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future blessedness; to obviate which he assures them, that it will not be till the dead shall have been raised and shall thus have rejoined their friends who shall be still alive, that any shall enter upon that perfect state of blessedness, so that we shall not o áowper, be better off than those who are asleep, but we, together with them, shall be taken up to meet the Lord, and in this way shall we be for ever with the Lord. Of the condition of the deceased saints meanwhile, he says in that passage nothing; it would not bave been to his purpose, since his object is to show that on the resurrection day the living saints would not be better off than they. It is also possible that at that period (for the Epistles to the Thessalonians are thought to be the earliest of the apostle's which are extant,) his mind was not so distinctly conscious of the happiness enjoyed in the intermediate state, as the passage now before us shows that he was at present. At any rate, it is not fair to make the silence respecting a truth noticeable in one passage an argument against an explicit statement of that truth when found in another; especially since this statement respecting an intermediate state of happiness is so strongly confirmed by what we read in Phil. i. 23; in Luke xxiii. 45; and Acts vii. 59.

lavróte, in every case, i. e. whether I be or be not destined to be “ found” évdvokuevoç.

'Evènpoūvtes. 'Evènueiv is to be évènposi. e. living among one's own people. The presence of the Lord is the Christian's home.

Verse 7. Eidovc. Cp. the Blecóueva in iv. 18.

Verse 8. 'Exènuñoai. In verbs expressive of state (as évènueir to be an évènuoc) t13 aorist very commonly (though not always) de notes getting into that state : ékồnuñoar is therefore “ depari," and evonuñoai is “ to go home.”

Verse 9. A—" wherefore,” i. e. as looking forward to such happiness and honour, it is our highest ambition to be acceptable to him. His reference of his actions to the judgment day, does not seem to be governed by a fear of being rejected then; for such an apprehension would be inconsistent with the Sápooc which be has just before expressed ; but rather by his desire to be then approved of and commended by his Lord. Hence too he uses the word puloTquoú uefa, which is more than 6 labour:" it is aspiring to an object as our highest honour. Such a term would hardly be chosen to express a man's labouring to save himself from being cast off. The same state of feeling is described in 1 Cor. ix. 15—27, the Bpapeior there being what he here expresses by ευάρεστοι είναι. Είτε ενδηpoūvres, eire écòn poūvtec. With these words supply év rý cúuan and ék toū obuaros, rather than a pòs Tov kúplov, and årò ro kypov, since this construction would be more consistent with the order of the things themselves in point of time. This, however, is not material. But are these words to be taken with piloripovjeta or after elvar? Does he mean, that whether in the body or ont of it, it is his ambition to be acceptable to Christ ? Not so: for (1.) it seems a strange thing for a man to assert what will be his ambition when in the other world, and (2.) the rà dià Toữ cóuaroc or the & έπραξιν evidently include the work of the φιλοτιμία mentionet

here. It seems therefore better to connect those words with elvai, and to consider them as equivalent to eire youvoù este évòvoáuevou eúpe Incóuefa. (Cp. ver. 3.)

Verse 10. Here then he states the time to which he looks forward as that which is to test and reward his ευαρεστία.

Pavepw Invai“ be made manifest"--more than “ appear.” Cp. 1 Cor. iv. 5. Bhuaros—“ tribunal of judgment.” Matt. xxvii. 19. Applied to Christ also in Rom. xiv. 10. Ta dià toŨ obuaros sc. apaxDévra, the accusation of the thing for which retribution is received being put after kopíšouai, as in Eph. vi. 8. and Col. iii. 25. Others supply Kouicóueva or some such word, understanding the accusative of that which is received, as in 1 Pet. v. 4. and taking ohuaros of the resurrection body : the former, however, is much the more obvious. The tà dià toŨ owuaros, then, is put in contradistinction to the life of the disembodied spirit: the award of the last day depends entirely on what has taken place in the present state. For tà dia toŨ owuatos some read td tdca toū ou paros, understanding that the apostle means that what has been done in the body cleaves to it as its own for ever. Not to say that the critical grounds for accepting this reading are very weak, the conceit strikes my mind as altogether unsuitable with the style of the apostle.

