Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

1096

PROPITIATION_PROSELYTE.

As it respects the unbloody propitiatory sacrifice of Dr. Lardner is of much the same opinion, and he he Mass above-mentioned, little need be said to confute further says, “I do not believe that the notion of such a doctrine. Indeed it is owned in the Church of two sorts of Jewish proselytes can be found in any Rome, that there is no other foundation for the belief of Christian writer before the fourteenth century or later." it than an unwritten tradition. There is no hint in the and Dr. Jennings also observes, that “there does not Scriptures of Christ offering his body and his blood to appear to be sufficient evidence in the Scripture history his Father at his institution of the Eucharist. It is also | of the existence of such proselytes of the gate as the a manifest contradiction of St. Paul's doctrine, who Rabbins mention; nor, indeed, of any who with proteaches, that without shedding of blood there is no priety can be styled proselytes, except such as fully remission; therefore there can be no remission of sins in embraced the Jewish religion.” the Mass. The sacrifice of Christ, according to the In the initiation of proselytes to the Jewish religion, same Epistle, is not to be repeated. A second oblation, according to the Rabbinical writers, the three following then, would be superfluous: consequently, the pretended observances were appointed, namely: circumcision, baptrue and proper sacrifice of the Mass must be superfluous tism, and the offering of sacrifice. and useless.

Circumcision was the seal of the covenant into which

the proselyte entered with God, and of the solemn proPROSELYTE. In its original sense the term fession which he made to observe the entire Law of apoondutos, signifies one who comes to another country Moses; and if the proselyte were a Samaritan, or of any or people, a stranger, a sojourner. In the Jewish sense, other nation which practised that rite, blood was to be however, a proselyte is a convert from paganism to drawn afresh. Judaism. (Matt. 23. 15; Acts 2. 11.)

The second ceremony was washing or baptism, which Although the constitution of the Jewish polity and Maimonides says was done by dipping the whole body the laws of Moses allowed no other nations to parti of the proselyte in water, and must be performed in the cipate in their sacred rites, yet they did not exclude presence of three Jews of distinction, who stood by as from them such individuals of other nations as were witnesses. At the time of its performance, the proselyte willing to qualify themselves for conforming to them. declared his abhorrence of his past life, and that no Hence they admitted proselytes, who renounced the secular motives, but a sincere love for the Law of Moses, worship of idols, and joined in the religious services of induced him to be baptized; he having been previously the Jews; although they were not held in the same | instructed in the most essential parts of the Law. He estimation as the Jews by birth, descent, and language, promised, at the same time, to lead a holy life, to worwho were by way of eminence termed Hebrews of the ship the true God, and to keep his commandments. Hebrews. During the time of Jesus Christ, the Jews, Maimonides also observes, “In all ages, when a Gentile especially the Pharisees, greatly exerted themselves in is willing to enter into the covenant of Israel, and place making proselytes to their religion and sect.

himself under the wings of the Divine Majesty, and take Calmet, and some other learned men after him, have upon himself the yoke of the Law, he must be circum. distinguished two kinds of proselytes, namely: (1.) Pro cised and baptized, and bring a sacrifice; or if it be a selytes of the gate, who dwelt either in or out of the woman, be baptized and bring a sacrifice." land of Israel, and worshipped the true God, observing | The third cereinony to be performed was that of offerthe seven precepts of Noah, but without obliging them- ing sacrifice. It was a common notion among the Jews, selves to circumcision or any other legal ceremony; and that every person who had duly performed these rites (2) Proselytes of justice or of righteousness, who were was to be considered as a new-born babe. Maimonides converts to Judaism, and engaged themselves to receive says, “ he received a new name, and was thenceforward circumcision as well as to observe the whole of the | reckoned a Jew. A Gentile who is become a proselyte, Mosaic law. There does not, however, appear to be any and a slave who is set at liberty, are both, as it were, foundation in the Scriptures for such a distinction: nor new-born babes; which is the reason why those who can any with propriety be termed proselytes, except were their parents before, are now no longer so." those who fully embraced the Jewish religion. The | Our blessed Lord is supposed to have found the prinScriptures mention only two classes of persons, viz.: the cipal qualities which He required in the proselytes of his Israelites or Hebrews of the Hebrews above-mentioned, covenant in that of the Jews. “The first condition of and the Gentile converts to Judaism, which last are proselytism among the Jews was, that he, who came to called by the names of strangers and sojourners, or embrace their religion, should come voluntarily, and that proselytes.

