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In the authorised version, at 1 John v. 7, we read, “ There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these these are one.” This celebrated passage is now admitted, by the learned and candid of every church, to be an interpolation; that is, a passage which is not written by the Apostle John, but foisted into the text of his Epistle, long after his decease, either by accident or by design. It should therefore be expunged from our printed Bibles. For an admirable summary, from the pen of a Trinitarian divine, of the reasons which have led the critics to this conclusion, the reader is referred to the Commentary of Dr. Adam Clarke, perhaps the most learned divine in the Methodist connexion. In the authorised version, at 1 Tim. iii. 16, where it is printed, “Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh,” &c. the leading divines of all creeds have decided that the true reading is, “ he who was manifest in the flesh.” For a paraphrase of the entire passage, see on Chap. xi. 10 of this Exposition. Yet, all these corruptions of Scripture, these words and passages which are not Scripture, which were never written by the Apostles, but inserted by careless or dishonest monks, are retained in our printed Bibles, for no other conceivable reason, than that they seem to favour the creeds and confessions of the two Churches established by the Legislature! It were much to be desired that the State Bibles were conformed to the Greek text of the most ancient and valuable MSS.; but so much power, interest, and prejudice, array themselves against such a proposition, that its accomplishment is not to be looked for in our day and generation. It seems, however, to be the solemn duty of Christian parents, to alter with the pen all these passages in the Bibles which are used in their families, that their children be no longer led to regard the corruptions of men as words of inspired and celestial truth.
Verse 27: “ Alas, for you! Scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness.” According to the law of Moses, he who touched any part of a sepulchre, became ceremonially unclean; thus, it is enacted in Num. xix. 16: “And wbosoever toucheth one that is slain with a sword in the open field, or a dead body, or a bone of a man, or a grave, shall be unclean seven days.” For the avoidance of this pollution, the Jews were accustomed to put some sign or mark on the graves and sepulchres, that they might be discerned at a distance; hence the injunction of their canon, “ If any man find a sepulchre, he is bound to put a mark upon it, that it be not an offence to others.” This was accomplished by having the sepulchres of all kinds white-washed every year in the month of February. It is to these “ whited sepulchres” or white-washed tombs, that our Lord compares the hypocrites, who are to the ordinary eye of men all that is good and pure, but to him thai can look within, present nothing but filthiness and deformity. Nor can there well be anything more disgusting than the contrasted appearance and heart of a hypocrite. A real, undisguised sinner, does not so much sicken our contemplation; there, at least, all is open and unconcealed. But a pretender to holiness, is a walking lie, a perambulating falsehood. He lies to his fellow-creatures, by assuming a character to which he has no claim; and be lies to the Omniscient, pretending to be his servant, while he is the slave of all that is adverse to his perfections.
Verses 37, 38: “ Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I bave gathered thy children together, even as a ben gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not. Behold, your house [perhaps the Temple] is left unto you desolate.” Such is the exquisite language, full of the deepest anxiety and of the tenderest affection, with which the Messias concludes his rebukes of the sins of his countrymen. Perhaps no simile from any part of the universe, could have been so expressive of his continual care over the Jews, his fervent attachment to them, and his strong desire to protect them from their approaching calamities. But they had refused his care, and rejected his defence; and with a full knowledge of the miseries shortly to be inflicted by the arms of the victorious Romans, he exclaims, “ Behold, your house is left unto you desolate!” Jesus of Nazareth, like his God and Father, had no pleasure in the death of the sinner. He was anxious that all should come unto him and live. “ Being dead, he yet speaketh,” calling upon all men everywhere to repent, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance. He speaks to us in his Word, written by Evangelists and Apostles for our instruction; he speaks to us by his Divine example, recorded for our imitation; he speaks to us in the ordinances of his holy religion. In a few years he shall speak to us no more, for we shall be gathered into the dull grave, where there is no voice of affection heard. The day of improvement will soon be gone. Oh, let it not be said of him who has written, or of those who read, that Jesus offered to “gather us together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings; and we would not!”
THERE is a world above
Its hopes are in my heart-
Whose sun, my God! thou art.
The ever-changeful scene;
The permanent serene.
A morning waits us there,
Beam, how divinely fair!
No voice of murmuring raise,
“ A star has arisen." NIGHTLY did I watch it—that beautiful calm planet! In the deep sky, between two lofty trees, at the base of which was sequestered a small cottage, that star kindled
into beauty! At first, dim and unreal, one moment visible, the next, lost in the white haze of departing twi. light; then defined and distinct, till it gradually brightened into glory, and looked down upon the world—a thing of light and loveliness.
Yet, is it not a far distant world which can have no influence upon our own? too remote for the most ambitious dreams of science? and, though it deepen by contrast the shade of the foliage beneath it, and well down its stream of light over the far off river, standing apart from its own starry brethren, does it exercise no influence on the denizens of earth? Assuredly not, according to the horoscope of the astrologer. Nor is it a star of destiny to ought but those who work out a moral and a philosophy from its calm and tranquil existence, and behold in it a silent witness of that spirit of glory and truth, which God hath set like a watcher or sentinel over this world, calming down the hearts of his troubled and heart-worn children, and ever reminding them, in the contemplation of him through his works, of the prevailing influence of peace and love, whatever storms may arise, and whatever wintry blasts may unrobe the earth of her beauty, and the skies of their poetry and of their promise.
Looking up to that deep solitary star, amid the tears of this world, or through the darker film with which man's passions have clouded his view of heaven, how many worshippers have bent their knees to that witness of the Spirit of intelligence, and how many having learned from their sires the traditionary tale of its immortality, have blessed it as something beautiful, which died not like the flower! How many, too, amid the revolutions of thrones and dynasties, the political changes of the world, or even the physical convulsions of nature—the storm, the deluge, and the earthquake, when the darkness has passed away, and the wind lulled, and the sky cleared, looking up to heaven—for there, in extremity, do all men look, whatever be their belief-have beheld that silent witness still there, and adored it as something holy! And how many, too, in the days of Nomadic rulers and of shepherd kings, have even worshipped that bright creature of Omnipotence, ere Omnipotence was otherwise revealed!
The man of science defines the orbit, calculates the velocity of that star, measures its diameter, and all but peoples it with life, intelligence, and adoring denizens. What a world of thought, of wonder, and reflection; of wonder, at the power and love of God; of reflection, at our own insignificance, does this supposition convey; and yet, what is that small meridian lamp—for it even now culminates—what is it to the myriad myriads, the great mass of the over-peopled world—but a single bright spot in the heavens, shining on because the sun sets and the night comes; and fading away, after a time, because the east reddens and the mountain-tops are crowned with light. Yet, in spite of the boast of science and philosophy, are we not like that myriad, as much in darkness and delusion, save only on a few favoured topics? Whence we come, whither we go, we know not but for God's revealed word; while any attempt to define his nature, to discourse of the attributes of the soul, or the employments and pursuits of a hereafter, but convinces us of the imperfection of our nature, and of the inability of the highest minds to comprehend or to discuss such questions.
Stars have been called the “poetry of heaven.” More properly might they be deemed the prophets of its immortality; not so much of the visible heaven, but of a state of existence beyond the fading and perishing scenery of earth; and amid the old creeds of a young world, if there could be a superstition that was holy, an idolatry that was pure, it was in the secret homage of the soul, when the whole world appeared as a temple of love and poetry, and a silent star like that above me, came out of the shadowy blue, and shone over men like a watchlight, to guide the soul to some immortal haven, Banks of the Srour.
REMEMBER THE POOR.
From the Boston (U. S.) Journal of the Ministry at Large.
REMEMBER the Poor!