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will hate and persecute the church, it will nevertheless, admire and even love the consistent and amiable followers of Christ. Even those who do not what they would, but what they hate, consent to the law that it is good.' There is such a power and eloquence in true holiness, that its enemies dare not find fault with it; though as a body, they are necessarily opposed to those who by living godly in Christ Jesus, silently condemn their practices.
4. The purport of this entire chapter is often very greatly mistaken. The apostle's object seems to be, to illustrate the nature of faith, and for this purpose he exhibits it under a great variety of aspects, several of which do not apply to believers at all, if we restrict the sense of that term, to the one faith in Christ. Such believers received the accomplishment of the particular promises in which they trusted; but neither they, nor the others, enjoyed the fruition of those blessings, which were predicted of Gospel days.
Much Grace, Much Love. DEAR SIR, -I have been a reader of your “ Miscellany” for some years past, and I greatly approve of those portions of it which are devoted to questions and answers. May I myself be allowed to ask your opinion of Luke vii. 47.
I confess that I am puzzled to understand this passage, if it be spoken in reference to true believers in Christ-I mean entire believers, persons who are destitute of all pharisaic pride. Nor is the principle of the text borne out in the conduct of the two Marys,—the one in the house of Simon the pharisee, whom we may suppose to have been a notoriously bad character, does not outstrip the other mentioned in the house of Simon the leper, in the manifestation of her love, and yet we have reason to think that Mary, the sister of Martha, whom “Jesus loved,” was a pure and virtuous character, who had not those notorious sins laid to her charge which the other had, and yet her love in its manifestation is quite as ardent as the other she certainly “ loved much."
I cannot believe that a man who goes on in sin for fourscore years, and is then converted to christianity, loves the Lord Jesus Christ more than one who has been, during a long life, trained in the principles of christianity and devoted to the service of God; and yet, according, to our view of the case, he has “more forgiven;" would not this, if it were so, lead us to say, “ Let us sin that grace and love may abound?"
I cannot understand this passage, unless our Lord designed to show Simon the necessary results of his own system, by contrasting his conduct to our Lord with that of Mary Magdalen ; Simon evidently had some regard for, and for aught I know, love to, our Lord; but his conduct being the necessary result of his principles, did not our Lord intend by Mary's conduct (if Mury it were) to show the pharisee the superiority of the christian religion to that religion which Simon himself professed ? Your opinion on this subject will greatly oblige,
WM. E. M.
We are not disposed to find more in this text than it really contains. Our Saviour is here speaking to Simon the Pharisee, and reproving his coldness, by contrasting it with the warmth of affection manifested by the woman who was so emphatically a sinner. The passage would certainly have been somewhat clearer had the greek term oti, been translated “therefore,” instead of “ for," which, though an unusual rendering, is not an unauthorized one. It would then have read thus : “ Her sins, which were many, are forgiven; therefore she loved much."
Our correspondent raises a variety of difficulties which do not appear to flow in any way out of his subject, but most, if not all of them, must fall to the ground, if the passage, instead of refering to true believers destitute of pharisaic pride, has a specific application to Simon.
The Bible is altogether unaffected by what our correspondent can or cannot believe, and the Antinomian inference he draws from the text cannot vitiate that text itself. How can the fact that a saint loves God in proportion to the sense he entertains of His pardoning mercy, make a sinner more careless about loving Him at all?
Our correspondent, after darkening the text 'by his previous comments, seems at length to take much the same view of it as we have done. Had he written the last paragraph of his letter first, he might have saved himself some time, and ourselves a little trouble.
Conflicting Texts. Sir,-Will you favor me with explanations to the following questions ?
1. Can Genesis xxxii. 30. be reconciled with John i. 18 ?
2. What is intended by the expression—“Let the dead bury their dead ?" Matt, viii. 22.
G. D. W.
1. In the preceding verses, the individual of whom Jacob speaks is not only described as possessing the attributes of humanity, but is actually called a man. (v. 24.) It is quite clear, therefore, whoever he might have been, that he was not the same Being as John refers to---the Invisible Jehovah.
2. The most probable interpretation of this expression is that which refers it to mere men of the world - those who are spiritually dead and indifferent to the calls of Christ. “Let those who know nothing of that new life to which you are about to be introduced, attend to these things, but follow thou me; lest by going back amongst them, their evil influence should operate unfavorably, and you should be dissuaded from your present purpose.
Christ ministered to by Angels. Sir,-I shall feel greatly obliged if through the medium of your useful magazine you will inform me to what Jesus Christ referred in John i. 51, when he told Nathanael he should hereafter see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man ? Do we read of the fulfilment of this promise ?
I am, Sir,
We read of the frequent ministries of angels in connection with our Saviour's life, death, resurrection, and ascension, any or all of which, (if subsequent to the conversation referred to) may be intended.
Doddridge, however, supposes it to apply, rather to the miracles of our Saviour, which indicated so constant an intercourse with heaven, that it might well be said to be open, and all its legions placed at the service of the Great Captain of our salvation.
CHRIST THE CENTRE OF CELESTIAL GLORY.
(By W. Williams.)
For man's vision, too bright is the blaze
There I see, though in essence but One,
There, unmarked is the progress of time,
Saints, angels, and seraphs unite,
As new songs from their harps ever burst,