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expired aud gone the aionion covevants and statutes, &c. waxed old and have long ago vanished away, .(Ileb, vii. 13.) and a new aion has been introduced, even the Christian aion, which itself shall come to an end, as our blessed Lord has told us in bis gracious promise to his church, " And lo, I am with you always, eren 10 the exd of the aion," Mat. xxvui, 20... And when this aion is ended, there are aions yet to .cgine, Eph, ji. 7. Yea, the apostle represents a succession of future aions.“ Unto him be glory, in thie church by Christ Jesus he paras Tas Yanecas T8 GWh. That awwut, Eph. iii. 2h. Here we have the idea, given us of one age generating another, for the apostle ascribes praise to God our Father “ to all the generatians of the age of ages *." . Now, Sir, take your meaning of the word aion, always being, and its derivatives as eiernal, &c. and apply. it in the face of all these facis and Scriptures, and see how it will accord. We shall then see that an hundied years is an eternity man's short frail life is an eternitydispensation of providence, long or short, is an eternity, &c. &c. There are eternities pasimman eternity nutu cxisting and when this eternity is ended, there are generations of eternities to come-There are eternal
things that have long ago come to an end; and the eternal hills now - existing will one day he burned up, &c.!!! ::
Upon the whole, the proper meaning of aion appears to be age, and the proper meaning of aionion ag e-lasting. Thus we have a rational conception of the ages that are past, of the age which now exists, and of the ages to come. And thus, also, we can well conceive of the age-lasting covenants above mentioned, which continued during the Jewish age--the age-lasting hills, which shall continue during the age of the world--the evayyadov akwyboy, age-lasting gospel, which sha!! continue to be preached during those ages in which the mediator shall be subjecting all things to himself, and reconciling all things to the Father--the cravate ciwme, (Heb.ix. 14.) i.e. the holy spirit, which has presided over the church in all ages, and will continue so to do, till, by, his influence, in the fulness of the dispensation of the times, ai! things will be quickened we tay, the God who reigns through all Die ages, whether past, present, or to come; or, as St. Paul expresses it, Baone TWH Qiwwy, the king of the ages t, 1 Tim. i. 17.
In your fifth letter you jeer, nie because I hand pointed out the difference betwixt the meaning of the Greek words aion and aionios,
* I conceive the age of ages to be the grand closing age of the mediator's reign, when he, having subdued all things to himself, and reconciled all things to the Father by the blood of his cross, shall reign a long and happy period over all, in peace, and righteousness, and joy, and then give up the kingdom to God, even the Father, that he may be all in all.-If Terr, may the Father of mercies pardon my involuntary error, and correct my judgment by his truth.
† Probably the apostle had the Septuagint in his view when he wrote this H Bronasta g'ou Brothea Wautur TWI. Awwwww, Thy kingdom is a kingdom of all the ages, Psalm cxlv. 13..
you for it.
and the English words eternity and eterno!, and then ask, '* Is it not possible for a person to know that the Greck aion and aionios will not always bear to be 'rendered by the English words eternity, everlasting, or eternai, and yet perceive no evidence that the one are less expressive of endless duration than the other *}" How far it may be possible for you, or others, to know a true data, and not conie to a - right conclusion upon it, I cannot tell; but this I know, that if those Greek words will not always bear to be translated by thesc English oncs, there is a reason for it; and perhaps the reader, when he has considered the evidence above given, may be of my mind, that the Greek words are rather less expressive of endiess duration than the English ones; for the fact is, that they do not, in themselves, espress endless duration at alt - If you have a beter reason to give, I call upoti you for it.
You have also allowed t, that' threre is some difference" betwist these words ; inasmuch 'as the English words that are “ properly expressive of endless duration' way 'not ortlinarily admit' of a plurál, nor of the pronouns this and that before thielt." This, Sir, is allowing a great deal, and I think much 'inore than your cause will bear; for if the English words eternity; everlasting, and eternal, will not endure that we should say eternities--this éternity and that eternity--the eternities past, and the eternities to come; 'then I think it as evident as reason can make it be, that aion and aionios, &c. camiot mean eternity, eternal, or everlasting.' . . .ato o doo . ett
The two instances which you gave of aion in its plaral form being used to convey the idea of endless duration, I conceive' are inadequate to the purpose, nor can t account for your bringing forward the first of thein, Eph. iii. II. ve Tee to colleoni Twe alwww, but by supposing that your predilection for eternal purposes is the cause. The apostle is speaking of “ the disposition of the ages, which God made for Christ Jesus orci Lord I," and not of any eternal purpose in him. I ... rii -- Ás for 1 Tim. i. 17. I have noticed the former part of it above, as reading literally, the king of the ages; and 'as to the latter part of the text, where praise is ascribed to God ac 789 atunOS TWV aarwn, it is literally to the ages of ages. Anda's I have observed to you before, all the ages which the Scripture speaks of, are included in the mediatrrial reign of Christ, beyond which we read of no ages, but are briefly informed that the son shall be subject to the Father, and God shall be all in all. ; Cor. XV. 28.
I think it, therefore, a grand idea of the apostle to ascribe to hiin who is the king of the ages, honour and glory to the ages of the ages, or throughout thein all. ;
This does not imply that there are any bounds set to the reign of the immortal God, or that his honour and glory will cease when the ages of mediation shall end; but it is contended, that neither this text por any similar one goes farther than these ages.
