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Lord, which he spake by Elijah.” | thing wasted. Out of it God -1 Kings xvii. 16.
is making the bones of fishes, This miracle illustrates coral reefs, &c. And if the
I. A PRINCIPLE IN CONNEC- principle on which the Deity TION WITH ECONOMY
is managing the great palace For what can so well define of nature were taken into economy as making much out the homes of destitution that of little? Where it exists there abound, there might be less will seldom be absent “the drunkenness, &c., but there barrel of meal and the cruse of would oftener be “the barrel oil.” Destitution is some of meal and the cruse of times an awful necessity; but oil.” for the most part it is self
II. A PRINCIPLE IN CONincurred. The greatest gene NECTION WITH PROVIDENCE. rosity would often be to As a rule, when, as I have teach economy. See how hinted, economy may be vain, Jesus teaches it to men, even God's special care will insure in the presence of abounding for the good “the barrel of plenty, and whilst giving meal,” &c. Sometimes, inproof that the resources of deed, the noblest have to infinitude are behind him ! pass to where the Lamb, who And that gathering up the is in the midst of them, shall fragments that nothing be feed them, from tables breadlost, is just what the great less, and garrets fireless, &c. God is doing evermore.
The But that is not the rule, for economy of nature is as What means this “ Thy bread startling as uniform. The shall be given," &c. And gas flung off by the vegetable this, "First seek ye the kingworld—do you think it is dom of God, &c ? Expect wasted ? It becomes a source of opulence, and there may be your
health and life! And the disappointment; look for the gas that you
exhale in breath divine care, and “the barrel ing is not wasted ; it becomes of meal,” &c. food for the trees, and that III. A PRINCIPLE IN CONcarbon. Whence is the
“ Man rain that refreshes the face liveth not by bread alone,” &c. of the earth ? It is the re We never starve in spiritual sult of economy, of God's life for lack of help. There treasuring up the water, is always bread enough in our absorbed by the sun. Of Father's house, and to spare, all the refuse of this earth if we will only take it. When that the rivers bear in we fail in duty, &c., it is to the ocean, there is no because we ignore the bread
NECTION WITH PIETY,
of life. But, although there II. AN INTIMATE CONNECis enough and to spare, just TION CLEARLY REVEALED: 1. enough is given us. “As thy
“ As thy Each divinely appointed. 2. day thy strength shall be.” Each met a terrible necessity. Hence we often wonder how 3. Benefit in each case sewe shall pass through diffi cured by faith. culties, trials, temptations III. A GREAT NECESSITY INthat stare us in the face. SISTED UPON. « Even so must But we do get through, and the Son of Man be lifted up.” it is because the barrel of This must refer to His meal," &c.
death. “I, if I be lifted up, IV. A PRINCIPLE IN CON will draw all men unto me.
GENEROSITY. This he said, signifying what This woman gave and got. death he should die." Christ But let us remember that she frequently directed attention gave unselfishly, and not in to the event. The types of order to get. Moreover, she old were significant of this. gave to her utmost. She gave The prophecies included the to a prophet, in the name of same. The apostles preached a prophet, and she received a the truth, and held it forth prophet's reward.
as the central fact of reward is not always a mate- demption. rial one; it is sometimes
Without His death we pathy, sometimes the bene could have no life. diction of poverty, and always IV. A BLESSED the smile of the soul and God. CROWNING ALL. 1. A calamity Preston. H. J. MARTYN. from which we may be de
livered. 2. A blessedness to
which we may attain. 3. THE BRAZEN SERPENT. The means of deliverance. 4. “ And as Moses lifted up the The universality of the stateserpent in the wilderness, even so ment. 5. The only way of must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in him
mercy and salvation. should not perish, but have eternal
Bristol. JOHN JAMES. life.”—John iii. 14, 15.
I. AN HISTORICAL FACT DIVINELY ACKNOWLEDGED. Look AN UNSUCCESSFUL MINISTRY. at the fact itself. (Num. “For neither did his brethren xxi. 4–9.) Then at the in believe in him."'-John vii. 5. herence the acknowledgment We have here two things. of it supplies—Christ's entire I. THE UNSUCCESSFULNESS belief in the Old Testament OF OUR SAVIOUR'S MINISTRY. Scriptures.
We shall notice
1. The causes of an un Saviour's unsuccessful minsuccessful ministry. (1.) istry suggest. (1.) That a man Ignorance of Scripture truths. should not always be held (2.) Lack of effective ex responsible for the unrelipression. (3.) Want of har giousness of his family. (2.) mony between the minister's A true ministry may be unprivate life and public teach-successful when the greatest ing. (4.) Absence of a success might be expected. prayerful spirit.
(3.) Success is no proof of Christ knew the Scriptures. the true value of a ministry. He spoke as never man spake. II. INFIDELITY His private life was blame
FAVOURABLE less. He went about doing CIRCUMSTANCES TO BELIEF. good, and was mighty in This may be because of prayer. Still his brethren 1. Prejudice. 2. Intellecdid not believe in Him.
tual pride. 3. Hardness of 2. The Lessons which our heart,
Scripture and Science .
