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good men should wrangle about matters which were in themselves indifferent, and not condemned by the word of God; and recommend ed, both from the pulpit and the chair of divinity, charity, candour, and forbearance, on such topics. He manifested the same moderate and pacific spirit which had been displayed in circumstances nearly similar by Melancthon, during the controversies to which the interim had given birth. Although it cannot be denied by any who are well acquainted with ecclesiastical history that the observances of the episcopal church of Scotland, at this period, had the sanction of primitive usage, and were by no means at variance with reason or common sense, yet they were regarded by the zealous Presbyterians with as much horror as if they had been acts of the grossest idolatry; and many of them would have opposed to the death, the wearing of a linen robe, or the bowing at the name of Jesus.


Take the following specimen of the spirit which was manifested by Scougal on such topics of controversy, from the introduction to a sermon which he preached on the festival of the Nativity. The observation of festivals being one of those balls of contention which have been tossed so hotly in the religious debates of this unhappy age, it may perhaps be expected that we should begin with a vindication of this day's solemnity from the exceptions that are wont to be taken against it, and that the one half of our sermon should be spent in apology for the other. But I hope we may well enough spare the pains, and employ the time to better purpose. For you who are assembled in this house, are persuaded, I trust, of the lawfulness of your own practice, and we cannot direct our speech to those that are absent from it. And really it were to be wished, that there were less noise and debate about matters of this nature; and that, being agreed in the more substan,

tial parts of religion, we did all charitably acquiesce in that excellent advice of the Apostle, which he giveth in a parallel instance, Let not him that eateth, despise him that eateth not; and let not him that eateth not, despise him that eateth. And then, as we shall not abate any thing of that love and reverence which we owe to the piety and truth of those who differ from us in so small matters, so we might hope they would not be hasty to condemn us, if, in compliance with the practice of the antient church, and the present constitution of our own, we take the occasion of this season, with thankfulness, to remember the greatest benefit that ever was conferred on the children of men, and at this time perform that service which can never be unseasonable."

(To be continued.)

For the Christian Observer. CORRECTIONS OF OUR PRINTED HE


THAT the printed editions of the Hebrew Bible, whence our English version was made, were in some places incorrect, has been so fully proved that it can hardly admit of a doubt; as some of these errors have affected our English text, and rendered it obscure and even contradictory in several places, which may not have escaped the notice of attentive readers, I send a few remarks tending to point how, in the different instances of omissions, additions, or alterations, our printed text may be corrected, and on what authority; considering that though these things are well known to critics and scholars, they may be new to your unlearned readers.

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Abel his brother, Let us go into the field: and it came to pass, &c." This omission (for doubtless it must be esteemed one) must have happened very early, for all the other Greek versions follow the Hebrew: Clemens Romanus and Philo Judæus quote it from the LXX. The clause, thus restored, renders the sense more perfect.

Gen. xxxv. 22. After the words "Israel heard," the Jews acknowledge a defect; and in the Septuagint there is added this clause," and it was evil in his sight.”

Deut. x. 6. Here Aaron is said to have died in Mosera, which contradicts Num. xx. 22. The Samaritan corrects this error by supply-. ing the stations that were omitted in the Hebrew, viz. Gadgad, Jethabatha, Ebronah, Esion-gaber, Hor, where Aaron died, and thus renders the text consistent. Compare Num. xxxiii. 38.

Jos. xv. 59, 60. Between these verses the LXX inserts the names of eleven cities, and among them "Ephratha, which is Bethlehem." This may have been an accidental omission, but left uncorrected by the Jews intentionally, because it is the only place that confirms Mic. v. 2. that Bethlehem was so called.

1 Sam. x. 21. On the authority of one MS. and the LXX, add, "and when he caused the family of Matri to come near, one by one.' An addition rendered necessary by the context.


Ex. xii. 40. Here the Samaritan Pentateuch, and the Septuagint read after the words "the sojourn ing of the children of Israel which they sojourned in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan," (some Greek copies have also " they and their fathers") "was 430 years." This addition is necessary to make the text true, for the Israelties were but 250 years in Egypt; but from the call of Abram and the promise, to the Exodus and the giving of the Law, was 430 years; Gal. iii. 17. Compare also the ages of Kohath, Amram, and Moses, Gen. xlvi. 11. Ex. vi. 20. This is one of the places which the Rabbins say, were intentionally altered by the seventy translators. Dr. Bucha Jos. xxiv. 19. Instead of ..nb nan's Indian Roll confirms the He-"ye cannot serve," which seems exbrew reading, (see Christian Observer, March, 1810), which leads me to think it not so old as is general ly supposed.

Gen. ii. 24, read "they two shall be one flesh." This reading is sup, ported by the Samaritan Pentateuch and the LXX, and is confirmed by quotations in the New Testament, in early Christian writers, and in Philo.

