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faculties free from derangement. He then possessed a very peace-
We feel a sincere pleasure in being able to insert the following note. It was added by a friend who communicated to us this memoir; and, while it discloses what is highly creditable to the individuals concerned, it presents a striking il. lustration of the consistency of our principles as Baptists with our ardently love ing Christians of other denominations.
ŃOTE. The writer of the preceding sketch has given the public to understand that he and Mr Huntington did not belong to the same religious denomination. It may be proper for another to remark, that the writer of it is the Rev. Mr Nichols, Pastor of the Congregational Church in Braintree.
An occurrence has come to my knowledge which happily illustrates their feelings towards each other. Mr Huntington was at the house of a friend in a town adjoining Braintree, when conversation was casually introduced respecting Mr Nichols. In the course of the conversation, Mr Huntington remarked, “I do not know of a man I should be willing to exchange for Mr Nichols." Not long after, Mr Nichols was at the same place; and conversation was, in a similar manner,
introduced concerning Mr Huntington. Mr Nichols observed, “I do not know of a man I should be willing to exchange for Mr Huntington.” This I had from the gentleman at whose house the remarks were made. It shows that there was a friendship between them, as sincere and ardent as is often found between brethren of the same denomination. And it was a friendship which existed and was maintained till interrupted by death, without any sacrifice or compromise of principle on the part of either.
ON CERTAIN SUPERLATIVES IN THE BIBLE.
All persons who have made the New Testament a subject of critical examination have perceived it to contain internal evidence of having been written by persons whose modes of thinking and whose manner of expression are not naturally Grecian. Apart from our knowledge of their nation, derived from other sources, we should be led to suspect that they were llebrews, by the Hebraisms scattered through that portion of the Sacred Volume. These peculiarities it is necessary to know as such, before the precise import of the passages in which they occur can be perceived. One class of these, viz. Hebrew superlatives, I conceive to be employed in some passages in the New Testament, in which they are not generally recognised ; and a knowledge of the fact that they are employed, renders these passages more lucid, and produces a clear, definite idea of the meaning, where, before, only a vague one could be entertained. With a view to elucidate this class of passages the following essay is written.
The Hebrews have several methods of expressing the superlative degree: By an adverb signifying greatly—by a preposition signifying among; as, “ Blessed among women," i. e. Most blessed woman-by the repetition of a word; as, “ Peace, peace,” i. e. Perfect peace. Isa. xxvi. 3—by two synonymous words; as, “ Poor and needy”—by the genitive case plural of the same word; as, “King of Kings"-and, lastly, by the use of a Divine name; as, “The men of Sodom were sinners before the Lord;" i. e. outrageous sinners—"The trees” or “mountains of God;" i. e. the very largest trees or mountains. It is to those passages in which I conceive the last mode of expression to be employed, that I shall direct my attention.
Gen. xxiii. 6. “Thou art a Mighty Prince (Heb. Prince of God) among us.'
Gen. xxx. 8. “With great wrestlings (Heb. Wrestlings of God) have I wrestled with my sister.”
Gen. xxxv. 5. “ And the terror of God (i. e. the greatest terror) was upon the inhabitants of the cities,” &c.
Ex. ix. 28. “Entreat the Lord, that there be no more mighty thunderings.” (Heb. Voices of God.)
An idea similar to these, is, I think, intended to be conveyed, Ex. xxxi. 3, though, from the frequency with which the words " Spirit of God” are employed to signify the third of the Divine Persons, we might be inclined to suppose he was here intended. “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, and in understanding, and in knowledge, and in all manner of workmanship.” Can this mean that Bezaleel was what we commonly understand by " inspired” for this work? He was indeed endowed with extraordinary understanding, so clearly to conceive as to execute exactly* all that the Lord commanded, and to do this from only Moses' description. But inspiration, in the general sense of that word, was unnecessary; and why in theology more than in philosophy should we seek a cause more than adequate to produce the effect ?t To me there appears no doubt that the meaning is, “I have given to him a transcendently ingenious mind.”
This reasoning applies equally well to Gen. xli. 38, for Pharaoh knew nothing of inspiration in its ordinary sense.
1 Sam. xi. 6. “And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard these tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly." We have, indeed, records of Saul's inspiration, but I doubt this being such a record, both from the cause which gave rise to it, and from the effects produced upon him. The circumstances which gave rise to this state of feeling, were of a nature but little calculated to produce such a frame, as, we must suppose, pervaded the mind of a person properly inspired. The demand of Nahash on the inhabitants of JabeshGilead, was calculated to rouse his indignation, but not to inspire his tongue. When he heard the demand," the Spirit of God came upon him, and his anger was kindled greatly.” Did the inspiration of the Almighty produce such effects as these ? Are we not, then, justified in seeking such an interpretation as does not involve these consequences ? Such a one the idiom under consideration suggests : "A most violent rage took possession of him, and his anger was kindled greatly." Should it be objected that the latter part of the sentence is tautological, I reply, that it is explanatory; and that similar instances of explanation are frequent in the Psalms of David. In the original, the word commonly, and, indeed, here used for “Spirit,” is frequently employed for some single passion of the soul; and in Judges viii. 3, for the very passion by which Saul was agitated: “Then their anger (Heb. Spirit) was abated towards him."
