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stigma of evil tendency, as no book is so forcible in its denunciations against injustice, tyranny, and inhumanity The bill which has just passed the Georgian legislature, to extend the laws of that state over the Indians, prohibits a Cherokee giving testimony in a court of justice, in any case to which a White man may be a
party. A Georgian may thus rob or murder an Indian with impunity, provided no white spectator be present, or willing to appear in evidence against him.
The legislature of New York has abolished the absurd and exceptionable custom of making prisoners plead guilty or not guilty.
ANSWERS TO CORRESPONDENTS.
E. D. J.; J. P ; D. M. P.; #1515; A Naval OffICER; M. E. C.; THEOGNIS; N. ; W. G.; J. M.; J. P.; CLERICUS; D. C.; and A LOVER OF TRUTH, are under consideration.
The object of the passage referred to by PARVUS, in the Bishop of Winchester's sermon in our last Number (p. 12, col. 2, at the bottom), appears to be to contrast, not to class; and it is not so much the true son of the circumcision, as the tither of mint, anise, and cummin, the cleanser of the outside of the cup and the platter, who is intended by the Bishop to be opposed to the worshipper in spirit and in truth under the Gospel dispensation. This explanation, we think, will solve our correspondent's difficulty.
We should be very unwilling to subscribe to some of the abstruse technicalities of doctrine and definition propounded to us by E. N., or to some of those conclusions which he considers to be the tests of those who are called Evangelical: for instance, that faith only is to be "the subject of sermons, because good works will naturally and necessarily follow." St. Paul's conclusion is very different (Titus ii. 11-15. and passim.) We should be equally unwilling to refer our correspondent, as he wishes, to any human composition as a standard of "evangelical doctrine." We know nothing of any such "party" as he speaks of. For ourselves, our standard is the Bible, and our best human expositor is our own Church; and if this last reference will suit our correspondent's object, we shall be abundantly satisfied. Dr. NIBLOCK solicits the gift of printed forms of state prayers, or authenticated manuscript copies, of any date between 1548 and 1760, both to perfect his own set, and to enrich with his duplicates the collections in the public libraries. He has discovered that his collection, though he believes the largest extant, is not strictly unique; as Dr. Says, and the Rev. Mr. Baker, about a century ago attempted a similar object. To complete his collection, all forms issued before 1660 will be particularly acceptable, as well as those of the years 1661, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7; 1672, 3, 5; 1688, 9; 1690, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7; 1700, 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 15; 20, 28; 39; 43, 44, 46; 58, and 59 in all of which, forms of prayer were issued, many of which Dr. Niblock has hitherto obtained only in MS., and that at much expense. He requests them to be sent, free of charge, to Mr. Souter's, bookseller, 73 St. Paul's Church-yard. D. C. L. quite mistakes our remark about the Bishop of Ferns in our last Number, p. 54, in supposing that we admit that the laws allow of a bishop's prohibiting, generally, every clergyman from another diocese preaching an occasional sermon in any church in his see, with the permission of the incumbent. In our volume for 1826, p. 149, will be found Dr. Philimore's opinion upon the case, in which that learned civilian states, that any clergyman may preach an occasional sermon any where, with the permission of the incumbent, on exhibiting his letters of orders. The bishop cannot interfere either with the incumbent or the preacher, except to prosecute the latter, if he happen to preach unsound doctrine. This opinion does not, and ought not, to apply to the case of regular curates, who ought always to be licensed to their cure; nor should we wish to see it applied in any case so as to provoke a hostile and insubordinate spirit, where there ought to be the greatest mutual respect and good understanding; but if an individual prelate, as in the case of the Bishop of Ferns, sees fit, for the sake of opposing Bible and Missionary proceedings, and whatever else he is pleased to call Puritanism, to issue an ungracious and imperious edict, it is but just that his clergy should know their own rights, and, if they see fit, act upon them. See the conduct of St. Paul, Philemon 8, 9, as an admirable pattern for episcopal monitions.
SUPPLEMENT TO RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.
We have only space to refer our readers generally to the interesting contents of the two appended papers, under the heads of British and Foreign Bible Society and AntiSlavery Society.
CONSIDERABLE portion of our pages, as our readers are aware, has for nearly thirty years been devoted to the important subject of prophecy. In the course of that period, not a few of the chief questions arising out of this interesting theme have been again and again discussed; and in many cases, either anonymously or by name, by the principal writers who, during the present century, have advocated particular hypotheses of prophetic interpretation. To these discussions, we believe, we may attribute some share of that increased attention to the study of prophecy, fulfilled and unfulfilled, which has of late spread so widely, and excited so much of the inquiries of Christians of every communion. That some persons have adopted unsound interpretations, or that others have defended their interpretations, sound or unsound, in a wrong spirit, is not to the disparagement of prophecy, but only of its frail, fallible, and sinful expositors. Far from considering that the varying opinions, and unseemly controversies which divide Christians on this sacred topic, are a reason why we should close our pages to such discussions, we think them, rather a reason why we should open them widely, that by the running to and fro of many knowledge may be increased, and brotherly intereourse on subjects of such high and holy communion may defeat CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 339.
