Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

solicitation, of sympathetic feeling, designed for this end—to call the of the melting harmony of music, and attention of mankind to the gospel ; all the favorable circumstances within this, when clearly perceived, will act their command ? Is it not because by its own power." they know that without these in- ! You expect then these special influences the word will fail to effect fluences and agencies to accomplish conversion ? And are not these in the same thing in effect as the direct fluences a means distinct from the influence of the spirit, which is supword, thus made to accompany it in posed to bring the gospel or word of order to render it effective in conver- God home to the hearts and minds of sion ?

men. For I believe it is now admitHow inconsistent men are ! They ted by all parties that it is only who preach the spirit alone as neces- necessary to have the word properly sary to conversion, fail not to preach impressed upon the heart, and that the word also, and to add the in- the special office of the spirit is to fluence of persuasion in every mode bring the gospel thus home to the in which it can be made to operate ; heart and affections, by giving to it while they who preach the word alone an increased efficiency, so as to overare just as careful to add to it their come all obstacles arising from huprayers for divine aid, and all the man inattention, obduracy, and immeans usually employed to move the penitency. This, I repeat, is the feelings and induce to action, as general sentiment of those who believe though they believed these mainly to in special spiritual agency : for as to be depended upon in the affair. So those who hold that some are conperfectly agreed, in fact, are all par- verted by the spirit alone, without ties in this respect, that a stranger to the word, they are so few as scarcely their theories would perceive but little, to deserve mention : indeed, they reif any difference, in their mode of tain this doctrine rather to secure the conducting religious meetings for the election of infants than as one of purpose of conversion. They are al- general application. The great maways the most successful in making jority, both in theory and practice, converts to any party who are the exhibit their belief that the gospel is most eloquent, or who can manage to be preached, and that the spirit with the greatest address the various must give a saving efficiency to the agencies, external and collateral, ap- word announced by the preacher. pertaining to what are termed " re- The special influences you approve vivals.” In the use of these agencies, accomplish the same end in fixing the to a greater or less extent, (and the attention, and presenting the gospel use of them at all is an admission of clearly and forcibly to the mind. the principle,) all agree ; but all at The gospel, then, upon either hypothe same time, while thus substan- thesis, acts by its own power. tially agreed in practice, reserve and Let it then be clearly stated, as a guard with care the privilege of con- point generally conceded by all parties, tending with each other about the that WHENEVER THE GOSPEL IS theory of conversion !

BROUGHT HOME TO THE HEART OF A “But,” you will say, “it is the | SINNER, IT THEN BECOMES THE POWER word after all which converts. The OF GOD TO HIS SALVATION. influences of which you 'speak are The controversy is, in regard to the employed only to engage men in the means by which it is thus savingly consideration of the subject. I do impressed upon the heart. You emnot expect the word to act until it is ploy a variety of influences which fully presented to the mind. Preach- may be designated as providential, to ing, teaching, and exhortation are I give to the word sufficient power, Others employ the same influences, spiritual, and are just as little underindeed, but suppose them to be stood. Many influences and exciteinadequate without the additional ments are regarded as spiritual, agency of the spirit. Both, therefore, which are purely animal, the natural believe in special agency-in a power effect of attendant circumstances. or influence out of or distinct from Many influences, again, which might the word, and in the incompetency truly be called spiritual, are unnoticed (absolute or relative) of the word or contemned. How much better it alone to produce saving faith. For, were for all to agree to preach the certainly, the influences you would gospel to sinners, for their conversion ; employ are as distinct from the word, and in the use of all the means and and as plainly superadded, in order measures dictated in the scriptures to give efficiency to it, or in other for the purpose of arresting the atwords, to enable it to reach the heart, tention of men and bringing the truth and convert the soul, as are the spi- clearly to the minds of sinners, to ritual influences you oppose. How co-operate together, leaving the result happily, then, we are all agreed in to God, without presuming to debate reference to this important matter ! | and dogmatize with each other about How sincerely we all believe in a theories of conversion ! power out of the word! Let no one, therefore, henceforth presume to doubt the doctrine of special influence to FAMILY CULTURE. conversion,

