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thren, if a man be overtaken in a fault.” The proper signification of “ Tapatrúua,” is a crime or transgression, and therefore should not (with propriety) be translated “ fault.” “A fault,” (as Mr. Locke says) is a “slight sin,” something that deserves censure, which man, fallen man, is liable to fall into every day, every hour, every minute in his existence, in this vale of sin and sorrows. The meaning of the passage would then be not that (as would appear by our translation) which St. Paul would infer, that every failing or slight offence of his brethren should be noticed or marked down (by the then existing church) but although ('sáv) a man be overtaken in ever so great a trespass or sin, (Tapantupari) both against the law of God and man-he (upon throwing himself at the feet of Jesus) is pardoned—his pardon is proclaimed by His ministers to whom he has given power and commandment “ to restore such a one in the spirit of meekness." I am, Sir, your most humble servant,
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
SIR-As I have no very high opinion of my own critical sagacity, I should not be much surprised, if in a conflict of opinion with your intelligent correspondent d, I should be found on the wrong side of the question. So far as our state of mind is it should be, we shall be thankful if the word of God is elucidated, even though it should be accompanied with some degree of mortification to ourselves.
The passage in question is certainly an interesting one, and though, at the time, it was perfectly intelligible to the disciples of Christ, it must be confessed, that, at present its explanation is altended with some difficulty. 8 agrees with me, that the subject to which the
passage relates, has no connection with what theologians call “the unpardonable sin," or, “the sin against the Holy Ghost;" we are farther, I believe, agreed, that the penalty of death incurred by the indivi. dual, did not, by any means, involve a forfeiture of the divine favour. This may be fairly collected from the apostle's words : 1 Cor. xi. 32. " But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world.” In fact it seems to have been a mode of treatment confined to those who belonged to his own family, and to have been intended, at once, as an intimation of his displeasure for misconduct, and an act of parental discipline, for the benefit both of the individual offender, and for that of the church at large.
pose the case of a brother being seized with so sickness. Prayer on his account would naturally follow. This sickness might or might not be unto death. It has, however, the appearance of a mortal distemper. Upon reflection, it does not
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seem to me necessary that the praying believers should be able to tell, whether the offence on account of which the visitation occurred, was or a sin unto death." To account for the failure of their intercession, in case of death, they are given to know, that
there is "a sin unto death," and that the apostle, in enjoining · prayer for the recovery of a sick brother, did not mean that they
should suppose that God would, if such a case should arise, not do that which was most for his own glory, and the interests of his people. In short, be seems to intimate clearly, that in their intercessions for the recovery of a brother, they should always take into account, that “there is a sin unto death,” and that this prayer should be with a reserve arising from the knowledge of that circumstance.
The distinction, on the above supposition, would be between diseases necessarily ending in death, and those that would have this issue, unless prevented by the intercession of the brethren. That the benefit conferred should be the consequence of intercession seems to be in perfect accordance with the plan of the divine procedure in other instances of a similar nature. “For all things are for your sake, that the abundant grace might, through the thanksgiving of many, redound to the glory of God.”—2. Cor. iv. 15. Again, "ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many on our behalf.”—2 Cor. i. 11.
To me, Sir, there does not at present, appear, any reason, why those things should not apply substantially to the state of Christians in this day. That the Lord should visit with sickness, and with death, in certain cases of misconduct; and that, where death was not irrevocably determined upon, he should spare the offender, at the request of his brethren, seems by no means a procedure exclusively suited to that period of the church's existence, during which a miraculous agency was confessedly employed. The prayer of faith is still efficacious, and is applicable no doubt, to the cases in question: and, though nothing may occur, strictly speaking, miraculous, the band of God will be manifested in a way suited to accomplish the gracious purposes which he has in contemplation, both as it respects the individual, and the rest of the brethren, who may be concerned in the transaction.
When I speak of species of sin, I mean all those of such a character, as to admit of the denomination, “ a sin upto death." To me, I confess, it appears clear, that there may be, and probably are, many sins, for the commission of which, God might see it to be for his glory to inflict bodily death upon the individual so offending. As to the “ sin against the Holy Ghost,” è is, of course, aware, that in Mark iii. 30, it is stated thus, “ Because they said He hath an unclean spirit.” This is a subject upon which I should be more disposed to seek information, than pretend to be able to communicate any. Hitherto I have been accustomed 10 think that there was but one particular offence, bearing the deno. mination of " the sin against the Holy Ghost.” seems to be of another opinion. I should be glad to know why he thinks, that
there are different sins coming under this description. Indeed, I should like to see this subject sisted. It seldom happens, I believe, that a sinner returning to God, is not perplexed and alarmed, by reflections arising out of the uncertainty which involves this question : and some, I doubt not, have been disquieted for years, under the apprehension that some sin of their's may come under the excepted case, and that therefore, in their instance that grand announcement, « The bloorl of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth from all sin,” must be qualified by a reference to the supposed limitation of its virtue, and be found in the case of an unpardonable sin.
If the opinion that one sin possesses a character of such malignity, as to be irremissible, sometimes makes such havoc in the mind of an humbled sinner; it would seem that we might fairly conclude, that every painful feeling on the subject, would be aggravated by the information, that not one, but several acts might come under the description of being unpardonable; and if this be so, that we should, 'more than ever, need to have something definite on the subject, before our minds. I should wish d to consider the following questions. Is there Scriptural authority for pronouncing any sin absolutely unpardonable? I, of course, except the sin of obstinate unbelief. 2dly. If there be, what sin is it? or, if more than one, what are they? The answer to this, will include the enquiry, whether anyone can now commit such a sin, if such a sin exist.
