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the disciples were assembled for
ter the body was put in the tomb, "the women which came with him from Galilee, and beheld how his body was laid, returned, and prepared spices and ointments, and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment." Luke xxiii. 55, 56. Can any one, in the face of so much evidence, believe that it was not after sun-set when they had prepared their spices and ointments? It must have been a long time after sun-set. And yet they afterwards"rested the Sabbath day, according to the command-time after sun-set, when Christ ment," which required that no work should be done on the Sabbath. And therefore the Sabbath did not begin at sun-set. it had begun at sun-set, Christ's prediction respecting the time of his being in the earth, or tomb, would have failed. He declared that he should be "three days and three nights in the heart of the earth," i. e. a part of three days and three nights, according to the Jewish manner of reckoning. But if the day began at sun-set, he was in the earth or tomb, no part of three days. For being buried after the Jewish Sabbath began, and rising the next day, he was in the tomb only a part of two days. But if the day began at midnight, then he was in the earth, according to his prediction, three days and nights, or a part of three days. For he was buried on the evening of Friday, before the Jewish Sabbath, and was all the next day, or Saturday, and a part of the first day of the week, in the
earth or tomb.
4. The apostles and primitive Christians met for religious worship on the evening succeeding, and not preceding the day which was called the first day of the week.
"Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where
appeared to them, will be manifest by comparing this passage with Luke xxiv. 13, 29, 36, giving an account of the two disciples who went to Emmaus. It was "toward evening, and the day was far spent, "when they arrived at Emmaus. And they stopped there, and took supper, and then walked back seven miles to Jerusalem, which probably took as much as two hours. And Christ did not appear to the disciples till after they had returned, and "told what things were done in the way, and how he was known to them in breaking of bread," when the evening must have been considerably advanced. And yet the first day of the week, or Christian Sabbath, had not then ended, but it was then the first day of the week.
The primitive Christians used to partake of the Lord's supper every Sabbath. And when the disciples at Troas came together to break bread, or celebrate the Lord's supper on the first day of the week, Paul preached to them in the evening of that day, and then administered the holy supper: from which we may infer that that evening was considered as belonging to the Sabbath. We have no account that they met in the day And Scott thinks they did Paul tarried there seven If, then, the evening pre
time. not. days.
ceding the first day of the week, | many worldly cares, from which it is difficult immediately to disengage their attention. But if the Sabbath does not begin till midnight, people will have time to get their business out of the way, to banish worldly cares, to compose their minds and to prepare for the Sabbath. And on the evening of the Sabbath they will be more
belonged to the Sabbath, as it was no doubt their practice to celebrate the Lord's supper on the Sabbath, why did not the disciples meet to celebrate it on that evening, and not on the succeeding evening, which did not belong to the Sabbath? Paul undoubtedly meant to administer the holy supper on that evening, which he view-likely to reflect upon what they ed as holy time, though he was so greatly engaged that he continued preaching till midnight. Hence from this account we may infer that the evening succeeding the first day of the week was regarded by the primitive Christians as belonging to the Christian Sabbath. All the evidence, therefore, afforded by these examples, is in favour of keeping Sabbath evening as holy time. And even those, who consider this evening as belonging to Monday, and consequently being Monday evening, do nevertheless all call it Sabbath evening.
5. It is more convenient and better calculated to promote the spiritual good of men, to observe the evening succeeding the day. It is extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, to get business out of the way by sun-set, so as to enter on the duties of devotion. There is so much to be done in families to prepare for the Sabbath, that when they profess to keep Saturday evening, they are apt to trespass upon what they view as holy time. They have
have heard and read, and derive benefit from it, than if they felt that the Sabbath was ended, and they were at liberty to think and talk about, and attend to, the world. Such a persuasion would have a natural tendency to divert the attention from serious things, and to permit the "cares of the world to choke the word."
Where Sabbath evening is not considered as holy time, young people and others, being already dressed in their best clothes, will find it a very convenient season for visiting and amusement, where the conversation and employments will be such as will be directly calculated to divert the attention from the solemn truths which they have heard the past day, and to banish all serious reflection. If then the Sabbath was made for man," for his benefit, it is rational to conclude that that evening would be appointed to be kept, which would be most convenient, and conducive to his spiritual interest and improvement.
