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man himself the highest being, and so sustaining Mind, they will pass from a the highest moral, as well as intellectual, dreamy pantheisin to a teeming and demodel in the universe. Such a position and basing polytheism. such consequences bear all the appearance ATHENS (G. the city of Minerva, sho of folly; and with propriety, therefore, does being the local and tutelary divinity.) was the psalmist affirm, “The fool bath said in the renowned capital of ancient Atxica, lying his heart there is no God' (Ps. xiv.). So in the midst of Greece, between the rivers general, if we may not even say universal, Ceplissus and Ilissus, somewhat inland, on has beea the acknowledgment of a divine the Saronic Gulf. It possessed three har. power, that in general terins it may well be bours, which, in its most flourishing times, felt dificult to avoid ascribiug atheism, if not were connected with the city by walls. Its to a natural owiquity of the intellect, yet position and environments made it very fit to tlie depravation of the moral feelings (Ps. for the purposes either of war or commerce, xiv.2).
in both of which, accordingly, Athens was Atheism, then, is the denial of God, in distinguished, being feared and honoured what sense ? In brief, it is the assertion by sea and by land. The native endowthat the universe owes its origin to matter, ments of her people, their language, their and not to mind. Whether any intelligent civil freedom under a democratical constituHeing has ever proceeded to this length, tion, contributed to the celebrity of Athens, that is, has been a real atheist,
and caused it to gain the high honour of doubted. Men often deceive themselves, being regarded as the mother city of all the being dissatisfied with common representa Grecian, and especially of the classical and uions of the Deity: they deny these, and, Attic culture of the western world. Origiwith a certain vain love of talking, think nally Athens was governed by kings. About they deny the existence of God. This is one thousand years before Christ, it came that practical atheism, of which we fear there under the guidance of archons. Then it, is inuch in the world; and which, as it together with all Greece, fell into the hands springs from an empty head and a flippant of the Macedonian power. Antiochus tongue, tends to keep the mind and heart as Epiphanes is thought to have held dominion poor and destitute as it finds them. Besides over it for a short time. Finally it formed a vulgar, there is also a speculative atheism, a part of the great Roman empire, in which which, if more respectable in its origin, is condition it was when it makes its appearscarcely less prejudicial in its results. Un ance in Scripture. The apostle Paul, having able to forn any satisfactory conception of been driven from Thessalonica, came God, thinking that all prevalent conceptions Athens. The brief notice of this memorable of God are too material, and so untrue; and and most influential visit supplied in the trying to rise and carry abroad their thoughts Acts (xvii. 16), is not without difficulties, so as to conceive of God in a manner corre but on the whole agrees strikingly with Epoading with his nature, speculative atheists what is otherwise known of the place go on retining ou their ideas and their terms, (AREOPAGUS). Thus the inhabitants were til at last they find their Deity in some ethe notorious for their love of novelty. Demosreal essence, diffused throughout, and iden- thenes, in his celebrated oration, De Corona, tilied with, the universe, of which it is the furnishes striking exemplifications of this living and moving power. Diffusion and appetite. The historian Thucydides (iii. 38) concentration, in regard to the same object, describes them as 'most easily misled by are at the same time impossible. But the novelty. Equally notorious was their talkaidea of person necessarily implies concen tiveness. Hence the sarcasm of Alexander, tration. A person is an individual, a unit. who ordered, as two of the most difficult Hence the Scriptures say, God 'is one. A things, that the Lacedemonians should be. diffused Deity, therefore, so far as the diffu. come slaves, and the Athenians learn to hold sion sets aside personality, is no God at all. their tongues. There were in Athens cerThis system is generally called pantheism; tain spots, the Greek name for which may in that is, all God — God is all, and all is God. English be rendered chattering places, where But, if all is God, there is no Gol; for the the common people met together to hear, very idea of God is something distinct, indi report, and discuss the news, and where vidual — something existing apart and se even the most trivial circumstances were parate from the creation, as its origin and eagerly welcomed. It is not peculiar to the eanse. Pantheism approaches also to na Athenians to love or to discuss vew things: ture-worship- the worship of the boundless, the peculiarity consists in this, – that the fathomless, light-covered all, in which the appetite was so large and morbid as to atBabylonians and other eastern nations had tract universal notice, and find a record from the earliest form of their subsequently cor many a pen. The Athenians were also acrupted idolatry. Men must and will indivi. counted very zealous for the honour of the dualise their conception of divine power; gods. Athens was crowded with temples. and if in their speculations they rest not in Pausanias says, that they were excessively ore great all-creating, all-pervading, and all. given to veneration for divine things, more
