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Lord of that servant will separate him, and will appoint him his portion with the unfaithful.”
The original expression imports more than simply to discard, than merely to dismiss. These words are too faint for the theme and the occasion. On the other hand, no capital punishment, and still less any exquisitely cruel mode of it, can be signified. To cut the servant asunder, is to separate him from the rest of the servants, and, by close confinement, to punish him for his guilty negligence.*
John iv, 10.: “ If thou knewest the gift of God," &c.
To Campbell's interpretation of this clause I cannot quite accede :-"the bounty of God"-"bis distinguished, extensive goodness.” I prefer the common rendering“ the gift," &c. A specific gift is intended: for the word usually bears this meaning it and here the specific gift is the Alessiah, who was designed for a blessing to Samaritans and Heathens, as well as Jews.
John v. 37. Mr. Turner, of Wakefield, proposed t to render this verse interrogatively : so do many of the commentators. But there seems to be no necessity for the alteration, which, besides, does not give a good and
No Jew had ever seen the shape," or “heard the voice," of God himself. Our Saviour guards against being supposed, by his audience, to make
such admission : he recognizes that first principle of their religion, the spiritual nature and invisibility of the Supreme Being. One translator || was so much at a loss for a consistent interpretation of the clause, that he assumed it to be uttered figuratively of knowledge and obedience.
John vi. 62 ; “What and if ye shall see. the Son of Man ascend up where he was before?".
The Sacred Volume supplies three powerful arguments against interpreting this language of a literal ascent. In the first place, Christ's literal ascent, whenever you suppose it to have occurred, was perfectly irrelevant to what he had just been saying. Secondly, not a few parallel texts will prove that by ascent to heaven we are often to understand, a profounder knowledge of the Divine counsels, of sublimer and more spiritual things than earth exhibits. I
* Pearce, in loc.
+ 2 Cor. ix. 15, &c. Priestley's Harmony, &c., $ 40; Theol. Rep. I. 55. || Mr. Wakefield,
Deut. xxx. 12; Rom. X. 6; John iii, 12, 13.
In fine, the words that follow," It is the spirit," &c., are, as Mr. Turner justly observes,* "a key to inost of the obscurities in the preceding discourse.”
John vi. 68: “Lord, to whom shall we go ?"
to whom shall we go from thee?" “Deserting thee, what Teacher, Master and Saviour shall we find like thyself?” This is the full import of the question in the original; nor ought the force of prepositions in compound verbs to be overlooked.
John xii. 28 : “Father ! Glorify thy name :" i. e., says Archbishop Newcome,t "by my sufferings, and by the supernatural circumstances which will attend them.”
The paraphrase is good, so far as it goes. · But here the Primate appears to have lost sight of a main end of Christ's sufferings, of one chief way, in which God would be glorified by them : I mean, the universal diffusion of the Gospel
-the admission of both Jews and Gentiles into the Christian church; an event which the context impressively and plainly intimates. I
Rom. ii. 29: in the spirit, and not in the letter."
" This excellent circumcision, remarks Doddridge, $ “is seated in the spirit, consisting of a change made there by the operation of the Divine Spirit bimself.”.
Now such a paraphrase strikes me as being exceedingly misplaced. The phrase," the spirit,” whatever be elsewhere its meaning, stands here for the temper, the governing disposition, the character, of the man, the state and tenor of his mind, in contradistinction from -wbat is outward, or the letter.; moral and religious principle, in opposition to the mere, observance of a ritual. The difference is much the same as between “the spirit” and “the flesh," ver. 28, and ch. viii.
Rom. iii. 30 : “ Seeing it is one God," &c.
This passage extremely well interprets a part of 1 Tim. ii. 5: one God and one Mediator,”. &c., and shews the practical importance and value of the pure truths of the Gospel.
Heb. vii. 3. Let this text be compared with Gen. xiv. 8, and Ps. cx. Melchizedec's priesthood was not Levitical, was not hereditary, was not successive : so far the priest
* Priestley's Har., &c., in loc.
§ Family Expositor, iu loc. VOL. XIV.
hood of Jesus Christ resembles it. This is all which the writer says; all which the facts of the case authorize any one to say. The clause, “ without father, without mother, without descent,” means, as 'the Syriac version well expresses it, and agreeably to ver. 6, that no table of descent, or genealogy, recorded Melchizedec's parentage; while correct genealogical tables subsisted, and were assiduously consulted, with regard to the members of the Levitical priesthood.* In the supreme attachment of the Jews to the priestly character, and in the circumstance of Christ's being, like Melchizedec, at once a priest and a king, a priest too, of the Most High, i. e. of the true God,+ we have a clue to the introduction of the name and the history of that personage.
