網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

never saw.

as already stated, but sent ships from the scriptures to be the jerboa ; but Mr. Bruce port of Éziongeber through the Red Sea proves that the ashkoko is intended. This to Ophir, probably the coast of Africa, curious animal is found in Ethiopia, and in 1 kings ix. 26; 2 Chronicles ix. 21. This great numbers on Mount Lebanon, &c. Intraffic, although a source of emolument stead of holes, they seem to delight in more appears to have been neglected after the airy places, in the mouths of caves, or clefts in death of Solomon. The attempt made by the rock. They are gregarious, and frequently Jehoshaphat to restore it was frustrated, by several dozens of them sit upon the great his ships being dashed upon the rocks and stones at the mouths of caves, and warm destroyed, 1 Kings xxii. 48, 49; 2 Chron. themselves in the sun, or come out and en11. 36. Joppa, though not a very conve- joy the freshness of the summer evening. They nent one, was properly the port of Jeru- do not stand upright upon their feet, but malem; and some of the large vessels which seem to steal along as in fear, their belly being yent to Spain sailed from it, Jonah i. 3. In nearly close to the ground ; advancing a few the age of Ezekiel, the commerce of Jerusa- steps at a time, and then pausing. They have lem was so great, that it gave an occasion of something very mild, feeble-like, and timid, avy even to the Tyrians themselves, Ezekiel in their deportment; are gentle and easily um 2. After the captivity, a great number tamed, though, when roughly handled at the of Jews became merchants, and travelled for first, they bite very severely. Many are the the purpose of traffic into all countries. reasons to believe this to be the animal called About the year 150 B.C., prince Simon ren- saphan in Hebrew, and erroneously by our dered the port at Joppa more convenient translators, “ the coney,” or rabbit. The lattaan it had hitherto been. In the time of ter are gregarious indeed, and so far resem. Pompey the Great, there were so many Jews ble the other, as also in size ; but they seek abroad on the ocean, even in the character not the same place of retreat; for the rabbit of pirates, that king Antigonus was accused burrows most generally in the sand. Nor before him of having sent them out on pur- is there anything in the character of rabbits pose. A new port was built by Herod at that denotes excellent wisdom, or that they Cesarea.

supply the want of strength by any remarkCOMMUNION, in a religious sense, re- able sagacity: The saphan, then, is not the fers chiefly to the admission of persons to rabbit; which last, unless it was brought the Lord's supper. This is said to be open, to him by his ships from Europe, Solomon then all are admitted who apply, as in the church of England; to be strict, when con- Let us now apply the characters of the fined to the members of a single society, or, ashkoko to the saphan. “He is above all at least, to members of the same denomina- other animals so much attached to the rocks, tion; and it is mixed, when persons are ads that I never once,” says Mr. Bruce,“ mitted from societies of different denomina- him on the ground, or from among large tuons, on the profession of their faith, and stones in the mouth of caves, where is his evidence of their piety. The principal diffi. constant residence. He lives in families or exity on this point arises between the strict flocks. He is in Judea, Palestine, and AraBaptists and Pædo-Baptists.

bia, and consequently must have been famiCONCUBINE, wasis. This term, in west- liar to Solomon. David describes him very er authors, commonly signifies, a woman, pertinently, and joins him to other animals who, without being married to a man, yet perfectly known: The hills are a refuge lives with him as his wife ; but, in the sacred for the wild goats, and the rocks for the

