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way of knowing any thing respect- and perishing world, proceeded ing his being and perfections, the step by step, waxing brighter and duties we owe to him, or the bless- brighter, to the perfect day, ings or punishments which we may « At sundry times," says the expect at his hands ? Surely such a Apostle. Thus, in paradise, he adrevelation of his will, must be most dressed our first parents after their important to our best welfare. Now fall, pointing out a remedy for their the object of the Bible is to tell us sin and misery, in that “ Seed of that God hath spoken, and what it the woman who should bruise the is that he has disclosed. We are serpent's head." Thus, in the times not left in ignorance on this most of the patriarchs, he spake to Abramomentous subject, or consigned ham, disclosing to him, that in him to the uncertain conjectures of our
should all the nations of the earth own imagination. That he has be blessed ; by means of the prospoken, is proved by arguinentsmised Messiah, who was to spring which cannot be shaken. For whò, from him, and “whose day Abraham but the omniscient Being can tell saw, and was glad.” Thus again, the end from the beginning ? Yet under the Mosaic dispensation, he this has been done in the numerous revealed to Daniel the time, and prophecies of holy writ; prophecies to Isaiah the manner, of his birth ; recorded long before the events to to Micah, the place of his nativity; which they related happened, and and to several of the Prophets, with with a minuteness which shewed more or less clearness, his Divine that the communication came from nature, his incarnation, his rightehim who “worketh all things ac- ousness, his sufferings, his obedience cording to the counsel of his own unto death for the sins of mankind, will.” Who again, but the Almighty, and the glories of his mediatorial can change the course of nature; kingdom, as the Conqueror over can even raise the dead to life? yet every enemy, and the Ruler in his such miracles have been wrought, church, which he should purchase to attest that he has spoken. We with his own blood. have not then followed cunningly
" In divers manners" also, says devised fables, in believing that the the Apostle. Thus, it is declared Bible contains his message to man- that in those ancient times, “ God kind: for he has given us undeniable speaketh in a dream, in a vision of evidence, that in that sacred volume the night, when deep sleep falleth is contained the authentic declara- on man; then he openeth the ears tion of his will; so that we are with- of men, and sealeth their instrucout excuse, if we reject what he tion :” and again, by a voice from has so mercifully communicated heaven, of which several instances to us.
are recorded in the sacred writings: Secondly, This will appear still and again, in some mysterious manmore forcibly, if we consider the ner, by what was called Urim and medium of his communication; for, Thummim, in which way David and after having, at sundry times and others inquired the will of God; in divers manners, spoken in time but more frequently perhaps by past by the Prophets, he hath, under direct impressions on the minds of the Christian dispensation, spoken his servants the Prophets, who spake to mankind by his own Son. Never, and wrote as they were moved by in any age or nation, did he leave the Holy Ghost. himself without a witness in the But still, the light, though difconsciences of his intelligent crea- fused through various channels, and tures; but his successive revelations sufficiently bright for the purposes of himself, and particularly with for which it was intended, was not regard to the inestimable gift of his seen in its full splendour till the Son, for the redemption of a sinful Sun of Righteousness arose upon Christ. OBSERV, No. 300.
our benighted world. But, “God the Apostle says, that " he hath hath in these last days spoken to himself purged our sins;" that is, by us by his Son," who " hath brought the infinitely meritorious offering of life and immortality to light by his himself as a victim on our behalf. Gospel.” All that prophets fore. From which the sacred writer protold, or types prefigured, respecting ceeds to speak of the glory of his the redemption of mankind, has now exaltation in his mediatorial kingbeen accomplished. A revelation dom; for having performed the has been made to us of the will of work which he had undertaken, "he God, and the means of salvation, sat down on the right hand of the not in emblems and shadows, but majesty on high," to dispense to in the plainest declarations of Him mankind those invaluable gifts who spake as never man spake;" which he had purchased with his not through the medium of inspired own blood. He became “the Meprophets or Levitical priests, men of diator of the new covenant ;” and like passions with ourselves, but the Head over all things to his through a Prophet who taught by church." his own Divine authority, and a Thirdly. Such, then, being the Priest who offered up his own spot- proofs that God has spoken to us; less sacrifice for our transgressions. and such being the exalted characThe Apostle insists forcibly through- ter of the medium through which out this Epistle, upon this distin- he has addressed us, even his own guishing glory of the Christian dis- co-equal Son; it is most important pensation. In the very verses, for that we should inquire into the naexample, which follow our text, he ture of the communication which he urges the infinite power and ma- has been graciously pleased to make jesty of this heavenly Messenger. to us. It was for no slight cause He points out his personal glory; that the Son of God took upon him the dignity of his offices; the riches our nature; and “ being found in of his mercy; and his mediatorial fashion as a man, humbled himself exaltation. Of the first, his personal unto death, even the death of the greatness, his eternal Godhead, he cross.” He came to us, as guilty says,
