« PreviousContinue »
applied to the heathen, inasmuch as among the Hebrews there were no slaves, and by law could be none. But if it was a year of freedom for heathen slaves, admitting they could be called such, then it was the complete extinction of slavery; it was such a periodical emancipation as abolished slavery utterly and entirely, and rendered its establishment in the land impossible.
Here we see the inconsistency of lexicographers and commentators between their own conclusions, when they assume that the Jubilee was a year of deliverance to slaves, and at the same time restrict its emancipating operation to the Hebrews. For example, under the word 1177, we read in Gesenius the definition of the year of liberty, 1997 rokas “ the year of deliverance to slaves, namely, the year of jubilee. This is either assuming the Hebrews to be slaves, contrary to the well-known law which made this impossible, or, of necessity, it assumes and asserts the application of the law of Jubilee to other classes, namely, of strangers and of the heathen; and interprets that law (as, beyond all question, its phraseology demands) as applying to all the inhabitants of the land. The Septuagint version of the proclamation is, άφεσιν επί της γης πάσι τοις κατοικούσιν αυτήν, deliverance to all the inhabitants; and the Sept. version of Ezek. 46: 17 is, étous tỉs á égews, the year of discharge or deliverance ; and the Hebrew for the year of jubilee, baina, is translated, in the same version, by έτος της αφέσεως and ενιαυτός αφέσεως, the year of freeing, of discharging, of letting go.
It is of little consequence whether the Hebrew appellation was adopted from the instrument, the species of trumpet, used in making the proclamation of the jubilee, or from the meaning of the root-word, from which the name of that instrument itself was derived. The Jubel-horn may have been a ram's horn, or a metallic trumpet. But the name zar", to designate, repeatedly, a jubilee, and sain, the jubilee, and aiz, in jubilee, and saing, the year of jubilee, besides the expression ngan baino now, the year of this jubilee, would lead us more naturally to the verb bay, to go, to flow, to run, as the origin of the appellation, by its peculiar meaning of deliver
and proclaim liberty , וּקְרָאתֶם דְּרוֹר בָּאָרֶץ לְכָל־יֹשְׁבֶיהָ יוֹבֵל הִוא תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם
ance, freedom, remission, a flowing forth as a river. This is the more probable, because the appellation sain, jubilee, is not first given in connection with the blowing of the trumpet, but with the proclamation of liberty. When the forty-nine years are passed," then shalt thou cause the trumpet of rejoicing to sound—in the day of atonement ye shall make the trumpet to sound” (Lev. 25: 9). The Hebrew, here, is not the trumpet barn, of jubilee, as might be supposed from our version, but no 010, the trumpet of rejoicing or of shouting for joy. After this trumpet-sounding, comes the proclamation of liberty; and then, first, we have the name jubilee. The Hebrew, in its connection, is full of meaning:
, throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof : a jubilee it shall be unto you.
The leading idea in the law is that of freedom from servi. tude, and the proclaiming clause is the proclamation of liberty; and from that proclamation, and not from the enacting clauses immediately following, in regard to restitution of property and the return to patrimonial possessions, is the name of the jubilee taken. The trumpet of rejoicing shall sound, and ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and shall proclaim liberty to all the inhabitants of the land, AND THIS
And in the year of this jubilee, ye shall return, every man, unto his possession. And so on, with the detailed enactments of the law. It is manifest that this great year is called the jubilee, from its ruling transaction of liberty: that joyful announcement, in the proclamation, gives it its reigning character; it would have been worth little or nothing without that. It was the breaking of every yoke, and the letting of every man go free.
SHALL BE YOUR JUBILEE.
(To be concluded.)
AN ESSAY TOWARDS A DEMONSTRATION OF THE DIVINE
By Rev. Daniel P. Noyes, one of the Secretaries of the American Home
It must be possible to " demonstrate” the existence of God. The following Essay is an attempt to do this. Should it altogether fail of illustrating the divine glory, this failure will yet be, for its author, at least, a monition to humility.
Of all miracles, the greatest is the universe itself; and the greatest of wonders is, that anything exists. If we can believe this, we ought to find no difficulty in the acceptance of any proposition, on the mere ground of intrinsic miraculousness. For, that any particular thing, very great, strange, or wonderful, should be, or that any remarkable relation should subsist between any realities, is not so wonderful or incomprehensible as that anything at all should have being.