FOR THE HOPKINSIAN MAGAZINE.
BIBLICAL CRITICISM. II. KINGS V. 17-And Naaman said, Shall there not, then, I pray thee, be given to thy servant two mules' burden of earth? for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt-offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord.
Two constructions have been put on this verse. Some have understood the import to be, Shall not two mules' burden of earth be given to me your servant? In accordance with this, various have | been the fancies of men concerning the use of this earth. The popular opinion has been, that he designed to build an altar. But
and gold are represented as stones. One objection to this may occur. "Could his silver and gold be a load for two mules?" Yes.
In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I bow myself in the house of Rimmon: when I bow down myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing.-II. Kings v. 18.
what kind of altar could be formed from the earth, which two mules could carry? Others have supposed, that he wished to strew this earth on the floor where he per-cording to a recent calculation of formed his devotions that he might a learned European, the amount of seem to be in Israel, that holy the silver and gold brought for this land, where he had experienced present was 1374 lbs. 5 oz. 5 such miraculous relief. A learned dwts. Troy. Half of this would European has suggested another be a load for two mules. Is not use of this earth." He supposes this, then, the natural, the rationit was intended for purification, al, and true meaning of the pasinstead of the water of Jordan. It sage? "As you have refused my is a fact unquestionable, that earth donation for yourself, may not a or sand is used by the Eastern part of it, without offence, be givnations, instead of water, for cer- en to your servant, a part of this emonial ablutions. Travellers earth and dust?" Here is no mystell us, that the Arabs of the des- tery no absurdity. All is proper ert now often use sand; making and beautiful. the same ceremonies, as if water were present. So in a Mahometan treatise of prayer, it is said, "Where water is not to be had, that defect may be supplied by earth." But this savors strongly of his heathenish notions, and its use has the air of weakness and folly. I will then examine the second opinion. Inspired with gratitude and rapture for the mercy, which he had experienced through the instruction of the prophet, Naaman must have been ardently desirous of making some offering in return, corresponding with his glowing affections. The prophet himself had utterly refused to receive any gift. Naaman then most naturally says, "Shall there not then be given thy servant Gehazi two mules' burden of this earth, this silver and gold, which are dirt and dust"? This was civil and polite, thus to depreciate his own gift, as of little consequence: this manifested the refinement and delicacy of his mind. We may be confirmed in this construction, when we recollect that Habakkuk calls silver and gold thick clay; and Zechariah calls silver, dust, and fine gold, the mire of the streets; and in Chronicles, silvered
This verse has been pressed into the service of hypocrisy and pious fraud. It has been supposed that Naaman was asking pardon, not for sins, which he had committed; but for those, which he intended to commit; that he was bargaining for indulgence in that idolatry, which he had that moment promised, that he would never repeat. What is worse, if worse can be, the prophet is posed, by these sage men, to allow, or at least to connive at this proposed idolatry. From mere ignorance, pious commentators have invented excuses, for the supposed indulgence of the prophet. Mr. Henry here says, Young converts must be tenderly treated," implying that they must be allowed in their former prejudices and habits.
All these difficulties are avoidby simply giving a correct
translation of the verse. Dr. Edwards (of England) says, these words in other places are translated in the preterperfect tense, Psa. li. 1, He went. II. Sam. i. 6, He leaned. Exod. xxxiii. 10, He bowed. "The Lord pardon thy servant, when my master went into the house of Rimmon to worship there, when he leaned-when he bowed," &c. So the learned Dr. Adam Clarke observes, "The original may legitimately be read, and ought to be read in the past, and not in the future tense. "For this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, for that when my master hath gone into the house of Rimmon to worship there; and he hath leaned on my hand, that I also have bowed myself in the house of Rimmon, the Lord pardon thy ser
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TO THE QUESTION OF ROGANS. (See No. for August, page 190.) ROGANS states his question thus: How does it appear, that those of mankind, who die impenitent, deserve an endless punishment?
