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fear, and a theodicy that commends itself to their moral sense and their hearts. If our theological professors and our great religious publishing societies hope to do anything effectual toward checking the progress of irreligion and infidelity, and keeping the masses within the influence of the gospel and winning them to the love and service of Christ, they need not expect to do it by such a sort of liter Philadelphia.
J. H. PETTINGELL.
THE INTELLIGENT PLOUGHMAN.
A MODERN PARABLE.
ONCE, upon a time there lived a farmer, whose favourite dog
mad. “Alas !” exclaimed the man, “my dog must be destroyed." Then he called for one of his servants, and thus addressed him :
“John, my dog is mad; there is no cure for him-he must perish--go now and destroy him." So John touched his cap and promised that he would do so.
One morning, soon after, as the farmer walked round his fields, he came to a lonely, unused barn, from which he heard a barking and howling of the most terrible nature. Then did the farmer look through a chink in the door and saw his favourite dog tearing round and round the barn with blood-shot rolling eyes and foam streaming from his mouth ; at which sight, the farmer went away in a towering rage with his servant, even with the ploughman, John.
“ Did I not tell you to destroy my dog ?" “ You did, Sir.”
Why did you not do it then ? " “I did, Sir."
“What? When I have seen the dog myself, alive and suffering, shut up in the barn in the grass meadow, will you dare to tell me that he is destroyed ?"
Then the ploughman, John, touched his cap and answered thus to his master :-
“O my master, the dog is destroyed. No more doth he roam in freedom the fields and bound o'er heath and brake as he loved to do in time of No more doth he repose at the kitchen fire, or bring the sheep up from the grass meadow. No more doth he fetch thy hat or carry thy stick. Truly he is shut out from all his former, happy life, and from all chance of happiness or usefulness in the future; and he suffereth horribly in the barn in the grass meadow. Thus he has perished. Yes, he has been utterly destroyed, like the dry sticks beneath the gipsy's pot in their encampment down the lane."
But his master waxed still more wroth.
“Go now and destroy the dog immediately, if thou canst understand plain language.”
“Even so, but he is destroyed, for many learned authorities explain ---"
The farmer missed hearing the explanation of the “learned authorities," as he had gone for his gun with the view of giving a practical definition of his language.
Soon after the occurrence above related, the following advertisement appeared in the Farmer's Guide and Rural Times :
The Rev. - will be glad to recommend to any agricultural gentleman a farm labourer recently thrown out of work. The advertiser is confident that he will prove a valuable servant, for he has given evidence of marked intelligence during his attendance at the Young Men's Theological Class.”
A. DUNCAN GOODY.
THE OLD TESTAMENT PESHITO.
WHAT IS SAID OF ITS ORIGIN. I. THAT so much of it as was extant up to about A.m. 3020, THAT
was rendered into Syriac by order of King Solomon and presented to Hiram, King of Tyre.
II. That those portions of later date than the time of Solomon were translated by order of Abgarus, King of Edessa, now Orfa or Urpha.
This city is near the head waters of the Euphrates. Near to it Crassus and a Roman army suffered a terrible defeat from the army of the Parthians. Also, that Jude the apostle prompted and directed this monarch in the good work.
I. That which refers to Solomon.
1. What is said of his personal qualifications for such a work as this?
He prayed for understanding; and the Lord answered his prayer by giving him a wise and understanding heart, so that there was none like him before his time. (1 Kings iii. 12.) A case soon came before him of the two mothers and the changed child. When all Israel heard how he decided it, they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to do judgment. (Ch. iv. 29.) "And God gave Solomon wisdom and understanding, exceeding much, and largeness of heart, even as the sand that is on the sea shore. And Solomon's wisdom excelled all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt. For he was wiser than all men ; than Ethan the Ezrahite, and Heman, and Chalcol, and Darda, the sons of Mahol; and his fame was in all nations round about. And there came, of all people, to hear the wisdom of Solomon, from all kings of the earth which had heard of his wisdom.". Truly then he was qualified to patronise and promote literature.
Who can tell how much of his wisdom wrapped up in proverbs or in extended unfoldings of proverbs is among nations who have been credited with equalling the Hebrew scriptures without a revelation ? If China sent her muslin into Asia Minor two hundred years before Solomon's time, who shall limit the area over which his wisdom was carried ? But was he insensible to the importance of a God-given wisdom being fixed in writing and spread abroad? He could not be his father's son if he were. The better half of Psa. xix. was lost on him, if he were content to let it be unread. We know him for a writer as well as speaker. “ Three thousand proverbs and one thousand and five songs ” are evidence of authorship; but they do not justify fully his great wisdom. If wise at all, he must have seen the value of all revealed truth to men; and therefore it is quite in harmony with sound common sense that he should have secured a copy of the Holy Scriptures for a Gentile king, with whom he was a long time friendly.
2. Solomon was not enchained by the narrow prejudices of the Hebrews of the time of Christ and His apostles. His largeness of heart extended to all men. Hear him on his knees at the dedication of the first temple. (1 Kings viii. 41-43.)
“Moreover, concerning the stranger that is not of Thy people Israel, but cometh out of a far country for Thy name's sake; for they shall hear of Thy great name, and of Thy strong hand, and of Thy stretched out arm; when he shall come and pray
towards this house : hear thou in heaven Thy dwelling place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to Thee for : that all people of the earth may know Thy name, to fear Thee as do Thy people Israel ; and that they may know that this house which Í have builded is called by Thy name.”