than others. The altar to the unknown had the inscription, “To the unknown Go 1: God, to which Paul alludes, has given occa. The origin of such altars is in obscurity. sion to much discussion. It appears, how. Probably they may have arisen from a wish ever, from profane authorities, that there on the part of the god-honouring Athenians were altars in ancient times in Athens, bear to leave no possible divinity without an altar. ing the words. To the unknown Gols;' Adroitly, however, and with great effect, does and, as the writers who give us this infor. Paul seize the opportunity of proclaiming to mation are speaking in the plural number, these idolaters the only true, but to them, unit is very likely that these altars severally known God, the Maker of heaven and earth
WOOT END CT TUT ACHCIOLI, ATLERS. As oker ancient cities, so Athens had, on the highest part of the platform of the reun elevated spot, — where had been planted polis, alcut three hundred fect from the the first gern of its social life, — a citadel, Propylæa, stood the Parthenol, of whie or stronghold, termed the Acropolis. In re Pentelican marble; crected under the care lation to Athens, this is still a very interesting of Callicrates, Ictinus, and Carpion, and despot; for it bears the remains, in a mutilated corated with the finest sculptures of Phidias. state, of three temples, besides other ruins. North of the Parthenon was the Erectlæum; In the days of its glory, however, the Athe a complex building which comprised the nian Acropolis, of which the cut gives a view temple of Minerva Polias, a building which as if it were restored, comprised objects of was properly called the Erecthæum, and tlie the deepest interest and concernment to the Pandrosæum. This sanctuary held the holy minds of the citizens. We can add only a olive - tree of Athene (whence Athens) or few particulars. The west side of the Acro. Minerva, the holy salt-brook, the very ancient polis, which alone afforded a natural ascent, wooden image of Pallas or Minerva, and was, under the dominion of Pericles, fur. other sacred thiugs, to which the greatest nished with a splendid flight of steps, and reverence was paid: it was the scene of the adorned with the Propylæa, and two beauti. oldest and most sacred recollections, myths, ful buildings, one on each of its sides. The and ceremonies of the Athenian people. We Propylæa, built of Pentelican marble, was must not omit to mention the brazen colossal the work of the architect Mnesicles, who em statue of Pallas Promachos, made by Phidias, ployed five years in the task. Before this which stood between the Propylæa and the edifice, there stood, in the age of the Cæsars, Erecthæum; and rose so high above all two equestrian statues; of which one was the edifices, that the plume of the goddess, erected in honour of Augustus, the other of and the point of her spear, could be seen far Agrippa. Before its southern wing was a out on the sea. The Acropolis was more: temple dedicated to · Victory without wings.' so occupied with monuments and On the left was a small picture gallery. On statues, that it is wonderful how room was
found for them, since the platform was only one with him, might perfect holiness and 1150 feet from south-east to south-west, with enjoy peace. & breadth that did not much exceed 500 feet. Such is die general theory of revelation, How much was centered on this small spot, commenced under the patriarchal dispensaof which Athens was justly proud; but which, tion, carried forward and enlarged by Moses, having no true religious vitality, perished in and completed and perfected by the Lord a few centuries, under changes consequent Jesus Christ. God's dealings with man on the preaching there, and at other places, have all been mediatorial; and their great of the “babbler' Paul, wliom its refined aim has been to destroy sin, and to make the citizens could, with all their love of novelty, world happy by making it holy. The sinbarely hear with suitable decorum.
offering has varied according to the moral From the year 1814, Athens has been the and spiritual condition of each separate capital of the new Greek kingdom, of which age. Now it was of the fruit of the ground, Olho is sovereign. By the aid of steam, now of the firstlings of the flock. At another railways, and other Enropean appliances, time it consisted of a portion of most of the Athens is now undergoing a renovation objects used in the sustenance of human scarcely less great than that which was com- life. Finally, it was the death of Christ. menced there nearly two thousand years ago But whatever the offering, regard was always by the Christian apostle.
