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him," and exalted him to be governor over Egypt. Then came the famine, which was the judgment chosen of God whereby to exalt Joseph still more, and to humble his persecutors. They came "and bowed down to "him with their face toward the "earth, and licked up the dust of "his feet:" "And at the second "time Joseph was made known to "his brethren." Herein was intimated to the Jews the affliction and famine of the word, which they would experience on account of their envy; the intermediate exaltation of " that Just one" whom, as they thought, they had slain; and his revealing himself to them at their second coming to him :—and the circumstance, that at the Second time Joseph made known himself, remarkably coincides with an opinion held by some modern interpreters of prophecy, that there are to be three distinct acts of gathering at the restoration of the Jews; in the second of which,—having been previously brought together in an unconverted state, and having Jesus even in a manner with them, as the patriarchs were with Joseph, yet without knowing him,—Jesus will plead with them by affliction in the wilderness, and then reveal himself to them.
3. In verse 21—43 Moses is brought before them, another eminent type of Christ, as Stephen ojjenly insists in verse 37. His first offer of service is instanced; as also the circumstance, that he was rejected by them, as "a ruler and a judge:" and Stephen afterwards specially dwells on the circumstance, that this very Moses "whom they "refused, saying, who made thee a "ruler and a judge? the same did "God send to be a ruler and de'' liverer;" who brought them out of Egypt, when they had previously been reduced to great straits. This
is remarkably typical of the conduct of the Jews towards Christ, "who came to his own, but his own received him not;"—" they would not have this man to reign over them;" &c. But he, whom they rejected, God nevertheless "exalted to be a "Prince and a Saviour, and to give "repentance to Israel;"—and he it is who still, "in the time of "Jacob's trouble, will save him out "of it." (See Jer. xxx, 1—9.) When the bondage is grievous, he will j3rove their deliverer, and bring them up out of their captivity.
At verse 37 he begins a more special application of this type; shewing that Moses was not rejected merely by an individual transgression, and when he was in circumstances whereof they might question his being appointed of God to deliver them; but afterwards, they could not endure the wilderness church state; and the whole nation—those whom the Jews of Stephen's period boasted of as their Fathers,— "Would not obey, but thrust him "from them, and in their hearts "returned unto Egypt." And he further intimates, (by noticing their obduracy, to which God had given them up, and for which they were carried captive beyond Babylon) what would be the judgment of that present race, of whom the Lord had said, that they should be blinded and bowed down.
4. In the last instance, (verses 44 —50 inclusive,) he apparently aims at their idolatrous glorying in their temple, insisting (verses 48—50) both of the tabernacle and temple, that they misunderstood them as types; and that the most High was not limited to such places, as in their carnal notions they probably imagined. Some commentators have concluded, from the mention of the tabernacle and temple in the four previous verses, that the design of Stephen was to shew, that they had not had the temple always at Jerusalem; but that God also gave a witness of himself in the wilderness. I apprehend however, that he chiefly intends to refer to the wilderness state, which the church has to pass through; more especially as he introduces David and Solomon, the types of Christ suffering and triumphant; the tabernacle likewise being a type of the church in its fugitive state, and the temple of its more permanent condition. For he lays a stress upon the circumstance, that David desired to build the house, but that Solomon was chosen to accomplish it. The church is thus glanced at at two different periods; first with Israel in the wilderness, which may be considered typical of the time of trial to Jewish saints and martyrs; secondly, when brought in by Joshua into the possession of the Gentiles, typical of the spiritual tabernacle of David being among us, during the times of the Gentiles. But Solomon built the house; which shews, that its permanent state must be patiently waited for, and that it will be accomplished under Messiah triumphant.
5. The application remains; in which he briefly charges his adversaries with resisting the Holy Ghost, in the same spirit as their fathers did. As regarded the law, and the temple which they accused him of subverting, he insists, that
they were the persons who had not kept the law; and that they had never understood the nature and meaning of the temple as an ordinance. And as to the prophets, and the Just one, or Messiah, whom they professed to acknowledge, they had persecuted and killed both the one and the other!
