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THOUGHTS ON THE PARABLES IN MATT. XIII. concord exist? How can these two walk together ?
Is it not that the place and calling of the Church of
God has been forgotten, and the kingdom of heaven In the parable of the grain of mustard seed becoming has rather become in men's apprehension a kingdom a great tree, we have the kingdom of heaven as a of the earth? If any ask why God permitted such power in the earth, subduing other powers, and as confusion, there can be but one answer the enemy such seeking prominency in the world. The rulers in sowed tares in the field—the work of the sower for it hav had for their professed object the extension of the present was spoiled, and judgment was certain. the name of Christ, but this name in their hands was But though known to God, it was not manifest to men, a means merely to exereise their own ambition. They and the worldliness, the effect of the presence of the sought to enlarge the bounds of Christendom, and tares, must be made manifest; for it is the way of succeeded in the attempt. In the prosecution of their God to make evil manifest before punishing it. The design they have displayed the greatest energy and persecutions which the early Church suffered were the most untiring zeal, they have evinced a readiness lessons of God, and might have shown the antagonism and aptitude to use all the appliances that the world of the world; but when these divine teachings were could afford. The most astute policy has character-disregarded, and the spirit of the world still infected ized the measures, framed by some, followed by most, the professing body, like an incurable disease, God which had for their aim the bringing of the temporal gave it up to follow its own will, allowed it to fall into power to acknowledge the superiority of the spiritual. the world's arms, to become a mere vine of the earth, Sovereigns have been urged to oppress their subjects; doomed to destruction. The true position of the subjects have been incited to rebel against their so- Church, as the body and expression of the glorified vereigns; divide and conquer was the secret maxim Christ, was very soon lost. The Holy Ghost, as the which governed all their proceedings. The lust of animating and directing energy, was grieved, hindered, earthly grandeur is discernible long before the secular and practically denied; and by degrees earthly hopes power of the empire allied itself to the professing began to displace the waiting for Christ from heaven. Church when Constantine made Christianity the reli- The barrier which the Lord had established to prevent gion of the empire. But this alliance once made, the the influx of worldliness being broken down, there corruption which adversity and persecution had in was nothing to prevent the professing body, as a whole, some degree held in check, showed itself boldly, and from becoming thoroughly imbued with the spirit of flattery and intrigue, and all the arts that men use to the world; and the consequence was the substituting obtain influence, were employed by those who claimed of a religion made up of Jewish ceremonies, heathen to be followers of the apostles, and to have the care of rites, and worldly principles, for the faith once delivered the Church. The kings of the earth were courted by to the saints. This seems to be the leavening of the the servants of Him whom these kings took counsel lump. together to destroy. What a change came over the “Another parable spake he unto them, The kingprofession of Christianity! Christians are called to dom of heaven is like unto leaven,” &c. Here we suffer now that they might reign THEN. But instead have the kingdom presented, not as a secular worldly of suffering, the high places of the earth were coveted power, but as a principle or doctrine which thoroughly and obtained. Satan offered the glory of the world pervades all that is submitted to its influence. There to Christ if He would worship him—" for that is de are some who conceive this parable to be descriptive livered unto me, and to whomsoever I will I give it." of the grace of God in the soul. But while the (Luke iv, 6.) Jesus would not have glory from the kingdom of God is said to be "righteousness and devil
. But Christians have had this glory, Christians peace,” &c., it is never so said of the kingdom of still enjoy and seek it. Who gave it them? By what heaven, which is always dispensational, and not moral means did they possess it ? "" To whomsoever I will merely. The kingdom of heaven is ever the kingdom I give it.” Solemn thought, the power and the glory of God, but the expression “ kingdom of God” does that Christ rejected, the professing church greedily not always mean kingdom of heaven. This parable, too, covets. We have societies composed of some real be it remarked, in common with those preceding, was Christians, but for the most part of nominal christians spoken outside to the multitude, giving an external and worldlings, for the avowed purpose of propagating picture of the kingdom which sets aside another idea, Christianity. They yield a something to each other. viz., that the leaven is symbolical of real christianity, The one has civilization for his object, the ameliora- spreading universally until the whole world be contion of the world ; the other