place require nothing more.
So again: “ Thus saith the Lord God, Behold I, even I, will both search my sheep, and seek them out. And I will bring them out from the people, and gather them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel, by the rivers, and in all the inhabited places of the country," (34: 11, 13). Nothing seems plainer, than that here again is simply the restoration from Babylon. The language is also fulfilled by that event. Though in a passage following, ref. erence is made to the higher subject, which that prefigured. “I will set up one Shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even my servant David; he shall feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and my servant David a prince among them ; I the Lord hath spoken it," (vs. 23, 24). By David here, is evidently meant the Son of David, the Messiah, the true Prince of Israel, and of the ransomed nations of the world.
473 Chap. xxxvi. of Ezekiel may be considered a stronger passage in favor of something yet future. It is a graphic description, addressed to the land of Israel, its mountains and hills, its rivers and valleys, its cities and villages, laid waste by the heathen, of returning prosperity, and the residence of its own people again within its borders; the people themselves also being addressed in relation to this subject: “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” Then follow promises of still further good. "I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean : from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them. And ye shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; and ye shall be my people, and I will be your God,” (vs. 24-28). Two kinds of blessings are promised here. One is, that of dwelling again in the land. The other is, that of a right heart, and the special divine favor corresponding with it. The external part of this promise may be considered as accomplished when the Jews were restored from Babylon. Something of the internal part also was then accomplished. For the Jews were then cured of idolatry, never falling into it afterwards, and exhibiting in other respects, for some time, no inconsiderable reformation. If a part of the spiritual blessing
1" Doubtless many of the Jews, who returned from Babylon, were thus renewed and sanctified; yet numbers of them continued strangers to such spe. cial blessings, though preserved from outward idolatry.”—Scott in loc. “The next thing I would take notice of," says Edwards in his “ History of Redemption," " was the pouring out of the Spirit of God that accompanied the ministry of Ezia the priest after the captivity. That there was such a pouring out of the Spirit of God that accompanied Ezra’s ministry, is manifest by many things in the books of Ezra and Nehemiah. Presently after Ezra came up from Babylon, . . . he set himself to reform the vices and corruptions he found among the Jews; and his great success in it we have an account of in the 10th chapter of Ezra : so that there appeared a very general and great mourning of the congregation of Israel for their sins, which was accompanied with a solemn covenant that the people entered into with God; and this was followed with a great and general reformation, as we have there an account. And the people about the same time, with great zeal and earnestness and reverence, gathered themselves together to hear the word of God read by Ezra, etc. They wept when they heard the words of the law, and set themselves to observe the law, and kept the feast of tabernacles, as the Scripture observes, after such a manVOL. IV. No. 15.
still remains to be enjoyed, it can be enjoyed by a spiritual conversion to Christ, without any change of outward condition.
The xxxvii. chapter of Ezekiel is also strongly relied on in the argument before us. It contains, first, the vision of the valley of dry bones. The prophet was set down in a valley full of bones, and they were very dry: and he prophesied upon them, according to the commandment of God, and they lived, and stood up, an exceeding great army, (vs. 1—10). What was the meaning of this vision ? The Author of the vision shall himself explain. " Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel. Be. hold, they say, our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts." These were the complaints they made in their bondage and depression. “ Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves, and shall put my Spirit into you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord,” (vs. 11-14). Why now go beyond the restoration then shortly to take place, for the fulfilment of this prediction? Does not God himself declare that that was the event intended ? It is, indeed, true, that the passage may be applied to other events, and other cases, by way of accommodation. But we are inquiring after the true idea which the prophet had in his mind. And this most evidently was, the restoration from Babylon.
In the latter part of the chapter, is recorded an emblematic transaction, showing the union of the two branches of the nation after their return, and looking forward to the better days of the Messiah, when all the ancient things foreshadowed would be fully enjoyed. The prophet, by divine direction, took two sticks, and wrote upon them for the two branches of the nation, and ner as it had not been kept since the days of Joshua the son of Nun.... And after this, having separated themselves from all strangers, they solemnly observed a fast, by hearing the word of God, confessing their sins, and renewing their covenant with God; and manifested their sincerity in the transaction, by actually reforming many abuses in religion and morals.” May not this pour. ing out of God's Spirit, after the captivity, and the reformation it produced, be a fulfilment of the promise : "I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments and do them?" It looks very like it—at least the beginning of the promised good.