Page images
PDF
EPUB

long line of predictions of holy So again, when our Lord's disciples writ, under the guidance of that should behold the approach of the inspired declaration,“The testimony predicted ruin upon Jerusalem, they of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy,

were to divest themselves of every we gain such an enlarged view of incumbrance, and to flee to the the providence of God, of the pur- mountains for protection. And, to poses of his moral government, and mention but one example more, of the means by which he effects his when Daniel understood by books designs, as cannot but greatly tend that the seventy years' captivity to excite reverence and admiration. prophesied 'of by Jeremiah was No drama worked up by the art of nearly accomplished, it is said that man, can possibly present so inte- " he set his face to seek the Lord resting and wonderful a succession God by prayer and supplications ;" of parts, and such apparently elabo- and Gabriel was, in consequence, rate intricacies of design, all clearly commissioned to explain to him tending in the end to the main re- the import of the prophecy. In the sult, as are witnessed in unfolding present day it would be too much the web of scriptural fact and pro- to suppose that the time, and other phecy. Every successive portion particulars of unfulfilled prophecy, adds new beauty and stability to especially of shortly impending all the rest, till the top stone is events, are so accurately known as completed with shouting “Grace, to form a scriptural rule of conduct grace unto it.” All the converging in the ordinary affairs of life. It rays of light centre in Him - of would be quite unwarranted and whom Moses and the Prophets did visionary for any individual or body speak :" they exhibit, with con- of men to arrange matters of politistantly increasing lustre, the glories cal or commercial intercourse by the of his person, the wisdom of his assistance of some humanly-devised providence, and the riches of his scheme for the interpretation of prograce. To study prophecy aright phecy: indeed, those who have prois to be introduced, as it were, to fessed the most intimate acquainthe secret councils of Jehovah, and tance with forthcoming events have to watch their gradual accomplish- not been often seen so far to rely ment in the seemingly fortuitous upon their opinions as materially events of successive ages ; all dis, to act against ordinary probabilities closing with accumulating testi- in matters of secular concernment. mony the character of his providen- They have not expatriated themtial arrangements; illustrating his selves from a fair and flourishing land attributes; exhibiting his relation because their conjectural interpreto mankind ; and confirming both tation of prophecy foretold that a the doctrinal and preceptive an

vial of wrath was in store for its nouncements of his infallible word. inhabitants, or neglected to avail

3. Another use of prophecy may themselves of the tenures and sebé to excite in believers in every curities of temporal acquisitions, age dispositions suitable to the cha- though on the supposed verge of racter of those predictions which events which would render them seem more particularly to concern unavailing. But, though such a their own times or circumstances, minute application of prophecy accompanied by a corresponding would be absurd and presumptuous, conduct. In former ages the pre- there is a general point of view in diction of personal or national cala- which, even in the present age, and mities was to be followed by fast-. to the end of time, unfulfilled proing and humiliation : sackcloth was phecy may scripturally influence to be girded on the loins, and ashes our dispositions and conduct. With sprinkled on the head, in token of regard, for example, to the final the deepest grief and penitence. triumph of Messiah's kingdom, there CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 258.

3 A

exists no doubt of its certainty among turbable prophecy. Infidelity may those who credit the predictions of enjoy a partial and short-lived triScripture. The accomplishment of umph, as was lately the case in a that event may therefore, and neighbouring land ; vice and proflishould, be a subject both of prayer gacy may abound, as is too much and of confident anticipation : it the case at all times and in all should also gladden the heart of the countries ; the Christian church it. Christian, and stimulate him to the self may appear in a state of caremost ardent efforts for the universal lessness and apathy; yet the word promulgation of the Gospel. But of prophecy remains sure, nor can even here prophecy is not the im- all these opposing obstacles evenmediate warrant or direct encou- tually frustrate its accomplishment. ragement for missionary exertions. Even these very impediments were The duty rests upon such express themselves foretold, and their exact grounds as the command of Christ occurrence adds new weight to the to his disciples, “Go ye into all the inspired predictions. And thus world, and preach the Gospel to also, as respects the success of inevery creature.” Prophecy, how- stitutions for the extension of the ever, renders every effort to promote kingdom of the Messiah ; should the object more powerfully interest- clouds and darkness be suffered in ing: it appears in the shape of a any instances to hang around them; promise attached to a command. should their efforts be impeded, or Thus, generally, it should connect even miscarry, the Christian, while itself with our prayers and actions ; he laments the partial failure, may but beyond this the application still animate his mind with the cerwould be dangerous. A Christian, tainty of the divinely-foretold relooking at the great and undeniable sults. “ The heathen may rage, end of the prophecies, will feel it his and the people imagine a vain duty and his privilege to assist with thing ;" but still, “I have set my all his power in effecting this glo- King upon my holy hill of Sion" rious consummation; but he would “ I will give thee the heathen for act unwisely and without warrant thine inheritance, and the utterif he suffered his more doubtful most parts of the earth for thy speculations respecting subordinate possession.” Whoever may fall, the points, to influence his conduct; if, work does not cease ; whatever infor example, conjecturing that Gen- dividual instruments may fail, the tile missionaries are to be the ap- vast machinery rolls on unbroken pointed instruments for propagating and unimpeded. The conversion the Gospel, he should be careless of the Jews, the coming in of the for the salvation of the Jews; or Gentiles, the consummation of the that Jews are destined to that office, Redeemer's mediatorial kingdom, should refuse his efforts for the con- and the eternal glories of the future version of the Gentiles.

