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that what I professed through life, I rejoiced in, in death. Blessed Redeemer! accept my grateful acknowledgments of that love which led thee to die for me, and fit me to enter that society of glorified saints, who to eternity shall ascribe their salvation to him who loved them, and washed them from their sins in his own blood! Lord, I wait for thy salvation !” Paternus then kneeled down and prayed, and thus concluded the last act of family devotion in which Theodosia joined.
“ Paternus retired. The servants, bathed in tears, were preparing to withdraw, but were desired to stay. Theodosia thought that an admonition from her, in her present circumstances, might impress their minds and be long remembered. She was unwilling that such an opportunity should be lost ; but there was a native modesty in her that always led her to make towards her point by delicate approaches. She chose, therefore, to cover her intention; which she did, by calling first one, and then another of her servants, to her bed-side, and making those kind inquiries about their health, which seemed to be occasioned merely by their being for some time invisible to her through her confinement. When she had thus gone round with her inquiries, she began to speak of her own case. She told them of her supports, of the goodness of God, and the blessedness of religion. She admonished them, in the most affectionate terms, not to neglect religion, nor to be inattentive to the instructions of Paternus, to whose zeal, humility, and benevolence, she bore witness. She encouraged them to seek the kingdom of God, by referring them to that composure which they now saw in her, who knew not whether she had a day to live. Thus peaceful,' said she, “will you be in the last hour, if you make it the main business of life to know and serve God. We may not all meet together again here; but be followers of Christ, and we shall meet around his throne in heaven.”
THE CHARACTER OF THE PROPHETS.
(FROM BOGUE'S ESSAY.] The men, whom God has employed as instruments in provi. dence, for accomplishing his designs, by changes among the nations of the earth, 1,xve often been the vilest of human kind. But when he has commissioned persons to act as his servants in revealing his will, and calling sinners to repentance and subjection, they have always been both like himself and their commission, wise and holy men. Such, on examination, will the character of
the prophets, both of the Old Testament and of the New, be found. If writings (and the description is confined to such as wrote a portion of these hallowed volumes) can furnish evidence of the intellectual and moral qualities of the authors, the palm of eminent wisdom and goodness must be given them. There is a superiority to evil principles and selfish ends. That they did not exercise the of fice for gain, is evident from the nature of their predictions. These were very often such as to be calculated to procure injuries instead of benefits; and a prison and death, instead of a life of ease and affluence. They did not, like the false prophets, flatter nobles and princes, and prophesy smooth things to sooth their passions, and confirm them in their ways; but frankly told the plain truth, when they knew it would be disagreeable in the extreme, and would endanger their own safety. Fame was not their object; they never sought it; and we seldom find them in courts or among the great, but to tell unpalatable truths. They had not the spirit of the world; nor did they view the scenes they exhibit with worldly eyes. Insensible to the charms of greatness, power, and earthly joys, they regard every object which is presented before them, only as it has respect to God, and man's subjection to him: for the honour of God, the kingdom of Christ, and the highest happiness of men are evidently the objects which bear sway within their hearts, and govern their conduct. They have occasion to mention all kinds of persons and things, and to represent all kinds of events: but it is easy to perceive that they are affected with them, only as they are connected with the grand system of the divine government, and as hindering or advancing the moral improvement of mankind.
ZECHARIAH, CHAP. IV. AND REV. XI. The prophet Zechariah was sent to the Jews, lately returned from the Babylonian captivity, with words of exhortation and encouragement.
The visions he records in the first four and in the sixth chapters, declare the certain restoration of their civil and ecclesiastical state, which was closely connected with the great promise to the house of David, that “the Messiah should be a king and priest on his throne,” (Psalm cx. 4.) of whom all antecedent priests and rulers in Israel were types and forerunners. Joshua the high priest, and the heads of the captivity, (as the rabbins call them) are said, chap. iii. 8. to be “men wondered at, or men of wonder,” but the word signifies not only a wonder but also a sign or a type; they were “ typical men," as bishop Chandler translates the phrase.
The Jewish nation was appointed of God to be a light of the world, and seems, in the chapter under consideration, to be represented by the golden candlestick, to which the two olive-trees ministered oil. The judicious Mr. Lowth understands here by these olive-trees (called ver. 14th, “ The two anointed ones,") the kingdom and the priesthood; and so, chap. vi. 13. he says, “ The kingdom (or regal power) and priesthood being joined in the same person, there shall be no more clashing of jurisdiction between those two offices, represented by the two olive-trees."