had to the condition of the otlerer, to consueATONEMENT (Al-one-ment; making one, tudinary observances, to spiritual progress, or reconciling). — The fundapiental idea is and spiritual impression and improvement: that of bringing two alienated parties into and equally, the entire system, in all its harmony. This is effected by some instru stages, was an expression of the Divine goodmentality, which instrumentality is the ato- ness, an adaptation to human weaknesses n ng agency. All these ideas are expressed and wants; designed and filted to act on the in these lines from Sbakspere, which show human soul, and so to reconcile it to the will the original meaning of our English word: of God. This is the grand leadiug idea of Lod. Is there division 'twixt my lord and Cassio ?
atonement in Scripture; and, if any facts or Dca. A most unbappy one: I would do much woris occur which seem to imply a change
Taitone them, for the lovc 1 bear to Cissio. on the part of the Deity, they are only parTindal las applied the term to our Lord. tial and occasional; by no means essen• l'aul sarth, Que God, one Meliator (that tial elements of the system, but merely is to say, advocate, intercessor, or an alviie- human views and representations of a great maker) between God and men.'
and divine instrumentality for the salvation The scripiural idea of atouement must be of mankind. The careful student may mark sought originally in the records of the Old a gradual refinement of the scriptural docTestainent. The Hebrew word, in its radi. trine of atoucment, suitable to the progress cal meaning, signifies to cover by means of of mankind in intellect and morals. Under some substance or thing: for instance, the the Mosaic institutions, the offering was of ark was ordered to be covered with pitch. an outward and material kind, which was But, if yon cover, you obliterate, destroy, re. accepted of God partly for itself, and partly inore. Hence the term, when used of man, as an indication of the disposition of each intended doing some act by which sin was individual offerer. In the gospel the offercovered or done away with : when used of ing is the voluntary self-sacrifice of Jesus God, it signified to blot out, to forgive. Ac- Christ, as of 'a lamb without spot and blecordingly, atonement is the means by which mish,” which is made eflectual by faith
in obtains of God remission of sins. It working by love (Gal. v. 6), and issuing in is, in other words, God's method of pardon holiness, in the case of each individual; ining his guilty creatures, and so receiving asmuch as such faith in Christ argues the them into favour. As such, it is, in its very presence of a bias towards divine things, essence, an expression of mercy, not wrath. and is of a nature to operate a thorough It is a divinely originated expedient, by change in the soul; so that, if by faith any which man is enabled to prove his repen- man be in Christ, he is a new creature. tance, and God is pleased to manifest his We have intimated that the atonements of grace. The idea of atonement is not to pa. Scripture were divine. This requires some cify, but to cover, and so to pardon sin. explanation. There is no record showing Forther: sin it is which alienates man from that offerings of any kind originated with God. Your iniquities have separated be. God in primitive times. Primarily, offerings tween you and your God' (Isa. lix. 2). This had their origin on the part of man. They is the general doctrine of Scripture. The are the utterance of a human thought. fact of man's alienation, necessitates atone. They grew up in an oriental soil. In the ment. Hence God appointed mcans by East a sovereign is never approached withiwhich sin should be covered and blotted out an offering. Hence usage, as well as out; so that, the intervening obstacle and gratitude and piety, introduced offerings into disturbing cause being removed, man might religion. But what arose thus naturally, be restored to God's favour, and, being at bore the character of an appropriate expres. sion of man's dependance on, and homage but a truth which comes from the very centowards, the Almighty. Accordingly, that tre of Christ's soul, when we declare, that, which existed as a practice was adopted into as the goodness of the Father is at the bot. Mosaism, and expanded and applied to the tom of the glad tidings of great joy,' propeculiar circumstances of the Hebrew peo. claimed by the gospel; so, whatever is taught ple. This divine sanction, however, was but incompatible with this, whether by man or provisional and temporary, designed to aid angel, by Paul or by Apollos, can have but a in educating the mind for better things to temporary import, must in the lapse of time come. And the institution was well fitted be thrown off as an outer covering, and may, to keep alive, prominent and operative in the nay, will, be laid aside by the mind as soor mind of the Israelites, the great ideas of as it is pervaded and enlarged by the grand duty, obedience, and holiness, of