« הקודםהמשך »
and added others; and the Pentateuch of Moses, which was written in the old Canaanite or Hebrew characters, by the help of which medals and the small remains of Phenician monuments have been deciphered, but for which this language would now be entirely forgotten.
But having said this much of the origin of language and letters, we come now to inquire into the means they had of communicating their information to others before the invention of paper; and as we shall gather the principle facts upon this subject from Calmet, we direct the reader who may be furnished with his Dictionary of the Bible, to the subject under the heads, Book, Bible, &c. Several sorts of materials were used anciently in making books: Plates of lead or copper, the bark of trees, brick, stone, and wood were origi. nally employed to engrave such things and documents upon as men desired to commit to posterity. Porphyry mentions pillars preserved in Crete, on which were recorded the ceremonies practised by the Corybantes in their sacrifices. Hesiod's works were at first written on tablets of lead in the Temple of the Muses in Betia.
Tablets of wood, box, and ivory were also common among the ancients. We learn that Solon's laws were written upon wooden planks: when they were of wood only, they were oftentimes coated over with wax, which received the writing inscribed upon them with the point of a style or iron pen, and what was written might be effaced by the broad end of the same. Afterwards the leaves of the palmtree were used instead of planks; also, the finest and thinnest bark of trees-such as the lime, the ash, the maple, the elm. Hence the word liber, which denotes the inner bark of trees;-also, signifies a book.
As these barks were rolled np to be more easily carried about, the rolls were called volumen or volume. Linen was also sometimes used to write upon; but the oldest material which was commonly employed for writing upon, was a reed very common in Egypt and other places.
A considerable number of manuscripts (1800) have been discovered and taken from the overwhelmed ruins of the city of Herculaneum in a chamber of an excavated house, where they remained since the destruction of the city, (August 24, A. D. 79,) written upon the reed or papyrus. Great efforts were made through the munificence of George iv. while Prince Regent, to restore them. They are thus described by the Hon. Grey Bennet: "The papyri are jointed together, and form one roll on each sheet of which the characters are printed, standing out in a species of bas relief, and singly to be read with the greatest
As there are no stops, a difficulty, however, is found in joining the letters, in making out the wor and discovering the sense of the phrase."
The papyrus reed is still known in Sicily, and a small factory is established at Syracuse for the manufacture of it to gratify the curious. It has also been found in great plenty in Chaldea in the fens at the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates. Egypt also once produced it, for scrolls of it containing inscriptions were found by the French during their invasion of that country; and Denon has given plates of more than one. He says, “I was assured of the proof of my discovery by the possession of a manuscript which I found in the hand of a fine mummy that was brought me: I perceived in its right hand, and rest
ing on the left arm, a roll of papyrus, on which was a manuscript the oldest of all the books in the known world. The papyrus on which it is written is prepared in the same way of that of the Greeks and Romans-of two layers of the madulber of this plant gued to each other, with the fibres made to cross to give more consistence to the leaf. The writing goes from right to left, beginning at the top of the page. It is well known that the law of Moses was wriven upon tables of stone, while the Jews were required to write it upon the doors of their houses and upon their gale-posts. But in the days of our Saviour parchment made of skins seem to have been in common use; but it is by no means certain that other substances were not used, judging from Paul's direction, (2 Tim. iv. 13.) Bring with thee the books; and especially the parchinents. Now if all the books were written on parchment, the special direction about the parchments cannot be well understood."
G. W. ELLY. (TU BE CONTINUEV.1
PRACTICE BETTER THAN THEORY.
SHELBYVILLE, December 1st, 1840. Brother Campbell-I am now within a few months of being a half century old, and upwards of half that time I have been a professor of the Christian religion, and the greater portion of that time I have been a public advocate of the religion set forth in the Christian Scriptures. I have read, thoughit, talked, and prayed much; I have proclaimed, taught, reproved, rebuked, and exhorted much; I have seen much; yes, I have lived to see the theory of the true religion achieve a mighty victory over false theories. But that which I have desired most of all to see, I have not seen, viz.—that general improvement in true pirty and Christian morality corresponding with this true and excellent theory, for which I have so long labored in word, and doctrine, and prayer.