What world-wide sympathy! Yet what need that the stranger first have this report of God's doings for Israel. Either writings or missionaries of some sort are wanted to realise this drawing of Gentiles to the house of God. Then, when there, what manual of instruction shall guide the stranger, so that he may ask what God may grant ? surely the Word. _Then look again at Solomon's proverbs—how broad they are. Few of them have a Hebrew tint in their colouring. They are wisdom of world-wide reach. Then his conception of the Messiah as Wisdom, "ever the delight of God,
, but rejoicing in the habitable parts of the earth, and having delight not in the sons of Jacob, but the sons of Adam ;" for this is the real original, is wide as the Baptist's, “ Behold the Lamb of God which bears the sin of the world." We say wide as this latter, but not so deep and rich in suffering love for men. It was not given even Solomon to comprehend the breadth, and length,
and depth, and height of this love of Messiah " which passeth knowledge." But proof enough is here given, though much remains unnoticed, that Solomon could not be held back from the work of securing the Peshito to a Gentile by Jewish narrowness of soul.
3. What special reasons were there why this should be done ? Let 1 Kings v. be here read. Hiram was ever a lover of David, He heard that Solomon was made king, and hastened to send an embassy to congratulate him. Solomon sent word back about the work he was about to do, and asked his help, which was cheerfully offered. These two kings lived in peace and worked together between twenty and thirty years; and the most important and interesting work which they joined in was the temple, which being built on the pattern given Moses in the mount, would call for constant use of the sacred roll containing the book of Exodus. Hiram's men would need this much of the Pentateuch, to know how to prepare suitable material for the work to be done. But what people could get hold of Exodus without desiring more ?
Unless the king and princes and people of Tyre had desired a copy of the holy writings of the Hebrews working together in Lebanon, at Jerusalem, and in many naval expeditions in the largest ships then known, they would have been monsters of indifference. But if they or even their king did desire the Holy Book, Solomon was the very man to furnish them with it as far as the revelation had reached in his time.
4. The men of Tyre and Sidon were in effect subjects of Solomon for whom he was bound to care religiously as well as politically. (1 Kings iv. 20, 21.) “Judah and Israel were many, as the sand which is by the sea in multitude, eating and drinking and making merry.' And Solomon reigned over all kingdoms, from the river Euphrates in the north-east of the Syria of Benhadad and Rezin of the time of Elijah and of Isaiah, unto the land of the Philistines in the south-west border of Judah and onward to the border of Egypt. These all brought presents as was the usage of vassal kings, and served Solomon all the days of his life.” Now among these were the subjects of Hiram, King of Tyre, but these had the place of privilege among all the tributaries.
See also 2 Chron. ii., especially verse 11, which distinctly states that the reply of Hiram or Huram to Solomon's message, asking for a supply of cedar, fir tree, and almug tree, to enable him to build the house of God, was sent in writing. Clearly the men of Tyre were far from being an illiterate people.
These were the Phænicians who furnished the Greeks with their alphabet.
Now this makes it more likely that they would desire to have among them such books as those which Solomon is said to have enabled them to possess. And then, would he have been wise in any sense suited to the accounts given us of his divine endowment
if he had not cared for the religious welfare of these most favoured tributaries? Prudence would have said, Give them the Book which may win them over to the true God, or they will do much to win you away from Him. Wisdom would have said, Give them the Word of the Lord that they may hide it in their hearts and serve Him thereby. But grant that Solomon did give them the Scriptures in the Syrian tongue, they were the people who, if alive to the importance of the trust, could have carried it in their far-going ships, as those of England have done into many lands.
5. In the judgments pronounced upon Tyre by the priest-prophet Ezekiel there are references to things contained in the early Scriptures which do not occur in those oracles which he pronounced against other neighbouring people.
Exultation at the fall of the people of the Lord, and rejoicing in hope that they would benefit thereby, was a sin common to all around. In it shared Tyre on the West, the Philistines on the South-West, the Edomites on the South, the Ammonites and Moabites on the East. Thus all but the Syrians, who were in league with the ten tribes and suffered with them, were guilty of the sin of being glad at the calamity of their neighbours. For this sin they were doomed to perish. But Tyre bad been equally guilty and had enjoyed higher privileges than the rest. The temporal ones are set forth in Ezekiel xxvii., where her vast commerce is described ; but is there not something more in chapter xxviii. ? Notice how the parabolic comparison of the Prince of Tyre to a fallen cherub runs.
Eden, the garden of God, leads our mind directly to Genesis ii. 8 and 15. “Thou art like the anointed cherub that covereth," sug. gests Gen. iii. 24, where the keeper of the gate of the garden of the Lord is called Cherubim ; or to Exodus, which describes how the angel of the Lord kept back the army of the Egyptians from coming near to Israel when passing through the Red Sea ; or again, to the cherubim which covered the mercy-seat in the holy of holies. What, again, is the reference but either to Adam or to a being greater than he, in the words, “ Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee ? ” Does not this, too, carry us back to Gen. iii. ? Then the charge, “Thy heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness," seems to tell of one of the morning stars of Job xxxviii. 7, which outshone the rest, one of the angelic sons of God who sang the foundation song at the creation, but looking on his own personal beauty became a self idolater, the first of the sort in the universe ; but, alas, not the last by millions. All this is accounted for in the prophet if the kingly house of Tyre had the Scriptures, but how can it be if they were a sealed book unto them ? For it were no sound speech to use references to Scripture teaching unless those addressed bad the writings alluded to. They could not do as the Bereans did, for