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the blessings of the gospel, both received and to be received, belong to us, and shall be eventually enjoyed by us. Yet how is the nature of assurance to be ascertained? How to be distinguished from presumption? It is a fact, O my soul, that the sanctification of my heart is essential! Paul says, "I have a conscience void of offence, both towards God and towards man." "Without boliness, no man shall see the Lord!" But can a man, by the energy of his own mind, arrive at this blessed assurance? Nay, it is "the Spirit who beareth witness with our spirits, that we are born of God." The sun-dial will not tell the hour at night; the sun must first arise and shine: so the Sun of Righteousness must arise upon us: then, and not till then, can we tell our true state before God. "God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause his face to shine upon us, before Ephraim and Manasseh shine forth; lift upon us, O Lord, the light of thy countenance!" I H. C.

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THE difficulty in' this passage arises from the seeming reference of the comparative more sure, to the heavenly voice mentioned in ver. 18. How can the word of prophecy be more certain than the voice of the divine Father in the holy mount?

This difficulty ceases when we consider that the use of the comparative degree, in the sense of the superlative, is authorized by the purest classics, as well as in several passages of the New Testament. There is, therefore, no comparison intended between the certainty of the prophetic Scriptures and that of the voice from Heaven. The former is introduced merely as an additional ground of certainty and confirmation of faith. "We have not followed cunningly devised fables, — we ourselves were eye-witnesses of his majesty, and we heard such a voice from the excellent glory; we have also the most sure word of prophecy."

Mr. Marklandes the passage a different turn, retaining the proper force of the comparative word: "This voice, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased we heard in the mount; and we have, by that means, the words of the prophet more fully confirmed." That BiBaótigos and προφητικός λόγος μe most strictly capable of being thus translated, is shown by this excellent scholar, from the practice of the best Greek writers.

See, in the original, Mat. xi. 11. xiii. 32. xviii, 1, 4,
Taken from Isa. xlii. 1.

Xil. 13.


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[Abridged from King's Morsels of Criticism, Note (*) p. 601—605.]

To the Editor.

Sir, INCLOSED, you have an Extract from the Rev. Dr. Erskine's Sketches and Hints of Church-History, &c. vol. ii. p 299.1 - As the Defence of the History of Jonah is treated in a novel manner, and contains arguments that some characters will alone admit, you would greatly oblige one of your readers by inserting it in the Evangelical Magazine; which, doubtless, frequently falls into the hands of those that are led astray by the errors broached at this day.


THE History of Jonah, though by some carped at and turned into ridicule, contains nothing inconsistent with the soundest philosophy and experience; for,

1st, Though a whale, properly so called, has so sinall a gullet that it could not possibly swallow a man; yet we ought to consider, that the word Ketos does not necessarily mean a whale, as distinguished from other large fishes, but only a great sea-monster; of which there are some, the shark among the rest, very capable of swallowing a man whole, and which have often done so. A very remarkable fish was taken on our own coast, though probably it was not of the full size, and therefore could not contain the body of a man; but other of its species very well might. A print and curious description of it, by Mr J. Ferguson, may be seen in the Philosophical Transactions, vol. liii. p. 170; from which even this small one appears to have been near five feet in length, and of great bulk; and to have merely, as it were, one vast bag, or great hollow tube, capable of containing the body of any animal, of size that was but in some small degree inferior to its own. Unquestionably, such a kind of fish, and of still larger dimensions, may, consistently even with the most correct ideas of any natural historian, be supposed to have occasionally appeared in the Mediterranean, as well as on our own coasts, where such a one was caught, having come up so far as the Bristol Channel and King's Road.

edly, A man may continue in the water, in some instances, without being drowned. Derham tells us, that some have the foramen ovale of the heart remaining open all their lives, though, in most, it is closed very soon after birth; and that such persons as have the foramen ovale so left open, could neither be hanged nor drowned; because, when the lungs cease to play, the blood will nevertheless continue to circulate, Just as it does in à fœtus in the womb. Though Mr. Chesel

Physico-Theology, book iv. cap. 7, note, p. 158, 159, 12mo.

den doubted of this fact; yet Mr. Cowper, the anatomist, says he often found the foramen open in adults: and gives some curious instances. Mr. Derham mentions several persons who were many hours and days under water, and yet recovered; and one who even retained the sense of hearing in that state. Dr. Plott* mentions a person who survived and lived, after having been hanged at Oxford for the space of twenty hours, before she was cut down. The fact is notorious; and her pardon, reciting this circumstance, is extant on record. Ray on the Creation, p. 230, observes, "That having the foramen ovale of the heart open, enables some animals to be amphibious." Where then is the absurdity in conceiving that Jonah might have been a person of this kind, having the foramen ovale of his heart continuing open from his birth to the end of his days? in which case he could not be drowned, either by being cast into the sea, or by being swallowed up by the fish.

