Page images
PDF
EPUB

Now as to the Millennium, this, at iron; and dashed them in pieces leasi, may be urged in favour of like the potter's vessel ? Such Mr. Penn's system over Mr. Fa- times are calculated (may it please ber's. If it be argued, that the pas. God they have that effect!) to make sage from whence that doctrine is the most deep, lasting, and general mainly derived (viz. Rev x8. 2, 3.) devout impression. We may, then, should be taken literally-it will be reasonably conclude them to have the only passage in the book of Re- been as worthy a subject of provelations só taken: if figuratively, phecy as other periods of the world Mr. Penn's notion is surely plausi- which we know to have been so, ble and rational. One only remarks and which, to all appearance, did have yet to make upon his explana- not exceed these in religious imtion of Ezekiel's great prophury, portance. which lies on the surface. Mr. Penn

M. J. A. thus renders ver. 5. of chap. xxxix. “ Thou shalt fall upon the face of the field, for I the Lord bave spoken Tothe Editor of the Christian Observer. it.” That verse, also, is cited by Mr. Peon in his notes, but without a sin

Oxford, May 12, 1814. gle observation ;-a blank is merely Sir,—The omission in the Arabic left after those words, as if for Bible, to which your correspondent effect. Does that gentleinan mean

T. S. has called the attention of your that it has been fulfilled, or that it readers (No. for April, p. 214), is the remains to be so--and he will not

more remarkable, because it is not, have the presumption to guess how?

as he supposes, an error of the press. If " thou” applies to the individual That Bible is a republication of the Gog, Napoleon ought (according versiou in the London Polyglot, to Mr. Penn) to have fallen himself which is copied from that of Paris; in the Russian expedition, but if it and the omission, therefore, is to be merely signifies • thy power,” that traced up to the manuscript from power bas unquestionably been bro- which that text is derived. The ken—in the face of the whole earth Arabic Testament quoted by T. S.

- by means little less than miracu. was published by the Society for lous.

promoting Christian Knox: ledge, in I trouble you, sir, with these ob. 1727, and is likewise taken from servations, io excite discussion on

the Polyglot; but as it was corrected this very interesting subject. Some, by its editor, Solomon Negri, it can I am aware, there are, who hold be of no authority. Nor is more that real, practical, religion is little respect due to the Arabic Bible benefited by speculations on the printed at Rome, 1671, for the prophecies. By injudicious specu. use of the Oriental Christians, in Jations, it is not likely to be ad- which Avocatodis215 is translated , . (

as has been well observed by one of the writers before alluded to) the yasrokunu'nnasi, “they who steal fascination of supposing mighty men;" since that text was avowedly predictions conspleied in our own accommodated to that of the Vui. times, canoot be too cautiously gate. However, in a Copto-Arabic guarded against-on the other side, Lectionary, in the Bodleian Library the hand of God may be manifest! Hunt. 43, it is rendered with critical Portentous events may arise, which attention to the primary meaning cannot but arrest the Christian's of the original word,“ they who attention! For more than twenty trade in freemen," jst w.. years past, has not the Lord em. phatically shaken all nations? Has Yabyoauno 'lahbrar, and in the Nes be not ruled them with a rod of Testament, published by Erpenius, it is CHRIST, OWERY. No. 151.

31

ON THE CONDUCT OF RELIGIOUS CHA

RACTERS TO THEIR PARENTS.

translated just live concerned while ferize our filial deportment.-We Alladheino yasrokuno 'bna ’labhrar, is morally certain that the irreligious " those who steal the children of free parent will animadvert, and severemen."

ly too, upon the change which reliI am, Sir,

gion has effected in his son*, almost Your obedient bumble servant, as soon as he discovers it. ConT. D. MACBRIDE. templating his strange doctrines (for

they are strange indeed to him),

and the alteration in his conduct and For the Christian Observer. disposition, the parent may realize

the picture drawn by Archbishop Leighton, in some part of his Com

mentary on St. Peter:- When a * Freely ye have received, freely son or a daughter," says be, "in a give," is a principle deeply in- family, begins to inquire after God, scribed upon the Christian heart. and withdraws from their profane or No sooner do we become experi- dead way, what a clamour is prementally acquainted with the value sently raised against him! Oh, of religion than we desire others to my son, or daughter, is become a participate in its blessings. Here, plain fool!"" But, whatever be oftentimes

, our tender sympathies the language of the parent, whether discover a peculiar field for their it be more or less irritating than that exercise and gratification ; namely, which the Archbishop has put into when our beloved parents happen his mouth, he cannot aliogether to be insensible to the importance suppress his objections to his son's and blessedness of piety. In such a enthusiastic piety, or his apprehencase as this, the Christian naturally sions as to its baneful consequences. yearns over the souls that are ready And he will thus put the relito perish; and forms the niost glow- gious spirit of his son to no ordinary ing association of parental kindness, trial. and parental happiness. In short, If, happily, in the foregoing case, his heari's desire and prayer to God the son should take a lesson from for his parents is, that they might be Him who was meek and lowly of saved.