These are points of practical importance and intimately connected with Christian experience.
I am, Sir very truly your's,
ON THE MISQUOTATION OF SCRIPTURE
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
SIR-Misquotations of Scripture should be carefully guarded against both by preachers and writers, as they frequently mislead those who are not well acquainted with their Bibles—and they open
way for sad perversions of the sacred text. It is to be regretted that they are not uncommon, and that we sometimes find a flippant use made of expressions, which although they are contained in the word of God, yet are wrested from the contexts, or, perhaps, separated from the very passages with which they stand in immediate connection. For instance is it not commonly asserted, Money is the root of all evil :" yet the apostle says no such thing—for he well knew that the silver and gold are the Lord's—and that it was not the man who had riches, but the man who trusted in riches that would be excluded from the joys of hea
-St. Luke xii. 34. What the apostle asserts is this, that the love of money is the root of all evil- 1 Tim. 6, 10; or as perhaps the expression means, the root of all the evil stands in the preceing verse, viz.-temptation, a snare, foolish and hurtful lusts, which
drown men in destruction here, and in perdition hereaster. Again, it is frequently said that, “ God gives us all things richly to enjoy,” as if man were to take his bill of present pleasure without regarding the source from whence all true enjoyment, even that which arises from the sanctified use of God's blessings, flows. But the passage stands thus in holy writ :--Charge them who are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy ; 1 Tim. 6, 17. Where we find the word richly connected with the Author and giver of every good and perfect gift--who openeth his hand and filleth all things living with plenteousness. Ps. cxlv. and not with the creature or his enjoyments. There is a striking difference—and the true rendering beautifully displays the beneficence of Him whose name is LOVE.
In the same chapter, verse 19—there is an expression which is sadly misunderstood by many, and even brought forward, certainly in great ignorance, that salvation is not of grace but of works. It bears a striking similitude to many other passages in which the fruit of faith is put for faith, as for instance, James i. 25, 27; but I would suggest whether the laying up in store a good foundation against the time to come, is not connected rather with the 17th than the 18th verse-that is, that trust in the living God, which is inseparably connected in the mind of every true Christian with trust in the atonement and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, is the foundation which is laid up in store against the time to come.- John xvii.
From this trust, good works – readiness to distribute-willingness to communicate, verse 18, must proceed, here and will be declarative of its existence and excellence in the last great day.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
It is often urged as an objection to the faithful preachers of God's word, that their doctrine is new, and that they bring certain strange things to the ears of their flocks. It is desirable to meet, and if possible, remove this as well as every other objection likely to prove a stumbling block in the way of sober inquiry. A question, however, naturally arises, how can this best be done? Butit is one by no means difficult of solution -for we have only to refer the objector to the articles and formularies of the Church of England, for proof, that whether the doctrine to which he objects be true or false, they are at all events free from the guilt (if such it must be) of novelty. We may also open to him our invaluable book of Homilies, and there show him an enlarged exposition of the doctrines and precepts of the Gospel, in language easy to be understood. The Homilies are an excellent preservative against error, and it is to be lamented that they are not more generally known and read. They might be studied with great pro
fit by young clergymen—and if, in those churches where there is week-day service, the Incumbent made it a rule to read a Homily, or part of one, on Wednesday or Friday, he would perceive a great increase in his congregation, and a provision would thus be made by him as well as by our church, for an increased degree of sound scriptural instruction for as many as might find it convenient to attend. If this practice were to become general, the happiest results might be expected to follow, and there can be no doubt of its being the duty of clergymen to make their flocks acquainted with the Homilies. The plan I recommend is not theo. retical, I have seen it put into practice, and in one parish with which I am well acquainted, it has been pursued for upwards of twenty years, and on every Friday there is a respectable congre. gation. Thanks to the Association for Discountenancing Vice, a well printed, well bound copy of the Homilies can now be purchased at their depository in Capel-street, for Fire shillings. Clergymen should not lose this golden opportunity of supplying, at least, such of their parishioners, as are desirous to purchase them, with copies. The Homilies would form part of profitable family reading, and at the present period when such a conflict exists between the principles of Protestantism and Popery, they would supply both to the wise and unlearned, a rich fund of sound reasoning and unanswerable historical proof, that the doctrines of the Reformation are those of the Gospel, and that the whole system of Popery is antiscriptural, delusive, and subversive of the true happiness of man both here and hereafter.
PETER VERSUS POPE.
(Concluded from Page 331.) St. Paul tells us how he reproved St. Peter, because he was wrong, and of himself he often speaks with the greatest humility, making use of these words upon one occasion, lest when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway! For the doctrine they taught, they did indeed claim infallibility, because they knew it to be derived from the sole fountain of infallibility, God himself; and because they were filled with the Holy Spirit io enable them to preach it. Men subject to carnal passions and propensities, as the best must be admitted to be, are precious materials for the composition of infallibility! especially, when the clericals, who have assumed that character instead of (like the apostles) turning hearts from vanities unto the living God, have too frequently taken a contrary course, and turned hearts from the living God unto vanities. The ground-work of all these lamentable abuses being the supposed supremacy of St. Peter necessarily devolving upon his heirs and successors, the bishops of Rome; I shall proceed to show the futility of this testamentary devise, by exhibiting Sanctus Petrus against Sanctus Papa.