Obrazy na stronie
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ence.

And the people. ,ויכלא העם מהכוא

hundred and ninety years, or se

tion of previous existences? Is it venty prophetic weeks from the is. not evident there is only a restricsuing of the decree granted by Ar tion, or a temporary embargo laid taxerxes Longimanus to Ezra, in upon the existing resources of nathe seventh year of his reign, for ture? In Jer. xxxii. 3, speaking of restoring and rebuilding Jerusalem. the imprisonment of Jeremiah, we Wherefore, it is abundantly evi have 52 VX, whom (Zedekiah dent, that whatever is meant by | king of Judah) had shut up. But finishing transgression and making who would have ever supposed that an end of sin, was accomplished at the prophet Jeremiah, the antecethat time. Surely none professing dent to the relative whom, was aboChristianity will" deny that this lished, destroyed or annihilated ? event occurred many centuries ago. Again, Ps. cxix. 101, an nasa, I Have sin and transgression been have refrained my feet from every utterly annihilated ?

Woful expe

evil way.

Now, shall we believe rience demonstrates their exist that the Psalmist abolished, destroy

Instead of any thing like ed or annihilated his feet ? Butlest evanescence, the present state of we should seem tedious, we shall society presents many alarming in quote only one passage more where stances of malignant exacerbation. this word is used. Ex. xxxvi. 6, Some other meaning, therefore,

, must be found consistent with facts

were restrained from bringing. It and phenomena. In endeavouring would have been rather a hard case, to ascertain this, we shall pursue a if the liberality of the people for the plan which never has been deemed use of the tabernacle, had issued in illegitimate; viz. We shall inquire their destruction. It is plain, therewhat these words mean in other fore, from the general application passages of scripture, in which their

of the word, that it means restricapplication has never been disput- | tion, confinement or prohibition ed. In doing justice to this inves from the former range of freedom, tigation, we shall be obliged to em or uncontrolled liberty of action. ploy a few Hebrew collations; for Such is evidently its generic meanwhich the nature of the investiga- || ing, and will very well accord with tion must be our apology.

the scope of the passage, viz. the The word used by Daniel, in the restriction of the empire of sin, passage under consideration, ren and limitation of the kingdom of dered to finish by our translators, is darkness, by the atoning sacrifice bs, and signifies to restrain, con of our Lord. Sin is in due time fine, prohibit, separate, &c.; and in destroyed in all who believe on the Septuagint version is rendered him; it shall not continue to have by κωλοω, ανεχω, συνεχω, κατακλείω, dominion over them. Thus the Quac77w, Corledem, &c. all nearly sy- |- prevailing power of sin is restrainnonymous in their respective appli- | ed, and gradually limited to the cations. Let us inquire how the implacable enemies of Jehovah's Hebrews used it in the Old Testa government, in the gloomy manment, and see whether they em sions of Tophet, where their worm ployed it to designate the destruc shall never die; nor shall their fire tion, abolition or annihilation of ever be quenched. any former existences. We find Let us now inquire what is meant this same word used in Hag. i. 10. by making an end of sins. The ,

words used by the prophet are restrained (themselves) from dew,

, and the earth hath restrained its lators, to make an end of sins. And fruit. Is there here any annihila in Hebrew, and i äthe Arabic

The heavens have ,כלאו שמים מטל

-rendered by our trans ,לחתם חטאות

they eat up the ,חטאת עמי יאכלו ,8

root, signify to perfect, seal, seal up, come a vịctim of expiation, or an to close, to finish, &c. . And as the expiatory sacrifice for the sins of all meaning is agreed upon, on all those whom God had given unto him hands, there is no need to waste to be redeemed from wrath. Thus time in settling it by Biblical quo sin means the victim, or the sin-oftations. We shall admit it to sig- || fering for sin, whether in the shape nify the ending or termination of a of a meritorious or typical atonething, in the fullest latitude. The ment. Manifestly to the same purwhole of our criticism, here, will

pose, is that expression in Hosea iv. turn on the meaning of the word , " , nixon, rendered sins, by our transla sins of my people; which, beyond tors. Now, that this term does not all doubt, must mean the sin-offeralways mean sins, whether in the ings fed upon, by the priests. Noabstract, or in the concrete, will, we thing, therefore, can be more plain, think, be evident from its use and than that the making an end of sin, application in the following texts, in the acknowledged scripture use with many others which might be of the phrase, signifies that all samentioned. According to lexico crifices and oblation should cease. graphers, aberration, or deviation

