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It is impossible indeed that any what things soever he doeth, these thing should actually frustrate the doeth the Son likewise. For the purposes of God; yet there are Father loveth the Son and sheweth things which have a tendency to him all things that himself doeth." frustrate them, and would do so (John v. 19, 20.) were they not overruled and re The doctrine, however, to which strained by omnipotence. But we allude, does not rest on a few Christ, we say, never did any thing positive assertions. It is a grand which had a tendency to frustrate evangelical peculiarity, exemplified the divine purposes. On the other and illustrated through the whole hand it is very observable, that he life of Christ in the flesh. In what intentionally used those very mea passage of that wonderful life, was sures and took those very steps, there not an exact coincidence bec which were directly adapted to ef tween his actions and the movefectuate those purposes. There are ments of Divine Providence, in many testimonies which affirm, that which the eternal designs of God there was the most absolute concur are fulfilled and developed ? But rence,between Christ and the Father especially is this observable, in his as the sovereign and universal agent. conduct relating to the greatest of Christ himself announced this sub all events, his own decease. How lime sentiment, when in vindication apparent is it, that he always reguof his having performed a miracu lated himself, just in the manner, lous cure on the Sabbath, he alleged that was adapted to fulfil “ the de(John v. 17.) the unintermitted ener terminate counsel of God, gy exerted by his Father through- specting whatever related to that out creation, and in the events of awful event. Was it not because Providence; and hence inferred, he aimed at fulfilling that all-wise (though surely the work of mercy counsel, that he did not, as he cerhe had done was in no view justly tainly might have done had he liable to censure the lawfulness of pleased, make the evidences of his his own energetic operation, in heal Messiahship blaze forth through the ing the impotent man on the Sab world, to the annihilation of every bath.*
thing related to unbelief? Was it But of the authenticity of the not hence that he performed so many sentiment we refer to, there is of his mighty works in the shades more positive proof in the following of obscurity and retirement; (John context. With a solemnity which vii. 3, 4.) that he so often forbade a well suited the great truth he an proclamation of his miracles; chargnounced, he said to the Jews, “ Ve ing the subjects of them to moderate rily, verily, I say unto you, the Son their eulogies, and commanding his can do nothing of himself except own disciples to tell no one of some what he seeth the Father do: for things which they saw and heard,
until after he should be crucified and It seems impossible fairly to fix any
risen from the dead? Was it not other construction on the words of our hence that he always effected an Lord. “The Jews sought to slay him, escape from the hands of his exasbecause he had done those things on the perated enemies, while as yet his Sabbath day : But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I
hour had not come, but when that work.” The ground on which he justified
hour had come, that he resigned himself was not unobserved by the Jews,
himself to their fiercest rage, and who considered it as involving him in the almighty as he was, went like a greater guilt of blasphemy, and “there.
sheep to the slaughter ; and as a fore sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but
lamb before her shearers is dumb, said also that God was his Father, mak so opened he not his mouth? No ing himself equal with God.” (ver. 18.) man took his life from him, but he
laid it down of himself; for this he ed, there is no method of teaching knew was agreeable to the secret so easy, interesting and instructive purpose of God; and, indeed, this to the common hearer.
The woncommandment,” never given to any der of the mind is turned into raother, “he had received of his Fa tional ecstasy, when the little incither," upon his undertaking to re dents of the parable are all seen to deem mankind.
have covered glorious truths; and 3. Now it is only necessary to the impression which those truths keep in mind this wonderful fact, will then make, will be more defithat Christ always aimed at fulfill nite, vivid and lasting, than could ing the eternal purposes as well as have been effected by a different the moral precepts of God, in order method. No discussion, however to a full and easy understanding of clear and forcible, no reasoning, this part of the reply to the disci however ingenious and conclusive, ples. As he knew that it was given no other method of illustration, can to the disciples to know the myste affect the common mind, like a well ries of the gospel, and not to the arranged parable, when its meanmultitude, so, as in other cases, he ing is unfolded. Nor does the preacted in a manner that was adapted vious wonder now go for nothing: to fulfil, not to frustrate, the divine it is a state of mind exceedingly fadecision in this case.
vourable to profiting by exposition, 4. For it is easy to perceive that he as it ensures attention and earnestadopted this course in speaking to ness to understand. As the disthe multitude by parables. Para ciples, therefore, were afterwards bles, in their own tendency, were made acquainted with the meaning better suited to fulfil the divine pur of the parables, the first hearing of pose, in this instance, than plain which, had so happily prepared their discourses would have been. They minds for a second; it being given were obviously so in regard to the them to know the mysteries of the multitude; to whom it had not been kingdom, an excellent means of imgiven to know the mysteries: and parting to them this knowledge was it may be quickly shown that they now used by their omniscient Maswere so likewise, in regard to the ter. These disciples, let me add, had disciples, to whom that privilege had need of all the advantages which a been given.
