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done. In fact, our duties are also our privileges. To "fear God and keep his commandments is the "whole of man." The promises, in the fulfilment of which to us our privileges consist, have constant respect to producing in us that state of mind and heart, which leads to the obedience of love, from the spirit of adoption: "love, joy, peace," are our duties: and are they not our privileges also? Prayer and thanksgiving are our duties; but are they not our privileges also? Eternal happiness in heaven is our grand privilege; and will not that happiness consist in loving and obeying God perfectly, and serving him day and night in perfect holiness, as well as in enjoying his ineffable love and presence? And can these be separated, even in imagination? I shall close these remarks, with the admirable lines of good Mr. Newton:
Our pleasure and our duty,
Though opposite before,
So much has been written on both sides concerning the authority or use of the vowel-points, in reading Hebrew; and so many eminent men may be adduced as favouring the different methods of pronouncing that language, that there is little hope of settling the controversy by papers in a periodical publication.
One circumstance, however, may be mentioned, which seems to have been little noticed by the disputants on either side; namely, that the few words from the Hebrew which are found in the New Testament are, I believe, exclusively in favour of those who use the points. Eli, Elohi, Elias, Elisha, Eliakim, begin with aleph in the Hebrew, and would, by those who follow Parkhurst, be read Ali, Alehi, &c; beginning with alpha, not epsilon. Some other instances might be produced; but I do not recollect one word which is written according to the reading of those who wholly reject all vowel-points.
The authority of the points used in the printed copies of the Hebrew Bible is another question; and I apprehend it is very allowable to change them for others, when an evident reason appears for it, as being merely a kind of comment, but of great antiquity, and not a part of the inspired
text. If all vowel-points be rejected, and only the letters called ehevi be used as vowels, all words in which none of these letters are found, and which are numerous, must either be incapable of being enounced at all, or some vowel or vowels must be supplied, with which to enounce them; and different opinions have been advanced concerning what that vowel should be.
It is by no means peculiar to the Hebrew alphabet to consist wholly of consonants, according to the opinion of those who use vowel-points. The Arabic alphabet consists of twenty-eight consonants, as even Richardson allows, who affects to treat the vowel-points of that language with a kind of contempt, yet throughout teaches to read according to them.
Most Arabic books are printed without points; yet the points are supplied from analogy, grammatical rules, and the context; and a great part of the skill of an Arabic scholar consists in doing this promptly and accurately, as the meaning of any passage greatly depends on it. Different ways of using the vowel points are adopted, but, I believe none entirely reject them. The case of other eastern languages is, I apprehend, the same in many respects. Having, as well as your correspondent, R. P., turned my attention to this subject for many years, and rather differing from him in my conclusions, I send you these hints, in hopes of getting some further light on the subject.
ON REPENTANCE: THAT IT PRECEDES PARDON.
As I was the writer of that letter in your number for November, 1812, on which your correspondent, Another Old Clergyman,' in your last number, for October 1815, has animadverted, I feel myself called upon, however reluctant, to take some notice of his paper. Peculiar circumstances induced me, in writing the letter in question, to adopt the style and manner which your correspondent reprehends. I had a special object in view, which, in a good measure, was answered; but I will not say that I was not too severe; and, if your readers in general, having carefully reperused the letter of Juvenis, which I answered, should think me deserving, to the full extent, of your correspondent's reprehension, I shall be silent on that subject.
Three years, in the course of a man's life who was considerably beyond the grand climacteric when he wrote the paper in question, commonly make great depredations on both the body and mind; and I might be justified in declining, after so long a term, to redeem the pledge which I then, perhaps, inadvertently gave. My hopes, also, of doing any thing permanently effectual towards determining such controversies, in a periodical publication, have been much lowered in the in
terim. As, however, my views on the subject on which I then wrote, and on its high importance, are not at all altered; I am disposed to offer some remarks on the general argument, and on some part of your correspondent's paper.
I observe that he does not adduce ANY texts of scripture in support of his statement of repentance, as natural, legal, and evangelical. Above thirty years ago I assigned my reasons for not adopting the distinction between legal and evangelical repentance; as not made in the word of God, and therefore not essential; and for substituting that of natural and spiritual repentance.1 But, while I adhere to this distinction, I do not mean to press it upon others: it may, however, make way for the present discussion.
Neither the word duty nor the word privilege, is used in the sacred scripture with reference to this subject; indeed privilege is not once found in the whole Bible, however prominent in modern divinity. That, however, which God com"mands all men?" must be a duty, and that which he gives may well be counted a privilege: "Then "hath God also to the gentiles granted (owner) "repentance unto life." Your correspondent, however, owns it to be,
under one aspect, an adds, but, when im
imperious duty;' and he 'partially considered, in connexion with our situ'ation as degenerate and depraved, we must be 'convinced that it is a duty which, in all its ex'tent, it is incompetent for any person of himself
'See Discourse on Repentance; Works vol. i. p. 230.