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stone cut out with hands, or a vast pile of such stones heaped together without order or design, it might have well stood as the representative of a work to be effected by hu• man hands, full of blood and crimes; a work, not of intelligence and virtue, but of folly, lust and passion. But a stone cut out without hands, can never denote a work of human desolation.
This character leads us directly to a divine agency. Take the following passages, which we deem decisive proof of this assertion. “For we know, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made
p. 15, 16,
hamlets and villages, and happy population, are not hinted at. It is nothing, at first, but a shapeless stone; it becomes nothing, at last, but a huge mountain of stone. It breaks all things in pieces, and grows so large that the earth groans under the intolerable pressure of its weight.”
“I conceive that this stone is a tremen. dous atheistical, immoral tyranny which shall shortly arise ; which is to war against the God of all law and order, and demolish all the social regulations and laws which it shall find in existence; and which shall continue for some time to press down beneath its weight of rock and stone, all true religion, social order and happiness."
“ It was, I conceive, during the reign of atheism, atrocity and destruction in France, that the huge unshapen stone, hewn out of the mountain without hands, smote the image on the feet, and broke them to pieces. It has not yet, indeed, grown up into a great mountain and filled the whole earth. But supposing, that the whole of Europe were in a situation, similar to that of France during the reign of atheism, would you not say, that the image was broken; and that the stone had grown into a mountain, and filled the whole earth? Now, it is my opinion, that the whole of Europe will be brought into that very state; and I think we can visibly discern the accelerating progress of the catastrophe.” p. 33.
« The French revolution still comes up to view. Such as it was, will the great European revolution be. The stone which smote the image on the feet, is enlarged into a vast mountain, and fills the whole earth ; but still it is a stone, and preserves its character and consistency from the first to the last ; enlarging its dimensions, and augmenting its pressure, without any change in its nature." p. 41.
“ And here again, the French revolution thrusts itself forward on our imaginations. The atheistical horrors of that revolution were noticed already. Yet that revolution was effected only by the little stone; but the witnesses will be slain by the great stone mountain which will fill the earth. And as much as a mountain of stone, exceeds a stone which a man can throw with his hand; so much will the general revolution of Europe exceed in atheism, and cruelty, and havoc, and de. vastation, and wrath, against God and his Christ, the worst things that ever occurred in France.” p. 46.
This we call a fanciful interpretation of a prophetic emblem ; directly opposed to its leading feature, as well as to the prophet's exposition. Had the emblem been a
2 Cor. v. 1. “ In whom ye also are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ.” Col. i. 11. “ But Christ being come high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building."
For Christ is not entered into the holy places, made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us."
Heb. ix. 11. 24. In all these texts the phrases, “ without hands,” and “ not made with hands,” are used to designate a work of God. It is surprising these passages did not occur to the recollection of the learned author. He seems also to have forgotten that Christ is called a stone, a tried stone. Had he recollected this fact, and attended to an agency which Christ ascribes to himself under this metaphor, he would have been convinced that the work of destruction attributed to the stone cut out without hands was not at all incompatible with the official character of Christ and the peaceful nature of his kingdom. “Jesus saith unto them, 'Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected,
the same is become the head of the are confident that our interpretacorner : this is the Lord's doing, tion of the symbol is correct; beand it is marvellous in our eyes? cause this is the very interpretation Therefore say I unto you, The king which an inspired prophet has given. dom of God shall be taken from
you, The feet and toes of the image exand given to a nation bringing forth hibited to Nebuchadnezzar in his the fruits thereof. And whosoever dream, denoted, according to the shall fall on this stone shall be bro prophet's explanation, the kingken : but on whomsoever it shall doms that were to succeed the fall, it will grind him to powder.” fourth kingdom or Roman empire,
It by no means follows, from the that had been designated by the legs interpretation given to this emblem, of iron. Dan. ii. 33, 40. The prothat, for the subversion of the king-phet goes on in the interpretation of doms that have opposed the king the dream, to tell the king the fate dom of Jesus Christ, his followers of these kingdoms : " And in the must be marshalled under the ban days of these kings shall the God of ners of some victorious captain, heaven set up a kingdom, which and led to the field of blood and shall never be destroyed : and the slaughter. The King of kings has kingdom shall not be left to other other instruments at command for people; but it shall break in pieces, the work of destruction, and for the and consume all these kingdoms, infliction of his dreadful judgments. and it shall stand for ever." ver. 44. It is expressly foretold that the ten What kingdom is meant ? Surely kingdoms, designated in the book not the atheistic power described of Revelation, by the ten horns of by Dr. G.; for, according to his own the beast, “shall hate the whore, exposition, that monster will be deand make her desolate and naked, stroyed. Does not the prophet and shall eat her flesh with fire :' plainly describe the kingdom of Jeand if these kingdoms shall through sus Christ, who will reign for ever? lust of domination, engage in dead How exactly does it accord with its ly hostility, and dash each other to emblem! The stone was cut out pieces, it will still be the work of without hands: this kingdom was Christ, who thus employs them as set up by the God of heaven. The instruments of mutual destruction, stone increased to a great mounto punish their impious and invete tain, and covering with its base the rate opposition to his own glorious whole earth, became impregnable : kingdom. The king of Assyria, in this kingdom shall never be destroydesolating Judea, fulfilled his own ed. Such an immense mass of stone ambitious desires; but what was must last for ever: this kingdom this proud and insolent monarch, shall stand for ever. The stone but the rod in the hands of Jehovah, “smote the image upon his feet, to scourge his disobedient and re that were of iron and clay, and bellious people ? Isaiah x. 5, 6, 7, brake them to pieces :" verse 34. 12, 15. A stone swelling and in- this kingdom “shall break in pieces creasing till it became a great moun and consume all these kingdoms." tain, and filled the whole earth, is
verse 44. an expressive emblem of the irre It will be granted by any one who sistible power of the kingdom of attentively reads the dream and the Christ, advancing in its progress interpretation, that the prophet inthrough the world, and crushing to tended to give, and has given, an atoms every thing that opposes its explanation of the whole dream, and dominion.
