Imatges de pàgina

and what ye did to the two kings Hebrews, before the latter atof the Amorites, which were on tempted an invasion of their the other side of Jordan. When country. we heard of these things, our In carrying on the war the Hehearts did melt. The Lord your brews used no unprecedented seGod is God in heaven above, and verity toward their enemies. By in earth beneath.”

the usage of nations in those days, But though God had given captives were considered as the such displays of his majesty, as property of the captors, and were filled that people with terror and usually put to death, or made amazement, they were not re- slaves. But the Jews were ordered claimed from their idolatry and to proceed toward their enemies wickedness. And a people which with more humanity. When cannot be reclaimed must be they came to a city to besiege it, ripe for destruction. In God's they were first to proclaim peace dealings toward them, there is to it. If the city surrendered on nothing which looks like injus- summons, the inhabitants were tice.

all to be spared ; only they were Fifthly : The war, which the to be made tributaries. And if Jews carried on against them, they submitted to the governwas commenced on justifiable ment, which God had instituted grounds, and conducted with for his own people, they were to more humanity than other wars enjoy privileges much superior in that day, and with as much hu- to those, which they enjoyed unmanity as wars often are in these der their own kings; for to days among the most civilized these they were slaves and vasnations.

sals. If the city refused to sur. In that war the Jews were not render, and chose to take the the aggressors, but were first at- chance of war, then, after it was tacked by their enemies. While reduced, the people were indeed, they sojourned in the wilderness, to be put to the sword. This they were peaceable and inoffen- perhaps looks horrible ; and war sive to the people near whom is, in its nature, a horrible busithey passed. They marched ness. But it is no more than is through no king's territory with- often practised in this civilized out permission first obtained. If age. Whenever a fortified place permission could not be obtain is taken by storm, the garrison is ed, they turned off, and took at the mercy of the assailants, another route. But they were who by the rules of war are warseveral times attacked without ranted to refuse quarter. And the least provocation ; first by even this severity was permitthe Amalekites, afterward by the ted only toward the seven naCanaanites; then by the Amor- tions of Canaan.

In a city ites, and by the people of Bashan, taken from other nations, the who all, at different times, sent women and children were always armies against them, when they to be spared.

And in no case, had received from them no inju- where a people submitted on ty or offence. Those nations summons, were any of them to had actually made war upon the be made perpetual slaves or prisVol. III. No. 12.

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oners, but they were all allowed could properly be said “ to be to enjoy liberty, as well as life, delivered into the hands” of the under the Jewish government. conquerors. All the rest made

The images and altars of those peace, and were preserved. Acidolatrous nations were to be de- cordingly we find, that when the stroyed; for as long as they wor- Hivites, who had made peace, shipped their false gods, they were threatened by the neighwould not be subjects of that gov- bouring nations, Joshua immediernment, of which Jehovah was ately marched an army for their the supreme head.

Their re- succour. He faithfully performnouncing idolatry, and acknowl- ed the league, which he had edging one all-perfect Deity, was made with them. necessarily implied in their sub- Hence it appears, that in ex. mission to their conquerors. amining the scripture, we must The continuance of their su- take a comprehensive view of perstitions would have been a the subject on which it treats. perpetual snare to the Jews. Particular passages, taken by

They were to be tributaries, themselves, may seem dark and but not slaves. They could not intricate, when, in a connected be officers in the army or rulers view, they will appear just and in the government ; but person- beautiful. We never should al freedom and security they make a particular passage an obmight enjoy. No harder terms jection against the scripture, were imposed on them, than are till we are sure we rightly unalways imposed on conquered' derstand the passage. The aposnations; that they submit to, and tle says, “ All scripture is given be peaceable under the govern- by inspiration of God." inent of their conquerors. this position is true, we have

They were not subject to tax- sufficient evidence. And it is ation or military duty. It was always unjust to allege particutherefore fit, that they should lar difficulties as objections apay a tribute of manual labour in gainst a general truth founded the public national works, as an on competent evidence.