yet professes to aim at verted. But there is no such prediction respecting christianizing the world. But is civilization the, yea, an the gospel in the whole book of God; on the contrary, object of the christian missionary? Does he not call to in the very first parable in this chapter, out of four separation from the world ? “ Let the dead bury their classes to whom the word is preached, there is only dead,” &c. To spread the gospel and the truth is the one class which brings forth fruit. It is inferred that work of the Christian, and of him alone; the means the word will not be universally received. In the and the agencies employed should be Christian and field the tares, as such, continue to the end; they do not worldly. If the tares and the wheat join to pro- not become wheat. In the parable of the net, there mote Christianity, alas for the wheat! How can such were caught both good and bad fishes. All exhibit
the same truth, that evil men will be found in every the following passage of Guizot's History of Civilizaage up to the end. There are many passages in the tion in Europe : -" The Church was a society regularly old Testament which foretell a time when all in Israel constituted, having principles, rules, and discipline of shall know the Lord, from the least even unto the its own, and actuated by an ardent desire to extend greatest; a time of all but universal blessedness. But its influence, and to vanquish its conquerors. Among no where is it said that this will be the effect of preach the Christians of that epoch, [when the barbarians ing only; other and far different means besides will broke up the Roman empire,) in the ranks of the be used to accomplish this. The unprejudiced mind clergy, there were men who had pondered deeply upon may easily know that all these passages predicting all moral and political questions, who held fixed opifuture peace and happiness for the world refer to a nions and energetic sentiments upon all things, and future age, to be ushered in by judgment upon them strove strenuously to propagate them and render them that have not received the gospel. Another reason paramount. No society ever made such efforts as did the for rejecting the above interpretation is, that it gives christian church, from the fifth tothe tenth century, TO EXto the symbol, leaven, a meaning which it has no where TEND ITS SPHERE, AND SMOOTH THE EXTERNAL WORLD else in scripture. Leavenneversuggests the idea of any- INTO ITS OWN LIKENESS. When we study its parti. thing good. Wherever used, it is symbolical of cor- cular history, we shall perceive the full extent of its ruption. In the Mosaic economy all the types which labours. It attacked barbarism, as it were, on all its have an especial reference to Christ were free from sides, to civilize by subduing it.” This was just the leaven. Where the worship of the saint was sha- leavening process going on under the hand of the dowed forth, there was leaven, as denoting the pre- woman. Alas! we know it was but the spread of sence of the flesh, which though mortified, and by the corrupt christianity, so that here, as elsewhere, the energy of the Holy Spirit kept under, yet will ever leaven had, in fact, its usual counterpart. Nor does be present while he is dwelling in this present world. even doctrine remain sound where there is the mere It will only be when the mortal and the corruptible unhallowed desire of spreading profession, and where shall be changed into the immortal and the incor- the heart is not subject to God, and purified by faith. ruptible, that worship shall be free from the effects Thus, throughout Christendom, systematic judaizing of the flesh. So in its most virulent and worst forms, became the rule, mingled with not a few accommodaas exhibiting the extreme enmity of the unrenewed tions of heathen rites and practices, in order to please heart against God. The hypocrisy of the Pharisees the multitude and facilitate their so-called conversion. is called leaven. We read too of the leaven of Herod. The Church was regarded as an improvement and comThe apostle Paul speaks of the unleavened bread of plement of the Jewish polity. Israel's restoration sincerity, and here, by implication, leaven symbolises and future hopes were denied, and so the ruin was hypocrisy. It may be remarked also, but with no helped on ; because the Gentiles began to regard the desire to press it beyond its legitimate import, that forfeited place of the Jews as their own. Thus bethe hiding of the leaven is not the act of the Lord. coming earthly, they rose in their own conceit, liable
The parable, then, presents the universal diffusion and sure in God's time to be cut off. (Rom. xi.) of the Christian religion within certain limits-not
R. B. the growth of faith or the communication of life, which is rather represented by the wheat which took root in the ground; not the rise and progress of an