ADDRESS OF THE CATHOLIC ASSOCIATION TO THE PROTES
TANT DISSENTERS OF ENGLAND. [We think it right to republish in the Christian Reformer this Address of the Irish Catholic Association to the English Protestant Dissenters, together with the Petition of the Association to Parliament for the Repeal of the Corporation and Test Acts. The whole will come into this and the next number. It is novel and curious, as well as pleasing, to see Roman Catholics asserting for others as well as themselves the rights of conscience.]
FELLOW-CHRISTIANS, You are engaged in a constitutional struggle to attain your rights.
We have been long employed in similar exertions. No man deserves freedom who will not use his best endeavours to obtain that greatest of human blessings.
You seek to repeal laws which punish you for not being hypocrites-deprive you of rights because you are sincere, and degrade you in your native land, simply because you refuse to renounce religious tenets which you believe from conscientious conviction. :. We contend for precisely similar objects. We, like you, should be free from all restrictions, if we would consent to profess opinions which we do not believe, Our insincerity,
* See Helon's Pilgrimage, Vol. II. ch. ii,
+ I recollect no example in the Scriptures of any other import of the phrase, “the most high God.”
like yours, would be rewarded with the concession of all civil rights ; and if we were base enough to despise or undervalue the sacred obligation of an oath, we could set persecution at defiance, and obtain at once total Emancipation.
Thus ' mutually testifying to our sincerity by our privations, engaged in a similar struggle for relief, why should not a congeniality of motive ensure a combination of exertion ?-and why should not sympathy in suffering produce perfect union in action?
Protestant Dissenters, we offer you the hand of amityIn the spirit of Christian charity we call upon you for open, avowed, and manly co-operation,
We desire to bring into practical operation this great principle of individual duty and social right' THAT EVERY HUMAN BEING SHOULD WORSHIP GOD ACCORDING TO THE SINCERE DICTATES OF HIS CONSCIENTIOUS BELIEF.'
Do you agree with us on that principle? If you do not agree in that principle, you seal your own condemnation, and have no excuse for dissenting from the Church by law established. No man should disobey the law, unless under the sanction of a higher duty, and in obedience to a more awful authority.
If you do agree with us in that sacred principle, why will not you assist us to give it practical effect ?
It is, we assert, an universal principle, not confined to one sect or persuasion, but extended to every existing and every possible mode of Christian belief.
The Catholics of Ireland have ever grounded their Petition for Emancipation on this great principle of freedom of conscience. --Should we succeed for ourselves, you will have (and we heartly rejoice-at it) the full force of the argument, and the full benefit of the example.
Why, then, 'will you not join with us? Why will you not combine your exertions with ours? We may fail if we act separately.—The " Vis unita fortior" of combination may enable us to achieve that liberty, in the pusuit of which we may each be defeated if disunited and separate.
As you love liberty--as you esteem justice as you respect the rights of conscience-we call upon you to combine your
efforts with ours, and with us to make one powerful exertion, before which the banners of intolerance may break down, and thus Christianity shall be rescued from thraldom, and conscience shall be set free,
Why, then, we ask you, have you not already united your force with ours, and already made a common effort in our common cause ? We will ourselves answer that question, and state the causes which have heretofore created and perhaps excused your separation from us, but which cannot hereafter, as we respectfully submit, be considered as any palliation for continuing that separation, or again refusing to join us to make conscience free.
The causes to wbich we allude are easily to be found in those prejudices and unfounded opinions respecting the Catholics, which the misrepresentations and calumnies of your enemies as well as ours have engendered and perpetuated by incessant and interested repetition and circola tion in all shapes and forms.
The Catholics are assailed by falsehood in every shape and in every form--from the ponderous folio to the penny ballad—from the loathsome verbiage of an Act of Parliament to the flippant wit of a farce, every species of literary artillery is directed against us. Our conduct is calumniated
our tenets are misrepresented—our priociples are falsified. Belief which we reject, is imputed to us“opinious which we abhor are attributed to us-maxims which we loath, are charged upon us.
Protestants-Englishmen, we demand justice. We are entitled to your compassion, but we seek not. to excite the paltry passion of pity. We demand to be heard in our defence, and we call for nothing but unbiassed and deliberate judgment.
We are accused of entertaining opinions hostile to civil liberty-we are accused of cherishing tenets inimical to freedom of conscience. Do not believe those who tell you so. They impose upon you—they calumniate us. There do not breathe in the universal world men more fondly, more firmly, more enthusiastically attached to civil liberty than the Catholics of Ireland. "If we be guilty of any idolatry, it is purely political, and consists in the fervour of that devotion with which we worsbip at the shrine of freedom.
The Catholics of Ireland are devoted, with equal warmth, and, if possible, more persevering zeal, to the cause of religious freedom.-- The Catholic Prelatès eagerly join the Catholic Laity in the assertion of the principle of liberty of conscience. The Catholic Peerage rival the Catholic Peasantry in the sincerity with which both proclaim that liberty of