Titers, the word concubine is understood in saphan :' and Solomon says that they are another sense ; meaning a lawful wife, but exceeding wise,' that they are but a feeble obe not wedded with all the ceremonies and folk, yet make their houses in the rocks.' solemnities of matrimony; a wife of the se- Now this, I think, very obviously fixes the cond rank, inferior to the first wife, or mis- ashkoko to be the saphan; for his weakness treas of the house. Children of concubines seems to allude to his feet, and how inadedid not inherit their father's fortune ; but he quate these are to dig holes in the rock, tight provide for, and make presents to, where yet, however, he lodges. From their them. Thus Abraham, by Sarah his wife, tenderness these are very liable to be excohad Isaac, his heir; but, by his two concu- riated or hurt; notwithstanding which, they bines, Hagar and Keturah, he had other build houses in the rocks more inaccessible churen, whom he did not make equal to than those of the rabbit, and in which they Isae. As polygamy was tolerated in the abide in greater safety, not by exertion of east, it was common to see in every family, strength, for they have it not, but are truly, beside lawful wives, several concubines. as Solomon says, “a feeble folk,' but by Since the abrogation of polygamy by Jesus their own sagacity and judgment; and are Christ, and the restoration of marriage to therefore justly described as wise. Lastly, its primitive institution, concubinage is what leaves the thing without doubt is, that ranked with adultery or fornication. some of the Arabs, particularly Damir, say CONEY, ĐW, Levit. xi. 5; Deut. xiv. 7; that the saphan has no tail

, that it is less Psalm civ. 8; and Prov. xxx. 26. Bochart than a cat, that it lives in houses or nests, and others have supposed the shophan of the which it builds of straw, in contradistinc

saw

tion to the rabbit and the rat, and those penance for them.” This is the confession animals that burrow in the ground.

of sins which the same council confidently CONFESSION signifies, a public acknow- affirms “to have been instituted by our ledgment of anything as our own : thus Lord, and, by the law of God, to be necessary Christ will confess the faithful in the day of to salvation, and to have been always praejudgment, Luke xii. 8. 2. To own and pro- tised in the catholic church.” It is, howfess the truths of Christ, and to obey his ever, evident, that such confession is unscripcommandments, in spite of opposition and tural. St. James, indeed, says, “Confess danger from enemies, Matt. x. 32. 3. To your faults one to another,” James v. 16; utter or speak the praises of God, or to give but priests are not here mentioned, and the him thanks. 4. To acknowledge our sins word faults seems to confine the precept to a and offences to God, either by private or pub- mutual confession among Christians, of those lic confession ; or to our neighbour whom we offences by which they may have injured have wronged; or to some pious persons each other. Certain it is, that from this pasfrom whom we expect to receive comfort sage the necessity of auricular confession, and spiritual instruction; or to the whole and the power of priestly absolution, cannot congregation when our fault is published, be inferred. Though many of the early ecPsalm xxxii. 5; Matt. iii. 6; James v. 16; clesiastical writers earnestly recommend con

John i. 9. 5. To acknowledge a crime fession to the clergy, yet they never recombefore a judge, Joshua vii. 19.

mend it as essential to the pardon of sin, or 2. In the Jewish ceremony of annual expia- as having connexion with a sacrament. They tion, the High Priest confessed in general his only urge it as entitling a person to the own sins, the sins of other ministers of the prayers of the congregation; and as useful temple, and those of all the people. When an for supporting the authority of wholesome Israelite offered a sacrifice for sin, he put his discipline, and for maintaining the purity of hand on the head of the victim, and con- the Christian church. Chrysostom condemns fessed his faults, Leviticus iv. On the day of all secret confession to men, as being obviatonement, the Jews still make a private ously liable to great abuses ; and Basil, confession of their sins, which is called by Hilary, and Augustine, all advise confession them cippur, and which is said to be done in of sins to God only. It has been proved by the following manner : Two Jews retire into M. Daillé, that private, auricular, sacraa corner of the synagogue. One of them mental confession of sins was unknown in bows very low before the other, with his the primitive church. But, though private face turned towards the north. He who per- auricular confession is not of divine authorforms the office of confessor gives the peni- ity, yet, as Archbishop Tillotson properly tent nine-and-thirty blows on the back with observes, there are many cases in which men, a leathern strap, repeating these words, under the guilt and trouble of their sins, can “God, being full of compassion, forgave neither appease their own minds, nor sufficitheir iniquity, and destroyed them not; yea, ently direct themselves, without recourse to many a time turned he his anger away, and some pious and prudent guide. In these did not stir up all his wrath.” As there are cases, men certainly do very well, and many only thirteen words in this verse recited in times prevent a great deal of trouble and perthe Hebrew, he repeats it three times, and at plexity to themselves, by a timely discovery every word strikes one blow; which makes of their condition to some faithful minister, nine-and-thirty words, and as many lashes. in order to their direction and satisfaction. In the mean time, the penitent declares his To this purpose a general confession is for sins, and at the confession of every one beats the most part sufficient; and where there is himself on his breast. This being finished, occasion for a more particular discovery, he who has performed the office of confessor there is no need of raking into the minute prostrates himself on the ground, and re- and foul circumstances of men's sins to give ceives in turn from his penitent nine-and- that advice which is necessary for the cure thirty lashes.

