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Lord, will I sing." Yes, it is by the chequered character of our lot, by the due admixture of evil with good in our histories—by the commingling of darkness and light—that some of the most salutary lessons we learn are conveyed; some of the greatest spiritual evils to which we are exposed warded off; and some of the most valuable of the fruits of the Spirit made to grow and flourish.

And perhaps there is no feature whatever, in God's providential government, more surprising and admirable than this. Not only does he condescend to order the lot of each individual, but he exactly adapts it to our peculiar character and necessities. He both adjusts the burden to the back, and fits the back to the burden. When he sends heavy judgments, he attempers them with sure consolations; when he gives great mercies, he accompanies them with evils, that tend to recall us to sobriety and vigilance ; and even when he leads us in a way in which there is nothing peculiar to enchant or annoy, he usually puts into our daily cup a wise proportion of the bitter and the sweet; and it is this admixture of light and darkness, of evil and good, that is so advantageous to our soul. If all were goodness, we should soon be full, and deny God; if all were severity, we should perish in our afflictions; but they are mingled, and their joint influence on our spiritual health is matter for devout and grateful praise. The operation is often secret and silent ; the advantages are seldom at once perceptible ; and sometimes we cannot tell how the result is produced; yet, it is produced ; and the good man, on reviewing his history, is often filled with astonishment, both at the issue itself, and at the manner in which it has been brought about. He would not that one thing should have been changed, in the way by which he has been led; he sees how adversity furnishes matter for praise, as well as prosperity; and now deeply feels the force and propriety of the apostle's admonition, “Be careful for nothing; but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

Again, confession forms an appropriate part of those addresses to God, which we denominate prayer. So obvious is this duty, that not a tribe of men, believing in the existence of a God, has ever been discovered, by whom it was not practised; whilst those who possess the Scriptures, apprehend at once its propriety and necessity. Confession of one kind was doubtless a part of the devotion of Paradise ; but it was the confession which the angels themselves rejoice to make, as they worship in the temple above. They know how little, how infinitely little they are, in the presence of the King Eternal; and they veil their faces with their wings, and cast their crowns at his feet, while they acknowledge their dependence, celebrate his fulness, and exalt his name. How much more reason have we, in the same lowly spirit, to imitate their example ; and with what emphasis should we acknowledge that

our being is but of yesterday, and our foundation in the dust, and say, “Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him, and the son of man, that thou visitest him ?

But we are guilty as well as little, polluted as well as dependent ; and have other acknowledgments to make. It is true, that where sin abounded, grace has much more abounded; so that we, who have fallen far lower than the angels, may regain a state of blessedness, which even they might desire ; but this does not affect the fact of our sinfulness, nor release us, while on earth at least, from the suitable exercises of contrition and godly sorrow. The Gospel provides for the remission of all sin, and promises justification freely to the ungodly ; but it represents the confession of sin both as meet and necessary ; it nowhere describes it as the procuring cause of mercy, but it uniformly speaks of it as indispensable to its bestowment. It is the duty of the saint, as well as the sinner; it will remain his duty to the latest hour of life. As long as we continue to transgress—as long as any lust remain unsubdued—as long as our faith is marked by feebleness, or our love by variations—till every vestige of corruption is put off with this vile body, and we are made to bear the exact image of Christ—so long must we approach God in the character of sinners ; bear the reproach and shame which that condition incurs; and acknowledge our guilt and just condemnation.