Sdly, Neither could Jonah be injured by the digesting fluid in the fish's stomach; for Mr. J. Hunter observes, "That no arimal substance can be digested by the digesting fluid usually existing in animal stomachs, while life remains in such animal substances. Animals," says he, " or parts of animals, pos sessed of the living principle, when taken into the stomach, are not in the least affected by the powers of that viscus, so long as the animal principle remains. Thence it is that we find animals of various kinds living in the stomach, or even hatched or bred there; but the moment that any of these lose the living principle, they become subject to the digestive powers of the stomach. If it were possible for a man's hand, for example, to be introduced into the stomach of a living animal, and kept there for some considerable time, it would be found, that the dissolvent powers of the stomach could have no effect upon it; but if the same band were separated from the body, and introduced into the same stomach, we should then find that the stomach would immediately act upon it. Indeed, if this were not the case, we should find that the stomach itself ought to have been inade of indigestible materials; for if the living principle were not capable of preserving animal substances from undergoing that process, the stomach itself would be digested. But we find, on the contrary, that the stomach, which, at one instant, that is, while possessed of the living principle, was capable of resisting the digestive powers which it contained the next moment, viz. when deprived of the living principle, is itself capable of being digested, either by the digestive powers of other stomachs, or by the remains of that power which it had of digesting other

History of Staffordshire, p. 293.

things*" Consistently with the observations of Mr. Hunter, we find that smaller fishes have been taken alive out of the stomachs of fishes of prey; and (not having been killed by any bite, or otherwise) have survived their being devoured, have swam away well recovered, and very little affected by the digesting fluid. Two instances of this kind are mentioned by Dr. Plott ; and many others might be added.

There appears, therefore, nothing unphilosophical or absurd, in supposing that Jonah (or indeed any other man, having the foramen ovule of the heart open, or such a construction of his frame as those persons mentioned by Derham had) might be cast into the sea, and be swallowed up whole by a great fish, and yet be neither drowned, nor bitten, nor corrupted, nor digested, nor killed; and it will easily follow, from the dictates of common sense, that, in that case, the fish itself must either die, or be prompted by its feelings to get rid of its load; and this it perhaps might do more readily near the shore than in the midst of the waters; and in that case, such person would certainly recover again, by degrees, and escape. I acknowledge, there must have been a miraculous divine interposition in causing all the circumstances of the presence of the fish, of the formation of Jonab, and of the nearness of the shore at the time of his being thrown up, to concur rightly to effect his deliverance; and how much farther the miraculous interposition might extend, we cannot, nor ought, to presume to ascertain; but, solely to show the fact to be philosophically possible, even according to the experience we are permitted to be acquainted with, is sufficient to remove and fully to answer the objections of scoffers.

Philosophical Transactions, vol. Ixii. p. 449. + History of Staffordshire, p. 246.

The Servant is not greater than his Lord.

THE primary design of the ever blessed Son of God, in. assuming humanity, and in yielding himself up to the death of the cross, was undoubtedly to expiate the offences of his elect, and to furnish them with a perfect robe of righteousness; but while this must be confessed to be a truth of immense consequence, as lying at the very foundation of our everlasting welfare, it should not be forgotten that he confirmed the doctrines he inculcated by his own immaculate example: an example which he has left us, that we should follow his steps. To what part of our Redeemer's history can we turn our attention, without the liveliest emotions of admi

ration and delight? What amiable instances do we behold of patience, of meekness, of resignation, of ardent concern for the glory of his heavenly Father, and of unwearied benevolence to the bodies and the souls of men! The law of kindness dwelt upon his lips: he went about doing good. Wherever he advanced, Misery and Disease fled at his approach; and the solicitous multitude received from his benignant hand the richest favours," without money and without price." But when we view him retired from the clamorous throng, seated in condescending majesty, surrounded by his affectionate disciples, and giving them his gracious lessons, how superlatively amiable does his character appear! What a remarkable action is that which is related in this chapter! Jesus has now in view his approaching scene of suffering, of conflict, and of triumph. He has just ended the celebration of the last supper with his beloved, though faithless followers. He perceives that, notwithstanding the instructions he has repeatedly given them on the subject of his spiritual kingdom, they are still looking up to him as a deliverer from temporal vassalage; and too prone to contend with each other on the point of superiority in that empire which they expected him to erect. To repress a spirit so highly unbecoming in itself, and so fatally pernicious in its consequences, behold the expedient which our blessed Saviour adopted: he rises from table, he pours water into a bason, he girds himself with a towel, and begins to wash the disciples' feet! Peter, whose heart was shocked at the supposed indignity, at first refuses to submit ; but on our Lord's assuring him, that, unless this were done, he should have no part with him, eagerly exclaims, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head." Jesus having finished the solemnity, resumes his garments and his seat; and now, what is the improvement he makes of an action apparently so opposite to the dignity of his character! "Know ye," says he," what I have done to you? Ye call me Master and Lord; and ye say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.' Then, adds he, in a manner most emphatical and striking, " Verily, verily, I say unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord."

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We shall not attempt to prove the truth of this assertion; because it is self-evident and undeniable: we shall only point out a few inferences, which are plainly deducible from the words.

1st, Is it true that the servant is not greater than his Lord? Then let him cultivate a spirit of meekness and humility. As Pride is, of all vices, the most universally detestable, so there is nothing more conciliating and amiable than genuine Humility. I say genuine humility; for there is an affected grimace of

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