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-John xxi. 15-17
These are the scriptural arguments upon which I mainly rely; and to every person who judges with a dispassionate mind, I am sure they will appear fully adequate to support my position. In another letter, you shall have the secondary evidence, and the objections made to episcopacy by your favourite authors, Doddridge and Dwight.
BIBLICAL CRITICISM.John xxi. 15–17. TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. SIR—We read in the last chapter of St. John's Gospel, that our Lord questioned Peter thrice as to his love for him ; and it has been, I believe universally attributed to the fact of Peter's denying our Saviour three times, which, indeed, seems highly probable : but if we carefully examine the original, I think a further and no less important reason will be manifest. We find our Saviour using the word á yaraw in his question, and in his first repetition of it, while Peter answers each with φιλεω. . Our Saviour then takes him as it were on his own ground, and in his second repetition asks him with the dilew, and Peter still uses the same word; so that, as it appears to me, the true force of the passage would be thus :
1. “ Simon Peter, lovest thou me?-- Yea, Lord, I have a great regard for thee.
2. “ But dost thou really love me? ---Yea, Lord, thou knowest that I have a great regard for thee.
3. “Hast thou even this great regard for me ?-I have a regard." True it is, the onus lies upon me to prove that the words åyatū and pilew are most generally used in the sense just now given them, and without entering into any controversy as to whether the words are even really synonymous, I hope to prove from the Scriptures themselves, that the application is correct. As it is impossible here to give all the places where those two words occur, I must select some passages that are most familiar, at the same time assuring my readers, that if they examine minutely, the distinction will very generally appear; and first for åyanaw ;-Lev. xix. 18. Deut. x. 12, “ to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul;" also, Deut. xi. 1, 13, 22. xix. 9. xxx. 6 :-in these passages where a real and sincere perfect love is required åyataw is used. Again, 2 Samuel i. 26, where David expresses his great love for Jonathan; also, in 2 Chron, xx. 7, “the friend of God,” iyannuevo, Isaiah lxi, 8, " Abraham my friend" -óv nya nga.
We shall now examine the New Testament, and we cannot but observe that in St. John's three epistles which are so full of love, there is no φιλεω.
1 John iv. 7, 8, “beloved let us love one another; for love is of God, and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love." Matt. v. 43, 44, 46—John xiv. 21-23-xiii. 23—xv. 12—xxi. 7–20—1 Cor. xiii. 13—the gospel Charity, is called åyarn. But we might quote 316 passages of the New Testament, in which ảyataw occurs, while dilew only appears 34 times, of these we shall take a few; but first for the Old Testament, we shall observe the distinction is preserved, Prov. xvii. 17–19. xviii. 24. xix. 4, in all these passages penew is the word, “ wealth maketh many friends,” &c. Again, in Luke xi. 5. xvi. 9," make unto yourselves friends of the mammon of unrighteousness," Matt. vi. 5, “ love to pray standing in the synagogues,” Matt. xxiii
. 6, " love the uppermost rooms”—2 Tim. iii. 2, “ lovers of their own selves”-Rev. xxii. 15, “ whosoever loveth and maketh a lie,”lastly, John xv. 19,*“ if ye we were of the world the world would love his own,” in all these passages we see the worldly love-the human feelings-the motive which connects us together on this earth-the friendly ties existing between members of a family, denoted by pidew, while in the passages where åyanaw occurs, we find it always implying that spiritual love—that gracious principle wrought in the soul by God, which inclines us to delight in, esteem, and earnestly desire to enjoy an interest in God's favour, and communion with him as our chief good, portion and happiness, and the fountain of all perfection and excellency; and which likewise disposes us to do good to all, especially to such as resemble God in holiness, and bear his image; “God is love”—ảyann. Lastly, does not the reference of this to Peter's denial of Christ strengthen the remark—does it not afford evidence that Peter's love was not that which would enable him to “lay down his life for his friend ?” and therefore, may we not maintain that this explanation is more than plausible, if not perfectly satisfactory ?