world, are subjects of promise and With these necessary cautions, prophecy which may well animate unfulfilled as well as fulfilled pro- the most languishing efforts, and phecy, in its clear and general scope, stimulate the coldest heart. Should is a highly important and interest- even doubts or difficulties arise, we ing subject for the inquiries of the may look back at past prophecies, Christian mind, even where there and see how they were often fulis not opportunity for deep learning filled amidst numerous obstacles, and research. In the darkest hour of and by the most unforeseen ways ; personal or national affliction, it will and thus encourage our hearts, and be consoling to look beyond local derive vigour to our faith, as and temporary events, and to view, pects the accomplishment of every in its scriptural brightness, the whole future blessing. scheme of unperturbed and imper- The foregoing remarks will have pointed out some of the important Bishop Horsley translates it—"inpractical purposes to which the de- terpretation.” Every part needs to vout study of the prophecies may be collated with all the rest, and to be be advantageously devoted. Many examined by the light of the geneothers will occur to the considerate ral analogy of faith. Now this very reader, which the limits of this pa- employment, if conducted with huper will not admit of being dwelt mility and prayer, will be found its upon in detail. It will be seen, own reward. Even should the parfor example, that prophecy is often ticular prophecy which called forth an excellent test for trying the the effort be considered at last inspirits of men ; whether they will scrutable, yet the incidental benefit humbly submit to believe what will often be considerable ; as the God declares, however difficult or young men in the ancient fable who incomprehensible it may appear ac- carefully dug their paternal inhecording to the ordinary probabili. ritance over and over again in search ties of human reason. Again ; pro- of a hidden treasure, though they phecy is often useful, as pointing were disappointed in their immediate out the causes and object of the research, were yet amply rewarded dealings of God with mankind ; and by an abundant harvest on which particularly in the almost innume- they had not calculated. And to rable predictions which relate to the add but one use more of the devout Divine displeasure against indivi- study of prophecy, it will not be duals and nations on account of sin. without important benefit if only A prince, a statesman, a legislator, it teach us to be humble and not to a magistrate, and even a private trust vainly to our own understandsubject, cannot read a more useful ings; a result strictly appropriate and affecting memorial than the from the striking exhibition which numerous predictions of Scripture prophecy affords

of the infinite wison subjects of civil concernment, dom and mysteriousness of the Dibesides the instruction and edifica- vine purposes and the ignorance and tion of a still higher kind which re- feebleness of short-sighted man. sult from the devout study of those But upon this and some kindred prophecies which relate to objects points, it will not be necessary to of infinite and eternal moment. touch at present, as they will natuThe prophecies are also further be- rally present themselves in my conneficial for the purpose of leading cluding paper, in which I shall enus to compare spiritual things with deavour to suggest a few directions spiritual. “ No Scripture," and least and cautions for studying the proof all the word of prophecy, “is phecies with advantage. of private”-that is, of its own, as

M.P.

MISCELLANEOUS.

LETTERS WRITTEN DURING A JOUR- about six miles crossed what is NEY THROUGH NORTH AMERICA.

called “ the Mountain" from the

summit of which we had a charm(Concluded from p. 288.)

ing view of the Connecticut valWe left Hartfield in Connecti- ley on the one side, and of anocut, on the 2d of March 1821, ther extensive and very beautiful in the Albany stage or sleigh, to valley on the other, The descent visit the Missionary School at into it was very steep ; and soon Cornwall, and at the distance of after we had crossed the high land which forms its opposite boundary, from the wilderness is a conquest we passed though some very ro- of " civilized man over uncivilized mantic glens, in one of which New nature ;" an addition to those Hartford is situated. Here we dined; resources which are to enable his and as the road to Cornwall now country to stretch her moral embranched off from the Albany road, pire to her geographical limits, and we were obliged to obtain a private to diffuse over a vast continent the sleigh. It was an open one ; and physical enjoyments, the social adalthough the day was extremely cold, vantages, the political privileges, we were not sorry to have nothing to and the religious institutions, the interrupt our view. The country be- extension of which is identified with came dreary and uninteresting as we all his visions of her future greatapproached Goshen; but on drawing ness. near to Cornwall about sunset, we As we descended into the little had some beautiful mountain scenery, valley in which the Mission School very similar to some of the moun- is situated, the distant mountains tain scenery in Tennessee, near were fading from our view ; but we Brainerd. In one respect, indeed, had just day-light enough to see the there was a striking contrast. In steeple of the church and thevery few both cases, the hills were clothed houses which seemed to compose this with wood; but the valleys,which in little village, or rather this little deTennessee were hidden under a som- tached part of a little village. The bre mantle of unbroken forest, were snow contributed to prolong our here enlivened with the appearance twilight, and assisted us in disof cultivation, and animated with all cerning about a quarter of a mile bethe cheering indications of civilized fore we reached the school, a retired life. To the eye of an Englishman- burying ground, with many upright to whom the sight of woods usually slabs of white marble, over which suggests ideas of shade and shel- the evening star, the only one which ter, of rural beauty or of such sylvan had yet appeared,seemed to be shedsolitudes only as are sedulously ding its mild light. Here, as we afpreserved to afford protection to terwards learned, lay the rentains game, to add variety to park scenery, of the lamented Henry Obookiah, or to contrast with rich cultiva