twofold hearing of these things afThe parables, it is true, at the forded them; since they were themtime of delivery were not much selves destined to become teachers more intelligible to the disciples of evangelical mysteries, who needthan to the multitude. But the dis ed to be indoctrinated to a degree ciples, being Christ's personal at more than common. tendants, had the opportunity of The substance of these observahearing him a second time on the tions on the first part of Christ's revery same subjects: and it is ex ply to the question of his disciples, pressly stated that after the multi may be expressed in a single sentude had been dismissed, and they tence, thus: “Why speakest thou were alone with their Master, he ex unto them in parables? He answerpounded to them, the things which ed, because unto you (my disciples) they had heard in public, without it is given to know the mysteries of understanding. And there is one the kingdom of heaven; but to them, observation which must not here be (the multitude, it is not given; and omitted: though parables not ex it becomes me to conform my conpounded, may produce no other im duct in all respects, to the eternal pression than that of wonder or cu purposes as well as to the law of riosity, yet, when properly explain God: hence it was proper
for me to
address this multitude by parables; || knowing his reasons, will perhaps which, I was aware, they would not discover them when it will be too rightly understand.”
late to profit by the knowledge. It It is easy to imagine the effect is a solemn certainty, which would which such an answer as this, would remain so though disliked and dehave produced on selfish and unsub nied by all men living, that God missive persons. To such persons, hath mercy on “whom he will have it would have given little comfort to mercy; and deems it perfectly know, that the things which caused equitable, to leave such as have no their perplexity, were agreeable to grace totally void of grace, and to the arrangement which God hath continue bestowing, as he thinks settled for ever. To hear, though best, the treasures of his goodness from Christ himself, words which on persons who have been previousexhibit so decisively, the perfectly enriched by his sovereign donasovereignty of God in giving or with tions. He hereby does no injustice, holding his saving mercy, would not and pursues a policy which being have been grateful, it is feared, to approved by his own unerring mind, some who call themselves Chris is little prejudiced by the disapprotians. Especially would some have bation of creatures of yesterday, been apt to demur, on such an occa and who are wise, only to do evil. si as that to which we have been Accordingly our Lord does not atrelerring. Here, were standing be tempt to vindicate this principle, fore Christ, perhaps several thou but merely states it, as what he sands, shrouded in ignorance, and knew to be a maxim in the divine ready to perish in their sins; and administration, and which was now there, a few disciples, whose minds exemplified in the allotments which had already been enlightened, and God had made respecting the diswho, for the most part at least, had ciples and the multitude. “I speak received already the renewing grace in parables, because unto you it is of God. Yet the great multitude are given to know the mysteries of the suffered to remain in their wretch kingdom of heaven, but to them it is edness, and the disciples alone, high not given: and this arrangement ly favoured as they have been al agrees with an established principle ready, derive any benefit from the of the divine government, which is, instructions of Christ!
that whosoever hath, to him shall It may seem surprising, that in be given; but whosoever hath not, stead of replying to this objection, from him shall be taken even that Christ should have recognised the he hath." conduct, on which, with such a
T. H. S. plausible appearance of reason it is
(To be continued.) predicated, as conformable to a general principle of the divine government; which is, that “whosoever
Of T'itus and Crete. hath, to him shall be given, and he Discrepancies in doctrine and shall have more abundance; but worship among Christians, on minor whosoever hath not, from him shall points, when the essentials are rebe taken
that cordiality towards each other, the reasons of this maxim in govern which the sincere followers of the ment, adopted by infinite wisdom kind and mild Redeemer, will aland benevolence. God giveth ac ways possess, and be disposed to count of his matters, to none; rea cultivate. Our faith and manners sons he has for all his decisions and are invariably influenced by educadoings; but he who will not repose tion, and early associations; if erin him implicit confidence without
roneous, some apology is due; to
judge is the province of another, says also, that he is no where call with which we interfere at our pe ed an evangelist.” But that “he ril. On questions of church govern was to set in order the things that ment, it is, for a great part, as safe, were wanting in every city; and as on the question of meats, to fol that he was to ordain elders, or low the leadings of our own con presbyters, for the whole island.” sciences. The difficulty of deciding To alĩ this, we subscribe, and are is of this an invincible argument. willing, in the language of TheoFrom the same records we draw, doret, to pronounce him the apostle and with equal candour, the stable of the Cretans.t. When Paul and proofs of our various sentiments, ac Titus first went to Crete, before any cording to the views with which we church had been planted on the open the sacred text. That a can island, Titus must have been an atdid and pious writer, “On the Or tendant upon Paul, and a preacher, der of the Primitive Church,” should without any relation unto, or conexperience “ pleasure in being able nexion with the Cretans. This is to derive from the word of God a substantially admitted, when the sanction for his own system,”* is writer alleges, that “ Paul visited desirable for the sake of his con the island at an early period of his science. His own safety is not jeo ministry, before he was made a pripardised, because he disturbs not soner, and he left Titus among the peace
of others. But the same islanders to water the churches premises yield different conclusions which he had planted.” With reto us; possibly because we have al spect to the time he differs from Dr. ways supposed a primitive bishop, Paley, of his own church, who, with the pastor of a single church, and many others, has been of opinion, diocesan episcopacy an innovation, that Paul, after his liberation, sailed fostered after the days of the apos
from Rome into Asia, and taking tles.