the designs of the common enemy, who would sow discord in the church of Christ, and prevent the study of the sacred word, by dividing the ranks of those who ought to be mutually aiding each other, under the guidance of its Divine Author, in examining its hallowed contents. Why prophecy is to be exempted from the range of serious Christian contemplation, we can discover no better pretext for, than that some have abused the study. That it ought not to be the chief or exclusive object of attention is no reason why, in its due measure and proportion, which are not small, it should not be a subject of carnest inquiry to every Christian; critically, to those who possess learning and leisure; popularly, to those who have neither; prayerfully and humbly, to both.
The following communication, we are permitted to state, is from the pen of Mr. Henry Drummond; a gentlemen who has devoted much attention to the subject, and whose general views of the interpretation of the Apocalypse are exhibited in a concise, but striking manner, and in a Christian spirit, without debate or controversy, in the following paper. Some other communications on questions connected with the same topic, from other correspondents, are now lying before us, and are intended to appear in future Numbers. We purpose, also, ourselves,
to advert to the general inquiry, in our review department, in reference to some of the recent publications on the subject. We earnestly pray for ourselves and our correspondents, that the Omniscient Inspirer of the prophetic record may open our minds to receive with meekness and sincerity, his infallible declarations; and that where he is pleased still to permit the veil of darkness to hang over their unfulfilled announcements, he would lead us with deep humility to renounce our own wisdom, and to wait with faith and patience a brighter day, assured that what we know not now we shall know hereafter."
which the Holy Ghost uses to set forth the spiritual truths contained in this book. Thus, when it is said that this is THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST, it is to be remembered that Jesus Christ is declared by the Apostle (Heb. ix. 12) to be now
within the veil;" or in the holy of holies. The word " Apocalypse" literally signifies the "unveiling;" that is, the lifting up of the veil which conceals Jesus Christ from us, and revealing his person and his occupations during his present absence from the earth (John xiv. 3).
"God gave" this revelation of himself to him: this is one of the gifts then, which he received for men when he ascended up on high
POPULAR INTRODUCTION TO THE (Psa. lxviii. 18). And the Lord
STUDY OF THE APOCALYPSE.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
Since many persons seem dissuaded from studying THE BOOK OF THE REVELATION OF JESUS CHRIST, by an apprehension that it requires much knowledge of the dead languages and of history, and that the discordant opinions of many pious and learned men render it hopeless for those less highly gifted to attempt it; and since this book contains a peculiar blessing, promised to all who study it, and God's blessings are addressed to the poor and foolish in their own sight, rather than to the rich and wise; it will be well to shew to this latter class that the only eyes which are required for its perusal, are those of faith and honesty, the peculiar characteristics of the poor in spirit, to whom the promise of inheriting the earth is made.
The title of the book, "the Revelation of Jesus Christ," declares the subject of it. It is not a revelation of things made by Jesus Christ, but the revelation of Jesus Christ himself. The language in which it is written, is that of the service in the Jewish temple; that is to say, the ceremonies and rites of the temple are the emblems
Jesus immediately sent, and "signified," or communicated it by "signs" to his beloved disciple John, in order that he might make it known to his church for her consolation and encouragement during his absence. The contents are not left to John to indite under the influence of the Holy Ghost; but the things to be communicated are set forth in visions, invented expressly by God to represent what He wished to declare. Hence this book contains, so to speak, less stain of humanity, and is more truly Divine, than any other book in the Bible. In every other book is to be traced, more or less, the character of the writer the style of St. Paul is readily distinguished from that of St. Peter and St. John; and Isaiah differs much from Jeremiah, Zechariah, &c. In all these books there is something of man, some infusion of human character, with which mere man can find fellowship; and hence, mere literary men, not having the Holy Spirit, can admire many passages in these books, while the Book of the Revelations has excited more sneers and scoffs than all the rest of the Bible besides. It is the purest transcript of the mind of God; and therefore none but those taught by his Spirit can enter into, admire, and love it. Neither
does this remark trench in the remotest degree upon the question of the plenary inspiration of every word in the Bible: since two men may both truly tell the same story, and yet their expressions may be very different.
The first vision represents the Lord Jesus Christ in the dress of the High Priest (Exod. xxviii. 2) walking amongst seven candlesticks, which are afterwards declared to mean seven churches. The dress which the Lord is seen wearing, is not that which was worn by the high priest whilst he was within the veil, which were only linen garments (Jer. xvi. 1-4); but that which he wore when he came out from the holy of holies, after having offered up the atoning sacrifice alone in the presence of God. In the temple was a candlestick with seven lights, all made of one piece, to represent that the church which held up the true light to the world, was the one Jewish church alone. But now that the middle wall of partition between Jew and Gentile is broken down, and all are one in Christ Jesus, there are as many candlesticks as lights, each candlestick bearing its own light. Wherefore, we perceive, that though there was to be one Jewish church, with one ceremonial and one ritual, and confined to one place, there were to be many Gentile churches, and not one only.