I make this statement for the purpose of submitting to you the light which, I think, it casts on what is prophesied in the eleventh chapter of the Revelation concerning the two witnesses, who are there said to be “ the two olive-trees,” referring, as I apprehend, to this passage in Zechariah. The civil and ecclesiastical functions may be termed witnesses of God, (“ my witnesses,") inasmuch as from the beginning they are of divine appointment, and they prefigure, and testisy of him, whose priesthood “ is unchangeable," and whose “ kingdom endureth for ever.” During the patriarchal state, these functions were united in the first-born of the eldest house of a family or tribe, till the settlement of the Levitical economy, when the priesthood was fixed in the family of Aaron. But to return. These witnesses are said to be “clothed in sackcloth,” contrary to what might have been expected under the christian dispensation ; for it is during the pe riod of the church's abode in the wilderness, (a period yet unexo pired) that this state of abasement and humiliation, not of the men, but of the offices, is predicted. They are however yet styled “ the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth;" lights of the world, figures of him who is to come, offices of the anointed one; and though debased by human wickedness, or disfigured by human infirmity, they may not be injured with impunity (see ver. 5.). They have received power, which the event has proved, “ to shut heaven that it rain not:" i. e. they have in some countries for ages deprived the people of the word of God and its public ministration; and they have by wars poured forth the blood of nations, or in prophetic language, “ turned the waters into blood.” These calamities, as permitted by God, are righteous chastisements of a guilty world, though the immediate authors are responsible to him for the use of their delegated powers: yet !! the worst administration of civil and ecclesiastical authority will be found preferable to their total extinction, prefigured by the death of the two witnesses, who had more or less restrained the wickedness of the earth, (ver. 10.). This death, I apprehend, indicates, what may properly be termed, in the full and ultimate sense of the prophecies, the reign of Antichrist-successful opposition to the offices of the anointed one. This period is short, " three prophetic days and an half,” (I think it synchronizes with the reign of the ten horns who “receive power as kings one hour with the beast.”) The revival of the witnesses, and their assumption to heaven, I take to be what may not improperly be termed, the glorification of those offices in the person of the Messiah, which event is immediately announced by the trumpet of the seventh angel, and celebrated by the anthems of heaven.
op I COR. xi. 4. 7. “ Every man praying or prophesying, HAVING HIS HEAD COVERED,
dishonoureth his head; for a man OUGHT NOT TO cover his HEAD, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God.” These words of the apostle have been to me a subject of perplexity, since it is well known (as Dr. Whitby and others have proved) to have been the custom, not only among the Greeks and Romans, to appear in religious assemblies with their heads covered, but it is certain that the Jewish priests, by divine appointment, appeared thus, with a kind of turban (called bonnets, Exod. xxviii. 40.) during their sacred ministrations. However this difficulty seems to be removed by Dr. Doddridge (Fam. Exp. note, sect. 21. vol. 4.) who mentions a custom which prevailed in the synagogue, of the men wearing veils, and he supposes the Corinthians had adopted it out of regard to pharisaical traditions. Comparing this passage with that in the next epistle (chap. iii. 13, to the end, I am led to conclude, that if veils were worn, it was only by those who ministered in the synagogue, and that they were used in commemoration of the veil of Moses, which covered the glory of his countenance when he spake with the people. R. Menachemi on Ex. xxxiv. 33. says, “ that the former ancients of Israel, at the reading of the book of the law, covered their faces, and said, he that heareth from the mouth of the reader is as he that heareth from the mouth of Moses.” If this usage of the synagogue was introduced by the judaizing teachers into the Corinthian church, it was evidently done with a view to exalt the glory of the Mosaic dispensation, which accounts for the apostle's reprehension of it in this epistle, and allusion to it in the next: here, as foreseeing the opposition of these Jewish zealots, he closes the subject by saying, “ But if any man be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” It also deserves to be considered, that no covering of the head, except that of the veil, has in any country been made the symbol of subjection; but the apostle argues from its being such for the propriety of women being veiled if they prayed or prophesied in a religious assembly; and we can hardly suppose that two different coverings of the head are meant to be expressed in the same passage.
P. S. Dr. Doddridge's version of 2 Cor. iv. 3, “ But if our gospel be under a veil too, it is veiled to those that are perishing,” is evidently more consonant to the original, and agreeable to the context than our common translation, and tends to confirm the explanation above given.
ANECDOTE. A REMARKABLE ANSWER TO PRAYER. The widow of a respectable clergyman, who was once settled. in the county of Chester, (Penn.) was some years since afflicted with a distressing complaint in her mouth. She applied many remedies, and to several physicians, but to no effect. The disease increasing for two years, became at last very alarming, and she began to despair of a cure. She was induced, however, to make one effort more to obtain relief, and applied to a gentleman who had acquired considerable celebrity from the cure of such complaints. But upon examining her mouth, he told her, that the disease, he feared, was of a cancerous nature, and had progressed too far to be arrested by any medicine he could apply. She was much afflicted by the discouragement she met with, and returned home in great despondency. In this depressed state of mind, she retired to hold communion with that God, at whose throne she had often found comfort and joy; and in the overflowings of her soul, seemed taught to pray to the following effect: “ Lord Jesus, wilt thou heal my mouth. Thou hast as much power now upon earth, as when thou wast upon earth.” And that very night her disease disappeared, and her tongue, which had been nearly perforated in several places, by the corrosive nature of the complaint, was perfectly healed.
The writer of this narrative has had the account repeatedly from the lady herself, who is a person of unquestionable veracity and distinguished piety.