« السابقةمتابعة »
THE SOUL NOT IN A STATE OF SLEEP.
time, when both soul and body would be with Jesus Christ. The abettors of this unscriptural notion incautiously rush upon the horns of a dilemma. For, if Paul's being with Christ, refers to the resurrection and the last judgment; then his remaining in the flesh, implies that there will be a church upon earth after the last judgment. If they deny this, then the apostle must be with Christ before the last judgment.
That the apostle did not believe the resurrection would take place in his day, is evident from his own epistles, "He who raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you," 2 Cor. iv. 14. If words have any meaning, St. Paul, in this passage, speaks of his own resurrection in connexion with that of others. The resurrection could not take place till after his death; and therefore could not be in his day. "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, nei. ther by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition," 2 Thess. ii. 1-3. That the coming of Christ here alludes to his coming to judge the world, and not to destroy Jerusalem, is evident from its connexion with the man of sin, which is another name for the beast mentioned in the book of Revelation. But the beast was to reign twelve hundred and sixty years; and as he did not appear till after Paul's time, it will add to the twelve hundred and sixty years, and make the idea, of the apostle's supposing that the resurrection would take place in his time, purely ridiculous. It is therefore legitimately inferred, that St. Paul wished to inform the Philippians, that as soon as his spirit should be dismissed from his body, it would immediately be with Christ.
"And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held," Rev. vi. 9. Lowman and Bishop Newton say, that this fifth seal refers to the brutally outrageous persecutions of the church by the emperors Dioclesian and Maximian. According to the opinion of these venerable men, the "souls under the altar" were the immortal spirits of those servants of the Lord Jesus Christ who had suffered every kind of torture which the ingenuity of men and the malice of devils could 2D. SERIES, NO. 10.-VOL. I.
invent, because they believed and openly professed the gospel. These scenes disgraced this earth above sixteen centuries ago, and could have no connexion with the resurrection. Lowman justly observes upon the passage,-"This representation seems much to favour the immediate happiness of departed saints, and hardly to consist with that uncomfortable opinion, the insensible state of departed souls till after the resurrection."
"Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth, yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours, and their works do follow them," Rev. xiv. 13. As the meaning of this passage depends upon the signification attached to the original word äraore it will be necessary to ascertain its grammatical sense. Stockius, who was not among the least respectable lexicographers, defines and explains äπαρтı, ab hoc tempore. Est compositum ex ro a, ex et apri nunc tempus hoc præsens. Legitur saltem Apoc. xiv. 13. Makapioι οι νεκροι οι ἔν Κύριῳ ἀποθνησκοντες ärapri: Beati mortui qui in Domino moriuntur ab hoc tempore scilicet mortis ipsorum." Thus he limits the word, which is in our version henceforth, to the day of their death. Agreeably with this is the opinion of the celebrated Witsius, whose praise is in all the churches.-It seems more natural to think that ärapri, from henceforth, denotes the moment of their death; because from that time the more perfect happiness of their souls will commence; they then rest from their labours; which rest consists not in a sleep that deprives them of all sense, but in a freedom from all vexations, and in the most calm, and never to be interrupted, participation of the divine glory; and, in a word, in a continued serenity of conscience.
That their works do follow them; that is, that they enjoy the free reward of their good actions, which can then, as little as afterwards, be unattended with any sensible feeling of the intelligent soul.
Daubuz's observation upon this passage is very just, "The blessedness promised consists in their being happy in their separate intermediate state, and in their having, at the resurrection, their full reward."
Lowman remarks, "The expression from henceforth, ärapri, may admit of different interpretations; it will well meanthat, as they who die in the Lord have from that time finished their state of temptation and affliction, and from thenceforth rest from their labours; in like manner their works follow them, and from that time they receive their reward.”