neither force nor influence should be employed in this “According to my idea,” says Bishop Tomline, "pro- | business. This, also, is the first condition required by selytes were those, and those only, who took upon them- | Jesus Christ, and which He considers as the foundation selves the obligation of the whole of the Mosaic law, but of all the rest: “If any man be willing to come after retained that name till they were admitted into the con- me.' (Matt. 16. 24.) The second condition required in gregation of the Lord as adopted children. Gentiles the Jewish proselyte was, that he should perfectly res were allowed to worship and offer sacrifices to the God | nounce all his prejudices, his errors, his idolatry, and of Israel in the outer court of the Temple; and some of everything that concerned his false religion, and that be them, persuaded of the sole and universal sovereignty should entirely separate himself from his most intima of the Lord Jehovah, might renounce idolatry without | friends and acquaintances. It was on this ground til embracing the Mosaic law; but such persons appear to me the Jews called proselytism a new birth, and proselytes never to be called proselytes in Scripture, or in any ancient | new-born and new men; and Our Lord requires Christian writer.” He also observes, that the term to be born again, not only of water but of the 170 “proselyte of the gate," is derived from an expression | Ghost. (John 3. 5.) All this Our Lord includes frequent in the Old Testament, namely, “ the stranger this word, 'Let him renounce himself.' (Mark 8. 34.) that is within the gates;” but, he says, “I think it | To this the following Scriptures refer: Matt. 10.30;., evident that the strangers were those Gentiles who were | 3. 35; 2Cor. 5. 17. The third condition, on Waicu permitted to live among the Jews under certain restric | person was admitted into the Jewish church as a proste tions, and whom the Jews were forbidden to vex or llyte, was, that he should submit to the yoke 01 , oppress, so long as they lived in a peaceable manner.” Jewish law; and patiently bear the inconveniences

[blocks in formation]

sufferings, with which a profession of the Mosaic religion, the sun, and bruised between their hands, which they might be accompanied. Christ requires the same condi- | heap up again in the morning, sprinkling it in summer tion, but instead of the yoke of the Law He brings in his with fresh water, to keep it from corrupting. In some own doctrine, which He calls his yoke, (Matt. 11. 29,) other places we read of provender and straw, not barley and his cross, (Matt. 16. 24; Mark 8. 34, the taking and straw; because it may be other things were used up of which implies not only a bold profession of Christ for their food anciently, as well as now, besides barley crucified, but also a cheerful submitting to all the suf- and chopped straw. 5052 beleel, one of the words ferings and persecutions to which the convert might be used for provender, (Isai. 30. 24,) implies something of exposed, and even to death itself. The fourth condition | mixture, and the participle of the verb from which it is was, that the proselyte should solemnly engage to con- | derived is used for the mingling of flour with oil; so the tinue in the Jewish religion, faithful even unto death; verb in Judges 19. 21, may be as well translated, 'he this condition Christ also requires, and it is comprised mingled (food) for the asses,' Onnians 53" vayabal in this word, “Let him follow me. (Matt. 16. 24-26; lachamorim, as, 'he gave them provender,' signifying (Mark 8. 34-37.) Dr. Adam Clarke.

that he mixed some chopped straw and barley together

for the asses. And thus also barley and chopped straw, PROSEUCHÆ. See ORATURY.

as it is just after reaping, unseparated in the field, might naturally be expressed by the Hebrew word we trans

late provender, which signifies barley and straw that PROSPERITY, is the state wherein things succeed

had been mingled togetlier, and accordingly seems to according to our wishes, and are productive of affluence

be so. “They reap every one his corn in the field,' and ease.