and ease of the penitent. Auricular confes. 3. The Romish church not only requires sion is unquestionably one of the greatest confession as a duty, but has advanced it to corruptions of the Romish church. It goes the dignity of a sacrament. These confessions upon the ground that the priest has power are made in private to the priest, who is not to forgive sins; it establishes the tyrannical to reveal them under pain of the highest influence of the priesthood; it turns the punishment. The council of Trent requires penitent from God who only

can forgive sins, "secret confession to the priest alone, of all to man who is himself a sinner; and it tends and every mortal sin, which, upon the most to corrupt both the confessors and the condiligent search and examination of our con- fessed by a foul and particular disclosure of sciences, we can remember ourselves to be sinful thoughts and actions of every kind guilty of since our baptism; together with without exception. all the circumstances of those sins, which ConfessIONS OF Faith, simply considered, may change the nature of them; because, is the same with creed, and signifies a sum. without the perfect knowledge of these, the mary of the principal articles of belief priest cannot make a judgment of the nature adopted by any individual or society. In its and quality of men's sins, nor impose fitting more common acceptation, it is restricted to the summaries of doctrine published by par- and framed and made all things to exist out ticular Christian churches, with the view of of nothing. We must also believe in the preventing their religious sentiments from Lord Jesus Christ, and in all the truth conbeing misunderstood or misrepresented, or, cerning his Deity and humanity; and we by requiring subscription to them, of secur- must likewise believe in the Holy Spirit ; ing uniformity of opinion among those who and that, being free agents, we shall be join their communion. Except a single sen. punished for the things in which we sin, and sence in one of the Ignatian Epistles, (A D. rewarded for those in which we do well.” 180,) which relates exclusively to the reality According to Cyprian, the formula, to which of Christ's personality and sufferings in assent was required from adults at their bapopposition to the Docete, the earliest docu- tism, was in these terms : “Dost thou bement of this kind is to be found in the writ. lieve in God the Father, Christ the Son, the ings of Irenæus, who flourished towards the Holy Spirit, the remission of sins, and eterend of the second century of the Christian nal 'life, through the holy church?”. This era. In his treatise against heresies, this was called by him symboli lex, “ the law of father affirms, that “the faith of the church the creed ;” and by Novatian, regula veriplanted throughout the whole world,” con. tatis, “ the rule of truth.” sisted in the belief of “one God, the Father 2. From these and similar sources, the difAlmighty, Maker of heaven and earth and ferent clauses of what is commonly called the sea, and all that are in them; and one Christ Apostles' Creed appear to have sprung. For, Jesus, the Son of God, who became incar. though it was long believed to be the comDate for our salvation; and one Holy Spirit, position of the apostles, its claims to such an who foretold, through the prophets, the dis- inspired origin are now universally rejected. pensations and advents, and the generation Of its great antiquity, however, there can be by the virgin, and the passion, and the resur- no doubt; the whole of it, as it stands in rection from the dead, and the ascension in the English liturgy, having been gererally the flesh into heaven, of Jesus Christ our received as an authoritative confession in beloved Lord, and his appearing from heaven the fourth century. Towards the end of in the glory of the Father, to unite together that century, Rufinus wrote a commentary on all things under one head, and to raise every it, which is still extant, in which he acknowindividual of the human race; that unto ledges that the clause respecting, Christ's Christ Jesus, our Lord and God, and Saviour descent into hell was not admitted into the and King, every knee may bow, and every creeds either of the western or the eastern tongue confess; that he may pronounce just churches. We learn also that the epithet sentence upon all.” In various parts of catholic was not at that time applied in it to Tertullian's writings similar statements oc- the church. Its great simplicity and concur, (A. D. 200,) which it is unnecessary ciseness, besides, prove it to have been conparticularly to quote. We shall only remark, siderably earlier than the council of Nice, that in one of them, the miraculous concep- when the heretical speculations of various tion of Christ by the power of the Holy Sects led the defenders of the orthodox faith Ghost is distinctly mentioned ; that in ano- to fence the interests of religion with more ther, he declares it to have been the uniform complicatated and cumbrous barriers. doetrine from the beginning of the gospel, This confession of faith was then prethat Christ was born of the virgin, both eminently named symbolum ; which might man and God, ex natum hominem et Deum ; be understood in the general acceptation of and that in each of these, faith in the Father, sign, as the characteristic, representative Son, and Spirit, is recognised as essential to sign of the Christian faith; or, in a more Christianity. The following passage we cite, restricted sense, in reference to the oúp bodov for the purpose of marking its coincidence SpatiwtirdV, or tessera militaris, the watchwith the Apostles' Creed, to which we shall word of the Christian soldier, communicated have occasion soon to advert : “ This,” says to each man at his first entrance into the be, “is the sole, immovable, irreformable service of Christ. Perhaps this word, at rule of faith; namely, to believe in the only first, only denoted the formula of baptism, God Almighty, maker of the world; and his and was afterwards transferred to the conSon Jesus Christ, born of the virgin Mary, fession of faith. crucified under Pontius Pilate, the third day 3. In the celebrated council of Nice, (A.D. raised from the dead, received into heaven, 325,) in which Arianism was not only connow sitting at the right hand of the Father, demned, but proscribed, the confession estaabout to come and judge the quick and the blished as the universal standard of truth and dead, by the resurrection also of the flesh.” orthodoxy runs thus : “I believe in one God, The summaries contained in the works of the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and Origen (A. D. 520) nearly resemble the pre- earth, and of all things visible and invisible ; ceding;

