Imagini ale paginilor



toms, yet I conceive the origin of do I think the students of prophecy the malady, to be the same to be on the whole correct, when both; viz. undue excitement occa- they argue, that the conversion of sioned by unscriptural expectations. the world is not to be effected The first class consists of those under the present dispensation, students of prophecy who have dis- neither by existing means.

Nor covered (as they believe) from the can it be considered a matter of word of God, that a very awful little or no importance, whether apostacy of the whole of Christen- men are in darkness or not in this dom is to be expected previous to respect. For the excitement octhe general conversion of the world, casioned by fallacious hopes will and is to be immediately followed by

or later terminate in, a a time of unparalleled tribulation; diseased state of feeling; even as and these have consequently not it is written, “ Hope deferred mak. only abandoned their former views, eth the heart sick';” and thus, as but in some instances they seem to we have seen, the cause of miss consider, that in giving countenance sions itself suffers in the long run. to these societies they are thereby And secondly, and most materially, helping forward a delusion, which if (as I believe) there is a period tends to lull professors into a false of apostasy and unparalleled trisecurity, when they ought to be bulation at hand, it is an awful praying, “ that they may be ac, thing for any to be deluding them counted worthy to escape all those selves with the idea, that all things things that shall come to pass,

and are rapidly flowing onward towards to stand before the Son of man.” universal conversion.


would The other class are persons who occupy too much of your space were merely sustained in their ex- were I here to attempt to go into ertions by the excitement produced the proofs of this impending apos- ; by over sanguine expectations; and, tasy and tribulation. I shall conwithout regarding prophecy, or any

clude therefore by requesting the other portion of the scriptures, attention of your readers to some their energies have sunk, merely of those Scriptures which have a from perceiving that the success direct bearing on the missionary of the gospel has not been com- question. mensurate with their anticipations. First-In regard to the Gentile If the views of this latter class had dispensation under which we live, been corrected and sobered by the James declared in the apostolical word of God, such a reaction (or council, that the object of God in rather such a collapse) would not visiting the Gentiles was "to take have taken place. But both these out of them a people for his classes appear not to have been name.” (Acts xv. 14.) Conseduly influenced by adequate mo- quently, it is for the present an tives in their first support of mis- election from among the Gentiles şionary exertions, nor by clear that is to be looked for. The apprehensions of their duty; other- parable of the tares, of the sheep wise disappointment on the one

and many other passages hand at the world's not progressing of Scripture lead to the same more rapidly towards conversion, conclusion; as likewise do all those or a discovery, on the other hand, epistles addressed to the called " that it is not yet to be generally from among the Gentiles. It is not converted, would not have render- until the Lord shall have gathered ed them either hostile or apathetic out the taręs, and separated the chaff towards the work.

from the wheat, and thoroughly But though I conceive both purged his garner, that all shall be parties to err in this respect, yet holiness to the Lord. And indeed,



and goats,

in Rev. xiv. where we have “the' and discouragements with which angel Aying in the midst of heaven, they have to contend, insomuch having the everlasting gospel to that their chief hope is from the preach unto them that dwell on the rising generation ? We have seen earth, and to every nation, and no instance of “ a nation being kindred, and tongue,(which ap- born in a day;

" Isaiah Ixvi. 8. pears so aptly to symbolize the For even the success in the South present times) the message of the Sea Islands did not take place angel is, “Fear God, and give until after a long period of discourglory to him, for the hour of his

agement, through which the lajudgment

t'is come.” Which, by bourers had to toil; and so far the way, shows us, that some sig- were the natives from submitting nal judgment is to follow this evan- themselves to Christ as soon as gelizing the nations, and that whilst they heard of him, that the misthe gospel is being preached “ as sionaries were well nigh abandona witness to them,” they will be ing their work in despair. To nevertheless becoming ripe for this I may add, that Psalm cxxvi. judgment. The same thing is to be 6. seems to imply, that under the implied from Rev. xviii. in which present dispensation, the witnesses the angel who enlightens the earth of God are “ to go forth weeping, with his glory, and announces the bearing precious seed; even as final doom of Babylon, 'first invites the witnesses in the Apocalypse God's people to come out of prophesy in sackcloth. 'Whereas her;" shewing that there is an of that time of general conversion, election of grace to be previously it is said, “that they shall go out gathered in.