Disappointment and astonishment have taken hold upon me. Lord, help ere the godly perish! Can any thing more be done? Yes, there can and must be, else we as a people shall be disgraced, and the cause of Christ dishonored before the world.
It will not do to say that we are as good as our neighbors; for we have assumed to have understood and embraced a purer religion than theirs: therefore we must sustain the assumption by purer lives.Failing in this, the cause is lost, and curselves proved to be mere boas'ers; and what character is more contemptible viewed in the light of the true religion! Whatshonld be thought of a man who is always boasting of the superiority of his trees or vines over those of his neighbors, when, upon a comparison of the fruit, there is no difference? The wisest of all teachers has sail, «The tree is to be known by its fruit.' So the piety and morality of men are known, not by what they say, but by what they do.
I ask again, Can any thing more be done in order to the perfection of Christian character? I ask not whether our heavenly Father must yet do any thing more (directly) than he has done; for his servant
Peter has told as that "God by his divine power has gifted to us all things necessary to life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue.” But what ean we do? We can avail ourselves of that which our benevolent parent has done for us in creation, providence, and redemption. This done, the battle's fought the victory won.
We have made one conquest by the united efforts of all the friends of the ancient gospel and ancient order of things, and the blessing of God; and can we not make another still more glorious, without which the former can never crown us as victors in heaven? Yes, yes, we can; for the Lord God omnipotent reigns: but he will reign through the army of the faithful.
I now, therefore, make to all the wise-hearted and prudent in Israel the following suggestions:—Is not a radical practical change in the church necessary in order to her declaring the perfections of Him who has called her out of darkness into his marvellous light, to the conversion of the world and her own glorification in heaven? And if so, should not all our editors and scribes, bishops and deacons, evangelists and people, direct all their efforts to that end? And whether the commencement of the ensuing year would not be a favorable time to unite more closely, and call up our energies most vigorously in bringing about that most imporiant of all events, the glory of God, the conversion of the world, and the glorification of ihe church in heaven. Personal religion, family religion, church religion, and religion in reference to the state, are the items which compose the Christian relia gion. These being understood and acted out by a person, makes that person a perfect Christian: so of a family, and so of a church.Again, would it not be well for the bishops, (and where they have none, for some other member,) to become well acquainted with all the members of their respective congregations; yes, to know' them personally, and in their families, and in the church, in order that all their virtues might be encouraged, and that all their delinquencies might be corrected; and would it be improper to report progress occasionally? Might this not be a means of stirring up an humble emulation to outstrip each other in doing good; for surely if we have been ambitious in the good work of proselyrism, we should not be less so in endeavoring to stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Once more, as all those who plead this cause viva voce have to do it in their own proper persons, and are thus exposed to the scrutiny especially of those who know their moral worth, would it not be well for all persons forwarding communications or writing essays on any of the items of our holy religion, that they do so under their proper names? This suggestion for the purpose of self-examination, and the moral improvement of all those who may speak or wrije upon this great theme; for mark me, it is a scriptural and a moral fact well established, that he who is untaught cannot teach others, and that he who is not pious and moral should not enjoin these on others, lest the wise retort, “Physician, heal thyself," put him to open shame.Brethren, I intend (the Lord preserving me) to read, think, speak, and pray much in reference to this all-absorbing matter; and I hope by the help of Him who has always been the aid of his people, to prove that I am (if but a feeble) yet a true friend to the cause of God and to man; and I would write mnch, but I make no pretensions to being a scribe.
I hope, therefore, that the errors of this my first scroll will be charita. bly overlooked by the learned. But in the meantime I would claim for the subject matter thereof the highest possible regard of all those who aspire to glory, immortality, and eternal life in hope of which I subscribe myself your true and constant brother and fellow-helper in the work of the Lord,
WM. MORTON. EDITOR'S REMARKS. In this age of boasting, and of puffing, not only the speeches, the talents, but the persons of men,
from their beards to their bouts, obtaining, I am sorry to say, as much favor among some of us as among any people in the land; I am almost ashamed to say that the writer of the above remarks is one whose praise is in all the churches, and whose judg. ment and piety will command the respect of all who know him. In the opinions he has expressed I ain persuaded that brethren Johnson, Rains, Gano, Moss, Irvin, the Creaths, the Smiths, the Rogers, indeed all the old Evangelists and Elders in Kentucky, will concur. Too much zeal for proselyting-too little for feeding the lambs and' tending the little tlocks of the converted. The standards ministerial, domestic, ecclesiastic, fc. are all too low. To be a saint-yes, to be a saint, is better than to be the monarch of the four quarters of the globe.