; any difference between them being and in one Lord Jesus, the only begotten easily accounted for, from the tenets of the Son of God, begotten of the Father, before particular heresies against which they were all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very directed. In his “ Commentary on St. John's God of very God, begotten not made, being Gospel,” he thus writes : “We believe that of one substance with the Father ; by whom there is one God, who created all things, all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, descended from heaven, and pitied my youth and ignorance, even and became incarnate by the Holy Ghost, of before I knew him, and before I was wise, the virgin Mary; and was made man, was or could distinguish between right and crucified for us under Pontius Pilate. He wrong, and strengthened me, and cherished suffered and was buried; and the third day me, as a father would a son. From which he rose again according to the scriptures, time I could not remain silent ; nor, indeed, and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on did he cease to bless me with many acts of the right hand of the Father; and he shall kindness; and so great was the favour of come again with glory to judge both the which he thought me worthy in the land of quick and the dead, of whose kingdom my captivity. For this is my retribution, there will be no end. And I believe in the that, after my rebuking, punishment, and Holy Ghost who spake by the prophets; acknowledgment of God, I should exalt him, and one catholic, and apostolical church. and confess his wonderful acts before every I acknowledge one baptism for the remis- nation which is under the whole heaven; sion of sins, and I look for the resurrection of because there is no other God, nor ever was the dead, and the life of the world to come.” before, nor will be after him, except God,