with joy.” Isaiah lv. 12. Secondly, the agents to be em- From these things it may be ployed in the general conversion seen, that the whole circumstances of the heathen are the Israelites, and characteristics of the present aš may be seen from Isaiah lxvi. ingathering of the elect' remnant, 19. Zech. ii.'11. and other places. differs from those which shall Nor is it unimportant to observe, attend the general conversion of of the e number of agents to be em

the gentiles. ployed in that work; that when Another circumstance requires the time shall arrive for it to be to be noticed. It is admitted that accomplished, it is written of it, if the world is to be converted ** The Lord gave the word, great through the instrumentality of exiswas the

the company of those that ting means, those means must be published it. Psalm Ixviii. 11. greatly accelerated and extended. Whereas it is the common com- At present we can, with the utmost plaint of missionary advocates, facility, count the communicants that the number of labourers, now at the various missionary stations after thirty 'or' forty years of exer- throughout the world ; and compation, is still so small, that they red with the myriads still in darkwill not supply more than one ness, they are yet but as drops in the preacher to a million souls ! ocean. That something like a proper F" Thirdly, it is written of that pe- idea

may be formed, therefore, of the riod, " As soon as they shall hear additional energy requisite to effect of me, they shall obey me; the the world's conversion within anystrangers shall submit themselves thing like a reasonable period, I unto me." » Psalmí xvii. 41. But will place a few calculations before have we yet seen anything of this the reader, derived from various character ? Do not our missiona - sources. In an American work ries, on that

, frequently recently published, in which this coraplain of the great difficulties subject is handled, the writer, after

estimating the present number of hundred and fifty years to convert truly converted persons at ten mil- the world. lions, observes, that if there be no From all this it will be seen, more, three hundred years have that

some very signal circumelapsed since the time of the revi- stances are likely to occur, beval of religion at the reformation ; fore we can hope to witness that and yet only one eightieth part of great consummation which all dethe world is, now converted; at sire. Nevertheless, it is written, which rate it will consequently re- “ I the Lord will hasten it in his quire twenty-four thousand years time," of which I am fully perbefore piety can pervade the world! suaded : though I am equally conMr. Tyso, a Baptist minister in vinced that we are now only emthis country, in his • Inquiry after ployed in gathering out the elect Prophetical Truth,' takes the

po- remnant, and that we should conpulation of the world at eight hun- stantly echo that prayer in the dred millions. These, he observes, burial service, “ That it would die and are renewed by their off- please thee shortly to accomplish spring, three times on the average

the number of thine elect, and to in every century; so that all con- hasten thy kingdom.” For not verts die in about thirty-three until the stone smites the image on years; and as all children are born the feet, will it become a great unregenerate, the same work of

mountain, and fill the whole earth; conversion has to be done over (Dan. ii.) and again, not until the again every thirty-three years. body of the fourth beast is deWith the present rate of opera- stroyed, and given to the burning tion and success, (he says) it would Alame, and the Son of Man shall consequently take one hundred and have come in the clouds of heaven, sixty thousand years to bring about shall “ all people, nations, and that state, when all shall know the languages serve him.” (Dan. vii. Lord, from the least even to the 11-14.) greatest!' Thirdly, the Rev. W. I feel tempted to enter more W. Pym, in his Thoughts on largely into these latter consideraMillennarianism,' observes, that if tions, but I must content myself every day we were to have a pen- with the present limits, and remain, tecostal miracle, and three thousand were to be gathered in daily,

Dear Sir, your's faithfully, it would nevertheless require three


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


E Bm euosingin THERE are some texts of Scrip-: . That change of Moses;'ogiven ture which are so constantly mis

under the Law, was very express quoted in conversation , books, and Ye shall not add unto the even from the pulpit, that I wish word which I command you, to call the attention of your Read- neither shall ye diminisk ought ers to them, not that the actual from it, that ye may keep the meaning is altered in all cases, nor commandments of the Lord your the weight of their import dimi- God, which I command you." nished, but it seems to me to indi- s Deuteriv. 2. and no less so was the cate a degree of carelessness which warning given under the Gospel is rather reprehensible, not to be a dispensation, at the close ofar the accurate when we are using the Revelation of desds Christ.?!-44 For words of Holy Writ.

I testify unto every man that hear

[ocr errors]

eth the words of the prophecy of perty by ill-treating or neglecting this book, If any man shall add his beast; but “the righteous man unto these things, God shall add regardeth the life of his beast," unto him the plagues that are because it is the workmanship of written in this book. And if any God, and because he desires to be man shall take away from the like God, “the Lord God, merciwords of the book of this prophecy, ful and gracious,” according to God shall take away his part out our blessed Saviour's command, of the book of life, and out of the “ Be ye therefore merciful, as holy city, and from the things your Father also is merciful.” which are written in this book." 1 Tim. vi. 17. “ Charge them Rev. xxii. 18, 19. Now although that are rich in this world, that the change of words to which I they be not high-minded, nor trust allude, may not be condemned in in uncertain riches, but in the liveither of these passages, in my ing God, who giveth us richly all opinion they imply that a more things to enjoy," is commonly scrupulous reverence to the words changed to “who giveth us all of the Sacred Scriptures is due,' things richly to enjoy,” which apthan that they should be heedlessly pears to me a variation of the changed for what are generally meaning, and rather to sanction considered

synonymous terms. our taking extreme pleasure in the The first text to which I shall things of this world, than to exadvert is in Deut. xxxiii. 25. press the richness of God's bounty “ and as thy days, so shall thy

in the bestowment of them. I strength be," which is usually cannot read the Scriptures in their quoted, “and as thy day is, so original language, nor am I acshall thy strength be.”