that he “the brightness of and perishing creatures, to teach us the Father's glory, and the express our alienation from God; and to image of his person ;” according to work out, and to make known, and his own declaration, “ He that hath to apply to us, a redemption adeseen the Son, hath seen the Fa. quate to all our necessities. These ther :" from which fundamental things were not indeed unknown, in truth of Christianity, the Apostle greater or less degrees, to holy men goes on to shew, that not only was of old, by means of the successive Christ superior to Moses, but to revelations made to the world: but the highest of all created beings; this Divine Messenger gathered to “ For unto which of the angels said one point all the scattered rays of he at any time, Thou art my Son; truth, adding to them much that this day have I begotten thee;" was obscure before ; and not only but unto the Son he saith, Thy thus teaching mankind, and also throne, O God, is for ever and ever." exhibiting to them his all-perfect Of the dignity of his offices, the example, but atoning for their sins Apostle says, that "God hath ap- by his own blood, and purchasing pointed him to be heir of all things;" for them the gift of his Holy Spirit, that by him “ he made the worlds;" that they might truly turn unto God, and that “he upholds all things by and obey him in the Gospel of his the word of his power.” Of the Son. riches of his mercy, by which, even
Every part of the revealed word in his state of suffering upon earth, of God is true, and all its disclohe shone forth in unrivalled glory, sures are of unspeakable moment ;
whether he spake by the Prophets, down my life for my sheep;" “ As who went before Christ; or by the the Father hath loved me, so have Apostles, who followed him; and I loved you;" "I go to prepare a who, by means of his instructions, place for you, that where I am ye while incarnate upon earth, and by may be also ?” the special illumination of the Holy Fourthly. Seeing, then, that God Spirit, were enabled to explain and hath spoken to us; that the medium apply, in a very full and explicit of his communication is his own manner, the whole of the Gospel Divine Son, and that the message dispensation, especially the way of is of infinite moment to us; let us justification by faith in a crucified seriously inquire in what manner we Saviour, and the spiritual graces ought to receive it. “ If,” says the which are produced in consequence Apostle, in the chapter which folof our union to him. But had we lows that from which our text is only the recorded words of our taken, " the word spoken by anLord himself, there is no essential gels was stedfast, and every transarticle of Christian faith or duty gression of Moses's law received a which is not contained in them. just recompence of reward; how When God spake to us through shall we escape, if we neglect so his Son, he addressed us in the great salvation, which was first language of command and warning spoken by the Lord, and after conon the one hand, and of hope and firmed by them that heard him?" consolation on the other. What The dignity of the Messenger, the more awful than our Lord's denun. importance of the message, and ciations of the wrath of God against our own eternal interest in it, call every kind of sin ; his injunctions upon us to give to it the most dilito repentance; his representations gent attention. Our most sacred of the purity and extent of the duty, and our everlasting welfare, Divine law; and of our need of unite in calling upon us to lay to conversion, and becoming as little heart, what God has spoken to us. children, before we can enter the Shall he speak in vain ? Is he unakingdom of heaven? What more ble to execute his threatenings; or urgent than his exhortations to will he be unmindful of his promised practical duty; his command to us mercy? Can we neglect him with to love the Lord our God with all impunity; or seek him without reour heart, and our neighbour as ward ? He is a Lawgiver, a King, ourselves? And what more expli- and an omniscient Judge : shall we cit than his exhibition of the way then dare to provoke him? He is of salvation through him; what more a Father and a Benefactor; a God of comforting to the dejected penitent, infinite love and compassion : shall than his oft-repeated declarations: we then despise the riches of his “Come unto me, all ye that labour, forbearance and mercy ? He has and are heavy laden, and I will give shewn his willingness to be reyou rest ;" " If any man thirst, let conciled to us, by addressing us him come unto me and drink;" “ I through a Mediator, “ whom he alam the bread of life; he that cometh ways heareth ;” and who, having to me shall never hunger, and he died to expiate our sins, ever liveth that believeth on me shall never to make intercession for us before thirst;" “ I am the way, the truth, the throne of God. Through him and the life;" “ He that heareth my he commands us to repent of our word, and believeth on him that sent transgressions; to trust in the allme, hath everlasting life, and shall perfect sacrifice which he bas pronot come into condemnation;" “All vided for our pardon and acceptthat the Father hath given me shall ance with God; and to turn unto come to me, and him that cometh I him, that we may live. Through will in no wise cast out;" “ I lay him also he promises to receive us,
to renew us by his Holy Spirit, and of minute ancient date is subject to to make us his children, and heirs so many circumstances of variation, of an inheritance of joy and glory, that we must not wonder, if, from that fadeth not away. Through our imperfect knowledge, we somehim he commands us to live a new times meet with difficulties of this and holy life; being redeemed by nature in our critical investigations his blood, and purified by the im- into the sacred writings, which may parted graces of his Holy Spirit. perplex us, though without at all Let us then listen to, and obey, his weakening our belief in the truth invitation. If, says the Apostle, of the infallible page. “ he that despised Moses's law, The festival commenced on the died without mercy, of how much evening following the fourteenth sorer punishment shall he be thought day of the month Nizan. The day worthy, who hath trodden under preceding was called the Preparafoot the Son of God; and hath tion of the Passover ; and during it counted the blood of the covenant, no leavened bread might be used: wherewith he was sanctified, an un- hence, the fourteenth might be holy thing, and hath done despite called the first day of unleavened to the Spirit of his grace?” See bread, because the Passover began then that ye refuse not him that in the evening. The fifteenth day speaketh : “hear, and your souls also might be equally called the shall live :"
“ seek ye the Lord, first day of unleavened bread; since, while he may be found; and call ye according to Jewish calculation, the upon him while he is near: let the evening of the fourteenth was the wicked forsake his way, and the beginning of the fifteenth, on which unrighteous man his thoughts; and day the Jews began to eat unleavenlet him return unto the Lord, and ed bread. Some slight difference of he will have mercy upon him, and calculation also might occasionally to our God, for he will abundantly occur in determining the exact mo. pardon."