It ought not to be concealed, that attempts have been made to give a different meaning to the word ärapri, and apply it to the time when the prophecies were revealed to St. John: "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, from this time saith the Spirit, &c." In the edition of the Greek New Testament interlined with the Vulgate by Montanus, in 1571, we find λεγεῖ, immediately after ἄπαρτι and ναι Tо пVEνμа, following; making the reading, "Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from this time, saith the Spirit." At this we must not be surprised, because by this transposition he attempted to rescue his favourite doctrine of purgatory. In the Curcellaei Lectiones, the words are found in the same order. But Curcellaus loved novelties, and he was gratified in finding some in Montanus. All the best editions of the original have a full-stop after ἄπαρτι, and Ναι λέγει το πνευμα following, as may be seen in Mills, Wetstein, &c. The best versions follow the same order, Beati mortui qui in Domino moriuntur, Ii deinceps, affirmat Spiritus a suis requiescent laboribus, &c. Castalio.- Heureux sont dès à present les morts qui meurent au Seigneur! Oui, dit l'Esprit, &c. Paris Ed. N. T. 1805.
Sanctioned by such high authorities, we may safely pronounce this to be among the numerous passages in the Holy Scriptures, which teach the inmediate happiness or misery of the soul at death. Huggate.
WEST INDIAN SLAVERY.
(Concluded from page 356.) MAN is capable, even during his incarnate state, of an exaltation approaching to angelic intelligence, and also of degradation to the very verge of satanic being; and experience teaches us, that every grade between the vast extremes is occupied by individuals of mankind.
To the influence of education, example, and association, we may trace, in instances innumerable, the character of the individual; and from these we may calculate, with all but certainty, his future condition. "The untaught Indian brood" cannot teach what they themselves do not know: each one of these, therefore, while enveloped in this association, like his associates, is a savage. If he emerges from this abyss of darkness, it must be at the call of one more enlightened; and when thus called, he must be separated from his former associates; not indeed altogether, for christians every where must live amidst unchris
tian mortals, or go at once out of the world; but in his affections, pursuits, and associations, he is called to differ from his original companions: he must come out from among these deteriorated beings, be separated, at the call of the enlightened, and become one with the civilized. So much as this, is indispensable, in order to his emancipation from the savage state.
If an individual savage is not approachable by a man more enlightened than himself, how is he to be taught? Applying this question to West Indian slaves, If the savage heathen Africans, who by force have been brought into, and who by force are held in slavery, can by coercion be sepaparated from christian teachers, who might be the instruments of conveying truth to their souls, the savage may be perpetuated, nay, will be perpetuated from generation to generation; all of which, totally ignorant and depraved, will be, at the tenth generation, equally savages with the first. For what is man without education, without instruction, without the means of information? What is he? A savage.
But are christians kept away from these slaves? Are not all the owners of slaves christians? Are not all the overseers of slaves christians? Are not all the drivers of slaves christians? Alas! Alas! for the christianity of men who are receivers of stolen men, who are coercive overseers of men subjected to slavery, over whom no right of coercion exists, who are cruel exe. cutioners, inflicting arbitrary scourgings upon slaves, by nature freemen, at the will or caprice of themselves or others! From a christianity like this, may the Lord deliver this sphere!
Is the christianity of overseers and slavedrivers of a quality calculated to instruct the savage by precept and example? Where are the amiable manners of the female, the dignified moral rectitude of the male, and the merciful acts of the associated fraternity of slave-dealers, slaveoverseers, and slave-drivers, in the West Indies? Alas! Alas! for such pretensions! Is not the christian name, by which the slave-driver is designated, a loathsome nuisance beneath the nostrils of the slave, who experiences his unchristian cruelties, and is ever present with his unchristian practices? What, but horrible, can the ideas of a heathen savage be of christianity, viewed only through such a medium as this? If pious christian teachers are forcibly kept away from the slaves, can they have any other ideas of christianity conveyed to them than the horrible ones already named? We do not see how
WEST INDIAN SLAVERY.
they can and all that has hitherto been said upon the subject, by those who advocate the slave-trade, instead of instructing us in this awful difficulty, and of clearing the way out of its mazes, render it yet more dark and horrible than at the beginning.