quainted with all the different exThe second text to which I shall planations of Commentators, and refer is in the book of the Prophet may therefore be myself mistaken Habakkuk ii. 2. “That he may in censuring these common errors, run that readeth it,” which is but should you think my simple almost invariably repeated as " He remarks incorrect, or unworthy a that runs may read.” I do not place in your pages, perhaps you perceive any change of meaning in will at least favour me with your these alterations, but I shall now own opinion of them, notice two other passages in which

" A STRANGER.” * the sense is evidently varied by the change of words. We often It sometimes happens that appahear persons say, “a merciful man rent variations from the authois merciful to his beast; which is rized Version are real improvea corruption of Prov. xii. 10. “ A ments, and express more accurighteous man regardeth the life rately the sense of the original: of his beast." Now the alteration --while in other cases quotations of this text lessens its force very are made from the marginal much; that a merciful man is

readings, which are occasionally merciful to his beast is a matter of more correct than those of the course, for the same feeling exer--t.; text(See for instance Rom. cised towards his fellow creatures, '. 1. vi. 17.) The observations thereis generally called pity, compas- fore of our correspondent, though sion, tenderness, kindness, &c. but

on the whole, should suithe Bible version makes mercy a

import. Our

'be received with some caution proof of religion; an ungodly and limitation.- ED.

person may be merciful to his py
beast, from a humane disposition, 13 2010-11 * Psalm cxix. 19.
or from a fear of injuring his pro-

11:11 vullneliner

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

to an

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


internal MR. EDITOR,The accompanying cipal depository of sound religion letter was written by a lady in my in the country, and I' every day neighbourhood in answer

feel more and more thankful for a application from a dissenting minis- sound national church, as a great ter for her pecuniary aid towards outward bulwark of the faith. the erection of a new chapel for

While this church is on the one his congregation. Perhaps you hand fearfully attacked by its may think it not unworthy of in- political enemies, and by many resertion in your truly “ Church of ligious professors, so as to threaten England Magazine. The prece- its very existence outwardly, it is dent appears to me a useful one, on the other hand growing rapidly and the reasons alleged for the in the number and devotedness of refusal, such as ought to be its faithful evangelical ministers, carefully weighed by conscientious and it plainly appears to be my nembers of the church, before they positive duty now to bestow on it lend themselves to applications of the whole of my small influence. this nature.

I have also perceived of late, a Yours very truly,

change for the worse in the general CLER. NORF. spirit, both political and religious,

of most dissenting bodies, a spirit J: SIR,My delay in replying to of insubordination and disregard your letter of the 10th, was.occa- of our Lord's example and injuncsioned by the importance of its tions, and of the apostolic presubject, which seemed to require cepts, (Rom. xiii. Titus iii. 1 Pet. much prayer and deliberation. ii. &c.) on the subject of obediYou do me justice in supposing ence to the powers that be toge me earnestly desirous to promote ther with an unholy and lax wilthe cause of our Redeemer on lingness, falsely called liberality, earth, and it is true that wishing to countenance Socinians, not by to join hands with all who love the acting with them in the Bible Lord Jesus in sincerity, I have in Society, (where all sorts in my times past occasionally given a view might be safely, admitted, slight aid towards the erection of and I would not exclude Jews, dissenting places of worship in Turks, 'and Infidels, if willing to districts' where the truth was not circulate our Bible) but by makpreached in the Established Church. ing common cause with them upon But circumstances are changed; other occasions ; so that while 1 and I must candidly confess that feel a Christian respect for many in the present state of England, I individuals among my dare not comply with your request. brethren, I cannot see it to be my My attachment to our Established duty at present to give them any Church has grown with my spirit- support in their collective capa ual growth, and strengthened with city, although it is painful to me my spiritual strength, from an to refuse my aid in the present increasing conviction that with all instance, particularly as I am quite its lamented abuses, it is super- aware of the destitute state of eminently pure in its doctrines, It has appeared to me expedient liturgy, and articles --founded on to write thus at large, 'lesť my the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus motives should be misunderstood, Christ himself being the chief cor- and, I remaia Sir; b) ni Devi in ner stone, and that it is the prin

11. bol Your' obedient Servant."


« ÎnapoiContinuați »