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our blessedness, if we embrace it. Let us, then, as conscious sinners, repair to the cross of our Redeemer; let us, with a humble trust, rely upon his sacrifice for pardon and acceptance with our justly offended Creator; that, "being justified by faith, we may have peace with God," and a well-founded hope of the joys of heaven. And, finally, as the fruit of true faith, as the dictate of love and gratitude, let us endeavour to walk worthy of our high vocation, and to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, by the fruits of a meek and holy and heavenly life.


Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

THOUGH I pretend not to have attained to that "ripeness in Biblical scholarship" which your correspondent R. J., in your Number for November, considers necessary to decide his query relative to the true meaning of Isaiah xxxii. 15, I venture humbly to offer what seems to satisfy my own mind upon the sub. ject. I had myself been disposed to read the passage somewhat according to the interpretation submitted by R. J.; but have altered my opinion by the weightiness of the following considerations.

1. In Isaiah xxix. 17, precisely the same figurative expression is employed, where the context absolutely requires that the term "forest" be understood as emblematically predictive of the sterility, and consequent rejection and dereliction, of

the famed nation.

2. I do not find that the image in question is ever used in a favourable sense; that is, as denoting spiritual beauty, strength, or fruitfulness. It is a little error of your inquirer (I am sure he will pardon me for naming it), to state that the "very image" is thus used Hos. xiv. 6; in which place the word does not so

much as occur *. Indeed it will be found (I think invariably, without a single exception in the prophetic Scriptures) to indicate the general unfruitfulness of the people of God, or the total and universal barrenness of the heathen nations. The Seventy render the word by pvpov, verse 19 plural, pupots-signifying properly oak forests; whence the original would seem (in their minds at least) to contain a stricter allusion to the idolatrous worship of either Jew or Gentile, or both; with which that kind of tree, the oak, in particular was identified.

3. Lastly, the locality, if I may so call it, of the term or figure is enough of itself, were there no other arguments adducible, to determine its signification as above. The Prophet is foretelling, not only the fertility of the church under the latter dispensation, that emphatically of the Spirit; but also the mighty reversion which should take place in the " graffing in," to use the Apostle's expression, "of the wild olive-tree," and the breaking off of "the natural branches;" the calling of the Gentiles, and casting aside of the Jews. The judgments that should descend upon these latter are declared in verse 19, in which, be it remarked, the very image in question is repeated. "My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting-places: when it shall hail, coming down on the forest; and the city shall be low in a low place." There can be no doubt that the term is here applied, as R. J. styles it, in a bad sense; and if here, then surely a little earlier in the same prophecy


I will only add an observation of Bishop Louth on the parallel text, chap. xxix. 17, to which I have alluded already.-"Is it not yet a

* Our correspondent R. J. apparently meant to have included verse 5: "He shall cast forth his roots as [the forest of] Lebanon; his branches shall spread," &c. ED.

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THERE are few passages in the New Testament which have occasioned greater perplexity to commentators than 1 Cor. xv. 29. When one considers the improbable and unsatisfactory explanations which have been generally given, it seems rather singular that so little attention has been paid to the conjecture of Markland, proposed in one of his notes on Euripides. He endeavours to shew, as is well known to your learn ed readers, that the word νεκρος, when accompanied with the article, signifies the dead body, or corpse. If this theory be correct, the sense of the passage is easily understood. "What shall they do who, if the dead rise not, are baptized for the profit of dead corpses?" that is, all the advantages of baptism must be confined to the dead corpse, if there is no resurrection of the dead: consequently, the rite of baptism

must be perfectly useless and nugatory. Y. M.


Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

Ir has not, I think, been observed, in enumerating the literary excellencies of the authorized version of the Scriptures, with what ease and accuracy the translators introduce, where necessary, the technical language of various arts and sciences; and this not only in those parts which necessarily required them— such as the account of the building of the temple, or St. Paul's shipwreck-but often incidentally, and where many readers are not aware of the allusion. For instance, we read, Psalm lxxxii. 5, "All the foundations of the earth are out of course;" the expression used by every workman in architecture, to describe irregularity, or unskilful workmanship in the "courses," or layers of stone, brick, or other material of which an edifice is constructed. An attentive reader will observe numerous similar instances scattered throughout the Old Testament. I however mention the circumstance, chiefly because such expressions, if not viewed in their technical meaning, might be among those which a reviser would be in danger of altering, to reduce them to terms of apparently better sound or import. R. F.



Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

THE real impediments which present themselves, in endeavouring to obtain an efficient body of clergy in the colonies of Great Britain, are

sufficiently great; but they are considerably increased from an opinion, not uncommonly entertained, and which was lately stated by a correspondent in your pages, that persons ordained in the colonies, or at home for colonial service, are disqualified from officiating or hold

ing a benefice in England. I shall not enter upon the question, whether it be expedient or not, to admit persons ordained by Protestant bishops in Scotland or in foreign countries to officiate in this country; that is a question perfectly distinct from the present, which relates to English colonial ordination: all that I have at present to shew is, that there is no actual disqualification of persons colonially ordained, which prevents either their officiating or holding preferment in England. Philarchæus asks," Might they not at least be admissible by special licence, after due inquiry and examination by the bishop of the diocese in which they wish to officiate ?" Now, if he will refer to the Act 59 Geo. III., c. 60, or to your abstract of it (C.O.,1820,p.63), he will find that all which he asks is virtually granted.

The Act recites, that the archbishops of Canterbury and York, and the bishop of London, may ordain, or specially authorize other bishops to ordain, for the colonies; but that no person so ordained shall hold any benefice, or act as curate, in Great Britain or Ireland, without the consent of the bishop of the diocese in which such benefice is locally situate, nor without consent of the archbishop, or bishop of London (or his successor), by whom the person was originally ordained; such consent to be given only upon proper testimonials of good behaviour from the ecclesiastical or civil authorities of the colony in which the person to be preferred has officiated. The Act places persons ordained in the colonies, by colonial bishops, in exactly the same condition as those ordained at home for the colonies, prohibiting them from officiating

without the consent of the archbishop of the province, and from being preferred or acting as curates without the consent of the archbishop of the province, and of the bishop of the diocese in which the parsonage or curacy is situate.

I should hardly have thought it

necessary to mention the fourth section of this Act, which prohibits altogether persons ordained by a colonial bishop without the limits of his jurisdiction, or at a time when his jurisdiction may have ceased by resignation, from holding preferment, were it not that the inattentive reading of the marginal abstract appended to the clause is evidently the source of the error which I am now anxious to correct. The object of the clause is most beneficial, that of restraining colonial bishops from ordaining elsewhere than in their own dioceses, and after their power of ordaining has legally ceased by resignation. The marginal abstract runs thus,“ Persons ordained by a colonial bishop, &c., not capable of holding preferment." Upon the filling up of the &c., depends the whole meaning of the clause; and the reading of the clause itself will shew, that the persons thus prevented from holding preferment, are such persons as may be considered ordained in violation of ecclesiastical disci pline, being ordained by "colonial bishops at the time of such ordination not actually possessing episcopal jurisdiction over some diocese, district, or place, or not actually residing within such diocese, district, or place." I trust that this statement will prove satisfactory to the groundless fears entertained by persons going abroad to serve in the colonies, of being, as it were, outcasts from the ministry on their return home. W. H. H.


Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

IT would seem that two things, both of them essential to the well

⚫ It may not be out of place to observe, that such abuse of the power of ordination, as is here alluded to, was the cause of laying aside the practice of consecrating suffragan bishops in England.

being, and even to the existence of a state, are in danger of disappear ing from the face of our beloved country; I mean, all employment and all persons! In things so related to one another, it may be well, indeed, that, if either of them come to an end, both should cease together. But here the cessation of one, and much more of both, presents an image of such frightful desolation, (naturally belonging to the history of "the last man,") that the mind recoils from it with horror.

But let me not too much alarm your gentle readers. All that I wish is, to check a misuse of language, now very generally prevalent.

A few years ago, some person, manifestly ignorant even of the first rudiments of the Latin tongue, introduced the word avocation, in the sense of business, employment, vocation; unaware, it would seem, that it properly means that which calls us off, or diverts us from our proper work; not our business, but an interruption of it: and now the foreign intruder threatens to supersede every better and more rightful native of our own soil. The only plea I ever heard used in its behalf was, that avocation was short for advocation: that is, that off means on, and from, to.

The other misuse of terms to which I allude is, the substitution of individual for person. Here again, attention to the derivation will correct the now fashionable error. Individual (signifying "that which cannot be divided,") bears a constant, though it may be a tacit, reference to a more complex mass : it implies contradistinction to a collective body." Though the committee, in their collective capacity, withheld the desired information, an individual member communicated it to me:" this is correct language; but, "I met an individual" (instead of a person) "who told me the report that was spread," is a style of speaking which one CHRIST. OBSERY. No. 326.

hears to satiety in many companies, and on many platforms, but which is affected and improper, and tends to destroy the precise and appropriate use of words.