CONVERSATIONS AT THE CARLTON Nor is the nature of this special

HOUSE.--No. XXVII. influence a matter of such importance

LUKE, CHAPTER III. that the religious community should suffer itself to be disturbed or divided 1 Olympas. In the conclusion of chapter ii. on account of it. We call certain

we learn that Jesus went down with his parents

from Jerusalem to Nazareth, and was subject agencies providential ; but we have to them. What precept of the Jews' law reperhaps, very imperfect conceptions

fect conceptions quired this, Susan? of the true nature of the various in Susan. The fifth says, “Honor thy father fluences so denominated. Many of and thy mother, that thy days may be long in them may spring from impressions the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.”

| Olympas. He honored this precept, and was made upon the mind by a secret, di subject to them. How long was he subject vine, or angelic agency, or so special to them, William ? an arrangement of circumstances as William. During thirty years: for such is requires the exercise of the wisdom

the age assigned to him when he commenced

his own work. and power of God in a manner as

Olpmpas. Then he worked for his earthly admirable as when Ahasuerus was parents and honored them till he was thirty, prepared to say to Haman, “ What and to his heavenly father he exclusively deshall be done to the man whom the voted the remainder of his life. True, he glori

fied God in honoring his parents; but a porking delighteth to honor ?” and the

tion of that time he labored for the family, as latter, prepared in like manner, to

the phrase “ being subject” intimates; and suppose the honor designed for him- therefore, the fair presumption is that he self, was made to devise and execute wrought at the carpenter's trade. The Jews the plan of a triumph for the very

required their children to assist them, if need

required, till they were thirty, and sometimes man whose death he came to demand.

longer. Besides, they all taught their sons a No one can presume to circumscribe useful trade, whatever their future prospects the workings of Him who knows the might be. All the presumptions are in favor secret springs of every heart; and of the idea that our Saviour actually submitwho, in answer to prayer, may turn

inted to work with his hands for the support of

the family till he was of the appointed age of the hearts of man " whithersoever majority, or freedom from the parental yoke. he will.” Other agencies are termed' what think you, Eliza, is intimated by the

[ocr errors]

saying, “His mother kept all these sayings in William. They are said to have been twelve, her heart ”

and arranged in some histories as follows :Eliza. Such as the saying which he uttered Julius Cesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, when he was twelve years old, alluded to last Claudius, Nero, Galha, Otho, Vitellus, Vespaevening—“Know ye not that I should be about sian, Titus, Domitian. my Father's business,” or “at my Father's Olympas. But does the true line of descent house." Your remark on his being subject to continue to Domitian ? his parents, would commend the propriety of William. I think it terminated in Nero, reading “Father's houserather than “Fa- the sixth of that blood. Other six assumed ther's business.

the title of Augustus, or Cesar, of different Olympas. You mean, then, that the phrase families. In the New Testament I think you “kept all these sayings” imports all such mys- told us that Tiberius, Claudius, and Nero, are terious and unusual things said by him, or con- simply addressed or spoken of under the geneher "keeping them in her heart,” William ? ung nim by others; and what, then, means | ral name of Cesar.

l Olympas. “I appeal unto Cesar,” says William. Memory, I suppose ; for in look-Paul; that was to Nero, then Emperor of ing over the scriptures I see “heart” often Rome. “Render unto Cesar the things that means memory and understanding: and so our are Cesar's,” says the Messiah speaking of teacher in the Academy commands us to "get Tiberius. When, Eliza, was the first of the our lessons by heart”-meaning to memorize twelve Cesars born ? them.