Confession, which is thus necessary, should be particular. It is not enough for us to acknowledge that we are sinners in common with others; our acknowledgments must spring from a due sense of our own transgressions. What we have done amiss—what we have omitted to do, must be mentioned before God. The heart is so deceitful, and the conscience so unfaithful, that it is possible for a man to select the most humiliating penitential expressions which the sacred Volume can supply, and use them before God, without one emotion of true humili. ation or penitence for his own sins. Reader, have you not found it so? Have you not risen frequently from your knees, after employing language of the deepest abasement, conscious that there has been no real sense of guilt; no such acknowledgment of it as the character of God requires, or as you feel to be suitable to your state? The fact is, of your own iniquities you did not think. The specific sins that are separating you from God, the specific charges that stand against you in the book of his remembrance, engaged not your serious attention, and you contented yourself with general language. But this is no confession at all. You may have used deceit, but this you have not told God; you may have committed adultery in your heart, or been guilty of that covetousness which is idolatry, but these you have not noticed before him; you may have yielded to ungovernable tempers, to pride, to murmuring, to distrust, but respecting these your tongue has been dumb. And the very end of your bowing at his foot

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of peace.

stool is unattained. Were the child to refuse to confess to you the specific acts of disobedience of which he was guilty, and content himself with the general admission of faultiness, you would not be satisfied, nor could you fully and entirely forgive him. As you would desire him to deal with you, so must you deal with God ;- and make your personal delinquencies and guilt the subject of frequent and sincere acknowledgment.

Confession should be full and unreserved. It must relate to our own sins to constitute it genuine confession ; it must embrace all our sins, to make it acceptable and complete ; at least, none must be designedly omitted; we had better not bend the knee before Him than dissemble or cloak our faults. By concealment nothing can be gained ; by Him they are already known. Not the most secret is hidden from his eye. Let us then confess them freely ; let us tell him all. The very attempt to dissemble, while it indicates an impenitent heart, involves the guilt of deceit, and is displeasing to God. “ If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." It inflicts on our own soul the most serious injury; it sears the conscience ; kindles a fire in the bones ; it turns aside the current of Divine mercy, and sends back the messenger

“ He that covereth his sin shall not prosper.” Let us then, with respect to all our sins, whether small or great, secret or known, let us acknowledge them fully and ingenuously to our Father who is in heaven.

It is eminently fit, and will be attended with the happiest results. It will disencumber the mind ; it is an important part of the curative process ; it is well-pleasing to God; it is intimately connected with the nature and enjoyment of his favour ; for, “whoso confesseth and forsaketh his sins, shall have mercy." Reader, have you done it, or have you kept silence, and is your soul in bitterness ? then go, go at once to the place of prayer, impressed with your exceeding sinfulness. Your Father's ear is open, hide not your sin ; your Father's heart yearns with compassion, plead your guilt and woe ; your Father's hand holds out the sceptre of mercy, touch it, and receive forgiveness.

Let your confession be humble ; let it proceed from a contrite heart; let it be attended with a just sense of demerit, and an entire reliance on the mercy of the Lord Jesus Christ. Consider the character of the Being whose law you have broken, and whose Gospel you so long despised ; and say, “Against thee, thee only, have I sinned.” Remember that “the sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite heart.” Abhor yourself in dust and ashes ; offer no excuses ; think not to justify yourself before God. You deserve his wrath instead of his grace. He would be glorified in your condemnation. Challenge not his righteousness, but stand before the mercy-seat, and in the attitude of a penitent there abide ; it is your proper place; you may feel it to be humiliating, but it will be attended with inward satisfaction, and your cry shall be

heard. As you look to the Lamb of God, by whose blood you are sprinkled, your burden shall fall from your back; and you shall hear a voice from above the cherubim, saying, "Lo, thy sin is taken away, and thine iniquity is purged."

T. W. (To be continued.)


“ And as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed."

TO THE EDITOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE, SIB-I was not a little surprised to hear a metropolitan minister of high repute assert, on a recent Sabbath morning, that the last clause of Acts xii. 48 is “the most practical text in the whole Bible;" asserting also that the authorized is not the proper translation, which it certainly could not be in that case. I had been wont to regard it as conveying a great truth, but not an eminently practical truth. However, I of course at once deferred to the talent and research of such a master of Israel. And this I did still more readily, as he sustained his position by the sanction of the learned and liberal Doddridge. Yet, as neither our pastors require, nor our people render, implicit faith in their instructions, I have since “searched whether this thing be so.” And having confirmed, rather than controverted my previous conviction by a careful inquiry, I now submit to you the results of the process, in the hope that, if there be one, the flaw in my reasoning may be pointed out and proved to me. I must however, acknowledge that I am ignorant of the regular rules of criticism, and so was compelled to adopt my own course.

