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sented in Scripture, not as destroying, but as fulfilling the law, and thereby redeeming all who embrace the Gospel from the bondage and penalty of their former covenant of works, whether under the law of Moses, or the law of nature, and introducing both parties on equal terms into the new covenant of grace. Thus, Paul remarks to the Galatians, “When the full time was come God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption [of sons.]. ... For had a law been given capable of imparting life, righteousness would assuredly have been obtained by the law; but the Scripture hath included all under sin, that the promise (which is obtained] by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.” He assures the Romans, “There is, therefore, now no condemnation to those [who are] in Christ Jesus; for the law of the spirit of life (which is] by Christ Jesus, hath delivered me from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God [hath accomplished,] by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and on account of sin, [and] condemning sin in the flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. . ... Remember,”-says the same apostle, in his Epistle to the Ephesians,* “ that ye were Gentiles in flesh, and termed uncircumcised by those who derive their name from the circumcision made by hand in the flesh, that at that time ye were without Christ, aliens to the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world ; but that now, by Christ Jesus, ye who once were far off have by the blood of Christ been brought nigh. For he is our peace who hath united both [parties, namely Jews and Gentiles,] destroyed the middle wall of partition, and abolished by his flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in the form of] decrees, thereby making peace, that he might unite in himself the two (parties] into one new man, and reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby ; and hath come and proclaimed peace to you who [were] far off, and [to them] who (were] nigh; for through him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father." In precisely similar terms he reminds the Colossians, “You, who were dead in sins, and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, [God] hath raised to life with Christ, having forgiven us all transgressions, blotted out the written law in [the form of] decrees, which was against us, and contrary to us, and taken it out of the way, by nailing it to the cross; [and,] having stripped the [Jewish] principalities and powers (of their authority,] made an open exposure [of them,] triumphing over them thereon.” The identity of “the written law (in the form of] decrees,” or of statutory enactment, mentioned in these passages, with “the law graven on stones," mentioned in 2 Cor. iii. 6, 7, which pertained to the ministry of death, but was abolished by Christ, that is, with the Decalogue, as the basis of the Mosaic covenant, must be sufficiently apparent.*
* There is every reason to believe that this epistle was addressed to the church of Laodicea, not to that of Ephesus ; but the distinction is of no importance in reference to the present argument.
The text which immediately follows the passage last quoted, is that which gave rise to the present discussion, and with which, as far as the author is concerned, it may now appropriately close :—“Let no one, therefore, judge you in reference to food or drink, nor in respect of festivals, nor of days of new moon, nor of Sabbath days ; which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance [is] of Christ.” In connexion with this passage, he has endeavoured to prove by careful reasoning and scriptural induction that, under the Christian dispensation, neither the Jewish nor any other Sabbath is in force by Divine command; that the Decalogue is not a simple transcript of the moral law; and that, although the moral law demands frequent and fervent acts of devotion both private and social, it does not establish a Sabbath, nor direct the consecration of any special and stated portion of time for such purposes ; that Christians are, however, at liberty to make arrangements of this kind amongst themselves by voluntary agreement, but not to enforce them by compulsory power, nor to represent them as possessing Divine authority. The author has been prompted to undertake this task by a profound reverence for the dictates of revelation, and by an anxious desire to observe the distinction, never more necessary to be maintained than at the present time, between the commandments of men and the word of God. How far he has succeeded in the attempt, he leaves others to judge; but he has advanced no proposition which he has not laboured to substantiate ; and, whilst advocating what he conceives to be important principles, has had no wish to promote lax or irregular conduct, nor to disturb long-established and useful practices. It was his intention to have offered some remarks on the political relations of the Sabbath ; but, as this is a distinct and subordinate branch of the subject, and as he has already trespassed too far on the time and patience of his readers, these remarks must either be suppressed, or at least postponed till a more convenient season. He takes leave of his opponents with kind and respectful feelings; and, if he has inadvertently used any expressions which might appear dogmatical or severe, willingly retracts them. At the same time, he thinks it incumbent on all who investigate subjects of this solemn nature, to be zealous in the pursuit of truth, and honest in stating their convictions. London, April, 1843.
* Matt. v. 17, 18 ; Luke xvi. 16, 17; Rom. v. 12–14; viii. 1-4; Gal. iii. 16–22 ; iv. 4, 5; Eph. ii. 11–18; Col. ii. 13–15; Heb. vii. 11, 12, 18, 19; viii. 6-13;x. 1–10.
MATTHIAS. Was Matthias an apostle? That he was numbered with the apostles is manifest ; but whether on Divine authority, is the question we propose now to consider. The mode of voting adopted on that occasion is far distant from the subject ; and therefore the quotations from the Syriac version, &c., in the article of the March number of the Congregational on this topic, we have not to notice.
The present writer thinks, we have no evidence of Matthias being an apostle on Divine authority; and if not on Divine authority, he was not an apostle at all.
1. He was not called to be an apostle by our Lord himself. All the other apostles were so called. They all received a personal call to their office. Paul shows the authority attached to that important circumstance, from the fact that he so often narrates the scenes that accompanied the call he received. But Matthias possessed not this great qualification for an apostleship.
2. Peter's reasoning on the occasion is inconclusive. Had the apostles received an intimation from heaven, that the disciples were to choose one, to take the place of Judas, most undoubtedly, when he set forth the reasons for proceeding to the election of one of their number, he would not-he could not have failed stating so important a circumstance. But not having a "Thus saith the Lord,” he proceeds to reason. And his reasons lie open to investigation, or why were they offered ?
