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the case, such objects have any countrymen of the Established relation with political interests or Church. May a Dissenter vensentiments. Vague fears of some ture to hint, that the clergy are possible evil, springing from such more active, assiduous, and deefforts, to the prejudice of “ things corous, than there is reason to fear as they are,” rob their hearts of a many of them would be, were there cordial and generous sympathy in no dissenting ministers with wbom many of the noble institutions of they might be otherwise brought the day. They are surmises, which into a disadvantageous comparithose who feel their influence are son ? Is there no reason to believe reluctant to avow. The objects that the ecclesiastical hierarchy proposed to their favour and co- owes much of that exemplary mooperation are too unquestionably deration which is now so much excellent to be openly opposed. her honour and advantage, to her The Sectaries are already alive, collision with inquisitive sectaries, zealous, and active in promoting and dissatistied separatists? And them. It would bring the vene- there is some reason to suppose rable establishment, and its zealous that the grand fundamental prinfriend, into suspicion, should they ciple of dissent, or that the estabe found openly hostile to the blishment of the religion of spirit of the age and the progress Christ, in any peculiar form by the of improvement. Under the in- secular authority, is in principle fluence of such general feelings as unscriptural, impolitic, and unthese, of which the individual just, has opened in some degree called into action by them may upon the minds of men in infunot be always distinctly conscious, ential stations. This is a position multitudes of excellent members that has long been maintained, of the Established Church are in- and we are bold to believe unduced to co-operate in institutions, answerably, by dissenting writers. the objects of which they no doubt Episcopalians, on both sides the most cordially approve, but in Atlantic, are now moving this which the apprehensions and pre- question. The period may arrive, judices of their party would forbid when, to statesmen of enlightened their active efforts, did not the ac- views, it will appear as absurd to tivity of the Sectaries “provoke reward men because they are of a them to jealousy." Then the particular sect, as it now does to question occurs, where would be persecute them because they are the general and energetic move- of another; when they will be ments of our age and country, at last convinced a man is none in numerous most vitally important the better statesman, patriot, or undertakings of benevolence, but legislator, because he is an Episfor Protestant Dissenters? Their copalian, nor the worse because activity forbids the repose of he is an Independent. And should those who would otherwise have that period of the prevalence of too calmly acquiesced in the just, and calm, and simple reason continuance of abuses and evils, dawn on the world, it will owe a of ignorance and slavery. Nor debt of gratitude to Protestant is it in benevolent undertak, Dissenters, as long the faithful ings merely, in efforts to move though unheeded witnesses of the public mind and the legisla- truth and justice. In one word, ture of the country in a course the Church, with Dissenters to exof enlightened and beneficial cite, to check, to moderate her, is improvement only, that Protes- one thing; deprived of this real tant Dissenters communicate a though unacknowledged advanwholesome excitement to their tage, she would present a different
aspect, just as on the Continent tian religion, more adapted to the Roman Catholic religion is harmonize with and promote its not the same scene where she has designs than others. And before Protestants to encounter, that she we can ascertain what modes are is where she reigns in unmolested most congenial with its nature and ignorance and security.
design, by the test of experience, But though the cause of Pro- we may discover that point by a testant dissent, identified as it is much easier and more certain rule with the cause of human freedom, of judgment-by their accordance operates directly to defend and with the appointments of the New promote those principles that are Testament. He who planned our most friendly to the present wel. religion knew how it would ope. fare of mankind, yet it has higher rate-what forms would best prepraise. It is its connexion with serve its purity, and promote its the religion of Christ that consti- designs. Ages must elapse before tutes its highest value. That re- the test of experience could exist; ligion, purely spiritual as it is, and even then inen would be most cannot, notwithstanding, be main- incompetent judges in a case so tained in the world, but through complex, and demanding a knowthe medium of some forms. It ledge of events and their causes exists, at present, under a great more than human. We have a variety of modes of administra. more sure word of prophecy, to tion; and under them all doubt- which, in this case, we do less does, in a greater or less well that we take heed. Now degree, exert its influence, and Protestant Dissenters appeal to dispense its blessings. So essen- scripture--they demand that all tially pure and excellent is the forms and principles of church religion of Christ, so powerfully government be submitted to the benign and remedial are its effects, test of scripture, and are fearless that no power or ingenuity of cor- of the result of a scriptural investiruption that has hitherto been em gation. Not but that also they ployed to obscure and pervert it, think that the freedom, the simhas been able entirely to counter- plicity, and the universal adaptaact its blessed tendencies. Under tion of their mode of church gothe very worst forms, its blessed vernment prove it to be more spirit and precepts have benefited accordant with a kingdom: not of mankind. How mournful the re- this world, than forms in which flection, that its nature should human policy, power, and wealth, have been so obscured, its ten- are too conspicuous. Nor can it dencies so counteracted as they be doubted, that, as