every emblem exhibited by it to But whatever means the Redeem the mind of the king of Babylon. er may be pleased to employ in “ The image's head of hine gold,-his fulfilling his own prediction, we breast and his arms of silver,--his
belly and his thighs of brass,-his tant a part in his discourse, he has legs of iron,-his feet part of iron not exemplified the rule he lays and part of clay;"—are all repre down for other preachers; for if he sented in the prophet's exposition had attended carefully to that poras emblems of so many empires or tion of the Bible where the emblem kingdoms that were to arise in suc is exhibited and explained, he would cession, and flourish each its day on not have yielded himself up to the the earth. The kingdom described visions of a fanciful imagination, in the 44th verse as set up by the when he might have followed an inGod of heaven, must be represented spired guide. We presume he does by the stone cut out without hands, not intend by any thing he has said or it has no emblem in the dream; to confine preachers merely to the and if it be not the power designated reading of the words of the Bible. by the stone, then it will also follow When a minister delivers a disthat the prophet has left the princi course explanatory of any doctrine pal emblem in the dream unexplain or precept in the holy scriptures, ed. But that this cannot be the that discourse may be denominated fact, is manifest, not only from the a Bible-instrument; and he truly exact agreement now pointed out preaches Bible-doctrine, or Biblebetween the stone and this king law. The preacher of this sermon dom, but from the prophet's own supposed that while he was speakwords, in the 45th verse, where he ing, he was delivering Bible-docexhibits the stone in the king's trine, and wielding a Bible-instrudream as the emblem of that king ment “ to touch the conscience of dom which he had just described in God's offspring, and Christ's rethe verse next preceding: “Foras deemed;" and since its publication much as thou sawest that the stone he entertains the same opinion, and was cut out without hands, and that presumes it will still continue to it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, operate as a Bible-instrument in the clay, the silver, and the gold; || touching the conscience, not only the great God hath made known to of God's people, but of God's minithe king what shall come to pass sters. So far as it accords with the hereafter: and the dream is certain sacred scriptures we agree with him and the interpretation thereof sure.” in opinion. But so far as we have
shown it to be at variance with that We could not but be surprised standard of truth, it is to be regardthat the author of this sermon should ed merely as a human instrument, have so entirely overlooked the in forged by a lively imagination, and terpretation of the dream of Nebu wielded by a hand blest with a sufchadnezzar by the prophet; and the ficient degree of confidence in its more so, when we saw that in a sub own strength and skill. sequent part of it he has quoted the Nor is this the only place in which very words in which Daniel deci we conceive that the author's imagiphers the meaning of the stone. nation has run away with his judgverse 44. See p. 52.
ment. In representing the use of We cordially approve of all that Confessions of Faith, as tests of orDr. G. has said, in page 76, of Bi thodoxy, as “degrading to the worth ble-doctrine, Bible-law, Bible-pro of the Bible and derogatory to the mises, Bible-threatenings, and Bi- || glory of its author;” (p. 76) and afble-instruments; and believe with
firming them to have been the him that it is the duty of ministers cause of wrath, and strife, and all to preach the Bible: but we cannot evil passions between men,” (p. 77) refrain from remarking that unfor unaccompanied with any qualifying tunately, in giving an exposition of terms, or any exceptions whatever; that emblem which forms so impor we believe that he has given an
FOR THE PRESBYTERIAN MAGAZINE,
other proof how necessary it is for quence. It contains many happy a preacher endowed with a lively expressions, acute observations, imagination to rein in his fiery clear elucidations, beautiful figures, steed. We have seen the imagina and fine descriptions. We have tion of the author converting an em read it with pleasure, but not unblem of the kingdom of light and mingled with feelings of a different peace, joy and righteousness, into kind. an Atheistic monster, the emblem It is an able discourse, the proof the wild misrule of darkness and duction of a powerful mind; but a passion, impiety and misery: and mind too much under the influence now that same imagination converts of the imagination, and delighting the symbols of unity and peace, in round, bold, and unqualified assymbols which, however sometimes sertions.
