« ElőzőTovább »
made a hasty retreat, to all appearance not a little offended. One of the chiefs then expatiated on the case, and stated to the assembly as follows :- This man (meaning the Catholic) held out that he should not come to this meeting; and it is seen that he did come to the meeting. He declared that he had a letter sealed with King William's seal, (of England) and he had no such thing. That he had a letter from the British Ambassador at Paris, and he had no such thing: and now, by his running away, he has shown himself to be a deceiver.' Then turning the attention of the assembly to my Charles and myself, he said, • On their coming amongst us, we had no occasion to ask for letters; they gave them themselves into our hands. It is known to every chief in the island there was no trouble with them, because they are not deceivers.' He then finished his speech, by proposing that such a man should never be allowed to come amongst them. After this the queen's speech was delivered by a clearheaded middle-aged chief, which concluded with a call upon all her faithful subjects to unite in never permitting this man, (the Catholic,) or any other of the same profession, to come to disturb the peace and tranquillity of Tahiti.”
( To be continued.)
DR. HENDERSON ON ROMANS VII. 14–25.
(To the Editor.) My Dear Sir,-Permit me, through the medium of your pages, to set myself right with the readers of Mr. Beverley's book recently published, respecting my views of the experience described by the apostle, Rom. vii. 14-25.* In acknowledging a copy of Professor Stuart's Commentary on the Romans, which was kindly presented to me by the author, I certainly did communicate to him my opinion on more than one portion of the work. The reception given to my animadversions on what I considered to be untenable in his exposition of that part of chap. v., which treats of original sin, I have never learned. Nor was I aware, till Mr. Beverley's letters were put into my hands, that any public use had been made of my privately expressed approval of his statements on the subject of which the apostle treats in the other passage referred to above. Had I anticipated any such publicity, I should undoubtedly have gone more
* The passages to which Dr. Henderson refers are in Mr. Beverley's eleventh Letter - On the present State of the Visible Church of Christ," &c. p. 76.
“ If Germany has not yet exerted her dangerous influence over the minds of those who are educating for the ministry, is there no ground to fear that Professor Stuart'st subtile commentaries have opened the way for a further advance towards Pelagian views, and that a writer who has been introduced amongst us, on high authority, as a sound teacher of the faith, has gained many converts, in this country, to opinions which in his own are already strongly contested ?"
+ The following passage appears in the third edition of Professor Stuart's Commentary on the Epistle to the Romans.
“ Another friend (having first mentioned Dr. Pye Smith), well known in this country, and also very dear to me, the Rev. Dr. Henderson, of Highbury College, in the precinets of London, who has also written a short prefatory commendation of the English edition of my Commentary, in a letter to me, dated June 24, 1833, has expressed his views in regard of my exegesis, of the passages in question in the following manner: Your view of the 7th chapter meets with my approbation. I deem it most important. The other view seems greatly calculated to keep up and foster a low state of Christianity.'"--p-619.
thoroughly into the question. I am free to confess, I had occasion. ally entertained doubts whether what has commonly been called the calvinistic view of it were correct; and these doubts were not only confirmed, but temporarily exchanged, for a contrary belief, by what appeared to be a forcible presentation of the argument founded on the close connexion between the conclusion of the seventh and the commencement of the eighth chapter. It did seem to me, that a direct antithesis had been made out between the states of personal experience which these passages describe. Under the influence of this persuasion I wrote to Professor Stuart. This happened about four years ago. Since that time I have had opportunities of reexamining the whole subject; and it is not a little remarkable, that only a fortnight before Mr. Beverley's book appeared, I happened to preach from the 24th and 25th verses, which I treated as exclusively descriptive of the experience of true believers, and that not merely at the commencement of their christian course, but onward till they reach its termination.
I will not, Mr. Editor, trespass on your patience, or that of your readers, by furnishing anything in the shape of an outline of my discourse; but I beg to be indulged while I briefly state the grounds on which I adhere to the exegesis of Augustine-an exegesis which was approved by the reformers, and has been defended by our best evangelical commentators in modern times.
1. The apostle employs the personal pronouns I, my, and me nearly forty times within the compass of twelve verses, without giving the least intimation of a transition from the subject of which he had been treating, which is undoubtedly his own experience. He even employs the emphatic compound autós éyw, I myself, ver. 25, to remove all dubiety.