the world have been. But it was left, in rolls on, and the purposes of God the providence of God, to human unfold themselves, as Christianity administration. Man injures what prevails and extends in the world, ever he touches; he communicates there will be a return to a purer his imperfections and his passions Christianity, in a purer form. It to every thing he is engaged in. is not the inventions of men, not Even Christianity has been spoiled their errors and systems, but the by men, as far as it was possible religion of Christ purified from for them to corrupt it. There was these things, that is to endure, in it, indeed, an indescructible prevail, and triumph. And Proenergy of goodness they could testant Dissenters are maintaining never entirely eradicate. Nothing a cause allied to pure, scriptural is more plain than that some forms Christianity, and destined both to of church order are more accord- advance and to participate her ant with the nature of the Chris- triumphs,
Let, then, Protestant Dissenters Ver. 11. ikaw-okyo, “ unto be true to their principles-let hades”_" unto the regions above,” them but be the honour of those well known nouns with a local. principles, as those principles are Ver. 12. ADIN, “ make trial of.” their honour, and they will then The general import of the term is, enjoy the satisfaction of serving to put to the proof, whether for the cause of truth and of liberty- a good or evil purpose. Our Engof promoting the welfare of men lish word, tempt, had formerly the and the honour of God-of con- same ambiguous import, which it tributing both to the purity and has now lost, uniformly conveying the prevalence of Christianity, the idea of seduction to evil. " To They are called sectaries; but make trial of,” or some equivalent their cause is too sacred, too ca- phrase, gives the signification of tholic, to merit the reproach; and the Hebrew in this and many they are unworthy to be its advo- places. Gen. xxii. 1; Deut. iv. 34 cates whom that unmerited stigma and xxviii. 56; Dan.i. 12, &c. It is can detach from its interests and usually rendered in the Septuagint support.
by telpağw.–Ver. 13. DID wypn,
SAUL. “ too little.” The comparative sigwww.m
nification of this phrase has been MISCELLANEA BIBLICA. generally overlooked by trauslaNo. IV.
tors, but was observed by Sym
machus, who renders it un BK The Prediction concerning Immanuel.
avtapkes:-Ver. 14. 135, “there
fore,” i. e. rebus sic stantibus . Isaiah rii. 10–16.
“ Since matters are so, that you 10. And Jehovah spoke again to Ahaz,
obstinately reject any divine oversaying: 11.“ Ask for thee a sign from Jehovah, ture, Jehovah will prosecute his thy God;
purposes without further regard Make deep thy demand unto Hades, or
to you personally.” The verbs, high to the region above." 12. And Ahaz said: “I will not ask; and I
“ conceiveth, &c.” are emphatiwill not make trial of Jehovah.” cally in the present tense; the 13. And he said : “Ilear, new, o house last, being an aorist, takes the of David ;
time of the leading verb.-Ver. 15. Is it too little for you to weary out
ORON, “ cream.” Such is the siymen, That you would weary out also my nification of the term, according God!
to the opinion of the best oriental14. Therefore, the Lord himself will give ists. It is allowed, on all hands, you a sign :
and that its root must be sought in Behold the virgin conceiveth, and beareth a son,
the Arabic; and that the Arabs And calleth his name Immanuel. have long been accustomed to 15. Cream and honey shall be eat, make butter, is well known. (HarTill he knoweth to refuse what is cvil
mer's Obs.) But for butter, they and choose what is good. 16. But before the boy shall know
use other terms, never this. (Boch. To refuse what is evil and choose what Hieroz. Part I. lib. 2. cap. 45.) is good,
I hazard a conjecture, that non The region shall be forsaken, By the presence of whose two kings
means milk, fresh and warm as thou art distressed."
drawn from the animal; (Castell's To the above literal rendering of Lex, in qs) though, without furthis interesting passage I will add ther research, I would vot venture a few notes, chiefly on points in to introduce so novel an interwhich it differs from previous pretation into the version.-1977. translators, and then submit a ge. For the import of 4 prefixed to neral illustration of the whole.
infinitives, see the Lexicons. The present rendering is supported by guage of the prophet would reits use in Lev. xxiv. 12; Dan. markably apply. "That the penix. 24, and xii. 11 ; perhaps also men of the New Testament do in Gen. ni. 22; and is confirmed occasionally thus employexby Bochart, (Hieroz. Part I. pressions of the Old Testament, is lib. 2. cap. 51,) who has largely generally allowed ; but that they shown that milk, especially of ever introduce their accommodagoats, mixed with honey, was tions with such emphatic formuused by oriental nations as the laries as are here employed by the food of infants. Not to know Evangelist, has never yet satisgood and evil, whether in a na- factorily appeared. In the course tural or moral point of view, is of the next chapter of the Gospel a well known periphrasis for the are three references to the OldTestaperiod of infancy.-Ver. 16. “ The ment thus introduced, respectively: land,” &c. The translators of our “ that the word might be verified,” received version, and others also, ver. 15; “ then was verified what appear to have been misled in the was spoken,” ver. 17; and “ thus rendering of this phrase by the was verified what was spoken,” Septuagint, which retains the He. ver. 23. Whatever may be thought brew idiom, and has been dis- of any of these forms of expres. torted by the improper insertion of sion, they all fall very short of a comma after the verb. The above that with which the sacred penrendering is literally exact, (com- man introduces his quotation from pare Numb. xxii. 3.) and is of im- the passage before us. Having portance, as furnishing a clue to related the miraculous conception. the correct understanding of the and the explanation given to Jowhole prophecy. A general illus- seph by a celestial messenger, the tration of this shall now be at- Evangelist adds: “THT0 de olov tempted.