(Job 24. 6,) 'Hebrew, mingled corn or dredge,' says However desirable prosperity may be, it has its mani.

the margin. What ideas are usually affixed to secondary fest disadvantages. It too often alienates the soul from

translation, I do not know, but Job apparently alludes God, excites pride, exposes to temptation, hardens the

to the provender, or heap of chopped straw, lying minheart, occasions idleness, promotes effeminacy, damps

gled together in the field, after having passed under zeal and energy, and too often has a baneful relative

the threshing instrument, to which he compared the influence. It is no wonder, therefore, that God in

spoils that were taken from passengers so early as his general withholds it from his children; and that adver

time, by those that lived somewhat after the present sity should be their lot rather than prosperity. Adver

| manner of the wild Arabs, which spoils are to them what sity seems more beneficial on the whole, although it is

the harvest and vintage were to others. To this agrees so unpleasant to our feelings. “The advantages of pro

that other passage of Job where this word occurs, (6.5,) sperity,” says Bacon, “are to be wished; but the advan

| Will the ox low in complaints over his provender?' or tages of adversity are to be admired. The principal

'fodder,' as it is translated in our version, when he has virtue of prosperity is temperance; the principal virtue

not only straw enough, but mixed with barley." of adversity is fortitude, which in morality is allowed to

Travellers in the East, wherever they mention the to be the most heroical virtue: prosperity best discovers

subject, use much the same terms as Walpole, who, in rice; adversity best discovers virtue, which is like those

his Journal, remarks, “Neither hay nor oats are known perfumes which are most fragrant when burnt or bruised."

to the Turks; nor has any nation in the East ever used

them for their horses.” Spiritual prosperity consists in the continual progress of the mind in knowledge, purity, and joy. It arises from the participation of the Divine blessing; and evidences PROVERBS, Sun mashal; plural, Dibuomiitself by frequency in prayer, love to God's word, delight | shalim, “proverbs.” Proverbs are brief sentences conin his people, attendance on his ordinances, zeal in his

veying lessons of wisdom in an epigrammatic form; they cause, submission to his will, usefulness in his Church,

are also known as maxims or aphorisms. and increasing abhorrence of everything that is deroga- | The first principles of proverbial composition are to tory to his glory. (3John 2.)

be traced to the constitution of human nature; and

proverbs were originally intended for persons living in a PROVENDER, Xiada mispoi, fodder for cattle. simple state of society, to whom they formed a kind of (Gen. 24. 25,32.)

picture writing, addressing itself most powerfully to the In the account of King Solomon's stables, in 1 Kings senses, which, in the infancy of civilization, were the 4. 28, we read, “Barley, also, and straw for the horses powerful medium whereby knowledge was communiand dromedaries brought they unto the place where the cated. This lively and animated mode of delivering officers were, every man according to his charge." moral truths, which has been traced to the earliest times, Harmer remarks upon this passage: “ Besides provisions | and was first dictated, as it appears, in some measure by for themselves, the Orientals are obliged to carry food necessity, has retained its hold, as a valuable medium for the beasts on which they ride, or carry their goods. of instruction, upon the respect and admiration of manThat food is of different kinds. They make little or no kind in every succeeding age, and through every gradahay in these countries, and are therefore very careful tion of intellectual improvement. Its delightful simof their straw, which they cut into small bits, by an plicity, its musical cadence, its vivid colouring and imainstrument which at the same time threshes out the gery, its concentrated power, continue to engage and corn; this chopped straw, with barley, beans, and balls rivet the attention far more than the systematic and made of bean and barley-meal, or of the pounded kernels argumentative methods of teaching to which, in later of dates, are what they are wont to feed them with. periods, philosophy has had recourse. Solomon says that, The officers of Solomon are accordingly said to have in his time, maxims of this sort were the chief study brought, every man in his mouth, barley and straw for of the learned: a wise man will endeavour to underthe horses and dromedaries. Not straw to litter them stand a proverb and the interpretation; thc words of them with, there is reason to think, for it is not now the “ wise and their dark sayings.” (Prov. 1.6.) used in those countries for that purpose; but chopped “The moralists of the East,” says Sir William Jones, straw for them to eat, either alone or with their barley. have in general chosen to deliver their precepts in short The litter they use for them is their own dung, dried in sententious maxims, or to illustrate them by sprightly

1098

PROVERBS_PROVERBS, BOOK OF.

comparisons, or to inculcate them in the very ancient | other commentators, both British and foreign, have forms of agreeable apologues. There are, indeed, both derived their illustrations of the Jewish parables and in Arabic and Persian, philosophical tracts on ethics, proverbs. See PROVERBS, Book or. written with sound ratiocination and elegant perspicuity; “The people of the East in the present day,” Roberts but in every part of the Eastern world, from Pekin to remarks,“ look upon the acquirements of antiquity as Damascus, the popular teachers of moral wisdom have being every way superior to those of modern times; immemorially been poets; and there would be no end of thus their noblest works of art, and their sciences, are enumerating their works, which are still extant in the indebted to antiquity for their invention and perfection. five principal languages of Asia.”

