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TO HIS SON,
paternal solicitude, and by every or preferment, may operate to prudent and Christian method to quite contrary effects. New expromote the growth of true piety pedients must then be chosen, in their hearts ; to give them and new disappointments will friendly advice with relation to soon ensue. Or if the measures their necessary intercourse a- chosen seem successful in the mong men in the various walks first essay, remoter consequences of life, and especially with re may be adverse and disastrous, spect to the manner, in which it and doubtless will be so. I need becomes a minister of the meek pot refer you to history, sacred and lowly Jesus to address both or profane ; your own recollec. God and man, whether in the as- tion will verify this remark. The sembly of his saints, or in the man, who, laying aside the plain chamber of sickness and of maxims of virtue and morality, death.
governs himself by the policy of the world, is never satisfied ;
never consistent with himself ; LETTERS FROM A CLERGYMAN never uniform in his conduct.
He is continually shuffling and
changing his means, always anxLETTER VI.
ious and embarrassed; wishing My Son,
to undo what he has done ; and In reading my preceding let doing what should not be done ; ters, I believe you have been still too proud to confess his er, led to this reflection, that the ror, and too selfsufficient to ask work of the sincere and hum- advice. If danger threatens and ble Christian is much more plain, probable means of deliverance simple and easy, than the work fail, he takes some desperate of a man of the world. The for- measures, trusting to the conmer makes his duty the rule of tingence of events. If he falls his conduct, and indulges no into ruin, he draws many after painful anxiety about the conse- him, and endeavours to console quences. The latter is solicit- himself by imputing the blame ous about the consequences, and to others. pays little attention to duty. The The pious and honest man esapostle says, “We have our capes all this vexation and miseconversation in the world in sim- ry. “He walks uprightly, and plicity and godly sincerity, not walks surely.” He has one plain by fleshly wisdom, but by the rule to guide him. This is the grace of God.”
word of God, and this, he knows, The man governed by the wis- will never mislead him. If ever dom of the world is always in he is in doubt, he recurs to this uncertainty and perplexity. Hu- rule, and his doubt is removed ; man wisdom is short sighted ; it for his way is marked before him. cannot look far into futurity ; He feels no embarrassment ; for nor foresee what will be the re- he knows what is good, and what mote consequences of the policy, God requires of him. He walks which it adopts.
very right on in the way prescribed, means, which it applies to the committing his way to God, and procurement of wealth, honour, trusting that his thoughts will be established. If he meets with of the gospel open to his view some disappointments, still he glorious and endless prospects. maintains his resolution, and Faith appropriates an interest in pursues his course ; he will not the promised blessings, and hope turn aside to avoid the evils be- begins the enjoyment of them. fore him ; for he believes these, Amidst the changes of the if they meet him, may be the world he rests in the immutable means of improving his virtue, God. In times of danger he and ensuring eventual success ; dwells secure in the secret place that some rough passages will of the Most High, rand abides teach him to tread more cautious- serene under the shadow of the ly, and will prepare him to en- Almighty. In worldly embarrassjoy more pleasantly the smooth- ments he keeps his mind cheerer parts of his journey. As ful and unruffled by a humble long as he finds himself in the trust in divine wisdom. He is path of wisdom, he feels no solicitous only to understand and anxiety what may be before him ; pursue the path of virtue and for this, he knows, will lead him righteousness; thus, he knows, safely along, and bring him out he shall enjoy peace, and, whatbappily at the end. And what- ever may be his lot in life, no ever may happen by the way, he evil will ultimately befall him. believes it will aid his progress, He commits his soul to God in and facilitate his journey through well doing, as to a faithful Crelife. When anxious thoughts ator, casting all his cares upon arise and utter their complaints, him. he rebukes and silences them by When death approaches, he the recollection, that he has calls up the exercise of that faith, pursued the line of duty, and by which he has lived, and resigns committed his way to God. If himself anew to God in humble his worldly designs miscarry, he hope, that as he has been faithful will not murmur; for he has to the death, so now he shall rest committed them all to God's from his labours, and his works disposal. He knows there is a shall follow him. plain inconsistency in committing That you may enjoy the covje his works to God, and complain- scious pleasures of religion in ing of God's allotments. This is life, and experience its solid comtaking back what he once resign- forts in death, is the wish and ed, and reclaiming what he had prayer of your affectionate pagiven away.