The word seven in Hebrew, signifies also perfect. It came to have this meaning, probably, from the work of creation having been perfected by seven acts performed at seven intervals of time: hence time was computed by sevens, of days, years, and weeks of days, years, &c. Thus seven spirits denote the Holy Spirit; seven horns denote complete power; seven ages complete knowledge. So seven trumpets denote seven acts of judgment; the seven-sealed book is the complete unopened mystery of God. The seven candlesticks are the whole Christian church;
the seven stars are all Christian ministers.
John describes Jesus Christ,-first, as "the faithful Witness," which respects the truth of his prophetic word; not one jot or tittle of which shall pass away till it is all literally fulfilled, and for the veracity of which he laid down his life, as it was written of him by other prophets: it likewise applies to him as the accurate observer of all that goes on in the churches over which he is the Head Bishop ;-secondly, as "the First-begotten from the dead;" referring to him in his priestly office of making atonement, as the Lamb seen in heaven alive, as it had been slain, in the following vision; and which is his true description all through the middle of this book, till we arrive at chap. xix.; when, thirdly, the "Prince of the kings of the earth becomes his title, with reference to his royal office, when he shall reign. with all his saints, raised as he has been over the nations; after which, the Apostle breaks out into the song of praise, "Who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and made us kings and priests unto God, even to his Father: to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
The Lord Jesus then describes himself as the Alpha and the Omega, which are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet; as much as to say, "I am he of whom alone all wise discourse can be made: all language, which is but. the expression of man's thoughts, can only take form and utterance within these two letters; and all wisdom, and exercise of the noblest faculties of man, all intellect, can only in its highest acts arrive at comprehending me. I am the beginning and the end I am he who was first in the mind, plan, and intention of God (Prov. viii). I am the end which God had in view from the beginning: to manifest whom the world was created, man formed, man fell, man was redeem
ed, and man shall be glorified." "The being one, the was one, and the coming one," is a literal translation of the word Jehovah.
John describes himself as the brother and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patient waiting for Jesus Christ. All men are born to tribulation; but the tribulation which arises from the kingdom and waiting for Jesus Christ is the portion of Christians alone; of the brethren of Johu, and of the Lord Jesus himself.
John sees a vision of the Lord Jesus such as Daniel saw (vii. 9), and Ezekiel (ch. i.), which he is commanded to write in a book, and to send to the churches in Asia. It is not said to the church of Asia, but churches in Asia; shewing again, that mere diversity of place, without any diversity of doctrine or ceremony, is sufficient to constitute a different church; and therefore proving that the Christian churches were to be various, and not uniform, during this Gentile dispensation.
The description which is given of the glorious person of our Lord is afterwards subdivided, and a portion only of that description placed at the head of each epistle, addressed to each of the seven churches; so that if the whole of the headings of the seven epistles are put together, they will recompose the one glorious description previously given by the Apostle. Each church is warned of a particular danger, and has a special encouragement, and also a threatening in case of neglecting that warning. These seven dangers, taken together, compose all the evils which can assail any church in any time, whether arising from poverty, persecution, and other terrors without, or heresy, relaxation of discipline, want of love, zeal, or any other decays from within; and the particular character of Christ, which is contained in the Epistle to each church, is that by the meditation on which the particular evil which has befallen it will be cured. Thus
these seven epistles form a complete code of instruction for every minister, and for every church, in every condition into which it can
The angel, or minister of the church, is addressed as responsible for the conduct of the flock under him. He is represented as a star in the hand of Christ himself, an implement with which the Universal Bishop acts when, and where, and in what manner he will; wherefore all ministers of churches are of equal dignity, and none is superior to them; none stands, or dares interpose, between them and Christ. Christ speaks directly to them, and through them to the people; while it is added, "Let him that hath an ear, hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches :" Christ speaking to the minister, and the Spirit speaking to the people, is the only true uniformity of which the state of the Gentile churches admits.
In all these epistles a reward is promised "to him that overcometh;" which reward is a reward on this earth. At the end of this book, a vision of paradise is seen, with all these things in it which are here promised to these seven churches; so that if these seven rewards are put together, they make the description of the New Jerusalem at the end of the book. Thus the whole book of the Revelation is enclosed, as it were, with a hook and eye between these promises to the church at the beginning, and the state when she is to receive her reward at the end; and all the intermediate visions are only to represent the several operations by which the Lord Jesus Christ, who is now sitting on His Father's throne, exercises His Father's power and authority, in order to bring about and reduce the earth into that state into which it must be brought before he and his people can enjoy it. These letters to the churches, therefore, are for the encouragement of the church in all times during the absence of Christ, until she shall enter