1 Sam. xiv. 15. “And there was a trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people ; the garrison and the spoilers, they also trembled; and the earth quaked, so it was a very great trembling.” (Heb. A trembling of God.)
Ps. Ixxx. 10. “ The boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars.” (Heb. Cedars of God.)
* See Ex. xxv. 40, and xxvi. 30.
Jonah iii. 3. “Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city." (Heb. A city great to God.)
Probably many other passages might be adduced in which this idiom is employed, but I am persuaded these will be sufficient to convince your readers that Hebrew writers frequently employ it, and to prepare them to recognise it in some passages which I am about to cite in the New Testament, on which it will be, sometimes, difficult to form a definite idea without adverting to it.
The New Testament, though written in Greek, was written by Israelites, and, in many cases, for Israelites, or to them. It may be expected, then, that the writers should sometimes employ the peculiarities of their own language, as most easily expressing their sentiments, and most precisely conveying them to their countrymen. This it is observed they frequently do; and instances are not wanting of their use of the very idiom under consideration. I will begin with one in which its presence is unquestionable. This passage is Acts vii
. 20. “In which time Moses was born, and was exceeding fair." (úrteios Tu En fair to God.) If it be objected that the Greek Classics employ language equivalent to this, and that therefore no argument can be urged to prove the Hebrew origin of it; I answer, that admitting the premises, to which I feel no reluctance, the conclusion by no means follows: the only legitimate inference will be, that the idiom belongs not exclusively to the Hebrew language; but is common to, at least, one other with it. I observe further that very considerable literary authority explicitly yields it to the Hebrews. Dr Nelson, treating of Greek idioms, after giving this very passage, says, “ This is originally a Hebrew idiom, and occurs very frequently in the Bible.”
There is a passage in the writings of the Apostle Paul, in which, I think, the peculiarity in question is found. It is 2 Cor. x. 4. "The weapons of our warfare are-mighty through God." The English version of this passage does not suggest to us the presence of the idiom under discussion; yet I have no doubt of its existence, and believe that whoever shall compare the original of Acts vii. 20, with that of the present passage, will recognise the same form of expression in both; and acknowledge that as fair to God, (éctrios Tu Osm) means "Exceeding fair," so, mighty or powerful to God, (duveta tq Otg) would mean, "Exceedingly powerful;" or that in the latter, as well as in the former instance, the Hebrew practice of expressing the superlative degree by means of a Divine name is adopted.
One other passage occurs to me in which the Divine name appears to be employed for a similar purpose. It is 2 Pet. iii. 12. * Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God; wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat.” I presume it will be readily acknowledged that in this text and its connexion, the Apostle is speaking of the day of dgment. See verses 7—12. When we consider that on that day God will be glorified in his saints, and admired in all them that believe;" and that his glory will appear transcendent as the righteous Governor of the world, both by the punishment of his enemies, and by the complete and everlasting
salvation of his people, we cannot hesitate to acknowledge that it is “the day for which all other days were made ;' the most illustrious, and yet tremendous that ever dawned or ever will dawn upon the world. Now how is it probable that an Oriental, full of this stupendous subject, and recognising his own unutterable interest in it, would express himself? Surely such a person, so interested, and on such a subject, might give the reins to his glowing imagination, and utter the bold language of passion. The constitutional ardor of this writer's mind would prompt him to do so, and he obeys its impulse. To express the supreme importance of that day, he avails himself of the genius of his native language, and calls it emphatically, The day of God.
In conclusion, I would caution your readers against supposing that every form of expression bearing a resemblance to those considered, is an instance in which this Hebraism is employed. The instances are comparatively few, though I almost know that I have not mentioned the whole of them. My intention was not to give a complete catalogue, but rather to call the attention of some more competent writer to the subject of Hebrew idioms in the Bible. - My chief design, however, was to stimulate candidates for the Christian ministry to a close, critical examination of that blessed Volume, whence they must derive the matter of all their messages to the children of men ; that, understanding as perfectly as possible their Master's word, their trumpets may give a certain and not a vague sound; and that they may become Pastors after God's own heart, feeding his people with knowledge and understanding.
MR LOOMIS'S REPLY.
The following reply of the Rev. Hubbel Loomis, to a communication over the signature A., in the Connecticut Observer, was intended for insertion in that paper; but as it was refused admission there, it was first published in the Christian Secretary, at Hartford, Conn. The interesting nature of this document and the excellent spirit which it breathes, constrain us to transfer it to our pages. It exhibits some important facts, the knowledge of which may be useful to those who are cherishing delusive hopes in respect to the practicability and desirableness of persuading conscientious disciples of Christ to put in practice a theory which, by way of compromise, so gives up one of his express commands, one of the first principles of the oracles of God concerning them who would enter his church, as to render baptism no longer a term of church fellowship and communion.
Whoever reads this account, particularly the report of the Consociation, will perhaps cease to wonder why it is that so many pious and estimable Pedobaptists, notwithstanding some serious misgivings on the subject, and some light that occasionally troubles the conscience, still adhere to “ the established usages of ministers and churches in their connexion.” If the mind is diverted from the consideration of a subject, it of course makes no progress in the knowledge FEB. 1829.