Instead, therefore, of their minds being enlightened and . Proverbial instruction was a favourite style of com- excited by the splendid productions of modern genius, position among the Jews, which continued to the latest they are ever reverting to the wisdom of their foreages of their literature; and obtained among them the fathers, and sighing over the loss of many of their appellation of Mashalim, or parables, partly because it occult sciences. We, on the other hand, by contemconsisted of parables strictly so called, and partly be- plating the imposing achievements of the present age, cause it possessed uncommon force and authority over are in danger of looking with contempt on antiquity, the minds of the auditors. The proverbs of the old and of pursuing, with thoughtless avidity, the novelties Testament are classed by Bishop Lowth among the and speculations of modern inventions. didactic poetry of the Hebrews, of which many speci- “Solomon could repeat 'three thousand proverbs, and mens are extant, particularly the Book of Proverbs, his songs were a thousand and five;' and many of the composed by Solomon. The royal sage has, in one of philosophers of the present age in the East have scarcely his proverbs, himself explained the principal excellences | any other wisdom. Listen to two men engaged in arguof this form of composition ; exhibiting at once a com ment: should he who is on the point of being foiled plete definition of a proverb, and a very happy specimen quote an apposite proverb against his antagonist, an of what he describes:

advantage is considered as having been gained, which Apples of gold in a net-work of silver,

scarcely anything can counteract. See a man who is Is a word seasonably spoken.-Prov. 23. 11. pondering over some difficulty: his reason cannot decide Thus intimating that grave and profound sentiments as to the course he ought to pursue, when, perhaps, should be set off by a smooth and well-turned phrase some one repeats a pallamulle, that is, an old saying; the ology; as the appearance of beautiful and exquisitely

whole of his doubts are at once removed, and he starts coloured fruit, or the imitation of it, perhaps, in the with vigour in the prescribed course. most precious materials, is improved by the circumstance “Young man talk not to me with infant wisdom; what of its shining (as through a veil) through the reticula

are the sayings of the ancients? You ought to obey tions of a silver vessel exquisitely carved. In the above- | your parents. Listen! The father and the mother are cited passage he further insinuates, that it is not merely the first deities a child has to acknowledge! Is it not a neat turn and polished diction by which proverbs must said, Children who obey willingly are as ambrosia to be recommended; but that truth itself acquires addi | the gods?'—'Were you my friend, you would not act tional beauty when partially discovered through the veil thus; because, as the proverb says, True friends have of elegant fiction and imagery.

but one soul in two bodies.'-'I am told you have been The ingenious but ever-disputing and loquacious trying to ruin me; but will the moon be injured by the Greeks were indebted to the same means for their earliest barking of a dog?'-'You have become proud, and coninstruction in wisdom. The sayings of the seven wise duct yourself like the upstart, who must carry his silk men, the golden verses of Pythagoras, the remains of umbrella to keep off the sun at midnight.'-'You talk Thergius and Phocylides, if genuine, and the gnomai of about your hopes of some coming good; what say the the older poets, testify the prevalence of aphorisms in ancients? Expectation is the midday dream of life.'ancient Greece. This mode of communicating moral | 'Cease to be indolent; for, as our fathers said, Idleness and practical wisdom accorded also with the sedate and is the rust of mind.'-—That you have been guilty of deliberative character of the Romans; and, in truth, many crimes I cannot doubt, as the proverb says, Will from their influence over the mind, and their fitness for there be smoke without fire ?". popular instruction, proverbial expressions exist in all ages and in all languages. Our Lord frequently employed proverbs in his public