It were endless to specify the particular the unbegotten Father, without beginning, shades of difference by which the Arian con- possessing all things, as we have said, and fessions (the number of which amounted his Son Jesus Christ, who, we bear witness, nearly to twenty in the space of a very, few was always with the Father, before the years) were distinguished from each other: formation of the world, in spirit (or spiritusuffice it to say, that while they agreed gene- ally) with the Father, inexpressibly begotten rally in substance, especially in rejecting the before all beginning, through whom visible Nicene term, duoouous, as applied to the Son, things were made: he became man, having their variations of expression concerning the overcome death, and was received into nature of his subordination to the Father heaven. And God has given to him all were so astonishingly minute, as almost to power above every name, as well of the bid defiance to any attempt which might be inhabitants of heaven as of the earth and of made, at this distance of time, to determine the powers below, that every tongue should in what their real and essential differences confess that Jesus Christ is Lord and God;' consisted.

whom we believe, and whose coming we ex4. “ The Book of Armagh,” a very ancient pect, as presently about to be Judge of the collection of interesting national documents, living and dead, who will render unto every which have recently been published by Sir man according to his actions, and has poured William Betham in the second part of his cu. upon us abundantly the gift of his Holy rious “ Irish Antiquarian Researches," con- Spirit, and the pledge of immortality ; who tains the Confession of St. Patrick; who makes us that believe and are obedient to be has been supposed, from several collateral the sons of God and joint heirs of Christ; circumstances, to have flourished some years whom we believe and adore, one God in the prior to the time of St. Jerom, or about the Trinity of the sacred name. For he spoke commencement of the fourth century. The by the prophet, 'Call upon me in the day subjoined are the first two paragraphs in it, of tribulation, and I will deliver thee, and and will be admired for the orthodoxy, art. thou shalt glorify me.' And again he says, lessness, and Christian experience which 'It is an honourable thing to reveal and they exhibit :-“I, Patrick, a sinner, the confess the works of God.' * rudest, the least, and the most insignificant 5. Macedonius having denied not only the of the faithful, had Calphurnius, a deacon, divinity but the personality of the Holy for my father, who was the son of Potitus, Spirit, maintaining that he is only a divine heretofore a priest, the son of Odissus, whó energy diffused throughout the universe, a lived in the village of Banavem Taberniæ. general council was called at ConstantiFor he had a little farm adjacent, where I was nople, A.D. 381, in order to crush this captured. I was then almost sixteen years rising heresy. The confession promulgated of age; but I knew not God, and was led on this occasion, and which“ into captivity by the Irish, with many thou- finishing touch to what the council of Nice sand men,

as we deserved, because we had left imperfect, and fixed, in a full and estranged ourselves from God, and did not determinate manner, the doctrine of the keep his laws, and were disobedient to our Trinity, as it is still received among the pastors, who admonished us with respect to generality of Christians,” exactly coincides our salvation : and the Lord brought down with the Nicene confession, except in the upon us the anger of his Spirit, and dis- article respecting the Spirit, which it thus persed us among many nations, even to the extends : " And I believe in the Holy Ghost, extremity of the earth, where my meanness the Lord, and Giver of life, who proceedeth was conspicuous amongst foreigners, and from the Father and the Son, who, together where the Lord discovered to me a sense of with the Father and the Son, is worshipped my unbelief; that late I should remember and glorified.” my transgressions, and that I should be Subsequent to this, and probably toconverted with my whole heart to the Lord wards the middle of the fifth century, the my God, who had respect to my humiliation, creed which bears the name of Athanasius