BIBLICAL CRITICISM.-Acts xi. 26. TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER, MR. EXAMINER-It has long been a subject of controversy, or I should rather say of doubt, whether the disciples were first called Christians” by friends or enemies; whether it was a title assumed by themselves, to shew that “ they were not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, or whether it was a stigma imposed upon them by their many and malicious persecutors. With your permission, Mr. Examiner, I beg leave to propose a third view of the case, both as 1 conceive it better to accord with the promise of the Lord by the Prophet Isaiah, (lxv. 15,) “ that he would call his people by another name, and also because it seems to me to be implied by the term Xønuarioait used in the verse under consideration. I have two reasons for wishing my view of this verse (if correct) to be established by appearing in your valuable Magazine ; the first is because it adds a new dignity to that glorious name by which we of this happy country are denominated ; and
* It is worth remarking, in the original the change made in this verse compared with the 12th quoted abore; this I think to be exactly parallel with the passage under consideration.
7 " Oraculum reddo”-“ divinum responsum edo.”
secondly, because I think it desirable to shew that God by apply. ing this name universally to every individual " disciple,” in his wisdom anticipated, and in his omniscience foresaw, the unscriptural and awful doctrine which has crept into the Church of Rome, “that Christianity exists not without her precincts."
ON THE WANT OF CHRISTIAN CHARITY.
(FOR THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.) Christian Charity is universally approved of in words, but in practice few can attain to it. Pride and selfishness make many require that all persons should think and act just as they do; and where any differ from them, nothing is too trifling to excite anger and indignation. They appear as if they thought any difference in conduct or opinion implied a censure on themselves.
Of late, numbers object to public amusements; and the strong feeling of displeasure this excites leads reflecting minds to fear that the love of trifling diversions has a greater hold on the minds of the generality of people than is usually imagined ; else, why the look of scorn, the bitter irony of him who asks, is his neighbour “ too good to dance !!". Or why the evident anxiety shown to discover some bad motive for their conduct? Is this charityChristian charity, “which thinketh no evil," but rather“ hopeth all things ?” Is it conduct becoming a rational creature ? I need not inquire is it acting or thinking like one calling himself a Christian.' If disapprobation is expressed of any vicious character, above all, if the least doubt or fear is expressed about the future happiness of any who live in careless or thoughtless disregard of their Maker, and are cold and heartless in his cause, all are ready to exclaim against uncharitableness, and to quote texts in favour of mild judgment. But let a man refuse to conform to the world in any thing required of him, no voice is lifted up in his defence, no charity is to be exercised towards him, and a petty persecution is commenced against him in which it is more than possible his own family are the most active.
It is observable to all, that charity is to be exercised in favour of the idle and profligate. The men whose lives are spent in humble endeavours to serve their Maker and benefit their fellow-creatures, are not to have the least mercy shown them; and if they happen to err iu judgment, or consider a stricter line of conduct necessary to preserve the consistency of the Christian character, they are asserted to injure the cause of religion, and the greatest exaggeration is employed to heighten the accusations against them. It may, however, be worthy the consideration of those who profess this zeal for “ the cause of religion," whether they are not really injuring it more by this conduct, and to examine themselves lest they be found taking the part of the infidel and “sitting down in the seat of the scorner.”
Such is the world, and such it is to be feared it will continue to be, 'till the blessed time comes when “the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ."Meantime, “in patience possess ye your souls.” May the writer and reader of this be enabled to say in that day, “I have waited for thy salvation, Oh Lord !"
THE ROMISH BREVIARY. TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. Sir—In the calendar prefixed to the Book of Common Prayer, the names of many individuals present themselves, of whom our Church knows little but the name; and whose memory she celebrates neither by the appointment of a special service, nor by the appropriation of a peculiar day.
