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merit to everlasting life, they will see no occasion for the sacrifice of Christ, as the propitiation of their sins, and therefore will not apply to him. The law, therefore, which convinces them of their ruin by sin, points out the necessity of applying to a Saviour for redemption, and teaches them to set a due value on the blood of the Son of God, shed for the sins of mankind. Thus the law points to Christ: thus the sinner, humbled by a due know ledge of the law, is prepared to embrace the righteousness which is by faith in Jesus Christ.
Here let us inquire, whether the law has had this effect upon us. Have we examined our hearts and lives by the word of God, with that seriousness and deliberation which the matter deserves? Not to have done this, argues great indifference to our souls, and to the revelation of God. And if we have done it, have we not found ourselves greatly deficient? Have we not seen reason to ery out, "God be merciful to us, miserable sinners?" Have we not been alarmed by the awful declarations of the word of God, lest we should suffer the punishment due to our sins? Have we not been led anxiously to consider how we may best flee from the wrath to come; and to use our utmost efforts to escape from it? So far, in that case, has the law fulfilled its office: it has shewn us our condemnation. It ought to shew us, still further, our inability ever so to satisfy its demands as to give us hope before God on account of our own righteousness. Let it, then, lead us to Christ. Let it persuade us to meditate on the revealed method of acceptance, through the free grace of God in Christ Jesus. Let it cause us to approach the divine Mercy-seat, trusting in that propitiation which God has so graciously provided for singers. Then shall we find the truth of what is emphatically, though figuratively, represented by the propbet: "A man shall be a hiding-place from
the wind, and a covert from the storm."
4. Hitherto I have spoken of the uses of the law in respect to our justification. But it is proper that we should notice its use also to believers in Christ; to those who are justified. We have seen that the law is not to be considered as intended to condemn the true disciples of Christ; but let it not therefore be supposed, that it is not binding) upon them-as many have rashly and profanely imagined, who have applied to all cases the words which the apostle meant should apply only to the case of our justification. The law is to be considered by the believer as the rule of his life; as the sacred standard to which all his actions must be referred; as requiring of him holiness of heart and life, as fully as it did before; as well as explaining to him the nature of that holiness. Still, however, it wears to him a different aspect. It speaks fo him with the tone of mildness. It points out his duty with the affectionate regard of a parent, rather than with the rigour of a master, who considers only the assertion of his own prerogative. It is given by Christ, and sanctioned by his authority: its obligation, therefore, is so far from being weakened by our adoption into Christ's family, that it is strengthened by the additional motives of love and gratitude to him to whom we owe all our hopes. Christ came not to free his people from the law, so as that they should not be subject to its demands: on this point his own words are decisive: "Think not that I am come to destroy the law and the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil." But he came to free the penitent believer from the penalty of the law, which we had incurred, and from the rigour of the law, as denouncing death for every transgression. Still, therefore, the law must be our guide, our friendly and faithful monitor, which should unite with conscience in pointing out
every latent sin, and, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, subduing every corrupt propensity. Thus the law becomes to a Christian, in the proper sense, a ministration of righ
Neither let it be thought that the law, when stripped of its awful pemalty, is to be viewed as a dead Jetter, without power; and that to violate its command will he attended with no danger; for still it requires an obedience, sincere at least, if not perfect. It declares (and its declarations must be fulfilled) that without holiness no man shall see the Lord; that he who is born of God sinneth not; that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his; that they who are Christ's have crucified the flesh, with the affections and lusts thereof. These are the declarations of the New Testament; these the affirmations of the law, as sanctioned by Christ himself. Such declarations should impress the minds of all those who believe in Christ with a salutary fear, lest they should fail short of their heavenly rest. For the law is still designed to produce in us a godly jealousy, a holy fear. Thus it serves to restrain transgression, to make us afraid of the misery of sin, to cause us to flee for refuge to Christ, to make us humble and watchful, and dependent on his Holy Spirit; while it ought not to give birth to dejection and despondency in any who truly believe in Christ, and who, thus believing, walk, not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
It is much to be feared that there prevails a popular dislike to the view I have taken of this subject; which arises from two causes: first, its connection with real piety is at first sight not very obvions; secondly, in the bands of some indiscreet or false professors of Christianity it has led to palpable abuses. But let not the abuse of a doctrine be an argument against its proper
It is sufficient that very great stress is laid on the doctrine by the
apostles; and we ought to conform our opinions to their ideas, rather than to judge of the fitness and propriety of their doctrines by our own opinions. At the same time, let it be remarked, that perhaps no doctrine has a more direct tendency than this, when rightly understood, not only to establish the soul in solid peace, but to promote real holiness of life. Encouragement and hope are the chief springs of obedience, without which it becomes burdensome.