THE PREMILLENNIAL CONTROVERSY.* ecclesiastico-secular power," a great tree,” resembling PLAIN men are apt to think that if the premillennial the symbols of an Egyptian or Babylonish dynasty; advent of our Lord be the true doctrine, it ought but å definite sphere filled with the profession of to be made as plain as possible to the whole body Christ. It is the state of the kingdom which will of the Church. "That is reasonable. But the obbear a resemblance to the act of a woman who hides jection that the majority of the Church at present leaven in three measures of meal until the whole l'are against the doctrine is no good reason against be leavened. To all but God the distinction between it. The majority, perhaps, may not give heed to good and evil is lost. Outwardly it is an indiscrimi- the light of prophecy; they may not humbly innate mass who bear the name of Christ. God simply voke the Spirit of prophecy to their aid. “ Do not shows us here the historical fact; and the external ap- interpretations belong to God ?” Balaam, a bad man, pearance is a lump thoroughly leavened. As the tree was a true prophet; and a good man may be a false represented Christendom aspiring to power in the interpreter of prophecy : a good man may not be good earth, so the leaven, spreading over the three measures in all respects. In these benevolent but bustling times, of meal, sets forth Christian doctrine professed and a minister who has little leisure may be so little learned propagated throughout a given sphere. It does not on this important point, that some of the flock may appear to be the design of the Lord to pronounce a moral sentence in these early parables to the multi- [* The above paper, from the pen of a respected and venerable tude. Of course the spiritual man ought to judge of brother in Christ, we insert, though attaching much less weight than all things ; but here the object is to represent such be does to the formularies of the fourth and following centuries,
when the Church had fallen low indeed. Neither do we think that facts as meet the eye and mind of men outside. Nor the English reformers had any light to speak of on "that blessed have they failed to be observed, as will appear from hope."-ED.]
have the advantage of him. Even with great leisure i, 32, 33; Acts ii, 30.) But when He shall sit on that and application, we find that on this, as on other sub- throne, He will give rewards of grace to His servants. jects, a single fundamental error in the premises will “ To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me vitiate the whole argument. One of the signs of our in my throne, even as I also overcame and am set times ought to arrest the attention of the whole down with my Father in bis throne.” (Rev. iii, 21.) Church, namely, that of the prophecy of scoffers in the Now the Church of England annually anticipates the last days, saying, Where is the promise of His coming ? second advent of our Lord in its advent services, inThis implies a prominent preaching of the advent on troducing them always by reading that prophecy, Jer. the very eve of it, and such a preaching is now in xxiii, for the epistle, on the Sunday next before adprogress. It is worse, indeed, to be a scoffer, but it vent. The collect for that day was taken out of St. is not good to be unwise.
Gregory's Sacramentary, but the epistle and gospel There was a time, and that the earliest, when the were both newly selected by our reformers in the reign majority of the Church was not against this doctrine. of Edward the sixth.* Surely, then, the objection It was believed and taught by the most eminent fa- that the majority of the Church of Christ in the prethers of the age, next after the apostles, “ that before sent day are opposed to the doctrine of His premilthe end of the world Christ should reign upon earth lennial advent is not so formidable, as the fact itself for a thousand years, and that the saints should reign is to be regretted. under Him in all holiness and happiness.” This doc
H. G. trine was by none of their contemporaries opposed or condemned, and therefore it was the catholic doctrine of the Church of that age; it was taught as
People and Vand of Israel. such, and not as a matter of private opinion. None denied that it was the tradition of the Church, clearly
TRAVELS IN SINAI AND PALESTINE. derived and authentically delivered. Up to the middle of the third century this doctrine had prevailed Arthur Penrhyn Stanley, M.A., Canon of Canterbury,
Sinai and Palestine, in Connexion with their History. By and met with no opposition, but thenceforth it began with Maps and Plans. Third Edition. London: John to decline--principally, says Mosheim, through the Murray, Albemarle Street. 1856. authority of Origen, who opposed it because it was
Our object in the present paper is to cite some passages incompatible with some of his favourite sentiments. In the most able and interesting of recent works on “It was overborne," says Chillingworth,“ by im- the Holy Land, and at the same time to afford evidence puting to the Millenaries that which they held not; whether or not it ought to have the confidence of the by abrogating the authority of St. John's Revela- Christian and the Christian household. tion, as some did; or by derogating from it as others, Mr. Stanley's preface is devoted to his view of the conascribing it not to St. John the apostle, but to some nexion of sacred history with the geography of the proother John, they knew not who; by calling it a Juda-mised land. He attempts to trace its influence on national
character, on forms of expression, the explanation it offers ical opinion, and yet allowing it to be probable by of particular events, and the evidence afforded of historical corrupting the authors for it."