which the and ennobling conception of the divine paentire system of sacrifices is symbolical; for ternity. Thus, the reader will see, does every thing in it tended to make the worship- Christianity, as taught of Christ, throw out per feel that sin was hateful in the sight of from its own essence an idea which, expand. God, incompatible with his own welfare and ing into a system of spiritual truth, is fitted peace, and that holiness was as the badge, to purify and elevate the church as in the so the aim of the faithful servant of the Most nineteenth, so also in the first centuy. High. It is true that these important moral Here, then, does Jesus present us with a convictions were, under the first dispensa, standard by which to measure Christian doc. tion, somewhat superficial, and wore a thick trines, and a touchstone by which to discri. material covering: yet were they also as minate between what is his and what is pure and spiritual as the day would allow; man's— what is from above and what is and even by the materiality of their charac- from below. ter, did they possess a suitableness for While, however, it is declared that sacricarrying on the education of a race, who, ficial language is found in the writings of though superior in morals to other nations, the aposúcs, it does not follow that this had not passed out of the period of spritual language is necessarily the expression of infancy. Thus did the law prove an effi- sacrificial ideas. Terms last in & tongue cient schoolmaster, to train men for Christ, long after the realities which they at first
Christianity, as developed out of Judaism, represented have passed away. Even to the naturally partook of its system of atonement present day we speak of the sun's rising and Yet does it deserve especial notice, that sacri- setting. Error can give to words & vitality ficial ideas are rarely found in the teachings which it cannot impart to ideas. And, before of Christ. The existence of sin he does in. We conclude that sacrificial doctrines are deed distinctly recognise, and most feelingly taught by Paul, we must be satisfied that he deplore. The necessity of reconciliation to does more than use a current phraseology God, so that we may become one with the derived from a system which Christianity Father and the Son, he incessantly urges. fulfilled, and so put to an end. But the means which he sets forth are moral But one thing is very clear, namely, that and spiritual. Love is the great power no one more than Paul magnified the grace which Jesus recommends as the instrument of God as the source and the efficient cause by which man may be brought to God. The of human redemption. Paul taught, as did central idea of his religion is the idea of the John,-only in somewhat different terins,universal Father. The conception of a So- that, as God is love,' so 'in this was manivereigu which Judaism enshrined, Jesus fested the love of God towards us, because expanded into the nobler, and more attrac- that God sent his only-begotten Son into the tive, and more refining conception of an world that we might live through him'(1 John ivfinitely wise and immeasurably good Pa- iv. 8, 9). This great scriptural truth, which rent. With such an idea, the pains and has on its behalf the three-fold testimony of penalties of a system of satisfaction are Jesus (his word is itself sufficient), of Paul, wholly incompatible. The essence of the and of John, will avail to throw off whatever Saviour's doctrine is concentrated in the uncongenial elements may at any time happarable of the Prodigal Son, which thus be- pen to gather around it, and eventually bring comes a picture of the divine dealings with all disciples of Christ to acknowledge that man. Here, then, we have, as the central the love of God and the love of man are the doctrine of the gospel, so that beau ideal to grand essentials of the gospel. which we should raise our conceptions, and we have here aimed at nothing more than by whose light we should try the spirits, dis- briefly to lay down general scriptural prin. criminating the divine from the human in ciples in the assurance, gathered from our the scriptural record, in order that so we own experience, that he who thoroughly may find the pearl of great price,' become enters into these views will find no serious acquainted with the mind of God, and en difficulties, either in the exposition of parjoy peace and rest in the broad and sure ticular passages of Holy Writ, in the inter. foundations of everlasting truth.
pretation of God's general providence, or in We utter, then, no arbitrary assumption, the reading and devout improvement of his own lot in life and his own opportunities. undertaken. The moral import of these "God so loved the world that he gave his observances in general cannot be mistaken. only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth If the effect corresponded only in part with in him should not perish, but have everlast- the original design and tendency, the same ing life' (John iii. 16).