The catastrophe follows. As Stephen commenced his speech wTith a manifest glory shining on his face; that, if conviction might reach them, they might be sensible, that the Holy Ghost spake in him: so, in conclusion, the Lord affords another marvellous attestation to the fact which Stephen had insinuated. The heavens open and Stephen sees that Jesus, whom they gloried in having destroyed, nevertheless exalted at the right hand of God; and he is permitted to confirm and illustrate his testimony by declaring this fact. But horribly awful is the condition of souls given up to hardness! His angelic countenance, his recital of circumstances so calculated to produce conviction, his pungent application, his appeal to the visible manifestation to him of Christ in heaven,—all these things prove powerless! His opponents gnash on him with their teeth,—they vociferate aloud,—they stop their ears,—they rush simultaneously upon him,—and they murder him in the attidude of prayer for his assassins!
REVIEW OF BOOKS, &c.
Under this department of the Investigator we purpose to bring before our Readers the substance of every work connected with the subject of Prophecy, and entitled to any consideration. Some we shall occasionally review ;—of some we shall only briefly state the contents;—of others we shall present a condensed summary of the chief arguments and observations.
One great obstacle, with which persons engaged in prophetical inquiry meet, is the lamentable want of information betrayed by the majority. Objections, assumed to be original, are sometimes advanced with a confidence, which would be abashed, were it known, that they had long ago been silenced by triumphant refutations; whilst, on the other hand, crude speculations would often be prevented, and the dogmatical importance of supposed discovery, were the researches of former writers more generally known.
Further than this, the press teems with so many modern productions on the subject, (to say nothing of older authors,) that it is quite out of the power of most to find leisure for the perusal of them all; and equally beyond the pecuniary means of many to procure them : and therefore such a description of them, as shall enable our Readers to form some estimate of the merits and contents of each, and afford them the opportunity of selecting those writers for a more intimate acquaintance, whose works seem most to commend themselves to their judgment, appears in the present state of literature to be a desideratum.
1. The Books of the Old and New Testaments proved to be Canonical, and their Verbal Inspiration established, 8>c. By Robert Haldane, Esq.
Small 8vo. pp. 17G, 3s. Hamilton & Co. 1830.
2. TJie Theories of Inspiration of the Rev. D. Wilson, Rev. Dr. P. Smith, and the Rev. Dr. Dick, proved to be erroneous: with Remarks on the Christian Observer and Eclectic Review. By Alexander Carson,
A.M. &C. Pp. 223,—small 8vo. 3s. 6d. Hamilton & Co. 1830.
We shall commence our course be arrived at by those, who glide not
with the notice of a few wrorks like the swallow over the mere sur
which touch upon the elementary face of prophecy, dipping only here
principles of prophetic discussion, and there; but who take a proper and
To some those two, the titles of comprehensive view of the question
which head these remarks, will per- now at issue. Some of the most
haps appear foreign to the subject: contemptuous and disparaging sen
a different conclusion however will timents in regard to prophecy, have
proceeded, as we are persuaded, from Christians, who are unsound in their views of the Authority of the written Word: men would never talk of the unimportance and unprofitableness of that, which they acknowledge to have some foundation in Scripture, did they with the heart believe, that the Scriptures are really the voice of God ; —they would not turn their backs with indifference, not to say insult, upon vast portions of the Word, were there not working in them some latent and subtle leaven of infidelity', in regard to the authenticity and inspiration of that Word. It is truly frightful to consider to what an alarming extent the evangelical lump is leavened with this leaven! Multitudes have taken the infection, who do not for a moment suspect their own opinions: how can it be otherwise, when some of the most popular preachers and writers are in this fundamental article deeply entangled in the snares of Neology; and are leading their disciples into the fatal depths of Schleirmacher, Eichhom, and others of the German School. Will it be believed, that such men as the Rev. D. Wilson in the Establishment; such men out of it as Doctors Doddridge, Pye Smith, and Dick; and such extensively circulated publications as the Christian Observer and Eclectic Review, have been unconsciously helping to undermine and overthrow the whole fabrick of divine revelation! Yet such we are fully convinced, from a perusal of the above two publications, is the fact: the perverted ingenuity and wisdom of men have diverted Christians from their strong vantage ground in regard to the canon and the inspiration of Scripture; and by inventing unwarrantable distinctions in regard to the latter, have introduced false theories, withering delusions, and sceptical subtleties! A
temper of mind such as that, which can delight in the metaphysical figments exposed by Messrs. Haldane and Carson, is the very last which is likely to arrive at solid and satisfactory views in regard to prophecy. If the subject be seriously taken up, it will suffer damage by the admixture of fanciful and unwarrantable interpretations; which, being laid as the basis or built up with the superstructure, render the whole edifice insecure. But more probably such persons will be found to have their antipathies decidedly recoiling from an investigation, which, rigidly conducted, must dash to pieces many of those fond systems and modes of interpretation, in which they now glory and delight.
