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the window panes, sighs in the crevices, and, as each gust rushes past, we thank God for a shelter and a home. "Thou hearest the sound thereof." "So is every one that is born of the Spirit." The fact of regeneration is not one of mere speculation, and no one need be in doubt as to whether or not it has passed upon him; it always gives the highest and most satisfactory proofs of its existence, even that deep consciousness, that heartfelt experience, which cannot deceive. On this matter, metaphysical enquiries will be instituted in vain, and the mere student will wander in labryinthine bewilderment, while the subject of this change will rest in the satisfaction of that undoubted evidence which his heart knows, for the operations of God's Spirit are always felt. Spirits can hold converse with spirits without any material vehicle of thought, and can immediately act and re-act upon one another; else what communion could the spirits of the departed enjoy? Can anything be too hard for the Great Spirit, which proceedeth from the Father and the Son. He can directly influence the heart and reach the soul; He sends forth His power and the spiritual world feels the influence; His breath Divine breathes over the world of mind, and it stirs the conscience, alarms the fear, excites the hope, and awakens the love. As the wind acts on the Æolian harp, and evokes its symphonies, awaking music from its strings, so the celestial breath moves across the soul, and the chords of the heart vibrate to its influence. He who is "born of the Spirit" must be conscious of it. The heavenly aspirations which move his soul-the Divine smile which kindles the affections of his heart-the unruffled peace which dwells within his breast-the holy love which fills every capacity of his higher nature-all bear evidence to the change. He knows he has passed from death unto life, for the pulsations of that new and Divine life are felt within; he knows he has emerged from the darkness into the light, for his rejoicing soul rises on upborne wing towards the true light, and basks in its unsullied beams. He may be unable to satisfy sceptical inquirers, and fail to tell them how the
influences came, when he felt the first stirring in his heart, or the exact method of operation; he may be utterly unable to philosophize on spiritual influences, yet he is not confounded; with the consciousness of inward experience he quails not before even the phalanx of scepticism, but can look to Him who knows the heart, and say, "Thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee;" and his answer to the inquiring world is "This one thing I know, that, Whereas I was blind, now I see." "I know, because He has manifested Himself to me, as He does not unto the world." "I know that my Redeemer liveth :”- "I know that old things have passed away, and all things have become new." This is not a solitary experience, but that of every individual believer; this rule knows no exception, and admits of no change" For so is every one that is born of the Spirit."
III. The action of the Spirit, like the action of the wind, is ABOVE HUMAN COMPREHENSION. The human mind being finite, its capacity of comprehension is limited to a contracted range. So, that, though there is much that we may bring to the bar of human reason for adjudication, yet there is much more which it cannot understand, there are intricacies which its keenest discernment cannot unravel, and problems which it cannot solve. There is a circle within which reason rules, but beyond which lies the domain of mystery, stretching away in a distance which it cannot penetrate, into heights which it cannot reach, and depths which it cannot sound. As we meditate on the Spirit's influence, we must feel that we approach the mysterious—yet, we are not, on that account, to reject or despise spiritual influences altogether, for there are mysteries connected with other things, the existence of which the most sceptical dare not deny. Who can explain the action of the unchained and inconstant wind? We may hear its rushings, and see its effects-but who can tell whence it came, from what place it sprung, and where its source may be found? Did it start from beside the river, or from beyond the sea? Did it issue from the forest, from among the hills,
or from the mountain cave? What was the exact point from which it started on its journey? Canst thou tell? Or knowest thou its route; canst thou enumerate the flowers it may kiss, the seas it may cross, the lands it may visit, or the skies it may sweep? When will it breathe with gentle cadence, or swell with tempestuous wrath-when will it whirl in eddies, or rush in fitful gusts, or continuous storm? Canst thou tell? or knowest thou its destined end, the goal where its race will finish, the barrier which it cannot pass, the boundary line which marks its limits, the exact spot to where it may go, but where it must curb its fury, and go no farther? Canst thou tell? Human understanding stands appalled in presence of such questions as these.
lightened, cannot explore the wonders of
Reason, however en
"That strange, mysterious thing we call
The breeze, the air, the wind;
We call it so, but know no more,
'Tis mystery, like the mind."