The acknowledgment to the govern- particular difficulties which we ment under which they enjoyed meet with in scriplure, may be protection. This was instead of owing to our own misconception, the taxation and military duty inattention, and neglect of into which the Jews were subject. quiry, or unfairness in making

View the case as it is stated in inquiry. And certainly it is scripture, and there appears much more rational to ascribe nothing, which looks like singu- these difficulties to our own iglar severity in the divine deal- norance, than to suppose, that all ings, or like wanton cruelty in the evidence of divine authority the Jewish proceedings. The attending the scripture is mere command to consume without delusion. pity all whom God should deliv- It would help us much in iner into their hands, could respect terpreting scripture, and in justithose only who were conquered fying the ways of Providence, if in battle, after they had rejected we would keep in mind the soveterms of peace ; for no other reignty of God. We are ex


ceedingly apt to call that unjust sion. This promise was made in God toward his creatures, on a divine foresight, that the which would be unjust in thein Canaanites would so fill


the toward one another. Justice in measure of their guilt, as to be all beings is the same in its na- no longer the subjects of divine ture, but its acts and exercises forbearance. They were finally may be different according to the destroyed, because their iniquidifferent relations and authorities ties were full. God threatened of the agents.

God is supreme his own people, that if they pracand infinitely wise. His ways tised the same iniquities, for and thoughts are not as

which the Canaanites were deThe world and all creatures in it, stroyed, they must experience men, and all they possess, are the same marks of his displeasGod's property and at his dispos- ure. God's threatenings were al. Though he will injure none awfully verified; and they are of his creatures, yet he has a sove- recorded for our admonition. reign right to deal with them, The Jews were broken off from as his perfect rectitude shall the covenant of God by their unchoose, and his unerring wisdom belief. We stand by faith. Let shall direct. Though one man, ks not be highminded, but fear. or one nation, has not a right to

ERASTUS. dispose of the property of other men, or other nations, yet God has a right to order and change the conditions of men and na

SURVEY tions according to his own will. We find in scripture many

Concluded from page 402. things done by divine command, which, without such warrant, no ALTHOUGH the design of this man would have had a right to Survey is unfinished, I must now do; as in civil society, law may re- offer to the churches of Christ quire or allow things, which no

my closing address. And I man may do without law. But it know not in what better way I does not hence follow, that the law can do this, than by unfolding is wrong; for in the government

to them the affecting and awful there is that authority, which sentiments contained in the fol. no private person may assume lowing parable of him who spake to himself. When we censure as never man spake. the ways of God, because he has

The kingdom of heaven is liken. ordered certain things, which

edunto a man who 8owed good seed men had no right to do of their in his field. But while men slept, own will, we, in our thoughts, his enemy came and sowed tares place the supreme Being on a

among the wheat, and went his level with ourselves.

And when the blade was This piece of history instructs sprung up, and brought forth us, that the wickedness of nations fruit, then appeared the tares is the cause of their destruction. also. So the servants of the The land of Canaan was promis- householder came and said unto ed to Abraham and his seed, 400 him, Sir, didst thou not sow good years before they took posses- seed in thy field ? from whence



then hath it tares? He said un- From our apostate race, Christ to them, an enemy hath done this. is raising up a spiritual kingdom. The servants said unto him, wilt This kingdom he has for a time thou then that we go and gather stationed on earth, in the midst them up? But he said, nay ; lest, of a wicked world. Nevertheless while ye gather up the tares, ye it is a distinct body. Though root up also the wheat with them. his people are in the world, they Let both grow together till the are not of the world, but are citharvest; and in the time of the izens of heaven. They have a harvest, I will say to the reapers, character in some measure suitgather ye together first the tares, ed to their final home. Christ and bind them in bundles to burn has chosen them out of the them; but gather the wheat into world, and ordained them that my barn.

they should be holy, the sons of To his disciples Jesus after. God without rebuke, bearing the wards gave the following expla- resemblance of their Saviour and nation of the parable.