Would you rescue the savage from his depraved bondage, you must instruct him; would you lead him up into truth, you must yourself become his example; would you gain his confidence, he must be convinced that you love him; and this conviction will follow from your humility, gentleness, and affectionate addresses, on stooping to his lost and forlorn situation with christian fraternization. Would you interest him in the sacred volume, in the sacrifice of Christ for the sins of men, in the love of God in Christ Jesus, whereby the world is reconciled to Him, in the effusions of the Holy Ghost, whereby the hearts of men are enlightened, saved from depravity, and made holy, and in the willingness of God, for the sake of Christ, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, to save sinners, yea, to save him, a poor, impure heathen; you must convince him by word and deed, that you are in a saved state yourself, or following on in the way of salvation; and that you love the Lord of life in sincerity, and obey Him in all things. Joined one with him in prayer, his savage heart will melt beneath the power of the Holy Spirit, and rise up in faith; broken with contrition, it will roll itself upon divine mercy, and believe to the salvation of the soul. When Christ appears to him, as well as yourself, one common Saviour, then will his heart fraternize with your heart, his affection respond to yours, and his confidence, like your own, will acclaim with energy, "Jesus, the Lamb of God, the Saviour of the world !"
Thus will the savage rise up into the man, and from the man into the christian. Then of him you may humbly speak, "I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, to do justice and judgment." And thus timely instruction, with faithful prayer, will induce civilization in childhood and youth, and the grace of God, which bringeth salvation, will christianize the soul, by appearing therein, to bless the labours of His children: and a race of men will rise up to bless Him. Yes, instead of a race of savages, we shall behold a race of christians; and from generation to generation, shall their blessings be poured upon the heads of those who were made the happy instruments of raising
them, from degraded and depraved savages, to the rank of men.
Can all this be done effectually amidst perpetuated slavery? I trow not. The field negroes, who work in gangs, cannot be approached by the Missionary, even if leave is obtained to instruct them, except at such momentary intervals, especially at certain seasons, as are quite insufficient to raise individuals above their companions, and the heathen savage and the christian catechumen cannot be disassociated by him at all. The manners, therefore, of the vile, will continue to contaminate the spirits of the semi-enlightened, while the cruelties of owners, overseers, and drivers, as well as their unchristian practices, bear upon and weigh down the rising christianity of the slave. Thus the good induced by the Missionary, is incessantly overpowered by the evils of heathen community, and the cruelty of christian domination, during a state of slavery; and all his work will, amidst these undoings, ever be beginning, and never be consummated.
Dr. Lushington, on a late occasion, said, "I verily, and in my conscience, believe, that the time is now come, when, with prudent precautions as to the manner, every slave may receive his freedom without the minutest chance of injury to the rights or the properties of the other inhabitants. Nay, I go further: I believe, as far as relates to the property of the white inhabitants, that their interests will be most materially improved. Instead of living, as now, in perpetual fear and agitation, instead of exacting an unwilling and precarious labour under the influence of the lash, they would then have a body of labourers, who, if paid but a very small proportion in the way of hire, would discharge a double duty, with satisfaction to themselves, and benefit to their employers. And this is the real state of human nature. There must be some motive to actuate man. You now actuate him by the fear of the lash, and, alas! by the infliction thereof. Make him a freeman, and reward him for his labour; and you hold out to him the very motive which God has designed to actuate mankind-the hope of benefiting himself, and improving his condition."