My first care was to compare the English rendering with the Greek original. In the latter I found Και επίστευσαν όσοι ήσαν τεταγμένοι εις sony aiónov of which the former, “And as many as were ordained to eternal life, believed," seemed an almost literal translation. But the whole controversy evidently resting on the real meaning of the word terayjévou, I looked for ráoow, (of which it is a form,) in Donnegan's Lexicon. He gives as its various meanings, “to place, or put in order,—to order, command, or decree, to impose by an order or edict, -to assign, to appoint,--to arrange or dispose in a determined order, to draw out, or place troops in battle array.” This last is the idea commonly conveyed by it; it being used in a figurative sense, drawn from the act of the general marshalling his troops ; like our “tactics," which is derived from it; and never referring, any more than that term, to the soldiers themselves, except as passive. And so it is always a transitive verb. As some however render the word here “were



ordained,” and others, “were disposed, that is, disposed themselves ;" I sought to determine the true rendering by a consideration of parallel passages, first in the New Testament, then in the Septuagint, and then in classic authors; and by a comparison of our own with other versions.

The first passage of the New Testament in which the word in question occurs is Matt. xxviii. 16 : “ Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed (éráfaro) them.” In Luke vii. 8, the centurion says, “For I also am a man set (raocóuevos) under authority, having under me soldiers." We read in Acts xv. 2, that the brethren at Antioch “determined” (ěračar) that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them should go up to Jerusalem. In the address of the Lord to Saul recorded in the twenty-second chapter, it is said, verse 10, “Arise and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed (TéTaktai) for thee to do." In the account of St. Paul's imprisonment at Rome we are told, xxviii. 23, that “when they had appointed (tatájevoe) him a day, there came many to him into his lodging.” In Romans xüi. 1, it is declared that “the powers that be are ordained (retayuéval) of God.” And in 1 Cor. xvi. 15, it is recorded to the honour of the house of Stephanas, “that they had addicted themselves (ēragav čavrovs) to the ministry of the saints.” In all these cases, (the only ones in which it occurs,) it will be seen that there is involved in the verb tárow a command, order, or direction given by one person to another, whatever form may be used ; except indeed in the last instance, where the verb is qualified by the pronoun éavtoùs following; which makes a different English construction necessary, although the same idea remains.

Compounds of this verb often occur ; and always with a similar meaning.--Alarkoow, to command, ordain, arrange, is used Matt. xi. 1 : “And it came to pass when Jesus had made an end of command. ing (Slatárow) his twelve disciples, he departed thence to teach and to preach in their cities.” Luke viii. 55; Acts vii. 44; 1 Cor. ix. 14, &c. 'Emirágow, to command, is found in Mark i. 27 : “ For with au. thority commandeth (erritáo get) he even the unclean spirits, and they do obey him." Mark ix. 25; Luke viii. 25; Acts xxiii. 2; Phil. 8, &c.—'Ytorácow, to arrange under, to subordinate, (mid.) to be subject, is of very frequent occurrence. In 1 Cor. xv. 27, it is said : For he hath put (inétagev) all things under his feet.” See also Ephes. i. 22; Phil. iii. 21; Tit. ii. 5; Heb. ii. 5, 8; 1 Pet. iii. 1, &c.—The verbal noun ráfus also is often used for “order,” especially in the Epistle to the Hebrews for an "order" of priesthood; which must be instituted or ordained by some other than the person exercising it, since it is expressly declared that “no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as Aaron.” We find táyua also once with the same signification. In all these cases then, (and

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