2. While in the fifth and sixth verses he employs the first person plural, because he is depicting the experience of the Jewish Christians, who, like himself, had been set free by means of the gospel, he proceeds from the seventh to the thirteenth verse, to describe the operation of the law upon himself individually, or his own personal feelings in reference to it, when he was in an unconverted state. This he does by changing the first person plural to the first person singular ; but still employing the past tense of the verbs to indicate a former condition. On reaching the fourteenth verse, however, though he retains the first person singular, he converts the past tense into the present, obviously with a view to mark his experience subsequent to the period of his conversion, and at the time he wrote.
3. The ardour of feeling which the apostle throws into the whole of his description evinces, that his own experience is the subject of discourse. He writes like one, who was painfully conscious of the conflict on which he expatiates, and not like one who merely describes the experience of another. & 4. Several terms occur in the passage, which do not admit of an appropriate or unexceptionable application, to any but regenerate persons, such as the inward man,” “the law of the mind," " delighting in the law of God," “ not allowing that which is evil,” “ serving the law of God with the mind,” and “thanking God" for deliverance through the Lord Jesus Christ. Whereas, the terms and modes of expression which have been thought to militate against a state of grace are all easily reconcilable with it on the admitted ground of indwelling sin. What the apostle states is, that such sin, to the extent of its operation, went to produce all the opposition to the gracious principles of the new creation, which he so pathetically pourtrays; that, viewed in himself, apart from the counteracting influence of these principles, he had nothing but wretchedness in prospect; that no hope of deliverance could be obtained from any source but that which the gospel supplies; but that, supplied from this source, he fixedly and devotedly served the divine law, though the principle of carnality which still existed within him prevented him from rendering complete obedience to it, and exerted itself to the utmost to effect the commission of sin, ver. 25.
5. The connexion between the seventh and eighth chapters is not so close, as, in my opinion, to warrant the conclusion which Professor Stuart and others have endeavoured to establish. The inference (åoa vŪy) which the apostle draws, ch. viii. 1, is not from the statement he had just made respecting the internal conflict, but from what he had established in the preceding part of the epistle relative to the justification obtained by believers from the condemnatory sentence of the law, and the sanctification of which they were equally the subjects in consequence of the grace of the gospel.
6. What ought to settle the point, bevond all dispute, is the employment of the identical terms (in part) by the same apostle in his epistle to the Galatians (ch. v. 17,) where, it is obvious, the experience of the regenerate is the subject of discourse. “ For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one to the other; so THAT YE CANNOT DO THE THINGS THAT YE WOULD. (Comp. Rom. vii. 18, 19.) It is surprising that a passage so perfectly parallel should not have occurred to Professor Stuart, either when composing his Commentary, or his more elaborate Excursus, though, in the former, he adduces what have usually been quoted as parallels, from Xenophon, Euripides, Epictetus, Seneca, and others.
I conclude these remarks by observing, that there is nothing whatever in the Augustinian construction of the passage, which gives the least encouragement to licentiousness. Many an Antinomian has doubtless hugged it to his bosom, as a passport to heaven, notwithstanding the deep-stained characters of rebellion by which he has been marked; but he has only wrested it, as he has done the other scriptures, to his own destruction. Its tendencies upon the mind of a renewed sinner are diametrically the reverse. While he perceives in himself the exact counterpart of the picture, he is filled with abhorrence of the indwelling evil, and humbles himself before God on account of it; and gratefully exercising confidence in the mediation of his Saviour for continued rescue, he joyfully anticipates the state, where sin is known no more. I remain, my dear Sir, yours ever truly,
E. HENDERSON. December 8, 1836.
THE LAND OF HILLS. “ But the land, whither ye go to possess it, is a land of hills and valleys."
Deut. xi. 11. The features of external nature have been arranged by the hand of the Creator, with wise and gracious reference to the happiness of man; to give him pleasure in the act of contemplation, as well as to contribute to his convenience. Its surface, agreeably diversified with hill and vale, and stream and plain, ministers to the sensorial gratification of its occupiers, and expands around them in every clime, an array of beauty and of grandeur, sometimes apart from each other, but often blended in wild yet tasteful and imposing combinations. Wherever the traveller penetrates he finds the configuration of our globe so arranged in ever-varying outline, as to spread before him an inviting picture of natural scenery and phenomena, which captivates, or soothes, or elevates, or excites the mind, and furnishes such pleasurable emotions as dull uniformity would not have yielded. Especially do those elevations which mark the face of the earth, whether rising to the stately proportion of mountains, or forming only the rounded, green-clad hill, give interest, grace, or sublimity to the landscape, and provide a thousand objects of endlessly variegated outline, to engage the painter's pencil and the poet's song.
