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Thus, each church having its own version of the Scriptures as a gift to itself, we would not bring the German version to disturb our own community, we would not offer the English to disturb the German ; but we would rejoice in the gift of God, conferred upon each. Be it all along remembered, that we write on the supposition, which we hold to be correct, that the whole number of passages, which really admit of two meanings, is, after all, far from great. And if it pleased the Lord to lead Luther, in his day, to a different view of any particular text from that to which he has led us; and to lead Krummacher, in his day, to a different improvement, arising out of this view; though the unbeliever stumble, though the scoffer scoff, let us nevertheless trace the whole to the wisdom of that God, who uses different means, but worketh all in all.
It has struck us, that, by some fastidious readers, the liveliness of the excellent author, whose work we have now been considering, will be regarded as approaching to lightness. But this apparent lightness may have been one of our reasons for calling attention to his writings; because, through dread of being light, we English preachers are apt to become heavy. There are so many expressions that must not be used; there are so many words which it would be inelegant to employ; English idiom is so much pruned by Scotch grammar; there are so many texts which we know not how to handle ; there are so many
sins which it would be awkward to name ; there are so many religious doctrines which give offence to some, who pass for religious people; there are so many subjects which it would be wrong to touch upon ;-the result of all is, that we get into a dull, pointless, ineffective way of preaching, and no good is done. The accursed spirit of diplomacy, which infests and poisons the age we live in, is extending its baleful influence to the pulpit. Nothing must now be said, but in a guarded, take-care-not-to-commit-yourself, qualified way; and preachers sometimes bring forward important and valuable ideas in such a manner, as to leave the hearer, when they have done, in ignorance of their having brought them forward at all. A good man: good matter : yet no fruit of his ministry! He wonders why. Then have we not the reason here? May it not be because he is tame? We make no impression : May it not be, because our style and manner are not impressive ?
If these reflections are laid to heart with prayer before God, it may to some minister of the Gospel be a new era in his preaching. If so, it may be a new era to his congregation ; a new era to the souls of individuals; a new era to the whole body; an era of REVIVALS. If so, it will be an era memorable to all eternity. And if so, we shall not have written in vain this short and imperfect notice of the affectionate, lively, and impressive Krummacher.
ABRAHAM THE FIRST GENTLEMAN.-In calling Abraham the first gentleman, I by no means intend to say that no person having the character of a gentleman existed before him ; but only that he is the first individual mentioned in Scripture, in whom, as I apprehend, the marks of a gentleman are to be
Moreover, these marks ought not to be disregarded. Every human character seems to have its prototype or representative in Scripture. Hence, when any new feature of character appears, it is worthy of our notice. I am disposed to pay attention, in seeking to discover the meaning of a Hebrew word, to the first place where it occurs in Scripture, Shall I not attend, then, to the first appearance of a new character ?
Abraham, then, I say, is the first Scripture personage, in whom I discern any particular marks of the character of the gentleman. We can hardly give the name to Adam; for when accused of his sin, he throws the blame on his wife. This, in the absence of all testimony on the other side, shakes the claim of our first father. He may have become a true penitent, but we cannot call him a gentleman. Noah planted a vineyard, drank of the wine, and was drunken. What have we against this, which will establish his claim to be called a gentleman? . We come then to Abraham. His claim, also, is shaken by some circumstances attending his approach to the courts of Pharaoh and Abimelech. Yet, on the whole, we shall find in him the true characteristics of a gentleman.
The herdsmen of Lot and Abraham cannot agree. Abraham might have urged his superior claims; might have suffered the feud to rankle, by keeping silence; might have entered into petty details with the contending parties. But, no. He speaks at once and openly to Lot; proposes a liberal arrangement, by which he gives himself the worse side of the bargain; and maintains peace and good feeling by a sacrifice of interest. Few men, perhaps, in the present day, are capable of this. Most might be disposed to call it a culpable dereliction of his duty to himself. Yet it was true gentility. When the news reaches him of his relation's captivity, he despises the dangers, forgets the advantage taken of his former liberal conduct, and flies to his relief like a soldier and a gentleman. Shortly after, he received a blessing of Melchizedec, and gave him tithes of all. Here we see liberality and respect to the clergy, by the want of wbich, in the present day, we too often painfully discover the scarcity of real gentlemen. But he will have nothing to do with the other king, who went out to meet him; and we learn hence, that to shun all obligations from doubtful characters, is one necessary ingredient in the character of a gentleman.
In his hospitality to his three guests, the favour he makes of their staying with him, his activity for their accommodation, his respectful services, we see not only, in the high and proper view of his conduct, the believer, but, in the lowest view that we can take of it, the gentleman. The dignified suppression of his grief before the sons of Heth, at the death of Sarah ; his sustained and stately courtesy in conference with them, while suffering acutely within ; his open manner of proceeding with them, in publicaudience; his unwillingness to receive a favour from a Hittite (as afterwards David's, from a Jebusite); his prompt payment, and performance of his part of the bargain when made, without quibble or delay; all mark the gentleman. In his employing his old and faithful servant, and at the same time trusting him ; in the discretional power of that servant over his master's goods; all denoting trustiness, good feeling, order, liberality, and confidence; we see the household of the gentleman.