truth, with its illustrative, poetical, or proverbial uses. It is objected that the creeds drawn up in the early Most of our readers will feel that it is an attempt to invest ages of Christianity, the Apostles', Nicene, and Atha- what at best is but Gibeonite labour," hewing wood and nasian creeds, show that the Church of those days drawing water," with a grandeur to which it is in no way confessed that Christ would judge all men, both the entitled. Still as such servitude had its place towards quick and the dead, at the time of His coming. They Israel and the sanctuary, the believer may reap good if he did so, grounding that article of their faith on such know how to turn to account these efforts, earthly as they scriptures as Acts x, 42; 1 Pet. iv, 5; 2 Tim. iv, 1. But as Augustine said truly, speaking of the particu- Part I, on the peninsula of Sinai, is a fair sample of Mr.
The introduction treats of Egypt in relation to Israel. lars of eternal judgment, “All these things, it is to S.'s graphic and comprehensive pen. This peninsula is, in be believed, shall come to pass, but in what manner certain respects, one of the most remarkable districts on the and in what order they may come to pass, experience face of the earth. “It combines the three grand features of of the things themselves shall then teach us, rather earthly scenery-the sea, the desert, and the mountains. than the understanding of man can perfectly attain to It occupies also a position central to three countries, disit at present." The general doctrine of universal tinguished not merely for their history, but for their geograjudgment was all that was intended to be confessed Arabia, Palestine. And, lastly, it has been the scene of a
phy, amongst all other nations of the world, Egypt, in the creeds, not the particulars.
history as unique as its situation ; by which the fate of the I must add one fact connected with this subject, three nations which surround it, and through them the fate showing the opinion of our reformers in England of the whole world, has been determined. "It is a just reThe prophecy, Jer. xxiii, 5—8, compared with its mark of Chevalier Bunsen, that 'Egypt has, properly parallel Jer. xxxiii
, 16, all foretells our Lord's reign speaking, no history. History was born on that night when on earth at the time when the Jews shall be restored Moses led forth his people from Goshen.' Most fully is this to their own land; which reign on earth is elsewhere the study of the Egyptian monuments, and finds himself on
felt as the traveller emerges from the valley of the Nile, expressed by His sitting on the throne of David. (2 Sam. vii, 12, 13; Ps. lxxxix, 3, 4 ; Isa. ix, 6; Luke See Comber on the Common Prayer, Vol. i, Part 1, Sect. 20.