Thus I hope justice is done to these texts' uithout giving them the idea of unlimited duration :
It is a feeble attempt of yours* indeed to venture to accommodate your own mode of speaking of “This eternity, of bliss, and * THAT eterniiy of bliss,'? to the mode of using the Greek this age and that age
for unless one of your eternities of bliss can expire, and another of your elernities of bliss can succeed it, there is no parallel betwixt them., ., ,. f. I have no hesitation in admitting that "the by of Dan. xii. - 2. answers to the Greek any, nor that the antithesis in this passage, and in Mau XXV.-46. determines it to mean the same when applied to shame and contempt, as when applied to life." You seem greatly to have inistaken me in what I said about the eternity of future happiness. - I believe I have never pleaded for that on account of its being expressed either by the word osy or www. I conceive it to stand on much former ground than these words can afford. But I inay say something further on that subject in another letter. ; 84,
to Your quotation, in which the authority of Aristotle is brought forward, proves little to your purpose. The critic who furuished you with it, şays, that the ancienis admirably expressed eternity by the word aion; for they call, the term of each person's life. His aion !!! Most admirable indeed! Are you in the habit of speaking to your hearers in this admirable manner about eternity? If I had brought a quotation of such a nature, I should probably have been told, that it was a proof of the scarcity of evidence in the paths which I am in the habit of treading. . . .i n
i In my, next I may go on to consider further what you have said in your fourth leiter. Meanwhile, ,
LU... insiden is; I remain, or more Liyos dvaras Your sincere friend in the love of the truth,
349, STRAND. LII' s isi ... W. VIDLER.
A LETTER FROM A MINISTER !
I TO A
7 "DEAR SIR, ; I Conceive' it will not surprize you to understand that your good mother + communicated to me your letter to her, which brought her the acceptable news of your conversion to God. . . . . , ? I, who have often been a witness to her concern for you on a spiritual account, can attest withi' what joy this news was received by her, and imparted to ine as a special friend, whom she knew would beat a part with her, on so joyful ani occasion. And, indeed, if, as our Saviour intimates, there is joy in heaven, and among the angels of God, over a sinner that repenteth, it may well be supposed that of a pious mother, who has spent so many prayers and tears upon you, and has, so to speak, travailed many years in birth with you again, till Christ was formed in you, could not be small. '
You may believe ine also, if I add, that I, as a common friend of hers and yours, and, which is much more, as a friend of Christ, wiiom you have now heartily submitted to, could not but be tenderly affected with an account of it under your own hand. My joy on this occasion was the greater, considering the importance of your situation, interests, and prospects; whiclı, in such an age as this, inży promise most happy consequences to many others, by hearty appearing on God's belialf, and
embarking in the interest of our dear Redeemer. * If I have at any time hitherto remembered you at the throne of grace,
at your inother's desire-which you are pleased to take notice of with so 'much respecto assure you I shall henceforth be led to do it, with inore concern and particularity, both by duty and inclination. And if I were capable of giving you any little assistance in the noble course you are now 'engaged in, by corresponding with you' by letter, while you are at such a distance, I should do it most cheerfully. Perhaps such an offer may not be altogether unacceptable: for I ain inclined to believe, that when some, whom you are obliged to converse with, observe your behaviour so different from what it formerly was, and banter you for it, it inay be some little relief to correspond with one who will take a pleasure in giving you encouragement. Also when a great many things offer, in which conscience may be concerned, where duty may, not always be plain, nor suitable persons to advise with at hand, it mily be some satisfaction to you to correspond with one, towards whom you may always use a friendly freedom in all such matters, and on whose fidelity you may always depend. You may therefore command me in any of these respects, and I shall take a pleasure in serving you. · One piece of advice I shall venture to give you, though your own good sense will make my enlarging upon it less needful; I mean that you would, from your first setting out, carefully distinguish between the essentials of real religion, and those things which are commonly reckoned by its professors to belong to it." The want of this distinction has had very unhappy consequences, from one age to another, and perhaps in none more than the present. But your daily converse with your bible, which you mention, will herein give you gieat assistance. **
I advise also that, since infidelity so much abounds, you would, not only by close and serious consideration, endeavour to settle yourself well in the fundamental principles of religion; but also that, as opportunity offers, you would converse much with such books which treat most judiciously on the divine original of Christianity, such as Grotius, Abadie, Baxter, Bates, Du Plessis, &c. which may establish you against the cavils that oceur in almost every conversations, and furnish you with arguments, which, when properly offered, may be of use to make some impression on others.
But being too much streightened to enlarge at present, I will only add, that if your hearty attachment to serious religion, should prove any hinderance to your advancement in the world-which I pray God it may noi, unless such advancement would he a real spare to you.I hope you will have faith to trust our Lord's words, that it shall be no disadvantage to you in the final issue. He hath given you a promise for it, upon which you may safely depend, Matt. xix. 29. I am satisfied, none, that ever did so, at last repented of it. May you go on and prosper, and the God of all grace and peace be with you.
. . Yours, &c.
THOUGHT'S ON PROVERBS, XIV. 10. ..in
erpen.no 1 Have sent you the following Thoughts on Proverbs, xiv. io. if
worthy a place in your Miscellany shall be glad to see them inserted. isanu...: 21 ,
“ The heart Knoweth its own bitterness, and a stranger doth'not intermeddle with its joy;" Prov. xiv, 1,
THE book of Proverbs, as consisting of so many moral aphorisnis,
differs from any other Scripture treatise ; therefore to seek to determine the sense of a passage therein contained, from its connection, must be in vain, each text (with but a sinall. exception) conveying a distinct and explicit meaning in itself. To suppose, then that the above words have the least reference to any thing contained in what is called Christian experience, must appear an opinion exceedingly futile and contrarliétory..We know how the language of Solomon is applied by