Compare this meaning of the exfroin the scope or aim, is the generic | pression with the twenty-seventh. signification of its root, son. It has verse: “ And in the midst of the the same meaning in the Arabic, in week, he shall cause the sacrifice which its rootch Sis also found. and oblation to cease.” Jesus havBut with its nominal modification, || ing, by one offering, for ever peror its particular meaning when it fected those who are sanctified, all puts on the form of a noun, we are sacrifice and oblation must cease of chiefly concerned at present. This course. The whole of the typical we shall endeavour to ascertain from ritual was come to an end, being its legitimate and incontested ap consummated in that infinitely vaplications.

luable sacrifice adumbrated by the In Zech. xiv. 19, by an easy me whole ritual system of the Old Testonymy, it signifies punishment. tament economy. Jesus was

,

end of the law for righteousness to be the punishment of Egypt, &c. all them that believe.” Why should Here punishment is put for its pro not the shadows cease, when the curing cause esin. In Mich. vi. 7, substance itself, the Sun of Rightit signifies that which is given by eousness, had made his appearance? way of offering or expiation for sin. Jesus Christ, the substitutional sin

,

offering, had himself borne the sins of my body (as) a sin-offering of, or of his people, in his own body on for, my soul. Here, by the same the tree, that they being dead to figure as above, the word rendered sin, should live unto righteousness, sin, means a sin-offering made for and consequently, every repetition sin. This is further evident from of sacrifice, symbolical of him, would Leviticus iv. 3, and xxv. 29, where be a virtual rejection of his infinitesin is put for the sacrifice of expia- || ly meritorious atonement. tion: for what is there rendered We trust, now, we have made it sin-offering, is, in the Hebrew, sin. || abundantly evident to the attentive And, which is strikingly in point, | reader, that there is no inconsistthe apostle (2 Cor. v. 21) says, “ For ency between our Lord's finishing he hath made him sin for us who transgression, and making an end knew no sin, that we might be made of sin; and yet sin and transgression the righteousness of God in him :" continuing as long as God exists. that is, God was pleased that Jesus Christ, who knew no sin, should be

S. B. V.

" the

This shall ,זאת תהיה חטאת מצרים

The fruit ,פרי בטני חטאת נפשי Thus'

Heviews.

and, with the exception of part of one

chapter, it bas been ever since reThe Constitution of the Presbyterian garded as the standard to which all Church in the United States of while remaining in her communion.

her ministers were bound to conform, America: containing the Confession of Faith, the Catechisms, and

At the time when this summary was the Directory for the worship of composed, the relation between the God; together with the Plan of church and the state was not well Government and Discipline; as

understood: and, consequently, the amended and ratified by the Ge

authority of the civil magistrate in neral Assembly, at their Sessions

matters purely ecclesiastical was acin May, 1821. Philadelphia: pub- knowledged." But when the science lished by Anthony Finley, corner

of government became an object of of Chesnut and Fourth streets.

study in this country, and more en1821. pp. 507.

lightened views began to prevail, the

error which had been incorporated in This article is placed under the the Confession was detected. This head of Reviews, not because we in change of sentiment induced the Syter to present our readers with a nod of New York and Philadelphia regular review of the book the title to allow "every candidate for the of which we have given, but because gospel ministry to except against so the few remarks which the present much of the twenty-third chapter as publication of it invites, will accord gives authority to the civil magistrate best with this department of our ma in matters of religion." (See Assemgazine.

