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The inhabitants of Iceland watch the approach of these intruders to destroy them; or else, by assembling together in great bodies, they drive them back again to the ice, which sometimes floats off with them again. .
It is a fact generally granted that the northern regions have gradually become colder and colder for several centuries back. Thus for instance in
the eighth century the shores of west and east Greenland were accessible, and an Iceland colony was established there, which in time consisted of many towns, villages, churches, and convents, and a regular intercourse was preserved with Norway till 1406, when the last bishop was sent over. From that time all correspoodence has ceased. Probably the original saväge inhabitants destroyed the colony.
The shores of east Greenland are hardly to be approached now at all, and the western only with great difficulty, by reason of the vast accumulation of ice. But this could not be the case in the same degree formerly, for Greenland was famous for its pastures and its cheese and butter, with which the court of Norway used to be supplied ; large oaks also are said to have abounded; some few oaks are said still to be found in the southern parts, but small and stinted by the cold. Perhaps the continual increase of cold is owing to the continual increase of ice in the surrounding seas. Whether, in process of time, this may not so increase as to render this country quite unfit for human habitation, may be doubted,
But we return to our subject, the saltness of the sea, and we will mention one circuinstance more supposed to be owing to this quality.
All who have been spectators of the sea by night, a little ruffled with winds, seldom fail of observing its fiery brightness. In some places it shines as far as the eye can reach ; at other times, only when the waves boom against the side of the vessel, or the oar dashes into the water. Some seas shine often ; others more seldom; soine, only when particular winds blow; and others within a narrow compass; a long tract of light being seen along the surface, whilst all the rest is bid in total darkness.
It is not easy to account for these extraordinary appearances : some have supposed that a number of luminous insects produced the effect, and this is really sometimes the case; in general, however, they have every resemblance to that light produced by electricity; and, probably, arise from the agitation and dashing of the saline particles of the fluid against each other. But the manner in which this is done, remains yet for discovery. It is certain that we have not yet produced any thing similar, by any experiment which philosophers have made.
Our progress in the knowledge of Nature is slow, and human life is short ; and it is a mortifying consideration, that we are hitherto more indebted for success to chance than to industry. In the great millennial age, when the life of man shall be lengthened like the life of a tree, and be no more, for its brevity, compared to the flower of the grass; then will men study the works of Jehovah with every possible advantage. One man may then compare the obsevrations and experiments af
centuries, which himself has made, and know the wonders of creation and providence in the atmosphere, in the earth, and in the great deep.
TO BE CONTINUED. . . .
THE UNIVERSAL DOCTRINE.
DEAR SIR, TN addition to what was observed in a former letter on the writings of
Moses, I wish to engage the attention of the readers of your valuable Miscellany to a few select passages, which I conceive furnish evidence of the high antiquity of the universal doctrine. • When Paul asserted (Rom. viii. 20, 21.) that (aticis *) the rational creation was made subject to vanity ('sang? "t) upon hope, he seems to have had in view some divine promise, or declaration, which laid a foundation for fallen man to hope for coinplete deliverance at some future period; even, before the judicial sentence, subjecting him to vanity, or pain and suffering, had passed upon him. I know of but one passage which the apostle can be supposed to have had in view, as laying a foundation of hope before fallen man was subjected, by the sentence of the Almighty, to experience the painful effects of sin; that passage is what we call the first promise; Jehovah's declaration that the seed of the woinan should bruise the serpent's head,'Gen, iii: 15.After our first parents had, through the seduction of the serpent, transgressed the divine command, and exposed themselves to the penalty of death, before the sentence was pronounced upon them, Jehovah, in great mercy, made known his design of raising up a future deliverer, who should completely restore from the ruins of the fall.
This deliverer is held forth in the first promise as the seed of the woman, consequently, as one who stands connected with the whole human race. Whatever was intimated of mercy and delivrance in that promise must relate to the whole race of Adam, as they were all comprehended in him when the promise was given, as inuch as when the sentence of death was pronounced upon him; as the latter extends to mankind at large, so must the former likewise.
From the time the above declaration was made respecting the seed of the woman, all the divine dispensations, all the dealings of God with her)
*** Krigus is frequently used to express the rational creation, see Mark, xvi, 15. Col. i. 2, 3.
+ The preposition 'em' with a dative, is in many passages translated ukon. Parkhurst says, upon is plainly the leading and primary sense of it. See his Greek Lexicon.
men, have been in pursuance of the gracious design therein intimated; from that time all the ways of God to men have proceeded on the foundation of grace, on that foundation they will continue to proceed until the promise be completely fulfilled.
The head of the serpent I conceive to intend that by which his dominion is extended and his empire maintained, i. e. sin and deatli, by which he makes head against the government and works of God; so far as sin and death extend, so far the power of Satan is displayed, and his triumphs extended. He that committeth sin is of the devil, 1 John, iii. 8. and he that Irad the power of death is the devil, Heb.ii. 14. The destruction of sin and death will be the complete bruising of the serpent's head, and that destruction necessarily implies the restoration of all mankind to purity and life.. .
The Hebrew word in the above passage, which our translators have rendered bruise, occurs only three times in the Bible;, I think its true meaning is to overwhelm, or completely cover *. . It is translated cover, Psalm cxxxix. 11. It should be rendered either overwhelm or cover, Job ix. 17. We can form an idea of a person's being overwhelmed, or covered with darkness, or a tempest, but what idea can we form of his being bruised or broken with darkness, &c.? In Gen, iii. 15. I think the word is intended to express not merely the bruising of the serpent, but the complete overwhelming thereof, by the destruction of all his works, and covering of all the effects produced through his intervention I conceive the passage is' explained in the New Testament by the declarations, “ The son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the devil;" “ He appeared to put away sin ;" “ he must reign till he.liath put all enemies under his feet ;” and that it will be completely fulfilled by the destruction of death, the last enemy, 1 Cor. XV. 26.; the deliverance of the creation from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God, Rom. viii. 21.; the establishment of the empire of grace upon the total ruin of the empire of sin, Rom. v. 21.; by Christ's making all things new, Rev. xxi. 5. ".