ment of the new moon, so as sometimes to make it in effect a day
earlier or later; and such a differTothe EditoroftheChristian Observer. ence it has been conjectured did
actually exist in the time of our I QUITE agree with your cor- Lord; our Saviour, with one part respondent A. B, C., that the re- of his countrymen, celebrating the mark so often made in Good-Friday Passover one day before the Pharisermons, that on the very day and sees. Even in the present advanced hour of the crucifixion, the Paschal state of science a calenderical difLamb was being offered, a striking ference of opinion recently occurred type of the great Antitype on Cal- in determining Easter, the Prayervary, is not borne out by Scrip- book rules and the Almanack ture. Our Lord celebrated the makers being a week at variance. Passover on the Thursday, and I It is not necessary for the present think it abundantly clear, that he purpose to prove, that this is the did not do so by anticipation, but true solution of the apparent disat the appointed time. Still, the crepancy in the Gospel narrative; apparently (certainly not really) dis- it not being of essential importance crepant statements in the Gospels, to determine the point; but the are not so satisfactorily adjusted very possibility is sufficient to shew as might be wished, by the argu- every reflecting person the folly of ments
urged by your correspondent. urging difficulties of this kind, as an There is another bypothesis, not argument against the correctness mentioned by him, which may either of the sacred Scriptures or deserve notice, as at least shewing, any other ancient writings. that the determination of questions
meddle with this work. NotwithTothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
standing, when I considered how I send you a copy of the address great pity it was that we should of Miles Coverdale to the reader, want it so long, I called to my reprefixed to his translation of the membrance the adversity of them, Bible, thinking it may prove an ac- which were not only of ripe knowceptable document for the Christian ledge, but would also with all Observer, from its antiquity, from their hearts have performed that the useful matter contained in it, they begun, if they had not had imand from its peculiar accordance pediments; considering (I say) that with the circumstances of the pre- by reason of their adversity it could sent times. Coverdale was a man not so soon have been brought to of great piety, diligence, and learn- an end, as our most prosperous naing, and was most deservedly ad- tion would fain have had it; these vanced by King Edward VI. to the and other reasonable causes consee of Exeter. His Bible was first sidered, I was the more bold to printed in 1535. It was the first take it in hand. And to help me English Bible allowed by royal au- herein, I have had sundry translathority, and the first translation of tions, not only in Latin, but also in the whole Bible printed in the other languages, whom, because of English language. His views and their singular gifts and special diliplans in the execution of his arduous gence in the Bible, I have been work will be best seen from the glad to follow according as I have following address, and need not been required. But, to say the truth therefore be anticipated. There before God, it was neither my lawere two subsequent impressions, in bour nor desire to have this work 1550 and 1553, which are all the put in my hand; nevertheless it editions which are known to have grieved me that other nations should been published. It was on occa- be more plenteously provided for sion of the first printing of this with the Scripture in their mother translation, that the royal injunc- tongue, than we in ours; therefore, tion was published for providing in when I was instantly required (though every church a copy of the whole I could not do so well as I would), Bible, both in Latin and English, I thought it yet my duty to do to lie open for the perusal of the my best, that the Scripture might public.
wholly come forth in English. The late Apocryphal controversy Whereas some men think now having called special attention to the many translations make divithe early translations and editions sion in the faith, and in the people of our English Bible, it may be pro- of God; that is not so, for it was per to observe, that Coverdale, in his never better with the congregation remarks on the value of the different of God, than when every church books of Scripture, enumerates only almost had the Bible of a sundry the canonical books. He says no- translation. Among the Greeks, thing of the merits of the Apocrypha. had not Origen a special trans
J. A. lation ? Had not Bulgarius one
peculiar, and likewise Chrysostom: Miles Coverdale to the Christian beside the Seventy interpreters, is Reader.
there not the translation of Aquila, Considering how excellent know- of Theodotian, of Symmachus, and ledge and learning an interpreter of sundry others? Again, among of Scripture ought to have in the the Latin men, thou findest that tongues, and pondering also mine every one almost used a special own ipsufficiency therein, and how and sundry translation ; for in so weak I am to perform the office of a much as every bishop had the translator, I was the more loth to knowledge of the tongues, he gave