the broad track of the desert. In these monuments, magni- events of the peninsula of Sinai, the commerce of Alexandria, ficent and instructive as they are, he sees great kings and and the communications of England with India, which now mighty deeds—the father, the son, and the children—the pass down the Gulf of Suez, are not without interest, as sacrifices, the conquests, the coronations. But there is no giving a lively impression of the ancient importance of the before and after, no unrolling of a great drama, no begin-twin gulf of 'Akaba. That gulf, now wholly deserted, ning, middle, and end of a moral progress, or even of a was in the times of the Jewish monarchy the great thoroughmournful decline. In the desert, on the contrary, the mo- fare of the fleets of Solomon and Jehoshaphat, and the only ment the green fields of Egypt recede from our view, still point in the second period of their history which brought more when we reach the Red sea, the further we ad- the Israelites into connexion with the scenes of the earliest vance into the desert and the mountains, we feel that every: wanderings of their nation. Such are the western and eastern thing henceforward is continuous, that there is a sustained boundaries of this mountain tract; striking to the eye of and protracted interest, increasing more and more, till it the geographer, as the two parallels to that narrow Egyptian reaches its highest point in Palestine, in Jerusalem, on land from which the Israelites came forth: important to Calvary, and on Olivet. And in the desert of Sinai by the the historian, as the two links of Europe and Asia with the fact that there it stands alone. Over all the other great great ocean of the south, as the two points of contact bescenes of human history-Palestine itself, Egypt, and Italy-tween the Jewish people and the civilization of the ancient successive tides of great recollections have rolled, each, to a world. From the summit of Mount St. Catherine, or of certain extent, obliterating the traces of the former. But Um-Shômer, a wandering Israelite might have seen the in the peninsula of Sinai there is nothing to interfere with beginning and the end of his nation's greatness. On the the effect of that single event. The Exodus is the one one side lay the sea through which they had escaped from single stream of history that has passed through this won the bondage of slavery and idolatry-still a mere tribe of derful region—a stream which has for its background the the shepherds of the desert. On the other side lay the whole magnificence of Egypt, and for its distant horizon sea, up which were afterwards conveyed the treasures of the forms, as yet unborn, of Judaism, of Mahometanism, the Indies, to adorn the palace and the temple of the capital of Christianity." (pp. 3, 4.) This extract exemplifies our of a mighty empire." author, and not least his unhappy practice of blending things Here the reader may observe the good and bad points of divine and human, heavenly and earthly, which may fasci- Mr. S. In all that is external and that touches on human nate the natural mind, but is abhorrent to the spiritual man. affairs, there is much that is valuable and masterly; but
Take another specimen. " It is between those two gulfs, when he approaches the ways of God, as revealed in scripthe Gulf of Suez and the Gulf of 'Akaba, that the Peninsula ture, there is a melancholy falling off. No Israelite has of Sinai lies. From them it derives its contact with the yet seen "the end of his nation's greatness," nor can see it, sea and therefore with the world, which is one striking dis- we may add. Indeed, that nation's sun has never yet reached tinction between it and the rest of the vast desert of which its meridian, and once risen, shall never set. “Thy sun shall it forms a part. From hardly any point of the Sinaitic no more go down.” The reign of Solomon was but the range is the view of the sea wholly excluded; from the partial and transient prefiguration of this destiny when a highest points both of its branches are visible; its waters greater than Solomon, the true Son of David, whom himblue with a depth of colour more like that of some of self typified, " shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, the Swiss lakes than of our northern or midland seas, its and of his kingdom there shall be no end." In a later part tides imparting a life to the dead landscape, familiar to mo- of the work, (p. 272,) Mr. S. remarks: “It is possible that dern travellers from the shores of the Atlantic or German in the changes of the Turkish empire, Palestine may again ocean, but strange and inexplicable to the inhabitants of the become a civilized country, under Greek or Latin influences; ancient world, whose only knowledge of the sea was the that the Jewish race, so wonderfully preserved, may yet vast tideless lake which washed the coasts of Egypt, Pales- have another stage of national existence opened to them; tine, Greece, and Italy. It must have always brought to that they may once more obtain possession of their native the mind of those who stood on its shores that they were land, and invest it with an interest greater than it could on the waters of a new and almost unknown world. "Those have under any other circumstances. But