Here we have the opinion of a great civilian, as to the rights of man, the property of slave-owners, and the expediency of putting a final end to slavery and his decided opinion is, that it would be an act of justice, and would advance the interests of both master and slave, if slavery were to cease for ever. With such a decision before us, and such arguments as abound
around us, we cannot but arrive at the conclusion that, Slavery ought to, and must,
Suppose you could introduce civilization and Christianity, generally, into the mass of slave population, would these additions to the slave be in character with his slavery? This is a serious question, and it forces itself upon us, amidst this discussion. Would the bondman, the chain, the whip, the coercion of owners, of overseers, or of drivers, wilful and perverse, harmonize with Christianity? Nay, Could there be any agreement between them at all? Christianity teaches forbearance, and gives power to its possessor to bear infliction, wrongfully inflicted, and even to return, for evil, good; but it no where teaches the bondman to delight in and hug his chains: no; on the contrary, it says, "If thou mayest be made free, use it rather."
The more light you throw into this slave community, the more anguish you induce. Figure to yourself a Christian father beholding his own daughter subdued, by repeated floggings, into the pollution of her person; and if the laws of the colonies did take cognizance of the crime, his testimony, even if he were an eye-witness of the atroeity, would not be received: for why? He is a slave! Behold the anguish of a Christian mother; she is sold away from an estate, and her infant is retained! See the infant of another Christian mother is sold, torn from her, and borne she knows not whither; and, because of her wailings, she is laid down, and lacerated with the whip until even life itself is endangered! Christian wife is sold; torn from the bosom of a Christian husband; they are frantic, from distraction, at the thought of separation, and their moans would rend the hearts of savages: but they are slaves; and over them swings the frightful whip; and although their hearts, swollen with mutual and unutterable anguish, are all but burst within them, the word is given, and, torn asunder, they part, perhaps, to behold each other no more; while the actors and spectators, amidst this brutal scene, with unchristian apathy exclaim, They are only slaves!
Imparted Wisdom languishes for her sister, Freedom-her true help-meet and inseparable companion: parted, each lives in exile; but united, mutual gratulations induce felicity. "Surely oppression maketh a wise man mad." What madness must, then, be induced by the introduction of wisdom into this mass of oppression-perpetual slavery! But light must, yea, it will pervade this mass-all the chains, and
bolts, and bars, and floggings of the united owners, overseers, and drivers of slaves, cannot keep it out much longer. "The schoolmaster is abroad," and he will teach, if not christianize infidelity. And light, once introduced, will whet the negro's sword, and nerve the negro's arm, and unite slave with slave, and discipline the swarthy hosts, and render them strong for the burst of freedom. Wo then will pervade the hosts of their oppressors. They cannot muster sufficient strength to overwhelm the united arm of liberty-the negro must, yea, he will be free. H
But if the negro must be free, how incomparably better would it be for the owners, were they willing to emancipate, upon equitable terms, the slave population of the West Indies, rather than push on their oppressions, until a general burst of freedom emancipates the whole? How dangerous it will be for the slaves once to know their own power in the British colonies, is at once known from the sequel of slavery in St. Domingo; and to argue, that it is impossible for such an event to disgrace an English colony, with such an awful example before our eyes, is frivolous; because divine Providence pervades the earth, and divine vengeance can never be at a loss for means to avenge the wrongs of the oppresssd.
The hope of security, fondly hugged by the perpetuators and managers of the horrible machine of slavery, on viewing the embattled hosts of Britain ready to sheath their swords in the bodies of rebellious slaves, is a vain hope-a confidence in the arm of flesh to perpetuate oppressions. It is a carnal security, an awful blindness; and, if persevered in, will prove to be that judicial darkness which verges upon ruin.
The actors in this awful tragedy are men possessed of the means of information: they have the bible, whether they read it or not; they are, therefore, sinners against light and knowledge, and cannot plead ignorance as an excuse for the direful wrongs inflicted upon their fellow-men. He whose glance pervades creation, "is of purer eyes than to behold evil; He cannot look on iniquity, or grievance." Will He then bless, with protection, the oppressors, and nerve their arm against the oppressed, in perpetuity?