We have already
seen how these springs are relaxed by trusting to the law, while they are invigorated by knowing, that, though by the deeds of the law shall no flesh be justified in the sight of God, yet that the soul which, convinced of this, is led to look for salvation where alone it is to be found, in the knowledge of Christ crucified as a propitiation for sin, will surely find it.
But, in truth, such a subject as the present, however important in the view of St. Paul, or in the scale of Christianity, will appear of little moment except to those whose minds have been duly prepared to estimate its value. Now this necessary preparation consists in that anxiety about the soul, which, it is to be feared, but few feel. While the heart is unconcerned about sin, there will be no inquiries made as to the means of escaping from its guilt. While a loose notion is entertained that our integrity will be accepted as a compensation for our sins, it will seem an abstruse and unedifying subject, to treat of the necessity of being dead to the law in order to live to Christ. But when a person has been deeply affected by the consideration of his having sinned against God; when it becomes a point of the first importance to obtain the pardon of sin; when true humility, and a deep sense of depra vity, fill the soul with fear lest a holy God should execute his just vengeance; when, in a word, the salvation of the soul engrosses much
of the time and thoughts; then the doctrine of the apostle will be considered with that attention and regard which it deserves. For such persons as these is the Gospel intended: to such as these is it preached. These are the truly poor in spirit, to whom the kingdom of heaven belongs. May their number increase daily. May there be multitudes in every part of the world who have learnt from experience to say, "God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ....Yea, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord...I do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith." "Now to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, do minion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. I OBSERVE, in a letter of Mr. Pinckney, the American minister, which lately appeared in the public papers, that he states himself to his government to have been requested by Mr. Canning to attend-him on the subject of the late disagreement with America on the Sunday, which was a few days after the arrival of the American intelligence. The American minister, as I presume, had no difficulty in obeying the invitafina; and I am afraid we must infer, that the practice of transacting buBiness with foreign ambassadors on that day cannot be very uncommon. This habit, among our great men, of employing much of that day, which we generally profess to consider as sacred, in the management of our public affairs, is surely an evil to be deplored. How, indeed, can we expect that the middling and the luwer classes will continue to for
bear from following their several occupations, if their superiors are well known to practise no such abstinence? The argument is nearly similar in both cases. The time, it may be said, of a secretary of state, is valuable, and the business important: but is not also the time of many a private individual equally valuable in his own eyes, and his work of much consequence to his family; and may not his plea, therefore, be equally availing? Thousands in this country find it didicult to live merely by the labour of six days in the week, and are under a constant temptation to trespass on the season of rest for the sake of bettering the condition of a family which is most dear to them; and it is much to be apprehended, that the calculating spirit of the present age may soon annihilate all observance of the Sabbath. Religion, we all agree, is necessary to the welfare of a state; and the observance of set times, both of private prayer and of public worship, are essential to its maintenance. The Sabbath, under God, has been the great means of continuing a religious spirit among us: without it, we should almost forget that we are creatures of God: and the complete secularisation of eveu any part of it, has a most dangerous influence. There is, indeed, a sort of hypocrisy in the man, who first attends the worship of God, and, after hearing that Commandment read, in which it is declared that on the Sabbath “Thou shalt do no manner of work," and after praying God to "incline his heart to keep this law," immediately departs to his ordinary calling.-I am aware that there are excepted cases, and that more of these may occur to our statesmen than to many other individuals; but the instance of which I have spoken affords but too much indication of a general habit: and surely our ministers, after the toilsome business of the week; after the violence of their parliamentary conflicts, and the hurry of their
official life; need one day of rest in seven, for the composure of their thoughts, for reflection on the purity of the principles on which they act, for the discharging of many little affectionate duties to their family,
for the cultivation of a benevolent and social spirit, as well as for the immediate service of God and the various duties of religion.
I am, &c.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. HAVING transmitted a notice of MSS. lately brought from India by Dr. C. Puchanan, inserted in your numler for Jan., I proceed to a particular description of a no less important than curious article in the collection, namely, the Indian roll of the Pentateuch; which I hope will be found interesting to some of your readers. This MS., on a roll of goat-skins dyed red, was found in the record chest of a synagogue of the BLACK JEWS, in the interior of MALAYALA, in INDIA, by the Rev. Claud. Bu chanan, in the year 1806. It measures in length forty-eight feet, and in breadth about twenty-two inches, or a Jewish cubit. The book of Leviticus, and most part of Deuteronomy, are wanting. The original length of the roll was not less than ninety feet English, as appears from calculation; and is properly a morocco roil, though now much faded. In its present condition, it consists of thirty-seven skins, contains one hundred and seventeen columns of writing, perfectly clear and legible; and exhibits a noble example of the manner and form of the most ancient Hebrew manu
scripts among the Jews. The columns are a palm broad, and contain from forty-five to fifty lines each.