King. “ He that sowed the good seed Upon them he sets the marks is the Son of Man ; the field is of his special love, forms them the world; the good seed are the into one family, and lets the children of the kingdom ; but world know, that it is the place the tares are the children of the of gracious abode and rest. The wicked one ;

the enemy that real members of Christ's kingsowed them is the devil; the dom are rruly good. Though by harvest is the end of the world; nature the children of disobediand the reapers are the angels. ence, they are renewed in knowAs therefore the tares are gath- ledge and holiness after the imered and burned in the fire ; so

age of God.

Oh, how beautiful shall it be in the end of this is Zion, the holy city and habworld. The Son of Man shall itation of God ! send forth his angels, and they But the parable teaches, that shall gather out of his kingdom the church in the present state is all things that offend, and them not pure ; that it has a mixture who do iniquity, and shall cast of the children of the wicked one. them into a furnace of fire; The field had tares among the there shall be wailing and gnash- wheat. All who belong to the ing of teeth.

Then shall the visible kingdom of Christ are righteous shine forth as the sun not of the same character. A in the kingdom of their Father. part of those who number themWho hath ears to hear let him selves among the people of God hear."

are the servants of sin. The The first sentiment which church universal, and perhaps presents itself from the parable is almost every particular church, this; that Jesus Christ has a contains some, who love the people in this ruined world; it creature more than the Creator, people redgined by liis blood, and are slaves to the lust of the sanctified Ly his Spirit, and set flesh, the lust of the eye, or the apart for himself. “ The field is pride of life. This was the the world ; the good secd are the in the first and purest children of the kingdom." age of Christianity. Some,


who confessed Christ before those only, who are the devoted men, forsook the doctrines and servants of Christ. When it is practice of Christianity, and thus otherwise, it is the work of the manifested that they had never enemy. The servants, survey. been washed from their sins. ing the field, and observing tares

They went out from us,” says with the wheat, say to the houseJohn,“ but they were not of us; holder, Didst not thou Sow for if they had been of us, they good seed in thy field ? whence would have continued with us; then hath it tares ?” He anbut they went out, that they swers ; an enemy hath done might be made manifest, that this. they were not of us.” It is to be In like manner, when we surfeared, that our best churches vey the visible church, and find embrace many, who are in real that it contains many, who are ity foes to truth and · holiness. strangers to grace, we must conOf those, who surround the same clude that an enemy hat done it. sacramental table, eat of the same Satan and his adherents hate the bread, and drink of the same purity, and envy the happiness cup, some are travelling in the of the church, and therefore way to Zion, others in the way strive to introduce corrupt printo death.

Those, who belong ciples, false teachers, and hypto the same visible church, will ocritical members.

In this way hereafter, in many instances, be the peace of the church is disseparated from each other, and turbed, the excellence of religion have the impassable gulf placed is sullied, and great advantage between them. A foundation put into the hands of the adverfor such a difference in their sary.

sary. It gratifies his malignant future condition is now laid by spirit to see those profess religthe difference which marks their ion, who are dead in trespasses characters. Some professors and sins ; for he well knows, it are as distant from others in the will occasion offences, injure the temper of their minds, as the church, and open the mouth of bosoni of Abraham is from the the opposing, blaspheming dreadful fire of perdition.

world. You will further learn from But although this corrupt the parable, that mingling the mixture in the church is to be children of the wicked one with mainly ascribed to the malice the children of the kingdom is the and subtlety of the enemy, the. work of the enemy. It is a la real servants of Christ are not exmentable circumstance of the cusable. It is partly through church in the present world, their supineness and sloth, that that it contains such a mixture men of the world are so often of characters; that so many found within the pale of the profess the religion of Christ, church. The enemy came and without knowing its power. sowed tares, while the servants Though for wise ends it is di- of the husbandman slept. Had vinely permitted, yet, in itself, it they, according to their duty, is a great evil. It is evidently maintained a strict and unremitdesirable, in itself considered, ting watchfulness, the enemy that the church should contain would have found it more diffi

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