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hold in the day of trouble, and he knoweth them that trust in him.' Nabum i, 3–7. And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee; for thou wast angry with me; thine anger is turned away, and thou hast comforted me!' Is. xii. 1. Upon a different application of the same general principle, the varied dispensations of God's righteous providence towards his sincere yet imperfect people are represented by similar expressions, yet all referring to modes and effects of the divine administration. 'O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away!" Dan ix. 16. "Thus sairh thy Lord, Jehovah, even thy God who pleadeth the cause of his people, Behold, I have taken out of thine band the cup of trembliog, the dress of the cup of my fury; thou shalt pot drink it any more.' Is. li. 22. Yet we are not warranted to goderstand such passages as these, as indicating a real change in God; any more than we should be to believe that he is the subject of hope, of fear, of precarious expectation, of wishes, of disappointment, and of regrets, because, in condescension of human infirmity, and to the state of mental culture in the infancy of the human race, the external forms of the divine dispensations are described in language borrowed from those affections in men : e. g. Gen. ii. 19. iii. 22. vi. 6. Deut. xxxii. 19, 27, 29. Is. v. 4, and many other passages.

The change by which a guilty and polluted sinner becomes freed from the sentence of condemnation, pardoned, regarded with complacency, and qualified for the noblest employments and delights, is not in God; but it is in the relations under which the sinner stands towards God, and in the state of his oron mind and character consequent upon those altered relations."


The title of the third Discourse, is, on THE ATONEMENT

But this will furnish the reader with no correct idea of the subjects treated. It should have been entitled, THE FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF God's MORAL GOVERNMENT, as will appear by the following table of its contents ;— The divine moral grovenment—The spirit of the moral law-Its grounds and reasons–Nature and distributions of holiness—Nature of sin—Essential principles of happiness—Obligations to obedience-DisobedienceEffects of violated obligation-Justice of the divine government-Punishment, natural and positive-Depravity and


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guilt of the human race- The conceivable results of the moral condition of man-A compensation and Mediatorial system.

This Discourse gives evidence of a mind accustomed to profound and just thinking. It is replete with sound doctrine ; and the truths here presented, are traced to their first principles. Our only objection has already been stated. Every thing is rendered too abstract. Principles of reason are resorted to, rather than the plain unequivocal declarations of Scripture. It may be alleged, indeed, that those with whom our author contends, will not admit our interpretation of the plainest texts which speak of atonement; but will they more readily acquiesce in the conclusions derived from abstract reasoning? But we would not be understood, as expressing dissatisfaction with this able Dis.

It is, upon the whole, truly excellent. But our limits will not admit of making any extracts; and indeed, the principles exhibited, are so connected together, that it must be preserved entire, and read in connexion, in order to see the bearing and force of the argument. But we would earnestly recommend the careful and repeated perusal of this Discourse, to theological students. It contains, undoubtedly, the true principles on which the doctrine of the vicarious sufferings or atonement of Christ, is founded.

On some points, disputed among the orthodox themselves, -the author speaks in a vague and unsatisfactory manner; but these are things of small importance, when compared with the great radical doctrine, which is so ably sustained, in this Discourse.

The fourth and last of these Discourses, is, ON THE REDEMPTION EFFECTED BY CHRIST. The object of the learned author, here, is to vindicate from the cavils and objections

opposers, those numerous words and phrases, in which allusion is made to pecuniary or commercial transactions. This Discourse is short, and, for the most part, critical.


The words referred to above, are taken up in detail; their import ascertained ; and the common objections made to this mode of representing the work of Christ and blessings of salvation, are answered.

The remainder of the volvme—about 100 pages in small type—is occupied with notes and Illustrations, replete with learning and criticism, and calculated to shed light on the points discussed in the preceding Discourses.




In the history of the Hebrew commonwealth, we read of three kinds of judicial assemblies, which may be distinguished as the Least, the Greater, and the Greatest.

The first of these courts consisted only of the Judges of the tribes; and it is agreed among the Jews, that it could not be composed of an even number of persons, since in that case, it might be sometimes impossible to decide a question. The least number, therefore, must be three.* This triumvirate had authority in those cities, the population of which did not exceed a hundred and twenty families, and was competent to determine controversies within that circle. We are informed, however, by Maimonides, that it was deemed proper and honourable, on certain occasions, to admit additional members, to investigate the cause and be witnesses of the sentence, and that the number of these might, in case of dissension, be increased to eleven.

This court was constituted either by public authority, or by the private consent of the parties concerned. The Great Sanhedrin had the supervision of justice in the several towns and villages, agreeably to the command, Deut. xvi. 18. Judges were also chosen pro re nata, partly by the

* Maimonides, de Saph, c. iy. 14. Buxtorf. Sex. Talmud. col. 2518.

compromise, or mutual consent of the litigants, partly by the determination of an individual, as when an act of voluntary jurisdiction was to take place. Thus Maimonides says, « Pecuniary cases are judged by three. Each of the parties selects one arbitrator, and both together agree upon a third. This is the opinion of Rabbi Meir; but the wise men have decreed that the two Judges should elect a third."*

There was less strictness in forming this court, than was observed in the case of the superior Judges; yet there were some qualifiications necessary. “In the Judges of the triumviral colleges, while all those things which are required in the elders of the higher courts are not strictly demanded, yet all must possess these seven requisites ; viz. 1. Wisdom. 2. Modesty. 3. Fear (of God.) 4. Hatred of a bribe. 5. The love of truth. 6. The affectionate respect of the public. 7. A good reputation."| By an express canon of the Jewish law, certain characters were excluded from this dignity; such, for instance, as gamblers and usurers. These persons might indeed be thus honoured, when they had given tokens of sincere repentance.

The causes which were tried before the Court of Three, were generally cases of a pecuniary nature; also cases of damage and trespass, in which the amount of renumeration was to be determined, and sometimes cases of violence and seduction.

The Greater Council, or Court of Twenty-three, is next to be considered. Maimonides gives cabalistical reasons for this precise number. There was a court of this kind in each of the larger towns, that is, in those which contained more than 120 families. At Jerusalem there were two; one of which was held on the mount of the temple, and one in the court of the temple. The first of these was composed of eminent men from the smaller cities, who were,

Sanh. c.

iii. $ 1.

† Naim. Sanh. c. xl.

{ Sanh. c. 1. ; 6.

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