« PreviousContinue »
though, by a typographical errour, we read thy in many copies of our, English bible. Take heed unto the (not thy) doctrine;' as if the apostle studiously avoided a form of expression which might seem to imply that even St. Timothy had any doctrine to deliver of his own. He is enjoined to take heed to the doctrine, i. e. to the doctrine delivered by the inspired apostles, and by the authority of the church committed to St. Timothy. And this, my brethren, must be your rule: you have no authority to preach any new-fangled opinions of your own, or to adopt those of any uninspired self-commissioned teachers; you must stick close to the doctrine, to the form of sound words originally delivered to the saints; you are to lay open the wonderful scheme of man's redemption; you are to lay it open in its entireness; you are to set it forth faithfully and exactly, as it is exhibited in the holy scriptures, and upon the authority of the scriptures, in their plain, natural, unsophisticated meaning, in the offices, the thirty-nine articles, and the homilies of the church of England. This doctrine will always find its way to the hearts of those that shall be saved, and bear down all opposition internal or external of the carnal man. But if, instead of thus preaching Christ, you are content to preach only Socrates or Seneca,-if, instead of the everlasting gospel of the living God, you preach some extract only of your own, accommodated, by a bold retrenchment of mysteries, to the blindness and the pride of human reason, depend upon it, animated enthusiasm will be an overmatch for dry frigid ethicks; superstition will be an overmatch for all such mutilated gospels; and crafty atheism, taking advantage of the extravagance of the first, the insipidity of the second, the enormities of the third, and of the rash concessions of half-believers, will make an easy conquest of them all. In deliver. ing the great mysterious truths of the gospel, and I repeat it, the whole gospel, with all its mysteries, must be
preached in all congregations,-I would advise you to use in general not an argumentative but a plain didactick style: Teach with authority, not as the scribes :' upon the momentous doctrines of man's corruption-of Christ's atonement-the gratuitous acceptance of man's imperfect works in regard to Christ's merits-of the justification of man of good works, always adhering strictly, as I have before said, to the scriptures, the thirty-nine articles, and the homilies.”*
The importance of the above advice, and particularly to the younger part of the clergy, I hope will be an excuse for introducing it into, what appears to be its appropriate place, the Gospel Adyocate. It was elicited by the subject under the bishop's remarks, and equally applies to the object of this comcommunication.
Bishop Horsley annexed to his charge the following interesting note: "The oldest edition, [of the bible] among those which I have inspected, in which this erratum appears, [thy doctrine, for the doctrine] is the magnificent folio of Buck and Daniel, printed at Cambridge, in the year 1638. The text is correctly given, the,' not 'thy,' in the black letter folio of 1611, in the Roman letter quarto of 1612, and in the black letter folio of 1617; all from the excellent press of Robert Barker. The first of these three is the editio princeps of the English bible now in use; and the second was the first impression in quarto. From the year 1638 to the middle of the past century, editors seem to have fluctuated between the true and corrupt reading, without giving themselves the trouble to consult either the original Greek, or the first editions of king James's English text; and the errour prevailed, as appears from the annexed collation, which shows the reading, the year, the prin ter's name, size, and place, of many editions in that interval.
“ THE. "1648. Daniel. 12mo. Cambridge. *Horsley's Charges, p. 164. Dundee, 1813.
1762. Bentham. 4to. Cambridge. 1767. Mark Baskett. 12mo. London.
"Since the year 1756, the true reading seems to have maintained its ground in the Oxford and the best of the London bibles. Whether Thomas Baskett, in 1756, was the restorer of the text, I cannot tell, not having examined the whole series, from 1638. downwards: But after 1756, I find the text correctly given in all the Oxford bibles that I have examined, (except a small octavo of Wright & Gill in 1776) particularly in the folio of Wright & Gill in 1770, the folio of the Clarendon press in 1781, the quarto of Wright & Gill in 1777, a duodecimo of the Clarendon press in 1782, an octavo of the Clarendon press in 1788. I find the text correct also in the London folio of Eyre & Strahan in 1772, and in the octavo of the same printers without date: of the year."