If it be admitted that these passages in the New Testament open and explain what was wrapped up in the declaration of Jehovah concerning the seed of the woman, Gen. iii. 15. it will follow that so far from the universal docirine being novel, its antiquity is as high as that of ihe first intinuation of a saviour.
The promises of Jehovah to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, as recorded by Moses, Gen. xii 3. and xxii, 18. and xxvi. 4. and xxviii. 14. is another proof of the antiquity of the universal doctrine. Hath not God inade of one blood all nations of men, for to dwell upon all the face of the earth? Acts xvii. 26. Are they not all descended from the same original stock, Adam? Where has the insulated individual been found, in any age, or country, who did not spring from, and consequently belong to, some family of the earth? What part of the human race
can be ppinted out which is not comprehended in all nations, all fainilies all the kindreds of the earth? Acts iii. 25. If it be adinitted, (and who will deny it?) that all nations, all families of the earth, all the kindreds of the earth, must comprehend all mankind; it will follow that as far back as the days of Abrahain, God promised to bless all mankind. Is God able io fulfil this promise? Most assuredly he is, for he is Almighty.“ With God nothing shall be impossible."“ Ye may weary men; but will ye weary my God also ?” “ He fainteth not, neither is weary.” Does not the faithfulness of God bind him to accomplish this promise? Is he a man that he should lie, or the son of man that he should repent? Hath he spoken and shall he not do it? But are we to understand by God's promising to bless all the families of the earth, that he hath engaged to inake them all pure and happy? First, I ask, Can those who have died without ever hearing of Christ the seed of Abrahain, without any opportunity of being acquainted with the gospel, which probably has been the case with the major part of those who have yet lived, be said, in any sense, to be blessed through him ? Must not the promise, so far as relates to them, totally fail, unless they be blessed by Christ at some future period ? How can those be blessed in Christ the seed of Abraham; who live and die unavoidably ignorant of him and his salvation, if he consign them over, because they did not receive and obey his gospel, which they never heard of, or for any other cause, to endless punishment? If those who have opportunity of being acquainted with Christ, and of Jeceiving his gospel with all its blessings here, continue in ignorance, sin, and misery, to the end of their lives, and continue miserable hereafter, as long as they exist, how can they ever be said to be blessed ? To be blessed is to be enriched with blessings, to be made happy: this seems to be the literal meaning of the phrase: nor does it appear how any creature can be said to be blessed any further than he is made happy. 773 translated bless, in the passage we are considerir.g, seems to establish this idea, as, when used by a superior to an inferior, it will be found always to express the superior's giving, promising, or wishing, rest, quiet, happiness, to the inferior. If we were merely told that God had wished happiness to all inankind, we might conclude that his wishes would not be found heartless and unproductive; but that his wisdom and power would find means to carry his inost benevolent wishes into effect: especially as we are told he will do all his pleasure, and that whatsoever his soul desireth even that he doth. But it was not simply a benevolent vish which God expressed in his promise to Abrahain, Isaac, and Jacob; but a plain and positive declaration of what himself would accomplish: therefore it laid a solid foundation for all the faithful to believe that he would sooner or later bless, or make happy, all the families of the earth, in the promised seed of Abraham. It will be admitted on all hands, that when JEHOVAH promised to bless Abraham, he engaged to bestow such positive blessings upon him as should make him completely liappy: why then should it be doubted by any, whether, when he promised, in words equally strong, to bless all the families of the earth in hind, he
VOL. IV., . ' Z
meant that he would make them all happy, seeing the language ee m3 to make the one event equally as certain as the other?
I will only refer to two passages in the New Testament, to show that the above promise hath never yet been fully accomplished, and that it cannot be fully accomplished unless all mankind be restored to purity. According to the promise, all the families of the earth are to be blessed in the seed of Abraham : but the apostle shews (Gal. iii. 9.) that those who believe are the persons who are blessed; now all mankind do not at present believe, consequently, are not blessed according to the promise, in the present state; it follows that those who now die in unbelief must be brought to believe at some future period, in order to the promise being fulfilled. Peter, after quoting the promise to Abraham, “ In thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed," (Acts iji. 25.) adds, that Christ was sent to bless the Jews first : but how to bless them? “ In turning away every one of you from his iniquity." Though this has not yet been done, it will be completely accomplished, when the deliverer shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob, and all Israel shall be saved, Rom. xi. 26. If those whom Christ blesses are blessed by, being turned away from their iniquities, it will follow, that, in order to his blessing all the kindreds of the earth, they must all be turned from their iniquities.
This letter being perhaps too long already, I will add no inore at present; but that I remain,
Most sincerely, APRIL, 17, 1800.
SUBJECTION TO GOD,
Continued from our last.
4 Thou hast put ALL things in subjection under his feet., For in that he put ALL in subjcction under him, he left NOTHING that is not put under him. But we see not yet all things put under him."
Heb. ii. s
THE system of endless reprobation not only supposes the unhappy * creatures miserable to all eternity, but that they will be in a state of rebellion without end; that they will hate God their sovereign, reject his authority over them, violate his laws, and blaspheme his holy and blessed name for ever and ever : he will punish, and they will sin the more: that he will punish yet more, and they still rage and sin inore horribly! and that the strife will go on to God only knows what height!!! But that it will endlessly increase !!!
A Mr. Roda, in a sermon in Defence of Endless Misery, says, “ God