Looking over the whole of these ten verses, they would appear to present the following train of thought. “If my frail body is to sink under the pressure of my afflictions, I look forward with confident expectation to a better body; and that is the great object of my desires. I earnestly desire to realize that. Come Lord Jesus ! Come quickly! But if my Lord's coming be delayed, I have yet no fear of death; for I know that though it would remove me from my home in the body, it would bring me to the far dearer home of my Lord's presence. So without any anxiety arising from the apprehension of death, whatever befall me, whatever I anticipate, it is the object of my proudest ambition, to gain the commendation of my Lord when he shall judge the world. Of my acceptance I have no doubt; but I desire to merit his warm approval in that day, for it is then that all men will receive their final award."

E. H.

ON SOME RECENT LAWS RESPECTING MARRIAGE. In 1822, an Act of Parliament respecting marriages was passed, which required the performance of some natural impossibilities, and in the next session the legislature was obliged to repeal that law. The Statute 6 and 7 William IVth, cap. 85, contains some clauses in no case requisite to the public good, and extremely annoying to Dissenters. A still more recent Act has passed, (which I have not seen,) and which, I understand, forbids a widower to marry a sister of his deceased wife, and a widow to marry a brother of her deceased husband, and illegitimates the issue of such marriages. This Act is now occasioning great uneasiness in some of our churches, and is likely to lead to very unhappy results in society.

Protestant Dissenters readily admit the right of human legislators to regulate what is merely circumstantial in the celebration of marriage, as whether such celebration shall take place between the hours of eight and twelve, or any other specified hours; whether it shall be in the presence of two, or of four witnesses; whether the registration of the transaction shall be made by a clerk of the peace, a town clerk, or any other officer appointed for the purpose. But when they think human laws contravene the divine, they judge that they ought to obey God rather than men.

If marriages were made with a total disregard of the ties of consanguinity and affinity, it conld not fail to produce numerous evils, but the wisdom of God has provided a preventive. Jehovah has authoritatively fixed the lines of demarcation, and any removal of those lines to the right or to the left is a contravention of his law. If human legislators presume to authorize marriages which the divine restriction forbids, they offend against God; nor less so, if they remove the divine boundary in the contrary direction.

In some of our churches cases have occurred where a widower has, since the passing of the law in question, married a sister of his deceased wife. Some pious members have brought these cases before the church, as calling for ecclesiastical discipline, while others, not less pious and intelligent, maintain that this Act of Parliament is at variance with the law of God, that it is fraught with serious evils, and cannot, therefore, be made a rule of discipline in the church of Christ.

The complainants allege the general obligation of subjection to the higher powers ; – that the marriages in question are not of good report ; - that they are not authorized by the law of God ;- and that no man has a right to bastardize his offspring. The first objection must certainly be taken with considerable limitation. If an Act of Parliament forbade all marriages between parties who were not of similar height and complexion, would any christian church feel called upon to censure or excommunicate a member who had disregarded that law? The second objection is not more valid. If the law of God approve of the marriages in question, do not those persons reflect on the wisdom of God who say such unions are not of good report? To dissent from the sect which is incorporated by Act of Parliament, is not only not of good report, but by mnltitudes is branded with every term of reproach, but this does not prove our duty to conform to the incorporated sect. The passages of holy writ referred to in support of the third objection are, Deut. {. 5-10, Lev. xviii. 6-18, especially the sixteenth verse. If it he said, the passage in Deuteronomy was peculiar to the Jews, and may therefore be passed by, yet even that law proves that the practice cannot, in itself, be immoral, especially if it appear that it was in no case forbidden, and in some recommended if not absolutely enjoined. The verses in Leviticus are a part of the moral law, and universally binding; if not, there is no law against marriages between the nearest relatives. The general spirit of this law, as expressed in the sixth verse, is to forbid marriages between any that are near of kin. The divine Lawgiver then proceeds to define the exact limits of the law. When these limits are altered, whether by extension or contraction, there is an invasion of Jehovah's authority, an abrogation of his law, and an injurious infringement of human rights. The word wife, not widow, in the sixteenth verse, especially as limited and explained in the eighteenth, to vex her, in her life-time, seems to put the matter beyond question. The law of God approves of such ‘marriages, the interest of society does not require a different rule; the prohibition is Papistical, like that which forbade matrimony between godfathers and godmothers, or either of them with their godchildren. Surely no christian church can have any right to censure what the law of God approves. To the fourth objection it is replied, though parents should have regard to the temporal interests of their offspring, yet if legislators will make laws at variance with those of the Supreme Being, on them the censure must fall. If an Act of Parliament were passed to illegitimate all children who were not baptised according to the rites of the Established Church, ought all parents to have their children so baptized, under the pretence that they must not bastardize their offspring, or ought any church to censure them for noncompliance with such an enactment ?