Eliza. The tenth day of the fifth month, Olympas. To memorize” is scarcely good called Quintilis by the Romans; that is with English. Within my memory this phrase has us the tenth day of July, one hundred years been gaining a new currency. It is growing before the Christian era. into use like the words resurrect and resur- l Olympas. Did not the fifth month receive rected, which are gross innovations upon our the name of July, and the sixth month receive good old English language. “To memorize” | the name of August from the two first of this is to record in writing; or, according to Julian family ? Shakespeare, who is of high authority with William. So the Roman historians say; one class of lexicographers, it means “ to cause but after these two they resumed the Latin others to remember." But this new occupa- names for the seventh, eighth, ninth, and tion of the word is, upon the whole, an act of tenth months, called September, October, violence upon the legitimate province of the November, December. ancient memorize, as much as the outlandish Olympas. The Roman year began with resurrected” is upon the dominions of the March, so called from Mars the god of battles, verb to resuscitate. I would, indeed, have because in this month the Romans generally you to observe that “to keep a thing in the commenced their military campaigns. The heart” in Jewish idiom, is to remember it, Jewish ecclesiastical year began in the latter and to ponder upon it. Jesus, we are in- half of that month called ABIB, which occupied formed by Luke, "increased in wisdom and in about the last half of March and the first half stature, and in favor with God and man.” of April, so far as their lunations permitted. What think you of this expression, Thomas ? But to return to the Cesars : how long did

Thomas. It would indicate that Jesus was Julius reign as Emperor ? a child like other children at first imperfect Thomas. Born July 10th, Ante-Christo in wisdom and in stature; and that as he in- 100 years, and being assassinated in the Senate creased in both, so he also grew in public favor House, died in the 56th year of his age, at

-in favor both with God and man, because of the ides of March, being the 15th day of that his early and vigorous virtues and excellencies. month. He, Crassus, and Pompey his son-in“The child grew and waxed strong in spirit, law, formed the first triumvirate, and by defilled with wisdom, and a divine gracefulness grees, after the death of these two illustrious was upon him,” would seem to convey the men, he ascended to the title of Pontifex same idea.

Maximus, and Imperator, having been apOlympas. We shall now hear you read, pointed Consul for five years, Dictator for one William, the third chapter of Luke so far as year, and Tribune for life; and again Dictator the 18th verse with a special reference to the for ten years, and Censor for life, with his chronology of the Messiah's birth and times. statue placed in the Capitol; but he only en[William reads.]

joyed the sovereignty expressed by Emperor a Olympas. What date is fixed in this pas | few months. His nephew, the son of his sister sage, Thomas ?

Julia, called Caius OCTAVIUS CESAR AUGUSThomas. The commencement of John the TUS, succeeded him, being appointed in Julius' Baptist's ministry. The word of the Lord Will his heir, and declared to be his adopted came to John in the 15th year of Tiberius son. He was finally seated on the imperial Cesar.

throne, and lived to the advanced age of 76. Olympas. How many Cesars in all, reigned He died August 19, A.D. 14, having under over Rome, William ?

various titles, commanded the destinies of Rome for almost 50 years. Tiberius succeeded the great drama of Christianity in its grand him. In the 15th year of his reign John the introduction into the world. And such is the Baptist commenced his ministry, as Luke in- | preamble to the introduction of John the Bapforms us. These three Cesars, Julius, Augus- | tist's mission and dispensation as the hartus, and Tiberius, were monsters of iniquity ; binger of the Messiah. and though of high intellectual character, What new and strange doctrine did John wanted all the attributes and elements of moral preach, Reuben? Give us a full statement of dignity and real worth. He died March 16, his doctrine, place of ministration, manner of A.D. 37, aged 78 years, having reigned 23 life, &c. years.

Reuben. John came as the harbinger of the Olympas, Susan, can you tell us who Messiah, and in that capacity proclaimed a was governor of Judea and the Syrian provinces deep and thorough reformation of both princiof those days ?

ple and practice. He proclaimed a baptism of Susan. Pontius Pilate governed Judea, repentance for the remission of sins. . It was Herod ruled over Galilee, Philip was tetrarch not mere mental regret, or sorrow for the past ; of Itrurea and Trachonitis, and Lysanias was but, superadded to that, and emanating from it, tetrarch of Abilene.

he enforced a reformation in all persons and in Olympas. William, explain these officers and all things. Soldiers, publicans, and all the the countries over which they presided. people came to him, asking what they should