While we view around us mighty kingdoms shaken, behold the sword of the citizen cut down the disciplined soldier. and view states, which yesterday were not, rise up and contend with success against their potent enslavers; while we behold Europe, by far the most powerful quarter
of this globe, converted into one vast camp, where the glittering bayonets, the thundering cannon, and the prancing horses, parading, wait but for the word of command, to ensanguine all her plains, and overwhelm her cities with war; called into this awful attitude by a secret foe, ycleped the spirit of freedom; invisible, yet present in every state, and alarming to every statesman; causing kings to tremble, and the legislators of the whole earth to be astounded; we must admit that, "The judgments of the Lord are in the earth His fan is in his hand, and He will thoroughly purge His floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable." Instead, therefore, of pampering oppressors, we must call upon them to repent, lest they perish. WM. COLDWELL.
King Square, June 23, 1831.
CUSTOMS ILLUSTRATING VARIOUS PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE.
1. The Strait Gate, Matt. vii. 14. "Strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it."-"Close by the Sarcophagus is a curious old mosque, with a large open centre, and colonnades, or wings of three arches each, on each side. Some of the arches rest on square pillars of masonry, and others on small circular columns of basalt. One of these pillars is formed wholly of one piece of stone, including pedestal, shaft, and capital: and near it is a curious double column, the pedestals of which are in one piece, the shafts each composed of two pieces; and the two capitals with their plinths all formed out of one block. These pillars are not large, and are only distant from each other, as they stand, about a human span. They are right opposite to the door of entrance into the mosque, and we were assured that it was a general belief among the Mohammedans, that whoever could pass through those pillars unhurt, was destined for heaven; and whoever could not, might prepare either to reduce his bulk, or expect a worse fate in hell.”—Buckingham's Travels among the Arab Tribes, p. 272.
2. Women of Gheneh, Proverbs ix. 14,15. She sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city; to call passengers who go right on their ways.".
Gheneh is the only place in Egypt where we saw the women of the town decked out in all their finery, to catch the passing traveller. They were of all nations, and of
all complexions, and regularly licensed, as in many parts of Europe, to exercise their profession. Some of them were highly painted, and gorgeously attired with costly necklaces, rings in their noses, and in their ears, and bracelets on their wrists and arms. They sat at the doors of their houses, and called on the passengers as they went by, in the same manner as we find them described in the book of Proverbs. Nothing could be more hideous and disgusting than such an array of strumpets; even they themselves seemed conscious of their de gradation."-Richardson's Travels along the Mediterranean, vol. i. p. 260.
3. Humiliation, 2 Sam. xv. 32. "Hushi the Archite came to meet him, with his coat rent, and earth upon his head." "The following day Malem Panaamy himself made his appearance. His people had become clamorous, and, having no alter native, he came superbly mounted on a white horse, with full one thousand follow ers, and, dismounting at the door of the sheikh's tent, humbled himself to the dust, and would have poured sand on his head ; but this was, by the sheikh's order, prevented, and the fighi was brought into his presence. As is the custom on these occasions, he came in poor habiliments, with an uncovered head."-Denham and Clapperton's recent Discoveries in Africa, vol. i. p. 232.
4. Titles of Books, Psalm xxii. title. Aijeleth Shahar."-The titles of books and poems in the East are usually allusive or descriptive, not so much of the subject on which they are written, as to some particular event or natural object. So it appears in the following extract. 'Among several manuscripts which I purchased soon after our arrival at Ispahan, was a poetical work composed during the full splendour of this palace: the original perfection of its water-works, and beauty of its shady avenues, and of the luxuriant flowers that embellished their variegated borders. It is entitled the Gulzar-e-Saadet, or rose-bud of prosperity, a poem in praise of the gardens and edifices at Saadetábád, composed about an hundred and ten years ago."Sir William Ouseley's Travels in the East, vol. iii. p. 61.
"At Ispahan, the covers of books are ornamented in a style peculiarly rich; and they often exhibit miniatures painted with considerable neatness, and admirably varnished. I purchased many loose covers, of different sizes, containing representations of the finest Persian flowers, delineated from nature, in exquisite colours, and with minute accuracy."-- Ibid. p. 62.