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to the most excellent governor Felix, greeting: 27. This man [avdpa) having been seized by the Jews, and about to be slain by them, coming on with the soldiery I took away, having learnt that he was a Roman. 28. And wishing to know fully the reason for which they accused him, I brought him down to their council : 29. Whom I found accused concerning questions of their law, but having no accusation worthy of death or of bonds : 30. But a plot having been disclosed to me as in course against the man [avdpa], at once I sent [him] to thee, having commanded also to the accusers that they should speak before thee. 31. Then the soldiers, according to what had been ordered them, having taken up Paul, brought him by night to Antipatris. 32. And on the morrow, having left the horsemen to go with him, they returned into the fort : 33. Who having come into Cæsarea, and given up the epistle to the governor, presented also Paul to him. 34. And having read, and asked of [him] of what præfecture he was, and found that [it was) from Cilicia, 35. I will hear thee fully, said he, when also thy accusers are come ; commanding [him] to be kept in the palace of Herod.
Mis applied Texts.
By the Rev. THOS. SCOTT, M.A., Rector of Wappenham, Towcester.
(No. II.) 1 Cor. vii. 32, xv. 50; Jas. iii. 17. E are about to remark upon two or three instances,
which have lately come under our notice, of ersoneous use of passages of Scripture-instances certainly not very important, and assuredly very easy to correct. One of them amused us a good deal from its obviousness of error. It occurred in conversation, and the object of the speaker was to guard young ministers of small income against over scrupulosity as to marriage without due provision for the expenses likely to ensue. Be not too particular, it was urged. Trust
in Providence; take the steps which seem needful to your comfort. Did not St. Paul himself say, “I would have you without carefulness."
We need scarcely say, that this is exactly opposite to the teaching of the apostle. The passage referred to is 1 Cor. vii. 32. Oéw dè inâs åpepluvous cival. His meaning is not, “I would have you without carefulness," at least in the modern sense of that word, which now seems to mean prudence, heed, looking forward to the future-but"I would have you without care"--without anxiety, without worldly distraction. And in order to produce freedom from care, he, in fact, enjoins the presence of carefulness, and particularly presses upon them, especially during the present trouble, to avoid that frequent source of wretched anxiety, a hasty marriage--in fact, perhaps marriage altogether.
Another instance of careless quotation occurred in a sermon we lately heard, and from a good man, and not a bad preacher. He was preaching, with much force on our need of spiritual renewal—on the thorough change of character required before we could be pleasing to a holy God, and, still more, before we could be fitted for his heavenly kingdom. And then came his error. He brought in to prove his point, and with a good deal of energy, both of word and manner, like a lawyer introducing a witness of much importance to his cause, the following text : (1 Cor. xv. 50)—"Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." Nothing could be more true or more important than the proposition which he maintained; yet it was likely to lose credit rather than to gain it through the irrelevance of his proof. We here do not need verbal criticism. The thing is determined by the context. The meaning evidently is, that the present organism of the body, suited though it be to the purposes of our earthly life, is entirely inconsistent with, entirely unfit for the requirements of the future heavenly life. It might possibly be argued that in the preceding verse it had been said, “ As we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly;" and that this was spoken of the inoral nature of the first Adam, and of the second. A careful examination, however, of the apostle's argument would show that he was not speaking of moral resemblance, but of bodily organism. We would not, of course, deny the connection between the present regeneration of the soul, and the ultimate regenera
tion of the body. We would simply adopt the beautiful paraphrase of Jerome, quoted by Wordsworth :"Tamdiu regnum Dei non possidebunt quamdiu caro tantum sanguisque permanserint. Quam autem corruptionem induerit incorruptionem, quæ prius gravi pondere premebatur in terram, acceptis Spiritûs pennis et immutationis non abolitionis novâ gloriâ volabit ad cælum."*
The third case of error, or of approach to error which we shall notice, is, perhaps, not so usually met with now as it was twenty years ago. It was then not uncommon to take James iii. 17, and to interpret it as if it meant that the “wisdom from above" could not be "peaceable" while all around it was “pure'—that the first business of true wisdom was to ascertain that the doctrine of those with whom we might be conversant was right, and then, and not till then, that it would lead us to peaceable communion with them, Now, how far this opinion is in itself true, or how far it will need modification before it be accepted, we will not pretend to say; but will only assert, what few now-a-days will be disposed to deny, that it is not here stated by St. James. What he says of the wisdom from above, is this :
-pôrov zèv dyr otiv, črelta cipruik). St. James had been speaking of the pretended wisdom of some whom he had been censuring, and had pronounced it "earthly, sensual, devilish.” He had added, “where envy and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” With this he contrasts the true wisdom from above; the false wisdom is sensual (yruxekn); this is pure (áyvň); the false wisdom is jealous, envious, contentious; this is peaceable (cipuan), subtle, and easy to be entreated; the word pure (dyr) does not mean correct in doctrine, free from error (though this, certainly, might be said of heavenly wisdom), but free from sensuality, opposed to every defilement, μηδενας των σαρκικών αντεχομένη (clinging to nought of the carnal). We would not deny the moral truth of this application often formerly made of this text (though we think it was often so urged as, to foster an over controversial spirit); we would merely say that the text itself holds out no warrant for it.