may be said of Christianity itself. But the ATONEMENT, DAY OF (H. day of langnage of the prophets clearly shows, that alonements), an annual festival of universal the moral significance of the entire ritual cleansing among the Israelites, which began was its divine element; towards a full conon the evening before the tenth day of the ception of which the chief minds of the seventh monih (Tisri), and lasted to the nation made rapid progress, and, at the same evening of the same tenth day. It took place, time, held forth their light to the whole of therefore, nine days after the Feast of Trum- the people (Isa. Jviii. Ps. 1). Nor must it pets, and five days before the Feast of Ta- be forgotten that Judaism eventually gave rise bernacles. Its occurrence in the seventh and place to Christianity, the most cere. month, and its name, Sabbath of Sabbaths, monial to the most puroly spiritual religion that is, the great Sabbath, show that this in- upon earth. Moses and Christ are at the stitution made a part of the Judaical Sab. head of two very dissimilar cycles of divine bath system; on which account the two great revelation; yet the first was the harbinger festivals, the Sabbatical year and the year of the second; such is the connection and of Jubilee, opened with the Sabbath of Atone such is the unity that prevail in the dispenment. As a Sabbath, the day was to be kept sations of Providence. free from all manner of work, both on the As no other nation had for its fundapart of the Hebrews, and of strangers resi- mental idea anil aim 'Holiness to Jehovah' dent among them. But the distinguishing (Exod. xxviii. 30), so, amid all the religionis peculiarity of the day was, that it was a observances of the world, there is none that season of annual purification, releasing the corresponds with the day of atonement. Jewish people from all lapses, omissions, Some resemblance to it may be found in the and sins, into which they might have fallen Ramadan of the Mohammedans, which, howduring the year. The particularity with ever, most probably imitated the Jewish which the observances of the day are laid festival. At a less distance lies the Hindoo down (Lev. xvi.; xxiii. 26-32. Numb. Sandrajonon (Priestley's "Comparison') : XXX. 9-11), proves the importance that most remote are the Supplicationes of the was attached to the institution, for which ancient Romans. regson it is termed the day,' the great day;' AUGUSTUS (L. honourable and inrioand, as fasting was required among its lable), the title of honour by which is geneIsages, it is denominated the fast' (Acts rally described in history, Caius Julius Xxvii. 9. Isa. lviii. 3. Ps. XXXV. 13). The Cæsar Octavius or Octavianus, of the family word rendered 'fast' denotes, in the original, of the Octavii, son of the prætor Caius humiliation of soul, as the seat of the affections, Octavius, adopted son and sole heir of his of which, humiliation the fast was the out. great uncle, the well-known warrior and ward means and token : the day was there. writer, Caius Julius Cæsar, whose name fore one of general moral review, of contri. Augustus, according to custom, added to his tion, and self-abasement before Jehovah; a own. He was born in the consulship of day of sorrow and mourning; but also, in Cicero and Antony, 091, U.C; 02, A.C. eonseqnence of the universal atonement then After the assassination of Julius Cæsar by marle, a day of deliverance, joy, and peace. Brutus and his associates (44, A.C.), he
The purification was universal, beginning united himself with Marc Antony and Lewith the high priest, and descending to the pidus to make war on the slayers of his relafurniture of the tabernacle. Hence the idea tive. The three soon disagreed. Augustus of sin must here be enlarged beyond its ordi- gained (31, A.C.) a final victory in the sea. nary comprehension. In Mosaism ritual fight at Actium on the Ambracius Sinus, on uncleauness bore the name, as well as moral the western side of Northern Greece; and defilement. The universality of the cleans. thus having set aside competitors, he proing had a high spiritual import, betokening ceeded to take possession of the universal that there is nothing in creation holy but empire, which Rome had ready to give to the God; thus raising man's idea of the Creator, final victor. Retaining the old republican and making that idea bollowing to the human forms, the senate (725, U.A.) handed over soul. The purification did not omit the the state to the hands of a monarch, under priests, and so brought them into the same the military title of imperator (commander): class of sinners with their fellow-man, and whence our word emperor. Augustus was aided to counteract any vain notion of self also distinguished by the title of Cæsar, in importance and self-righteousness which honour of his uncle. Year by year the their position might otherwise engender. senate and himself played at the game of The rites of cleansing began with the priests, preserving the substance of a despotism thus intimating that it is with holy hands under the shadow of republican forms; the and a purified heart that God's work was to be emperor laying down his authority, and the