canst not tell whence it cometh, or whither it goeth." Even "so is every one that is born of the Spirit." We cannot tell when the Spirit's influences may come, or how they may come, or when the deepest impressions may be made upon the soul. We know not through what channel they may come to us, or how they may pass from us to others. We cannot explain their operation in the process of regeneration; that takes place in the world of mind, and we are unable to philosophize concerning it, for we stand on the verge of mystery, and the eye of reason is too dull to pierce the vista and discern the subtle workings. Infidelity may smile when we speak of such influences of God's Spirit on the human soul, and inquire, How can spirit act on spirit so as to produce such strange results? How can One unseen, without any mediation, so move upon the heart as to effect such a wonderful transformation? How does God create a soul anew, and transform it into His own image? And we must confess we do not know, and cannot tell. But we may retort, and ask him to explain
the action of the wind, its source and destination,the means by which its influence on the soil produces certain agricultural benefits, or how it purifies the atmosphere of poisonous vapour and foul exhalations; and if he cannot understand or explain these, should he be incredulous because he cannot explain how the beneficial effects are produced by the breath Divine on the desert of the soul, or how it is purified and imbued with eternal life? If he understood not natural things, how shall he understand spiritual things? or, as the Saviour said to Nicodemus, "If I have told you earthly things and ye believe not, how shall ye believe if I tell you of heavenly things."
That Saviour has ascended on high that he may send down the promised Comforter; and he has promised "to pour out of His Spirit upon all flesh." It becomes us, as needy creatures, to be diligent in the use of the means, and, like the praying, believing, waiting ones at Pentecost -should we sincerely supplicate, and patiently wait, with unwavering confidence and earnest exhortation, and the answer will come- -it must come. There may be no sound, or visible sign, but the breath celestial will be felt upon the soul, and the fire of Divine love will kindle in the heart. WILLIAM A. BLAKE
THE CODEX SINAITICUS :-Various Readings. THIS Codex abounds with certain modes of spelling which depart from the familiar orthographic standard. For instance, is used for αι, αι for ει for ει, ει for ι, v for οι, and sometimes there is an interchange of v and η, ου and ω, and 0 and ω. The Codex generally has v before a consonant, in the third person singular of verbs in ɛ, and in the dative plural of substantives and adjectives in . Also, σ is retained in ουτως before a consonant. There is a like looseness with regard to grammatical inflexion. For instance, the accusative of nouns
increasing in the genitive often ends in av instead of a. The second person plural of the second aorist sometimes ends in atɛ, and sometimes in aral. Sometimes the first singular of the second aorist middle ends in aμny, the third in aro, the first person plural active in αμεν, and the participle in άμενος. The third person plural has av often for ov, and in the perfect for ασι. The imperative second aorist has απω for ετω. The augment is used for the reduplication in the perfect, and there is a general looseness in the use of the augment. Verbs in e are used instead of aw, and in aw instead of ew; ovк and ovx are irregularly interchanged. In λaußave and its compounds, the μ is always retained before the 4. There are other similar instances of deviation from the usual grammatical forms, which are not so easily classified.
To give the reader some notion of the appearance of the text, we subjoin one verse which has some of these characteristics, Matt. xv. 13:
ὁ δε αποκριθις ειπεν πασα φυτια ἣν ουκ εφυτευσεν ὁ πατηρ μου ουράνιος εκριζωθησετε.
The most ancient manuscripts of the New Testament resemble the Codex Sinaiticus in this respect; so that it is justly to be regarded as an evidence in favor of the very high antiquity of the manuscript in question. In later manuscripts, the inflexion has been gradually made to approximate and conform to a more correct usage. We do not, of course, reckon these merely orthographical and grammatical deviations as Various Readings; but shall now proceed to catalogue many of those which may really be regarded as such. To include every one would be practically impossible in our limits; we shall therefore confine ourselves to those which are most important. Some of them have been anticipated by the critical texts of Lachmann and Tischendorf, before the discovery of the present Codex; and where this is the case, the highest probability of genuineness may be considered to attach to such readings. We shall distribute them under the heads of Addition, Omission and Substitution, beginning with the Gospel according to Matthew.