the localities of tides come rolling in from the great Indian Ocean ; and Syria, no less than common sense and piety, warn us against with Indian Ocean these two gulfs are the chief channels confounding these speculations with divine revelations, or of communication from the northern world. The white against staking the truth of Christianity and the authority of shells which strew their shores, the forests of submarine the sacred records on the chances of local and political revegetation which gave the whole sea its Hebrew appellation volutions. In like manner the curtain of prophecy of the 'Sea of weeds,' the trees of coral, whose huge trunks falls on the holy city, when 'Jerusalem was trodden down may be seen even on the dry shore, with the red rocks and by the armies of Titus. Its successive revivals under red sand, which especially in the Gulf of 'Akaba bound its Hadrian, Constantine, Omar, and Godfrey, as well as its sides, all bring before us the mightier mass of the Red or present degradation and its future vicissitudes, are alike beErythrean Ocean, the coral strands of the Indian Archi-yond the scope of the sacred volume.” Now, in almost pelago, of which these two gulfs, with their peculiar pro- every erroneous scheme there is a measure of truth, which ducts, are the northern off-shoots. The peninsula itself gives proportionate strength to that which otherwise would has been the scene of but one cycle of human events. But be an airy fabric. So it is with this re-assertion of Dr. it has, through its two watery boundaries, been encircled Arnold's incredulity. They rightly hold that the current with two tides of history which must not be forgotten in of Christianity flows in other channels than the circumthe associations which give it a foremost place in the scribed limits of the Old Testament land and people, and geography and history of the world ; two tides never flow- their neighbours, whether friends or oppressors. Save cering together, one falling as the other rose, but imparting to tain grand principles which find a limited accomplishment each of the two barren valleys through which they flow a while Israel is broken up and their country desolate, prolife and activity hardly less than that which has so long phecy in general overleaps the present dispensation, animated the valley of the Nile. The two great lines of which, in this point of view, has been well called a Indian traffic have alternately passed up the eastern and parenthesis, whatever may be its surpassing interest and the western gulf, and though unconnected with the greater importance. The reason, too, is plain. Prophecy deals with the earth, and the movements of nations, and act as boundaries and means of communication there, just God's judgments thereupon. Christianity differs essen- as the vast streams which divide the various countries or tially: its centre and foundation is Christ glorified in districts elsewhere. We cannot say that Mr. S.'s general heaven, as the reward of the cross; and its power is the adaptation of the scenery to the history strikes us as Holy Ghost gathering those who believe, whether Jew or reverent. (p. 19.) Better, perhaps, is his notice of the more Gentile, into one body, the body of Christ. Hence it is local peculiarities :distinctively a heavenly thing, linking them on this earth “The occasional springs, and wells, and brooks are in acwith their head above, and seeking to produce in them in- cordance with the notices of the waters of Marah ; the dividually and corporately an answer to, and reflection of, springs (mistranslated wells) of Elim ; the brook of Horeb; the glory of Christ. Now it is evident that prophetic events the 'well' of Jethro's daughter, with its troughs and tanks are outside such a system, even while an exceptional event, in Midian. The vegetation is still that which we should like the destruction of Jerusalem, was predicted by our infer from the Mosaic history. The wild acacia (Mimosa Lord Jesus Himself, and occurred after Christianity began. Nilotica) under the name of sout,' everywhere represents But scripture is decided (for it is not a question of politics, the 'seneh,' or 'senna,' of the burning hush. A slightly nor of common sense, nor even of piety) that the people of different form of the tree, equally common under the name Israel are not cast away, that they are to be saved as a ofsayel,' is the ancient "Shittah,' or as more usually exnation, (the rebels being of course cut off,) that they are pressed in the plural form, (from the tangled thickets into to be restored, blessed and exalted by God in the land into which its stem expands,) the shittim, of which the taberwhereof He sware to their fathers. To deny this, to sup- nacle was made—an incidental proof, it may be observed, pose that Israel was broken off definitively that we Gentiles of the antiquity of the institution, inasmuch as the acacia, might occupy their place as God's witness in the olive tree, though the chief growth of the desert, is very rare in Palesis a manifest fruit of that conceit and high-mindedness tine. The retem, or wild broom, with its high canopy and against which the Holy Spirit so emphatically warns. (Rom. white blossoms, gives its name to one of the stations of the xi.). Accordingly, we