This is a question of great importance, in which every child of Adam is deeply interested. That mankind are all sinners, is a fact, asserted in sacred scripture, evident to universal observation, and denied by none, who make any just pretensions to reason, and, much less, by any, who have the least claim to religion. It is, at the same time, scarcely more evident that all men are sinners, than it is, that many leave the world with impenitent, unsanctified hearts. Concerning these, the sacred writers, according to the obvious and natural, if not the necessary and unavoidable import
vant in this thing." This is the translation of Dr. Lightfoot, the greatest Hebrew scholar of his time in Christendom. To remove all doubt, I will only add the translation of Martin Luther. " In this thing the Lord pardon thy servant, that when my master went into the house of Rimmon to worship there; and he leaned on my hand, I bowed myself in the house of Rimmon; the Lord pardon thy servant in this thing, that I bowed myself in the house of Rimmon." Here all difficulties vanish, and we plainly perceive that this passage, so long misunderstood, and so often perverted, affords no countenance to hypocrisy, to mental reservation, or the contrivances of expediency in the concerns of religion. EUSEBIUS.
of their words and phrases, declare that their future punishment will be without end. So fully was Dr. Huntington, the noted Universalist, convinced of this, that he wrote thus: "Does the Bible plainly say, that sinners of mankind shall be damned to interminable punishment? It certainly does, as plainly as language can express, or any man, or even God himself, can speak." Calv. Ins. p. 47. Consistently with this acknowledgment, the Doctor admits the | justice of endless punishment. He says, "To argue, as some do, that it is not just for God to punish us eternally for transient sins in this world, is the perfection of absurdity." And absurd, indeed, it must be, to talk of the necessity of a Saviour to deliver men from endless punishment, and of the grace of God in saving them from it, if they do not deserve such a punishment. Unless, therefore, it can be made to appear, that sinners do deserve to be punished forever, it
will be difficult to convince men, that the scriptures denounce, or that God will inflict an endless punishment upon the finally impenitent.
Sin is moral evil. It consists, essentially, in that selfish affection, which is opposite to the love which the Divine law requires. "Sin is the transgression of the law." From supreme self-love, flow all the vices and crimes of which mankind are guilty.
man, is an infinite crime, or comprises in it infinite moral evil. This, I know, has been maintained; and, on this ground, attempts have been made to vindicate the justice of endless punishment. It has been said, that the tendency of sin, is, to do infinite mischief in the universe. This I freely grant. But, the intention of the sinner, and not the tendency of his sin, is the measure of his desert of punishment. The sinner is not acThe proper punishment of moral countable for the destructive conevil, is natural evil. Pain, dis- sequences of his crime, any farther tress, misery, are the terms, which than he foresees and intends them. express the punishment of sin. And as the minds of men are "The wages of sin is death." By finite, and their views circumscribthe wages of sin, is meant, that ed by narrow limits; it is not conwhich sin deserves, its proper pun-ceivable, that they should foresee ishment. This the apostle says, is death; by which he doubtless, means, eternal death. But, should we even suppose, with some Universalists, that temporal death only is meant; still, this is a natural evil, painful in itself, and the king of terrors to men. Sin deserves misery.
The degree of misery, which sinners deserve, is greater or less, in proportion to the number and magnitude of their sins. Those, who sin against the clearest light and are suffered to commit the greatest number of sins, deserve the greatest degree of misery.
Having premised these things, I now proceed more directly to answer the question, How it uppears, that the finally impenitent deserve endless punishment? In doing which, I shall proceed gradually, and observe,
1. That their desert of endless punishment, does not appear, from either the greatness or number of their sins. The sins of men are great, and deserve a great degree of punishment. "It is an evil and bitter thing to sin against God." But, it is not admitted, that any one sin, committed by
and intend infinite evil, and so commit an infinite crime. Besides, if the tendency of sin were the measure of its desert; it would follow, that all sins are equally criminal, and that all sinners deserve a punishment equal in degree, as well as in duration: for it is the tendency of every sin to produce infinite natural evil.
Again, it has been said, that sin is an infinite moral evil, or crime, because it violates an infinite obligation. Those who take this ground, say, that the obligation, which men are under to obey the Divine law, is great, in proportion to the greatness and excellence of the Lawgiver: and, as the greatness and excellence of the Supreme Lawgiver are absolutely infinite; so the obligation, which men are under to love and obey him, must be infinite. But, this does not follow. The natural greatness and moral excellence of the Divine Lawgiver, do not bind men to obedience beyond their capacity to perceive and appreciate his greatness and glory. And, as their capacity is finite; so is their obligation. But, if the dignity and worth of the Lawgiver were the