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Although nothing but the grace of God can keep us from falling away into gross sins, we believe that in most instances where the children of pious parents have departed from the paths of virtue, there has been something wrong in their training. In many cases the parent's life has been at variance with his profession, and the child has made his election in favor of the former. In others, prayer has taken the place of discipline, or discipline the place of prayer, instead of their having been scripturally blended. At all events our duty is plainly enjoined, and if followed out, we shall be clear from the blood of those confided to our teaching. If we must take the declaration contained in this text, in an absolute and unconditional sense, we should say that the
very fact of such a departure from the paths of rectitude, proves that the child has not been trained in the right way.
Alexander the Coppersmith. Dear Sir, I should feel much obliged if you would explain 2 Tim. iv. 14. I may be wrong, but it does not to me seem to breathe that spirit of forgiveness and love to all men, so strongly inculcated by the apostle; for if Alexander were rewarded according to his works, and his works were evil; could he be rewarded with good ?
Yours very respectfully, Jessie.
Doddridge paraphrases it as a prediction, rather than an imprecation; but allows that it may be taken in the latter sense, in which case he understands it to mean that the offender might “ be so animadverted upon, as to prevent the contagion of his bad example from spreading in the church, and bring him to repentance and reformation.”
Saul's Conversion. Sir,-Will you, or any of your numerous correspondents, reconcile the following seeming contradiction. In Acts ix. 7, St. Luke, in giving an account of St. Paul's conversion says, The men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man;" but in Acts xxii. 9, St. Paul's own account of the transaction is thus given—" They that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid ; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.” A full explanation of the foregoing passages will extremely oblige,
Yours sincerely, AVENILLIE.
In the first of these texts, the men are represented as hearing a voice or sound merely; and in the second, it is intimated that they did not recognize it as the voice of Christ speaking to Saul.
It should be borne in mind also, that the object of St. Luke was simply to record the facts of this miraculous conversion, for the use of the church in after ages; whilst that of Paul, in chapter xxii, was to vindicate his call and mission before his bitterest enemies. To do this, he brings forward all the circumstantial and collateral evidence he possesses, citing in the first instance the testimony of the high priests and elders to his journey to Damascus; and then that of his companions to the heavenly visionthe excessive light which accompanied it, and the terror it created amongst them. There were those amongst his hearers, probably, who could speak to these facts ; but farther than this they could not go, as the call was a special call, addressed to Saul only, and unintelligible to them. He seems, therefore, to use this expression apologetically, as if he would say, “ Had my companions understood who it was that spoke to me, or the subject of his message, the chain of their evidence would have been complete. As it is, I have brought their testimony as near as possible to the climax of my argument.”
The man in Christ. Dear Sir,-Will you be so kind as to give me the meaning of 2 Cor. xii. 2,3? Of what man does the apostle speak ?
Yours respectfully, M. E.
That Paul is speaking of himself, seems evident from the whole scope of the passage. Indeed the terms of the narrative will apply to no one else.
Delegated gods. Sir,— Will you kindly explain to me the meaning of the word "gods,” in Psalm lxxxii, verses 1 and 6.
I am, respected Sir,
Your young Friend, B.
Judges and potentates are in the first of these verses called "gods," from their godlike office or character. Jehovah is elsewhere described as King of kings and Lord of lords, and he is here represented as the Judge of judges. In Exodus xxi. 6, the word, translated "judges," signifies "gods” in the original.
A somewhat larger import appears to attach to the word, as employed in verse 6. Our Saviour applies it in John x. 33–36, to those “unto whom the word of God came.—” His vicegerents and locum tenentes of whatever grade, and possibly to all whom he had dignified and elevated by making them the recipients of his word and will.
Condemnation. DEAR SIR,-Will you have the kindness to inform me if eternal condemnation is meant by the word damnation, in 1 Tim. v. 12 ?
Th can be little doubt that those who “wax wanton against Christ,” and “ cast off their first faith,” or, in other words, renounce the gospel, will receive eternal condemnation unless they subsequently “repent and do their first works,"
Sin unto death. Dear Sir,-Will you favor me with an explanation, through your pages, of 1 John v. 16, 17 ?
J. E. N.
The “sin unto death," here referred to, is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost; a determined rejection of God's only method of salvation. As the Holy Spirit, only, can change the heart, there can be no hope for the sinner while he persists in denying his Godhead, blaspheming his name, and doing despite to the promptings of his grace.