William. Pilate was procurator of Judea, do. He commanded a genuine and universal a sort of president governor, appointed by the reformation, which was signified by a peculiar Roman Emperor. Herod Antipas, and his bro- | immersion in the Jordan. ther Philip, together with Lysanias, were Olmypas. For what were John's proselytes tetrarchs, or governors of the fourth part of immersed? an old estate or territory once under one go- Reuben. Matthew says that they were imvernor. Thus Galilee, Itrurea, Trachonitis, | mersed into reformation, or that they might and Abilene, were four provinces, three of them

reform, professing reformation, and with a provinces of Syria, willed by Herod the Great

special reference to the remission of sins. to his sons Herod Antipas and Philip. His

Hence the confession of sins made in baptism will was confirmed by Augustus, and the

was indicative of a forsaking of them and a estates were continued to the family.

remission of them. The points in John's Olympas. Who, James, were high priests

preaching were repentance, remission, and the in those days ?

immediate appearance of the Messiah-the new James. Annas and Caiphas.

era and its accompaniments of judgment and Olympas. Could there be, Thomas, two

mercy. All that sincerely repented, were baphigh priests at once, according to the law of tized, and turned to the Lord. escaped the priesthood ?

impending vengeance then threatened as just Thomas. Annas being father-in-law of to be poured out upon the ungrateful nation. Caiphas, was principal high priest, and Cai

Olympas. Did he not also exalt the person phas was a sort of deputy or assistant high

and character of the Messiah, and develope priest. That they officiated in turns is sup

some attributes of the coming reign ? posed by some; but I think you taught us that although the law of Moses recognized but one

Reuben. He spoke of the superiority of the high priest for life, after the subjugation of

Messiah in very bold and decisive terms, and Judea by the Romans it appears that they ap

of the searching and discriminating character pointed high priests as they could. According

| of his dispensation, and also of a baptism of his dis

of to Josephus Annanias or Annas had been high the Holy Spirit and of tire, to one of which all priest eleven years, but had been deposed by who heard him should be subjected. the Roman governor before the time here men 1 Olympar. Can you give an instance of a tioned by Luke; and we are expressly informed similar phrase in the evangelical history ? that Caiphas was high priest the year in which Reuben. The Apostles were “ a sweet savor our Lord was crucified. The Jews, in all pro- of Christ to the saved and to the lost ;" bability disregarding the deposition of Annas in the same sense all that heard Jesus were by a Pagan governor, still regarded him as a to be baptized, but not in the same mannerlegitimate high priest according to their law, one class in the Holy Spirit, another in fire : but were content that either of them should for so the context, as you allege, would intiofficiate under that jurisdiction.

mate. The Spirit of God is frequently in its Olympas. Luke intended to challenge the | influences and effects compared to water, but scrutiny of the whole world as to the events he never to fire, so far as I recollect. All that narrates. He gives them persons, places, and hearkened to Jesus were participants of the dates in profusion. Here is Tiberius Cesar in baptism of the Holy Spirit, and those who the 15th year of his reign over the Roman did not obey were subjected to the fire of world, and here are four governors of Roinan divine indignation. Jesus gathered the wheat provinces, and two high priests connected with of the people into his garner, but he burned up the nation of the Messiah and the theatre of the chaff in a fire unquenchable. The verdant trees he made fruitful, but the dry and withered | written respecting him. Although such a suit he converted into fuel. .

might have been disregarded by Mr. Campbell, Olympus. What means the phrase "wrath as he had returned, and was beyond the control to come,” as used by the harbinger, William ? of Mr. Robertson, or any Court in this country,

William. The vengeance promised to the yet he did not choose to avail himself of this wicked Jews in Malachi, last chapter, and circumstance, being unconscious of having comafterwards explained by our Saviour. I pre- | mitted any wrong, and therefore courted insume reference is had to the final destruction quiry, and was desirous to have the cause tried of the nation of Israel. This was the im- and judgment given upon it. Accordingly pending judgment from which baptism alone steps were taken to meet it, and defences were could save them.