Dear brother Morton, all true reformation begins in the family circle. The nursery is the place where men and women are moulded; and if the domestic circle be not hallowed by the teachings of parental and maternal piety, Evangelists may preach, and saints may pray, and the church may travail comparatively in vain. But I must say, that no demonstration is piore evident to my mind, than that unless more pains be taken to enlighten and sanctify the converted-to build up the believers--and to make the disciples more fruitful in all godliness and righteousness, the cause of reformation will languish, and the great good now being done will fail of perfection and the attainment of that highest end-the formation of character on the principles of faitli, hope, and love, and with a reference to the coming of the Lord and the judgment of the great day.
ON LIVING ACCORDING TO THE SPIRIT-No. I. The following sentiments found in an old book on which I happened to glance the other day, may serve as an introduction to this series of essays.
A. C. “That the spiritual or Christian life lies in the abiding and indwelling of this same promised Spirit, may not, nor can be refuted by any who acknowledge the New Testament writings. All true Christians are born of the Spirit; and by being thus born, our Lord says they are spirit. And surely that which is born of the Spirit must be different from the Spirit of which it is born; and therefore this Spirit must be an agent as different from that divine state and temper of mind by which the new creature is distinguished from the old, as the cause is from the effect.
By the image that is given us of this new birth in the first natural one, and the analogy or resemblance held forth to us in that expression, we are naturally led to conceive that this Spirit of life answers the same purpose in the pure spiritual life that the breath of life does connexion with, and dependence on the spiritual system, for spiritual subsistence and life, even as we are connected with the material one by the air we breathe in, and without which we can by no means subsist. And further, as this air in which we breathe, is not so properly an effect, as the very substance of the material system; so must this Spirit be in the spiritual one; that is, in the very Spirit of God in Jesus Christ, we live, move, and have our being; which cannot be at all conceived or apprehended, but by a plurality in the Divine Unity, which we have designed and distinguished by the names of Father, the Word or Son, and Holy Spirit, the same divine substance in all, distinguished in a manner far above human, and very probably above all created apprehension, subsisting and acting in and by one another.
is established a
How this same Spirit is conveyed and communicated by Jesus Christ to his disciples and followers, we can no more apprehend than how he made the world and breathed the breath or spirit of life into the first man. We can observe what is done, the effects and consequences of this unspeakable gift; and that is enough for us. We are told by our Lord himself, who perfectly understood the affair, “that as the living Father sent him, and he lives by the Father; so all that have heard and learned of the Father, and come to him, shall live by him;" that by this one Spirit they are united to him in the nearest and most intimate manner, and are one spirit with him; that his life is communicated to them so really, and without any figure, that, in strict propriety of speech, it is not they, but Christ who lives in them: he is their life, and with him that life is hid with God; and because he lives, they shall live also.
The native consequence of this conveyance of the Spirit of life, and of the new life thus communicated to them, is a new way of living: for they who have the Spirit and life of Christ, live in this Spirit, and walk in this Spirit; that is, they follow Jesus, they live and walk as he did; for if there is the same spirit, there must be the same mind, to see things in the same light, and accordingly to form the same judgment of them, and consequently to esteem and despise, to love and haie, just as he did. This is the new heart and new spirit, the divine nature the Apostle says 'hey are made partakers of: the law of love is written in their heart; and the Apostle John assures us that he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him; for God is love."
CORRECT VIEWS. It is more satisfactory to promote good works among men than to bring them over to any particular opinion. There is more pleasure in advancing the happiness of others than in raising a man's own reputation for skill in any branch of science. Humility is better than knowledge—a right disposition of heart, than right sentiments. At the same time it is a reasonable ambition to promote both knowledge and piety. The character of Chrstians then becomes complete. A love of iruth, a thirst after knowledge, an inquisitive temper, seem to be inseparable concomitants of integrity-Lardner.