THE OUTER WORLD. Phonography and Phonotypy.—The extensive diffusion of the principles of Phonetic writing during the past year, is shown by the following summary. The corresponding society has increased to 830 meinbers. Phonography has been introduced into above 100 cities and towns in Great Britain, in some of which, several hundred persons have been taught the art, many of whom are now engaged in extending its advantages to others. 370 lectures have been delivered, the average attendance at which is about 200, so that the system has been explained to 74,000 persons. The number of pupils taught privately, and in the various public classes, amounts to 10,106. In addition to this number, many persons have acquired a knowledge of the art from books in places not visited by any lecturers. Phonography has been introduced into 40 educational establishments and colleges, where it is, in many cases, continued as a general branch of instruction. Ten gentlemen are professionally engaged in lecturing and teaching, and devote their whole time to this work; five others lecture and teach occasionally. In many instances, also, members of the corresponding society have given lectures and formed classes in their respective localities. 51 ever-circulating Phonographic Magazines have been established. In the United States, the reform is ably maintained by Mr. S. P. Andrews, and several other teachers. But the most important event of the past year is, doubtless, the commencement of Phonetic Printing.
This statement of the progress of a new art, which aims at nothing less than the entire reformation of the present modes of writing and printing, will be sufficient to awaken in the minds of our readers some degree of interest on the subject. Phonography, as its name implies, is the art of writing down sounds; Phonotypy, the art of representing or symbolizing them. We have hitherto been accustomed to suppose, that writing and printing, as at present practised, achieve both of these ends; but, in this, the advocates of the present system, assure us we are very much mistaken.
In Phonography, as in most other novelties of the day, there is a mixture of good and bad, owing to that very common infirmity of human nature, which induces the inventor of a system to ride his hobby to death. Cold water, for example, is a good thing ; but Hydropathy, a very bad one. Phrenology, even, may have a modicum of truth in it, but is rendered highly absurd and dangerous by the headlong zeal of most of its abettors. Just so it appears to be with Phonography. As a system of short hand, it is decidedly good; whilst as aiming at the overthrow of our present orthography, it has much in it that is equally gratuitous and absurd. It is, in fact, a laborious, complicated, and mystic method of bad spelling; a system of reading made uneasy; of typography bewitched.
We do not, to use a seasonable phrase, consider its preamble to be made good. It proceeds upon the assumption, that our alphabet does not contain letters capable of expressing all the sounds in the English language, and that, consequently, more signs are wanted, in order to spell words correctly. And in the second place, it supposes that the pronunciation of every word is fixed and invariable, or at all events determinable by a certain immutable standard.
Now, we think, that both these positions are wrong. We should be more inclined, if our object were really to simplify the English tongue, to dispense with some of the letters of our present alphabet, than to add to their number. What, for example, is the use of our letter c, an innovation unwarranted by our earlier and more classical alphabets. The old greek aspirate might also take the place of h; and 9, a mere shadow without its usual suffix u, could well be spared; while our y, or long i, could be represented by the duplication of the latter sign. Our own opinion may be singular upon the subject, but we believe the Hebrew language to have been communicated to mankind by a direct revelation from God himself. But whether so or not, it was unquestionably honored as the medium of communication by the Great Author of the Scriptures, and as such, we think, ought to be considered as the perfect original of all other tongues. But in this wonderful language the very vowels are dispensed with -a plain proof that the longest alphabet is not necessarily the best, and that the sound of a word is not of paramount importance.
We have no objection to see our present orthography reformed to a reasonable extent; but, we think, this might be very well done without the cumbrous and complicated machinery of the system under notice. Where superfluous letters are used, we should not object to see them cut off; and anomalies in spelling might be very easily remedied, without the entire subversion of the alphabet. But to attempt to give the critically-accurate pronunciation of a word which is differently enunciated in every county in England, to say nothing of other countries, appears ridiculous and impracticable. We very much doubt, indeed, if the inventor of this system, and his London friends, would spell the very simple word Bath alike, if they attempted to follow the sound. We should say too, that as the dialect of Somersetshire is not considered by many of our Londoners as remarkable for its purity, a large proportion of his “Fonotipic corrispundunce” would require retranslation before its issue in the great Metropolis. We perceive, from the specimen obligingly forwarded to us, that a "Fonotipic Bibul" is in the press. May we ask how the untranslated words are to be spelled, as we have never yet met with two Hebrew scholars who could agree upon the subject ? Notwithstanding all that has been done by our most eminent Hebraists, we fear that the exact pronunciation of the language is for ever lost, so that it must still remain inviolate, notwithstanding the gigantic strides of the Ritin and Printin Reformashun Sosieti.