* They will occupy the kingdom of God as long as they continue merely flesh and blood; but when corruption has put on incorruption, the soul, which formerly was weighed down to earth, on receiving the wings of the Spirit, and the new glory of a complete change yet not of extinction, will soar aloft to heaven.
A WORD TO THE GOD are constantly murmuring
under the dispensations of “Should it be according to thy Providence, and who think mind?"-Job. xxxiv. 33.
and say that things should This appeal occurs in one of be otherwise, should rememthe magnificent addresses of ber four things :-(1.) The Elihu to Job. Although circumscribed sphere of their the speaker, like the "three observation. What a small friends," "misunderstand the spot of this earth, which is partriarch's character, and itself but a mere atom in the reason from wrong prin- creation, thou, who wouldst ciples, many of his senti have things according to thy ments are divinely true, mind, occupiest ; whereas and stated with remarkable God's Government compreclearness, vigour, and subli hends the universe. (2.) The mity. I accept the popular limitation of human faculties. idea attached to the text How little, even in thy namely, that it is not to be small sphere, hast thou the expected that God will con power of seeing. Thou canst sult the views of his creatures not penetrate the essence of as to his own procedure. I anything about thee, nor canst. regard Elihu as virtually say thou understand all the relaing to Job, “Is it to be sup- tions, bearings, issues, of what posed that God will manage thou seest in that little spot his government according to of thine. (3.) The brevity of thy mind ?" The appeal indi man's mortal existence. The cates a tendency in human system of things under which nature that is irrational, im thou livest began in eternity, moral, and prevalent. The and reaches through intertext is an appeal to those, minable ages. Thou art only and they are many, who are
here for a few short years. dissatisfied with the procedure Thou “art of yesterday, and of Heaven, and dare to sit in knowest nothing.” (4.) The judgment upon the Most narrowness of human sympaHigh. To such we put two thies. You only feel an questions:
interest in the few things I. SHOULD THE ARRANGE about you. Your sympathies MENTS OF LIFE BE ACCORDING are bounded to your little TO THY MIND? Those who sphere of observation, but
glowworm, that reveals the gr
the system of things under religious redemption, and which you live is founded failed-signally failed. "The upon a sympathy with the world by wisdom knew not universe. What is your point God.” And now everywhere of observation to his? What where Christianity is not, it is a mole-hill to the Andes ? is still trying, and all its What is your faculty of know efforts are fruitless.
" Darking to his ? What is the ness covers the earth and
gross darkness the people." tiny leaf on which it rests, to Secondly: The mistakes the central sun that makes it has made on the subject manifest the creation? What in interpreting Christianity. is your time for understand With the Gospel under its ing things compared with eye clearly revealing the his? Even a thousand years scheme, it has formed most to eternity are less than one gross and absurd conceptions atom to all the massive globes as to the way of salvation. of space. What is your sym The perverters of the Gospel pathy to his ? He loves all. plan of salvation may be His love is the spring, the divided into two grand classes. support, and the sunshine of (1.) Those that infer from all existences ? Should life, Christianity that they can be then, be arranged according saved by a mere intellectual to thy mind? The idea is fuith in certain theological as monstrous as it is wicked. propositions. (2.) Those that II. SHOULD THE
infer that they can be saved OF REDEMPTION BE ACCORD by an external observance of ING TO TAY MIND ? There certain ceremonies the interare many who raise objections vention of priests, the invocato Christianity. Many who tion of saints, the observance imagine that they could have of sacraments, &c. constructed a better system Thus, we say to the captions of Spiritual redemption. Two sceptic, we cannot have a facts convince us that the system of religion according human mind is utterly incom to thy mind. Thy mind is petent to form a scheme for utterly unsuited to construct Spiritual restoration.
a religion redemptive to man First: The mistakes it has and acceptable to God. “Eye made on the subject in inter hath not seen, 'ear hath not preting nature. Men under heard,” &c. the light of nature tried for four thousand long years to find out a true system of