Crete in his way, left Titus there. Candia, or Crete, famous for the This departure from the sentiwisdom of its ancient laws, and for ments expressed in the “Horæ Pauits proficiency in tactics, is an island linæ,” a work of unusual merit, about one-seventh as large as the seems correct, because it does not state of Pennsylvania, of a mild appear
that Titus went to Rome and happy climate, and an air unu with Paul, when he was carried a sually salubrious. Eleven diocesan prisoner to be tried by Cesar. Nor bishops of the Greek church, in De do
of the letters written from cember, 1819, superintended the Rome, during that imprisonment, Christian inhabitants, who were to the Ephesians, Colossians, Phisupposed to amount to one hundred lippians, or Philemon, mention Tiand fifty thousand souls, and to be tus, or even imply that he was at less numerous than the Turks. Rome. On the contrary, his pre
The present, compared with the sence with Paul is excluded by Copopulation of the island in gospel loss. iv. 11. “ These only are my days, may be accounted as one to fellow-workers unto the kingdom of three. This writer is, therefore, God, which have been a comfort evidently correct in supposing Crete unto me;" and Titus is not named of dimensions and population suf
as one of them. ficient for a diocess. He admits That Paul purposed to visit Cothat Titus is “never called exclu losse, soon after his liberation, apsively the bishop of the island;" and pears from his letter to Philemon,
(ver. 22.) But the bespeaking of * Christian Observer, republished in the “ Episcopal Magazine," Feb. 1821. + Ουτω Κρήλων ο Τιτος--αποστολος). Philadelphia.
Theod. in Tim. ii.
lodgings there, would have been Also, Titus, who was in years and premature, if it had been intended office older than Timothy, and comconsequent upon the arduous la manded more respect, must have bour of planting churches in Crete. been as competent for that service, The epistle to Philemon preceded as he was to settle the differences in the letter to the Hebrews; in that, the Corinthian church, or to preach Timothy was joined, in this he is the
gospel among the rude inhabimentioned as absent; “with whom, tants of Dalmatia. But conjectures if he come shortly,” (xii. 23.) Paul are as unprofitable as endless. We promised to see those, to whom the cannot collect from the scriptures, letter was sent. This
of that Titus was with Paul, from the visiting Judea, was, therefore, after time of his separation from Barnahis direction to Philemon to procure bas, during all his travels through him lodgings at Colosse. Accord Asia, Macedonia, and Greece, his ingly, some have imagined that Paul subsequent voyage to Jerusalem, went, with Timothy and Titus, to and return through the Asiatic Crete, where he left Titus, and pro
churches; nor until he came to ceeded to Judea, returned through Ephesus, when Apollos, from Co. Syria and Cilicia, tarried some time rinth, met him at that place; unless at Colosse, wrote from thence to Titus i. 5, will prove, that they were Titus in Crete to meet him at Ni. associated, at some interval of the copolis, came to Ephesus, left Timo. historic account, in Crete. thy there, and proceeded to Mace There is great difficulty in ascerdonia. But neither does Titus ap taining when the epistle to Titus pear to have been with Paul at was written; but this writer in Rome, during his first imprison- placing it before the imprisonment ment, nor is there the least evidence of Paul, agrees with Lightfoot, Lardthat such journey was ever under ner, and many other learned critics. taken or accomplished. It was the And though we will neither assign opinion of Pool, that Paul left Titus the precise time for Paul's going in Crete, when he touched there a with Titus into Crete, nor the parprisoner, on his passage to Rome. ticular winter, which they spent toBut as Titus is not named in the gether at Nicopolis, after the recall enumeration of either of the com of Titus from that island, yet, for panies who left Macedonia for Je the reasons before given, this writer rusalem; nor mentioned in the his appears to us to be correct, in havtory of their going unto, remaining ing assigned to them a period prior at, or coming from Jerusalem ; nor to the apostle's first imprisonment spoken of in the account of the voy
at Rome. age, two years afterwards, accom Titus was appointed to discharge plished from Cesarea to Rome, this an important duty, when Paul sent opinion seems unfounded. It does him to Corinth, with his first epistle not even appear that Paul landed at to that church, to rectify the disorCrete on that voyage.
ders of a congregation which posMany have thought that Paul, at sessed higher advantages for lanor prior to the period of his separa guage, science, and polished mantion from Barnabas, sailed with Si ners, than any other, and in which las and Titus from Cilicia to Crete, there appear to have been no offiand returning to the Asiatic conti
He was successful, and then nent, left Titus to perfect the set obeyed the message of Paul to him, tlement of the churches there. But to meet him in Macedonia, to comthere is no hint of such a thing in municate the particulars of the afthe acts, or any of the epistles. Yet fairs at Corinth. He was sent to the native language of Titus was them again, with the second epistle, that of the inhabitants of Crete, and afterwards was followed by the