But the mountains have been “ brought forth" for other purposes, than to give imposing effect and picturesque beauty, to the scenery of the earth. Occupying a portion of its surface, nearly equal to that which the sandy desert claims, they stand associated with political and other results of the highest importance to mankind. Where the ocean does not extend its waters to divide the families, kindreds, and tongues of the human race, the granite snow-crowned rampart is frequently the line of demarcation; nations have thus been wisely kept apart from each other by natural boundaries; for the difficulties connected with aggressive wars between communities thus separated, have contributed to promote peace, and maintain independence. Mountains also give of the clouds of heaven to the thirsty earth, attracting them to their summits charged with all the fatness of the skies; the “high hills are a refuge for the wild goats and the rocks for the conies ;" and in the dens and caves which perforate their declivities, liberty and religion have found a secure asylum, when struggling with grasping ambition and persecuting power. These are the “chief things of the ancient mountains, the precious things of the lasting hills;" they proclaim the majesty of Him who weigheth them “in scales” and in a balance;" and thus with “ fire and hail, snow and vapour, fruitful trees and all cedars," the " mountains and all hills," silently show forth His praise.
Palestine is rich in all those elements which constitute the grand and beautiful in the landscape; it was the mountain and the mountain-torrent-the valley broad and undulating, and the jagged and gloomy ravine--the open plain clad with the luxuriant herbage common to an eastern clime; and the discoveries of modern travel
X. S. VOL. I.
bear testimony to the fidelity of the ancient description of it," a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, that spring out of the vallies and hills.”
The mountainous districts of this once-favoured country, are principally composed of secondary limestone, intermingled with trap rocks. The country between Joppa and Jerusalem is compact limestone; the hill, on the lower slopes of which Nazareth is situated, is of a gray-coloured compact limestone; the field of blood mentioned by Matthew is of friable limestone; David's cave appears also to be situated in limestone; the Mount of Olives is of limestone in part granular; the same conchiferous strata occur, in the valley of Jehoshaphat; the rocks around the pool of Siloa are of limestone; on Mount Zion they are of a conchoidal, grayish, siliceous limestone; Mount Lebanon appears principally composed of limestone ; Mount Carmel has large balls of quartz contained in the limestone; all the rocks, in short, in the neighbourhood of Jerusalem are of compact limestone, in which also the numerous tombs around it are hewn. Mount Tabor, Bethel, and Capernaum seem also to be calcareous.*
It was the desire of Moses to be permitted to see the mountains of the Land of Promise, a desire natural in a lowlander, only accustomed to behold the flat sandy districts around the Nile: hence he prayed, “Let me go over, and see the good land that is beyond Jordan, that goodly mountain and Lebanon.” Though not allowed to do this, he appears to have obtained accurate information respecting them. He speaks of their abundant produce, “ honey" being extracted from “ the rock and oil from the flinty rock;" and of their mineral riches “ whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills thou mayest dig brass” (copper). The former statement was not a mere poetical fiction, for owing to the skill and perseverance of the Jewish agriculturists, the slopes and declivities of the mountains, up to their very summits, were brought under cultivation, and were crowned with aromatic flowers and olive trees, which yielded honey to the industrious bee, and oil to the laborious husbandman. We are also assured, that there were mines in Palestine and Mount Libanus, though they were never regularly worked by the Jews, owing to the scanty demand made for their products by a pastoral people, and the plentiful supply that might at any time be obtained from the neighbouring markets of Tyre. The ancient Jews, unlike their modern representatives, seem to have inherited a dislike to trade and commerce, to which indeed the Mosaic law gave no encouragement. Though seated on the shores of the Mediterranean, a situation favourable for extended commercial operations, and having the example of the enterprising Phenicians before them, they regarded such pursuits with aversion, and devoted themselves to agriculture, the products of which were intimately blended with their religious festivals. The character of the people differed in this respect from that of the orientals, who have generally been addicted to traffic, and breathed the spirit of the Greeks, who, in their best and purest
* Silliman's American Journal, Jane, 1835.