Imitating the example of bishop Horsley, I have examined all the edi-, tions within my reach, and now give
1809. Robert Scholey. London. 1815. White, Cochrane & Co. 3 vols.
1816. Clarendon press. Oxford. 1816. E. F. Backus, Albany. Stereotype.
"THE"-DUODECIMO, ET Infra. 1803. Clarendon press. Oxford. Pocket edition.
1806. Matthew Carey. Philadelphia. 12mo.
1812. Bible Society. Philadelphia. Stereotype. 12mo.
1816. W. Mercein. New York.
1821. Auxiliary New York Bible and Common Prayer Book Society., Stereotype. 12mo.
1806. W. W. Woodward. Philadel phia. Pocket edition.
1816. George Eyre and Andrew Strahan. London. Pocket edition.
1819. Sir D. Hunter, Blair, and J.. Bruce. Edinburgh. Pocket edition.
1723. John Baskett. Oxford. 1807. Collins, Perkins & Co. New York.
1812. Whiting & Watson, New York. Testament.
1815. Duychinck, Collins & Co. and others. New York.
1815. Meriam & Co. Brookfield. "THY"-DUODECIMO ET INFRA. 1669. Assigns of John Bill, and Christopher Barker. Savoy. London.
In the following editions, xa an διδασκαλία, is translated "and unto learning:"
1578. Christopher Barker. London. black letter, folio.
1610. Robert Barker. London. black letter. 4to.
It appears from the above statement, that of twenty American editions, which I have examined, thirteen have, incorrectly, "thy" for "the." As it is an object of primary importance to have the editions of this all important book as free from errour as possible, I would earnestly recommend to the clergy, in their daily study of the sacred volume, to note such errours as they may occasionally meet with, and to publish their observations in the Gospel Advocate. This would lead to their future correction, and be the means of producing, ultimately, an accurate edition of the
authorized version of the scriptures. We are indebted, under God, to the care bestowed by the Jews upon their copies, for the purity of the old testament scriptures. Errours must necessarily be found, where there were so many transcribers. But their general accuracy, and particularly in those passages relating to faith and doctrine, the nature, character, and offices, &c. of our blessed Lord, demand our warmest gratitude. Let, then, the Christian minister be equally diligent with the ancient Jews. Let him endeavour, by every means in
his power, to preserve the accuracy of the authorized version; that the bluntuted for divine revelation. ders of careless printers be not substi F. D.
THE SIGNS OF THE TIMES.
LUKE XXI. 29, 30, 31. Behold the figtree, and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your ownselves, that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see those things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.
Ir was no small advantage to our Lord's stated followers, that they enjoyed certain seasons of retirement with him, when they could ask him more particularly respecting any parts of his publick discourses, which they did not so fully understand. They often availed themselves of this privilege, and obtained satisfactory information on some important points, which would otherwise have remained doubtful.-As they were one day at the temple with their Master, some were expressing their admiration of that splendid building, "how it was adorned with goodly stones and gifts." He told them that the days were coming, in which it should be wholly destroyed. The disciples then asked
him, "when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of their coming." To this question he gave them a very full answer; not indeed specifying the exact time, but declaring what remarkable appearances should precede the destruction of Jerusalem, and also some of the signs that should be displayed in the last age of the world.He then illustrates his discourse by a parable taken from the season of the year, it being then the time of the passover, in the spring season, when the festival of Easter is celebrated in the Christian church. Looking abroad, probably, upon the vegetation that was coming forward before their eyes, he says, "behold the fig-tree and all the trees; when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your ownselves, that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see those things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand."
As the face of nature among us now presents a scene, somewhat similar to that alluded to in the text, we ought to make the same good use of it, and be reminded of the same solemn considerations. We ought to be reminded of the serious and awful events that lie before us, and must soon come upon us. I. In the first place, we ought to notice the signs, which God gives us, to foreshow events that may be expected to take place. There is scarcely any thing needful for us to know, but what may be discovered by certain signs, before it actually exists, or at any rate before it is fully accomplished. We may notice this,
1. In the works of nature.
Our Lord very justly observes, that the seasons of the year do not come upon us unawares, but manifest their approach by certain previous signs. When they put forth their foliage, ye know that summer is nigh. It is true, indeed, that among us, in our advanced state of philosophical and literary improvement, we have other means of calculating the course of the seasons.