gave the appears to have been composed. That it was eternal glory,' 2 Tim. 11. 10. "Whosoever, not the work of this distinguished opposer of then, says the creed, “will’ thus be saved,' Arianism is established by the most satisfac- will be desirous to secure the glorious protory evidence. No traces of it are to be mises of the gospel, must pursue it upon the found in any of his writings, though they terms which that gospel proposes, and parrelate chiefly to the very subject of which it ticularly must embrace the doctrines which is an exposition; and so far from its being it reveals. The creed speaks of those only ascribed to him, not the least notice is taken to whom the evidence of the gospel has been of it by any of his contemporaries. Its lan. fully set forth, and the importance of it fully guage, besides, concerning the Spirit is so explained. We are to justify it only to prosimilar to that of the council of Constanti- fessed believers, and of them only. The nople, but still more precise and explicit, state and lot of the heathen world are quite that there can be no doubt of its having been out of the question. Neither common sense written posterior to the time of that assem- nor scripture will permit us to interpret it bly. Yet Athanasius died in the year 373. of those who still sit in darkness and the Accordingly, it has been, with great proba- shadow of death,' and never had the means bility of truth, attributed, particularly by of grace and the hope of glory proposed to Dr. Waterland, to Hilary, bishop of Arles, them. Even with respect to those to whom who is said by one of his biographers to the gospel is preached, there is no necessity have composed an Exposition of the Creed: of interpreting the words here used in the a title which certainly is more appropriate harshest and strictest sense.

There are and characteristic of it than that of Creed many distinctions and limitations, which are simply, by which it is now so universally always understood and supposed in such known. The damnatory clauses in this creed cases, though they are not expressly menhave frequently been made subjects of re- tioned. General rules are laid down as such, prehension; and some clergymen of the are true as such ; whilst excepted cases are church of England have scrupled to read referred to the judgment of those who are them as directed by the Rubric. The follow- qualified to judge of them, and are not paring is an apology for those clauses, by the late ticularly pointed out; as for other reasons, venerable Archdeacon Dodwell, who seems so lest they should be extended too far, and to have felt none of those misgivings which defeat the general rule. Sufficient capacity troubled his doubting brethren :-" The in the persons to whom it is applied, and form, as well as the substance, of this creed, sufficient means of information and convicand the very introduction to the main arti- tion, are always presupposed, where faith is cle, has been objected to : Whosoever will spoken of as necessary. Where either of be saved, before all things it is necessary these is wanting, the case is (where it should that he hold the catholic faith;' to which is be) in the hands of God. The creed is laid added, 'Which faith, except every one do down as a rule of judgment to men, not to keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he their Maker. We may learn from thence shall perish everlastingly.' This, with a on what terms alone we can claim a title to like condemnatory sentence in the conclu- the promises of the gospel; but we do not sion of the creed, wherein a possibility of learn from thence how far uncovenanted salvation is denied to him who does not cor

favour

may

be extended to particular perdially embrace this doctrine, is pronounced It is not intended to exclude the wareasonable, uncharitable, unchristian, with mercy of God to heathens or heretics ; it every other aggravating appellation that can being his prerogative, and his alone, to judge be used. But the ground of this charge, how far the error or ignorance of any one is and the whole of the difficulty suggested in his wilful fault, or his unavoidable infirmity. it, from the variety of the circumstances of But it is intended to establish the terms on different persons, depends upon the inter- which we may now claim acceptance, and, pretation of the phrase of being saved. The in consequence of his gracious promise, may meaning of this term in its primary signifi. say, that God is faithful and just to forgive cation, and as it is applied to common sub- us our sins. The creed relates only to the jects in common discourse, means a preserva- covenant of salvation; and any expression tion from threatening perils, or from threat- which, used separately without this view and ened punishment. But, in an evangelical connexion, might be thought to bear a sense, and as it occurs in the New Testa- stronger and more absolute sense, yet is ment, it includes much more: it means the limited by this relative coherence, and is to whole Christian scheme of redemption and be interpreted by it. “Perishing everlast. justification by the Son of God, with all the ingly, in other discourses, may sometimes glorious privileges and promises contained be understood of everlasting damnation ; but in that scheme. It means not merely a hope here it means the being for ever excluded of deliverance from danger or from ven- from the only stated claim of promised geance, but a federal title to positive happi- mercy. And without doubt,' he who does ness, purchased by the merits, and declared not embrace the truths proposed by revelato mankind by the gospel, of Christ Jesus tion, has no title to those hopes which that our Lord. St. Paul calls it the obtaining revelation, and that only, offers to mankind. the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with And even when such expressions of terror

sons.

« 上一頁繼續 »