heart; and should manifest, in bis The zeal here described is highly reply, a due respect for the opinions to be commended. It is the genuine and feelings of his parent, it is fruit of Divine grace. Neverthe- impossible to say how favourable an less, its ardour has not been inva- impression he may produce. Let riably governed by prudence, or him assure his parent that he feels tempered by charity. The un indebted for that kind intention happy consequence has been an in- which may have dictated the anicreased enmity in the parent to true madversion he has received ; that religion : he has perversely judged he desires to harmonize on the of it by the failings of its advocate, solemn topic of religion with one and has accordingly resisted its who has the strongest claim to his claims to bis regard.

affection; that he is most ready to On this account it is that I beg be taught by him; and that he leave to submit the following rules wishes to be rescued from error, if to those readers of “the Christian he has ignorantly, or inadvertently, Observer” who are solicitous to embraced it, and to tread the path engage their parents to flee from the of truth. Let him also shun the wrath to come, and to lay hold on appearance of a reprover, or even eternal life.

an instructor, of one whom God bas 1. The spirit of meekness" ought,

The suggestions are equally applicable to under all circumstances, to charace both sexes.

commanded him to honour; offer- unseasonable appeal to the Oracles ing no other hints on the nature of Truth may be proposed. Or, and importance of religion than by the injudicious recommendation what are necessarily involved in the of religious books, the pious son may viodication of his own views. By still unhappily defeat the object he thus replying to his parent, he can pursues. Surely he is bound by, scarcely fail to smooth the asperity ihe ties both of natural and Christian of prejudice; and may, through affection, by his daily prayer for the Divine grace, excite a spirit of calm salvation of his parents, by the and dispassionate inquiry. At any example and the love of Christ, to rate, there will be nothing lost, if proceed cautiously and considerately there be nothing. actually gained, in these respects. At the same time, by this meek and respectful de- when a fair opportunity presents meanour. The parent will, at least, itself, it may be useful for him to not be repelled at the threshold, hint, respectfully and affectionately, even if he be not induced to enter that the Scriptures are to be referred the temple of Christianity.

to as the standard of religion ; that The meekness for which we are he himself will readily be tried by contending will appear the more this; and abandon, through God's necessary, when it is remembered assistance, whatever is contrary to what further trials of temper the their decision. If by this sugges. religious son may have to undergo. tion he should induce his parent to His temper may be tried by the “search the Scriptures,” in order to occasional impatience and untoward ascertain, like the Bereans of old bumours of his parent: perhaps the (Acts xvii. 11.), whether these things Jatter is galled by some grievous are so, he will have set his parent in disappointment; harassed by a press the high road (if we may so express of worldly business; visited with the it) to truth, to holiness, and happitediousness of disease, or the se

And when we recollect how verity of pain. Or he may be many distinguished Christians of the heavy laden with the infirmities of present day owe their religion, age; and threatened by the ap- under God, to an impartial study of proach of death, which has no glad his Word alone, the study of ihat Lidings for bis ear. Vexed, com- Word is little likely to be unproplaining, irritable, he may frequent- ductive in the case before us. The ly be betrayed into vehemence and parent, we may suppose, is indiganger. And these feelings are like- naut as he hears it asserted that all ly to be strengthened by consider are “ miserable sinners," without ing the religious system of his son, hope or help bul in Christ. He opposed as it is to his own views opens the Bible*, to determine and inclinations. But if, on such whether this be truth or error. He trying occasions, his son should be discovers there, that " alt hare restrained and governed by “the sinned;" that the blood of Jesus Spirit of Christ;” if he should re- Christ cleanseth us from all sin ; turn patience for impatience, kind- and that no one cometh to the Father ness for unkindness, may he not but by Christ. These, or similar shus overcome evil by good; and passages, meeting the parent's eye, constrain his parent to acknowledge, in his perusal of the Sacred Volume, in this one instance at least, the might have the same ettect, through excellence and power of piety? the influence of the Spirit of God,

2. Prudence is here peculiarly which, we are told, the study of the needful.-For want of this import

* This supposition will appear far from ant quality, an unseasonable remark

extravagant to those who have observed how may be made in our conversation, or seldom the Bible is opened by the generality correspondence with our parents, of men, and even by men who are outwardly on the subject of religion; or an moral in their conduct.

ness.

Word of Truth produced some time secret of its author, he had already since, in the case of a distinguishell so 'effectually dispersed, by the Jew. He translated part of the extractshe had set before them, their New Testament into Hebrew, for the prejudices against the work. that sake of disproving the Messiahship ihey bestowed on it a patient, and, of Jesus Christ; and, in the very it may be hoped, a profitable peattempt, he became a convert to rusal. Christianity.