duly lodged in Court preparatory to the cause Susan. But if John baptized to save men being submitted to a jury; but whether from from impending vengeance, why was Jesus the cogency of these defences, or the very sigbaptized ?

nificant hints given by Lord Jeffrey of the abWilliam. To honor every institution of surdity of such a suit, or on finding that he had God: for so he expressed himself when John got a person to do with who would not comat first declined the honor of baptizing him. promise the matter when his character was at

Olympas. Have we any intimation that stake, Mr. Robertson abandoned the case. One John spake on any other topics than those course was yet open for having the whole matter enumerated by the Evangelists?

bronght to an issue, viz. by Mr. Campbell asThomas. Yes: Luke adds, “And many suming the offensive. Accordingly an action other things in his exhortation preached he was raised against Mr. Robertson for unlawful unto the people.” And hence it came to pass imprisonment, and the detention and injury that he reproved Herod the tetrarch of Galilee Mr. C. had suffered in consequence; but Mr. for having taken the wife of his half brother Robertson did not attempt to make any defence, Philip while he yet lived. This caused his thus again condemning himself. A decreet was imprisonment, and finally cost him his head. consequently obtained against him for £2000. In consummation of the crimes of Herod, he It never was the desire of Mr. Campbell or his added this above all, that “he shut up John in friends to pocket any of Mr. Robertson's moprison.” And in this unfortunate predicament ney; yet it would have been just that he should we are sorry to leave him for the present. been made to pay the expenses which his pro

You will study the genealogy of Jesus, as ceedings had occasioned. There is, however, given by Luke, for the next lesson.

no probability of even this being obtained from A. CAMPBELL. him, as he has left this country; neither is it

likely the church or party to which he belong

ed, nor his associates in the Anti-Slavery SoCAMPBELL v. ROBERTSON. ciety will step forward and do so : they will CLOSE OF THE PROCEEDINGS.

therefore have to be paid by us. The costs

amounted to upwards of £120, but part being The important proceedings in which we received from Robertson, (£40 odd) there rewere involved by the law suits in Scotland hay. main £80 to be provided. An opportunity is ing now terminated, we submit a brief report thus afforded us of showing our sympathy with of them to the brethren and readers of the Brother Campbell in the persecution and sufferHARBINGER.

ing he endured, our estimation of his consistent The circumstances which led us to be en- and honorable conduct and Christian magnatangled with the “Rev.” James Robertson, , nimity, and our gratification that his character Edinburgh, are well known, being fully detailed is unsullied, his usefulness unimpaired, the in the CHRISTIAN MESSENGER of September | cause he advocates uninjured, and that no occaand following numbers of 1847. It will be re sion has been given for any adversary to speak membered that on an appeal being made from reproachfully. the decision of the Sheriff of Lanarkshire in the In addition to the above we consider it nefugæ warrant case, to the First Division of the cessary to notice an unfortunate circumstance Court of Session, the Lord Ordinary decided somewhat connected with the foregoing. When that Mr. Campbell had been unjustly and ille-Mr. Robertson issued his placards in Dundee, gally imprisoned, and on a further appeal being some persons there circulated printed queries taken by Mr. Robertson to the Lords in the as to the character and standing of Mr. R. Second Division, the judgment of the Lord The same course was followed at Falkirk : an Ordinary was confirmed with costs. This, how | individual there who had put one paper of the ever, did not end the matter, nor did it put a queries in his window, was sued for damages stop to the “ Rev.” Gentleman's determined for having thus published queries calculated to persecution. He had, while Mr. Campbell was injure Mr. R.; but before the case came to be cruelly and lawfully detained in jail, caused a | tried in court, the individual thought it better summons to be served upon him for £5000, as to compromise the matter by agreeing to pay reparation and solatium for alleged injuries he the costs of Mr. Ri's prosecution of him, had sustained by what Mr. C. had spoken and ' amounting, with his own expenses, we have

« FöregåendeFortsätt »