PROVERBS, BOOK OF, one of the canonical instructions; and the illustration of these proverbs has books of the Old Testament, ordinarily ascribed to Soloemployed many learned men, who proceed partly by the mon, the wise king of Israel. aid of similar passages from the Old Testament, and Some writers have doubted whether Solomon alone partly from the ancient writings of the Jews, especially | were the author of the Proverbs. Grotius thinks he from the Talmud, whence it appears how much they had a compilation made, for his own use, of whaterer were in use among that people, and that they were was extant, excellent in point of morality, from all the applied by Christ and his Apostles, agreeably to common ancient writers of his own nation; that under Hezekiah usage. The proverbs contained in the Old and New this collection was enlarged by adding what had been Testaments are collected and illustrated by Drusius and written since Solomon; and Eliakim, Shebna, and Joal, Andreas Schottus, whose works are comprised in the he thinks, completed the collection. (2Kings 18. 18.) ninth volume of the Critici Sacri, and also by Joachim But these conjectures are not supported by proof; and Zehner, who has elucidated them by parallel passages the Fathers and the generality of interpreters ascribe from the Fathers, as well as from heathen writers, in a the whole book to Solomon. treatise published at Leipsic in 1601. The proverbs | It seems certain that the collection called the Proverbis which are found in the New Testament have been illus- of Solomon was arranged in the order in which we now trated by Vorstius and Visir, as well as by Lightfoot and have it by different hands; but it is not, therefore, to be Schoetgenius in their Horæ Hebraicæ et Talmudicæ, and concluded that they are not the productions of Solomon, by Buxtorf in his Lexicon Chaldaicum Talmudicum et who, we are elsewhere informed, spoke no less than Rabbinicum; from which last-mentioned works Rosen- | three thousand proverbs. (1 Kings 4. 32.) As it is müller, Kuinoël, Dr. Whitby, Dr. Adam Clarke, and nowhere said that Solomon himself made a collection of

PROVERBS, BOOK OF

PROVIDENCE.

1099

proverbs and sentences, the general opinion is, that great orbs of the universe are reluctantly, as it were, several persons made a collection of them, perhaps as retained in their course, admits not an explication from they were uttered by him. Hezekiah, among others, as mechanical causes: the effects of both of them are difmentioned in the 25th chapter: Agur, Isaiah, and Ezra, ferent from such as mere matter and motion can promight have done the same. The Jewish writers affirm duce; they must, therefore, ultimately be referred to that Solomon wrote the Canticles, or song bearing his God. Vegetable and animal life and increase cannot name, in his youth, the Proverbs in his riper years, and be accounted for, without recurring to Him as the priEcclesiastes in his old age.

| mary cause of both. In all these respects the proviThe Proverbs are, without doubt, the most valuable dence of God is something more than foresight; it is a part of Solomon's works; he says they were fruits of his continual influence, and universal agency: "by Him all most profound meditations, and of his most excellent things consist,” and in Him we“ live, and move, and wisdom. (Eccles. 12. 9.) Here we find rules for the have our being." conduct of persons in all conditions of life; for kings, The truth of the doctrine of Providence may be courtiers, and men of the world, for masters, servants, readily shown from the consideration of the Divine perfathers, mothers, and children.

fections. Even were the express testimony of Scripture Michaëlis has observed that the Book of Proverbs is wanting, the Deity cannot be supposed an indifferent frequently cited by the Apostles, who considered it as a spectator of the series of events in that world to which treasure of revealed morality, whence Christians were to He has given being. His goodness will as certainly derive their rules of conduct; and the canonical autho engage Him to direct them agreeably to the ends of rity of no book of the Old Testament is so well ratified goodness, as his wisdom and power enable Him to do it by the evidence of quotations as that of the Proverbs; in the most effectual manner. This conclusion is conwhence he justly infers, that every commentator on the formable to all our ideas of those attributes. Could we Greek Testament ought to be intimately acquainted with call that being good who would refuse to do any good the Septuagint version of the Book of Proverbs, and which he is able to do without the least labour or diffithat every Christian divine should consider it as the culty? God is present everywhere. He sees all that chief source of spiritual morality.

happens, and it is in his power, with perfect ease, to The Book of Proverbs is divided by Moldenhawer and order all for the best. Can He then possess goodness, Heidegger into five parts; but the late Dr. John Mason and at the same time not do this? A God without a Good has divided it into four distinct books, or parts, providence, is undoubtedly a contradiction. Nothing is “each of which," he observes, “is distinguished both by plainer than that a Being of perfect reason will, in every an obvious introduction, and a change of style and instance, take such care of the universe as such reason manner, though its real method and arrangement seem requires. That supreme intelligence and love, which are hitherto to have escaped the attention of our commen present to all things, and from whence all things sprung, tators and interpreters.”