Prudence and discretion are further The prudence and discretion I necessary in the case I am consider. have recommended will be particu- ing, in order to distinguish between larly shewn, in the judicious choice an innocent and a criminal accomof religious books. Law's “Serious modation to parental wishes. It is Call,” which has in some cases pro- obvious to every one acquainted duced the happiest conviction of the with Scripture, that the province of supreme importance of religion, in parents is to cominand: that of others have known to be so ill children to obey. Nevertheless, received as to occasion a greater there is evidently a point, beyond alienation of mind than ever to the which filial obedience cannot law. subject of which it treats. This fully extend; namely, when it inunhappy effect is, indeed, partly 10 terferes with the revealed will of be imputed to that severity which God. When the parent issues a pervades the valuable work of command, that clearly militates Mr. Law, and which is too little against this sacred rule, then and relieved by the glad tidings of the then only, can his child plead es. Gospel. But it shews that much emption from the duty of obediscrimination should be employed dience; for whoso loveth father or in adapting books to the state of mother more than me, is not worthy of mind of the person to whom they me. Let the son carefully rememare given. Even our Lord con ber this most important difference; sidered what his disciples were able and while he resolves, through to bear. The son, iberefore, should Divine grace, to render to his Heainvite his parent's attention to such venly Father that supreme obedience books as are least likely to oflend which is due to Him, let him consult his prejudices, while they are calm the wishes of his parent with soliculated both to convince his under- citude and affection, and scrupustanding and affect his heart; and Jously avoid every unnecessary dewhile, at the same time, they faith- viation from them. fully declare the whole counsel of We may suppose, for example, God.

that an irreligious parent may proI will here introduce an anecdote, pose to his son some undertaking which seems appropriate. A person which may offend bis spiritual taste, wished to prevail upon his family to and cross his inclinations; or which Tead Mr. Wilberforce's "Practical may break in upon his hour of View," &c. Knowing, however, study and meditation. In this case, that they regarded it as a danger- let the son conscientiously considerous, because (as they supposed) an Is this proposal contrary to the will enthusiastic, publication, and that of God? If it be not, the son is they had on this account refused to bound, no less by policy than duty, peruse it; he, one day, took up the 10 comply with it. By such an book, without naming the author, accommodation, we know not wbat and read aloud to them some of its good impression the parent may most striking passages. The family receive of the kindness and discre. circle were delighted with what tion of his son ; or how instrumental they heard, and became impatient this may prove to the conversion of to read the book ; and, even when his soul. But where the distinction he disclosed to them the appalling now pointed at is overlooked by

religious persons; and where they NOLY LIFE," we had almost said, coniend with their parents as ear who shall be able to withstand nestly for points that are not essen- it? Let him, therefore, first distial as fur points that are, they cover his religion to his unen. cannot fail to do a great injury to lightened parent by a marked atthe cause of religion.

tention to his wishes: by a sacrifice 3. Consistency of conduct is of of his opinions on unimportant: the utmost importance in the case points, and by a meek and modest I am considering.- Whatever be maintenance of them on such points the meekness of the son in bear as are important; and by a wakeing reproof and provocation, or his ful solicitude for the happiness of wisdoin in conciliating prejudice, him to whom he owes so much. consistency of conduct will be, Let him afford this evidence of the after all, the chief instrument in transforming influence of piety; promoting the everlasting welfare and he may constrain his parent to of his parents. Without this proof exclaim, Almost thou persuadest of their genuineness, his professions me to be a Christian !” And, if his will be regarded as a mere pretence, religious son should have been and his zeal at least as enehusiasm; “ heady, high-minded," " disobeand it may be expected that the dient to parents," before his more discovery of inconsistency in the serious profession; and if, subsequent son's conduct will tend to destroy to this,' he should l'ar surpass the all that respect for his religious other members of his family in views which may have been im- every opposite and amiable quality, pressed on the parent's mind. When the parent will naturally compare he sees that the conduct and the the present and the past behaviour profession do not harmonize; when of his son : he will contrast his conihe world is loudly condemned, yet duct with that of his less dutiful eagerly pursued ; when the talk is children; and his beart may thus of heaven, but the heart on earth; be opened to the reception of the and especially when the son's de- truth as it is in Jesus. portment does not exhibit the lovely Nor is it of slight importance features, of kindness, gentleness, that the religious son manifest that and the cheerful surrender of selfish serenity and composure, that peace inclinations, the parent will 100 and even joy which marked the quickly turn such inconsistency into first followers of Jesus Christ, and a conclusive argument against all which are among the invaluable religious profession. He will scarce- fruits wrought in us by the Holy Jy be prevailed upon to drink at a Spirit. Boih inward peace

and outfountain which, to all appearance, ward cheerfulness ought, on every yields such bitter waters. And here account, 10 be cultivated with the we may remark, what an afflicting utmost diligence and with perseverrecollection must it be to a son, that ing prayer.

For what is the comhis own unhappy departure from the mon construction put on a gloomy spirit of religion may have raised countenance and depressed spirits an obstacle to the salvation of his in the religious ? It is, that reliparent, by shutting bis heart against gion has darkened the one, and ihe word of Christ.

weighed down the other. An opBut, on the other hand, when a posite appearance may produce an change of profession is attended opposite conclusion; and the sewith a change of conduct; when the renity and cheerfulness of the son actions speak yet more powerfully may have the effect of attracting than the tongue, that a man is born

the parent into the path of pleasantof God; when the son thus exer ness and peacecises what Archbishop Leighton so Allure to brighter worlds, and lead the Gilly terms “ THE RUETORIC OF A way.

« PreviousContinue »