J. S.-H.


Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.

WHATEVER may be my opinions on the conduct of Charles Wesley, as having deviated from the discipline of the Established Church, in aiding his brother as the founder of a new community, I bear in mind the fact that he entirely disapproved of what he justly considered to be inconsistent with the system of primitive Methodism ; which was not the formation of an independent party, but of a society remaining within the bosom of the national church, and contributing to its spiritual influence, by the faith and holiness of a certain order of its members. Accordingly, when his brother introduced a kind of dubious episcopacy, by means of a Greek bishop, Charles, among other things, wrote the following epigram;

So easily are bishops made,

By man's or woman's whim;
Wesley his hands has laid on Coke,

But who laid hands on him?

My immediate subject, however, is with the claims of the epigrammatist to a hymn, the authorship of which has occasioned some discussion in your pages. As a writer of devotional poetry, Charles Wesley merits all which has been said of him by a critic, who has himself made a most valuable addition to our sacred poetry.

"Christian experience," writes Mr. Montgomery, in in the preface to his Christian Psalmist, "furnishes him (Charles Wesley) with inexhaustible themes; and it must be confessed, that he has celebrated them with an affluence of diction, and a splendour of N

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colouring rarely surpassed. At the same time, he has invested them with a power of truth; and endeared them, both to the imagination and the affections, with a pathos which makes feeling conviction, and leaves the understanding little to do, but to acquiese in the decisions of the heart. Among his highest achievements may be recorded, Come, O Thou Traveller unknown;' in which, with consummate art, he has carried on the action of a lyrical drama; every turn in the conflict with the mysterious Being, against whom he wrestles all night, being marked with precision, by the varying language of the speaker, accompanied by intense, increasing interest, till the rapturous moment of discovery, when he prevails, and exclaims, I know thee, Saviour, who Thou art!' The hymn, Come on, my partners in distress,' anticipates the strains, and is written almost in the spirit, of the church triumphant. Thou wretched man of sorrows,' and its companionpiece, Great Author of my being,' are composed with equal strength and fervency of feeling-feeling congenial yet perfectly contrasted with that in the former instance; for here, instead of the society of saints and angels, he indulges lonely, silent anguish, desiring to live and die alone' with God, as if creature-communion had ceased with him for ever. Thou God of glorious majesty' is a sublime contemplation in another view;-solemn, collected, unimpassioned thought, but thought occupied with that which is of everlasting import to a dying man, standing on the lapse of a moment between two eternities.' The hymn on the day of judgment,

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Stand the omnipotent decree, begins with a note, abrupt and awakening, like the sound of the last trumpet. This is altogether one of the most daring and victorious flights of our author. Such pieces prove that if Charles Wesley's hymns are less varied than might have been desired for general pur

poses, it was from choice, and pre deliction to certain views of the Gospel in its effects upon human minds; and not from want of diversity of gifts. It is probable, that the severer taste of his brother, the Rev John Wesley, greatly tempered the extravagance of Charles, pruned his luxuriances, and restrained his impetuosity, in those hymns of his which form a large proportion of the Methodist collection; the few which are understood to be John's in that book, being of a more intellectual character than what we know to be Charles's, while the latter are wonderfully improved by abridgment and compression, in comparison with the originals, as they were first given to the public."

I will now endeavour to bring some collateral evidence that Charles Wesley was the real author of the hymn attributed to others; and if I can thus restore it to the right owner, Mr. Montgomery, at least, will not complain. A duodecimo volume lies before me, entitled, "Hymns and Sacred Poems, by John Wesley, A. M., Fellow of Lincoln College, Oxford; Oxford; and Charles Wesley, A. M., Student of Christ Church, Oxford. The Fourth Edition. Bristol: 1743." In this book (p. 216), I find the hymn, "Jesu, lover of my soul;" containing five stanzas, the third, which, by the way, is uniformly omitted in the Wesleyan collections, as well as in every other, standing thus:

Wilt thou not regard my call?

Wilt thou not accept my prayer?
Lo! 1 sink, I faint, I fall,—
Lo! on thee I cast my care:
Reach me out thy gracious hand!
While I of thy strength receive,
Hoping against hope I stand,

Dying, and behold I live! The above date proves, that the Rev. Robert Robinson could not be the author of the hymn; for he was born in 1735, and was therefore only eight years old even in 1743, when the fourth impression of the Wesleys' collection appeared. In

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