must govern all occurrences. These considerations form The Proverbs of Solomon hold a conspicuous rank what has been called a particular, in distinction from a among the metrical books of the Old Testament. Not general, providence. We cannot conceive of any reaonly are they admirably adapted to convey instruction sons that can influence the Deity to exercise any proviby the treasures of practical wisdom which they open to dence over the world, which are not likewise reasons for us, but they also afford us a noble specimen of the extending it to all that happens in the world. As far as didactic poetry of the Hebrews, the nature of which as it is confined to generals, or overlooks any individual they enable us to understand by means of the antithe or any event, it is incomplete, and therefore unsuitable tic parallels with which they abound. Much, indeed, of to the idea of a perfect Being. the elegance, acuteness, and force which are discernible The uniform doctrine of the sacred writers is, that in Solomon's wise sayings, is derived from the antithetic throughout the universe nothing happens without God; form, the opposition of diction and sentiment. Hence that his hand is ever active, and his decree of performance a careful attention to the parallelism of members will or sufferance intervenes in all; that nothing is too great contribute to remove that obscurity in which some of the or unwieldy for his management, and nothing so minute proverbs appear to be involved. Sometimes, also, one and inconsiderable as to be below his inspection and member or part of a proverb must be supplied from the care. While He is guiding the sun and moon in their other; or, as has been said in other words, sometimes course through the heavens; while in this inferior world one thing is expressed in one member, and another in He is ruling among empires, stilling the raging of the the other, and yet both are to be understood in both. waters, and the tumults of the people, He is at the same See PROVERBS.

time watching over the humble good man, who is

serving and worshipping Him in obscurity. . PROVIDENCE, implies the conduct and direction Nothing can be more clear from the testimony of of the several parts of the universe, by a superior intel Scripture, than that God takes part in all that happens ligent Being. By providence we understand, not merely among mankind; directing and overruling the whole foresight, but an uniform and constant directing opera course of events, so as to make every one of them tion of God subsequent to the act of creation. In every answer the designs of his righteous judgment. We machine formed by human ingenuity, there is a neces cannot, indeed, conceive God acting as the governor of sity for the action of some extraneous power to put the the world at all, unless his government were to extend machine in motion; construction and disposition of parts to all the events that happen. It is upon the supponot being sufficient to effect the end : there must be a sition of a particular providence, that our worship and spring, or a weight, or an impulse of air or water, or prayers to Him are founded. All his perfections would some substance or other, on which the motion of the be utterly inconsequential to us, if they were not exerseveral parts of the machine depends. In like manner cised, on every occasion, according as the circumstances the machine of the universe depends upon its Creator of his creatures required. The Almighty would then be for the commencement and the conservation of the no more than an unconcerned spectator of the behaviour motion of its several parts.

of his subjects, regarding the obedient and the rebellious The power by which the insensible particles of matter | with an equal eye. coalesce into sensible masses, as well as that by which the The personal experience of every one also must, more 1100

PROVIDENCE-PRUNING-HOOK.

or less, bear testimony to the truth of this doctrine. We giving unity to the whole. Man, at last, vanishes like a need not for this purpose have recourse to those sudden cloudy vapour, while in the East he stands upon a rock. and unexpected vicissitudes, which have sometimes aston-, with the everlasting God for his sure foundation ished whole nations, and drawn their attention to the | “These simple and unstudied contrasts, child-like and conspicuous hand of heaven; we need not appeal to artless reflections on the course of events, from the the history of the statesman and the warrior; of the mouth of aged and experienced men, had a peculiar tenambitious and enterprising: we may confine our obser- dency to nourish the tender plant of a kind of poetry vation to those whose lives have been most plain and that breathes confidence in God, and in his special and simple, and who had no desire to depart from the ordi- providential regard for the human race. The Orientals, nary train of conduct.