The progress of months and days we consider to be a more exact criterion to determine the nearness of an approaching season. But among the common people in Israel it was not so. They kept but little account of the succession of time, but rather calculated the state of the seasons by the appearance of vegetation. When the cold of winter has passed away, the trees and herbage put forth their leaves in proportion to the advance of summer heat. " Yea, the stork in the heavens," says the prophet, "knoweth appointed times; and the turtle, and the crane observe the time of their coming." And it is of great importance to us all, in all our pursuits, whether of agriculture or commerce, to notice the face of the sky, and the state and temperature of the air. In the opening season of the year, when the ground is relieved from frost, and the chills of winter have subsided,-when the earth is covered with verdure, and the buds and blossoms expand to the approaching sun, then the soil is broken up, and the seed is cast in, to profit by the summer's heat as it passes by. Again, when the sun recedes to southern climes-when the fruits ripen and pass away, and the leaves fade and fall to the earth, we see plain indications of approaching winter, and are induced to prepare for its coming. Such preparation is evidently necessary and those who neglect it will soon find themselves destitute of the comforts and conveniences of life.
2. We may notice also, that in the works of Providence almost every important event is introduced by some antecedent circumstances. The immediate dispensations referred to, in the text were the destruction of Jerusalem, and the subsequent enlargement of the Redeemer's kingdom. These events were to be preceded by the appearance of impostors, claiming the character of the Messiah; "false Christs and false prophets should arise, and should deceive many." Bitter perse
cutions also were to be raised against the church, and lamentable apostacies were to follow; "ye shall be brought before kings and rulers, and some of you shall be scourged and put to death; and because iniquity abounds, the love of many shall wax cold." There should be wars and rumours of wars on earth, and tremendous signs in heaven. And particularly," the abomination of desolation should stand where it ought not ;" that is, the idolatrous image upon the Roman standard should be set up on holy ground, and Jerusalem should be compassed about by besieging armies. It was of great importance to the Christians of that day to notice these signs of the times. They could thus have their minds prepared for the approaching events of divine Providence, so as to meet the calamity with more composure, and bear it with more patience. And it appears from a history of subsequent transactions, that these predictions of our Lord were of great service to his disciples. For when the country was invaded, and Jerusalem besieged, a few years after, they remembered their Lord's saying, and took advantage of an occasion when the siege was a little neglected, and fled from the city and saved their lives. He had forewarned them to depart, when they should see these signs; they obeyed his word and were saved; while the rest of the nation, crowded into Jerusalem to attend one of their great festivals, perished in the most miserable manner. The signs of other times are not so clearly marked; but there are some particular character isticks, which generally precede considerable events. As sickness of body is a presage of death, so extreme corruption of manners is a token of ap proaching destruction. If a man has become grossly abandoned, we may expect he will meet an untimely fate; if a nation is given up to vice, then national ruin is not far distant. Even in the natural course of affairs, every thing verges regularly to its result. Child
3. We may further notice, that in the works of grace, every considerable event is preceded by some leading circumstances. The conversion of a
soul, whenever it takes place, will be found to have followed some important indications. When we discover the mind of any one to be restless and uneasy with its situation, realizing the vanity of the world, and discontented with earthly enjoyments, we may take some courage as to the event. When: we behold, further, an humble and teachable disposition, an eagerness for searching the scriptures and getting divine instruction, we may conclude with much confidence, that the work will yet be effected. And when we finally observe a love for divine worship, a diligence in duties, a renunciation of the world, and other similar marks, we may believe that the man has passed from death unto life, even though he has obtained no peace and satisfaction to his own mind. It is suitable that we should notice these symptoms, in order that we may the better understand what course to take with the troubled mind; and it is desirable that the person himself should notice them, in order that he may gain some comfort, when he would be otherwise sinking to despair. Our Lord himself formed an opinion of one of the scribes in this way. Finding that he answered discreetly respecting the two great commandments, love to God and love to man, he said unto him," Thou art not far from the kingdom of God." If we follow the same method, in judging of the state of the soul, we may be useful to ourselves and to our fellow creatures.
But though we are always liable to