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His unremitted application to ple remarked that it was premonstudy, and to the duties of his of- itory. Mr. Davies replied, that fice, probably precipitated his “ although it ought not to be death. The habit of his body viewed in that light, yet it was being plethoric, his health had, very remarkable.” When newfor some years, greatly depended year's day came he preached ; on the exercise of riding, to and, to the surprise of the conwhich he was, from necessity, gregation, from the same text. much habituated in Virginia. Being seized about three weeks This salutary employment had afterward, he soon adverted to been, from the time he took the the circumstance, and remarked, charge of the college, almost en- that he had been undesignedly tirely relinquished. Toward the led to preach, as it were, his own close of January, 1761, he was funeral sermon. seized with a bad cold, for which It is to be regrerted that the vihe was bled. The same day, he olence of his disorder deprived transcribed for the press his ser- him of the exercise of reason, mon on the death of king George through most of his sickness. the Second. The day following, Had it been otherwise, his friends he preached twice in the college and the public would doubtless hall. The arm in which he had have been gratified with an adbeen bled, became in conse- ditional evidence of the tranquence, much inflamed, and his scendent excellence of the Chrisformer indisposition increased. tian religion, and of its power to On the morning of the succeed - support the soul in the prospect ing Monday, - he was seized, and approach of death. But he while at breakfast, with violent had preached still more emphatchills. An inflammatory fever ically by his life ; and even in followed, which, in ten days, put his delirium, he clearly manifesta period to his important life. ed what were the favourite ob
What are called premonitions jects of his concern. His beof death, are generally rather wildered mind was continually the fictions of a gloomy or mis- imagining, and his faltering guided imagination, than reali- tongue uttering some expedient ties. Yet the following anec- to promote the prosperity of dote contains so singular a con- Christ's church, and the good currence of circumstances, as of mankind. gives it a claim to be recorded. His premature exit (he was
A few days before the begin- but little more than thirty-six) ning of the year in which Mr. was generally and justly lamentDavies died, an intimate friend ed, as a loss almost irreparable, told him, that a sermon would not only to a distressed family, be expected from him on new and a bereaved college, but to year's day;
adding, among other the ministry, the church, the things, that President Burr, on community, the republic of letthe first day of the year in which ters, and in short, to all the most he died, preached a sermon on
valuable interests of mankind. Jer. xxviii. 16. Thus saith the An affectionate tribute was paid Lord, This year thou shalt die: to his character and virtues, by and that after his death, the peo- Dr. Finley, his successor, in a sermon preached on the occasion Lord; or whether we die, we die of his death, from Rom. xiv, 7, 8. unto the Lord: whether we live, For none of us liveth to himself, therefore,or die, we are the Lord's. and no man dieth to himself. For" whether we live, we live unto the
(To be continued.)
CRITICAL OBSERVATIONS ON
CERTAIN PASSAGES IN THE
New Testament could be written.
The inspired writers had oc
casion to treat of many things, Though the apostles in wri- of which the Greeks had no preting, as well as in preaching, used vious knowledge, and for which great plainness of speech; yet they had no appropriate terms. particular passages, taken by But those writers chose such themselves, may to us seem ob- terms and phrases, as were best
These however may adapted to express their meangenerally be elucidated by other ing. Where perspicuity repassages, or by the analogy of quired, they used description. faith. If they remain of doubt- To ascertain the sense of particsul interpretation, yet the essen- ular terms, it is not necessary to tial doctrines and duties of reli- recur to heathen writers ; it is gion are not endangered by better to consult the sacred wri. them ; for these depend not on ters themselves. As they have a few doubtful or obscure pas- used words, so we must undersages, but are plainly taught in stand them. They are their innumerable places. Sull it may own best interpreters. be useful to investigate the The New Testament is writ. meaning of texts, which seem ten, not in pure, classical Greek, obscure.
but in a peculiar dialect, which The writers of the New Tes- may be called Hebraistical Greek. tament, it is well known, used The writers were Jews, and spake the Greek language, except Mat- the Hebrew, or rather the Arathew and the author of the mean, or Syro-Chaldee language. epistle to the Hebrews, 'who When they wrote Greek, they wrote in Aramaan.
introduced into it the idioms of the learned language of the their own language. Thus also day ; most men of education did the seventy Jews, who transwere acquainted with it; and it lated the Old Testament into was the native language of ma.