beyond a doubt, produced them; and the most ancient That our best contrived schemes and plans should so poetry of the Greeks is, in this respect, entirely Oriental often fail even when our hopes are the highest, and that in its character. But it was only in this simple form on the other hand blessings should be frequently that they could be apprehended moreover by the most bestowed on us in ways that we little expect, alike simple and undisciplined understanding, and seize upon prove that, as the Apostle Peter says, God “careth for the heart of man when most depressed and most in need us,” (1 Pet. 5. 7,) and that all things are guided and of their influence. They are a kind of mirror of the directed by his good pleasure. Accident, and chance, world, and sum up the experience of the long and inand fortune, are words which we often hear mentioned, structive life of the patriarchs. As mountains grow old, and much is ascribed to them in the life of men. But so empires fall into decay; as the fresh leaf puts forth, they are words without meaning; or, as far as they have so new fortunes and new hopes spring up for man; thus any signification, they are not other than names for the the seasons of the year, and the periods of human life, unknown operations of Providence; for it is certain that the scenes of nature, and the varying aspects of human in God's universe nothing comes to pass causelessly or in destiny, are connected together, and God is the controller vain. Every event has its own determined direction. of them all. Even at the present day, we may hear That chaos of human affairs and intrigues where we can the experienced and moralizing old, when the fermenting see no light, that mass of disorder and confusion which elements of life have worked themselves clear, disthey often present to our view, is all clearness and order coursing in the same tones with Job, the Psalms, and the in the sight of Ilim who is governing and directing all, Prophets, and the incredulous and headstrong youth and bringing forward every event in its due time and finds by experience, at last, that they have discoursed place. - The Lord sitteth on the flood. The Lord truly. For the most part, too, the reflections in praise maketh the breath of man to praise him, as he maketh of Providence are suggested by the pictures and historithe hail and rain obey his word. He hath prepared his cal traditions which we liave treated of, the Flood, and throne in the heavens; and his kingdom ruleth over all. the memorials of Divine punishment, the confounding A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth of human purposes, and exposure of hidden crimes. his steps."

From these they proceed, as their source, and terminate No other principle than this, embraced with a steady throughout in the silent fear of God and wisdom of faith, and attended with a suitable practice, can ever be man, forming, without doubt, the richest treasure, the able to give repose and tranquillity to the mind, to ani- most useful poetry and instruction, as the guide of our mate our hopes, or extinguish our fears; to give us any shadowy and fleeting life. I could wislı I were true satisfaction in the enjoyments of life, or to minister acquainted with a poem that combined, together in its consolation under its adversities. If we are persuaded | representations, the most striking and affecting scenes of that God governs the world; that He has the superin- | Providence in our history. The more simple, the more tendence and direction of all events; that we are the Oriental would it become in its general characteristics." objects of his providential care; whatever may be our distress or danger, we can never want consolation. We may always have a fund of hope—always a prospect of PRUDENCE, is the act of suiting our words and of relief. But take away this hope, and this prospect, actions according to the circumstances of things, or rules -take away the belief of God and of a superintending of right reason. It differs from wisdom only in degree, Providence, and men would be of all creatures the most wisdom being nothing but a more consummate habit of miserable; destitute of every comfort, devoid of every sup-prudence, and prudence a lower degree or weaker habit port under present sufferings, and of every security against of wisdom. future dangers. Herder well remarks,“ Job and the This virtue is divided into : (1.) Christian prudence, Psalms are a storehouse of observations and moral reflec- which directs to the pursuit of that blessedness which tions on human life, on good and ill fortune, on pride the Gospel discovers by the use of Gospel means. (2.) and humility, true and false self-confidence, and confi Moral prudence, which has for its end peace and satisdence in God. They are the consolation of the unfortu- faction of mind in this world, and the greatest happiness nate, and the support and strength of the poor. They | after death. (3.) Civil prudence, which is the knowcome to him as a voice from heaven, to console him in ledge of what ought to be done in order to secure the his desolation, and they calm and quiet his soul. And outward happiness of life, consisting in prosperity, since throughout the whole the eye of God is represented liberty, &c. (4.) Monastic prudence, relating to any as watching over the course of human events, we may circumstances in which a man is not charged with the say, with truth, that this poetry has exhibited the same care of others. (5.) Economical prudence regards the unity and simplicity in the succession of events in the conduct of a family. (6.) Political prudence refers to world which it exhibited in the scenes of nature. The the good government of a state. Mason. exhibition of art in the poetry of the Greeks is but tawdry ornament, compared with this child-like and pure simplicity; and in reading Celtic poetry, fond as I am of it, PRUNING-HOOK, 77010 masmirah. (Isai. 2. 4; I always feel as if wandering beneath a clouded evening Joel 4. 10.) This word signifies a knife for pruning the sky. It presents, indeed, beautiful scenes in the clouds vine. The manner of trimming the vine, 7 samir, sigand on the earth, but without a sun, without God, and nifying clipping, and also the singular instrument of the without a purpose which is determinate, and capable of vinedresser, 177010 mazmirah, were well known even in

« FöregåendeFortsätt »