a pupil of peculiar promise, from tion in their immediate vicinity- the Sandwich islands. His compathe trees which generally cover nions, Hopoo, Tennooe, and Honoothe American mountains, even to ree, returned some months since to their summits, detract somewhat their native island with the mission from the sublimity. In the imagina, which was sent thither. Tamooree tion of an American, on the con- King of Atooi, in a letter to his son trary, they invest them with what- at Cornwall, had expressed himself ever of dreary desolation, desert very desirous that missionaries magnificence, and savage nature, he should be provided, and great exhas iearned from infancy to asso- pectations are excited of the success ciate with his interminable forests of the mission. and with the wild beasts and savage

Being informed that a Mr.Indians which inhabit them. With though not keeping a regular inn, him, woodland scenery, even of a sometimes received those who visita milder character, partakes of the ed the school, I applied to him in sublime ; and if mere cultivation be preference to taking up my quarnot beauty, it is closely allied to it ters at a very uninviting tavern. We in his imagination: and from its inti- soon obtained admittance into a mate connexion with utility, which neat little chamber, where I sat up enters largely into his idea of beau- till a late hour, indulging the very ty, it awakens many kindred asso- interesting reflections naturally exciations. Every acre reclaimed cited by my situation, in a deep retired romantic valley, where so many and sat with me half an hour. They heathen youths were collected from could all speak English, and Irepodifferent parts of the world to be ah told me he had seen my country, instructed in the principles of the having lain a week off the Isle of Christian religion, and qualified, as Wight, in the vessel in which he far as human effort could qualify was carried to China and Amsterthem, to diffuse the light of the dam on his way hither. The prinGospel over the benighted lands of cipal of the school told me that their nativity. I thought of the nights Kal-le-ga-nah had gone through a which I had passed at the missionary course of history, geography, and settlements of Elliot and Brainerd, surveying, had read some books of in the southern forest, where I heard Virgil, and was then engaged in this school mentioned with deep in- studying Enfield's Philosophy ; over terest. Indeed some of the Indian which, indeed, I afterwards found children at those distant settlements him when I visited the school. I had brothers or sisters here, with also saw his trigonometrical copywhom they maintained a constant books. I had a letter of introducand affectionate correspondence. I tion to the Rev. Mr. Dagget, thé saw some of their letters, written principal, who is devoting the rewith great feeling and simplicity, in mainder of his life to the school. which they were encouraging each He called on me at eight o'clock, other in their Christian course, and and I afterwards found him at the dwelling on the importance of im- school, where I heard some of the proving their present advantages, pupils examined. He shewed me in order to be prepared to become a large sheet of paper, on which blessings to their native tribes, by were written the names of twenty or introducing civilization and Chris- thirty common objects in English, tianity among those sons of the fo- and opposite to them the corresrest.

ponding names in the different lanI rose early, and at six o'clock, guages of all the pupils who had when the bell rang, went to the ever been in the school. On coming school to prayers. A chapter in the away, he gave me a copy of the New Testament was first read, each 19th Psalm in the language of the pupil, or rather several of them, Muh-he-con-nuk, or Stockbridge taking a verse in succession; after- tribe of Indians. wards, David Brown, the brother It would be difficult to conceive a of Catherine Brown, a Cherokee, more interesting sight than was prewhose name you often see in the sented by this school; and you will Missionary Reports, led the devo- anticipate my reflections on bidding tions of the assembly by an ap- it a final adieu. It was opened in propriate prayer: they then all dis- the spring of 1817, and the followpersed to their own rooms.

ing is the object stated in the conI have obtained a list of their na- stitution:-“The education in Ametive names for you, but in the mean rica of heathen youths, in such time must tell you that there were, manner as, with subsequent profesamong others, one Malay, one Ota- sional instructions, will qualify them heitan, two Mowhees, two Owhy- to become useful missionaries, phyhees, one New Zealander, eight sicians, school-masters, or interCherokee Indians, two Choctaws, preters, and to communicate to the three Mich-he-con-nuks, one Onei- heathen nations such knowledge in da, one Tuscarora, and two Cough- agriculture and the arts, as may newagas. Three of them, Awik prove the means of promoting Chris(David Brown) a Cherokee, Kal-le- tianity and civilization.” Is not this ga-nah (Elias Boudinot) a Chero- a truly noble object? kee, and Irepo-ah, an Owhyhee, af- My hostess was the granddaughter terwards paid me a visit in my room, of the former pastor of the village.

« PreviousContinue »