bly's Digest, p. 119.) When this SyThis book is usually styled the nod were about to establish the GeConfession of Faith, in consequence neral Assembly of our church, they of the distinguished place which the made the requisite alterations in this Confession of Faith, strictly so call chapter, and in two others relating ed, holds in the constitution of the to the same subject, and then pubPresbyterian church. It is the very lished it thus altered as the Confesheart of that admirable system ; so sion of their Faith and Practice. essential, that it can no more exist See Assembly's Digest, p. 121-123. without it

, than the body can live In 1804, the Assembly, contemwithout its animating spirit.

plating the publication of a new ediThe Confession of Faith was com tion of the Confession of Faith, apposed by the assembly of divines pointed a committee “to consider that met in Westminster, England, whether any, and if any, what altein the year 1743, and continued their rations ought to be made, in the said sessions for several years. In pre Confession of Faith, &c. and to make paring this excellent summary of re preparatory arrangements on this vealed truth, great pains were taken, subject." "This committee, the folnot only to exhibit the doctrines cor lowing year, made a decided rerectly, but to present them in the

port against any alteration in the most accurate language. The mean Confession of Faith; but proposed ing of the terms was carefully weigh a number of alterations in the ed, as well as the truth they were in Form of Government, Directory for tended to convey. Hence, in regard Worship, and Forms of Process. both to perspicuity and precision of These alterations, however, were not language, and purity and correctness of such a nature, as to affect the of doctrine, this judicious compend great principles of our ecclesiastical of Christian truth will yield to no si polity, but only to explain, render milar work to be found in the church. more practicable, and bring nearer to

The Confession of Faith was adopt perfection, the general system which ed by the Presbyterian Church in this had already gone into use." See Ascountry from her first establishment; sembly's Digest, p. 151-155.

cess.

In 1817, a committee was appoint of discovering some new and impored to consider and report to the As. tant doctrine never before brought sembly, what alterations might be to light. advantageously made in the Forms Additional remarks on the Conof Process; but their appointment

fession of Faith we reserve for the had no respect to the Confession of close of this article, and proceed to Faith, nor even to the Plan of Go the other parts of the Constitution of vernment. They, however, having the Presbyterian Church. in their report proposed some altera The Larger and Shorter Catetions in the Plan of Government, as chisms, which present an exhibition well as in the Forms of Process, the of the doctrines of the Confession in Assembly thought proper to extend the form of questions and answers, their appointment, so as to embrace remain unaltered. A note found in those departments of our constitu former editions of this book, append. tion.

ed to the answer to the 142d quesThe Confession of Faith has re tion in the Larger Catechism, has mained untouched, and we trust it been omitted in this edition, in con- . will remain so for ages to come. Why sequence of an order passed by the should it be altered? Have new dis General Assembly in 1816, who decoveries been made in religion since clared that, as it had never formed the composition of that admirable a part of the constitution, it ought compend of revealed truth? Disco to be left out in future editions. veries! So they may think, who es The next general article in the pouse sentiments that vary from our constitution, is the form of the Gostandard; but let them search a lit vernment, and the Forms of Protle deeper into ecclesiastical bistory, In this part we find very conand they will find that these disco siderable alterations and additions; veries were known to the authors of but none of such a character as to the Confession of Faith, and deemed affect any one of the great principles by them errors. They may be pre in Presbyterial government. The sented to the public in a new dress; alterations and additions have been still, however, they are the same that made merely to explain these prirappeared to our fathers in a different ciples, and to assist the different jugarb. Surely the Bible had been long dicatories in carrying them more enough in the hands of the church, at completely and uniformly, in all the time when the assembly of di parts of our church, into full effect. vines sat, for Christians to derive The three orders of the church, from it a correct exhibition of its namely, Ministers, Elders, and Deaprincipal doctrines. In relation to cons, together with the different jusuch doctrines, no room is left for dicatories, namely, Sessions, Presbymaking discoveries. One section of teries, Synods, and General Assenthe church may differ from another; bly, are still continued as consonant and individuals of a particular church to Biblical principles and primitive may depart from her standard : but practice. what discoveries can be rationally The chapter describing the nature, expected? The Bible contains a sys the powers and the duties of the tem of truths plainly revealed and church-session, contains a greater inculcated; and how differently so number of sections than formerly; ever Christians have thought on cer but no other change is found in it, tain points, yet all the leading doc except reducing the quorum necestrines have long been known and sary for doing business; settling the believed in the church. There is question, that, although “it is experoom for improvement in Biblical dient, at every meeting of the sescriticism; but no man born in the sion, more especially when conworld so late as the 18th or 19th cen stituted for judicial business, that tury, need indulge the visionary hope there be a presiding minister;" yet