EUSEBIUS. How happy is the life of the good Christian, who lives by faith in God, and trusts with him the interests of time and eternity? A consciousness of the rectitude of his heart and the purity of his Dear Sir, intentions give him peace and It was with pleasure, I underserenity. A persuasion of God's took the task of relieving your wisdom, goodness, faithfulness mind, with regard to the authenand power fills him with confi- ticity of the Epistle to the Hedence and hope. The promises brews. I shall now try to eluci
A LETTER ON THE AUTHOR OF
date this subject further, and the priests, its prime minis, give you a more correct opinion ters. of this book and its presumptive
Learned commentators pretty author, in the words, as far as generally agree, that Paul is not it is possible, of the excellent its author. There are, bowever, Venema, who after Mill and mighty exceptions, Mill and Michaelis, has thrown further Michaelis. But if not Paul, who light upon this subject.
then? Luther and Beza have The letter was probably. writ. given it to Apollos, and Venema ten to the Jewish Christians at has defended this opinion with Alexandria ; unquestionably, to his usual acuteness. Before copysome of that denomination, unit- ing his arguments, it may ed in a church ; as appears from spread more light upon this subchap. xiii. 18, 19. This suppo- ject, to say a few words about sition is strengthened from the Apollos. style, as well as from the use of Apollo, Apollos, or ApollodoPhilo's phraseology, who top was rus, was a companion of Timoan Alexandrian. Dr. Mill and J.D. thy and Tilus. Titus iji. 13, Michaelis understood it from the Heb. xiii. 23. He was eloquent Hierosolymitans. But the style of and deeply initiated in the knowlthis epistle is an objection against edge of the divine mysteries and this conjecture. It was probably rites of the Mosaic law. This is written in Greek, as it bears evident, not only from the epistle more marks of an original com- to the Hebrews, which you might position, than of a translation. deem here a precarious assumpIt was unquestionably written tion, but from his title dogros elobefore the destruction of Jerusa- quent, Acts xviii. 24. and i Cor. lem, of which more than one ev- jii. 6. Paul planted, Apollos waidence will appear to the atten- tered. He was born a Jew, at tive reader of the epistle. The Alexandria, Acts xviii. 24. deepauthor's aim was to confirm the ly versed in the books of the Old Jewish Christians, still stagger- Testament, mighty in the scrising and inclining to the Mosaic tures ; of a fervent spirit, who at rituals, in the Christian faith, and Ephesus, though only acquainted wean them from their attachment with the doctrine of John the to the institutions of the Mosaic Baptist, and knowing only the law. He executed his design first elements of the kingdom of with great skill and address, main- God not even knowing the eflutaining throughout the epistle, sion of the Holy Ghost, Acts xix. and illustrating the position, that, patronized, fearless in the cause under the gospel economy, un- of Christ against tlie Jews, limited obedience was due to Acts xviii. 25. (Venema reads Christ; deriving his arguments & Po3.mg pro angulas, as Philip i. 14) from the transcendent exct llency while he aiterwards was more of Christ above all angels who accurately instructed by Aquila, Beld a high place under the Si- axg Biçigov ib. v. 26. Thus better mai covenant, (chap. i. & 11.) above learned; he went 10 Achaia, and Moses its institutor; above the tarried at Corinth, where he was prophets, who were aiding it, of great use to the believers, (chap. iii. & iv.) and above all helping them much, who had believed, through grace. So the Paul to plant, for Apollos to water. punctuation ought to be. Apol- of this there are specimens, los remained awhile with Paul, chap. v. 11. vi. 1. when he was at Ephesus, but de- 4. The style which he uses, is clined returning to Corinth, round, rhetorical, oratorical. To though Paul wished it. i Cor. Apollos, called roytos, an elegant xvi. 12. He was afterwards with and graceful elocution is ascribed, Titus in Crete, Tit. iii. 13, from Acts xviii, 24, 27. This too is which he went to Italy,and wrote, more applicable to Apollos, than to as Venema supposes, this epistle Paul, whose style is more concise to the Hebrews! At length, it and energetic. It would be furseems, he returned to Alexan- ther an easy task to bring forward dria, Heb. xiii. 19. In this city, words and phrases unusual to if conjecture may be indulged, he Paul. instituted a catechetical school, 5. It appears evident, that the by others attributed to Mark. author has a particular relation to
Give now a candid considera- the Hebrews, to whom he writes; tion to the arguments, with which so that he not only addressed Venema supports his opinion. them in a letter, but requested If it is correct, we have gained their prayers to God, that he another important point with re- might soon return to them, chap. gard to the history of our canon
xii. 19. which does not agree ical books.