Perhaps some persons will say, that as Abraham was a believer, it mattered little whether he was a gentleman or not. There, however, they will be wrong. Every body who has had to do, respectively, with those who are, and with those who are not gentlemen, knows the difference.
When a man wavers, encroaches, and shifts about, in all his dealings with you : when you call upon him on business, and he knows it, yet gets off under a cloud of small talk, with now and then an unmeaning compliment; when he is continually making fresh proposals to you, but flinches from them, like Laban, as often as you accept them: when, having promised, he generally omits to perform : when he goes on making appointments, but not keeping them ; engaging to send you documents in a few hours, but, as soon as you are out of sight, thrusting you and the documents from his thoughts together; knowingly keeping you in a state of painful suspense, never telling you plainly what he is driving at, but leaving you to find it out as well as you can :--when a man treats you in this way, you do not always tell him your mind—perhaps it would be better if you did—but at any rate you exclaim, with an inward sigh, Would that I had to do with a gentleman! and that, perhaps, without ceasing to hope that he is a Christian. The reason why gentility has of late fallen into disesteem, is because many persons, not having religion, have appeared to be gentlemen, without being so. And, in our days, it seems to be the will of God, that there should be a great and general discovery of all that is hollow and unreal; a great and general exposure of it, in its true character: as if he would thus prepare the way for making some great and effectual change and improvement amongst us by his Gospel. A real gentleman is a real prize; as all who have to do with him can tell. The worst of it is, that persons are too apt to make him a prize ; and a man cannot have the liberal, generous, open, easy, unguarded, unsuspecting, disinterested character of a gentleman, without its being found out by all who have to do with him-his relations, his servants, his tradesmen, his dependents, his friends—and turned by too many of them to a base advantage.
The gentlemanly character of Abraham, rightly estimated, will be found to have derived its origin from his views and experience of the true way of salvation, by grace through faith. By faith possessing all, he was willing that Lot should have a part. Cleared from both natural and contracted guilt, he kept clear of every thing that might again tarnish his conscience. Set free by the righteousness which is of God, he was free and liberal" in all his dealings. Hoping for a spiritual Deliverer, in Christ, the promised Seed, he dwelt unfettered amongst things temporal, as looking for things eternal. A man may be as rich as Abraham, without being a gentleman. The poorest man may possess all that is essential to that character, 'if enriched with Abraham's faith.
CAIN THE FIRST ELEGIST.—I do not here speak of the elegy in its strict sense, but in its larger and less confined meaning. In its strict sense, I believe, the word implies a poem upon some person's death ; but, less restricted, it stands for any poem descriptive of sorrow, despondency, or disappointment. Thus elegy begins by bewailing others, but ends by bewailing herself. Men love to talk of themselves, and their own griefs:
but the rest of mankind by no means love to hear of them. To get them heard, therefore, we have recourse to the harmony of pleasing numbers; and thus find a way for our lamentations, to ears that would otherwise be closed against them. According to Horace, the first writer of elegies is undetermined.
Quis tamen exiguos elegos emiserit auctor,
Grammatici certant, at adhuc sub judice lis est. This point, however, which was unknown to Horace, the Bible
decides. The first elegist was Cain ; and the Bible gives us his elegy, shortly after the murder of his brother.
My punishment is greater than I can bear! Behold, thou hast driven me out this day from the face
of the earth; And from thy face shall I be hid; And I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; And it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me
shall slay me! Gen. iv. 14, 15. What can be more mournful, more pathetic, more elegiac! A sentenced fugitive and vagabond, he contemplates and bewails his hard lot: and, viewing before him no other prospect, than that of an exile's life and an outlaw's end, he exclaims, in plaintive accents, My punishment is greater than I can bear!”
But, under this tone of pathos and emotion, the character of Cain is in reality hard, selfish, and hypocritical. He complains of his sentence, as the punishment of fratricide; whereas he had just before inflicted as hard a punishment, for the offence of being accepted of God. There is something very remarkable in Cain's plaintive sorrows for his own woes, when we consider that they follow so close upon the murder of his brother. All relates to his own sentence: there is not a word of lamentation for Abel, whom he had just killed. But Cain, in fact, was a man of feeling. He would not bring a sacrifice from the flock, because, as some have supposed, he shuddered at the thought of taking away life; and therefore offered, instead, the insufficient and unmeaning sacrifice of fruits and flowers, to which the Lord had not respect. Yet he who, for tenderness, would not shed the blood of a lamb, is shortly after found shedding the blood of his brother.
At the present day, there are many Cains. The culprit, who stands at the bar of justice convicted of crime upon crime, without compunction, unconscious of guilt and shame when he is found to have robbed the poor, ill-treated the infirm, or defrauded the widow and the fatherless, weeps piteously, and begins to plead for compassion and mitigation, when the judge pronounces his sentence. The prospect of a whipping, or a few weeks at the monotonous round of the treadmill, makes him cry out, as lamentably as Cain when sentenced to roam round the earth. The jobbing carter, that sees no cruelty in beating over the head, with the but-end of his whip, the poor animal that cannot rise for weakness, begins to whimper, and talk of his large family, the moment the magistrate pronounces his ten-shilling fine. And perhaps the magistrate, with much the same sort of tender