may observe that the prophecy in Israelites (Rithmah) and is the very shrub under whichLuke xxi does not close with the Gentiles treading down in the only subsequent passage which connects the desert Jerusalem. "The times of the Gentiles" have been going with the history of Israel – Elijah slept in his wanderings. on ever since the Roman armies laid waste the city and The 'palms, --not the graceful trees of Egypt, but the sanctuary, stained with the blood of the Holy One, but hardly less picturesque wild palms of uncultivated regions, they are measured and must terminate in due season. Signs with their dwarf trunks and shaggy branches ----vindicate, above and below shall be given, and a godly remnant, whose by their appearance, the title of being emphatically the hearts yearn over Zion, but still more yearn to see their trees of the desert; and therefore, whether in the cluster rejected but glorified Messiah, will look up and lift their of the seventy-palm trees of the second station of the heads, when other faces gather blackness, and other hearts wanderings, or in the grove which still exists at the head fail them for fear, and for looking after those things which of the Gulf of 'Akaba, were known by the generic name are coming on the earth. Mr. S. cannot deny that these of 'Elim,' • Elath,' or 'Eloth,'—the trees.'” things are to follow " the times of the Gentiles," who have The next sentence is most objectionable, if we rightly appresuccessively trodden, and still tread down, Jerusalem. The hend the author. “The 'tarfa, or tamarisk, is not mentioned coming of the Son of man is as certainly to be connected by name in the history of the Exodus ; yet if the tradition of with Zech. xiv as it is to be distinguished from Rev. xx, 11. the Greek church and of the Arabs be adopted, it is inseparably "When ye see these things come to pass, (i.e., the tribula- connected with the wanderings, by the manna,' which disa tion which precedes Jerusalem's final deliverance and glory,) tils from it, as gum-arabic from the acacia." Unto what end know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” But does Mr. S. speak in this undecided, enigmatic tone ?' A this exactly falls in with the last chapter of Zechariah, few pages afterwards (pp. 39, 40,) the Arab traditions of where Jehovah is seen King over all the earth—one Jeho- Moses are rightly judged too fantastic to be treated sevah and His name one, and all the families of the earth riously, and the Greek traditions are shown to be in the come up to the holy city to worship the king, the Lord of custody of the most incompetent guardians in the world. hosts—a state of things indubitably distinct from, and long Why all this cloud and uncertainty about the manna ? prior to the great white throne, where the judgment of Why this hint about identifying it with the tarfa-distillathe dead is in process, and heaven and earth are fled away, tions in the face of the plainest scriptures of Old and New only to reappear made new for the everlasting state. Now Testament, which uniformly describe it as miraculously given it is this coming" kingdom of God," this revealed earthly from heaven ? a food unknown before, instead of being the centre, which will be the “city of the great king," that familiar product of the tamarisks, which must have been is ignored by Mr. S. So far from being beyond the scope well known, and particularly in Egypt. of the sacred volume," ve aver that the prophecies are full Worse still is the bearing of pp. 23, 24. The question of glowing pictures of it, which must be treated as hyper- is asked, “How could a tribe so numerous and powerful as, bolical in the extreme, if they only meant Jerusalem's resto- on any hypothesis, the Israelites must have been, be mainration by Ezra. Admit an earnest in the past, which be- tained in this inhospitable desert ? It is no answer to say comes the pledge of the true and complete fulfilment when that they were sustained by miracles ; for except the manna, the times of the Gentiles are over, and the balance is res- the quails, and the three interventions in regard to water, tored, the strict truthfulness of the old prophecies is vindi- none such are mentioned in the Mosaic account; and if we cated, the Lord's prophecy and the apocalypse find their have no warrant to take away, we have no warrant to add. adequate application, the hopes of Israel abide unrepented But it is not " adding to,” if we believe Joshua v, 12, from of and unfailing, while the proper and heavenly portion of which it appears that the manna only ceased on the morthe christian Church is kept unadulterated and intact. row after the children of Israel had eaten of the old corn
But to return to Sinai : its mountains are described with of the promised land. They had the manna continuously great spirit, the peculiarity of their, formation, the depth till they reached Gilgal, on the western side of the Jordan. and variety of their colour, the different groups, the con- Neither is it “to ada" if we receive the natural sense of fusion, the desolation, and the silence : so also are those 1 Cor. x, 4, which intimates, not a casual or singular sup"wâdys,” or waterless rivers, which intersect the desert, and ply, but one that followed them throughout from the rock.