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toms, yet I conceive the origin of do I think the students of prophecy the malady: to be the same.,
o 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 misc, 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 peri tends to lull professors into a false of apostasy and unparalleled trisecurity, when they ought to be bulation at hand, it is an a
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. It 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 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 goats, 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 þave gathered ed them either hostile or apathetic out the tares, 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 véspect, yet holiness to the Lord. And indeed,
in Rev. xiv. where we have angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue," (which appears so aptly to symbolize the present times) the message of the angel is, "Fear God, and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come." Which, by the way, shows us, that some signal judgment is to follow this evangelizing the nations, and that whilst the gospel is being preached "as a witness to them," they will be nevertheless becoming ripe for judgment. The same thing is to be implied from Rev. xviii. in which the angel who enlightens the earth with his glory, and announces the final doom of Babylon, first invites God's people to come out of her," shewing that there is an election of grace to be previously gathered in.
Secondly, the agents to be employed in the general conversion of the heathen are the Israelites, as may be seen from Isaiah lxvi. 19. Zech. ii. 11. and other places. Nor is it unimportant to observe, of the number of agents to be employed in that work; that when the time shall arrive for it to be accomplished, it is written of it,
The Lord gave the word, great was the company of those that published it." Psalm 1xviii. 11. Whereas it is the common complaint of missionary advocates, that the number of labourers, now after thirty or forty years of exertion, is still so small, that they will not supply more than one preacher to a million souls!
Thirdly, it is written of that period, As soon as they shall hear of me, they shall obey me; the strangers shall submit themselves unto me." Psalm xviii. 41. But have we yet seen anything of this character? Do not our missionaries, on the contrary, frequently complain of the great difficulties
and discouragements with which they have to contend, insomuch that their chief hope is from the rising generation? We have seen no instance of "a nation being born in a day; " Isaiah lxvi. 8. For even the success in the South Sea Islands did not take place until after a long period of discouragement, through which the labourers had to toil; and so far were the natives from submitting themselves to Christ as soon as they heard of him, that the missionaries were well nigh abandoning their work in despair. To this I may add, that Psalm cxxvi. 6. seems to imply, that under the present dispensation, the witnesses of God are "to go forth weeping, bearing precious seed;" even as the witnesses in the Apocalypse prophesy in sackcloth. Whereas of that time of general conversion, it is said, "that they shall go out with joy." Isaiah Iv. 12.
From these things it may be seen, that the whole circumstances and characteristics of the present ingathering of the elect remnant, differs from those which shall attend the general conversion of the gentiles.
Another circumstance requires to be noticed. It is admitted that if the world is to be converted through the instrumentality of existing means, those means must be greatly accelerated and extended. At present we can, with the utmost facility, count the communicants at the various missionary stations throughout the world; and compared with the myriads still in darkness, they are yet but as drops in the ocean. That something like a proper idea may be formed, therefore, of the additional energy requisite to effect the world's conversion within anything like a reasonable period, "I will place a few calculations before the reader, derived from various sources. In an American Work recently published, in which this 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
A FREQUENT READER.
ON MISQUOTED TEXTS.
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
eth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." Rev. xxii. 18, 19. Now although the change of words to which I allude, may not be condemned in either of these passages, in my opinion they imply that a more scrupulous reverence to the words of the Sacred Scriptures is due, than that they should be heedlessly changed for what are generally considered synonymous terms.
The first text to which I shall advert is in Deut. xxxiii. 25. "and as thy days, so shall thy strength be," which is usually quoted, "and as thy day is, so shall thy strength be.'
The second text to which I shall refer is in the book of the Prophet Habakkuk ii. 2. "That he may
that readeth it," which is almost invariably repeated as " He that runs may read." I do not perceive any change of meaning in these alterations, but I shall now notice two other passages in which the sense is evidently varied by the change of words. We often hear persons say, 66 a merciful man is merciful to his beast; " which is a corruption of Prov. xii. 10. “A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast." Now the alteration of this text lessens its force very much; that a merciful man 1s merciful to his beast is a matter of course, for the same feeling exercised towards his fellow creatures, is generally called pity, compassion, tenderness, kindness, &c. but the Bible version makes mercy a proof of religion; an ungodly person may be merciful to his beast, from a humane disposition, on from a fear of injuring his 'pro
'perty by ill-treating or neglecting his beast; but "the righteous man regardeth the life of his beast," because it is the workmanship of God, and because he desires to be like God, "the Lord God, merciful and gracious," according to our blessed Saviour's command, "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful."
1 Tim. vi. 17. “ Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy," is commonly changed to "who giveth us all things richly to enjoy," which appears to me a variation of the meaning, and rather to sanction our taking extreme pleasure in the things of this world, than to express the richness of God's bounty in the bestowment of them. I cannot read the Scriptures in their original language, nor am I acquainted with all the different explanations of Commentators, and may therefore be myself mistaken in censuring these common errors, but should you think my simple remarks incorrect, or unworthy a place in your pages, perhaps you will at least favour me with your own opinion of them,
IT sometimes happens that apparent variations from the authorized Version are real improvements, and express more accurately the sense of the original: -while in other cases quotations are made from the marginal readings, which are occasionally more correct than those of the text. (See for instance Rom. vi. 17.) The observations therefore of our correspondent, though important on the whole, should J "be received with some caution and limitation.-ED.
**Psalm cxix. 199**
# voll to ebon
ON SUBSCRIBING TO DISSENTING PLACES OF
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."