He stated first that that Scripture must be fulfilled which says, “His bishopric let another take.” Most undoubtedly it was to be fulfilled. But the drift of Peter's reasoning is, And therefore we must fulfil it, by choosing another apostle. The Scripture indeed was to be fulfilled, but it gave no intimation that those holding the same office with him, who by transgression fell, were to fulfil it. Peter's reasoning went further than that
would justify. Then the apostle proceeds to state, that one must be ordained of those who had formerly and constantly “companied" with the apostles and their Lord.
But when our Lord chose an apostle, instead of selecting one from his disciples who from the first had accompanied with him, he took a man who probably had never seen him; and took him out of the camp of his enemies, and made their chief his apostle. Our Lord then did not think as Peter thought, and his conduct shows the inconclusive character of Peter's reasoning.
3. The mode of procedure in the election of an apostle on this occasion is unsatisfactory.
They first, and apparently without difficulty, appointed two of the number qualified in their judgments for the office. In doing this they did what was very difficult; but in doing it they made no special appeal to heaven. Now if the giving forth of lots, preceded by prayer, was so certain a mode of procedure, where was the necessity of appointing first of all two individuals, then resorting to prayer, and the use of the lot, to ascertain which of the two was to be numbered with the apostles ? And what kind of evidence could Matthias appeal to as a proof of his apostleship, when the decision after all might not have been Divinely brought about.
The whole procedure forms a strong contrast to our Lord's solemn conduct, when he spent a whole night (not a few minutes, as on this occasion) in prayer, previously to choosing his apostles. In fact the transaction is characteristic of its author, the hasty, quick, zealous Peter, who, however, with all his faults, was not exceeded by any one of the apostles in sincere love to his Lord, or willingness to give up all for him.
In conclusion, it may be remarked that though we cannot presume to say what our Lord would have done, had he intended the choice of another apostle to be determined by those already called to that office, yet the probability is very strong that before his departure he would have given some intimation of his will to the eleven.
But Peter manifestly was totally ignorant of any such intimation, and we may therefore conclude none was given.
From the circumstance of all the apostles having received their call from the Lord himself, it would appear that the appointment of an apostle was a work he never delegated to any man, nor to any body of men. Swindon.
ON SMOKING: IN REPLY TO THE REV. W. JAY.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CONGREGATIONAL MAGAZINE,
Dear Sir,—Mr. Jay owes no thanks to Amicus, B., for the insertion of an extract, than which none could be found less honourable to the discrimination or the temper of the venerable writer. As a Christian minister, who, for considerably more than thirty years, has continued the practice which is so pointedly condemned, I feel myself put on the defensive. And I rely on your well-known sense of justice, to allow the defence a similar publicity to the accusation. I know that smoking is abused; and so is drinking, and most of all, perhaps, eating. Many smoke, just as they eat and drink, at improper times, and in an improper degree ; but we have not to learn that the abuse is not to be pleaded against the use. I do not apologize for smoking. A Christian should indulge in no practice which requires apology. I defend it; and maintain that smoking, used in proper circumstances, and, in a proper degree, is a holy thing, and conducive to holy ends.
I defend smoking as a powerful agent in the prevention of gluttony. Gluttony is a sin, which, though pointedly condemned in Scripture, is seldom denounced in the present day. Instead of condemnation, the cry, “Eat, eat, eat," is, in innumerable forms, re-echoed through the land.* Now, Sir, I do not assert that smoking administers nutriment; but I do assert, without fear of contradiction, that it allays the keenness of appetite. And this, in my opinion, is a great recommendation to the practice. The smoker, instead of feeding to repletion, can afford to leave off before his appetite is sated. His pipe or his cigar is coming, and that will do the rest. There is a grossness about eating, especially as taken in connexion with its consequences, which is sometimes felt as revolting to a delicately constituted mind, -a grossness which is sometimes so felt as to form a powerful illustration of the apostolic phrase, "our vile body,” (“the body of our humiliation," or our humbled body.”) Now the Christian smoker, when he allays his appetite in part not from the grossness of eating, but from the pure etherial element of fire, so far rises above the grossness of mortality, and so far anticipates a state where that grossness shall be no more.
It would be an easy task to parody Mr. Jay's language on " the silliness of the practice," in a way not very complimentary to the dig. nity of the eater, especially the eater of animal food; but respect for the character of a man with whom I have no personal acquaintance, and whom I have not seen for the last thirty-seven years, leads me to forbear.
I defend smoking as a powerful agent in the prevention of immoderate drinking. It is a fact that people, especially in the lowest classes of life, do connect smoking and tippling ;t but the fact does not prove a necessary connexion. In virtuous and respectable life, the testimony of fact is quite in the opposite direction. I have passed the far greater part of my days in one of those agricultural neighbourhoods in which happily I (as I think) social smoking is not banished from
* This remark conveys no allusion to the righteous cry of the Anti-Corn Law League.
+ The public-house scene is a favourite appeal of the opponent of smoking. But he forgets the innumerable instances in which the domestic pipe, on the one hand, gives an additional charm to home, and, on the other, furnishes a valuable season of intercourse with a husband, or a father. The limited range of human views constantly interferes with the correctness of human judgments. When the “God of knowledge, by whom actions are weighed,” shall arise to judgment, his decision may be expected to reverse the decisions of the world, and, in some cases, the decisions of the church.
1 I say, happily, because the modern exclusion of smoking from respectable private residences in London, and other large towns, by driving smokers to places of public resort, originates an immensity of vice and misery.