γεγονεν ινα πληρωθη; all this took A detail of the difficulties which place that the word might be verihave occurred to learned men re- fied;" thus recurring to the imspecting the application of the pre- portant event, bringing it in a diction before us, and of the va. summary before our minds, and rious conclusions at which they expressly pronouncing that it ochave arrived, would be needless curred in accomplishment of a reto biblical scholars, and useless to markable prediction. Had the inothers. So early as the days of spired penman intended to assure Justin Martyr,(Dial.cum Trypho,) us, that he quoted the prediction it was claimed by the Christians of Isaiah in its literal application, as a prophecy fulfilled in the birth it is not easy to conceive in what of Jesus Christ. Nor can this be terms he could have done it more surprising to any person acquaint- effectually. But such a method ed with the New Testament, since of introducing an accommodated the Evangelist Matthew (chap. i. passage remains unparalleled, notver. 22, 23.) so emphatically gives withstanding the researches of the it this application. Many profound learned, and would be so obvischolars, however, though cordialously adapted to mislead, as to friends to evangelical truth, have render questionable the inspiration been driven by the apparent dif- of this evangelical record. ficulties to a conclusion, that Under this conviction, other Matthew cites the passage in a expositors have supposed (for their way of accommodation only, opinion is only supposition), that meaning that, in the miraculous in fulfilment of Isaiah's prediction, conception and birth of Christ, an some young marriageable female, event occurred, to which the lan- perhaps present on the occasion, would, either in due course of and thus have had less influence nature, or miraculously, become on his mind than the mere predicpregnant about that time, and tions previously given. 4. Abaz after the usual term of gestation had already determinately rejected bring forth a son, as a proof of any miraculous interference of JeGod's protecting care, and a pledge hovah, and in effect declared, that that the preceding announcement let God say what he would, and of the prophet would, at the ap- do what he would, he had repointed time be fulfilled ; and, solved to be uninfluenced. The moreover, that this birth would be prediction, therefore, respecting typical of a far more remote event, Immanuel, could not be intended the birth of Messiah. But, 1. If for him, that is, to be fulfilled such an event took place in the during his days. And 5, The ordinary course of nature, how close of the prophecy sets the accould it prove so clear an indi- complishment at a considerable cation of especial divine, inter- distance. It had been already ference, as should convince the foretold, that in about sixty-five idolatrous Ahaz that Jehovah was years, Israel and Syria would be Goi, able and willing to effect the made desolate ; but, verse 16, we prophetic announcements? If not are informed, that even that event adapted for this end, what end was should occur before, perhaps long it to accomplish ? And further, before, Immanuel ceased to be how could the birth of an infant, nourished as an infant. in the ordinary course of nature. The chapter commences with be typical of the miraculous birth a general notice of occurrences of Christ, or of any of the pe- which gave occasion to the folculiarities of his birth whatsoever ? lowing prophecy. Rezin and 2. If such an event took place in Pekah, with the combined forces a miraculous way, it seems strange of Syria and Israel, overran the that no record, no intimation of its kingdom of Judah, and laid siege accomplishment should remain; to its capital, but defeated in their though that record must have been attempt, retired to pursue meaner highly honourable to the divine conquests. This general notice faithfulness, and even necessary may be advantageously compared to the full confidence of subse with 2 Kings xvi. 5–10. quent generations, in its typical The details of the narration and far more momentous appli- commence with the second verse. cation. That no such event had We are carried back to the period ever occurred, till the conception when those combined armies were of Jesus Christ, is precisely the approaching, and are informed of ground which Justin takes in rea- the extreme and general agitation soning from this passage against which pervaded Jerusalem. Such Trypho. 3. Even if such a mira. is plainly represented as the state culous conception did occur, it of things in that capital, when would not have been a sign adapted this prophecy was delivered. The to win the confidence of Ahaz. hostile kings are rapidly advanThe danger was imminent; the cing to seize Jerusalem by surcombined forces were approaching prise. No preparations for resishis capital; and so far as their tance have been made. Amidst present designs against Jerusalem the general alarm, Ahaz, with his were concerned, would be over courtiers, goes forth to a reservoir before the pledge could be re- in the suburbs, whence the city is ceived. At all events, the sign or supplied with water, purposing, if pledge must have come subse possible, to secure so essential a quently to the deliverance pledged, resource from the possession of