Ex. vi. 20. The Samaritan Pentateuch, and the LXX read, "she bare him Aaron, and Moses, and Miriam, their sister."

Num. xxii. 5. Heb. " the land of the children of his people." Sam. Vulg. "land of the children of

Ammon," which better suits the con.
text. The mistake arose probably
from the omission of nun final, 12

עמון for

Num. xii. 3. For "y meek, read, on the authority of sixteen MSS. gave out answers. This is true; but Moses does not represent himself as endowed with extraordinary meekness; see Dr. Adam Clarke's commentary on the place.

traordinary, read

"cease not to serve," which is consistent with the context, and the exhortations it contains to serve God.

2 Kings viii. 10. Read, "say thou shalt not certainly live"-which suits the rest of the verse, by put ting

as it is in the text, for as it is in the margin and in our English version.

Isa. xxx. 32. Two MSS. read a rod of correction, for

a grounded staff.


2 Kings vii. 13. The clause here repeated is omitted in several MSS. and in the LXX.

2 Kings viii. 16. Jehoshaphat being then king of Judah is an improper wanslation. The words are

omitted in two MSS. and in the

LXX. The two last verses of 2 Chron. are added from the beginning of Ezra, which in some MSS. follows Chronicles.

Kennicott's dissertations on the state of the printed text, and his remarks on select passages of Scripture, written in English, will afford further information on this subject. Φ.


Psalm lxxxiv. 1, 2.- How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea, even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God.

THIS Psalm was probably composed when the writer of it was prevented from going up with the people to the temple, at one of the great festivals of the Jews; and it gives a just view of the feelings of every devout person, when unable to attend the public worship of God. Let us attend to the thoughts which fill his mind.

"How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts!" How much beloved, how worthy of being beloved are thy tabernacles, which thon honourest as the place of thy residence, and in which thou meet est thy people to pardon and bless them! My soul longeth, yea even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord," which I have been prevented from attending; "my heart and my flesh crieth out for the living God." Happy the very birds which enjoy the privilege denied to me, of taking up their abode near thy altar: but how much more happy they "who dwell in thy house," and are there continually engaged in "praising thee!" "O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer: give ear, O God of Jacob." Look with pity on the darkness of my soul, now banished from thy house; "for a day in thy courts is better than a thousand; I had rather be only a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell" in state and splendour "in the tents

of wickedness. For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly."

Such were the feelings of a devout worshipper of God under the Jewish dispensation, and who must have seen but darkly the great truths which serve to exalt and animate the worship of the Christian. He had not seen God giving up his only begotten Son, to die as a sacrifice for our sins; nor knew what it holy God, as a reconciled Father, was to draw nigh to an infinitely His views were at least darkened by through the mediation of his Son. veils, and types, and shadows. On us, however, the Sun of righteousness has risen with healing in his rays. The shadows of the night are fled away. We all behold with open face the glory of the Lord, and therefore we ought to worship him in spirit and in truth. How dear ought his ordinances to be to our souls! How highly ought we to value the privileges which each returning Sabbath brings with it! How ought we to rejoice, in going up to the courts of the Lord, with the multitude of them that keep the day holy, and, in the language of the Psalmist, to say, "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of hosts! My soul longeth, yea even fainteth, for the courts of the Lord: my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God."

But attendance on the public worship of God, is to be considered, not merely as a source of enjoyment, but of unspeakable benefit to the soul. This will appear more clearly, if we consider man under several points of view.

1. As liable to suffering and afflic tion. When I look around me in the world, I see many vigorous in health, blooming in youth, and flourishing in prosperity; but among these is there one whom we can pronounce to be safe from future sorrow, of whom we may not venture to foretell, that the time will come when his soul will be torn with an


guish, and his spirits overwhelmed with grief? No. "Man is born to trouble, as the sparks fly upward." He is subject to changes of fortune, as unlooked for as they are bitter. He is daily liable to become the prey of cares and fears, of anxiety and disappointment. Religion, viewing man in this light, as an heir of trouble, has appointed the worship of God, and communion with him, as a sure refuge. To his house, as to an asylum, does God invite the mourner, the widow, and the orphan; the diseased in body, and the dejected in mind; the destitute, and the friendless, to turn their steps. Here the oil of joy is poured into their wounds. Here they are soothed with the sweet sounds of hope and comfort. Here they are taught, what, perhaps, they had no friend to point out to them before, that all their afflictions are appointed by God, but that they are appointed in mercy and love; that he feels for the sufferers while he afflicts them; that man is a sinner, and has departed from God, and that God sends suffering in order to bring back his wandering child to himself. Here they learn, that their heavenly Father's ear is ever open to the cry of such as are in distress; and that if they truly desire that their trials may be sanctified, he will assuredly hear and succour them: He will give them strength from above, will fill their souls with hope and comfort; and, in his own good time, will give them a happy issue out of all their troubles. How excellent is this appointment, which may thus be made the means of conveying peace to the troubled mind, and hope to the despairing! How many thus receive comfort, who would find it no where else! Let the wretched, the afflicted, the despairing, view the house of God in this light, as intended by him for their refuge, and let them hear the Divine words, which "proclaim good tidings to the meek;" which are ordained to" bind up the brokenhearted, to comfort all that mourn; to CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 127,

give unto them beauty for ashes, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."