Some of the skins appear more ancient than others: and it is evident from a bare inspection, they were not all written at the same pe riod, nor by the same hand. To
describe it more particularly. 1. The best Spanish MSS. are the nearest imitation of the Hebrew characters, as to their form. 2. The protracted letters, as the long aleph, he, lamed, &c. chiefly occur at the ending of the lines in this roll; among which may be reckoned the long beth and resh, not usual in the printed text. 3. The letter cheth, or heth, hath its upper limb in a semicircular form, and is so written in a MS. roll of Esther in this collection. 4. It has no title nor subscript: nor does it appear to have had any subscript at all, if we may judge from the concluding part of Genesis. 5. The parashahs, or sections of the law, distinguished by triple pees or samechs, in the Jewish copies of the Pentateuch, are not otherwise marked but by spaces in this copy. In like manner, the lesser sections, or paragraphs, are no where marked than by spaces. 6. The two great points at the end of verses in other copies, are wanting in this. 7. The Hebrew hyphen, called maccaph, no where occurs. 8. None of the Hebrew rowelpoints, accents, nor pauses, are extant in it. 9. It has none of the Masoretical notes, or various readings, called the keri and cethib. 10. The poetical parts, as Exod. xv., preserve a metrical form, as in other copies.-Therefore this is in all respects an unpointed copy. Its col lation remains a desirable object; chiefly because, that, in comparing several whole and parts of chapters with the printed text, only one va
riation has been observed. This circumstance, we remárk, affords considerable testimony to its integrity and value: and the correctness of our best printed editions of the Pentateuch appears confirmed by it. The following verses have been selected as a specimen of its conformity to the printed text-viz. Gen. L1, 24, 26; ii. '1, 2, 3, 4; iii. 15; iv. 1, 8, 18, 26; v. 1; xi. 6; xxii. 13; xxiii. 2; xxvii. 46; xxx. 42; xlix. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 (a variation), 25, 26, 27, 28; Exod. xii. 40, 41; XX. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17.
The litera majuscula and litera minuscula, noted in the Masoretic copies, are preserved in the text, but are not noted in the margin: particularly, the small he, in Gen. .4; the small caph, in xxiii. 2; the small koph, xxvii. 46; the large and final pe, xxv. 42: as likewise the inverted nun, Num. x. 35, 36. The samech is written large in the word sepher, where it begins the line, Gen. v. 1.
The practice of writing the books of the Law on skin rolls is doubtless very ancient; for the preparation of parchment and veljum for this purpose, being no more than an improvement, denotes a progress of the art, and consequently is of later invention. Morinus, in a letter to Dr. Thomas Comber, Dean of Carlisle, and formerly Master of Trinity College, Cambridge, writes, that he bad in his possession a MS. roll of the Samaritan Pentateuch, written on calf-skins, of an uncertain date: his words are these: "Sunt mihi quatuor exemplaria codicis HebræoSamaritani. Primun integerrimum in vitulina pelle majoribus et elegantissimis characteribus descriptam. In fine Exodi scriptum est, Quadrigentis argenteis Damasci emphum esse anno Arabum, 782." This letter is dated from Paris, An. 1633, Vide Antiquit. Ecclesia Orientalis. Epist. xxxviii. 8vo. Lond. 1682. The CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 99.
year of the Arabs 782, corresponds to the year of our Lord 1404, the year of its purchase; but the date of the MS. was not known.
The learned Montfaucon makes mention of a MS. roil of the Hebrew Pentateuch in calf-skins, preserved in the library of the monastery of the Dominicans at Bologna in Italy. "The letters," says he, "have scarcely lost any thing of their blackness; which is attributed to the skin, a mighty preserver of the ink." This MS. was presented to the monastery by the Jews when Aymericus was general of the order; that is, about the beginning of the fourteenth century, four hundred years since." Vide Travels in Italy, pag. 435. Now if this MS., which was considered very ancient in the time of Aymericus, be supposed to have been written 500 years before, the age of it at this present time will be 1000 years, supposing it now existing. Aymericus was general of the above order. of Dominicans An. 1308.
The same learned writer mentions a very ancient copy of the book of Esther, written on dressed calf-skins, preserved in the monastery of the canons regular of St. Saviour's, in Bologna; said to have been written by Esdras himself. See Montf. Travels in Italy, pag. 442.
There is a treatise inserted in the body of the Jerusalem Talmud, containing the rules of the scribes, and how, and in what manner, the sacred books are to be written. The same directs, that the law be written on the skins of clean beasts; of which number are sheep, goats, and calves. The Jews had the art of dressing and dying skins so early as the time of Moses: and ram-skins dyed red made one of the coverings of the tabernacle (Exod. xxvi. 14): and for aught we know, Moses wrote the Law on skins so prepared. The very existence of these rolls seems to favour such a conjecture as extremely probable: and we may consider them imitations, and exact