with the character of Paul, the Besides the presumption, that apostle of the Gentiles, chiefly, Paul would not have with holden not of the Jews. his name, which he did not in 6. It is more than doubtful any of his other epistles ; it has whether Paul would have freely
1. Some weight, that there does conversed in Italy where Timonot appear a shadow of evidence, thy was imprisoned, which howthat the writer was an apostle, or ever this author asserts, ch. xiii. invested with any dignity or au- 23. I know it is commonly thority in the church whatsoever; thought, that the writer declares yea, he distinguishes, himself himself bound, x. 34. but this is from the leaders, and excuses owing to an incorrect reading, as himself, that he wrote admoni- for dsspeous les must be read, decuiois, tions and consolatory letters, ch. which is required by the verb, xiii. 17, 18, 22, which agrees superabew, to have compassion, with Apollos not being with Paul. comp. ch. xiii. 3.
2. He joins himself to the He- 7. It does not agree with Paul, brews, who did receive the doce to call such an extensive letter, trine of Christ from other witnes- a short one, xiii. 22, as Paul in a sès, as well as they ; chap. ii. 3. much shorter letter to the Galaand mentions no where any im- tians, says, see how largely I mediate revelation. The contra- have written with mine own ry way is usual with Paul, Gal. i. hand,” Gal. vi. 11. It suits bet
3. It suits better the character terthe style of an orator to call it of Apollos, than that of Paul, that a short letter. he aims at a more sublime in- 8. The only objection is from struction, as it was natural for 2 Pet. iii. 15, which, if taken
away, shall take the place of an
NEW ENGLAND argument. Paul is said to have
CHURCHES. written to the same, as Peter, who wrote to the dispersed
Continued from page 259. Jews.
THERE is no truth more clearHere cannot be understood ly tevealed in scripture, none one, but various letters, as direct- confirmed by more various and ly follows, and not particularly substantial facts, or more certainwritten to the Hebrews or Jews, ly known and felt by Christians, but to believers in general, than the native depravity of man. Greeks as well as Jews, in which The evidence, which scripture letters he, as well Peter, spake furnishes of this truth, is very of the same things, to wit. of clear and multiform. It is conthe reasons of the delay of the tained in every part of the Bible. last judgment, and God's long Whether we look into the Old suffering, not willing, that men Testament or the New; whethshould perish, but that all should
er we attend to the rites of the repent, and be saved, Jews as Mosaic, or the Christian system ; well as Gentiles.
whether we examine the historic, If still any one pretends, that the devotional, the prophetic, the Paul's epistle to the dispersed doctrinal, or the preceptive parts Jews must be here understood, of the sacred volume, we find irnothing hinders in that case in- resistible proof of this sad and deed, from understanding Peter's humbling truth.
humbling truth. Without adsaying as referring to St. Paul's mitting it, the scriptures can nerlost epistles ; as it is beyond er be understood according to doubt, that Paul wrote more let- the rules of a just and fair ters, than those actually preserv- construction. Without admited; which is evident from 2
ting it, many parts of the Bible, Thess. iii. 17. as no other now which the inspired writers mani. remains between the second and
festly consider, as eminently imthe first.
portant, will be destitute of meanCandidUS. ing and use. In demonstrating
this deplorable truth, the whole Readers are requested to course of events, learned from examine the passages referred to. observation and from history,
conspires with the holy scrip
tures. How plain and certain is The Editors acknowledge the inge. it to every wise observer, that nuity of Venema's defence, and thank mankind, whether considered in a their learned Correspondent for the social or individual state, are pains he has taken to select and com.
wholly corrupt, the children of municate the arguments. They must
disobedience, transgressors from however be allowed to suggest the im
the womb. portance of great caution and long examination on the part of readers, as In the view of good men, this none of the arguments appear fully truth is attended with the highconclusive, and some of them are ea. sily exposed. Besides, some of the ments in confirmation of it are
est evidence. A thousand arguideas contained in the defence tend to diminish the authority of the Epistle derived from their growing to the Hebrews.
acquaintance with themselves,