Greek by the command of Ptoleny subjects of the Roman em
my, king of Egypt. Their transpire ; of those particularly, to lation was in use in the aposwhom St. Paul wrote most of tles' times, and from it are made his epistles. It was, on many accounts, the best language in Old Testament, which we find
most of the quotations from the which the inspired books of the in the New. Without some ac
sermon preach conjugation Hi- they are prepared of my Faof his death known. He says to ther." They will be dispensed For 310ne
Xthians, “ I determined agreeably to the usual methods
know," i. e. not to make of Providence. wheth
Aun, or to fireach “any thing This observation will explain Anong you, save Jesus Christ a passage in the 9th chap. to the and him crucified.” Thus the Romans. “He hath mercy on same word is probably to be un- whom he will have mercy, and derstood in Mark xiii. 32, where whom he will he hardeneth." some erroneously suppose, that An antithesis, which is a freChrist disclaims a knowledge of quent figure in Paul's writings, future events. Speaking of the is naturally expected, and was destruction of Jerusalem, Jesus doubtless intended here. " He says, “ Of that day and hour hath mercy on whom he will knoweth none, neither the angels have mercy.” The antithesis in heaven, neither the Son, but to this is, “ He withholdeth merthe Father.” Christ had already cy, from whom he will withhold foretold the event, and given the it." But as there was no single previous signs of it. Some word, in the Greek language, inight wish for a knowledge of which expressed this antithesis, the exact time of it. But this the writer took the word skleeruknowledge, for various reasons, , no, to harden, and used it accorwas improper to be then commu- ding to the intransitive conjuganicated. Jesus therefore says, tion, in which it would signify, “ That day' and hour none mak- not hardening another, but hareth known; no, not the angels, dening one's self against another, neither the Son," To reveal or shutting up the bowels of this belongs not to my commis- mercy. Thus the word is used sion; “but it will be made in the book of Job. The Osknown by the Father," in the trich is said to be hardened course of his providence. We against her young ones. The find a similar mode of expres- word, she is hardened, is the sion in Christ's answer to the same, which Paul uses in the two brethren, who solicited the passage under consideration; chief posts of power in the tem- and rendered there, as it is here, poral kingdom, which, they im- it would be, " She hardeneth her agined, he would soon erect. young ones, But the meaning They ask, “ Grant that we may is, “She leaveth her young sit, the one on thy right hand, without care.” So the passage and the other on thy left, in thy in Romans signifies, not that God kingdom." He answers, “ To infuses hardness into sinners ; sit on my right hand and on my but that he exercises, or forbears left,” i. e. promotion to tempo- to exercise his mercy toward ral honours, “is not mine to sinners, according to his own give; it is not committed toime sovereign will and unerring wisas the Teacher, Reformer, and dom. To whom he will, he Saviour of men. But worldly shows mercy, and from whom honours" will be given under he will be withholds mercy, my gospel, as they have
been leaving them to meet their own heretofore, to them, for whom deserts.
Whoever reads Paul's writ- same thought cours again, ings with attention, will find chap. xi. i. " I say then, Hath that, though he is a connected God cast away his people, whom reasoner, yet he often suspends he foreknew? God forbid. For the chain of his argument, to in- I also am a Jew, of the seed of troduce an incidental, but perti- Abraham.” nent thought, or to dilate upon We shall, at present, pursue an occasional expression. Hence these criticisms no farther; but the parenthesis is more frequent shall subjoin two or three obviin his, than in the other sacred ous remarks. writings. Through inattention It is evident that the books of to this circumstance, some pas- the New Testament must have sages in his writings seem ob- been written in as early a period scure, which otherwise might as has been assigned to them; be plain, There is an instance for that Hebraistical kind of . of this kind in Rom. ix. 2, 3. “I Greek, in which they are writhave great heaviness and contin- ten, was not in use after the ual sorrow in my heart, (for I general dispersion of the Jews. could," or rather did, “ wish my
The peculiarity of style and self accursed,” separated, from diction, which runs through all Christ) for my brethren, my the writings ascribed to Paul, kinsmen according to the flesh.” proves that they were all the
Much pains have been taken works of the same author. to explain, what Paul meant,
The wisdom of Providence is when he said, " I wished myself conspicuous in ordering the accursed, or separated from books of the New
Testament to Christ for my brethren." Wher- be written in a language, which as in reality he said no such was soon to go out of national thing. The expression, " I did use ; for a dead language rewish myself accursed from mains the same ; a living lanChrist," or separated from all guage, in a lapse of ages, is liaconnexion with him, is an inci- ble to changes. The sense of dental thought, naturally sug- Scripture can therefore be more gested by his subject; and it ought easily and accurately ascertainto be, as it is in some copies, ed, than if the language, in which and in some translations, inclu- it is written, had been and conded by itself in a parenthesis. tinued to be, the living language Then the connected reading will of a particular nation. be, "I have great heaviness
THEOPHILUS. and continual sorrow in my heart.......for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh."
THE DECALOGUE. That he might not be suspected of any prejudice against the
No. 6. Jews in foretelling their rejec
Sixth Commandment. tion from the covenant of God
“ Thou shalt not kill.” for their unbelief, he observed, that he himself was a Jew, was LIFE is an inestimable bleslately an unbeliever, and gloried sing. On the improvement of in his opposition to Christ. The it depends our future destination,