The earth appears in broad expanse, or towering in lofty heights, and we seem to feel its solid substance beneath our feet; above us is the apparition of the heaven, with its many lights, its ceaseless motions, and its stable laws; while within us is springing up, ever, the wonderful consciousness of intelligence, of identity, and personality. We ask ourselves : Is all this real ? If so, what could make it? And then, what could have made that maker? And thenwhere, when, how, what, is the Beginning? How can aught begin? How can aught be? And yet, we see and know that all this is; and we are perfectly sure of our own personal reality. That there should have been an eternal nothingness, would seem very easy to believe, did we not so surely recognize positive existence, that it becomes an impossible belief. And now, perceiving and recognizing, as we do, this existence, it is yet a wonder passing all wonder, the mystery before which all others fade, that anything hath being. The beginning is a dark abyss.
It is not the business of philosophy to deal with madmen, or with those who choose to imitate madness. Her occupation is, to picture, by means of language, the true image of that which is, and its method. If any please to affirm, there is nothing; then, denying as they do, both the reality of their own proposition and of themselves, they cannot accuse us of a want of respect, while we merely take them at their word and deny their existence.
There is, undoubtedly, an intellectual interest in attaining the most logical, most complete, most rational, form of stating our knowledge; but not even for philosophical purposes, is it worth while to allow the possible reasonableness of a doubt of the reality of being. Nor this, merely because it is useless to permit such tampering with the truth and with the soul, but the habit of “supposing " things to be false which we must know to be true, of theoretically giving up the original foundation principles of right thought and feeling, whether out of an ambition for fairness, or in concession to the mental obliquity or moral perversity of another, is perilous and pernicious. No man can safely play these games with his own mind, or countenance them in another. Such levity is a wrong to the majesty of the truth, and to the sacredness of the soul.
We shall not undertake to prove, then, that the world exists, or that the soul is not a dream of nothingness. Every man knows the reality of the universe, and his own distinct personal identity. We accordingly affirm this; and begin by saying:
1. SOMETHING IS.
This is not a semblance of a sun, which shines above. Those are not falsehoods that strew the nightly heavens. That is not a phantasm-life which swarms the earth. That is not a form of nothingness which perceives and knows in thine own consciousness. Behold, this all is real.
Did it just now spring from nothing? Did it ever spring from nothing? What power was there in nothing, to throw forth this vast reality; or even the least visible or conceive
able thing? In nothing, there is nothing. From nothing, , nothing can come.
The mind seems sometimes to take wing, as it were, and with unnamable swiftness to fly back into the immensity of the time that is ended ; but when it pauses, it is to find itself in the presence of being. If again it rise upon its swift wings, and again plunges into the inconceivable past, still, wherever its measureless flight is stayed, it is, it must be, in the presence of being, yet; and no point can be reached, where the reason can rest, and looking around and within, say, there is nothing! Thus the great truth is ever present with us, and it overcomes us, and from it we can never flee, that:
II. SOMETHING ALWAYS WAS; BEING IS ETERNAL.
It is impossible, with open and steady eye to contemplate this eternity of being, without awe. The vastness grows, and there is no end. The sublimity has no limit, save our own power to grasp and to feel it. The very certainty, in which this dread and glorious vision stands robed; that necessity, so absolute, of an eternal something, from which the mind finds no escape, is of itself sublime. Turn whithersoever we will, it rises before us still. Begin at what part of the universe we may, we discover this awful presence lingering behind it, and holding it all in his bosom. We look; and the longer we look, the more sure the vision becomes, not as truth merely, but as reality, as power, a veritable presence, reality most real—more real, possibly—we are sometimes tempted to say—than any of these things which we can touch. For may it not be, that these are but semblances shaped from out of this same “eternal something” which is ? For:
III. It is very plain, that, IN ALL THAT IS, HAS BEEN, OR WILL BE, THERE CAN BE NOTHING SAVE THE ETERNAL, WITH
HAS SPRUNG, SPRINGS, OR WILL SPRING, FROM THE
We are not ready yet, from our present investigation, to affirm, whether this varied universe is all one pure substance only, which puts on and off these many fleeting forms, while