Whether Protestant Dissenters may think proper to take active measures for the repeal of this law, or otherwise, it is hoped that, in the administration of their church affairs, they will studiously make the divine word their rule, and be unswayed by worldly wisdom, or popular clamour.

T. G.

ESSAYS ON THE BOOK OF JOB.

No. V.
.BY THE REV. RALPH WARDLAW, D.D., GLASGOW.

We bave briefly considered the questions relative to the reality of the characters and incidents in this Book; to the time when Job lived; to the author, the date, the structure, and the style of the poem :-and we have endeavoured, by an analysis of the whole, to ascertain its general design, and the principal lessons meant to be conveyed by it.-In proceeding now to the more detailed exposition of the Book, I may begin by premonishing the reader, that it is not my purpose to enter into verbal criticism, in any instance in which it can possibly be avoided without an actual sacrifice of the true sense ; but to present a general explanation of the facts, of the scope of the controversy, and of the final result; and, at the same time, to point out the practical instructions, either expressly taught, or obviously deducible.

The first chapter to which the reader is requested to turn) directs our attention to the following points :- 1. The character, property, and domestic circumstances, of Job :-2. The charge brought against him by Satan, and the permission granted by Jehovah to put this charge to the proof :-3. The first series of the Patriarch's trials :4. His behaviour under them.

I. Tue CHARACTER, PROPERTY, AND DOMESTIC CIRCUMSTANCES, op Job.-i. His character : verse 1. In the composition of this character there are three things to be noticed. We have, first, innard religious principle-"one that feared God.The fear of God is frequently put for the whole of religion. Job xxviii. 28. Psalm iii. 10. Eccl. xii. 13, &c. “ They that feared the Lord” is, in Scripture, one of the distinctive designations of his people. This fear is not the crouching, trembling, selfish terror of a slave; but the bumble, affectionate, confiding reverence of a child. It is a holy awe of the divine character, and a sacred, but generous, dread of the divine displeasure. It is inseparably associated with love, and invariably proportioned to it. We truly fear God, just in as far as we truly love him. The fear is affectionate fear; the love reverential love. The child that loves, fears to offend; because he cannot endure the thought of paternal displeasure. A father's smile is his chief joy; a father's frown breaks his heart.-We have, secondly, distinguished eminence in religion" that man was perfect and upright." - The terms must not be interpreted absolutely, as expressing faultlessness; for it was true then, as it is now, and Job was no exception to it,that “there is not a just man upon the earth that doeth good and sinneth not." But they imply three things :-1. Guileless sincerity;-a reality in the heart, corresponding to external professions and appearances to all that is uttered by the lips, or performed in outward observance :-2. Entire devotedness ;- in contradistinction from a heart divided between God and idols, or between God and the world ; and, 3. As a natural consequence of both these, stedfast constancy; a character maintained in consistency by singleness of eye; regulated by the one only motive of regard to the divine will,free from the unsteady fluctuations of “fleshly wisdom," and marked throughout by the harmony of principle.-We have, thirdly, practically influential religion-he - eschewed evil,"—that is, he carefully shunned, and habitually strove against, all sin,-esteeming all God's commandments concerning all things to be right, and hating every false way. And this expression, though in a negative form, implies the active doing of good. The man, indeed, who does not good, cannot be said to “eschew evil,” for the failing to do good is itself evil.—He was surpassed by none, if by any he was equalled, in the excellencies of his character, and of all those excellencies godliness was the basis.

ii. Job's SUBSTANCE AND FAMILY :- verses 2, 3.- We mention his substance first, though it stands here second, that we may take the number of his family in connection with the notices respecting them in the subsequent verses.— His substance is evidently given in round numbers. Like the substance of other patriarchs, it is reckoned chiefly by cattle; the condition of the country where he dwelt being at the time principally pastoral. In such countries, indeed, wide in their extent, and comparatively thin in their population, the acquisition of land was in general more easily effected than that of cattle to feed upon it. We dwell not on the puinerical amount of his flocks and herds, or the extent and sumptuousness of his domestic establishment. It is enough to say, that the former was such as to render him

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