J. J.J. abused, and what may not be abused :) have certainly been productive of good, into religious monsters, the cause of nothing but mischief! Dr. G. publishes a sermon,
Remarks occasioned by the Union and he deems it a Bible-instrument :
which was agreed on, during their churches carefully prepare "com
last sessions, in May, between the pends of theology," and publish
General Assembly and Associate them to the world as their creeds
Reformed Synod. and bonds of union; but in his esti “Behold, how good and how pleasant it mation they are no Bible-instru
is for brethren to dwell in unity.”—Psalm ments! “Can two walk together
cxxxiii, 1. except they be agreed P” inquires the Nothing has tended more to open prophet: and doubtless, if, as this the mouths of the profane, and to author intimates, churches may re weaken the general influence of gard economy in the expenditure of evangelical truth in the world, than money in forming distinct establish
those frequent disputings and diviments, (p. 86,) can it be doubted sions which have occurred among that such establishments may be those who profess themselves to be lawfully formed for the sake of the disciples and followers of the peace.
Son of God. These divisions and Dr. G. would consider himself contentions, it is true, are the offtreated with injustice, if any one spring of the corruption which lurks were to call this sermon, or his in the human heart, and ought not “ Fiend of the Reformation," or his to be charged to the account of re“Mediatorial Reign of the Son of ligion—but, those who are irreliGod,” his BIBLE; yet he scruples gious, and, consequently, hostile to not to represent the creeds adopted the doctrines of the gospel, do not by different sections of the Chris
take the trouble to make a proper tian church for the preservation of discrimination between the fruits of “unity and purity,” as their Bibles! corruption and those of religion ;
but are ever ready, in gratification These remarks have been extend of their own evil propensities, to ed far beyond our intention when attribute all the censurable occurwe took
the pen. It was not our rences, which take place among design to write a review of this ser Christians, to the influence of the
But as we have exposed a principles of that religion which material error in its exposition of a they profess to revere and to cultiprophetic emblem, and shown our vate. Thus the opposers of gospel disapprobation of another part, we truth do not often peruse the sacred wish to be indulged with an expres volume to know whether their opsion of our admiration of its elo position to such truth be well found
ed; but content themselves with If, then, wars and fightings, party that criterion of judgment merely, spirit and division, spring naturally which is furnished by the conduct from our lusts, and, consequently, of those who pretend to live under operate in no small degree in oppothe influence of the doctrines of sition to the diffusion of the peaceChristianity. Proceeding, there
ful doctrines of Christianity among fore, in this manner, they naturally men, ought not the sedulous exerconclude that those principles can
tions and endeavours of Christians not be very desirable, which seem to to be employed, to prevent the ochave such a powerful tendency to currence of such "serious evils : involve those who are professedly Trivial circumstances should not be under their control, in strifes and allowed to destroy the peace and contentions.
harmony of the church of Christ. To one entirely ignorant of the The members of this church are spirit and temper of our holy reli bound in duty to exercise towards gion, such a conclusion would ap each other much moderation and pear perfectly correct and logical. forbearance. Nothing, therefore, For nothing appears more reason should be permitted to produce able than that the tree should be schism among Christians, in their known by its fruits--and a man's church capacity, except doctrines principles by his general conduct. which may be evidently heretical, Hence it cannot be denied but that or practices which are decidedly the proceedings of Christians must condemned by the word of God. have a powerful tendency in either Should any class of men, therefore, gaining friends or producing ene denominating themselves Chris mies to the cause of Christ.
tians, professedly hold such docThis being the case, it certainly trines, and openly exhibit such deeply concerns every sincere fol practices, with such the sacred lower of Jesus Christ, to consider scriptures command us to hold no what influence his conduct may Christian fellowship. have in either forwarding or retard But, whilst our duty is thus clearing the progress of the gospel in the ly pointed out to us, we must be world. 'He ought to reflect that it careful how we pronounce on the is not his own individual feelings, opinions and practices of our fellow nor what he may consider his own Much charity and candour personal honour, which should be
ought to be used in this matter. Rethe guide of his conduct and the spect is due to the opinions and motive of his actions, but the glory practices of others as well as to our of his God, the honour of his Re
We must do unto others, deemer, and the eternal welfare of therefore, in this case, as we would immortal souls. Any course of pro
have others to do unto us. We ceeding, therefore, which may have must consider well whether the any influence in preventing God's opinions, which we oppose as herename from becoming excellent in tical, be really contrary to the word all the earth-any thing which may of God, or whether they may conhave a tendency to make Christ and tradict merely, prejudices, which his gospel less honourable among may have had their origin in the pemen—and any thing which may culiarity of our own early religious operate in making his fellow crea education. In the same manner tures neglectful of that preparation
should we be careful to distinguish which is necessary to fit them for a between those practices which may future state, ought certainly to be really be condemned by the word constantly and carefully avoided by of God, and those which may only every one who would honestly as. differ from our own peculiar habits sume the name of Christian.
and modes of life. Thus in deter