Curiosity naturally suggests the inquiry who they were, and what brought them there—and is solicitous to know, why those who find no place within the precincts of the temple should yet be found collected in the vestibule--and how it is that many a name which a Christian Church would be unwilling to recognize, should yet be found enrolled upon her calendar, and transmitted to posterity with this implied attestation of her praise? That the circumstance may be attributed to oversight or indifference, is a possible explanation; but that it should originate in any peculiar respect for a Blasius or a Dunstan, a Boniface or a Giles, is beyond the range of credibility. We should rejoice, indeed, that in unloading Christianity of the grievous burdens which Popery had imposed, our glorious Reformation has lightened the ark of all that was corrupt in doctrine, superstitious in worship, or unwarrantable in discipline; yet, it would have been well to have wiped off the very dust of our departing footsteps, and to have obliterated from our recollection the names of men whose merit was the self-imposed torture of the Brahmin, whose miracles were the fictions of a legendary age, and whose claim to a place in the Papal registry, was an unqualified subjugation to the see of Rome.* The setting apart of days as festivals
* Our correspondent forgets the civil necessity which existed for retaining these pames, upon the same principle that in our larger Prayer-books, we have retained the Roman division of the month into Calends, Nodes, and Ides :- in our older law books, the day of the month is frequently designated, from the nearest Saint's day, by such terms as Vigil. Fest. Crast., as Vigil. Martin ;- Fest. Martin.Crast. Martin.-All those days were omitted in the first Prayer-book of Edward VI. except S. Gregory's day and Lammas day; in his second book, S. Lawrence and S. Clement, were also inserted, and in the revision of the Prayer-book under Elizabeth, our Reformers found it necessary, for convenience'sake, to restore them
upon the anniversaries of these so-called saints, is a seridus imposition upon the members of the Church of Rome—it may not be felt to the same extent in countries under the control of Protestant influence, but it is an evil of formidable consequences in what are called Catholic states—it checks national prosperity by relaxing the springs and curtailing the legitimate exercise of industry-it motes habits of idleness which carry in their train those kindred vices that tend to the degeneracy of the people--and it brings the Sabbath itself into disrepute, by attaching to the day of the saint a higher veneration than that which should be attributed to the day of God. Some account of these individuals, whose names are presented to our notice in the calendar, must be interesting to every inquiring member of our Church." Our Church, however, owns them no farther—she preserves an unbroken silence respecting them- they belong not to her but to Rome--and if one day be noticed in our calendar, as St. Swithin's, and another as St. Hugh's, it is merely a matter of convenience to meet the current usage, in the same way that one month is denominated from Julius, another from Augustus, the Emperors of Pagan Rome. To Rome then, we must turn for some account of these worthies, and in her Breviary we shall find the most authentic record of their respective histories. This Breviary is the manual of the priesthood in their daily exercise of private discipline, and the formulary established to regulate the services of their public worship. The book is wrapped up from ordinary notice in the veil of an unused language, and rarely is it exhibited upon the tradesman's counter. A copy came into my possession through the kindness of an individual, the nephew of a late priest—who, when converted to the knowledge of true religion by the reading of the holy Scriptures, presented these and other books belonging to their“curious art,” taking in their stead the sacred records—“So mightily grew the word of God and prevailed.” Beginning at the month of January, I shall give you some brief extracts from the lives of these saints of Rome. Omitting many things of mere common-place character, and setting forth only such things as tend to display their extraordinary endowments :
DIE XI. JANUARII,
“ Almighty Lord, look down upon our infirmity, and because the weight of our own deeds oppresses us, let the glorious intercession of blessed Hyginus, thy martyr and pontiff be our protection, through our Lord.”
all: by this means they far more effectually banisbed the Romish Breviary from amongst us, than if, by overscrupulously seeking to wipe off the dust of their feet, they had left us to the necessity of a continual reference to the Romish Calendarwhile by a difference of type we re sufficient guarded from the mistake, (fallen into nevertheless by some) that our Church attaches any kind of ecclesiastical importance or respect to the festivals of these men. It is also to observed, that the names occurring in our Calendar, are but a part of those whose festivals are celebrated in the Church of Rome-even of those extracted by our correspondent, by far the greater part will not be found in our Prayer.books.