(No. I.) SUBJECT: Science in Relation to the Tempter of Eve. It is not my intention just now to consider all the points of interest which are connected with the fall of man, though science throws considerable light upon some of them. The fact of the temptation and fall; the way in which it was brought about; its immediate effect upon the temporal and spiritual condition of Adam and Eve; the extent and the nature of its influence upon mankind in general, and especially upon the animal and vegetable kingdoms, and the physical conditions of the earth, must be left for future consideration. At present let us confine our attention to the tempter. Notice,
I. THE DESCRIPTION GIVEN, IN THE MOSAIC NARRATIVE, OF THE TEMPTER OF Eve.
1. The tempter was known, when the record was made, as the Nachash. 2. It was distinguished from all the beasts of the field by (a) belonging to a different class of animals, or beings, or (6) by being superior to any of them in intelligence, and especially in craft. It was remarkably skilful. The Hebrew word, 'arum, rendered subtil in our authorised version, denotes that which is high, from ram, lofty, or high. Hence
it refers to that which is lofty physically—a mountain; to that which is lofty mentally_(a) the proud, and hence, wicked; and, (6) the wise or crafty. Symmachus and Aquila render it wicked avoüpyos, and the Targum of the Pseudo Jonathan has, “ hakkim le bish, wise in reference to evil.” The Septuagint, however, have opovluctatos, most prudent. Onkelos and Saadiah understood the word in the same sense, and the word is used in a good sense in Prov. xii. 16, 23 ; xiii. 16. In any case, we must conclude from the narrative, that the Nachash was a being, animal or otherwise, which was noted for its wickedness or for its wisdom.
3. The Nachash had also the gift of speech, if the narrative be one of an objective historic occurrence. If the tempter was seen, then, no doubt, words were heard. If, however, the narrative records what never was in an objective form, but was a mere subjective phenomenon, then the tempter was neither seen nor heard, nor did it belong to the animal creation; still was it capable of originating in the mind of Eve a train of thought.
4. The object of the creature mentioned as the tempter was to lead Eve to sin, and so determined was he to accomplish his vile purpose, that he misrepresented God, and made a false assertion, “ Ye shall not surely die, for God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof ... ye shall be as gods.” 5. God's heaviest curse came upon the tempter, the Nachash (ver. 14). 6. A change was apparently effected in the physical structure of the Nachash, as well as in its food. “ Upon its belly” it was to go, and “dust” was to be its food all the days of its life (verso 14). 7. An inveterate hatred has existed ever since the fall of man, between mankind and the offspring of the tempter (verse 15). 8. The posterity of the tempter have be destroyed by the seed of the woman, while the latter is to be injured by the former. In 1 Cor. xi. 3, St. Paul refers to the tempter as the Ophis, or serpent, evidently using the word which he found in the Septuagint as a translation of Nachash, è opus. We may now consider,
II. SOME OF THE MOST POPULAR INTERPRETATIONS GIVEN MOSAIC NARRATIVE.
1. The first explanation supposes the narrative to be an allegory, the serpent denoting propensity to evil (Phillipson), or mere pleasure (Philo, Clemens Alex., &c.), or onesided and uninformed understanding (Bunsen). In this explanation the tree, the garden, and the serpent had no objective existence; they were mere symbols or pictorial representations of mental states, or modes, acts, or desires. Science has no fault to find with this explanation, for by it the whole narrative is removed from the field of science. There are great objections however to this interpretation, each having weight by itself, but all, when taken together, necessitate its rejection. Among these may be men
tioned (a) the fact that St. Paul speaks of the serpent (1 Cor. xi. 3) and the temptation, as if the narrative in Genesis was in every sense historic. (6) There is no reference, in any part of Scripture, to any allegorical record of the fall ; (c) nor is there the slighest clue, in any part, to the meaning of the fable, if such it is. But the chief objection to this explanation is, (d) that it destroys the historic character of the whole Book of Genesis, and makes it equal, in point of fact, to “Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress," in which case Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Enoch and Noah, Abraham and Lot, Isaac and Jacob, the Deluge, the destruction of Sodom, the famine in Canaan, and the fame of Joseph, are fictitious names and occurrences, having no more reality than Pliable and Obstinate, Help and Worldly Wiseman, the Slough of Despond, and Doubting Castle. If the narrative of the fall be fictitious, such must be that of the creation, the biography of the sons of Adam, and all other events recorded in the book of Genesis, as there is not a word anywhere in the book to distinguish the allegorical from the historical.
The symbolical explanation seems to me to have originated in the difficulty of giving a rational interpretation to the narrative, combined with the tendency which characterized the early interpreters to find in every historic record a mystical meaning.
2. The second explanation to be mentioned, is that which supposes the tempter to be a literal serpent and nothing more. This explanation has arisen from (a) the absence, in the narrative, of any specific or definite reference to any being but the serpent, (6) from the absence of any hint as to the duality of the tempter, and (c) chiefly from the fact that the greater part of the curse came upon the animal. This would have been unjust, and therefore impossible, if the serpent had been the unconsenting instrument of another being.
Notwithstanding all this, the explanation must be rejected, because the narrative attributes to the serpent what is not found to belong to any mere animal, such as extraordinary skill or craft, the gift of reason and of speech, as well as a wicked desire to lead Eve into sin.
3. The third explanation supposes the whole narrative in Genesis to refer to this individual serpent alone as a duality—as “possessed of the devil.” This serpent has become a demoniac, like the swine of the Gadarines. This reptile was an incarnation of the evil spirit. It was animated by Satan, as Baalam's ass was by the angel of the Lord. Milton represents the serpent as meeting Eve in her solitary walk and speaking to her. The reasoning woman being surprised at the speaking and reasoning power of the snake, asked the cause of it, and was told that the power was imparted by the tree of knowledge.
“To pluck and eat my fill