It would not be candid to leave it to be inferred from these remarks, that Messrs. Haldane and Carson have spoken out upon the subject of prophecy; or that their works were written with any particular reference to it. We know not what their views on this question may be; nor do we consider it indispensable to their complete orthodoxy, that they should in all points agree with us: but sure we are, that, if, in reference to serious discussion on the subject, they follow out their own principles, as exhibited in the following extracts from their writings, they will be found among the zealous promoters of Investigation: from them at least we shall never hear such objections, as the unprofitableness, mrimiiortance, or difficulty of the subject.
Having instanced the objections against the inspiration of 1 Tim. iv, 13, on the ground that they are too unimportant, Mr. Haldane says :—
"Such a conclusion, even if we could not discover their use, would be altogether unwarrantable. On the same principle we might reject many other parts of Scripture, the import of which we do not understand; but, in doing so, we should act both as
absurdly and irreverently as the daring infidel, who might assert, that a worm or a mushroom was not the workmanship of God, because it appeared to him insignificant; or that the whole world was not created by God, because it contained deserts and barren wastes, the use of which he did not comprehend." P. 105.
Mr. Carson on the same subject says:—
"Mr. Wilson believes Paul to be ininspired in this direction, because he fancies it is not destitute of practical use: I believe it to have practical use, because it is the word of inspiration." "A passage may contain instruction, yet we may be unable to see it: are we then to hesitate about its inspiration, till we can rind the looked for edification? Does not this warrant the denial of the most important, truths of the gospel, when individuals cannot perceive their advantage?" Pages 34 and 35.
Again, noticing the objections of some to Scripture truths which to them appear useless or unnecessary, he says :—
11 Shall we be allowed to be better judges of what is necessary than God? How many things will human wisdom reject in Scripture, if this theory be allowed? Some think a general judgment unnecessary, seeing every man is judged at death; and according to this theory they are justifiable in attempting to explain Scripture, in conformity with their opinion." p. 112. "Is it modest to say, that a passage can have no religious use, if we cannot immediately perceive that use? No, it is not modest, it is atheistical—it is irrational." P. 147. "There is good sense as well as piety in the observation of Mr. Scott, 1 that if wTe could not understand or get 'any benefit from certain portions of the 'Scriptures, it would be more reasonable 1 to blame our own dulness, than so much 'as in thought to censure them as useless.' This is a sentiment that breathes the true spirit of Christianity." P. 165.
On the comparative importance of certain portions of Scripture over others, he says :—
"Can the man who has made, or those
who adopt this theory, quarrel with Arians,who give a similar new guide to direct plain christians to discriminate in the Scriptures what is important or fundamental truth, from what is uncertain, unimportant, or speculative? Nothing, say they, can be fundamental truth, but what is found in each of the Gospels. By such infidel criterions men continue to reprobate every thing in the Scriptures which they dislike," P. 150.
We shall notice here one other passage in answer to the objection on the ground of difficulties.
u Though I have demonstrated, that the doctrine of plenary inspiration has no difficulties, I will admit, for argument sake, that it has: what can my opponent make of the admission? Shall the existence of difficulties be a sufficient reason to deny what the Scriptures, with such a mass of evidence, assert? Then give up the sovereignty of gi^ace; give up particular redemption; give up the divinity of Christ; give up the Scriptures themselves; give up the existence of God. It is a shame for any man, acquainted with theology and science, to talk of difficulties, as rendering any sentiment untenable. No important subject is free from difficulties, and some of the most important have the most puzzling difficulties. It is evidently the design of the divine procedure, that such difficulties should try the humility and faith of God's people, while they are as gins and snares to human wisdom. Yet it is not agreeable, even to the wisdom of this world, to deny a doctrine for having difficulties, even great difficulties. In opposition to Dr. S. I maintain, with the greatest confidence of conviction, that rational criticism cannot set aside, by difficulties, any doctrine alleging a foundation in Scripture. Though I had been obliged to leave this objection unanswered,— though Dr. S. had given me passages which I could not reconcile with the doctrine of verbal inspiration, I would have trampled on his objection as insufficient. There are many difficulties in the Scriptures that may never be solved by man. A resolution to receive no doctrine that has unsolved difficulties, would be a symptom, not of wisdom, but of weakness." Pp. 116, 117.
The application of these sentiments to the prophetical question