2. But let us consider man in ano. ther point of view, as a member of society. It has pleased God to form man to live among his fellow-creatures, and to derive happiness from their good, or to suffer misery from their bad conduct. A man may be rich, of a healthy body and a sound mind; yet if his wife be not affectionate, his children dutiful, his servants obedient, his neighbours kind, his friends sincere, he suffers in his happiness. Every man's happiness has thus been placed by Providence, in some degree, in the power of others; in order that every man, feeling the importance of society to himself, may see the necessity of promoting the general good. Now public worship is well fitted to form men for the due discharge of social duties. It teaches them, that they are accountable creatures; that there are duties owing by them to others, which they are bound, if they would please God, conscientiously to discharge. The wife must be obedient, and the husband affectionate; children dutiful to their parents, parents tender to their children; servants submissive to their masters, masters kind to their servants. These important duties might indeed be taught in private, as well as in public. But how seldom is it that they are taught in private! Many are unable to read themselves; and they have no instructors to speak to them of God, and of their duty to him as members of society. Others who can read, are too poor to buy books,. have little leisure to read, and little capacity to reflect on what they read. Many have no religious friend to point out and enforce their duty. They meet with persons who inflame their passions and corrupt their minds, and teach them resistance instead of submission, and contempt of authority instead of obedience to it. A great part of mankind would never know, that they must answer to God for their behaviour, as wives 3 H

and husbands, children and parents, masters and servants, rulers and subjects, but for the instruction they receive in the house of God. Much, therefore, of the peace, the order, and the happiness of society, depends on a due attendance on the ordinances of God's word.

3. But we have to consider man in a still more important point of view; as a creature accountable to God, and subject to death and judgment. In a few years more, not one of those who now are of an age to attend the worship of God, will be found there. All of them will have departed this life; but they will not therefore have ceased to exist. They will first have gone to the judgmentseat of God, where it will be inquired how they have lived, what care they have taken of their souls, on what principles they have acted; whether they have lived to God, or to themselves; and according to the true answer made to these questions, they will be placed in a state of infinite happiness, or banished to a world of torments. When we reflect on this determination, how little and empty do all the pursuits of this short life appear! Here, then, we have an important object set before us;-how to stand in the dreadful day of account, to have peace in a dying hour, to look forward, without alarm, to death and judgment, heaven and hell. Now, to attain this object, is the end of the public ordinances of religion. Here the man of business, after the hurrying cares of the week, is reminded that he has a still more important concern to attend to, the salvation of his immortal soul. Here the young, flushed with health and spirits, are warned that they must die, and that after death conres the judgment. Here the worldly, whose thoughts are wholly occupied by 'earthly things, is admonished of the vanity of all earthly things, and of the emptiness of the world and all it contains. In a word, here men are taught to form a true estimate of life; they are forced to inquire, what shall I do in the end, and what

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4. These observations open to our view a new scene, and set before us a new kind of life; a spiritual life, wholly different in its nature from a life of sense. Man has his salvation to secure. He is a fallen, guilty creature, requiring to be renewed in the image of God, before he can be admitted into heaven. Whatever the world may think, this is the most important object which can occupy his mind. It is the one thing needful, in comparison of which all other pursuits should be suffered to hold but a secondary place. Now the public ordinances of divine wotship are calculated to awaken and to cherish an attention to this spiritual life. By means of them, the conscience is convinced of sin, and man is taught to know his true character, as a guilty sinner in the sight of God: he is at the same time exhorted to flee from the wrath to come, warned that there is but a step between him and death, and entreated, in the name of God, to repent of his sins, and to lay hold of the Refuge set before him in the Gospel. Some hear and believe: they pray and humble themselves before God; but they meet with many and great difficulties from the world, the flesh, and the devil. Their resolution flags; their faith is staggered; they are assaulted with temptations; but they repair to the house of God, and there those temptations are exposed, their wavering faith is confirmed, and their languishing hopes revived. It is one of the chief objects of the ministers of Christ, to assist their flock in this great work of their salvation. They have to caution them against the snares and dangers of the world: to point out to them the devices of Satan; to animate them to renewed obedience; to exhort them not to fail of the grace

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