“it is impracticable” or highly "in lo

the session of a vacant church not aside at pleasure, and of which peronly exists, but may proceed to sons holding them can be divested transact even judicial business, when only by deposition : yet it admits

cases in which it may be proper for convenient to procure the attend an elder or deacon to cease to act ance of such a moderator ;" —and officially in the congregation; and it making it the duty of every session, prescribes the duty of a session toto submit its records to the inspec ward an elder or a deacon placed in tion of Presbytery at least once in circumstances which appear to reevery year.

quire a suspension of the exercise The number of sections in the of the functions of his office. chapter relating to the Presbytery Chapters xiv. and xv. treat of the has also been increased; the result licensing of candidates for the gosof which is, not any material altera pel ministry, and of the election and tion, but only a better arrangement ordination of ministers. No alteraand a fuller exhibition of the powers tion in them merits notice, except and duties of the Presbytery. It that, in the last, persons ordained may be proper to mention, that every without a particular charge, for the congregation, regularly organized, purpose of preaching the gospel, adwhether able or not to support a pas ministering sealing ordinances, and tor, has now a right to be represent- organizing churches, in frontier or ed in this judicatory.

destitute settlements, are denomiNo alteration requiring notice ap nated Evangelists, and directed to pears in the two next chapters, which be ordained to the work of an evanspecify the nature, powers and du gelist. ties of the Synod and General As The xvith chapter relates to the sembly; except that, in the last, to removal of a minister from one charge the clause which relates to corres to another; the xviith to the resignapondence with foreign churches, have tion of a pastoral charge; the xviiith been added the following words: "on to missions; the sixth to modera. such terms as may be agreed upon by tors; the xxth to clerks. All rethe Assembly and the corresponding main unchanged, excepting an onnisbody."

sion in the sixth of the section relaThe 13th chapter, which treats of tive to the moderator of the session, Elders and Deacons, in addition to which has been transferred to the the questions formerly proposed to xith chapter these officers, at their ordination, di The xxiid chapter remains as it rects one to be proposed to the mem was, only a part of it has been arbers of the church, calling for an an ranged under another head. J. J.J. swer expressive of their willingness

(To be continued.) to receive them, and to yield due honour, encouragement and obedience. It also recommends to the members of a session, to receive newly ordain

The Application of Christianity to ed elders in the same manner in

the Commercial and Ordinary Afwhich members of a presbytery re

fairs of Life: in a Series of Disceive newly ordained ministers into courses. By Thomas Chalmers, their body, by giving to them, in the D.D. Rector of St. John's Church, presence of the congregation, the

Glasgow. New York: published right hand of fellowship, accompa

by Samuel Campbell & Son, No. nied with an expression of their cor

88, Water street. I.& I. Harper, diality in admitting them to partici printers, 1821. pp. 193. pate in their office. This chapter This is the last volume, so far as also determines the offices both of we know, which Dr. Chalmers has Ruling Elder and of Deacon to be published. It contains eight sermons, perpetual ; which cannot be laid and is principally intended to illus

FOR THE PRESBITERIAN MAGAZINE,

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